Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The pieces don't fit together

When I first read Iraq's broken pieces don't fit together by Michael Schwarz in Asia Times, there was an air of familiarity to that concept. The basic gist is that the Iraq quagmire wasn't merely an accident, but was intended from the beginning. Iraq isn't in crisis, but rather is the crisis, and that crisis is good for business. Then I remembered having read some words in a book called ¡Ya Basta!, which commemorates - as of the time of its publication - a decade of Zapatista resistance. In it, there was an introduction to the various EZLN communiques and essays by Marcos by Žiga Vodovnik that hit the spot (pp. 44-45):
According to Marcos, nowadays the planet is a battlefield of the Fourth World War (the Third was [the] so-called Cold War). The aim of the war is a conquest of the entire world through the market. Today's arms are financial, though millions of people are maimed or killed every moment. Those waging the war are aiming to convert the whole planet into one big business company, with World Bank, IMF, WTO, OECD, and the President of the United States as the board of directors. Thanks to computers and the technological revolution, the financial markets operating from their office are answerable to nobody but themselves, having been imposing their laws and worldview on the planet as a whole. Globalization is merely the totalitarian extension of the logic of the financial markets to all aspects of life. Meanwhile, nine-tenths of the world's population live with the "jagged pieces that do not fit." Marcos writes:

"What we have here today is a puzzle. When we attempt to put the pieces together in order to arrive at an understanding of today's world, we find that a lot of the pieces are missing. Still, we can start with seven of them, in the hope that this conflict won't end with the destruction of humanity. Seven pieces to draw, color in, cut out, and put together with others, in order to try to solve this global puzzle."

1. The first piece has the shape of a dollar sign and is green. This piece consists of the new concentration of global wealth in fewer and fewer hands, and the unprecedented extension of hopeless poverty.

2. The second piece is triangular (depicts the pyramid of worldwide exploitation), and consists of a lie. The new (world) order claims to rationalize and modernize production and human endeavor. In reality, it is a return to the barbarism of the beginnings of the industrial revolution with an important difference, that the barbarism is unchecked by any opposing ethical consideration or principle.

3. The third piece is round like a vicious circle, and consists of enforced migration. Those who have nothing are forced to emigrate to survive. Yet the new order works according to the market principle, that anybody who doesn't produce and doesn't consume and has no money to put into a bank, is redundant. So the emigrants, the jobless, the landless, the homeless, are treated as the waste that should be eliminated.

4. The fourth piece is rectangular like a mirror, and consists of an ongoing exchange between the commercial banks and the world's modern soldiers - financial globalization is enforcing the globalization of a crime.

5. The fifth piece is more or less like a pentagon, and consists of physical repression. The nation-states under the new order have lost their economic independence, their political initiative, and their sovereignty. Nowadays, the nation states are just departments of the corporation known as the world, and politicians only local managers. The new task of nation-states is to manage what is allowed to them, to protect the interests of the market and to control and police the redundant.

6. The sixth piece is in the shape of a scribble, and consists of breakages. On the one hand, the new order does away with frontiers and distances by telecommunication of exchanges, and deals by obligatory free-trade zones, and by imposing everywhere the law of the market.

7. The seventh piece has the shape of a pocket, and consists of all the various pockets of resistance against the new order that are developing around the world. The many pockets do not have a common political program per se. How could they, existing as they do in the broken puzzle, but exactly their heterogeneity may be a promise.

As you can see, these seven pieces will never fit together to make any sense, even if you try as hard as you can. This lack of sense, this absurdity, is endemic to the new order. Marcos warns, that the war which neoliberalism is conducting against humanity, is a planetary war and the worst and most cruel war ever seen.
You can read Marcos' description of the broken puzzle and its pieces here. If you look just a little bit, you can see each of the seven pieces in Iraq at present, from the concentration of wealth, to the forced emigration, physical repression, and of course the pockets of resistance.

This, my friends, is what we're fighting in word and in deed.

No comments:

Post a Comment