An blog by a member of the Catholic peace movement, Pax Christi, to explore the nexus between contemplation and resistance. "The Christian must discover in contemplation, and in the giving of his life, those symbolic actions which will ignite the people's faith to resist injustice with their whole lives, lives coming together as a united force of truth and thus releasing the liberating power of the God within them." - James Douglass, Contemplation and Resistance.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Power Consolidated



“The only way around this problem is to seize power from the elite, such that the people themselves become the power structure. The elite *as a class* must be destroyed.”

This is the goal toward which we must aim and short-term strategies must never lose focus on the ultimate aim. A number of forces are converging in the present crisis. David Harvey’s analysis of the bailout strategy highlights one element (from Is This Really the End of Neoliberalism? 3/14/2009 (http://www.counterpunch.org/harvey03132009.html): “…the banks are using the money not to lend to anybody but to buy other banks. They are consolidating their class power.”

In other words, the bailout is part of a new power consolidation by the ruling elite who understand that the current class division is insufficient to maintain their dominance in the face of ecological crisis and resource wars. Therefore, we explain the crisis as “a class event in which a certain structure of exploitation broke down and is about to be displaced by an even deeper structure of exploitation.” as David Harvey puts it.

The fact that bailout money is being redirected to troop buildups demonstrates that the elite is placing its faith in military force as the guarantee of continued dominance. The recent Gaza massacre in which new DIME weapons were tested on a captive population is indicative of the repression strategy likely to be pursued in case of civil unrest.

The Obama phenomena has managed to absorb and divert most of the progressive political forces that might have been able to work for fundamental change, as was Wall Street’s intention in promoting him. The “Obama strategy” has turned out to be a brilliant move so far. It has allowed them to cover the renewed centralization of their financial power through the transfer of Treasury funds to their coffers. This accomplishes two key purposes: 1) It weakens the financial power and capacity for independent action of the majority; 2) It allows them to consolidate bank ownership into a few major players.

I would also like to add an obligatory denunciation of conspiracy theories. They are counterproductive and unnecessary. The motivations behind this “conspiracy” are not hidden. They are summarized in a recent blog post on this blog: “It is very doubtful that the elite gather together in secret to plan world domination. It is simply the case that those who control political and economic power instinctively understand the best ways to continue their dominance and act on that understanding both individually and as a class. They are not “evil”, but are usually acting in good conscience, though with a conscience formed in a peculiar way. Their conscience is formed by their experiences of economic success, which they generalize into working tools for the formation of mass economic policy. They do not speculate on the roots or final ends of their policy, but they are certain that obedience to their policy will maintain their control and their success. And for them that is only goal worth achieving.”

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