"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.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Lifting the Burden of Truth

The key insight of Naomi Klein's recent article "Obama's Bad Influence" is here: "Within forty-eight hours of the US announcement Italy, Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Poland had pulled out. Unlike the United States, these governments had all signed the 2001 declaration, so they had no reason to object to a document that reaffirmed it. It didn't matter. As with the climate change negotiations, lining up behind Obama, with his impeccable reputation, was an easy way to avoid burdensome international obligations and look progressive at the same time--a service the United States was never able to provide during the Bush years."

This is the reason behind Obama's Nobel Peace Prize: It enhances his reputation so that other countries can evade their responsibilities by imitating his example. The purpose of the Obama presidency is to scuttle climate change action, reaffirm neo-colonialism, and re-financialize the bubble economy so that capitalism can put off its inevitable reckoning.

The "duck and parry" strategy of "Obama" is dictated by the class interests that it serves. The purpose of "Obama" is to deflect the growing possibility of mass rebellion against capitalistic domination long enough to ensure that the security apparatus is in place to incarcerate those who with sufficient consciousness to resist.

Why do I put "Obama" in quotes? Because the tendency to personalize this strategy by attributing it to the man Obama serves the atomizing purposes of the ruling elite. In fact, what the corporate media refers to as "Obama" or the "Obama administration" is the idealization of a power structure. "Obama" represents a marketing strategy designed to cover a series of moves which the ruling elite is carrying out to protect their interests in energy resources, military power, and financial control. To attribute these moves to the man Barack Obama helps reinforce their strategy by falsely making him its source. Eventually, they will abandon the man Obama and another will be selected to surface their interests, but the resistance must continue to target the principalities and powers that enforce the strategy rather the man who is its transitory incarnation.

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