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Same-sex & Anti-war

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    When, some time ago, a Jewish American progressive writer (for The Nation) Daniel Lazare joined our Association for One Democratic State in Israel/Palestine
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 1, 2004
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      When, some time ago, a Jewish American progressive
      writer (for The Nation) Daniel Lazare joined our
      Association for One Democratic State in
      Israel/Palestine and demanded that all of us must
      endorse same-sex 'marriage', I was rather
      perplexed. I could not even understand the reason
      for such demand. For sure my friends and I in the
      Association for One Democratic State in
      Israel/Palestine rejected his demand. But I
      failed to see any connection between the two
      causes. I am grateful to our writer John Spritzler
      for explaining this point. Spritzler convincingly
      argues that 'the ultimate enemy' , the Masters of
      Discourse, or 'people who direct the discourse
      both on the left and the right' (he identifies
      them with CFR (Council on Foreign Relations) use
      such causes as 'same-sex marriage, affirmative
      action, gun control to keep anti-war and
      pro-Palestine movement isolated from the majority
      of American people. He writes:

      "The CFR wants to make sure that the anti-war
      movement remains isolated from the majority of
      American people. How to do that? Make Americans
      believe that the anti-war movement is wedded to
      views which most Americans find extremely
      controversial, namely the liberal agenda of
      same-sex marriage, affirmative action, gun control
      etc. If CFR-edited anti-war magazines succeed in
      making the anti-war movement believe that the
      liberal agenda defines what it means to be a
      decent "progressive" person, then the people in
      that movement will isolate themselves from most
      Americans. And in the process, the anti-war
      movement will come to feel that it cannot rely on
      ordinary Americans and must therefore rely on
      people in high places, i.e. Democratic Party
      leaders and in particular John Kerry. Thus both
      Harpers and The Nation simultaneously attack the
      war in Iraq and treat the liberal agenda as
      sacrosanct; and they both tell their readers it is
      necessary to "hold one's nose and vote for Kerry."
      The CFR wants to handcuff the anti-war movement to
      the liberal agenda. The last thing the CFR wants
      is for common sense to prevail in the anti-war
      movement. Common sense would say to unite
      Americans around the important things they agree
      upon -- no wars fought for hidden agendas, real
      democracy instead of fake democracy, things like
      that; not things like same-sex marriage for crying
      out loud. The function of liberalism in the hands
      of its elite leaders is to ensure that working
      class Americans see their only choice as being
      either the Rush Limbaughs and George Bushes on the
      right, who pretend to respect them on social
      issues, or the Clinton and Hollywood glitterati
      liberals on the left who hold them in utter
      contempt. The liberal and conservative ideologies
      are both instruments of the plutocracy. Our rulers
      use both ideologies in a coordinated strategy to
      keep us divided against each other and reliant on
      phonies like Bush and Kerry. This land is our
      land, but to take control of it we need to beware
      of these traps that our CFR "friends" have crafted
      for us. We the people are a huge majority. We
      agree far more with each other than we do with the
      small elite who rule America, who ratchet up
      inequality every way they can, who use the
      electoral system to disguise what is in fact a
      dictatorship of the rich, and who wage wars for a
      big lie to keep us under control.
      (Read the article in full on
      http://www.newdemocracyworld.org/War/this-land.htm
      .)

      It is an important, enlghtening observation. Read
      together with Noel Ignatiev's view on militias and
      'anti-racism', the article of Spritzler helps us
      to understand the enemy plans and to heal the old
      schism of left and right. If the left is Nader and
      the right is Buchanan, they can work together - as
      good as 'left' of Kerry and 'right' of Bush do. It
      is the time to bring forth a Popular anti-war
      Front of all forces, whether 'progressive' or
      'reactionary' against the Masters of Discourse,
      against Bush and Kerry. Nader and Buchanan for
      President and Vice-President seems to be the team
      to call for.

      Israel Shamir

      ================
      THIS LAND IS OUR LAND
      by John Spritzler
      August 31, 2004
      [newdemocracyworld.org]



      Jibjab.com's spoof of Kerry & Bush (www.jibjab.com/thisland.html ),
      to the tune of Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Our Land," was an
      overnight sensation. Everybody sent the web address to their friends.
      The spoof was so popular because it said what most people really
      think -- both candidates are as phony as a three dollar bill. How
      seriously can anybody take this election when polls show a majority
      of Americans think the U.S. invasion of Iraq was wrong and yet both
      major candidates back it to the hilt? Some network TV stations even
      played the spoof in its entirety, probably figuring that the public
      was watching it anyway and already viewed the election with contempt,
      so ignoring it would only make people even more skeptical that their
      TV news is telling them what's going on in the world.

      The jibjab spoof, plus the immense popularity of Fahrenheit 9-11,
      indicate that the American public is extremely alienated from both
      major parties and extremely skeptical of mass media propaganda,
      despite the powerful emotional effect of the 9-11 attack, despite the
      complete unity of the entire capitalist class in promoting its war on
      terror, and despite all of the "Orange Alerts." I cannot recall a
      time in U.S. history when America's ruling elite failed so remarkably
      in their effort to whip up war hysteria when they went all out to do
      so. People are far more sophisticated in their understanding of elite
      lies and manipulation than ever before.


      But if more people see through the lies than ever before, why is
      there not a massive popular movement for change? I think the problem
      here is Americans' crippling sense of hopelessness. People who are in
      fact the majority think of themselves as a small minority. The
      plutocracy who really run the show in the United States work very
      deliberately to keep people feeling hopeless. They control virtually
      the entire range of public discourse to do it, even publications that
      are supposed to represent a "left" or liberal alternative. I was
      reminded of this recently when I attended a book reading by the
      editor of Harpers Magazine, Lewis Lapham.


      Harpers, with its 200,000 circulation, is the largest mainstream
      monthly magazine in the nation which opposed the Iraq war. The only
      other magazine with a similarly big influence in the anti-war
      movement is The Nation, a weekly edited by Katrina Vanden Heuvel.
      Lapham told the audience at the book signing that he is a member of
      the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). The CFR is the elite
      organization which formulates U.S. foreign policy. It includes
      approximately 4000 members who are, as the CFR puts it, "leaders in
      government, business, finance, media, academia and a wide range of
      nonprofit organizations." The CFR is an exclusive group. New members
      must first be endorsed by four current members and then be selected
      by the membership committee; once admitted, members are not allowed
      to reveal publicly what any other member says during its meetings.
      The CFR is no mere advocacy organization. Since 1961 all thirteen of
      the Secretaries of State, ten of the fourteen Secretaries of Defense
      and eleven of the fourteen Directors of the CIA have been CFR
      members. This organization includes not only people like Condoleeza
      Rice and Dick Cheney, but also Bill Clinton, Jesse Jackson and Robert
      Reich. It transcends the "right wing"/"liberal" divide because it
      serves the wealthiest American families, like the Rockefellers, and
      uses politicians of every stripe for that single purpose. Lapham made
      light of his membership in the CFR, saying he writes against his
      fellow members all the time but "they don't read" so they don't even
      know it. Ha ha. CFR members, however, are not about to kick Lapham
      out; he serves the organization quite skillfully. He attracts anti-
      establishment readers and then tries to neutralize their threat to
      the plutocracy by telling them they have no realistic choice but
      to "hold their nose and vote for Kerry."


      The Nation's editor is also a member of the CFR. Now why would CFR
      members be editing such strongly anti-war magazines as Harpers and
      The Nation? The explanation is that powerful people understand that
      to hold onto power one must lead not only one's allies but also one's
      enemies. The CFR wants to make sure that the anti-war movement
      remains isolated from the majority of American people. How to do
      that? Make Americans believe that the anti-war movement is wedded to
      views which most Americans find extremely controversial, namely the
      liberal agenda of same-sex marriage, affirmative action, gun control
      etc. If CFR-edited anti-war magazines succeed in making the anti-war
      movement believe that the liberal agenda defines what it means to be
      a decent "progressive" person, then the people in that movement will
      isolate themselves from most Americans. And in the process, the anti-
      war movement will come to feel that it cannot rely on ordinary
      Americans and must therefore rely on people in high places, i.e.
      Democratic Party leaders and in particular John Kerry. Thus both
      Harpers and The Nation simultaneously attack the war in Iraq and
      treat the liberal agenda as sacrosanct; and they both tell their
      readers it is necessary to "hold one's nose and vote for Kerry." The
      CFR wants to handcuff the anti-war movement to the liberal agenda.
      The last thing the CFR wants is for common sense to prevail in the
      anti-war movement. Common sense would say to unite Americans around
      the important things they agree upon -- no wars fought for hidden
      agendas, real democracy instead of fake democracy, things like that;
      not things like same-sex marriage for crying out loud.


      Other members of the CFR, those (like William F. Buckley, founder of
      the conservative National Review magazine, and former Rep. Newt
      Gingrich) who specialize in influencing people opposed to the
      progressive agenda, try to convince their followers that the only
      alternative to the liberal outlook is an overtly pro-capitalist one.
      To those who resent being viewed as racist, homophobic ignoramuses by
      rich, elite liberals like Senators Clinton and Kennedy, these leaders
      say, "You're absolutely right." What they don't tell their followers
      is that they are also right in standing up against the class
      privileges defended by the likes of Buckley and Gingrich, such as the
      privilege of wealthy shareholders of a company to live in luxury
      without working while employees who do the work get hit with layoffs
      and cutbacks in health insurance at the whim of the owners. Or the
      privilege of politicians like Rumsfeld and Cheney and Bush to lie to
      Americans and send them to fight and die in wars that have nothing to
      do with protecting Americans or freedom. God forbid that people who
      disagree with the progressive agenda should turn towards a
      revolutionary outlook of abolishing class inequality and creating a
      real democracy. This is what the Buckleys and Gingrichs must prevent.
      It's not an easy job because, in fact, many of the people who are put
      off by the liberal agenda are as opposed to capitalism and its
      atrocities, like the Iraq war, as are self-described "progressives."


      I discovered this when I went to a demonstration against same-sex
      marriage recently in front of Boston's City Hall, where they were
      passing out bumper stickers that read: "Power to the People, Not the
      Courts." I asked a young college man who was holding one of their
      banners if he agreed with the Pope's opposition to the Iraq war. This
      led to a discussion of the war and 9-11 between me and him and a
      handful of others in their group who joined in. It turned out the
      college student was deeply opposed to the war. One of the other
      members of the group began backing me up by telling a third person
      how the whole 9-11 story we've been told is a lie and how the
      military jets were not scrambled, etc. The college student was the
      son of working class parents in the nearby housing development. He
      told me how his mother told him that all the politicians were liars,
      and how he shouldn't trust his college teachers when they bad-mouthed
      the working class. (He was opposed to same-sex marriage, by the way,
      because of his concern for its negative effect on children in such
      marriages who don't have the benefit of being raised by their real
      mother and father; he was sensitive to this because his father had
      left when he was young.) People like this student and his mother and
      the others demonstrating with him against same-sex marriage are part
      of the majority of Americans who want a democratic revolution, even
      if they have never heard it spoken of in those terms before.


      The crucial question that should concern the anti-war movement is
      this: Will these people rise up to join in a movement to overthrow
      the American plutocracy, or will they be neutralized by hopelessness?
      These Americans know the reality of class power. They see
      organizations that purport to represent them using issues like same-
      sex marriage as a litmus test to make it clear that they are not
      welcome, not in the Democratic party, not in the sell-out unions that
      cozy up to the Democratic party, not in the anti-war movement, and
      not in any other liberal organizations. The only welcome mats they
      see are in front of the Republican party and allied right-wing
      organizations which respect traditional views on social issues while
      making it very clear that wealthy people must run the show. Working
      class people can listen to Rush Limbaugh make fun of liberals and
      denounce liberal elitism. But the price of admission is to grit one's
      teeth and not complain when Rush attacks working class aspirations.
      For example, I once heard Rush tell a naive ditto-head, calling in to
      tell his hero why he was on strike against UPS, that the caller
      should go back to work and quit belly-aching and if he wanted to
      improve his life he should become an entrepreneur and do it the
      American way. The function of liberalism in the hands of its elite
      leaders is to ensure that working class Americans see their only
      choice as being either the Rush Limbaughs and George Bushes on the
      right, who pretend to respect them on social issues, or the Clinton
      and Hollywood glitterati liberals on the left who hold them in utter
      contempt.


      The liberal and conservative ideologies are both instruments of the
      plutocracy. Our rulers use both ideologies in a coordinated strategy
      to keep us divided against each other and reliant on phonies like
      Bush and Kerry. This land is our land, but to take control of it we
      need to beware of these traps that our CFR "friends" have crafted for
      us. We the people are a huge majority. We agree far more with each
      other than we do with the small elite who rule America, who ratchet
      up inequality every way they can, who use the electoral system to
      disguise what is in fact a dictatorship of the rich, and who wage
      wars for a big lie to keep us under control.

      John Spritzler is the author of The People As Enemy: The Leaders'
      Hidden Agenda In World War II, and a Research Scientist at the
      Harvard School of Public Health.

      *********************************************************************

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