This week the hypocrisy of Democratic Party presidential candidates and the reality behind the nonprofit industrial complex were topics on your minds. Readers wrote about “Joe Biden Wants Us To Forget His Past. We Won’t.” and “Extinction Rebellion Training, Or How To Control Radical Resistance From the ‘Obstructive’ Left.”
In “Joe Biden Wants Us To Forget His Past. We Won’t.” Adolph Reed and Cornel West expose Joe Biden’s racist history and argue that Black America should in no way support him.
Garver Osorio writes:
“In the immortal words of James Baldwin - I don't believe what you say because I see what you do.”
Ted Kachnowski writes:
“Dems are having more hearings on Russiagate! So, all you people who can’t afford childcare during the summer you’ll have to wait till doomsday; because the primary rigging Dems have more important things (Russia Russia Russia) to do than worry about YOU! Yes, Trumps Sucks Too!”
In “Extinction Rebellion Training, Or How To Control Radical Resistance From the ‘Obstructive’ Left” Cory Mornginstarconducts an in depth investigation into the forces behind Extinction Rebellion (XR) and argues it is a case of the nonprofit industrial complex co-opting of the environmental movement for corporate ends.
William Bowles writes:
“I've joined my local (Brixton) XR 'chapter' and I can say that judging by the exchanges takng place on the WhatsApp system, XR is composed of a lot of very frightened and very concerned people who seem to cover the entire political spectrum. Very white of course but it's early days. I expressed similar concerns about XR, it's lack of politics or even economics and the fact that it avoids doing so by passing the buck so-to-speak to the yet to be created 'Peoples Assemblies,' it's these structures that will thrash out an alternative. We'll see.
“But the fact is, over a 1000 people got themselves arrested in just 2 weeks, young and old, rich and poor, that says something surely about the nature of peoples' feelings about climate change. And judging by the exchanges I'm following it's already spilling over into other issues (gentrification, education, community organizing). XR is doing what our so-called left have failed to do, rise to the occasion!
“And yes, I'm sure there are 'green' capitalists wanting to exploit/jump onto the bandwagon, we live in a capitalist society. The real issue is where is XR going and could it be the catalyst we need?
“Morningstar is clearly sincere and well-intentioned, and her argument of course has some merit. We have been documenting for decades, in media alerts, articles and books, how corporate interests have been working all-out to co-opt Green concern. The problem with Morningstar's focus is that it plays into the hands of corporate climate deniers and delayers whose strategy we have already described:
“'The weight of impressions on the public must be balanced so people will have doubts and lack motivation to take action.'
“After thirty years of mortifying indifference and inaction, now is not the time to promote the belief that the crucial alarm that is at last being raised by Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion has been cynically 'manufactured.' It is our job to ring the alarm and ensure that something is done. But first we must ring the alarm!
“Even if corporate interests were crazed enough to think they could promote mass public dissent on this scale in the cause of profit, they would have no way of controlling the outcome. In the spring of 1968, with more than half a million troops in Vietnam, with military leaders asking for 200,000 more, President Johnson was advised by a Pentagon study group not to escalate the war, making this comment:
“'The growing disaffection accompanied, as it certainly will be, by increased defiance of the draft and growing unrest in the cities because of the belief that we are neglecting domestic problems, runs great risks of provoking a domestic crisis of unprecedented proportions.' (Quoted, Howard Zinn, 'The Zinn Reader', Seven Stories Press, 1997, p.401)
“If that was true of mere anti-war sentiment based on concern for human rights, how much more is it true of sentiment based on concern for literal human survival -- the prospect that we, and every last person we love, may soon be dead?”
Bruce Dixon responds:
“I think Ms. Morningstar makes not one but a whole set of powerful arguments that Extinction Rebellion IS a manufactured faux environmentalist group, beginning with the assertions on the part of the XR trainer in the video that people with political views are to be shut down and bypassed so as to reach those without them, and ending with the substitution of ‘net-zero emissions’ with carbon capture as opposed to zero emissions as a goal, and several salient points in between.
“The fact is that so-called ‘net-zero’ carbon emissions which the XR people propose is a greedy corporate scam, opening the way for continuing expansion of the fossil fuels industry as long as the oil companies pretend to plant forests somewhere or invest in or promise us what are often imaginary ‘carbon-capture’ technofixes. It's not even a NEW scam. No wonder the XR trainers are instructed to bypass people with actual politics on the subject.
“In the real world people can not only be manipulated, the practice of mass manipulation has for some decades become a science. It's called marketing. In this case the marketing of XR seems purposefully aimed at draining away the public outrage from organized efforts based upon the facts, the politics of the fossil fuel economy.”
The NGOization of politics and the attacks on radical ideology are a major concern in this era. To rebuild a clear ideology for movements in our time we will need your comments.
Jahan Choudhryis Comments Editor for Black Agenda Report. He is an organizer with the Saturday Free School based in Philadelphia, PA.
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