… because it worked so well last time?
With massive demonstrations taking place all over India as I write these words, the recent developments in the case of Indian activist Anna Hazare (who, despite his first name, is a 74-year old gentleman), at the forefront of the struggle against the ingrained corruption of his country’s government, is the starting point of a new series — Global Gulag– to dissect the finer ironies in the global transformation of formal democracies into corporate dictatorships.
It is not really a transformation, more like the stripping away of a layer of illusion to reveal something closer to the way things really work. When seen from this perspective, things seem much less confusing than the dominant narrative of market forces and debt and crisis, which is just smoke & mirrors to keep us reactive while they make off (or already madoff) with our wealth. Increasingly, however, the smoke & mirrors are leaving the system’s incongruities exposed, especially when confronted with human beings of the likes of Hazare.
Hazare is a follower of the Mahatma Gandhi, preaches passive resistance and goes on public hunger strikes in what he calls “the second war of liberation” against corruption in India. This is a very charged and polarizing issue in the country right now, with a new law being discussed that would effectively make it impossible to investigate high-ranking officials for corruption or anything else. Hazare has been very active in opposing this impunity law, and was arrested a couple of days ago in New Delhi for starting a fast in a public park with 1200 followers, who were also arrested for good measure.
True to the spirit of his spiritual mentor, namely to stick in the throat of the powers that be every time they tried to swallow him, Hazare refused to leave the jail when liberated a few hours later unless given permission to start a fast in the park. What do you do with a guy who refuses to leave jail unless allowed NOT to eat? The sheer absurdity of the situation is exactly the point he is making, and the machine grinds to a stop stuck in its own contradictions.
But wait, there’s more. Now, I’m not saying that Gandhi is spinning in his grave like a drill bit, but the absurdity goes even deeper if we consider the root of the corruption, which is the same as in most of the world: slavery to the global bankster debt scam, politicians bought and sold by corporate interests like so many chapatis, military-industrial complex saber-rattling and all the fruits of the capitalist miracle of debt-driven “growth and progress”. This is corruption not just of the baksheesh palm grease kind, but corruption of the soul of the people who have sold their country to the very elite that once held them under colonial rule.
Yes, herein lies the real irony, the karmic bite me factor: the corporate control is all funded by banks in the City of London that grew large and powerful during the times of the East India Trading Company of colonial fame. Today, democracy provides a zero-cost wealth-extraction scheme for the providers of debt: no need to keep armies holding the place down, just place a few economic advisors close to the top to get the debt ball rolling, and then it’s all gravy train to turkey heaven. You get to guess who the turkeys are…
It is not clear at this point if Indian Prime Minister Singh missed school the day they talked about the Mahatma and his struggle against the British Empire, or whether he was there & simply missed the point about passive resistance and how it works. Most likely, he knows very well that arresting Hazare was pointless and ultimately counterproductive to their interests, but was compelled to maintain “law & order” as top debt service enforcement officer to the international bankster mafia.
“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.” said Gandhi. Hazare is already at stage three and going strong to the finish line. Perhaps the Indian politico-economic elite think it’ll be different this time, but how exactly they would reach this conclusion is unknown. They know only too well that massive civil disobedience is the end of their game but they can’t help clamping down every time things get real, even knowing that in the end, they lose. Right?
The decaying fly-infested corpse of democracy is still being waved at the unwashed ones even as its assorted parts are dropping off into chunks of putrid lies whose stench cannot be washed away with all the perfumes of Araby. To legitimize the proposed bill to shield officials from corruption investigations, Prime Minister Singh has told the people of India that Hazare’s proposal to subordinate magistrates to the control of a anti-corruption ombudsman would “go against the independence of the judicial system”, a reference to the sacred “separation of powers in democracy” narrative. It would be funny to see this attempt to make corruption a democratic value if it weren’t so pathetic… and if ultimately it weren’t true to boot.
There is no separation, never has been, never will be. This so-called democracy is just one big fat business case to service one big fat debt, and corruption is its lifeblood. Hazare is holding a wooden stake over the heart of the matter… not that the vampires are going to lay in their coffins waiting for the final blow.
Gandhi never got to finish his famous quote. It should really be: “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win, and then they kill you and it’s back to business as usual.” We hope to see Hazare’s movement pick up traction, but meanwhile we recommend he keep handy the high-profile modern prophet’s best friend in a pinch: the kevlar undies.
Music video bonus for those who read posts to the bitter end!
For those of you who missed that day in class, and don’t have three hours to watch the movie, here’s MC Yogi to school ya: