12 November 2002

An article by Walt Sheasby reveals how worker co-ops are invading the economic vacuum created by the retreat of Argentine capitalism. Thanks to Walt for pointing out the renascence of hope.

Meanwhile, it’s official -- the age of national competition is over, and the good old U.S. of A. has won. What this means, on the other hand, is a matter for serious debate. The national struggle was, of course, only one facet of the overall human struggle, and its absence will make the overall struggle appear to be all the more glaringly there to those who dare to shut off Fox News and look at the world. This overall struggle (despite a general denial of its existence) is a real struggle, which political scientists nevertheless exclude from their theories at the risk of forsaking many aspirations for a better world.

The landmark historic decision (of last week) by the U.N. Security Council to provide U.S. President George W. Bush with ample pretext for a war of conquest against Iraq’s oil fields is the clearest sign of the forthcoming end of the national struggle since Serbia was asked to sign the Rambouillet ultimatum. Yet, whereas Rambouillet was a trap forced upon Serbia by NATO so as merely to punish its citizens, last week's decision was the UN acquiescence in the complete surrender of Iraq.

Even so, it will be clear to that portion of the world which dares to look that, even though the national struggle is decidedly over, with winners and losers in clear daylight, the end result will be a permanent state of war. We will see, courtesy of the “wars” on terrorism, drugs, etc., a real live bellum omnium contra omnes in the world at large, which will be a mere reflection of the endless competition for limited opportunities for financial success in today’s “national” world. If political struggle were the only struggle, we would not see the triumph of the U.S. accompanied by the beginnings of a permanent state of "warfare." Of course, following the money might help one understand this state of affairs, but that's only half the story.

Americans may have “won” against other nations in the political world, while having lost in other ways, the most important of which is in the class struggle, the struggle for a more equitable world in general. Getting them to admit this, though, is a most difficult task, for they are blind to the world of politics that they have created in their “triumph,” and they tend to respond to challenges to their blindness by blinding themselves still further, so as to continue the heedless creation of new enemies in the name of “national victory” in spite of the surrender of the serious opposition of the previous ones. Yesterday, Manuel Noriega, today, Saddam Hussein, tomorrow, Hugo Chavez.


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