The Revolution Inside

From Latin American Odyssey, to a profound investigation of the Bolivarian revolution. Hugo Chavez says: Socialism or Death! Leftists rejoice, and Capitalists squeal. But what do the people of Venezuela think about all of this?

Saturday, October 22, 2005

The Face of the Conqueror

If you´re reading this post in your native language, and your skin is white - like mine - thank you for joining me in this unusual and difficult task of destroying that empire that is partially responsible for our existence. We have a lot of work to do.

Because it´s kind of over - the western powers, the USA/Great Britain corporate axis has largely acheived World Ownership. Our cultures can move vast amounts of resources over great distances in a short period of time. Our governments can pull the strings of nearly any nation - create domestic and global policy to suit "our" interests. And when that doesn´t work, we roll the tanks.

You, if you´re a white English speaker, particularly if you grew up in the US, are on the team with the Highest Score Ever. No matter how vegetarian you are; how much dope you smoke; how sensitive you are or how spiky your hair is... no matter how much you love nature; how easily you are moved to tears at others´suffering; how much you go to church or how often you ride your bike or elect not to shower or plant native plants or have friends from differing cultural backgrounds...

No matter how many of these things you do, if you´re white and speak English and live in the USA, you represent The Conqueror to many, though most won´t use this term.

Even if you don´t think of yourself as the conqueror type - even if you hate America and Freedom (for all the right reasons, too) - on a global scale, you still receive the privileges of the conqueror.

Your passport will take you across just about any border... Of Course! Make sure you have enough dollars to spend. People will marry you just to cross your border. People risk their lives, and lose them, trying to get to your country - even when several members of their family have already died. But you cross this border freely, and they fling open the doors of their shops and their homes and roll out the red carpets (why are they red?) and they will say, "Come in, come in!". But they will cross your border and they will die.

And if they don´t die, you will not offer them a room in your house and wash their laundry and speak their language to them and cook them three meals and take them to the mayor of your town and tell them how amazing they are and ask them how they travelled so far and what their hometown is like. No. You will not.

No. They will be shot at and jailed and made fun of, and live in perpetual fear of deportation. They will pick your strawberries for $15 a day, and send half of that back home. They will live 10 in a one-room apartment with no water. and, they will pay into your social security. When was the last time you thanked an "illegal" immigrant for paying into your social security, for paying taxes in a system from which they, increasingly, will not receive a single benefit?

Most of all, you will find, down here in Latin America - AmerIndia - that all of the sacred sites of indigenous people are a disneyland for gringos. Very few indians left on the sites that proclaim their astounding, and almost completely destroyed, cultures.

And maybe you´ll come with your spiritual leanings or historical interest or anthropological curiosity... or even in penance for the murderous crimes of your forbears. And when you get there, you will see that it is roped off for you now. It´s all yours. Go ahead. Take it.

Stolen, for you, even though you didn´t want it. When you visit the ruins of an indigenous culture, you can ask: do you visit to honor the cultures the conquistadores destroyed; or do you come to pay tacit tribute to the empire whose foundations were set in the blood at these sites?

And maybe you´ll decide it´s just better to not have to ask this question, and stay home.

The Emperor has slain the "heathens" and taken their gold - and now, he offers it to you, to win your affection, to prove his allegiance to you, insouciant child. And if you accept his gifts gladly, you are with the conquerors. If you reject his blood reward, you negate your privilege, but it still exists - you are in denial. If you accept the Man´s gifts while hating the deeds, you are a hypocrite, and a traitor to both sides... an opportunist, a gold-digger.

If, however, you strike out in rage at the man with blood on his hands who dares to act in your name to bring you the spoils of a genocide you never wanted... is there any other way to be human?

This is what I´m experiencing - from Managua, Nicaragua


At 8:36 AM, Blogger lisaloving said...

Patrik and Bartolina ------- phone home. The KBOO News is anxious and excited to air your reports. You know the number. Keep up the good work. We are all standing behind you.


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