Amidst pomp, circumstance and protests, twenty world leaders gathered in London recently, for what was essentially a mass photo op.
Billed as G-20, the gathering of twenty leading and developing economies, it seemed more like a gathering of the blind groping for light.
The great Nigerian playwright, Wole Soyinka, in his biting poetic critique of African military dictatorships, "The Apotheosis of Master Sgt. Doe," writes:
But crowns are crowns. When rulers meet,
their embraces are of presence. Absent cries
make empty phrases.
(Soyinka, Mandela's Earth, pp. 32-33)
That poem leapt to mind when images were transmitted of politicians, wearing cheesy smiles embracing each other amidst the pops and flashes of photographers. For hugs and smiles amongst politicians do not policy make.
Nations act through their own interests - period.
If that means hamming it up for photo ops, so be it. If that means grimacing across shiny wooden tables, so be it.
And what is national interest? It means, it seems to me, whatever a nation wants it to mean. That is to say, national interest has historically been used to justify the invasion of other countries, their occupation, killing their leaders soldiers, and citizens, as well as paying people in other nations to create havoc there.
More to the point, national interest has (more often than not) meant using the organized violence of the nation-state to buttress the interests of its business class.
Thus, because the business interests of various nations invariably conflict, the hugs and kisses of politicians is but camouflage to cover deeper differences among corporate and economic elites.
A year ago, at a similar economic summit in Davos, Switzerland, then U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told the delegate, "The U.S. economy is resilient, its structure is sound, and its long-term economic fundamentals are healthy."
That wasn't true then, and it ain't true now.
The truth is, none of the 20 leaders gathered in London has the slightest idea how to 'solve' the economic problems facing the globe.
The truth is, the U.S., and the global economic system was built and maintained on systemic injustice (I speak here of African slavery) and profound exploitation of workers both here and abroad.
The truth is, this is a crisis endemic to capitalism, where markets swallow markets and wealth is made by con games that would make the Mafia blush, by the biggest banks on earth.
The latest economic summit was PR, amidst the flames of chaos.
--(c) '09 maj
The Power of Truth is Final -- Free Mumia!
Audio of most of Mumia's essays are at: http://www.prisonradio.org
Mumia Abu-Jamal's new book -- JAILHOUSE LAWYERS: PRISONERS DEFENDING PRISONERS V. THE USA, featuring an introduction by Angela Y. Davis -- will be released soon!
It will be available from City Lights Books at a 30% discount weeks before you can get it at any other bookstore, or from Amazon.
Sign up for an email alert and when the book becomes available for sale you'll receive an email letting you know: http://www.citylights.com/book/?GCOI=87286100448090
In support of Mumia and the publication of JAILHOUSE LAWYERS, organizations around the country will be holding "More Than a Book Party" events on or around Mumia's birthday, April 24, 2009.
If you are planning to organize an event or would like to order in bulk, you can also receive a 45% discount on any bulk orders of 20 copies or more. The book retails for $16.95, for orders of 20 copies or more the discounted price would be $9.32 per book, plus shipping and handling. Prepayment would be required and books are nonreturnable. If you or your organization would like to place a bulk order, please contact Stacey Lewis at 415.362.1901 or email@example.com
Let's use the opportunity of the publication of this brilliant, moving, vintage Mumia book to build the momentum for his case, to raise the money we desperately need in these challenging economic times, to get the word out – to produce literature, flyers, posters, videos, DVD's; to send organizers out to help build new chapters and strengthen old ones, TO GET THE PEOPLE OUT IN THE STREETS … all the work that we must do in order to FREE MUMIA as he faces LIFE IN PRISON WITHOUT PAROLE OR EXECUTION!
Please make a contribution to help free Mumia. Donations to the grassroots work will go to both INTERNATIONAL CONCERNED FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF MUMIA ABU-JAMAL and the FREE MUMIA ABU-JAMAL COALITION (NYC).
Please mail donations/ checks to:
FREE MUMIA ABU JAMAL COALITION
PO BOX 16, NEW YORK,
(CHECKS FOR BOTH ORGANIZATIONS PAYABLE TO: FMAJC/IFCO)
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Send our brotha some LOVE and LIGHT at:
175 Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370
WE WHO BELIEVE IN FREEDOM CAN *NOT* REST!!
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