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"Summitry and Pundrity"
1) 2:09 Summitry and Pundrity A MP3
2) 2:55 Summitry and Pundrity B MP3
Summitry and Punditry
[col. writ. 4/5/09] (c) '09 Mumia Abu-Jamal
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
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