Monday, April 01, 2002

Here's a thoughtful piece at the Korean Central News Agency of DPRK, on who's the bigger threat to world security: U.S. mandarins' reckless remarks against DPRK refuted.

As for the nuclear threat, the U.S. is to blame for posing it to the DPRK. There are more than 20,000 nuclear warheads stockpiled in the U.S. it is threatening the DPRK after deploying at least 1,000 nuclear weapons in South Korea. The hawkish bush group is working hard to put into practice its plan for a nuclear attack on the DPRK. It is running mad frequently raising a hue and cry over the DPRK's "nuclear problem." but this is the height of folly. By zealously floating the fiction of "nuclear development" by the DPRK, the U.S. war hawks seek to convince the world of the "danger of nukes" from the DPRK and use it as a pretext to mount a preemptive nuclear attack on it. It is their intention to raise the cloud of the first nuclear mushroom on the Korean Peninsula in the new century.

I don't always agree with North Korea, but I usually find their opinions worth listening to.

Today I want to do something new: I'm going to tear apart something stupid I wrote four months ago, when I was trying to tear apart a letter I wrote to the Norwegian government four years ago, to avoid being drafted. With the hindsight of age it is easy to find faults in ones younger self, and perhaps it is best to adopt a forgiving attitude towards old follies, but this particular piece of propaganda is too vile to let stand unchallenged. Listen to this:

As a pacifist, I believe it is morally unacceptable to take part in any kind of military action. This includes all forms of war, even those where one side may be easier to defend morally than the other. I will not take part in acts of war for or against either of them. That I myself might happen to live in one of the two countries at war, is a fact I consider completely irrelevant. Such patriotic thinking only succeeds at clouding the moral issues at stake.
Notice the phrasing, "easier to defend morally", which attempts to relativize ideology, and completely avoids referring to anything specific that may reveal how ridiculous this argument is. Vagueness and moral equivalence - early warning signs that a person neither thinks nor feels.

You're the one who's being ridiculous. When both sides in a war serve the interests of their own ruling elites, what obligation do I have towards either of them? The oppressed have no obligation to anyone but themselves. I'm not a pacifist - a pacifist male is a contradiction in terms - but neither am I a traitor to the worker class. Come the revolution, then we can talk about something actually worth defending, but when on one side you've got religious fascism and the other laissez-faire elitism, you're damn right no side is easier to defend morally than the other.

My axiom is so simple it sounds almost banal: I want as much happiness for as many people as possible. On this I build all my ethics, and from this I defend my pacifism.
Strawmen don't come more transparent than this, and pseudo-philosophical theorizing no more separated from reality. Patriots are not mindless drones, they are patriots because they like their country, not the other way around. They may be wrong, and often are, but in order to prove that it is wrong to be a Norwegian patriot, one would have to do an actual comparison of real life countries, which would destroy the argument.

Very well, let's do an actual comparison of real life countries. Take the United States, for instance, the decadent Rome of our times, with a prison population larger than Norway, and a village idiot controlled by the Taliban wing of the Republican party in charge. Whatever freedoms hadn't already been sold to AOLTimeWarnerDisney, disappeared last year under the pretext of fighting "terrorism" - the victims of which incidentally count only a fraction of the deaths caused by the powerful gun and smoking lobbies.

Or take Norway, the Me-Too of global imperialism. Wherever the yankees go, whether it's to bomb hospitals in Belgrade, terrorize the worlds poorest country, or kill even more Iraqi babies, our support is never far behind. Worse, mother Earth have entrusted upon us one of the richest areas of sea in the world, oil money flowing by the billions, but what have we ever done to alleviate third world poverty? Nothing. And if that isn't bad enough, our prime minister is a Lutheran minister, for chrissakes. It doesn't get much worse than that. So don't talk to me about patriotism. I'm a patriot towards my class, my fellow workers wherever they may be, not some arbitrarily drawn lines on a map.

A common, poorly thought out argument against pacifism is this: "What if everyone thought like you, and somebody attacked us!!" The contradiction is obvious. If everyone were pacifists, there would be nobody left willing to attack nor defend anything. From this I conclude that, in principle, it is wrong to take part in military defense.
My dear former self, the obvious contradiction is yours, and the mincing of words disgraceful. If all Norwegians were pacifists, we could easily be enslaved by any random maniac with a gun.

My "dear" former self, shut up and let me finish. What difference does it make who enslaves us, a local or a foreign tyrant? Our freedoms are illusions, manufactured in the same third world sweatshops as our fancy Nike's and Adidas'. Welcome to Oceania, Nr 6. Please stand in line for todays manufactured opinion.

But we do, after all, live in the real world.
How gracious of me to acknowledge that!

The irony is lost on you, isn't it?

The Chomskyite high ground I was taking back then, (I think I wrote this right after I'd downloaded his entire archive from ZMag), avoids having to make hard decisions about real life issues, avoids the terrible responsibility of making a difference.

Noam Chomsky is a brave man, and how he escapes imprisonment in that horrible police state he lives in is beyond me. He does, however, lean somewhat towards the mainstream on the issue of the coming revolution. He has been known to speak ill of Stalin and Mao, those misunderstood geniuses of the 20th century. It is of course understandable, considering the level of censorship in the United States, that even he might be tempted to take seriously some of the lies our elites have told about their experiments, such as the myth of the "100 million dead", but regrettable nonetheless. (In reality, of course, the proto-communists failed because of American interference. We won't allow that to happen next time - in fact, the way things are going over there now I doubt the Americans will be far behind joining us.)

I quit writing on the web when I realized that nobody cares about the ignorant hate speech of a right-wing nut.

I still believe that.

I was about to go on a private journey of ideological penance, and might have still been hiding in shame behind the stacks of progressive literature I've been recommended by my new friends, if I hadn't noticed something the other day. There's something in the air, I can feel it. The sun is warmer, birds are singing, people friendlier. The world is changing. I've talked it over with my study group, and they all agree. The signs can not be denied: Revolution is coming.

Marx foretold the death of capitalism over 150 years ago, and - contrary to myth - recent events have only served to accelerate this process. Did they really think the common man would tolerate the bondage of consumerism forever? Capitalism eats its young. The economy is collapsing, unemployment rising, and the environment have been driven to the brink of collapse. In order to stand a chance in the ever-more desperate competition for the last scraps of food on the table, multinational corporations have been forced to shed their old masks of benevolence.

The invisible hand has revealed itself for all to see, and it takes the form of a raised fist.

The self-destruction of capitalism was well underway before September 11th, but the towers that fell on Manhattan were the plug pulled out of the bathtub. It was all an illusion, and a poor one at that. Now that both the American and the German form of fascism have fallen into disgrace, communism alone stands pure, without blood on its hands. The people knows. They have been told that they ought to know better. Those few who have strayed from popular dogma have been mocked, censored - and persecuted. But in our hearts, we have all known the truth, and a truth, any truth, can only be denied for so long before it leaps out and declares itself.

The revolution is coming. What form will it take? Where do we want it to take us? These are hard questions, and I have no easy answer, but I can no longer stand by and watch, while the very fabric of the world rewrites itself. If I were to remain silent now, at the dawn of a strange, unpredictable future, then my beliefs are hollow, and all those months reading Lenin speeches were wasted.

This new blog is dedicated to the coming revolution, and the age of peace and equality it heralds. I do not have much to offer, but I have this website. At a time of revolution, progressive and alternative voices are needed more than ever, and it is my goal to find those voices on the web, and perhaps be one of them.

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