Friday, October 31, 2008

The end to leftist conspiracy theories? Then organise.

Was BushCo responsible for the attacks of 9/11? Is there going to be an attack on Iran that'll lead to World War III? Is Obama a stooge for the corporate-military-industrial complex?

In such troubled times as those we've been living through for the past eight years, it's been very easy to come up with all manner of theories as to what's behind it all, and that there's a grand right wing design emanating from the US led by the neocons who are bent on embedding American Empire across the planet for generations to come.

The 9/11 conspiracy theories, for example, occasionally seem deliciously plausible when told that controlled explosions brought down Building Seven or that there was no evidence of a plane found at the Pentagon.

Although it's sometimes been difficult to deny the possibility of the existence of such conspiracies, I've always preferred to take such theories with a pinch of salt.

Yes, it was evident to millions of people across the world that the Bush administration was hell-bent on invading Iraq and that Saddam Hussein didn't have the famed 'weapons of mass destruction' that were used to justify the invasion. Had it not been so obvious, it's unlikely that so many millions of people across the planet would have taken to the streets in protest a month before the 'campaign' began.

However, I've always felt that the march of history has not been one of grand design but rather one of stumbling accident. Could anyone have predicted or even planned that the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand would have ended up being felt so forcefully in the ash and bones of the people of Hiroshima? Not a question that I feel requires an answer.

In every example of despotism stamped upon a people or peoples, those with the grand designs have eventually come undone. Rather than establishing a nation 'pure' for the Aryan races, Hitler ended up shooting himself in a bunker. As Martin Luther King famously said, 'the arc of a moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice'. In other words, bad shit happens, but it all comes good in the end.

I came across an interesting article by Philadelphia-based writer Dave Lindorff on Common Dreams today that chimed with my thinking on these matters, which can be found here. It reminds people that if (as is looking increasingly likely) Barack Obama becomes President Obama next week and as the man himself has said, the work really begins.

The evidence provided so far through the long, dark night of the first 'world US election campaign' suggests that he is a good man with great potential who may well prove to have a genuinely historic presidency. The reality, however, is that even cleaning up after Bush is an insurmountable task for any man, let alone a nation. That's before even beginning to deal with the multiple challenges facing the planet at this juncture in our history.

It would not be enough to simply prepare to be disappointed by yet another world leader that showed early promise and then turned out to be as rotten as the rest. Now, more than ever, it the time to organise, to take action, to get educated, and for people across the world to come together and find common cause in orders to solve our collective problems together. Whether economic, environmental, cultural or political, the peoples of this earth have more in common with each other than not.

We can all do our bit, however small.

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