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Lucky Me

6.05.2005

I had the good fortune of attending a lecture by Robert Fisk yesterday in Listowel and it was a truly awesome tour de force in middle east issues and a slightly bitter personal history. he is a supremely knowledgeable figure and i think we are all aware of the work he does in clarifying middle eastern issues for us. however his speech was far more than a topical overview of hte current state of palestine and iraq. his was a deeper and more thought provoking discourse on the abuse of state power htat has been so prevelant in that part of hte world for so long.
the degree to whihc the people of arabia nad isreal have been abused by th eincumbent suyper power is a long dark blemish on human history. ever since we realised the value of oil and became addicted to its benefits the people who live in the middle east have been the victims of our avarice.
We hav elong played games of empire and control with the se 'savages' in order to secure state interests against the will of the local population. to do this we employed regimes which are puppets, corrupt and violent in ensuring complete acquiesence in the face of corporate interests.
this is not set out to become a rant against middle east policy or the perversions of capitalism but to be a more concerned look at what the state can do to those in power. state power has the ability to diminish wihtin all actors who run it, any sense of responsibility or good. it replaces this with a morality of herd convictions and mutual selfishness. anyone who speaks against the meanss the state employs to follow its wishes is locked up and mistreated as being outside of the groups or herd.
it is saddening to see that this is the case in every state that has not given legal protection to those who wish to dissent from the cosy consensus. take mcbriarty and th morris tribunal, in most cases it is police activity whihc best sums up the bad nature of the state. progress in the name of social justice requires people to be stripped naked of their group. stripped of the very thing that protects them from accountability. stripped of the comfort of many people acting wrongly and no single person responsible. the state can be the worst form of actor or the best, to be the best it must strip itself of its power to coerce and manipulate it must be legally set up to broach the democratic divide and be truly accountable and responsible to its people. listening to fisk only brought it home that todays state no llonger listens to or cares about elections. the state is an entity of its own detached from the uncertainties of democracy. we must retake and recall the state to make it accoutable and subservient to people. if not then the human rights of all will be sacrificed for the gain of that few. we cannot in any mode of good conscience allow this terrible mistake of history to repeat itself.
Red Rover

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