Dr. Judy Wood and the future of the earth: Part I

Everyone knows what’s wrong with the poor remnant of news and analysis that the mainstream media still manages to provide—that it’s untrue, servile to its corporate masters, and intended to deceive rather than reveal.

But what about the alternative? What about the commentary, analysis, and editorializing that’s available mainly (or only) on the Internet, where the “free” worlds of speech and journalism still exist? How insightful are the writers there—and how reliable?

A few weeks ago in Truthout (March 23, 2012), William Rivers Pitt wrote “The Finger of Fate Upon You” in response to Occupy Wall Street’s celebration of its first half-year’s existence. OWS pulled together a gathering at Zuccotti Park—that was crushed by the cops.

How does the William Rivers Pitt essay hold up on the logic and reliability fronts?

Pitt opens his piece with a wide view, then narrows as he goes. He begins, in fact, with a withering recital of the horror, suffering, loss, victimization, penury, crime, torture, and death that the United States has visited upon itself and the world for the past decade—visitings that have earned and are still earning profits beyond telling for the criminals, racketeers, and vandals who planned them all in the first place.

Then, narrowing his focus, Pitt ends on a note of vibrant optimism. Turning to the Occupy Wall Street movement, he acknowledges the “extreme violence” that the protest met with last autumn and that it met with again at its half-year commemoration. Even so, he sends up a rallying cry. Only through OWS, only by keeping OWS alive, can we prevent the same criminals and villains as before from “[scaring] us back into the cowed submission that allowed this country to be plundered in an orgy of greed, fraud and state-sponsored for-profit murder abroad.”

The same thing isn’t going to happen again, he declares:

Never again. This is your time. This is our time. Let us show them what real American courage looks like, as we make for ourselves and our children the better country, and the better world, we know is possible.

And he ends with a three-paragraph imperative:

Right here.

Right now.

Occupy.

Many readers, I suspect, are likely to feel that Pitt has produced an eloquent, right-minded, even courageous piece. It strikes me differently. It fills me with dread.

Why? Well, there are two reasons. One is obvious, the other maybe less so.

The first reason is open and plain: The essay’s subject is awful, terrifying, immense, easily capable of causing dread. After all, Pitt is talking about nothing other than the loss of the republic, along with our attendant freedoms, dignities, and rights. He is talking about our national government having been replaced by bodies of criminality. He’s talking about the stealing in plain sight of our personal and national wealth by a tiny class of amoral and unaccountable oligarchs. And he’s talking about the committing of unending military crimes and atrocities against peoples and nations across large expanses of the globe.

These are dreadful things, the ones Pitt is talking about—more so when he adds in the domestic war, the one being waged against we the people:

Meanwhile, millions of Americans are sitting in their homes with an acid bath at work in their stomachs, fear just behind their faces, because their family is all around them, and they don’t want to let it show that the roof over their heads is hanging by a thread because the job just cut back hours and layoffs are imminent. A lot of people have stopped believing in the idea that hard work and dedication will carry them forward, because they are running as fast as they can just to stand still, and that’s if they’re lucky. A lot of people are going backwards, even as the richest among us enjoy record profits, obscene bonuses and tax breaks that would make Marie Antoinette blush into her cake.

If a family does have to go on relief, well, good luck after November, because even the hardest-working families that need help might have to live up to the Republican ideal, which in the world of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and Rand Paul and Rick Santorum means there is no help, because real Americans don’t need help, but have to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, whatever bootstraps are . . . and it really doesn’t matter in the end, because poor people don’t count anyway.

Who among us—that is, who among us if still in possession of mind, conscience, and human feeling—doesn’t feel dread in the face of such subjects as these?

Bad enough. But worse is coming.

Pitt’s intention, presumably, is to rally us. His aim is to unify us, via OWS, and thereby draw us into a position that will generate resistance against the crimes taking place inside our borders and out.

And so, you may well ask, just exactly how can such an aim such not be a good thing? How could it not be uplifting and encouraging instead of dread-causing?

For me, the answer is this: Pitt’s appeal, noble-sounding and grand with its echoes of history, is actually made from a position of such weakness that it makes me fear all the more the success of the crimes and criminals he is calling on us to defy.

Pitt sets out to rally hope, but he defeats it instead. Pitt issues a summons to the ramparts, but leaking through the cracks in his words is a message that pain, ruin, and defeat lie ahead.

Untrue? Can’t be so? Believe me, I devoutly wish it. But take a closer look.

When the recent OWS gathering took place in New York, “the movement was met with extreme violence almost from the moment it raised its head.” Pitt finds a productive side to this violence, however. Since just about everyone today carries some form of instant communication, including cell phone cameras, any “extreme violence” that the police commit will end up coming back to haunt them. “The police,” Pitt says, “have yet to catch on to the fact that everyone is a journalist in the 21st century, and their violent tactics no longer happen in the dark—and instead of dissuading people from joining in, their heavy-handed tactics will motivate them like never before.”

Maybe so. Maybe seeing protesters, live, on video, or in email snapshots, being clubbed, cuffed, chained, Tased, pepper-sprayed, beaten, and dragged off to jail will have the effect of causing still more protesters to come forward and join the movement, swelling the ranks. Yes. But then what?

I mean, what will happen next? By what reason should we assume that larger numbers of protesters will cause a fundamental, or, say, a structural, change in the situation, digital cameras or not? Yes, ever greater numbers of people being brutalized will probably cause a rhetorical change in the situation. It will cause a rise in the intensity of feeling (on both sides, remember), and will increase the numbers of sympathizers (but again, on both sides).

And so the same question: What happens then? Can we really hope, let alone believe, that protests in the manner and style of the 1960s or 1970s (or the 1910s or 1930s) can or will bring about political change when they’re undertaken in the 2010s, an age when criminals run the country, when they vie for its highest leadership, when the “battleground” in the “war on terror” has been extended so that it exists everywhere, so that anyone, whether in Zuccotti park or in their bathtub, can, if declared a terrorist-sympathizer, be tossed into jail for keeps, with no evidence, no counsel, no Habeas Corpus, no trial, no appeal, no nothing. Read all about it here, if you haven’t already.

Listen, my heart goes out to OWS. I went down to Zuccotti Park last September to join them, visit them, talk with them. I donated books to their library, new ones, worth around four hundred bucks (some of the many books the cops kindly tossed into the back of a dumpster). But what political effect can OWS hope to have? William Rivers Pitt himself seals the deal for their defeat when he writes, as I cited before:

If a family does have to go on relief, well, good luck after November, because even the hardest-working families that need help might have to live up to the Republican ideal, which in the world of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and Rand Paul and Rick Santorum means there is no help, because real Americans don’t need help, but have to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, whatever bootstraps are . . . and it really doesn’t matter in the end, because poor people don’t count anyway.

Does Pitt really think that that cautionary note will somehow not be carried over and reapplied by his readers when they come to the end of his piece and find him, like a matador with a red cape, tempting, teasing, luring, cajoling, daring them to do anything other than stream blindly into the open maw of patriotic gore?

Look at the long silk scarf of demagoguery he pulls out of his magician’s hat:

Never again. This is your time. This is our time. Let us show them what real American courage looks like, as we make for ourselves and our children the better country, and the better world, we know is possible.

“Never again,” he says, meaning that never again must “we” let them scare us back into the cowed submission that allowed this country to be plundered in an orgy of greed, fraud and state-sponsored for-profit murder abroad.

What’s wrong with this language that simultaneously castigates and implores? Well, for one thing, it posits something as being real that isn’t real at all. In the phrases “scare us” and “cowed submission,” what can Pitt be referring to if not 9/11? The implication is obvious: That now things are different than they were back in 2001; now nobody is going to be suckered into accepting tyranny and the loss of freedom, terrified into it by the single biggest display of terrorism in the country’s history.

Oh? Well, if there’s been a sea change in attitude toward and understanding of the facts and meanings of 9/11, then why isn’t OWS aimed at exposing and opposing that source of tyranny and wretchedness instead of exposing and opposing Wall Street as the source of tyranny and wretchedness?

The unhappy answer is that there has not been any such sea change in attitude or understanding toward or of 9/11, for reasons that I will discuss in detail later. In the meantime, there isn’t going to be a sea change any time soon in psychopaths and mental defectives like “Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and Rand Paul and Rick Santorum,” whether or not any of them finds a way into in the “highest office.” They and those like them are complicit in a heist as big as any that the 1% has pulled off, namely the blackmail/buy-up of the Republican party and its repackaging as a monolithic and apolitical body with the brains, subtlety, depth, and flexibility of a fire hydrant. Take a look at Paul Krugman on the subject. Politics of compromise have been put on hold while absolutism holds sway.

“This is your time,” Pitt says to his readers, visions of 1968 dancing in his head. “This is our time.” What’s with this “your” and “our”? Does he mean we’re all in the ruins together? I wonder. “Let us show them what real American courage looks like,” he exhorts. Some may hear in his voice a principled and urgent plea to come forward and help save the nation. I don’t. It’s not a sound plan, this plan he says is the only one. The voice I hear is the carnival barker: “Step right up and up pass through the door, be the next one to be roughed up, taken down, beaten up, shot down, Tased, cuffed, locked up—and forgotten.”

It makes a person wonder which side Pitt is really working for. Sacrificing kids and grandmothers in the tens, hundreds, or thousands isn’t going to melt the monstrous heart of a Romney, a Dimon, a Blankfein, a Scott, a Clinton, or an Obama. It’s not going to get the National Defense Authorization Act sent back to committee for rewriting, let alone shredding. It’s not going to make the Patriot Act turn to ashes, or shut down Guantanamo, or bring about fair trials, or restore Jose Padilla’s sanity, or bring about acquittal for Bradley Manning, or. . . .

Whether you’re reading something on paper or reading something online, read it closely and read it carefully. There are serpent songs in America where you might least expect them. More next time.

Eric Larsen is the publisher and editor of The Oliver Arts & Open Press.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

3 Responses to Dr. Judy Wood and the future of the earth: Part I

  1. Thomas Potter

    “I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men, with a favourable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption it is the other way, against the holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority, still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it. Here are the greatest names coupled with the greatest crimes; you would spare those criminals, for some mysterious reason. I would hang them higher than Haman, for reasons of quite obvious justice, still more, still higher for the sake of historical science. ”
    -Lord Acton, British Historian (January 10, 1834 – June 19, 1902)

  2. Pingback: Dr. Judy Wood Ph.D, Materials Science, 9/11, & Directed Energy Weapons - Page 38

  3. Awesome article, trendy blog template, maintain the great work