Activists and leaders aren’t the ones who start revolutions. The core inspirers of change are those who never get to make speeches or hold dramatic protests or become beloved historical figures, because they’re the ones who are destroyed by the old systems.
The unrecognized heroes in this case are the four million or so innocent Muslims who’ve died in American wars since 1990 alone, the more than 22 veterans who commit suicide every day, the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have died in the imperialist wars since World War Two. And then there are the nearly forty thousand U.S. veterans who are currently homeless, the ten thousand people or so who have killed themselves in the last ten years in part from the financial crisis, the tens of thousands who die each year in this country for lack of health care, and the rest of the countless billions who’ve suffered or died because of the genocide-fueled global hierarchy that’s existed for so many decades.
These people are treated as the human utilities the corporate state views them as. Their stories are reduced to statistics, which are then hidden or trivialized in front of a populous that’s constantly exposed to noxious propaganda about worshipping the military, advancing corporate profits, and fearing an interchangeable series of enemies. War is the central instrument in this, providing a means for maintaining the oil economy, persuading the population toward allegiance to the state, and destroying resources that could be used for educating and empowering that population. And the current developments in Syria, Russia, and North Korea are exactly what we’ve seen dozens of times for as long as anyone can remember: shocking offenses are revealed on the part of a foreign government, uproar dominates in the press for months, and then military action is taken. The difference now is that those last two designated foreign threats are nuclear powers.
Yet even as the unacknowledged hubris of the war machine’s victims seem to poetically manifest in a war that will make us all into victims, one can sense something else may be meant to come from this tragedy. Hints of it can be seen in the emerging resentment for U.S. military empire among the anti-establishment right, in the scattered stories of Bush voters who now want an end to the wars after seeing innocents die and families suffer because of those wars; in the rapidly swelling effort in these last few years to dismantle the war machine and the oligarchical systems it supports: a new world is appearing, one where the warmongers can no longer control the populace and the old order falls apart.
The warmongers show their anxiety over this in their surrounding Russia and China with nuclear bases; in their creation of an aggressive neo-Nazi regime in Ukraine to threaten the Russian Federation; in their establishment of a Ministry of Truth and legalized CIA psy ops; in their aggressive pushing of a Russian hacking narrative that’s been debunked this month with a very easy private investigation of the DNC leak’s nature; in their Bana Alabad psy op, which presented Syrian war propaganda under the bizarre guise of a seven-year-old girl who wanted her homeland bombed; in their elaborate, escalating effort to deflect from their own moral failures and expand their empire to proportions even they must know are absurd.
Do you think all this could mean the elite aren’t feeling ambitious, but scared for their future? Studies of where world events are going imagine the United States will lose all of its military influence by the end of next decade. We’ve been seeing tremors of this collapse for years as regime change efforts have devolved into uncontrollable chaos, and it’s only gotten worse as the Trump administration has expanded the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen. This while the global amount of Internet users is now 3.7 billion and growing every second, letting dissenters of the war machine spread their messages in volumes often rivaling the viewership of the detested corporate media outlets.
We know you’re worried, war profiteers, and that’s made clearer with every propaganda bulletin you show us. Your recent Politico piece lengthily denouncing the efforts of those dissenting online journalists as “Russian propaganda” was especially revealing in its frantic tone. And eliminating the alternative press with corporate censorship and an end to net neutrality, as the oligarchs are starting to do, will only prove oppressive regimes need to crush dissenting voices for their ideas to keep being listened to. Which is to say oppressive regimes can’t last forever.
There have been people who’ve fought all their lives for an end to war-for-profit only to die while the empire is still going, and now their efforts may be about to prevail. But even they, let’s remember, are not the ones who’ve sacrificed the most for this revolution. That’s the ones who’ve been directly annihilated by the empire. Though those ones can’t read this, I’ll say to them: you haven’t gone without doing so much good afterward. We who’ve survived are close to changing the world in your honor, and even if we don’t change it so soon, you won’t be forgotten.