March 17, 2012
You Don't Get to Vote for Liberation
Spokesperson for Revolution Books NYC
Following is a talk given at a panel at the Left Forum in NYC on March 17, 2012 titled: "Is Voting the Solution" along with presentations by Dr, Dennis Loo and David Swanson.
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How many people here think that the danger from global warming has reached a point where without major worldwide intervention there could be catastrophic consequences?
In the U.S. today there are 2.25 million people in prison in the U.S., mostly Black and Latino youth. 700,000 mostly Black and Latino youth were stopped and frisked on the streets of NYC as the first step in the pipeline to prison. How many people here find this intolerable?
One in four college freshman women will be sexually assaulted while in college. A woman is battered in the U.S. every 15 seconds. It is estimated that 800,000 women are trafficked each year. Is this tolerable to you?
In Kandahar, Afghanistan nine children and seven adults slaughtered by what the U.S. says is a rogue soldier; whole families routinely wiped out by drones in Pakistan and Afghanistan; the drumbeats for bombing Iran quicken. Is this tolerable to you?
President Obama has decreed that the President has the right to execute anyone anywhere in the world, U.S. citizen or not, on his say-so without any judicial process. Is this tolerable?
Twenty percent of the children in the U.S. go to bed hungry every day, while 21,000 children die needlessly every day in the world -- at a moment in history when there is the technology and the productive capacity to provide food and clean water for all of humanity, save for the system of imperialism. Is this tolerable?
Think about all these things and ask yourself: Do the people of the world need liberation?
Liberation is never on the ballot. Never has been anywhere, anytime, and it never will be.
If you, if we want humanity all over the world to be emancipated from all forms of oppression, overcoming all the savage inequalities that grind up life and spirit here and around the world, then there needs to be a revolution to bring about a whole different economic system and a radically new and better form of state power.
Look again at the environment; the systematic oppression of Blacks, Latinos and immigrants; the degradation and subordination of women; the continuing wars for empire; the evisceration of fundamental rights" Has President Obama even proposed, let alone delivered any substantive change on any of these things that you care about? No. Obama has even gone further in shredding fundamental rights than even Bush dared to do -- such as arrogating to the executive the right to execute U.S. citizens without any legal process. This is because this measure is deemed essential by the class that rules -- the bourgeoisie, the capitalist/imperialist class -- to prosecute their war on terror which is in reality a war for empire. And, you have no say about this. You may have thought you were voting in change in 2008. You may even have had your "criticisms" then of Obama the candidate. But if you worked to bring people into the electoral fold, you were part of doing real harm to people here and around the world.