In mid-April, Vijay Prashad, sentinel thinker of the Global South, paused after returning to Beirut from the Bekaa Valley. Focusing away from his surroundings and momentarily halting his ongoing commentary on the Indian elections to his East, Prashad gazed west to New York City. “I can’t believe the news I just heard.
As an enthusiastic participant in the Occupy Movement I recognized, like many others, that it was time to act and “do something.” Here was a movement that, however inarticulately spoke the language of class struggle and questioned the way wealth and power in society was distributed. Yet I could never really hide a certain level frustration with what we were doing at Occupy. Despite the exciting exchange of ideas and the feeling of being a part of something important, the potential energy of Occupy never acquired adequate forms of organization with a set goal.
About 3 years ago, on Oct 4, 2011, Soni Sori, a schoolteacher and a woman of indigenous heritage ("adivasi") in the state of Chattisgarh in central India, was arrested in New Delhi on charges of being a messenger for the outlawed Maoists .
For those of us inspired by mass mobilizations in Egypt's Tahrir Square, Turkey's Gezi Park, Greece's Syntagma Square, Spain's Plaza del Sol, and even our "own" Zuccotti Park, it is easy for protests in Venezuela to evoke the same emotions.
“Ignorance never yet helped anybody!”
These words of Karl Marx from the 1846 are often ignored by most of his present-day disciples.
“You're playing into the hands of imperialism! We need to support Iran against the USA!”
Anyone who has been around certain sections of the radical left has encountered this attitude at one time or another. For some on the left, it is not enough to oppose US imperialism or its wars, but we need to do more and 'support' every government targeted by the United States. And that 'support' winds up being uncritical support to any government opposed to the United States, no matter how repressive or reactionary it may be.