Sunday, March 22, 2015

Longfellow. "Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad."

Sean O'Torrain. 

I was thinking about this quote by Longfellow the other day. There are many similar quotes by many writers and philosophers. The reason I was thinking about this quote and think about it regularly is this. Life on earth will be destroyed unless capitalism is overthrown. Climate change, pollution, nuclear war, mass starvation, drought, so-called natural disasters, I could go on. These are all threats, and immediate threats, as long as capitalism lasts. This reality is agreed to by such organizations as NASA, the Pentagon, the UN and over 90% of the world's top scientists. Yet in spite of this the world barrels on towards the edge of the precipice. As it does so millions of people get so desperate they take up arms in groups such as IS, blow themselves and others up in suicide bombings, arm themselves in the tens of thousands in the right wing militia groups such as exist in the US. I hate to say it but it seems to me to be just a matter of time before there is the very real possibility that some massive catastrophe such as a huge environmental disaster engulfs the planet, its huge cities sink into the sea, a nuclear war or a partial nuclear war takes place and the so-called advanced capitalist countries, including countries like the US,  get engulfed by the kinds of conflicts that already exist in the Ukraine, the Middle East, West Africa, and on and on.

So why the reference to whom the gods make mad etc. The class that rules the world, the capitalist class, all of them, not withstanding their origins have one thing in common. They believe in continuing with the way they have been operating. Only worse. They believe they must step up the capitalist offensive against the world's working class. This will make things even worse.  These people are mad. Let me repeat these people are mad.  The Cheyneys, the Bushs, the Merkels, the Putins, the lot of them, they are mad. The gods have already made them mad. And the gods that have made them mad of course are the driving raving gods of profit, power and capitalism. These are the forces/gods which have driven these people and their regimes mad. If they and their system are not removed from power they will destroy life on earth as we know it. This is an undeniable reality. This has to faced up to. We are not playing some game. The capitalism class they will destroy life on earth unless they are removed from power and crushed as a class.

So what has to be done? First to recognize that capitalism will destroy life on earth as we know it if it is left in charge. Then to recognize that capitalism has to be overthrown. Then to recognize that this will only be done by mass struggle of millions of people prepared to take up armed struggle against the present forces that be. We have to think about what is necessary and be prepared to do what is necessary. Capitalism will, and is, slaughtering tens of millions to cling on to power. It will do so even more if it is left in power. Remember US capitalism dropped the atomic bombs on Japan. It has waged non stop wars in the last decades to stay in power. It will stop at nothing.

Humanity in a different form was here before. They have just discovered a giant city with great art and monuments on the sea bed off Egypt. What civilization built these? We also have the pyramids in Mexico and Peru. We have the civilizations in what became Iraq. These all crumbled and were swallowed up by the oceans, the jungles and the deserts. They were so because the peoples of these civilizations could not take these societies forward. They crumbled and were replaced by more backward societies. This can happen again only worse this time.

Civilization today has reached a stage of science and technology which allows it to choose from only one of two roads. It can end capitalism and replace it with an international democratic society based on collective ownership and a democratic sustainable economic plan. This can take society forward and open up a new society of undreamed of plenty for all. Or the other road is this. The science and technology which allows for the first road will instead be used for the second road. That is to lay the basis for continuing global warming, pollution, drought, rising sea levels, nuclear war, mass starvation and the ending of life on earth as we know it.

The responsibility to build a movement to end capitalism above all lies with the leaders of the 200 million strong international trade union movement. But these forces are completely committed to capitalism. They are worse than useless. A new force has to be built. This is an organized cohesive revolutionary international workers force that is prepared to do whatever is necessary to end capitalism. I cannot find the quote now but was it Yeats said something to the effect of the best lacking commitment and drive and the worst being full of intensity and drive. Look at IS, a mad reactionary force which has to be absolutely opposed. But they are prepared to take on and militarily  fight the powerful forces of US imperialism and its stooges in the Middle East. But where is the progressive force in the world. Yes there many mass demonstrations internationally against the capitalist offensive but these are mainly letting off steam events. The working class has to build a movement which is prepared to take on and fight against capitalism and its stooges world wide. Remember the only time when capitalism was ended in a large country was in Russia in 1917 and this was followed by years of war against the invading imperialist forces and their home grown allies.

Let us consider in more detail, more personal terms what will happen if capitalism is not ended and replaced by international democratic socialism.  We all have children or relatives with children. We all want the new younger generations to survive and prosper. We all have feelings for our species and the species with whom we share this planet. We all can smile when we see a sea otter, or a panda, or a little dog. Let us be clear our species and just about all these species will be wiped out if capitalism lasts. Not a single working class person on this earth has the right to opt out of this reality.  We all have the responsibility to act, to study the history of the past, the victories and the defeats, the responsibility to prepare ourselves for struggle. We have to educate ourselves, we have to act. The people that are running the world, the class that is running the world is mad. Capitalism and this class has to be removed from power and crushed. Every one of us working class people has to be involved in the struggle achieve this.

1 comment:

Sean said...

This the quote I was looking for. From Yeats who in spite of being affected by the right in his later years could still put words together.

“The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.” William Butler Yeats.