Sunday, 11 March 2012

Of Monsters and Men

Are the makers of the Kony video naïve or is there a more sinister motive behind what they are doing? I am torn between thinking this is a great movement and knowing that it actually serves the interests of the corporate elites and their servant politicians, technocrats and bureaucrats. I’ve no doubt that most of the supporters are as well meaning as they are naïve but I reserve judgment on the movers behind the movement.

Vile, sociopathic, religious nut job that Kony is - he is NOT the world's worst criminal.

Kony is currently hiding out in The Congo and hasn’t been active in Uganda for years.  And the fact is that if the Uganda army wasn't so busy doing Washington's dirty work it could probably have captured or killed Kony years ago.

Look at the way propaganda works and we can see that the demonisation of individuals has the useful by-product of obscuring the role of political, industrial and financial institutions and diverting attention away from their activities.

This Facebook movement - great though it may be in awakening the consciences of the children of the world's privileged elite - is, ironically, doing USA Inc’s dirty work by justifying Africom's role and expansion in the region. Are these people really so naive that they think the reason Obama sent in US advisers (remember Vietnam) is to help the Ugandan army capture Kony? Are they unaware of the role that Africom plays in the neo-imperialist scramble for Africa's mineral and oil resources - and in combating China's growing influence on the continent?  Do they expect the Ugandan army to invade the Congo in pursuit of Kony?

In that very clever, tear jerking video there was not a word about the IMF and World Bank; not a word about the reasons WHY '99% of the world doesn't know who Kony is' - and not a word about the 4 million who have died in The Congo - for example - and how much blood is on the hands of the new imperialists who may not have wielded the pangas or fired the bullets but who created the conditions in which that has happened and will continue to happen.

Who sells Kony his weapons? Who manufactures them?  Who funds their purchase?  Most importantly - who benefits from the creation and perpetuation of a bloated, self-serving domestic elite in Africa? 

Look at Nigeria - behind Libya, it has the greatest proven oil reserves on the continent.  Lagos has the greatest concentration of billionaires in Africa but most Nigerians live on less than $2US a day; half of young Nigerians are unemployed and 80% of people do not have access to safe drinking water.

And take a look at the role of the IMF and its Structural Adjustment Policies which require ‘austerity measures’ such as currency devaluation, lifting of trade tariffs, the removal of subsidies and budget cuts to critical public sector services as a condition of loans.

Mugabe was OK while he played the game according to the rules but the moment he said no to the IMF and got into bed with the Chinese he became a dictator. We can see the same spin at work in the way the media portrays other ‘dictators’ - the Saudis may be dictators but they are good ones. Saddam and Gadaffi were clad in monster costumes the moment it suited the elites.

I despise all men of mindless violence - especially those who stay safe in their corporate HQs or seats of government or places of worship and send young men and women out to die.  I reserve my greatest odium for the mega-monsters who directly create the conditions in which mini-monsters like Kony can exist. The mega-monsters would have us believe they are defending all that is good and true and are at great pains to hide the essential truth - their own cold, calculating, antisocial self-interest.

It’s so transparent it’s hard to believe that so many people fall for it – but they have been carefully groomed to do so.

Most first world people are addicted to immediate gratification. They have a belief in their own entitlement. They have a reduced attention span - so much so that even the dumbest reality TV show or doco requires a reprise of what happened before the incessant ad breaks. They struggle to deal with an unprecedented information and sensory overload. They live in conditions of social isolation and dislocation characterised by a breakdown of community and – critically - of belief and trust in communal action.

This is not accidental.

That this movement encourages a belief in the ability to make a difference and promotes the power of  the communal voice, is a good thing. BUT the Kony video and the movement behind it does very little to shed light on what is actually happening in Africa – and more importantly, it does nothing tor challenge the international power elites which are profiting from it.

When they call for a similar movement to really challenge the corporate giants in order to further the legitimate demand that the peoples of Africa benefit from their own natural resources – I’ll be impressed. 

In the meantime  - the hope is that some of those who have been awakened by this video will start to utilise the internet to find out the real whys and wherefores of the rape of Africa.

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