And stop seeing the world as something to be conquered, subjugated and ruled over?
- Human progress depends on it
This article originally appeared at Strategic Culture Foundation
Have you noticed? American officials seem to be only able to ever talk about war. War, war, war. While Russia and most other countries of the world are talking of partnership, development, progress, prosperity and peace. What is it to be for humanity? War or peace?
American leaders are stuck in a seemingly never-ending mental groove of hostility, suspicion, enmity, war. Look into their eyes. They offer a dead-end of no hope, no progress, no humanity, only continual conflict. By contrast, Russian President Vladimir Putin and other world leaders are striving to enact a vision of hope for humanity, one based on mutual cooperation, partnership and common development.
The problem with official America is that it is still stuck in a centuries-old mindset when it presumed the right – and righteousness – of enslaving millions of people and exterminating native nations from their lands. Today, US states may be taking down the Confederate flag as a symbol of genocidal racism, but elsewhere if we listen to American leaders the same genocidal, supremacist mentality prevails – even when it is articulated by an African-American president.
In recent days, we saw a salutary example of how backward and nihilistic official America is in its thinking. Before the US Senate was the presumed next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford, giving testimony ahead of his official appointment. The Joint Chiefs are America’s top military brass, who advise the president and his National Security Council on all matters of war and, much less, peace. Listening to Dunford’s worldview, one would think that America is under threat from all corners of the globe. Threat, insecurity, danger, fear, enemies, death, destruction, and so and so on. Official America’s worldview is one of never-ending nightmare, wherein lurks evil foreign spectres and demons.
Top of Dunford’s list of enemies is Russia who he said posed the»greatest threat to US national security», adding, but far from evidencing, that «Russia’s behaviour is nothing short of alarming».
The marine corps commander told Senators: «If you want to talk about a nation that could pose an existential threat to the United States, I’d point to Russia».
Dunford based his foreboding assessment on baseless claims about Russian military involvement in Ukraine’s civil war and alleged foreign aggression, without providing any supportive intelligence or evidence – just as countless other US leaders have iterated over the past year. (No mention, of course, of the US-led coup in Ukraine and the US-sponsored Neo-Nazi regime that is waging war on fellow citizens.)
To demonstrate that Dunford’s views are not some misinformed exception, we only have to recall the latest US National Military Strategy document published last week in which an identical worldview of threats, enemies and other dark forces was also promulgated. It represents the official position of the US and its worldview. Again, Russia was nominated as a security danger, along with China and Iran.
Now contrast this American mindset with other world leaders and nations. While Dunford was warning of existential enemies before Congress, on the other side of the world, leaders from Latin America, Africa and Asia were gathering in the Russian city of Ufa to attend the joint conferences of the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).
Addressing the plenary session, Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed the leaders and delegates from dozens of countries. He called on all associated nations to build a world based on «fair partnership», «mutual respect», and «sustainable development».
Also addressing delegates, Chinese President Xi Jinping echoed Putin’s vision of an inter-dependent multilateral world based on»deepening partnership». The Chinese leader said that the world needs to abandon «Cold War mentality and zero-sum games in order to jointly safeguard international and regional peace and stability». He said it was no longer acceptable for countries to unilaterally wield threats and sanctions at others. Such belligerent attitude, he added, was counterproductive and actually fuelling tensions, insecurity and conflict. He didn’t mention names, but everyone knows who he is referring to: the United States.
But, like Putin, Jinping’s central theme was a positive, hopeful one for humanity, one of emphasising «common development»,»economic partnership» and «community of shared interests».
The growing economic and security partnerships of the BRICS, SCO and EEU are proof that the vision of partnership that these leaders espoused is not merely empty rhetoric aimed at generating feel-good media headlines.
No-one is pretending that these countries are bastions of perfection and harmony. Much development in every sphere is needed. But the basic premise of common development for the common good is there, so too is a relationship of fraternal cooperation, trust and mutual peace.
Our point here is that the gathering in Russia shows that humanity has shifted its broad consciousness away from narrow nationalistic rivalries to one of genuine co-dependence and cooperation. Not just in rhetoric and aspiration, but in actual practice. All of the nations attending the summit in Russia have been scarred by wars at sometime in the past – none more so than Russia, which lost up to 30 million of its people during the Second World War.
What is needed now, however, is the understanding and appreciation of a common humanity and destiny. It is based on the belief that all humans, no matter their differences in culture or colour, can work together for their collective common good. That the sum of all parts is greater than the individual parts. Such a vision of development and peace is practicable and is in fact being proven in the new international relations that are being forged by the BRICS, SCO and EEU for the betterment of their respective populations –which collectively comprise the majority of the world’s people.
What a contrast Putin, Jinping and many other world leaders are to the American talking heads. US President Barack Obama is prone to sprinkle his rhetoric with all sorts of euphemisms and florid prose, but at bottom he still talks like most of Washington heads do about a world of threats, dangers, enemies in which America must be eternally, unilaterally, supremely powerful to launch wars whenever and wherever it wants.
Ultimately, America offers nothing to the world except fear, insecurity and war. It is the embodiment of an Orwellian dystopia where peace and fraternity are something to be sneered at, even reviled, as somehow foolishly naive.
Why is it that America cannot just evolve with the rest of humanity to embrace the world as a beautiful and bountiful place where we all can live together in peace and cooperation?
Before we get into an answer to that, the question must be dwelt on. Why is official America so full of aggression and fear, war and destruction? Why are international relations always presented in terms that demonise and degrade others? What is so elusive about cooperation, common humanity and peace?
America has never come to terms with its genocidal origins or its genocidal wars carried out during most of its 250-year history as a nation. The crimes are covered in lies and denials. America has never come to terms with the fact that its capitalist economy dictates hegemony and imperialistic predation for its operation. The attitude towards slaves and exterminated natives of the past is today embodied in Washington’s depiction of the world as lurking with de-humanised enemies who have to be conquered, subjugated and ultimately, if it comes to it, liquidated.
The hubris and ignorance of official America knows no bounds. The country is guided by presidents and Congressional leaders, presidential candidates and military generals who serve private corporations by telling scary stories to themselves and their people to justify their gargantuan war-making, murderous plunder of the planet. Yet American leaders think of themselves as so enlightened and virtuous. And unfortunately too many ordinary and increasingly oppressed Americans believe the ugly make-believe world they are inculcated with by their elite rulers.
The truth is that American leaders are nothing but barbarians in expensive suits. They need to evolve with the rest of humanity.
But for evolution there needs to be a dialectic process of humility, compassion and truth-finding. In official America there is no such dialectic. There is only a locked-in, dead-end groove of deadness and more deadness, fear and war. Fear and war. Fear and war.
If not evolution, then revolution is required in America, if greater humanity is to progress.