Anarcho-environmentalism allegorised

The name Anaarkali in the present context has many meanings - Anaar symbolises the anarchism of the Bhils and kali which means flower bud in Hindi stands for their traditional environmentalism. Anaar in Hindi can also mean the fruit pomegranate which is said to be a panacea for many ills as in the Hindi idiom - "Ek anar sou bimar - One pomegranate for a hundred ill people"! - which describes a situation in which there is only one remedy available for giving to a hundred ill people and so the problem is who to give it to. Thus this name indicates that anarcho-environmentalism is the only cure for the many diseases of modern development! Similarly kali can also imply a budding anarcho-environmentalist movement. Finally according to a legend that is considered to be apocryphal by historians Anarkali was the lover of Prince Salim who was later to become the Mughal emperor Jehangir. Emperor Akbar did not approve of this romance of his son and ordered Anarkali to be bricked in alive into a wall in Lahore in Pakistan but she escaped. Allegorically this means that anarcho-environmentalists can succeed in bringing about the escape of humankind from the self-destructive love of modern development that it is enamoured of at the moment and they will do this by simultaneously supporting women's struggles for their rights.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Occupying Wall Street!

I have often wondered why the American People have not risen up in protest against the huge problems created for them by the greedy kleptocrats of Wall Street. Ever since the meltdown of 2008 the common people of America are going through a very hard time. The huge amounts of money provided in the form of bailouts to the beleaguered banks have only served to bolster up the old rotten system without changing it in any way for the better. Consequently the economy is still in the doldrums and the situation in Europe also is grim where many of the smaller economies are on the verge of defaulting on their sovereign debt.
Thus, it is heartening to note that an initiative has begun, taking inspiration from the middle eastern Arab uprisings, for the staging of a similar protest for occupying Wall Street for two months from September 17th 2011 onwards. It is extremely significant that the protest is to be staged in Wall Street and not in Washington as it underlines the fact that that it is the financial kleptocrats of Wall Street who actually control the US Government and so the whole world.
At the moment the initiators of the movement do not have a clear charter of demands. In fact they have said that the website is an open source platform and the demands and the strategy will have to evolve through discussion. Obviously it will not be possible for these people while occupying Wall Street to completely alter the way the world is doing business at the present moment. But there is a realisation that some minimal concrete demand that can force the administration to negotiate has to be put up. Here is the latest from the initiators of the movement -
"Strategically speaking, there is a very real danger that if we naively put our cards on the table and rally around the "overthrow of capitalism" or some equally outworn utopian slogan, then our Tahrir moment will quickly fizzle into another inconsequential ultra-lefty spectacle soon forgotten. But if we have the cunning to come up with a deceptively simple Trojan Horse demand … something profound, yet so specific and doable that it is impossible for President Obama to ignore … something that spotlights Wall Street's financial capture of the US political system and confronts it with a pragmatic solution … like the reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act … or a 1% tax on financial transactions … or an independent investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice into the corporate corruption of our representatives in Washington … or another equally creative but downright practical demand that will emerge from the people's assemblies held during the occupation … and if we then put our asses on the line, screw up our courage and hang in there day after day, week after week, until a large swath of Americans start rooting for us and President Obama is forced to respond … then we just might have a crack at creating a decisive moment of truth for America, a first concrete step towards achieving the radical changes we all dream about unencumbered by commitments to existing power structures."
The challenge of course is about how to remove greed from the matrix of socio-economic and political arrangements. It is all very well to talk of decentralisation and people's control but to dismantle the present system and bring in a decentralised one is not an easy task.  It involves the reversal of a ten thousand year trend towards more and more centralisation of wealth and power. 

No comments: