Saturday, March 12, 2016

Arundhati Roy: The Only Thing Worth Globalizing Is Dissent

Democracy no longer means what it was meant to. It has been taken back into the workshop. Each of its institutions has been hollowed out, and it has been returned to us as a vehicle for the free market, of the corporations. For the corporations, by the corporations.
Wars are never fought for altruistic reasons. They're usually fought for hegemony, for business. And then of course there's the business of war.

Nationalism of one kind or another was the cause of most of the genocide of the twentieth century.
Each of the Iraqi children killed by the United States was our child. Each of the prisoners tortured in Abu Ghraib was our comrade. Each of their screams was ours. When they were humiliated, we were humiliated. The U.S. soldiers fighting in Iraq - mostly volunteers in a poverty draft from small towns and poor urban neighborhoods - are victims just as much as the Iraqis of the same horrendous process, which asks them to die for a victory that will never be theirs.

There's really no such thing as the 'voiceless'. There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard.

Pity the nation that has to silence its writers for speaking their minds. Pity the nation that needs to jail those who ask for justice, while communal killers, mass murderers, corporate scamsters, looters, rapists, and those who prey on the poorest of the poor, roam free.

You have come to a stage where you almost have to work on yourself. You know, on finding some tranquility with which to respond to these things, because I realize that the biggest risk that many of us run is beginning to get inured to the horrors.

Soviet-style communism failed, not because it was intrinsically evil, but because it was flawed. It allowed too few people to usurp too much power. Twenty-first century market capitalism, American-style, will fail for the same reasons. Both are edifices constructed by human intelligence, undone by human nature.

Capitalism’s real “grave-diggers” may end up being its own delusional Cardinals, who have turned ideology into faith. Despite their strategic brilliance, they seem to have trouble grasping a simple fact: Capitalism is destroying the planet. The two old tricks that dug it out of past crises-War and Shopping-simply will not work. 

Every people, every society, needs a culture of resistance, a culture of being difficult and disobedient, that is the only way they will ever be able to stand up to the inevitable abuse of power by whoever runs the state apparatus, the capitalists, the communists, the socialists, the Gandhians, whoever. 

The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling - their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability. Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them.

Railing against the past will not heal us. History has happened. It's over and done with. All we can do is to change its course by encouraging what we love instead of destroying what we don't.

The only thing worth globalizing is dissent.

Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.

- Arundhati Roy

Books by Arundhati Roy:

Quotes by Arundhati Roy:

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