Photo at World Vision
The pinnacles of power and wealth of capitalism, made up of around 70 to 80 million people, has long ago lost any scruples, throwing overboard the slightest humanitarian inclination. They are willing to massacre half of humanity to stay on top.
The wars of recent decades have all been against the people. From the “War on Drugs” in Latin America, to the wars in Yemen, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan and the various ones registered in Africa, with little coverage and less media interest.
Some analysts maintain that there are currently “five simultaneous genocides in the world”: in the Darfur region, in Sudan, since 2003; in Tigray, Ethiopia; in the northwest of the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and the one perpetrated by Azerbaijan against the Armenian people in Nagorno-Karabakh (https://goo.su/VNUsz1).
The aggression against the population of the Gaza Strip is the latest episode in an almost uninterrupted series of violence against the people, with the blatant purpose of forcibly displacing millions of people. The accumulation by dispossession/Fourth World War against peoples began by occupying territories and expelling the population that inhabited them to turn life into merchandise. This has been analyzed and denounced on multiple occasions.
What becomes evident now is that they are even coming for the peoples. They are no longer satisfied with moving them. Now it is about eliminating the annoying people, those who do not give in, those who cling to their lands and territories, those who want to continue living as they always have done: with the land and its crops, in the simplicity of peasant life.
In fact, people inhabit territories that capital seeks to capture, either because of the biodiversity they contain, because of the existence of mineral wealth or hydrocarbons in the subsoil, because of the simple abundance of water or because of any circumstance that makes these spaces possible sources of profits.
That old phrase that used to be put into the mouths of highwaymen in remote places, “your money or your life,” is no longer valid. They come for both. Not so much because life matters to them more or less than the stock market, but because the simple existence of human life is creating problems for the most powerful, for the richest one percent.
Alberto Morlachetti was the creator of the Rag Ball (Pelota de Trapo) collective, in the southern area of the Buenos Aires suburbs. In 2009, under a progressive government, he wrote an article titled “Mother, take care of your child: they are coming for him” (https:// goo.su/ozj8yC). “Those kids who fight for their lives threatened by the days that end and do not feed, taste like resistance,” he wrote, outraged by the systematic violence suffered by children, the indifference of society and the authorities. Today things have got exponentially worse.
We live in a civil war against poor children of the color of the earth. Because they are the resisters of tomorrow, those who can cause problems for the system. Childhood is not only the future, but its existence gives us hope. Without children, the future is cancelled. That is why the World Bank has insisted on combating (and even criminalizing) the so-called “teenage pregnancies” and on bringing down the birth rates of the popular sectors. Language begins to reveal the deep intentions.
Within the space of a few days, former Argentine president Mauricio Macri, strongman of Javier Milei’s future government, referred to the picketers as “orcs”, while an Israeli minister considers the Palestinians as “human animals.” In order to eliminate a sector of society, it must first be stripped of its humanity, then it can be murdered without committing a crime, as Giorgio Agamben pointed out.
Outlined in long strides, the history of capitalism has been, since the enclosure of the countryside in England starting around 1600, that of the destruction of meadows, forests and common lands to create individual plots, expropriating the peasants to force them to work in factories. The displacement of populations accelerated with the Conquest of America and more recently with extractivism.
The system learned from its difficulties and our resistance. Their bet is that within a few decades the indigenous peoples and peasants who pose so many obstacles to their accumulation will no longer exist. They know that after five centuries, the peoples are still there. And that “problem” cannot be eliminated by mass killing alone.
Hence the attack on children everywhere. Aren’t they the vast majority of the world’s poor? That is no coincidence. If the target is peoples and entire sectors of society, the best way to crush them is by making children disappear in various ways, as is happening in Gaza. We must defend them as a way of survival.
Original article published in La Jornada on December 1st, 2023 https://tinyurl.com/56dnd7pk. Translated by Schools for Chiapas.