In a recent reflection, veteran Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro noted that 237 members of the US Congress — 44% — were millionaires, including President Barack Obama.
"This does not mean that every one of them is an incorrigible reactionary but it is extremely difficult [to imagine] that they feel like the many millions of Americans who do not have access to medical care, who are unemployed or who need to work very hard to earn their living."
Let alone really comprehend how the much worse off global majority struggles to survive.
It is in the interest of this global elite to stop the ordinary people in the richest countries from feeling any empathy with the oppressed and exploited. To do this, they stoke the flames of racism, xenophobia, national chauvinism, climate change denialism and other irrational outlooks to block our instinct to show solidarity and responsibility. Divide and rule is the only way they can defend the indefensible.
In Australia, we are living through dangerous times. The race card is being played by the Labor government and the Liberal-National opposition. Climate denialists have been emboldened.
We need to thank those who have spoken out — people like John Pilger and the Indigenous, religious and trade union leaders who have expressed public solidarity with the asylum seekers who are being mercilessly vilified. Just tune in to a right-wing radio shock jock to see how nasty it is getting.
The Maritime Union of Australia and the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU) are being flooded with hate mail because they donated $10,000 to the Tamil asylum seekers aboard the Oceanic Viking (see the article on page 11). Please send in a message of support to these unions for their principled actions.
Email the MUA at
"Thanks for speaking out", is a compliment Green Left Weekly gets week after week in the streets. GLW is 100% committed to breaking the silence and speaking out for truth and justice. Our supporters help us do it.
So far this year, we've raised $206,960 for the fighting fund. We'd like to thank the Victorian CFMEU for its generous $1000 donation, and encourage other militant unions to follow its fine example.
We have to raise just $43,040 more to make our $250,000 target. Donate today online.
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