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Tony, David Barsamian says hello

The local Pikes Peak Justice & Peace Commission found a little more between the lines than they may have counted on from visiting scholar/lecturer David Barsamian. Although he preached the habitual Gandhian nonviolent civil disobedience, and putting faith in reforming electoral politics, some heresy emerged from the mix. Asked how he could cite 1984 with the authority of scripture, three times, but overlook how Orwell derided nonviolence as a tool of totalitarian control, Barsamian reminded the audience that Orwell joined the Spanish Civil War against Franco, believing that Fascist threat justified armed struggle. Barsamian then clarified that neither of the sainted NV Big 3, Gandhi, Mandela or MLK, completely eschewed violent resistance.

The PPJPC audience may be too far gone to appreciate the distinction. This was demonstrated by a rambling question/interjection by a PPJPC member luminary. Not only is the PPJPC nonviolent, it sanctions only nonviolent communication, to elaborate further, non-protest, and even non-talking about negative things. While she was thankful for David Barsamian informing his audiences, she felt what he was doing served to defeat the positive outlook necessary to float a new consciousness. There’s a growing world movement, apparently. What’s required, said she, was a concentrated focus on the positive. I paraphrase, but I lack the parochial school vocabulary.

Fortunately, Barsamian politely pooh-pooed that notion, though not with the ridicule I would have liked. Barsamian’s theme was about historical illiteracy, and while he could fault education and media for the sad state of US critical aptitude, he could offer just the usual intra-capitalism strategies of consumer boycotts and hope for turning our legislators around. For Barsamian, our task as activists is to spread understanding to the oligarchs. The corporate bosses have children too, how could they fail to recognize that the destruction of our planet will be their doom as well?

Barsamian could have found the answer in a parable he recited while illustrating another point. He asked the audience if we’d heard the story of the scorpion and the camel, a parable circulating in popular culture to vilify Islam.

The tale recounts a scorpion who asked a camel to ferry him across the river. The camel declined, certain the scorpion would sting him. After much pleading from the scorpion, the camel eventually decided to offer the benefit of the doubt, hoping his good deed would overcome the scorpion’s reputation. In the middle of the river, “Oy vay” Barsamian lampooned, the scorpion struck. Asked why he betrayed the camel, the scorpion replied “Welcome to the Middle East.”

Yes, it’s a despicable slander of the Arab, and by intentional extension, the Muslim character. Especially as you consider the original version of this tale, an ancient Sanskrit parable, which the Zionist propagandists are not foolish enough to quote in the original. When you pretend a universal truth damns an entire people, the racism is too obvious.

Originally the scorpion’s victim was a turtle, and the argument which won the turtle over was: why would the scorpion sting him in the middle of the river, were both would surely drown? After the backstabbing, the explanation given to the turtle was a moral that has enlightened mankind since ancient times, I’m certain everyone in the audience knew it. Quoth the scorpion: it is my nature.

You knew I was a scorpion when you took me on your back.

Who are the turtles today, thinking that corporations and capitalism can be turned by our altruism?

A last question came from an audience member who expressed their faltering hopefulness. In reply, Barsamian pointed to other milestones in history when dramatic relief was also more than the average person could have foreseen. 1958 in Cuba, 1788 in France and 1775 in the American Colonies. YES, thank you David Barsamian!

I’m guessing I’m going to regret not having yelled out to put the exclamation mark on where Barsamian puts his faith. Each of the events which he tenders to offer hope, was a VIOLENT REVOLUTION!

As to the cryptic title of this post. On every visit to the Springs, the indefatigable Barsamian witnesses a further disintegration of our local peace community. Not long ago, Tony caused an uproar with his boisterous complaints of the PPJPC’s misplaced piety. Perhaps David witnesses such fractures everywhere in the movement these days, the bristling tension growing between activists and the elders ascended into their delusions. Into such atmospheres Barsamian does not hold himself above the fray. To even the divisive Tony, for example he wished to convey his warmest regards.

7 thoughts on “Tony, David Barsamian says hello

  1. That is typical of the PPJPC, I am surprised that group is still in existence. The must have begged money from walmart since they pissed off labor

  2. The lady with the rambling question?/comment?/view? in the audience, if she represents the position of those in PPJPC, shows what a sad state of affairs that our “justice and peace commission” is in. Seems like the “right” is influencing the PPJPC quite drastically, causing them to sway further from the center than usual. To try and say that to talk about what is happening in the world around us is the wrong approach to educating the people about imperialism is sickening. Might as well just watch Faux News.
    Seems to me that she wishes to live in a bubble, and that David Barsamian almost burst it.

  3. Rather like the almost knee-jerk reactionary answer to any notice being taken of actual imperfections in the of course wonderfully perfect Capitalist system is just Whining.

    “Look out, you can’t dance in the middle of a freeway, there’s a massive truck about to hit you!”

    Capitalist skips along in the middle of the fast lane, gives you the “whatever” salute and complains about “you whining Cassandra liberals”.

    “Jeremiad” leaps to mind too. This from people who actually use the terms “do-gooder” and “intellectual” and “elite” as insults.

    When the exact opposite of those words would be Evildoer, Dumbass and Extremely Unskilled.

    According to the legends, Cassandra and Jeremiah did, indeed, piss off the money-worshipers of their days… by consistently being correct.

  4. Well, I certainly wish David Barsamian the best, too.

    ‘As to the cryptic title of this post. On every visit to the Springs, the indefatigable Barsamian witnesses a further disintegration of our local peace community.’

    I have been in Colorado Springs for about 4 years now, and have certainly seen the disintegration of the Peace Movement first hand here. It is simply a corollary to the national disintegration of the national Peace Movement, and there are 2 main causes to that.

    The national Movement has been tied to two political ideologies whose time for being effective in any way has more than passed. These two ideologies no longer provide even the slightest pretense to leadership for the Movement any more.

    First, religious pacifism is not anything more than a theology that dead ends mass participation in Peace activism. Normal folk simply want self defense and not this turn the other cheek message that religious pacifists have as their central and SOUL message…. misspelling intentional

    And Second, tying the Movement to the Democratic Party is the other dead ended policy that leads to local and national ‘disintegration’. In both case, the leaders who advocate DP voting and pacifism are almost always PAID staff funded from Democratic Party and pacifist church connections. DP tied ‘activism’ always leads to demobilization of the Peace Movement. That’s why we have so little ‘Movement’ PERIOD.

    ‘Not long ago, Tony caused an uproar with his boisterous complaints of the PPJPC’s misplaced piety. Perhaps David witnesses such fractures everywhere in the movement these days, the bristling tension growing between activists and the elders ascended into their delusions.’

    It really had, and has, absolutely nothing to do with my personality or any defects there of…. this ‘uproar’. We simply are moving from a period where pacifists and Democratic Party liberals FAILED, to a period that opens up new possibilities as well as new challenges that liberals and pacifists cannot even begin to meet. Nobody is doing anything until something new begins to coalesce. The Springs is not the cutting edge of where that will begin to happen. It is the tail…. the rear end of where it is at.

    ‘Into such atmospheres Barsamian does not hold himself above the fray. To even the divisive Tony, for example he wished to convey his warmest regards.’

    Well sure. David has always been a friend for many in the Colorado Left as well as the national Left. He provides a great service to the US Left as director of Alternative Radio., centered right there in Boulder, Colorado. I wish him the best to.

    Eric, you may want to label me as ‘divisive’ once again but that is just a mere personal prejudice you hold against me for my hard criticisms of NMT and the way you have steered it. You have made a mess of it, in short.

    However, both you and the PPJPC top dogs are bullies and will label anybody with any principles different than your own as being ‘divisive’. And so be it. I hardly pay the slightest attention to what you say about me in this manner. It is not I that is The Great Divisive One here. I know where I stand, and pretty much where you do too, Eric.

  5. I have known Eric long enough to say that He makes a good point about the PPJPC.
    The J&P has gotten money from the City of Colorado Srings, which explains their right wing leanings.
    I know that Eric is no bully.
    @ Pilarerecto You can defend the PPJPC as much as you like, I know first hand what that organization is like and will always be like.

  6. Ed, what amazes me about you is that you are so off the wall so many times about so many different things. For anybody to tell others that I am a defender of the PPJPC crew is totally a lunatic!

    Everybody other than you seems very well aware that I have been most vocal in my criticisms of the Democratic Party tied pacifist crowd that runs that outfit ALWAYS. You, on the other hand, are a lifetime Democratic Party voter.

    ‘Pilarerecto You can defend the PPJPC as much as you like…’

    You are chewing on lunar cheese, Ed. Use your brain some to get different results.

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