Tag Archives: Gandhism

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.

Indian elephants fail to apply Gandhi’s theories of peaceful resistance

elephant friendOK, this is a gratuitous commentary but don’t blame me for it, since I’ve merely overdosed on the religion from the Colorado Springs Justice and Peace Commission, a group supposedly dedicated to fighting US war making and not just for going to some sort of New Age Church on off days of the week. Wild elephants kill 3 in northeast India

Pacifists always are counselling others on non-violence, but rarely are under any direct attack of their own that they have to defend against. However, elephants are in a different situation and react normally rather than spiritually as Jesus perhaps would have done. Of course, stories have it that in the Temple he did not act nonviolently either? But that’s just the Bible so what do they really know about Jesus anyway?

Actually, most American pacifists I have known think that Jesus would merely have voted for the Democratic Party ticket if Jesus were to return as an American. When you see those morph computer images of ‘Barack Lincoln’, we should realize that Lincoln is just a stand-in for Jesus and/ or Gandhi here. It is against the Christian religion to morph Jesus with people like Barack, just like Muslims don’t allow pictures of Mohammed to be waved around to all. So Barack Obama morphed with Lincoln is allowed though, so they went with that. I’d rather see a herd of Indian elephants show up at the Grand Inauguration this Tuesday though, and resist in the manner they know how to do so well.