Sunday, September 13, 2015

For Co-operation and Compassion

Poverty, oppression, persecution and war are persistent evils. Refugees fleeing these terrible afflictions are — usually — a persistent trickling crisis. As long as they trickle, refugees attract, at best, fleeting attention in the world. This persistent refugee-displaced crisis becomes “unprecedented” when major media notice increased numbers and the deaths on route grow. Globally, the number of displaced people and economic migrants is at an all-time high. With capitalism, crises is not the exception, but the norm. Some have found haven across borders. Others are internally displaced (IDPs). Once numbers, suffering and death breach the awareness threshold, the media report and sensationalise the situation. Tragedy and suffering, after all, sells papers and draws viewers.

To the question “Why are these people fleeing?” simplistic answers are offered. Right now, it is Assad and ISIS who are to blame so let’s bomb them is what many nations' political leaders declare. The suffering caused by so-called humanitarian military interventions is being exploited to justify even more new wars that will only further increase the harrowing distress. We ask, as many before us have, “Is it necessary to destroy a country to save it?”

The widespread sympathy and solidarity, along with the spontaneous gestures of aid and assistance to our fleeing fellow-workers, is in stark contrast to the response of the ruling class, who build walls and fences, deploy troops and launch war-ships to block refugees seeking sanctuary. They depict the desperate and despairing as marauding invaders and terrorist threats.

 But our tears for the refugees’ plight is a superficial reaction unless we’re also willing to stop the evil that produced it. There is no national solution to this problem. Within the framework of capitalism, based on private ownership of the means of production and the division of the world into rival nation-states, there is no solution. We must unite for world socialism, a society based on relations of co-operation and compassion.

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