By Santiago Alba Rico
That gargolism, without being the exclusive patrimony of the United States, constitutes above all an American phenomenon has a very simple explanation. He believes that it is possible to realize that deadly paradox that we know as the "American dream."
US Gargolism: A Structure and a Gang
I will not talk about terrorism. The abuse of the term, and the very fight against this abuse, have ended up impoverishing its meaning in such a way that we have become unable, at the same time, to recognize those responsible and to sympathize with their victims. Beyond a selective and partisan scandal, very circumstantial and even digestive, terrorism has become a "natural resource" that pays a stability of misery and a normality of terror with deaths.
I will speak, instead, of the phenomenon of "gargolismo", to which the most lucid analysts attribute a greater threat and which, in any case, resembles terrorism in everything, point by point and bomb by bomb, except for one fundamental fact: name. Let's try naming it in a different way, even in a pretty way, and it might seem worse. Let's try calling it something else, with exotic or maroon sounds, and we will perhaps see the number of its practitioners decrease and the number of its victims increase instead. Let's baptize him again, give him a word without taming, and we'll learn to make a difference. Alter only one letter ("cerrorismo" or "merrorismo") and its single sound will put us in motion.
That gargolism, without being the exclusive patrimony of the United States, constitutes above all an American phenomenon has a very simple explanation. He believes that it is possible to make that deadly paradox that we know by the name of the "American dream" come true: it wants -that is- to be richer, more powerful, more feared, have more water, more meat, more oil, more weapons, more supermarkets, more cars, more televisions and she wants - at the same time - to be more good, more loved, more admired, have more values, more virtue, more morality than others. Well because she is convinced that moral superiority is obtained by the same means, and by accumulation, as televisions and oil; Well because, in a typically Protestant association, it considers that televisions and oil, regardless of the means by which they are obtained, are an infallible sign of moral superiority, the truth is that the United States wants to be, believes to be, simultaneously an Empire and a catechism. In that terrible dream, with unequal suffering, we are all trapped.
Half of the "American Dream" makes statements; the other half take action; and only in dreams do declarations and actions gently glove the entrails. Chomsky is right when he states that any decent person could subscribe to the definition of gargolismo in official US documents: "The calculated use of violence or the threat of violence to achieve objectives of a political, ideological or religious nature." But to define is to define; that is, to impose and impose limits, to draw the borders outside of which knowledge and law are impossible or fraudulent. A definition is a restriction, and that is precisely what the US cannot afford. To always go further, as its imperialist nature demands, to have more oil, more cars, more wealth, more weapons, more power, the US government cannot accept any kind of limits. Gargolism, then, is inscribed, like a curse, in the very heart of his dream. The US can define, but cannot be bound by its definitions; You can preach good feelings, but never let yourself be carried away by them without giving up your heroic dream of dizzying universal prey. In all its forms, gargolismo is the wrench - the Swiss army knife - that uninterruptedly adjusts, with stitches of iron and blood, the nuts of this funny pink fantasy of good, simple, white children lying in the air with a starry flag. and a stuffed dollar in his arms. Gargolismo of permanent hunger and war without truce, but gargolismo also of the shot in the neck, the tick bomb and the definitive kidnapping at the bottom of the sea. While half of the dream makes declarations, the other half, beyond the structural violence and the routine devastating calculation of its multinationals, must also descend, according to context and resistance, to traditional gargolism and deploy an army of criminals all over the world. , politicians and psychopaths (the three categories that, according to the manual of the School of the Americas, nurture the ranks of gargolismo), guard screwdrivers who ensure on the ground the unhindered rotation of the dreaming American terror machine. Capitalism is at the same time a structure and a gang, a production regime and a gang of outlaws; it needs a certain relationship between capital and labor but also, like its very condition of reproduction, a permanent reserve of sons of bitches; And the thought of all these thousands of gunmen, snipers, dynamiters, torturers and assassins, moving without interruption through our airports, our stations and our cafes, elegant and outgoing, with the family photo in their portfolio, about to be murdering a trade unionist, shooting a priest or blowing up a hotel. Few areas of the planet have experienced this organic, almost venereal relationship between "sons of bitches" and "American dream" more tragically than Latin America. In recent decades, the success of this collaboration has been measured (Guatemala, Nicaragua, Chile, Haiti, El Salvador, Argentina, Cuba itself) in a few hundred thousand deaths.
(Of this relationship between "American dream" and "sons of bitches", between capitalism as "structure" and capitalism as "gang", the repentant General Smedley Butler gives good proof in a quote from 1938, very enlightening for those who They continue to believe that the bad guy is always the last US government: "The military gang does not ignore a single of the tricks of organized crime. It has" scouts ", in charge of indicating who the enemy is; with" strongmen "who destroy the enemy, with "brains" making the preparations, and with a "big boss", supernationalist capitalism. Perhaps it is strange that someone like me, who am in the military, uses these comparisons. I do it for the sake of truthfulness. I spent thirty and three years and four months on active duty, I belonged to one of the military forces known for their agility, the Marine Corps. I served with very different ranks, from second lieutenant to brigadier general. n this period, I spent most of my time serving as a strongman in the service of big business, Wall Street, and bankers. In other words, I was a con man, a criminal in the pay of capitalism. At that time he suspected he was part of an organized crime network. Today I am sure of it. In 1903, I helped “prepare” Honduras for the US fruit processing companies. In 1914, I helped guarantee US oil interests in Mexico, particularly in Tampico. I helped make Haiti and Cuba decent places where the guys from the National City Bank could raise good rents. I collaborated in the looting of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. The history of scams is long. From 1909 to 1912 I helped clean up Nicaragua for the sake of the Brown brothers' international banking. In 1916, I paved the way for the US sugar companies in the Dominican Republic. In China, I removed the obstacles that could hinder the operation of Standard Oil. In those days I was running a prosperous business, as thugs would say. Looking back, I get the impression that he could have given Al Capone a few tips. He limited himself to running a network of organized crime in three districts. I acted on three continents ”).
One half of the "American dream" defines the horrors of the other half as both halves look dreamily elsewhere - and wherever they look there is an explosion. This gaze takes out and annihilates the gargolistas that she herself produces and the tunnels of her bombs indicate the place where there was an obstacle or a resistance, to which this violence that destroys them also accommodates them in the definition. This is the war against gargolism in the United States: the pereat with which it murders those who hinder it and the fiat with which it turns the dead into murderers, and that is why evil seems as numerous and as endless as its crimes. But the evidence is the opposite. If we discount the gargolist actions for which the United States is directly responsible and those committed by hitmen under its orders or under its tutelage and those of groups financed, trained or tolerated by its government and those of those others that were created or exploited by its secret services and also those of other States (such as the Israeli one) that operate with their complicity or their silence, we would discover with perplexity that the world is a relatively calm place, with its tsunamis and its domestic violence, its local massacres and its savage wars, but with a barely residual gargolism and almost always reactive.
The proof that it is evidence is how little we believe in it, at least in the West. Why? Why - I mean - do we keep seeing, not less or just a piece, but exactly the opposite of what happens? Why do we fanatically take sides against reality? Evidence is not fought with denials; it is only countered by fabricating inverted evidence. Reality cannot be denied but it can be substituted. This is done, above all, by three procedures to which three forms of individual consent correspond.
The first is the blaming and / or deontologization of the limits; that is to say, of the resistances. Let's say it's not about denying US crimes but about turning them into exploits. Let's say, at the same time, that it is not about affirming the existence of God but about denying the existence of those who deny his existence. To obtain this double effect on Western public opinion, it is enough to have a lot of power, many weapons, a lot of wealth, many means in general, which justify all ends by themselves. The more brutal an aggression is, the more justified it is and the more dirty the victim. The aggression itself, provided it is done with a missile and not with a knife, blames and discredits the victim. The iniquitous and destructive US blockade against Cuba, for example, is doubly profitable for US imperialism: while it actually undermines the Cuban economy, it turns its denunciation into an act of propaganda (and the blockade itself, therefore, into a Cuban deception demonstrating the evil of its policy). The blockade, which justifies itself by its own disproportion, confirms that Cuba is a "dictatorship" and hides its devastating effects on the essential culpability of the government that names it out loud and therefore justifies all the measures taken against it. . Along the same path, those who defend themselves from US aggression spontaneously transform the aggression into an always original defense and those attacked into criminals, so that - all equally - Che, Hezbollah, the Bolivarians of Venezuela, José Bové, the Iraqi resistance and ANSWER pacifists turn into sinister gargolists who would justify the initial re-action of the US (and even Marcuse, according to the manual of the School of the Americas, or Chomsky himself, watched by the FBI). As for those who do not defend themselves, the US aggressions do not exist because their victims are nothing: the brutality of the bombings in Yugoslavia, Panama, Afghanistan or Iraq does not add to the terror account because their victims do not they even gather enough existence to be bad.
The second procedure - the second consent - has to do with the fact that power has the power to make us hear and to prevent us from seeing. It has the power to make your statements credible and your actions incredible. Of the powerful, in effect, we listen to what they say, but we do not see - or accept - what they do; of the weak, the victims, the dispossessed, on the contrary and for the same reason, we never hear their statements, because they have no voice, but we record their actions, because they continue to have a body. Power, which needs no justification (as Hannah Arendt reminded us), is credible; weakness, which has to be continually justifying itself, that's why no one believes it. All of this would be impossible, of course, without what Pascual Serrano has justly described as omertá to refer to the pact of silence of the media, media in its most material, most instrumental sense, authentic supports of massive power capable of imposing -of inflict- the legitimacy of their silences and their news.
But the third procedure - the third consent - perhaps integrates the other two and is less innocent, less passive, a bit obscene: it has to do, in effect, with the individual interest in believing in the substituted reality. Just a month ago, the German historian Götz Aly sparked some controversy and achieved remarkable success with a highly scholarly, well-documented book, in which he refutes the routine image of a sleeping German people, ignorant of the monstrous crimes of the Nazis, or ideologically captivated by the racist proclamations of their leaders. It shows, on the contrary, the complicity of his compatriots, who would have benefited economically from slave labor, from the wealth looted in the conquered countries and even from small aesthetic advantages (such as furniture from bombed French or Dutch houses and distributed among German soldiers and civilians). Götz Aly's conclusion is that citizen adherence to this system of "social redistribution", typical of a modern welfare state, if it did not provoke, it did accelerate at least the imperialist dynamics of the Nazi regime and the Holocaust of the camps itself. concentration. Well, I would dare to say that the still majority silence of the European and American populations before the criminal gargolismo of the USA is explained by very similar reasons; that their refusal to acknowledge the evidence, their faith in the statements of politicians and the hoaxes of the newspapers, their adherence to the "war against gargolism" and their tolerance towards death squads, the blowing up of airplanes, the bombing of civilians, the kidnapping and torture of citizens around the world, the totalitarian gulags denounced by AI, the extrajudicial executions and the emergency laws are due less to ignorance or manipulation than to the material advantages it brings to them. As the Bushist ideologue Robert Kagan well reminds Europeans, it is the anti-gargolist campaign of the United States, and its violation of the international rules established after the Second World War, which allows EU citizens to continue to enjoy social privileges. and otherwise unsustainable politicians. Collaborative newspapers perceive this very well, but the electoral majorities of Europe and the United States also know it. It will be necessary to remind them that these privileges, in addition to being immoral, are increasingly insecure and that the advantages of the Germans under Nazism were ultimately the suicide of Germany.
A few days ago, an emergency international summit against Gargolism (and the sinister Cerrorism and the atrocious Merrorism) was held in Havana. Detractors of Cuba will undoubtedly despise it as an act of propaganda. But beyond the indispensable solidarity with those victims to whom the United States raises its voice at the same time as life, beyond the memorial of infamies collected and presented to the derision of submissive humanity and as the spur of conscious humanity, the celebration itself The meeting in Havana shows that the terrible "American dream" of maximum destruction and maximum morality is breaking down. For the three reasons outlined above, we Europeans continue to dream between parentheses, but in Latin America and in much of the world gargolized by armed globalization (in Iraq as well and in Palestine and embryo in the entire Arab world, where definitions make people laugh and their permanent rape makes people cry) people no longer allow themselves to be catechized. From this awakening, two dangers are announced on the horizon. The first is that Hitler's "democratization" of the planet - to such an extent it pays homage to the vice of virtue by screwing it up with force - induces the definitive discredit of the idea of "democracy". The second is that the peoples thus "democratized" take democracy seriously, on the contrary, rethink and re-apply it, as Luciano Canfora suggested, outside the Europe in which it was born and which has only known betray her. The first is a danger to everyone. The second is a danger to the US and its allies. And the greater the threat of this second danger (that of a real democracy), the more the US will have to fight it, as in the two black decades of Latin America, with the direct, simple and murderous gargolismo of the sons of bitches.
* Santiago Alba Rico