THE CAPITALIST MYSTIQUE, by Dr. Steven Nur Ahmed

Greedy Capitalist Pig

Historically, African, Latino, Asian, and Native Americans have suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous economic fortune in the United States. Africans were enslaved; Latinos’ were victims of larceny in violation of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution and were economically exploited under the Brocero program of 1942; Asians’ land and property was taken in direct violation of the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution; and criminal larceny was committed against all Native American tribes . We could go on but just these few facts reveal something very important.

Let’s face an undeniable fact about the theory of capitalism. Capitalism is not natural law; it is a theory. A rational theory differs radically from a ‘law of nature’. A rational theory is imperfectly applied to ever changing circumstances whereas natural law is constant.

The law of gravity, for example, is a claim that asserts a direct relation between the sum of masses and an indirect relation to their distance from one another squared. Gravity has been proven to exist naturally by experimentation.  It holds true everywhere in the known universe according to astrophysicists. The gravitational relation between masses is not guided by an ‘invisible hand’ in the universe not even the hand of God.

Capitalism on the other hand is not natural, it is artificial.  Capitalism is a rational belief system; it is guided by human hands.

The theory of capitalism is the brain child of Adam Smith.  Adam Smith was not a scientist; Adam Smith was an ethical and economic philosopher.  If you have gone to college then you know that your first course on economics taught you some fundamental assumptions about the market place as it is assumed to work in an open market. First there is supply and demand. 

Understand that there is no ‘natural relation’ between the supply and demand of goods and services. That is because according to Adam Smith, both supply and demand are mediated by an ‘invisible hand’ in the market place. Supply can be anything natural or artificial and demand may or may not exist from moment to moment or even from season to season because it depends on human choice. So, the relation between supply and demand is a game of chance; it is not universally constant as gravity is.  Your best example is the depression of the 1930s.

Furthermore, you were taught something about the value assigned to goods and services that are distributed to you through the market place.  You were taught some other correlations. You were told that as demand for goods and services increase there is an increase in their ‘price’ or value, but that if the supply of goods and services is greater than demand for them then prices for goods and services will decrease. Do you remember all of those red, green, and black curves in the book!

Here is something you probably came to understand while taking notes in that class. One, the course was taught like it was physics when it was presented to you. That is the ‘mystique’ of the system as presented to you.

And two, if there is an ‘invisible hand’ manipulating the supply of goods and services in the market place by reducing production of goods and rolling back services or increasing them, then prices can be manipulated to go up or down at will. Therefore, capitalism is not natural law; Capitalism is an art.

If capitalism is an art then it can be done away with and replaced by another kind of economy or it is a system which can be adjusted depending upon human needs under any given circumstance at any time. What that means is that our priorities must be rearranged. 

Which is more important?  Do human beings collectively and individually have greater value than the market place or do the products in the market place have greater value than the human beings who made them? I think you know the answer to those questions. 

History suggests that in each generation some people are recruited and socialized to think illogically about the value of all human life. They arrive at the conclusion that they are inherently better than other people and indeed the total environment.  We have evidence to prove that. 

America was founded upon capitalism. Any serious student of the United States Constitution knows that.

We Americans know that during the era of slavery, indentured servitude, and later under ‘Jim Crow’ and ‘share cropping’ in the southern states, the exploitation of others’ labor was qualified as more important than human rights.

So we know that pure capitalism can place the market place above entire ethnic and gender classifications of human beings as a more important priority. That very qualification which capitalism implies is that without capitalism a quality life on earth would not be possible.  That is a lie and here is why it is a lie.   

It we follow the logic of that propaganda then what kind of justice would we be compelled to validate?  If justice has to do with how, when, where, how much, and to whom we distribute benefits to people in society then by our sentiments and actions we are certainly not validating equal justice because in our market place the ‘invisible hand’ has caused extreme inequality of resource distribution in the United States and all over the world. Most people have barely enough to subsist on or nothing at all.

The ‘invisible hand’ is the hand of exclusion. It pushes some people away from the fruits of their labor and allows others to indulge in fruit that they do not deserve.

In fact, the invisible hand may be a metaphor for ‘power’.  If that is so, then the market place is tied to instinctually based anxieties which give rise to conscious rationalizations for discriminatory use of power by the haves against the have-nots.

Capitalism is used to justify the discriminatory use of state power.   The ‘invisible hand’ snatches from most people their time and energy used to produce benefits and gives to a minority of other people benefits they do not deserve.  

Market place exclusion by the ‘invisible hand’ is the result of intentional injustice. That kind of injustice is criminal. It is criminal because it is intentional and because it wrongs human beings and more generally it wrongs nature so that a few people can control and benefit from all of the wealth produced by the majority of people. That kind of market place is not the result of natural law.

If we do not follow the logic of that kind of propaganda then what kind of justice would a more precise of kind logical reasoning compel us to validate? 

If justice has to do with how, when, where, how much, and to whom we distribute benefits to in society then a more just society would result from the application of proportionate justice. That would be a form of justice predicated on a person’s belonging to humanity not on an artificially measured kind of worth.

Proportionate justice is a method of distributing the values of society according to what a person deserves as a result of his or her own efforts in his or her life time. We do not have such a system of proportionate justice in the United States.  We do not have a system of justice based upon merit. For example, most wealth in the United States is inherited wealth.  Twenty-seven (27%) percent of all wealth in the United States is inherited by 1% of the population or wealth is owned by corporations or some form of government. 

And here is yet another example. Most African Americans are the descendents of slaves.  Slave labor was exploited to build up the capital base of the United States. But the descendants of slaves have not been given any financial proportionate justice in the form of reparations to them for unpaid wages justly due to slaves during slavery.

As a consequence, the total average amount of wealth owned by African Americans today in the United States is about $4,000.00 dollars compared to Euro-Americans’ average of $88,000.00 dollars.  African Americans were cheated by a capitalist market place wherein they do not get proportionate justice.

It is amazing that right wing conservatives in the United States will criticize the theory of evolution but cannot tolerate criticism of the theory of capitalism. Evolution assumes that change is inevitable while the one percenters struggle to prevent change.

 http://www.spreaker.com/user/themalcolmxsociety/what-is-the-state-of-your-mind

MARTYRS ON THE SAME PATH, by Parisa Nurah Ahmed

Martin and Malcolm 2

Irony divided the lives of both Dr. King and Malcolm X. It is ironic that two men who came from such divergent back grounds would eventually meet on the battle ground of civil rights and discover that they each shared a common dream. That shared dream was one of economic self determination for Black people in the United States, the brotherhood and sisterhood of human kind, and an end to War.

Dr. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X started their journeys from places which were in social terms polar opposites.  It is common knowledge that Dr. King was born into a middle class southern family. That he was raised by both his parents. That his father was a Baptist minister following in a long line of family ministers. That he was an excellent student.  Dr. King was motivated by his peers and teachers. He went on to Morehouse College and eventually obtained a Ph.D.  But there was another side of Black America about which Dr. King had no personal knowledge. It would take years for him to get that experience.

Malcolm X on the other hand was born into a blue collar lower middle class family. It is common knowledge that Malcolm lost his father at a young age and that his mother had a nervous breakdown and that she was eventually committed to a mental hospital. After the loss of his mother, Malcolm was separated from his siblings. He never received the educational nor vocational training he needed. More importantly, he was told by his white teachers that he should not aspire to become more than a handy man. Thus college was out of the question for him. For Malcolm, there was another side of Black America about which he had no personal knowledge. He had no knowledge of a Black middle class lifestyle.

Dr. King assumed leadership of the mainstream civil rights movement and eventually led the march on Washington D.C. Malcolm by force of will grew the nation of Islam to global recognition as another voice crying out in the wilderness of America for Freedom, Justice, and Equality. But they were then separated by a chasm of ideological differences.

Their ideologies were not just different, they were radically different; one was for racial integration and one was for racial separation.  By the power of soul alone, they both trekked thousands of miles back and forth across the United States calling all African Americans to a new level of consciousness as they each defined it. But something imperceptible was happening to both of them in the 1950s and early 1960s. As they preached and called all people to a higher consciousness, the law of reciprocity acted on them. As they increased the consciousness of others their consciousness was increased tenfold. They were both forced by that law to ever higher levels of consciousness. Neither one could conscientiously deny what their increased clarity of mind was revealing to them. To ignore or deny what they could see through their enlightened conscience would have caused them to become morally corrupted.

Though Malcolm X understood the necessity of economic self determination for Black people, it took him years to become conscious of the absurdity of a race based nation. And when he did see that absurdity, he saw that he could not argue for freedom and justice and at the same time advocate for those rights on a fascist platform. A platform which was exploitative of the very people it brought into its fold. Malcolm’s long journey had led him to Orthodox Islam and a new perspective on human relations.

Dr. King had a universal consciousness of human relations from the beginning of his ministry. But he was compelled by his elevated consciousness to see the emptiness of the 1965 voting rights act without a complimentary policy for economic self determination for Black people. He also saw that the congressional leadership he had appealed to had sold its soul to the military industrial complex.

The clarity of his elevated consciousness made him see that the wealth of the United States was being given over to war industries. He understood that an American policy to eliminate poverty and a policy of war were mutually exclusive social realities. He made the only logical conclusions possible. There would be either war and poverty or world peace and a great society or no world at all. So, the stage was set for the most unlikely meeting of the minds in the twentieth century between Dr. King and Malcolm X.

For a few moments they met and a picture was taken. But there are many implications behind that picture because it was not just a photo opportunity for them. They had proven over the long journeys they had both taken that all men and women of sincerity meet on the road to freedom.

Both Dr. King and Malcolm X were assassinated. They both paid tragically for their growth to higher levels of consciousness. Both were abandoned and harassed by those whom they thought stood with them. Both were harassed by the F.B.I. Both were generally ignored by the mass of Black American clergy. But both were courageous and were willing to face death so that others might live a better life. They died in two different places at two different times but the irony is they died together as martyrs on the same path.

The existence of that picture taken in Washington D.C. is a message to Black Americans. Though we will never share the same religious or philosophical beliefs we must work together to further our common social interests and the Bill of Rights which guarantee them.

http://www.spreaker.com/user/themalcolmxsociety/what-is-seen-and-what-is-unseen

 

 

 

 

THE NEW FRANCE, by Dr. Steven Nur Ahmed

maroon-hanging

The demographic changes occurring in Europe are not the result of an invasion by Muslims and other peoples of the old colonies of Europe. Those demographic changes are the result of an invitation extended to people of the old European colonies to fill the population vacuum of a dying Europe.

When a nation’s birth rate falls below 2.1 babies born per year for women between the ages of 15 and 45 that nation is in decline and will eventually cease to have the power to resist its collapse. Such a collapse is analogous to the breakdown of the body’s immune system. That is what is happening in France throughout Europe and in the United States.

‘Necessity is the mother of invention.’ Pragmatists understand that principle and work within its context. What nations like France are forced to do is to import people from its old colonial possessions in Africa and the Caribbean to fill the vacuum caused by its declining fertility rate.

The declining fertility rate is occurring because French women like most women in the Western World have opted to have careers, to not marry, and to not have babies or if so to have one baby out of wedlock.  Thus, with an aging population and with too few young people in the active population to support its aged and child populations France is pinned in a corner. French leaders and demographers know something which they are not communicating to the French people.

France must change if it is to have a viable economy. Demographers know that it is Muslim and other ethnic minority women who are keeping the French fertility rate from complete collapse. Those women are giving to France a demographic transfusion so that France will not die. Thus, France has pulled its last colonial card. That card is to exploit the fertility of its minority populations so that France can live.

The fact is French culture has changed; France is France only in name.  It like most Western Nations today  is still enraptured by its past; it is driving along the freeway of history looking through a small rear view mirror like an aging movie star and fails to look forward to see through the wide front window at a picture of the new France down the road.

The fact that a large percentage of those imported people are Muslims is a testimony to what many historians have observed to have happened over and over again throughout history. Ancient Rome is the classic example. Greed and war drove Ancient Rome to death. And what eventually filled the vacuum created by the collapse of Rome was Islam.

The old colonies of the French Empire where purposely economically repressed and kept backward as they are today kept in national debt by the world banking establishment. All those tactics were done so that the old France could more easily exploit them economically. For the French then their motto was ‘party over here!’.

‘Now the chickens have come home to roost.’ The French people must now invite an invasion of their nation for the sake of its national survival and there is no way out unless it chooses to scale down its economy and become a European backwater nation.  But the ruling elite of France will not choose that option; France wants to continue in the global economic competition for supremacy. France has its pride, but pride goeth before a fall.  For that reason France will be humbled; France will accept a new culture as its national identity.

http://www.spreaker.com/user/themalcolmxsociety/judge-not-by-appearances

SELMA, AMERICA ON TRIAL, by Irfan Nur Ahmed

selma-movie

Handwritten in the back cover of my journal entitled “A Stolen Life” I have Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. In transcribing it, I did not pity my ancestry, who could not read or write during slavery, nor was I celebrating the triumphs of the Selma to Montgomery Marches of 1965. I was twenty-something and eager to affect change in how we treated abuse victims. I wanted to get a feel for what Dr. King himself must have been struggling with as he wrote his speech.

One thing director Ava DuVernay makes clear in her film Selma is the overwhelming faith Dr. King had in his country, in his community and in God. He had in had a youthful exuberance for securing the constitutional right of African Americans to vote in Selma, Alabama. He wrote his speeches not because he felt sorry for his people or because he wanted to be a superhero, but rather because he wanted to be with them under the sun. He wanted to understand his own and his brethren’s civil condition and from there make a social difference.

According to history, one of Dr. Martin Luther King’s resolves for change included leading thousands of Americans on a series of three marches across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965. The first march met with violent resistance from state troopers. The troopers yielded during the second march, but Dr. King turned away. He and those thousands prayed that not only they but their president, Congress, and the favor of future generations would also pass by those state troopers. Their prayers were answered in due process and the third march commenced. With the people of the United States as his witnesses, Dr. King led several more thousand people across the same bridge with the protection of the federal government. DuVernay makes this a turning point in the fortunes of the efforts of Dr. King and the SCLC clear in Selma for today’s youths. It is a strong point by which a man of faith, friendship and family leads a young nation of racially segregated cultures to a secured right to vote for everyone, and to their common civil rights being enacted into law, again.

History was accurately depicted in Selma through DuVeray’s use of real footage. Her efforts made identifiable any differences between actual events and cinematic ones for young adults. But she also affectionately treated the likely emotional reality of the footage cinematically. It is one thing for a student who believes in protest these days to imagine what it must have been like to be in the presence of Dr. Martin Luther King.  It is another to experience an artistic vision of being on Dr. King’s team of youthful activists.

For a youngster to be able to sink into the shoes of esteemed persons in any film, some dramatic accommodations must be considered. DuVernay makes such accommodations through her ironic but consistent and formally subtle blend of lighting, performances and video recording in this picture. Her use of hard and soft shadows, organic and inorganic personifications as well as camera angles that work on both sides of the line paint a multi-dimensional picture that includes documented history, indescribable human fear and relentless determination as they collectively tear down contemporary walls that define what is black and what is white in the south in the 1960’s.

The screenplay and the editing in Selma are less effective in conveying what must have been the heat of those days than DuVernay’s refined vision. One-liners occasionally hurt the quality of the piece as a whole. And, more importantly, the script blatantly exhibits Dr. King’s Selma speeches. While catering to the audience who wants to feel what it was like to sit through those speeches and move with them, this artistically exposes the temper lead actor David Oyelowo puts into his oral performance of Dr. King  which in turn results in a less original depiction of, however similar to, Dr. Martin Luther King’s famously articulate demeanor. Cutting in a few more voice-overs for the speeches might have improved this condition. What felt like a slow story at times could have been edited to the benefit of the film’s pace. That said, however, a number of modern-day slow-motion editing techniques make this film quite a positively edgy assembly of images and no doubt increasing the pace of the speeches would have clashed with that.

Casting and actor performance make Selma a Dr. Martin Luther King movie unlike its predecessors. It connects it to youthful passion for protest and revolution and also to the warm sense of camaraderie among activists. The film’s incorporation of modern-day techniques not only in editing but also in formulating makes it a Hollywood fresh.

Historically relevant and artistically compelling, I give Ava DuVernay’s Selma an Earth Colony review of six-and-a-half stars out of seven.     

 http://www.spreaker.com/user/themalcolmxsociety/judge-not-by-appearances