WHY I WON’T VOTE, by Dr. W.E.B. Dubois, The Nation, 20 October 1956

Dubois 2

On October 20, 1956, W. E. B. Du Bois delivers this eloquent indictment of US politics while explaining to Nation readers why he won’t vote in the upcoming Presidential election. Du Bois condemns both Democrats and Republicans for their indifferent positions on the influence of corporate wealth, racial inequality, arms proliferation and unaffordable health care.

Since I was twenty-one in 1889, I have in theory followed the voting plan strongly advocated by Sidney Lens in The Nation of August 4, i.e., voting for a third party even when its chances were hopeless, if the main parties were unsatisfactory; or, in absence of a third choice, voting for the lesser of two evils. My action, however, had to be limited by the candidates’ attitude toward Negroes. Of my adult life, I have spent twenty-three years living and teaching in the South, where my voting choice was not asked. I was disfranchised by law or administration. In the North I lived in all thirty-two years, covering eight Presidential elections. In 1912 I wanted to support Theodore Roosevelt, but his Bull Moose convention dodged the Negro problem and I tried to help elect Wilson as a liberal Southerner. Under Wilson came the worst attempt at Jim Crow legislation and discrimination in civil service that we had experienced since the Civil War. In 1916 I took Hughes as the lesser of two evils. He promised Negroes nothing and kept his word. In 1920, I supported Harding because of his promise to liberate Haiti. In 1924, I voted for La Follette, although I knew he could not be elected. In 1928, Negroes faced absolute dilemma. Neither Hoover nor Smith wanted the Negro vote and both publicly insulted us. I voted for Norman Thomas and the Socialists, although the Socialists had attempted to Jim Crow Negro members in the South. In 1932 I voted for Franklin Roosevelt, since Hoover was unthinkable and Roosevelt’s attitude toward workers most realistic. I was again in the South from 1934 until 1944. Technically I could vote, but the election in which I could vote was a farce. The real election was the White Primary.

Retired “for age” in 1944, I returned to the North and found a party to my liking. In 1948, I voted the Progressive ticket for Henry Wallace and in 1952 for Vincent Hallinan.

In 1956, I shall not go to the polls. I have not registered. I believe that democracy has so far disappeared in the United States that no “two evils” exist. There is but one evil party with two names, and it will be elected despite all I can do or say. There is no third party. On the Presidential ballot in a few states (seventeen in 1952), a “Socialist” Party will appear. Few will hear its appeal because it will have almost no opportunity to take part in the campaign and explain its platform. If a voter organizes or advocates a real third-party movement, he may be accused of seeking to overthrow this government by “force and violence.” Anything he advocates by way of significant reform will be called “Communist” and will of necessity be Communist in the sense that it must advocate such things as government ownership of the means of production; government in business; the limitation of private profit; social medicine, government housing and federal aid to education; the total abolition of race bias; and the welfare state. These things are on every Communist program; these things are the aim of socialism. Any American who advocates them today, no matter how sincerely, stands in danger of losing his job, surrendering his social status and perhaps landing in jail. The witnesses against him may be liars or insane or criminals. These witnesses need give no proof for their charges and may not even be known or appear in person. They may be in the pay of the United States Government. A.D.A.’s and “Liberals” are not third parties; they seek to act as tails to kites. But since the kites are self-propelled and radar-controlled, tails are quite superfluous and rather silly.

The present Administration is carrying on the greatest preparation for war in the history of mankind. Stevenson promises to maintain or increase this effort. The weight of our taxation is unbearable and rests mainly and deliberately on the poor. This Administration is dominated and directed by wealth and for the accumulation of wealth. It runs smoothly like a well-organized industry and should do so because industry runs it for the benefit of industry. Corporate wealth profits as never before in history. We turn over the national resources to private profit and have few funds left for education, health or housing. Our crime, especially juvenile crime, is increasing. Its increase is perfectly logical; for a generation we have been teaching our youth to kill, destroy, steal and rape in war; what can we expect in peace? We let men take wealth which is not theirs; if the seizure is “legal” we call it high profits and the profiteers help decide what is legal. If the theft is “illegal” the thief can fight it out in court, with excellent chances to win if he receives the accolade of the right newspapers. Gambling in home, church and on the stock market is increasing and all prices are rising. It costs three times his salary to elect a Senator and many millions to elect a President. This money comes from the very corporations which today are the government. This in a real democracy would be enough to turn the party responsible out of power. Yet this we cannot do.

The “other” party has surrendered all party differences in foreign affairs, and foreign affairs are our most important affairs today and take most of our taxes. Even in domestic affairs how does Stevenson differ from Eisenhower? He uses better English than Dulles, thank God! He has a sly humor, where Eisenhower has none. Beyond this Stevenson stands on the race question in the South not far from where his godfather Adlai stood sixty-three years ago, which reconciles him to the South. He has no clear policy on war or preparation for war; on water and flood control; on reduction of taxation; on the welfare state. He wavers on civil rights and his party blocked civil rights in the Senate until Douglas of Illinois admitted that the Democratic Senate would and could stop even the right of Senators to vote. Douglas had a right to complain. Three million voters sent him to the Senate to speak for them. His voice was drowned and his vote nullified by Eastland, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who was elected by 151,000 voters. This is the democracy in the United States which we peddle abroad.

Negroes hope to muster 400,000 votes in 1956. Where will they cast them? What have the Republicans done to enforce the education decision of the Supreme Court? What they advertised as fair employment was exactly nothing, and Nixon was just the man to explain it. What has the Administration done to rescue Negro workers, the most impoverished group in the nation, half of whom receive less than half the median wage of the nation, while the nation sends billions abroad to protect oil investments and help employ slave labor in the Union of South Africa and the Rhodesias? Very well, and will the party of Talmadge, Eastland and Ellender do better than the Republicans if the Negroes return them to office?

I have no advice for others in this election. Are you voting Democratic? Well and good; all I ask is why? Are you voting for Eisenhower and his smooth team of bright ghost writers? Again, why? Will your helpless vote either way support or restore democracy to America?

Is the refusal to vote in this phony election a counsel of despair? No, it is dogged hope. It is hope that if twenty-five million voters refrain from voting in 1956 because of their own accord and not because of a sly wink from Khrushchev, this might make the American people ask how much longer this dumb farce can proceed without even a whimper of protest. Yet if we protest, off the nation goes to Russia and China. Fifty-five American ministers and philanthropists are asking the Soviet Union “to face manfully the doubts and promptings of their conscience.” Can not these do-gooders face their own consciences? Can they not see that American culture is rotting away: our honesty, our human sympathy; our literature, save what we import from abroad? Our only “review” of literature has wisely dropped “literature” from its name. Our manners are gone and the one thing we want is to be rich–to show off. Success is measured by income. University education is for income, not culture, and is partially supported by private industry. We are not training poets or musicians, but atomic engineers. Business is built on successful lying called advertising. We want money in vast amount, no matter how we get it. So we have it, and what then?

Is the answer the election of 1956? We can make a sick man President and set him to a job which would strain a man in robust health. So he dies, and what do we get to lead us? With Stevenson and Nixon, with Eisenhower and Eastland, we remain in the same mess. I will be no party to it and that will make little difference. You will take large part and bravely march to the polls, and that also will make no difference. Stop running Russia and giving Chinese advice when we cannot rule ourselves decently. Stop yelling about a democracy we do not have. Democracy is dead in the United States. Yet there is still nothing to replace real democracy. Drop the chains, then, that bind our brains. Drive the money-changers from the seats of the Cabinet and the halls of Congress. Call back some faint spirit of Jefferson and Lincoln, and when again we can hold a fair election on real issues, let’s vote, and not till then. Is this impossible? Then democracy in America is impossible.

 

THE ARAB WORLD IS A GHETTO, by Dr. Steven Nur Ahmed

rebel eating heart

The picture above is a Arab eating the heart of another Arab in Syria. Arab people, both Muslim and non-Muslim, are living ghetto lives.  From Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Bahrain, Jordan, to Palestine it is the same life condition for Arab people.  That kind of life is exactly what the Plutocrats of the West have wanted for them.  It is not my intention to denigrate the Arab world.  I have been to the Arab world many times and I have always enjoyed Arab people and their unique cultures.  My statements are based upon historical, economic, and social facts.

And it may very well be that time has run out for Arab people to save themselves because the context of human life on our planet is changing. For global climate change is now ushering in before Arab peoples a whole new set of problems for which they are not in the least equipped to deal with and as a consequence will cost Arab nations millions of lives in the 21st century.

There are both internal and external causes for the Arab tragedy.  Some of the internal facts are political in nature and some are cultural in nature.  Since the eradication of direct colonial rule, Arab nation states have not grappled successfully with the complexity of neo-colonial control of their natural resources and governments.  Nor have Arab governments been successful at meeting the cultural challenges posed by the West.  The Arab world looks Arab but it is increasingly not Arab.

In fact, in hindsight, it would have been economically and culturally better for Arabs to have remained a part of the Ottoman Empire until they were absolutely unable to do so.  But such a strategy in 1914 would have required Arab leaders to do a rigorous cost benefit analysis of the long term consequences of siding with Great Britain against the Ottomans particularly as it relates to their natural resources.

Arabs’ failure to unite under Islam prior to colonialism and then later in the 20th century under nationalist secular principles evidences the very poor decision making skills of Arab academics and their egomaniacal leaders. Thus Arab leaders, time and again, have not been good at rational decision making at the global level and so now they lay prostrate before the West. All of their wealth can be taken from them at the snap of a plutocrat’s finger sitting somewhere in a New York bar.

Besides western colonial control of Arab territories after the first and second world wars, there was also one other external reason for the ghetto life of Arab people today, particularly the Palestinian people.  That was the colonization of Palestine by European Jews beginning in 1920s and later the establishment and recognition of the State of Israel in 1948 by President Harry S. Truman.

Since then the Palestinian people have been systematically excluded from their own land very much as Native Americans were excluded from their land and put on reservations under colonial policies of the United States.  In both instances rationalizations were necessary to justify the claims made by colonial predators that they deserved what they by acts of larceny took from others.

But Arab leaders then could not see nor exercise the foresight necessary to preempt the colonization of their land by a people who simply said that the land belonged to them as stated by their own writings in their Torah which claimed to be the words of God.

Theodor_Herzl

However, the real theory upon which the state of Israel is based stemmed from a secular political theory proposed by the person above, Theodor Herzl, in 1896.  Herzl was born in Austria- Hungary. He spoke German. His book was entitled: ‘The Jewish State’.  The ideology defined in the book is ‘Zionism’.  Herzl’s basic premise was that: “Universal brotherhood is not even a beautiful dream. Antagonism is essential to man’s greatest efforts.”   He argued that European Jews “…must take possession of the new Jewish country by means of every expedient.” He further states that Zionists: “…should form there a portion of a rampart of Europe against Asia, an outpost of civilization as opposed to barbarism.” These ideas and others expressed by Herzl define him as a white supremacist.

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The world has stood by and watched as Palestinians have lost most of their land to Israel.  As Zionists progressed in their expansion into Palestinian land they ignored United Nations resolutions which asserted the rights of Arab refugees to return to their lands and homes by forcibly preventing Palestinians from doing so. Israeli behavior toward Palestinians evidences the kind of racism at the core of Zionist Israel and their support for the apartheid government of South Africa until its fall.

President Harry Truman did not like Israel or Jews. He probably had cold war strategy in mind when he recognized Israel.  He planned to use Israel as a post to secure middle-east interests against the Soviet Union. It is highly unlikely that Truman liked Jews.  After all, Truman applied for and paid $10.00 to become a member of the Ku Klux Klan in 1924.  The Ku Klux Klan denounced Jews as much as the Nazis.  Nevertheless, Truman set in motion U.S. policy toward Israel for the next 60 years.

Israel Has Nuclear Weapons

nuclear explosion

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy put pressure on Israel to stop its nuclear program.  Israel didn’t stop.  It is probably because Kennedy reasoned as did Truman that Israel with nuclear weapons and an ally of the U.S. was a threat to the Soviet Union. So, in 1962 Kennedy ordered an inspection of Israeli nuclear facilities. The inspection was done by two European born Jewish physicists. The facilities were approved by them and the Kennedy administration.  Today, Israel has nuclear weapons and given the irrational nature of their beliefs they would use them.

No nation, not even the United Nations, will question the possession of nuclear weapons by Israel let alone call for multilateral nuclear reactor shutdowns or disarmament.  Instead, Israel claims that Iran’s possession of nuclear facilities is a threat to the region. The fact is that Iran has not preemptively bombed nor invaded any other nation in the middle-east whereas Israel has preemptively bombed Iraq, Syria, a U.S. naval vessel, as well as having invaded Lebanon. Israel is the most militarily aggressive nation in the Middle East. In fact, if you count assassinations then Israel is the most militarily aggressive nation per capita in the world.

Israel is a Welfare Queen

israel is a welfare queen

The reality is that Israel has been one of the tools used by the West in the Middle East to ghettoize the Arab world and control all natural resources.  In return Israel gets from the United States under President Bush 2007 to 2018, a $30 billion dollar military aid package. Plus the U.S.’s right to store military munitions in Israel. Without U.S. money, the Israeli economy would collapse. Israel is exactly what Theodor Herzl described it to be in his in his book ‘The Jewish State’, a whore for the Western powers.

Why?

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One reason why is that Zionists in the United States have very strong lobbies. One example is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee or AIPAC.  AIPAC is a lobby that was founded in 1951. On paper it is worth about 70 million dollars. It commands politicians from both the Republican and Democratic parties to get approved by it. Large sums of AIPAC money come from persons holding dual U.S. and Israeli citizenship. That foreign involvement represents a breach in the American democratic process and thus a breach of trust in the selection of senators, congress persons, and presidents.  For example, in 2005, a pentagon employee with access to top secret information pled guilty to passing military secrets to AIPAC employees.

AIPAC Picture

Another reason is that the United States is dependent upon foreign natural resources like oil and minerals in both Africa and the Middle East. Those resources are vital to U.S. high tech industries especially now as the U.S. competes with China for contracts with African nations.  Israel facilitates covert operations for the United States to secure African natural resources by violating international law.

And finally, Zionism is simply racism and racism is inevitably destructive to humanity.  That Zionism was intended to be racist was clearly asserted in the writings of Theodor Herzl at the turn of the 20th century.  That Israel is a Zionist state is irrefutable. Read their new loyalty oath.

Death Camp

death camp 2

Herzl had no idea in 1896 that by incorporating white supremacists’ beliefs into a cheap copy of white supremacy and calling it Zionism it would turn out to be the very ideology used by Nazis to murder Jews for being Jews during world-war II. And how does Israel logically distinguish the picture above from the picture of massacre at Sabra and Shatila in Lebanon (below) in 1982? One was caused by the Nazis and the other was caused by Israel. There has yet to be a Nuremburg trial for them.

Death Camp

Shatila and Sabra

History does repeat itself more or less.  The Jewish scholar, Moses Maimonides, in his book ‘Guide for the Perplexed’ is proof of that. He also sanctioned the genocide of African, Arab, and Turkish people because they are racially on the ‘pale of humanity’.  Herzl didn’t get it there nor did he read Martin Luther’s book ‘The Jews and Their Lies’.  The destructive evidence of racism was all around him.

I think it goes without saying what our United States government has and is doing to people in the Muslim world. President Obama is quoted as having said that he is:”…really good at killing people.” So was President Bush.

While Israel is in its destructive mode, it will be the Arab people who continue to suffer and die in their ghettos as the world stands aside and looks on. It just simply may be too late to alter their course of history.