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A Philosophical Note in D Major

Politics, elections and pueblo

By Jimmy Centeno
Published on LatinoLA: March 22, 2016


A Philosophical Note in D Major


I have been twisting the definition of feminism from some time. I can borrow from Bell Hook's book "Feminism Is for Everyone" to update my inquiry, yet I believe there is more. I'm thinking of all the young men and women who often are the cannon fodder in these wars. I think of Hillary and her support for several major wars with no retraction what so ever. I would say that you cannot be a feminist by sending the children of other women to fight in wars fabricated by men. This does not make any 'logical' sense in any way. If anything; such logic is reflective of an exceptionalist ideological attitude that derives from power as an end in itself.

Neither would I consider lining behind a woman solely due to gender, as the first probable president in the upcoming elections, a wise approach. I would rather save my vote for a leader who can lead with honesty and who has the ability to dialogue with others not as enemies but as opponents. Hillary Clinton's Hard Choice approach to politics is a reminder of what we can call tough love or, 'I batter you today only because I love you' kind of thing. Such means are known to have negative repercussions with myopic results. I am not implying a Mother Teresa like figure as commander in chief, with all due respect. I question this hard choice syndrome.

No! No! What is crucial in any political position is to serve the people with proximity and away from an imperial quasi liberal corset. We have two candidates that are distinctly very opposed, one relies on savvy and double talk tough rhetoric and the other departs from a humanistic approach. One (Bernie Sanders) is supported with regular citizens' contributions and minimal mainstream media, and the other, in this case, Hillary Clinton with all the corporate capital weight and elite political allies.

Toughness in a woman as I am witnessing in this election is frightening. Not because I feel threatened as a man, but because it is a compromising attitude one will have to live up, too. Hillary Clinton's imbedded belligerent approach is a reminder of a particular proverb: To live by the sword is to die by the sword. It is an assimilated attitude that has been conditioned by men. I can understand assertiveness as a way of managing. But assertiveness is very different from aggression. Her toughness comes with an aggressive inclination for war and no regard to third world civilians, mothers, fathers or children. Let's be reminded that the greatest victims of all social conflicts are women and children.

A consequence of an imperialistic patriarchal gaze is Hillary's approval as secretary of state the violent removal of democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya of Honduras in 2009 and its repercussion to this very day with the assassination of Indigenous Honduran activist Berta Ca`seras on March 3, 2016. (1) It is the constant harassment and bullying of poor nations here in the western hemisphere and elsewhere that is telling. The constant battle with the cradle of civilization (Middle East) makes one think of a complex at hand outside economics and geopolitics. It is the concentration of power in a few hands that leads to capricious politics who believe force vs. consensus is the golden rule to stability. It is democracy for us and palo (stick) for everyone else.

Hearing Clinton speak of others as dictatorial, totalitarian, violent, and careless, calculating, undemocratic, I cannot help to think that she is describing herself. Some have argued that she has the most experience in international affairs including progressives, over Bernie Sanders, and that is a plus. Maybe so, but such experience is tightly knitted with the exasperation of conflicts, arming neighbors against neighbors, brokering mega billion dollar deals on behalf of the U.S military industrial complex.(2)

Wow, that definitely is a very weathered foreign affairs politician. It seems that we cannot go beyond what is commonly referred to as the lesser of both evils and pragmatic politics. Both approaches are tautological quagmires in contemporary political, social and cultural narratives. Let's not forget the perpetual warring with nations of color.

There is a deep concern by some experts, academics and analyst of particular candidates being unpredictable. This is worrisome given that the most predictable candidates and the most weathered are very predictable in using direct and indirect violence against unaligned governments and leaders in search of alternative ways to neoliberal economics around the world. The global south continues to be the source of much wealth for Corporative America.

Mexican philosopher Enrique Dussel describes Adams Smith's belief that individual interest has a social benefit for the good of all society, as "being a personal vice in capitalism sold as a collective virtue."(3) Not far from the truth U.S capital penetration yields high exponential surplus and next to nothing for the global south local majorities.

Hillary Clinton's support by ex-state secretary, Madeline Albrights is enough to freeze one's heart given Albright's response in a 1996 interview by correspondent Leslie Stahl in 60 minutes on the death of 500,000 Iraqi Children due to U.S economic sanctions on Iraq. Her reply was, "We think the price was worth it,"(4) That, ladies and gentlemen, can turn one into a zombie in this world. Hillary's flattering response to source Henry Kissinger (who has an arrest warrant looping over his conscious) as someone who supports her and likes her is telling. A man responsible for millions of deaths in Asia, the overthrow of democratically elected President Salvador Allende from Chile in 1973 is no minor historical event. What came after the forceful removal of Allende were decades of disappearances, torture, the detour of progressive change and violence all so that U.S corporations could regain control of Chile's resources.(5)

Ah! Let's not forget that if you don't vote Hillary, Madeline Albright has already consulted with the gatekeeper of hell in reserving a special place for all you women who don't support Hillary. Mujeres don't worry, Albright has you covered.

To conclude, I don't expect an assigned character to womanhood such as motherly, sweet, and soft. I believe that utopias consist of small its and bits of actions day by day, inch by inch that help bring dignity and justice. To dreams is great why not. Much has been said of Bernie the dreamer and not a realist like Hillary. This is confusing for what it entails; that dreaming has ownership and that dreaming is reserved for the exclusive and top 1%.

Had it not been for dreamers up against odds many things we take for granted today would not have been possible for us and for future generations who are making their way to this world. Again if dreams and utopias from below are uncomfortable it is for the ruling class and should not be for us. A victory for Hillary as president will be due not to merits but to the strategy of outspending, her media capital, marketing and the backing by Wall Street and bankers.

This election is demonstrative of catch phrases, of sugar coated punch lines, of deceiving twisted double talk, which can be tough and wild against our so called enemies. The most militaristic and purveyor of arms nation in the world, has yet to be put in check by its own citizens and avoid being labeled as accomplices to the most warring nation in human history. (6) It has yet to recover the public purse and reinvest in education, eco-environmental care programs, support for single mothers, universal health, affordable housing, safe drinking water, social community programs, arts and infrastructure upgrading.

The U.S self-appointed unilateral global policing robs everyone the opportunity to experience peace not just without violence but with the presence of justice. It can be done only and when real structural change begins to take shape, when direct political participation replaces an existing defunct indirect representation between the people and their respective political representatives.

It can come about when local grassroots social advocates take into consideration people beyond our borders lives matter too, when trillions of dollars can change direction and go beyond the manufacturing of conflicts and into our barrios and neighborhoods, when investment does not equal exploitation, when maximizing profit is no longer an end itself up and beyond human beings and when nature is no longer seen empty and void of life.

Democracy is work; it takes labor and united hands to push forward challenging new ways of being outside the ruling universalized economic global model known as capitalism.

Sincerely,
jimmy centeno
Los Angeles, CA
March 17,2016

P.S: D is for vitamin "D"

1. Why Was Berta Ca`seras Assassinated?: www.commondreams.org; March 16, 2016.

2. Hillary is the Candidate of the War Machine: Jeffrey Sacks, Huffington Post, February 5,2016.

3. Legislation, Legitimation and New Rights: Enrique Dussel, CSULA (Los Angeles, CA) Lecture Series Ricardo Gomez's Human Rights and Poverty Fund, February 16,2016.

4. Madeline Albright on Morality and War: 'Drones Very Effective,' www.commondreams.org February 19,2013.

5. Kissinger dio luz verde a la represión de la junta golpista de los militares: www.jornada.unam.mx March 19,2016.

6. Three Good Reasons to Liquidate Our Empire: Chalmers Johnson, July 31, 2009.

About Jimmy Centeno:
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