Kosovo—A Call To Conscience

By C. Knause
25 June 1999

C. Knause is a guest contributor. The WSWS encourages readers to send comments intended for publication to comment@wsws.org

If there is anything that recent events in Kosovo can teach us, it is that the military/diplomatic construct of “Humanitarian Intervention” is something that truly demonstrates what a genius for evil that US plutocracy has; and what at present is able to help delineate it historically from all other forms of oppression on the international stage. The fact that feigned concern for the plight of displaced refugees and outrage about “ethnic cleansing” could be used as justification for a clear violation of international law and that the rest of the civilized world could be cowed by fear into peaceful acquiescence to this new outbreak of evil on the world stage should not come as a total shock. Centuries of authoritarian rule have conditioned human beings to accept without question the rights and prerogatives of their various and sundry ruling classes. The Clintonista rallying cry of the 1992 election—“its about the economy stupid”—was just the usual arrogant yuppie assertion of a basic historical truism; that being that as long as their minimum economic needs are met by the system, there is no crime that the sheep are not willing to countenance as long as it can be justified in minimalist terms that make sense and have some correspondence to the objective reality in question.

This is really only an American/NATO application of the Goebbels doctrine. Since we live in a nation of historical illiterates it would be useful, no doubt, to explain to the historically illiterate just who Joseph Goebbels was. Fortunately though the future of society is not necessarily dependent upon the actions of the most backward, stupid and illiterate elements therefore I will not digress... I am rather happily elated to see that the vast majority, or at least a strong vocal leadership cadre of Americans has been able to see through the media smokescreen to the objective reality. The fact that the privately owned, advertising-supported so-called free press plays a strategic role in mystifying the facts related to US aggression overseas is a fact of life that has begun to enter into the mainstream consciousness at last! Ask not for whom the bell tolls, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, et al.; your insatiable appetite for world power, markets, unregulated greed, and total world domination have become your own downfall. What a blessing for humanity your ultimate demise will be!!

The Book of Daniel speaks of the “Abomination of Desolation” as bringing in its wake an end to history. It defines this as “that which appears to be that which it isn't” or in other words that which exploits morality for evil purposes. It speaks of evil as setting itself up “in the high holy places” or in other words seeking the high moral ground to justify illegal, inhumane and barbaric acts of cruelty and destruction. What greater parallel could there be to our own time when legitimate human concern for stopping genocide and the barbaric cruelty of war is cynically exploited by an evil and rapacious plutocratic class to further its own ends at the expense of all that is good and decent and human. That is precisely what Kosovo represents. The fact that major world events are driven by the economic needs of a small parasitic class of economic despots is derided and scoffed at by the corporate media giants precisely because being privately owned and operated it is in their interest, both social, economic and political to do so. Such is the basis for the strategic alliance between those who should be the social truth-tellers and the military industrial complex.

There are other psychological factors that may play an even larger role in the erosion of truth-telling in this society today. The Sane Society by psychoanalyst Erich Fromm is an excellent detailed expose on this subject. The psychological deformity of modern man owing to the phenomenon of alienation is the subject of this serious psychoanalytic study of present day mass-psychology. This beautiful little book lays out the possibility for human renewal within the space of a few short generations as a result of recognizing, confronting, and dealing with the critical psycho-social factors of our era which inhibit progressive change. The concept of “anonymous authority” is explained as is the obsessive/compulsive need of the individual to fit in and not be “different” from the mass of one's fellows. It has long been one of the basic tenants of status quo propaganda that socialism is only about meeting the needs of anonymous “mass-man” when in actuality it is capitalism itself that produces the kind of alienation that fosters the kind of obsessive/compulsive need to fit in that serves “anonymous authority” by denying people the right to freedom of thought, association, and expression. It is only by understanding the kind of psychological oppression from which we suffer, as well as its other relevant forms that we can ever hope to disenthrall ourselves from the grip of evil.

Finally, I am always amused by the way the professional “punditocracy” tries to portray Marxists and/or Marxist-Leninists as godless atheists whose hatred of religion knows no bounds. This flies in the face of my own personal experience which has shown me rather quite the opposite. The Marxists I have had the honor of knowing over the years were some of the most caring and decent people whom I have ever had the pleasure of knowing who had more living faith than any of their erstwhile detractors. What I believe is important is not that a person has a religion but rather that a person has a religious experience in this life that transcends everyday reality. The fact that established religion is often an inhibition to an authentic apprehension by the individual of that sublime dimension we call “religious” may have more to do with the contempt that some people such as myself feel for organized religion than for the actual experience in and of itself. Once again actions often speak louder than words and when I see so called “religious” people openly embracing the deliberate targeting of a civilian population by the world's most powerful military alliance I am reminded of the role of apostolic Christianity in confronting the obscene brutality of the Roman Empire with an eye to transforming the human condition. What these old order individuals represent are people whose dead faith is ultimately doomed to give way to a new living faith.