JOURNAL OF THE 24TH YEAR
Japan's Fukushima Disaster
The Shura Case
Death Row Inmates Exonerated
NUGGETS FROM THE NUT HOUSE
From Netanyahu to Mladic
Edward S. Herman
GAY & LESBIAN COMMUNITY NOTES
Veterans Support Manning
Double Dip Recession
Iara Lee's Culture of Resistance
Len Weinglass (1933-2011)
Michael Steven Smith
Checkmate In The Great Game
Nicolas J.S. Davies
The Colonial Predator Legacy
Against Corporatocracy Rule
Bruce E. Levine
The Mideast & South Central Asia
Bin Laden and the Arab "Awakening"
From Poppies to Fentanyl Lollipops
The Lacandon Jungle and the Carbon Market
Displacing People for Profit
NOTE: Z Magazine subscribers and sustainers have access to all Z Magazine articles here and in the archive. The latest Z Magazine articles available to everyone are listed in the Free Articles box at the top of the table of contents, and are starred in the list below. Questions? e-mail Z Magazine Online.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn: The Colonial Predator Legacy
The attempted rape and sexual abuse of an African cleaning woman by the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK), embodies, in microcosm, the historical and contemporary legacy of colonial/neo-colonial relations. Efforts to portray this criminal act as an individual obsession or a personal failing or a “Latin idiosyncrasy” fail to take account of the “deep history” in which these psychological pathologies are embedded.
The first clue is evident. On the one-hand, a powerful white European politician representing the collective will of the global capitalist class, with the financial resources to severely punish poor and indebted countries that disobey its prejudicial economic fiat. On the other, a single mother, a black working woman from a former French colony in West Africa (Guinea), which was “stripped clean” by the departing French colonial officials for daring to assert its independence and subsequently forced to submit to “neo-colonial” economic impositions ensuring its stagnation and subordination.
Was it “lunacy,” as Martin Wolf of the Financial Times claimed, that DSK would throw over a powerful, prestigious post and likely the presidency of
The history of the European, and later
The absolute power of the colonial administrators allows them to secure total submission from those who are powerless—the single African women isolated from family and friends. The latter is subject to firing, blacklisting, unemployment, intimidation, humiliation, and insults for daring to denounce their colonial superiors. These circumstances and relations are reproduced today in all the countries subject to the dictate of the IMF, the Central Bank of
They Come, They Plunder, They Rape
The IMF and their imperial financial accomplices take advantage of the debts and crises of corrupt and complicit rulers to dictate terms for loans. The top officials seize sovereignty and impose economic policies, which privatize and de-nationalize the entire economy, reduce wages and pensions, worsen working conditions, and retain a veto on all local economic appointees. The IMF and Central Banks re-colonize the debtor country: all earnings from trade and investment are primarily directed outward and upward. The neo-colonial division of labor involves imperial capital and black labor.
Embedded in this world-historic system of power, the powerful officials of international organizations have the financial and military backing of the
DSK did not expect his sexual advances to be resisted by an immigrant, a former French colonial subject. Initially denied submission, DSK relied on force and violence. The black cleaning worker did not struggle and then submit, as too often is the case with workers’ movements. She made her outrage a public issue and un-masked the violent criminal behavior that lay behind the respectable, affluent facade. She confronted the ruler before a larger democratic public.
How many millions of Indo-Chinese and Algerian working-class and peasant women and their descendants, who suffered similar indignities during the French colonial administrations, must now feel vindicated by the simple act of denunciation by the Guinean cleaning woman, so far from Africa, but so close to the hearts of rebellion against the universal injustices inflicted daily by the IMF and its local accomplices.
The Reactions of the Left: the French Socialists
Not surprisingly, the majority of French Socialist opinion has defended DSK and accused his victim of being part of a sinister capitalist conspiracy against the principle chosen mouthpiece and enforcer of international capital. The French Socialist Party has a long and sordid history of supporting bloody colonial wars:
Colonial socialism in Europe, like imperial liberalism in the
The fact that sectors of the left in
If there is any conspiracy to frame DSK, it certainly does not come from any elite or banking cartel. What is much more likely is that after the initial jailing and indictment, the financial powers backing DSK will move into action: they have secured his conditional release under bail; the victim and accuser has been subject to intense police interrogation, and more media and legal pressure can be expected to force her to retract charges.
James Petras is a Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of sociology at SUNY
Z Magazine Archive
CUBAN 5 - From May 30 to June 5, supporters of the Cuban 5 will gather in Washington DC to raise awareness about the case and to demand a humanitarian solution that will allow the return of these men to their homeland.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com.
BIKES - Bikes Not Bombs is holding its 24th annual Bike- A-Thon and Green Roots Festival in Boston, MA on June 3, with several bike rides, music, exhibitors, and more.
Contact: Bikes Not Bombs, 284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; 617-522-0222; mailbikesnotbombs.org; www.bikesnotbombs.org.
LEFT FORUM - The 2013 Left Forum will be held June 7-9, at Pace University in NYC.
Contact: 365 Fifth Avenue, CUNY Graduate Center, Sociology Dept., New York, NY 10016; http://www.leftforum.org/.
VEGAN FEST - Mad City Vegan Fest will be held in Madison, WI, June 8. The annual event features food, speakers, and exhibitors.
Contact: 122 State Street, Suite 405 B, Madison, WI 53701; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://veganfest.org/.
ADC CONFERENCE - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) holds its annual conference June 13-16 in Washington, DC, with panel discussions and workshops.
Contact: 1990 M Street, Suite 610, Washington, DC, 20036; 202-244-2990; convention @adc. org http://convention.adc.org/.
CUBA/SOCIALISM - A Cuban-North American Dialog on Socialist Renewal and Global Capitalist Crisis will be held in Havana, Cuba, June 16-30. There will be a 5-day Seminar at the University of Havana, plus visits to a co-op and educational and medical institutions.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.globaljustice center.org/.
NETROOTS - The 8th Annual Netroots Nation conference will take place June 20-23 in San Jose, CA. The event features panels, trainings, networking, screenings, and keynotes.
Contact: 164 Robles Way, #276, Vallejo, CA 94591; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.netrootsnation.org/.
MEDIA - The 15th annual Allied Media Conference will be held June 20-23, in Detroit.
Contact: 4126 Third Street, Detroit, MI 48201; http://alliedmedia.org/.
GRASSROOTS - The United We Stand Festival will be hosted by Free & Equal, June 22 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The festival aims to reform the electoral process in the U.S.
LITERACY - The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) will hold its conference July 12-13 in Los Angeles.
Contact: 10 Laurel Hill Drive, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003; http://namle.net/conference/.
IWW - The North American Work People’s College will take place July 12-16 at Mesaba Co-op Park in northern Minnesota. The event will bring together Wobblies from across the continent to learn skills and build one big union.
PEACESTOCK - On July 13, the 11th Annual Peacestock will take place at Windbeam Farm in Hager City, WI. The event is a mixture of music, speakers, and community for peace. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace.
Contact: Bill Habedank, 1913 Grandview Ave., Red Wing, MN 55066; 651-388-7733; email@example.com; http://www. peacestockvfp.org.
LA RAZA - The annual National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Conference is scheduled for July 18-19 in New Orleans, with workshops, presentations, and panel discussions.
Contact: NCLR Headquarters Office, Raul Yzaguirre Building, 1126 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036; 202-785-1670; www.nclr.org.
ACTIVIST CAMP - Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp will have sessions in July and August in Ben Lomond, CA; Portland, OR; Charlton, MA. YEA Camp is designed for activists 12-17 years old who want to make a difference.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://yeacamp.org/.