The Latin American alternative news site ADITAL has many interesting items, and I was inspired to translate this piece with Jean Ziegler, the first time I am hearing of him. The
piece is also in honor of my late Dad´s birthday, Marcio Rego-Monteiro, who worked at the U.N. years ago before passing away from cancer.
An international diplomat with the U.N., Ziegler published the work "The Hatred of the West," a criticism of the capitalist system dominated by Europe and the U.S.A. The reporting is by Guillaume Fourmont Madrid and was published originally at the site Publico.es, 12/29/2010. The translation is by Moises Sbardelotto.
Let no one be deceived by his very official role as member of the U.N. Consultative Commission on Human Rights. Behind his university professor´s eyeglasses, the Swiss Jean Ziegler (b. Thoune, 1934) is a revolutionary. He likes to provoke and raise his voice in ways his diplomatic colleagues do not hear spoken in the corridors of international organizations.
For example: "A child which dies of hunger nowadays is a murder victim." For another: "We are democracies, but we practice a foreign policy fascism." Ziegler is an advocate who argues in every phrase with numbers or citations of great intellects, such as this cry of pain by the anti-colonialist poet Aime Cesaire: "I live in a holy wound / I live in an obscured desire / I live in a long silence."
This wound is spoken of in Ziegler´s last book, The Hatred of the West (Ed. Peninsula), a title which holds the industrialized countries responsible for the ills of the world. The writer does not lose hope and aspires to a revolution to end the cannibal order of the world." On the cover of the work, the letter "i" in the word for hatred is drawn as a bomb with a detonator. Only one second is portrayed as remaining before the bomb will explode.
The interview follows.
Is the world really going that badly?
Never before in history ha an emperor or king had as much power as that wielded by the oligarchy of financial power currently. It´s their pockets that decide who livesand who dies. Twelve billion people could eat, twice the current world population. However, every five seconds, a child under 10 years of age dies of hunger. That is murder!
Is that where the hate that you talk about comes from? Why do they hate us?
It is necessary to distinguish between two types f hatred. One, first of all, is pathological, such as as that of Al Qaeda, which murders innocent people with bombs. However, nothing justifies that violence, nothing! My book does not deal with that issue. I am referring to a meditative hatred, which seeks justic and compensation, which calls for tinkering with the structural system of the world that is dominated by capitalism.
Haven´t we learned anything throug the crisis?
Lessons? It is worse than ever: these speculator bandits who instigated the crisis and the breakdown of the Western system are now attacking products like rice and wheat. There are thousands more victims now than before. These speculators need to be put in the spotlight and in the hot seat. A Nuremberg trial needs to be conducted for them!
Sir, you work at the U.N. Don´t you believe in the role of the international community?
The mere fact that the internatinal community is conscious of world problems is positive. The Millenium Objectives are not being met, but I´m not a skeptic.
Don´t you think, at any rate, that the West is only interested in the West and maintain the Third World in poverty intentionally?
Of course! However what is needed is not more donations, but to rob less. In Africa, you can find European products more inexpensive than local products, while people are worked too death. The hypocrisy of the Europeans is barbaric! We create hunger in Africa, but when the immigrants arrive on our shores in boats we send them away. To put an end to hunger, there has to be a revolution!
In the West? Is that possible?
Civil society has woken up. There are movements like ATTAC, Greenpeace, and ohers who make radical critiques of the world order. In the West, we have democracies, but we practice a foreign policy fascism. Nonetheless, nothing is impossible in a democracy. "The revolutionary needs to be able to hear the grass growing." as Karl Marx said.
In your book, sir, you mention that the Bolivia of Evo Morales is an example.
It is an excellent case. For the first time in history, the Bolivian people have elected as president one of their own, an indigenous aimara. Moreover, in six months they expelled the private companies which had been keeping all the benefits of the country´s energy resources. The government, with these millions in earnings, launch social programs, and Bolivia is now a flourishing, and above all sovereign, State. Look, I am not ingenuous, but in Bolivia the wounded memory of the people has been converted into a political fight with an insurrectionist identity.
In other words, Morales deserved the Nobel Peace Prize more than Obama did?
Of course! Obama´s Nobel was ridiculous; it was a marketing operation.
Didn´t Obama bring any hope with his election?
To see a black face as the President of the United States on the cover of the major magazines was incredible, mostly because the great grandfather of Obama´s wife was a slave. However, that was just a symbol. The North American empire is three things: the arms industry, Wall Street, and the Zionist lobby. Obama knows that to touch any of those three is death. As such, he won´t do that. Hope comes from civil society. If we create a planetary alliance of all the emancipatory movements, from the West to the South, then we will have a world revolution, a revolution capable of ending the cannibalistic order of the world.
10.01.11 - MUNDO
Guillaume Fourmont *