Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Imaginationland posted by Richard Seymour
Imagine it was North Korea, says China. Imagine it was Iran or Zimbabwe or Burma. Among scenes of 'violence', with police lashing out at protesters landing one in hospital with a serious brain injury, there is some shocking footage:
The scene: a mass demonstration in Tehran/Harare/Rangoon/Pyongyang/&c. The police are filmed shoving a 20-yr-old demonstrator with cerebral palsy from her/his wheelchair & dragging her/him across the pavement, to the horror of onlookers. Footage of this event is sneaked out & publicised. Accordingly, Iranian/Zimbabwean/Burmese/North Korean/&c state broadcasters cannot ignore it. Forced to report it, they stress, however, that there ‘is a suggestion’ that said demonstrator was ‘rolling towards the police’.
Oh yes, imagine. Hold your breath. Make a wish. Count to three. And enter a world of pure imagination. And now imagine if the chief of police in the capital city of any of those countries, having claimed that the protesters were fortunate not to have been shot dead, announced that it was planning to ban all marches against the government on the spurious pretext of ‘violence’ by protesters. Imagine this isn’t the normal response of capitalist states to dissent outside of anomalously stable periods of class compromise. Imagine that the already impoverished political democracy is about to take a nasty turn to the methods of the police state. Imagine… imagine… imagine…