An American Babushka in Moscow:  You don’t have to kill us, we will do it ourselves

USA inequality 1

Those who cherish justice throw their bodies against the armies of injustice.  Those who love freedom die fighting for it.  Those who hate oppression are willing to rise up against it.  Those whose lives have some higher meaning beyond their own person, love life in a way that only poets can express.  Even those of us who fight for bread, for our children, for our friends and families, for simple survival fight noble battles.

Think of those who die as victims.  Think of Anfisa and of all the other women and girls killed for perverted pleasures.  Think of the children abused to death.  Think of the people of Palestine.  Think of the Dalits in India.  Think of the Afro Americans killed by the bullets of police.  Think of the homosexuals beaten to death around the world.  Think back further in history.  Think of the Jews, the Africans, the native peoples of the Americas slaughtered by the millions.  Think of all those willfully starved to death by empires of indifference; all those chosen to be exterminated by weapons of individual and mass destruction, and know that their deaths had great meaning.  Their sufferings, their murders, the atrocities committed against them touch us and inspire us to live up to our humanity.

Think of what it means then when people do not die fighting, nor fight for those whose lives have been taken from them, but simply lie down and die.  Think of how that act goes against every human impulse. Think of those whose oppression and depression is so profound that they would rather take their own lives than die fighting against it.  These are people who live without hope and die without the impulse to resist.  Think then of the empire in which they exist and how powerful and awful and complete its dominion must be.  Know that the name of that empire is America and that the mouth into which it feeds its people, dead and alive, is  calledcapitalism.

Today, The New York Times, one of the loudest voices speaking for and within the empire of American Capitalism, proclaims the news of the “grim new statistics on suicide.”  Over the course of the last seventeen years the rate of suicide has risen nearly twenty five percent.  Half of the people who took their own lives had no obvious signs of what might be called “mental health” problems,  although I would argue they were were all psychologically damaged by the internal logic of the capitalist system itself: the incessant lack of security evidenced in joblessness, in homelessness, in the overwhelming struggle to survive, in the exquisite loss of someone to love and be loved by, in  the absence ofbelonging, in the omnipresence ofdepression..   Resultantly the American people become ever more deeply and broadly addicted to drugs, legal or illegal, because only by being drugged are they able to cling to survival rather than to give up and give in through suicide.  Know that religion is a poor substitute for the real opium to which  so many Americans are addict(the much publicized opium epidemic).  What the British did to the Chinese during the opium wars, American capitalism has done to its own people.


In a recent report Philip Alston, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, we, not unsurprisingly, are told that despite the fact that it is the world’s most powerful, wealthy and technologically advanced nation, America’s inequality level is higher and the lives of its people “ shorter and sicker” when compared to those living in other “rich” European democracies.  Many other statistical surveys that it is generally thought that 1 in 6 people in America face hunger every day.  Food insecurity as it is called, goes hand in hand with, insecurity in housing, and lack of access to proper health and dental care. Workers, having to work several part time, low wage jobs in order to subsist, Americans are naturally driven to the brink of both exhaustion and insanity.  President Trump is threatening to continue the erosion of social services and social support systems begun by those before him.  Each must, in keeping with the idiontolgy of capitalism, live as a free and independent individuals, where free includes the freedom to go hungry and independence means being alone.  Such are the conditions which drive people to kill themselves.


Thus when theidiontological veil is pulled to one side,  we are able to see its inherent and natural psychopathology.  This psychopathology  is reflected in the brutal pursuit of its foreign policy objectives as America moves from one country to another, sometimes several at the same time, as it pursues its national interests which are profits and power.  In so doing it, without conscience and like a serial killer, kills one human being after another.  It kills them: men, women, children, the old, the helpless, the powerless, those who are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.  As America proclaims that it has come to protect them, it slaughters them.  Oh, but those who die do not do so in vain.  They make the sane people of the world lift up their voices against this slaughter.  They lead us to resistance and revolution.  They turn us into poems waiting to be written, into heroes and martyrs.  They give us our dignity and our humanity.

But in the killing fields of America, things are not so obvious, not so easily seen, either by the world or by the people themselves.  In the land of exclusionary oneness, suffering from the delusion of sanctified individuality, the poor and down trodden do not lift up their voices but their guns, not to fight the enemy but to kill themselves.

Mary Metzger is a 72 year old retired teacher who has lived in Moscow for the past ten years. She studied Women’s Studies under Barbara Eherenreich and Deidre English at S.U.N.Y. Old Westerbury. She did her graduate work at New York University under Bertell Ollman where she studied Marx, Hegel and the Dialectic. She went on to teach at Kean University, Rutgers University, N.Y.U., and most recenly, at The Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology where she taught the Philosophy of Science. Her particular area of interest is the dialectic of nature, and she is currently working on a history of the dialectic. She is the mother of three, the gradmother of five, and the great grandmother of 2.



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