Revolution #227 Online, March 17, 2011
A Global Disaster… A Necessary Response
The earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 11, 2011 have already caused, and are continuing to cause tremendous destruction and death. The terrible suffering, the threat of an even more catastrophic nuclear disaster demand an urgent response. The lack of aid and assistance from the global powers—not just the Japanese government—is shocking and outrageous. Huge questions of life, health, and the global environment are being posed in extreme terms in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan.
Revolution will be speaking to these questions in more detail and depth in the coming days, but the following points can be made right now:
- The disaster in Japan is a global event. Even if it were confined to Japan—which it is unlikely to be—we all have to take global responsibility. We have to be thinking and talking with each other about what we can do about this.
- The nuclear crisis now in Japan has tremendous implications for human life and the world’s ecosystems. Depending on what actually happens to the reactors in Japan, there are even larger and more critical dangers posed for humanity and the global environment that must be understood and confronted.
- This is not a “Japanese problem” but a problem of capitalism-imperialism. This disaster is bound up with the anarchic expand-or-die profit-in-command nature of the capitalist-imperialist system and rivalry between imperialist countries.And the U.S. is directly involved in the nuclear aspect of it, including the General Electric reactors.
- Humanity can’t predict and control nature but effects of natural disasters don’t have to be mediated through the existing social relations. People are being denied information about what is happening to them. People are being told to be “orderly,” to obey the authorities. This is the exact worst way to handle something like this—people need to be informed and mobilized to deal with a disaster of this type, and history shows that when the normal social relations are suspended in such disasters the people almost always react by organizing themselves to deal with the situation... and the authorities always react by forcefully suppressing that. This must not happen.
- Things don’t have to be this way. There is another way society can be organized. Get the Constitution For The New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal), from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA and the special environmental issue of Revolution, #199, “State of EMERGENCY! The Plunder of Our Planet, The Environmental Catastrophe & The Real Revolutionary Solution” (available at Revolution Books and at revcom.us) out everywhere—to the environmental movement, on campuses, to all those who have stepped forward to express concern and outrage and to the people broadly.
- At the same time, everyone should put their heads together, struggle to develop, and unite to fight for demands on the system right now to deal with the effects of this disaster. The governments must mobilize all resources to contain the disaster, and there must be international medical rescue and aid. The outrageous cover-up and lying must stop and there must be full disclosure of what is going on, including independent scientific panels to investigate and verify the actual nature of this crisis. The full scale of the human and natural disaster must be made clear. There must be an immediate moratorium on building nuclear power plants everywhere and a deactivation of all plants everywhere with the same or similar design to the ones affected in Japan. Other just demands should be formulated and fought for.
Come to this site Monday for more coverage.
Things to do right now:
- Join protests, forums, vigils and other expressions of concern, outrage and anger over the situation in Japan. Be part of the process of figuring out how to respond, and demanding people’s dire needs are met immediately. Bring materials from Revolution and revcom.us into the mix and introduce and connect people involved with the movement for revolution.
- Saturday, March 19, at the Left Forum in NYC, come to the panel on Saturday, March 19, from 5:00-6:50 pm, featuring Cindy Milstein of the Institute for Anarchist Studies, Maggie Zhou of the U.S. Green Party, and Raymond Lotta of Revolution newspaper. The panelists will be speaking about the Japan nuclear emergency and its implications for world humanity and the planet.
- Go to your local Revolution Books to get more information, the special issue of Revolution on the environmental emergency, and other materials and to get involved..
- Raise and/or donate money to reprint issue #199, “State of EMERGENCY! The Plunder of Our Planet, The Environmental Catastrophe & The Real Revolutionary Solution.” Send to RCP Publications, Box 3486, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL 60654.
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