Letters to the Editor – March 2018

Fear of Death the Basis of Conservative Greed

Making a nation more important (“Great Again”) to individuals and groups has its side effects.

The subjugation of men to government continues as long as nationalism exists. Rulers rest on nationalism¾on the readiness of men to submit to power. If people submit, they overlook the sins of their government toward their own people and sins toward others in other countries.

Anyone who questions the slaughter of war questions the legitimacy of “our boys.” The politicians mouth nationalistic greatness to justify evil policy.

This creates an authoritarian side effect, “daddy-ism.” Racist tribalism, to which some people turn to feel better about themselves, can be the origins of this authoritarianism. As long as disadvantaged groups can be manipulated to distrust other groups just to feel better, then politicians will abracadabra disappear their healthcare too.

At the basis of all this loss is the psychology of the fear of death, which sociologists have called mortality salience, that limits thinking about equality. Equality is the fear of billionaires that their wealth/immortality may disappear. With healthcare, people imagine a less-than-horrible death in a hospital bed. Without the fear of death blinding my consciousness, I may start questioning my or anyone’s need to become wealthy. Then what happens?

Mike Starry

Fresno


 

Clarification

Regarding “Why They Come from the Open Veins” (Community Alliance, February 2018), Spanish (not Portuguese) colonists used slave labor to exploit Potosí, but which one? Potosí, Bolivia? or San Luis de Potosí, Mexico?

The city “Ouro Pret” is correctly spelled with a final “o,” as “Ouro Preto.”

It is interesting to note that during an 18th century gold rush, the Portuguese colonists (and other immigrants) used slaves to exploit gold from Ouro Preto in the area of Minas Gerais, Brazil. At one point, Ouro Preto boasted a larger population than New York City.

In 1789, Ouro Preto witnessed the Inconfidência Mineira,a failed attempt to seize full independence from the Portuguese crown. The leading figure, Joaquim José da Siva Xavier, nicknamed “Tiradentes,” was hanged as a warning to any future revolutionaries.

Tiradentes apparently had been influenced by a copy (in French) of the transactions of the American Continental Congress. Tiradentes is considered a hero in Brazil; there probably is at least one statue of him in every city in the nation.

David A. Ross, Ph.D.

Fresno

 

Author’s response: Thank you for your correction. “Ouro Pret” was a typo. The article should have stated the following: The Spanish extracted gold and silver from San Luis Potosí and Zacatecas in Mexico, and from Potosí, Bolivia. The Portuguese crown received the riches extracted from Ouro Preto, Brazil. Thanks again for your observations. We hope that you will continue your interest and perhaps collaborate with Community Alliance in the future.

— Stan Santos


 

A Call: Local Action for Real Gun Control!

The aftermath of gun carnage at Columbine, Sandy Hook and scores of schools across the United States over the past several decades took a very determined and strong turn at the Town Hall in Sunrise, Florida, where the young Stoneman Douglas High School students took the lead to change the horror they lived though and to remember the friends and teachers they lost on Valentine’s Day.

It was so different!

While they mourned their losses, honored the victims and thanked the first responders before the Town Hall started, the focus of the mass gathering of over 7,000 was to question leaders and discuss how to solve the gun violence problem that the nation’s leaders of both parties have been totally incapable of resolving.

The questions raised were in sharp contrast to the White House “Hearing Session” earlier in the day, where at a carefully screened and staged event President Trump made the idiotic suggestion to arm teachers using the NRA’s “good guys with guns” line.

This is an opportunity for us to draw upon the direction of this Town Hall and engage all local candidates for Congressional seats. History has taught us that all elected Democrats do not necessarily share the same positions on gun control. So it is important to vet the candidates on this issue seriously and firmly.

I hope the organizers of all Central Valley candidate forums, town halls and endorsement caucuses, as well as individual social media activists who post aggressively on Facebook and other social media, create an environment in which real gun control becomes a prominent platform issue in the 2018.

Yezdyar Kaoosji

Fresno

  • The Community Alliance is a monthly newspaper that has been published in Fresno, California, since 1996. The purpose of the newspaper is to help build a progressive movement for social and economic justice.

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