Let them drown! Violence against the other in a warming world

Let them drown! Violence against the other in a warming world

By Naomi Klein

Edward Said was not a radical environmentalist; He came from a family of merchants, artisans, and professionals. He once described himself as "an extreme case of an urban Palestinian whose relationship to the land is basically metaphorical." In After the Last Sky, his meditations on Jean Mohr's photographs explored the most intimate aspects of Palestinian life, from hospitality to sports to home decor. The smallest detail - the setting of a frame, the defiant posture of a child - provoked a torrent of insights from Said. But when faced with images of Palestinian peasants - tending their flocks, working the land - the specificity suddenly evaporated. What kind of crop were they growing? In what state was the soil? Did they have water? He was not able to grasp it. "I continue to perceive a population of suffering poor peasants, sometimes peculiar, immutable and collective," confessed Said. It was a "mythical" perception - he recognized - which, however, he maintained.

Although agriculture was another world for Said, he believed that those who dedicated their lives to issues such as air and water pollution inhabited another planet. On one occasion, speaking with his colleague Rob Nixon, he described environmentalism as "the indulgence of spoiled radical environmentalists who lack a proper cause." But the environmental challenges of the Middle East are impossible to ignore for someone steeped, like Said, in its geopolitics. It is a region that is intensely vulnerable to heat and water scarcity, rising sea levels and desertification. A recent report on climate change published in the journal Nature predicts that unless we radically and rapidly reduce emissions, vast parts of the Middle East are likely to "experience human-intolerable temperature levels" by the end of this century. And this is something as forceful as climate scientists claim. However, in the region there is still a tendency to treat environmental issues as if they were a non-priority or a superfluous cause. The reason is not ignorance or indifference. It's just about bandwidth. Climate change is a serious threat but the most terrifying aspects of it are going to occur in the medium term. However, in the short term, there are always much more urgent threats to deal with: military occupation, air strikes, systemic discrimination, the embargo. Nothing can compete with that, nor should it try.

There are other reasons why Said might have viewed environmentalism as a bourgeois playground. The Israeli state has long covered its nation-building project with a green varnish, something that was a fundamental part of the pioneering values ​​of the Zionist “return to land”. And, in this context, trees have been, specifically, among the most powerful weapons for plundering and occupying the land. It is not just about the countless olive and pistachio trees uprooted to make room for Israeli-only settlements and roads, but also the extensive pine and eucalyptus forests that the Jewish National Fund (JNF) has established. planted in the most infamous way in those orchards and in the space of the Palestinian peoples based on their slogan "turn the desert into an orchard", boasting of having planted 250 million trees in Israel since 1901, many of them not indigenous to the region. In propaganda brochures, the JNF promotes itself as another green NGO, concerned with the management of forests and water, parks and leisure. He is also the largest private landowner in the State of Israel and, despite the number of complicated legal challenges, he still refuses to lease or sell land to non-Jews.

I grew up in a Jewish community where all commemorations - births and deaths, Mother's Day, bar mitzvah - were marked by the proud purchase of a JNF tree in honor of the person. It wasn't until adulthood that I began to understand that those endearing conifers from remote places, whose certificates lined the walls of my Montreal elementary school, weren't benign, they weren't just something to plant and then hug. In fact, these trees are among the most blatant symbols of the Israeli system of official discrimination, something that must be dismantled if we are to achieve peaceful coexistence.

The JNF is a recent and extreme example of what some call "green colonialism." But the phenomenon is hardly new or unique in Israel. There is a long and painful history in the Americas of beautiful expanses of wilderness turned into protected parks, and that designation was later used to prevent indigenous peoples from accessing their ancestral territories to hunt and fish or simply to live. It has happened over and over again. A contemporary version of this phenomenon is carbon offsetting. Indigenous peoples, from Brazil to Uganda, have found that some of the most aggressive looting of land is being carried out by environmental organizations. Suddenly, it is decided to grant a forest carbon emissions compensation and it becomes a no-go area for its traditional inhabitants. The consequence is that the carbon offsets market has created a new class of “green” human rights abuses, with peasants and indigenous peoples being physically attacked by rangers or private security mercenaries when they try to access these lands. . Said's comment about the environmental fanatics must be set in such a context.

And there is more. In the last year of Said's life, the so-called "separation barrier" was already being erected by appropriating vast swaths of the West Bank, isolating Palestinian workers from their jobs, peasants from their fields, and patients. from hospitals and brutally dividing families. There was no shortage of reasons to oppose the wall on the basis of human rights. Yet at the time, some of the strongest dissenting voices among Israeli Jews were engaged in none of that. Yehudit Naot, then Israel's minister of the environment, was more concerned by a document that reported that “The separation fence… is detrimental to the landscape, flora and fauna, ecological corridors and drainage of the streams ”. "I don't really want to stop or delay the construction of the fence," he said, but "I am concerned about all the environmental damage it will cause." As Palestinian activist Omar Barghuti later observed, “the ministry and the National Parks Protection Authority organized diligent rescue efforts to save an affected lily reserve by moving it to an alternative reserve. They also created tiny passages (through the wall) for the animals. "

Perhaps this puts the cynicism regarding the green movement into context. People tend to become cynical when their lives are considered less important than flowers and reptiles. And yet there is much in Said's intellectual legacy that illuminates and clarifies much more the underlying causes of the global ecological crisis by pointing to ways of responding that are more inclusive than current campaign models: ways that do not ask the suffering people. to put aside its concerns about war, poverty and systemic racism and dedicate itself first to “saving the world”, but instead demonstrate that all these crises are interrelated and that solutions should be too. In short, Said may not have had time for fanatical environmentalists, but they must urgently make room for Said - and many other great anti-imperialist postcolonial thinkers - because without that knowledge there is no way to understand how we ended up in this dangerous place, or to capture the transformations necessary to get out of it. So here are some thoughts - by no means comprehensive - about what we can learn from reading Said in a warming world.

He was, and still is, one of our most heartbreakingly eloquent theorists of exile and nostalgia, but Said's nostalgia, he always made clear, was for a homeland that had been so radically altered that it no longer really existed. His position was complex: he fiercely defended the right of return, but he never claimed that his home was immovable. What mattered was the principle of respect for all human rights on an equal basis and the need for restorative justice to inform our actions and policies. This perspective is profoundly important in this age of ours of eroding coasts, of nations disappearing under rising seas, of fading coral reefs that support entire cultures, of a temperate Arctic. This is because the state of longing for a radically altered homeland - a home that may not even exist anymore - is something that is rapidly and tragically being globalized. In March, two major studies, peer-reviewed by fellow scientists, warned that sea levels could rise much faster than previously believed. One of the authors of the first study was James Hansen, perhaps the most respected climatologist in the world. He warned that in the current emissions trajectory we face the “loss of all the coastal cities, of most of the great cities of the world and of all their history”, and not in thousands of years from now but in this very century. If we do not demand radical changes, we go headlong into a whole world of peoples in search of a home that no longer exists.

Said helps us imagine what that might look like too. It helped popularize the Arabic term sumud ("stand still, resist"): that firm refusal to leave one's land despite the most desperate attempts at eviction and even surrounded by continuous danger. It is a word that is more associated with places like Hebron and Gaza, but it could equally apply today to residents on the Louisiana coast who have raised their homes on stilts so they do not have to evacuate, or those in the Pacific islands, whose slogan is: “We are not drowning. We are fighting". In countries like the Marshall Islands and Fiji and Tuvalu, they know that sea levels will inevitably rise too high, making it likely that their countries have no future. But they refuse to simply worry about the logistics of relocation and would not do so even if there were safer countries willing to open their borders; it would have to be a very large one, as climate refugees are not yet recognized in international law. Instead, they are actively resisting: blocking Australian coal-carrying ships with their traditional Hawaiian canoes, disrupting international climate negotiations with their uncomfortable presence, demanding more aggressive action in defense of the climate. If there is something worth celebrating about the Paris Agreement signed in April - which is unfortunately insufficient - it is due to this type of exemplary action: climate change.

But this only scratches the surface of what we can learn from reading Said in a warming world. Of course he was a giant in the study of "otherness", which in his work Orientalism is described as "ignoring, essentializing, depriving another culture, people or geographic region of humanity." And once that other has been firmly determined, the ground has been prepared for any transgression: violent expulsion, theft of land, occupation, invasion. Because the objective of otherness is that the other does not have the same rights, the same humanity as those who make such a distinction. What does all this have to do with climate change? Maybe everything.

We have already warmed our world dangerously, and our governments continue to refuse to take the necessary action to halt the trend. There was a time when many had the right to proclaim ignorance. But for the past three decades, since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was created and climate negotiations began, the refusal to cut emissions has been accompanied by a full awareness of the dangers. And this kind of reluctance would have been functionally impossible without institutional racism, even if only latent. It would have been impossible without Orientalism, without all the powerful tools on offer that allow the powerful to throw away the lives of the most vulnerable. These tools - which classify the relative worth of human beings - are what allow entire nations and ancient cultures to be destroyed. And to begin with, they are the ones that allowed all that carbon to be released.

Fossil fuels are not the only cause of climate change - we also have industrial agriculture and deforestation - but they are the ones that affect it the most. The thing about fossil fuels is that they are so inherently dirty and toxic that they require people and expiatory places: people whose lungs and bodies can be sacrificed to work in coal mines, people whose land and water can be sacrificed for open-pit mining. and oil spills. As recently as the 1970s, scientists advising the US government referred to certain areas of the country as "national sacrificial zones." Think of the Appalachian Mountains, blown up for coal mining, because so-called “mountaintop removal” coal mining is cheaper than digging underground holes. There must be theories of otherness that justify the sacrifice of an entire geography, theories that the people who live there are so poor and backward that their lives and culture are not worth protecting. After all, if you're a "hick," who cares about your hills? Converting all that coal into electricity also requires another layer of otherness: this time with respect to urban slums near power plants and refineries. In North America, these communities are overwhelmingly of color, black and Latino, forced to carry the toxic burden of our collective addiction to fossil fuels with markedly high rates of respiratory diseases and cancers. It was in the struggles against this type of “environmental racism” that the climate justice movement was born.

Sacrificial zones for fossil fuels dot the entire planet. There you have the Niger Delta, poisoned every year with an oil spill worthy of the Exxon Valdez, a process that Ken Saro-Wiwa, before he was assassinated by his government, called “ecological genocide”. The executions of community leaders, he said, were "all carried out by Shell." In my country, Canada, the decision to unearth Alberta's tar sands - a particularly dense form of oil - has required the smashing of Aboriginal treaties, treaties signed with the British Crown that guaranteed indigenous peoples the right to continue hunting, fishing and living in a traditional way in their ancestral lands. It was necessary because these rights are meaningless when the land is desecrated, when rivers are polluted, and elk and fish are riddled with tumors. Worse still: Fort McMurray - the city at the center of the oil sands boom, where many of the workers live and where much of the money is spent - is like a wildfire. So hot and dry it is. And this is something that has a lot to do with what is being extracted there.

Even without these dramatic events, this kind of resource extraction is a form of violence because it does so much damage to the land and water that it causes the end of a kind of life, the death of cultures that are inseparable from the land. The process used by state policy in Canada was to break the connection of indigenous peoples with their culture, imposed through the forced separation of indigenous children from their families, transferring them to boarding schools where their language and cultural practices were prohibited and where the sexual and physical abuse were common practice. A recent report for truth and reconciliation called it "cultural genocide." The trauma associated with these levels of forced separation - from the land, from the culture, from the family - is directly linked to the epidemic of despair that rages among so many Aboriginal communities today. On a single night on a Saturday in April, in the community of Attawapiskat - with a population of 2,000 - eleven people attempted suicide. Meanwhile, DeBeers maintains a diamond mine on the community's traditional territory; Like all extractive projects, hope and opportunity had been promised. "Why didn't people leave?" Ask politicians and experts. But many leave. And that party is linked, in part, to the thousands of Indigenous women in Canada who have been killed or disappeared, often in big cities. Press reports rarely link violence against women to violence against the land - often to extract fossil fuels - but it does exist. Each new government comes to power promising a new era of respect for indigenous rights. They do not accomplish anything, because indigenous rights, as defined by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, include the right to reject extractive projects even though those projects promote national economic growth. And that is a problem, because growth is our religion, our way of life. This is why even Canada's handsome and charming prime minister is bound and determined to build new oil sands pipelines against the express wishes of indigenous communities, who do not want to put their water at risk or participate in further destabilization of the climate.

Fossil fuels need sacrificial zones - they have always claimed them. And you cannot have a system built from sacrificed zones and peoples unless there are and persist certain intellectual theories that justify it: from manifest destiny to Terra Nullius to Orientalism, from backward yokels to backward Indians. We often hear that "human nature" is blamed for climate change, the greed and myopia inherent in our species. Or we are told that we have altered the earth so much and on such a planetary scale that we are now living in the Anthropocene, the age of humans. These ways of explaining our current circumstances have a very specific meaning that is taken for granted: that humans belong to a single type, that human nature can be reduced to the traits that created this crisis. In this way, the systems that certain humans created, and that other humans resisted with all their might, are free from any responsibility. Capitalism, colonialism, patriarchy, these kinds of systems. Diagnoses like this erase the very existence of human systems that organized life differently: systems that insist that human beings must think ahead for seven generations; that they should not only be good citizens but also good ancestors; that they should not take more than they need and that they should return the rest to the earth to protect and increase the cycles of regeneration. These systems existed and still exist, but we eliminate them every time we say that the climate crisis is a crisis of “human nature” and that we are living in the “age of man”. And they come under very real attack when megaprojects such as the Gualcarque hydroelectric dams in Honduras are built, a project that, among other things, took the life of land defender Berta Cáceres, who was assassinated last March.

Some people insist that this doesn't have to be bad. We can clean up resource extraction, we don't have to do it in the same way that it has been done in Honduras, in the Niger Delta and in the tar sands of Alberta. Except that we are running out of cheap and easy ways to get fossil fuels, which is the fundamental reason we have had to see the increase in hydraulic fracturing and oil sands extraction. This, in turn, is beginning to question the original Faustian pact of the industrial age: that we must externalize, discharge the heaviest risks on the other, on the outer periphery and within our own nations. It is something that is becoming less and less possible. Hydraulic fracturing is threatening some of Britain's most picturesque areas as the slaughter area widens, engulfing all sorts of places that were imagined to be safe. So this is not just about stifling a cry at how ugly oil sands are. It has to do with recognizing that there is no clean, safe, and non-toxic way to run a fossil fuel-powered economy. And that there never was.

There is a flood of evidence that there is no peaceful way to do this either. The problem is structural. Fossil fuels, unlike renewables like wind and solar, are not widely distributed but highly concentrated in very specific places, and those places have a bad habit of being in other people's countries. Especially the most powerful and precious of these fuels: oil. This is the reason that the project of Orientalism, of the alterization of the Arab and Muslim people, has been from the beginning the silent partner of our dependence on oil; and, therefore, inextricable from the boomerang effect that climate change represents. If we consider peoples and nations in their otherness - exotic, primitive, bloodthirsty, as Said documented in the 1970s - it is much easier to wage wars and coups when you have the crazy idea that they should control their own oil for our own interests. In 1953, Britain and the US collaborated to overthrow the democratically elected government of Muhammad Mossadegh after he nationalized the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (now BP). In 2003, exactly fifty years later, another Anglo-American co-production was produced: The Illegal Invasion and Occupation of Iraq. The reverberations from each intervention continue to shake our world, as do the reverberations from the burning of all that oil. On the one hand, the Middle East is now torn by the pincers of violence caused by fossil fuels and, on the other, by the impact of their burning.

In his most recent book, The Conflict Shoreline, Israeli architect Eyal Weizman takes a revolutionary point of view on how these forces intersect. The primary way of understanding the desert boundary in the Middle East and North Africa, he explains, is the so-called "aridity line", the areas where there is an average of 200 millimeters of rain per year, which has been considered the minimum for that a large-scale cereal crop can be grown without irrigation. These meteorological limits are not fixed: they have fluctuated for a variety of reasons, either because Israel's attempts to “turn the desert into a garden” pushed them in one direction, or because of cyclical droughts that spread one desert in the other. And now, with climate change, the intensification of the drought can have all kinds of impacts in this regard. Weizman notes that the Syrian border city of Daraa falls squarely on the line of aridity. Daraa is the place where the most intense drought has been registered, which caused huge numbers of displaced peasants in the years before the outbreak of the Syrian civil war, and that was precisely where the Syrian uprising broke out in 2011. The drought did not it was the only factor in unleashing the crisis. But the fact that there were 1.5 million internally displaced people in Syria as a result of the drought clearly played a role. The connection between water, heat stress and conflict is a recurring pattern that is intensifying along the aridity line: all along it you can see places marked by drought, water scarcity, scorching temperatures and military conflict: from Libya to Palestine to some of the bloodiest battlefields in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

But Weizman also discovered what he calls an "amazing coincidence." When you map the targets of Western drone strikes in the region, you see that “many of those strikes - from South Waziristan through northern Yemen, Somalia, Mali, Iraq, Gaza and Libya - are conducted directly on , or close to 200 mm from the line of aridity ”. The red dots on the map below represent some of the areas where attacks have been concentrated. For me, this is the most striking attempt to visualize the brutal scenario of the climate crisis. All this was predicted a decade ago in a report by the US Army. "The Middle East", he observed, "has always been associated with two natural resources: oil (due to its abundance) and water (due to its scarcity)." That is quite true. And now there are certain guidelines that have made it very clear: First, Western warplanes followed that abundance of oil; now western drones are tracking water shortages as drought exacerbates conflict.

Just as bombs follow oil and drones follow drought, so boats follow both: boats packed with refugees fleeing their homes along the line of aridity ravaged by war and drought. And the same ability to dehumanize the other that served to justify the bombs and drones is now looming over those migrants, manipulating their need for security as a threat to us, their desperate flight as a kind of invading army. Refined tactics in the West Bank and other occupied areas are now making their way to North America and Europe. When he sells his wall on the border with Mexico, Donald Trump likes to say: "Ask Israel, the wall works." Migrant camps are bulldozed in Calais, thousands of people drown in the Mediterranean, and the Australian government detains survivors of wars and despotic regimes in camps on the remote islands of Nauru and Manus. Conditions are so dire that in Nauru last month, an Iranian migrant died after setting himself on fire in an attempt to get the world's attention. Another migrant - a 21-year-old woman from Somalia - set herself on fire a few days later. Malcolm Turnbull, the prime minister, warns Australians that "their eyes must not be blurred by this" and that "we have to be very clear and determined in our national goal." Nauru is worth keeping in mind the next time a columnist declares in one of Murdoch's papers, as Katie Hopkins did last year, that it is time for Britain to “go Australian. Launch air strikes, force migrants to return to their shores and burn the boats. Another symbolism is that Nauru is one of the Pacific islands very vulnerable to rising sea levels. Its inhabitants, after seeing their homes become prisons for others, may also have to emigrate. Today they have recruited tomorrow's climate refugees as prison guards.

We have to understand that what is happening in Nauru and what is happening to them are expressions of the same logic. A culture that values ​​lives of color so low that it is willing to allow human beings to disappear under the waves, or set themselves on fire in detention centers, will also be willing to allow the countries where these people live to disappear under the waves. or become dehydrated in arid heat. When that happens, human hierarchy theories - we must be careful to be first - will be used to rationalize these monstrous decisions. We are already doing such a rationalization, if only implicitly. Si bien el cambio climático será finalmente una amenaza existencial para toda la humanidad, a corto plazo sabemos que discrimina y golpea primero y de la peor manera a los pobres, ya estén abandonados en lo alto de los tejados de Nueva Orleans durante el huracán Katrina o estén entre los 36 millones de seres que, según la ONU, se están enfrentando al hambre debido a la sequía que arrasa el sur y el este de África.

Se trata de una emergencia, una emergencia del momento actual, no del futuro, pero no estamos actuando como si lo fuera. El Acuerdo de París se compromete a mantener el calentamiento por debajo de 2ºC. Ese objetivo es algo más que insensato. Cuando se dio a conocer en 2009, los delegados africanos lo llamaron “sentencia de muerte”. La consigna de varias de las naciones-isla de baja altitud es “1,5º para seguir vivos”. En el último minuto, se añadió una cláusula al Acuerdo de París que dice que los países se “esforzarán por limitar el aumento de la temperatura a 1,5ºC”. No sólo no es vinculante sino que es una mentira: no estamos haciendo ese tipo de esfuerzos. Los gobiernos que hicieron esta promesa están presionando para llevar a cabo más fracturas hidráulicas y más desarrollos de las arenas bituminosas, lo cual es totalmente incompatible con los 2ºC, no digamos ya con 1,5º. Esto está sucediendo porque la gente más rica en los países más ricos del mundo piensa que ellos van a estar muy bien, que alguien se va a comer los riesgos mayores, incluso que cuando el cambio climático llame a su puerta, ya se ocuparán entonces de él.

Cuando las cosas se pongan aún más feas. Pudimos echar una vívida ojeada a ese futuro en la enorme crecida de las aguas que se produjo en Inglaterra en los pasados meses de diciembre y enero, inundando 16.000 hogares. Estas comunidades no sólo estaban enfrentando el mes de diciembre más húmedo desde que se tienen registros, también estaban lidiando con el hecho de que el gobierno ha emprendido un ataque implacable contra las agencias públicas y los ayuntamientos, que están en la primera línea de la defensa ante las inundaciones. Por tanto, es muy comprensible que hubiera muchos que quisieran cambiar a los autores de ese fracaso. ¿Por qué, se preguntaban, está Gran Bretaña gastando tanto dinero en refugiados y ayuda exterior cuando debería cuidarse a sí misma? “Que no se preocupen tanto de la ayuda exterior”, leímos en el Daily Mail. “¿Qué pasa con la ayuda nacional”. Y un editorial del Telegraph exigía: “¿Por qué deberían los contribuyentes británicos seguir pagando por defensas contra las inundaciones en el extranjero cuando necesitamos aquí el dinero?” No sé, ¿quizá porque Gran Bretaña inventó la máquina de vapor a carbón y ha estado quemando combustibles fósiles a una escala industrial mucho mayor que cualquier otra nación sobre la Tierra? Pero estoy divagando. La cuestión es que este podría haber sido el momento de entender que todos estamos afectados por el cambio climático y que debemos actuar juntos y ser solidarios los unos con los otros. Porque el cambio climático no sólo implica que todo es cada vez más caluroso y húmedo, sino que con nuestro actual modelo político y económico las cosas se están poniendo cada vez peor y más feas.

La lección más importante a sacar de todo esto es que no hay forma de enfrentar la crisis del clima de forma aislada, como si fuera un problema tecnocrático. Debe verse en el contexto de la austeridad y privatización, del colonialismo y militarismo y de los diversos sistemas de otredad necesarios para sustentar todo eso. Las conexiones e interrelaciones entre ellas saltan a la vista, sin embargo, muy a menudo la resistencia frente a ellas está muy compartimentada. La gente que está contra la austeridad casi nunca habla de cambio climático; la gente que se preocupa del cambio climático rara vez habla de guerra u ocupación. Apenas hacemos la conexión entre las pistolas que quitan la vida a los negros en las calles de las ciudades estadounidenses, y cuando están bajo custodia policial, y las fuerzas mucho mayores que aniquilan tantas vidas de color en las tierras áridas y en los precarias embarcaciones por todo el mundo.

Superar estas desconexiones –fortaleciendo los hilos que enlazan nuestros diversos movimientos y cuestiones- es, en mi opinión, la tarea más urgente para cualquier persona que se preocupe por la justicia social y económica. Es la única vía para construir un contrapoder lo suficientemente robusto como para poder ganar a las fuerzas que protegen un statu quo altamente rentable –para algunos- pero cada vez más insostenible. El cambio climático actúa como acelerador de muchas de nuestras enfermedades sociales –desigualdad, guerras, racismo- pero puede también ser acelerador de todo lo contrario: de las fuerzas que trabajan por la justicia social y económica contra el militarismo. En efecto, la crisis del clima –al poner a nuestras especies frente a una amenaza existencial y colocarnos ante un plazo firme e inflexible basado en la ciencia- podría ser el catalizador que necesitamos para tejer juntos un gran número de movimientos poderosos, vinculados por la creencia en el valor inherente de todos los pueblos y unidos por el rechazo de la mentalidad de la zona sacrificial, ya se se aplique a pueblos o lugares. Nos enfrentamos a tantas crisis superpuestas e interconectadas que no podemos permitirnos solucionar una cada vez. Necesitamos soluciones integradas, soluciones que rebajen radicalmente las emisiones, aunque creando un número enorme de puestos de trabajo de calidad sindicalizados y otorgando justicia a todos los que han sufrido abusos y han quedado excluidos bajo la actual economía extractiva.

Said murió el año en que Iraq fue invadido, pero vivió para ver cómo sus museos y bibliotecas eran saqueados, mientras su ministerio del petróleo era fielmente guardado. En medio de tantos atropellos, encontró esperanza en el movimiento antibelicista global, así como en las nuevas formas de comunicación de base abiertas por la tecnología; señaló “la existencia de comunidades alternativas por todo el planeta, de las que informan fuentes alternativas de noticias profundamente conscientes de los impulsos medioambientales, libertarios y a favor de los derechos humanos que nos vinculan en este diminuto planeta”. Su visión le hizo un hueco incluso a los ecologistas fanáticos. Recientemente me recordaron estas palabras cuando leía sobre las inundaciones en Inglaterra. En medio de tanta inculpación y señalar con el dedo, me topé con un correo de un hombre llamado Liam Cox. Estaba enfadado por la forma en que algunos medios de comunicación estaban utilizando el desastre para fomentar los sentimientos de rechazo hacia los extranjeros y escribía así:

Vivo en Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire, una de las zonas más afectadas por las inundaciones. Es horrible, todo está realmente empapado. Sin embargo… estoy vivo. Me siento seguro. Mi familia está segura. No vivimos con miedo. Soy libre. No hay balas volando a mi alrededor. No están cayendo bombas. No me estoy viendo obligado a huir de mi hogar y no estoy siendo rechazado por el país más rico del mundo ni criticado por sus habitantes.

Todos vosotros, tarados, no hacéis más que vomitar vuestra xenofobia… sobre cómo el dinero sólo debe gastarse “en nosotros mismos”, tenéis que miraros de cerca en un espejo. Y haceros una pregunta muy importante… ¿Soy un ser humano decente y honorable de verdad? Porque la patria no es sólo el Reino Unido, la patria es cualquier lugar de este planeta.

Creo que es una excelente última palabra.

London Review of Books

Traducido del inglés para Rebelión por Sinfo Fernández

*Naomi Klein es una periodista e investigadora canadiense de gran influencia en el movimiento antiglobalización y el socialismo democrático. Entre sus libros publicados figuran No Logo, Vallas y Ventanas y La doctrina del shock.


Publicado por Rebelión

Video: Let them Drown - The Violence of Othering in a Warming World, Naomi Klein 2016 (September 2021).