From a speech by Jack Barnes in October 2001.
...."For self-serving ends, the rulers and their shameless media propagandists have ripped away privacy from thousands of people who did lose family members and friends on September 11. They are cynically exploiting concrete individual weeping in order to turn it into general patriotic fervor."
But none of this has anything to do with human solidarity, Barnes said. It is part of the capitalists' political preparations to maintain their inhuman social system, restrict the rights and drive down the conditions of working people at home, and inflict unimaginable horrors on toilers abroad.
"It's part of the 'pornographication of politics' that has accompanied the deepening crisis and instability of the world capitalist order over the past decade," Barnes said.
"The rulers barrage working people with sensationalized stories of individual corruption, 'decadence,' sex, divorce, and tragedy, all of it turned into group emotion. Whether it's the sex life of President Clinton or Prince Charles; the death in a car crash of Princess Diana; or the private mourning for friends and loved ones killed at the World Trade Center or the Pentagon--the effect of such engineered public spectacles is to take our eyes off the exploitative class relations that are the source of social ills and human misery under capitalism."
All this is part of the rulers' manipulation of anxiety, resentment, and fear of loss in order to diminish what Barnes pointed to as the only reliable basis for human solidarity--the political solidarity of workers, farmers, and other exploited toilers. That solidarity is based not on sentimentality or fear but on the growing political consciousness and confidence of the working majority of humanity who have no class interest in the exploitation, oppression, and humiliation of other human beings.
"That's why the front page of every issue of the Militant during the campaign against the imperialist war," Barnes said, "needs to feature an article or two about a strike or rally organized by workers, a farmers protest, a demonstration against cop brutality, an action in defense of immigrants' rights, or a protest to demand affirmative action for Blacks, women, and other oppressed layers of the working class.
"That's how growing numbers of workers and youth will come to understand in practice who 'we' and 'they' really are--and to think and act accordingly."