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U.S. Attack on Iran Would Be “Biggest Mistake It Has Ever Made”


U.S. Attack on Iran Would Be “Biggest Mistake It Has Ever Made”

Arundhati Roy

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman with Nermeen Shaikh. Our guest for the hour, Arundhati Roy, the winner of the Booker Prize for her first novel The God of Small Things. Her second novel, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness was long-listed for that same prize in 2017. Now, a collection of her nonfiction writing is coming out called My Seditious Heart. It is over a thousand pages and will be out in June. Last night, you gave an impassioned address at Harlem’s historic Apollo Theater.


Incredibly thoughtful interview, but here’s the thing: At one point in the recent past, philosophers dubbed this the “post-historical” era, meaning that the ideological battle between capitalist and socialist systems had been clearly won by the former. Yet a few decades later, the capitalist system is now eating itself – endless growth cannot be sustained, and the longer we try to do so, the more violent the reorganization process away from endless capitalist growth is going to be.

Currently faced with terrible future prospects, we’re still essentially doing nothing.

Damn, am I glad I’m old and childless. Shit’s about to get real, yo.


She calls unchecked capitalism a kind of religion that brooks no questioning. She’s hit the nail right on the head with that characterization! It also illustrates just how important nonviolent protest marches and sit ins really are. They are how the powers that be can be questioned by lots of people together. When wrongdoing or inequality is left to go on without question or protest… then it will go on even more than it did before.

It is only by public opposition and corresponding media reporting that corrupt politicians can be made to act responsibly or taken to task on their wrongdoing.

If people do not protest their government’s policies or actions that they feel should be changed then why would corrupt politicians ever act any differently?

Protests and nonviolent civil disobedience are the VISIBLE expressions of how the people feel about some issue. Given the failings of a corporately controlled media, public protest is often the only way that the people have of questioning what the powerful are doing. Unchecked capitalism included!


The fossil fuel industry receives a lot of criticism these days, and rightfully so. But in the final analysis, we are the ones who support the energy industry and it is our standard of living that will need to change. So contemplate what you can do for the cause

Personal Actions

End our love affair with the automobile

Ride more trains and buses

Car pool

Walk and bike more

Turn off the air conditioner in the summer and dial the thermostat down in winter

Become vegetarians or vegans

Refill plastic water bottles with tap water

Discontinue using aluminum cans with and without carbonation

Maximize use of reusable bags and products

Recycle junk mail

Forego fast junk food

Go to “slow food”;

Recycle maximally, especially aluminum cans

Drive and accelerate more slowly

Climb more stairs

Plant more trees

Forego use of spray cans

Ride more trains and buses

Repair, mend and alter as much as possible

Buy solar panels

Compost as much as possible

Last person out of the room turn off the lights

Eat and farm organic

Ride more trains and buses

Fly fewer planes

Promote conference calls and web cams, fewer meetings

Use manual tools instead of power tools

Share more

Use rakes rather than leaf blowers

Decrease use of bottled water and refill plastic bottles with tap water

Maximize reusable bags and products

Push rather than power small mowers

Replace lawns with vegetable gardens

Stop fertilizing and mowing lawns

Compost as much as possible

Minimize use of disposables (Pampers);

Maximize high efficiency LED and solar powered lighting;

Limit endless gadgets

Use motion lighting, where appropriate

Decrease consumption

Limit family size

Local Government Actions

Reorganize cities, building taller residences with a smaller footprint (the end of suburbia)

Institute a carbon tax

Promote car pooling subsidize and expand mass transit

Expand bike paths

Have shareable (zip) cars

Ban electric outdoor signs;

Eat and farm organic

Promote conference calls and web cams, fewer meetings

Eliminate approximately 50% of all street lighting and office lighting in unoccupied buildings

eliminate “fast junk food”; go to “slow food


Federal Government Actions

Eliminate subsidies to fossil fuel corporations

Ban gasohol

Rein in the militaries for defense only and outlaw war

Further shrink nuclear arsenals and increase treaties

Discontinue night baseball

Promote making electronics, house wares, furniture, etc to be as durable and long-lived as possible

Promote recycling

Set standards for making appliances to be as energy efficient as possible

Discontinue single use aluminum cans

Ban electric outdoor signs

Subsidize solar and wind power;

Change from petroleum based fertilizers to regenerative agriculture

Reverse deforestation, plant more trees

Restrict spray cans

Promote conference calls and web cams, fewer meetings

Promote zero population growth with free condoms and family planning world-wide

End yearly auto model changes;

Proscribe junk mail

Scrap the mission to Mars

Adjust tax laws to limit family size


The American Empire’s last gasp.



"Apocalypse Now Is Coming To The U.S."

Will they put all the Iranians in the United States in internment camps?


Yea, but I really hate myself for leaving such a mess for the kids to have to clean up. Still feel like I owe them something better

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Actually, of all the predictions made by Karl Marx in the 1800s that have not altogether come true, this move from national to international capitalism is quite well described. People imagined that he was writing about what happened in the 1930s and 40s, and was just a bit off; but current events fit the mold far, far better


Most kids aren’t kids anymore Phred.

Time for them to take the reins, man.

Hell, I was getting tear gassed and chased by the National Guard by the time I was 17. That crook Nixon wasn’t going to get away with bombing Cambodia without us making it uncomfortable for him and his ilk.

If my folks taught me one thing, it’s to make your kids responsible in all ways, as soon as you are able.

Pampers, are for babies Phred.


Yea I get all that. I made my share of Nam protests in the day. And yes THEY need to step up - it’s their world. And, I still feel like WE dropped the ball.

C’mon PB. many of them are kids too


WE dropped the ball by supporting these two Corporate political parties.

At least the 95 to 97% of us who will admit to it.


Hi ruckndl_____ Great ideas all, and I am able to do quite a few. I’ll keep your check list and check off as much as I can. : )

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I sometimes hear this era as referred to as the “end of history” because of the reasons you outlined. If this era is the end of history it will only be because this is the time where humanity murder suicides it self off the planet.


There certainly is precedent for it sadly. Just ask many Japanese-Americans during WW2


We also need nonviolent civil resistance. Beyond protest and demonstration, we need boycott, divestment, and sanctions. Beyond BDS, we need sit-ins, strikes, and blockades.


Great work, thanks for posting your updated lists!

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Roy says:
“So I remember years ago, I wrote an essay which ended by saying, “Can we leave the bauxite in the mountain?” Because I think that’s ultimately the question. Can you look at the mountain and not just calculate its mineral worth? Can you understand that a mountain has much more than just the value of the minerals in it? And there is—it’s a civilizational issue, right? That for people who have lived there, have known that mountain, they know it sustains not just the people. It’s not just a question of who is getting displaced. But how does, for example, that bauxite mountain—which stores water and waters the plains all around it, which grows the food, which sustains a whole population—but it’s meant for a corporation that is given the mining contract. It’s just, how much does that bauxite cost? Can we store it and trade it on the futures market?”

Yes yes yes! We must impose other values and STOP the looting class, STOP the neoliberals, STOP the corporate libertarians. They are killing everything, and most of us are complicit! We truly have nothing to lose. We need organized mass nonviolent resistance, with demands for strict social and ecological limitations on corporations / business operations / enterprise. We need a DIFFERENT SYSTEM than captitalism / neoliberalism / corporate libertarianism.


The hedge betters say we need 3.5 % of the people to protest to assure a win. That’s in the hood of ten million strong. Quite a gathering.


Yes, I am reading Talib too.


ARUNDHATI ROY: The connection is just capitalism, isn’t it? I mean, it’s pretty clear now.

That’s it. But this is too much for liberals.