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"We Must Learn to Live Together as Brothers or Perish as Fools"*

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/09/10/we-must-learn-live-together-brothers-or-perish-fools

“The United States has been at war for nearly 20 years with constant preparation for war and constant threats of new wars…”

True (longer really…) but where were you guys during the Obama administration? As a peace activist, I remember UP&J closing shop in 2007 as “our savior” Obama was running for the WH. In addition, I didn’t see the word capitalism mentioned at all. You don’t even know what and who your/our enemy is! MLK knew that the profit system was the engine behind our perpetual war machine.


You’re right, Tom. That was such a poorly written, uninspiring piece, it would have been better just to slap the title “We Must Learn to Live Together as Brothers or Perish as Fools” onto an image of a cat, baby or unicorn, and spread it as a meme on Reddit.


Vegas odds:

Live Together As Brothers: 5000/1
Perish As Fools: 3/4


If your “brother” is a racist, he does not plan to live with you. He plans to exterminate you and keep everything for himself. If you are struck by tragedy, this “brother” will let you die. He has been taught to despise brotherhood. You can hope time will change his mind, but this is his choice no matter how much you wish to include him.

Dear Mary and Thea,
I use the phrase “all of our shadows are the same”. Why don’t you?
By the comments above you can tell everyone is worn out and overwhelmed which leads to emotional responses instead of rational one’s. The great Eric Hoffer said many times that brevity in writing creates a clear sentence. That may apply here, that is for you to determine. Please don’t give up but do try and try again.

I know folk who were in the UP&J leadership who went on to promote Obama’s drone killing as a ‘humane’ alternative to ‘boots on the ground’ - as if peaceful negotiations were not an option. Some of these folks went on demonize those of us who protested Obama for his drone killing, crowd killing by algorithm, sociopathic SEAL massacres, his refusal to prosecute Bush administration war criminals, and his decision to allow the Guantanamo detention/torture center to remain open.


There are a good number of folk in the US who embrace hate, xenophobia, racism, religious bigotry, misogyny, etc. Saying that people who do not embrace these ideologies need to learn to live together with those who do, woefully misrepresents the work that needs to be done.

Of course, it is important to refrain from dehumanizing anyone. But we cannot simply let the hateful ideologies go unchallenged. I don’t know how to change these ideologies, but I do know that, in many cases, people who embrace these ideologies have been indoctrinated by plutocrats and actually have a lot more in common with those that they have been taught to hate.

Thank you for bringing the shadow into the discussion; failure to acknowledge its presence is a major problem with most discussions. But actually, all of our shadows are each other; we dream each other up into what we imagine them to be, which is the part of us we can’t imagine is ours.

I think the March Against Death is a brilliant idea. Combining it with Joanna Macy’s poem and exercise “Bestiary”, a Council of All Beings, and workshops to help people confront their reactions to the crisis–from grief to gratitude–could be powerfully transformative for tens of millions. If it could be organized quickly enough, it could be the centerpiece for the mass actions this autumn by Sunrise, school strikers, and Extinction Rebellion.

Actually, Obama tried to close, or at least modulate what was happening at Guantanamo by presidential decree, but the officers at Guantanamo simple allowed the orders to sit on their desks until they expired

Actually, Harriet, Obama fought efforts of the Center for Constitutional rights, to stop torturous forced feeding, to get prisoners released, to hold accountable US tortures, and to close the prison.

When Obama was first elected, Democrats had the House and Senate. But, rather than closing Guantanamo, Obama perpetuated the right wing propaganda that the people there were ‘the worst of the worst’ who would have to remain imprisoned. Then, instead of immediately closing the torture/detention without trial center, he established a ‘task force’ which dragged it out until Republicans won the House and Senate.

Our shadow(s) are the one thing we have in common with everyone around the globe. It destroys all divisions among us. It proves we all are the same, we all are just humans, no matter who or what you may think you are. Thank you for seeing clearly.