Things Fall Apart

© by Mumia Abu-Jamal March 27, 2020

The great African writer, Chinua Achebe, I believe, wrote a novel of the ravages of colonialism, which bore the title, “Things Fall Apart.”  He borrowed the title from the famed Irish poet, William Butler Yeats, who wrote:

“Things fall apart.

The center cannot hold.

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.” *

We see, outside our doors, our windows, a world we did not know, that now exists. A silent, unseen disease, gives vent to massive unease, and unleashes unprecedented fear.

Political leaders pose and preen, saying little of substance, and even less of sense. But in every utterance comes a fevered sub-text: “Praise me, praise me, praise me!” while dozens and then hundreds die daily, and thousands, yea tens of thousands, fall ill. Trillions of dollars dry up, like fruit fall from a tree. They fall, rot, unusable — gone, like the wind.

Politicians fill the air with words, but no solution is in sight.

Several weeks ago, a pandemic came to visit the world’s richest country, and things fall apart.

From imprisoned nation, this Mumia Abu-Jamal. [sound of cell door slamming.]

These commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio.


* Ed Note: The poem cited by Mumia was written by Yeats in the aftermath of World War I, which turned out to be the prelude to the growth of fascism in power and the outbreak of World War II. The stanza quoted includes the prophetic lines:

“The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity”

which is usually a fairly accurate description of the lesser-evilism politics usually on offer from the capitalist duopoly parties in the U.S.

More by Mumia-Abu Jamal on COVID-19

Big Trouble in Big China

© 2020 by Mumia Abu-Jamal

The novel coronavirus has brought the world’s second biggest economy to a virtual standstill. That;s because China is the work house of theWest, where cars, computers, phones, clothes, and a wealth of other items get constructed.

China’s labor force is the key to capitalist production of almost everything. And when it stops, as it has during the emergence of the coronavirus, almost everything stops, as it ripples through economies worldwide.

The US economy lost trillions in one week on the stock market.

After NAFTA in the ’90s, US corporations fled abroad in search of ever cheaper labor — Mexico, Vietnam, China.

China has a vast labor force, and did a slew of deals that resulted in factories sprouting like mushrooms in the dark.

The emergence of the novel coronavirus shows how closely we all work together in this new neo-liberal world.

And guess what?

It ain’t over.

From imprisoned nation, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal

These commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.