[Interview] Immortal Technique Talks Class Warfare And Why More Information Isn't Always Better
In part two of our talk with Immortal Technique, we get the rapper’s thoughts on class warfare, why access to a lot of information isn’t always a good thing and why we need to reexamine how we view “civilized” and “savage” societies.
TWV: Touching on culture especially in this election, I think the grave threat to democracy is misinformation. News and history has been channeled into red versus blue. It’s which news team do you root for? It’s not I want news that’s based on fact so I can form my own opinion based on that. Do you feel our deductive reasoning is being stripped away from us by those who control the media whether it’s on the side that you like or the side you don’t like?
Tech: That’s the tip of the iceberg. I think the problem is not only in the way that news outlets decide to disguise their private public opinion on these opinion shows which are on FOX, then they conveniently get out of saying, we’re not really presenting facts, we’re presenting our opinion. I think while people pay attention to some of these, the majority of people have made up their minds and it’s not one news story that’s going to completely change the way they feel about certain issues.
I think most people are born into a family that’s going to decide their politics and their religion. People say, ‘I was born a Christian’ [or] ‘I was born a Muslim.’ I say, ‘That’s your parents fault.’ That has nothing to do with nobody else. You made that decision at the age of two? No your parents decided for you and therefore you collected a series of thoughts and beliefs based upon that. Not even your divine natural human nature, but rather the teachings that people decided to politicize 1700 years ago and put into practice within the confines of how much they can get away with in American law now.
I visited Afghanistan. I’m not a fan of the Taliban. I’m not a fan of the Christian Taliban either. I’m not a fan of anybody whose religion or race, or even implies that they do, in some way or shape or form, give them an advantage over other people. It doesn’t. If you think that, at that point, you’ll have done your religion and your race a great disservice.
TWV: Do you feel religion in the global landscape has been waved as a flag to further free market initiatives?
Tech: Not just that, but also military objectives as well. You see it all the time, the double standard that’s played out in the media and the news considering who’s a terrorist and who’s not. In terms of bringing the financial structure of what we have to people around the world, it’s always been a very oddly lopsided series of agreements. We’re talking now about, not just the idea of capitalism, but the practice of it, is obviously very different in the relationship between the United States and France and England or the United States and Germany and the United States and Columbia and Honduras or one of the other places it uses as a vassal in order to get what it wants in terms of resources.
I think when we step back and we examine the influence of that, it’s not just a global capitalist structure that they’ve [brought], but it’s also the idea that nothing else exists beside that. If communism failed in 1994, then most surely capitalism failed back during the end of the [George W.] Bush years when this country basically went bankrupt [in 2008]. When the financial institutions responsible for bankrupting the entire nation, when people were asked to give up their lives then arrested for protesting, yet none of the people who ruined the economy were arrested at all.