Skip to content

Watch out Benjamin Zephaniah!

With a view to engaging students through different teaching methods, Andreas Bieler and Adam David Morton launched a poetry competition this semester on their core MA module “Theories and Concepts in International Relations”. After all, Roland Bleiker has himself emphasised the role of the poetic image in challenging dominant modes of thinking and practice within International Relations. With that aim in mind we are happy to announce this winning poem by Zubeda Mir that may surely rival the social criticism of Benjamin Zephaniah!





Machiavelli. Morgenthau. Weber. Marx. Foucault.

So many others but I really don’t care though

Tell me how to change the system; this is what I need to know

Tell me why illegal wars and occupations continue to grow

I don’t let concepts define and constrain me

But I want to live the words of respected revolutionaries

Now don’t get it twisted I’m not saying I’m on par to be in this category

But teach me the words of Malcolm X, Che Guevara, Fidel Castro and Marcus Garvey

So many more but you feel what my words are trying to say

If we don’t act now we won’t have tomorrows, we’ll only have yesterdays

I don’t have time for narrow theories and philosophy

Teach me the present and how to change this reality

Tell me why capitalism as a system is failing those in poverty

Hell, we have the world in the palms of our hands, yet half the world is hungry

Whilst the empire feeds itself abundantly, raping its colonies

Don’t tell me how states are acting because of national security

It’s an imperial mindset that’s clear to see within American hegemony

That’s why innocents are locked up and thrown intoGuantanamoBay

9/11 constantly occurring inPalestine,Iraq,Afghanistaneveryday

Seems like powers that be are creating modern day holocausts, whichever way

Same people will shut you down like a wikileaks site, but my thoughts are here to stay

But thoughts are provoked when questions are asked

Deciphering the answers makes an addict reach for his flask

War propaganda doesn’t make bombing a country an easy task

Yet Neanderthals line up and shoot their way to the top of the class

When will we wake up and realise that the war is happening on our streets

This is way beyond the war on terror, it not selective of race, religion, gender caste or creed

The rich elitist, ethnocentric men controlling structures are killing humanity

It’s selective in its nature that’s why those who will suffer are you and me

Those at the bottom, barely surviving are being made to bleed

And that’s why the cycle of famine, backed by the IMF, chainsAfricato poverty

That’s why a divide is created and the people are oppressed mentally

You see if you contain the people then you contain the problem, allegedly

Hold up, its international relations I’m talking about, let me bring it back

Sit down, belt up I’m going on the attack

My man Machiavelli will tell you if it’s in the state’s interest, you’ve got valid causes

That’s why we are seeing the colonisation ofAfrica‘cos they want the natural resources

Realist thinking will tell you that states are inherently aggressive

And will continue to do what they please if it’s in their national interest

Now that doesn’t really sit right with me

You can see how that is implemented within American hegemony

At this rate you could wage countless wars against a global enemy

But what do you do when the face of evil is just an ideology

And what about the evil that resides in the white house and palaces and kingdoms

Don’t switch though the people are regaining their mental freedom

Can you hear the rumble as the tremors grow

2011 being the year when the people rose

Imperialists sitting in ivory walls overawed

Revolutionaries unleashed as dictators are overthrown

Mothers burying children, fathers burying families chasing the dream of freedom

A term which only makes sense when the soul is sleeping

See capitalism has us chained into a never-ending system

But if you’re white and some private school boy your life is breezin’

But if you’re poor and brown your life will be spent chasing

The money that will be enough to just get you through to the next day

Where one hand feeds you and the other lines the pocket of the rich but that’s okay

Cos this system was developed overtime to keep the rich man fat

Whilst those at the bottom fail to climb up, it’s destroying society and that’s a fact

So whilst you so called theorists and philosophers, sit back and relax

With a glass of champagne in one hand and in the other a hypocrisy axe

And whilst you laugh with the same people that you angrily criticise

I will laugh at you because you have failed to realise

You didn’t change the system but you became a part of it, open your eyes

You have churned out robotic apolitical individuals who have failed to materialise

The same institution which practices hierarchy doesn’t let its people rise

So yes, let’s learn about liberalism, realism, constructivism and other concepts

And let’s fail to challenge and speak out for those who the system squeezes to death.

Zubeda Mir

Published inUncategorized

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.