No 1460 20th January 2015
Fake-”left” line-up once more with imperialism to “condemn terror” over the Paris attacks, proving even further their craven capitulation to the warmongering demonisation being used to whip up World War Three. Attacking the Islamists as “reactionary” is opportunist sophistry, as is writing them off as “isolated individual terrorists” . Such pretend “Marxism” is just a cover for petty bourgeois moralising and “free speech and democracy” reformist humbug that solves nothing but helps feed the “kill them all” fascist revenge mentality stirred up by capitalist cynicism. The result can only trigger far more attacks by a Third World which can no longer tolerate endless humiliation and exploitation slavery forced on it by imperialist tyranny and barbarity. Understanding the causes of the guerrilla war actions and seeing the impact they have, is not “justifying” any particular tragic deaths. If Islamism is a confused ideology then fight for Leninism
The fake-”left” has once again disgraced itself by joining in with the round of imperialist “unequivocal condemnations” of Islamist guerrilla war fighters following the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris.
Labour movement “lefts”, “left”-reformist intellectuals and Trotskyist and revisionist wings of the pretend revolutionaries alike, all immediately made sure to pour out the “atrocity” and “horrific crime” denunciations in the wake of the attack.
In doing so they prove completely their total and continuing class-collaborating servility and treachery.
So too will their across the board support for the gross humbug about “free speech” which the ruling class is using to whip-up a frenzy of fearful reaction in the petty bourgeois into scapegoating hatred.
Far from making clear that this is shattering blow that has shaken the European imperialist ruling class to the core, as more than a decade ago the 9/11 guerrilla war attacks on New York shook US imperialism, they have belittled and reviled it with lardings of moralising humbug, no different to the hollow humbug of the bourgeois politicians.
Just as many times before, this moralising will do nothing to stop the now tidal wave level of world insurgency and hatred filling country after country and now inevitably spilling into the heartlands of imperialism.
But it will feed the imperialist warmongering itself, aiding the ruling class’s “right is might - kill them all” smiting propaganda being used to stampede the whole world into World War Three as a means to try and escape its epochally disastrous breakdown and failure, by blaming the rest of the world for the resistance stirred up by capitalist oppression, grotesque inequality, exploitation and war.
Whatever arguments there can be about the way such resistance is expressed, and the use of such “terrorist” methods, it is an utter betrayal to condemn those driven to such actions, and to write them off as doing things the “wrong way” driven by “reactionary ideology” (or the ludicrous canard from the ruling class that, for no reason at all, they “hate our way of life”).
Marxism does not advocate such tactics in the current world conditions nor subscribe to the confused ideology around it, but it does say that the world’s masses have the right to fight as they choose, arguing only that there are much better ways to take on the increasingly obviously foul fascist degeneration of the world capitalist system into war and slump turmoil, by building a conscious educated mass struggle for revolutionary communism, overturning the whole capitalist order.
If it is not happening blame the failure of the “left” to give any genuine revolutionary leadership (including with all these latest evasions).
Presumably the “lefts” pouring out their denunciations would also apply them across the board – and therefore would condemn and oppose the six decade long fightback of the genocidally persecuted Palestinian nation which has had only such desperate “terrorist” methods to fight with against the overwhelming high-tech war machinery of the West?
Or the Taliban against US occupation and blitzing? Or the Somalians against Western warlord destruction? Etc, etc etc?
“Unacceptable criminal terrorism” is the Zionist-imperialist description of every determined effort made by the 7 million strong nation to fight back against the outrageous post-war colonial occupation of the lands that they have lived in, an occupation sanctified by the blessing of world imperialism and backed by the criminal stupidity of Moscow’s class-collaborating revisionist “democracy” illusions post-war which recognised and even aided the artificial “state of Israel” implantation (one of Stalin’s many terrible errors brushed under the carpet by the Museum Stalinists).
It was the “justification” for the latest round of horrific collective “punishment” of the Gazans last summer, and repeated fascist war crime blitzings before, as well as constant lower level terrorising bombings and shellings.
In a few weeks, non-stop bombing and shelling slaughtered thousands of innocent men, women and children and left many, many more physically or mentally wounded, crippled, homeless and despairing.
The most “barbaric” of modern high explosive and anti-personnel terror weaponry destroyed much of the already miserable infrastructure and life support in the enclosed and besieged concentration camp that has been made by Zionist tyranny of the Gaza strip, piling further long-term humiliation, bereavement, deprivation and poverty onto at least four generations of their already benighted and persecuted history.
“Dealing with terror” has been the excuse for every similar round of continually imposed blitzing and deliberately terrifying murderous massacring attacks on the Palestinians, and their mass imprisonments, torture and daily violent harassment (as well as constant persecution, deliberate damage to farms and property and racist harassment).
And “punishing and destroying” terrorism, is the meaningless “war-on-terror” rationale for the now 17 years of imperialist warmongering and blitzing to escape and evade its crisis responsibilities, which has spread throughout the region killed hundreds of thousands, and destroying the lives of millions.
This sickening brutality and intimidation has not “solved” anything, leaving scorched earth mess from Iraq to Libya, and least of all the unsolvable “problem” of the never-ending resistance to the Jewish colonial land theft of most of Palestine, but has simply made the matter far worse, with the dispossessed Palestinians growing ever more determined and the justifiable hatred and hostility to Jewish Zionism caused by the persecution spreading far and wide – part of the background to the great upsurge of anti-imperialist sentiment among the masses of the Third World which found an expression in the Paris events.
What the “lefts” are signalling to the ruling class with their sanctimonious comments is that whatever their supposed “firebrand” anti-capitalism, they challenge nothing seriously about its drive to war and its “justification” in the lying nonsense that it was “all started by evil ‘terrorists’ who want to destroy ‘our peaceful and democratic (!!!) way of life’”.
Accepting that the Paris events were an “atrocity” and a “barbaric crime” instead of an outburst of confused but unsuppressable anger by the great downtrodden masses of the planet, is to accept that they should be “punished” – which means accepting the demented fascist “kill them all” atmosphere of chauvinistic warmongering hatred which imperialism declares to be the answer and the long term “endless war” future.
Pacifist and reformist “No to War” posturing and pretending from all the “left” to cover themselves, is rendered totally useless by such capitulation to the hypocritical “righteousness” whipped up in the petty bourgeoisie by the stinking cynicism of the ruling class.
Equally useless and cynical are the layers upon layers of steaming hypocrisy and lies pouring out everywhere about the “free world” and its alleged “right to speak out even if I disagree with you”.
This has always been a hoodwinking fraud, apart from being immediately disproven by the ramping up of already near universal spy surveillance powers and “thought-crime” police arrests (aimed at all potential challenges to capitalist rule) and clamping down or even the arrest of anyone who sees any other side to the story than “criminal outrage”, let alone expresses any kind of support at all for the downtrodden mass of the world, fighting back against the now continuous Nazi war blitzings by Western imperialism.
One small tweet from Liberal MP David Ward supporting the Palestinians – his “Je suis Palestinian” echo of the “Je suis Charlie” slogan so widely promulgated by the capitalist media – to draw attention to the latest event’s inseparable connection with the imperialist war atrocities which have provoked and driven the Third World’s many violent responses and upheavals – and he is immediately disowned by the Establishment, just as Jenny Tonge MP was hounded ten years ago for daring to say that she could “understand the terrible oppression which drove Palestinian women to suicide bombing” (see EPSR 1247 09-07-04).
No two million strong march of the “freedom loving” middle-class filled the centre of Europe last summer, heavily publicised in advance by a huge bourgeois press, media and political campaign and led by the “great and good” of the capitalist world leadership (assorted warmongers and the local stooges they have installed by their neo-colonial blitzings, like the Malian president), to decry this truly enormous atrocity in Gaza (a massacre more than a hundred times greater than Hebdo) carried out by a group of religious fundamentalist fanatics, (who were not battling against oppression but imposing more of it.)
Nor were they joined by the leader of these terrorist fanatics himself, the Nazi-minded Benjamin Netanyahu, responsible for thousands and thousands of deaths and maimings.
The “freedom of the pen” march was a mass mobilisation of total festering hypocrisy by the ruling class and self-delusion by the throngs persuaded to go, stirred up the vilest of fascist and racist sentiment.
Under cover of “defending democratic rights” and “free speech” this self-righteous petty bourgeois mass was pressed into service by capitalism to further intimidate and bully the poorest and most oppressed sections of the French and European populations.
The pacifists holding up their posters and cutouts of pens, and piously declaring that “this is our only weapon” are either totally cynical, terminally stupid or seriously fooling themselves.
The French Republic with its “secular values” and “peaceful persuasion and harmless mockery” they claim to be upholding is the same French Republic which not only has one of the largest and most sophisticated arms industries on the planet but is at the forefront in using its Mirage and Rafale jets, Exocet missiles, bombs, guns and a massive army in world suppression.
Its bloody history is on a level plane with the most barbaric terrorising, torture, genocide and colonialist oppression by any of the major bourgeois imperialist powers and their rampaging occupation and violent colonialist suppression of much of the planet over the last 400 years (all at least as bad as the supposed “specially horrific” German Nazis).
The French Foreign Legion was infamous as a collection of no-questions-asked criminal thugs, thieves, murderers and other of utterly brutalised and dehumanised elements, kicked and bullied into one of the most ruthless and savage instruments of colonial domination and control in all history.
Its suppression of rebellions and national-liberation struggles throughout Africa was gruesome and brutal and nowhere more famously than in the long war of depraved torture, mass roundups, and state terror waged against the post-1945 national liberation movement in Algeria, (which itself made full use of underground “terrorist” methods, as celebrated in the heart-rending and stunningly brilliant Battle of Algiers film).
The fake-“left” obviously decries that struggle too.
It is no surprise that the repellent and deeply unpopular “socialist” (!!!!) president François Hollande – who has already overseen bloody French military interventions in the Central African Republic and Mali to prop up imperialist stooge regimes and suppress local revolts (both Islamist) and continued the French backing for the Côte d’Ivoire coup regime, French support for the Egyptian counter-revolution, and for the monstrous massacring government of Paul Kagame in Rwanda (the real perpetrator of the ‘genocide’ blamed on the Hutus) – could ride the momentum to immediately dispatch France’s flagship aircraft carrier to the Middle East alongside American imperialism’s steadily growing renewed war intervention there blitzing ISIS (despite the lies about “winding down” the Iraq war).
Those waving their pens who make no real challenge to this imperialist colonialist oppression and the arms-race tyranny which maintains the super-profits exploitation of the Third World billions on which their entire smug and complacent “free world” existence is built, are accepting a complete panoply of a nuclear and hi-tech armed might.
They are part of capitalism.
Such “pacifism” and “opposition to violence” is a total fraud in itself.
Multiple layers of hypocrisy underlie all this.
For a start it is not remotely true anyway that there is any even-handedness in “dishing out rumbustuous humourous abuse” in the alleged “democratic societies of the West” or the alleged “ “peaceful and reasonable” effect of the written word, “so different to the gun”.
Nor that all the religions are treated the same and should “take it on the chin” when criticised.
What “peaceful” way of criticism” and “reasonablenes of the pen” is there, particularly in the sheer abuse and racist contempt which has been poured onto the Muslim beliefs?
Or of the hate whipped up against various victim countries and nations (not always Muslim)?
Even some of the less demented bourgeois press commentators have noticed this point, particularly in the final item here from maverick liberal journalist Glen Greenwald’s Intercept (who broke the Snowdon NSA surveillance story):
One of the founding members of Charlie Hebdo has accused its slain editor, Stéphane Charbonnier, or Charb, of “dragging the team” to their deaths by releasing increasingly provocative cartoons, as five million copies of the “survivors’ edition” went on sale.
Henri Roussel, 80, who contributed to the first issue of the satirical weekly in 1970, wrote to the murdered editor, saying: “I really hold it against you.”
In this week’s Left-leaning magazine Nouvel Obs, Mr Roussel, who publishes under the pen name Delfeil de Ton, wrote: “I know it’s not done”, but proceeds to criticise the former “boss” of the magazine.
Calling Charb an “amazing lad”, he said he was also a stubborn “block head”.
“What made him feel the need to drag the team into overdoing it,” he said, referring to Charb’s decision to post a Mohammed character on the magazine’s front page in 2011. Soon afterwards, the magazine’s offices were burned down by unknown arsonists.
Delfeil adds: “He shouldn’t have done it, but Charb did it again a year later, in September 2012.”
Matthieu Croissandeau, Nouvel Obs’ editor, said: “We received this text and after a debate I decided to publish it in an edition on freedom of expression, it would have seemed to me worrisome to have censored his voice, even if it is discordant. Particularly as this is the voice of one of the pioneers of the gang.”
This is not the first time Delfeil has disagreed with the modern Charlie, accusing Charb’s predecessor of turning it into a Zionist and Islamophobic organ.
That was after Philippe Val, the previous editor, fired one of its historic figures, Maurice Sine, for publishing a cartoon on the marriage of Nicolas Sarkozy’s son, Jean, to a Jewish retailing heiress, which he considered anti-Semitic.
The...state-sponsored edition of Charlie Hebdo [* a 5 million print run] became the latest test of a “with us or against us” commitment to “our values”, as French MPs voted by 488 votes to one to press on with the military campaign in Iraq. ...
...What has become brutally obvious in the past week, however, is the gulf that separates the official view of French state policy at home and abroad and how it is seen by many of the country’s Muslim citizens. That’s true in Britain too, of course. But what is hailed by white France as a colour-blind secularism that ensures equality for all is experienced by many Muslims as discrimination and denial of basic liberties.
....Charlie Hebdo claims to be an “equal opportunities offender”, abusing all religions alike. The reality, as one of its former journalists put it, has been an “Islamophobic neurosis” that focused its racialised baiting on the most marginalised section of the population. This wasn’t just “depictions” of the prophet, but repeated pornographic humiliation.
For all the talk of freedom of expression being a non-negotiable right, Holocaust denial is outlawed in France, and performances by the anti-semitic black comedian Dieudonné have been banned. But just as there is a blindness in sections of progressive France about how the secular ideology used to break the grip of the powerful is now used to discipline the powerless, the right to single out one religion for abuse has been raised to the status of a core liberal value.
The absurdity was there for all to see at the “Je suis Charlie” demonstration in Paris on Sunday. A march supposedly to defend freedom of expression was led by serried ranks of warmongers and autocrats: from Nato war leaders and Israel’s Binyamin Netanyahu to Jordan’s King Abdullah and Egypt’s foreign minister, who between them have jailed, killed and flogged any number of journalists while staging massacres and interventions that have left hundreds of thousands dead, bombing TV stations from Serbia to Afghanistan as they go.
The vast bulk of the stirring “free speech” tributes over the last week have been little more than an attempt to protect and venerate speech that degrades disfavored groups while rendering off-limits speech that does the same to favored groups, all deceitfully masquerading as lofty principles of liberty. In response to my article containing anti-Jewish cartoons on Monday - which I posted to demonstrate the utter selectivity and inauthenticity of this newfound adoration of offensive speech - I was subjected to endless contortions justifying why anti-Muslim speech is perfectly great and noble while anti-Jewish speech is hideously offensive and evil (the most frequently invoked distinction – “Jews are a race/ethnicity while Muslims aren’t” – would come as a huge surprise to the world’s Asian, black, Latino and white Jews, as well as to those who identify as “Muslim” as part of their cultural identity even though they don’t pray five times a day). As always: it’s free speech if it involves ideas I like or attacks groups I dislike, but it’s something different when I’m the one who is offended.
Think about the “defending terrorism” criminal offense for which Dieudonné has been arrested. Should it really be a criminal offense – causing someone to be arrested, prosecuted and imprisoned – to say something along these lines: western countries like France have been bringing violence for so long to Muslims in their countries that I now believe it’s justifiable to bring violence to France as a means of making them stop? If you want “terrorism defenses” like that to be criminally prosecuted (as opposed to societally shunned), how about those who justify, cheer for and glorify the invasion and destruction of Iraq, with its “Shock and Awe” slogan signifying an intent to terrorize the civilian population into submission and its monstrous tactics in Fallujah? Or how about the psychotic calls from a Fox News host, when discussing Muslims radicals, to “kill them ALL.” Why is one view permissible and the other criminally barred – other than because the force of law is being used to control political discourse and one form of terrorism (violence in the Muslim world) is done by, rather than to, the west?
For those interested, my comprehensive argument against all “hate speech” laws and other attempts to exploit the law to police political discourse is here. That essay, notably, was written to denounce a proposal by a French minister, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, to force Twitter to work with the French government to delete tweets which officials like this minister (and future unknown ministers) deem “hateful.” France is about as legitimate a symbol of free expression as Charlie Hebdo, which fired one of its writers in 2009 for a single supposedly anti-Semitic sentence in the midst of publishing an orgy of anti-Muslim (not just anti-Islam) content. This week’s celebration of France – and the gaggle of tyrannical leaders who joined it – had little to do with free speech and much to do with suppressing ideas they dislike while venerating ideas they prefer.
Perhaps the most intellectually corrupted figure in this regard is, unsurprisingly, France’s most celebrated (and easily the world’s most overrated) public intellectual, the philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy. He demands criminal suppression of anything smacking of anti-Jewish views (he called for Dieudonné’s shows to be banned and supported the 2009 firing of the Charlie Hebdo writer for a speech offense against Jews), while shamelessly parading around all last week as the Churchillian champion of free expression when it comes to anti-Muslim cartoons.
While these pieces correctly pinpoint the grotesque hypocrisy of the bourgeois campaign, which Greenwald attempts to redress by printing equally offensive cartoons about Jews, they both also capitulate to the hurricane force of the bourgeois propaganda demand to label the incident a “criminal atrocity”, and they also miss much deeper philosophical points about the way the crisis is tearing apart all human relationships everywhere.
Their petty bourgeois outlook remains unable to grasp that capitalism, which has created the framework for human production and interactions for 500 years, has hit an historic brick wall.
The question is not one of exposing and correcting anything, and upholding liberal ideas which have been supposedly misused and distorted, nor of warning, as the edited middle piece from the Guardian’s Seamus Milne does, that:
a price has been paid in loss of freedoms, growing antisemitism and rampant Islamophobia. So long as we allow this war to continue indefinitely, the threats will grow. In a globalised world, there’s no insulation. What happens there ends up happening here too.
How does this pacifist reformism propose “not to allow” or stop the warmongering from continuing when “we” have no say at all, and capitalism can get away with its demonisation excuses for war – aided and abetted by the fake-“left”?
Only ending capitalism can stop war, which means building a revolutionary struggle, and recognising that the breakdown and chaos unfolding is part of the breakdown caused by crisis, the falling apart of capitalism and its weakening.
For all its terrible and shattering discomfort and pain to come, the break-up of the existing order in the broadest of senses can only be welcomed by Leninist revolutionary understanding, as the opening and opportunity for the working masses of the world to finally get out from under their non-stop exploited agony and horrible oppression.
Wanting to stop the “threats” (other by ending the capitalist cause of them) is to want to return to a “nice stable order”, the hankering of all the petty bourgeoise who hate the coming turmoil.
It finds expression with all of the sophistry of the fake-“left” such as the Trotskyist Workers Power, desperate to distance itself from the obvious hypocrisy of the petty bourgeois march and its delusions by criticising the demonisation of the Arab and Muslim population and recognising the causes of the upheaval in renewed imperialist colonialism and warmongering (all wrongly described as “racism” - see Greenwald’s point above).
But the carpet is pulled from under this criticism partially teasing at a explanation of the monstrous oppression which triggered the Paris events, firstly by WP’s “condemnation without equivocation” of the attack, and then by expressing exactly the same nonsense as the stinking imperialist hypocrisy about “freedom and democracy” by declaring that-
recognising the right to free expression does not mean condoning all exercise of those rights.
And how will “all” exercise of it be stopped then??
By regulation? Then where is the “right”?
And how and by whom?
Who will enforce it??
This opportunist gobshyte is pure reformist pie-in-the-sky to further delude and mislead the working class.
It reveals the true petty bourgeois cravenness of these groups.
There is no “loss of freedom” as Milne bewails, because there never has been any genuine “freedom” except in revisionist minds terminally blunted by the long decades of Third International revisionist mind-rot about “democratic paths forwards”, which Stalin’s post-war revision of Lenin triggered, declaring that a fatally war-hamstrung capitalism surrounded by socialist states could no expand as it had in the past, and that as long as it was not “provoked” could be contained by “vigorous peace struggle”.
The “No to War” idiocies of the museum-Stalinists and other fake-“left” are a last residue of this disarming reformist misleadership, the Lalkar/Proletarian of the CPGB-ML Brarites still exhorting moralistically that “if only the working class all refuse at once, then it can stop imperialist war.”
But the current demented “war on terror propaganda” sweeping millions behind it, along with the UKIP stampeding of disastrous Little Englander nationalism and racism (and the Tories and Labour too effectively), demonstrates completely Lenin’s point that imperialism, in charge of all culture, can set the tone for mass war and will always succeed, initially, in getting it going.
Demonisation of the Muslim population is nothing to do with ruling class “dislike” or racism as such as the previous quotes shallowly put it but a cynical and deliberate part of whipping up a “blame and destroy” atmosphere to feed the war “solution” which capitalism alone has created, and deliberately fosters in order to destroy the “surplus” capital which clogs its production for private profit economy, and to fight out which of the groupings of monopoly capitalists in the world should go down with it (currently the Russians and German-led Europe following Japan into the deflationary spiral of the early Slump stages.)
The Muslims potentially are rapidly reaching the level of scapegoating once pushed onto Jews and Gypsies, but this time on a world scale.
Bewailing the loss of freedoms that never existed except in the comfort of a few middle class homes befuddled by the great hoodwinking democracy fraud is part of misleading the working class.
“Free speech” may still be a useful demand to put to win or maintain better conditions for the working class, not as an abstract “right” which cannot exist in capitalism, but only to give the working class the capability to explain and win the revolutionary arguments.
Such “losses” are better used to demonstrate the reality of capitalist class rule which is a hidden dictatorship when it can afford it (in “boom” times) but ready to impose as much open class violence (Nazism) as it needs to when rebellion threatens.
Even in the most “relaxed” “boom” times in the richest of countries, no one who seriously threatens the interests and power of capitalism anywhere, even partially, is ever given any hearing at all, least of all communism which can never have access to any media.
Nor can it be heard above the all-pervading anti-communism which drenches all culture and which is abetted by the class-collaborating “democracy” reformism of the “radicals” and fake-“left” (this counterfeit “leftism” given non-stop bourgeois press and TV interviews by the capitalist media at key moments when the crisis grows critical and the working class is looking for a real understanding and needs to be kept away from any genuine communist philosophy and science).
If any challenges do start to have an influence, arrests, censorship, crack-downs and last-resort fascist military coups and invasions will follow as against Salvador Allende’s “democratic socialism” popularly elected in Chile and massacred and tortured by General Pinochet’s CIA-aided coup just three years later, or in Ukraine.
That is if they have not already been slaughtered and suppressed as routinely happens in much of the neo-colonially dominated Third World, by imperialist trained and sponsored thugs and fascists.
The pretend “left”ism which currently uncritically lauds the new Allendes like Chávez and now Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela, and shortly the Syriza leader Alexis Tsjpras in Greece, is misleading the working class and lulling it into deadly danger by failing to make it clear that only taking power by working class dictatorship is going to solve anything.
Censorship is the norm, hidden behind the pretence of an “open press” maybe, but imposed by the power of media ownership (capitalist and capitalist state, like the BBC), the swamping of all thought and serious analysis by dumbed-down “celebrity, soaps and shopping” populist “culture”, and outright state control and violent intimidation.
Imagination how far any supporter of Fidel Castro would get in putting their case in Miami.
Nor is it the case that “sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me”.
The media and ideological brainwashing is a major weapon of class control.
Devastating war has torn the world apart for nearly twenty years based in one sense entirely around words such as the WMD lies which pushed through the invasion and horrific torture and slaughter in Iraq, the “hunt for al-Qaeda” which destroyed Afghanistan, and the non-stop droning and blitzing of Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Middle East and parts of Africa ever since.
Demonising media campaigns against Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya and equally whipping up the horrific civil war in Syria are partly responsible for stampeding mass public opinion behind the Western nazi-NATO intervention and the provoked and heavily funded and armed civil war chaos which have killed tens of thousands and devastated millions of lives – all egged on by the same middle-class who were piously holding their candles and pens in the Place de la Republique and Trafalgar Square.
Expect yet more deluges of heart-wrenching and painful reports from agonised victims and refugees, pretending this is caused by others and “has to be redressed by invasion” when it is the result of the chaos unleashed by capitalism itself, set going by unproven allegations of “regime atrocities”; “unverified” stories of lurid horrors from dubious uncorroborated “witnesses” (often carefully rehearsed and primed); speciously alleged “genocides” pinned on the very people who are the victims (as in Rwanda eg); or just fantasy “threats” supposedly made by “dictators” like Gaddafi; stunted-up, carefully colour-coordinated “popular democracy demonstrations against the regime” (with excessive media attention and exaggeration of the tiniest manifestations); and all the other lies and Goebbels trickery which capitalism now pours out continuously, along with the general demonising of selected scapegoat targets, from “rogue” nations like North Korea and Zimbabwe to the Muslim population in general.
Sometimes this is unthinking or naïve, but the Western media is saturated with those who do this consciously and knowingly, off their own bat or taking the endless generated lies and propaganda from the intelligence services to weave deliberately into their stories (a planting method detailed long ago by ex-CIA renegade agent Philip Agee for example in his book Inside the Company and others).
Just look at the stream of completely specious nonsense that poured out against the North Korean revisionist workers state over the not-very-funny Sony film “satire” (actually pure anti-communist prejudice) after the computer hacking of the media company, an “attack” immediately declared to be the work of Pyongyang without a shred of evidence (and as many computer experts later declared not provable at all, since it is impossible to say where computer programs originate from).
And just look at the ludicrously exaggerated response of the US, characterising this as “an act of war”.
This Hitlerite ranting has now imposed really damaging economic siege sanctions on the country, which will cause the very hardship and difficulties which the West lyingly blames on “communist inefficiency”.
Of course there are plenty of sometimes honest or principled bourgeois journalists too, and producing good if limited and partial exposés of corruption, torture and double-dealing (and even of the intelligence services occasionally) but nearly all reflecting the anti-communism which is dunned into everyone’s brains by all capitalist culture and education from cradle to the grave.
It is impossible to get a job in the mainstream media, particularly the state-owned BBC without making clear in interviews (or the pub meetings and backscratching meetings that pass for open recruitment) that you are the “right kind of person”, meaning proactively generating anti-working class views and opinions.
And just in case that should go wrong it was long ago revealed (by a flash of more principled journalism) that the intelligence services constantly monitor the media anyway, famously in the case of the BBC with an MI5 agent vetting the personnel and marking files with a Christmas tree symbol for any suspect elements, who then had all advancement and promotion blocked off.
He sat in Room 101 at Broadcasting House, the factual origin of the concept developed for anti-communist propaganda by MI5 informer fink George Orwell in his poisonous 1984 book.
The demented subjective idealism of the feminist lobby and the “gay rights” lobby (enthusiastically taken up by the fake-“left”) is also tapped by the ruling class to block any scientific debate around these questions and their connections to the world class struggle.
Mass censorious and occasionally violent denunciations of “homopohobia”, or “misogynist” and “rapist”, against anyone who questions these PC single-issue diversions, challenging for example the homosexual insistence that “gay is normal and no different to heterosexuality”, or drawing attention to the reactionary role often played by the gay lobby (as in Stephen Fry’s hate-filled campaigning against Russia alongside the West’s fascist Kiev coup, or against Julian Assange, or via the Pussy Riot feminist “democracy” campaign eagerly embraced by capitalist warmongering and helping feed the hatred which has killed over 5000 of the working class in Ukraine) are part of blocking the struggle for communist grasp.
Vladimir Putin’s deluded Bonapartism and its oligarch support is a problem too, and there can be no support for it (as the Brarites do). The Russian working class needs a return to Leninist science as much as the rest of the world, including at some point toppling the restored capitalist gangster tyranny in Moscow and rebuilding the dictatorship of the proletariat.
But the first priority is to see imperialism defeated and if Russian aid helps the working class of Donetsk etc then aiding the West’s “democracy” subversion in Moscow is not helpful and particularly right now.
Fake-“left” PC-ism (and its formalisation as a “safe space” censorship by the Trotskyist Left Unity) is as much a denial of “free speech” as anything else, and certainly of the rational debate and polemic that alone can fight out the understanding and agreement on a world perspective needed build a scientific objective understanding of the class struggle to guide the working class.
The “unfairness” against the Muslims is only part of the great lie of “free speech”.
How much air time did the Irish republican Sinn Féin struggle have, deliberately denied the “oxygen of publicity” as Thatcher breathily put it. The EPSR was asking this more than 20 years ago when Salman Rushdie was being made to apologise (ILWP Bulletin (EPSR) 483 22-02-89) because the West was using the Ayatollahs in Tehran to keep communism at bay and did not want to attack them too much at that point:
The tones of ‘indignant outrage’ from all adherents of the ‘free way of life in the West’ are noticeably more muted when the dictatorial censorship or exemplary punishment is being dished out to supporters of the Irish national liberation struggle for example.
Then the joking stops, and it becomes ‘important’ to treat the ‘men of violence’ as a ‘serious matter’,etc.
Once the humbug has been stoked up high enough by relentless organised disinformation campaigns through the media, then it becomes possible to impose a complete censorship ban on the reporting of Sinn Féin’s own statements or spokesmen just for daring to fight for their country’s independence under reunification; or to threaten the very franchise of a major ‘independent’ TV corporation just for broadcasting an impartial account (and also an impartial investigation into that account) of the SAS death-squad murders in Gibraltar; or to stage Gestapo terror-raids on news studios to wipe out the results of an exposure of ‘defence’-spending misappropriations for anti-Soviet warmongering; etc,etc.
The West makes great fun of the Muslim calendar still only having reached the 13th century, but the reality is that capitalist bourgeois hypocrisy has itself not left the Middle Ages far behind when it comes to self-righteous intolerance of any serious challenge to monopoly-imperialism’s right to rule.
There was no question of the Foreign Office springing to the defence of Jim Allen and his truly enlightening work Perdition which exposed the unbroken links between Zionism and imperialism even in the period when German imperialism was persecuting Jews as a convenient scapegoat to bolster the Nazi longterm anti—communist warmongering strategy.
Allen’s play was hounded off the London stage by Zionist-influenced international monopoly-capitalist pressure, and not a soul lifted a finger to halt this monstrous medieval obscurantism preventing scientific discussion of a very important world political issue. Where were all the representatives of ‘firm rational outspokenness when necessary’ at that time? They couldn’t care less about the serious matters debated in Perdition because of Allen’s left views.
The real issue is always one only: Which system is being defended? If it is the Western imperialist system, then all the ‘eternal values’ are suddenly found to be ‘justifying’ whatever course of action a majority can be persuaded will be victorious. If it is an anti-communist system but one which likes to posture as partially ‘anti-imperialist’ like Islamic fundamentalist fascism does,- then the response is hesitant confusion and half-heartedness. If it is the dictatorship of the proletariat, then anything it does on any front is instantly seen as a ‘diabolical threat to the whole system of values of the entire civilised world’, etc.
Totally abstract notions about non-existent ‘rights to publish and to free speech’ are completely irrelevant to Western imperialist power diplomacy once any serious threat to its dominance has emerged. Such ‘democratic values’ are purely kept for combative propaganda offensives against would-be challengers to Western monopoly-capitalist rule.
And bourgeois hypocrisy aside, daft ideas about ‘eternal rights to freedom of expression’ are an idealist fantasy in any case. There is only one ‘freedom’ and that is the scientific recognition of historical necessity. The iron laws of incurable capitalist economic crisis and inter-imperialist warmongering dictate that proletarian revolution alone can rescue civilisation (from endless degeneration) via a transitional period (several generations at least) of firmly-ordered proletarian-dictatorship-states before a completely new era of communist self-government can securely replace state structures of all kinds. Only then will it be possible for world society to match up to the only worthwhile definition of ‘democracy’ which is that the free development of each individual shall be the condition for the free development of all
....The allegedly ‘subtler’ accommodation to ‘modernism’ of Christianity versus Islam is not really much difference in terms of its medieval primitivism, as seen for example in the fascist colonialism of intolerant Presbyterianism in the Occupied Zone of Ireland; or the burning of cinemas in France and elsewhere for currently trying to show the Hollywood movie Last Temptation of Christ.
The then ILWP paper’s oversimplified description of “Islamic fascism” (albeit qualified, as incapable of becoming a Nazi Germany because Iran is no major monopoly capitalist colonial power) has had to be developed since that time when Islamism was playing an essentially reactionary role in the world, notably against the still existing revisionist Soviet Union’s influence.
Among other things it played a counter-revolutionary role in Iran to head off and suppress a potential communist development, with the Ayatollah Khomeini parachuted in by the West (ironically from the Paris suburbs) to Tehran to fill a vacuum that might otherwise have been filled by communism following the staggering spontaneous eruption of anti-Shah working class rebellion ten years previously.
The disastrously dulled misleadership of Third International revisionism reflected in the relatively a large Iranian Tudeh Party, (CP) was not prepared for, and failed to take, any revolutionary initiative when the Peacock Throne toppled in 1979, and succumbed to brutal torture and murderous persecution by the Islamist Ayatollahocracy, which postured and posed with anti-Great Satan rhetoric to placate mass anti-imperialist sentiment while remaining capitalist and anti-communist, (and therefore tolerated by capitalism initially as a stopgap regime, if still a thorn in its side which CIA stooge Saddam Hussein was mobilised to try and destroy in the Iran-Iraq war).
In Afghanistan the tribalist primitivism in the countryside was tapped by the CIA to fight and entrap the Soviet Union which was supporting the 1980s Afghan revolutionary socialist regime of the time (which was doing many of the things now claimed by capitalism, such as educating women and training engineers and teachers).
But since then the revisionist liquidation of the Soviet Union has complicated matters; Islamism, while still confused, and reactionary in places (such as the feudalist imperialist stooge Saudi Arabian regime and the Gulf States) has come to carry all sorts of disparate struggles philosophically speaking, “blowing back” against imperialism, most notably from the uncompleted bourgeois revolutionary struggle of the middle class in Saudi Arabia (the bourgeois Bin Laden originated Al-Qaeda) to overturn the degenerate tribal/feudal backwardness of the Royal family, (which also turned its hostility onto the imperialist world for supporting the Saudi royals).
Two wings of Ayatollah-ism have emerged, a reactionary bourgeois side backed by the likes of the billionaire Rasfanjani and the mixed working class and countryside petty bourgeois anti-imperialist Revolutionary Guard wing of Ahmadinejad.
But far beyond that, Islamism has increasingly reflected the rising hatred of the Third World masses directed at imperialism and accelerated by the increasing breakdown of all social relations as the world wide effects of the gigantic monopoly capitalist catastrophe unleash chaos and turmoil everywhere (arising from the antagonism in the pores of society itself at all levels and from the imposed war and civil war chaos of imperialist crisis aggression).
The “jihadist” militancy which has arisen widely is a different Islam, it could be said, to the “conventional” mainstream, (as the petty bourgeois class compromisers of alleged “proper Muslimism” keep asserting, desperate to demonstrate their class collaborating soundness to the ruling class in the imperialist countries).
The jihadism is also increasingly different to the radical unfinished bourgeois revolution of the Gulf and Saudi states, though as yet tangled with it and the anti-imperialist nationalism of the Taliban (also now blowing back on its previous imperialist sponsor).
It increasingly is clear that the jihadism carries and reflects the potentially, and sometimes actually explosive anti-imperialist revolutionary currents running through the downtrodden billions of the Third World and deeply hostile to the endless exploitation tyranny and war devastation which is their lot under world capitalist domination.
It reflects the militancy and revolutionary feelings, driven above all by the profound and unprecedented tensions and contradictions of the capitalist world catastrophe, which have currently had nowhere else to go philosophically because of the compromises, retreats and class collaborating nonsense of revisionism, and the petty bourgeois cravenness of the anti-communist Trotskyists.
These various Islamist threads, despite terrible confusions and sectarian differences – leaving the “jihadists” prey to continuing internecine conflicts, and manipulation by reactionary forces of all kinds from the Gulf Sheikhdoms to assorted imperialist intelligence agencies, are surely an expression of world class forces now reaching white heat?
They can only be understood by a class analysis, which is to say by the Marxist world revolutionary perspective which has been abandoned by all the fake-“left” groups despite their pretences.
These “jihadist” philosophical threads are constantly evolving as the worldwide ferment deepens and cannot remain still, because they are the subjective reflection of real material class force desperately trying to burst out of the confines of capitalism.
As Marx and Engels said 170 years ago in the Communist Manifesto the old capitalist mode becomes nothing but a fetter on the enormous potential and possibilities of modern technology and knowledge of society, its production stifled by the suffocating need to provide for private profit for a tiny few chance “owners”.
It makes no sense for anyone, least of all scientific Marxism to lump all the Islamist movements together, nor to declare it to be all “reactionary” nor to declare it all to be “nothing but a Western conspiracy” (as, predictably and nonsensically, a series of “knowing theories” have immediately emerged to declare after the Paris Hebdo and anti-Jewish attacks.)
Describing the Paris attackers as “reactionary” – as Workers Power and most of the “left” do, because of the ideology in peoples’ heads, is nothing to do with Marxism and its materialist understanding that what people think they are doing does not describe the actual underlying causes at all.
Oliver Cromwell’s bourgeois revolution, which established modern parliamentary “democracy” was about overturning absolutist feudal monarchical class control to establish the freedom of property (capitalism) not the fight for a Puritan God, which he believed (See Christopher Hill’s excellent The English Revolution book eg, now – surprise – out of print and almost unobtainable – so much for free speech) and most of human history has been driven by such unconscious class forces.
Marxism is the science of understanding the objective forces and the recognition of the necessities they impose as the only real freedom.
Those forces are behind the unstoppable eruptions of world “terror” from ISIS to Boko Haram and all the way into the “metropolitan democracies” – their terrible and shattering disruption will not be ended by declaring them “monstrous devils” or pseudo-scientifically as “reactionary Islam” as the “left” does.
Nor can their actions be dismissed as “desperate individual terrorism” which can only “set back the struggle” another of the opportunist sophistries of the “left”.
The Hebdo incident was neither isolated nor disconnected as clear from bourgeois press reports both on the jihadist “network” and on the reaction of the Third World and the dispossessed in the French banlieus such as the mass refusal in schools to observe the minute silence memorial for example.
Worldwide it has seen massive impact:
A violent mob torched at least three churches in Niger’s capital Niamey on Saturday during fresh protests against Charlie Hebdo magazine, as France’s president stressed his commitment to “freedom of expression.”
Around 1,000 youths wielding iron bars, clubs and axes rampaged through the city, hurling rocks at police who responded with tear gas in a second day of violent demonstrations against the satirical magazine’s publication of the prophet Muhammad.
The French embassy in Niamey urged its citizens to stay at home, the day after a rally against Charlie Hebdo in the country’s second city of Zinder left four dead and 45 injured.
“Be very cautious, avoid going out,” the embassy said on its website as rioters also ransacked several French-linked businesses, including telephone kiosks run by Orange.
Some 15,000 people also rallied in Russia’s Muslim North Caucasus region of Ingushetia against Charlie Hebdo, which depicted on its most recent cover a weeping prophet holding a “Je suis Charlie” sign.
‘They have to be punished’
Meanwhile, jittery European nations stepped up security in the wake of last week’s attacks in France that claimed 17 lives, including 12 at Charlie Hebdo’s offices.
Belgium began deploying hundreds of armed troops to patrol the streets after security forces smashed a suspected Islamist “terrorist” cell planning to kill police officers.
Said Kouachi, one of the jihadist brothers who gunned down 12 people at Charlie Hebdo’s offices before being cut down by security forces in a siege, has already been buried in secret, it emerged on Saturday.
His brother Cherif was expected to be buried soon in the Paris suburb of Gennevilliers.
The mayor of Reims, Arnaud Robinet, said he was forced by law to accept the burial but was initially opposed to the gunman being buried in his city.
He feared “a tomb that could become a shrine for people to gather around or a pilgrimage site for fanatics.”
Crowds have clashed with police forces in Pakistan over an image of the Prophet Muhammad published in French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
On Thursday, Pakistani politicians passed a motion condemning the magazine for publishing a cartoon featuring the prophet, a week after four gunmen carried out an attack in Paris killing 17 people, including nine magazine employees.
A number of religious groups demanded action had to be taken against the magazine, while protest broke out as part of a nationwide rally called by the Jamaat-e-Islami religious party.
Authorities had to deploy water cannon and tear-gas shells as protesters attempted to break into the French consulate in Karachi, with a TV cameraman, a policeman and a student reportedly hurt in the clashes.
Hardly “no effect”.
But if this is the “wrong way” then condemning it under cover of this kind of opportunist sophistry will not change things.
Just the opposite.
It will hamper the building of the revolutionary movement for communism.
Leninist science is required.
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