On far-right Breivikism

Standard

“ While the far right has always been obsessed with Jewish people, today’s far right is fixated too with Muslims and Islam. After three Islamist terrorist attacks in just a few weeks, some believe that Muslims as a whole are a fifth column, an internal menace to western civilisation. And that’s what leads on to what you could call ‘Breivikism’. In 2011, the Norwegian fascist terrorist Anders Breivik launched an Islamophobic attack that did not target Muslims. Instead, he targeted young socialists, whom he believed were traitors responsible for mass immigration, multiculturalism and the Islamisation of Europe. According to this worldview, the left is the enabler of Islam, and therefore just as culpable for the destruction of the west ”

Owen Jones, ‘Far-right extremists are cornered and dangerous. They must be challenged’, The Guardian

Advertisements

On discrimination and telling victims to avoid being victims

Standard

“ .. studies show that Muslim women account for 90% and 81% of reported anti-Muslim incidents involving violence respectively. (In most cases, the Muslim woman was wearing a headscarf.) To the anti-Muslim bigots, a hijab is not a sign of piety. It’s a target. By the way, if you feel inclined to tell Muslim women to remove their hijabs as a way of avoiding violence, please don’t. Better yet, instruct the bigots not to attack them instead ”

Moustafa Bayoumi, ‘Donald Trump is not blameless when white supremacists slaughter people’, The Guardian

On Ukip’s leader twisted views on torture and human rights

Standard

“Asked about previous comments in which he said torture techniques such as waterboarding might be justified if it was to prevent an imminent attack, Nuttall said he did not want it to be used routinely. However, he said in some cases hard measures could be needed (…) Nuttall also repeated that while support for the death penalty was not Ukip policy, he would be potentially willing to pull the lever and personally execute people convicted of child murders ”

Peter Walker, ‘Paul Nuttall: internment might be necessary to counter ‘Islamist cancer’ ‘, The Guardian

On using a common human nature to counter the alt-right’s discourse

Standard

“ The alt-right’s self-appointed leaders have exploited real economic pressures in service of their ideology. They hype dubious crime statistics, Islamophobia, and general racist and sexist nonsense to channel the real suffering that neoliberal policies have created over the past thirty years. People seduced by the far right experience this economic warfare, but they understand the struggle in racial or civilizational terms. Thus, they cannot perceive their common interest with the oppressed of other races and nationalities. Simply responding to economic pressure obviously does not suffice; we need to comprehend these pressures themselves. Against the alt-right, how do we assert that class struggle is more fundamental than membership in a particular racial or ethnic community? How do we argue that everyone should care about the exploitation and suffering of those from different cultural backgrounds? It is by advancing the one premise that racist and xenophobic ideologues most vehemently reject: a common human nature. Of course, positing a shared human nature will not guarantee political struggle either. Cheerily shouting “we’re all in this together” will not establish peace and harmony among all peoples. Handing a police officer a soft drink will not abolish racism. At best, this manner of thinking belongs to the utopian socialism of the nineteenth century; at worst, it bolsters today’s consumerist liberalism. The Left must both recognize our common humanity and perform a clear-headed analysis of oppressive societies’ historical contradictions. By acknowledging the invariant drives shared by all human beings — drives for physical well-being, education, and community — we can measure society’s relative progress in meeting those demands. At the same time, by understanding existing contradictions and current historical movements, we can chart the course toward greater human flourishing. We need to carefully determine the relationship between human nature — what Marx called “species being” — and its development in time and place. Human nature is not elevated to some heavenly ideal that can never be achieved in the fallen, material world. Instead, by human nature, we mean all the real and still latent capacities of the human species. (…) The Left cannot view these sites of conflict cynically — as mere instruments for class struggle — but recognize the role they play in building class consciousness. By demonstrating how diverse forms of oppression have a common root in capitalism, these struggles reinforce the fact that abolishing capitalism is the necessary condition for overcoming these forms of injustice ”

Harrison Fluss & Landon Frim, ‘Dialectical Enlightenment’, Jacobin Magazine

On the FBI’s islamophobia and disruption of opposition movements

Standard

“Until recently, the FBI’s internal documents were rife with Islamophobia. In 2011, Wired reported that FBI counterterrorism agents were being taught that “mainstream Muslims” were terrorist sympathizers, that the more devout they were the more likely they were to be violent, and that Muslim Americans were essentially a population of terrorists ready at a moment’s notice to spring into action. The revelations prompted an internal purge of hundreds of documents, but as recent actions by Bureau agents have shown, it takes a lot more than eliminating such documents to change this mindset (…) The FBI is not and never has been an apolitical guardian of democracy. From its very inception, it has been an agency that mixed the responsibility of serving as a national police detective force with the relentless — and highly political — task of going after movements that seek to challenge political orthodoxy, no matter how minor (…) None of this is to say that the Bureau’s investigation of the Trump campaign is all smoke and mirrors, or that we shouldn’t be disturbed by the Comey firing. Trump’s bumbling attempt to potentially shield his administration from investigation is a serious matter. We should all be outraged at his blatant arrogation of power — but let’s not give the Bureau too much credit ”

Branko Marcetic, ‘The FBI is Not your Friend’, Jacobin Magazine

On the strict correlation between European colonialism and imperialism and immigration

Standard

“ In the French case, it is impossible to maintain a settler colonial regime on your own doorstep for over 100 years, with all the brutality inherent to such a project, without telling yourself certain stories by way of justification. If you can convince yourself that you are the agent of modernity and progress, while your colonial subjects are backward, superstitious and irrationally violent, then massacres, torture and repression become regrettable necessities or understandable aberrations. Then, when your subjects in north Africa and elsewhere overthrow your rule, end your empire, and then in some cases come to your country as economic migrants or refugees, you are ready to see these developments as a humiliation, an insult and a threat (…) The reality is that in Britain and France much of our patriotism has been toxified by imperial self-satisfaction, an inherited sense of superiority over others, and a refusal to climb down from this through an honest reappraisal of our history. It is here that we find the roots of the post-imperial status anxiety that characterises the rightwing Brexiteers. It is also here that we find the instinct to see Muslims as uncivilised, immigrants as an economic burden, and refugees as cockroaches or just chancers on the scrounge ”

David Wearing, ‘Immigration will remain a toxic issue until Britain faces up to his colonial past’, The Guardian