Thursday, 26 February 2015

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Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Foucault: Marxism is to Blame, Not Communist Regimes




Of course some contemporary communists (not only Trotskyists) will emphasise the unique evil of Stalin as the true reason for the purges, censorship, totalitarianism, “class liquidations”, bureaucracy, racism, etc. of the Soviet communist system. In fact there are many retrospective Marxist theories about the failures of the Soviet and other communist regimes. All of which exonerate Marxism and communism from any culpability whatsoever. (E.g., theories about the Soviet Union being a “deformed workers state” and what have you.)

Can the systematic failures of all socialist/Marxists systems be blamed on Stalin and other despots? Clearly not.

Instead the problem is inherent in Marxism itself. At least that’s what Michel Foucault came to believe.

Foucault once wrote:

In the Gulag one sees not the consequences of any unhappy mistake, but the effects of the ‘truest’ of theories in the political order.”

In other words, we're mistaken to look elsewhere for the failures of all Marxist or communist systems. It's not really about “the cult of the leader”, the “invading white armies”, “Western imperialist pressure”, “economic contingencies”, etc.: it's about Marxism itself.

So in light of the Gulag, the purges, Pol Pot and Year Zero, the Cultural Revolution, millions of dead, etc.: instead of looking at revolutionary Marxism as a never-realised ideal: we should look at the ideal itself. That's where the problem is. Indeed it's very odd to look elsewhere after all this time and all those communist/Marxist failures and mistakes. And that's precisely why only Marxists themselves have always looked elsewhere for the heart of the problem.

As a result of this, an open thinker will obviously reject the inherent harsh rigidities, diktats and totalitarianism of Marxism. So it will be no surprise to know that Foucault even went so outrageously far as to advice his students to open their minds (something a Marxist professor would never genuinely do) and read, of all things, the works of Frederick Hayek; whom contemporary Leftist automatons would regard as one of the granddaddies of today’s “neo-liberalism”. This alone would make contemporary Trotskyists and Communists reject Foucault (if not completely). Indeed he would certainly be classed as a “neo-liberal” for such academic openness. (Personal attacks and ad hominems can be found in nearly all Marx's own writing. Indeed it's full to the brim with viciousness and sarcasm: much of which is aimed at his fellow socialists and communists!)

Regardless of the tragic consequences of the free market, these economists and thinkers were libertarians – the exact opposite of communists and Trotskyists (from before Foucault’s day to our own). These people dared to make a blasphemous connection between the free market and individual liberty. They argued that economic freedom (though not only economic freedom) severely limited the power of the state. However, because all communists/International Socialists adore the state (their own state; not the ones they're fighting against) as much as any National Socialist (Nazi), they similarly hate libertarians as much as they hate what they call “Nazis” or “fascists” (i.e. everyone outside their tribe; unless a member of an ethnic minority).

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Monday, 23 February 2015

The Runnymede Trust: Anti-White Racism is Impossible!






Fiyaz Mughal's Tell Mama organisation relies very heavily on one source for his legalistic pontifications about “Islamophobia” and what he classes as “racism”. That source is The Runnymede Trust and its 1997 report, 'Islamophobia, a challenge for us all'. (This is a very early use of the word 'Islamophobia' and it's clear that The Runnymede Trust noted its strategic and political value.)

Tell Mama tells us that it “focus[es] on and use[s] the term 'anti-Muslim prejudice'” primarily because of “the work of the Runnymede Trust on Islamophobia”(which it also deems to be “ground-breaking”).

The Commission on British Muslims and Islamophobia was set up in 1996 by the Runnymede Trust; though this actual report is from 2004.

In terms of the Runnymede Trust and its fight against Islamophobia; it's worth noting that it is self-described as a “left-wing think tank”.

So why “left-wing”?

Take this reason for the Runnymede Trust's Leftism: it doesn't believe that there is such a thing as racism towards whites – full stop!

For example, in 2009 it published a collection of essays which argued that whites “are not discriminated against because they are white”. Well, for a start, there is at least one organisation which discriminates against whites: the Runnymede Trust itself! There are of course many others: such as Unite Against Fascism (UAF), The Guardian, Hope Not Hate, various councils, the BBC, various universities and virtually all Leftist/progressive individuals and groups.

So why this Leftist anti-white racism? Basically it's all down to (Marxist) theory. It has become an article of faith (which most Leftists neither question nor even think about) that whites can only be racists, never the victims of racism.

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Sunday, 22 February 2015

Unite Against Fascism's (Sabby Dhalu) Marxist Analysis of UKIP


 



There's an election coming up in the United Kingdom. It will be held on the7th of May 2015.
 
On the 7th of May (or the day after), it's quite possible that the UK Independence Party (UKIP) will topple a two-party (sometimes three-party) system which has existed in British politics for well over one hundred years.
 
So what, exactly, is UKIP offering the British public?
 
UKIP's primary political positions are the complete withdrawal from the European Union (EU) and a halt to all International Socialist political and social experiments in mass immigration. (Unmandated experiments, need I say, on the British people.)


Predictably, then, Leftists have called UKIP a “racist party” and “far right”(the latter basically being a neologism for “fascist” or even“Nazi”). That’s not a surprise: such people call virtually all those who dare to disagree with them (or to the Right of Che Guevara/Trotsky) “racist” or “far right”.
 
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The“Class Nature” of UKIP... & of UAF

Sabby Dhalu, a spokesperson for Unite Against Fascism (UAF), once offered us a thoroughly Marxist “class analysis” of UKIP.

She began by saying that

[f]ar from being a working-class party, Ukip is a reactionary multimillionaire-sponsored creation”.



(All this is from an article for the Communist Party of Britain's newspaper,Morning Star.)

The thing is, even if UKIP were a working-class party, UAF-SWP would still offer a negative Marxist class analysis of that fact too.

For example, the middle-class Leftist problem with the EDL was once that it was full of “white working-class knuckle-draggers”. Then another former leader of Sabby Dhalu's very own UAF, Martin Smith, said that it isn't a working-class movement at all: it's really a“petite-bourgeois” one. He said that “many [EDL] come from petty bourgeois professions –the classic base of fascism”. (Yes, Trotskyists are still using these quaint archaic terms.)

In any case, UAF and many other Leftists have more or less admitted that most UKIP supporters are working-class. Nonetheless, in the classic Marxist conspiratorialist style, they also argue that it's led by“reactionary multimillionaires” who simply and very easily hoodwink all its working-class supporters. And of course the workers are hoodwinked because they're thick. Or, in Marxist-speak, they have“false consciousness”. In fact the middle-class whites of UAF and Hope Not Hate also think that black and Asian supporters of UKIP are“Uncle Toms” who also suffer from false consciousness: i.e., they're not Leftists. (See this article on UAF-SWP racism towards UKip non-white supporters.)

What all these Marxist “analyses” have in common is that what UKIP -or UKIP Uncle Toms - believes is of absolutely no consequence. It's the “class nature” of UKIP that really matters – not its values and concerns. Actually, in the Marxist picture, the values and concerns of UKIP are completely determined by the “class structure”of its leaders and supporters; as well as by today's “socio-economic realities”.

Thus Sabby Dhalu's article is an even cruder version of the already crude Marxist “materialist analyses” (or tarted-up ad hominems) we've had to put up with for the last 150 years or so.

Yet if class and socio-economic conditions are literally everything, then that must also apply to UAF and indeed this article by Sabby Dhalu.

So what is the class nature of Unite Against Fascism?

It's overwhelming made up of white, middle-class people. Indeed many in the higher ranks are upper-middle-class. Not only that: English universities provide almost the entire “socio-economic environment”of UAF-SWP activities and members. And that's forgetting the the professors/lecturers who make up many of UAF/SWP's leaders and the overwhelmingly middle-class students who make up its foot-soldiers.

Now isn't all that a perfect subject for a Marxist “class analysis”?

UAF Lumps All Immigrants Together
 
Sabby Dhalu's Marxist analysis continues. She says that

[i]mmigrants are being wrongly blamed for the cost-of-living crisis as a result of the Tory-led coalition’s austerity measures”.

But didn't Dhalu say that UKIP is made up of “millionaires”? Are such millionaires also suffering from the “cost-of-living crises”?

Except, as a Marxist, she'll now claim that UKIP millionaires hoodwink their stupid working-class supporters. However, remember here that the SWP's Martin Smith said that the membership - not even the leadership - of the EDL is “petite-bourgeois”. So if that's true of the EDL, surely it must be even truer of UKIP.

Apart from all that, I've heard any heard a UKIP supporter - or anyone else for that matter - blame immigrants for the “cost-of-living crisis”.Some may have done so, sure. Though it's hardly a prime determinant of why people have voted for UKIP. Instead, when it comes to immigrants, it's to do with mass immigration and its effects on communities. It's about the rise of Muslim ghettos and Islamisation in the UK. It's also about Roma criminality and whatnot. None of this has anything directly – or even indirectly - to do with poverty or unemployment.

And even when immigrants do take the jobs of the native British (which they do), this has largely been the result of the experiment in mass immigration on the British people (between 1997 and 2010) which was carried out by the Labour Party for political and ideological (not economic!) reasons (which Sabby Dhalu would definitely sympathise with). It had almost nothing to do with economics or jobs. It was ideological and political from head to foot. Indeed it was very much in tune with what UAF and the SWP believes.

And the voters' consequent anger was primarily aimed at the fact that it all occurred behind their backs and without any public mandate whatsoever. It was largely the politics of this Leftist experiment that enraged voters; not unemployment or jobs. And that's precisely why Sabby Dhalu focuses all her energy on shop-worn and monotonous Marxist analyses of mass-immigration economics and not on the politics and ideology which drove it.

Such is the crudity of Sabby Dhalu's Marxist analysis and the obsessive way in which Leftists try to make reality (or the facts) fit Marxist theory/theology rather than Marxist theory/theology fit reality (or the facts).

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Prof. David Papineau: Please Don't “applaud anti-Islamic cartoons”!


 

It's ironic that when I began this piece I knew nothing about the killings in Denmark. It was only when I was half-way through writing it that news began to come through about what had happened in Copenhagen.

Having said that, many people had already speculated that there would be similar Islamic attacks to the one in Paris. And others had also said that such attacks would happen sooner rather than later.

Basically, these are the first stages of a inevitable civil conflict (or even civil war) which will explode somewhere or other in Europe within the next decade or so. (Perhaps in different places at the same time; which is what happened in the UK in 2001.)

Professor David Papineau

David Papineau himself is the Professor of Philosophy of Science at King's College, London. He's also a well-known analytic philosopher who's written popular books on the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of science.

Ironically enough, Papineau signed a petition (dated the 2nd of February 2015) which was summed up by the Guardian newspaper by the title: 'Counter-terrorism and security bill is a threat to freedom of speech at universities'.

In that petition the following words can be found:

One of the purposes of post-compulsory education is to foster critical thinking in staff, students and society more widely...

The best response to acts of terror against UK civilians is to maintain and defend an open, democratic society in which discriminatory behaviour of any kind is effectively challenged....”

Despite the self-aggrandising words above, free speech is massively under threat from the Left in British universities.

The Leftist-Islamic Coalition Against Free Speech



David Papineau's central point is expressed by his own question:

How can our “outrage of the Paris killings provide extra reason to applaud anti-Islamic cartoons”?

Papineau himself doesn't seem able to guess the obvious and simple answer to that question. That answer is:

To many people, the killings precisely expressed the nature of Islam (as expressed in some of Charlie Hebdo's cartoons). Thus the Paris killings give people every reason to applaud “anti-Islamic cartoons”.

It doesn't matter at this moment if the critics of Islam have Islam right or wrong because that's the kind of reply that many people would give to Papineau. (Though, of course, they wouldn't use those precise words.)

Following on from that, the analytic philosopher then says something that is,well, quite repulsive. He says:

Why have so many people responded to the Paris horrors by insisting on the right to free speech?”

Well, to state the obvious, the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists were killed because they were exercising their free speech. Thus many people, in response, are “insisting on the right to free speech”... Am I missing something here, Mr Papineau?

Anyway, Papineau's statement will be as offensive to many people as the cartoons were to Muslims. Not only that: what he has said is kind of like saying the following:

Why did so many people respond to those Nazi killings by insisting on stronger laws and actions against Nazis and stronger words against Nazism?
 Nothing to Do With Islam?

David Papineau seems to think that the killings in Paris had nothing to do with Islam. (Or at least they weren't, to use his own words, “due to Islam per se”.) What's worse than that, he sort of takes that for granted.

This is what Papineau says:

I can't help feeling that the insistence on free speech implicitly expresses the thought that the murders are due to Islam per se and so the right response is to condemn the religion.”

Firstly, what kind of demonstration or argument would Papineau require in order to show him that the murders were (or were not) “due to Islam”? (Not that he asks for an argument.) Indeed what kind of demonstration or argument could conclusively show that it was due to Islam?

Since there are around one hundred and sixty-four passages in the Koran which explicitly call for violence against “idolaters”, “unbelievers” and “blasphemers” (as well as the fact that the Prophet Muhammed himself killed people for these very reasons), what more does Papineau want? Above and beyond that, the killers themselves said it was due to Islam and many of their Muslim defenders (millions of them!) have said that it was due to Islam. Yet David Papineau (like David Cameron, et al.) - a non-Muslim who has no speciality in Islam - says that the killings had nothing to do with Islam (or that they weren't “due to Islam per se”).

Of course this is when Papineau and his ilk will cite the (very) few positive passages in the Koran. They will also tell us that people can interpret the Koran in any which way they like.

All that's true – in theory. (It's even true to a tiny extent in practice.) However, none of that stops it from also being a fact that everything the killers did they did in concordance with Islam: in concordance with the Koran, the hadith and with “the example of the Prophet”.

David Papineau also says that “to respond to those despicable murders by expressing ones distaste for the religion looks prejudiced to me”. Not it's not! It's both the logical and the commonsensical thing to do.

I'll show that by rewriting what Papineau has said and simply substitute a few words, thus:

To respond to the despicable murders and actions of the Nazis by expressing one's distaste for National Socialism (Nazism) looks prejudiced to me.
If Papineau thinks that it's some kind of category mistake to compare Nazism to Islam, then he'd better tell me why that's the case. The thing is, I'm not necessarily comparing Islam to Nazism here. All I'm doing is explaining the actions of the followers of a religion/ideology in terms of their religion/ideology itself.

Feeding the Fire of Extreme Islam?

If you take stern measures against Nazis/violent communists (or if your words against them are strong), will that also end up, as Papineau puts it, “feeding the fire”? Not if the actions and words make it more difficult for the Nazis/communists to do what they do.

And even if the words and actions do feed the fire of extreme Islam, does that mean we should remain silent? More to the point, does that mean that the Charlie Hebdo cartoons shouldn't have been published in the first place? After all, publishing them also fed the fire; at least according to many Muslims and Leftists.

Papineau is expressing a kind of means-end (or even utilitarian) approach to the Paris killings by saying that conflating (as he sees it) the killings with Islam is feeding the fire. And even if there are many connections between Islam and the killings, then we still shouldn't say that there are such connections.

By the same means-end (or utilitarian) argument, we shouldn't have allowed the cartoons to be published in the first place. In fact all sort of things – very many things! – are feeding the fire of Islamic extremism:

- the banning of the burqa in the workplace

- not having halal produce in every school in which there are Muslims

- not having prayer rooms in every workplace in which there are Muslims
 
- not allowing more sharia law in European “Muslim communities”
 
- taking any action against Muslim terrorists and sexual groomers
 
- allowing the EDL and Pegida to demonstrate (or not banning them)
 
- allowing women to wear short skirts, men to drink beer, etc. in “Muslim areas”, etc.
 
- the existence of Israel (as well as the support of Israel)

Perhaps Israel should be destroyed, the burqa should be allowed (even in public occupations), Muslims should have complete sharia law in their “communities”, EDL and Pegida demos should be banned, etc. You see, if we don't do all of these things, then - according to Papineau's logic – we'll be feeding the fires of Islamic extremism.

The bottom line is that Papineau means-end approach (which is actually appeasement and cowardice) will actually feed the fire far more than the positions and statements he's arguing against.

Being Against Islam is Being Against Muslims?

David Papineau also thinks that associating the killings with Islam automatically translates in “antipathy to all Muslims”.

So are the many critics of Christianity automatically antipathetical to all Christians? Some of them are, sure. However, most of them aren't.

So what's the argument here? Is it this? -

i) If people have a strong stance against Islam.
 
ii) Then they must also have a strong stance against all Muslims.
 
iii) Therefore it's best not to encourage - or even allow! - such people to display their strong stance against Islam because it will inevitably translate into a strong stance against all Muslims.
In fact that's precisely the position that Loonwatch, Reza Aslan and Tell Mama (Fiyaz Mughal), for example, have argued.

The end result of that kind of reasoning - which is precisely what Unite Against Fascism (UAF), Hope Not Hate, Islamophobia Watch, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), CAIR, etc. want – will be the complete political censorship of all criticism of Islam. That would basically be (ironic as it may sound) a sharia blasphemy law imposed on the entire non-Muslim West.

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Notes

1) One can't help thinking that it's politics that's behind Papineau's position, not a philosophical position on free speech or his sensibilities regarding "people of faith". Indeed he more or less says that himself (if not in those precise words).

2) David Papineau is most certainly not religious. He's never mentioned blasphemy before (in print) or spoken out against the criticism of religion. In fact he's a "naturalist", "physicalist" (to use his own philosophical terms) and a self-described "atheist".

3) What David Papineau has done is what countless Leftists have also done: make Islam an exception (for basically political reasons).

As soon as many religious people were seen to have brown skin (in Europe and the United States) and threaten violence, everything changed. Not for any deep sensibilities as regards religion. (The British newspaper the Guardian perfectly displays this hypocrisy on religion.)

4) David Papineau says that he's “rather against offending Muslims for the sake of it”. What the hell does he mean by that? Would the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists have said that their cartoons about Muhammed and Islam were just attempts at “offending Muslims for the sake of it”? I know the Trotskyist/ communist/progressive Left has been arguing that; though what does it so much as mean? There's a whole culture, tradition and philosophy behind satire and I'm sure that this applies as much to Charlie Hebdo as it does to Private Eye or to Leftist satirists such as Gerald Scarfe (who's been accused of anti-Semitism) and Steve Bell at the Guardian.

Having said that, many would also argue that even if certain cartoons or pieces of satire are “just for the sake of it”, then that's not such a bad thing either. People often offend me and my beliefs “just for the sake of it”. People often offend you and your beliefs just for the sake of it. So you can't make an exception for Islam because that won't wash when it comes to Christians, atheists and the non-religious. They will ask: Why such an exception?

Almost every piece of satire ever created will have offended some group or some individual at some point. So why is that issue being brought up all of a sudden and by - of all people – socialists and Marxists?

5) Let's not mince words here. Why are so many Marxists/Leftists suddenly talking about “offending people of faith” and whatnot when many of these very same people will be on record of offending religious people in the past? The answer to that is brutally simple. They aren't against offending people or bothered about religious sensibilities. They're bothered about offending Muslims. And why does that bother them in the way it never bothered them when Christians were offended? Because Muslims kill people when they are offended and they tend to have brown skin - thus they are an ethnic minority (tools of the revolution). Thus political opportunism, cowardice and ideological correctness are making Leftists say the most hypocritical things imaginable about Islam and  even religion generally.

The Left was all in favour of Charlie Hebdo and other such publications until they brought about a violent backlash from Muslims. Then, one morning, there were Leftists galore (e.g., the Guardian, the SWP, Socialist Action, Counterfire, Glen Greenwald, CounterPunch, etc.) who criticised Charlie Hebdo for being disrespectful to religion and worse than that: of being racist and even “right wing”.


Thursday, 19 February 2015

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