Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Suicide is painless... brings on many changes. So the song, and presumably the probable suicide bombers, would maintain.

Over at Harry's Place David T has a thoughtful thought piece.

Now, I am peturbed by the news for several reasons:
1) Suicide bombers will almost inevitably aggravate racial tensions - any asian with a backpack might now be a cause for fear. This might not lead to violence, but to a considerable worsening of the quality of life for many asians who'll start getting shifty looks, poorer service, etc. then even before.

2) That it's west Yorkshire is bad - I doubt it would take much to set off a race riot round West Yorks/Lancashire (where it has happened before) and it would seem that these communities may well be a source of recruits. Now, I wouldn't directly blame racism (although that is a factor - and from folks I've known who lived in the West Yorks sprawl, quite significant) I'd blame the unemployment and loss of industries that have blighted these cities for so long. To that extent I'd agree with David T the Bader-Meinhoff parrallel is suggestive, but altered by possible outside backers with money and tech.

3) I think it needs to be emphasised that Suicide attacks are not a purely Islamic thing. Britain is littered with disgusting war memorials to The Glorious Dead. We are supposed to venerate the sacrifice (mark you) soliders' lives for freedom. If the cause is deemed worthy enough.
I supose what I'm angling towards is that it is special powers that are required, but normal politics - that is the politics of anti-poverty campaigning. The politicsn of building unions, of class struggle. Terrorism is political, and even if the terrorirsts themselves do not espouse any discernbable immediate demands, we can always infer the usual reasoning for why people join armies - to be part of something, something bigger than themselves and (bizarrely I know) to feel incontrol (or at least to feel someone is in control).

I think the great risk is state authoritarians are going to prey on the fears of workers, not only a bad thing in itself but ultimately self destructive and self defeating.

We need a revolutionary answer.

p.s. The TUC are holding a vigil I plan to be there.


Blogger Jools said...

Hi Bill,

Agree with your comment on Harry's Place that we need a 'postive ideology' to help make sense of all this and move forwards. But I don't think the answer lies solely in 'workplace organisation' (as you state in your reply to David T) or building the class struggle (certainly not in the direct economic sense often understood by the term). I'm no fan of the SWP/Respect but at least they are attempting to actively engage with young British muslims albeit for political ends/gains. It frustrates the hell out of me that the SPGB doesn't find a way to do the same, without the political opportunism. For the most part the discourse of socialism remains the discourse of educated, anglo-european white men regardless of whether it is translated into Bengali or not. I suspect the only way this can change is if more moderate Muslims become revolutionary socialists - can you see this happening?


11:59 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

Well, I think the problem is without the workplaces, without something to bring people together, ghettoisation can and will occur (and has) - the barriers regarding islam and islamism make discussion about socialism difficult - I've been told 'Socialist go to hell' at demos by muslims marching alongside the SWP. I think it does depend on the opportunities and advantages for self realisation that movements present - and it seems islamism presents these. Perhaps it's time for me to get down and read Reich...

2:57 PM  
Blogger Yenayer said...

"any asian with a backpack might now be a cause for fear."

Do you think that any person wearing a suit, a white shirt and a tie ( like Blair and Bush ) will cause fear too ?
There are more deaths caused by Bush and Blair than all of the bombings caused by fundamentalists !!
To sum up : A person wearing a suit with a white shirt and a tie, and who always talks about freedom and democracy is much more dangerous than a bearded man shouting out that he will bomb all western capitals ...

10:50 AM  

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