Doubts About Something: To be or not to be correct

(Politically that was never the question)

I do not consider it the sign of an intellectually critical person that he or she has a dogmatically predictable reply to any and every issue. It is perfectly legitimate to have doubts about something.1

Actually I have often disagreed with Bill Blum, but then I tend to share Gandhi’s insight about “Western civilization”.2

The last two essays that reached me and a good friend of mine in the US seemed quite uncharacteristic not because of some supposed “correctness” or “incorrectness” but because of the absurdity of even phrasing arguments in those terms.

First of all the issue of “political correctness”, as I see it, historically is the cynical application of opposition discourse to obtain perverse if not reverse results; e.g., “reverse discrimination”– a term made infamous in the Bakke case3, turned the language of “affirmative action” (already a problematic policy given the racist system in the US) into a tool to defend white male supremacy against supposedly unjust (exaggerated) demands for equality. The “politically correct” position was that taken by the Establishment so as to manipulate the demands of those challenging it in such a way that the majority would oppose what they otherwise might at least rationally accept.

Now, of course, “political correctness” itself has been turned into a term attributed to the ideological “Left” (although there is no such thing in the US) as a rationale for openly “honest” reactionary political language and action.

Disagreement or critique in the most recent essays attributed to Bill Blum begins with the imaginary issue of “political correctness”.4 It then proceeds to the highly dubious claim that ISIS has anything to do with Islam beyond the fact that Christianity is the criminal basis of North American/European white culture– and as such ISIS is a product of the same class of terrorists (not a different class). Of course, ISIS claims to be Islamic, just as Saudi Wahibism (upon which it is based) claims to be the true Islam. ISIS, however, is an entity funded, armed and trained by the overarching fanatics who administer the capitalist empire. French President Hollande did not denounce “Islamic terrorism” in the case of Nice because a) it was unnecessary and b) to do so would compromise deniability. The main issue with the Nice “terrorism” is that like the bizarre events in Brussels (reminiscent of the NATO/Gladio operations in the 1970s) was the expiration of Hollande’s emergency powers. Hollande’s government has been actively using police and paramilitary forces (CRS) to suppress strike opposition to his gutting of labour and social legislation in France. Strikes are again designated as potential terrorism, de jure and not just de facto.

Just as the Inquisition was formed to impose papal supremacy — above all economic and political — the West has always used fanatical “religious” organization as a means of terrorising subject populations.5 In the US lynching and bombing abortion clinics perform the same function that the ISIS performs in the Middle East. Both are State sanctioned but comprise the “unstated” policy of the US regime.6 We need not imagine that ISIS is the only place “unstated policy” is at work. Throughout Africa, Australia, and the Americas terror is professionally organised and managed by the corporate elite in North America and Europe. ISIS only appears extreme because it is also a media product designed to manipulate primarily Europeans to keep them in line with the prevailing imperial strategy — while impoverishing their economies from South to North.

The problem of straw; e.g., in the form of men, arises whenever one attempts to argue without factual reference or with terms of someone else’s design. It is useful to give examples and this is perhaps the most obvious element that appears quite untypical for the author of the Anti-Empire Report.

I would contend that “religion” is vile as such — at least the three monotheistic ones that plague our world and have plagued the world for two millennia. Christianity was and is a terrorist culture armed with a massive state and ideological apparatus — partly transformed into what we call “capitalism”. ISIS is a subsidiary of this terrorist organization. It is really irrelevant for analytical purposes whether one calls ISIS, Islamic, Zionist, or Christian fundamentalist: these are all manifestations of the same ideological terror apparatus that sustains global capitalism. Liberation theology notwithstanding no one needs to defend religion, per se. The liberal defense of religion is really because, as Wilhelm Reich pointed out, even liberals want children taught religious feeling since it helps prepare them for corporate fascism.7

To that extent it is really uninteresting, and I would say irrelevant, whether there are peaceful Christians, Jews or Muslims in the world. It is not their religion that makes them peaceful. Equally the vicious and violent need not have any detectable religious belief. The US, together with Great Britain and France, have actively continued to destroy human civilisation wherever possible with as much help as religion could provide. In this sense they have continued the process begun with the establishment of the Roman Catholic Church, a process that has not stopped. We still have “Christian” and “Jewish” terrorist organisations, largely funded by the State — if not comprising the State itself — that share the same essential goals as the Western funded and equipped ISIS.

One could — and I would say must — argue that ISIS is simply another brand in the product portfolio of monotheistic capitalist terrorism. The fact that people may feel compelled to defend Islam by claiming that ISIS is a reaction by Muslims against Western imperialism is unfortunate since it reflects poor understanding of history, Islam and imperialism. The only thing such a defense shows is how little the defender knows of the entire anti-colonial struggle in which religion played a minor role.

Of course, Islam has a history of conquest. Part of that history includes mass conversion by Christians in North Africa — then the centre of Catholicism — because of the vicious oppression of the peasantry by the incorrigible Catholic elite and clerical monsters like Augustine of Hippo.8 Moreover the secularised Christocentrism implied in the “defense of the West” is useless for explaining the violence to which people terrorised by ISIS are subjected. At this point it is useful to recall that imperial support of reactionary religious and “ethnic” movements has always been a central element of “indirect rule”.9  The US and its allies use the same instruments today — albeit with modern technology — to create conditions for indirect rule in the Middle East.

Essentially we find ourselves set back approximately 100 years, metaphorically. Turkey’s president Erdogan represents a kind of neo-Ottomann class in his country. That is certainly grounds for conflict within the Turkish armed forces and its residue of laicist-Kemelist officers.10 The “Entente nouveau” comprising the US, UK and France are busy redrawing the borders of Mesopotamia again (and as always securing the channels for drug and other contraband traffic). Meanwhile the political puppets bombard us with rhetoric from the Crimean War and all the other slaughter (mainly of non-whites) in the 19th century, and the US regime can think of little better than how to wage war against China and Russia at everyone else’s expense.

The reality is that banks — the core of Western empire — need blood and soil to maintain the value of their money. The past ten years of hyperparasitism in the imperial core cannot satisfy those vermin. ISIS cannot be defeated unless and until the great Anglo-American corporate empire collapses or is crushed. I hesitate to think what that will mean for most of the world’s population until the debris of Western carcinomas (that “civilisation” so endangered) has been properly destroyed or rendered harmless.

Maybe there are two possible reactions to advancing age — wishing to preserve what one still loves despite all disappointments or trusting that the sentimentalities of the past will wither at the latest with one’s own demise. An undogmatic attitude toward humanity and as Malcolm X emphasised “liberty for human beings” (not corporations), can dispense with distorted language and tortured terms like “political correctness”. In fact, it always has. Language purged of history is highly addictive like the narcotics traversing the dollar road from Afghanistan to New York. We are the consequences of our words and our actions yet we are not identical with them.

  1. Malcolm X made this point concluding his Oxford Union address, cited by this author in a previous article. []
  2. Mohandus Gandhi was to have been asked once what he thought of “Western civilization” whereby he replied that “it would be a good idea.” []
  3. Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, 438 U.S. 265 (1978). []
  4. See William Blum Essays and Speeches []
  5. The Mass Psychology of Fascism, Wilhelm Reich, 1946 []
  6. See Henry Lea, History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages, 1888; Douglas Valentine on “stated” vs. “unstated” policy, esp. as found in the (now global) Phoenix Program. []
  7. See especially Karlheinz Deschner, Die Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums, Vols. 2 and 3 []
  8. Rwanda and Burundi are probably the worst cases of manipulative “constructed” ethnicity as a means of domination by colonial powers (both German and Belgian). However, the British anchored the caste system into its Indian law with fatal consequences for post-Independence India. The French exploited preferred Muslim clerics throughout their North African colonies. The sodomising and murder of Gaddafi was just another example of how Western powers prefer religious fanaticism to any kind of nationalism or humanism. Capitalism after all is perhaps “the highest stage of religious fanaticism”. []
  9. Turkish president Erdogan’s claims to parts of Syria and his rabid opposition to Kurdish autonomy can also be understood as an implicit claim to restore as much of Ottoman Turkey as possible with the consent of the West. The refusal to admit Turkey into the European Union  (itself the civil arm of NATO) is always justified in “cultural terms”. However, where do these “cultural terms” originate — in the establishment of the Criminal Christian empire out of the cadaver of Rome. The strange and suppressed coup in July could have a number of causes and purposes which are overlapping rather than incompatible: a) telling the US that if it does not support Turkey it will have to leave b) telling the US and EU that if NATO does not do more for Turkey (since it is never going to be in the EU) then it may seriously consider Russia and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) as a more favourable alternative c) disciplining the military which is certainly unhappy with setbacks in Syria and the ostensible US support for Kurds there, d) eliminating a couple thousand civil servants from the public payroll — something lending banks love; e.g., Argentina. Erdogan is right when he accuses the US of sheltering his opponents. That is SOP in Langley and Washington — for every country. Erdogan is merely stating the obvious. A serious perusal of the serious writing on the CIA; e.g., Philip Agee, John Stockwell, et al. makes this quite evident. Unfortunately one finds almost no one today who cites anyone about the Company other than compromised journalists and retired CIA officers with high media profiles. []
  10. The only thing keeping the world in suspense now is the changing of the guard in Washington. Until the flow of the US regime’s gravy train has been decided there are certainly a number of plans A, B, and C which will be activated as soon as the spoils have been divided at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. By January 2017 we should all be looking for fallout shelters or their moral equivalent. []
Dr T.P. Wilkinson writes, teaches History and English, directs theatre and coaches cricket between the cradles of Heine and Saramago. He is also the author of Church Clothes, Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa. Read other articles by T.P..