Tuesday, January 13, 2015

No, we are not defending Western civilization - maoistroad with reference Charlie-Hebdo question supports all antimperialist positions

Prefering Frantz Fanon to Charlie Hebdo
We anti-imperialists are not part of the clash of civilizations

The attack on the satirical magazine /Charlie Hebdo/ is a further escalation in the unequal confrontation between the West and the Islamic world, which is increasingly taking the form of a /kulturkampf/ or clash of civilizations. We condemn the attack on /Charlie Hebdo/. At the same time, we do not join the ranks of the united front for the defence of the imperialist West and its “superior civilization”, which is emerging as a reaction to the attack. In France, this front ranges from the secularist left all across to the radical right of Jean-Marie Le Pen.This is not about freedom of speech. Where were they, when people were
>tortured in Guantánamo for “our security”? What did they say, when the United States of America subcontracted torture to “New (EU) Europe” or kidnapped (“rendered”) European citizens for torture elsewhere? They remained silent about the “cost of liberty”, just as they were during the Cold War!
This is not about the defence of democracy, but about ruthless power politics: western dominance.Given the total impotence against the rule of this unjust system not only in Gaza, but also in the French banlieues, is it not understandable that someone comes up with the idea to “avenge the prophet Muhammad”? How come that the secularists who fervently criticize religion are unable to see the social and political context of that slogan? “Religion is the opium of the people”, wrote Marx, but how come they don’t remember the first part of that quote: “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature.” It rather seems they don’t want to remember, because they have become part of the system. They no longer want to deconstruct the clash of civilizations, they simply want to win it.
This is meant to explain, not to justify. For jihadism – especially jihadism of the slums of Europe – is a paroxysm, the last convulsion in the (self-)annihilation of the extremely marginalised, a collective rampage. It is a reaction of the hopeless to a global system of permanent aggression, with no way out but death, a revenge against that system, sweeping along into death as many as possible.
Freedom of speech is a great good, too great a good to leave it to the abuse and demagogy of the ruling elites. “Freedom is always the freedom of dissenters,” said Rosa Luxemburg. She was and is right: democratic rights must also apply to the opponents of democracy, even if we reject their positions – whether they are Islamic or secular fundamentalists. More importantly: fighting for rights, we must not ignore the structures of social and economic power, but fight for the rights of the poor and the oppressed.
It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God – or is that fundamentalist hate speech, too?

>Anti-imperialist Camp

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