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Beyond the horror of the event, it’s incredibly frustrating how easily it seemed happen. It’s well known how poorly airline security personel are paid, how flimsy cockpit doors are, and so-forth. With events like, first you are caught by the details, then the bigger picture emerges. But details still linger.
1. The US is the policeman for an economically unified world. But neither US nor any imperialism or neo-colonialism can control nations without circumstances that create internal US allies. The US generally will not ally itself with the masses, so the US must seek an educated elite to be its servants. And indeed, this means the US allies with the most backward part of this elite, because the “progressive” forces of the third generally make some alliance with their working class (not to confuse such an attemped alliance of progressive bourgeois with the working class to mean that the third-world working class has a common interest with the progressive bourgeois). The US has more and more encountered a reactionary, religious but anti-imperialist faction of the third world bourgeois. This faction grows out of the US’ willingness to relentlessly promote reaction over all else, out of the general emptiness of bourgeois existence prompting a myth of return to earlier times, out of rebellions coming out of increasing world missery, out of capitalist world that no longer gives reasons for optimism concerning progress. This rising group, most visible as Islamic fundamentalism, could be compared to the fascism of fifty years ago.
2. Normal explanations of this phenomenon ignore the fact that the “third world” as whole is not a pre-capitalist backwater but a rising capitalist zone. Colonialism hinges on the under-development of a region yet no region experiences absolute under-development, only relative under-development. This is not a matter of the relative wealth of the third-world versus the first world –actual industrial production in the certainly far exceeds that of the third world and the monopoly dynamics of the market have only increased this. This is a matter of the rise capitalist relations. Moreover, the rise of bourgeois of the third world as a capitalist region dictates that economic domination of this region creates contradictions within capitalist processes. The rise of fascism certainly rests on the “rootless” petite bourgeois masses who can be energized to restore a myth of a pre-capitalist community.
3. The rise of proletariat unless within these regions is undoubtedly one key factor in this entire equation of intra-capitalist conflict and proto-fascism. Of course, the stage is now set for this massive conflict. The question will be whether both first and third proletarians will able to see their own bourgeois as being their number one enemy.
The tremendous value of oil drove an effort to prevent popular regimes which would use this wealth for local development and thus eclipse the control of multi-national corporations.
The United State replaced Britain as the ally and supplier of the Al-Saud regime when Oil was being exploited heavily in the Persian Gulf region.
From the beginning till now, Saudi Arabia’s allies have not been bothered by the regime fanatical religiosity and brutal dictatorship. Indeed, they encourages this and choose the Al-Sauds as way to prevent the masses of the Arabian Penisula from enjoying the riches of Gulf oil.
But both Britain and America have always been depedent on the Al-Saud for local military might. The Western World imposed a local strongman of their choice but by no means did the West rule unquestionably.
Over-time, the Saudi ruling elites have thus certainly never entirely “puppets of the west.” With world-wide wealth and modern arms, they are certainly super-powers in their own right.
Saudi Arabia has one of the most religious and socially conservative regimes in the world. Saudi Arabia
The US tailor’s its policy to the demands of US and global corporations. The US is generally not concerned about whether a movement has popular, democratic support or whether the movement would lead to a more popular regime.
To achieve it’s goals, the US has a long history of creating terrorist armies. The regimes supported in central and South America fit this profile and so do many forces supported in the Mid East.
This US strategy is essentially an alignment with local and regional elites.
The US also has extremely limited ability to actually understand the culture of the Mid-East.
Drug running and money laundering is a key aspect of the present world economy. Organizations with global reach, flexible organization and tight security thus can reap massive profits. Moreover, once such organizations come into existence, they are able to gain the connections required to further their connections.
But Moslem fundamentalism appears when the local elites of the region no longer wish to be aligned with US. Fundamentalism is essentially reinforcing traditional patriarchal relations and using these as a wedge against the incursions of global media culture.
These were class-based patriarchal societies that had a more coherent, inclusive nature than mass capitalist consumerism. Ideally, we would be supporting the masses in their struggles to create a classless, non-sexist, non-religious society. Such struggles have happened.
Capitalist society could well be called a society without culture. Those who often feel the most empty within it are those who have “made it” on a small. Mid-Eastern society has a moderate level of capitalist development and certainly has these successful, rootless individuals.
The pattern of Moslem fundamentalism is quite similar to Christian fundamentalism – and the nation of India has many similar “Hindu Fundamentalists.”
All fundamentalists seeks a return to the mythical past of a pre-capitalist community where the contradictions of modern capitalism vanish. This can be seen in both al-Qaeda and The Promise Keepers.