|Home||Info-Feed Rough Draft Index||Discussion||Contact|
This text aims to give a thorough, detailed desicription describing the September 11th events and afterwards as a product of the present world order. To understand these events at all, we must be thorough in the sense of looking at Anthrax, Mid-East politics, America’s economic crisis and the other related factors beyond the immediate reality of the current war in Afghanistan.
This text should be understandable to a reasonably educated reader who puts in some effort – terminology specific to our group will be explained as things go along. And that terminology is pretty limited. Ideology, spectacle, and crisis of capital are the three “big” concepts which we will be harnessing to explain the present widening crisis.
And the present events need explaining. Indeed, for anyone looking at the present events, many questions appear immediately. How could this a thing happen? Why has no one in government felt the axe for letting the WTC happen on “their watch”? What brought the events of terror, war and recession together so suddenly? What suddenly gives the terrorism of a few people such amazing power? What can we do about these events?
This text aims to give a thorough over-view of the forces that created this situation. The web version of this has many hyper-links explaining the details of this.
A modern country is governed with ideology. Politicians, newscasters, businessmen and bureaucrats use complex systems of ideas to run a country like Britain or the United States. A politician today synthasizes the vast stream of information reaching him by filtering it with his ideology. But an ideology is more than just a collection of ideas. A modern ideological system is tuned to serve a particular economic power group, a particular class – often the ruling class.
Ideologies, from “fundamentalist” Islam to liberalism, conservatism or anti-drug-ISM support the positions of the leaders who push them. Because an ideology is tunning to serves a particular purpose, it must distort reality to suit the purposes of a power group. Anti-drug ideology is well-known for distorting the results of drug studies, liberalism sees the world in terms of victim and so-forth.
Karl Marx said that ideology was “an imaginary solution to a real problem.” An ideology provides a framework for ignoring those problems which otherwise would make it hard for a person in power to function. Conservatism claims the free market will satisfy everyone’s needs and so a conservative official government official can justify cutting welfare.
An ideology can solve the condictions between individual membership in the ruling class and the collective interests of the ruling class. A businessman will also regard himself as an American, a democrat and a law-abiding citizen – thus he won’t directly go out and shoot other businessmen who would stand in his way of getting rich. At the same time, he might still allow unsafe condition in his factory which do kill people.
Thus ideology is the ground on which all ruling class action is built as well as being the basic propaganda which the ruling class uses. Nazism, (Leninist) “communism”, and democracy are ideologies which have divided up the world at various time. We might see Nazism as terribly irrational yet for the German government bureaucrats, it made perfect sense.
states have justified themselves with. And in democratic America, many small and large ideologies compete to serve different interests.
Ideology is the key, secret force uniting the many deadly chains of events unfolding today. Political Islam and American “Neo-Conservatism” are only the two most active forces here.
And since it filters everything with it’s existing ideology, the capitalist ruling class does not react to new situations with subtlety and intelligence but with ham-handed violence and propaganda (if the ruling class sometimes appears tremendously clever and far-seeing, it is generally through it’s ability to recuperate movements of the dispossessed. And capital can only recuperate once it has established a beach-head – as the absurd American efforts to recuperate the Taleban have shown).
Capitalist society is governed in two stages. First ideologies compete. Then each ideology is made into “policy” – each ideology generates a series of orders. Now an ideology serves to amaliorate the otherwise unbarable contradictory conditions of it’s ruling class adherents. At the same time, those ruled by capital are expected to also accept the same ideology.
So capitalist society winds being governed indirectly through a series of dominant ideologies rather than being directly governed by those on top – the rich.
Now, under normal circumstances, these ideologies create a situation which benefits the ruling class while allowing the rule of money to be invisible.
American medical hysteria reproduces the authority of doctors and the profits of drug companies,etc.
These are not normal times. Reality can and will undo even a universally believed lie. And thus the many defensives lies no longer support each other. Here now, truth and lies are both deadly to the system for different reasons – truth reveals the contradictions of the system and lies prevent the system from acting against it’s enemies.
It is quite possible that the entire Anthrax scare is manufactured by faulty testing and reflexive hysteria. A system with no enemies or with enemies equally incompetent as it can afford “disinformation feedback.” A system with real enemies and problems cannot afford this.
One might wonder how the US ogvernment might seem “asleep Reall, US state foces are more loyal to the constellation of ideologies uniting America than to any unified conception of capital’s interests.
However blood-thirsty in methods and insane in goal political Islam is, it is apparently capable of formulating strategy. It’s lies are at the level of production.
Anthrax is a poor weapon. It is hard to spread and not reliable as a way to kill someone. This is why it is banned by most treaties – generals wouldn’t bargain something they thought could win battles.
We live in a society saturated by media. This saturation has reached the point where people live within the meaning created by media system rather than creating their own media – lives today are bound-up with the TV shows, Movies and Music which in-turn reflect ideals of how people live or should live.
[Example of CIA propaganda looping back on itself – this defines both ideology (ideas in power) and the spetacle (ideas looping back on themselves)]
If you heard someone struck at random by a can of paint thrown from a plane, you find yourself thinking about this as a danger, no matter how unlikely such a thing might actually be.
We live in a society of millions of people – the story of any one person’s life doesn’t necesarry mean that much for the opportunities and dangers which another faces. But the power of media thus rests on people inability to sort out the dangers and opportunities themselves. It rests on people’s natural tendency to look at one example and generalize.
And this power is more than news, the entire economy moves based on the movement of attention around various needs, wants and dangers. “Buy our jeans and become famous,” “Buy our medicine and avoid brittle bones.” A rootless and an inability to sort costs benefits altogether opens the door to the “information economy,” an economy which rests on controlling the information which an average person receives (and then selling that control to sell products).
Naturally the most valuable information for a media outlet to control is information about some real or imagined danger that people might face – that’s information gives you serious influence.
This is especially natural considering that disaster is normal in life today. Like ancient times, people often face the possibility of death both seen and unseen. In the month after the time of the WTC “attack on America,” more people have died on America’s quite dangerous freeways than died in the attack.
As citizens of a modern world, we have learned to partly tune-out the “everyday” disasters of automobiles, exploding factories, random “psychos” and other natural developments of our present way of existence. Certainly, we do not entirely tune these things out since the news and other outlets give us a continuous awareness of the disasters that abound today.
But our situation, getting a bit of news from a single outlet, doesn’t allow us to have a perspective about which disasters are most dangerous altogether. Considering disasters are unpleasant, most people distract themselves from them altogether except when local or national news forces them to notice an unpleasant event.
Indeed, the ability of the news system to direct people’s focus of attention on different problems gives news a virtually unlimited ability to control what most people today think matters or doesn’t. The dangerous of highways seems laughable compared to the danger of exploding buildings simply through our recent focus on these collapsing buildings. And industrial accidents are virtually invisible regardless of their toll.
Now, our perception of disaster has certainly changed since the September 11th attack. Even a normal event can have an edge of total disaster about it. These kinds of reactions themselves are simply part of an also natural process of gathering mass hysteria.
In a world where one cannot exactly tell the dangers you face, it’s possible for the perception of danger to become self-perpetuating. This isn’t a temporary deviation from the conditions of normal life but a natural phase.
America’s particular flavor of the spectacle, has more and more operated by mobilizing brute mass hysteria. America’s means of confusion and mis-information have expanded from the unlikely tails of “reefer madness” to the absurd tails of “Satanic Child Abuse.” The idiocy of “I Love Lucy” has degenerated further to spectacular gladitorial battles such as “survivor” and “the weakest link.” The terrorism experts who failed to predict the WTC attack had always repeated one thing – terrorism will appear everywhere more and more. After the WTC attack, it was logical that ideologues have given the reigns of publicity and have whipped-up a panic of fearful proportions.
The entire marketting complex of the “medical-industrial complex” feeds on panic. From the beginning of modern medicine, the ability of experts make an occult examination of a patient and produce
The WTC disaster instantly destroyed more than five thousand lives. And television pushed this experience of horror far beyond those who would such even normally experience such a thing. Thus we can imagine millions today are experiancing the conscious and uncsonscious contradictions a person feels around the death of those they know (feelings of “why did I survive when they died” and so-forth). The horrific anthrax experience is thus seductive because it offers those still alive a chance to unconsciously identify with the WTC dead. And thus the spread of self-induced anthrax victimization is especially powerful under these circumstances.
One might imagine this panic might aid the US in maintaining the “war footing” which it might otherwise find resistance. Yet the misery and confusion of the situation has clearly reached enough of a breaking point that it has servely reduced the American government’s credibility. Today, the inability of the US to give-up hysteria as a method of operating comes out of the ruling class’ basis in the spectacle.
The fact that the US has virtually dismentled basic health care while building it’s massive for-profit medical complex has clearly aided the Anthrax attack.
The postal worker who died of anthrax worked sick for three days sick before he finally collapsed.
The unwillingness of the government to test postal workers at the same time they tested Senate workers has drawn anger. But we must also look at the entire American work system, which squeezes as much work out of people as possible and preasures people to work while sick.
Anthrax spores have somewhat available for period of time.
Anthrax hoaxing has been occuring on regular intervals in the US previously
The American police state has grown fat on the drug war. Drug users are simply average or weak people seeking chemical entertainment. As a corrupt enterprise targeting these people with no principles or toughness, the drug war had no motivation to be effective. Property confiscation does not make a police dept evaluate threats proportionately but by the spoils system.
(The pre-WTC "war on terrorism" followed a similar model with the claim of Soviet sponsorship of terrorism)
- Terrorism is tied inexorably to the crime-media complex.
Crime's publicity does not decrease it but frames and intensifies it. Crime news is both the propaganda of order and tied to the system of news.
Terrorism "experts" have naturally always predicted terrorisms in the that drug "experts" always predicted an increase in drug addiction. But neither such experts give the slightest coherent advice on the directions into which to put resources. Few experts where calling for harden cockpit doors.
The economic history of the last fifty years has been the history of the slow end of the US – Soviet division of the world after WWII. Both the Western bloc and the Soviet bloc formed a coherent economic, military and ideological formation. By divided the world, these blocs initially created stable ideologies, defensible borders and stable economies in their “regions of influence.” And for the US with Keynesianism and for the Soviet Union Direct, the state sector served as a break against the cycles of capitalist competition which had ravaged the capitalist world up to the 1940’s.
US Keynesianism and Soviet state capitalism were each examples of “war capitalism.” Keynesianism modeled the enterprise as a giant staging area for labor. The army, the labor-camp, and the simple factory, and other models were created as a sponge to soak-up labor. Just as much, the Keynesian model moved towards the planned, autonomous national economy. Just as much, the Keynesian order offered a social contract guarenteeing the working class as a whole survival in exchange for accepting this factory order.
The new neo-liberal model of the “free market” asks each nation to compete on the world market, yet the market naturally maintains and excerbates all the world divisions that previously existed.
For the last twenty years, the neo-liberal economic order has faced periodic crises. Each time, it has solved these crises by consigning a larger area of the globe to economic oblivion. More and more nations were forced into IMF restructuring plans. This process, which consigned millions of people in the developing world to economic oblivion, has been invisible to those parts of the developed world which would go on to experience an cycle of recovery.
The dot-com “boom” was the most fragile of these booms, with much of Asia, Russia and Latin America still burried by the “Asia Crisis” of 1998 while Europe and America haplessly celebrated the fancifull “new economy”
Now that the chickens of recesion have clearly come home to roost, the hopeless zones on the perifery of the developed world have now become a serious problem for the West which imagined it could ignore those it thought it could “leave behind.” Because the military/political question shows clearly any region that is left behind is a serious threat on a different level.
A world division of labor has today creates a situation where some some parts of capital super-exploit every ounce of surplus labour while other areas needlessly waste vast potentials. This is the natural result of globalized or neo-liberal order of today – though it is also simply putting a stamp of approval on the situation as it’s been for a while. While Korea, Brazil or China fitfully industrialize to their considerable misery, much of Africa, the Mid-East and other parts of South America experience equally painfully economic duldrums. All this together satisfies capital need for both labor and a surplus army of the unemployed. The natural imbalances of a market economy are now written large around the globe.
The world of colonialism and neo-colonism has certainly experienced capitalist development. But the conditions of colonial disuse have never ceased. Rather, progress in the under-utilized areas of Africa or the Mid-East involved the creation of a proletariat without the creation of an successful economy. Colonization and neo-colonization involved uprooting existing communities and societies, moving and urbanizing the population without efficient production happening on a great scale. Thus this proletariat becomes peddlers, refugees, scroungers and so-forth.
The Keyneisan period treated each colony as a producer of raw materials and consumer of finished goods and for it’s mother country. Preventing development in colonies prevented the colonized nation from competing with the mother country.
In those of areas of chronic “underdevelopment,” aside from the sething anger of the dispossessed, there is considerable anger within the professional and managerial classes, the unrecognized Architects (such as was Mohamed Atta). Unlike the dispossessed, this anger is directed at the irrationality and incompetence of the world’s organization.
Unlike capital’s “rising” period, this anger is not expressioned as Stalinism but as Islamicism and other neo-fascistic ideologies. These various orders seek to move the world back into an imagined past.
A world market has the natural corolary of a world division of labour.
- The dispossessed of Somalian refugee camps fit this description perfectly. These utterly dispossessed individuals were essentially raw-materials for bandit kings harvesting charity donations.
(Or the early slave-kingdoms).
Marginality is an inherent part of the total order of capital. Both surplus labour and super-exploitation are necessarily part of part of capital.
The unifying principle is the reduction of people to abstract labour.
On the surface, the capitalist system has two interlocking problems. How can companies sell their good profitably and how can companies find banks which will loan them money (capital for more expansition).
Now, the economic system system has done best when a central authority provided a frame for both
Historically, capitalism has experianced crises which appeared as groups of capitalist who each have the ability to flood a key market and none of whom will agree how to reduce this capacity. Today, the computer chip market, the long-range fibre-optic, the automobile market, the steel market, agricultural market and host of other markets are at a massive over capacity. In general, when capital hits a crisis, it can only preserve itself by a vast devalorisation (destruction) of capital. The present crisis of capital thus accelerates its tendency to destroy huge objects and to murder vast number of people (who are only numbers to capital).
The economic system’s need for devalorization/destruction is the “invariant point”. The system needs and generates this destruction whether it comes from horrible accidents, wars or a corporate restructuring. The system generates this destruction purposefully sometimes and accidently at other times.
At any one point, just how conscioiusly the ruling class is generating this destruction is important and worth study. But understanding that system needs this destruction is the most certain and most useful thing to understand. Also, this illuminates how the ruling class is quick adopt ideologies which allow everyone diasters and permanent insecurity.
The inflation at the end of the Vietnam War market a point where the US could no longer maintain Keynesian discipline through-out the world. The Keynesian order was undone by a proletariat which was no longer interested in being part of the mindless factory, by the developing capitalism of Japan outcompeting US goods made by the society and by the rising of international monetary speculation which would longer allow unlimited government spending to support the Keynesian contract.
Now, this “cold war” order would be swept by an order which can no longer make the connection between the economic, the military and the ideological.
World capitalist restructuring over the last twenty years has involved installing "market driven" mechanisms though-out the economy. The American economy has been at the vanguard of this restructuring, American workers facing such raw market forces that wages failed to rise even during the speculative internet bubble. Dot-coms in this sense, far from being failures, were models of a market elasticity, appearing with the market boom and disappearing with the decline of the mareket. The workers shafted by disappearing stock-options could be seen as ideal model of a capitalism which explicitly forces it’s risks onto the working class.
But now we can see the operation of the system has even more risks than glorious “risk-takers” would imagine.
[See “A Note Of Anger” for the origins of the September 11th attack]. When we are talking about human beings, the risks involved in, say, skimping on the quality of airliner cockpit doors, is now clearly very high.
Ronald Reagan grandly announced the US was giving up Keynesianism. But what really happened was that the new (“neo-liberal” ) system was gradually laid on top of the Keynesian system during the twenty years since Reagan’s presidency. And the neo-liberal system is not absolute today – rather than changing everything, neo-liberalism simply rules by being the ultimate authority. World monetary mechanisms – the IMF and world bank and ultimately the vast sea of private monetary speculative capital - have become arbitrators of a given nation’s economic policy.
The market system claims to be very flexible for switching production to optimal position. Yet this system is also has shown itself to be extremely fragile as far as switch to a war effort goes. Historically, war has been capital’s way out of a crisis. But that history is fairly old by now – no amount of nostalgia makes September 11th equivalent to Perl Harbor. The present market order is very hard to switch to a command-based economy.
· The US cannot destroy enemy capital directly – since the market is too integrated to permit attacks on Japan, China, or Saudi Arabia.
· Neither can the US can fully stimulate it’s economy with make-work projects – high-tech war production is no longer labor intensive and the market ideology prevents all “make-work” schemes. The fluidity of world capital precludes any nation printing money to accomplish any task, even the defense of the world economy.
The US expansion "locked" US companies into particular infrastructures as they operated with only barely the capital needed for dally operations. The September 11th wasn’t the only factor which bankrupted world airlines – but besides the general depression, the preasure of the world financial system to squeeze absolute maximum profits from each airline’s capital, has to be included among those bankrupting factors, .
Saudi Arabia is inextricably linked with the billion-dollar currency schemas which sustain the global economy and simultaneously Saudi capital is closest thing to an authentic enemy the US has.
The economy showed itself tremendously dependent on the consumer infrastructure and it's closely studied psychology. A hotel is a key, fragile device of the entire tourist spectacle and that item plays a big part in the whole market structure.
The military sector is no longer flexible enough to absorb large amounts of labour and capital. The ideology of "national defence" cannot expect to recruit volunteers or conscripts willing to die en mass.
The context of globalisation, with its double movement of integration and expulsion. It has made the power and reach of US capital overwhelming but this has not suspended interimperialist struggle. Quite the contrary, it enflames it, as there are ever more capitals and capitalists than there is room for them, so they try to make room. But no state can confront the US military directly –when the US goes to war, the assymetry now is such that it’s like ‘shooting fish in a barrel’ but, as a report to the Pentagon in 1997 stated “the military asymmetry that denies nation states the ability to engage in overt attacks against the US (or the regimes it sponsors) drives the use of transnational actors (that is, terrorists from one country, attacking in another)’.
V.I. Lenin called Imperialism the “highest” stage of capitalism. In fact, it was the first stage and truly predates capitalism proper. That said, imperialism has never ceased to be one important part of capitalist domination – especially in those situations where the “normal” operations of capital have ceased to function. In this sense, imperialism is the starter motor of capitalism rather than the entire of a metaphorical capitalist car.
All imperialisms have depended on local enforcement. From the Spanish conquest of “New Spain” to American neo-colonialism, the dominance of the colonizers has depended on their ability to mobilize internal allies who perceived they had more interests with the colonizer than with the dominant group of a given civilization.
The British cultivation of the house of Saud and Wahhabism was directed against the Turkish empire and gave rise to modern Saudi Arabia.
Thus, when matched against a region’s existing class society, imperialism has generally had to be “progressive” in a sense: It had to solve some of the problems of a section of the elite within an area. Basically, imperialism had to produce a local enforcer class from the existing class structures.
The imperializing nation presented at least a way to solve some of the problems which the colonized ruling class had.
The failure of American or other powers to presently gain a pre-eminent position in the Mid-East comes as the US is no longer perceived as being able to solve the problems of various ruling classes.
While the Saudi state has been reduced to debtor status, the vast power of individual Saudi billionaires still has a powerful pull, as does the strategic position of Saudi Arabia.
“They are proving to be tough warriors. We're in an environment they, obviously, are experts in, and it is extremely harsh. I am a bit surprised at how doggedly they're hanging on to power. But we are prepared to take how ever long is required to bring the Taliban down,” Rear Admiral John Stufflebeem.
This statement of the US spokeman is naturally amazing considering that every newstory in the country had already carried detailed reports of the ruggedness of Afghanistan territory and the toughness of the Taliban. Just as amazing at this point is George W. Bush’s willingness to consider attacking Iraq at a point where the war against Afghanistan is seriously flagging.
When a nation faces an opponent capable of authentically wounding it, logically, the quality of the conflict must switch from policy to strategy. The most notable thing about US efforts after september 11th is that this shift hasn’t happened.
All of decisions creating the Afghan war have clearly involved splitting the difference between policy and publicity, between the pull of the different factions of republicans and democrats. America bombs, sends in commandos (briefly) and builds coalitions simultaneously.
The WTC attack clearly left the US ruling class in serious disarray and confusion. The ruling class has clung even tighter to all of it’s methods of operating no matter how counter-productive these have been revealed to be. This over-all condition explains a broad spectrum of government delirium. The US has simply turned up the volume on all it’s standard lines – the same old anti-terrorism, the same “bomb someone and solve the problem,” the same old anti-arab racism.
For the US, it is more than it’s basic ideology which it cannot be given up. A measure of the rottenness of the system is how little changed at a point where the state and state intelligence services clearly failed in what they claim is their basic duty – protecting the population.
We can see how US ruling class can only barely act to preserve itself in a situation where it should absolutely superior power over it’s opponent. In the WTC attack, The US ruling class experienced a situation where it's intelligence services catastrophically failed in their primary duty. Yet no meaningful house-cleaning took place and none can take place with the highly place “Iran-contra mafia” presently controling the CIA. Just as much, the refusal of airlines to pay for stronger cockpit doors either before or after the WTC disaster has hardly gotten mention.
Bush articulated his "War On Terrorism" with the aim of gaining maximum flexibility but has ended up with a framework of minimal flexibility. Quickly commiting to a unwinnable war in Afghanistan has merely unscored the unwinnability of the general “war on terrorism”
Like the "cold war" and the "war on drugs" the "war on terrorism," the rhetoric blurs bureaucratic exhortations and direct state actions. The approach of treating the enemy like unruly schoolboy has worked in situations that are truly analogous to “police actions” (such as Kosavo). But it seems that with the Taleban, things are different.
Fighting real battles with real enemies is difficult when policy and comitment is continually fluctuating.
The US was provoked into starting a war with the nation most rowned for unconquorability in the world – Afghanistan.
Guerilla armies have seldom defeated great powers without help from the outside. This factor underlies the present American sleep-walk in the Mid-East. The ray of hope for the US strategy is the possibility of the US holding it’s coalition together and squeezing it’s present Afghan opponents into submission. But for the US-lead occupation of Afghanistan to even get to this dubious position will still require much successful juggling of some miss-behaved pieces. The Pakistani border still serves as the supply line for the Taliban.
The Al-Qaida network has shown itself to be a powerful multi-national entity which injected substantial resources into numerous wars – Algeria, Chechnya, Kashmir, Kosova, Sudan and other guerilla war. Al-Qaida is definitely supported by various factions of the states of various nations. Despite Bin Laden being on the outs, much Saudi money still flows into Al-Qaida coffers.
The transnational flow of money and resources is an interesting question. The ability of states to control the flow of resources within their border is a key part of the power of the state – the ability of guerilla armies to operate in a state if that state doesn’t control it’s boarders is just one factor.
The world never ceased to have lawless areas within it, with the area around Afghanistan high among these. Beyond this, the recent development of capitalism has created many incentives for flouting official powers of the state.
The American “Drug War” greatly increased the infrastructure facilitating a covert flow of money and resources. Not matter what level American intradiction efforts took, drug dealers had a powerful incentive to go beyond these measures. Just as much, the increase in “small wars” spread around the globe has also expanded the covert intrastructure by facilitating the covert flow of arms.
As capital has proletarianized the globe, the covert movement of dispossessed people seeking to be workers or entrepreneurs in the West has also contributed to the extra-national flow of resources.
From Iran-contra and onwards, the upper-reaches of the American ruling class has been closely tied to the drug trade – that includes the CIA and recent US presidents Bush, Clinton and Bush.
[see plan Columbia]
The model of a private war with the market driving the results has a very dangerous possibility within it. It is only a shallowly held ideology which holds the protagonists together.
Political Islam is simply one regional pole of capitalist power opposed to the pole of “global capitalism”. This force attacks the international pole only to the degree that immediate class consciousness is entirely submerged, either by defeated revolutions or by the marginalization of an area.
Like ordinary nationalism, the foundation of political Islam is a petit bourgeois/professional class which see the "wasted potential" of the "Islamic Nation". Like fascism or Leninism, authoritarianism fuses with a myth of the return to authentic community. Political Islam's rigidity is notably more harsh and cruel than original Islamic regimes.
Political Islam is a product of capitalist under-development. Under-development is a distinct condition wherein a mass of people are dispossessed from the culture and left as a surplus army for capital.
Political Islam is a movement which can only be successful to the extent that popular and revolutionary movements have been suppressed.
Even as an opposition ideology, political Islam in the form of Al-Qaida has systematically terrorized the working class. This is a logical outcome of a movement which is merely a state-in-waiting. From Algeria to Chechnya to Macedonia, Al-Qaida militants have fomented civil war by creating massacres and then expecting that counter-massacres would gain them support.
[Insert Target Here] The attack on the WTC shows Political Islam as a relentless enemy of the working class of all nations. The WTC was massive paper factory, a massive rabit waren where the dispossessed and the mid-level office executives toiled next to each other. The tail of company presidents being the sole survivor of the collapse are not surprising considering company presidents spend the minimum time possible in the oppressive confines of the modern office factory.
US thinkers already saw the coming conflict as “Macworld versus Jihad” but we would perhaps speculate that such a “brilliant prediction” is really just a self-fulling prophesy. The US is not fighting a strengthening Political Islam but a Political Islam which it simply cannot be removed (Bin Laden might considered a tactical genius through one act which most like cannot be repeated but which is so awesome it renders the most banal opposition terrifying).
According to Melancholic Troglodites: “overall, ‘political Islam’ has passed its zenith. The Iranian/Turkish proletariat lead this atheistic stuggle against religiousity. In Syria, the Muslim Brotherhood has been forced to draw closer to the Syrian Communist Party because it’s social base has shrunk. Likewise, Hama fist accept a subordinate role to the Palestinian Authority and more recently it has combined forces with the Lennist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine because it felt itself marginalized.” Moreover, there have been mass strikes against the Islamic Republic in Iran and mass demonstrations against both the military dictatorship and the terrorist Islamists in Algeria (demonstrations in which police combined with their ostensible enemies to attack.
The US sees Political Islam as it’s enemy in the same way that it saw Stalinism as it’s enemy – it can only imagine an enemy which resembles itself. And in the case of Al-Qaida is very strong since the US helped train of many of Al-Qaida’s militants.
In the past, the US intentionally strengthed Political Islam because US policy makers saw Political Islam as a guarentee against all progressive tendencies. Today, the US unintentionally strengthens Political Islam because it simply reflects the logic of Political Islam. Both political Islam and the US see the proletariat as merely mass to be organized with lies and terror – they both want to be know by their enemies rather than by their virtues. Bin Laden has simply risen to the level of gangster most feared by the other side.
Understanding ideology as the unifier of a capitalist class is key to the understanding entire present crisis.
And ideology must be built resonably well. Certainly, the leader of the world’s multinational corporations are willing to murder those who they believe stand in the way of their organization’s profits. During WWII, the various capitalist nations of the world bombed each other’s factories and towns, each aiming to win a unified world modelled to their liking. And it was certainly nationalist ideology which kept the businesses from bombing the factories within their borders rather than the factories outside their borders.
Today, neo-liberalism has aimed to craft a world capitalist class. Yet, neither capitalism nor neoliberalism has allowed a unified class. And we can look at the spread crisis of capital for the explanation. The collapse of the Soviet Union has resulted in a world with fewer and fewer wealthy poles. The market philosophy of “they can go to hell if they don’t have money” has left a vast, invisible group of the excluded through-out the world.
In Arab and Mid-Eastern nations, Islamism serves as the ruling class’ cushion against the increasing misery of the masses. The rulers contribute to both Americanism and to the extremists, with both the Americans and the extremists promising protection – and certainly, the Americans cannot contribute the day-to-day protection offered by the Islamicists. And Islamicists themselves operate by deflecting the anger of the masses from general coruption of a capitalist regime to the more distant evil of the US or Russia.
World Capital’s total support of absolute reaction here can be contrasted with the rise of rational, democratic regimes in the earlier phase of capital (though that never went smoothly). Both approaches certainly support exploitation and wage labor. Yet the present approach also has no future – it promises to throw more and more problems to America for it’s armies and propaganda to juggle.
Thus, the inability of world capitalism to provide positive development to a larger and larger segment of the world.
This conflict is characterized by the inability of the US to attack, find or even understand it’s immediate enemies. Seen on the level of capital, this is conflict of Saudi capital and American capital. The interlocking nature of world capital has not
Within world capital, Americanism can no longer provide a coherent protection racket. Yet no coherent protection system has emerged. The WTC bombers made public what much of the world already felt – life has become intolerably uncertain and insecure. And really it was a matter of making this public, Americans already squeezed ruthlessly by rising living costs, dot-com disasters, “white collar sweat-shops” and endless commutes, were already silently experiancing this uncertainty.
None of this should imply we accept the “anti-imperialist” viewpoint. Altogether, more and more of the world is developed. And the appeal of political Islam for the proletariat of the developing world is waning. The main growth areas of political Islam are the most backwards section – Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Sudan and Chechnya (and each area where Al-Qaida has intervened has had it’s own unique circumstances as well).
But simultaneously, there has been a growth in the
This is a list of the US goals that are visible or have articulated by US ruling class ideologue. To suceed, the US does not have to attain all of these goals. Indeed, many of these goals are mutually exclusive. For example, maintaining the anti-terrorism coalition contradictions other plans to attain direct, total control of Mid-East nations or aims to “end” bothersome states.
The US has no fully reliable allies in the South Asia area. The US has not aided those most likely or willing to help. India & Isreal are out of the anti-terro loop.
The US did not begin by describing it's goals and methods and time-table to an allies or subordinates. Presently, it changes those goals continuously to suit it’s perception of it’s allies importance.
US effort to "get at the root of terrorism" ignore Saudi Arabia and so have little effect. The finances, personal and leadership of Al-Qaida are spread far beyond Afghanistan. Afghanistan is merely a staging ground and Bin Laden is merely one leader.
Even during the "easier" part of the afghan campaign, US policy makers show total "ham handedness" in dealing with Pakistan and Northern Alliance allies. They bombed before negotiations ended, have continued bombing simply because they hadn't figured out any next step and seem to be waiting to lose their "propaganda war"
· Political Islam is “irrational” because it is capitalism that cannot compete on the world market. It imagines a capitalism that would solve the unsolvable. Political Islam is rational in that it most actually be aware of the circumstances around it.
· Western Democracy is “irrational” because it follows a world market which can no longer hold together. Western Democracy is rational because it follow the general logic of capital as a whole – it may be insane but no capitalism can ultimately be any saner.
· Keep the options for US action open
This is important to maintain a means for the US to retreat if the war action begins to have a detrimental effect on the US itself. This conflicts with articulating a consistant US strategy. The US also is keeping it’s options as a response to US lack of intelligence information about Al-Qaida and it’s network. Also, the
· Articulate a coherent strategy for the war
Clearly, the US hasn’t moved towards this goal in the first month of the war. The only way in which a beligerent in a modern, political war can ignore setting forth a goal is if they believe they can ignore their allies. The US currently is setting forth a position, it is simply a position filled with contradictions and changing from day to day.
Coherent strategy for the war implies that US will stick to this strategy for at least a bit. A bit of consistancy in defining terrorism and similar apparent loose-ends would also help.
This goal clashes with the goal of keeping US options open. But an articulated strategy is clearly part of any force that seeks to maintain it’s morale versus an enemy.
But it is necesarry to maintain US army morale as well maintaining the anti-terrorism coalition.
· Maintain US Army morale
This is the single most important factor, since a demoralize US army not only won’t fight but can be a danger to the state.
· Seize territory in Afghanistan, especially Kabul
This clashes with the goal of creating a new Afghan government if Northern Alliance or other local troops are used since any troop controlling terrain will be in a position to install a state of their liking once they have a strategic position.
This clashes with the goal of minimizing Western casualities if US or British troops are used. The goal requires that the US gain intelligence about the organization of the Taliban to avoid an untenable situation.
This step is the most obvious to gain the goal of showing a concrete victory.
· Create a new government in Afghanistan before the destruction of the Taleban
This is difficult in itself and also clashes with the goal of keeping the US coalition together since each coalition member has a different idea of what the new Afghan government should look like.
· Creating further imperialist outposts and use these to control valuable natural resources – oil and other strategic sources.
This further clashes with the goal of avoiding casualities, especially if the outpost areas are or become unstable.
· Show it’s economic rivals that it is still dominant
This requires the US to attain enough goals to claim “success”
· Hold the “anti-terrorist” coalition together
This requires the US avoiding actions which would destabilize these nations. Moreover, while the US can gain overt support of the entire world based no nation wishing to be the first to challenge it, the US clearly is experiancing covert opposition – indeed this war is against covert anti-Americanism without the US understanding that it must used diplomacy to address this.
Just as much, the coalition has been essentially a pick of the moment, with otherwise extremely hostile nations being courted by the Washington and London. The US statement “responsiveness on anti-terrorism will now become the litmus of US support” is statement that as soon as someone kicks Washington, it will forget it’s old friends. And this statement naturally enboldens anyone wishing defy Washington – since past accounts can be cancelled at any point now.
The “anti-terrorism” war has been organized at the level of a substitute teacher desperately trying to coral a group of juvenile deliquant. The pedant has used threats, bribery, and punishment without any obvious over-all plan. Since the target of punishment and reward have changed often, potential targets of US wrath are less fearfull than would otherwise be. If anything, the US and Afghan warlords are equal in their conditions of fighting without concern for princeple (which has prevented any one warlord from conquering Afghanistan).
· Seize direct controll of various Mid-Eastern nations
This would supercede maintaining the anti-terror coalition but it would clash with reducing civilian casualities.
· Prevent civil unrest in Pakistan and other “friendly” Mid-East nations.
· Control Pakistani nukes by maintaining the ability to seize these weapons.
· Gain enough intelligence information about Al-Qaida and the Taleban to be able to effectively counter Al-Qaida’s terrorist tactics
This clashes with the
· Maintain the rule of the Bush dynasty and the network of ruling class functionaries connected to it.
This result may not be a positive goal for capital but it clearly is a positive role for the present ruling class faction. Certainly, the amount of dirty-dealing which went into crowning Bush leader was fairly visible before Sept 11th. One apparent motive for maintaining the Bush faction is his close connection to the Iran-Contra cocaine syndicate (a group Clinton also joined when facilitated coke smuggling through the Mena, Arkansas airport). Beyond the immense power of the Bushes, the total lack of “house-keeping” after September 11th, expresses a general ideology of never admitting mistakes, this mentality does facilitate the ideology of revenge and works against the average person actually thinking about what’s going on.
Naturally, this approach conflicts with maintaining a coherent plan for the
· Maintain a climate of hysteria
A climate of hysteria maintains war support. A client of hysteria is a climate that prevents the larger implications and contradictions of Sept 11th to become visible. Hysteria allows the War On Terrorism to take precidence over any other political considerations.
· Give the impression the US state knows what it’s doing, give the impression that it can suceed and it suceeding – especially by showing signs of immediate results.
This is necessary for maintain troop and civilian morale. It conflict with the goal of keeping all US options open and it conflicts with the goal of keep the idiot Bush in office.
· Place the blame for all of this society’s failings on terrorism
This doesn’t conflict with other goals. But it is harder to do the more illogical US actions become.
· Avoiding casualties and other factors which will undermine support
· Control the information appearing about the state of the war
Any larger-scale active censorship will conflict with keeping the US “information economy” going. Anything that muzzles the internet will hit a big segment of the whole economy.
· Support the dollar on world markets despite renewed deficit speading – avoid any new rounds of inflation
This conflicts with stimulating the economy for unlimited war production.
· Militarizing society – maintain a social discipline needed to fight the war effort
· Prevent mass hysteria from undermining US productivity and US consumer purchasing.
· Expanding the US and world Economy
· Extracting concession from the working class to permit a new cycle of accumulation
The proletariat today is stiring yet it has not yet acted in any decisive way. There is reason to be hopefull. We cannot assume that the ruling class will be effective in using the present crisis to pursue it’s many agendas. Many of these goals now contradict each other (see agendas). And unlike previous wars, the US is being forced to act rather than choosing to act in it’s own time. So the ruling class is not entering these battles at the time and place of it’s choose. Still, the logic of ideology comes down to this – the ruling class, our opponent, acts with the fundamental instinct that the real enemy is at home. This is the lesson that our class must learn – our most basic enemy is the capitalist class in “our” nation.
In the US, conspiracy theory and misanthropism are two cynical false-consciousnesses which dog those resistant to inchohate propaganda of the state. Viewing the WTC event as a pure construction of the state clearly implies an omnipotent, incomprehisible ruling class equivalent to the Christian Devil. Just as much, those dispairing “primitivists” and others who took the easy line of “the problem is simply human beings” should now see how much the capitalist system already agrees with this idea and reproduces itself using this. Clearly neither of these conception can really come to terms with the present reality.
It is good then that many folks defending positions somewhere around “anti-state communism” have become much more active – even if thse are tendencies with a long history of being a “talk shop.”
The basic points of this document summarizes the basic anti-state communist positions – a tendency having nothing to do with the system which existed in the Soviet Union under Stalin and later. In this instance, our project might vaguely summarized by the flawed slogan “no war but the class.”
The relevence of authentic communism comes with the clear bankrupcy of liberal and “anti-imperialist” ideas. Virtually anyone can see that supporting Ossama Bin Ladin is untennable. Just as much, the visible insanity of the present rulers and their war make liberal appeals to the reason of the ruling class nearly as unlikely and despicable as supporting Bin Laden. Moreover, pure passifism, with the claim of “violence never solved anything” is also fairly ridiculous – it is clear to horrible things stalk the world and any courageous person should do anyway them.
Altogther, the situation is that the many folks who have defended the working class organizing autonomously from the system, even those who nearly retired, are moving at least a bit. And a reasonable number of otherwise marginal activists are now suddenly interested in our theory. This fortunately or unfortunately, reveals the considerable weakness in the ability of those who formulate these ideas to actually start using this now terribly relevant theory. We are wasting valuable time – though fortunately the war situation entered the disaster phase wherein communist theory could play a decisive, world-historic role.
We call on the workers and dispossessed people to reject the war rhetoric, to always fight for the the collective of their class, and to see how the atrocities are the product of the profit-system. These horror will only disappear if this system does too.
See Political Islam
See Political Islam
See Imperialism, Ideology
See US tactical Goals
See Action Of Our Class
See the crisis of capital
Speaking in the earliest months of this planned “long war,” it seems that most of our activity will involve watching and reacting. Beginning with this apparent limit, it seems possible to go further.
Really, if we look at all the contradictions of this war, an equal number of imaginative tactics will appear.
Still, the success of an anti-war movement will depend on whether the proletariat joins the fun.
· Taliban proves an intractable foe
· Northern Alliance turns against their fair-weather US “friends”
· Former-Soviet Republics begin a civil war in earnest
· Pakistan and India begin war in earnest over Kashmir
· Pakistani-attacks on American bases widens war
· Pakistan demand the US leave it’s area and then begins aiding Afghanistan
· US takes Kabul yet suffers terribly trying to hold it
· Proletarian Revolution in Iran and Iraq
· Mass-hysteria hobble US economy
· US implements tight censorship and finds it is destroying the information economy
· US police create free-lance death-squads with the aim of rooting-out the internal enemy. Further panic ensues.
· A leftist “patriotic peace front” is created, defending America yet calling for an end to the war.
· Mounting casualities in an unclear war.
· Public opinion shifts against the war in Europe or the US
· Student strikes against the war thorough-out Europe.
· Study-groups around “the war and the economy” form around the country.
· Massive demonstrations and strikes against the war
· The US Army begin mutnities or demands to return to the US
From confused rulers to confused workers, virtually everyone is looking to understand this war. By showing people a full and coherent understanding of the war’s situation, we can expand the influence of communist ideas. This doesn’t mean that communism could become dominant simply by persuasion but a gain inconsciousness is possible.
The most basic and least original activity is simply showing up and being visible on leftist demonstrations against the war. Even here, putting forward a unique, coherent perspective on the war would again be useful.
The war today is amazingly ridiculous already. The contradictions of modern capitalism are floridly display in the simplest pronouncements of the state. The US simultaneously calls on people to “tremble in fear of terrorism” and “go out and enjoy yourselves as normal.” Such idiocy is ripe for humour. A kiosk could be set up on the street selling empty DVD boxes filled with bricks – the slogan for selling these things would be “buy patriotic commodities to keep the economy going – profits will be donated to corporations no longer productive enough to produce them.”
With this humour, we should include a total critique of the system and a call to act against it. A sticker with Bush and Blair saying “We don’t seem to know what we’re doing – this could go on for years” should also have a smaller slogan – “mutiny – sink the war effort” and an informational web address.
At the same time the world economy is heading into a tail-spin, the ruling class is demanding “unity” from those workers who are being laid-off. Unions and other patriotic leftists going along with asking for sacrifices from workers when naturally the capitalist class has no sacrificed a bit of it’s despotism of profits. By pointing out the massive contradictions of an economy that is “patriotic only for the poor,” we can spread some effective ideas in strikes and other class conflicts.
 Altogether, the life expetency of a person above the age of about twenty is no more than that of a primative hunter.
 Quoted by ROBERT FOX, Tuesday, Oct 30th, on femail.co.uk, http:// femail.co.uk/rumsfield_no_bin_laden_files/size=120x90&site=femail&pos=103&channel=news&subchannel=newshome.htm