The masks have fallen, the sabers are rattling. The world is splitting into two camps. One camp consists of imperialist countries – members of NATO. They are rich, militarily powerful and extremely well organized. They’re in possession of a powerful propaganda machine which, in infamous, racist ways justifies all aspects of the NATO aggression against the rest of the world.
The corporate media and most of the Western intellectuals operate within the frame of this machinery, along with almost the entire political spectrum in the West – from the liberal “Left” to the right.
The thesis of the clash of civilizations, coined in the dark chambers of the Western Academy, has been widely accepted as an intellectual support for projects of US global dominance. Both the right-wingers and liberals in the West believe that the Islamic civilization and its, as they like to say, retrograde view of the world threatens world peace, human rights and democracy (under the boot of the US state and corporate apparatus).
The other camp consists of all those who have nothing to lose but their chains as Marx and Engels wrote in the Communist Manifesto.
With development of capitalism into a new phase – imperialism, unlike at the time of Marx and Engels, these camps are being divided more on international then national level. Workers in the West are siding with “their own” bourgeoisie, or passively watching as it plunders the rest of the world through imperialist wars; creating super-profits, out of which even workers benefit,1 and this global polarization inevitably leads to conflict between the First and the Third World – the world’s bourgeoisie and the world proletariat.
Whether it’s the extreme right-wing nationalism and the belief that the nation state should be doing everything to strengthen local companies which then secure jobs and guarantee good wages to the working class, or through liberal leftist “concern” for women rights, homosexuals and civil liberties in the developing world, all political forces in the West defend imperialism. Those opposed to imperialism are on the margins of Western societies deprived of all civil liberties that the West promotes elsewhere and dwell, mostly, in urban ghettos. These are the North American natives, Afro-Americans and immigrants that left Africa and Asia in recent decades, various battlefields around the world and devastated countries in search of a better and more peaceful life – which they never found.
Also, there are all the Third World countries which are becoming poorer and are in a state of social disintegration. IMF and World Bank forced them to sell all state property, abolish all benefits to the local population turning it into an unprotected mass susceptible to all forms of exploitation – from poppy cultivation and heroin production in Afghanistan, through human trafficking from Eastern Europe to working for foreign corporations which impose slave labor conditions and less than sufficient wages for bare survival.
Of course, the most vulnerable are those who can’t obtain conditions of even a mere survival, daily living in fear for their lives and those of their family members. In Yemen, America has been murdering civilians by drones, under the pretext of fighting against terrorism. In Palestine, Israel carries out genocide against the civilian population of Palestine for decades, with unreserved support from the West.
In Syria civil war which rages for years, world powers (core countries and those of the semi-periphery) joined forces to defend the global financial system since the introduction of gold currency, as well as to protect its economic interests in Syria, Iraq and Kurdistan, continuously terrorizing civilians, fearless of the possible impact of civilian atrocities upon public opinion and counting on world media to turn the blind eye. Since the invasion of Iraq, US forces have murdered over 2 million people poisoning the ground with radioactive bombs, causing horrific deformities in newborns and children, which continue to die in worst torment. Many people from these countries now seek refuge in the West, realizing the disproportionate high concentration of wealth in the core countries, only to end up on the margins of those societies as lumpen-proletarians faced with poverty, unequal opportunity, lack of skills, racism etc…
On the other hand, the ones that are more desperate (perhaps more decisive) among them, decided to take matters into their own hands and launch a global offensive against imperialism. A recently published article by “The Nation” magazine2 explores the views of the detained members of the Islamic State, and reasons that led them to join the organization. One of the arrested, who is from Iraq, claims that joining the IS in the only way he could obtain some sort of security in Iraq, which has become the scene of a civil war between Shiites who support the pro-Western government and are given large privileges, and completely disenfranchised Sunnis who are under constant threat and have no rights. The prisoners also stated that not all Sunnis wholeheartedly supported Saddam Hussein – yet it was a life without constant fear for their lives and livelihoods. IS appeared as the only organization that could offer any kind of security, a sense of belonging and hope for a better tomorrow, which as we stated once before, means; they didn’t have to sell their doctrine to be accepted, but simply prove themselves efficient in fighting the occupiers.
Accordingly, the IS is just one of the ways of expressing anti-imperialist struggle in the Middle East. Despite all its negative sides, which we certainly acknowledge, for many people it is the only hope for deliverance from the yoke of imperialism and the West.
But then again, the liberal Leftists, due to their impotence, ignorance, and fear, are in desperate search of ways to avoid confronting imperialism, bringing up conspiracy theories (as it turns out, the new Marxist discipline), and unjustly attributing to IS connections with various imperialist and regional “villains”, to justify their own inertia. Therefore it’s quite common to see them turning the blind eye to the suffering of civilian victims of imperialism, just as they ignored for years the Iraqi occupation, and the imperialist aggression against Libya. Still, they don’t seem to mind cooperating with imperialism themselves, whilst liberating and carrying out a “revolution” in Rojava.
Here arises the important question: shall we finally align these, clearly pro-imperialist currents on the Left, to the imperialist camp which they serve, regardless of them nominally identifying as Marxist-Leninists? Or can they still be viewed as potential allies concerning other issues of local character? How significant is their actual influence on the masses, or their potential one, and are they working directly against the cause of the Third World proletariat due to political ignorance or subjection to its, petty-bourgeois class character? This issue needs to be discussed in the near future.
Now we move on to the Paris attack that killed over a hundred people. The IS claimed responsibility for the attack. As one analyst claims,3 the attack was very precisely planned and contained a number of symbolic moments. The attack took place during the France-Germany football match, whilst the French president was in the stands. Restaurants that the attackers fired upon were mainly middle-class meeting places, favorite “hipster” hotspots4 . After the January attacks on Charlie Hebdo, it was exactly this demographic group that’s been the loudest in demonizing Islam and spread of hatred and intolerance towards the Islamic population portraying it as uncivilized waste within France and a global threat.
So, the message of terror is clear – “Leave us alone, that’s enough!” However, what is not clear is how come the Western world has a problem understanding it.
In Serbia, we see how the urban, liberal-oriented youth joined the #PrayforParis campaign similar to “#JeSuisCharlie” after the attack on Charlie Hebdo. These are the people who access their information through global media that never mention the incredible and horrific suffering of the Islamic population that we mentioned above.
Also, the massacre of similar proportions in Turkey at a gathering of the “left” wing opposition parties ahead of elections in that country, as well as the one last week in Beirut, were not accompanied by any media or social networks campaigns. The only conclusion possible is that for the global media and their followers only the Westerner lives have value – others are expendable. This deeply racist attitude is fueling a sense of frustration and powerlessness among the Muslim population which is likely to result in the escalation of similar attacks.
Does this mean that we support the attacks on Western civilians? Clearly – we will not! But we will not condemn something that, in accordance with our own material reality we do not understand. Although the material situation of Serbian lower layers is very close to that of the Third World proletariat, we still have more to lose than chains. We do not live under bombs, we have running water, electricity, none of our close relatives are being murdered, in short – we’re not desperate. Still, Serbian semi-colonial economic foundation, which is gently sliding towards full colonial dependency, leads the broad masses of the population to despair, which is reflected in obvious and open solidarity with the oppressed masses of the Third World.
Therefore, YOU gentlemen from the government can knock yourself out by adorning the Capital squares by the flags of the occupier, and introducing the Day of Mourning, attempting by all means to, officially, suck us into this conflict on the side of imperialism, and YOU gentlemen from the media by poisoning us with everyday liberal propaganda about the achievements of Western civilization and racist anti-immigrant policies. But our material circumstances tell a different story; of our economic dependency, the violation of our territorial sovereignty and military occupation of our southern province, of our class interest that lies in the liberation from the yoke of the colonizers such as France, and other similar imperialist powers, and You, of course, who serve no purpose other than collecting taxes from the Serbian masses, in return for a fat bone and a shoulder paddle.
Nationalist and neo-Nazi forces welcomed this attack as an excuse to continue intensifying their attacks on immigrants, and an attack on migrant camp in the north of France,5 where general chaos persists due to the fact that France is not prepared to rationally respond to crisis, followed. The nationalists will certainly attract to its ranks a large part of the left liberals who now feel even greater anger towards Muslims and right-wing forces will grow in the future. The Polish government happily announced that it shall halt the arrival of immigrants into the country. Serbian nationalists have also shown their true face, and removed the cover of anti-imperialism enlisting to the colonizing camp, fostering their WW2 legacy and tradition.
France, during the writing of this article, kept bombing the Syrian city of Raqqa for full 5 hours, the same day the French President Hollande announced sending an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf and expansion of French combat operations to Iraq. What was the “collateral damage” during tonight’s military offensive nobody knows, and the media will hardly give you any hint. Remember last week’s attack on Sinjar? Nor did we learn about the number of murdered civilians, nor seen pictures of the town after the destruction. Media technicians are very careful on the perspective from which they record “liberators” while rolling down in the column from the surrounding hills to the town (which leads us to ask the question – how do you “liberate” the city from afar?), then placing them to pose in front of the two or three remaining untouched buildings. We’re only left to imagine how the “Top Gun” Air Force carpet bombed the town carrying out a Hollywood spectacle.
The attack on Paris showed us the vulnerability of imperialism, as well as confusion, fear and weakness of the “civilized” man, remote and safe from the horrors of war, and of course, his lack of empathy with the victims of terror conducted by “democratically” elected governments of Western countries. The basic question that people in the West should be asking themselves is – whether they are partly accomplices of that terror.
On the horizon we see the fusion of left and right forces in the West in rapid combat against radical Islam in order to strengthen the imperial grip of the West over the rest of the world. In the anti-imperial circles we see the crystallization of a sense of frustration because of the shallow and racist approach to these events that dominates the analysis of all the objective forces in the West. It is evident that, as we mentioned at the beginning, the world is divided into two opposing sides. The focus of the conflict, just as Lenin predicted, is the attitude towards imperialism. One side complies with it (consciously or unconsciously), the other opposes it. The grey zone is nonexistent. Welcome to the era of global class struggle! Pick a side!
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