Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The sixth anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001 has come and gone. The necessary memorials have been held. the subject will soon fade into the memory hole. Last year Molly blogged on this subject under the general heading of "missed opportunities" (see the September, 2006 archives of this blog). I see little reason to modify my opinion at this time from what I said at that time. More than one political force lost an opportunity that was presented by these attacks. The American government lost an opportunity because it was dominated by totally unrealistic radical ideologues who proceeded to lose the almost universal sympathy that the attacks had generated by using them as a justification for an imperial war in Iraq that obviously had nothing to do with the terrorist attacks, a war for control of oil supplies and little else. The American people lost by allowing these radicals to launch an unwinable and immoral war in their name. The left, Muslim people, the rest of the world lost as well. Anarchists lost because they held back from condemning in no uncertain terms the Moaoid rhetoric that has infiltrated their ranks. No... the people who died in the attacks of 9/11 were not "Little Eichmanns". They were innocent victims. From the Philipina cleaning staff on up. No... the so called "opponents of USD imperialism" who were their allies a few years ago and may yet be their allies again in a future contest against other powers have no moral justification for what they did.
Molly is very much "anti-American", but she is hardly "anti-Americans". As I have expressed repeatedly on this blog the USA is a great country that has many good points. I may not want to visit the USA in the near future as I believe that many other countries are better, but still... I may mock the US government and even US culture repeatedly, but I would never sink to the level of hating the US population, a level that, unfortunately too much of the US left itself has sunk to. And that includes too much of the American anarchist movement that, like the Bourbons, has forgotten nothing and learned nothing. The self destruction of the US left as it went the way of childish Maoism should have been instructive, but some hope for nothing more but to repeat such mistakes. An American anarchism, just like an American left in general, has to start from a simple liking of its own people. If it doesn't have this everything it produces will be a gross lie.
So...if us "damned foreigners" don't try and educate our comrades in the USA to not just realize that the attacks by the Islamo-fascists of Al Queda were morally wrong but, more importantly, that we should denounce any sympathy for them in our own ranks in no uncertain terms then we will have failed our duty. One of the great failings of American culture is its trend to conformity. This is mitigated by the fact that it is a pluralistic society, but within the little subgroups of American society they have far less freedom to dissent than we do outside of the USA. It's a failing of the American character. Their left needs the support of those of us outside of the country to find its proper way or it rapidly descends into cultism and "circling the wagons". Conformity in radical politics ala "political correctness" is one of the industrial wastes that the USA exports to the rest of us. Our American comrades suffer much more from this repressive mindset than the rest of us do. But we still suffer from it. If the centre of the Empire farts, the rest of us hold our noses...or claim that we smell roses.
NO...innocent victims of fascist attacks are no more "little Eichmanns" than innocent victims of Israeli bombs aimed at Hamas are "terrorists". It's incumbent on us to purge ourselves of those who wish to justify murder by ideology. If we don't do it the most likely result will be permanent irrelevancy. If a miracle occurs and such a left gains power...then welcome to the death camps.


Rolfe said...

Being American I find it hard to be anti-Americans. I don't do the self-loathing thing very well. But I do share many of your sentiments. I have never identified with the left in the US because they struck me as either ideologues, cynical, or both. This is partly because I used to think I was a Republican.

Americans don't take advice very well, but the only way to really influence anyone is by example anyway. I think if enough voters could see a sincere left in action in the rest of the world they may start distancing themselves from our two-party chess match and demand a real political dialogue.

I can hope, right?

Richard S. (Commie Curmudgeon) said...

Appreciate the excellent commentary - I couldn't agree more with most of it. I live in NYC and I walk over a land bridge next to the pit that was the World Trade Center four nights a week on my way to a proofreading job at the World Financial Center. I go to these jobs to try to make a living and a not very good one (without health insurance). But I'm still a little better off than custodial workers and so many others. We're all exploited by the same system, coerced by it into doing one or another kind of alienated labor in order to survive. And I and many other regular New York temp workers could very easily have been blown up on 9/11/01 if our luck didn't take us somewhere else that morning.

I never could tolerate the "Little Eichmanns" bullshit. And I let my good friend ChuckO know I didn't like Infoshop making a poster boy out of Ward Churchill around the time that he made those comments. Defend his civil liberties, yes, but don't defend everything he says, and don't make it "politically incorrect" to criticize him.

I've had little tolerance for quasi-Maoist influences in the "anarchist" movement in the U.S. I was battling them for a while, before, for various reasons, I basically quit the "anarchist movement." The pressure to conform for the sake of political correctness is a real curse. And people get judged based on the identity groups into which they were born without any recognition of individuality, the nature of real democracy, due process, etc. Because of this, many "anarchists" and other radicals have only helped to exacerbate those social ills that they are supposed to be fighting against.

Regarding another matter... While I agree that I wouldn't advocate hating "Americans," I think we also have to get away from this idea that there is really such a thing as "Americans." "America" is comprised of a huge variety of cultures and individuals influenced by many different cultural experiences. Nationality is a very fake social construct. Down with all nations and nationalism.

Hope this comment wasn't too long. :) Making up for my lack of comment over the years that I've been enjoying your blog...