Sunday, December 30, 2007
Multiculturalism appears to be everywhere right now- from the Diversity units of the Metropolitan police to the inane ramblings of ‘Ordinary Bloke’ (and Ubertoff) Dave Cameron, Multiculturalist ideas and practices have become the official policy spanning Government and media. It has become one of the ideological planks of the Blair era. Suddenly the entire establishment appears to be casting off centuries of racism and discrimination and embracing a brave new world of tolerance in which the views and beliefs of all are valued and respected.
In the true spirit of this Brave New World, History itself is being rewritten as the crimes of the past are expunged through the copious application of apologies. In Blair’s world politics is…. Only having to say you’re Sorry… but only for those acts committed by men long dead.
The lefty and liberal press have embraced multiculturalism and denounce any who question its tenets as racist and reactionaries lower than amoeba. Who then would argue against it?
Surely these visions of a contented multiracial society in which the ideas and beliefs of all are respected are so clearly positive and good that no one but the reddest necked boneheaded tosser could object.
Actually, Multiculturalism is anything but about ending oppression and building a fairer society. It is a Cop Ideology, in its design and in its practice it seeks to divides working class communities against themselves and foists state approved ‘community leaders’ upon us who scrabble against each other for the chance to win the approval of the ‘soft pig’ middle class do-gooder professionals who decide which ‘community’ is most docily deserving of the largest share of the limited resources available.
Borrowing a hodgepodge of ideas from feminism, 1980s Political correctness, and academic anthropology the supporters of multiculturalism argue that Human beings are defined not by their individual personalities or membership of a particular social class but instead as members of distinct ‘cultures’. Instead of looking for what unites us all- our local community, our class or even our common humanity what is of prime importance is the one thing that divides us whether that is our race, gender, sexual identity or whatever.
To criticise these ’values’ from the vantage point of another ‘cultural grouping’ is to indulge in an act of ‘cultural imperialism’-a definite sin in the eyes of the multiculturalists and one for which you will be likely to get your collar felt for when the Religious Hatred Act becomes law.
Despite the support Multiculturalism gets from both lefties and Liberals it is in fact a highly conservative ideology. By its insistence that all differing cultures are of equal value multiculturalism denies most fundamental of liberal assumptions dating right back to the French and American Revolutions, the Universality of Human Rights. To condemn the hanging of gays in Iran or the mutilation of the genitals of young girls in sub-Saharan Africa is failing to account for “the legitimacy of their cultural experience and exposes our inherent racism” and again culturally imperialist.
Not only does multiculturalism denies that Class has any role but neither does it allow any room for progress or change in society as this would involve the challenging or changing of cultural values. The multiculturalists have an Idealised view of modern society-seeing it as the best that can be achieved, needing only the slightest of tweaks to remove the ‘privileges’ from which white working class people allegedly benefit, which in multiculturalist eyes form the basis of racism.
Multiculturalism claims that it is against hierarchies and yet it is intrinsically elitist, it demands that all cultures and groups be represented by ‘community leaders’ to ‘speak for’ and embody that community. Government promotion of ‘moderates’ within communities along with the fact that those who are most vocal are those who identify themselves most closely with the defining feature of their ‘culture’ leads to the most conservative elements tending to take a leading role and their reactionary interpretations of what embodies ‘their culture’ becoming the mainstream. The promotion of the more reactionary of community leaders simply exacerbates a glaring contradiction at the heart of the multiculturalist dream of a society of separate and distinct cultures and groups; what to do when the beliefs and tenets of one culture directly impinge on the rights of another? How does a society satisfy (for example) the needs and aspirations of a career woman, a gay man, an evangelical Christian and an Imam?
Into the breach boldly step the ‘highly trained’ professionals of the cultural diversity units and social services departments who can arbitrate between the competing claims and negotiate solutions and distribute funding and resources to those community leaders who can keep their respective communities quiet and suitably respectful.
Whilst the police have always been in the front line in the Rich’s Class War against us, our rulers wouldn’t survive long without the army of auxiliary cops dedicated to convincing us through persuasion and coercion that the system in which we live is the best of all possible and that our position within it is natural and unchangeable.
These auxiliary cops are the teachers, social workers, probation officers, etc., who try to con us that whilst they have the power to punish us; fine us, take away our benefits, our homes, our kids, our liberty or our future, that they are in reality on our side.
They are recruited from the university educated middle classes- the very people upon whom the Leninist vampire parties prey for their cannon fodder and they all share that same Guardianista ‘concerned’ radicalism that wishes to bring enlightenment to the poor misguided proles whether we want it or not.
Multiculturalism masquerades as being the means of putting an end to racism forever and yet it has provided new life and opportunities for the Fascists.
Griffin and his cronies have pursued a successful twin pronged strategy; firstly, feeding upon the bitterness felt within white working class areas at the effects of both the real and imagined passing over of those communities in favour of other more ‘deserving’ more ‘oppressed’ cultural communities and, secondly, presenting themselves within ‘the community of distinct cultures’ as community leaders and the ‘genuine’ voice of the white community.
Criticism of multiculturalism is not received well and is usually dismissed as attacks upon minority groups and evidence of the critic’s inherent racism. The multiculturalists reserve their bile however for those who refuse to remain within the confines of their respective cultural groupings; the breakers of the rules.
Women, such as the Iranian communist Maryam Namazie, from muslim communities who refuse the veil and argue for secular concepts of women’s equality are denounced as the tools of imperialism and
Peddlers of Islamophobia.
Trevor Philips, who has made a good living as one of the prime architects of Multiculturalism, and is head of the newly unified The Commission for Equality and Human Rights made some minor criticisms of its effects and how it aided segregation in some Northern cities and found himself condemned by London Mayor ken Livingstone as “well on the way to joining the BNP”!!
If critics in Britain get abuse it is far more serious for those who deviate from community values abroad but the multiculturalists commitment to ‘diversity’is never stretches to defend their rights; when gays were murdered in Jamaica, protests against the killings were attacked as racist and showing ‘insufficient understanding of Jamaican culture’. Similarly, protests against the state murder of young gays in Iran were condemned as pandering to American Imperialism, just as opposing the killing of gays in palestine was supporting the zionist occupier.
Although multiculturalism is most associated with the ‘soft pigs’ it has also made its presence felt in the regular police- the black police association and gay police associations have both been given official recognition and have made high profile political statements and interventions in support of laws and initiatives of which they approve. This has been part and parcelof a explicit politicisation of the police force as a whole over the last ten years. Previously in Class War we have exposed the links between senior police officers and fundamentalist christian groups.
Multiculturalism claims to be the solution to the oppression and discrimination within capitalist society, in reality it is a deeply conservative elitist ideology concerned above all with dividing our class against itself in order to best ensure the Ruling Classes continued domination. What is clear is that we will never be free until both the hard pigs and the soft pigs and the class they defend are smashed.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
How different when, following a Boxing Day domestic incident, a police officer who attended died. The man involved in the aforementioned incident was immediately arrested on suspicion of murder. (The officer he was accused of assaulting was not the one who died.)
In response to this incident, Home Office minister Tony McNulty said: "Events such as this highlight the dangers that our police officers face every day when protecting the public."
It has now been established that the officer in question died from heart disease, making McNulty's comments laughable. But perhaps he was referring to cops' propensity to eat all kebabs and other takeaways and thereby protect the general public from piggy heart disease.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
The AH Trust, a charity set up last year by a group of businessmen, wants to build a £3.5m Christian theme park in the North of England, that's right, I kid you not, Ned's 'Praiseland.'
It's intended to be a copy of the Holy Land Experience in Orlando, Florida, where hundreds of thousands of visitors make pilgrimages to see a bloodied Jesus forced to carry his cross by snarling Roman soldiers.
The trust declined to say who the backers were, but admitted it is talking to a number of businessmen who have invested in city academies, leading to speculation that it may have approached Sir Peter Vardy, who has given millions of pounds to advance the claims of creationism. Vardey has also taken tens of millions of pounds of public money to further his ridiculous ideas.
The trust also says it plans to apply for government grants and European funding to help it realise its dream of turning its own television studio into 'an international leader in promoting family-oriented Christian programmes'. Grants for religious loonies? Whatever, I shan't be subscribing to that channel.
And just like Ned's fiasco, it'll be all puff and wind, a complete fake.
So fuck off you religious whackos. If you want to emulate the life of your master, I'd be more than happy to nail you all to a cross myself.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Worryingly, whilst George Bush lay face down smashed out of his brains with a tube up his arse today, Dick Cheney became the leader of the free world. Fortunately prior to Bush being sedated, he told Dick to keep his trigger happy fingers off the big red button - 'that's my job,' said George.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Not having taken any previous interest in the Campaign for a Marxist Party, my eyes were suddenly drawn to the polemical letters page in last week’s paper (June 7).
The CMP were “dancing around naked in the woods under a full moon”? I almost filled out an application form before I realised that Dave Spencer’s description was a piece of sarcasm.
For god’s sake, don’t get people’s hopes up that something exciting is happening on the left. I can’t stand the disappointment.
From letters page, Weekly Worker 677 (June 14 2007)
Thursday, May 31, 2007
I apologise to David Broder. He is quite right, I reread his letter (May 3 2007) and he had described my refusal to join the AWL as “ridiculous” rather than “foolish.” Given that both of us personally know people who have been caused considerable emotional distress by what their ‘comrades’ have said to them, I am disappointed that he does not acknowledge that the way in which the AWL and other groups behave in discussions can be unhealthy. In my experience, lefty-to-lefty discourse tends to be confrontational in nature. All too often the subtext is ‘I am right, you are wrong, and everyone should do what I say.’ I think this attitude is a slippery slope leading to verbal abuse of those you disagree with.
David claims that this is not the case with the AWL. I suggest he rereads the dispute between the CPGB and the AWL over the age of consent, in particular the article in Solidarity (May 16 2003) entitled ‘Crazies of the world unite,’ which concluded “there are probably one or two sane people left in the CPGB. Why do they let the nutters set the tone… of the organisation?” I am certainly not suggesting that the AWL is unique, or that all members of the AWL behave like this all the time. My point is that it is endemic to the far left. It does not need anything so crass as Sean Matgamna “geeing” anyone on: the tacit rules that govern discourse on the left are embedded in its culture. We conform to the norms of those around us and it is very hard to march out of step. Personally I have witnessed brutal verbal attacks on people or groups who simply have a different opinion. In any other context, this behaviour would justifiably be described as bullying. I regret the times when I have condoned such behaviour by staying silent. Insults should be used when you want to piss someone off. Using them to try and change someone’s mind is just weird: like a schoolboy teasing the girl he likes!
David’s own letters are the very model of politeness compared with some, but even he seems to start from the somewhat patronising perspective that he is right and that I have an obligation to justify myself where I disagree with him. For example, he uses the collective ‘we’ when saying that “we were… wrong to leave the CPGB” (May 3 2007), and infers that the rest of us were wrong again when we did not join the AWL when he did. David is of course entitled to his opinion, but here he is presenting his opinions as facts. I am sure that it was the right thing for David to join the AWL, but as far as I am aware, none of the rest of us who were involved with the red star share his opinion. I know I certainly do not.
My criticisms of the democracy in the AWL derive from their attitude towards leadership. The organisation sees itself as a leadership for the class and within the organisation there is a further division between the leaders and the led. In my opinion, this hierarchical division is inimical to democracy. Even where a decision is made within the organisation on a one-member, one-vote basis, the leadership have an unfavourable advantage over the membership in determining the outcome. Such leaders are invariably paid to do work on behalf of the organisation, affording them greater opportunities to attend meetings, gain allies and status, and in short have a plain advantage over those ordinary members who have other commitments, not least doing the paid work that allows them to financially support the leadership.
When I call the AWL Leninist, I am not using it as an insult: I use it as a description of the politics of that organisation. They are democratic centralist (which demands that the minority commits to go against itself in advance of a decision even being called, let alone being made); vanguardist (in that they have appointed themselves leaders of the class) and statist (their solution to the bourgeois state is to replace it with a state controlled by a vanguard). If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck…
I am not asking David to like any of this, and I am certainly not asking him to agree with me, but I do ask him to accept that I am sincere in what I have written and that my politics are not compatible with his or those of the AWL.
Saturday, May 05, 2007
This is jez's reply which we reprint here as it sums up quite well how our politics have developed over the past couple of years;
I doubt that readers are interested in how two people have different memories of the same, fairly insignificant series of events, but since David Broder feels the need to “correct” me in the pages of the weekly worker (May 3, 2007) I am obliged to do the same. David, now as then is preoccupied with the faction rights of the red platform and how the decision was taken to not publish one of the seeing red columns. I have to say this was never a particular concern of mine. As far as I am concerned, the weekly worker is controlled by the PCC and they make editorial decisions in accordance with their tactical concerns, which can be criticised at members’ aggregates after the event. Not how I would do things, but that’s how Leninist publications work, surely?
I was more concerned with the decision that was taken to critically support Respect and what it revealed about the cpgb and Leninist politics, rather than how that decision was made. Most people can see that Respect is bollocks: an opportunistic attempt by a bunch of self-serving politicians to try and get themselves voted into the petty corridors of power. The vast majority of the membership saw this too, yet the decision was taken to ‘critically support’ it in order to get a foot in the door and influence the people around Respect. This meant openly arguing that Respect was worth being in and trying to persuade other people to vote for it and join it. I was not comfortable with this: it seemed dishonest, arrogant and bossy. For the first time I began to seriously question whether or not I actually agreed with Leninist politics. In retrospect it marked the beginning of my rejection of democratic centralism: there are some things I am prepared to do or not do even if the whole of the rest of the world disagrees with me, let alone the narrow majority of a small political group.
David says that we should have stayed in the cpgb and fought to win the majority to our position, which is what the cpgb argued at the time. I disagree. In retrospect I was growing disenchanted with Leninism as a political method. To stay in an avowedly Leninist organisation, stamp my feet and insist that they stopped being Leninist would be daft. It only makes sense if you subscribe to the (Leninist) position that there should be one all powerful vanguard party. I don’t. I think the revolutionary movement should be, as it is, made up of people working together in groups of varying size and permanence whose analysis and objectives change. Groups form and fall apart, grow and shrink and above all change in response to changes in material conditions.
However, it needs stating that despite what David claims, the red party did not start out hostile to Leninism when we formed, and certainly not because of any petulant dislike of the cpgb. To the contrary we all found it hard to break with what was for most of us the only political method that we knew. We tried very hard to reconcile our increasingly humanist and libertarian tendencies with Leninist politics. We could not make it work. The problem as I see it is that Leninism and its variants start with a pessimistic view of our class: that we can only achieve genuine emancipation if we follow a leadership that can match the bourgeoisie in ruthlessness and levels of organisation, and that this leadership can and will sacrifice freedom and individuality in pursuit of a future that will supposedly celebrate freedom and individuality. I could not reconcile Leninism with libertarianism and humanism, and so I rejected Leninism.
Given that they embrace vanguardism, statism and democratic centralism, it hardly needs saying that I don’t regard the AWL as a libertarian socialist organisation. I suspect that the AWL doesn’t either. The cynic in me suspects that David’s attempt to rebrand the AWL has more to do with its current orientation towards the anti-capitalist movement, where, like the good Leninists that they are, they seek to provide leadership to the poor befuddled masses. Apparently our reluctance to join the AWL was “sectarian” and “ridiculous.” The rest of us all made it clear to David that we had no intention of joining them. Other members of the red party explained their reasons less politely, but personally, as I said at the time, I would not join them because in my opinion the AWL combine the authoritarianism of Leninsm with the smug arrogance of Guardian readers.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Notting Hill 2pm Saturday november 3rd