Our Victims Are Nuts

If Hamas and al-Qaida suicide bombers did not obviously have a religious affiliation, the West would have been obliged to invent one for them. Indeed, this was actually done for the inventors of the suicide vest, the secular-nationalist Tamil Tigers, whom Madeleine Albright nonsensically described as “Hindu fundamentalists”.

It is very much in the interests of the global plutocracy to pretend that the Islamist revolt is purely about religion, so that the whole business of hijab and amputated hands and 72 virgins awaiting suicide bombers in Paradise repels everyone of other faiths or none. In this way may be disguised the fact that Islamism is one of the only two current vehicles of rebellion against neo-liberalism. The other is the Bolivaran Revolution, and anyone dissatisfied with these two movements is welcome to reverse the intellectual suicide of the Left – whereby it decided to forget all about political economy in favour of denunciation of verbal and ocular sin – and found a third one.

The alternative to attributing the deeds of terrorists, rebels and dissidents to religious fanaticism is to attribute them to political grievances; and the consequence of attributing them to political grievances would be that we might accidentally discover what these grievances were. This in turn might involve our making concessions, and is for that reason obviously unacceptable. So what we do instead is to talk exclusively about religious fanaticism, since everyone knows that you cannot reason with a fanatic. This deprives our opponents of something as dangerously dignified as a point of view and vital interests.

Nowadays we use slightly longer words, but over a century ago, when certain people objected to colonial occupation, the then dominant imperial power labelled their leader, with alliterative succinctness, the “Mad Mahdi”. Since such folk were, we said, “mad”, there was no point devoting any more thought to who they were, what they wanted and why. When we set out to do something, however, and find ourselves killing half a million people to do it, then psychiatric explanations are not required. We do it in self-defence, for reasons of state, or in the name of high ideals, rather than because we are “fanatics”.

Posted on July 14, 2011 at 13:29 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!, Medicalising The Opposition

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