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Se muestran los artículos pertenecientes a Marzo de 2010.



Islam

I am a supporter of the EDL here in England. I have been to four demos. You can see my various accounts of the EDL in my website below.

This is a response to an article by Martin Smith of Unite Against Fascism, who violently oppose the EDL. Martin Smith is the National Secretary of the Socialist Workers Party.

http://islamthefarleftandmisc.blogspot.com/

Martin Smith, ‘The BNP and the EDL’, Socialist Review, March 2010,
http://www.socialistreview.org.uk/article.php?articlenumber=11183

Contents:
i) What’s wrong with football fans, Mr Smith?
ii) Martin Smith’s Account of the Stoke Demo
iii) The Far Left Loves the Far Right Really
iv) Racism?
v) Martin ‘Runs With Muslims’ Smith the Street Fighter
vi) Gramsci and Mr Smith
vii) Revolution?

What’s wrong with football fans, Mr Smith?

Citizen Smith doesn’t seem to like football supporters. They are too British for him. Too patriotic. Worst of all, they haven’t read Trotsky or even Lenin. Bastards! Martin Smith seems to find it hard to make a distinction between ‘football hooligans’ and ‘football fans’. Does Citizen Smith know that one out of every two British males is a football fan? Fancy being against so many people. Then again, this is Citizen Smith and the UAF/SWP we are talking about. If you’re not brown, or a student, or a Muslim, then they don’t have much time for you. The vast majority of British people just aren’t Marxist or Islamist enough for Citizen Smith. All we can do is laugh when Smith says, conspiratorially, that so-and-so ‘had already begun to build alliances with football supporters’. Shock horror! What next, alliances with, uh, working class white people? Never!

I love Smith’s little excursion into Marxist ‘class analysis’. Smith thinks that the media portrays EDL as ‘working class yobs’. He thinks that the media is wrong. Apparently, ‘many [EDL] come from “petty bourgeois” professions – the classic base of fascism’. Well, I never! I didn’t know that I was ‘petty bourgeois’ and the EDL members I have talked to are petty bourgeois. Doesn’t it show what a sad little train spotter Smith really is when he resurrects terms like ‘petty bourgeois’ from the dustbin of Communist and Trotskyist history. Anyone who uses these quaint little pseudo-technical terms must be a complete arse. These words are dead today. In any case, the SWP/UAF Alliance is full of middle class people. Alex Callinicos, of the Central Committee (yes, Central Committee) and a few others, are upper middle class. Actually, Callinicos is from an aristocratic background. But they are not ‘bourgeois’! Why is that? Because they are Marxists. A Marxist may be middle class, but he can’t be bourgeois. In fact no Marxist can be bourgeois, no matter how rich he is. How neat. And how tidy.

Yes, I too talk about class. Specifically the middle class and professional/student basis of the UAF/SWP Alliance. That is not because I’m against the middle class. I’m not. What I am against is middle class people who pretend they are not middle class. Or middle class people who speak out against what they call ‘the middle class’. As well as those Marxists middle-class SWP-ers who class right-wing middle class people as ‘bourgeois’ or ‘petty bourgeois’. It’s not the middle class I’m against. It’s middle class far-leftist hypocrites.

You see the EDL can’t win. If it were full of working class members it would be accused of being full of ‘yobs’. Now Smith is saying it is full of, or run by, the ‘petty bourgeois’. In any case, this petty-bourgeois fixation is simply a result of Smith and co. reading too many books about the rise of fascism in Nazi Germany and Italy in the 1920s and 30s. He is trying very hard indeed to fit the EDL and its actions into his own potted history of fascism – the things he has read about again and again in the vast and boring corpus of Marxist history and theory. But the cap doesn’t fit, Smith. This is Britain in the year 2010. It’s not Germany or Italy in the 1920s or 30s. The situations are completely different. The British have always despised Nazis and Trots equally. Extremism doesn’t sit that well in England, unlike in Europe. That’s why far right and Trot groups still do better on the Continent. That’s why the British hate the SWP and the far right.

In any case, what point is Smith actually making by stressing the ‘petty bourgeois’ fan base of the EDL? Is it really the simple point that historically the petty bourgeois were the backbone of the Nazi Party? Is that what he is getting at? Eddie Hitler was also an artist and a vegetarian. Perhaps some sociologist should do a study of the EDL and see how many artists or vegetarians there are.

Martin Smith become even more pathetic than, well, Martin Smith when, in hushed tones, he tells us that the ‘leading figures behind the Luton protest [were] a self-employed carpenter and another runs his own internet company’. Really! Now I’m definitely not going to vote for the EDL. I mean, carpenters – they’re all Nazis, especially Jesus! What the EDL should be full of, instead, are lecturers from the London School of Economics or from the Embrace Diversity Department at Staines University. Oh, and one STIOE member is an ’American student’! Which bit of that description don’t you like, Citizen Smith? It can’t be the ‘student’ part (the SWP is entirely made up of students, except for its ex-student leaders). So it must be the ‘American’ part.

Smith’s Account of the Stoke Demo

Citizen Smith is not very keen on either facts or the truth. Not if the facts and the truth get in the way of a good story or, more importantly, in the way of the Revolution or the leftist radicalisation of young British Muslims. He claims that the EDL, after the Stoke demo of 23rd January, ‘directed their anger on the Asian community, smashing up shops and attacking Asian people’. Everything is right about that account except for the facts. Firstly, within half an hour of the demo ending the city centre streets were more or less clear of EDL demonstrators. Secondly, which ‘Asian community’ is he talking about? There is no Asian community near the city centre of Stoke so how could EDL members ‘smash’ their shops? Finally, not a single riot van was overturned, unless it was overturned only in Smith’s head. I also doubt that a single Asian was ‘attacked’. I saw very few Asians in the city centre that day. I saw lots of black people. Some of them joined the EDL demo, I’m sorry to say, Mr Smith. And why not? The EDL has more in common with the average black person that the middle-class Trots who run the SWP/UAF Alliance.

What exactly does Smith mean by ‘anti-Muslim riot’ when there were no Muslims there to riot against? Or does this just sound good on paper? Perhaps it will give a few middle-class Trot/SWP students a sense of excitement and their first taste of a scrap.

The Far Left Loves the Far Right Really

If Smith uses the words ‘racist’, ‘thugs’, ‘Nazis’ enough times, he thinks he will be able to persuade all and sundry that the EDL really is full of racists, thugs and Nazis. Repeat a lie enough times and many people will believe it. I think some Nazi once said that. And Smith is himself a red fascist; so he should know… Oh, I forget. Socialist Worker recently argued that it was a big mistake to conflate the far right with the far left. Well, the SWP would say that, wouldn’t it? After all, it is far left. Not only that, but it justifies and defines itself almost exclusively by its opposition to the far right. What a nice little club the far right and far left belong to. They love each other really. They certainly need each other.

Racism?

Smith mentions the ‘terrifying rise in anti-Muslim racism since 9/11’. Apart from the fact that there has been no ‘terrifying’ rise in anti-Muslim attacks, what about the real rise in anti-Semitic attacks in Britain and Europe? You won’t hear much about that from Smith and his friends because many of them are anti-Semites. Oh, no, they are ‘anti-Zionists’. Their monomania and neurotic obsession with Israel has nothing whatsoever to do with the one thousand five hundred years of European anti-Semitism. It is a complete coincidence that Trots go to bed at night thinking about Israeli ‘crimes’ and the sad, sad Palestinians. They don’t worry that much about the plight of the southern Sudanese black Christians or animists, or the Kurds. No. It the behaviour of the Jews in Israel that really gets to them. After all, Israel is the ‘front line of America’.

Anyway. ‘Anti-Muslim racism’? What does that mean? That’s like, ‘anti-Tory homophobia’. It doesn’t even make sense. After all, people like Smith himself keep on telling us that Muslims don’t constitute a single race. That doesn’t matter to a Trot. As long as the phrase ‘ant-Muslim racism’ helps him recruit a few young naïve Muslims and a few naïve middle class students. He doesn’t really care how he recruits them. If lies, distortions, alliances with reactionaries (Muslims), etc. work, they he’ll do it. He will do anything to further the Revolution and increase militancy amongst young Muslims and non-Muslim students. Anything.

Martin ‘Runs With Muslims’ Smith the Street Fighter

Smith cleverly tells us about the ‘electoral and a street fighting wing’ of fascist organisations. Does that include red fascist organisations like the SWP and UAF? They certainly have a ‘street fighting wing’ and a nice wing (the good cops) which dupes members of the leading parties into joining the UAF.

The SWP can’t be electoral because it is against parliamentary democracy. However, that didn’t stop Smith from accusing the BNP of not believing in democracy and the vote. But that’s for far- right reasons, which are bad, not far-left reasons, which are good. Indeed Martin Smith himself is a street fighter. He is called ‘Martin “runs with Muslims” Smith’. There are photos of him running with Muslims, attacking two Birmingham shoppers, teasing a police dog, and haranguing a Birmingham shop keeper. He was also arrested for street fighting outside the BBC. In addition, he was reported to West Midland Police for attacking shoppers in Birmingham. So Smith is in favour of far-left street fighting, but against far-right street fighting. This is something everyone knows already.

Gramsci and Mr Smith

Smith mentions his hero, the ‘socialist’ Antonia Gramsci. Gramsci’s main thesis was simple. He knew that the revolution would not happen, at least not in the immediate future. So what to do? Gramsci suggested taking over, infiltrating and being entryists in important institutions, from the universities and colleges, to the media and even the church and police. The tactic was, basically, to take over these institutions and groups and make them ideologically communist or Trotskyist in nature. It has worked in the UK. The far left has ‘won the culture war, but lost the economic war’. But instead of out-and-out Trotskyism, which the British would never swallow, what we have instead is the Politically Correct Cultural Revolution. This is a nicer form of far leftism.

Martin Smith is the National Secretary of the Socialist Workers Party. He has heeded Gramsci’s words and he and the SWP have formed UAF. Smith also runs the Love Music Hate Racism (LMHR) show. He is certainly doing his bit for Gramsci and the Revolution. Martin ‘runs with Muslims’ Smith has even created his own version of Mussolini’s squadre d’azione. You can see him in action in a few photos and videos. I think his boot boys are called ‘Red and Green Action’. The ‘red’ stands for ‘red fascism’ (Trotskyism) and the ‘green’ stand for ‘Islamofascism’. I bet Smith’s red ‘sword’ is nine inches long when folded in half!

Revolution?

Smith indulges in some classic Trotskyite scare-mongering. In one breath he tells us that ‘the BNP gained 17 percent’ of the vote in Barking in 2005. That’s only 17% in one constituency. From this meagre evidence he then tells us in the next breath that ‘the Nazis are making serious breakthroughs at the ballot box’. Apart from 17% not really being a ‘breakthrough’, this vote involved a lot of protest votes from the electorate. And why is that? Because people like Smith and the middle class professionals who run the UAF/SWP Alliance, and the universities and much of the media, gave up on the white working class years ago. Smith and his mates now ‘run with Muslims’. They embrace other kinds of diversity – any kind of diversity, as long as it is not the white working class. For example, Martin writes that EDL members ‘talked about the fear of losing their jobs or businesses’. He doesn’t show any compassion for their plight or even an analysis of why things are the way they are. The only thing that he concludes from this is that such people become attracted to ‘typical… fascist/ultra right wing nationalist movements’. This just shows us why some people are doing precisely that, Mr Smith. Because you don’t give a shit about anyone except middle class students and Muslims. That is, anyone who will be fodder for the Trot Revolution, which the working class refuse to be. And that’s why the SWP gave up on the working class. It just wasn’t into the Revolution. Never mind. Let’s try the Muslims and Islamists instead.

07/03/2010 17:36. plotino #. THIS WORLD No hay comentarios. Comentar.

Boston Tea Party

                                   

 

 

Tea Party

An old (and new) force in United States politics

                        by Richard Lipner

 

                In December 1773, a band of colonists dressed as Native Americans ran amuck in Boston Harbour. To protest the sad state of British domination, they dumped valuable chests filled with the English’s beloved tea, dumping it into the chilly waters. The rallying call was “no taxation without representation” a war cry, but also a most reasonable demand.

 

Move to present times and a new battle cry has emerged from a varied bunch; one that gathers beneath a large umbrella and calls themselves “tea partiers.” Tired of what is perceived as an invasive and economically anti-free enterprise position in Washington “tea parties” have sprung up in far-flung places all over the United States.

 

As the movement grew in momentum and number throughout 2009, it became clear that there was more than one political philosophy involved. There may be a lot of agreement, but the movement must be careful they don’t find a two-headed monster. The central issues of limiting large federal government and its spending, free markets, individual liberty and responsibility are causes near and dear to both the conservatives and the “libertarians” who seemed to have flocked to the tea party movement.  

 

It may well have been Texas Congressman Ron Paul, who as an elected official was instrumental in building the incredible momentum of the tea-parties.  It was Paul’s organizing of anti-tax rallies as early as 2007, while George W. Bush was still in the White House, that was at the core the tea party movement.  Mr. Paul has seemed to move from a Republican to a libertarian/tea partyist; but this may be at odds many who don’t agree with Mr. Paul and his kind on issues such as the legislating by individual of states of marijuana for medical use, and his lack of support for the war effort in Iraq and for U.S. economic funding of Israel.

 

The germ of the seemingly spontaneous flowering of followers in the past year took hold when a cable television financial analyst for CNBC, Rick Santelli, launched into a rebuttal of President Barrack Obama’s stimulus package.  While speaking from the trading floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange one year ago, Santelli railed, "We're thinking of having a Chicago Tea Party in July. All you capitalists who want to show up at Lake Michigan, I'm going to start organizing."

 

While there is no national “Tea Party”, there is an increasing number of political parties in various states and they seem to be increasing almost daily. A Florida attorney has just registered the “Tea Party of Florida” as an official party in that state.  While the nomenclature “the Tea Party” constitutes a pun – using the word “party” as a political entity, not as celebratory fest -- it does ring as a clever reminder that these people consider themselves revolutionaries.  Oddly, much of the tactics and sloganism that as has long been associated with the radical left and the young, has been incorporated by the conservative, and often older, “tea partiers.”  The disruptive, shouting, self-proclaimed “patriots,” who appeared at many of the town hall meetings on the subject of health care and economic reform, hearken back to the Yippies and anti-Vietnam War protesters of the 1960s, who reveled in pulling off “spontaneous” demonstrations at venues from the New York Stock Exchange to the offices of university presidents.

 

Attacks from the liberals and the left tend to pass the movement off by using tired epithets to dismiss the growing movement. They cast doubt on whether the many shouting protesters who disrupted the Obama-sponsored town-hall meetings on the subjects of health care and economic stimulus where genuine activists. Some of the news media criticized this, the claim being that these were people paid by health insurance companies and conservative political interests to disrupt the progress of these intended programs.  Focusing on the fringe tea-partiers: the ones who come out dressed in costumes of revolutionary war fighters; those who repeatedly question President Obama’s validity as a United States citizen; and those who carry placards with racist or “red-baiting” slogans, there has been an attempt to make the activists look foolish.  There are these types of people at many tea-party gatherings, but their image in the public eye is far surpassed by the larger group of American citizens who have become political activists because they have grown weary of politics as usual.

 

The current Tea Party isn’t exactly a political party at all. While this seemingly diverse group held its first convention on 5-6 February in Nashville, Tennessee, it faces an identity crisis. The convention showed the conservative-based movement going beyond taking baby steps to becoming a major player in U.S. politics, but cracks in the foundation are also showing. With featured speaker, Sarah Palin, the unsuccessful vice-presidential candidate of the Republican Party, receiving a US0,000 payment for her presence, the organizers charged up to US9 for attending conventioneers. While Ms. Palin stated her fee would “go to the cause”, many sympathetic to the tea party movement felt slighted by the exorbitant pricing.  This caused many to feel left out of what is supposedly a “grassroots” movement – in the words of one Tennessee who found the costs prohibitive Tea Party activists are not “the type of people who would gravitate to some expensive hotel to dine on lobster and steak and listen to someone speak.”  There is opposition by many tea-parties to placing Palin in such a central spot. Many do not want any traditional Republican becoming a symbol of the new movement. A large group also opposes the more libertarian activists; and Ron Paul now finds himself facing several tea-party candidates vying for his congressional seat in Texas in next November’s election.

 

Since self-made billionaire, H. Ross Perot’s, attempt to win the U.S. presidency as an independent in 1992,  no third-party candidate has posed a significant factor on the national scene to challenge the traditional Democratic vs. Republican party dynamic.  Perot ran on a political platform that mixed right, centrist and left ideas, appealing to all segments of the voting population who were disappointed in the politics-as-usual of the two major parties. However; after gathering  close to 19% of the vote in the presidential election that saw Bill Clinton win his first term as president, Perot’s popularity diminished and his formation of a new “Reform Party” for the 1996 election didn’t grab the imagination of the American people in the way his previous run did. The Reform Party has since devolved, nominating the conservative Pat Buchannan in 2000 and the left-leaning consumer advocate Ralph Nader in 2004, in a seemingly schizophrenic attempt at finding a viable candidate.

 

                Despite the lack of clarity about exactly who and what constitutes the Tea Party, the various elements do come together representing an estimated 7 million American citizens, with many more becoming sympathetic. They come together as a populist movement, the likes of which haven’t been seen here for a long time. The movement takes credit for being essential to the recent election in Massachusetts of Scott Brown to the U.S. Senate. In the special election held to fill the place held by the late Ted Kennedy, tea-partiers claim it was there involvement and activism that pushed the Republican candidate Brown over the top. Taking away the Democratic Party’s overwhelming majority, it negates President Obama’s veto possibilities – a process that would have made getting legislation such as health care reform much more likely. In Illinois, just weeks ago, two tea-party candidates running against a centrist for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, were soundly defeated. Still, the movement spin on this has been that they made a formidable presence and that politicians both Republican and Democrat, had better not think this Tea Party can be dismissed.               

 

The real challenge will be growing throughout this year, and more so, leading toward the 2012 presidential election. The Tea Party can go the way of others. It can fall to infighting, disarray or simply lose impetus. It can also keep growing and gathering like a coming political storm. There are clearly many in this nation who feel left out and abandoned by the two main parties. Many blame the Republicans for nominating too moderate a candidate in John McCain. Mostly, there are people who see the big government in Washington as moving toward a socialist solution when it comes to economics. The movement’s opposition to the bailout of the major banks may be the most telling sign of their convictions.  By not simply supporting the big-money interests that often have been the backbone of the Republicans, but holding to fundamental beliefs that “the people” who work and strive each day, deserve not to be treated as second-class, not to be pushed under the thumb of big government nor big money.  The strength of the tea-party movement is in its not deviating from the principles those first revolutionaries who became the authors of the U.S. constitution held so dear.

 

 

 

 

© 2010 by Richard Lipner

 

Richard Lipner is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York.

11/03/2010 09:46. plotino #. No hay comentarios. Comentar.

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