re: Attack on ‘Progressive Thought’.
17th post - 12 Aug 2004 10:47
Progressive political thought relies on criticism and analysis, which is sometimes painful. Anyone who hides from the truth is by definition NOT progressive.
The 'Right', however, feeds on ignorance and a fantasy of a golden age in the past when everything was wonderful because of Order and Discipline and Respect for authority and belief in a supreme being who would sort out all our problems. Everything, in fact required of a fundamentalist Islamic state.
Capitalism will graciously bestow dignity onto anyone with money. Islam, and other demeaning religions, grant human dignity on the basis of total obeisance to a fairy tale. If you can't get any money, you are still a human being. That's the theory.
If you are potless under capitalism, you are a nobody. Which is why we have crime and Islam has an international brotherhood. People miss the point by not considering the way that economic factors like these work in shaping the need for group identity. Which leads them into racism.
When skinheads first appeared, Idi Amin was expelling the largely middle-class Asians from Uganda. These had been the 'nobhi-wallahs' and civil servants of the Empire while the black population had been its muscle power. The asians were privileged and therefore resented by some sections of the black population in this country. It was a class thing, and we did see for a short time the spectacle of the black skinhead.
The fact that the Empire had generally brutalised the black workers while educating the asian pen-pushers was never likely to foster the tenderest relationship between Asian and African. And this artificial conflict is the very factor hijacked by right wing apologists for racism who try to argue that because all races display symptoms of racism, that it is hypocritical of black people to complain of racism towards them. And furthermore, that to condemn racism is almost tantamount to condemning human nature. In practice this means removing any sanctions or taboos on racism. The Race Relations Act would have to go, naturally, and the result would be predictably hideous.
'Racism' is nothing to do with genetics and everything to do with the economic system the 'right' has always believed in. It is the abuse of cultural diversity for the sake of profit. A ghoulish attempt to turn the food to ashes in our mouths.