19 February 2019 — Investigating Imperialism
[I think it’s time to republish a piece I wrote 15 years ago, in 2004, though clearly very few took notice of it then, will it be any different this time? I doubt it, it’s probably already too late to do anything about it. What the Labour government initiated in 2004 has now reached, not only fruition but is now sweeping the ‘democratic’ West as the crisis of capital intensifies and opposition to neoliberalism intensifies. I call it what it is, Fascism. Maybe not the Fascism of Hitler or Mussolini, there are no jackboots, they don’t need them this time, they have built the corporate-security state, a state that has us all on file, a state that records our movements, a state that knows what we read, who we see, a state that now works in tandem with its corporate masters just as Mussolini’s Fascism did, a state that makes Orwell’s 1984 amateurish by comparison. Reading through it, I don’t think I need to alter one word. WB.]
24 April 2004
“Someone must have slandered Joseph K., for one morning, without having done anything truly wrong, he was arrested.” – Franz Kafka, ‘The Trial’
It’s a beautiful day in London, the first real spring day, warm and sunny. A light lunch in Brockwell Park here in South London with a friend, a chance to soak up some sun and generate a little extra vitamin D, and try and order my thoughts somewhat for what was left of the day.
I suppose the first thing that comes to mind is that the unremitting propaganda campaign being waged by Home Secretary Blunkett is starting to pay ‘dividends’ but the idea that detaining people without trial for an indefinite period to the point that they start to crack up and go mad seems not to have made people wonder one bit about the police state that is steadily and inexorably being constructed here. A police state that will eventually impact on dissent of any kind let alone the fertiliser variety or my pal Edward Teague’s suppository-induced weapon of anal destruction, or WAD as it’s known in the ‘terror trade’.
The decades long war on communism, one of the precepts of which was the idea that communist regimes locked up people without trial or due process seems to have escaped most people’s notice as the war on terror gains traction if not against the actual terrorists, then those for whom they come in the morning.
The idea that people can be detained not on the basis of what they’ve done but firstly, upon who they know and secondly on what they might do, are the foundation stones of the police state. We used to call it guilt by association (those familiar with the worst aspects of the Cold War in the 1950s will know exactly what I’m talking about. For those who don’t, I advise you do some reading up on it as it will surely be your door that they’ll be knocking on next, shortly after mine).
Just think about Blunkett’s secret court and how it operates behind closed doors, with the accused allowed to see neither the ‘evidence’, the charges nor to cross examine their accusers and all of it under the pretext that revealing the sources or their accusers might reveal information damaging to the state. It’s a no-win situation, the stuff nightmares are made of. No wonder the accused locked up in Belmarsh high security prison are going mad.
The never-ending ‘revelations’ about plots, plots that never materialize except in the minds of the accusers, in an Alice-in-Wonderland world of mirrors. ‘G’, just like Kafka’s ‘K’ is “a lonely, isolated individual” set against “the impenetrable, incomprehensible, bureaucratic and juridical nightmares of an impersonal, unfeeling world.” And ‘K’ must also defend himself against accusers who are never revealed to him and with accusations that are also never put before him.
Joseph K’s world and the worlds of ‘M’ and ‘G’ are identical, only the world of ‘K’ was ‘fiction’ and the world’s of ‘G’ and ‘M’ are all too real. But unlike ‘K’, ‘G’, ‘M’ and their fellow accused are actually worse off as they don’t even get a trial, they just get disappeared into the bowels of Blunkett’s police state.
Amazingly, or perhaps not so amazingly, why does the Brit public never stop to ask the state why none of these ‘plots’ ever materialize? Today, for example, there are vague mutterings about some undefined ‘threat’ to a Manchester United football game that just as with the equally vague ‘threat’ to London Underground the other week also never materialized. So too with the fantasies about anthrax, ricin, osmium tetroxide and alike, these stories are designed simply to put the heeby-jeebies into the public, softening them up for the introduction of ever more repressive laws, all ‘for their own good’ of course. ‘We must take away your freedom in order to preserve it.’
A scant few months ago, most people were opposed to carrying an ID card but now, according to the latest polls, they’re in favour of it (except they don’t want to pay forty quid for the ‘privilege’ of being tagged for the rest of their lives). And what happens if you refuse to cough up the cash I wonder?
When taken as a whole, a pattern is revealed that relies on scare tactics about disasters that never materialize. Why? Because our ever-vigilant forces of law and order [sic] are forever on their guard and as with all such propositions that require ‘proving’ a negative, to succeed they depend on our acquiescing to irrational and unsubstantiated fears.
So for example, the boss of London’s Metropolitan police made a statement a few weeks back that “it wasn’t a question of if, but of when” some terrible calamity was going to befall us. Deconstruct this innocuous statement and you realize that “when” extends into the indefinite future, perhaps for years or even for decades! This assures that any laws passed for ‘threats’ to us ‘now’ also work for any ‘threats’ that may occur at any time between and now and the end of eternity.
Wracking up the terror quotient has been the objective over the years since 911 slowly but surely, and slowly but surely we have allowed ourselves to be swayed by the doomsayers, for obviously, the odds are that sooner or later something will go bang, it’s merely statistics. But of course, we’ll never know who made the bang but it will be assumed that it’s Al-Qu’eda, even if careful analysis of the ‘evidence’ reveals not a shred of proof that Al-Qu’eda actually exists except in the minds of the state’s propagandists. What we do know for sure is that Osama was most definitely a paid CIA asset from around 1989 and for all I know, he possibly still is (maybe that’s why, conveniently, he never gets found).
And the increasing terrorisation of the population with various and sundry tales of doom are increasing in direction proportion to the failure of the occupation of Iraq as well as the failure to find our latter-day ‘Scarlet Pimpernel’.
But even assuming that there is a real threat from mad (or even sober-minded) bombers bent on destroying western civilisation (such as it is), if the threat from the unfortunate individuals incarcerated in our own ‘very British’ Gulag is real, then surely by any sane measure, bringing them into a court of law is the best way to demonstrate to the public that the threat is indeed real rather than invention of the security state.
It should surely be obvious even to a person of Home Secretary Blunkett’s limited intellectual capacity, that just as with the Stalinist denunciations of ‘traitors’, ‘terrorists’ and ‘counter-revolutionaries’ all of which also took place in secret, anyone can denounce anyone and for any reason as that was in fact, exactly what happened under Stalin. Who is to say, failing evidence to the contrary that invisible accusers are invisible precisely because they don’t actually exist, anymore than the basis of the state’s fallacious accusations do. But who is to know? We’ll never know any more than the unfortunate accused.
The awful irony of the situation is that Stalin’s ‘counter-revolutionary’ and ‘enemy of the people’ need only be replaced with ‘Muslim fanatic’ and ‘enemy of civilisation’, the rest of Stalin’s show trial accusations can be used pretty well verbatim, although they might have to airbrush out all references to ‘comrade’ this and ‘comrade’ that.
I might add that alongside this nightmare scenario, young people here are also in for the Blunkett ‘treatment’ under the cover of his ‘anti-social behaviour’ legislation that would criminalise two or more ‘young’ people ‘congregating’ even as they wait to cross the road.
By the time the populace wake up to what’s happening it’ll be too late to do anything about it. Surely food for thought for all those Labour supporters who would railroad reticent labourites into voting for Labour in the next election just to keep the Tories out.