This blog initially set out to focus primarily on Islam and the Islamisation of the UK. However, since that time the subjects covered have broadened. They now include (amongst other things): IQ tests, Jean Baudrillard, global warming, sociobiology, Marxism, Trotskyism, David Cameron, Foucault, Nazism, Ralph Miliband, economics, statistics and so on. - Paul Austin Murphy
I've had articles published in The Conservative Online, American Thinker, Intellectual Conservative, Human Events, Faith Freedom, Brenner Brief (Broadside News), New English Review, etc... (Paul Austin Murphy's Philosophy can be found here.)

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Ferguson & the Nature of Riots

 


ferguson screenshot 4
Protesters break windshield of police car in Ferguson (Screenshot from Local Live Feed after Ferguson Decision)

It's not necessarily the case that riots “signify intense anger” or “a lack of justice”: riots often simply symbolise riots.

Consider:

  1. Some young men like violence and they also like to riot. Rioting can be extremely exciting to young men. It can also be a very good opportunity to obtain some free goods (i.e., to loot).
  2. Radical leftists and other kinds of political activists like to utilise such young men – as well as their riots – for their own political ends (in some cases the rioters and the politicos are the same people.)
Historically, and more recently, there have been many riots instigated and conducted on the most flimsy of evidence.

Conversely, there have been many governmental or police misdeeds that haven’t engendered riots. And why is it often the case that the same groups riot (or carry out acts of violence/terrorism) even though they suffer no more discrimination or poverty than other groups? (It should also be noted that most riots occur in hot weather – an ideal time for a riot.)

So if all that’s sometimes the case, do rioters, like terrorists, think that riots work to achieve their ends? Well, in a certain sense terrorism has worked in that governments have given in to specific terror groups or specific acts of terror; and the same is true of rioting.

Rioting has political repercussions, which is precisely what the instigators and some of the rioters intend. It’s not that riots and terrorism are the necessary results of extreme injustice or anger; as Marxist theory has it (though Marxists don’t apply that to rioters and terrorists who have the wrong views).

It’s that rioting and terrorism can be used as very convenient and undemocratic routes to rapid political change.

The Grand Jury’s Decision


In the case of Ferguson, the state prosecutor, Robert McCulloch, said that the jury had exhaustively examined the evidence in order to make the decision whether or not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the murder of Michael Brown. There is no doubt that Michael Brown died after being shot by Wilson, but the question was whether Wilson was acting in self defense, or was he a rogue police officer who killed Michael Brown indiscriminately, for no other reason – as asserted by some – than racism?

McCulloch even went so far as to say that that the “grand jurors poured their hearts and soul into this process”. It was also the case that 1,000 pages of grand jury documents were released (on Monday) by the authorities.

Now even if some people don’t like the result; that doesn’t give them the right-to-riot. And even if people dispute the result; that still doesn’t give them the right-to-riot.

Think about the logic of not accepting the grand jury and randomly selected jurors’ decision. It means that every time a jury doesn’t come to the result you want, you can justifiably riot. Indeed it also means that every time a jury does come to a result you’re happy with, other people can riot instead!

Another way of putting this is that if people legitimise (or rationalise) riots, then if the jury had come to the decision of “unlawful killing” (or that the police wee motivated by racism), then perhaps the white community of Ferguson would also have had the right-to-riot as a result of that particular hypothetical outcome.

The Logic of Racism


This author does not know the complete truth about this case. But neither do the rioters, the “race hustlers” or radical leftists who’ve played this death like virtuosos.

Protesters have been chanting, “Hands up, don’t shoot” – a reference to what some witnesses have said occurred on the day in August when Brown was killed.

The protesters aren’t willing to accept the testimony of the police because they deem them to be racists. But what if other people don’t accept the testimony of these few witnesses because they deem them to be using this death to further certain political goals; or maybe because they deem the witnesses to be anti-white racists?

Skepticism towards one group can just as easily be applied to another.

This might have been the logic of some of the witnesses; as well as of the radical leftists and race hustlers involved:

A white cop killed a black man. Therefore it must have been an act of racism. Full Stop.
So every time a black man mugs a white man or rapes a white woman, is that also automatically an act of racism? (I doubt that leftist logic will stretch in that direction.)

The logic (at least at times) really is that simple. In fact it is made to be that simple because many political activists want it to be that simple. And they want it to be that simple because only such crude simplicity will help them further their own political goals.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Left Unity's John Tummon Supports the Islamic State (IS) & Caliphate


 



Many Leftists have gone way beyond merely defending Muslims (against what they claim to be racism, etc.) to defending and even championing Islam itself.
 
I first noted this when I was debating (if that's the correct word) with a supporter/member of the communist-run group Hope Not Hate. This Facebook activist began by saying all the usual stuff (e.g., all the critics of Islam are really “racists” and/or “fascists”in disguise). However, she soon began posting stuff about Islam itself. More correctly, she began cutting-and-pasting large chunks of material from various Islamic websites and even from the Koran. (To read an account of this, see my'Hope Not Hate Defends Shia Blood Rituals'.)
 
It's no surprise that such people have the hots for Islam as it's as collectivist and indeed totalitarian in nature as Marxism/Leftism itself is.
 
Like Marxism, Islam offers “totalist” (to use a word from post-structuralism) solutions to.... well, all problems. And Leftists, like most Muslims, like that. Many Leftists also deem Islam to be intrinsically anti-capitalist; as well as being (conveniently for them) anti-Western.
 
So it's not a surprise either that John Tummon (of Left Unity) has also gone way beyond defending Muslims to now embracing all sorts of Islamic ideas and causes; including the Caliphate, the Islamic State (IS), the Ottoman Empire, the Ummah,sharia law, Islamic legal traditions and so on. Unlike my Hope Not Hate friend, however, he stops short of actually quoting from the Koran or hadith.
 
John Tummon made his outrageous claims at a Left Unity Conference which ran between the 15thand the 16thof November (2014). More specifically, his words formed part of an 'Amendment' to a 'Session' entitled 'A socialist Response to the actions of the Islamic State'.
 
The Progressive Islamic State (IS) 
              



John Tummon is a revolutionary Marxist. Thus he sees literally all things in terms of the Manichean battle between capitalist evil andnon-capitalist good. It really is that simple to him (despite his academic jargon and regular use of the word “analytical”); as it is to all Marxists.
 
On the other hand, anything negative that's said or written not just about Muslims - but also about IS - is almost automatically deemed (by John Tummon) to be a “piece of western propaganda” (August 22, 2014).
 
John Tummon puts his most basic (Marxist) point in a brutally simple way.
 
That point is that most – or even all – Islamic terrorism and violence (including that of the Islamic State) is simply “Muslim resistance to imperialism” (August 15th).
 
Moreover, John Tummon's sees the Islamic State (IS) and everything that's currently happening in Iraq and Syria
 
"as the latest tragic chapter in the complex and divided resistance of the peoples of the Middle East against the imperialist intervention of the western capitalist powers”.
 
As for what John Tummon says about the Ottoman Caliphate, it exactly replicates the position of the Islamist group, Hizb ut-Tahrir. And since Tummon himself mentions Hizb ut-Tahrir, one must conclude that he has read its publications. Either that or a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir has actually helped John Tummon write the Left Unity 'amendment'.
 
According to Tummon, not only do conservatives or right-wingers suffer from Eurocentrism and Western propaganda when they criticise the beheadings, sex-slavery and other oppressions carry out by IS: so too do fellow Leftists. Or as John Tummon rather patronisingly puts it (August 18th, 2014):
 
Without meaning to insult you, your criteria are extremely Eurocentric and irrelevant to the options available for the region.”
 
In other words, whereas John Tummon thinks that it's wrong to “accept [ ] western secularism’s assumptions about what is and is not progressive”; it's nonetheless right (in his eyes) to project Marxist, white and middle-class European anti-imperialism into the minds of the Sunni jihadists who are killing and beheading in Iraq and Syria.
 
All along John Tummon paints the jihadists of Islamic State (IS) as victims.
 
Quite simply, to John Tummon, “Sunni Jihad [is] against imperialism”.In other words, Sunni jihadists are just like John Tummon; though with brown skin and an a-causal (epiphenomenonal) glow of religion (i.e., Islam) around them.
 
This effectively means that Tummon himself is as “Eurocentric” (his word) and even as racist as he accuses his critics of being. That is so because he's projecting his Marxist Western values into the heads of Arab Sunni jihadists.
 
Muslims are always victims to white, Western, middle-class Leftists like John Tummon. They are victims essentially because they are deemed - by such Leftists - to be children. They have no free will or conscience. They are but cogs in Marx's capitalist/imperialist socioeconomic machine (unlike the Marxists who completely transcend it). Thus they can never be held accountable for their thoughts; let alone for their actions.
 
So Tummon thinks he's being proudly anti-Eurocentric, anti-racist and anti-imperialist when he says the “atrocities” of IS “are not on a different moral plane to other atrocities committed over recent years in the region”. In fact “they emerge out of it and the brutalised context resulting from imperialism and the struggle against it”.
 
What John Tummon is conveniently forgetting here is that many (perhaps most) IS jihadists aren't even Iraqis. Thus their violence simply couldn't have emerged “out of” the “brutalised context resulting from imperialism and the struggle against it”. In other words, many IS fighters – as everyone except Tummon knows – went to Iraq (as well as Syria) specifically for the violence (as well as the sex slavery, etc.). Their violence didn't grow out of the conflict or even out of Marx's terrible socioeconomic conditions.
 
John Tummon also argues for the “progressive potential” of IS and its Caliphate. (Clearly is pathological hatred of capitalism has turned his brain to mush.) He says:
 
"Unlike a continuation of the framework of western-imposed nation states, it therefore, theoretically, has progressive potential....”
 
John Tummon advances his progressive-IS thesis by saying that that there's more hope for“progress” with IS than with any other group. In his words:
 
My question back to you, therefore, is do you think more space for progress exists within the status quo or within a proto-Caliphate which breaks with the imperialist settlement?”
 
John Tummon even defends IS by defending Stalin (or vice versa) in this way:
 
If the Left feels there was nothing wrong with Stalin providing an overarching stability to eastern Europe in these circumstances.... why should we by shy of supporting ISIS’s attempt to provide a new, overarching settlement in the northern Middle East?” (August 13th, 2014)
 
John Tummon's Hizb ut-Tahrir Version of the Caliphate
 


Perhaps the worst part of John Tummon's screed is his defence of a Caliphate that just before it destruction (in 1918-24) had slaughtered over two millionArmenians and Chaldeans (i.e. in the Armenian Genocide) and the Assyrian Genocide) and which had sided with the Central Powers(including Germany)in World War One. (Ironically, many of the Armenians were slaughtered in Syria and 25,000 Armenians also fled to Iraq.)
 
As I said at the beginning, John Tummon's whole position on the Islamic Caliphate - and indeed on IS's attitude towards it - is straight out of Hizb ut-Tahrir's book. (Though Hizb ut-Tahrir is not entirely happy with the idea that the Islamic State has taken ownership - as it were - of the Caliphate from itself.)
 
John Tummon also reprimands us for not knowing about – or accepting –Hizb ut-Tahrir's stance on the Caliphate. He says that
 
[c]riticisms of the call for the Caliphate must be countered by knowledge and understanding. Painting it as inseparable from violence or empire building is a false association that lacks historical, political and intellectual credibility”.
 
And then Tummon tell us the truth – the Hizb ut-Tahrir truth – about the Caliphate:
 
The Caliphate represents an alternative political vision that is gathering support amongst Muslims across the Muslim world because, for its adherents, like Hizb ut-Tahrir, it stands for replacing the brutal regimes in which they live with a political system based on Islam that sets up an accountable executive, an organised judiciary, representative consultation, the rule of law and citizenship.”
 
(See the close similarity between John Tummon's vision of the Caliphate and Hizb ut-Tahrir's in this Hizb article entitled 'Muslims Will Not Compromise on the Khilafah!')
 
Conclusion
 

John Tummon is on the right.

As we have seen, some (many?) Leftists have swiftly and easily moved from defending Muslims to defending and even championing Islam itself.
 
So what could possibly happen next?
 
Yes, that's right: the obvious next step will be for some (many?) Leftists to actually become Muslims. In fact this has already happened on a fair few occasions.
 
The International Socialist “reverts” to Islam are doing exactly what many National Socialist (Nazi) war criminals did immediately after World War Two: embrace an equally-totalitarian and collectivist ideology by the name ofIslam.
                                       ************************************
 
Note:Most of the quotes from John Tummon are from the Left Unity conference mentioned in the introduction. The other quotes (with dates) are from a Left Unity article entitled 'Arabia– the demise of the old colonial order'. John Tummon didn't actually write this piece, his words can be found in the 'Responses' section after the article.
 

                                        ***************************************


Notes


1)There's not much information on John Tummon. According to his own Facebook page,he was educated at Brewood Grammar School and then went on to Birkbeck, University of London. He teaches IB History at a college. (In other words, he's yet another middle-class Marxist academic.) He lives in Manchester.


2) The Left Unity 'amendment' (by John Tummon) itself is astonishing in its historical, political and theological ignorance. However, that ignorance may be willed in that this subject (like so many others) is simply a tool to advance the socialist revolution both (believe it or not) in the Middle East and here in the UK. Thus anything that advances that cause goes: including defending Islamic caliphates, IS and blaming everything (bad) that happens in the Muslim World on“Western imperialism”.


3) One point John Tummon often makes is that IS “has managed to attract substantial support from among Sunni Muslims”. Yes, that's true. And? For a Trotskyist it's strange that he places so much credence on the IS reception amongst fellow Sunnis. (The Nazis gained a lot of support in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s.)


More specifically, Tummon claims that his own group, Left Unity “does not accept the claim that all or most of these people only tolerate IS rule because of extreme coercion”.


4)Since all Westerners are evil (or at least the ones attached - in any way - to “capitalist states” or capitalism generally), then it follows, according to Marxist Manicheanism, that “[h]manitarian war is imperialist war by another name”.


5) John Tummon even accuses the Church of England of indulging in a crusade against IS, despite the C of E's almost complete silence - until relatively recently - on the widespread and massive killing and oppression of Christians in the Muslim world. As Tummon puts it:


Since the Church of England made the crusading call on Friday, quite deliberately demanding that Christian victims of military attacks by ISIS should be privileged over Muslim ones & asking Christians to‘prey for the government’...” (August 17)


6) If John Tummon had read more “Western propaganda” (as he calls it) and less Marxist/Trotskyist theory, he would have known that from 2003 onwards it was outside jihadists who were doing there best to create and cause the violence in Iraq. Their violence didn't “emerge”out of anything. They required violence and chaos in order to further their jihadist dream of a Caliphate and full sharia law. It can be argued that if it weren't for outside jihadists (along with Iranian interference), things simply wouldn't have got as bad as they did in Iraq after 2003. Though since Tummon is a (positive/inverse) racist towards all Muslims and a Manichean anti-capitalist, there is no way he could recognise that. It simply must be the case (according to white, middle-class Marxist logic,) that all Muslims are always victims and the evil capitalist West is always and solely responsible for all the wrongs in Iraq (as well as everywhere else for that matter).


7) In an incredible example of Marxist psychological projection, John Tummon even believes that IS


represents an attempt to break fundamentally with the structure of religiously and ethnically divided nation states imposed on the region by Britain and France at the end of the First World War”.


The willed ignorance here is staggering.


For a start, IS has been one of the keenest supporters of religious division known in recent times. IS has slaughtered Christians, Shia Muslims, Kurds and any other group that deviates in any way from its own Salafist(Sunni) Islam. (There is the problem here in that Tummon believes all negative information about IS is a result of “Western propaganda”.)


The Caliphate IS wants to resurrect - as was the last one - will effectively be a imperialist empire much like the ones that John Tummon is arguing against. It may not be an capitalist imperialist empire; though does that really matter that much in these cases? Will somehow less people be “oppressed”, killed and subdued simply because it's an Islamicimperialist empire rather than a Western capitalistimperialist empire? Is it imperialist empires that socialists like Tummon are against or only Western capitalist imperialist empires? (Millions of communists and progressives supported the Soviet Union's imperialist empire from the early 1920s until, in many cases, after Stalin's death.)


8)John Tummon doesn't believe in what he calls the “atrocity count”approach to what IS is doing. John Tummon puts this point when he says:


...do you really think we should try to build policy on the basis of the atrocity count? That is the Amnesty International approach, which results in no attempt to analyse cause and effect!... (August 17, 2014)


In other words, it's not important how many people IS kills or subdues, what is important is why the Islamic State is doing this. And, of course, every single violent act by IS - as well as by Muslims across the word - is basically a response to “Western imperialism” or capitalism.


In any case, even the atrocities John Tummon admits to are nonetheless all the fault of Western imperialism and the break up the Caliphate. Thus Tummon fully understands the Islamic State's actions (just as his fellow Leftists justified, rationalised and were even jubilant about the 9/11 attack).


You see, mass murder and mass oppression are okay as long as they aren'tcapitalist/imperialist mass murder and imperialist/capitalistmass oppression. For dunderheads like John Tummon, it really is that simple.


Remember here that to these Manichean Leftists, capitalism/imperialism is so evil that any action whatsoever taken against it is either legitimate or at the very least understandable.


Of course John Tummon sometimes does have the decency to acknowledge the many“atrocities [IS] has carried out and its attack on the Kurds”.Nevertheless, elsewhere he more or less contradicts this statement. For example, he then talks about the “slimly-substantiated atrocity reports” (August 15th, 2014) against IS.


9) John Tummon's following words - give or take a few - could quite easily have been cut-and-pasted from Hizb ut-Tahrir's website:


Its call for a Caliphate holds out to Middle Eastern Muslims the promise of a return to something more like the Ottoman Caliphate that preceded western domination and held sway over a vast, complex and diverse empire, home to many ethnicities and faiths.”