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(en) Britain, Organise! #65 - congress document - the international situation

Date Tue, 08 Nov 2005 10:46:58 +0200

> Permanent war as the paradigm of state and capitalist domination
Today the logic of domination and profit has the support of all the
powers behind it, united only in their will to starve, humiliate
and massacre the dispossessed classes. In addition, ideological
mechanisms, the very same neoliberalism prevailing every where,
are relatively secondary to the staging of a vicious fight to control
and dominate, where the aims are immediate survival and the destruction
of the enemy at any costs, even if that implies the destruction, in the
short term, of the very possibility of life on the planet.
In recent years we have seen the reaffirmation of the paradigm of `permanent war'.
Emerging after the spectacular attacks on
the Pentagon and the Twin Towers, it was
perfected in the following period, defining a
scheme that makes war a permanent feature
of the political scene. The pretext for this
war on terror has become the pivot of a
warmongering politics aimed at asserting
the `right' of the strongest, even if in
contraction of the feeble international law,
bringing into disrepute any residual media
use of the UN.
The permanent, preemptive, global war is
but the latest way in which the domination
of the strongest is secured, asserting the
goals of those using, exploiting and
oppressing the biggest part of the planet's
population. These objectives are defined
according to positions in a very obvious
game, even if they are ignored on the
propaganda side. The main one is the
control of the energy resources (not only
oil, but also water and the necessary
minerals for satellite control technology,
either civil or military) and of the infra-
structure of supply and communication.
The war machinery used in the most
strategic areas by North American interests
guarantees that the USA maintains a
primary role, on a purely economical level,
in their competition with Europe, Japan,
Russia, China and India, who do not have
the military means or the autonomy
required, to counter the hegemonic preten-
sions of Washington. A plausible conse-
quence of this could be the reshaping of the
ambitions of the historical allies of the
USA, leading to rethinking of the relation-
ship with the hawkish American administra-
European countries, in the past few years,
have played the role, always more difficult
and ambiguous, of allies-competitors of the
United States and of their warmongering
policies. Having neither an offensive
military force, nor the capacity for effective
political coordination, the European Union
countries gravitate between the intention of
making their own military pole and, the
alliance, on a competitive ground, with the
belligerent policy of the USA.
Italy has left behind the non-interventionist
role typical of the Christian-Democrat
period and that of supporter of Anglo-
American imperialism, which was implied
in its mediation between it and the Arab
world. Today it has an active imperialistic
role in the European and world chessboard,
with interests of its own to pursue, facili-
tated by its Mediterranean location: from
the Albanian protectorate to the reconstruc-
tion intervention on the war-devastated
areas (Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan...)
through the lucrative participation in the
manufacture and trade of weapons. The
reshaping of the Atlantic alliances by the
centre-right government is, in fact, comple-
mentary to the regional imperialistic role of
the Italian government, which in this way
can try to be allowed a `free hand' on its
protectorates, in exchange for the active
support of the United States' warmongering
From humanitarian war to permanent
The end of the Cold War represents a very
important change, not only because of the
change from a bipolar world to a monopolar
one, but also, and mainly, because of the
need to reformualte the idea of the enemy.
In fact, the fall of the `Empire of Evil'
makes it impossible to continue thinking of
the enemy as someone who threatens your
existence, displaying a military power
capable of destroying the planet and
humanity. Of the two main features of the
idea of the `enemy', that it be evil and have
the ability and the will to be a direct threat,
it is the second one that seems to be less
relevant now, as no important danger
directly threatens the only superpower. It
was therefore impossible for the United
States and its allies to think of war as of
some extreme measure in the face of a
deadly threat. From this point of view a
new war paradigm starts forming, a new
conception of the role and purpose of war
machinery, which otherwise risked having
its purpose quite redefined, as a result of a
loss of legitimacy.
In this way, the logic of `humanitarian'
action is outlined. Instead of conflicting
with the old rule of `non-interference in the
internal affairs' of a country, curiously
enough, it reinforces it. `Humanitarian'
action turns out to be the useful excuse,
always ready to be formulated in a more
precise way in international law terms. The
humanitarian principle invoked to justify
the war in Kosovo contrasts with the `non-
inference in the internal affairs' rule when i
came to the massacre taking place in
Chechnya or the war on the Kurds, not to
mention the always bitter conflict between
Palestine and Israel. The paradigm of
humanitarian war points to the issue of the
`just' war, that which is fought to impose a
truth, an order and a world vision. It is
however, a `dirty' war because its victims
are the civilian refugees and inevitably
leads to more deaths, tortures, rapes, more
homeless people without hope, unwilling
pawns in a game decided somewhere else,
in the name of someone else's `truth'. This
propaganda tool has been only marginally
useful for the emotional mobilization
needed to produce consensus in western
populations, particularly Americans,
because the `humanitarian' is clearly unabl
to achieve the stated aims of the conflict.
The experience of `humanitarian' war has
shown abundantly that it is a perverse
mechanism, which increases the evils that i
meant to cure, staging a drama in which
blood and destruction are the obscene
scenery which hide the backstage from the
viewer, the empty space behind the cur-
September the eleventh provided the
occasion, whether directly orchestrated or
ignobly used, to make the qualitative jump
needed for the development of the United
States imperialist will: its assertion of
unchallenged military superiority on the
board game of the international relations.
The idea of the enemy is again reshaped: it
is evil, in fact very evil, and in a position to
directly and defiantly strike against in the
Unites States territory and that of its allies.
It cannot be identified with any state
institution, but is able to infiltrate, direct,
adapt itself and make alliances with all
those states which are not ready to accept
the global leadership of the United States.
An enemy like this opens the path to
permanent war, against the `rogue' states
and against all those who, from the interior
threaten the world order. This enemy adopt
the form of the Islamic extremist. Islamic
extremism makes it possible to define an
enemy, on the basis of the classic opposi-
tion between friend and foe in western
culture. It is an empty category, which only
exists in opposition, because it lacks a sens
and an identity of its own. In fact, it
revolves around conservative Christianity,
whether Catholic or Protestant, the most
nihilistic liberalism and all the traditional
forms of nationalism, racism, populism and
democratic culture.
In this war, which in its most recent version
can also be `preemptive', the enemy does
not need to prove its evil nature by any
deeds, but it must be fought because it IS
evil. The reasoning around which the attack
on Iraq was organised is a good example of
this. The presupposition of the possession
of weapons of mass destruction is reason
enough to declare a war. The evident
dissymmetry between the attacker (who
they `know' possesses weapons of mass
destruction) and the attacked, falls in the
realm of `just war' as it is carried out
because the enemy is evil and, therefore,
potentially dangerous. It is evil and there-
fore a natural ally to the terrorism which
attacks women, children and defenseless
men. Never mind that this same definition
could be applied to the policies of the
United States and its allies. Is it not, in any
instance, the aim in war to terrorise the
population of the enemy State in such a way
that resistance is crushed? The immoral
nature of war leads to the immoral nature of
state and to the impossibility of making a
fair world order by just reforming the
External war and internal war.
The paradigm of permanent war makes
victims not only amongst the populations of
the `rogue' states of the time, but also
amongst oppositionists of the existent order.
Pacifists, antimilitarists, workers on strike,
and antiracists are equated to terrorists in a
propaganda operation that is reminiscent of
the accusations of collaborationism made
during the last century to anyone not
accepting the logic of war, militarism or the
State. In the United States, the passing of
the Patriot Act, which opened the possibil-
ity of extrajudicial detentions of mere
suspects, as well as the later and substantial
militarisation of American social life, are
the unmistakable signs of the fact that the
politics of never-ending war have finally
infiltrated the very core of the biggest
power. Security policies in recent years
have seen a worldwide increase, demon-
strated in the repressive measures on the
`internal front', aimed to forcibly discipline
workers, indigenous peoples and immi-
grants, and to crush any opposition.
Internal war.
The very terms of the internal war changed
immediately after the collapse of Soviet
`communism'. The fall of the `alternative'
to private capitalism allowed the Statist
system to present capitalism as the only
future. In the same way, the threat of a
popular coup has been redefined. Capital-
ism, firmly supported by the State, has
launched a staged attack against the modest
workers' victories, characteristics of the
social-democrat legacy. Thatcherism and
Reaganism fully speeded up this attack,
which, after the fall of the Soviet régime,
has been a constant feature of the political
and social scene. The neoliberal offensive
has been applied to many fronts. The
casualisation of working relationships has
ended the stable employment conditions,
which had enabled workers to develop
collective, self-organised methods of
struggle. Under the pretext of moderniza-
tion and reduction of costs, many areas,
traditionally left of capitalist logic, are now
opportunities for exploitation. Privatisations
of services, from healthcare to education,
transport to communications, are examples
of this process.
The answer to this war front opened by
capitalism against humanity has been an
increase in social confrontation on a global
level with the working class fighting back
with strikes and other forms of resistance.
The anarchist movement has always been
present in these struggles, its role strength-
ened by its original initiatives and its
capacity to shed light on the global nature
of the ongoing processes. Our resistance
must be as global as capitalism is.
Both the external and internal war have the
same fronts and have been fought with the
same determination and ferocity. The
militarisation of social life has instigated
legislation that goes beyond the limits of
democratic normality, without facing much
opposition from internal conflict. These are
made possible thanks to the gigantic
anesthetic operation emerging out of the
terrorist `emergency'. Fear is a powerful
factor that permits the criminalisation of
any social resistance, however minimal.
The recent security bills passed in France
and Great Britain are examples of this, as
they equate terrorism with any social
struggles that are happening at this time in
those countries.
Globalisation of struggles.
So-called economic globalisation is but
another stage in capitalist development, as
it seeks to expand and spread the tentacles
of exploitation more efficiently on a
planetary level. For us, globalisation must
mean globalisation of the class struggle.
Inside the antiglobalisation movement, as is
shown by the media, there are Christians,
Marxists, Social- Democrats and other
reformist groups which have too often
collaborated with capitalism to make
globalisation stronger. These are often the
same groups which work for the develop-
ment of capitalism in the Third World,
interfering in communities and pushing
them to destroy their own identity and self-
sufficient economies. The consequent
migrations from the poorer
societies turn out to be only a
cheap workforce in the First
World, bringing down overall
costs. A world in which immi-
grants are defined as illegals,
their freedom and human
dignity denied, exists because of
the lack of a piece of paper.
Facing this, the IAF cannot help
but keep its identity and
objectives: generalised self-
management of society, aboli-
tion of private property and the
construction of an anarchist
society. It is therefore very
important that we back the
anarchist movements in the
poorer countries, opening
autonomous communication and
knowledge channels, beyond
the system's mass media, as a
first step towards a more
widespread implantation of
War against life.
Capitalist production has lead to
the declaration of a war against
life itself; a war that threatens
the survival of the whole planet
This is happening on two fronts
On the first, is the looting of
resources, pollution and
environmental devastation, the
consequence of capitalist
production. This system only
considers profits, ignoring the
fact that human beings are part
of the ecosystem as well and
that no one eats or breathes
money. The other front is that o
technological development
following the agenda of the
powers. On one side there is
nuclear energy, whether civil or
military, which can lead to a
slow radioactive death or a
devastating destruction. On the
other, genetic manipulation
colonises life, looting traditional
knowledges. The duty of
anarchists is to side with those
peoples fighting these aggres-
Against moral order and
Every form of institutionalised
belief is hierarchical and
authoritarian, trying to impose
its own moral rules on every
person. Anarchists are strongly
opposed to all such belief
systems. Pretending to represent
a non-existent monopoly on
moral values, religions subtly
try to interfere in individuals'
private lives. Religions threaten
their autonomy, denying their
ability to directly solve their
own problems. Those who
believe in a heaven to come will
not do anything to get better
conditions now!!! Religious
wars are still being fought in the
name of a God, hiding ambi-
tions of domination and
conquest, very evident in the
close relationships between
churches and States. Anarchists
oppose all religions: Christian,
Muslim...and any others. Our
deep consideration for personal
freedom does not prevent us
from opposing religious beliefs
and any form of hierarchy. As
well as attacking individual
autonomy, there is also the
proliferation of rules eroding the
freedom of, mainly, women and
sexual minorities. These rules,
that in many cases are also
accepted by self-styled secular
sectors of society, signal the
reaffirmation of a religious and
conformist ethics. They also
bring about a strengthening of
patriarchy, which is opposed by
the anarchists as are all forms of
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