Monday, September 29, 2014

Of Terrorists and Referenda

What a convenient word ‘terrorist’ has become! Until 9/11 the word was reserved for anarchist types in long black coats who set off bombs in public or assassinated heads of state. But when the World Trade Center was brought down, the word became a convenient designation for any individual who showed any sign of opposition to any government on the planet, democratically elected or not.
It’s nothing short of a miracle that the Occupiers were not dubbed terrorists, although some language came pretty close, as I recall. Even so, the word was handily picked up by Mubarak before his downfall, then by Assad - legitimately - and is now applied by Poroshenko to an entire swath of the country he purports to govern.
The banalization of the word ‘terrorist’ goes hand in hand with a sudden rash of referenda: the mainly Russian speaking majority in Crimea held a successful one to secede from Ukraine, the Scots had a failed one to secede from Great Britain, Catalonia will hold one soon. Egyptians, once again safely governed by a military man, overwhelmingly approved their new constitution in a referendum, even after the judicial system condemned hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood ‘terrorists’ to death. Governments rarely make use of referenda, however that of multi-lingual Switzerland held no fewer than seven this year with more to come.
Is there a link between these two phenomena?  I think so: leaving out the Swiss tradition, both point to a disintegration of the liberal-parliamentary nation state system and its replace-ment by global fascism. Though purporting to hold aloft the ancient principles upon which the nation-state rests, globaliza-tion signals the end of the nation-state as an entity regulated by laws applicable to all, its sole task now being to pass laws dictated by corporations for their sole benefit. 
In a message that appalls citizens but seeks to reassure the stock market, the US and its allies have announced a long war against ISIS. In reality, this is a three-way standoff between fascism, its magic bullet, and an opposition that has yet to realize that ISIS - the most shocking of all terrorists whose followers behead single individuals (as opposed to a machine obliterating three thousand) - created to save the Western economy, will be kept alive as long as that crisis is deep, because there has never been a referendum about war.

1 comment:

  1. A referendum on War would reveal it's total lack of logic and proof that those who read history are compelled to repeat it, for the most part because most recorded History is bunk born of vanity and confusion and simply legitimizes itself, because unfortunately the epithet "monkey see, monkey do" fits us like a glove.
    War is just Nature's way of telling us to look up at the stars and get ready for the fight of our lives with the only enemy we ever really had, a big hot rock with our name on it. Everybody knows that. Having arrived at that point, and with a good idea of what we have to deal with, thanks to our curious natures,and the lens, War is now vestigial. We'll catch on. It took several million years to get us this far, you can't expect it to disappear in a generation. Just remember, we're the good guys and we will save the planet, come what may.