Thanks for the considered reply. First up, in the interests of full disclosure, prior to commenting on your article, I had not encountered your writing or speaking works. I have since listened to a talk that I believe you gave on the subject of anti-imperialism and by which I was generally quite impressed. If that talk was anything to go by, I suspect we have far more in common than divides us.
My original comment was hastily written and more of a vaguely related diatribe aimed at throwing a few more considerations into the mix than it was a direct critique of the bulk of your original article. The austerity numbers were merely to highlight and provide context for the magnitude of the financial crimes committed by the ruling class against the working class. It’s nothing new, but the numbers are far greater than at any point in history and, consequently, the burden to be borne by the working class is far greater than it ever was, to be endured, as it stands, indefinitely should we not become sufficiently organised en masse to oppose such endless servitude in service of fictional finance capital.
Lenin flagged Imperialism as the highest stage of Capitalism. I’d go one further and state that false-flag terrorism (along with one or two other things, cultural imperialism for example) is one of the most subtle and nuanced tools in the Imperialist arsenal.
We only have to look not terribly far away to the six counties for a vast body of evidence that supports this contention. Similar, well documented examples exist across Europe (and indeed the world) in the form of ‘terrorist’ attacks that are now recognised incontestably to be the work of a combination of States, state agents in the form of individuals and factions within government, police and security apparatuses, groupings of ex-State/military agents and plausibly deniable State, military and corporate actors, in conjunction with the odd easily-duped patsy here and there. When I refer to States, state agents and operatives, this does not automatically imply or suggest actors from the States within which such attacks have occurred, although conversely this does not automatically deny these possibilities; essentially the dialectic in action and applied in the researching and evaluation of such events. In the case of the six counties, we know that British state agents were actively involved in the commissioning, preparation and execution (in all meanings of the word) of terrorist atrocities. The range of crimes committed by these groupings range from simple collusion and complicity in the covering-up of links, connections and truths, right through to the design, direction and implementation of the attacks themselves.
All that said, I have no idea which individuals, grouposcules or factions were responsible for 7/7, nor would I like to speculate without some tangible evidence on which to base that speculation. We do know however that things in the particular case of 7/7 have been covered-up, fabricated and otherwise deliberately crafted to mislead. If the official narrative is so clear-cut, why should any of these things occur? And would it be right for those on the left to ignore the fact that we know the official narrative of 7/7 is demonstrably untrue? We would do well to remember that the burden of proof for judicial cases is not one which is to be met by those who are aware the narrative is a nonsense but rather, as with any criminal prosecution, the burden of proof lies with the accusers to provide compelling evidence that proves beyond reasonable doubt the crimes of the accused that they wish to prosecute. Again the six counties provides us with a long list of crimes for which the State has what, when applied to a working class criminal, might be referred to as ‘previous’.
To postulate that false-flag terrorism is one of the most nuanced tools of Imperialism is not to implicate any particular group or individual in the events of 7/7, but merely to acknowledge the lessons of history with regard to the covert activities of States, alphabet and alphanumeric agencies, corporate interests and factions comprised of representatives from all of these camps, operating in common cause. In short, conspiring; conspiring against the general public in support of ruling class agendas in actual conspiracies that are in no way theoretical after they have occurred.
The starting point for 7/7 is that crimes were committed, suspects charged, tried and found guilty, posthumously, without any sort of trial, jury or judicial scrutiny and without the burden of criminal proof required for any sort of just successful prosecution being met. That should be of concern to anyone with an interest in challenging the authority and legitimacy of State apparatuses, in addition to the wealth of more overt crimes of state and corporate structures that are the familiar fodder for those on the left.
Of additional concern should be a number of other, loosely related, prosecutions of ‘terrorists’ who have committed no actual crime, who have neither the wit, intelligence, nor means to commit an actual crime of the proportions of which they stand accused, but who have been portrayed by the various underhand and duplicitous means that are the core business of the State, police and intelligence services, to be the greatest threat to ‘our way of life’. Many of those that have fallen foul of these prosecutions have received extended and indeterminate sentences, as well as life sentences of 40+ years for having committed no actual crime. And, if no actual crime has been committed, and it is clear that the means and methods to commit such crimes are merely contrived fabrications, then we are left with cells full of lifer ‘terrorists’, predominantly Muslim, who have committed no actual crimes. This is an inversion of any just notions of what anything that resembles justice might be. It is worth remembering that Draconian laws passed on the pretext of tackling the alleged threat of ‘Islamist extremism’ apply to all of the monarch’s subjects, not just the Muslim ones and this is something likely to become more apparent in the forseeable future when it is used, as it already has been, to suppress genuine and legitimate political dissent.
With regard to archetypes, I’m not particularly interested in what the ruling class dictate to be what you refer to as “the archetypal terrorist in modern discourse” or those that reside merely in the “collective imagination”. I’m interested in the material “collective reality” and what the true nature of an actual archetypal terrorist has consistently been throughout the ages. As we well know, “the archetypal terrorist in modern discourse” so pervasive in the “collective imagination” is nothing more than the discourse of the ruling class and their “collective imagination”. The ruling ideologies are, historically at least, the ideologies of the collective imaginings of the ruling class, propagated into the wider “collective imagination” and consciousness by the ruling class propaganda machines, whether these be State Broadcasting Corporations (which, as we know are only evil if they are the State Broadcasting Corporations of China, Iran, or the People’s Democratic Republic of North Korea) or their corporate alternatives.
“The archetypal terrorist in modern discourse” is not what the ruling class dictate it to be, but rather the actuality such as it exists in the form of bodies of armed men operated by and operating in the service of the ruling class. They don’t unleash their terror through hair dye, rucksacks and return train tickets, they do it through standing armies, navies, air forces, warships, submarines, sub-machine guns, nuclear weaponry, a planet full of military bases and off-world satellite systems. To be duped into believing that an archetypal terrorist, irrespective of whether the discourse is ‘modern’ or otherwise, is a suicidal Muslim is one of the greatest deceptions for which the liberal left has consistently fallen in recent years.
On that level, you are absolutely falling back on the jihadi with a backpack narrative, missing entirely the large elephants that are always in the same room. This is further compounded by the statement, “whether 7/7 was an act of British intelligence services”, as if the only possible alternative to the 7/7 ‘narrative’ of amateur, suicidal, Islamofascist Muslims with no agenda other than suicide and a few casualties, much less any tangible political agenda, is that British intelligence operatives were responsible. The reality of the situation is that there are an almost infinite number of combinations of the agencies and individuals listed above that potentially had a hidden hand in the orchestration and implementation of 7/7, but the continued willful and repeated denial of such possibilities by the left is perhaps one of the most regressive approaches to the modern geopolitical paradigm in which we find ourselves.
Your position on 9/11 is similar to that of Noam Chomsky, who famously said about the suggestion of U.S. involvement in 9/11, “Who cares?” A distinctly odd pronouncement about an event of such magnitude, and one from which the consequences are, irrespective of your position on the details of how it came to be, still being felt by countless thousands who had nothing to do with the act’s commission.
Meanwhile, those on the left with more progressive approaches, rather than dismiss and ignore the possibility that everything might not quite be as we are told by the ruling class, are providing historical context and precedents for such terror spectacles and reiterating the importance of what Marxist academic Professor David Macgregordescribes as a response to instances of “Machiavellian State terror“, namely: “oppositional theorizing: questioning government and looking for connections between events”; activities which MacGregor suggests “are critical features of what it means to be vitally active in the political universe”.
I realise that to begin to question and challenge the ruling class narratives of events such as 7/7 and 9/11 has the potential to open up a world populated by conspiratologists, alien abductees, fascists, Neo-Liberals, Neo-Conservatives and a whole range of other undesirables, but they too, like the State, must be challenged, exposed and overcome.