Goodbye Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

Posted: June 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

AS THE CURRENT global economic crisis rolls on with austerity being inflicted ruthlessly on the working class, the bourgeois ruling class culture is rapidly abandoning all of its former high-minded values of liberty, equality and fraternity, the ideas of the French and American revolutions that all people are born free and should have an equal chance of finding “happiness”. It was, of course, all a hypocrisy and a sham most of the time and even giving people  from lowly backgrounds the opportunity to make it to the top of society implied that most would stay at the bottom.

But there is a new cold blast of out-and-out fascist ideas appearing in the media, rejecting bourgeois democracy as a weak and failed system and humanitarianism as decadent sentimentality. The very rich want to hang on to all the wealth and power they have; they like it very much and can only justify the yawning wealth gap by claiming to be a superior kind of people.

Now Communities Minister Eric Pickles is picking on those families who have been ground into the dirt for successive generations, who have become alienated by constant rejection and demoralised, but who have learned to survive through the benefits system.

“Fluent in social work,” he calls them and says they must stop blaming the system that has crushed them and blame only themselves for their predicament. They must be exposed and vilified as “the undeserving poor”. They deserve their misery, he implies.

The other side of this coin is that the very rich are rich because they are somehow superior human beings; the great God of Money has rewarded his chosen people and everybody else must just accept that they are inferior and defer to their betters.

Now we learn that in the United States a group of Christian fundamentalists, the Child Evangelism Fellowship, is planning to educate more than 100,000 children on Bible stories focussing on the lessons of Saul and the Amalekites. This was one of the many small tribes inhabiting the area around the ancient Israelites with whom the Israelites fought.

Saul and the Amalekites is not a pretty story, and it is often used by people who don’t intend to do pretty things. In the book of 1 Samuel (15:3), God said to Saul: “Now go, attack the Amalekites, and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.”

Saul dutifully exterminated the women, the children, the babies and all of the men — but then he spared the king. He also saved some of the tastier looking calves and lambs. God was furious with him for his failure to finish the job.

Christians have used this story to justify genocide throughout the ages. According to Pennsylvania State University Professor Philip Jenkins, a contributing editor for the American Conservative, the Puritans used this passage when they wanted to get rid of the Native American tribes. Catholics used it against Protestants, Protestants against Catholics. And they have the nerve to accuse other religions of preaching hate crime!

In Athens a Greek fascist politician openly physically assaulted two female left-wing politicians on live television — and then walked out of the studio without being apprehended.

In Russia on Wednesday protesters against Putin’s government took to the streets openly wearing neo-Nazi uniforms — in a country where 70-odd years ago around 30,000,000 million people were slaughtered by the Nazis.

And in the Ukraine football hooligans openly brandish giant swastika banners.

In the US, in Greece, in Russia and the Ukraine the new neo-Nazis are only a tiny repulsive minority. But they are being tolerated and even fostered by the ruling class and that is what should concern us.

Tolerating the ideas that some humans are innately superior while others are innately inferior is a sign that the ruling class is ready to justify and defend its power and wealth and enforce poverty and ruin on us should alarm us. It should prompt us to organise to defend our class and to embrace and unite all workers, especially those being vilified as “inferior” for whatever reason.

http://www.newworker.org/archive2012/nw20120615/goodbye_liberty_equality_fraternity.html

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