By PAULINE EASTON
A state-organized racist attack took place in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12 as elements calling themselves Nazis and KKK held a rally that ended with the brutal killing of a young woman and injuring of many more. More than 700 demonstrations subsequently took place across the U.S. in support of resistance in Charlottesville, as well as several in Canada. On all occasions, those calling themselves Nazis and KKK have been outnumbered, often 50 to 5,000, or a few hundred to many hundreds, or 50 to 40,000 as occurred in Boston on August 19.
In Charlottesville, the few hundred people brought in from around the country were met by many hundreds of demonstrators opposing racism and the impunity of the state. The actions of the police made the involvement of the state more than clear. The more those calling themselves Nazis and KKK provoked fistfights and the more violent they became, the more the police withdrew. The police barricades and police lines that are commonly present at anti-war and anti-KKK rallies were nowhere to be seen in Charlottesville when the car roared into the anti-Nazi and anti-KKK demonstrators, killing the young woman and injuring many others.
In the wake of Charlottesville, a massive disinformation campaign has been launched to deprive the American and world’s people of an outlook on the basis of which they can take up for solution the problems they and their societies face. State-organized racism does not merely seek to divide and rule. Divide and rule seeks to divert the people from dealing with the main problems they and their society face. To achieve this diversion requires smashing any political movement of the people that is based on their own independent politics. The political movement of the people is smashed when so-called identity politics are pushed. First, the blame for racism is put on individuals so as to hide the role of the state in organizing such racist attacks, and then people are to divide pro and con freedom of speech, and other diversions raised to justify increased use of police powers in the name of defending the Constitution. This is why every effort has been made to portray Trump as a rogue element who has Nazi sympathies while portraying the U.S. government itself as anti-racist, as if the roots and causes of racism in the U.S. were not embedded in the country’s political and economic structure.
This vein of disinformation focuses on Trump’s comments, as though he alone is the racist and the rest of the state machinery is not. While during the presidential election campaign former military officials intervened in favour of either Hilary Clinton or Donald Trump, this time military officials on active duty publicly came forward to proclaim their opposition to Trump despite the fact that he is their Commander-in-Chief. Numerous politicians also intervened as did both former Republican presidents, Bush senior and junior. Everything is done to hide that those who comprise the racist formations that call themselves Nazis and KKK are state-organized. It is known that in the U.S. both those calling themselves Nazis and KKK are organized by the FBI. A mystery is created about the roots and causes of state racism and terror for purposes of enacting more draconian laws, restricting human rights and justifying the takeover of civil society by police powers.
A second aspect of the disinformation campaign is diversion. All over the world terrorist provocations are part of the diversionary policy of “divide and rule.” The main policy of the state, along with the policy of divide and rule, has always been diversion. Without the policy of diversion, which has the aim of depriving people of an outlook from which to view and intervene in a situation, the policy of divide and rule would amount to nothing.
Far from the assertion in the U.S. Constitution, people are not born equal. The natural abilities of one differ from the natural abilities of another. And there are divisions amongst them due to economic, religious, linguistic, ethnic, cultural and physical differences. This is why they need arrangements which permit one and all to thrive by virtue of being human and live peacefully. Instead, the state exploits the divisions amongst the people for their own ends. It is the policy of diversion which is the lynch pin; it is essential for the success of the policy of divide and rule. When political and economic difficulties come up in any country, as in the U.S. today, the state wants to divert attention from them instead of solving them. There is no dearth of ways in this world by which people can be divided. It is the policy of diversion that is obstructing the unity of the people and stopping them from dealing with their problems.
Governments highlight divisions among the people and then provoke them to act against one another by creating violent situations through the state agencies. Terrorism, anarchy, violence and assassinations have been developed as forms of diversionary politics all over the world since the time of the Paris Commune in 1871 and then during the Russian Revolution by the czarist secret police. These were the stock in trade of the covert agencies of imperialism during the Cold War and have become the overt official policy since George W. Bush launched the “War on Terror” following the attacks in New York City on September 11, 2001. For many years now, diversions of various types have been used to give governments the opportunity to suppress people’s protests, agitations, and demands that governments address their problems. Instead of dealing with economic and other difficulties, these governments have criminalized politics. They tolerate only those activities which help them protect their so-called national interest. The state at both central and state levels is also prone to use murders and other criminal methods to sort out the conflicts in their own ranks. It is what the criminalization of politics is all about.
The criminalization of politics in the U.S., as is also the case in Canada and other countries, is the symptom of an economic and political system that has turned against the peaceful solution of problems. Whether within one country or on the world scale, no government of the big powers has solved a single problem in a peaceful manner during the present period. On the contrary, governments have handed over the administration of their duties to hired agents, powerful financial interests and oligopolies – who they then have trouble controlling — to do their bidding both at home and abroad.
In the wake of Charlottesville, not only is the role of the state in organizing such racist attacks and provocations hidden, so is the fact that these racist attacks and provocations are organized as diversions, as a block to the political movement of the people that undertakes to solve the economic, social, cultural and other problems in which their society is mired. While the anarchy and violence which ensue as a result of the refusal to provide the problems with solution are independent of anyone’s will, the fact that the state pursues the policy of divide and rule to divert the people from uniting in action to build the New is a matter of state policy. No matter the cost, the reactionary state must preserve itself by averting civil war within its own ranks and by keeping the people in check.
According to the U.S. government and the monopoly-owned media, it is not the state that is the instigator and promoter of white supremacy – a concept initiated by the U.S. ruling class to justify slavery and divide the people. It claims racist individuals are responsible for racist violence because they have extremist values, while those who oppose them are also responsible for violence because they too have extremist values. Indeed the terminology, white supremacy, is designed to target individuals who are white, especially the so-called white working class, while keeping the role of the state hidden. So too the racist rallies organized under the slogan Freedom of Speech deliberately confound the role of speech in the development of human society. It is called a civil right to divert attention from the fact that freedom of speech is a human right, independent of whether or not civil rights are withdrawn. The criminalization of speech in the name of high ideals is far more than an indication that the rights recognized by the Constitution that created the civil society are finished. It is a re-enactment of the law of slavery whereby human beings are to be defamed and outlawed, declared outside the law.
Meanwhile, the attacks of the state against entire swaths of the U.S. population are increasing. The state is racist. Its attacks include segregated housing, job discrimination, unequal schools, mass incarceration, broad social inequality and police agencies to enforce this state racism. All this is to be ignored but, most importantly, what is to be ignored is the role of the state to deprive people of an outlook on the basis of which they can tackle the all-sided crisis with economic crisis at the base and the fact that the old forms of civil society rule no longer function, while new ones have yet to be brought into being.
The need to build the resistance movement of the working class and people of our countries must be predicated on the people’s movement for empowerment. This includes drafting new constitutions and creating institutions which vest decision-making power in the people, not those who have usurped power by force.
(With files from Voice of Revolution. Photos: T. Dobson, M. Herman, Xinhua, J. Kourkounis)
Source: TML Weekly, September 2, 2017 – No. 26