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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/18-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-g20-meeting-age-of-enttilement-engineers-attack-of-austerity-hardship-on-civilians.mp3 (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2014/02/11/john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-2/ (0)

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What’s in a name? A right wing terrorist by any other name would smell as rancid

So far this year in Australia men have killed 74 of their female partners or ex-partners, according to Destroy the Joint. This terrorism goes unremarked (except for crocodile tears) and unaddressed. In fact Federal and State governments have been cutting funding to refuges, safe havens for women fleeing domestic violence.

This murder of women by men is, as Australian of the Year Rosie Batty says, terrorism and yet it is neither characterised as such by governments or media or dealt with as such. Why not? Because it is a natural and logical part of capitalism and its cheap future labour raising institution, the family.

So too for the terrorism on building sites where about once every two weeks a building worker is killed in the reckless pursuit of profit at all costs, or none, since for capital, workers’ lives are cheap.  Government policies, such as attempts to reintroduce the Australian Building and Construction Commission, if past experience is any guide, will see the number of those killed on building sites increase.

The government focuses on Islamic terrorism because it fits into the racist narrative governments in Australia have driven since 1788. The ‘other’ – blacks, Irish, Catholics, Chinese, non-whites, refugees,  is the dangerous enemy.

However the capitalist state and its media is soft on right wing terrorism. This real enemy within, if it suits the interests of the ruling class and its accumulation of capital, is not an enemy at all but their friend.

It is why ruling classes have historically had an ambivalent relationship to and with fascism.  In certain circumstances they have turned in desperation to fascism to either forestall revolution or to save capitalism itself from catastrophic crisis or both.

The main role of the Nazi dictatorship in Germany for example was to destroy the left (social democratic and communist) and trade unions, both expressions of the German working class. Once they had done that they could begin to drive wages down and restore profit rates. It can be a  high risk strategy because having fascists in charge of the machinery of the state may not benefit all sectors of capitalism and indeed may not work.

We hear in Australia today much about the radicalisation of young Muslim men.  Yet there are Christian sects whose language and modus operandi is the same.

We have heard government officials from the (former) Prime Minister down describe events like the Lindt Café siege in Sydney in December last year as terrorism without any evidence that is the case. It fits the narrative of government to do so, to hype the threat of terrorism from the other, but not from the white right wing terrorists.

The recent rampage in Sweden, a race hate fascist killing two dark skinned people, has not been labelled terrorism. The murder of blacks in the US, and the torching of their churches, is not called terrorism.  Black deaths in custody here in Australia are not given their correct description, state terrorism; nor are the stolen generations past and present called what they really are – terrorism.  OK, in the case of Aboriginal people maybe that is the wrong description – genocide fits the bill better.

In Australia white supremacists, spurred by government racism and xenophobia, have begun scare campaigns against Muslims. Their targets include Islamic food preparation, dress, customs, mosques, indeed anything that is Islamic. Sometimes their targets have been Muslims, physically.

(As an aside if you substitute the words Jew, and Judaism, for Muslim and Islam you get a real sense of the immense racism of these anti-Muslim groups. It is the 1930s resurfacing.)

In Australia the racists have organised around Reclaim (White) Australia. The fascists and their fellow travellers have been one strong current among the organised racists. There appears to be a split of sorts within the movement with some of the fascists regrouping around the United Patriot Front.

Last week Channel 7 commercial TV had a segment – a puff piece really –  on these racists and fascists. It didn’t mention they were fascists; it didn’t mention their leader advocated teaching Hitler and Mein Kampf in schools.  It undertook no real investigation into the possibility of armed, i.e. terrorist, attacks, by these groups or their allies. It was a soft sell of the hard cell of radical racism in Australia.

Every time there is a raid on Islamic ‘terrorists’ there are hundreds of police and media involved. In most cases, after being held incommunicado for days, those arrested have been released without charge or bailed on minor charges.

Yet when armed Nazis were stopped from boarding a bus from Sydney to join a Melbourne Reclaim rally, there was hardly a peep out of the media or Government, and no discussion whatsoever of the possibility of right wing terrorism in Australia. Certainly there is no discussion about preventing the radicalisation of young Australian men by these neo-Nazis and their allies or co-workers.

Why have there not been police raids, with compliant media in tow, on United Patriot Front members and exposure of their dangerous weapons and propaganda material?

The reason is simple enough. The ruling class won’t crush right wing extremists because it thinks it may need these racists and fascists in the future to control a resurgent working class or to help them impose massive cuts on working class living standards.

In the interim the racists and fascists help keep alive and reinforce the top down racism of Labor and Liberal governments and divide workers along race and other lines at the expense of uniting on class lines.

We should have no illusions in governments and understand why they don’t smash right wing terrorists but rather turn a blind eye to them. It is up to ordinary workers, unionists, the left and others to build the mass campaign and movement needed to destroy the fascists and their useful idiot fellow travellers before they can become a mass movement themselves.

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

Comment from Harry Feldman
Time October 25, 2015 at 11:31 pm

‘Terrorism’, as used in the media, is correctly defined as ‘violence or the threat of violence against “us” by “them”‘. These days, ‘them’ almost always means Muslims. It suits the agenda of the class enemy to charactise it that way,as you point out. Although the term originated to describe the actions of a state, all ‘official’ definitions exclude government actions. There’s no reason we need to follow suit.

But when we use the term, it is in our interests and that of the working class to use the term more judiciously. In my view, that means restricting it to ‘the use or threat of violence to frighten a government or some population in pursuit of some political end’.

When a bloke beats his ex to death, it is not intended as a political act to terrorise other women into some preferred behaviour, so I would not call it terrorism.

Incarceration of Blacks, or anybody, does set out to frighten others into compliance, so it would not be an exaggeration to call it terrorism. And certainly Australia’s treatment of refugees explicitly sets out to deter others fleeing for their lives from seeking protection here, and that, too, might properly be denominated terrorism’.

Comment from julie mauger
Time October 26, 2015 at 12:07 am

Spot on John, thanks.

As to how we can build a mass movement against the fascists, i am at a loss. In Brisbane, both counter rallies we’ve had to the Reclaim Australia rallies have employed the strategy of trying to drown out the Reclaimers (which has not been effective), and because the counter rally protesters have made liberal use of swear words, and protesters have engaged in swapping hate speech with the Reclaimers, there has not been a broad range of people represented at the counter rallies. I think this has been counter productive, and i don’t see the counter rally organisers changing their tactics. I went to the organizing meetings of the first counter rally, and there were others including me who wanted to ditch the swearing and hate speech, but we were outnumbered. Yes, we must build a mass campaign against the fascists, not just respond to their rallies with questionable strategies as they arise, but how?

Pingback from What’s in a name? A right wing terrorist by any other name would smell as rancid – WRITTEN BY JOHN PASSANT | winstonclose
Time October 26, 2015 at 2:59 pm

[…] Posted by John, October 25th, 2015 – under Fascists, Nazis, Reclaim (whte) Australia, Right wing, Terrorism, United Patriots Front. Comments: 2 […]

Comment from Mike
Time October 26, 2015 at 4:17 pm

Where to begin…

Violence against women a logical part of capitalism?

Looking at the Taliban and Islamic State would you conclude that violence against women is a logical part of Islam. I bet you wouldn’t!

The Destroy the Joint numbers have shown to be inaccurate. They even include violence against women by other women!

Torching of blacks Churches has been called Terrorism, even if you choose to ignore it.