I have just spent the last few hours in Trafalgar Square, amidst a thousand strong crowd promising justice, freedom, democracy, and prosperity – a veritable utopia. In reality, the organisations behind the October 8 Anti-War protest were not guaranteeing these admirable ideals; they were instead guaranteeing the act of idealism itself – and cared little what actual values were betrayed in doing so.The whole event was somewhat of a damp squib. Despite the BBC claiming 5000 attended, it was more like a thousand. Most attending were either Islamists or vegans.
I have been following the machinations of the far-Left for a while now, and today was certainly not my first encounter with these groups’ ideologues and the accompanying moral relativism. However, an extremely candid discussion with one member of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) left me somewhat shaken as I was given a glimpse into the brutal nihilism that is the premise for these groups’ declarations. In particular, it facilitates the apologism - and occasionally overt support - for homophobia, misogyny and anti-Semitism through alliances with various radical Islamist and anti-Western organisations. Harry’s Place has comprehensively documented many examples of such terrifying links.
Above, ''pro-peace'' activists proudly display the symbol of a truly imperialist empire that murdered far more people than Hitler ever managed. Below, the mad Islamist Yvonne Ridley, someone rather close to Libya under the dictator Gaddafi, condemns the UK''s presence in Afghanistan.
Earlier today, Terry Glavin noted of the demonstration that:
“An entire galaxy of retread counterculture celebrities and “anti-imperialist” zombies had pledged to be there. George Galloway, Lauren Booth, Julian Assange, Seumas Milne, Moazzam Begg, Yvonne Ridley, Salma Yaqoob – you’d have thought Londoners were engaged in some mass mobilization in public hygiene that involved carting off the most rancid political detritus of the past decade to pile it all up in a single stinking heap, and in Trafalgar Square of all places.”
I could not have put it any better. All the nutcases were there, demonstrating their proudly declared non-conformism as one huge homogenous mass of angry radical reaction.
As most readers will know, for many of these groups, any act by the ‘West’ is example of yet further evil imperialism. Whether this is Israel’s very existence, or the support for the Libyan uprisings – all is the fault of the ‘West’ and its supposed power/money/oppression prerogative.
Furthermore, we already are aware of the failure of the ‘anti-war’ lot to be consistent. Certainly, there is scant moral clarity to their outpourings. Little attention is provided to the plights of the Kurds or Ahwazi in Iran, or the Palestinians’ suffering in Syria. Or at least, if such persecutions are mentioned, it is due to Western interference or maybe it is a specious claim by Zionist propagandists. Bona fide moral turpitudes are worthless to reactionaries if the greedy imperialist West cannot be blamed.
All this is known and much-discussed among those who are concerned about extremism and the demonization of Israel. I have written about War on Want, one of the main organisers of the anti-war rally, and its antisemitism here, and plenty of examples regarding the behaviour and extremist links of the far-Left can be found here. The conversation that left me shaken, however, was my enlightenment that the far-Left’s support for despotic states and for extremist speakers is not just due to obfuscation from the obsession with attacking Western values; but rather it is the very conscious, cold, deliberate negation of any sense of morality whatsoever. It is the most terrifying form of nihilism one can encounter.
Enter Frank. Running a SWP stall, and clearly one of the leading figures among the SWP lot, he managed to fail to live up to his name by mostly responding to my good-natured questions with “Would you rather allow Cameron and Sarkozy to control Libya?” This seemed an odd response to my enquiry on whether an immediate withdrawal would imperil the lives of Afghans, particularly the dramatically improving situation for women in the country.
By remaining calm, polite and by falsely claiming I had opposed the war in Afghanistan (although I was only 11 years old when it started), I finally managed to get an answer that ended up being morbidly frightening. I am writing this down now before I forget. I may write this a little more lucidly than as I spoke, but I’ll be as true as possible. I first asked something along the lines of: “But just for a minute, if we suppose that we didn’t have a political establishment that wished to satisfy their apparent oil, money and imperialist fetishes, and we similarly suppose that a genocidal regime is both murdering thousands of their own citizens and supporting terrorism against ours, is there not a moral necessity to take action?”
Frank: “We can support the revolutionary workers inside that country, but we cannot ever intervene” Sam: “As we did with the Taliban against the Soviets?”Frank: “No, that was imperialism.”Sam: “Libya? No boots on the ground there really.”Frank: “Libya is a puppet of Cameron and Sarkozy.”Sam: “What about when there is no real ‘revolutionary’ movement to support. What would you have done in Bosnia?”* pause * Frank: “You need to examine the facts…” Sam: “But what about Bosnia, would you have allowed the slaughter to continue?” Frank: “Better that than the far worse effects of colonialism.”
There we have it. I would have perhaps accepted the reply that we cannot afford to oppose every mass murder or despot, and that being the world’s policemen is impossible; but instead I was told morality mattered little in the greater scheme of things.
The absolutism of the far-Left dictates that life itself can be extirpated for the greater good. There appears little difference between the far-Left and the far-Right. The SWP is the National Front, the PSC is the EDL – all comrades in brutal iconoclasm. ‘Anti-War’ has become a useful soundbite for truthfully being anti-humanity – and I haven’t even started on the ‘anti-war’ movement’s support for terrorist organisations such as Hamas and Hezbollah.
The idealism of War on Want, SWP, UAF, PSC, inter alia, has usurped the more pressing value of appreciation for life itself, as well as betraying the very concept of liberty that such groups claim to support.
It’s tempting to repeat that Burke platitude: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
But it is not that simple. The views I heard espoused today do not eschew keeping Afghani women free or preventing Libyans from being slaughtered by Gaddafi because of fear, apathy or insularism; but rather because they believe it is an acceptable sacrifice to make in order to fulfill their idealism. Humanity itself can be transcended - an adherence to absolute amorality.
Perhaps this line is more suitable:"It was not you who ate the idea, but the idea that ate you." – Pyotr Verkhovensky from Dostoyevsky’s The Possessed