By Badri Raina | ZNet, Sep 18, 2008
Who doesn’t know how the Capitalist social order has worked from day one?—
By first causing monumental social upheavals in the pursuit of profit maximization, then recommending quick-fixes guaranteed to spawn still worse upheavals so that more profitable quick-fixes are in turn rendered “necessary.” And all these rooted in technologies of the newest kind that tell us what we always needed to solve our problems.
In those processes of declension, is it any wonder that the final quick-fix that we are offered should be the gun? After all, let us please remember that the biggest enterprise worldwide is the arms industry, and the biggest insurance for the continuance of this order of things not the end of warfare but its assured continuance in myriad forms and theatres. The better things get for the Capitalist class, the more they must remain the same for all the rest. And nothing ensures that result as well as warfare in perpetuity.
The coterminous “spiritual” trick that Capitalism of course employs is to ascribe all social upheavals to the “sinful” nature of man—those opposing Capitalism more sinful than others—rather than to its own ascertainable doings. An ancillary part of Capitalist ideology, so to speak, that then finds a central role for church, mosque, and temple, and takes the wretched of the earth away from either addressing rationally the sources of their condition or putting up a fight.
Thus it is that a resurgently Capitalist class in India is today howling for a new, “tough terror law” that would forever make propertied India safe for super-powerdom. Switch to any corporate TV channel, especially the ones in English, or read most corporate print media, or visit any upwardly-mobile urban elite home, and you will find but one strident recipe for fighting terror; namely, be like the terrorist and give them their own medicine. Only the Muslim terrorist of course, needless to say. Are there any others?
This would be fine if only it worked
The minute, however, you pose that question another ready answer follows: look at America—not a single terrorist strike there after “9/11″. Ergo, why can’t we be like America in every conceivable way, down to the colour of the toilet paper?
Not that we are not getting there, with the “strategic partnership” (read military collaboration) now in place, buttressed by junk consumerism, instinctual anti-Islamism/pro-Zionism, contempt for socialist ideas (retaining nonetheless the appellation “socialist” in the preamble of the Constitution, rather like the residual tailbone at the end of the human spine), a mighty embrace of an increasingly lethal majoritarian religiosity, professional therapy for stresses and tensions, the neighbourhood gym or godman as the answer to moral fatigue and vacuity, belief in infinite possibility for the “endowed” and karmic fate for the misery-ridden, waving the flag in the face of the sanest criticism and so forth.
Most of all, avoiding at all cost the reading of needlessly complex or critical materials that do not straightforwardly endorse the American life-style, or that drag us into considerations that have no understandable bearing on our corporate pay packages, or cloistered dens of comfort. Or, that dampen gratification with any insidious invitation to gravitas, or take our plastic smiles and sniggers away even for a bit. To wit, hey, why can’t we be like animals—kill, eat, defecate, copulate, and leave all the rest to god and nature. Gargantua, Gargantua, thou art the best.
It is another matter that, as we write, god and nature (Lehman and Hurricane Ike?) seem yet again confronted with the “spectre of Marx.” Although, be sure, we can well meet all that with a strike on some other part of the disloyal world, which, after all, remains happily full of “enemies” but with assets we can use. Why else are we “strategic partners” I ask you? Lehman may sink, but Pentagon is forever.
Tags: anti-muslim terror laws, Badri Raina, Bharatiya Janata Party, capitalist order, Gujarat massacres, Hindu-Muslim question, India, India's Muslims, Indian capitalist class, profits, strategic partnership, terrorism, United States