Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Archive for the ‘Left’ Category

“Rightly seen as an insult” – Socialist Worker Exploits Murder of French Teacher Samuel Paty.

leave a comment »

Un “martyr de la liberté” – Imam Hassen Chalghoumi,

This is taking place today:

France to pay respects to beheaded teacher with ceremony at Sorbonne

The  reactions to the  murder of Samuel Paty continue to dominate French politics.

First of all there has an outpouring of  feeling in solidarity with the victim, his profession, family  and friends.

There was this appeal, by Hassen Chalghoumi, President of the Conférence des imams de France.

“Cette barbarie n’a pas sa place, ni dans les écoles ni ailleurs en France”, a assuré le président de la Conférence des imams de France.”

His dignified reaction had already got into the British media,

“Police have carried out dozens of raids, while the government has ordered the six-month closure of a mosque and plans to dissolve a group that supports Palestinian militant group Hamas.”

In the heat of the emotion the French government has clamped down on Islamists, carrying out raids and ordered the six months closure of Pantin mosque accused of being linked with the “mouvance islamiste radicale“, and notably of having circulated videos inciting hatred against Samuel Paty.

They also hastily announced plans to, amongst other measures, dissolve the Collectif contre l’Islamophobie, a national campaign founded in 2003,

The Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, promised it Monday morning. He will ask for the dissolution of the Collective against Islamophobia in France (CCIF) which he suspects, supporting evidence he said, of having participated in the campaign against Samuel Paty , the professor assassinated on Friday in Conflans-Sainte- Honorine (Yvelines) . The association would be “an enemy of the Republic” , he said on Europe 1. It is a wake-up call for the new generations of Muslim activists who have grown up in France. Controversial, vilified but appreciated by some, the CCIF, a symbol, has been at the centre of controversies over Islam for ten years.

Libération.

https://twitter.com/Alric_Andreas/status/1318414693946589184?s=20

These allegations been denied by the Collectif. As French leftists, far from favourable to the organisation,  have pointed out, there is no evidence of ties between the CCIF and the campaign of hate waged against Samuel Paty.

Bringing in such measures, by a “claquement de doigts”, has been, according to some government sources, not been unanimously agreed. Strong opposition from the Ligue des droits de l’homme (who have appeared on the Journal d’Arte, amongst other platforms), and the widespread feeling that democracy and the republic are not defended by catch-all administrative repression, indicates that they face serious obstacles.

What is clear is that some extreme Islamist forces have been involved in the slaughter.

The links and the issue of whether responsibility can be assigned to these individuals are the subject of a judicial investigation.

These decisions are nevertheless underway,

Macron said a pro-Hamas group called the Cheikh Yassine Collective would be dissolved for being “directly implicated” in the murder, adding that a formal decision would be taken at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

The group’s founder, Islamist radical Abdelhakim Sefrioui, is being held by police for publishing a video on YouTube insulting Paty.

The radical anti-fascist left site, La Horde has published this about the principal figure accused of inciting murder,   Abdelhakim Sefrioui and the above “Cheikh Yassine” Collective:

À propos d’Abdelhakim Sefrioui et du collectif Cheikh Yassine

The individual is not unknown to anti-fascists, and the comrades of the REFLEXes site, who had already spoken of the character a few years ago, reminded us of this. In the wake of the creation of the Cheikh Yassine collective, and therefore of the decision to use support for the Palestinian people for proselytising purposes, Sefrioui also created in 2005 the “Committee on the Genocide in Palestine”, with two unwavering supporters of Holocaust Denial, Ginette Hess Skandrani and Mondher Sfar, leaders of the association Entre la Plume et l’Enclume.

The latter, with his Tribe Ka, is still, in anti-Semitic circles, all haloed by his provocations in the Marais district; we remember for our part his support for Youssouf Fofana, the torturing kidnapper of young Ilan Halimi, murdered because he was Jewish.

Sefrioui’s opportunism does not stop there. Manager of a religious bookstore in Paris, he saw, in the aftermath of the riots of 2005, in the rapprochement with Dieudonné, an opportunity to get closer to the youth of working-class neighbourhoods, within which the comic  enjoys a certain credibility Thus, at the same time, he got closer to Dieudonné (Note: prosecuted many times for anti-Semitism) , not only by joining his support committee in 2007, but also by introducing him into the Islamist spheres: thus, it was Sefrioui who accompanied Dieudonné during the days of the UOIF at Le Bourget in 2006.

The article, which is lengthy, concludes by condemning the French state for fostering this racist form of identity politics by financing and giving prominence to such people who claim to be (what we would call in the UK), “community leaders”.

All of these considerations have been ignored by the British Socialist Workers Party. The group, which has a strong influence on the Stand up to Racism association, is trying to exploit the tragedy for its own ends.

The murder and beheading of teacher Samuel Paty in France last week was appalling. It must not be used to deepen Islamophobia and racism.

Paty had shown his school class an image produced by the Charlie Hebdo magazine of a naked caricature of Mohammed. He had told Muslim children to turn their backs or leave the room.

It was rightly seen as an insult. Chechen refugee Abdoullakh Anzonov then killed Paty.

Now official French society, drenched in Islamophobia, has seen a chance to step up its institutional racism.

A wave of hypocrisy about “free speech” has followed. Macron—the brutaliser and blinder of Yellow Vest protesters and the initiator of imperialist wars in Africa—says he is for freedom.

He adds that the killing proves the need for his new law on Islamic “separatism”. This includes a host of measures where Muslims are treated differently to others.

The right, except for the fascists, backed Macron. Marine Le Pen’s fascists want to go much further. Disgracefully most of the left—from the Socialist Party to Jean-Luc Melenchon of France Unbowed—have also swallowed “national unity” with a racist, anti working class state.

Melenchon attacked the whole Chechen community.

This horrific murder must not be seized upon to deepen the Islamophobia and state repression that are the context in which it happened.

French state exploits murder to attack Muslims

Insult and then killing.

This is the account published today in Le Monde, a more respected paper,

A complaint was filed by the parent of a student against the history and geography teacher for “dissemination of pornographic images” , after the latter had shown his students two caricatures of Muhammad which had appeared in Charlie Hebdo. This parent of a student had also broadcast a video, which has been around social networks, in which he called Mr. Paty a “thug” and called for “say stop” . The police questioned the teacher about the rumour that he asked Muslim students to report and leave the classroom. This he strongly denied.

Paty denied that he asked  Muslim pupils to leave the room.

This is what Paty said,

I suggested that my students look away for a few seconds if they thought they were shocked for one reason or another . At no time did I tell the students: “Muslims, you can go out because you will be shocked.” And I did not ask the students who were of the Muslim faith.”

The statements of Melenchon, or as he spells his name, Mélenchon, have created dissension inside La France insoumise.

 

 

 

Written by Andrew Coates

October 21, 2020 at 10:59 am

Perry Anderson, New Left Review and Europe.

with 2 comments

 

 

See the source image

Perry  Anderson, New Left Review and Europe.

 

“But what would Brexit actually mean for the European Union, or for Ukania in parting with it? So far, all that was clear was that ‘Blairized Britain has taken a hit, as has the Hayekianized eu’ and ‘critics of the neoliberal order have no reason to regret these knocks to it’, against which the entire global establishment had inveighed. “

Perry Anderson. Ukania Perpetua. New Left Review. 2/125. Sept/Oct 2000.

 

In Rule Britannia (1972) Daphne du Maurier imagined a Britain in which, because of economic and political failures, the UK had joined with USA together in a single nation, USUK. It halted talk about joining the Common Market. In a state of emergency, enforced by US marines, resistance comes from liberation forces led by Paddington Bear and, armed with bows and arrows, the Lost Boys.

In the detail this may be a faulty recollection. But Perry Anderson seals his account of the “distinctive” New Left Review arguments about “British state and society” and the endurance of the “liberal market economy” over the decades, the “deep structures of Labourism” reconciled to that order, the Corbyn moment, elected on a platform that rejected the “whole neoliberal order” with a picture of a defining moment in British politics, Brexit, that has less plausibility than the novelist’s scenario.

In the days of the ‘ultra-Europeanism” of The Left Against Europe, Tom Nairn wrote of the anti-EU left’s “retreat back to the lost ground of nationalism and ‘national sovereignty’.” (New Left Review 1/72 1975)

This is a lengthy Apolgia Pro Vita Sua. But in its account of British capitalist and political development, its state form dubbed, with Nairn’s cack-handed humour, “Ukania”, there is a glaring absence. Anderson devotes not a single line to the part played in the Referendum by the sovereigntist left, the Lexiters, including at least one member of NLR’s Editorial Board, the stentorian voiced Tariq Ali. Unmentioned is the curious alliances between these forces in the Full Brexit, Communist Party of Britain, Labour Parliamentary supremacists, Blue Labour spokespeople for the Somewhere People against the Nowheres the “rootless cosmopolitans”, the Brexit Party supporting Spiked Network,  and prominent New Left Review contributor Wolfgang Otto Streeck, to name but one new leftist who joined this merry band of Constitutionalists.

Anderson permits himself one glowing recollection of the past of this illusion, the 1970s and 1980s Alternative Economic Strategy (AES), which promised a British Road to Socialism, Exit from the European Union, marked by import controls, “the outlines of an English nationalism not inherently reactionary could be glimpsed in the Alternative Economic Strategy (aes) advocated by Benn, since the opportunities for progress in the eec had proved less than once believed. Still, the aes contained the obvious danger of a Jacobin centralization blind to the realities of peripheral nationalism. Only if that were overcome, could an English socialism put behind it the ‘shame and defeat of British socialism’.”The possibility that scepticism about this long-abandoned banner was fuelled as much by the implausibility of a siege economy grew at the cusp of globalisation, as by the deliberate cut to any prospect of European left working together in a common institutional framework, the EU.

Many, indeed many, of the pages of Ukania Perptua are devoted to Scottish Nationalism, English nationalism, British nationhood, and how it might deal with “peripheral nationalism”. None are taken up with the “anglosphere” promoted by Brexiters, not just as a transatlantic and antipodean cultural home for the English-speaking volk, but an economic trading sphere, a tamed free-market liberalism for an age of national populist governance. This was hard right project indicates why a section of the left opposed Brexit, and became involved with the wider anti-Brexit cause, though kept a distinct voice in Another Europe is Possible and within the Labour Party, where it played a pivotal role in promoting pro-Referedum policy with a wider social left edge.

.

Nor is there any space for the views of the internationalist left which opposed Brexit and offered the slogan, and the outline of a programme, for “another Europe”. “The Brexit referendum was a domestic quarrel, in which both sides were at mass level essentially oblivious of the ostensible object of the occasion, the European Union itself, other than as an object of polar cathexis; Remain and Leave opinion at large equally ignorant of, and indifferent to, its structures and mutations.”

The pro-Brexit vote was a “social revolt” from below, regional and social, a “hinterland of decayed industries and discarded proletarian households” was pitted the against the “liberal academy” (whatever that US expression means in UK terms), “educated opinion”, and the “wider establishment.” The poor had voted – if not as  poor, or as working class – and had dealt a  “stinging popular rebuff to the political class as a whole, united (the minority of Conservative Brexiteers aside) in an empty defence of the status quo.”

The  “liberal intelligentsia”, (Anderson ignores the Trade Union Congress and trade union opposition to Leave), weighed little in the (narrow) outcome. Labour was paralysed by divisions on the issue and “unable to reach a coherent position”, “immobilized like Buridan’s ass” during the referendum and when the campaign for a Second Referendum swept into the streets (also passed over by Anderson).

Scruffy rootless cosmopolitans may ask, what was the weight of the faction in the Conservative Party, the European Research Group (ERG) each group and the poundage of the ventriloquists of popular anti-EU feeling in the right-wing media, UKIP, and, leading up to the 2019 General Election, of the Brexit Party? Did they really put so much money and effort in the media and campaigning endeavours exposed in Peter Geoghegan’s Democracy for Sale (2020) for their personal glory?   Anderson guards his options, the Brexiteers’ Second off the starting blocks, Project Fear, trumped the Remain Camp’s. Their Take Back Control won out – offering as a lifeline to the pro-Brexit Left who could point to its popularity above that of anti-immigrant sentiment. And whatever latest ruminations on Englishness have to offer.

Labour straddled both sides of the divide, Anderson opines, and is now n “confronted with the task, not just of reconciling ‘identity politics’ (sc. Leaver proletariat) and ‘social liberalism’ (sc. middle-class and youth Remainderdom), but of developing an agenda to compete with Johnson’s One-Nation Toryism, and not preempted by it.” Now, he reflects, Labour, “having lost the working class in 2019 by a huge margin, is in a still less secure position, penned in to the corral of an increasingly middle-class—professional, managerial, clerical—Europeanist constituency” It is led by Keir Starmer, a figure Anderson announces is “soft right”,  one is glad he’s got this publicly off his chest, after having to write rude things about the Labour leader under the cover-name of a NLR intern.  Labour has now a man ill-fitted perhaps, or not, to deal with the dislocation between these forces and the traditional working class constituencies, a British working class. Rivaling only Orwell in their hopes for the proles,  whose socialist potential New Left Review – in the present re-edition of the Nairn-Anderson thesis – may well indicate, if one looks hard enough, has a long record of admiring, we can keep a glimmer of faith.

Corbyn is done and dusted. Anderson adds no new insights into the traditional unprecedented-anti-left-campaign lack-of-steel-hardened cadres, terribly principled on US-led wars and US-imperialism, and Palestine, narrative. The learned editor cannot resist patronising the members, the “vast majority, neither young nor old possessing any political culture beyond the enthusiasms of the moment or the illusions of the past”, bear in mind that amongst his other qualities Corbyn is the activist tip of the same milieu – what of Brexit?

This lengthy passage indicates something,

Without any mass upheaval, or even such turbulence as marked the seventies, the order of Ukania has been disrupted as never before since 1911–14, with no new equilibrium in sight. All its components—economy, polity, ideology, territory, diplomacy—have simultaneously and interconnectedly been destabilized. The model of growth around which the country has been built since the late nineteenth century has generated such internal tensions that it has finally backfired. Contracting manufactures, swelling financial and commercial services, deepening regional inequalities, stagnant wages, soaring house prices, escalating inequalities, and when this pattern exploded in a banking crisis, the imposition of austerity to contain it, produced the convulsion of Brexit, and with it the risk of a drop in British gdp potentially greater than any on record. Decline, banished for a season from reputable discourse, has returned in more drastic guise. What lies ahead, many declare, is more like the term in Spengler’s mistranslated title—Untergang: not decline, but downfall; or perhaps, in its abruptness, the French dégringolade.

 

I am not sure that La Bourse is undergoing a dégringolade as yet. But me, looking at the latest on Brexit and US Trade Deals, I am phoning up Paddington Bear and the Lost Boys for help. Downfall is upon us! Watch out for Traitors! Get ready to storm the Führerbunker! This is one culture war that’s not going away!

 

I am also reading this very contrasting, and serious account about the  world economy’s present development :

Les capitalismes à l’épreuve de la pandémie

Robert BOYER

 

 

****

On the Trade union reactions to further ‘blows’ to the ‘establishment’ see: Shiraz.

No deal and WTO rules would be “devastating” for manufacturing

On Anderson this recent thought-provokng critical survey indicates some bearings.

The Antinomies of Perry Anderson

George Souvlis

If back in 1992 he had considered the EU a possible vehicle for overcoming nationalist divisions, by the time of his 2000 editorial its subordination to the American hegemon had doomed such a perspective. This new conjuncture was, instead, defined by the expansion of the capitalist order throughout the world, a historical process that many theorists of the time described with the euphemism “globalization.”

Τhe US hegemon was expanding its geopolitical influence in new territories throughout the globe, establishing its economic interests ever farther-afield while creating new dependencies between the capitalist center and its peripheries.

 

 

 

Written by Andrew Coates

October 20, 2020 at 1:38 pm

Homages Across France to Samuel Paty, and in Defence of Freedom of Speech.

with 5 comments

Teachers Vow to Continue to Defend Freedom of Speech.

Si tu penses que la critique des religions est l’expression d’un racisme,
Si tu penses qu’ « islam » est le nom d’un peuple,
Si tu penses qu’on peut rire de tout sauf de ce qui est sacré pour toi,
Si tu penses que faire condamner les blasphémateurs t’ouvrira les portes du paradis,
Si tu penses que l’humour est incompatible avec l’islam……

Alors, bonne lecture, parce que cette lettre a été écrite pour toi.

“If you think that criticism of religions is the expression of racism, If you think that ‘Islam’ is the name of a people. “If you think that you can laugh at everything except anything that you think is scared. If you think that punishing blasphemers will open the gates of heaven for you. If you think that humour is incompatible with Islam….”  Then, dear reader, this it’s for that this book is written for you.”

Lettre aux escrocs de l’islamophobie qui font le jeu des racistes, (2015)

‘Charb’, Stephane Charbonnier) Editor of Charlie Hebdo, murdered by jihadists 7th of January 2015.

 

Today in France people came to pay their respects to the memory of Samuel Paty.

 

 

A Conflans Sainte-Honorine, dimanche 18 octobre

Tribute from one of Samuel Paty’s students:

 

There were moving public gatherings and tributes across France today in memory of Samuel Paty. In Paris, at the Place de la République, thousands  stood and listened to speeches from education unions, and teachers.

 

 

The event in Paris was transmitted live on BFMTV.

Political figure attended and joined the crowd.

Left wing parties and representatives, including the Minister of Education, Jean-Michel Blanque, from President Macron’s La République en marche, were present, as well as a few members of right wing parties. The national populists of the Rassemblement National (formely Front National) did not take part and attacked the commendations as yet another example of “la politique de la bougie ” woke candle-lit vigils (le Monde)

 

The detailed background to the killing, the hysteria whipped up around the presentation of Charlie Hebdo cartoons in a civics class on freedom of expression, and the role of those  external to the school where Samuel Paty taught, including already known anti-semitic Islamist figures, is now emerging.

 

In Britain the murder of Samuel Paty was reported.

Rallies expected across country in defiant reaction to beheading of Samuel Paty after showing pupils controversial Charlie Hebdo cartoons.

The Guardian reporter Kim Willsher saw fit to add this in an otherwise balanced article.

To mark the opening of the long-awaited hearing – scheduled to last until November – Charlie Hebdo republished caricatures of the Prophet Muhammed, including those that led the Islamist gunmen Saïd and Chérif Kouachi to attack its offices, killing 12 people, and Amédy Coulibaly to shoot a police officer and kill four people at the Hyper Cacher supermarket.

The reprinting of the cartoons in turn led to an 18-year-old Pakistan-born man stabbing and seriously injuring two people outside the former offices of Charlie Hebdo in what the French authorities said was “clearly an act of terrorism” three weeks ago.

Another of Charb’s statement from his Lettre aux Escrocs is this, “Si tu penses qu’un dessin est plus dangereux qu’un drone américain” If you think that a cartoon is more dangerous than an American drone…..”

The Guardian sees fit to publish material suggesting that the dangerous drones of Charlie Hebdo caricatures “led” to murder…

In the same way that women wearing provocative dress ‘leads‘ to rape….