2 Replies to “First they came for Assange …

  1. The Assange situation represents only the tip of the iceberg of what is taking place in different ways, to different degrees all the way down to the grassroots levels in places where such practices should have no place. As a result whilst there are clearly unspoken hopes arising from where we are right now in terms of current processes taking place and their potential a lot of what is going on beneath the surface suggests that at best the jury is still out even if that potential is realised.

    Assange and the values he represents has/have been thrown under a bus by the British State, that much is clear. Unfortunately, he is not alone, even though the personal risk to his own life and present health is far greater. That the British State does not hold a monopoly on such actions – along with the usual suspects – does not engender a great deal of confidence for any change in his situation come Christmas time.

    Despite the fact I’ve never had much time for the Peter Mandleson’s of this world his recent observation about replacing one autocracy for another is depressingly accurate.

  2. Agreed Dave. On many fronts – note the Max Blumenthal arrest at the Venezuela Embassy in Washington – we sleepwalk into totalitarianism: filmed countless times a day, our phone calls eavesdropped, our emails and social media outpourings hoovered up in the name of security as our whereabouts are trackable each and every day by phones even on standby, and by our most banal purchases in the relentless drift to a cashless economy.

    But, hey, it’s OK – we live in an open, pluralistic democracy, right? We’d spot totalitarianism a mile off, right? That Michael Rose poem – I sometimes fear that people think that fascism comes in fancy dress – is just a bit of harmless art for art’s sake, right?

    I was at the Assange rally outside the Home Office on bonfire night; Vivienne Westwood and Julian’s father among the speakers, while rapsters MIA and Lowkey did their thing. But I missed the October do where Roger Waters played one of Floyd’s best loved songs and John Pilger spoke with customary eloquence. A thousand turned out – good going given a media blackout – but not a single mainstream media outlet reported either event, before or after.

    Worth a post I think is that one aspect of this drift to totalitarianism is the way identity politics and appeals to ‘liberal/progressive’ values now serve reactionary ends. Witness the selling of social media censorship as fighting ‘hate speech’, use of the antisemitism card as the most successful to date of the many lines of attack on Corbyn – and the lead role played by the Guardian in scaring off Julian’s natural support base, the liberal intelligentsia, in droves.

    This same appeal to progressives has also been a huge boost to the ideological wing of imperialism’s regime change orgy in the middle east. Not only in neutralising both the liberal and far left within the West as regards Iraq and Libya, but more subtly in selling Syria’s balkanisation as advancing causes dear to the liberal heart: a triple feast in Rojava of brave Kurdish fighters, feminism and lovely co-operatives. As you know, I address these things in the closing paragraphs of my recent post on the Kurds in Syria.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *