There is little doubt that yesterday’s murder in Woolwich was partly driven by the new ability to bi-pass traditional media outlets. Mobile Social-Media Broadcasting. That’s why the murderers neither destroyed themselves nor ran away. The uncensored footage was the point, the killing was just the crowd-puller. Twenty years ago an attack like this, where the murderers talked to the public, would have been pointless since there would have been no direct exposure.
Obviously, it was also driven by the global war, and by the fact that these are people who have lost their traditional identity (in their case religious) and had to find a new one which expressed their rage. Just like the Boston bombers, Mick Philpott, Raol Moat, and every over Nutjob created by our hate-fuelled society. They are all broken on the same wheel. Insanity is just another word for total alienation.
Whatever the criminology turns out to be, the reasons for this murder are the same as for all the other mad human sacrifices which turn up every week nowadays. It’s a sick society which creates sick people. Driven to insanity by being in constant competition for jobs, homes and services, while being expected to look and spend like millionaire filmstars, most people are only a few humiliations away from cracking up.
The reaction from the EDL was predictably deranged, and used the same technology. They clashed with police, having threatened reprisals in the area. Mosques were attacked last night in redneck strongholds like Braintree and Gillingham.
These people are fascists who are determined to destroy British culture and replace it with an intolerant fictional Neverland from a past they will not specify. Everything they say points to about 1933 in terms of uniformity and lack of social cohesion. Much before that and women don’t have the vote, and much after and we have the Windrush and everything that followed. Their ideal period of British history seems to be a permanent Great Depression without a functioning welfare state. In reality, they are merely exploiting the death of this soldier to push their twisted ultra-nationalist political agenda. Both EDL and the Islamicists are trying to foment the same war.
Bizarrely, many voices on forums are demanding that families of the murderers should be punished. Collective Guilt by Association, as practiced by the Third Reich in occupied countries. Punish the innocent families for the crimes of the individual – without trial, naturally. Which is a leap to almost pure totalitarianism, as both the Islamicists and fascists want. The murder of a British soldier on home territory somehow means that ‘We are second class citizens in our own country’ according to those who want to believe it. As if British soldiers and Britain itself were immune from the outside world and the consequences of its actions. This absurdity is being used to incite violence.
The great mistake is to swallow the line that this was anything to do with religion. People do not believe in religion any more, they identify with it for all they’re worth, which is a completely different matter and more like being a football fan than thinking and behaving as if an omnipotent Being were watching and judging and controlling everything in the cosmos. Only feudal cultures without mass-literacy truly ‘believe’ that. This is Zealotry, not Faith, and all about asserting the individuality of the person, not following any spiritual path. This perversion of religion is as blatant as the Spanish Inquisition.
The challenge is to provide a positive progressive ideology of peace to replace the current war-economy and dead myths of the past. But nothing Cameron or Boris Johnson or Barak Obama say today will offer any real hope of positive change, just more of the same. The same ‘narrative’, which will be a very popular word over the next few weeks. A different ‘narrative’ must be found to counter Islamism. Not a different ideology, which implies something real, but a different story, which is what a narrative is. Or ‘lie’, in plain English. Young people have to be found another fairytale other than genuine politics to identify with.
When a drone bombs a Pakistani village of 200 people in pursuit of a star target, it merits a minor report in the media, if any. The casual justification for drone casualties is that war is war is hell. The Daily Mail uses it all the time. But it only ever applies one way. Which is a hypocrisy key to the perversion of young, alienated minds. If this attack helps redress the balance, and increases awareness of the reasons for hatred, it may even be judged by history to be a martyrdom, of sorts.
This was not the result of ‘radicalisation’ but psychosis, if a politicised species. To call it radical is to invert and insult the true, invigorating sense of the word, and pollute true radicalism by association, making every radical in history a murderer. An attempt to poison the word and the idea. This form of Islamism is an ideology of death imposed from above, not growth from the roots. But this particular act was essentially no different to any of the other murders committed by the deranged. The victim might just as well have been killed by any of them. The fact that his deranged killers were politicised Muslims just made it inevitable they would lash out at him. Those who go insane in the comfortable suburbs, or in country villages have nobody to lash out against other than those within reach, and their families.
Michael Pedersen was a soldier, who who rode the horse Sefton during the 1982 IRA Hyde Park bomb attack. Last October, for whatever reason, he calmly killed his two young children, and then himself. If an ex-soldier disintegrates, he is not likely to turn on symbols of the British state. If the same thing happens to a young politicised Muslim, a British soldier is the natural target. There is no difference between the two terrorisms.
If the British Identity is defined by anything it is by Tolerance, in spite of everything the Empire did. We like tolerance, tolerance pays. All kinds of fascism are by nature intolerant. Which is why, in Britain, fascists have always been unanimously derided as lunatics and casualties. An implicit recognition of the truth that there is no such thing as a reactionary ‘intellectual tradition’ or ‘thought’, merely a neurotic phobia of change and equality. As the mad self-styled historian Dominique Venner demonstrated yesterday in Notre Dame cathedral when he destroyed the world he hated in the only way he knew how. Hardly surprising since we live in a society in love with hatred and only at peace when at war.