Can we please stop all the sectarianism?

Tuesday, 20th March 2007 at 9:00 UTC Leave a comment

This story was intended to go up on Wednesday 14th, but had to be delayed.

On Monday night I was put in a situation where a sectarian battle could have ruined the one thing I’m focusing on right now. Turns out the person who looked like she would have come off worse isn’t too fussed, but I’m starting to get annoyed by how obsessive some people get (bit rich coming from me, but hey).  I’m particularly concerned by the very bizarre politics and back-history of different anti-fascist campaigns.  Right now I feel for the ethnic minority people of Britain, seeing as every group that claims to defend them from the BNP right now seems to be at war.  And thats not the only group who are fighting each other instead of the cause…

One example I’ve seen lately was the following: “I certainly cannot participate in anti-war activity which involves support (unconditional or otherwise) for the so called “resistance” in Iraq, who murder innocent civilians in large numbers and who are clearly part of the problem ( along with the occupation,corrupt politicians, world capitalism etc) rather than part of the solution, which surely requires the creation of a movement of working people, organised on a non sectarian basis and which seeks to resist the twin tyrannies of (largely)US occupation forces and Bathist/Islamic fundamentalist/criminal terrorist organisations.”

Let’s think about this carefully.  In the opening sentence this person says something I entirely agree with.  I’m not sure why I still get emails from this group (they don’t use a proper email list, so I can’t un-subscribe) but I do, and what they do isn’t all bad.  Some of it balances out some of the imperfections of the less than perfect STWC.  But anyhow, his anti-‘resistance’ line is useful.  But then, oh dear, he’s got the solution, and its workerism.

Workerism isn’t bad by itself but why, oh why, obsess over it.  General Strikes have their place in political campaigning, but the workers aren’t the only ones getting screwed by imperialism and capitalism.  This is mostly why I like the “Empire and Multitude” dichotomy rather than the “Bosses and workers” one.  Its great to see people exercising their collective strength as workers, but its not the be-all and end-all and there are plenty of people in Iraq who aren’t workers.

Why is it that people need a ‘one-clear-solution’ approach to obsess over.  I’ve found people trying to claim I have one, and I don’t; I think that we have to open multiple fronts whenever possible.  Any issue requires all opportunities to be seized. The worst thing is that, by imposing an agenda like workerism or a particular strategy as the only solution, we end up isolating people, and we endanger our ability to be objective and self-critical.  There’s nothing to stop people proposing these ideas, but we must broaden these campaigns.

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Entry filed under: Activism, Politics.

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