Tuesday, March 15, 2005

From Jacobin to George Bush - republican fear and the Mujahideen

The pro-war republican's fear is founded in intuition, having everything to lose and knowing it.

Five or so years ago most governing bodies, both eastern and western, tyrannical and less tyrannical, appeared securely entrenched. Or so we thought. Although more wars then ever were waging in other parts of the world prior 2001, western civilians had been relatively removed from it all. The west was still a "beacon of hope" to the asylum seeker. Albeit a dim light in the distance.

Then came fire, war, the largest demonstrations ever recorded in earth's history, and flood. And numerous topplings of various leaders and a growing anxiousness that all order seemed generally to be evaporating. Along with human rights.

Understandably, most middle of the road ordinary peaceful people in the west were kind of stunned by the fire and brimstone thing. But, being unassuming, life just seemed to carry on for your average western no-war punter, if a little worse then before. To the republican however, a potential catastrophe was unfolding. Suddenly an enemy had materialised. A faceless nameless enemy, all the more fearful for it's anonymity. The republican administration set about creating a head for it's enemy - all the better to spit in it's face. And so various antagonists were named and a deluge of mug shots appeared in our media.

You know the rest, so I don't need to go on there.

The interesting part, is how enemy-fearing republicans have identified an innate part in their own inner psyche in understanding their situation. It is important to say at this point that I am writing about pro-war republicans, for I believe some of them have serious misgivings with the whole thing and would as soon try out peace instead.

Back to point one. The US's pro-war republican administration, as an incumbent, has everything to loose and knows it. After having been manipulated by it's own fear and by others into unleashing anarchy in Iraq, the republican administration now finds itself faced with restoring a semblance of order in the wake of rapidly dissolving regard for electoral result (globally). Not because the republican party really cares about anyone else's democracy, but because it cares about it's own seats. It fears an imagined tide of frustration that could quite as easily wind up in it's own streets.

In short, every peasant and her pony has a drum to bang now (and my is she enjoying that). This is scary, if you're the one in the house on the hill.

So in attempting to avert it's own demise, the pro-war republican US administration turns to it's French exemplars and in winding back time's clock (to just between US independence and Paris' massacres) seeks to pre-empt an insurgent reign of terror by creating it's own. Unfortunately, this inversion of order means that a once democratic institution has now become anti-democratic. Thus we see the dissolution of conventions protecting the civilian and the rise and rise of ever more violent extremes - administered by an incumbent party. The more this party veers towards arms and terror the more it seals it's own fate - for the greater reason it gives opposition to ferment.

So if you're still with me and you haven't got bored by reading what you're already experiencing, I'll just interrupt with a little cut and paste from 1792.

the beginning of the Massacres, September 2, was timed to coincide with the elections to the Convention. The Parisian electoral college, on its way to vote, was marched right by a pile of bleeding corpses. Understandably, their deliberations, which took place at the Jacobin club, resulted in an all-Jacobin slate of delegates being sent to the Convention

... Collot d'Herbois, a future member of the Committee of Public Safety, said "The 2nd of September is the first article of the creed of Liberty. Without it there would be no National Convention." Danton, one of the foremost enemies of the monarchy, both explained the Massacre and laid out the program for the future: "France is not republican. We can only establish a Republic by the intimidation of its enemies."

The National Convention was not, therefore, a body that represented public opinion in France. Rather, it was a group of the most zealous believers in the Revolution. Their real claim to power was their leadership in a movement of national regenereation.

Thus the proceedings of the Convention became a continuing competition in virtue and radicalism, with each set of winners taking a bloody revenge on the lastbunch, and becoming the targets of new, even more radical leaders. The struggle within the Convention, and its ruthlessness are explained by several factors. The revolution was in real danger, both from foreign armies and from a variety of disaffected people at home.

Paris was still short of affordable food, which made the popular agitators impatient with any delay in finding and punishing those whom they held responsible for such subversion. SM, Nipissing Uni

Basically your administrative US republican today is trying her and his damnedest to undercut the Mojahideen by building a guillotine first, allegorically, and cutting the head of any liberality it ever had.

So peaceloving and equitable brethren - let this be a cautionary tale to us all, and also one of hope. For we are on the brink of change and our brave new world is at a cusp - a splitting point. A time of milk and frogs. A politically alchemical time. A branch in time where ones past could become an alternative future or where ones past informs one. A time where history spurs on the search for new ways to change, for peaceful ways strengthened by foresight, free of war and fallen head.

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