Transnational Decolonization Is the Solution, Not Movements as Bernie Sanders’ & the Women’s March

  • Posted on: 19 March 2019
  • By: thecollective

From The Anarchist Library by Mohamed Jean Veneuse

Acknowledgments: Eternal thanks to Krista D’Amour Flute, Maysam Ghani, Laith Marouf, Aragorn!, Joaquin Cienfuegos, Deepa Rajkumar, and Robert Lovelace for their insightful feedback.

Thesis-Argument:

To be clear, valorized figures like Alexandra Ocasio Cortez and social movements like that of Bernie Sanders and the Women’s March are - in fact - not decolonial at all. Their sole strategy depends on voting, reforming laws, protests of equality, and a national assimilationist politics of citizen rights. In adopting the former strategy they constantly evoke two central pillars of representative-democracy: (neo)liberal humanism and multicultural identity politics, both which are founded on supremacist Enlightenment values. In relying on these colonial/imperial ideals and this approach these movements are ultimately – whether they recognize or not – re–entrenching Euro-American white ascendance and individualism. Till the historical present, these human rights paradigms and identitarian reference points continue to structurally and symbolically humanize white bodies and contribute to the reified dehumanization of people who are Indigenous, Black and People of Color. Contrary to the popular belief that this strategy can usher cataclysmic change – numerous radical Indigenous, Black, Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, Sikh, as well as a minority Arab and Muslim knowledge keepers and movement organizers – have exposed and continue to tirelessly argue against the destructive implications of this strategy that – again – is not decolonial at all.

On the other hand, decolonization operates from the premise that representative democracy, ultimately anchored in capitalist nation-state structures, is a neocolonial product of modernly. It is an extension of an ongoing Euro-American neoimperialist project that we all ceaselessly subordinate ourselves to in the East and the West. Decolonization does not rely on a strategy that rests on the seizure of the nation-state to enact change from within. Decolonial approaches do not strategically invest in the reform of Western nation-state laws that evict Indigenous, Black people and POC. Decolonization recognizes that in a neoliberal age there is no separation between capitalism and nation-states. Decolonization accounts for the relationship between settler-colonial societies (as the US/Canada) and franchise or so-called postcolonial societies as Egypt, neither of which have undergone decolonization. I write this relatively short piece in an attempt to hold all of us, including myself, accountable, beginning with my own diasporic Muslim POC communities in settler-colonial societies such as the U.S./Canada.

Settlers of the capitalist Nation-State, Not Hyphenated Citizen-Subjects

There are several flawed assumptions informing movements as that of the Women’s March and Bernie Sanders’ and their trajectories, besides those briefly noted, and which I now expand upon:

First, these social movements operate on the premise that nation-states can be disentangled from capitalism. However, the historical fact is that capitalism and the nation-state symbiotically evolved together. Though the relationship between capitalism and nation-states, sometimes, can expose minor rifts between them, in the short term, that can lead to manifested ruptures, which have local and even regional implications. Nonetheless, their long-term existence is contingent and codependent on the sustenance of their undeniable, deep-rooted, mutual interests. The quintessential definition of globalization and neoliberalism is deeply anchored in the idea that the relationship between the nation-state and capitalism is irreversible. Neoliberalism, in fact, began with Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher in 1979 and was, later, ruptured wide open in 1994 with the Democrat’s NAFTA. The fact is, at the macro-level, the nation-state and capitalism are our real parents.

Capitalist nation-states are not just institutions but rather are oppressive ways of conceiving the world around us, including our own identities and selves. They herd us and structure our thoughts, and fine-tune our behavioral patterns, feelings and emotions. They do so by constantly disseminating repressive racializing, gendering, sexualizing, classist, debilitating and ablest logics, which since birth we have all internalized and replicate at the horizontal level. On the one hand, the nation-state (our ‘real father’) indoctrinates us on how to become authoritarian, to hierarchize, covet and hoard power, to categorize and discipline others and ourselves. On the other hand, capitalism (our ‘representative mother’) teaches us how to commoditize, individualize, commercialize and materialize space/time, as well as love, friendships, solidarity, ally ship and land. This would include symbols of anti-capitalist resistance on our t-shirts and MacBook stickers – nothing is sacred to it.

Second, when these social movements claim they fear that Trump has ushered-in fascism, they are naively mistaking fascism for Totalitarianism. Totalitarianism imposes draconian order from above through force, be it via police repression, legislative and judicial power, or even national emergencies, imposed curfews, and military regimes. On the other hand, fascism constantly produces tyranny at the horizontal levels of the family, neighborhoods, schools, factories, hospitals etc where equality and equity can neither be guaranteed nor legislated. Fascism’s goal is to transform us all into egoistic little Mussolinis and mini-gods in public and private. Fascism is facilitated through local and global political, economic, cultural, and spiritual stereotypes that we all reenact relative to each other. Fascism is the cancer we must fight and our liberation depends on it. Fascism permeates spirally from the top-down, is reinforced from the bottom-up and is reenacted horizontally within our daily, mundane, lives. Hence, Hannah Ardent wrote a book titled The Origins of Totalitarianism while Wilhelm Reich wrote, The Mass Psychology of Fascism. What makes fascism more insidiously dangerous than totalitarianism is that fascism is always mobilized on a mass movement and a scale that operates in all vectors and directions. Fascism is encoded and entrenched within the very organizing skeleton that is the capitalist nation-state. We must recognize that fascism is a mass psychology and, in turn, that we have all internalized micro-fascisms relative to the symbolic and structural privileges that we each positionally enjoy and reproduce at the grassroots level during our social encounters. In order to undo our own domestication so that we may reassert control over our own lives, we must acknowledge that we all have the potential to replicate the sexism, racism, classism, transphobia, biophobia and ablest oppressions that colonial ‘cultures of whiteness’ produce and relentlessly disseminate through capitalist-state frameworks. We cannot eradicate power differentials in our encounters, but we can delineate them by combatting our internalized micro-fascisms and taking responsibility as individuals and communities for altering prejudices that blind our inner hearts, spirits and actions. Not understanding the difference between fascism and totalitarianism is not just a passé, mute, theoretical point, but rather one that possesses destructive crippling social movement consequences as well, especially when considering what constitutes resistance. That is the heavy price of living in an Orwellian, post-alternative fact and schizophrenic world of ‘double speak’ informed and tainted by the destructive legacy of liberalism and its dilution of our words and their meanings. While in modernity, white supremacist tendencies and assumptions overtly inform conservative right-wing parties and positions, the greater danger is how they covertly and underhandedly disguise themselves within (neo)liberal progressive and even leftist positions.

Our internalization of these colonial and capitalist nation-state logics is reflected in our contradictory ethical-political positions in which cis-heteropatriarchy, homo-nationalism and pinkwashing are constantly reiterated within our movements. An example is the Heineken and Johnnie Walker sponsored pride parades and Women’s Marches that we perceive as resistance despite these movements being premised on bleached notions of non-violence, gay marriage, coming out narratives, pride, and shame. These protests that represent important but temporary and exhausting public displays of revolt are limited and reactionary because they are based on a Western notion of ‘freedom of assembly’ in the absent construction of ethical-political, decolonial, land-based alternatives. What further exposes the futility and contradiction of these acts of dissent is their precise re-enactment on stolen Indigenous land in a settler-colonial society like the U.S. where Black bodies are rendered disposable. Even more proof of their ineffectiveness is the fact that this resistance is always surrounded on all fronts by trigger-happy slave-catching police forces from which we seek sanctioned-permits to protest in an NRA, Bonnie and Clyde culture that is sadistically obsessed with its imperialist, hyper-masculine, soldiers and military industrial complexes amidst backdrop patriotic chants of U.S.A.! While homonationalism domesticates and neutralizes queer communities under white settler-state authority in this instance, cis-heteropatriarchy preserves Victorian notions of nuclear family units, privatized routes of inheritance, and the individualist and commoditized ownership of land and nonhuman life. Pinkwashing is the Israeli state’s instrumentalization of LGBTQ-friendly images and rights for Zionists, with Euro-American collusion, which is then used to deflect attention from the Israeli settler-colonial occupation of what is deemed to be a ‘backward’ Palestine.

As products of colonialism and imperialism, the encoding of cis-heteropatriarchy, homonationalism, and pinkwashing within capitalist nation-states have the particular effect of infantilizing Indigenous, Black people and People of Color, as opposed to our radicalization. As colonized individuals and communities of color, they leave us with false binaries like becoming heroes/villains, civilized/primitive, victims/perpetrators, innocent/evil and two reactionary responses given our internalized traumas. The first option is orientalism as we strive to become good law-abiding citizens who opt for reform and deify a colonial constitution based on individualist protestant-Weberian capitalist ethics of individualism, inheritance, and property rights. The second option, especially in the case of Muslims, is that we can become fundamentalist, mindless, terrorists who reenact our traumas by adopting violence as a sole holistic strategy. Fact is capitalist nation-states possess a monopoly over meanings of violence that include the relentless violence that arrives with the sexism, racism, ageism, classism, etc. that we experience and are exposed to everyday. In the case of Arabs and Muslims, if one were to further apply this false binary formula transnationally in the particular case of Syria to view its geopolitical consequences, this means having to choose between an imperialist/colonialist and militarized interventionist Crusading-Zionist-Wahhabi alliance in the disguised and despotic name of human rights and democracy, and on the other hand, a similar Russian-Iranian-Syrian authoritarian coalition and axis.

America was never great, nor will it ever be. America is a settler-colonial society that arose from and continues to thrive on a simultaneous double helix. The first strand of the helix, enacted in 1492, is internal colonization. This consisted of Indigenous genocidal-extermination to steal land as well as enact an industrial plantation economy upon it through the enslavement and indentured servitude of Middle Passage Black peoples, a hardly insignificant number of who were Muslims. The second strand is external colonization that is intimately linked with geo-political, imperialist, militarized adventurism elsewhere and as an extension of three racial/ethnic and spiritual incited Anglo-Saxon crusading wars with Muslims and Islam prior to 1492. Colonization never ended for Indigenous, Black people and People of Color, whether within settler-colonial societies or abroad in franchise ‘post’ colonial societies such as Egypt. In the case of diasporic Muslims, millions of recent arrivants to the U.S./Canada have been driven to become POC settlers because of the destruction and devastating conditions reaped upon our original homelands. However, we must beg the question, at whose expense is our migration to Empire? Who continues to suffer, including our own families and peoples, in our motherlands? Diasporic Muslim POC must understand that regardless of our agonies as new arrivants to the U.S./Canada, we are complicit in upholding settler-colonialism. Our complicity relies on the daily dispossession and denial of Indigenous people of futurities and land (the true source of wealth) in addition to a continuing after-life to slavery that has globally hyper-visibled and invisibled Black bodies. This modern enslavement now manifests itself in even more complicated forms including slavery’s ethnocentric instrumentalist weaponization of blackness to pit Transatlantic Blacks against new African diasporas in a race to the pyramid’s top as we all aspire towards ascendant European values and seductive social incentives and upward mobility. Without appealing to puritan identity politics and blood quantum logics in a complicated bi-and-multi-racial world in which ‘white-passing’ POC exist: if one is not a descendent of either of these entwined braids (Indigenous and Middle-Passage Black) on Turtle Island, then one is a settler with the variations of penalties and privileges that one’s uprooting and dislocation affords. As settlers of color, we cannot simply and purely whitewash away our complicities and participation in settler-colonialism through the promise of an assimilationist and inclusive insistence on an unapologetic ‘hyphenated-American’ citizen-identity. Bernie Sander’s democratic-socialist movement and others like the Women’s March insist that we embrace this option, despite that it is a colonial identity in which settler-colonialism, imperialism, neoliberalism, and global orientalism continues to thrive.

The refusal of diasporic Muslim POC to critically interrogate their settler-colonial positionings and to decolonize their colonized identities as well as interpretations of Islam makes us no different from Zionist settlers in Palestine benefitting off of the back of native Jewish, Christian and Muslim Palestinians since 1948. In our own settler-colonial U.S/Canadian landscape, our integration as diasporic Muslim POC arrives at the expense of Indigenous and Black peoples. In turn, decolonizing Islam is fundamental to the liberation of all peoples not only because of the geopolitical context of Islamophobia and Islam as a quintessential Other in modernity, but also arguably because of Islam’s founding on and relationship to social justice for all peoples. Decolonizing Islam means resurrecting a Qur’an of the oppressed. In tandem to this, decolonizing Islam requisites the expedited embodiment of this socially-just Qur’an by resurgent Muslims who must address our multi-and-cross valiant oppressions that include: Arab supremacy, which is identified in the Qur’an, as well as our present disregard for nonhuman life, sexism, anti-Blackness, and participation in anti-Indigenous politics etc. These injustices and sicknesses fester within our own migrant and global communities. Enough then of what we in the diaspora hypocritically and costly trade off of our Muslim responsibilities in exchange for our cheap purchase of the ‘American Dream’ founded on Manifest Destiny, Terra Nullius, and Doctrines of Discovery, all which we barter in exchange for the fantasy of Palestinian liberation that comes at the expense of Indigenous and Black subduing. The destructive legacy of (neo)liberalism far supersedes that of (neo)conservativism.

Identity politics – as a product of (neo)liberalism – are tactically useful plainly because of ongoing, real, visceral, symbolic, structural and material, violences and sufferings that womyn, children, the youth, the elderly, the poor, the differently abled, Indigenous, Black people and POC face every moment of everyday. However, identity politics are also very much strategically limited because of Euro-American and (neo)liberal structural and symbolic ontologies/epistemologies that inform them as categories and reference points.

Decolonization and Re-Indigenization

On the other hand, and unlike the former progressive and liberal-leftist movement trajectories, decolonization does not rely on the seizure of nation-state power at all. Rather, decolonization is grounded in relationship to a biodiverse project of grounded reliving on the land where we relearn how to dream, walk, feel, speak, listen, act, love, disagree, eat, seek shelter, identify and relate to each other and nonhuman life differently as a symbiotic community. Decolonization, unlike European Marxist-leftist-socialist trajectories (which many perceive as radical), does not anthropomorphize land or conceives and treats it as property. In this sense, decolonization seeks to transcend Western ‘empowering’ international neo-development militarized projects and (neo)liberal ecological environmentalism. Moreover, decolonization is an inherently communitarian spiritual act – unlike the majority of European Anarchist trajectories that condemn, in particular, what all monotheistic religions, faiths, and spiritualities claim, based on their myopic experiences mostly with Western-interpreted imperialist/colonialist Christianities.

At least according to Islam, religion (n), faith (n), and spirituality (ruhaniya) – are three interrelated non-individualist and distinct communitarian concepts. Islam acknowledges that over 124,000 prophets have been sent to different tribes and nations since creation so that we may, as the Qur’anic verse 49:13 states, “get to know one another” and vie with one another in ethical-political responsibilities towards each other and nonhuman life. Separately and collectively all three concepts have been historically used across space/time by all peoples and societies to uphold liberation and social justice, but also to suppress it. Far from it, decolonization does not assume that we are pure nor is it concerned with us becoming romanticized tree-hugging hippies. It does not involve a ‘return to innocence’ or our deference to romanticized and righteous notions of the past. Rather, what decolonization demands is that we distinguish between general moral dictums and ethical practices and therefore recognize that although the latter are derivatively related to the former they are always contingent on spatial/temporal contexts. Abstract moral dictums such as ‘though shall not kill’ are suspended in an ethical situation in which our lives and lands are under imminent threat of life and death. In this sense, decolonization necessitates that we extract ethical-political and spiritual non-authoritarian and non-capitalist (etc.) concepts and practices from our pre-modern spiritual and cultural paradigms to project their contextualized application relative to land in the present-future. The perception that returning to and learning from the land as primitive is based on our colonial internalization of modern European logics of ‘civilization’, ‘culture’, ‘sexuality’, ‘progress’, ‘liberation’, ‘renaissance’, ‘development’, ‘decadence’, as well as the contemporary non-existent division between the ‘private/public’. The last is especially true in a post-9/11 Snowden age in which we are all digitally constructed, surveilled, mined, and harvested online through cameras on our laptops, televisions and smart phones. Those of us most threatening and high on the radical matrix are those of us decolonially capable of cogently ethical-politically and spiritually interlinking struggles and constructing alternative histories and narratives.

Despite similarities and distinctions between the settler-colonial contexts of Turtle Island and Palestine, diasporic Muslim POC must adopt Palestine as an ethical-political compass from which to orient our activist responsibilities towards Indigenous and Black peoples in the U.S./Canada. This is not only vital because decolonization is a spiritual act. Rather, it is also crucial because of Palestine’s historical and spiritual significance to Muslims since Islam’s dawn and arguably prior to it becoming the site of an ongoing Western Crusading war in the Middle East from the pre-modern period to the present moment. Palestine and Jerusalem (al-quds) served as the initial qibla (direction) that Muslims prayed to, and is now regarded as the third holiest site to Muslims, following the first (Mecca, which Muslims since pray to) as well as the second sacred site (Medina). Albeit a pan-Arab cause, liberating Palestine is more threateningly potent as a pan-Islamic conviction. After all, while the former cause orbits around 420 million Arabs (a racial/ethnic identity that includes Eastern Christians, Druze, Muslims, Jews, and Bedouins), the latter implies engaging 1.8 billion Muslims who circularly revolve around a spiritual signifier Islam (that ultimately seeks to transcend all identity politics). Neither figures include transnational allies across the world, affected by the Non-Aligned Movement and the Bandung Conferences’ spirit, that continue to believe in Palestine as a just ideal and necessary struggle. While pan-Arabism and pan-Islamism are not necessarily opposing dualities, they are evoked here to highlight the essentialist limitations and potentials of both in light of issues in each like: On the one hand, Arab Supremacy, and on the other hand, Sunni exceptionalism. Both pan-Arabism and pan-Islamism are contingent on how one ultimately interprets the identities Arab and Muslim or Islam, given how (neo)liberalism has affected their understandings as well as how the West has long sought to divide and conquer both by inciting and exploiting racial/ethnic and sectarian divisions within each. However, as noted earlier, Islam’s exceptional power and transcendental appeal, unlike the identity Arab, is that it ideally revolves around the non-identitarian global message and bond of spirituality, which is a fundamental tenant of decolonization that cannot be dismissed. This is particularly the case, when one Islamically expands the definition of who and what is a spiritual believer to depend on the ethical-political commitments and practices we all follow despite our diverse traditions and paths to the same Creator and in relation to (non)human life. In this sense, it is irrelevant from a Qur’anic perspective and as I argued elsewhere, whether or not individuals and communities explicitly identify as Muslim or not. Besides the Qur’anic injunction that there “is no compulsion in religion”, in numerous verses as 2:251, 7:56, 7:74, 8:73, 11:116, 12:73, 13:25, 26:152, 27:48 and 47:22 etc., the Qur’an explicitly describes disbelievers, amongst many other facets, as those who dabble in “excess”, uphold “injustice”, spread “mischief” and “corrupt the earth”.

It is not only vital that we understand the importance of spiritually decolonizing urban and rural spaces and hence the vitality of land to liberation. Rather, decolonization also (further) involves a violent unsettling of everything that ‘cultures of whiteness’ and their ‘civilizational progressive’ values ushered in. This, in fact, constitutes most of the presuppositions you and I know of our entwined colonially fractured histories and present identity crises. Decolonization involves unavoidable violence in the unmaking of our own liberal-constructed identities and the subjugation of each other, especially as Indigenous, Black people and POC. This includes our reenactment of an ‘Oppression Olympics’ between us such that we are no longer endlessly pitted against one another because as colonized Indigenous, Black and POC communities we ought to be natural allies. Therefore, decolonization is an active (not reactive colonial) act – which amongst many elemental pillars entails dismantling competitions of oppression we play as Indigenous, Black people and POC relative to each other as to who is more marginalized.

Decolonization demands that we recognize our species’ creative and unfathomable feats yet also our disposability, finiteness and insignificance. Killing/murdering the Creator and crowning ourselves as omnipotent is not a solution, as that does not disappear a dead God’s space or power-vacuum. Rather, it transforms us all into demagogues vying for the usurpation of that space and power relative to nonhuman life, as the example of the initial 18 days of the January 2011 Tahrir Uprisings uniquely proved. Given Egypt’s complicity in the Zionist occupation of Palestine, dethroning the pharaoh Hosni Mubarak – who at this moment is out of prison – was not the real struggle. After all, Mubarak has since been replaced by Mohamed Morsi (presently incarcerated) and now, in exchange, the ever more ruthless-military-junta of a dictator Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi who makes Mubarak’s 30 year reign seem like a horizon less utopia. Rather, the real struggle has always been how Egyptians (and perhaps others all over the world) can permanently (given the analysis above) sustain the decolonial, horizontalist, momentum of non-authoritarian and non-materialist, as well as anti-colonial and anti-imperial, organizing to make the capitalist nation-state totally irrelevant regionally and transnationally. Although during the initial Tahrir Uprisings, Egyptians were united under the false banner of nationalism that camouflaged ethical-political, ethnic, gendered, and spiritual, factional differences between them, they also offered a hopeful glimpse of an alternative spirit and world that manifested in innovated initiatives they incepted. Examples of these include: al-lijan al-sha’biyah (or ‘popular assemblies’), neighborhood councils, security checks points (given, that over 99 police stations were burnt to the ground), the sharing of necessary food and shelter (while sleeping and living on what are and should have always been a people’s public streets and squares).

As such, decolonization centrally entails the embrace of a politics of responsibility and accountability (not a capitalist nation-state politics of citizenship rights) to (non)human life. As a participant in the Egyptian uprisings who has been and is involved with radical Indigenous, Black and people of color movements in settler-colonial US/Canada, as well as the Global South, and as a radical non-statist and non-capitalist Muslim, I am disinterested in reactionary colonized responses manifesting in neo-conservative movements such as ISIS/Al-Qaeda/the Muslim Brotherhood. As an unapologetic ‘Islamist’ – a European term that relies on the presumptive Western segregation and compartmentalization of spirituality from politics – I am also equally disinterested and oppose the neo-orientalist integration of myself to fit European worldly capitalist nation-state paradigms.

Decolonization demands that we do not engage in self-righteousness and acknowledge that we are all authoritarians and capitalists. This is even true when we are radically and decolonially seeking to dismantle and construct alternative ethical-political paradigms to capitalist nation-state archetypes. Hence we must recognize the difference between polemical anti-authoritarian and anti-capitalist rhetoric and the actual extraction and application of non-authoritarian and non-capitalist land-based concepts and practices in constructing a different world with others. Decolonization’s non-and-anti-statist and non-and-anti-capitalist foundations then inherently and explicitly mean the dissolution of settler-colonial America and Canada, and in this context, an ever return to Turtle Island. If decolonization revolves around undoing oppression and capitalist nation-state structures that sustain it, then reindigenization is the act of re-imaginatively and practically recreating an alternative world through the non-authoritarian, non-materialist, non-individualist, gender egalitarian, socially just commitments and responsibilities we retrieved from our cultures and spiritualities and that we are now collectively applying towards a distinct pluriverse world. These alternatives, to say the least, include: 1) Holistic understandings of transformative justice (towards dismantling incarcerating prison industrial complexes); 2) Healing (in unmaking the biomedical and pharmaceutical industrial complexes); as well as 3) Ethical frameworks of hospitality and conflict resolution towards mitigating our disagreements relative to each other when and should they arrive (in Islam, these are referred to as Usul al-Diyafa and Usul al-Ikhtilaf).

In this historical moment, it is therefore rather disheartening to see old and new generations defer to institutionalized social democrats and professionalized liberal-leftist-political positions that actually dilute and pollute the potential for a more radical politics – and yet that are adopted as the barometer for ‘social change’ and ‘revolutionary activism’. As I noted in the beginning, I am referring to social movements as that of Bernie Sanders, who voted for the Jerusalem Bill and broad and dangerous legislations as FOSTA/SESTA, and stands against BDS, is inadequate at best regarding gender, racial and sexual politics, and ultimately believes in U.S. settler-colonial closed borders. But also now and equally responsible, are others, as new democratic Congress womyn Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, as well as Alexandra Oscaio Cortez who not only unapologetically insist on a colonial ‘American’ identity but are also encouraging support for the so-called ‘Green New Deal’. Within it, Cortez and the deal’s architects pay empty reconciliatory lip-service acknowledgement to Indigenous land and peoples. They claim that the new social contract, that is being compared with the Moon-landing and dubbed after Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Industrial New Deal, will: “Obtain […] the free, prior, and informed consent of [I]ndigenous people for all decisions that affect [I]ndigenous people and their traditional territories, honoring all treaties and agreements with indigenous people, and protecting and enforcing the sovereignty and land rights of [I]ndigenous people”. This statement alone is evidence of (neo)liberalism’s destructive affect and naïve as well as persistent permeation into all our politics. It demonstrates that Cortez and her supporters are either confused or do not comprehend the implications of their own statements and political stances. Though they certainly are not monolithic, still, decolonial Indigenous conceptualizations of sovereignty, self-determination, and nationhood are fundamentally antithetical and irreconcilable with not only capitalism but also nation-state paradigms and hence oppose the paternalism and stewardship of both parents. The rhetorical words of these congressional politicians and forthcoming policies blatantly ignore that all of America is stolen Indigenous land that must be immediately rematriated and repatriated. This especially holds weight if the over 500 broken treaties, as the Green New Deal insists, are to be finally applied after over 500 years of post-Colombian unbaiting reigns of terror, enslavement, and settlement.

It is this (neo)liberalism imbued within these alleged reconciliations, and other colonially contrived identities, that is deeply troublesome. It sustains both settler-colonialism and America’s imperialist aspirations in franchise or so-called postcolonial societies like Egypt. It also further geopolitically normalizes Palestinian occupation as well as distracts attention from the local and transnational decolonial work, some of us are engaged in, that concerns undoing the colonial/imperial perils of European modernity.

Decolonization and reindigenization mean that diasporic POC Muslims must embrace the full responsibilities and struggles that arrive with the Islamic terms – hijra (migration) and the Medina Charter. Muslims engaged in two early migrations over 1439 years ago during Prophet Muhammad’s time. The first was from Mecca to Abyssinia where they were protected and offered safe-haven by the Christian King Negus, who later converted to Islam, while, the second, was to the Ansar (the Helpers) of Medina. Diasporic POC Muslims in settler-colonies as the US/Canada (and even others across the Pacific like New Zealand and Australia) cannot sanctimoniously claim to speak for the liberation of Palestine without recognizing that the Indigenous land they now stand and breathe on must be fully rematriated and repatriated to Indigenous peoples. This is the measure of ‘victory’ as opposed squabbling over Empire’s scraps and spoils through electoral-representative ‘democratic’ systems in midterm and presidential elections that will supposedly usher in a just society and worldly liberation for us all. This is particularly critical in a defining moment in which innumerable peoples are concerned with a decaying globe, which our existence relies on, and that has its own timetable, in light of what we have collectively squandered, raped and pillaged of it. Decolonization further means moving radically beyond Ta-Nehsi Coates’ white-European Zionist framework for reparations. Coates’ schema and logic denies Indigenous deposition and nonsensically relies on a capitalist insurance tabulate of dollar cent figures in the devalued redressing of human misery, shackling and death, which no price tag can be assigned to. What of after-life reparations to the ongoing slavery enacted through Stand-Your-Ground laws, police brutality and premeditated extrajudicial killings, routine ‘Stop and Frisk’ programs, ‘Policies of Broken Windows’, voter disenfranchisement, and a shattered criminal justice system? What reparations can recompense for racial capitalism as well as School-to-Prison pipelines, impoverishment and premature deaths, 1994 Crime bills that Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders voted for and that superfluously target and incarcerate Black youth who are referred to as ‘thugs’ and ‘super-predators’? What of reparations to Mexican-Americans, deprived by the Mexican-American war of the right to migrate into what was then half of their former nation? What of Japanese Americans, interned during World War II and Chinese Americans and their sufferings under the Oriental Exclusion Acts? Rather, in this instance, decolonization ought mean following the lead of nascent movements as the Dream-Defenders in linking Black and Indigenous struggles to Palestinian liberation. There is no free Palestine from the River to the Sea till Indigenous and Black peoples are liberated of settler-colonialism here in the US/Canada and vice versa.

On Solidarity & Ally-ship

As for ‘allies’ of European descent it must be understood that – as Indigenous, Blacks, Muslims and POC – we continue to be exposed to physical, cultural, mental, and spiritual pathological torture, in part, through compartmentalized European neoliberal academic knowledge systems. These include prejudicial and conventional Eurocentric fields of study that masquerade as universal knowledges, like: anthropology, history sociology, art, engineering, agricultural and physical sciences, as well as medicine and venerated individualist discourses as psychoanalysis. These compartmentalized discourses are ontologically/epistemologically ill-suited, narrow, and incongruent with the communitarian, sophisticated and de-segregated knowledge systems of Indigenous, Black and POC ways of life, oral traditions, stories, analyses, and narratives, that all too often are cast by the West as ‘myths’, ‘superstitious’ and ‘non-scientific’. However, to us, our knowledge systems are multiple, collaborative, and accumulative living memories that are intensely embedded in cosmological, cultural and spiritual land based techniques, skills, value-systems, and ways of knowing, which as minorities we are collectively seeking to reclaim and reinvent through reindigenization.

Moreover, European allies must comprehend the extent of power and privilege they possess when as Indigenous, Black people and POC we have been weaned to resent ourselves, our spiritualities and skin color, and to engage in the reactionary neoconservative/neoorientalist politics described above. We are born aspiring to the humanity of whites and whiteness even before recognizing our own dehumanization as Indigenous, Black people and POC. We are expected to shoulder magnanimous responsibilities of learning to tone police ourselves, to educate you – as European allies – on our struggles while also unlearning, re-binding and re-teaching our own Indigenous, Black, Muslim and POC communities. We are expected to conform to writing legibly, linearly, coherently, rationally, nonviolently, in order to be taken seriously or otherwise risk being pegged as engaging in so-called ‘reverse racism’. Or worse, reinforce the perception that we are engaged in ranting and raging diatribes that reinforce our eviction and casting as angry, savage, lunatics, despite our life and death struggles for existence presently exemplified in movements like Black Lives Matter, Idle No More, and No DAPL and multiplicitous others. We are expected to learn European languages, sciences, medicines, architecture, technologies, humanities, gender, queer, poststructuralist political philosophies and social movement theories that are privileged over our own mother tongues, and cultural and spiritual ways of life. We shoulder these enormous burdens and more without necessarily similarly witnessing the reciprocation of that accountability and responsibility from the end of Euro-American allies. Moreover, when Euro-American ally ship finally arrives, if it genuinely does, it is restricted to some struggles of ours at the expensive cost of others without the responsibility of their interlinking. This occurs despite Euro-American complicity in not just settler-colonialism, but rather imperialism, neoliberalism, global orientalism, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism etc. In turn, it is troubling to witness the hesitancy of Euro-American allies, if not their limitation and outright refusal of fully embracing what decolonization fundamentally entails, despite that it ought, as an earthquake, violently unsettle us all at the levels of the reconfiguration of our identities, responsibilities, notions of home and belongings. This does not mean that Euro-American allies lead or usurp decolonization/reindigenization either. It is ours to strategize, and theirs to engage, partake-in and support, even if that entails placing their bodies on the line for us, as ours have been all along and continue to be. And yet, as Indigenous, Black people and POC we stand tall, head up, shoulders broad, and rise resurgent, despite the indignity and disrespect we receive. Even when Euro-American allies polemically espouse more radical non-statist and non-capitalist social movement trajectories, beyond the reformist liberal-progressive agendas described above, it is often the case that they constrain their own responsibilities and homework. For instance, when they delimit their activism, teaching, and scholarly citation trails to European literatures that suite their philosophical debates, fragile egos, guilt and comfort as well as the empty darkness of their own conceits.

A general example that demonstrates the type of ally ship and solidarity we resent is one that ends up exacerbating the distrust and fruitless solidarities existing between us. For instance, when a straw-person European scholar/activist who espouses ‘radical’ anarchist politics decides to become a new Muslim revert/convert, and then proceeds to anthropologically mine Islam in order to publish book after book and does so quickly as a savoir-messiah without having adequately engaged Islamic methodologies, learned Arabic, or even acknowledged their own position or responsibilities as a settler and their complicity in settler-colonialism. This is done under the presumption (perhaps) that their conversion to Islam whitewashes their local anti-Indigenous and anti-Black as well as transnational collusions, not recognizing that this race to innocence is, in fact, anti if not blatantly un-Islamic and devalues the Creator's teachings and word. Unlike disenfranchised Muslim POC, and apart from when these white reverts/converts change their European names and orientally don Muslim garb to reflect their newly found Muslim identities, the color of their skin and the politics of citizenships – that document their original Euro-Americans places of birth – shields them from daily outing and scrutiny. Their whiteness shelters them from being interrogated for hours, if not days, and humiliated as we are stripped naked as anything birthed in airports and are archived on Terror Watch-Lists. Similarly, Euro-American allies cannot continue deploying ornamental usages of intersectionality without understanding that in the absence of a decolonial/anti-colonial/and anti-imperial framework in their analyses, their narrative is, in fact, rendered toothless. Euro-American allies cannot continue to teach gender and queer theories without engaging Indigenous and radical Black feminisms as well as Two-Spirit, queer Indigenous, queer Black, and queer of color critiques, especially when the former discourses center settler-colonialism. Empire’s settler-colonialism informs the very context in which all theories must be applied and the trajectory in which social movements are mobilized relative to both local struggles and similar resistances worldwide.

As I have argued elsewhere and ask rhetorically, if, I believe that Islam is inherently anarchistic, feminist, queer, and emphasizes social justice (etc.) on what grounds am I, to no avail, obligated to endlessly identify using modern terms as Muslim anarchist or Muslim feminist, as a precondition for solidarity with Euro-American others who are dismissive of them. Yet, I am required to justify my own existence to white gazes (and POC affected by them). The strict reason I continue to do it is as a tactic is to undo stereotypes and open foreclosed conversations on the ground (i.e. the grassroots). I do it to facilitate cross-disciplinary knowledge and social movement deliberations, not to convince you – as Euro-American allies – or assimilate into your paradigms without engagement; I said the question was rhetorical. White allies ought to reflect on the innumerable consequences of similar actions as these that they participate in and that further entrenches colonialism, imperialism, neoliberalism and misery, if they indeed value and are serious about being regarded as true allies that are worthy of our trust, which is not implicit because they are ‘activists’. Activism is not an institutionalized or armchair job that we practice when convenient and in the comfort of our homes. For us – Indigenous, Black people and POC – it is our life because our daily collective survival, resistance and existence in this war, is contingent upon it.

In the end, our entire species capitulates to European values and ‘cultures of whiteness’. In turn, the only decolonial and collective way out for us given how we have all embraced identities that have been affected by liberalism is to recognize that what ought matter is not simplistic notions of whether one is white, a POC, Indigenous, Black, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, anarchist, Marxist, feminist or queer etc. Rather, what should always take precedence over these modern-liberal reconfigured identities are the strategic ethical-political commitments and responsibilities that ought to inform them given our distinctive positionalities. This is especially the case given liberalism’s destructive legacy on all our identity formations. In other words, being a Muslim does not inherently make you a member of a community striving towards decolonization and reindigenization. Similarly, just because one is racially/ethnically white does not implicitly or explicitly imply that you are a hostile foe either. Rather, what is more important is our individual and collective owning up to our ethical-political commitments because of the responsibilities arriving with our privileges, in light of our differentially distinct and yet mutually constituted locations of resistance. Ally-ship will always be conditional on fulfilling in action specific ethical-political commitments, just as one would not open their door and offer unconditional hospitality to a rapist, misogynist or a white supremacist. After all, we do not live in a colorblind or feminist world. However, if we wish to achieve that transcendental horizon then those of us occupying exceptional sites of power must consistently earn the confidence of those who are far less privileged and dispossessed. We do so by making room for the amplification of the latter’s already existing resistance and agency that is often enough drowned, marginalized, and silenced by more privileged voices. That is what sharing privilege is, because guilt re-centers the privileged without obligating their accountability and responsibility and therefore never benefits the oppressor or oppressed. It is for this reason that our notion of liberation cannot come at the exacted price of someone else’s subjugation and domination, because none of us are free till we all are.

Conclusion

In concluding, as a species, decolonial horizons are hindered by the fact that none of us are willing to sacrifice what is direly necessary today for the promise of a seemingly impossible yet possible tomorrow. So, instead, we consume more numbing T.V. shows, more video games simulating violence, more movies with Hollywoodian characterizations of love, more industrial processed foods disconnecting us from land. We are all on board a sinking titanic-ship called ‘progress’ and though we can all see the icebergs, we are steering for them anyways. Come closer to my lips and let us get this in our heads: Enough of trying to rescue and save Empire. It is finally collapsing and there is nothing we can do to rescue it, besides decolonizing and reindigenizing while hoping that it is not too late for our species, and thank the Creator for that! Enough with the ahistorical revisionism and historical amnesia! Enough with militarized patriotism and paternalistic cis-heteropatriarchal colonial understandings of nationalism and let us proceed to educate ourselves regarding what we fear encountering and have abdicated our collective responsibilities towards. Let us read, read, and listen, listen, listen, and then read some more, before we act, or even move our overzealous lips and tongues because possessing both does not entitle us to speech. Now is a time of treason and an opportunity for all of us to betray our collusive imperial/colonial nation-states, and anything less than that transforms us into traitors after a forsaken rhetorical and polemical cause called liberation, nothing more. As Indigenous, Black people and POC, we already have enough Red, Black and Brown skinned traitors in our communities who wear white masks and strive towards European values and ‘cultures of whiteness’. They have waged WAR upon us and seek the eradication of our ways of becoming and belonging since before we were even born and were severed from our mothers and grandmothers’ umbilical cords into this schizophrenic world with all its ill-reckonings and possible militant joys. Our warriors and veterans ought not be attention-seeking celebrity clowns on CNN and Fox, on Twitter, Youtube, and Facebook, nor ought they have Hollywood’s support and they certainly are not on the cover of Rolling Stone or listed amongst the 500 most influential Muslims. Rather they are the silenced and unsung everyday inspirers of our existence who are on the front lines of Great Gazan Marches of Return, Ferguson, and Unist’ot’en Camps and who never compromise their ethical-political spiritual compasses. They are from the bosom and as an extension of visionaries like: Fadwa Tuqan, Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, Frantz Fanon, Kwame Nkrumah, Bhagat Singh, al-Muntabbi, Shakir al-Sayyib, Abdul Qadir Gilani, Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Red Cloud, Geronimo, the Panthers, the Zapatistas, and many, many, more. Tell me again how it might be, while others and I tell it how it is – having learned and continuing to from mountainous legacies and living icons that never perished and on whose shoulders we stand. Enough self-congratulatory praise for celebrity activists on account of what actually is unneeded, un-praiseworthy, and unnecessary settler-colonial games of assimilationist congressional ‘accomplishments’ and debilitating accommodationist, Band-Aid, solutions.

Whatever happens I leave it all to the Creator, be it the disheartening heartache or the fame and fortune that we are all running after and living hungry for. As a wandering-traveler on this land, I will continue learning until I soon turn the corner in that rite of passage from which there is no escape and that is written upon us all. Till then, the satirical show goes on. As with all I write, whatever benefit is from the Creator and those who taught, sacrificed, and laid the paths I now journey upon. As for the shortcomings, they are mine alone.

*The strategic choice to not cite 10-20 activist-scholarships for every argumentative point made is not beyond me. Rather, it’s a decision I made so as to not overwhelm the text or deter an ostensible public audience, for now, from reading and engagement.


written by:Mohamed Abdou (aka/pseudonym: Mohamed ‘Jean Veneuse’)

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“founded on supremacist Enlightenment values”
“In the end, our entire species capitulates to European values and ‘cultures of whiteness’”

So the source of social problems is... VALUES and CULTURE?

If we have the RIGHT VALUES then we'll have a fair society?

What a load of idealist bullshit.

Agreed on these points: the global system of colonialism/neocolonialism is coextensive with capitalism; capitalism and nation-state are coextensive; fascism is a mass psychology and is encouraged (sometimes ambivalently) by capitalism and the nation-state; projects which use the state for radical reforms are not radical enough because they don't challenge the basic logic of the state (though I would add: some have more damaging effects, some more helpful ones); liberal identity politics is part of capitalist legitimation (this article is also idpol IMO).

Where I disagree is the alternative which is offered.

This is by now a depressingly familiar vision. Buzzwords. “Values” as the problem. Fixation on categories of people. Reduction of people to positionalities (not unique individuals). Exaggeration of the power of ALL white people, without class distinction. Responsibility, not rights or will. Humiliation/humility of individuals. No outside of the system. Identity politics which claims it is not identity politics but something else (yet keeps quacking like identity politics). Vague targeting of ontologically unspecifiable spook-enemies like “modernity” and “cisheteronormativity”. Derridean/Levinasian ethics (“hospitality”, non-self-sufficiency, etc). Glorification of lack, vulnerability, powerlessness. No individual will or ethos – instead, an outsourcing of moral agency to systemic-level categories. A sadistic desire to knock down others' “fragile egos” in the imagination that this is somehow knocking down the social system. A “mass psychology”, a politics of desire, in which the only libidinal hooks are either masochistic (performances of humility, awe at “something greater”...) or sadistic (the endless bashing-down of others' egos; the unproductive acting-out of anger against whichever random white people or slightly-differently-oriented radicals get in your way). An exercise in sado-masochistic power-play, disguised as radical politics.

The entire perspective is lifted DIRECTLY from EUROPEAN philosophical writings such as Derrida, Levinas and Lacan, filtered through the homogenising meat-grinder of American cultural studies departments, and repackaged as several dozen “different” theories which just happen to have THE SAME ROOT ASSUMPTIONS and THE SAME POLITICAL IMPLICATIONS.

And this entire pseudo-radical perspective plays the vital counterinsurgency role for capital, of BLOCKING the emergence of any really threatening radical position, or any position which even marginally challenges capital's hold on power – whether this be anarchy, left-anarchism, Marxism, social-democracy, deep ecology, “hippy tree-hugging”, or even “purist” versions of identity politics.

Hence the energy which is constantly expanded ATTACKING anything which emerges “to the left” of such perspectives – or, alternatively, recuperating it into the empty-signifiers of academic poststructuralism itself (“what we're doing is anarchism because we're subverting the state, even though we don't believe the state can be overthrown or destroyed and we think it's dangerous and arrogant to even try...”)

First public secret: THE PROBLEMS OF CAPITALISM HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH VALUES OR CULTURE.

Put people in miserable conditions, like rats in a cage, of course they will not show “values”. People start showing “values” only once they're living autonomously.

Capitalism has been dressing up socioeconomic problems as problems of “values” for centuries. The hegemony of capitalism in India and China rests on the illusion that they can defy “the west” by clinging to “values” while adopting “modern” economics and politics. The New Right has always blamed the problems of capitalism on “culture” (dependency culture, gun culture, culture of entitlement, cultures of crime...) to evade structural causes and blame individuals. Before that, there was Puritanism, the Protestant Ethic, the temperance movement...

Capitalism evolves hand-in-hand with a kind of self-critique which attacks people for not being austere, productive, exploitable enough – and thus not part of the elect chosen few who will save the world. This trend coexists with the need to stimulate hedonistic consumption to generate market demand, and the two bounce off each other as the consumption and production ends of capitalism. When capitalism is in crisis and pushing austerity, the “moral” wing becomes particularly strong. Now actually, in an overproduction crisis (like we're in today), this isn't even the best approach from the system's point of view, because it continues depressing demand. But from a human point of view – it is nothing but sacrificing real people to the system's profits.

Values are only meaningful if they are part of an ethos which stems from desire, and which is actualised in material forms of life.

Communitarianism is a dangerous attack on individual freedom. Blair, Macron, Xi, Lee Kuan Yew are communitarians. Communitarianism means that nobody matters and anyone can be sacrificed for the common good. Most often, it is people who are different, who deviate from the norm, who are sacrificed. This is why communitarians have to attack the “ego”, favour “responsibilities” over “rights”, and seek to induce “humility” rather than assertiveness. Sheep can be slaughtered more easily if they're... well, sheepish.

Individual responsibility is nearly always a reactionary idea which blocks 1) real awareness of social causes of social problems and 2) the Stirnerian/Nietzschean critique of transcendent values. The only valid “responsibility” is existential, inner.

Look at historically, how Reagan and Thatcher blamed the poor for poverty, how neoliberals push “interventionist” homelessness policies which blame homelessness on lifestyle (drugs, transience, resistance to mental health treatment...) and deny support and attack groups like FNB because they want to “de-incentivise” homelessness; how invested the neoliberal project is in denying any relationship between poverty and crime (and how this denial fuels the prison-industrial complex and the re-enslavement of African-Americans); how everyone from the Trilateral Commission onwards blames the systemic failures of capitalism on bad values, “cultures of entitlement”... Is this not EXACTLY THE SAME attack on egos and individual freedom, in the name of “culture”, “values” and “communitarianism”, that the idpols are now pushing? Don't we also find EXACTLY THE SAME moralisation of social problems in alt-right attacks on liberalism, redistribution, multiculturalism and so on?

Even if we want these values – which I, for one, don't – then they only become possible once an appropriate political economy is in place. They have to be actualised through seizing the material possibilities to live by these values.

Vague talk of “decolonisation” is dangerous if it can't articulate a vision of an emancipated, non-colonised world. It too easily degenerates back into idpol and empty unprincipled side-taking.

Second public secret: THERE IS AN OUTSIDE.

The only thing stopping people from living in non-capitalist spaces is the system. Individuals are NOT responsible for this. Ought implies can.

The system is primarily socioeconomic and political. It does not exist in the depths of language. It does not shape people's subjectivities at such a level that their very identities are effects of the system. If it did, then change would most likely be impossible.

No, we are not all “capitalists” and “authoritarians”. Speak for yourself. Radicalism consists in creating an outside and speaking from it, as something else – not reducing everything to the same night where all cows are black.

Most likely, the outsides we build in practice are partial, incomplete. Better to focus on their status as prefigurations of another world, and not focus on their imperfections. The more we focus on imperfections, the more we convince ourselves that the problems are just too big to be overcome.

Third public secret: COUNTER-POWER IS EGO-ASSERTION.

Capitalism is not the same as ego.

Capitalism is “possessive individualism”. There are many other forms of ego (and of id, or desire – which Derrideans lump into ego). Ask yourself what you desire, how you'd like to live if there were no barriers. Is it compatible with capitalism? Is capitalism the main barrier to it?

The holist/Derridean/Buddhist style of anti-egoism actually uses the superego (guilt, “responsibility”, vulnerability, the “call of the Other”...) against the ego and the id. But the superego is just a part of the ego turned against itself. It is not something more basic. In fact – reading Reich closely – one finds the superego is part of the mass psychology of fascism.

Weakness is not strength. Even for “subalterns” (see James Scott for example – the performance of humility and internal subversion of dominant scripts is superficial; the offstage script is assertive, desire-led).

Counter-power comes from empowering, assertive agency. Not humility and passivity.

People who spend most of their time attacking their own or one another's egos, don't have the time or energy left to attack the system.

The Derridean cult of “disposability, finiteness and insignificance” is disempowering and quietistic. It repeats the know-your-place humility of religious forms of social control, from Catholicism to Buddhism. And it ignores the fact that every ethos, every value, is rooted in the self – because the world contains facts, not values.

Overcoming oppression is about overcoming lack. Not glorifying and absolutising it.

Oppression is about adapting people (and animals, ecologies, lifeworlds...) to systems. Liberation is about adapting systems to people (and animals, etc). Liberation is therefore about the ASSERTION of the id, and the mobilisation of the ego in support of the id – AGAINST the superego. THE OPPOSITE of the idpol approach.

Fourth public secret: EVERYONE IS MISERABLE, OPPRESSED, AND ALIENATED.

There are gross inequalities between bosses and workers, between workers and excluded “surplus population”, and among different groups within the division of labour (e.g. primary and secondary labour markets). Some of these inequalities are systemic. Others are forms of divide-and-rule. Still others, reflect concessions made to powerful social movements, or market advantages of certain sectors of workers.

But everyone living in capitalism – except for those who manage to seize back autonomy – is miserable, oppressed and alienated. Often, even the elite are miserable. Certainly the overwhelming majority are.

Telling miserable, oppressed, alienated people, some of whom are also materially very poor, that they are empowered and privileged, that they deserve to be made WORSE-off than they are, and that they need to feel very guilty about supposed advantages over which they have no control... is political suicide. Not to mention just plain factually wrong.

“Whiteness” is not some magic barrier which wards off the misery caused by the system. At most it's a structural distribution of risks and opportunities which are also partly random.

“Europeans” don't possess anything like as much “power and privilege” as these morons imagine. Most Europeans and white Americans feel just as disempowered as they do, and the more they insist that white people are only welcome in progressive spaces provided they start from guilt and self-abasement, the more they push the justified grievances of working-class white people in Nazi directions.

Colonisation is effect, not cause. Capitalism is about commodifying, before it is about “settler” versus “indigenous”. Most of the “settlers” were people driven from lands in countries like Ireland and Italy, by capitalists and landlords, or who fled poverty and unemployment, or political or racial persecution (e.g. Jews). Historically, indigenous paths are similar to deep ecology. Stateless societies, subsistence/needs-led and gift economies, ecological sustainability, intense practices including altered consciousness. Capitalism strips meaning from life, steals land, breaks down social connections, commodifies economies. Neo-indigeneity would have to involve rebuilding local networks of stateless living, non-capitalist economies (subsistence, gift, solidarity, petty commodity even), mutual aid networks, ways of meeting basic needs without using the market or state. The point is to rebuild indigeneity in this sense – regardless of the skin colour or origins of the people concerned.

Why does capital encourage idpol? Because idpol serves to channel radical energies in such a way as to KEEP THE PUBLIC SECRETS SECRET – and this is also why capital encourages the alt-right.

So basically – this looks like a radical critique of reformist democratic-socialism, but in reality, it's functionally part of the counterinsurgency project. It's a sectarian attack on a position MORE radical than its own, designed to bring the focus back to “values”, “culture” and ego-bashing, and thus to responses SAFE FOR CAPITAL.

Sanders and AOC are actually more progressive than this lack-fetishising, sectarian, idpol bullshit. They have the wrong ideas how to do things and what they want is nowhere near as radical as my own commitments, but at least they have visions for changing the world, they can speak to the alienation and oppression of the majority, they're proposing concrete changes which might make a difference.

Finally. Is Islamic liberation politics possible? Yes, go read Hakim Bey, and unread whichever Derrida clones you've been regurgitating.

You make some valid points, though in many parts where you misunderstand "decolonization". For example, you mention Derrida far more that what is merited given the discussion, he's not key reference point to the author of this piece, nor is it relevant in any part of the text.

The time frame when Derrida was trending in academia (specifically in California, in Berkeley in Culture departments) kind of coincides with the emerging of the "decolonial" network of professors/scholars, that includes people from around the world. Yet what they're on about has nothing to do with Derrida's text, and everything to do with reviving, reintroducing and inserting into academia, bodies of knowledge that were obscured or erased by westernized university, which teaches mainly about big-name authors of 5 european countries. They try to develop on the philosophical/aesthetic/etc. contributions of people whose culture was attempted to be erased and replaced by conquest.

In a world where the hegemonic cultures are the westernized variants, an academic project such as that could allow people to imagine different worlds outside of the parameters of all the philosophical baggage westernized education/academia inculcates in its subjects, which includes all the entangled systems of oppression, democracy, capitalism etc.

At the same time, the can be no such thing as "undoing" colonization, hence decolonization or decoloniality is a misnomer. Ever since before the conquest by the evangelist of christianity, indigenous peoples or people with other religions such as islam, people have posed opposition to being conquered, and resistance after being conquered or wiped out. As well as syncrestism (like adopting christianity and western culture/philosophies to argue their point that they were human and that they had souls and that it was bad that they should be enslaved and wiped out etc.) to dialogue and negotiate with their conquerors after conquest. And this was well before any repentant conqueror spoke for them, and made the case for their humanity. These writings and testimonies have been forgotten and lost to time, and the little that remain, in text form or oral, or living memory are being rescued. Yet it's being done by westernized academics/people, within a context of the hegemony of westernized cultures in common world-system/world-economy that is a continuation of the project of colonization/modernity.

I'm reluctant that a retelling of exterminated people's histories from academia can be weaponized against the current status quo, towards liberatory alternatives. Or even a retelling of the quoran or the bible. You have these "decolonial" academics arguing over such things like whether they should support/align themselves Maduro or Guaidó in venezuela. They're power hungry academics/ideologues fighting over their chance at the pulpit or podium. This author decries those who seek celebrity status through social media, yet leaves the spectacular relationship of academia and activism untouched. They propose a just colonization through pedagogy/education in the reverse direction, to "undo" the damage of centuries of colonization and colonialism.

P.S. When you say: "Sanders and AOC are actually more progressive than this lack-fetishising, sectarian, idpol bullshit. They have the wrong ideas how to do things and what they want is nowhere near as radical as my own commitments, but at least they have visions for changing the world, they can speak to the alienation and oppression of the majority, they're proposing concrete changes which might make a difference." you sound really silly. If that would've been your first paragraph, a wouldn't have read your long-ass comment at all.

The author doesn't reference Derrida (they rarely do) but the entire paradigm is very recognisable. All the bits in the “depressingly familiar vision” listed above are lifted straight from Derrida or other European poststructuralists – the fixation on categories, the ethics of responsibility, humility, no-outside, “modernity”, “hospitality”, glorification of lack, anti-egoism/attacking egos... it's textbook. So they might not MENTION Derrida (or Lacan or Foucault or their Anglophone crudifiers) but the underlying blueprint is obvious. Kinda like if he was going on about “dictatorship of the proletariat” and “dialectical materialism” you'd say he was a Marxist, even if he never mentioned Marx. I know very well that decolonial, Queer Theory, postcolonial theory etc like to pretend they aren't just applied poststructuralism. It is also a key tenet of Derridean theory that the same statement repeated from a different point of view is actually a different statement, and authorial intent is not relevant to repetitions – which perfectly authorises this kind of dissimulation or false consciousness by crypto-Derrideans. But I find it untenable that people JUST HAPPENED to arrive at THE EXACT SAME CONCLUSIONS that Derrida reached over 50 years ago, independently, from two dozen different non-western or subaltern (e.g. Queer, feminist...) traditions of thought, without basically lifting the whole thing from Derrida. Or that people coming independently from very different histories of oppression in very different reasons, just happen to spontaneously arrive at this foreshadowed set of ideas. Which leads me to the conclusion that they aren't deriving this stuff from non-western traditions at all – they're lifting it from Derrida and then passing it off as non-western, so as to insert themselves (and perhaps some Derrideanised remnants of their non-western traditions) into western academia. Crucial point: this is NOT a distinct indigenous or Southern point of view, it's an application of European theory which dresses itself up as distinct.

Once in academia, they replace readings of the big-name authors with readings of their own set of imitations of the big-name authors, saying very similar things, but from a “non-western” point of view (i.e. their own). They will read a standard subset of Derrida-clones like Spivak, Bhabha, Mignolo, Butler, etc – who in fact devote a great part of their word-count to references to European big-name authors. There is no big trend to study writers outside the European tradition, such as Black Elk or Confucius, Ibn Khaldun or Gandhi or Mao or Sankara, or classical Indian or Islamic writings, which fall outside the Derridean paradigm. There's an outright hostility to ethnography and anarcho-primitivism, and thus to any concrete evidence of non-western forms of thought. They might have students read for example Fanon or Said or Du Bois, but these are carefully contained in such a way that they are (wrongly) understood as Derridean. Anything outside the Derridean paradigm is either stamped-on or accepted on condition it be repackaged as Derridean. Witness the explosion of pieces discussing yoga, Sufism, Andean cosmology etc in Derridean terms, primarily as (internal) transgressions/deferrals of “modern reason” (as if this is why they exist! - itself a terrible Eurocentric reduction). In practice this often entails the Derridean academics – who control entire departments in areas like Education and Cultural Studies – being the ones who teach the students to focus on the big European texts (even if focused on their critique or repetition “from the margins”).

Does it allow people to imagine other worlds? No, because it only permits INTERNAL suspension of dominant norms. Anyone who closely reads Derrida, or any of his hangers-on, knows that he thinks radical change is IMPOSSIBLE. Read Force of Law for example. The utopian possibility of a just world is a kind of ideal horizon which by definition cannot be reached, but can be insinuated into actual systems of unjust power as a kind of internal subversion and endless questioning. There is absolutely no revolutionary possibility in this vision, in fact it denies the possibility of stateless society in advance. It's utterly reformist, in fact worse than reformist, it denies the possibility of both reforms and radical change (which is why I say it's worse than AOC/Sanders-style democratic socialism). Yet Derridean hangers-on repeat the entire paradigm without, apparently, realising this, and posture as the most radical, the most revolutionary. I have also found them super-sectarian down the years – they endlessly find reasons why every emergent alternative, every form of drop-out culture or counterculture, every partial autonomy in a particular field, every insurrection or revolt is “really” just another instance of modernity/white supremacy/patriarchy because it isn't absolutely 100% pure of capitalism and/or isn't 100% in accord with Derridean dogma. I can provide examples if you need them, articles on Bristol social centres and Greek riots and Canadian communes, attacks on Anonymous/Wikileaks, on Indymedia, on the Invisible Committee, on refugee solidarity and so on. Attacks which are absolutely destructive of the forms of desire and commitment which lead to radical action and radical change, and which echo the endless self-flagellation of medieval ascetics. Attacks which are warmly welcomed in academia, and which are creeping into activism via idpol.

Also, people aren't anywhere near as incapable of imagining other worlds to begin with, as the Derrideans pretend (because structuralists are wrong about the deep causality of language... even if people occasionally slip-up as regards unconscious racism or whatever, this does not prove that their ENTIRE STRUCTURE OF DESIRE is a product of modernity/racism). Autonomous social movements of the 60s-90s were quite capable of imagining other worlds; so are science fiction and fantasy writers. Derridean theory rests on a mind-trick of conning people into believing that any possible “outside” they can imagine is actually just a ruse or repetition of western modernity, so that actually they need to accept they can't imagine an outside, and then endlessly work on mastering the Derridean affective/spiritual stance so as to become capable of imagining an outside (without this ever really becoming possible). There is a professional interest in the role of being someone who “shows” how deep the power of modernity goes and “opens the space to imagine alternatives” - a professional interest which requires that the alternatives never be imagined. If it ever became possible or was realised, the Derrideans would be out of a job.

You say decolonisation is impossible, because pre-colonial cultures are already destroyed or hybridised etc... In which case, why go on about decolonisation at all? Why not instead focus on building worlds based on the desires people happen to have in the present – regardless of where they came from?

BTW you're completely wrong about this... not only are there still non-capitalist ways of life around the edges of capitalism which haven't been destroyed yet, but people constantly create new non-capitalist ways of life in social movements and practices of resistance. Capitalism/colonialism has a root in particular material socioeconomic relations of power – centralised state violence, money as universal equivalent, commodification/commodity fetish, atomisation and Spectacle. These forms of top-down power have to be reproduced every day and are vulnerable. They are not effects of the desires of the people on the receiving end; rather, they keep people passive and restrict their desires. Destroy these forms of top-down power (or create more powerful forms of bottom-up or horizontal power) and the whole machine falls apart. People would begin creating “outsides” right away, like they did in the 60s. Give it a few centuries and people would recreate non-capitalist ways of life with all the richness of those before. Whether people have residues or capitalist desire, or even whether some are outright bigots becomes irrelevant. Without centralised power and general equivalents, people can't impose their spooks on others. And all the endless self- and mutual flagellating about not being able to find a perfect non-capitalist desire in advance (because any such desire is predefined as impossible), and thus endlessly “unlearning” and “educating” and self-changing, is a barrier to the necessary work of smashing these systems of control. And if we're dwelling on who's (ontologically) a “settler” and who's not, or whether people are reproducing some marginal type of prejudice in their language or whatever, then we're NOT doing the far more important work of actually building alternatives among the people who are actually here, which lead BEYOND the present system.

You insist on your previous points, while not retracting any, you argumented them further, and managed to convince me, I mean this sincerely. Plus some of the things you add now are preaching to the choir (at least in my case, so it’s not a choir; a backup singer).

I’m sorry that you were subjected to, or subjected yourself to, reading Derrida, and suffer PTSD related to that traumatic event. I’m fortunate to have managed to dodge that bullet.

This comment of yours is almost an essay in itself, and I’m glad I read it. Thank you for sharing.

If anyone is interested in responding to it in a way that is just as thoughtful and thought provoking, I’ll gladly read it too.

@critic, sprinting so I can barely keep up as usual!

anon, you may have asked me awhile ago, "where do we go from here?" and here is probably the best answer I could give, better than I could give it. The beautiful idea as little gardens, hidden in the woods, literal or otherwise. Point is, there has to be the heroic attempts to realize some vision of the future, or else we're all just … pushing piles of ashes around.

PS Chasing a vision can be very dangerous, draws the vampire cult leader types like moths to a flame. YE BE WARNED

hey! >: ( ur not supposed to be able to pinpoint me under the guise of an anon! i could be anybody! anybody!

So text length is basically the factor to make you interested in reading comments at all. Okay, then letS, bring back Emile... but wait, @critic is...

pshh....tsk tsk tsk...not at all.

i read all comments, i have no life.

that's what gives you away ;)

“ I can provide examples if you need them, articles on Bristol social centres and Greek riots and Canadian communes, attacks on Anonymous/Wikileaks, on Indymedia, on the Invisible Committee, on refugee solidarity and so on. Attacks which are absolutely destructive of the forms of desire and commitment which lead to radical action and radical change, and which echo the endless self-flagellation of medieval ascetics. Attacks which are warmly welcomed in academia, and which are creeping into activism via idpol.”

I’d like to read these if it’s not too much of a bother.
I think your comment could be exapnded a bit to include the names and specific critiques of these authors/academics and be a nice more complete essay/zine directed against them.

Here’s a catchy title for it: “Deriding Derridians, Decommisoning Decolonials” XD

*pouts, and levitates away back to the faculty's ivory tower"

Greece: the Soula M chapter in this:
sro.sussex.ac.uk/10030/1/Occupied+London+-+Revolt+and+Crisis+in+Greece.pdf
(apparently feeling free during riots is evil and masculine, we should feel self-questioning and guilty instead)

Bristol:
https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.627951
(the valuing of things like resistance and knowledge is far too individualist for this one; a lot is made of the valuing of various kinds of "subjects", which is taken to be a bad thing)

Canada:
The limits of “radical democracy”: a gender analysis of “anarchist” activist collectives in Montreal
E Lagalisse - Altérités, 2010
(portrays a commune as sexist because people sometimes disagree with idpol statements; also suggests that housemates hugging is sexist among a wide range of bullshit)

Wikileaks:
https://www.southernperspectives.net/region/pacific/when-silence-must-be...
(uses Wikileaks as a hook for a piece attacking ideas of transparency in a completely different context)

Summit protests:
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14616742.2011.560039
(valuing action is macho)

Indymedia, Richardson chapter:
https://slideblast.com/sarai-reader-01-sarai-reader-02_594ca3891723dd7b7...
(presenting a definite anarchist point of view is "propaganda" and thus no different from mainstream media; apparently we should be more worried that some people in the Czech Republic don't approve of the Prague protests)

Invisible Committee:
https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/simon-critchley-mystical-anarchism
and part 2 of:
https://www.radicalphilosophy.com/commentary/the-war-against-pre-terrorism
(Critchley argues, bizarrely, that they are 'moralistic'; Toscano makes a range of similar comments attacking them for binarising)

refugee solidarity:
Squire, V. and Darling, J. (2013) “The 'Minor' Politics of Rightful Presence: Justice and relationality in City of Sanctuary”, International Political Sociology, 7(1): 59-74.
(they literally argue that a local group is racist because some elderly white women started making the coffee and this made a migrant who was doing it before, feel excluded, even though all the refugees they interviewed said the group was supportive and not like the wider racist culture)

Thank you! I will look into this.

@critic, I find your comments insightful as always, thanks for this. as someone who is also an @ academic, and personally stuck in a field where this trend is particularly noxious (I have the extreme displeasure of personally knowing some of the people you name-checked), I find these to be very clear critiques.

I am, however, a bit confused on this point about there being 'an outside,' as well as the notion that capitalism is strictly a top down affair; I understand the capitalist mode of production to be fundamentally based off of a 'rewiring' of the labor process, not simply an imposition onto otherwise neutral human creative activity. Perhaps these are minor quibbles. Could you clarify a bit? I'm thinking particularly about 'subsumption.' the parts of the world I spend a lot of time on and in (where academics idiotically debate whether they have 'become' capitalist or not) have massive levels of unemployment / informal employment / extreme internal migration. the argument goes something like 'well, these regions are actually outside of the capitalist productive process because a well functioning welfare state and its attendant ideological apparatuses never arrived, so these subalterns have an autonomous culture and way of relating to the world.' I understand this to be mostly a fusion of Gramscian bullshit with Derridean bullshit. I suspect you also find this particular formulation distasteful. Is the hinge for you that 'outside' is opened in actual acts of resistance? but perhaps i'm only stating my own position. there is then of course the issue of how to recognize 'real resistance.' (I have an easy test: its all fake until its not)

and just to pick up on something else you said, and sort of underline it in a slightly different way: 'culture' as a category of understanding, as well as a unified, er, social body called 'society' are 100000% products of the brutal restructuring of 'society' by capitalism (put differently: it only appeared humans were joined together in a particular way when the pieces were brought together and smashed apart at the same time). This isn't just a historical coincidence, it's a fundamental part of the conceptual structure of capitalism. i'm sure someone wants to argue (and basically all academics do) that 'culture' is a translation or a reference to some earlier 'thing' that we no longer have a name for, but for the reasons you have clearly outlined no one actually wants to look at what pre-modern people were saying to figure that out.

Thanks for your comments. Definitely food for thought here!

“Outsides” and “no-outsides” is a bit of a confusing quasi-academic debate. In the Derridean tradition “there is no outside to the text” (or “nothing outside the text” or somesuch... translations vary) which means discourse is a kind of unitary holistic field containing everything. The only source of novelty is the endless subversion of existing categories through reapplications – which, thankfully, is structurally empowered and necessary in the structure of language (every repetition of a statement makes it slightly different). The point is, no person or group can reject the existing text and set up something else instead, or choose between text A and text B based on some other criterion. If the text we're “given” is neoliberal capitalism then we have to work within neoliberal capitalism to reinflect its terms in non-neoliberal ways. This analysis leads to a strong aversion to antagonistic political tactics and to exodus/dropping-out. IMO it's based on an implicit position that everything is just a single holistic field without divisions, which uses the fact that there are causal links or interdependencies or relationships between things to deny that separate “things” exist at all (a la Emile). If someone's in the desert, they will usually say that they are “outside” or “not in” the forest or the city; a Derridean (if they were consistent) would reply “actually, you're still in the forest because you're breathing air which is purified by the forest, and you're still in the city because the desert is affected by urban pollution (or, because you bring your urban upbringing with you to the desert, etc)”. By the same token, an anarchist is “never really outside or against the state” because they are in a relationship (albeit antagonistic) with it, they think in terms of an anarchism-state binary which means the state exists in their head, they have a statist upbringing even if they reject it (which might still influence them in unconscious ways), and/or

Worse – for Derrideans, binaries themselves oppress, because they involve a “discursive violence” of excluding the other term (what is “forest” isn't “city”, what is “anarchist” isn't “state”...) and a hierarchical ranking which subordinates one term to the other.

In the Althusserian/Lacanian structuralist position which (e.g.) Spivak takes, people ARE in fact the things they are interpellated as, there is no self or desire prior to interpellation, first of all people are effects of social categories embedded in signifiers. This means it isn't possible to appeal to the self or desire as a basis for assessing or opposing the status quo; the self and desire will reproduce existing interpellations. (This isn't exactly what Althusser says, but it tends to be how he's read). Most of the people who adopt pomo/idpol idea-clusters adopt both of these (politically very unhelpful) axioms. These lead in practice to attempts by adherents of the pomo/idpol consensus to find minor flaws or unintended negative effects in anarchist movements/spaces/writings, and use these as leverage to suggest that anarchism is not really outside the dominant ideology, it is just another variety of modern liberal white-supremacist patriarchal common sense. These two positions, when combined, also lead to attacks on the “ego” (the idea of a separate self, the desire for power or knowledge or freedom), a hostile attitude to language which prevents adherents from arguing clearly, and an aversion to particular affects/emotions such as anger, joy, contentment, and self-righteousness (among others), which might be associated with being on the right side of a binary.

Just to complicate things – pomo/idpols don't generally believe that “there is no outside, therefore resistance is futile” - they believe that resistance always happens from the internal subversion of the dominant discourse, performed from its subordinate terms (usually the standard idpol oppressed groups such as POC, LGBTQ+ people, women, working-class people, etc). This looks a lot like an “outside” when they do it, but in fact they believe that this group is itself an effect of, or irreducibly contaminated by, the system it opposes – and therefore, its resistance is a kind of internal transgression which changes the system's meaning through a shift in the locus from which things are spoken (the crucial point being that a different positionality is speaking, not that what is SAID is necessarily any different). This is meant to subtly subvert the dominant discourse in ways which stop its binaries from working... from INSIDE these binaries. And of course the typical pomo/idpol is also totally self-contradictory and constantly uses strong binaries when they feel like it (remember that, if we apply it consistently, the Derridean logic means that there is “no outside” to fascism, antifa are always-already fascist, black people are themselves inside white supremacy and thus white supremacist, adopting the identity “woman” is discursive violence against men, etc). There's three go-to excuses for this inconsistency: 1) language is violence, but it is NECESSARY violence, 2) reversing the binary in some sense undermines the binary by undermining the privilege of the dominant term, 3) expecting logical consistency is itself an ego-desire for purity arising from modern reason which is what “we” are trying to undermine. So they're adding a couple of supplementary axioms to the basic “no-outside” rule: 1) we can SOUND very radical, so long as what we MEAN is “internal subversion from the underside”, and 2) we can BE very radical, so long as we do so inconsistently (and in the last instance, refer back to the Derridean ideology) – the more conscious and exhibitionist we are about this inconsistency, the better (e.g. “strategic essentialism”).

Anarchists and other radicals posit an “outside” whenever they refer to the system (capitalism, civilisation...) AGAINST something else, and posit this something-else as something other than the internal “other” or underside of the system. Spooks versus will. Capitalism versus communism (or anarcho-communism). Conforming versus dropping-out. Hidden transcripts versus public transcripts. Zones controlled by capital versus (temporary) autonomous zones. Autonomous proletarian agency versus alienated capitalist agency. Active desire versus repressed desire. Life, joy, love, activity, against the Spectacle, work, etc. Hunter-gatherer ways of life versus “civilisation”. “Raised” consciousness versus passive acceptance of the status quo. Insurrectional total refusal of the system versus the system itself. Unless the other term (the term which is not the system) is INTERNAL to it, there's an “outside” of some kind. Some radical theories believe the outside already exists and can just be pointed to. Some believe it is nascently in formation as something existing in hybrid combinations today, but which can become something distinct if it's developed (meaning the forms we actually find are not “pure” outsides). Some believe it's not possible today but it can be imagined and posited as something to desire, or realise in the future. Some use concepts (like desire, will, or consciousness) which appeal to something inside the self which, if activated, will lead outside the system. We see it in everyday practices and discourses quite a lot. The feeling of a riot as a moment of agency outside and against the system, when one rejects the system based on one's own values or desire. The feeling of living in autonomous zones as an “entirely different world”, even if only momentary. Even the feeling that a moment of mutual aid with a friend is a relief from the usual submersion in the system. Nearly all anarchists posit some kind of “outside” of this kind – and by Derridean rules we aren't allowed to do this. (BTW Marxism is somewhat ambiguous here, because it conceives the proletariat BOTH as the internal product and basis of capitalism AND as a revolutionary class which tends to develop beyond capitalism and create something else. Idpol/pomos often like the former aspect of Marxism and hate the latter).

There's a lot of different kinds of outsides. Some of the most common positions are: desire is not entirely contained within dominant discourses and can provide a basis for rejecting them entirely (Stirner, Deleuze/Guattari, Situationism, Reich, Bey); the dominant discourse always coexists with a substantially different position arising from subordinate groups, which can be articulated into an entire other perspective, particularly at times of insurrection (Marx, Gramsci, Open Marxism, Bakunin, James Scott, arguably insu); some particular existing or potential group is already outside or has a standpoint outside and is engaged in a radical antagonism with the system (arguably other kinds of insu, primmies/anti-civ, pre-90s idpol, some branches of Marxism); or everyday life is already split into elements which reproduce the system and elements which challenge it, or into two or more texts which subtly conflict (Kropotkin, Colin Ward, Scott again, Bey again). Crucially, all of these positions are axiomatically prohibited within the Derridean/pomo/idpol framework.

The position of poor people in parts of the world that capitalism or the state haven't fully subsumed, is a somewhat different one, but also IMO very important. And IMO there is a difference between something's being an “outside” and its being a progressive or desirable “outside”. Something can be (wholly or partially) outside the dominant capitalist regime without necessarily being liberated, non-oppressive, or even better than capitalism. So (say) a zone under puritanical jihadi rule might (or might not) delink from the world economy and therefore become an “outside” of a sort, but it's an “outside” based on reactive, alienated, dominatory forms of desire. Ditto a group of Nazis who reject the dominant system and adopt an insurrectionary stance. They build their own autonomous ideology but this ideology is itself reactive, dominatory, etc. There's never just two systems/visions but three, four, many... Not every outside is a good outside.

Agreed re culture – anthropologists studying stateless indigenous groups generally say something like, “they don't conceive any difference between society, economics, culture, etc” - and studies of bands in particular, suggest that the unifying force of bands does not come from a lost object or a binary antagonism, but from the strength of connections at the core of the band (a familiar observation in relation to anarchist groups). Presumably people have some sense of who is part of each group at a given time, but this might also be a very fluid idea. Anthropologists mostly translated local linguistic terms for “human beings” into names for particular groups. So, yes, the lack-based view of culture is itself an effect of capitalism/a depiction of what culture means within capitalism and not outside it. Again one of the notable aspects of the idpol/pomo consensus is the commitment to ontological or existential ideas of lack – the idea that alienation is in some way rooted in the human condition, as speaking subjects or whatever, RATHER THAN being a contingent and overthrowable effect of a particular social system.

THE SOLUTION THE SOLUTION THE SOLUTION!!!
too long, didn't read the solution.

There is none, and there never will be any solution, accept this and forget all Enlightenment and Utopian quests, they are merely intellectual eschatologies.
Rather, embrace the nihil-esque tendency, have no faith in the future and live for the day!

There's in here some piece of the same old batshit characterization of "Islam as the religion of the oppressed". According to these stats https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_by_country I'm counting no less than 45 countries that are Muslim-dominated (with a population consisting of over 2/3rd Muslims, most of them having actually over 3/4th). Several of these countries are also oil-based dictatorships run by ultra-rich Muslim royal families, included but not limited to the Saudi.

Now let's wonder why Islam has spread to as far as the south of the African continent, China, Eurasia and South-East Asia. Yes, some of it was due to the long-lasting presence of Islam among merchants, yet there's also the other part we often miss... that the caliphates (theocratic empires) and Ottoman sultanates were behind the imperialist spread of Islam, especially in Northern and North-Eastern Africa. There used to be a time when Arabs were more than just migrants, they were conquerors under the banner of the Crescent Moon.

"Pinkwashing is the Israeli state’s instrumentalization of LGBTQ-friendly images and rights for Zionists, with Euro-American collusion, which is then used to deflect attention from the Israeli settler-colonial occupation of what is deemed to be a ‘backward’ Palestine."

But "Palestine" IS backward. There's no single evidence of any of its "leadership" being as progressive as the Western Left is claiming them to be. Hamas is a reactionary, retrograde political organization led by brutal men who didn't yet understood separation of religion and State. PFLP and the Fatah may have displayed some more secular, Left-leaning tendency, yet how does it differs to the "Leftism" of the Assad dynasty, or Nasser's... I wonder. They also got a record of amalgamating their "struggle against Zionism" to bluntly attacking Synanogues.

I'll repeat it tirelessly... Palestinian nationalism is a product of Euro imperialism, may it be British. German, Russian or otherwise (now it appears to have more to do with Turkey's batshit Muslim dictatorship). Let's look deeper at those national constructs.... "Syria" and "Palestinia". Where do they come from, historically? The Roman Empire.

So let's throw that Palestine nationalism garbage to the trash where it belongs. 70 years of Israel-Palestininan conflict have proven that more nationalism only feeds more nationalism on the other side. Let's start with a clean-slate paradigm that avoids it altogether, for a change, and blurs the ethnic/racial bullshit force-fed through the 20th century, will ya?

Binarists will always conflate the real issues with their narrow Abrahamic Statist angst whilst ignoring the 500yr old European colonization of the Stateless Indigenous Earth hmm?
-SIE spokesperson

Reading that I know for sure you've never set foot in a Palestinian refugee camp

They're more anarchist than you

"clashes continued to escalate...[between] the PLO and [non-aligned] militant factions"

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/shaky-ceasefire-palestinian-refugee-c...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWTIMyWSC94

"Transnational Overthrow of the GLOBAL ZIONIST COLONIZATION is the Final Solution"

FTFY!

Strasserites will keep Strassering.

"These alternatives, to say the least, include: 1) Holistic understandings of transformative justice (towards dismantling incarcerating prison industrial complexes); 2) Healing (in unmaking the biomedical and pharmaceutical industrial complexes); as well as 3) Ethical frameworks of hospitality and conflict resolution towards mitigating our disagreements relative to each other when and should they arrive (in Islam, these are referred to as Usul al-Diyafa and Usul al-Ikhtilaf)."

Also known as "tiqqun olam", btw. But I know I know.. it's "JOOOOZ!"

"Fascism is encoded and entrenched within the very organizing skeleton that is the capitalist nation-state"

I find it also fascinating that such a supposed intellectual eminence with a PhD, who apparently gets instantly published here and on the library just because of some claimed anarchist pretenses, can spout such misinformed nonsense.

Fascists are known to be the Third Way, which is against both capitalism and the Left yet toward the restoration of an older authoritarian order, to militarism, and often to monarchism.

Fuck that Mohamed... typical BDS ideologue now trying to fool people against even feminism. Fucking regressive Left crap. Do people here need another well-reference text wall essay to get how this is bullshit Left Fascism?

Second, when these social movements claim they fear that Trump has ushered-in fascism, they are naively mistaking fascism for Totalitarianism. Totalitarianism imposes draconian order from above through force, be it via police repression, legislative and judicial power, or even national emergencies, imposed curfews, and military regimes. On the other hand, fascism constantly produces tyranny at the horizontal levels of the family, neighborhoods, schools, factories, hospitals etc where equality and equity can neither be guaranteed nor legislated."

NEWSFLASH: Fascism is totalitarian. What's the author's purpose of distinguishing the two. where there never was a cause for distinction in the first place? Fascism is brutal top-down power reified by also more horizontal coercion. Totaliratianism is horizontal coercion consolidating top-down, centralized power... So what's the use of this fake conceptual razor?

Such a poor intellect, with a high-profile job at one of Canada's top universities. This is telling of how affirmative action policies in academia is making it rot from the inside, allowing nothing short than openly Islamist ideologues to vomit their incoherent crap and tell revisionist history lessons about "Zionist Imperialism" to hordes of impressionable liberal trust-fund kids scholars who'll then join some solidarity boat to support Hamas, and bad-mouth everybody else who doesn't agree as "islamophobes". This is trash.

I mean … you do write with a pretty strong whiff of something? Zionism doesn't really require square quotes or claims to "revisionism" around its colonial project, it's plain as day.

I agree with you that the distinction between fascism and totalitarianism gets overblown but then again, I tend to agree with the people who argue that what gets called fascism is usually the rich counter-attacking against any popular calls for wealth redistro.

oh and academia isn't "rotting because of affirmative action", there's plenty of other, better reasons that don't sound like a dog whistle ;)

I didn't say that affirmative action is the only reason. Neoliberalism may be the deeper, more general cause. And AA is completely part of neoliberal politics. Favoring "visible minorities" in the context of charging ever-increasing tuition fees to students, which directly excludes vast swaths of the more precarious part of the population, is typical of these politics. Its aims are to create diversity within an elitist establishment (that the author above is an active member of... hence his LinkedIn profile).

What is also "plain as day" is how Palestine and Palestinian nationalism has developed as a product of Western imperialism, and its false opponent. You don't realize how that is important for the plethora of political Islamist groups to depict the events during and after WW2 in MP/Israel as acts of Jewish conquest. In parallel, Holocaust denial is also very rampant among these organizations, as this is the crappy historical education they got, where the Jewish refugees who came from Europe at the end of the war are presented as nothing but "invaders".

nice save...kinda

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