October 2021 Forums General discussion Anti-Extremism

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    Young Master Smeet

    Apparently, the government has just had this report on the potential for violent extremism from left wing sects:


    To reiterate, we see no evidence that sectarian groups on the British far left currently have the
    capacity or the inclination for direct organisational involvement in terror activities of any
    sort. But even without the connection to violent extremism, the revolutionary workerist
    ideology that such groups promote may from a certain point of view be considered extremist
    in and of itself, as it has the clear potential to damage political trust and to discourage
    individuals from taking part in more effective modes of civic engagement. The implication of
    the five statements that make up the revolutionary workerist inventory is that civilisation as it
    now exists is so irredeemably corrupt that the most valuable and authentic form of
    engagement with it is to seek its destruction and replacement. This is an anti-civic ideology
    promoted by groups that are characterised by extreme scepticism towards electoral
    democracy and the rule of law, and that devote themselves to interfering in civil society
    organisations for the sake of utopian long-term goals that will never be achieved.

    This is a technocrat view of things: I’d suggest if people abandon ‘civic engagement’ that’s because it generally isn’t effective for them.


    Just got round to reading this. There is practically nothing in the first 6 pages, describing the ideology of the groups studied, that we would disagree with. For instance:

    “Vanguardism is the core ideology of the sectarian far left. Most influentially expressed by Vladimir Lenin in What is to be done? (1988 [1902]), it is a belief system structured around the ambition to replace the current social, economic, and political system with ‘communism’. This is conceived as an ideal mode of existence in which there are no class differences, no state, and no market economy. Vanguardism is distinguished from related forms of radical left wing ideology by the idea that, while history inevitably moves towards communism, it will be able to reach that destination only after the workers have been led into a mass uprising by an elite cadre of professional revolutionaries, initiating a transitional phase known as ‘socialism’ or ‘the dictatorship of the proletariat’. Vanguardists do not take up arms against the state, because their long-term strategy is the weaponisation of the working class itself. They implicitly conceive contemporary society as a conspiracy against the workers (in contradiction of Marx; see Popper 1969, p. 125), and for that reason attempt conspiracies of their own: ultimately, to bring down the state and seize control of industry, but, in the shorter term, to take control of non-radical organisations in order to radicalise their members. There would appear to be a contradiction at the heart of vanguardism. Revolution is understood both as the predestined self-liberation of the working class and as achievable only through the intervention of an elite leadership. “

    They go on to discuss the vanguardists rather special definitions of “imperialism” and “fascism” and so of  “anti-imperialism” (basically anti-Americanism) and “anti-fascism”. Then follows the technical part of their research (analysis of replies to questionnaires, etc). The conclusion is that, although these groups are committed on paper to the violent overthrow of the capitalist state, this is just talk, and anyway is not shared by those more moderate leftwingers they seek to recruit. The danger (from the government’s point of view) is the ideological support given to anti-American and anti-Israel groups that do use terrorism as a tactic.

    They also find that vanguardist ideology and practice is more attractive to young males than to older people and to women generally.

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