Pik Smeet’s article (July Socialist Standard) is yet another criticism of George Galloway which to my mind, although there are perhaps some valid points made, is not really very helpful in the immediate struggle that we of the Left need to advance against the creeping neo-fascism excreting from Number 10 and Washington D.C.
Galloway, regardless of his personal motives, is a voice in Parliament roundly
criticizing the murderous policies of this mutant ‘ersatz’ Labour Government and its
Washington cohorts. Where are the other voices?
Galloway is able to speak to the masses via the media. Maybe he’s not a one hundred percent ‘kosher’ socialist but ordinary people are hearing him and know about him and are thinking about what he is saying. ‘It’s no damn good refining our socialist ideas, concepts and understandings amongst ourselves. Socialists need to be out in the community at large offering the light of reason to the people. Galloway, for all his faults , is doing that.
LEO ALIFERIS (by email)
The message Galloway projects is hardly an advance for the working class. We refrained from retelling his ghastly support for Saddam Hussein: he went so far when he appeared on Big Brother as to claim that the Iraqis supported and were happy with that vile old-style fascist dictator; he even saluted Hussein to his face for his “strength [his] courage, [his] indefatigability”.
Far from being a voice for the oppressed in the mass media he is the voice of wealth and power in the Middle East, and his role in the workers’ movement is to poison it. Ordinary people hear this poison and think it has something to do with socialism.
He and his ilk are just as great an enemy to the spread of socialist understanding as George Bush, and the Socialist Party must oppose them
Ban the ultra-right?
I read your article titled “the case against censorship” (March Socialist Standard). I am also in favour of freedom of speech. It is true that Islamists and racists as individuals should be free to express their viewpoints and that atheists and socialists should also be free to criticise them by any unconditional means they find appropriate.
Islam’s “prophet” knew how to read and write and wrote the Qoran that reflects the tribal beliefs of barbarian Arabs who lived in pre-feudal socio-economic conditions but announced that was unable to read and write and that the “holy” book had been “posted” by god to his address in Saudi Arabia.
Racists deny equal rights for non “white” and non “English” citizens of this country and want to apply force and remove them from this bullshit country and also answer workers’ and socialists’ demands for the right of freedom of speech, press and organization by police force, jail, torture and murder exactly like terrorist Muslims. In other words, they both represent social forces that want to add more dictatorship to the present level of dictatorship of capitalists and their murderous suppressive British regime.
I think that those Islamic organizations that support and organize terrorist activity and also “white founded” organizations that preach for “white power” or even “English power”, should be banned from doing activity, since every year quite a few “whites” and a few more “non whites” are killed by these terrorist organizations.
When we can make workers accept that ultra right, whether it is Muslim terrorist or racist fascist, should not exist as an organization we would deprive the capitalist ruling class of the use of the ultra right to suppress the looming socialist revolution by using these ultra reactionary forces as its political and suppression machine representatives.
SIAMAK HAGHIGHAT, London
We are opposed to appealing to the capitalist state to ban any political ideas. It doesn’t work anyway
Civil War in Uganda
There is a war which has been going on the Northern part of Uganda for now 20 years. This is a war between the Ugandan Government and the Lord’s Resistance Army rebel armed forces led by one Joseph Kony. It is clear that any solution resulting from violence or confrontation is not lasting. It is only through peaceful means that we can develop better understanding between ourselves.
Though lies and falsehood may deceive people temporarily and the use of force may control human beings physically, it is only through proper understanding, fairness and mutual respect that human beings can be genuinely convinced and satisfied.
There is one world and we exist as one people in need of each other and with the same basic needs. There is far more that unites us than can ever divide us along cultural, nationalistic or religious lines.
Together we can create a civilization worth living in, but before that happens we need the conscious cooperation of ordinary people across the world, united in one common cause-to create a world in which each person has free access to the benefits of civilization, a world without frontiers or borders ,social classes or leaders and a world in which production is at last freed from the shackles of artificial constraints of profit and used for the good of humanity.
War is not about our interests, but those of the bosses who rob us so that they can be rich and powerful. War is about the competition between capitalists. If we are to die it will be for them. Think about that as the masters of war ask for your support in the prevailing wars. Why should we die defending what is not ours and which we will never benefit from?
On the contrary our object is to obtain what is not now the possession of our class, the earth and its natural and industrial resources. The class war between the parasites who possess and the workers who produce-is the real struggle that need concern us. And to win that war we need not initiate the violence which is characteristic of capitalism’s wars. The war we should advocate is that which has to be waged on the battle of ideas-for the hearts and minds of the world’s people. And once we unite there will be no force that will stop us taking the earth into our common possession. There is nothing natural about war. Are we born with a desire to kill people who speak a different language or who have a different skin colour?
No! In fact peaceful cooperation is more fitting for human beings who are potentially rational human beings.
Once we live in a world of common ownership and democratic control of resources, there will simply be no reason to kill one another. No empires to build or markets to expand or profits to increase.
WEIJAGYE JUSTUS, Kabale, Uganda