In the wake of Wednesday’s horrific and abhorrent attack against the soldier Lee Rigby, no doubt there will be several ill-considered reprisals against the Muslim community, and let there be no doubt that such actions will be no less horrific or abhorrent to human civilisation than what happened on Wednesday. As what we presume to be an ‘advanced’ society, it is important that we don’t give in to such reckless biblical justice.
You all know (or can at least guess) my attitude to the Iraq War. However I have come to believe that the war in Afghanistan is not only justified but necessary for the continued survival of the Western democracies.
I have also spoken of how we must, instead of focusing our energy into condemning terrorist atrocities, look at the root causes behind such hideous acts.
The current global misunderstanding about development has led to a global economy which plays right into the hands of TNCs and cuts off Third World Development at the source. The IMF’s obsession with the evils of protectionism have lead to an outlook on global trade which doesn’t rely on historical lessons at all. Britain, the US and all the other developed countries, they didn’t develop with the kind of policies that the Third World is having shoved down their throats today.
They developed by protecting their own emerging or ‘fledgling’ industries from foreign competition through aggressive trade policies, only when the economy was fairly prosperous did they invent the notion of ‘free trade’ to kick away the ladder from other countries.
In Africa especially, countries have been forced to open their borders far too early than is healthy under the back handed blackmailing of the IMF, through ‘Conditional Loans’.
The heavy handed TNCs move in and immediately wipe out the domestic industries through aggressive under cutting. The home industries can’t compete. They are driven out of business and into poverty, as is the country.
Neo-Liberalism’s obssession with private out-sourcing has forced the people to look to religious institutions for things that were once provided by the state. If you were cared for all your life by Islam and its preachers, you would be more inclined to go to war at their bequest. But beyond that, it is a the general anti-western sentiment that Globalisation has provoked which really feeds this vile behaviour.
Today’s world trade is thoroughly one sided, but the public remains woefully uninformed about the situation due to a biased establishment which just won’t open its eyes. It remains addicted to a global economy based on ridiculous levels of excess, scandalous levels of inequality and injustice, and blatant abuse of the workers and the environment. The quest for economic growth above all else has led to environmental destruction of the highest degree, and ethical standards of the very lowest.
It is this way of doing business, this hideous bastard of a status-quo which has disillusioned the people of the Third World with the garish culture and imperial bullying of the West. And this is an equation which starts- not to justify Wednesday’s events- but to explain similar actions with which we have become familiar over the past decade.
Before we can justify fighting for the survival of the West, we first have to make the West worth fighting for. Reforms are needed, and they must come soon. Not only to our crumbling western societies, but to the global economy. The abolition of those bodies of western interference (namely the IMF and the World Bank) would be but a start. We need to thoroughly rethink the way we conduct ourselves, and realise that terrorism is but a symptom of the wider problem.
In memory of Drummer Lee Rigby