Once more to Mohammed was [replying to M. Junaid Alam]
g.maclennan at qut.edu.au
Fri Mar 21 18:24:59 MST 2003
Once again thanks for taking the trouble to engage with what I have
said. I am working frantically on a power point display for a class on
Monday at a Brisbane High School. Paradoxically it is only in the private
schools that there is a space for a guest lecture from the likes of me. So
my posts to the list are becoming somewhat impressionistic and
disjointed! I also have to get to the demonstration. But I am delighted
we are dialoging.
Now you say that 'war is the motor force of history'. I totally disagree
with that position. My position, and it is heavily influenced by Roy
Bhaskar's philosophy of meta-reality, is that love is the motor force of
As a young man I would have gagged to hear that said. But nevertheless it
is a truth.
So we disagree fundamentally. I had better be correct because we are in no
shape to take the state on in war terms - something that the Black Blocs
learned to their cost. The enemy is weakest not in war terms but precisely
in the arena of creating a vision of a better world. They rule. We have
seen the results of their rule and more and more people are turning against
it. This is a refusal not based on a move towards war, but based on the
primal human impulse towards freedom and btw that is not saying something
is coming out of thin air.
For me your philosophy smacks overly of Hegel's slaughter bench of history
and Nietzsche's will to power.
Now you take me to task when I spoke of the fate of Palestine. You wrote:
Those who in one sentence speak in glorious terms about the
"coming" Arab revolution while in the next sentence damning these same
Arabs for "doing nothing" are only showing unfamiliarity with the
concrete circumstances of conflict.
If you thought I was "damning" anyone then I must apologise. I have some
idea of the pressures that the Arabs are under say in Cairo and I salute
those brave people who confronted Mubarak's machine of oppression
yesterday. My position here remains what I have said often on this list
and elsewhere. We in the short term are in for a flush of imperial
victory. The Arab world is about to endure a terrible humiliation. In
Palestine the butchers of the Israeli army are about to gorge themselves on
Of course I long for the Israeli, American and British Armies to be
humiliated. I am Irish after all. But is not going to happen. Rather the
defeat the warmongers will suffer will be at the hands of the anti-war
movement. Those whom I have named as the New Left. None of them are armed
and none of them possess any military capacity. But they are full of a
longing for peace and freedom. In Bhaskarian terms they are driven by an
absence - the absence of a eudaimonistic world and their attempts to absent
that absence, constitute the true motor force behind history right now. As
always the dialectic is driven by absence and as Bhaskar puts it, this is
the very pulse of freedom.
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