The drama in Toulouse and Montauban: Symptoms of capitalism’s barbaric demise

2 posts / 0 new
Last post
The drama in Toulouse and Montauban: Symptoms of capitalism’s barbaric demise
Printer-friendly version

The discussion that follows was prompted by the article: The drama in Toulouse and Montauban: Symptoms of capitalism’s barbaric demise. The discussion was initiated by Fred.
Below is the discussion so far. Feel free to add your own comments!

The world is full of

The world is full of monsters. Some are official monsters and historically famous too eg. Churchill, Truman, Stalin and Hitler. Some are anonymously employed to be monsters: like the police. Innocence will not stop these from shooting or maiming you if required to by the situation. (You may choose your own example.) Others become monsters as a result of unhappy circumstances, like the soldiers who committed the Mai Lai massacre in the Vietnam War. Indeed soldiers are at increasingly high risk of becoming monsters these days, either as a frightening result of the job itself i.e. running amok, or even as an essential part of it i.e. keeping civilians in order. It may not always be easy to distinguish between the two. Indeed, as the article says, the world is run by monsters, whether leaders or ordinary people enlisted for the purpose, and they are all products of a capitalist society which is in itself "monstrous".

And then there are the more individual, estranged kind of monsters. People like Mr Zimmerman who shot Trayvon Martin, or Sgt. Robert Bales who murdered a number of innocents in Afghanistan, or good-looking Mohamed Merah, who got more TV coverage, on a killing spree in France. Should we really call these guys monsters too, or are they not sort of victims of society themselves? Have they and others like them not become so deranged by this decaying system, that they sort of represent the final stage of 'alienation' - the cruel disease afflicting so many of us now in capitalism's decline? Of course there's nothing new about alienation, it was discussed at length by Marx in his 1844 manuscripts, and seen by him as almost a pre-requisite for the exploited class, alienated from all it produces, in the process of coming to a fuller consciousness of it's true condition, and of tge necessity for communism. And, although as a concept, it isn't easy of definition, it's not difficult to conjure up the feeling of what it's like. Feelings of not belonging, of being a stranger among people you know, of being strange to oneself, and an all-embracing hatred and nihilism. NB. I am aware of changing a bit whatever was meant originally by 'alienation'. But we live in strange and different times. Nor can someone like M. Merah really be satisfactorily labelled as a monster, or criminal, or insane. He, and so many others these days, is just plain 'lost', and his 'lostness', a product of capitalism, can be laid at the door of 'alienation'.

But let me finish with a quote from an essay by tbe ICC on 'Alienation'.

" It is increasingly apparent, for example, especially in the period of capitalism's decadence, that the entire politi cal, bureaucratic and military machinery of capital has taken on a bloated life of its own, that it crushes human beings like a vast juggernaut. The nuclear bomb typifies this tendency: in a society regulated by inhuman forces, the forces of the market and capitalist competition, what man produces has so far escaped his control that it threatens him with extinction. The same can be said about the relation between man and nature in capitalism: the latter did not in itself produce the alienation between man and nature, which has a far older history, but it takes it to its ultimate point. By 'perfecting' the hostility between man and nature, by reducing the whole natural world to the status of a commodity, the development of capitalist production is now threatening to destroy the very fabric of planetary life."

Not only is this society 'monstrous' as the article explains, but it's also turning the whole planet into a type of psychiatric institution, where violence, murder and suicide become the order of the day. Only the sanity of proletarian solidarity can save us.