15 August 2008
South Ossetia & the British Working Class
On one level the war over South Ossetia was an old fashioned land grab, but on another level it reflected, in however vulgar a form, a fight between the forces of post-modern globalisation and its enemies.
Again, on one level, Georgia was turned back by Russia, but on another level globalisation was defeated by a combination of pre-modern and modern forms of organisation. Russia with its nationally based capitalist system and ideology is obviously the modern example, but let's not forget all those tribally based Cossack hosts and Ossetian militia groups - to say nothing of the Chechen and other militias that arrived to join in the fun.
Russia may have arrived to relieve them, but had Moscow decided not to get involved those groups would still have gone into action, and given the numbers that were piling in each day, it is not too much to speculate that in the fullness of time they would have defeated Georgia.
Globalised capitalism is the beast that threatens all of us. In response to it, people across the world are falling back on older traditions and forms of social organisation. As this blog argued three years ago:
As states collapse, their peoples are not suddenly becoming docile consumers of the latest Western pap: older loyalties are re-emerging, and beliefs and values that the West thought long dead and buried are emerging into the daylight once again. In a world that has gone mad an individual’s family will provide his basic support. Extend the family to cousins, uncles and the like and you have the makings of a clan. Extend it still further to take in the clans who live around yours, probably those clans who share the valley with you, perhaps those who are engaged in similar economic activities to you; then you have the beginnings of a tribe. As the state collapses these loyalties will become more and more apparent.South Ossetia and Abkhazia both go a long way towards proving those points. So does Iraq, come to think of it, as well as Afghanistan.
As a northern British working man, this writer looks on in horror as quite serious people argue that the great northern towns and cities should just be abandoned because globalised capitalism, which wrecked them in the first place, can no longer extract a profit from them. The same horror is felt when reading the words of this creature of Rupert Murdoch who has quite wittily come up with a Neil Kinnock Test. The wheeze is to ask his Nu-Labour chums if they approve of the Tory victories against the Kinnock led Labour Party in 1987 and 1992? Most of the fuckers do, because most of the fuckers are of the pretty element in society that believes that we should all keep our noses firmly jammed up the arseholes of whoever is in charge. Kinnock for all his faults and flaws tried to represent the class that he was born to in the fight against those who wished to destroy it. The point here is that the human maggots who helped to reduce us to penury by cheering on the Tories in those years are the same human maggots who cheered on Georgia's doomed war of aggression. They are the enemy of all of us.
Our friends are a mixed bunch of tribal and religious warriors, leavened with the nationally based capitalists in places like Russia. We are the geographically rooted working people of Britain, based mainly in the wrecked industrial cities.
So, working men of all countries unite? Hardly a good slogan, these days. Why don't we all take a long, cold look at our common enemy, think about what we will do to him in our various independent, sovereign countries, and then draw on a far older set of ideas? Genghis Khan was the speaker, and this is what he said:
The greatest happiness is to scatter your enemy, to drive him before you, to see his cities reduced to ashes, to see those who love him shrouded in tears, and to gather into your bosom his wives and daughters.Now then, we need to organise locally in our towns and on our estates. We should use the issues that will rally our tribe, and then keep pressing them. We must ignore the divisive social issues that we are indifferent about, anyway. (Yes, in case anyone is wondering, that is a dig at the fools who think that you can attack Catholicism and expect working class Catholics to still rally when called). Above all else, we should cease criticising our friends who are fighting the same enemy, but with different ends in mind for their lands.
At the end of the day, the only argument between British working men, Cossack irregular cavalrymen and Iraqi militias should be over who gets first go at the wives and daughters.