What have been the most sickening responses to the riots in England?
the closest thing to popular fascism that we have seen on the streets of certain 'leafy' bits of London for years.
Some of his fellow lefties agreed with him:
Wit: This is really very good. Thanks for writing this. The Left needs to defend the riots; not to valourise the burning of grannies’ cars, but to make clear that we reject the whole bourgeois construction of events, that we stand in solidarity with the oppressed and that, when it comes to it, we will, without hesitation, join the “rioters” to overthrow the legitimised exploitation, state-sanctioned violence and sham “democracy” that oppress us all.
Polly: Agreed. I’m concerned how cowed the Left is currently by the backlash which is patently more frightening than the actual events.
So some on the radical left see the riots as a legitimate uprising against the bourgeoisie which the left should "without hesitation" join in; the middle-classes who stand in their way with broom sticks are, in this view of things, "fascists".
Nor is this writer alone in his analysis. At another site there is a serious analytical attempt to portray the smiling clean up crews as a form of fascism:
It is this structure of “community”, and “clean up” as the activity of this group, that an old form of popular fascism appears to be revitalized. The new communities of #riotcleanup again make their exclusionary nature clear: these people work not for all, and certainly not for the wellbeing of those who caused the unrest – to work against the poverty and racism – instead, they work for themselves, as a group, and their new society...
Frequently modern fascism is modeled as a post-human technocracy: Marx’s description of the human as a mere appendage to a machine elevated to a rule. Today we need to reassess these thoughts, as under the label of #riotcleanup an older ideology-based fascism is being restored. Unlike dystopic fantasies of a borg-like matrix, it is now necessary to start questioning the fascistic nature of “community” as it is manifest in the response to the riots.
My apologies for the painful read. It's an odd definition of fascism here: if you are working for your own community, rather than for everyone, then you are exclusionary and therefore a fascist. There can be no particular identities and loyalties it seems, when it comes to the radical left. That, to me, is an inhuman demand, one that would strip people of everything but an individualistic consumerism that presumably our radical leftist writer also disapproves of.
However, I don't think these attacks on the white, middle-class clean up crews as "fascists" win the prize for worst political reaction to the riots. The attacks on the white working-class by police chiefs and politicians were most sickening.
At one point in the riots the police were clearly outnumbered and unable to defend local communities. So a number of different ethnic groups turned out to defend their turf - and were largely successful in doing so. But what stood out was the different treatment of these groups. Below is a picture of a group of Sikhs defending their temple:
Even though they were brandishing swords, this group of Sikh men were treated as heroes for their efforts to defend their place of worship. Here's a typical newpaper report:
The Sikh community were running a military style operation to protect themselves after almost 100 rioters tried to attack the heart of the area early on Tuesday.
With few police around, elders at London’s largest Sikh temple in Havelock Road resorted to telephoning male worshippers for help.
One man in his 20s said: ‘They caught us off guard last night but we still managed to get people together to protect the area. We saw them putting on their balaclavas preparing to jump out of three cars but we charged at them and managed to chase them off.’
Turkish shopkeepers who stood guard outside their businesses and chased off looters on Monday night have been hailed as heroes.
When the gangs of youngsters arrived to wreak havoc in Dalston, East London, on Monday night, the men, armed with baseball bats, snooker cues and even chair legs, sent them packing
OK, but what happens when a smaller group of white working-class men do something similar and gather outside of a church in Eltham, London?
The police commanders have ordered a large mobilisation of officers to surround the men - as if they were the problem and not the rioters.
It's so striking - in the middle of a riot overwhelming police force is mobilised to contain law-abiding, unarmed, non-rioting white working-class men - in stark contrast to the treatment of Sikhs and Turks doing much the same thing.
The political class in the UK really does seem to have it in for white working-class men.
Finally, I should note as well that some of the political reaction to the riots has been very good. I'll try to cover this in my next post.