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Hongkong: Tehran in a Cool Pool

Internationalist Observer | 03.10.2014 17:55 | Analysis | Social Struggles | Workers' Movements | World

Large historical prototypes are rare, to speak of fitting ones. The more likely scenario is that, while everything is being done to exclude any direct repetition, the material limitations of that effort are the new environment in which the old conflict of ideas will reproduce. In its own historical reference to the cultural monstrosities of imperialist and colonialist Europe, dialectic materialism is used to talk of the tragedy and the farce. But occasionally such prototypes do occur as conscious moves. E. g. when when the Antifascist coalition of WWII broke up into the containment vessel of the Unitednations Security Council, the fault line running through the Nazi state in a surprise move on the model of 1938 (see Mar 15, 2014) was turned into a reenaction of the “limes” (though only for one generation rather than six or seven). But while the Roman wall was an offensive installation run by foreign mercenaries at a significant distance to any densely populated territories, what is to be drawn up as a historical prototype in this instance is an unequivocally defensive measure. Molotov served Ribbentrop the famous cocktail of one portion appeasement plus a double shot of red-coloured imperialism to change the “great game,” and maybe without that Leningrad might have fallen. Ulbricht drew Gehlen a line into the sand and preempted thermonuclear war in Europe before there was any “hotline.” And when the Soviet Union found the beginning of its end in Afghanistan, Khomeini showed a red line to Carter and prevented yet another military coup in Persia, laying the foundation for the current system of the Islamic Republic in which any ballot sheets are filtered by a structure of councils and meta-councils that freezes the country´s unresolved external fraud cases and is intended to shield elections from becoming a gateway to their extension.

In the Persian case the situation is rather simple. In the early days of oil exploitation the weight of an exploration license a local landowner signed to a foreign traveller was not obvious. Through entrapment of the latter such documents got into the hands of foreign governments. They attributed it the weight of any ratified diplomacy, and in fact it took until the first Wall Street Crisis for imperialist corporations to be expelled from Persia. The later nationalisation of oil triggered the Mossadegh coup which is still worth mentioning as one of the most blatant examples of self-delegitimising meddling in the history of the then very new CIA. After the fall of the puppet regime and horrendous factional infighting, instead of a military junta taking power as in Myanmar, an elected government was subjected to clerical authority, mirroring the foreign abuse thereof in the entrapment which had led to the conflict over the oil in the first place. This sometimes has been bashed as a gruesome exaggeration since the matter of conflict was assumed to be of an entirely mundane nature.

But is that so when extinction of the species is at stake in the handling thereof? Today, when Persia is lashing out against pro-American bloggers, it is hitting them in place of the cyber soldiers that spam its communications whom it cannot reach at directly. That is gruesome for the individual but instructive for the dismantling of empty human rights propaganda. With any knowledge of the unacknowledged dimension of the issue the usual scapegoating is just too ridiculous to even allude to. But would Persia not have such a spam filter, it may long have suffered the fate of Ukraine, with the elected politicians being announced by a foreign regime. It is to be pointed out that the limitation of choice is being legitimised with a limitation of external entrapment obtained by it. This makes obvious the reverse conclusion, in which a decreased threat of entrapment such as the abolition of the external source thereof is meant to bring about an increase of choice. The country is on fire, and only when the arson has been put out all those things can be weighed properly, even by those who had not noticed that it was burning. Unfortunately it is a kind of arson that may well last into the next generation.

Is it the same in the case of Hongkong? The involvement of the same colonialist oppressor, Britain, suggests so. The independent Hongkong under Chinese authority might have a similar mortgage from this insufficiently liquidated empire on its territory which the selection of candidates is meant to prevent from worsening. If that is the case, a “Western candidate” who consciously or unconsciously were to be a tool of imperialist penetration, even in the best case might only be the precursor of a coup, such as it happened in Egypt. That does not even require the policy or ideology of the person to be wrong, but already can happen when they are merely insufficient to bear the current outside pressure of assimilation. Whether that is so is an internal issue of China in the same sense it is of Persia, namely that it is not an issue of the British empire or any remainder or successor or competitor thereof. Likewise it remains the internal issue of these countries to explain these limitations to a public that has an overview over the entire situation with whose big picture in mind they appear to be more of a part of the problem than of the solution.

The point of this argument is of a purely analytical nature: If any central measure against hostile takeover is mandated, then this certainly is the mildest one. With a limitation of the election sheet only the composition of the government is affected and not the integrity of the society. It also is the most transparent such measure that can be imagined because the ballot sheet is no secret. And most important of all, it has the least potential of abuse. If someone is wrongly excluded from a candidacy, that can be argued about much easier than someone wrongly being arrested or searched or spied against. And that leads to the core of the argument: Most of what governments do – on both sides of the East-West divide – is much more prone of abuse and actually being abused than a candidate filter. In fact unfiltered elections are without any value if the entire population is spied against and their data being exploited. All this meddling in the life of the individual is to cease before elections can matter, otherwise they are hardly worth the trees cut for the paperwork or the mining of the rare Earth minerals in the devices. The problem in this situation is that governments filtering candidacies as a measure against hostile takeover by an empire in addition often do mirror all kinds of behaviours of empires from spying to abusive character assassination, police violence, court lies, job exclusion and so forth.

The overall constellation can be compared to the issue of taxation. If a government requests huge taxes on the consumption of fossil resources, but none on any other occasion, that is the best technically possible government, because it leaves the economy entirely self-regulating even when it comes to collecting the taxes and distributing the load. The other scenario would be the regime which collects taxes on a myriad of things from small purchases to wages and whatever appears easy to get at for a complex apparatus set to feed itself thereof, and even if the intrusion into all aspects of life becomes just too much to manage does not retreat from there, but merely add extra layers of bureaucracy to supposedly ensure that the parasite does not kill its host species. There are mixed forms that can be imagined doing both, but there also is a natural divergence suggesting that they can either develop into the direction of small macro-regulation or in that of micro-managing large numbers of issues too tiny to be interesting to be taxed on their own. It is obvious that the society with a thousand taxation laws will be much more captive and less creative, and with that less generous to its own true needs, than the one which only pays at one reasonable point. Certainly it cannot only collect from there everything it needs to redistribute but also make the bold step to close the bottomless pit of the labour market.

The shortcoming of the old social systems up to this point has been that they depended on enforced contribution – when the health care payment from the wage was not mandatory there was no healthcare – or ceased to be social systems open to everyone, leading into the class societies of those who can afford against these who cannot afford. The system that is voluntary and still available to everyone is yet to be constructed, although there already have been suggestions how to name it. The very nature of the fossil fuel economy proves to be a fertile ground for that effort. There is choice whether to use or not to use fossil fuels, and there is an amount of large scale inter-generational injustice around it that can well be interpreted as a mandate to resolve it. There is very little risk of tax evasion, due to the bulky nature of the industry, and tax evasion from the consumer side is vehemently endorsed. Since so much depends on it, it can be used as a collection point drawing from many sides without any bureaucracy. And finally, fossil fuel consumption is a behaviour to be disapproved of, so the taxation of it is different than the taxation of whatever does not bear that quality. The capitalist state has never been able to explain why on one hand it is using taxation as an incentive to approve or disapprove of certain types of behaviour, while on the other it is taxing wages the earning of which according to its own ideology of the labour market was not to be disapproved of.

The circle closes when the amount of the fossil tax is sufficient for a basic income lifting everyone out of poverty and precarious conditions at the expense of the big consumers, and with it enabling the current generations to change in ways that are not unjust to future and past ones. The “Right to be Lazy” as Paul Lafargue envisioned it may be a scarce thing in the face of the climate catastrophe. But that only makes it all the more urgent that it is being distributed among the contemporaries with absolute equality, and by that the labour market is finally unseated from its central role as a key technology of human survival. Only then the window of historical perception can widen and the inheritance balance – what a generation inherits from its predecessors weighed against what it leaves to its successors – can be a true incentive to be idle no more. Future generations, if they exist, will inevitably grow their own opinions as to whether too many unresolved problems were left to them. The linking of it to the fossil fuel scarcity though ensures that the saddle of all-encompassing regulation is being put on the economy in a way that it can neither be thrown off nor hurt anyone.

In this context the demand to lift election filtering in the middle of a spam attack – and there would be spam candidates popping up like in Kiev as long as the globalised military-industrial complex proliferates its business of death – is not only a self-destructive setup – in the sense that Persia would no longer be able to prevent naked colonialism in the region – but already irrational in a merely self-referential sense: Removing this regulation, before all the more intrusive regulations have been removed, is the wrong order of things. There is no free election under the threat of spying. It can be seen in the comparison of the independence referenda in Crimea and Scotland that only where the oppressive system is ended before the ballot a valid and meaningful result can be obtained. People who do not dare to vote against the wish of the regime because they fear to become a target of spies if they do not end up in the majority do exist as long as there is any such threat. Besides that psychological factor there is the economic one: Ending election filtering before ending spying is like scrapping the taxation of fossil consumption before scrapping income taxation. But obviously there is the objective need for a strong incentive to avoid fossil fuels. The economic system which serves everyone according to their needs and their capabilities is being called Communism.

The comparison to Persia has still another dimension. As widely known the Islamic Republic has not been able to separate the regulation of public things from the intrusion into the private realm and abstain from the latter. Despite its oil source access there is much less economic independence from the crude market than in the Islamic State at the other bank of the Arvandrud. It has been at war or been threatened with war by the imperialist and its vassal states more or less continuously. Its emigrants are saying if they tell you that they come from an oil country where a dozen opposition newspapers have been raided then you must be able to name it because there merely was one such country in which that many could get that far. But Hongkong is only as threatened as the rest of China. The imperialist deployments in Australia, Japan or the Philippines are a threat to the entire region, not specifically against Hongkong, at least by far not to the extent as it is the case in West Asia. Hints that anyone should pay attention to the regional situation are obviously too precious to toss into an election debate. But clearly there is none of the urgency of being overrun by the imperialist as in Persia. The imperialist simply cannot swallow the region because it finds others there that are much harder to chew on militarily, and it could not keep Hongkong as an enclave, because that has already been tried unsuccessfully.

This entire constellation would have to break down to leave Hongkong in the condition of immediate pressure where it then probably would develop into the direction of Qatar rather than that of Tehran. But short of the “pool drain-down” scenario of Korea entirely falling to the imperialist (it has not so for longer than anyone else), Hongkong can absorb all the heat of public political conflict. That has already happened to some extent, but so far the discourse remained below the threshold of the double question of the political and economic system. And even if that imaginary line is being crossed and fundamental change on the world scale focussed as key necessity, it has no immediate military dimension for the island city. So Hongkong could be described as the scenario of Tehran in a cool pool in the sense that the election filtering is the last restriction to be removed, because if it were the first then all the more micro-sociological forms thereof would remain.

To come to a conclusion, something fundamental is to be said about the concept of “democracy.” Democracy means the existence of oppression apparatuses, human rights violations, the intrusion of the state into what is forbidden to it, spying for commercial exploitation and the abuse of medicine to keep the perpetrators agitated, as well as the election of mostly incompetent or irresponsible spokespeople of the unelected career officials hiding behind its appearance of political legitimacy. Evolutionary it is like the predator taking the appearance of the natural environment of its booty in order to entrap and devour it: mimicry. Of course this does not result in the aggressive beast changing into a peaceful plant. And the reason for that is not that there was not enough of it. In its places of origin – Greece being the showcase example – the word is an empty shell devoid of any meaningful content, a dead skin of a parasite state that has no rational purpose any more because it consists of nothing but mimicry, and thereby does exceed its evolutionary lifetime at the expense of those it steals from – which in the climate crisis naturally are all the coming generations. The orthodox European mythology tells that in Confucian times the first Greek commander-in-chief who had been educated according to the concept of democracy failed in his attempt to conquer Persia because he cut a knot that no one had untied before. That still sums up all the later experiences with it and the reasons why, without a single exception, historically all of them have failed to convince these whose ways they imitate. As the old song of the Workers United Front dares to remark in contrast to deceptive interpretations of tradition, empty rhetoric does not feed people. Once the misguided economy treats the surface of the planet as its factory floor, the expropriation of the means of production is not merely an issue of claiming the factories. The Revolution reclaims exclusive property of the living planet and all the dead resources thereof.

* * *

See also:

- Marx, Lenin, Mao and the Futurology of Scientific Anarchism (26.9.) -
- The Anarchist Guide to IS Psychology (19.9.) -
- The Islamic State Messages in the Light of the Climate Catastrophe (11.9.) -
- Atomic Testing in the Digital Age (13.8.) -
- Must Christians in the Islamic State Suffer Another Bloodbath? (11.8.) -
- Double Emergency Alert: Ebola Acceleration, Internet Smokescreen (8.8) -
- The Gaza Massacre – Implications and Consequences (5.8.) -
- The Japanese Occupation Legacy – A Defining Ingredient of Totalitarian Democracy (28.7.) -
- Gaza – Vivisection of a Death Cult (20.7.) -
- Macropolitical Side-Effects of the Imperialist Occupation of the Philippines (4.7.) -
- Birth of an Independent Hope – the Revolution in West Asia (26.6.) -
- Hindu Supremacism – A Spent Force of Casino Capitalism (30.5.) -
- The German Sustainability Scam and its Fascist Purpose (21.5.) -
- The Pacific Fata Morgana and its Imperialist Origins (12.5.) -
- Boko Haram – An Image From The Future (4.5.) -
- How Deep Is the Atlantic Divide Really? (8.4.) -
- Palestine, the United Nations and the Refugees (21.3.) -
- Why is Poland a Nazi Client State? (15..3.) -
- What does the Invasion of Yalta Mean for the European Peninsula? (8.3.) -
- The Suicide Attack Against indymedia and its Cause (28.2.) -
- Obey or Die - The Pathology of Organised Treason in Europe (21.2.) -
- NATO. Obituary to a Nukepool (27.1.) -
- Triple Treason in the Caucasus (23.1.) -
- The Death of the Inclusion Policy in the East Asian Shelf Waters (16.1.) -
- Why is the Nonproliferation Treaty Failing? (9.1.) -

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