Manchester Arena Atrocity: An Initial Response

Last night’s attack on people leaving Manchester Arena was truly horrific. Reports so far indicate 22 have died (including 12 children between 8 and 16) and another 59 are seriously injured. The attacker, a suicide bomber waited in the foyer of the Arena as people left a concert before he struck. His aim was simply to kill as many as possible, no matter who they were. These murders, like those before from Beirut to Berlin [] are now being celebrated on pro-IS social media as a “great success”.

And IS will enjoy even greater success if their odious propaganda succeeds in unleashing another wave of attacks on Muslims in the UK. IS (who have killed many more Muslims in bombings than “Crusaders”) want it this way. They need to stoke Islamophobia to try to win over the more than 90% of Muslims who oppose their brand of “radical Islam”. It is the trick of terrorists everywhere. We saw it in Northern Ireland where IRA and UVF killed innocents from the “other community” and thus reinforced each gang’s recruitment drive.

Terrorism is a form of elitism. The chosen few indiscriminately murder the many in a cold calculating rationale to advance their cause. IS is no different here. It may look like an insane death cult but its brutality and barbarism are carefully designed to force Muslims to choose between them and the West.

IS has not arrived suddenly from nowhere. Its genesis goes back many decades and is rooted in the imperialist depredations of the great powers in the Middle East and Central Asia. The systematic exploitation, looting and humiliation of the Arab and Islamic worlds culminated in the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

This was supported by the UK. Using the lie that Saddam Hussein possessed “weapons of mass destruction” Blair managed to get a supine Parliament to agree to join the US coalition. He arrogantly ignored warnings from Middle East experts, like George Joffe, that dismantling the Iraqi state would lead to mayhem in the Middle East [See] He blithely dismissed the opposition from the mass of the population to this adventure and ignored the biggest demonstration in UK history on 15 February 2003 for the “crusade”.

Everything went as the experts predicted. The dismantling of the Iraqi state (as we have shown elsewhere [see] eventually led to the formation of IS. Its subsequent successes in Syria and Iraq were due to the fact that leading Iraqi military specialists (sacked by the new regime) had joined it.

Facing military defeat in its “Caliphate” only makes IS more determined to bring a little of what the Middle East has suffered for decades home to the Western powers. Or rather to their innocent citizens and workers who did not support such wars. In this they have in part succeeded. They will succeed even more if Muslims are further stigmatised and attacked.

The British state and its media will do little to discourage such attacks. Faced with a global economic crisis it is very useful to have a minority to blame for the system’s woes. We will hear much of defending “British” values and “British democracy” in the weeks ahead. Beating the nationalist drum will divert attention from the fact that the economic crisis has no solution. It also allow our rulers to introduce more laws of surveillance and repression which will ultimately be used against any determined working class struggle against the capitalist system. Thus the IS terrorists and the State will both use these horrific murders for their own propaganda. Yet the main victim of these attacks is the working class everywhere.

Not only are they the majority of the dead and injured workers but the elitist propaganda of both the terrorists and our rulers aims to divide the one thing we have in common: our class solidarity. Wherever we live, whatever our cultural backgrounds, it is the work of everyone who needs a wage to live which creates the bulk of the world’s wealth. This wealth ends up in the hands of a minority: the capitalist class who are thus able to live in luxury. They also use the wealth we create to supply armies and to wage wars to defend their existence.

These will go on, as will terrorist atrocities, ad infinitum unless the working class unites and takes control of the product of its own labour and dismantles the capitalist mode of production. To achieve this we need to build an international movement which can create a society in which people’s needs not capitalist profits dominate, and in doing so end atrocities like the one in Manchester. No war but the class war.


23 May 2017

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


Good piece which brings home the roots of such terrorism must be laid at the door of the Imperialists. The only thing I would add is that another reason for the rise of groups such as ISIS is the failure over the past forty years or so of both Arab Nationalism and various forms of leftism such as Stalinism/Official communism to not only challenge both imperialism and home grown capitalism. At best these groups became integrated into capitalist state structures or have became in permanent opposition quasi government organisations. There has never been any independent class conscious organisations and that today needs to be addressed and eventually overcome. If not then barbarism will be permanent.

I think there will be ever more clamping down on any form of protest now. Heavy handed tactics will be "justified".

I just read; The police have confirmed they will be bringing sniffer dogs into the crowd at the start of the anti hunt protest on Bank Holiday Monday. The dogs will be searching for explosive devices this is a precaution being used for all public events under the heightened security threat.The police are also asking all attendees not to bring flares to the protest. These have been used at anti hunt protests in the past, but anyone letting off a flare or attempting to throw one will be putting themselves and other people at risk. Any loud bangs or smoke could lead to panic by the wider public and a reaction by armed police or soldiers along our march route.Can I therefore call on everyone attending the march to please not bring any flares with them. In other words we can shoot you if you make a noise ------------------ I think ad infinitum terrorism and permanent barbarism may well be the optimistic scenario. I think the outcome of imperialism is more likely a catastrophic confrontation. I'd prefer neither.

If anyone contemplating an imagined post-capitalist local and world situation imagines that it would have no need whatsoever of police forces, then they had better think again. It is one thing to say that at present the main function of police is to guard the parasitic status quo, but that is by no means all that they do, and objectively many of the functions of the police, at least in the UK, are supported and agreed with by the general population, of which the vast majority is not capitalist. Now I guess that some others making comments will wade into such events as Orgreave and so on, but do think again, can any sort of society really take care of itself without any police ? Anarchists might think so, but then supposing a big anarchist wants to do something to a small anarchist which the small one doesn't like ? (Not long ago I said that I would stop making comments on this website, but now the situations call for some, whether or not they are consistent with some ICT views, as long as they are a fair repesentation of working class interests. I hope that that will be ok for readers.).

The point is any statist functions will be under the control of the working class, through the council system. Remember the police are are relatively modern invention, less than 200 years old. Somehow humanity got by before the police. But the point remains. We are not against authority and power in the abstract. We are against the authority and power of the capitalist class over us. Be careful when claiming to represent the working class!

Another important point is we do not seek to represent the working class. No minority can give it power, freedom, anything beyond pointing the way, really. It has to be the subject of its own destiny.

The revolution is not merely political, a change of faces at the top. It is total.

Responding to stevein7, and also to Elsie's recent article, whereas ICT goes into great depths and detail in describing historical political and economic events leading to present situations, we are then expected to accept that the outlook for the working class must be the formation of workers councils, or, dare we say, soviets, which are supposed to become fully capable of making all necessary decisons for society within a sort of pyramidic hierarchy of all those responsible for what is to go on. So it will not be clear as to how any sort of voting will engage the majority of the population in approving or rejecting edicts and plans, but somehow maybe alternatives to shows of hands at mass meetings might be an arrangement of 'secret ballots' by computers, combined with voting with our feet. Well, whatever is actually going to be proposed and recommended from now on, it will need to convince workers, students, pensioners and anyone else, that it is practically viable, or, if it isn't, then it will have to be imposed as per a 'dictatorship of the proletariat'. until, without support, it breaks down, because, in any case, it is standard doctrine that it is too early to make any plans for a planned economy, and that that cannot be only within one geographical area, but world wide, as any sort of nationalism is to be rejected as reactionary. 'Pointing the way'? Be careful what you wish for and clarify it in practical terms ! Effective management of administratiors needs careful preparation. A recent tv programme on the construction of the Farringdon tunnel was an amazing example of so much that is required for and available to planning such a vast project, let alone planning for the running of society.

Good article, and good comments by Dave60 and Stevein7.