Why Does Terrorism Occur and What Is the Proletarian Response?





Jan Makandal

November 14, 2015

All terrorist acts, whether from the left or right, are in the final analysis a reactionary political practice. Terrorist acts are blind populist isolated acts in which an enemy is not well defined, and all are being terrorized.


Genuine anti-imperialist progressives need to denounce them, since these acts usually benefit the dominant classes, who recuperate them to serve their interests and justify narrow nationalism (another version of right populism). Proletarian revolutionaries also need to denounce them since they are not in the interest of the proletariat, and ultimately benefit the capitalist class and imperialism by giving them ammunition to intensify their internal acts of aggression.


The most recent acts by ISIS should be exposed and denounced along with all such isolated reactionary acts like the planting of bombs by the freedom fighters and the CIA in the port of Nicaragua, the planting of bombs in Israel, and the occupation of Vietnam by a minority force.


The isolated acts by ISIS in the imperialist social formation of France should not be considered progressive simply because they happened in the belly of an imperialist beast. The popular masses in imperialist France are being terrorized sporadically by these acts while being simultaneously dominated and exploited daily by their dominant classes. Those who commit these isolated acts do not seem to make a fundamental distinction between the masses and the dominant classes. This is why they are populist. All classes are dealt with as a potential enemy. Any unity with the popular masses of France becomes impossible since they too are targeted as a potential enemy.


To think that the struggle against terrorism should be directed against Islam is very limited, and is only looking at a tree but not the forest. Islam, like many other religions, is a sub-ideological component produced by a mode of production, mainly feudalism. As a sub-ideological component of religion, Islam, unlike Catholicism, is one of the few tendencies very difficult to adapt to capitalism.


Because of imperialism and capitalism, the feudalist mode of production (which is totally antagonistic to the capitalist mode of production) is in a process of decomposition. In many social formations this is a deformed process of decomposition, in which we will find the co-existence of two antagonistic modes of production. This inherently creates a constant contradiction: reproduction alongside and inside the dynamic of that decomposition. One of the effects of that complex problematic is constant political instability. One must appropriate that complexity in order to offer a solution that will not become feudalism or capitalism.


The incapacity of the radical left to understand or even appropriate that complexity makes their political line quite pragmatic; it will inevitably be in the interest of capitalism and imperialism. One of the consequences of their political line is a theory based on objectivist logic, asserting a dire need to take sides. This can only produce in practice a left populism and opportunism, another version of narrow left populist nationalism.


The intellectual practice of commenting on events, rather than providing analysis, is a consequence of pragmatism, and is thus a bourgeois approach. It is not a materialistic approach and practice. It is limited to only addressing the external effects of a contradiction, and doesn’t allow us to understand the internal contradiction producing those effects. This bourgeois and pragmatic social practice will ultimately only benefit capitalism and even feudalism.


Imperialist domination is creating havoc in most social formations. Of course we will encounter different forms of resistance to it, led by reactionaries, progressives, and revolutionaries. Progressives and revolutionaries need to distance from reactionary led resistance, because it is for the interests of dominant reactionary classes that are resisting imperialism for their own reproduction.


It is not a moral issue we are dealing with, that demands a response when acts are orchestrated by a group of fanatics. This is class struggle.


It is a struggle of dominant classes, in decomposition, caused by a decomposing mode of organizing production. The migration of thousands of the popular masses in some of these social formations is also an effect of the complexity mentioned earlier: a decomposing feudalistic mode of production alongside a dominated capitalism. The rhythm of that decomposition is not in sync with the rhythm of its replacement by a capitalist mode of production, which creates many voids: unemployment, internal and external migration, political and economic instability.


One very important element of the decomposing of feudalism alongside dominated capitalism is that the state can’t really absorb a certain level of capital flow for its accumulation and reproduction. This is turn creates a material condition for the historical constitution of the bureaucratic bourgeoisie. The state apparatus becomes a source of primitive capital accumulation, and the form that accumulation takes is CORRUPTION.


Because of its need to control the state (as its source of capital accumulation) the bureaucratic bourgeoisie tends to deny a certain level of bourgeois democratic rights, such as elections, in order to secure its own reproduction as a fraction of the capitalist class. In order to guarantee this reproduction, the bureaucratic bourgeoisie has hegemonic tendencies: for the control of the state apparatus and to become a center pole in the power bloc of the dominant classes. To maintain its hegemony, it becomes a fundamental ally of feudalism, a class with similar characteristics in dealing with bourgeois democracy and bourgeois democratic rights. This creates and exacerbates the structural political crisis.


Imperialism is holding a cigar lit at both ends. They need the bureaucratic bourgeoisie to maintain stability in dominated social formations (because of their capacity to organize and centralize repression), but at the same time they need to distance from them. Syria, Egypt, Iran and Iraq, in the Middle East, are all very good examples of the kind of quagmire imperialism is dealing with, especially when imperialists also have to deal with inter-imperialist struggle.


One current objective of imperialism is to reorganize an international division of labor. The Middle East is becoming very attractive for the introduction of the textile industry. For that, the liberalization of labor power, especially women’s labor power, is necessary—and thus arises the need to defeat feudalist ideology. Soon after the Arab Spring, imperialists hastened to set up textile assembly in Egypt.


It is clear now that imperialism has no solution to the global economic crisis, but can merely continue to manage and deal with the overflow of effects produced by the internal contradiction of these social formations.


This again demonstrates the need for the proletariat to offer to humanity its OWN ALTERNATIVE. That will not happen if we limit our reflections to making comments (in place of analysis) and to tailgate the bourgeoisie by being (and remaining) simply in opposition to them.


The radical petit bourgeois, acting like a radical Mother Theresa, will call for open borders, but will not recognize that migration is actually reducing the potential crisis inside these social formations while affecting class antagonism in the receiving social formations. Instead of a left petit bourgeois liberal call for open borders, our call must be to defeat capitalism/imperialism and feudalism. OUR CALL, IN THE SPIRIT OF PROLETARIAN INTERNATIONALISM, IS TO AGITATE AND ORGANIZE FOR PROLETARIAN REVOLUTION.


The proletarian alternative is the only solution.