November 11, 2005

Unity, progress, and purpose

According to news report from post-bombing Jordan, the bombing has given rise to a (possibly temporary) consensus between pro- and anti-monarchy sections of the population. At one level, this is not surprising. No-one likes bombings, least of all the bombers themselves. That does not, however, make the above consensus any less of a puzzle. On one side are the Jordanians of Palestinian origin, who have lost everything to Israel, and who have every reason to loathe the Jordanian monarchy’s long-standing complicity with the Zionist entity. On the other side are the Jordanian elite, whose livelihood depends on a parasitic existence vis-à-vis King Abdullah, along with the brainwashed masses who, as usual, don’t believe in the possibility of anything better. The current “unity” between the pro- and anti-monarchy sections of the population is of little value as far as political progress is concerned. It is a unity without common interests or a common purpose, and therefore cannot lead to anything. It is a false unity.

Now take the unity that has arisen among widely divergent groups within the Iraqi Resistance. The Iraqi Resistance appears to consist of many groups that would not ordinarily give each other the time of day, to put it mildly. This is, of course, the pattern that has held true of all resistance movements in history. What unites them is not a common ideology or lifestyle, but rather active engagement in a common purpose. This is true unity.

It may seem to take us far afield, but last night I happened to be watching the latest TV version of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped. For the few people such as myself who didn’t already know the story, it is, briefly, about the adventures of a mixture of fictional and historical people in the context of the English invasion of Scotland in the eighteenth century. The actual story and history are complicated, but my point is about the character Alan Breck Stewart, who actually existed, and was a minor Scottish hero. When he is not busy being a hero, he is a gambling and whoring thief. His personality and character, though, are irrelevant to his being a hero. He was a hero and a progressive, solely because he fought the English invaders.

It is not our ideology, party affiliation, or “beliefs” that make us progressives. What makes us progressives is what we do and our concrete program of action.

My other posts on related topics:
The Poodle's UNcle
Today we are all Palestinians

1 comment:

Blake said...

Nice statement.