The savage bombings in the London underground are a stark and bloody reminder that, alas, we live in a complicated world in which civilization is threatened on many fronts. How nice it would be to inhabit a more simplistic bi-polar fantasy, say, of the Maoist bent. It was the Great Helmsman himself who harrumphed that “The primary contradiction is between U.S. imperialism and and all the worlds’ peoples.”
Chairman Mao conveniently forgot all those other “secondary” contradictions. You know, like the one between his totalitarian state and the 17 million people it killed. Or the one between the Russians and the Chinese. The Vietnamese and the Chinese. The Vietnamese and the Cambodians. Rich versus poor. White versus black. Hutus against Tutsis. The sacred against the profane. The religious fanatics versus secular democracy.
Which brings us back full circle to the savagery in London. It was bad enough listening to the reports of the bombings themselves. That pain was aggravated by the politicization of the events. From the Idiot Right were the numbskulls arguing over Shock Radio that the bombings somehow justified the war in Iraq. From the Idiot Left came Janeane Garfolo’s shriekings over Air America that somehow these bombings could be traced back to the Bush administration’s supposed countenance of terrorism.
Pathetic, really. Whatever one thinks of Bush (and I hold him in very low esteem) the London bombers are monsters who are fully responsible for their butchery. Period.
And Marc suggests a look at the Norm Geras inventory of terrorist attacks as well.
And speaking of Maoism, its essence is the creation of a “new man” by means of coercion from the level of politics down to genetics:
When Mao Zedong set forth his designs for China’s Great Leap Forward into communist modernity, he described the Chinese people as “poor and blank.” “On blank sheets of paper,” he declared, “free from any mark, the freshest and most beautiful characters can be written, the freshest and most beautiful pictures can be painted.” Possessed by the totalitarian dream of human nature as his open canvas, Mao thought a new sort of man could be written into being, that Marxist progress was an inevitable fact of China’s destiny, and that brutal means of creating the new society would be justified.
In the quest for the New Man, the end justifies any means, including mass murder. What a sick bastard Mao was.