In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

The Mask of Anarchy

Posted by seumasach on January 7, 2008

Cailean Bochanan

6th January 2008

Last came Anarchy: he rode
On a white horse, splashed with blood;
He was pale even to the lips,
Like Death in the Apocalypse.

And he wore a kingly crown;
And in his grasp a sceptre shone;
On his brow this mark I saw –

“The Mask of Anarchy”-P.B.Shelley

Just as Ariel Sharon’s visit to Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque in 1999 prefigured US foreign policy under Bush, I have a sense that a new spirit already suffuses through US policy even though Bush still has a year to go in office.The high noon of the neo-cons has been and gone and the ultimate paroxysm of their madness, the bombing of Iran, no longer seems likely. But from Pakistan to Bolivia, from Kosovo to Kenya this new spirit is a work: the spirit of anarchy.

In Bolivia, a democratically elected government is under threat from traditional elites 
desperately hanging onto privilege with the support of the USA. Their goal is to break the power of central government by creating autonomous provinces under their own control. In Pakistan US/UK nominal support for Musharraf is in question as they seek to fragment that country, again playing on centrifugal forces. 

In Kenya the US sent their congratulations to Kibaki only withdrawing it when fraud became too glaringly evident. The essentials of the situation are that the victory of America’s man through a fraudulent electoral process led to massive opposition which was suppressed and channeled into tribal rivalries through provocations which involved state agencies in at least some cases.In Kosovo the US/UK are once again orchestrating mayhem through the KLA,a tactic made possible by the fading of the Clash of Civilizations paradigm(remember how the Al-Queda tinged KLA’s rampage through Macedonia had to be discreetly halted after the 9/11 attacks). 

Everywhere the talk is of terrorist groups, tribalism, ethnicity, secession and always the hand of Anglo-American subversion can reasonably suspected although not always proven.The goal here is not global conquest but global chaos; it is a scorched earth policy- if the empire cannot prevail then at least no one else will, and privilege will hold sway over democracy in a world of fragmented nation states and local oligarchies.

In opposition to the destructive machinations emanating from London and Washington are new democratic movements which have a new sense of the centrality of the nation state as their context and their domain. We have seen this dramatically in Lebanon and I believe also in Iraq despite the endless hype about sectarian division. We have also seen Russia and China emerging as stabilising forces in world politics and they are showing themselves skilled opponents of Western wrecking, a factor that makes me feel that it is now too late for the Soros, Democratic Party strategy, if that is indeed what we’re seeing, which might have been run with some success in 2004. The world has changed since then and if 2008 is to be the year of democracy it will be the continued advance of the world’s long down-trodden peoples and nations, not democracy as the mask of anarchy.

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