“The society which has abolished every kind of adventure makes its own abolition the only possible adventure.” Paris, May 1968


Monday, 25 November 2013

Left wing cults? Brain washing? Seems to tick all the right boxes.

Now that it has been revealed that the suspects in the Brixton domestic slavery case were members of a "cult like Maoist collective" you can expect the press to have a field day. Already "experts" on left wing cults, brain washing, collective living etc. are brushing up their interview techniques while the Mail makes the usual comparisons with Citizen Smith scripts.  None of this is remotely funny for the three women victims nor for the capital's many other unknown victims of modern slavery and I hope that the media obsession with lefty cults won't take the spotlight away from a very nasty part of 21st century London. Meanwhile, perfectly nice groups of people who are politically active and sharing accommodation can expect some odd looks from the neighbours. Remember kids, keep a sense of fun and question everything, two things that are anathema to all cults, and sadly to many lefties as well.

1 comment:

Dr Llareggub said...

It might be too convenient to dismiss the Brixton slave group as a cult. Maurice Brinton wrote the pamphlet, Suicide for Socialism, following the Jonestown massacre, which is relevant to this topic. He was not concerned with cults as such, but with the general thinking and organization of the traditional left.
http://libcom.org/library/suicide-for-socialism-jonestown-brinton

Thinking of how relevant Brinton’s pamphlet is today I tried to discuss it on a leading Class War blog, but the quote from the pamphlet and my remarks about the similarity between brainwashing in the North Korean POW camps and today’s left failed to pass censorship. Which was Brinton’s and my point about the controlled thinking among left movements. Here is what I have tried to add to the discussion - unsuccessfully.
The relevance of Brinton's pamphlet to the current retreat from reason among the left is apparent. Just label opponents, never accept counter arguments, and immerse oneself in the fight against… etc. From Brinton's pamphlet about Jonestown:
‘We also need to relate all this to many phenomena and tendencies we see daily in the socialist movement around us. We mean the systematic cult of leadership, the manipulation of information, the abdication of critical judgement, the substitution of rhetoric for argument and of slogans for the serious discussion of complex issues. We mean the belief in ‘activity’ at any cost – with little questioning as to its content – the mythologising and the voluntarism, the intimidation of dissidents, the almost universal application of double standards, the systematic generation of paranoia and the retreat, on a very wide front indeed, from rationality in general’.
Some time after he wrote this I got hold of a psychiatric report on the brainwashing of US POWs in Korea and Brinton and I compared it with Jonestown. We drew attention to the media’s need to portray the brainwashing of the POWs in terms of brutality, exquisite oriental forms of torture. But this was not the case; the POWs were starved of factual information, only allowed to read bad news about the US, and in discussion groups talked and talked, dissidents were humiliated and labelled, and the groups fell under persuasive leaders who dominated their minds. The POWs were brainwashed by the equivalence of the leftist movements as described by Brinton. I published the piece about the POWs in a Solidarity mag.

Today’s left is represented in the Brixton slave home and in the Jonestown massacre. Do not treat these cases as isolated examples of crazy cults: the people who cling to leftist ideas without rational thought, who censor and oppose debate with no platform policies, who do not allow replies to the chosen few in their blogs, FB pages and publications, are the same as those generations who defended Soviet Gulags, Mao’s slaughter during the Cultural Revolution, and today are on the streets supporting Hamas, and various assorted Jihadist movements, where left wing speakers share platforms with advocates of stoning for adulterers. The left is becoming the class enemy.

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