Is Capitalism the cause of ISIS?

November 19, 2015


Is Capitalism the cause of ISIS? I believe that is a necessary conclusion. Initially, it is counterintuitive because human behavior is so complicated that directing attention to the economic system appears dogmatic.

For instance, religious extremism has a long history. It appears almost as a part of human make up. Religious intolerance certainly is a product of religious practice. It arises in every religion and is always irrational and eventually becomes hateful and finally violent. While religious extremism has a long history and has caused many deaths, the current manifestation has a specific history. First, we must acknowledge that capitalism controls all aspects of world societies; it not only controls the way the work and causes the concentration of wealth, it also controls political processes and political decisions. While capitalists are not all powerful, capitalism as a system is all pervasive.

In any historical analysis, the point of departure must be precise. In this case, it must be December 1979. That is when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan to protect the secular, procommunist regime, against religious extremism. Ronald Reagan, elected in November of 1979, responded by providing military and economic support for those groups that became Al Qaida and the Taliban and eventually ISIS. In the capitalist mind and the capitalist ruling class of which Reagan was the spokesman, communism was more dangerous than religious extremism even if it did presage terrorism. In fact, the ruling class declared a victory in Afghanistan even though the result was bound to promote the most extreme elements of Muslim religious intolerance and ultimately terrorism.

From that point on, the US was tied to supporting ideologies of intolerance and violence against secular regimes which would tend toward socialism.

When Bush II was elected and Dick Chaney was Vice President, as individuals they supported war which would enrich Dick Chaney in profound ways and make Bush II appear to be a great leader.

Capitalists enforce their will with money and power. Their ideology proposes that people can be suppressed and oppressed without consequence.  As a system, capitalism has certainly imposed extreme forms of oppression and exploitation. While workers fight back to limit and confine capitalism extreme concentration of wealth and violent repression of workers, it takes such extraordinary sacrifice by workers, the result is piecemeal and limited.

It is that ideology that supported what was intended to be a quick war based on the effect of money and military power. The fact is that that ideology was incorrect and the endless wars that we have now suffered prove that it was incorrect. It was not only incorrect factually: that is, it was not going to be and could not be a quick war. It was incorrect ideologically: that is, it could not simply control people with money and power. The inevitable result is sectarian extremism.

As they say, the rest is history. The greed personified by Dick Chaney and the invalid analysis personified by Bush II resulted in a disaster in the Middle East. It is that chaos into which ISIS stepped.

Americans have short memories to our detriment. We believe we can impose our will by money and power even though historically that position has failed and failed miserably. In fact, it will always fail.

More Americans die every 2 days on the country’s highways than died in Paris. For that matter, gun violence is never presented as an aspect of terrorism. Grown or young males, mostly white, are not labeled suicide killers or right wing terrorists. That position by the corporate media is done from a political and ideological perspective. That position is imposed by the corporate media supported by the capitalists. Or more accurately, the capitalists control the corporate media and frame the issues to speak fear of ISIS, not to fear the conarge of the highway or gun violence.

By contrast, the corporate media knowingly reinforces the terrorist agenda which is to create fear way beyond the terrorists actual power. The incessant coverage of these acts has no logical reason other than to improve profits of the corporate media. Or, if not to improve profits, to back politically, the ideological agenda to create an enemy other than the banks or capitalists in general. Fear is the agenda of the terrorists. Supporting that fear is the agenda of the capitalist corporate media, if not intentionally to support ISIS, then unintentionally to increase profits.

The contrast between the way in which gun violence in this country is handled compared to the violence in Paris reinforces and actually supports the position that the capitalist agenda is being implemented.

One must ask whether incessant coverage of gun violence and the coverages on the highways would produce similar profits.

In any case, the creation of fear to support ISIS’s agenda is the result of capitalism and capitalist ideology.

The corporate media certainly is not trying to ensure safety for workers or even discuss the question of safety for workers. If they were, gun violence and the violence on the highways would be an immediate and continuous agenda. For that matter, industrial violence would be a part of the discussion. It is not.

For that reason, it is clear that as a system capitalism both created and supported the development of terrorism. In addition, historically the capitalist system created and supported the rise of ISIS, and now supports the agenda of ISIS.


Comments are welcomed.


Yours in Struggle,

Ron Glotta


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