‘Never underestimate, never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed individuals can change the world. Indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.’
With this inspiring quote by Margaret Mead, Ben Hayes of Statewatch introduces us to a discussion about people power, explaining how counter-terrorism legislation is used to crackdown on civil society and suppress social movements.
‘In many countries, it’s much easier to set up a company than it is to set up an NGO’.
But, how about we stop thinking about oppressive, undemocratic governments, somewhere far far away and look beyond that into the foundations of the system.
With his research, Ben Hayes exposes the role of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), one of the most powerful intergovernmental institution, in promoting suppressive to civil society regulations all around the world.
The petty bourgeois classes (peasants, small shopkeepers, liberal professions, quasi-intellectuals) do not constitute fundamental classes in society. They have no particular mode of production or social project to put forward. They are not historic classes in the marxist sense. They are the least homogeneous of social classes. They have no future of their own.
Even though their higher echelons draw their revenue from the exploitation of others labour and are thus part of the privileged, they are, as a whole, subjected to the domination of the capitalist class, which imposes its laws on them and oppresses them.
Their actions against exploitation and repression often have a desperate nature. That’s why they regularly resort to terrorism as a reaction of a class, without a future, against the terror of the ruling class. These are momentary reactions, without continuity, acts of vengeance with no tomorrow.
Terrorism, the impotent reaction of the impotent, can never overcome the terror of the ruling class. It is a gnat biting the elephant. On the other hand, terrorism has often been exploited by the state to justify and strengthen its own terror.
We must absolutely denounce the myth that terrorism serves, or could serve, as a detonator for any form of struggle with a perspective, with a historic future. The working class needs no actions of such social strata to detonate its struggle.