Thursday, July 8, 2010

Colonial Necrophilia

I've often written about this pathology that I've called 'colonial necrophilia'.
It involves loving people after you have killed them socially and politically. In Australia the love of Indigenous art, spirituality, etc. is a good example.
For most often than not, colonial necrophilia is a kind of post-genocidal love.
In New Zealand, where the Maoris have not been compeletely 'pacified', it would be interesting to do a market analysis: I am willing to bet that it will show a simple correlation whereby the love of Maori art goes up and down according to how agro the Maoris are projected to be towards the Pakeha at any given moment.
This is why I think that there is a form of colonial ressentiment that emerges when a colonised people or people who are subjected to a process of colonisation simply refuse to 'die'. You feel the colonisers telling them in a frustrated way: why all the hatred, why don't you just die so that I can love you.
This necrophilic desire, can be seen anywhere in the world, but it is particularly rampant in the West these days as those westerners who are still articulared to a colonial imaginary and who look at the world with colonial eyes, feel increasingly insecure about 'their' power of to affect things in the world. They have a brittle 'sense of power'(Nietzsche).
In the Middle East, this necrophilic desire is behind the inability of most Israelis and Westerners to cope with anyone even mildly opposed to their colonial politics there. Please die they tell anyone opposing them. Die so that love and peace can reign supreme.
Even though, I am being a bit crude here, but it is still more likely to be true than not that whenever and wherever you see a 'successful' and 'highly appreciated' Arab leader in the west you can be sure that he is a colonial arse licker. And you have to be pretty 'dead' to be a colonial arse licker!
Conversely, As soon as anyone shows that they are not compliant and are capable of showing traces of 'life' they become the 'devil' or as is more common to call devils these days, they become 'terrorists'. and they work in dark magical ways such as the very mention of their name ought to be avoided. You don't have to be an anthropologist to know about the powers of mentioning names, you only have to have read Harry Potter and remember 'you know who'.

I am thinking about this in relation to the sacking yesterday of Octavia Nasr from CNN in the US, for tweeting the following horror: 'Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Muhammad Hassein Fadlallah... one of Hezbollah's giants I respect a lot'.

Fadlallah was the spiritual leader of the Shi'a community in Lebanon. Octavia Nasr is actually wrong to see him as a 'Hezbollah' giant as he was not affiliated with them and has been critical on many occasions of some of the Iranian influence among them.

But that is not the point. The point is that Fadlallah IS a giant as far as clerics go. I mean, I am an atheist, and I don't like the fact that the Shi'as' political culture is so imbued with religious symblism, but I can still recognise that, given that this is how it is, Fadlallah managed to be an important progressive anti-fanatical voice.

But this is not only something that the US government and many Americans dont agree with, which is fair enough, but they feel so strongly about the guy that you are not allowed to mention his name let alone say something positive about him. Why? because apparently he is a 'terrorist'. So admiring him as a reformer is a threat to the security of the United States of American. It is also a biased and an unbalanced point of view which requires your sacking if you hold a media position. If Ariel Sharon dies (has he died or is he still alive?) would a journalist get the sack for tweeting that an Israeli giant has died? of course not. The guy is only a mass-murderer unlike Fadlallah who has done much worse.

Why is Fadlallah considered a terrorist in the US? because he is seen to be behind the bombing of the American soldiers who landed in Lebanon in the middle of the civil war twenty five years ago or so, to help 'pacify' the place. I don't know if Fadlallah was behind this but the idea that you become a terrorist, and someone who should not be spoken about in positive terms no matter what, if you attack American soldiers who come and land in your country and try to tilt the balance of power against you is nothing but a necrophilic joke.
The Americans and the Israelis are such bad losers they just can't cope with the idea that someone succeeds in giving their military, a military drubbing, in what is a military confrontation. They become seriously full of necrophilic venom and resentment for anyone who is imagined to be successful in this way. This is what is behind this stupid sacking of Octavia Nasr, a christian Lebanese who dared say that the terrorist Fadlallah is a 'giant'.
This also raises an issue which is really important to think about. How can the US, Australia or any other western countries expect to reconcile the fact that they consider a devil someone who is considered a saint by thousands of Shi'a immigrants and even non-immigrants living within their borders. Almost all those Shi'a will feel that Fadlallah is a highly ethical man. How can you expect people to 'blend' and integrate in countries that treat your heroes as devils. This is a genuinely important question that cannot be easily answered? unless you are one of those seriously mentally distrubed people who think that this makes all Shi'a in the west enemies and mass deportation is the only answer. Paradoxically, events such as this sacking, makes this mad option look like a common sense option.

1 comment:

  1. And infact the design to push for non dialogue is part of the "necrotic" discourse. The lapsing of democratic discourse-dismissals,deportations,various "damnatios"- is being used in the Mediterranean happily and liberally. Frankly I think that a twarted discussion of September 11 has fossilised a number of issues and Italy too-never part of the West really- is with berlusconism pushed and tucked into Westernising recesses, in the sense of a Western colonial exercise, in line with the blindest of necrophilic designs. .