An excerpt from the above linked-to discussion between Illan Pappe and Max Blumenthal follows:
ILAN PAPPÉ: For instance, the claim that the only way you can create a democracy in a country which has settlers and natives, is if the settlers are always the majority; which is the argument of the liberal Zionists, not the right wing Zionists. The liberal Zionists, the whole peace process, is based on the idea that the only way democracy can be sustained in Palestine is if the Jews are a majority in their own homeland…
For the second point that you were making, I think that it’s very important to highlight, when you talk about any settler-colonial project – what Patrick Wolfe called “the logic of the elimination of the native” – that you cannot create a new settler-colonial society, or a settler nation state, from the settler-colonials’ perspective, as long as there is an indigenous native population there. So you have to get rid of them.
MAX BLUMENTHAL: Genocide.
ILAN PAPPÉ: Genocide them as you did in America, or impose apartheid and Bantustan them as you did in South Africa, or ethnically cleanse them as you did in Palestine…
MAX BLUMENTHAL: I think that the logic of? the underlying logic of Zionism, of maintaining a demographic majority, a sort of ethnic over-class, through violent demographic social engineering, is scarcely ever interrogated in our mainstream media. In academia it’s even very rare to see it.
Would you say that that has fuelled the rhetoric and the politics of the far right in Western Europe and in the United States; where you hear someone like Stephen Bannon, who’s the Chief Counselor to Donald Trump – the main intellectual force behind him – say at a major conference in Washington, that the United States is not just an economy; it has to represent a culture.
My online response to the above linked-to article follows:
Bannon wants not only to tell people what to think, but how to think. Now, If he wants us to think rightly, that wouldn’t be so bad. Which requires us to think carefully about exactly what he’s saying. The culture argument he makes is bogus. My thinking on this, as a Canadian, has been shaped by meditating on the meaning of the Quebec political class’s efforts to keep Quebec peculiarly French. None of those movers and shakers would say they’re anti-democratic. On the contrary. But deeds speak loudly. I have never had a problem with the unique character of Quebec. It makes Canada interesting. I actually don’t like French, but I’d like to know how to speak it, just because.
I’d like to see Quebec separate – as long as Quebec’s distinctiveness continues to be used by all of Canada’s politicians to divide and conquer and distract us from important issues, which is what’s happening.
I like the sociological defintion of culture. To me, that’s the most useful. Culture is the totality of the society and the influence of that totality on the people living in that society. That’s all. Implied is the idea that people decide on the form that their society will take. We decide on the politics, the social ecomic system, the customs, art, everything and the resulting culture is what it is. We do not, in other words, legislate culture. If we do, like loser French speaking politicians in Canada, then the culture that results may be no less ‘culture’, but the way it came about is unnatural. The phrase ‘legal’ but not ‘legitimate’ comes to mind.
Racists, exploiters and manipulators should be exposed and they should have zero to say about culture. If you look at it in market terms, What are the racists afraid of? If their culture(s) is superior, then people will buy it, Won’t they?
I also see a great deal of projection happening. Those with power (usually because they’ve broken rules in order to acquire it), are so fearful of what others might do if they come to have power because they themselves are exploiters and manipulators and bullies and not in the least bit democratic. I’m reading Yves Engler’s “Lester Pearson’s Peacekeeping – The Truth May Hurt” right now and I just read an incredible example of Lester (war criminal) Pearson’s projection in regard to Vietnam. Pearson, like pretty much our entire political class, past and present, was a patriotic American. Too bad for Canadian citizens who might have wished for a truly independent, sovereign Canada. They weren’t going to turn in a direction likely to come close to that under Pearson who’s ‘vision’ was how the government of Canada might mesh with, and not disturb, American foreign policy.
Fascists would have people believe that democracy means choosing the ‘right’ way, especially if it’s pro business, anti people and anti communist (anti people). Cold War warriors like Pearson were totally down with NSC 68, the extremist (US) Cold War, anti-communist doctrine that guided war mongering presidents since its creation. What might Canadian leaders have accomplished had they worked to build Canada, with a view to making it work for ‘all’?
“To justify an initial $25 million ($250 million today) in Colombo Plan aid Pearson told the House: “Communist expansion may now spill over into South Asia as well as into the Middle East … it seemed to all of us at the [Colombo] conference that if the tide of totalitarian expansionism should flow over this general area, not only will the new nations lose the national independence which they have secured so recently, but the forces of the Free World will have been driven off all but a relatively small bit of the great Eurasian landmass. In such circumstances it would not be easy to contemplate with equanimity the future of the rest of the world. …We agreed at Colombo that the forces of totalitarian expansionism could not be stopped in South Asia and South Asia by military force alone.” -pg 72
There has never been anything principled, despite dishonest claims, about Canadian aid. It has always been about manipulation.
But notice the fear that Pearson had of Communists gaining influence. That people might freely choose a system of neighbor looking after neighbor over dog eat dog doesn’t enter into his speechifying, even if they are ideas that he considered in private (as an intelligent human being). Why, If you gave the Communists an inch, they might do what Western, capitalist (let’s call it) imperialists do when they have nothing to stop them, namely pursue a violent, expansionist program that leaves a trail of destruction and bloodshed.
And there’s nazi Netanyahu, in fine peacekeeping mode, sucking up to the world’s ruler who has indicated that he’s pleased with your ‘democracy’ and will back it come hell or high water. Democracy and naturally occurring culture can’t be permitted. That could result in others using their dominance and power to crush you, the way you’re using your power to crush others. That those others, left to grow and develop in your midst might be more interested in the benefit of ‘all’, including yourself, doesn’t occur to ruined minds like Netanyahu’s.
Can anything be as perverted as this? You make the argument that you are not just an economy, but you are a culture too, ‘after’ you socially engineer – via genocide (US vis a vis First Nations and Israel via the ethnic cleansing and culling of Palestinians) – a numerical majority which you can point to as the one from which your culture derives?