Friday, September 22, 2006

Galloway the racial nationalist

HP posted a link to George Galloway's Morrocco Times interview (see also here and here).
“I am for Morocco's position (on the Sahara issue), and I always have been”, he said, stressing he is against “the balkanisation of the Arab region”.

“We should not balkanise the Arab region … I am against the partition of Morocco,” added the British deputy, affirming that “there is no room for small entities”.
This is a great example of Galloway's volkish ideology: he dreams of a world neatly partitioned between a few great nations (the Arab nation, the Slav nation, the Scottish nation, etc) led by their respective fuhrers (Saddam, Milosovic, Galloway, etc), who intuitively embody the volks' racial essence, so effectively that democracy is not needed. (In this world, of course, there would be no space for rootless cosmopolitans like Jews or Bosnians.)

Reading it reminded me that last summer, when I got his book out of Deptford Library, I wrote the below, which I never got around to posting:

As I told you in this post, I have been having the delight of reading George Galloway’s I’m not the only one.
One thing that strikes me strongly about Galloway’s world view is his tendency to see the world in terms of primordial racial categories. If humankind were a village, he says, it would look like this: 57 Asians and 21 Europeans, 30 white and 70 non-white, and so on. And this is really how Galloway views the world.
He expects Russia to stand by Serbia – as fellow Slavs. John Negroponte becomes a “brute Roman”, “in loud Godfather garb”. A “People’s Europe” must stand up to the Martian Americans (or is that Venutian?). Britain must recapture its essential spirit of democracy: “Forward – to the British Democratic Revolution!” (He continues: “Only then will Britain be able to hold up its head in the world. We can be a force for good.”)
In these passages, he falls into a line of reactionary thinkers, from Hegel and Thomas Carlyle, to TE Lawrence and the Arab-loving anti-semitic architects of the Balfour declaration, to Samuel Huntington, who see the world in terms of racial destiny – or kismet as Galloway likes to call it.
Not surprisingly, then, Galloway advocates anti-Americanism.
“Anti-Americanism – by which I mean the rejection not of the American people themselves but the role of its government and its military around the world – is sweeping he young generation and will be the prevailing mind-set, the most powerful ideology, of the first half of this century.”
Of course, anti-Americanism is precisely the hatred of the American people themselves because of (a blinkered perception of) the role of its government and its military.
Anti-Americanism – like Pan-Arabism, Pan-Slavism and the other nineteenth century causes Galloway espouses – is a racial nationalist ideology. Like Huntington's clash of civilizations thesis and Bernard Lewis’ orientalism, it replaces political analysis with racial teleology. By focusing on race, nation and civilization, the myriad differences and tensions that mess up these abstractions are obscured.
Similarly, Galloway’s obsession with the Arab world (or “Oriental” world as he calls it) is a Western fantasy of an exotic other. Indeed, he un-self-consciously uses the word “exotic” several times when talking about his love of Palestine. He proudly quotes a description of him as “the left’s Lawrence of Arabia” and imagines himself on p.37 as a foreign legionnaire fighting in the Palestinian struggle.

(I kind of trailed off there, but you get the picture.)

3 comments:

Will said...

I agree with you here Bob. Good post. Only one small mistook tho'.

You say..."he dreams of a world neatly partitioned between a few great nations (the Arab nation, the Slav nation, the Scottish nation, etc)"

He's actually an anti-Scottish nationalist - dead against Scottish independence he is. Although this actually works in favour of your overall thesis if you get my drift.

meika said...

Anti-Americanism – like Pan-Arabism, Pan-Slavism and the other nineteenth century causes Galloway espouses – is a racial nationalist ideology.

he'd make a good israeli

bob said...

Hmmm. Well, some variants of Zionism are racial nationalist ideologies, the mirror images of Pan-Arabism.