Warwick Marxists: our response to false accusations of antisemitismApril 16, 2019
In the recent period the ruling class in Britain have weaponised anti-Semitism allegations to smear the Corbyn-led Labour Party as “institutionally antisemitic”. Despite less than 0.1% of Labour Party members being the subject of complaints about antisemitism that were upheld, Labour has been painted hysterically as an “existential threat” to Jewish life in the UK.
In fact this has turned into a full-blown witch hunt against anyone who opposes capitalism. As Blairite MP, Siobhain McDonagh, scandalously stated recently: “[It’s] very much part of their politics, of hard left politics, to be against capitalists and to see Jewish people as the financiers of capital.”
This witch hunt has spilled out beyond the Labour Party. At the University of Birmingham, one such (false) accusation ended in the suspension of the Socialist Society.
Lamentably we believe that we are seeing a similar campaign here, at Warwick University. First, back in September, left-wing President of the Warwick Labour Society, Frazer Amos, was publicly accused of antisemitism for saying that “the establishment of Israel was a racist endeavour”.
The Warwick Marxist Society has also been subjected to allegations of antisemitism. These allegations have been made quite publicly, and so we feel forced to set the record straight.
The accusers, in an interview with Warwick Boar, claimed that the Warwick Marxist Society is “institutionally antisemitic”. We ask: what does this mean? With 500k members and over 100 years of history, the Labour Party certainly is an institution. But Warwick Marxists have existed for 3 years and has a few dozen members – hardly an “institution”! We can only surmise that the term “institutionally antisemitic” has been used, quite meaninglessly in this context, because this is a copycat of the slander being meted out against Corbyn’s Labour.
But concretely, what have Warwick Marxists said or done that is antisemitic? The allegations relate entirely to social media posts and specifically the following two statements. Firstly:
“The Ruling Class fear a Corbyn government more than ever as the Tories look set to self-implode in the coming months. A safe pair of hands is desperately needed for the ruling class and thus the removal of Corbyn and the left.”
And secondly a post by a member of Warwick Marxists stating:
“Labour must call these attacks what they are, the ruling class scandalously using the horrors of anti Semitism to uphold their own regime built on the blood of millions!”
We are informed by the accusers that to suggest that there exists a “ruling class” that is trying to undermine Corbyn in the context of the accusations of antisemitism is to imply the existence of a Jewish ruling class conspiracy!
Furthermore, the second statement that the capitalist system is a system dripping from head to toe with blood – a statement of fact – we were told represented a blood libel! For those unaware, blood libel is an antisemitic allegation originating in the medieval period in which Jews were accused of murdering Christian children as part of a Passover ritual.
Needless to say, these connections are antisemitic – but these are connections that have been made in the heads of our accusers alone! The statements by Warwick Marxists mean just what they say: the ruling class are using antisemitism accusations as a weapon to undermine Corbyn. By ruling class, we mean the owners of the means of production, big business and the big business media irrespective of their religion, who are mortally afraid of Corbyn’s Labour because they consider it a threat to their ability to make fabulous profits.
Marxists are completely opposed to all conspiracy theories, be they antisemitic or otherwise. The reason is simple: not only do such “theories” stoke racial and religious hatred, thus dividing the working class; but by raising up some imaginary conspirators as responsible for all the world’s ills, they divert attention from the real workings of the capitalist system. It is for this reason that antisemitism has been used throughout history by the very same ruling class that we are now asked not to mention!
Furthermore, the capitalist system is a system which is responsible for untold horrors – some of the most despicable of which have in fact been carried out against the Jewish people.
The best way to undercut conspiracy theories is precisely by exposing the real workings and crimes of the capitalist system. We must show how a handful of billionaires – not Jews, freemasons, lizard people or any other fiction – control the main economic and political levers not by conspiratorial means but out in the open!
Throwing accusations of antisemitism around without basis is extremely dangerous. It threatens to create an atmosphere of censorship while simultaneously trivialising antisemitism, which is a very real danger.
To uphold these accusations against Warwick Marxists would be an act of McCarthyite censorship, plain and simple. It would mean that we would be unable to describe that capitalist system exactly as it is without fear of punishment. It would mean that terms like “ruling class” – which have a precise, scientific meaning in the lexicon of Marxists – would be forbidden in certain contexts.
Has Warwick Students’ Union upheld these accusations? Sadly, they have not been at all clear as to what their attitude is. During the investigation we were advised verbally that the investigators did not feel we had behaved in a manner that was antisemitic… but that we should have apologised irrespective of this fact!
As such we have been advised that our actions constitute “misconduct” and the relevant By-Laws brought to our attention, but it has not been made clear, in writing, if the SU believes our actions were antisemitic. Indeed, we have been denied access to the Investigator’s Report and so have no idea what the investigator’s findings were and exactly how our actions are deemed “misconduct”.
In the opinion of Warwick Marxists, the equivocal attitude of the SU reflects the baleful influence of identity politics. These ideas take a completely subjectivist approach to oppression, racism and discrimination. Instead of rooting these phenomena in objective facts, they are whatever the subjective individual views them to be.
According to this view, the accuser is assumed to be correct. Identity politics immediately throws the door open to the wildest abuse – as we have seen with Corbyn’s Labour Party, which is assumed to be “institutionally antisemitic” on the strength of the number of column inches asserting it to be such in the right-wing press, rather than on the basis of facts.
We call upon Warwick Students’ Union to clarify its opinion on this question in order to protect our members from vexatious allegations aimed at harassing our society and its members.
Warwick Marxist society