[lbo-talk] Oh! Bitchery!

Lenin's Tomb leninstombblog at googlemail.com
Sat Dec 17 03:19:46 PST 2011

On 17/12/2011 04:57, James Heartfield wrote:
> Michael Smith: 'Oddly enough, Doug, I believe you're the first person so far to have used the term 'racism' in connection with Hitchens.'
> no, that was Eric Beck, quoting Richard Seymour's obituary

Just to be absolutely precise, since this has been the subject of some misunderstanding. I do not describe Hitchens' atheism as such as thinly disguised racism. Hitchens always had roughly the same basic opinion about religion, going back to his disdain for 'liberation theology'. But what happened after 9/11, and particularly as the occupation of Iraq began to fail, was that this concern was given a new prominence and a new set of inflections and emphases. His decision to make 'anti-theism' his main issue was transparently motivated by the need to explain 9/11, the Iraqi resistance, the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, etc etc in the terms of religious 'totalitarianism' (rather than imperialism, nationalism, capitalism, etc). /God is Not Great/ is filled with this sort of colonial wisdom about natives torn apart over irrational superstitions - Ulster, Kashmir, Iraq, etc etc. Moreover, he did reproduce several racist myths about Muslims - buying into the 'demographic threat' to Europe, 'Londonistan', hounding Tariq Ramadan as if he was Bin Laden's emissary, and so on.

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