The fostering of the Straussian neocon “closed society” continues to soldier on ahead. The main, but certainly not the only, conduit for this austere vision of society utilises the rhetoric of fear – “safeguarding”, “cohesion” and “counter-extremism”, augmented courtesy of puppets of the neoconservative malignancy within Government.
Despite being utterly baseless academically and broken as pre-crime tool, there has been effort to mainstream PREVENT into society. This normalisation of authoritarian PREVENT-thinking has led to the latest charade; anti-fascist group Hope not Hate (HnH) has been used to spread the tentacles of PREVENT further into civil society by using Sara Khan in its publication State of Hate 2017.
In doing so, HnH comprehensively debilitated its legitimacy.
The founder of HnH, Nick Lowles, has a history of confronting far-right racist individuals and groups. He has also campaigned for the banning of Pamella Geller and Robert Spencer for their anti-Muslim, hate filled rhetoric. The question is of course, how has such a campaign group been hoodwinked into co-opting PREVENT-thinking and allowed itself to be exploited by a cheerleader of discrimination?
There has been a flurry of commentary and articles on both sides of the pond seeking to fathom and comprehend the somewhat diabolical outcome over in the US. Donald Trump, the orange hued caricature of the volatile white supremacy movement, is to step into the Whitehouse to take the reins of a country which has for over a decade defined itself by secular creedal beliefs like freedom and democracy which have been militarily imposed upon the rest of the peoples of the world.
The reaction from the commentariat and Twitterati has been one of shock, followed by attempts to understand the rise of Trump. From disenchantment of the people with the elite, to the interconnected rise of neoliberalism and globalised greed, to even questioning liberal democracy itself (PREVENT anyone?), the reasons have been varied. A further explanation is that this is historic white supremacy reasserting itself – a racist institution recalibrating in the aftermath of a black president and excessive equality. For this reassertion, however, here has had to be a catalyst.
Culture wars are a neoconservative forte which is born from neoconservatism’s societal prescription of nationalism of the type which actively creates enemies, Otherises “aliens”, courts the religious/nationalist fanatic, and champions wars abroad. This is done under the overarching aim of creating an authoritarian closed society based on fascist principles, which is for neocons the solution for America’s liberalism-based cultural decline. To facilitate the “enemy” aspect of neocon policies, the clash of civilisations thesis is used along with the military doctrine of pre-emption to normalise the culture war against Islam and Muslims within the upper echelons of government. It is pumped through a multi-million-dollar, sophisticated network of hatemongers, think-tanks, propagandists and “alt-right” racist papers. Neoconservatives, in other words, are key in fostering the climate in which people have chosen Trump.
The Trojan Horse event of 2014 in Birmingham, which saw a political and media campaign to prove a “Islamist plot” to “takeover” state schools, and its fallout will go down in history as an eerily textbook implementation of neoconservative “father” Leo Strauss’ vision of the closed society. Briefly, the fascist thinking of neoconservatism has exploitation of fear, public deception, ruthless militarism and a totalitarian society as its tools and aims. As I have covered in some detail citing neoconservative writers and thinkers, the idea is that an active military abroad will result in people handing their freedoms here at home on a platter to an intrusive, all-encompassing state controlled by a small elite. Ultimately, a society willing to sacrifice its life for the neoconservative state is the ideal. This seemingly dystopian vision however has more than flavour of reality in Britain.
The Trojan Horse fiasco – now known by Muslims as the “Trojan Hoax” – entrenched the far-right myth of the “Muslim takeover”. This was done by employing lying journalists to cook up stories of “extremism”, whilst neocon infiltrated education departments and regulators (Ofsted) were weaponised into feeding the myth of the Trojan Horse. Muslim teachers were purged on the flimsiest of reasons – privately held beliefs – in order to fulfil the interconnected purposes of providing a pretext for regulatory measures (PREVENT), and constructing the fifth column Muslim enemy archetype. Of course, Ofsted was criticised by a host of academics early on, the “Trojan horse plot” turned out to be an elaborate piñata constructed by neocons, and courts are now overturning bans on Muslim teachers.
Rockwood Academy Militarisation
Despite the slow but steady disintegration of the Trojan hoax pretext, the neoconservative machine is chugging away at chipping and socially re-engineering the open society into a closed one. Leading the way is the Muslim-majority, Birmingham-based Rockwood Academy, formerly known as Park View School – the first victim of the Trojan Hoax political Islamophobia in the education sector.