The Saudi palace coup, the oil market, China and the US

By Ali Kadri

Trouble has been brewing in Saudi Arabia, the jewel of the US empire, under the very eyes of the imperialists. Since circa 1980, the socially stabilising economic redistribution mechanisms, the objective pillars holding society together, were neoliberally eroded. As for the subjective grounds, or the political US-backing that the Saudi monarchy enjoys, it so happens that until about 2011, the timing of the Arab Spring, the Saudi-comprador class’ surreal social and political practice received low-key criticism.

Saudi Arabia is the only place where the outstanding atrocities of the royal family, not just the beheadings, but the infusion and funding of pro-imperialist Islamist ideology across the world, became a sort of folk tradition pertaining only to “Saudi” culture. In its defence of its subject – state, American liberalism dropped the existentialist golden rule of ethics. The rule by which humanity’s very existence, its state of physical being as such, imposes a shared set of values and morals. For the orthodoxy, working Saudis as human beings were reduced to just humans without their state of being. They existed as ideas, but not as real people. Absurdly, Arabs inhabiting the Arabian Peninsula, enduring grotesque physical and social torture under US-Marines supported monarchs, did not share the universal feeling of suffering. Instead, a peculiar form of imperialist-constructed Islam made them into a special sort of noble savage. For the reigning US empire, what the custodians of American oil under Arab sands do is their own tradition and their own business , not humanity’s. The reconstruction of pro-imperialist Wahabi identity serving as an ideological tool, otherwise instigating a renaissance of the alleged despotism inherent in Islamic culture, became the fuel for the war on terror.

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The ideological windfall to capital as a result of Saudi obscurantism has been significant. Just as the socialist culture of the cold war created a cross country competition for the betterment of social conditions, the Saudi stance of “obligations before rights” drags down world culture into a race to the bottom. History commanded by anti-humanist ideologies is the quickest doorway to the commodification of human beings. It propels capital, the social relationship and its corresponding social class, into its element fascism.