[Marxism] XXX XXXX on the crisis in RESPECT

Einde O'Callaghan einde at gmx.de
Thu Nov 22 15:20:31 MST 2007

Louis Proyect schrieb:

I thought it was against the policy on this mailing list to use real 
names of subscribers in the subject line!

> An article by Richard Seymour (aka, the blogger Lenin’s Tomb) has just 
> shown up on MRZine, an online publication that is associated with the 
> Monthly Review. The article  defends Seymour’s organization, the British 
> SWP, against their rivals over who is to blame for the split in RESPECT, 
> a promising leftwing alternative to Labour. Edited by Yoshie Furuhashi, 
> MRZine is widely perceived as a vehicle for some of her ideas about the 
> need to synthesize socialism and Islamic radicalism. Since one of the 
> SWP’s main complaints about its rivals is “communalism,” in other words 
> pandering to “notables” in the Islamic/immigrant communities in order to 
> get votes Tammany Hall-style, an exception to the general editorial 
> dynamic must have been made in this instance.  If there is one thing that
> can be said about Islamist politics in the Arab world, it is that it is 
> based on this kind of old-fashioned politicking.
Actually the IST, unlike much of the rest left, has a constructive 
engagement with many Islamist militants in countries like Egypt. Wwe 
also refuse to designate Islamist movements as Islamo-fascist as some 
sections of the left tend to do. We also recognise that Islamism has a 
genuine anti-imperialist aspect - in the absence of a secular 
alternative (due to the total political failure of the secular movements 
over the last generation) it is not surprising that many militants turn 
to Islamism - indeed the initial Islamist movements were a response to 
Western imperialist intervention in the Middle East.

The dispute in Britain has little or nothing to do with this aspect of 
Islamist politics and a lot more to do with reformist clientelist 
politics of a kind that isn't uniquely Muslim.

But, of course, the details are not of any particular importance - 
instead this is yet another welcome opportunity for the ritual bashing 
of the "Leninist-Zinovievist" sinners, who are naturally always 
responsible for the situation - "Zinovievism" is a sort of inescapable 
political "original sin" of all "Leninist" organisations.

Einde O'Callaghan

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