Stalin, Mao and Polemics

Justin Schwartz jschwart at freenet.columbus.oh.us
Tue Apr 18 20:31:45 MDT 1995


 Rakesh Bhandari cites Mattick against the old New Left enthusiasm for Mao
and other third world revolutions. Broadly speaking I think the sentiment
is right. I ceased to be a quasi-Maoist (sinceI was always and
anti-Stalinist I was never a good Maoist) when the significancxe of the
fact that there are no peasants in America became clear to me, which in
fact didn't take very long in my early Marxist education. But apart from
the loons in RCP third-worldism is a target of the past.

(Chris: RCP= Revolutionary Comminist Party, the remaining American Maoist
sect.)

  Ralph and some others have disparaged, as I take it, solidarity worlk
with third world revolutions as irrelevant to American concerns. This
seems a failure of internationalism. The working class and its problems
are international and capital is globalized. The struggle requires support
for the Chiapas rebellion and opposition to the PRI partycrats for the
common interests of North American and Mexican workers. This is not the
same as waving the Little Red Book or holding up, e.g. Subcommandante
Marcos as the new Great Helmsman. Still internationalism requires us to
support the Zapatista struggle, the Haiti democracy movement, the Party of
Labor in Russia, etc. Self-interest too.

For what it's worth recall that Marx helped form the first Internatioinal
around solidarity with Polish revolutionaries. Each working class m,ust
settle with its own bourgeoisie, as he says, but internationalism and
class struggle are the twin poles of Marxism.

Chris asks:

>
> b)  I had asked in frank ignorance about the
> USA from 4,000 miles away, whether it is really impossible to make any
> alliance, however temporary, over however small an issue, with the Black
> Muslims.

By and large the issue is moot, since they won't work with whites.

>
> As it happens when I come back up the tube on Saturday afternoons there at
> the end of West Green Road, Tottenham, North London, are people I take to be
> black muslims.
> They appear to me to be quiet and dignified and in a sense rather
> admirable.  I do not experience them as hostile, though I assume they do not
> want to get their message over to me.
>
> They had posters up a couple of months ago announcing Farrakhan's
> (sp?) rally until the British government banned it. Suppose they ask me
> to sign a petition against this ban. Should I sign?
>
> In Tottenham  we have a Black Labour MP. Should he oppose
> the ban? Should labour party members oppose the ban?

The ban should be opposed on general free speech grounds. Signing the
petition and even organizing against the ban does not mean entering into
coalition with the Nation of Islam. Which, while it promotes an admirable
dignity and self-discipline amongs its membvers, also advocates a lunatic
racist, anti-semitic, and sexist ideology. One defends their rights on
classic Englightenment grounds. But they are not on our side. They are,
unsurprisingly, vehemently ansisocialist and pro (black) capitalist.

--Justin Schwartz




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