Hugh Rodwell m-14970 at
Thu Feb 15 10:43:40 MST 1996

Just to make it clear that when Michael L writes:

>Hugh wrote that "Amnesty International can provide useful material
>documenting state oppression. What it can't provide is any kind of solution
>or leadership pointing the way out of the contradictions of the bourgeois
>state (democracy/oppression) which it focuses on."
>True enough. However, his strictures for avoiding "the sticky mess of foul
>smelling slime" emanating from the bourgeoisie, while admirable enough in
>themselves, seem somewhat removed from the morass of the 20th century. In
>lieu of international working class solidarity - what then?

he doesn't take issue with what I actually wrote, which was:

'In matters of moral authority, any collaboration with the bourgeois state will
immediately cover you in a sticky mess of foul-smelling slime, so to speak.
The working class and its allies must develop the strongest sense of class
independence on this kind of issue.'

The bourgeois state is not the same as the bourgeoisie. Amnesty is also
more petty-bourgeois than bourgeois in its class character. Amnesty is not
the same as cops or government or quango bodies. If international working
class solidarity isn't there, then you have to build it on a foundation of
'the strongest sense of class independence'.

>Louis Godenas asked: "Might we not, as Marxists, create a viable leftist
>alternative to AI?"  Perhaps one day we will. I imagine that Hugh had
>something of that nature in mind when he wrote about class tribunals

Class tribunals will be organs of class power and as such will only be able
to operate in conditions of a workers' state or at the very least dual
power. The idea of a 'viable leftist alternative to AI' sounds like a CP
front scam with enclaves of 'leftism' coexisting with petty-bourgeois
idealism and the repressive apparatus of the bourgeois state.

>If in order to stop the torture of detainees, we have to involve
>ourselves with the likes of Amnesty, should we refuse to wade into the "the
>sticky mess of foul smelling slime?"

Once again, Amnesty is not the bourgeois state. If I was put in jail for
belonging to my party, and my comrades couldn't get me out, I'd be
delighted if Amnesty were ready to help whatever was left of me. I'd be
even more delighted if they used all that money, time and effort to
organize for the overthrow of capitalism and the bourgeois state.





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