g.maclennan at qut.edu.au
Wed Oct 2 22:50:39 MDT 1996
There is much in this little exchange between Rolf and Louis G. The latter
won hands down in terms of dignity and analysis of the situation, at least IMO.
But the aspect of this truly sorry affair that intrigues me is it is such a
brutal demonstration of capitalism's present inability to play a progressive
role. The Reagan-Casey nexus and the 500 families that back them can deform
and hold back progress. It seems indeed that they can do this indefinitely.
But they can give us nothing that is decent. Their rhetoric about "human
rights" and "freedom" has worn truly thin.
I am reminded of Tacitus' "They have made a desert and they call it peace"
when I survey the handiwork of Pax Americana.
There is another parallel example. We had the Dali Lama here recently. An
ageing faker and a charlatan if ever there was one. A reactionary and an
absolutist to boot, who somehow has become the spiritual leader of the
desperate alienated victims of late Capitalism.
Yet his "wisdom" sounds to me like the sort of thing you find on desk
calendars or in fortune cookies. Nevertheless Australians of all shades were
falling over themselves to get into his presence.
It is interesting that he feels the necessity to describe himself as a
But beyond all this is the necessity for an analysis of the ambiguous nature
of the "workers' states". One that somehow is nuanced enough to admit the
gains they represented for the workers but also acknowledges their lack of
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