The problem with anti-capitalist demonstrations

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Tue Dec 7 07:45:20 MST 1999

David Welch wrote:
>Well I think that I may well agree with you then. In fact what you're
>written is similar in many of its criticisms to the Mark Hume article,
>perhaps that's why you find it so distressing.

I find Hume's article distressing because it does not present a Marxist
analysis, let alone a radical analysis. When Alexander Cockburn used to
write a once a month article for the Wall Street Journal, it was understood
as an attempt to liven things up. Here's what the commies are thinking.
Hume's article is for all practical purposes identical to mainstream
opinion in the Economist or any other business publication. It might as
well have been written by somebody from the Cato Institute. To write that
the biggest threat to "progress" in the Third World is tree-hugging NGO's
is not only false, it is to take every Marxist economics book and throw it
in the bonfire. The reason capitalism does not invest is because it sees no
profit in it. LM's problem is that believes that a failure of nerve has
infected the big bourgeoisie, so they want to revivify it in the spirit of
"Atlas Shrugged". Frank Furedi stands in the corner with his boxer, the CEO
of Exxon, waving a towel in his face. "Go ahead, big boy. You can do it.
Just hit him with your right." "Aw, Frank. I can't go on. I've lost my will
to go out and tear up the Nigerian forests in search of oil. Those NGO's
have gotten to me. I wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat
thinking about oil-soaked pelicans. I can't go on."

>However the difficult in addressing your 'Marxist analysis of green
>issues' is its shallowness. Having noted the absurdity of 'urging a "back
>to nature" solution upon people suffering from a lack of economic
>development', you don't then ask why a movement organized around such
>beliefs has achieved such prominence, nor why it has found such favor
>with our ruling classes (environmental issues are a mandatory part of the
>school timetable in Britain).

Let me tell you a secret, David. Promise me that you will not share it with
anybody. The capitalist ruling class conspires to take over every protest
movement, usually when nobody is paying attention. They are very sneaky and
pefidious. They have worked their wicked ways with the environmental
movement, but other movements as well. There is substantial evidence that
they worked on Martin Luther King Jr. to channel the civil rights movement
into support for the Democratic Party. I can hear you saying now: "I DID
NOT KNOW THAT." They also have lots of unscrupulous people in the labor
movement trying to destroy its militancy and get it to support
anticommunism overseas. Like Jay Lovestone, fr'instance. My suggestion to
you if you want to avoid all these tainted movements is to retreat into a
simon-pure sectarian cult which wags its finger at the mass movement from
the side of the road. For lessons on how to do this, I recommend study of
Daniel DeLeon's Socialist Labor Party in the US. It is over 100 years old
and a shining example of how to avoid sinful behavior.

Louis Proyect

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