Reply to Phillip on ET, DSP and bad analogies
Jose G. Perez
jgperez at SPAMfreepcmail.com
Wed Nov 24 18:11:11 MST 1999
>>Moreover, if you want to get into analogies using the police, try this
scenario on for size: what if we were in the Deep South of the USA in the
Jim Crow era and the assailants were black and you knew that if the cops
came the black assailants would have their balls cut off and then be
lynched. Would you still call the cops?
>>Context is everything, Paul.<<
Once again, your purely FORMAL approach of putting things in categories and
looking up the "correct" answer in a rule book comes through clearly here.
Why Blacks in the deep South? Because, you see, the Indonesians are "Third
World." But it just so happens that the Indonesian rulers and the military
made themselves the pliant tools of imperialism. And if doing what? In
lynching the people of East Timor. The Indonesian occupation of East Timor
was an imperialist policy, carried out at the behest of, and in the pay of,
imperialism. It was in essence an imperialist mercenary invasion. The real
analogy isn't to some Blacks in the South, but to Col. Bermudez and his
The REAL analogy is this: If you knew a bunch of southern working class
"good ol' boys" were planning a necktie party for a bunch of uppity blacks,
with the, at most, feigned displeasure of the local authorities and
constabulary, would you call on the federal government to send troops? Even
though the good ol' boys are just Misguided Workers, while the federal
troops are the Repressive Forces of the Bourgeois State?
Was the U.S. SWP right in supporting the Black Community's demand that
Eisenhower send troops to the south to enforce a democratic right
(education) against the campaign of the local authorities to prevent Blacks
from exercising that right? What the U.S. SWP right in adopting a similar
position vis-a-vis Boston in 1974-75?
Ah, you say, that was DOMESTIC, this is INTERNATIONAL. But it makes no
difference in THIS case. Indonesia has not IN FACT, despite the fevered
fantasies of some, been attacked or invaded. The U.N. intervention isn't
taking place in Indonesian territory, but in the territory of East Timor.
The operation was carried out with the cooperation, however reluctant, of
the Indonesian government. That action was explicitly authorized, nay
DEMANDED by the legitimate representatives of the people of East Timor, the
independence movement. That you can compare the role of the UN force in East
Timor TODAY to that of racist lynch cops during Jim Crow in the American
South shows how violently your method of proceeding by placing things in
categories and looking up the correct answer in a formula book clashes with
From: Philip L Ferguson <PLF13 at student.canterbury.ac.nz>
To: marxism at lists.panix.com <marxism at lists.panix.com>
Date: Tuesday, November 23, 1999 11:22 PM
Subject: Reply to Paul Benedek on ET, DSP and bad analogies
>>Let's say, Phillip, that I see you being beaten up by several thugs in an
>>alley way, one of whom pulls a knife. I'm not strong enough to defend you
>>myself, but I do see a cop down the street.
>>Do I see the urgency of the situation, and call on the cop (tool of the
>>bourgeois state and all) to stop the beating and arrest the perpetrators?
>>Or do I recognise that as a 'pure Marxist', I can not call on the cop as a
>>part of the bourgoise state, to do anything - and thus I scream and sweat
>>in your defence, but am ultimately sidelined, and you are beaten to a pulp
>>or perhaps killed.
>Does this mean that the DSP is falling for the bourgeoisie's moral panic on
>crime and knife-wielding thugs as well as for their humanitarian
>Moreover, if you want to get into analogies using the police, try this
>scenario on for size: what if we were in the Deep South of the USA in the
>Jim Crow era and the assailants were black and you knew that if the cops
>came the black assailants would have their balls cut off and then be
>lynched. Would you still call the cops?
>Context is everything, Paul.
>Unfortunately, you and the DSP want to rip events in East Timor out of the
>context of *imperialist* interests and policy and make the oppressing Third
>World regime (Jakarta) the only bad guy.
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