marxism-digest V1 #1537

Philip L Ferguson PLF13 at
Tue Nov 23 19:04:13 MST 1999

Jose G. Perez writes:

>Excellent post Norm.
>    I think your Namibian example is especially on-point and useful in
>pointing out to people that there ain't no such "principle" as not calling
>on the imperialists to use force to enforce concessions they have promised.
>    BTW, I've been curious for a while. Why do post as "Green Left
>Parramatta"? I know Green Left is the DSP's paper, but what/who is
>Parramatta & why that account name?

Paramatta is a suburb of Sydney.  It's way out to the west of greater
Sydney, I think.  Maybe the DSP has a branch there or else Norm lives there
and/or there is some local server.

Contrary to Jose, I think Norm's Namibia example is highly flawed.  One
reason has already been provided by Louis, in terms of the end result and
what the tasks of marxists are.  Another, and even more basic, reason why
the analogy is flawed is that unlike apartheid South Africa, Indonesia is
not an imperialist state.  It is a victim of imperialism.  So Norm is not
even comparing like with like at all.

This also raises the question of Jose's comment about the validity of
"calling on the imperialists to use to enforce concessions they have
promised".  The concessions haven't been made by the imperilaists; they
have been made by Indonesia, a Third World country.  The problem here is
that the force you are asking the imperialists to use is *against a Third
World country*, which the imperialists already oppress anyway.  Calling on
imperialists to use force against a Third World country is not exacting
concessions from imperialism; it is strengthening imperialism!

In Timor there has been no defeat of imperialism.  On the contrary,
imperialism is in a stronger position than ever there.  Instead of having
to rely on a highly unstable and problematic client regime to do their
bidding, they are doing it directly, *and* with the support of much of the
former Timorese solidarity movement in the West.

I think the imperialists can be pretty happy with that turn of events.
They have got their own troops in there, are building a neo-colony, and
simultaneously they have politically disarmed most of the liberal-left and
even some sections of the Marxist left (the DSP).  And, in the case of
Australia and NZ, got a great rationale for increased military spending.
Not a bad day's work!

If I was a member of the Australian or NZ (or US) ruling class, I'd be
pretty damn pleased right now.


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