marxism-digest V1 #1360
Jose G. Perez
jgperez at SPAMfreepcmail.com
Sun Oct 3 21:40:49 MDT 1999
>>In effect what is proposed, whether spoken aloud or not, is a
trade-off where one is willing to accept expanded imperialist control in
exchange for the effect of helping who one wants helped. Whether that
hoped for effect occurs or not, what does occur is a strengthening and
legitimation of expanded imperialist control and intervention.<<
With apologies to Louis's efforts to get us to move on, I have to admit with
some embarrassment that I had not read this post of yours until now and
believe it merits a further comment.
I think what you say is true in general, but not in THIS case. In the
post-referendum context, the demands BY THE TIMORESE that the UN send a
peacekeeping force is clearly NOT a demand that "the imperialists" expand
their control in exchange for protection, but rather that the results of the
referendum be recognized as legally binding and be implemented.
Moreover, as far as I can tell the Timorese NEVER called on Australia, for
example, to intervene. They demanded that the UN live up to the
responsibilities it had assumed before the people of East Timor and the
peoples of the world in organizing the referendum to begin with.
Whether we think this was a tactically savvy move or not by the Timorese we
do a tremendous disservice, I think, by centering our fire on "our own"
imperialism, because we tend to let the UN off the hook, we say forget about
the world imperialist system and its institutions, we abandon completely the
framework that the destiny of East Timor belongs to the Timorese and that
the Timorese national liberation movement is the representative of the
people of East Timor, that it is THEY who demanded a peacekeeping force.
The U.S. Militant, for example, has run very extensive articles and
editorials about the whole situation but nowhere do they mention that it was
the independence movement itself that demanded the UN send a peacekeeping
force. And you can see why: to demand immediate independence for East Timor
is to demand, for all intents and purposes, that the independence movement
be recognized as the provisional government. Yet the independence movement
isn't demanding that the UN force withdraw at all, on the contrary, they
demanded the force be sent.
From: fajardos at ix.netcom.com <fajardos at ix.netcom.com>
To: marxism at lists.panix.com <marxism at lists.panix.com>
Date: Monday, September 27, 1999 11:18 PM
Subject: Re: marxism-digest V1 #1360
>El 26 Sep 99 a las 3:27, Jose G. Perez nos dice(n)
>mas o menos lo siguiente:
>> ... there is a difference between
>> demanding that one's own state protects the rights it
>> purports to extend to its citizens... and calling for
>> imperialist intervention in another country. [...J]ust
>> what [is] the difference.
>Then, Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky wrote:
>> The essential difference lies in that class struggle
>> across frontiers ... implies armed attack by a State
>> against another State. ... I am thinking of what we
>> might describe as a "sovereignty" issue. There is no
>> sovereignty issue in intra-state struggle.
>> I would just sum it up here.
>Nestor, and Jose, perhaps, this is making the same point but in a
>different manner, but I am inclined to state that there is more to it
>than that. In calling for imperialist intervention abroad one is asking
>(indeed, demanding) that an imperialist power, or a coalition of
>several, extend its control and dominion over another people with the
>hope that one of the results will be some protection or aid to some or
>other faction in an internal class struggle in the country being
>intervened --usually defined amorphously, and classlessly, as "the
>people." In effect what is proposed, whether spoken aloud or not, is a
>trade-off where one is willing to accept expanded imperialist control in
>exchange for the effect of helping who one wants helped. Whether that
>hoped for effect occurs or not, what does occur is a strengthening and
>legitimation of expanded imperialist control and intervention.
>On the other hand, demanding that a state protect the rights it purports
>to guarantee its citizens, does not require a legitimation of expanded
>bourgeois state intervention, and can in fact imply the opposite, such
>as when victories are won in defense of the right to privacy, or against
>random pee tests at work, or against certain modes of search or
>interrogation. The attainment of the goal in this instance wrests some
>degree of control away from state agency or at least circumscribes the
>extent to which that control may legally be exerted.
>Some one measure, calling for intervention abroad, definitely
>strengthens the authority of the bourgeois nation state and its ruling
>class, while the other, wresting political and legal rights for
>citizens, has the potential of weakening it (although let us not get
>carried away as to the extent to which this is possible, no matter what
>Kautsky might have to say ;-) ).
>- Juan Fajardo
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