new age for Aussie imperialism?

Warwick Kenneth Fry wfry10 at
Thu Sep 16 07:04:46 MDT 1999


        I am mad keen to answer a lot of this - some of it' back channel',
some of it more publicly on the list. I think it can be a useful lesson
for the marxist left. And I don't see any problem in answering your and
others' 'arguments' yet alone your taunts, even if the DSP might.
Unfortunately my ability to handle maillists is hamstrung at the moment -
see the PS for the reasons - but I will, believe me, I will.

        I am not a card-carrying DSP-er but I share their position, and I
really don't see the sense in these attacks on their position. I may be
mistaken, but those who are attacking this position of the DSP seem to be
calling it a 'line', which to me indicates a mind, (or minds) set within a
discourse easily attacked. If only because the East Timorese do not seem
to be included within it, but also because it segues in very embarrassing
way (for intellectuals and 'marxists') between 'the people' and nation

        My dips (I'll explain why I dip in the PS) into this list show a
very careless semantic diffusion of nations, national identities and
people. We slip so carelessly between "The Indonesians" the  "Timorese"
the "Australians", stepping daintily across the stones of the elites that
these terms represent and so proud of uour footwork that we don't
look down at the  river of the 'people' swirling around these rocks, the
direction of the flow.


PS: A couple of weekends ago I had a couple of 12 year old research
assistants in  to do some field research on digital game theory. They
installed some demo games on my computer, one of which has systematically
disabled  my winsock files. Although my dialler works perfectly, none of
my windows internet applications will work  - no browser, no mailler. No
way to download, archive, analyse and selectively respond to my maillists.
I do have sporadic telnet/pine access, but it means I speedread a backed
up email list of about a thousand email topics, quickly read titles I
think I should, and respond very selectively on the fly in real- time

        Hence, my lack of response to subjects I dearly want to engage,
and the erratic style when I do.

        I've just installed linux and can recommend it - it will, I hope
send Bill Gates to gaol, and allow me to access my email, download and
archive it before I run out of disk quota.


On Thu, 16 Sep 1999, Gary MacLennan wrote:

> >
> >Yes, the DSP seems to have forgotten that when you call for your ruling
> >class to use their troops in the Third World, you are likely to unleash
> >some very nasty sentiments against the people inhabiting the country your
> >ruling class is teaching a lesson to.
> >
> >While the Australian intervention puts Jakarta in its place, in terms of
> >who really calls the shots in SE Asia, a 'popular' offshoot is likely to be
> >an increase in racism towards Indonesians in general.
> >
> >I am also curious to know what the left, including the DSP, is raising as
> >demands now.  For instance, when the Aussie troops land in East Timor, what
> >will the DSP slogan be?  Having helped get the imperialist troops there,
> >will they have some new demands about what these troops should do?  How
> >about this one: 'Don't Stop There!  On to Jakarta!'
> >
> >In any case, can we assume such further demands will, like the demands for
> >intervention, be designed to 'expose' the 'unwillingness' of the Australian
> >ruling class to intervene?
> >
> >Philip Ferguson
> >
> At the trade union rally on Tuesday which was smaller than expected, a DSP
> speaker mentioned Falantil.  She praised them for not fighting, for as she
> put it "keeping their side of the bargain".  She said we should be treat
> them well and not disarm them.  There was no call for them to be recognized
> as the legitimate liberation forces of East Timor. Perhaps there is some
> anxiety about what the Australian army will actually do.
> The same army has a record second to none in answering the call of
> imperialism, from the Sudan campaign in 1886 to Vietnam in the 60s, the
> Diggers have been there and they have helped killed freedom fighters with
> the best of them. I wonder does the DSP think somehow that under the
> Liberal Coalition Govt of John Howard they have changed their spots?
> The problem for the DSP is that they opted for populism rather than
> revolutionary politics and now they will be left with the task of
> explaining away the inevitably reactionary role of the Australian soldiers.
> So what the DSP do now is a moot point. I know this list has embarrassed
> them and we move onto the attack in Neighborhood News soon. That will only
> worry them in Brisbane however.
> Generally their silence around this issue is ominous. It does not speak
> well for them that they will not defend their line other than through
> proxies or through abuse.

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