DSP and East Timor

Jose G. Perez jgperez at SPAMfreepcmail.com
Mon Sep 13 09:54:19 MDT 1999



>>Alas if the Aussies go in they will get a welcome like the Brits initially
got in Derry.Even now many Republicans, dissidents included, persist with
illusions in the USA and or the United Nations
It is difficult to come up with a realistic alternative, I am sure the
Sparts etc are calling for a trade union army to go in or some other such
nonsense.<<

Supporting a demand by an oppressed nation or nationality that the bourgeois
state use force to defend its democratic rights is by no means unprecedented
in the Marxist movement, at least within the framework of a national state.

A very basic form of this demand is for "justice for so-and-so," i.e., that
the bourgeois government punish those responsible for some especially
notorious (in the U.S. at least typically, though not exclusively) racist
crime.

The same sort of logic was involved when Marxists, including  the SWP,
supported the demand of the Black communities in the U.S. for federal troops
to be sent to enforce desegregation orders in Mississippi in the late 50s or
early 60s and again in Boston in the mid-70s. Many claimed that such a
demand, that the bourgeois state enforce on the ground the concessions that
had been extracted from it on paper, was a violation of principle, but I
could never see it.

As I said in another post, I do not like at all the way the Australian DSP
project the demand to send troops as their own; but, given that the leading
forces in the East Timor independence movement are demanding that the
international imperialist institutions apply with force the right of the
people of East Timor to self-determination and independence, I do not
believe it is a violation of principles or anything else to support this
demand, i.e., the right of the Timorese people to that assistance -- and, if
a violation of principle is involved, certainly that rubicon must have been
crossed when the independentists in East Timor accepted holding a
bourgeois-democratic referendum under UN auspices, not now that the mere
moral authority of the U.N. has proved insufficient to persuade the
Indonesian military and militias to respect the outcome of the referendum,
and the independence forces are demanding of the UN to back up its vaunted
support of the right of colonial peoples to self determination with
something a little more substantial than a statement by the Security
Council.

It is, of course, true that, in a sense, any demands on the bourgeois state
to do anything incorporate "illusions" about the capacity of capitalism and
its institutions to reforms themselves. But for revolutionaries the question
is not this, but rather whether the demands are formulated, presented and
fought for in such a way as to advance the real movement towards
independence from the bourgeoisie and its political parties. I do not see
where supporting a demand by the independence movement in East Timor for
"blue helmets" differs in principle from similar demands within the
framework of a single bourgeois state.

Jose

-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Monaghan <jbm7 at tutor.open.ac.uk>
To: marxism at lists.panix.com <marxism at lists.panix.com>
Cc: jpmonteiro at mail.telepac.pt <jpmonteiro at mail.telepac.pt>
Date: Monday, September 13, 1999 7:37 AM
Subject: DSP and East Timor


>I would disagree with the DSP on the troops issue though I sympathise with
>the Timorese putting their faith in almost anyone but the generals.Like
>those in the Nazi concentration camps would you care what uniform the
>liberators had at least for a time.
>Gary was right that the Australian gov was the main agent in the USA
>inspired plot anyway.
>
>I know it can be difficult in the superLeninist parties. My own
>experiences have not been great. Though I was on the other side to Gary in
>the LTF/IMT debate. I now see that at least for a long period a party has
>to be loose.No leadership outside the megliamaniacs has the holy grail.If
>the DSP were part of a larger left coalition like the Danish Red-Green
>alliance.There is a need for a vechile that would allow the ideas of those
>like Gary to circulate.
>
>Alas if the Aussies go in they will get a welcome like the Brits initially
>got in Derry.Even now many Republicans, dissidents included, persist with
>illusions in the USA and or the United Nations
>It is difficult to come up with a realistic alternative, I am sure the
>Sparts etc are calling for a trade union army to go in or some other such
>nonsense.
>
>Perhaps the debacle for the Indonesian military might spark of a
>revolution in the rest of the islands.The USA is worried about the
>stability of the region. We are not.
>
>There is huge sympathy with the Timorese here, I sense an identification
>with a small nation. I constantly cxall attention to those who armed the
>butchers especially the British Labour Gov.
>Jim Monaghan
>
>










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