Reply to Jose

Philip L Ferguson PLF13 at SPAMstudent.canterbury.ac.nz
Tue Sep 21 18:15:39 MDT 1999



Jose,

attributing to me a host of positions that I do not hold doesn't help your
case.

I do not believe and I have never said on this list, that it is immaterial
whether workers are ruled by a military dictatorship or a bourgeois
democracy.  The latter is clearly preferable, so let's have no more of this
nonsense of setting up false positions and then going on laboriously to
attack them.  Waste of bandwith and not politically productive.

What it does show however is that you have relatively little appreciation
of imperialism and a touching faith in imperialism's progressive
tendencies.  In other words you have the same illusions as the people on
the left who called for British troops to go into the six counties in 1969.

Given that you say the alternatives in East Timor are an Indonesian
military dictatorship or bourgeois democracy, can we take it that you think
imperialism is going to deliver a modern, independent bourgeois democracy
there?

Perhaps you need to go back and read some Lenin.  Or take in what
imperilaism has been up to since WW2, and how imperialism operates in the
postCold War world.

Gary has given an excellent account of the political impact in Australia of
the Australian intervention.  It has strengthened the Australian ruling
class.   Exactly the same thing has happened in NZ. How could it be
otherwise?  How could an imperialist intervention in Asia, by white First
World Australia and NZ do anything other than this?

The DSP position is not only wrong, and a rejection of core Marxism, it has
delivered a major victory on a platter to the Australian and NZ ruling
classes.

If you think that the East Timorese are going to benefit from that, then
really you do not understand much about how capitalism works.

The actual alternatives posed in East Timor, within the current framework
of things is whether East Timor was going to get autonomy under Indonesia
(the other referendum option) or get to be a neocolony under Australia.
Genuine independence, and I am not talking here even about a socialist East
Timor, just a politically independent nation-state, is not on the agenda.
The CNRT people took it off the agenda, when they moved to rely on the
Western powers.  I have some sympathy for them doing this, because of the
incredible pressure they were under.

But neither the DSP nor the rest of us is in a similar situation.  There is
no excuse for us making the same mistake that the CNRT made.

Philip Ferguson


























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