Review of Norman Finkelstein critique of the 'Holocaust Industry'

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at
Sun Dec 31 06:12:50 MST 2000

> As for the ultra-chauvinist Le Pen, the Weekly Worker just made the simple
> observation that his oft-misquoted/misunderstood remark that the holocaust
> was just "a detail" of World War II when applied to the war aims and
> objectives of the democratic imperialist bourgeoisie obviously contains a
> kernel of truth - to say otherwise would effectively be to argue that
> Winston Churchill et al fought the war out of a progressive-humanitarian
> desire to 'save the Jews' and make the world safe for peace and democracy.
> Clearly not true. Pure fantasy, in fact. The objective fact of capitalist
> general crisis propelled the imperialist powers towards war. Neither
> ideology nor the brutality of any of the combatants was the fundamental
> cause of the bloodbath. So what is so wrong with actually saying this? What
> is there to be so scared of? You cannot help but think some leftists have a
> world view based on sand. They do not really believe - deep down in their
> hearts - that Marxism is true.

A very good point. It goes to show the power of using "political correctness" (which,
to my view, was once a progressive element of the radical movement *before* it was
successfully hi-jacked in an attempt to *replace* the movement by reactionary,
frightened liberals) that so many Marxists have knee-jerk adverse reactions to taking
risky but wholly anti-racist (or fill in the blank) positions on matters of history.
Such lack of self-conviction is what created the Post Modernist wave- which can be
best traced back to the ideological slap in the face of watching the USSR come
crashing down.

That leaves me with a question: Why have the Marxists who were also opponents of the
Soviet bureaucracy but not opponents of the USSR itself so often the ones that made
the further drift away from Marxists principles (such as class analysis of historic
events such as the Nazi Holocaust)? "Stalinists", so defined (with notable exceptions
the CoC) seem to have remained almost steadfast of simply quit politics all together.
The "new leftists" seem drawn from other Marxist millieu (and often slander Gramsci
in their attempts to forge `new' Marxism, but that's all together a different story).


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