[Re: The socialism we want]

Abu Nasr abu-nasr at SPAMusa.net
Fri Jun 2 10:26:24 MDT 2000

There are several problems here.

First, HizbAllah is not "fascist" inasmuch as it does not represent
imperialist monopoly capital.  It simply does not meet the definitions used by
Dimitrov and the Third International.  Perhaps you have other definitions of
fascism, but this is the one I still work with.

Second, the strength of Hizb Allah, like the strength of Hamas and the Islamic
Jihad derive not from their religious ideology, which in and of itself does
not have such a magical appeal.  Their strength derives from the fact that
they are effectively fighting imperialism and Zionism.  The left was deeply
involved in the Lebanese resistance and is still involved in it, but their
resources have dried up since the fall of the USSR and the end of the "cold
war".  The same goes for the armed activity by the Palestininan left -- PFLP,
DFLP, etc.  They had strong mass backing when they were able to deliver
revolutionary activity.

Hizb Allah has enjoyed the backing of Iran (and Islamist state) and Syria (an
secular Arab nationalist state).  Hamas and the Islamic Jihad enjoy support
from the Gulf oil states -- official and/or non official sources.  Meanwhile,
the left dosen't even have funds to publish its magazines and newspapers half
the time.  (Eg. the Lebanese CP paper is no longer published; al-Hadaf,
magazine of the PFLP is now a monthly whereas it once was a weekly) and this
is just the most basic sort of propaganda activity.  If the left isn't out
there in the field carrying out armed operations and if its voice is hardly
heard elsewhere, it is not surprising that somebody else gains leadership over
the mass popular anti-imperialist movement.

But the popular movement itself remains anti-imperialist and is therefore
progressive, not fascist or reactionary, because its essence is not the
religious leadership of Hizb Allah or Hamas, but the broad sections of the
people who have been the actual power in this struggle against imperialism for
a century.  They have fought under feudalist banners, Arab nationalist
banners, Marxist banners, and Islamic banners, but they have continued
fighting all this time.

Leftists around the world must cheer "Hizb Allah's" victories because in
reality they are not victories for Hizb Allah, but the victories of Lebanese
of many orientations who for 22 years fought this battle.  Different groups
came to the fore depending on resources, propaganda ability, demographics, and
all sorts of factors.  Indeed Hizb Allah has been constrained to present
itself as virtually a non-sectarian group (which it is not, of course)
precisely because the struggle is NOT an Islamic fundamentalist one, but one
of national liberation.

No, Hizb Allah does not have the best ideology with which to guide Lebanese
society into the future.  But so long as Lebanon had to fight an occupation
army, the priority was not the social development of Lebanon, but the
liberation of national territory from the enemy.  This huge step has now been
taken.  The Lebanese have kicked the Zionists out. Now the field has more or
less been cleared for the next stage of the struggle.  This is undoubtedly a
hugely progressive event that leftists the world over should enthusiastically
cheer and applaud, not because it has solved all the problems in Lebanon and
brought us into a utopian promised land, but because the Lebanese have thrown
off an enormous burden and are now at last able to move on to a higher stage
of work.

With revolutionary greetings!

Abu Nasr

"Paul Flewers" <hatchet.job at virgin.net> wrote:

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Macdonald Stainsby said: < Is not the victory of Hezbollah recently more
important towards the vision of a better world than all pamphlets put
together? >

What inspiration can left-wingers get from the ascendancy of a bunch of
pre-feudal religious nutters, who would have us leftists massacred, gays
exterminated, women permenantly dressed in tents and civil rights extinguished
under a form of rule that is closer to fascism than anything else around
today? Just look at places where Islamic fundamentalists have taken over. The
tragedy of the Middle East is that a large proportion of opposition to
imperialism these days is not under the banner of socialism, or even secular
pan-Arabism, but this lunacy. The left cheers on this sort of thing at its
peril -- a prominent leader of Mandelite current in Britain admitted happily
chanting along with fundamentalists in Iran in 1979, we know what happened to
Iranian left-wingers after the fundamentalists took over.

Paul F

  ----- Original Message -----
  To: marxism at lists.panix.com
  Sent: Thursday, June 01, 2000 10:48 PM
  Subject: Re: The socialism we want

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Gunnar Kreku <gunnar.kreku at mailbox.swipnet.se>

  > I have thought a long time that socialists should be much clearer about
  how the >socialist society would look like. With what kind of institutions
  can the working >people govern themselves? And how can the market system be
  replaced by planning? >Most socialist organisations today have too general
  answers to questions like these. >They concentrate on criticizing
  and say that it is impossible to make a >blueprint of the coming socialism.
  And they add that Marx did not say much on the >subject. But after what
  happened in USSR, China, etc., I think it is necessary for all >socialists
  to have a lot to say about what kind of socialism they want.

  While it is a good idea to do this, both to keep inspired for the better
  world shall I say, as well as to produce the kind of vision we can attract
  people to our cause with, I am a little skeptical of producing visions for
  the future in blueprint form. My reasons have nothing to do with the fact
  that Marx did no such thing, but I reckon it has a lot to do with the fact
  that there wasn't really much he *could* write.

  As scientific analysis, it is important not to produce fanciful visions of
  socialism, like certain Cliffite organisations, but rather what what kind
  socialism we will *need*; i.e. we should take the geo-political realities
  the day as our starting point, and see what kind of breakthroughs we could
  make on that basis. In other words, if we are talking about Colombia today,
  is it really possible to envision a fully democratic open society based on
  the best principles of socialist organising? Or would it be sufficient (my
  view) to move in that direction (through land reform and an independant
  government structure), while taking the harsh realities of the inevitable
  counter attack from Imperialism into account? Can any vision of socialism
  that is divorced from our current weakness in the world have more than
  inspirational value? Macdonald

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