Kostunica

Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx xxxxxxxx at xxxxxxxxxxx.xxx
Sun Nov 12 14:34:08 MST 2000





David Welch wrote:

> On Sun, 12 Nov 2000, Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx wrote:
> >
> > Now, Lenin's distinction between sectarian class consciousness and
> > revolutionary consciousness perfectly makes sense. There is no
> > guarantee that those workers' strikes are revolutionary in the real
> > sense, as long as the Serbian working class is not conscious of the
> > imperialist game played by the US. If workers want to save their asses
> > for the sake of gaining individual rights, this is SELFISH.  They
> > should know by now that they will have less economic rights
> > (protection) when Kostunica starts his neo-liberal program of
> > plundering state enterprises. POLITICAL RIGHTS DO NOT GUARANTEE
> > ECONOMIC RIGHTS. Before cheering freedom of speech, workers need to
> > press their hunger in the first place.  Under Kostu, umemployent will
> > increase; poverty will follow and IMF will suck the country to its
> > last blood. Workers will be impoverished, more so than they were under
> > Milo.
> >
>

David Welch wrote:

>

> >Which only serves to demonstrate that you know very little >about Leninism.
>
>

Which "serves to demonstrate" that you have not understood my criticism of the
*secterian* tendencies among the working classes in Yugo. If the purpose here
is red baiting Milosovic in the name of defending workers' rights, it is flat
wrong to call his regime *fascist* (as Milan does). Where in the world fascism
is taking place in this country that fought against Nazi occupation in
history?


> >One of the political tendencies that Lenin opposed was >economism, the
> >belief that the political struggle should be subordinated to the >economic
> >one.

Lenin opposed *restricting* revolutionary goals to *short term economic
goals*, suggesting that the latter does not guarantee the former unless
otherwise articulated with other concerns such as anti-imperialism, peasant
question, etc. *Pure* trade unionism does not guarantee an orgasm of
socialism. It is a self- masturbation.  If Yugo workers fight against US
imperialism, I give them full credit, but taking a side on Kostunica in the
name of democracy is unacceptable. It is a bourgeois sectarian position at
most.  Isn't it interesting to see that the claims of a Marxist-Leninist party
concerning the *fascism* of Milosovic's regime is the same with the views of
the mainstream press in the US (and its petty bourgeois intellectuals) who
concern themselves with the *atrocities* of *evil* Serbians ( rhetoric of
rapes, ethnic crimes etc..)



> >Insisting that Yugoslav workers give up the possibility of
> >independent organisation

I did not *insist* that

> >(which includes freedom of speech) because former
> >President Milosevic and his government would defend their >economic
> >interests (in itself a highly dubious proposition) is the antithesis >of
> >Leninism.
>

This not the point. The point is whether we Marxists will (or should have)
defend (ed) the right of Yugoslavia to exist as a nation against NATO
aggression and tendencies to disintegrate the country (NGOs, reactionary
minorities working hand in hand with NATO-- KLA). I am looking from the
perspective of national-self determination as Lenin proposed.


>
> >Yugoslavia has been taking loans from the IMF since the >beginning of its
> >first five year plan, of course prior to 1989 the imperialists >were
> >impelled to grant the local bourgeoisie some leeway so >Yugoslavia could
> >act as a buffer between them and the USSR.

What you are talking about is something between socialism and capitalism. I
agree that it is highly problematic because I believe in state socialism.
However, you should also remember that Milo resisted some of the IMF reforms,
by controlling, for example, the prices of some basic consumption goods (such
as food, milk) . Whatever Milo did was not in *full* agreement with the
neo-liberal agenda that the US was trying to impose. For example,
privatization did not fully take place despite the efforts of the IMF to the
contrary. Does anyone else have *concrete statistics* showing the number of
firms being privatized under Milo?  The last time I read an article by a pro-
privatization Serbian analysts, he was  defending the thesis that Milosovic's
regime was not *fully*  committed to privatization. I posted the article here.
You can check the archives of the list if you wish.


> >Post 1989 it served the
> >need to relegitimize imperialism to breakup Yugoslavia while
> >simultaneously appearing to be intervening to defend human >rights, prevent
>
> >genocide and so forth.

I think it was US trying to break up Yugoslavia, not Milosovic. You continue
to blame the victim for the atrocities of US. Raping the raped is not the
solution.


Mine


***SEEING YUGOSLAVIA THROUGH A DARK GLASS:
Politics, Media and the Ideology of Globalization
by Diana Johnstone
---------------------------------------------
The document below is too long to post in its entirety, so here are some
excerpts [thanks to Jan Slakov], and the entire document will be posted on the
Science for Peace website at www.math.yorku.ca/sfp/

Diana Johnstone was the European editor of "In These Times" from 1979 to 1990,
and press officer of the Green group in the European Parliament from 1990 to
1996. She is the author of "The Politics of Euromissiles: Europe in America's
World" (London/New York, Versa Schucken, 1984) and is currently working on a
book on the former Yugoslavia. This article is an expanded version of a talk
given on May 25, 1998, at an international conference on
media held in Athens, Greece.
-------------------------------------------------

Down with the State

This ideology is the expression in moralistic terms of the dominant
project for reshaping the world since the United States emerged as  sole
superpower after the defeat of communism and collapse of the  Soviet Union.
United States foreign policy for over a century has been dictated by a single
over-riding concern: to open world markets to  American capital and American
enterprise. Today this project is  triumphant as "economic globalization".
...

For all its shortcomings, the nation-state is still the political level
most apt to protect citizens' welfare and the environment from the
destructive expansion of global markets. Dismissing the nation-state  as an
anachronism, or condemning it as a mere expression of  "nationalist"
exclusivism, overlooks and undermines its long-standing legitimacy as the
focal point of democratic development, in which  citizens can organize to
define and defend their interests.

The irony is that many well-intentioned idealists are unwittingly helping to
advance this project by eagerly promoting its moralistic cover a theoretical
global democracy that should replace attempts to strengthen democracy at the
supposedly obsolete nation-state level.
...
This has much to do with the privatization of "the left" in the past
twenty years or so. The United States has led the way in this trend. Mass
movements aimed at overall political action have declined, while single-issue
movements have managed to continue. The single-issue movements in turn
engender nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) which, because of the
requirements of fund-raising, need to adapt their causes to the mood of the
times, in other words, to the dominant ideology to the media. Massive
fund-raising is easiest for victims, using appeals to sentiment rather than to
reason. Greenpeace has found that it can raise
money more easily for baby seals than for combatting the development of
nuclear weapons. This fact of life steers NGO activity in certain directions,
away from political analysis toward sentiment. On another level, the NGOs
offer idealistic internationalists a rare opportunity to intervene all around
the world in matters of human rights and human welfare.
.....
NGOs and NATO, hand-in-hand

In former Yugoslavia, and especially in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Western NGOs have
found a justifying role for themselves alongside NATO. They gain funding and
prestige from the situation. Local employees of Western NGOs gain political
and financial advantages over other local people, and "democracy" is not the
peoples choice but whatever meets with approval of
outside donors. This breeds arrogance. among the outside benefactors, and
cynicism among local people, who have the choice between opposing the
outsiders or seeking to manipulate them. It is an unhealthy situation, and
some of the most self-critical are aware of the dangers.

Perhaps the most effectively arrogant NGO in regard to former Yugoslavia is
the Vienna office of Human Rights Watch/Helsinki. On September 18, 1997, that
organization issued a long statement announcing in advance that the Serbian
elections to be held three days later 'Will be neither free nor fair." This
astonishing intervention was followed by a long list of measures that Serbia
and Yugoslavia must carry- out or else", and that the
international community must take to discipline Serbia and Yugoslavia.
.....

And herein lies a new danger. Just as the "civilizing mission" of bringing
Christianity to the heathen provided a justifying pretext for imperialist
conquest of Asia and Africa in the past, today the protection of "human
rights" may be the cloak for a new type of imperialist military intervention
worldwide.

Certainly, human rights are an essential concern of the left. Moreover, many
individuals committed to worthy causes have turned to NGOs as the only
available alternative to the decline of mass movements - a decline over which
they have no control. Even a small NGO addressing a problem is no doubt better
than nothing at all. The point is that great vigilance is needed, in this as
in all other endeavours, to avoid letting good intentions be manipulated to
serve quite contrary purposes.

In a world now dedicated to brutal economic rivalry, where the rich get richer
and the poor get poorer, human rights abuses can only increase. From this vast
array of mans inhumanity to man, Western media and governments are
unquestionably more concerned about human rights abuses that obstruct the
penetration of transnational capitalism ...
....





Xxxx



--

Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx
PhD Student
Department of Political Science
SUNY at Albany
Nelson A. Rockefeller College
135 Western Ave.; Milne 102
Albany, NY 12222



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