A Serb striker speaks out

Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky Gorojovsky at SPAMarnet.com.ar
Sat Oct 7 09:33:10 MDT 2000

En relación a Re: A Serb striker speaks out,
el 7 Oct 00, a las 12:19, Owen Jones dijo:

> Reply to Macdonald Stainsby, at mstainsby at tao.ca, who wrote on the
> 6/10/2000 4:11:
> > Welcome to bourgeois democracy. You can't always pick your partners.
> > At least Seselj is rabidly (in all senses of the word) anti-Nato. It
> > is irrelevant anyways, because the Radical Rarty just got wiped out,
> > almost completely, in the last election.
>  Well well, we do have a new twist to the popular front by the king of
> hyperbole and cheesy cliche, Macdonald Stainsby. In the olden days,
> there was the popular front between the workers' parties and bourgeois
> parties "against fascism". Today, because bourgeois democracy is such
> a bastard, it is acceptable to make a popular front with fascists
> against imperialism (even Stalin would turn in his grave).

The "popular front" tactics, which I loathe as much as you do, Owen,
among others because it finally propped Fascism to power over much of
Europe, was devised in an age where the imperialist united front
against the colonial world was cracking down. There were
(potentially, at least) "two" imperialist camps, and Stalin tried to
move one against the other in order to give a breathing space to the
Soviet Union. That this implied to thwart revolutions elsewhere is
the worst indictment yours truly has to make against Stalin (Spain is
still a sore wound in my side, for example), but the basic idea that
there was a possibility to play one bloc against the other was not so

The situation in Yugoslavia is completely different. Fascism in such
a country as that is constituted not by "Yugoslavian right-wing
nationalists", but by those who are seeking an arrangement with the
West. Even the most vocal partisans of Serbian rule over the world
are not able to turn their wild dreams true, so that at most they are
a risky ally that one must not count very much on. But they are not a
dram as Fascist, sorry to tell you this, Owen (because you ALREADY
know that, and you are trying to make believe you do not) as the
actual Fascists who are furthering the transformation of Yugoslavia
in still another Mammooth sized crematorium, as Russia is today.

What Milosevic has attempted was a National Liberation Front of
sorts, against the Proimperialist (self-appointed Democratic) Front.
Under the political conditions he has to work with, a right-winger
(even an extreme right-winger) who is FOR keeping Yugoslavia safe of
further Western intervention is a dangerous (because he may slide to
the opposite side, as Kostunica has) ally, but not an ally to wave
good bye because our refined Western palates reject him.

This is, in fact, what class struggle is all about. Mao's dictum on
the "main contradiction" is absolutely true (and, much to the rage of
Maoists and Trotskyists, absolutely faithful to the ideas of Trotsky
on revolution in oppressed countries...)

> Macdonald Stainsby did not even go as far as to say that this would be
> against imperialism, but pointed out that this an inherent flaw with
> bourgeois democracy.
>  Now that Macdonald Stainsby has attempted an apologia for an alliance
>  with
> fascists in Serbia on the grounds they are anti-NATO, we can perhaps
> look to Austria. Well, they had no choice but to jump into bed with
> the fascists. If the Social Democratic party there had done so, we
> would not condemn them, but rather point out that bourgeois democracy
> is inherently flawed and they can't pick their partners. Or further
> still, supposed the French Communist party and the National Front
> formed an alliance, both having anti-NATO credentials by the way
> (should we applaud the French fascists' internationalist opposition to
> NATO? Hey, it doesn't matter if they beat Moroccans up in the street,
> "at least the NF is rabidly anti-NATO"), we would just say "Welcome to
> bourgeois democracy. You can't always pick your partners".
>  This is how rotten your politics have become. Now it is simple,
>  outright
> putting a + where they put a -. This is vulgar anti-imperialism
> dialectics for beginners. So we must thereby come to the defence of
> the Austrian Freedom Party. In the case of Iraq, one day we would
> condemn the proxy Saddam Hussein and the next we would praise his
> anti-imperialist warrior spirit.
>  We support something, apparently, solely according to its level of
> anti-imperialism, not its class content. And if this happens to
> include "anti-imperialist" fascists, then so be it!
>  Supposed "anti-imperialism" by itself does not make you a Marxist, as
> Macdonald has just proven. Most of the European and American far-Right
> opposed the war against Yugoslavia. The point is to oppose the
> imperialist war on our side of the barricades, as a working class
> movement. Otherwise, you could find yourself on the same side of the
> barricades as very unpalatable elements who would liquidate organised
> labour had they the strength. Frankly, I bet that those least active
> in the workers' movement are those abandoning class perspectives on
> this question.
>  I mourn at the grave of class perspective. Classless vulgar
> anti-imperialism stalks our movement.
> > If Milosevic is the worst enemy of socialism, then so am I.
>  Your admission.
>  The problem you have is that you speak of socialism in the most
>  abstract
> manner. I think you seem to be defining it by the level of state
> ownership of the economy - well, under Apartheid, 60% of the economy
> was state-owned, which must thereby be socialism, which you must
> thereby defend against the neo-liberal ANC.
>  The state is such that it is a machinery for the oppression of one
>  class by
> another. Except in special circumstances where you have a situation of
> dual power, one class rules the state, even if through a bureaucratic
> hireling as under Fascism or Stalinism. In Yugoslavia, either the
> working class or the bourgeoisie is organised as the ruling class. Let
> us abandon "socialism" and "capitalism" from our vocabulary at the
> moment.
>  To suggest what existed in the first place, before the
>  counterrevolution
> undertook by the Milosevic wing of the bureaucracy after the internal
> coup staged against the Titoite faction of the Communist League
> (represented by his former friend and mentor, Ivan Stambolic), was
> socialism, or to call what existed in the former Stalinist states as
> socialism, is a complete denial of historical materialism.
>  In reality they were societies that shared characteristics of both
> socialism and capitalism, ruled by a privileged bureaucratic stratum
> who often adopted the culture of the bourgeoisie. It was this stratum
> that laid the basis for the bourgeoisie, hence the counterrevolutions
> of the East. But these were really hideous dictatorships, and as was
> demonstrated, the working class were completely politically atomised
> and felt pretty terrorised. Our defence of a workers' state is on the
> basis of defending its state property created by the social
> revolution, not its bureaucracies.
>  Milosevic's faction restored capitalism in Yugoslavia, albeit at a
>  slower
> pace due to the strength of the working class there which was
> particularly resistant to the IMF packages. Milosevic and his family
> in the process got very rich indeed, and own a network of businesses,
> as do their associates (the richest man in Serbia is the Minister for
> Privatisation, I believe, although there are also businessmen such as
> the guy who is also former speaker of parliament). If we just look at
> their son, the most despised youth in Serbia, Marko - he owns several
> businesses, such as a perfume business - a shop of which was trashed
> yesterday, night clubs, a theme park, and has various connections to
> the underworld. A fine young business in Milosevic's New Serbia.
>  Serbia is gangster capitalism gone completely mad. It is much, much
>  worse
> than Russia. About half to two thirds of Serbia's economy is "gangster
> sector". The reason for this hideous capitalism is due to the simple
> fact the baby was starved of oxygen at birth.
> I'd be
> > organising a counter demo to this shit pile in Belgrade this minute.
>  I'd be organising a working class demo composed of working class
>  militants,
> not calling for that despised Mafia thug dictator to come back, but
> rather for working class revolution and all power to the strike
> committees. Such a demo would try to attract as many people from the
> crowds as possible away from the support of Kostunica and other
> reactionary bourgeois leaders.
>  If you organised a Milosevic Fan Club demo in Belgrade now, you would
>  be at
> best laughed at, or at worst, kicked to death. You are just acting
> like a Western petty-bourgeois leftist know-it-all, dictating to the
> Serbian masses from the comfort of his pleasant apartment at his shiny
> computer.
> > Without
> > a pause. As it is, I can only plead with my Leftist brothers to get
> > a clue and try to stop the US destruction of what remains of
> > Yugoslavia. May she never rest in peace.
>  This is simply so far from the reality of Yugoslavia it's my turn to
>  ask
> how much coffee you are having. Milosevic is gone, finished, kapput,
> consigned to history. He ain't coming back. Get over it and move on.
> Instead of worshipping reactionary gangster-capitalist dictators who
> attempted to expel entire nations from their country and fund lumpen
> militia often of a quasi-fascist breed to kick pregnant Bosnian Muslim
> women to death and the like, why not fight for working class socialist
> revolution? A heretical idea perhaps.
>  Cheers
>        Owen

Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
gorojovsky at arnet.com.ar

More information about the Marxism mailing list