Re.: Chomsky cheers the popular uprising in Serbia: Noam Chomsky on Serbia

Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky Gorojovsky at SPAMarnet.com.ar
Sat Oct 14 09:03:26 MDT 2000


Sorry to reproduce most of the posting I comment, but I did not find
a better way to interject my own humble contributions...

En relación a Re: Re.: Chomsky cheers the popular uprising in S,
el 14 Oct 00, a las 2:56, Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx dijo:

> In my view, Xxxx's remarks on Chomsky were quite on target. I too
> agree that libertarian socialism--anarchism-- shares the philosophical
> assumptions of classical liberals such as Smith and Jefferson who
> strongly underlie the "inalienability of individual rights".

Perhaps a detour could be useful here. If we look back to the
"classical" tradition in Marxist thought as regards Anarchism, we
finally rediscover the fact that this ideology is the best suited one
to the petty bourgeois. Marx himself stated, in what is usually
misunderstood as an easy witticism, that an Anarchist is "a liberal
with a bomb in one hand".  This idea has more depth in it than many
can see.

Anarchism has been a strong movement in the Italian and Spanish labor
formations of the first third of the 20th. Century. This cannot be
read as a sign of progressiveness, this can only be read -from the
point of view of social structure and its workings- as the expression
of a working class that has not completely been severed from
peasantry or urban petty artisans, as the expression of an incomplete
process of class differentiation, as the expression, in short and
risking to be grossly misunderstood, of an excessively youthful stage
in the history of the class. The system of ideas that such an
existential position generates is, precisely, that of a fierce
individualism that opposes the state (where the petty bourgeois
places what in fact belongs to the bourgeoisie...)

The current rebirth of Anarchism as a revolutionary force in the
First World and among the youth seems to me an expression of

(a) increasing stress on the middle classes

(b) the first stages of a process by which the working class in the
     First World, which had been assimilated to the lower ranks of
     the middle classes, begins to discover itself as THE segregated
     mass in an overwhelmingly discriminatory movement of our
     currently decaying capitalism  (yes, it is DECADENCE what we
     face, the downfall of the House of Soviets only put more speed
     to this process)

(c) A painful awakening of the "liberal" slumber generated by the
     "welfare state" years. Those who are Anarchists today would have
     most probably been Social Democrats in the late 50s, early 60s.

True, Spanish Anarchists have most probably been the bravest,
fiercest and most advanced and uncompromising forces during the
Spanish Revolution, and I will always pay hommage to them. I only
wish that Marxists today were one tenth as fierce and courageous.
A single Buenaventura Durruti, or the tiniest column of the FAI
redistributing lands in Catalonia, were greater contributions to the
working class the world over than all the weaponry (and associated
torturers) sprinkled on the Spanish Republic by "socialist" Russia.

But this does in no sense diminish the fact that they were also the
expression of the immaturity of the Spanish working class or, perhaps
better still, of Spanish capitalism. Perhaps, in this strange sense,
that is why they were the bravest ones: they were the actual salt of
a backward and tragic land.

[...]

[Then, quoting Jared on Chomsky, Mine goes on:]

>
> >
> > >He is not, in my opinion an anarchist.  He is a former critic of US
> > >>policy who is now a semi-apologist.
>
> True. His semi-apology is _because of_ his anarchism.

Now, this is a very insightful observation.  Most of those who have
passed for "revolutionaries" in the -yes, I know this will stir many
on these lists- guerrilla-ridden Latin America of the 60s and early
70s were Anarchists in seudo-Marxian disguise. Thus, most of them,
once their honest struggle was defeated (as could not have been
otherwise) became full supporters of the powers-that-be. Marx's
"liberal with a bomb in the hand" simply dropped the bomb to a gutter
as she or he come of age.

Today's Minister of Labor in Argentina is, for example, Patricia
Bullrich, a former member of the Montonero groups.



Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
gorojovsky at arnet.com.ar





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