What Bloody Left?

Mohammad Junaid Alam REDTIGER at MEDIAONE.NET
Sat Dec 8 13:42:14 MST 2001

Clearly on this list and on many others there is a raging debate about the
positions of various figureheads of the self-proclaimed American Left. Crde.
Proyect, having made it clear that he is principally opposed to imperialism,
reminds me of a none-too-tiny detail in this entire affair: what Left?

The Nation is a paper that expresses mild dissent within the confines of the
Democratic party, and daringly makes even more 'radical' proposals when they
are not political issues affecting their beloved political party. Hitchens
openly boasts that he pays more on his heating bill than some of us make a
month and opened up his heart to leftists in the war by slandering our
positions and painting them as formalistic rationalizations.

As for the rest of these intellectual blockheads, why even bother? What else
can be expected in America from the "established left", which is to say the
left-wing tailers of overall bourgeois policy, but befuddlement and
confusion? What else results from a vacuum of radical chains, when the
working-class remains inactive, passive, and complacent, but the coming to
the forefront of various misleaders from all directions shaking their
walking sticks at phantoms and ghosts--and ocassionally other intellectuals,
who are phantoms and ghosts in their own right?

By absurdly accepting the academic definitions of "Left" this entire debate
has leapt into the stratosphere and dwindled away into irrelevance for the
real world. Bush is "left" of the KKK and Peres is "left" of the Zionists.
The question is, what is left of our integrity, accepting defenders of the
status quo as "leftists"? If one accepts that the status quo, ie. the modern
sociopolitical state of affairs, reflects great inequality and oppression,
and stands for an elitist facade of democracy at best, then one is in
permanent conflict with the bourgeoisie. One is then consistently and
thoroughly opposed to the status quo in the name of a revolutionary
democracy of their own particular vision. This is not at all the case with
Hitchens, most Nation writers, and several ZMag figures. Far from being at
war with the establishment, they support the war of the establishment, find
themselves grovelling at its service, and make Benedict Arnold look as
patriotic as Washington himself.

How many of these writers, talkers, and other mouthpieces parading around as
radicals are actively engaged, on the ground, with all that they purport to
stand for? How many Ward Churchill's and Edward Said's do we find in this
spectrum, in comparison to this playground of intellectual masturbators?
Most of them have long ago lost all perspective and discipline, expressing
their utter confusion by polemicizing left and right with their fellow
misguided colleagues. Many write books and articles that rock the worlds of
all five of their readers, who in kind take up the same tactic. Not a great
number of these people have taken up the task of asking and attempting to
answer the questions of how to move the working-class forward, why it is not
moving at all, the dynamics and interplay of social forces, their outcomes,
their contradictions, etc. Instead they have founded for themselves various
religions in a most Young Hegelian fashion without ryhme or reason, but with
much rhetoric.

It all boils down to this: if you are a defender or apologist for the status
quo then you are not a member of a Left that should be of any concern among
Marxists. As a card-carrying member of cowardice, marked and stamped by the
enforcers of worldwide brutality, you are merely delegates of the
dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, sanctioned by a degenerate apparatus.
Holding little authority within your own elitist and upper class apparatus,
you most certainly hold absolutely none among those who are genuinely
committed to changing the world along radical lines, as Marxists,
anarchists, or whatever else.

Some will definitely consider this posting far too rude and polemical
against the moderates, too harsh and blunt, too much. That is precisely the
point. Our role, I believe, is not to convince the excess intellecutal
rubbish that is at best hesitant at the spectre of bourgeois tyranny, but to
find reasons why we are not appealing to, and finding ways to appeal to, the
broader masses as a whole. I am much more interested in self-criticizing the
Marxist sections, its methods, tactics, and theories, to ultimately mete out
a better and more sharpened instrument for which to regain the concept of
radical chains, than to become radically chained to endlessly debating

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