On blindness (was Re: Speaking of Kosovo Albanians )
dadattam at SPAMyahoo.com
Tue Feb 27 18:38:29 MST 2001
To my several correspondents:
I originally wrote to react to what Ms. Xxxxxx
posted (I'm sorry for not realizing Xxxx was a woman's
name. I am a man, by the way, but more on names
later). I objected to it for two reasons.
First, Louis Proyect speaks of the importance of
facts and Ms. Xxxxxx's forwarded post was all
anecdote, it seemed to me. (Sorry for that last
phrase but one tries to present oneself modestly)
Second, the post seemed to have a disturbing purpose.
Marxists and leftists generally seem to be knitting a
tissue of conceits and self-deceptions out of details
and minutia that even a very coarse examination of the
facts will break apart. The coarse, awkward truth is
that Serbian military and para-military fighters
burned homes, killed scores and hundreds, may have
secretly burned bodies in a lead smelting facility and
drove hundreds of thousands from their villages. Did
they do this with provocation? Well, I certainly hope
they did. I could scarcely imagine what kind of
people could behave this way unprovoked. Do we accept
provocation to be justification? For illegitimate,
extra-military, extra-police violence?
Did imperialist provocation encourage Serbs to
shell Sarajevo - the putative capital of Balkan
harmony? Again, I like to think well of people so I
assume something more than local history was at play.
Did the cruel vagaries of super-power relations help
propel the Serbs to imprison men and deprive them of
adequate food? Here again, I accept that there is a
context for these crude observations and I accept that
the context is capitalist relations. In fact, I
Stipulations considered, there is a strong prima
fascia case for Serb aggression and bigotry. It's no
secret. It goes on today and let us remember these
are an educated, sophisticated, quite prosperous and
worldly people schooled, many of them, in socialist
ideology. There's no excuse for these kinds of
attitudes - none at all - and these attitudes
obviously pervade Serbian politics.
The West was wrong to bomb Belgrade. There's no
question!!! The real question here is why Marxists
feel they have to go so far out on a limb it breaks
when the point is already proved, clear and obvious.
The West did the bombing for petty, political reasons
with total disregard for all the people on the ground
including the Albanians. They don't care about the
region or anything that happens there. Do the people
on the list think it's an accident Bush has already
tried to distance himself from the Balkans?
Why should Marxists defend Serbs and (especially)
vilify Albanians? What point? What benefit? What to
be gained in this kind of trash-talk? This is not
analysis of capitalist forces and class relations.
This is beating a dead donkey. No case made about
Serbs or Albanians will ever stop, ever hinder,
another NATO aggression. Belgrade will soon be
everybody's neo-liberal friend and the KLA will be a
stone around the West's neck.
From a Marxist perspective probably the most
interesting that happened in the whole dismal episode
was the bombing of the Chinese embassy. The
relationship between the Balkan states and the
capitalist core is a foregone conclusion. The
relationship between China and the West is curious and
More to the point, we should be talking about the
Euro-zone. The politics are fascinating. The
political-economic challenge for capitalism inherent
in pan-Europeanism is formidable. The capitalist need
need is desperate. The Balkans are a sideshow
important only in that they represent the politics
Euro-zone is poised to leave behind altogether.
I have plenty factual things to say about the above
topic but I need correspondents who are not busy
beating dead donkeys. I encourage them to leave the
unfruitful exercise, abhor the whole situation and get
on with revolutinary talking and writing. Let's
separate small, old things from big, new things.
p.s. - As for my screen-name, with respect I remind
the list owner that in some places in the world "Joe"
is a silly abstraction. I'll keep my alias as it is,
thank you so much.
Possibly you would consider changing your name,
sir. My spell-checking keeps trying to replace
"Proyect" with "project".
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