Fwd (GLW): Did the East Timor intervention kill off `Vietnam syndrome'?

Gorojovsky Gorojovsky at SPAMarnet.com.ar
Tue Jan 30 13:10:11 MST 2001

En relación a Re: Fwd (GLW): Did the East Timor intervention ki,
el 30 Jan 01, a las 10:38, Louis Proyect dijo:

> Nestor:

> > support for the East Timorese struggle may -from the very onset- conceal support
> > for the creation of an imperialist enclave against Indonesia,
> > _independently from th epolitical character of the government in
> > Djakarta_.
> Actually, this was not always the case. If the Soviet Union had not
> collapsed, an independent East Timor might have been a possibility. One of
> the things that irks me most about the Stalinophobia of the ATC variety is
> its failure to see the importance of a workers state to weak, peripheral
> societies trying to develop independently--whether or not they are workers
> states themselves.

Not my sin at all. I am the first to recognize that the existence of the fSU
was an essential reason why many non-socialist states in the Third World could
develop somehow independent policies (I would add that it was this same
existence which allowed the working classes at the core to reap up to then
unthinkable advantages during the Cold War).

But let us accept, however, that these are not our current conditions, and,
most important, that becoming a pawn in the world chess between the West and
the fSU was not the best of the situations. Cuba paid a very high price for
that, indeed. In a sense, and please take me metaphorically, the death of the
Che was one of the most terrible outcomes of that situation. So that even in
such case, the struggle for conditions for an actually possible independence
would be a political must.

> The only other problem I see with Nestor's analysis is that it would ill
> befit us as Marxists to make practicality a litmus test for revolutions for in a
> very real sense all proletarian revolutions of the 20th century were
> impractical.

I am not speaking of "practicality". Lou has misunderstood my point. Until
socialism extends the world over, socialist revolutions will remain potentially
impractical in the sense that all of them may end up in a mess, in a defeat or
in a giant socio-economic massacre. This is not what I ask for. In fact, few
lines by Ray Bradbury have made more impact on my teen-age eyes than the line
on "Fahrenheit 451" preaching that one should ask for no security, that such an
animal has never existed.

I am trying to address a more complex issue here, which is the issue of the
problems involved in the national question as it arises in the oppressed world
under the conditions of worldwide expansion of imperialist rule. If a national
claim cannot be sustained with the establishment for the conditions of an
actually independent international policy (that is, in the end, if it cannot
sustain a reasonably strong military force, which at its turn has long ranging
implications as to social and economic size), then this claim can fall into the
category of a pawn in the hands of imperialism. The Cuban revolution was lucky
in this sense, that they were strong enough when the fSU became a fact of the
past. But even they are permanently trying to further Latin American
revolutionary unity, since imperialists and local bourgeoisies do in fact
practice Latin American counter-revolutionary unity against Cuba, left wing
nationalists, and socialists in general.

I have no hopes of success guaranteed in advance. I do subscribe to V.I.
Lenin's words quoted by Louis. Don't see the anthitesis. Maybe I am too



Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
gorojovsky at arnet.com.ar

More information about the Marxism mailing list