Comments I'll probably regret tomorrow

Barry Stoller bstoller at
Thu Sep 13 21:29:06 MDT 2001

As I see it, the most interesting development right now is the impending
decision, not yet official, to postpone, relocate or somehow attenuate
the highly-apprehended IMF, WB meet in Washington D.C. Of course, such a
move would be most symbolically significant. It seems only like
yesterday when one of the most tangible victories in Seattle was
'simply' shutting down the operation of globalization's inner cabal --
if only for a day.

The terrorist attacks may do the same, if not more -- and, in so doing,
steal much of the thunder that the populist 'anti-globalization'
movement has generated of late.

Or, more to the point, take the momentum (it's a hop, skip and a jump
from Quebec to Genoa) and move it ... well, who knows where... One
minute, Marxists look at the anarchists receiving all the headlines and
the next -- well, we should be glad that no one has suggested -- even
whispered -- that the attacks came out of the anarchist scene. None of
which makes the Marxist community (in the labor aristocracy nations)
look terribly relevant.

I have been visiting many sites -- liberal, anarchist and, needless to
say, Marxist...

We all know what the liberals are saying -- first come the tears, then
the 'humanitarian bombing.' The anarchists, on the other hand, seem
truly divided: go to D.C. or capitulate? (One can only hope the ruling
class cancels the meeting so irreparable fault lines do not develop
amongst the 'anti-globalization' movement.) Some want to retreat, others
want to keep the pressure going. Most Marxists are quick to pull out
some classic Trotsky quotes -- all condemning (individual) terror; yet,
here and there, euphoria is expressed. The most memorable line I've seen
is, simply: 'The Pentagon burning is the most beautiful sight seen since
the Red Army tore the Nazi flag off the Reichstag.'

Hard to disagree!

Some questions. 1. Was the attack an attack against (some amorphous
entity called) the US (including every last person residing there)? Or
was the attack an attack against capitalism and imperialism (as the
symbolic targets suggest)? Can we discriminate between the two? 2. Are
the citizens of the US outraged over the loss of innocent lives -- or
are they outraged that someone has condemned (US) capitalism and
imperialism? One would think that discrimination here is possible.

A personal observation. Almost everyday, I take a moment to post a
little 'Capitalism sucks' ad for my ProletarianNews site here and there
around town. The locals -- classic liberals and small merchants of the
earthy-crunchy variety -- consider this habit of mine but a mild
eccentricity. Until the 11th, that is. Now I receive outright hostility.
Yet my defense is simple: the merchants, many of whom sell nothing but
luxury goods to rich college kids, didn't feel compelled to take a day
off (presumably in honor of the dead innocents).

Why should I?

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