A brief note on 'terrorism'

Lou Paulsen wwchi at enteract.com
Fri Sep 14 18:53:07 MDT 2001

[Louis Proyect's counter-response snipped]

This is too much.  I brought up the attacks on the barracks and the Cole,
and Louis first said they were the same thing as terrorism.  Then he said
they were clearly not terrorism, because they hit military targets.  But
then he criticized them as terrorism anyway.  Later on I was critical of
some statements that seemed to me to be moralizing, not Marxist analysis,
and he said they were all true and then wrote:

>If a Marxist party can apologize for
>flying airplanes into the World Trade Center, then it is fucked up beyond

thus basically fingering me and my party as an apologist for the deaths of
5000 workers.  I had thought there might be something to say OTHER than
either "condemnations" or "apologies", maybe even something with some
dialectics in it.

Finally it turns out to be ME who is supposedly moralizing:

>Your moralizing is exceedingly tedious.

And I get hit with the following advice:

>Revolutions will not be made by
>showing how much you hate North American society, but through an effort to
>convince the masses that their own suffering is related to the way the
>system works.

with which it turns out that I basically agree.  I might even add:
revolutions will not be made by showing how much you hate people who fly
planes into buildings, but through an effort to convince the masses that
their own suffering is related to the way the system works (in this case,
that the system slaughters people by the hundreds of thousands and
(possibly) causes people to hate the United States so much that they fly
planes into buildings).

In the middle there were some other observations about various countries
whose relevance to the point I was making completely escapes me.  I note
that Louis believes that South Africa is doing much better than Palestine,
and that this in his view is due to the superior mass tactics of the South
Africans, and to the bad tactics of the Palestinians, and not to the
differences in balance of population with the settlers, the immediate
presence of U.S. occupying troops, the role of the reactionary Arab regimes,
the importance of Mideast oil to the imperialist world as a whole, and
numerous other things he might have thought were relevant.

I'm sorry, but I honestly don't have time to untangle this.  If I were Marx
or Plekhanov and had a few months to spend on it, you would get a book out
of it, believe you me.  But it's not worth it.  I hereby abandon this thread
before I bore anyone else to death.

Lou Paulsen

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