Mohammad J Alam
alam.m at neu.edu
Mon Feb 4 11:54:35 MST 2002
" The trial at the Hague is a fraud, a sham, an outrage. The accused was
literally extorted out of his country by the United States government.
Surely comrade Alam is not arguing in favor of this trial-by-imperialism?"
I have no illusions about impartiality at any of these trials. But I also
have no illusions about the need to defend Milosevic or any other Stalinist
dictators. What must be defended is the international working class and
peasantry, not caricatures of "socialist" leaders from a dead era.
I do not buy into Proyect's idea, which he stated as if it was an Eternal
Law, that we *must* defend any third world leader against first world
aggression. Whatever happened to that noble idea of *class* analysis? The
only relevant question in any of these instances is this: will tactic A
help achieve the dictatorship of the proletariat? In this instance
Milosevic and his thugs represent the dictatorship of nothing, since they
are ousted from power. And even when they were in power, like ALL other
Stalinist countries, speaking from an historical vantage point, there would
have been a collapse of the dictatorship along with the "property
relations" of his regime anyway.
At best what can be said here is that the bombing campaign is another
example of NATO aggression towards the people, and that capitalism is no
alternative to Stalinism. What cannot be said here however--or at least,
what I will not say, is that we should be defending Stalinism. That is not
at all a position of Trotsky. Some of us have gone from defending property
relations to defending dictators under the pretext of defending property
relations-- even after 50 years of events have illustrated the
*irreversible* and *inevitable* trend of Stalinist states to end up
collapsing and turning capitalist instead of turning to political
revolution anyway. There is nothing here to defend.
Lenin made the oppressor nations vs. oppressed nations argument at a time
when colonialism, not imperialism (as defined by the lack of direct
military-economic interference), was the order of the day. Or if you
prefer, Lenin made the argument when imperialism mostly consisted of
colonial-core relations. Even here, he advocated allying with only the most
progressive sections of the national bourgeoisie in oppressed countries
under specific conditions--and even then, repudiated his own position on
this question later on.
I mention this because I assume from Crde. Proyect's standpoint, or Eternal
Law, that Hussein is also to be defended. This is mindboggling. I shed NO
tears for former allies of imperialism; following Proyect's analysis we
must also "defend" Mullah Omar. We will be so busy defending murderers and
tyrants the very word "genuine working class leadership" will be lost in no
great amount of time, following this kind of logic.
Maybe my thoughts and stances on these issues reflect my generation's
involvement in politics post-USSR, but I am sure of this much: no one in
America, working-class or not, is ever going to give a damn what happened
to Stalinist leaders when and where. Maybe in some Third World countries it
is possible for Marxist parties to point to the economic stability of
Stalinism and claim to combine that with real democracy. But I have always
argued that although deformed socialism failed for obvious reasons,
capitalism has proved to be quite the pathetic antidote to its ills, and
that what we need is democratic socialism worldwide.
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