In Defense of My Position

Mohammad J Alam alam.m at neu.edu
Mon Feb 4 19:11:59 MST 2002


How this debate has progressed is a good indicator of the serious denial
going on around here. Let us see what my argument is, where it comes from,
and why I am being taken to task.

Instead of admitting the failure of Stalinism and the emergence of new
conditions, some comrades prefer to pretend that Serbia is a real model for
world socialism, and shady dictators surrounded by gangster cliques like
Milosevic must be defended at all costs.  The key here is that one either
defends Milosevic, or NATO. There is no other force. Like, say, the working
class.

Milosevic is a hero because his rule  has resulted in ethnic cleansing,
civil war, terror, and population displacement--no matter which "ethnic
side" you want to blame, take your pick. He is also a vanguard leader
because his officials have been demanding economic privatization, with a
quarter of the population unemployed before the war, the selling of
telecommunications industries and factories to foreign investors and
engagement of speculation, and so on. That the bombing of his country and
its partial destruction, instead of strengthening Milosevic, allowed him to
get deported to the Hague and that his people soon after struck against the
army and state in favor of is also a great sign of his popularity. But who
cares? As long as the "property relations" are in order, socialism has been
achieved and the situation is taking care of. And this argument is the red
herring of those who (wrongly) accuse *me* of crass materialism, ie. "he
thinks the revolution will be a smooth process".

Moroever, taking a 'Bushist' position, my observation of the utter failure
of the first wave of socialism to accomplish the dictatorship of the
proletariat amounts to condemning the heroism of specific revolutionaries,
in the eyes of some comrades. It is as if I am spitting on Guevera and
Lenin here, instead of trying to reapply what is applicable to the current
day situation. Of course historical materialism, productive forces, and
objective conditions play no role in Marxist analysis: it is only because
of "armchair revolutionaries" like myself, who takes his leather chair with
him to tutor inner-city youths, and attend union/worker conventions, and
teach-ins, and meetings to form a student rights bill on campus, that
Stalinism failed. Yep, we should just keep praying to Milosevic and whoever
else the imperialists happen to hate.

The lack of an independent industrial base in any of the dozens of former
Stalinist states to combat imperialist aggression is not at all a sign of
Stalinism's failure. Indeed, the conversion of the heroic Stalinists into
capitalists themselves is a sign of its eminent success! And although
Castro has heroically held out from this, we must remember he was only a
socialist out of convenience--and an aging man. The entire Marxist
jibberish of alienation from labor, division of labor, freedom to pursue
various interests, and freedom from the shackles of mental enslavement, has
nothing to do with the great paragons of freedom--like Russia. We must
instead engage in daily meditation routines to try to resurrect Stalinism
and defeat imperialism telepathically, instead of working for alternatives
to both.

Additionally, the atomic split of the FI after Trotsky's death does not in
any way have anything to do with the failure of some his pre-WWII
revolutions. Indeed, the Stalinist states all had political revolutions and
we are all living under the first wave of socialism. And yes, capitalism
died out with the advent of fascism. Reverend Trotsky cannot be wrong on
anything. And even when one brings out some quotes of the good Reverend
that support one's position, this too is perfidious poision.

To point to these historical, political, and factual events does not at all
constitute an argument. My pointing out that we are entering a period of
imperialism defined by absence of colonial-core relations and the growth of
corporate enterprises is obviously bullshit. Instead, we are all in
backward peasant states that can only achieve revolution with the
assistance of the great fatherland of USSR.

Also, my pointing out of the current situation indicates that I think
revolution will be bourgeois and orderly: smooth, painless, absent of
dialectical tensions. Yes, it is precisely this--and not a confirmation of
Marx's original version (applied universally instead of Eurocentrically)
--that I am indugling in.

This is exactly what seems to be going on around here. I propose some ideas
about core-periphery relations and national inequalities, I criticize
Stalinism, I point to patterns and trends showing new contradictions, and
for this I am to be liquidated from the list. Previous to this most
disturbing sequence of events I enjoyed the list greatly for the last 6
months, because of the information it provided. But since I will obviously
be removed from this list once Crde. Proyect reads this and deems it
heretical-- instead of pursuing any debate about any of my ideas--let me
say my farewells now, to those Trotskyists who have apparently abandoned
hope of any new socialist revolutions and thus cling to "deformed
socialism":

The working-class must emancipate itself.
-Marx


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