Latin America and Revolution[Craven]

Mohammad J Alam alam.m at neu.edu
Thu Feb 7 10:50:58 MST 2002


In response to my off-the-cuff statement about lack of class-consciousness
mentality in America, Craven constructs another [excuse for a] polemic as
follows:

" And are you going to just drop-in on some revolutionary situation in
Latin America and say Hi, I'm a revolutionary messiah and I'm here ready to
go--I have even learned some of your language and I don't want to stay
where I came from because those people are backward and lacking in class
consciousness.

And how will any real revolutionaries, who must be security conscious and
very suspicious of those they do not know (as we Blackfoot are) if they
have
been in any real revolutionary activities, regard your dropping in to join
up? What will you offer? A scrap book or "portfolio" of "vanguardist"
polemics and "advanced/correct theory" on various lists?"

I don't know anything about any advancing of vanguardism or
messiah-mongering on my end, but what I do know is that I want to be part
of any revolutionary processes in the world in two ways: contribute my
knowledge, and contribute my raw energy that is ready to absorb knowledge,
which people already on the ground--whereever it is--will undoubtedly have.
Just remind me not to drop in wherever you happen to be.

Second, I don't really intend on staying here more than I have to. I'm a
dark-skinned Pakistan-born naturalized American citizen who, already seen
as a "terrorist" upon first glance, is a Marxist who fights against
Zionism, in a country more pro-Israeli than Israel. The fields I am
interested in [law] are already dominated by Zionists or [political
science] abstract and formalistic separation from political economy and
sociology, and I don't want to become a professor.

I don't know why you throw around the word "concrete conditions" like its
your job, but you sure aren't earning your money. All I have to do is look
up the nearest Palestinian immigrant or Arab man who's been thrown into
jail with no rights or been assailed and kicked out from his university for
his political beliefs to understand what is happening right now. All I have
to do is be selling some copies of a newspaper as some guy walks by and
shouts "Al-Qaida!" for me to understand the ground situation. A country
with 60% middle-class, and a lower class that is mostly even *more*
right-wing than the former, and also more racist, I remain skeptical to say
the least.

So yeah, I want to keep my options open; I may very well want to move to
Europe or Latin America where there is more political tradition and
acceptance of Left ideas. I also want to know what is happening in Latin
America period, regardless of whether I'm going there in ten years or
twenty years.

You can be as "suspicious" as you want, there is nothing suspicious about
it to me. I never said anywhere I'd be parachuting in and distributing
party pamphletes on the way down to "educate the masses". For all your
whining about my apparent ideas you haven't even discussed or analyzed any
of them. And as for "self-gratification": maybe that's what you get writing
these second-rate polemics, but I have no illusions on this account. I want
to be involved where there is what Marx called "struggle".



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