what to make of "conspiracy theories"?

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Feb 10 20:31:05 MST 2002

On Sun, 10 Feb 2002, Macdonald Stainsby wrote:

> That imperialism can't count would be silly. In the long run, this war
> will be seen as the turning point in the history of the US Empire where
> they dispense with everything to do with international covenants.
> Comrades who won't look into "Conspiracy" theories are doing us a
> disservice. We would then be ignoring that the gains for American
> imperialism are amassing at an unprecedented rate.
> Socialsm or barbarism. Say it often.

I would urge anybody who wants to develop Marxist theory to absolutely
avoid the sort of thing heard from people like Jared Israel, Mike Ruppert
and so on. The reality is quite simple. Islamic fundamentalist terrorists
have been taking one action after another against the USA since the
collapse of the USSR. 9/11 is part of a pattern: the original attack on
the WTC in 1992, embassy bombings in Africa, the Destroyer Cole attack,
truck bomb at Marine base in Saudi Arabia, 747 Lockerbie and other
incidents too numerous too mention. The reason that the US is behind the
curve on all these incidents is simple. The US ruling class has strategic
allies who have all given support to these Islamic fundamentalists, from
Pakistan to Saudi Arabia. We are dealing with a very contradictory
political and social phenomenon that defies easy interpretation. When
those who are unfamiliar with Marxist theory like Jared Israel fail to
find the kind of pat explanation that worked--more or less--for Kosovo,
they simply shoe-horn reality to fit into their schema. The worst thing
about Jared Israel's analysis is that it sees nothing about these
terrorist actions that can plausibly be explained as outrage against
imperialist exploitation among Arabs and Islamic peoples. This ill-serves
our movement. Unless we can come to terms with Arab and Islamic radicalism
without prejudice, we are not doing our jobs.

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