Forwarded from Nestor (morphing)

Craven, Jim jcraven at clark.edu
Mon Aug 4 14:32:14 MDT 2003



-----Original Message-----
From: Louis Proyect [mailto:lnp3 at panix.com] 
Sent: Monday, August 04, 2003 11:55 AM
To: marxism at lists.panix.com
Subject: Forwarded from Nestor (morphing)


Einde O´C. wrote:

"Here in Germany we have several leaders of the Green Party who were 
AFAICS genuine revolutionaries in the 1960s and 1970s who are now in 
leading positions in pushing a right-wing agenda, sometimes with 
pesudo-leftist arguments.

One crass example of this phenomenon is our Foreign Minister, the former 
streetfighter Joseph (Joschka) Fischer <...>

Another example is Otto Schily, former attorney for the Red Army 
Fraction (Baader-Meinhoff group) and himself formerly suspected of being 
a leading terrorist, who <...> is currently leading the most radical 
attack on civil liberties since the Second World War and preparing the 
for ground <...> total supervision of the general public, not just 
political activists.

<...>

I don't necessarily believe that these people were always opportunist 
shits. I think it's more a case of <...> (social) being determining 
consciousness."

===

Response Jim C: With all due respect, I just cannot agree. First of all, I
do not consider Red Army Faction and those types to be on the genuine left;
blind terrorism reflects infantilism and a retreat from the less dramatic
but more necessary long-term organizing, coalition/united front building and
substantive analyses/critiques of the existing system and those who run it.

Secondly, any real leftists, who have done real grass-roots work among
various sections of the oppressed and have been touched in any real way by
the forms and sources of oppression--and the real pain and lives of the
victims--to which they have been exposed, might go over to social democracy
as age and material interests set in, they might go over to anarchism for
some immediate and more personally satisfying actions that give the illusion
of actually doing something, they might go over to less overt forms of
academic/house marxism, or democratic party liberalism, but going over to
the far right it unthinkable for anyone who really once was a real leftist;
the disconnect, betrayal and cognitive dissonance is just too much. 

These individuals like Yardley and Horowitz, who claim to have once been
real leftists and now claim they were driven out and forced to do some
personal reevaluations given their experiences in useless cults of which
they were members, I would argue that the causality is the reverse of what
they suggest: It is not that bad experiences in infantile/wrecker cults
finally led them to epiphanies that have led them to the ultra-right;
rather, it was their own petit-bourgeois narcissism, ultra-individualism,
dilettanteism, know-it-all-ism,
arrogance, superficialities, lack of discipline and commitment, opportunism
etc. that led them to the ultra-right (apparently a more lucrative market
niche) that also led them into the infantile cults that they now use as an
excuse for their supposed "defections" (How do you "defect" from a place you
never really were?).

But this does bring up a good discussion of how do we know who is for real
and who is not? Anyone can spout a little jargon and buzz words, quote from
the "classics" like a bible-thumper quoting from the bible, wax eloquent on
various lists and write for various media, etc; but until they are really
tested, in practice, and that means sustained practice refusing many
inducements to defect, does one really begin to get the picture of who is
really who and what is really what.

Jim C.




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