LP's AntiWar Movement and Ours (was Re:Baghdad bombing...)
dmschanoes at earthlink.net
Thu Aug 28 08:51:15 MDT 2003
What do you mean by a political program? I myself can't remember posing
such a question in 1968 or so when I was active in the antiwar movement.
Mostly we were concerned with getting parade permits or smoothing the
ruffled feathers of people like Leonard Woodcock.The only program that can
end war on a permanent basis is socialism, but that is pretty irrelevant to
the tasks of the mass movement today. Unless you want attendees at some
conference to vote in favor of a general strike and soviets or that sort of
nonsense. If they do, make sure that the motion has a correct position on
the Brenner thesis or else I won't have anything to do with it.
The Brenner remark is facetious I guess but the rest of Lou's remarks are no
fun at all. At one and the same time Lou says that only "socialism" can
permanently end the war, but that is "irrelevant" to the tasks of the mass
movement today. Huh? What about tomorrow and the day after? And how do we
In reality, the lack Marxist analysis and program will doom the anti-war
movement to irrelevancy, just as it did during the Vietnam War era.
The issue is not that of carrying banners that state "End the War, All Power
to the Soviets," when no such organs of dual power exist. That sort of
argument is the classic example of the straw man argument. By giving such a
distorted meaning to the development of a Marxist analysis and program for
anti-war activity, one is giving back of the hand support to the notion that
only an immediate "maximalist" program counts as Marxist activity.
If the source for this war is the needs of capital, then the solution is
both the short and the long term opposition to the needs of capital and
that by definition must become a Marxist, class based opposition to achieve
the very relevance Lou sees in a mass movement.
Is there any doubt that the war in Iraq has to do not with blood for oil,
but blood to offset declining profits, overproduction? Is there any doubt
that the loss of jobs in the US, in the manufacturing sectors of Mexico, the
decimation of the Russian economy, the attack on Afghanistan, on Palestine,
the incarceration rate of African-American males, the Ashcroft/Halliburtion
plan for corporate security are parts of a whole? Of course not. Even the
liberal bourgeoisie, the progressive bourgeoisie that Lou quoted Marx as
losing faith in 155 years ago recognize that. And because they recognize
that, they, the bourgeoisie will attach their own program to the anti-war
movement, filling the political vacuum created in the abnegation of
responsibility by Marxists. They, the liberal, progressives of "capitalism
with a human face," will propose having the UN do its work, voting for Dean
or Kerry, restoring "our" civil liberties, regulating the warrior
accountants, etc. And they will do it from the very platform built by
Marxists, and socialists, who know better.
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