The "Franco-German Peace Plan"

=?UNKNOWN?Q?Jo=E3o?= Paulo Monteiro jpmonteiro at mail.telepac.pt
Wed Feb 12 14:55:21 MST 2003


I'm sendig this post again, with due quotations, for it was unreadable
in its primitive form because of some malfunction in my Outlook.



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Tom O'Lincoln (TO):
«A "multi-polar" world led to World Wars I and II.»

João Paulo Monteiro (JPM):
A multipolar world is dangerous. But so is this one, probably much
more so. In a multipolar world, Bush and his hawks would feel strong
dissuasive pressures against the open-ended rampage they are engage in
(Afghanistan, Iraq, Korea, Iran, Colombia). A multipolar world would
probably know a fair amount of little proxy wars but not any major
confrontation of WW type.


TO:
«What is vital is to build a mass movement against imperialism in all
its forms.  To do that we need to be independent of all imperialisms.
Your formulation seems to imply that we would support the French plan,
which is just another way for imperialists to strangle Iraq.»


JPM:
I don't think we can build a mass movement against such a complex and
scientific concept as imperialism (would you mean a party?). We can
mobilize great amounts of people against war, racism (ANSWEAR is a
great motto), restriction of civic liberties or occupation of foreign
countries but not against imperialism as such. Leaving aside the fact
that it is not in the power of the ruling classes to cease being
imperialists.

Of course, in any movement that we participate in, there cannot be any
doubt as to it being independent of all imperialisms. Marx once
remarked that the international proletariat should consider itself a
new "great power", and therefore have its own real-politik. And the
fact is, we are now in a situation where there is a very objective
(though, no doubt, temporary) convergence of interests between us and
the nucleus of the EU (the Paris-Berlin axis). We draw strength from
them, for many more people will walk the streets with us knowing that
anti-war is quite mainstream politics after all. They draw strength
from us. What's more, it's in our interest that they draw strength
from us, at least until they deliver that crucial French veto (along
with Russia and China, with german support) on the UN's Security
Council. And maybe even for some time after that, for if they do it,
Europe will be dragged, willy-nilly, into a logic of opposition to the
whole US Middle East policy. Maybe a year from now we will be saying
"stop the butchery, end the occupation", and Europe/Russia will be
nodding in half agreement, waiting on the sidelines, quietly letting
some armament find the way of the arab underground resistance.

Of course, we are absolutely forbidden to spread any illusions about
the nature of European imperialism. But we cannot exclude making some
way alongside it.


JPM:
The European plan is not meant to be implemented anyway. It is merely
an instrument of opposition to the war path of the US/UK.


TO:
«This is only because they are too weak to impose it. If our mass
anti-war movement supported them, they might be able to impose it --
and we would end up with a new and equally ugly imperialist domination
while disorienting our own movement.»


JPM:
Lets just forget the franco-german plan. It was just a rough sketch,
hurriedly leaked to 'Der Spiegel' by Schroeder in order to lock the
French in, then disowned by both Paris and Berlin. Whoever wrote it
probably felt compelled to appear very tough on Saddam, in order to
confront the US on its own terms. But the essence of the matter is
this confrontation between the US and the EU. I don't think that the
purpose of the plan was to find a pretext to rejoin the war
'coalition'. Anyway, we will soon find out, for Baghdad has just
refused it, in a polite but dignified manner, and I think they were
right to do it even in the dire situation they are faced with.
 

TO:
«The way to split the enemy is to build a powerful, independent
opposition
to all of them.» 


JPM:
Alas, we could never have split the enemy with our pressure alone.


JPM:
particularly a situation where EU (Paris-Berlin axis) imperialism
falls out definitely with the US, for which it will have to seek the
support of Russia, China, India, Latin America and Africa.

TO:
«They will get the support of the reactionary ruling classes of those
states. Yet another bloc we should steer clear of.»

JPM:
Hum, you're not one of those "unstained" rrrrevolutionary marxists who
just hate all politics, are you? ;-) You know, the day of pure,
unadultered, simultaneous world proletarian communist revolution may
never come.


João Paulo Monteiro 




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