Defeatism (was: Re: Building a broad mass movement

Tom O'Lincoln suarsos at
Sun Jan 5 19:22:21 MST 2003

Lou and I seem to be in agreement on everything that matters. But for what it's

>>Today of course it is ridiculous to talk of the U.S. being defeated by Iraq<<

Yes it is, but quite a lot of people are susceptible to the idea that Saddam
could somehow inflict serious damage on the West (eg by sponsoring terror attacks),
or that he might occupy neighbouring territory and oppress more people. In that
context the prospect of a victory to Iraq can still scare people.

>>So the way I would characterize it is that the principle of Leninist defeatism
means what I said it means, and that, in the specific context of World War I,
Lenin wanted this principle to be put into practice in a certain kind of way
in the circumstances.<<

Err, no: what you outlined are the principles of socialist internationalism
and anti-imperialism. "Defeatism" is calling for the defeat of your own country
-- which is perhaps why it's called "defeatism" ;-)

But enough hair splitting, we have a war to stop. As my first contribution for
the New Year, I just went to a demonstration in support of refugees (who are
mostly from Afghanistan and Iraq.) It was small, as was to be expected in Australia
in early January, but at least we were there.

PLEASE clip all extraneous text before replying to a message.

More information about the Marxism mailing list