Petras, Proyect, on Perry Anderson on antiwar movement

Mervyn Hartwig mh at
Thu Mar 20 03:56:35 MST 2003

Hey guys, why get stuck into Perry Anderson? He's on your side! Both Lou
and James overlook that his comments were about *mainstream* opposition
to the war and designed for a mainstream-ish media outlet (the London
Review of Books).

His argument seems incontrovertible: mainstream opposition shares the
premises of Bush and Blair and cluster-bomb liberals, and so is not
genuinely opposed to, but is dialectically complicit with, them ('the
two sides share a common set of assumptions'). The whole point of
Perry's article is that effective opposition needs different premises -
and precisely the one's of the Left that both James and Lou invoke!

James accuses Anderson of recommending that the Left break with the
liberal mainstream opposition to the war. What he overlooks is that the
mainstream has long since broken with the Left (heard anything good
about socialism from them recently?)! As a consequence, in Britain right
now, the mood of the mainstream opposition is that, now that Parliament
has committed to the war, we should 'get behind our boys' and press on
to victory, the speedier the better. Who's breaking with who? See Clare
Short's betrayal.

Mervyn Hartwig

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