Forwarded from Anthony (NYT)
lvnadal at earthlink.net
Sun Mar 30 09:38:46 MST 2003
Comrade Lippman wrote:
Notions, both guided and misguided about
patriotism play a complex role on social and
political life. Are 100% of all statements of a
patriotic nature wrong? Is patriotism the last
refuge of a scoundrel 100% of the time, too?
Should we ban people carrying the flag of
the United States from the protests? That
is just the kind of ultraleftist posturing that
our Cuban friends might be trying to help
us to understand, and to reject.
In response to Comrade Lippmann's questions I could take the minimalist
approach and say-- We are not discussing all manifestations of patriotism
all the time, but these manifestations of patriotism this time. Such
manifestations are counter the direction this movement must go in order to
stop this war and the future wars.
Or..... having been tagged as a maximalist (which I don't mind since it
brings associations to, among others and other things, Maximilien
Robespierre). ... I might just say yes and yes and maybe yes. Yes all
statements of a patriotic nature regarding the US, since these by definition
obscure class, are wrong. And most definitely yes, Patriotism is always the
refuge of the scoundrel, although often the first and last. And maybe yes,
although I don't want to create an anti-war police force to confiscate
American flags. It should be clear in everything we do and say that US
flags are not welcome, that the battle is international, class, in character
and the flag of the imperial flagship is not a flag that serves anything but
the ruling class.
Whether the cutesy photograph is displayed in Granma or the NYT makes little
difference if the argument being made is that "peace is patriotic," and that
empty phrase is a programmatic path forward. What's next? "Have you
hugged your mechanized infantry today"?
We "relate" to the NYT by defining its role in maintaining the authority of
the system and class it so dutifully serves, not by saying its different
brand of imperialist dominance is welcome.
Regarding the July 26 movement and its patriotic "message:" The difference
is too painfully obvious to require explanation, especially if you're going
to claim some sort of knowledge of Lenin and toss around words like
"ultra-left." Such democratic and patriotic messages were never abstracted
from a content of combat against imperialism, a demand for social equity,
and programmatic agitation for reorganization of the economy, even if those
elements were never consciously formed or presented as "socialism."
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