Re.: Henwood on globalization

Chris Brady cdbrady at
Fri Nov 14 11:49:39 MST 2003

Lou points to the quote “under capitalism, the only thing worse than
being exploited is not being exploited at all."  I think the predicate
is the defining phrase: i.e., under capitalism, how could it be
otherwise?  One must be exploited, or worse, one must be abandoned and
cut out of any of the material benefits of life on this planet, or
worst, eliminated.

I must admit that shortly after I began more intensive study of Marxism,
I  independently created an internationalist Weltanschauung that
vehemently rejected nationalism.  I thought I was quite a genius.  A
Marxist professor, with whom I discussed things, attempted to disprove
my great discovery.  I was not convinced.  Mazzinian nationalism
appeared to me to be a necessary precursor to fascism.  I had forgotten
about the NLF!  I failed to define the very term I exalted,
inter-nationalism.  The two concepts are inseparable but neither can be
fully realized in a cut-throat competitive capitalist world.  At the
same time, realizing this, I recognize the dynamic nature of nationality
and ethnicity, the active development of language and culture as not
static, but as evolving, interacting, melding, cross-fertilizing, and
increasing our strength as a species.  The critical factor in
approaching nationalism as a Marxist is to insist that bourgeois notions
of national limits be jettisoned as the determinants of criminal liberal

Now, I think I should mention that it was my professor’s patient
explanation, the manner in which it was presented, that is critically
but comradely, that allowed my acceptance of his words on condition.  I
knew he was sincere, intelligent, principled and devoted.  I could not
reject his thoughts because I could not reject the man and his critical
support in my exploration of "other worlds"  --possibilities other than
TINA.  His argument remained with me over the years and gestated, fed by
experience and further learning, and fertilized by the mulch of my
premature ideas, until it now appears that he was more correct than
not.  I still remain open, the case cannot be closed, but I have yet to
encounter any more convincing arguments to the contrary.

Where such abstract meanderings take on material consequences is when we
determine to do something about it in the real world, when we decide to
activate, engage in praxis.  The best intentions of Marxists from
different schools are set aside and we collide.  However, we can and
should still maximize our strengths and minimize our weaknesses by our
devotion to our overall goal.  That is the replacement of capitalism
with a more humane, just and rational political economy.

Along with our ruthless criticism of our comrades ideas, we must support
them where they are right, and not take their criticisms as personal
assaults but rather as an exercise necessary for revolutionary

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