[Marxism] Re: Militant: 'Stop Bush' protests, marked by nationalism, aid British rulers

Paul Flewers trusscott.foundation at virgin.net
Sat Nov 29 05:00:09 MST 2003

The US Militant declared: < The success of the U.S. president's trip was
only reinforced by the anti-American, pro-British tone of the demonstrations
in the United Kingdom, organized by the Stop the War Coalition and other
forces around the theme "Stop Bush." Focusing their fire on the US
government and portraying Blair as a mere "puppet" of Washington, they
buttressed the nationalist framework of the British rulers' efforts to
assert their own imperialist interests in the world. >

I don't think that this is wrong. Blair is a puppet of Bush, and in being so
he is fuelling a nationalistic anti-Americanism amongst all classes. There
have long been strands of anti-Americanism in Britain, based on all manner
of things, some important, some less important, some quite trivial, but all
able to be mobilised should the occasion arise.

British anti-Americanism  revolves around the displacement of Britain by the
USA as the leading imperialist power, the perception by 'cultured' Britons
that the USA is run by 'uncultured' jumped-up colonials, the enduring
wartime quip about 'the Yanks being overpaid, oversexed and over here', the
last being popular amongst all walks of life, not least workers. Added to
this now is the feeling that Britain is getting absolutely nothing from
tail-ending Bush over Iraq, and that Blair is damaging British interests,
particularly in the Middle East and the Islamic world, by being too close to
the USA and not fully engaging in Europe.

Clearly, none of this is progressive, and, with trans-Atlantic economic and
political tensions increasing, and with Europe slowly becoming a more
coherent bloc, anti-Americanism can and almost certainly will be mobilised
by the sections of the British ruling class who wish to move from the
traditional British post-1945 Atlanticist approach towards joining
whole-heartedly the Europe bloc, which will promote its imperialist
interests at the expense of the USA.

Blair's uncritical relationship with Bush is a very easy target in Britain.
Certainly, it must be attacked, but it must be done in a principled manner
that does not encourage British chauvinism.

Paul F

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