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

dwalters at marxists.org dwalters at marxists.org
Sat Nov 29 23:13:09 MST 2003

 Paul quotes the Militant:
 < 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. >

Then states:
 "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."

And so? What do your perscribe? The attack on the US is 100% politically 
correct, form both the immediate issue of the US occupation of Iraq to Britain 
being a foil for the US within the conext of the EU capiitalist unificaiton. 
I'm not sure what it is you object to here?

Paul ocntinues:
 "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,..."

Yes, and it's all hog-wash. What we have here folks is Paul erecting a 'straw-
man', in the most bourgeois 'talkin-head' form....and it's totally bull. Not 
ONE sector of the anti-war movement in the UK holds even ONE aspect of what is 
appears to be this quaint, British culuturally defensive view...something akin 
to some mens' clubs and the British version of talk-radio, but not by the 
workers movement in general or the anti-war movement specifally. This sort of 
anti-Americanism is for the tabloids, not the anti-war crowd...that Paul would 
even project such nonsense should be rediculed here by all.

Paul continues...
 "...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."

Well gee, Paul, what's a communist to do? This sort of anti-Americanism exists 
in part of the Liberal Party and the Tories, for sure. Again, so what? Who does 
this dictate analysis of the British anti-war coalitions? To the degree that 
the the British anti-war movement has NOT caved into to British chauvinism, 
which it clearly has not (thousands of "British out of Iraq NOW!" signs 
abundently makes this clear), then it's a mute issue...why raise it like a 
mirror of The Militant?

Paul continues:
"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."

As it has been...and probably to a much greater degree than sections of the 
anti-war movement in the US, I might add. Regardless, The Militant's analysis 
does little in terms of shedding light on imperialism or how to combat 
it...it's a sterile analysis.

David Walters

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