[Marxism] Re: Sleepwalking? Hey, Comrade, do you even know whereyou are at?

Tony Abdo gojack10 at hotmail.com
Thu Apr 1 15:58:17 MST 2004


My previous comment that Lou gives a reply to...
>Whatever.. we don't want the people learning about Iraq/ Iran and 
>Afghanistan on another Sept 11 the hard way again. The time to educate is 
>now, not later. Get the US Out of Southwest Asia Now! Has kind of a funny 
>ring to it though.

<<Thank you for your sublime insights.>> says Lou.

Why you are welcome, Lou.  But somehow, I feel that you disagree with my 
thesis that there was much sleepwalking being done inside the US during the 
'80s in regard to opposing US interventionism in Afghanistan and against 
Iran.  Certainly this was true of the general public though, and only your 
desire to kneejerk to the defense of the US Left would be why you would deny 
the same being said about the US Left' sleepwalking on these issues back 
then.

Strange. What I am really saying is that most of the US Left forgot that 
their country's government was actually actively fighting the Cold War, and 
winning it, too.  Or maybe they just thought that the Cold War was only 
being fought in Central Ameirca, and not elsewhere at the same time?   This 
is very similar to how Leftists currently remember that the US is fighting 
in Iraq, but seem blissfully oblivious to the wars in Colombia and 
Afghanistan, the Balkans and Aceh, Uzbekistan and Georgia.   Out of press, 
out of mind.

Lou again..
<<With its limited forces, the left has to pick and choose its battles
carefully. The civil war in Biafra occurred between 1967 and 1969. I
think the left chose wisely to focus on Vietnam rather than Biafra,
where the class/ethnic conflict did not have revolutionary implications.
By the same token, solidarity with Nicaragua (I have no idea why Abdo
puts this word in quotes) or El Salvador might have made a difference in
whether socialism could move forward.>>

Lou, Biafra was not Vietnam, simply because the US did not intervene in a 
major manner there.    Biafra stayed mainly an internal conflict within 
Africa, and was not the center piece of the fighting out of the Cold War at 
that time, as SE Asia was.  However, Portuguese colonialism combined with 
White Rhodesia and South Africa's wars was an entirely different matter.

Afghanistan and Iran were actually quite a bit more important to the world 
political situation than Central America was. This was where the USSR was 
dragged down and taken out by US interventionism.  And, the US Left was 
pretty much oblivious to what was going on, and remains quite so to this 
very day. It is still generally concluded that the USSR collapsed PURELY due 
to internal problems. This is the general view in the US public, and the 
majority view within the US Left too. Go to Znet or Common Dreams if you do 
not believe this to be generally the case?

As to why I put the word 'solidarity' in quotes? It's simply that the 
solidarity evaporated from Leftists the minute they were faced with 
temporary defeats in CA. The world needs solidarity that doesn't just 
evaporate from the US socialisit Left in such a manner. There was a lot of 
'solidarity' with the 'Soviet people', too. About all that remains of this 
'solidarity' with the people of that region in Left circles is memory lane 
now. Certainly, there is not much European and US Left carrying out 
'solidarity' now for Russians and Ukrainians, is there?

How would it seem, if the US Left approached its working class in this 
manner?  Lost the grocery strike in California, then forget about you all 
now. Well, that is quite a bit like how the US Left does its nationally 
focused 'solidarity' campaigns. OOps, so sorry, Sandinistas...  You lost, 
and now we're off to bigger and better things than your lowsy, narrow, 
current concerns.

The problem is when you organize antwar work in such a manner as this, Lou. 
Much of the US socialist Left considers antiwar work to be principally 
'solidarity' stuff with 'Cuba'. See why I put Cuba in quotation marks here? 
It's simply because "Cuba' is not Cuba.   And 'solidarity' work, is not 
antiwar work.  Another 'sublime insight', Lou.

Now, more 'typical' Proyect...
<<This is typical Abdo. Sweeping generalizations without any solid
documentation. In reality the movement rallied to Central America not
because nuns and priests were involved, but because people like Tomas
Borge and Shafik Handal were involved.>>

Really? And all those people at those yearly SOA demos were motivated by 
that?  Who would have known!

The problem with discussing these issues with people from an SWP background, 
is that they are usually so damn sure that the SWP achieved the maximum 
doing antiwar work, that they always seem to think that nothing more could 
have ever have been done. I find this very hard to believe though.

As Bob Montgomery just mentioned about Kansas City, the SWP leadership 
constantly dissolved branches that were productive in any way. Two of the 
branches they dissoved that were exceptional areas of recruitment and 
building antiwar demos, were Portland, Or. and Austin, Texas.  The SWP 
sabotaged itself in major ways, simply because the idea was (and still is 
amongst many exSWP cadre)  that antiwar work was somehow sinning against 
building the labor movement.   most of the time I spent around SWP circles, 
the SWP leadership was actively working to sabotage true antiwar building. 
Didn't even have a clue to what it was.  Thought it might be some 
peti-bourgeois thing or another. They distrusted it, and disdained those who 
did it.   Speak to kids in public schools against sending in the required 
draft form via the post office?   Only wierdos would be doing stuff like 
that... was their stupid attitude.

And thinking about the US role in the Iraqi attack on Iran or in its 
spending tens of billions building up Osama in Afghanistan was a major 
diversion from helping Lou and comrades from 'Turning' in the '80s. But 
revolutionary tourism to Nicaragua in 'solidarity' was not. It was showing 
co-workers how 'revolutionaries' behaved!

Tony Abdo

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