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