[Marxism] Shall Bush's profile be lowered at anti-war protests?

Steve Gabosch bebop101 at comcast.net
Mon Apr 5 14:56:57 MDT 2004

It seems to me that Walter's assessment of Spanish and UK imperialism may
have a flaw.  Or, perhaps, my own opinion is flawed because I am getting
something wrong.  In order to sort this out, I believe the essential
questions need to be addressed in order to proceed with clarity.  What are
some of the essential questions?  We could certainly begin with a
fundamental question such as: what is the nature of world imperialism?  I
suspect that this is a question that many of us would probably answer on the
general level in a similar way.  We may need a more specific form of this
general question to help sort out some of the divergences in our various
reasoning processes, to help reveal the flaws we see in the different
arguments.  Perhaps this one might help more: how do the national imperialist
ruling classes, such as the US, UK and Spain, work both together and against
one another to maintain international capitalism?   From where I stand,
Walter's outline of an implied answer to this question may have a flaw 
paragraph is copied below.)

The flaw that I suspect in Walter's argument is this.  It is certainly true,
as Walter points out, that without US military might - as it currently
exists - that Spanish and British troops - as they currently exist in many
places in the world today - especially in Iraq and Afghanistan - would most
certainly be in jeopardy.  They do not currently have a sufficient military
presence in these countries to fully protect themselves, let alone conduct a
full-scale occupation.  Their current military role in these occupations is
without question auxiliary and subordinate to the US's.  But, in my opinion,
it is invalid to conclude from this that were the US military offensive in
these countries to be diminished, that Spanish, British etc. imperialism, or
a United Nations-based or NATO-based coalition, would not fill in the void.
Walter's description implies a passivity - "going along for the ride" - on
the part of the non-US imperialists that I do not believe is justified by an
analysis of how national imperialists ruling classes work both together and
against one another.  The flaw I believe I see in Walter's argument is an
incomplete description of the aggressive and dangerous role of non-US

In my opinion, the non-US imperialist rulers very much want a piece of the
pie, and more and more are openly willing to back that desire up with
military force, including now even Japan, which sent troops to Iraq.
Zapatero is planning to double Spanish troops to 250 in Afghanistan.  The US
is promoting NATO to extend its military role in many regions outside
Europe, such as Afghanistan.  More and more, all the imperialist powers,
both abroad and in their own countries, are stepping up their offensive.
This is in the nature of their capitalist systems; they are compelled to.
The US, for its part, has been openly soliciting this military help from
other imperialist powers, but of course has its own aims - its wants this
assistance to occur under US direction and control, and with US corporations
getting first grabs at the profitable business opportunities that
imperialist offensives eventually create.  All the imperialist powers have
similar aspirations.  The demands Zapatero and others raise about placing
the occupation of Iraq under UN control is an attempt to adjust and
redistribute imperialist military power, political influence and economic
power in a way that is more favorable to Spanish capitalism.  All the
imperialists today are jockeying for position and advantage.

As I see it, Walter's true statements about the quantitative distribution of
military force among the imperialists today - the US is clearly
overwhelmingly dominant - are insufficient descriptions of these underlying
dynamics of international imperialism.   It is not quite as simple as Walter
asserts.  The non-US imperialism's are not just "going along for the ride."
There is more than Walter's summary to the essential picture. The non-US
imperialists are actively and very dangerously advancing both their own
imperialist aims - in competition with other imperialists - and advancing
the imperialist system as a whole - against working people everywhere.  They
are not just passengers.  They are also drivers, and they are driving
extremely lethal and terrible vehicles - imperialist systems backed with
modern weapons and forces.

In my way of thinking, clarity at this level of the discussion -
understanding how the various national imperialist ruling classes such as
the US, UK and Spain work both together and against one another to maintain
international capitalism - is essential in order to shed light on all the
other issues Walter and others raise.

In solidarity,
- Steve Gabosch

Walter said:
The United States is in charge of both the invasion and
the occupation of Iraq. Blair and Aznar only going along
for the ride. They were not independent actors in the
situation. They could not have invaded Iraq on their own.
If US troops were removed, Spanish and British troops
would be immediately withdrawn, or else immediately
wiped out. The main responsible party for the war is
located in Washington, DC. It's really that simple.


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