[Marxism] Re: Tariq Ali on the US election

Ian Pace ian at ianpace.com
Fri Aug 6 20:46:18 MDT 2004

Ian Pace: Just playing devil's advocate here - Blair has fought five wars in
> seven years of being prime minister. While those in Kosovo, Sierra Leone,
> Mark 1, and to some extent Afghanistan didn't elicit widespread protest,
> Iraq war produced the largest anti-war protest in living memory. Couldn't
> similar thing happen under Kerry<<
Tom O'Lincoln> No doubt it could and Lou is right to mention LBJ. But in the
case of
> Blair, there was a particular factor at work IMHO: the global backlash
> against American unilaterialism. In Britain and Australia (where I am)
> this didn't stop governments lining up with the US, but it did mean
> large sections of the population including the ruling class were hostile
> to Bush and Rumsfeld from the start, for reasons that sometimes had
> little to do with sympathy for the Iraqi people or peace sentiment per
> se.
This relates to the argument that says that, were the American empire to
fall, it wouldn't necessarily sound the death-knell for international
capitalism, as another power (Britain? France? China?) would step in to fill
the void. Anti-Americanism doesn't necessarily imply antipathy to the
workings of global capitalism, can be simply motivated by a desire to have
more of the spoils, otherwise members of the ruling class wouldn't
occasionally break company with the machinations of American imperial power
(and I'm of the school of thought that believed France was just as cynical
and oil-greedy as the US over Iraq, just their interests were served better
by a different outcome).

Do others of you believe realistically that the spiralling situation in the
Middle East could lead to Islamic militants gaining power in Iraq and Saudi
Arabia, precipitating an unprecedented oil crisis and subsequent depression
that could signal the beginning of the worst crisis in capitalist society
since the 1930s? This could all happen in the next 10-20 years. And fear
that, while international socialist revolution could conceivably be the
long-term outcome, equally likely are a retreat to barbarism in the Western
world and/or the rise of the far right? If it weren't for fear of the latter
options, I would want to see in power the politicians who are most likely to
bring about such a situation.


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