[Marxism] Re Kerry would have Gone to war

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Aug 12 13:19:27 MDT 2004

Marvin Gandall wrote:
> This is an entirely correct analysis. There is a unfortunate
> misunderstanding by some on this list that any left-wing approval of the
> deep popular movement against the Bush administration is tantamount to a
> positive assessment of John Kerry and the Democratic leadership and
> program - and it has thrown them into a panic. 

I don't think we share the same definition of popular movement. In my 
eyes, the antinuclear movement of the 1980s was a popular movement. So 
was the CIO of the 1930s. A liberal stampede on behalf of John Kerry is 
not the same thing at all. Society does not change as a result of 
bourgeois elections. Bourgeois elections are intended to preserve 
capitalist stability. Marxism traditionally viewed them as opportunities 
to spread radical ideas. In the 1920s and 30s the Social Democracy and 
Stalinism saw them as a way of moving toward socialism. While they were 
wrong, they were a whole lot more Marxist than today's Kerry-backers on 
the left who don't even give lip-service to the idea of abolishing 
capitalism. The main attraction of a Kerry presidency is that it would 
not be as cruel as Bush. Talk about diminished expectations. Come to 
think of it, we should call it by its proper name: TINA.

> So desperate are they to
> demonstrate that there are, in effect, no ruling class divisions between
> Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, hard cops and soft
> cops, that they risk losing all perspective on how these differences can
> play themselves out in relation to Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Cuba and
> elsewhere. 

Of course there are differences. However, as socialists we don't intend 
to urge a vote for Kerry. We try to promote every challenge to the 
2-party system.

> Chomsky was right to note, in this context, that "small
> differences can have large outcomes" - and the Iraqis, Iranians, North
> Koreans, and Cubans who have been in the gunsights of the Bush
> administration since 2000 would probably concur, notwithstanding the
> bellicose election material and campaign statements of the DP leadership
> mailed to them in alarm by those who know better.

Robin Blackburn, in the latest Counterpunch print edition:

"We should all have US citizenship, like subjects of the Roman empire 
after Caracalla. If the rest of the world had a vote Bush would be 
doomed and Ralph Nader might be the favourite. As it is, we are stuck 
with contenders who both promise a prolongation of the imperial mission 
and the war in Iraq."


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