[Marxism] Stan Goff interview

Derek S. dws_1980 at yahoo.com
Fri Aug 20 10:49:59 MDT 2004

An Extensive Interview with Stan Goff 
by Derek Seidman 

Stan Goff is a member of the coordinating committee of
Bring Them Home Now , a campaign of military families,
veterans, active duty personnel, reservists against
the war in Iraq. His books include Hideous Dream: A
Soldier's Memoir of the US Invasion of Haiti, and Full
Spectrum Disorder: The Military in the New American

He retired as a Master Sergeant in the US military in
1996 after serving for 26 years, most of them with
Special Forces. He lives in Raleigh, NC, and can be
reached at sherrynstan at earthlink.net. Recently, Derek
Seidman of Left Hook caught up with Stan Goff to get
his thoughts on "Fahrenheit 9/11", the situation in
Iraq, the possibility of a draft, the upcoming US
elections, and more. 

Left Hook: Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" recently
passed the hundred million dollar mark in the box
office. Some people on the Left have been very
critical of the film for various reasons, while others
have emphasized the broad, positive impact it's having
as a conveyer of progressive ideas and impulses to a
mass audience. Of course, appreciating the film and
being critical of it are not necessarily opposed to
one another. What's your take on the film and its
impact? Anything we could or should learn from this
Michael Moore here? 

Stan Goff: Sure, there are a lot of "we"s and a lot of
learning to do. I'd start by making a qualitative
distinction between the different political currents
that seem to get shoehorned together as "left."
Putting liberals, class-absent populists,
class-conscious populists, social democrats, and
several varieties of revolutionaries along some kind
of linear spectrum, running right to left, is a pretty
significant conceptual error. The point of unity
between these different currents right now is their
opposition to the actions of the current United States
government - not the US state, and not capitalism, but
the Bush-Cheney government. 

The post-9/11 drive to expand the power of the
security state domestically and to accelerate the
international plan to restructure the global
accumulation regime by military force set off alarm
bells among all those currents, then the build-up to
the March 2003 ground offensive against Iraq became
the catalyst for a very big tactical alliance that we
started referring to as an anti-war movement. But all
the distinctions - and they are pretty heavy
distinctions - within that polyglot remained. I'm not
anti-war and neither are a lot of other people in this
movement. We are anti-imperialist. I don't oppose the
war in Iraq. I oppose the US occupation. To say I
simply oppose the war- as war- is to deny the Iraqi's
the right of resistance. I'm sure the Bush
administration now opposes the war. They want the
resistance to stand down. In this, they share a goal
with pacifists, who say no one should fight. As long
as there is a US occupation, I must defend the Iraqi's
right, even duty, to resist. 

Anyway, now there is a spate of documentary films
coming out from several of these currents. Moore's
film was well financed, because he had the money from
his class-populist bestseller, "Stupid White Men," and
a rep from "Bowling for Columbine" and "Roger and Me."
Moore has finessed that money, that rep, and his
in-your-face style into an extremely effective form of
publicity. His clash with Disney over distribution
hooked the capitalist media like a brown trout. Moore
is from Michigan, where fishing is very popular. 

Whomever "we" is, some of us seem to be learning how
to make incursions into mass media, and to break down
the confidence of people in what they usually get from
mass media. There's a lot we need to learn from that. 


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