[Marxism] Re: Mealy Mouthed ZNet Advocates Third Road Position onSudan

M. Junaid Alam junaidalam at msalam.net
Sat Aug 28 13:56:29 MDT 2004

LP: <<While the ethnic divisions in the Sudan are the result mainly of 
colonialism, Khartoum has done everything to exacerbate them.>>

TA:Who cares?  I do not care what the Sudanese central government is doing in 
one of the many regions of the country. The issue is really what the hell is 
the US government doing in Africa.

LP:<<We are not exactly talking about the FSLN sitting down with the Miskitos 
to work out an autonomy plan. Sudan has been ruled by a series of brutal 
military dictatorships since the 1960s. They have repressed leftists, 
catered to the class interests of the local rich and
bent over backwards to accommodate imperialism.>>

TA:This is all very true, but very irrelevent.  We don't just side with the 
colonial peoples against US imperialism when they hold like views similar to 
those of our socialist cause.  We don't just support them against US 
imperialism when some sort of Trotsky litmus test is passed, on a 
case-by-case basis.  Maybe the- build- an- antiwar- movement- by- Christian- 
solidarity campaigning style does that, but socialist internationalism 
should be constructed on much better than that.

Frankly Tony's position on this matter can be summed up concisely in one word: absurd. 
Why waste time inventing the pseudo-heroic, ahistoric, strawman of "colonial peoples" 
when we are talking about a gangster regime? Other bullshit strawmen about "Trotsky
litmus test" and "Christian solidarity style campaigning" also contributes between
nothing and zero to clarify the issue being discussed.

There is nothing new here: group X is doing something _bad_ and group Y is exploiting it
for its own ends and whipping up a frenzy. That doesn't change the fact that group Z, ie.
the refugees and blacks targeted by the government via proxy nomadic forces, are being 
oppressed and terrorized. So the "who cares" approach of Tony is nothing more than asserting
that if America says 2+2=5, socialists should pretend 2+2=3. 

Most of Tony's post is self-inflicted silliness via sarcasm. What do you expect ZMag 
to do exactly? Are they going to send a ZMag Brigade to Rescue Darfur over to Africa and save
the innocent poor Africans from the big bad white men? Let's get fucking serious, man. This 
is such a farcical rendition of history that it hardly deserves any comment. No special
license to kill is handed out to the comprador bourgeoisie simply because the big bourgeoisie
is worse.

Nowhere in the ZMag piece is there a conflation or moral equivalency between all Western
behavior in Africa on the one hand and the Sudanese government's behavior on the other. It merely
points out the plain and simple fact that they are responsible for their crimes. I didn't
see any endorsement of an invasion plan or anything of the sort.

Of course the icing on the cake is the grandiose call to build a 24/7 anti-imperialist movement.
I always hear a lot of talk about "building" that rolls of tongues very easily but
means nothing in practice. You can't organize a sustained mass movement by posing as the 
defender of every shitty non-western regime around, period. 

More information about the Marxism mailing list