[Marxism] Fahrenheit 911: Less From Moore (from The BlackCommentator) re: D. Quarter and J. Craven)

Mike Friedman mikedf at mail.amnh.org
Fri Jul 9 08:03:35 MDT 2004


The problem is that it is not merely the "Saudi elite" that is being 
criticized, nor is the S.e. being criticized in a way that puts the 
blame for its actions where it belongs: on U.S. imperialism. In the 
first place, Moore, shorthanding it perhaps, for the cogent viewer, 
refers to "Saudis," such as "Saudis being allowed to leave the 
country after 9/11." Rather sinister of those "Saudis," don't you 
think? And the Saudi elite is the elite in a colonized country, 
whatever their wealth. Maybe they do invest in the U.S. economy to 
the tune of 7% of our GNP. But that hardly makes them the threat to 
"our way of life" that Moore makes them out to be. The overall 
picture is hardly flattering to Saudis, in general, and presents them 
as somehow sinister, falling right into the administration's 
anti-Arab crusade.
>
>Date: Thu, 8 Jul 2004 15:07:17 -0400
>From: "David Quarter" <davidquarter at sympatico.ca>
>[...]
>According to WHO?
>
>The criticism of the Saudis elite in the film was IMO fair.  That
>being said, I think the criticism below is valid as well as there are
>factions within the U.S. political establishment, with the Zionists (or
>individuals with close business or political ties to Israel) happening
>to be one of the most (if not the most) powerful one.
>
>If you can't understand the part this plays out in some of the policy
>decisions taken by the U.S. government. in the middle east, then
>you are blinding yourself to reality.

Your reality, perhaps. Not Washington's. Not Israel's. Not the 
Iraqui's, Haitian's, etc.

Contrast with Jim C's comment, below, which I would ditto, ditto, 
ditto. In light of one of Moore's avowed aims, reaching sectors of 
the (white) working class that wouldn't otherwise be reached, what 
Moore did, in some parts of the film, is called pandering. He 
pandered to some of the basest attitudes among our working class. He 
defeats his own purpose, because you can't justify racism and then 
expect folks to question imperialist war.


>Date: Thu, 8 Jul 2004 12:44:10 -0700
>From: "Craven, Jim" <JCraven at clark.edu>
>Subject: RE: [Marxism] Stan Goff comments on Fahrenheit 9/11 critiques
>[...]
>Response: While I do acknowledge, and have myself written about, much of
>that to which Stan Goff alludes with respect to elements of the American
>left--armchair Leninism, lefter-than-thou critiques, sectarianism,
>hair-splitting and the-"perfect"-as-enemy-of-the-good"--I do not believe
>that this is what is going on here with Bob Jensen's critque of the
>Michael Moore movie. I found the Jensen critique very cogent, quite
>penetrating and that it raises issues that need to be raised. One can
>celebrate the positive aspects of the film and possible positive
>benefits in reaching, with this instrument in this medium, some who
>would not have otherwise been reached with some facts that they
>otherwise would not have been made aware of, without glossing over some
>of the obvious limitations and yes, racism, embodied in this film. This
>fawning over "our troops", as Michael Moore does, who are also
>personally responsible for signing up to become tools/dupes of U.S.
>imperialism in order to finance their college educations and/or find
>work has to be exposed--as I have done in my own case as a former dupe
>and tool of U.S. imperialism and as Bob Jensen did in his critique. This
>notion that anyone in the U.S. military is fighting for any kind of
>"freedom", other than for the "freedom" of U.S. imperialism to plunder
>and rape the world, needs to be exposed; I for one am sick and tired of
>seeing some opportunism and sycophancy--among elements of the U.S.
>left--in pandering to some of the obvious illusions that many in the
>U.S. military have about what they are really doing and for whom they
>are doing it--no matter what the class backgrounds and reasons for
>joining of some in the military.
>
>
>I do not believe that Bob Jensen is giving aid and comfort to the enemy
>right with his critique but rather simply doing what Karl Marx urged a
>long time ago in a letter to Arnold Ruge in 1843: "If the construction
>of the future, and its completion for all time is not our task, all the
>more certain is what we must accomplish in the present; I mean, the
>ruthless criticism of everything that exists; the criticism being
>ruthless in the sense that it neither fears its own results nor fears
>conflict with the powers that be."
>
>Jim Craven





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