[Marxism] Sudan and the failure of the international Left

Scotlive at aol.com Scotlive at aol.com
Sun Jul 25 13:11:19 MDT 2004

In a message dated 7/25/2004 10:49:55 AM Pacific Daylight Time, 
andromeda246 at hetnet.nl writes:
Well, how would you do it ? I think the Left has been rather successful in
exposing the shambles of the intervention in Iraq, and ripping up the bogus
justifications for fighting it. The mass mobilisations against the wars have
been very large, larger even than at the time of the Vietnam war. That is
not weakness, but strength.
Yes, we have been very successful in exposing the shambles and ripping up the 
bogus justifications for fighting it. And, yes, the mass mobilisations 
against the war were very large before it began. But what about after it began, when 
the vast majority of those millions around the world melted away, demoralized 
that they'd failed to stop the war? I contend that the antiwar movements 
around the world, or indeed if you prefer, the international antiwar movement as a 
single entity, was simply too heterogenous to last as a cohesive force in 
their respective countries. Made up of broad coalitions of groups, organizations, 
parties and tendencies with their own political doctrine, some merely single 
issue environmental groups, there was no ideological foundation on which to 
build anything more than what it was: namely a protest against war. Speaking for 
myself, I was heavily involved in helping to mobilize and organize for demos 
in the US. The ruling class here were very clever, in that as soon as the war 
began they bombarded the media and TV with the exhortation to 'support the 
troop.' This proved very effective, specifically because the antiwar movement had 
failed to instil any counter-ideology in the hundreds of thousands who'd come 
out in the months leading up. This could have been done by drawing the 
connection between international imperialism and domestic imperialism, I contend. 
For any socialist or social justice movement to succeed, or hope to succeed, the 
mobilization of the workers and oppressed communities in our respective 
countries needs to happen. And this can only happen if we make ourselves relevant 
to the everyday lives of people in those oppressed communities. To place a 
flyer, say, in the hands of a black man in Compton and ask him to attend an 
antiwar rally, and nowhere on that flyer is nothing about the war being waged 
against him and his community by the same ruling class that is waging war against 
the Iraqi people is an exercise in obscurantism. It is not enough to appeal to a 
moral incentive. This, by definition, is ephemeral. No, we must appeal to a 
material incentive in the first instance. Our constitutents are not well-fed, 
well-educated, comfortable liberals. It is the poor, the unemployed, the 
oppressed. Out of their misery and hoplessness lies the potential for militant 
struggle. And it is only through militant struggle that we stand any chance of 


'Where the material necessities of life are absent, moral necessity is also 

Ludwig Fuererbach

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