[Marxism] Reply to Marty Jezer

M. Junaid Alam junaidalam at msalam.net
Sat Jul 31 14:39:32 MDT 2004

"PS: Paul Baran was an economist not a historian. "Better Fewer 
butBetter" is the title of a piece by Lenin from 1923--a period after 
the tide of world revolution had receded rapidly."

Well, it was also the title of an essay written by Paul Baran...under 
the pseudonym Historicus, in MR, in the 1950's. This is a fact. Unless 
Paul Sweezy was lying.

Anyway, you can bristle all you want Mark, but I am convinced that apart 
from the morally principled semi-ABBers, like Chomsky, all those people 
running around quoting Chomsky in defense of their mindless full-blown 
ABBism are blowhards, not die-hards.

All the typical cliches about  "civic culture" or whatever other 
boogeymen bearing down on the poor little unsuspecting "democratic 
capacity of the people" is a very convenient method of excusing the 
cowardice of the people in question - white middle-class liberals and 
professionals who by dint of their ivory tower culture and status are 
ensnared by scent of power emitted from a Democratic Party which if in 
power will offer them a "seat at the table".

Just because these folks aren't in lockstep with the Republican Party 
does not at all mean they are tragically misled or "blinded" radicals of 
some sort. On the contrary, what offends them is the *method* and 
*openness* of imperialism exhibited by the Republicans,. not the 
substance itself. It's no coincidence that the staunchest ABBers are 
also the ones who are cowards on the Palestinian question  (remember 
that article, "Ralph Nader, Suicide Bomber?"). It's no coincidence that 
they are the cowards  of the anti-war movement, slandering the radical 
left as anti-American and squeaking out bullshit slogans that went no 
further than "Let the UN enforce international law!" or "the war is 
illegal". It's no coincidence that they are the cowards who fawn over 
and yearn for the glory days of Clintonism, and kept silent during his 
criminal enterprises.

So insofar as the sharp blade of events slices off the more or less 
cancerous elements of "the left", all the better - in the coming period, 
America must witness and give rise to a powerful, confident, radical 
left that is led by genuine radicals, not coffeeshop Starbuck 
pseudo-socialists like Dissent and Nation cronies. It's not as if these 
professionals are the agents or subjects of any revolutionary change - 
they and their very role as second-rate apologists for capitalism will 
be among its first victims.

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