[Marxism] Re: Marxism Digest, Vol 8, Issue 56

LouPaulsen LouPaulsen at comcast.net
Mon Jun 21 06:45:27 MDT 2004

----- Original Message -----
From: "mike pearn" <neprimerimye at yahoo.co.uk>

> Dear Jose,
> Frankly I'm appalled at your comment. It is tantamount
> to a charge of racism. However I feel that such a
> charge is neither true or follows from any sensible
> interpretation of my remarks.

To Mike,

Frankly I'm appalled at your comment.  It is tantamout to saying that no
person of color (or anyone else I suppose) can discuss or question your
application of the national question without being accused of "race-baiting"
you and calling you a racist.

> The only possible way your remark makes any kind of
> sense is if you presume that by refering to a the
> "So-called British Muslim Community" I am making a
> remark derogatory to Muslims which is then taken as
> being in some way racist. This is ofensive nonsense
> and suggests to me that you have a problem with middle
> class liberal guilt more than anything else.

Well, god forbid anyone should OFFEND you by saying that this formulation
sounds really contemptuous.  All Muslims and everyone else are supposed to
know without ever having had any dealings with you that you are morally pure
and free of the taint of chauvinism.  If they are suspicious of you, that's
their problem!  Once again, the idea that anyone should worry about being
sensitive to the feelings and reactions and life experience of the oppressed
is referred to as "middle class liberal guilt".  I suppose it would be
"offensive" to mention how many racists accuse anti-racists of this.  I can
only plead the excuse of having been led astray by the middle class liberal
Lenin, who had the temerity to call this the "proletarian approach".

> society. The question is how to break them [Muslims] from the
> domination of the petty bourgeois dominated Mosques
> and I would suggest that by appealing to them as
> Muslims we actually reinforce that domination.
> Moreover I owuld suggest that by allying with such
> reactionary elements as the MAB the SWP has set back
> attempts to develop a socialist current among those
> communities which identify with Islam.

See, that shows what a miseducated middle class liberal I am.  I would have
thought that "the question" was how to make an alliance with them in
political action against imperialism and racism, leaving the question of
"breaking them ... from the domination of the ... Mosques" until later.  But
this might be because a long time ago I read something by the middle class
liberal James Connolly, who said something to the effect that "socialists
don't bring people out of the church.  They get involved in political action
with people, and the priest says this is sinful, and thus the priest drives
people out of the church."

So, how does it actually work out in practice when you go up to Muslim
workers and boldly shout "break from the petty-bourgeois-dominated Mosques!"
at them?  I bet you are recruiting Muslim workers hand over fist.

Unaccountably, some irony and sarcasm seem to have slipped into this post.
How unfortunate.


Lou Paulsen
member, WWP, Chicago

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