[Marxism] Neoconservatives and Trotskyism

Jurriaan Bendien bendien at tomaatnet.nl
Mon Mar 22 10:46:28 MST 2004

"The most extreme paleocons, who flirt dangerously with
outright anti-Semitism, claim not only that neoconservatism is
derivative of Trotskyism but that a "cabal of Jewish neocons" is
manipulating US foreign policy and actually implementing Trotsky's
theory of permanent revolution from the White House."

Just a small note on this shitty topic, while I'm ill at home on my own.
Usually most American neocons are politically rather backward, i.e.

(1) they often cannot imagine how other sorts of people think and feel,
because they haven't got any personal contact with them. Hence, to figure
out what other people think and feel, they have to spy on them, or somehow
derive knowledge about them indirectly.

(2) they really have very few ideas of their own, about what causes societal
problems, and what to do about them, and therefore, they either have to look
over somebody else's shoulder to see if they can steal an idea, or they just
reduce things to (lack of) moral principles.

(3) their politics is a politics of blaming and scapegoating.

Reducing political conflicts and wars to concocted "conspiracy theories",
just means that any serious or profound analysis of the social causes of
those conflicts and wars is lacking. Certainly, there are conspiracies. But
those conspiracies are based on a perception by a social class or group of
an objective reality.

A "conspiracy" is then hypothesized without any profound understanding of
the socio-political framework within which it occurs, as if wars and
conflicts were somehow a product of conspiracies, rather than an
irresolvable clash of real interests, and this is idealist.

Frequently, the neoconservative slander machine is identical to the old
Stalinist propaganda machine: lies, falsifications, amalgams, false
accusations, mythology and so on. It's the same culture. That's why I call
the neoconservative apologists of christianist imperialism the "new American
Stalinists", because the mentality is exactly the same.

In his essay "Heretics and Renegades", Isaac Deutscher described the process
of how the erstwhile communist turned into an anti-communist, while
retaining the just same method he had before. The same story can be applied
to the neocons: a graverobbing of the past, in order to find new
justifications for the status quo with some old props.

It is not a way of thinking which sincerely and honestly aims to discover
the truth, whatever it may be, or explicate a principled and reasoned
morality, but rather a way of reasoning which only aims to justify a
sectional interest, and show why some people are superior to others.

It's true, numerous followers of Trotsky have been spied on by the CIA, the
FBI and the State Department, just as Stalin and Mao devotees have been
spied on, in blatant disregard of their legal and constitutional rights.
I've had that inflicted on me as well (disregarding the fact that, whatever
my continuing socialist and scientific appreciation of Karl Marx, I'm not
even a Trotskyist or a Marxist).

In this sense, imperialism must be recognised as straight-out criminality,
involving the stealing, parasitizing and appropriation of what belongs to
someone else, through a very direct intervention in people's personal lives
which  involves spying and harassment (from a legal point of view, the Bush
cabinet consists only of criminals; and if Americans vote for Bush, they're
voting for a criminal).

But really you know, the essence of the story is simple: it's just that
reactionary people always need something to project their hate on, they need
to be able to project their own frustration, incapacity and failures on to
some clearly identifiable symbol, person or group, which fits the political
requirements they have.

In short, you always need some "common enemy" that can unite your own
peergroup, because nothing else unites them very much in the competitive
marketplace out there, i.e. there are no constructive policies that could
unite people, the unity can only be arrived at negatively, through some
dodgy polarisation, i.e. through saying "the other guys are evil or wrong"
and that we must join in a common fight against them.

One reason why - for better or worse - people still remember FD Roosevelt
and JF Kennedy fondly is, because they were associated with constructive
economic and social policies, which aimed to improve life for ordinary
people in the USA and build a better society. That is, the emphasis was more
on a constructive policy, rather than a negatively defined policy which was
focused on some demon or bogey.

But in the USA nowadays almost nobody wants to build a better society. The
emphasis is now on uniting to defeat an imaginary enemy somewhere else, as a
way of fighting moral degeneration.


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