[Marxism] Re: Adios, Marxmail [adios, dogmatic marxism]

mjunaidalam at msalam.net mjunaidalam at msalam.net
Sat Nov 6 11:50:45 MST 2004

Josh Saxe's trajectory on this list mirrors that of his trajectory on the Left
Hook list. Here, he frames the question of recognizing specifically black
oppression as 'drooling over blacks'; there, he dismissed the significance of
the Palestinian cause as something that's just hyped up for the benefit of Arab
elites. Then a month later he intimated I was ideologically in leage with bin
Laden for posting the text of his European truce offer and prefacing it by
saying some of the points he made can't be denied. Basically, if it isn't
directly class, then it's irrelevant, or worse, divisive distraction, as far as
Josh is concerned.

Seems to me there are two kinds of Marxisms. There's dogmatic Marxism, where you
read some rhetoric from 150 years ago and charge into the modern world without
a single idea reexamined or rethought in light of history. And then there's
emancipatory Marxism, where you realize the advance of capitalism involved
marshalling racial, national, and ethnic oppressions to create a specific kind
of capitalism whereby some parts of the world are considerably better off than
others because of forced underdevelopment.

Dogmatic Marxism can be seen in academic form via the new Kautskyism, or Hardt's
Empire. Here all the distinctions created by imperialism are neatly elided
because imperialism is actually considered progressive: it rearranges the
societies of backward people so that they mirror ours, creating a new basis for
universal belonging. In other words, imperialism does what it has not done for
the last couple centuries.

Comrades, 150 years after "workers of the world, unite!", was penned, people in
one part of the world comprised of a bunch of rag-tag tribal clans armed with
antiquated rifles are fighting highly paid mercenaries and well-equipped,
volunteer soldiers forming the world's most powerful army from another part of
the world. Let's not forget this undeniable reality when feeling the urge to
bray nonsensically that pointing out _existing_ divisions in class along
whatever non-class lines somehow _creates_ divisions.

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