[Marxism] Re: msnbc on anti-war protests...
M. Junaid Alam
mjunaidalam at msalam.net
Mon Mar 21 06:44:13 MST 2005
your ever increasing hateful
denounciation of the same people that *must* become the revolution."
More hyperbole and wild claims as per usual from you, Carlos. What "hateful denunciation"? I never wrote any, never mind "increasing".
You probably never even read the Bageant pieces, posted on Counterpunch, which are hardly hateful against the working -class, since the guy
IS working-class and writing about his experiences AMONG working-class Southern whites. His pieces are actually aimed against liberal and leftist
myths about white workers, both those that build them up or tear them without any concrete examination, a tendency you clearly share.
It is obvious that you are immune to that deadly virus known among us as reality. You have to concoct this moral outrage in order to hide your
total lack of analysis. You hew to a false romanticization of the working-class, combined with equally pathetic self-flagellation esconced in codewords
like missing "subjective" factor - as if this says anything at all - and then that allows you to spout off about oh how evil and stupid all the
leftists must be for some inexplicable reason, compared to the gods of the masses. Pure demagoguery and mind-numbingly pointless.
Get a grip on what was said instead of soaring off into flights of fantasy. You admit that on every point I called you out on for exaggerating, I am right,
but then you go on ranting as if this is a fact of no significance in how you specifically analyze the anti-war protests. And then you ignore the positive
stuff I pointed out and how it makes sense that we are at this point in the given context.
The specific point made was in the context of a general malaise involving a weak left, a growing right, and a disorienting DP, it is foolish to think that
just anti-war work alone is going to be the spark for mass mobilization. It is foolish for a lot of reasons, most of which are pretty common-sense and
have nothing to do with anyone being evil or stupid either on the activist side or the masses' side. This war is not producing anywhere near Vietnam
level casualties. Nor is it in the context of any other social or cultural upheavals. So how in the world can you expect mass demonstrations at this point?
Yes, obviously living standards and security and quality of life is getting worse for millions of Americans, and we must find ways to connect and mobilize out
of it. Quite a different matter than just harping about how people didn't show up to an anti-war protest, when the war is one small element of a lot of problems,
and for most Americans not one they directly feel on their backs every day.
Finally, I hate when someone points out an existing reality and all of a sudden is labeled "Anti-whatever group is in that reality." Criticizing Israel is
"anti-Semitic" for the Zionists because after all Israel is a Jewish state. Similarly here, pointing out that in this country among workers we have
serious problems of white racism and chauvinism in America, is what Carlos calls "anti-working class" and "hate". This is not "hate" but reality.
It plays some role in the general challenge we face as leftists. If you don't think these racist factors exist, then you should read Jill Quadagno's The Color
of Welfare, or JH Griffin's Black Like Me, to see how deeply entrenched racism was in the South just 30-40 years ago. Since then, some improvement, but not
by a long shot have the economic and social issues underlying black plight changed, except for the black middle-class. Or if you want to see how the contours of
race affect American workers now,just read Michael Yates' travelogue, he's a guy who's been a labor educator for 20 years and spent 6 months traveling around the
West and South. His observation of racial divides in the working class is striking.
I don't think these problems are insurmountable or unique to Americans. There is no need to get melodramatic about it either in calling it out or denying it,
- it simply needs to be grasped and confronted in our tactics. The world is no playground. Revolutions don't happen like popcorn in microwave.
No one can predict how they will happen or when - or why they're not happening. You have 300 million Arabs under all kinds of threats
and attacks and miseries from their own governments and ours, but there has been no mass Arab awakening in a single one of these countries in 40 years
outside of Palestine. The insurgency in Iraq is almost entirely along sectarian lines, whether we like it or not. Pakistan is in a pretty shitty state
for the vast majority of workers, but there is no revolution there, either. So not seeing signs of revolution here is not some kind of unique phenomenon,
as if the rest of the world is on fire with revolutions. No need to beat ourselves up about it. The need is to do what we can under the constraints we have
and hope for the best.
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