[Marxism] Imperialism and Theories about It (was anti-semitism on the left)

Yoshie Furuhashi critical.montages at gmail.com
Mon Aug 7 09:43:58 MDT 2006

On 8/7/06, Kevin Prosen <kprosen at gmail.com> wrote:
> I've been following this thread for a couple of days, and would like to make
> a few comments:
> I remember at least two instances of browsing through Adbusters, a popular
> magazine among the age 15-30 anarcho-liberalism crowd, and finding articles
> that I think are anti-semitic on their face.  One article was titled "Why
> Won't Anybody Admit They're Jewish" about the large number of Jews in the
> high ranks of the Bush administration.  Another was, if I remember
> correctly, titled "Dual Loyalties?" and was basically about how Jewish
> neo-cons are more loyal to Israel than the US.  Dual Loyalties--That's the
> same shit they pinned on Dreyfus-- classic anti-semitism.  While I don't
> take Adbusters analysis seriously, a lot of my friends read it which means
> these ideas are being propigated among large numbers of young, mostly
> non-Marxist radicals.  I find these sorts of sentiments virtually
> non-existant on the Marxist left, which of course analyses the US-Israeli
> "special relationship" in terms of imperialism rather than the stupid and
> simplistic ethnic/religious loyalty explaination.  This might explain why
> those on this list think the idea of anti-semitism on the left is a
> ridiculous accusation, while in anarchist circles it apparently is more of a
> problem.
> What these
> anti-semitic ideas result from as far as I can see is a lack of decent
> analysis and understanding of imperialism

I agree with you.

Theories of imperialism have made something of a comeback in recent
years, though they are not necessarily Marxist even in criticism of
imperialism, and some are actually theories that advocate imperialism.

Still, most Americans on the left, right, and center think more in
terms of interest-group politics -- the bedrock of liberal political
theory -- if they think politically at all.

To be honest, old Leninist theories of imperialism --
inter-imperialist rivalry, export of surplus capital, etc. -- have
become outdated and can't explain the Middle East or the role of
Israel in it very well, so it's no wonder that there are few takers.

I've been saying "the multinational empire" rather than "US
imperialism," to highlight the economic interdependence of great
powers (surplus capital comes from Japan, etc. rather than the US
itself) and to emphasize the relative unity of aims among great powers
even though they occasionally disagree on tactics among themselves.

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