[Marxism] Paulsen's supposedly anti-democratic, anti-labor, Tudehesque line

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Aug 20 15:28:45 MDT 2006

>This also means that our emphasis will be different from that of 
>socialists in the country being attacked by imperialism. For us in the 
>imperialist countries the main enemy is at home.
>Einde O'Callaghan

This is utter nonsense. The subject of the character of the Iranian regime 
would never have come up if Yoshie Furuhashi hadn't been mailbombing the 3 
highest profile leftwing mailing lists on the Internet with pro-Ahmadinejad 
propaganda for months on end. The only thing I had written about Iran 
myself was an attack on a Joanne Landy petition. My article stated, among 
other things:

"Furthermore, no matter how backward Ahmadinejad is around a whole range of 
questions, he has demonstrated a willingness to close ranks with Venezuela 
against imperialist attempts to reestablish control over oil resources. One 
imagines that the real hue and cry in the mainstream media over Iranian 
backwardness has more to do with this threat than it does over anything 
else, since the same kind of policies exist in Saudi Arabia where the 
"crime" of homosexuality is punishable by death.

"The plain fact is that Joanne Landy and company are not really addressing 
the Iranian or US'an Presidents, but people like us: the organized, 
unorganized and disorganized left in the USA. She feels an almost 
irresistible compulsion to appear without sin among her peers in much the 
same manner that religious sects like the Jehovah's Witnesses or the 
Hasidim strive to distinguish themselves from the unsaved. And it generates 
the same reaction, especially when it is thrown in the face of the 
unbeliever: disgust."

After a group of Iranian leftists in exile wrote an open letter attacking 
MRZine for adapting to Ahmadinejad, I decided to write my own take on this 
matter. I have also decided to study up on Iran with an aim toward defining 
the social and economic character of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The left 
needs to do this because of illusions that have been growing in it that are 
almost identical to those that appeared in the period immediately after the 
overthrow of the Shah. Basically, Yoshie is repeating the arguments of the 
Tudeh Party from 1980. I am almost ready to charge her with plagiarism.

Nobody in the Pentagon or the State Department is going to make a decision 
on invading Iran based on the discussions going on here. I am challenging 
everybody to study what has happened in Iran since 1979 and develop a 
Marxist analysis. For Christ's sake, you don't have to live in Iran to do 
so. And stating that you should not support an invasion of Iran by the USA 
is not unique to Marxism. This is the same thing that the Fellowship of 
Reconciliation and the War Resister League believes. We, however, are 
required to develop a class analysis of Iran or any other society without 
being accused of working for the US State Department.

Patrick Bond has written a trenchant critique of Robert Mugabe. Mugabe has 
been the subject of brutal economic destabilization attempts by the United 
Kingdom. Because of this, should Patrick have refrained from exposing 
Mugabe's brutal anti-democratic and corrupt practices? I don't think so.


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