[Marxism] Rosa Luxemburg was an optimist

Nestor Gorojovsky nestorgoro at fibertel.com.ar
Sun Aug 27 08:55:26 MDT 2006

[Dear A-List subscribers, this _is_ a cross-posting, but I think it 
is worth breaking the regulations of the list]

> Date: Sat, 26 Aug 2006 14:50:11 -0400
> From: Yoshie Furuhashi <critical.montages at gmail.com>
> Subject: [Marxism] Russia Says Iran Sanctions Are Premature
> To: marxism <marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
> The best news I have heard in recent months. -- Yoshie
> <http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/25/world/middleeast/26russia.html>
> August 25, 2006 Russia Says Iran Sanctions Are Premature By STEVEN LEE
> MOSCOW, Aug. 25 =97 Russia's defense minister said today that it was
> premature to consider punitive actions against Iran, including
> sanctions, despite its refusal to suspend efforts to enrich uranium as
> the United Nations Security Council demanded.

Unfortunately (?) we are living through geopolitical times.  The 
masses have receded to the backstage.  Not that masses don't play a 
most important role, not that they do not have an essential presence 
in the global stage (could I deny this, me, who was a part of the 
Dec, 2001 mobilisations in Buenos Aires?).  But once the masses make 
sure that the steering wheel changes hands to a degree that makes 
permanent onslaught by the imperialist bourgeoisie come to a halt, 
then they leave politics in the hands of the professionals again.

Not a dismal landscape.  Common people, at least common people 
outside the imperialist core, have been so ravaged that now they need 
a most natural breathing space.  Social classes are made by common 
people, not by mechanistic abstractions.  Thus, even in Venezuela the 
masses act as a menacing Greek chorus to a tragedy (sometimes comedy) 
where the main performers occupy the center of the stage.

Wait a minute.  What does it mean, that politics is in the hands of 
the professionals under such "passive siege" conditions? Since 
imperialist politics is by definition a game some countries play 
against other countries _from within the latter_, through capital 
export and all that, professionals are of necessity "international 
professionals".  This is what it means:  professionals in 
"international relations" do their job under a menacing siege by 
passive but not stupid masses.

At least in the Spanish speaking world, a trend is visible towards a 
bourgeoning flourish of "International Politics/Relations" as a 
peculiarly attractive academic issue.  It seems to be occupying the 
niche sociology and similars occupied during the 60s or 70s.

Is this, inherently, a bad thing?

In a sense, Luxemburgian if you wish but certainly in the best 
tradition of Rosa, it is.  In a different sense, however, it is not.

Because the strong impulse towards global thinking implicit in 
Lenin's formulation of "imperialism", whose specular (not dialectic) 
opposite is bourgeois geopolitical thinking (I have always relished 
on that wonderful short essay by Halford Mackinder, "On thinking 
imperially", the best anti-Lenin ever written) makes it quite normal 
that even _radical_, _class minded_, true Marxists think in 
"geopolitical" terms.

In this sense, this that is happening with Russia (and the fact that 
without the Russian-made RPG-29s Hizbullah would have found it harder 
to stop the Israeli Army in Southern Lebanon) is a clear 
demonstration of the deep tendencies beneath the surface.  Of course, 
the single aim of Putin's regime is to restore the might of "Russia" 
and not the restoration of the socialist world.  This man is a 
"realist", which in Spanish is the same world as "Royalist", and I 
would like to convey this Janus-faced sense in English too.  The 
Russians in general have given out, they have said "uncle", they have 
bloodily recognized that "socialism in a single country" was a worst 
chimera than anything that could have replaced it.  The NEPmen have 
taken power, in the end.

But, oh poor NEPmen, they discover that thought they would _like_ to 
be considered equals by their imperialist counterparts, they will 
_not_ be treated that way.  Never ever. Not in thillion, krillion, 
willion years.  At most, they are latecomers to the redistribution of 
the world.

Zbig is right:  Russia is too large, too big.   Imperialist decission 
makers did not believe him, or if they did they could not work the 
way he was pointing to.  Now -and Zbig's school will not say this, 
but they know that this is exactly what is taking place- imperialists 
are beginning to pay for that mistake.  Russia will of necessity loom 
as the new menace, once it gathers itself from the defeat, and once 
class struggle imposes its merciless logics on geopolitics.

Yes, I agree with Yoshie:  this is _good_ news, even though this 
Russian move is as timid as one can expect from a peripherical (and 
Pyrrical, even Pyrronic) bourgeoisie.

We are living through geopolitical and, sorry to tell you friends, 
also interesting times.  I wish Henry Liu, who is not on this list 
any more, would explain what is it that "interesting times" means in 
the Chinese tradition.  Because nothing is excluded, whether we like 
it or not, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING IS EXCLUDED, when imperialist 
bourgeoisies see their grip on the globe endangered by some upstart.

Sozialismus oder Barbarismus?

Rosa was an optimist.

Este correo lo ha enviado
Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
nestorgoro at fibertel.com.ar
[No necesariamente es su autor]
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"La patria tiene que ser la dignidad arriba y el regocijo abajo".
Aparicio Saravia
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