[Marxism] The year ahead

g.maclennan at qut.edu.au g.maclennan at qut.edu.au
Fri Dec 22 14:40:48 MST 2006

I enjoyed reading the interview with Gore Vidal in Cuba. I was especially amused with his refusal to make predictions. Only the foolish think they can plot what lies ahead. Unless that is they resort to obscure generalities.

But I have never been able to resist attempting to work out what is going to happen. So at the end of the year I thought I would take a shot at 2007.  I will save this post and see how I do.

As it looks to me and everybody else the entire continent of South America is drifting or maybe rushing out of the sphere of USA control.  I know very little  about South America, I am ashamed to say, but for my comrades in the Socialist Alliance here in Brisbane this is where the action is.  They have high hopes for great happenings especially from Hugo Chavez.

I did though come across an article by Zizek in Critical Inquiry where he predicted that those who had hopes in the South American populists would be disappointed. My own brand of politics has tended more and more to become populist so I have to fess up to being on Chavez' side.

I should also try to say something about my native Ireland.  I have stayed out of the thread that Phil launched largely because it is too painful for me to contemplate Irish politics.  Suffice to say that I agree with Phil.  Yet out of the defeat of the Irish revolution there will still come another challenge to British Imperialism.  That is the way it is.  The Irish will to be free, cannot be denied.

My reading energies have as listers would be (painfully) aware have been concentrated on the Middle East.  Here the Imperial power has an army in the field and that army is bleeding.  The war is also costing America something like $3 billion a week.  However we have now reached the stage where fear of defeat is dragging the Imperial Power ever deeper into the morass.

Those who think that the war will be settled in 2007 and that America will be able to pull out quietly with a minimum loss of face are wrong IMHO. We are set to see an escalation of the American effort.  That  is what the "surge" option is all about. It is wrong I think to conceive of the surge as meaning only the sending of an additional battalion to Iraq.  It also includes an attack on Iran.

I argue this because American and Israeli efforts in the Middle East have called forth an ad hoc alliance against them.  This consists of Hizbollah, Hamas, Syria and Iran. Ranged against the anti-American alliance are the ruling cliques in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the Gulf States and now Fatah. Their commitment to American imperialism is increasingly evident.

It is this anti-American and Israeli alliance which is seen as a challenge that must be met.  Now I am aware of the weak, hesitant and treacherous nature of the regimes in Syria and Iran.  Nevertheless they are being assigned a role by History which they must play or go under.

Hizbollah and Hamas too have seemed at times like rabbits caught in the spotlights. Hzobollah has at last launced something of an effort to counter the pro-American forces in Labanon.  Yet as Abu Khalil points out, they correctly denounce Siniora's government, while campainging to have nothing more than a bigger share in that same government.

Even worse Hamas can see the noose tightening around it, but hesitates to take action against Mahmoud Abbas and Mohammed Dahlan before they are armed and primed by Israel and America. That same hesitation is likely to prove fatal for the Hamas leadership.

But crucially IMHO the anti-American alliance also consists of the Arab Street. Somehow somewhere & maybe in 2007 the Street will prove a decisive revolutionary force. It is that force which will take the region beyond the shabby compromises that the Syrian and Iranian leaderships long to put into place.

So turmoil (Duh!) leading to revolutionary turmoil (the hard one) in the Middle East - that is my key prediction for 2007.

we shall see.



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