[Marxism] Criticisim-ism, its theory and practice today
rrubinelli at earthlink.net
Fri Jan 6 06:27:28 MST 2006
Let me return my peace prize. Walter writes garbage. Pure,
unadulterated shite. "While"-- wild animals? Frothing at the mouth?
At an indigenous leader, as if ethnicity has anything to do with
"Comfort of universities"? And exactly what uncomfortable location is
Walter writing from?
Like I said garbage. I don't know why such obvious distortion, and
deliberate dishonesty, is allowed on this list.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Walter Lippmann" <walterlx at earthlink.net>
To: "'Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition'"
<marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
Sent: Friday, January 06, 2006 6:13 AM
Subject: [Marxism] Criticisim-ism, its theory and practice today
James Petras and others seem to be leading a herd of while animals
frothing at the mouth in opposition to the Bolivian indiginous leader
whose election by a broad, unquestionable majority even the righteous
likes of the Wall Street Journal have been compelled to accept, for a
moment. Such people think that they can only affirm their existence,
their reason-for-being on this earth, through "criticism". I have now
begun to think such a posture should be called "criticism-ism", as in
"I criticize, therefore, I am", analagous to Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
Sitting in the comfort of their great universities in the United States
or other advanced countries, or retired from the universities as Petras
is, these sages issue eloquent denunciamentos of Evo Morales and every
other leader who fails to pass their rather demanding scruitiny. All of
this is performed in the abstract, as demonstrated quite eloquently in
the snipped below. The author really seems to believe that criticisims
are his very reason for existence. And all of this is argued in the
realm of stratospheric abstraction, as our writer puts it with crystal
sincerity: "reform vs. revolution, labor vs. capital, class vs. class."
Such sages likewise oppose the right of Third World countries to their
own self-determiniation, criticizing Cuba for opening itself up to such
evils as foreign investments in tourism, but the same would apply to
Cuba's acceptance of joint ventures with Canadian nickel mining and
all other foreign private investment. Indeed, under the terms of the
Cuba-Venezuela ALBA accords of December 2004, foreign private invest-
ment from Venezuela into Cuba can receive 100% tax free repatriation
of their investments until initial costs are paid off. Today these
critics find themselves locked into a posture of criticism, criticism,
criticism, which they defend with the a ferocity akin to the way others
like Cuba defends the right of nations to self-determination.
Cuba's banking system monitors foreign financial transactions with the
greatest of care, but Cuba has every right to invite foreign private
investment, if it wishes, to help it to develop necessary sectors and
to get around Washington's blockade of the island. Of course the US
blockade is of little interest to the sage critics, whose philosophy
should perhaps now be dubbed "criticism-ism". Today's target, Bolivian
Evo Morales, is really in some ways but a surrogate for Cuba, whose
blockaded revolution similarly seeks both foreign business, including
investment, EVEN FROM THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. It's really a
matter of Bolivia's right to self-determination which the critics are
so bitterly opposed to, when you see it through to the end.
And this is NOT to suggest that there aren't dangers, problems,
contradictions, reasons for caution, consideration, examination and
scrutiny when Third World countries accept or seek investment, but
in the end, it's their right to do so which some are challenging.
We've seen plenty of challenges and problems here in Cuba from the
acceptance of foreign investment, in tourism and in other sectors,
with the related social differentiations that have taken place, the
corruption, the prostitution and so on. Analyzing all of this is a
good thing to do, but denying the countries of the Third World the
right to self-determination, that is not a good thing to do, and
all the less so from the vantage point of the advanced capitalist
countries from which most of the "criticism-ists" are writing.
(I'll be writing from there as of next week, by the way.)
Walter Lippmann, CubaNews
Jaime Petras denounces Bolivian Evo Morales
Bolivia Seeks Spanish Investment
Madrid, Jan 5 (Prensa Latina) Bolivian President elect Evo Morales
Thursday encouraged Spain to invest in his country to help with
necessary social and educational reforms his future government plans
Morales made his call shortly before leaving this country for
Brussels, Belgium, after 36 hours of intense activity in Madrid that
included meetings with President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and
King Juan Carlos, among other high-ranking government officials and
In a last-minute press briefing, the Bolivian leader said he intends
to summon a Constituent Assembly for a changing Bolivia, which
includes profound economic, legal, and social reforms aimed at
eliminating the devastating neoliberal model.
Spain has a large responsibility when it invests in Bolivia, be it
through cooperation, credits, or specific programs, he stated,
warning that his government will be drastic with companies that evade
taxes or violate Bolivian laws.
Minutes before his departure, Morales briefly met with academics and
members of the Elcano Real Institute patronage, and call this first
visit to Spain positive.
Morales Holds Talks with Javier Solana
Brussels, Jan 5 (Prensa Latina) Bolivian President-elect Evo Morales
started an official visit to Belgium Thursday and met with
high-ranking European Union official for Foreign policy and Common
Security, Spain´s Javier Solana.
The meeting took place in the EU headquarters right after Morales´
arrival from Madrid, where the Bolivian dignitary held intense work
sessions, including meetings with President Jose Luis Rodriguez
Zapatero and King Juan Carlos.
Solana and Morales briefly attended a meeting with press where the
visitor expressed his respect for the European authorities and the
talks they would hold on his government"s future plans.
Interviewed on his possible preference for Europe instead of the US,
Morales said: "the indigenous movement, our political movement, has
the culture of dialogue and we are going to dialogue with everybody."
Solana described the meeting as positive and the victory of the
indigenous leader as overwhelming, saying Morales was a man born of
the people and so with the willingness to work in favor of them.
The official also expressed the EU´s commitment to support the
progressive Bolivian plans within established norms.
Evo Morales will now visit Paris, South Africa, China and Brazil. His
first trips abroad took him to Havana, where was received by
President Fidel Castro, and to Caracas to hold similar talks with
President Hugo Chavez.
Walter Lippmann, CubaNews
The flippant, unrestrained answer is because some insist on continuting
to post uncritical, unmaterialist, unMarxist analyses of social
movements in Latin America (and elsewhere)--
A more sophisticated, "presentable," answer is: because the struggle in
Latin America regarding the emancipation of indigenous people has gone
on for 470 years; because the struggle in Latin America to overcome the
legacy of Spanish colonialism has gone one for 190 years; because the
struggle against the expansion of poverty dictated by the convergence of
advanced capitalism and capitalist underdevelopment is part and parcel
of the struggle for the emancipation of all of labor; because this
issue, and let's be clear, this issue is the same issue that is at the
core of all struggles against capital, in advanced as well as less
developed countries- the issue of reform vs. revolution, of labor vs
capital, of class vs. class is the issue that all other issues boil down
That's why we engage that issue: because if we don't, then we are not
contributing anything. Praise is, by its very nature, empty.
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