[Marxism] Internationalism, the main enemy, and what to do next
Brian_Shannon at verizon.net
Sat Jan 7 21:34:47 MST 2006
One of the recurring themes from those that Robert Montgomery has
labeled "the nationalist bloc" is that "the traditionalist bloc"
forgets that all questions are international questions and that the
main enemy is U.S. imperialism and that what the Traditionalists see
as a blind huzzahing of revolutionary (progressive?) nationalist
figures is sound political recognition that everyone needs to unite
behind Chavez, Lula (then, but apparently not now; he is not "turning
out" so well) and Morales. The ruling class layers within these
countries are seldom, if ever, mentioned.
They argue that we must always start with the international fact that
U.S. imperialism is the main—actually the sole—enemy of the
underdeveloped world. Therefore, the entire fight is against U.S.
imperialism. So far as other issues are involved, the emphasis is on
projects, on alliances, on use of resources for progress, etc. There
is never a discussion of what classes are involved in the struggle to
replace neo-colonialism with a workers state. That's for the future–
another stage. That would be forgivable if these former very active
party builders would say something about how socialists in general
should prepare for that next stage. But they don't.
Their reference to the international power of the United States is
used as a solvent to dissolve any questions of class forces within
This is not a new theme on Marxmail. And it is not isolated to
underdeveloped countries. The “nationalist bloc” argued the same way
regarding individual European countries, including Great Britain and
There was a giant demonstration in London against the Iraq war when
President Bush visited Blair in Great Britain in March of 2004. It
was a wonderful opportunity for the British antiwar movement to focus
their fire against Blair's co-responsibility for the Iraq war. I was
criticized for writing the following.
March 31, 2004
There was a similar problem regarding Bush's visit to Britain. Blair
key ally in the invasion of Iraq. It was a great opportunity for the
anti-Iraq war movement to indict Blair. By placing the focus on Bush,
took Blair off the hook and weakened the long-range struggle against
Compare this to the U.S. anti-Vietnam war movement. It initially
against LBJ and the Democratic Party. As the opposition to the
deepened, the "part of the way with LBJ" crowd of 1964 had to fight
the liberal face of imperialism. Much of the radicalization of the
early 1970s rested on the fact that the struggle was not just against
Republican party, but against the so-called "lesser evil."
The British antiwar movement of course hates Blair; nonetheless, in its
failure to put the greatest focus on the imperialism of "its own
it failed to deepen its struggle. Blair is the leader of the greatest
imperialist power before the domination of the United States and
United State's lesser, but absolutely necessary ally--not a puppy,
smaller wolf. At the end of the day, the masses demonstrating against
could go home satisfied that they had opposed the wolf across the
Go Home." Their understanding and resolve would have increased had
their focus on the lesser wolf.
The same thing happened when I pointed out that Zapatero's victory,
which I agreed socialists should have worked for, now opened up an
opportunity for socialists to develop a strategy that would tarnish
the gold coin that he earning by withdrawing troops from Iraq. Even
as this withdrawal was being trumpeted, Zapatero was promising
additional troops to Afghanistan. Today his Spanish right-wing
opponent attacks Zapatero not for sending even more troops (over
1,000 and allegedly going to 2,500), but for refusing to acknowledge
it. In other words, he is attacking Zapatero for Z's success in
conning the Spanish public for his opposition to U.S. imperialism,
while in fact doing exactly what his right-wing opponent wants to do
Based on what we learned in recent months about the "torture
rendition" of secretly-held prisoners throughout the airports of
Europe and what Charlie Clarke of the ISRP has written about the
virtual abdication to Bush's needs in ferrying troops through Shannon
airport, there are similar rallying points within each of these
imperialist countries AGAINST THEIR OWN LEADERS NO MATTER WHAT HOW
MILITANTLY THESE LEADERS MAY PRESENT THEIR DEMAGOGIC OPPOSITION TO BUSH!
But the "nationalist bloc" accepts the red or deep pink verbiage of
the elected rulers of capitalist states.
The international framework of a very short and simplistic "correct
political program" that recognizes the dominant position of U.s.
imperialism is not an excuse for erasing the class struggle within
both imperialist and underdeveloped states.
According to this notion, it would not have been a significant gain
if British revolutionists had fought for and won over the antiwar
movement to a focus on Blair, the elected leader of British
imperialism, and necessary co-leader of "Bush's War."
The "nationalist bloc" started out quarrelling with North American
revolutionists who were saddled with "white skin." They are now
marginalizing and denigrating native Latin Americans who are
expressing deeply felt revolutionary impulses. Some of these
potential revolutionists may be guilty of ultraleft strategy and
tactics—like Castro and his fellow students at Moncada. But it is out
of this human material that revolutionary parties will be built.
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