[Marxism] Theoreticism (was Anti-semitism)
critical.montages at gmail.com
Sun Jul 16 12:59:06 MDT 2006
On 7/16/06, Rakesh Bhandari <bhandari at berkeley.edu> wrote:
> There is talk of an omnipotent Israeli lobby, and there is a leftist,
> anti globalization movement which is focused on finance capital
> as predatory and destructive (debt forgiveness, capital controls,
> restrictive monetary policy). Now of course the latter need not devolve
> into anti Semitic demonology (this is indeed
> Meghnad Desai's point in his book on Pound).
Neither discussions of the pro-Israeli lobby nor those of financial
aspects of capital need to devolve into anti-Semitism, just as
Christianity doesn't have to devolve into anti-Semitism. We ought to
avoid theoreticism here and look at empirical facts. If anyone is
spouting off anti-Semitic nonsense while talking about the pro-Israeli
lobby, capital controls, Christian theology, and so on, the person in
question will spout it anyway without the pro-Israeli lobby, capital
controls, Christian theology, or whatever.
To what extent the pro-Israeli lobby has an impact on political
discourse, government policy, and so on about the Middle East in the
USA is an empirical question that has to be empirically answered.
Those who exaggerate the lobby's influence are wrong, but those who
are wrong about this or anything else for that matter aren't
necessarily anti-Semitic. You shouldn't make a person who gives you a
wrong answer to be an anti-Semite or any other kind of racist _just
because_ his or her answer is wrong. Doing so is sectarianism.
Instead, explain what the facts are and lead the person to the correct
The same goes for whether or not capital controls are useful, what
Christians make of Christianity, etc.
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