[Marxism] [Fwd: Socialist Men, Muslims, and the "Woman Question"]

Jim Farmelant farmelantj at juno.com
Mon Jul 24 14:15:52 MDT 2006

On Mon, 24 Jul 2006 15:05:35 -0400 Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com> writes:
> At 02:23 PM 7/24/2006, Carrol Cox wrote:
> >Where did Proyect's misinterpretation come from?
> It came from Yoshie's repeated jibes about the "Western left", a 
> refusal to 
> heed my instructions about ending the thread on Saturday but most of 
> all it 
> came from a profound disgust with her elevation of a veteran of the 
> revolutionary guards into an Islamic Hugo Chavz.

Although I think that Yoshie is quite wrongheaded on this
issue, I would have preferred that she have had the 
opportunity to defend her position on Iran, since
despite her jibes in that particular post, I hadn't
seen much evidence of that thread degenerating
into a flame war.

Having said that, I think her depiction of Ahmadeinejad
as some sort of a Middle Eastern version of Hugo
Chavez is way over the top. I think that principles
by which the Western left should follow in
orienting themselves in relation to the current
Iranian regime were well articulated many
years ago by Trotsky when he wrote:

"I will take the most simple and obvious example. In Brazil there 
now reigns a semifascist regime that every revolutionary can only 
view with hatred. Let us assume, however, that on the morrow 
England enters into a military conflict with Brazil. I ask you on 
whose side of the conflict will the working class be? I will 
answer for myself personally -- in this case I will be on 
the side of 'fascist' Brazil against 'democratic' Great Britain. 
Why? Because in the conflict between them it will not be 
a question of democracy or fascism. If England should 
be victorious, she will put another fascist in Rio de Janeiro 
and will place double chains on Brazil. If Brazil on the 
contrary should be victorious, it will give a mighty impulse 
to national and democratic consciousness of the country 
and will lead to the overthrow of the Vargas dictatorship. 
The defeat of England will at the same time deliver a blow 
to British imperialism and will give an impulse to the 
revolutionary movement of the British proletariat. Truly, 
one must have an empty head to reduce world antagonisms 
and military conflicts to the struggle between fascism and 
democracy. Under all masks one must know how to distinguish 
exploiters, slave-owners and robbers!" (Writings, 1938-39, page 34).

In other words, support should be given to Iran
when it is battling Western imperialism, but that
does not mean that we ought to endorse all of
that regime's domestic or foreign policies.
That means that we do not attempt to portray
that country's president as some sort of an
Islamic feminist, unless of course irrefutable evidence
is presented that he is adopting pro-feminist policies.
We don't portrary that regime as being pro-worker,
when it is in fact supressing strikes.

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