[Marxism] March 17 and ANSWER's Ultraleftism
mlause at cinci.rr.com
mlause at cinci.rr.com
Mon Feb 19 09:52:29 MST 2007
Eric Johnson wrote, "my argument is that not taking on Israel and its
roll in the middle east while talking about the United states and its
role in the middle east IS unpricipled, and it is not worth
jettisoning to obtain the lowest-common denominator."
I assumed that you were making an honest argument here--addressing the
question of principle I raised, that is: how to mobilize people of the
imperialist nations against the war.
However, in that light your related questions are simply
irrelevant: "Would we Not talk about South African aparthied when
talking about the War in Angola?? Or Chilean death squads when
talking about the Argentine Junta."
If you want an honest discussion, the matter is not about "talking"
but about defining a demonstration. Nobody here's got any problem
talking, but mobilization is the subject on the table....
You assert that it is "unprincipled" to march against the Iraq War
without specifying something for Israel. There is no reason why
someone can't make the same assertion requiring us to take a specific
position for another country in the region. Each plays its role in
the maintencer of the status quo and, insofar as they do, the U.S.
plays ball with them. I mean, where do you draw the line?
To me, the line of principle seems very clear in mobilizing against
the war...you mobilize against that war! It accomplishes nothing to
make arbitrary and fuzzy what is really quite clear.
Let me suggest the following:
1. The bottom line that should concern all of us is weakening U.S.
imperialism in the region. The rights and wrongs of positions and
lines are nice abstractions, but the real world of class relations
opens an opportunity to do something concretely on this point. This
will have a major impact on U.S. relations with all its allies and
would-be allies in the region.
2. Achieving this is best done by mobilizing the largest numbers, so
long as they are not taking an overtly dead-end approach. By that I
mean a course independent from those institutionally established
channels that render public opinion meaningless (two-party politics,
writing letters, etc.) It's a simple proposition: the more we get in
the streets against the war, the more you hurt imperialism...and the
more we weaken its dependencies.
3. Finally, beginning to move that majority of American opinion into
independent actions has serious reprecussions for what happens at
home. What's important here is that the independent nature of these
actions creates the most important and dynamic feature of their
Finally, to repeat again...and again...and again...by all means these
other questions should be discussed and an ongoing education around
them should take place at any mass mobilization. The smart thing to
do is to aim at bringing five or ten times as many people into the
streets and then building a contingent to address these issues....
More people would see the signs, be exposed to anti-Zionist ideas, etc.
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