[Marxism] Guevera kids in Tehran:" Islamist, Socialist Revolutions Don't Mix"

Jim Farmelant farmelantj at juno.com
Sun Oct 7 17:01:02 MDT 2007

On Sun, 07 Oct 2007 11:31:21 -0400 Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com> writes:
> dave.walters at comcast.net wrote:
> > Another take on this story:
> > 
> > Iran: Islamist, Socialist Revolutions Don't Mix Says Aleida 
> Guevara
> >  http://www.indymedia.ie/article/84501
> > 
> Actually, this is not "another take". This is the initial article 
> that I 
> posted to the list under the heading "Islamist, Socialist 
> Revolutions 
> Don't Mix". Speaking of Islamism, I feel obligated to report that 
> MRZine 
> editor Yoshie Furuhashi has now declared that it was wrong to oppose 
> "de 
> jure discrimination" like the Jim Crow laws because:

I am not at all sure that's what Yoshie is saying.  I think
her point is that the struggle against de jure discrimination
is insufficient for ending oppression.  Indeed, the abolition
of de jure discrimination, if unaccompanied by a class-based
politics, can wind up making capitalism stronger, and
can leave de facto racism and sexism stronger, even
though de jure racism and sexism might have been
abolished.  From a Marxist standpoint, this is not
a particularly  remarkable point.  As you may recall,
back in the 1960s. both Malcom X and Dr. King
came to rather similar conclusions themselves.
So, we had Malcom X in the last year of his life,
starting to work with Marxist groups, like the SWP.
And Dr. King during the last year of his life was
beginning to launch a "poor people's campaign",
and was seeking to tie the civil rights movement
with labor struggles.  Indeed, he was in Memphis,
where he was assasinated, to support a strike
by sanitation workers.

I suspect that if it had been anyone but Yoshie
who had written that piece, you would have
had no problem seeing this.  She is certainly
correct, that civil rights struggles against
de jure discrimination, did indeed lead
to backlashes, at least among white male
workers, who perceived this ending of
de jure discrimination as coming at their
expense.  (Indeed, that had always been
one of the political functions of de jure
discrimination in the first place, which
was to ensure the loyalty of a relative privileged
stratum of white workers would be preserved).

I think that Doug did  have a germ of a point,
in perceiving the ghost of Christopher Lasch
in what Yoshie wrote concerning working
class families, but then again, Lasch actually
did have a germ of a point on this issue too.
That does not mean that Lasch's proposed solution
of having the left embrace social conservatism
was a desirable or even workable solution
to the problem that he had described.
But that doesn't mean that the problem
that he (and Yoshie) describe is not
a real one. Social atomization is a
very real phenomenon that cannot simply
be wished away. 

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