[Marxism] What is the Marxist perspective in a case of an Israeli war against Iran?

Patrick Scott redpatrick1960-revolution at yahoo.co.uk
Mon Jul 21 09:11:49 MDT 2008

Strictly speaking Israel is not an imperialist state, rather it is a colonial settler state which currently functions as an agent in the region for US imperialism. Without US political, military and financial support Israel would very probably collapse like a house of cards. This is something that the early Zionist leaders realised all along, that Israel could only survive in an alliance with a leading imperialist power, which changed from Britain, to France, and finally the US. Of course Israel could in due course become an imperialist state. But if we use the criteria of Lenin and also Hilferding I don't think it is possible to talk of the existence of an Israeli finance capital at present. 

The fact that one nation oppresses another does not automatically make it imperialist. Iran for example oppresses its Kurdish minority but that hardly makes Iran an imperialist country. The point is that national oppression and imperialist domination are not the same thing though they are very often interlinked. But for the record of course we should defend Iran against an Israeli attack (which IMHO is increasingly likely) given that Israel will be acting as the proxy for US and British imperialism and the imperialist powers generally.

--- On Sat, 7/19/08, yossi schwartz <ssschwartz8 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Dear Walter Lippmann
> The term satellite  does not define the class nature  and
> the  particular
> stage of evolution of a given society   but the
> relationship it has with the
> metropolitan  mother state-the US in this case.
>  If we consider Egypt and Jordan for example, and we apply
> this definition
> of a satellite we can say: "Yes they are satellite of
> the US."  This tell us
> what is their regime. It does not tell us whether we are
> speaking of
> imperialist states or semi colonial states?
> Clearly they are semi colonial state and not imperialists.
> When we put  Israel in this equation , we find that Israel
> regime is pro US
> as well. But unlike Egypt or Jordan, Israel is an
> imperialist state, and I
> am using Lenin definition of imperialism in his book:
> Imperialism the
> highest stage of capitalism.
> Thus the result if we use Wood's method is to put
> imperialist states and
> colonial  and semi colonial states on the same platform
> –the same level.
> Why this differentiation is important? Because as Marxists
> we see
> imperialism as the worst enemy and are ready to block
> military with  "third
> world" countries regardless of their regimes in a case
> of a war  between the
> two types of states
> Thus if there is a war between semi colonial country with a
> fascist or a
> semi fascist regime on one hand and an imperialist state
> with parliamentary
> democracy on the other, we as Marxists stands in the
> military clash with the
> semi colonial country against imperialism regardless of
> their political
> regimes 
> To be concrete Iran is a semi colonial state while Israel
> is an imperialist
> state.
> The conclusion is clear in a case of a war between the two
> unless Iran would
> be directly controlled by an imperialist state we will call
> for a military
> block with Iran against Israel.
> To put it in a Marxist language in the case of Israel we
> will call for
> revolutionary defeat and in the case of Iran for
> revolutionary victory. This
> does not  mean that we give Iran  rulers political support
> or say that Iran
> under this regime can win , or any thing alike. When we say
>  revolutionary
> victory we want the working class in Iran to take power and
> than it will be
> possible to defeat Israel or the US. Military block does
> not mean political
> subordination
> In this sense we stand in the tradition of Lenin and
> Trotsky ( for example
> blocking with the Moslems in 1925 against France in North
> Africa- see
> Trotsky letter to Diago Rivera  or blocking with the forces
> of Emperor Haile
> Selassie in the  Second Italo-Abyssinian War and in 1935
> when Italian forces
> invaded).
> If you thing about the definition of a state as a satellite
> you can see that
> this is a vulgar materialist concept –based on external
> relationship rather
> than dialectical concept of internal development. When we
> look a tit not
> from Marxist philosophical angle but political one, the
> confusion between  a
> type of a regime and  a type of a state is typical for 
> social democrats and
> other reformists.
> Thus the pretension of Woods  use Marxists categories and
> analysis is well
> exposed by using this terminology of a satellite state..
> This of course will not be the first time he  will refuse
> to defend a third
> world country against imperialism. (See for example his
> position on the
> Malvinas war, we broke from them on a similar question of
> Israel using Abu
> Mazen to attack Hamas when we demanded to block military
> with Hamas)
> The British SWP is doing the same and confuse the
> difference between
> imperialism and semi colonial state with their anti
> Leninist theory of the
> world.

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