[Marxism] Is Lebanon on the verge of a new fighting?

David Walters dave.walters at comcast.net
Sun Jun 22 16:39:11 MDT 2008

Let me say that I actually like the Walter/Yossi discussion. The issue 
is a real one that Marxists and socialists have to confront: a 
non-working class (in every definition possible) anti-imperialist 
political/military organization that is highly effective in confronting 
Israel and by proxy, the United States.

I generally agree with Yossi on this. He's clearly thought things 
through. While it might seem like leftist platitudes to talk of a  
'revolutionary party' (and proscribed by Louis from discussions about 
this) it does point (again) to the issue of how to deal with 
organizations such as Hezbollah and Hamas (who are in broad tactical 
agreement with each other despite the obvious theological differences).

Walter's comments on this are appreciated despite his respite in Los 
Angeles (mine in San Francisco at the moment) and his distance from the 
scene. At least we can't rack this one up to whatever diplomatic 
utterance from the Cuban Foreign Ministry...Walter's thoughts on this 
are his own.

I think when Yossi states that "Hezbollah" is "capitalist" it comes from 
the obvious analysis that if they are not working toward, or stating 
even opaquely, that they are for getting rid of capitalism/for socialism 
then it's clear that they are for maintaining the current class 
relationship in Lebanon, with whatever programmatic nuances exist in 
their electoral program. I don't even view this as a 'criticism'...it's 
like criticizing Obama for supporting the market approach to problems in 
the US. Duh. Why would anyone think he stands for anything else? 
Hezbollah has to maneuver within the extremely complex ethnic and 
religious cantons of Lebanon and will, like all political entities in 
this State that are not based on uniting the working class, have to 
figure out how to gain support for itself outside it's traditional 
constituency which is based on poor Shia Lebanese in S. Beirut and the 
areas south and directly north of the Lahani river. I would even go so 
far as to argue that they are only 'recently' nationalist (Walter calls 
them "Nationalist") as they historically viewed *themselves* as Shia 
first, Lebanese second.

The problem of course is that whenever movements bubble to the surface 
that seek to unite the actual working class as a class, 
something...SOMETHING seems to intervene to prevent this. Interestingly, 
the last time this happened with massive united demonstrations, 
Hezbollah launched it's reprisal kidnapping of the Israeli soldiers and 
changed the landscape politically (and militarily). This is not the 
first time this happened, BTW.

But at any rate...how can anyone question Hezbollah's commitment to 
maintaining class peace (as it sees it, which is not to say how the 
Christian petty-bourgeois and finance capitalists of Beirut see it), 
ergo capitalism? Is there something they said, implied or otherwise 
acted out to make anyone think differently?

The goal of uniting the class in Lebanon, beyond the Lebanonese unions 
(and yes, Hezbollah has tried to set up "Islamic unions") is still on 
the agenda. I hope Lebanese Marxists see this as well. I also hope they 
take the same un-sectarian, and pro-united front perspective that Yossi 
takes in the Zionist state.


More information about the Marxism mailing list