[Marxism] Why do we criticize?

nada dwaltersMIA at gmail.com
Sun Mar 1 16:03:48 MST 2009

Eli...you could of sort of, kind of, stated what you wanted with the 
last paragraph and not all the mixing of metaphors...

"What I'm saying, then, is that criticism of imperialism is about 
overthrowing imperialism. Criticism of anti-imperialists is, in my 
opinion, about one thing and one thing only - the criticizer. Allowing 
the criticizer to feel good about him or herself, *at the expense of the 
anti-imperialist movement* being criticized."

I think, even being a diabetic, that I have a real sweat tooth for this 
sort of discussion...fortunately I will NOT eat that ice cream my kid 
has in the fridge so I'll be OK.

Eli, you have a very mixed-up, IMO, view about 'criticism'. To say it's 
"mechanical" is to do an injustice to people who look at things too 
mechanically. Criticism is ABOUT anti-imperialism. Period. There is no 
"here and there" in Marxism. Criticisms and analysis and blurting out 
this, that or the other thing is all part of parsing out an analysis of 
what is to be done.  Without it we simply remain stagnant and can NOT 
move on. This is the problem a previous subscriber to this list had with 
Sinn Fein in Ireland. They had been "anti-imperialist", few would 
disagree with that I suspect, and at a point later they became 
collaborators with the British occupation policing the north of the 
island for it's colonizers. The subscriber couldn't deal with people 
claiming they had gone over to the Dark Side. That we shouldn't 
"criticize" SF when they were anti-Imperialist (which of course what the 
debate was about). If we don't allow for (and that is what I hear from 
what you write: "do NOT criticize!") we have no way of determining WHAT 
they are doing and why. Or, if in fact, they have gone over from 
anti-Imperialism to accepting it. You method seems totally and very 
devoid of Marxism.

If you had applied this same method to the Comintern (at any period of 
it's short life) you would of been claiming Lenin an ultra-left 
sectarian for "criticizing" nationalist movements in the East. The idea 
of "not criticizing" seems to emanate from a form of 'liberalism' 
driven-by-guilt of being "Western" in origin. It certainly has zero do 
with revolutionary socialism, anti-Imperialism or Marxism.

David W.

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