[Marxism] Counterpunch joins the pro-Assad brigades

Michael Smith mjs at smithbowen.net
Fri Aug 5 19:47:17 MDT 2011

On Fri, 05 Aug 2011 21:04:25 -0400
Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com> wrote:

> The sailboat-owning vice-president of the Ahmadinejad fan 
> club lecturing an Iranian Marxist about the need to break with 
> imperialism. Where's Brecht when you really need him.

Louis... really. You're a capable reader. This is 
beneath you, even apart from the schoolboyish nyahh-
nyahh stuff about my hobbies. 

Did I say anything about the "need to break with 
imperialism?" Of course I didn't. The day I pen a 
phrase like that, may my right hand forget its 

To restate: There are implications in this 
vocabulary of American and European lefties 
'condoning' what happens elsewhere that need 
some serious unpacking. Concretely: what are 
the implications, for whom, of what we 'condone' 
and what we don't 'condone'? And how are those 
implications to be realized? 

This non-condoning of other people's badness 
undoubtedly makes us feel virtuous. What else 
does it do it the material world, to borrow a 

Does it do something good? All the better, if 
so; but one would like to be shown how this 
works. It's not obvious to me. 

Does it lend even a fly's-weight of support to 
the likes of Barry Obama and his various 
humanitarian slaughter-fests? Probably not. 
They don't need our help, or want it. So that
consideration throws no weight in the scales, 
either way.

What it comes down to, as far as I can see, is 
a need to feel virtuous. 

There is, perhaps, no uglier human trait. 


Michael J. Smith
mjs at smithbowen.net


More information about the Marxism mailing list