[Marxism] Counterpunch joins the pro-Assad brigades

Manuel Barrera mtomas3 at hotmail.com
Sun Aug 7 09:32:00 MDT 2011

Michael coyly opines: "But again: what exactly does this 'support' mean? A willingness to express hopes for their success, on a Marxist mailing list?  One might add that the vague phrase 'democratic struggles' begs a number of questions. Doubtless there are plenty of honest salt-of-the-earth people in Iran and Syria and Libya who are fed up with their governments, for sensible reasons that are easy enough to understand. But certainly in Libya there's plenty of imperial involvement too. The Empire has been trying to roll back the Iranian revolution ever since it happened, and surely. . . Slapping a coat of 'democratic' whitewash over the whole murky picture, including its very fishy reptile-fund elements, seems like an exercise in self-stultification."

Well, let's just be more pointed, Michael. You are correct, it does not matter about the previous ideological battles over Stalinism or Maoism in contrast to Trotskyism. Many on this list, I am sure will accept that there is plenty of reason to see through the "vague . . .beg[ging of] questions" without resorting to the well-traveled vindication of history of Stalinist betrayal (or even Trotsky's and Trotskyist mistakes for that matter). In one respect, doing so, results in just what you just tried to do; hide your vile antipathy for "democratic struggles" under the guise of standing (sic) against imperialism. To be pedantic (you deserve it), the struggle for democracy is, at one, the precursor to and the point of a socialist revolution. If changing the world order does not result in the democratic control of economy, politics, and government for the explicit and direct involvement of the masses in their own future, there IS no such revolution. We fight in every country, especially in our own, so that we together may construct an "inclusive", "democratic", "liberatory"--socialist--society of world proportion. 

Questioning and analyzing such struggles as to their trajectory is important IFF doing so helps us to encourage their revolutionary nature. But whether you believe the same or no, it is far different to question the legitimacy of a people's struggle just because it does not conform to pre-suppositions of intellectual "Marxists" or the desires of post-capitalist or "revolutionary" governments to defend their own stability. Louis observes that Iranian Marxists are on the list and they would be dismayed to hear from the rest of us that we do not think that their people's struggles against the murderous political Islamic regime is a just one because it causes unsavory political juxtapositions with the tendencies of imperialism to engage in political predation. Indeed, that point is true, but it is not the sensibilities of "our own" that is ever at the base of our support for people's "democratic struggles". It is those struggles and the people's desire to eradicate their oppression that is ever our concern. 

To be clear, the duty of revolutionists in every country OTHER than in Syria (or Libya in the same vein), is to all that we can to prevent the predator imperialists and their national representatives of our own countries from taking advantage of the Syrian people's struggle to end the misery brought on by IMPERIALISM's representatives, the Assad regime or any other "suitors" who pretend "anti-imperialism" in order to run capitalism for the capitalists. It is also our duty to do everything we can to enable the people's democratic struggles in Syria so that they will (a) end the repressive regime and (b) pose the question what kind of people's government is really needed to achieve democracy (not democratic "rule" or "temporary" governments or military councils or other such lesser-evil formulas; actual people's democracy). On these questions we cannot equivocate. We must do Both. And, to be even more pointed. Not doing Both like "first" making sure imperialism doesn't intervene "then" supporting democratic struggles or "only" supporting such struggles IF they don't "get in the way" of the anti-imperialist struggle is simply a weaker position that would put revolutionists on Both sidelines of those struggles. Sometimes, you just have to get dirty.  

Smith and some others "dance" around these issues as if doing so makes one "intellectual", skeptical, analytical; "just raising questions". But it is at least clear to me that you either can't or don't want to support these struggles simply because you seem to wish to stand above such frays for the sake of helping "them" determine what is really in the people's best interest, you know, on some imagined world scale that you decide to deem the struggle against imperialism. The people have a funny way of deciding how it is they wish to fight for their liberation. Their veritable battles ARE the struggle against imperialism. They start against their national representatives of imperialism for the people's national democratic concerns and if and inevitably when imperialism tries to intervene as it predatorily will, the people will learn to fight It directly. It is at it has been and ever shall be . . .world with . . . a revolutionary future! (sorry, couldn't help gettin' all preachy and pulpity 'cause it gets hard to take some of the nonsense of sectarians and Stalinists seriously for too long a time).  		 	   		  

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