[Marxism] An Opium of Idealist Politics

Matthew Russo russo.matthew9 at gmail.com
Wed Aug 24 18:32:33 MDT 2011

Well now I find myself in a 2 front battle against 2 sets of idealisms:
that of the 'counter-hegemonic bloc-ists", and that of an idealization of
revolution, in this case a political revolution.

The first will hang its hat on anything that has an inter-bourgeois dispute
with Washington.  That quote from Sergii Kutnii nails it: The BRIC rulers
are not only bourgeois, they are neo-imperialists of the second rank. They
are home to transnational enterprises with tentacles everywhere - likely
they got one chopped off in Libya.  It would be like blocking with Italy,
Japan or Austria-Hungary because they were second-rankers in confilct with
Britain or France before 1914.

Support for the national bourgeoisies of the de-colonizing world after WW2
was conditioned on their actually carrying out such a struggle.  But the
condition that made such struggles possible was the existence of the bloc of
worker's states, however deformed, degenerated, etc. *That condition no
longer exists!*  Not surprisingly, few national bourgeoisies of the
sub-imperial world pursue an anti-imperialist struggle these days.

OTOH, where is the evidence that the Libyan mass movement is about to break
with imperialism, and rejoin the Arab Spring?  We all certainly "hope" so,
but hope is not a basis for a materialist politics.  Neither is graffitti
adequate evidence.  Who are the leaderships of mass organizations outside
the TNC?  *Are* there any? We really don't know. But there is plenty of
non-conspiracy theory type evidence that the TNC has acted as a transmission
belt for NATO imperialism - first of all by calling for their intervention.
In reply to "what else could they have done?", it all depends on who "they"
are.  If it is the TNC, we are talking about an anti-regime fraction of the
bourgeoisie for whom it is only natural to look for powerful foreign support
in NATO.  This was especially so after the mass movement in the west of
Libya, outgunned by the vicious Gadaffi - and yes, Gadaffi, Assad will live
in infamy for such deeds - went underground. Therefore the TNC could not
"ride the masses" in the west.  But therein lies the answer to the question:
*That's what you do*, go underground, and the evidence that that is what
they did shows in the recent reappearance of the uprising in West Libya -
obviously they we not all "massacred", and NATO warplanes could have not
prevented a massacre in detail in the west had Gadaffi's militia been so
inclined, or had had the resources.  But it didn't happen.

The time honored example of the Russian revolution can serve here as well.
The 1905 revolution was suppressed by the Tsarist army.  Should the RSDLP
have called for German intervention? "What else could they do?" wail our
latter day idealists. But one does not recall any such call from any faction
of that party, much less the Bolsheviks - unless one wants to count Parvus.
So what they did was go underground, into exile, etc. to live to fight
another day.  This principle is correct even though that new day was brought
about by the disintegration of that same Tsarist army in inter-imperialist
conflict, and if you really want to stretch the historical analogy - and
it's a stretch -  you can apply the same to a conflict between NATO and the
pathetic militia of the bourgeois Gadaffi regime - who couldn't even carry
out an effective massacre.

It is highly probable, given Libya's history, that mass sentiment favors a
quick NATO exit.  Unfortunately for them, the TNC, in dialectical relation
to Gadaffis repression in the west, has been able to channel the mass
movement into defacto support for NATO.  That's how it stands until proven
otherwise.  So please, stop with the idealizing of the situation, and show
us hard evidence!

Otherwise, why not Syria?


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