[Marxism] An Opium of Idealist Politics

Gary MacLennan gary.maclennan1 at gmail.com
Wed Aug 24 20:11:32 MDT 2011

My two bobs' worth:

I have taken due note of Richard Seymour's diagnosis and prognosis on Libya.
I don't feel in strong disagreement with him nor with Matthew either.
However I do feel heartened by the exit of Qadhdhafi.  My analysis of what
Qadhdhafi was determines most of my reaction.  I have said before he was a
tyrant/dictator. No one denies that. Some people however feel he was "our
dictator".  I have absolutely rejected such a concept as unthinkable for a
morally informed emancipatory politics, which is the only kind of politics I
am interested in.

Lofty sentiments apart however what does appear important to me is now that
Qadhdhafi has gone (almost) the space for politics has widened.  Things will
now be possible in Libya that were not possible before.  I am thinking in
this context of what has happened in Egypt. To say that is not to idealise
the situation or to place any illusions in the TNC.

But the way the rebels are being talked about (see the Angry Arab's post on
the NYT's coverage) and the proposals for disarming them seem to me to
constitute material evidence that the situation is extremely fluid. Why
disarm them if they are pro-imperialist stooges? So I do not agree with
Richard's analysis of a revolution defeated which will take a long time to

At the very worst we will have more politics in Libya and there is still I
think the possibility of a higher level of revolutionary politics if the
Egyptian revolution succeeds in overthrowing Tantawi and the military

Moreover I reject that we will now see a scramble for Libya.  Lou has
patiently pointed out that such a scramble was already in place, mediated by
Saif al Islam Qadhdhafi. Perhaps it will speed up but at the same time the
possibility of opposing such an eventuality is now much greater.

So in the mean time I refuse not to enjoy the spectacle of the statues of
dictator's being trampled on and their luxury dwellings being looted. It has
heartened the Arab people throughout the region and that is no small thing.



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