[Marxism] Gilbert Achcar interview

Andrew Pollack acpollack2 at gmail.com
Sat Aug 27 09:27:20 MDT 2011

Achcar is an imperialist stooge. Now he's gone way beyond his
unprincipled, criminal support for NATO involvement because of a
supposed coming massacre in Benghazi, to justify imperialist
intervention right up through the taking of Tripoli.
There is NOTHING left in his arguments of revolutionary socialists'
opposition to imperialist war.
The imperialists have just won a resounding victory in their attempt
to turn back the regionwide Arab Revolution.
Since when do socialists decide their principles -- whether to support
ruling class crimes -- based on a calculation of body counts?
Is Achcar now going to support intervention in Syria? In Iran?
The worst part of this principle-by-numbers method is that it tells
the masses of Libya and elsewhere: "have no faith in yourself. If you
are afraid to take on a dictator because too many people might be
killed, you are correct! Give in to those fears and call on the Devil
for help."
NOT ONCE have I seen Achcar remind people that the heroic workers and
peasants of Iran got rid of a regime every bit as murderous WITHOUT
imperialist aid.
And there's another reason Achcar's betrayal is so damaging:
The popular uprisings against Qaddafi, Assad, soon hopefully against
the Iranian regime, were delayed in part by the neoStalinist left's
support for these butchers. For decades, phony anti-imperialist
regimes were given support by the neoStalinists because they provided
asylum, material aid, and verbal support, to various national
liberation forces. For such "support," the neoStalinists overlooked
the massacres of Palestinians by Assad and other atrocities.
This was the same method as that of CPs around the world who pandered
to the Soviet Union because they gave similarly bogus support to
national liberation movements. Millions of dollars in Soviet (or
Chinese) aid to the Vietnamese or Angolans -- with HEAVY political
chains attached -- was an excuse to silence criticism of those
The revolutionary socialist left has a chance now to explain to the
Arab masses that real revolutionaries never supported their
oppressors. Achcar is standing in the way of that explanation, because
he agrees with the neoStalinists that the only alternative is
oppressors like Qaddafi or imperialism (the neoStalinists pick
Qaddafi, he picks imperialism).
Andy P.

On Sat, Aug 27, 2011 at 11:05 AM, Jeff <meisner at xs4all.nl> wrote:
> Great interview!
> The courage of the Libyan masses to overthrow such an entrenched and brutal
> regime cannot be overstated. Outside of Libya none of us faced such peril
> and no comparisons can be made. However I would have to say that Gilbert
> Achcar must be THE MOST COURAGEOUS leftist in this regard who was willing
> from the start to support the revolution in ways which he surely realized
> would result in him being (unfairly) castigated as a "supporter of
> imperialist intervention" (and worse) by the large bulk of the
> anti-imperialist left (including his own comrades I believe), who are
> guilty of the "knee-jerk" (I would say "mechanistic unthinking") reaction
> that he mentions.

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