[Marxism] On Histrionics

Manuel Barrera mtomas3 at hotmail.com
Sat Sep 10 11:45:44 MDT 2011

Isn't it interesting that the color line always seems to out even those "revolutionary"? Here is something less impassioned for the staid Victorian "in ye": 

Tomb cannot seem to reconcile that a revolutionary process is not a series of events, but a  process that as long as the character of a movement proceeds forward and that the voices, and their class base, analyzing that process can have their own class character, even if only ensconced within a particular milieu (e.g., old men, and old-men-thinking intellectuals on a list). It really should not surprise you the vehemence ("histrionics") with which someone who actually has his own history of class and anti-imperialist struggle--from the class and racial/ethnic perspective closer to the Libyan masses in spirit, if not in nationality--would abhor the seemingly narcissistic, "Monday-morning quarterbacking" analysis of a revolution in process simply because the action doesn't seem to be "clean" enough for such commentators. In MY view, such commentary--and its defense--is abhorrent, disrespectful to the masses in struggle, and, hence, infuriating to those of us who actually wish to see this unfolding process defended. I am serious about my question regarding the defense of the Libyan revolution--the part that someone like I can do about it by participating in a campaign that calls for NATO Out Now. Doing so, is the best way, regardless of the analysis that ends up being "correct" regarding the subversion or advancement of the revolution in the context of the NTC, to defend, or rectify if you wish, the advancement of the Libyan people's struggle. What I observe is that BEFORE Tripoli was liberated "anti-anti-Gadhaffi" leftists and people like Tomb spent much of their time denouncing the imperialist rapprochement with the bourgeois nationalist leadership forces among the rebels. This ilk analyzed to their heart's content the sameness of those bourgeois liberal forces and Gadhaffi; how these sellouts would sell out the revolutionary process if the people let them. This loose coalescence of analyzers waxed rather histrionically about how it was important to oppose NATO and denouncing the bourgeois section of the rebel leadership for letting imperialism help them. AFTER Tripoli was liberated, this same group of analyzers seemingly almost immediately starts waxing pessimistic of the prospects for this revolution. As best as I can tell, "their" reasons for this pessimism seem to be that the revolution got help from imperialism, so, there is a "fruit of the poisonous tree" damage to this revolutionary process. All reports so far from Libya--bourgeois media, revolutionary, and independent alike--indicate that such questions are simply far from settled (not to mention how the liberation of Tripoli itself was such a "surprise" to "everyone"). 

A revolutionist who is a Marxist believes, with unconditional positive regard and without compromise, the inherent direction of the working class and the popular masses in their march toward the liberation of society. I got that idea not from Carl Rogers, but from Karl Marx (and F. Engels); namely, the Communist Manifesto; a document I read for the first time in 1969, at a time when simultaneously a young, not very clear, Chicano saw the hatred of the armed state for people like him almost literally right outside his window and its hatred for the world working class on his television with the reports of "America's" crimes in another, less than traditional struggle in a country called Vietnam. 

I say all this to uncover the indignation someone like me has had all his revolutionary political life for the "quiet" histrionics displayed by people who seem either to have spent a rather short life period dabbling in revolution, appear to have spent a much longer life period engaged in a series of "short life periods" dabbling in revolution, or simply have decided after a long period of struggle, they are willing to allow short-term dabblers have the stage because "we can't do it anymore". 

I don't pretend to know where this hatred for my perceived "histrionics" comes from in any of you or why you would be willing to cede the revolutionary principled high ground to a pessimistic view of the masses in struggle seemingly only because Imperialism still rules and it appears to be the "sober" "reality"-based thing to do, but letting despair rule over our willingness to encourage the mass movement--no matter that such movements unfold in ways difficult for us to accept--is simply not a revolutionary perspective. 

I'm sorry if such indignation at that kind of pessimism offends you. But I am not sorry for you or me. I am sorry because the revolutionary mass struggle deserves far better than that.

White enough for you, Greg? 		 	   		  

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