[Marxism] Demonization

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Dec 4 09:06:05 MST 2012

Bricmont, in today's Counterpunch you wrote:

"Instead of constantly 'denouncing' the leaders of countries such as 
Russia, China, Iran, Cuba for violating human rights, something the 
anti-anti-war left loves to do, we should listen to what they have to 
say, dialogue with them, and help our fellow citizens understand the 
different ways of thinking in the world, including the criticisms that 
other countries can make of our way of doing things."

I understand that you are far more tuned in to theoretical physics than 
Marxism but there is an important distinction between Cuba and the other 
countries you cite above. Cuba rests on collectivized property relations 
while Russia, Iran and China do not. Human rights abuses in those 
countries generally have a class dimension. For example, when bus 
drivers in Tehran tried to form a trade union, their leaders were 
arrested and then tortured. One can understand why someone like yourself 
would want to suppress all criticisms of a government that arrests and 
tortures bus drivers since it is on the American State Department's 
shit-list. For people like yourself and Diana Johnstone, politics is 
reduced to formal logic rather than theoretical physics. It is a kind of 
if/then exercise. If Nicholas Kristof writes an op-ed piece attacking 
Khartoum for human rights abuses in Southern Sudan, then stand up for 
Khartoum. At least when people like Anna Louise Strong were involved in 
such "Friends of China" type endeavors, they had the excuse that they 
were defending socialism. What is your fucking excuse?

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