[Marxism] FW: How the West Manufactures ³OppositionMovements²

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Feb 5 15:39:43 MST 2014

On 2/5/14 5:09 PM, Tugrul Keskin wrote:
> All this has been happening in different degrees and with variable levels of
> brutality, in Thailand, China, Egypt, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela, Bolivia,
> Brazil, Zimbabwe and many other places all over the world.

This Vltchek character is arguably one of the most shameless defenders 
of the Baathist tyranny, dripping with venom and blood. This is an 
earlier analysis of what is happening there from him:

If you are an absolute gangster, global or local, how do you make a 
woman marry you when everything else fails? You pay some thugs; they 
kidnap her, tie her to a post in some abandoned garage, and you rape 
her, to ‘soften her up’. And after few weeks of agony and humiliation, 
you come to her with a huge bunch of flowers and propose marriage, so 
that once again she can become respectful, ‘free’ and ‘liberated’. Sick? 
Yes, I agree it is sick, but isn’t it, honestly, how the world is being 
governed these days?

How do you educate a child, if you want him or her to be an obedient 
servant, cleaning your crap forever, and respecting you, even if your 
only claim to fame is having been exploiting some buggers, miserable 
coolies, in your horrible pre-industrial age factory, in some awful 
country? The answer is simple: You hammer religion into your child’s 
head, you spice it up with a monstrous fear of hell, archaic concepts of 
righteousness, and then you confuse servility with love, and rebellion 
with mortal sin. You brainwash the kid, and make your vision of the 
world the only one that is ‘correct’, and permissible.


Who needs Marxism when your inspiration is a mixture of the Lonely 
Planet and Hunter S. Thompson.

Tugrul posted a notice about Critical Sociology the other day. Would the 
editors accept an article filled with such lurid demagogy?

I understand that leftist Turks tend to put a minus where the AKP puts a 
plus, but Vltchek's article is filled with nonsense about the region. He 

"Hatay was overran by Saudi and Qatari jihadi cadres, pampered by the 
US, EU and Turkish logistics, support, weaponry and cash.

"The terror these people have been spreading in this historically 
peaceful, multi-cultural and tolerant part of the world, could hardly be 
described in words."

When the hell did Turkey or Syria become peaceful and multi-cultural? 
Unless the Kurds don't count?

Vltchek is woefully ignorant of the socio-economic roots of the Syrian 
civil war. I wonder if Tugrul is.

The uprising was not a conspiracy by the West. It was fueled by economic 
discontent over a neoliberal transformation of the economy that was 
considered a model by the IMF. Here's a reminder of how we--as 
MARXISTS--should approach events in Syria:


By the late 1990s, the business community that the Asads had created in 
their own image had transformed Syria from a semi-socialist state into a 
crony capitalist state par excellence. The economic liberalization that 
started in 1991 had redounded heavily to the benefit of tycoons who had 
ties to the state or those who partnered with state officials. The 
private sector outgrew the public sector, but the most affluent members 
of the private sector were state officials, politicians and their 
relatives. The economic growth registered in the mid-1990s was mostly a 
short-lived bump in consumption, as evidenced by the slump at the end of 
the century. Growth rates that had been 5-7 percent fell to 1-2 percent 
from 1997 to 2000 and beyond.

After Bashar al-Asad succeeded his father in 2000, the architects of 
Syria’s economic policy sought to reverse the downturn by liberalizing 
the economy further, for instance by reducing state subsidies. Private 
banks were permitted for the first time in nearly 40 years and a stock 
market was on the drawing board. After 2005, the state-business bonds 
were strengthened by the announcement of the Social Market Economy, a 
mixture of state and market approaches that ultimately privileged the 
market, but a market without robust institutions or accountability. 
Again, the regime had consolidated its alliance with big business at the 
expense of smaller businesses as well as the Syrian majority who 
depended on the state for services, subsidies and welfare. It had 
perpetuated cronyism, but dressed it in new garb. Families associated 
with the regime in one way or another came to dominate the private 
sector, in addition to exercising considerable control over public 
economic assets. These clans include the Asads and Makhloufs, but also 
the Shalish, al-Hassan, Najib, Hamsho, Hambouba, Shawkat and al-As‘ad 
families, to name a few. The reconstituted business community, which now 
included regime officials, close supporters and a thick sliver of the 
traditional bourgeoisie, effected a deeper (and, for the regime, more 
dangerous) polarization of Syrian society along lines of income and region.

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