[Marxism] Anti-Imperialist “Support” and Responsibility

shaun may mnwps at hotmail.com
Fri Jan 10 15:18:24 MST 2014

I've just read Doug's essay. It addresses the question of class politics in the relationship between the major capitalist powers and those 'nations' which they wish to subordinate. My reading is that he is asking us to become conscious of how our recognition of class antagonisms in places like Iran, Palestine, etc, is or can be buried by a radical, 'anti-imperialist' liberalism under the gloss of the "anti-imperialist" struggle. 

Many years ago the sectarian group, of which I was a member, supported the Mullahs in Iran in their "anti-imperialist" struggle whilst, at the same time, these Mullahs were jailing and murdering people, men and women, who had devoted their lives to the struggle for socialism. We were actually supporting a regime that was destroying our comrades in Iran. Such an outlook is not socialist but more a radical liberal position. The proletariat is a global class. We must, of course, oppose the predations of the major capitalist powers (and we must organise against them 'at home') but that does not automatically mean that we support such regimes as the theocracy in Iran, Hamas in Gaza, etc, which articulate class interests other than those of the proletariat in their 'own' regions. At best, such support must be conditional and tactical. Sometimes I think we tend to forget that religious movements can also serve to articulate class interests. Islam is no different from any other religious movement in this respect. What are the class interests being articulated at this point in the war in Syria by different internal and external 'parties', etc? 

We must always look to the proletariat as a class in and for itself and those socialist forces in these parts of the globe. This is what we must do in relation to Iran, which has a long and rich tradition of proletarian struggle and socialism. This is the only consistent way in which we, as a class, can further and develop our interests globally. To build links with the organisations of our class all over the world. And not just in the major centres of power of capital and its state. And not to tie ourselves to the coat-tails of the local nationalist, "anti-imperialist", bourgeoisie. In the end, if 'push comes to shove', this bourgeoisie will always fall back on the major capitalist powers for assistance. Rather be dominated by them - with all the subordination which that involves than be subject to the rule of the proletariat.
I think Doug Greene's essay is an important contribution to this question.

Shaun Mayhttp://shaunpmay.wordpress.com
Doubt everything (favourite motto of Marx)
'Sir, if you were my husband, I would put poison in your coffee.'  Nancy Astor. 
'Madam, if you were my wife, I would drink it.' Winston Churchill.
Blenheim Palace, 1912



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