[Marxism] Counterpunch promoting left-right alliance (aka "Querfront")?

A.R. G amithrgupta at gmail.com
Wed Jul 22 09:51:08 MDT 2015

Also, I think we did a good job addressing many of these issues in this
prior discussion (where TG came up):

- Amith

On Wed, Jul 22, 2015 at 5:43 PM, A.R. G <amithrgupta at gmail.com> wrote:

> I think my title was more appropriate.
> - Amith
> On Wed, Jul 22, 2015 at 5:38 PM, Jeff via Marxism <
> marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:
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>> On Wed, July 22, 2015 04:43, A.R. G via Marxism wrote:
>> >
>> http://azvsas.blogspot.nl/2015/07/counterpunch-time-for-socialists-anti.html
>> I have changed the subject line of this thread; I, like Sheldon Ranz,
>> didn't understand or appreciate the tag Amith applied to this weighty
>> matter.
>> I attach great importance to the material in Tony Greenstein's blog entry,
>> and especially the lengthy article by Elise Hendrick which was appended to
>> that page but can as well be viewed at its original location at:
>> Counterpunch or Suckerpunch
>> How ‘America’s Best Political Newsletter’ Mainstreams the Far Right
>> http://meldungen-aus-dem-exil.noblogs.org/post/2015/07/19/counterpunch-or-suckerpunch/
>> The thesis of the article is that Counterpunch (which I would have
>> casually, but perhaps ignorantly, described as a left-wing publication)
>> contains more articles by authors properly identified with the right than
>> from the left. And what's more that this is a result of an underlying
>> philosophy by Counterpunch's editors (including the late Alexander
>> Cockburn) which seeks a left-right alliance of sorts, as we have seen in a
>> number of other contexts, also going by the exotic name "Querfront." But
>> of course there is no material basis for an alliance between the class
>> forces seeking to overthrow capitalism and its ruling class in favor of a
>> classless society and those who seek to reverse more modern (and
>> frequently, but not always, progressive) aspects of the current capitalist
>> reality: "reactionaries." Thus I would argue, as this author seems to
>> believe, that what actually occurs in these instances is an intrusion by a
>> right-wing force into a left-wing movement or milieu for the purpose of
>> injecting some of their content into a popular (and otherwise legitimate)
>> cause, to recruit those in and around the left to their ranks (especially
>> when the rhetoric espoused by both left and right is barely
>> distinguishable!), and to gain respectability for themselves at our
>> expense. Examples thereof are quite numerous, but among very current
>> issues this can be recognized in the draping of the reactionary Russian
>> government (and Eastern Ukrainian separatists) in the coattails of Lenin
>> and the Soviet victory over Nazism, and support for the  reactionary Assad
>> regime in Syria on the basis of its supposed  "anti-imperialism" and
>> stalwart struggle against Israel.
>> As rather incriminating evidence of the true nature of Counterpunch, the
>> author tallied the authorship of Counterpunch articles indexed by Google,
>> with prominent left and right-wing authors occupying opposite sides of the
>> ledger. This is detailed in the first table conspicuous in the article: in
>> it she tallied 245 articles by "left/progressive" authors and 674 by
>> "right/white supremacist" authors. Personally I found that statistic quite
>> surprising, and would have expected about the opposite disproportion! But
>> I guess it's because I only browse Counterpunch when I'm referred to a
>> link, and thankfully my friends are pretty much all on the left. The
>> statistic 245:674 seems rather damning, though I should point out that
>> editor Jeffrey St. Clair posted a sarcastic comment (viewable at the
>> article's original URL, above) which mentions a number of leftist authors
>> absent from the Google search, implying that the ratio isn't so bad for
>> the left at all. But then one again would wonder why even a minority of
>> featured space in a truly leftist publication would have to be reserved
>> for the class enemy.
>> It's probably neither here nor there, but I'll note (as anyone here
>> looking at Table I would have immediately noticed!) that on the
>> "left/progressive" side of the article-count ledger, this list's esteemed
>> moderator garnered the highest publication score. I suppose this could
>> equally well be construed as him being so savvy as to subvert a largely
>> right-wing publication with leftist content, or construed as foolishly
>> giving a "left-cover" to a publication which should be shunned.
>> But the issue to me isn't Counterpunch magazine in particular, but the
>> extremely dangerous effects of allowing far-right/racist/nationalist
>> forces to infiltrate our discourse and our movements, as Counterpunch is
>> more or less guilty of. And the numerous political errors affecting a
>> greater or lesser part of the left which can be attributed to the loss of
>> clarity thereby arising. I'd like to see this matter widely discussed and
>> addressed by those of us who care about class struggle, rather than simply
>> being "anti-government," or in today's emerging parlance
>> "anti-imperialist."
>> - Jeff
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