[Marxism] Fwd: Anti-Imperialism 2.0: Selective Sympathies, Dubious Friends | P U L S E

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Oct 5 18:56:57 MDT 2015

By Charles Davis

The new imperialism is caring a bit too much about the suffering of 
people who are being brutalized by a regime which is not currently an 
ally of the United States – and the new anti-imperialism is not giving a 
damn at all, solidarity that extends beyond the border permissible only 
if the drawing of attention to their plight could not possibly be used 
as ammunition by the “humanitarian” militarists of the American empire. 
The world, in this view, is divided into but two camps: those with 
America and those against it, with the good anti-imperialist’s outrage 
dialed up if the atrocity can be linked to the United States, as well it 
should be, but dialed down to total silence if it’s not.

This is, of course, the “anti-imperialism” of the reactionary, in more 
than one sense: How a person of the left responds to a pile of dead 
women and children is in effect dictated by how the U.S. government 
itself responds, the advocate of the poor and forgotten consigning 
foreigners to their fate – “not our problem, pal,” as one popular 
liberal congressman essentially put it on cable TV – if their interests 
have the misfortune of being perceived as aligned with America’s, the 
left’s commitment to internationalism abandoned for an inverted form of 
muddled nationalism that sees U.S. imperialism as not just one factor to 
consider in a complex world, but the only factor relevant in how we in 
the imperial core should view what happens on the rest of the globe. And 
if your cause is sullied by the perception it’s America’s cause too? The 
leftist sounds just like that liberal who sounds like Pat Buchanan: 
Sorry, pal, if you wanted our solidarity you should have been born 
somewhere that better lends itself to a black-and-white anti-imperial 


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