[OPE-L:8483] Re: Socialism and War

From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@msn.com)
Date: Wed Feb 19 2003 - 10:23:40 EST

Last night I attended a talk by George Caffentzis on "Not Just 
Blood for Oil: The Political Economy of the War Against
Iraq" at ABC No Rio, a collectively-run center for art and 
activism in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.  George is a 
professor at the University of Southern Maine (the same school 
as listrmember Bruce R) and is part of the Midnight Notes 
Collective.   The talk was part of  a film and discussion series 
at ABC No Rio called "Gulf Wars", presented by May Day 
Books and the Films and Popcorn Collective.  (For more 
information on other events in this series, see the calendar at
http://www.abcnorio.org  ).

The performance space where the talk was held was crowded
with about seventy anti-war and anti-globalization activists who
were energized by Saturday's demonstration.  There was standing 
room only.   The large turnout occurred despite the fact that the 
room was unheated and there was about 2 feet of snow on the 
ground  outside.

Despite the title of the talk, George defended the slogan "No 
Blood for Oil".  A major part of his talk attempted to explain the
connections between the anti-war movement and the anti-
globalization movement.    He argued, contra Cyrus's argument,
that OPEC is a cartel and that the US's war aim should be seen
as part of the Neo-Liberal privatization agenda.  He argued, in 
particular, that a goal was to reverse the nationalizations of the
oil industry that have occurred in many countries.  

The discussion afterwards was extraordinarily lively and 
intelligent as the activists attempted to dialogue with George 
and others about such topics as a class analysis of the anti-war
movement (by, in part, discussing the differences in the 
composition of the anti-globalization and anti-war movements)
and the divisions internationally among capitalists about the
US war plans.  A speaker from the floor asked about the 
importance of the pricing of oil in Euros (which George
didn't mention in his talk).   He seemed, at least to me, to
downplay this factor and claimed instead that much of the
tactical differences among governments were more related to
what he claimed was a shift away from multilateralism and
the use of the UN in the Clinton administration to the more
unilateral tendencies of the Bush administration.  

I'm afraid I can't do justice to Caffentzis's explanation here
(and, indeed, the speaker himself had to abbreviate his 
presentation to allow for more time for discussion).  However,
I introduced myself to him afterwards and asked him if he
had a fuller electronic version of his talk so that I could forward
it to OPE-L for discussion.  He promised to send me a copy.
Hopefully,  it will stimulate discussion here -- especially
since it presents a quite different analysis than that suggested
by Hans [8448],  Rakesh [8452], Cyrus [8481], and others.

Solidarity, Jerry

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Thu Feb 20 2003 - 00:00:00 EST