[OPE-L:8651] Re: the anti-war movement

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@stanford.edu)
Date: Fri Mar 21 2003 - 15:15:12 EST

>Am I being too 'optimistic'?
>In solidarity, Jerry

Yes, American support for the war is over 70%; many, if not most, 
Americans think Saddam is now running al-Qaeda; the Hollywood dissent 
suffers from a nostalgia for Clinton whose obscene and predictable 
silence is doing wonders for Bush's legitimacy; quick victory, 
coupled with some improvement in post-Saddam Iraq, will delegitimize 
future protest over the unilateral use of American force. And since 
there will be a tepid, "middle class" economic recovery led by a more 
centralized capital, Bush will tout i. monopoly (even as its gouges 
the consumer in circulation--remember Microsoft), ii. regressive tax 
cuts and iii. eviserated labor law as the keys to economic strength. 
Social darwinism is after all the only philosophy which has ever had 
popular roots in the US.
And of course once Bush puts Osama bin Laden's decapitated head on a 
stick and leads a parade down the streets, our fellow 
Americans--except perhaps in the SF Bay Area--will break the knee 
caps of the peace protestors.
Yet the future is open; a more militant, sophisticated  and truly 
mass opposition may yet take root. Yet I see no reason to assume that 
it will evolve automatically or is in fact presently evolving out of 
the anti-war, anti-Bush movement which (it seems to me) is about to 
be shocked by the quickness and totality of the US "precision-guided" 
victory and may well collapse in the face of new uncovered evidence 
of the barbarity of Saddam's regime and the relief of the Iraqi 
people...at least as it advertised in the US media and by Bill O 
Reilly in particular (I don't really watch television, and don't get 
cable, and don't listen to right wing talk radio...and I am still 
this pessimistic!)  Of course a sharp decline in the economy at home, 
coupled with the unravelling of the oil for food programme in Iraq 
and consequent mass hunger, will give a powerful impetus to the 
Jerry, as you know, I shall be taking a break from email for a couple of weeks.
I wish all here the best.
Yours, Rakesh

ps to Ian Wright; sorry I have not replied on simple commodity 
production. I would have to read a work about SCP like Enrique 
Mayer's The Articulated Peasantry ( a study of SCP in the Andes) to 
have something to say. As you know from offlist email, I don't think 
SCP could shift resources (esp labor power) in such a way that 
everyone could come to have or would allow themselves to have the 
total dependence on the market which your model of SCP requires.

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