From: Nicola Taylor (19518173@STUDENT.MURDOCH.EDU.AU)
Date: Tue May 20 2003 - 21:35:33 EDT
Hi Diego, just out of curiosity, in your point 6 you say that these countries are 'marching forward in a sense'. I would be interested to know in WHAT sense. I myself find it very hard to understand in what sense Saddam's Iraq ever represented an historical advance on the USA. In so far as the USA is a fully developed capitalist economy, I rather think that socialism has more chance of developing successfully there than in any of the countries you mention. You don't think so? 6. That's why I am for Milosevic when I am forced to choose among his regime and USA's, or for Saddam's (for the same reasons), or for the present governments of Venezuela, Ecuador, Palestina, China, etc., and against USA's or Spain's. I know quite well that all the countries I mentioned are nor socialist, communist or anarchist. They are capitalist countries, but they are marching forward in a sense, against the opposition that those who are marching backward mercilessly oppose to them. In fact, the LTV shows us, for society, what the law gravity shows for nature: the rain will go down as a rule, even if there are some exceptions due to winds and other phenomena in nature (countertendencies). Your point 8 (below) confuses pacifism with opposition to the death penalty. Some of us consider that executing (or imprisoning) political opponents weakens (rather than strengthens) defence of a revolution and is morally and political indefensible on a number of grounds (discussed in previous posts). You ask whether opposing the death penalty is a capitulation to individualism and liberalism. NO, it is a defense of libertarian communism. If one believes that each individual has a right not only to economic freedom but also a right to active and full participation in political life then it is fundamentally irrational for communists to advocate the death penalty for those who do not agree with the dominant view. In my view, measures that move us towards firm and unconditional support for free association and the free expression of alternative views is a condition (not a result) of any progress towards communism. This is not 'mythology'. It is the result of considering the lessons of struggle in the XX century. Btw, in a previous post Paul Z posed the interesting question of what would happen if the majority of socialists voted for the death penalty, having considered all points of view? Would it be possible to move on? I seriously doubt that it would be possible, since the goal of libertarian communism - which I consider to be Marx's vision - would be seriously undermined. 8. I would like to be against the death penalty as I was in the past. In fact I believed I was, but perhaps the recent events in Afghanistan, Iraq, Cuba. have changed my mind. I thought of the Serge's book before coming to Cuba. In fact, I thought of it for years since I read it. And I thought and still think: if it is true that I believe in the "present-ness" (how do you say "actualidad" in English?) of the revolution, and revolution is not a boys' game, HOW CAN ANYBODY BE AGAINST DEATH PENALTIES FOR EVER AND EVERYWHERE? Aren't we decided to defend our revolutions? Do we have to use just pacifist methods? Doesn't it (to be against the death penalty as a kind of universal principle) amount to pay our tribute to individualism and liberalism? Don't forget Marx's cautions against the "modern mythology of the human rights" and other intellectual products of the French (bourgeois) Revolution.
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