Re: [OPE] Latin America

From: paul bullock <>
Date: Thu Dec 18 2008 - 07:02:14 EST

There still seems to me a mix up here with 'critical' and 'unconditional'.
I don't see why the latter excludes the former since the term
would have to apply to an act or series of specific acts within a certain
period of time.

It is thus contains implicitly restrictive terms. Its use, however
unsatsifactory it may seem,
aims to strip away all the 'hedging' so common amongst 'supporters' of
progressive movements
who are not themselves actually involved in a particular struggle. In this
case the 'support' is actually irrelevant,
an armchair variety, but DOES feed those who are collecting objections to
undermine that struggle.

By 'unwanted' I meant, properly speaking , 'uncalled for', ie unjustified.
The question of the constitutional
amendment you refer to is a good example. Few 'critics' had actually read -
opr were interested in reading
- all the amendmentS or compared them to the original /preexisting
constitution. Every opponent
focused on the single amendment of removing limits to standing for
Presidential office so to dress
the likely vistor as a 'dictator'.

Here the 'criticism was effectively simply opposition to a politically
significant extension of the
opportunities for socialist progress.( Who of these noted, or criticised the
New York Mayor
 for the same view on such restrictions, or that the Colombian President -
the great ally of the US
 - had effectively manipulated the same for himself anyway?).

The whole issue of 'criticism' and support is one that should be guided by
an understanding that
those of us living in imperialist states have most carefully to consider the
relevance of our opinions and
reflect on our real responsibilities, and these, for me don't include
giving vent to free negative criticism
 - usuually secondary, petty or ill informed - of those who are struggling
under severe conditions that we don't share in.

Paul B

----- Original Message -----
From: "Paul Zarembka" <>
To: "Outline on Political Economy mailing list" <>
Sent: Wednesday, December 17, 2008 1:51 AM
Subject: Re: [OPE] Latin America

> --On 12/14/2008 12:42 PM -0500 wrote:
>> When I say I support Cuban and Venezuelan government unconditionally it
>> means that I am clearly on the side of revolutionary movement
> Dogan,
> In my opinion, you would be better off just saying straight up: "I support
> the revolutionary movement of the workers and peasants of Cuba and
> Venezuela" and let the government respond to that.
> Lenin did not like Luxemburg's opinion but she gave it anyway even after
> the creation of the Soviet state. I have the clear sense the Luxemburg
> was genuinely coming from the bottom up.
> We can express our opinion about a proposed constitutional amendment in
> Venezuela whether Chavez or the newly formed party leadership likes the
> opinion or not. Indeed, contrasting opinions are healthy and should be
> welcome (not considered "airy" or "unwanted").
> --On 12/14/2008 2:33 PM +0000 paul bullock wrote:
>> Paul do you see 'unconditional support' as actually conditional upon the
>> supporter's notion of perfect behaviour, where there are unmet
>> 'criticisms' ? and so an impossible sort of support? I see it as the
>> support that does not simultaneously demand conditions, which is, I
>> believe, Lenin's conception.
> I never referred to perfect or imperfect behavior but rather to the phrase
> "unconditional support". Your prior email states your admonition to those
> in the movement against making opinions which are "airy" or "unwanted":
>>> It seems to me that the task of communists/ socialists/ democrats in
>>> the
>>> imperialist states is to expose and fight against the activities of
>>> their
>>> own state, and businesses in continuing to exploit the nominally
>>> independent state, not give airy opinion about, or unwanted advice to
>>> the
>>> movements that are struggling against imperialism.
> Expressing opinions is a necessity of a democratic revolutionary movement.
> Expressing contrary opinions under Stalin were considered
> counter-revolutionary acts ("you are with us or against us") and we should
> have gotten over that nonsense long, long ago.
> Paul Z.
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> (Vol.23) THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF 9-11 Seven Stories Press soft, 2nd ed.
> 2008
> (Vol.24) TRANSITIONS IN LATIN AMERICA ~~~Research in Political
> Economy~~~
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> _______________________________________________
> ope mailing list

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