Re: [OPE] fascism / opposing imperialist military intervention inLibya

From: Paula <>
Date: Mon Mar 21 2011 - 19:50:11 EDT

I agree with Dave – historically, winning democratic rights has been “a key strategic goal for socialist labor movements”. Supporting bourgeois democracy and supporting workers’ democracy aren't mutually exclusive - quite the contrary. And so my original point in response to Claus was that we should be 100% in favor of both. Jerry either misunderstood what I said, or really meant his absurd comment that “to be 100% in favor of bourgeois democracy is to be 100% in favor of capitalism and class exploitation”. Or maybe he got confused with the math? Jerry, it’s not the same 100%. You may support women’s equality 100% (a bourgeois democratic demand) and still support workers’ bargaining rights 100%. You’re not meant to add up the percentages and panic when the result is >100%.

Jerry asked:
”Are we really supposed to take seriously a perspective which suggests that Chad, Martinique, Honduras, Madagascar, Belize, Saint Lucia, Kiribati, and Angola are all imperialist nations?”

Your view on this issue coincides with the geopolitical interests of Chinese capital, Russian capital, Venezuelan capital, etc. I’m afraid that doesn’t make it right, you still have to prove it. And if you really want to prove it, you mustn’t pick the small states as examples, you must pick the big guys - the powers that are comparable in economic, political and military clout to the European states. Saudi Arabia, for example, to stay with Arab politics. But last time we discussed this topic you couldn’t even explain how you decide which states are imperialist and which aren’t.

Jerry also wrote:
“What isn’t logical is to think that a person who served as Justice Minister up until a few weeks ago for a person you call a dictator is now the leading figure in a genuinely democratic movement”.

Well, Gadhafi himself was an officer in King Idris’s army just minutes before staging his coup, so does that make him a monarchist? Perhaps. Apparently he calls himself the “King of Africa”. And here is this report about how other African kings once named him the “king of kings” – a title he graciously accepted (the photo says it all):

So Jerry, do you think Gadhafi inherited his monarchism from King Idris - or did he develop it all by himself? And who is the more progressive leader in your opinion, Muamar the king of the Africans, or Gadhafi the Brother Fuhrer of the Libyans?

Incidentally, Jerry’s arguments about the justice minister, flags, etc, are examples of the Genetic Fallacy - easy to fall into if you think undialectically and/or don’t care for logic:

Jerry also wrote:
“you might want to take this time to do some critical self-examination of your own perspectives and ask why they aren’t gaining support from others”

Especially since Brazil sent troops to Haiti, a section of the Latin American left has talked about Brazilian imperialism. I’ve also heard others talk about South Africa, Russia, Libya, etc, being ‘sub-imperialist’. This is a step forward in so far as it recognizes that many other powers beside the traditional ‘Western’ ones are imperialist in some (vaguely defined) way. Finally, at the beginning of last year John Milios told us about the book he co-authored (Rethinking Imperialism: A Study of Capitalist Rule, 2009). Although I haven’t read it yet, its concept of ‘imperialist chain’, as I understood it from John’s emails, sounds similar to my views. All of these approaches, of course, were developed independently from my own. I am by no means the only person on the left thinking roughly along these lines.


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Received on Mon Mar 21 19:51:43 2011

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