Variousness 19

24Dec09

Loren Goldner: Turkey and on anti-imperialism. Snip:

The “anti-imperialist” ideology of the 1960’s and early 1970’s died a hard death by the late 1970’s. Western leftist cheerleaders for “Ho- Ho- Ho Chi Minh” in London, Paris, Berlin and New York fell silent as Vietnam invaded Cambodia, and China invaded Vietnam, and the Soviet Union threatened China. China allied with the U.S. against the Soviets in the new Cold War, and the other “national liberation movements” that had taken power in Algeria, and later in Ethiopia, Angola, Mozambique, and Guinea-Bissau…disappointed.

Today, a vague mood of “anti-imperialism” is back, led by Venezuela’s Chavez and his Latin American allies (Cuba, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Bolivia), more or less (with the exception of Stalinist Cuba) classical bourgeois-nationalist regimes. But Chavez in turn is allied, at least verbally and often practically, with the Iran of the ayatollahs, and Hezbollah, and Hamas, as well as newly-emergent China, which no one any longer dares call “socialist”. The British SWP allies with Islamic fundamentalists in local elections in the UK, and participates in mass demonstations (during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, summer 2007) chanting “We are all Hezbollah”. Somehow Hezbollah, whose statutes affirm the truth of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, is now part of the “left”; when will it be “We are all Taliban”? Why not, indeed?

Such a climate compels us to turn back to the history of such a profoundly reactionary ideology, deeply anti-working class both in the “advanced” and “underdeveloped” countries, by which any force, no matter how retrograde, that turns a gun against a Western power becomes “progressive” and worthy of “critical” or “military” support, or for the less subtle, simply “support”.[…] 

We find these anti-working-class origins, not surprisingly, in the defeat of the world insurrectionary wave of 1917-1921, a wave moving from Germany and Russia to ultimately affect dozens of countries.

Max Dunbar on Matt Taibbi’s The Great Derangement. Snip:

The 9/11 Truth Movement, no matter what its leaders claim, isn’t a grassroots phenomenon. It didn’t grow out of a local dispute at a factory or in the fields of an avacado plantation. It wasn’t a reaction to an injustice suffered by a specific person in some specific place. Instead it was something that a group of people constructed by assembling bits and pieces plucked surgically from the mass media landscape – TV news reports, newspaper articles, Internet sites. The conspiracy is not something anyone in the movement even claims to have seen with his own eyes. It is something deduced from the very sources the movement is telling its followers to reject.

This has always been one of the key features of the 9/11 Truth Movement. When the left finally found something to revolt over, it turned out to be something entirely fictional, something that not a single person had seen with his own eyes, or felt directly in his bank account, in his workplace, in his home. No one here was revolting over the corrupt medical insurance system, the disappearance of the manufacturing economy, the exploding prison population, the predatory credit industry, the takeover of electoral politics by financial interests. None of the people in this room were bound together by a common problem. What they had in common was a similar response to a national media phenomenon. At some level, this wasn’t even a movement – it was a demographic.

Moishe Postone: Hamburg, 2009 – another German Autumn. Snip:

The conventional Stalinist and Social Democratic representation of Nazism and fascism as simply tools of the capitalist class, used to crush working class organizations, always omitted one of their central dimensions: These movements, in terms of their own self-understanding and their mass appeal, were revolts. Nazism presented itself as a struggle for liberation (and supported “anti-imperialist” movements in the Arab world and India). The basis for this self-understanding was a fetishized understanding of capitalism: the abstract, intangible, global domination of capital was understood as the abstract, intangible global domination of the Jews. Far from simply being an attack on a minority, Nazis anti-Semitism understood itself as anti-hegemonic. Its aim was to free humanity from the ruthless ubiquitous domination of the Jews. It is because of its anti-hegemonic character that anti-Semitism poses a particular problem for the Left. It is the reason why, a century ago, anti-Semitism could be characterized as the “socialism of fools.” Today it can be characterized as the “anti-imperialism of fools.”

Robert Fine: Antisemitism, Zionism and the left. Snip:

The argument that the charge of antisemitism serves only to invalidate criticism of the Israeli occupation and human rights abuses is a way of saying that people only raise fears of antisemitism in bad faith. An emphatic insistence that antizionism is not antisemitic, but is labelled antisemitic by ‘defenders of Israel’, presupposes that antisemitism is no longer real, it has become (at least in this context) a political ploy. In some quarters the charge of antisemitism is now almost a badge of honour rather than an occasion for self-reflection. Quite often individuals speak ‘as Jews’ and offer the authority of being Jewish to confirm that criticism of Israel is not antisemitic either in its motives or effects. From the perspective of the left, a refusal to take antisemitism seriously seems to me a problem for a movement that wishes to be consistently antiracist. From the perspective of a European the idea that it is no longer antisemitism that is troubling Europe but talk of antisemitism seems to me an equally troubling notion.

K Kahn-Harris (Metal Jew) on James Horrox A Living Revolution: Anarchism in the Kibbutz Movement. Snip:

If there is a vision of Israel that can avoid the polarization and mythmaking of much Diaspora and Israeli discourse, it requires an appreciation of the complexities of Israeli society. James Horrox’s “A Living Revolution: Anarchism in the Kibbutz Movement” provides a welcome reminder that Israel wasn’t always seen by radicals as an outpost of Western imperialism. Horrox unearths the utopian, anarchist influences behind the growth of the kibbutz movement in pre-state Israel. Anarchism may be a highly flawed ideology, but at the very least it offered a vision of Zionism that, in not aiming to build a Jewish state, held out the possibility of a land in which Jews and Muslims could coexist peacefully. This was never likely to happen, of course, but at the very least it’s important to remember that Israel didn’t have to be the place that its contemporary detractors and defenders imagine it to be — and it doesn’t have to be that place now.

Hoelzer Reich: I have failed to keep up with this controversy, so get it all from @ndy:

Hoelzer Reich : Update

And: Hoelzer Reich & neo-Nazism. Yeah but, no but… (December 10, 2009) | Hoelzer Reich : White Christmas Catalogue! (December 9, 2009) | C.U.N.T., Hoelzer Reich, & Tomorrow Belongs to The Yes Men! (December 7, 2009).

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2 Responses to “Variousness 19”

  1. happy new year – love your blog


  1. 1 Variousness 19 « Anti-German Translation | Headlines Today

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