[DEBATE] : Sorry, it's not our job to save Africa from itself
grinker at mweb.co.za
Sun Sep 23 15:55:41 BST 2007
I don't quite get your point Peter. Are you saying that because the left
can't put forward a positive alternative in Darfur it cannot object to
western strategy there and should just shut up?
And anyway, why is opposing western intervention not an 'alternative' in
itself? My whole point was that fighting your 'own' state's interventionist
policies is essentially what internationalism should be about. We clearly
don't agree on this.
From: debate-bounces at lists.kabissa.org
[mailto:debate-bounces at lists.kabissa.org] On Behalf Of peter waterman
Sent: 23 September 2007 02:54 PM
To: debate: SA discussion list
Subject: Re: [DEBATE] : Sorry, it's not our job to save Africa from itself
I am not only old enough to remember what internationalism was about I am
even something of a specialist on 'the new internationalisms', just
completing a paper on 'the networked internationalism of labour's others'.
I am, further, acutely aware of the ambiguous history of the British CP with
respect to internationalism. And, indeed, left it around half a lifetime
ago, 1970, because of the febrility and ambiguity of its complaints against
the Soviet invasion of its ally, Czechoslovakia, 1968.
>From 1973 or so I was a supporter of the new South African trade union
movement against the hostility of the ICFTU, the ANC and the Anti-Apartheid
Movements, contributed to the South African Labour Bulletin and was involved
in dialogue with leading South African labour specialists.
So any assumption that I am a bearer of Stalinism would seem a little
So would be the assumption that I supported or support 'humanitarian
intervention' by Western capitalist states. You would have to be able to
show evidence of this.
The point I was making in the present exchange was that it is in no way
Leftist to simply denounce, rather than proposing an alternative.
I have not earlier or elsewhere intervened on the Darfur question because I
do not have such an alternative in mind, nor do I recall such a one from the
Left. There is - so far - no Western alternative because, I guess, the Left
(however defined and wherever it is to be found) does not have the power to
intervene, or even influence, the situation. It is thus reduced to either
traditional internationalist knee-jerks or empty internationalist rhetoric,
or placing itself above the combat.
In the meantime, if you or any other reader does have access to an
alternative in Dafur, I would appreciate it being forwarded to me.
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