[Debate] (Fwd) Syrian solidarity: should that include 'intervention' (Pham Binh)
peterwaterman1936 at gmail.com
Thu Jul 5 08:17:16 BST 2012
One has to be impressed by the capacity of Yoshie to
1) avoid challenges,
2) respond to such - if and when she does - by posing another question, and
3) to think that a message the size of a tweet can establish a theoretical
or moral position of any considerable weight.
One wonders - since I do not recall her ever having revealed this - what
she has to say about Stalinism, Maoism, the Dynastic Communism of North
Korea, Pol Pot, and the millions who lost their livelihoods, starved, were
imprisoned, tortured and killed by these. They were as anti-imperialist as
she is, even if 'imperialism' was defined so as to exclude their own 'Great
Nation Chauvinsim' racism, expansionism or military adventurism.
At issue here, as I have previously suggested, is the problem of surpassing
rather than reproducing - under much r-r-r-revolutionary rhetoric and flags
- practices of capitalism, imperialism, militarism and even of
The silence of Yoshie concerning pre-uprising Libya or Syria is due to them
not having been on her two-dimensional map of the world. They were not on
mine either but I consider this a matter of shame or at least of
embarassment. And can at least point to my general support for human rights
movements worldwide. Given, however, her failure to recognise the gross
inhumanity of those regimes (and their responsibility for the often brutal
behaviour of the opposition to them or successor regimes), it is entirely
reasonable to consider her as complicit with such - as long as they can be
or could have been considered in some way or in some part
On Wed, Jul 4, 2012 at 9:59 PM, Yoshie Furuhashi <
critical.montages at gmail.com> wrote:
> Anyone still supporting the Libyan & Syrian militiamen _at this late
> date_, having seen their MO, seems to me to be a proponent of
> knee-jerk pro-imperialism, putting a plus on them only because
> imperialists put a plus there.
> On Wed, Jul 4, 2012 at 11:11 AM, peter waterman
> <peterwaterman1936 at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Actually, Patrick, Stalin's international policies were rather more
> > than those of Yoshie.
> > For example, whilst the Soviet Union was officially identifying itself
> > the anti-fascist Spanish Republic during the Civil War and even sending
> > military advisors, it was also providing it with World War I weapons and
> > junk airplanes, and sending KGB agents to support the Communist Party.
> > (Soviet military with Spanish experience sometimes ended up in the Gulag,
> > and Spanish Communists exiled in the Communist countries became
> > to whatever Soviet foreign policy required).
> > On the other hand, as you will surely recall, whilst WWII was first
> > characterised as an inter-imperialist war - wreaking massive damage to
> > Western CPs and anti-fascist movements - once the Soviet Union was
> > (with ease due to Stalin having killed or imprisoned many of his
> > and having total trust in his new Nazi ally), Stalin happily sought an
> > alliance with imperialist Britain, the US, France, and dubbed the war
> > 'anti-fascist' once again.
> > Yoshie does, however, forward a rhetorically revolutionary power
> > and does, indeed, turn the imperialist logic on its head. As Marx might
> > said, 'The point is not to reverse power-politics but to surpass it'.
> > May I add that whilst I think Pham Binh's critique of rhetorical,
> > anti-imperialism is spot on, I would like evidence for most of his
> > assertions about the 'democratic' or 'revolutionary' nature of both the
> > protest movements and the successor regime in Libya. What he has done,
> > however, is to deploy a more dialectical reasoning to counter the
> > simplistic, mechanical and reductionist logic of Yoshie.
> > Let's hope that the exchange is inspired by this.
> > Pw
> > On Wed, Jul 4, 2012 at 4:18 PM, Patrick Bond <pbond at mail.ngo.za> wrote:
> >> On 7/4/2012 3:14 PM, Yoshie Furuhashi wrote:
> >> > Here's what Patrick's and Peter's "Libyan comrades"
> >> Never ever met a Libyan comrade or non-comrade, sorry!
> >> > (to use the term
> >> > employed by "Pham Binh of Occupy Wall Street, Class War Camp" whose
> >> > essay Patrick posted here with a note of approval)
> >> Once again, try reading the 'approval' part of the text, not some
> >> imaginary idea between the lines. My approval was for the strategy of
> >> solidarity with Syrians that Binh outlined.
> >> Until one has some sort of grounded commitment to the comrades fighting
> >> in a particular location, what credibility do we have to to do advocacy
> >> on anyone's behalf there (especially if it's a dictator)? I've asked
> >> Yoshie about a half-dozen times who the forces are which she would have
> >> us give solidarity to, in Libya or Syria or anywhere these complicated
> >> situations arise... and am still awaiting an answer. At least Gilbert
> >> Achcar could answer that, and was in close touch so knew how to
> >> articulate the international standpoint of the people he supported.
> >> Until then, the trap Yoshie has fallen into is quite simple, and is
> >> consistent with Stalin's approach to international politics: wherever
> >> the West puts a +, she must put a - ... and political thought ends
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> Yoshie Furuhashi
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*1.* Contribute to Journal Special on 'New Worker
*2. Blog:* http://www.unionbook.org/profile/peterwaterman
*3. EBook 2011, 'Under, Against, Beyond - Essays 1980s-
1990s* s <http://www.into-ebooks.com/book/under-against-beyond/>
*4.* WorkingPaper *2012*: 'Emancipatory Labour
*5.* Draft EBook 2012: 'Recovering Internationalism - Essays 2000-10'
*6. *Essay 2012: 'The 2nd Coming of the World Federation of Trade
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