A Manifesto for Revolutionary Emancipation

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On the Need for Vision and Principle in Progressive Politics

 

by Prof. Anthony J. Hall and Joshua Blakeney

 

The record so far of the Barack Obama presidency demonstrates that the political culture, like the political economy of the United States, is in deep trouble. The ailing superpower is becoming more and more dysfunctional by the day. The need for a dramatic alternative to the present system of two-party rule in America is becoming increasingly obvious as public realization grows concerning the disparity between the glossy imagery sold by the hucksters of Brand Obama and the actual substance of the bought-an-paid-for Obama presidency.

To us, the most attractive alternative so far to the monopoly cartel of the two-headed Republican-Democratic Party is the candidacy of Cynthia McKinney and Cindy Sheehan.

Both are legendary freedom fighters in the best sense of the term. They are presently front and center in the global freedom movement breaking out from Tahrir Square to Madison Wisconsin to Spain, Greece, Great Britain, Ecuador and Japan. But inspirational leadership is not enough. The expanding realization that Brand Obama was sold to the public through a hugely successfully, yet notoriously dishonest, advertising campaign, underlines the importance of transcending the politics of personality to achieve a politics of principle.

We need to combine forces around an agenda of policies and principles that point our governments towards advancement of the public interest and the common good over the private entitlements of the rich and their corporate extensions. We need to break the power of the out-of-control war machine currently pointing pushing humanity and all living creatures towards oblivion. Only by stopping the huge flow of public resources to the war machine can we create the necessary conditions to begin constructing a more viable and just political economy of life.

In his blog, which is published below, International Law Professor Richard Falk attempts to lay out some basic principles that he maintains must be of central importance in the political programs of progressive forces in the future. With this item we seek to contribute to the discussion initiated by Professor Falk. After reading Professor Falk’s contribution and our responses to it, please consider adding your own proposals, provisos, addenda, criticisms and the like.

Cynthia McKinney and Cindy Sheehan have teamed up in the 2012 contest to head up the U.S. executive branch

Born in 1930, Professor Falk has taught as a scholar of international law and international relations for over 40 years, most of them at Princeton University. Not only has he closely observed the course of progressive politics, but Professor Falk has attempted to apply his high-level studies to bringing about positive change in the best traditions of activist scholarship.





Currently Professor Falk is the UN’s special rapporteur with responsibility to assess the human rights situation arising from the relationship between the Israeli government and Palestinians in Gaza and the Occupied Territories on the West Bank. In this capacity Professor Falk has earned the ire of his critics for his forthright reporting. He has observed, for instance, that the Palestinian refugees corralled together in the walled enclave of Gaza are “locked within the world’s largest open-air prison, and victimized by one of the cruelest forms of belligerent occupation in the history of warfare.”i

Professor Falk has contributed to publications authored and edited by Professor David Ray Griffin, a colleague whose enormous scholarly achievements in investigating the 9/11 file the UN’s Special Rapporteur readily endorses. As Falk sees it, Griffin has exposed a web of official deceit and cover up that speaks of “a profound crisis of political legitimacy for the most powerful sovereign state in the history of the world”ii. UN Watch, whose chief mouthpiece is Hillel Neuer, has organized a smear campaign directed against Professor Falk for his commitment to candor and truth in public discourse. UN Watch is closely affiliated with the Zionist-directed American Jewish Committee founded in 1906.

Professor Falk’s blog is at richardfalk.wordpress.com

Here is the Professor Falk’s proposal for a program of progressive politics followed by three You Tubes recording our recent discussion with this official with one of the most sensitive jobs in the United Nations. Then comes our own responses to Professor accompanied by related You Tubes.


Professor Richard Falk is a well known jurist who puts his scholarly expertise in the service of defending human rights. At age 82 he is going strong as an attentive teacher, prolific author and controversial UN official. He is presently the UN's Special Rapporteur with the responsibility to document violations of human rights in Israel-Palestine.

Toward a Manifesto for Revolutionary Emancipation: A Few Notes on WHAT IS LEFT

 

by Professor Richard Falk


JUNE 19, 2011

WHAT IS LEFT in two senses:

– what remains of the historic left, conceived more universally as emancipatory politics independent of place and cultural nexus; that is, not

just Marxism, and its progeny, but all forms of resistance to oppression, including by indigenous peoples or in response to religious convictions;

the definitional challenge associated with defining ‘the left’ under contemporary conditions; the position taken here is that the left is somewhat obsolete if conceived in Eurocentric terms as opposition to the right, and needs to be conceived in relation to visions and projects of emancipation and through the aperture of historic struggles.

Toward a Manifesto for Revolutionary Emancipation:

the need for a radical depiction of transformative politics that takes full account of the historical particularity of present world conditions;

the importance of repudiating and transcending the anti-utopian ethos of prevailing political perspectives on change and reform;

the potentiality of generalizing a politics that seeks a just and sustainable future for all living beings on the planet;

the engagement with a conversational approach to political advocacy, and a corresponding rejection of all forms of dogmatic thinking.


The ‘left’ agenda of the early 21st century:

– support for the Palestinian Solidarity Movement, including its BDS campaign as both a creative form of resistance to oppressive circumstances, not just territorial occupation, but also to the struggle to overcome the enforced refugee and displacement status that has afflicted millions of Palestinians for more than six decades and a vision of justice and reconciliation;

struggle against global capitalism , especially in its neoliberal globalizing phase of super-financialization, as fundamentally unjust and unsustainable;

support for movement from below to push for adjustments to the challenges of climate change; the emissions of greenhouse gasses must be drastically reduced as an urgent priority; waiting until the harm is sufficiently tangible to produce effective governmental responses will be waiting too long, and involves the neglect of justice to future generations and indifferent to the present sufferings of sub-Saharan Africa, islands and coastal areas subject to flooding.


The leading forces for and against emancipatory politics:

FOR: the declining effectiveness of hard power politics either in its governmental or resistance forms; militarism is failing, although the political elites of the world, led by the United States, seem oblivious to this decisive historical trend; confirmations include the revolutionary potential of the Arab Spring, as well as the outcome of the Vietnam War , the Iraq War , and the still persisting Afghanistan War ; it is not that military power has become irrelevant, but that it rarely in this historical period determines the political outcome ; the great series of struggles in the last 60 years against colonialism ended with victory by the militarily weaker side, or by the side, as in India, that did not contest the imperial presence by violent forms of resistance; in contrast, hard power warfare and rulership were effective in earlier historical eras, and throughout the world;

AGAINST: the spreading of materialist consumerism as the new opiate of the people that hides the destructive and alienating dimensions of late modernity, and shields capitalist behavior from transformative critique; economic globalization as exhibited through franchise capitalism is the most widely endorsed regressive ideology operative in the world today, and is characteristic in different formats of the two leading exponents of the capitalist path: the United States and China . The absence of a counter-ideology of wide applicability after the Soviet collapse combined with discrediting a socialist ethos as alternative foundation for economic and political activity and organization has contributed to a widespread mood of resignation (‘there are no alternatives’). Replacing despair with hope is indispensable if new

globally attractive forms of emancipatory politics are to emerge and evolve.

 


 

This controversial poster has been used on many campuses to illustrate the underlying message of Israeli Apartheid Week. Some, such as journalist Jonathan Kay, have argued that this image constitutes anti-Semitic propaganda.

Comments on Legitimacy Wars as the encompassing form of struggle:

  • – an overriding recognition of the historical ascendancy of soft power;

tactical and strategic commitments to nonviolence, although not unconditionally;

crucial emphasis on gaining the high moral ground to widen popular appeal,

and use of law as an instrument to mobilize support, especially international law (‘lawfare’ as an approved modality of struggle);

use of international arenas, whether regional or global, local or national, to wage symbolic struggles on behalf of legitimate claims, with a special stress on the symbolic significance of gaining support in the United Nations ;

understanding that most struggles for legitimate goals are non-territorial in relation to the symbolic and soft power battlefields that give potency to public opinion, to exemplary leadership (e.g Gandhi, Nelson Mandela ); to tactics such as boycott, divestment, and sanctions, and to the certification of the moral and legal authority of grievances and claims (e.g. the Goldstone Report );

patience and perseverance as cardinal political virtues, along with the realization that legitimacy wars can be lost as well as won, with outcomes contingent on many contextual factors (e.g. self-determination for Tibetans, Chechens; indigenous peoples);

a vision of the goal that includes reconciliation, accountability, and forgiveness, with the realization that there will be tensions and contradictions present in clearing the path forward, away from conflict, toward sustainable and just peace.


These notes are meant as tentative and conversational expressions of an emergent political point of view, and will be revised in response to commentary by others. Obviously, also, there is no pretension on my part of comprehensiveness, or else many other issues would have been addressed: struggles against various types of patriarchy; the need to renounce nuclear weaponry, and work toward a phased process of nuclear disarmament, as well as other aspects of demilitarization; extending rights of self-determination to indigenous peoples variously situated; and establishing institutional arrangements giving opportunities for popular and direct representation of the peoples of the world (e.g. a UN Parliament of Peoples); building in all social spaces substantive democracy based on the equality of persons, reverence for the natural environment, and celebration of diverse spiritual and religious traditions. A cosmopolitan ethos that affirms love of self and others, tradition and otherness, and the familiar and the exotic.

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The Left, Progressive Politics, and the Fourth World: A Response to Richard Falk’s Call For A Manifesto of Revolutionary Emancipation

by Anthony J. Hall
Professor of Globalization Studies
University of Lethbridge
Alberta Canada

Thank you Professor Falk for this very thoughtful and significant commentary on what I would dub a Fourth World agenda of global transformation. As I outline in The American Empire and the Fourth World as well as in Earth into Property: Colonization, Decolonization, and Capitalism, the historic resistance of Indigenous peoples to imperial globalization since 1492 forms a core trajectory of progressive politics that can inform and animate the liberation struggles of most oppressed groups, including women, the unemployed, wage laborers and green environmentalists.

Following from Sartre’s masterful introduction to Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth, I take Indigenous peoples to mean the three-quarters of the world’s peoples on the receiving end of imperial globalization as initiated by the overseas exploits of imperial Portugal, Spain, France, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Russia and Belgium. The vacuum created by the demise of European empires after 1945, including eventually the demise of the Soviet empire, was filled in large measure by the US-based national security state and its attending military-industrial complex including the media conglomerates.

The imperial orientation of the United States, as guided increasingly by the Washington-Tel-Aviv axis, became especially pronounced after the fall of the Berlin Wall. This post- Cold War trajectory of imperial globalization began with the exercise of soft but nevertheless coercive power at the World Trade Organization; it evolved into the 9/11 Wars after the false flag events of September11, 2001. Those who emphasize the move towards the ecological globalization of the Fourth World must oppose the armed aggressions, invasions of civil liberties and propping up of corrupt oligarchies, all facilitated by the 9/11 Wars.

Progressive activists must work especially hard to expose the frauds, Black Operations, and psychological warfare integral to the manufacturing of political consent for the continuing resource and Lebensraum grabs from Indigenous peoples being done in the name of the Global War on Terror. The Obama regime is extending this GWOT under a variety of new nomenclatures. Because many of the thick webs of organized crime attending the GWOT are centered on the Executive branch of the US government, special efforts must be directed to bringing this rogue agency within the constraints of the rule of law. Progressives globally must extend special efforts efforts to assisting progressive individuals and groups seeking justice within the rogue superpower.

Because of the corrosive role of the media conglomerates and the controlled opposition embedded in the so-called alternative media, we must place a high emphasis on protecting and expanding the openness of the Internet and the ideal of web neutrality so as not to disadvantage voices of dissent.

Those who are attentive will appreciate what the catastrophe at Fukushima is teaching us. This episode illustrates, for instance, the thick web of connections between the war machine and the nuclear energy industry through agencies like GE, Westinghouse, Bechtel and Toshiba. The movement for nuclear disarmament must extend, therefore, to ending the nuclear energy industry.

In the place of infrastructures that centralize the generation of electricity we must develop decentralized systems for the transformation of energy into media of power conducive to the generation of human wellbeing. We must endeavour to extend the requirements of ecological equilibrium between human beings to more harmonious interactions with our plant and animal relatives in a sustainable web of life.

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On June 6, 2011 Professor Hall discussed the historical background and the economic context of the sacred myth of 9/11 with “Indymedia on Air’s” Chris Burnett. Burnett’s very popular show is on KPFK, the Los Angeles-based station of the Pacifica Radio network. Pacifica has been the scene of much contestation on the subject of 9/11 and the role of so-called “left gatekeepers.” A new round of contestation erupted recently when listeners complained about the uncritical approach of host Sonali Kohaltkar in her interview on June 8 with Jonathan Kay, author of the Among the Truthers. Following the lead of operative Michael Shermer, Kay’s right-wing encouragement to Islamophobia smears all those who question the official justifications for the 9/11 Wars as carriers of a contagious mental illness.

Second Response From Professor Anthony J. Hall:

Toussaint L'Overture is the founding father of Haiti, the second republic in the Americas. Like Tecumseh, he was martyred in his efforts to free his people. He is an exemplary freedom fighter who was bitterly opposed by the counter-revolutionaries Thomas Jefferson and Napoleon.

Choosing Exemplary Figures from History to Inspire Our Freedom Movement

Putting so much emphasis on Wilberforce in the movement to bring slavery to an end somewhat diverts attention from the actions mounted by slaves to free themselves. The organized mobilization of several hundred thousand slaves to transform the French sugar colony of San Domingo into the republic of Haiti is one of the most inspirational stories to emerge from the saga of the French Revolution.

As C.L.R. James long ago announced, Toussaint L’Overture’s leadership of this liberation movement gives the forces of enlightened progress one of their most instructive examples of courage and intelligence in the face of repression. Napoleon and Thomas Jefferson led the counterrevolutionary efforts to reimpose the shackles of slavery on those who had broken free from the vile institution to claim the status of persons, of citizens.

I often link the liberation struggles of Toussaint to those of Tecumseh, the leader of the pan-Indian Confederacy in the North American interior that mounted in the War of 1812 the most serious challenge ever to the transcontinental expansion of the nascent US empire.

 

Tecumseh, the strategist sage and law-giver is a founder of Canada. He inspired and led one of the most important resistance movements ever faced in the expansionary career of the U.S. empire of possessive individualism.

In the movement to restore principle,vision and traction to the progress of progressive forces we need to draw examples from history to help point the way in the quest to move from the darkness of military, political ,commercial and environment oppression to the light of liberation for both people and peoples. Tecumseh and Toussaint emerged from the ranks of slaves and dispossessed Indigenous peoples to demand places at international negotiating tables for the dark-skinned wretched of the earth. Joined by representatives of the USA and subsequently Japan, this colonial club carved up the world in the imperial transformation of earth into property.

The membership of the empire builders’ club would find, with some revisions, extensions in the membership of, for instance, the UN Security Council, NATO, the G8, and the International Monetary Fund. In so many ways history has shown the institutions of slavery and empire to be incredibly resilient.

We still have not gone very far in affording a fair share of power and wealth to the constituencies that Toussant and Tecumseh tried to represent. Both men died young, martyred like Che Guevara and Patrice Lumumba in the struggle to help humanity escape the tryanny of capital’s empire.


An Abbreviated Version of Joshua Blakeney’s Response to Professor Richard Falk’s Article

 

Reestablishing A Paleo-Marxist Critique of Capitalism and Imperialism


by Joshua Blakeney
Graduate Student
University of Lethbridge
Overcoming Postmodernism
It is important for those of us genuinely aspiring to improve the world that we recognize the need for an absolutist “counter-ideology” which can act as a tenable and attractive alternative to the ideology of possessive individualism coercively forced upon the planet by the bought-and-paid-for ‘intellectual’ apologists for global capitalism. There needs to be a recognition that authentic Marxism has been overwhelmingly a positive force for humanity and that a Marxist understanding of capitalism should inform any alternative ideology.

It must be acknowledged that past Communist and socialistic governments, belying the stereotype of being callous self-interested elitists, invariably took risks to side with the underdog. Contrastingly the global bourgeoisie ensconced in countries like Britain, the United States, Canada, South Africa, Israel and Australia have consistently buttressed the most reactionary, proto-fascist regimes imaginable on the agreement that such regimes kill communists, trade unionists and anyone who aspires to progress society beyond a class-based stratified economic system. When reading Donald Woods’ exceptional and courageous (he had to flee South Africa to publish it) biography of Steve Biko I came across the following testimony by Nelson Mandela during the famous Rivonia Trial of 1964:

“[F]or many decades communists were the only political group in South Africa who were prepared to treat Africans as human beings and their equals; who were prepared to eat with us, talk with us, live with us and work with us. They were the only political group which was prepared to work with Africans for the attainment of political rights and a stake in society. Because of this, there are many Africans who, today, tend to equate freedom with communism.”

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One key trait of the pre-1968 left was that it, at least to some extent, knew where it was heading, namely towards the establishment of a world based on socialist-Marxian principles (defined primarily as workers’ control of production) and internationalism. What socialism would or would not entail, and the means by which it would be achieved (through armed struggle, through the parliamentary system, etc) was disputed. But there was at least some overarching consensus regarding what was the correct palliative for society’s capitalist-inflicted sicknesses.

Each faction of the left (anarchist, Trotskyists, orthodox Marxists etc) harnessed to varying degrees an economistic analysis of capitalism. Most on the left concurred that the ending of capitalism, coupled with the nationalization of the commanding heights of the economy, were necessary conditions for the resolution of cultural, psychological, legal, political and family-related problems as such problems were direct outgrowths of a capitalist mode of production.

Post-1968 the left began a fatal shift away from the science of Marxism towards the complex of theories, methodologies, attitudes and assumptions which are referred to under the rubric of “postmodernism.” [Although some academics dispute terminology and distinguish between post-structuralism (aka anti-foundationalism) – which refers to particular sets of philosophies and theories – and the wider sets of trends known as “postmodernism” or “postmodernity” I will not split hairs for the purpose of this concise piece and will use postmodernism to denote all of the above.]

There are quite stark limitations to ethnic and gendered approaches to emancipation. Ending class rule should be a priority.

From Left-Anti-Communists to Left-Islamophobes:
Careerist ‘Leftists’ who Refuse to Bite the Hand that Feeds Them

Rather than seeking to diagnose the array of problems with Soviet-style communism (such as the lack of incentives for managers, lack of incentive for technological innovators, inefficient usage of resources and the lack of incentives to fill quotas) and critiquing and learning from those mistakes (whilst also commending the remarkable achievements of communist governments), post-1968 leftists abandoned the quest for economic democracy altogether.

Post-1968 the slew of born-again left anti-Communists, the forerunners of the post-9/11 left-Islamophobes, begun (misguidedly) to promote emancipation via ethnic, gendered, race, cultural and religious vehicles metamorphosing into what Michael Parenti calls ‘ABC theorists’ [Anything But Class theorists]. Many leftists rejected the end goal of establishing of workers’ control of production in favour of encouraging (sometimes with CIA backing) postmodern ethnic nationalist projects.

Whenever the Soviet Union or Cuba, for example, intervened to assist the oppressed in their legitimate emancipation struggles, such as in Angola, this would often be critiqued on a par with the imperialism of the bourgeoisie. The fact that typically the Soviet Union backed the underdog and the capitalists backed the most reactionary and militarized elements in a given society (e.g. in Chile, in Nicaragua, in pre-1959 Cuba, Southern Africa) was disregarded by these left-McCarthyists.

While Marxists were being ostracized by many on the left, millionaire capitalist restorationists such as Vaclav Havel were held up as progressives. Left-anti-Communists disregarded the fact that such individuals oppressed their people, privatized everything they and their corrupt friends could get their hands on and criminalized dissent once in power (Havel actually suspended parliament and enshrined a law proscribing “class hatred”).

The C-word became taboo among most left-anti-Communists who cashed in on lucrative grants from capitalist philanthropic organizations (e.g. Ford Foundation) to conduct power-serving studies emphasizing ethnicity, gender and culture (divorced from economic analyses) in nations such as Nicaragua and Congo where workers had previously been seeking to transcend ethnic and cultural parochialism and build a society based on universal socialist principles. In 1986 sociologist Stanley Aronowitz opined “When I hear the word ‘class’ I just yawn.”

Ronald Aronson in his After Marxism, disregarding statistics indicating increased stratification in society, declared that classes were “less polarized” rendering Marxism obsolete. Others simply argued that because Marx wrote what he wrote many years ago that somehow this rendered his analyses devoid of any contemporary application (which makes one wonder if such people no longer believe in gravity since Isaac Newton wrote Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica over three centuries ago). Sokal and Bricmont write in their Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals Abuse of Science:

For most of the past two centuries, the left has been indentified with science and against obscurantism, believing that rational thought and the fearless analysis of objective reality (both natural and social) are incisive tools for combating the mystifications promoted by the powerful – not to mention being desirable human ends in their own right. And yet, over the past two decades, a large number of “progressive” or “leftist” academic humanities and social scientists…have turned away from this Enlightenment legacy and…have embraced one or another versions of epistemic relativism.

By the 1990s the regressive postmodern current had marginalized Marxian (economistic) critiques of capitalism paving the way for capitalist restoration in communist countries that had made several strides for humanity with the abolition of most private property, the nationalization of resources and in health and education. Under the guise of “fighting dogmatism right and left” many academics criticized an easy target, communism, whilst refusing to bite the hand that fed them.

Zionism in The Era of Ethnic Romanticism and Excessive Moral,
Epistemic and Cognitive Relativism

The above discussion leads nicely into a consideration of the Palestine Question. With relativist ethnic-analyses being the paradigm du jour arguing that Zionist romantic nationalism is unjustified because it is inherently exceptionalist and because it feeds racism is a bitter pill to swallow for many postmodern academics.

Just as thousands of left-anti-communists were manufactured with ease by capitalist knowledge producing institutions during the Cold War so left-Zionists and their counterparts left-Islamophobes have proliferated since the events of 9/11 (events which Likudniks are heavily implicated in). With the ignominious post-1990s decline of the American Empire we’ve seen the “globalization of Zionist power”, to quote James Petras. Critically analyzing the different factions that constitute the bourgeoisie has become increasingly difficult and politically incorrect due to the reality that a large percentage of the oppressing class consists of those who can play both the “oppressed minority” card and “victim of genocide” card whilst concurrently meting out genocide and oppression in the Middle East.

Israeli settler colonialism has, unlike South Africa’s version of it, been able to survive the post-Cold War reordering of world power because: 1) A large portion of the world’s rich are blind supporters of Israel (Israel acts as a safe haven for numerous fraudsters and gangsters). Sociologist James Petras writes of the locus of power he calls the Zionist Power Configuration: “Jews in North America, South America and Europe are disproportionately in the highest paid positions with the highest proportion in the exclusive, prestigious private universities, with disproportionate influence in finance and the media.

It is clear that “anti-Semitism” is a very marginal global issue and, in point of fact, that Jews are the most influential ethnic group.” 2) The manufactured events of 9/11 made Israel’s enemies the perceived enemies of Western governments resulting in a perceived convergence of interests between Israel and many Anglo-American political elites. Perhaps pro-apartheid Afrikaners should have conducted false-flag terrorism in Western countries and blamed in on black Africans to allow their political sponsors in the United States and Europe to justify continued support for their racist regime?

We must take a similar attitude towards Zionism that the prolific writer and philosopher Lenin took as he and his comrades attempted to unite the 192 nationalities that the Russian monarchy had been cynically pitting against each other prior to 1917. Writing of the relationship between Marxism and Nationalism Lenin wrote:

Marxism cannot be reconciled with nationalism, be it even of the ‘most just,’ ‘purest,’ most refined and civilized brand. In place of all forms of nationalism Marxism advances internationalism, the amalgamation of all nations in the higher unity…The principle of nationality is historically inevitable in bourgeois society and, taking this society into due account, the Marxist fully recognizes the historical legitimacy of national movements. But to prevent this recognition from becoming an apologia of nationalism, it must be strictly limited to what is progressive in such movements, in order that this recognition may not lead to bourgeois ideology obscuring proletarian consciousness…Combat all national oppression? Yes, of course! Fight for any kind of national development, for ‘national culture’ in general? — Of course not.

Lenin was contemptuous towards Jewish nationalism:

The Jews of Galicia and Russia are not a nation; unfortunately (through no fault of their own but through that of the Purishkeviches (they are still a caste here…[It is] only Jewish reactionary philistines, who want to turn back the wheel of history, and make it proceed, not from the conditions prevailing in Russia and Galicia to those prevailing in Paris and New York, but in the reverse direction – only they can clamor against ‘assimilation.’

Just as leftists ought to have opposed German ethnic nationalism and Afrikaner ethnic nationalism in past epochs so genuine leftists must resist Jewish ethnic nationalism whilst promoting universalist approaches to emancipation today.

The Cure Should Not Be Worse than The Disease

One principle for all revolutionary struggle against capitalism is that the cure should not be worse than the disease. One reason the postmodern holocausts in Iraq, Rwanda, Yugoslavia, currently in Libya and soon Syria, have arisen is due to a latent nihilistic attitude that “anything is better than the status quo.” When one overcomes postmodern anti-progressivism and establishes a continuum for progress one then recognizes that most postmodern, ethnic-nationalist revolts actually regress the standards of living for the vast majority of people. Iraq, for example, was no bed of roses under Saddam Hussein, but it is worse now it has been broken down along sectarian lines. In Saddam’s Iraq people were Iraqi’s first and Shia or Sunni second. Now the situation is the obverse.

Cuba contrastingly was worse before the Cuban revolution with infant-mortality rates diminishing and life-expectancy elongating post-1959. The cure was better than the disease in the case of the Chinese Revolution too. The Chinese Communist Party is responsible for the greatest elevation of human beings out of poverty and privation in history. Hundreds of millions of human beings were liberated from the semi-feudal (dare I say backward?) society which existed before a vanguard of communist revolutionaries mobilized the working class of that region. Mao Zedong and his comrades denounced subjectivism and encouraged a universal language, Mandarin, to allow the different Chinese nations to overcome their differences and build a better future for their children. Many Tibetans, although not all, benefitted from the ousting of the slave-owning, later-CIA sponsored tyrant, the Dalai Lama.

Needless to say the Likudnik faction who orchestrated the ‘war on terror’ and who aspire to balkanize the Middle East benefit greatly from the fashionable celebration of ethnic nationalism contemporarily. Universalist Arab-nationalism was always the biggest threat to the imperialist interventionists in the Middle East. A weak, atomized Middle East will allow Israeli regional hegemony to prevail and civil war to ensue. If Arabs are fighting Arabs then they wont be able to resist Israeli colonialism. The Likudnik ‘Final Solution’ to the Palestine Question will be easily implemented once all the Arab strongmen are finally ousted and the Middle East is carved up like a sharwama into ethnic statelets based on the millet system of the Ottoman Empire.

Towards a Reestablishment of a Paleo-Marxist Critique of Capitalism, Imperialism, and Its Outgrowths Coupled with a Revival of Working Class Consciousness

I propose that leftists of conscience return to a Paleo-Marxist critique of capitalism. One reason the international capitalist class have been so audacious and unscrupulous in waging the 9/11 wars has been because they have nothing to fear. With so many leftists jumping on the Islamophobic bandwagon – which is of course predicated on the official conspiracy theory of 9/11 – there is no credible opposition to the ruling class’s exploitative agenda. One can imagine, for example, former Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista getting word in Havana of the countless victories of the revolutionaries in the Sierra Maestra – at the time when Cuba was faced with comparable lawlessness and impunity to that we bear witness to today – and feeling intimidated, grieved and fearful.

Thanks to the disempowerment engendered by the well-funded postmodern genocidaires in Western academia and due to the success of the war on communism during the Cold War there is little threat posed to our exploiters. Whilst international law does indeed contain many of the concepts – such as a belief in absolute truth, universalism as well as an emphasis on accountability and anti-authoritarianism, – that postmodern relativism destroyed, attempts to enforce international humanitarian law must be accompanied by attempts to cease the legalized theft of the capitalist class. We must not be content with rules for managing imperialist wars; we must end the economic system that begets imperialist wars.

We must reestablish a Paleo-Marxian agenda; critique of capitalism that emphasizes the notion that the economic mode of production in a given society determines the legal systems, culture, academia, family structures present in that society. There is no legitimacy in despoiling the world’s resources and appropriating the fruits of workers’ labour. Let the ‘legitimacy war’ begin by questioning the legitimacy of the economic structure of our society.

We should not romanticize culture, ethnicity and religion which are merely products of a given economic mode of production. Insofar as these metaphysical constructs unify human beings and contribute to the victories we seek let us refrain from excessive criticism of them. When such constructs blind and intoxicate our fellow workers encouraging them to consent to oppression (e.g. religious obscurantism blinding a comrade into being duped into serving as a patsy for imperialist false-flag terrorism) let us not shy away from demystifying such pernicious metaphysical constructs. Call us Eurocentric if you will; the fact that Marx, Engels, Lenin, Trotsky, Gramsci and other great philosophical humanists came from Europe doesn’t, by definition, falsify their tonics for our oppression. It is axiomatic that without a clearly defined end goal we cannot know where we are heading. It will be impossible to alter the superstructure (legal system, culture, political realm) unless we establish a more rational economic mode of production. Thus our primary goal should be a new economic order.

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