Stop The War protest flops: good!

January 29, 2012 at 7:22 pm (apologists and collaborators, Jim D, John Rees, Libya, Lindsey German, Middle East, stalinism, SWP, Uncategorized)

The Stop The War Coalition’s protest event outside the US embassy in London on Saturday was, it seems, a wretched affair with barely four hundred people bothering to turn out: good!

The days when Stop The War played a reasonably positive (if popular-frontist) role against the Iraq adventure, are long gone. It shamed itself  when it objectively supported Gaddafi by opposing the Western bombing that helped the rebels overthrow that deranged regime. Its main response to events in Syria has been to denounce the (non existent) possibility of Western intervention, rather than to denounce the barbaric regime of al-Assad and offer any, even verbal, support to the brave rebels.

Now, it is increasingly acting as the unpaid mouthpiece of Tehran, as Lindsey German’s craven performance on ‘Russia Today’ demonstrates:

Did I say “unpaid”? Stop The War’s main man, is of course, a bought-and-paid-for lackey of Tehran (ie: he works for the regime’s ‘Press TV’ channel).  And he doesn’t always sound all that anti-war, either:

Stop The War is now a bunch of  unreconstructed Stalinists, anti-Israel fanatics and degenerate ex-SWP’ers whose main role in life seems to be to defend the clerical-fascist regime in Tehran and its nuclear ambitions.

Not a word of support, of course, for the brave Iranian trade unionists imprisoned and persecuted by the regime.

72 Comments

  1. splinteredsunrise said,

    I notice you’ve gone very quiet about the “Islamic Republic of Libya”, Jim. I merely mention this.

  2. skidmarx said,

    How is the Start Some Wars Coalition getting on? Any mass demonisations planned?

    • sackcloth and ashes said,

      Interahamwe-loving piece of shit.

  3. Jim Denham said,

    Mr Sunrise: I am proud to have supported the rebels. The revolution has had its problems and there have been some very bad incidents (though none anywhere near as bad as what routinely occured under Gaddafi). I do not own a crystal ball and am well aware that revolutions do not come with a guarantee of sweetness and light. But the scabs who supported Gaddafi were simply on the wrong side, and can never be forgiven.

    I would have supported the Bolsheviks in 1917. As I recall that didn’t work out so well. Would I have been wrong?

    Skidiot: WTFRU on(about)?

  4. Jimmy said,

    Any chance the Gorgeous One works for MI5/6. He has the TAN and the gab. He could blend in in any Middle East country except Israel MAYBE!
    He could be working for Mossad as a double triple agent while doing his talk shows on the wireless He could be earning more than the chief of RBS.
    He is a busy man.

  5. splinteredsunrise said,

    Well Jim, the Lord loves an optimist, and it’s heartening to note that you’re very much in favour of the Muslim Brotherhood taking power in Syria. I salute your indefatigability.

  6. Jimmy said,

    Jim. I would not have supported the so called Rebels or GaddaI. Hardly maters what patsies are in power. The West will always control the oil and line the pockets of the patsies.

  7. Jim Denham said,

    Mr Sunrise: are you a socialist? Just asking.

  8. Eddie Truman (@eddietruman) said,

    Jim, in your comment above you say;
    “The revolution has had its problems and there have been some very bad incidents (though none anywhwere near as bad as what routinely occured under Gaddafi).”
    Surely the biggest problem with the revolution is that it was actually Western Imperialism using military force to enact regime change, for the direct benefit of Western corporations?

  9. Robin Carmody said,

    For all that some Western governments may have had their own agenda, there was a strong, brave and fervent anti-Gadaffi movement long before that. The idea that it was stirred up exclusively by the West and did not have deep and profound roots among the Libyan people is paranoid conspiracist nonsense, I’m afraid.

  10. splinteredsunrise said,

    Why Jim, you old curmudgeon! I thought the Alliance for War and Liberalism had given up on pretending to be socialist years ago…

  11. Jim Denham said,

    “I thought the Alliance for War and Liberalism had given up on pretending to be socialist years ago”: well, we supported the Libyan masses while people like ‘Stop the War’ scabbed on them. Who are the socialists, Mr Sunrise?

    Mr Truman: stick to what you do best: grovelling to some of the most reactionary clerical-fascist forces in the world.

    Both of you should educate yourselves:

    http://www.juancole.com/2011/08/top-ten-myths-about-the-libya-war.html

  12. splinteredsunrise said,

    I don’t see why you’re so tetchy, Jim. It’s not like I was going to bring up your support for Albanian organ traffickers.

  13. Jim Denham said,

    çfarë ?

  14. splinteredsunrise said,

    Or indeed, your Dear Leader’s musings on nuking Iran.

  15. Robin Carmody said,

    If “socialism” has become code for “theocracy and extreme conservatism” then perhaps we should let it die. Perhaps we really do need another word.

  16. splinteredsunrise said,

    It’s also a bit of a stretch to compare Islamist militias in Libya to the Bolsheviks in 1917. You might be able to grasp that, Jim, if you ever broke from Pabloite revisionism.

  17. Robin Carmody said,

    splinteredsunrise: are you actually aware that the regimes you think socialists should support unreservedly lock up trade unionists, the very people without whom there would be no socialism at all? I know a certain wing of the “left” has form on this front – I personally don’t think *any* regime, however it describes itself, which proscribes independent trade unions can be called socialist – but even so.

  18. Clive said,

    It seems to have escaped people’s attention that the Muslim Brotherhood has done rather well, so far, out of the revolution in Egypt, yet nobody is concluding that therefore the revolution in Egypt was a bad thing.

    But the *LIbyan* revolution, because the rebels had the cheek to prefer NATO intervention to their own collective slaughter, is pronounced dead on arrival.

    It also seems to have escaped people’s attention that imperialism, if you mean, for instance, US military aid, is still firmly in the saddle in Egypt even without military intervention. But again, so utterly shallow is what passes as a left these days that the presence of NATO is enough to define an entire revolutionary movement and its outcome.

    Don’t you think that this appalling, negative attitude to the LIbyan revolution on the part of much of the Western left might have some effect on the attitudes of Libyan revolutionary youth?

  19. Pinkie said,

    Hang on Splintered, leave us Pabloite Revisionists out of it. We do have standards, you know.

    • splinteredsunrise said,

      Yes, indeed. Pablo was of a much higher class than the Alliance With Likud.

  20. Pinkie said,

    Clive:

    “Don’t you think that this appalling, negative attitude to the LIbyan revolution on the part of much of the Western left might have some effect on the attitudes of Libyan revolutionary youth?”

    Actually Clive, I doubt that Libyan revolutionary youth give a flying fuck about the Western left, let alone the views of the AWL. Get some perspective. There are more revolutionary youths in cafes in any small town in Libya than the AWL has ever had as members.

  21. Clive said,

    Pinkie –

    It may well be true that Libyan revolutionary youth (or older Libyans for that matter) don’t give a flying fuck what the Western Left thinks. But if Stop the War – and you – don’t give a flying fuck what *they* think – what an utter confession of bankruptcy.

    If the observation that the AWL is small is supposed to be a revelation which would help me ‘get some perspective’… Like, duh.

    Probably, indeed, leftist ideas don’t have much influence in Libya. That when they were faced with slaughter they could look on their TVs etc and see the Western Left marching around saying it couldn’t ‘give a flying fuck’ if that happened – but NATO offered (obviously for its own reasons) to stop the massacre might go some way towards explaining this. At the very least, the attitudes of ‘the Western left’ won’t have helped.

    • Pinkie said,

      Oh no, no, no. Your point was about considering the effect of negative Western leftist attitudes to intervention upon Libyan revolutionary youth. My point is that they probably do not care, or know, what small leftist groups think, and so Western leftist attitudes are of no consequence.

      Why would they care about small demonstrations in the west opposing NATO intervention?

      There is something rather amusing about trivial groups posturing about the right attitude to take over events in which they cannot intervene, nor be able to affect in the aggressive state they live in.

      Let’s be clear, none of this has anything to do with the actuality of uprisings in North Africa or the Middle East. It has everything to do with small leftist groups proclaiming their purity and fishing for members.

      It’s not working, though, is it?

      • Pinkie said,

        Oh and Clive:

        If the observation that the AWL is small is supposed to be a revelation which would help me ‘get some perspective’… Like, duh.

        Don’t be so patronising. The AWL is of no political consequence, like most of the far left. You should care about the fact that almost nobody knows or cares what you think. And you should not pretend otherwise.

        It is not a cheap shot to point out your organisation is of no matter. It is a problem that you cannot address because being personally busy,busy,busy on ‘party work’ does make professional politicians, like you, lose perspective.

        So rather than have any serious attempt at building a socialist party we have smartarse ‘professional’ politicians happy to engage in consequence free toy battles with other ‘professional’ politicians about matters they cannot influence.

      • Clive said,

        This is actually a response to the comment below – “It is a problem that you cannot address because being personally busy,busy,busy on ‘party work’ does make professional politicians, like you, lose perspective.”

        Happily, you know nothing about me, love, but I suspect that most people who do would find this description of me a bit of a laugh.

      • Clive said,

        Actually, on reflection, there’s something here which I do think is worth taking up. You say: “You should care about the fact that almost nobody knows or cares what you [here you mean the AWL] think. And you should not pretend otherwise.”

        But what a peculiar assumption! Of course almost nobody knows or cares, and of course I care about that. This is the reason for being politically involved with a particular group: that I think it has ideas which deserve wider circulation, and that I think it’s worth devoting some of my time to trying to persuade people of them. Why else would I do it?

        And why is me arguing for what I think is right about, say, Libya, ‘posturing’ any more than you doing it? Why do you bother arguing with me and other people in these discussions? For myself, it categorically isn’t because I enjoy arguing with ‘other left groups’. I absolutely HATE doing that (I hate it even more in person than I do on writing). But sometimes I think there’s an argument worth having, even in the hope that I might convince someone. I know from experience that I occasionally do.

        Maybe that counts for absolutely nothing, and will contribute absolutely nothing to the socialist future I still think is worth fighting for.I hope it will. But I may be irrelevant. I’m not sure, though, on what basis I’m more irrelevant than you are.

  22. Jim Denham said,

    Mr Sunrise: I don’t for one moment compare the Brotherhood with the Bolsheviks – any more than I think (for instance) that a bunch of Irish Catholic nationalists like the Provos could be called socialists. But there are occasions when you have to take sides, even if it means temporarily finding yourself alongside some backward forces. That’s *not* “Pabloism” btw, but then history isn’t your strong point, is it?

    Unlike Stop The War, SWP, CP, etc, the AWL at least knew which side it was on when the Libyan masses rose up against Gaddafi.

    • skidmarx said,

      Increasingly acting as the unpaid mouthpiece of those who want to bomb Tehran.

      • skidmarx said,

        And this would be the same StWC featured here: “I therefore wondered whether some of the hostility towards StWC speakers also stemmed from the latter organisation’s[CPGB-ML] unceremonious ejection from the coalition for their veneration of former Libyan despot, Colonel Gaddafi”?
        Oh no, they were just “objectively” pro-Gadaffi because they weren’t mad for bombing. But is Jim Denham “objectively” pro-imperialist when he takes every opportunity to attack the anti-war movement? I think we should look for an “objective” observer to decide on that one.

  23. Juan said,

    I’m with Jim on this one.

    The situation on Libya required you to take sides. There was a revolutionary process and a popular movement against a brutal dictatorship that asked for international support. Had they not got it, they would’ve been pummeled. The revolution would’ve failed and the process of democratization in the Arab world would have had a big setback.

    There’re many elements in this revolutionary process that I don’t like. The popular support enjoyed by the Islamic right is something that worries me. Nonetheless, the door towards more open societies not controlled by cleptocrats is open.

    There’s also some hints that the Islamic right is in a process of transformation, with strong forces within it trying to break away from their more death-cultist elements. The model seems to be the Turkish AK Party (not my cup of tea, sure, but far better than everything else they have to offer).

    Of course, the authoritarian psychopathic wing of the Islamic right still has a lot of clout. The Arab revolution can still go badly wrong. But the possibility of a better outcome is still there. Siding with Ghaddaffi would have been like siding with the status quo… a status quo that the left has been opposing for ages.

    Trotsky said it all in 1938: http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1938/05/think.htm

  24. sackcloth and ashes said,

    @ shitstain

    You and your fellow scumbags in the Support Tyrants and War Criminals collective are not ‘anti-war’, you’re pro-despot and pro-butcher. That’s why no one will march with you, you genocidaire loving piece of filth.

  25. Andrew Coates said,

    As the only real Paboloite Revisionist in the village I got my support for the revolution *and* disclaimer about the Islamist direction in Libya in early (from Chartist magazine)

    http://tendancecoatesy.wordpress.com/2011/11/06/libya-and-the-left-2/

    On this pitiful demo I note that HOPI gives an even more damming report than Jim (whose comments I mostly endorse) plus video: http://hopoi.org/?p=1878

  26. dave said,

    “you’re very much in favour of the Muslim Brotherhood taking power in Syria”
    How would it be possible for a democratic revolution—never mind a more advanced, socialist revolution—to take place in any of the countries of the Middle East without it reflecting the political and cultural material conditioned, in part, by at least two centuries of imperialist distortion and malformation? If you are for democratic revolution in Tunisia and Egypt, where Islamist of various flavours and strengths have come to power, why not Libya and Syria, if that’s what the Libyans and Syrians want? The difference with the Iranian Islamists, of course, is that the Iranians no longer have a chance to change their minds. And as soon as that happens in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya or post-Bathist Syria, then attitudes towards them should change.

    “Oh no, they were just “objectively” pro-Gadaffi because they weren’t mad for bombing.”
    They were mad for bombing, but by Gadaffi against the Libyans. That’s what their inchoate and self-deceiving position comes to—as it comes to on Syria. “Hurry up and die, comrades, you’re using up our air.”

    “Surely the biggest problem with the revolution is that it was actually Western Imperialism using military force to enact regime change, for the direct benefit of Western corporations?”
    If it’s not a problem for them—or rather, if they considered it not as immediately a pressing a problem as defeating Gadaffi—who are we to second guess them? Their intellectual superiors?

  27. skidmarx said,

    That’s what their inchoate and self-deceiving position comes to—as it comes to on Syria. “Hurry up and die, comrades, you’re using up our air.”
    Compare the latest from an SWP blogger:
    The Syrian regime is fighting for its survival. I have no sympathy for it, and will welcome its consumption in a revolutionary overthrow… It is an open war of movement between, for the most part, the most advanced sections of the popular classes and a narrow state capitalist oligopoly which has always dealt with the surplus of political opposition by jailing it or killing it. In that struggle, inasmuch as it matters what I think, I situate myself on the side of the popular opposition.
    Do you want to try being more choate and less misleading?

  28. Jim Denham said,

    Saturday’s nasty little demo: supporters of Assad and Khamenie clash with Iranian secularists and democrats. No prizes for guessing which side Stop The War is on. Jeremy Corbyn disgraces himself.

    HOPI (‘Hands Off the People of Iran’ a campaign run by the CPGB) makes far too many concessions to Stop The War, but at least supports Iranian democrats against the regime. HOPI’s report makes extraordinary reading:

    http://hopoi.org/?p=1878

  29. SteveH said,

    This site is a paid up member of the Worlds ruling elite. It provides apologism, and ideological support for its corrupt democracy. It isn’t even contextual support. If they were not so nakedly pro mass murder of Muslims I would suspect them of being financed by some secret service to split left wing opinion. Luckily most on the left have not fallen for the open pro imperialist war mongering and servile, uncritical stance to it.

    On Libya, the correct position would have been to support the rebellion but argued against NATO intervention. A Marxist should have analysed the class forces at work and judged accordingly, this site only gave uncritical backing to the ‘rebels’, eschewing Marxist method and objectivity. That should not surprise anyone as to call this site Marxist would be a joke.

    The fact that stop the war has no support is also related to why ConDem austerity has, it is merely a sign that the ruling class are winning hands down, no wonder the Shiraz posse are happy!

    • sackcloth and ashes said,

      ‘Luckily most on the left have not fallen for the open pro imperialist war mongering and servile, uncritical stance to it’.

      How many people turned up at your demo on Saturday (the ones who weren’t opponents of the Iranian regime, that is)?

      You don’t represent the ‘left’, shit-lips. You have no right to claim to speak for it. So fuck off to Seymour’s site and whinge there, you fucking winnet.

  30. Rosie said,

    On Libya, the correct position would have been to support the rebellion but argued against NATO intervention. A Marxist should have analysed the class forces at work and judged accordingly, this site only gave uncritical backing to the ‘rebels’, eschewing Marxist method and objectivity. That should not surprise anyone as to call this site Marxist would be a joke.

    Well, SteveH -at the next rebellion against a horrible dictatorship, you can say to the rebels:-

    What’s the best way to help you?

    Rebels:- ”

    “We need weapons, and tanks, and aeroplanes attacking the horrible dictator’s army.”

    or

    “We need analysis of the class forces, using Marxist method and objectivity.”

    Hard choice, eh?

    • skidmarx said,

      We need weapons
      Certainly.
      , and tanks
      Did they get any tanks?
      and aeroplanes attacking the horrible dictator’s army.
      Or killing thousands in Sirte.

      I thought there was a word for people who say that they are socialists but essentially believe that everything can be reduced to who has the biggest gun, and that’s Maoist:

      Every Communist must grasp the truth, “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.”

      “Problems of War and Strategy” (November 6, 1938), Selected Works, Vol. II, p. 224.

      And why are you allowing that homicidal scab[Fuck off. I actually work for a living in this sector, and I’m not going to march out on the say-so of a bunch of swankers who couldn’t give a rats arse about the welfare of UCU members, not to mention the various assorted oxygen thieves who belong to the so-called ‘UCU left’.http://hurryupharry.org/2012/01/25/ucu-left-overrule-decision-to-ballot-members-on-strike-action/#comments%5D Sickbag and Fasces to peddle his lies here? Oh, I get it;because he fits right in.

      Oh and Juan:I’m still waiting for an explanation as to why <a href=this wouldn't have been Trotsky's position on Libya:

      In reality all speculative arguments of this kind and the frightening of people over future national calamities for the sake of the support of this or that imperialist bourgeoisie flow from tacit rejection of revolutionary perspective and revolutionary policy

      I actually found it by googling Trotsky and “social patriot”, because social patriots is what Trotsky would have called the AWL.

      • sackcloth and ashes said,

        ‘Or killing thousands in Sirte’

        Wow. Skidmark – the supporter of Rwanda genocide denial – has fabricated a new atrocity.

        Just how low can this scumbag go?

      • skidmarx said,

        Certainly not low enough to support the mass murder committed by the Americans in Vietnam or the firebombing of Dresden, homicidal scab. That you use the same language as Hitler when talking about those on the left ,”vermin”,”filth”, shows exactly what sort of rock you crawl out from.

  31. skidmarx said,

  32. Jim Denham said,

    Skidiot (like Stop The War and the CP, etc) needs to make up his mind:

    1/ Did he want the Libyan rebels to win?

    2/ Does he think they’d have won without NATO support?

    3/ If the answer to #2 is “yes”, provide some evidence (the rebels didn’t think so).

    4/ If the answer’s “no” then he didn’t really want the rebels to win at all, did he?

    Or does he just agree with Prof Callinicos, who with a shrug stated that: ““the sad fact is that massacres are a chronic feature of capitalism…the revolutionary left is, alas, too weak to stop them.”

    Alternatively, Skidiot could take Trotsky’s advice and Learn To Think, but that would involve him in doing something he’s yet to show the slightest sign of being capable of.

    Much the same can be said of SeveH: except that whereas Skidiot is merely an ignorant moron, MrH is sub-moronic, with added hysteria.

    • skidmarx said,

      Once again, Jimbo has no answers, and just comes back with the same old rubbish.

      1. Why doesn’t the Trotsky quote in bold apply?
      2. Why are you so happy to see that Harry’s Place troll here?

      Again the answers to his questions are yes,yes, I explained in detail on the Benghazi thread.

      • skidmarx said,

        Oh and a should have said that at least Clive did tentatively provide an answer to the first question, which was that Trotsky might have been wrong. JImbo wasn’t brave enough to do that.

  33. splinteredsunrise said,

    Then again, the AWL never had much of a problem with al-Qaeda as long as they stuck to killing Russians…

  34. Jim Denham said,

    “…the AWL never had much of a problem with al-Qaeda …”
    Evidence, please.

  35. Jim Denham said,

    Workers Liberty reports:

    http://www.workersliberty.org/swp-iran-tea-party

    At the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts conference in Liverpool on Sunday 29 January, student members of the Socialist Workers Party, Counterfire, Workers Power and Socialist Action voted against a motion opposing US sanctions or military action against Iran.

    Why would the SWP and Counterfire, two groups that dominate the leadership of the Stop the War Coalition, vote against an anti-war resolution (their own resolution, in fact)? Answer: because the conference had passed a short amendment, proposed by Liverpool Guild of Students Vice President and AWL member Bob Sutton, which said:

    “[Notes] The war waged by the tyrannical, misogynist, homophobic, anti-working class regime against Iranian student activists and trade unionists, women and LGBT people”
    “[Resolves] To make links with left-wing Iranian student organisations and Iranian trade unionist and socialist groups, and reaffirm our solidarity with them against both war and the regime led by Ahmadinejad”

    (The full motion can be read here : http://anticuts.com/2012/01/27/all-motions/)

    During the discussion the SWP members and others who spoke did not debate the issues calmly and rationally, but instead denounced Bob and others arguing for the amendment as supporters of US imperialism. Mark Bergfeld, the SWP member on NUS national executive, said that Bob’s arguments “sounded like Glenn Beck”. Beck is an ultra-conservative US talk show host, linked to the radical right-wing Tea Party movement! Astonishingly, Bergfeld also claimed that the AWL was proposing the amendment in order to hide our “real” position of supporting war and sanctions.

    Bob’s speech was crystal clear in opposing sanctions and the threat of war (as, obviously, was the amendment itself), and argued on the basis of solidarity with Iranian workers’ and students’ class struggle against the country’s theocratic/capitalist regime. You could not imagine a more different argument from the sort used by right-wingers like Beck.

    Moreover, when AWL members pointed out to SWPers that the back page of the paper we were selling at the conference included a headline about Iran “No to war and sanctions”, they repeated Bergfeld’s claim – that we are publishing anti-war propaganda in order to hide our actual, pro-war position! This is more than a little surreal.

    In any case, the point is: the SWP and their friends were so militantly opposed to any statement of solidarity with Iranian students and workers that they voted against the NCAFC adopting an anti-war position.

  36. paul fauvet said,

    “This site is a paid up member of the Worlds ruling elite”, says SteveH. You mean they actually throw money in Jim Denham’s direction? Please tell me how I can apply to become a member of this ruling elite, since I’m a bit short of cash at the moment. I must qualify, since I disagree with almost everything SteveH has ever written on this site. .

  37. dave said,

    “I situate myself on the side of the popular opposition”
    Unless they disappoint me and call for foreign help?

    “If they were not so nakedly pro mass murder of Muslims”
    But your lot were in favour of Gadaffi slaughtering loads of Muslims in Bengazi and do PR work for Assad, who is murdering Muslims as we speak. Contemporary “anti-imperialism”–as inexpertly articulated by the likes of the STWC, at least–is objectively anti-Muslim.

  38. Roger said,

    And as we can see from Egypt (which IMO has just replayed Iran 1980) removing sclerotic secularist state capitalist oligarchies and instituting bourgeois democracy is much more likely to lead to the triumph of Islamism than any form of liberalism or socialism.

    So those who like to chant ‘we are all Hezbollah’ should presumably be all in favour of revolutions that put their heroes in power.

    And shouldn’t those of us who are fully-paid up agents of imperialism be worried as hell at the prospect of our beloved Israel being completely surrounded by revolutionary states ruled by various offshoots of the Muslim Brotherhood or agents of the Mullahs in Tehran?

    The ‘anti-imperialist’ narrative just doesn’t add up at all.

  39. Steve said,

    What is there to object in the AWL amendment at the NCAFC Conference? It sounds like the ABCs of socialism to me.

    I would be genuinely interested in hearing from the SWP and their supporters some concrete reasons why they would oppose the amendment.

  40. Steve said,

    For the record I am glad Gaddaffi has been removed from power. I would have just offered him a beach villa to live out his days in. Then again he never attached my testicles to electrodes in the name of the war on terror!

    It doesn’t matter what the ‘rebels’ wanted, Marxists have a duty to analyse the class forces at work, rather than simply support whatever target the ruling world elite pick next. The ruling world elite are those that attend G20 meetings and Davos discussions, they are those leaders who find that they are above the law. Milosevic and Hussein were butchers, but they were not part of the World ruling elite. Every Israeli leader is part of the club – an historical quirk.

    Now sometimes the world ruling elite can come into combat with each other and when that happens, its murder! To quote Max.

    Socialists should not slavishly support the world ruling elite as the Shiraz posse do, this is pretty ABC if you ask me!

    Also I should have said,

    “This site is a paid up supporter of the world ruling elite” and not a member of it! Sometimes your craven war mongering makes me fall into the trap of thinking you have an atom of control over events! silly me!

    • Robin Carmody said,

      Oh, so it’s OK if Gadaffi tortured people as long as he only tortured “his own”, and not privileged white Westerners? The antithesis of internationalism, and exactly the same argument that used to be raised in defence of the Kray brothers (yes, it was).

      You openly admit that your main concern when analysing Libya is not what the actual Libyan people wanted. How callous is that? You don’t care about non-Western people – who for you are simple souls who *deserve* theocracy – any more than the rulers of the British Empire did. For you, just as for the erstwhile British imperialists, they are merely pawns in the Great Game, to be moved around as on a chessboard for the sake of your own political convenience. There’s something fundamentally *inhuman* about people like you, on both sides.

      Do you honestly believe that Milosevic had the right to kill people simply because Clinton & Blair didn’t like him, and that those he killed should have shut up in service of a greater cause (even though Clinton & Blair, and the structure they embodied, would have survived regardless of what happened in the Balkans?).

      Socialists supporting theocracy, mediaevalism and obscurantism, as you do, is at least as bad as socialists supporting the world ruling elite; at least the latter actually *allow* grime and hip-hop to exist (yes, I know, you’ll probably say that’s a bad thing, which would show that you don’t support the working class as it is – surely a condition of class-based socialist thought – just the insular monk-like drones you would like to exist).

      People like you are *why* the Right have won the last 30 years.

    • Robin Carmody said,

      And also, have you forgotten that at the height of the “war on terror” era in 2004, Gadaffi was embraced by Blair and other Western leaders, with his regime being publicly endorsed by one of the intellectual architects of NuLab (sorry I forget the name – and don’t particularly want to search)? Some “heroic anti-imperialist” there …

  41. SteveH said,

    That previous comment was SteveH!

  42. Steve said,

    SteveH – would you have opposed the amendment at the NCAFC Conference (see above) and if so on what grounds?

    I really don’t understand the objection and even more so from those who profess to be Marxists so am trying to find out if I am missing something.

  43. Jim Denham said,

    Just out of interst, SteveH (and/or JustSteve), who is this great socialist thinker Max, who you quote?

    He sounds very profound, especially his statement that “Now sometimes the world ruling elite can come into combat with each other and when that happens, its murder!”

    Where can I get hold of the complete works of Max, and educate myself to your level of Maxist understanding?

    I also like Max’s statement that “Socialists should not slavishly support the world ruling elite as the Shiraz posse do, this is pretty ABC if you ask me!”

    Max appears to have developed a new and intersting theory that “The ruling world elite are those that attend G20 meetings and Davos discussions,” rather than the boring old class analysis of Mr Karl Marx – you know: the class which is the dominant *material* force in society (and) is at the same time its dominant *intellectual* force. The class which has the means of material production at its disposal has control over the means of mental production, etc, etc (yawn).

    Max’s penetrating new analysis is that “Milosevic and Hussein were butchers, but they were not part of the World ruling elite. Every Israeli leader is part of the club,” so preumably followers of Max, like Steve, can give some sort of critical support to Milosevic and Saddam, whilst calling for the destruction of Israel.

    In Maxist analysis, is that called someting like “the anti-monopoly alliance”, by any chance? Perhaps Max’s theories are not so new after all and were once known as Stalinism.

    For myself, I think I’ll stick to boring old Karl Marx for the time being, although this new guy Max sounds quite interesting if you’ve given up on class politics.

  44. Faster Pussycat Miaow Miaow Miaow! said,

    Didn’t Max write the Communalist Manifesto?

  45. More Iran sabre-rattling? « Representing the Mambo said,

    [...] Whilst I think we need to unambiguously oppose these acts of American provocation, it is also worth remembering that we need to draw the line at supporting the Iranian theocracy (or the Syrian dictatorship for that matter). Something that large sections of what represents the ‘anti-war’ movement in Britain seem sadly to have forgotten, as this rather grim recent report of an anti-war demo in Shiraz Socialist illustrates. [...]

  46. Steve said,

    Just for clarity, I am not SteveH and I support the amendment tabled at the NCAFC Conference. I am still bewildered that anybody that calls themselves a socialist could oppose making links with workers and students in Iran and would find it problematic in criticising the regime.

    I am still unable to find a convincing (or any) argument as to why the amendment should be opposed. Maybe Max has the answer!

  47. SteveH said,

    Steve, i am responding to the attack on stop the war and not some irrelevant statement by some war mongering sect who would gladly see Iranian workers obliterated by the world ruling elite.

    On Marx, i do not treat him as some sort of deity, as Denham does. Though Denham is to Marx, what Ian Paisley is to Jesus.

    Marx analysed class based on productive relations- capitalist living on surplus value, rentiers, Merchants etc and class that live off their own Labour. However, in the actual world we need to understand the relation between politics, state and class, imperialism, uneven development etc. We need to understand power relations at this global level. Marx didn’t have a fully developed theory of this, and Marx/Engels theory of the state was often conflicting. Though at least they recognised that oppressed and weak nations stood in a similar relationship to opressed classes. It took later Marxists to develop these ideas, the Shiraz posse are not in this tradition. They have no interest in developing theory, they are merely interested in quoting chapter and verse from Marx’s work they have read in order to support their distinctly non Marxist brand of socialism.

    • Jimmy said,

      I doubt Marx will be given any thought by either side when the West and Iran set about each other. Iran will lose that is the only certainty.

    • Robin Carmody said,

      So do you think the Iranian ruling class care about the social conditions of Iranian workers, or the rights of Iranian students?

      A simple “yes” or “no” would suffice.

      If the British ruling class suddenly reverted to the “realist” / isolationist position Hitchens Minor is always calling for, you’d probably support them. That’s how “Marxist” you are.

  48. sackcloth and ashes said,

    ‘Certainly not low enough to support the mass murder committed by the Americans in Vietnam or the firebombing of Dresden, homicidal scab. That you use the same language as Hitler when talking about those on the left ,”vermin”,”filth”, shows exactly what sort of rock you crawl out from’.

    ESAD, you lying little genocide-denying piece of filth. Strasserite scum like you should be swept into the gutters where you belong.

  49. Pinkie said,

    Sorry to quote the lot, but your site does not allow nested comments beyond a certain point:

    Actually, on reflection, there’s something here which I do think is worth taking up. You say: “You should care about the fact that almost nobody knows or cares what you [here you mean the AWL] think. And you should not pretend otherwise.”

    But what a peculiar assumption! Of course almost nobody knows or cares, and of course I care about that. This is the reason for being politically involved with a particular group: that I think it has ideas which deserve wider circulation, and that I think it’s worth devoting some of my time to trying to persuade people of them. Why else would I do it?

    And why is me arguing for what I think is right about, say, Libya, ‘posturing’ any more than you doing it? Why do you bother arguing with me and other people in these discussions? For myself, it categorically isn’t because I enjoy arguing with ‘other left groups’. I absolutely HATE doing that (I hate it even more in person than I do on writing). But sometimes I think there’s an argument worth having, even in the hope that I might convince someone. I know from experience that I occasionally do.

    Maybe that counts for absolutely nothing, and will contribute absolutely nothing to the socialist future I still think is worth fighting for.I hope it will. But I may be irrelevant. I’m not sure, though, on what basis I’m more irrelevant than you are.

    Fair enough. To that all I can say is that I am just Joe Bloggs. I am not a leading member, like you Clive Bradley, of a self-declared revolutionary organisation. I have not failed to build a socialist alternative to the Labour Party, nor have I behaved in away that stops others from doing so.

    Of course you are no more irrelevant than me, but then I have never been a leading member of a revolutionary party.

    • Clive said,

      You clearly have a greater estimation of my importance than I do. It’s true, of course, that we’ve failed to ‘build an alternative'; but since that’s true of everyone on the left everywhere in the world, I’m not inclined to hold myself entirely responsible.

      And – in all seriousness – when did I ‘behave in a way that stops others from doing so’? Really, something I did in the last thirty odd years of political activity actually *prevented* someone else from building a socialist movement?

      I can see there’s a real sense in which a group to which you attribute some weight and influence might be accused of such a thing. I guess I think it’s true of the SWP and in its day the Militant (and the SLL/WRP before that, even, maybe) – that they poisoned the atmosphere, put people off socialism, wore out and disillusioned good people, etc. But that assessment is dependent, surely, on them *not* being irrelevant.

      • Pinkie said,

        Clive, thank you for being so gentile. Of course I am not blaming you personally, or your chosen group for failing to build a socialist alternative. You are, however, happy to blame the larger groups for doing so by their behaviour.

        There is something very dodgy about a group that says “no,not me, it was the big boys that did it”. I think it is something to do with being comfortable with being in a permanent minority – power, of a sort, without responsibility, I guess.

  50. Steve said,

    SteveH – the comment from the ‘warmongering sect’ was in fact an amendment to a motion to NCFAC Conference which called for support and links to workers, student and socialist organisations in Iran – what I am trying to get to the bottom of is what grounds Marxists,socialists etc. would have to oppose the amendment.

    I take it that you support the amendments?

  51. charliethechulo said,

    “Clive, thank you for being so gentile”…

    Antisemite!

  52. SteveH said,

    “So do you think the Iranian ruling class care about the social conditions of Iranian workers, or the rights of Iranian students?”

    Robin, no more and no less than the British ruling class or US ruling class. They have to care on some level in order to maintain their position as the ruling class!

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