Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

August 24, 2011

The Libyan Revolution and the Opium of the Intellectuals

Filed under: Libya — louisproyect @ 12:54 pm

(Got this on my Columbia email out of the blue and damned glad that I did. Garcia was a physicist at Livermore Labs who has debunked 9/11 on Counterpunch and written as well about other matters there requiring a knowledge of science. After reading this article, you will understand why he didn’t bother submitting it to Counterpunch. Or maybe he did and it went into the vertical file.)

The Libyan Revolution and the Opium of the Intellectuals

Manuel Garcia, Jr.
22 August 2011

“You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.” — Malcolm X

The Libyan revolution is victorious. The Libyan people are having their days of jubilation. Yet, the hard work and conflicts of the “post war” period are starting even now. No doubt, there will be some negative events and rough spots in Libyan society as it arranges itself in its “Second Republic.” And, no doubt there will be some friction with some foreign constituencies and their public voices (i.e., the blabocrats). I think Juan Cole summarizes this point in Libyan history (and Libya’s relations with Europe and the U.S.) very well in his column of August 22, cited below. I am happy for Libya today; this was what I hoped for when I wrote my own articles (in February and March of 2011, but I couldn’t get them accepted for internet publication till April and May, and then only grudgingly).

Like any other person, I am sometimes right and often wrong in my estimations of situations, especially political situations. This time I was right. I rarely make such a statement (it can rub the wrong way, to no advantage), but I choose to make it in this case because I received a lot of guff (illogical and/or insulting) over of my estimation about the Libyan situation, in early 2011. Some “left wing” “activists” even booted me out of their (virtual) networks, for blasphemy basically.

The experience forced me to think more carefully about my political writing: was it doing anybody any good?, why bother? I’ve learned what to say — and what not to say — in order for my articles to have a good chance of being published: every publisher promotes a “party line.” This is why there are 126 million blogs on the internet, and even in science thousands of publications in any single field of research. Too many simple-minded leftists simply don’t think, they parrot received orthodoxy, or worse yet babble conspiracy fantasies. There seems to be very little taste or courage for actual discussion and debate. I always tried to think out my written arguments, present them as clearly as possible (and with some effort to engage, even entertain), and to be open to discussion and criticism by authors writing articles in response, or readers conveying e-mail comments. But, I find this is a lot of wasted effort, when faced with omniscient or closed-minded audiences.

So, I have retreated to a more relaxed life of just not writing. I already know what I think, I don’t need to write to find that out. And I don’t really feel like fitting in tightly into a party line, just to be published in the blabocracy. Those commentators who are capable of looking back on past “bad guesses” of theirs, and being forthright about their misjudgments, win my respect and faith in their future judgements, because they show themselves capable of learning (of thinking) — of adjusting their ideas to fit new facts. I am not swayed by those who hold a fixed ideology, which they try to bend reality around, but by those of unswerving principles, which motivate their efforts to inform and improve society, and who acknowledge facts instead of combatting them.

As I mentioned in my articles on Libya, the first priority was gaining the political freedom of the Libyan people, and preventing them from being massacred by their vengeful dictator. The blunt and inelegant instrument of a NATO intervention was the only means at hand capable of preventing a detestable outcome; capable of saving the lives of people who did not deserve to die. Whether or not the European and American governments, and corporations, were gaining economic and political advantages (the “humanitarian intervention” complex of modern left orthodoxy, for example this article only recently, http://www.counterpunch.org/bricmont08162011.html) were unimportant considerations in comparison. Now that Libya is entering its liberated postwar period of political reconstruction, these consideration can be addressed, and by those who would be most affected by them, the Libyans themselves. It is so sad that so many leftists are so wrapped up in their politicized heads that they could obsess about “saving Libya from its Western saviors” to the complete disregard of the life-and-death struggle for political freedom by the Libyan people, the defeat of dictatorship. These political theorists must be relieved that the Syrian government has been untrammeled by Western interference in its rejection of its people’s rejection.

What I learned from all my readings of Carl G. Jung was that no configuration of ideas, however well thought out, however politically correct or historically necessary, should ever be taken as an abstraction that overrides the living and breathing reality of any individual. I and the other are one in humanity, I want for him (or her) what I would want were I in his place. After these basics are met, then we can refine our preferences for each other’s politics and national societies. When one is a member of the comfortable classes in the developed nations, basically a spoiled brat in comparison to the world average, it can be easy to forget this most basic connection — and obligation — to the rest of humanity. I am a member of a comfortable class in the United States, not one of the highly comfortable classes, but better than most, and I know it. I have always known it, and I realized it first most vividly when, as a child of 8, I was confronted by poverty in Cuba during the last year of the Batista regime. I do not pretend to be “a man of the people,” but I never forget that “the people” exist, that many work excruciatingly hard for meager rewards, and too many are vulnerable to cruel forces and circumstances.

During this quiet time in my amateur writing career, I have been reading books by very keen political-philosophical and artistic-literary intellectuals. I have found Raymond Aron, a French liberal anti-communist intellectual, and J. P. Sartre’s sharpest critic, to be very educational about concepts such as “the left,” “the proletariate,” “revolt,” and “the revolution.” Aron was one of the great thinkers of the postwar (post WW2) European scene, he was a social democrat, that is to say in favor of the social programs that flourished in postwar Europe (both east and west) from after 1945 till the 1980s, when they began to decline (Thatcherism); and against the obviously undemocratic regimes of eastern Europe and their imperial overseer, the USSR; this opposition to the lack of popular political freedom being labelled “anti-communism” at that time. Aron was a prolific writer and journalist, two works I am finding rich in political-sociological insights are “Politics and History” (a 1978 collection of essays) and his famous 1955 polemic “The Opium of the Intellectuals.” I quoted from this latter book in my last and best article on Libya. Aron’s place in the history of political thought is nicely described in Tony Judt’s majestic book “Postwar,” a history of Europe (and the idea of Europe) from 1945 to essentially the end of the 20th century. After reading Judt’s history (including the stories of the fall of communism in eastern Europe) it is much easier to see why Aron, a French Jew who was a young socialist and sociology scholar in Germany in the 1930s, thought as he did about politics.

Because Aron was critical of the western European intellectuals who claimed a preference for Moscow over “Atlanticism” (American involvement in Europe), critical of the lack of political freedom in the communist bloc (“behind the iron curtain”), and critical of destructive (unstructured, undirected revolts) “revolutionary” mass movements (e.g., France 1968), he was often cast as a “conservative,” which he was not. He had seen undisciplined destructive mass movements spinning out of control in Germany in the 1930s, and he feared for any possible repetition of the prior catastrophe after 1945, such as in 1968. He advocated real (versus show) and inclusive (versus racist or oligarchic) parliamentary democratic political structures that allowed its society to progress steadily through its desired (consensus) evolution: “In politics, the choice is never between good and evil, but between the preferable and the detestable.”

Aron’s work, translated to English (perhaps by him as he was a polyglot), is being reprinted by the press of Rutgers University (the university of the state of New Jersey). Unfortunately, from my perspective, the Aron publications are being fronted by right-wing editors and intellectuals, who are drawn to Aron’s erudite high academic style of exposition, and his withering logical positivist criticisms of “communism” (Stalinism and 1950s Eastern Bloc communism) and the strident communisant (“fellow traveller”) stance of French anti-Atlanticists, whose most prominent representative was Jean Paul Sartre. I say unfortunate because prospective American readers might imagine that Aron is some earlier avatar of the current “neo-con” brand of American “conservatism” (the corporatist neo-liberalism of today’s America). Aron was a classical socially conscious liberal, I think of his socialist inclinations as being “mature” rather than “childish.” He preferred to give society political and economic freedom (hence, traditional capitalism would occur, a typical bourgeoisie would exist), but to regulate the economics democratically, and implement socialized programs to ameliorate inequities (i.e., for health, education). He feared violent political radicalism, both because of its many consequent personal tragedies, and because it could take decades for a society to return to a reasonable state of peace and prosperity.

I recommend anyone interested in politics read Aron, but skip the forwards, introductions, and afterwards by the modern American “conservatives,” or read them only after first reading Aron’s text, so you are instructed by Aron’s insight in deconstructing the agenda of these commentators, rather than being primed by them to interpret Aron as they might wish. Where Aron exposes a weakness in the left canon, as you understood it, take it as an opportunity to refine your political views and make them more realistic — more effective. Our aim should be to gain clearer insight, not to defend a received doctrine against inconvenient facts. I am sure Aron’s aim was not to “destroy the left” (which can be that of the commentators now encrusted onto his books in English), but to improve people’s understanding of their society so they can improve it consensually through their shared democratic institutions.

So today for the Libyans: liberation and joy, a dictator is overthrown; for us comfortable spoiled brats of the world: live and learn, an chance to recast our political ideas more humanely and realistically.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Manuel Garcia, Jr., a resident of Planet Earth, too old to be productive, but still learning.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here is Juan Cole’s commentary for August 22, 2011 on the Libyan Revolution, from his web site,

http://www.juancole.com/

17 Comments »

  1. Pitiful. There has been no revolution in Libya, much less a victorious one. The Libyan government is continuing to fight a foreign invasion using disgruntled elements of the Kadafi government as their spear-carriers in their effort to begin the re-colonization of Africa by NATO and the West.

    And that elements on the political left, from Alan Woods to Manuel Garcia, it’s a sure sign of the decline and exhaustion of a layer of former radicals. Raymond Aron, indeed. How about Sidney Hook and Max Schactman?

    It’s not over till its over, Leo Durocher famously said.

    WIKIPEDIA on Raymond Aron:
    Raymond AronFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Raymond-Claude-Ferdinand Aron (March 14, 1905 – October 17, 1983) was a French philosopher, sociologist, journalist and political scientist. He is known for his lifelong, often critical friendship with Jean-Paul Sartre, and for his skepticism of the post-war vogue in France for ideologies that largely took their inspiration from a Marxist tradition. He is perhaps best known internationally for the 1955 book The Opium of the Intellectuals, which has been described by journalist Matthew Price as a “central text in the literature of anti-communism.”[1] According to historian James R. Garland,[1] “Though he may be little known in America, Raymond Aron arguably stood as the preeminent example of French intellectualism for much of the twentieth century.”

    “a central text in the literature of anti-communism”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_Aron

    Comment by Walter Lippmann — August 24, 2011 @ 1:11 pm

  2. Walter Lippmann is a former member of the SWP whose knee-jerk defense of Cuban foreign policy was one of the factors, along with the garbage appearing on MRZine, that led me to rethink a lot of these questions. As I have stated on many occasions, this is the form that Stalinism takes today–weaselly defense of 3rd world dictators who get on the wrong side of the US State Department. It flows from political despair and amounts to a kind of “lesser evil” mentality. We have to vote for Obama because a Michelle Bachman candidacy is too horrible to consider. We have to back Qaddafi because the rebels would be worse. In Walter’s case, we have both bases covered. I tossed him off Marxmail in 2008 because his daily stumping for Obama was just too much to put up with.

    Comment by louisproyect — August 24, 2011 @ 1:22 pm

  3. Garcia’s commentary is indeed erudite and I can see how Louis can be impressed by a statement that speaks directly to fact of the matter in Libya; the Libyan people, in their large if not complete majority, have chosen wisely to fight for political freedom. With all the pseudo-lefts claiming otherwise and the Cuba’s and Venezuela’s crying “foul” about NATO, I’m sure it is all too tempting to uphold a “scientific” spokesperson of supposed reason. Unfortunately, Lippmann, is correct, it’s not wise to celebrate a “slam dunk” when there are “seconds still left on the clock”. But then, wishers and hopers for the black and white of anti-imperialism have no choice but to wring their hands about what they hope is a “nail-biter” and not the reality of oppressed masses standing up.

    Unfortunately, García uses inobjective arguments to defend the objective reality of the Libyan masses’ struggle for freedom by lamenting (rightly) the “opium of left intellectuals” with the writings of a social democratic writer whose primary claim to utility on this issue is that he showed disdain for the “undisciplined” nature of earlier revolutions or uprisings (the ’30’s or ’68), chastised the “left” for “its” drug-addiction for unqualified defense of workers’ states (what worker’s state did the Social Democrats EVER create?), and that neo-conservatives “wrongly” attribute Aron’s socialism as a foundation for their program of hatred for the working class. These are credentials that at the least lead one to be somewhat circumspect about the intellectual thread of logic. For example, Aron (according to García), was politically born in the disasters of German revolutions (you know, the ones that the Social Democracy and the Communist parties had a hand in creating?) and developed a sense of caution regarding the “untrammeled” rebellions that result in reaction (I wonder for example how such a framework of thought might see the recent U.K. uprisings?), This political and social context led him to provide strong intellectual critiques of Stalinism and the knee-jerk defense of the Soviet workers’ states that were a supposed counterforce to the “Atlanticism” of imperialist insurgency against them. García uses this foundation to say that Aron “helps” . . .to do what? Better understand why the “anti-anti-Qaddafi left” is wrong? Why, exactly, would We need the voice of a “mistaken” conservative rightist-actual socialist-interpreted by the actual rightists as their voice to know how ludicrous it is to think that the masses rose up in Libya and that it was imperialism that led it? There is a reason why voices of the class enemy might be attracted to someone like Aron (writing “prefaces”, “forewords”, “introductory comments” for his books, for example) and not that many are rising to “reclaim” this supposed lost voice of the True Left.

    Frankly, I found García’s “argument” confounding at best; juxtaposing the clarity of supporting the Libyan revolution against dictatorship with the “foundation” of some supposed leftist intellectual “wrongly” considered an anti-communist. It would be tempting to stray further here, as Lippmann might, and point out how this kind of argumentation “objectively” undergirds the utility if not the correctness of relying on imperialist bombs to stop the what? “counterrevolution of the Libyan masses? (yeah, I’m not sure how this line make any sense either).

    I am glad to know that people of reason can find many reasons why opposing the Libyan revolution against Qaddafi is match made in Hell with the enemy class.

    Comment by Manuel Barrera — August 24, 2011 @ 2:20 pm

  4. Poor Manuel. How he suffered at the hands of the left-wing conspiracy mongers and orthodoxers whose lack of humanist inclination for the suffering of Libya must be directly related to their lack of appreciation for Raymond Aron. At least he had Aron and Carl Jung. The latter obviously didn’t write enough on the narcissistic personality.

    Garcia’s feelings for the well being of the Libyan people, which he boorishly congratulates himself for in his article, obviously didn’t extend to those killed or maimed by US/Nato gun ships, which he supported the use of. Sure there was some incorrect and dunderhead illusions by a few on the left about the nature of Qaddafi and the Libyan regime but, the majority of the the anti-imperialist intervention left had no such illusions. Acting as if there was some powerful Stalinist style campaign on the left to silence the -truth tellers- is as much fantasy as 9/11 conspiracies. If finding someone to agree with his position would have alleviated his feelings persecution for holding an unpopular on the left pro “humanitarian intervention” position -he could have found found plenty of comfort and welcoming companions in the NYT or the rest of the mainsteam press.

    Comment by Rick Tudor — August 24, 2011 @ 2:33 pm

  5. NATO changes absolutely everything about Libya. It doesn’t make Qaddafi the “good” guy but nothing NATO does is without repercussion.

    Garcia’s feelings for the well being of the Libyan people, which he boorishly congratulates himself for in his article, obviously didn’t extend to those killed or maimed by US/Nato gun ships, which he supported the use of.

    Absolutely!!

    Comment by ish — August 24, 2011 @ 3:10 pm

  6. The toppling of Colonel Q is merely clearing the way for a formal democracy–in the sense of parliaments and voting–with a structural-adjustment, resource extraction economy. The suffering inflicted by Qaddafi supplanted by suffering inflicted by speculators and transnats. Dictators come and go. But capitalism–the bigger enemy–endures; perhaps being the most efficient reactionary arrangement discovered in the modern period. The much lionized rebels have neither the will, sufficient popluar support nor can expect NATO air support to prevent Libyia’s (or the fragmented remains’) assimilation into what the econ witchdoctors euphemistically call the integrated-market economy.

    Comment by Peter Ward — August 24, 2011 @ 3:11 pm

  7. The toppling of Colonel Q is merely clearing the way for a formal democracy–in the sense of parliaments and voting–with a structural-adjustment, resource extraction economy. The suffering inflicted by Qaddafi supplanted by suffering inflicted by speculators and transnats. Dictators come and go.

    A perfect example of the inability of the left to understand the need for democratic rights. Lenin and the Bolsheviks sought to break the back of Czarism in order to enable workers to freely organize for their own class interests. He stayed up late at night studying the Czarist law code looking for loopholes that would allow a strike to take place. This indifference to democratic rights is directly related to the awful legacy of Stalinism. The USSR might be defunct but the mindset that helped mostly in vain to legitimize it in the West lingers on.

    Comment by louisproyect — August 24, 2011 @ 3:37 pm

  8. “the first priority was gaining the political freedom of the Libyan people, and preventing them from being massacred by their vengeful dictator. The blunt and inelegant instrument of a NATO intervention was the only means at hand capable of preventing a detestable outcome; capable of saving the lives of people who did not deserve to die. Whether or not the European and American governments, and corporations, were gaining economic and political advantages (the ‘humanitarian intervention’ complex of modern left orthodoxy, for example this article only recently, http://www.counterpunch.org/bricmont08162011.html) were unimportant considerations in comparison. Now that Libya is entering its liberated postwar period of political reconstruction, these consideration can be addressed, and by those who would be most affected by them, the Libyans themselves. It is so sad that so many leftists are so wrapped up in their politicized heads that they could obsess about ‘saving Libya from its Western saviors’ to the complete disregard of the life-and-death struggle for political freedom by the Libyan people, the defeat of dictatorship. […] So today for the Libyans: liberation and joy, a dictator is overthrown; for us comfortable spoiled brats of the world: live and learn, an chance to recast our political ideas more humanely and realistically.”

    Idiots who think from such an imperialist perspective should be bombed.

    Comment by Maria-Cristina Şerban — August 24, 2011 @ 3:44 pm

  9. I don’t understand why certain people are so convinced that the common folk and youth of Libya are incapable of creating a situation where they take matters into their own hands, and in doing so alter the relationship of class forces, as we used to say, to the advantage of the working-class of Libya, the rest of the Middle-East; Africa and the world. They are certainly in a better position to do so today then they were yesterday, are they not? I’ve been watching the news and the expressions of glee of the (mostly) “man on the street” in recent days. They remind me a lot of workers in the western world in the wake of an important victory, say a strike or like struggle.

    Comment by dave r — August 24, 2011 @ 4:47 pm

  10. Isn’t it ironic that Louis lambastes Walter Lippmann for ‘his daily stumping for Obama ’ when he himself backs Obama’s imperial projects…

    Comment by Maria-Cristina Şerban — August 24, 2011 @ 8:36 pm

  11. Isn’t it ironic that Louis lambastes Walter Lippmann for ‘his daily stumping for Obama ’ when he himself backs Obama’s imperial projects…

    —-

    This from somebody who has pin-up pictures of Bashar al-Assad on her Facebook page. Ostalgia for Stalinism I guess.

    Comment by louisproyect — August 24, 2011 @ 8:57 pm

  12. There’s a method to Louis Proyect’s debating style, and a technical term which describes it: red-baiting. It’s a tool one uses when one wishes to avoid discussing an issue for which one doesn’t have a response, and you want to evoke an emotional, knee-jerk response in the audience, so you call someone a Communist, or a Castro-lover, or nowadays maybe a member of the Bashar al-Assad fan club.

    On the CubaNews list, which I direct, the rules are that discussion must be more or less on topic, by a very broad criterion, no personal nastiness is permitted, and I strongly recommend skipping one line between each paragraph, for ease of readability.

    Comment by Walter Lippmann — August 25, 2011 @ 4:53 am

  13. I’m for the Libyan people creating a democracy and I’m glad to see that farcical tyrant go, I just fear that their so-far purely strategic alliance with NATO could ensure that Libya keeps the same features of neo-liberal capitalism that the Qaddafi regime implemented and make sure the democracy is only formal and not substantive. The present victory of the popular democratic movement was conditioned by its alliance with NATO. However, the two entities could, potentially, develop some sort of conflict between themselves because of the imperialistic nature of NATO and the democratic nature of the revolution.

    The relationship could develop in several ways but it’s probably going to be a choice between hegemony or democracy.

    Comment by Cyryl — August 25, 2011 @ 6:10 am

  14. You give Louis too much credit, Walter! His debating style seldom rises to the level of red-baiting, which at least would give it political content.

    As for this ‘democracy’ mantra that gets repeated by pro-imperialist ‘leftists’, I’ll quote what I posted on ‘Lenin’s Tomb’:

    >> If a hypothetical 99% of the Libyan population were to support, for whatever reasons, the establishment of a NATO base in LIbya, it would be the responsibility of the international left to support whatever actions, including bombings and assassinations, that the remaining 1% might take against it. <<

    Comment by Aaron Aarons — August 27, 2011 @ 8:41 am

  15. Louis Proyect is not alone in supporting the NATO-led so-called Libyan “rebels”.
    Louis has now been joined by the comrades in the US Socialist Workers Party:

    Rebel forces take Tripoli in Libyan civil war
    (front page)
    http://www.themilitant.com/2011/7531/753102.html

    Protesters in Syria defy murderous regime
    http://www.themilitant.com/2011/7531/753160.html

    Comment by Walter Lippmann — August 27, 2011 @ 4:27 pm

  16. Doctrinal leftist consensus?:

    “A revolution that fails to recognize the primacy of the anti-imperialist outcome, by either undermining an authoritarian anti-imperialist stalwart or failing to replace him with an untainted government of equal or greater anti-imperialist vigor, within a matter of days, does not deserve the support and respect of the enlightened and progressive world community.”

    Examined here (published 6 April 2011):
    http://dissidentvoice.org/2011/04/rules-of-rebellion/

    “A perfect example [of many, elsewhere] of the inability of the left to understand the need for democratic rights… This indifference to democratic rights is directly related to the awful legacy of Stalinism. The USSR might be defunct but the mindset that helped… legitimize it in the West lingers on.”

    Bingo! [comment 7]

    “I don’t understand why certain people are so convinced that the common folk and youth of Libya are incapable of creating a situation where they take matters into their own hands, and in doing so alter the relationship of class forces, as we used to say, to the advantage of the working-class of Libya, the rest of the Middle-East; Africa and the world. They are certainly in a better position to do so today then they were yesterday, are they not? I’ve been watching the news and the expressions of glee of the (mostly) ‘man on the street’ in recent days. They remind me a lot of workers in the western world in the wake of an important victory, say a strike or like struggle.”

    My favorite intellectual comment here. [comment 9]

    “Idiots who think from such an imperialist perspective should be bombed.”

    My favorite “perfect example” here (rhetorically, but factually I hope she doesn’t). [comment 8]

    Good analysis by Mike Ely (24 August 2011):

    https://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2011/08/24/mike-ely-kasama-project-comments-on-libya/

    “The view that imperialism alone is the people’s oppressor (and, beyond that, even that U.S. imperialism alone is the world target) is actually not a revolutionary view. And it quickly leads to arguments that people should rally around all kinds of ugly and brutal and reactionary local oppressors.”

    Bingo!

    One shouldn’t need to fabricate righteous stentorian rhetoric of Olympian pretension to pass down judgments on the meaning of events, the worthiness of mortals, and the sources of motivation in the Libyan Revolution. Just look at this (till the end), and your natural connection to humanity [if you have not indoctrinated yourself to unplug it] will inform you by visceral experience of the entire purpose of the Libyan Revolution.

    https://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2011/08/26/release-of-prisoners-at-abu-salim/

    If you can’t grant this measure of liberty to other populations, why should they, or anyone, pay attention to your political preferences for their governance?

    Good analysis by Pham Binh (27 August 2011)

    http://loiusproyect.wordpress.com/2011/08/27/qaddafi's-overthrow-a-“blow-to-the-arab-spring”/

    “In other words, toppling Qaddafi was a step forward for Libya’s workers, students, and oppressed groups like the Berbers. They now have more space to organize unions, political associations, and struggle for what they need than they did under the decrepit Qaddafi dictatorship. This is a good thing and it should be celebrated,… If it wasn’t for the ongoing revolt, Qaddafi would still be in power today. NATO’s military might prevented the Libyan revolution’s physical destruction at Benghazi, played a decisive role in paving the way for its ultimate triumph in Tripoli, and corrupted the ‘normal’ Arab Spring dynamic of mobilization, counter mobilization, and mass radicalization. That the U.S. government would manipulate and try to control a struggle against an adversary is unsurprising. What is surprising is socialists disowning a struggle because the U.S. moved to shape it or because the struggle’s leaders made political choices we find abhorrent.”

    Bingo!

    On the blabosphere, including this comment forum (these days):

    “Later, our propagandists will easily recall the imperfections of motive and execution by our governments, and that data will then fuel the competition to define and exploit the historical record of the events. Though annoying, this is of minor importance compared to the immediate and most worthy goal: defending human lives and human rights.” (18 April 2011)

    from my article (published 3 May 2011):
    http://dissidentvoice.org/2011/05/libya-2011-the-human-right-to-political-freedom/

    Otherwise, it looks like the opium got loose.

    Lively Unrepentant Marxist web-site, Louis! How enjoyable to find it.

    Manuel Garcia, Jr.

    Comment by Manuel Garcia, Jr. — August 28, 2011 @ 8:23 am

  17. https://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2011/08/27/qaddafi%E2%80%99s-overthrow-a-%E2%80%9Cblow-to-the-arab-spring%E2%80%9D/

    Perhaps this will link to Pham Binh’s article of 27 August 2011, elsewhere in The Unrepentant Marxist.

    Comment by Manuel Garcia, Jr. — August 28, 2011 @ 8:44 am


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