Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

October 15, 2015

David Horowitz joins the axis of resistance

Filed under: Syria — louisproyect @ 12:06 am

Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 8.04.02 PM

Indeed, growing numbers of Americans who have no special love for Russia or Orthodoxy—from billionaire capitalist Donald Trump to evangelical Christians—are being won over by Putin’s frank talk and actions.

How can they not?  After one of his speeches praising the West’s Christian heritage—a thing few American politicians dare do—Putin concluded with something that must surely resonate with millions of traditional Americans: “We must protect Russia from that which has destroyed American society”—a reference to the anti-Christian liberalism and licentiousness that has run amok in the West.

Even the Rev. Franklin Graham’s response to Russia’s military intervention in Syria seems uncharacteristically positive, coming as it is from the head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, which for decades spoke against the godless Soviets:  “What Russia is doing may save the lives of Christians in the Middle East….  You understand that the Syrian government … have protected Christians, they have protected minorities from the Islamists.”

30 Comments »

  1. Another cool headline would read “Neo-cons Michael Weiss, John McCain and Jackson Diehl join Proyect-Claiborne-Karadjis troika in opposing Russian intervention in Syria”

    Comment by Georges — October 15, 2015 @ 4:15 pm

  2. Georges, you really have to do better than this kind of crude baiting. I realize that you are not very bright and are not in the habit of reading anything outside of your comfort zone but I am growing weary of trading insults.

    Comment by louisproyect — October 15, 2015 @ 4:19 pm

  3. Lou, for your information I read you virtually everyday and follow whatever links you provide. I don’t find them very convincing, but I do read them. If ” David Horowitz joins the axis of resistance” is not crude baiting, I don’t know what is.

    Comment by Georges — October 15, 2015 @ 5:11 pm

  4. I also write serious analysis based on a thorough review of media and scholarly material such as Bassam Haddad as I indicated in my article on sources. You can write comments as long as you want but I am growing tired of the snark. If you don’t have anything substantive to add, maybe there’s some other website you can troll.

    Comment by louisproyect — October 15, 2015 @ 5:19 pm

  5. Better to stick with the devil you know.

    Comment by Georges — October 15, 2015 @ 5:25 pm

  6. Btw, Georges, looking at your first comment, am I to assume that you back Russian bombing in Syria?

    Comment by louisproyect — October 15, 2015 @ 7:40 pm

  7. Whether or not the Putinolatry axis on Counterpunch and elsewhere on the Left reveals an actual red-brown alliance (there would have to be some kind of overt embrace of brownness, which we are not seeing from Whitney, Fisk, etc., as they continue to decry fascism), there is no mistaking the brownness of the sources cited here, Christian-coated though they may be.

    I’m not easily chilled, and nor do I think too much about the fascist menace in a time when the working class has so little strength to co-opt, but I find this chilling anyway.

    Comment by Pete Glosser — October 15, 2015 @ 9:05 pm

  8. One of the things I see gradually happening is the picking up of these brownish arguments by those on the left side of the equation-because after all if your main goal is about opposing US intervention-all arguments are good right? So if the right are succeding with some Islamophobic arguments why not repeat them?

    Comment by John Gamey — October 16, 2015 @ 7:51 am

  9. I certainly do support Russian military actions in Syria, as I would have supported Gorbachev if he had protected Iraq during the First Gulf War. I would have supported Soviet military action despite the fact that Saddam Hussein was a brutal, murderous conniving tyrant. US imperialism does not just attack “nice” people like the Sandinistas, it attacks anything it deems an obstacle or threat . Russia is in Syria at the request of the legitimate government – what Syrian rebel “authority” authorized the Saudis, Libyans, Chechens, Uighers , etc..to come to Syria ?

    I wondering if you are getting ready for your “Hitchens” moment when your renounce your former opposition to US wars against Iraq.

    PS. let’s not have any nonsense about how I’m equating Russia with the Soviet Union. I am well aware that Russia is a capitalist state, and Putin represents its capitalist elite, but he is a nationalist who opposes strongly opposes interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states.( No foolish remarks about NATO’s latest colony Ukraine, please) Given the historical weakness of the left today, I’ll take what I can get.

    Comment by Georges — October 16, 2015 @ 1:20 pm

  10. I certainly do support Russian military actions in Syria, as I would have supported Gorbachev if he had protected Iraq during the First Gulf War.

    Evidently you are aligned with the non-Marxist “left” since this position does not even reflect itself in WSWS.org or in John Rees’s sect. It is the outlook of conspiracist-mongering websites like Global Research and cyrpto-Stalinist tendencies like Socialist Unity. It has nothing to do with Marxism. It is much more like supporting Japan during WWII because it too was “opposed” to American imperialism. In fact you strike me as someone with little familiarity with the Marxist tradition. Your comments here are–to be frank–drenched in ignorance. I don’t mind you disagreeing with me but I am getting impatient with your low political IQ.

    Comment by louisproyect — October 16, 2015 @ 1:33 pm

  11. Low political IQ ? Come on Hitch…er, Lou you’ll have to do better than that.

    BTW, Both Japan and the US were imperialist powers, but Japan was the more aggressive power at that juncture and had to be opposed first. People with a great deal of familiarity with Marxist tradition like Mao, Ho, Kim il-Sung, Stalin figured that out. Oh, but what would they know, they only led successful wars against imperialism.

    Comment by Georges — October 16, 2015 @ 2:01 pm

  12. Stalinism is not Marxism. Stalinism destroyed Marxism in the USSR. And thanks for finally declaring yourself as a supporter of Stalinist ideology. Doesn’t it feel good to come out of the closet?

    Comment by louisproyect — October 16, 2015 @ 2:12 pm

  13. Well frankly, it does feel good to come out , especially when I’ve been preceded by a giant like Fidel Castro who said Stalin had to be understood in all his historical complexity: the construction of socialism, the defeat of fascism versus the crimes of the purges etc…. Now, if you’ll excuse me , I’ve got to go fondle my copy of “Marxism and the National Question”.

    Comment by Georges — October 16, 2015 @ 2:24 pm

  14. It does not matter to me what Fidel Castro said. He can be wrong, after all. He has said that 911 was an inside job. Does that mean I should as well? Like John Wight who made the same argument, it simply points out that you lack the ability to think for yourself and defer to higher authorities. Maybe because I was an existential outsider before I became a Marxist, it made me more averse to cultish tendencies on the left. Stalinism is like a security blanket. It allows weak-minded people to be part of a crowd. Apparently you are okay with Stalinism’s role in making counter-revolution easier to develop in Eastern Europe and the USSR itself. People like you and John Wight believe that socialism must be defended by tanks and secret police when it is exactly those measures that rotted it out from the inside. What a shame that this kind of garbage still has traction on the left.

    In fact, I think it is much more useful to consider what Lenin thought of Stalin. From his sick bed he wrote a testament that called for the removal of Stalin from party leadership because he was trampling on the rights of oppressed nationalities. It was Stalin’s brutality that left its imprint on both Yeltsin and Putin who in their embrace of neoliberalism made sure to retain the Great Russian chauvinism of the USSR. If you want to understand what Putin is up to Syria, just look at Chechnya. You seem to think that you are an anti-imperialist but instead you are defending Russian imperialism. If Russia is defending its naval base in Syria, what makes that any different than the British control of Gibraltar or the American control of Guantanamo? What a twisted world we are living in when the “left” becomes the amen corner for a Russian blitzkrieg.

    Comment by louisproyect — October 16, 2015 @ 2:40 pm

  15. Honestly, siding with the Kurds, aside from their policies, is probably the best way to wean the tacit Assad/Putinists off of Assad. By endorsing a medicore side it just creates an intransigent counter-reaction partly because, well they somewhat have a point. Even if we qualify away groups like Islamic Front, we’re left with what, the FSA?

    You compared the FSA overthrowing Assad with a bourgeoisie revolutions pre-saging a proletarian one, but in the context of Syria this thinking is (a) borderline insane and (b) completely misses that a radical left revolution has already happened elsewhere in the country!

    Comment by cartoondiablo — October 17, 2015 @ 5:17 am

  16. A reminder: posting from a proxy address is strictly forbidden.

    Comment by louisproyect — October 17, 2015 @ 2:22 pm

  17. So… “People like you and John Wight believe that socialism must be defended by tanks and secret police when it is exactly those measures that rotted it out from the inside. What a shame that this kind of garbage still has traction on the left.”

    Of course, Lenin set up the CHEKA and Trotsky lead the Red Army and did not hesitate to crush the Kronstadt revolt. A secret police and an army with tanks. Whatta ya know. NIce try, but back to the drawing board.

    PS:I know you’re an “existential outsider”, but enough with the amateur long distance psychoanalysis.

    Comment by Georges — October 17, 2015 @ 2:40 pm

  18. Lenin set up the secret police to weed out Czarist counter-revolutionaries. What does that have to do with Stalin using it against workers complaining about working conditions? Like all Stalinists, you are fond of twisting the facts into a pretzel unless you think that Trotsky was a Nazi agent. I have the depressing suspicion that a knucklehead like you does.

    Comment by louisproyect — October 17, 2015 @ 2:48 pm

  19. So a revolution does not require a secret police after its initial victory. Sure , the imperialists just accept their loss, fold up their tents and go home. Any revolutionaries taking that approach would be hanging from lampposts before the day was through. For your own safety Lou, please don’t lead any revolutions.

    Comment by Georges — October 17, 2015 @ 3:10 pm

  20. That is not what I said. What I said is that the secret police under Stalin acted to terrorize workers rather than counter-revolutionaries. In 1956 the KGB reported that 19 million arrests had been made between 1935 and 1940, and of those, at least seven million people were shot or perished in the gulag. The fact that you can identify with Stalin makes your advocacy of Baathist brutality completely understandable.

    Comment by louisproyect — October 17, 2015 @ 3:23 pm

  21. Gorbachev said the number of arrests was approximately 900,000. Of course, even one unjustified arrest and/or execution was too many-but like most Trotskyists you lose all ability to make dispassionate analyses when comes to Stalin. You enter into Robert Conquest land, or lately Timothy Snider town..10,000,000 dead because of the famine, 12,000,000 dead in the gulag, 5,000,000 shot because Stalin had a hangover…the usual garbage.

    Comment by Georges — October 17, 2015 @ 3:40 pm

  22. Trotsky wasn’t a Nazi agent, but he went from being the most popular leader in the USSR to nothing in the space of 10 years. He lost all Party and popular support in Russia.

    So either millions of people are idiots or he made some serious mistakes. Trotskyists might want to wonder about that.

    Comment by jay — October 17, 2015 @ 3:47 pm

  23. Gorbachev said the number of arrests was approximately 900,000.

    Really? Where?

    Comment by louisproyect — October 17, 2015 @ 4:05 pm

  24. Everybody in the leadership of the revolution became “unpopular”, including Bukharin who had blocked with Stalin against Trotsky. That’s what happens in societies that are autocratic. If all the newspapers, magazines and radios are voices for the man at the top, public opinion follows suit. Just look at Nazi Germany.

    Comment by louisproyect — October 17, 2015 @ 4:26 pm

  25. Can’t find the article, but here is link to anti-Stalin, anti-socialist book where Gorbachev, Soviet history and number of victims are are discussed.

    https://books.google.ca/books?id=QbFT9HzhY2EC&pg=PA188&lpg=PA188&dq=gorbachev+on+number+of+victims&source=bl&ots=wmlwdK1IeQ&sig=WBCcJcZY8c3yoPTPnSxQTily0DQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CCMQ6AEwAWoVChMI6Of1_pzKyAIVATg-Ch2oygJf#v=onepage&q=gorbachev%20on%20number%20of%20victims&f=false

    Comment by Georges — October 17, 2015 @ 7:38 pm

  26. Let’s put it this way. J. Getty, who is considered the least susceptible to Cold War distortions so much so that Grover Furr refers to him favorably, states that there were two million executions under Stalin. That’s some fucking bloodthirsty bastard you idolize.

    Comment by louisproyect — October 17, 2015 @ 9:09 pm

  27. Lou, what are you some kind of liberal? Sounds like the complaints liberals had against the Cuban revolution after the Batista henchmen were executed. The greatest revolutions of the 20th century, the Russian and Chinese , were both very bloody affairs, not only against class enemies, but even between revolutionaries themselves. Revolutions are not Woodtstock 1969 -three days of peace, love and understanding.I thought some one like you, who supports the cannibal elements amongst the Syrian rebels, would understand that.

    Comment by George — October 19, 2015 @ 2:41 am

  28. The greatest revolutions of the 20th century, the Russian and Chinese , were both very bloody affairs, not only against class enemies, but even between revolutionaries themselves.

    Let’s focus on Russia first. What exactly were the charges against these two million “counter-revolutionaries”? You speak of Cuba. General Arnaldo Ochoa was charged with trafficking drugs. He was found guilty and executed. Were two million Russians involved in sabotage, black marketing, smuggling or running prostitution rings? Or were the crimes having wrong ideas about building socialism? Did Bukharin deserve to die? Was it right for Stalin to send an agent to murder Trotsky? Or maybe you say that it didn’t matter that they were not guilty since revolutions are bloody affairs. Did Cuba jail and kill tens of thousands of people for having the “wrong” ideas? Having read over a dozen books on Cuban history over the years, this is another interesting question worth pursuing. I am interested in learning from you since you are obviously an expert on Cuba just as you are on China, Russia, Syria and god knows what else. Your erudition is really quite stunning.

    Comment by louisproyect — October 19, 2015 @ 12:58 pm

  29. As I’m against capital punishment, I wouldn’t want anyone to die,even if guilty of counterrevolutionary crimes, but this was not a sentiment shared by the Bolsheviks or the Chinese Peoples ‘Liberation Army. The crimes of Stalin should be honestly exposed, but ludicrous exaggerations should also be exposed. Just to add a little more complexity to the situation, Roman Mercader, Trotsky assassin, was welcomed by Cuba after his release from prison and spent much time there as a honoured revolutionary.

    Comment by Georges — October 21, 2015 @ 11:04 pm

  30. Roman Mercader, Trotsky assassin, was welcomed by Cuba after his release from prison and spent much time there as a honoured revolutionary.

    —-

    So what if Castro “honored” Mercader? Castro also was a 911 Truther. Should we be Truthers as well? Around the time that Castro honored Mercader (I don’t know what that means other than he gave him a job as an adviser in the Ministry of the Interior) Cuba was also hassling gays. We have to think for ourselves and not worship at the altar of Trotsky, Stalin, Castro or any other demigod.

    What is the attraction of Stalinism for people like Georges? Was he an authoritarian before he began spouting Stalinist ideology or did he get trained in some pro-Hoxha sect to become authoritarian-minded?

    Comment by louisproyect — October 22, 2015 @ 1:51 pm


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: