anti-americanism - Re: Opening Borders

rc-am rcollins at
Mon Apr 5 08:39:19 PDT 1999

{headline from the Sunday Boston Globe -

"The Backlash: Growing Numbers in Europe Believe Enemy is America" (4/4/99)

[the article is accompanied by a nice photo of a Serb youth smashing in a McDonald's window with a wastebasket] }

the aim of weakening the imperial might of the US, as way of orienting the US left, is certainly a good thing.

but, I would hasten to add that it is only an aim of the US left and not, or should not be, easily translatable to other contexts. not least of which for the reasons that anti-Americanism is increasingly invoked as a codification of racism rather than anti-capitalism. so, such an orientation should be used with caution, especially when it comes to the US left discerning forces worthy of support or not around the world.

and, another word of caution: it's only after the erosion of hegemony has already begun that such hegemony is easily denounced.

these are not secondary or extraneous concerns, but concerns that are integral to whether or not a left which composes itself through this period as anti-capitalist.

angela (who cheered at the trashing of macdonalds)

ps. I'd really like it if Chris answered my recent post so I'll reiterate it here briefly: support for self-determination cannot be conditional by definition and in practice. if there are conditions, then this concern for self-determination is quite cynical.

Doug wrote:

>>I think the best thing the U.S. left could do for the rest of the world
>>would be somehow, magically, to weaken the imperial might of the
>>United States.

Carrol wrote:

>Doug is much too modest. The *only* thing that the U.S. left can
>do for the rest of the world is struggle to weaken U.S. imperial
>might -- this is not in question. What is in question is how "the
>left" comes into existence at any given moment, and how it gathers
>about it or participates in the formation of the more massive popular
>forces necessary to make such an impact possible.
>At the present there is no "left" in any sense that can give content to
>the phrase, "the left" but only scattered individuals and collections
>of individuals who more or less self-consciously aim at becoming
>part of "the left" -- I.e., in participating in the creation of "the
>May I also suggest that among that inchoate left defined by acceptance
>of Doug's point this is no time for extraneous quarrels, personal or
>political -- or at least such quarrels must somehow become secondary
>to resisting this latest outrage from our imperial masters.

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