Charles' support for the antiracism

Chris Burford cburford at
Thu Apr 22 15:35:43 PDT 1999

At 16:06 21/04/99 -0400, you wrote:
>>>> Jim heartfield <jim at> 04/21/99 02:41PM >>>
>In this characteristic broadside, Charles demands more powers for the
>very state that is at the moment bombing Yugoslavia (which he rightly

I agree with Charles's criticisms of Jim H on this point. Broadly I see Jim H's ideological position as that of radical libertarianism. That is why he can make penetrating analyses and get them published in all sorts of media outlets.

Charles's ideological position I see as politically coherent and combining theory with practice in what could potentially be part of a mass movement, from the bottom up. Less brilliant. More seriously analytical.

My passionate differences with Charles at the moment are that I see the issue of the treatment of the muslims of Kosovo as a European matter which is totally unacceptable, and transcends all issues of national sovereignty and peace. I have in any case long been in favour of the strengthening of the European Union as an alternative to US dominance.

I see the military and economic might of the imperialist nations dominating, oppressing and expoiting, whether they are at war or at peace, and as a reform I would rather "my" ruling class has a policy of confronting fascism than of appeasing it. I understand Charles position that it is his duty as a citizen of the leading imperialist power in the world to oppose all actions of military aggression by it. However even on this he argues under this thread title that this too is a reform and that the purpose of campaigning against the war of aggression is actually to stop it. Jim H's position if I understand correctly, is not about a practical campaign against the war as a reform but of being against the war as a matter of principle.

Charles support for democratic rights does not seem to me to be a bourgeois democratic one, but one where he argues that those rights must be constrained by the social context. Anti-racism logically leads to support of human social rights.

The idea that this is automatically reformist is a leftist, childish disorder.

Chris Burford


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