[lbo-talk] Americans sorta like torture if it works

James Heartfield Heartfield at blueyonder.co.uk
Fri Apr 24 16:09:22 PDT 2009

Shane Mage writes, confusing the workers' movement with a philosophy seminar:

'Secondary? If the arguments grounding their claim that "their overall cause was just" are compatible with the assertion that torture could be a legitimate "means to use in the prosecution of their cause," then, recalling the Marxist conception of the interdependence between ends and means, we have to conclude that their argument fails and that their end, "their cause," is in reality as worthless as their means. '

Revolution is a violent business. Working class movements have tarred-and-feathered, besetted, burned, bombed, maimed and intimidated throughout history. Captain Swing, Ned Ludd, the Rebeccas, the Chartists, the Communards, and others never flinched from violating their opponents' dignity or person.

Writing of the Fenians, Marx said there's was a marvellous thing, at once violent and anti-British. It would be the workers' movement that turned the other cheek when it was struck that would be steeped in shame from the Marxist perspective. Yes, there is indeed an interrelation between means and ends - class war demands any and all available tactics; Pacifism, on the other had, is submission before the authority of the ruling class.

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