[lbo-talk] [OFFLIST] Re: Arab Spring: The Libyan Remix

123hop at comcast.net 123hop at comcast.net
Sat Aug 27 14:07:59 PDT 2011

Midlessness is universal. One of the most depressing experiences of my life was working with a Trostskist group in SF in the eighties. I can't remember one single positive thing about that experience. I'm not blaming Trotsky, but it was a good basic lesson in the fact that radical politics can attract some very iffy people.


----- Original Message ----- From: "Wojtek S" <wsoko52 at gmail.com> To: "// ravi" <ravi at platosbeard.org> Cc: lbo-talk at lbo-talk.org Sent: Saturday, August 27, 2011 7:26:41 AM Subject: Re: [lbo-talk] [OFFLIST] Re: Arab Spring: The Libyan Remix

I do not watch television, but i did experience the zeal of US campus radicals making pronouncements about social movements elsewhere. I was called a CIA agent and worse when I mentioned my Solidarnosc involvement in Poland. This was quite a culture shock for a FOBbie - I thought that a rational open-minded person would first ask someone else about his/her direct experience before passing judgments about that experience. Later I realized that these folks are neither open minded nor rational - they are mean spirited inquisitorial types who build their own careers or maybe obtain satisfaction by attacking and destroying others. Honestly, I have zero respect for such individuals - regardless on which side of the political front line they operate.



On Fri, Aug 26, 2011 at 11:03 AM, // ravi <ravi at platosbeard.org> wrote:
> [off-list]
> On Aug 26, 2011, at 7:53 AM, Wojtek S wrote:
>> As to some people pooh-poohing any movement that receives such help -
>> I credit it to two tendencies, or perhaps one coin with two faces:
>> knee-jerk anti-westernism and romantic populism.  These two work as
>> follows: social movements are good only inasmuch as they genuinely
>> spontaneous, i.e. coming entirely from the low social status people.
>> If they are tainted by outside help or support, they become suspect.
>> By definition, anything of western origin, especially in the so-called
>> Global South is bad - so anything that ostensibly stands against
>> Western influence is good, and anything that receives any form of
>> assistance or endorsement from the West is automatically suspect.
>> Hence petty tyrants like Castro or Qaddafi are seen as generally good
>> by the sole virtue of "standing up" against the evil West, and their
>> autocratic rule is dismissed as temporary aberration "caused" by
>> Western aggression.  By extension, any popular movement against such
>> petty tyrants is automatically suspect of "playing into Western
>> hands."  And if such a movements actually receives Western endorsement
>> or help, that becomes the "evidence" that the movement is nothing more
>> but a Western puppet created for the sole purpose of subduing Global
>> South leaders who had the chutzpah to defy they Western masters.
> IMHO, there’s another element which has to do with the banner. If the resistance/revolution occurs under the red flag then it’s a good thing. Else its a bourgeois revolution.
>> This trope is predictable like bowel movement.
> That’s a terrible metaphor given that every fifth ad on television is for fibre supplements! :-)
>        —ravi

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