No to any attack on Iran: for working-class resistance to imperialisms big and small.

Submitted by Daniel_Randall on 11 August, 2008 - 5:15 Author: Daniel Randall

1) TO CONDEMN OR NOT CONDEMN?
2) THE "BURNING, IMMEDIATE QUESTION".
3) BACK TO THE CHESS BOARD
4) THE ISSUE IS AGENCY

1) TO CONDEMN OR NOT CONDEMN?

I’ve found the bogging down of the debate in the question of whether we would condemn/not condemn/oppose/support/advocate/call for/take responsibility for a particular action (specifically, an Israeli attack) rather unhelpful. They’re all potentially confusing categories and on a certain level, talking about “condemnation” is all a bit abstract anyway; the key thing is how such “condemnation” (or otherwise) translates into concrete action for us, or actions we concretely advise workers elsewhere to take.
Comrades have talked about opposing in general Israeli air-strikes but potentially not condemning particular attacks if they were responses to a perceived existential threat. I think this is ridiculous (for reasons I’ll make clear later) but it proves that “opposition” and “condemnation” are murky and contested categories when dealt with in the abstract. To give another example, one might very well have “condemned” NATO’s bombing of Serbia in 1999 (because it was indiscriminate and done by bourgeois forces for bourgeois reasons) but not “opposed” it (because successful “opposition” would’ve in all likelihood led to the genocide of the Kosovars). The point is that deciding whether to “condemn” or “oppose” something will only take you so far, and having a debate strictly on that terrain isn’t especially useful.

2) THE “BURNING, IMMEDIATE QUESTION.”

In the article “The left must say no to the Mullah’s bomb”, the author (peculiarly it is signed from the entire AWL) asserts that “the burning, immediate question” is that of the potential acquirement of nuclear weapons by the Iranian regime.

Is it? As Sacha Ismail points out in his excellent article “No to an Israeli attack on Iran”, “the US government itself, as Solidarity 1/136 reported, has concluded that the Islamic Republic has probably suspended its efforts to develop nuclear weapons. Nor was/is Iran close to achieving its nuclear goals.”

In what sense therefore is the Iranian ruling-class’s nuclear aspiration “the burning, immediate question”? I would argue that sabre-rattling against Iran by the US and Israel are in fact somewhat more “burning” and “immediate.”

Sean’s original article presents the ability (not just the desire, but the actual real-time ability) of the Iranian ruling-class to pose an existential threat to Israel as a matter of fact. But this is far from the case.

Whether or not the capability exists, we should certainly criticise the desire. We should polemicise against those on the left who do not criticise (or, worse, endorse) such a desire. But we have a responsibility to remain level-headed and tell the truth. The notion of this as "the burning, immediate question" appears new to me; Sacha points out that recent issues of our own paper have reported America's conclusions that Iran has ceased its nuclear programme. If the question was really "burning" and "immediate", why not attempt to repudiate the US government's position and denounce it for not being sufficiently opposed to Iran's nuclear ambitions? Perhaps because Sean (or whoever wrote the article) has decide to declare the question "burning" and "immediate" as a retrospective corrective to a distorted analysis that fails to address what really is the "burning, immediate question"; how can workers on all sides organise against the regional or global imperialist ambitions of all powers?

3) BACK TO THE CHESS BOARD

Comrades who have followed the debate over Iraq may be familiar with an analysis I made of the perspective of some majority comrades as armchair geopolitical analysts, limited to scenario-mongering over the game-board of Iraq and speculating about what might happen if one or another bourgeois game-piece was removed from play. There is more than a dose of that perspective at work in Sean and others’ thinking on this issue, too.

Serious assessment of geopolitical tensions, the projects and intentions of bourgeois governments, their capacity to carry out these projects and so on are all important and the AWL tends to engage in them more seriously than anyone else on the left. But all such assessment and analysis is utterly pointless if it doesn’t serve to flesh out a more important set of assessments and analyses; what is the condition of the workers’ movement? Is it capable of imposing itself politically? If not, why not? What must it do to get to such a stage?

From the point of view of abstract geopolitical analysis, Sean’s handwringing (the only word for a perspective which asks “who are we to condemn [Israel]”? The answer, of course, is that we are the collective memory of the working class with every right to condemn the militarism and aggression of any bourgeois government) makes sense. But from a class perspective, it explodes (no pun intended). Looking at a potential Israeli strike on an Iranian nuclear facility from the point of view of its impact on class struggle in the region makes it abundantly obvious that we should oppose it, that we should mobilise against it, and that we should counsel workers more capable of immediately effecting the situation to do likewise. Totally aside from the potential civilian slaughter such an attack would unleash (who’s to say that a botched bombing of a nuclear facility wouldn’t lead to an Iranian Chernobyl?), I think it’s beyond question that the Israeli ruling-class would use such an attack to drag workers behind national chauvinism (undoubtedly invoking the “existential threat” posed to them by Iran’s machinations) and that the Iranian ruling-class would do likewise.

If the argument is that a Middle East free from “the Mullah’s bomb” (or the potential for it) is worth momentarily sucking up our generalised opposition to the Israeli government for, this makes even less sense. By this logic, an Iraq rid of the Ba’athist state – opening up opportunities for workers’ organisation unseen for a generation – was surely worth not opposing or at least “not condemning”? But we did condemn and oppose and mobilise against, because we knew that regardless of the potentially progressive consequences of a given imperialist adventure, we cannot separate the specific action from the overall class interests in which it is carried out.

“Who were we” to condemn and oppose and mobilise against the US government in a war it said was for democracy, and to fight a terrorist threat to its own people? We were people who knew its real intentions. When and if Israel attacks Iran, we must be people who know and explain that the regional imperialist ambitions of the Israeli government and actions carried out in pursuit of them cannot ultimately guarantee the security of the Israeli-Jews. It acts to consolidate its own position as a regional imperialist power, against a threat from another aspirant regional imperialist power. An Israeli attack on Iran would be, unambiguously, an inter-imperialist war.

If we forget these facts, where will we stop? If we forget these facts we may as well ask ourselves “who are we” to condemn the Israeli colonial project in Palestine. After all, aren’t they just keeping down a terroristic, existential threat to their own existence? Yes, they do it in “blundering” bourgeois ways and for their own reasons, but as long as there’s no united workers’ movement capable of smashing Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad, “who are we” to condemn the only force capable of doing it – the Israeli ruling-class and its army. In reality this position would make more sense; Hamas and other Islamist militia groups pose a much more meaningful threat to the Israeli-Jews and their self-determination than the Iranian government, which is held back from doing what many of its members may well (secretly or openly) wish for by a whole variety of factors, not least the one Sean himself states (that any attack would “throw Iraq [where Iran has huge regional imperialist interests] back into the worst chaos”). If Iran somehow developed the capacity to launch an air strike on America, who would we be to condemn that? Surely, the Iranian government would only be pre-emptively defending itself against a huge imperialist power led by a deranged religious zealot that has openly declared its intention to menace Iran’s self-determination?

The scenario is, of course, preposterous. Of course we would condemn such an attack without a second thought. Why, then, does our basic knowledge of the interests in which competing imperialist and regional imperialist powers act seem to fail us where Israel is concerned? The attempt to imbue this conflict with the character of one between bourgeois democracy and fascism is incredibly crude, and even in such situations where such a conflict is unambiguously taking place (World War 2, for example) the best elements of our tradition still opposed both sides!

In summary, when the politics of the chess board take exclusive precedence over the politics of the workplace, we risk giving ruling-classes carte blanches. I’m sure that Tom, Sean et al have in their heads some idea of how they think Israeli, Iranian, Iraqi, American and British workers should intervene into the geopolitical situation they (rightly) spend so much time analysing. But the fact that they consider actually setting this out to be of so little importance as to never mention it represents for me what is fundamentally wrong with their politics on this question and, I feel, the Middle East more broadly.

4) THE ISSUE IS AGENCY

The workers’ movement in Iran is probably not strong enough to put a halt to the nuclear ambitions of its rulers. The Israeli workers’ movement certainly isn’t. Must we, therefore, with however heavy a heart, abrogate the hope for “a world where the workers of Israel, Iran, Iraq were united in opposition to all their rulers, and strong enough to get rid of them” to another day, hold our noses and pick the least-bad bourgeois option apparently on offer?

This is a perspective of permanent abrogation. If you hold your nose for too long you cease to be able to breathe properly.

Nothing prevents us from saying openly that a given imperialist adventure may have a positive consequence. But we say this in a framework which despite any potential positive outcome or side-effect tells the truth about the interests in which it is carried out and emphasises constantly the only means by which a better future may be carved out of regional and global inter-imperialist firefighting; independent working-class struggle.

I ask Tom, Sean, Mark and others who think there’s nothing wrong with Sean’s initial article or that we’d be right to not condemn/not oppose/whatever an Israeli attack on Iran – what would you advise an Iranian worker to do? What would you advise an Israeli worker to do? As his or her ruling-class gears up for war, pumping out propaganda about national unity and the national interest, what should they do? How should they act? Should they attempt sabotage the war effort? If so, why?

I don’t ask these questions because I believe Sean et al are incapable of answering. I ask them because the fact that what they have written so far makes no attempt to even acknowledge the importance of these questions expresses the fundamental flaws in their politics.

I believe that revolutionaries in the Israeli labour movement should propagandise vociferously against any Israeli war-effort, explaining clearly Israel’s role as a regional imperialist power and explaining how this impacts on the material quality of life for Israeli workers. I believe they should attempt, wherever possible, to actively sabotage any war effort including refusing to move munitions. I believe they should also be clear about the nature of the Iranian regime and its imperialist aspirations while pointing out to other Israeli workers that class struggle takes place inside Iran just as in any country and that they have more in common with Iranian workers than they do with the Israeli-Jewish bosses attempting to convince them that bombing Iran is in their best interests.

In Iran, I believe revolutionaries in the labour movement should do whatever they can to oppose and sabotage the Iranian government’s nuclear programme and make clear that any nuclear capacity it was able to develop would be used to consolidate the power of the Iranian government, including its power to crush internal, working-class, dissent. They should make whatever links they can with workers elsewhere in the region, and in Britain and the US, on the basis of appealing for material solidarity for their own struggles and supporting attempts to prevent outside military intervention against Iran which would set these struggles back.

These perspectives are not comprehensive programmes for Israeli or Iranian labour. To some extent they are basic Marxist generalities. But I believe that the task of third-campists in every situation is to address themselves specifically to the question of how the working-class can impose itself as an independent force and, if it is incapable of immediately doing so, how it can grow. In some situations, where we do not have direct links with any element within the labour movement, restating basic Marxist generalities may be all we can do.

This does not preclude geopolitical analysis, but any such analysis must remain firmly anchored to, and put to the service of, a perspective that maintains the agency of the working-class. For me the worst aspect of Sean’s original article was not that he considered the possibility of not condemning an Israeli attack but that he relegated independent working-class politics to the level of a non-starter.

Sean writes: “We as socialists want Ahmedinejad to be sent to hell not by the Israeli and American armies and airforces, but by the Iranian working class and the oppressed nations in the Iranian state… but if the Israeli airforce attempts to stop Iran developing the capacity to wipe it out with a nuclear bomb, in the name of what alternative would we condemn Israel?”

The answer is obvious. It’s in the first half of his own formulation. In the name of the alternative of the working-class and the oppressed nations in Iran and the Middle East more broadly. If we give up on that alternative then we negate our own politics.

Comments

Submitted by Daniel_Randall on Tue, 12/08/2008 - 23:13

I'm far from a straightforward advocate of "revolutionary defeatism" (especially not in terms of how its conceived of by most of the left today) and if you took any of what I wrote as advocating that perspective then I failed to make myself clear. In wars between opposing capitalist forces I am for defeat on both sides, or - if you prefer - against the victory of either side.

Bill -

I actually think the AWL has done quite a lot to explain our perspective of regional/sub-imperialism, and indeed rather a lot more than your tendency has done to justify its belief that imperialism now functions in an identical fashion to the fashion in which it functioned in 1919.

Iran is a powerful capitalist country with a developed capitalist economy. It engages in the systematic oppression of national minorities within its own borders. Through funding and arming military satellites and allies (the Mahdi Army, the Badr Corps, Hezbollah) as well as through projects such as road-building in Afghanistan it seeks to establish territorial and economic influence in, and potentially hegemony over, neighbouring countries. I have no other word in my lexicon for a capitalist state that behaves in this way - whether on a regional or global level - than "imperialist". I didn't "bother" to spell this out in my article because it is a contribution to a debate within the AWL and the theory of regional/sub-imperialism is not contentious within our organisation.

Despite your accusation that we never make any attempt to explain or justify this perspective, this very matter was debated publicly and at length with one of your own comrades at a recent AWL Student & Youth dayschool in East London. Your comrade did a fairly good job of putting his case without resorting to lies or slanders about the AWL, which is of course to be welcomed and is perhaps an approach you could learn from.

Submitted by Janine on Wed, 13/08/2008 - 07:37

Bill J alleges that the AWL's normal style of debating is "personally insulting and plain rude". Coming from him, that's given me the best laugh I've had in ages.

Submitted by AWL on Wed, 13/08/2008 - 10:35

Dan,

Read Lenin and Trotsky: they described all kinds of states, including pre-capitalist states, as imperialist. I can find the relevant quotations if you want. But in any case, Iran is and has for decades been a powerful capitalist economy with its own giant firms, its own military industrial complex, its own integrated national economic base. You might want to quibble about describe it as imperialist, but I think this is far more clarifying than the nonsense of it describe it as a semi-colony.

Sacha

Submitted by AWL on Thu, 14/08/2008 - 00:32

"There have been imperialist wars on the basis of slavery (Rome’s war against Carthage was an imperialist war on both sides) as well as in the Middle Ages and in the epoch of mercantile capitalism. Every war in which both belligerent camps are fighting to oppress foreign countries or peoples and for the division of the booty, that is, over 'who shall oppress more and who shall plunder more', must be called imperialistic." - Lenin

"History has known the 'imperialism' of the Roman state based on slave labor, the imperialism of feudal land-ownership, the imperialism of commercial and industrial capital, the imperialism of the Czarist monarchy, etc. The driving force behind the Moscow bureaucracy is indubitably the tendency to expand its power, its prestige, its revenues. This is the element of 'imperialism' in the widest sense of the word which was a property in the past of all monarchies, oligarchies, ruling castes, medieval estates and classes." - Trotsky

"Capitalism is growing with the greatest rapidity in the colonies and in overseas countries. Among the latter, new imperialist powers are emerging (e.g., Japan)." - Lenin

Sacha

Submitted by AWL on Thu, 14/08/2008 - 00:36

"Iran has no real power outside a regional level."

Yes, which is why we describe it as a regional imperialist power.

The ludicrousness of Dan et al's position is shown by what they said about Argentina in 1982: a highly developed capitalist state with an integrated finance-industry-military complex and a regime which aggressively promoted counter-revolution all over Latin America. Clearly a regional imperialist power aspiring to a wider role; more like Japan in 1937 than China! And yet Workers Power etc described as a semi-colony of British imperialism and supported its military adventure in the Falklands.

Submitted by Jason on Thu, 14/08/2008 - 10:36

It's certainly a more thoughtful piece than Sean M's and this is a move in the right direction. However, I still think it needs a long hard discussion how some fairly prominent members of the AWL can come up with pieces that either refuse to condemn attacks or defend articles that do.

In terms of imperialism, as Llin says it's a technical Leninist defintion in terms of export of capital etc. However, it must be said that if the US or UK or other imperialist countries launched a ground invasion as they did in Iraq then the working class's interests would be in opposing the annexation of the country and the economy- not at all to defend their 'own' bourgeois- in fact it would demnd arms both to fight the imperialsits and the bourgeois and in no sense give any support for the bourgeois' fight. eg. take over munitions factories, expropriate ther resources and use those to fight the imperialists.

When I lived in a country that would certainly be seen as a semi-colony in terms of export of cpaital (Ethiopia) but is also a clinet state of the US involved in regional conflicts- the occupation of Somalia- the great majority of people I spoke to from peasants to labourerers to teachers and students had a position of support for Iraqi working class resistance to the US- and indeed the great majority also opposed Ethiopia's US sponsored invasion of Somalia. So whilst the defintions may be technical they do accord with what a lot of people recognise instantly- the world is divided into rich and poor. The elite of Iran or indeed Ethiopia share no interests wityh the great majority of the population- workers and peasants- but they in the main know that the US ruling class is their greater enemy.

Submitted by Daniel_Randall on Thu, 14/08/2008 - 11:35

I think this "no power on a global level" thing really doesn't stand up; as Sacha points out, that's why we use the category of "regional" or "sub-imperialism". Yes, a country like Iran or Argentina can clearly still be menaced by global imperialist powers but that doesn't change the fact that they function imperialistically within their own regions.

As I said, I think it's an abuse of language to say that a country which

* has a developed capitalist economy
* a large military-industrial complex
* oppresses national minorities
* seeks territorial and economic hegemony in its region by funding military satellites and through projects such as road-building

*isn't* imperialist. Iran's oppression of national minorities or its road-building projects in Afghanistan aren't "US-sponsored" or indeed sponsored by any other global imperialist power of which Iran might be a colony or "semi-colony"; it's done independently, by the Iranian bourgeoisie, to advance their own, independent interests and hegemony in the region - AGAINST and IN OPPOSITION TO the interests of US global imperialism. If you insist that Iran is a "semi-colony" of US imperialism, then how do you explain that sort of thing?

PS: Dan; I was -5 in 1982 but that doesn't absolve me from reading the history or taking account for what my tendency said about issues then. Also, you are well old.

Submitted by Jason on Thu, 14/08/2008 - 14:44

If the only people using the word imperialist were Marxists then I think we ciould just agree that we use the word in a different way and say it's no big deal. We're not claiming for example that the bourgeois in Iran are secretly controlled by the US for example. However, because of the dependence of the bourgeois in many semi-colonial countries on foreign capital and the domination of many usch regions of the world by US, German, French, British and multinational corporations the bourgoeis in mnay such countries are bought off and used by the 'western' bourgeois forces (I'd also add China to this list which may be controversial and also Japan). But it is not an iron law- such bourgeouis can act independently. Also they are in no sense allies of the proletariat, now feudalism has been overthrown pretyty much everywhere - they are our direct enemies and in class interests totally divorced from us 9and indeed fabulously wealthy).

I suppose it could be argued that the AWL's mistaken positions on a raft of issues such as opposing troops out now in Iraq, opposing NATO out of the Balkans etc. partly flows from not recognising that the division of the world into competing classes is also overlayede with an imperialist/semi-colonial di8vision. Perhaps. But it is better to argue out each case on its own merits I think.

However, 'imperialist' is a word understood by millions of people in the underdeveloped world or if the AWL deny (hard to credit though this is) that there are mateiral disparities between Africa/ Asia/ Latin America and Europe/North Amercia/ Australia then use the continent names. If we were say talking ot Iraqi workers - as we do- we would agree with those who say the best way to fight the Amercians is to overthrow our own bourgeois, to arm the workers, for workers' democratic organisations to come to the fore of opposition and to those mahjority of workers whop say - we antts we would say only by arming the workers can this happen, the reactionary bourgeois who shoot our trade unionists are either allies of the Americans or completely unable to overthrow them.

Similarly, in Malvinas we would say that the government that got us into this mess in no way wants to defend ordinary Argentune workers against imeprialism, we are in no way for the suspension of the fight against the bourgois but rather for their expropriation in order ot better wage war against the imperialists- not by military adventures but by proletarian revolution. However, of course, in a straight fight against the British and the Aregntine forces we support the Argentines against the British- as if anyione could doubt such a position! (Though some on the British left disgracefully but less surprisingly had a very inadequate position, namely Militant and Socialist Organiser).

Anyway I was 11- so I'm even more well old!

Submitted by Daniel_Randall on Thu, 14/08/2008 - 22:08

How does this - "However, of course, in a straight fight against the British and the Aregntine forces we support the Argentines against the British" - follow from anything else you said, Jason?

Giving any species of support to your class enemy undermines your struggle against them.

Submitted by Daniel_Randall on Thu, 14/08/2008 - 23:16

On a certain level, yes - supporting the NLF (you should be honest about what you mean here, Dan; don't dress it up as general support for the Vietnamese people - which is a non-sequitur - be clear that we're talking about the military victory of a Stalinist army) could potentially have undermined the struggle against Stalinism.

While I broadly think that it was right to back (or simply wish for, which is what it necessarily amounted to for socialists in Britain) the military victory of the NLF over the USA, I think there was a need to think very hard about exactly how that "support" was expressed and what it would've meant for any (largely hypothetical - which is a consideration in itself) third-camp elements in Vietnam.

Fundamentally though, the point for me is that the situation was of an entirely different nature; the USA's project in Vietnam menaced Vietnamese self-determination in a way that, for example, Britain's invasion of the Falklands/Malvinas simply didn't threaten Argentinian self-determination. Also, there was no substantial third-camp element even potentially capable of imposing itself politically in the way that there is in Iraq or Iran. In these circumstances I think the only option left was to critically back the military victory of the NLF, but if I'd have been an anti-Stalinist revolutionary on the ground in that struggle I imagine that my perspective wouldn't simply have been about helping the NLF win but rather about splitting resistance to the USA along class lines and combining the struggle for national self-determination with a struggle for social revolution against Stalinism. That's a far more nuanced perspective than the one implied by simply "supporting" the NLF against the Americans because they're anti-imperialist and leaving it at that.

But as I say, I don't think that situation is analogous either to Argentina or to the contemporary situation in Iraq or Iran, so I don't think it's a particularly helpful comparison.

Submitted by Duncan on Fri, 15/08/2008 - 16:55

> Though some on the British left disgracefully but less surprisingly had a very inadequate position, namely Militant and Socialist Organiser.

This is very irritating indeed. Socialist Organiser - more accurately the WSL - and Militant had very different positions. We sharply opposed Thatcher's war, making this our main focus, while also opposing the Argentine regime's side in the conflict. Militant dodged the issue, talked bizarrely about a socialist federation of Britain, the Falklands and Argentina (!) and wouldn't come out sharply against Britain's war. Or that's how I understand it.

Sacha

Submitted by paulm on Sat, 16/08/2008 - 09:44

In reply to by Duncan

I seem to remember that the SWP took the same position as SO on the Falklands war.

Submitted by Jason on Sun, 17/08/2008 - 10:14

Of course I don't want to irritate Sacha and he is right that the Militant position was far more equivocal- lciaming for example that what was really important was a Labour socialist government and didn't have a clear antiwar position at all. But the SO did oppose the war whilst refusing to support a military victory for Argentina which was a shift to the right but I do accept that it wasn't as bad as or as disgraceful as the Militant's position (indeed some of them talked about a socialist taskforce though I don't think this was officially their position- hard to know but I vcetrtianly remember the phrase being used but can't find any reference ot it in their archives).

The point though is that socialists in the working class should argue that of course we are for a military defeat of imperialism, for British troops out of the south Atlantic etc. but that this in no way compromises or dilutes thefight against the junta- the left and working class would use the mobilisations against the British troops in Malvinas as a way to begin organising again against the dictatorship etc.

Submitted by Llin Davies (not verified) on Mon, 18/08/2008 - 16:40

I think in some ways the definition of imperialism is pretty meaningless in determining socialists position in some of these situations. Surely, what is more important is Lenin's questions - "Which class is fighting this War, and for what purpose. The important distinction is not really imperialist or not imperialist, it is oppressed and oppressor. Marxists oppose oppressors, and support the oppressed. Generally, speaking of course an imperialist power will not get oppressed by a none imperialist power. But, a none imperialist power can oppress others, and it can engage in wars with imperialist powers and other none imperialist powers that are nothing in fact to do with its own oppression.

The general rule then must be if an imperialist power enters a war with another imperialist power over control of markets etc. then Marxists are defeatists on both sides. But, its important to udnerstand what that means. Look at what Trotsky said in 1939 and 1940 in respect of the US. Being a defeatist certainly does not mean trying to sabotage the war effort. Nor even does it mean adopting the pacifist position of draft dodging etc. ON the contrary, in just the same way that Marxists seek to be the most skilled, the most conscientous workers in order to win the respect of their felow workers, so they seek to be the most courgaeous, the most skilled soldiers for the same reason. On that basis when the time is right they put themselves in the best position to organise for the guns to be turned on the bosses.

Similarly, Trotsky said that US workers should be given military training under Trade Union control. He said that the approach to patriotic workers should be "We too want to defend the country, but we want to defend what is ours, not what is the proprty of the 60 families." So if it comes to a stage where an imperialist country is to be overrun that its own political independence is at stake then Marxists too would fight against that. But, usually that is not the case. IMperialist wars are usually fought over control of other people's countries not the countries of the imperialists themselves.

But, its clear that none imperialist countries can engage in such wars too, though they are not driven to do so by the same imperative that drives forward imperialism. IN such cases then surely the attitude should be the same as that adopted in an inter-imperialist war. Finally, such a none imperialist country might seek for whatever reason to fight a war to gain control over some weaker country, and to oppress it. In that case Marxists side with the latter against the former.

That was the case in the Falklands. Argentian sought to oppress the Falkland Islanders. Marxists had to support the latter against the former, it was a reactionary war. The subsequent conflict with Britain over that could not change that fact. Had Britain sought to use that situation to overrun Argentina that would have been different that would be an attempt to deprive it of its political indpendence and to oppress it. In that case, Marxists would have supported Argentina against Britain despite its fascist government. In the same way had Russia attempted to overrun and remove georgi's independence Marxists would have supported georgia despite its invasion of South Ossetia.

But, Britain at no time threatened Argentina's independence just as Russia has not threatened Georgia's independence. In which case the correct position for Marxists is to be defeatists on both sides.

Add new comment

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.