Wednesday, September 14, 2005

bin Trotsky, bin Lotsa-Things

If you want to dance with the devil, why not dance the fox-trotsky?

Below we have two pieces on Trotskyism and Islam, the second being excerpts from the Trots themselves, cut down for the sake of our readers. The gist of it? Well, who really cares? Perhaps we are "organically incapable" of analysing it properly too. Or maybe it's just silly and you don't want to bother trying to follow it. We leave it to you, dear reader, to decide if the Trots are really, truly, deeply as right about all things as they seem to think they are. Yes, they have every answer to all important questions about how to run the world, but don't ever hire a Trot to do your roof or mow your lawn. These are the geniuses who have allied themselves in solidarity with Islam, the Galloways, the Livingstones, the Left David Dukes of hazard.

The first article below is a nicely written piece of bourgeios propaganda that tries to con the workers with capitalistic flim flams such as reason, order, and clarity. Lucky for you the piece following is directly from the founts of Trot. We do it all for you.

Next time we might just do the cha cha che.

The new Islamo-Marxism: Where Trotsky meets bin Laden

By Bill King
web posted December 20, 2004

Karl Marx once infamously referred to religion as "the opium of the people", and argued that it served to dampen the revolutionary fervor of the masses. Yet if Marx were alive to witness the acts of ferocity being committed by zealots in the name of Islam, one suspects that even he would readily admit he got that one wrong.

Just such a reconsideration of religion is taking place today among the remnants of the Marxist left in Europe and North America -- only their reassessment is taking them in an even more dangerous direction. Since the morning of September 11th, 2001, Western Marxists have been steadily discarding Marx's old materialist dictum in favor of a new found admiration for one religion in particular: radical Islam.

This is not to say, of course, that we will soon see those on the far left swapping their belief in History and Progress for a belief in Allah and the Koran as interpreted by radical Wahhabi or Shia clerics. But given their all-consuming hatred of America and the West, Marxists are increasingly throwing their political lot in with those they feel are leading the struggle against "imperialism" -- namely, the forces of world wide jihad.

So far, this new phenomenon has been taken up in a comprehensive manner only by David Horowitz in his new book, Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left, which as the title indicates focuses on the American far left. Yet the reality of a new "Islamo-Marxism" is immediately apparent to any objective observer of the Marxist left in Europe and Canada as well. And while the idea that secular Western Marxists would seek to ally with militant Islamists may seem incongruous at first, if one looks at the history of organized Marxism in the industrialized West, it is not really so surprising.

In the decades after the Second World War, the far left in Europe and North America turned to a whole series of forces -- from "student vanguards" to "national liberation movements" -- to find a substitute for a working class that refused to play the revolutionary role assigned to it by radical intellectuals. Throughout the 1970's and 80's, as Marxism became progressively more ensconced in the world of university seminars and academic journals, and as once radical social movements joined the mainstream, the left found itself increasingly bereft of a social force that could serve as the "subject" of its revolution.

Towards the end of the last century, with the collapse of the Communist project around the world and the rise of the United States to the status of sole superpower, the long held goal of a socialist revolution in the West finally gave way in practice to the far more realizable, and hence all the more furious, end goal of anti-Americanism. The stage was now set for an embrace of those not afraid to strike at what Che Guevara once called the "belly of the beast". In the rubble of the World Trade Centre and the death of 3000 innocents on 9/11, political convergence between the radical left and radical Islam was born.

There were, of course, precursors to the new post-9/11 Islamo-Marxism, the most notable being the tacit approval that was given by the far left after 1967 to Palestinian terrorists whose specialty was targeting the most defenseless: children in Israel, elderly Americans on cruise ships, tourists in airports in Europe. Today, however, the face of the new Islamo-Marxism is seen most clearly not in its stance on the Israeli-Palestinian question, but in its cheerleading (PDF format) for the murderous "resistance" in Iraq -- a "resistance" whose tactics, such as the summary execution of cooks and cleaners from Nepal (a country that had not even sent troops to Iraq!) with a shot to the back of the head as they lay with their hands bound behind them, are reminiscent of those used by the right-wing death squads of El Salvador in the 1980's.

George Galloway

As Joshua Kurlantzick points out in the December 2004 issue of Commentary, in his review of Horowitz's Unholy Alliance , it is in Europe that the political convergence between Marxists and Islamists is most advanced. But even Kurlantizick's article has been outpaced by the speed at which the alliance is growing. In England, for example, left wing Labourites, Trotskyists, and the Islamists in the Muslim Association of Britain have now formed an actual political party called "Respect" that has run in British and European elections. Its leader is none other than George Galloway, the former Labour MP with reported ties to Saddam Hussein's former regime and other Middle Eastern dictatorships.

Here in Canada, the tiny and splintered -- but often surprisingly influential -- Marxist movement has come down firmly on the side of radical Islam and jihad. One of the most sycophantic in its praise of all things Islamist is the Trotskyist Socialist Voice. This group of far leftists is so ingratiating towards those who would just as soon behead them, that they actually made a point of celebrating on their web site the fact that the Imam Ali Shrine was not damaged during last fall's fighting in the Iraqi city of Najaf. According to them, the fact that the mosque was spared was something that, "…working people around the world should join our Islamic brothers and sisters in greeting".

The largest Marxist group in Canada, the quasi-Trotskyist International Socialists (IS), has also chosen to cast its lot with the Islamists against the West. In fact, as far back as 1994, the IS's parent group in Britain, the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), published a pamphlet entitled "The Prophet and the Proletariat", in which they called for "defending Islamists against the state", and for "occasionally" siding with radical Islamists while maintaining an ideological distance. Today, in the pages of the IS publication Socialist Worker, in which the Islamist torturers in Fallujah, serial murderers of women in Mosul, and holders of sharia courts in Najaf and Sadr City, are all labeled "heroic", that "distance" has all but disappeared.

As would be expected, there are more than a few ironies in Western Marxism's current suicidal death-clinch with militant Islam. By far the most glaring is that a political movement so profoundly Western (one that, despite its protestations, is itself a historical product of capitalism and liberal democracy, and even more, has its roots in the West's supposedly most enlightened, rational, and progressive thinking) would choose, because of its obsessive anti-Americanism, to side with the most retrograde, nihilistic, indeed fascistic, politico-religious movement of our era, one which abhors every "progressive" value the left claims to uphold.

Leon Trotsky's ice-picked body must be rolling over in its grave
Leon Trotsky's ice-picked body must be rolling over in its grave

Yet another irony is that, within Marxism, it is the Trotskyists that are spearheading the turn to radical Islam. While in recent years Trotskyism has been most infamously (and most mistakenly) linked to neoconservatism, the actual Trotskyites are in fact the most zealous among the Marxists in seeking to unite with the jihadists. It is a massive and ignoble irony -- one that points to the complete moral-ideological collapse of international Trotskyism, even by its own standards -- that a movement founded by the scientific-minded atheist and arch secularist Leon Trotsky, who in the words of Norman Geras, "embodied in his person at once the traces of his Jewish origin and a powerful attachment to the universalist dream of the radical", would today be knowingly aiding and supporting those who murder, torture, and behead to the cry of "Allahu Akbar!"

But if those are some of the most immediately apparent ironies, they are not the cruelest. The cruelest is that in championing the Islamist insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan, today's Western Islamo-Marxists are supporting the very forces that are terrorizing and murdering politically active women, trade unionists, foreign aid workers, and left-wing activists in those countries -- and yet they continue to support those forces in the name of defending… the oppressed! Such "anti-imperialism" by comfortable Western Marxists in Europe and North America would almost be laughable were its consequences not so grisly and nefarious for those in far less safe places.

In another of his famous phrases, Marx once wrote that history repeats itself "the first time as tragedy, the second as farce". But it would seem that Marx got that one wrong too. For if the murder of millions by Stalinist Communism in the 20th century was tragedy, Islamo-Marxism's collusion with radical Islam in the first years of the 21st is more than just farce. It is farce, betrayal, and tragedy all at once -- and the collusion is just beginning. There can be little doubt that winning the global war against radical Islam will entail winning the ideological battle against its Islamo-Marxist allies right here at home in the West.

Bill King is a Vancouver based writer focusing on international politics, terrorism, and the radical left.

Afghanistan, Islam and the Revolutionary Left

By Peter Taaffe

The following is a lengthy article written in February 2002. We are publishing it now because the issues it analyses, of war, Islam and the approach of Marxists, are relevant to the new world situation of increased imperialist intervention in the neo-colonial world and the continued threat of a US invasion of Iraq. CWI online, July 2002



The Taliban and Osama bin Laden's al-Qa'ida have suffered a severe military and political defeat. The scale of their defeat is heightened by the fact that there was virtually no resistance on the ground to the imperialists and the Northern Alliance. We have analysed this elsewhere (see the CWI's previous statements) and wish here to compare the positions taken by the CWI and its sections with those of other organisations, particularly those who claim to stand on the revolutionary left. This approach, the method of contrasts, was deployed by Leon Trotsky, particularly in the 1930s, as a means of educating the revolutionary cadre. Most of the revolutionary left erred, and sometimes quite grossly, during the war. Some were opportunist; mostly however they were ultra-left and sometimes managed to combine both opportunism and ultra-leftism.

Misuse of Trotsky's writings


The world has undergone colossal changes since Trotsky wrote. The reality which confronts us is entirely different today. Therefore, it would be completely mechanical to simply apply remarks made in the 1930s to the current situation. World relationships and particularly the relationship between the 'advanced' imperialist countries and the neo-colonial areas of the world have undergone immense changes. In the past, imperialism exercised direct, military domination of many – but not all – areas of what is now the neo-colonial world. This has been largely replaced by indirect economic control. Undoubtedly, the effects of this are, in general, no less oppressive for the masses. Nevertheless, independence for the former 'colonies', the development of new states and with this a national consciousness, as well as the relative strengthening of these regions vis-à-visimperialism – at least of the larger states – has considerably changed the position.

Marxists have to implacably oppose the continued imperialist domination and the obscene use of overwhelming military might to maintain their power against the masses in the neo-colonial world, as in the case of Afghanistan. But the profound changes which have taken place mean that it is ludicrous today to compare, for instance, the regime of the 'emperor' of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie, in 1935 with the phenomenon today of bin Laden's al-Qa'ida and the Taliban. The colossal development of the means of worldwide communications – TV, radio, newspapers, Internet, etc. – is one of the most obvious differences between now and then. In consequence, there is a heightened awareness of what is happening internationally.

The masses in the 1930s would have understood little of the precise detail of the Haile Selassie regime. Moreover, Ethiopia was under attack by the fascist regime of Benito Mussolini at the time Trotsky was writing. Given the democratic illusions of the working class of Europe or the US in particular, together with the recent bloody example of what fascism would mean for them in the coming to power of Adolf Hitler and Mussolini, it was natural that the sympathies of the masses in the 1930s would be with Ethiopia against fascist Italy. The British and most of the European bourgeoisie together with the US, for their own imperialist strategic interests, also played on this sympathy for Ethiopia. It is nonsense to imply, however, as the sectarian organisations do by quoting these remarks of Trotsky, that the mass of the populations in most industrialised countries could take the same attitude today towards bin Laden and the Taliban.


This does not mean to say that we have to revise the past positions of Marxism, particularly elaborated by Lenin and Trotsky. We clearly differentiate between the advanced imperialist countries and those in the colonial or the neo-colonial world. In general we still support the peoples in the neo-colonial world in the struggle against imperialist domination, particularly when this takes on the form, as it did in Afghanistan, of military intervention. In this case we were clearly on the side of the Afghani people and in the imperialist countries we opposed the war. Support for the Afghani people and their resistance against the armed incursions of imperialism is not the same as support for the Taliban, even if this support is 'critical', as some left organisations have posed it.

Moreover, to call baldly and crudely for the 'defeat of US imperialism' and its coalition allies as an agitational slogan is wrong. When Lenin used the term "revolutionary defeatism", as Trotsky subsequently explained, it was in order to clearly delineate revolutionary Marxism from opportunism following the betrayal of the German social democracy and their opportunist international co-thinkers at the beginning of the First World War. It was primarily a policy for the cadres to draw a clear line of separation between the revolutionaries and the opportunists. It was not a policy that could have won the masses to the banner of Bolshevism or to the revolution. It was the programme of the Bolsheviks and everything that flowed from this, including the taking of power by the working class in alliance with the peasantry, which guaranteed the success of the Russian Revolution.

Many ultra-left organisations are organically incapable of understanding the approach of Lenin, Trotsky and the Bolsheviks. They take what have been essentially formulations used within the Marxist movement to sum up, delineate and clearly differentiate one idea or conception from another as an expression of what should be stated publicly. Consequently they have been unable to pass from a circle mentality and intervene successfully in mass movements. Even worse, they have miseducated a layer of young people and occasionally workers, who otherwise could play an important role in strengthening and building Marxism.

How we relate to the consciousness, which can be different in the industrialised world compared to the neo-colonial world, whilst still maintaining a principled Marxist position, is the key to finding a road to the working class and the youth. This is not an easy task; a correct position can only be arrived at through analysis and discussion, sometimes of the most painstaking kind. Such an approach is, however, foreign to many organisations of the revolutionary left. For them it is merely a question of presenting a 'programme', usually sucked out of their thumb or drawn out of the writings of Trotsky or Lenin from a different period, and mechanically applied to the situation irrespective of the ebbs and flows in the mood or understanding of the masses.

This was not the approach of Lenin, Trotsky and the Bolsheviks in the Russian Revolution. The mood of the masses was a vital issue which was crucial in determining tactics at different turning points in the nine months between the February and October Revolutions. For instance, in July Lenin opposed the seizure of power by the Petrograd working class who were ready to take this step because it was premature, given that consciousness lagged behind throughout the rest of Russia and particularly amongst the peasant masses who formed the bulk of the Tsarist armies at that stage. A serious attempt to seize power would have risked the crushing of the Petrograd working class, and therefore the vanguard of the revolution, with the possible complete derailment of the revolution. In the event, the decision of the Bolsheviks to go along with the demonstration, but stopping short of an insurrection, lessened the repression which inevitably followed the July events. Similar care in gauging the mood of the working class in the three months before the October Revolution was a key, hotly disputed issue within the ranks of the Bolshevik party.

We have always taken the consciousness of the working class, which is not a static thing, into account in formulating demands and an approach towards issues such as war. This is not an easy task and even in a healthy Marxist organisation can provoke controversy and differences.

Friends, Romans, countrymen, workers and peasants, drug addicts and suicide bombers, Lenin me your ears: Quit Stalin.

How can we read that nonsense without laughing? And yet, here we are faced with half the world of the West lapping it up like porrige in a gulag. The idiot Troyskite rubbish flows down from on high, and the pseudo-intellectuals of our Left in the West think it's manna from Heaven. What on Earth are we going to do with these people?

1 comment:

gandalf said...

Thank you for voting dag, please spread the word around and maybe the blogosphere will become effective,, who knows, its worth a try