George Galloway win in the UK: Pathology Abounds (archive 2012)

“Labour should have won a landslide victory, so voters are not looking for the austerity-lite policies of Ed Miliband and Ed Balls.” – Galloway

I am on the left.  Make no mistakes about this, yet I find myself ruthlessly critiquing left-liberals.  In normal times, I leave third party left alone, particularly when I think the motivations for a win in a parliament of a country in which I am not a citizen shows some positive signs: the labour party in the UK is corrupt.  Opposing the labour party in its current guise is what any good leftist SHOULD do.  Furthermore, a free Palestine and a settlement as well as an end to American wars in the middle east would be a net-good thing.   However, the enthuaism that a see among many Marxists, who should damn well know that the enemy of your enemy is not necessarily your friend if they learned ANYTHING from the 20th century, are having for Galloway and the collumnalist victory.

Yet, I don’t see signs of hope here: I see desperation.  I, it should be known, have followed Galloway’s career since I was involved in the anti-war movement after 9-11.  After 7-7, I agreed with him when he stated:  “We argued, as did the security services in this country, that the attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq would increase the threat of terrorist attack in Britain. Tragically Londoners have now paid the price of the Government ignoring such warnings.”

Furthermore, I found Hitchen’s hyperbole about him somewhat telling, and again that led me to sympathy.  His statements on 7/7 were remarkably clear-headed. Furthermore, on the issue of Viva Palestina convey, I was impressed by Galloway’s involvement.  Yet, I will make no bones about it: I detest this man’s politics.   One, instead of principled opposition to NATO action in Libya without endorsing the  Qaddafi regime, Galloway gave money directly to the regime.   When Mehdi Kazemi was seeking Iranian asylum, Galloway denied that Iran executed homosexuals and said the Kazemi’s lover must have been executed for other sex-crimes. 

I have noticed a few SWP Trotskyist friends that seem to think this sort of behavior is acceptable as long as it expresses the general will against labor and against the war.  Funny, this sort of larger contradiction logic was the logic used by Stalin first to make common cause with fascists against the bourgeoisie and then to make cause with nationalists bourgeoisie against the fascists in World War 2.  You would expect that Trotskyists would listen to Lenin’s advice. Lenin defended Muslim freedom of worship:

Muslims of Russia…all you whose mosques and prayer houses have been destroyed, whose beliefs and customs have been trampled upon by the tsars and oppressors of Russia: your beliefs and practices, your national and cultural institutions are forever free and inviolate. Know that your rights, like those of all the peoples of Russia, are under the mighty protection of the revolution.

Which we should all do, but that’s not where the issue ends. Now, as you know I am both sympathetic to left nationalism and weary of the label Marxist myself, but I found Lenin’s statements here to be clear and crystal:

“Imperialism is as much our ‘mortal’ enemy as is capitalism. That is so. No Marxist will forget, however, that capitalism is progressive compared with feudalism, and that imperialism is progressive compared with pre-monopoly capitalism. Hence, it is not every struggle against imperialism that we should support. We will notsupport a struggle of the reactionary classes against imperialism; we will not support an uprising of the reactionary classes against imperialism and capitalism.

Consequently, once the author admits the need to support an uprising of an oppressed nation (‘actively resisting’ suppression means supporting the uprising), [Kievskii] also admits that a national uprising is progressive, that the establishment of a separate and new state, of new frontiers, etc., resulting from a successful uprising, isprogressive.”

Furthermore in 1920:

“With regard to the more backward states and nations, in which feudal or patriarchal and patriarchal-peasant relations predominate, it is particularly important to bear in mind:

first, that all Communist parties must assist the bourgeois-democratic liberation movement in these countries, and that the duty of rendering the most active assistance rests primarily with the workers of the country the backward nation is colonially or financially dependent on;

second, the need for a struggle against the clergy and other influential reactionary and medieval elements in backward countries;

third, the need to combat Pan-Islamism and similar trends, which strive to combine the liberation movement against European and American imperialism with an attempt to strengthen the positions of the khans, landowners, mullahs, etc.”

The managerial classes of the first world have made sure the third world could not have its own bourgeois-democratic revolutions: in every fairly progressive Muslim nation, reactionary regimes have been favored by liberal states against emerging liberal movements: Afghanistan prior to the Reagan supported bleeding of the Soviets, Indonesia prior to the dictatorship, Iran pre-to the reestablishment of the Shah, etc.  It makes no sense to explicitly side with the regimes who are the product of such reactionary measures because the west opposes them now.  Furthermore, particularly, when these regimes oppress the left in their own countries, yet this is exactly Galloway’s logic.  One supposes there is some truth when Hitchens said of him when Soviet Union failed, Galloway would find Islam. Indeed, there is something admirable in that and yet also seemingly exploitative.

Perhaps, though, there is a positive sign in this pathology:  I condemn Galloway’s opportunism while supporting the anti-war politics he represents. I suppose I can notice that his victory against labor is something positive, but if he is the best the left can produce in Great Britain to oppose both the pathetically corrupt Lib Dems and Labour’s rotting edifice.  It’s a sign the public instincts of Bradford West are in the right place in that regard, but that the best they can attach to is George Galloway is damning.

Parliamentary Social Democracy doesn’t look better than American liberal democracy in producing consistent answers these days.   Pathology everywhere, but few doctors with anything like the medicine to fix it at the moment.


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