Sunday, 6 November 2011

Why Did The AWL Take Down This Post

In my blog a few days ago AWL Dig Bigger Hole, I referred to the post by Sean Matgamna replying to Attila The Stockbroker.  The reply had been posted as a separate post with the Title "Idiot Wind" under the name of Dalcassian, a pseudonym used by Matgamna.  Oddly that post has now disappeared!  They didn't do a very good job of removing all evidence of its existence, however.

Run a Google Search on their site for it, and its details appear, but try to open it, and it returns a "page not found" showing it has been removed.

Now, Attila's Song appears both as a separate post with a number of replies, not including "Idiot Wind", and appears as a comment under the post of Clive Bradley replying to Seamus Milne, and where "Idiot Wind" now does appear as a comment, but under the name of edwardm!

Why were the AWL not prepared to leave this post up under Sean Matgamna's well known psuedonym of Dalcassian???

In one of the replies to Attila, Lisa Radley comments, to Attila's reference to the AWL's hostility to Hamas,

"That's not a bad parallel. After all, the Islamism of Hamas doesn't stop us supporting the Palestinians, so the Islamism is some parts of the Libyan uprising shouldn't stop us supporting their overthrow of Gaddafi."

But, of course, this is NOT a parallel. Of course, Marxists can support the Libyan masses desire for freedom, just as we can that of the Palestinians, but what is being compared here is not that, but the AWL's support for the Libyan "rebels", not the Libyan masses!!! The rebels are no more the equivalent of the Libyan masses, than is Hamas of the Palestinian masses. The whole point of a Marxist response to such situations is to make precisely that distinction, and to argue for support for the "truly revolutionary" elements as Lenin put it, as opposed to the merely reformist, bourgeois democratic, and certainly the clerical-reactionary elements! In fact, as Lenin and the Comintern made clear, it is our job to oppose these latter elements as part of developing the truly revolutionary forces, and primarily the working class forces in such situations. To the extent that we "make an alliance" with any of these other forces for a specific objective, it is purely tactical, and temporary, and does not at all remove from us the duty to continue to maintain strict separation from them, and to continue the sharpest criticism of them.

The AWL, most certainly did not do that. It has acted to promote the "rebels", as truly revolutionary forces, and to play down its reactionary nature throughout, in a way it has never done in relation to Hamas, for instance.

In a further comment the AWL write,

"No-one's claiming things will be perfect now. We don't "support" the NTC. We've written (in the current Solidarity) about the battle the Libyan people now face against neo-liberal economic policies and, yes, Islamism. Things aren't so sewn up as you imply; the idea that "the flag of Al-Qaeda flies over Benghazi", as if ultra-Islamists have taken full control in Libya, is just untrue.",

which is an indication of the extent to which the AWL have adopted the Stalinist "Stages Theory". Libyan workers do not only NOW face a batlle against the "neo- liberal economic policies" of the TNC, or the Islamism of the rebel fighters! They faced that battle from the beginning, and a marxist position should have been to have identified it, and demanded that workers maintained their independence, in order to fight it from the beginning. The argument that the Libyan workers are only now free to fight those reactionary forces, because Gaddafi is gone is ridiculous. Its certainly not an argument the AWL have raised to defend the Islamists in Iran for instance. On the contrary, they previously said that they had learned their lesson from failing to warn of the dangers of the Islamists assuming power, and the need for the workers to have maintained separation from them. If we find that the Libyan Islamists are just as much a threat to Libyan workers as the Iranian Islamists are to Iranian workers, then it would be just as rational to say that Libyan workers only have to wage a life and death struggle against those clerical-fascists, BECAUSE gaddafi has gone, because prior to that he kept the Islamists suppressed.

But, that would be to adopt the same kind of "lesser-evilist" approach that the AWL have done. Marxists should have advocated an independent working-class position from the beginning opposing the workers enemies on all sides. The AWL could not do that, because as in previous such situations their guiding principle is to support Imperialism, and those in alliance with it.


nomadron said...

every time I enter your site now, I get the broadcast about Libya which is embedded at the bottome of the 30 October post. Can you do anything at yr end to switch it off? Its very repetitive - and discourages me from accessing

Boffy said...

Yes, it is annoying. I've looked to see if there was a way of haviong it not play automatically, but can't find any.

The quick solution is click on another post heading. Then it stops.

Anonymous said...

Two letters from AWL members on the same day (not bad going) in the Guardian, 22 January 2011, both warning of the Islamist danger in Tunisia and Egypt with the fall of ben Ali and the impending fall of Mubarak.

'Soumaya Ghannoushi says socialists and Islamists should unite for change in Tunisia (Tunisians must dismantle the monster Ben Ali built, 18 January). No they should not. Socialists and Islamists both opposed Ben Ali, true – but they disagree about what should be done next.

'The real left is democratic, secular, in favour of women's equality, opposed to antisemitism and sees the united working class as an agency for change. Many Muslims are leftists on this basis; but Islamist parties stand for something radically different.

'This attempt to blur the lines between the left and Islamism is a feature of politics in this country too. For 10 years parts of the far left (for reasons of opportunism and lack of political confidence) have allied with Islamists in the anti-war movement, with disastrous consequences for the political health of the socialists.

'It is time to get back to constructing alliances on the basis of what we are for, not simply on what we are against.

'Mark Osborn, London'

'Soumaya Ghannoushi's call for an alliance between socialists and Islamists is a disaster from the point of view of the left. In 1978-80, many Iranian leftists thought they and the Islamists shared a common struggle against the Shah. The result was the crushing of the left, the destruction of the workers' movement and the installation of an Islamist tyranny just as bad as what went before. Islamists may use democratic slogans against secular and western-backed regimes, but their real goal is to destroy all elements of democracy and workers' self-organisation in society. The left should make solidarity with democratic, secularist and socialist forces in Tunisia, not political Islam.

'Sacha Ismail, Alliance for Workers' Liberty'

A little bit different in respect of Libya. I wonder why...

Simon said...

You can disable the autoplay on the RT video by finding the embed code (it won't let me post it here) and changing autostart=true to auto=start=false

Boffy said...


Cheers for that, I'll try it.