Editorial: Massacres in Syria, Iran crisis...The threat of an imperialist cataclysm in the Middle East

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Editorial: Massacres in Syria, Iran crisis...The threat of an imperialist cataclysm in the Middle East
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The discussion that follows was prompted by the article: Editorial: Massacres in Syria, Iran crisis...The threat of an imperialist cataclysm in the Middle East. The discussion was initiated by Fred.
Below is the discussion so far. Feel free to add your own comments!

do not despair

This article is terrifying. That it is written so cool, calm and collected, makes it even more terrifying because it is describing the violent end of humanity brought about by a crazed, maniacal and desperate bourgeoisie at the end of it's tether and the end of its legitimate rule.

But suddenly, the article finds hope for us all. " Unfortunately this self-destruction of the system goes together with the threat of the total destruction of humanity. But recognising that capitalism is caught up in a process leading to the ruin of civilisation should not be a reason for despair or passivity. " Oh! really. And why not? Because, says the writer: "In the last issue of this Review .... we wrote “The economic crisis is not a never-ending story. It announces the end of a system and the struggle for another world”. This assertion was based on the real evolution of the international class struggle. This world-wide struggle for another world is now beginning. Certainly with all kinds of difficulties, still very slowly, but it is now definitely present. And this new force in movement, illustrated most clearly by the struggle if the Indignados
in Spain, enables us to see that there is a way out.".

Now I'm all for optimism, but this - coming from a section of the ICC - is almost overwhelming, though very welcome nonetheless. The evolution of the class struggle - the struggle for a new humanitarian world - both are now definitely present we read. What marvelous stuff this is: almost bordering on wish fulfillment. So where all is this hope best illustrated? Why, in the struggles of the Indignados! But Oh dear! Oh my hair and whiskers! Is not this a bit of a let down?

The Indignados and the Occupiers are alright up to a point, but they're hardly a substitute for the self-organized autonomy of the working class itself, are they? So should we feel a little disappointed by the promise of new worlds if the Indignados are all we've got so far to show the way forward?

But wait a minute. What about the valiant struggles of the oil workers in Kazakhstan; the struggles at Verizon; the multitudinous struggles of the irrepressible Chinese workers; the "red squares" in Canada and other actions by students allied to the working class; the emergence of a revolutionary group like Birov and other manifestations of working class resistance round the globe? Many of these rebellions are vitiated and destroyed by the unions or by the bourgeois state apparatus of course. But that's just for the moment. For yes, finally, maybe the article is correct in its optimism, and despite the horrors of middle east violence, and the threat of resulting war, a new world really is beginning to emerge and beginning to show itself as the only viable way forward.

I have to agree with Fred,

I have to agree with Fred, the indignado movement and the related "social movements" we have seen over the last 18 months or so are not a subsitute for mass actions at the point of production, which point the way towards the mass strike. Is there a tendency towards a kind of immediatism here? A frustration with the fact that the response of the working class has not been proportinate to the attacks against it, such that we are now "substituting" these "social movements" for the mass action of the class itself? One can be insipred that these movements show that there is still resistance taking place, but one can also be frustrated in that these movements have taken center stage in the abscence of a broader response.

On the imperialist situation in the Middle East--I can't quite share the article's apocalytic tone. I agree that there are some troubling tendencies reflecting decomposition coming to the surface in the Israeli and U.S. ruling classes (Baboon's well-put "messianic factions"). But these hardly express the consensus of these states' per se. As the article itself says, the war wongering against Iran of the current Israeli government appears to be opposed by much of its military/intelligence appartus and it is itself invoking a certain political crisis in that country. What's more--the U.S. clearly does not want all out war with Iran right now. U.S. leadership may be declining, but it is hard to envision the Israeli state using tactical nuclear weapons without U.S. approval, which I cannot see coming (even under a Romney administration). In this, I think the article stretches its point too much. There is still a considerable possibility of internal political instability in Iran leading to some kind of change of regieme at some point. Iran is not North Korea--there is a considerable ex-patriot opposition that the Western powers are rather familiar with.

I don't want to minimize the danger here. Decompoisiton is real and it is difficult to estimate just where it will go, but I think we need to be careful that every article we write doesn't end up predicting a cataclysm that doesn't quite come.

I read somewhere some news

I read somewhere some news about new demonstrations in Tel Aviv regarding the Israeli state's arrest of the leader of last year's protests over housing, etc. Does anyone know more about this?

something on libcom

there is something on libcom - make sure you go to the last few posts on the thread, most of which is about last year's protests