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Why your revolution is no liberation!

MAD Cologne | 12.06.2007 16:33 | G8 Germany 2007 | Analysis | Globalisation | Palestine | World

During the recent weeks and months a spirited debate developed in different German left wing newspapers and groups about the sense or non-sense, the perspectives and the means and goals of the mobilisation against the G8 summit. Different German and Austrian anti-fascist groups started a campaign to criticise a wrong analysis of capitalism widely spread in the anti-globalisation movement. In the context of this campaign several public discussions and lectures were held, a special webpage was set up but above all reader was published that contains a set of basic texts referring to this problem. This reader is available in German and English and will soon also be published in French in order to spread the debate also across other countries. Check it out:

Fight Antisemitism!
Fight Antisemitism!

With this reader, we want to take a stand against the currently predominating analyses, of the anti-globalisation movement, which, articulating themselves as in the broadest sense left-wing and anticapitalist, constantly boisterously trumpet their opinion, that another world was possible. We have serious doubts that this “other” world, was going to be of a better constitution than the current one. This anti-globalisation movement is of course not at all marginalised, but is enjoying broad sympathy, which reaches from the “bourgeois left” right to the so-called centre of society and which is even shared by Neo-Nazis

The anti-globalisation movement is-as its protagonists certainly emphasise when facing criticism-a heterogenous movement, in which many groups and individuals have agreed to a minimum consensus. In the case of the activities against this year’s G8-summit this consensus will consist of the participating heads of government being evil, whereas demonstrators and activists on the other side of the fence are “good”. Within the last couple of years, another consensus has-explicitly and implicitly-been agreed on: An antagonism toward the USA and Israel, as well as a structurally anti-Semitic criticism of capitalism.

The closing statement of the world social forum of Porto Alegre expressed the forum`s solidarity with the “Palestinian people” - not a word about suicide bombings or islamic anti- Semitism. The European Social Forum in Paris willingly offered a platform to the islamist and anti-semite Tariq Ramadan, whilst activists, that criticised the anti-Semitism of the No-Globals in a Flyer, were attacked and expelled from the forum. At an event during the EU-Summit in Copenhagen the Danish group “Global Roots” demanded a boycott of Israel stewards wore shirts with the slogan “Burn Israel Burn” on them. During an ATTAC meeting in Germany the Italian globalisation critic Alfonso de Vito compared Israels policy toward the Palestinians with the eviction of the Warsaw Ghetto. Noam Chomsky who can’ t detect anti-Semitism in Robert Faurrissons statement that the holocaust was a Zionist lie authored a manifesto in summer 2006 which declares Israel guilty of the Hisbollahs attack on Israels North because it was aiming to liquidate the Palestinian state. This silly writ which not only ignores the fact that there is no Palestinian state but also turns a blind eye to Israels withdrawal from the Gaza strip and the subsequent terror offensive of the Palestinians was promptly signed by other idols of the anti-globalisation movement: Naomi Klein, Jose Sarango, Arundhati Roy (amongst others).The latter was recently only notable by a completely amiss analysis of capitalism in which globalisation - equated with imperialism - is understood as a conspiracy of “men in suits”(Americans of course), who “trek the world like locusts”. Not forgetting the messias and head-of-state of the No-Globals, Hugo Chavez, close ally of the Iranian mullah regime which is currently sedously working on the nuclear destruction of Israel and which flaunts its president as the international figurehead of an extermination-anti-Semitism.

Why the hatred for Israel and the Jews? After every attack on a synagogue or another Jewish institution Israels allegedly disproportional military policy is at least considered as the reason for the attack. No assault on a mosque or an African immigrant in Europe has ever been justified with a reference to the policy of Muslim or African states. Why the personalisation of the circumstances of capital? It should be known since Marx that capitalism is not an event staged by handful of “men in suits” but a total social condition. With this cognizance this reader wants to contribute to the formulation of a radical criticism.

MAD Cologne
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12.06.2007 18:37

Are you the same people who had leaflets at the Reddlitch camp?

I agree with some of this thesis but it is being taken to unreasonable conclusions. The following I can agree with:

1. Capitalism is a social relationship lived out on every level of society, not simply a project of a handful of people at the top.

2. Many leftists, in their apparent need to support one side or the other in any given situation - to have a concrete position rather than acknowledging the complexity of life - are willing to remain silent on the views of certain groups provided those groups can be considered "oppressed."

However. To go from this to suggest that any class analysis (which implicitly acknowledges that capitalism has a heirarchic structure and that those higher up are able to make decisions affecting those below) is sympathetic to fascism, or that any critique of Israel specifically is de facto anti-Semitic, is not only wrong - it runs so close to the "anti-Zionist = Nazi" mantra that many of those you are trying to reach will simply ignore it.

is the Free Tibet movement anti-Chinese simply because those involved do not also criticise the situation in Western Sahara? is the Free West Papua movement anti-Indonesian because it does not campaign on similar struggles? if I support the student movement in Greece am I anti-Greek for not giving equal time to student struggles elsewhere?

any attitude that behaves as though Israel is alone in its behaviour is racist and misguided. however, to be blunt, there's only so many hours in the day. on some level we all prioritise certain campaigns over others in order to be effective and not spread our resources too thin. this is not anti-Semitism. it is common sense.