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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Revolutions in the Era of "Socialist" Abandonment

In the United States, the modern anti-imperialist movement has a legacy that includes the post WW2 anti-nuke and peace movements and is still very much dominated by organizations and personalities steeled in the civil rights and Vietnam era anti-war movements. It has a noble history of championing the struggles of third world people in Central and South America, Africa, particularly the anti-apartheid struggle, the Middle East, particularly the Palestinian struggle, Asia and indigenous people everywhere.

Given that the United States is the biggest imperialist power on the planet, the anti-imperialist movement could not help but be at the heart and soul of progressive movements generally in Western countries.

Why the Anti-Imperialist Movement opposes Revolutions

Historical materialism, i.e. a scientific approach to historical and social development, shows us that just as ancient slavery arose out of primitive communism, feudalism arose from the ancient slave societies, capitalism developed from and triumphed over feudalism (Although not without taking a few royals on board :-), early competitive capitalism gave way to monopoly capitalism and imperialism. The same approach, first articulated and championed by Karl Marx and Fred Engels, shows us that there is no going back in either time or development; from imperialism we can only go forward. Imperialism can't be reformed, it can only be replaced and that means replacing capitalism with socialism.

An examination of the current state of humanity's guardianship of the Earth, not to mention its own prospects for survival, indicates that this change needs to come sooner rather than later and since it can't wait until all the capitalists are brought on board, i.e. won to socialism, it will require a socialist revolution and given the meanness and inhumanity of the capitalists, it will probably be a violent one. There can be little doubt on this score, seeing how even revolutions aimed at establishing a more democratic state without directly challenging capitalism are currently being met with the utmost violence in several countries around the globe.

But here's rub, as far as the progressive movement is concerned, anti-imperialism is a two-edged sword. It can be forward looking and it can be backward looking and in the past several decades the progressive movement has been dominated by an unholy alliance between those that look forward to socialism and those who look back, longingly, to some forever lost (but don't tell them that!) pre-imperialist era.

Certainly that was the case with the encampment at city hall park of Occupy Los Angeles in October and November 2011. The main internal struggle was between those that saw OLA as a tool in the larger anti-capitalist struggle and those trying to recreate primitive communism right there in city hall park. But everybody was an "anti-imperialist." The "tribes," as they called themselves, were simply making use of the "opportunity" the anti-capitalist activists had created for them to do their thing in this particular park, and they had every "right" to be there because they too were "anti-imperialists."

Recent Left history has seen an opportunistic alliance between the forward looking and backward looking anti-imperialist elements with the latter ruling the day. When I speak here of elements I am not just thinking of groups or individuals but also elements of program, ways of analyzing, etc. It should be understood in a very dialectical way and not something easily boxed up.

Progressives aren't necessarily revolutionaries and anti-imperialists aren't necessarily progressive. We've certainly seen this with regards to some of the very unsavory alliances that have been forged with the likes of Rand Paul in the "US Out of Syria" coalition. Of course progressives who don't become revolutionaries will likely try to pull the rug out from under us at a critical juncture.

Some of these backward looking anti-imperialists think that capitalism can be reformed and made to work better for everyone. Some look upon the pre-slave societies, a time before human exploitation, as something we should be creating here and now. Generally, speaking they think large enterprises should be broken up, not state run, and they favor creating alternatives here and now over a revolution that will require a dramatic change in state power. They even believe that a revolution may not be necessary, and it certainly cannot be violent.

In addition to these backwards looking elements, an aging cadre of old Leftists, with an undeserved allegiance to what use to be the Soviet Union, have had an over-sized influence in this anti-imperialist "united front." They think they are forward looking because they "recognize" socialism, but for their role model, they look backwards and draw the wrong lessons about the present.

Both Mummar Qaddafi and Hafez Assad embodied similar contradictions in their brands of anti-imperialism. They both talked a good game of "socialism", but politically they were complete opportunists and they certainly didn't want to move their nations forward, Allah forbid!, towards a worker's democracy, or any democracy for that matter. They wanted to move the clock back to a time when sons succeeded fathers on the throne and, in the name of anti-imperialism, they cultivated the pre-capitalist tribal, ethnic and religious identities upon which they based their powers.

It was also in this context that 911 Truth logic, general conspiracy theory associative guilt logic and all kinds of wild schemes and theories were welcomed into the anti-imperialist fold with little critical scrutiny. Within the progressive movement, an understanding of capitalists as a ruling class was replaced by a New World Order of private clubs and secret societies. This triumph of folklore paralleled a general decline in science and a growth in mysticism in the US generally.

With this corruption, the Left could not help but lose traction among the masses and has been doing so since the seventies, but it took the revolutionary uprisings, that began in North Africa as 2010 was fading, to uncover the truth depths of the Left's fall from grace and, hopefully cause a rupture. Because now we have the sorry situation where it wouldn't be unfair to say that, on the whole, the anti-imperialist movement in the United States has opposed the two most thoroughgoing revolutions to come out this current revolutionary tide, those in Libya and Syria.

The US Left's betrayal of the Libyan Revolution

I can already hear the angry response "What revolution? There was no Libyan Revolution, just a NATO 'regime change' operation." To which I reply "Thank you for making my point so eloquently."

In Libya, the Arab Revolt has gone further than anyplace else. In Libya, it was forced over to armed struggle the earliest, because in Libya, for the first time the Arab Spring faced, not a neo-liberal regime, but a fascist regime, if one that was being neo-liberalized, with an armed wing willing to slaughter civilians to maintain the regime.

In Libya there was no compromise on the part of the revolutionaries with regards to the strategic task of this revolution, which was the complete dismantling of the 40 year old fascist state, which Qaddafi had created in his own likeness, Green Book socialism and all. All attempts by the big powers, including the NATO countries, to engineer a compromise that would leave Qaddafi or parts of his regime in power were refused.

In Libya, the old state machinery was completely overthrown and is now being rebuilt from scratch. Most importantly, the regime's army was completely defeated on the field of battle by a people's army. Both the old state machinery and its instruments of violence were completely smashed, and are now being rebuilt. That is what makes the Libyan Revolution a true and thoroughgoing revolution. This ain't your usual "regime change" operation and far too pregnant with revolutionary possibilities to be anything the US imperialists are likely to support.

We can clearly see their preferences in the way things worked out in Tunisia and Egypt where they had more influence, the US in Egypt and France in Tunisia. In both those countries the police tried to use live ammo to quell the uprising, and when that didn't work, the army (under Western influences, both Ben Ali and Mubarak ordered otherwise) stood down rather than escalate the situation into one that might turn truly revolutionary as it did in Libya and Syria.

As a result, in both Tunisia and Egypt, the people's blood got them a regime change, but with the old state machinery and army still in place, they remain one revolution short of what is really needed to advance their situation.

The Libyans were able to overthrow Qaddafi in ten months while the Syrians are still getting slaughtered by Assad and his foreign backers because they got NATO air support.

The reason they asked for international protection needs no explanation to anyone who has ever been bombed. The Syrian people have been demanding a "no-fly" zone for about two years now and when the Soviets were fighting Hitler they were happy for every gun they got from the US imperialists.

The only thing amazing here is the amount of reproach and indignation it generated in the US Left followed by the conclusion that anybody that would accept NATO help in keeping their babies from being bombed must be lackeys of the US and their mercenaries in a proxy war.

Why NATO accepted this invitation to support a revolution is another matter, and as we can now see, a one off. The reasons are many and complicated. Some of the important factors include oil, and not just "Libya has a lot of oil" in the general sense. Libya supplies a unique grade of crude to which certain European fineries have been specifically engineered and Europe was already in the middle of financial crisis precipitated by the 2008 banking crisis. Having Libyan oil off the market for a long time simply wasn't an option.

They gave Qaddafi more than a month to crush the rebellion with military violence but by the time he was ready to start his murderous bombardment of Benghazi, it has clear that, in spite of his best efforts, the armed rebellion had developed legs and had already spread from the historically rebellious east to the west mountains and the south. Qaddafi had already shown that he had lost control and if they did not intervene, this was going to be a long war, like Syria, and take Libyan oil off the market for a long time. Even if they let him destroy Benghazi, then they would be obliged to impose sanctions which would take Libyan oil off the market for a long time anyway.

There were other reasons as well. They never really liked Mummar Qaddafi, even when they were taking his money. The Arab Spring was new and they were open to new approaches. They assumed the "no-fly" zone would lead to boots on the ground, and then they would really be in a position to influence the outcome. They needed the good PR this brought them among ordinary Arabs, which they have since lost by allowing the Syrians to twist in the wind.

Of course, the US Left was entirely correct to point out the hypocrisy of the imperialists' claim that they were intervening in the Libyan civil war for humanitarian reasons. That they have allowed the man-made disaster in Syria to become an order of magnitude worst shows that they don't intervene for humanitarian reasons.

But the question I never saw asked or answered was: Why didn't the US peace and justice movement demand international intervention when Qaddafi threatens to bomb his own cities? Why have they denied the demands of millions of Syrians for international protection of their children from Assad's bombs. Where is their humanity?

The US Left started late and on the wrong foot on Libya

The US Left was slow to pick up on the Arab revolt beginning in December 2010. I took notice in the middle of January just before Ben Ali fell in Tunisia and I got this early "heads-up" as a result of my connections to the Free Software movement not 40 years in the US Left. I remember looking around at the time and seeing nothing about it on Left websites and mail-lists. Things were popping off across North Africa, Tunisia, Libya, Algeria, Egypt and beyond and no one seemed notice outside of hackers and Arabs. I remember looking at the postings of Code Pink and other groups doing Palestinian support work and thinking: The ground underneath your feet is shifting and you don't even know it yet.

Most in the US Left didn't pick up on the Libyan Revolution until the UN and NATO got involved. They viewed it from the perspective of their bourgeoisie's involvement not that of the Libyan people. Generally, they didn't bother to play catch-up and find out what was really going on in Libya. Many believed the "anti-imperialist/socialist" mythology Qaddafi had spun about himself. And besides, drawing on the experiences of Afghanistan and Iraq, they knew that if NATO was on one side, they were on the other. (That's how easy it is to trick some Leftists into becoming counter-revolutionaries.)

Vijay Prashad, Counterpunch's "Marxist" on Libya

While the US Left has ignored or belittled the Libyan Revolution, one of the things that I hope my Libyan friends will get out of this essay is that they shouldn't take it personally. These "Left" objections to the Libyan Revolution have been and continue to be objections to the revolutionary process in general even though they hide behind a critique of the process in one country. As I will show, these people will be against all revolutions in the real world.

This is especially true among those that fancy themselves Marxists of one or another favor, don't understand the general rules of revolution, and have fallen into total confusion over Libya. Take for example Vijay Prashad, he claims to be a Marxist, and he has been one of the main writers about Libya for Counterpunch, which many consider a Marxist rag.

Now, as I understand it, all Marxists, regardless of many other differences, agreed with Marx, Engels, and Lenin around a few basic principles, like, for example, that socialism will represent a whole period of transition from capitalism to communism and socialism will be implemented by a worker's state. This is really Marxism 101. Saying you don't agreed with that is like saying you're a Christian but you don't believe in Christ.

In his effort to welcome Qaddafi into the fold of the "socialist" camp, Vijay Prashad, the Marxist, makes a compete muddle of this. Writing in Counterpunch, a week after the 17 February Revolution kicked off, he first tells us how Qaddafi bought socialism to Libya:
In 1969, Colonel Muammar al-Qaddafi (age 27) surprised the aged King Idris, then in Turkey for medical treatment. Inspired by the Free Officers in Egypt, Qaddafi and his fellow Colonels force-marched the fragile Libyan State and even more fragile Libyan society into socialism.
So according the Prashad, the Marxist, it didn't take a united working class or a party, it was a small group of officers staging a coup that brought socialism to Libya. Then he goes on to tell us more about Qaddafi's "socialism" as defined in his famous little (27 pages!) Green Book:
His Green Book dismissed capitalism and communism in favor of a “Third Universal Theory,” to return the Arab world to the fundamentals of Islam in both politics and economics.
So now we have the Marxist Prashad telling us that Qaddafi has found a way to modify the historical processes which Marx called a law of development. The Marxist Prashad is telling us that Qaddafi is implementing a new kind of socialism that is not a transition between capitalism and communism and is not based on workers power but on Islam.

He also shows an unlimited appetite and unbelievable naiveté for the self-serving propaganda the Qaddafi regime has generated about itself and how hunky-dory everything was in Libya.

Above the headline, his article asks ominously "The Bang That Ends Qaddafi's Revolution?" Well, if he thinks what Qaddafi did in Libya was a socialist revolution; he would certainly see moves against it as counter-revolutionary, wouldn't he. The article is titled "The Libyan Labyrinth." (Winter is coming?)

Now, anyone subjecting Mummar Qaddafi's Green Book to the type of scientific analysis that is required of a Marxist could come to no other conclusion than it is a piece of trash. It contains no plan for socialism, no class analysis. It is the ravings of a lunatic and the Libyan people had it crammed down their throats for decades. But Vijay Prashad is ready to declare it the road-map for a new version of socialism and presumably to be considered along with the classics by Marx, Engels, Lenin and other well regarded writers on socialism as Marxists understand it.

Opportunism dominates the US Left

This is the sorry and corrupt state that much of the Left found itself in when the real world events of the Arab Spring finally demanded their attention. Many were enamored with a fantasy about "Qaddafi's Revolution." [Odd to think, in Libya a "revolution" of Colonels they support, a revolution of the people, they don't.] And of course they knew they opposed NATO.

Even the so-called Marxists have gotten sloppy and fantasy-laden after years of uncriticality within the anti-imperialist united front. Only this could see Counterpunch promoting such a mystical top-down version of "socialism" from a writer claiming to be a Marxist.

So this is where much of the US Left started from when the Libyan people's struggle against the 42 year old Qaddafi dictatorship broken out in February 2011. Many already saw him as a working class hero, some had traveled to Tripoli and taken the guided tour, and then there was the NATO intervention.

They didn't know much about the real world conditions in Libya beyond Qaddafi's propaganda. They didn't know much about the history of the struggle till that point or who the major players were. And they certainly didn't have time to find out. The nature of our Left culture is that our "major players" had to have "statements" out within weeks of finding out something was going on.

Most in the non-interventionist camp thought that a NATO enforced "no-fly" zone would be a prelude to NATO boots on the ground. That's what they really meant when they said it would be just like Afghanistan and Iraq. This is what Vijay Prashad predicted, 23 March 2011, in Counterpunch:
The Gulf of Sidra will stand in for the Gulf of Tonkin. Ships of war will dock at Benghazi, and the ground troops will slide along the road that was once the graveyard of Field Marshall Montgomery and Rommel (their half tracks and tanks still litter the road outside Tobruk). Such an assault, which might be inevitable, will revive the debacle in Iraq that lasted from 2003 to 2007, with loyalists now underground in a brutal insurgency against the foreign troops and the people of the east, a defense of their realm and a sectarian conflict at the same time.
NATO did seem to be angling to get their people on the ground in spite of the UN prohibition, but the Libyans, "puppets" or not, stuck to their guns on that point and never yielded. Unlike just about every other country over which NATO has flown, NATO has no troops in Libya, and unlike so many other African countries, NATO has no bases in Libya.

Naturally, none of this has caused the many non-interventionists that came to the early conclusion that the Libyan Revolution, if there ever was one, had been "hijacked", to change their opinion. Vijay Prashad, the Marxist, has even written a book to backup his cautionary views. It is exceptionally well titled in that there is no need to read the book because the title already tells you what it is going to say. It is titled Arab Spring, Libyan Winter. From the Amazon book description we get:
The Arab Spring captivated the planet...In Libya, though, the new world order had different ideas.
We can see that the socialist abandonment which concerns us is not just the abandonment of this new revolutionary upsurge by the socialists but the abandonment of Marxism by the socialist and indeed, in the case of the likes of Vijay Prashad, the abandonment of Marx by the so-called Marxists.

People's War in Libya

Owing to what might be called "socialist" abandonment, the Libyan people had to overthrow Qaddafi without the benefits of a socialist leadership or party organization. Nevertheless, the struggle developed at a grassroots level and it was largely a working class struggle for a better life.

When it became an armed struggle, this also developed first in the localities with small groups of activists or defectors taking up arms and forming companies or brigades. In a few cases, larger units came over intact. When General Abdul Fattah Younis defected, he brought with him 8,000 soldiers, including 3,000 special forces, but that was the exception. Mostly it was small units forging alliances to build bigger units or take on operations jointly. This is how a people's army is built up if it is not just founded by a party that already has a national organization.

A similar thing was starting to happen in Egypt as neighborhood self-defense organizations were springing up to ward off attacks from Mubarak's thugs in Cairo, Alexandra and other cities before the army stepped in and short-circuited that development by deposing Mubarak.

The Libyan rebellion was made up of hundreds of these revolutionary brigades or fighting groups because it was a true people's army and not some mercenary proxy army controlled by NATO. This is the army that beat Qaddafi on the ground, and while they might still be slogging it out with him, like their brothers and sisters in Syria, without a big "air lift" from NATO, I have little doubt that Qaddafi would go down in the end.

During the Libyan campaign, one of the favorite complaints about the Libyan opposition from the "international community" i.e. the imperialists, and often echoed by the non-interventionist left, was how "disunited" the Libyan opposition was! They spoke as if it had once been united and then fell apart, but that has never been the case. The Libyan opposition was striving to build unity for the first time all the while conducting a successful revolutionary war.

This is not a task unique to the Libyan Revolution. It is a task faced by all revolutions in the era of "socialist" abandonment. Those that carp and complain about "disunity" among such revolutionary forces, rather than putting their backs to the wheel to build unity, they are really just complaining about the revolutionary process in the real world.

The armed Libyan people waged a very sophisticated war against Qaddafi. The coordination and planning that went into the final assault on Tripoli, simultaneous assaults from 3 directions, and with NATO's help, landing the Misrata brigade from the sea, coordinated with an uprising in the city, was magnificent. It was as brilliant a military maneuver as any North Africa has ever seen.

The non-interventionist Left never gave credit were credit was due and they've never sought to learn from this experience. In ignoring this revolution they hurt all revolutions and themselves because certain lessons will have to be learned the hard way again. Summing up and passing on the lessons of revolutions is also one of the responsibilities of socialists and their failure to do so with regards to these revolutions is an important aspect of this abandonment.

Sources of violence in post-Qaddafi Libya

Considering that Libya has just completed a civil war that saw over 30,000 people killed, Libya has not been as violent a place as some people would have you believe. In 2012, a person was twice as likely to be murdered in Chicago and 10 times as likely to be murdered in Venezuela. Still there has been quite a bit of violence in Libya since the Qaddafi regime was overthrown, and it has been a central focus and key complaint of the revolution's detractors, who are happy to overlook the successful elections, return of oil production, schools back in session, health care improvements, and advances on many other fronts in favor of complaining about the civil disorder. As if there could be a revolution without a large amount of civil disorder.

This violence comes from a number of sources:

1) There are criminal elements and criminal gangs that stand ready to exploit any breakdown of civil society. While there are measures that can be taken to mitigate this problem in Libya or any revolutionary situation, it must also be considered that part of the "cost" of overthrowing and rebuilding the state is that certain elements will have a "field day" until the new order is restored. Those that object to this are really objecting to revolution.

2) There is friction between armed groups and when we speak of them we must make a clear distinction between several types of armed groups and not make the counter-revolutionary error, common to the Western media and anti-interventionists alike, of lumping them all together under the title "armed militia."

There are the revolutionary brigades that helped to defeat Qaddafi. They represent the armed working class. They have developed good working relationships with each other during the revolutionary war and there has been very little armed conflict between them. Many of them work in alliance or under contract with the government.

But in the "wild-west" atmosphere that followed the fall of the Qaddafi regime, other types of armed groups had an opportunity to spring up and take root as well. They include jhadist groups that may have or not played any role in the struggle to overthrow Qaddafi, but in any case, have their own religious agenda, Qaddafi regime groups masquerading as militias and criminal gangs with the usual opportunist motivations.

3) And there are the counter-revolutionary remnants of the Qaddafi regime. It is strongest where it had to go underground the deepest and the soonest, in the east, in Benghazi. It is known to work with some of the jhadists in carrying out plots. The jhadists supply the muscle while the Qaddafi clique still has the loot.

That regime never really had much of a popular base; so it hasn't been able to mount much of an insurgency, but it has assassinated a couple dozen high-level defectors from the Qaddafi regime, pay back no doubt, and of course Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans among other NATO targets. Most of the really spectacular violence probably relates to their little terror campaign of counter-revolution. It is mean and it is loathsome and it really isn't much of a counter-revolution considering they ruled the country for four decades, but it's the best they've been able to do. Vijay Prashad celebrates it as the "Green Resistance."

These are all problems, but what's the point of dwelling on them? Especially, what's the point of lumping them all together and carping about them?

Its like, the needle is necessary to stop the disease, and yes, the needle causes a certain amount of pain. But to unduly focus on that pain will only make the patient cautious about taking the necessary treatment. This is how this slant towards the negative only serves to warn people off of revolution generally. I understand why the mainstream media does this. What I don't understand is why I so often find someone in the US Left quoting them approvingly about what a "mess" Libya is.

And while everybody sees the need to bring all these armed groups under control in order for Libya to move forward, the jhadists and criminals obviously don't want to give up the weapons that are the source of their power and many of the revolutionary brigades say they won't disarm until they are sure they are getting the government they fought for.

When should the revolutionary brigades disarm?

This is the difficult question that must be carefully considered by those who wish to see this revolution reach its greatest potential. Quite obviously, all the counter-revolutionary elements, be they criminal, jhadists or Qaddafi remnants, should be disarmed ASAP. Matters are not so simple when the question of the revolutionary brigades is considered.

While matters of government and state power are still being settled, they remain the best insurers of the Libyan people's interest. Contrary to the trash talking of so many non-interventionists, the Libyan revolution has not been "hijacked," and these armed people's militias are the best guarantee that it won't be hijacked.

For those that support the revolution, it is important to make a distinction between those revolutionary brigades that are rooted in the working class, developed in the revolutionary war and are working with the government, and the scoundrels. The Western media doesn't make this distinction and for a reason. They have yet to rid their own countries of criminal gangs, which is why Libya's murder rate, even in the year after a civil war, doesn't look that bad, but what they really can't tolerate is armed revolutionary people's organizations in a country with all that oil. That is why they want to disarm everybody and can't stop talking about "Libya, awash with weapons" and so forth. The time to have thought of that was when they were selling them to Qaddafi.

The government of Libya does not yet have a monopoly of violence because it is still being built under the supervisor of an armed Libyan people. Apparently this scares the imperialists to death and they see disarming these revolutionary brigades as the number one task facing the Libyan government. For example the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said in a recent report:
Building Libya’s Security Sector
Frederic Wehrey, Peter Cole
August 6, 2013
Libya’s security situation is worsening. The central government is struggling, despite new integration initiatives, to control the country’s numerous armed groups, whose accumulated size and firepower vastly exceed those of the regular army and police. More...
The Carnegie Endowment knows that the first task of the imperialists is to disarm these people's militias if they are to have any hope of hijacking this revolution and bringing Libya back under their control.

And the "socialists" that claim the Libyan Revolution has already been hijacked are revealed as really having no interest in revolution at all because a socialist who really believed that the Libyan uprising had been hijacked would be interested in demonstrating in detail just how and when that happened so that such pitfalls could be avoided by other revolutionary movements in the future. But they don't do that. They just say it was "hijacked" and leave it at that.

And most of all, a revolutionary, who really believed the Libyan Revolution had been hijacked would be interested in how the Libyan people could be rallied to take back their revolution. But they don't do that. They just say it was "hijacked" and leave it at that.

V.I. Lenin on some of these questions

Lenin spoke of the need to destroy the old state machinery and its army in many places, including The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky. I want to quote a selection from that work because in it Lenin makes many points that bear on the present discussion and I believe they will help clarify how some of our current crop of "socialists" have also become renegades. Lenin begins by responding the Kautsky's complaint that the Bolsheviks had disorganized the army:
On the other hand, not a single great revolution has ever taken place, or ever can take place, without the “disorganization” of the army. For the army is the most ossified instrument for supporting the old regime, the most hardened bulwark of bourgeois discipline, buttressing up the rule of capital, and preserving and fostering among the working people the servile spirit of submission and subjection to capital.

Counter—revolution has never tolerated, and never could tolerate, armed workers side by side with the army. In France, Engels wrote, the workers emerged armed from every revolution: “therefore, the disarming of the workers was the first commandment for the bourgeoisie, who were at the helm of the state.” The armed workers were the embryo of a new army, the organized nucleus of a new social order. The first commandment of the bourgeoisie was to crush this nucleus and prevent it from growing.

The first commandment of every victorious revolution, as Marx and Engels repeatedly emphasized, was to smash the old army, dissolve it and replace it by a new one. A new social class, when rising to power, never could, and cannot now, attain power and consolidate it except by completely disintegrating the old army

(“Disorganization!” the reactionary or just cowardly philistines howl on this score), except by passing through a most difficult and painful period without any army (the great French Revolution also passed through such a painful period), and by gradually building up, in the midst of hard civil war, a new army, a new discipline, a new military organization of the new class. Formerly, Kautsky the historian understood this. Now, Kautsky the renegade has forgotten it.
Oh, how that last paragraph must sting our "Marxist" critics of the Libyan Revolution that can't stop talking about what a "mess" it is and all the "disorganization" it has created. It is as though Lenin had spoken from the grave, called then on their complaints, which would apply to any revolution, and named them "reactionary or just cowardly philistines."

This dominate Left trend is an opportunist trend willing to adapt the rules of revolution to what is comfortable to them and twist reality to suit their prejudices. What Lenin said about the renegade Kautsky almost a hundred years ago also fits them very well:
With the obstinacy of the “man in the muffler”, he stubbornly keeps repeating one thing: give me peaceful democracy, without civil war, without a dictatorship and with good statistics... In a word, what Kautsky demands is a revolution without revolution, without fierce struggle, without violence. It is equivalent to asking for strikes in which workers and employers do not get excited. Try to find the difference between this kind of “socialist” and common liberal bureaucrat!
It is these "socialists" who have abandoned the revolutions of the 21st century and as a result these revolutions have had to hobble along as best they can while these same "socialists" complain about the problems.

UPDATED 23 Aug 2013: Here is a more recent example of how these people turn the revolutionary process on its head:
Certainly the Qaddafi regime was a "failed state." It failed to pass the only real world test that matters to many states, it failed to survive.

The revolutionary victors are now tasked with creating a new state. It must be born and it will require some time for development. Does that make it, from the very beginning, a "failed state?" An infant can't walk, can't talk, can't even feed itself. Would you call a baby a failed human being? And lacking sufficient progress, at what point should socialists declare Libya now a "failed state?"

Click here for a list of my blogs on Syria

Click here for a list of my blogs on Occupy Los Angeles

Click here for a list of my other blogs on Libya

Click here for a list of my blogs on Tunisia, Egypt and the Arab Spring

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