Monday, January 17, 2005

Brief addendum on HP Sauce...

In fact, HP Sauce accuses the Socialist Workers' Party of "automatic 'critical support' for 'anti-imperialist movements'", which is allegedly a form of Stalinism. The scare quotes are interesting. A movement like al Qaeda, or a group led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi could be 'anti-imperialist' in that sense, yet the SWP does not support these people. Cuba, North Korea, and even Iran could be seen as ‘anti-imperialist’ regimes, but the SWP is harder on these regimes than most Trotskyists.

Of course, Harry is laughably, horribly wrong in his summation. He says, for instance, that “the SWP views Islamic fundamentalism as an anti-imperialist trend which merits the same critical support that the Cliffites gave the African National Congress. The position, for those who take an interest in such things, was outlined in a pamphlet called ‘The Prophet and the Proletariat’ written by Chris Harman in the early 1990s, updated in 2002: “With the Islamists, sometimes: with the state, never”. “The Islamists”, Harman avers, “are not our allies”. Islamism is not necessarily a reactionary trend as I have shown countless times, and as most knowledgeable commentators on the subject agree. It is by no means either a necessarily ‘anti-imperialist’ formation, although its origins can be located precisely in the crisis in the Islamic world that was to a large extent the result of imperialism.

Such confusion on Harry's part is not altogether surprising or new.

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