File spoon-archives/marxism-thaxis.archive/marxism-thaxis_1998/marxism-thaxis.9804, message 168

Date: Thu, 02 Apr 1998 10:00:19 -0500
Subject: Re: M-TH: Slavery in Guatemala=Aristocrats in the West

Russell Pearson:
>Now I do not mean to belittle the plight of these coffee producers, but are
>you now going to continue with the same logic employed elsewhere to argue

This weeks Nation Magazine has an interesting article "The Myth of Student
Apathy" which deals with the resurgence of campus activism. While there is
no unifying issue like the Vietnam War, many campuses have a wide range of
activist organizations.

The article discussed Occidental College in California at some length. The
big campaign there is over the connection between the Arco oil company and
the military junta in Burma, initiated by the Free Burma campaign. Sara
Hunt, a freshman from Plano, Texas, recruited other students to help inform
the campus about Burma's human rights violations and Arco's joint venture
with the Burmese government to drill for natural gas. A November 21 protest
outside a dean's office attracted 50 students who waved banners "Arco $ Slavery in Burma".

Some of these students will eventually become Marxists, when they make the
connection between corporate greed, class society and the state. These
students and trade union militants will help to form a new socialist
movement in the United States at some point. Many of the Occidental
students have been involved in AFL-CIO support work over the summer.

What you, Heartfield and Dale represent is the "Marxist" equivalent of the
right-wing frat boy who would stop by the students table and bait them.
"Don't you know that what's good for Arco is good for the United States?"
Except in your case, you don't use open right-wing propaganda, you frame
your right-wing shit in Marxist jargon. You would say something like, "As
explained in the chapter on national differences in wages (Capital, vol 1),
exploitation is far higher in the more developed nations, where labour
productivity is higher." Or some other obfuscating, spin-doctoring bullshit
to whitewash the bourgeoisie.

Louis Proyect

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