- Capitalism and Alternatives -
Posted by: Nikhil Jaikumar ( DSA, MA, USA ) on November 03, 1999 at 13:04:46:
In Reply to: Frenchy, that's ridiculous posted by MDG on November 01, 1999 at 18:00:58:
: Think about it, Frenchy. In half those countries/regions, warfare accounted for the dead -- warfare, I might add, that was instigated and perpetrated by Western powers. The United States bombed Vietnam into rubble. The United States devastated Cambodia, laying the groundwork for the Khmer Rouge. The United States backed the right-wing terror squads in Latin America and Africa which declared war on the "communists."
: This is not to deny Stalin and Mao their places in Hell, but you must examine the entire picture when throwing around statistics.
Amen to that! May I add that in most of those 'civil wars' you referred to in Africa and Latin America, though both sides may have sometiems committed atrocities, the preponderance were committd by the right wing. Good examples include Uruguay, Mozambique, El Salvador, indonesia, etc.
Now, of course, this is not to excuse the three big murderers (Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot) nor some of the other sordid tyrants who claimed the mantle of left wing ideology. But here's a question thet I've never had answered:
Some of these right wing people deny culpability in teh crimes of Indonesia, Belgium, El Salvador, Chile, and other capitalist states, claiming essentially "that's not my capitalism". OK, I can buy that. There are variants of capitalism. But then, using teh same logic, you cannot hold the governments of Kerala, Guyana, Nicaragua, etctera., or parties like teh Workers' World Party responsible for the crimes cpommitted by other left wing people. If Jyoti Basu is held responsible for teh criems of Stalin, then Frenchy and Dr. Cruel are responsible for the crimes of Suharto and Castillo. The same (il)logic applies.
The real reason that I think many judge the left-wing in these counrties more harshly is because the Left stands for things like freedom, equality, and humanitarianism, while teh Right has never made any pretence to. Or to quote the Canadian anarchist Woodcock, "I abhor teh crimes of the left more than those of the right, because tehy betray much more."
Side note: you guys should really check out teh Workers' World Party, in spite of what Frenchy says. Although they are Trotskyist, tehy're the best of a set of pretty sorry alternatives, and much better than teh Democrats and the Republicans. Back in our high school "mock election" in 1996, me and a couple of other kids managed to swing enough votes to the Workers World that they outvoted that lamebrain Ross Perot.