Molly Mew takes an anarchist view of the Georgia war, proclaiming neutrality in wars between states, and hopes against hope that the US Left doesn’t do its usual knee jerk reaction and mindlessly back whoever George Bush opposes. Yeah, that’s showing real independent, critical thinking, isn’t it? George Bush is bad so Putin must be good. The more obvious conclusion to those not wearing ideological blinders is that thugs abound on all sides here and few if any deserve support.
Another certainty is that there will be a “leftist” response to the conflict, centered especially in the USA, where a mindless “taking of sides” will be the way it is described. The throbbing heart of “anti-Americanism” is actually in the US left which, in its so-called innocence cannot imagine any evil in the world not connected with their own country. Knee jerk support for the Russian point of view will be their response, and this will not, unfortunately, be confined to the decaying corpse of the old Communist Party. It will be the “common sense” of far too many in the USA (and those across the world who imitate the US left) who have fixated on their own empire to the exclusion of any common sense view of how states are the same the world over. Sad but true.
An interesting corollary to such a blindered approach is that by believing the US must be behind all machinations in the world you also must believe the US is all powerful and unstoppable. Yet the recent events in Georgia clearly show this to be false. The US isn’t in control at all.
Molly Mew also features a translation from a Russian anarchist site calling on solidiers on all sides to disobey orders and not back imperialist wars fought for money and power.
I agree wholeheartedly with your post and the quote, yet I feel you’re missing an important possible factor:
Put your own house in order.
I believe a lot of the (apparently) ‘reactionary left’ aren’t simply believers in US super-hegemony, or that the US is the epitome and source of all international strife, but that as US citizens, or citizens of the western world, they are responsible for the actions of their democratic governments and therefore incumbent to react against even the minor missteps their country makes.
I don’t ascribe this feeling to all who you describe in your post, but I really do believe that’s a component to the thinking of many, and the prime motivator for some. And doesn’t it make sense to use your leverage as a voting US citizen to try to right the heading of your nation, rather than make almost-entirely-futile gestures against a foreign nation that may be more at fault?
btw, I have been reading your blog for a long time and it is partially the reason why I decided to start my own lately. I can’t say I consider myself totally simpatico with your thinking, but I certainly wouldn’t have known about WordPress without your endorsement and example.
Thanks for the advice [that you left on my blog comments responding to your post], Bob.
I can certainly agree to an extent anyway that Russia and USA aren’t really worth defending in this conflict, but my point really wasn’t about which nation was right or wrong, but just about the motivations of those who appear to have “knee jerk reactions” to Bush’s policies by being critical of him and the USA.