“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Open Thread on Anti-Imperialism.

with 6 comments

Anti-imperialism is the watchword of the new millennia. You can barely pick up a newspaper or scan the Internet without the word “anti-imperialism” popping out.

And yet what is really meant by anti-imperialism?

1. Is it anti-imperialism when roadside bombs kill Iraqi or American troops in Iraq?

2. Is it anti-imperialism when the UN office in Iraq is blown up?

3. Is it anti-imperialism when aid workers are deliberately targeted in Afghanistan?

Do you support any of the above? And if so, why?

4. Pressing on, is it legitimate anti-imperialism to rain down rockets on Israeli civilians in Sderot?

And do you agree with those attacks, or not?

Finally, if you’ve agreed with all or any of the above as legitimate, or in any way acceptable expressions of anti-imperialist sentiment, then please explain why the Scottish National liberation Army‘s campaign of poisoning random English civilians isn’t anti-imperialism too?

And if not, why not, when compared with the above examples?

I hope that some anti-imperialists will have the courage of their convictions, digests the above and describe what is acceptable in their views and more importantly, what is not?

I’m genuinely curious, because it seems to me to be nothing more than dressed up nihilism, and I would like to receive a logical explanation as to what is reasonable for the sake of “the cause”?

Written by modernityblog

26/01/2008 at 02:41

Posted in Uncategorized

6 Responses

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  1. Well I for one agree with every word you’ve written, I note that no “anti imperialist” has seen fit to take up your challenge, What a pity. I’d add a further question: in this day and age, is it possible to be an “anti imperialist” in any meaningful sense, without being a socialist?

    Jim Denham

    27/01/2008 at 14:36

  2. “No” to all 4 points, but I can see why someone who said “yes” would see it that way. You have to really believe America wants Iraq to be a colony, and the facts don’t support that claim.

    I am an anti-imperialist, and I think you don’t have to be a follower of Mao or Lenin to be so.

    Roland Dodds

    27/01/2008 at 16:20

  3. it is not the concept or belief in anti-imperialism that’s necessarily wrong, but how that word has been so bastardised over the years to become fairly meaningless, unless that meaning relates to supporting every crude reactionary who has a good line in fake anti-Americanisms

    as Jim pointed out the problem, modern day anti-imperialists are not really open to analysing their own views or defending them in debate

    also when you start accepting that suicide bombings, beheadings and kidnappings are somehow legitimate forms of political expression, then how do you draw the line at poisoning?

    it becomes subjective nonsense, along the lines of “this particular bombing is okay because we agreed with the perpetrators ideology, and that particular bomb from the plane is wrong because we hate the people that did it”

    whereas socialists, humanists and liberals, etc should be able to draw the line at what is legitimate political expression and what isn’t

    I don’t think that’s very hard, when you sit and think about it, but the current crop of “anti-imperialists” can’t or won’t even do that

    so my questions will probably go unanswered, shame


    27/01/2008 at 16:43

  4. Well I suppose a pacifist would oppose all violence, but that would include the indiscriminate slaughter by the US and its allies in Britain and Israel, which as you don’t comment on this post, it may appear that you support (I am sure you don’t).

    Of course siilar complaints could have been made about those involved the in the National Liberation struggle in Vietnam or Kenya but I am not sure where it takes the argument. I always thought socialist never equated the violence of the oppressed with the violence of the oppressor.


    29/01/2008 at 19:00

  5. digger,

    who is to say that the Scots are not oppressed?

    so do you think that poisoning is a legitimate political expression?

    and if not, why not when compared with suicide bombings or beheadings?


    29/01/2008 at 21:34

  6. See – and somebody complained about lack of anti-imperialists. I like that “indiscriminate slaughter”. Bzzz….


    03/02/2008 at 16:42

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