Below is an edited version of a political response I posted on the Google/Usenet group alt.politics.socialism.trotsky, which appears to be heavily influenced by a current around Stephen Diamond (former member of the US Workers League from many years ago), VN Gelis (a long time Greek Trotskyist who, when I encountered him in the 1980s, was a supporter of the Archeo-Marxist Greek Workers Vanguard group), and their co-thinkers. This current combine a left-wing, anti-capitalist rhetoric with a virulent anti-immigrant nationalism that leads them to be politically soft on all kinds of deeply reactionary imperialist forces who are hostile to immigration.
I have no interest in a shouting match with them over this, as one could have a shouting match with all kinds of reactionary- and racist-minded people in numerous parts of the internet if one sought them out – it would be a waste of precious time, effort and energy. But I strongly suspect that these views are, at least in part, the result of a flawed understanding of Marxism and misunderstanding of current social and economic reality. Those kinds of things are worth debating. Such errors and misunderstandings give meaning to the commonplace that ‘the road to Hell is frequently paved with good intentions’. In that spirit, it may be fruitful to debate with this current, who though badly flawed in their nationalist responses, are at least in a flawed way, partially addressing real issues.
‘Global Zionism’ is a misnomer. What you have is various imperialist ruling classes, which, in a situation where the productive forces (as Lenin noted) have already spread beyond, and are in contradiction with, national borders. The means of communication have now developed to the point that production of many things that were once carried out within the imperialist countries can now be carried out in low-wage, underdeveloped countries and thereby super-profits can be made. Which is why it is done. This is the export of capital, which Lenin spoke about in Imperialism, augmented for the computer age.
In this situation you have part of the bourgeoisie that is not simply nationally limited, but goes a bit beyond that because it is actually part of an older, capitalist or quasi-capitalist tradition, and also has no proper nation-state of its own. That is, the Jewish bourgeoisie. It acts as a kind of vanguard layer, transcending the old imperialist nationalism that led to two inter-imperialist wars. They act politically as a kind of a ‘yeast’ within the bourgeoisie, making the dough rise as it were, and politically lead the wider imperialist bourgeoisie to transcend the old narrow imperialist nationalism.
The same Jewish tradition, in an earlier period, also acted as a ‘yeast’ similarly in cohering Marxism and the vanguard of the proletariat. The latter was profoundly a good thing by the way. I am not hostile to Jews or their so-called ‘cosmopolitanism’ (i.e tendency towards internationalism). I am hostile towards those weapons being wielded in support of capitalism. My hostility is to capitalism, not Jews.
Their influence in the bourgeoisie is mainly political, not organisational per se. It is wrong to see them as some sort of self-contained ‘plutocracy’ that has replaced the bourgeoisie itself as an enemy, for the simple reason that, though they are overrepresented in the bourgeoisie beyond the number of Jews in wider society, their numbers are too limited to allow that, and they always will be.
The Israel question is of strategic importance, because this is the centre of their international-national-tribal project. Israel, as the ersatz ‘nation-state’ of the Jewish-Zionist bourgeoisie, is what holds this unique tribal bourgeois-vanguard layer together. If it were defeated by the struggle to reassert Palestinian rights over their own homeland, the Jewish-Zionist bourgeois project would collapse, as the glue that holds it together would have disappeared. That would be a strategic defeat, not just for the Jewish-Zionist bourgeoisie itself, but for imperialism itself. Because it would cause their vanguard to collapse.
You are wrong to see globalisation simplistically as the work of a ‘Jewish plutocracy’. The potential was always inherent in imperialism itself. You can see that in Lenin. The Jewish element is just what has helped to give it a temporary new lease of life.
You are also wrong, and arrogant indeed, to say that if I do not embrace your politics, I will retreat from my own current views. Since I never heard of you until after I had developed those views, that is logically incongruous. Though I was familiar with VN Gelis from his earlier days as an supporter of Greek Workers Vanguard (when I was a Spart – not a Cliffite by the way), and had some memory of Stephen Diamond from old apst many years earlier, I owe you nothing in political terms.
My insights come from independent study, political experience of my own, and interaction with the ex-Israeli dissident layer such as Atzmon and Sand, who though they are not Marxists, are often more insightful that many who claim to be so.
Globalisation is imperialism, it is reactionary utopianism to believe that it can be forced back within national borders in the old way, and even if it were the working class would be forced to pay for that reactionary project also. Even without the coherence of the Jewish-Zionist bourgeoisie it would continue, though it would have lost its most concious and far-seeing element. It is perfectly possible to point out the truth about the bourgeoisification of Jewish ‘internationalism’, but at the same time propagate genuine internationalism, which properly understood gives the working class a strategic advantage against the whole of the bourgeoisie, including its semi/pseudo-internationalist Jewish-Zionist component.
It is the deference of the left before ‘the Jews’ as a persecuted people in the past (true enough) which has blinded the left to the development of the Jewish-Zionist bourgeoisie and thereby squandered our strategic advantage over the entire bourgeoisie. But by retreating into support for imperialist nationalism and anti-immigrant nonsense, you are also surrendering that strategic advantage.