Re: [OPE-L] Conspiracy theories and Marxism

From: John Holloway (johnholloway@PRODIGY.NET.MX)
Date: Fri Jul 29 2005 - 08:28:35 EDT

I don't go for conspiracy theories any more than Michael, but I find Phil's
contributions very refreshing, just because they break through the terrible
stench of suffocating news manipulation and oppressive silence that emanates
from Britain at the moment - at least viewed from a distance.


> Hi Jerry
> Update on the London situation:
> 1. 7/7 complete closure. The police have no-one alive, not even plausible
> links.
> There is no available evidence against the four.
> 2. The Stockwell killing.  It looks as though the police were expecting
> something on the Victoria line (Stockwell, Vauxhall) and were keyed up.
> It could very well be untrue that the block of flats where Jean Charles de
> Menezes lived was under surveillance, that he was followed from Tulse Hill to
> Stockwell, that he was challenged in the street, that he jumped the barriers,
> that he was wearing a bulky coat. It is untrue that he had any immigration
> problems.  It was just cop mass hysteria, I think.  They were expecting
> something and JCM triggered them, perhaps running to catch a train knowing he
> was late for a job.
> 3. 21/7. Nobody has any conspiracy theories! There is the copycat theory.
> Otherwise, it is very strange.  The bombs did not go off. One backpacker was
> reported as looking  astonished -- the question is: was he astonished not to
> be
> dead or astonished that his backpack had gone pop.  A drugs mule theory is
> possible, but there is no evidence.
> Still no idea of what explosives were used. Strange that photos of the Russell
> Square train surfaced on ABC.
> There was a big showing of police at Tube stations today (Thursday), but not
> yesterday.
> Good links:
> Quoting glevy@PRATT.EDU:
>> Hi Phil and Michael W:
>> No, I'm not going to talk about the London bombings here.
>> I'm not really in a position to expand on this subject at the
>> present time (I am in a public library in Boothbay Harbor)
>> but I find that the _general_ question of how Marxists have
>> historically reacted to charges of conspiracy (by the state,
>> especially) to be of interest.  The prevailing attitude seems to
>> have been:
>> a) "show me the proof!"   I.e. scepticism.  Underlying this
>> attitude may be the liberal bourgeois conception: "innocent
>> until proven guilty".  But, is this a proper stance to take
>> towards the state, especially in the context of so many historical
>> experiences where the state has launched various intrigues and
>> conspiracies for war, repression, etc.?
>> b) in general, historical events occur for necessary reasons
>> tied to the "logic of capital".  I.e. there is a stance that
>> wishes to eliminate the accidental and subjective factors in
>> order to show that capitalism is by its very nature exploitive, etc..
>> That is, the intuition seems to be that conspiracies have no
>> basic and systemic role in reproducing capitalism.  Yet,
>> even if this were true, isn't it important to differentiate
>> between what we believe happens _in general_ from what happens
>> in a _particular_ case?  I.e.  particular conspiracies could be
>> important in grasping conjunctural developments.
>> If one were to compare anarchist thought to Marxian, then I
>> think that the former is much more receptive to charges of conspiracy
>> by the state and capital.   Yet, shouldn't we recognize that
>> conspiracies can and have played important roles in
>> triggering actions by the state?
>> In solidarity, Jerry
> Philip Dunn

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