Posts Tagged 'democracy'

Ho Chi Minh on Readdressing Strategy

Ho Chi Minh

On July 15th 1954 Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969) addressed the Sixth Plenum of the Viet Nam Workers’ Party Central Committee on negotiating peace with the French colonial forces.  He took up a pragmatic and strategic stand of setting up a cease fire in order to bring about an eventual socialist revolution.  Obviously negotiations didn’t work but Ho still left all avenues open in the short term (while still protecting long term goals):

Our previous motto was ‘Resistance to the end’.  At present we must put forward a new one: ‘Peace, unity, independence, democracy’.  We must take firm hold of the banner of peace to oppose the US imperialists’ policy of direct interference in, and prolongation and expansion of, the war in Indochina.  Our policy must change in consequence: formerly we confiscated the French imperialists’ properties; now, as negotiations are going on, we may, in accordance with the principle of equality and mutual benefit, allow French economic and cultural interests to be preserved in Indochina.  Negotiations entail reasonable mutual concessions.  Formerly we said we would drive out and wipe out all French aggressive forces; now, in the talks held, we have demanded, and the French have accepted, that a date be set for the withdrawal of their troops.  In the past, our aim was to wipe out the puppet administration and army with a view to national reunification; now we practice a policy of leniency and seek reunification of the country through nationwide elections. (Ho, 135)

The elections for reunification were opposed by the puppet forces in the south and the United States.

Source

Ho Chi Minh.  Ho Chi Minh: Down With Colonialism! New York: Verso, 2007.

Žižek and Liberal Democracy

Slavoj Zizek

Fabio Vighi and Heiko Feldner write:

[Slavoj] Žižek believes that, today, any genuine and legitimate anticapitalist stance must be complemented by an attack on liberal democracy, on the grounds that holding on to the latter functions as a blackmail against the implementations of radical political projects.  (Vighi and Feldner, 291)

Žižek’s point here is worth pondering, as it disturbs the fundamental boundaries of the standard leftist position today.  If the Left continues to adhere to the current democratic parameters (liberal democracy alied with global capitalism), it will face the same political deadlock ad infinitum-which means the Left will keep advocating a distributive justice that systematically fails to engender political passion whereas the Right will keep mobilizing various forms of obscene enjoyment (racism, proto-Fascist nationalisms, etc.).  (292)

Source

Vighi, Fabio and Heiko Feldner.  “Pathological Attachments: Slavoj Žižek on Anticapitalism and Liberal Democracy.”  Rethinking Marxism 21, no. 2 (April 2009): 290-97.


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