[Marxism] Marxism and Conspiracy

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Sep 8 18:41:13 MDT 2006

>Finally, I think it is foolish to ignore the possibility that there 
>was foreknowledge that a major attack was coming in the case of 
>9/11.  The Project for a New American Century had discussed in the 
>year or so before 9/11 the possibility of "a new Pearl Harbour". Why 
>on earth would they do that? Simply because they knew how much the 
>US was hated? I doubt it. I think there is at least some evidence 
>that Bush and his people knew an attack was imminent. You decide if 
>they then chose to do nothing to prevent it taking place.

Well, the controversy is not over there was foreknowledge. It is 
whether the American government, or some cabal within it, 
orchestrated the 9/11 attacks. If we can get past the idiocy of the 
"controlled demolitions" crowd and agree that our differences are 
over that, we would be making progress as the psychiatrists say. 
Personally, I find such questions much less interesting than those 
that involve political economy. For example, I have a book on my 
shelf titled "To Have and Have Not: Southeast Asian Raw Materials and 
the Origins of the Pacific War" by Jonathan Marshall. It is all about 
the fight over oil, etc.

Uncovering conspiracies certainly is an important job. I think that 
the people who, for example, investigate the Martin Luther King Jr. 
assassination are doing important work. After Malcolm X was killed, 
the Militant newspaper wrote articles highlighting inconsistencies in 
the government account and suggested a conspiracy to kill Malcolm.

However, this discipline has very little to do with the Marxist 
project which is mainly involved in understanding the class struggle. 
You don't even have to be a leftist to do a good job. For example, 
John Toland is no Marxist but his work on Pearl Harbor is definitely 
worth considering, as Alex Cockburn obviously does.

One of my main objections to the *politics* of the 9/11 conspiracy 
crowd has to do with its refusal to even acknowledge the existence of 
a Jihadist type movement. The screwball Jared Israel was particularly 
egregious on this count, refusing to believe that Islamic radicals 
have an independent existence outside of the CIA. He was so used to 
seeing the KLA as a creature of western intelligence that he simply 
applied this approach to 9/11. He is now applying it to Palestine and 
Israel, arguing that the USA is backing Hezbollah against Israel. Unbelievable! 

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