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On 2018-02-07 23:10, John Reimann via Marxism wrote:

But that's in the past. Hedges' being in the Putin/Assad camp tells me that
he has absolutely nothing useful to offer.

I am very sympathetic to John's reaction. But I can't quite endorse the logic and implications of that statement. Unfortunately the large bulk of the anti-capitalist left has also accepted the alternate reality version of the Syrian revolution, and this has made it impossible to collaborate on that and many related issues. But it would be a foolish mistake for supporters of the Syrian revolution to renounce any collaboration with all such forces wholesale. If we are involved in building a campaign around some other valid issue where we are asking for support from "the general public," as we normally do, then obviously we aren't going to exclude Stalinists and Marcyites while welcoming all others. Or if those Stalinists/Marcyites are legitimately leading a campaign that we agree with, that campaign deserves our support every much as if it were a strike being led by a union bureaucracy for instance. Walking out with an explanation about those leaders' erroneous positions would do nothing to help the Syrian revolution let alone our own credibility.

I'm no fan of Chris Hedges either, but you can't ignore his popularity. I'm certain that many in the process of radicalizing are going to hear and identify with him, absorbing his anti-capitalist message. Unfortunately they will also hear his worse side, but those are positions that we can challenge in the public debate that ensues. Except of course for those that do join the Northites and limit their reading to WSWS. Currently I'd guess that Chris Hedges' audience is 100x larger than that of the SEP (and no, they can't just blame Google for that!). It would be awful if Hedges actually did join the SEP and bring his fans along, for instance (which I doubt). In either case, Hedges is clearly on an ultra-left binge which motivates the odious "anti-identity-politics" and faux "anti-imperialist" rants. I don't know if he'll smarten up, but regardless we have to find ways to approach those who orient to voices like him (for the right reasons) and not treat him like an enemy.

But yes, John, I understand your reaction (including regarding Hedges' behavior around Occupy that you cite).

- Jeff

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