Frederick Douglass

"Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will. Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them..." Frederick Douglass

Thursday, April 12, 2012

RIP Ahmed Ben Bella

[Blogger's note April 13: I've been challenged on my charge that Bella was never really a leftist. Some good points were raised. The issue is whether in his youth his views differed from those expressed in the last 30 or so years of his life. If not then certainly he is no leftist. If so then we will need parameters for classifying somebody thus. Simply resisting colonialism does not make one a leftist (think ANC and a million others), worthy though that effort is. An Islamic republic may constitute a kind of primitive communism and might thus qualify as leftist, but by anarchist standards, my standard, this is a bit of a stretch, and then we would have to consider if any theocratic state could be truly leftist.

Zeinobia justifies calling Bella a leftist due to his support for Nasser, but he too is no leftist. The Egyptian leader while admirable in his foreign policy, was in bed with the domestic bourgeoisie right from the start.

By my reckoning, Bella is surely no leftist, however I haven't researched him well enough to be confidant in my assessment, so, for the moment, consider this an apology and a retraction.]

Not sure Bella was ever a real "leftist" as Zeinobia asserts, but he led a successful campaign against imperialism. Unfortunately the Algerian Revolution was betrayed before it started.

In any case, he is to be celebrated for his bravery and perseverance.