The MIR thereafter downgraded its attempts to work with soldiers. The fact of the matter is that this largely student and middle-class-based organization had little or no direct contact with the peasant-based enlisted ranks. For the MIR and other leftist groups, rank-and-file soldiers were a separate group, not part of themselves.
The student revolutionaries were largely of middle-class, urban backgrounds, while the rank-and-file soldiers came from the rural peasantry and the poor and working classes. Members of MIR had little or no personal contact with rank-and-file soldiers, and there was no concerted effort to encourage activists to join the army and organize from within. [Or even simply go find some troops and talk things over with them.
As in the USA, they don’t live on Mars.
There were, as in the USA, units in major cities.
Here in the USA they’re called National Guard and Reserves.
They meet in buildings near you.
Imagine that.] A few student leftists might have ended up as junior officers, but very few activists intentionally joined the military or allowed themselves to be drafted. Had leftists worked inside the army and demanded elementary rights such as better pay and access to reading material, the fate of the Popular Unity government might have been different. [For empty anti-war intellectuals, talk is more important than doing something real.
For them, the focus is on what one tells others one is (“I’m a radical. “I’m a socialist.” — otherwise known as identity politics). [The empty words they deliver at this or that public anti-war meeting don’t cut it.
Rather than reaching out to troops, you hear the same old tedious crap about “building a movement” and “rebuilding the left.” [Words mouthed in a room without action do nothing to reach the troops.
The problem isn’t what they say, it’s what they refuse to do.
They proclaim their love for the troops in the abstract, but won’t go near them in person.
How typical of their class.] What do you think? Comments from service men and women, and veterans, are especially welcome.
Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Name, I.D., withheld on request.
Replies confidential. “Intellectuals Never Sell-Out, They Are Rented To The Strongest Party” By James Petras , Excerpt from: Rebelión.org Once it is safe, once the ravages of a losing imperial war have torn asunder the tissues of official lies, out bold progressive intellectuals step up, seize the center stage and proclaim their opposition to war.
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