16 comments on “The World Cup: Who To Support? A Marxist Position

  1. One again, in the face of overwhelming odds, Ignacio Zaragoza defeats the Comte de Lorencez. Once again ‘Las armas nacionales se han cubierto de gloria’! Viva Mexico!

    I agree Damien, there all sorts of reasons we root for the teams we do; yep, we need a genuine international festival peoples at which sport would be free from the dead hand of capital.

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  2. like religion,a totally personal question……..while I personally want the Dutch to win,I wish the world cup was a real festival of the people who love and play the game,instead of a marketing exercise for the corporates and the tycoons who ‘administer’ the sport

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  3. Pingback: Who do you support at the World Cup? « myweku.com

  4. actually, i see a good reason to cheer for the US from that very same Marxist perspective. 😉 American success = growth of the sport in America = less American isolationism in sports = potentially a more global perspective for the millions of sports fans in America.

    That being said, I’m not cheering for the US at all. But I can see a left argument for doing so in the case of soccer as it is the ‘world’s game’ (but not in other sports)

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  5. Just a thought that came to me: Every leftist, every anti-racist, anti-fascist, anti-colonialist supported and cheered Joe Louis in his combats with Max Schmeling as if they were in the ring themselves. Because of what it represented, not because Max Schmeling was a bad guy. Turns out he wasn’t. Not only did he have a Jewish manager, hide Jewish children during the Kristallnacht (whom he later helped to escape), he would come to be Louis’s friend, ended up paying some of his impoverished friend’s medical bills and was a pallbearer at his funeral. (I hope I have that history right). And he was one helluva boxer! Even knowing all that then, I still would have cheered on Joe Louis!

    I don’t think who should win a sporting match is in the left’s purview to take an “official” position on. Would a cadre raise this motion in a union meeting? “Hereby resolved:This local demands that the Detroit Tigers sweep this week’s series with the Minnesota Twins.” Or the necessary compromise with the half-hearted: “Hereby resolved:This local demands that the Detroit Tigers beat the Minnesota Twins in this week’s series in no less than three games.” That would be….absurd (to say the very least).

    But of course, we have our sympathies. I don’t begrudge anybody or group (excluding supporters of the Yankees) their sympathies for the teams they choose to support (or not)….unless those sympathies are based on reactionary ideas or movements. The Schmeling-Louis rivalry is an example of that. In cases like that, let sport be an ideological and class battleground too, I say.

    If you’ve never seen Detroit’s greatest public statue, check out Jefferson Ave’s Fist Of Joe Louis. For working class, black Detroit, that fist means a whole lot more than a celebration of the great Detroit boxer’s accomplishments.

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  6. Comrades might want to check out from Patrick Bond’s CCS site World Cup Watch: On the ‘Political Economy of the World Cup (dedicated to Dennis Brutus) from South Africa. It says it will be continually updated throughout the games.

    entdinglichung, as I remarked in a different conversation, for some reason, and I think it has to do with the current paternalism and condescension of the German government in the EU crisis, I want to to see the German team humiliated. I hope I haven’t infringed my internationalism.

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  7. I will definitely be rooting against the US,I don’t care if they are the underdog. They represent the monster who invades and suppresses people. Not to mention tortures them and is the biggest supporter of Israel on the planet. For the sake of the Palestinians, I would root against the US.

    I don’t see how any progressive could cheer for them.

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  8. Another clash between the ironic one and the literal one, I assumed at first it was a satire given it was coming from you, but you can never be sure with the a certain breed of Third World Marxists, I’m sure you encountered a few in your day too.

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    • No problem. I have indeed dealt (for better or worse) with the politics you mention and while I certainly do not share their politics, I certainly do share and understand much of their sentiments expressed most eloquently by a certain fatigued Argentinean at the UN (though I would definitely not count him among the ‘breed’ you cite above): “Nunca confíe el imperialismo, en ninguna manera en todo, no una pizca!”

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  9. none of this sounds particularly “marxist.” just a mix of anti-Americanism and anti-imperialism, not saying that the latter impulse is a bad one though… I for one will be unabashedly supporting the United States, they’re the underdogs and have some likable players and Trinidad and Tobago didn’t qualify this year.

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    • Bhaskar,

      Are ye without humor? This is satire trying to make some points. I try not to insult the intelligence of my reader, but I have to ask: do you honestly think I, or any other Marxists, believe they are required by the class struggle to take positions on who wins sporting matches? Lighten up, my friend.

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