Re: [Marxism] fascism in the US?

2020-06-22 Thread John Reimann via Marxism
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First of all, in reply to Andrew Stewart: I challenged the idea that the
South was under a fascist regime in any period of US history. In doing so,
I did not refer to the Populist Party. I referred to the union organizing
drives in the South, including public meetings. No such meetings would have
been possible under a fascist regime.

Secondly, there seems to be a failure to distinguish fascist from
bonapartism. Mexico, for example, was under a bonapartist dictatorship for
the 70 years of the PRI rule. It was similar under Batista in Cuba. I think
there are some fundamental differences between the situation in those
countries and fascism.

I have repeatedly written about Trump's drive towards one-man authoritarian
rule. By that I mean bonapartism. If Trump manages to suppress the vote and
use other means to get a second term, I think he'll go a lot further down
that road. We couldn't even discount the possibility of his becoming an
outright bonapartist ruler - or possibly his son would upon succeeding him.
But I don't think actual fascism is really in the cards. Under fascism, the
ruler needs to have his or her own mass private army of thugs, such as
Hitler's SS. While the militias aspire to such a role, they aren't even
close, nor do I think it's likely that they will get close. Under fascism,
the working class organizations - the unions in this country - aren't
merely put under state control, they are smashed entirely and the working
class is completely atomised. I don't think that is at all likely, even if
Trump succeeds himself.

John Reimann

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Re: [Marxism] fascism in the US?

2020-06-22 Thread Andrew Stewart via Marxism
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I'll say from the outset that admittedly this conversation can rather
quickly devolve into a kind of 'gotcha' game of Leftist posturing and
holier-than-thou virtue signalling (or at least that is how it leads me to
behave sometimes). So even if we disagree here I don't intend this to be
some kind of oppositional or insulting project. Healthy debate is certainly
merited here.

I'll state my case plainly:

a-There's been a few really great monographs in the past decade about the
connection between Nazism and America. Basically the scholarship now shows
that Nazi legal theorists studied in America and did a lot of deep reading
of the so-called Indian Laws (particularly the one-drop rule) as well as
Jim Crow. They took that scholarship back to the German drawing boards as
they drafted the Nuremberg race laws (cf. James Whitman, HITLER'S AMERICAN
MODEL). Gerald Horne has been likewise writing a subtle polemic in his
recent books about colonial American history about how all historiography,
including radicals and progressives like Zinn and Foner, just dropped the
ball ingloriously by placing so much positive emphasis on the "bourgeois
democratic revolutions" of the 17th-20th centuries. In one interview he
flat-out said to me the following <
https://washingtonbabylon.com/six-questions-dr-gerald-horne-p1/>:

"I think it is well past time for progressive people, particularly those
who consider themselves to be radical, to take a critical eye to the tragic
events that unfolded when the European invasion commenced post-1492 and the
genocide that befell the indigenous population and the mass enslavement
that ensnared the Africans. I think that failure to look more critically at
that process and seeking to rationalize it, saying ‘Well, at the end of the
day, post-1776 this republic emerged which was a great leap forward for
humanity’, in some ways serves to rationalize and justify genocide and
mass-enslavement... it seems to me that you can call these events a
‘bourgeois democratic revolution’ as long as you have a major caveat, which
is that, if this was a ‘bourgeois democratic revolution’, let’s not have
any more! Let that be the last one! If you are going to use that term then
critique that term. And I would say that is particularly true in the United
States, which is the seed bed of critiques of revolutions that have
happened worldwide since 1776. There’s an entire industry with people
making good livings criticizing every revolution since 1776, sometimes in a
one-sided manner, be it the French revolution, the Cuban revolution, the
Russian revolution, etc. That shows me folks in the United States are
capable of doing a multi-sided critique of revolutions except 1776, where
they come to this absurd conclusion that ‘Oh, it went well, except, you
know, the genocide and mass enslavement.’ It reminds me of the MOVE bombing
in Philadelphia when the mayor said afterwards “Well, everything went fine
except we destroyed the neighborhood.” What kind of thinking is that?...
Now obviously it doesn’t speak well for those that did have access to the
archives that they could not come to this conclusion because, as I’ve been
saying for some years, this is not a difficult case to make. This was not
rocket science coming to these conclusions! What was created was an
apartheid state... Basically that’s what has happened in North America, the
ability of the 1776 regime to take land from Native Americans and
redistribute it to European migrants and lift them out of poverty..."

b-John Reimann, you justifiably point to the Populist Party at the end of
the 19th century. A few matters that go into the weeds but merit
consideration herein. First, as is the case with today and the way the
bourgeoisie has produced state-sanctioned "socialists" aligned with the
Democrats in response to the popular upsurges around the anti-globalization
movement, the Greens, Occupy, and Black Lives Matter in the past 20 years,
so was the case 130 years ago with how bipartisan Progressivism (Teddy
Roosevelt, William Jennings Bryant, Woodrow Wilson, et al) emerged in
response to first Populism and then the Debs-era Socialists. Progressivism
in the form of this bipartisan response was a blatantly racialized and
cis-hetero-patriarchal matrix of ideology. Many former Populists (Tom
Watson being the most notable) allowed themselves to be absorbed into the
Progressive project and became shameless white nationalists, instituting
the hardest elements of the Jim Crow regime in this period. Wilson, as just
one example, was a shameless proponent of the pro-Confederate Lost Cause
narrative in his history books, endorsed the rebirth of the Klan by
screening 

Re: [Marxism] fascism in the US?

2020-06-22 Thread Michael Meeropol via Marxism
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ANDREW:   Considering that Robert Paxton points to the Klan as a fascist
organization decades before Mussolini came to power I have to agree with
that point

ME:

But I do think the difference, even between the Jim Crow South and true
fascism, is that even in the 1920s and 30s the "trappings" of bourgeois
democracy were still there.   In Frederickson's book WHITE SUPREMACY (a
wonderfully synthesized comparative history of the US and South AFrica) he
makes the point that even in the era of JIM CROW, the 14th Amendment to the
US Constitution made the Southern US qualitatively different from South
Africa ---

I think the only thing that could have beaten the true fascism of Italy and
Germany was defeat in a war --- whereas even in South Africa, there was a
way out of Apartheid short of whole-sale Civil War --- and in the US, all
that was necessary was the Federal Government's willingness to enforce the
14th Amendment.

In this circumstance, I do think we have a lot to fear of a fascist
(creeping fascist??) transformation of the current US version of bourgeois
democracy --- IF Trump gets and second term and Barr is able to continue
with his centralization of power in the Presidency and voter suppression
and a totally remade Judiciary, then within another 4 years we may have
passed the point of no return ---

(In fact, the only thing that will stand between Trump-Barr-etc. and true
fascism may be the professional military in the US ... although the German
military was bribed into cooperating with Hitler )

Sorry to bring this up again (on a Marxist discussion list!!!) but that's
why even a right-wing Dem like Biden is qualitatively "so much better" than
Trump --- (okay, okay, I'm shutting up again!!!)

(Mike Meeropol)
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Re: [Marxism] fascism in the US?

2020-06-22 Thread John Reimann via Marxism
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Yes, I thought about it more and I actually sent the following letter to
the editor. I doubt they'll publish it, but I sent it anyway:

Regarding "American Fascism; it has happened here". Sarah Churchwell
outlines a truly horrific history of racist terrorism, especially in the
South. However, I think it is questionable whether it was truly fascism
that held sway. Under fascism, the working class is atomized; working class
organizations are crushed completely and no working class organizing is
possible. Not only that but the main form of repression is the state forces
themself. That was not the case in the South.

Consider this history, as outlined in Philip Foner's "Organized Labor and
the Black Worker, 1619-1981":

In the 1880s and early 1890s, there was a series of strikes of black and
white workers together throughout the South. This included sugar plantation
workers in Louisiana and the New Orleans general strike of 1892. In that
instance, the workers consciously established a negotiating committee that
was half white workers and half black workers. The employers sought to
divide them by offering to negotiate with the whites only. The whites
refused and the strike was ultimately successful. That period reflected a
general tendency of the working class to come together across racial lines.
That general tendency was reversed by the Panic of 1893. This crisis threw
workers into competition with each other for jobs and, in the absence of
any alternative, racial divisions were given a renewed life, including in
the AFL.

That body, which had previously threatened to expel the Machinists union
due to their racist color bar, then reversed course and by 1914 Gompers was
in effect blaming black people for their own oppressed conditions. Despite
this, even in that time the United Mine Workers were a largely integrated
union throughout the coal mining regions. While rare, there were a few
instances of united worker struggles even in those years. That included the
1907 strike of levee workers in New Orleans. In that instance, the workers
elected an arbitration committee composed of 2 black and 2 white workers.

The most outstanding example was that of the IWW during those years. One
example was the Brotherhood of Timber Workers, which organized in Texas,
Louisiana and Arkansas. They held their founding convention in Alexandria,
Louisiana in 1914. Due to the Jim Crow laws, the black and the white
workers at first met separately. However, at the urging of Big Bill
Haywood, they agreed to defy the law and meet together. They then elected
black and white delegates to the subsequent IWW convention to be held in
Chicago.

It is true that most of these efforts in the South in those years were
crushed, but the same was true in the North. I hardly think that one can
make an argument that the entire United States was fascist during that
entire period. Under fascism, no such organizing is possible. And it is not
only the extra-state mobs that crush such attempts; it is the forces of the
state itself. Therefore, while I think that Churchwell makes a real
contribution in her article, horrific as the situation was in the South, I
don't think it's accurate to call it "fascism" during those years.

On Mon, Jun 22, 2020 at 12:15 PM Andrew Stewart 
wrote:

> Considering that Robert Paxton points to the Klan as a fascist
> organization decades before Mussolini came to power I have to agree with
> that point
>
> Best regards,
> Andrew Stewart
> - - -
> Subscribe to the Washington Babylon newsletter via
> https://washingtonbabylon.com/newsletter/
>
> Message: 1
> Date: Mon, 22 Jun 2020 10:04:56 -0700
> From: John Reimann <1999wild...@gmail.com>
> To: Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition
>
> Subject: [Marxism] fascism in the US?
> Message-ID:
>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8"
>
> Here is an article that argues that the US was ruled by fascism in the
> South for an extended period of time. It also argues that fascism in the US
> has had a greater influence at the national level that we often recognize.
> I think their argument is quite serious.
>
>
> https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2020/06/22/american-fascism-it-has-happened-here/?fbclid=IwAR3QiVgCGTORPziQv04LceN9VI-iQ9hjlgBNVf3txsaMGgU3qOVWXiQzefM
>
> --
> *?Science and socialism go hand-in-hand.? *Felicity Dowling
> Check out:https:http://oaklandsocialist.com also on Facebook
>


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Re: [Marxism] fascism in the US?

2020-06-22 Thread Andrew Stewart via Marxism
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Considering that Robert Paxton points to the Klan as a fascist organization 
decades before Mussolini came to power I have to agree with that point 

Best regards,
Andrew Stewart 
- - -
Subscribe to the Washington Babylon newsletter via 
https://washingtonbabylon.com/newsletter/

Message: 1
Date: Mon, 22 Jun 2020 10:04:56 -0700
From: John Reimann <1999wild...@gmail.com>
To: Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition
   
Subject: [Marxism] fascism in the US?
Message-ID:
   
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8"

Here is an article that argues that the US was ruled by fascism in the
South for an extended period of time. It also argues that fascism in the US
has had a greater influence at the national level that we often recognize.
I think their argument is quite serious.

https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2020/06/22/american-fascism-it-has-happened-here/?fbclid=IwAR3QiVgCGTORPziQv04LceN9VI-iQ9hjlgBNVf3txsaMGgU3qOVWXiQzefM

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Re: [Marxism] fascism in the US?

2020-06-22 Thread Louis Proyect via Marxism

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On 6/22/20 1:04 PM, John Reimann via Marxism wrote:

Here is an article that argues that the US was ruled by fascism in the
South for an extended period of time. It also argues that fascism in the US
has had a greater influence at the national level that we often recognize.
I think their argument is quite serious.


I posted a link to the article earlier. It is a very good article but it 
is wrong in stating that it "happened here". The USA was a bourgeois 
democracy in the 1920s and 30s. It has always been one, going back to 
George Washington. Like apartheid South Africa and Israel, it is a state 
based on colonialism and caste formations. Because of the cruelty of 
such states, it is tempting to describe them as "fascist" but the term 
is only useful insofar as it applies to absolutist states such as Nazi 
Germany. That being said, the article is very well-researched and a must 
read.




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[Marxism] fascism in the US?

2020-06-22 Thread John Reimann via Marxism
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Here is an article that argues that the US was ruled by fascism in the
South for an extended period of time. It also argues that fascism in the US
has had a greater influence at the national level that we often recognize.
I think their argument is quite serious.

https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2020/06/22/american-fascism-it-has-happened-here/?fbclid=IwAR3QiVgCGTORPziQv04LceN9VI-iQ9hjlgBNVf3txsaMGgU3qOVWXiQzefM

-- 
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Check out:https:http://oaklandsocialist.com also on Facebook
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