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Date: Wed, 5 Aug 98 17:58:58 CDT
From: The Golem <odin@atlantic.net>
Article: 40506
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Message-ID: <bulk.4447.19980806181545@chumbly.math.missouri.edu>

No substitute for class analysis

From Professor Grover Furr, 6 August 1998

Years ago I got a book called Rockefeller - Internationalist, by Emmanuel Josephson. I confused this guy with MATTHEW Josephson, the eminent author of popular books on the Robber Barons of the last century, so I read this one. However, Emmanual J. turned out to be a populist: a racist, anti-communist, patriotic—but anti-elitist. He opposed [Nelson] Rockefeller because he believed Rocky to be: anti-racist, pro-communist (yep!), anti-patriotic, for world government, etc. In short, one of the Illuminati, or the Elders of Zion, etc.

A few years later I did research on the Nazis. Turns out that there was a group of Nazis, led by the Strasser brothers and including Josef Goebbels, who considered themselves anti-capitalist Nazis. They were important in building up the Nazi movement among workers, wihtout which it would have been weak and useless to the German ruling class. Hitler converted Goebbels and did away with the others in a blood purge in 1934.

There was even a party in Germany after WWI called the National Bolsheviks—racist, anti-communist,—fascist, in fact—but even more dedicatedly anti-capitalist than the Nazis (whose name, National _Socialist_ German _Workers_ Party, remained to show their phony anti-capitalist origins). A rightwing prof at U. Mass., Guenter Lewy, has written about the National Bolsheviks.

During the 1890s there was a big movement uniting poor white AND BLACK farmers in the South - the Populist Party. This important group was smashed by the government and the landowners, to whom they were a threat. One way of smashing them was by co-opting their leaders. One of the most important ones, Tom Watson, turned overnight from being a staunch advocate of Black/White farmer class unity against the landowners and the Democratic Party to being a fercious race-baiter, completely acceptable to the landed elite.

The populists that survived mainly followed Watson's lead. They remained distrustful of big capital (Northern and Northeastern), but remained racist, anti-left and anti-labor (equating unions with Communism), often phrasing all this in religious fundamentalist terms. Orvil Faubus began his political career that way.

During the '20s and '30s these people became isolationists, sometimes even anti-imperialists, in that they disapproved of U.S. imperialism abroad, seeing that it benefitted only the big capitalists. They _claimed_ to be defenders of the WHITE working man. Many Ku Klux Klan leaders shared aspects of their ideology. Some of them got into legal trouble over their opposition to WWII, even getting embroiled with real Nazi agents.

This is the origin of The Liberty Lobby, Spotlight, Willis Carto, etc. This group of racist, anti-communist, racist goons is the direct heritors of the pre-WWII Nazi/isolationist/Populist alliance, out of the post WWI reaction—remember than WWI was an _imperialist_ war, incredibly unpopular in the US and _especially_ in the West (but really everywhere). And it was the reaction against WWI that breathed new life into the renegade survivors of the Populist Party, by now a racist, traditionalist, reactionary group.

My point is: this kind of anti-elitist, but at the same time racist, sexist, anti-communist movement is not something new. It has long historical roots. It's a petty bourgeois ideology, as was much clearer, perhaps, in the '90s with the Populists, or the '20s with the National Bolsheviks in Germany. It represents the interests of small businessmen—first, small farmers—who were and are very threatened by big capital.

But it never was, and still is not, any friend of the working class (whatever the lingo about being for the workers—the racist Populists claimed to defend the white working man, remember). It's still very anti-communist. It's no good, period. But, inevitably, some _potentioally_ good forces—working people and others who have some class hatred and could be won to seeing capitalism as the problem and an egalitarian communist society as the solution—get won over to it, because this is the movement they come into contact with.

This movement—recognizable among the patriot and militia groups today—is used, politically, by those interests who would benefit from _less_ federal government regulation. Ranchers who would like to use the prairies for grazing, without paying the huge real costs of the damage their animals cause. Lumber companies who want to cut forests without worrying about paying the replacement costs.

Companies whose economic interests are in the South and South-West, and who want US foreign policy to stop spending so much to defend Europe and the Mid-East, where it is mainly Eastern banks which have heavy investments. Hence the opposition of some of these groups, or their spokespeople, to the Iraq war in 1991, and their pretence at being pro-working class and anti-imperialist. Pat Buchanan called the Gulf War colonialism, and play-acted at being a defender of the working class.

These forces are basically anti-working class, anti-communist, and racist. Because they _cannot_ have a class analysis, they come up with -- conspiracy! They are pretty influential in the Republican Party—remember, George Bush had to drop out of the Trilateral Commission when he ran for President in '92, because many rank-and-file creeps in the Republican Party thought this is an anti-patriotic, Internationalist group!

Mr Brandt* sees the similarities between class analysis and 'conspiracy-mongers.' That's because he has no hint, no breath, of a class analysis. He is not anti-capitalist at all. His analysis has more in common with the right-wing conspiracy theorists who are catspaws, to use a good term, for big capital, as the Tom Watsons and National Bolsheviks have been in the past. *[See PNEWS Archives or Brandt's Memoirs for background]

As for all the stuff about PC—well, those who push diversity also use it as a substitute for a class analysis. You'd think that a Clarence Thomas or two, to say nothing of the affirmative action efforts by Wall Street corporations—would have disabused everyone of the notion that having X per cent of blacks, women, gays, etc., in your organization or on your board was a step towards getting rid of capitalism. But PC is mainly, and in its origin, a way of branding anti-capitalism as bad. Read _The Myth of Political Correctness_—a liberal, but well-documented, refutation of this nonsense.

There is no substitute for a class analysis of capitalism. There is no substitute for a movement to get rid of capitalism, fighting racism, sexism, and all other forms of inequality—all necessary to capitalism—to build an egalitarian society led by the working class, i.e. communism. That is what is left. I don't see that anything else is.

PIR may be a useful tool for researchers and journalists. By his own statement, it's liable to be as useful for the right as for the left—maybe more so. I don't see that it in itself has anything much to do with building a movement to get rid of capitalism.