Some thoughts on the Oklahoma bombing

Scott Marshall Scott at
Wed Apr 26 14:32:35 MDT 1995

There is much to study and discuss on this issue. It relates very much to an
earlier thread about populism etc. Some initital thoughts:

1) The classic definition of fascism as the resort of capital when it can no
longer rule in the old way - as the open naked dictatorship of monopoly
capital - is important to consider. There does not all of a sudden come a
day when the executive of monopoly capital says "well, we can't rule in the
old way - bourgy democracy doesn't seem to be getting the job done any more
- time to bring out the jackboots." Obviously there are a whole set of
complex social, economic and political factors as well as objective and
subjecive factors that proceed any real development of fascism. So it's
important not to overstate, nor scare people with the dangers - but it is
also important to examine developments that move in that direction - like
the growth of the extreme right.

1)I think much of the left is underestimating the social disruption and
economic dislocation that the working class is experiencing and feeling in
the current intense crisis of capitalism. Many deny any crisis at all and
feel that the system is resilient and doing fine. A big mistake that the
'militia' movement is not making. They are out tapping into the anger
against the system and diverting it.

The popular anger against the system is growing geometrically. The key to
turning it to the left and towards socialism is relentless struggle and
exposure of the capitalist system. The militias speak of the government. The
left must show the role of monoploy capitalism and the corporations *as the
owners of the government*. People are right to be angry at the government
(it is state monopoly capitalism), but to keep from being misled they have
to see who the government serves - which class. Exposing racism as a tool of
division and super profits is also key.

2) Much of the left has spent time documenting the ties of various
ultra-right, neo-nazi and Klan type organizations to the "militia" and
"patriot" movements in the US. This is valuable, but what is even more
important is the financial backing, corporate ties and think tanks
supporting these organizations. They are well funded and supplied - by whom?
How are the militia and partiot movements tied to the US military beyond the
fact that most of it's leadership was trained and served in the military?

3) It would be a mistake to think that these are unsophisticated people
lashing out in an unplanned way. Last night on "Nightline" (for those
outside the US a news magazine type TV program on one of the major networks)
the leader of the Michigan Militia Corps cited as major examples of
government tyranny in the US - a) slavery and the underground railroad, even
evoking the name of Sojurner Truth, b) the "trail of tears" (when the US
army force marched thousands of Native Americans most of the way across the
US to resettlement camps), and then c) Wayco Texas and d) Randy Weaver
(white supremacist involved in shoot out with FBI in Idaho). They often cite
also FBI abuses of the '60's & '70's against the left, civil rights and
anti-war movements as evidence of the threat to the constitution by the US

While this won't confuse the folks on this list - it does appeal to some of
the confused "left" out there that have been activists in the past. I just
discovered that a person I knew as an activist in Klanwatch is now a member
of a North Carolina militia organization. In other words these groups do try
and appeal to popular left political movements and trends (similar to how
the Nazi's sought to appeal to "socialists"). They take great pains to hide
and downplay their connections to Nazi, KKK and other blatently racist,
fascist organizations. (However it is clear that they maintain strong secret
ties with all of these kinds of groups.)

4) These groups parade as patriotic. This taps into a fairly deep resentment
among working class people at the export of jobs and capital and the growth
of transnationals. The anger around NAFTA was very much directed at the
corporations. The militia groups (as did Ross Perot who probably helps
finances militias) want to tap into that sentiment and steer it off in a
reactionary nationalist direction. The bombing in Oklahoma shows the "big
lie" of their brand of jingoistic patriotism.

5) I suspect there will be even greater acts of terror from the ultra right
fringe. The progression of the violence of these people from blocking, then
bombing abortion clinics, to shooting doctors, to the bombing in Oklahoma is
unmistakeable. Already, along with the outrage and horror of the bombing, is
emerging a subtle rationalizing of events from the right. IE: "they are a
few crazies." "We certainly don't condone violence but....".

6) The class struggle is intensifing in the US and there will be a new kind
of polarization in politics here that will be different than what the US is
used to. It will confuse and throw much of the liberal and social democratic
left into even greater disarray. Being firmly anchored in the working class
will be the critical question for the left.

7) The "globalization" of capitalist economy is bringing with it also the
"globalization" of the far right. Just as the working class and left need
new forms of coordination and cooperation, the right is establishing links
and new global strategies etc. It would be good to hear reports of what's
happening with the far right in other countries.


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