Marxism and the Militias

TimW333521 at TimW333521 at
Sun Aug 27 20:57:54 MDT 1995

I must take exception both to Cockburn's approach to the Militias as well as
to the recent, generally sympathetic, comments on that approach.

I think it would be a grave mistake for the Left to become confused as to who
its real enemies are.  Cockburn has a tendency to see "liberals" as his enemy
(even fellow writers in the Nation) and this leads him to a softness toward
the armed and dangerous extreme right: the Militias.  The Communists made a
similar error in Germany between 1929-33.

Also I knew Lyndon LaRouche in the 1960s when he viewed himself as still some
sort of Trotskyist.  He was obsessed then with a hatred of Rockefeller,
Tri-Lateralism, and liberalism in general.  He maintained this obsession on
his quick trip to the extreme right, punctuated by physical attacks on Left
groups.  Yes, we must criticize the inadeguacies of liberalism and the limits
of reformism.  But we must carry on this criticism within an overall
perspective of defense of reforms so far wrested from the power elite by the
masses.  This clearly differentiates us from the right as a whole,
particularly the extreme right like the Militias.

The Left should be clear about one matter: when members of the Militias
envision stringing people up on lamp posts they have in mind, among others:

It is important to realize that fascism will arise in America in a different
manner than it did in Europe.  It is now very clear that fascism will be
built upon anti-government individualism and super-patriotism, as well as
anti-Semitism and racism.  We find all these elements among the Militias,
combined with arms and at least some determination to use them.

Cockburn may see something progressive in the Militias' agitation against the
United Nations, which it views as an oppressive New World Order aimed at
supplanting the American Constitution.  I maintain this is simply patriotic
rubbish which reflects a hostility to a world filled primarily with

I feel that Cockburn represents one of the more poisonous elements on the
left who has learn just about nothing from the collapse of worldwide
"Communism" (Stalinism).  In addition to preaching an ultra-left version of
the Third Period line of the early 1930s, his pro-Serbian views represent a
kind of wierd pro-Slav hangover from the Cold War days -- a period Cockburn
surely misses.

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