Marxism and the Militias
Bryan A. Alexander
bnalexan at umich.edu
Mon Aug 28 15:04:44 MDT 1995
Doug's point about the militias espousing classic American individualism
is right on: fear of big finance, nostalgia for the local shop, defense of
local autonomy, etc. We can also see that Puritan-derived minimalist
ethic/aesthetic of relative simplicity -
But fascist? I can see these guys linking up to support a
symbolic leader promising to end Washington (politics), but such a guy
would have to most likely be an organic intellectual or, more likely, some
sort of hybrid (I am reminded of Huey Long, poor man/lawyer/rich leech/
populist/...). But several elements of their constitution now prevent
anything like classic fascism.
1) their love of guns - c'mon, these guys are the first to point
to Hitler's confiscation of privately-owned weapons.
2) their fundamental heterogeneity. Militias share a general
loathing of the feds, a fear of Waco, a love of guns - not much else.
Religious maniacs are marching cheek by jowl with agnostics who worship
only their holsters. Racists with folks who don't care about race. Etc.
Fusing these disparate units into a national whole would be extremely
difficult - I'm not even sure that a major crisis alliance would last.
3) lack of imperial thinking. We don't see many of these guys
arguing for a restored American empire. Indeed, most seem to be
But where does that leave the left? Local mag FIFTH ESTATE has a
brief rant about "Why are there no left-wing militias?", claiming, if I
remember rightly, that these righties pose no real threat to the
established order of capital. About their threat to the state, they say
So do we follow Cockburn and try to talk with these armed
forces? Do we form left ones, or watch for them to emerge?
Department of English
University of Michigan
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