Marxism and the Militias: The Right the Far Right and the

g.maclennan at g.maclennan at
Wed Aug 30 08:15:18 MDT 1995

Matt, thank you for replying to my post.  I simply don't know the
American scene at all well and was basing my opinion on the militias on a
very general reading of fascism.  Now I do know N. Ireland very well and
the Protestant militias there and I suspect that they are of the same
racist fascist genotype as the US variety.

So now it is true that many of the Protestant militias are working class.
But that can be explained in terms of the histroic divide between
Catholic and Protestant workers and the role of the State and other
institutiions, such as the Orange Order,  in maintaining that divisiion.

In N. Ireland sectarianism had the effect of disorientating the working
class protestant from class consciousness.  I suspect that racism plays
the same role in the USA.

But sectarianism doesn't simply make them anti-catholic it also kept them
outside organised labour and its program.

Now the leader of the militia you mention may be a janitor, but his
personal class psoition should not be confused with that of the
groups's.  If you allow that a group can have a class position then the
class origin of its individual memebers is not that significant.

I think Olin Wright's notion of class as a trajectory may be helpful
here.  The crucial question is not where the janitor has been or even is
but where is he heading.  And I think that if he is in a militia then he
is off to the middle class, certainly in terms of a class role, in that
he will be located between organised Labour and Capital/State..

Now the question of how to convert these militia members?  My own feelings
are that you can never presume that someone is incapable of changing.
But that is really irrelevant when it comes as you say to destroying
them.  You are much more likely to appeal to fascist types if you are
strong. Sad but true.



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