Marxism and the Militias

Bryan A. Alexander bnalexan at
Sat Sep 2 16:19:57 MDT 1995

A second to Paul.  Furthermore, in part to annoy Habermasians, I insist
on the role of managerial/spectacular culture to leech the strength out
of class tensions.  The circuit: Hollywood-twopartysystem - mass media -
craven academic apologists: resonates with more brilliance every year,
esp since the fall of the USSR.  I've always seen my task as a lit crit
person to point out the contrasting shadows...
	By no means is such a spectacle complete in its efficacy.  It's
just powerful, and peculiarly effective during years of relatively little
class unrest.  I think Rakesh's point would be more valid in times of
sustained depression in this country.  Are the militias being groomed
(note my careful use of the agent-avoiding passive voice) for such a
role, should the economy gnaw on itself even worse in the next few
years?  Perhaps - in that capital might be investing in certain persons
and militias (Louis' study begs to be done, really).  But that ambiguity
returns me to my original point: the militia status is uncertain, and a
strategic opportunity for all and sundry.

Bryan Alexander
Department of English
University of Michigan

On Fri, 1 Sep 1995, Paul Cockshott wrote:

> Rakesh
> ------
> Forget the Militia for a moment.  Can we agree that in the wake of the
> Keynesian failure to stabilize the trade cycle( as predicted by Paul
> Mattick and Mario Cogoy among others) the capitalist state will need more
> than ever an extra-legal, extra-government organ as instrument of special
> and exceptional repression?
> Paul
> ----
> I do not agree.
> I think the trend of your argument is teleological and besides
> empirically unrealistic.
> The abandonment of Keynesianism has as a result not only wider
> trade cycles but also chronic mass unemployment. Unemployment
> is the extra-governmental organ of special repression.
> As a result of 15 years of it, the trades union movement here
> is prostrate and there is no need for any special organ of
> repression other than that provided by liberal economics.
> By reducing movements like the militia to some 'need' of capital
> you fail to see that they can be an autonomous response to
> deteriorating social conditions.
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