Bryan A. Alexander
bnalexan at umich.edu
Tue Feb 27 10:33:12 MST 1996
This is getting silly and repetitious:
Bryan Alexander Department of English
email: bnalexan at umich.edu University of Michigan
phone: (313) 764-0418 Ann Arbor, MI USA 48103
fax: (313) 763-3128 http://www.umich.edu/~bnalexan
On Mon, 26 Feb 1996, James Miller wrote:
> PAT BUCHANAN: A FASCIST?
> I agree with the article in the Militant
> newspaper labeling Buchanan a fascist.
> Louis says that the political climate in
> the US today is not favorable for the rise of
> a mass fascist movement. This is true. But
> this doesn't settle the question of whether
> Buchanan is a fascist. A person can be a
> fascist long before the times are right for
> the growth of a mass fascist movement.
I said this before, and clearly: Buchanan is a fascist type of politician
who is not acting *now* in fascist times.
> Louis says that Buchanan is a
bourgeois > politician. This is also true. All fascists
> are bourgeois politicians. But their arena
> of activity is not parliamentarism; it is
> the street. Buchanan is doing things that
> point toward the organization of fascist
OK - and the evidence for this? read on:
> I think if you listen to what he is
> saying in his primary speeches, you will
> see that he is not going for the votes the
> way other bourgeois politicians do. His
> statements are unconditional on many key
> questions: abortion, the family, God,
> protectionism, gays, immigrants, etc.
> This shows he is building a movement of
> support outside the electoral arena. For
> him, the elections serve not to get him
> elected, but to give him a platform he
> can use to help build an extra-parliamentary
> mass ultraright movement.
This shows nothing of the sort! Look, I *teach* rhetoric for a living,
and can tell you the difference between speech content and political
organization. Just because he talks this way doesn't mean he has a bunch
of brown shirts chanting "Crossfire first, the White House next!" This
is *not* Marxist analysis. This is, however, a prime site for our work.
But there's more:
> Louis says
that there are no fascist > gangs attacking unions, progressive
> organizations, etc. But there are shootings
> of abortion providers, anti-semitic vandalism,
> a growth of violence-prone militias, threats
> against immigrants and gays. There is an
> intensification of scapegoating and the
> politics of resentment. These are signs of
> a growing social crisis and political
First of all, this neatly finishes and skips the point of Buchanan's
followers. Second, aside from the militias, you could say this of any
point from 1980 through now. Third, as for the militias: can you show us
links between Buchanan and them? or even a structural association? No?
>... But more and more workers are
> thinking about political solutions, radical
> solutions. Some of them look to the ultra-
> right. Some of them look to the labor
> movement. They want to see the rules of
> society changed in their favor. This is
> the opposite of a search for individual
This needs much more development: where? which industries? etc.
> Buchanan is not a full-blown fascist, like
> Hitler was in 1923. But he is a fascist of
> the type that is to be expected in the US
> today. He would not be having the kind of
> success that he is if the political ground
> were not prepared for the emergence of this
> kind of politics. His success in the
> primaries is evidence of the existence of
> a constituency that responds positively to
> a fascist political approach.
Emergence, maybe. Nascent. Potential. Embryonic. These are good
words, not organization or movement.
And keep in mind the narrow limitation of his success so far.
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