Fwd: Re: Fascism, McCarthyism and Buchanan (fwd)

Bryan A. Alexander bnalexan at umich.edu
Wed Feb 28 11:09:05 MST 1996

OK, I'll simply pass this on for now - comment later  -

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

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: 28 Feb 1996 00:21:45 GMT
From: Ryan at bitstream.mpls.mn.us
To: bnalexan at umich.edu
Subject: Fwd: Re: Fascism, McCarthyism and Buchanan

Hi Bryan, I sent this in last evening and haven't seen it posted, although
they say the list is fixed. An interesting point of discussion you brought
up, I think.


Bryan A:
>2. Workers are voting for Pat, true; but so are rural citizens.
>We need to keep this in mind.  No other candidate is paying attention to
>the agricultural sector in a serious way.  Buchanan has then succeeded in
>yet another fascist identity element: the city-country alliance.

I can theorize of a few reasons why Buchanan's populism could be expected to
get some rural support. First, political alliances in rural communities in
the U.S. have often been volatile due to the contradictory nature of class
relations in agriculture-based communities.

Farm workers are working-class, and have typically aligned themselves
politically with the urban working-class. Farmers are a unique mix of
capitalist, manager and laborer in the petty bourgeois and can have variable
relations with capitalist production. They can hire labor, work off-farm,
have contract production, etc. Their interests are class-based, but vary. Up
to half of non-farm jobs in rural areas depend on the agriculture sector for
their survival.

Both NAFTA and GATT threatened to free agriculture markets from state
protections making them compete with cheap labor. U.S. farmers joined their
European counterparts to oppose those trends and lost.

Earnings of farmers have been squeezed by a shrinking number of transnational
agribusiness enterprises which simultaneously control the markets from seeds
and fertilizer to processed food products.

Rural populations tend to be very strong gun-rights advocates. Buchanan, as
you said, is paying attention to this neglected sector and playing to these

After reading an article today comparing--to the limits of
absurdity--Buchanan to Catholic teaching and Prairie Populism, I got to
thinking maybe he is closer to the Know-Nothings. Didn't they refuse to
answer questions outside the party message of reducing legal immigration? I
think they wanted to keep out those beastly Irish who were going to make
America a Papal Colony.

Sally Ryan

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