The Pratt Pack

Bradley Mayer concrete at idiom.com
Sun Feb 18 18:21:19 MST 1996


> I of course agree with you that what must be
>done is to build a truly independent workingclass political basis, on the
>foundations of class struggle, antiracism, antisexism, against homophobia,
>for peace, justice and solidarity, and, in the final analysis for
>*SOCIALISM*.
>Warmest solidarity, Charlotte

I will return to the above in a moment, but first, and again, on Buchanan 
and fascism.  Timely empirical evidence works wonders for a theory: Larry 
Pratt, recently of Buchanan's campaign committee, not only had ties to 
the Aryan Nation (Tom Metzger's group), but was an *original inspiration* 
for the far rightist militia movement!  Then there is the case of a Ms. 
Lamm (Lamb?), late of Buchanan's Florida campaign, who has ties to David 
Duke's old outfit, The National Association for the Advancement of White 
People.

A little while back on this l*st, I had put forward the theory that the 
Buchanan campaign was a "transitional fascist" phenomenon, together with 
Le Pen, Fini, etc.  The initial responses to this position came from L. 
Proyect, G. Levy and others, who maitained the Buchanan was just another 
case of rightwing populism in the tradition of Huey Long or George 
Wallace, a position also more recently upheld by S. Ryan. Although I was not 
able to respond in a timely manner, I did make an "asynchronously 
threaded" post further elaborating on this view (with a slight 
tounge-in-cheek on the "Transitional Program").  

The problems with the "right wing populist" position are 1) It regards 
Buchanan in abstraction from the historical and material context within 
which this phenomenon appears. Seen in this way, of course Buchanan 
appears as identical to Wallace, Long, etc. Buchanan, in his own mind, 
may even think he's just another rightwing populist. But that is not what 
should matter to us. What matters is the role Buchanan plays in the 
present conjuncture, and I say that he acts as a transit point for the 
crystalization of a mass fascist movement in the electoral arena in the 
US, on a national scale.  His campaign is creating a very broad 
ideological space indeed for "actually existing" fascism, he is preping 
the ground for them in a way that Wallace or Long *could never* do. 2) it 
implies a mechanically cyclical view of historical development - 
rightwing populism simply reoccurs like some virus, and we need look no 
further than that. In sum, what we have here is a basically ahistorical 
view of Buchanan.  

More recently, I had posted a sort of "I told you so" in the hopes of 
snagging some bites from these former critics.  In the meantime the l*st 
Stalinists have noticed Buchanan's electoral surge in the mainstream press.
Their postings reveal the utter bankruptcy of their political tradition, 
in their incapacity to form any characterization of Buchanan that might 
distinguish this campaign from the rest of the pack. Buchanan ends up as 
just another bourgeois politician. But, as we can now see, the fascists
are drawn to his campaign, not Dole's, or Alexander's, or Clinton's. Why 
is that?  As an aside, it should be noted that L. Godena reveals a 
secret, perverse admiration for Buchanan (which L. Proyect has so 
hilariously answered) - this, note, DOES NOT mean that L. Godena is a 
"transitional" or closet fascist, but is simply, like all maoists, a Third 
Period Stalinist locked in a permanent time warp.  But the Third Period 
and Hitler was another thread...

Which brings us to the choice bromide quoted above from C. Kates.  Of 
course, Buchanan can and will have a appeal to the white working class, 
not because these workers are the Neanderthal boneheads of L. Godena's 
New Left/Postmodern imagination, but because these workers see no other 
alternative.  I ask again: What, CONCRETELY, is the strategy to 'build a 
truely independant working class basis..', that would present an 
alternative for workers not only to Buchanan, but to the entire existing 
bourgeois political regime?  

			-Brad Mayer

P.S. Althusser (who I have extensively read, which isn't saying all 
that much, really) had well-known sympathies with Maoism and New Leftism. 
Now Althusser (in my opinion) was an unconscious poststructuralist. L. 
Godena has very close ties to Maoism - might he be an unconscious 
Althuserrian (this, of course requires a certain "logical leap"), and 
therefore an even more unconscious.... Are there any resident 
deconstructionists on this l*st?  


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