Last Posts - Understanding the "conjuncture" was Re: Anarchism;morepopular than marxism?

Gary MacLennan g.maclennan at
Sat Dec 11 13:33:46 MST 1999

Hi Carroll,

I suppose that strictly speaking you are correct.  My post was too broad in
its conceptualisation and I really do not have the time and energy to go
over the definition of class territory. So I will graciously concede the

Now re the Vietnam War, here at QUT we used to have a lecturer in
Journalism, a Major Peter Young, ex-SAS, served in Vietnam etc.  He told me
that on the big US Aircraft carriers there were no go areas where the white
crew and officers dared not show their faces.None of this was reported but
I do remember at the time reading some reports of a collapse of discipline
in the US army.

Facts like this go along way to explaining current US Army tactics.  The
High Command dreads being bogged down.

warm regards


At 10:40  10/12/99 -0600, you wrote:

>Gary MacLennan wrote:
> > >
> >  This apolitical aggression
> > transmits to the middle class and we have the 60s. This is fundamentally a
> > rejection of authority, but because the working class is still apolitical
> > and will not or cannot give leadership the radicalness of the middle class
> > is marked by excess and political naivety.
>Gary, I don't know how to translate this because I *really* never know
>what any given person means by "middle class." Actually, I think that
>it can't be defined in Marxist terms so as to mutually intelligible to all
>marxists, because there is no way to express it in terms of relations of
>production. As a result, it seems to me that no two users of the term
>have the same actual people in mind.
>But also, this contrdicts my own experiences of the 1960s and 1970s. The
>most visible figures in the student movement (or at least those made most
>visible by the bourgeois media) were mostly (not wholly) those from
>professional families or actual petty producers (small to middle size
>retailers, independent craftsmen, etc.). But the vast bulk of those I actually
>encountered and worked with were working class by any definition of
>working class I could come up with. And of course almost all the popular
>support within the black community for the civil rights movement was
>working class. And finally (as I believe someone recently pointed out
>on this list) the blow that finally forced the U.S. out of Vietnam was the
>virtual mutiny of the U.S. Army in Vietnam.
>In any case, I personally at least, have real trouble in understanding
>which use the term middle class in descriptions of the 1960s (or the 1990s).
>I cannot escape the suspicion that lurking behind that term is a tendency
>to define class by whatever consciousness people express at a given
>moment -- and so objectively what "middle class" is apt to name is
>"working class men and women with a bourgeois consicousness." If that
>is the case, then the term obscures from us our task of changing that

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