Cockburn on confederacy

Carrol Cox cbcox at
Sat Nov 13 11:01:38 MST 1999

Doug Henwood wrote:

> [Here's the column with the curious reference to the Confederacy in
> the next-to-last paragraph. Certain residents of the Southern states
> were not consulted on matters of mutual trust and confidence in the
> federal government, a point easily overlooked in the face of deadline
> pressures, I'm sure.]
> [SNIP].
> The one thing the Post, Harvard, the Kaiser Family Foundation and all
> the hired professors can't face is that the correct premise for an
> independent citizenry is not to trust government, and that, as in
> every other period of America's history, government across the past
> thirty years has forfeited trust anyway.

Those of us who in the mid-70s were engaged in serious efforts at
political organizing should remember that the Watergate Affair was
nearly as disastrous for communist organizing as it was for the
Nixon administration. What happened was not merely an increase
in distrust of government but a sharp increase in distrust of the
usefulness of any kind of politics or any kind of political agency.
But then Cockburn seems to share one characteristic with Max --
he really is not interested in (probably has no faith in) attempts
at collective action. He merely wants a passive yes to what he
has to say.

That said, in the midst of all this Cockburn baiting, he and
*Counterpunch* are most useful to have around. Lou Proyect
dismisses the whole crowd of New York Journalists (Cockburn,
Henwood, Pollitt, Reed, etc.) because, among other things, they
never wrote a leaflet or organized a forum. I have done both,
and I wrote so many leaflets when I should have been doing
research that it is one of the reasons that I retired as only an
assistant professor. But I really couldn't have written one of
those leaflets were it not for the work of journalists who may
or may not have ever written one themselves.


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