Forwarded from Anthony (reply to Yoshie)

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Thu Dec 14 18:02:07 MST 2000

Hi Lou!

To Yoshie:

I agree with you that the French ruling class(es?) were seriously divided
on the eve of the French revolution.

In your opinion can any ruling class be seriously divided in circumstances
less than prerevolutionary?

I ask the question because you cite only the most extreme case.

I think that the divisions within the ruling class of the United States are
serious - but not so serious that they can not maintain their unity for the
sake of continued joint plunder of the world.

I am interested in figuring out the exact nature of the conflicts within
the bourgeoisie of the United States - I can not claim to fully understand

Some of them are obvious - energy policy and Alaska is one case where the
oil companies are looking to make a quick buck and other segments want to
go slow.

Arms spending is another area of difference - Clinton et al are the real
balanced budget pushers - while the Bush crowd favor a miltary Keynsianism.

Who controls appointments and patronage - particularly to the Supreme Court
is another area of obvious difference.

None of these differences - on the surface - seems to be serious enough to
push them into an all out political struggle where they start to mobilize
popular masses behind each other to slug it out.

However, they came much, much closer to such tactics against each other
than anyone thought possible in the recently concluded election.

The Republicans organized gangs of thugs in Florida to intimidate the
ballot counters in Dade county. And they did a lot more for months earlier
to steal the election.

So, granted this rift is not on the scale of the one before the French
revolution - and granted that the United States is not on the edge - and
not near the edge - of a social revolution -

Don't you think there appears to be a more serious internal conflict than
anyone thought before the election?

Don't you think that offers opportunity for the left to make advances int
he next period?

Even if they are smaller than, say a socialist revolution?

And don't you think the marxists intellectuals on this list should
investigate the nature of this unexpected conflict withint the bourgeoisie
of the United States to find out what's up?

When Nixon's plumbers were caught breaking into the Democratic Party
headquarters in the Watergate building in Washington D.C., it didn't cause
a big stir the first day, or the first week. But two years later he was
forced to resign.

Political crises within the ruling class do not emerge fully grown - they
often develop behind the scenes for years before they come into public view.

I appreciate the fact that you answered my previous question, and hope you
will answer the ones I ahve just posted.


Louis Proyect
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