Forwarded from Anthony (reply to Yoshie)
CharlesB at SPAMCNCL.ci.detroit.mi.us
Fri Dec 15 13:46:41 MST 2000
>>> cbcox at ilstu.edu 12/15/00 03:03PM >>>
Charles Brown wrote:
> CB: There were also significant divisions in the U.S.ruling class from the fifties
>through the mid seventites, with the Civil Rights/Peace/Countercultural movement the
>progressive offense in response to it. Kennedy assassination and Nixon impeachment
>were emblemetic heavy blows struck back and forth between the right and the left of
>the big bourgeoisie.
Charles, I just don't count the Kennedy assassination. It doesn't make
sense and it takes one of the supreme imperialist motherfuckers off the
hook to make Kennedy represent anything decent, or to think that
the "right" had him assassinated. We've had this argument before, but
I don't think the argument for a conspiracy is interesting enough to even
explore it any more.
CB: Whenever there is a split in the ruling class, it gets expressed as fight between
two or more supreme imperialist motherfuckers. So, that fact counts in favor of it
being evidence of a split in the ruling class.
For example, Lincoln and Jefferson Davis were motherfuckers, but the Civil War was a
split in the ruling class.
You are too hung up on the personality and individual crimes of Kennedy. You must look
beyond personality and moral judgement in making this political assessment.
In the case of the civil rights struggle, the state and its ruling class
supporters had a real challenge on their hands -- and it resulted in
the kind of fireworks that might go on inside the top executive
branches of a corporation if it found that a rival was cutting into
CB: What you say here seems to support my claim , not yours.
A division over tactics or strategy or how to meet
a given threat is a difference in OPINION. To be a division that
is *significant* in any substantial way there have to be major
objective material differences (as there was between the
slavedrivers and their merchant allies on the one hand, the rest
of the U.S. ruling class on the other hand) -- and even then they
don't count unless there is a strong working class movement.
CB: In the case of split between Kennedy and the Military Industrial Complex sector of
the ruling class, the major material difference was peace or war with the Soviet
Union. Kennedy had signed a test ban treaty and did not invade Cuba, chickening out
in confrontation with the SU. The struggle with socialism was a major material issue.
It is a terribel waste of left brain power and left resources to
fuss and fume about differences of opinion among rulers. Fer
crying out loud, this is a *capitalist* ruling class we are talking
about, and they respond to the realities of capitalist life as
much as anyone -- and the chief of those fundamental realities
is the individuation of the social order. They are all a bunch of
fucking individuals. They fight each other all the time and it
doesn't make the slightest difference.
CB: See above. You , of all people, are psychologizing in your analysis. The conflict
between the individual leaders is emblematic.
This business of blowing up such relatively petty fights into
great big DIVISIONS in the ruling class is just plain nonsense.
The ruling class was perfectly united in pursuing the Vietnam
War -- they simply developed more and more varied
individual opinions as the mess got bigger. No significant
block in the ruling class had any objections to the Christmas
Bombing of 1972 (date?)* By that time all of them, "left"
and right, had pretty much accepted the foreign policy now
advocated by Powell -- Bomb 'em but don't stir up the public
at home with casualties.
CB: The main splits in the ruling class in this period were over whether to end Jim
Crow and whether or not to pursue peaceful coexistence with the Soviets. The Viet Nam
war was more a conflict between the Viet Namese and the US. ruling class and the
masses of Americans who came to be against the war and the U.S. ruling class. The
defeat of the U.S. ruling class in this struggle at home and abroad aggravated the
main splits on Jim Crow and Soviets ( with the Viet Nam issue overlapping the Soviet
issue under the rubric of the struggle with Communism).
Actually, there has always been only one reason people daydream
about divisions in the ruling class. It lays the basis for cooperation
with that ruling class under the guise of cooperating with its
allegedly more progressive element.
CB: Your analysis is the daydreaming. A main task of Leninists is to analyze and
exploit splits in the ruling class, large and small.
That happens in imperialized nations (the "third world"). It does
not happen in central imperialist states unless they are under
EXTREME pressure from their own working classes.
CB: Wrong. During the existence of socialism, the struggle of imperialism with the
socialist countries, the Soviet Union in the first place, and national liberation
movements around the world, was a working class pressure on imperialist states. Thus,
in the period we discuss, the whole national liberation movement of colonies, from
China, Ghana, Cuba to Viet Nam, Iran and Afganistan were enormous working class
pressures on the imperialists.
Cox's have an alert life expectancy of about 84. So I'll probably
still be around in 2014 to mock at all those people who thought
this election was more than a triviality.
CB: This election was no Viet Nam war/Kennedy assassination type crisis. I'd even say
it is the opposite of a split. It represent significant unity in the ruling class. The
part to exploit here is the unity in the ruling class represents a clearer split
between the ruling class and the working class. This election represents an ordinary
opportunity for struggle for activists, a triviality for salon radicalism putting on
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