Mike Dolan/Chip Berlet exchange on Nader

Louis Proyect lnp3 at SPAMpanix.com
Mon Jun 5 16:39:16 MDT 2000

Mike Dolan's response to Chip Berlet
by Chip Berlet

22 May 2000 20:21 UTC

Dear Mr. Dolan:

I certainly found your parody of Gregor Strasser amusing, and we all need a
good laugh from time to time, but I do hope you will take the time in the
next few days for a serious response to my original post.

If you visit the following websites you will see there is considerable
serious discussion on these matters already taking place.



When "Right Wing Populism in America" comes out in August, I will send you
a review copy.


Chip Berlet
Senior Analyst
Political Research Associates

From: Michael Dolan [mailto:MDOLAN at citizen.org]
Sent: Monday, May 22, 2000 3:14 PM
To: cberlet at igc.org
Subject: Mike Dolan's response to "Aryan Politics and Fighting the WTO"

What is wrong with you people? Don't you know who the enemy is? It's not
us. I'm part of a hard-working underpaid progressive tight little team that
lost on NAFTA and GATT but led the fight on Fast Track, the MAI and against
the WTO.

The enemy is corporate rule and the political lackeys of big bizness from
the global goober on down. I mean here I am up to my neck trying to
forstall the corporate take-over of the Chinese mainland, the vote in a
couple of days in the House, neck and neck with the 'free trade' lobby once
again, hoping to frustrate the transnational corporate agenda without any
help from you .... and all I get is inquiries about who picked Maude up at
the airport a few years ago and why.

PLEASE get real. This navel-gazing, lotus-eating, incestuous, constipated,
masturbatory, canabalistic circle jerk of the left is distracting us all
from the true fight, not to mention essential movement building. Here's a
toll-free number to the capitol switchboard, courtesy of Motorola:
877-611-TRADE. Use it.

Back to work,


= = = = = = = = = =

Original message posted to Right-left mailing list Right-left at savanne.ch by
Chip Berlet 5/22/2000

Dear Mr. Dolan:

Well, it certainly does not move a discussion forward to call Angela either
"an idiot or a digital agent provacateur" for being critical of your language.

Angela is hardly alone in her concern that some in the anti-WTO movement
appear to be insensitive to the way racist, xenophobic, and anti-union
movements are seeking to recruit out of your coalitions.

Why does Nader say in an interview he has been working in a coalition with
Buchanan and his advisors for years, when you, Lori Wallach, and Joan
Claybrook continue to deny it? And this goes back years to the days of the
right/left coalition that regularly appeared on the right wing populist
Chuck Harder radio program where Nader, Pat Choate and Jim Hightower were
used by Harder to weave together right wing conspiracy theories about
global power. I confronted Choate and Hightower about this on a Pacifica
radio program and at that time there was a refusal to even acknowledge that
there was a problem with right wing conspiracy theories being woven into
the anti-globalization campaign.

Of course in my view Choate is a right wing populist nationalist whose book
on Japan as a global economic power was xenophobic.

I was the person several years ago that talked to the Canadian delegation
of anti-NAFTA activists who went to visit Nader in DC. They told the story
of how they had been picked up at the airport by a person (Jock Nash) they
later discovered was a right-wing anti-union business- nationalist lobbyist
for the Milliken textile interests. Milliken is not just a major funder of
the John Birch Society, but a notororious union-busting firm.

Why would the Naderites send such a person to pick up an international
delegation from Canada where the main base of support was trade unions? The
delegation was upset and talking openly about it at the meeting in DC where
I first ran into them. I spoke with Maude Barlow a year or so later at a
meeting in Detroit, and she said that the left/right alliance still
concerned her, but there seemed to be no recognition of it as a problem
among the Naderites. I have raised this as an issue with Hightower several
times, once in person at a meeting in Key West. He at least is now willing
to discuss it as an issue that needs to be considered seriously, even if we
disagree on the particulars. He even had me on his program to talk about my
concerns. Why can't the Naderites see it is a problem that needs to be
discussed openly and seriously?

When my colleague Allen Hunter gently raised the issue of xenophobia in
anti-globalization campaigns, he became one of the first people raising
these issues to be called divisive and sectarian--now a familiar refrain.

See: Hunter, Allen. (1995). "Globalization from Below? Promises and Perils
of the New Internationalism," Social Policy, v25n4, 1995, pp. 6-13, online
at http://www.publiceye.org/Sucker_Punch/Hunter.htm.

When Bob Buzzanco, Associate Prof. of History at the University of Houston
and another professor tried to raise some concerns in this area at a recent
meeting in Texas, according to Buzzanco, you made fun of them for being
professors and refused to engage in a serious dialog.

Here are some paragraphs in the forthcoming book "Right Wing Populism in
America" (Guilford Press) by me and my colleague Matthew N. Lyons:

= = = = = =

Consider the statement of John Talbott, the Reform Party spokesperson in
New Hampshire:

"If you close your eyes, it is difficult to hear much of a difference
between Ralph Nader on the left and Pat Buchanan on the right when they
talk about corruption in government, the excesses of corporate welfare, the
devastating effect of free international trade on the American worker and a
desire to clean big money and special-interests out of Washington. There's
a reason for this; 91 percent of the American people consider themselves
middle class or working class. The time is now for a new political party
that is neither right nor left, neither conservative nor liberal, but
created and built to represent the hard- working average American in
reforming our government."

"If we all pull together, put our prejudices behind us, and ignore
traditional labeling such as liberal or conservative, we can join together
to fight the battle of our lives against the collaboration of big business
and big government, break the two-party monopoly, and return control of our
government to the true owners of this country - the American people."

"This is an example of repressive populism in service to business
nationalism since it is a call for "the people" in the middle to attack the
internationalist elites while ignoring the racist and xenophobic policies
of Buchanan."

"Nader and his colleagues worked closely with a business nationalist brain
trust financed by right-wing textile magnate Roger Milliken. The
strategists included Milliken's lobbyist, Jock Nash, Alan Tonelson of the
ultraconservative U.S. Business and Industrial Council, and Pat Choate of
the Manufacturing Policy Project."

"According to Ryan Lizza, it was Choate, the 1996 Reform Party vice
presidential candidate, who ‘orchestrated Buchanan's flight from the
Republican Party.’"

"The Naderites and other anti-globalization forces frequently cited books
and reports by authors such as Charles Derber, David C. Korten, Jerry
Mander, Edward Goldsmith, and William Greider. In thousands of pages the
authors denounced large multinational corporations, global finance capital,
international banking interests, powerful elites, and betrayal by corrupt
politicians. Only in Greider was there a serious (albeit brief) discussion
of how these historic themes have been woven into right-wing populist
conspiracy theories."

= = = = =

If there is anything not accurate in the above, please let me know. I have
researched it independently and find that this is a coalition that has been
working together for several years. If you claim it is not so, then why do
legislative staff in congressional offices see you all as in a working
coalition? Are they mistaken? Where could they have gotten the idea that
you all work together?

In fact, you openly work together.

At a regional meeting May 31, 1997 at Boston College on globalization run
by Naderites, The panelists included Lori Wallach, Pat Choate, and
Tonnelson of the anti-union US Business and Industrial Council.

Issues of the right wing conspiracist John Birch Society magazine and the
antisemitic and fascist Spotlight were being quietly passed out. When I
asked the meeting organizers to make some comment distancing themsleves
from the Spotlight, as well as the John Birch Society (since there was a
large stack of JBS magazines on a literature table), I was scolded and told
that they were trying to build a broad coalition. A number of the people I
spoke with knew that Spotlight was antisemitic.

The organizers of the Boston event included Charles Derber, a professor and
author of several books. Other organizers spanned a wide age range. I also
approached Lori Wallach and was brushed off. (To be precise, Wallach said
she didn't have time to talk about it.). I also said hello to Choate, who
also said he had no problem with the JBS literature.

The JBS magazine was The New American special reprint of its Special Report
"Conspiracy for Global Control," and included a special page of books
available from the JBS on the freemason/illuminati conspiracy, and the
favorite hoax book, "Report from Iron Mountian."

Here is something from editor Gary Benoit's comments in the magazines at
the event:

"To be sure, the CFR itself is not the conspiracy, and the members of the
CFR are not all new world orderites. Yet in the shadows--behind the CFR and
other powerful internationalist groupings such as the Trilateral
Commission, behind the giant tax-exempt foundations, behind the Wall Street
and Federal Reserve financial and banking interests, behind presidents and
prime ministers, behind the NAFTA/GATT/IMF/NATO/UN axis, behind even the
communist menace itself--is the conspiracy for global control."

I realize that you do not think like this, but can you see why many of us
on this discussion think that the Naderites and their allies are
insensitive to the dynamic? Can you understand why we want an explicit,
clear, public rejection of racist and xenophobic nationalism and
conspiracism? If you don't support right wing nationalism and conspiracism,
then you need to publicly distance yourself as an organization in clear
terms. This may not be your fault, but it is your obligation.

Here is something that Hunter said in his article:

"In networks and coalitions it is important that decision-making processes
be as transparent and democratic as possible, since there are no general
rules which can resolve tensions in coalitions between, among other things,
"beltway" and grassroots perspectives. Especially because the US remains
the most powerful nation on earth and has a long history of imperial
domination, Americans committed to internationalism, to global equity and
sustainability, should be leery of using appeals to nationalism. Racial
divisions remain crucial fracture lines in US and are replicated in
progressive politics; a commitment to anti-racism (including immigrants'
rights) implies that the potential racial implications of coalitional
politics should be a primary consideration."

I look forward to a serious discussion of these issues.

Chip Berlet
Senior Analyst
Political Research Associates

Louis Proyect
Marxism mailing list: http://www.marxmail.org/

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