Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Mon Nov 20 09:30:40 MST 2000

>I don't understand the reluctance of whites to become race traitors.
>Andrew Austin
>Green Bay WI

Maybe Alan Potkin is sensitive to the use of this term because he is a
Vietnam veteran. During the 1960s the American left went overboard by
projecting itself as a sort of 5th column on the side of the Vietcong.
That's when terms such as AmeriKKKa became widespread. It tended to go
along with a view of draftees as being mercenary killers. One of the
proudest achievements of the Trotskyist movement was to take this point of
view head on and argue that GI's were victims and not murderers.

While it is understandable that African-Americans would tend to distance
themselves from every shred of "Americanism", there is somewhat of a
different issue involved when we are discussing the work of people like
Noel Ignatiev who was aligned with the people who went on to become
Weathermen terrorists. It is an ultraleft stance basically. It fails to
make class distinctions in American society and views it as an
undifferentiated reactionary mass.

The problem is that despite the subjective state of the American working
class, it is the only class that has the social power to change society.
This means that it was crucial to keep leafleting plant gates and working
class neighborhoods from 1965 to 1970, even when that might get you a punch
in the nose. And when you stop and think about it, Bolsheviks in the Czar's
army got their share of bloody noses until 1917.

Louis Proyect
Marxism mailing list:

More information about the Marxism mailing list