Damn Yankees Think They Know Everything, Don't They?

Louis Proyect lnp3 at SPAMpanix.com
Sun Mar 11 10:27:31 MST 2001

Tony Abdo:
>Even though I only am as smart as Moe the Barber, according to Lou, I
>will stick with my assertion that there is a regional resentment in the
>South based on the history of defeat, and then being under the thumb of
>another part of the country, the North.     And not just the question of
>race and racism.

For comrade's edification, this notion of the southern USA as a peripheral
area being exploited by the north emerged in the 1960s among white
activists in the civil rights and new left movements. It has nothing to do
with the Marxist analysis of imperialism, but caters to the reactionary
moods of the south. I am beginning to wonder where Tony has picked up many
of his heterodox ideas, surely not from his Trotskyist youth.

>This should be no surprise to anybody.    Mexicans often resent the
>Chilangos of Mexico City.     In Colombia, there are also strong
>regional antagonisms.     This is true in every other country of the
>world, from Britain to Russia, France to Spain.

Utter confusion. Southern whites resented the north because it was seen as
the source of race-mixing, liberalism and other doctrines inimical to their
way of life. The CP made headway in the south by challenging these
prejudices at their root and stressing class solidarity. Race prejudice got
in the way of effective trade union organizing and kept wages down. This is
what is needed today, not fulminating against "carpet-baggers".

>The US is no different, and it involves more than just race.     It
>involves the reality, that some regions hoarde resources for there own
>benefit, at the expense of others.     I think with Dubya in office with
>Dick, the shoe is now somewhat on the other foot.     And it hurts.

Some regions hoard resources? Tony, you really need to re-familiarize
yourself with fundamentals of Marxism. I am rapidly losing patience with
your impressionism.

>When I first joined the SWP and came into contact with New Yorkers in
>Houston, my first impression was .... what an arrogant bunch of
>assholes.     It had nothing to do with being a KKK supporter.     It
>had a lot to do with the fact that..... many East Coast intellectuals
>are just that.     An arrogant bunch of assholes.

Maybe you just don't like other people, period. You seem to enjoy
antagonizing people on leftwing mailing lists, whether they are from the
northern USA or 10,000 miles away. Just don't overdo it here. Since I am
well-trained in the art of provocative baiting, I know you are referring to
when you talk about "arrogant bunch of assholes".

>Moving to Phili for a year did nothing to dispell my original
>impressions.     The East Coast truly does feel itself to be a superior
>part of the US.     From the Ivy League types on 'down'.     Lou, you
>think we don't know that down South?

I don't regard you as a true southerner. My friend Nelson Blackstock, who
was editor of the Militant, was raised in rural Georgia. His daddy hunted
with coon dogs and remembered Tom Watson fondly. They didn't have indoor
plumbing until he was in high school. When he was in high school, he began
to read Harry Golden and stopped drawing confederate flags. Then he became
fascinated with the beat generation, left politics, jazz and philosophy.
And Jews, liberal northerners and black people became the kind of people he
wanted to spend time with, not the guys he grew up with who stole cars and
robbed gas stations. When Nelson was editor of the Young Socialist
magazine, he wrote an article attacking the kind of southern regionalism
that you defend here. I will try to get a copy and post it to the list.

>As for as about the CP being a success in the South!, what a joke.

No joke. Try to study up on the question and you'll learn something.

><Except for the alliance with the Democratic Party, most of what they
>did was worth emulating.>
>Lou, that's a big **except** there.    I don't want to pick on the CP,
>because the rest of the Left has not exactly been a big hit in the
>South, either.     Many Leftists would just say.... that it is because
>the South is backward, and that it is natural that the Left has a hard
>time growing here.

Tony, how would you know about the history of the CP in the south unless
you actually read some books on the subject.  I have a number of books on
the CP in the south that  directly contradict you. Since you never back up
your assertions with documentation, it is almost pointless to debate you.

>The Left is almost totally lacking in presence in the South.     That's
>a true measure of how successful the CP was ultimately, with it's Durham
>local that Lou mentions.

The CP lost influence in the south not because it was "northern" in its
orientation but because of repression mixed with Stalinist shooting oneself
in the foot type errors. The North Carolina CP could have not been more
"southern" in its composition. Junius Scales' family had been in the state
since the 1700s. All of the local leaders had roots in the state. Please
try to study the facts before making unsupported assertions.

>Although, radical groups now have their national offces sometimes
>located outside of New York City, I can think of none of them that would
>even remotely have considered setting there headquarters down somewhere
>in the South.     This is a measure of their history, and not just the
>backwardness of Southerners.

The problem with these groups was not where they kept their headquarters,
but how they conceived the task of a "vanguard" organization. You see
everything through this southern regionalism prism unfortunately. There
must be some antidote for it, what I'm not quite sure. Have you ever
considered watching the Seinfeld show? I can send you some bagels from NYC.

>Once again..... Moe on Imperialism.    If the Left is unable to organize
>in the South of the US, it will hinder any real effort to stop the US
>war machine.      That's where the support for the military is literally

No documentation for this assertion. Ho-hum.

>And a Left that cannot participate meaningfully in social struggle in
>the South, will not be able to politically counter the hold of
>capitalist ideology on the working class of the US as a whole.
>Moe, the dope, has spoke.    I await Columbia University's reply.

I am a computer programmer at Columbia, not a professor. I use the library
there, however. I do believe that there is a public library in your city as
well. You should visit one of these days. I am sure you would find it most
edifying. Books are our friends.

Louis Proyect
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