Forwarded from Nestor (thanks on Haggard query)

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Fri Sep 13 12:25:37 MDT 2002

Well, as I guessed, this list proved to be a gold mine (once again)!
1. Thanks to all of you who answered (either on the list or privately) 
to my enquiry re: Haggard.
2. I think I owe you an explanation.
I will tell you, more or less, what the path of my thoughts was.
I had read somewhere about Haggard´s full rejection of the current 
Bushite trend towards corporative order inside USA and war outside USA.
The guy was presented as a working-class bard who had been supporting 
the war of Viet Nam. If true, then this might be offering some advice on 
unmapped trends in the consciousness of  the American working class, I 
thought (as you may imagine, it is not unimportant for us in Latin 
America to understand the hidden creeks in the consciousness of the 
American people).
So that I made a search, and found out that a few songs had interesting 
lyrics (did not actually _listen_ to them), giving what I felt to be a 
very honest though self-centered (selfish in a _class_ sense) view of 
the life and toils of American working class. Of course, you can tell me 
that it is not the view "of the class", but of a _mythical fraction_ of 
that class. Maybe.
However, I would like to know whether this view is shaping the 
consciousness the American working class has of herself, or not. And if 
it is, then the question is whether this could be explained _just and 
only_ by ideological pressure from above. I sensed a tone of vital truth 
in some of the songs I read.
3. The "rightwing anarchist" definition that someone threw on the list 
helped me a lot. But (and of course, I might most probably be missing 
the point outrageously) whenever something smells of working class 
origin, I remember Marx´s definition in the _Manifesto_ where he stated 
something to the effect that "Communists are not separated from the 
working class and its many manifestations; only that we try to establish 
our tactics according to our strategic goal, the ellimination of 
So that I just wanted to know what could this piece of American 
working-class ideology mean. If this Haggard is a representative of the 
conservative tendencies within the working class, he is a representative 
of the working class nevertheless, and I would daringly say that 
discovering the truthful core of lived class experience beneath the 
scorched land of know-nothingness may perhaps help cdes. in the USA to 
generate your own path towards revolution.
If (as I collect from some of the postings) Haggard represents ordinary 
conservative workers, then his lyrics should contain something worth 
thinking about. And if he doesn´t but others do, then it is _their_ 
lyrics that should be listened to. My general view is that we Marxists 
can not leave voices from the working class unheard (this does not mean 
that we should lull them; just pay attention to the sounds from the class)
4.  Your comments have been enlightening. Info on "overseas" Ulster 
Planters keeping their ideology and function in the Alleghennys, in 
particular, is most insightful. But it poses, for us Marxists, a new 
question: is the eviction of the First Nations enough to understand the 
persistence of the Ulster Planter ideology, provided it _actually_ 
persisted? I woul not dare contest any view, since I am not American, 
but I smell a breeze of Idealism there.
Well, this is all I had on the issue. Thank you all.


Louis Proyect

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