American Fascism? (was re: Samir Amin)

Alex LoCascio alexlocascio at
Thu May 22 05:38:11 MDT 2003

I think Noel Ignatiev summarized why the American system
is *not* fascist in a rather good pamphlet he wrote back
in his Sojourner Truth days, called "An Introduction to
the United States: An Autonomist Political History."

Yet another example of how currents influenced by
C.L.R. James have managed to point a way out of the morass
of attempting to import certain categories from a European
context and trying to make them fit the unique American

"Everything in the U.S. must be viewed through the prism of the white
supremacist contract on which bourgeois hegemony rests. Denial of rights
to, and violence against, people of color is not fascism but the ordinary
operation of bourgeois legality in the U.S. Indeed, this violence is premised
not on the denial of bourgeois rights to the rest of the population but on
the continuance of these rights.Groups like the Ku Klux Klan, resisting through
the most savage violence even the slightest concession to people of color, have
had as their aim not the destruction of unions, constitutional legality, etc.
but their maintenence and strengthening for whites only. (For example, in one
fifteen year period in the last century, there were over fifty strikes on the
southern railroads with the aim of driving the black workers out of the industry
and strengthening the bargaining position of the white union in relation to management.
Even today, in many localities, the Klan does not oppose but leads union locals.

There do exist fascist groups, and they have some base, but if fascism is
understood as a movement, with some degree of autonomy directed against
"ordinary" bourgeois rule, then it must be said that, excepting for a short
period in the early 1930's, fascism has never been favored by the capitalist
class in its dominant sectors. (This is not to deny growing pressure toward
more right-wing, repressive policies within the existing institutional framework.)
Why should the bourgeoisie favor fascism? Hasn't white supremacy served to
maintain its rule so far?"

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