[Marxism] Thomas Frank op-ed piece

Jim Farmelant farmelantj at juno.com
Fri Jul 16 08:52:42 MDT 2004



On Fri, 16 Jul 2004 10:13:26 -0400 Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com> writes:
> (Thomas Frank's new book "What's Wrong With Kansas" argues implicitly 
> 
> that the Democrats lose elections because they are identified with 
> the 
> wrong side of the "culture wars". This is the same sort of position 
> that 
> Michael Moore argued in the Nation Magazine in 1997 and that Richard 
> 
> Rorty put forward in "Achieving Our Country". You get a more 
> strident 
> version of this in Todd Gitlin's "The Twilight of Common Dreams: Why 
> 
> America Is Wracked by Culture Wars". Moving directly into the 
> enemy's 
> camp, you get  Arthur Schlesinger Jr.'s "The Disuniting of America: 
> Reflections on a Multicultural Society" and Jim Sleeper's "Liberal 
> Racism: How Fixating on Race Subverts the American Dream". Somehow, 
> this 
> kind of economism that panders to white workers has been associated 
> with 
> Marxism in some circles. 

Alas, that association seems to have existed since the earliest
days of American Marxism as you yourself documented in your
article "Marx, Woodhull and Sorge" at:
http://www.columbia.edu/~lnp3/mydocs/american_left/woodhull.htm

As you pointed out some of the earliest American Marxists
associated with the Sorge section of the First International,
while giving verbal endorsement to racial equality, were willing
in practice to pander to the racial prejudices of white workers
especially their hostility to Asian immigration.  And in all
the years that this approach has been practiced by
American leftists, including some Marxists, they have
relatively little to show for it, except a declining labor
movement.

> Frank himself would probably describe 
> himself 
> as a Marxist, but not on the Charlie Rose show--I don't imagine. In 
> any 
> case, this has little to do with the outlook of Lenin who urged that 
> 
> socialists act as a "tribune of the people".)
> 
> NY Times, July 16, 2004
> OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR
> Failure Is Not an Option, It's Mandatory
> By THOMAS FRANK
> 


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