[Marxism] RE: Who is David Cobb? (reply to Mark Lause re: Is Kerry therulers' road to victory?)

Mark Lause MLause at cinci.rr.com
Sun Jul 18 20:29:45 MDT 2004

Good points, Fred and Yoshie.  It might be that Kerry would be good for
them in the short run, but might be much better for us in the long run.
The real obstacle for us are illusions in the Democratic Party.  A
second term for Bush will leave those illusions largely untouched and
might even strengthen them.  

It's hard to understand for many but the bulk of the American opposition
to the Vietnam War never began to take a political form.  We--but mostly
government policy--turned the majority of the population against the
war, but the opposition took many forms.  

The most common was the standard American look-out-for-number-one
response.  I had childhood friends who came to hate the war as much as I
did, but really sensed no obligation to do anything about it but to keep
out of it themselves.  They wiggled into the National Guard, several
went into ROTC and a couple ended up lifers--without going to Vietnam,
as was their agreement with the institution.

It was more common to keep the nose to the grindstone and build an
unrelated occupational path that still kept them out of the war, but
without having to publicly commit themselves to anything.

Only a fraction of the antiwar sentiment was political enough to be

All of this had a minimal impact on the two-party system.  It's been a
while since I looked at the polls, but the great change in the late
1960s and 1970s was that the number of self-declared "Independents"
soared, largely because of the war and the bungled policy over civil
rights.  However, it was not "Independent" in the traditional way, but a
bi-depednence, fluctuating between the two major parties.

And only a small fraction of what we got into the streets every
rethought the party system or moved towards genuine independence.  I
have always thought that part of the responsibility for this fell to
stupid and short-sighted policies on the Left, but, for the most part,
we were fighting an uphill battle against "objective conditions."

Either way, I'm looking forward to becoming reacquainted or meeting for
the first time a lot of the comrades on this list when we take to the
streets in 2005.

Mark L.

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