[Marxism] Re: Nader and Buchanan--thoughts on conservatism

Mark Lause MLause at cinci.rr.com
Tue Jun 8 07:54:09 MDT 2004

The WTO and other international arrangements have been undermining
"American sovereignty" in the sense that the U.S. government abdicates
authority over some questions over which it previously exercised an
absolute control.  The error here is that conservatives regularly imbue
a kind of cultural content to the notion of "sovereignty," which has
always been a governmental question.

Conversely, the demands of work and raising a family doesn't leave a
great deal of room for most to invest in the presently rather
unrewarding engagement in their political culture.  This means that they
don't tend to find their own way to discovering the source of their
alienation and discontent.  Put another way, in terms of making "public
opinion," the means of production are not

My urban neighborhood is almost entirely African-American.  My immediate
area is pretty much family-owned homes, but the endemic problems of
drugs, drink, gangs and violence does hit close at times.  A few years
back two children were killed just around the corner and up the street.
The hard-working people around me clearly see the immediate sources of
these problems as unemployment among the youth and the strains upon the
old institutions of family and community.  

Conservatives articulate these obvious problems and their immediate
sources, but only to direct that discontent into manageable channels.
You find significant parts of the black community as eager to take up
these approaches as middle class whites.  Restore the family.  Just say
no.  Drag the kids to church.  Get everybody to chant the Pledge of
Allegiance.  ... and, of course, direct hostility towards anyone other
than the ruling class.  It's America, and the stability of the
civilization requires someone else to blame and someone else over which
to feel superior.  Hence, the popularity of talk shows.  There are many
decent people, with the best of intentions, then, that are receptive to

I'd add that any movement that can't understand this, accept the
concerns, and offer alternative explanations and solutions is not likely
to go far.  Personally, I find Pat Buchanan more objectionable than
Ronnie Ray-guns ever was, but I'm glad somebody's willing to sit down
with him and talk to his audience.

Mark L.

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