[Marxism] Gun Control
lasainte at earthlink.net
Fri Jun 25 15:33:14 MDT 2004
From: Ian Pace <ian at ianpace.com>
Sent: Jun 25, 2004 2:35 PM
To: LaSainte <lasainte at earthlink.net>,
Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition <marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
Subject: Re: [Marxism] Gun Control
Ian: ...I agree with Lenin that the working class need
leadership and consciousness-raising. And I've seen how the far right
attempt, not without success, to prey upon working class alienation to rally
behind the false flag of race rather than class.
Cherie: Actually, Ian, a large percentage, if not the majority, of the far right of this type are actually of the impoverished petit-bourgeoisie. They have no stable class to identify with and depend on for economic and social survival. They feel alone, isolated. They frantically grasp at whatever they think will make them feel secure, often an exaggerated, romanticized machismo persona, a Rambo type. And lately, they seem to have a greater penchant for blaming undocumented workers for all the economic problems rather than other minorities. Of course, that could change in the blink of an eye.
Ian: And do you not believe in the possibility of working class false
consciousness? How else could one account for the above?
Cherie: Please see above.
Ian: The extent of gun ownership in Britain is tiny compared
to the US.
Cherie: Yes, I realize handguns are very difficult to get in Britain, but as I understand it, one can still own rifles. Don't the British still hunt?
Ian: (by the way, I don't disagree that the working class has a right to defend
itself with arms, but am more than a little apprehensive of the perils of
such arms being directed against other racial groups, rather than upon the
ruling classes and forces of reaction).
Cherie: Americans, for instance, already have guns--typically, rifles and handguns. When I was growing up in New England (northeastern U.S.), most people did have guns although you wouldn't know it. They just didn't talk about them. I didn't learn my grandfather owned a handgun until he had to go into a nursing home at the age of 92. He had kept his gun in the drawer of his night table next to his bed. He just never talked about it.
Ian: I don't care about petit-bourgeois scruples and twee debates amongst them,
what I do care about is the potential for petit-bourgeois ideologies to be
translated into laws and forms of ostracisation which are deeply harmful to
our attempts to create a mass movement. But maybe this is inevitable.
Cherie: As stated above, it's primarily the impoverished, disenfranchised petit-bourgeoisie who are into this ultra-right wing Rambo crap. You're concerned about the successful, affluent PBs who have the clout to help isolate the socialists and other far leftists from the masses. Again, I wouldn't worry about it. Believe me, the working class is not horrified that most people have guns. At least the American working class. Perhaps the European working class is frightened by the gun issue, but I kind of doubt it.
Ian: The petit-bourgeoisie are happy if Marxists remain as a small fringe faction
(or collection of rival factions) who spend more time fighting each other
than mounting a serious challenge to them and their insipid power and
Cherie: I wouldn't say we were fighting, only discussing, and quite rationally at that. BTW, I have never known an American socialist to bring up the gun control issue, only if asked about it. However, our junior Rambos talk of nothing but... I think the working class can figure out the difference between us and Rambo.
Also comradely yours,
Take care, Ian.
Yours in struggle,
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