[Marxism] Marxism] On 9/11 (was Re: conspiracy)

Mark Lause MLause at cinci.rr.com
Thu Mar 10 18:48:31 MST 2005

JFK was not "a super effective imperialist leader" for a simple reason,
and it had nothing to do with his background or intentions.  (There's
nothing original in what I'm arguing here, but it's worth a concise
revisiting of these issues.)

American imperialism in the context of the Cold War required all
factions of the ruling class to unite as they would in wartime, largely
because selling this way of looking at the world required that they not
break ranks over their approach to these matters.  Therefore, Henry
Wallace put himself beyond the pale and the two parties minuet to the
Truman Doctrine with the harmonizing chords of the Eisenhower Doctrine.
This included a tight regulation of labor at home and the status quo in
terms of civil rights...as in both world wars.

JFK bought into this and fostered it well enough until decolonization
and the civil rights movement seemed to require priorities and
pragmatism.  This involved a potentially serious split in ruling circles
over how to go about applying their foreign policies and a domestic
conservatism appropriate to wartime conditions.  As the last president
fielded by the old northeastern financial elites, JFK had priorities
that put Europe before Latin America and both before Asia.  Why England
slept was more important than why Vietnam was or wasn't working. 

His chief critic, Barry Goldwater was very consistent in his
anticommunism across the board.  To him, walking away from a "victory"
in Vietnam would have been as unthinkable as letting the Reds take West
Germany.  And the country viewed him as far too rigid.

Still, the synthesis was LBJ, then Nixon--the new bipartisan shift of
power to the Sun Belt with an orientation to the Pacific Rim, etc.  And
a common willingness to apply the old Wilsonian practice of social
imperialism to social reform and civil rights at home.

In the end, the fissures within the ruling class are key.  JFK was not a
radical and not even a traditional liberal, but his pragmatism
threatened to raise questions about the necessity for a lock-step
bipartisan agreement about imperialist policies...as the created image
that we were closing ranks because of wartime conditions imposed on us
by them pesky Russians...and them Russians...and them Russians...and
them Chinamen...and them Russians. 

Mark L.

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