[Marxism] About Germany and America

Joaquín Bustelo jbustelo at bellsouth.net
Fri Mar 25 12:07:57 MST 2005

Changed the subject. This ain't really about Germany.

These discussions about how fascist the U.S. might be or might have been a
half century ago I think are really quite off the wall.

I don't think there's ever *been* anything quite like the United States
(except maybe apartheid South Africa or a couple of other places, like
Rhodesia), but even there the analogies all break down.

The genocide against Native Peoples, the enslavement of Africans, the
conquest of the northern half of Mexico, the colonial domination of Central
America and the Caribbean, the victory against its enemies and allies in the
two world wars of the XX Century without having a single bomb dropped on
your territory, the unabashed orgy of corruption and bribery that
accompanies every election for public office -- I just don't think
historical parallels to other places apply; I don't think there has ever
been a society and culture quite as depraved, as profoundly sociopathic, as
this one.

Take the genocide against the Indians. In the territory that is now
yanquilandia, there were tens of millions of people living when Columbus
lost his way to India and ran aground in the Dominican Republic. After
Wounded Knee, there were little more than 100,000 left. 

How does one begin to describe something like that? This was not the most
extreme expression of a social regime in crisis that lasted a few years.
This was centuries. This was not the action of well-organized repressive
forces of a regime that is historically anomalous. This is the development
and expression of a culture.

Then there was African slavery, and what came afterwards. Where else in the
world could you find something like the lynching tradition of the United
States? Thousands over a 100-year period. That were recorded. Thousands more
than never were.

And when the 1950's and 1960's came, modalities changed. The police are now
in charge of shooting young Blacks in the streets. It is so common, so
accepted, so normal, that no one even counts it. A "war on drugs" is
declared and by and by you wind up with 2,000,000 people behind bars,
millions more shackled to probation officers, and hundreds dead in the
streets every year, and well, who cares? Time for another update on feeding

And now we've got the "illegals." With the collapse of Soviet and Eastern
European socialism, which for all its faults was a check on the
imperialists, Washington has been on a rampage throughout Latin America. So
called "free trade" -- which in reality was just a green light to
imperialist rape and pillage, laissez faire economics having about as much
to do with it as it has to do with the value of pi -- has devastated country
after country, from the Rio Bravo to the Patagonia. But the very advances in
technology and communications that's made it possible for the imperialists
to cross borders so freely also are available to people. And the devastation
of their homelands has left them little choice.

There are, I believe, about 20 million undocumented immigrants in the United
States today, about 7% of the population. This layer of the population is
increasingly being turned into a caste of unpersons bereft of all civil and
human rights, i.e., into a status similar to that of Blacks between the late
1800's and the 1960's. They aren't allowed to vote, they aren't allowed to
travel by common carrier, increasingly they aren't allowed to drive, they
have no right to such meager social wages as exist in the United States, and
for most practical purposes they have no right to make or enforce contracts.

Before the Georgia legislature, for example, is a state constitutional
amendment that would bar them from any and all government services,
facilities and "amenities" whatsoever: a Dred Scott decision for immigrants,
and, of course, it is accompanied by its fugitive slave law, a dictate to
cops to specifically harass anyone "suspected" of being undocumented, and to
turn over to the immigration Gestapo anyone "believed" to be out of status.

To complete matters, one of Georgia's representatives in Congress has
introduced a bill that would deny citizenship to children born in this
country to people who couldn't prove they'd been admitted to legal
residency. (I'm told this is the same nationality law the Nazis put in in
Germany and that Germany still has *to this day.*  So never mind whether
Germans benefited in the 30's from the Nazi regime. "Real" Germans are STILL
doing so, to this day. White folks uber alles).

Of course, one can't impose this sort of status on that significant a
population without a huge amount of repression and at least some out-and-out
terrorism. Hundreds of people die trying to cross the border along the
Arizona desert every year, and right now, the Georgia-based American
Resistance Foundation is mobilizing a militia to the Arizona border to fight
what they call an "invasion" of the United States. 

And if you think this is just a fringe crackpot group with no influence,
think again. This is the outfit behind the Georgia bills I described. Its
main leader, Don "D.A." King and one of his sidekicks were central subjects
in an hour-long "CNN presents" documentary last fall which, shamefully, they
had Maria Hinojosa, one of the most prominent Latino journalists in the
United States, put in her voice.

And of course there's that quintessentially American form of terrorism: the
lynching. There was one in Georgia a year and a half ago, in a place called
Moultrie. The decomposing body of a Mexican immigrant was found hanging from
a tree from an electric cord. In the time-honored Southern tradition, the
lynching was ruled a suicide -- until an autopsy revealed he had been shot
through the throat. Two years earlier, another Mexican immigrant was found
drowned in a lake in Moultrie, supposedly after having escaped from police.
His hands were still cuffed behind his back.

In Georgia, Florida, New York and other states there have been many reports
of the latest fashion among some Anglo youth for getting beer money. Go to
wherever day laborers wait to be picked up, offer a couple of them work, and
then take them somewhere, beat them within an inch of their lives, and steal
their money. Usually whatever money they have, they have on their person.

And in ultraliberal northern California a mother and her adult daughter had
their heads bashed in with a tree trunk while they were walking to work in
the pre-dawn hours. 

The difference between Nazi Germany and the United States is that in Nazi
Germany, at least they had to abolish freedom of speech and the press to do
the things they did. The United States is such that abolishing those
freedoms is quite unnecessary. That isn't just true today, that's always
been true, for centuries. America is the real heart of darkness of the
capitalist soul.


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