[Marxism] Anglos (aka whites, gringos, gabachos, Americans)

Sayan Bhattacharyya ok.president+marxmail at gmail.com
Wed Aug 23 03:28:51 MDT 2006

On 8/18/06, Mike Friedman <mikedf at amnh.org> wrote:

> Les is absolutely right, on many counts. We have been focused on the
> situation in the Middle East not merely to the neglect of the "war at
> home," but to the extent of buying into some of the haze generated by the
> rulers -- i.e., that working people are "comfortable" or "contented" or
> stupid or whatever. While Joaquin (with the late Ted Allen) is correct in
> noting that white-skin privilege provides the matrix that immobilizes us,
> I think there is an explanation at another level.

In today's NY Times, Thomas Frank provides another explanation of this
immobilization in an op-ed article. (It's a subscriber-only op-ed, so
I can't reproduce it in full, but am quoting the relevant parts.)

New York Times
August 22, 2006

 Abstract:   Thomas Frank Op-Ed says that conservatives cynically push
idea that government is corrupt and its helpfulness or liberating
possibilities are to be derided; says his serious concern is that
people will respond by becoming more cynical.

"The ideas I am describing are basic building blocks of the
conservative faith. You can find their traces throughout the
movement's literature. You can hear their echoes in chambers of
commerce across the land. But what happens when you elevate to high
public office people who actually believe these things -- who think
that "the public interest" is a joke, that "reform" is a canard, and
that every regulatory push is either a quest for monopoly by some
company or a quest for bribes by some politician? What happens when
the machinery of the state falls into the hands of people who laugh at
the function for which it was designed?"

"The obvious answer is an auctioning-off of public policy in a manner
we have not seen since the last full-blown antigovernment regime held
office, in the 1920's. Agencies and commissions are brazenly turned
over to campaign contributors; high-ranking officers of Congress throw
grander and gaudier fund-raisers even after being arraigned;
well-connected middlemen sell access for unprecedented amounts.

"What really worries me, though, is that our response to all this may
be to burrow deeper into our own cynicism, ultimately reinforcing the
gang that owns the patent on cynicism and thus setting us up for
another helping of the same. [..]

"In the absence of a theory of corruption that pins the tail squarely
on the elephant, this is certainly what will happen again.
Conservatives are infinitely better positioned to capitalize on public
disillusionment with the political system, regardless of who does the

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