[Marxism] Vietnam and Iraq

Marvin Gandall marvgandall at videotron.ca
Mon Mar 20 16:13:33 MST 2006

Louis Proyect wrote:

> Isn't it obvious that the entire mass movement pales in comparison to the
> 1960s? One thing that struck me in "Sir! No Sir!" was the extent of the
> mobilization of Black soldiers and their nationalist allies. You had
> massive numbers of Black people who had taken to the streets for a good 5
> years or more. Nothing like that exists today.
> You also had a much more militant labor movement. There were openly Black
> nationalist or radical caucuses in the UAW, Lordstown in particular. When
> over the road truckers went on strike in 1970, they went to UCLA to
> recruit antiwar activists to support them.
> There were independent antiwar campaigns like Benjamin Spock and Dick
> Gregory's. Nobody was hauled before the court of liberal public opinion in
> the Nation Magazine or the Village Voice to defend their willingness to
> vote against both Democrat and Republican.
> This is not to speak of the student radical movement, which was capable of
> shutting down a campus like Columbia University for an entire year.
Yes, and in addition to these factors and underlying them, you had: (1) a
universal draft and much greater numbers of US families with a direct stake
in the outcome, (2) far higher US casualties - an average of 50 killed per
week at a comparable stage of the war - with flag-draped caskets regularly
appearing on the TV news, and, not least, (3) accelerating inflation, a
larger fiscal deficit in relation to GDP, and a collapsing dollar, all
combining to erode US working class wage and benefit levels and corporate
profitability to a greater extent than the military intervention in Iraq is
doing today.

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