[Marxism] Dashiell Hammett

Joaquin Bustelo jbustelo at gmail.com
Tue Oct 2 05:17:37 MDT 2007

Einde writes about the line of the SWP in the 1950s: "Again and again the
article refers to McCarthy as a fascist, e.g. 
'McCarthyism is the American fascist movement at a particular stage of

"This line was followed for several issues of FI - I don't know if any of
the participants in this forum can comment on the attitudes of the
contemporary American left towards McCarthy and McCarthyism."

Just the silliness and blindness of the U.S. Marxist Left. 

In fact, Black folks in the U.S., and especially in the South, had been
living under conditions of permanent "fascism" for three-quarters of a
century or more but this quite distinctively AMERICAN reality didn't impress
the comrades nearly as much as the specter of European-style fascism,
because the latter meant ALSO the emergence of "class struggle" on the
European model, with a clear-cut political expression.

A lot of the same silliness goes on today, for example, Louis writes on this
thread, "the class war on working people in the advanced capitalist
countries that began in the Carter years facilitates capital's next new

"Class war on working people" in the imperialist countries? Give me a break!

The last 30 years have been different from the ones characterized by
generally rising living standards for a quarter century after WWII, but to
call THIS "class war" --for three decades no less-- in some conjunctural
sense meaning to indicate the degree of pressure by capital on labor is
silly. If THIS has been the class war THEN the conclusion one would have to
draw is that at least the U.S. working class, as a class, is quite
completely, thoroughly and irremediably hopeless.

But if one understands that despite the difference from the situation of
rapidly rising real wages of the post-war period, this is still a situation
marked first and foremost by the working classes of the imperialist
countries (and especially the United States) standing in a position of
tremendous relative privilege in relation to the world working class as a
whole, then the political conclusions are quite different, for the lack of a
significant fight-back on a class basis is due to the corrupting influence
of imperialist privilege rather than an inherent lack of revolutionary
potential (inherent because it is a lack that manifests even under
conditions of "class war").


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