[Marxism] Bill Moyers interviews Mike Davis

Larry Damms larrydamms at yahoo.com
Mon Mar 23 08:59:45 MDT 2009

I saw Davis on Moyers. I don't recall his exact words, but he sure treated Obama with kid
gloves, essentially presenting a “good king, bad retainers” line (good Obama, bad
Summers/Geithner). Perhaps this line was a strategic move to avoid antagonizing the
pwog-libs who tune into Moyers, so that they would tune into the rest of what he had to
say? Nonetheless, knowing Davis’ long-established venom for the DP, laid out at length in
Prisoners of the American Dream, his popular frontism was a little disconcerting.
What I found to be an even more annoying specimen of pandering was his reassuring Moyers that his socialist commitment had nothing to do with the USSR or the PRC. His pre-empting imagined red-baiters seemed awfully gratuitous to me. Why bother going
down that unnecessary path when the only result is to give credence to cardboard
caricatures of umitigated evil (as opposed to something a little more complex, yet not
apologetic)? It was augmented by his crack about the Wall Street-CCP conspiracy to loot
and pillage the global proletariat (not his exact phrasing, admittedly). I mean, with a little
dexterity, there is a point to be made there, and he had the time and the setting conducive
to making it. But the way he made it will only embolden the “Free Tibet!” simpletons of the
“left” (hah!) and the “who lost China?” faction which seems to have a growing toehold in the
paleocon-infested RP these days (ironically, the same people whom popular frontist Davis
advisedly says we need to watch very closely). To be charitable, maybe it was just a case
of Davis letting his Trotskyist instincts slip. (Not that I have a huge problem with a
tempered Trot-style position on today's PRC, as listmembers might have noticed.)
In any event, these facets of the interview left me disappointed, since Davis is otherwise
such an admirable stalwart and incredible polymath. Maybe I'm being too harsh... I'm sure
in a similar situation I would flub aspects of my message too.


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