[Marxism] Fwd: Donald Trump, fascism, and steel industry realities | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Jan 15 10:42:46 MST 2018

Six days from now will mark the first year of Trump’s presidency. Given 
that we have had a year to evaluate his regime, there have been few 
attempts to grapple with its character. Since many Marxists have viewed 
Donald Trump as imposing neo-fascism on the USA, there have to be 
questions about how he has failed to impose any kind of serious 
repressive measures on the country. When I was first starting out as a 
radical in the 1960s, I was targeted as part of the Cointelpro program 
in an effort to either get me fired from my first programming job or 
perhaps so spooked that I would resign from the SWP. Can you imagine 
what would happen if the FBI pulled this kind of crap today? Of course, 
they don’t have time for that given the job they have investigating 
Trump’s Russian ties.

When I was a new member in 1968, one of the big questions I had to deal 
with was Nazism. Coming from a Jewish family that raised money for 
Israel through Hadassah, I was fairly close to the holocaust 
chronologically and psychologically. In my little village in upstate NY, 
it was not uncommon to see men and women come into my father’s fruit 
store with tattoos on the arm from their time in concentration camps. We 
used to call them the “refugees”.

Part of becoming a Marxist involved rejecting Zionism. But additionally, 
it involved trying to understand how and why Hitler came to power. Among 
the books that helped me to clarify my thinking was Daniel Guerin’s 
“Fascism and Big Business”, a Pathfinder book that can be read on Libcom 
apparently in defiance of the cult’s white-shoe attorneys. At the core 
of Guerin’s analysis was the argument that Nazism was backed by heavy 
industry against the class interests of the Fertigindustrie (finished 
goods industry), particularly the electrical goods and chemical 
industries. He writes:

	After the war the antagonism was particularly violent between the two 
groups-Stinnes and Thyssen, magnates of heavy industry, versus Rathenau, 
president of the powerful AEG (the General Electric Association). The 
Fertigindustrie rose up against the overlordship of heavy industry, 
which forced it to pay cartel prices for the raw materials it needed. 
Rathenau publicly denounced the dictatorship of the great metal and 
mining industries: just as medieval nobles had scoffed at the German 
Emperor and divided Germany into Grand Duchies, the magnates of heavy 
industry were dividing Germany into economic duchies “where they think 
only of coal, iron, and steel, and neglect, or rather absorb, the other 


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