[Marxism] James Burnham and the alt-right

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Feb 4 17:31:36 MST 2020


Another tidbit from "Trumpism after Trump":

The NatCons were in awe of the great deflection service Tucker [Carlson] 
provided for the American ruling class: identifying actual material 
grievances and laboriously laundering them into petty insecurities 
familiar from the Nineties culture wars. Tucker preached the National 
Conservatism Gospel even without quite understanding it. The organizers 
believed he contained a wisdom he himself did not fully recognize, like 
a fool in Shakespeare. His demeanor was bouncy and cheerful: the vibe 
was part Groton lacrosse cheerleader, part finance frat boy. His face 
was ruddied from his summer in Maine, where he’d been communing with his 
ethnos. His pace was a bit stop-and-start at the beginning—he’d just 
given up nicotine—but his signature tic was there: the planted joke, 
followed by the waterfall, throw-back-the-head, court-of-Versailles 
laugh. He was like a man who looked down at his mouth amazed that it had 
been transformed into a giant conveyor belt dispensing perfect modules 
of common sense. His trust in his subjective experience was immense.

Tucker had some tough news for the assembled faithful. “Big Business 
Hates Your Family” was the title of his talk. Monopoly capitalism was 
real. “The main threat to your ability to live your life as you choose 
does not come from the government, but comes from the private sector,” 
Tucker said. “I was trained from the youngest age, from a pup, to 
believe that the threats to liberty came from government. . . . And so 
it really took a huge amount of evidence wagging right in my face—not 
being the brightest person in D.C.—to realize that in 2019 . . . the 
threats come primarily from companies, and not from the federal 
government.” He could give examples. “All new Oreos have the label 
‘What’s your pronoun?’ A large American company is committing a pretty 
brazen act of propaganda aimed at your kids, and the message is that the 
binary gender scheme which we were taught in biology class in seventh 
grade is no longer operative.” In fighting this, the libertarians would 
be worse than useless. Their response was, Yeah, well, if you don’t like 
it, start your own Oreo company. “But that’s not really an operative 
option in a world of monopoly power. . . . You can’t create your own 
Google. . . . You have more power vested in fewer hands than at any time 
in American history. And that itself is ominous and should make all of 
us cast aside any thread of ideology or theology or whatever, just look 
at that straight in the face. Are you comfortable with that? You 
shouldn’t be. Of course you’re not. . . . They can make whole ideas 
disappear. And there’s some evidence that they’re working to do that.”



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