(OPE-L) comment on the US election

From: Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM
Date: Wed Nov 03 2004 - 12:22:06 EST

No doubt the Republicans again disenfranchised 
many voters, especially African-Americans.  No doubt,
they (and the Dems) again used 'dirty tricks'.  No
doubt, Kerry and the Dems made a lot of strategic 
and tactical errors.  No doubt, the (bourgeois) media
played a major role in spinning the issues in the election.
No doubt, the prevalent "ABB" ("Anybody But Bush")
attitude among the "progressives" helped push the Dem Party
further to the "Center" (codeword for "Right") since 
Kerry and the Dems knew that the "Left" would
overwhelmingly support them no matter how pro-war
and reactionary their positions were.  No doubt, 
all of the above will be discussed _ad nauseum_ by
commentators from all political perspectives in the 
upcoming weeks, months, and years.  I don't want 
to talk about that now.  Rather, I want to raise 
another concern.

Earlier this year an anarchist friend of mine told me 
that he envisioned another  *CIVIL WAR* in the US.
His reasoning was that the country was becoming 
increasingly divided regionally in terms of social and
political perspective.  He pointed out the *mass
basis* of support that the extreme Right has among a 
significant percentage of the US working class 
over many social questions, including "family values".
He pointed especially to the political influence of
right-wing Christian evangelical movements and
how there is broad support for their agenda in many 
(primarily white) regions of the country, including many
areas in the South and less populated areas in the 

On the other side, there is a large and passionate 
mass of people who oppose the agenda of the 
extreme right-wing, including most  people in 
urban areas, trade unionists,  and African-
Americans.   The divisions extend to gender 
with conservative married women in conservative 
regions who are pro-war and pro-'family values'
(a codeword for being opposed to abortion rights,
gay marriage, etc.) and feminists who fear further
assaults on affirmative action and reproductive rights.
Given this increasing polarization and stratification 
-- which are *not based on class alone or even 
primarily* --  my friend thought that eventually there
would be a civil war which would lead to *at least* 2
separate countries being formed.

At the time I was skeptical.  Now I am prepared to
recognize that this is a reasonable (although not the 
only reasonable) scenario for the future of the US.  

A variant on the above scenario is the emergence of a
genuinely *fascist* movement in the US which has 
a significant amount of mass support and a mass
*anti-fascist* movement.  This is also a distinct 
possibility.  After all, one of the defining characteristics 
of fascism (as distinct from your run-of-the-mill
garden variety form of bourgeois reaction and 
repression) is that it is a *mass* movement which
is able to come to power with support from large 
segments of the working class.  The mixture
of fear, nationalism,  and religion can lead to
a fascist brew which would have an appeal to many 
workers in the US.  Compounding this possibility
is that the Dem Party leadership would almost certainly 
cave into pressure from a fascist movement and
offer the fascists critical support  "for the good of
the country" (just as they caved into Bush's demand that 
they authorize the war against Iraq; just as they caved 
into most right-wing demands of the Reagan, G.H.W. Bush,  
and G.W.Bush administrations).  It would be folly indeed to 
think that given this history any significant sections
of the Dem Party leadership would oppose a genuinely
fascist movement. Consequently, if there were to
develop a mass fascist movement in the US, then
a mass anti-fascist movement could _only_ be built 
if  progressive workers and others broke decisively 
from the Dem Party.  The Nader/Camejo (Green Party)
campaign might be seen as a faint ray of hope here,
but the majority of 'progressives'  are still under the
ideological stranglehold of 'lesser evilism'.

Unlike my anarchist friend, I don't think that the above
_will_ happen.  But, I have to recognize that it is a
distinct possibility.

What do others think?

In solidarity, Jerry

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