RE: [OPE] it's not going to be OK

Date: Mon Feb 09 2009 - 08:26:17 EST

> Jerry, I agree with much of what you are saying, but I hope you're not blaming the
> left for fascism...
Of course not. It's not a matter of placing blame; it's a matter of putting a question
in historical context and that means also putting a question in the context of the
class struggle.
While there are - in certain contexts - benefits to capital of totalitarian forms of
government, there are larger risks and I don't think it is their preferred form of
governance. The bourgeoisie tends to embrace totalitarianism only when they feel

> The longer and deeper this recession is, the more likely it is that radical forms of
> resistance will appear; the mechanisms are already there to deal with it - many of them
> well tried and tested.
This issue has to be put in the context of different capitalist formations,
each with their own history and different level of class consciousness.
What is possible and likely in Iceland is not the same as what is likely to
occur in the US.
A deep and long-lasting 'recession' in the US, for example, may not
give rise to working-class radicalism in the US. It could have a quite
different impact. We have already, for instance, seen the re-emergence
of 'Buy American' campaigns and I suspect that when the recession
deepens and job loss grows that there will be increasing efforts against
undocumented workers. Those efforts will be supported by many trade
union 'leaders' and have support within a substantial part of the working
class. Do not underestimate the extent to which racism and nationalism
affect large segments of the working class. Rather than bringing about a
mass anti-capitalist movement, this would tend to weaken and divide the
working class and thereby make it easier for capital to impose their 'solutions'
to the crisis.
Furthermore, all it might take is one 'terrorist' event (real or contrived)
to strengthen the hand of those in the ruling class who believe that a
military 'solution' might, ultimately, be the way out of the crisis. You might
say that there is not mass support in the US for another imperialist
war at this time. That's probably true, but that could change quickly.
This, indeed, is something which has been well tried and tested -
and it doesn't necessarily imply totalitarianism.
In solidarity, Jerry

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Received on Mon Feb 9 08:28:05 2009

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