sour-faced Germans

Dennis R Redmond dredmond at OREGON.UOREGON.EDU
Thu Feb 11 17:09:05 PST 1999

On Wed, 10 Feb 1999, Liza Featherstone wrote in re the Frankfurt School:

> but as I recall they had nothing but contempt and terror for the masses (the
> latter understandable given their experience in Nazi Germany but 1940s U.S.
> was not a historically parallel situation),

But I wonder more and more about this. Was the Nazi regime really all that different from the Pax Americana? Maybe the latter was really the outgrowth of historical processes usually ascribed to the former. Fascism created the military-industrial complex, state-monopoly Keynesianism, a predatory foreign policy geared towards securing supplies of raw materials for metropolitan factories, etc. All the ingredients of the national security state were there, it's just that Central Europe, being a half-assed semi-periphery at the time, had no way of outproducing the Americans, so they tried to substitute speed and terror for sheer resources. Adorno got lots of details about America wrong, but he had the essential outsider's insight that US capitalism was a terrifying beast indeed. It was, and still is.

-- Dennis

More information about the lbo-talk mailing list