Populism as Masquerade (was Re: Henwood vs. Cockburn)

Charles Brown CharlesB at CNCL.ci.detroit.mi.us
Mon Nov 15 15:20:49 PST 1999

>>> Doug Henwood <dhenwood at panix.com> 11/13/99 06:13PM >>>
Michael Yates wrote:

>On the other question raised in connection with the exchange among Doug,
>Cockburn, et. al. concerning militias, populism, etc. let me say a few
>words from experience. My youngest brother is what some might call a
>raving lunatic: sees conspiracies everywhere, lives in the woods, owns
>guns, thinks Y2K may lead to chaos in the streets, etc. But he is most
>definitely not a racist or an anti-semite (two of our nieces are black,
>for which fact his own health and life have been threatened more than

I really want to underscore the fact that I don't think that militia members and their fellow travelers are racists or crypto-Nazis or any of that, whatever AC inventively says about me borrowing my worldview from Morris Dees. Some are, some aren't, and it does no good to demonize the whole lot.


Charles: To me this logic is backward. If a significant number of militias are racists and crypto-Nazis ( Doug says "some are") that is the important point, not that some are not. The some who are not does not "cleanse" the group of the dangerous characteristics given it by the some who are. Those who are not are tainted by their association with those who are. Those who "are not" can't have very good political sense if they do not get away from or separate themselve politically from those who are. It is not "demonization" of the whole lot, but a correct use of guilt by association. You can't associate with fascists and not be tainted yourself. It is not an issue of compromise.


I'm more worried about the racists and crypto-Nazis in Congress and the Yale Club.


Charles: Of course , fascism is the open terrorist rule of the extreme rightwing of the financial oligarchy, but for functional fascism, they need stormtroopers who are petit bourgeois and working class. There is no contradiction in opposing both fascists in Congress/at Yale AND in militias, KKKs etc.


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