A Modest Challenge

Chip Berlet cberlet at igc.org
Wed Nov 17 11:42:23 PST 1999


I agree with both Jeffrey and Carrol on most of the narrow points discussed below.

Here's the nub of the disagreement. Having dismissed the hyperbole of the Liberal fundraising machines and their demonization of the militias, and agreeing that Clinton and state repression pose a far greater threat to democracy, we are still left with the reality that the militias are a vigilante movement that (perhaps at times unwittingly) promotes a worldview that encourages White supremacist legal arguments and antisemitic conspiracy theories.

And to return to an early point, it would be far more consistent to decry both the conspiracism of the satanic ritual abuse panic and the conspiracism of the New World Order obsessed patriot and militia movements.


p.s. I am arbitrarily not going to post any more responses for two days to give Jeffrey a chance to deal with what is really important, rather than e-mail discussions.

----- Original Message ----- From: Jeffrey St. Clair <sitka at home.com> To: <lbo-talk at lists.panix.com> Sent: Wednesday, November 17, 1999 2:11 PM Subject: Re: A Modest Challenge

> Carrol Cox wrote:
> > I agree. But this is not what the *original* debate was about. That
> > concerned whether "the left" (such as it is) should make a special
> > effort to reach militia men. That debate has apparently been settled
> > and all agree that Cockburn was wrong, since now jsc is content
> > with arguing the minimal case that militia men are not an important
> > menace. With that I agree.
> I'm not content to argue a minimal case. And I don't think I was. I don't
think the Militias are the real representatives of the disenfranchised, the abandoned, the passed (and fucked) over. The Militias have been built up by the Progressive Fundraising Machine, which is scared to fight the real enemy. But, yes, despite an innate optimism, I think the Left (I would say "whatever" it is) is
> incapable of reaching out to any of its lost souls. The narcissism of the
Left (epitomized by statements such as: "I am the REAL humanist!") would be funny, if it weren't so pathetic.The Left as a political force is in a state of maximum entropy, a condition reminiscent of the Ur-Chaos Theory laid out by the pre-Socratic philosopher Empedocles, and parodied so savagely in William Gaddis' amazing
> novel JR.
> > Clinton is a far worse menace to
> > individual freedoms then all the militia men combined.
> On that, Carrol, we are in complete agreement. And I would add that
Clinton is more of a menace than Reagan, as well. Since what passes for the Left was willing to stand up and fight Reaganism, but rolled over like a willing supplicant when the same meanness came dressed as Clintonism.

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