Pro-ITN Libel Suit Post (re: THE TEARS OF THE MIGHTY

Carrol Cox cbcox at
Thu Mar 16 12:53:11 PST 2000

Charles Brown wrote:

> This has nothing to do with outlawing fascitic racist speech as a narrow exception to freedom of speech.

Charles, I think I have a new way of articulating my disagreement with you on this. Let's see if this makes sense. (I am taking for granted what I have already said several times: if a way can be found to do it, racist speech and writing should be suppressed.)

I start with a question. Under what social and political conditions could such a law (outlawing racist speech) become law in the United States in the near future? There are two possible answers to this question:

a. If the capitalist class decided that it was in its interest to pass such a law.

b. If the working class (i.e., the anti-racist elements *within* the working class) became strong enough to *force* such a law on the bourgeois state.

In the case of (a), we probably confront a Trojan Horse -- that is, we confront a situation in which the various fears expressed in opposition to such a law would be realized. The practical results would be a further limitation on the rights of *anti*-racist speech and the continued liberty of racist speech.

In the case of (b) we would be in a position to suppress much racist speech through our own activities, without appealing at all to the police power of the state. (E.g. it would be possible to beat up professors who spouted *Bell Curve* trash and then defend the act politically.) Under those conditions we would not need such a law and in fact would be better off without it.

You hypothesize a situation in which somehow we can convince the ruling class (or its lackeys) to pass an anti-racist speech law and use in our favor. I am sceptical. Your proposition is true as a statement of substance but misleading as a guide to political action.


More information about the lbo-talk mailing list