[lbo-talk] 1979 (THE MYTH OF THE 'GOOD' CARTER)

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at osu.edu
Sun Mar 7 12:49:20 PST 2004

>Christian Gregory christian11 at mindspring.com, Tue Mar 2 19:39:36 PST 2004
>>Jimmy Carter = Afghanistan + Paul Volcker
>>It was "July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first
>>directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime
>>in Kabul"
>So, what's your point here? That principled Marxists should have
>known that Carter was bad because he gave aid to the resistance
>against the glorious Soviet occupation of Afghanistan?

No. As I said in a post to which you replied, "1979 was exactly the right moment for principled non-Marxist leftists to give up on the Democratic Party (principled Marxists should never have supported the Democratic Party to begin with)" (at <http://mailman.lbo-talk.org/pipermail/lbo-talk/Week-of-Mon-20040301/004739.html>), for one could by then see the beginning of the end of an era writ in numbers as well: <http://mailman.lbo-talk.org/pipermail/lbo-talk/Week-of-Mon-20040301/004836.html>.

>[lbo-talk] 1979 (THE MYTH OF THE 'GOOD' CARTER)
>Doug Henwood dhenwood at panix.com, Wed Mar 3 06:47:22 PST 2004
>Yoshie Furuhashi wrote:
>>Then, why do you say that Nader "seems seriously nuts, in both the
>>political and psychopathological senses," on account of his having
>>given up on the Democratic Party in 1979?
>There was a series of stories in that piece, not just one.

Well, that's the first "exhibit" you excerpted from the "article" on Nader run in _The New Republic_ (<http://mailman.lbo-talk.org/pipermail/lbo-talk/Week-of-Mon-20040301/004703.html>). Presumably you thought that the timing of Nader's abandonment of the Democratic Party was one of the most significant elements in it -- otherwise, you would have excerpted something else. I rather think that the timing -- 1979 -- reflects well on Nader. :->

>Talking in code

"Nader's friends recalled that often he would act furtively, speaking in code, always convinced he was being monitored or phone-tapped. When he insisted in 1966 that he was being followed, one of his friends replied, according to Martin, 'Ralph, your paranoia has grown to new extremes.' Of course, it turned out that in that instance Nader was being followed" (Jonathan Chait, "The Myth of the 'Good' Nader,'" _The New Republic_, Post date: 02.29.04/Issue date: 03.08.04, <http://www.tnr.com/docprint.mhtml?i=20040308&s=chait030804> -- BTW, at what station of the crass does _The New Republic_ stand? One station to the left or right of _Dissent_?). Aside from his personal experience of the GM shenanigan, Nader (b. 1934) came of political age in the era of the Red Purge, COINTELPRO (1956-1971), and the Watergate scandal (1973). Only those who have a very short memory span think it odd for prominent activists costing big companies a great deal of money to worry about surveillance in the late 60s and early 70s.

FYI, I'd also take note of the fact that _New Republic_ writer Jonathan Chait's crusade against Nader predates Nader's declaration for his 2004 presidential run: "Debating Nader: A Dialogue -- Jonathan Chait and Robert Kuttner on Whether Ralph Nader is a Force for Good or Ill" (Web Exclusive: 10.15.02, <http://www.prospect.org/webfeatures/2002/10/dialogue-t-10-15.html>).

>[lbo-talk] Rick Wilhelm on John Kerry
>Doug Henwood dhenwood at panix.com, Sun Mar 7 07:25:40 PST 2004
>How can you take an analysis seriously if that's the first sentence?
>If Kerry is far right, what is Bush? Lott? Talk about a lust for

Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, and Kerry are all far to the right of Nixon on the bread-and-butter issue, not because of their individual characters, but because of the end of the post-WW2 boom, stagflation, and politico-economic responses to it. It makes sense to try to explain the causes and consequences of the end of the post-WW2 boom theoretically to activists who have given up on the Democratic Party based on empirical evidence alone. Classical Marxism and the Monopoly Capital approach, I think, offer complementary theoretical perspectives on them, which may be of interest to activists tired of "activistism."

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