Re: [sixties-l] Re: coup coup coup

From: Carrol Cox (
Date: 12/18/00

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    Jesse Lemisch wrote:
    > As I've mentioned before, it pollutes our comprehension of reality, and
    > blocks our ability to deal with reality, to call what's been happening a
    > "coup." (Pro-Clinton propagandists, including some academic flacks, earlier
    > referred to the impeachment as a "coup.") It in no way implies that this
    > country is without horrors to point out that this isn't Chile.
    This seems to fairly fundamental. (The same applies to the all-too common
    habit of shouting "Fascist" whenever the bourgeois democratic state
    exhibits its quite ordinary repressive power.) A post I wrote on another
    list in a somewhat similar context seems to apply here. It follows with
    some additions.
    "Matt D." wrote:
    >    some notion that the Democratic Party
    > is somehow, in some sense, "really" more on the side of our
    > class than the Republicans.
    This I think gets to the heart of the matter. Two things.
    1a. The Democrats are, *really*, not remotely any more on our
    side than the Republicans -- they are *against* us, period. They are
    our enemy.
    1b. They probably are the more dangerous enemy; they exist,
    essentially, for no other purpose than to divide us. The Democratic
    Party, above all other institutions and groups in the U.S., most
    significantly and powerfully operates against our central slogan,
    "Workers Unite." Consider, for example, the fight over PNTR,
    and the way that the Democrats were able to do the impossible:
    be both for and against it simultaneously. The Democrats as
    opponents of PNTR (i.e., operating through the AFL-CIO)
    fought it on essentially racist and chauvinist lines, thus
    reinforcing all the retrograde tendencies in the workers movement.
    The Democrats as a governing party pushed it through, confident
    that the illusion that they are "really" more on our side than the
    Republicans would prevent workers, minorities, and progressives
    from noticing the real political effect of PNTR. The Seattle
    Coalition may or may not survive this beautiful ploy by the
    2. This illusion regarding the Democrats is grounded in the
    illusion of "real" divisions within the U.S. ruling class, a division
    which ostensibly manifests itself in the 'struggle' between
    Democrats and Republicans. Struggles within the U.S.
    ruling class at this time should be seen as rather resembling
    the annual Yale-Harvard football game. The partisans of
    the two elite academies can become extremely emotional
    over that rivalry. Probably if one researched it diligently
    enough there may even have been a fatality or two in
    drunken fights before or after the game. But just let the
    students from the junior college where Michael teaches try
    to exploit that difference. It makes as much sense as
    delusions that at the present time the left can exploit any
    divisions within the u.s. ruling class.
    We have work to do. And perhaps the most important
    work we have to do is to destroy the illusion that in any
    remote way, the Democratic Party is on our side or
    kinder to our side.
    Carrol Cox

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