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

From: Carrol Cox (
Date: 12/20/00

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    Jesse Lemisch wrote:
    > C'mon, Bill: a coup without the use of (or even threatened use of) arms? Why
    > should such a wise fellow as yourself contribute to this dead-end notion,
    > which obscures just what it is that we are fighing against? If everything
    > bad is a "coup," or "fascist," or "slavery," etc. -- the we have no way of
    > comprehending and fighting the originals.
    This has been bothering me more and more the last 5 years of so --
    so much that I have recently begun to wonder if "fascism" was
    *ever* a useful term -- even for fascist Italy or Nazi Germany.
    Why let the enemy name himself? Was the White Terror launched
    by the 30 tyrants in ancient Athens "fascism." Was it fascism when
    they hanged leaders of the Chartist Movement? When they slaughtered
    workers in Paris in 1848 or 1871? When they crucified slaves after
    a slave revolt in ancient Rome? One could go on and on. State
    terror, censorship, etc etc etc are characteristic of the wildest
    variety of state formations. Don't we need something more
    specific than being nasty to describe a state or a tendency as
    We need to find new labels. Fascism was a very specific
    development in a very few nations between the two
    world wars. It really isn't very useful as a metaphor for
    everything we don't like. Anyhow the Democratic Party
    is currently a far greater threat to various rights than
    any officially right-wing movement.

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