Galloping Facism? FWD

Tom Boland (
Mon, 8 Dec 1997 17:07:50 -0800 (PST)

FWD from Morton Wenger <MGWENG01@ULKYVM.LOUISVILLE.EDU> (502) 852-6836
written 10-25-97

Subject: Galloping Fascism?

In this morning's New York Times, there is a front page article (available at
the NYT web-site) which discusses the rapid criminalization of poverty and
dragooning of welfare workers into an arm of the police in the doubtful
interests of "child welfare." The NYT reports the controversy this has caused
in NYC. When set against the background of Republifascist rhetoric about
orphanages, the ticking of the five-year clock on current welfare recipients,
and the unliklihood of their finding jobs paying a living wage, this is a most
ominous harbinger of things to come, I believe. Play out this scenario until
2001-2002 when millions of former AFDC recipients are without social resources
and imagine the scenes in Harlem, Hough, etc.!

I believe that in some ways there will be spontaneous resistance to this like
there was to the mass evictions during the Great Depression. However, until the
then-vigorous CPUSA organized mass outrage, little happened to stop them.
There currently is no comparable organization in the US.

In light of recent debate on psn, I would like to ask this question: what
shall we do??? (I assume nobody on this list finds the current process and its
likely extension tolerable.) Should we hope that the religious organizations
offer charity? Invite the dispossessed into our homes for an indefinite stay?
Give more to the United Fund? Work to organize the present and FUTURE
dispossessed into a force for social reform? Into a force for social
revolution? Something else? I think talking about this real situation of real
human beings allows us to bring our recent discussions down out of the
heavenly clouds and back to earth...

Also, on the PBS news hour last night, there was a long segment on
rehabilitating the Hollywood Ten and other victins of McCarthyism. This was
followed by another long piece on Tony lukas' last book on the supression of
the workers movement in the western US in the earlier part of this century. A
historian who was a friend of Lukas' whose name I missed was interviewed by
Gergin, the Reagan/Bush/Clinton adviser from the Right. His tones were
reverential and attentive as he asked questions about (their words) "class
warfare," "class struggle," and the (allegedly) subterranean persistance of
that into the present moment in the US. I found the content and tenor of the
discussion astonishing, given the PBS record on "class." Was this
juxtiposition fortuitous? I have some ideas on this which I will post later,
but if you folks have any, don't hesitate to preempt mine.

Morton Wenger

TELEPHONE: (502) 852-6836