Order the summer edition here

US after the presidential election

Richard Nixon was elected president. Today, American society is in the worst crisis since the civil war of 100 years ago. 

(THIS ARTICLE IS MACHINE TRANSLATED by Google from Norwegian)

Orienteringeditorial, November 16, 1968

Two crises are coming at the same time: the domestic political crisis that is primarily characterized by the Negro revolt, and the foreign political crisis that has been at the forefront of the Vietnam War.

The crucial issue is whether the American social system as it is today is capable of solving this dual crisis, or whether the crisis springs from the system itself so that it can only be overcome by a major change in both the economic and the political system. .

If the latter is the case, one must also ask whether the current parties, the Democratic, the Republican and Wallace's party at all have any solution pointing out of the crisis.

Commenting on this, the most forward-looking US President John F. Kennedy, just before he was murdered, told a journalist that he and his advisers were in doubt about the problems they wanted to solve, finding their solution within the power structure that prevailed within American society.

Negerrevolten. The negro revolt is only a sign of the disease in the domestic political crisis. Despite all legislative measures to abolish racial discrimination, the racial divide between Negroes and whites is more marked today than ever. Despite all laws, the Negroes are considered inferior people. And it is characteristic that it is not the negroes in the southern states who lead the negro revolt, but it is the young negroes in the northern states. More and more, the opinion of the younger Negroes is spreading that the Negro problem is insoluble within the framework of the political and economic system that dominates the United States. The Negro slums in the cities have become ghettos, with no hope and no future. In the big cities there is a guerrilla warfare – no one feels safe. Negroes make up between 10 and 20 percent of the American population. The passive and legal resistance that characterized Luther King is on its way out and is being replaced by Black Power – Black Power – which is a fighting organization.

Poverty and neuroses. Despite an economic boom, which is not to a small extent due to armaments and war, the problem of unemployment remains a serious problem in American society. Despite an annual average income per year. a resident of over $ 4000, large parts, including whites, live below the poverty line.

American society has not mastered the growth of cities, the neglect of collective good, the increase in crime, and the mental disorders are more widespread than ever. Every other adult American suffers from insomnia. Against this background, it is no wonder that Americans are asking themselves if there is something fundamentally wrong with their society, whether it is a diseased society – a society in disrepair. The ruling power groups seem to lose faith in their own mission, and fall back on program posts such as peace and order – as if police and violence can solve the basic issues.

The economic life. The economic development has led to a very small number of large industrial giants dominating economic life. They are stronger than ever, and work intimately with the vastly expanded military force. No Democratic politician or civilian politician has warned of this trend threatening to crack traditional American democracy, but a general and Republican, Eisenhower.

If this industrial and military power combination can also create a political basis, one has the traditional recipe for a trend in a fascist direction.

Tensions in the traditional system. The foreign policy crisis associated with the construction of the US economic and military empire is emerging from the growing resistance that this policy is facing. American prosperity is now more dependent than ever on economic expansion in other countries, and an ever greater control over the world's raw material resources. The US overseas companies are today the third largest industrial power in the world. Today, the enormous dividends these companies are bringing home, and their control over important commodities in developing countries, is an essential prerequisite for American prosperity.

These tensions have led to the collapse of the old political power structure. The Democratic Party, which built its power on the alliance between the conservative southern states and the liberal groups in the northern states, has burst. One must assume that Wallace's party that got close to 10 million votes has come to stay. But the Democratic Party in the North is also divided between the traditional party bosses who trumpeted through the nomination of Humphrey, and groping and uncertain radical elements who feel that basic domestic and foreign policy reforms are necessary.

What does Wallace mean? Neither Humphrey nor Nixon had a solution to the American crisis. At Wallace, on the other hand, one can make out the contours of a temporary solution, namely a fascist totalitarian solution where violence and police terror and demagoguery should be the means to weld the nations together.

The Americans ask themselves if there is something fundamentally wrong with their society, whether it is a diseased society – a society in disrepair.

In principle, Wallace is raging against "monopoly capital", against central Washington redirection – it's the little man's reaction to the mighty political and economic forces, and he's raging against the Negroes who are the cause of unrest. Wallace has had a disturbing connection among the middle class and the workers in the big industrial centers in the North, who feel the same threat from big business and trade union bureaucracy. But Wallace knows that if he is to have any opportunity to come to power, he must ally himself with big business. Today, it is undoubtedly that the big industry mainly supports the Republican Party and to some extent the Democrats. But if the turmoil and discontent increase in American society, they will look for other political leaders who can defend the military apparatus and the power of the big industry.


The column with important and still telling texts from the time of Ny Tids Orientering (1953-1975) edited by Line Fausko. line@nytid.no

You may also like