By Leo Lowenthal
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Extra info for An Unmastered Past: The Autobiographical Reflections of Leo Lowenthal
Today, what writer has become a classical reference of a most solid and precise formulation in almost all theoretical texts on the interpretation of fascism along capitalist lines? Which writer do you think? Lowenthal: Franz Neumann? Dubiel: No, Horkheimer. " Lowenthal: This had a totally different meaning: one should not grovel before the United States. Dubiel: One should not grovel before a social order that tends likewise to give rise to fascism. As a highly developed capitalist country, the United States is not immune to fascism.
That's just a bit over half a century ago. Many ― 97 ― peculiarities, particularly institutional ones, of American foreign policy are very simply explained by the fact that in this respect—unlike the Western European nations—the United States has no tradition reaching back into the nineteenth century or even earlier. Dubiel: I'd like to offer one more observation I've made on the basis of a closer acquaintance with American postwar history. The ability to recognize precisely the imperialist character of American politics was, after all, very much hampered by the following circumstance: if you judge foreign policy strategies by the same right-left parameters that you can apply to domestic politics, then the pertinent contending factions of the postwar period present a very confusing picture.
An undialectical concept of American imperialism is questionable. Essentially what that means is that American foreign policy is on the one hand forever trying to counteract, by means of armaments, alliances, and intervention, its constant fear of being outdone militarily while on the other hand trying simultaneously to forestall the ever-present threat of a global economic crisis, by gaining new markets and protecting old ones. If you want to call that imperialism, fine. I think it's nothing more than a clear-cut emanation of the capitalist production system.
An Unmastered Past: The Autobiographical Reflections of Leo Lowenthal by Leo Lowenthal