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Ο σοσιαλισμός δεν είναι πια απαγορευμένη λέξη στις ΗΠΑ

 Αλέξανδρος Ζέρβας

Μέρος 3ο - Η «αμερικάνικη εξαίρεση» ενός αιώνα

Η εν λόγω παραδοξότητα είχε γίνει αντικείμενο εκτενούς μελέτης από τον διάσημο κοινωνιολόγο, Σέιμουρ Μαρτίν Λίπσετ. Σύμφωνα με την οπτική του Λίπσετ λοιπόν, οφειλόταν στη φύση του αμερικανικού πολιτικού συστήματος (με την ηγεμονία δύο κομμάτων αλλά και την ιδιαιτερότητα του εκλεκτορικού σώματος), την εθνικά ετερογενή εργατική τάξη που ανανεωνόταν συνεχώς μέσω των μεταναστευτικών κυμάτων, την απουσία διαχρονικά κάποιας συμμαχίας μεταξύ πολιτικών κομμάτων και συνδικάτων αλλά και τη προσκόλληση των Αμερικανών στις ατομικιστικές αξίες που είναι δυσμενείς για τις σοσιαλιστικές ιδέες.

Παράλληλα, ο Λίπσετ εμβάθυνε σε μια κλασική μελέτη του κοινωνιολόγου, Βέρνερ Σόμπαρτ, με τίτλο «Γιατί δεν υπάρχει Σοσιαλισμός στις ΗΠΑ;». Σε αυτή τονιζόταν μια ιδιαίτερη έμφαση το ζήτημα της κοινωνικής κινητικότητας, που έδινε ακόμη και στους εκπροσώπους των πιο φτωχών στρωμάτων την ψευδαίσθηση ότι με πολλή δουλειά και μπόλικο πατριωτισμό θα μπορούσαν να φτάσουν στον παράδεισο του «αμερικάνικου ονείρου».

Το παράδοξο είναι ότι λίγο μετά από την εποχή τις έκδοσης της μελέτης του Σόμπαρτ, στις αρχές του 20ου αιώνα, έκανε την εμφάνισή του στις ΗΠΑ ένα σχετικά ισχυρό Σοσιαλιστικό Κόμμα υπό την καθοδήγηση του Βίκτορ Ντεμπς, το οποίο σημείωσε αξιοσημείωτες επιτυχίες. Συγκεκριμένα το 1912 ήλεγχε αρκετούς δήμους, όπως στο Μιλκγουόκι του Ουισκόνσιν, το Φλιντ του Μίσγκαν, το Σενέκταντι στη Νέα Υόρκη αλλά και το Μπέρκλεϊ στην Καλιφόρνια. Μάλιστα το κόμμα του Ντεμπς κέρδισε το 6% της λαϊκής ψήφου στις προεδρικές εκλογές, παίρνοντας πολύ καλά ποσοστά  σε πολιτείες όπως το Ουισκόνσιν (όπου η παρουσία -ιδιαίτερα κοινωνικά ευαίσθητων- Γερμανών μεταναστών έπαιξε καθοριστικό ρόλο), στη Νέα Υόρκη (με την έντονη παρουσία Ρώσων, Πολωνών και Εβραίων μεταναστών), καθώς επίσης και σε πολιτείες του Νότου με έντονο αγροτικό στοιχείο, όπως η Οκλαχόμα, το Αρκάνσας, το Τεξας και η Λουιζιάνα.

Οι συγκεκριμένες επιτυχίες πάντως αποδείχθηκαν βραχύβιες. Μετά την είσοδο των ΗΠΑ στον Πρώτο Παγκόσμιο Πόλεμο, ο Ντεμπς και πολλοί άλλοι σοσιαλιστές ηγέτες που αντιτίθεντο στην αμερικάνικη παρέμβαση  φυλακίστηκαν. Παράλληλα, η Οκτωβριανή επανάσταση επιδείνωσε ιδεολογικές εντάσεις μέσα σε ένα κόμμα που ήδη αποδυναμωμένο από την κρατική καταπίεση, καθώς ο σοσιαλισμός της πλειοψηφίας των μελών του κόμματος έπαιρναν μεγαλύτερη έμπνευση από τη ρητορική του ευαγγελικού χριστιανισμού   παρά από τα έργα του Μαρξ και του Λένιν.

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