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By Leo Lowenthal

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Extra info for An Unmastered Past: The Autobiographical Reflections of Leo Lowenthal

Example text

At that time in the early fifties, with your political past and in that politically sensitive position, surely you would have been an ideal victim for McCarthy? ― 87 ― Lowenthal: Yes, in fact, one of the main targets of attack of McCarthy and his henchmen, those loathsome lawyers Roy Cohn and David Shine, was the information service of the American government. According to them, the Voice of America was controlled by Communists. They constantly harassed us in New York. They had set up their headquarters in the Waldorf Astoria in order to better interrogate us.

As a highly developed capitalist country, the United States is not immune to fascism. This is what Horkheimer meant. You must be familiar with another passage in which he gives a political-economic interpretation of anti-Semitism. There he states, similarly, that fascist anti-Semitism was a sequel to the liquidation of the circulation phase in highly developed capitalism. If this is not an economic interpretation of fascism, then I don't know . . Lowenthal: It can also be said differently. After all, fascism is not simply just another manifestation of high finance.

This was in 1953; he was already very ill, and it was obvious that he would soon die. Endless position papers were written, full of speculations on what would happen after his death. Would civil war break out, would tensions between the military and the party ― 92 ― become critical, would the political apparatus be able to take the strain, would unrest result, would it possibly even be a good opportunity for intervention? You can't even imagine all the nonsense written in those days. Of course, little Leo Lowenthal wasn't asked for advice, but if I had been given the opportunity, I would have predicted that nothing dramatic was going to happen.

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