Anti-Communism in Guatemala: Washington's Alliance with Generals and Death Squads

James F. Petras, Morris H. Morley


In the contemporary US social formation, both liberal and conservative political, economic and social forces have made the issue, of anticommunism central to the domestic and foreign policy dcbate. Conflicts between political and economic nationalist regimes in the Third World and the US imperial state, over the conditions for capital accumulation and the nature of Third World class relations, have been conceptualized by post-World War II American policymakers in terms of anti-communist ideology in order to justify an interventionist foreign policy. The utility of the notion is precisely that it allows the US to disguise the basis of its ties to client regimes and ruling classes: economic interests are obscured and national-class struggles are redefined as East-West conflicts. Foreign policy is not discussed in terms of a secure environment for multinationals to extract the economic surplus or political-strategic concerns, but largely with reference to Third World allies' opposition to 'communist subversion.

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