As the Republicans celebrate their mid-term election victory, the drums of war are growing ever louder, and the bourgeois economists insist that a sustained recovery is just around the corner. We are told that the passing of the Homeland Security bill will mean greater safety, stability, and that the "war on terror" is being successfully waged in the interest of all Americans. However, the new bill means only more restrictions on the "freedom", and the economic situation for hundreds of thousands will continue to deteriorate. Billions have been spent on "defense", and still we are told that the threat of attacks is as high as it was before September 11.

Part of the intention of this article is to combat the kind of senseless anti-Americanism that one encounters all too frequently in left circles. Marxists are internationalists and do not take up a negative stance in relation to the people of any country. We stand for the unity of all working people against oppression and exploitation. What we oppose is not Americans, but American capitalism and American imperialism. The American people and above all the American working class have a great revolutionary tradition. On the basis of great historical events they are destined to rediscover these traditions and to stand once more in the front line of the revolution, as they did in 1776 and 1860. The future of the entire world depends ultimately on this perspective. And although today it may seem very far off, it is not so incredible as one might think.

This is part 2 of Alan Woods' 4 part article on Marxism and the United States. In this part Alan concentrates on the 'Second American Revolution' more commonly known as the Civil War. Like every other serious conflict, at bottom the American Civil War was a class struggle. The Northern manufacturers necessarily had to come into conflict with the Southern landowning classes. The conflict of interest between the two lasted for sixty years and finally ended in civil war. However, the mutual hatred between the northern capitalists and the slave owners of the South, grounded in economics, was only half the story. There was a genuine sense of moral outrage among sections of the northern working class and middle class against the evils of slavery.