MMM: my errors, criticism, enterprise

jones/bhandari djones at uclink.berkeley.edu
Sat Oct 21 22:26:09 MDT 1995


1.  I misquoted Jerry. His only claim was that set-aside and other small
business progammes were not necessarily reactionary. He did not say that
they were helpful--this is my mistake, and I should have known that Jerry's
comments would be carefully worded.   I did suggest how they could be
negative in impact:

a. their survival may depend on intensified exploitation, the price for the
escape of a only few from wage slavery;

b. the demand for more businesses has tended to become the main one, with
political consequences such as (1)  the scapegoating of small foreign
businessmen, instead of an attack on corporate America; (2) the success of
these businesses is often taken to be proof of 'racial' success even if the
condition of the mass of people as wage laborers is worsening over time;
and (3) both the government and corporations have at times agreed to make
the funds available for such upper-class ventures as a substitute for
mass-based programmes, e.g., labor demands, strike support, unemployment
insurance, and the like.  On this point, se earl Picard, "The New Black
Economic Development Strategy," Telos (Summer 1984): 53-64.

2. I misquoted Adolph Reed, Jr.  on Jesse Jackson.  Jackson's PUSH did not
attempt to encourage Black WORKERS to break the Coors strike in order to
obtain corporate support for Black businessmen.  Jackson, along with other
Black leaders, did however agree to lead a defection of the BOYCOTT called
by the AFL-CIO.

3. Jerry suggests that Afrocentricism is not a reactionary movement as is
the demand for creationism in the schools.  I did indicate my knowledge of
what was taught in such classes and the potential harm effected by them.
Jerry did not reply to that part of my post and merely insisted that
afrocentricism was a positive development, without much in the way of
concrete examples of what he was affirming.

4. Louis has again violated the norms of reasoned debate.  His calumny
against an ultra-left organization did not include a single line of
rebuttal to the argument of how Farrakhan's politics will evolve into
fascism as the crisis deepens.  This sort of rebuke was not expected from a
Trotyskite critic of Stalinism or perhaps Louis is revealing something
about the nature of the American Trotyskism?

I must add that I was especially disappointed as I thought someone of
Louis' erudition would have something substantive to say about the
Zionism/Nation of Islam analogy made by Sy Landy in the passage which I
quoted.

5. I consider it unfortunate that Mr. Davidson has found me unworthy of reply.

6.  The most-up-to-date programmatic statement for inner-city enterprise is
to be found in a recent issue of the Harvard Business Review (3 month ago I
believe).  I was surprised to see that it was written by the former head of
an important special committee on national competitiveness under the Bush
administration--Harvard Business Prof Michael Porter, author of the
blockbuster The Competititve Advantage of Nations.  I will reread this
piece.  No comment yet on Mr. Davidson's the enterprise post.   Needless to
say, this former leader of SDS now finds himself in the company of Louis
Farrakhan and Michael Porter.

Power to the people,

Rakesh




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