Reed on LF (fwd)

Spoon Collective spoons at
Sun Oct 22 14:56:42 MDT 1995

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 1995 14:21:29 -0400 (EDT)
From: Louis N Proyect <lnp3 at>
To: marxism at jefferson.village.Virginia.EDU
Cc: marxism at jefferson.village.Virginia.EDU
Subject: Re: Reed on LF

On Sun, 22 Oct 1995, Doug Henwood wrote:

> The link between self-h*elp rhetoric and racial custodianship is as old
> as Booker T. Washington, the model of organic racial leadership
> Farrakhan articulates. The idea that black racial interests can be
> embodied in a single individual has always been attractively economical
> for white elites. Giving Washington a railroad car for his own use to
> avoid Jim Crow was a lot cheaper for white elites and less disruptive
> than socioeconomic democratization and preservation of citizenship
> rights. Jesse Jackson updated the claim to organic racial leadership and
> brokerage by enlisting mass media technology to legitimize it, and
> Farrakhan is following in Jackson's steps. Because of his organization
> and ideology, however, Farrakhan more than his predecessors throws into
> relief the dangerous, fascistic presumptions inscribed at the foundation
> of that model. That-underscored by the brownshirt character of the Fruit
> of Islam and the history of the old Nation during Farrakhan's ascent-is
> what makes him uniquely troubling. But demonizing him misses the point;
> it is the idea of organic representation of the racial collectivity that
> makes him possible.

Adolph Reed is brilliant, indeed. I agree with his linkage of 
Farrakhan with Booker T. Washingon, the same point that I made. But Reed 
is not perfect, neither am I. He was interviewed on your radio show 
and dubbed the militias as fascist without doing any kind of serious 
socio-economic analysis. What I'm hoping we'll get out of the cyberseminar 
on fascism is the analytical tools we need to understand NOI, militias, etc.

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