Characteristics of slums - urban poor?

Zeynep Tufekcioglu zeynept at
Thu May 9 18:19:52 MDT 1996


I finally understood something that was bothering me for sometime. Your
posts, even though they may seem erratic, are actually consistent. And I've
been thinking for some time some of your initial assumptions were wrong, and
was trying to pinpoint them. After your piece on the urban poor, I think I
now understand enough to disagree.

For one, you uphold the historical-actual experience of being a member of
the working class as something inherently providing with an ability to think
and evaluate the class struggle correctly. In fact, the poorer the better.

I will also admit, maybe to much disagreement in the list, Marx held a
similar position. But, things do not work out that way, because the working
class is very much under the influence of the ever growing bourgeoise
ideological pressure. While I agree that class hatred and class instinct can
and do arise out of actual experience, and that no "intellectual" can easily
claim that until they become an intellectual/worker; we need theory,
strategy, tactics, long-term positions and ideas. Your all-out denouncement
of all -isms- (though you contradict that position sometimes), and your
mistrust of revolutionaries trying to bring more insight and depth to the
movement ("intellectual snobs") is harmful. The working class suffers more
as a result, as it is defeated because the state has planned the next 10
steps, while the angry toilers are confused.

Here is some pieces from your quotes, and I've clipped most paragraphs since
they were published in the list so everyone can go back and read the whole
thing if they care to.

>They are always trying to twist and turn our heads in all kinds of
>directions. All the isms, Communism, Capitalism, Fascism were introduced
>to poor and working class people by people who came from  another world.
>These ideologies were introduced into the workers movement and the
>workers and poor people were tricked into walking under one flag or
>the other, usually leading to devastating effects for the worker

>They think that poor and working class people can't think and
>therefore are always trying to stuff more bullshit down our throats!
										>But we have one thing that they do not understand at all and that
>is historical experience... That is, I mean poor and working class
>people have the experience of suffering from the various ideas
>presently popular in the upper-class circles. We are beginning to
>understand that when these people start pointing their finger at
>the enemy and scream kill, we had better watch our asses, because
>it is usually poor and working class who wind up killing each other.

Also, I'll call to aid Trotsky, whom you seem to accept. Are you aware of a
concept, which Trotksy called a "transitional programme"? Hugh can find it
somewhere for you, I don't have the book anymore so can't say which book it
is best explained in.

If you get that book, I'm sure you'll see where it comes in with what I'm

In solidarity,

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