Thanks to Gina, Jokoe and Robert M.

Hugh Rodwell m-14970 at
Mon May 13 13:00:18 MDT 1996

These postings from Gina and Jokoe were great:


>I myself have been arrested several times, for distributing literature or
>newspapers of a political nature, or for hanging posters for political
>events.  One arrest was for the "crime" of tresspassing, in a public
>area of a public hospital (the cafeteria, where I was EMPLOYED at
>the time, although off duty that day)  When I handed a flyer about
>May 1 activities to a co-worker who was fixing the coffee, I was grabbed
>by the security police and sent downtown to lock-up for the rest of
>the day.  True enough, the charges were later dropped, but only after
>I had been prevented from doing more political work that day, and after
>I had paid a lawyer to represent me.
>It is NO ACCIDENT that the harsher penalties described here are
>levied against people of color and those from oppressed countries.
>Look at the incarceration rates for Black youth and Latino youth in
>general.  When I was working in that hospital cafeteria (where I was
>one of 2-3 white workers among mostly Black workers)  i soon
>discovered that I did not know a single Black man who could not tell
>me of at least one instance where he had been stopped by the police
>for NOTHING--essentially, for BEING a young Black male. period.
>Rodney King and Riverside happen ALL the time.


>> When I hear your crap about, not raising the minimum
>>wage, I get really sick! And, it's a
>>primary reason why I'm a Marxist!
>>                                   jokoe at
>>P.S. Every "right winger," who fights against raising the minimum wage
>>for workers, should be arrested, and sentenced to work for a year in a
>>beef rendering plant, for minimum wage. They might gain an
>>understanding about the value of work, and the need for decent wages.


>DAMN STRAIGHT!  Thanks to jokoe for reminding us that every single
>thing we take for granted comes from the labor of human beings, who
>have the same basic needs as the hot shots who heap scorn on the
>ones who do their shit work.  And don't forget the women from Colombia,
>Guatemala, El Salvador, Peru, Jamaica, Northern Ireland, and many
>other parts of the world, who slave away in the kitchens of the rich and
>famous, often for little more than room and board, especially if they lack
>proper documentation.
>These women are not only exploited doing the shit work, they're
>often very isolated, cut off from others by being stuck in the stuck-up
>suburbs with little contact with people from their own background,
>sometimes no opportunity to learn the language of the community
>they live in because their boss speaks Spanish (I met such a woman
>at Christmas, 19 years old and extremely homesick for her country
>and her people, feeling very trapped because in two years here she
>has not learned much English, since her boss speaks to her only in
>The dictatorship of the proletariat means that this is the class of people
>who become the rulers of society, who transform by their own creativity
>and muscle the very foundations of economic, social and political life,
>to reflect the actual reality:  everything we eat, everything we use in
>our daily life, and everything that is used to create those items is itself
>the product of the collective labor of dozens, hundreds, even millions of
>exploited toilers, living and dead, no matter how easy it is to forget that
>fact when all we see is the bright-colored package in the well-lit store.

Together with Robert M's postings on the hell poor kids often have to put
up with, they put the spotlight on the rotten conditions forced on ordinary
unskilled workers and poor people in the richest country in the world. We
need more of these reminders, all the time. The more the authentic voice of
the poor and the exploited is heard in our discussions, the better they'll
be and the more impact Marxist ideas will have.

We've got to remember that *only* Marxism is capable of fusing the highest
level of theory with the everyday experience of the exploited. Marx did it
in Capital I with his teeming references to the inhuman conditions endured
by the working class. We can do it here, collectively, by rooting our more
theoretical discussions in this fundamental class experience, and by
linking these experiences to their theoretical consequences.

Thanks, comrades!

Special thanks to Gina for making these points without a word of Maoist jargon.

You know, this thread on the minimum wage has even brought out the good in
BodySack! I never thought I'd ever get curious about life in New Jersey...



     --- from list marxism at ---

More information about the Marxism mailing list