LBO-Talk charges

Carrol Cox cbcox at SPAMilstu.edu
Sun Nov 21 15:53:08 MST 1999



Michael Yates wrote:

>  I
> went through all of the LBO, Marxism, and Pen-L archives, and I must say
> that Rakesh not only had some retrogade ideas, especially about Malcolm
> X and the Black Radical Congress

I was a participant in the lbo thread Michael speaks of and Rakesh's ideas
were indeed retrograde. And in the situation Lou and Michael describe,
it would seem to have been at least as appropriate to consult public archives
as it would be (for example) for a hiring committee at a university to consult
the publications of an applicant.

That debate (and the sympathy which Rakesh's views received from
 many posters) is, among other things, a marker of an important respect
in which, within the left, one of the theoretical gains of the 1960s, has
been partly lost. At the time I thought the right and need of especially
oppressed sectors of the working class (most specifically women and
minorities) to independent organization and separate caucuses within
larger groups had been firmly established in practice and theory. The
responses of too many whites to the BRC disabused me of that
confidence. Rakesh was especially virulent in condemning the calling
of the Black Radical Congress. And he could not or would not
acknowledge that reactionary nationalist politics (which do exist) had
to be fought *within* the black community.

Carrol











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