James and the Black Question

Jose G. Perez jgperez at SPAMnetzero.net
Mon May 8 16:00:38 MDT 2000

Sol Dollinger extends his methodological mistake of looking at different
"nationalisms" as if they were the concrete expression or instances of a
class of objects called "nationalism" instead of looking concretely at the
class and social forces behind each individual case.

In this post he explains he was thinking of "Miami" Cuban nationalism and
"California" Vietnamese nationalisms.

I'm not that familiar with the Vietnamese gusanos, but I can assure you
there is no such thing as "Cuban" nationalism among then right wing Miami
Cubans, only "Cuban-American" nationalism, i.e., American annexationism with
a Ricky Ricardo accent, the very antitheses of Cuban "nationalism," or
patriotism historically and currently.

Behind this "Cuban American" nationalism you no longer have the defeated
Batistiano bourgeoisie; the "movers and shakers" of that bourgeois class are
mostly dead. What's behind it is the hatred of U.S. imperialism for the
Cuban revolution. Forty years ago it created the Frankenstein monster of the
counterrevolutionary mafia from the flotsam and jetsam of the smashed ruling
class and its dictatorship, and has kept the groups on life support ever
since as they proved an invaluable prop and weapon in the war against the
Cuban revolution and its extension.

There is a layer of American capitalists of Cuban origins who have latched
onto this movement for the obvious reason that it is a meal ticket in times
of trouble and a license to steal at all orther times. These are people like
the Mas and Fanjul families. But I don't believe it is correct to view
"Cuban American" nationalism as an expression of these folks's sectorial
interests in the U.S. Ruling class.

The Mas family (and probably with it the Cuban Amercian National Foundation)
would go along with and possibly support a normalization of relations with
Cuba even though today it is against it; in its line of business, it stands
to profit enormously thereby. The Fanjuls, on the other hand, would be
economically destroyed unless the bloackade were maintained at least insofar
as it affects sugar. It is not really a community of sectorial economic
interests that drives this "Cuban-American nationalism" but other things.

 This is not to say that there are not genuine Cuban patriots in the United
States, but that is an entirely different phenomenon.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Sol Dollinger" <soldoll at inreach.com>
To: <Marxism at lists.panix.com>
Sent: Sunday, May 07, 2000 10:41 PM
Subject: James and the Black Question

> MacDonald Stainsby raised serious questions on nationalism but the
> that I used pertained to the U. S.  I cited the reactionary nationalism of
> the Miami Cubans.  Another example occurred in California where ten
> Viet Namese protested against a shop owner hanging a picture of Ho in his
> shop.  The demonstration lasted more than a week. The other side of the
> national question is raised by C. L. R. James, writing in, The Future in
> Present--selected writings,  *We on the other hand say something
> different....the Negro struggle, the independent Negro struggle has a
> vitality and a validity of its own....*
> James continues, *The reader will have to note that not only was the black
> question given an independent role, with its own role and its own
> leadership, he must note also the great step forward that was
> made....Previous to 1948 the whole marxist movement, including myself,
> always thought that on the whole and also in particular it was the
> proletariat, the marxist party which had to educate all elements of
> on the fundamental reality of political struggle for socialism.*
> James departs from marxist thought on the role of the working class
> expressed through its own party and opens the door for black nationalist
> organizations to find political approval for a black solution to racism
> imbedded in the capitalist system.  It is Malcolm X and the Black Panther
> party, expressing unconsciously, perhaps, the James thesis.  The Marxist
> left raised on theories originated by James and endorsed by Trotsky
> tailended the black national movements at a time when the broad masses of
> Blacks had opted for integration in the system.
> Nationalism, Black nationalism, as well, have not developed an attack on
> system that has created class, race and ethnic divisions.  You cannot have
> one without the other under capitalism.  The education of all society can
> only be done by a class party. The party in its program goes beyond the
> nationalist impulse.  Unless this party is created, then either the
> nationalist leaders are co-opted by the state or the state uses maximum
> force to suppress the movement.

NetZero - Defenders of the Free World
Click here for FREE Internet Access and Email

More information about the Marxism mailing list