Questions: Black Nationalism/Marxism & Existentialism

soil_ride soilride at
Mon May 22 03:13:26 MDT 2000

Dear Comrade Carrol, I noticed that there is a similiarity between your answer
about Fred Hampton and that of Sartre's existentialism....(Sartre's
existentialism because so far thats all i have read about existentialism thus
>Thirty years later whatr counts is not what he said or
>what abstract theory he followed, but the theoretical implications (which
>the living must draw) of his *actions*:     not to define others by what they
say, but more on what they do.  For what they do will tell us what they are
about regardless of what they say.    So by the actions of the Black panthers we
can define them in that time period of being outside of the "nationalism" label
that most organization tend to go through.  I find that fascinating.  I have
also read that the Black Panthers believed that the lumpenproletariats were able
to carry out a revolution as well as the proletariats.  I guess there has been
some disagreements with this, but is this something that the panthers believed?
this view of marxism?  I am still trying to figure that one out for myself i
guess...   However i must say the Panthers moment was pretty revolutionary and
turned a lot of heads.  i think this is what fascinates me most about the
Panthers that it was started in the US.  The Panthers were there because the
conditions were called for a revolutionary movement for black people to come
into an existence.  Reminds me of our "social being that determines our
consciousness"    Back to Sarte for a brief moment...i dont know if you have
read him, but it seems especially in his book Seacrh for A method he believes
that Marxism and existentialism can co-exist and using existentialism can help
support Marxism...I am still looking into that, however I have made a certain
observation of existentialism and marxism.  To me they are very closely linked
with the view that the environment(society) helps create man and man helps to
create society in which man is the product of himself.  I dont know if this is a
correct observation on my part but it is one nonetheless...  
>The political activity of the group was too tied to the specific political and
>social conditions of the 1960s, their history was too short, their strength
>not equal to the immense repressive forces thrown against them.   I always
thought about this.... in To Die For The People, Huey Newton addresses the crowd
on the correct handling of a revolution.  He uses examples of the Cuban
Revolution and some otther revolutionary movements. By analyzing these
revolutions they made a program an agenda in which to follow(yet they didnt seem
to follow it)  that they need to go public with their claims and demands and
their actions.  If the Repressive opponents were too much they would go
underground and the people would seek them out later on.  Maybe their analysis
of taking after these revolutions were wrong, I can not be certain, but I also
didnt quite see them following what they had said to the public....i didnt see
them carry out the correct handling of the revolution.  Maybe they realized it
was better not to realizing the strength of the Repressive opponent was too
great even if the people sought after them, i really do not know, but the
faction and division between Newton and Cleaver caused by the fascist forces and
secret agencies didnt help much at all...but Huey's words still speak loud in my
mind as if it was an alarm and will contniue to do so.     >
>P.S. These observations provide a partial response to the following from
>Sol Dollinger:
>"I expected more from Carrol Cox who suggests the defense of Black
>nationalism but refuses to deal with the Miami Cuban nationalism, the Viet
>Namese nationalism that attacked a member of their community for over a
>week for having a picture of Ho Chi Minh in a store "   I dont know if it is
linked, but what  were the class divisions between Black nationalists and the
Miami Cuban nationalists.  I think a difference in the class level between these
two will really decide which one is revolutionary and which one is reactionary,
and why one nationalism can be defended against another nationalism.  two
different kinds of nationalism, revolutionary and reactionary...hmm I met a
young woman who claims to be a black nationalist and she has stated that she is
also for the oppressed people all over the world.  To me she has expressed
concern for her people and for other people as well.  This is what I call
revolutionary nationalism.  I met a man who is white and he is partakes of the
white "activist" movement so he calls it.  He expresses concern for his people,
but when he expresses concern for others he mocks them and makes jokes about
them.  I can only see it as reactionary nationalism in that case i would
definetely be for the blacknationalist who expressed her concern for others as
well as herself and her people. 
>Categories drawn from the Miami Cubans or the California Vienamese
>community simply are not directly (perhaps even indirectly) relevant
>to the (probably misnamed) category of "Black Nationalism."   Thank you for
responding back...   Power to the people,

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