Damn Yankees Think They Know Everything, Don't They?
aabdo at SPAMwebtv.net
Mon Mar 12 08:20:19 MST 2001
Dr George Snedeker captures the US mainstream Left attitude best with...
<I have often wished all of those rednecks would just go away. is Texas
really part of the United States?>
And I might add, Yes, and so is Florida, too.
And Lou misses the point entirely with his comment....
<Workers are exploited in Maine and New Hampshire just as deeply. I
imagine that the rates of exploitation are most pronounced where there
is no history of industrial unionism.>
This is a ridiculous comparison. For starters, most of the
population in southern Maine and New Hampshire is not much more than
just the outer suburbs of the Boston Metropolitan area. Even if we
were to ignore this reality, the entire 2 states only have about 2
million population. Compare that, to the 10 million people in the
Dallas and Houston Metro areas alone.
He continues with this datum....
<Right now we are far off from winning conservatized white workers,
either in the north or the south, to the revolutionary movement so it is
a fairly academic question to begin with. If I was trying to organize in
a city like Houston or Dallas, I'd be setting up meetings on the campus
and in the black community. Any white worker interested in fundamental
social change would attend those meetings, no matter the location.>
What is wrong about this, is that many White workers in the North are
unionized. This is not true in Dallas and Houston. So defense of
unions in the North is 'pragmatic', but organizing workers of any color
in the South becomes an 'academic question'.
Add to this, the lack of universities in Houston and Dallas. So in
reality, the only strategy for radicals offered here by Lou to build the
Movement in Houston and Dallas, is to either ignore these areas
competely, or to work almost exclusively in the Black community.
Let me underline the importance of what is being discussed.
Houston, Dallas, and Central Texas (San Antonio-Austin) together, make
up the equivalent of a Los Angeles.
Miami, Tampa Bay, Orlando, Jacksonville together, make up the equivalent
of a Chicago.
We are talking about a South entirely different than what the Civil
Rights Movement confronted in the '60s, or what the Communist Party was
trying to change in the '30s. This is not a rural South any longer.
And it is not a Black/ White South any more, neither.
<Whatever we may think of Tony's remaining assertions, the two that
follow seem to be unsinkable. Are Southern workers the most exploited
ones in USA, or not? And if they are, why doesn't the US Left become
Southern-based? Of course, there may be an issue of numbers here. But
the basic idea that a Left which antagonizes (or is antagonized by) the
most exploited in a country, that Left is in serious trouble.>
Exactly, Nestor. That Left is in serious trouble. We have a
Left that is literally clueless about building a strategy for growth in
the South. It is 'antagonized' by the region, so it just ignores the
question entirely. And like Dr. Snedeker, just hopes that all those
'rednecks' go away somehow!
Let me explain just why the Left is antagonized by much of the Southern
region. And it has to do with the fact that workers are MORE
opressed here in many ways, than in New Hampshire and Maine. Many
Leftists would love to move to those states. But the thought of
moving to Dallas or the Orlando area would promote panic! And
Much of the South is now just a plainly disagreeable place to live.
There is a cultural poverty about the place that is hard for Leftists to
take. They run from it.
Add to this, that the New South is just that. It is new. And
much of what is new in the US is unpleasant plastic garbage. Strip
Mall without community. Contrast that to Maine and New Hampshire (or
even Boston and Philidelphia). Places that have not experienced such
an explosion of new faceless, cultureless growth.
The Southern big city is one of the worst places to be poor. There
is even less of a social net here, than elsewhere. And wages are
worse. Yet, it is reality the cultural poverty that sets the South
aside from the North.
And it is this cultural poverty that makes US Leftists try to avoid
facing the need to involve themselves in political struggle here.
Left political activists tend to try to escape places of cultural
poverty, not to stay and try to organize to make them better places.
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