FW: Mormon Racism/Genocide

Mike Friedman mikedf at amnh.org
Wed Apr 3 07:33:21 MST 2002

Yada, yada, yada. You said: "Class TRUMPS sex EVERY time." But one example
was enough to refute it. I could have used any example where the working
class has been at loggerheads with women, African Americans, gays, or any
other oppressed group at any level to make the same point, despite your
recourse to the fallback position of "strategy and tactics." Why do you
think Lenin assigned such priority to the "national question"? Based on
your main point ("class trumps...") and subsidiary remarks ("subsidiary
issue... more pressing"), I could say YOU are confused when it comes to
strategy and tactics. But that's not the point. The point is exploitation
of the working class and oppression based on race, gender, etc., are
interwoven in our concrete social formation, and it is absolutely incorrect
to privilege one, even strategically, over the others (Ellen Meiksins Wood
to the contrary, U.S. capitalism couldn't even survive without them).
Unless you buy the myth that racism, sexism, etc., are all but disappearing
from our society. Or believe that proletarian males don't beat their wives
or try to exclude women from the workplace. Or that the Palestinians are
wrong in fighting for national liberation and should be making the
socialist revolution, instead, and we are wrong in supporting them. The
strategic perspective of the working class must be to decisively challenge
and, ultimately defeat, all forms of oppression, in order to finally become
"a class for itself." Tactically, that means supporting members of
oppressed groups in their struggles against oppression, whatever forms
those struggles may take. Oh, we may assert the opinion that "only the
working class is capable of carrying the struggles against oppression to
their logical conclusion," or the roughly equivalent formulation that "only
a socialist revolution can finally eliminate oppression of all groups," but
that doesn't privilege class, strategically. It merely places the onus on
the working class to clean up its, and society's, act. And it all remains
to be seen, in any case. The Cuban, Soviet, Nicaraguan, etc., experiences
show that elimination of sexism, racism, national oppression, etc., remain
central strategic goals even after workers take power. While oppression
based on gender (or race, etc.) exists, perhaps as long as, or longer than,
classes, private property and the state persist, it is at best meaningless,
and at worst justificatory, to formulate a strategic conception that "class
trumps sex EVERY time." Can you "grok" that?


>Boy. How EMPHATIC. I'm wrong, Wrong, WRONG here -- just plain *wrong*.
>But nothing's more wrong here, actually, than Friedman's counter-example
>- -- which clearly demonstrates that he is refusing to acknowledge the
>'clear' and basic difference between _strategy_ and _tactics_; at least
>in this instance. And being so emphatic about it just compounds his
>error, above and beyond, IMO.
>I even QUALIFIED what I stated so starkly, i.e.: "Which doesn't mean
>that we should be setting up 'either-ors' here; but if such a choice
>need be made..." -- but Friedman has chosen to be totally oblivious to
>this important proviso, as he apparently has fixated on a concrete
>example wherein flexibility WAS indeed required, and APPEARS to refute
>my simple, stark claim.
>(And, again, my qualification is even right here, below, in the very
>section he quotes!)
>Mike Friedman fixating on the tree means that he's quickly lost sight of
>the forest here (so rare in politics...) He simply didn't get that the
>whole POINT of my being so emphatic was merely to make it crystal clear
>that decades of political correctness and theoretical obtuseness has
>obscured the fundamental *relative* importance of some vital and
>inter-connected issues. That, at times, a subsidiary issue becomes more
>pressing than a primary one in NO way alters this basic, *scientifically
>understood* (i.e. in a marxist sense), relationship.
>My only real 'mistake' here, AFAIC, was in not writing a complete
>article laying this all out like some legal, binding document, with all
>t's crossed and i's dotted; which, again, seems a common 'error' in
>political discussion.
>- -- grok.

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