FW: Mormon Racism/part 1

Sherry & Stan Goff sherrynstan at igc.org
Sun Apr 7 19:52:58 MDT 2002

> Race is not a social construction, but rather an ideological category of
> rising bourgeoisie.

Race <began> as an ideological construction, and has evolved into a real
social construction.

>The word "racism" is a bourgeois
> ideological conception used to obscure the social process in America.

Only when it is defined by the bourgeoisie as an individual, or moral,
pathology.  Defined as an institutional phenomenon, it has real content.

<Race theories are matters
> of convenience for imperialism.

No one has argued to the contrary.

>In North America there exist national-colonial questions.
> Is Puerto Rico a national question? Of course not. What is involved is a
> national-colonial question.

Which is precisely my implicit argument in my reference to LP's essay on
Black Nationalism, and my explicit argument on numerous occasions on this
list (though I have just rejoined the list after a hiatus).

> One may call
> this "racism" if that is ones inclination, but one is involved is military
> defeat and imperial domination.

And this domination is perpetuated through racist ideology that supports and
reproduces the institutions of that national oppression.  The struggle
against this colonization is developed in a historical process, through a
ripening process as it were, and has to include a period of direct struggle
against the denial (by white workers) of "racism" underwriting these
institutions, and as well the conscientization of Black workers that it is,
indeed, a national-colonial struggle.

<snip lengthy lecture on Marx's discoveries>

> >Strategy is the identification of overarching
> >objectives required to win, and it is composed of many and varied and
> >changing campaigns,
> On what basis does "overarching objectives" arise, that express the
> interest of classes and strata?

You've missed my point in the critique--which is that your definition and
conceptualization of "strategy" is flawed.  That critique was not directed
at the <basis> of one's objectives, but at the notion that a strategy--any
strategy--necessarily becomes focused on a "main blow."  In a game of chess,
which is based on maneuver, the objective is clear, but there are no main
blows.  The same applies in a game of positions--Go, for example.  It also
applies to combat... and to politics.  That's why I say the "line of march"
analogy points directly to some of the errors committed in the past.

>What is at stake
> is not gender specific language and flexibility in thinking but an
> articulation of the dialectic of the process in a manner all communist and
> advanced workers can understand as applied theory.

I did not say "flexibility in <thinking>", but tactical flexibility.

<snip still more elementary lectures on basic Marxism>

>The emerging
> qualitative separation between the people and the state structure is the
> revolutionary process containing stages and boundaries.

This is an analytical, not dialectical, figure of speech.  Punctuated
equilibrium would be more apt.

>The scandalous,
> widespread corruption, murder and brutality by the police is widening and
> accelerating this process.

The reality is that this brutality is now visited on mostly oppressed
nationalities, and most white Americans still very much admire and respect
the police.

>This is the process wherein class emerges as a recognizable
> societal force. The forward moving section of the class is called the
> vanguard of the proletariat and requires a line of march to consolidate
> activity and enhance its fighting capacity.

That consolidation and enhancement will be stifled by a "line of march",
especially if it is embarked upon prematurely.  Better to build organization
for its characteristics (speaking now about strategy), those characteristics
being the ability to observe events effectively, orient accurately (hence
the need for sound theory rooted in concrete understanding), decide quickly,
and act decisively.  The "line of march" school of strategy is a dangerous
anachronism, based on a poor understanding of strategy, that inhibits
tactical agility.

>Limited, isolated, reform struggles call for one kind of
> propaganda and social motion that reflects revolutionary change call for
> another.

The objectives of these kinds of struggle are different, but what makes for
effective strategy is not.  The principles that govern effective strategy
are apolitical, so to speak.  Think of strategy as a tool, like a tractor or
a firearm.  There are lots of different ways to use them, but <what> makes
them work remains the same.  If a tractor on a collective farm has a broken
distributor cap, or a tractor working in the service of
Archer-Daniels-Midland has a broken distributor cap, even though they are
being put to different uses, the "governing principle" is that the
distributor cap is broken.

I want to respond more completely, and I will, but I have to retire.

I don't know who I am debating here, so let me introduce myself.  I'm Stan.
I am 50 years old.  I have spent virtually my whole life living in the
American South, my family hailing from Arkansas, and now I live in North
Carolina.  I am working on a construction job tomorrow morning, and that's
why I have to go to bed.  My family is multi-racial, as they say, my
children very "Afro-centric", as they say, and I spent 24 years in the
military, even teaching Military Science once at West Point.  I've spent a
fair amount of time in other countries, especially under-developed ones, and
I learned Spanish as well as a spot of Haitian Creole.  I count myself a
Leninist, and I work with both revolutionary and reformist organizations,
the latter depending on the circumstances and the issue.  I am also a very
strong supporter of Black Workers for Justice, and they are very clear on
the national-colonial struggle.  My military career was a very checkered
thing, heavy on special operations, and very few people have accused me of
being sensitive. (-:



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