Colonial/Women Question part 3

Sun Apr 7 22:38:53 MDT 2002

Part 3

The question of the ending of the historical epoch of the bourgeois national
democratic movement is not reduce-able to simply the strength of the working
class as a measurement or the quantitative growth of the industrial
infrastructure, but the political consequence of the October Revolution. The
October Revolution realigned politics on earth.

Sadly enough, a large section of the Marxist movement have not understood the
reality of life behind that rather heavy Cotton Curtain, and remain trapped
in concepts of race that only reveal black and white and occasionally a
Mexican or Native Band member here and there. Not imperial exploitation and
fascist violence historically justified by the bourgeoisie by concepts of
race but "the material relations of racial oppression and racial antagonism."
 It is nothing less than a miracle that the standpoint of Marx took root in
America at all.

Prior to the October Revolution Booker T. Washington emerged as an equivalent
to what would later be called the comprador bourgeois maturing rapidly, while
Dr. Dubois emerged as a leader of what has been called the national
bourgeoisie rooted in the specifics of US development under the domination of
southern reaction, funded and guarded by finance capital. This development is
not rooted in "racial development," which is the political content of an
ideology of race theory and the rejection of the national-colonial question.
If one takes off the color blinders and examines the defeat of Reconstruction
and the class configurations of the South, it is remarkably similar in every
feature of that of Russian during the period leading to the October
Revolution. A small proletariat surrounded by a sea of landless farm laborers
demanding land, bread and peace.

For the first time in our collective history the Marxist in mass can
penetrate the thick ideology of the Cotton Curtain, take the high ground,
cast off the ideology of color and race and hammered out a general line based
on class and the polarization of society, as it is being torn from its
foundation in the old social order.

The alleged "strategic alliances (communist) with members of the Black
bourgeoisie, while continuing to struggle with that same stratum when they
are acting as colonial surrogates" is of course the radical ideologist
conception of the class struggle. The dynamics of imperial colonization, the
overthrow of a legal bourgeois democratic government and the imposition of
fascist state rule on the basis of the social stratification as it existed in
the old slaveholding south is tossed out the window in favor of the theory of

Further, intersection of interest is an aspect of any social struggle but
must be understood from the standpoint of a strategic line of march based on
class. What strategic alliance did the "Black Marxist" make with the "Black
Bourgeoisie?" It is true that a Dr. Martin King Jr. could only emerge from
the area of the old slaveholding South and it is also true that the Civil
Rights Movement was never an "all black movement." Clearly, many of the
Anglo-American workers in the south supported or did not oppose the movement
as best as possible under conditions of terror behind the Cotton Curtain.

There most certainly was an intersection of interest between capital and the
workers very similar to the intersection of interest that legalized the
industrial union movement. The mechanization of agriculture drove millions
from the land and the era of World imperial War 2 created an urgent need for
labor in the manufacturing centers of the North and manpower for war. Without
question millions who saw a chance for escape from the terror behind the
Cotton Curtain "hightailed it" to the North and entered the growing urban
slums as national minorities workers under the boot of the police force.

This was the enviroment when the modern Civil Rights Movement broke out into
a mass movement in Montgomery Alabama. The movement had to take place on the
basis of the historic "Negro Church" - a bastion of reaction, under intense
pressure by the masses. The reason is that the Church was the only social
institution allowed under slavery and after the defeat of Reconstruction the
only social institution somewhat safe to gather in, due to the fascist
character of the state power. I hardly call that a strategic alliance with
the "middle" or the "black bourgeoisie."

Segregation did in fact compell classes amongst the African American people
to occupy the same neighborhods.

Nevertheless, the leadership of the middle was collapsed under the iron blows
of the steel workers in Birmingham Alabama in the 1963 revolt and in the
Watts Rebellion of 1965 the misleader was literally shot from the podium.
Strange alliance.  What appeared as an alliance was in fact the bourgeoisie
funding the "middle" through support for social programs. During the 1960s
almost the entire "left" called these "leaders" poverty pimps.

Those clinging to the bankrupt concept of race in the main do not profess the
standpoint of Marx. Many communist, after examining the national-colonial
question on its own merit discard race as a theoretical concept. Let me
guess, we have a white race, a yellow race, a brown race, a red race or is it
Negroid and Mongoloid? What actually exist is skin color and nationality or
ethnicity if such a thing has materiality.

Strata and individuals "act(ing) as surrogates" lacks depth and when combined
with concepts of race and the logic of identity makes a Marxist understanding
impossible. As if Washington was not an intimate part of that strata of
"historically evolved southern based capital" totally dependent upon Wall
Street and the economic and politics of segregation after the defeat of the
slave oligarchy. He was a fascist.

"To struggle with that same stratum when they are acting as colonial
surrogates" - say for instance the national bourgeoisie, is nothing short of
an insult and a slap in the face of the workers who faced repeated military
defeat, continued betrayal by the ideologist, formulation of a line of march
outside class and absolute repudiation of the struggle against all forms of
capital at every state in the development and evolution of the industrial
infrastructure, based on our specific curve of development. America is not

Our bourgeois national democratic revolution was back in 1776, not 1949 or
rather during the era of colonial revolt. There is no possibility of
militarily defeating the colonization of this land mass outside the overthrow
of all capital.

We are in a specific circumstance at the apex of imperial power. We are not
Korea or Vietnam. The slightest deviation from a line of march based on class
and a clear conception of the national-colonial question spells defeat and
shatters the unity of the forward moving section of the working class - its

By overlooking class factors the old CPUSA could once claim - with a certain
legitimacy, to be the Party of the Negro people. Actually, it is my
contention that the CPUSA during the period after the October Revolution up
until 1949, represented this national bourgeoisie through such leaders as Dr.
James Jackson, PhD., professor and son of a leading family of South Carolina,
Ben Davis, son of a leading family in Atlanta Georgia - home of a historic
sector of free blacks during slavery and old financial center that to this
day is referred to as the mulatto aristocracy for those familiar with
American history, and even brilliant men like Langston Hughes. Even such
outstanding non-party leaders like Paul Robeson could not but represent and
express the radical Negro bourgeoisie, drawn into the political orbit of
October. Robeson was of course an outstanding human being and made monumental
contributions but we are men and women of class perspective and fight for the
independence of the working class under difficult conditions. Robeson was not
theoretically weak but rather historically limited to the class he

After the October Revolution and its confirmation a fight along a new
configuration took place. Where ever there existed sufficiently class
conscious forces, the engagement in the areas of imperial colonization
proceeded from the standpoint of the fight against all forms of capital - for
the communist, during the various stages of development of the quantitative
and qualitative evolution of the social process.  Were there mistakes and
mishaps? Of course, but none of them mistakes can be divorced from the
relative strength and weakness of the working class in the colonial areas
under contest, the class consciousness and composition of its leading
detachment, the configuration of the vanguard of the proletariat and the
military strength of the anti-imperial army.

There is that unpleasant question concerning the communist in the imperial
countries, who could put an immediate end to the bloodshed by organizing
themselves into an advanced detachment, winning over the vanguard of their
proletariat, overthrowing the power of imperial capital at its source instead
of forever condemning those who shed blood because they "deviated."

The national-colonial question has entered another period of history, the
third stage.  Formulations based on and using race are rather reactionary. An
epoch of social revolution has opened, which is slowly becoming rather
obvious to millions of people worldwide. In our country the national-colonial
question is morphing - has sublated, in front of anyone eyes that bother to
look and is indissolubly fused with the question of the social revolution of
the proletariat as the shape of the proletarian revolution.

It is no different in respect to the Women Question. "Dare I say it--across
all classes" is a formulation that will ensure the political destruction of
any groups attempting to advance along this path (line of march).
Intersection of interest cannot be confused with a line of march. What in
fact will happen if one applies your formulation is an advance along the path
of disintegration and utter collapse under the sharp blows of the
bourgeoisie. Pardon me but if every proletariat in America smitten their
wives two times a day forever, the line of march will not change because a
line of march is derived from a class configuration, the specific boundary of
capital that sets the environment and the urgent need for the unity of the
forward moving section of the working class based on a class program and not
the identity of the members of the class.

The working class movement in our country cannot be united - its forward
moving section, on the basis of "not fighting women," "sensitivity to these
phenomenon" - "heterosexism or sexism," supporting the oppressed people, the
handicap, the senior citizens, small children, not so small children, the gay
liberation movement - what ever that means and however one defines it, or
anything else except a class program of economic survival.  Economic survival
cannot be fought out in the economy as such but in the realm of politics. You
are free to advance or rather attempt advance along any line you choose, but
the unspoken fear is how to organize the Anglo-American working class as a
class, how to adjust the ideological battle to accommodate the ideological
make-up of the southern workforce and this is impossible to do based on
sector movement logic and the nice clean ideas of ethics in ones head.

You state "Heterosexism is an anti-gay ideology." The issue of violence and
discrimination in society is a question of justice for all. What part of
"all" is not understood.  By the way what on earth is gay (homosexual)
ideology other than advocacy for same sex partners, which of course is none
of my business and neither that of the state -  as far as ones sexual partner
is concerned.  A huge section of our class abhors homosexuality and that is
"all right." Violence and discrimination is another matter all together.  A
section of the working class is chauvinistic and that is "all right."  A
section of the working class embraces the ideology of white chauvinism and
that is "all right."  Violence and discrimination is another matter all
together. A section of the working class embraces the ideology of male
supremacy and that is all right. Violence and discrimination is another
matter all together and a question of justice for all. Class ideology is the
question of the day and not female or women ideology or gay ideology of Negro
ideology or Mexican ideology or senior citizens ideology or any other

The reason the question is formulated as such is to win the decisive sector
of the proletariat to the cause of a society of associated producers, wherein
the fundamental needs in life are no longer distributed based on ones labor
contribution - not socialism but communism. Simply because such communism
does not look like the picture in ones head is not important; nor is the
picture in ones head about the character of our working class important or
their particular ethics. The ethics of violence within the class cannot be
triumphed over based on identity but justice.  If you believe to the contrary
that is your right, but you are in for a very rude awakening.

>And, by the way, reproductive freedom is about as
>central as it gets in terms of the economic emancipation of women.  That
>would include working class women, and that it benefits bourgeois women does
>not make it any less progressive.

I of course find this to be one of the most disheartening statements to have
read in some times, next to your insistence of race. What you put forward is
not just the central politics of the identity movement, but the specific
politics of the imperialist bourgeoisie on the women question.

The economic emancipation of women cannot be any different in its centrality
("as central as it gets") than that of any worker in any country on earth.
What is central - ("as central as it gets") "in terms of the economic
emancipation of women" is the emancipation of labor from its status as a
commodity. The idea that the women of the bourgeoisie have identity of
interest with the proletariat is unacceptable. The women of the bourgeoisie
may support the workers by all means but reproduction rights have very much
to do with having money; the time one must labor daily and standard of
living. The idea that their is no class standpoint to the women question is
unacceptable to communist. Are you suggesting that the women of the
bourgeoisie lack "reproduction rights" as a class? As a class their money
gets them what they want. As individuals they make or may not have a husband
or partner who agrees with them. What on earth has this to do with the
working class?

Class does in fact trump everything else. This does not mean advocacy for
proletarian men to beat up women, or necessarily one is against reproduction
rights. I simply don't care what one bourgeoisie does with their body in this
respect, but have profound outrage against the bombing of abortion clinics by
fanatics. Now a section of these fanatics' supporters are going to be won
over to communism on the basis of a class program. Identity movement logic
and a litmus test based on sector ideology - no matter how noble and pure, is
the death of the working class movement because nobility is forged on the
basis of class program. Not the other way around.

Melvin P.
next: conclusion

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