Conclusion: class trumps everything

Tue Apr 9 02:43:54 MDT 2002

Conclusion: Class Trumps Everything Else.
National-Colonial Question Concluded

Trading companies - commercial enterprises, colonized our country. There were
never any feudal economic relations in the U.S. There were however, economic
formations that were feudal-like. The indentured servitude system and slavery
were hybrid in this regard. Hybrid because the slaves were slaves but the
masters were capitalist. My particular formulation for this is "proletarians
in chains" because they engaged the process of the production of capitalist
surplus value. This relationship, fundamental to our history, distorted
everything America proclaimed it stood for.

The Northern states manufacturing the necessities for the slave system, grew
as an appendage to the South. As the US grew, the Northern states entered
into an economic revolution, from manufacturing to industry. The emergence of
a new qualitative feature in the production process was the substance
providing for the leap - transition, to industrial development, and this did
not happen in the South at the time. In Europe the shift to industry caused
great dislocation and tremendous struggle between the towns (the bourgeoisie)
and the country-side (feudalist). A major part of this dislocation was caused
by the overflow of serfs into the towns. In America, such dislocation and
social upheaval was avoided owing to the absence of feudal economic relations
and a policy of importing the industrial workers from Europe. The native-born
Americans (not to be confused with the Native Bands) were family farmers and
stayed as such for another century. The economic and social revolution in the
North proceeded relatively smoothly without the kind of social upheaval that
rocked Europe to its foundation. This "peaceful" transition from
pre-industrial to industrial formation was without historical parallel.

The development of giant industrial enterprise and a new concentration of
money did call into question the political dictatorship of the agricultural
South. Industry, more productive than manufacture, caused the North to break
its economic dependency upon and come onto conflict - political
contradiction, with the South.

The South had a stranglehold on political power in the country and became
known as the "slave power" because of the provision that slaves counted as
3/5 of a person for appropriating representation in the Congress. The
Southern dominated Senate, Supreme Court and Presidency refused to pass
harbor, railroad, and canal and tariff appropriations necessary to the growth
of industry in the North, but not in the interest of the slave owning
agricultural South. The new productive forces in the North came into conflict
with the productive relations of slavery in the South.

Such historic contradictions of economics cannot be fought out in the
economic base of society. They are fought out in the social superstructure as
ideological and political struggles. The South began war preparations to
reorganize the entire country and eventually the entire hemisphere on the
basis of slavery. The North could not defeat the South as long as the South
had the vast manpower reserve of the slaves, which in theory would allow
every Southern Anglo American to become a front line soldier. Many in the
North were unwilling to fight for the Union with slavery and advocating
letting the South secede. For the North to win the war, slavery had to be

It was not in the interest of the industrial-financial oligarchy of the North
to abolish slavery because their industrial enterprise was based on cotton.
Their aim was to abolish the political supremacy of the slave power, yet the
war could not be won without abolition of slavery. From the struggle to
preserve the Union arose the cause of ending human slavery.

The abolition of slavery in the South ended up being a social revolution
without a preceding or corresponding economic revolution in the South. That
is, the instruments of production of the agricultural South did not advance;
but the North imposed a revolution in social relations upon the South with
the freeing of the slaves and the destruction of the slave power as
slaveholding capitalist. How would cotton be picked or rather on what basis
would the agricultural South be organized as a reserve of the North was the
question of the day for the victorious Yankee imperialist? This contradiction
shaped American politics and society for the next stage of history.

A system of production cannot change without the addition of new instruments
of production and/or an enhanced energy source that revolutionize the
productivity of human labor. The increasing world demand for cotton and
tobacco coupled with the absence of an economic revolution in agriculture was
the conditions for the political alliance of the planters with the Northern
industrialist and Wall Street finance capital. This alliance made a return to
a new form of slavery a historic consequence in the old slave holding South.

The overthrow of Reconstruction and the legalization of segregation and
discrimination against the blacks guaranteed that the whites could never
escape the slavery and poverty of sharecropping. The violence of the
counterattack by the planters against the newly freed slaves was the
condition for condemning more whites than blacks to the sharecropping system.
We should be very clear on this matter. By concentrating the line of march
against the blacks, the planters made it appear that the majority of poor
whites were out of the line of fire. Centuries of white supremacy led most of
the poor whites to believing that uniting on the basis of color would give
them privileges over their blacks counterparts in the South and allow escape
from fascist terror. History has proven them wrong.

The disfranchisement of the African American in the political sphere was then
applied to whites and enforced with violence. The tool and energy source, the
sharecropping system of slavery and the poverty of the South changed very
little from 1870 - 1940. The instrument of changed in 1940 was the invention
of the cotton picker.

Wall Street (Yankee) industrial and financial capital - finance capital,
colonized the old slaveholding South and cemented the alliance with the
planters as the basis of its emergence as a world force. The ideology of
white supremacy and then white chauvinism has obscured this process to this
very day.  What we are dealing with is an authentic national-colonial
question and not a question of the theories of race that justified this
colonial relationship. To this very day the South's relationship to the North
is no different from that of Ireland to England.

The above words taken to virtually any Anglo-American worker in the South
will cause a breach in his/her thinking. Class does in fact trump everything
else when one approach matters as a Marxist and class-conscious worker. In as
much as Marxism is an intellectual movement, on this level of engagement
concepts of race are shallow.

>From time to time comrades have raised the question of the fascist character
of the state power behind the Cotton Curtain only to be told that there was a
contradiction in someone else conception of fascism and the old slave holding
South. "No comrade, what you speak of is old racial antagonism," has been the
line of the petty bourgeois radicals. The question of Southern development
rooted in the economics of slavery and history has been the basis for
communist demanding to treat this area as an authentic national-colonial
question, only to be given thousands of reasons why "race" is paramount and
the Marxist conception was not applicable.

The national-colonial question has as its focus the political, social and
economic status of non-sovereign peoples at various stages of "national"
development.  The zenith of absurdity is reached in examining the various
Native Bands of people, who are in fact "advanced national groups of
non-sovereign peoples," more than less isolated within the confines of the
multi-national state structure of our country. The Native Bands were not
massacred because of their skin color but for their land. The ideological
justification for this genocide must never be confused with the process of
the primitive accumulation of capital on this land mass.

The African American National Colonial Question is seems complex owing to a
lack of understanding of Marxism and the National-Colonial Question, the
standpoint of Marx on economic development, dialectics and the concept of
leaps and transition in the qualitative properties of the infrastructure.
There is of course the unpleasant issue of the Negro People once being the
personal property of Anglo-Americans that engenders profound emotions
throughout the population.

Here is an example of the folly of "race" substituting for the
national-colonial question. Are the Anglo-American people in the old centers
of the slave power a non-sovereign people as the result of the defeat of the
slave power and enslavement of this area by Yankee imperialism? Does the
"whiteness" of their skin have anything to do with this question? Ask the
comrades from Ireland.

A strategic line of march is important for any social groups in society
engaging the social process as a more than less compact mass with a purpose.
This includes the local bingo club. How are we to organize our bingo
meetings? Should we recruit people on the basis of their color and militant
stance against racial discrimination, feeling about sexual preference or just
bingo? Or should we just state that our bingo is opened to all, with a desire
to play bingo?  Should we proceed along a line of march that says "bingo for

The Marxist conception of the "middle" is of prime importance for the decades
of struggle that lay ahead. The "middle" in its "nationality" composition is
primarily - by no means exclusively, Anglo-American workers who in a
generational sense face an unprecedented lowering standard of living. These
workers are more susceptible to the dangerous ideology of white chauvinism.
This is because of the specific role of white supremacy in the history of our
country, and of all the various forms of national chauvinism, has been the
most brutal and aggressive form. This conception is not a matter of saying
different words that essentially mean the same thing "he says 'race' and the
other says "white chauvinism." The words embody theoretical constructs.

White chauvinism is a historically evolved form of social intercourse - not
reducible to thinking, that the social bribery took to the Anglo-American
people that made it profitable and desirable to slaughter the non-sovereign
peoples, take their land, burn their homes and churches to ensure their
isolation and engage in murderous campaigns of violence to entrap the
non-sovereign peoples at the absolute bottom of the social ladder and
industrial infrastructure as the basis for ones elevated standard of living.
The murderous campaigns against the black in our history were about property
and money relations. The defeat of Reconstruction was not race hate, but
defeating the revolutionary process using the ideology of color as a
rationale. "Race hatred" hides class phenomenon.  The need to defeat
Reconstruction grew out of an alignment of economic relations.

An old disgusting saying in the American lexicon is "the only good Indian is
a dead Indian." To attribute this saying to "racial feeling" is wrong. The
above saying grew from the fact that immigrants were paid $10 -$12 to murder
and scalp the Native peoples in an economy where one-dollar was a very decent
wage. The reason was to take their land. To go further and say this "racism
against Indians" is the "structural relationship of racism" is hardly
credible. The ideological rationale is never the structural relationship.
There is apparently a misunderstanding of the Marxist conception of the
superstructure and ideological forms of superstructure relationships.

The mechanization of agriculture created social upheaval by collapsing the
sharecropping system as the fundamental form of organization of agriculture
in the old centers of the slave power. The deepening of the Second
Imperialist World War, the rise of the Roosevelt Coalition and the need of
finance capital to prevent German fascism from constructing a closed colonial
market on Europe increased the need for labor in the industrial sector and
allow for reform of the capitalist social structures. War torn Europe made
the historic immigration pattern from Europe impossible.

The rise and growth of the Civil Rights Movement is inseparable from the
series of legislation giving protection to the workforce in the form of
legalizing industrial unionism, social programs and protection of the aged.
This occurred because there was quantitative expansion left in the industrial
infrastructure and the violent form of white supremacist prevented such
expansion and blocked the integration of the African American worker into the
industrial infrastructure.

The historic battle of the Negro masses against violence and terror
intersected somewhat with the needs of capital. There was not an alliance as
such between the "Black Marxist" and the "Black bourgeoisie." In America
there has always been a more or less clearly distinct bourgeois sector of
Marxism and "legal Marxist" by the score, with roots in the imperial peoples
and the exploiting classes. There has always been a distinct proletarian
sector of Marxism whose Marxism is very "class oriented" or as it is called
"dogmatic and didactic." Even when our organizational leaders have been
mistaken and the wrong policy was voted for in our representative
organizations, many of us preserved what is an obvious proletarian expression
of Marxism, undiluted by our learned comrades. Any comrade that reads our
presentations spontaneously assimilate the applied dialectic. Such is
generation inheritance and the positive result of not rejecting ones history.

The Freedom movement was renamed the Civil Rights Movement by the
imperialist. "The Negro National Anthem" was renamed "Lift Every Voice And
Sing," with the colonial status of the South being censored from the
ideological sphere. The movement was led down a path called desegregation and
the militant leaders and communist who understood the trap were struck down
one after another. In violation of the constitution of the party, the CPUSA
glorious tradition was liquidated from the conscious of the working class
when the party organization in the South were liquidated - dissolved in 1949.
What may have appeared as an alliance of Marxist with the bourgeoisie - based
on colonial relations and intersection created as part of the world colonial
revolt, by the petty bourgeois intellectual was called "getting ones pocket
picked and hit in the head by thugs" by the proletarians. The proletarian
communist who maintained the historical unbroken tradition of Marx, Lenin and
Stalin understood the political consequences of the meeting with Roosevelt:
"there goes the communist neighborhood." This is our history comrades.
Further, it was not possible for an indigenousness Communist Party to evolve
under the fascist conditions behind the Cotton Curtain. What will be your
attitude if a somewhat independent organization of proletarian
revolutionaries emerge in the South comrade Yankee?

The point is that the industrial infrastructure could not be expanded on the
basis of the historic form of social bribery of the working class, which is
white chauvinism.

Today we are undergoing a qualitative leap in the mode of production as the
result of the injection into the production process of a new system of
production in the form of electronic production. The historical era of white
supremacy and then white chauvinism as the primary form of social bribery of
the Anglo-American peoples is over - spent. The speculative capitalist now
dominating the world total social capital have no intersecting interest with
any section of the working class, no matter what its color. This does not mea
n that the past ideology disappears - poof!

White chauvinism was buttressed by material bribery in the form of homes,
food, automobiles, superior schools, access to legal help, privileges in the
court system, taking cuts in line in front of the non-sovereign peoples,
better jobs, better pay, relative freedom from police violence, etc. It was
profitable for a section of the working class to support white chauvinism and
consciously block with the imperialist in the rape and exploitation of the
non-sovereign peoples. This period of history is over. A new boundary has
been crossed driven by changes in the mode of production. Theories of race
are useless. Womanist ideology is classless. Homosexual ideology is a crude
joke. Black ideology or just plain old "blackism" - "black to the future" is
cute but utterly worthless and reactionary. Black is beautiful but so is
yellow, brown, red and white. What's up with that?

What is needed is a broad class program to defeat a certain drift to old
forms of ideology as ever-greater layers of previously immune Anglo-American
workers are driven into poverty. This fight cannot be waged and won on the
basis of "racial theory" and fighting white chauvinism because it makes no
sense to increasingly destitute workers. What make sense are class interests
and a clear explanation of what the heck is happening.

To understand the process requires applied dialectics and ending all
nonsensical talk about "white people" and "black people" and "white people
supporting the police." Actually I support the police. I do not support
police violence, brutality and the arbitrary exercise of authority by state
agencies that supposed to serve the people. We must learn to grasp the
questions properly and formulate them in a manner that wins over our class.
Any social question not approached from the standpoint of class is flawed and
misunderstands the nature of the emerging class struggle.

One must grasp the inevitable polarization of society and the revolutionary
process that is engendered.  A section of the Anglo-American workers are
slowly going and will go through the same process of turning against the
police as in Argentina. This is a historical process not dependent on
ideology. "White people supporting the police" is the wrong formulation, as
if "black people do not support the police." What about classes?

Comrade there are class in society and the residential areas of the lower
sections of the proletariat are increasingly militarized no matter what
color. Race blinds the radicals to this process. The process of
militarization of living quarters is uneven owing to the past history of
material bribery of the working class and its stratification. The dialectic
of the leap has to be understood. The leap can span decades or years.

This does not mean everyone should abandon the old forms of organizations but
work with an understanding of their inherent limitation, why they are not
class organizations and the transitions our class faces because of changes in
the instruments of production. It also means understanding why communist
combine together on the basis of a simple class program and not the demands
of the sector movements.

In fact it is many of the various leaders in the sector movements who must be
won to the cause of communism based on a class program and proletarian
Marxism. This process of "winning over" has been called in the treasure house
of Marxism, winning the vanguard of the proletariat to the cause of
communism. Some of the leaders in the identity movements fit this category.

We are only in the elementary stages of development of the social disruption
and the new movement. But it is at this stage that the struggle to develop
political perspective is both possible and urgent. The exploiting class is
beginning its campaigning and political maneuvering to adjust institutions,
ideologies and forms of control to the new situation - and to create new ones
where necessary. Now is the time for revolutionaries to concentrate on the
ideological and political forms in which the changes in the economy will be
fought out. This is the battleground on which revolutionaries fight.

Melvin P.

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