Forwarded from Anthony (reply to Tom)

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Mon Feb 10 06:41:21 MST 2003

Reply to Tom O'Lincoln on labor aristocracy ( To:
marxism at Subject: Re: Labor Aristocracy (fwd from
Anthony) From: "Tom O'Lincoln" <suarsos at> Date: Mon, 10
Feb 2003 09:29:41 +1100 Reply-To: marxism at Sender:
owner-marxism at

Tom clearly didn't like my post, and clearly doesn't understand 'what
use such a theory' has. Let me try to explain, maybe Tom will like it
better, maybe not.

I grew up in the San Francisco Bay area in the 1960's. I became a
revolutionary under the influence of the Black Panther Party, which was
based in Oakland, CA. Oakland is a city of about 400,000 people the
majority of whom are black. It is right across the bay from San
Francisco, right next to Berkeley - a 60's center of the anti-war
movement and student left, and just about a 45 minute drive from Palo
Alto the epicenter of silicon valley.

Subsequently I became a Trotskyist of sorts in the Healyite group, the
Workers League - this was just before that group completely went off the
cliff (not Tony).

During those years I militated in the student movement, and in the black
community - even though I was a long haired white boy.

I discovered a very interesting, and difficult to explain political

The black youth hated the military and the war in Viet Nam. They were
going there and dying, being wounded, and turned into drug addicts. At
home there were no jobs for them. Almost all of them that I knew, and
that was a pretty big number, thought of themselves as revolutionaries -
independently of whether or not they were studying at a university, had
a job, were unemployed, were car thiefs, drug dealers, drug addicts or

Their parents on the other hand, were mostly militant union members.
They worked in automobile factories, farm machinery factories, arms
factories, and on the docks.

Almost all of them supported the war in Vietnam - even the ones who
subscribed to our newspaper, and gave money to all of the other
ostensibly revolutionary groups.

What use such a theory as mine has, is that it explains this problem.
And a lot of related problems. Colin Powell the Secretary of State of
the USA is a black man. West Point and all of the military academies in
the United States defend affirmative action - publicly rebuking Bush on
the issue. My silly theory explains it Tommy.

Oh yeah. most union members are in the labor aristocracy. When workers
win concessions through their struggle they become more conservative.
That's dialectics kiddo. Start thinking, stop lagging.

Sorry for being dismissive, but I didn't like your tone. Pay attention
and think.

All the best, Anthony


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