Colonial plunder and the rise of capitalism.3rd excerpt

Thu Jul 3 13:57:41 MDT 2003

What is Marx meaning? What is the social consequence of  "the slavery of
Negroes preclud(ing) free wage laborers?"  What occurred was a development of a
people more than less unique in world history. Not the amalgamation of peoples
under the impact of the transition from feudalism to capitalism as national
formation or the process described by Lenin and comrade Stalin, but rather a
process that can be understood on the basis of the theory and method approach of
these great proletarian thinkers and leaders. It must be remembered that there
were no feudal social and economic relations in America but only feudal like
social institutions in the South.

As a general rule of thump economic classes emerge within various distinct
peoples under the impact of changes in the means of production. This is not true
of the African American people. "(T) he slavery of Negroes preclud(ing) free
wage laborers," has two distinct meanings that are absolutely consistent with
Marx. To labor under a capitalist mode of production that exist "only in a
formal sense" means to be a proletariat but only in the formal sense. Stated
another way the slaves of the South became proletarians in chains. Men and women
facing the social power of capital as an alien force, possessing nothing other
than their labor power, but not owning their power to labor. Proletarian in
chains actually describe this peculiar phenomenon, which to this very day is
rejected by 99% of the Marxist in America.

To be cast as proletarians in chains is to say that the African American
people were formed first as a class - a class of slaves, and then as a people and
not the other way around as it happened in Europe and through most of the
world. The African American people did not complete their development as a people
until the post Second imperialist World War era.

The African American people are not a nation but a people. This must be
repeated because we are dealing with a specific peculiar development. The African
American people are not a nation and have never been a nation. The African
American people are not an ethnic group but a people. The African American people
are not a racial group but a people. The African American people were formed
first as a class then a people.

Strict adherence and taking the position of Marx can solve the riddle of the
African American question, which was definitely stated 30 years ago in Nelson
Perry's Negro National Colonial Question.

"But as soon as people, whose production still moves within the lower form of
slave labor, corvee labor, etc. art drawn into the whirlpool of an
international market dominated by the capitalist mode of production, the sale of their
products for export becoming the principle interest, the civilized horrors of
overwork are grafted on the barbaric horrors of slaver, serfdom, etc. Hence the
Negro labor in the Southern states of the American Union preserved something
of a patriarchal character, so long as production was chiefly directed to
immediate consumption. But in proportion as the export of cotton become of vital
interest to these states, the over working of the Negro and sometimes the using
up of his life in seven years labor becomes a factor in a calculated and
calculating system."  (Karl Marx Capital Volume 1)

The African American people are not a nation.

The theoretical problem involves understanding political economy and
overcoming racial concepts, which exist in the ideological sphere, then unraveling
material categories.  As this question is explored it becomes fairly obvious we
are dealing with imperial bribery and a profound fetish, wherein the historical
social intercourse between the peoples and classes of the imperial centers of
capital and their material relationship with the colonial masses and class
structures, appear as a category called race. Racial theory arises from within
the intellectual citadels of bourgeois property to describe the color factor in

None other than Vladimir Lenin torn the bourgeois mask from the face of
history and disclosed for all to see the naked logic of history as not simply
oppressed and exploited classes, but oppressor and exploited peoples.

The presentation of the African American question as an authentic national
colonial question dates back to 1928 and as the "historical position" of the
CPUSA was forced on them by the prestige of Lenin and the Third International. It
is necessary to examine a passage from the 1930 document of the Comintern on
the Negro Question to unravel the fetish. The document states:

"Is the Southern region, thickly populated by Negroes to be looked upon as a
colony, or as an "integral part of the national economy of the United States,"
where presumably a revolutionary situation cannot arise independent of the
general revolutionary development in the United States?

"In the interest of the utmost clarity of ideas on this question, the Negro
question in the United States must be viewed from the standpoint of its
peculiarity, namely as the question of an oppressed nation, which is in a peculiar
and extraordinary distressing situation of national oppression not only in view
of the prominent racial distinction (marked difference in the color of skin,
etc.) but above all, because of considerable social antagonism (remnants of
slavery). This introduces in the American Negro Question an important, peculiar
trait, which is absent from the national question of other oppressed people.
Furthermore, it is necessary to face clearly the inevitable distinction between
the position of the Negro in the South and in the North, owing to the fact
that at least three-fourths of the entire Negro population in the United States
(12,000,000) live in the compact masses in the South, most of them being
peasants and agricultural laborers in a state of semi-serfdom, settled in the "Black
Belt" and constituting the majority of the population, whereas the Negroes in
the northern states are for the most part industrial workers of the lowest
categories who have recently come to the various industrial centers fro the
South (having often fled from them)."

The above is taken from the last sentence of the first paragraph of the
Comintern document and the immediately following second paragraph.

A misunderstanding exists concerning what is meant by the words
national-colonial question, which as such did not emerge as such for all to see, until
during and after the first Imperialist War.

Communist speak of the Leninist conception of the national colonial question
because Lenin's name is associated with the evolution of a different
presentation of the question in opposition to the leaders of the Second International.
Joseph V. Stain's "Marxism and the National Question" was read and edited by
Lenin and he considered it a great Marxist presentation. It is in fact and
remains the definitive Marxist work on the national question and his subsequent
writings on the national-colonial question remain the standard bearing in the
treasure house of Marxism to this very day.

Marx is quoted extensively to present the economic analysis of why slavery in
the South was a unique system of capitalist production. Any group of human
beings drawn into the vortex of capitalist production will evolve within a
specific framework referred to as national development.  Development as fusion of
various distinct peoples is markedly different under the estates within feudal
social and economic relations and what took place in the American South.

The Negro People evolved first as a class of slaves - proletarians in chains
and began development as a distinct people - not simply African and most
certainly not a tribe, prior to the emergence of the national formation in the
South and its attempt to win political authority and complete its political and
economic development.

The Civil War settled this issue in favor of the Yankee Imperialism and the
national formation in the American North, which grew as an appendage to the
slave system and is properly referred to as the Anglo-American nation by Marxist.
The South in the form of the defeated slave oligarchy was colonized by
Northern capital which emerged as Northern financial-industrial imperialism - Wall
Street imperialism, as the by product of the Civil War.

The documents of the Comintern - shaped by the gigantic hand of Lenin and
Stalin on the national colonial question can be understood once we are free of
race theory. The Comintern document asks:

"Is the Southern region . . . to be looked upon as a colony?"

The answer to this question unfolds the Negro Question. The Comintern
document accurately grasps the distinction and economic logic that drives national
formation. The question posed is not if the Negro people are to be looked upon
as a colony, but the historic area of the slave oligarchy. In the historic area
of the slave oligarchy it is "thickly populated by Negroes." To this very day
this area remains a colony of Wall Street imperialism. The colonial status of
this area has noting to do with any theory of race. What is involved is the
military defeat of the slave oligarchy during the Civil War and the shattering
of a grotesque form of bourgeois property relations. The industrial form of
capital is and was absolutely antagonistic to the form of the value producing
system called chattel slavery.

The economic logic of American history had to be disclosed to grasp the
essence of the Negro National Colonial Question. The Negro National Colonial
question did not exist as such, at the time of Marx. What existed was a class of
black slaves Marx called the Negro race of slaves. Marx also referred to the
"race of workers" in his writings and did not mean the bourgeois theory of race,
but rather a distinct economic and social category.

The social motion of the African American people of the United States has
always reflected the level of development of the productive forces, the
productive relations and the political maneuvering of the ruling class to keep the two
(productive forces, the productive relations) united. The political
maneuvering and the social response of the African American people to the material
conditions of their status and location within the societal infrastructure has kept
them at the center of the country's history.

The unique formation of the African American people must be disclosed in the
context of the development of the means of production. Racial theory prevents
the disclosure of this unique development and has at every important juncture
of history, prevented the communist from grasping the independent political
assertion of the most proletarian sector of the African American people. This
unique formation shall be disclosed for all to see and understand.

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