[Marxism] IWW and anti-imperialism

kersplebedeb info at kersplebedeb.com
Mon Aug 15 20:01:11 MDT 2005


Rather than judge by the interview "When Race Burns Class", which is 
really a discussion of the ideas in the book Settlers: Mythology of the 
White Proletariat, i would suggest that one check the book itself. You 
may not agree with it any more - perhaps even less - than with the 
interview, but at least i am sure you will find more to mull over.

i have uploaded to my site the sections "Industrial Unionism" (which 
deals with the IWW, amongst other things) and "The CIO's Integration and 
Imperialist Labor Policy" (which deals with the Flint Sit-Sown Strike, 
amongst other things). I would scan in more, but it is time consuming 
and i've got other things to do. Perhaps later.

The texts can all be reached via my Settlers page at 
http://www.kersplebedeb.com/settlers.html, but here are the direct links 
if you prefer:

Industrial Unionism: 
http://www.kersplebedeb.com/mystuff/texts/settlers_industrial_unionism.html
The CIO's Integration and Imperialist Labor Policy: 
http://www.kersplebedeb.com/mystuff/books/settlers_cio.html

(to add fuel to the fire you ma also want to read the section on the 
American Revolution at 
http://www.kersplebedeb.com/mystuff/texts/alliances.html)

What i think "When Race Burns Class" is more useful for is for 
clarifying issues presented in Settlers. Dispelling certain mis-readings 
of the book. The "settler thesis" so to speak is necessary, so far as i 
can see, because it explains why things don't and didn't go further than 
they did, why certain movements and organizations were defeated, why 
deplorable policies took hold. It is not a moralistic tale of good 
versus evil, it is a history book, albeit one from a revolutionary 
Marxist perspective.

Louis is right in rejecting a Manichean all-or-nothing approach, but he 
is wrong in assuming that this approach is to be found in Settlers (or 
at least, that's not how i read the book). However, there is a 
difference between explaining why a particular organization - in this 
case the IWW - had limitations and weaknesses, and sweeping these 
weaknesses under the table. That just leads to a watered down 
Manicheanism, in which the world does not consist of "absolute evil" and 
"absolute good" but rather "absolutely evil" and "absolutely as good as 
could be managed under the circumstances".

Just my two cents worth.

-k


Louis Proyect wrote:

> Calvin wrote:
>
>> Obviously I was not questioning your knowledge of the I.W.W. 
>> generally- I said that you were overly dismissive of J. Sakai.
>>
>> Where does Sakai say that the Flint strike in particular was an 
>> attempt to control black workers?
>
>
> In an interview at: http://www.agitatorindex.org/study/sakai.htm
>
> "an anarchist veteran of the autoworkers' historic 1937 Flint Sit-Down 
> strike told me that the strike had been Jim Crow, that one of the 
> unpublicized demands had been to keep Black workers down as only 
> janitors....or out of the plants altogether."
>
> This is tendentious beyond belief.
>
>
> -- 
>
> www.marxmail.org
>
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