[Marxism] re:Buying off the German people [carlos], and Greens [david]

M. Junaid Alam mjunaidalam at msalam.net
Fri Mar 25 08:34:41 MST 2005


I know you are ignoring me, but thanks for the biblioref. I'll be reading it 
if I can find it. You are right, it sure beats Marcuse."

Actually I must concede that I have been reading all your posts on this and the Green
subject. Looking at your contributions written after our skirmish, I had to
reconsider and realize to ignore you would be a mistake.

Baran's essay can be found in his book of essays "The Longer View." Nothing by him
is online except "The Commitment of the Intellectual" at the MR website. 

I agree with what you say about the immigrant factor historically. America was
God's gift to capitalism, a major safety valve depressurizing European tensions,
and furnishing a tabula rasa cleared of feudalism. Or rather, cleared out
of the "feudal" population that was already here.

The Hispanic question is an interesting and vital one to raise. I am a bit surprised 
at the rapid rate of assimilation, Protestantization, and conservatism
of around 50% of the Hispanic population that voted Republican. I don't
know much on this issue, though. Is there a major polarization in the community?
Is there a factor of  "whiteness" of many Hispanics that leads them to identify
more with Anglos?

On the other hand I think to dismiss the Greens vis. Camejo as tokenism is 
a mistake. Leaving Camejo aside, Matt Gonzales out in SF almost defeated the
DP before they brought in the heavy artillery to squash him. He got a huge
part of the Latino vote, obviously. 

The problem with the Greens in being mostly white and mostly middle class -
well, that is the "problem" with most of us. I don't think it's necessary
to fret too much about this in the sense that we have to start off somewhere,
and we are obviously starting off at the beginning. If the leftist Greens
have good politics, then who cares what their specific backgrounds are. Any
socialist/radical group in this country of any size doing good work in any area
of activism is basically the same . If we could start off at where we are supposed 
to end up - with all the good "ordinary" folks already lined up among us - well then 
things would be rather easy and we'd be living in a utopia.

It's vulgar reductionism typical of the Trotskyist movement, and 
probably others, to dismiss people as having "petty-bourgeois" backgrounds as a 
means of avoiding the real issues. Historically, most revolutionary upsurges in 
history were led in some major way theoretically and/or politically by that layer 
in society directly above the masses. Anarchists do a lot of handwringing on this 
subject when harping on Lenin's concept of "professional revolutionaries", but the 
historical record cannot be denied on this score. Middle class layers - professionals,
intellectuals, writers - can be leaders of mass movements. The real question is only 
whether they individually choose to adopt the defense of the masses or become traitors
or simply remain aloof. And that depends on the individual. To suggest otherwise is 
vulgarized Marxism.

The best thing coming out of M20, incidentally, that I saw was the Harlem demo, which had 
lots of black participants, shut down the local recruitment center that day, and was the 
largest demo they had there in a while. I am told there is a lot of community activism
in Harlem that served as the groundwork for the size of that demo.

More information about the Marxism mailing list