[Marxism] Economics as a weak point
lifesunquietdream at msn.com
Tue Nov 8 00:24:31 MST 2005
I think a lot of what you say makes sense. I think that there is
unfortunately deep divisions within the working class along the lines of
race, gender, ethnicity and region. And then the far left tends to be white
petty bourgeois academics recruiting among their white petty bourgeois
students in a racially hierarchized society, which skews recruitment toward
the image of the society at its top rather than its bottom. This makes
recruitment more difficult since the faces and voices of the far left tend
to look quite similar to the faces and voices of society's rulers.
I don't think it's controversial to say this is far worse in the US than it
is in France. No American leftist can afford to gloat at the LCR or LO or
PCF. From where I sit, I could see absolutely no concerted left leadership
in New Orleans; at most, there may have been some elements of an emergent
black leadership perhaps, but mostly it seemed there was just poor black
folk doing what they could to survive -- and no left presence at all, union,
party or otherwise.
The problem is that the far left has been busy critiquing neoliberalism in
the academy; now we are beginning to see what its effects have been on the
bottom layers of the working class who have been living it for the past
twenty-five years. And yet perhaps this is a hopeful sign. The G-7 leaders,
some of them, probably don't enjoy the prospect of sitting on social
dynamite for long.
So now would seem to be a good time to start pushing back, following on from
the lead given by the actual working class vanguard in Clichy-sous-bois.
A good time to re-introduce some of our favourite slogans: End police
violence and racial profiling! For a massive expansion in social provision
to the most downtrodden! Employment for all! Expand the social safety net!
Affirmative action for the most downtrodden and excluded!
End the War on Terrorism! For a New War on Poverty and Social Exclusion!
And the far left needs to move quickly to recruit in the image of the most
downtrodden. This will not be easy, and the past will not help much.
But as a start, I would suggest that all Trotskyists seriously consider
rejoining the social democracy, in those countries where it has a serious
presence, in order to fight the battles where they are actually taking place
in terms of social policy and public provision. As Marx and Engels suggest:
"The communists do not form a seperate party opposed to other working class
parties." If genuine leftists are a part of these debates in political
parties exercising state power, we might get some of our proposals adopted
in times of crisis like this.
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