[Marxism] Economics as a weak point

Tony Lawless lifesunquietdream at msn.com
Tue Nov 8 00:24:31 MST 2005

Hi Junaid,

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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