[Marxism] New York Left (was The anti-Semitism workshop)

Jerry Monaco monacojerry at gmail.com
Mon Aug 7 09:42:16 MDT 2006

On 8/7/06, Yoshie Furuhashi <critical.montages at gmail.com> wrote:
> I'm thinking of relative sizes of immigrant rights marches in LA,
> Chicago, etc. and NYC.  For a really large city with a very high
> proportion of immigrants, marches in NYC paled in comparison to what
> happened elsewhere.

Again Yoshie I really think that understanding what is happening in New York
neighborhoods like Jackson Heights and Woodlawn goes a long way to
explaining why New York immigrants simply didn't think they needed to march.
One of the reasons why the immigrant marches were so small here is because
we in New York have the strongest immigrant organizations, organized on the
community level, continually active, always advocating, always demanding.  I
think that our immigrant organizations are some of the strongest of any city
in the world.  There are threats to all immigrants everywhere from the
federal government but New York local politics is practically completely
pro-immigrant and local community groups are highly protective of the
institutional power of immigrants. I only wish this translated
"constitutionally" and it could have some real electoral effect on the
real-estate interests.

But let me remind you about why there is little electoral political
translation of this power beyond neighborhood and city council politics.
The relation between New York municipal politics and the ruling class
interests is like that between the imperialism and a Central American
country.  When I first moved to this city there were still a few "free"
medical clinics in various neighborhoods.  There was a brief time when many
more neighborhoods had those free clinics.  There was also a time when New
York had free college education.  But New York was the model for
neo-liberalism.  For years we didn't even have control of our own budgets.
The Banks, with the assistance of the Federal Government took direct control
over our budget and destroyed the nascent welfare state here.  I only point
this out to explain the disjuntion between a highlevel of immigrant
organization and a translation beyond local politics.

But again this partially the fault of bad organization.

Also, for anyone who is not satisfied with the Democratic Party, the
> West Coast is the more fertile ground than NYC, though NYC has lots of
> leftists.

JM] Yoshie I wish you would address the meat of what I had to say.  Because
I think it goes to the heart of some of the discussions here.  No matter
where you live in the U.S. there is simply "no" instituional left.  There is
simply hundred of "little" lefts.  The situation is only different in New
York because we have hundreds of more little neighborhood groups (that
should be called "left") than a place such as Chicago --  (a city I know
well from the late 70s and still keep up with).

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