[Marxism] Quiting Marxism, embracing what?

Rohan Gaiswinkler rohanger at yahoo.com.au
Thu Dec 7 20:54:20 MST 2006


Joaquin, in your desire to explain the paucity of white class-for-itself activity, consciousness and identity, your arguments contain, I think, the following flaws:
   
  1.  Your explanation so far only talks about the United States.  What about Australia where there is a higher level of class identity, or Scotland and France, where it is higher still.  I don't need to remind you that Marxism is an international movement.  Can you apply your arguments for a need to rethink marxism and praxis to these countries?
   
  2.  Is a period of a few decades (in one country) enough to say marxist analysis of class, race and nationality is flawed.
   
  3.  Are you not making a fetish of class-for-itelf consciousness / identity in the sense that the level of this is largely an expression of strength of working class combativeness / militancy - a phenonemon which is determined but such a range of factors with race opportunism being but one?
   
  4.  Compared with classic marxism, are you not headed in the direction of postmodernism with its over-emphasis on identity and analysis of the subjective:
   
  "[White] actions and attitudes show they identify more as whites than as workers. The fact that those Blacks and Latinos are also workers doesn't lead them to cross the color line in solidarity with Blacks and Latinos. I'm not speaking here primarily of conscious attitudes, for there are millions of whites who are consciously opposed to racism, and it is probably true to say that among white workers by and large "progressive" attitudes or instincts on all sorts of issues including race are widespread and probably majority sentiment. 
   
  I'm thinking here in terms of social and political identity, which people aren't even conscious about..."
   
  6.  I think you are correct that small (mostly white) revolutionary organisations in the US are "carrying the mantle" rather than "carrying the struggle".  They are stuck in the sectarianian existance of the lonely torch bearer - arguing amonst themselves as to who has the brightest flame [candle].  But I think this eventuality is due of historical circumstances and not because of any significant inadequecies in classic marxism in its analysis of class, race and nationality (post Lenin).
   
  Rohan G
   
   
  P.S.
  In a previous thread I found your argument for the existance of a Black nation whithin the US unconvincing - but I also found that I didn't have a good argument for its nonexistance.  [It's always harder to prove / establish nonexistance -- just ask Saddam!]  I don't especially want to open that thread again, but I think differences of opinion on that matter must have some bearing on the current thread.  If you conclude that there are three proletariats in the US, rather than one mixed proiletariat, this has implications.
   

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