[Marxism] Of victory and victories

Greg McDonald sabocat59 at mac.com
Mon Dec 15 08:49:52 MST 2008

S. Artesian wrote:

<My views were pretty much
formed when I reviewed my work in the civil rights movement and  
started to
explore what actually triggered the movement-- and that was  
fundamentally a
change in the techical means and social relations of production, the
mechanization of Southern agriculture during and after WW2, the  
growth of
industry and the concomitant need for access to "free" black labor.  
on that reading and what I knew about Marx and uneven and combined
development, I thought it clear that the "democratic" "national"  
element of
this struggle was temporary, transitional, and would of necessity be
transformed and replaced by class struggle, since at core the issue  
of black
emancipation is the issue of the organization, use, and emancipation of
black labor.>

This economistic perspective reads as if the civil rights movement  
was initiated by a group of white industrialists, to fulfill their  
"needs" for cheap labor.  But anyone who has lived in the south  
understands that it was, and is, much more than that, a point which  
seems to be at the crux of your differences with Joaquin. The  
movement was primarily about political representation, as Sr. Bustelo  
has pointed out ad nauseum on this list. Civil Rights = Voting Rights.

Marx and Engels' political writings reveal a more nuanced  
understanding of the relative autonomy of the state, and the vertical  
dimension of factional struggles within the ruling class,  than many  
latter day marxists seem willing to acknowledge. Even a cursory  
reading of one book, "Karl Marx's Theory of Revolution, Vol I.", by  
Hal Draper, should be enough to disabuse the reader of mechanistic  
interpretations of the critique of political economy.

The "democratic and national" element of the struggle may indeed be  
temporary and transitional, but we're still in it.

Greg McDonald

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