[Marxism] New Deal: Racism, and imperialism

Charles Brown charlesb at cncl.ci.detroit.mi.us
Fri Dec 26 14:18:02 MST 2008


Anthony Boynton 

-clip-

Some people on this list are discussion whether or not the New Deal
was
successful. Look around you. It was wildly successful and anyone living
in
the capitalist 21st century should be able to discern. 
^^^
CB: Yes, Anthony, accurately appraisal.  Unions could be charged as
criminal syndicalism before the National Labor Relations Act. There was
no Social Security , unemployment insurance or welfare. By the way,  as
Black people are overwhelmingly working class, the New Deal helped Black
people more than white people.  Black people who had previously voted
overwhelmingly Republican because of Lincoln, rapidly began to shift to
voting for Democrats _because_ of FDR.  Lou Pro's analysis has to assume
that he makes a better assessment of the New Deal and FDR  on racism and
anti-racism than Black people themselves did. That's a grievous error on
Lou Pro's part. No, Black people got it right, and knew where their
interests were best being served better than Lou's analysis here.

^^^^

There were no....
socialist revolutions in the United States. None in Western Europe,
none in
Japan...

FDR''s New Deal saved capitalism. US capitalism, and as a result world
capitalism.

The only way that you can even talk about the possibiilty that it was
not
successful, is if you divide it into a "domestic" policy and an
"international" policy. But that would be wishful thinking contrary to
historic facts.

How successful FDR was prior to the entrance of the USA into World War
II
(and after, too) should not be judged by statistical tables, in any
case.
The New Deal's success should be judged on how well it was able to
prevent
the collapse of markets from creating the conditions for social
revolution
in the USA.

^^^^
CB: And on the establishment of legal unions, Social Security,
unemployment insurance, welfare, WPA.  FDR also strong armed the Supreme
Court to throw out "Substantive Due Process", which sought to uphold
free enterprise. These were significant reforms benefitting the working
class, including Black people, "the Negro People".

^^^^

To prevent the full development of those conditions, Roosevelt had to

1) Reorganize the capitalist class.

2) Regulate markets

3) Give hope to the working class and petty bourgeoisie that
capitalism
could work for their benefit.

4) Make whatever concessions were necessary to limit mobilizations of
the
working class and poor, especially to maintain such mobilizations as
local
and regional, and esepecially to prevent economic struggles from
becoming
political challenges to the two party system.

The massive mobilizations of the working class in the USA won those
concessions. The great strikes of 1933, and the wave of sit-downs in
1937
were the reasons FDR and the New Deal acted to extend legal rights to
unions, and to twist the arms of capitalist businesses to recognize
unions.
More than these things, those mobilizations were always behind every
move
towards any kind of social legislation by the New Deal.

How limited the gains of the working class were under the New Deal can
be
easily seen by looking at its policies on race and immigration. The
border
with Mexico was closed, segregation was maintained and defended in
every New
Deal program.

^^^
CB: The benefit to Black people was not in direct attacks on Jim Crow ,
lynching etc. by FDR. The benefits to Black people, as they were fully
conscious of, were in the benefits to the whole working class. Black and
white, unite and fight as workers together.  Black people consciously
benefitted from the working class gains of the New Deal, and that's why
they rapidly shifted to the Democratic Party from the Republican Party. 
Otherwise , what's the explanation of Black people switching parties in
this period ? 

^^^^

The fact that US capitalism had reached a historic dead end by 1931,
meant
that the New Deal's only long term (relatively long term) solution lay
in
the reorganization of world capitalist markets to benefit US
capitalism.

FDR's foreign policy began by defending the imperial interests of the
USA in
Latin America, Asia, and Europe. By 1937 it was becoming clear that
FDR
would lead the USA into the coming world war, and his foreign policy
became
more and more focused on alliance with Great Britain.

All of that old history is extremely relevant for the new epoch that
we
have just entered in the last few years.

Capitalism is again at a dead end. Both in the USA, and globally.

Obama is almost certain to try to craft a New "New Deal".

Obama seems like a very serious, intelligent, above all else, cautious
bourgeois politician. I think his actions so far show that he intends
to,

1) Reorganize the capitalist class.

^^^
CB: Naw, I don't think the capitalist class is going to have Obama
reorganize it (smile). 

^^^^

2) Regulate markets

3) Give hope to the working class and petty bourgeoisie that
capitalism
could work for their benefit.

^^^
CB: He doesn't come across as much of a salesman for capitalism.  He's
not the one for this job either.

^^^^^

4) Make whatever concessions were necessary to limit mobilizations of
the
working class and poor, especially to maintain such mobilizations as
local
and regional, and especially to prevent economic struggles from
becoming
political challenges to the two party system.

^^^
CB: Yep, I think he is the one to make _big_ "concessions” to the
working class. He is going to make the objective crisis force him into
making really big “concessions” to the working class. As you say
below, the failures are getting to be pretty spectacular, and he can
just allow those spectacular failures to force changes. But as he
emphasizes , the change will come from the “bottom up”, as when he
heartily supported the sit-in at Republic. He can endorse mobilizations
from “below”. So, our job is to get things going from “below” to
“make” him do it.

^^^^^

^^^^

He will be very careful about reorganizing the capitalist class,
because he
does not want to make too many enemies.

^^^
CB: No, he will not be the one to reorganize the capitalist class.  

^^^^
 After all, he already has a lot.
Likewise for regulating markets, but since they are failing so
spectacularly
at the job they are supposed to do according to neo-liberal,
neo-conservative dreams, he may have to move more quickly here than in
any
other sphere. by itself, Obama's election has given hope to the
working
class and oppressed - not just of the USA, but of the world. How long
Obama
can cash in on that hope is an important point for the "tempo" of the
struggle, but at some point he will have to do something more tangiible
to
maintain hope in his leadership.

What that will be depends in large part on how, when, and where the
working
class and oppressed begin to mobilize themselves.
^^^^^
CB: Exactly. Like he says right out : Change comes from the bottom up.

^^^^^^^^

 That will also determine
in large measure what kinds of concessions the New "New Deal" makes to
the
working class and the oppressed.

Obama and his administration look like they will be pragmatic,
offering
nothing if they do not have to, offering as little as they think they
can
get away with when they need to.

^^^^^
CB: No ,he looks more like he will offer as much as he can get away
with for the working class.

^^

This pragmatism is already shaping Obama's appointments and policy,
but
nobody should think that the Obama New New Deal has already taken
shape.
That will depend on how the class struggle develops.

^^^^
CB: This is importantly correct. All the petit bourgeois leftist
whining is premature. 

^^^^

Anthony




This message has been scanned for malware by SurfControl plc. www.surfcontrol.com




More information about the Marxism mailing list