[Marxism] New Deal: Racism, and imperialism

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Dec 27 08:04:04 MST 2008

Charles Brown wrote:
>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

Charles, maybe you did not notice the subject heading of the message 
you were responding to but it had the word imperialism in it. Today 
the Israeli air force has killed 140 Palestinians and wounded twice 
that many. Do you think that the Palestinians deserve to die because 
they are not in the American working class? Marx said workers of the 
world unite, not just Black and white American workers. Your 
inability to say one peep about Obama's ultra-reactionary (you would 
probably use the word fascist if it was being carried out by a 
Republican) foreign policy agenda demonstrates a certain amount of 
national chauvinism that has been the Achilles heel of the Stalinist 
movement since its inception. It led the CPUSA to cheer for the 
internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII and for the atomic 
bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Here is what Lenin had to say 
about such national chauvinism:

The last third of the nineteenth century saw the transition to the 
new, imperialist era. Finance capital not of one, but of several, 
though very few, Great Powers     enjoys a monopoly. (In Japan and 
Russia the monopoly of military power, vast territories, or special 
facilities for robbing minority nationalities, China, etc., partly 
supplements, partly takes the place of, the monopoly of modern, 
up-to-date finance capital.) This difference explains why England's 
monopoly position could remain unchallenged for decades. The monopoly 
of modern finance capital is being frantically challenged; the era of 
imperialist wars has begun. It was possible in those days to bribe 
and corrupt the working class of one country for decades. This is now 
improbable, if not impossible. But on the other hand, every 
imperialist "Great" Power can and does bribe smaller strata (than in 
England in 1848–68) of the "labour aristocracy". Formerly a 
"bourgeois labour party", to use Engels's remarkably profound 
expression, could arise only in one country, because it alone enjoyed 
a monopoly, but, on the other hand, it could exist for a long time. 
Now a "bourgeois labour party" is inevitable and typical in all 
imperialist countries; but in view of the desperate struggle they are 
waging for the division of spoils it is improbable that such a party 
can prevail for long in a number of countries. For the trusts, the 
financial oligarchy, high prices, etc., while enabling the bribery of 
a handful in the top layers, are increasingly oppressing, crushing, 
ruining and torturing the mass of the proletariat and the semi-proletariat.

full: http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1916/oct/x01.htm

And, here is what Obama had to say about Hamas, the victim of 
Israeli's evil attacks--not to speak of the civilians who are 
suffering "collateral damage":

"My position on Hamas is indistinguishable from the position of 
Hillary Clinton or John McCain. I said they are a terrorist 
organization and I've repeatedly condemned them. I've repeatedly 
said, and I mean what I say: since they are a terrorist organization, 
we should not be dealing with them until they recognize Israel, 
renounce terrorism, and abide by previous agreements."

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