[Marxism] New book on Fred Hampton assassination

S. Artesian sartesian at earthlink.net
Sat Nov 7 09:22:42 MST 2009

Sure the Panthers were a work in progress, or more accurately a work in 
regress, since the Black Panthers I first knew about were the Panthers in 
the Lowndes Co {Alabama}Freedom Organization,  organized by SNCC 
voter-registration workers and the African-American community.

Be that as it may-- you can't analyze the Panthers without analyzing the 
historical background, and the Panthers' own decomposition under both 
government repression, and as a result of  their rejection, and opposition, 
to class-conscious struggle, their embrace of  black capitalism [surely I'm 
not the only one who remembers Huey Newton's face on the dollar bill on the 
cover of the Panther newspaper], etc. And surely I'm not the only one who 
recalls the Panthers' explicit turn against the proletariat and embrace of 
the "lumpen-proletariat."  I vaguely recall having a discussion with some 
Panthers who urged "bombing the factories."

To say the Panthers "didn't have the luxury of acquiring a deep ground in 
Marxist-Leninist-Trotskyist theory" because "they were thrown up as response 
to the struggle as it was happening," is I'm sure well-intentioned but 
a)just not historically accurate and b) a bit patronizing.

First, part of the attraction that the Panthers held was their announced 
understanding of Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-Fanonist-etc. etc. theory as it 
applied to African-Americans.  Secondly, for several years, Huey Newton was 
incarcerated in prison where, according to his own statements, he read 
Fanon, Marx, Lenin etcetcetc, with such intensity that he actually damaged 
his own eyesight.   The Panthers as a confrontational combat organization 
never existed separate and apart from their claim to existence as the 
embodiment of a Marxist vanguard, and the purveyors of revolutionary theory.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Guy Miller" <guycarlos at msn.com>
To: "David Schanoes" <sartesian at earthlink.net>
Sent: Saturday, November 07, 2009 10:36 AM
Subject: Re: [Marxism] New book on Fred Hampton assassination

> No doubt Hampton was out of line at that convention.  I remember feeling 
> sorry for Derek Morrison being put in that position. But to draw the 
> conclusion that Hampton was nothing but an "egotistical, ultra left jerk," 
> from that one occasion is a hair trigger reaction.  The Panthers were a 
> work in progress.  They were thrown up as a response to the struggle as it 
> was happening, consequently they didn't have the luxury of acquiring a 
> deep grounding in Marxist-Leninist-Trotskyist theory. Its too bad they 
> never learned the niceties of parliamentary etiquette either, which of 
> course has its place.

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