[Marxism] Hampton

S. Artesian sartesian at earthlink.net
Sat Nov 7 16:29:21 MST 2009

Spoken like a true American.   You just forgot to add "ban the books," and 
of course America's favorite "burn the books."  And after that?  Throw in 
Henry Ford's "History is bunk"  because why even look at history, if we 
don't have to study shit or know anything about anything?  As if book 
worship has anything to do with analysis of the Panthers' politics...

The Panthers read books.  The Panthers claimed they were applying the 
"lessons" of those books to situation in the US.  The Panthers claimed to be 
a "vanguard,"  the repository of theory and practice, of historical 
struggle, so it might be thoughtful, on our part, to read some of the books, 
and subject the Panthers' own history to a bit of lesson-taking-- lesson 
number 1 being  "try not to repeat the same errors in the same ways."

I would take your statements a little more seriously, Tom,  if you, 
eschewing books, provided a single bit of analysis of the rise and fall of 
the Panthers-- of the limits to their emphasis on community over class, of 
their turn towards black capitalism, "progressive" Democrats-- the Panthers 
endorsed Ron Dellums in Berkeley/Oakland-- and finally their anti-working 
class ideology and "theory," embracing the "lumpen" as the true 
revolutionary force-- their version I guess of street politics.

I never knew Fred Hampton-- Hanrahan had him murdered before I got back to 
Chicago.  Murder it was.  Martyr Hampton is.  But being a martyr doesn't 
make one a fountainhead of knowledge.

I read a couple of Hampton's speeches back in the day and they were more 
than wrong-headed, more than inaccurate... as were Huey P.Newton's, 
Cleaver's, Seale's.  The Panthers struck a gallant pose.  But posing only 
gets you so far in the material world.

And again the issue is not one of solidarity-- being in sds no one was more 
solid in their solidarity with the Panthers, their defense of the Panthers 
than we were-- even when they showed up at our door and demanded a $600 
payment from us to "the vanguard party" to support "the vanguard party's 
struggle."  I told them we already gave at the factory.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Tom Cod" <tcod at hotmail.com>
To: "David Schanoes" <sartesian at earthlink.net>
Sent: Saturday, November 07, 2009 2:36 PM
Subject: Re: [Marxism] Hampton

>  No, we don't need to study shit or know anything about "marxism" to know 
> what side we're on or to close ranks with oppressed people.  Its a basic 
> issue of street politics that the trots failed miserably.  Oppose Book 
> Worship! >

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