[Marxism] A few words In Defense of the Black Panther Party
Waistline2 at aol.com
Waistline2 at aol.com
Sun Nov 8 10:49:24 MST 2009
In a message dated 11/8/2009 11:50:43 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
_anthony.boynton at gmail.com_ (mailto:anthony.boynton at gmail.com) writes:
>> The Black Panther Party failed, just like the SWP, the CP, and just like
every other would-be wannabe revolutionary party in the history of the USA.
But, the BPP was an authentic working class revolutionary organization
rose from the proletarian cauldron of Oakland, California. Huey P. Newton
and Eldridge Cleaver looked around for whatever revolutionary theory they
could find, and what they found was the Communist Party USA, and third
Dear Comrade, your comment were deeply moving, insightful and fascinating.
I have forwarded them to a writer’s project I am involved in. The CP did in
fact abandon the struggle of the black masses and by doing such created a
political vacuum in the social movement of blacks. The SWP and general
Trotskyite movement never had any roots in the movement of blacks other than
tailing various national leaders. This is due to a function of their ideology
and political outlook. The Panther’s - as did we, emerged out of the
political vacuum. Below are some notes earnestly written before reading your
comments. These notes were personal and never meant for the list. Will stay in
touch, preferably off line.
Huey’s P. Newton’s “Black Panther Party” formed, consolidated and existed
within a political continuum. The immediate political landscape on which
the BPP was formed was the Watts Rebellion of 1965. Watts expressed a
development in the social struggle against Jim Crow segregation and police
violence. Watts in turn expressed a new boundary in the social struggle earlier
expressed as the 1963 Birmingham riot, where black steel workers were
forced into struggle against their local fascist thugs. The link between
Birmingham 1963 and Watts 1965, as a spontaneous social impulse and social
consequence was mass rejection of the reality of “non-violence” as a strategy. In
American history, the Watts rebellion completed the encirclement of
American imperialism by the fighting colonial masses.
No one sat up in meeting and argued over how to “get the masses” to reject
non-violence as a strategy. Rather, these social explosions are organic
and expressed the momentary collapse of the political middle or “overrunning”
of all the organizations mediating relations within and between classes.
Spontaneous rebellions over run all society structures of mediation as a
section of the masses directly confront the state as state.
The founders of the BPP - in Oakland, felt an urgency to “do something”
and respond to the spontaneous impulses of the blacks to remedy and address
their grievances. One of the historic grievances was and is a militant fight
against police violence and fascist methods of control in the old South.
The BPP and other scattered grouping throughout the country adopted armed
self-defense as an intimate component of their political strategy, along with
demands for community control of the police. The scope of the rebellions
of the late 1950’s, 1960s and 1970s remain to be examined in totality.
Somewhere I recall reading states that over 2,000 (two thousand) occurred. The
Cleveland story is important and being written. In Cleveland Ohio the
intensity of the armed self-defense movement, which compelled the local authority
and policing powers to negotiate and stay out of areas of the city
dominated by the revolutionaries, need to be presented in a similar back drop you
In Cleveland the revolutionaries never adopted an attitude of “bombing the
workers out of the factory,” as articulated by Katherine Cleaver during
this period of her youthfulness.
The struggle of the industrial core of the unionized workers had peaked and
was in a period of ebbing simultaneous with the rise of the Negro Peoples
Movement of the fifties and early 1960s. Between 1948 and 1965,
unemployment remained low and real take home pay for factory workers rose 2.1 percent
a year. Although blacks were entering the lowest rung on the ladder of the
industrial social order, most did not benefit as much as their Anglo
counterparts and the whites at large. Reuther had consolidated his control of the
UAW on the basis of war production; the promise of the GI Bill and general
capital expansion as the rebuilding of Europe, rather than exploitation of
the colonies of American imperialism.
Thus, the working class remained split expressing conflicting spontaneous
motion. This historical split is rooted in the workers completion for wages
as the condition for the existence of capital. One of its forms in America
has always been the color factor. The motion of the white majority was for
advancement up the social ladder based on capital expansion. This produced
the ideology of “go slow.” The blacks pushed hard for inclusion. The
demand for an ending of Jim Crow and its destruction as pushing for entry into
the system and better paying jobs exceeded the ability for advancement of
the white workers seeking to enjoy the fruits of America’s post war status.
Every section of the working class wanted in and reform of the system.
The BPP ideology was in fact anti-working class to a degree. So was our’s
in Detroit. However, none of either groups ideology was anti-proletariat, if
one means the property form of bourgeois servitude. A section of the
industrial workers - in the large industrial unions, were able to accumulate
capital reserves. Another section of the industrial workers could never
accumulate reserves and literally were dominated by the moments they could sell
their labor power or "exist by the hand out of the government." No one can
agree with the most reactionary and chauvinistic sector of the working class
and their leaders, dominating the union movement. One section of the
working class always fights another section as part of the revolutionary
process. Capital rest exclusively on wage labor and the condition for wage labor -
as the form of bourgeois property, is competition for wages. Competition
(Again, this was a personal note part of an extensive collection of “bits
More information about the Marxism