[Marxism] Lincoln and bourgeois revolutions

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Dec 2 13:40:16 MST 2012

On 12/2/12 3:20 PM, Anthony Boynton wrote:
> Hi everyone: Well of course, there have never been any revolutions
> anywhere. Bloody stupid wastes of time.
> Personally, I would say that the idea the the Civil War was the second
> American revolution is close to the mark. More than that, I would say that
> the American revolution in very deep ways completed the British revolution
> (Cromwell et. al.).

But what kind of revolution was 1776 in light of the fact that the class 
that led it was based on a mode of production less advanced than the 
class it opposed?

That is why I thought the article on the war of 1812 that appeared on 
Black Agenda Report was so intriguing:


1776, The Slaveholders’ Revolution: A Review of "Negro Comrades of the 

While official US history makes Britain the aggressor, raiding US 
merchant navigation and impressing Americans into British naval service, 
it ignores the Royal Navy’s mission to suppress the slave trade and thus 
liberate American chattel from bondage on the high seas. The official 
narrative also ignores US designs on British North America—Canada— 
strongly motivated by the desire to eliminate this refuge for escaped 
slaves as well as to extend slavery throughout the American continent. 
As a result of these lacunae the hostility of the US toward 
Britain—which persisted until 1914—and the increasing viciousness of US 
laws enforcing the race and bondage regime—which have scarcely 
subsided—can scarcely be explained or rationally debated.

Until the completion of the Louisiana Purchase and the seizure of 
Florida, the US slavocracy felt itself under constant internal and 
external threat. One could say even that the fanatical defenses of white 
supremacy erected since 1776 are the deep psychological foundation for 
today’s seemingly incurable national security psychosis. In fact Horne’s 
history of African militancy and military daring leading up to the 
American Civil War provides the deep history for the inseparability of 
racism and fascism in the US. Whether it is the race riots incited in 
Northern states to oppose the Civil War draft, the state-sanctioned 
creation of the Ku Klux Klan to defeat Radical Reconstruction or the 
various Red Scares of the 20th century, the ultimate targets have been 
African-Americans. Horne’s history of African-Americans fighting on the 
side of Great Britain against the United States and its racist regime 
shows that the continued hostility of the United States government at 
all levels toward African-Americans is not the product of mere 
cumulative prejudice against people of color. He also shows by 
implication that racial prejudice did not arise from a generalized 
perception of African-Americans as inferior. Rather as in all colonial 
projects—or better said, in all projects of which grand theft is the 
central element—it is essential to create and maintain the inferiority 
of those who are robbed. They must be persuaded that what they have lost 
they did not deserve, if only because they were unable to defend it 
against theft. Even today the depiction of Haiti and other black and 
brown nations is one of hopelessly poor, helpless, incompetent and 
corrupt—in a now-fashionable term—“failed” states.


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