[Marxism] SWP madness
lnp3 at panix.com
Fri May 10 17:17:49 MDT 2013
No, I am not talking about the British group but the Americans who are
far nuttier and far more peripheral. I generally don't pay any attention
to them, but in this instance the nuttiness is so transcendental that it
demands commentary. In an article in the latest Militant newspaper,
something I used to sell avidly and that Malcolm X hailed, there's a
warning that the government is up to no good by seducing workers into
buying houses. It points to the following:
According to recent articles on the WND.com website and in the
Investor’s Business Daily, the Justice Department has:
— Threatened banks with lawsuits if they don’t push loans in “minority
communities” and demanded lenders open branches in working-class
neighborhoods of cities hard-hit by foreclosures like Detroit and St. Louis.
— Forced big mortgage lenders like Wells Fargo and Bank of America to
provide 30-year loans to what banks refer to as “high-risk” borrowers
under threat of prosecution.
— Issued orders mandating lenders advertise in “minority media” and
offer loans to people on public assistance.
— Resurrected a Clinton-era regulation that warns lenders they must be
more flexible with minority home buyers with weak credit to make up for
To start with, it is of some interest that they cite wnd.com. This, for
those who don't follow the American ultraright, is World News Daily. On
their home page, you can find a reader's poll that asks: "What do you
think of U.S. government inviting Muslim cleric who disparaged dead Navy
SEALs at their own funeral?" The website was founded by Joseph Farah, a
rightwing nut who was deeply involved in the campaign to prove that
Obama was not born in Hawaii. Apparently he also believes that soybeans
cause homosexuality, although no amount of tofu over the past 11 years
of marriage have diminished my desire for my wife.
Now 9 years ago, when the SWP was still clinging to sanity, it featured
an article on "redlining", the refusal of banks to grant loans to
African-American and Latino workers, that stated:
"In the 1970s numerous cases of redlining—where banks would not grant
mortgages to renovate or build new apartments, especially in Black or
Puerto Rican neighborhoods—were challenged and some lending terms were
improved. While many of the most blatant practices were ended, banks and
insurance companies continue to use discriminatory methods."
As is so often the case, this nutty cult reverses positions without
bothering to provide readers with an explanation.
They do invoke Engels, as they have in the past:
"In his booklet The Housing Question, written in 1872-73, communist
leader Frederick Engels described how the bosses use home ownership to
tie workers to the capitalist system, entangling us in debt that
conservatizes us and makes us less mobile."
Unless of course you are the leader of the SWP who lives in a snazzy
West Village loft:
If bow-tied, cigar-mouthed Republicans can have nice seven-digit,
six-room co-ops, don’t a few old Manhattan communists deserve
multi-million-dollar real estate, too?
A two-bedroom loft at 380 West 12th Street, a 109-year-old building on a
cobblestone block by the Hudson River, was sold by American socialist
leaders Jack Barnes and Mary-Alice Waters. Their buyers, Sony BMG Music
Entertainment vice president Ole Obermann and his fiancée, Stephanie
Jakubiak, paid $1,872,500.
“I don’t want to hurt the sellers’ feelings at all, but they definitely
had a funky style in terms of how they did the apartment,” said Mr.
Obermann. That means there are sliding stained-glass doors, plus a wall
of bookshelves. (Ms. Waters is the president of publishing house
Pathfinder Press, which publishes Marx and Trotsky, and Mr. Barnes, too.)
“Personally, our tastes are different and we’ll probably do something
different,” the buyer said. “It will be open, airy, simple, whereas when
it was done 15 years ago there was a lot of light-colored wood
shelving.” He’s adding six or so wireless speakers, “a nice music system.”
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