[Marxism] Communists and black liberation

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Feb 20 15:22:58 MST 2016

On 2/20/16 4:17 PM, hasc.warrior.stew at gmail.com wrote:
> If that is the case, my discussion and research on the topic with
> Gerald Horne and several others who are involved in the scholarship
> indicated that theoretical nuances is far different than how the
> public reaction in America developed.

This is the Marxism list. If you don't want to be criticized, don't post 
links to articles that make the case for Stalin. I know that this might 
sound like ancient history but I was educated in Marxism by Trotsky's 
bodyguard Joe Hansen.

Stalin's movement was based on bureaucratic fiat. The Black Belt theory 
developed during the Third Period, an ultraleft disaster of biblical 
proportions. In the USA it was hardly a factor in the CP's impact on 
American society but in Germany it helped to lead to the rise of Nazism.

We are still paying for the CP's mistakes. There was a basis for a 
working class party in the 1930s but the CP sabotaged it because it saw 
the DP as a useful ally in the popular front (until Hitler made a pact 
with Stalin.) What did it mean for the CP to function effectively as the 
left wing of the DP when this was essentially the party that defended 
slavery and Jim Crow and whose Dixiecrat wing was never challenged by 
FDR? A *racist* party that the Daily Worker extolled?

 From an interview with Ira Katzelson on his book "Fear Itself", a 
debunking of New Deal myths:

Q: Your book is very moving on what you call the “southern cage” and FDR 
and the Democratic Party’s Faustian bargain with southern Democrats -- 
to preserve white supremacy and segregation laws in order to pass New 
Deal legislation. I think the level of racism and oppression in the 
south may stun some younger readers.

A: We might begin by recalling that in the 1930s and 1940s -- before the 
1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision -- we had seventeen states in 
the Union, not just the eleven that seceded during the Civil War, but 
seventeen states that mandated racial segregation. Not one 
representative from those states, ranging from the most racist like 
Theodore Bilbo of Mississippi, to the most liberal and not racist like 
Claude Pepper of Florida, ever opposed racial segregation in this 
period. So you had seventeen states, thirty-four United States senators 
and a disproportionately large House of Representatives delegation 
because seats are apportioned on the basis of population not voters, and 
this was a period when the South had a very low turnout, low franchise 

There were rules like the poll tax and literacy tests to keeps black 
from voting, and those rules also kept many whites out of the 
electorate. So you had a small electorate, a one-party system and 
therefore great seniority for Southern members of Congress with control 
over key committees and legislative positions of leadership -- that is, 
disproportionate power.

And the Democratic Party in this period -- the agent of the New Deal in 
Congress -- was composed of a strange-bedfellows alliance of a Northern, 
principally immigrant, Catholic and Jewish, big-city, labor-oriented 
political base, together with a Southern, largely non-immigrant, 
non-urban, mostly Protestant, rural base. They could not have been more 
different in those respects, yet together they composed the Democratic 
Party. To secure party majorities for New Deal legislation, it was 
necessary to keep the two wings together, which meant that the south had 
a veto over all New Deal legislation.

After 1938, the Southerners composed a majority of the Democrats in 
Congress because Republicans began to make a comeback as they won 
Democratic seats in the North. But [the Republicans] did not win 
Democratic seats in the South. In 1940, every U.S. senator from the 
South was a Democrat just at the moment when the Republicans had begun 
to make a comeback in the House and in Senate seats outside the South. 
The consequence was that, in the 1940s, it wasn’t just that Southern 
members of Congress could say no to what they didn’t like. They actually 
were the authors of the preferences that shaped every single legislative 
outcome in the 1940s.

Nothing could be passed into law against the wishes of the Southern 
members of Congress. And most things that passed into law, especially 
after 1938 and 1940, matched almost precisely the preferences of the 
Southern wing of the Democratic Party in Congress.

- See more at: http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/151867

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