[Marxism] Fwd: Jaco in the bin | s0metim3s

Manuel Barrera mtomas3 at hotmail.com
Sat Feb 18 11:49:18 MST 2017

There is much to object within the Jacobin article, but I believe this penultimate statement really indicates their equivocal--and, therefore, panderingly liberal racist--position, as it were, "If a class-based, antiracist bloc can be built at all, it can only be done gradually, trusting in people’s inherent capacity to develop a different understanding of the world.

It’s a narrow path, and it won’t always be pleasant. But left politics have never been the sanitized efforts of pure conscience and saintly devotion that we are all tempted to believe in at times. Creating a different kind of movement will take time and, more importantly, patience. Racist or xenophobic sentiments exist, not as essential personality traits but as attitudes that can change through experience. Those need to be addressed, but they can be opposed effectively only on a basis of solidarity and mutual trust."

Of course, on the "face" of it, the quote above seems really devoid of context so  that my stating it alone would appear "cherry-picking" and, after all, some of you of the more melanin-deprived (yes, that's you, White people) may find the quote truly reasonable hearkening to the need for "patiently explaining" we might get schooled from a Bolshevik or two. Of course it seems so because Jacobin's writers are much more sophisticated in their descent to worrying about rightist "populism". Their writing is much more disingenuous than that because it seems clear, at least to me, that they may actually believe that their patience-for-the-masses argument is, you know, a thing. For example, they actually begin their slippery slope into liberal racism much earlier in the article with, first, "lecturing" us all with a righteous appeal for "coalition building" with the admonition,  "It is in this climate that the fight over Wagenknecht’s comments has evolved from a conflict over policy into an existential choice that will make or break the German left. Party members should reject the racism and xenophobia that undergirds AfD’s appeal (and that some see creeping into Wagenknecht’s rhetoric). But they also need to recognize that strong political coalitions and social movements are built by working with voters, many of whom hold less than perfectly antiracist views — not lecturing them."

Thus, the argument starts with their concern for "working with voters" whom are "less than perfect" in their anti-racism (you do know that because the article discusses such issues as open vs. "controlled" borders that the less than perfect anti-racism is the fear of refugees and the nativist arguments against them, right?).
Next, there is the problem of "left essentialism" where the exuberance of youth among emerging new activist such as those around Die Linke becomes a brake on the development of these "coalitions" with the more backward fearful layers of White German workers, among others with their "less than perfect" jingoistic "anti-racism" (otherwise known as bourgeois liberalism) "Perhaps due to the academic, middle-class milieu from which many Die Linke radicals emerge, its younger activists in particular tend to accept a false dichotomy of either ignoring people’s concerns or engaging with them at the price of adopting a “right-wing” language and accept an inherently racist framework."

So, by the end, Schmitz doesn't really have to say we need "controlled borders" or, even, that the Wagenknacht's are justified. No, "the reader" is left to one's own devices to draw conclusions, but those conclusions clearly seem to be for "all us" to be reasonable. After all, who on the "left" doesn't want to see "mass coalitions" and win over the "less than perfect" (almost) anti-racists who may, right now, want to close borders or "control", or, more to the point, vote for a rightwing populist?

This call for rationalism has a long history, but if you aren't White, you are not likely to see through it very well. M.L. King once bemoaned the need to be salvaged from the machinations of White liberals. The reason why we can't bring together "mass coalitions" is because young people are too willing to create "false dichotomies". We shouldn't be so brazen as to declare for "border controls" but we can "see" that people like Wagenknacht (or, you know, Obama, Clinton, the AFL-CIO) are simply trying "work with voters" with "less than perfect" (anti-)racism.

Given all that "reason", why am I not surprised that our hapless liberal "Marxists" here want to engage in a "scientific" debate on the true motives of Jacobin, or one of its writers (presumably peer-reviewed and published for the paper's merits)?

Personally, I hope those young activists overwhelm the "less than perfect" anti-racists and beat them over the head (figuratively) with their "false dichotomies" such that thought and language become congruent with the action needed to end the racist justifications for controlled borders (otherwise known as borders) that are antithetical to internationalism and the "solidarity and mutual trust" that can only be born by principle become action.


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