2010 Electoral Defeat of the Democrats and Rise of the Tea Party. - The Case for an Independent Labor Party Now!>

2010 Electoral Defeat of the Democrats and Rise of the Tea Party.

The Case for an Independent Labor Party Now!

by Lil Joe
November 4, 2010

The 'American people', as American workers think of themselves by
assimilation into this patriotic bourgeois culture, believe that
"America" is a "classless democracy" and "pragmatic" as opposed
to "ideological". They have internalized the cultural fantasy
opinion that America is the center of world history, the 'envy of the
world', 'the world's first democracy', a 'city on a hill', and other
nationalist delusions of grandeur.

It simply just isn't so. My concern here is the American working class
freeing themselves from these patriotic delusions of grandeur by
promoting class conscious politics. It isn't easy. The American
workers are the most ignorant, racialist, religiously bigoted and the
most delusional patriotic and intellectually backward workers in the
world. It is only in that sense that it can be said of 'American
exceptionalism' that it exists. They are anti-communist Democrats and
Republicans and regard themselves as first and foremost "Americans",
compared to workers in Europe and Asia who first and foremost
regard themselves as workers and socialists or communists.

The American workers don't even know they are a working class with
material interests separate and apart from and opposed to capitalists.
They are culturally anti-socialists and pro-capitalist exploitation of
themselves. Those suckers who voted e.g. for Rand Paul agree with what
he said in effect - 'can't we all just get along' - because "We all either
work for rich people or we sell stuff to rich people."

Rand Paul as the de facto spokesperson and 'theoretician' of the "Tea
Party" faction of the Republic Party as he is the one in the Senate,
by the vote of the majority of the workers who voted in Kentucky,
articulated the myth of Americana when following his victory, when
asked about the continuation of what the Democrats call "tax cuts for
the rich", said:

"There are no rich. There are no middle class. There are no poor. We
all are interconnected in the economy. You remember a few years ago,
when they tried to tax the yachts, that didn't work. You know who lost
their jobs? The people making the boats, the guys making 50,000 and
60,000 dollars a year lost their jobs. We all either work for rich
people or we sell stuff to rich people. So just punishing rich people
is as bad for the economy as punishing anyone. Let's not punish
anyone. Let's keep taxes low and let's cut spending." ( See the article:
"Rand Paul Explains His Support For Plutocracy: 'There Are No Poor...We
All Work For Rich People'
http://thinkprogress.org/2010/11/03/rand-paul-plutocracy/

The Democratic Party may well call itself 'the party of the working
man', because that is the empty clap trap that explains nothing
because it is not an objective economic category. When a capitalist
wants to go out and exercise his legs by cutting his lawn, is he not in
this activity a 'working man'?

The Democrats say they are opposed to 'the fat cats', but are not
there 'fat' [obese] American proletarians? Moreover there is no
economic correlation between 'the working man' and 'the fat cats'.

Rich people are not an economic category. In addition to capitalists,
there are entertainers, athletes, politicians, drug dealers, doctors,
landlords, lawyers, pimps and so on who are also "rich people". It is
therefore just as nebulous a 'category' that the Democrats use as
'income bracket' being those who 'earn' in excess of $ 250,000 a
year' being taxed more than the 'income bracket' of those who
'make less than $ 250,000 per year'.

The taxation of the capitalists and banks must be clearly stated in
scientific categories, the taxation of capitalist's profits, because
it is an 'unearned income' that in itself is derived vampirelike by this
class of economic parasites from the labor, blood, sweat and tears
of the working classes they employ.

Proletarians are not defined as "the working man" nor as a "we all work
for rich people". The proletariat is defined as the class of modern
wage workers, having no means of production of their own are
economically compelled to sell their labor power to the classes that
own the means of production and subsistence in order to live. They do
not "work for rich people", proletarians work for capitalists.

Capitalists are the class of owners of the means of social production
and distribution, and on this basis are the employers of wage labor.
Personifications of capital, they are driven by warewolf hunger for
surplus values and hence compel the proletariat to engage in surplus, i.e.
unpaid labor time, to maximize profits above the cost of production.
Finance capitalists, insurance companies, service capitalists, retail
capitalists, slumlords, paycheck loan sharks, drug dealers, landlords
and the State share in this surplus of profits as interests, profits,
rent and taxation.

Economic categories are based on relations of production's
corresponding to mode of income: capitalist's appropriate the labor
power of proletarians in exchange for currency, and by this transaction
capitalists at the same time appropriate ownership of the products of
those laborer's work as the capitalist's possession, leaving workers
with nothing but a paycheck. Capitalists, as owners of the means of
production and subsistence that are produced by proletarians and on
the basis of this ownership of the means of subsistence produced by
worker's labor power consequently then sell the means of subsistence
to those workers the very products of the proletarians' labor power.

When the capitalist's ideologists and politicians speak of 'liberty'
and 'individual liberty' and 'freedom', they are therefore talking
about the liberty and freedom of individual and collective capitalists
to hire and fire workers as they decide for themselves, and to keep
'big government' out of the market economy. The only function of
'small government' is to spend and maintain a big military and police
force, courts and prisons to maintain the capitalist system's 'law
and order'.

The Libertarian theoreticians of the so-called Tea Party faction of
the Republican Party, and of Republicans generally, point to Adam
Smith's concept of laissez faire capitalism vis-a-vis 'big government'
[interference] as articulated by Smith in "The Wealth of Nations".
But, that is a ramification of his economic science and not its core
concept.

What made the Wealth of Nations economic science was its empirical
analysis of labor, value, prices, wages, profits, rent and other
economic categories as they are 'interrelated'. In this connection,
the core concept of value is the cornerstone of his system. On this he
wrote:

"Every man is rich or poor according to the degree in which he can
afford to enjoy the necessaries, conveniences, and amusements of
human life. But after the division of labour has once thoroughly taken
place, it is but a very small part of these with which a man's own
labour can supply him. The far greater part of them he must derive
from the labour of other people, and he must be rich or poor according
to the quantity of that labour which he can command, or which he can
afford to purchase. The value of any commodity, therefore, to the
person who possesses it, and who means not to use or consume it
himself, but to exchange it for other commodities, is equal to the
quantity of labour which it enables him to purchase or command.
Labour, therefore, is the real measure of the exchangeable value of
all commodities.
http://www.econlib.org/library/Smith/smWN2.html#B.I,%20Ch.5,%20Of%20the%20Real%20and%20Nominal%20Price%20of%20Commodities

"It sometimes happens, indeed, that a single independent workman has
stock sufficient both to purchase the materials of his work, and to
maintain himself till it be completed. He is both master and workman,
and enjoys the whole produce of his own labour, or the whole value
which it adds to the materials upon which it is bestowed. It includes
what are usually two distinct revenues, belonging to two distinct
persons, the profits of stock, and the wages of labour.

"Such cases, however, are not very frequent, and in every part of
Europe, twenty workmen serve under a master for one that is
independent; and the wages of labour are every where understood to be,
what they usually are, when the labourer is one person, and the owner
of the stock which employs him another.

"What are the common wages of labour, depends every where upon the
contract usually made between those two parties, whose interests are
by no means the same. The workmen desire to get as much, the masters
to give as little as possible. The former are disposed to combine in
order to raise, the latter in order to lower the wages of labour.

"It is not, however, difficult to foresee which of the two parties
must, upon all ordinary occasions, have the advantage in the dispute,
and force the other into a compliance with their terms. The masters,
being fewer in number, can combine much more easily; and the law,
besides, authorizes, or at least does not prohibit their combinations,
while it prohibits those of the workmen. We have no acts of parliament
against combining to lower the price of work; but many against
combining to raise it. In all such disputes the masters can hold out
much longer. A landlord, a farmer, a master manufacturer, or merchant,
though they did not employ a single workman, could generally live a
year or two upon the stocks which they have already acquired. Many
workmen could not subsist a week, few could subsist a month, and
scarce any a year without employment. In the long-run the workman may
be as necessary to his master as his master is to him, but the
necessity is not so immediate.

"We rarely hear, it has been said, of the combinations of masters,
though frequently of those of workmen. But whoever imagines, upon this
account, that masters rarely combine, is as ignorant of the world as
of the subject. Masters are always and every where in a sort of tacit,
but constant and uniform combination, not to raise the wages of labour
above their actual rate. To violate this combination is every where a
most unpopular action, and a sort of reproach to a master among his
neighbours and equals. We seldom, indeed, hear of this combination,
because it is the usual, and one may say, the natural state of things
which nobody ever hears of. Masters too sometimes enter into
particular combinations to sink the wages of labour even below this
rate. These are always conducted with the utmost silence and secrecy,
till the moment of execution, and when the workmen yield, as they
sometimes do, without resistance, though severely felt by them, they
are never heard of by other people. Such combinations, however, are
frequently resisted by a contrary defensive combination of the
workmen; who sometimes too, without any provocation of this kind,
combine of their own accord to raise the price of their labour. Their
usual pretenses are, sometimes the high price of provisions; sometimes
the great profit which their masters make by their work. But whether
their combinations be offensive or defensive, they are always
abundantly heard of. In order to bring the point to a speedy decision,
they have always recourse to the loudest clamour, and sometimes to the
most shocking violence and outrage. They are desperate, and act with
the folly and extravagance of desperate men, who must either starve,
or frighten their masters into an immediate compliance with their
demands. The masters upon these occasions are just as clamorous upon
the other side, and never cease to call aloud for the assistance of
the civil magistrate, and the rigorous execution of those laws which
have been enacted with so much severity against the combinations of
servants, labourers, and journeymen. The workmen, accordingly, very
seldom derive any advantage from the violence of those tumultuous
combinations, which, partly from the interposition of the civil
magistrate, partly from the superior steadiness of the masters, partly
from the necessity which the greater part of the workmen are under of
submitting for the sake of present subsistence, generally end in
nothing, but the punishment or ruin of the ringleaders.
(Adam Smith ibid. http://www.econlib.org/library/Smith/smWN3.html#B.I,%20Ch.8,%20Of%20the%20Wages%20of%20Labour)

So you see here that Adam Smith, or rather the libertarians reading of
him isn't opposed to 'big government' - that is, the State as an
instrument of the capitalists intervening into the economy against
Labor, against the working class.

Similarly the laissez faire concept of 'government' and its 'proper
function' in the U.S. Barry Goldwater, and presently Rand Paul were
opposed to the 'government' i.e. the State forcing segregationist to
desegregate their resturants, but not opposed to - nay, thought it the
government's duty! - to use guns, waterhose and dogs against Blacks
who were 'breaking the law' of segregation enforcement by entering
those segregated establishments.

The Democrats as well as the Republicans are for the use of the
State's armed forces against workers domestically and to invade
countries in the interests of the capitalist class and transnational
corporations.

When the Republicans criticise the Democrats 'government spending', it
is not a criticism for them funding the military component of the
State, but its spending on 'bread and circus'. The Democrats only want
to appease the working class whereas the Republicans want to destroy
its organizations. But, in the last analysis they are both
representing the interests of the capitalist class as ruling class.

But workers, minorities, feminists and so on who campaigned and voted
for Obama as 'progressives', 'working people' and so on, as American
workers call themselves - they never use the terms socialists or even
working-CLASS - were also fools for believing that there was something
'historic' about a Democratic Party millionaire Senator running for
the office of the President in 2008, just because Obama was "Black" -
at any rate wasn't 'white'!

The illusion that 'race' makes a difference is destroyed by the
reality of class power. Besides, Obama is a chump, a push over who
cringes like a Stephen Fetchit when the Democrats were the majority,
e.g. firing Shirley Sherrod and joining the Republicans and Fox News
in the destruction of Acorn. Now that the radical right of the Republican
Party are in the majority he will be a rigshaw carrying coolie in service
to these Republicans.

American workers were easily manipulated by words and personality
contest. There is no significant difference between the Democrats and
Republicans, both parties are political representatives of the
capitalist classes different factions. But, the election of Rand Paul
in Kentuky shows pure stupidity of workers to have elected this
'libertarian' demogogue to the Senate. But, those of the Tea Party
movement' are openly reactionary enemies of unions and minorities.

What is more significant than those gullible &/or reactionary racist
workers who voted in the Republican right wing demogogues is the
numbers of American workers and minorities who enthusiastically
delusionally voted for Obama and the democrats in 2008 who in effect
boycotted the election by not voting again for the Democrats in 2010.
They are not the gullible who changed to the Republicans.

Millions of the 'American working people' who were delusional in 2008
have learned and come to their senses over the past two years of the
actual Obama presidency with a Democratic Party majority in the Senate
and the House.

They may to some degree be demoralized by the realization that they
were in fact taken to be fools in 2008. But, the 'feeling' of
demoralization is itself false consciousness, the belief that their
interests were 'betrayed'. They were not betrayed. They were suckered.

The Democratic Party was never a working class partisan party. Obama
never claimed to be. What is important is to realize that, if there is
to be any talk of 'betrayal' it is among the workers who seem to have
realized that they were manipulated by 'progressives'. This includes
MSNBC. Yet Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow and Ed Shults did stand on
principle and openly exposed the Blue Dog Democrats and even Obama when
they destroyed the prospects for a national health care legislation,
including even having a so-called 'public option'. Rather than standing
with those who got him elected and fighting the Blue Dogs and
Republican opposition, the Obama administration denounced these
'progressive Democrats' as a whinning so-called professional left.

The manipulation of workers and minority folk who regard themselves as
'the Left" was accomplished by people such as Cornell West, Micheal
Parenti, Jarvis Tyner, Noam Chomsky, Imari Baraka, Howard Zinn and so
on who are to be held directly responsible because they claimed to be
socialists, anarchists and communists as they recruited ignorant
workers and minorities onto the so-called "Obama-train": the
Democratic Party, under the guise of politics of the individual in
opposition to politics of class war.

The fact is that it is the reactionary representatives of the finance
capitalists, the Republican ideologists in the media and in politics
who are the one's who raise the issue of 'class', as a pseudo-class of
'the people' vs the 'elite', 'the government', the 'mainstream media'
and so on.

Then, when Democrats raise the issue of their own pseudo-class
category of 'the people' and 'middle class' or 'working people',
'common man' and so on vs 'fat cats', 'the rich' and other words that
have no scientific economic category, as a 'moral' concern, the
Republicans stamp that the Democrats are advocating 'class war' and
the Democrats retreat from even this.

But, the fact is that real class categoricals as the struggle of wage
labor vs capital is not known to American workers. The actuality is
that the workers who believed in Obama are disappointed because Obama
appears as a wimp that caved into the Republicans and 'Blue Dog
Democrats'.

By the way, just as an FYI you recall those "Blue Dog Democrats" that
opposed the Card Check legislation and the national health care or
even 'public option', siding with the Republican Party cadres in the
House and Senate? Of the 80 members of the Democratic House
"Progressive Caucus" that openly fought at least for the public option
and were the ones targeted by the Tea Baggers only 4 lost, the others
who ran were reelected. On the other hand, of the 53 members of the
blue dog faction 24 were tossed from office by Republicans although
they voted with Republicans. But, only in passing. The point is that
Obama sided with these blue doggers against the 'progressives' and the
'progressives' conceded to them and through them to the Republicans
and the Republicans still denounced and smashed them. In all
probability the 'progressives' will now come out in opposition to
Republicans and again will pretend to 'represent the working man',
but, remember, the Democrats are a Party.

The Democrats and 'progressives' must be seen as capitalist class
partisans and proved themselves as such based on what they did and
didn't do for capitalists compared and contrasted to proletarians when
that Party had full domination of the Executive, and both the Senate
and House of Representatives and not be allowed to fool American workers
again. Never again. The Democrats can fool some of the workers some of
the time, and all the workers some of the time, but they cannot make fools
of all the workers all of the time. This is the significance of
some 14 million of the 23 million young workers who participated in
the "Obama phenomena" in 2008, under the illusion of politics of the
individual, are now disillusioned 'working people' who didn't bother
to vote for the Democratic Party in 2010.

What was lacking in the 2010 mid-term election was a viable
alternative, and therefore the Labor Party must be again criticised
for not running candidates for the House of Representatives.
It is the difference of being disillusioned and being demoralized.
To be demoralized by the Republican party's defeat of the Democrats
is to still have illusiions that the Democratic party is anything
but what it is, a political faction of capitalist partisan politicians.

Those young workers who are dis-illusioned by Obama and the Democrats
are those who are giving up illusions about the politics of the
individual and thinking as workers who are coming to their senses:
those who know that it was the Democratic Party, as majority party, in both
houses of Congress, that transferred a trillion plus dollars from
working class tax payers to fortify finance capitalists' balance sheets,
while these same workers were being foreclosed upon and thrown into the streets
by those very same bankers/finance capital. Industry (General Motors, Crysler...)
"cash for clunkers", "first-time home buyers tax credit program", got its
"bailout" too while Democratic party members blocked Card Check
union legislation; the majority party with the aid of Obama that
killed the Public Option and the workers to buy health
care from the Insurance Company; the majority party that is keeping "Gitmo"
and Patriot Act policies in effect, and Leonard Peltier and other political
prisoners are still in prisons across this land and there are more
Americans in jails than in any other country in the world;
that has increased the violence in Afghanistan,
Pakistan and Somalia, as well as arming and funding Israel and
opposing the Palestinians, opposing the government of Zimbabwe
returning land to Africans, opposing the Iranian and Cuban nations
right to self-determination and attacking Venezuela. This is what the
Democrats are doing and is why workers and minorities didn't
throw away their votes reelecting those damn Democrats in 2010 as they
did in 2008!

But, while remembering what the Democrats and the Obama adminstration
did in union with the "Blue Dog Democrats" and through them working
with the reactionary Republicans, don't get demoralized, get angry and
form your own class party to fight both the Democrats and the
Republicans in election contests to win the House of Representatives.
Force your unions to quit the Democratic Party and join the Labor
Party USA. Campaign for leadership positions in the trade unions on a
platform of Quit the Democrats, build the Labor Party!

So, what has 'changed' as a result of yesturday's American national
elections? The same as had changed by the 2008 election: Nothing! The
Democrats and Republicans have played musical chairs for more than a
century. Workers get mad at the Democrats and the capitalists displace
them by the Republicans, and when they get made at the Republicans the
capitalists replace them by the Democrats. The politicians in each
Party are financed by the same capitalist classes and the voters are
hoodwinked every election day by demogogic rhetoric.

Because the American working class does not yet exist as a class, this
is why the American workers are submitting to the attacks by the
capitalists during this current crisis, and voting for their class
enemies to dominate them whereas the workers in Europe are fighting
back.

As in every industrial and technologically advanced industrial
democracy in Western Europe, the American working class has to have
its own class party that is financially and organizationally based on
a Trade Union Federation and socially in the working class as a whole.
The American workers must come to have and be of a mind and will of its
own, part and parcel of the world wide working class revolution that
is beginning in Europe.

The working classes of France, Britain, Germany, Russia, South Africa,
Japan, China and India yesterday weren't sitting around holding their
breaths in anticipation of which political faction of the American
capitalist classes would be in place as the majority in the House of
Representatives and Senate.

What is more important to class conscious workers, socialists,
communists, anarchists and revolutionary workers of the world are the
class battles of the class-conscious European proletariat, and in
particular these workers are focused on the French proletariat as
vanguard of those class wars taking to the streets in the cities of
France.

There is no Labour Party in the races for seats in the House of
Representatives.

The Democratic Party is the Conservative Party of capitalists who
represent industrial and domestic capitals, the Republican Party is
reactionary representatives of finance and transnational capital. The
working class had no dog in that fight, and the fact that the
Democrats lost seats is evidence that many of the working class and
ethnic minorities, gays and lesbians, feminists and so on who were
deluded into believing that Obama, as a Negro, was on their side, were
disillusioned by his performance as an open representative of the
capitalists in selling out even the trade union bureaucrats of the
Democratic Party.

I continue to advocate for a European style Labor Party in the United
States, one that is comprised of working class and poor people and
clearly fighting for class power, of worker's becoming State Power for
the destruction of the enemy of the working classes - the capitalist
classes and their Parties.

Labor Party Praxis is an organization and e-group that is committed to
participating in the self-organization of the working class as a class
and, consequently, a political party. History has shown that every
class struggle is a political struggle.
http://laborpartypraxis.org/

Labor Party politics by American workers is needed to break from the chain
of delusions of Americana. American workers have to understand that
they are not some illusory 'American middle class' but are part and
parcel of the cosmopolitan proletariat. This is necessary to rid
themselves of the illusion of 'American exceptionalism', 'special
democracy' and other bullshit clap trap rampant in this reactionary
culture, including the myth of politics of the individual vas-a-vis
class politics based on material interests.

American workers are ignorant of the centuries of class struggles and
revolutions of the toiling masses and working classes and the European
economic science and socialist theories that has evolved in Europe as
their own class history as well. The American workers therefore
believe economies are determined by government policy rather than
by material interests.

Yet, it is just as true in the United States as it is in Britain,
France and Germany that Capitalist commodity production on the basis
of appropriated labour power for wages - the buying and selling of
labour power by capitalist from proletarians and the extraction of
profits by the exploitation of wageworkers - operate by objective laws
of motion, resulting in boom/bust cycles, declining rates of profits
and the creation of surplus products and unemployment.

The economy isn't run by politicians, but it runs those politicians.
There is no such thing as prosperity, there exists wealth and poverty
and it is the workers who produce wealth for their exploiters and
poverty for themselves. Wages are exploited labour power and profits
are derived from the labour of those exploited workers.

I think the Republicans in the majority in the House of
Representatives with the Democrats in the majority of the Senate and
the Executive will help destroy the credibility of the capitalist
government, and the American workers who voted for them on the basis
of slogans and words, will be crushed into the dirt. They get the
government they voted for: the unrestrained rule of capital.

It is therefore all the more a necessity to have a Labor Party
operating in the political arena in a struggle for State Power.
Otherwise, the same capitalists that financed this protofascist
so-called "Tea Party Movement" in 2010 will use these cadres and put
their hundreds of millions of dollars behind a full fledged fascist
Party to sieze the power, will have to do so in response to the
deepening economic crisis when workers spontaneously rise.

So, young American workers! Don't be fools for the second time! You
know the Native American wisdom: 'fool me once, shame on you' fool me
twice, shame on me!'

The Democrats will send out their 'progressives', race hustlers,
faminists, gay rights activists and trade union bureaucrats again in
2012 to demogogue you into voting to 'stop fascism' and 'not let the
brotha be a failed one term president', to protect Roe V Wade and get
gay's married and into the imperialist armed forces. They do this,
without fail, every election cycle.

The difference this time is that the actual capitalist class
partisanship of the Democratic Party was so obviously blatant because
the 'progressives' had raised the hopes so high, and Obama as a 'Black
community organizer from Chicago' was acting like he was Fred Hampton,
stealing words, images and slogans from Martin Luther King Jr and
speeches from Malcolm X!

But more significantly there were Baraka, West, Chomsky, Parenti,
Zinn, Tyner and other 'respected' socialists, communists and
anarchists' who were not just endorsing Obama - that is, the
Democratic Party - but were actively campaigning for him and them, as
well as were the officials of the trade unions mobalizing its members.
In the last analysis, however, you must not judge an individual by what
they say of themselves or how they define their behavior but by what
they do, and all those who foisted Obama and the Democrats on the
American working class must be seen by you and judged by their
deeds and rejected as nothing but lackeys and lickspittles of the
capitalist class party's politicians.

You see what the capitalists are doing. They are investing hundreds of
millions of dollars into the vile racists and Islamophobes, homophobic
protofascist Tea Party and the anti-immigrant militias. But, now that
they have elements in Congress as well as FOX and radio talk shows,
they will be stronger, mightier in 2012 and subsequently. They cannot
be stopped by the Democrats, even if they wanted too, as you have seen
for the last two years that they are political cowards who caved into
the Republican 'minority' on each and every 'issue'.

The only way the fascists can be 'stopped' is for the capitalist class
to be defeated in the streets. This lesson is clear by the observation
of what the French proletariat has been doing in response to the
capitalist's government's attempt to treat the French proletariat the
way the American government treat American workers. Also keep eyes on
the Greek proletariat, the Spanish and the German working classes as
well.

Class-conscious American workers must win the leadership of the trade
unions by advancing candidates on a political platform to mobalize
its members in a transformative struggle to go from purely economic
defense and an electoral tool of the Democrats to take the political
offense in a class struggle to organize the American Labor Party to
take State Power at the ballot box, in class war against the capitalist
class as a class, and therefore fighting both its political representatives -
the Democratic Party as well as the Republican Party, and do this
battle with the same or higher self-confidence and determination as the
capitalists are in financing and organizing their fascist Tea Bag Party,
to take State power to crush us.

Hence, at the same time, we must anticipate every contingency. Thus, by
forethought and planning we must be prepared: if fascist militias take
to the streets against unions, immigrants and minorities including
Arabs, Mexicans, Muslims and Jews as well as Blacks we must already
have organized armed and trained workers militias to meet them in the
streets. We will take to the streets to confront the capitalists not
just by general strikes against the capitalists class and State but by
armed workers militias and destroy their fascist goons in bloody
contests for the control of the election process itself.

If and when we win the battle of democracy by taking the majority of
seats in the House of Representatives, by running labor party, green,
socialists, communists, trade unionists and representatives of
oppressed minorities against Democrats as well as Republicans and Tea
Partiers, it will be on a platform for a coalition government of the
House of Representatives that will legislate the abolition of the
Senate, the Presidency, the Judiciary and in every State to break the
power of the Republican red districts by subordinating the rural areas
to the urban centers of industry and commerce.

If the CIA/FBI-Pentagon pulls off a coup to abolish the Labor government
of the House of Representatives to prevent it from becoming the new
Parliament, just remember the rank and file of the armed forces are
the sons and daughters, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters of
the working class who will swear their alligence to the new House of
Labor and instead of backing the coup will turn their weapons on the
officer corps.

Taxing capitalists profits is class-conscious but it is not 'class war', and
the so-called 'elite' is not the class enemy of the working class. Class
warfare is a real war, the struggle for Worker's Power by the displacement
of the capitalist class parties, the abolition of the capital dominated Senate,
Presidency and Judiciary and by constituting the House of Representatives as
the House of Labor, there legislating the transfer of the productive forces
from the private possession of the capitalist classes to the public property
of the working classes. This is the political precondition for the abolition
of capitalist commodity production and wage labor.
http://laborpartypraxis.org/2010ElectoralDefeatofDemocratsandTeaParty.html

KWAZI NKRUMAH WROTE:


John:

Thanks for forwarding this analysis from Lil' Joe. I have read it
several times with great interest. I would like to write a full
response to it, but don't know if my current conditions will allow me
to, so let me just say this:

I think Lil' Joe has correctly identified what may be the central
problem confronting revolutionaries in the United States, namely, that
the vast majority of American workers have a completely false
understanding of their own position in this society, or even the
nature of American capitalist society, as such.

On the other hand,
Lil' Joe provides us with very little concrete direction about how to
handle either that contradiction or the very real contradiction that
exists between those of us who understand the true nature and
functioning of the capitalist system, and the vast majority of people
who live and work around us, who definitely do not.

We cannot solve these problems by constantly reiterating the basic
postulates of the labor theory of value. That has already been tried
by various groups, who began and ended as isolated "sects". Nor can we

realistically expect that the vast majority of the population, who
have been brainwashed with capitalist values and aspirations since
birth will suddenly go from being people who "...believe that
"America" is a "classless democracy" and "pragmatic" as opposed to
"ideological"... have internalized the cultural fantasy opinion that
America is the center of world history, the 'envy of the world', 'the
world's first democracy', a 'city on a hill', and other nationalist
delusions of grandeur... (and) are the most ignorant, racialist,
religious bigoted and the most delusional patriotic and intellectually
backward workers in the world...don't even know they are a working
class with material interests separate and apart from and opposed to
capitalists... are culturally anti-socialists and pro-capitalist
exploitation of themselves...", etc., etc, to being suddenly ready to
form a labor party on the European model!!!

In fact, if American workers did actually get it together enough to
take over the currently established unions, it's very doubtful that
they would then move on very rapidly to vying to establish state power
from that particular base. Why?

First of all, the established unions in this country have a long
history of being mired in what is known as "economism" or
"pure-and-simple trade unionism". This means that in this country, the
unions have rarely been oriented towards class-conscious politics.
They have rarely ever sought anything more than partial economic and
political reforms of the capitalist system. Lenin, for example, said
that economism and trade unionism were only primitive first steps
toward class-conscious organization.

[In addition, in this country, the unions by-and-large have actually
been practicing "corporate unionism' for many years. They are in the
business of selling the labor power of the workers to the capitalist
class in exchange for SOME benefits for the workers, but MORE benefits
for those who run the unions---mostly paid professionals, many of whom
have never worked as rank-and-file workers in their lives! This
pattern started in the late forties and continued all through the 50's
(after the communists and leftists were "purged" out of the U.S. labor
movement in the earliest stages of the Cold War.) Since that time,
unions in this country have generally ceased to be democratic
organizations actually run by the workers. Most of them are staff-run,
with the workers reduced to a giant "rubber stamp"! Throughout the
period 1946-1976, at least, American workers (especially the white
workers) were at the same time being "assimilated" into U.S.
capitalism as part of the "great American middle class". The material
basis of this social , economic and psychological assimilation,
however, has been corroding steadily since the end of the Vietnam War.
Among other things, this assessment of the unions is based on over 30
years of personal experience as a rank-and-file leader, staff
organizer, business agent and consultant for more than half a dozen
major unions in this country.)

Secondly, on the real side, even though almost ALL of the European
unions and Labor/Socialist/Communist Parties are MUCH MORE ADVANCED
than anything that exists in this country, NONE of them have attempted
to displace the capitalist system!!! ALL of them have opted to pursue
reformist and economist strategies. NONE of them can thus serve as
true "models" for a revolutionary workers' movement in this country,
because they are NOT revolutionary movements in their own! We can
still learn many things--- both positive and negative--- from their
experiences, but that is another question! If American workers are
going to look for "models", it will have a model of their own
construction! That is the cold fact!

As I understand the question of "American exceptionalism", this was/is
the belief that the peculiarities of U.S. capitalism made it
impervious to the general laws of capitalism, or the philosophy and
methodology of dialectical and historical materialism. This was
originally a theory that emerged in the mid-late 1920's inside the
Communist Party, USA. This theory was a reflection of the fact that
many in the U.S. left have at times felt politically and theoretically
overwhelmed by the power and resilience of U.S. capitalism. It also
reflected the fact that very little in the way of revolutionary
theory, based in the concrete history of class struggles inside this
country, had been developed. Instead, the strongest tendency has been
to substitute the memorization of abstractions from the classics of
Marxism, or "tailism" behind the latest left trends in other countries
for any serious effort to ground U.S. left movements in the theory and
practice of class struggles in this country.

A well known philosopher once said that "Without revolutionary theory,
there can be NO revolutionary movement." The total history of the U.S.
left throughout the twentieth century bears this out! Time and again,
the U.S. left has found itself being tripped up by its failure to
operate from a solid theoretical base of its own. The near total
collapse of the Marxist-oriented left in the 1990's, in reaction to
the collapse of the Soviet Union and its Eastern European spin-offs,
was only the most recent expression of a pattern that replayed itself
at several points throughout the last century. It is well past time to
break such patterns!

Genuine internationalism can only grow out of the mutual growth of all
revolutionary forces based on a genuine EXCHANGE of thought and
experiences which is rooted in the concrete experiences of the various
countries. The failure to contribute significantly to that process
means to retard the growth of ALL the parties involved, because such
growth is only possible on the basis of the new and varying
experiences that emerge under differing conditions. Such a failure
also means that one loses the basis to assimilate the experiences of
others critically, thus promoting the tendency to support or even
reproduce the errors committed by others! Genuine internationalism
thus requires a strong grounding in the experiences of the class
struggles in one's own back yard, first and foremost.

General Vo Nguyen Giap, the organizational genius of the Vietnamese
revolution, summing up the experiences of the Vietnamese revolutionary
movement, wrote many years ago that a successful revolution, depends
first of all on a correct ideology; secondly, on a concrete analysis
and strategy or plan, and thirdly on the proper methodology. In
general, he said that the correct methodology was being practiced when
the revolutionaries have the same relationship to the masses as fish
do to the sea. When the relationship of the revolutionaries to the
masses is as seamless as that of fish swimming through the sea, the
correct methodology is being used. This methodology must be based in a
correct analysis of conditions, which in turn is dependent on a
correct ideological orientation.

In this country, as I've said, the ideological orientation of the left
has generally been questionable, at best. Analysis and strategy have
also been "if-fy" , and methodology has often been so far off that
"revolutionaries" are alot more like "fish out of water" than "fish
swimming seamlessly in the sea" !!! ( Huey P. Newton even felt that
this became a major contradiction within the Black Panther Party---see
Chapter 33 of "Revolutionary Suicide" and his essay "The Defection of
Eldridge Cleaver From the Black Panther Party, and the Defection of
the Black Panther Party From the Black Community". While Huey's
approach to dealing with these problems was also problematic, there
was alot of truth to his complaints that Cleaver's obsession with the
drama of insurrectionary acts and promotion of a "strictly military
viewpoint" had helped to marginalize the BPP. This is confirmed in
Cleaver's own writings--- see Eldridge Cleaver: "The Crisis of the
Black Bourgeoisie" and various essays in "Target Zero".)

In addition to getting well-grounded in the history of the class
struggles in this country, developing an effective methodology is
absolutely essential. Personally, I believe we need a "Malcolm X
style" of communication and work. Malcolm was one of the most
developed thinkers and political leaders ever produced out of the
class struggles in this country, but he always truly spoke in the
language of the people. Even his most complex ideas or strategies were
brought down to earth so that everyone could understand exactly what
he was talking about. He never used abstract terminology, Marxist or
otherwise. That it part of why his ideas truly took root in the minds
of the masses.

These are a few of my responses to what in most respects I think is a
brilliant piece of analysis from Lil' Joe. I have taken time to
address some of my "issues" with what is there and how it is
expressed. But I want to say also that I agree with probably most of
the essence of what Lil' Joe is working toward here. I particularly
think that his analysis of the contradictions in and around the role
of the Democratic Party are hitting it right on the head, as is the
basic idea of the need for a militant, class conscious workers
movement.

I think the question of how we actually get to there, from here, is
the real issue.

Comradely greetings,

Kwazi Nkrumah.

ADAOMA RESPONDS
Hi Lil Joe, Adaoma here. Thank you for sharing Kwazi's response to
your analysis. I've made a few comments on your analysis and these
comments.


KWAZI WROTE:

"But I want to say also that I agree with probably most of
the essence of what Lil' Joe is working toward here. I particularly
think that his analysis of the contradictions in and around the role
of the Democratic Party are hitting it right on the head, as is the
basic idea of the need for a militant, class conscious workers movement."

There is evidence that Lil Joe is accurate in his analysis of the
working class' discontent with the Democratic Party and are beginning
to initiate efforts to represent their own interests by forming a
labor party.

Take a look at what is happening North Carolina.

"JULIE ROSE: These people chanting were once some of Democratic
Congressman Larry Kissell's most ardent supporters. As members of the
Service Employees International Union, they knocked on tens of
thousands of doors and donated tens of thousands of dollars to help
him beat an entrenched Republican in 2008. Then, Kissell announced he
was voting against the health care bill. And SEIU members like Sheila
Dogan(ph) converged on his office near Charlotte.

MS. SHEILA DOGAN: If he votes no, then he better be prepared to kiss
his House seat goodbye because we're going to bring his butt back
home.

(Soundbite of cheering)

ROSE: Their plan is to put a new political party on the ballot in
North Carolina this November. Unions have been known to form parties.
Think the Labor Party or the Working Families Party, which is active
in several states right now. But the SEIU has never done this before,
according to spokeswoman Lori Lodes.

The union is giving it a shot in North Carolina because the state has
three Democrats who voted against the health care bill and because
there are only three parties on North Carolina's ballot: Democratic,
Republican and Libertarian. "
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=125997176&ft=1&f=1014

ADAOMA continues:
You may follow this link (above) to hear and read the full interview on NPR.

As it turned out AFL-CIO ended up supporting Kissell despite his
voting No to Health Care, rather than standing with the new labor
party that wanted to vote him out of office for not representing their
interests. Hence, it is clear that all of these leaders of big unions
that are out of touch with worker's class interests, need to be
booted-out of office, along with politicians who side with capitalist
interests.

I agree that the ideas of American exceptionalism have been used to
convince workers that capitalism serves their economic interests by
way of the Democratic and Republican Party. But, at the same time, I
think that it is the same doctrine of American exceptionalism that
says workers in this country are so different than their global
counterparts that they will succumb and not prevail over capitalism by
breaking with the Democrats and Republicans to form a labor party.

KWAZI wrote:
"Personally, I believe we need a "Malcolm X
style" of communication and work. Malcolm was one of the most
developed thinkers and political leaders ever produced out of the
class struggles in this country, but he always truly spoke in the
language of the people. Even his most complex ideas or strategies were
brought down to earth so that everyone could understand exactly what
he was talking about. He never used abstract terminology, Marxist or
otherwise. That it part of why his ideas truly took root in the minds
of the masses."

ADAOMA continues:
What is needful and revolutionary about Lil Joe's analysis is that it
includes all workers across racial and other sectarian interests. I
would say that King, not Malcolm utilized that model, as should
workers today. If it is one thing that keeps workers divided is the
knowledge that given color, culture, religion, gender orientation, and
sex...those who work for wages have the same economic interests and
should unite on that basis. King was a living example of this working
with poor people, socialists, women, people whose religion was
different than his own. This is the work that led him to the Garbage
workers strike in Memphis, his writings about joining with the
bootless peasants in Vietnam and around the world in his Riverside
speech and the Poor People's campaign.

There is much to learn from Greece, France and England. Taking state
power is not out of reach of workers. This global crisis is a praxis
for workers and American workers are no American exception, as we
cyberspace and cable tv makes the working class accessible to
information outside the popular media bubble, with those of the
working class, like Lil Joe writing and encouraging the working class
to serve our own interests anything is possible. Which one of us is
clairvoyant to say otherwise.

The Struggle Continues
Adaoma

BILAL WROTE:
Just a comment on Adaoma's comment on Malcolm X. Malcolm continues to
get a bad rap about his analysis of conditions existing in amerikkka
and solutions to those conditions. Adaoma like many others refuse to
separate Malcolm from his days with the reactionary Nation Of Islam
days...and his further evolution during his last days. Malcolm did
acknowledge the need to work together with others despite their skin
color....Malcolm also acknowledged capitalism role in the
racist/exploitation of Blacks...yet Malcolm was a realist and
understood any type of "worker" solidarity couldn't come about
without "whites" accepting that racism...mostly on their part, was a
detriment to all. Malcolm also understood the duel nature of the
plight of Blacks i.e, double/super exploitation. Martin Luther
King's approach was one of reconciliation with the
capitalist...Malcolm wasn't having any of that...so I rather sign on
to Malcolm's approach...which was to address the question of double/super
exploitation of his/my people.

Just a thought.
bilal ali


ADAOMA QUOTES:
"What will eventually happen is this, labor will become so power (this was certainly evidenced in the
recent election) that she will be able to place a president in the White House. This will inevitably
bring about a nationalization of industry. That will be the end of capitalism. I am not
saying that there is a conscious move toward socialism, not even by labor, the move is
certainly unconscious. But there is a definite move away from capitalism, whether we conceive
of it as conscious or unconscious Capitalism finds herself like a losing football
team in the last quarter trying all types of tactics to survive. "
Martin Luther King, Jr., 1958
http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/index.php/kingpapers/article/volume_i_20_february_to_4_may_19511/

Greetings Bilal, Adaoma here.

Thank you for your thoughts.

While memories of both Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. are dear to many, they are not above an
objective critique of their influence on the working class.

Most of Malcolm X's public life he was a member of the Nation of Islam, which was a politically
conservative group that obeyed the laws of the land, lived quietly and peacefully in their own community
and encouraged entrepreneurship, the petite bourgeoisie, i.e. the selling of bean pies, fish sandwiches
and the organization's newspaper "Muhammad Speaks".

Please present Malcolm's analysis of capitalism, critique of critique of socialism, strategy for economic
power, strategy for political empowerment and bare mention of class.


King began his study of Karl Marx when he attended Morehouse at age 15.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Luther_King_Jr.#Early_life_and_education

A Critique of Karl Marx ( and others) by Martin Luther King, Jr. showing
the depths of understanding that Martin Luther King, Jr. had of Marx's writings
http://www2.volstate.edu/geades/FinalDocs/1960s/MLK2.htm

On King's study of Hegel ( his favorite philosopher)
http://www.autodidactproject.org/other/hegel-mlk2.html


So, contrary to what Kwazi wrote, I would say: Martin Luther King, Jr. "was one of the most
developed thinkers and political leaders ever produced out of the class struggles in this
country, but he always truly spoke in the language of the people."

Many of the labor unions' protest tactics, such as picketing, sit-ins, boycotts, marching,
singing, were learned from the Civil Rights Movement of which King was a prominent leader

As my opening quotation from Martin Luther King, Jr. shows, King had such great respect for the working
class and such great understanding of the strength of our labor power that his analysis was that Labor
would come to power in the White House. His prediction was that capitalism would end.
That is no compromise with capitalism.

The self-help doctrine that Malcolm X had endorsed under the Nation of Islam was based on capitalism.


Mao Tse-tung on Martin Luther King -1968
http://marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-9/mswv9_80.htm

Mao Tse-tung on the Civil Rights Movement 1963
http://www.marx2mao.com/Mao/PWU67.html#s1
I know that Malcolm X wrote of Mao in his Message to the Grass Roots where he denounced King, but, where
is Mao's mention of Malcolm?

As workers, we must utilize what we learn in objective critique to further our own economic and political
interests. So, a labor party run by workers is possible, as Lil Joe has written.
Adaoma


KWAZI WROTE:
"Very little in the way of revolutionary theory, based in the concrete
history of class struggles inside this country, (has) been developed.
Instead, the strongest tendency has been to substitute the memorization of
abstractions from the classics of Marxism, or "tail ism" behind the latest
left trends in other countries for any serious effort to ground U.S. left
movements in the theory and practice of class struggles in this country."

---From my comments on Lil' Joe's post-election assessment.

Dear Comrades:

Comrade Bilal has forwarded the notes, below, to me. I'm going to post a few
comments in response, and then step back from further dialogue on this
stuff. Those who know me, and I guess also those who DON'T, know that I
don't generally engage in political polemics on the net. I have never signed
on to alot of online political lists. If I engage in any dialogue, it is
usually limited to those who I am directly engaged in doing some kind of
practical work with. I am 57 years old, and I have been continuously active
in political activity and struggles, on my own, since the age of 14 (1968).
Prior to that time, I was active in just about every type of Civil Rights
activism that you can name, including non-violent civil disobedience,
freedom schools, boycotts, leafleting, picketing, helping organize
fundraisers, running mimeographs, door-knocking, phone-banking, etc., from
about the age of 7. That was due to my mother's intense commitment to that
movement, the fact that she was a single parent, and her conscious decision
that her children needed to know what was what, and be a part the struggles
that would determine what kind of world they would be living in. (Most of
the nuts-and-bolts on-the-ground organizing in the Civil Rights movement was
actually done by the women in that movement, from my direct experiences.
Women like my mother. The young children of these women were often "shock
troops" in the major disobedience campaigns of that era. If you really check
out the role of elementary school-aged children in Selma, and Birmingham,
for example, you'll get part of the picture. So I consider that I received
an "advanced political education" at a very early age.) Since 1968, I have
been a student organizer, a tenant and housing organizer, an organizer
around political prisoners, anti-imperialism, a consumer advocate, an
environmental and environmental justice activist, an organizer of
independent political parties, and I have over 33 years of practical
experience organizing rank-and-file workers inside the labor movement. I
have worked with, in or around SNCC, SCLC, CORE, NAACP, the Black Panther
Party, League of Revolutionary Black Workers, the Nation of Islam, the
Student Organization for Black Unity, Malcolm X Liberation University,
African Liberation Support Committee, the National Black Political Assembly,
the National Black Independent Political Party, the Anti-Dogmatist
Anti-Revisionist Marxist-Leninist Trend (Fusion), the Green Party, the
National Black Workers' Organizing Committee, the Coffee Party, and many
more organizations, campaigns, and movements than I can make any room for
here. When I say I've been an organizer, what I mean is that I actually made
some measurable improvements in the lives of the people I worked with and
for, not just that I've been running around spouting left politics. I have
a great respect for books and knowledge, but my politics aren't based
primarily on book-knowledge. I have seen and experienced both some of the
very best and the very worst of what people are, or can be, when they become
part of movements that want to change society. I've been fortunate enough to
have met most of the people who I've most looked up to in the struggle. I
found out that they were all just people like the rest of us, but that
usually increased my respect for them as individuals, and what they were
able to get done, sometimes in spite of themselves.

I want to apologize to Adaoma for mis-addressing her, gender-wise, in a
previous communication. It was based on a mis-communication that was passed
on, so please excuse it. You may not want to excuse much else I have to say
here, but that's alright, because I won't ask you to.

Sister Adaoma, I get the impression from the note you sent to Bilal, that
you are either much younger than us, or if you were alive in the sixties,
that you had little or no exposure to some very important elements within
the Black freedom movement in this country.

Nation of Islam

You say for example:

"Most of Malcolm X's public life he was a member of the Nation of
Islam, which was a politically conservative group that obeyed the
laws of the land, lived quietly and peacefully in their own community
and encouraged entrepreneurship, the petite bourgeoisie, i.e. the
selling of bean pies, fish sandwiches and the organization's newspaper
"Muhammad Speaks". and... "The self-help doctrine that Malcolm X had
endorsed under the Nation of Islam was based on capitalism."

First of all, the Nation of Islam identified itself as primarily a
religious, not a political movement. And indeed, it's economic and social
perspectives were not revolutionary, as such. And indeed, the focus of the
Nation was on "self-help". But, who was it helping? And what was the nature of
that help? And what was the actual nature and history of that organization?

The reality is that the Nation of Islam was built almost exclusively, at
that time, on the very lowest strata of the Black working class, and even on
what RAM and the Black Panther Party would later identify as "the street
force" or "the lumpen". That is to say that the Nation was made up of people
just like Malcolm---the poorest of the poor, the underclass; those forced to
survive as prostitutes, pimps, hustlers, dope-dealers and stick-up artists,
or forced into prison life or dependence on the welfare system because white
(capitalist) society didn't allow them any other channels to survive! Most
of those who joined the Nation back then were considered irredeemable
rejects, outlaws and outcasts from society! No one wanted anything to do
with them! Neither the Black Christian Churches nor the labor movement (two
other movements dominated by bourgeois ideology, by the way, and both
pushing very hard at the time to be integrated into "respectable
middle-class status") would or apparently, could, do anything to help this
sector of the African-American working-class!!! This bottom sector of the
class, which experienced racist discrimination, violence and inequality much
more extremely than any other element in our community, suffered severely
from physical, emotional and psychological trauma as well. Therefore, drug
addiction, alcoholism, psychological disorders and "de-socialization" were
serious problems confronting these super-oppressed victims of the
U.S.capitalist system.

Remember, this was in a period when the labor movement itself was in no way
radical. Most of the radicals and leftists had been purged in the opening
rounds of the McCarthy Period, in the late 40's. Not only was the white
working class told that they were becoming part of the "middle
class"(petty-bourgeoisie), but the unions as institutions were in the
process of converting to "corporate unionism". That is, they were becoming
structurally integrated into the institutional system of advanced capitalist
society, on the basis of class collaboration, both in terms of ideology and
in social and political practice!

The Black Christian Churches, especially those with more middle-class
members, often measured their progress by the amount of distance between
themselves and the underclass. As Malcolm often pointed out, the capitalist
system is expert as making it's victims actually look like the criminal!
American racism often pointed to the black underclass as the living
expression of the "inherent inferiority" and "moral laxity" of the Negro"!
Therefore, many Blacks who sought to escape from this stigma disassociated
themselves from the underclass completely!

When the Nation came along, it was like a life-buoy thrown to a drowning
community. The most oppressed, rejected sector of our community (and of the
U.S. working class!) found fellowship, support, and a sense of
self-esteem---often for the very first time! People who had serious drug
habits and problems with alcohol cleaned themselves up. People who were
considered to be bad parents placed a priority on child-rearing, and got
help learning how to do it. (This was years before any such services were
made available by other public or private institutions!) Ex-felons, who were
often deprived of almost ALL civil rights back then, and suffered more
economic exclusion and job discrimination than anyone else, were helped to
either find work, or start a business that could support them, and perhaps a
family. The Nation originally set up businesses to help these members--- who
no one else would hire ---to survive!

Most important was the feeling of genuine love, acceptance and self-esteem
that the Nation provided to its members and followers. This was based both
on the ability of the Nation, solely on the basis of its' own efforts, and
those of its individual members, to set people on their feet psychologically
and materially in spite of all the odds against them. This was all a pretty
impressive achievement, especially when you realize that all of this was
done without ANY funding from government, white philanthropic foundations,
corporations or even minimal backing from middle-class "Negroes" (as we all
called ourselves back then)!!!

An important part of the ability of the Nation to generate this kind of initiative
and self-regeneration was it's nationalist outlook. This was not a revolutionary
outlook, as such. In fact, it was almost purely based on race-nationalism,
wrapped in religious garb. But it had important effects on two levels.
First, it provided Black people who had been systematically deprived of any
positive sense of self by American racism to see and feel themselves in
fundamentally positive terms as dark-skinned people of African descent in a
society that literally worshipped "Whiteness". Secondly, it provided a means
for the most severe victims of systematic racial abuse to openly acknowledge
and express their rage and hatred for both the system and the people who
were abusing them.

This was an important step in the struggle to destroy the psychological
effects of racism on the collective minds of Black people. The dominant
outlook in the Black community since slavery, rooted in the Christian
religion, strongly suppressed the natural rage and hatred of the oppressor
that any system of slavery or super-exploitation generates among its
victims. As Fanon pointed out in his writings, especially The Wretched of
the Earth, this rage must find release and outward expression "if the
"thing" which has been colonized is to be reborn as a man". Reactionary
forms of consciousness among oppressed groups must be understood from two
perspectives: first, they are "reactions" against oppression; secondly,
they are not fundamentally correct or progressive in content. This is what
we mean when we say that the Nation of Islam's outlook was based on
reactionary nationalism.

Still, the Nation, and the movement it was generating in the community, soon
became the hottest thing happening! People wanted to know who and what this
Nation of Islam was, and just what it was about. Whether they agreed with
the Nation's ideology, or not, the positive impact it was having in the
lives of those "on the bottom" could not be ignored or denied! Nor could
it's powerful critique of American racism and the super-exploitation of
Black people and other people of color. A critque developed by those most
seriously impacted by that racism and exploitation!

I want to point out a few other facts about the Nation of Islam in that
period.

1. Members of the Nation of Islam suffered severe and violent repression in
the U.S. prison systems, which for many years was the primary recruitment
ground for that movement. Muslims were very hated by racist guards and
prison administrators because they refused to submit to racism, random
violence and subhuman treatment for themselves and other prisoners.

2. The Muslim movement was likewise harassed by parole authorities, police
departments, welfare caseworkers, and other public officials and
institutions, outside of the prison system who viewed the movement as
politically, socially and culturally subversive. As in the prisons, this
movement was seen as inciting Negroes to resist white authority in general.
(Even when they clearly weren't.)

Here in Los Angeles, for example, the local mosque was assaulted by the LAPD
in 1962 (or '63) without provocation, killing and wounding several of its
members. Afterwards, several members of the Mosque were framed on false
charges of attempted murder and assault on police officers.

3. Inside the "Negro" community (as White society called us, and we called
ourselves back then), Muslims also often had a very hard way to go! The
teachings of many Black Christian Churches were often intolerant, even of
small differences in the religious teachings of even others in the community
who considered themselves to be Christians. These "Moslems", who clearly
rejected Christianity, were often thought to be "idolaters", "blasphemers",
and even "devil worshippers"! Back then, most black people thought that
anyone who rejected the idea of worshipping Jesus or seriously questioned
the idea that God and Jesus were both White, was out of their minds, and
clearly headed for eternal damnation! And, once again, there was a great
deal of class prejudice and negativity toward "these ex-criminals and
riff-raff" from "respectable Negroes" in the black community. Members of the
Nation were often physically assaulted as they attempted to sell "Muhammed
Speaks" on the streets, their temples were violated, or organized against
when they tried to rent or purchase a property to worship in, and so on.

It was partly out of inclination, but even more out of the need to protect
their members from the general hostility of both black and white bourgeois
society, that the Nation placed a very heavy emphasis on projecting and
nurturing very culturally conservative habits of dress, behavior, and
sexual/social relations among its members. To some extent their emphasis on
a bourgeois "business orientation" was also taken on, to begin with,
for this very same reason!

Yet, this is what your twisted, false picture of this important history is:


"Most of Malcolm X's public life he was a member of the Nation of
Islam, which was a politically conservative group that obeyed the
laws of the land, lived quietly and peacefully in their own community
and encouraged entrepreneurship, the petite bourgeoisie, i.e. the
selling of bean pies, fish sandwiches and the organization's newspaper
"Muhammad Speaks". and... "The self-help doctrine that Malcolm X had
endorsed under the Nation of Islam was based on capitalism."


You may be basing your picture of the history of the Nation of Islam on what
the Nation is today, 50 years later, in the "post-Black Revolution" phase of
American history. But a lot of things can happen in the course of half a
century! Among other things, the internal contradictions in things
determine their qualitative character.The Nation has long ago ceased to be
what it once was---a genuine expression of the striving of the most
exploited section of the African-American people (and the U.S. working
class) for dignity and self-determination! The conflict that unfolded
between Malcolm, Elijah Muhammed, and Muhammed's inner circle wasn't just a
personal drama. It was the expression of an internal struggle between the
positive and negative, between the progressive and the reactionary elements
that went into the making of the Nation of Islam as a mass movement of the
oppressed!

That decisive struggle is what clearly marked the end of the progressive
phase of the history of the Nation of Islam as a social movement. It also
marked the new phase of the Black Liberation Struggle that unfolded in the
mid- to late-1960's: the emergence of Revolutionary Black Nationalism.

I will forward a few additional comments to come on:

Malcolm X: Revolutionary Black Nationalism

Martin Luther King: Radical Social Democrat?

Proletarian Ideology and the Black Liberation Struggle
Kwazi


BILAL ALI WROTE:

I mostly agree with Kwazi, the problem is simple as for
speaking for myself....the paralysis of analysis...repeat paralysis of
analysis. As an organizer of working class folks on the community
level, my experiences have shown me that people aren't looking for
theories, they are looking for action, examples of what it will take
to better their lives. They do not have the luxury of studying Marx,
Lenin, etc.. they are too busy making ends meet and struggling for
basic survival. Abstract rhetoric is not on their plate...if they
have a plate (homeless for example.) We need to be about building
organization...that reflects the will and spirit of its constituency.

Community organizing is NOT a technique for problem solving.
Those who would use simple confrontation or mass meetings to meet
their own selfish need for power, and skip the step of democratic
involvement and control in the selecting of issues, the crafting of
demands or the negotiating of victory are called demagogues. Their
organization is a hollow sham, without the empowering aspect that
humanizes and ennobles the effort.

Community organizing is not merely a process that is good for
its own sake. Unless the organization wins concrete measurable
benefits for those who participate, it will not last long. The groups
that content themselves with holding endless meetings and plod along
involving everyone in discussions that never lead to action or to
victory are doomed to shrink into nothing. People want to see
results. That's why they get involved. There is a theory (isn't
there always?) that says that folk join up if two things are true.
First, they must see a potential for either benefit or harm to
themselves if the group succeeds or fails. Second, they must see that
their personal involvement has an impact on the whole effort. This
makes since to me. Winning is critical, but if the group's going to
win whether I get involved or not if my personal involvement is not
critical - then I can stay at home and watch T.V.

Community organizing is not just a neighborhood thing, not
just a minority thing, not just a 60's thing. Many especially those
uncomfortable with a particular community organizing effort because
it's confronting them at the time - seek to libel organizing as
somehow out of date or out of place. The fact is that the method, the
strategy the science of community organizing has been applied all over
the world in situations as disparate as the Solidarity Movement in
Poland, Welfare Rights in the US and communidades in Central America.
They are winning victories and building power.
--- On Mon, 11/15/10, kwazinkrumah@aol.com wrote:


LIL JOE RESPONDS:
Comrades,

I really don't like being autobiographical as they generally consist
of individual's delusions of grandeur or 'pointing out' that he or she
was right and their opponents 'wrong'. I do not think that I need to
be autobiographical here, as you all know me and my history.

But, to use that experience to present to Readers some of the
collective history of the Black Liberation Movement with reference to
particular battles and individuals involved in them is needed to set
the record straight on the basis for my analytical conclusions,
praxis.

Of those participating in this 'exchange', Imani and I go back the
furthest, at least as early as 1968-9 when he was a leading member of
the Los Angeles City College BSU and a member of the Black Student's
Alliance when in response to the State's repression it organized and
led a city wide high school and regional student strike involving tens
of thousands of students walking out in response to the LAPD attack on
children at Carver Jr High. At that time, other than Robert and Masai
at the United Front - Masai later became the Minister of Education at
the national level for the Black Panther Party, and together with
Baba, Gumu, Ndugubidi and Majid, Imani was among the first
intellectually developed and openly Marxist theoretical as well as
political leaders in the Black liberation movement in LA. Also were
the Panther's John and Erika Huggins, Franklin and Kendra Alexander,
Angela Davis, Deacon Alexander of the Communist Party, and me.

Though not "Marxists", other leading lights who were vital in this
mass mobilization of the black community were Harry Carey, Dedon
Kamathi (Gilles), Melvin X, Jabali, Damu, Sabu, China, Candi, Doris,
Sonja, Josef and others. This was a community mobilization, similar to
those of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Birmingham, Alabama street
protests led by SCLA. The Panthers, particularly Ronald Freeman and
his comrades at the 41st and Central Panther office joined in this
struggle and provided security. We were supported by SCLC and used
Victory Baptist Church as our base for organizing and planning. The
Black nationalists of the US organization sided with the State, ran
through FBI/Police lines and shot Ronald Freeman, but the bullet
didn't penetrate. During that period, Imani, Rashadi and others had to
contend with the reactionary Black nationalists like Sunni at LACC.

The Marxists and principled revolutionaries in the L.A. BLM always
counted on Imani to present progressive, non-racial analysis at LACC.
We supported him in his struggles there, especially when the white
racist, anti-Communist "Victory in Vietnam" ("VIVA") attacked the BSU barricades.

Soon after, Imani and I worked together again in opposition to the
LAPD killing of Philip Eric John, and together with Progressive Labor
Party and Debbie Greenwood of the Communist Working Collective we were
on the Steering Committee of the Committee to Prevent Police Brutality.
It was around this time that I was hospitalized by a car accident, and
"Brother Crook" - Ron Wilkins - came into the Committee to help us.

It simply isn't true that those of us who were the most active in the
BLM were pragmatists, hostile to theory and 'too busy' to read "Marx
and Lenin". On the contrary, it was because we regarded ourselves as
revolutionaries and socialists that we made special effort to study
revolutions and the writings of revolutionaries, especially Marx and
Lenin.

In the BSA, Panthers and in the committees fighting police brutality,
then in the Coalition Against Police Abuse - Anthony Thigpin, Micheal
ZinZin, Joe Williams of the African Liberation Support Committee and
others in other organizations always made a point of cadre education
in weekly 'study groups' where the writings of Marx, Lenin, Che,
Fanon, and of course Mao tse-Tung were discussed.

Imani and I worked together again, along with other students at UCLA
in the campus student shut-down strike in response to the invasion of
Cambodia and the State killing of students at Jackson State and Kent
State. I, along with other student leaders of the Strike on its
'steering committee' were Marxists. Imani and Cliff Freed, with others
got arrested for staging a set-in to block traffic in Westwood. Imani
has always reminded me of Trotsky, always in the thick of the combat
on the front lines. I used to criticize him for it and try to bring
him into the 'leadership' bodies, but he always refused to be part of
those 'bureaucracies'. I recall one incident were during the UCLA
student strike the steering committee was holding a meeting at the
location we expropriated from the school at the Student Union
building, and we looked outside and there was a student's protest
against us, with Imani in the forefront of it!

Even in the thick of protests, strikes, rallies, marches and
demonstrations, whether in the working class inner-city's Black
community or in the anti-war movement, the elements organizing,
writing and running off, passing out leaflets and carrying signs or
guns always held consistent and highly intellectual theoretical
discussions.

Bilal, I didn't meet you until the 1990s, when you were working with
CAPA, Micheal Zinzin and the Black Radical Congress.

But, in the 70s when Imani and I, along with Slaus, Romey, Connie,
Debbie, Michelle, Cliff, Conrad, Bobby, Charles Dubois, Bill Grahm and
others were in an organization we called the Socialist Collective, and
even when responding to the police-SLA shoot-out and organizing around
the black schools we made the time to not only study and discuss Marx's
"Capital" every Sunday, but Mechelle and Connie would go to Micheal
Zinzin and Ann's PCIC home at 12 AM every Wednesday night to hold study
sessions with them on Marx's "Wage Labour and Capital". In our
confrontation with the State, Imani got arrested. In our organizing
around the school problems in the black community, the Social
Collective members were ambushed by the Black nationalist groups
calling itself the Umojah Center, egged on by the Communist Party
because they were Stalinists and regarded the SC 'Trotskyists'.

Bilal, you worked with Micheal and CAPA. You should be familiar with
all of this, and the fact that the Socialist Collective and PCIC -
CAPA comrades always made time to 'read Marx and Lenin'.

Imani and I didn't read Marx's "Capital" or Hegels' "Phenomenology of
Mind", or Bakunin's "God and State" instead of being busy with
practical politics, but because we were deeply involved in practical
politics from a revolutionary perspective, praxis! There is a
difference in being an 'activist' and being a revolutionary. Activists
are pragmatists, whereas praxis is the standpoint of
'critical-practical', 'revolutionary activity'.

No one in the Black liberation movement, socialist, anti-war, workers
or communist movements has every accused John Imani nor I of being
'arm chair revolutionaries' or of 'tailing the movement'. Both of us
were always in the front lines of the barricades and it was in those
battles where we developed our revolutionary theory. I may have a
different memory of these struggles than has Imani, but that these
events occur ed I am certain he will concur. The last battles in which
Imani and I were together as comrades was in the effort to build a
section of the Labor Party right here in the Inner City of LA, in the
very community where he presently has his weekly food distribution
efforts, PICO-UNION.

I met you, Kwazi, in the Black Radical Congress around the same time
as I did Bilal. My friend, Ayoku Babu of the Pan-African Film and Arts
Festival about which Bilal writes of annual presentations, had known
you through Mickey previously. If you are the same person, were you
not one of the 'paid labor union professionals' you denounce in your
argument against me advocating a Labor Party in the US? Weren't you
working for a union at UCLA? The union you work for came on campus by
the support of striking students in the struggle I mentioned above.

Bilal, you and Kwazi write about Malcolm X having been a
'revolutionary'. That is not true. Neither Malcolm X, nor any of the
Black nationalists had ever articulated a program nor a strategy to
overthrow the capitalist government, destroy the army in the process
of taking State Power to expropriate the expropriators. Saying that if
a white man hits you that you will hit him back is not a strategy for
revolutionary taking of state power!

Those who started off as "Black nationalists" influenced by Malcolm
X's rhetorical "style", as Kwazi says I should imitate as opposed to
the examples of Marx and the International and Lenin and the
Bolsheviks, were only Black nationalists in our formative years as
teenagers.

The more we got involved in actual class confrontations with the
State, and the more we became part and parcel of the International
movements e.g. the Vietnamese Tet Offensive and the May-June events in
France in 1968, we advanced beyond racialism and speech making styles.

The Black Panther Party leadership also underwent this same transition
- e.g. George Jackson and Fred Hampton were clearly rejecting
racialism and advocating 'proletarian internationalism' and the
'revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat'. Masai was educating
the Panther cadres, read Marx's Capital. This was even true of Kwame
Toure and the All-African People's Revolutionary Party, as Kwame
Nkrumah's Marxist theory of Pan-Africanism is expressed clearly in
"Class Struggle in Africa" and "Consciencism". All the serious Black
revolutionaries made the time to 'read Marx and Lenin'.

People like Bill Epton and Nelson Peery were already there as
revolutionary socialists who had 'read Marx and Lenin' in the
1950s-early 60s at the time Malcolm X was talking about white devils
and reliance on the 'Mother Ship'. Black communists were way ahead of
us! Then came the Black caucuses in the UAW - DRUM, ELRUM, the League
of Revolutionary Black Workers, and so on in Detroit were clearly
revolutionary socialists.

On the other side, the followers of Malcolm X as such reduced
themselves, along with attacking Black socialists were spilling wine
on the floor in ancestor worship, with bongo drums beating in the
background, wearing African clothing, learning Swahili and studying
"Egyptology".

As for the "Black churches": The Panthers, the BSA, Horace Tapscott's
band, the Anti-Apartheid movement - all of those who were in the
streets protesting and community organizing, holding meetings and
setting up head quarters know that we could not have pulled off any of
these mass movements were it not for preachers and churches such as
2nd Baptist Church, Reverend Peters of Victory Baptist Church,
Reverend Merrywhether and others all over the 'hood making their
facilities available for everything from organizing meetings,
community rallies to Breakfast for children programs of the Panthers.

What I wrote in this analysis of the 2010 election was an attack on
the Democratic Party, including the "Congressional Black Caucus", and
also a criticism of the pragmatism, economism, racialism including
Black consciousness racialism, patriotism, American exceptionalism,
the Constitution, the Senate, the Presidency and the Judiciary, which
analysis is the result of five decades of practical participation in
the 'black liberation', anti-war movement', socialist and communist
activities and the Labor Party, as well as of reading "Marx and Lenin".

In particular, as no American socialists or 'black revolutionary'
organization or theoretician had evolved a practical program and
strategy to take state power by the working class. In the 1980s- 90s I
studied the English Revolution of 1640 and the French Revolution and
Russian Revolutions, because these revolutions were urban rather than
peasants in the country-side.

I wrote in the final section of the analysis of the 2010 election:

American workers are ignorant of the centuries of class struggles and
revolutions of the toiling masses and working classes and the European
economic science and socialist theories that has evolved in Europe as
their own class history as well. The American workers therefore
believe economies are determined by government policy rather than
material interests.

Yet, it is just as true in the United States as it is in Britain,
France and Germany that Capitalist commodity production on the basis
of appropriated labour power for wages - the buying and selling of
labour power by capitalist from proletarians and the extraction of
profits by the exploitation of wage workers - operate by objective laws
of motion, resulting in boom/bust cycles, declining rates of profits
and creating of surplus products and unemployment.

The economy isn't run by politicians, but it runs those politicians.
There is no such thing as prosperity, there exists wealth and poverty
and it is the workers who produce wealth for their exploiters and
poverty for themselves. Wages are exploited labour power and profits
are derived from the labour of those exploited workers.

I think the Republicans in the majority in the House of
Representatives with the Democrats in the majority of the Senate and
the Executive will help destroy the credibility of the capitalist
government, and the American workers who voted for them on the basis
of slogans and words, will be crushed into the dirt. They get the
government they voted for: the unrestrained rule of capital.

It is therefore all the more a necessity to have a Labor Party
operating in the political arena in a struggle for State Power.
Otherwise, the same capitalists that financed this protofascist
so-called "Tea Party Movement" in 2010 will use these cadres and put
their hundreds of millions of dollars behind a full fledged fascist
Party to seize the power, will have to do so in response to the
deepening economic crisis when workers spontaneously rise.

So, young American workers, don't be fools for the second time! You
know the Native American wisdom: 'fool me once, shame on you'. Fool me
twice, shame on me!'

The Democrats will send out their 'progressives', race hustlers,
feminists, gay rights activists and trade union bureaucrats again in
2012 to demagogue you into voting to 'stop fascism' and 'not let the
brotha be a failed one term president', to protect Roe v. Wade and get
gays married and into the imperialist armed forces. They do this
without fail, every election cycle.

The difference this time is that the actual capitalist class
partisanship of the Democratic Party was so obviously blatant because
the 'progressives' had raised the hopes so high, and Obama as a 'Black
community organizer from Chicago' was acting like he was Fred Hampton,
stealing words, images and slogans from Martin Luther King Jr and
speeches from Malcolm X!

But more significantly there were Baraka, West, Chomsky, Parenti,
Zinn, Tyner and other 'respected' socialist, communists and
anarchists' who were not just endorsing Obama - that is, the
Democratic Party - but were actively campaigning for him and them, as
well as were the officials of the trade unions mobilizing its members.
In the last analysis, however you must not judge an individual by what
they say of themselves or how they define their behavior but by what
they do, and all those who foisted Obama and the Democrats on the
American working class must be seen and judged by their deeds and
rejected as nothing but lackeys and lickspittles of the capitalist
class party's politicians.

You see what the capitalists are doing. They are investing hundreds of
millions of dollars into the vile racists and Islamophobes, homophobic
protofascist Tea Party and the anti-immigrant militias. But, now that
they have elements in Congress as well as FOX and radio talk shows,
they will be stronger, mightier in 2012 and subsequently. They cannot
be stopped by the Democrats, even if they wanted too, you have seen
for the last two years that they are political cowards who caved into
the Republican 'minority' on each and every 'issue'.

The only way the fascists can be 'stopped' is for the capitalist class
to be defeated in the streets. This lesson is clear by the observation
of what the French proletariat has been doing in response to the
capitalist's government's attempt to treat the French proletariat the
way the American government treat American workers. Also keep eyes on
the Greek proletariat, the Spanish and the British and German working
classes as well.

Class-conscious American workers must win the leadership of the trade
unions by advancing candidates on a political platform to mobilize
its members in a transformative struggle to go from purely economic
defense and an electoral tool of the Democrats to take the political
offensive in a class struggle to organize the American Labor Party to
take State Power at the ballot box, in class war against the capitalis
t class as a class, and therefore fighting both its political representatives -
the Democratic Party as well as the Republican Party, and do this
battle with the same or higher self-confidence and determination as the
capitalists are in financing and organizing their fascist Tea Bag Party,
to take State power to crush us.

Hence at the same time we must anticipate every contingency. Thus, by
forethought and planning we must be prepared: if fascist militias take
to the streets against unions, immigrants and minorities including
Arabs, Mexicans, Muslims and Jews as well as Blacks, we must already
have organized armed and trained workers militias to meet them in the
streets. We will take to the streets to confront the capitalists not
just by general strikes against the capitalist class and State but by
armed workers militias and destroy their fascist goons in bloody
contests for the control of the election process itself.

If and when we win the battle of democracy by taking the majority of
seats in the House of Representatives, by running labor party, green,
socialists, communists, trade unionists and representatives of
oppressed minorities against Democrats as well as Republicans and Tea
Partyers, it will be on a platform for a coalition government of the
House of Representatives that will legislate the abolition of the
Senate, the Presidency, the Judiciary and in every State to break the
power of the Republican red districts by subordinating the rural areas
to the urban centers of industry and commerce.

If the CIA/FBI-Pentagon pulls off coup to abolish the Labor government
of the House of Representatives to prevent it from becoming the new
Parliament, just remember the rank and file of the armed forces are
the sons and daughters, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters of
the working class who will swear their allegiance to the new House of
Labor and instead of backing the coup will turn their weapons on the
officer corps.

Taxing capitalists profits is class-conscious but it is not 'class war', and
the so-called 'elite' is not the class enemy of the working class. Class
warfare is a real war, the struggle for Worker's Power by the displacement
of the capitalist class parties, the abolition of the capital dominated Senate,
Presidency and Judiciary and by constituting the House of Representatives
the House of Labor, and there legislating the transfer of the productive forces
from the private possession of the capitalist classes to the public property
of the working classes. This is the political precondition for the abolition
of capitalist commodity production and wage labor.
http://laborpartypraxis.org/2010ElectoralDefeatofDemocratsandTeaParty.html

DEDON WROTE:
Joe, Thanks for the interesting insights and I agree that the details of your historical narrative are
basically accurate. I am sure none of you agree with my current views so I won't bother to mention them,
however I continue to have the deepest respect for those who continue to strive to create a new social
order that is based on justice and economic equality. That is too my goal I have just chosen a different
avenue.

Your Comrade In Kindness,
Dedan


DEDAN GILLS
CO-FOUNDER~GROWING A GLOBAL HEART~
Post Office Box 51 Elk, California 95432
www.growingaglobalheart.com
"PLANTING TREES IS PLANTING HOPE"



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