[A-List] National Factor . . . certain aspects/ dateline Detroit/Brother Rob
Waistline2 at aol.com
Waistline2 at aol.com
Sun Sep 19 11:51:56 MDT 2004
>McPhail and Mahaffey at various points expressed support for the general
organizing efforts at the meeting, and McPhail commented at one point, "We have
to pick a day and shut it all down. We have to make their lives miserable."<
The struggle for jobs remains at the center of the polarization within the
political structures of Detroit and within the population. This is how the
modern expression of the National Factor is being played out in the flesh. Detroit
has a huge African American population and most of the City Council members as
well as the "Hip Hop" . . . Sambo like . . . Mayor are black . . . but they
are not longer simply black leaders. Rather they are leaders that are black.
Diane Bukowski article in The Michigan Citizen lacks a description of the
color factor because it is not relevant in describing the political motion of the
proletarian mass . . . that is African American. One cannot approach the
National Factor as it existed in the previous period of history. The polarization
in Detroit is not a polarization of class in the Black Community because there
no longer exists the political category called "Black Community" . . . but
rather large communities of poverty stricken proletarians the may or may not be
During the previous political and economic configuration of American society
the words "Black Community" meant geographic areas - neighborhoods . . . where
all classes among the African American people lived and coexisted together.
What held these classes together as a community was the heavy hand of Jim Crow
in the North and Wall Street imperialism's colonial structures . . . horribly
violent and reactionary . . . in the Black Belt South.
Robert Williams return to America can serve as a general line of demarcation
in the evolution of the National Factor in the American Union . . . or the
Chicano Moratorium or even the Asian American political Alliance . . . because
all these political events are tied together in history. The definitive
political juncture used by the group of communists workers I was a part of is the
Watts Rebellion of 1965 and the Detroit Rebellion of 1967 because these expressed
an internal political rupture within the African American Peoples Movement
North and South. In the South the political rupture manifested itself in
A complex of factors has keep the African American at the political center of
American history and this is not going to change in the fore seeable future.
The political rupture means the rejection of nonviolence as a strategy and
the maturing of the political spilt between the most poverty stricken sector of
the African American people . . . the proletariat . . . and not peasants . .
. and the African American/Negro bourgeoisie. This political split would
mature and crystallized itself sharpest in Detroit as the "Vote Communist
Campaigns" in 1976 and 1978. There is of course no greater expression of the
irreconcilable political split between proletarians and bourgeoisie . . . in modern
history (the past 30 years) than the "Vote Communist" Campaign.
It is worth noting that generation of bourgeois intellectuals and left wing
front men for the ideological bourgeoisie has attempted to write the events
that was Detroit . . . from 1967 to 1980 . . . out of history. We call this act
of history omission the "white washing " of history.
Thus . . . the new stage evolving in Detroit today . . . this moment . . . is
an extension under new conditions . . . of our history altering role that
understood the National Factor was operating in a new context. What was the
rebellion of a black proletarian core in 1967 was transformed into the political
assertion of the most poverty stricken section of the industrial proletariat . .
. that by the necessity of our history is African American. Separate "black
demands" . . . as such (which the left chauvinists call "black nationalism")
were abandoned because the social struggle rapidly matured beyond the Civil
Rights Movement and the national factor emerged as the demands of the proletariat
proper. One has to understand the platform of the "Vote Communist Campaigns."
Voting Rights is not a black nationalist demand. The fight for anti-lynch
legislation is not a black nationalist demand. The fight for access to housing,
public schools and against kangaroo courts is not a black nationalist demand.
If the ruling and oppressing people will not sell you a loaf of bread . . .
opening your own store in your segregated neighborhood is not a black nationalist
demand. How various leaders articlate these demands in the public sphere may
take place on the basis of bourgeois nationalism.
The left has never understood the Garvey movement or even the growth of the
Nation of Islam and the specific basis of these cooperative movements. They
confuse the pronouncements of leaders with social logic. Stating that the black
masses behave as a petty bourgeois mass in 1930 . . . when they in fact were a
petty bourgeois mass is rather childish. Demanding the political separation
between the black workers and the black bourgeoisie when both are line up
against the wall moments from execution . . . is to go over to the side of the
executioner . . . because it means that moments before I am shot I supposed to shot
the guy blindfolded standing up against the wall next to me.
Several City Council members simply being willing to ascertain the question
of a General Strike . . . is in front of the entire country and illustrates the
sharpening of class demands and the coming fight against the state itself.
The National Factor is fused as the question of proletarian revolution and the
battle against the state.
Here it should be mentioned that the bogus issues perpetrated in the
ideological sphere as the importance of family values and homosexuality as cutting
edge political issues is meant to throw sand in the eyes of the workers and
prevent the formation of class concepts amongst a section of workers in motion.
These subsidiary issues have to be placed in the proper context.
What holds back the social struggle is not a failure to raise 'Black issues"
or homosexual rights or abortion rights . . . but the articulation of class
issues that cut across the entire class as political motion and economic logic.
And Detroit is proving this simple political lesson once again. We were able
to galvanize a huge section of the population not on the basis of Civil Rights
issues . . . because the population was already in motion. We honest to God
raised the question of the dictatorship of the proletariat as a political
question . . . but always fought on the urgent issues of the day. In 1976 and 1978
are Vote Communist Campaign challenged the huge tax breaks being given to
corporations. (This was the period of the rise of Donald Trump. Raiding public
funds for private gain and leveling whole communities).
The Women Factor is the split in the City Council itself and not a subsidiary
issue . . . OK? Maryann Mahaffey, Sharon McPhail and Joann Watson . . . or
Maryann . . . Sharon and Joann . . . with Maryann being white and having the
longest service as the left expression of political Detroit in its history.
The modern presentation of the question of self determination of nations and
peoples is historically obsolete for communists and runs us directly into the
political orbit of the bourgeoisie. Even the Palestinian Question is daily
being transformed and crystallized as the struggle of a horribly poverty stricken
proletarian mass against a most reactionary fascists state power.
Rather than become lost in the history of the evolution of the Black Belt . .
. what of the Southwest and the issue of the Mexican Nationals, Mexican
National Minority and Chicano? Are we dealing with a historically evolved people?
>From the standpoint of the proletariat in the North of the American Union . . .
not the Southwest itself . . . after all Detroit and New York is not in the
Southwest . . . how does the issue present itself? Is this a question of self
determination of nations as formulated by Lenin?
At best . . . from the standpoint of the workers in the North and Marxism and
the National Question . . . here is a classical presentation of what was
called "Regional Autonomy" . . . although it is the responsibility of the
communists in the Southwest to push for the closest unity with the proletariat in the
North in assault on bourgeois property. How this process has expressed itself
in the flesh during the past 30 years was on the basis of various political
formations generated on the basis of the Chicano Moratorium.
First the California Communist League was formed in Watts after the Watts
Rebellion of 1965. The members of the CCL recruited a core of combatants in the
wake of the Chicano Moratorium. This expanded group recruited the most
proletarian section of the League of Revolutionary Black Workers after it split over
the direction of its activity . . . along with most of the Motor City Labor
League and together constituted itself as the Communist League.
The roots of the California Communist League ran through the Provisional
Organizing Committee . . . which split from the CPUSA over the question of Stalin
and the Negro Question. It should come as no surprise that we would have a
very different conception of the National Question than the petty bourgeois
student movement and the left. The Communist League also recruited a core of
"Asians" in New York and this specific character of our party expressed the exact
alignment of political forces within that sector of the proletariat in motion.
We are extremely careful about the presentation of the national and colonial
question in the world arena and can only prove our understanding based on an
assessment of its expression within our own multinational state.
We assert as we have always maintained that the so-called Negro Question is
and has always been an issue presented as a historically evolved stable
community of people, formed on the basis of a common language, territory, economic
life and psychological makeup manifested in a common culture. American was
Southern in its economic and political inception and the new nation that arose was
in the North.
In the Black Belt South . . . which began its political and economic
evolution in front of the Northern manufacturing areas that grew as an appendage to
the Slave economy . . . what has always made it Southern is the African American
people . . . who began evolution as a people prior to the defeat of the South
as the result of the Civil War. It is precisely the defeat of the Slave
holding South in its striving to emerge as an independent nation-state . . . that
constitutes the national question in respects to the Black Belt.
In the Black Belt south . . . all classes and peoples (black and white . . .
and the historic Chinese community) to this very day remain oppressed and
exploited by the imperial relations (Wall Street Imperialism and not Mississippi,
Georgia or South Carolina or Florida imperialism) . . . the result of the
Civil War . . . except what is the historical comprador bourgeoisie. This
historical comprador bourgeoisie (not an accurate description but good enough for now)
was formed from the slave oligarchy that was shattered as the result of the
Civil War and reconstituted as the land lord planter class and later a small
group of blacks famously represented by Booker T. Washington.
The African American National Factor is not and has never been identical to
the "Negro Question" . . . although both are tightly fused together and
The Southwest is even more interesting . . . with its historically evolved
people that began evolution and development before the European colonizers
arrived in the "New World." The so-called "New World" . . . enough to make one
vomit. But hey . . . the Southwest is best left to those comrades on the ground to
If Mexico went socialists . . . the overthrow of bourgeois property in front
of America I would most certainly favor her reclaiming her stolen territory
and this has nothing to do with self determination but political common sense of
communists combatants. If America went socialist in front of Mexico there is
no way on earth I would advocate her reclaiming her stolen territory based on
some abstract political concept of self determination. To do such is to
renounce social revolution.
Self determination of nations has been the fundamental political slogan of
our imperial bourgeoisie . . . for sixty years . . . in its attempts and efforts
to dismantle states hostile to their political interest and its primary
ideological banner against the Soviets and to this day China.
One will 99% of the time end up on the correct side of the political polarity
between us and the imperial bourgeoisie by doing someone different from them
and not agreeing with them apriori. Here is the meaning of erring on the side
of caution . . . and yes . . . we are going to make mistakes.
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