Monday, June 30, 2014

Extra Wisdom

I'm talking about the WORKING CLASS, the proletariat, not the lumpenproletariat whom both Cabral and marx called declasse. The vast majority of Black folk are proletarians. Rosa Parks, like my mom, was a seamstress. Not an educated petty bourgeois nor a capitalist. Dr. King himself states that the MASS of his supporters in Montgomery and other campaign were common laborers--not lumpen characters like Little Melvin or even Malcolm before he became X. That is also what I said in the post to which this screed of your is a reply. Sorry, that even simple terms and basic analysis is beyond the reach of your comprehension.


I'm pretty much ignoring that pimp, that pseudo-Nkrumahist hustler. What interests me nowadays is something King and Nkrumah did share in common--the end of racism and class oppression, and liberation of Third World countries from poverty and imperialism. And his philosophy of COMMUNITY--the core of his ethical thought--which is markedly anti-capitalist and pro-socialist. Naturally, since capitalism is anti-community, antihuman, and a scourge upon the Earth.



Right and Left are historical in meaning, and by the standards of THAT time, Lincoln was centrist with left leanings. Actually, he was opposed to slavery as the Kennedy's were later opposed to Jim Crow, But Lincoln, like Kennedy, was a POLITICIANS. He had to be pushed into taking an anti-slavery stand. For while his speeches and letters reveal an anti-Slavery sentiment, Lincoln like all politicians first think of political interest. Abolitionism and the requirements of war did push Lincoln--after Gettysburg victory--to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. This DID give the North now a MORAL advantage, both nationally and internationally. Northern armies were just invaders but--as one Union soldier put it in a letter to his family--"we are now the ARMED LIBERATORS of millions." Southerners couldn't just say that they were defending themselves and their "way of life" from invaders, for now they were clearly defending slavery.(In fact, they always were but could no longer hide this fact in the court of world opinion). European countries were undecided about how to respond; conservative privileged classes were sympathetic to the South, and the laboring classes--always mroe advanced than American workers--clearly sided with the North.(I've read some letters by European workers to Lincoln in which they clearly saw slavery and the most degrading exploitation of labor, and the defeat of the Confederacy as in the interests of all working class people. Also, read Karl Marx's letter in support of Lincoln and the Union. Marx was not supporting a right wing cause). Lincoln had to be PUSHED to the left. That I will agree with. But the REAL right coldn't be pushed to end a system of bondage than enriched them. They had to be CRUSHED.



That “states rights” line you heard from Southern apologists. Confederats. The “right” those states wanted was the right to own slaves. The issues of tariffs and all other BS they bring up all was dependent on slavery. Tariffs disproportionately affected the South because of slavery. Face it, many white Southerners were evil enough to put the country through a prolonged bloody war in order to preserve their evil bloody slavery system. -Ish Tov

Tom Tancredo, speaker at a recent Tea Party gathering, suggested that Literacy Tests be resumed to exclude people who lack civic literacy. We know that because of such literacy tests Blacks were denied the right to vote in the South. But maybe we can turn this against Tancredo and some of his cohorts. After all, he indicated as evidence of a LACK of civic literacy the election of a "socialist ideologue" to the Presidency. But isn't a man who can't tell the difference between a socialist and a CENTRIST LIBERAL like Barack Obama, lacking basic civic literacy? And assuming that Tancredo had more than a high school education, shouldn't we expect him to be able to distinguish between liberal and socialist thought, especially given the severe tensions (often outright animosity) between liberals and socialist in much of modern history for the past 200 years? Shouldn't Tancredo have read Obama's writings (and those of other liberals) and the writings of both Marxist and non-Marxist socialists, and thus be better informed. His is a case of willful ignorance.

(Or if he really knows better, then he is liar and opportunist.) I mean, really! If historically literacy tests were unjustly used to denied people of color the right to vote, why not use such a las (since Tancredo is so keen on it) to eliminate right wing ignoranti like him from the ballot? I see more reason for banning people on grounds of intolerable, WILLFUL ignorance than banning people on grounds of race. No right to vote for Tancredo.

No right to vote for those racist nincompoops who claim--despite DECADES of research to the contrary, that Blacks have contributed nothing to American and world history. (Ignorance of historical achievements of Blacks helps fuel racism and racial polarization. And as Alexis de Tocqueville warned long ago in his class DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA, the racial divide could bring the death knell of the American Republic. Therefore, people should bone up on their AA History or lose the right to vote on grounds of "civic illiteracy"--to use Tancredo's words!)



 The hatred seems to be coming from the Right, from Tea party, milita men, white Christian right and others. Even during the Presidential campaign, you didn't hear Obama's people shouting "Klll him!" and "terrorist". You didn't hear his people trying to pretend that the opposition were Commies, Nazis or what have you.. You didn't hear claims that McCain was somehow not really "one of us" or not really American. (Indeed, one study was reported during the campaign that while 75% of Obama's ads were about his vision of the country and only a small number directed against McCain, most McCain ads were about attacking Obama, and only a small number about any positive position or vision,} And even though Obama's obviously tepid support for progressives causes has disappointed much of his base, even now you find his supporters to be overwhelmingly MULTIRACIAL and MULTICULTURAL. Is is merely a coincidence that the Tea Partiers are almost lilly white, with about 1% black memberships (and not much better among Hispanics)? Is it Obama's past or present supporters who are attacking mosques? Was it his supporters who disrupted public hearings on health care in the summer of 2009 with their clownish, semifascist hooliganism? Who were the ones making threatening calls and attacks on offices and homes of congressmen after the passage of an actually quite watered down health care package that would be deemed psltry by the standards of most industrialized democracies? No, the hatred and madness is coming from some other corner than that of Obama---a dark corner in American history, culture & psyche where xenophobia and rabid racist panic reigns supreme. The politics of paranoia, as one historian called it, seems to constitute the lifeblood of the contemporary Right.



Tuesday, June 24, 2014

More Wisdom

Yawn....Check out the King Papers, his Autobiography, etc. And there are NUMEROUS King scholars who all confirm from his private writings, letters to Coretta, diaries, address at the SCLC Frogmore conference, etc--his commitment to democratic socialism. Assdurratin is unbelievably dense. He claims to be an Nkrumahist but is unawre of Nkrumah's Marxism. He managed to read (or so he tell us) CLASS STRUGGLE IN AFRICA and even CONSCIENCISM without noticing Nkrumah's Marxism. In one thread Assdurratin demanded show me a quote where Nkrumah says "I am a Marxist". Yet Nkrumah was even more public with his Marxism than was King with his democratic socialism. Notice that King articulate his socialist convictions in private letters to Coretta, in student diaries, in communications with his closest colleagues, in private meetings of SCLC staff. Among King scholars his democratic socialism has virtually ceased to be a debatable issue. Thomas F. Jackson, Lewis Baldwin, Taylor Branch, Rufus Burrows, Ira Zepp, John Ansbro, Clayborne Carson, and innumerable others pretty much confirm King's commitment to socialism and democracy. It is not what Marxists since Engels have called "scientific socialiasm." (Engels would have considered King a "utopian socialist"). Socialism for King is a moral commitment, and ethical ideal philosophically grounded in Personalism (his foundational philosophical position), Social Gospel theology, and his progressive Christian ethical convictions. He is not a socialist theoretician any more than were Tolstoy, Victor Hugo, Archbishop Oscar Romero (Salvdoran revolutionary Christian socialist) and possibly Gandhi.



King was a Kantian, but didn't say so. At least I've not come across any words of his to that effect. How do I know about King's Kantianism? Easy. I'm familiar with Immanuel Kant. And I've seen King used Kantian moral arguments (whose origins in THE FOUDATIONS OF THE METAPHYSICS OF MORALS any undergrad philosophy student would recognize). And I am aware of the heavy influence of Kant in Personalism, King's fundamental philosophical position. I am aware of the presence of existentialism in King as well. I was able to perceive this in his talk about the nature of freedom even before reading comments by King himself which mentioned his study of Kierkegaard, Jaspers, Sartre and others. How? I've read King and am familiar with that philosophical tendency. My UNDERGRAD students often figure this out, and without my having to point it out. I've 19 and 20 year old students who are brighter than Assdurratin! LOL! In the case of King's democratic socialism, his own comments about socialism reveal this. And some of his comments are fairly upfront about it. He certainly wasn't trying to hide it from his then fiancée Coretta Scott--herself also a socialist--as is revealed by some of their letters to each other. Then there is the whole historical context which Thomas F. Jackson, an historian, points out in FROM CIVIL RIGHTS TO HUMAN RIGHTS: MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR AND THE STRUGGLE FOR ECONOMIC JUSTICE. Folk should at least read the Introduction and Chapter 1 ("Pilgrimage to Christian Socialism") in Jackson's book. I mean, there does come a point where Assdurratin's childish, anti-intellectual rants and ankle biting rhetoric do become tiresome. If he wants to debate he should read the literature.



 Concerning CLASS More attention should be put on King's thinking regarding issues f lass as well as race, especially since he saw them as being intertwined. Intrestngy eough, he always notices that the backbone of the Movement was the Black poor, both the rural proletriat in te South and the urban Black proletariat in the North. When he arrived in Birmingham it was members of the Black bourgeoisie who tried to get him to abandon the campaign before it even began.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Deacons of Defense (2003) (This is a Great Movie)

*I agree with exposing the prison industrial complex that is found in Hidden Colors, but I reject Tariq Nasheed's misogyny. Tariq is involved in Hidden Colors. So, I want to make that perfectly clear.

-By Timothy