Reverse racism

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Auld-bod
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Mar 29 2018 13:45

R Totale #90

‘…and then when you're posting here you could concentrate on replying to what other posters are actually saying?’

I think it is worth pointing out when someone is derailing a thread, or to question the relevance of certain remarks, which appear misplaced.

However to stipulate what a post should contain, reads to me like a self-righteous academic or lawyer, who assumes they can ‘frame’ a discussion and declare what is inadmissible. This is a forum where people are free to express themselves as long as they adhere to the site’s guidelines. People should be free to introduce new matter as and when they think fit. They should also be prepared to justify posts.

Now having said that, I must admit that meerov21 tends to ramble all over the shop, and appears incapable of understanding a communist class analysis of racism, and a social analysis based on empirical evidence. I tend to think both are important, as the first helps to explain the latter. Perhaps that is why meerov21 just keeps digging deeper into the hole.

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Mar 29 2018 20:34
Mike Harman wrote:
For anyone interested, there's a good overview of the Nation of Islam here: https://libcom.org/library/critique-of-nation-of-islam-melancholic-trogl...

Trying to remember where specifically I read it, but criticism of the conservative role played by NoI/NBPP types was definitely a notable theme in first-hand reports from Ferguson - here, for instance:

Quote:
... they’re going to have to work to divide the protesters. In their desperation, all of the time-tested dichotomies are being deployed- protester vs criminal, honest vs opportunist, resident vs outsider. Unfortunately the police have a long list of accomplices willing to do the work for them, most of whom are fully aware of what they’re doing. From the New Black Panther Party to the Nation of Islam. From HOT 104.1 to FOX News. From MORE to OBS. From Jesse Jackson to Al Sharpton. From Nelly to Tef Poe (Po). From current St Louis Mayor Slay to future St Louis Mayor French. And the list goes on...
There are still far more black protesters than white on West Florissant, but there seems to be more diversity as the struggle continues. Early on comments directed at white protesters such as “why’re you here” were answered with “man, she/he hates the police too!” Now if the presence of white protesters is even noted it sounds more like “thank you for being here.” A sinister few liberal and leftist groups try to spread absurd stories that small groups of white agitators (or even KKK infiltrators!) are tricking black protesters into going on the attack. The racist underlying assumptions about the exploitable nature of black protesters makes sense when you realize that’s exactly how groups like the Nation of Islam and the New Black Panther Party view them. Back in the real world, white protesters are just now starting to catch up with some of the ferocity of their black comrades, who’re grown enough to make decisions for themselves...
There are countless calls from the Nation of Islam, the New Black Panther Party, and their socially conservative ilk for women to go home, for strong black men to step up, and other such patriarchal attempts divide the protesters. The first couple days these calls were met with tremendous resistance from mostly black women. “Fuck you, go back to church”. “I’ve been here from day one”. “It’s our babies who’re dying”. The constant harassment seems to have taken its toll as fewer women are out, especially after dark. But women are still out front taunting the police and rushing into stores to get theirs.

meerov21
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Mar 30 2018 05:28

meerov21 wrote:
But let's say millions of white poor people, poor workers, and unemployed people have little advantage over the black poor in USA. But even your black poor people live better than most of the workers and the unemployed in Africa or Eastern Europe, because America fucked up the world. Even within Africa and Eastern Europe, there are poor and rich regions.

Mike Harman
This is one aspect of class composition internationally, often called 'uneven development', it doesn't do anyone any good to deny it exists. There are some very counter-productive ideas out there like the 'aristocracy of labour', third worldism, etc. which obscure class within countries or communities, but they are not anti-white racism.

Of course, the reasoning in itself that when hiring a white worker, an American often (though not always) has advantages over black, or that a black American (like any American) lives better than a worker in Bangladesh or Cairo, or that a Cairo worker lives better than a worker in the Egyptian hinterland, is not racist.

However, the problem occurs with the concepts like "labor aristocracy"or the "power of the white race" and when the responsibility for the oppression and all the injustices of the world rests with the american worker having a good job in Seattle, or on any of the white worker and poor in the Rust belt. You know very well how often this happens in the left and even in an anarchist environment. I don't think anyone should pretend that this isn't happening.

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Mar 30 2018 07:39
Quote:
However, the problem occurs with the concepts like "labor aristocracy"or the "power of the white race" and when the responsibility for the oppression and all the injustices of the world rests with the american worker having a good job in Seattle, or on any of the white worker and poor in the Rust belt. You know very well how often this happens in the left and even in an anarchist environment. I don't think anyone should pretend that this isn't happening.

There are bad politics on the left and some people who identify as anarchists lack a decent class analysis. Thanks for that, Meerov.

Here's an idea: engage with the politics as they stand on libcom. Not a single person on this thread has expressed or defended ideas like you're quoting (from where?). Instead people have pushed you to develop a bit fuller understanding of race and class. In response, you've refused to engage and continued to argue against these strawmen that, at best, just exist on Twitter or, more likely, just exist in your head.

jolasmo
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Mar 30 2018 10:39

meerov21's problem is not that some people on the left have bad politics or lack a good class analysis, it's that people are applying an analysis of white supremacy to anarchist politics and it's making them uncomfortable. If their argument was "I disagree with contemporary anti-racist politics, here are my issues with this approach" there would be hope for this discussion to actually get somewhere. But meerov21 seems to be unable and unwilling to talk this through in a civilised way without resorting to hysterically berating the other side as "racist" against white people. Any analysis that goes beyond the most superficial critique of the surface-level effects of racist attitudes in society is viewed as not only problematic or suspect, but actually explicitly reactionary and bigoted.

It's actually pretty funny given their belief that white workers can't possibly cope with being called racist and will never be able to get on board with the revolution unless we can rein in any critique of the role they play, structurally, in maintaining white supremacist power and the capitalist order as a whole. There's exactly one person in this thread making baseless accusations of racism with no foundation in reality in a way that is guaranteed to alienate any class conscious prole with two brain cells to rub together. And yet, undeterred, meerov21 continues to grandstand about this real and pressing issue facing the global anarchist movement, inventing from whole cloth political positions which "we all know very well" and mustn't "pretend isn't happening" simply because there's no earthly reason to believe that anything of the sort is happening.

The simple reality is that anti-racist politics (even at its most liberal) is far from the most significant obstacle to white workers getting on board with revolutionary anarchism. Even if it were, this would be no reason to ditch our analysis of racism and white supremacy purely in order to woo this relatively tiny section of the global proletariat, at the cost of weakening our own understanding of how capitalism and class actually operates and, moreover, cutting ourselves off from the vast majority of the working class worldwide who have to deal with the business end of white supremacy on a daily basis.

I tend to think that if at some point in the future an anarchist movement arises that is able to offer white workers compelling answers to the problems they face on a daily basis struggling to survive as capitalism destroys their health, lives, relationships, neighbourhoods, communities, and the planet they live on, then most likely most white workers will be willing to tolerate the discomfort of being made aware of how they benefit from the systematic oppression of non whites and have done for centuries. Maybe that's optimistic. Either way, pandering to that discomfort with bogus "reverse racism" narratives won't do anything to heal the divides that centuries of white supremacy have wrought amongst the working class in the US and elsewhere.

Mike Harman
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Mar 30 2018 10:52
R Totale wrote:
There are countless calls from the Nation of Islam, the New Black Panther Party, and their socially conservative ilk for women to go home, for strong black men to step up, and other such patriarchal attempts divide the protesters.

Reminds me of Antonio French, St. Louis Alderman who was an early pick by national media to be a Deray figure, before Deray overtook him. I think he was working with/welcoming NOI/NBPP figures to the protests as well in this sort of community leader role.

https://twitter.com/AntonioFrench/status/500655692504920065

Antonio French wrote:
By this time it was just around 2AM. Still too many troublemakers. Still too much anger. Still too many weapons. Still too few grown men.

This is where critiques of nationalism sometimes fall short - on the one hand it can be used to divide workers from each other, on the other hand it provides a cross-class identification that can result in people subordinating their class interests to community/nationalist leaders. These are related functions but they're not the same.

The Melancholic Troglodytes piece discusses the NOI getting a lot of unpaid work out of followers in their businesses for example. So Farrakhan might be an anti-semite who has talked about black supremacy before, but the function of the Nation of Islam is much more to control the black working class and close off a more liberatory politics than it is to actually attack white workers.

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Mar 30 2018 11:04
jolasmo wrote:
meerov21's problem is not that some people on the left have bad politics or lack a good class analysis, it's that people are applying an analysis of white supremacy to anarchist politics and it's making them uncomfortable. If their argument was "I disagree with contemporary anti-racist politics, here are my issues with this approach" there would be hope for this discussion to actually get somewhere. But meerov21 seems to be unable and unwilling to talk this through in a civilised way without resorting to hysterically berating the other side as "racist" against white people. Any analysis that goes beyond the most superficial critique of the surface-level effects of racist attitudes in society is viewed as not only problematic or suspect, but actually explicitly reactionary and bigoted.

It's actually pretty funny given their belief that white workers can't possibly cope with being called racist and will never be able to get on board with the revolution unless we can rein in any critique of the role they play, structurally, in maintaining white supremacist power and the capitalist order as a whole. There's exactly one person in this thread making baseless accusations of racism with no foundation in reality in a way that is guaranteed to alienate any class conscious prole with two brain cells to rub together. And yet, undeterred, meerov21 continues to grandstand about this real and pressing issue facing the global anarchist movement, inventing from whole cloth political positions which "we all know very well" and mustn't "pretend isn't happening" simply because there's no earthly reason to believe that anything of the sort is happening.

The simple reality is that anti-racist politics (even at its most liberal) is far from the most significant obstacle to white workers getting on board with revolutionary anarchism. Even if it were, this would be no reason to ditch our analysis of racism and white supremacy purely in order to woo this relatively tiny section of the global proletariat, at the cost of weakening our own understanding of how capitalism and class actually operates and, moreover, cutting ourselves off from the vast majority of the working class worldwide who have to deal with the business end of white supremacy on a daily basis.

I tend to think that if at some point in the future an anarchist movement arises that is able to offer white workers compelling answers to the problems they face on a daily basis struggling to survive as capitalism destroys their health, lives, relationships, neighbourhoods, communities, and the planet they live on, then most likely most white workers will be willing to tolerate the discomfort of being made aware of how they benefit from the systematic oppression of non whites and have done for centuries. Maybe that's optimistic. Either way, pandering to that discomfort with bogus "reverse racism" narratives won't do anything to heal the divides that centuries of white supremacy have wrought amongst the working class in the US and elsewhere.

Holy shit! Jolasmo is a G!

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Mar 30 2018 13:22
Mike Harman wrote:
The Melancholic Troglodytes piece discusses the NOI getting a lot of unpaid work out of followers in their businesses for example. So Farrakhan might be an anti-semite who has talked about black supremacy before, but the function of the Nation of Islam is much more to control the black working class and close off a more liberatory politics than it is to actually attack white workers.

Yep, on an oddly topical note another article dealing with a revolutionary critique of the NOI's just come out, from Michael Kimble, an anarchist prisoner at Holman in Alabama (it's also a deeply dispiriting article, considering the amazing high points of struggle reached at Holman in the recent past):

Quote:
So, ever since 2006 i and the other prisoner have been holding talent shows, Kwanzaa events, Black August events, seminars and Black History Month events under the banner of the Rastafarian religion. Rastafarianism is just another bizarre liberation theology.

Anyway, this year i posted flyers and enlisted the participation of a few young prisoners to do a Black History Month event (speakers, poets, singers, rappers, and our first fashion show). During these events there is no pig (A.C.A.B.) participating or attending. It’s solely organized by prisoners for prisoners alone.

As you all know from reading my posts, Holman is undergoing low-intensity warfare aimed at the prisoner population: pacification and recuperation. The pigs have been using the old stick and carrot plot to seduce prisoners into compliance. The stick is the CERT (riot squad) who have been stationed at Holman since September 2016 and have beaten numerous prisoners. The carrot is the food and promises of legislative change in the criminal laws that will free prisoners being promoted by the missionary Browder ministries.

To lessen the impact of a radical Black history event organized for and by prisoners, the pig administration enlisted the aid of some Black prisoners who are housed in the Faith-Based Honor dorm to be part of an administration-sponsored Black History “program.” These prisoners unashamedly helped the warden and captain get other Black prisoners to participate in the administration’s sponsored Black History “program.” The leader of the National of Islam was asked by myself to participate with the prisoner-only organized Black History event, but refused to attend. As a matter of fact, this prisoner made announcements in the dorms for all to come to the pigs’ “program” and stated that if one didn’t attend they could stay slaves, overlooking the fact that the occupation of very people who enlisted him originated from slave patrols. The action of these prisoners makes them sellouts, uncle Toms and neo-kolonial puppets.

Holman has gone through an intense recuperative and pacification program where formerly rebellious prisoners are the first to intervene on the pigs’ behalf when a rebellious prisoner comes into conflict with the pigs, but do nothing when it’s a prisoner conflict. i don’t know how these neo-kolonial prisoners reconcile their actions with being fucked over and controlled for years by these pigs who give no consideration for their pain and suffering.

These neo-kolonials even demanded that those who was speaking and/or rapping submit their work in advance, so to insure that nothing was said to criticize, expose, or offend their masters, their controllers. And check this out: their Black History “program” wasn’t even held during February, the designated month for Black History; it was held in March.

This kind of practice was unheard of or never seen just a year and a half ago. Our conditions of being held captive was clearly defined. And that these lying, hypocritical creeps who represent authority, control, greed for greed’s sake, no respect for the earth and life (human nor wildlife), who make moral judgments about those of us who rebel, refuse to submit do not want to see us live our life free are the enemy.

See, we had created an environment of individuals who wanted as much control over our existence, although we are in captivity. And showed open contempt and “participated in some manner against these men (and women) and institutions in charge of justice.”

We had created an environment where collusion with the pigs, snitching, stealing, etc. was frowned on and punished. I’m not saying it was utopia, because it wasn’t; far from it, but it did create an atmosphere of solidarity among most of us.

Now, since they (pigs) began their campaign to smash the resistance here and gained some form of control through stick and carrot, all collective resistance has disappeared.

link
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Mar 31 2018 06:13

I am not a regular poster on libcom but I would like to comment a bit on the discussions about the events at the bookfair, the split in the AF and the reactions to Meerov’s and Serge Forward’s comments on racism and nationalism.

I do feel that it is sad to see so-called anarchism descending into this ever more complex morass that is identity politics. Im sure I wont agree fully with Meerov's politics but I would agree with his emphasis on the class struggle and that the adoption of identity politics and all the current sociological theorising about intersectionality, cultural appropriation and decolonialism is quite clearly a move away from working class politics.

Let me quote from an article in the Independent:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/munroe-bergdorf-labour-lg...

She is quoted as saying “Because most of ya’ll dont even realise or refuse to acknowledge that existence privilege and success as a race is build on the backs, blood and death of people of colour. Your entire existence is drenched in racism. From micro-aggressions to terrorism you guys built the blueprint for this s***. Once white people begin to admit that their race is the most violent and oppressive force of nature on Earth … then we can talk.”

Personally I am happy that anyone should be able to choose their own gender, sexuality, children, nationality etc (PS why not colour – we are all one race after all) and be respected for who they are as an individual but politically I reserve the right to criticise their views. The politics expressed by this quote itself (ie I don’t know how accurate this represents her views) is totally ahistorical nonsense. It is extreme but it is not radical and it does not threaten capitalism in any way. Just like the politics of Farrakkan mentioned earlier in the thread, it is bourgeois politics which seeks to divide and rule us.

The fundamental division in capitalist society is class and to ignore that sections of the capitalist ruling class are black, female, homosexual transsexual and represent so called oppressed nations and so forth is to appease that ruling class. Yes its right to want a society that eliminates these oppressions but how is it to be achieved?? Uniting with sections of the ruling class and ruling ideology is at best only a way to reform the system. OK there has been precious little class struggle lately that actually threatens the system but is it not right to argue for the long goal not just reforms?.

Capitalism has always been able to talk about freedom and equality but it means something different to us, so it is important to recognise that there is a difference between working class movement and bourgeois campaigns. It does not mean rejecting the idea that we want to get rid of these oppressions if we identify the working class women’s movement, working class anti racism and working class internationalism and criticise bourgeois feminism, bourgeois anti racism, bourgeois nationalism movements. Im afraid a lot a posters on here seem to be ignoring this.

Tailending bourgeois feminist and anti racist campaigns and the transitional demands of the left is no way to achieve the long goal.

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Mar 31 2018 08:55

Acceptng racism exists is not ignoring class.

Opening a window on a hot day doesn't mean I am refusing to admit that I have a door. As communists we must be against all oppressions and that doesn't mean we have to support bourgeois campaigns, any more than we have to take part in elections to get our voices heard.

meerov is just blindly defending his corner and hanging onto anythig that he can, I think I have already replied to him as best as I could and it didn't help then, so no need to repeat myself.

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Mar 31 2018 17:55
link wrote:
I am not a regular poster on libcom but I would like to comment a bit on the discussions about the events at the bookfair, the split in the AF and the reactions to Meerov’s and Serge Forward’s comments on racism and nationalism.

I do feel that it is sad to see so-called anarchism descending into this ever more complex morass that is identity politics. Im sure I wont agree fully with Meerov's politics but I would agree with his emphasis on the class struggle and that the adoption of identity politics and all the current sociological theorising about intersectionality, cultural appropriation and decolonialism is quite clearly a move away from working class politics.

I don't think Meerov emphasises the class struggle. I think they talk about emphasising the class struggle, which is a different thing. Like, I know it's a bit sad and keyboard warrior to dig through people's posting history like this, but it does give some indication of what they're interested in (and the alternative is just making claims about what people do offline, which is probably bad security culture and definitely kind of pointless since it can't be proved one way or the other anyway):
my last two posts on this thread were about an anarchist prisoner trying to organise events on a class/anti-state line and being undermined by a bourgeois/reactionary black nationalist group, and about working class people fighting back against police violence and the conservative role played by that same reactionary black nationalist group. Jolasmo's last post on this thread talked about the need for "an anarchist movement ... that is able to offer white workers compelling answers to the problems they face on a daily basis struggling to survive as capitalism destroys their health, lives, relationships, neighbourhoods, communities, and the planet they live on". Mike Harman is another poster on this thread who's been very active in arguing against Meerov's views, and other stuff they've posted recently includes a news article about a wildcat strike by Kentucky teachers, a big blog post about a historical strike wave, and a historical article about police violence against striking workers. If meerov posted more stuff like that, along the lines of "Mass wildcat strike by Kentucky teachers", but giving us information about ongoing struggles in their part of the world, I would still disagree with some of their views, but I'd have a lot more respect for them as a useful poster, but as far as I can tell, they don't seem to do that much.
And if things like the articles I linked to about working class people fighting against police violence, Jolasmo's suggestion that we need an anarchist movement that offers workers answers to the problems they face on a daily basis, and the kind of stuff that Mike Harman posts about workers taking strike action represent "a move away from working class politics", then I would be curious to see what real working class politics does look like.

Quote:
Let me quote from an article in the Independent:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/munroe-bergdorf-labour-lg...

She is quoted as saying “Because most of ya’ll dont even realise or refuse to acknowledge that existence privilege and success as a race is build on the backs, blood and death of people of colour. Your entire existence is drenched in racism. From micro-aggressions to terrorism you guys built the blueprint for this s***. Once white people begin to admit that their race is the most violent and oppressive force of nature on Earth … then we can talk.”

Personally I am happy that anyone should be able to choose their own gender, sexuality, children, nationality etc (PS why not colour – we are all one race after all) and be respected for who they are as an individual but politically I reserve the right to criticise their views. The politics expressed by this quote itself (ie I don’t know how accurate this represents her views) is totally ahistorical nonsense. It is extreme but it is not radical and it does not threaten capitalism in any way. Just like the politics of Farrakkan mentioned earlier in the thread, it is bourgeois politics which seeks to divide and rule us.

OK but I literally do not care about what some chump from the Labour party says at all? Like, yeah, if I ran into her on a picket line or in a community campaign I'd probably have some disagreements with her, but since that article says she was on some Labour party advisory panel until she stepped down, it sounds like her connection to the anarchist movement is tenuous to non-existent?

Quote:
The fundamental division in capitalist society is class and to ignore that sections of the capitalist ruling class are black, female, homosexual transsexual and represent so called oppressed nations and so forth is to appease that ruling class. Yes its right to want a society that eliminates these oppressions but how is it to be achieved?? Uniting with sections of the ruling class and ruling ideology is at best only a way to reform the system. OK there has been precious little class struggle lately that actually threatens the system but is it not right to argue for the long goal not just reforms?

Who here do you think disagrees with you on that?

Quote:
Capitalism has always been able to talk about freedom and equality but it means something different to us, so it is important to recognise that there is a difference between working class movement and bourgeois campaigns. It does not mean rejecting the idea that we want to get rid of these oppressions if we identify the working class women’s movement, working class anti racism and working class internationalism and criticise bourgeois feminism, bourgeois anti racism, bourgeois nationalism movements. Im afraid a lot a posters on here seem to be ignoring this.

Literally half the last page of this thread is just posters here offering up various criticisms of reactionary/bourgeois black nationalist groupings, though, so I don't get who you think is ignoring what? By the way, fair enough if you don't do podcasts, but I think the recent Living the Dream interview on "the feminist moment" was good - if you can't be bothered to spend 90 minutes listening to it, the two Eleanor Robertson articles, Intersectional Identity and the Path to Progress and Get mad and get even are brilliant IMO and I'll try and add them to the library when I get a chance. They're both explicitly about criticising bourgeois feminism, but I don't think anyone here would disagree with them, or at least not for that - they can probably be accused of coming across as soft on Sanders-style social democracy or whatever, but that's a whole other topic.

Mike Harman
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Mar 31 2018 22:56
link wrote:
all the current sociological theorising about intersectionality, cultural appropriation and decolonialism is quite clearly a move away from working class politics.

Let me quote from an article in the Independent:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/munroe-bergdorf-labour-lg...

She is quoted as saying “Because most of ya’ll dont even realise or refuse to acknowledge that existence privilege and success as a race is build on the backs, blood and death of people of colour. Your entire existence is drenched in racism. From micro-aggressions to terrorism you guys built the blueprint for this s***. Once white people begin to admit that their race is the most violent and oppressive force of nature on Earth … then we can talk.”

I completely agree with you link, I think Bergdorf also wrote this along the same lines, obviously a clear retreat from class into neoliberal identity politics.

Munroe Bergdorf wrote:
The discovery of gold and silver in America, the extirpation, enslavement and entombment in mines of the aboriginal population, the beginning of the conquest and looting of the East Indies, the turning of Africa into a warren for the commercial hunting of black-skins, signalised the rosy dawn of the era of capitalist production. These idyllic proceedings are the chief momenta of primitive accumulation. On their heels treads the commercial war of the European nations, with the globe for a theatre. It begins with the revolt of the Netherlands from Spain, assumes giant dimensions in England’s Anti-Jacobin War, and is still going on in the opium wars against China, &c.

The different momenta of primitive accumulation distribute themselves now, more or less in chronological order, particularly over Spain, Portugal, Holland, France, and England. In England at the end of the 17th century, they arrive at a systematical combination, embracing the colonies, the national debt, the modern mode of taxation, and the protectionist system. These methods depend in part on brute force, e.g., the colonial system. But, they all employ the power of the State, the concentrated and organised force of society, to hasten, hot-house fashion, the process of transformation of the feudal mode of production into the capitalist mode, and to shorten the transition. Force is the midwife of every old society pregnant with a new one. It is itself an economic power.

Of the Christian colonial system, W. Howitt, a man who makes a speciality of Christianity, says:

“The barbarities and desperate outrages of the so-called Christian race, throughout every region of the world, and upon every people they have been able to subdue, are not to be paralleled by those of any other race, however fierce, however untaught, and however reckless of mercy and of shame, in any age of the earth.” [4]

The history of the colonial administration of Holland — and Holland was the head capitalistic nation of the 17th century —

“is one of the most extraordinary relations of treachery, bribery, massacre, and meanness” [5]

No wait that was Marx in Capital vol 1, silly me getting my quotes mixed up!

https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch31.htm

Now of course Marx says this in the context of Capital which he spent many years working on, Bergdorf is a model who got invited onto a Labour Party advisory board until the press dug up the worst possible quotes from her they could find.

I have no doubt that if you updated that quote, stuck it in the Independent and attributed it to Berdorf you'd have someone complaining about neoliberal decolonial identity politics because it mentions colonialism and says that the outrages of the so-called Christian race are unparalleled. Meerov would probably say with a straight face that it's anti-white racism (if we assume that "Christian race" is a euphemism for "white" or Western European).

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Mar 31 2018 23:06

Nice try, Mike, but I don't think Marx was saying "you guys" etc or telling white people on the left that such horrors were all down to some inherent violence within "their race".

Mike Harman
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Mar 31 2018 23:33
Serge Forward wrote:
Nice try, Mike, but I don't think Marx was saying "you guys" etc

I also don't think Marx said "you guys", he did have some choice words about Lasalle though.

Or this where he talked about the elimination of weaker nations by the Germans, due to the Germans superior physical and intellectual power:

Marx wrote:
Thus ended for the present, and most likely for ever, the attempts of the Slavonians of Germany to recover an independent national existence. Scattered remnants of numerous nations, whose nationality and political vitality had long been extinguished, and who in consequence had been obliged, for almost a thousand years, to follow in the wake of a mightier nation, their conqueror, the same as the Welsh in England, the Basques in Spain, the Bas-Bretons in France, and at a more recent period the Spanish and French Creoles in those portions of North America occupied of late by the Anglo-American race—these dying nationalities, the Bohemians, Carinthians, Dalmatians, etc., had tried to profit by the universal confusion of 1848, in order to restore their political status quo of A. D. 800. The history of a thousand years ought to have shown them that such a retrogression was impossible; that if all the territory east of the Elbe and Saale had at one time been occupied by kindred Slavonians, this fact merely proved the historical tendency, and at the same time physical and intellectual power of the German nation to subdue, absorb, and assimilate its ancient eastern neighbors; that this tendency of absorption on the part of the Germans had always been, and still was one of the mightiest means by which the civilization of Western Europe had been spread in the east of that continent; that it could only cease whenever the process of Germanization had reached the frontier of large, compact, unbroken nations, capable of an independent national life, such as the Hungarians, and in some degree the Poles: and that, therefore, the natural and inevitable fate of these dying nations was to allow this process of dissolution and absorption by their stronger neighbors to complete itself.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1852/germany/ch14.htm

Not a single mention of class or capitalism there.

Serge Forward wrote:
or telling white people on the left that such horrors were all down to some inherent violence within "their race".

Was that an address to white people on the left? I think it was a facebook rant written after a white supremacist drove a car into a street full of people in Charlottesville, killing one and injuring others.

I'm not really interested in defending that passage from the rant (and haven't read the whole rant), but pulling up a professional model and Labour Party figure who's 1. not an anarchist 2. not on this thread, when you have Meerov, great emphasiser of class politics, talking about how a great number of black New Yorkers are racist, seems like your priorities are a bit skewiff. Bergdorf's mother is white fwiw, so would be odd to argue a genetic predisposition to violence (which you can see even from the out of context quote in the Independent she's not actually doing, makes me wonder why link left the last 2-3 sentences off).

Doesn't make it a good example of political writing, but if you want to find actual race-first politics it would be better to take on someone like Frank Wilderson.

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Juan Conatz
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Mar 31 2018 23:38
Serge Forward wrote:
Nice try, Mike, but I don't think Marx was saying "you guys" etc or telling white people on the left that such horrors were all down to some inherent violence within "their race".

The whole concept and identification of “whiteness” is inseperable from violence. Sorry that hurts your feelings.

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Apr 1 2018 00:12

We are products of our genes eh? Who is identifying with a concept of "whiteness" anyway? Whose feelings are hurt? That's a complete straw man. The guy who started this thread, Meerov, makes some suspect comments but, Juan, you're actually no better. You're both just two cheeks on the same identity raddled arse.

Mike, we know Marx was a racist twat. I'm not sure why you're telling me this??? I didn't know that was a Facebook rant at some racist either. I suppose it gives context.

Rurkel
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Apr 1 2018 08:00

Strangely, the modern forum arguments about Marx's "dying nations" quotes rarely mention that his prediction about the "Bohemians, Carinthians, Dalmatians" etc. turned out to be wrong. These nationalisms turned out to be typical energetic young nationalisms on the rise, rather then nationalisms dying from sheer German "physical and intellectual power".

(I take it by Dalmatians he means Croats, rather then actual Dalmatians, that were Romance speakers almost - ironically - "dissolved and absorbed" by Slavic Croats when Marx was writing these words).

Mike Harman
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Apr 1 2018 07:17
Serge wrote:
Mike, we know Marx was a racist twat. I'm not sure why you're telling me this???

Because people are using out of context quotes from celebrity Facebook rants that make similar arguments to Marx in Capital, to argue that 'anarchists' have abandoned class.

If you don't think Marx abandoned class, maybe don't argue everyone else has based on cherry picked quotes.

Serge wrote:
I didn't know that was a Facebook rant at some racist either. I suppose it gives context.

Since it's stated in the Independent article very clearly that it was a response to Charlottesville, you obviously didn't read the link before making multiple comments on this thread based on its content.

No wonder we have 100+ comment circular articles about fucking identity politics when this is the attention to detail given to people's arguments.

R Totale's point is a good one. There is talking about class struggle, then there is talking about talking about class struggle, and they are not the same.

Mike Harman
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Apr 1 2018 07:24
Rurkel wrote:
Strangely, the modern forum arguments about Marx's "dying nations" quotes rarely mention that his prediction about the "Bohemians, Carinthians, Dalmatians" etc. turned out to be wrong. These nationalisms turned out to be nationalisms on the rise, rather then nationalisms dying from sheer German "physical and intellectual power".

(I take it by Dalmatians he means Croats, rather then actual Dalmatians, that were Romance speakers almost - ironically - "dissolved and absorbed" by Slavic Croats when Marx was writing these words).

Marx was incredibly shit at geopolitics, and it's closely linked to the stagist strain of some of his other arguments.

The one thing is that after the Paris Commune proved him so incredibly wrong about the German vs French working class he at least appears to have reflected a bit, then later learning more about Russia and the mir. Too late to stop a century and a half of stagism following on though.

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Apr 1 2018 07:59

In both workplace and community struggles, problems related to racism and sexism come up a lot and can be really difficult and intractable. I've been reading and listening to people shouting at each other about identity politics in the anarchist movement for many years now and I get very little actual help with tackling these problems.

In arguments people often make the distinction between bad bourgeois identity politics and "actually addressing real racism or sexism, we are all in favour of that, of course we are" but on the ground, however real the racism or sexism, the people carrying out the racism or sexism dismiss you contemptuously and in my experience you usually receive very little back up from anyone, not even guidance or moral support.

Mike Harman
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Apr 1 2018 09:10
fingers malone wrote:
In arguments people often make the distinction between bad bourgeois identity politics and "actually addressing real racism or sexism, we are all in favour of that, of course we are" but on the ground, however real the racism or sexism, the people carrying out the racism or sexism dismiss you contemptuously and in my experience you usually receive very little back up from anyone, not even guidance or moral support.

Yes I've seen several cases at work where a woman spoke up about sexism and sexual harassment and the response was anything from ignoring it, to denial, to insisting the man as the victim of an sjw witch hunt.

It was seeing very fucking obvious cases of wilful denial like that (and reading about things like the SWP case, and in other groups from different tendencies) that made me realise I'd underestimated the scale of the problem previously.

The reaction of supposed anarchists to this to just continue carping about 'identity politics' or in Meerov's case accusing people discussing structural racism of being racists has been incredibly disappointing.

jolasmo
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Apr 2 2018 01:27
Serge Forward wrote:
We are products of our genes eh? Who is identifying with a concept of "whiteness" anyway? Whose feelings are hurt? That's a complete straw man. The guy who started this thread, Meerov, makes some suspect comments but, Juan, you're actually no better. You're both just two cheeks on the same identity raddled arse.

Serge, do you believe that the racial category of "whiteness" is a product of a) genetics or b) social relationships? Do you think that the first people to categorise themselves as "white" did so on the basis of genetics? (Here's a clue: the first recorded usage of "white" to define a racial group was in Virginia in 1680, whereas the field of genetics began with work by Gregor Mendel published in 1865 a full 185 years later.)

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Apr 2 2018 02:16

Imagine that. The person in the anti “identity politics” spltoff group thinks race has a genetic basis. And people got heated when I said that TERFs and their “free speech” defenders were suspicious. And then out comes the race science remarks.

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Apr 2 2018 11:32

Juan, what is the matter with you? Again, you are trolling when you completely mischaracterise the split from the AF. Juan and Jolasmo, see that question mark I did? Of course I don't think it's bloody genetic, all definitions of race are social constructs. I just wasn't sure Juan thought that, hence the "We are products of our genes eh?" question.

meerov21
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Apr 2 2018 18:50

link
Mar 31 2018 10:13
I am not a regular poster on libcom but I would like to comment a bit on the discussions about the events at the bookfair, the split in the AF and the reactions to Meerov’s and Serge Forward’s comments on racism and nationalism.I do feel that it is sad to see so-called anarchism descending into this ever more complex morass that is identity politics. Im sure I wont agree fully with Meerov's politics but I would agree with his emphasis on the class struggle and that the adoption of identity politics and all the current sociological theorising about intersectionality, cultural appropriation and decolonialism is quite clearly a move away from working class politics.Let me quote from an article in the Independent:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/munroe-bergdorf-labour-lg...

This is the Central point and the point for which I wrote this. I did it for those people who understand that anarchism has ceased to be a socially revolutionary movement, plunging into all this muddy mire spread by liberals engaged in figuring out whether the poor with white skin color has 17% more advantages over the poor with black skin color or only 7.5%, and whether white men workers should apologize to black.

These are my two text on similar topics, with criticism of what is called the politics of identity or haw do you call it.

1. Two main currents of anarchism
https://libcom.org/forums/history/two-main-currents-anarchism-02092017

2. Should anarchists protect "their land" from invaders?
(To some extent, this is my reaction to the notes of former Ukrainian anarchists who became supporters of nationalism and the Ukrainian state but these are also symptoms of the same)
https://libcom.org/forums/history/should-anarchists-protect-their-land-i...

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Khawaga
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Apr 2 2018 19:55
Quote:
This is the Central point and the point for which I wrote this. I did it for those people who understand that anarchism has ceased to be a socially revolutionary movement, plunging into all this muddy mire spread by liberals engaged in figuring out whether the poor with white skin color has 17% more advantages over the poor with black skin color or only 7.5%, and whether white men workers should apologize to black.

This is a laughable caricature. Fun fact: from many people of colour, indigenous folks, and women, anarchism or the left never was a socially revolutionary movement because it could never account for their experiences. Sure, liberal identity politics is daft, but if you want to have an actual working class movement, it is better to address what is splitting the class rather than (a) ignoring it or (b) arguing that is the very existence and calling attention to race, gender, and sexuality that splits the class rather than racism, sexism, and homophobia. It's rather quite baffling that so many anarchists and leftists don't understand this difference and kind of fucked up as well: blaming the people who are subject to racism and sexism, effectively telling them that their experiences still does not matter.

Mike Harman
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Apr 2 2018 20:30
meerov21 wrote:
I did it for those people who understand that anarchism has ceased to be a socially revolutionary movement, plunging into all this muddy mire

One of the very high points of anarchist organisation was in Spain, and it produced the Mujeres Libres: https://libcom.org/history/separate-equal-mujeres-libres-anarchist-strat...

Were they part of that revolutionary movement or are you going to blame them for the demise of anarchism too?

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R Totale
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Apr 2 2018 21:07
meerov21 wrote:
This is the Central point and the point for which I wrote this. I did it for those people who understand that anarchism has ceased to be a socially revolutionary movement, plunging into all this muddy mire spread by liberals

I recently added this text to the libcom library, partly because this thread made me think of it in a roundabout fashion: https://libcom.org/library/untold-resistance-queer-prison-rebels-alabama Would you consider that to be liberal academic identity politics? If so, could you enlighten us as to what they're doing wrong, and what the correct class struggle way to start that riot would have been? Or, if you prefer, no-one's stopping you from discussing the Kentucky and Oklahoma strike waves, or sharing news of similar workplace struggles in the region where you live - please feel free to do so.

meerov21
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Apr 2 2018 22:50

Fun fact: from many people of colour, indigenous folks, and women, anarchism or the left never was a socially revolutionary movement because it could never account for their experiences. Sure, liberal identity politics is daft, but if you want to have an actual working class movement, it is better to address what is splitting the class rather than (a) ignoring it or (b) arguing that is the very existence and calling attention to race, gender, and sexuality that splits the class rather than racism, sexism, and homophobia. It's rather quite baffling that so many anarchists and leftists don't understand this difference and kind of fucked up as well: blaming the people who are subject to racism and sexism, effectively telling them that their experiences still does not matter.

Well, 100 years ago, anarchists and real revolutionary syndicalists had a huge influence in Japan, Korea, and Brazil, and people of all colors cooperated with them. Revolutionary syndicalists from the Real Historical IWW conducted combat clashes, which involved people of dozens of nationalities (Irish, German, Jewish, Serbian, Lithuanian, Syrian, Chinese, Spanish-American and African-American workers). At the same time, the activists of IWW and FORA had primarily a socio-revolutionary identity, although they could consider themselves Irish, Poles, Chinese or Jews, men and women. The modern anarchists are not able to mobilize such a mass of workers of all races.

Besides, you're lying. Of course, I do not call for ignoring the experiences of racial discrimination or discrimination against women. No one from the participants of historical socio-revolutionary movements denied this experience. Just those people focused on what unites workers. And you as liberals are looking for what separates them.

Mike Harman
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Apr 2 2018 22:56
meerov21 wrote:
Besides, you're lying. Of course, I do not call for ignoring the experiences of racial discrimination or discrimination against women. No one from the participants of historical socio-revolutionary movements denied this experience. Just those people focused on what unites workers. And you as liberals are looking for what separates them.

ffs just read some history please.
https://libcom.org/library/why-moors-help-franco