Black....Michael P on Comintern. A correction.

Michael Protenic Jr. mikepro at
Sun Jun 21 19:05:03 PDT 1998

Carrol Cox wrote:

> Michael P writes:
> [SNIP]
> I cannot condone the organizing tactics of the Comintern as a model for
> > future building, especially as CP members had to be "dragged" (my imagination
> > can only weakly project what this physically and mentally entailed!).
> In referring to those who reject the Comintern model, I should have said
> "those of us": I too reject the Comintern model. I merely wished to
> underline the exceptionality of even temporary quasi-successful efforts to
> break the "color line" in the U.S.
> Carrol
> P.S.: The main voice for "color-blind" politics in the U.S. is the WSJ.
> That doesn't prove a thing about anyone else who advocates such a policy,
> but as Thoreau said of a fish in the milk it gives one pause.
> P.S. 2: Why is a Black-led mass movement so horrible and unimaginable to
> contemplate? Non-whites and women for a very long time have had to do the
> best they can within white-male led movements. Pretend I'm a female black
> marxist. What advice do you have for me?


I have nothing to offer any Black person or movement dead set on organizing themselves as a separate entity. I realize this may be the first step on the road to a permanent death for racism on the Left, and I applaud it as such. My problem is that the act of separate organization may become such an all-encompassing task that Blacks may never get around to us.

The hurdles that Leftists of color (if anyone finds that offensive, I offer apologies up front; I wish to include all non-whites, but lack good euphemism skills) must negotiate are tremendous - barriers of class, religion, poverty (all the things that have prevented whites from class unity, no?) that have prevented a movement up until now. The danger is that such organizing may also lead to further exacerbation of racist thought - this time amongst the organizers of such a movement.

The simple thing is to think separate movements for peace, racial harmony, gender rights, and class justice must be strong in themselves to be able to unite on an equal footing, but history has shown the best organizational examples have been trampled or corrupted before their inclusive traits have manifested themselves. The fear I have is that white workers will ignore any such movement unless it can show how it can better white lives - and in conditions of racism such as put forth by you, that is a near-impossible task.

Historically, we have had short-lived examples of unity that could not carry over past a certain crisis. What will make this Blackpled movement any different?

More information about the lbo-talk mailing list