Black Radical Congress and "the Left"

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Mon Jun 22 11:07:45 PDT 1998

At 12:45 PM 6/22/98 -0400, you wrote:
>At 02:16 PM 6/21/98 -0400, Louis Proyect wrote:
>>It is inappropriate to open the door to white participation. Feminist
>>groups, gay groups, etc. have the right to choose who can attend their
>>gatherings. This is not reactionary. It is actually democratic, insofar as
>>it expresses majority rule.
>If that is the case, all the radicals on this and other lists should turn
>off the lights and march to the voting booths - after all the bourgeois
>election is nothing but a majority rule, no? In fact, bourgeois elections
>are more inclusive than the identity groups you mention.

When black students at Columbia University form a black students organization in order to press for affirmative action, black studies funding, etc., they are exercising their democratic rights. When General Motors, Goldman-Sachs and IBM fund both factions of the ruling-clss party in the US--the Democrat-Republican Party--, then allow us to vote for their favorite stooge on election day, this is an affront to democracy.

>What distinguishes Marxist from a bourgeois 'empiricist' is that the latter
>refuses to accept the status quo, the 'majority' opinions and identities,
>as the indicator of what 'ought to be.' "Majority" should be formed with
>the entire humanity in mind, not just based on narrowly defined identity

This is an abstraction. Real politics involves contradictions. For example, for women to meet men as equal partners in the radical movement, it was necessary for them to segregate themselves and form all women's groups that were closed to men. Once they achieved a higher level of self-confidence, unity was possible on a higher plane.

Louis Proyect


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