Black is Beautiful

Charles Brown charlesb at
Sat Jun 27 16:24:07 PDT 1998

>>> Rakesh Bhandari writes

Charles brags that he cracked my case in his sleep--to which I can only say: Wake up from the nightmare of Lenin-Stalin-Mao Thought.>>

Chas. Well, it certainly wasn't so hard as to crack on your comments as you implied when you said I was out of breath.

Rakesh continues:

Louis P knows full well that I have been referring to the libertarian communism developed by Gorter and Pannekoek, Korsch and Mattick--critics of Bolshevism; instead the old dog tries to use the old trick of aligning me with the reactionary Hayek, knowing full well after a personal message today and four years of email exchange that I was not referring to the student of Bohm Bawerk.

The Counter-Revolution of Science is however a wonderful critique of Comtean technocratic pretension (any student of political theory would appreciate its erudtion), but I am most open to good Marxian critiques of Hayek's theory of social evolution and his capital theory. Maybe Andrew Gamble's book will help me; Meszaros' mockery of Hayek's eternalization of the rule of capital is very spirited indeed. But I am looking for something more specific on Hayek's theory of production, his theory of the Ricardian effect, his Keynes critique.>>

Chas.: Does all of this mean you are against capitalism ? Where is there an example of libetarian communist practice ? What do you do to practice this theory ? Have you or any of the above mentioned gotten any results in the real world ? Do you have a news paper or an organization ?

Rakesh: Charles wants to defend the integrity of the BRC on the one hand and third world and black nationalism more generally on the other hand. I still don't think he has given any counter-reason to my skepticism of why the BRC will develop in a reformist direction or to my doubts that its design was best suited to counter reactionary nationalism.>>

Charles: "defend" is not the right word. You are the one who needs to defend. The BRC is happening. What's happening with your "organization" and " program" ? Are you organizing an integrated Black/White/ Every workers Congress ? Is your group ? your political tendency ? If not, you are the one who needs to defend. What non-reformist activity or direction are you and your people going ? nowhere , doing nothing ?

"reactionary nationalism" of Black people is mainly part of your political "nightmare" with no exitence in the real world. White workers aren't failing to organize beyond "reformism" because of socalled reactionary nationalism. That's just you making an excuse for white donothingism.

You haven't demonstrated that your position is non-reformist. Libertarian communism is an esoteric, suspect , do nothing academic sect to people who are really struggling with masses of people. You have an imaginary political existence, neo-armchair revolutionism, with typical ultra-leftism.


Where I do agree with Charles though is the primary responsibility of non black racism; it's that which ultimately makes blacks turn only to themselves, which then leads to nihilism or reformism. I think that racism is very virulent. Indeed, I am surprised how easily racism can electrify a population simply by a official flicking the switch on by supporting some racist proposition or making some obsence comment--Pete Wilson: welfare reform means one six pack less a week for those single mothers.

Chas. Why are you surprised ? It may be irrational, but racism is raging in America and always has been. What do you think the whole O.J. Simpson virtual reality maxi series was ? Why was it even in the news so much, except to resurrect the myth of the Black racist and murderer ? What about the beheading of a man by the KKK and a KKK celebration at the spot of the murder ("Free" speech). Are you in an ivory tower or something ? How can you offer such know it all pronouncements about "reactionary black nationalism " and you are surprised about a typical racist occurrence in the U.S. ? What is the libertarian communist comprehensive program for ending racism in the U.S. ?

As Nathan and others have suggested, I may be proven wrong (and I do apologize profusely for getting Marable wrong on the MMM; I just did not remember correctly the contents of his exchange with Reed, and the library here does not have *New Politics* in the current issue of which btw there is a glowing review of Doug's book which he should post here).

Having witnessed extreme racism against blacks at UC Berkeley and at many other levels , I think there is a very important role for black organizations. I must say however that none of the univ. ones ever moved in a radical direction (Johnnie Cochran, Al Sharpton, and Frances Welsing were some of the invited guests--which I consider sickening);>>

Is your organization moving in a radical direction ? What are you doing besides talking "radical" ?

indeed the pro business ideology and the focus only on what could unite blacks (racism in general) and the mystical racializing references to a black cultural essence all contributed to making these student organizations apolitical or reactionary on everything but their truly terrifying battles against racist humiliation. What is interesting is that the organization was reactionary where the students as individuals were not; the whole was greater than the parts. Whatever the intentions of the organizers, it is impossible to develop an anti-capitalist understanding in any ethnically exclusive group.

>> You draw this conclusion based on experience with how many groups ?>>

I have read about the black nation thesis as developed by Harry Haywood and James Forman. The former seems to present it as an opportunistic manuver by the CP to counter Garveyism by promising land in the Black Belt, instead of Liberia. And I can't but think that the re-emergence of the thesis is anything today but an ideological capitulatoin to segregation, nostalgia for which is greatest among those petit bourgeoisie who think they will profit handsomely from a captive black market. But it's not a practical program; it's rhetoric and its actual implementation impossible.>>

Chas. asks: What's your practical program for Black people ?


Charles refers to the heroic battles of the Vietnamese Stalinists. I suggest that he look at the work of Gabriel Kolko, who though sympathetic has written a devastating critique of their failures in power.

There is a tremendous amount of work to be done in discussing the national question. >>

There is a lot to be done on it too. What about the role of the NATIONAL liberation front in the Viet Namese revolution ? It was revolutionary nationalism, an factual example of the type you imply I don't give. There is historical precedent in it and plenty of other places for a progressive role by nationalist organizations of oppressed nationalities.

The arrogance of Europeans in writing books about the failures of nationally liberated European colonies like the glorious Viet Namese People's Republic is what "sickens" me, not Johnnie Cochrane and Black leaders.

Black is Beautiful :Free the Land,

Charles Brown

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