[lbo-talk] occupy the hood

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Fri Dec 16 17:49:38 PST 2011

-----Original Message----- From: lbo-talk-bounces at lbo-talk.org [mailto:lbo-talk-bounces at lbo-talk.org] On Behalf Of Eric Beck Sent: Friday, December 16, 2011 3:04 PM To: lbo-talk at lbo-talk.org Subject: Re: [lbo-talk] occupy the hood

On Fri, Dec 16, 2011 at 2:46 PM, Doug Henwood <dhenwood at panix.com> wrote:
> On Dec 16, 2011, at 3:34 PM, c b wrote:
>> The War on Poverty is a good idea.
> It's fought with benefits, jobs, education.

Those things rearrange who is poor; they don't eliminate poverty, which will always exist under capitalism. I thought only liberals believed otherwise?

> How do you fight a war on "structural racism"?

Abolition of prisons would be a good start.... Seriously, there are several simple ways to fight structural racism that an average 12-year-old could name off the top of their head. I know you're wedded to this anti-antiracism stuff, but the attachment is clouding your thinking.


That is probably key. All aspects of the "war on crime." (And as someone said, let's be careful of that 'war on..." Leave that phrase to our enemies.) No bail required except for serious crimes of violence; no penalty for failure to make a court appearance; no loss of citizenship rights for convicted felons; free _quality_ defense lawyers; no night arrests; nor time in jail before first court appearance*.

Some radical legislation on slum landlords. Perhaps confiscation of rental property not properly maintained. Replace all elementary school buildings in inner cities with modern well-kept up buildings. Much higher pay and much lower class sizes in inner-city schools. Low strict ceilings on interest on pay-day loans. Substatnial black faculty in 'white' schools. Pay high enough to attract white teachers to 'black' schools. (At first it should be treated as hazardus duty, with state-supported 'R&R.' All police on foot or bicycle in black areas; no squad car patrols. Higher pay for hospital staffs (particularly non-medical perssonel.

Many of these require alertness by local left groups to particular instances which can be the peg to hang bigger campaigns.

Elimination of juvenile detention.

State-level rather than local financing of schools. Eliminate property tax entirely for schools, replace with state income tax.

These demands are of varying importance. Some are important enough to justify, when political basis has been established, violent tactics.

It is central. No left without this kind of program.

But this topic was brought up inappropriately in respect to OWS. Those who raised it simply have no sense at all of how mass movements develop. It's that same bleacher mentality I've been complaining about for years on this list, the vicious (and idealist) assumption that free-floating 'criticism' is politically virtuous. It isn't. Criticism separated from practice is almost always reactionary, whatever the intentions of the critic. Example: the absurdities written a few months ago about the London riots. You have to be close up, and make careful discriminations, before you can say anything useful abut a riot, and when you say something useful it won't take the form of saying "they should have done it differently" or "they shouldn't have done that." An act in a riot is like a drop of rain. A mere fact, neither "good" nor "bad.". Criticism must take the form of how can leftists build on this.


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