[Marxism] Forwarded from Anthony (reply to Julio Huato)
Waistline2 at aol.com
Waistline2 at aol.com
Mon Jun 14 10:57:09 MDT 2004
In a message dated 6/14/2004 10:36:10 AM Central Standard Time,
juliohuato at hotmail.com writes:
>The differentiation on the basis of ideology may be aimed to prove that "we"
(a very small group of faithful believers) are really alone in this huge
universal emancipatory project. It becomes funny bipolarity when this sense
of isolation and smallness is temporarily replaced by episodic euphoria from
the sudden realization that those Stalinists, reformists, Bonapartist
leaders, and other strange fauna out there, who often and inexplicably gain
real influence in spite of their bizarre false consciousness, "come around"
(as they seem to do every now and then) to some of the profound doctrines we
have presciently postulated all along. That's why we debate to exhaustion
to what extent they have come around to our views and deserve our valuable
And similar attitudes prevail in judging domestic political forces in, say,
the U.S. This is really at odds with my understanding of Marxism and the
nature of the workers' movement. And that's why I debate here.<
The Internet and the reality of daily, hourly and fact of interactive
intellectual exchange is a new creature in human history. Nevertheless, in "the old
period" none of the folks I was involved with ever sought to bring an
ideological "opponent" over to "their point of view." More often than not the
"ideological opponent" was the comrade you worked along side of in the shops during the
decade of the 1970s and the end of the 1960s.
Much of my early 1970s activity took place many many fine comrades in I.S.
(International Socialists) and our local union - Local 51, had been a hotbed of
opposition to the Reuther Machine for a couple of decades before I arrived on
the scene. What destroyed the I.S. grouping in Local 51 was its members being
located at Lynch Road Assembly and the closing of this facility. I happened by
chance to be located at Mound Road Engine. Lynch Road Assembly had 5,000
workers and Mound Road Engine had 3500 workers.
During the struggle around unemployment of the 1970s, we created an
Unemployed Committee in our local union and the Chairperson was a white female
proletarian, open I.S. member and public socialist from the Lynch Road plant. I was
Vice Chairperson - African American male and open communist. Our material work
together meant meeting at each other homes and since everyone was listening to
the same music, our "after parties" was filled with Stevie Wonder up to his
Ideological struggle in my view is never meant to convert one another but to
teach the workers how to take a class stance and introduce them to Marx . . .
correct! . . . to give them the Communist Manifesto.
There were elections within the Local Union where more often than not we were
all on the same side, but not all the time.
I do not for a moment believe that any of the regular and consistent writers
have "false consciousness" but rather different ideological positions and
different class yearnings. Everyone deviates from "the correct path" as
individuals. In other words I do not believe your consciousness is "false" and whether
or not we agree is irrelevant to the truth or falsity of such consciousness.
Conscious of exactly what? An ideological formulation or conception of
mediation? Whether one has a conception of bribery or the labor aristocracy deals
with ideology in the most narrow sense of the word.
This issue of the nature of the workers movement is in itself an ideological
formulation. What workers movement in a country that is 90% workers? What of
the nature of the trade union movement or the direction of the movement of the
proletarians, or the New American proletariat or the Middle stratum or the
women or the African American peoples or the Indians, etc., all of whom are . .
. in the last instance workers?
I for one never ... like never! . . . Write to convert ideologists of the
"Marxism" because our minds are already made up. I personally enjoy writing
monologues, which I get a healthy response to offlist as a way of life, with half
of the responses disagreeing. Many seek to unravel the theory base of ones
approach and not conversion or "winning over" from a false consciousness.
Our consciousness is not false - with or without quotes, but amongst the
highest understanding of class antagonism in the American Union. One can disagree
without being "false" or disagreeable in real life work. It was that great
theorist and anarchists Freddie Perlman that introduced me to political economy
in his old print shop on Michigan Ave, around the corner from the Cadillac
plant in Detroit. Freddie's consciousness was not "false" - even though I am not
an anarchist, but inherited many of his tendencies.
And I loved this man.
Many of us hung all at Debs Hall on Alexandria and Woodward in Detroit - the
SWP offices, and we could disagree without the budding leaders - for better or
worse, of our working class having "false consciousness."
We are not really in a revolutionary situation and to speak of "Bonapartist
leaders," is an ideological proclamation and in the context of Marxmail - an
ideological and theory exchange network, is . . . well . . . interesting.
I can tell you why guys like me get elected time and time again in everything
we do. The reason is that people elected leaders to carry out the work we
agree to get done. Let us assume that my consciousness is false - and you did not
on any level state this, and ask why then do I get elected and those with
correct consciousness generally do not get elected?
The first observation is that those with the correct consciousness are not
necessarily located in a moving section of the working class. If their
consciousness is correct then why are they not located in the moving section of the
class? Perhaps, "the correct consciousness" people have a real life and a real
job and a real family located in another strata of society. Perhaps they have
moved on in life and taken other jobs - in a university for example.
Leaders get elected that possess the qualities of the needs of a particular
movement and moment. I understand why a Stalin was in fact elected - and no one
is elected by everyone in society. I understand why I was elected and many of
the true consciousness people are incapable of being elected.
I assume that 99% of everything I write is wrong by definition in the face of
history. These same writings are not necessarily wrong in the face of the
daily and hourly exchange. I accept our historical limitation and nobody . . . No
one, takes about our inherit limitation, other than I. Why is this?
See, . . . what the ideologists generally cannot admit is that all of us can
be wrong . . . practically and historically.
You say that slavery in America was not capitalism and I say it was a
bourgeois property relations and neither can convince the other and it has very
little to do with "false consciousness" or "Bonapartist leaders."
What are we left to do other than win in the working class as leaders and
To the victor goes the spoils and this is not going to change on the basis of
false and true consciousness. In the last instance all of us are reduced to
doing what is in front of us.
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