Monday, February 2, 2015

Is the Black Nation an Oppressor Nation? A response to Kevin “Rashid” Johnson.

In 1913, Lenin wrote a short work titled “Russians and Negroes.” The work is definitely worth reading in its entirety, as its shortness conceals a huge depth of theoretical insight. Basically, Lenin is making a comparison between the lives of American Negroes circa 1913 and Russians. To quote Lenin:

It is a permissible comparison. The Negroes were the last to be freed from slavery, and they still bear, more than anyone else, the cruel marks of slavery—even in advanced countries—for capitalism has no “room” for other than legal emancipation, and even the latter it curtails in every possible way.
..half a century later, the Russians still show many more traces of slavery than the Negroes. Indeed, it would be more accurate to speak of institutions and not merely of traces. But in this short article we shall limit ourselves to a little illustration of what we have said, namely, the question of literacy. It is known that illiteracy is one of the marks of slavery. In a country oppressed by pashas, Purishkeviches and their like, the majority of the population cannot be literate.
In Russia there are 73 per cent of illiterates, exclusive of children under nine years of age.
Among the U.S. Negroes, there were (in 1900) 44.5 per cent of illiterates. 

So Lenin, going by a single dimension of measure (literacy), concludes that the average Russian had it worse off than the average black person in Amerika in the 1910s. I am immediately reminded of a Social-Justice Warrior type article called Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is. Like all people who subscribe to such notions, it is rife with the narrow nationalism of White Nation “Leftism.” This is why the author thinks “Straight White Male” is the easy setting, while “Gay Minority Female” is the “hardcore” setting. The narrow nationalism is self-evident to anyone with a global outlook on the world, as the article is reeking of First-World chauvinism. The author of the piece even explicitly seeks to limit the thought experiment to the “the Western world,” because to extend the scope of the thought experiment to the entire planet immediately breaks the point the author is trying to get across. How cold “Gay Minority Female living in AmeriKKKa” possibly be the hardcore setting, compared to say, “Poor ugly guy living in Bangladesh” or even “Working class Indian woman”?

Comparing the lives of your average black person today with your typical Russian probably doesn’t change the results much. The life options and prospects available to your average black man or woman living in AmeriKKKa exceeds anything available to your typical Russian man or woman. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average black man makes around $37,000 a year. The average Russian income is around $17,000 a year. The difference between the income available to your average Amerikan white dude and a black guy is just as large as between a black guy and a Russian. Within a global context, perhaps playing the game on “Black guy living in AmeriKKKa” isn’t that hard of a difficulty setting.

Things undoubtedly begin to change as you climb up the social-ladder in Amerika. The Obama-supporter and black comedian Chris Rock once had a bit where he proclaimed a poor one-legged “white” bus boy wouldn’t trade places with him, even though Chris Rock is a millionaire; they would prefer to see where being “white” takes them. The actual social-reality Chris Rock is complaining about to his audience is one only successful blacks have to deal with: never really being accepted into the rich-guy club. It’s probably true that a rich Russian would never want to trade places with a rich black Amerikan, even one that was significantly richer, because of some negative social aspects of being black that apply to all blacks in Amerika regardless of wealth. But the typical Russian, let alone those even more “hardcore” on the difficulty-setting of life, would trade places with your average Amerikan black man in an instant.

This begs the question: is the Black Nation an Oppressor Nation?

Some have answered the question in the affirmative. The so-called Leading Light has all but explicitly stated as much, when they seek to liquidate the National Question in the North Amerikan context. What they are gently trying to tell their international readers is that you are insane if you think the Black Nation is gonna rise up anytime soon. They are saying the workers of the Black Nation have more in common with imperialism than they do the Oppressed Nations of the world, even if many of them are socially-slighted by chauvinist White Nation workers. George Jackson once said “The entire colonial world is watching the blacks inside the U.S., wondering and waiting for us to come to our senses.” The so-called Leading Light is telling the world that any “Hope” placed on the Black Nation for some “Change” to the imperialist world system is completely misplaced. Absolutely and utterly misplaced.

MIM disagrees with this assessment of the so-called Leading Light, still holding out hope for the Black Nation, Aztlan, white women, etc, to be able to play some sort of revolutionary role within the Belly of the Beast. Which is why Kevin “Rashid” Johnson’s polemic against MIM Prisons appears interesting. Is Kevin “Rashid” Johnson unaware of this theoretical difference separating MIM Thought from the so-called Leading Light?

Much of Rashid’s critique is basically aimed at tagging the old “Petty Bourgeois” label on to MIM and MIM Prisons. Rashid quotes Mao as saying all classes have their own ideologies, and will assert themselves on ideological questions at all possible opportunities. Rashid points to the alleged white dominance of the defunct MIM organization as proof of the “PB” nature of MIM Thought.

But as anyone who knows the MIM line in and out, it isn’t all “workers” in Amerika they considered parasites. They specifically excluded black workers, immigrants laborers, etc. MIM said White Nation workers were hopelessly parasitic. MIM never once claimed it was the case for the workers of the Black Nation. MIM seemed to have unlimited faith in the workers of the Black Nation. MIM believed in the potential of workers of the Black Nation. MIM Prisons still seems to believe in it today. The so-called Leading Light is telling MIM Prisons that this belief is misguided, that black “workers” are just as parasitic as their White Nation counterparts. The so-called Leading Light thinks all of this is misguided pious faith in a nation basking in parasitism.

One could even go further, and note that while MIM would have never dreamed of disparaging workers of the Black Nation in this fashion, they were more than willing to do so in the case of various European nations. The most glaring case is when MIM claimed that the struggle in Ireland could be viewed as simply the Irish Nation attempting to renegotiate their relationship with Western imperialism. In other words, MIM was saying the Irish demand for the self-determination of their nation was not sincere, but a cynical expression of opportunism by an entire nation. MIM’s hope for the Black Nation would never allow them to contemplate this possibility, though they didn’t even hesitate suggesting this possibility when discussing the Irish Question.

Should a serious anti-imperialist refuse to contemplate whether or not the entire Black Nation is bought off, and parasitic?

Luckily, reality is giving us an opportunity to test this question. The victory of the PASOK 2.0 organization in Greece known as SYRIZA has much larger implications than whether or not the Labor Aristocracy thesis is valid. SYRIZA is clearly an opportunist organization, and only the criminally stupid or the conscious agents of White Power and Zionism are pretending otherwise. The coming struggle of the KKE against the Euro-Union imperialist agents known as SYRIZA will tell the entire world something about the Greek Nation itself. As George Jackson said, the entire Third World should be watching the Greek Nation now, to determine whether or not those nations on the periphery of US imperialism are capable of truly revolutionary feats, or whether they prefer the imperialist comforts collaborating with Zionism and White Power gives them. What the Greek Nation and the KKE is capable of doing in the coming months and years will give an indication of what the Black Nation is capable of in the Belly of the Beast. And it will tell the world the significance of the National Question to the struggle against Western imperialism and Zionism.


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