cross-posted from: https://lemmygrad.ml/post/297928

As you have all noticed, this seems to be a point of contention here. This is a good thing, since it means someone will learn something.

Now we seem to be all over the place, with this general area of thought, provoking many questions. Whether or not PatSocs are socially conservative, what is position on social conservatism? Many of us are very young, both in age and ML experience, so an online discussion would be a great learning tool.

  1. Are socially conservative individuals allowed to be apart of the leftist movement?
  • A. Are socially conservative individuals victims of bourgeois propaganda? -B. If socially conservative people are turned away by the left, where do they go? -C. How high of a position would a social conservative be allowed in a ML party? -D. How has or will MLs educate socially conservative folk? -E. &tc, &tc.
  1. What exactly is Patriotism? -A. Does patriotism depend on culture? -B Is possible for a distinction between patriotism for a country and wanting to abolish the state? -C. Is patriotism corrupted in the Core? -D How have post imperialist countries with Communist experiments built patriotism? -E. &Tc &TC

  2. Who even are the PatSocs? -A. If the label is too convuluted, should we make a distinction between Maupin and American exceptionalists? -B. Who of the leaders do we consider MLs? -C. Should patriotic socialist be distinct from socialism or is inherent in socialism? -D. How much do WE even know if PatSocs? -E. &Tc, &tc

We can look at the USSR and GDR for these questions. Remember the Hammer and Sickel came from somewhere.

Things to look out for about the US: -It is the imperialist power, AND a settler state. -Low levels of cultural development -The culture that is there is taken from marginalized groups. -Americas are the most propagandized people in the World. -It is huge and incredibly diverse

More questions about the US could follow: -Should the US be balkanized? If so how does patriotism be built in balkanized regions? -How does land back go about? Will indigenous countries emerge, and if so should we reconsider American MLs as different MLs for the Regions in North America. -If see different nations and regions in North America how does that affect culture? Is the question of how we view the land a prerequisite to discussing patriotism, is it contradictory to call yourself an American Patriot if you decide to divide up the land until regions?

There is so much potential for deep political for North American based Comrades, this is a rabbit hole I do want to delve into. I’ll cross post this to GZD but I want it mainly on Leftist Infighting.

Theses on Mexicanism, Americanism, and Critical Patriotism

https://juanfitzcarraldo.substack.com/p/theses-on-mexicanism-americanism?s=r

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Woah. I have never read anything that could explain so much in such smooth caliber.

Do you have any more of this line of thought, from this person or general theory?

I would love to hear more about Mexicanism.

AMLO please make the Mexican USSR a reality, and liberate the American southwest. 🙏

Edit: This is excellent.

The poles of opposition on the question of left patriotism in the United States are “Turtle Islandism”, representing absolute negation, and “Americanism”, representing absolute affirmation. The class character of these poles are identical—middle and upper class white saviors.

Not Sakai:

The development of broad, interracial working-class support for egalitari an demands might have substantially transformed the politics of the United States and made the achievement of those demands more likely. There were the beginnings of such a movement in the 1930s and 1940s among the UMWA and certain left unions in the CIO. These beginnings were rightly, although perhaps overoptimistically, touted by scholars, civil rights activists and organizations, and Black newspapers during this period, many of whom had been highly critical of interracial unionism in the past. The history of the CIO during the 1930s and 1940s suggests that the achieve ment of interracial working-class solidarity and racial egalitarianism in unions is a difficult task. The crushing of left-wing unionism, however, destroyed whatever possibilities existed for racially egalitarian unionism; congealed the CIO in a bureaucratic, conservative mold; and laid the basis for the long, continuous decline in American union strength which continues to this day.

https://libcom.org/article/race-and-cio-possibilities-racial-egalitarianism-during-1930s-and-1940s

Nice job critically looking at the contents of my post. AGAIN, historically, unions in the US failed due to internalized racism, distancing themselves from communism through anti-russian/pro-nationalist sentiment, and through opportunists in organizing positions focusing bureaucracy toward cooperation with the US government. The reason I quote Sakai is because he very conveniently points out in the same paragraph (so I don’t have to quote 12 different books and research papers) that black organizers commonly resisted anti-communist sentiment and situations of their leadership getting in bed with Democrats. Orgs with racist sentiments most often collapsed quickest. This is not a controversial fact regardless of who’s saying it.

Maybe you guys should up your game and show the same intellectual rigor in disproving my points rather than making fake little “gotchas” because someone who actually put in the work hurt your feelings.

Who asked?

The documents in second link say that Paul J. Sakai was born in 1917, got his undergraduate degree from the from the University of Washington in 1940, and was unable to complete his graduate work because of his military service in 1978. The rest of the files describes his testimony to the Commission of Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians in 1981 as his family was sent to Ninidoka Relocation Center in Idaho during the 40’s (WWII). The Commission heard from more than 750 witnesses, which tells me that he is one of many Japanese individuals who was affected by American internment camps.

I found a picture of this gravestone bearing Paul J. Sakai’s name, birth date (i.e. August 4, 1917), and death date. If this is the same Paul J. Sakai described in the documents you linked, he would’ve been 64 in 1981 (the time of his testimony), which means that he died shortly after giving it in 1984. I believe that the Paul J. Sakai in the documents you linked and the dead man are the same person since it’s common for American military personnel to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

It could be that Paul J. Sakai, the American military veteran, wrote Settlers in 1983 shortly before his death in 1984. But then you need to explain the publication of these later works: The Dangerous Class and Revolutionary Theory (2017), Learning from an Unimportant Minority (2015), Basic Politics of Movement Security (2014), The Ideas of Black Genocide in the Amerikkkan Mind (2009), and The Shock of Recognition (2002). These books were supposedly written by J. Sakai according to this website.

There’s a lot of information you can use here to find more evidence that’ll possibly back up your claim. For example, you can find J. Sakai’s birth record and see if he was born in 1917, graduated from university of washington in 1940, joined the military on January 23, 1941 at Fort Bragg, had family sent to Ninidoka Relocation Center, gave a testimony to the the Commission in 1981, wrote Settlers in 1983, and then died in 1984. Then find evidence showing that the books above were not written by J. Sakai, but someone else.

It could also be a coincidence that there is someone named Paul J. Sakai and J. Sakai who lived in the U.S. at one time. Maybe “Sakai” is a popular Japanese last name like “Smith” is in America.

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According to the author’s note on Settlers, the book was published long after it was written. The reason for this being that Sakai originally didn’t want to publish it, but was persuaded by those he worked with. In light of this, I don’t think these later writings disprove the connection, because these could always have been published posthumously.

you can find J. Sakai’s birth record and see if he was born in 1917

I can’t. There is very little public information about him. It’s unknown even if J Sakai is a pseudonym or not.

I don’t think these later writings disprove the connection, because these could always have been published posthumously.

Maybe, but that’s only a possible explanation if we’re assuming J Sakai = Paul J. Sakai and that he died in 1984. Since we know so little about J Sakai and don’t have an explicit reason to link the two, I don’t think this assumption can be derived by the evidence you provided. The ambiguity around J Sakai personally makes me want to avoid over-speculation.

I found this written in 2002, which claims to be authored by J Sakai and others, in the anarchist library. It says this about Sakai:

As Hamerquist’s essay started to circulate among a small network of anti-fascists and anarchists, it was proposed to turn it into a pamphlet and distribute it to a wider audience. Sakai, author of an essay on right-wing tendencies in the anti-globalization movement, was approached to write an introduction and critique of what Hamerquist laid out. Sakai soon discarded his initial draft when another event rocked our world—the attacks that sent the World Trade Center and part of the Pentagon up in flames.

This article was also referenced. It was supposedly written by Sakai himself:

Again, they cannot be easily counted or measured because they are still uncoalesced. Kept diffused by various imperialist strategies in order to prevent their disruptive potential. How much potential can be seen by the fact that in the 1986 Louisiana election, 57% of the total white vote for u.s. senator went to David Duke of klan and neo-nazi fame. Or the quiet use of steady, low-level, anonymous settler violence in aryan regions to both eliminate sources of abortion and to end u.s. policing of public lands ( i.e. the faint beginnings of a shadow government).

I haven’t read either of these articles. I bring them up because if they were truly co-authored or authored by Sakai, then it is unlikely that he died in 1984 because the events he discussed happened in 1986 and 2002. This is assuming that J Sakai is not a pseudonym (i.e. a real man). I would have no way of knowing ofc

But I was wondering why so little is known about J Sakai. Is it because he’s working with the U.S. government? I haven’t looked into Sakai’s character so I wouldn’t feel confident claiming that. But then I came up with a slightly more plausible explanation: there is probably zero information available about the man because his overall politics are anarchist/mlm adjacent. I highly doubt that you will be able to find in depth information about any of the authors on anarchistlibrary, etc. It could be because they’re all working with the government, or because anarchism (or mlm-ism) is not an active, popular movement in the U.S. with noteworthy leaders.

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Yo that is some damning evidence right there. edit Wait is Paul J Sakai the same person as J. Sakai? edit In https://blog.pmpress.org/authors-artists-comrades/j-sakai/ there’s an excerpt wherein J Sakai appears to claim they were in high school in the 1950s, but this letter from MIS is from 1946. J Sakai does say they were a veteran. If they were in high school in 1950, the earliest they could have been born would have been 1932. I guess it’s possible these are the same people.

Anyone want to try to get a FOIA request going?

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It’s hard to know for sure. For a normal figure, it would be pretty easy to prove/disprove if these are the same people. But I can’t find much basic information about J Sakai.

Even if they are not the same, Sakai still has some sketchy connections. Skeptomai’s substack goes into better detail on this.

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There is no place yet in America for a third party, I believe. The divergence of interests even in the same class group is so great in that tremendous area that wholly different groups and interests are represented in each of the two big parties, depending on the locality, and almost each particular section of the possessing class has its representatives in each of the two parties to a very large degree, though today big industry forms the core of the Republicans on the whole, just as the big landowners of the South form that of the Democrats. The apparent haphazardness of this jumbling together is what provides the splendid soil for the corruption and the plundering of the government that flourish there so beautifully. Only when the land — the public lands — is completely in the hands of the speculators, and settlement on the land thus becomes more and more difficult or falls prey to gouging — only then, I think, will the time come, with peaceful development, for a third party. Land is the basis of speculation, and the American speculative mania and speculative opportunity are the chief levers that hold the native-born worker in bondage to the bourgeoisie. Only when there is a generation of native-born workers that cannot expect anything from speculation any more will we have a solid foothold in America. But, of course, who can count on peaceful development in America! There are economic jumps over there, like the political ones in France — to be sure, they produce the same momentary retrogressions.

The small farmer and the petty bourgeois will hardly ever succeed in forming a strong party; they consist of elements that change too rapidly — the farmer is often a migratory farmer, farming two, three, and four farms in succession in different states and territories, immigration and bankruptcy promote the change in personnel, and economic dependence upon the creditor also hampers independence — but to make up for it they are a splendid element for politicians, who speculate on their discontent in order to sell them out to one of the big parties afterward.

The tenacity of the Yankees, who are even rehashing the Greenback humbug, is a result of their theoretical backwardness and their Anglo-Saxon contempt for all theory. They are punished for this by a superstitious belief in every philosophical and economic absurdity, by religious sectarianism, and by idiotic economic experiments, out of which, however, certain bourgeois cliques profit.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1892/letters/92_01_06.htm

Ah yes. Marx was right, you know. What he did not seen, because he couldn’t, although he predicted it somewhat, was imperialism. As usual, the difference is quantitative, not qualitative. What Sakai suggest is basically “end of a history” for the part of class struggle, an undialectic nonsense.

What are you even talking about? Sakai has anti-imperial aims like every other communist and sprinkles Lenin quotes throughout his work. It is not un-marxist to believe that the United States cannot be rehabilitated. Lenin was right about the class contradictions in the US but he was objectively wrong in his optimism of the American working class given that western socialism failed where socialism in the global south didn’t.

The 32nd Annual Convention of the American Federation of Labour, as the association of trade unions is called, has come to a close in Rochester. Alongside the rapidly growing Socialist Party, this association is a living relic of the past: of the old craft-union, liberal-bourgeois traditions that hang full weight over America’s working-class aristocracy.

For, strange as it may seem, in capitalist society even the working class can carry on a bourgeois policy, if it forgets about its emancipatory aims, puts up with wage-slavery and confines itself to seeking alliances now with one bourgeois party, now with another, for the sake of imaginary “improvements” in its indentured condition.

The principal historical cause of the particular prominence and (temporary) strength of bourgeois labour policy in Britain and America is the long-standing political liberty and the exceptionally favourable conditions, in comparison with other countries, for the deep-going and widespread development of capitalism. These conditions have tended to produce within the working class an aristocracy that has trailed behind the bourgeoisie, betraying its own class.

https://www.marxists.org/archive//lenin/works/1912/dec/07.htm

Marx and Engels did not reconcile themselves to it on this ground; they exposed it. They did not forget, firstly, that the trade union organisations directly embraced a minority of the proletariat.

Neither we nor anyone else can calculate precisely what portion of the proletariat is following and will follow the social-chauvinists and opportunists. This will be revealed only by the struggle, it will be definitely decided only by the socialist revolution. But we know for certain that the “defenders of the fatherland” in the imperialist war represent only a minority. And it is therefore our duty, if we wish to remain socialists to go down lower and deeper, to the real masses; this is the whole meaning and the whole purport of the struggle against opportunism. By exposing the fact that the opportunists and social-chauvinists are in reality betraying and selling the interests of the masses, that they are defending the temporary privileges of a minority of the workers, that they are the vehicles of bourgeois ideas and influences, that they are really allies and agents of the bourgeoisie, we teach the masses to appreciate their true political interests, to fight for socialism and for the revolution through all the long and painful vicissitudes of imperialist wars and imperialist armistices.

The only Marxist line in the world labour movement is to explain to the masses the inevitability and necessity of breaking with opportunism, to educate them for revolution by waging a relentless struggle against opportunism, to utilise the experience of the war to expose, not conceal, the utter vileness of national-liberal labour politics.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1916/oct/x01.htm

Compare with Sakai, who sounds almost exactly like Lenin but with a little Gramscian twist to account for the failures of 20th century western socialism:

The Euro-Amerikan “left” has completely mystified the question of class consciousness. They see in every labor strike, in the slightest twitch for reform, examples of proletarianism. Some “socialist scholars” (a self-awarded title, to be sure) conduct almost anthropological expeditions into the settler masses, seeing in every remembered folk song or cultural nuance some profound but hidden nuggets of working class consciousness. Others, who have spent years as working class “experts,” find proletarian vision in every joke about the bosses told during coffee breaks. This is not politics, whatever else it may be.

There is nothing mystical, elusive or hidden about real working class consciousness. It is the political awareness that the exploiting class and its state must be fought, that the laboring masses of the world have unity in their need for socialism. The Red Army is class consciousness. An action for higher wages or better working conditions need not embody any real class consciousness whatsoever. Narrow self-interest is not the same as consciousness of class interests. “More for me” is not the same slogan as “liberate humanity.”

Lenin wrote on this: “Only when the individual worker realizes that he is a member of the entire working class, only when he recognizes the fact that his petty day-to-day struggle against individual employers and individual government officials is a struggle against the entire bourgeoisie and the entire government, does his struggle become a class struggle.”

This thesis is not “anti-white” or “racialist” or “narrow nationalism.” Rather, it is the advocates of oppressor nation hegemony over all struggles of the masses that are promoting the narrowest of nationalisms — that of the U.S. settler nation. When we say that the principal characteristic of imperialism is parasitism, we are also saying that the principal characteristic of settler trade unionism is parasitism, and that the principal characteristic of settler radicalism is parasitism.

Every nation and people has its own contribution to make to the world revolution. This is true for all of us, and obviously for Euro-Amerikans as well. But this is another discussion, one that can only really take place in the context of breaking up the U.S. Empire and ending the U.S. oppressor nation.

I can also quote mine Lenin to “prove” various things. Like Martov did for example, or Trotsky.

I just can’t see where is this sakaism leading. To Black Hammer? To race war either instead or combined with class war? Nor i nor any other ML negates the importance of issue of race in USA, but Sakai just writes off majority of population of US. Also again, Sakai wrote his book in 1983. Even if it was 100% true back then, conditions changed dramatically in 1991, though it did added to his narration, so growing popularity of his book in 2010 up till now is understandable given the decades of the “end of history” but now the situation is changing.

Overall, we will see. I just hope that no one hopes for sudden change in US. It will come but as the dead center of imperialism, it will come last. Or maybe not last, who know. I don’t and book from 1983 certainly not either. Even Lenin was sometimes terribly wrong about major things less distant in time, like he predicted revolutionary victory in Europe in 1918+.

Tbh, I think the crux of his analysis, which mirrors mine, is that the US can be fixed BUT it will require a lot of white people to get their heads out of their asses and stop acting like self-centered labor aristocrats. In the absence of some kind of mass epiphany of racial solidarity, the US is going to be plunged into straight fascism before things get better. We’re watching it happen right now.

I agree with this too, just i didn’t understood Sakai’s book like that.

Also to add, i havent read Sakais book, but i do know that the group that really popularized it, MIM (Maoist Internationalist Movement) were an extremely secretive Gang of 4 maoist third worldist group. They believed that USSR and Deng Xiaopings China were social imperialist, capitalist and revisionist, that the Cultural Revolution and the Gang of 4 were great, and that white americans are all exploiters and will never be proletarian (which is unmarxist bs as you already said). This group was very secretive and dissolved in 2008. There are a lot of conspiracy theories about them and J Sakai.

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Its the best US history book, no wonder you haven’t read it, and are a patsoc.

All MLs are patriotic, proletarian patriots. Im european, and here all communist parties acknowledge this, from the spanish, greek, finnish, russian, moldovan, ukrainian, etc. Even CPUSA akcnowledges it, only maoist ultraleftists deny this. I havent read Sakais book so i wont comment on it, but isnt Sakai maoist? I wouldnt make my gospel a guy who is so “materialist” he thinks China is capitalist and imperialist.

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All MLs are patriotic, proletarian patriots.

Source? Most MLs adhere to proletarian internationalism, and the right of nations to self-determination, not “patriotism”.

Even CPUSA akcnowledges it, only maoist ultraleftists deny this.

I’m not in CPUSA, but iirc a few months back, luckily they dismissed a few patsocs. Its good to see them extricate themselves of opportunist notions of patriotism.

but isnt Sakai maoist

Not sure, I never got that inkling reading the book. He also wrote it a bit before MLM was synthesized, so I don’t think that applies. I remember reading an interview with him where he admires Mao, as we all do.

wouldnt make my gospel a guy who is so “materialist” he thinks China is capitalist and imperialist.

So did Parenti, western leftists having dogshit takes on China is nothing new, and is also no reason to dismiss their views on non-china topics.

Ok, you want sources, ill give em to you.

Article by General Secretary of CPUSA Joe Sims defending working class patriotism from 2014:

https://www.cpusa.org/article/some-thoughts-on-patriotism-the-national-question-and-the-leninist-tradition/

Article by the Spanish Communist Party (PCE) defending socialist patriotism from 2020 (in spanish):

https://www.mundoobrero.es/pl.php?id=10161

2 Articles from the Greek Communist Party (KKE) defending socialist patriotism from 2000 (in greek):

https://www.rizospastis.gr/story.do?id=209459

https://www.rizospastis.gr/story.do?id=329397

An article by the Italian Communist Party (PCI) (not the original since it dissolved, an ML splinter) defending socialist patriotism (in italian):

https://www.ilpartitocomunistaitaliano.it/quale-patria-per-il-ribelle-parte-prima/

All of these countries are imperialist, and one (the USA) is even settler colonialist. Does CPUSA support colonialism? No! It explictly supports land back, but proletarian patriotism isnt incompatible with that, in fact its fully compatible. Same with european countries, antiimperialism and proletarian patriotism go hand in hand.

Sakai have some good points, especially for the time when he wrote this book, but somehow sakaists never noticed it’s 2022 and end of history has ended and the situation is changing.

Also i am really bewildered how anyone who even heard about dialectical materialism can took the Sakai conclusion for granted.

From Settlers by J. Sakai:

Communism has always had to fight against not only the bourgeoisie, but also the very real opposition of some strata and masses of workers who have become corrupted and reactionary. Thus, the hostility revolutionary trends face here is neither new nor a puzzle for communist theory. In England, South Afrika, etc. the communist forces have had to recognize this opposition. Marx, Engels, Lenin — all emphasized how important this question was. It is an essential part of the world fight against imperialism.

To begin with, our criticism of the historically negative role of the settler masses here is no more pointed than Friedrich Engels’s statements a century ago about the English working class. Communists have never believed that the working class was some “holy,” religious object that must be enshrined away from scientific investigation. Lenin on his own part several times purposefully reminded his European comrades that the original “proletariat” — of Imperial Rome — did not work, but was supported by the surpluses of slave labor. As the lowest free class of Roman citizens, their only duty was to father new soldiers for the Roman Legions (which is why they were called “proletarii” in Latin) while they lived off government subsidies. The political consciousness and material class role of the masses of any given nation cannot be assumed from historic generalizations, but must be discovered by social investigation and scientific analysis.

You are all aware of this and have no shame in calling out liberal-reactionary elements of the “Left.” But we need to maintain an awareness that conservatism and racism are permanently interlinked. In an example of historical analysis of the CIO (Congress of Industrial Organizations), we don’t have a critique of historical Unions themselves so much as the reactionary splitting of the proletariat perpetrated by a trade union such that it was eventually easily co-opted by national interests:

[T]he CIO did not move to oppose open, rigid segregation in the Northern factories until the U.S. government told them to during World War II. Until that time the CIO supported existing segregation, while accepting those Afrikans as union members who were already in the plants. This was only to strengthen settler unionism’s power on the shop floor. During its initial 1935–1941 organizing period the CIO maintained the existing oppressor nation/oppressed nations job distribution: settler workers monopolized the skilled crafts and the mass of semi-skilled production line jobs, while colonial workers had the fewer unskilled labor and broom-pushing positions. For its first seven years the CIO not only refused to help Afrikan workers fight Jim Crow, but even refused to intervene when they were being driven out of the factories. Even as the U.S. edged into World War II many corporations were intensifying the already tight restrictions on Afrikan labor. Now that employment was picking up with the war boom, it was felt not only that Euro-Amerikans should have the new jobs but that Afrikans were not yet to be trusted at the heart of the imperialist war industry.

Now I’d like to interrupt with a quote from Women, Race, and Class by Angela Davis:

In 1899, when Susan B. Anthony urged the defeat of the anti-Jim Crow resolution, Black people massively denounced President McKinley’s encouragement of white supremacy. The Massachusetts branch of the Colored National League charged that McKinley had been apologetically silent during the reign of terror in Phoenix, South Carolina, and that he failed to intervene when Black people were massacred in Wilmington, North Carolina. During his trip South, they told McKinley, …you preached patience, industry, moderation to your long-suffering black fellow citizens, and patriotism, jingoism and imperialism to your white ones.

Back to Settlers, we can see the effects racism within an org has: the white-dominated reactionary elements of the AFL (of which the CIO was once a part) took the center stage of national politics and were thus integrated into the patriotism of U.S. Hegemony:

The important effect of the pro-CIO national strategy can be seen if we compare the ’30s to earlier periods. Whenever popular struggles against business grew too strong to be put down by local police, then the government would send in the National Guard or U.S. Army. Armed repression was the drastic but brutally decisive weapon used by the bourgeoisie. And the iron fist of the U.S. government not only inspired terror but also promoted patriotism to split the settler ranks. The U.S. Army broke the great 1877 and 1894 national railway strikes. The coast-to-coast repressive wave, led by the U.S. Dept. of Justice, against the IWW during 1917–1924 effectively destroyed that “Un-American” movement — even without Army troops. Yet no such attempt was made during the even more turbulent 1930s. President Roosevelt himself turned to CIO leaders, in the words of the New York Times, “for advice on labor problems rather than to any old-line AFL leader.”

There was a heavy split in the capitalist class, with many major corporations viewing the CIO as the Red Menace in their backyards, and desperately using lockouts, company unions, and police violence to stop them. Not all, however. Years before the CIO came into being, Gerald Swope of General Electric had told AFL President William Green that the company would rather deal with one industrial union rather than fifteen different craft unions. And when the Communist Party–led United Electrical Workers-CIO organized at GE, they found that the company was glad to make a deal.

Similar to the CIO, we can see similar shifts in the character of the early NAACP as they prioritized patriotism and distanced themselves from communism, thus becoming the liberal institution we know today. In Hammer and Hoe by Robin D. G. Kelley, we see the proletarian black members of org fight to be on the side of the communists, but are rebuffed by institutional strategists:

When the NAACP board of directors attributed the verdict to ILD [an early American Communist org] tactics, Walter White and the association were attacked from all corners of the nation’s black populace—local NAACP branches, newspaper editors, churches, and several radical organizations harshly criticized the association’s national leadership. Practically overnight, the NAACP reversed its original statement and agreed to aid the ILD and raise money for the Scottsboro defense.

Birmingham branch leaders did not oppose reentering the Scottsboro case, but many cringed at the idea of working directly with the ILD. Critical of the decision, McPherson wrote to White, “I am afraid that the association has been too hasty to re-enter the Scottsboro cases without first working out a definite agreement with that rabied crowd. You see, coming as it does like a thunder-bolt out of a clear sky, it puts us in a bad plight right here in the heart of the trouble. I urge you that an agreeable working arrangement be definitely formed separating the two organizations so as not to embarrass us.” Birmingham branch leaders immediately issued a press release explaining the NAACP’s sudden change of heart with respect to the ILD. Decrying the Party’s revolutionary goals and declaring their own patriotism in unambiguous terms (“We are American citizens, Red, White and Blue”), Birmingham NAACP leaders argued that intervention was necessary “for the purpose of controling [sic] and restricting [the ILD’s] activities and propaganda to sane and dignified methods in the future.”

This is not a new strategy. The relationship between patriotism and racism is very old in the Americas. From Black Reconstruction in America by W.E.B. Du Bois we get a description of the ineffective character of the U.S. Democratic party:

The opposition of the Democrats to Negro suffrage was not clearly expressed. Evidently, the tide in favor of democracy had risen so high in the country that as a party the Democrats did not dare oppose it. The party, therefore, would not come out flatly in opposition to Negro suffrage but simply declared that suffrage was a question to be settled by the states. Twenty-two state Democratic conventions were held in 1868. Eleven of these opposed Negro suffrage anywhere. Only the convention of South Carolina in April approved it. Ten other conventions either were silent on the subject or announced their belief that this was a matter of state control. The various state platforms illustrated local Northern thought. California Democrats declared that they “now and always confide in the intelligence, patriotism, and discriminating justice of the white people of the country to administer and control their Government, without the aid of either Negroes or Chinese.”

(PART 1 OF 3)

“Lenin on his own part several times purposefully reminded his European comrades that the original “proletariat” — of Imperial Rome — did not work, but was supported by the surpluses of slave labor. As the lowest free class of Roman citizens, their only duty was to father new soldiers for the Roman Legions (which is why they were called “proletarii” in Latin) while they lived off government subsidies.”

I want to point out how this view by marx and engels was wrong, parentti’s book “the murder of julius Caesar” talks about rome with an materialistic point of view and how the information about rome was tainted by the burgeoise intelingentsia, on how the people that writed about rome and the roman people where rich aristocratic assholes, that never worked hard on their lifes and aways looked at the working class on general with disgust. This was an misunderstanding and an lack of proper information by marx and engels and should not be seen as fact, but as how the burgeoise manipulation of midia gos beyond our own ages, and how they will make you sheer for the opressors, and opress the opressed.

That’s fair and I will admit it’s a bad or mired example. I don’t think the overall point of “the proletariat is not infallible” is invalid, however. It’s a logical conclusion that doesn’t necessarily need an ancient example to justify a list of modern examples with far more records.

In fact, the racism inherent to western patriotism goes far far back to the establishment of racismas a concept in the Americas as slave populations slowly but surely Christianized and local mixed-race people began to gain power in Carribean politics. European settlers needed a bulwark against potential slave revolts, so they used patriotism to the mother country as an ideological thread tying white settlers to the nobility and the bourgeoise. From Before Haiti: Race and Citizenship in French Saint-Domingue by John D. Garrigus:

Petit did not sensationalize colonial sexuality like later authors would. Nevertheless he was concerned with the consequences of male colonists founding creole families with slave women. It was for this reason, and not to defend slavery, that Petit described racial prejudice as “politically astute.” He acknowledged that some wealthy people of color had settled in France, where their French friends criticized colonists’ scorn for them as chimérique, an absurdity, an illusion. But Petit believed marriage between Europeans and free people of color should be outlawed because of the vile birth of these people, just as respectable French subjects did not marry theatrical players. People of color were worse than actors, because of their relatives in slavery, and their “blood . . . infamous for its inclinations and dangerous for its blackness of character.”

Petit’s racism was not primarily biological, but driven by the need to orient colonial “patriotism” toward France. Later authors argued that whites should scorn free people of color to reinforce the racial basis of slavery. But for Petit, if whites and people of color became too“familiar,” that is, if they established viable families, “creole patriotism” might come to mean imperial autonomy or independence. Though he did not explicitly describe this possibility, he encouraged French administrators to watch the problem carefully:

“But the principal reason to prohibit these matches [between immigrants and free people of color] has to do with the necessity of maintaining, in these sorts of men, the ideas of esteem and respect for white blood with which they must not be allowed to become too familiar, because, were they to develop common interests, the results might be dangerous, even irreparable.”

To add context here: Petit’s quote here is from his book titled Le Patriotisme Américain or “American Patriotism.”

Now to tie this in to the modern era, I will take a quote from The Possessive Investment in Whiteness by George Lipsitz:

The new patriotism arises from deeply felt contradictions in U.S. society. It arbitrates anxieties about changes in gender roles, jobs, communities, and collective identity brought on by deindustrialization and economic restructuring. Narratives of national honor take on increased importance as the practices of transnational corporations make the nation state increasingly powerless to advance the interests of its citizens. Private anxieties about isolation, loneliness, and mortality fuel public spectacles of patriotic identification that promise purposeful and unselfish connection to collective and enduring institutions. The new patriotism serves vital purposes for neoconservative economics and politics, providing psychic reparation for the damage done to individuals and groups by the operation of market principles, while at the same time promoting narcissistic desires for pleasure and power that set the stage for ever more majestic public spectacles and demonstrations of military might.

As stated in multiple quotes above, people of color do not see Western countries (esp America) and their patriotism as worthy ideas but as colonial projects. Modern patriotism only serves to rehabilitate the injustices perpetrated by national institutions. We can expand on this with a snippet from Michael Parenti’s Superpatriotism:

In this country superpatriotism rests on the dubious assumption that the United States is endowed with superior virtue and has a unique history and special place in the world. For the American superpatriot, nationalistic pride, or “Americanism,” is placed above every other public consideration. Whether or not superpatriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels, as Dr. Johnson might say, it is a highly emotive force used by political leaders and ordinary citizens to muffle discourse. I think that was what the caller was doing (whether he intended to or not) when asking me if I loved my country. In any case, I would answer his question with another one: What exactly does it mean to love one’s country?

Do we love every street and lane, every hill and dale in America? There are so many sights and sites within the USA to which one might grow attached. Yet most of us have had direct exposure to relatively few parts of this nation’s vast territory since we lack the time and money to make that meandering trip across its great continental expanse. And what of all the natural beauty in other countries throughout the world? Would I be less a patriot if I am forced to conclude that there are parts of Ireland and New Zealand that are even more beautiful than the lovely sights of our Pacific Northwest region? Would I be wanting in patriotism if I felt Paris to be more captivating than San Francisco? or the Piazza Navona in Rome more endearing than Rockefeller Center in New York?

Perhaps love of country means loving the American people. But even the most gregarious among us know only a tiny portion of the US populace, that vast aggregate of diverse ethnic, religious, and class groups. In any case, any number of superpatriots feel no love at all for certain of their compatriots whose lifestyles, beliefs, ethnicity, or lowly economic status they find repugnant.

It might be that we can love whole peoples in the abstract, feeling a common attachment because we are all Americans. But what actually is so particularly lovable about Americans, even in the abstract? Although many Americans are fine and likable, some are not admirable at all. Among the compatriots who fail to win my affection are ruthless profiteers, corporate swindlers, corrupt and self-serving leaders, bigots, sexists, violent criminals, and rabidly militaristic superpatriots.

Maybe our superpatriots love this country for its history. One would doubt it, since so much of US history is evidently unknown to them: the struggle for free speech that has continued from early colonial times down to this day; the fierce fights for collective bargaining and decent work conditions; the long campaigns to extend the franchise to all citizens including propertyless workers and women; the struggles to abolish slavery, end racial segregation, and extend civil rights, to establish free public education, public health services, environmental and consumer protections, and occupational safety, and to impose a progressive income tax and end wars of aggression, and other such issues of peace and social justice.

Here certainly is a history that can make one feel proud of one’s country and love the valiant people who battled for political and economic democracy But many superpa-triots are wretchedly ignorant of this history, especially since so little of it is taught in the schools. How unfortunate, for it would add more substance to their love of country.

Also largely untaught is the darker side of our history. What is there to love about the extermination of Native American Indian nations, a bloodletting that extended over four centuries along with the grabbing of millions of acres of their lands? There is nothing lovable about the systemic kidnapping and enslavement of millions of Africans; the many lynchings and murders of the segregationist era; the latter-day assassinations of Black Panther Party members and other political dissidents; the stealing of half of Mexico (today’s Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, and a portion of Colorado); the grabbing of Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico, and Cuba; the blood-drenched conquest of the Philippines; and the military interventions and wars of aggression against scores of other countries.

(PART 2 OF 3)

These sorts of patriotic splits are dangerous to workers parties (esp in western countries) and can weaken them to the often simultaneous rise of fascist movements. From Fascism in Germany: How Hitler Destroyed the World’s Most Powerful Labour Movement by Robert Black:

The transition from what Trotsky called the SPD’s ‘legitimate patriotism to their own party’ to a conception of ‘national’ socialism and finally, after 4 August 1914, to a position of national defence, was a complex process which had its roots not only in the treachery of leaders, but the evolution of an entire stratum of the German working class:

“If we leave aside the hardened bureaucrats, careerists, parliamentary sharpers, and political crooks in general, the social patriotism of the rank-and-file Social Democrat was derived precisely from the belief in building German socialism. It is impossible to think that hundreds of thousands of rank and file Social Democrats… wanted to defend the Hohenzollerns or the bourgeoisie. No. They wanted to protect German industry, the German railways and highways, German technology and culture, and especially the organisations of the German working class, as the necessary and sufficient national prerequisite for socialism.”

The great tragedy was that their devotion to the goal of a future socialist Germany was cruelly and cynically exploited by both their class enemies and their own leaders to serve the ends of an all too real imperialist present.

Thus workers read in the German trade union journal Correspondenzblatt that:

“…the policy of 4 August accords with the most vital interests of the trade unions; it keeps all foreign invasion at bay, it protects us against the dismemberment of the German lands, against the destruction of flourishing branches of the German economy, and against an adverse outcome of the war, which would saddle us with reparations for decades to come.”

The political responsibility for such a line, which undoubtedly found an echo amongst wide layers of trade unionists in the early period of the war at least, lay largely with the Kautsky ‘centre’ which had mis-educated entire generations of workers to believe that patriotism and an evasive attitude towards the struggle for power could coexist with the SPD’s formal adherence to socialist internationalism and the Marxist theory of the state. For as the preceding chapter attempts to show, the seeds which ripened into the fruit of 4 August were sown in the period of party expansion which followed the lapsing of the anti-socialist laws in 1890. When confronted by the magnitude of their betrayal, the more sophisticated party leaders attempted to evade their own responsibility before the German and international movement - one they had solemnly accepted at a succession of Socialist International congresses - by blaming the working class for a situation which they themselves had helped to create.

Adding my own analysis to this: trade unionism is making a comeback in the US (particularly in warehousing and service industries) and it has an anti-racist and pro-lgbt character based on what I’ve read about their efforts. This is both a good place to be in and a very tenuous-to-bad place to be in. We can see the rise of white nationalism in response to local community organizing (often around social democrats or democratic socialists as in the Weimar Republic).

In this case there are ideological distractions from both the “left” and right. As you’re all aware, pro-NATO “leftists” seek to co-opt the movement through liberal-style idpol and prevent on-the-ground movements from taking on an internationalist character. My opinion is that modern right-wing patsocs are part of a strategy to distance the largely white middle-class marxist leninists (there are ML PoC obviously, even some black/indigenous orgs, but that’s not how MLs are perceived as a subculture) from the lower rungs of the proletariat who know on-the-ground strategy but not history. I think this is so that workers parties get straight to being co-opted and reactionary before the on-the-ground movements even have a chance to organize around them (unlike past movements where the reactionary orgs were platformed out of on-the-ground movements). In this way, on-the-ground organizers will become alienated from a white middle class communism that doesn’t have space for them, and once isolated they will be easier to pick off.

This is why whenever Patsocs come up, I’m critical of their “MAGA are just misunderstood” takes. MAGA proles are the engine of white supremacy and focusing on them and not the very real organizing happening among poor workers, BIPOC, and LGBT people is putting energy in the wrong place. The revolutionary energy growing in the west is forming around people the MAGA-right wants to exterminate. Look at the conservative list of acceptable targets and you’ll find those people the most active in the streets lighting junk on fire and getting their co-workers into union votes.

Muad'Dibber
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181Y

Thank you for this comrade, we can’t let these patsoc opportunists confuse the issue, and think that reactionary “patriots” can bring about socialism. If socialism ever does come to an imperial core country, it will be the mostly non-white, anti racist and unpatriotic city dwellers, for whom the state has done no favors, who bring it about.

I wouldn’t immediately discredit poor countryfolk. Outside of the big coastal cities, they can often tend to inhabit the same spaces as poc both physically and socioeconomically. The challenge is in creating a coalition where they see themselves as being on the same side (for example, if they all work on the same factory line or in the same big box store).

My main contention is with the middle class, as they tend to have more objections to strategy when it comes down to it, having been bought off by the bourgeoise with a single-family home in a “quiet” neighborhood and two SUVs. A lot of the libs people here shit on every day tend to have a very middle class perspective of civility. And the middle class MAGA are entrenched not just by the aesthetics of conservatives gesturing at them but also by the relatively cushy lifestyle that they feel they’ve “earned.” The poorest whites, by contrast, can feel just as abandoned by the system as poc, but they turn toward conservatism mainly due to the vague gestures as protectionism from further poverty, which still has class aristocratic character, but can be leveraged if they have exposure to cultures outside of tiny monoethnic country towns.

As far as general strategy for white people, socialists should be focusing on downwardly mobile urban libs and poor suburban conservatives who’ve recently moved from the country looking for work in the city, because both of these groups are currently having their worlds rocked by exposure to people different from them and their own finanical precarity. The first problem is that they both require extremely different emotional skillsets to convince of your position in discussions. The second problem is that getting them to a place where they won’t be reactionary can take months or years, and even after being de-radicalized they can still shift the movement toward themselves rather than the proletariat as a whole. It’s just something that requires attention and consideration.

Patriotic socialism is cool only for countries that have an history

I think in order to have any kind of debate patsoc itself would have to be defined, and the idea of “patriotism” in the context of the USA would have to be discussed and agreed upon as well.

Personally, I’m not a fan of patriotic socialism.

SpaceCowboy
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81Y

Also, they should read American and European history in greater detail.

@CITRUS@lemmygrad.ml
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61Y

Psst the real conversation’s in the link, the algorithm prefers GZD even if there’s less comments, so it’s just a gateway drug. Shh

nah i personally can’t wait until the U.S is obliterated off the map.

Preferrably without too much spilled blood, especially not nuclear war since that would fuck up the planet even if somehow not spilled all over everywhere, but i won’t cry over civil war 2.0. I think the least bloody roption would be balkanisation.

i’m really just talking about washington D.C with like an imperialism seeking missile

@CITRUS@lemmygrad.ml
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131Y

I gotcha, but personally don’t wanna die in a Nuclear holocaust.

@CITRUS@lemmygrad.ml
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51Y

This crosspost is more a Batsignal to go to the other post. Sorry y’all. Wanna make that more clear.

deleted by creator

@CITRUS@lemmygrad.ml
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31Y

Forgive me you might want tocopy and paste this to the other thread since the discussion is formulating there.

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