This week you had the Democratic Party, Libertarianism, and Native American relations with African Americans on your minds. We share your letters for “Don’t Let the Democratic Party Bury the Movement,” “Beware of Right Deviations That Have Emerged from the Three-Headed Crisis of US Imperialism,” and “What’s In a Name Change?: A New Black/Native American Solidarity.”
“Don’t Let the Democratic Party Bury the Movement” by Glen Ford calls for the new wave of protests to forge a path independent of Democratic Party electoralism.
Reg Callaway writes:
“Not to be overlooked and yet seldomly challenged is the Constitution itself. Organizations seeking change must demand its termination. Toppling it, with the racist monuments, should be a top priority and replaced with a 21st century Constitution. The document sustains inequality and white supremacy in very stealthy ways.
“Let's start with the Bill of Rights (BoR). Try getting justice as a plaintiff with Due Process as your legal position as an example. The Courts will find you lack standing when the government is the defense and will toss out your case.
“Then again, you don’t have the money to take on Uncle Sam in the first place. He uses your tax dollars to defend his corruption while you are too broke to challenge him. Uncle Sam also gives himself qualified immunity so your scope of redress is nil at the very start. Only a defunct Constitution permits such an unequal position.
“The glaring white supremacist parts of the pro slavery Constitution deals with “persons.” Persons, of course, were the Africans held as chattel slaves. The framers knew to avoid using the word ‘slave’ for they understood it would have been politically incorrect, yet the underpinning of 10 clauses held as policy that Africans were property to be traded, whipped or worked to death as the masters saw fit.
“The overarching white supremacy tone in the Constitution didn’t end when the BoRs were passed. For instance, the antiquated Senate, which is a Constitutional creation, guarantees teeny majority white states such as Vermont and Wyoming to have equal footing to larger states like California.
“The Senators from these tiny states often collude to ensure they get more in federal revenue sharing per capita than larger, darker states and most importantly, they collectively blunt progressive policy to address ongoing wrongs against Blacks and the poor. It is time to rethink the role of the Senate as we know it.
“In short, many civilized countries of the world “reform” their Constitution from time to time to make it more people friendly and to keep up with the times. But in the US elites force a pro slavery, outdated document down our throats and call it the law of the land. A new people-oriented Constitution is needed for the 21st century. And fast.”
“Beware of Right Deviations That Have Emerged from the Three-Headed Crisis of US Imperialism” by Danny Haiphong criticizes the role of Liberterian ideology among activists and critics of the US state in this moment.
Marc Dunord writes:
“When you justify China's restrictions on ‘free’ opinion making, you must go beyond standard anti-imperialist pieties. You must say that in a context where accumulated wealth worldwide has developed totalitarian control over educated elites, media figures, access to ‘good livelihoods’ etc. to such an extent that they can now mobilize all of that (and much more!) to, e.g., rig elections so well that now people vote 99% of the time against their interests (unlike in earlier times where liberals restricted voting rights as much as they could for a reason), in that context it is ridiculous to speak about consequential ‘freedoms’ of any kind for anybody, let alone opinion makers.
“Everybody allowed by the West to make a good living in opinion making is a media-/press-titute and in China free blogs sooner rather than later would be corrupted by the all-reaching hand of western money, western existential "sanctuaries" for traitors, etc, so that also in CN these glorious bloggers would immediately start demagogizing to help the west re-subjugate CN again.
“Remember to mention that, e.g., Liu Xiabo , the slimy Nobel Peace Prize winner du jour of the West, openly said that China needs to become a western colony again… (Domenico Losurdo has the citation).
How the west literally bought those Russian drug agency officials, tells a similar story. As does the quip by CCCP people after catastroika that was something like "everything commies told us about the west was true but none of us believed it."
Dave Stewart writes:
“In this letter, I am quoting heavily from the book J is for Junk Economics, by Michael Hudson (2017). In his July 8, 2020 article ‘Beware of Right Deviations.........,’ Danny Haiphong unintentionally misrepresents Adam Smith's description of a Free Market. Adam Smith was an important early Classical Economist.
“To Classical Economists, a ‘free market’ is an economy free of land rent, usurious banking practices, and monopolies in private hands. But as finance capitalism has superseded industrial capitalism, it has perverted ‘free market’ rhetoric to mean a market free for rent extractors to obtain land rent, natural resource rent, monopoly rent, and financial gains; ‘free’ of government taxation or representation.
“In 1759, in the article ‘Theory of Moral Sentiments,’ Adam Smith postulates that the world is organized in a way that leads individuals to increase overall prosperity by seeking their own self-interest. But by the time he wrote The Wealth of Nations, Smith described hereditary land ownership, monopolies, and kindred rent seeking as being incompatible with such balance.
“Traveling to France and meeting with the Physiocrats, he adopted their advocacy of a land tax. ‘Landlords love to reap where they have not sown, and demand a rent even for (the land's) natural produce.’ By advocating a Land Tax, Adam Smith began the process of identifying what is ‘earned income’ (productive work) and ‘unearned income’ (unproductive and extractive activity).
"’Unearned Income’ came to be defined by Classical Economists as: Land rent, Monopoly and Natural Resource income, and Interest Charges. The Classical Economists (Adam Smith, John Stuart Mills, David Ricardo, culminating in Karl Marx) felt that "Unearned Income" should be taxed and regulated. Libertarians are anti-government advocates of deregulation to disable the public ability to tax and govern finance, real estate, and other rent-seeking. The effect is to centralize planning in the hands of the financial sector -- Wall Street and its satellite in the City of London, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the European Central Bank (ECB). The aim of libertarian planning is privatization, leading to economic polarization, oligarchy, debt peonage and neo-feudalism.
“Understanding what Adam Smith and the Classical Economists were advocating allows those whose goal is Socialism to realize that we have an ally in Adam Smith, not the mascot for Neoliberalism or Libertarianism that those who pervert his views attempt to make him out to be.
“Anyone who enjoys studying the History of Classical Economic Thought would enjoy the book J is for Junk Economics, by Michael Hudson. A great interview can be found called "Michael Hudson Meet the Renegades." .
“What’s In a Name Change?: A New Black/Native American Solidarity” by Gustavus Griffin hails the Washington Redskins name change under pressure from the Black Lives Matter protests as a victory for Black/Native American solidarity.
Craig Bardo writes:
“We better be about solidarity! We need to be reconciled to Native Americans, subaltern white folk in Appalachia, and anyone else who understands that the logics of racialized capitalism is our common problem. We need reparations yes but to what end? We’re not safe to the extent there are marginalized and exploited people anywhere. We need a just world.”
Ousman Cheek writes:
“There’s no need for ‘firsts in the conversation. People have been constantly working on black solidarity and will continue to do so, this is just another avenue for support. It also shows there’s solidarity between groups you wouldn’t otherwise consider collaborative.
“Yes, our collective pasts have been marred by brainwashing and infighting (as intended), but we recognize our issues are intersectional and best fought together.
“We’ll likely learn things from natives for black liberation and vice versa, while continuing our respective fights against oppression. Why can’t we strengthen each other along the way?”
The real meaning of solidarity is something that must be understood by movements of our time. Studying the history of solidarity between movements will be very important for today’s activists.
Jahan Choudhry is Comments Editor for Black Agenda Report. He is an organizer with the Saturday Free School based in Philadelphia, PA.
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