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Road Scholar - the world leader in educational travel for adults. Top ten travel destinations for African-Americans. Fascinating history, welcoming locals, astounding sights, hidden gems, mouth-watering food or all of the above - our list of the world’s top ten "must-see" learning destinations for African-Americans has a little something for everyone. - Socialism: The Movement of the Majority! - Represent Our Resistance - By Dr. Lenore J. Daniels, PhD - Editorial Board
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Capitalism in its imperialist stage leads directly to the most comprehensive socialization of production; it, so to speak, drags capitalists, against their own will and consciousness, into some sort of a new social order, a transitional one from complete free competition to complete socialization… Production becomes social, but appropriation remains private. The social means of production remain the private property of a few… the bulk of the profits go to the ‘geniuses’ of financial manipulation… Monopoly, oligarchy, the striving for domination and not for freedom, the exploitation of an increasing number of small and weak nations by a handful of the richest or most powerful nations - all these have given rise to those distinctive characteristics of imperialism which compels is to define it as parasitic or decaying capitalism.

-Lenin, “Imperialism: the Highest Stage of Capitalism”

PBS’s Frontline presents a documentary titled War Briefing. An “expert” on the Afghanistan war states that the Taliban could be won over to “our side,” its sounds natural to the ear. Some few Taliban, good Taliban will remain in place as leaders to lord over villages of the poor and women with impunity. It will be a better life for the Afghanis - nestled into the hierarchical structure that best benefits corporations like Exxon-Mobile. And of course, Exxon-Mobile, providing a service for all, will have its route to oil.

The producers can assume its audience is caught up in the rhetoric of freedom” Only in America can I watch and listen to a “free,” “educational” broadcast in a “free” nation!

Won over “to our side.”

What is “our side”? What is on “our side”?

Exxon-Mobile rejected its shareholders’ request to invest in renewable energy until the top brass discovered how such investment would be “good for the company” - not the people - the company.

On “our side,” we can no longer speak of the United States as representing a republic. In 1950, writes Gore Vidal, the original constitution “was secretly replaced with the apparatus of the national security state.” In a national security state, money is funneled into “war-related matters” abroad, and, I would add, money is spending on developing a world-class prison industrial complex, complete with a high-tech surveillance apparatus. In a national security state, institutions encouraging free thinking are counterproductive, subversive.

So it isn’t surprising that political rhetoric on “our side” delivers to the people a definition of “freedom.” Freedom is something “we have” and others don’t have. A principal of the national security state holds up a card with a graphic display consisting of numbers and lines adding up to the message: we have; they don’t. Another principle flashes a photo of a naked, ashy, African or Latino boy. Freedom is and must be “brought to” other nations. OKAY!

Freedom is the strongest man, the most beautiful woman, the wealthiest entrepreneur or corporation - the people who matter on “our side.” Freedom is the right of billionaire capitalists to ask and to receive a bailout at the expense of the ruled. Freedom is corporate short cuts, regardless of who loses a limb or what worker is laid off.

Freedom on “our side” is being told that the Democratic Party is your party. That “re-distribution of wealth” is socialism! Communism! - the other side! But we have but one Party, and it’s the Party of the Capitalists. The melding of the government and the corporate world has yielded an increasingly dominate national security state - with a sprinkling of fundamental Christianity. Freedom is not freedom for workers to form labor unions free from government control! Freedom is not a single-payer health care plan! Worker-lead unions and single-payer health care isn’t profitable for anti-human capitalists.

Freedom is recognizing your deficiencies and seeking ways (legal or illegal - it’s all good for the national security state) to overcome your unnatural condition. That’s being wholeheartedly on “our side.”

Freedom is accepting the insanity of these anti-human rulers, unconditionally - unconstitutionally!

Because freedom is, you lose - no matter how hard you strive to be on “our side.” Freedom is ownership of all resources for the few.

Freedom is never the right to a quality life - for workers and the oppressed. It is never about the right to work at a meaningful job or have health care, decent housing and education. Freedom is not about equality among human beings. It’s shopping from a city dumpster!

Because freedom is fear of the masses!

Freedom is controlling what the people know and playing games with reality. The workers, the oppressed, the economically distressed, people of color, and women are asked to see themselves within the definition delivered to them. The ruled submit, body and mind, to a “natural” and “unchangeable” reality that services the interests of the rulers.

On “our side” produces the nullification of action against the rulers. It produces behavior from the workers, unemployed, economically distressed, people of color and women that is collaborative or cooperative. Most importantly, thought is not only stifled, it isn’t thought! All thinking and action in this society is done in relation to capitalism.

Capitalism is a brutal and inhumane regime imposed on the world by western nations lead by the United States. Capitalism allows for the government and corporations to privatize public resources. How civilized is it for the chemical lobbyists to dictate to the EPA or FDA what will be while oil lobbyists argue for the right to pollute the air and water supply? How civilized is it to allow for the selling for profits of women and children? How civilized is it to train the young to kill or be killed or maimed to establish new headquarters for four oil companies in the Middle East? How civilized is it to continue glorifying liars and thieves and call that progress? Follow the money: There are no lobbyists for the poor!

Freedom as a product of capitalism can only move in one direction: The freedom to purchase your own electronic bracelet!

If you think the “won them over to our side” philosophy applies only to the Taliban, or to the Iraqis, or Chinese, think again. Show-us-the-money Secretary of Treasury Paulson asked and received funds to save the capitalists. The American people have served as laboratory rats in the big experiment: Sedate and manipulate with a narrative hailing the exceptional patriotism of the American people! To a large extent, the experiment has worked. When the constitution and freedom disappeared in the 1950s, the American public went right on, thankful that they were not poor, Black, Guatemalan, African, Indochinese, or Haitian. Halleluiah! Black liberation leaders are hunted down and killed or incarcerated and the American public is relieved. Those angry Blacks with guns are a frightening mass and a threat to the American civilization as we know it! Halleluiah, that’s over! It can be argued that with the success of this homegrown experiment, King George and his court assumed the Iraqi people would drop everything and, in the midst of falling bombs, worship at the feet of U.S. soldiers. They envisioned shouts of halleluiah, freedom at last by masses and masses of Iraqis. The collective halleluiahs of Americans and Iraqis would drown out the cries of burning children and courageous anti-war protesters.

We have now a society in the U.S. where the workers, James Cannon explains, have a right to vote every four years, if they don’t move around too much, but have no say about the control of the shop and the factory; where all the means of mass information and communication are monopolised (sic) by a few - they describe all that as the ideal democracy, for which the workers should gladly fight and die.

Get your guns; shake your store-bought hair; get your face lifted to the high heavens and tuck the stomach; undo the slant of your eyes; buy a three-piece Black suit and stocks and cut the hair; speak the most perfect English to outdo the Ebonics or Korean accent - and it will never matter; it has never mattered. What matters is that the American people capitulated, submitted, bowed in a permanent posture, before the flag, unconditionally. Even while unemployment is the highest since September 11, 2002 and while the ruled scuffle and scrounge up every penny in the children’s banks and under the sofa cushions, the capitalists appeared before Congress and anyone who would have them to shout - Fire! We need the money. They got it! The capitalists exercise “freedom” and call it democracy!

Hear echoes of George Orwell’s Winston: “The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears.”

Workers, the unemployed, the economically distressed, people of color and women are without freedom. Freedom for the once enslaved became acceptance into the capitalist system as another kind of slave. Here - “our side” has been an accumulation of cells in a prison under the control of capitalist rulers!

During the 2008 presidential election, debate about the rights of workers, the exploited, focused on a nightmare for believers in capitalism: We can’t have a “re-distribution of the wealth” in the U.S. The believers shouted to the American people: It would mean taking “well-earned money” from “hard working entrepreneurs.” Re-distribution will put an end to democracy!

As Cannon writes, this game of confusing and misrepresenting [socialism] has been facilitated for the capitalists and aided to a considerable extent by the social democrats and the labour bureaucracy, who are themselves privileged beneficiaries of the American system, and who give a socialist and labour coloring to the defence (sic) of American ‘democracy.’

The American people reject the evidence of its own eyes and ears: there’s a form of socialism - imperialist socialism!

“Socialism,” writes Cannon, was often called the society of the free and equal and democracy was defined as the rule of the people.” There “rule of the people” isn’t Stalin’s idea of “socialism” or the bogey-man-communist coming to take freedom, that is, money, from “hard-working” American people! No one can take what you don’t have! Socialism isn’t socialization for imperialists!

The true socialist movement is the movement of the majority! It represents change that is indeed radical! Revolutionary!

And you would think that after the last forty years Black Americans would once again speak openly about freedom and the “rule of the people.” Rev. Martin Luther King wondered why Black Americans had not joined the Communist Party en-mass.

This month, in Freetown, Sierra Leone, delegates to the first West Africa conference of African Socialist International are talking about what we are afraid to debate. The delegates of the conference, according to Lansana Fofana, called for “reparations to be paid to Africans for 400 years of slavery.”

“Asking for reparations is no favor demanded from the West,” said Ismail Rashid, Sierra Leonean professor of African History at New York’s Vassar College. “It is our right because through slavery, the West stole our labor, dignity and resources. It is repayment for our labor, our looted human resources.”

Please don’t think as programmed: We gave you a “Black” president. We have a BLACK president!

As Carlito Rovira reminds us in African American Reparations and the Struggle for Socialism, “African chattel slavery arose in the 15th century based on the expansion of capitalism.”

The wealth accumulated from slave labor strengthened capitalist industries and commerce. Textile industries, agriculture and shipbuilding prospered as a result of cheaper goods and raw materials obtained by enslaved African labor. The more Black slavery expanded, the more it became an impetus for capitalist economic development - not only in the United States, where slavery was strongest but throughout the world.

In the United States, Rovira writes, the class struggle has always relied on racism. “Reparations for the oppressed [Native Americans, Puerto Ricans, Black Americans, Latino/a Americans - workers] automatically imply the expropriation of the capitalist class.”

The movement of the majority is the concern of socialists and revolutionaries engaged in anti-capitalist struggles!

Any concept of freedom must start from the reality of the ruled, the people denied freedom.

What did Winston say of the Proles:

…[I]f only they could somehow become conscious of their own strength…They needed only to rise up and shake themselves like a horse shaking off flies…[I]f they chose they could blow the Party to pieces tomorrow morning… And yet…!

And yet…!

“Our side” has been historically oppositional, among the majority striving for freedom and the rule by the people! The movement of socialists and revolutionaries is the movement of the majority! Say it again, until you see it and understand. Editorial Board member, Lenore Jean Daniels, PhD, has been a writer, for over thirty years of commentary, resistance criticism and cultural theory, and short stories with a Marxist sensibility to the impact of cultural narrative violence and its antithesis, resistance narratives. With entrenched dedication to justice and equality, she has served as a coordinator of student and community resistance projects that encourage the Black Feminist idea of an equalitarian community and facilitator of student-teacher communities behind the walls of academia for the last twenty years. Dr. Daniels holds a PhD in Modern American Literatures, with a specialty in Cultural Theory (race, gender, class narratives) from Loyola University, Chicago. Click here to contact Dr. Daniels.

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November 20, 2008
Issue 300

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