Monday, June 18, 2012

Charles Barron and the name of the game

I want to bring the below comment to readers' attention before it drops off the bottom of the roll.  It is in response to my own comments on Charles Barron, the New York City Council member running in the Democratic primary for Brooklyn's 8th Congressional District. 


Someone like Charles Barron getting into office would be a real victory.
He is an genuine anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist and Black revolutionary.
I don't care what party he runs as a member of.
This New York Times article, to me, reads like an unending list of reasons to vote for him.
I'm sure the Times meant for it to shock the readers, that why they never bothered to explain why he likes Mugabe of Gadaffi, just hoping to leave the impression that he is crazy.
This racist attack in the New York Times, the "liberal" paper, shows how terrified they are of him taking office.
The bourgeoisie is united against this democrat.

Freedom Party still exists, by the way, it is just less active at this moment.

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My own comments, to which these are a response, were:

Comrades may remember Charles Barron, a Democrat on the New York City Council, from his 2010 Freedom Party run for New York Governor.  [The Freedom Party, which Barron said was to be a real party, appears to have just been a stunt; even Workers World newspaper has not carried any news about any Freedom Party activities since 2010!]  He is now running for a House seat.  New York Times here itemizes his many sins of commission against the bipartisan war policy of Wall Street.

Democrats like Barron have a profound utility for their party, making it appear roomy enough to accommodate radical anti-war and anti-colonial voices [voices, not actual actions or concrete accomplishments in these areas]; no need to waste time building independent workers and Black movements or fighting for workers power when the Democrats can clearly provide a bully pulpit for Charles Barron, right?

I wonder if he has made any statements on Obama's drone kill list?  The fact that he is running as a candidate of the blood-drenched imperialist Democratic Party speaks volumes in and of itself.


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I would only add these thoughts, prompted by the reader comment:

If Democrat Charles Barron can be defined by Marxist-Leninists as being in their class camp, the definition of class camp has been expanded to such an extent that it becomes meaningless as anything other than left electoral opportunism.

For the Democrats, men like Barron are as essential as men like Obama, Jesse Jackson [The Wall Street Project], and Al Sharpton [an FBI informant and MSNBC host].  As the capitalist economic recession and austerity drive's devastating social consequences for the working class continue to accumulate, and spontaneous resistance in various forms [ACS strike, OWS, various current labor struggles] remains unbroken, every stripe of Democratic Party opportunism is permitted, nay essential.  And for those of an activist bent closer to Barron than Obama, being kept within the Democratic Party by the existence of primary campaigns of candidates like Barron is crucial.  If leading Black nationalist, Pan-Africanist, social democratic and protest movement figures see no place for themselves in the party, their followers certainly won't, and for the capitalist ruling class that is a very dangerous prospect indeed.

Consequently, men like Charles Barron are no longer framed-up or assassinated or COINTELPRO'd, as was the case with so many Black activists from Malcom X to MLK to George Jackson to Fred Hampton to Mumia Abu Jamal.  Instead, they are invited to compete within the system, given ample press attention and a very bully mass media pulpit for their anti-imperialism and protest politics.

The impression that Barron's candidacy gives [that the Democratic Party could be a locus of radicalism and rebelliousness for the masses] will go some way toward drying the bitter morning-after tears shed by liberal-left Obama voters. 

The fact that Barron feels comfortable in the same party as a Democratic president engaged in the extra-judicial killings of US citizsens by drones, as well as countless other ruling class depredations,  austerities, and foreclosures, speaks volumes.  Were Barron running in the name of a non-ruling class party, however, how much chance would he have to win?  And winning, of course, is the name of the game. 

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What is the Marxist-Leninist perspective on the Democratic Party and its various right-center-and-left candidates? 

....In the modern era, the capitalist class consists of the billionaire bankers and corporate owners — the "1 percent" that the Occupy Wall Street movement targets. The Democratic Party's entire reason for being is to obscure this class relationship. The Democratic Party must get tens of millions of working and poor people to believe it represents them, while faithfully serving the interests of the capitalist ruling class. The party acts as a great safety valve against social uprisings.

What then is the "white working class?" The working class is defined by its exploitation by the capitalist class; to survive, it must sell its labor to the capitalists. If the working class is divided by race, gender, nationality or other reasons into various sections, this has been due to the policies and practices of the capitalist class, which controls the schools, the mass media and the hiring and firing of workers.

The deep division in the working class of the U.S. by race has been fostered by centuries of conscious racist policy and mis-education by the ruling class. The capitalist class is acutely aware that it is a tiny minority of exploiters. Its hold on power is precarious. It could not last long in the face of a working class united in program and struggle. Thus, the capitalist class must sow divisions to keep itself in power.

Democratic Party strategists have no desire to inquire into or expose this truth. They rather promote the idea that white workers are right-wing oriented, as if it stemmed from a genetic trait.

Giving up on winning "the white working class" really means the Democratic Party has no intention of fighting to win the support of the whole working class. The coalition that they envision for their electoral success is not directed at African-American or Latino/a workers as workers. The Democrats hope to keep the support of oppressed sectors by giving minimal lip service to civil rights or immigration reform to draw them to the polls.

But the Democrats will abandon any improvements to wages, working conditions or union rights. These are concessions the Wall Street moguls are in no mood to grant. [Source]

It is Charles Barron and candidates like him who are that lip-service.  That is why their campaigns are a trap and a detour for workers and Marxist-Leninists.  At long last, can't we admit it is better to run our own candidates and promote our own politics and build our own class organizations, not those of the enemy?

Jay
06/18/2012

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