"The working class and the employing class have nothing in common." –IWW Preamble, 1905
Ferguson and After: Where Is This Movement Going? (This article was the editorial of Insurgent Notes No. 11, January 2015.) The movement that has erupted after non-indictments of the cop killers of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and of Eric Garner in New York City, one further fed by relentless continued police killings of black […]
The Western invention of the idea of race in the 17th century, at the beginning of the Enlightenment, was not merely a degradation of the peoples of color to whom it was applied. Such a degradation had to be preceded, and accompanied, by a comparable degradation of the view of man within Western culture itself.
It is not often recognized that, prior to the 17th and 18th centuries, the period which Western history calls the Enlightenment, the concept of race did not exist.
In 1848 and 1968, when working- class upsurges exploded in Europe under the slogans of “socialism” and “communism”, American working-class containment in the Democratic Party was exploded by the race question. This is the key to the Americanization of Marxism.
The agrarian question is the key to the understanding of the rise and fall of the continental European socialist tradition, and that the failure of that tradition to make a serious impact in America is a reflection of the fact that American agriculture–with the important exception of the South prior to 1865–was always capitalist.
In the U.S., in contrast to all other major capitalist countries, capitalism made the transition to the intensive phase of accumulation without requiring the participation of a working-class political party in the state.