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August 28, 2005


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I gotta say that the bottom half of this essay is some revisionist bullshit that is elitist and racialist in its construction - and it betrays the nature of resistance in american history. it's a classic marxian approach which ignores the nature of white supremacy as an organizing doctrine in american life...

for example: marking the time of america's inability to react in a revolutionary manner to the time of rockefeller (and the progressive's) in the early 1900's ignores the genesis of the nation and the repeated failure of the people to respond to challenges of democracy.

the revolutionary war was a not a widespread democratic american response to the need for representation in the face of onerous taxation. the cats who organized the war were paid and pissed...they used the sons of liberty to terrorize the american people and enjoin popular support. the crew even engaged in activities to foment the conflict with the british - but upon achieving the requisite economic latitude from the crown, the leaders of the american revolution sought to reconcile their ties with the former crown, albeit on new terms. the us has not had a more tenacious ally in global politics than england...and the reverse is equally true.

democracy as it relates to class is one thing, but as it relates to race is quite another. the declaration of independence was signed in 1776, but the constitution was not ratified until 1789. in the interim, 9 presidents sought to establish a union which would not be established until the three-fifths compromise was devised. the national unity of america was contingent on the resolution of a question of representation with respect to black folks. this process did not occur as part of a reformist, radical, revolutionary or even participatory democratic process. wealthy plantation owners in the south and wealth capitalists in the north (of differing political stripes) cobbled together an agreement - above the sight lines and activity of the common man, so to speak.

the same was true in 1877, when the nation's patience with these issues lasted only 12 years. the removal of union troops from the south (as part of the Hayes-Tilden compromise) also took place beyond the scope of radical, revolutionary, reformist or participatory democracy. the american people, broadly, did not decide this. in fact, the supposed revolutionary character of white folk is pure myth - and we haven't even approached the age of Rockefeller, Dewey and others. besides, JP Morgan served as the BANK of the united states long before the first progressives were born.

the civil war, clearly, was not an example of a democratic revolutionary fervor. in many ways, it resembles wwII, in that the confederacy, as a separate, non-aligned "state" posed a threat to the intended structure. the people were led like sheep to the slaughter and they were slaughtered, but in the end, all was forgiven, northern troops were removed and the south was allowed to disenfranchise black folk.

the cat who wrote this article assumes that "enlightened" americans are actually college-educated/upper-middle/middle class white folk...if that's the case, this is not the first time in american history that this group has distanced itself from the most downtrodden folks here: be they enslaved africans, native americans, etc. this tradition is long-standing and can hardly be said to be a product of the modern era. the american labor movement wanted no part of black labor during critical junctures in forming their movement. the same can be said of suffragists in the early 1900's.

anyway, enough on this...I agree with his point about Robertson, but I certainly disagree with how he gets to that point - and would argue that AMERICA has always been medieval and will remain so...lynchings, state-executions, wild speculation about gold in them thar hills; speculation about stock markets and home prices; "hollywood" (mythical image making), etc. are all parts of the historic fabric of america since day 1. marxists continue to ignore the tenacity of culture at their own analytic peril. not my cup of tea.


the other thing i forgot was the juxtaposition of "black soldiers" with "college-aged boys, mostly White." so, the black soldiers were what age? college-age, but not going to college? if that's the case, say so...if it's something else, say so, but don't leave it like that - especially when we are left to assume that his definition of powerless enlightened Americans does not include the BLACK folks here who have ushered in the MAJORITY of democratic, MODERN (non-medieval) reforms in this country from the actual formation of this MF, to the civil war, to public schools (check cruse's comments in plural but equal) to the CRM. this marxist BS is annoying on a certain level because dubois already went through this s!!* with them 100 years ago.


ahem, my observation was that it is;

One of the best said Malthusian libertarian summaries of the current state of affairs

what's percolating nicely in this thread at P6 brings the bass in a more or less contemporary time frame that you quite correctly note as missing from this piece.


"...the supposed revolutionary character of white folk is pure myth..."

I'd argue that this contention is supported by the failure of those Whites (Democrats as well as as those others who voted for Gore) to revolt in some fashion when they were DISEMPOWERED as a result Black disenfranchisement in FL. in 2000. '04 wasn't significantly different. The jig was up when the state of Fl. and others moved to an eletronic voting system to eliminate a paper trail or a recount. And then there was Ohio...

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