Une page de la guerre de classe du prolétariat : les « émeutes raciales » des Etats-Unis

Article paru dans Le Prolétaire, n° 46, septembre 1967, p. 1-4

Nighttime view of fires, in the wake of ongoing riots, in the northwest part of town, Detroit, Michigan, 1967. (Photo by Declan Haun/The LIFE Premium Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Où est le véritable problème ?

Si même sur le moment la violence des émeutes noires effraie “le petit blanc” américain et pose quelques problèmes aux sociologues et aux politiciens qui s’interrogent sur ses causes, elle est considérés en fin de compte par l’opinion publique comme un cataclysme d’ordre naturel, qu’on taxe de racial : elle n’ébranle pas plus la société qu’un tremblement de terre et les forces de l’ordre sont suffisamment puissantes pour garantir la sécurité des citoyens bien pensants contre les éléments sporadiquement déchaînés.


Le Black Power et ses “amis” : Violence sans théorie et théorie sans violence

Articles parus dans Le Prolétaire, n° 54, mai 1968

Following looting in the area, pedestrians drag debris from the street in front of a city bus at the intersection of West Madison Avenue and Oakley Boulevard during the West Side Riots, Chicago, Illinois, early April 1968. The riots, which began in the aftermath of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr, caused widespread property damage (estimated at more than 10 million dollars), left thousands homeless and hundreds injured, and resulted in the deaths of 11 people. (Photo by Robert Abbott Sengstacke/Getty Images)

Dans presque toutes les villes des Etats-Unis ont éclaté des révoltes noires qui témoignent de la faillite de l’ “American way of life”. En effet, la “prospérité” a toujours pour base, sous le régime capitaliste, l’exploitation des travailleurs. Dans l’approche de la crise mondiale, cette exploitation s’appesantit et les couches ouvrières les plus défavorisées ressentent les premières cette aggravation.


Adolph Reed, Jr. : Race, Politics, and Culture

Echange entre Adolph Reed, Jr., Timothy W. Luke, Alex Willingham, David Gross, Paul Piccone, Andrew Feenberg, Jennifer Jordan et Joel Kovel paru dans le livre édité par Adolph Reed, Jr., Race, Politics, and Culture: Critical Essays on the Radicalism of the 1960s, Westport, Greenwood Press, 1986, p. 245-273

American Democratic Party politician and Senator from New York, Robert F Kennedy (1925-1968) shakes hands with local residents as he visits riot damaged properties and commercial stores in Washington DC in April 1968 following a period of rioting and civil disorder triggered by the assassination of Martin Luther King. (Photo by Rolls Press/Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Part IV
What’s left ? : An Exchange

The opening paragraph of The Eighteenth Brumaire might be applied to radical activism in the 1960s. When the counterculturists and black nationalists proclaimed a revolutionary break with bourgeois culture, they did so in a language that affirmed the mass-marketing culture’s principle of self-definition through commodity consumption. When the New Left sought wholesale theoretical clarity, the principal turns taken — Marxism-Leninism and Pan-Africanism — entailed departure from lived history and initiation of a search for authenticity in the past. In each case the goal of authenticity — ultimately a variety of the quest for selffulfillment — overrode engaged political critique.


Adolph L. Reed Jr. : Black Particularity Reconsidered

Article d’Adolph L. Reed Jr. paru dans Telos, March 1979 (39), p. 71-93

These young African Americans signal black power as they enjoy having their photographs made while members of the Ku Klux Klan get ready to march from Selma to Montgomery retracing the 50 mile march in 1965 lead by the late Dr. Martin Luther King. (Photo by Bettmann Archive/Getty Images)

Over forty years ago Benjamin pointed out that “mass reproduction is aided especially by the reproduction of masses.” (l) This statement captures the central cultural dynamic of a “late” capitalism. The triumph of the commodity form over every sphere of social existence has been made possible by a profound homogenization of work, play, aspirations and self-definition among subject populations — a condition Marcuse has characterized as one-dimensionality. (2) Ironically, while U.S. radicals in the late 1960s fantasized about a “new man” in the abstract, capital was in the process of concretely putting the finishing touches on its new individual. Beneath the current black-female-student-chicano-homosexual-old-young-handicapped, etc., etc., ad nauseum, “struggles” lies a simple truth: there is no coherent opposition to the present administrative apparatus.


Adolph Reed, Jr. : “Scientistic Socialism: Notes on the New Afro-American Magic Marxism”

Article d’Adolph Reed, Jr. paru dans Endarch. A Journal of Theory, Issue 1, Fall 1974, p. 21-39

African American poet, writer, and civil rights activist Amiri Baraka (formerly LeRoi Jones) confers with a group of attendees at the Congress of African Peoples, Atlanta, GA, 1970. (Photo by Robert Abbott Sengstacke/Getty Images)

Three years ago, after the Black Panther Party had recanted and returned to the Baptist Church, the only self-styled ‘Marxist political tendency to be found on this side of the veil was that embodied in the Black Workers Congress which, according to its somewhat generous self-assessment, was not only ‘Marxist-Leninist’ but ‘Maoist’ as well. Every other tendency among black people was hostile to Marxism. The arguments scarcely need to be recalled : “Marx and Engels were Europeans; what can racist Europeans have to say that is useful to us?” “Why do you have to depend on the white man for your ideology; can’t we develop something new of our own?” etc. Of course there was also a great deal of red-baiting going on and even more self-righteous posturing.