Catégories
livres

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

REED:
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.

Catégories
revues

Adolph Reed, Jr. : Marx, Race and Neoliberalism

Article d’Adolph Reed, Jr. paru dans New Labor Forum, Volume 22, Issue 1, Winter 2013, p. 49-57

UNITED STATES – CIRCA 1959: people holding signs and American flags protesting the admission of the “Little Rock Nine” to Central High School. (Photo by Buyenlarge/Getty Images)

A Marxist perspective can be most helpful for understanding race and racism insofar as it perceives capitalism dialectically, as a social totality that includes modes of production, relations of production, and the pragmatically evolving ensemble of institutions and ideologies that lubricate and propel its reproduction. From this perspective, Marxism’s most important contribution to making sense of race and racism in the United States may be demystification. A historical materialist perspective should stress that “race”— which includes “racism,” as one is unthinkable without the other — is a historically specific ideology that emerged, took shape, and has evolved as a constitutive element within a definite set of social relations anchored to a particular system of production.

Catégories
livres

Adolph L. Reed Jr. : W.E.B. Du Bois and American Politics

Extrait du livre d’Adolph L. Reed Jr., W.E.B. Du Bois and American Politics: Fabianism and the Color Line, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 71-89

(L-R) Delegates Pablo Picasso and Juan Marinello sitting with American author Dr. William E. B. Du Bois at the communist-inspired Paris Peace Congress. (Photo by Nat Farbman/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images)

6
Three Confusions about Du Bois
Interracialism, Pan-Africanism, Socialism

DU BOIS’S PROMINENCE in this century’s Afro-American political life is widely recognized. Yet attempts to categorize him with respect to the various strategic and ideological programs constitutive of black political debate have yielded an uncommonly confusing picture. The confusion about locating Du Bois programmatically has two sources. The first is quite simple: Du Bois lived and acted through several discrete social and political situations that seemed to him to require different strategic responses for the race. Sometimes, especially when sundered from the situations to which they were responses, the strategies that he proposed appear to contradict one another. Analysts, then, have chosen and defended one or another set of strategies or one or another period as authentically Du Boisian. This is a problem of temporal or contextual focus.

Catégories
revues

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.

Catégories
revues

Sadik Jalal al-‘Azm : Palestinian Zionism

Article de Sadik Jalal al-‘Azm paru dans Die Welt des Islams, Nr. 1/4 (1988), p. 90-98.

 

 

A basic maxim of Marxist socio-political analysis states that similar infrastructural conditions tend to produce similar superstructural phenomena. Some of us who have been in close and protracted contact with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), (particularly with its political militants, higher cadres and more outspoken ideologues), certainly have sensed something of the importance of this maxim, not as an abstract principle but as a concretely lived series of organically developing situations, ideas and experiences. I am referring, here, to the Palestinian comparisons drawn between the modern Jewish and Palestinian diasporas and the superstructural (particularly political) phenomena generated by them.

Catégories
revues

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.
Catégories
revues

Vivek Chibber : “Capitalism, class and universalism: Escaping the cul-de-sac of postcolonial theory”

Article de Vivek Chibber paru dans Socialist Register, Vol. 50, 2014, p. 63-79.

 

 

After a long, seemingly interminable hiatus, we appear to be witnessing the re-emergence of a global resistance to capitalism, at least in its neoliberal guise. It has been more than four decades since anti-capitalist movements exploded with such force on a global scale. To be sure, there were tremors every now and then, brief episodes that temporarily derailed the neoliberal project as it swept the globe. But not like that which we have witnessed in Europe, the Middle East and the Americas over the past two years. How far they will develop, how deep will be their impact, it is still impossible to predict. But they have already changed the complexion of left discourse. Suddenly, the issue of capital and class is back on the agenda, not as an abstract or theoretical discussion, but as an urgent political question.

Catégories
revues

Sadik Jalal al-‘Azm : Orientalism and orientalism in reverse

Article de Sadik Jalal al-‘Azm paru dans Khamsin. Journal of Revolutionnary Socialists of the Middle East, 8, 1981, p. 5-26.

 

 

PART I. ORIENTALISM

In his sharply debated book, (1) Edward Said introduces us to the subject of ‘Orientalism’ through a broadly historical perspective which situates Europe’s interest in the Orient within the context of the general histori­cal expansion of modern bourgeois Europe outside its traditional con­fines and at the expense of the rest of the world in the form of its sub­jugation, pillage, and exploitation. In this sense Orientalism may be seen as a complex and growing phenomenon deriving from the overall historical trend of modern European expansion and involving: a whole set of progressively expanding institutions, a created and cumulative body of theory and practice, a suitable ideological superstructure with an apparatus of complicated assumptions, beliefs, images, literary pro­ductions, and rationalisations (not to mention the underlying founda­tion of commercial, economic and strategic vital interests). I shall call this phenomenon Institutional Orientalism.