ChickenBones: A Journal
for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes
The Democratic Party is the party of capital, not of labor. The Democrats in
the trade union bureaucracy would have us believe that
the Democratic Party is “progressive,” supportable by trade union’s dues
Hypocrisy of America’s Two-Party System
& the Need for a True Workers Alliance
By Lil Joe
American (and European) workers often confuse the Democratic Party as the American version of the European Social-Democratic and Labour Parties. But this is not true. The American Democratic Party was originally the political party of the American slave-holders in the South, and their supporters in the North.
The Republican Party arose as an anti-slavery party in the North. The International Working-Men’s Association supported the Republican Party as the anti-slavery party, but at the same time advocated that American workers form their own class party and form a direct alliance with, and support of the slave rebellion in the South.
The U.S. Democratic Party is also a class party. It is not a working-class party financially based in the trade unions, however. Rather the opposite. The Democratic Party is a capitalist class party. We must keep in mind the determining characteristic of a political party is not its rhetoric, or even its program and/or platform but its financial basis and, based on that, its social composition.
The Democratic Party is financially based in industrial capital, domestic capital. It only seems to be a labor party’ because the American industrial unions have gotten out the vote and campaigned for the Democratic Presidential candidate. Historically, American workers, unlike workers in the industrialized capitalist countries elsewhere, do not and have not had a class party.
Of course, there have been political formations that call themselves labor party and worker’s party. But there has never been a labor party, in the United States that is created and financed by labor unions, and socially based in the working-class as a whole. A true working class party would run candidates for winnable national offices against Democrats as well as Republicans.
Labor party praxis advocates an understanding of economics of class struggle. The Democratic Party is financially based in industrial domestic capital, the American steel industry, for instance. Thus, in promoting tariffs the Democrats represent the interests of U.S. steel. That is quintessential although Democrats masquerade this capital partisanship as fighting for steel workers job security.
Yet the steel workers have not benefited from these tariffs. It is American capitalists in price hikes in production and distribution that benefit from tariffs. The American workers, and farmers, as consumers do not benefit from tariffs. Neither do workers and peasant as consumers in 3rd world countries benefit from tariffs benefit in their countries.
I must repeat. The Democratic Party is the party of capital, not of labor. The Democrats in the trade union bureaucracy would have us believe that the Democratic Party is “progressive,” supportable by trade union’s dues. This is class betrayal! Fundamentally, in the Senate, the presidency and the national judicial representations the Democrats are based in capital, not labor.
Were the Democratic Party a labor party it would be a creature of organized labor in politics, in their own name, as are the socialist parties in Europe, and Labour Party in Great Britain. To be held accountable to labor, the class party must be socially based in the working-class as a class, and financially supported exclusively by trade unions. But the Democratic Party in its national committee and in the Senate and upper chambers of States and in the presidency and judiciary is based socially and financially in contributions from domestic and/or industrial capital.
U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich of Ohio presents himself as a worker militant. In fact, he is from the working-class but this is a case of the incidental or the inessential masquerading as essential. This kind of masquerade comes on the scene every Presidential election year. This masqueradelet’s call it what is, a charadehas a history going back to the Communist Party U.S.A.’s promoting the millionaire Democrat Franklin Roosevelt.
The so-called Left laps up the Democratic vomit and rhetoric of “anti-party” Party hacks and campaign artists such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton who present the Democratic Party as the “progressive alternative” to the Republicans. Their rhetoric present themselves as Blacks in the Democratic Party rather than what they are, namely, Democrats in the Democratic Party.
The same conclusion applies to trade unionists who campaign for Democrats. Politically, they are not trade unionists in the Democratic Party but Democratic Party representatives in the trade unions. To build a successful labor party in the U.S., we must elect union members to leadership who will struggle for a Labor Party, rather than those who seek advantage as hacks for the Democrat Party.
The so-called liberal and “progressive” wing of the Democratic Party presents itself pragmatically as a “viable” alternative to the Republican “right-wing.” The issue is lapped up by the American “Left” as urgently of pragmatic. Prior to its own Negro exhibit at its 2000 Convention, the Republican Party was presented as racist and fascist.
At its previous Party Conventions, the Democratic Party boasted that it “looks like America” implying that the Republicans were lily-white, i.e., racists. But, when the Republicans came up with their own Negroes and women speakers, the Black delegates to the Democrats said that they, not the Republican Blacks were the authentic Negroes!
But the Democratic Party has always openly presented itself as a party of capitalism. The Clinton-Lieberman Democratic Leadership Council made this class partisanship clear.
Yet, ostensibly “fighting fascism,” the “Left” promotes the Democrats to “protect” workers, Blacks, Jews and socialist organizers from Republican “fascists.” In reality, the Democrats are just as much based in, and representative of “corporate capital” as are the Republicans.
The United States Congress does not have a single trade unionist in it. In class terms, the Democrats and Republicans monopolize Congress as anti-communists, in effect, present themselves as a united front against labor. As a member of this Democratic Party and member of Congress, Kucinich is an integral part of the capitalist’s political united front.
Democrats like Ted Kennedy and Paul Wellstone (deceased) in the Senate, and John Conyers and Kucinich in the House of Representatives represent the Democratic Party in the labor and “progressive” movements. Conyers and Kucinich both have their out-of-inner-city poverty stories. They even support the idea of African-American reparation.
The big hoodwink of the American “Left” came when the Democrats ran Jesse Jackson for nomination. Although he knew he had no a chance of winning the Party nomination, Jesse Jackson’s not-so-hidden agenda was to bring Black and “progressives” into the Democratic Party by promoting voter registration and elevating himself to a status as “President of African-Americans.” This gambit made him a prominent player in the Democratic Party.
Jesse Jackson was a complete opportunist! Jackson knew he couldn’t win thought he talked about his grand momma’s quilt and his moving “from the outhouse to the White House.” Jackson advanced this class collaborationist line in racial terms in his typical rhetoric. He said, to paraphrase, Some Americans came on the free men ships and others on slave ships but now we’re all “in the same boat.
What is indeed clear, however, is that Black and White workers and unemployed homeless are part of the same working-class and the impoverished surplus population and have nothing economically in common with American capitalists.
On what rational basis could Jesse Jackson conclude that Howard Hughes and the Rockefellers are “in the same boat” with Black exploited workers and homeless Blacks sleeping in filthy alleys? Instead of an economic and political analysis, at his campaign stops and at the Democratic Party Convention, Jackson mealy-mouthed emotional rants comprised of out-of-poverty stories”My dad was a share-cropper” and slogans completely void of political content”Keep hope alive” and metaphorical anecdotal stories about how his grandma stitched quilts together with patches of different colors.
At the Democratic Convention, Jacksons apologetic sermon appealed to Jews for forgiveness for his “Hymietown remark, sloganeered about rainbows, and biblically referenced our preciousness in Gods sight”all these remarks were devoid of the oppressive political reality of black workers and Americas poor. Jackson abandoned working class needs for his primary Democratic responsibility, namely, to instruct his Convention “delegates” to support the Democratic Party candidate, Walter Mondale.
What we see playing out today, in the Presidential campaigns, both of Dennis Kucinich and Al Sharpton, is the refinement by the Democrats of the Jesse Jackson strategy of bringing alienated Democrats back into the fold, and attract “progressives” to the Democratic Party. They know that they have no chance of winning.
The Democratic Party’s 2003-4 Black strategy is to have Al Sharpton and/or Carol Mosely-Brawn to attract disaffected Black voters and women and to use Kucinich against Nader, or whomsoever the Greens select as their nominee to the Presidency.
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Charles Johnson on the meaning of Obama
The Seattle novelist and expert on Martin Luther King Jr. believes that Obama’s election is a sea-change moment for America and the world. “So we have evolved in terms of our understanding that excellence is colorblind.” 28 April 2009
Robin LindleyYouve described Obamas rise as evolutionary rather than revolutionary.
Charles Johnson: It speaks more to evolution in terms of the public attitude of the American people than Obama himself. He did not run as a challenging black candidate [but] on the promise of somebody who would bridge the divisions in American society. He doesnt belong to the generation of Jesse Jackson and others. . . . Obama gave that talk on Fathers Day last year at a church in Chicago about better parenting and black responsibility. He was basically taking a page from the playbook of Bill Cosby, and Jesse Jackson was furious with him and got caught on the air saying he wanted to cut [Obamas] nuts off for talking down to Ns, and he used the N word. So we [need] more honesty and not illusions.
One of the things that has to be addressed seriously is the dysteleological behavior in black male culture. At a community college in the South three young black women asked me Mr. Johnson, whats wrong with these young black men? I said, I know what youre talking about, but I dont know what the solution is. They were so frustrated.
Robin Lindley What were these young women seeing in young black men?
Charles Johnson: They were seeing guys who just want to get over and get laid. They were seeing guys who do drugs or sell drugs. They were seeing guys who didnt have their values, like valuing an education. They wanted guys they could feel good about, but they didnt have that, which is sad.
I have talked about that in many essays, and people dont want you to talk about it. King would tal
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Sharpton and Jackson Endorse War on TerrorA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen FordJesse Jackson said that the killing of bin Laden was a huge psychological victory. By this he clearly meant a psychological victory for Barack Obama, who put the hit out on bin Laden,just as he has placed American citizens on assassination lists with no recourse to due process. President Obama badly needed that psychological victory, since unemployment went up last month and now looms as the rock on which his presidency might shatter. . . .
Jackson either needs to hand in his anti-war credentials right now, or find a good mouth doctor that will stop him from encouraging those who would increase the $1.2 trillion national security budget that is pushing human needs programs into the Valley of Death. Does Rev. Jackson think Obama deserves a huge psychological boost for having killed almost one thousand innocent civilian men, women and children in Pakistan last year with his drones, and is guaranteed to kill even more this year?
Rev. Al Sharpton shows that he is as crude and vulgar as his mentor Don King. Sharpton compliments Obama for being cool under fireas if the world is attacking the White House, rather than the other way around. Obama, says Sharpton, can see the bigger picture. It does not bother Sharpton that Obamas bigger picture means bigger wars. Which is alright with Sharpton, as long as he gets a bigger check.
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For July 1st through August 31st 2011
#1 – Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark #2 – Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree #3 – Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane #4 – Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper #5 – Stackin’ Paper 2 Genesis’ Payback by Joy King #6 – Thug Lovin’ (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark #7 – When I Get Where I’m Going by Cheryl Robinson #8 – Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby #9 – The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane
#10 – Covenant: A Thriller by Brandon Massey
#11 – Diary Of A Street Diva by Ashley and JaQuavis
#12 – Don’t Ever Tell by Brandon Massey
#13 – For colored girls who have considered suicide by Ntozake Shange
#14 – For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree
#15 – Homemade Loves by J. California Cooper
#16 – The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper
#17 – Player Haters by Carl Weber
#18 – Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare
#19 – Stackin’ Paper by Joy King
#20 – Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey
#21 – The Upper Room by Mary Monroe
#22 Thug Matrimony by Wahida Clark
#23 – Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark
#24 – Married Men by Carl Weber
#25 – I Dreamt I Was in Heaven – The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter
#1 – Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable #2 – Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans #3 – Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane #4 – Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper #5 – Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant #6 – Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey #7 – The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight #8 – The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing #9 – The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson
#10 – John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History by Ahati N. N. Toure
#11 – Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley
#12 –The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
#13 – The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell
#14 – The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore
#15 – Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can’t Commit by RM Johnson
#16 – Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins
#17 – Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell
#18 – A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle
#19 – John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard
#20 – Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris
#21 – Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice
#22 – 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino #23 – Chicken Soup for the Prisoner’s Soul by Tom Lagana #24 – 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields
#25 – Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class by Lisa B. Thompson
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By Andrew B. Lewis
With deep admiration and rigorous scholarship, historian Lewis (Gonna Sit at the Welcome Table) revisits the ragtag band of young men and women who formed the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Impatient with what they considered the overly cautious and accommodating pace of the NAACP and Martin Luther King Jr., the black college students and their white allies, inspired by Gandhi’s principles of nonviolence and moral integrity, risked their lives to challenge a deeply entrenched system. Fanning out over the Jim Crow South, SNCC organized sit-ins, voter registration drives, Freedom Schools and protest marches. Despite early successes, the movement disintegrated in the late 1960s, succeeded by the militant Black Power movement. The highly readable history follows the later careers of the principal leaders. Some, like Stokely Carmichael and H. Rap Brown, became bitter and disillusioned. Others, including Marion Barry, Julian Bond and John Lewis, tempered their idealism and moved from protest to politics, assuming positions of leadership within the very institutions they had challenged. According to the author, No organization contributed more to the civil rights movement than SNCC, and with his eloquent book, he offers a deserved tribute.Publishers Weekly
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By Michelle Alexander
The mass incarceration of people of color through the War on Drugs is a big part of the reason that a black child born today is less likely to be raised by both parents than a black child born during slavery. The absence of black fathers from families across America is not simply a function of laziness, immaturity, or too much time watching Sports Center. Hundreds of thousands of black men have disappeared into prisons and jails, locked away for drug crimes that are largely ignored when committed by whites. Most people seem to imagine that the drug warwhich has swept millions of poor people of color behind barshas been aimed at rooting out drug kingpins or violent drug offenders. Nothing could be further from the truth. This war has been focused overwhelmingly on low-level drug offenses, like marijuana possessionthe very crimes that happen with equal frequency in middle class white communities.
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From The World and Africa, 1965
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update 25 November 2011
Related files: Black Bourgeoisie Defend Their Own In Chicago Tragedy