Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July!

Regardless on what one may think of the current state of capitalist rule in the US, I agree with the assessment of revolutionary character of, well, the American Revolution. The legacy of tyranny haunts us still, and although bourgeois democracy is in many ways a potent combatant versus reactionary traditionalism, we still have a long way to go.

From the Socialist Equality Party's 2006 candidate for the NY Senate, Bill Van Auken:
This July 4 marks the 230th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, a document that launched a revolution against colonialism and despotism, inspiring peoples all over the world. The creation of a new nation, founded on Enlightenment concepts of democracy, equality and the rule of law, foreshadowed the French Revolution 13 years later and had international reverberations for generations thereafter.

The document signed in 1776 had a profoundly liberating character, proclaiming the right of the people—not only in America, but everywhere—to employ revolutionary means to dislodge governments that trampled on their “unalienable rights.”

Those who led the insurrection against the British monarch were quite conscious of the international implications of their actions and the world historic significance of the Declaration. As Thomas Jefferson wrote to John Adams—both, in a poignant and fitting historical coincidence, were to die on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence—“The flames kindled on the Fourth of July, 1776, have spread over too much of the globe to be extinguished by the feeble engines of despotism; on the contrary, they will consume these engines and all who work them.”

World Socialist Web Site: The 4th of July Holiday...

What Did You Say?

A friend of mine, Eljeer Hawkins of NYC and Socialist Alternative/CWI activist, had an article published recently in Justice Magazine titled "What Did You Say?":
Media personality Don Imus, Hip-Hop artist 50 cent, comic/actor Michael Richards of Seinfeld fame and the resurgence of the gore and snuff films like the Quentin Tarantino presented Hostel I and II are at the center of an important debate about racism, sexism, violence and the use of language within U.S. society. To discuss these individuals or events in isolation is to underestimate the impact of capitalism on cultural products. This is a system based on profit, divide and rule and unbridled exploitation of the working class and poor. The current discussion reflects the crisis facing the working class and youth and exposes the true nature of American “democracy”.


At the height of the collective revolutionary struggles of the past, there was self-awareness, a consciousness of social and political uplift. The words of hate were still used within the community and general society, but those sectors engaged in struggle influenced the wider society. The call for justice, dignity and freedom, terms of endearment like sister, brother or comrade replaced the terms of our mental and physical oppression during and after slavery. The greatest expression of this was the “I AM A MAN” slogan of the 1968 Black sanitation workers strike in Memphis, Tennessee.

The language and actions of hate, discrimination and inferiority must be vigorously combated by the collective action of the working class and youth. The systemic culture of racism, sexism, homophobia and misogyny demands building a sustained mass movement of the working class and youth. A mass movement would be multi-ethnic, gender balanced, democratic, accountable, and politicized, learning valuable lessons from the civil rights, women’s and LGBT movement. This mass movement would also need to prioritize the construction of a political party of the working class and poor that would stand for nationalized healthcare, jobs for all at a living wage, union rights and ending police violence.

Justice: What Did You Say?...