Mon, 6 May 1996 11:14:59 -0400

In answer to Furr I would say this: Marxist analysis could
be anything- it is largely irrelevent since it has a 'thing'
about liberal democratic society; 'communism', in fact, was
chased from the streets back up into the ivory towers where
it lives in the minds of a few. But, my point was a simple
one. If you want to help a group of poor people (white or
black) it is for more advantageous to them if a culture gives
them criteria that allows the poor to identify where they are
in the economy and how to move in the direction that will
improve their situation.
Even if the 'communists' were to successfully sell their
analysis to the poor and take leadership of the poor they would
have to work in a pluralistic culture and could be judged by
how effective they get the poor moving upward and onward.
What, exactly, would the 'communist' want for the individual
poor person?
Anyone who has lived among the poor (as I did for 10 years)
realizes that those with a strong character structure, those
who believe that the 'content of character' counts do those things
that permit an upgrade of their existence. That is, they sacrifice,
they save money, they don't get addicted to substances, they
understand the difference between opportunity and the con job,
they upgrade job skills, upgrade education etc. Anyone w/real
experience of the poor understand that there is always vital
movement among poor people as they seek opportunity and self-
interest. Whereas, poor people who are convinced by smart
people that they don't have a chance, that they are exploited
will always be exploited, that their only hope is to give up
their collective power to the 'communists' or any other
group are doomed to the sort of hopelessness that led to
the infamous Jonestown in the late 70's. An event directly
related to the radical politics of the 60's. I was living in
West Oakland at that time and remember many leaflets on my
doorstep advertising the Peoples Temple as a great socialist
experiment. And I sensed the same kind of con job at that moment
as I did when I listened to the Progressive Labor Party speakers
excite the demonstration into a full fledged riot or when I worked
w/radicals in phone company who were always trying to get the
workers, such as myself, to wildcat or sabatoge equiptment.
I am sure the American south looked very appalling to someone
looking from the outside-it certainly looked appalling to someone
looking from the northern half of california. I wonder if the
communists know how appalling they look from outside their mind
set? I think the pyschological condition that permits a person
in the south to blindly accept segregation and rationalize it is
the same condition that permits people to rationalize the
totalitarian state.
And certainly, I see absolutely no chance of convincing
communists of their lack of insight into the human condition
as it actually is experienced by people. But, I challenge the
communists to come out into the light of day and run for office
(this is an election year). Run for office and make an effort
to get their ideas put into policy; let the people decide what
is and what is not their own true reality.
The simple proposition exists now as existed 30 years ago:
'how do you get a single poor person into a better situation?'
Experience teaches that you don't do that by treating the person
as an appendage to a collective fiction manipulated by 'analysis'.
You do that by giving the person substance and reality and the
tools to move forward in a harsh, non-logical sort of world.
Good luck