Rev. Wright, Unions, Cloward – Piven and Marxist Theology – the Hope and Change they asked for
People are now beginning to realize America is under attack. However, I am not sure they realize just how engrained the attack is in certain segments of our society. Today we will attempt to show you how pervasive it is. From religious institutions to unions, and how they are directly related to Cloward and Piven.
Rev Jeremiah Wright (introduced by Robert McChesney) speaking at the 60th anniversary celebration of the independent socialist magazine Monthly Review. The event was held on September 17th, 2009, at the New York Society for Ethical Culture in New York City. The full half hour presentation is available in my Vodpod theatre at right.
by Anthony B. Bradley Ph.D. at action.org
….Black Liberation theologians James Cone and Cornel West have worked diligently to embed Marxist thought into the black church since the 1970s. For Cone, Marxism best addressed remedies to the condition of blacks as victims of white oppression. In For My People, Cone explains that “the Christian faith does not possess in its nature the means for analyzing the structure of capitalism. Marxism as a tool of social analysis can disclose the gap between appearance and reality, and thereby help Christians to see how things really are.”
In God of the Oppressed, Cone said that Marx’s chief contribution is “his disclosure of the ideological character of bourgeois thought, indicating the connections between the ‘ruling material force of society’ and the ‘ruling intellectual’ force.” Marx’s thought is useful and attractive to Cone because it allows black theologians to critique racism in America on the basis of power and revolution.
For Cone, integrating Marx into black theology helps theologians see just how much social perceptions determine theological questions and conclusions. Moreover, these questions and answers are “largely a reflection of the material condition of a given society.”
In 1979, Cornel West offered a critical integration of Marxism and black theology in his essay, “Black Theology and Marxist Thought” because of the shared human experience of oppressed peoples as victims. West sees a strong correlation between black theology and Marxist thought because “both focus on the plight of the exploited, oppressed and degraded peoples of the world, their relative powerlessness and possible empowerment.” This common focus prompts West to call for “a serious dialogue between Black theologians and Marxist thinkers” — a dialogue that centers on the possibility of “mutually arrived-at political action.”
In his book Prophesy Deliverance, West believes that by working together, Marxists and black theologians can spearhead much-needed social change for those who are victims of oppression. He appreciates Marxism for its “notions of class struggle, social contradictions, historical specificity, and dialectical developments in history” that explain the role of power and wealth in bourgeois capitalist societies. A common perspective among Marxist thinkers is that bourgeois capitalism creates and perpetuates ruling-class domination — which, for black theologians in America, means the domination and victimization of blacks by whites. America has been over run by “White racism within mainstream establishment churches and religious agencies,” writes West.
Perhaps it is the Marxism imbedded in Obama’s attendance at Trinity Church that should raise red flags. “Economic parity” and “distribution” language implies things like government-coerced wealth redistribution, perpetual minimum wage increases, government subsidized health care for all, and the like. One of the priorities listed on Obama’s campaign website reads, “Obama will protect tax cuts for poor and middle class families, but he will reverse most of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest taxpayers.”
Black Liberation Theology, originally intended to help the black community, may have actually hurt many blacks by promoting racial tension, victimology, and Marxism which ultimately leads to more oppression. As the failed “War on Poverty” has exposed, the best way to keep the blacks perpetually enslaved to government as “daddy” is to preach victimology, Marxism, and to seduce blacks into thinking that upward mobility is someone else’s responsibility in a free society.
Monthly Review , the subject of the celebration Rev. Wright was attending in the video above, says it “speaks to workers, labor organizers, activists, and academics. A scholarly, accessible critique of capitalism” http://www.monthlyreview.org/
Among contributing writers, you will find Richard A. Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, the two original authors of Cloward – Piven strategy . In a more recent article, written, I believe, in 1997, called “The Era Of Power” they write:
…Thus dominant interdependencies, and dominant forms of power, reflect the co-operative activities that generate the material bases for social life, and that sustain the force and authority of the state. If workers withhold their labor, production stops; if they withhold their votes, regimes fall. And, of course, the one set of relations is deeply intertwined with the other. States define and enforce property rights, regulate money and credit, and regulate the relations between employer and employees, for example. The relations between class-based interest groups and state authorities inevitably focus importantly on these economic policies. And the broadly parallel evolution of industrial capitalism and electoral-representative institutions in the twentieth-century means that working-class economic challenges are systematically transported into the relations between voting publics and the state.
This emphasis on power capacities shaped by the interdependent relations which constitute economy and polity is clearly consistent with the Marxist view of working-class power as rooted in the role of the proletariat as a force in capitalist production…. And it fits Schumpeter’s model characterizing the capitalist state as the “tax state” which, because it depends on economic resources it does not control, ties state authorities in close interdependence with the owners of private property who do control those resources.
The left confidence in working-class power was also expressed in the belief that working-class power would grow. Marx had rooted the growth of proletarian power in the development of industrial capitalism; Bernstein saw roughly parallel possibilities for working-class power in the development of electoral-representative arrangements. Social democratic perspectives later melded the power yielded workers by industrial capitalism with the power generated by electoral representative arrangements, so that working-class power resources were said to grow in tandem with both industrial capitalism and electoral democracy. In the happiest variants, these power resources resulted in a welfare state compact which promoted the “decommodification” of labor, and therefore a fundamental empowerment of labor in market relations.
…With these points made, it is clear that the globalization thesis cuts to the core of left political conviction. The effective exercise of labor power has always been premised on the limited ability of capital to exit or threaten to exit from economic relations. Globalization, together with postfordist production methods, seems to open unlimited opportunities for exit, whether through the relocation of production, accelerated trade, worker replacement, or capital flight, all of which seems to radically reduce the dependence of capital on labor. Workers, for their part, tied as they are by their merely human fear of change and rupture, can never match these exit options. And while working-class voters may still be able to make regimes topple, the significance of voting power depends on the significance of state power. But, so the argument goes, states whose sovereignty is confined to fixed territories also must knuckle under to the whims of a mobile capital. Economic globalization thus presumably eviscerates both economic and political forms of working-class power. As a result, workers and voters in the mother countries of capitalism are now pitted against low-wage workers and feeble governments everywhere, and pitted against technological advances as well. So, if the globalization thesis is true, it is devastating to the left as we have known it.
No wonder the determination with which MR authors (and we as well) scrutinize and challenge the argument. But scrutinizing and disputing the extent of global trade or capital movement does not quite grapple with the realities of class power under new conditions. What is at issue is not simply whether it is still capitalism, or whether capital is still dependent on labor in the abstract, or whether nation states still matter, but whether economic changes have undermined the conditions which once made at least the partial actualization of economic and political power from the bottom possible.
…since the relevant contributions to ongoing economic and political activities typically involve numerous individuals, people must develop a sense of solidarity and some capacity for concerted action so that their collective leverage can be deployed against those who depend on them, for work, votes, or acquiescence in the rules of civic life. This is the classical problem of organizing, whether workers, or voters, or community residents. And finally, the threat of exit, including the threat that employers will turn to replacement workers or that politicians will court alternative voter blocs must be limited, or at least the prospect of exit must not be so frightening that people cannot imagine enduring it.
… Meanwhile, economic change also creates concrete new possibilities for worker power. People work at new and different occupations, they have different skills, and in time they will see the power potential inherent in the interdependencies of a new and fabulously complex and precarious communications-driven economy that is as vulnerable to mass disruption as the manufacturing-driven economy was. In time, maybe only a little time, they will develop the awareness of commonalities and capacities for joint action which will make working-class power possible again. And they are also likely to find the imagination and the daring to break the new rules governing communications which are even now being promulgated to criminalize the exercise of power from below.
It is the end of a power era. It is also the beginning of a power era.
For More understanding of Marxist and Maoist theology, I recommend the Definitions page on angelfire.com .
Guess Who is visiting the White House?
To see the list of who is visiting the White House click here .
Unions have become catalysts for Marxist Change. That being said, from the National Education Association Website:
Recommended Reading: Saul Alinsky, The American Organizer
Reveille for Radicals
by Saul Alinsky
Vintage; Reissue edition (October 23, 1989)
Rules for Radicals
by Saul Alinsky
Vintage; Reissue edition (October 23, 1989)
An inspiration to anyone contemplating action in their community! And to every organizer!
… Alinsky practiced what he preached. He said, “Tactics means doing what you can with what you have … tactics is the art of how to take and how to give.”
He uses eyes, ears and nose for examples…
“If you have a vast organization, parade it before the enemy, openly show your power.”
“If your organization is small, do what Gideon did: conceal the members in the dark but raise a clamor that will make the listener believe that your organization numbers many more that it does.”
“If your organization is too tiny even for noise, stink up the place.”
Alinsky devised and proved thirteen tactical rules for use against opponents vastly superior in power and wealth.
1. “Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.
2. “Never go outside the experience of your people.
3. “Wherever possible go outside of the experience of the enemy.
4. “Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.
5. “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.
6. “A good tactic is one that your people enjoy.
7. “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.
8. “Keep the pressure on.
9. “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.
10. “Major premise for tactics is development of operations that will maintain constant pressure upon the opposition.
11. “If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its counterside.
12. “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.
13. “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.
“The real action is in the enemy’s reaction. The enemy properly goaded and guided in his reaction will be your major strength. Tactics, like life, require that you move with the action.”
Alinsky was hated and defamed by powerful enemies, proof that his tactics worked. His simple formula for success… “Agitate + Aggravate + Educate + Organize”
This should illustrate to you how important it is you get involved. On every level, they are attacking our values, our morals, our decency.
One such place to start is the 9.12 Project – check out your local branch today.