Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

July 6, 2020

Walter Benn Michaels: the Elvis superstar of class-reductionism

Filed under: affirmative action,class-reductionism,Jacobin — louisproyect @ 9:57 pm

Walter Benn Michaels

After posting a critique of Adolph Reed Jr.’s class-reductionism, the aggrieved professor emeritus who has written for Harpers, the Atlantic, the Nation, the NY Times, the Washington Post, and countless other peer-reviewed and non-peer reviewed magazines over the years felt the need to chew me out on my insignificant, little blog. His invective-filled comment charged me with racism. On top of that, just two days ago, I made the mistake of posting a link on Facebook to an article I wrote in 2016 critiquing Reed for endorsing Hillary Clinton in the DP primary. And for that transgression, Todd Cronan, one of his sycophants, repeated the charge, “Your fixation suggests you might be a racist.” Fixation? I’ve only roasted Max Blumenthal 10 times more often.

Cronan is the editor of nonsite.org (don’t ask me what that means), a peer-reviewed journal out of Emory University, where Cronan is a tenured art historian. So, what prompted someone regarded as one of America’s leading African-American Marxists, and a professor at a prestigious university regarded as the Harvard of the south, to resort to such a crude and demagogic attack? The answer is simple. Neither is prepared to defend an indefensible idea, namely that BLM is anti-leftist.

While Reed and Cedric Johnson have been critiqued on this blog over the past month or so for their class-reductionism, they are not nearly so bad as Walter Benn Michaels, a literature professor at University of Illinois at Chicago. (Michaels is white so if he bothers to respond to this article, I trust that he won’t accuse me of anti-Semitism since we are both Jews. I happen to like Jews. I just don’t have much use for self-important academics.)

Lately, Michaels has entered the fray over BLM just like Reed and Johnson before him. Like Reed, Michaels got a softball interview on a Jacobin podcast conducted by Jennifer Pan. Pan writes for Jacobin but you’d have to read her article on New Republic on “Why Diversity Training Isn’t Enough” to understand why she’d refuse to ask Michaels tough questions. In her article, she takes up “whiteness” studies and particularly a book by Robin DiAngelo titled “White Fragility”. It was already a NY Times best-seller but it went totally viral after the George Floyd protests because it charged white Americans with benefiting from structural racism, a not very controversial analysis in my view. However, when she decided to make an amalgam between DiAngelo, Ted Allen and David Roediger, that seemed kind of nutty. How can you link a pop sociologist with these two Marxists? Pan refers to Cedric Johnson’s dismissal of their work:

From a practical point of view, the political scientist Cedric Johnson has recently argued that whiteness studies promote a fatalistic view of white workers as too hopelessly committed to their racial identity to be won over to a multiracial left coalition. Such a perspective, he writes, inevitably prioritizes reeducating such workers over attempting to organize them.

I guess comrades Johnson and Pan have no idea that Ted Allen worked as a coal miner in West Virginia as a member of the United Mine Workers, serving as an organizer and president of one Local and later a member of another. He also co-developed a trade union organizing program for the Marion County, West Virginia Industrial Union Council, CIO. (From a useful article in Wiki.)

Listening to the 109-minute schmooze-fest between Pan and Michaels was almost as agonizing as listening to Bhaskar Sunkara interviewing Adolph Reed Jr. on another Jacobin podcast. If you need any evidence that Jacobin is deep into class-reductionism, just listen to these podcasts which are as devoid of critical questions as a Charlie Rose interview with Bill Gates.

In preparing a response to Michaels based on this podcast, I found a 2011 interview Sunkara did with Michaels that really needs some commentary. I missed it at the time since I was preoccupied with the Arab Spring but reading it now makes me wonder if Sunkara is even more politically degraded than I ever suspected. He let Michaels off the hook on some really rancid remarks.

Titled “Let Them Eat Diversity”, it gives Michaels a platform to denounce anti-racism as a capitalist plot to exploit immigrant labor at the expense of our good citizens. At the higher tier, it enabled Asians to get positions as doctors and lawyers in the USA. At the lower tier, it enabled Mexicans to fill dirty, low-paying jobs of the sort that has made them victims in the pandemic. In order to get red-blooded Americans to tolerate those flooding into the country, either legally or illegally, it was necessary to promote anti-racism so that Chinese, Indians, or Mexicans wouldn’t be victimized. Human Resource departments were analogous to Pinkerton guards defending scabs.

The agents of this anti-racism plot are HR officers that have seminars on diversity so as to make white people more open to the invasion of our homeland by those bent on stealing our jobs.

You might ask yourself at this point if I am misrepresenting Walter Benn Michaels. Let him speak for himself. Sunkara does offer a featherweight challenge to his narrative about identity politics trumping good old fashioned, virile class politics. Could HR departments really be nipping class-based movements in the bud? This is where Michaels jumps the shark. It seems he sees “neoliberalism” everywhere. In the HR departments. In the radical movement. Nobody seems to be ready to fight it except guess who… The Tea Party. He tells Sunkara:

The truth is, it’s hard to find any political movement that’s really against neoliberalism today, the closest I can come is the Tea Party. The Tea Party represents in my view, not actually a serious, because it’s so inchoate and it’s so in a certain sense diluted, but nonetheless a real reaction against neoliberalism that is not simply a reaction against neoliberalism from the old racist Right. It’s a striking fact that what the American Left mainly wants to do is reduce the Tea Party to racists as quickly as humanly possible.  They’re thrilled when some Nazis come out and say “Yeah, we support the Tea Party” or some member of the Tea Party says something racist, which is frequently enough. But you can’t understand the real politics of the Tea Party unless you understand how important their opposition to illegal immigration is. Because who’s for illegal immigration? As far as I know only one set of people is for illegal immigration, I mean you may be [as a Marxist], but as far as I know the only people who are openly for illegal immigration are neoliberal economists.

Next, Sunkara delicately asks how he felt about The Nation’s Richard Kim referring to his opposition to affirmative action as “Seething, misplaced, amnesiac resentment…masquerading as class-consciousness.” To which, Michaels replies, “Are you kidding me, I’ve been called a racist for twenty years.” Maybe so, but at least he can be consoled by the support of Bhaskar Sunkara and Jennifer Pan.

Probably because he has been writing books about topics like “The Beauty of a Social Problem” and writing articles like the kind submitted to the yearly Modern Language Association conferences ever since he became a don in 1974, Michaels sees everything through the prism of the academy. He is so worked up about diversity and affirmative action being a tool for the upward mobility of petty-bourgeois elements, rather than one for the hairy-chested, lunchbox-toting proletariat, that he misses how such programs got started.

The basic flaw in Michaels’s thesis is that he fails to distinguish between the gains made by some Blacks and women who have broken into the corporate board rooms and the fate of the overwhelming majority. This can only result from a cherry-picking of the data, all designed to make it appear that they have never had it so good. In other words, he is repeating ruling class propaganda. One would understand why the Elvis superstar of class-reductionism would be get so riled up about the selection of a Black CEO or cabinet member. His fiery attacks on privileged blacks like Barack Obama must make him feel like Lenin taking apart Kautsky. Too bad that he didn’t pay attention to what is happening at the grass roots level.

For example, minority admissions to law schools, a traditional portal into the upper middle class, had been dropping around the time Sunkara sat down with Michaels. A study published by the Columbia University Law School, a place that can certainly be described as “elitist”, painted a discouraging picture:

Web Site Shows Drop in Minority Enrollment at US Law Schools

December 28, 2007 (NEW YORK) – A new Web site created by Columbia Law School documents a disturbing drop in enrollment by African-American and Mexican-American students in America’s law schools. Even though African-American and Mexican-American students have applied to law schools in relatively constant numbers over the past 15 years, their representation in law schools has fallen.

Even more worrisome is the fact that during the same period, African-American and Mexican-American applicants are doing better than ever on leading indicators used by law schools to determine admissibility – undergraduate grade point average and LSAT scores. In addition, the size of law school classes and the total number of law schools have increased – making room for nearly 4,000 more students.

More to the point, affirmative action had little to do with the academy or becoming a Goldman-Sachs partner when it was first conceived. It was a legal tool made necessary by the racism that had infected the United Steelworkers Union, one of the flagship CIO unions that the Sandernista left and its class-reductionist contingents look back at as if it was the Garden of Eden.

NAACP leader Herbert Hill cited an open letter written by a Black member of the union to I.W. Abel, the USW president at the union’s 1968 convention:

The time has come for black workers to speak and act for ourselves. We make no apologies for the fact that we as black workers and loyal trade unionists now act on our own behalf. Furthermore we are fully prepared to do so…Blacks were in the forefront during the formation of this union 25 years ago. Through the acceptance of crumbs down through the years instead of our just desserts, we now find ourselves hindmost…

Problems were deepest in the south where Blacks were confined to menial positions in steel mills. White workers got used to viewing them as inferior. When you enforce racial equality on the job, attitudes tend to change in accordance with the reality that Blacks are just as good as whites at a job, even better.

Tired of being relegated to second-class citizenship in steel mills as janitors and other menial positions, Blacks supported affirmative action that would afford them preferential treatment to make up for discrimination endured in the past. About the Sparrows Point plant of Bethlehem Steel (one of the Little Steel companies and long shut down), Herbert Hill wrote:

[I]n steel manufacturing, in the building trades, on the railroads, and in virtually every other industry, a clear distinction exists between desirable jobs and those that are not. An extensive body of law based on many court cases supports this. Federal courts have analyzed in great detail and described in various industries the jobs that have higher pay, that involve less dangerous and cleaner work, and that provide opportunity for advancement, comparing them with jobs that are more dangerous, that provide lower pay, and little or no opportunity for advancement. In the racialized steel industry labor force there was no ambiguity between “white men’s jobs” and “nigger jobs.” In his opinion in the Bethlehem Lackawanna case, a federal Judge made a clear distinction between desirable and not desirable jobs. This was how affirmative action became the law of the land, not by co-opting black college graduates into Wall Street jobs but by allowing blacks to have access to well-paying and desirable jobs in factories.

In 1979 Brian Weber, a white worker employed by Kaiser aluminum, sued the USW for violating his civil rights. It seems that the union had complied with an affirmative action program that allowed Blacks and whites into a training program on a one-to-one basis even though there were far more white employees (as you might expect in Louisiana).

From that point on, affirmative action has been a lot like abortion rights. Republicans push to get rid of it and Democrats put up a feeble defense. With Jacobin authors trash-talking about diversity and affirmative action, they hardly act in the interests of black working people.

A socialist movement that disavows particular Black demands and those of other sectors of the population acting on their own interests on the basis of gender, sexual preference, etc. will inevitably lack the universality it needs to triumph over a unified capitalist class. To state it in dialectical terms, denying the existence of contradictions and a refusing to resolve them will only lead to deeper contradictions.

17 Comments »

  1. Many people in fact do favor illegal immigration to the US. It’s easier to rip off the person cleaning your pool or mopping your kitchen floor or painting your apartment if s/he is working here illegally. I know several people where I live, New York City, who are hired by renovation companies at much lower wages than the legal market would permit, but it’s the only way for the workers to make a buck.

    Cedrick Johnson is a superior writer and thinker than the others. He shouldn’t be judged only on the basis of a single piece of writing, which, in any case, makes some good points. He’s a comrade.

    Comment by Elliot Podwill — July 6, 2020 @ 10:58 pm

  2. Elliot, Johnson might have done some worthwhile scholarship as did Reed (Michaels is worthless) but their attack on BLM is bad. As for immigration, I am for open borders. As long as capital can flow freely, so should labor be able to move freely across borders especially when foreign capital has destroyed their country’s economy.

    Comment by louisproyect — July 6, 2020 @ 11:13 pm

  3. Michaels is truly worthless. As for the steelworkers, what the civil rights laws and affirmative action did was give black workers a way to challenge their own collective bargaining agreement. The seniority clause made seniority department-based. Black workers were overwhelming confined to the worst jobs, such as Foundry and Coke Plant. (In a black neighborhood in Johnstown, PA, there was a bar named The Coke Plant!). So let’s say a Black worker had worked in the Coke Plant for 25 years, his entire time as a steel worker. Now, he applies for a position in another, cleaner, and better-paying department. His seniority in that department is 0. He works in the new department for 2 years. Then there is a cutback of employment in that department. He is still low person on the seniority totem pole. So, he is laid off first, even though he could, conceivably, have more plant-wide seniority than any other worker in that department! Black workers filed suit under the Civil Rights Act against the union and the company. The union was then compelled to get that seniority provision changed, which it was. So what good would a class reductionist approach have done the Black steelworkers? Given that the union itself was racist. And it sure wasn’t the white workers leading the charge to end the provision, though I am sure there were many who supported the change. What good would a new law making it easier for workers to unionize if race, gender, and other “idientity” issues are not at the same time confronted. Yes, Black workers benefit overall from union power, more than do white workers. But even so, the gap between white and Black workers is not ever going to be closed completed and quickly unless race is an integral part of the class struggle.

    Comment by Michael D Yates — July 6, 2020 @ 11:32 pm

  4. I recall the CP leadership arguing in the early 60s Malcolm X was a racist – even in print

    Comment by tom getts — July 6, 2020 @ 11:44 pm

  5. CONSIDER THE SOURCE it can be amusing and instructive .

    Comment by tom getts — July 6, 2020 @ 11:47 pm

  6. A relevant comment from an African-American Marxmail subscriber:

    Jacobin right now has a live session on diversity with Benn Michaels. No Black person in the session.

    I can say this. I work as an editor – mostly as an assistant – in Hollywood. The only way I got in was by organizing a union at a shlock reality outfit called NYT Television (BTW Michael Yates book on unions was invaluable to me). My first meeting in LA as a board member the guild president told the others there – all white – that I had to fight my way in, while most present were all born into it.

    These are well paying jobs, with a defined pension, healthcare and protection.

    Hardly any Blacks work in post-production, except those that we fight to bring in.

    Hollywood has been having these convos for 50 years

    Comment by louisproyect — July 6, 2020 @ 11:56 pm

  7. I don’t know if BLM is “anti-leftist” (whatever that means). But by its very definition and makeup it is a nationalist movement, not a class movement. If you don’t see the proletariat as the sole force able to overturn capitalism, or if you don’t want to overturn capitalism, that might not matter. Recognizing this reality does not make someone “anti-BLM” or pro-police. Class and race do not necessarily overlap or correspond. Look at Robert F. Smith and the people of Beattyville, Kentucky.

    Comment by Tanaka Ueno — July 7, 2020 @ 3:06 am

  8. Many “leftists” supported the Communist Party of Vietnam in the 1960’s and 70’s. They didn’t just oppose the US-NZ-AUS military involvement. They actively supported the CPV and called for its victory.

    At the time a handful of honest people tried to explain that the CPV was nationalist, that the CPV actively persecuted Trotskyists and Anarchists, that the CPV disarmed militant worker, and that the CPV persecuted particular ethnic groups. This didn’t make them “pro-US”.

    Now that the CPV has long cemented its victory and created a capitalist state and the proof all the above is concrete and easy to find, do we call that old handful of people who spoke the truth “anti-leftist”?

    Max Schatman supposedly “turned his back on the movement” when he supported South Korea against North Korea earlier. Which Korea would you rather live in today?

    This “leftism” is a truly curious thing.

    Comment by Tanaka Ueno — July 7, 2020 @ 3:38 am

  9. But by its very definition and makeup it is a nationalist movement, not a class movement.

    So true. I saw a bunch of BLM’ers marching across 86th St. They were singing “God Bless America” at the top of their lungs and they were led by people wearing MAGA hats. Everybody knows that white nationalism and being opposed to killer-cops go hand-in-hand.

    Comment by louisproyect — July 7, 2020 @ 11:28 am

  10. They are not white nationalists. I didn’t say that. It is a nationalist movement none the less. Just like Ho Chi Minh’s party in Vietnam or Mandela’s in South Africa. Now Vietnamese and South African workers are exploited by capitalists of “their own race.” This is no more change than black police or a black president. It only helps a sliver of these so-called nations get into positions of power and privilege on the backs of others.

    BLM is not a class movement. If you don’t see the proletariat as the sole force able to overturn capitalism, or if you don’t want to overturn capitalism, that might not matter. But if you do, then it does. Or at least it should.

    Nike and Apple do not donate millions to working class movements that will abolish capitalism. Capitalists send death squads to eliminate workers who organize. They do not “stand in solidarity” with them.

    BLM is ideologically driven and as a matter of fact a-historical. It is a hodge podge with corporate underwriting and reactionary undercurrents. That doesn’t mean all who participate are conscious of that. Most who voted for Obama thought it would really bring change.

    Racism is in fact at an all time low in the US and the West in general. Interracial marriage is at an all time high. Black culture is pop culture. Legally enshrined racism was abolished decades ago. Today you can be arrested or lose your job for being simply accused of racism in fact.

    Police don’t kill people like Robert F Smith. That is if “people like him” means his class: capitalist. If you think Robert F Smith is the same as some poor people in the middle of Detroit because he shares the same skin tone as them, then your view is racialist. I can’t help you in that case.

    Thomas Paine didn’t write Common Sense to help the slaveocracy in the southern US. American yeomen didn’t fight the British to bolster the plantations.

    Lincoln was driven to emancipate the slaves by force of class struggle. Thousands of white volunteers joined his fight. Marx and the workers of Europe and the US congratulated Lincoln for this. Reactionary southerns killed him for this. Freed slaves built a monument to the man with their own money. Frederick Douglass spoke at the monument. Today middle class students want to tear it down.

    “White people” in Kentucky who live on 10,000$ per year are not privileged. Kanye West is privileged. This is not based on their “races”.

    Race is a historic category, flexible and changing because it is made up to fit the situation. It is not biological. There is only one human race. We are not exploited based on our races in the 21st century. Chattel slavery is gone. Wage slavery is here. The shirts once sewn in Massachusetts are now sewn in Vietnam. Chinese sweatshops are run by Chinese capitalists.

    Capitalism can exist without race or racism. See: South Korea, one of the most “racially homogeneous” countries on earth. Also solidly capitalist.

    Capitalism cannot exist without the exploitation of the working class, which comes in all colors.

    Workers of the world, unite!

    Comment by Tanaka Ueno — July 7, 2020 @ 2:40 pm

  11. “Black culture is pop culture.”

    I guess the cop who killed George Floyd wasn’t a Kanye West fan.

    “Capitalism cannot exist without the exploitation of the working class, which comes in all colors.
    Workers of the world, unite!”

    What about the Martians? Why don’t you include them in the galaxy-wide Communist movement? Are you an anti-Martian bigot?

    Comment by louisproyect — July 7, 2020 @ 2:55 pm

  12. There may be an antileftist–if by that we mean nationalist–current in BLM. If that wins out, the movement will achieve another round of civil rights concessions and then splinter into warring fragments like every other big left movement in the past three quarters of a century.

    Aunt Jemima becomes Ain’t Jemima and the capitalist river rolls unchecked to the abyss.

    How much time we have left before the so-called American Revolution falls apart is anyone’s guess. But if we must repudiate the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights because Jefferson, then IMO it won’t take that long. Is that in prospect?

    The Constitution as a whole is probably another matter, although the much-vaunted Separation of Powers sometimes is effective in checking the very worst impulses of the oligarchy it nevertheless protects and defends and has incorporated in the very fabric of the USA.

    I’m in a bind here. The briefest acquaintance with the Socialist Equality Party and their “ICFI” calls their honesty and integrity into question. Their pedantic version of Marxism 101 and Intermediate Marxism may appear–do appear to many–beguiling compared with no Marxism. But these people have a power agenda that, if given the slightest possibility of actually succeeding, would be monstrous. And they will say anything to further that as-yet-implausible agenda. Nothing they say can be taken at face value.

    Adolph Reed, on the other hand, while he has all the bilious disagreeableness, sheer egoism, and love of a quarrel common to Professors Emeriti of almost every stripe, seems like less of an enemy. Here, I can’t welcome the conflict and keep thinking “why can’t we all just get along,” though it seems the battle lines must be drawn anyway.

    I’ll side with Yates and Proyect, not that the world gives a fuck what I think but I regret the necessity of endorsing yet another split in the antique left while the young leadership do not seem to be speaking with a unified voice–unless we the morituri are not hearing it and should fall on our swords because “OK Boomer.”

    Whatev-ar-ar-ar, as The Young are fond of saying, this from Louis is IMO both necessary and indisputable. But there’s a rocky road ahead.

    [A]ffirmative action has been a lot like abortion rights. Republicans push to get rid of it and Democrats put up a feeble defense. With Jacobin authors trash-talking about diversity and affirmative action, they hardly act in the interests of black working people.

    A socialist movement that disavows particular Black demands and those of other sectors of the population acting on their own interests on the basis of gender, sexual preference, etc. will inevitably lack the universality it needs to triumph over a unified capitalist class. To state it in dialectical terms, denying the existence of contradictions and a refusing to resolve them will only lead to deeper contradictions.”

    Comment by Farans Kalosar — July 7, 2020 @ 5:23 pm

  13. In 1907, pioneering labor historian and economist John Commons argued that U.S. management had shown just one “symptom of originality,” namely “playing one race against the other.”

    Comment by Tanaka Ueno — July 8, 2020 @ 8:45 am

  14. “playing one race against the other.”

    Ueno-san,

    Errrr … you just conceded that “playing one race against another” is useful and beneficial to capital, right?

    SO … it is bad for capital when people are anti-racist, no?

    C’mon! You can make the leap.

    Comment by Reza — July 8, 2020 @ 4:39 pm

  15. It depends what you mean with “anti-racism.”

    If workers of all colors come together in a common struggle, it is good.

    But we look at what things are, not what things called. Because there was an “anti-fascism” that supported bourgeois forces against proletarian revolutionaries in Europe. And there was a “Communist” party in Vietnam that disarmed militant workers, persecuted Trotskyists, and repressed national minorities.

    I am personally interested in overturning capitalism. Not improving capitalism. I don’t care to make things more comfortable for the ruling class.

    “Anti-racism” that tears down statues of Lincoln paid for by slaves and is sponsored by Nike and Apple is not what we are looking for.

    If race is promoted as a biological reality with innate characteristics assigned to various races, then it is not good. Because it is not real.

    If race is promoted as a uniter that makes Robert F Smith the “same” as auto workers in Detroit because they both have dark skin, then it is not good.

    If race is promoted as making all black people permanently victims and white people permanently privileged racists based on their skin tone it is totally not good. Poor white workers in Kentucky that make 10,000$ annual are not privileged and they don’t oppress anyone. Black millionaires are not oppressed but they live on blood money extracted from workers.

    If race is promoted as some kind of original sin it is not good. There were white workers and white people against slavery from the earliest days of the USA republic. Thomas Paine and Ben Franklin are just easy examples.

    Was John Brown a white privileged racist? Was Marcus Garvey an oppressed revolutionary?

    Maybe, just maybe, race doesn’t explain the divisions in our world. If you don’t believe me, ask a black miner, with a black boss, in “black run” South Africa.

    In short: if “anti-racism” is “playing one race against the other” then it is the same capitalism con game, just played 100 years later.

    There is just one argument for us: Workers of the world unite! WORKERS! Race is the playground of the slavers, pseudo-scientific, bourgeoisie and academics who make a career out of this. It has no basis for us. It was created socially as a concept. It can be dissolved, and actually is already in that process.

    Racism is at an all time low in America. Believe it or not this is the fact. This is not the old days. Killer reactionaries used to kill black people and get away with it. Now white people will be driven from their jobs, homes and society if they even whisper something considered remotely racist. Interracial marriage at an all time high. Two term black president. The majority of people agree that “black lives matter” according to scientific polls.

    This in a country that is majority white. Today black people are more likely to encounter racism in China than America. How’s that for all the Maoists?

    According to FBI data, of the 2,491 murders of black people reported in the U.S. in 2013, 2,245 perpetrators (90%) were black and 189 perpetrators (7.6%) were white. Of 3,005 murders of white people, 2,509 perpetrators (83.5%) were white while 409 perpetrators (13.6%) were black. It is an insult to the victims of the night riders to pretend this is like the slavery or Jim Crowe days were poor young men were killed for being accused of looking a white woman.

    America is violent. Police are violent. Police in America are violent. Police are armed enforcers of the state, unleashed on the under classes and anyone who challenges the bourgeois rule. Police will be used to evict poor white people from rented homes by force. They will gun down poor people in the street, many who have black skin. They will not use force on Bill Gates or Barrack Obama.

    Abolish the police, don’t “defund” them. Unleash the potential of the multi-racial working class against capitalism. Smash the bourgeois state, construct a workers state based on councils. Arm the workers. Abolish value. Abolish the wages system. To each according to their need. Nike and Apple won’t get behind this. But you should.

    This above is assuming you see the proletariat as the sole force able to overturn capitalism, and you actually want to overturn capitalism, like Karl Marx.

    Comment by Tanaka Ueno — July 9, 2020 @ 4:25 am

  16. “I am personally interested in overturning capitalism. Not improving capitalism. I don’t care to make things more comfortable for the ruling class.”

    Mr. Ueno, I personally can’t take you seriously so I won’t be replying to your bombastic pronouncements here in the future. I urge my long-time commenters here to ignore you as well since you are desperately seeking attention in a sad Walter Mitty kind of way. My advice to you, if you are serious about revolution, is to join some group and get active. Generally, serious revolutionaries don’t troll blogs. They are too busy organizing workers.

    Comment by louisproyect — July 9, 2020 @ 11:27 am

  17. Fair enough.

    My advice to you, if you are serious about calling yourself a Marxist, would be to read what Karl Marx wrote.

    Comment by Tanaka Ueno — July 9, 2020 @ 12:08 pm


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