Racism, Drugs and Crime By Patricia Murphy-Robinson

16 April 2013

Today, I learned with great sorrow of the death of a woman who had a very profound affect on my life. Born I think, on exactly the same month, day and year as Fidel Castro, Patricia Murphy-Robinson died on 11 April 2013. I knew that she’d been ill having spoken to her a few months ago in Jacksonville Fla, where she lived, but just how ill she had been, she kept hidden from me and wasn’t until I got an email from someone who knew her, that I found out.

This is not the place to go into Patricia’s long and eventful life and about which I have only the sketchiest idea, nor how I came to know her. Instead, here’s an essay she sent me that I published in an earlier version of InI and on rereading it after so many years (I think it was penned sometime in the  1990s), it seems right on the money for our situation today and a fitting testament to Patricia’s lifelong struggle for justice.

Racism, Drugs and Crime By Patricia Murphy-Robinson

Men make their own history, but they do not
make it just as they please; they do not make
it under circumstances chosen by themselves,
but under circumstances directly encountered,
given and transmitted from the past. The
tradition of all dead generations weighs like
a nightmare on the brain of the living.

Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte

With millions of other exploited peoples, I have searched beneath and through the social “truths” handed to me by the intelligentsia in the United States. It is that well-known escape out of absurd bourgeois ideology into the reality of capitalism. It repetitively plunges one into the abyss of fear and guilt and out again into demystification and clarity. It is stimulated by revolutionary changes in the world. It is an individual and collective historical process where one sees the actual relations of power and recognizes their roots.

Our society drifts inexorably into chaos and anarchy. Desperate rationalizations are offered up. There is presently the bourgeois crescendo and cry of “racism, crime and drugs”. It is the chosen parameter set up by both the black and white intelligentsia within which we are all to anguish, debate and use up our emotional and intellectual energy. It is also an old and repetitive formulation using standard symbols to dramatize “the destruction of civilization” and trumpet calls to take up arms to support and defend “our American way of life”. It bears the cultural flotsam of American capitalism: the ludicrous, irrational one-sided view of phenomena where nothing is connected and history is a series of dates and great individuals. Wryly, does Bertold Brecht bring us to attention:

The books are filled with names of Kings.
Was it kings who hauled the craggy blocks of stone?..
Young Alexander conquered India.
He alone?

This time it appears with epoch changes in the way things are and will be produced. Always the capitalist bourgeoisie are impelled to revolutionize production in their constant flight from destruction; accumulation of wealth drives it everlastingly. In this moment, they face the irreconcilable contradiction of the absorption of all past and present human labor’s knowledge and experience into machines. The fact that machines can now make machines and machines can create and make commodities means that human labor is freed from having to work for the capitalist. The technology contains labor’s brains and manual power. Immediately, the bourgeoisie self-congratulate themselves on the final defeat of labor. A minority of its intelligentsia whispers, “How can the wealth generated by this automation and cybernation of production be distributed to a now unemployable working class? Who will buy the commodities and increase our profit?”

The capitalist has come from a past of cruelly using up millions of workers and always looking for “exploitable flesh and blood…[let[ing] the dead bury their dead”. He mumbles the possibility of some type of allotment, perhaps a minimum wage. He has gained enormous profits from workers’ surplus labor time. Surplus value is that part of labour time never paid for and pocketed by the capitalist as part of his profits. That is lost without wage labor. The production of commodities on an increasingly gigantic scale can not be purchased by a simultaneously increasing pauperized population. Without surplus value and wages to purchase necessary commodities, the capitalist can not generate capital.

If the whole class of wage-workers were to be abolished owing to machinery, how dreadful that would be for capital which, without wage labor, ceases to be capital.

-Marx, Wage, Labor and Capital

There have been few responses to what is to be done with even a skilled working force, much less an unskilled one. Racism, crime and drugs are the code bytes for the surplus workforce. This class no longer has its historic place as a weapon of the rulers against an oppressed population’s attacks on capital and the rich. The black intellectuals decry racism and demand jobs to decrease drugs and crime. As their control of young unemployable blacks slip, they announce, “Our declaration of war against crime!”: “Yes…it is a war!… Like any war, we must become allied forces…a NATO team that moves together!” From more city police to Federal involvement, “such as ATF, DEA, the FBI, the Park Police and the Secret Service”. Thus, the black woman mayor of Washington, DC, reassures her constituents that “Our NATO forces have been getting better trained, better paid, better equipped and more regional and Federal assistance each and every day”. Race and racism become interchangeable, confusing and contradictory. “Blacks are racists!” Racism keeps blacks down!” Racism is an excuse for giving blacks jobs.” “Racism may be a necessary evil.” “Racism makes ‘me’ non-human.” “Charges of racism prevent civilized solutions to the problems of biologically inferior races.” Crime and drugs permeate and pulverize the daily life of poor whites. They are being denied the compensation of “white supremacy”. Alienated, unemployable whites and blacks, desperate immigrants from countries already sucked dry by exploitation, who are trapped and poor, legitimately can be denied social and economic support and subtly “dispatched”. Those who are loudly, self-proclaimed “racists” can be ostracized and imprisoned, those who actively or passively strike out at others of their own race, family members, vulnerable women and children, fingered groups considered practitioners of unacceptable sexual practices, the disabled and isolated, for “what has been done to them by society”, easily can be adjudged dangerous and disposable, those who refuse to cooperate in their own destruction be eking out unlawful ways of surviving can be constantly harassed and driven to suicide.

Meanwhile, the capitalist class pompously denounces racism and disingenuously indicts crime and drugs. Historically, under capitalism, this group of embittered “failures” from all classes has always been considered the “dregs” of society or the “shiftless” lumpen proletariat, the class from whom came the colonialists, slave traders, mercenaries and bribed participants on the side of the ruling class against the exploited workers. In the past, they were needed by the capitalists as instruments of colonialism, imperialism and the strategy of divide and conquer. It is a class openly venal and murderous; in extraordinary ways it darkly mirrors the bourgeois class. They share a blind, obsessive passion for wealth. But unlike the capitalist class they have no open venues to the amount of capital needed to take-off into the theater of capital appropriation. [Drama persuades; magic ideas pervade!] The capitalists’ intellectuals rename them the “underclass”. Blaming the bitter and unwanted, those enraged, who lacking insight and understanding, destroy each other and those nearest them, will distract the still comfortable population from what it faces in terms of its own future unemployment and gives it permission to attack this now (from the capitalists’ perspective) unneeded population. Most important, it will engage their support of the capitalists and capitalism.

We, who have long struggled after the historical time of Marx and Engels, repeatedly exercise ourselves in pointing out how the bourgeois capitalists succeed in redirecting our attention and energies into the byways of the results of capitalist exploitation instead of the actual genesis: the direct ramifications of a capitalist system based on exploitation of most of humanity. How we all, even those of us who consider ourselves of the left, repeatedly point out those awful, inhuman capitalists and their continual masking of the system! After all, they are only doing what is necessary to keep themselves alive as capitalists. The inevitable result of this great revolution in the mode of production is that it directly reveals that these instruments of production, containing all the dead labor from the past and present labor, is the real result of human labor, down through the centuries. The capitalist claims it as his private property as he always has had to do during his rule. What will he be forced to do with the inevitable eventuality that it becomes crystal clear that his ownership of the means of production and the decisions about its use for exchange and profit is a fetter on development for human use and survival? The workers no longer need him; he is a blot on future history. For now, continue to redirect our consciousness as it was always necessary to do, until he can figure out another deflection.

Seeing the whole presents us with the profound impact of terrible but extraordinary clarity: Capitalism is, indeed, a relationship between people. It is the monstrous destruction of millions of us workers, even the intelligentsia and the CEO’s (chief executive officer), all employees and workers. At the same time, there silently and from deep below begins this awesome human pride in what we workers have been able to make despite the taking of it by the capitalists for their own interests. [Amazing or spitting in the wind? I have no popular poll from the media.]

My choices in life have always been heavily circumscribed by this system. The vast network of exploitation, humiliation and oppression of black women is well documented because the people forced the capitalist to grant us research and publishing grants, education and employment opportunities and some superficial status and privilege. As an individual, making sense of these material conditions, but most especially energized by the courageous confrontations of so many who would not bow to oppression, I chose to understand the mind of the white male capitalists. It was necessary to position them further. These white males came from Europe. They maimed, defiled and destroyed those who had lived and used the land as their mother, the nurturer. These infant capitalists were inwardly impelled to see their muskets and early machinery as a supernatural force akin to GOD, instead of the result of early working craftsmen’s ingenuity. I decided that I needed to understand these appropriators’ historical progression, world-view, sense of self, more than that of their victims to whom they assigned me as a social worker. I had already begun with my parents and their extended families. I had descended from a vast, complex, collage of slave beginnings: indentured white servants, black field hands, indigenous peoples of dispossessed Indian tribes, free blacks, light-skinned blacks, who passed for white, others with dark skins, deeply proud of their African origins. So many encouraged our resistance. Some were brilliant, primarily male scholars, adjudged black, yet, a hue of colors. I was allowed to listen as they talked and revealed social structures of this society.  I loyally depended on many of them, often ignored as “just a child and a female child at that”. What I kept and cherished was that I had a mind and I could make connections with the help of their wiser approach. For that, I am both grateful to them and me. It took twenty years of my life to process and finally discover a hierarchy of power called “the social order” and to learn this pattern of, not social order, but social control.

My public education was segregated from whites and it exposed me to racism quite early. As I entered the world, it became a constant limitation to my possibilities. My possibilities? In that historical time it was to enter the mainstream of being an upper-class worker: a professional, an intellectual worker. In the surge to reform capitalism, it would be called equal rights. We could not see that it was entrance into a privileged position in the hierarchy of the working class, above many blacks still migrating to the cities from the rural South.  It was being educated and individually “successful”. We, blacks, characterized it as “moving on up”. I lived in the United States; therefore, I would live on the labor of those unable to “move on up” and millions of the world’s colonized darker people. Millions would work, just to survive, and I, and my progeny here in the United States, would live unconsciously on those who would fall by the wayside. The capitalists could always find replacements. But we all would be prisoners to the rule of capital and those capitalists who control it.

Drugs and crime were always in my neighborhood. Blacks were still in segregated housing, particularly in the large urban areas. Drugs were a deep concern to the adults around us who strove and struggled for acceptance from whites even as they protested being forced into squalor and poverty. We young adapted and sometimes found ourselves engaged in small-time criminal activities; drug-using was a rite of passage. It was an escape from tyrannical control of our lives and fruitless rebellion against it. It was not until I was accepted into a white, northern college that the full exposure of who really controlled me was clear. Here I was among a group of intellectual white people who saw me as inferior, likely to commit crimes against its property and to indulge in irresponsible behaviour such as taking drugs. Not only that, I was also assumed to be inferior in intellect and intelligence. My response was, “these people are crazy!”. It was not a superficial reaction or compensation for the ubiquitous self-doubt that comes out of not being reflected as one really is. My reaction and choice to study their minds was interpenetrated by my living within an all-black culture. It had not only sheltered me from a self-glorifying white world but paternalistically mirrored my worth as a black woman. This allowed me to expand myself with some certainty. I had an opportunity to know my people with all their contradictory status-strivings. They, as my reflection, allowed me to transcend to a real enemy outside of us, one which eventually crystallized beyond just white people to the white capitalist class.

Studying white folks and this capitalist class that developed in the United States, with their stupefying rationalizations for my people’s and my gender’s inferiority, became a long term strategy. Considered arrogant, I had to learn I could not oppose them openly. Their retribution was swift and deadly. These were not secure people, sure of themselves. They were frightened and, therefore, needed to dominate. Unlike the varied European capitalist classes with their long historical experience in tactics and strategy of domination for profit, this bourgeois capitalist class in the United States emerged from a long line of thieves, “losers”, mercenaries, and marginal classes, pressed into war service in Europe by competing bourgeois classes. I needed to understand them historically, their development into an overpowering group who presented themselves as the center of the universe. The relationship between them and those of whom I was an integral part, people of color throughout the world, was still one of master and slave. It was an inhuman economic relationship which tied them to us and we to them. They had all the rights because they had taken ownership of everything we needed in order to live. They could command us to work for them or starve. We had lost our independent resources; our land, tools, market and our country to which we could return. We were no longer chattel; we were “free” to die. There was no job that did not require that one perform it in their interests from passing down their ideology as truth to policing rebellious workers and creating products for their ownership. My job as a social worker was to keep the masses from erupting against their murderous conditions of life. A whole pseudo-science was developed to manipulate, deceive and make plausible submission to the status-quo. The capitalists had to have a peaceful environment for the steady accumulation of wealth through control of millions of minds. The majority of the population has the duty to serve the capitalist class. This includes the professionals and intellectuals, often characterized as the “middle class”. They are the workers and just as vulnerable to the needs of the capitalist class. The unemployed previously kept on welfare and became a surplus army of labor to be used against the employed who rebelled against the tyranny of their jobs. Now they clandestinely will be dropped from the roles.

The bourgeois classes experience themselves separate and above social relations. Heady with their power to control and intimidate, they have “free will”, unaffected by the “inferiors” who work for and in their interests. They have the power to name and define but from the illusion of being above the fray. Racism appears in early European history. The tribal wars resulted in captive labor forces being given onerous jobs and living conditions. Being defeated indicated an inferiority to the victors. Yet, these very despised peoples were the working force that created wealth for the victors. The victors’ fear and dependency gradually developed into racism, a false ideology of the human inequality of the vanquished. As the defeated people of the earth were gradually drawn into a world-wide working force, a hierarchy of worth was placed on each by the European mercantile capitalists. The captive Slavs were considered “inferior stock” and the word slave, originated with them. The Tartars, considered a violent and intractable group, were similarly categorized in sixteenth century Italian cities. Gradually, the Third World people came to occupy this social and economic position. Mercenaries and traders came from other ethnic groups and were assigned certain privileges with accompanying myths as to their material value to the capitalist classes. Jewish businessmen lived on the margins of capitalist society, considered as “outsiders” and vulnerable to discrimination, beggary and banishment.

Segmented into a hierarchy of worth and ideologized as superior/inferior by the capitalist classes, the groups in the top of the hierarchy absorbed a false reflection of superiority to the lower groups. This is used to compensate for their own bitter exploitation and the resulting fears and frustration. To the lower groups the false reflection of non-worth, the state of being ground-down and trapped, results in a final acceptance of their own inferiority. In their blind rage they turn on themselves and others like them. Both used and exploited groups, lose sight of the real enemy and engage each other as “enemy”. Lost in the unseen reality of the theft of the capitalist who does not produce, the worker experiences the process as a sacrifice to the greater and more powerful person than he. Both to the capitalist non-worker and the worker, the working person becomes an object of contempt: the worker to himself and the non-worker as Marx says, “does everything against the worker which the worker does against himself, but he does not do against himself what he does against the worker.” In abject fear and emotional poverty, the non-worker [the capitalist we of the left love to hate] propels himself into more infinite realms of metaphysical “superiority”.

The workers are bruised, needy, open and vulnerable to releases from their economic and emotional states and drugs momentarily relieve. Drugs were introduced as a weapon of control and source of profit in the middle of the nineteenth century as the bourgeois classes extended their markets to previously isolated parts of the world. They dulled the exploited population’s righteous rage, and at the same time, divided them through allowing some of the oppressed to trade in drugs and become petty capitalists. Crime was and is an attack on the property and investments of the capitalist class. They construct and define it as the responsibility and the evil intent of the propertyless classes. Depending on the state of consciousness of the mass of the population, they apply the carrot or the stick. If crime is seen as a realistic response to the greater attack of the capitalists’ thievery  against the exploited, then the carrot. If the working-class population is identified with the capitalist classes, and in opposition to their own interests, then it is the stick. The use of the mass of the people by the capitalists classes to acquire wealth is the root of thievery and from it develops all the exploitative relationships that make up the social relations of capital. Humanism is a creation of bourgeois culture; it cloaks the horrors of capitalism. It does not extend to the exploited peoples because allowing them the right to food, clothing, shelter, basic economic rights, interferes with profit, the continual accumulation of capital and the defense of one capitalist nation against others. To the capitalist they are simply a commodity, “labor power”. As a philosophical abstraction and convenient, defensive apologetic, humanism is a soothing balm to the rise of bad conscience in the ranks of those who dare not the question the capitalist order. It certainly is to the capitalist himself, who benignly donates portions of his stolen wealth to the public good and then gets it back through his control of the government apparatus in the form of tax deductions and calmer climate for investment.

The bourgeois classes suffer the illusion they are not determined by their relationship to those they exploit. Without those it has to force and manipulate to work for it and produce at its direction, it is naked, without means to live, much less accumulate wealth. The reality is capitalist, bourgeois man is not a producer; he is a victim of and determined by those on whom he is totally dependent for production as well as consumption for profit, the capitalists’ misnomer, “free market”. He is a potential victim of other capitalists in other nations with whom he must compete for the sources of profit. These other capitalist classes are equally vulnerable to their working people. The illusion and delight of the non-working capitalist is the other side of the agony of the worker. They are joined in unconsciousness: the worker creates everything the capitalist needs to be a capitalist and in abject supplication and ritualistic genuflection he/she denies this reality while the capitalist relievedly joins them in a mutual orgy of total emotional/intellectual denial of this fact. [No wonder the successful propaganda for labor-management cooperation.] The worker has never known a sure place, a secure place to put his/her feet and in a kind of quick-sand feels forced to supplicate and to agree to his/her own subjugation. The chaos that capitalism creates means no sure-footedness, even for the capitalist. Both are, at this time of history, entangled in a trap of mutual exercise of denial.

The bourgeois capitalist is basically a powerless person unless he can manipulate reality to be what it is not, both for his own security and the insecurity of the workers. He can be characterized as a trickster. At this moment in history we can not afford to be so antagonized that we continually castigate him rather than mercilessly analyze him. He must deceive, scheme, seduce, manipulate and control minds and all information. Every facet of society that he fabricates is an obsessive defense against the reality of his vulnerability to those he exploits. When he destroys a segment of the work force he does not need as a producer of profit and a market e.g. poor women, children and old people, we are appalled and accuse him of genocide. Such intentional elimination of peoples actively means they are an increase in costs and negative for investment. If the capitalist senses a threat from those accusations, he has a huge host of intellectuals to calm the population and excuse him. The intelligentsia learned response to their relationship with the capitalist class is to advertise their educational expertise in political relations and ability to rationalize and cover the “necessary murders”. Gifted in faulty reasoning and brilliant with words, they appear irrefutable. They are not evil or necessarily stupid; they are product of capitalism, thrown up by the capitalist’s needs for propagators of bourgeois ideas and supervision of the working class.

We now face a bourgeois class desperate to keep control in the face of technological power to eliminate scarcity and want, rehabilitate nature, create for human use and survival. The new global order is a euphemism for the necessary retrenchment of the capitalist classes, emphasizing their need to maintain ownership and control of the technology for what they calculate as new ways to increase their capital and investment outlets. The productive power of the new technology with work done by machines places the capitalist classes at the brink of their own destruction. Without markets, buyers and consumers of the potential overproduction, the workers surplus value and the wages by which the workers consume the necessities of life they have already produced, the capitalist finally lost the base for the accumulation of capital. Marx and many on the left projected this eventuality. They understood the power of the bourgeois capitalists to misinform through their overwhelming ownership of communications and educational facilities. It was evident that the common sense of the working class came from the experience of “hard knocks” and that this common sense pushed them to oppose and resist the capitalists’ attacks. However, it has become increasingly clear that common sense is now inadequate; it attends to small, isolated situations and neglects the whole. What is required is courage, the courage to know, to find out the hidden, to learn from experience and to reconstruct the roots of one’s oppressive and servile condition within the whole. CLR James says it better: “The primary condition of strength and endurance is to see the enemy in all its amplitude.” It is laborious and frustrating and can not be learned from just reading the wealth of theoretical analyses of the left intellectuals. It is certainly vitalizing to read:

I said all allegedly powerful reactionaries are merely paper tigers. The reason is that they are divorced from the people….We have developed a concept over a long period for the struggle against the enemy, namely, strategically we should despise all our enemies, but tactically, we should take them all seriously. In other words, with regard to the whole we must despise the enemy, but with regard to each specific problem we must take them seriously. If we do not despise him with regard to the whole, we shall commit opportunist errors. Mao Tse Tung

It gives courage and guides if we feel and understand who the real enemy is. People who analyze their situations from the whole, that is from within capitalism, know who the real enemy is. As I, they have learned it painfully and have reconstructed it through their struggles in life. For me, as for them, the political becomes very personal. There is a real class of individuals who appropriate and control every aspect of our life from our access to money, their omnipotent private property, to the ideas about the world. We find ourselves submitting to their world view. The personal as political, however, isolates and individualizes, forcing us to fragment and identify singular people around us as “the enemy”, meanwhile cloaking the real owner of the means to our life. In this historical moment, however, the capitalist classes are even more trapped by their overwhelming pursuit of condensed wealth; their intelligence dims and they increasingly distort reality. They discharge increasing numbers of the working class. Educated, skilled workers are lowered into worse-paid, simple minded occupations. In a Wall Street Journal article, March 4, 1994, the Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates “in the past five years a record 1.4 million executives, managers and administrative professionals have lost their jobs….Only  782,000 such workers lost their jobs between 1981 and 1986”. The surplus “army” of labor is totally unneeded and the employee of last resort for blacks, the  military is cutting 11,000 civilian and military jobs a month.The capitalists extend their markets competitively against other capitalists until all markets contract, soaked in overproduction and a lack of able buyers and investors. They continue to use up nature, a too long unacknowledged, essential factor in the means of production, killing more portions of the earth. We are met with a suicidal class in power over us.

The labor power, with past accumulated labor, in computers, robots, will become the productive forces, replacing most of human labor; the impact on all of us will necessitate the courage to know and understand what Marx and others have tried to tell us. In our present, we in the United States experience the narrowness and withering of consciousness and the pulverizing fragmentation and distortion of the energy that goes into thinking, feeling and understanding. Capitalism always constricted the individual’s capacity to create and mature itself within oppressive and exploitative social conditions of its daily life.  As it becomes increasingly, and in a one-sided way, focused on human labor as an unusable factor in production for its wealth, the degree of dehumanization and genocide increases. Individuals emotionally bonded to the capitalist system literally fall apart, receding into “depression” and suicidal rage. Their emotional and economic loyalty has become so rigidly fixated on those who rule, they have lost touch with the essence of themselves as workers, those who make the world. Long ago in their individual families they learned the danger of questioning father, God and authority. To look behind the masks of idiocy and “wickedness” of parents who refused, repressed their own abusive histories, and those others who feign “power”, is to court your own psychic, if not physical death. Better to not know and instead destroy yourself, and others like you. The ignorance {in the root sense of disregard} of reality that compensates for years of humiliation and unhappiness, coupled with the acceptance of the capitalists’ apologias and rationalizations, rends and splits them. The bourgeois propagandist increasingly loses the ability to cover the reality; the barbaric reality overwhelms his obfuscations. The capitalist finds he can not make the world just as he likes and some of us finally draw from the nightmare of our past the knowledge of our worth and our long denied power. It is important to see our situation straight while, at the same time, acknowledging the enormous complexities, the twists and turns, failures and mistakes, and those terrible moments of despair, meaning without hope. Feeling the absence of an analysis that begins to act as a guide to who we really are and what we really have made in the world, we risk, at this present moment, that we, too, can choose suicide, along with the capitalists, by whom we are still interpenetrated and determined, joined in a mutual state of political unconsciousness.

To all who read this: I have been touched and nourished by too many to name. The one who stands out for me is my son, who is living with AIDS, demonstrating his and our choice to directly confront the covert genocide by those who have long ago decided they no longer need labor. Daily, we deny them their victory. And those who read this will remember their own murder and turn to others whom they know reject this murder and will bond with all of us to change the world.

Patricia Murphy Robinson

May 1994

[Subcomandante Marcos, Zapatista Army of National Liberation, replies to the offer of a pardon by Mexican president, Salinas,]

Why do we have to be pardoned? What are we going to be pardoned for? Of not dying of hunger? Of not being silent in our misery? Of not humbly accepting our historic role of being despised and the outcast?…Of having carried guns into battle, rather than bows and arrows? Of being Mexicans? Of being primarily indigenous peoples? Of having called on the people of Mexico to struggle, in all possible ways, for that which belongs to them? Of having fought for liberty, democracy and justice? Of not following the example of the previous guerrilla armies? Of not giving up? Of not selling out? Of not betraying ourselves?

Who must ask for pardon and who can grant it?

Those who for years and years have satiated themselves at full tables, while death sat beside us so regularly that we finally stopped being afraid of it?

Or should we ask pardon from the dead, our dead, those who died “natural” deaths from “natural” causes like measles, whooping cough, breakbone fever, cholera, typhoid, mononucleosis, tetanus, pneumonia, malaria, and other lovely gastrointestinal and lung diseases? Our dead, the majority dead, the democratically dead, dying from sorrow because nobody did anything, because the dead, our dead, went just like that, without anyone even counting them, without anyone saying “Enough already,” which would at least have given some meaning to their deaths, a meaning that no one ever sought for them, the forever dead, who are dying again, but this time in order to live?

{quoted in THE NATION, March 28, 1994}

October 25, 1995: Our Christopher died with us holding and loving him. He is with us still!

“…I strongly believe that the years to come will show only that really existing capitalism is barbarism. And in its new neoliberal garb that means nothing more than barbarism without limits.” Amin, Samir, Empire of Chaos, Monthly Review Press, New York, 1992, p,120.

Marx, Karl. “wage, Labour and Capital,” Frederich Engels and Karl Marx, Selected works, International Publishers, New York, 1970, p.73.

Cox, Oliver C. The Foundations of Capitalism, Philosphic Library, New York, 1959, p.381. “As David Hume pointed out, ‘[ After the industrial worker has become accustomed to producing a surplus] you will find it easy to seize some part of his superfluous labour and employ it in the public service without giving him his wanted return.’“

Mayor Kelly’s State of the District Address, Cardoz Senior High School, Monday, February 7, 1994.

In the early fifties when I began as a social worker, Marx’s analysis still held true: “Unless a worker is living capital i.e. works and receives wages, he has no existence for capital.… Political economy does not recognize the unoccupied worker, the workingman, in so far as he happens to be outside this labor relationship. The cheat-thief, swindler, beggar and unemployed; the starving, wretched and criminal workingman – there are figures…only for other eyes, those of the doctor, the judge, the grave digger and the bum bailiff, etc ; such figures are specters outside its domain.” Karl Marx, The Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, “Antithesis of Capital and Labor”, International Publishers, New York, 1964, p.120-121.

Dollars and Sense, March/April 1994, p.4.

The medieval Latin slavus meaning slave: a member of any of a group of peoples of eastern, southeastern, and central Europe, generally divided into Eastern Slavs [Great Russians, Ukrainians and Bylorussians], Southern Slavs [Serbs, Croats, Bulgars, Slovenes, etc.] and Western Slavs [Czechs, Poles, Slovaks, Moravians, etc]

Cox, Oliver C. Foundations of Capitalism, New York, 1959, p.168, p. 180, p. 196.

“If this suppressed fury fails to find an outlet, it turns in a vacuum and devastates the oppressed creatures themselves. In order to free themselves they even massacre each other.” Satre, Jean-Paul, Preface to The Damned by Franz Fanon, Présence Africaine, Paris, 1963.

Marx, Karl, “Estranged Labor” from Economic and Political Manuscripts of 1844, International Publishers Co., Inc., 1964, p. 119.

Thomas E. Ricks, “New Military Retirees Turn bitter As Many Can’t Find a Good Job”, Wall Street Journal, 3/3/94.

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