Who are the slaves now?

Posted: 04/02/2018 by zandtao in Democracy, Freedom, Struggle
Tags: ,

I listened to this Russell Brand talk (Under the Skin) with Paul Gilroy, and came away dissatisfied. The man is a professional intellectual (professor) so it is not likely we would agree.

The talk made me ask this question “Am I an arcane Marxist monster who puts everything down to the 1%?” Immediately I ask that question I know that they want me to have doubt, but at the same time it is right to question.

There was only one thing I disagreed with, and this is the best point to start. He said nationalists start racism, and I completely disagree with this. Racism is part of the class struggle, and is created by the 1%. To use Paul’s term, the manufactured ignorance of the nationalists, especially the ignorance that goes against class interest, is used by the 1% to create populist racism.

As with Adam Curtis, similar intellectual approaches, he offered observations about racism. These observations were interesting but they did not offer a solution – I offer the impossible target of the 1%. In words it is simple, get rid of the 1%-economy, the conditions that produce racism cease to exist, and then over time people will forget the cultural racism – the manufactured ignorance – they grew up with. It is logical. Our differences are cultural (inc. religion). The 1%-economy favours one culture over another – white privilege, so when there is a different economy that does not seek such favouritism then cultures become economically the same, and then over time cultures see their difference as irrelevant. There are plenty of examples of cultures living in harmony together with mutual ribbing but not rivalry eg English/Welsh, North/South most of the time. Most of the time? Second homes in Wales led to conflict, an economic issue that put people out of their homes. The North/South divide is taken more of a joke because the economic differences are not different in the same workplace – most of the time. It is the economic favouritism that empowers difference in race to become racism. Natural national boundaries don’t necessarily produce conflict except for invasion and appropriation or African countries created as commodity boundaries(the old names Gold Coast, Ivory Coast etc.) I have sufficient faith in human nature to say that over time cultural racism will fade away, but I know many who disagree. The power and influence of the 1% whilst they are controlling the world cannot be fought, after a lifetime of personal struggle I see little achievement for myself but importantly for the movement, and I see a situation that is far worse than when I started working – 1973.

Russell’s point on spiritual development is a good one, genuine religious people are not racists. In the current materialist climate spirituality is not an answer. But maybe in future?

But the question “who are the slaves now?” was not answered. There was a reference to all being the working-class – the 99%, and a joke that all behind the glass, being paid to make the programme, would resent being called working-class. Whilst there is no union of wage-slaves against the 1%, there can be no unity and change.

Unity against the 1% as the source of racism was not really addressed, and it was an omission. I have read Russell’s book “Revolution”, and liked it. But he doesn’t seem to be bringing revolution to the table, neither with Paul nor Adam. Surprised!

Given the lack of class analysis it is still a talk worth listening to. BUT I am not an arcane monster, class is still the issue. How we see class needs to be carefully considered – not just cloth caps.

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Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Mandtao, Matriellez.

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