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Eldridge Cleaver on Lumpen Ideology

Eldridge Cleaver on Lumpen Ideology

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Published by: Mosi Ngozi (fka) james harris on Mar 12, 2012
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05/08/2013

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BY
E~nil{I:PGE
CLEAVER
 
ONLUMPENIDEOLOGY
by
EldridgeCleaver
Inreality,timeisanunbrokenspanofmatterinmotion,ofmovementandinteraction.Objectively,theuniverseistimeless,andtimeisacategorycreatedbytherelationshipbetweenformandmotion.Whenweisolateanyportionofmatterinmotion,forpurposesofanalysis,oureffortstherebyencountertheprimarydisasterofinquiry,becauseaparthasbeensubstitutedforthewhole.And,ashuman.beings,sincenoneofusknowseverythingandallofusknowsomething,Iwouldarguethatthispartialunderstandingistherootofallevil.Hereweare,eachofusstandingtherewithourseparaterealities,collectivelylookinglikethepiecesofachinesepuzzle.Whenitcomestostudyingandanalyzingsocial,political,andeconomicproblems,thesituationcreatedbyourpartialviewsofrealityplungeusintoamostunfortunatecrisis.Andsincethediscussionofsocial,political,andeconomicproblemsisapartisanarena,thespecialpleadinganddistortionsintendedtodeceivekeepusboggeddowninamorassofconfusionwhichrendersmanyproblemsimpossibletosolve.Inthefirstplace,inorderforpeopletomove,together,unitedinacommondesign,theyhavetoagree,theyhavetounderstand,andtheymustshareapointofview.Thiswouldbeadifficultenoughtaskifouronlyproblemswerethoseof
fitting
togetherourpiecesofthepuzzle.Butwhenwealsohavetodealwith
treachery
anddeceptionweendupdrivenbythewhip,stumblingblindly,likeoxen,pullingsomebody'swagon,fighting,dying,andworkingforgoalsweneitherunderstandnorshare.Sometimeswecallthisfate,orbadluck,orwejustsaythatit'sfuckedup.Yes,it'sfuckedup.Partlybecausethehumanconditionisfuckedupfromthego,likeaherdofmonkeysrustlingthroughtheleaves,andpartlybecausetherearepeoplewhoaredeliberatelykeepingtheshitfuckedup.Thereareperiodsinhistory,however,whenpeoplehavegottentheirheadstogetheronwhat'shappening.Enoughofthemunderstandclearlyenoughtounitewitheachotherintherejectionofthelies,thetreacherousdistortions,anddeceptivefabrications,enoughsothattheyareabletounite,buildsomemachinery,andmovetosolvesomeofthesocial,political,andeconomicproblemsthatareoppressingthem.ThelasttimethiswasdoneonaworldscalewassignalledbythegiganticachievementinanalysisandsynthesisofKarlMarx.Drawinguponavastamountofthestorehouseofhumanknowledge,i.e.,theinformationontheworldcentralizedintheuniversitiesandlibrariesandmuseumsofEurope,Marxwasabletopresentadefinitionandpictureofrealitythatcouldserveasabroadsymbolfordealingrationallyandprogrammaticallywithaworld
 
2
mChaos.Marxwasmterestedinprovidingwhathesawasthemajorityofhumanitywithatoolofunderstandingthatwouldenablethemtoeffectivelycombatandultimatelytransformthecapitalistsystemwhichhadgrownupandwasthenincontroloftheworld.Startingin1849,withthepublicationoftheCOMMUNISTMANIFESTO,incollaborationwithFrederickEngels,Marxcontinuedtodevelop,expand,andrefinehisanalysisuntil,some30yearslater,hebroughtittofullflowerinhisepochalbook,DASKAPITAL.Marx'svisionofcapitalistsocietybecametherallyingpointofthedispossessedpeoplebothinsidethecapitalistcountriesthemselvesandbythepeopleinotherpartsoftheworldwhowereshackledincolonialbondagebythecapitalistcountriesastheyreachedouttoencompasstheworldintheirsystem.Marxbrilliantlydescribedthemonstrousconcentrationoftheownershipofthemeansofproductionintothehandsoftherulingbourgeoisclass,withthemajorityofhumanity,theproletariatclass,groundunderfootbythecapitalistsintheirmadrushforprofits,andchainedbyanironlawinslaverytowages.Today,afullcenturyafterthetimeofKarlMarx,wefindaverycurioussituationuponourhands.Heroicstrugglehasbeenwagedagainstcapitalismandthebourgeoisie,andthedispossessedpeopleoftheworldhavemadegreatgainsintheireffortstoregaincontroloftheirlivesanddestiny.andtoliveafullandabundant,independentandfreelife.Anumberofpeople,numericallyamountingtoahugehunkofhumanity,andgeographicallyspanningavastareaoftheglobe,havecompletelyuprootedandrejectedthecapitalistsystem,buildinginstead,newsocial,political,andeconomicsystems,patterned,vaguely,alongthelineslaiddownbyKarlMarxinhissearchinganalysisofhistory,hispresentreality,andtheprobablefutureevolutionofcivilization.ThesocialistcountriesoftheworldarethechildrenofKarlMarx,andtheyhavegrowngiganticandpowerful,conglo-meratedintoSuperpowers,abletorivalandstandoffthewholeofthecapitalistworld.Andyet,wearenotfree.Wearestilloppressed.Indeed,weseeclearlythateveninsidethesocialistcountriesthemselvesthepeopleareoppressedandsub-jectedtototalitarianelitedictatorshipsthatusestateterrorandpolicepowertomaintaintheirrule.Atthesametime,thelevelofoppressioninsidethecapitalistcountrieshasreachedapointofdesperateruthlessnessthathasgivenrisetoasocial,political,andeconomicdepravityunparalleledinthehistoryoftheworld.Thefactisthat,today,thevastmajorityofthepeopleoftheworldarestilloppressed,someinsidethecapitalistcountries,someinsidethesocialistcountries,andothersinsidetheunderdevelopedThirdWorld,orformerlycolonizedareas,nowtransformedintostatesandnations,inAsia,Africa,andLatinAmerica.
In
alloftheseareas,theoppressedpeoplehaveonethingincommon,notonlydoesMarxismnotultimatelyhelpthemeitherinunderstandingordealingwiththeirplight,butMarxism,intheformofsocialiststatesandcommunistparties,hasenteredthecampoftheenemyandjoinedwiththeenemyinthecommontaskofrepressingandblockingrevolutionaryforcesintheworld.Thatisamindblower:thecapitalistsandtheSocialist/Communistshavegottentogether,objectivelyifnotsubjectively,mergedtheirpiecesofthepuzzletogethertoformasuperpowerperspective,andtheyarelookingdown,andaskance,atus.Andwhoarewe?Whoisthis'us',stilloppressedandlongingtobefree?Who

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