Friday, July 30, 2010

Yay Van Jones!

Just in general. Came upon a reference to him in a Salon article talking about the Civil Rights Movement, that said that Van Jones was probably closer to the original people involved than anything Beck put out, then went looking up stuff about him. The charge of 'Communist', while technically right, turns out to be something very different than what was implied. This from Wiki's cite of STORM, , the group that Jones was involved in in the Bay Area:

"He got involved with Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement (STORM), a socialist group whose official Points of Unity "upheld revolutionary democracy, revolutionary feminism, revolutionary internationalism, the central role of the working class, urban Marxism, and Third World Communism."

That's from This, a statement put out by STORM after its dissolution.

I have to say that I agree with most of it. It sounds all right to me. 'Communist' in this sense doesn't mean loving the Soviet Union but being in solidarity with movements around the globe who identify themselves as being part of the general Communist current, who in themselves often have had stormy relationships to both the Soviet Union and China. Being a Communist in India, for example, means something very different than being a member of the CPUSA in the United States.

Van Jones should be applauded, by those who understand these politics and don't just react to labels, as having been associated with something on the right side of history.

But, and this is something that often goes unremarked, while the idea of oppressed minorities as the main subject in the United States might make sense in large cities like New York and San Francisco, it doesn't reflect the greater reality of the United States, including the reality that exists in poorer suburbs outside of these same cities. The fact is that, admittedly in my own calculations, members of the working class who are white number about as many as the entire black population of the United States. Minorities are still that, folks who make up about 35% of the population. Any real revolutionary subject formulated in the United States should take account of the broader picture, which includes whites and well as non-whites, and not let the reality in urban centers blind them to the whole.

No comments: