LUMPENPROLETARIAT—[Wednesday, 24 FEB 2021, 04:33 PST] “I make money,” an American said coldly, when asked. So, what do you do?
There is so much to say, and so little time. And, as Mos Def sang, I ain’t no perfect man. I’m trying to do the best that I can with what it is I have.
And, like Mos Def, I don’t wanna write this down. I just wanna speak from my heart, unfiltered, raw.
Resisting the Rat Race…
This ain’t stream of consciousness, as Ishmael Reed mentioned to Kris Welch on KPFA’s Talkies earlier today. That presupposes leisure. These are stolen moments, away from the rat race. It was an interesting conversation. In his discourse, Reed critiqued certain unnamed leftists, who are fine critiquing national politics, but are afraid addressing issues in their own city. It’s a good point. At Lumpenproletariat, we’re happy to report on local issues, if possible. But we are limited by limited means.
“Rat Race” by Bob Marley and The Wailers.
We also recall hearing Dr. Cornel West last Thursday talk on Pacifica Radio about how people in the ’60s and back in the day were willing to put their bodies, and lives, on the line for social justice, given the deadly nature of American policing. Dr. West was expressing his valid frustrations with the shocking apathy nowadays in the face of creeping proto-fascism in the USA. And he compelled us morally to stand up for what we believe in.
In the aftermath of the sieges on state capitols around the nation on January 6th, we heard black voices on Pacifica Radio, mostly on the East and Gulf coasts calling for all of us “to be bolder”. That call made a lot of sense. So, we try. Clearly, we have been too passive in the past. Now, is a time for mass civil disobedience and encampments to continue the Occupy Wall Street’s struggle against the 1% on behalf of the 99%, to continue the struggle of Malcolm X and Dr. King and others in the struggle for freedom for all people of color; to continue the struggle against the new nuclear danger; to continue the struggle against carbon emissions and climate catastrophe; to continue the struggle for democracy at work and at the ballot box. We can do this; but we need to wake the folk up!
Of couse, pushback happens. But nothing ventured, nothing gained. Even Dr. Cornel West, as a person of color in the upper echelons of the American intelligentsia, is now reporting of experiencing backlash effects for speaking honestly, particularly around Occupied Palestine, and, now, about the narcissistic abuse he is enduring from racist institutions of higher learning.
So many of us listen to NPR or Pacifica Radio or whatever news and information with sourced information and VINS (validated information news stories) because we do care about the realities of the world, and we don’t want to be deceived by ideologues. But the way, in which many uncritical broadcasters frame the issues of the day, gives listeners a way out of seeing their own personal responsibility in taking direct action for justice. Uncritical broadcasters report doom and gloom with no sign of hope, with no indication that listeners have rights, which they can and must exercise. A few broadcasters, such as Tom Hartmann, may actually encourage listeners to, for example, call your representatives. For example, the Democrats in Congress only submitted one single Article of Impeachment against Mr. Trump in order to impeach, disqualify from future office, and prevent authoritarianism in perpetuity.
So, many of us called our representatives, just like we marched and protested and did everything we were taught in civics class. But nothing ever changes. This is our biggest complaint with certain influencers on Pacifica Radio and NPR and the media world.
We know we must pick up where Dr. King, Malcolm X, Fred Hampton, and others left off in the struggle for freedom from narcissistic abuse, racism, and fascism. Do we feign ignorance? This reality is clear to people of color, and good people of conscience.
Each broadcaster must ask themselves. What is the effect I hope to have with this broadcast? Do I hope to sedate or activate? And if we hope to activate audiences, to what end?
From our perspective, the perennial effect of too many broadcasters, including at NPR and Pacifica Radio, is to absolve Democrat voters/supporters of their antidemocratic sins of the Democrat Party and the two-party system, or dictatorship as Ralph Nader calls it. This obfuscation of sin, of course, funnels left-leaning voters and others into the Democrat Party tent, where they take those left-leaning political aspirations, only to have those aspirations arrested and dismantled. And, before you know it, you’ll have black and brown capitalists and imperialists, as Fred Hampton warned us about, if we have a movement for freedom without a revolutionary education.
What does it mean to be a revolutionary in the 21st century? What did Thomas Paine mean by Common Sense?
We shine a light for the lumpen. To us, proletarians, at this stage of our evolution, it means: We live for the people because we love the people.
@LumpenProles, 16:46 PST
“Umi Says” by Mos Def.
My umi says, Shine your light on the world…
We shine a light for the lumpen…
“I Feel For You” by Prince
“I Feel For You” interpreted by Chaka Khan.
“I’m Every Woman by Chaka Khan, 1978.
“I’m Every Woman interpreted by Whitney Houston, 1992.
“Get Involved” by Raphael Saadiq & Q-Tip, 1999.
08:00 PST, KPFA > UpFront […] 08:10 PST, ‘A People’s Guide to the Bay Area. ‘NYC & Orange County, coming soon.’ “community archivists”
09:00 PST, WBAI > The Gary Null Show | We agree with most of Dr. Null’s nutritional and physiological analysis. But his political and economic analysis conflated authoritarianism with left-wing politics.
10:00 PST, WBAI > author of Killshot, about a case involving racketeering(?), ‘that exposed multiple systemic failure‘ […] [TW] 10:32 PST, The struggle for freedom for people of color involves understanding the structures of power, which surround us. In Institutional economics, adherents speak of institutions, whether legal, economic, political, social, emotional, behavioral, psychological, any structure which impact the structure of social formation in the home and local community, environment. […] Excellent interview by Leonard Lopate. This may seem boring, or uninteresting, to young people of color, who are interested in the struggle for freedom for people of color. But we, lumpenproletarians start to see, and liberals might start to see, like the proletarians start to see as they develop their class consciousness, that working class life is always abused by the surrounding structures of power. One important structure is the corporation. This may sound commonplace, as CS Soong noted last week during one of his inspired, and inspiring appeals for listener donations to free speech radio. But it’s true. That is a real blow to capitalism.
10:00 PST, WPFW > […] c. 10:25 PST, ‘afro-futurism’ […] 10:34 PST, ‘afro-futurism’
11:00 PST, KPFA > The Talkies with Kris Welch […] Ishmael Reed said something, perhaps belittling, about modern writers and their “stream of consciousness” writing. It reminded us of these scraggly notes. Of course, there is a salient difference. The beat poets reflected a degree of leisure. We, the lumpenproletariat and the proletariat, have no leisure time. Neoliberalism has eliminated the so-called excess of democracy, which the Powell Memo addressed and redressed. These notes are not borne of an excess of time. They are borne of a lack of time. These notes are borne from stolen moments from oppressive and surveilling capitalist social relations. […] 12:03
12:00 PST, KPFA > Against the Grain with CS Soong | Marshall Rosenberg’s nonviolent communication. Yes! We remember this wisdom. But we forgot these lessons. […] ‘The cause of our feelings is our needs not other people’s behaviors.’ […] This resonated very much with your author, but for personal reasons, which may or may not be relevant to the working classes. (We say working classes, plural, to acknowledge existing divisions, which must be overcome.) Revisiting this material, as older, and hopefully wiser, students, we’re not sure how relevant Marshall Rosenberg’s nonviolent communication methods are for public speaking. We agree wholeheartedly on this philosophy at the interpersonal level. But we disagree with this analysis, if the context of this show is to inform principled action for justice. If so, then Rosenberg’s philosophy would seem judge, or mischaracterize, moral voices of outrage, such as that of Fred Hampton, Sr., Malcolm X (circa “Ballot or the Bullet”) and others. We would all be so much worse off without those demanding voices, making demands. We agree with Rosenberg about the violence, perhaps emotional violence, of making a demand. But supplication, in public speaking does have its place and, more importantly, its limitations, which we must understand. After all, as Frederick Douglas famously said, power concedes nothing without a demand. It would have been nice for host C.S. Soong to have pointed out that distinction. That would have avoided any ambiguity. We maintain: Malcolm X and the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, like Dr. King, were non-violent. But they all faced violence from the state. The question is whether self-defense is validated or not on the left. Historians, who disparage the Panthers as “silly”, as did Dr. Peter Dale Scott in The Road to 9/11, seem short-sighted because we’re hard-pressed to see how else an alarm bell could have been rung, other than through sincere black leadership. And, admittedly, as Elaine Brown and others have publicly admitted, they did put themselves “way out there”. They put themselves out front, which drew attention to the issues and to possible solutions, and helped wake people up, not just black people, but brown people, red people, white people, all people. But, and this is a big but, they also put targets on their backs. It’s hard to imagine how they could have avoided that. But, clearly, whatever Hampton’s successors have done, especially Jesse Jackson’s bastardization of Hampton’s original Rainbow Coalition, has not been an effective continuation of Fred Hampton’s vision, which we contend would have largely picked up where Malcolm X and Dr. King had left off. What American leader(s) have picked up the baton from Fred Hampton, with a comparable critique, that is anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, anti-racist, and anti-fascist? If we have difficulty finding such examples, why is that?
13:00 PST, East Bay Yesterday > human interest show? This show seems to function as entertainment. What is the purpose of this show? Is this show revolutionary, like Against the Grain, Flashpoints, Project Censored, Leonard Lopate at Large, Background Briefing, or Clearing the Fog? Even a cultural show, like Hard Knock Radio seems more revolutionary than this. This show seems like a “liberal” show, i.e., politically centrist, like Democrat voters. Shows like this are not geared toward freedom for people of color. If they are, we’re missing something. What is the desire effect of this show? What is the audience?
1400 KPFA > BET, re-aired his UpFront interview with a co-author of A People’s Guide to the Bay Area. […] 14:12 PST,
1415 PST, WPFW > Sojourner Truth with Margaret Prescod | fred Hampton book author […] 1424 Jeffrey Haas, author interview. […] 14:28, ‘There is a film coming out,’ said Margaret Prescod. So, this interview must have been recorded prior to Judas and the Black Messiah. […] 14:31 PST, […] THIS IS A FUND DRIVE BROADCAST. PLEASE SUPPORT FREE SPEECH RADIO WPFW. […] Margaret Prescod is sounding super real. Important interviews, archival audio, and information and analysis. But no, few, donations.
1511 WBAI > news
15:00 PST, […] 1515 pst, KPFT hd2 TW real talk. “Danny” with “US Veterans” in Houston, Texas […] 15:50 PST, we agreed with all of his analysis, which addresses personal improvement and interpersonal relationships and interpersonal communication. But Danny’s analysis broke down when he tried to scale up his logic to the macro level. Then, he revealed a pro-capitalist orientation, or an underdeveloped analysis of U.S. party politics because he expressed naive hope in Mr. Biden. Danny gave the example of Mr. Biden saying he won’t renew federal contracts with for-profit prisons. But that was an executive order, which can become an unstable yo-yo policy, when a Republican president takes office and simply undoes all of the previous Democrat president’s executive orders. […] 15:56 PST,
“The Kids Are Still In Cages” by Richard Medhurst, 24 FEB 2021.
“Progressives Must Revitalize the Labor Movement – Noam Chomsky” by theAnalysis-news, 24 FEB 2021.
"Trump didn't win the working-class; the Democrats lost it; it's urgent that progressive organizing focus on working class and unions - human civilization depends on it. There should be a union focus at Amazon. Noam Chomsky on the-Analysis-news with Paul Jay."
01:02 Chomsky's drive and conviction and reasons for optimism
07:44 Expanding activist base
14:40 Strategizing on the national level, labor-organizing
24:39 January 6th, elites turn against Trump
Revitalizing the labor movement parallels in U.S. history
35:49 The necessity of class-based educational and cultural institutions.
38:29 Post-war attack on organized labor, fracturing labor solidarity
45:23 Organizing within and outside of institutional labor unions
49:56 Final words to activists
(c. 49:57) Dr. Noam Chomsky: ‘It’s been much harder before; and people haven’t given up; and they’ve achieved things. We actually enjoy their legacy. We can start working from a much higher plane than activists of the past because of their achievements, which weren’t easy. Take, say, Black Lives Matter, which organized the biggest social movement in history. If you go back to the history, it’s violent and brutal. Black organizers were murdered by FBI-organized Gestapo style murders, e.g., Fred Hampton.’ ‘People riding freedom buses to help black farmers vote, in the face of lynchings. We’re not facing that. So, if we get to work, we can make a better world.’
“Workers and Communities vs Amazon” by theAnalysis-news, 24 FEB 2021.
“As leaks expose UK op to ‘weaken’ Russia, suppression of Grayzone reporting backfires” by The Grayzone” > PushBack with Aaron Maté, 24 FEB 2021.
theAnalysis-news, 24 FEB 2021.
Thank you for reading Lumpenproletariat.org. Also find us at Lumpen.org, for easy access! Solidarity.
[24 FEB 2021]
[Last modified on 1 MAR 2021 at 11:52 PST]
[TW = Transcript Worthy, transcription pending volunteer labor. These are segments of radio, which would make excellent short-length, easily-searchable videos to share and, hopefully, make viral news and information from a working class left perspective.]