Bookmark and Share
Click to go to the home page.
Click to send us your comments and suggestions.
Click to learn about the publishers of and our mission.
Click to search for any word or phrase on our Website.
Click to sign up for an e-Mail notification only whenever we publish something new.
Click to remove your e-Mail address from our list immediately and permanently.
Click to read our pledge to never give or sell your e-Mail address to anyone.
Click to read our policy on re-prints and permissions.
Click for the demographics of the audience and our rates.
Click to view the patrons list and learn now to become a patron and support
Click to see job postings or post a job.
Click for links to Websites we recommend.
Click to see every cartoon we have published.
Click to read any past issue.
Click to read any think piece we have published.
Click to read any guest commentary we have published.
Click to view any of the art forms we have published.
The current issue is always free to everyone - It’s a Battlefield, Please! - Represent Our Resistance

“The executive of the modern State is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie.”

- Marx, The Communist Manifesto

“Money is their god even though they may never worship it in a manner that is visible to others.”

- bell hooks, Where We Stand: Class Matters

He uses the word “junk.” “Is all this junk going?

Boxes are stacked along the living room wall close to the door. He, a soon-to-be-ex-landlord, is looking at these boxes. I know my mother’s family photos are there along with her Bible. The memorial book is there too. I know I have my books there, some, a collection of literature I have had for years, and others are books that can’t be purchased but must be ordered because the general reader is less concerned about the thoughts or works of some Black, Red, Brown, and Yellow thinkers. Other boxes hold dishes, glasses, and other household items, enough for one and her maybe two or three guests. There are towels, sheets, blankets here and a few clothes, a couple pairs of shoes.


He doesn’t see a leather armchair and matching sofa or a bronze bed frame. There isn’t a dresser or fancy end tables. There are no Persian rugs, vases, or framed pictures. There are no appliances, no European designer dinning room table and chairs.

His understanding tells him to see junk. He understands, as a consequence of what he doesn’t see, that the boxes don’t contain anything of value. He is one of the many sons of the capitalist ideology; he sees what is absent. What is absent has value. He is a white man and I am a Black woman and the “absent” can’t be summed up in one sentence. I watch him confront another reality, grapple with the contradictions from what he believes he knows and what he sees before him. Where are the absent things that would speak to her “education?” All so baffling for Mr. Landlord!

Mr. Landlord doesn’t care to know that I have no desire to accumulate the junk Mr. and Mrs. Jones finds important to amaze that they are will to “max” out credit cards. He wants only a confirmation that my “junk” will be removed from his property.

I don’t have any value! Of course, would I come to expect thinking that is truly different? Capitalism is confronting me!

But if I am not angry - not at him but at the system, the capitalist system that allows me to be perceived as having no value - if I am not angry, then I am dead. It’s as simple as that. I am dead. Anger saves me from the full brunt of the assault. Anger saves me from turning the other cheek.

But our Mr. Landlord has gone about this business within the ruling class. A little more than ten years ago, so has the whole of the ruling class in the U.S.

Where is the opposition to capitalism - the “absent,” unstated horror confronting the masses of people on this planet?

An opposition against capitalism is opposed to capitalism and as such, it empowers itself in the knowledge of other struggles against capitalism. And yes, the ruling class has its propaganda campaign to discourage any such linkage. This kind of opposition is always “the enemy.” But we on the Left in the U.S. should know the implications of accepting the ruling class’ definition of “the enemy” without questioning the source and the conditions that motivate insurgency in other lands.

The Left in the U.S. knows and acknowledges that Obama, Mr. Jones big time, is looking to be Mr. Landlord of the Kingdom! The Left, the opposition to capitalism, knows that Obama is very much a member of the managing committee. We know that he thinks he’s smart enough to be the top dog! We know that he sees himself above his immediate class - Black middle and upper class - and beyond them. We know that he certainly sees himself above the Red, Black, Brown, and Yellow populations. We know that he sees himself with the white managers of corporate politics.

Yes, we know he has a vision - a vision of himself in a staring role, the staring role in the production of Empire.

And so liberation struggles don’t have value within this production. Liberation struggles are struggles of the Left against oppressive imperialism. This we know. Obama, on the other hand, has energized and organized the young people - to do what? Vote for him? Vote for the interests he represents? Or is his interest in them to later utilize them for other tasks of the Empire - turning them against their elders as he has turned against his elders? What an example of brute imperialism! Win power at all cost!

In the meantime, how exasperating it is to catch a glimpse of the “liberal” insistence to organize and to conduct conferences in the middle of a war! What army stops to organize and to conduct full-blown conferences while on the battlefield?

Everywhere and in everyway, the poor, the working class, the uninsured, children and women are struggling to provide the basic needs to sustain life. Many are dying. But this struggle and dying is apparently “absent” for many who, like Mr. Landlord, only see “junk.” Human life beneath the level of the ruling class and their core of collaborators is “junk,” expendable.

There’s a battlefield wherever a battle is being waged on behalf of injustice and human rights. Time would be better spent organizing the willing to resist capitalism against the willing to continue the business of destruction - only different and better!

But who am I talking to? Such organizing, of course, is not so glamorous. Hands get dirty. People won’t like you. They will stop and hiss about the junk you don’t have or the junk you do have. Where’s the opportunity to display the latest in fashion appropriate for the “liberal,” “left,” or “progressive”? Who would display the “valued” list of names consisting of “organizers,” “speakers,” and “guests”? Who will apply for the “valued” per diems to fly here and there in a whirlwind of busyness? And what to place on career resumes? Who will “mingle” and eat the bite-size cubes of cheese and crackers? Who will talk about a war or talk about the “little people” suffering this or that atrocity at the hands of corporate capitalists - the people who are “absent” - not in attendance - at these plush, corporate hotel conferences?

We, the Left, are working while others are conferencing on the field!

These are people possessed by the “oppressor within.” The Black bourgeoisie elite, to use bell hooks’ words, have created a culture “where belief in an oppressive capitalism functions like a religion.”

It’s amazing how this mass of the bourgeoisie talks about the “absent” people while they accept the “absent” distinctions in relating to their fellow human beings. This “absence” is the workings of capitalism in the minds and hearts of Black, white, Red, Brown, and Yellow liberals alike. The “absent” is not discussed in polite company or discussed on “progressive” radio or public television, but it is there in the personal, familial relations they have with others. It dictates their relationships with others and situates their politics toward others.

These conferences are held in a space of political limbo among and for people too fearful to truly organize to dismantle capitalism. How can they dismantle something they have come to depend upon and worship - even if begrudgingly?

You can’t be against injustice and human rights for all some of the time. The secret is that these “distinctions” offered by the ruling class are but a bad joke: in the war, corporate capitalism is displaying its fascist fangs! Obama, doing his best to win the love of corporate capitalist rulers, displays his fangs and hisses like mad at anything that appears to represent liberation, life! He’s dumped Pastor Wright and now the whole church on the Southside of Chicago! But here’s a man who greatly admires Reagan, the most destructive U.S. president since Andrew Johnson in terms of repressing the gains of the average Black American. Who else does he admire? Oh, yes. There’s corporate oil man, friend of repressive regimes, Bush senior, son of Prescott Bush, friend of fascist regimes. And the liberals and Black elite are conferencing themselves silly!

To be committed to dismantling capitalism requires personal and social sacrifice not identification with the Empire. “We need a concerned left politics,” writes bell hooks, “that continues to launch powerful critiques of ruling class groups even as it also addresses and attends to the issue of strategic assault and demoralization of the poor, a politics that can effectively intervene on class warfare.” The Black Left knows there’s an ongoing war against capitalism. We know that in our day-to-day lives, we are under siege, for the pea-poded beings feel their positions within the capitalist hierarchy might slip away as more eyes are opening. They are hissing at us. They will hiss - that’s what snakes do! We know the human condition under the control of capitalism. We aren’t blind to the “absent,” and we’d be crazy to think that war, occupation, hunger, torture, embargoes, climate change, and the incessant drive for more oil - the business of corporate capitalism - will come to a grinding halt if Obama is in the top seat among his corporate capitalist friends. This is a concrete distinction between the Black Left and those who claim to know by virtue of their accumulated things and positions among the rulers: we know corporate capitalists and their politicians along with the media won’t prohibit the advancement of Empire building.

Malcolm amassed little by way of material junk, but he read. Che traveled light, but he always had a book or two with him on the battlefield. He taught his comrades to read on the field and, in the process, passed to them the knowledge of resistance. Assata Shakur relied on what she read to survive her ordeal in Amerikkka.

We have moved, but we are always on the move. Our boxes shouldn’t contain the “junk” of materialism but should contain the tools to educate ourselves, our children, our friends, and neighbors, particularly those without access to computers or online news sources. Our meetings can be held online or in our living rooms or at churches or in community centers and should be about the business of organizing four or five people to discuss ways to resists the destruction around us. Editorial Board member, Lenore Jean Daniels, PhD, has been a writer, for over thirty years of commentary, resistance criticism and cultural theory, and short stories with a Marxist sensibility to the impact of cultural narrative violence and its antithesis, resistance narratives. With entrenched dedication to justice and equality, she has served as a coordinator of student and community resistance projects that encourage the Black Feminist idea of an equalitarian community and facilitator of student-teacher communities behind the walls of academia for the last twenty years. Dr. Daniels holds a PhD in Modern American Literatures, with a specialty in Cultural Theory (race, gender, class narratives) from Loyola University, Chicago. Click here to contact Dr. Daniels.

Your comments are always welcome.

e-Mail re-print notice

If you send us an e-Mail message we may publish all or part of it, unless you tell us it is not for publication. You may also request that we withhold your name.

Thank you very much for your readership.


June 5, 2008
Issue 280

is published every Thursday

Executive Editor:
Bill Fletcher, Jr.

Managing Editor:
Nancy Littlefield

Peter Gamble
Est. April 5, 2002
Printer Friendly Version in resizeable plain text format or pdf format.
Cedille Records Sale