Nelson PeeryA DIALOGUE WITH NELSON PEERY ON HIS MEMOIR, "BLACK FIRE: THE MAKING OF AN AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY"

Compiled from questions from Prof. Thomas A. Hirschl's students and answers by Nelson Peery.


Presented by Speakers for a New America
Call 800-691-6888 or
info@speakersforanewamerica.com


How do you feel about racism today? Have your views changed? If so what is different

I'll try to answer your complex question. Since there is no such thing as race, racism cannot be in the category of social science. It has to be placed in the category of politics. The German Nazis were racist against other white people. The Japanese fascists were racist against other Asian people. With the near elimination of manual agricultural labor, plus globalization replacing national imperialism, the political use of anti-black racism has diminished in this country. However, it is only changing its form in order to preserve its content. It is plain for all to see that the new victim of "racism" is this new class of permanently poor created as robots took the jobs and shoved them to the margins of society. The inner city blacks, the white "trailer trash," the immigrant workers fleeing starvation in their homelands - these are the new victims of a racism without color.

 

After reading Black Fire, we were struck by the intense violence and hatred that occurred in this country. For example, your experiences in the military at a bar in Ranchita were portrayed as being very disturbing. We could never imagine something like that occurring today. We were wondering if you felt strongly about similar situations that are happening today?

Sadly, the violence never stops. Today, especially in the inner cities the violence is terrifying. Just because it is happening primarily between gangs doesn't make it any more acceptable. We are living a moment of relative social peace inside America. However, we can already see the outlines of the coming struggle. This time it is going to be between the increasingly polarized and hostile camps of the have's and have-nots.

So long as humanity is turned against one another in the struggle to survive we cannot leave the animal kingdom. So long as my group can prosper only by oppressing your group, such violence is inevitable, indeed, the world is drenched with blood.

The heart of the revolutionary's program is to replace the competitive violence with co-operation and thereby do away with the basic cause for violence between human beings.

 

In your autobiographical novel, Black Fire, you state how the infantrymen, including yourself, did not trust the black newspapers that were rising during the war. It is stated that you "hated" the papers because they wanted to send black soldiers into combat and you preferred not to fight. At the time, did you realize the cause that they were fighting for? Do you agree with their principle that black soldiers should die for their country in order to gain equality back home in the states. Were the black newspapers morally right in wishing black soldiers to fight and die in combat in support of their country?

The first person to die fighting the British was black. Ten percent of Washington's Army was black - they were driven back into slavery at the end of the war. Blacks fought in every war and nowhere did they receive their civil rights as a result. I and most of us felt that at least we should be guaranteed the right to vote before we got killed defending discrimination and segregation.The black press was the spokes person for the emerging black middle class and they were prepared to sacrifice us again in hopes of economically moving forward. It might clarify things to say the between June 1945 and September 1946, 54 black veterans were lynched struggling for equal rights. Thousands were jailed and beaten.

 

I was wondering if you still see the same types of oppression on blacks today as you did when you were a adult. If so, can you specify the oppressio that is occuring towards blacks today? If you don't the same types of oppression on blacks today (if so pleas specify type). What do you think is an important key in creating equality between blacks and other races?

There is still plenty of the old fashioned racial discrimination. However, it is clear that the oppression of this new class of permanently unemployed and under employed is both a new form of oppression as well as a mask for the old. There can never be social equality between the groups until there is economic equality. Achieving this economic equality will require equal ownership and control of the processes that create the means of subsistence. It will require public ownership of the vital means of production.

 

My question deals with discrimination. Our society discriminates on the color of our skin, on the wealth of your, on your sexual orientation, on the friends you keep. Discrimination is everywhere and as long as views of narrow minded people aren't changed, nothing will change. Do you forsee this changing?are some positive role models for the gay/lesbian society, but as a whole there still is

Yes, it will be a long battle. Let's start at the beginning. Where do ideas come from? They come from people interacting with the world around them. It's not that each individual comes up with ideas, but society comes up with or accepts ideas that to one degree or another reflect the real world. So, as conditions change, advanced thinkers take the scattered thoughts of a large number of people into a comprehensive statement and present it to society. The people come to realize that their old ideas are no longer producing the desired results and become open to new ideas. So the introduction of new ideas which arise from the new environment are indispensable to changing the thinking of the people.

Just to put this in as few words as possible, white people were actually paid to think they were better than people of color. That payment was in privilege, a slightly better wage, a monopoly on the better jobs. In return the people sent their sons to fight and die for the ruling class and in general stabilized the society in the interest of capital. Now along comes the robot which makes labor black and white more and more superfluous. Why bribe what you can't exploit? So the we see the white sinking to the level of the black. Many new things are happening and no matter how much they play the race card, they are sinking. It is time to new ideas. Ideas of unity and cooperation instead of competition and dog eat dog. This battle to change ideas in changing circumstances is the revolution is all about. Yes the battle is joined and yes we shal win.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Black Fire and found it both educational and gripping. In his work Always Running, Luis Rodriguez quotes you as saying, "When the hanging's done and the embers at the burning stake are grayed and cold, the conquered bodies of martyrs become the unconquerable ideas." What do you feel were the "unconquerable ideas" you have encountered and embraced thus far in your life?

I grew up during a period when great social struggles and wars racked the world. Well over 5000 African Americans died in the most horrible way in the struggle for justice. Men and women in the struggle for trade unions and the rights of the workers were lynched, tarred and feathered and died on the chain gangs. The brutal conquest of Spanish democracy, the subjugation of Ethiopia, the slaughter in China finally evolved into World War II. Sixty million perished in that war. The immediate things they died for were not, historically, big things. They died defending a family, died for little rights, such as the right to organize. They died demanding to be served a cup of coffee, or the right to vote in an election. The point is that the sum total of these struggles and deaths are expressed as unconquerable ideas. These ideas are beautifully expressed in our Declaration of Independence. That is, the rights human beings have simply because they are human. The right to a peaceful, cultured, orderly, dignified life. This right is the indispensable foundation upon which we can again unite the human race. All the ideals I have regarding justice and democracy flow from this foundation.

 

The title Black Fire shows your passion and desire for change. It clearly shows your significance among the men of the Ninety Third Infantry Division and your contributions to the people of the Philippines. What would you say your role in the changes of American society were that constituted the rest of the title, The Making of an American Revolutionary? I speak for my group when I say we greatly enjoyed reading your book and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

Thank you for you're kind words. The totality of my experiences - social and intellectual - led me to the understanding that declarations of political democracy didn't mean much unless tied to and stabilized by economic democracy. This conclusion flowed from answering the question of why the almost unspeakable oppression of the African Americans. I had to reject the idea that it was the nature of the white people. That seemed to me to be the flip side of all the racist ideas about blacks. The only other answer was that the economic and social system compelled people to act the way they do. If they were to change, their social and economic environment would have to change. That, of course, is the platform of all revolutionaries.

It was from this point of view that I went into the freedom struggles that erupted right after the war. I was not part of the non violent movement. Some fifty four black veterans were lynched the first year after victory in the war for democracy.

Being a revolutionary means working out the tactics to achieve our goals. That tactic essentially was to struggle to place the emphasis on class rather than race. The majority of the African Americans are workers. This is the one point of intersection where the demands of the blacks meet the demands of the poorer sector of the white workers. Such unity could muster the force to change America. This is especially true now that new means of production (robotics) is rapidly driving the standards of the white workers to that of the black. That essentially has been the core of "the making of an American revolutionary."

 

You go into a lot about hoboes and hoboing. What was that like? It's quite interesting hearing about riding trains and encountering hoboes of different personalities. Another question is one that I would like to ask. It relates to how you talked about in school boys took shop classes and girls took economics and also about graduating enlisted students ahead of time. I'm from Hawaii and when my younger cousin got pregnant in high school, the school in a way forced her to take pregnancy classes and limit herself to what others were being taught. In a way, I feel that it's good to teach these young future parents about parenting and whatnot, but I also feel it limits what they can learn (such as more science, math, or other electives) and prevent them for gaining a well-rounded education that will help with colleges. Also, they wanted her to perhaps think about taking a year off and then get back to school later. What do you have to say about this?

During the depression there were about six million people riding the freights. So what I was doing was not so unusual. On the one hand hobo-ing was terrifying - not knowing where your next meal was coming from, fear of the police and railroad detectives, fear of the other hobos until you got to know them. On the other hand there is nothing more exciting and fulfilling than travelling the open road. The feeling of being free from all social constraints, the sense of you and you alone determining where and when you will go almost makes up for the negative parts.

Part of the racism of the time was to orient the brighter white students toward college entrance and to route all the black students toward class that would prepare them to enter the work force. The boys took shop classes and the girls took "home economics" to prepare them to be maids or good wives.

Many of the students had joined the National Guard in order to make a few bucks. When their divisions were activated and they were called to duty, it would have been a bad thing to deny them graduation. We were at war, and this was a form of supporting the troops.

When I was in High School, if a girl got pregnant she was immediately expelled and left on her own. We have come a long way toward dealing with the real world. I too, believe that all students must be prepared for the rapidly changing world we live in.

 

I really am enjoying the book. I'm just barely done with part 2, but already I feel you have led an interesting life in that short amount of time. Was there any place that you actually felt happy for a length of time? Did you ever look at some sort of socialist political viewpoint like that which is present in Canada and parts of Europe (like free health care, but still having a free economy)? As a younger kid, if you knew fighting was wrong and that racial comments were wrong, why did you continue to do them with your friends? Was it just peer pressure, or just to not lie over in submission? Were your parents ever angry that you up and left to go ride the rails? Now to jump forward a few years, I don't know if you address this later in the book, as I am not there yet, was it doubly hard adopting a communist thought and being black at the same time? I mean since the anti communist sentiment ran high in the `50's with Senator Joe McCarthy and since racial integration was really becoming a bigger topic, were you concerned more with your safety?

Thanks for your letter, and of course I'm happy to answer your questions. Happiness is a very elusive thing. I would be happy for a short time and then very restless and discontent. I think my longest period of happiness was going through the worst turmoil. My generation had it rough -- growing up during the depression and then into the war. We were referred to as a lost generation because it seemed that we had no future. Looking back, it seems than happiness and unhappiness were always tangled together and seemed to re enforce one another.

I tried to look into the social- democratic path. It seems today that even the Scandinavian countries are abandoning that path. It's probably too complex to go into here but my conclusions were that social democracy came to those countries where the feudal obligation of the nobility sort of transformed itself into the obligation of the government. But this only came about if somebody else (Asia and Africa especially picked up the bill.) I have not principled objection to a mixed economy, but I doubt that these conglomerates will ever share the pie with the American people.

I thought and think that racial slurs are an expression of impotence. As kids we used them because we were totally impotent - we had little or nothing to fight back with.

I don't know how my poor mother put up with me. I tried to make it up to her in later life. Many youth in my generation took to the rails so I was not unique in that respect. I had six brothers who also needed care, but I know I caused my mother a good deal of heartache.

In America, anti communism has always been anti black. To Americans, communism meant the social equality of the African Americans. The leading anti communists were also the leading race baiter -- J Edgar Hoover, Rankin, Bilbo and the like. As I was growing up, mob violence, police killings and general oppression of the African Americans was wide spread and practically accepted in this country. Few black communist were murdered, hundreds of black men and women were murdered. So being a communist didn't really increase your chance of being killed or jailed.

The idea of integration didn't take hold until the 1950's. Until then we simply accepted that we were fighting for equality and that implied a continuing separation of the peoples. We know now that that was impossible. However the goal of the communist movement is the total integration of all humanity.Thanks for your questions. I look forward to hearing from you again.

 

How do you think that the US government would have reacted if there were a militant black uprising in the South when you were stationed there before abroad during WWII? Also, how did you feel towards Muhammad Ali's public arrest and sentencing of 5 years jail time for refusing to fight in a war that he didn't believe in, claiming that there was more injustice done towards him by the US government than by the Vietnamese?

There is no doubt in my mind that should there have been an uprising, it would have been crushed with all possible violence. That was already done when the black troops rebelled in 1918 against the discrimination and lynch law of Texas.

The first black to refuse service was General Baker (name, not a rank) of Detroit Mich. I agreed with Ali. His stand was principled. I want to make a distinction between entering service to fight a reactionary aggressor such as Nazi Germany or imperialist Japan, and to fight against the national aspirations of a people such as the Vietnamese. I volunteered to fight Hitler. I would have refused to fight in Vietnam.

 

Based on historical revolutions, it is clear that change is an incredibly slow and gradual process. For example, women have struggled, and continue fight in order to become equal to men. How long do you feel that this new revolution will take? Do you think it is possible that we will see a change in our lifetime? Also, if America does eventually become a society without capitalism and a divided class system, do you think it will last, based on the greedy and materialistic nature of people?

As pointed out in the book, "The Future Is Up To Us," revolutions are not a single act. First must come an economic revolution that makes the existing system untenable. As you know we are deeply into that process. Secondly, as new means of production ( the economic revolution) come into use, all the social relations based on the old means of production are destroyed resulting in the ongoing destruction of society. You see this every day in the abandoned factories, the marvelous new methods of wage-less production and the resulting terrible poverty, the polarization of wealth and poverty.

Thirdly, as this destruction of society as we knew it becomes unbearable, a political revolution takes place wherein the ruling, owning class is overthrown and society is reorganized in such a way as to be compatible with the new productive forces. This is an objective process and no one can stop it.

Where are we in this process? It seems to me that we are entered the economic revolution and the era of social destruction. We haven't even begun the political revolution. But history appears to move only slowly and quantitatively, but there is always a sudden leap to complete the process. As our philosopher, Herr Hegel complained, "There goes twenty years that does not make a day." Marx replied, "Then comes the day that makes twenty years".

Industrialization put an end to slavery and serfdom throughout the world. As the new and more efficient means of production developed, social and political revolutions followed. There was no going back. The robot is the guarantee that once private property is overthrown, there will be no going back to the industrial era.

As regards "the greedy and materialistic nature of people" These things have been taught under conditions of scarcity. A world of abundance will do away with them.

 

What regrets do you have with your life? How do you feel about Heidi and what happened to her?

I imagine there are regrets in most lives. However these regrets must be evaluated in relation to alternatives and in relation to goals. First regarding Heidi. Her getting pregnant and losing the child has always been a source of regret. I try to see it in the context of a world stuck in an economic depression and teetering on the verge of the greatest, most destructive war the world has ever known. We were a generation desperately trying to find itself in love, in the quest for a new way of life, for a meaning to our lives. Hobo-ing around the country was an expression of this as was joining the army. All of this was in the context of the certainty of war. The overwhelming aspect of our generation was the need to stop the Nazi and prepare the world to take the next steps toward democracy. All mistakes and regrets aside, we did accomplish that.I hope this answers your question.

 

We thoroughly enjoyed reading your novel. We have two questions for you:1) Do you feel that racial discrimination is still a problem in today's society? If so, do you feel that we will eventually be able to overcome these issues?2) After reading the novel, it seems as though you believe people should not be judged solely on their race, but rather their actions. After out that divisions exist within racial groups, do you feel that racial stereotypes still inhibit people? Do you feel as though unjust keep people from achieving things that they otherwise could achieve?

Yes it is still a problem. As I have indicated in other notes it is assuming a certain class character today. Consequently it goes beyond simply black. For example the current wave of criminalizing the homeless sweeps in people from all colors and nationalities. We will overcome the issue when we overcome the system that birthed them. Stereotypes cripple the oppressed early on, bringing in doubts of their worth and abilities. Hopefully, your generation will put an end to this crime.

 

You relate many anecdotes of your father in your book. Particularly how your father stood up to white men and never tolerated their treatment of him and his family, something you seem proud of early on in your book. When you returned from the war, you seemed to feel greatly distanced from your father. Specifically, when you said that you thought this was the first time he had approved of you. Your father was also the only family member not listed specifically in his dedication? Was there some underlying problem that wasn't evident in the initial stages of the book or did you come to feel that way looking back on your relationship after returning from the war?

I'm glad I'm not in a class with you. You sure know how to pose a question. I will not be able to do justice to them all, but let's at least skim the surface. Father-son relationship is a weird thing. The Greek and Roman plays, the British stories and all the rest hardly does it justice. Fathers want their sons to stand on the fathers shoulders and move on along the trajectory the parent began. The son wants more than anything else to be free, to find his own way, to become a man independent of the father. It's in the genes and sometimes produces terrible conflict. When we were small, he was a good, if overly stern father. As we grew up and began to assert our individuality, the conflict began. There were many factors to this. For example, Dad was a suburb opportunist. He hobnobbed with the Left when it seemed they would play and important role. He became a bitter anti communist when that seemed to be the winning hand. My older brother and I were left leaning before the war and defended the revolutionary movement from the standpoint of morality. This political difference became a question of who was head of the family. Also, by 1940 - 41, it was clear Mom and Dad were on the road to divorce. All this played a role in shaping our relationship. At the end of he war I saw thing much more clearly, but by that time the break was irreparable.

 

We were very intrigued by your involvement in the Communist party. After the spread of Communism in the US ended, other measures were taken to combat racial inequality. Do you feel Communistic methods would have beenmore effective in the Civil Rights movement? Why do you think Communism failed in the US? Also, you were very supportive of Russia and its ideals during the war. How did you feel about the policies and tactics of Lenin and Stalin? How did you feel when Communism fell in Russia, and what did you think were its implications for the effectiveness of Communism as a whole?

The Communist method of dealing with civil rights was to concentrate on the identity of interest between the white and black worker. Sadly, for the most part, the white workers social privilege and higher standards of living were based on the double exploitation of the black. So he didn't really have much interest in doing so. Therefore, the civil rights movement moved onto the plane of morality. Of course here were some remarkable struggles north and south were white workers fought heroically beside the blacks understanding that there was more to gain by their unity as a class than by petty privilege that comes with race. In the main, the civil rights movement became the unity of morally motivated middle class whites (especially the cultural intelligentsia) and struggling black workers. Of course there were outstanding black intellectuals in that leadership such as Paul Robeson and Dr. W.E.B. DuBois. The point is that the Communists slogan of "workers unite" was finally replaced by "black and white unite and fight." This avoided the class issue. Non the less, it must be conceded that the Communists were the spark plug for just about every civil rights movement.

Communism (I don't mean the Communist Party) but Communism as an economic relationship is far from dead. As wealth and poverty continues to polarize, as technology permanently idles more and more workers and the state takes more and more repressive measure to protect that wealth, the question of economic communism will again be on the agenda. Thus far the communist movement in the US has not been successful because there has been no material base for communism. As I have indicated, that material base is emerging as workless and wageless production and the inability to distribute the goods of the world with money. It will have to be distributed according to need, and that is communism.

With such emotional defense, lies and slanderous attacks, with the well being of the ruling class tied to the question of Lenin and Stalin it is very difficult to put forth a meaningful answer. However, if we are going to seriously answer this question we have to first answer several others. First what were they trying to do? Secondly, what were the conditions they were trying to do this in?

Thirdly, what were their choices? I am not able to seriously answer those questions here. Taking all this into consideration, I generally agreed with them.

The Communist Party of the Soviet Union was not a monolithic party. By 1948 the grouping led by Stalin was defeated and then completely isolated by the election of Kruschov in the middle 1950's. In a one party state, there is no where for opportunists and thieves to go but to that party. This happened in the USSR. The communist party became very corrupt and by mid 1985 was no longer supported by the majority of the Soviet people. They wanted to maintain the Soviet system, but not the communist Party. Of course, I was saddened by the destruction of the USSR although I predicted its collapse some years before. Soviet socialism was attacked 20 times between 1917 and 1940. More was destroyed during the war with the Nazi than had been created since the revolution. The fact that they didn't collapse during or right after the war is testimony to the vitality of socialism.

The implication for communism were that it is not possible to maintain a communist society until there are means of production that makes capitalism impossible. This obviously applied to the bourgeois revolutions against feudalism, but I have never read anyone making such an analogy with the socialist revolution.

I hesitate to recommend books, but since your questions are so comprehensive I'll break my rule. Sir Ian Grey is a Tory with impeccable credentials. He is also part of that British intelligentsia that values truth. He is well known in Europe as a biographer of Russian personalities. One of his books is entitled Stalin, Man of History. It ideologically anti communist, but I think it to be an objective assessment of the man and his times. You might look it up.

 

There were three great loves mentioned in your book. We never really did find out what happened to Sarah and the people of Many. Did you ever look into that or return there?

Love affairs in war time are very intense, if shallow. I found out that she finally was able to get to New Orleans and into college. Many became one of the hot spots during the Civil Rights movement in the 50's. Yes, I do think of her often.

 

Many questions asked have focused on what needs to be done and how there is still so far to go in equality. What do you think have been the greatest advances in the fight for equality both racially and economically, primarily in the US, since your youth and the war?

The black elite has been fully integrated into the ruling class. This opens the door to the class struggle that will, under the evolving circumstances, end up with the destruction of capital along with the racism that is its ideological base. Best to the both of you.

 

When I was reading through Black Fire a question poped into my mind about war with Iraq. I was wondering what your veiw is on it. Sometimes I feel like we should go to war with them, and sometimes I feel that it would only have negative outcomes. I was just curious to see what your take was on it.

The Iraqi war! I wish I had time to really expound on it. I'll just say a few things. Firstwars are not fought for moral reasons. Wars are an extension of politics by violent means. So we first must understand the politics of a country and then we can understand its drive for war.

At the end of WWII, 60 million people in Asia and Europe were dead and untold millions more disabled by the war. The industrial capacity of Europe and Asia was destroyed. The Soviet Union lost some 27 million with immense damage to their industrial capacity. The United States emerged from the war unscathed and having expanded its industrial might four times during the course of the war. The financial-industrial leaders of the country realized we could now conquer the world. They declared that this was to be an American century and set out to make it happen. So, first they had destroy the Soviet Union. They correctly realized that if they could force the USSR to spend most of its resources on defense they could bankrupt the country. To do this they had to rebuild Europe and Japan. The second aim was to prevent the rise of China. To skip over decades and important events, the USSR went out of business. Despite the billions of dollars given to the corrupt Chinese government, the Chinese conquered China. The US fought a war in Korea and in Vietnam in hopes of fighting China before it became powerful. The Chinese lost about 7,000 men in Vietnam and over a million in Korea. So the US has been unable to stop the rise of China.

After the destruction of the Soviet Union, the Europeans found that they could no longer consume all they produced and more and more found themselves competing with the US over markets. They formed the European Union to strengthen their hand in competition with the US.

Suddenly (not so suddenly) the US finds that Europe is no longer a stable market for American goods and is becoming a competitor. China is developing at the rate of 7% per year as against American growth of about 0.3%. None the less, the US about 6% of the worlds population consumes about 50% of its resources. Clearly, this is a dangerous imbalance. So now the ruling class has to figure out what to do about these potential powerhouses that can overtake and surpass the US and put an end to the American Century. The answer is clear. Neither China nor Europe have sufficient oil resources. It is more than gasoline - it is also plastic which is indispensable to the modern production. So whoever controls the worlds oil controls the world. Democracy? Civil Rights? Saudi Arabia is one of the most brutal dictatorships on the face of the earth - as is Egypt. but they are our friends so we turn a blind eye in their direction. Europe is talking about peace and democracy. That is hardly their history or what they want. They want to stop the US from gaining control not only of Iraqi oil but more importantly the Caspian basin which might have even more.

The real problem is that this cowboy from Texas has not only destroyed all the alliances that allowed America to prosper, but he is polarizing the world over vital interests. This is the stuff that war is made of. We are entering a very dangerous period and war in Iraq will only intensify this polarization which can only eventually end in a war with the US on one side and Europe and China on the other. I'm scared!

I'm currently reading your book Black Fire and am enjoying it very much. I find it amazing how well you discribe everything with such vivid detail. I feel as though I'm inside the story. I was wondering if you kept some type of journal during this time in your life in order to remember everything? Also I was wondering what was your motivation for writng the novel was?

Thanks for your note. I did not keep a journal. During the war it was prohibited for fear information useful to the enemy might fall into their hands. It's really amazing how much you remember by writing about it. Then too, I spent some time in the library going over old papers to refresh my memory.

I think people write or paint or carve wood because something bugs them until they do it. Then they find reasons. I always liked to write but did little of it. I started writing the book to explain how a person becomes a revolutionary through his or her life experiences.

Then as I got caught up with the book, I realized that no one hadwritten anything about the black soldier in WWII, so the book became that. Let me hear from you again - and next time sign your name so Ican write to a person -- it will be more fun.

 

Do you believe communism is actually practical in the 'real' world? If so, China has practiced communism and now they're slowly switching to capitalism, why is it so?"

I shall try to answer your quite complicated question. First I'd like to state what communism is. It is an economic system wherein distribution of products is according to need rather than ability to pay. Any number of poitical systems are possible in relation to that economy. Having said that, I'd like to ask you, is this country capable of producing more than enought for everyone? Has not our economy changed so that fewer and fewer people are producing more and more abundance? Where will it end? Robots are becoming more and more effecient and replacing more and more workers. That's why you are having jobless recovery from the recession. We are seeing all the povery concentrated on one end of the social pole and more and more wealth going to the other. The living standards of the American working class has steadily decline for the past 25 years as a result of robotics. It seems to me we are moving into an era where either we change the economic system ore half the world will be in a state of permanent starvation.

China has had a goal of communism. In the past fifty years they have come from a starving backward peasant economy to become a real economic powerhouse. They do not produce enough to introduce communism. There are two possibilities in answering why the apparent changes in China. One is that they have opened the economic doors to the capitalist world so the more advanced countries will build factories and infrastructure that the Chinese government simply cannot afford to build. I say this because although the economy has loosened up toward the capitalist sytstem, the Communist Party of China has maintained a firm grip on the political superstructure. The other answer would be that economic history teaches us that where there is scarcity there will be privilage. It may very well be true that pro capitalist elements have finally gained control of the government and are actually introducing the capitalist system. As yet, about 80% of the enterprises in China are government owned. In a nation as huge as China and with some one billion three hundred million people, the economy and its political system is bound to be very complex. I hope this helps clear things up a little. Again, thanks.

 

How did it make you feel to see signs saying "No Colored Allowed" or "No Blacks, No Dogs"? How had your actions changed through growing up? Hatred, fear, rebellion, submission, etc...

Thanks for the inquiry. I still remember those signs. I believe I felt the whole range of emotions except submission. The outstanding one was that I wasn't going to be treated this way. Next, I had to figure out how to contribute to the destruction of this terrible system. I soon found out I could do very little by myself. Early on I joined the revolutionary movement and have been in it ever since - I do not consider the battle won.


Back