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#15102552
ckaihatsu wrote:
I'm having to look at the Hungarian Revolution a little more closely



Okay, it looks as though the *Hungarian* workers councils were not *politically* independent, as the initial soviets were, in Russia. From the following description the Hungarian workers councils sound more like workers *co-ops*, since they were involved in 'enterprise', presumably meaning localist profit-making, albeit locally collectivized.



Likewise, workers' councils were established at industrial plants and mines, and many unpopular regulations such as production norms were eliminated. The workers' councils strove to manage the enterprise while protecting workers' interests, thus establishing a socialist economy free of rigid party control.[88] Local control by the councils was not always bloodless; in Debrecen, Győr, Sopron, Mosonmagyaróvár and other cities, crowds of demonstrators were fired upon by the ÁVH, with many lives lost. The ÁVH were disarmed, often by force, in many cases assisted by the local police.[87]

In total there were approximately 2,100 local revolutionary and workers councils with over 28,000 members. These councils held a combined conference in Budapest, deciding to end the nationwide labour strikes and resume work on 5 November, with the more important councils sending delegates to the Parliament to assure the Nagy government of their support.[62]



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungarian ... government
#15102569
ckaihatsu wrote:
Okay, it looks as though the *Hungarian* workers councils were not *politically* independent, as the initial soviets were, in Russia. From the following description the Hungarian workers councils sound more like workers *co-ops*, since they were involved in 'enterprise', presumably meaning localist profit-making, albeit locally collectivized.



Found a more informative article about the Hungarian Revolution, and it looks like the workers councils there were *genuine*, and anti-Stalinist:



The first workers’ council was elected as early as October 24 in the Eggesult Izzo lamp factory, one of the biggest factories in Budapest, with 10,000 workers. This decision was taken as Soviet tanks rolled into the city for the first time.

The workers’ council demanded the dismissal of the factory directors appointed by the bureaucracy and their replacement by workers’ committees at all levels of production. “Let us demonstrate that we can settle matters better than our blind, tyrannical bosses,” read the council’s 10-point declaration.

In the days that followed, workers’ councils were set up in the steel mills, the shipyards of the Danube, the mines and many factories all over Hungary. They tried to enforce their political demands, which coincided to a great extent with those of the students, with a general strike. A meeting of the delegates of the workers’ councils from the biggest factories in Budapest agreed upon a program, which began with the statement: “The factories belong to the workers.”

When Soviet troops and tanks invaded on November 4, the Nagy government collapsed and all of the Hungarian party’s “reformers” capitulated to the Kremlin bureaucracy. This demonstrated that the working class and its councils were the real driving force of the Hungarian Revolution.



---



Hungary after the war

After 1945, Hungarian workers were burning to settle accounts with the fascists and their backers within the feudal aristocracy and the bourgeoisie. They hoped that the presence of the Red Army would facilitate this. But in the deals struck between Stalin and the imperialists, Hungary was categorized as a vanquished country that had to pay reparations. The Stalinist-dominated Hungarian regime suppressed the Hungarian workers and held down their living standards in order to make the payments.



The main task of the AVH was to hunt down the old resistance fighters and communists who had not been selected and trained in exile in Moscow, but had remained in Hungary to fight in the underground. Several purges strangled any form of political opposition to the party regime of the Stalin loyalist Mátyás Rákosi. Political show trials, power struggles inside the bureaucracy, cloak-and-dagger actions by the secret police, torture and executions characterized the political climate.



Before the uprising

Following Stalin’s death in 1953, and even more so after Khrushchev’s secret speech to the Twentieth Congress of the Soviet Communist Party in the spring of 1956, the hopes of workers in Hungary and the rest of Eastern Europe began to rise. Their determination to defend themselves against the bureaucracy and its hated apparatus grew. Shortly after the uprising of the East German workers in 1953, 20,000 Hungarian steelworkers from the Mátyás-Rákosi plant in the industrial district of Csepel in Budapest took strike action. The action rapidly spread to other towns.

The government felt obliged to make considerable concessions to the workers. Fearing that the bureaucracy as a whole might lose control of the situation, Khrushchev intervened in Hungary. He replaced Rákosi with Imre Nagy, a popular figure as a result of land reforms implemented while he was minister of agriculture in 1945.



There were three basic demands:

• The withdrawal of Soviet troops.

• Reelection of the top and middle-ranking party leadership by the rank-and-file by means of secret ballot elections, to be held within the shortest possible time. The calling of a party congress to elect a new central committee.

• The formation of a new government under the leadership of Imre Nagy. All leading functionaries from the Stalin period under Rákosi to be removed immediately.

There was also a call for public trials of the heads of the Stalinist bureaucracy and the state security agencies to hold them accountable for their crimes.



When military reinforcements arrived and saw the situation, they joined with the demonstrators, passing out their weapons and participating in the storming of the radio transmitter. An entire tank regiment that had been given the order to violently break up the demonstration refused to intervene and fraternized with the crowd.

By midnight more and more trucks full of workers from the factories in the industrial districts of Csepel and Ujest were arriving. They brought munitions and weapons from the factory depots. Other workers went to the army barracks and arsenals to fetch more weapons. These were, in many cases, given to them freely by the soldiers.

The government called on Soviet troops and tank units for help in defeating the uprising. The battles continued throughout the night. In the early morning hours of October 24, Soviet tanks rolled through the streets of the capital. Spontaneously throughout the working class districts combat units were formed and barricades erected. Militant communist workers often stood at their head.



The scenes of fraternization, in which Hungarian workers and students clambered onto Soviet tanks and draped them in Hungarian flags, led many people in Budapest to believe that the Red Army had joined the revolution. The mere thought of such a development made the blood of the Kremlin bureaucrats run cold.

At one point, a crowd marching to the parliament building and shouting, “We are workers, not fascists,” was hit with machine-gun fire from a roof top. Neither the demonstrators nor the Soviet soldiers in the square knew who had fired. Soviet tanks shot back at the roof, but by this time almost 100 demonstrators lay dead in the square.

It was assumed that the hated AVH was responsible for the massacre. But Western radio stations, above all, the American propaganda station Radio Liberty, repeatedly broadcast that the Red Army was responsible for the mass killing. This incident became the trigger for further violent battles which continued until October 28.



At the heart of the military confrontation which began on October 23, 1956 lay the question of political power. Hungarian workers established revolutionary committees or elected councils all over the country. These were organs of workers’ power, similar to those which had appeared in Russia in the revolutions of 1905 and 1917.

By October 25, the workers of Pecs had established the first revolutionary committee. A workers council was set up in the Miskolc factory. That same afternoon, the workers formulated their demands and submitted them to the government. Prisoners were released from jails and labor camps.

A national strike began on October 26. Fighting spread rapidly to the provinces. Revolutionary committees and workers’ councils began organizing political and social life independently of the party and government. As in Russia in 1917, a situation of dual power arose.

Isolated from the masses, the party leadership floundered helplessly. The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Hungary eventually agreed to the formation of a new national government. It also promised to renegotiate Hungary’s relations with the Soviet government, on condition that the acts of resistance cease.

Although Imre Nagy managed to restrain the party’s military committee from attacking Corvin Alley, a center of armed workers’ resistance, sections of the ruling Stalinist bureaucracy were intent on crushing the rebellion by force. All over the country there were bloody clashes, with numerous fatalities.



Tito’s Yugoslav government, which at first indicated support for the uprising in Hungary, also made clear that its “anti-Stalinism” should not be misconstrued as support for the workers’ conquest of power. It was far too interested in securing its own bureaucratic rule for that. Tito even declared to Moscow’s envoy that the Kremlin should “get the matter out of the way quickly and thoroughly.”



Western powers give Moscow the go-ahead

The US and its Western allies exploited the Hungarian rebellion for their own purposes. Radio Free Europe launched an anticommunist propaganda crusade, giving every impression that the West would intervene on the side of the Hungarians in the event of a Soviet attack. Through the channels of secret diplomacy, however, the US government signaled Moscow that it recognized Hungary as part of the Soviet sphere of influence. The message was clear: the Kremlin could act as it saw fit.

On the evening that Soviet troops marched back into Hungary, US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles declared that Moscow’s action was completely legal under the terms of the Warsaw Pact. “From the standpoint of international law and the honoring of agreements,” he said, “I do not think that one can claim that it is a breach of contract.”

The US government understood that the victory of the Hungarian workers could spark rebellions by the working class in the other Eastern European countries and eventually in Western Europe. It clearly recognized Stalinism’s suppression of the working class as a mainstay of its own rule and a bulwark against revolutionary upheavals.



Workers’ councils organize resistance

That the Hungarian Revolution was anything but a counterrevolutionary rebellion for the restoration of the capitalist order is shown, above all, in the role played by the workers’ councils. The Kadar government had a hard time pushing through the policies decided by Moscow. The workers’ councils, which were the backbone of the armed resistance, still largely controlled political and economic life throughout the country.

The first workers’ council was elected as early as October 24 in the Eggesult Izzo lamp factory, one of the biggest factories in Budapest, with 10,000 workers. This decision was taken as Soviet tanks rolled into the city for the first time.

The workers’ council demanded the dismissal of the factory directors appointed by the bureaucracy and their replacement by workers’ committees at all levels of production. “Let us demonstrate that we can settle matters better than our blind, tyrannical bosses,” read the council’s 10-point declaration.

In the days that followed, workers’ councils were set up in the steel mills, the shipyards of the Danube, the mines and many factories all over Hungary. They tried to enforce their political demands, which coincided to a great extent with those of the students, with a general strike. A meeting of the delegates of the workers’ councils from the biggest factories in Budapest agreed upon a program, which began with the statement: “The factories belong to the workers.”

When Soviet troops and tanks invaded on November 4, the Nagy government collapsed and all of the Hungarian party’s “reformers” capitulated to the Kremlin bureaucracy. This demonstrated that the working class and its councils were the real driving force of the Hungarian Revolution.



The students’ and workers’ combat groups were hardly a military match for the Soviet tanks. Nonetheless, the workers continued to fight in the councils and in the factories. They organized another political general strike, this time against the new Soviet-installed government of Kadar. In the face of Soviet occupation and Stalinist repression, the strikers held out for a whole month.

In the working class areas of Budapest and in the industrial suburbs and towns, the occupying forces of the Stalinists met fierce resistance. In Dunapentele, a town which had been built around huge iron and steel works, the workers’ council produced a statement during the siege which read: “Dunapentele is the leading socialist town in Hungary. In this town, all inhabitants are workers and they have the power here.... The town’s population is armed. It will not give up because it has built the factories and the houses with its own hands.... The workers will defend the town against fascism—as well as against the Soviet troops.”

The Budapest workers also defended the factories they had occupied against the tanks. The hospitals reported that the majority of the dead and wounded were young workers, whereas the well-to-do villa areas of Budapest, where the upper-middle class lived, were hardly touched.

On November 9, the government outlawed the Budapest workers’ central council and arrested the majority of its members after the council had renewed its call for a strike. But even then the workers refused to be intimidated. They extended their strikes on December 11 and 12. Even the Communist Party’s newspaper Nepszabadsag was forced to concede that the strike was the “biggest in the history of the Hungarian workers movement.”

In response, the government declared a state of emergency, giving itself the power to ban all meetings and demonstrations and to imprison people without trial. Even so, the workers continued their struggle. In the iron and steel mills of Csepel, workers staged a sit-down strike. They demanded the release of their leaders.

A speaker declared: “We think that this is the only reasonable thing we can do at the moment. We have come to the factory because we need our wages and because we are together here. If we stayed at home, the factory doors would be closed and it would be much easier for the government to pick us off individually than here in the factory where we are united.”

Similar occupations spread to many other big factories. When the AVH and the Soviet troops were eventually called in to take over the factories, fighting broke out.

Even after the last armed resistance in “Red Csepel” ended on November 11, the workers remained organized in councils in the factories, regions and towns and on a national level. And the strike continued.

The strikers stipulated to Moscow and the Hungarian government that they would go back to work only if political prisoners were released and Soviet troops withdrawn. Their aim was to keep the factories under workers’ control and strengthen the councils’ power.

A meeting was called in Budapest on November 21 for the purpose of forming a national workers’ council. When the workers arrived at the meeting place, they found that the police and the army had bolted the entrances to the building. Despite the massive threat of repression, the delegates reconvened at another site and held their meeting. Many workers in the factories went on protest strikes, fearing that their delegates had been arrested.

Only after weeks of repression did the workers’ resolve weaken, making it possible for the Kadar government to consolidate its power over the councils. Lacking an independent political leadership, the delegates of the workers’ councils were unable to take power. Instead, they negotiated endlessly with the Kadar government. Finally, in most of the councils, a majority voted to return to work. But only a fourth of the workers returned.

In January, the Kadar government felt strong enough to move in for the kill. It issued a decree banning strikes or the call for strikes, threatening violators with the death penalty. The workers’ councils were barred from making any more political decisions and all resolutions concerning the factories were required to have the approval of a political commissar of the Stalinist party.

The last thing the workers wanted was councils that functioned as instruments of the bureaucracy. They decided to dissolve the bodies.



Only the Trotskyists organised in the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) warned the Hungarian workers against any confidence in the various “reform wings” of the bureaucracy and against allowing their fate to be decided by the Western powers or the UN.

The ICFI called for the unification of the workers of Hungary, the rest of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union in a struggle to overthrow the Stalinist bureaucracy. It based itself on the analysis of Stalinism made by Leon Trotsky, who had already concluded in the 1930s that the bureaucracy was a counterrevolutionary force that could defend its power and privileges against the working class only through increasingly close cooperation with the imperialist bourgeoisie. The social conquests of the October Revolution could be defended and the path to socialism opened up only through a political struggle by the working class to overthrow the bureaucracy and unite with workers in the West on the basis of the program of world socialist revolution.



Nagy’s role in politically subordinating the Hungarian workers to Stalinism and the bloody suppression of their rebellion by Khrushchev’s tanks not only revealed the true face of the Stalinist “reformers,” but also the political character of Pabloism as an appendage and prop for the counterrevolutionary bureaucracy.



Contrary to bourgeois propaganda about the Hungarian Revolution, it was the Stalinist bureaucracy which steered the country towards capitalist restoration, not the working class. In 1956, the working class fought for genuine socialism. The bloody suppression of the Hungarian workers was a decisive precondition for further steps by the Stalinist bureaucracy toward the final liquidation of the gains of the Russian Revolution and the restoration of capitalist market relations in Russia and Eastern Europe—with all of its attendant catastrophic consequences for the Hungarian, East European and Russian working class.



https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2006/10/hun1-o25.html



https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2006/10/hung-o26.html
#15102601

At the press conference, Schindler claimed that the police were a “reflection of society.” He said, “In the police, just as among the population, there are people who act on the basis of racist convictions, unconscious racists, and explicit anti-racists.” He then suggested a series of cosmetic reforms: an end to racial profiling, a registry for complaints against the police, and an identification number for every police officer.

The goal, according to Schindler, is to “strengthen trust in the constitutional state.” The police, “an institution equipped with several special powers so that it can protect the population,” must “rise above suspicion in all of their actions,” he continued.

In reality, the police are not a “reflection of society,” but rather “special bodies of armed men” (Friedrich Engels) tasked with protecting the property, wealth and power of the capitalists. The growth of racist and right-wing extremist tendencies in their ranks is not a subjective problem, but rather arises objectively out of the police’s social function. The more the social tensions and the class struggle deepen, the more the capitalist state apparatus and all its defenders, including the Left Party, shift to the right.

The cynicism of Schindler’s claim that his party intends to “strengthen the institutions so they act decisively and clearly against racism” is difficult to exaggerate. In reality, the Left Party is fully responsible for the policies the protesters are opposing—the growth of police brutality, the strengthening of racism and right-wing extremism, the vast gulf between rich and poor, the misery and death confronting refugees, and the return of German militarism. To suppress mounting popular opposition, the Left Party is also building up the police and aligning itself with the far right.



Individuals like Bartsch and Schindler instinctively sense how explosive the current situation is. The murder of George Floyd has triggered an international mass movement because workers and young people around the world are coming to the same realisation. The overwhelmingly young demonstrators are not only angered by a police murder in the United States, but by a social order that has no future to offer them. In Germany, many of the demonstrations were attended by 10 or 20 times more people than the organisers had expected.

The Left Party is alarmed by the size of the protests. The party fears that it could coincide with a radicalisation of the working class directed against the capitalist profit system. The hostility with which the Left Party has responded to the mass protests against police brutality is rooted in its fear of the intensification of the class struggle. Despite its name, the Left Party is a right-wing bourgeois party committed to the defence of private property and the bourgeois state by all means necessary.



The struggle against racism and police brutality requires a settling of accounts with the Left Party and all pseudo-left tendencies that defend the capitalist state and the entire apparatus of state repression. It must be fused with the international struggle of the working class against inequality, exploitation, war, authoritarianism and the capitalist profit system. This requires a socialist programme based on the fight for the transfer of political power to the working class and the restructuring of economic and social life.



https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/0 ... t-j22.html
#15104608
And just to show that the anti-law enforcement bigotry is just that, and anti-science as well, there’s this:

Scholar forced to resign over study that found police shootings not biased against blacks

    Union rep tells College Fix that university should not share data that runs afoul of its support of BLM protests

    Michigan State University leaders have successfully pressured Stephen Hsu to resign from his position as vice president of research and innovation after the Graduate Employees Union launched a campaign to oust him from his role.

    This came after the union, which represents teaching and research assistants, crawled through years of blog posts and interviews Hsu had conducted and criticized him for sharing content on genetic differences among different races.

    But the main thrust to oust Hsu came because the professor touted Michigan State research that found police are not more likely to shoot African-Americans.

    “The victory of the Twitter mob will likely have a chilling effect on academic freedom on campus,” Hsu told The College Fix via email.

    The union had taken advantage of a Black Lives Matter-linked #ShutDownStem day on June 10 to help oust him. Hsu stepped down from his vice president role on June 19 after pressure from the union and the president of the university, Samuel Stanley. Hsu will stay on as a physics professor at Michigan State, however.

    The union also circulated a petition against Hsu that accused him of “scientific racism” that garnered over 800 signers. An open letter signed by more than 500 faculty and staff at Michigan State argued Hsu supports the idea that intelligence is linked to genetics.

    A counter-petition in support of Hsu has gained more than 1,000 signers, including many fellow professors from across the country.

    “To remove Hsu for holding controversial views, or for inquiring about controversial topics, or for simply talking to controversial personalities … would also set a dangerous precedent, inconsistent with the fundamental principles of modern enlightened higher education,” it read.

    As for the claim of “scientific racism,” Hsu rejected that on his personal website, stating “I believe that basic human rights and human dignity derive from our shared humanity, not from uniformity in ability or genetic makeup.”

    But a leader with the graduate student union said that there were multiple factors that led to Hsu’s removal, including people who disagreed with Hsu not feeling they were able to state their concerns for fear of backlash.

    “Once we started the dialogue, dozens of people approached us with personal stories of their own attempts to speak out and their own experiences with Hsu, and hundreds signed on calling for his removal,” Graduate Employees Union Vice President Acacia Ackles told The College Fix.

    The union has also criticized Hsu’s promotion of a study that found there is no racial bias in police shootings.

    “We found that the race of the officer doesn’t matter when it comes to predicting whether black or white citizens are shot,” according to the Michigan State-based research Hsu had quoted that drew the ire of many.

    Hsu said that the attacks against him are baseless.

    “The GEU alleged that I am a racist because I interviewed MSU Psychology professor Joe Cesario, who studies police shootings,” he wrote in an email to The College Fix. “But Cesario’s work (along with similar work by others, such as Roland Fryer at Harvard) is essential to understanding deadly force and how to improve policing.”

    Cesario is the Michigan State psychology professor who co-authored the study published July 2019 that debunked the notion that police are more likely to shoot African-Americans. Hsu wrote on his blog that the paper concluded “there is no widespread racial bias in police shooting.” Professor Cesario received a small amount of funding for his research under Hsu’s leadership.

    Cesario pointed out to The Wall Street Journal “we had no idea what the data was going to be, what the outcome was going to be, before we did this study.”

    Cesario’s research had been cited in a widely shared Wall Street Journal op-ed headlined “The Myth of Systemic Police Racism” that was published June 3 amid racially charged protests against the death of George Floyd in police custody.

    The “MSU communications team highlighted the mention in the June 9 edition of their email newsletter, InsideMSU. The next day, the Graduate Employees Union denounced Mr. Hsu. By June 11, editors of the newsletter had apologized ‘for including the item and for the harm it caused,’” the Journal reports.

    The graduate union told The Fix that administrators should not share research that runs counter to public statements by the university.

    “It is the union’s position that an administrator sharing such views is in opposition to MSU’s statements released supporting the protests and their root cause and aim,” Ackles wrote in an e-mail to The College Fix.

    President Stanley released a statement on June 19 where he defended his decision to pressure Hsu to resign.

    “I believe this is what is best for our university to continue our progress forward. The exchange of ideas is essential to higher education, and I fully support our faculty and their academic freedom to address the most difficult and controversial issues.

    “But when senior administrators at MSU choose to speak out on any issue, they are viewed as speaking for the university as a whole. Their statements should not leave any room for doubt about their, or our, commitment to the success of faculty, staff and students,” he added.

Also, apparently the president of MSU believes that no true scientist can be a senior administrator at the university.
#15112679
Considering the kind of militant whackjobs that'll be running whatever service they replace the cops with, "defund the police" is guaranteed to turn into something like the religious police they got in Saudi Arabia but instead of Islamic law it'll be woketard sharia they'll be enforcing. Think antifas with badges, that's exactly what defund the police is gonna look like.
#15112683
Doug64 wrote:



“We found that the race of the officer doesn’t matter when it comes to predicting whether black or white citizens are shot,” according to the Michigan State-based research Hsu had quoted that drew the ire of many.



It looks like the entire controversy cited here boils down to this one core issue.

And, surprisingly, the statement mentioned there that Hsu supports is correct -- but the *framing* is misleading, because it's not about the police *personnel*, much less their race or ethnicity, but it's about the *policing practices* itself -- on the whole we have to see if, regardless of personnel, is the overall *policing* racist, or not?



Racial profiling by police is unlawful, unjustified and discriminatory. Statistics have shown rampant racial disparities in improper arrests and use of physical force. Within the criminal “justice” system, Black people face disproportionately more criminal prosecutions, imprisonments and other forms of victimization.



https://www.workers.org/2014/09/15968/




“The executions continue,” Eisen and Akuno note, “nationwide: from north to south, east to west, in rural towns and large metropolitan areas.” It is not a “southern problem,” through some Southern cities (Atlanta, Dallas, Memphis, New Orleans, and Jacksonville) seem to conduct street executions of blacks “in numbers disproportionate to the size of their Black populations.”



https://www.paulstreet.org/killer-cops- ... k-america/
#15112712
ckaihatsu wrote:It looks like the entire controversy cited here boils down to this one core issue.

And, surprisingly, the statement mentioned there that Hsu supports is correct -- but the *framing* is misleading, because it's not about the police *personnel*, much less their race or ethnicity, but it's about the *policing practices* itself -- on the whole we have to see if, regardless of personnel, is the overall *policing* racist, or not?

Except that's not what the "defund the police" boosters are claiming, they are saying that the police are systemically racist. What they have to say about Black police officers isn't printable and is disgustingly racist itself. I haven't heard a single BLM booster claim that police officers are themselves as much victims of a racist system as Blacks. I have to agree with my best friend--in the US racists exist, systemic inequalities exist, but systemic racism does not exist.
#15112877
[EDITED]


Doug64 wrote:
Except that's not what the "defund the police" boosters are claiming, they are saying that the police are systemically racist.



Based on my previous post, we can say that the *policing* is systematically racist.

At the *granular* level of this-or-that cop, some cops will be racist (treat people of color unfairly), while others *won't* be, although there's still that tribalist 'blue line of silence' to contend with.


Doug64 wrote:
What they have to say about Black police officers isn't printable and is disgustingly racist itself.



'Racism' implies *power*, and activists don't *have* any state power over cops -- I think you're misusing the term 'racist', as in the misconstrued term 'reverse racism'. Considering how murderous and damaging policing has been to people of color, it's no wonder at all that all cops receive such opprobrium. You're on the verge of blaming-the-victim -- be *careful*.


Doug64 wrote:
I haven't heard a single BLM booster claim that police officers are themselves as much victims of a racist system as Blacks.



Of course you haven't because such would be factually *incorrect* -- being a cop is one of the *safest* professions.


Doug64 wrote:
I have to agree with my best friend--in the US racists exist, systemic inequalities exist, but systemic racism does not exist.



Well, you're *wrong* on the last point, as I showed in my previous post.
Last edited by ckaihatsu on 11 Aug 2020 22:41, edited 1 time in total.
#15112887
ckaihatsu wrote:Based on my previous post, we can say that the *policing* is systematically racist.

No, we can’t. At most perhaps we can say policing is systemically unequal, but that doesn’t presume that the unequal treatment is due to racism.

At the *granular* level of this-or-that cop, some cops will be racist (treat people of color unfairly), while others *won't* be, although there's still that tribalist 'blue line of silence' to contend with.

Now this is certainly true, though a) I haven’t seen any evidence that the number of racist cops is even a significant minority, much less a majority; and b) tribalism based on profession is inherently not racist.

'Racism' implies *power*, and activists don't *have* any state power over cops -- I think you're misusing the term 'racist', as in the misconstrued term 'reverse racism'. Considering how murderous and damaging policing has been to people of color, it's no wonder at all that all cops receive such opprobrium. You're on the verge of blaming-the-victim -- be *careful*.

Definitions of Racism:

  1. a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human racial groups determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to dominate others or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others.
  2. Also called in·sti·tu·tion·al rac·ism [in-sti-too-shuh-nl, -tyoo-], struc·tur·al rac·ism [struhk-cher-uhl]. a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine, as promoted by the dominant group in a society to preserve the continued dominance of that group; racial discrimination.
  3. hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.
Only the second of those three have anything to do with actual power, the first can be possessed by the powerless as much as the powerful and the third has nothing to do with levels of power at all. And for that second to apply to the US system, you’d have to prove that our current system is set up and maintained specifically for the purpose of maintaining racial dominance, and I don’t think anyone can come close to doing so.
#15112916
Doug64 wrote:
No, we can’t. At most perhaps we can say policing is systemically unequal, but that doesn’t presume that the unequal treatment is due to racism.



Unequal in *what way*, though?

Studies have shown that blacks are *disproportionately* killed by cops, so that's *racism*, or inequality by race, regarding the killings of killer cops.


Doug64 wrote:
Now this is certainly true, though a) I haven’t seen any evidence that the number of racist cops is even a significant minority, much less a majority; and b) tribalism based on profession is inherently not racist.



Well at *this* point you're hair-splitting, because it should be enough that policing is racist. You're missing the forest for the trees.

Professional privileged state tribalism, as with the 'blue line of silence', *can* be racist, and *is* racist, because of the disproportionate numbers of blacks killed by cops.


---


Doug64 wrote:
What they have to say about Black police officers isn't printable and is disgustingly racist itself.



ckaihatsu wrote:
'Racism' implies *power*, and activists don't *have* any state power over cops -- I think you're misusing the term 'racist', as in the misconstrued term 'reverse racism'. Considering how murderous and damaging policing has been to people of color, it's no wonder at all that all cops receive such opprobrium. You're on the verge of blaming-the-victim -- be *careful*.



Doug64 wrote:
Definitions of Racism:

  1. a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human racial groups determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to dominate others or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others.
  2. Also called in·sti·tu·tion·al rac·ism [in-sti-too-shuh-nl, -tyoo-], struc·tur·al rac·ism [struhk-cher-uhl]. a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine, as promoted by the dominant group in a society to preserve the continued dominance of that group; racial discrimination.
  3. hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

Only the second of those three have anything to do with actual power, the first can be possessed by the powerless as much as the powerful and the third has nothing to do with levels of power at all. And for that second to apply to the US system, you’d have to prove that our current system is set up and maintained specifically for the purpose of maintaining racial dominance, and I don’t think anyone can come close to doing so.



Considering that the prevailing ruling class, by wealth, is disproportionately *white*, it's easy to see that the class / wealth system benefits whites, so it's not unreasonable to say that the class system keeps whites in a supreme position in society, hence is white-supremacist.
#15113031
ckaihatsu wrote:Unequal in *what way*, though?

Studies have shown that blacks are *disproportionately* killed by cops, so that's *racism*, or inequality by race, regarding the killings of killer cops.

And right there you go off the rails, because to prove racism it isn’t enough to point to unequal outcomes. You then need to prove that the unequal outcomes are due to racial animus.

Considering that the prevailing ruling class, by wealth, is disproportionately *white*, it's easy to see that the class / wealth system benefits whites, so it's not unreasonable to say that the class system keeps whites in a supreme position in society, hence is white-supremacist.

No, what you can say is that the prevailing system previously privileged Whites over Blacks due to racial prejudice, which historically it clearly did, and that there was a coasting effect when that racial privilege ended. But you cannot simply point at the fact that the wealthy are disproportionately White and simply claim that it is due to racial animus, you need to prove your point.
#15113038
Doug64 wrote:
And right there you go off the rails, because to prove racism it isn’t enough to point to unequal outcomes. You then need to prove that the unequal outcomes are due to racial animus.



No, you're *incorrect*, because you keep gravitating towards the *interpersonal* scale, when policing is a *state* *institutional* function. Racism can be *institutional*, or structural, even according to you:


Doug64 wrote:
Definitions of Racism:

2. Also called in·sti·tu·tion·al rac·ism [in-sti-too-shuh-nl, -tyoo-], struc·tur·al rac·ism [struhk-cher-uhl]. a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine, as promoted by the dominant group in a society to preserve the continued dominance of that group; racial discrimination.



My point remains that policing (as an *institution*) is shown to be racist because the *killings* by killer cops are disproportionately against blacks, and therefore racist.


---


ckaihatsu wrote:
Considering that the prevailing ruling class, by wealth, is disproportionately *white*, it's easy to see that the class / wealth system benefits whites, so it's not unreasonable to say that the class system keeps whites in a supreme position in society, hence is white-supremacist.



Doug64 wrote:
No, what you can say is that the prevailing system previously privileged Whites over Blacks due to racial prejudice, which historically it clearly did, and that there was a coasting effect when that racial privilege ended. But you cannot simply point at the fact that the wealthy are disproportionately White and simply claim that it is due to racial animus, you need to prove your point.



Again you need to revisit your provided definition of institutional / structural racism.

You're trying to make it sound like racism is over, and it's not, as evidenced from the racism in policing, and from killer cops, for starters.

The *legacy* of slavery and racism does continue into today, as with the factor of wealth ownership:



Racial disparities

The wealth gap between white and black families nearly tripled from $85,000 in 1984 to $236,500 in 2009.[75]

There are many causes, including years of home ownership, household income, unemployment, and education, but inheritance might be the most important.[75] Inheritance can directly link the disadvantaged economic position and prospects of today's blacks to the disadvantaged positions of their parents' and grandparents' generations. According to a report done by Robert B. Avery and Michael S. Rendall, "one in three white households will receive a substantial inheritance during their lifetime compared to only one in ten black households."[76] This relative lack of inheritance that has been observed among African Americans can be attributed in large part to factors such as unpaid labor (slavery), violent destruction of personal property in incidents such as Red Summer of 1919, unequal opportunity in education and employment (racial discrimination), and more recent policies such as redlining and planned shrinkage. Other ethnic minorities, particularly those with darker complexions, have at times faced many of these same adversities to various degrees.[77]



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wealth_in ... isparities
#15113042
ckaihatsu wrote:No, you're *incorrect*, because you keep gravitating towards the *interpersonal* scale, when policing is a *state* *institutional* function. Racism can be *institutional*, or structural, even according to you:


@Doug64's arguments also apply to institutions.
#15113061
ckaihatsu wrote:
No, you're *incorrect*, because you keep gravitating towards the *interpersonal* scale, when policing is a *state* *institutional* function. Racism can be *institutional*, or structural, even according to you:



wat0n wrote:
@Doug64's arguments also apply to institutions.



Then he should *write* it that way.

It should look something like the following, parsing his words:



[T]o prove racism it isn’t enough to point to unequal outcomes. You then need to prove that the unequal outcomes are due to [institutional racism].
#15113091
How Racial Disparity Does Not Help Make Sense of Patterns of Police Violence


By Adolph Reed, Jr. (University of Pennsylvania)


Some readers will know that I’ve contended that, despite its proponents’ assertions, antiracism is not a different sort of egalitarian alternative to a class politics but is a class politics itself: the politics of a strain of the professional-managerial class whose worldview and material interests are rooted within a political economy of race and ascriptive identity-group relations. Moreover, although it often comes with a garnish of disparaging but empty references to neoliberalism as a generic sign of bad things, antiracist politics is in fact the left wing of neoliberalism in that its sole metric of social justice is opposition to disparity in the distribution of goods and bads in the society, an ideal that naturalizes the outcomes of capitalist market forces so long as they are equitable along racial (and other identitarian) lines. As I and my colleague Walter Benn Michaels have insisted repeatedly over the last decade, the burden of that ideal of social justice is that the society would be fair if 1% of the population controlled 90% of the resources so long as the dominant 1% were 13% black, 17% Latino, 50% female, 4% or whatever LGBTQ, etc. That is the neoliberal gospel of economic justice, articulated more than a half-century ago by Chicago neoclassical economist Gary Becker, as nondiscriminatory markets that reward individual “human capital” without regard to race or other invidious distinctions.

We intend to make a longer and more elaborate statement of this argument and its implications, which antiracist ideologues have consistently either ignored or attempted to dismiss through mischaracterization of the argument or ad hominem attack.1 For now, however, I want simply to draw attention to how insistence on reducing discussion of killings of civilians by police to a matter of racism clouds understanding of and possibilities for effective response to the deep sources of the phenomenon.

Available data indicate, to the surprise of no one who isn’t in willful denial, that in this country black people make up a percentage of those killed by police that is nearly double their share of the general American population. Latinos are killed by police, apparently, at a rate roughly equivalent to their incidence in the general population. Whites are killed by police at a rate between just under three-fourths (through the first half of 2016) and just under four-fifths (2015) of their share of the general population. That picture is a bit ambiguous because seven percent of those killed in 2015 and fourteen percent of those killed through June of 2016 were classified racially as either other or unknown. Nevertheless, the evidence of gross racial disparity is clear: among victims of homicide by police blacks are represented at twice their rate of the population; whites are killed at somewhat less than theirs. This disparity is the founding rationale for the branding exercise2 called #Black Lives Matter and endless contentions that imminent danger of death at the hands of arbitrary white authority has been a fundamental, definitive condition of blacks’ status in the United States since slavery or, for those who, like the Nation’s Kai Wright, prefer their derivative patter laced with the seeming heft of obscure dates, since 1793. In Wright’s assessment “From passage of the 1793 Fugitive Slave Act forward, public-safety officers have been empowered to harass black bodies [sic] in the defense of private capital and the pursuit of public revenue.”3

This line of argument and complaint, as well as the demand for ritual declarations that “black lives matter,” rest on insistence that “racism”—structural, systemic, institutional, post-racial or however modified—must be understood as the cause and name of the injustice manifest in that disparity, which is thus by implication the singular or paramount injustice of the pattern of police killings.

But, when we step away from focus on racial disproportions, the glaring fact is that whites are roughly half or nearly half of all those killed annually by police. And the demand that we focus on the racial disparity is simultaneously a demand that we disattend from other possibly causal disparities. Zaid Jilani found, for example, that ninety-five percent of police killings occurred in neighborhoods with median family income of less than $100,00 and that the median family income in neighborhoods where police killed was $52,907.4 And, according to the Washington Post data, the states with the highest rates of police homicide per million of population are among the whitest in the country: New Mexico averages 6.71 police killings per million; Alaska 5.3 per million; South Dakota 4.69; Arizona and Wyoming 4.2, and Colorado 3.36. It could be possible that the high rates of police killings in those states are concentrated among their very small black populations—New Mexico 2.5%; Alaska 3.9%; South Dakota 1.9%; Arizona 4.6%, Wyoming 1.7%, and Colorado 4.5%. However, with the exception of Colorado—where blacks were 17% of the 29 people killed by police—that does not seem to be the case. Granted, in several of those states the total numbers of people killed by police were very small, in the low single digits. Still, no black people were among those killed by police in South Dakota, Wyoming, or Alaska. In New Mexico, there were no blacks among the 20 people killed by police in 2015, and in Arizona blacks made up just over 2% of the 42 victims of police killing.

What is clear in those states, however, is that the great disproportion of those killed by police have been Latinos, Native Americans, and poor whites. So someone should tell Kai Wright et al to find another iconic date to pontificate about; that 1793 yarn has nothing to do with anything except feeding the narrative of endless collective racial suffering and triumphalist individual overcoming—“resilience”—popular among the black professional-managerial strata and their white friends (or are they just allies?) these days.

What the pattern in those states with high rates of police killings suggests is what might have been the focal point of critical discussion of police violence all along, that it is the product of an approach to policing that emerges from an imperative to contain and suppress the pockets of economically marginal and sub-employed working class populations produced by revanchist capitalism.

There is no need here to go into the evolution of this dangerous regime of policing—from bogus “broken windows” and “zero tolerance” theories of the sort that academics always seem to have at the ready to rationalize intensified application of bourgeois class power, to anti-terrorism hysteria and finally assertion of a common sense understanding that any cop has unassailable authority to override constitutional protections and to turn an expired inspection sticker or a refusal to respond to an arbitrary order or warrantless search into a capital offense.

And the shrill insistence that we begin and end with the claim that blacks are victimized worst of all and give ritual obeisance to the liturgy of empty slogans is—for all the militant posturing by McKesson, Garza, Tometi, Cullors et al.—in substance a demand that we not pay attention to the deeper roots of the pattern of police violence in enforcement of the neoliberal regime of sharply regressive upward redistribution and its social entailments.

It is also a demand that, in insisting that for all intents and purposes police violence must be seen as mainly, if not exclusively, a black thing, we cut ourselves off from the only basis for forging a political alliance that could effectively challenge it. All that could be possible as political intervention, therefore, is tinkering around with administration of neoliberal stress policing in the interest of pursuing racial parity in victimization and providing consultancies for experts in how much black lives matter.5

Another revealing datum regarding the imagery of an unbroken history of racist denigration of black “bodies” stretching back at least to 1619 as explanation of the current racial disparity in police killings is that, as Mike Males has shown, police killings of black men under 25 years of age declined 79% between 1968 and 2011, and 61% for men over 25 during that same period.6 Nor is that quite surprising. The victories won by the civil rights movement were real, as were the entailments of the Voting Rights Act. Things were generally worse with respect to everyday police terror in inner-city black neighborhoods than they are now. One of the few of the Black Panthers’ slogans that wasn’t simply empty hyperbole was their characterization of the role of police as an “occupying army” in black communities. (When I first saw The Battle of Algiers in the late 1960s, I felt an instant shock of recognition, a sense that I’d lived some of the film.) Racial transition in local government and deepening incorporation of minority political interests into local governing coalitions had a moderating effect on police brutality in black communities.7

My point is not in any way to make light of the gravity of the injustice or to diminish outrage about police violence. (I realize, however, that some will impute that intention to me; for them and all who would take the charge seriously, see note 1 below.) However, noting a decline—or substantial change in either direction for that matter—in the rate of police killings does underscore the inadequacy of reified, transhistorical abstractions like “racism” or “white supremacy” for making sense of the nature and sources of police abuse of black Americans. Racism and white supremacy don’t really explain how anything happens. They’re at best shorthand characterizations of more complex, or at least discrete, actions taken by people in social contexts; at worst, and, alas, more often in our political moment, they’re invoked as alternatives to explanation. In that sense they function, like the Nation of Islam’s Yacub story, as a devil theory: racism and white supremacy are represented as capable of making things happen in the world independently, i.e. magically.

This is the fantasy expressed in formulations like racism is America’s “national disease” or “Original Sin”—which, incidentally, are elements of the liberal race relations ideology that took shape in postwar American political discourse precisely as articulations of a notion of racial equality that was separated from political economy and anchored in psychology and individualist notions of prejudice and intolerance.8

Nevertheless, putting to the side for a moment those ways in which causal invocations of racism and white supremacy are wrongheaded and inadequate and accepting for the sake of argument that the reified forces can do things in the world, if their manifest power can vary so significantly with social, political, and historical context, wouldn’t the objective of combating the injustice be better served by giving priority to examining the shifting and evolving contexts under which racism and white supremacy are more or less powerful or that condition the forms in which they appear rather than to demonstrating that those forces that purportedly cause inequality must be called racism or white supremacy in particular?

One problem with the latter objective is that it is ultimately unrealizable. There is no definitive standard of what qualifies as racism; like terrorism or any other such abstraction, it is in the eye of the beholder. In fact, an illustration of the great cultural victory of the postwar civil rights struffle is that “racism” is negatively sanctioned in American society. No one with any hope of claim to political respectability—not even Maine governor Paul LePage, who leaves one struggling to imagine what he assumes would thus qualify as racist, embraces it.

In addition, advocates of antiracist politics argue that debate over the name that should be attached to the injustice is important because acknowledging the existence of racism/white supremacy as a causal agent is a necessary first step to overcoming its power. But that claim rests on shaky political ground. It is at bottom a call for expiation and moral rehabilitation as political action.

In that sense Black Lives Matter is like its rhetorical grandparent, Black Power; it is a slogan that has condensed significant affective resonance but is without programmatic or strategic content. Also like Black Power, in response to criticisms of its lack of concrete content, BLM activists generated a 10 Point Plan, in part clearly to address criticisms that they had no affirmative agenda beyond demands that the slogan be validated and the names of selected victims of police killing be invoked. This was followed more recently by an expanded document featuring roughly sixty items called “A Vision for Black Lives: Policy Demands for Black Power, Freedom, and Justice”

Some, perhaps many, of the items propounded in the initial 10 Point Plan are fine as a statement of reforms that could make things better in the area of criminal justice policy and practice. Many, if not most, of those assembled under the rubric “Vision for Black Lives” are empty sloganeering and politically wrongheaded and/or unattainable and counterproductive. However, the problem is not a shortage of potentially effective reforms that could be implemented. The problem is much more a political and strategic one. And the focus on racial disparity both obscures the nature and extent of the political and strategic challenges we face and in two ways undercuts our ability to mount a potentially effective challenge:

1) As my colleague, Marie Gottschalk, has demonstrated in her most important book, Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics (Princeton and London: Princeton University Press, 2016),9 the carceral apparatus in its many manifestations, including stress policing as well as the many discrete nodes that constitute the regime of mass incarceration, has emerged from and is reproduced by quite diverse, bipartisan, and evolving complexes of interests, some of which form only in response to the arrangements generated and institutionalized by other interests. Constituencies for different elements of the carceral state do not necessarily overlap, and their interests in maintaining it, or their favored components of it, can be material, ideological, political, or alternating or simultaneous combinations of the three. Challenging that immensely fortified and self-reproducing institutional and industrial structure will require a deep political strategy, one that must eventually rise to a challenge of the foundational premises of the regime of market-driven public policy and increasing direction of the state’s functions at every level toward supporting accelerating regressive transfer and managing its social consequences through policing.

2) It should be clear by now that the focus on racial disparity accepts the premise of neoliberal social justice that the problem of inequality is not its magnitude or intensity in general but whether or not it is distributed in a racially equitable way. To the extent that that is the animating principle of a left politics, it is a politics that lies entirely within neoliberalism’s logic.

1.I’m not much given to autobiographical writing, least of all as a mechanism for establishing interpretive authority, even though I recognize that that pre-Enlightenment ploy has become coin of the realm for the “public intellectual” and blogosphere bloviator stratum. I’ve noted over decades that element’s cheap way to evade engaging with my arguments: resort to accusations, usually laced with personal innuendo, that I underestimate the depths of racism or deny its existence; particularly ironic is that often enough that dismissive accusation comes from earnest white antiracists. An especially brazen and preposterous instance was when the late Manning Marable—“Race, Class and the Katrina Crisis,” Working USA 9 (June 2006)—and white antiracist historian David Roediger—“The Retreat from Class,” Monthly Review 58 (July/August 2006)—insinuated that I did not understand the power of white racism in New Orleans—a city they visited as disaster tourists with a simplistic potted narrative and where I largely grew up in the Jim Crow era and the most intense period of the postwar civil rights insurgency, and where most of my family lives and had lived before, during and after Katrina. I’m still not going to natter on about my racial bona fides; I’ll leave that domain to the likes of Mychal Denzel Smith and Ta-Nehisi Coates, for whom every sideways glance from a random white person while waiting on line for a latté becomes an occasion for navel-gazing lament and another paycheck. (A historian friend has indicated his resolve, when white colleagues enthuse to him about Coates’s wisdom and truth-telling, to ask which white college dropouts they consult to get their deep truths about white people.) I just wanted to anticipate the reaction and make clear that I recognize it for the cheesy move that it is.


https://nonsite.org/editorial/how-racia ... e-violence
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