Home Discussion Contact

Introduction To "The Context Of A Proletarian Uprising"

This article is from the English journal Aufheben. It is the most interesting of the articles we have found so far on the rebellion.

The LA rebellion was sparked by some local factors but it's basic features are result of the conditions of the dispossessed the world over.

The writers got most of their concrete information from Mike Davis' book, The City Of Quartz, and from the regular newspapers.

In the context of late twentieth century capitalism, the LA rebellion was a global statement. Information on LA was equally available almost anywhere in the industrialized, English speaking world (And the same information was equally suppress almost everywhere.)

The weaknesses of the article are not a matter of geographical distance but of the writers still academic and democratic attitudes (we hope that in exposure to the anti-democratic realities of class struggle they can discard these relics of leftism but we won't pretend they aren't here now.)

The three "fundamental aspects" they cite concerning the rebellion are well taken: the refusal of representation, direct appropriation of wealth and attacks on property.

We would disagree when authors make some subsidiary concession to a racial representation of the rebellion. They say at one point "Unlike other cities where the racist nature of the split between excluded and included sectors is blurred by the state's success in co-opting large numbers of blacks on to the police force..." Having black skin does not automatically make you proletarian or an ally. Thus the black police of other cities wouldn't necessarily be any more co-opted than any other cops.

Also, while racism will likely always be a part of capitalism, we are opposed to capitalism not on the ground of it exploiting unfairly but simply on the grounds of it's exploiting.

Aufhaben should know all this. It seems like they speak of the rebellion in racial terms not out of ignorance but out of desire to make their writing more "popular." This is a worse mistake.

At another point, the authors say that most advanced of the proletarians would most likely be black-nationalist. This confuses sophistication of thinking with having a complex language to express your position. It is not beyond the intelligence of ghetto youths to see purpose of the game of racism and therefore to see through the game of black nationalist ideology.

While dominant terminology would certainly makes more difficult to express these insight, as Aufhaben points out, the LA rebellion was effective refusal of representation in deeds.