January 1, 2007

Something To Look Forward To In 2007

In my twenties, I was prone to say dumb stuff around this time of year, stuff like "Boy, 1976 really and truly bit the big one. No way could 1977 possibly be worse." Suffice it say, such thoughts never form in my brain these days, much less cross my lips.

But from where I stand, already there is one bright spot glowing on the generally bleak horizon of this new year. Some time within the next four to six weeks, an exceptional new book will be rolling off the presses, and I suspect it's gonna become a feature of the political landscape of the Left and the people's movements over the next couple of years.

The title: The Cost of Privilege: Taking on the System of White Supremacy and Racism

The author: Chip Smith (a 'rade of mine for many years), working with a crack research and writing team.

The thesis: That the system of national oppression reinforced by white privileges has been interwoven into the very fabric of capitalist rule in the US from its earliest days, and that only by tackling that system can a foundation be laid for deep unity across "racial" and other lines both within the working class and between working people and other oppressed strata and groups in this society.

The mission: To get activists reflecting on, talking about, planning approaches to and basing strategy on the need to deal with white (and other forms of) privilege as a pervasive social reality.

You"ll be hearing more about The Cost of Privilege at this blog in the weeks to come, but since you can't get your own and dig in just yet, I have a small treat to whet your appetite. As 2006 drew to a close, I got a happy bit of news from Jeff Perry. He told me that an invaluable 1975 pamphlet by the late Ted Allen, "Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery: " has been posted on the web. It is the seed from which sprang Allen's magisterial two volume study, The Invention of the White Race, published by Verso, and a fine introduction to the contributions this too-little-recognized thinker made to the cause of revolution in the US.

So read the "The Invention of the White Race" pamphlet, and keep checking this site for breaking news about the forthcoming book.

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