Libertarian Marxism

Following the ‘Monday Interview’ concerning myself and this blog, I have been asked several times what exactly is meant by my self-description as a ‘libertarian Marxist.’ This was perhaps the most common question posed to me following the article, the second one being why do I advocate socialism/Marxism in light of the collapse of ‘actually existing socialism’ and its obvious nightmare-like qualities for humanity.

‘Actually Existing Socialism’

First, I’ld like to respond to the second question, about why I advocate what was seen in the USSR, PRC or even in Cuba.

The quick answer is that, quite frankly, I don’t.

When people hear the word ‘socialism’ or ‘communism’ or ‘Marxism’ they have certain preconcieved notions of what these ‘isms’ entail. Due to obvious reasons, namely, they called themselves socialist/communist/Marxist, people tend to think of the authoritarian States such as the USSR, the PRC and Cuba. This was reinforced, especially in Bermuda with our proximity and dependency on US media, by Cold War propaganda and its associated ‘Red scares’ that sought to portray these ism’s as totalitarian monstrosities, often exagerating the very real totalitarianism that these societies did become for propaganda reasons.

These preconceptions of what one means by socialism/communism/Marxism are perfectly understandable in light of these totalitarian nightmares, what I personally qualify with the prefix ‘authoritarian,’ as opposed to my own ‘libertarian’ socialism/communism/Marxism.

This causes one some difficulties, precisely in that everyone on hearing that you’re a socialist/communist/Marxist automatically assumes you’re an advocate of these totalitarian nightmares that are legitimately discredited. Some people who ideologically agree with libertarian or various democratic forms of socialism choose to avoid self-identifying with these ism’s altogether as a result and use all manner of euphemisms in their place.

Personally I try to reclaim the words socialism/communism/Marxism to describe what I understand by them through reading Marxist theory first-hand and as what I understand the mass of people who actually brought about both successful and unsuccessful revolutions were fighting for. I admit that at times I use euphemisms for certain terms, for short-term tactical purposes, but do not shirk from identifying with the ism’s themselves either. I occassionaly use the term ‘progressive labour’ (always with small capitals to differentiate from the Progressive Labour Party) for democratic socialism, ’emancipation’ and ‘reparations’ often are used by me in the sense of revolution both political and social, for example.

I’ll go into detail in a separate thread later about my specific criticisms of ‘actually existing socialism’ or what I see as authoritarian socialism/communism/Marxism, but for this thread I’m going to try and stick to describing what I concieve as libertarian socialism/communism/Marxism.

Okay, so what do you mean by ‘libertarian’ then?

Alot of the confusion about my self-description as a libertarian Marxist seems to stem with a confusion with the term ‘libertarian’ as it is used in the sense of US political discourse. In the US the term is generally used to cover various forms of anarcho-capitalism, examples (of various degrees) would be the Objectivists, Minarchism and more than anything else the Libertarian Party of the US. There are controversies between these and other ‘libertarian’ positions, but I think in general one can describe them as all being pro-free market and anti-State, or at least advocating for a minimal State, hence my description of them as essentially anarcho-capitalist to various degrees.

With the dominance of this US understanding of what ‘libertarian’ means it is no wonder that many people regard my self-description as oxymoronic, as I would be by definition anti-capitalist.

However the term ‘libertarian’ itself was first used in the political sense by the French anarcho-communist Joseph Déjacque in 1857, and was used as a synonym for ‘anarchism.’ It was used to oppose ‘authoritarianism’ in general. In the late nineteenth century the word was used in place of anarchism in France due to the anti-anarchist ‘lois scélérates’ laws that made the word ‘anarchist’ illegal. It is from this origin that I use the term in self-describing myself as a libertarian Marxist. It is simply another way of saying that I am an anti-authoritarian Marxist, and believe that socialism itself can be instituted by non-coercive means and must be based on direct democracy, along with the end of sexism, racism, sectarianism, etc.

Practical Applications

There are different schools of libertarian socialist thought, of which I particularly identify with Council Communism, or Marxist-Luxemburgism, although I am partial to aspects of Social Ecology and Anarcho-Syndicalism, as well as regarding myself as an Eco-Socialist.

While I do advocate running in elections I have no illussions to the ability of bringing about socialism within the confines of liberal democracy. Rather I see elections as particularly useful for challenging the status quo and developing revolutionary consciousness. I do not support the idea of a vanguard Party in the Leninist sense, or the social-democratic sense for that matter, that seeks to act ‘on the behalf’ of the people.

All previous attempts to delegate power on behalf of the working class have only resulted in the formation of bureaucracies and the economic and political expropriation of the working class. Such ‘labour’ Parties have been coopted by the system, and now express non-labour interests, something that has an objective basis itself in the development of the system, and a subjective basis in the imposition (or acceptance of) capitalist methods of thinking and organising into the labour movement. Without political AND social revolution leading to popular economic and political democracy the system will perpetuate itself.

I remain a member of the Progressive Labour Party, and believe that its original ideals and the popular conception of what it stood for, were essentially that of democratic socialism. I have no illusions that the PLP today is anything more than a Blairite ‘Third Way’ form of social democracy, with a distinct anti-White supremacist tendency as a result of our racial history. I continue to attempt to defend the prinicples of progressive labour/democratic socialism within the Party through a continual and consistent critique of it from a libertarian socialist position. I do not envision winning the Party over to libertarian socialism, but feel it is my duty to advocate within and without the Party for libertarain socialism with the aim of developing such revolutionary consciousness in Bermuda.

I am constantly amused at those who would portray me as being ‘used’ by the PLP, or something to that effect. About the only real ideological position we share today is a commitment to ending institutional racism. On pretty much all other questions we are miles apart. Its important to stress here that I don’t think I’m necessarily miles apart from much of the grassroots, but more miles apart from the ‘official’ Party Line position. I will, and do, counter what I see as covert/institutional racism, especially as argued by many pro-UBP supporters, and the UBP itself. Simulteonously though I constantly critque the social-democracy of the PLP.

This is not the only option, of course, and I know others that regard themselves as socialists who choose not to work within the Party. Thats fine, and I certainly emphasise with their decision. Nor is work within the Party something fixed. But from my analysis of the current situation I conclude that it remains the best strategy for the immediate future. As the situation changes, be it from my own actions, or by external factors, I will have to reevaluate my position. My objective, ultimately, is to develop revolutionary consciousness through a critique of the capitalist system as a whole, against imperialism, against false consciousness and against those various ideologies that support and maintain the system (such as patriachy, sexism, racism, mysticism, nationalism, etc.), and to encourage self-organisation and popular economic and political democracy as a whole.

How I came to my position

In the ‘About’ sections I give a brief summary of how I came to socialism from growing up in Bermuda. One of the key formative events though was when I went to Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, where I and a handful of others founded the Trent Socialists. The main currents, or rather, influences in that organisation when we founded it were Isreali Kibbutzimism and two Trotskyist groups, the International Marxist Tendency and Socialist Action (Canada). I remain in contact with and friends with many within these respective groups, and acknowledge their contribution to my own theoretical development.

Around this time I was taking a history course elective, and focused much of my research into the 1918 German Revolution, which allowed me to study the works of Rosa Luxemburg. At this time I also became involved with the Worker-Communist Party of Iran (long story…) and became acquainted with the writings of their founder, Mansoor Hekmat. It was through a combination of studying the works of Rosa Luxemburg and Mansoor Hekmat that I came to question certain aspects of Marxist-Leninist/Trotskyist theory, notably their conceptions of power and the vanguard party.

I have since devoted much of my free time to studying the histories of various revolutions, notably the 1905 and 1917 Russian Revolutions, the 1918 German Revolution, the 1919-1920 Italian Revolution, the 1936 Spanish Revolution, the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, the 1959 Cuban Revolution, the events of 1968 (Paris and Prague) and the Grenada Revolution. I have also devoted much of my time reading (in addition to Marx and Engels) the works of Rosa Luxemburg, Antonio Gramsci (in particular his pre-prison writings), Anton Pannekoek, Otto Rühle, Paul Mattick, György Lukács, Karl Korsch, Evgeny Pashukanis, Mansoor Hekmat, CLR James, Wilhelm Reich, Erich Fromm and Maurice Brinton (from whose group ‘Solidarity – for workers power’ inspired part of this blogs name). I have done so in order to better understand the events of the revolutions and the workers councils, as well as to develop my conception of socialism/communism/Marxism.

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79 thoughts on “Libertarian Marxism

  1. You write: “I will, and do, counter what I see as covert/institutional racism, especially as argued by many pro-UBP supporters, and the UBP itself”. I can assure that the UBP is opposed to racism of all forms, including institutional racism. After all, it was the UBP that created CURE in order to assess the depth of the problem in Bermuda.

    I would be grateful if you could provide examples of how you see the UBP promulgating racism.

  2. I have written of it numerous times, specifically in their approach to the race question theoretically (‘Don’t talk about it! Its divisive!’) and practically – in the sense of their electoral politics where they theoretically oppose the notion of melanin over merit but utilise it in practice for political gain.

    They advocate a colour-blind philosophy that without dealing with institutional racism only serves to legitimise it. Their political exploitation of race comes across of shallow and superficial. Overall, they are percieved as patronising.

    This is not to say the PLP doesn’t have its own problems with the race question. But they at least acknowledge and seek to deal with institutional racism and to discuss the race question up front. Where it fails is that it fails to counter identity politics within its own base, a tendency that leaves open the possibility for increasing xenophobia.

  3. I agree. The penchant for colour-blindness, as you phrase it, does more harm than good. I am black. I am female. Both of these things define me in a very real sense and in an extremely physical sense. It’s the first thing you see. As it should be. I don’t want anyone to not see my colour, I don’t want anyone to disregard that. I am black and I like being black. I am female and I like being a female. I simply do not want to be discriminated against because of either of those facts. That’s the difference that I personally (and apparently many others) believe that UBP doesn’t understand.

  4. Heresiarch, firstly let me ask, do you honestly believe that me being black has no bearing on my character? Me being bermudian has a bearing on my character, me being female has a bearing on my character, hell, me being short has a bearing on my character. As it should! I, as a human being, am made up of many pieces. And I like that. I don’t see myself being black as a detriment to who I am although admittedly, it can be a detriment to how others see me. And that’s important too.

    Don’t you see, that by telling me that my being black has no importance in who I am is insulting. It makes me and others feel like being black isn’t important… and it is. Everything single facet of your physical appearance and your personality is important. And by being told that it isn’t something you “see”, you are effectively telling me that I in my totality is not as important as how you feel or want to feel. (That is obviously a general you.)

    I refuse to deny my skin colour, as well as other physically obvious traits, simply because someone else is not comfortable with it. Don’t apologize for racism ad nauseam, change it!

  5. Crap, I kinda didn’t andwer your question as straight out as I should have.

    “can you explain how the color of your skin defines the content of your character?”

    It doesn’t define the content, it is one of my definitions… or descriptions, if that makes it easier to understand. There is not any one thing that defines anyone.

  6. Tia,

    It seems to me that posts 5 and 7 are at odds with each other, the first post you seem to suggest that who you are as a person is defined by your skin color, then in the latter you suggest that it doesn’t.

    Perhaps you can help me understand, do you believe that a person or group of people should be judged on thier “race” (skin color etc…)

  7. Okay. To be clear, my skin colour is one of the things that defines me, yes. It is not the only but it is just as important as all the rest in making me who I am. I do not deny growing up in St. David’s because it shaped who I am today. I will not allow anyone to deny my colour for exactly that same reason. If you wish to appreciate someone in the totality then you must “see” the totality.

    As I think I said, you should not judge someone by one thing alone… so I guess the answer is no. See me for who I am, not who you want me to be. And that includes being black.

  8. Tia,

    If your skin color is one of the things that define you and it is as important as you say, why should someone not judge you by it?.

  9. Again, not by it alone. Judge me by all that makes ME up. That includes being black.

    I’m not sure how to make this any clearer. I have no problem with people judging me, I do however have a problem with people believing or judging me to be “less than” because of any of what makes me up.

  10. Like, I’m a woman. If you saw me across the street you would see that as an obvious trait. I want you to see that. I simply do not want you to see that as something you have to deny in order to be polite or pc or whatever. I admit that I am female so why on god’s earth would I not want others to??

  11. Tia,

    Ok I am going to judge you by all of you, but I don’t understand how to judge you because you are black, can you explain how I am supposed to do that?

    I’m judgeing you and another woman who is white, do I rank you higher, lower, or the same when it comes to skin color?

  12. Can you tell me how exactly you are going to judge me in spite of being black then?

    Are you serious? Wow. Skin colour, as gender, is not something that should ever be a plus or a minus… it is part of the whole. Why do you feel the need to give a number score to anyone? Regardless.

  13. “Ok I am going to judge you by all of you, but I don’t understand how to judge you because you are black, can you explain how I am supposed to do that?”

    This is exactly the problem. Instead of leaving it at the all, you boil it down to what is apparently the most important part… in your eyes. Not because. Not in spite of. In totality.

    You need to learn (again in general you) that being black is just another part of me (a general me) just like being female, being right-handed, being brown-eyed, is. No more no less, no harm no foul. It is what it is, I am what I am. It’s the perception by others that being black is a bad thing by others that is the problem. Me, I love my skin colour. So I guess the ball’s in your court.

  14. Tia

    You said you wanted me to judge you for all of you, and that included the black part, so I am asking how do I judge the being black part, if it is no different than any other color, why are you asking me to judge it?

    “that being black is just another part of me (a general me) just like being female, being right-handed, being brown-eyed, is. No more no less, no harm no foul.”

    That Tia is what color blindness is all about and not what you argued in the begining of our discussion. You are asking for two different things, you want me to judge you as an individual but you also want me to think in racial terms, and that is just not possible.

  15. “This is exactly the problem. Instead of leaving it at the all, you boil it down to what is apparently the most important part… in your eyes. Not because. Not in spite of. In totality.”

    Interesting thought, but not correct, in my mind, I was thinking ok I am interviewing two women, Tia and Jane, on paper they have the same education and same experience, in fact they are identical, in everyway, except one is white and one is black, you want me to judge the color, so everything else being equal I was wondering how do I chose one over the other? and why you want me to judge the color of the women?

  16. Ah, I see where the problem is in this discussion. I siad that colour-blindness is insulting in that it ignores one of the many things that DEFINES me. You then ask how are you to JUDGE me then…

    How about this, if you feel the need to judge me (which was patently not my point), then yes, I want you to add whatever pre-conceptions you feel are relevant. You see it as a minus, that’s on you alone. You see it as a plus, again, your opinion. I simply do not want you to discount it no matter which way your chips fall.

    And as for your example, if you can find two women whose skin colour has not played a part whatsoever in their cultral upbringing or personality, more power to you. 🙂

  17. So do you disagree with Martin Luther Kings I have a dream speech? I believe that King was dreaming of a day when people would be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin, but you seem to want the color of your skin to be taken into account.

    I can’t wrap my head around that, what part does the skin play, (or race, country of orgin, right handedness etc)does it make a person more trustworthy, more likly to steal, smarter? I don’t think so, you have to take each person as a person, and not an extension of a group.

    I beleive judging a person based on thier color is wrong, as such I look past such things, so much so that it doesn’t even cross my mind, it seems to me that you can’t do that or you feel it is wrong to do so.

  18. The colour of my skin is one of the many things that makes up the content of my character, so yeah. Why is this so hard to understand? I think that my being black has shaped who I am today. What’s so wrong with that? Where i grew up shapes who I am also.

    I agree. You are totally missing the point, I think because of a knee-jerk reaction. Being grouped by something is not a bad thing. Can you honestly tell me that you do not react differently to people based on certain things? And there’s nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is discriminating against for said thing. That’s it, nothing more.

    And personally I can’t be bothered to judge every person who walks past me. I see them. That’s it. If I am called upon to “judge” as you say, then I take everything into account and make my decisions based on the sum… not any one thing. You appear to be the one having this issue.

  19. We group ourselves as bermudians. Ain’t nothing wrong with that. By your argument, I should not “see” bermudian, ie, nationality, either.

  20. And just to be clear, you are the one using the word “judge”, not I. Perhaps you should examine why when I said define, you immediately changed it to judge…

  21. “The colour of my skin is one of the many things that makes up the content of my character, so yeah. Why is this so hard to understand?”

    Its not hard to understand at all, its just hard for me to understand how you can not see that’s racist.

    “I think that my being black has shaped who I am today. What’s so wrong with that?”

    So if you grew up with white skin you would be a different person?

    Define and judge mean the same thing, If I judge you by your skin color, or allow your skin color to define my view of you either way I would say I was a racist.

  22. Tia,

    You seem to be saying that blackness is part of your identity and that the UBP doesn’t seem to get this. What about the UBP makes you feel that they do not recognize the existence and legitimacy of different racial and cultural identities on the island?

  23. Heresiarch,

    “Define and judge mean the same thing,”

    Not according to the dictionary. Each individual has a unique identity. This identity is defined by appearance and culture among other things. Just because each individual has a unique identity defined by innumerable parameters including race does not mean that race is a quality that we should or could assign a value to or judge another based on.

  24. Hi Mike. A lot of this new UBP and Dunkley’s comment lead me to believe. It’s a perception that many of the electorate have. Rightly or wrongly. I just becaame a PLP member after 30 years of being a UBP supporter and my main issue with them was their lack of teeth in being an Opposition. I really feel like they could not catch themselves after losing power. A strong opposition is just as important as a strong government and since, in my opinion, the UBP failed at that I could no longer support them. There should be checks and balances. They cried check all the time but I never saw any balance…

  25. Tia,

    I agree with a lot of what you say about the UBP and I feel that Dunkley in particular was unable to comprehend the realities of institutional racism and the concepts of white and black priveledge which was quite disturbing. However many their faults though, I don’t see how a lack of understanding of the concepts of racial and cultural identity are among them, especially compared to the PLP who I feel tend to ignore or place little value on culture they do not identify as black. One example of this is the unneccessary elimination of a June holiday which will disproportionately affect cultural groups not typically identified as “black”. The fact that the PLP feels that having representatives able to identify with a broad cross section of Bermudian culture is unimportant makes me wonder if the party in its present state would be capable of being fully culturally aware if it even wanted to.

  26. Yeah, and I agree with you Mike on quite a bit of what you say.

    With the UBP, however, their emphasis on being different now without broaching the issue of different from what in its totality (ie, said institutionalised racism)is disingenious. I understand what they are trying to do but I don’t think that they can overcome perceptions. Not to the degree in which they need to be able to do. Not to become the effective oppostion they need to be in order to make any headway into winning an election. I may be wrong but that’s how I see it.

    Neither PLP or UBP have any monopoly of cultural or racial equality. We have a long road to go to get to where we are all trying to get to. For me, it’s which path with take the less time… UBP’s ostrich mentality or PLP’s steamroller mentality. PLP’s method may be painful but for me, nothing worth truly having comes without any pain. You much lance the wound in order for it to truly have any chance of healing.

  27. Once again, I want to repeat my question: what makes you think the UBP is not interested in the problems of racism, institutional and otherwise?

    Unfortunately the UBP cannot exercise total mind control over its supporters, but the UBP is absolutely opposed to institutional racism. Period.

    Just saying it is so doesn’t make it so. Specifically, and I am repeating myself, the UBP created CURE as a first step to addressing institutional racism.

    There are many UBP MPs and candidates who are very concerned about race in Bermuda. In fact, while he was leader of the opposition, Grant Gibbons and others worked on ways of addressing the current racial equality on this island, including the economic empowerment zone subsequently adopted by the PLP. Also, it was the UBP that originally started the Small Business Development Corporation specifically to help small black entrepreneurs.

    I will, unfortunately, have to concede that the UBP has, in the recent past, fallen prey to a common kind of institutional racism: that is, setting people up to fail. The situation with Jamahl Simmons and Gwyneth Rawlins are prime examples of this. Many people maintain that neither of them were properly suited to the jobs they held — not because of their race, but because of their personalities and working styles. But under pressure to shed its perceived whiteness, the UBP sought black individuals and made hasty decisions.

    As for whether or not the Big Conversation is effective, I will have to refrain from a total judgment, as I missed many earlier sessions. This year’s modified format seems okay, but needs better moderation and less political posturing. For example, while moderating an event Eva Hodgson flat out said that the UBP never did anything for blacks. When challenged by me, she weaseled out of it with a ‘what I really meant was…’ But her lie will be repeated etc.

    I apologize I did not have time to be more brief.

  28. And I will repeat, it is there approach to parliamentary politics (which contradicts their spoken aim of merit over melanin and also contradicts the composition of their Party’s membership), and it is their general aversion to even discuss race in general and their adherence to a colour-blind philosophy.

    I do not deny the UBP made certain attempts to deal with race in their time. But they did so half-heartedly, mostly under pressure from the Opposition, and mostly in an attempt to coopt or rather control pressures so as to not threaten the system as a whole.

  29. Jonny,

    “And I will repeat, it is there approach to parliamentary politics (which contradicts their spoken aim of merit over melanin and also contradicts the composition of their Party’s membership),”

    I am not aware of anywhere the party has come out and said that their aim is merit over melanin but I would support that aim if they did. Assuming they have come out and said that this is their policy I see no contradiction at all. Sometimes melanin IS merit especially when it comes to facilitating DIVERSITY and ensuring that the public is served by a group representative of its backgrounds.

  30. At what point will the PLP start promoting racial harmony, as a Bermudian I feel they have only brought racial division and conflict.

  31. Heresiarch, I have a question for you (and any other person who cares to answer), besides the occasional “divisive” language, can you please tell me what procedures or actions the PLP has ACTIVELY done that you consider racist?

  32. Tia – would you consider using race as a tool as racist? If so, the Premier has provided repeated examples of this.

  33. “That Tia is what color blindness is all about and not what you argued in the begining of our discussion. You are asking for two different things, you want me to judge you as an individual but you also want me to think in racial terms, and that is just not possible.”

    No, colour-blindness means you don’t see colour at all. I don’t want you to not see that I am black, I simply am asking that you don’t use that to discriminate against me. There is a reason people have different amounts of melanin in their genes. Variety is necessary and thusly, denying it as not important is wrong.

  34. “32n64w Says:
    August 20, 2008 at 10:35 am e
    Tia – would you consider using race as a tool as racist? If so, the Premier has provided repeated examples of this.”

    Using race as a tool. This is exactly what the UBP is doing, by its deception with parliamentary candidates is it not mon ami?

  35. 32, that is obviously not what I am asking. Name something tangible, not something that is obviously defined by the receiver. Quite a few people evidently (to judge from the election results) did not find his language racist.

  36. “Heresiarch Says:
    August 20, 2008 at 9:35 am
    At what point will the PLP start promoting racial harmony, as a Bermudian I feel they have only brought racial division and conflict.”

    I’d like some examples of this as well.

  37. Ahhh the ever elusive Ms. Furbert,

    Any answers (or spin) as to why the PLP blog is practising censorship? Those actions that are being utilized by the PLP blog are worse than those of that “devil” Bill Zuill over at the RG. So that makes your party’s blog worse than the RG by my calculations. Hypocrite.

  38. Ahhh the ever elusive Ms. Furbert,

    It is amazing how you “disappear” or evade the hard questions. Concidence I take it.

    So any answers (or spin as in your case) as to why the PLP blog undertakes the censhorship route in relation to the posts that do or don’t get published on the website? By my calculations that makes your party blog worse than that “devil” of a man Bill Zuill and the “racist” gazette. How does it feel to be such an unbelieveable hypocrite? Must be hard I assume.

    Have a great and hate filled day (as is your norm)!

  39. While I can understand you have issues with LaVerne, I hardly think that that reaction is neither constructive or otherwise conducive to debate. Not to mention that in this case you, 9PS, are actually evading her general question.

    I’ll post a thread when I have time for you guys to provide constructive criticism of the respective political parties websties, but in the meantime I believe you guys were going to focus that on another thread?

  40. i never mentioned anything on the topic that she has put forward. So i see no reason as to why yuo expect me to answer it. Unless you can give me a valid reason as to why I should.

    you have alot of nerve accusing me of evading questions. look into your own party before slinging aroud accusations of such.

    Censorship does not equal democracy!!!!!!!!

  41. “Heresiarch, I have a question for you (and any other person who cares to answer), besides the occasional “divisive” language, can you please tell me what procedures or actions the PLP has ACTIVELY done that you consider racist?”

    I’m not sure why you are asking me this. Our discussion is about your belief that race plays a part in who a person is and that it should be taken into account by others (but not in a negative way).

    Let me ask you this, If I have two people applying for a job and both have equal education and experience, should I allow race to factor in to who gets the job?

  42. Hey, how come I have to answer all your questions (which I have obviously tried to do) and when I ask you to to complete the thought you said and give me a tangible answer, you sidestep? Answer one of my questions (I have others in my posts above). Give and take my dear, not preaching to…

    But to answer your question – again – I challenge you to find two such people in the world that we live in whose racial makeup has not influenced their character.

  43. Ms. Furbert’s silence only reinforces my initial belief that she has NO idea whatsoever of what a democracy is and entails. So she go ahead and say to everyone about how much older she is, but despite her age she has learned aboslutey nothing on how a true and proper democratic nation should function.

    Again if censorship of this nature is occurring on a simple PLP blog, imagine the propaganda and ultimate bullsh*t that would be printed if this Govt established their very own mediums to distribute news over this island. And yes i would feel the same way if the weak UBP was in power, so throw out that usual and repetitive argument right now.

    Like the position of the AG and religion it is of my belief that the press and news broadcasters should be distinctly separate from any politics.

    So all knowing Ms. Furbert, please answer why you find it necessary to ensure that the PLP blog remains censored? Do you think that is the correct action to ensure a healthy democracy, or do you even care about demoractic rights and freedoms? I bet you would throw them all the way or agree to have them mcompletely disregarded just to ensure that the Party to which you devote your blind allegiance to retains power. You are just a real asset to Bermuda aren’t you?

  44. Relax man.

    I hear your questions, and many of them are valid ones. But the approach is kind of off-putting. It is important to not also that LaVerne is not the Public Relations Officer of the PLP, only a partisan member. Furthermore, she is not in charge of the PLP blog, so many of your questions are misplaced. You can ask her opinion but as she is not in charge of it – she’s got about as much influence as I over it – she really can’t answer your questions fully.

    This blog is PLP affiliated in that I am a PLP member, but this blog is not under Party control (as should be obvious to most) and is not representative of the Party. I have my own opinions about the PLP site, of which I will comment on in its own thread once I have time to do so. I am not practicing censorship here, but I would once again ask that posters at least attempt civility and abstain from personal attacks and overmuch foul language.

  45. Using race as a tool. This is exactly what the UBP is doing, by its deception with parliamentary candidates is it not mon ami?

    Without question both political parties “use” race as a tool. However, I would characterise the PLP’s approach to race as more of a pick axe (dividing us) while the UBP is a wheelbarrow (carrying all of us forward, together).

    … I know … it’s a little corny.

  46. Hi Tia,

    35 was actually directed at other discussion about race the PLP and UBP. I was just giving my opinion that I feel race relations in Bermuda have not improved since the PLP have come into power, but are actually worse.

    I did not say the PLP or UBP are racist. So I am not sure why you are asking me to provide examples of any “..procedures or actions the PLP has ACTIVELY done that you consider racist?”

    But I would consider the awarding of a contract based on race instead of merit racist, so I would put forth the example of the awarding of the Berkley Contract to Proactive, IF it was awarded in part because they where seen as a “black company”( of course thats how I understand it to be, but have no direct proof or involvement and can only go by disscusions I have head or what I have read in the paper, so anyone can correct me if I am wrong)

    Do you feel race relations have improved, remained the same, or gotten worse under the PLP. Is it something the government (PLP, or UBP) can fix?

    Back to our orignal debate,

    “I challenge you to find two such people in the world that we live in whose racial makeup has not influenced their character.”

    Are black people more honest than whites? Do you think because I was born with white skin I am more likley to be smarter, or faster? Can you look at a persons skin color and assume certain things about that person, before you meet them?

  47. I have a question for Ms. Furbert.

    What do you think about the PLP blog’s posts being signed by PLP and not the name of the person doing the writing?

  48. “Are black people more honest than whites? Do you think because I was born with white skin I am more likley to be smarter, or faster? Can you look at a persons skin color and assume certain things about that person, before you meet them?”

    No. I think this is more of a chicken and egg question. As in, growing up in a “black” community as opposed to a “white” community grants a person certain characteristcs such as language differences(accents and tone/syntax). Nothing so ethereal as honesty, no. Opportunities are different and thusly the way a person reacts to outside stimuli are different. By yourself using the word judge implys that you do indeed assume certain things. We all do. Some are racially produced and some are culturally produced and some are geographically produced. I see nothing wrong in being different from someone else. I do see something wrong in being judged to be less than or more than because.

  49. Tia,

    So one community offers better opportunities than the another?

    Judging doesn’t impply I am assuming anything, if I judge a person on their merit or ” the content of their character” I am treating people as if I am color blind making no assumptions about them on their race. Why do you have a problem with that?

  50. “So one community offers better opportunities than the another?”

    Uh, yeah. Come now, in a perfect world we wouldn’t be having this conversation but we all know the reality we live in. Statistics clearly state that colour and social-economic onditions make a huge difference in people’s lives. Or are you saying that’s all in our heads?

    Because being colour-blind means you are not truly seeing me. Why do you have a problem with being different from one another?

  51. Okay let’s put it this way, on paper you have two people with exactly the same credentials. Does that mean the way they actually think is identical? No. Does that mean one is any less better than the other? Hell no. Being different from each other is a good thing. That’s across the board and colour is a facet but not the whole of what makes up our difference.

    See the differences, not “judge” them. There is nothing wrong with being able to tell that one house is blue and the other is red. There’s is no problem with preferring to live in said lblue house. There IS a problem with blowing up the red house cause you don’t like that colour…

  52. “Okay let’s put it this way, on paper you have two people with exactly the same credentials. Does that mean the way they actually think is identical?”

    No I agree.

    “Does that mean one is any less better than the other?”

    Tia you mentioned before that your skin color shapes who you are as a person, perhaps one color tends to shape people with certain characteristcs that allows persons to excel in school or in the work field, Would that be fair to say? After all “Statistics clearly state that colour..” makes a huge difference.

    So perhaps one color is better than the other? Perhaps it is better to hire the white one? Thats basiclly the conclusion I am drawing from your argument.

    “There is nothing wrong with being able to tell that one house is blue and the other is red. There’s is no problem with preferring to live in said lblue house…”

    Using your example are you saying that I have two people applying for a job, and I choose the black one because I prefer black people or perhaps I don’t like white. That there is nothing wrong with that?

    The Human acts right says that you can’t do that.

    I’m pretty sure you aren’t saying that can you confirm.

  53. No, all I am saying is that seeing colour and discriminating because of said colour are two totally different things. And that you not being able to see that difference is one of the reasons institutionalized/systemic racism is still allowed to flourish.

  54. Tia,

    You are asking me to see you as black, I am asking you to see me as a person, how can you say that I am one of the reasons for institutionalized/systemic racism?

    You are claiming that a persons convictions, values and character are determined not by the judgment of their mind but by their race or gender.

    You claim that you want to build tolerance of differences. But how do you tell a person their identity is determined by skin color and expect them to become colorblind.

    You preach collective identity. ( No doubt why Jonny is drawn to PLP)

    You see the world, colored by race and gender. race is what counts to you for values, for thinking, for human identity. You consider colorblindness wrong, and because of that, you can not see me for me, you can only see me for the color of my skin.

  55. Rubbish??

    That’s a bit harsh comrade.

    Am I wrong to equate Libertarian Marxism with Collectivism?

  56. Depends on the meaning. Horizontal collectivism which implies an emphasis on equality and sharing and cooperation, which does not negate unique individuality, thats could be understood as okay.

    But one would have to stress the difference between that and the essentially vertical collectivism of the Stalinist collectivisation of farmers, which is how most would interpet your statement in #65.

    How I intepret your comment in #63 is along the lines of blind loyalty to the Party Line and democratic centralism. This is a common point of attack by anti-PLPers regardless of the factual contradictions. I, and I doubt many in the Party, would consider me a Party Line loyalist.

    And as the PLP as a Party has essentially jettisoned any committment to socialist policies, I find the comment even harder for you to explain along those lines.

    Hence my terming it ‘rubbish.’

  57. I wonder why PLP members/supporters are always referred to as “blind loyalists” and UBP members/supporters are referred to as “members/supporters”. What is a blind loyalist anyway?

  58. “How I intepret your comment in #63 is along the lines of blind loyalty to the Party Line and democratic centralism. ”

    That’s not what I was saying at all. How did you draw that conclusion from my post?

  59. I think its self-evident how it was intepreted. Please explain what you meant instead.

    As the PLP is hardly an advocate of anything close to the philosophical/political ideologies of ‘collectivism,’ but its detractors have consistently portrayed its members as ‘blind loyalists’ and adherents of a collective identity (racial or political unity), how did you expect it to be intepreted?

  60. Interesting, you think that a racial collective identity doesn’t play a large part in the PLP and its supporters?

  61. LF,

    People consider PLP supporters as ‘blind loyalists’ because the PLP of today is of little resemblance to the PLP of yesterday – the core values the party originally stood for have been thrown out the window. Anybody who has supported the party for many years, as is the case with yourself, must see this change and not care about what the party stands for. You either originally supported the party for its stated aims/goals or supported it for being PLP. And if a political party undergoes such a fundamental change with most of its supporters unaware of these changes you have a bunch of people who will support the party no matter what….aka, blind loyalists.

    Deuces

  62. Heresiarch,

    “Interesting, you think that a racial collective identity doesn’t play a large part in the PLP and its supporters?”

    No, not really. In my nine years and nine months in the Party, that really hasn’t been my experience. I’ve actually found the opposite to be the case with the white community having a much stronger connection to the UBP. Perhaps you could elaborate on why you feel that a racial collective identity plays a large part in defining the PLP and its supporters.

    That also conflicts with your original use of the term to explain why I am ‘drawn to the PLP,’ seeing as I am a White Bermudian, that really wouldn’t make any sense.

  63. Club Med,

    I hear a lot of people saying that, but they’re never clear about what they mean. What core values are you talking about? Jonathan has posted the PLP platforms on this site from 1968 onwards and as I see it, the PLP today continues to stand by those “core values” of the PLP of yesterday. Tell me about this fundamental change that you see.

    I hear people saying that the PLP no longer represents that working class and have become elitist which in my opinion is garbage. The founding members of the PLP (Walter Robinson, Edward DeJean, Wilfred “Mose” Allen, Peter Smith and Hugh “Rio) Richardson) were men who had various careers = lawyer, school teacher,although I knew Mr. Allen personally, I’m not sure what he did for a living and the same goes for Peter Smith. I do know that Hugh Richardson owned the garage where the founders used to meet so I assume he was a mechanic in his early years. Those are the same kind of people you find in the PLP today – lawyers, doctors, school teachers, mechanics, etc. etc.

    But, I’m waiting to hear about these core values that youre talking about.

  64. When we get too the “core” we’ll or I will let you know.

    At this point in time the outer layer is inpenatrable………

    Here endeth the lesson…………

  65. I read somewhere that you were pursuing a Masters Degree. I hope that you attain a level wherby I/we don’t have to read for three days and comprehend and filter out what you try an get across.

    Then again, thats what free speech is all about right Comrade Starling”.?

    Tell that too other cultures and classes. In fact, why not call….1-800-GEORGIA or 1-800-Fidel-IV………

    I think your lost in your own world, really. Some of your comments and statements over the years did make me step back and think but then again..so did Mr. MooGabeeeeee

    I need a rum……………..:+)

  66. Thanks Rummy! I’m looking forward to the challenge that going back to school will be.

    Russia and Georgia, been meaning to write something about that; might take a while yet.

    And, um, no ones forcing you to read my stuff you know? But thanks for the compliments!

  67. Well son….you wrote it …therefore it must have been for a purpose…or your loosin it……

    As for forcing……yah muss bee kiddin……..Thats what propaganda is all about………

    RESPONSE…….

    How you deal with it…thats another matter as can be seen in global events.

    Hope things work out for you and you come back to Bermuda with your Masters. Things will have changed by then. Unless you get a online diploma.

    Tell us how you really feel. Hell I just had to get Obama and Joe Biden on the line.

    What a great team……..

    Gotta run……..A certain elected official needs a role………….

  68. “That also conflicts with your original use of the term to explain why I am ‘drawn to the PLP,’ seeing as I am a White Bermudian, that really wouldn’t make any sense.”

    I think it makes perfect sense, you wish to find others who think like you as a libertarian Marxist, I imagine you are very hard pressed to do so on the island so you are drawn to the next best thing, the collective thinking of the unions and the racial collective identity of “Blacks”

    Both must be very appealing to you with their group think. Now the best part of my theory, the PLP has co–opted both so much so that to vote against the party is to vote against your group identity, which is of course a vote against yourself, together we stand, divided we fall, “confused negro”, House Niggers, acting white, a vote back to the plantation etc.. etc… Brother this and sister that it goes on and on.

    So you see, your race doesn’t really matter in the end, because you can join the party and, become part of the plp group and though them the other as well by proxy. But proxy is not enough you are longing to be a full on part of the machine, so you are going to go back to school so you can find others who think like you and so you can be fully embraced by some marxist club.

    OF course this all hinges on if I am correct to assume that as a ‘libertarian Marxist’ you think the group comes before the individual. If not ignore everything above its just rubbish. 🙂

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