Scott Noble of Metanoia Films has released part I of an important video history of class struggle in the US. Combining historic photos and video with reflections drawn from a range of historians, the film covers uprisings and revolts most of us never heard of in our history classes. As Deep Green Resistance emphasizes, a successful resistance movement must learn from the history of what has and hasn’t worked for others. Plutocracy is an excellent introduction to the mass movements of the working class in American history.
Noble describes his work in more detail:
Part 1 of the series focuses extensively on the ways in which the American people have historically been divided on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex and skill level. This the first documentary to comprehensively examine early American history through the lens of class.
Although the sub-header is “Political Repression in the USA”, Plutocracy is as much a tribute to the courage and tenacity of the American working class as a condemnation of its ruling class.
Learn more: sources for Plutocracy
Donate to the film maker to support him in making parts II and III of the series.
One of the ironies of contemporary politics is the identification of poor whites with the Republican party, even more opposed to working class interests than the Democrat party. Taken to the extreme by the Tea Party, this cooptation takes energy which might challenge the capitalist class structure and redirects it against other poor and working class people who have different skin color.
Dave Strano has worked for years against this counter-productive racism, in Kansas and Missouri as part of the John Brown Gun Club distributing anti-racist literature at gun shows, and more recently in Colorado as Redneck Revolt. In an excellent interview, Strano points out how the left, even the radical community, often practices classism subtle and overt, leaving a large segment of potential allies as easy recruits for racist elements of the conservative movement. He describes organizing within this culture to restore traditional values of opposition to exploitation:
Today, the term redneck has taken on a demeaning connotation, primarily among upper class urban liberals who have gone out of their way to dehumanize white working class and poor people. Terms like “white trash” have come to signify the view among these same upper class liberals of poor and rural whites.
To us, the term redneck is a term that signifies a pride in our class as well as a pride in resistance to bosses, politicians, and all those that protect domination and tyranny.
We’re very upfront about our position of being not only opposed to white supremacy, but to the shared culture of whiteness being one that has only been defined by being an oppressor race. What unites white skinned people currently is a shared history of being the footsoldiers of oppression. We want to ensure that as many whites as possible reject this commonly understood idea of whiteness and instead join in a common struggle with workers of all skin colors in a struggle for total and real liberation.
The whole interview is an important privilege check for middle- and upper-class liberals and radicals alike, as we work to build as broad-based a culture of resistance as possible. Read the whole article: Rednecks With Guns and Other Anti-Racist Stories and Strategies