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Rainbow-bridge

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Parent Issue
Day
5
Month
October
Year
1972
Copyright
Creative Commons (Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-alike)
OCR Text

f Since the last time I had a chance to write before the Blues & Jazz Festival, this column has changed its name to keep up with the change in its content from on-the-run reportage to tortured theoretical ravings aimed at developing a rainbow deology, or a systematic arrangement of ideas which might possible help lluminate the social situation all of us find ourselves caught up in. The present series of columns on rainbow economie development started in issues no. 36-37-38 of the Ann Arbor SUN, copies of which are available to the Rainbow House, 1520 Hill Street, for people who want to try to cut into these writings from the beginning of the current run. Also since the last time this column was run we've been hearing a lot of bullshit about our being "hip capitalists," or supporting "hip capitalists," or being totally behind "hip capitalists," as if our practice over the past eight years- including our present practice- had somehow vanished into a cloud of empty words signifying nothing but our demise as a people's organization. In any event I should repeat that the words that appear in this column, or in this paper, are meaningless as soon as they are taken outside of the context in which they exist in fact, which is, if fact, the only basis for any meaning they might ever have simply as words. Context is where you start, with anything you might come to, and context is what gives anything its definition as what it is. For people (like myself) who are striving to bec-me dialetical material sts, that is, who are striving to master revolutionary methods of thinking and methods of work, the context within which any one or thing actually exists is the first conditions of that thing's existence, be t an idea, a man or a woman or an act or deed. Words particularly must always be taken strictly within the context of the lives of the people who utter them, and must always be related directly back to their context, or their basis in daily practice, or else they are simply meaningless pieces of air or type of little or no interest to serious people, that, is people who are conserned about the day-to-day struggle for survival of themselves and their fellow creatures. More immediately, the context which s being ignored, apart from our ongoing social practice as the Rainbow People's Party, is precisely the context which gives our position on the rainbow bourgeoisie elements its only possible meaning: that is the context of a national liberation struggle in which the various class con trad ictions within a nationality or people are secondary to the primary contradiction between the people as a people and the alien imperialist yelements which are determined to keep that people suppressed as a whole. In such a context, as revolutionaries such as Mao Tse-tung and Frantz Fanon have explained in their writings, the first task of the people's party is to unite as many elements of the national population as possible, including the progressive national bourgeoisie, around the principie and the banner of national liberation. The people's survival as a people, secure from invasión and destruction by the imperialist e-emy, is paramount, and the contradictions amone, that people have to remain secondary until the imperialists are defeated, at which time they become primary contradictions again. What l'm trying to say is that qualitatively different contradictions cali for qualitatively different solutions, and that there s a quaütative difference between the capitalism practiced by an embryonic national bourgeoisie in a colony or neo-colony of imperialism. It's a serious mistake to confuse the two, but it's even more ridiculous when people equate the smallest of petit-bourgeois elements- shop-keepers and small business people who don't even own their own stores - with the monopoly capitalists and international vampire elements who have no more sympathy for the native bourgeoisie and petit-bourgeoisie than they have for the less priviliged elements of our people. It is the racism which is an integral component of mperialism that helps make more unity among rainbow people possible -"hippies," lime "niggers," are universally despised by the imperialist class despite their social status within the colony itself, and rainbow bourgeois and petit-bourgeois elements are just as likely to be subjected to harrassment and repression by the pigs, simply for being freeks, as are the poorest most oppressed of our people. In addition, a large sector of our own national bourgeoise- dope dealers who have ammassed sums of money through illegal activity-lives under the constant threat of arrest and imprisionment at the hands of the mothercountry pólice and thus has developed a high level of national consciousness as a stone survival technique if nothing else. Our whole way of life itself is illegal in the eyes of the imperialists, and the element of selfdetermination which is a strong component of rainbow capitalism makes even the rainbow petit-bourgeoisie a conscious threat to the continued rule of the mother-country gangsters. But rainbow capitalism, whether on a relatively small or a relatively grand scale, is one thing, and communalism and its permutations are something altogether differem That's the primary f act I am concerned to establish in these writings, and t really takes a dunce to confuse the two opposing forms of economie organization. Capitalism volves the unremitting quest for profits, or surplus value, at any cost, with the prof it accruíng to an individual or a syndicate of individuals to be used in their own interest as they see fit, most spectacularly as a means to securing for themselves the greatest luxuries money can buy. This principie of capitalism holds true for native bourgeois elements who are organized to make profits aswell as for the biggest monopoly capitalists and imperailists on the set. Communalism, on the other hand, is a system of economie organization which is founded upon an opposite set of values; and its primary concern is not the good of an individual, or any number of individuals, but the common good, the good of the people as a whole. Communalism subordinates the interest of the individual, or any number of individuals, but the common good, the good of the people as a whole. Communalism subordinates the interest of the individual to the interest of the col lectivity of individuals which mak es up a particular social order, and its economie principie is that individuals should not prof it at the expense of the collectivity of which they are a part We are living in a transitional period, moving from the age of capitalism and mperialism to the age of socialism and communalism, and we have to recognize the fact that transitional forms must be developed to help us speed the collapse of imperialism on the one hand and the construction of a communalist social order on the other. During this transitional period, when imperialism is still possessed of economie and military strength although its strength as a viable economie form has been dissipated and its future is exceedingly dim, it is necessary to organize ourselves even more tightly and in an even more disciplined manner than the imperialists themselves are organized, and it is particularly necessary to make use of every weapon we can get our collective hands on, especially those weapons developed by the imperialist ruling class as a means of keeping us oppressed. The Corporation is one tooi developed by the capitalists as a means of raising capitalism to a higher level, i.e. from individual, anarchistic capitalism to collective, consciously planned monopoly capitalism. Through the means of the Corporation, individual capitalists were able to combine their own individual interests with those of other profit-seeking individuals in order to oonsolidate their respective resources and make even greater profits than any were able to make as individuals; at the same time each individual's responsibility for their activity in the economie arena was minimized, and the Corporation itself, a paper "person," became liable for their excesses. The profit-oriented Corporation is committed to maximizing the profits of each individual involved in the Corporation; its purpose is to return to each investor or participant in the Corporation a greater dmount of money than that which is nvested, that profit to be used as the individual sees fit. It is organized specificallyto seek and to realize greater profits for those individuáis who have incorporated themselves into such an economie unit; if the Corporation "makes money," then the individual share-holders in the Corporation stand to gain proportionately to the amount of shares they have purchased in the undertaking. The non-prof it Corporation, on the other hand, is a similar collectivity of individuals who have organized themselves, not to make a profit for themselves, but to accomplish a social purpose other than a simple commercial one. That is, the non-profit corporation uses the organizational form of the Corporation and turns it back around on itself; the form which was developed by big capitalists solely as a means to maximize profits becomes a form through which capitalism and the profit system can be opposed and attacked. Thus the law of the universality of contradiction, or what freeks cali "yin-yang," the relentless transformation of a thing into its opposite, holds true once again: the thing which was developed as a means of increasing individual gain and extending the reign of capitalism is seen to contain the seeds of its own destruction. The non-profit Corporation presents us with a transitional form through which to ntensify our attack on capitalism and imperialism, a means of raising our economie struggle for communalism from an individual to a collective level, and it is important for people to understand the difference between a profit and a non-profit Corporation so they can make the fullest possible use of this important tooi. A non-profit Corporation by definition is a Corporation which is organized for a social pur pose other than making profits for individuals; while the non-profit Corporation might "make a profit" off of one or more of its activities, it is finally and unequivocally a "profit" only for the corporate entity itself, to be used to further the non-profit corporation's social programs and goals, and not for any individual or individuals. Although both the profit and the nonprofit Corporation are corporations, or collectivities of individuáis, there is an unmistakable difference in the purpose for which each is organized: the profit Corporation is organized to make profits for the individual share-holders in the Corporation, while the non-profit Corporation is organized for a distince purpose other than making profits for individuals. In fact, the primary characteristic of a non-profit Corporation is that the accumulated gain which might accrue to the collectivily is not to be distributed among the participating individuals except perhaps on a salary basis, and then only if they perform certain functions in furtherance of the non-profit corporation's stated goals. In a non-profit Corporation the organiations's holding are the property of the corporation itself and are not divisible among its members; likewise any monies which accrue to the corporation are the assets of the corporation itself and not of its individual members. Money, time and energy invested in the corporation do not yield a return for any of the individual members of the corporation in terms of f inancial or material assets; instead, everything accrues to the corporation itself, to be used to further the stated purposes of the organization, which are by detmation not to amass wealth for any individual or number of individuals. The non-profit corporation is a transitional form between capitalism and communalism, a step away from individual gain and towards the time when no one individual's welfare is secured at the expense of any other individual's wellbeing. As such it is a people's weapon, a weapon which can be used by the people in their struggle against capitalism and imperialism, and it would behoove a lot of people to check it out instead of reacting against the word "corporation" as if it had an absolute identity of its own without regard to its economie content. Communalism and pre-communalist economie formations such as non-profit corporations are in no way "capitalist," "hip" or "square." The corporations we have organized as the Rainbow People's Party- i. e., Rainbow Energies- and in conjunction with other progressive people in the community who are not associated with the RPP- e.g., Rainbow Multia-Media- are non-profit corporations in every sense of the word; they have been developed as means through which to attack capitalism anc its institutions even more vigorously, and they are committed to the extinction of capitalism as any more than an historical curiosity which is studied in people's history books one day in the future. Til do my best to press on with this particular line of analysis in the next in stallment in this series, but that's all I can manage for tonightthis morning. The one principie I would like to réstate, now and any time, is the simple maxim that social practice is the criterion of truth, above and beyond any words any one might ever say or write, and social practice is the only Standard against which tojudge the validity of anyone's rap. 111 stand on that now and anytime. All Power to the People!