Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Black Workers Congress

The Black Liberation Struggle, the Black Workers Congress, and Proletarian Revolution

Who are Our Enemies, Who are Our Friends?

We have given a brief summary of the situation in the world and the U.S.A. Who in their right mind can deny the facts we presented? No honest person will deny that under this system the masses of American people are exploited and that the masses of Black people are super-exploited and oppressed, and that historically this oppression and exploitation has produced enormous wealth for handful of capitalists of this country. At the same time that Black people are oppressed as a nation of people, the overwhelmingly majority of them are workers wage slaves, and as such are part of a single U.S. working class. Therefore, the oppressed Black Nation suffers from national, racial and class exploitation and oppression.

Who are our enemies and who are our friends? This is a burning question for our liberation in America, as well as for the liberation of people everywhere. Why? Because the world contains the enemies of peoples who oppress and exploit them, and on the other hand, there are many other people in the world, like ourselves, who want to overthrow these enemies. We can and we must learn how to distinguish real friends in order to attack real enemies in order to solve the key question of proletarian revolution and Black liberation in the U.S.

Who is chiefly responsible for the suffering and misery of Black America? Is it all white people or “honkies”? Is it impossible to unite with white workers because “they will always sell us out”? Maybe it’s God or Allah punishing us for some historical sin we committed long ago? Again, who are our enemies and who are our friends?

One thing is for certain. Something as complex and important as proletarian revolution and Black liberation cannot be approached except in the most thorough and scientific manner. If someone gets sick, we are obliged to consult someone who is skilled in the art and science of medicine, a doctor. If our car breaks down, we look for someone who knows the art and science of fixing cars, a mechanic. Likewise, if we want to struggle for the liberation of Black people we are obliged to study scientifically the social system under which Black people live, in order to understand and solve the problems that Black people face.


We live in the most powerful imperialist country in the world, a country where the capitalist system has reached its highest stage. In this society, we cannot simply “do your own thing.” You cannot do anything as you please to do it. We are all subject to social laws which govern the relations between individuals and classes. The bourgeoisie (capitalist class) and the proletariat (working class) are the two main classes in society. The monopoly capitalist class (bourgeoisie) rules over the entire society by virtue of the fact that it owns and controls the means of production, transportation, finance and communication. The working class, as a class owns nothing but the “freedom” to sell their labor for a pay check in order to live. The working class is the producing class, that is, it produces everything of value in society. Like an individual, society cannot live without food, clothing, and shelter.

These things have to be produced. They don’t just fall from the sky as some might believe. The worker produces these goods by selling his labor power to the employer who owns the plant, the machines and the raw materials. In return, the worker receives a wage. However, the wages received by the worker is not equal to the amount of work he expended. There is no such thing as a “fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.” In reality, the wages the worker receives cover only a part of the time worked, because by his work, the worker adds to the value of anything he touches. A fully assembled car is worth far more than the steel, paint and glass that went into it. A dress is worth far more than the cotton used to make it. It is human labor which transforms things and give them their value. The worker adds a greater value than he receives in wages. This value is surplus-value – what bourgeois society calls “profit.” This is the secret of the tremendous wealth of the rich and super-rich of America. And this is why they are always speeding up the working class to increase production, because the more we work, the more value (profit) we create, the more profit for them. This is what we mean when we say the working class is exploited by the capitalist class. The capitalists can increase their profits only by increasing the exploitation of the workers. On the other hand workers fight and resist this exploitation through economic and political struggle which finally leads to proletarian revolution.

Over a hundred years ago, Karl Marx summed up the struggle between the exploiter and the exploited as such:

“The history of all previous society, is the history of class struggle.” Marx, was the first to show scientifically how human society developed. Marx showed how the struggle for the production and re-production of human life was the basis of social development and that the mainspring of this development is the class struggle.

Society is divided into classes. Classes are divisions of society which permit one part of society to appropriate the labor of another. “If one part of society owns all the land, we have the classes of landlords and peasants. If one part of society owns the plants and factories, shares and capital, while the other part works in these factories, we have the classes of capitalists and proletarians...classes are large groups of persons, differing according to their place, their relationship, their role, and their method of obtaining the share of social wealth, in society.” (Lenin)

The United States is such a society. A society divided into two great antagonistic classes –bourgeoisie and proletarian. Despite the phrasemongering of the bourgeoisie, everyone in the U.S. is not “middle class.” On one side stand the masses of proletarians in the tens of millions, and on the other, a handful of powerful, wealthy imperialists who suck the blood of the people of the world. Between these two lies a “middle class”, or petty bourgeoisie – small farmers, merchants, professional people and others, highly unstable economically, and politically, with a tendency to vacillate from support for the proletariat and the revolution on the one hand, especially when the workers movement is strong and on the upsurge and yet on the other hand, there is also a tendency to support the bourgeoisie against the proletariat, especially when the workers movement is weak, or not yet on the rise. This class has a dual nature and can be won over to the side of proletarian revolution and as such is an ally of the proletariat, again the main, basic and decisive classes in the U.S. are the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, the laborers and the owners of capital.

The fundamental division of U.S. society is the class divisions we just spoke of. However, the United States is a society also divided into nationalities. Beside the exploitation and oppression of the U.S. working class, the U.S. imperialist bourgeoisie exploits and oppresses inside its borders 25 million or so Afro-Americans who constitute an oppressed nation. There are also several other oppressed nationalities like the Chicanos (Mexican-Americans), Puerto-Ricans, and Chinese peoples who are also oppressed by U.S. imperialism. U.S. imperialism doubly oppresses these peoples, and with the huge super-profits it receives, affords temporary “privileges ” (social, political and economic) to the masses of the Anglo-American, or “White” nation, and has thus temporarily succeeded in dividing the workers as compared to black and other oppressed workers in the U.S. The higher standard of living of white workers as compared to black and other oppressed workers in the U.S. is the result of the colonialist and imperialist development of U.S. society, which arose and throve off unpaid black and brown labor. But U.S. imperialism today is perishing. In order to survive U.S. imperialism must attack and intensify the exploitation of the great mass of the U.S. working class, including white workers, as the “wage-price freeze”, the “energy crisis” and ”Watergate” testify to. Right now the struggle of Black and Brown peoples against national oppression and discrimination is spear-heading the revolutionary movement in the U.S. Gradually, this struggle, through many twists and turns, will merge with the revolutionary movement of the working class as a whole (of which it is also an important component part), and like a mighty torrent, will sweep capitalism and imperialism from the face of the earth.


The enemies of Black people are the U.S. monopoly capitalist class and their stooges – the labor bureaucrats, and the Black Bourgeoisie and all who are partners, junior partners and watch dogs of the monopoly capitalist class. Our friends are the great massif the working class and petty bourgeoisie-black, Brown, Yellow, and White, and all those oppressed by capitalism and imperialism. The contradiction between imperialism and the oppressed Black Nation and national minorities, and the contradiction between the capitalist class and working class are the two basic contradictions of U.S. society. Right now, the struggle and resistance of Black and other oppressed peoples against imperialist oppression and super exploitation is the main and decisive one in the U.S. But the very class content of the national oppression of these peoples (their overwhelmingly proletarian character), is giving rise to the incessant growth and merger of both the national revolutionary movement of Black people, as well as the revolutionary movement of the working class as a whole. The two great revolutionary movements in the U.S. have emerged and developed on the basis of these two basic contradictions.