Why Today's Middle Class Mistakenly believes They Have a Stake in the Fate of Their 'Masters'

Malcolm X later recanted the framing of famous his 1963 speech 'The House Negro and The Field Negro' as he did many others in the final months before his assassination because he realized that it incorrectly focused on racism not on the class struggle itself. It's easy to forgive Malcolm X and so many other African American political and religious visionaries because their ancestors were brought to the New World in chains and, though legally free, they remained immersed in a racist society. Nonetheless his eloquent speech [above] is an excellent example of the real class divisions that have long existed in the service of the 'masters'.

What Malcolm X came to realize was that there is 'No War But The Class War'. That the 'masters' strategy of divide and conquer is older than history. That as the Roman Caesars knew, divide et impera, by dividing what otherwise would be an overwhelming force along otherwise insignificant lines of difference they could rule. The success of 'divide and conquer' has created a world focused on and divided by differences in religion, race, gender, sexual preference, language...just about anything that diverts the people's attention away from the only division that really matters - wealth and class.

No War But The Class War (NWBTCW) is a phrase widely used by diverse groups as a means of underlining the priority of class struggle above other political aims in their opposition to capitalism. The Occupy movement tried recently to refocus the political discourse on the class struggle with their 1% vs. 99% meme. Occupy was so successful that it had to be crushed quickly by the 'masters', and it was.

Occupy was crushed by the same type of internal division within an oppressed group that Malcolm X refers to as the field/house negro division. In his speech he talks about how the house Negroes were given certain limited privileges that allowed them to feel superior to their field negro brethren - to eat the same foods, wear the same clothes, even get a rudimentary education - and how by getting those crumbs the house Negroes mistakenly believed they had a stake in the fates of their 'masters'. The folks in the FBI and the local police forces they coordinated, like the house Negroes, mistakenly believed they had a stake in the fate of their 'masters' - the 1%.

Further, not just those folks who work in the state security apparatus have been successfully programmed into believing they have a stake in the fate of their 1% masters but the almost the entire middle class has too. By allowing themselves to accept the comforting lie that the crumbs they scurry for falling from their 'masters table sets them apart from the poor and gives them a stake in the extractive capitalist economy they become active tools of oppression just like those house Negroes Malcolm X referred to.

Untied we stand. Divided we fall. Falling nearly conquered we are because so many of us choose to believe the comforting lies our capitalist 'masters' have learned to use to divide then sub-divide us instead of allowing ourselves to see the inconvenient truth.