Thus, the CIO movement of the early thirties was the focal point of a general mass strike process during the pre-revolutionary interval at that time. Now, since "business unionism" began to set in firmly in the late thirties, the mantle of the potential revolutionary vanguard of the class has passed from the previously unorganized industrial workers to the Black super-exploited, the Spanish-speaking, etc. , of our time.
That condition of the most oppressed does not in itself produce a socialist revolutionary movement from their ranks in a pre-revolutionary inter val. Black militant struggles around issues of "local control" can represent Uncle Toms in wolves' clothing parasitizing upon the revolutionary aspirations of the oppressed. To exactly that extent, Black militant local control contains irrepressible elements of revolutionary Black aspirations. But the form of local control, a page Rockefeller, Lindsay, Kennedy and the Ford Foundation have torn from the notebooks of Mussolini and Hitler, represents exactly the device by which the German and Italian fascists exploited the revolutionary aspirations of German and Italian workers and unemployed, for the purpose of atomizing potentially revolutionary forces, of reducing a class force to a harmless collection of individual fingers, each of which could be broken at will.
However, when another layer of society, organized revolutionary intellectuals, can lead effective political strikes in common interest with the oppressed, the revolutionary potentialities of the oppressed masses can begin to show and exert themselves. The obvious mediation of such an alliance is Black high school youth. A political vanguard movement of revolutionary intellectuals and Black high school-age revolutionaries, can transform the ghetto into what is has never become heretofore, a unified--in the main-political force capable of setting even middle-aged white trade unionists into ultimate revolutionary movement.
The potentialities for that exist in the bankruptcy of pure-and-simple trade unionism today. While unionists gullibly still bargain for wages with their employers, under the threat of guidelines and an increasing proportion of political anti-labor weapons, every penny they get--and more--in the new contract is immediately taken out of the other pocket by inflation and rising wage-taxation. The growing bankruptcy of government treasuries transmits the economic crisis most directly to public employees, whose every economic strike is inescapably also a political strike. The-growing proportion of government employees in union ranks, coupled to a rising revolutionary temper and organization among the oppressed, provide the essential strategic combination more than sufficient to abruptly politicize the entire labor move-