Putting Theory into Practice: Using a Human Rights Framework and Grassroots Organizing to Build a National Revolutionary Movement

Mandell, Bekah

This Essay proposes to use the theoretical framework of Critical Race Theory and Marxism to chart a way forward and away from the Tea Party's racist dream and toward revolution. This Essay will show how the ruling class uses race and immigration status to isolate, alienate, dehumanize, and divide poor and working class people. Those tactics work to keep working people (particularly Whites) dreaming the impossible dream that someday their oppressors—the ruling class—will offer them the sweet relief and prosperity they so desperately desire. This Essay will demonstrate that while these tactics prevent the poor and working classes from developing the shared struggle, organization, and consequent class-consciousness that are necessary for a movement to overthrow the chains of exploitation and build a revolution, they can be overcome by using a grassroots organizing strategy and human rights framework. The second section of this essay will briefly outline the history of the ruling class's divide and conquer strategy. The third section will explain how the divide and conquer tactics play out in the contemporary United States. The final section will make the case for overcoming those tactics with an anti-oppression grassroots organizing strategy based on human rights principles informed by both Marxism and Critical Race Theory (CRT). This Essay will demonstrate that this strategy is the most effective way to undermine the ruling class hegemony, and overcome their divide and conquer tactics, and allows working people to develop the class-consciousness necessary to overthrow the bonds of capitalist exploitation.


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Columbia Journal of Race and Law

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October 20, 2012