Theoretical innovations of the Saturday Free School
We believe that in order to change the world it is necessary to understand it deeply. Spontaneous action is only a starting point for revolutionary change. This requires us to have rigorous method and theory to interpret the political situation. We believe that the Marxist method of historical materialism is a powerful, but incomplete. Moreover, attempts to complete it by superficially piling on several identity-based concepts has not been successful. Such movements now exist in a diluted form without speaking about capitalism. This is why we find theoretical anchorage in the works of W.E.B Du Bois and James Baldwin. Both advanced new and profound ways to understand the white supremacist social system, colonialism and modern capitalism. Both fought against a dogmatic way to understand society, and in starting from the life-worlds of black folk in America, were able to formulate a deep understanding of the society they lived in. We must learn from this. In order to understand fully the particularities and generalities of each political moment, in our geographic context, we cannot be dogmatic, and have to come up with new logics and theories. W.E.B Du Bois starts Black Reconstruction by talking of the Black Worker, the White Worker and the White Planter. In breaking up the class divisions into three, he is able to formulate the rest of the book in a way which dialectically moves through threes, rather than twos. This dialectics through triads is necessary because race is so fundamental a part of the American identity, it cannot just be explained away as one of many divisions in the working class. Baldwin explained how this concept is preserved in society through a white supremacist social system. An understanding of this social system must deal with the concept of “whiteness”, on a psychological and social level. It is only when people give up their whiteness that there can be principled unity among the working class. Finally, any revolutionary movement has to be necessarily international. To formulate this, we use the concept of inter-civilizational unity. A civilization goes far beyond a nation, and it is in uncovering the radical roots of opposition to white supremacy in civilizations that we will find revolutionary unity.