Visit Oxfam's "fair trade" project
In 2007, when the new members of the House of Representatives showed up, the Congress passed a so-called continuation funding bill. In this bill, there was only one change from the previous budget, which is why it is called a "continuation" budget.
The change was to increase funding for Third World charity efforts advocated by U2 lead singer Bono. We count Bono as in the proletarian camp. When it was still revolutionary, the Black Panther Party was a famous member of the proletarian camp, because Newton and Cleaver did not believe that the majority of whites had revolutionary interests and they had substantial doubts about Blacks as well.
In contrast, we have some Trotskyists who are working for higher pay for millionaire baseball players. Others are echoing middle-class criticisms of rap word for word while supporting get-out-the-vote drives for the Democrats--all this while calling themselves "Marxist" or even "Maoist."
Give us a choice between Bono hobnobbing with imperialists and a random persyn in the imperialist countries calling himself "Marxist" and we'll take Bono every time, because 95% of so-called Marxists do not know exploitation when they see it. They are instead fans of the white petty-bourgeoisie mistakenly referred to as proletariat.
So it is that we have much more in common with some people in Oxfam and "One." These charities often know better than the so-called Marxists who the exploited are. We do not agree with charities or lobbyists working with the U.S. Congress on their strategies. Nonetheless, these people are in the proletarian camp, a terrible irony of our day, thanks to the usurpation of Marxism by revisionism.
If we ask "One," about their strategy, they will say that the problems are in how money is legislated. So there is a companion organization called "Results." Results believes that fine-tuning legislation helps to make charity more effective.
Recently, the food aid organization called CARE denounced its own methods of funding by the federal government to the tune of $45 million. U.$. government food aid always ends up enriching U.$. shippers and food corporations. For that matter, the charities themselves fund themselves by selling U.$. products paid for originally by taxpayers.
It becomes difficult to separate charities from what we call the overproduction crisis, in which U.$. capitalism has to find a way to dump its products abroad. The capitalist system is driven to overproduce by its very nature. In this case, it destroys African farmers via charity efforts.
Hence, charities have arguable effects. This is what we mean by a strategic disagreement. Within our class, the international proletariat, or in the proletarian camp, there are differences on how to accomplish something. Bono, parts of Oxfam and One are in the proletarian camp despite their not being revolutionary.
Nicholas D. Kristof, "Bono, Foreign Aid and Skeptics," 9Aug07, New York Times, p. 19.