The Pretend Revolution of Kevin Rashid’s First Worldism

•2015 02 26 • Leave a Comment

Kevin Rashid of the blog Democracy and Class Struggle attempts to take on the Maoist International Movement (MIM) by claiming he can debunk the idea of a global labour aristocracy.[1] His answer contains no tangible refutation whatsoever. He mere dogmatically reasserts what has been stated in the past about the labour aristocracy without actually confronting the arguments presented. He like many MLMs don’t both doing any actual theoretical work, instead they grip even more tightly the theory handed down by past generations under different material conditions. When confronted with this new reality they simply dig in their heels proclaiming that they have all the answers while achieving or demonstrating nothing. If this were true and the First World was revolutionary, then why are they not carrying out struggle/People’s War right now? Why are there no shots being fired against the U.S. government? If revolution in the First World is possible then I challenge them to go out and do it.

My purpose here is not to defend MIM, they do not need my help in anyway shape or form. In truth MIM and I have very different ideas on many subjects. However the labour aristocracy is not one of them. To claim the working class here today is revolutionary is nothing short of a farce, or a demonstration of stubborn dogmatism. Marx said conditions were always changing and that new conditions may arise that give shape to a whole different set of contradictions. This point is singularly forgotten about when it comes to MLM today.

Rashid’s position against Third Worldism is no more fraudulent than any other I have seen. To give one quick example he states that the Third Worldist line, “claims only 3rd World people (of color) are genuine proletarians because the superexploitation of their labor power by the imperialist country bourgeoisie produces ‘superprofits’ which is the source of higher wages paid to Euro-Amerikan (EA) workers, and consequently EA workers produce no surplus value; therefore, they are a parasitic labor aristocracy (LA) with no revolutionary potential and are enemies of the international working class.”[2] Please allow me to respond to this claim.

This is a false argument as Third Worldism makes no claim that First World workers generate no surplus value. We state very clearly that they do. We say that they contribute to the production process that often does contribute to the generation of value. We do say however that this contribution is quite minimal, and depending on what is being produced, may not contribute any. We do not say that First World workers do not contribute anything. In general, when we look at the overall amount of value created in the global economy, the vast overwhelming majority of value is created in the Third World. Even without a detailed explanation we need only see the deindustrialization of the First World as manufacturing (physical commodity production) has been move to the Third World. One prime example is the manufacturing of many products in China which are sent to the First World to be assembled. Instead we are given largely service jobs, administrative duties, these have replaced a great deal of manufacturing. This is often the case with automobiles as well. The act of assembling itself is value generation which we do not deny exists. When we look at the overall value generation we can see that First World people do not carry the lion’s share of that work. Rashid has already begin from a false premise.

Now when we look at the wages that are paid out in comparison to who creates the amounts of value, we see a great imbalance. If the lion’s share of work is being done by Third Worlders but the lion’s share of wages is going to First Worlders, then there really is a section of people working in production who are receiving much more than their contribution. Because Rashid begins from this false premise the rest of his statements collapse afterward. He does however continue with his response.

“We submit that this vulgar LA line 1) does not by any stretch represent a MLM line, and grossly distorts what constitutes a LA; 2) is refuted by the most basic principles of Marxist political economy (PE); 3) serves the counter-revolutionary ruling class agenda of racially dividing the working class (under a false guise of making/applying class analysis); 4) serves as an excuse for not doing revolutionary work among EA workers; and 5) is a purely petty bourgeois line in its character and origin.”[3] (Rashid’s emphasis, not mine)

The most glaring error here is obvious to me as it should be to Rashid. This Third Worldist line on the Labour Aristocracy is not supposed to represent an MLM line. It is a Third Worldist line. I can’t for the life of me imagine why Rashid would claim this, it is an outright misrepresentation of our line. I suspect this may have been intentional in order to attack the Third Worldist line as a lot of First Worldists do this.

Secondly, our labour aristocracy line is not “refuted by the most basic of Marxist political economy”. Now he does provide an example later on in his post which is incorrect. I’m not going to get into that right now but later I will. My goal at this moment is to show that the Third Worldist labour aristocracy line does not violate Marxist political economy. An important point to make here is that it is not merely production itself where First World Workers exploit and have higher living standards off Third World workers. There is also the surplus value that is collected by the First World and then distributed among the society. Allow me to quote the foremost Third Worldist group ,The Leading Light Communist Organization (LLCO)[4]:

“The world economy is made up of chains of economic interaction. Each commodity has a point where it was produced. Before a commodity finally leaves circulation it might be exchanged several times. Let’s say a commodity was produced at point A. It was bought by a middleman company and transported and sold again at point C. After being sold at the department store, the commodity leaves circulation. This chain can be represented thus:

A -> B -> C

“At each stage of the commodity’s journey profit may be obtained. Let’s suppose profit is obtained when the commodity is sold from the factory at A to the middleman at B. Profit is obtained when the middleman company B sells it to the retail store C. And profit is also obtained when the retailer C sells the commodity to the consumer. Even though profit is obtained at each point in the circulation chain, surplus value can only be produced by the direct producer. Even though profit is obtained by the middlemen and distributor, this profit is not produced by the workers employed by either the middleman B or the retailer C. This allows Marx to make the point that the merchant does not get rich by cheating his clerks:

“We must make the same distinction between him and the wage-workers directly employed by industrial capital which exists between industrial capital and merchant’s capital, and thus between the industrial capitalist and the merchant. Since the merchant, as mere agent of circulation, produces neither value nor surplus-value.. it follows that the mercantile workers employed by him in these same functions cannot directly create surplus-value for him.. In other words, that he does not enrich himself by cheating his clerks.”[5]

“When Marx is at his most consistent he extends this point very broadly. There is no reason we cannot extend Marx’s point about clerks to all of those outside production. Even if Marx isn’t always clear, and sometimes contradictory, one has to make this generalization to be consistent with the Labor Theory of Value. Direct production is the origin of value and the original source of all profit in the Marxist Labor Theory of Value paradigm. Thus, as Eleanor Marx points out, the value that is obtained by all classes has its origin in the direct producers. This is true not just of true of the traditional ruling classes, but also of those who are employed but are not direct producers or part of direct production. These workers may help realize value but they do not produce it as the direct producer does. A bank does not create its profit by squeezing value out of its tellers. A bank obtains its profit by receiving a share of the total social product produced by direct producers. Banks obtain their share through investments and financial manipulations, but the origin of that value lies in direct production. The same is true of supermarkets. It isn’t like they grow the lettuce in the store parking lot. Santa’s elves are not toiling away in the back of the Toys ‘r’ Us.

“Because of the tremendous productive capacity of capitalism, these unproductive sectors have expanded significantly. These unproductive sectors have come to dominate whole national economies in the First World. Walmart, for example, is the biggest employer in the United States, with over 1 million employees.[6] The total population of the United States is 309 million. Of the 145 million people who are employed (this includes the undocumented too) within the United States, roughly 26 million are employed in those sectors of the economy that loosely (since we are relying on Bureau of Labor Statistics’ data) correspond with direct production.[7] However, it is important to note that many of those employed in these sectors are not the direct producers themselves. Many in these sectors are management, etc., even if they are employed in the direct production sector of the economy. It is a conservative estimate that at least 10% to 30% of this sector can be considered to not be direct producers in a literal or extended sense. We can generously say that 23.4 million to 18.2 million people in the United States can be counted as direct producers in the loosest sense of the term. By contrast, 126.8 million to 121.6 million in the United States are employed but are not direct producers.[8] This tremendous lopsidedness is why the United States’ economy can be described as a mall economy. As great as the productive forces may be, 23.4 million to 18.2 million people cannot account for the sum of the incomes of the 145 million employed plus the incomes of those tens of millions who are not employed but still have incomes, i.e. capitalists, the petty bourgeoisie, the unemployed, those on welfare, retirees, students, etc. Rather, it stands to reason, the value that allows for this tremendous lopsidedness has to be coming from outside “the mall,” from the Third World. It is, of course, no accident that the increase of this lopsidedness in the United States corresponds to the rise of the United States as the supreme imperialist power after World War II and the decline of inter-imperialist rivalry. Imperialism aided this lopsided development, and continues to maintain it. The lopsidedness is production, but also in wealth and power, after World War II, is why Lin Biao noted that revolution in the First World had halted even while revolution was bursting on the historical stage in the Third.

“Since World War II, the proletarian revolutionary movement has for various reasons been temporarily held back in the North American and West European capitalist countries, while the people’s revolutionary movement in Asia, Africa and Latin America has been growing vigorously.”[9]

“Another assumption Marx made was that the incomes of the direct producers under capitalism, which for Marx mostly meant the industrial workers, would be reduced to subsistence or sub-subsistence. This is because in a pure model competition between capitalists results over time in equalization of technique. So, the only way left for a capitalist to increase profits is to reduce wages. So much did Marx think this an inevitability of capitalism that Marx identified the value of labor-power with the bare minimum necessary to keep the worker reproducing his labor from day to day. Although this immiseration of direct producers does bear out in much of the Third World, it hardly characterizes any worker in the United States except perhaps some negligible undocumented workers at the very edges of the economy. Often, this does not even characterize the situation of prisoners who are forced to produce. Even those who produce in the First World obtain a wide range of incomes, all of them well above the value of labor-power as set by Marx. Their incomes and standard of living are so high as to make them generally happy with their lot within the system. They align with the imperialist system. Even though Marx was wrong about the exact details of immiseration, this view of value allows for what is seen today. Under Marx’s model, it is possible for value to be transferred from direct producers to others. It is also possible for value to be transferred from direct producers to direct producers. In other words, First World direct producers can obtain a share of the surplus that originates in the Third World. Even if a direct producer in the First World is adding to the global social product through his labor, at the same time, he is subtracting from the global social product the same way that other exploiters do. He is obtaining a share of value from the Third World. This offsets whatever value he produces. This makes him a net-exploiter, just like members of other exploiting classes.

“Marx’s theory of value allows for these possibilities that go a long way in explaining current reality. The claim by First Worldist that if profit is being obtained by a particular business, then there is exploitation by that business of its workers does not follow. An epistemological problem arises: how do we know whether a worker is an exploiter or not? Because value can be transferred in so many ways from one person to another, from one direct producer to another, it is necessary to establish a way to measure who is and who is not exploited. Either it is necessary to assign a value to labor-power or it is necessary to find another way to measure exploitation. Today virtually the entire world’s economy is integrated into one giant imperialist formation. The production of a commodity may take place across several countries. To complete a commodity it is not unusual for producers across vast distances to have contributed to its completion. To maintain that the labor-power of First World producers is different than the labor-power of Third World producers is pure chauvinism, especially since economies are so globalized today. Any approach to solving this problem should apply to workers everywhere.”

This is the political economics put forward by the LLCO which certainly does not violate what Marx handed down to us. Rashid merely claims that it does without much of an explanation. Later in his post he gives the example of a fast food worker. This doesn’t actually refute what has been put here. In fact fast food is one of the few semi-exceptions. What we call the First World is a “mall economy”. When you think about a shopping mall you see very little is actually produced there. Almost everything comes from everywhere else. One of the few exceptions is fast food which is produced there. Even then the substance of the food is made elsewhere. This example doesn’t confirm what Rashid is saying, it may stand as an exception but it is not the rule. Rashid has specifically chosen this one because it is an exception which Third Worldists like myself make.

Thirdly, he claims that is serves counter-revolution by racially dividing the working class. I’d like to remind Rashid that the world is already racially divided. There is great global white supremacist reality. Even locally in the US there is one. After all why is he the head of the New Afrikan/Black Panther Party? Why is he the head of a Black liberation group if there is no racial divide? There very clearly is. White imperialist influence affects countries in was that can be seen all over the world. The whole phenomenon of White skin being seen as beautiful as opposed to dark skin which is rejected. Rashid’s claim here is that worker’s of all colours around the world have the same class interest is absolutely false. There are poorer White people in Eastern Europe than there are poor black in the United States. From what we have just demonstrated in terms of political econ, a Black First World person is not in the same class a Black African. First World Black people as we have seen do benefit from the exploitation of Black African workers. This claim by Rashid seems to me to be a thinly veiled accusation of racism. If we ignore the class divide that exists then we doom the revolution by failing to understand the material conditions we face. His statement essentially blinds us to the class reality. His irrational cheerleading of reactionary First World “masses” only prevents revolution from happening by presenting it in a way which it cannot come. His actions are a defence of the exploitation First World people carry out and a reinforcement of the power of the bourgeoisie by presenting a false image of the labour aristocracy.

Fourthly, he claims that this entire line is an excuse not to carry out work among the First World “working class”. This claim is nothing more than a projection of his own line upon others. If we proceed form the premise that First World people are not revolutionary then it would make sense not to waste time, money and resources on them. If we proceed from his opposite view then it would seem as though it was a way of avoid organizing in the First World. I should ask, has Rashid has not noticed the lack of positive outcome from organizing in the First World? His organization and many, many before him have been organizing for over a hundred years and have not succeeded in the least to bring revolution. Even with all the capital advantages of the First World they cannot achieve even the slightest revolutionary advance. With all the disadvantages, revolutionary movements in the Third World struggle on and risk life and death on a daily basis for decades. Investing in revolution in the First World does not work, it hasn’t worked, and it won’t work. What is his excuse for continually championing a people who refuse to be revolutionary?

Fifthly, his claim that the Third Worldist line is “a purely petty bourgeois line in its character and origin”, is a completely baseless accusation. Digging to the “lower and deeper” sections of the proletariat is not bourgeois. What Rashid is doing is bourgeois, continuing to claim people who are not revolutionary to be so. It drives resources away from those who can and do fight class struggle all for the sake of the First World’s ego and victim complex.

Rashid continues with his misrepresentation of the Third Worldist line:

“Marx himself stated those who presume there could be an “equality of wages” under capitalism, harbor “an insane wish never to be fulfilled,” and those who base political lines on such a notion reflect “that false and superficial radicalism that accepts premises and tries to evade conclusions.” Which is a true characterization in every sense of the VLA proponents. So, because the cost and standard of living and thus wages are much higher in the US than, say, Nicaragua, does not—according to Marx himself—make the US worker any less a proletarian than the Nicaraguan worker.”[10]

This statement makes no sense when placed as opposition to the Third Worldist line. We don’t advocate an equality in wages. We don’t suggest either that there should be in this regard. The purpose of this statement is to claim that Third Worldists think that just because there isn’t an equality in wages it makes First World workers unrevolutionary. This is not the case, we don’t make this argument. What we do say is that the inequality in wages and profits transfers mass amounts of wealth from one country to another creating a great divide in living standards. The value stolen from the Third World pays for all the social programs and welfare benefits that we enjoy. We in a tremendous way, an overall social way benefit from Third World exploitation. It is not simply a matter of wage inequality, but a global transfer of wealth. Rashid has blatantly misrepresented the Third Worldist line by constructing a strawman argument. In Rashid’s view that he has presented, he has compared people with wage differences and made it the same as people who live in two completely different global living standards. The fact Rashid can ever claim wage differentials is the same as global imbalances of wealth is disgusting.

On top of this Rashid claims that a First World “worker” is no less proletarian than a Nicaraguan worker. This could not be anymore false. Are we really supposed to believe that a Nicaraguan sweatshop worker is as equally proletarian as a $60,000 a year construction worker? Marx defined proletarian as having nothing to lose but their chains. I think that $60,000 a year union construction worker has a lot more to lose than chains. He’s has a two cars, savings, a house, four weeks of vacation a year, and a nice fat pension (benefitting from financial capital investment). If anyone thinks these two people are on the same level of proletarian-ishness they are deluding themselves. If anyone thinks he’ll give this up to become a guerrilla fight against the government they are deluding themselves.

When Marx spoke of what proletarian is, he did not reduce it to being a wage labourer, which is what Rashid is claiming. In fact Marx gives a more complex view. It is a person who is: 1. Involved in the production of value and surplus-value, 2. have nothing to lose but their chains, and 3. has only their labour to sell. This does not describe a good deal of workers in the First World today. Many can claim unemployment insurance, welfare or disability. They also have homes they can sell. In Marx’s day industrial workers were all the workers, he also differentiated between productive and unproductive labour. Much of the labour performed by the First World is unproductive labour. Rashid has oversimplified what proletariat means by cherry picking Marx’s description of it. There’s more to it than what Rashid has claimed.

This doesn’t even take into account the rate of exploitation.

If you think these two people are equally proletarian then you don't know what proletarian is.

If you think these two people are equally proletarian then you don’t know what proletarian is.

True, Lenin did speak these words. The jist of it being that the labour aristocracy can be both revolutionary and reaction given their position in society. Essentially this does show that Lenin did also think that the labour aristocracy was reactionary, which confirms a part of our claim. But he like all other First Worldists he take Lenin’s words out of context. He was referring to workers in his day around 1917. The world and certainly Europe and North America are not the same as they were in that day. That was almost 100 years ago, but in the mind of people like Rashid and other Marxist-Leninists (and MLMs), nothing has changed since then. In truth the world has changed a great deal since then with wealth polarizing differently than Marx predicted. Clearly there is super-exploitation of the Thrid World for the benefit of the First. Financial capital alone has evolved immensely since Lenin’s days when it was just beginning to come into its own. The power of financial capital has become nearly totalitarian and has made industrial capital subservient to it. This is the opposite of what Marx actually predicted. The error Rashid makes here is transplanting the theory based on the material conditions of a hundred years ago and placing them onto the conditions we have now. Nothing is more dogmatic than to refuse to see the material conditions of our time. As times change theory must change with it. Lenin updated Marx’s work for the 20th century, just as we have to do it now in the 21st century. Yes Rashid, the economic situation of the world has changed in the last 100 years.

In addition he seems to have missed the very clear error that both Marx and Lenin made. Both were confident that the workers of the advanced industrialized nations would lead the revolution as they supposedly had the greatest class consciousness. As we can see this was not the case, this is not what happened. It was in fact the more backward less developed nations that were the ones who went to revolution. China, Cuba, Vietnam, DPRK were all underdeveloped agrarian nations. Russia itself was very backward for Europe, and it too still had a very agrarian society. The advanced societies have not shown the potential to lead revolution as both men had predicted. The closest was Germany just before WW2, but we saw what happened there. Here Rashid, Lenin, like Marx, are all wrong. Even today we see very clearly this is not the case. Who has the revolutions going on right now? Is it the industrialized nations? No, it is the backward semi-feudal countries like India, the Philippines, and Nepal. The First World is not showing any revolutionary initiative.

I would also like to add that there are Lenin quotes that contradict what Rashid has put forth here. Quotes that actually uphold the Third Worldist line.

“The industrial workers cannot accomplish their epoch-making mission. . .if they. . . smugly restrict themselves to attaining an improvement in their own conditions, which may sometimes be tolerable in the petty-bourgeois sense. This is exactly what happens to the ‘labor aristocracy’ of many advanced countries, who constitute the core of the so-called socialist parties of the Second International; they are actually the bitter enemies and betrayers of socialism, petty-bourgeois chauvinists and agents of the bourgeoisie within the working-class movement.”[12]

Another shows his belief that countries exploit and live off other countries.

“The export of capital, one of the most essential economic bases of imperialism, still more completely isolates the rentiers from production and sets the seal of parasitism on the whole country that lives by exploiting the labour of several overseas countries and colonies.”[13]

In fact Frederic Engels even questioned the revolutionary potential of the advanced country of England during his own time.

“The English proletariat is actually becoming more and more bourgeois, so that the ultimate aim of this most bourgeois of all nations would appear to be the possession, alongside the bourgeoisie, of a bourgeois aristocracy and a bourgeois proletariat. In the case of a nation which exploits the entire world this is, of course, justified to some extent.”[14]

In another writing he acknowledged that there must be a revolt by occupied countries in order to have revolution in the advanced countries.

“Do not on any account whatever let yourself be deluded into thinking there is a real proletarian movement going on here. . .

“And–apart from the unexpected–a really general workers’ movement will only come into existence here when the workers are made to feel the fact that England’s world monopoly is broken.

“Participation in the domination of the world market was and is the basis of the political nullity of the English workers. The tail of the bourgeoisie in the economic exploitation of this monopoly but nevertheless sharing in its advantages, politically they are naturally the tail of the “great Liberal Party.””[15]

To further reinforce his argument, Rashid argues that Mao believed the same thing that First World people are not just a revolutionary force, but a necessary one for the liberation of African Americans:

“Neither did Mao. He in fact specifically promoted the EA workers as a potentially revolutionary class, who under the leadership of New Afrikan/Black revolt would overthrow the imperialist system, which he observed was the only path to genuine freedom for New Afrikans/Blacks[16]:

“Racial discrimination in the United States is a product of the colonialist and imperialist system. The contradiction between the Black masses in the United States and the U.S. ruling circles is a class contradiction. Only by overthrowing the reactionary rule of the U.S. monopoly capitalist class and destroying the colonialist and imperialist system can the Black people in the United States win complete emancipation. The Black masses and the masses of white working people in the United States have common interests and common objectives to struggle for. Therefore, the Afro-American struggle is winning sympathy and support from increasing numbers of white working people and progressives in the United States. The struggle of the Black people in the United States is bound to merge with the American workers’ movement, and this will eventually end the criminal rule of the U.S. monopoly capitalist class.”[17]

Here we are faced with a similar yet also different problem than we faced with quoting Lenin. Mao here, while saying there was a White proletariat, was absolutely wrong about their role. While yes, the racism in the United States is rooted in its colonialist and imperialist system, Mao was entirely wrong about the White masses “working class” movement allying with Black liberation. White people in the U.S. receive benefits from discrimination. We see this most starkly when Affirmative Action is brought up. White people see it as losing their rightful place among the possible applicants for various services. White people gain better access to education, housing and employment via the discrimination. They materially lose out on equality with the Black population. Again we run into the same problem of the quote being based on material conditions that didn’t exist. Even then Mao was wrong about White and Black “proletarians” in the U.S. having a common interest. Just watch what every White person does when Blacks express anger at an injustice they suffer. Mao understood very little about race relations in the U.S., he even went so far as to claim the majority of White Americans were not racist, which is blatantly false.

“In the final analysis, national struggle is a matter of class struggle. Among the whites in the United States it is only the reactionary ruling circles who oppress the black people. They can in no way represent the workers, farmers, revolutionary intellectuals and other enlightened persons who comprise the overwhelming majority of the white people.”[18]

With all this, Mao still doesn’t really follow the First Worldist line in this case. He in fact ended up acknowledging that the creation of socialism is more difficult in the advanced First World countries. Even revolutionaries who lived in conditions closer to ours like Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai.

“In the various nations of the West there is a great obstacle to carrying through any revolution and construction movement; i.e., the poisons of the bourgeoisie are so powerful that they have penetrated each and every corner. While our bourgeoisie has had, after all, only three generations, those of England and France have had a 250-300 year history of development, and their ideology and modus operandi have influenced all aspects and strata of their societies. Thus the English working class follows the Labour Party, not the Communist Party.

“Lenin says, ‘The transition from capitalism to socialism will be more difficult for a country the more backward it is.’ This would seem incorrect today.”[19]

To finish a refutation of Rashid’s claim that the Third Worldist position is wrong, he fails to understand our line on the liberation of the Black Nation.

“Yet the VLA proponents recognize New Afrikan prisoners as ‘lumpen’ who are potentially revolutionary. Which begs the question, why aren’t they doing work within the oppressed New Afrikan communities where they’re less apt to be censored, if indeed they compose a lumpen sector? And if the lumpen can be redeemed, why not EA workers? Refusing to do political work among them is to leave them to be used (as Fanon warned about the lumpen) by the bourgeoisie against the revolutionary movement. Even the imperialists recognize and express the real danger of Maoists is that we perceive everyone to be potential allies excepting only the imperialists, who are our only permanent enemy. We thus work to turn their own allies against them.”[20]

The answer is quite obvious if you read any Third Worldist position on the matter. Yes, there is some revolutionary potential among the Black Nation, but there is something important to keep in mind: You can’t have a communist revolution in the US based entirely on Black oppression. Are the Blacks supposed to bring revolution to the Whites? A communist revolution is the masses rising up against their ruling class and the bourgeois state. How is this possible when the revolutionary force is only 12.6% of the population? I believe the Chinese Communist party faced a similar situation when they tried to conduct a worker based revolution against the Nationalist Party and failed. You cannot have a revolution of the “masses” of a country by only using 12% of them.

The best any such movement could hope for is to carve out some kind of autonomous space which is very unlikely given the U.S. government’s history. If there was a Black revolt at all, never mind a communist one, the White population would demand the U.S. military go in and prevent it from taking place. If anyone thinks the White population actually wants true liberation for the Black population they are sorely mistaken. They could at most only want liberal reforms. If any movement actually challenged the systemic oppression it would be rejected by Whites. In other words, a revolutionary Black movement could not bring communism because it couldn’t actually win.

Since we Third Worldists already know that revolution is not possible in the First World, why would we spend money and resources on it? The Third World is full of potential with revolutions actually taking place. This does not mean we oppose Black liberation, we support it; it means we recognise that it is not tactically possible. The Third World is absolutely filled with revolutionary potential which if successful cuts off the “EA” (to use his term) from their exploitation causing an eventual economic collapse, hopefully creating the necessary class consciousness for there to be revolution in the U.S. and Europe.

Unfortunately First Worldism is by no means limited to Kevin Rashid. First Worldism is revisionism that is wide spread across Marxist circles and is a clear danger to revolution. This is why it is important for us, today now more than ever to oppose it. Tit-for-tat we must respond to their poisoning of revolutionary theory and work.

* * *

Sources:

1. Kevin Rashid Johnson : Answering A Revisionist Line on the Labor Aristocracy

http://democracyandclasstruggle.blogspot.ca/2015/02/kevin-rashid-johnson-answering.html

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. Revisiting Value and Exploitation, LLCO
http://llco.org/revisiting-value-and-exploitation/

5. Marx, Karl Capital Vol. 3 Chapter XVII

6. http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/retail/2003-11-10-walmart_x.htm

7. Data extrapolated from BLS statistic from 2009 and 2010
http://www.bls.gov/cps/faq.htm#Ques8 and ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/suppl/empsit.cpseea21.txt

8. The method here is to add up all industries that can loosely be considered “direct production.” We do the same for other sectors. Also, 10% to 20% is subtracted in order to roughly account for those employed in the direct production sector, but who are not themselves direct producers, i.e management, etc. The numbers are from the employment charts at the Census Bureau.

9. Lin Biao Long Live the Victory of People’s War!
http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/lin-biao/1965/09/peoples_war/ch07.htm

10. Kevin Rashid Johnson : Answering A Revisionist Line on the Labor Aristocracy

11. Ibid.

12. V. I. Lenin, “Preliminary Draft Theses on the Agrarian Question”

13. V. I. Lenin, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism

14. Frederic Engels, October 7, 1858 “Letter to Marx”

15. Frederick Engels to Bebel August 30, 1883

16. Kevin Rashid Johnson : Answering A Revisionist Line on the Labor Aristocracy

17. Statement by Comrade Mao Tse-tung, Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, in Support of the Afro-American Struggle Against Violent Repression (April 16, 1968)

18. Statement Supporting the American Negroes in Their Just Struggle Against Racial Discrimination by U.S. Imperialism (August 8,1963)

19. Premier Zhou Enlai, Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars, China! Inside the People’s Republic

20. Kevin Rashid Johnson : Answering A Revisionist Line on the Labor Aristocracy

21. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_the_United_States#Race_and_ethnicity

Legalizing Rape: The Free Market and Men’s Rights Activists

•2015 02 22 • Leave a Comment

roosh douche

Has anyone ever noticed a similar mentality between right wing libertarians and Men’s Rights Activists? I’ve noticed this for some time yet have never really looked into it until I witnessed this abhorrent blog post which was brought to my attention via Raw Story. An anti-feminist blogger Roosh Vörek (who goes by Roosh V) has penned a post where he claims laws against rape only make “women wholly unconcerned with their own safety and the character of men they developed intimate relationships with.” His whole concern is that teaching men not to rape only encourages women to be careless with their safety endangering them by making them careless… No, I’m not kidding.

“I saw women who voluntarily numbed themselves with alcohol and other drugs in social settings before letting the direction of the night’s wind determine who they would follow into a private room,” he wrote. “I saw women who, once feeling awkward, sad, or guilty for a sexual encounter they didn’t fully remember, call upon an authority figure to resolve the problem by locking up her previous night’s lover in prison or ejecting him from school.”

“By attempting to teach men not to rape, what we have actually done is teach women not to care about being raped, not to protect themselves from easily preventable acts, and not to take responsibility for their actions.”

“I thought about this problem and am sure I have the solution: make rape legal if done on private property,” he continued. “I propose that we make the violent taking of a woman not punishable by law when done off public grounds.”

“After several months of advertising this law throughout the land, rape would be virtually eliminated on the first day it is applied,” he insisted. “Consent is now achieved when she passes underneath the room’s door frame, because she knows that that man can legally do anything he wants to her when it comes to sex.”

Vörek admitted that “[b]ad encounters are sure to occur, but these can be learning experiences for the poorly trained woman so she can better identify in the future the type of good man who will treat her like the delicate flower that she believes she is.”

This is very clearly an attempt to legalize rape, as he literally says to legalize it, although it be under certain conditions. This single fact alone shows that he has nothing but hate for women. If he didn’t he would be advocating that rape remain illegal. It sounds a lot like he just wants to rape in my opinion.

Is this not the same attitude that we see out of right wing libertarians and “anarcho”-capitalists? As long as the act takes place on private property it isn’t wrong. People are free to act on and do with their property as they please without interference from the government. I think this fits into that mentality very well. This whole concept of women gaining “learning experiences” is just another form of the-market-will-sort-it-out argument. It basically says that people can engage in all kinds of harmful and anti-social behaviour. Eventually people will learn what the person is up to and not have contact with them or choose not to exchange with them. In the meantime that person is free to put as much arsenic in the food they sell and kill as many people as possible. It’s nothing more than an claiming oppression for not being able to engage in activities harmful to other people.

It’s also another one of those examples where “anarcho”-capitalists claim regulation creates the very problem it is supposed to tackle. A claim that has nothing to back it up but a perverse sense of logic. Essentially Roosh V is just trying to apply free market extremist ideology to the realm of sexual behaviour. And like the free market application, it will lead to nothing but destruction and misery.

* * *
Sources:

Misogynist blogger: Make rape on private property legal so women can have ‘learning experiences’, Raw Story
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/02/misogynist-blogger-make-rape-on-private-property-legal-so-women-can-have-learning-experiences/

How To Stop Rape, Roosh V
http://www.rooshv.com/how-to-stop-rape

Silencing the Enemy to Hear the People: Towards a Correct View of Freedom of Speech

•2015 02 20 • Leave a Comment

big poster

“I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”
– Voltaire
(liberal idealist)

VS.

“Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas?”
– Joseph V. Stalin
(pragmatic revolutionary)

Often words like these are used when people talk about freedom of speech, the right to express an opinion or make a political comment or criticism. It’s a very long held saying that embodies a very complicated subject. Freedom of speech is complicated like every of freedom. There is no real freedom in the absolute as we are usually given; and which most arguments are based upon. It’s one of the most sacred tenets of the Constitution which every American proudly waves. In theory it forms one of the very foundational pieces of the American identity and society. Every activist, every protester will tell you that they believe in freedom of speech. Usually they say this as they are making some kind of speech or public criticism of something. No one is really willing to stand up and say that they don’t believe in free speech. Well I suppose there is some minority of fascists who are willing to say such a thing.

No One Believes in Freedom of Speech

Everyone says they believe in freedom of speech, but yet in truth almost no one really does. You can ask almost any person if they believe in freedom of speech and they’ll say yes. Immediately proceed to ask that same person if they are willing to invest in your new child pornography business. That person will turn around and tell you no. So really they don’t believe in freedom of speech, they believe in certain restrictions. You supposedly have this freedom in Western liberal bourgeois democracy, but show up to a protest and see what the reaction by the system is. Almost every person believes in placing some restrictions on speech. It is fair (and more accurate to say) that people believe in restricted speech. Personally, I am no different in this regard, I oppose some notion of total free speech. When we think of this phrase this is the image we get in our minds. A noble sentiment handed down from the Founding Fathers as some kind of ultimate inalienable right. It is intended to invoke an unrealistic idealist conception of personal freedom. This extreme personal freedom does not exist.

There will always be great contradictions in such a freedom, as freedoms are inherently contradictory. There is speech that I think shouldn’t be allowed, just as you think there is speech that should not be allowed. If were debate this long enough we will find ourselves disagreeing at some point about what should and what should not be allowed. This will happen with almost anyone. A Christian fundamentalist would say that anything that is accepting of homosexuality should not be allowed for moral reasons, and would actively seek to stop it. Many people are opposed to this bigoted view and actively seek to stop it. To the Christian fundamentalist the attempt to stop their expression that homosexuality is negative is an infringement upon their freedom of speech. The person opposed to them would claim that any attempt to suppress the idea that homosexuality is not negative would claim that doing so is an infringement upon their freedom of speech. Clearly there is an irresolvable contradiction here. Both cannot exist and prevent the other from speaking at the same time. There is no idealist notion that both will simply be allowed to speak, because both actively seek to silence the other. The contradiction here is antagonistic. They do not exist side-by-side without interaction, they exist in active opposition to each other, nothing is going to change that.

Everyone believes in stifling some speech in some form or another. We just disagree on what should be stifled and what should not.

There Cannot be Freedom of Speech

The problem stems from the idea that freedoms are somehow objective, things that exist independent of opinion and social construction itself. A position like this is held with the most fervour by people of the libertarian stripe, be they left or right. This is however untrue. There are no objective freedoms and there never have been. Any right wing libertarian, sovereign citizen, or “anarcho”-capitalist will tell you that there are “natural rights” which should never be infringed upon. This is of course totally false, there is no such things as “natural rights”. Rights do not exist in nature separate from people and their social interactions. If there was even a single person alive there would still be no rights. All rights are social constructs created to formulate the permitted and prohibited actions that take place during interactions between people in a social group. People make them, they do not naturally occur, rights are not something objective separate from the mind. This is why different societies have different ideas about what rights are and what they should be.

Those who rigidly adhere to the writings of the Founding Fathers as some kind of holy men who created an infallible idea of free speech (among other things) truly do not understand the times, nor the original intention in which it was created. When they wrote about all men who are created equal and set down certain rights, they literally only meant White land owning males. At the time African Americans and all women were considered property. Native Americans were considered to be savage animals who didn’t even qualify as human beings. People who did not own land were not considered equal to those who did. When the constitution was written, who do you think was able to take four months off work to travel to Philadelphia to write such a document? In fact it was originally held that only land owners were going to be allowed to vote. This rather different from what it is the far right groups today suggest in terms of free speech and other freedoms handed down to them.

The right to freedom of speech is not some universal objective freedom. No such thing can actually exist. People usually use the term free speech to: 1. to justify expressing an idea they wish to express, or 2. to brow beat anyone who disagrees with them. All freedom of speech exists inside of a particular context. Different speech means different things to different people, they have various interpretations. Because of this, societies define what speech is considered acceptable and what speech is not considered acceptable. These are usually formulated according to what particular ideals or what structural framework for the society exists. In other words, speech, permissible or otherwise depend on the form of interactions that take place between people. That speech which is not permissible is sometimes a threat to that established order which must be restricted. This occurs in every single society that has ever existed, there has never been an exception.

“The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force. The class which has the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production, so that thereby, generally speaking, the ideas of those who lack the means of mental production are subject to it. The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships, the dominant material relationships grasped as ideas.”

– Karl Marx, The German Ideology

Any society which wishes to maintain its stability, the social cohesiveness which keeps the society together, must engage in restrictions of freedom of speech. No society is immune from this. Socialist countries have banned pro-capitalist speakers from voicing their opinion just as capitalist countries have banned socialists from speaking, or at least having any impact. If one were to travel to a tribal society they would find much distain and suppression of someone who tried to introduce the concept of private property. All systems oppose certain speech in one way or another. No system may be touted as the champion of this utopianistic conception of free speech. All nations and system hurl declarations that they are the true holders of this freedom of speech, when in fact none of them are. They all stifle speech to some degree or another.

How Does this Control Manifest?

In American society they have a very pernicious system of controlling any speech that would dissent from the ruling ideology which gives power and wealth to the capitalist class. When people in Congress, other governmental institutions and mainstream media debate the economic course of the country, debate is reduced to two economic ideologies. They are Keynesianism and classical theory. Both of these theories, while different, represent the same thing: capitalism. Both theories strive for the preservation of the existing economic system from which the social system flows forth. (Commonly we know this as base and superstructure.) Debate between the two can be quite furious, even outright vile when tempers flare. Both sides accuse the other of being extremists. Keynesians will accuse classical economists of not being grounded in reality and blindly serving the interest of their corporate masters, while they proclaim to protect the integrity of capitalism from its own problems. Classical economists denounce the Keynesians of being communists, socialists, Nazis and all manner of nonsense. Meanwhile they proclaim themselves to be the true defenders of freedom. In truth they both defend capitalism from the different angles preserving the capitalist class and its power.

This illusion of choice extends right into the two party system right along those same lines between Democrats and Republicans. These two sides are usually represented the same way. Democrats tend to be Keynesians, they place a much higher value on life while being at least somewhat critical of the system they are in. Democrats are the “human face” of capitalism, the presentation which makes it seem like a humane system while carrying out all the horrors of it. Republicans tend to be the complete opposite. They don’t believe in having any illusions whatsoever. When they table legislation that harms the poor they openly declare that the suffering of those people is of no concern to them. They dogmatically champion the free market profit motive driven desires of the capitalist class even if it places their very economy in peril. This controlled speech also extends to criticisms of the ongoing wars. While the wholesale slaughter of the Third World for imperialist benefit takes place, both sides make the argument for their continuation choking out any real anti-war sentiment. When the horrors of the war are made public the conservatives will denounce those who speak of them as being unpatriotic, even going so far as to accuse them of aiding the enemy. They wish that those inhumanities be ignored and covered up for the sake doing what “needs” to be done.

The liberal by contrast will complain that these so-called excesses of war (they are in fact the nature of the war itself) must stop. They argue that the war must be “fought better” without all these horrible incidents taking place. The actions of the troops and the illusions given as justification for the imperialist war remain intact. The liberal position supports the war continuing while attempting to appease the conscience of a section of the population that doesn’t like the war or its inhumanities. Conservatives have no problem with heartlessness of imperialist war, the mass killings of innocent people. Liberals on the other hand only ask that the war be “fought better”, in a more humane way. As liberals are fond of saying, “you can be against the war while still supporting the troops.” The false pretext of the war is continually supported, being against dictatorships, fighting terrorism, protecting innocent civilians etc. All the while the country is merely carrying out imperialist conquest, but one that is made justifiable with an excuse to appease the liberal conscience. In all of this the real anti-war voice is effectively buried.

We can see this even in popular media. When hip hop/rap first came out in the late 70s or early 80s, it was an expression from a very marginalized section of the population. The songs spoke of systemic poverty and the conditions in which Black youth found themselves in via the lasting effects of segregation and gentrification. Frequently the songs brought terrible acts of police brutality and repression to light while it was ignored by the mainstream media. As that message and medium became more popular, reactionary forces in society and government began denouncing it with all kinds of nonsense arguments. Regardless, the music continued and spread to a wider and wider audience bringing that socially conscious message to more people. Once it was clear that this music and its message could not be silenced, the system began taking over the speech instead. Slowly but surely record labels began adopting the music offering money to those who had real talent and would perform. As the money rolled in the message began to shift. What was once a socially conscious message was slowly perverted into mindless glorifications of wealth and mindless luxuries. What contained mentions of the oppression of woman was turned into borderline pornography. What happened?

When there was speech expressed that truly criticized the system and spoke of the horrors it committed; but could not silence it, the system co-opted it. There is the old saying, “if you can’t beat them, join them.” This has been the strategy of the established power structure of Western liberal bourgeois democracy. If the message is too powerful and it can’t be stopped, then it must be co-opted and twisted into something that serves the system. How does the capitalist class do it? How do they stifle this speech? They are able to do this because of their dominating ownership of capital. They own the recording studios, the distribution methods, and most importantly the advertising connections. In other words they own the means of production.

“If people could go back to 1995 and before, they could say that hip-hop was uplifting. A good example would be when you could listen to a song for five minutes and all you heard was Rakim bouncing outrageous similes and euphemisms off his tongue and Eric B. blessing the ones and two’s. Not only was there depth in those types of tracks, but there was creativity and ingenuity. What about groups like Afrika Baambata whose songs lasted as long as infomercials? Eric B. & Rakim and Baambata are perfect illustrations of the true hip-hop culture because they were innovators and trendsetters. Back in the early ‘90’s rappers such as Buckshot of The Boot Camp Clik or even Queen Latifah would not stand for the brought down of hip-hop and where it was leading. They have always been opposed to mainstream artists who sacrifice artistic integrity in the lure for more money and how they degrade woman.

“Now in the 2000’s, you have the opposite of what rappers have been trying to prevent for years. You have rappers such as 50 Cent talking about how he loves money, Gucci Mane beating girls up -beat is a slang for sex- and everyone’s favorite rapper Lil Wayne saying to “f**k these bit**es” and even dudes. Hip-hop has taken a turn for the worst. African Americans make up the majority of the demographics of hip-hop listeners. Does hip-hop culture degrade or uplift African Americans? How would activist of our past answer this question if they were alive today?[…]”

– Dushawn Roberts, The Evolution of Hip-hop: Is it even Hip-hop?1

This is true even of liberal bourgeois democracy in its international relations. When the people of Venezuela voted in the Bolivarian Revolutionary Hugo Chavez, the bourgeois media immediately began a disinformation campaign to try and discredit the new government. Most of the funding for such actions came from the United States itself. It is usually smuggled in via non-governmental organizations (NGOs) like the National Endowment for Democracy, which has a long history of imperialist intervention in Latin America alone.2 More than one plot has been uncovered where attempts at a coup were made against the country. A good account of one of these incidents can be found in The Chavez Code by Eva Golinger.3 Bourgeois media companies have been found making out right false accusations against the emerging socialist government. During the attempted coup against Chavez they deliberately mislead the public by editing out footage of pro-coup forces shooting innocent people. Instead they only showed those who fired back and then portrayed it as an unprovoked act of violence. The bourgeois media war against the Bolivarian revolution, with the strings pulled by the U.S. capitalist class, has consistently stifled the reality of the ongoing situation and has broadcast false information.

These so-called champions of freedom of speech, liberal democracy, won’t even allow another country to express itself. There is no freedom of speech coming from the supposed champion of it. It is all rhetoric. Why? Because there are competing interests at work that actively seek to undermine each other for their own benefit. They are not going to allow each other to speak and will constantly sabotage each other for their own benefit. Capitalism is predicated on competition, the creation of directly opposing forces. How could it possibly proclaim to allow such a lofty notion of “freedom of speech for all”? They can’t, and that’s the point.

The fact is no matter what the bourgeois ideology claims of liberal democracy, there is no real freedom of speech as they portray it. The truth is that no one can really claim to be the champion of freedom of speech in the real abstract idealist conception that is presented. All speech in every society is controlled to some degree or another with a the goal of preserving that society’s structure. No capitalist institution can claim to be the champion of the freedom of speech.

The Class War of Speech:

With all this having been said, how to we build a framework of freedom of speech in the socialist society? To understand this we must understand another principle, the principle of contradictions. As Marxists we understand societies as a series of contradictions that give motion to the system within it. Marx and Engels laid this out very well in the Communist Manifesto:

“In the earlier epochs of history, we find almost everywhere a complicated arrangement of society into various orders, a manifold gradation of social rank. In ancient Rome we have patricians, knights, plebeians, slaves; in the Middle Ages, feudal lords, vassals, guild-masters, journeymen, apprentices, serfs; in almost all of these classes, again, subordinate gradations.

“The modern bourgeois society that has sprouted from the ruins of feudal society has not done away with class antagonisms. It has but established new classes, new conditions of oppression, new forms of struggle in place of the old ones.

“Our epoch, the epoch of the bourgeoisie, possesses, however, this distinct feature: it has simplified class antagonisms. Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes directly facing each other — Bourgeoisie and Proletariat.”

– Karl Marx, Frederick Engels, The Communist Manifesto, Chapter 1. Bourgeois and Proletarians

Mao added the knowledge that there are two kinds of contradictions in the socialist society which makes up the transition to communism. There are contradictions between sections of the masses and between the masses and the reactionaries. The first kind is a non-antagonistic one, the second is antagonistic. There are contradictions among the people and contradictions between the people and the enemy. These two types contradictions must be treated differently. When we struggle over which is the correct line, the right path to take in socialism, we are not talking to our enemies. We are talking to the people who may have different ideas about reaching the same goal. There is no need to treat debate among the people as acts of sabotage. Doing this only creates an environment hostile to debate and stifles creativity, expression and science. How can we advance towards communism if we don’t actively engage the people in debate? These contradictions among the people are not particularly antagonistic, they are contradictions that can be solved via policy and correct implementation of action. There is nothing to fear from this, it is the solving of problems by tackling them head on and challenging them.

When we talk of the other contradiction we’re talking about the one between the people and the enemy, a.k.a. reactionaries. This contradiction we refer to as an antagonistic one because each side seeks to destroy the other. Capitalism and socialism vehemently oppose the existence of the other. This is a class struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletarians. They seek to destroy the society that we have built, they do not seek to make constructive criticisms as contradictions between the people do. We’re talking about the different between debate and sabotage. We need to clearly differentiate between the two.

“Whoever sides with the revolutionary people is a revolutionary. Whoever sides with imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism is a counter-revolutionary. Whoever sides with the revolutionary people in words only but acts otherwise is a revolutionary in speech. Whoever sides with the revolutionary people in deed as well as in word is a revolutionary in the full sense.”

– Closing speech at the Second Session of the First National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (June 23, 1950)

Our goal is to promote constructive debate about the path towards communism by using the entire brain power of the people in mass debates. By collecting all of our thinking power and political will together we can achieve things even greater than communism. We should support the entirety of the masses in debates on the issues we face, the contradictions that still exist among us so that we may solve our problems on the path towards the best society we can build. Yet at the same time we should not hesitate to crush any speech which would threaten our drive towards this goal. We should not simply allow the enemy to walk right into our castle walls and sabotage everything we are trying to build. We have a responsibility and a duty to protect the society we want to build. We aim for a class dictatorship of the proletariat over our class enemy the bourgeoisie, to prevent them from restoring their awful system.

Mao laid out quite well how this was to be accomplished in On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People:

“Our state is a people’s democratic dictatorship led by the working class and based on the worker-peasant alliance. What is this dictatorship for? Its first function is to suppress the reactionary classes and elements and those exploiters in our country who resist the socialist revolution, to suppress those who try to wreck our socialist construction, or in other words, to resolve the internal contradictions between ourselves and the enemy. For instance, to arrest, try and sentence certain counter-revolutionaries, and to deprive landlords and bureaucrat-capitalists of their right to vote and their freedom of speech for a specified period of time — all this comes within the scope of our dictatorship.

“To maintain public order and safeguard the interests of the people, it is likewise necessary to exercise dictatorship over embezzlers, swindlers, arsonists, murderers, criminal gangs and other scoundrels who seriously disrupt public order. The second function of this dictatorship is to protect our country from subversion and possible aggression by external enemies. In that event, it is the task of this dictatorship to resolve the external contradiction between ourselves and the enemy. The aim of this dictatorship is to protect all our people so that they can devote themselves to peaceful labour and build China into a socialist country with a modern industry, agriculture, science and culture.”

– On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People (February 27, 1957)

This is one of the places where individualist socialism, or libertarian socialism fails. They seek to remove all restrictions on such activities like speech. They knowingly leave the gates of the castle open for invasion by anything that comes along. Due to their irrational fear which stems from incorrect ideas of the state, they sabotage the mechanism by which the proletariat would use to keep the enemy from having their speech as well as activities. In their near pathological drive to keep all forms of coercion from having an effect, they tie their own hands and place the masses at the mercy of the enemy. The force used by the bourgeoisie can only be countered by using proletarian force. There is no ultimate utopian freedom as they suggest. There is only a correct application of force in defence of the world that we want to build.

Conclusion

Both sides (capitalism and socialism) claim to be champions of free speech as they attempt to silence the other. No one believes in this liberal free speech line. Let us cast aside this facade and do what we should. We cannot hear the people if the enemy is allowed to drown us out with their phoney freedom. We should silence the enemy to hear the people and allow them to voice their concerns and debate their ideas in order to solve them.

* * *
Notes:

1. http://www.eliluminador.com/2012/03/07/evolution-of-hip-hop/

2. The Stealth Destabilizer: The National Endowment for Democracy in Venezuela, Counter Punch
http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/02/28/the-national-endowment-for-democracy-in-venezuela/

The National Endowment for Democracy’s Forgotten Sordid History, jimbovard.com
http://jimbovard.com/blog/2009/10/15/the-national-endowment-for-democracys-forgotten-sordid-history/

National Endowment for Democracy: Paying to Make Enemies of America, antiwar.com
http://www.antiwar.com/paul/paul79.html

“Democratic Imperialism”: Tibet, China, and the National Endowment for Democracy, Global Research
http://www.globalresearch.ca/democratic-imperialism-tibet-china-and-the-national-endowment-for-democracy/6530

3. http://www.chavezcode.com/

Untangling the Ball of String: Keeping Imperialism as the Primary Contradiction

•2015 02 06 • Comments Off

One person balancing on a tangled ball of string

A primary part of being a Maoist-Third Worldist is acknowledging that imperialism is the primary contradiction in the world. The largest problem facing the world is First World imperialism or empire grinding Third World people into the deepest of poverty and the greatest heights of suffering. The local or comprador capitalist wields less power in society than the imperialist country does. Even the local capitalist of the Third World has some gripe against the foreign bourgeois as it undermines his ability to carry out investment to some degree in his own country. He can do nothing about it because the foreign bourgeois have access to immensely greater capital power. The local capitalist even has his privileged position in the economic order because of imperialist rule.

In Marxism we understand that the goal is to abolish capitalism as it opens the door for true equality. Capitalism, a system predicated on inequality cannot achieve such a goal. The system abhors any idea of equality among people, even sex and race. Money represents the social value generated by society, wielding it is power in that same society. If this is unequal, how can there be equality in anyway shape or form? The wealth gap will always remain creating a divide in society that will perpetuate the existing racism, sexism and homophobia. Differences in housing i.e. gentrification causes living standard variations and triggers all other kinds of inequality. Such as access to education, quality of medical care, job opportunities, etc.. All of this stems from inequality of wealth. This is why we seek to liberate people from capitalism, because true equality cannot come from a system of inequality.

As long as the productive relations of capitalism and its corresponding social relations exist, equality cannot be achieved. It is impossible to achieve and leads to nothing but utopian liberalism. It perpetuates the idea that we just have to alter what we have now in order to make it more comfortable. It sends a very clear message that revolution is not necessary when you can simply “nerf” society making it more pleasant for minority groups. This completely de-incentivises revolutionary struggle as it promotes the idea that change can be achieved within the existing system. All victories under capitalism are hollow, all victories meaningless.

This is one very good reason why First World people are not revolutionary. Their lives are very comfortable to the point where they do not wish to engage in revolution. The act of engaging in revolution would in fact lower their quality of life, eliminate many privileges they have. You cannot expect a $60,000 a year construction worker to give up his job, pension, truck and home to fight for “more”. Aside from the point that they have too much as it is, this person will not fight because they live too well, to the point where revolution would have a severely negative effect on it.

This demonstrates to us that First World people cannot be counted on to fight in a revolutionary manner against capitalism. The reason why First Worlders have it so well is because of the benefits they receive from imperialism. It is this truth that makes the First World “proletariat” lack any revolutionary potential. Even if revolution were to happen there would be a great transfer of wealth back to the Third World where it was stolen from. The extremely high living standards could not be maintained in an equitable distribution of wealth.

The death of capitalism must be the priority. To defeat capitalism we must destroy imperialism. Imperialism cannot be defeated by First World people because they will not fight because they benefit from it. The First World must liberate itself. Marxists in the First World have a duty, if they’re honest, to assist the struggles of the Third Word. Be it through moral support, support for theory by engaging in debate, or sending money and weapons. To do anything less is to spit in their faces. We all have some little thing we can do, even if it is just moral support by acknowledging imperialism as the primary contradiction and raising awareness of it.

This privileged position in the First World makes the “working class” in the First World unrevolutionary. This privilege is perpetuated by imperialism. As a result imperialism becomes the primary contradiction, exploiter countries and oppressed countries. Even as far back as the days of Mao it was recognised, although not in the same form, that imperialism was the primary contradiction.

Primary and Secondary

When studying the problem of the particularity there are two points we must remember to look at for analysis: the principal contradiction and the principal aspect of a contradiction.

In the process of the development of a complex thing there is a principal contradiction. This one contradiction has the ability to develop, influence the existence of, and/or determine other contradictions in the process.

When American imperialists launched their war against Iraq, Iraq and the imperialists became the principal contradiction. The various rival (in contradiction) groups temporarily unite as a force against the invaders. Sunni and Shiite militants who normally fight each other, began to work together.1 2 The new primary contradiction of Iraq/US Imperialism influenced and altered the contradictions between normally rival militant groups.

Mao saw the necessity of this when he offered a temporary alliance with Chiang Kai-shek and the Nationalists against the Japanese imperialists. The Japanese aggression against China became the primary contradiction and altered the contradiction between the Nationalists and the Communists. Because there was also a contradiction between US and Japanese imperialism, it influenced/altered the US capitalist contradiction with communism, in which they gave weapons to communist forces to fight the Japanese. Once the Japanese were defeated, the principal contradiction became the nationalists against the communists once again. This also led to the US contradiction with communism reverting back to where it was. (But not in the same way once the US had armed them.)

When dealing with a complex process we must identify the primary contradiction, then identify the secondary or subordinate contradictions that will be influenced by the primary one. This is the method used by Marx in studying capitalist society.

To use Mao’s own words:

“But whatever happens, there is no doubt at all that at every stage in the development of a process, there is only one principal contradiction which plays the leading role.

“Hence, if in any process there are a number of contradictions, one of them must be the principal contradiction playing the leading and decisive role, while the rest occupy a secondary and subordinate position. Therefore, in studying any complex process in which there are two or more contradictions, we must devote every effort to funding its principal contradiction. “Once this principal contradiction is grasped, all problems can be readily solved. This is the method Marx taught us in his study of capitalist society. Likewise Lenin and Stalin taught us this method when they studied imperialism and the general crisis of capitalism and when they studied the Soviet economy. There are thousands of scholars and men of action who do not understand it, and the result is that, lost in a fog, they are unable to get to the heart of a problem and naturally cannot find a way to resolve its contradictions.

“As we have said, one must not treat all the contradictions in a process as being equal but must distinguish between the principal and the secondary contradictions, and pay special attention to grasping the principal one. But, in any given contradiction, whether principal or secondary, should the two contradictory aspects be treated as equal? Again, no. In any contradiction the development of the contradictory aspects is uneven. Sometimes they seem to be in equilibrium, which is however only temporary and relative, while unevenness is basic. Of the two contradictory aspects, one must be principal and the other secondary. The principal aspect is the one playing the leading role in the contradiction. The nature of a thing is determined mainly by the principal aspect of a contradiction, the aspect which has gained the dominant position.

“But this situation is not static; the principal and the non-principal aspects of a contradiction transform themselves into each other and the nature of the thing changes accordingly. In a given process or at a given stage in the development of a contradiction, A is the principal aspect and B is the non-principal aspect; at another stage or in another process the roles are reversed–a change determined by the extent of the increase or decrease in the force of each aspect in its struggle against the other in the course of the development of a thing.”3

Ignoring the Primary Contradiction

Some organizations proclaim that there is no primary contradiction, instead they see all contradictions as equal. To them the fight against all forms of oppression are equal to that of imperialism. They are not claiming that imperialism is unimportant, they are claiming that sexism, homophobia, racism and transphobia are equal to imperialism. Those who believe this claim, believe that all these aspects are a part of fighting for liberation, which they indeed are. To them the struggle against imperialism goes hand in hand with the liberation of various minority groups. While this is the end goal of revolution, they are not on par with imperialism. They believe that by putting imperialism first it means ignoring other issues like women’s rights. There is a reason why they think this. They have claimed that other Marxist groups have gone soft and neglected women’s rights and the rights of various minority groups. Depending on what organization they are referring to this may be true.

What they are getting wrong is that the fight against imperialism already has such secondary contradictions in its view to be dealt with. These other issues are a part of the struggle. In no sense according to Marxist and even Marxist-Leninist-Maoist theory are they to be ignored. Just because some groups may or may not be ignoring them doesn’t justify placing all contradictions with the same importance. Maoism already holds that the fight of such various groups is a part of the anti-imperialist struggle.

During the battle for the liberation of China from imperialism and capitalism, the Communist Party of China made it important that women be liberated while the war was going on. Women left their families and joined the communists to avoid arranged marriages. Some men joined the communists so that they could get married. In that time if you couldn’t pay a dowry for a wife, you were not going to be able to get married. Women were granted the ability to file for divorce and keep custody of children. During the redistribution of land in the course of land reform during the war, feudal landlords were thrown off their property and women for the first time were being offered ownership of it. Prostitution became virtually non-existent in such areas because women would rather till their own land and own their own means of production. Very clearly in the history of Marxist revolutionary struggle there has been the liberation of such oppressions while the struggle was taking place. This idea that including these other struggles along with anti-imperialism is a new thing is simply preposterous.

Just because some poorly organized First Worldist group is terrible to women, it doesn’t mean imperialism as the primary contradiction must be abolished.

No one is claiming that the struggle for minority groups and women is unimportant.4 No Marxist revolution in history has claimed that they are a waste of time and should be ignored. This position held by some Third Worldist groups presents itself as though it is a new contribution when it is not. There is no need to create the theory which includes the promotion of the struggles of minorities in revolution.

How it is Reactionary?

There is a very clear reactionary element in removing imperialism as the primary contradiction. If by their own logic not having sexism, homophobia, etc. as primary, up front and equally important to imperialism, it means it isn’t being done; then not having imperialism as primary must mean it is being ignored. If we take their ideology as true this is where it leads us to.

There is a very clear reactionary element in removing imperialism as the primary contradiction. If by their own logic not having sexism, homophobia, etc. as primary, up front and equally important to imperialism, it means it isn’t being done; then not having imperialism as primary must mean it is being ignored. If we take their ideology as true this is where it leads us to.

From a tactical and logical stand point imperialism must be the primary contradiction. Without achieving anti-imperialist struggle, anti-capitalist struggle cannot happen. If anti-capitalist revolution does not take place, then the struggle against sexism, homophobia, racism, transphobia etc. cannot be achieved. There can be no abolishment of these other forms of oppression unless the society is transformed into one that makes it possible. You cannot build the new society free of “the old evils” unless you lay the foundation and have the space in which to do it. Without this place in which to build the new society the greatest of efforts in the rights of various minorities and women will be fruitless as they will never materialize.

In the fight to bring revolution we come from a disadvantaged position. The global poor has little resources to draw from. Those of us in the First World who are globally class conscious have little in terms of resources as well. If nothing can truly be built or liberation be achieved without defeating imperialism, why should we allocate resources away from it? By no means am I suggesting that those rights of minorities and women be ignored and left undefended. I am saying that we should have resources mostly allocated towards defeating imperialism then capitalism. If the defeat of capitalism is the only way to achieve victory then it should most certainly be given the highest priority. Not allocating adequate resources to it is to simply waste those resources and effort on a goal that can’t be achieved. The act of refusing to have imperialism as the primary contradiction is doing a disservice to those who are exploited and oppressed, by almost seemingly sabotaging their liberation.

I see little value in placing the struggles of First World trans, women etc. ahead of imperialism. Since we already know that people in the First World benefit from imperialism, those same groups benefit off of the suffering and exploitation of other trans, women etc. in the Third World. To hold this line of imperialism not being the principal contradiction you’re siding with First World minority over a Third World minority. Their struggle drags resources, consciousness and manpower away from ending the struggle which can liberate those same groups. By choosing the First World groups over imperialism they are increasing and sustaining the oppression of Third World people including those same groups. This actually enhances the strength of First World oppression, it is entirely a antithesis to Third Worldism.

What is all this Really?

This (in truth) First Worldist line of placing all struggles equal to that of imperialism removes dialectics from Marxist theory and replaces it with intersectionality. This entirely flies in the face of Marxist theory and rejects the philosophic and scientific power of dialectics. Dialectical materialism forms the structure of Marxism as a revolutionary science. To remove this is to purge the skeletal structure of Marxism. This intersectionality acts a tool of the reactionary postmodernist mindset of social justice warriors. While all things interact, they do not see how different identities and material forces can contradict and more importantly, mutually influence each other. Removing this, it shackles the hands of the Marxist analysis reducing it to an unscientific view.

This view held by people who don’t hold the idea of a single primary contradiction see the problem as one lump of balled up string, crisscrossing back through itself over and over. Their tactic of treating all contradictions as equally important is like pulling on all the string that is on the surface of the ball at once. This will only make the ball tighter, not undo it. Intersectionality sees just this, one ball that must be tugged on from all sides in order to be undone. With dialectics we see the ball of string and unravel the knot, pulling on the appropriate piece through the correct one, resolving the contradictions until we are left with one piece of string in a straight line. Dialectics, not postmodernism, is a science of social change that can provide us with a course of action to resolve the problem. To chose this all contradictions as equal, is essentially intersectionality, or to simply hit out in all directions.

When one sees the plan as attacking from all sides at once they end up engaging in opportunism. It is impossible to literally attack all issues simultaneously, particularly if you’re a small group in the First World. They’ll end up attacking whatever issue they like, or think they have an advantage at, they will strike at whatever is easiest for them. This opportunism makes up the anarchist struggle, they too see all problems as being relatively equal and must be attacked all at once. This is why anarchists engage in nonsense such as cross dressing as a form of struggle, breaking windows, veganism, forming communes in the imperialist core. Nothing here threatens capitalism or imperialism. This is the essence of opportunism, to think valid all methods of struggle when many are fruitless. The strategy of undoing the binds of oppression is lost in favour of whatever struggle best fits the schedule and lifestyle of the First Worlder, whatever is convenient for them. Or whatever the flavour of the week is.

This line of thinking is nothing new. Seeing all contradictions as one lump like intersectionality is not new territory. This kind of thinking has been propounded by the New Left, Herbert Marcuse and people like Michel Foucault. They are not being original in anyway.

The effect is presenting the First Worlder with methods of “struggle” that aren’t struggle at all. Capitalism isn’t abolished by engaging in veganism. It isn’t destroyed with gender identity blogs on tumblr and other social media. Going around and smashing windows at a protest isn’t going to collapse the system. Going “off the grid” in communes isn’t going to bring down imperialism by not engaging in the economy. Given this, we often end up with people who don’t tug on a single piece of string at all let alone an incorrect one or many of them. Imperialism is defeated by a concentrated effort resisting it, not activism like a chicken with its head cut off.

I think not having imperialism as the principal contradiction is a copout for not fighting imperialism first. It’s opportunism to jump on the bandwagon of less important issues because they’re easier and require much less effort. They don’t need to be radical at all, they can just play at being radical. It makes it possibly to just tail any issue rather than lead an effort to destroy imperialism inside the imperialist core. Instead of fighting imperialism they can argue for minimum wage, same sex marriage, protections for transgender people, combating racism; things like that which are already being done by the Democratic Party. No Marxist group should be reducing itself to the level of uselessness of the CP-USA or anarchist struggle. This kind of New Left thinking is a danger to global liberation.

I think it’s very easy to just cast aside fighting imperialism for much safer methods of struggle when you’re not the one being victimized by imperialism. The very real suffering of billions is vastly more important than First World liberal “struggle”. Only First World people could have the luxury of not engaging in real struggle, which is the whole point of being Third Worldist to begin with, to rejecting that reactionary unwillingness to fight. It’s easy to claim imperialism is not the primary contradiction and work on gender identity, or veganism when you’re not the ones being killed by imperialism, and in fact benefitting from it.

To liberate all peoples of the world capitalism must come to an end. It can only be defeated by destroying imperialism. There is no reason why we can’t begin to end racial, gender, national, etc. oppression through the anti-imperialist struggle. But without the primary goal of abolishing capitalism, all those efforts will be for nothing, and their goals cannot be reached. Without this central task accomplished there will be liberation for no one.

* * *
1. The Sunni-Shia Divide – Council on Foreign Relations
http://www.cfr.org/peace-conflict-and-human-rights/sunni-shia-divide/p33176#!/

2. This is basically true, but it is a little bit more complicated. The various rival (in contradiction) groups temporarily unite as a force against the invaders. Sunni and Shiite militants who normally fight each other, began to work together. In Iraq, the whole reason it is split today is because sectarianism is won out. In the end they didn’t really unite as they should have. Al-Qaeda’s whole strategy wasn’t to unite, but to create a civil war and make the USA leave. It was planned to make Iraq such a mess that the USA would give up. The Sunni tribes revolted against Al-Qaeda and joined the imperialists because Al-Qaeda was so sectarian. They drove much of the Sunnis middle forces into the imperial arms. This is why you have Sunni Iraq and Shia Iraq split. Now we have ISIS and the Baathists versus Shia.

3. Mao Tse-tung, On Contradiction, The Principal Contradiction and The Principal Aspect of A Contradiction

4. It should be noted that some groups have disregarded the rights of homosexuals as in the case of a German Maoist group, Neue Einheit, who openly rejected homosexuality. The RCP-USA also denounced homosexuality as a product of bourgeois decadence. But these groups were not and are not doing revolution. Actually revolution has always considered the needs of such minorities. Homosexuality is of course an exception given times past in different eras. They are not however ignored now. Marist theory includes the liberation of all people.

Homophobia as proof of phony communism, MIMPrisons
http://www.prisoncensorship.info/archive/etext/contemp/leftover/germhomophobes.htm

RCP’s Anti-Homosexual Line: Why Held So Long and Stubbornly?, Kasama Project
http://kasamaproject.org/feminism-sexuality/677-9rcp-039-s-anti-homosexual-line-why-held-so-long-and-stubbornly

Jake Tompkins the Little An-Com That Couldn’t

•2015 02 04 • Comments Off

Anyone who gains any level of notoriety online receives their fair share of haters. By this I mean people who irrationally hate you. Jake Tompkins is one such person. He is an Anarcho-Communist who has dedicated a significant amount of time and effort attacking me on the most spurious of grounds, engaging in personal attacks and resorting to racism. This here will be a full documentation of out last exchange given his petty behaviour.

This critique of MLM (Marxism-Leninism-Maoism) was left by him on DeviantArt:

Jake Tompkins mlm crit

This was my response to his critique:

I was made aware of a post made by Jake Tompkins about Maoism on DeviantArt. As one may expect it displays on his ignorance of Marxism and the theoretical weakness of Anarchists.Unfortunately I was unable to post this reply to his account as the system kept thinking it was spam.

Maoism is not a “strain”, it’s a contribution to Marxism-Leninism. You fall on your face at the start.

#1: The point of New Democracy is to build the material conditions to create socialism. Saying those material conditions need to exist in order for socialism to work is essentially just repeating what New Democracy says and then claiming it is wrong. There are real criticisms of New Democracy to make which he doesn’t.

#2: “The most important divide is the divide between contradictions among the masses and contradictions between the masses and their enemies. Also the socialist institutions are plagued with contradictions […]”. Both Mao and Stalin acknowledged that, which he would know had he actually read any of their work. Try reading “On Contradiction” by Mao where he essentially lays out the difference between an antagonistic and non-antagonistic contradiction, the ones between groups in the masses, and the ones between the masses and the enemies of the masses. He literally has no idea what he’s talking about.

#3: Three Worlds is not an essential part of Maoism, in fact Maoists don’t even use 3 Worlds Theory. It’s not a “weak point” of Maoism as Maoists don’t use it or accept it as a part of the theoretical contribution of Maoism.

Finally he proves his utter ignorance of class struggle theory, “[…]no one has not received the benefits of imperialist social relations” Please tell me more of the $1 dollar a day surviving people in sweatshops that “benefit” from imperialism. By his logic if Third World people benefit from imperialism, then he’s claiming that a rising tide lifts all boats”. By this logic he has just given, third worlders being beneficiaries of imperialism,he has gone full Trotskyist. Jake does not know what he is talking about.

Once he became aware of this response he wrote a reply and sent it to me after unblocking me on Facebook. I will be replying to it here. The indented sections are direct quotes from him:

This I find hilarious. Yes it is a contribution to Leninism, but it is not just a contribution. The contribution of Maoism takes the form of a specific school of Leninist thought. This is why it is called Marxism-Leninism-Moaism. It can not be likened to say Lenin’s theory on imperialism as the monopoly stage of capitalism that does not produce a new school of Leninism because it does produce a new school.

This “reply” doesn’t make any sense. While finally admitting that that Maoism is a contribution to Marxist theory he says it’s a ” form of a specific school of Leninist thought.” So now there’s several schools of Leninist thought? No, there’s just Leninism. So in an effort to defend his blithering ignorance of Maoism he’s now claimed there are several “schools” of Leninism. Of course as usual he’s only made an assertion not backed it up. Anarcho-Capitalism is now a school of anarchism because someone has arbitrarily decided it was.

“#1: The point of New Democracy is to build the material conditions to create socialism. Saying those material conditions need to exist in order for socialism to work is essentially just repeating what New Democracy says and then claiming it is wrong. There are real criticisms of New Democracy to make which he doesn’t.”

New democracy claims that specifically in backward countries as oppose to ones that are not backward there is a need to develop materiel conditions before we can have socialism. It’s not just the claim that generally there is a need for materiel conditions to improve in order to have socialism.

And? How does this actually refute what I said? Just giving the definition of New Democracy doesn’t answer my response to him. His claim, was that capitalism has to exist before socialism does, I answered with New Democracy that is supposed to bridge that gap. He responds by repeating the definition of New Democracy, what is that supposed to mean? He isn’t making any sense.

“#2: “The most important divide is the divide between contradictions among the masses and contradictions between the masses and their enemies. Also the socialist institutions are plagued with contradictions […]”. Both Mao and Stalin acknowledged that, which he would know had he actually read any of their work. Try reading “On Contradiction” by Mao where he essentially lays out the difference between an antagonistic and non-antagonistic contradiction, the ones between groups in the masses, and the ones between the masses and the enemies of the masses. He literally has no idea what he’s talking about.”

Lol He just basically ignores what I said and blathers on about Stalin and Mao. My criticism was not on what theorists drummed up this part of Maoism rather it was noting that this particular part of Maoism pre-supposed class struggle under socialism which was incorrect.

A this moment he essentially just pretends I didn’t answer him. His original statement contained the accusation that MLM communism doesn’t take into account.

A this moment he essentially just pretends I didn’t answer him. His original statement contained the accusation that MLM communism doesn’t take into account.

He’s claiming that the state is a class and Stalin and others brutally suppressed people to keep the state form being abolished by claiming they didn’t take socialism into account . He’s also going by the presupposition that socialism is an automatic and instant jump to a stateless society, which it isn’t. More importantly, that doesn’t work. The basis of his argument is that Stalin ignored class struggle, which he didn’t. Neither in substance, nor in form. My point was to show that this was not the case by further giving the example that Mao did acknowledge that class struggle continued during socialism. This was just an angry response by him.

J.V. Stalin

THE RIGHT DEVIATION IN THE C.P.S.U.(B.)

Concerning the Policy of Eliminating the Kulaks
On the Opposition
Mastering Bolshevism – The Seamy Side of Economic Success

Mao Tse-tung
On Contradiction

“#3: Three Worlds is not an essential part of Maoism, in fact Maoists don’t even use 3 Worlds Theory. It’s not a “weak point” of Maoism as Maoists don’t use it or accept it as a part of the theoretical contribution of Maoism.”

Yea it is: https://www.marxists.org/glossary/terms/m/a.htm

“5) Theory of three worlds: During the cold war two imperialist states formed the “first world”; the USA and the Soviet Union. The second world consisted of the other imperialist states in their spheres of influence. The third world consisted of the non-imperialist countries. Both the first and the second world exploit the third world, but the first world is the most aggressive part. The workers in the first and second world are “bought up” by imperialism, preventing socialist revolution. The people of the third world, on the other hand, have not even a short-sighted interest in the prevailing circumstances. Hence revolution is most likely to appear in third world countries, which again will weaken imperialism opening up for revolutions in other countries too. ”

I have heard of Maoist groups rejecting Three Worlds theory, but it is a tenant of Maoism and thus part of the philosophy and analysis.

Three World’s Theory is not an essential part of Maoism which he is falsely claiming. It was not used in the Revolutionary War in China, nor was it used in the founding of socialism in China. It wasn’t used in any other Maoist revolution either. It isn’t even acknowledged as valid by almost all Maoist parties. Despite this fact, he claims it’s an “essential part”. Reality entirely contradicts what he’s claiming here. That’s like claiming a GPS system is essential to a car while ignoring it had nothing to do with the construction of cars, their design, or their proliferation. Jake has no idea what he’s talking about.

How can Three World’s Theory “thus part of the philosophy and analysis” be a tenant of Maoist analysis when it the Soviet Union literally doesn’t exist anymore? Clearly it isn’t being used. Nor is it central to Maoism when the idea hadn’t even been invented yet.

“Finally he proves his utter ignorance of class struggle theory, “[…]no one has not received the benefits of imperialist social relations” Please tell me more of the $1 dollar a day surviving people in sweatshops that “benefit” from imperialism. By his logic if Third World people benefit from imperialism, then he’s claiming that a rising tide lifts all boats”. By this logic he has just given, third worlders being beneficiaries of imperialism,he has gone full Trotskyist. Jake does not know what he is talking about.”

K, so you don’t know what Trotskyism is and your just throwing it out because you wanna delegitimize the oppositions point of view and you didn’t even read the whole thing because I said third worlders benefit from imperialism. The capitalist mode of production is based on hegemonic control of people by others from foreign lands. Third worlders benefit from the capitalist mode of production born out of imperialism by selling their labor power for wages to capitalists and thus benefit from imperialism. Also, the thing about the rising tide is a complete fabrication. Never said anything close to that. If he actually thinks I said this he prolly mistook descriptions of the flow of values in capitalist society that are part of Marxists theory for “A rising tide lifts all sails.” which given his understanding of theory I would not be surprised by. I also love how this guy has said he is supposedly not associating with me and then responding to directly to me on multiple online forums.

“The capitalist mode of production is based on hegemonic control of people by others from foreign lands. Third worlders benefit from the capitalist mode of production born out of imperialism by selling their labor power for wages to capitalists and thus benefit from imperialism.” Actually this would be imperialism, but yes essentially correct. The claim that they benefit is a Trotskyist claim, it is false, as it literally ignores the fact that it requires the destruction of local production (capitalist or not) and the suppression of the development of it for the benefit of the capitalist class in another country. This does not benefit Third World workers, in fact it kills their ability to exercise self-determination by making them economically dependent. This is a bad thing. Jake is pre-supposing this Trotskyist position to be socialism when it is not.

“Also, the thing about the rising tide is a complete fabrication.” I never said you said that, this is a analogy for the Trotksyist conception of what he just described. I didn’t confuse this saying with the socialist one “A rising tide lifts all sails,” I’m using a capitalist expression which justifies trickledown economics because I think it’s applicable here. However I do understand why there would be a misunderstanding over the expression. Not that it’s relevant to the argument being made.

My actual point was the transfer of value from the Third World to the First World, which makes First World workers over paid and beneficiaries of imperialism, which he entirely ignores.

Finally he concludes with personal drama which has nothing to do with the arguments presented: “I also love how this guy has said he is supposedly not associating with me and then responding to directly to me on multiple online forums.” By “multiple”, he means three. When someone keeps attacking you, which he has, but not in the case of the Anarchist critique of MLM, you do end up responding. It’s also important to note that since he brought it up that it was him who blocked me. After harassing me after unblocking me, I had to block him.

Since he wishes to make it personal I’ll remind him of his creation of racist Facebook pages to attack me because I corrected him on a few points about Stalin. Jake, you’re a dishonest little attention needy troll who frequents my own videos to leave personal attacks.

jake childish comment

Jake has shown he has no idea what he’s doing, he’s dishonest and childish. Try as he might, he has consistently failed to keep a coherent argument and understand what my replies to him have been. I wish that he should not bother me again.

No to Social Justice Warriors, Reactionary Liberalism

•2015 02 02 • Comments Off

Could there be anything more useless than a Social Justice Warrior? Why should any Marxist ally with someone who is singularly unwilling to fight a revolution? SJW’s want to beg for a concession from a system that perpetuates what it is they are against. I don’t want concessions, I want the problem defeated, I want capitalism and the corresponding social relations lying dead with tank treads stamped into them.

Simply arguing and demanding “safe spaces” and having society “nerfed” is not radical, and it’s not revolutionary. I don’t want a capitalism that has safety pads all over it, I want it gone, the world needs it gone. All this pitiful crying by SJWs is just that, not fighting to change anything, only having padding added to it.

Every time someone raises their arm to strike to take real action someone cries “I’m triggered”, this space isn’t safe. Revolution isn’t safe, revolution requires warriors, not people who cry victim. This is why First World people are unrevolutionary, they have the privilege and the need to hide and cry victim when the world gets tough. What happened to the heroic guerrilla who was respected because of their ability to fight. Stalin was sentenced to Siberia five times. Each time he escaped and came back saying, “I ain’t even mad,” and go right back to work. Che Guevara laid on the ground by himself unable to move for 2 or 3 days in the middle of a war because of an asthma attack, and he still went on to be one of the greatest guerrilla fighters and commanders of all time. First World people suck and you know it.

Are these people supposed to fight revolution? They can’t even read a blog post without a warning on it. Are they going to fight and die in a civil war?

If you are not willing to leave your “safe space” to engage in combat, violence, and death, you are NOT a revolutionary. Go be a SJW, go open a tumblr account, leave revolution to those actually suffering from imperialism and get out of their way. “Safe spaces” and “trigger warnings” are a First World privilege that is inherently reactionary. They are the ability to shut out the real world around you and pretend
that all of its horrors don’t exist. These things allow you to live as free as possible without having to see the reality of the social relations we have. It’s no different than refusing to watch the news because it’s too depressing. It’s no different than refusing to talk about politics because someone might get mad or offended. That’s what makes you reactionary, AND a part of the problem, your ability to ignore the
problem.

Did I offend you? GOOD. It means I burst your little crybaby bubble and made you look at the real world, made you hear something that challenged your ideas. Suck it up. Learn to defend your beliefs and actually do it. If you think the kind of people who need those “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings” have revolutionary potential, then you march your ass out there with them right now and go fight the bourgeois state. I challenge you.

The enemy won’t give you a timeout, they won’t give you “safe space”, they’re going to kill you. Fight or get out of the way and allow others who will. Accept that the First World isn’t revolutionary and aid those who are.

Fidel Castro Succumbs to “Old Age” with New Cuba

•2015 01 29 • Comments Off

Fidel_Castro_PNW

The road to peace has been laid between Cuba and the United States. Anyone who isn’t caught up in dogmatic thinking recognises that this will be the death of the Revolution. As this alteration in the relations between Cuba and the U.S. took place, the big mean himself, El Jefe, was conspicuously silent. if there was anyone’s opinion people wanted, it was Fidel Castro’s.

Recently he broke his silence on the matter and decided to speak publicly. He laid out his thoughts in a letter addressed to the student federation at the University of Havana and printed in the Communist Party newspaper Granma.

“I don’t trust the policy of the United States, nor have I exchanged a word with them, but this does not mean I reject a pacific solution to the conflicts.”

“We will always defend co-operation and friendship with all the people of the world, including with our political adversaries. Defending peace is the duty of everyone. Any peaceful or negotiated solution to the problems between the United States and the peoples or any people of Latin America that doesn’t imply force or the use of force should be treated in accordance with international norms and principles.”

“The serious dangers that threaten humanity today should give way to rules that are compatible with human dignity. No country is excluded from such rights. With this spirit I have fought and will continue fighting until my last breath.”

“The president of Cuba has taken the appropriate steps in agreement with the prerogatives and powers granted him by the National Assembly and Communist Party of Cuba”.1

These words certainly make it clear that he does not trust the United States or its intentions, nor should he. But the other words he speaks contradict that. He has clearly given the all clear for Raul to go ahead and forge relations with the US that will outright harm Cuba. The biggest threat is the U.S. desire to invest in Cuba which has been accepted by Raul. The intention is to buy up land and capital. This alone will spell the death of Revolutionary Cuba. Once this kind of authority is in the hands of the imperialists the country will have no ability to resist U.S. power.

Marx spoke quite clearly that which gave the bourgeoisie its power, their class position was their ownership of the means of production. This is what the U.S. completely intends to get into their grasp. Raul seems intent upon allowing them to do so, perhaps with some kind of restrictions. What Raul is doing is playing the imperialists game, they can come in, but he’ll keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t get out of control.

Unfortunately for Cuba that is not how it works. All they need is to get their hands on enough capital to control the economy, enough of the wages of the population as well. We know the first thing the imperialists are going for is a cheap source labour to suppress the falling rate of profit as labour costs in China continue to increase. As long as capitalism and socialism coexist, whoever owns the capital has the power. Is it going to be the proletarian state, or is it going to be the foreign capitalist investors?

Many people might think to ask what the difference is between this and Special Economic Zones (SEZs), particularly those employed by the DPRK and in some cases (not all2) in China. In the case of SEZs the capital (machines labour etc.) is not owned by the foreign firm. A domestic, or even state company does and allows the foreign firm to direct their use, organize them in a particular way to create the commodities desired, but they cannot own them, they cannot exercise a dictatorship over them. They have no legal to claim them. The means of production can always be seized away and put to another use. The foreign firm owns the product of labour, not the productive capital itself. Such a capitalist may take these commodities and send them away for profits, but they do not control the productive power itself. There are even measures that can be taken to negate imperialist rent3, but they are beyond the scope of this video. Even SEZs come with their own risks when dealing with the imperialists, but they are likely a relatively safe compromise.

This is not exactly new. The Cuban revolution has gone off course for a long time. They have been opening themselves up to foreign capital for quite a while. First, it was the Soviet Union, then France and other Europeans when the Soviet Union fell, now it will be the USA once relations thaw.

Castro predicted this very thing happening as he had seen it in other leaders before him. Khrushchev became revisionist when he declared his intentions for peaceful co-existence with the capitalist powers, the same is true of Mao in the 1970s. He himself has fallen to this very same phenomenon.

Fidel Castro on the Cultural Revolution:

“If we are going to argue basically, we must tell some basic truths and we must unmask everything that is of fascist type hidden under Marxist emblems. Of course this story of revolutionaries, who in spite of having done good things in their lives have committed great barbarities later at the end of their lives, is not new. During the past days we have seen with sorrow the things that men are capable of doing when they degenerate.

“They are a result, in part, of having confused Marxism-Leninism with fascism, with absolutism. They are the result of having introduced the style of absolute monarchies into the contemporary socialist revolutions. This revolution, fortunately, is a revolution of young men and we hope that it will always be a revolution of young men. We hope that all revolutionaries, as we become biologically old, are capable of understanding that we are becoming biologically and lamentably old.”

- Fidel Castro, 1966, University Speech Blasts CPR Betrayal4

Essentially what Castro is saying is that Mao was revisionist as he got old. This was indeed true, but not during the Cultural Revolution, it did happen in the 1970s most notably with the 3 World’s Theory (not to be confused with Third Worldism). When Stalin got old he slipped too and so did Enver Hoxha. It’s something that happens to revolutionaries when they get older. Revolution continues under younger generation of people with fresh new enthusiasm.

Later Fidel Castro would deny that this phenomenon of revolutionaries getting old applied to him. We can clearly see that this is not true.

* * *

Notes:

1. Fidel Castro Breaks His Silence, Says I Don’t Trust America, AnonHQ
http://anonhq.com/fidel-castro-breaks-silence-says-dont-trust-america/

2. Not all SEZs work the same way. Some allow the foreign capitalist to own the means of production, some do not. Some are owned by the state and some are owned by a private company as it is in most cases in China.

3. Oakland to Havana: The Local Negation of Native Bourgeois, and the National Negation of Imperialism, Weekly Bolshevik
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTElScnd1Qo

4. University Speech Blasts CPR Betrayal by Fidel Castro, MIM Ministry of Prisons Archive
http://www.prisoncensorship.info/archive/etext/contemp/leftover/Castro19660314Maofascist.htm

 
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