Dear Conservatives: Modern Russia is Exactly What You Wanted

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Reagan and Gorbachev

“If you’re a Communist and you hate America so much, why don’t you just move to Russia?”

The above question is something I have been asked way too much in my short 8 years of calling myself a Communist. Not only because it is annoying and probably the absolute laziest excuse for an argument ever uttered, but because it reflects a mass delusion in regards to communist theory, Russian history, world history, and the events of just a few decades ago. Granted, thanks to bourgeois hegemony, ignorance to the theories of Marxism-Leninism is a long-held tradition that took nearly a century to fully solidify in the minds of the masses of people living under capitalism, so I’m not exactly surprised by the anti-Communist sentiment within the above statement. What I’m suprised at is the embarrassingly ignorant forgetfulness of the people who say such things to me about what went down 26 to 27 years ago, especially when most of these people were old enough to pay attention to the news in those years.

I was born in 1990, in the midst of the chaos that ensued with the collapse of the USSR and the other socialist-turned-revisionist states of Eastern Europe. I wasn’t even old enough to walk by the time these states collapsed, and yet, for some odd reason, my memory seems to serve me better than those who were fully-functioning adults when all of this happened. Well, it’s not really my memory that has served me, but this little thing called history that we are supposed to learn about in school. But even that has failed many people, since it isn’t solely previous generations who tell me and others to “move to Russia”, many people around my age have told me the same thing.

I will make it easy for you and just tell you what happened (with a fancy link to the Wikipedia article so you can look for yourself): The USSR no longer exists and Russia is now a capitalist state.

It is astounding that I have to explain this very well-known fact to so many people, some of whom probably even watched the Berlin Wall fall on live television.

There seems to be a problem with understanding history, both among the Right and the Left. On one hand, we have folks who believe that today’s Communists must support Russia, because McCarthy said so half a century ago and his influence just won’t go away. On the other hand, we have angsty “Leftists” who support anything that even slightly rubs the US government the wrong way. I won’t really go into the latter here, as that would require another post entirely, but both sides are forgetting one simple fact: Imperialists are often in conflict with each other. Just because one capitalist-imperialist state is in conflict, or even at war, with another state, does not mean the other state is not capitalist-imperialist. Competition is a driving force of capitalism. Inter-capitalist or inter-imperialist conflicts aren’t just characteristics of capitalism, they are an intrinsic aspect of capitalism-imperialism. Meaning, just because the US and the Russian Federation are competing capitalist powers does not mean that one is somehow anti-capitalist, even if one of those powers is named “Russia”.

Back to my original point. Many of the conservatives and neoliberals who praised the fall of the Berlin Wall have since forgotten that today’s Russia is exactly what they had wished for, not something we Communists wanted. So–pardon my language–why the fuck would I, a communist, have any interest in moving to Russia? Why would I have any inclination to support a state full of traitors and oligarchs? Why would I praise a state which Reagan endorsed?

I have talked about the ironies of anti-Communism before, but isn’t it funny how the illogical conservatives will call the bourgeois US government “socialist”, praise the fall of the USSR, and yet still tell communists to “move to Russia”? Shouldn’t they be the ones packing their bags, if they are craving an impoverished, homophobic, xenophobic, ultra-nationalist, oligarchal, anti-Communist, ultra-conservative state, such as the current Russian state, which they adored so much not too long ago?

I mean, when you look at it, the Russian Federation is all these conservatives ever wanted: an anti-Communist, homophobic, xenophobic state with close ties to far-Right organizations and which is favored by right-wing figures within the US such as Alex Jones and Donald Trump.

In short, no, just because the US and Russia have their differences does not mean that I prefer one over the other, it simply means that imperialism is still functioning the same as it always has: greedy conflicts that inevitably only really hurt the oppressed people living on both sides of said conflict.

I understand that this is a rather random topic to bring up, and seemingly unimportant to many people. But its importance comes with espousing Marxism-Leninism. While Putin and his cronies are waving hammers and sickles for purely populist and nationalist reasons, he, and the state of which he is the head, is dragging the name of Communism through the mud. He will bash Marxist revolutionaries and leaders, especially Lenin, while stealing the imagery they inspired, attempting to separate the successes of the Soviet Union from the theory which guided those successes (Marxism-Leninism).

So what I am getting at is, the Russian Federation is precisely what the conservatives were dreaming of from 1917-1990, Putin’s rule is the logical outcome of what the conservatives supported 3 decades ago. Modern Russia is your ideal paradise, not ours. So stop equating Communist theory with the things you wanted to happen in Russia.

Now, either you can side with the pseudo-fascistic Russian oligarchy, or you can admit that capitalism is a failure and that the Russian people were better off living under the banner of Marxism-Leninism. And, for the love of god, stop telling us Communists where to move, because we are working class people who can barely afford a vacation 4 hours away from our homes, much less the ability (or desire) to move into the capitalist hellhole you helped to create.

-SFB

Pieces of Cloth, Symbols of Genocide

Reactionary propaganda relies on hypocrisy and manipulative delusions, as well as white-washing and bold-faced lies. These qualities are easily observed whenever any controversial issue is brought up, especially the issue of systemic racism. There has been no shortage of right-wing temper-tantrums in the past few years. I mean, the reactionaries have been doing this for centuries, but the recent and ongoing anti-racist movements has really got the anti-rational traditionalists in an uproar.

Simply listing all of the heinous acts of white-supremacist violence and racist police murders that have been going on would be a disservice to the victims of these crimes, as I will not be able to go into each terrible incident with any depth in a single post. Even just listing the victims’ names would make this the longest blog post I have ever written. Besides, despite what the bourgeois media says, these are not just isolated incidents, but are products of an entire system built around racialism and white supremacy, which are, themselves, products of exploitative capitalism, which is our society’s religion, figuratively speaking.

To put it simply, the nature of the reactionary is to react. To react to progress, to the rebellious masses, to the people’s fight for liberation. The reactionary works to keep the people “in their place”, to ensure the continued stability of the status quo, which is, in this case, capitalist oppression and the racist ideologies and standards it has created. The reactionary will stop at nothing to demonize the oppressed masses and portray the oppressors’ and the ideology of the oppressors as something glorious and traditionally noble.

As the masses are rising up and demanding an end to oppression, the reactionaries have been doing all they can to drown out the people’s cries by shouting about imaginary dangers and the “struggles” of the oppressors.

And, not surprisingly, the reactionaries don’t need to work very hard to get their voice out there. Their voice has always been heard, since their obedience to the corporate system means that the media will do all the white-washing and racist apologetics for them. They don’t even have to ask.

After Dylann Roof committed a massacre at an African-American church in South Carolina, the media did what they always do when having to cover an act of white-supremacist terrorism. They downplayed the obvious racism of the act(even though Roof admitted that he was racially motivated to carry out this terrible and violent act of terrorism). They portrayed the massacre as some kind of isolated incident, committed by someone who was “mentally ill”. Instead of calling out racism, they decided that this would be a good time to further stigmatize mental illness. According to them, white supremacy isn’t a problem, the mentally ill and “loners” are. Never mind the fact that those suffering from mental illnesses are more likely to be victims of violent crimes than perpetrators–this fact does not fit into the media’s rhetoric, since they would rather stigmatize the mentally ill than ever talk about the very real issue of systemic racism and racist violence.

We have been told that Dylann was a “good kid”, who “made a mistake”. The murder of 9 people has been swept under the rug in order to focus more on trying to emphasize that white supremacy isn’t a “real” problem. We were shown pictures of Roof as a smiling toddler, but the pictures of him pointing a gun at the camera or burning the American flag got little to no air-time. Contrast this to the coverage of Michael Brown’s murder, when, after Brown was wrongfully executed by a racist cop, the media dug as deeply as it could to find absolutely anything Michael Brown supposedly did “wrong” in his entire life. A white mass-murderer gets the media’s sympathy. A black victim of racist violence gets the media’s scorn.

I am saying all of this so as to point out how the reactionaries are not as “oppressed” or as “misrepresented” as they claim to be, quite the contrary. But this post isn’t about media coverage. That’s another topic for another day.

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Just some pro-Confederate "not racists".

I don’t think I need to fill any of you in on the recent controversy surrounding the official use of the Confederate flag and the many Confederate memorials scattered all throughout the American south. There have been a variety of reactions to this controversy, ranging anywhere from diehard support for Confederate symbolism, to militant opposition to its use, to those who are trying so hard to be edgy that they say “none of it matters”. The last of these stances objectively fall into the same position as the first, since, by doing nothing, they are allowing(and thereby supporting) the continued use of racist, genocidal, and oppressive symbols.

The “Heritage Not Hate” folks like to claim that the Confederate flag, and the Confederacy itself, did not represent racism, slavery, genocide, or any other form of oppression. Such people are profoundly ignorant in regards to the heritage they uphold as virtuous. Several of the Confederate states specifically mentioned both their desire to continue using the system of chattel slavery and their belief in white supremacy in their declarations of secession. And that rag the heritage-not-hate people always fly was never the official flag of the Confederacy, but was actually the battleflag for the armies of Tennessee, and was only later popularized by racial-segregationists and the Ku Klux Klan.

When faced with these facts, the “heritage” supporters basically cover their ears and scream “I CAN’T HEAR YOU!!”. They fear the undeniability of the Confederate flag absolutely being a symbol of slavery, genocide, and racial hatred. Their “heritage” is pure hate.

After being backed into a corner, they try to strip the symbol of any meaning at all, even their precious “heritage”. They’ll say, “It’s just a piece of cloth, don’t get so offended.” And here’s where things get interesting.

In the midst of the seemingly daily acts of racist violence, some Black Lives Matter activists have taken to stomping on the American flag as a way to protest the system that seeks to keep them poor and oppressed. This act has sparked absolute outrage from the reactionaries. From the very same reactionaries that want us to “stop being so offended” by the slavery-promoting Confederate flag. This is quite odd, since anyone with the tiniest bit of knowledge regarding the Civil War should know that the Confederate flag and the flag of the United States represented two opposing sides in a war in which more Americans were killed than in any other war in this country’s history. If the Confederate flag is just a piece of cloth that shouldn’t offend anyone, then why are all of the people saying this so pissed about another piece of cloth being stomped?

Also, to go back to the case of Dylann Roof, why are the reactionaries shrugging off his terrible, violent actions, while getting so angry at black people “harming” the American flag? It seems they have forgotten about this picture of Roof:

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And here’s one of him showing off his heritage:

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So, reactionaries, which is it? Do you think flags and symbols have no meaning, or do they? Because you can’t claim the Confederate flag is “harmless” and claim that the United States flag represents something sacred. You can’t defend a white racist who burned the US flag, and then turn around and condemn a black anti-racist for walking on one. You can’t support the flag of the Confederacy and the flag of the US.

Well, you can do those things, but doing so only makes your racism, hypocrisy, and flat-out stupidity that much more evident.

The strangest part isn’t the denial of racism having anything to do with the Confederacy(racists are notoriously ignorant, so such a belief is to be expected), but the pro-USA patriotism being somehow connected to pro-Confederate leanings. For shit’s sake, the Confederacy treated United States POWs like animals. The Andersonville prison in Georgia could easily be called one of the first death-camps ever built on American soil, and it was used for the torture, starvation, and murder of American soldiers by Confederate forces. To re-emphasize my point, you can’t be both an “American patriot” and a supporter of Confederate symbols and imagery. For not only was the Confederacy racist and genocidal, it was anti-US and thirsty for the blood of American soldiers.

Not to imply that I am a “patriot”, though. I’m just pointing out the hypocrisy and stupidity of the reactionary “racist-but-not-racist”, pro-Confederate crowd. I am saying that even the pro-Confederate crowd, in their condemnations against black activists who(rightfully) despise the flag that represents their oppressors, must admit that these symbols do, in fact, hold meaning. And the meaning behind the Confederate flag is 100% oppressive, racist, pro-slavery, and genocidal. So stop telling us to “stop being offended” while you sob every time the United States flag touches the ground.

This issue absolutely is important. It is about finally removing symbols of the worst forms of oppression, exploitation, and racism from our past. It is about tearing down relics that represent some of the bloodiest and most horrifying parts of our oppression-riddled history. It is about officially rejecting the crimes of the past, as opposed to praising or trying to justify these crimes.

You tell us to not be offended, when you, the reactionaries and racists, are the ones foaming at the mouth about our rejecting your fucked up “heritage”. We are not being “too sensitive”, we are doing what is necessary to move forward. You, on the other hand, are shedding your sweet Dixie tears and fighting tooth and nail to protect what you want us consider to be a “simple piece of cloth”. Get over it. The world will move on with or without you.

-SFB

Revolutionary Medicine: How Cuba is Changing the World for the Better

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I want to start off by saying something that I believe I have already said in a previous entry, but I think this subject demands for me to repeat myself: “Totalitarianism”–that idea based on complete misunderstanding and even outright lies about the nature of socialism–is the label liberals love to use in order to slander almost any state our government does not like. It’s an easy buzzword used by lazy debaters to give them the feeling that they’ve proven some vague point. It is the belief that states like Cuba and the DPRK have total control of every aspect of their citizens’ lives, and that this supposed system is implemented by subjucting the masses to intense persecution and keeping the people weak so as to better control them. Now, not only has this “system” never actually existed(the closest thing to it is the dictatorship of capital, but the creators of the idea would never say so), but the logic behind the idea of “totalitarianism” is contradictory to the actions and practices of the states labelled as “totalitarian”–states such as Cuba.

Why would a state that supposedly wants to keep its people weak and dependent ever bother caring about providing things like free education and universal healthcare? Wouldn’t they want the people to struggle for such things? Wouldn’t they want to provide as little as possible in order to make the people beg for such essential methods of survival, so they wouldn’t have the time or energy to put up a fight? How can a “totalitarian” state function with a healthy and educated populace, where every member of that society doesn’t have to spend time worrying about untreated illnesses, finding a job, or school tuition? In other words, wouldn’t such a state take its cues from the US and other right-wing imperialist states?

The answer to that last question is: Yes. But that isn’t what the so-called “totalitarian socialist dictatorships” do.

Anyway, just in case you haven’t heard, Cuba has been on a roll these past few years with certain medical breakthroughs that can only be described as fucking incredible. Things that many of us thought wouldn’t happen any time in the near future are already happening, thanks to revolutionary Cuba. Things that will and are saving lives.

Cuba has a truly universal healthcare system, which means that profit-motive has been taken out of the equation completely. In privatized healthcare systems(such as that of the US), preventative medicine is not something that is looked fondly upon, as it does not fit very well into the profit-dogma. Those doctors and researchers who try to enter the world of preventative medicine are grossly underfunded, providing little to no incentive for anyone in the medical field to even want to think about preventative medicine. We all need to put food on our tables, after all.

On the other hand, Cuba is showing the world what a fully socialized healthcare system is capable of, and it’s amazing. When a healthcare system is not geared toward profit, when doctors are not weighed down by the profit-dogma, when a healthcare system is actually used for health rather than money, doctors and researchers are then free to actually work toward making the world healthier, rather than making their bosses richer.

Just to name a few of these accomplishments: Cuba has created a vaccine for lung cancer, is the first country ever to figure out how to prevent HIV and syphilis from transmitting from mother to child, and has most recently developed another vaccine used to prevent and fight prostate cancer. It is also speculated that Cuba’s anti-cancer vaccines will eventually be used to fight many other different kinds of cancer(including breast and colon cancer).

I don’t think it can be denied that, whatever your opinions of Cuba may be, these are some amazing and much-needed medical accomplishments. Accomplishments thousands to millions of people around the world desperately need. And the best part is, Cuba is more than willing to share these breakthroughs with anyone who would take them, even their long-time enemies. Because Cuba is not interested in letting the citizens of another country die just because that other country’s government wants to oppress or even destroy the current Cuban state. It is a socialist principle to care for all the oppressed peoples of the world, regardless of the country in which they live(especially for those living under the oppressive weight of capitalism).

I may have my criticisms of Cuba for being revisionist and, when it comes down to it, bourgeois, but they are truly setting one of the greatest examples of socialist ingenuity and solidarity the world has ever seen, in regards to medicine and healthcare. Cuba is well-known for being one of the most generous countries when it comes to sending doctors abroad to help people suffering from illness all over the world, as well as for accepting medical students from every corner of the globe to go there to study medicine at their state-of-the-art institutions.

I think all of this makes two things very clear: 1) Despite the rhetoric spewed by capitalist privatization-junkies, univeral healthcare provides much more creative ingenuity than privatized systems, which are clearly far behind Cuba when it comes to healthcare and medicine; and 2) Cuba is far more generous, giving, and helpful to the world than any capitalist-imperialist state out there, even the liberal’s precious Scandinavian systems.

We are witnessing some truly outstanding breakthroughs, none of which are coming from the so-called “free world”, but from that little island we have all been taught is run by the Devil himself. Our so-called “Christian nation” is sending bombs and soldiers all over the globe, while Cuba is sending medical supplies and doctors. During that recent outbreak of ebola, the US–that so-called “Christian nation”–sent troops to the affected regions, for some reason, while Cuba was one of the countries to send the highest number of doctors to the affected regions.

So, while the US is busy sending death-machines and trained killers all over the world to spread “freedom and democracy”, Cuba is sending some of the best-trained doctors the world has ever known to those in need of healthcare. And yet Cuba–a state that has never invaded another nation–is the one labelled as a “totalitarian dictatorship”. I guess we are supposed to believe that Cuba is trying to undermine “freedom and democracy” by helping people instead of shooting them. I don’t know about you, but I don’t believe that for a second.

After all, when the US tried to invade Cuba during the Bay of Pigs, Castro himself took up a rifle and went into battle alongside his troops. I don’t recall Bush doing that after the 9/11 attacks. What we have here is one state(Cuba) actually giving a damn about its own people(so much so that its leader risked his own life in battle) and the people of the world, and another state(the USA) not even trying to be subtle about its disdain for both its own people and the populations of other nations. The latter is called the “great liberator”, while the former is shrugged off as “totalitarian”.

Well, given these huge accomplishments in the medical and other fields, I don’t think many people will continue shrugging off Cuba as some dictatorial anomaly for much longer. Seeing as how the embargo has been lifted and these revolutionary treatments will be reaching US citizens in the near future, I think a change of tone will be coming along with it. We will be thanking revolutionary Cuba when we are surviving due to their healthcare system and ahead-of-its-time medical breakthroughs. At least, I know I will be thankful when I’m not dying of prostate cancer, like several of my family members have, at the age of 40.

“Condemn me, it does not matter: history will absolve me.” -Fidel Castro

-SFB

Who’s the Cynic?

I will admit, I have a tendency to sound more angry than rational in political debates. I curse, I laugh sarcastically, I even yell sometimes. I try my best to not do this around friends or at parties or get-togethers, with the result of me then seeming too quiet, shy, and nervous. But that last part is neither here nor there. Anyway, my personal methods of dealing with debates or even talking about political issues are a little on the harsh side, and now I’m starting to think that may not be a very good method. Not that there is anything wrong with passion or a fiery drive to achieve what needs to be acheived, but there is certainly a downside to always sounding like a grumpy asshole. And I’m begining to understand this.

My way of voicing my opinion has created a few healthy, civil debates, but it has also driven people away, not because of the points I am making, but because of how I go about trying to get those points across. This has led to those who I encounter almost daily viewing me as a kind of cynic, and therefore tie in my views with that of a cynic. This is not a good thing for me or for the communist movement. We are still a political minority, and I now realize that my harshness isn’t really making that much better. Those who have come to agree with me on certain issues have only done so in spite of my methods, not because me calling others “shitheads” changed anyone’s mind.

Consider this a self-criticism of my own actions. I shouldn’t immediately jump into defensive obscenities as soon as any social topic is brought up.

The other day, I surprised myself in a debate by not losing my shit, for once. I acknowledged the other person’s points and refuted them calmly and provided information without any additional name-calling or put-downs. When all was said and done, the other person thanked me for the information provided, admitted that they got some things wrong, and we ended the conversation on a very good note. To just give you an idea of what we were discussing: This other person, evidently a liberal of some sort, claimed that Putin was a communist. Instead of me calling this person a “moron” or saying that they’re “stupid”, I decided to simply point out all of the vast differences between Marxism-Leninism and Putin’s ideology, in both theory and practice. And this other person actually paid attention to what I had to say and thanked me for being civil while I was disagreeing with them. This wasn’t the first time this has happened, but it was the moment when I realized that there are more efficient ways to discuss political issues than being so abrasive and condescending.

Now, I do want to say that there are many people out there, who I have never spoken a word to, who believe any type of insurrectionary ideology is “cynical”, so it isn’t just because of me. This is the issue I really want to write about in this post: The perceived cynicism of rebellion.

Regardless of how I have, up until now, framed my pro-communist arguments, the ideology of working class revolution is not cynical. Those who claim it is like to point out how we revolutionaries are always talking about what is wrong with the current state of the world; we talk about corruption, war, murder, greed, the enslavement of the masses. They believe this means we will always look for an ulterior motive, a “reason to whine”. To them, we are forever locked in an outlook that is not trustful of any person from any background for any reason. That we only see the bad in everyone we meet and in everything we experience. And that these characteristics are inseparable from our ideology.

To be frank: this is completely untrue. Let me tell you why.

Yes, we do spend our time talking about and protesting against all those things mentioned above, as well as racism, sexism, homo- and transphobia, and everything else borne from the classist system of exploiters versus exploited(capitalism). But opposing these things does not mean it is some kind of chronic cynicism, nor does it mean we hate or distrust every other human. Let me ask you this: Why would a cynic even bother actively fighting these things? I am not going to give the dictionary definition of cynicism because I find that to be annoying whenever other people do that in arguments, but if you look it up, you will find that taking action against oppression is not in line with the common, accepted definition of what it is to be a cynic. Cynics do not see a way out, they consider all of these things to be totally connected to the human experience. We communists don’t see it like that, and that is why we fight. We wouldn’t bother fighting for a better world if we believed that every single human was guided by selfishness and ulterior motives, and that that is just the way it will always be.

Granted, there are some on the Left who just want to appear to be as edgy as possible. They will refuse to celebrate any victory until the whole world is a classless, stateless communist society. These kinds of Leftists can make for some good, loyal comrades when it comes to rallying around certain issues–they are sometimes a militant and dedicated bunch. But their refusal to take part in praising successes of the people will ultimately only alienate them from those they wish to help liberate.

For instance, when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality just the other day, there were some who refused to be even slightly enthused by a ruling that took decades of struggle by the people to push through. But, those people were a vast minority in the Leftist circles(at least, from what I could tell). The rest of us joined in to show our support for the LGBT community, and to praise all those who fought so long for this ruling to become acceptable and even necessary for the bourgeois government to pass. For this was not a creation of the ruling class, it was something for which people struggled for years and years, until it finally got the state’s attention and scared them into taking action before we got even more “unruly”. A small victory is still a victory. Yes, there is still a long way to go in this and other areas, but it is still an accomplishment.

But, again, these kinds of Leftists are not the majority, so I will get back to my original point.

The way I see it, it is our duty as humans living in a society to care about our fellow humans. To fight for a better life for the great masses of people. To struggle to lift and eventually dispose of the yokes of oppression weighing down the vast majority of human beings. To end exploitation of one human by another. To analyze the problems in our world so as to find ways to fix them. This is the opposite of a cynical view, because it sees greater possibilities, it rejects the belief that all humans are inherently selfish. There is no room for defeatism, hopelessness, or nihilism in revolutionary thought. There is no room for cynicism if we are fighting for a better future. And all of this struggle to build a better future would be meaningless if we didn’t analyze and try to rid the world of all that which oppresses, kills, exploits the majority of the earth’s population. We have to know what the problems are before we fix them. We have to spread the word of these problems to make others more aware. We have to care about these problems because we care about humanity’s well-being.

On the other hand, those who so often label revolutionary, anti-capitalist movements as “cynical” often show more signs of being cynics themselves. Those who refuse to talk about or even acknowledge what is happening in the world may seem more easy-going, but that doesn’t mean we are the cynics and they aren’t. Their inaction is purely cynical, even if they don’t act cynical in other areas of life. They evidently see no point in fighting for a better world, and are therefore hopeless defeatists in practice(even if they believe they aren’t practicing anything at all: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” – Desmond Tutu)

Likewise, those who believe revolutionary socialists are just angsty cynics who trust and love no one are usually those same people who believe socialism “can’t work” because humans are “born selfish”. If you didn’t look up cynicism in the dictionary earlier, do it now, because that line of thought fits perfectly into the definition of a cynic.

So those who follow and act out on Marxist-Leninist revolutionary thought are the ones being labelled as “cynics”, despite we believing that humans are not inherently competitive or greedy, and fighting for a brighter future we believe to be entirely possible due to humantity’s enormous collective accomplishments, while those who are pointing their fingers at us are those who have given up or don’t even bother to try pushing for further liberation, and believe humans are not trustworthy enough to live in a more collective way. We look into the oppressions currently going on every second of every day in order to find ways to end them, while the self-proclaimed “anti-cynics” don’t want to lift a finger for their fellow humans, unless it’s to point at and laugh at and scold those who are attempting to make a difference.

I’m not going to be a cynic and say that all of these people are purposely trying to be cynical themselves. I am just saying their judgments are very misplaced.

So, to bring this entry to a close, I will now refrain from disrespectful forms of argument and misrepresenting the revolutionary movement with hurtful statements and insults(though I make no such promises for fascists). In return, I hope some people will read this and realize why we communists condemn terrible acts. We are not being cynics, we are doing what is necessary to eventually help to make life better for the people of this world.

To paraphrase that oft-used quote from Comrade Che: Every revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love. There is no place for cynicism, defeatism, or careless apathy in our movement.

-SFB

Mr. Jones and Me Look into the Future

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The face of humanity's salvation

Throughout my childhood and a few years into my teenage years, I didn’t care at all to break out of the political/social bubble of views I was born into. I was more worried about listening to music, eventually making music, and contributing in the normal shenanigans of one of the angsty “outsiders”. But, as my family went from middle-bourgeois to working class with barely enough food in the cabinet to feed my mother, my sister, and myself, I began to question everything I had been taught. The ideology of “freedom” and patriotism I was indoctrinated into seemed like a complete failure. The money stopped “trickling down” when we hit the bottom. I found out that all my mentors were not just flawed, but were pretty abhorrent human beings. I would still attend my conservative mega-church only to hear politicized rhetoric about how poor people, like my family, were nothing but leeches. I listened to sermons that seemed to be based more on the philosophy of Ayn Rand than any old gospel. By this time I had an entirely new group of friends, being shunned by the well-to-do kids I had hung out with previously. These new friends of mine were what would be called(and what was called, by the church’s “elders”) degenerates. In reality, we were sick of the elitism that surrounded us. One of the breaking points was when the security personnel at this church made several racially-charged accusations against three of my African-American friends. We stopped holding back after that, and were banned from church grounds within a month.

Now, the above may seem entirely insignificant – just a short story about angsty teenagers vandalizing and taking what revenge we could against the micro-establishment that was that church. But the fact is, for my whole life up until that point, me and these friends of mine were sheltered, homeschooled brats whose only form of outside interaction was through this church. Being kicked out, coupled with my family’s “fall from grace”, meant that, as it seemed to me, everything I had thought to be stable parts of my life – and indeed the whole world – was crashing down under the weight of the lies which were its essence. This is all relevant because this is when I first began to poke holes in the bubble of my childhood ideas about the world.

And so it was at this point that I began to look outside of the standard neoconservative worldview. Being that I had not completely given up many of my right-wing capitalistic views, libertarianism was what first drew me into what I had believed to be “rebellious” or “new” views and ideas. And if we know anything about libertarianism, we know that it is a breeding ground for conspiracy theories, some truly outlandish claims about everything that was happening in the world. The biggest name in the world of conspiracy theories is Alex Jones. I fell pretty deep into the his theories and those propagated by sites like infowars.

Of course, I now know the extent of Jones’s reactionary stances and almost fascistic rhetoric, but when I was a fan, I didn’t see it that way. Some of the things that drew me to Jones were: his opposition to the War in Iraq, his opposition to the War on Drugs, his opposition to the various oppressive measures of our bourgeois state(the Patriot Act and such). To this day I stand in opposition to these things, though for more rational reasons. But I now know that the solutions to these problems won’t come from a wealthy, attention-craving radio rambler. Here’s why:

THE REACTIONARY HISTORY OF CONSPIRACY THEORIES

As I stated above, I was still upholding capitalistic values when I fell into the hole of Jones-like paranoia. Indeed, all of the most outspoken conspiracy theorists are hardcore capitalists: libertarians, ancaps, patriotic traditionalists. However, conspiracy theories, while remaining about the same in theory and rhetoric, have not always been so bourgeois. The book “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, a disgustingly anti-Semitic and fictitious account of a Jewish cabal out to control the world, was a popular read among the Russian aristocracy and the nobility of the other various empires, for it was an attempt to demonize and slander the rising bourgeois class, the birth of capitalism from feudalism. It slandered this progressivism by tying it to a group of people hated throughout Europe. This new politico-economic form of rule, which threatened to topple tyrannical monarchies all over the world, was portrayed as a Jewish conspiracy to gain complete control and liquidate or enslave those of non-Jewish descent. Any rational person living today knows that this is total bullshit, but to the aristocracies of yesterday, it was an important piece of propaganda, created to make the masses fear the capitalist republicans who were starting to over-power the nobility.

Likewise, the myth of the Illumimati trying to take control of the world was also a product of monarchist propaganda against democratic uprisings. The actual Illuminati – properly called the Bavarian Illuminati – was a secretive group of democratic republicans founded in 1776. Their secrecy didn’t come from a desire to create some sort of “shadow government”, but was a necessary tactic in an environment which was very hostile to new ideas – ideas which went against the grain of monarchist tyranny and religious superstition. By the year 1790, the Bavarian Illuminati was abolished following a harsh crackdown on democratic movements by the aristocratic rulers.

These ideas which got the Bavarian Illuminati into so much trouble were ideas standard to the Enlightenment era democratic movements against monarchal rule. To quote Wikipedia: “The society’s goals were to oppose superstition, obscurantism, religious influence over public life and abuses of state power.” That is to say, the Bavarian Illuminati was a society dedicated to the very same ideals as the American revolutionaries – and we all know how much Alex Jones and other conspiracy theorists basically worship the American revolution and its fighters. The last two of the four points of their purpose – to oppose religious power over public life and to oppose abuses of state power – were essential aspects of the ideologies behind the American Revolution. They were ideas which Alex Jones himself promotes. This is the first big indication of the man’s ignorance.

Even after the erradication of the Bavarian Illuminati as a working society, the monarchists continued to use them as a scapegoat, a fictional fear-base to drive the masses away from bourgeois progressivism. These monarchists claimed that the Illuminati still existed in now total secrecy, and were responsible for the French Revolution. Why would they claim such a thing? Well, much like their use of “Protocols”, they needed to scare the masses away from the revolutions which were knocking aristocrats from their thrones of absolute power all across Europe and in the colonies, including the American Revolution Jones loves so much.

To be more clear: the conspiracy theories used today by capitalism-praising libertarians and patriots have their source in anti-capitalist, anti-democracy, pro-monarchist propaganda. If that doesn’t prove the ignorance behind conspiracy theories, I don’t know what will. But I’ll go on.

In essence, the history of conspiracy theories can’t be traced back to truth-seeking freedom-fighters, but quite the opposite. They were creations from the thrones of power meant to demonize those fighting for more freedom and more societal representation. The conspiracy theorists of today, if they had lived in the 18th or 19th centuries, wouldn’t be the “freedom-loving” bourgeois democrats they are today, they would be throne-worshiping monarchists, Red Coats, anti-republicans(I’m talking system of governance here, not the Republican Party).

Despite their ignorant change of stance over time, conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones still uphold the most reactionary, regressive stances they can, but this time they’re doing it in the name of bourgeois power rather than monarchal power. Quite ironic, don’t you think?

CONSPIRACY THEORIES TODAY: SAME REACTIONISM, DIFFERENT TARGET

So, the history of the most popular conspiracy theories is in total contradiction to the values held by conspiracy theorists today. At first, they were tools of propaganda to warn people away from bourgeois-democratic revolutions. Now, they are tools of distraction to warn people away from continual progress. If these theories were personified, that would make for one very confused person. “Oh, well,” this person would say, “I was apparently wrong about the dangers of democracy and the righteousness of aristocratic rule, but now…now I know that the new system is better, and anything that tries to push any further forward is wrongwrongwrong!! Trust me this time.”

Conspiracy theorists today have been smart to try to distance themselves from the previous “hiccup” that was “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” But really, they only just refuse to mention the name or to reference that book(with the exception of neo-Nazis and Klansmen, as well as the christian fundamentalist Kent Hovind). But the anti-Semitism is still there. For instance, the Rothschild family is still a popular target for conspiracy theorists, despite the fact that the family’s importance has fallen drastically since the start of the era of imperialism. They are no longer one of the big players in the game of acquisition, though they are still members of the class of large capitalists. This very specific demonization is a left-over of the old monarchist anti-democratic ideology. There are plenty of wealthy capitalists controlling governments and media, but to oppose them all would be almost like opposing capitalism itself, which the conspiracy theorists would never do(unless they lived a couple of hundred years ago). So instead, these theorists nit-pick which cappies to oppose, and, being as ideologically lazy as they are, they just stuck with blaming the capitalists who happen to be Jews, and not many more.

I would also like to point out another scrap of dumbass-ery left over from the old days of pro-throne conspiracy theories: the condemnation of the French Revolution. Now, it is(or should be) common knowledge that the French Revolution was a bourgeois revolution which sought to replace aristocratic rule with bourgeois democratic rule(bourgeois democratic rule being the form of governance today’s conspiracy theorists hold up as a system of “freedom and liberty”). It was fought for the same reasons why the American Revolution was fought – to overthrow aristocratic power and install some form of representative government. It should be noted here that the monarchists blamed the American Revolution for the same things they blamed the French Revolution, but Mr. Jones is apparently picking and choosing which accusations(from the same sources) he wants to use for his own fame. So, why does he so often name the French Revolution in his lists of things he hates? Well, the French Revolution was a little different from the other bourgeois revolutions – it was more radical, its sights were set on an egalitarian future, it did not hold itself back from giving the aristocrats what they deserved. It pushed hardest for progress and liberation. This is what Alex Jones and others fear so much – moving forward.

Today’s conspiracy theorists, as we have seen, are much the same as their monarchist predecessors in that they despise and fear anything that could possibly be seen as progressive, as going against the grain of the existing economic power structure. Only, this time around, they are protecting the bourgeoisie and slandering the true progressives – we socialists. The capitalists are the new monarchs, and the conspiracy theorists are still working for the rulers as propagandists and fear-mongerers. “Fear democracy” has become “fear workers’ democracy”. “Fear capitalism” has become “fear socialism”.

Having solidified a history of opposing the growth and further liberation of society, conspiracy theorists are now claiming everything considered progressive today are a part of some big diabolical plan – anti-racism, women’s rights, LGBT+ liberation, etc, etc are all “evils” that are trying to “destroy all of our great traditions”. Capitalism is their new idol, and socialism is their new target.

However, being conspiracy theorists, they’re not very accurate or consistent at all. “Socialism”, to them, is anything and everything they dislike. It is capitalist corporations who “go green”. It is the bourgeois US government with its mail service and stop signs. These theorists don’t actually know what socialism is, they just slap that label on almost everything. They do this because they are the most diehard pieces of left-overs from the Red Scares. They think labelling things as “socialist” will scare people into imagining pictures of “Orwellian Totalitarianism”. And often times these scare-tactics work – Alex Jones didn’t make a fortune by being laughed at.

Recently, Jones had a guest on his show: a man named Michael Savage. Michael Savage is a self-proclaimed anti-progressive “conservative nationalist”. That’s right, Mr. Jones seems to be fine with the horrific, oppressive history of right-wing nationalism(which has branches such as Nazism, fascism, Peronism, etc.), probably because nationalists are hardline enemies of socialism(progress, working class liberation, internationalist solidarity, etc.). Savage is also rabidly anti-immigration and a strong supporter of the English-only movement. It is frightening to me that such people, who want to oppress, deport, or even kill foreigners, are considered by so many to be “freedom-loving rebels”. I guess they forget that “conservativism” means the conservation of the ruling status quo. What these people are really “rebelling” against is rebellion itself.

In many ways, Savage’s ideology is linked to that of Hitler’s and the Nazi Party. He sums up his main topics of concern thusly: borders, language, and culture. That is, he wants closed borders due to his hatred and distrust of foreign peoples; he wants the language and culture of the USA to remain “pure”. I don’t think it can be denied that this is straight up Hitler-style nationalism.

Now, about that interview Jones gave to this crypto-fascist Michael Savage: In it, Savage makes the claim that Obama(whom both ignorantly consider to be a “socialist”) is arming the Crips and the Bloods(he probably thinks all Black people are members of one or the other) for the “coming race war”. Just a reminder: this was not an interview with Charles Manson. And Alex Jones totally fell in line with this outrageous claim. Savage made this claim because of the recent truce between the two gangs in Baltimore, a truce meant to bring them together in order to protest the police murder of People of Color.

Of course, in the interview, the French Revolution was brought up as a tool for demonization. Savage says “the guillotines are ready” and that the “blades are being greased”. He’s saying that Obama is using the anti-cop-murder protesters in order to ignite a “race war” in which white people will be erradicated.

Let me put this into perspective: These so-called “anti-authoritarians” are helping the murderous cops in demonizing protesting civillians. They are essentially taking the side of the state they claim to hate because they fear Black people who want freedom. Anti-racist protests scare them because it goes against their version of the “freedoms” of America’s yester-years, when people like Jones and Savage could own slaves, when it was illegal for women to vote, when starving children had to go into the mines to help their families afford the most basic necessities. These are the “freedoms” these two wealthy, white men long for. These are the “freedoms” they want to reinstall: their freedom to own another human being, their freedom to oppress immigrants, their freedom to make half of the population the proletariat of the home(as Engels termed the state of the female sex in patriarchal capitalist society).

There is plenty more wrong with pretty much all of Jones’s assumptions and claims, but his reactionism is most evident in his not-so-subtle racism, sexism, and homophobia. He is also profoundly anti-science, and makes some really ridiculous statements almost religiously, like when he made a video claiming that the Pyramid in Memphis, TN was an occult symbol where occultists would go to a room at the top to worship a dancing demon monkey, or something. He then ends the video by saying the “country boys” had won because the massive corporation, Bass Pro, bought the Pyramid. Another instance of this “anti-authoritarian” taking the side of the powerful against imaginary enemies.

CONCLUSION: CONSPIRACY THEORISTS ARE NOT REBELS

Observing the history of the most popular conspiracy theories and its consistently reactionary nature, it should be clear that these “activists” are fighting for anything but freedom and liberation. In the 18th and 19th centuries, they fought for absolute rule by monarch. Today, they fight for absolute control by the bourgeoisie. They pretend to be fighting against the upper-strata of society, when in fact, as is evidenced in Jones’s and Savage’s condemnations of the Baltimore protesters as “tools for evil”, they are opposing anyone who is oppressed struggling for a better life. They veil their worship of the status quo in pretend-stories about invisible enemies. They claim the powers that be are the opposite of what they really are, so as to be able to demonize the true rebels and uphold the system that protects them and their riches.

As more and more people are growing disenchanted with the current structures of power, more and more are being deceived by the flip-flopped rhetoric of Jones and his peers. People are falling for the false belief that all of society’s problems are coming from “socialism” or “progressivism”, when the US and other powerful countries are the opposite of socialist or progressive. The conspiracy theorists stand for the very same things these “big governments” stand for: white supremacy, nationalism, xenophobia, and so on.

What is “liberating” about shooting people at the border? What is “liberating” about wanting society to regress? Where is the “freedom” in constant paranoia, race-hatred, nationalist chauvenism?

Alex Jones is by no means oppressed or a member of the downtrodden, with his fortune gathered through fear-mongering. A revolutionary leftist could only wish to gain the fame he has in this society. A socialist would be blacklisted the second s/he gained that kind of notoriety. While the FBI is raiding the headquarters of socialist anti-war factions, Jones is sitting comfy in his studio spewing hate and fear.

If you are unsatisfied or angry at the system that oppresses, kills, tortures, be careful not to fall into false “rebellions” that advocate the very same things(or much worse) as this system.

-SFB

Why Defend Stalin?

Right off the bat, I want to go ahead and say that I was driven to write this due to a debate that recently took place online. However, I’m not one to dedicate an entire entry to an argument on social media. This was just the most recent argument I’ve had on this issue. I’ve had similar(or identical) discussions in many other places and with many different people, so I decided to write this so that, maybe, I won’t have to say the exact same things over and over again in the future.

These discussions usually begin with a “left”-communist asking – usually in a sarcastic or degrading manner – why Marxist-Leninists insist on talking about dead leaders and their contributions. Specifically, they wonder why we still uphold Stalin. According to them, this is a waste of time, a turn-off to those living in the present day. They say we need to put our minds on the matters at hand, rather than “worshipping” figures from the past.

These ultra-“leftists” seem to be ignorant to the fact that, if we were to ignore the successes and failures of the past, we will likely make mistakes that could put the entire movement in jeopardy. It took a lot of trial-and-error for the first socialist revolutions to take off. What these ultras are suggesting is we start from scratch and make the same, or even worse, errors, due to our lack of historical knowledge. In doing so, we will be making ourselves infants in the movement. We will be pushing the revolution back decades. Of course, each place and situation calls for different strategies and tactics, but Marxism-Leninism, being a science, is already open to and prepared for such differing methods and environments. What the ultras are suggesting is to throw out the science as a guide and put on blindfolds. They want the movement to learn everything all over again. Over a century of study and practice should be thrown out the window.

But, being the super-edgy ultras that they are, this only applies when they are speaking with Leninists.

In the recent online debate, the person suggesting these things was a self-proclaimed Trotskyist. He was telling we “Stalinists” to stop “living in the past” since Stalin is dead and can not physically do anything for us now, while proudly proclaiming himself to follow another -ism of another dead man. So, while telling us that we should “get over” or accept the bourgeois lies that have been heaped upon Stalin’s historical legacy, he was simultaneously complaining about how Trotsky was “denied justice”. That is, while he was telling “Stalinists” to stop talking about the past, he was bringing up the past for his own defense. When we try to refute bourgeois myths regarding Stalin, he said that doing so was “pointless”. When we brought up Trotsky’s treacherous actions, he suddenly was fine with talking about the past in order to legitimize his own stance. I can’t possibly be the only one to see the double standard there. He’s actually fine with talking about historical events(despite claiming otherwise), just so long as the discussion doesn’t trample on his stubborn beliefs.

But Trotskyites are not the only ones to do this kind of thing. Anarchists will say the same things to we “Stalinists”, but the moment you bring up, say, Bakunin’s power-hungry attitude, they’ll suddenly find it necessary to talk about and defend historical figures. Every group or movement, political or otherwise, looks to history for legitimacy. Religious people look to books written by people who have been dead for thousands of years. Capitalists still read and produce the works of John Locke. The philosophy sections of every bookstore are filled with works by dead people. What I’m getting at is, history is the key to understanding the present. Without a knowledge of the past, we would be lost in the current times. We will have no understanding of why things are the way they are and how we can move forward. You have to understand how something is constructed before deconstructing and building something new.

Therefore, it should be easy to understand why we Marxist-Leninists find it necessary to study the works and actions of Stalin or any other socialist leader, in order to find out what worked and why, as well as what didn’t work and why, and to assess how to implement what worked into the differing circumstances of our time and place. Literally every other group or movement does this very same thing, so pointing your finger at Leninists for it is just hypocritical.

Now, with all of that said, it’s time to get to the crux of why defending Stalin is so essential to the Communist movement today, 60 years after his death.

Stalin oversaw the world’s first implementation of the socialist system. This system had the international bourgeoisie shaking in their well-polished shoes(unlike any of the ultra-“left” ideologies, which have either been tolerated or even utilized by the capitalists). The slanders thrown at the figure of Stalin are not directed at a single man, but at communism in general. It would be downright ridiculous to say that if Stalin hadn’t been elected as General Secretary the borgeoisie wouldn’t have continued spreading lies about the “horrors of communism”. If Trotsky or Kropotkin or any other semi-leftist figure had somehow succeeded in implementing socialism, it would be they who would be labelled as mass-murderers by the bourgeois propagandists. But neither of those figures succeeded, so the capitalists have no qualms with them or the movements they helped to create, because they aren’t a threat to bourgeois power. Marxism-Leninism, however, is a threat to the capitalists. Capitalists despise communism as a whole, not just a single man. Therefore, the defense of Stalin is in fact the defense of the socialist system, the power of the masses.

Let’s take a look at some of the outrageous accusations made against Stalin(and therefore, communism in general).

STALIN, THE MONSTER

For the idea of Stalin being one of the most “ruthless dictators in history” being considered “common knowledge”, there sure does seem to be a lack of any kind of consensus regarding his supposed atrocities, even among bourgeois scholars. Those members of the anti-communist intelligentsia, who go into their “studies” with a pro-bourgeois bias already ingrained in their minds, can’t seem to come to a conclusion on just how “bad” Stalin supposedly was. There is a pretty damn clear-cut idea of the crimes of all of the individual fascist regimes – there are mountains of evidence, documentation, etc. detailing what was done and how. But when it comes to the Stalin-era USSR or any other socialist country, everything is jumbled. One can’t help but to think these anti-communist “experts” are just shoehorning in their deathtolls when each of them gives a different account and estimation. Usually these numbers differ from each other by hundreds of thousands, if not millions. I have heard everything from 50,000 people killed by communist states, to 600,000, to several millions, to even billions. That’s right, some claim Stalin was responsible for the deaths of billions of people(which would mean, considering the human population at the time, he would have killed off half of humanity). Where are these numbers coming from, and why are these “experts” in so much disagreement? If Stalin was truly the monster they claim him to be, shouldn’t they have some kind of concrete proof, something that slightly resembles a consensus?

The more diehard of the anti-communist “experts”(Robert Conquest and co.) have no problems with using the likes of Hearst media as their sources. Hearst was an open sympathizer of the Nazi regime in Germany, when such sympathies were trending in the American anti-communist movement. His outlets were not worried about hiding these sympathies or praising the German fascists as “protecters” against the “communist threat”. Hearst himself visited Nazi Germany, and that is where he got his estimations regarding the “atrocities” of Stalin’s USSR. He got the information he wanted from Nazi propagandists and republished these estimations in his American media outlets. This is where Conquest and many others go to for the sources of their works. So, the most prominent and popular accusations against the USSR come, not from first-hand accounts or even hard evidence, but from pro-Nazi “yellow media”, which in turn got its information from Nazi propagandists. If this isn’t shady then I don’t know what is.

And supposed deathtolls are not the only inconsistencies in anti-communist rhetoric. For instance, half of the anti-communists(the far-rightists) claim that Marxism-Leninism is actually a Jewish conspiracy to undermine democracy and rule the world in a secretive shadow-government of some kind. I don’t think I need to go into why this claim is utter and complete nonsense. On the other hand, the other half of anti-communists(liberals, ultras, etc.) claim that Marxism-Leninism, specifically Stalin, was anti-Semitic. This claim persists today by people who obviously know next to nothing about Marxism-Leninism or Stalin. They read the Wikipedia page and believe that’s all the information they need to make this sweeping condemnation. They apparently don’t know that two of Stalin’s children married Jews, and that his grandchildren were therefore Jewish. They can’t put two and two together and come to the realization that, if Stalin was anti-Semitic, he would never have wanted to label himself as Marxist, as Marx was a Jew. And chances are they never bothered to learn what the Jewish Autonomous Oblast was – the first haven for the oppressed Jewish people of Europe. If Stalin really did want to “kill the Jews”, he did a terrible job, as the population of the Jewish Autonomous Oblast(which he helped to create) consistently rose during his time as leader.

There are other, more minor, accusations against Stalin and communism in general that contradict each other completely. Some say that Stalin was a “Russian Nationalist” who pushed for “Russofication” of the various states and nationalities which existed within the USSR. One big problem with this theory: Stalin wasn’t Russian, he was Georgian, which was an oppressed nationality during the days of the Russian empire. Another accusation, which is more annoying than serious, is that communists are either chaste prudes with no taste for excitement, or we’re perverted, animalistic sexual deviants. It all depends on which flavor of anti-communist you’re talking to.

What this all boils down to is: Anti-communists are opportunists to the worst degree. Anti-communist rhetoric changes from “expert” to “expert”, from one day to the next. It is completely unworthy of any kind of scholarly trust. But respectful dialogue and research is not their priority. Their priority is simple: demonize communism in any way possible. Tell whoever is listening what you want them to think. Forget about facts and consistency: if you’re talking to a neo-Nazi, tell them communism is a Jewish conspiracy out to kill white people. If you’re talking to a gullible liberal, tell them Stalin and Hitler were “basically the same”. Just so long as you get people to despise communism, you can become an “expert” on the issue. That’s all that matters.

So, to go back to my earlier point, when it comes to anti-communism, facts frankly do not matter. Therefore, in the realm of anti-communism, Stalin is just a name on which the anti-communists can place all the blame so as to discredit communism. If he had never been born, or had never become leader of the CPSU, the name would be different, but the accusations would remain the same. Just as inconsistent and nonsensical, reaching for thin air just as much. For in their attempts to paint Stalin as a monster, they aren’t simply trying to demonize a single individual, but the whole of the communist movement and ideology. This is why defense of Stalin is important, because countering the slanders thrown against him is to counter anti-communist lies in general. This is about much more than just a single figure.

CATERING TO BOURGEOIS IDEAS

So we see that, no matter who gains any position in a socialist state, no matter where or when a revolution takes place, the bourgeoisie will always slander communism as a whole. Not just Stalin or Ho Chi Minh or Enver Hoxha or anyone else, communism is the bourgeoisie’s target.

However, the capitalists are very eager to utilize those anti-communist “leftists”, in an attempt to basically say, “SEE?? We were right all along! Even other communists admit that successful revolutions are doomed to tyranny!” And in return, the anti-communist “leftists”, in their ignorance to bourgeois class interests, will take this as a cue to propagate bourgeois lies in order to try to further their own positions in the movement. They believe that, if they take part in the slandering of the successes of socialist states, they will somehow make a revolution of their own. They believe that, if they cater to bourgeois sentiment, by helping to discredit socialism at every turn, they can somehow sneak through bourgeois hegemony and create a revolution that has no historical foundation and no scientific basis. This is nothing more than holding hands with capitalists in order to attack anything that ever gets accomplished in the communist movement.

Sure, in words they will admit that the bourgeoisie, its media and scholars, has its own class interests and portrays these interests as interests of the “whole people”. But in practice, the ultras seem to forget all about this fact. They’ll call the ruling bourgeois ideas lies one minute, but the moment a bourgeois anti-communist “expert” slanders a socialist or anti-imperialist state, suddenly the ultras say, “Well, this is something the bourgeoisie is actually being honest about.” It’s strange that pretty much the only times these ultras believe the bourgeoisie is when they attack socialism. It really makes one wonder who or what they are supposedly fighting for.

Before the fascists became a nuisance to liberal-capitalist power, the bourgeois media had no problems with them. In fact, liberal-capitalist media and leaders praised fascists on many occasions before the outbreak of the Second World War. This is because fascism and liberalism both cater to the bourgeois class. Socialism, on the other hand, being a theory and system fighting for working class power, has always been slandered and condemned by capitalists of all stripes(liberal and fascist). If these socialist states were really as capitalistic as the ultras claim, the international bourgeoisie would have been seeking an alliance with them(outside of war time), instead of, you know, invading post-revolutionary Russia fourteen times and trying to cripple it with sanctions and secretive acts of aggression. The bourgeoisie so feared the USSR and others because of the threat of worldwide proletarian revolution. If the successful revolutions weren’t examples of working class victory, the capitalists wouldn’t have had much to worry about.

The ultras – Trots, anarchists, councilists, syndicalists – claim that going along with bourgeois anti-communist rhetoric is the “best thing” for building a new proletarian movement. That the only way to bring about a revolution is to distance themselves from the successes of the past. To hold up the bourgeois anti-communist banner. This is just plain lazy – beating around the bush of defeatism. Aiding the capitalists in their suppression of “unsavory” forms of communism(i.e. those which have actually lead to the overthrow of bourgeois power). This, much like bourgeois anti-communism, is opportunist to the extreme.

CONCLUSION

So, what does this “leftist” anti-communism amount to? Nothing more than being in full compliance with the ruling ideas of capitalist society. It is “communists” joining hands with anti-communists. It is “revolutionaries” joining the bourgeois choir of slandering any and every revolution. None of their ideas for revolution are original or groundbreaking, because revolution, to them, is secondary to ridiculing those revolutions that ended in victory. Trotsky spent more time helping bourgeois governments track down communists, writing incomprehensible works slandering every revolution that happened during his time, and trying to solidify his place as a Great Leader of some sort in order to satisfy his ego. His followers are doing a good job of carrying on that legacy today.

And none of this is about “hero-worship”, as evey ultra claims. The “cult of personality” is a bourgeois creation which we Marxist-Leninists oppose, and which Stalin himself opposed. You see, we Marxist-Leninists don’t actually call ourselves “Stalinists”, because Stalin, though a strong and committed communist, did not formulate any new theories for a new epoch of development. Trotskyists, on the other hand, proudly proclaim themselves to be followers of Trotsky, and named their theories after him, while simultaneously saying M-L’s “worship” Stalin. Doesn’t make much sense, does it? Likewise, anarchists can’t stand to see anyone defending Stalin, but the moment you bring up the faults of Bakunin, Kropotkin, or Petrichenko, all gloves are off.

In the debate I mentioned at the beginning of this post, the Trot making all of the accusations continuously took pot-shots at the Left – how “fucked up” it is, how it’s wrong on almost every level, how it’s basically a lost cause. He said that maybe he should just become a liberal. I said that would be perfect, because “communists” who spend all of their time slandering and attacking the Left and successful revolutions might as well just join the ranks of bourgeois anti-communists. After all, they’re pretty much already there.

-SFB

H. G. Wells on Stalin

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“I confess that I approached Stalin with a certain amount of suspicion and prejudice. A picture had been built up in my mind of a very reserved and self-centred fanatic, a despot without vices, a jealous monopolizer of power. I had been inclined to take the part of Trotsky against him. I had formed a very high opinion perhaps an excessive opinion, of Trotsky’s military and administrative abilities, and it seemed to me that Russia, which is in such urgent need of directive capacity at every turn, could not afford to send them into exile. Trotsky’s Autobiography, and more particularly the second volume, had modified this judgment but I still expected to meet a ruthless, hard – possibly doctrinaire – and self-sufficient man at Moscow; a Georgian highlander whose spirit had never completely emerged from its native mountain glen.

Yet I had to recognize that under him Russia was not being merely tyrannized over and held down; it was being governed and it was getting on. Everything I had heard in favour of the First Five Year Plan I had put through a severely sceptical sieve, and yet there remained a growing effect of successful enterprise. I had listened more and more greedily to any first-hand gossip I could hear about these contrasted men. I had already put a query against my grim anticipation of a sort of Bluebeard at the centre of Russian affairs. Indeed if I had not been in reaction against these first preconceptions and wanting to get nearer to the truth of the matter, I should never have gone again to Moscow.

I have never met a man more candid, fair and honest, and to these qualities it is, and to nothing occult and sinister, that he owes his tremendous undisputed ascendancy in Russia. I had thought before I saw him that he might be where he was because men were afraid of him, but I realize that he owes his position to the fact that no one is afraid of him and everybody trusts him.

-H. G. Wells, Experiment in Autobiography