Tag Archives: revolution

Peace & Love & Liberal Nonsense

The face you make after you cut off your serf’s hand for marrying the wrong person.

A lot has been going on since my last entry. I haven’t been able to write anything in regards to the recent surge of mass activism because, for one, I am doing what I can to help or at least attend those actions in my area, but I also have a lot of personal stuff going on that’s neither here nor there.
But I have finally found the time to lay down some of my thoughts here. Specifically — and not for the first time — the liberal response to the aforementioned surge in activity. Yes, I’ve written about the liberal’s soft-spot for window panes and convenience stores before, but I haven’t really dug any deeper into the ideologies behind their — for lack of a better term — wet-noodlism. Pacifism, respectability politics, neo-hippy paternalism — each a bane to social progress.

The liberals of today like to think of themselves as the “reasonable Left,” and by that they mean they are pseudo-Leftists who are more than willing to reason with the oppressors. However, there are liberals of other sorts promoting similar or identical tactics, but from a seemingly “non-politicized” or “unbiased” point — in other words, the politically apathetic social-agnostics and/or spiritualists who don’t experience oppression (or just don’t acknowledge it) and therefore think of it as something much lighter than it really is. Lighter means easier to conquer, and that basically means asking the bourgeoisie to kindly lay off a little bit. Or not even ask at all, just ignore it and it will go away. Or, worst of all, they even tell the oppressed to love their oppressor. Striking workers should love those whom they are stiking against. Anti-racists should love white supremacists. And, regarding recent events, People of Color should love the police.

No matter the reasoning behind it, pacifism, in all its forms, serves the interests of the oppressors.

Two members of the liberal pantheon of posterchilds are George Orwell and Mahatma Gandhi — the former is well-regarded for his supposed “anti-authoritarianism” and the latter for his pacifism. Both figures are pretty well-suited to be canonized in liberal ideology: Orwell, the man who snitched on Communists for the British government; and Gandhi, British imperialism’s favorite kind of “activist.”

Liberal dogma has placed Gandhi on a pedestal as the prime example of what an activist should be — passive and non-violent. Decades of violent fighting for Indian independence has been overshadowed by this one man’s image. Hundreds — even thousands — of Indian revolutionaries are forgotten, while every imperialist ideologue sings high praises of this figure of pacifism as if he and he alone won independence for the country, not those actually fighting, bleeding, and dying for the cause.

There is a reason why the imperialist oppressors would rather praise the pacifists than the actual revolutionaries — the pacifists are not the real threat to their power. The other liberal idol I mentioned, George Orwell, was, as an anti-communist snitch, naturally well aware of why the British imperialists tolerated and endorsed the worship of someone like Gandhi, as he stated:

“As an ex-Indian civil servant, it always makes me shout with laughter to hear, for instance, Gandhi named as an example of the success of non-violence. As long as twenty years ago it was cynically admitted in Anglo-Indian circles that Gandhi was very useful to the British government. So he will be to the Japanese if they get there. Despotic governments can stand ‘moral force’ till the cows come home; what they fear is physical force.”

This realization should be taken into account along with that well-known quote from Assata Shakur:

“Nobody in the world, nobody in history, has ever gotten their freedom by appealing to the moral sense of the people who were oppressing them.”

That is precisely what the “reasonable Left” wants to do: appeal to the moral sense of the oppressor. We are told to respect the authority of a state which serves the interests of social parasites and exploiters. We can conduct sit-ins and form drum circles, but we are never to question the legitimacy of the oppressor class or its murderous state. Meaning liberation is out of the picture, for the pacifists see the oppression of the masses as less of a crime than the abolition of capitalist excess and exploitation.

This is why civilians who kill cops get blown to pieces by robots, but cops who kill civilians get paid administrative leave, despite the latter being paid to protect people, not the former. According to the dominant liberal ideology, the masses must behave, or they will face much harsher consequences than the pawns of the bourgeoisie who commit the very same crimes, and on a much larger scale. It is perfectly acceptable for a cop-killer to be blown up, but killer-cops “deserve a fair trial.”

Image by Carlos Latuff

Of course, I do not condone the attacks in Dallas or Baton Rouge, but I am saying that, when a community is facing death on a daily basis from an institution that acts with impunity, a backlash should be expected. The neo-hippies are always saying “Violence only creates more violence,” but then act surprised when a violent institution that is continuously murdering people receives a dose of violence against itself. This hypocritical contradiction boils down to something very simple: pacifism is an ideological tool to point blame at the oppressed while in the end defending the oppressor. It is not progressive. It is not revolutionary. It is condescending, chauvinistic, and patronizing to the oppressed.White folks telling Black folks how to behave “properly” in their anger; the wealthy telling the poor to “be content” and “ask nicely”; those who say “just ignore them and they will go away” in regards to neo-fascists, Klansmen, and racist cops — these are the tunes of the pacifist choir, and they all come from a place of privilege, safety, and plain old arrogance. Their subjectivity is almost post-modern, and just like post-modernism, it is useless at best, damaging at worst.

How is it useless? Gandhi’s letter to Hitler(in which he refers to the furor as his “friend” in the first fucking sentence) did a lot less to end the Nazi Party’s bloody reign than Soviet and partisan bullets. No revolution in history has ever succeeded by requesting liberation from the yoke of oppression. They have always and will always take the form of a violent overthrow, by necessity.

How is it damaging? Well, besides laying down in the face of a death, it also inspires apathy in the long run, leading to defeatism. It legitimizes inhumane rule and idolizes the rulers in its own way. Being an aspect of the liberal ideology, it picks and chooses in accordance with the interests of the ruling class. The early Soviet Union proved that socialism and predatory wars are mutually exclusive, but the Soviet Union is still demonized. On the other hand, Tibet, under the rule of the Dalai Lama was burdened under the yoke of feudalism, violent theocracy, serfdom, and even slavery, but the Dalai Lama himself is yet another posterboy for so-called “passive resistance,” even though what he supported was a system more oppressive than most of today’s world, and what he resists is the secularism and anti-feudalism that rose up post-liberation. (Note: This is not a defense of the Chinese state, but Buddhist rule of Tibet was not all meditation and unicorns.)

Pacifism is purely a tool of the bourgeoisie. It has never and will never be capable of properly combating classism, racism, patriarchy, or oppression of any kind when put into practice. Its most diehard disciples are complicit in the actions of the ruling system. The militantly neutral have, in reality, already picked a side (the wrong side), and the self-proclaimed “passive resistors” are nothing but a burden to the movement of liberation.

Do not tell us to love those in positions of power who are killing the people they are supposed to protect. Do not tell us to respect a system that wants to use the majority of us as disposable tools for profit. Do not tell those facing death because of the color of their skin to show love towards the institution that perpetuates the real violence towards them and their families.

Claiming to have aligned chakras, or knowing a couple of quotes from MLK, or pretending to be ideologically “above” all sides of the issue do not make you qualified to tell working and poor revolutionaries what to do or how to respond to acts of aggression from the bourgeois dictatorship. Heal yourself with crystals all you like. Post heart-warming cop stories on social media. Send out your thoughts and prayers. Just stop trying to act like anyone should listen to you, because what you’re proposing is essentially nothing more than inaction, so there is no point.

Stop using the issue-of-the-week to boost your own ego and preach about your “enlightenment.” You aren’t helping anyone.
-SFB

Socialism, Socialism, Socialism

Despite what your post-modernist buddy says as he sips herbal tea and speaks through his wool scarf on a July afternoon, words are not just facades for the expression of abstract, unfounded ideals. They have definitive meanings relating to material conditions and concepts. I’m no linguist, but I’m pretty certain that words have definitions and, for the sake of communication, shouldn’t be considered to be a veil of gibberish. I can’t say “I’m a horse” as a way to convey my taste for spicy food.

(I know this is sounding foolish so far, but hang in there).

Too often, people–usually angry people–will spout off words that have a meaning totally different from what it is they are actually trying to say, like when Sarah Palin called some other Republican (can’t recall which one it was, and I don’t care to look it up) a “Stalinist”, or when Glenn Beck calls Hitler a “socialist”, or whenever some new Leftist starts calling everything they dislike “fascism”. All of these are examples of words being used outside of their historically recognized meanings. The number of Republicans who can be considered “Stalinists” is a big fat zero. Hitler himself misused the word “socialism” to mislead people (he referred to actual Marxist socialism as “Judeo-Bolshevism”–he wasn’t a fan). And not every politician in existence is a fascist.

The word “fascism” is probably the most over-used of these words. People have referred to everything from classical conservatism to Marxism-Leninism as “fascist”, without any explanation or material basis for the use of such a label.

But, as you probably guessed from the title, the word I am going to focus on in this post is “socialism”.

One thing I want to say before I go any further: I am very, very happy that socialism has become a hot topic. Just 10 or 20 years ago, socialism was widely seen as a word fit for horror stories, and nothing more. It was unthinkable that it would ever enter into nationwide, public discourse in any kind of serious way. But now, thanks to a certain presidential candidate, socialism, and the meaning behind it, has re-entered the mainstream domain of ideas to be reckoned with. Less and less people are fearful of it, and the number of those who support it is growing by the day. Yes, many of those who claim to support it are still ignorant to the meaning behind it. No, this does not mean people are becoming Marxists. But, the discussion has been opened, and it is up to us Marxist-Leninists to dive in head-first. This is an opportunity for us to gain at least some headway among the masses. It is our duty to enter this discussion, with cool heads and friendly debate, and say what needs to be said.

But the first thing that needs to be said is something that is directed at some of our comrades. This may sound harsh, but please bear with me: Shut the fuck up with your pseudo-anarchistic rants. So many opportunities to win people over to genuine socialism have been squandered by your childish puritanism. No one is going to listen to you if all you have to offer is a verbal onslaught against them as people. No one is going to become a Marxist overnight, especially if their only contact with a Marxist is filled with insults and one-upsmanship. People are becoming genuinely open to the idea of socialism. That openness is likely gone the moment a Marxist insults their intelligence and personal character. This isn’t a dick measuring contest, it is a real life movement we are trying to build, basically from scratch. There is no room for your ego here.

Now, with all of that said, let’s begin with the discussion.

WHAT IS SOCIALISM?

I mentioned above that the word “socialism” is becoming something of a buzzword. Its meaning is being watered down by those who do not know the theory behind it. It is not public services, it is not taxes, it is not snow plows, it is not “redistribution”. One can read the works of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, etc. if they want the full and complete understanding, but here and now, I would rather use Bill Bland’s quick summation from the introduction to his amazing book The Restoration of Capitalism in the Soviet Union(I encourage everyone to read this work, and I will probably reference it a few more times in this post).

Bland’s very brief summation of socialism is in four points:

1) the means of production are owned collectively by the workers;
2) this class of workers holds political power by controlling the state apparatus;
3) production is planned by the state; and
4) exploitation–the process of living partly or wholly on the labour of others–has been eliminated.

None of the above four points are, in any way, linked to the aims of the “democratic socialists” who are gaining so much notoriety in this country. In contrast, let’s see how Bland sums up a capitalist society (from the same work):

1) the means of production–factories, land, etc.–are owned by individuals or corporate groups of individuals called capitalists;
2) this class of capitalists holds political power by controlling the state apparatus;
3) production is regulated by the profit motive; and
4) exploitation occurs, in that capitalists live, partly or wholly, on the labour of others, i.e. of their employed workers.

All four of these characteristics will be maintained under a so-called “democratic socialist” state, and they do exist in the current democratic-socialist states of Europe. No presidential candidate in their right mind would propose the actual policies of socialism, nor would they reject the basic policies of capitalism, if they plan on making any friends at all in a bourgeois-imperialist government. And even if they wanted to, they would be totally unable, due to the purely bourgeois structure of the state itself.

Regardless of all of this, the word “socialism” is being torn from its original meaning so as to make capitalist politicians seem “nicer” and more in-tune with the needs of the people. This isn’t to say that I will reject any and all reforms that would better the conditions of the working class–I would embrace and applaud such measures. But I won’t call them “socialist” or “revolutionary”, because that isn’t what they are. However, even if they aren’t socialist in its true sense, the things being proposed by these democratic-socialists are, for the most part, necessary and progressive. If the workers had more time to develop a class consciousness–rather than spending all of their time and energy on worrying about where they will get their next meal, how they will afford to educate themselves or their families, how they will afford to keep a roof over their heads and their bodies in good health–we would be one step closer to a real revolution. But, again, these measures in and of themselves are not revolutionary or socialist.

Does this mean we Marxist-Leninists should reject all suggested reforms, just because they aren’t as “pure” as we would like? Of course not! In his piece, Marxism and Reformism, Lenin says:

Unlike the anarchists, the Marxists recognize struggle for reform, i.e. for measures that improve the conditions of the working people without destroying the power of the ruling class.

That is, we Marxists support any measures which aid the working class in their day-to-day struggle, even if such measures are put into effect by bourgeois politicians through a bourgeois state. In other words, Sanders has my vote. However, Lenin continues:

At the same time, however, the Marxists wage a most resolute struggle against the reformists, who, directly or indirectly, restrict the aims and activities of the working class to the winning of reforms. Reformism is bourgeois deception of the workers, who, despite individual improvements, will always remain wage-slaves, as long as there is the domination of capital.

So, to put these pieces together, we Marxist-Leninists uphold the usefulness of reform, while also relentlessly waging a fight against “pure” reformism so as not to persuade the workers into thinking reformism is their only path to liberation. I mean, reformism is not the whole map, just a piece of it. And it is up to us to reveal the entire map of liberation to the people. Part of this means to not let them settle merely for those bourgeois politicians who use the word “socialism”, but to help light their way even further, towards real, worker-controlled socialism. To break the domination of capital, rather than settling for a more lenient version of this domination.

Another good point relating to the above quotes of Lenin is that the sentences, “Voting is pointless,” and, “Those who don’t vote have no right to speak,” are both equally annoying and ignorant things to say. So stop.

Anyway, the question “What is socialism?” has, nonetheless, been confused by the liberals. As I’ve already pointed out, even in their confusion, it is essential that we use this opportunity to clear some things up, since, at last, this discussion has reached the mainstream.

The following picture is what brought me to write this post, after I saw it being shared by some of my well-meaning friends:

image

This is way, way, way beyond a simple misuse of a word. It is overkill. It is so much of a distortion of both definition and historical fact that my head hurt after seeing it. My primary concerns are thus:

1) Socialism, as explained at the top of the picture, is obviously referring to Soviet-style socialism (Marxism-Leninism). It claims that this form of socialism–that is, real socialism–is a “failure”. Now, I could refer you to numerous pieces refuting this claim, including some of my original posts, but I will just stick with a simple refutation. The Soviet system did not collapse due to socialism. When it was on the socialist path (1917-1956) it became a super-power. Socialism made a backwater, semi-feudal society into an industrial powerhouse three times faster than capitalism has ever worked. It introduced millions of working people to a form of democracy that was, as Lenin put it, a million times more democratic than any bourgeois “democracy”. A formerly weak and chaotic area of the world was built up fast enough to rally itself against fourteen invasions within its first years of existence, as well as against the Nazi invaders less than 30 years after it was founded. The economic stagnation and eventual collapse of the USSR came after the “liberalisation” policies of Krushchev, Brezhnev, and Gorbachev. That is, the “failure” wasn’t due to socialism, but to capitalistic policies that very closely resembled what the picture above calls “democratic socialism”. (See the book by Bill Bland, which I cited above, for more information on these capitalistic policies and the resulting collapse of the USSR).

Secondly, on this point, state ownership does not equal workers collective ownership. If it did, Norway would be considered a Soviet-style socialist state. Hint: it’s not.

2) The second section of this picture, “Corporate Socialism”, is just capitalism as it has functioned throughout most of its existence. There is nothing remotely socialist about it. Every capitalist society has used the state to protect the interests of the bourgeois class. Again, the use of the state does not equate to socialism. This isn’t “corporate socialism”(which doesn’t even exist), this isn’t “crony capitalism”, it’s not even corporatism/fascism, it’s just capitalism.

3) The third part of the picture is exactly what Lenin was talking about in the second half of the quote given above–it is reformism as a tool for the domination of capital, to try to lead the people into believing that the bourgeois state is somehow capable of creating any form of socialism. For the millionth time: public services, welfare, taxes, etc. are not the sole requirements for a state to be socialist. This is simply capitalism with a smile. In its class character, it is no different than the “Corporate Socialism” also referred to. It is simply more willing to grant concessions to the working class. It is not socialist, because it does not meet any of the requirements to be a socialist system. The means of production are still owned by groups of capitalists, profit is still the main incentive behind production, and the workers are still exploited, no matter how much they receive from the bourgeois state.

In short, this picture encapsulates the hijacking of a word by the capitalists that does not belong to them or their interests, but is, in fact, in direct contradiction to their interests.

CONCLUSION

All of that being said and done, I want to emphasize that this post was not meant to attack or belittle those who are growing fond of the socialist cause. It is only to clear things up. Not just for the liberals, but for some of my fellow Marxist-Leninists who don’t seem to know how to make any argument without jumping into insults and “I’m-more-left-than-you” bullshit. The revolution is hindered by both the hijacking of the socialist cause and by the arrogance of the pseudo-anarchist anti-reformists, who have the opportunity to open up a real discussion, but instead play off of their own ego at the expense of spreading class consciousness.

Recent events and actions have brought the word “socialism” to the forefront of political discussion, something unheard of just a few years ago. And I’m very glad that I am around to take part.

-SFB

On Forgiving the Mainstream “Left”

The Obama administration has been victimized, according to the radical liberal. The President has been blocked from putting the “change” he promised into full effect. The Republicans have formed a seemingly insurmountable road-block. In other words, the Obama administration has failed. But that is putting it too bluntly, for many people. As always, the Democratic Party is forgiven its losses and retreats, for it is, as is portrayed in bourgeois media, the “one and only hope” for the American Left. The only path left to take. Communism’s mistakes are unforgivable, but liberalism just needs time. More time to keep pushing for policies that can be destroyed or reversed, and indeed already have been in the past.

The democratic-socialists who saw the creation of FDR’s New Deal thought they were witnessing the founding of a new path to socialism, through the “open doors” of bourgeois democracy. Revolution was a barbaric idea of the past. The center-left bourgeois forces were considered the spearhead of progress. Little did they know, in their short-term and collaborationist view, what the future held – an expansion of imperialist endeavors, the Reagan and two generations of the Bush administrations, fucking Nixon too. To them, the founding-blocks of a new and equal society were being formed by the very same bourgeois hands that created the chains that continue to bind the working class. And still today, even after all of these failures and reversals, the Democratic Party and “radical liberalism” are seen as the only true voice for Leftism and the masses.

Of course, in a bourgeois society, the only options that are allowed by capital to be widely shown are bourgeois ideologies. Yes, the bourgeoisie does have disagreements within its ranks as a class, but the desire to continue bourgeois rule(i.e. to continue the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie) is a universal value in that class, despite their petty disagreements on concessions and tactical trickery.

In the USA, these differing bourgeois ideologies materialize as the “fight” between Democrat and Republican, liberal and conservative. We are told that this is the primary contradiction in society, even though both sides of this “contradiction” represent the same class. The “baddies” are the Republicans, who are much more outright with their desires to maintain and solidify the dictatorship of capital around the world. The Democrats are the “good guys”, because their form of capitalism-imperialism is much “nicer” in words.

“Left liberals” are seen as the “heroes of the oppressed”, because they are given credit, by their own media, for every single step forward that has been made in this country ever. We are told to thank a liberal for minimum wage, despite the decades of thousands of workers fighting and dying for such a right before it was granted, as some kind of gracious gift, by the liberal bourgeoisie. The workers who fought and died are expected to thank the bourgeoisie for caving in after so many bloodstained years. We are supposed to “thank a liberal” for the Civil Rights Act, as if it was the brainchild of the white bourgeoisie of the time, and not due to the hundreds of years of struggle by primarily-socialist Black workers. If you do not see the obvious elitism and hijacking in all of this, then there is something severely wrong with your “Leftism”. None of these things – the Civil Rights movement, the labor movement, feminism, the LGBT+ liberation movement – were created by Left-ISH bourgeois politicians, but by the people themselves. It is downright offensive that the liberal(“liberal” was and is another word for “capitalist”) bourgeoisie expects the people to thank them for conceding rights that the people had been fighting for for decades and even centuries.

This attitude has continued tenfold under the Obama administration. Recently, President Obama has gotten his fans on a “look how progressive we are” roll on the issue of immigration, following his State of the Union speech. Again the horns are sounding to cheer on this new, über-radical turn we can also “thank a liberal” for. But it seems that the liberals have forgotten or conveniently ignored the fact that the Obama administration oversaw, in 2013, the highest recorded number of deportations in US history – 438,421 people in total. As of 2013, there have been over 2 million deportations since Obama took office. See the statistics here.

image

This is just an example of liberal, pseudo-Left hypocrisy. Saving-face is not something to be praised. The millions deported in the last 7 years are surely not amused by this sudden rhetorical trend. And certainly none of them will be thanking any liberals for this shallow popularity-grab.

Not only are the Democrats and radical liberals failing to overcome their fellow bourgeois semi-nemises, the Republicans, they are failing and have always failed at even scaling back the United States’ imperialist adventures abroad. Hell, they’ve barely even had to condemn these bloody adventures, since, apparently, if bombs are dropped by a Democrat, it’s not as destructive as ones dropped by a Republican.

We were promised an end to the War in Iraq, which was kinda-sorta granted, but never an end to imperialism, regime change, or the so-called “spreading of democracy”. Those liberals who so vehemently condemned the wars under Bush Jr. were all too eager to fall for Obama’s reasoning behind his own overseas violence(reasoning nearly identical to that of the Bush administration).

Even the more “extreme” figures of the mainstream Left wholeheartedly support imperialism. Bernie Sanders, who is in a “socialist” party so “must be a socialist”, is a diehard supporter of US aid to the fascistic apartheid state of Israel. Elizabeth Warren voted for intervention in Syria. Hillary Clinton has been outspoken on her wish to overthrow the Iranian government. Bottomline, liberalism is unabashedly pro-imperialist, and, in that alone, bourgeois to the core.

All-in-all, if liberalism – a 100% bourgeois, capitalist-imperialist ideology and movement – is really the only hope for the American Left, then the American Left would be dead and rotting, because the forces of capitalism-imperialism cannot but be reactionary and regressive. But the Left isn’t dead; there is still progress being made, battles being fought, the class struggle continues. It is the people who are pushing society forward, and, not just the Republicans, but the bourgeois class in general which stands in the way of this progress. The bourgeoisie wants the people to believe that their victories are actually the bourgeoisie’s victories, in order to solidify bourgeois hegemony and distract the people from revolutionary, anti-capitalist activities. We will not thank any bourgeois entity for the work of the oppressed people and the progressive, truly socialist forces – those who are truly responsible for the victories of the movements of the poor and oppressed.

Unions were not made by the bourgeoisie, but by the working people using Marxist socialist theories. Women’s liberation was never won through bourgeois means, but by the fight of working women, and it was most realized following the socialist revolutions around the world. The list goes on and on.

It was the revolutions of the 20th century which won the most for the oppressed and downtrodden peoples of the world. It was the socialist states and movements which forced the bourgeois countries to try to keep up with the standards of living – and even under the most “lefty liberal” leaders, the bourgeois states never caught up. It was and is the working and oppressed people, guided by revolutionary thought, which has gained all of these small concessions, and it is these same forces that will eventually break the wall of bourgeois reaction and take the reigns of history for the people.

You see, liberalism condemns Marxism as a “failure”, and yet the liberals have a history of failure and outright bourgeois activity. Marxism lead people away from the system of exploitation, destroyed that system. The failures of the socialist states only manifested after liberalizations of the respective economies. Every historian speaks of these liberalizations, but rarely do they recognize its obvious connection to the failures of these states, which they inexplicably put on the shoulders of Marxism(yes – even after admitting to these economies’ liberalizations).

Liberalism has yet to even weaken the bourgeois dictatorship, and yet Marxism is the failure, having destroyed this dictatorship in many places and on many occassions? Liberalization drove formerly-socialist economies into the ground, and yet liberalism is considered the “victor” and Marxism is to blame for these downfalls?

It is far past time for the people to turn away from those members of the bourgeoisie wearing Leftist masks. They have betrayed us time and again. The truest examples of liberation they deem “unworkable” and “failed”, but, to paraphrase Castro, where is the victory of capitalism(liberalism) in Latin America, in Africa, in the Middle-East, in Asia, or even in the streets of the USA and Europe? The fallen Eastern Bloc is not a testament to the “unworkability” of Marxism-Leninism, the only ideology that has ever lead to the material victory of the proletariat over the bourgeoisie, the victory of the exploited over the exploiter, but, rather, it is a testament to the failures of liberalizations, of liberalism, of class-collaborationism – a testament to how this bourgeois ideology, no matter how Leftist it tries to sound, is a failure to the people at large.

It’s time to stop granting liberalism, and capitalism in general, these free-passes to our support. Working “within the system” means nothing more than working with a class that wants nothing more than the continuity of its own oppressive rule. Too many “socialists” and even self-proclaimed “Marxists” are open to these collaborationist methods that have historically only lead to betrayal and a watering-down of the revolutionary spirit, if not a complete onslaught against it.

It was the scientific theories and practices of Marxism-Leninism that liberated a third of the world, it was the fighting hands of the oppressed and exploited, on whose liberation Marxism-Leninism bases its ideology and practice, that have pushed society forward in every progressive step it has taken. We owe the oppressing classes nothing but our fury. Their fake play-nice attitude is being seen for what it really is – the greedy face behind the mask is becoming apparent to more and more people. The red tide will rise again, without and against the bourgeoisie, whether they’re conservative or liberal.

-SFB

What It All Means

darren wilson

Last night, in the late evening, the grand jury in the Michael Brown case decided to let the racist, killer cop walk free. Across the country, cities erupted in a righteous fury. The jury’s decision clearly did not reflect the feelings of the American people. Today, as I write this, the fury continues. In my city there was a peaceful demonstration that consisted of nearly 200 people – it was the biggest turn-out I’ve ever seen here.

It is abundantly clear that awareness is growing, as is class consciousness. For these nation-wide demonstrations do not exclusively call out systemized racism and state-condoned brutality(though, obviously, this is the main issue). But the issues of labor rights and sexism are also being brought to the table. The people now see how all of it is tied together, how the capitalist class, specifically, is failing us. The delusion of the bourgeoisie and its state caring about us is being ripped apart by the masses, who refuse to keep falling for such bullshit. That is, people are seeing that “fixing” a system that was never meant to work for us in the first place goes nowhere.

But does that mean, as so many wishful people are saying, that revolution is just around the corner?

My guess is: No, it’s not. History has proven that disorganized, spontaneous revolts never lead to socialist revolution. There was no revolution during the Occupy craze. No revolution during the Rodney King riots. Dissatisfaction with the system is simply not enough to lead the masses to a true and lasting rebellion. Despite the beauty I see in all of these demonstrations, there is also a lot of liberalism and idealism. Some protesters are themselves condemning the violence of the people(as if all of this wasn’t started by police murder, fingers are being pointed at the people while the killer roams freely). The demo in my city was strictly and authoritatively peaceful. There can be no revolution when so many of those revolting want the economy and state to be protected from what is being portrayed as “barbaric hordes”. Revolution is the most violent act there is. Without violence, there is no revolution.

Even still, the violence occurring is incredibly lacking in organization and centralized targets. It is a cry of anger, not a people’s war. It cannot truly become a people’s war, history teaches us, without a revolutionary vanguard at the helm. As it stands, there is no revolutionary vanguard to organize the people, even though there should be.

This speaks volumes about the awful weight of revisionism. There has been no lack of “communist” parties, just a lack of hardline, practical theory. Revisionism has stagnated the biggest parties, has made it impossible for these parties to place themselves at the helm of anything, much less a highly-organized revolution. The revisionist parties are proving themselves to be nothing more than the “left-of-center” wing of the Democratic Party.

Does this mean all of this is for nothing? No, that isn’t what I’m saying at all. It is very important that revolutionary communists take part in all of this. It is very important that the people see for themselves the hard work and dedication we have for their causes. That we are loyal to them against the racist, murderous bourgeoisie. That we carry their own banner into their own disputes. That we share their outrage.

The revolution itself may not have come yet, but it is, indeed, a beautiful thing to see so much solidarity among the people. And there is no lack of revolutionary activity to be done in all of this. This is a chance for us to show our solidarity and loyalty to the people. To create bonds that will last into the future, for when our time finally comes. Class consciousness is on the rise, we must now work to organize it into something that can actually overthrow the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. The vanguard must form at the frontlines of the masses.

It isn’t right now, this instant, but it can come in our lifetime, if we remain true to the revolutionary theories of Marxism-Leninism and form a solid, die-hard vanguard of true, dedicated revolutionaries.

-SFB

That Horse You’re Beating…It’s Not Dead

The later 1980’s/early 1990’s: a time of great change. What was promised to be a move towards “freedom and democracy” became nothing short of a tragedy. The Berlin Wall fell. Both Reagan and Gorbachev were praised as the key-holders to the gates of some abstract freedom that was now supposed to sweep the former Soviet Bloc. Instead, today, every former Soviet state is in ruins – suffering from figurative case of “walking-pneumonia”. Russia, specifically, is the most well-documented case of this rapid degradation. Rampant homelessness, an AIDS epidemic, healthcare unreachable by a large part of the population, fascists and Nazi-esque nationalists killing almost without consequence, state-encouraged homophobia. All of these things were almost completely unknown in the Soviet era, and yet, this is what was called, and still is called, “freedom”.

But even with these travesties, the fall of the Soviet Union is still glorified as a “victory for democracy”(Putin and his oligarchs can hardly be called democratic, and, ironically, even anti-communists don’t deny this, while still praising the fall of the Berlin Wall…it really makes no sense, but that’s common for anti-communists, to make little or no sense).

With the Fall of the Wall came a new style of anti-communist propaganda. A step away from the Cold War-era “WE MUST DEFEAT THE EVIL BABY-EATING COMMIES”, the new style of bashing communism was to repeatedly shout about its “defeat”. Over and over and over again. And it hasn’t stopped. In fact, in the past few years, the rigor of the anti-communist propagandists have upped their aggression. Even non-communists are called “despicable Marxists”, just like they were during the Red Scare. Anyone from Obama(who is purely neoliberal) to Putin(a wannabe imperialist) have been called “communists”.

Anything even slightly left of center(in the eyes of the far-right) is now labelled as “socialistic”, from Obama’s corporate bail-outs to the Pope’s shallow, meaningless rhetoric. Just like in the days of McCarthy, the anti-communists are pointing fingers in every direction.

But why? If Communism was “defeated” over two decades ago, why the fuck are these people still so afraid of it? If Communists are no longer a threat to the dictatorship of capital, why are the anti-communists so paranoid? Why are witch-hunts still being conducted against Marxist organizations(like the FBI raid of the FRSO anti-war headquarters that happened just a couple of years ago)?

My question to the anti-communists is: why are you so intent on beating a horse you claim has already been “dead” for decades? Or have you just been in denial, or bullshitting us, for 24 years?

Bullshitting. They’ve definitely been bullshitting.

If Communism and the Communist movement was “dead”, “defeated”, “a failure”, there would be no anti-communists left. But there are. There are plenty of them, and they’re getting more terrified and fearfully-illogical every minute, it seems.

This is because the Red Tide is growing, and fast. More and more people are becoming disillusioned with the simplistic game of “liberal vs conservative”(both words just mean “capitalist”, by the way). Some of the more ignorant people think Libertarianism is the “way out”, not realizing that Libertarianism is nothing more than infantile conservatism – the current system in its early stages. But many more see the flaws in that path. They are coming to realize that the root of all of this SHIT that the world is going through is capitalism. It is all caused by the vast dictatorship of capital. The people are realizing this, and the anti-communists are scared shitless. Their vehement paranoia is proof of this.

While mainstream media only covers, as always, the theatrical play of “liberal vs conservative”, they ignore the swelling ocean of Red all around them. They won’t even pay attention to the CPUSA, much less the actual Marxist parties and organizations. But the rabid anti-communism is still present. Maybe misguided, but it’s there.

What they won’t admit to noticing are the big things happening in the true Marxist-Leninist Parties. The unity being shown between them: the American Party of Labor working with the Workers’ World Party in Chicago. The APL also working with the Party of Communists, USA, in Tennessee to combat anti-choice/anti-woman legislation(something I am proud to be a part of), the APL work in Florida, and the APL working with the Black Autonomy Federation in Memphis(can you tell I’m a fan of the APL?).

Big things are happening, and, as I’ve said, the anti-communists, the capitalists, the reactionaries, are scared out of their wits.

I recall, with much laughter, being told, over and over again, by anti-communist acquaintances that my ideology was “stupid” or “proven wrong”. If that’s true, you and all the television pundits would have shut up about it twenty years ago. But you haven’t. We still scare you. You’re waiting, afraid,for and of the coming Red Tide.

Well, it’s rising, whether you like it or not. Buckle up.

-SFB

“FUCK THE POLICE!! Except when…”

One would have to be a hermit to not see the increasing tensions between the bourgeois state and the people. Pretty much everyone is angry about being repressed in one way or another. And, for the most part, rightfully so. The state is not a simplistic entity, and its history and formation is not as simple as “people need laws to live in a society”. The state is a product of a society based on class. It formed when humanity began its gradual growth and was split into economic classes – the owning or exploiting class against the toiling or exploited class. The reasons for the state’s formation was to keep the current economic mode in tact, to protect the rule of the owning class. Today, things are no different.

In this capitalist society it is the bourgeoisie which owns and controls the state. This small class of exploiters uses the state as its defensive arm against uprisings of the proletariat and oppressed groups. In other words, when it comes down to it, the state – including the police force and military most especially – does not represent the vast majority of the people, but the class interests of an economic elite. Its primary duty is the protection of capital, of capitalist property, of the system of wage-slavery.

Therefore, most people have felt this alienation from the powers that control society. The cops are the guardians of a life being withheld. The people – all kinds of people – are angry. But without class consciousness or the recognition of the state as an entity for class warfare, this anger can be misdirected. That is something I wish to talk about, because it is a serious issue that seems to be everywhere I turn. Anger at oppression, mixed with ignorance to the state as a class-biased mechanism is a recipe for opportunism, division, delusion, and even individualistic terrorism.

But the primary issue is revolution. The dismantling of this oppression and corruption from the ground up. Revolution has become something of a “trendy” phrase, though not many know what it requires and entails.

Everyone from Marxist-Leninists to anarchists to libertarians to “apolitical” individuals want to see a drastic change. Want to dismantle the current structure of oppression. Some(libertarians) want to replace it with another form of class oppression. Some have no idea what to do post-revolution, but are driven only by idealism and personal experience of oppression. And some want to study the conditions, formulate tactics and strategies, and analyze the current situation(these being Marxist-Leninists). Now, I am not writing this to pick on any of the above mentioned ideologies, but to analyze certain aspects of the vast “anti-establishment” movement.

I will sum up the above points with this: no matter how angry one is towards the oppressive bourgeois state, acting out on that anger while ignorant to the state being bourgeois, will only lead to confusion and nihilism. You can say “fuck the police” all day, but until you realize that the police and the state it works for is concerned only with the exploiting class’s interests, you will fall into the rut of angsty non-action. You and your proposed “solutions” will be nothing more than reformist whining.

The reason for my writing this comes with the recent uprisings of fast food workers all across the country. These workers are standing up for themselves and their families. They are being arrested by the hundreds, beaten, fired, and tear-gassed. They are getting in the faces of the bourgeoisie and its police force, demanding that which they deserve.

What’s funny is, most of the supposedly “anti-cop” people I know are not bashing the police for beating down their fellow human beings, they are bashing the workers. They follow in the steps of the master class in dehumanizing these people. They are effectively acting as cheerleaders for the police force they claim to hate. This is due to their ignorance to the current situation. Ignorant to that fact that the police are carrying out their functions just as they are hired to do by the oppressors. Ignorant to this all being about the working people standing up and the bourgeoisie beating them back down(or trying to). These oh-so-rebellious “anti-cop when I want to be” apoliticals are showing their true colors. Following “Cop Block” on facebook does not mean you oppose oppression, because you do not understand the class nature of this oppression. In fact, taking a stance against the workers and in favor of the status quo proves that you are perfectly fine with oppression, you just don’t want to get a speeding ticket or some shit.

When over 100 workers were arrested by the cops are McDonald’s HQ, where were the libertarians, the apoliticals, the hip “anti-everything” crowd? They were sitting on their computers talking about how cops suck but the people matter even less. They were whining about stop signs and “chemtrails”, while simultaneously ridiculing those who were actually, y’know, DOING SOMETHING.

These people I am referring to(the “anti-cop” labor-haters) have a rebellious attitude, but join the choir of reactionaries whenever the oppressed actually take a stand. They’ll complain about the police on Twitter, but when folks who are actually being oppressed rise up to say “No more dictatorship of capital!”, the tweets turn into attacks on the people who are doing what these idle idiots claim they want to do.

Let me ask, who is more “lazy”: the broseph whining on social media about his own uninformed opinion, or those who have grown sick of living as plebeians and actually get out there to fight for their rights? If you said the latter, you would be correct. It’s truly ironic that the fast food workers, who take to the streets to organize a movement, are considered “dumb” or “lazy” by those who do nothing to stop the corruption all around us, who sit at their computers complaining about those who are trying to make a difference.

What we need is more people like the workers currently on strike, not more mouthpieces for bourgeois rule. You can veil your reactionism in shallow phrases all you like, but it is clear that, when it comes actually doing something to fight oppression, you would rather take the side of the oppressor. This is proven through your telling workers what they should and should not fight for. This is proven in your immediate changing of stance whenever a progressive movement begins to disrupt the power of capital. This is proven by you attacking those already being attacked daily.

Opposing the bourgeois state is not a fashion statement. It is not a social trend. It is an undying support for the oppressed rising against the oppressor. It is solidarity with those fighting against economic exploitation. Stop playing pretend politics and maybe the rest of the world will take you seriously.

 

“It is difficult for me to imagine what “personal liberty” is enjoyed by an unemployed hungry person. True freedom can only be where there is no exploitation and oppression of one person by another; where there is not unemployment, and where a person is not living in fear of losing his job, his home and his bread. Only in such a society personal and any other freedom can exist for real and not on paper.” -Joseph Stalin

“All official and liberal science defends wage-slavery, whereas Marxism has declared relentless war on that slavery.”  -V.I. Lenin

“Private property must, therefore, be abolished and in its place must come the common utilization of all instruments of production and the distribution of all products according to common agreement – in a word, what is called the communal ownership of goods.” -Friedrich Engles

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” -Desmond Tutu

 

-SFB

The Functions of the Anti-Stalin “Left”

revolution!

 

“We in all countries who have taken on the task of rebuilding the international communist movement must see the defence of Stalin as a part of the defence of Marxism-Leninism.

There can be no greater compliment for anyone who aspires to be a Marxist-Leninist than to be called a Stalinist.” -Bill Bland

 

The realm of the socialist movement within the US has recently been undergoing a storm of debate, argument, counter-argument, change and disappointment. The 30th convention of the CPUSA saw an overflow of revisionist rhetoric, liberal class-collaborationism, so-called “anti-dogmatism”(aka, anti-Marxism) and the official rejection of Leninism. Indeed, there were comrades present who – the remaining revolutionary elements of the Party – fought for Leninism and true class struggle, against the Obama-supporting “left wing of the Democratic Party”, as I would like to call the predominantly reformist leadership of the Party. These comrades within the CPUSA who remain faithful to the tried and true theories of Lenin and who defend the revolutionary legacy of Joseph Stalin and the “Stalin-era” Soviet Union must be applauded and honored, for they are fighting the  beast tooth and nail, in its own home. Though my personal opinion is that the CPUSA, being now a hornets-nest of revisionism and opportunism to its deepest core, is beyond any feasible repair, and that the creation of a new, militantly anti-revisionist revolutionary vanguard party should be established at the helm of the socialist proletarian movement, I still have the highest and most profound respect for the strong and fearless comrades currently combating Browderite revisionism from within the CPUSA itself.

In addition to its recent push even further into revisionism, it is common knowledge that the CPUSA has long been active in their own struggle to distance themselves and the name of Communism away from the figure of Joseph Stalin and the successful construction of socialism within the USSR beginning in 1928 and lasting until around 1956. Ever since Krushchevite revisionism betrayed the socialist movement the world over in the mid 1950’s, the CPUSA has followed this route away from socialism and towards liberalization and class-collaborationism. And in doing so, they have given up the battle of propaganda against the bourgeoisie media. They have ceased the fight to counter bourgeois-imperialist lies and falsifications of history. They have said, “We were wrong! The capitalists were telling the truth about the evils of socialism! We’re different from that; our form of socialism has not yet been achieved and can only be achieved by more cooperation and peaceful existence between the classes!”

Of course, the Krushchev-Browderite revisionists have not been the only ones “within the left” to attack Stalin and any form of socialism that has ever been achieved. Anarchists, council-communists, Trotskyites, etc., have all been shouting along with the bourgeoisie the lies regarding socialism and those socialist states which had the imperialists sleeping with one eye open each night. For decades the so-called “left” libertarians have been attacking any and all examples of working class victory. They have been denying socialism’s existence even when socialist states were granting freedom and democracy to the working people and relentlessly fighting capitalist-imperialist hostilities – hostilities which the “left” libertarians were all too eager to help along: the Black Army breaking with the Red Army at a crucial time during the Russian Civil War, the anarchists of Catalonia executing and imprisoning “authoritarian” socialists helping the fight against the Francoite fascists, George Orwell – a “libertarian socialist” – working for British intelligence and writing fictional propaganda pieces meant to demonize Soviet socialism when he had never stepped foot in the USSR and at a time when the Soviet Union was constructing a proletarian-controlled society, Trotsky helping the US and Mexican governments locate and track “Stalinists”. The imperialist governments the world over routinely use these “socialists'” criticisms of successful socialist societies against the revolutionary socialist movement.

Now, a small yet annoying new trend of anti-socialist revisionism is forming: people who call themselves “Marxists-Leninists” are denouncing Stalin and Soviet socialism, even more vigorously than other ultra-“left” trends. They deem true anti-revisionist Marxist-Leninists “tankies” and even go so far as to publicly post personal information about the anti-revisionists who they particularly hate. They make this information available for any violent and/or fascistic anti-communist to see, and have even released the city, address and name of one of their target’s family member. Such vile acts are far beyond the anti-communist actions of most hardline conservatives. Calling themselves “Maoists”, they are the most despicable group of the revisionist camp and are its logical conclusion – vehemently anti-communist, comparably indifferent to capitalist oppression, and quite possibly dangerous to the well-being of certain individuals within the movement.

All three of these trends have this in common: ruthless condemnations of Stalin, and therefore, socialism as well. As said above, each of them caters to bourgeois propaganda, tries to appease capitalist hegemony rather than combat it. They each claim to be fighting on the side of socialism and the proletariat, but agree with the bourgeois picture of socialism as it has existed. Indeed, they aided in painting this portrait of “communist atrocities” and the “tyranny of socialism”. They cover their tracks, so to speak, by posturing themselves as “anti-capitalists” who want to create a “different” kind of socialism, separating themselves from the rich legacies of socialist leaders and proletarian victories. They believe the bourgeoisie correct in its condemnations of real-world socialism, and advocate some kind of “never existing socialism”.

A favorite excuse for the right-wing side of revisionism in separating from the examples of Soviet socialism and the figure of Stalin is that mentioning Stalin’s name would “drive the people away” from supporting their own class interests in the form of socialism. The ultra-“leftists”(who are “leftists” only in words) also believe this. They all believe this to be a logical approach to garnering the people’s support.

There are two very big flaws to this tactic:

1) The bourgeoisie and its media opposes socialism, not simply Stalin. Neglecting to associate with Stalin’s actions and his application of Marxism-Leninism does nothing whatsoever to lessen the bourgeoisie’s relentless slandering of communism and proletarian revolution. It does nothing to defeat the ruling ideas of communism in this society, for, as Marx says, the ruling ideas of a society are always the ideas of the ruling class, and the present ruling class(the capitalists) will always oppose the interests of the proletariat. There will never be a day when the dominant ideology of a capitalist society is proletarian socialism, so this populism is simply a liberal dream. It is delusional to believe that in such a discourse, the bourgeois intelligentsia will at some point suddenly say, “Well, I always thought socialism was about Stalin, but since you’ve convinced me of Stalin’s non-socialistic character, proletarian revolution is a-okay!”

As long as the bourgeoisie holds power, we cannot expect to somehow move around its ideological hegemony or evade its anti-revolutionary attacks. We must face it all head-on and expose it as a lie of the exploiting masters.

2) The naive dream of the ultra-“lefts” of creating a communist society without revolutionary theory is a problem in and of itself. But part of this is their strategy of repeating the same bullshit we hear every day from the bourgeoisie, except they say their “socialism”(of which they can give no concrete examples or in-depth explanation – planning and theorizing are for “authoritarians”) is “nicer” than the forms of socialism(what they call “state-capitalism”) which actually succeeded. This does nothing but aid two bourgeois anti-socialist pieces of propaganda: the notion that socialism is “illogical” and “impossible”, and the notion that socialism, when attempted, is “despotic” and “totalitarian”. Again, it does nothing in the fight against bourgeois power.

When taking into account these implications, it should be easy to see that the anti-Stalin, “socialism wasn’t socialism but let’s try again!” isn’t a pro-worker, revolutionary stance, but, at best, useless. However, uselessness isn’t this line of thought’s most dominant characteristic. It’s primary outcome is the helping of the bourgeoisie in its attacks against socialist ideology.

When the Soviet records were finally released over the past two decades, and the truth was revealed to all who wished to learn, socialists of every stripe should have rejoiced, for now it could be proven that socialism as the bourgeoisie taught it was not at all tyrannical or oppressive towards the working people, but was indeed a true worker’s state until 1956. They should have cherished the fact that it had no longer become “necessary” for them to distance themselves from Stalin and Soviet socialism, that they could now point to an example of true, real socialist victory and proletarian liberation, and that they could prove to the world that not only did socialism free the working people from the dictatorship of capital in the past, but it worked. And it worked so profoundly well so as to advance beyond the level of every capitalist power of its day, to succeed in the quickest modernizations known to humankind, to provide for every citizen every necessity required to live comfortably, while the capitalist countries let its own citizens rot in misery, poverty, starvation and homelessness.

But no, even after the proof of Marxism-Leninism’s victory and accomplishments was made readily available, the revisionists and anarchists and anti-Stalinists continue to preach a history identical to that of the bourgeois media. They continue to slander socialism and its victories, while pretending that they are not the ones promoting sectarianism within the socialist movement. No, no, no – they are “opposing sectarianism” by slandering the world’s greatest examples of people’s victory. They are “opposing sectarianism” by condemning the “authoritarian” movements all over the globe – you know, the Naxalites carrying out a revolution in India, the Communist Party of the Philippines militantly fighting US imperialism in their homeland, the government of North Korea defending itself against a half-century long occupation, Borotba of Ukraine fighting, bleeding and dying on the front lines in the fight against Banderite fascism. Yes, all of these organized forces of revolution are “wrong” in the eyes of the anti-Stalinists, just as they are “wrong” in the eyes of the imperial bourgeoisie. How convenient.

Because of the anti-Stalinist’s and bourgeoisie’s shared hostility towards “authoritarian(i.e. successful, accomplished, working) socialism”, it is no wonder that bourgeois propaganda never speaks of the “Anarchist Menace”, the “Council Communist Threat”, the “Browderite Terror”. Because none of these trends are legitimate threats to bourgeois power, and the bourgeoisie knows it. Even the capitalist class has learned from history, in that they know that the only true menace to their rulership is Marxism-Leninism, and that the deviationist anti-Stalin “socialist” trends are doomed to implosion, disorganization, ideological weakness, and total stagnation. After all, the Red Army fighting for “authoritarian” socialism drove off fourteen foreign imperialist invasions after the October Revolution, but the anarchists couldn’t defend a single city(Catalonia) from outside forces.

In the end, the anti-Stalin “left” is more focused on attempting to discredit socialism than building it. It is theoretically lifeless and a convenient force of factionalism for bourgeois interests. It lacks any form of solidarity and organization. It is “socialist” in appearance, and bourgeois in practice.

 

-SFB