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Archive for the tag “politics”

British Man Burns to Death

Debt has killed another person as news reports have come out telling the story of a Mr. Anthony Breeze, age 36, who being 1,600 GBP in debt set himself on fire after suffering from harassment from loan sharks trying to get him to repay a debt that was out of his control. Press TV reports that he was taken to a hospital where they reported burns over 76% of his body, but the doctors were unable to save him, and he perished. Press TV also reports that payday loans in the UK have interest rates as high as 200%, preying on the poor and desperate, and further ruining their lives. The only way to alleviate this scourge of debt and hopelessness is a complete change, a systemic overhaul, a revolution. Too many have already died under the shackles of debt and capitalism, it is time to build a better world.

Story here: http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/05/15/303708/debt/

The Problem with Human Nature

I’ve heard it a million times if I’ve heard it once. “But Tim, communism doesn’t take human nature into account.”  Today we’re going to discuss this argument, and examine what “human nature” is. Sound like fun? I thought so. Read on.

Human Nature: Is there actually such a thing?

I think that it’s a good rule of thumb to immediately put on your thinking cap and skeptic specs any time you hear the term “human nature”. Why? Because in my experience, and I think that many an academic will agree with me here, is that the term “human nature” used in a polemic is usually for the purpose of falsely claiming the naturalist umm, nature of one’s ideology to benefit one’s own position. For example, the fascists that argued that class structures of high to low, rich and poor was simply a natural occurrence and one that could not be altered. Or racists who argue that there are naturally occurring races, and that naturally, some are more y’know, superior than others. Surely we can see this, right? Surely some countries are poorer than others, right? That should mean some nations are superior to other nations, right? Right?

Wrong. You see, the whole “natural” thing is a complete and utter logical fallacy. Please see the following entry on the Naturalistic fallacy. http://www.logicalfallacies.info/relevance/naturalistic/

Before we get into what human nature even is, if you argue that communist ideology is at odds with “human nature”, you are implying two assertions:  1. Human nature cannot change 2. Human nature is not wrong because it is natural.

Leaving the first alone for a  moment, let’s focus on the second thing. Yeah, that’s the problem. There’s your fallacy fucking up your argument. tsk tsk. Alright, but why? Well, let me put it this way. Human nature is good. Humans have human nature. Ergo all humans are good. Well, what about Hitler, Mussolini, and Timothy McVeigh, they were human, so they must be good, right? And in fact, since what they were doing was only natural, as they were only acting upon their human nature, there’s no way, or hell, even reason to try to stop them, right? WRONG. This is the problem with this kind of thinking. It is a logical fallacy. It is also wrong in the first implied assertion I listed above. Human nature is not one thing. Humans don’t all have one nature. We’re a diverse species of over 7 billion people.

Anthropologists have studied human beings for many years, and if you’ve even taken even one anthropology course in college, you should know that any one-size-fits-all idea of human nature is absolutely bullshit. Do all humans share certain characteristics? Yes. Do we all share the same social, economic, religious and political systems? Fuck no we don’t. If you have primitive communism in one place, advanced capitalism in another, semi-feudal agrarianism in another, how can you say that human nature is uniform? Furthermore, humans have changed their political and economic and social systems many times over the course of human history. You had the republican (actually mostly supported by slaves) system in Rome, the early form of democracy in Greece, you had god kings in such places as Egypt and Japan, while in other countries you had regional war lords jockeying for power and control. You had some pacifist societies, and some societies that were organized along strict military lines, like Sparta. So, what is human nature? Greed? Selfishness? If you claim that greed and cut-throat selfishness are at the core of human civilization, then you have to ignore all the societies that have been pacifist, egalitarian and or communal. In fact, a majority of the world’s cultures lean more towards collectivism than they do towards cut throat individualism.

I could argue that because humans are a social animal, and always have been (argument from antiquity); or I could argue that humans are majority collectivist (argument from popularity) or that humans have been more equal throughout time than unequal, but those are logical fallacies. You see, we are not completely at the mercy of fate. We have brains, we can think, we can reason. We invent things, we invent culture, we invent art and we, yes, invent political and economic systems.  Human nature, whatever it is, and whatever you may think it entails, is not an argument, and never has been an argument against communist ideology.

Marx explained in the Manifesto of the Communist Party that all history is the history of class struggle. He explained how human political, economic, and social systems evolve. If you want to start somewhere, start there, right on this blog. Check it out. And then read more, because if you’re making the argument against communism based on “human nature”, you have no idea what you’re talking about.

“Hitherto, philosophers have sought to understand the world; the point, however, is to change it.”—–Karl Marx

Nobody ever flees capitalism?

So I received a tweet tonight from an account called @NLicense that asked the following question:

stupid

It always tickles me that these blockheads never stopped to consider their own question. Not only did they not bother to think about the answer to their own question (which no doubt in their minds can be dismissed with a simple “Because America is the best, no one suffers under capitalism” and a flippant wave of their hand) but they probably didn’t bother to consider that this is another of the bullshit cliche arguments that communists and socialists have to put up with every single day. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s an unanswerable question, even though the premise is a bit asinine. So, let’s cover this topic. Why do lots of people come to the US, and not very many leave?

Point 1

Ok, so how is it a faulty premise? Well, tons of people have tried to flee the US. Seriously. Let’s start with one of the most obvious cases. Slaves running from their “owners” to Canada. Yeah. In fact, it is estimated that 100,000 slaves ran from the US, escaping their bondage on the underground railroad.

Another aspect of the slavery portion of this answer to the above question is that millions were brought to the US against their will. The transatlantic slave trade that lasted for about 300 years brought over millions of slaves, millions of whom would die on the infamous Middle Passage, or shortly after their arrival. Families were torn apart, brother from sister, husband from wife as the United States engaged in the ugly and profit driven slave trade.

The shame of the hundreds of years of slavery is still with us. It doesn’t stop there, however.

This land, the fertile soil of North America was stolen in the first place. It is an uncommonly fertile land, with rivers, plains, fertile soil, game and natural resources. All of those? Stolen by violence by the European invaders. The native houses burned, the fields taken, the country gone. Stolen. I fail to see how the naturally occurring abundance of natural wealth that is in the US is to the credit of the people who raped, killed, slaughtered and committed genocide to get it. I fail to see how it is to the credit of capitalism how the North American continent was taken by force, and then cultivated using slave labor. But it doesn’t stop there.

What is America anyway? Its borders have changed dramatically over the past 200 years. What was 13 colonies along the coast was expanded by buying from the French what was not theirs to give. Then the US systematically stole the rest of the land too. Then it took at the very end Hawaii, a sovereign state whom we decided it was OK to visit upon with slaughter and imperialism once again. We took the Philippines in the Spanish-American War, then killed a million of them when they tried to gain independence. We attacked Cuba, and Haiti, all those people wishing to be left alone, but we visit them with weapons and hatred. Just try running from the US. They’re really good at catching people and bringing them back.

America has lived for more than 2 centuries on stolen land, ill gotten wealth, and borrowed time. And the chickens are coming home to roost. http://rt.com/usa/leaving-us-america-country-289/

Do you see the above link? Oh wait, people have been leaving the US?

Of course they are. They have been leaving for a long time. The government of course doesn’t want you to know that a lot of people are leaving, and have throughout history, but it’s true.

Now that I have destroyed the premise of this ridiculous question, let’s play a game wherein we humor the above moron. Let’s say that Americans never flee the US, they only flee socialism and communism.

Point 2

Even if that were true it wouldn’t mean that the US is a better place, a more moral place, or anything like it. See, if the US has bombed or invaded many countries in the last century, overthrown governments, supported terrorists, has a stranglehold on international business and finance, stole all their own land in the first place, built up their empire on the backs of the slaves, the Chinese, Japanese, Irish and other peoples, if they have cheated at the game from the start, murdered millions of people who dared oppose their tyranny and imperialism and hoarded all the wealth they got from exploitation and slavery, well, does that make us the best country in the world, or the worst?
I think you know what my answer would be.

If people are coming in droves to the US because we destroyed most of the rest of the damn world through colonialism, war, slavery and exploitation, does that mean we’re the best at anything other than colonialism, war, slavery and exploitation?

The world will one day be a much better place. That new age will dawn the day the United States of America collapses into the dustbin of history where it belongs with the Napoleons, the Hitlers and the Romans.

Even a Broken Clock

Now before I say something that may cause my readers to set their hair on fire, throw a chair, chuck their TV out the window, delete their twitter account and smash their computer with a sledge hammer…sorry, got carried away…ahem, please hear me out. Read what I’m about to say in its entirety, and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Are Government Benefits Fueling US Poverty?

This is the headline of this piece: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/02/14/are-government-benefits-fueling-us-poverty/?cmpid=app_pulse&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=pulsenews

Written by someone who shouldn’t be allowed a crayon let alone a computer, this piece claims that government benefits are to blame for US poverty. It claims that people would rather sit around and take the pittance the government throws out than an honest day’s work. You see, the US is the most hardworking, honest, god fearing nation on earth, it’s just that its citizenry are a bunch of fucking bums, apparently. Now if I know the US left, those who see this piece will about tear out their hair in anger and outrage. “How dare you call poor people lazy, how dare you attack our social safety net?” They’ll cry in righteous anger. And righteous it is. And misplaced.

Here’s where I need you to hear me out. It’s a given that Fox “news” is bullshit, it’s almost completely unreadable, so far to the right that it’s falling off a cliff of insanity. However, they’re making a good point here. Ignore all the bullshit in the article and think about it. But think about this: If we had a good economic system, would so many people need to be on welfare? (shake your head  no) If we had a good economic system, would so many go hungry? (shake your head no) Then let me ask you something, why oh why oh why oh why does the left focus on social safety net issues? Isn’t that, umm, how should I phrase this…….fucking moronic? Do you really want to help the poor? Then ASK WHY THE FUCK THEY ARE POOR. Ask if they lost everything due to losing a job, ask if they lost everything thanks to outrageously expensive health care, or maybe it was due to a host of other reasons like ghettoization of minorities, sickness they couldn’t afford to get cured of, or just the never ending cycle of dead end jobs that didn’t pay their bills, couldn’t provide for their living expenses. Is welfare going to really solve our problems, and move us forward? No. Welfare is not, has not, will never be the solution. We cannot sit back and pretend that because we are helping the poor financially that we are doing as we should. Things won’t be solved that easily. It’s like giving opium to a cancer patient and wondering why they’re not getting better. It. Is. Not. The. Solution.

If not, then what?

We have to stop supporting this system that perpetuates us living as dogs waiting for the capitalist class run government to throw us scraps from an overladen table. We have to stop asking permission. We have to stop prescribing opium and start prescribing the one thing we really need, chemotherapy. Yeah, our hair might fall out. We might puke, and we might feel like shit. It will however kill the cancer that is killing us. We need to end this exploitative capitalist system. We need to end this system where in a land of plenty millions are without adequate housing, healthcare and food. We need to end this exploitative system of wage slavery and truly open up the full potential of humanity. Do you have the stomach to really step out and stand up for what it takes to really change things? We don’t need anymore quantitative change. We need real qualitative, systemic change. Or perhaps you’d rather continue just letting the poor survive, as opposed to eliminating poverty and the reasons it exists.

Communism now. No more excuses. No more welfare state hell holes. No more asking for a piece of the pie. Time to flip the goddamn table over and take what has been ours for so long. It is time we stop wishing for a better world, and started working towards building one.

Fuck this Shit

OK. I got your attention with the title, but that wasn’t the only purpose of that headline. I said it in response to what I’m about to talk about.

Do me a favor

Ok, so, you’re probably viewing this either on a smart phone, or more likely a computer. My request is not a difficult one, so don’t worry. Go to the Huffington Post. Look at the stories that are being reported. Here are some of the actual headlines that are on the front page as I write this: “American Sniper Killed at Gun Range” and “The End Of Football? America’s Favorite Sport Marred By Scandal, Brain Injuries” and “LOOK: Obama Goes Skeet Shooting ” and one more that is really real news “Amanda Bynes Moves Out After Weed Smoking Leads To Eviction Notice ”

Do you see a pattern here? It’s all bullshit. Complete and utter bullshit. None of that is shit that you should give a flying fuck about. Which brings me to my first point. The media in our wonderful capitalist societies are shit. It is complete and utter shit. Do we have news about what is happening around the world? Oh yes, here and there if you have the time and stomach to dig for it. We have alternative news sources, but they don’t get very much attention. We have mostly celebrity gossip, non-issues such as gun control, and slide shows of inane shit no one cares about. We have commercials for cars, and websites, and this business and that. Already forgotten are the names of the thousands of dead American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Never known are the names of the hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis and Afghanis. We are encapsulated in our little capitalist world. A disturbing news story about the state of the world is on? Quick, switch it over to Honey BooBoo so we can watch their family slowly eat themselves to death while exploiting a little girl whose life is probably already ruined, her only childhood sold as a commodity for profit. Not just as a model or something like that, which in principle I’m not against, but as a 24-hour watched little clown who gets treats for doing doing back flips. Like a jester in a court, but too damn young to know that she’s being laughed at, not with. No, we don’t want to think about things like global warming. We can put that off for later. We don’t want to think about how we’re destroying the only planet we have to call home.

No, no, no. Just go back to your TV and keep watching inane bullshit. Keep the news on, you’ll feel cultured and well informed. War around the world, untold death and destruction being waged on innocent people by your government. Change the channel again. Don’t think about such morbid things. America is a free democratic country, right? OK then, try to run for political office with no money, only on your ideas. Let me know how that works out for you. If you did get elected, let me know what would happen when you stood up against the military-industrial complex and tried to change this country in a real way. Let me know how long it would be before they found a way to toss you out on your ear. Just try running anywhere as a socialist, and see how long it would take for people to tune you out. They’ve been programmed to believe that socialism is a dirty word. When you start talking about poverty, watch as screaming heads start yelling at you that you’re worse than Hitler, and that you just hate America. When you start talking about the dismantling of quality public education in America, watch while they accuse you of just working for “big unions”. When you ask about the state of the environment, watch while they call you a hippy, and a tree hugger. Ask about lobbying, and watch as you’re silenced. Try to change this system from the inside out and you will fail, and fail miserably. You will try to rally the people behind the idea that we can create a better world, that we can change things. They aren’t listening, they’re more interested in whether or not Lindsay Lohan will miss her next court appearance again.

So fuck this shit.

Fuck the false narratives. Fuck the false dichotomies. Fuck the lobbyists with their millions and their hearts of stone. Fuck the media and their deliberate stupidity. Fuck the people who are too timid to speak up and speak out. Fuck the myth of America. Fuck the people who say “support the troops” even though they never question what that means, if anything. Fuck the poverty that is killing our children, and ruining their futures. Fuck this oligarchic system that ruins lives and destroys dreams. Fuck the “immigration reform” that will still leave millions in the US in an economic underclass with no legal rights against the employers that exploit them. Fuck the US government that would rather drone bomb Pakistani children than send its own children to university. Fuck the GOP, their hate, imperialism and greed. Also fuck the Democrats and their fake leftism. They’re exactly like the GOP, but to goddamn cowardly to admit it. Fuck this two party system that ensures the continued rule of the bourgeoisie over the workers, stifling their voices. Fuck this system of war, poverty, death. Fuck the complacent assholes who won’t even stop their boring consumerist lives to think about the real state of the world. People are dying, literally dying, because of this crisis of capitalism. FUCK THIS SHIT.

Fuck this false diversionary bullshit put out by bourgeois media. It is time to say, FUCK THIS SHIT.

Are you prepared to sacrifice to make things better? Are you willing to put your money where your mouth is and demand a better system? Or will you be sucked back into the false GOP/Democrat dichotomy. Will you be willing to fight for real social justice and economic equality? Or will you fall back into your seat and listen to the watered down shit on NBC?

The only way the world will change, is by dedicated people doing everything they can to change it. Nothing less. Revolution won’t come otherwise. Change will always be just a dream. Ending poverty a punchline, and our schools will be sold to the highest bidder. No more science education, we’ll learn about Intelligent Design in Christian charter schools. So start thinking, start reading, start talking. As a friend of mine would say “Wake up, goddammit!”

The world will only change when we decide that we’ve had enough of this capitalist bullshit. It will only end when we as a people rise up and say, “Fuck this shit. We can do better.”

That day, I do believe, will come.

The Value of Nothing

There is an old saying about economists, about how they know the price of everything and the value of nothing. That has a lot of truth in it. Many economists focus on price mechanisms, the behavior of the market, and many related topics. Understanding how economics works is important, to be sure. There are, however, more important things in life. Let’s have a brief discussion about what is important in life, and why capitalism doesn’t satisfy the emotional, economic, or psychological needs of human beings.

Alienation

Our current economic system is one that alienates people. It alienates on basis of nationality, race, religion, language and other categories. We are taught to hate other people who are not like us. We are taught to distrust Muslims, we are taught to attack foreigners. It is us vs them. We verses they. The nation vs the other. This alienation divides society, but not like the alienation of the worker from his labor. He is separated from the work of his hands (or her hands as may be the case of course) because he doesn’t own the means of production. The proletariat sells their labor, the only thing they have to sell. They sell away their lives, making others rich by their work, produced wealth they will never get to enjoy. We are alienated from our dreams, our hopes, and our creativity. Young people who would like to attend school, gain an education and change the world are imprisoned in bad neighborhoods with violence, crime, poverty and an early death more likely than their success. Artists who would show the world great beauty, are forced instead to sell their labor for a pittance, to pay outrageous rents, utility payments and for food. We are held back by the “invisible hand” that is really the tentacles of international capitalism.

The Value of Life

For those who think that life is about making money are many in our society. This system has taught us to be cold, ruthless and unflappable. No crying, no hesitating, no compassion. You step over others to get to the top, and when you’re there you sit on your rightful throne as the king of a dog eat dog world. Except, you just may be all alone. What good is money without love? What good is money without happiness, and fulfillment? What if you’re rich, but you live in a poor society? You pass the homeless on the streets, the boarded up houses and the refuse littered walkways. People searching for drugs to escape their empty desolate lives, trying to get away from the pain of a society alienated from itself.  They search for an escape, but there is not one to be found. The capitalist wasteland is all encompassing, it touches everyone, and ruins everything. Can you be happy in such a world? If you are financially secure, can you assuage your conscience? Can you stand to see the poverty of the world, see the people in Greece light themselves on fire in one final gasp of desperation? Perhaps those that have committed suicide to escape this heartless world performed one last act of individual autonomy, of freedom, of stubborn resolve.

What good is money if you are all alone? Isolated, unloved and unaccompanied? What good is it to be as rich as King Midas, yet lack any human warmth? Money isn’t everything. The pursuit of profit is a poor substitute for the pursuit of happiness, and no the two are not the same. Would you rather have a rich daughter, or a healthy and happy daughter? Would you rather be poor and happy, in love and content, or would you rather be rich, sick, miserable and depressed? Do you want a society that rewards greed, avarice and malice, or do you want a society that rewards cooperation, innovation and equality? Do you want riches, or do you want social justice? We can have a better world. This world of contradictions, alienation, exploitation and despair is not a good place to live in. So what do we do? We learn that humans are the most valuable things in the world. More valuable than diamonds, more valuable than all the gold in Fort Knox. We are the universe aware of itself. That’s pretty awesome. A better world is possible, and it’s called socialism. I want a happy, egalitarian world. What kind of world do you want?

This Land’s not your Land, This Land is my Land

First let me wish a Happy New Year to all of my readers, and thanks for joining me for another year. (Yes, you’re committed now, don’t try to back out.) I started this blog in 2011, and here we are now in 2013. My readership has grown a bit, and although I am not a huge blog, I also don’t have the time to write every day here (The daily part of communist daily is because you can read it daily, whether or not I’ve posted new content. At least that’s how I rationalize it.) All things considered, I’m grateful for those who take the time to read my rantings, and who take the time to comment and give their opinion. This is what makes the internet great. (Well that and videos of cats doing ridiculous things.) Anyway, thanks for joining me here again, and I wish you and yours all the best in the coming year. That being said, on to the topic at hand!!!

The Melting Pot

Immigrants. In the US we have this image of dirty and gaunt immigrants standing at Ellis Island gaining access to the greatest country on earth (TM). OK, American immigration history is a lot more complicated than the stories of Ellis Island, but many Americans like to think of the US as a land of immigrants. However, we’re not really that kind to immigrants, and we never have been. You see, this is just another in a long line of lies that make up the myth of America. We want to think of ourselves as tolerant and open, but we are nothing of the sort. From the Italians to the Jews, Chinese and Japanese,  immigrants to the US have faced an often hostile place of racial and ethnic tensions. Discrimination abounded and campaigns to disenfranchise millions of immigrants litter our history.

Now after the recent end of the congressional debacle that was the fight over the self imposed and completely absurd fiscal cliff”, it is being reported that Obama wants to tackle immigration reform. No, this probably won’t make much of anything better, it will likely be cosmetic changes. In fact, the Huffington Post is reporting that although the details of the so called reform is a complete mystery, many rightists in congress are already gearing up to address it. Of course that’s assuming it ever gets brought up at all since the fight over the fiscal issues is far from being really resolved and congress spends more time telling each other to go fuck themselves (that’s not hyperbole either) and getting huge paychecks than they do their actual jobs. So what can we expect from the ultra-right assholes in the blogosphere on this issue of immigration reform? (Please note again, I seriously doubt that the Democrats will come up with anything close to progressive, seeing since Obama spent his first time completely putting Bush to shame when it came to deportations.) Well, let’s take a look at the rambling idiot (and ironically an anchor baby of sorts) Michelle Malkin. I’ll spare you her stupdity, and won’t quote the article I’m taking the following from, but in a recent article on her website, she screamed and ranted about the dangers of “amnesty” for illegal immigrants. At the end of her hysterical and xenophobic rant, she listed something from the US Commission on Immigration Reform, which she uses as a template for how immigrants should assimilate to the US. And if they don’t assimilate to her liking, they should get the fuck out of here, because this is HER country. Anyway, here it is (With my responses to it):

We believe these truths constitute the distinctive characteristics of American nationality:

Wait, what makes you think you have the right to define what the identity of 300 million (or whatever the population was in the 90s) people is?

*American unity depends upon a widely-held belief in the principles and values embodied in the American Constitution and their fulfillment in practice: equal protection and justice under the law; freedom of speech and religion; and representative government;

Except those things aren’t true. Plenty of people in the US don’t like the constitution, or want it changed drastically. Plenty of people in the US are bigoted in many ways as well, including violence and discrimination against Muslims, Sikhs and other religious groups.

*Lawfully-admitted newcomers of any ancestral nationality—without regard to race, ethnicity, or religion—truly become Americans when they give allegiance to these principles and values;

Yeah, but I was born in the US and never agreed to these rules, ideas or principles. Ever. Sure, I was forced as a kid to say the pledge of allegiance, sure I was forced to make a stupid oath when I joined the military to be able to go to college, but I don’t agree with the bullshit ideas of the slave owner written constitution and actually look forward to the day the people of THIS time can choose a government that truly represents them. Also, these are recent ideas for the most part. There has been extensive discrimination against religious, and ethnic or national groups throughout US history.

*Ethnic and religious diversity based on personal freedom is compatible with national unity; and

That’s funny. Ethnic diversity was mostly allowed in the US for slave labor purposes, but go on.

*The nation is strengthened when those who live in it communicate effectively with each other in English, even as many persons retain or acquire the ability to communicate in other languages.

Ignoring of course  that the US has no official language, never has, that multilingual countries are not more dysfunctional, and that forcing Americans to learn more languages couldn’t hurt.

As long as we live by these principles and help newcomers to learn and practice them, we will continue to be a nation that benefits from
substantial but well-regulated immigration.

As long as we let in mostly white, rich, and well established immigrants. Also we will never really help immigrants learn English, but we will most certainly make fun of those with accents or struggle with the language. The next part is Frau Malkin again spewing her bullshit nationalist bullshit:

 

Those principles have been abandoned, scorned, and sabotaged. You have not heard an iota about them from Washington. It is the erosion of Americanization and the ascendancy of the collectivists that helped create the conditions for Election Day.

Those principles are jokes that never existed but in the wet dreams of right wing fascists like yourself Michelle. White people, and white people wanna bes, like YOU Michelle, you fascist dick. “Collectivists”. Ha. You don’t know the meaning of the word you privileged fucking Stepford wife.

Amnesty instead of assimilation is a recipe for even greater GOP losses at at the ballot box.

OOOOOOOH, that’s that real reason, isn’t it? You’re afraid that the poor immigrants who crawl through our borders won’t vote the way you want them too. That’s the real issue here isn’t it? You’re afraid that the immigrants who come here won’t be a fascist like you, that they won’t want to work for starvation wages to feed their families. Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle. Who saw that one coming.

Amnesty instead of assimilation is a recipe for the furtherance of American decline.

And while they’re at it, make them convert to Christianity, and dye their skin right, is that the plan Malkin? You want them all to be like the Philippines, whence your ancestry hails. It got so much better there after the Christian Spanish, and then the US raped and plundered and colonized it, didn’t it? Oh, wait…

 

Nationalism and Racism

Immigration policies have long been used as excuses for racism, and xenoophobia. They wrongfully claim that immigration, “legal” or otherwise, causes higher crime (that would be poverty sweethearts, not immigration) and that certain groups just cause trouble. It is racist, and it is wrong. If we really thought that freedom was the way to go, and I do personally, I would say that human beings should be allowed to live where they fucking please. Yep, that simple. Oh, you don’t like all those poor people pouring into your country? Well, makes that whole colonialism thing ironic now, doesn’t it. When we allow open borders around the world, capitalism can’t control that. It will help destroy it. So by all means, immigrate illegally, legally, or otherwise. Help break down national barriers, and break the illusion of nationality. We are all human beings, and when we stop allowing countries to hoard resources and power, we stop allowing the rape and colonization of poorer countries. That’s all I want to say today. Fuck nationalism, fuck racism, and fuck capitalism. They all go together. Do what you can to help lead the world to revolutionary change.

 

Liberal Mindset

I’ve been doing some reading and studying, a lot of it. This blog is basically a place to hash out my ideas and my learning process, and share my views and thoughts with other people, namely you my valued reader. I have to admit that like all writers, I am doing this almost as much for me as I am for you. What this journey of thought and political discovery has led me to is some startling realizations about the society we live in, the state and the future of humanity. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying I have all the answers. However, I think I have stumbled upon some insights that have made me rethink previous positions, and reassess how I see politics and economy a bit. So why the title of liberal mindset? Because I think that the liberal mindset of the “left” in the US is holding back the working class from realizing its real potential, and I’m going to tell you why.

Socialists for Bourgeois Government?

What is the ultimate goal of socialism? Is it to have a chicken in every pot and a house for every family? Or is it something more than that? I would venture to say that the ultimate goal of socialism is the completely change how societies are run. We aim to as Marx said, “overthrow the existing order of things”, and to establish a new society for the benefit of all, instead of just a few. Now we should take a look at the prevailing “socialist” groups in the Western world (the world with which I am the most familiar) and ask ourselves if we moving towards our goals, or away from them. Are we really achieving our objectives? I would answer no, that we aren’t coming close to realizing our goals. The reason is very simple. Take a look at the CPUSA, a political party that I some time ago used to be a member of. When I first joined that party it was the result of my political awakening, and my desire to be an advocate of communism. I wanted to work for the emancipation of the working class, and the destruction in the end of class society and the state itself. Inspired by the rousing words of the Communist Manifesto, I wanted desperately to bring about the fall of capitalism. That goal, those feelings have not changed. What changed was my awareness that the CPUSA was not what I thought it to be. The more I was involved in the organization, the more I realized that it had become the political equivalent of a stone age tool. Sure it may be interesting to look at, but it’s pretty meaningless as an actual tool for accomplishing anything practical whatsoever. I’ve talked before about their current incarnation as red-dyed democratic party cheerleaders, but I want to focus on something that just happened to accentuate why the left in the US has lost its bearings. In a recent post on their site “Peoples World” the party condemned the so called “right to work” laws that were just passed in the state of Michigan. They start out the article by stating that “By taking their first votes to pass anti-worker “right-to-work” legistlation (SIC) on Thursday (they have to wait five more days to finish the job), Michigan’s Republican Party and Gov. Rick Snyder have now resorted to open class warfare.” What the fuck are you talking about? Do you even know what class warfare is? Have you read a single goddamn page Marx? Do you know what class warfare is? The very existence of the bourgeois state is class warfare!!! The state, and yes, Democratic and Republican parties alike, are representatives of the capitalist class!!! The state only exists to advance the rights and privileges of one class over another, and it certainly isn’t a new thing. “Resorting to class warfare” is a phrase uttered by those who have no freaking clue what class warfare is, let alone a clue how to win such a war. The US is also almost completely bereft of unions, and the unions that do exist have lost their bearings as the true representatives of the workers anyway. What the CPUSA and other faux socialist organizations have done is replace their revolutionary spirit with one of acquiescence and have joined forces with a sick political system to perpetuate the capitalist state. “We can’t achieve revolution, we can’t achieve anything but crumbs from the table” they seem to be saying. They uphold Obama as the answer to their questions. OBAMA! For fucks sake this is a man that gave trillions to the banksters as a way to keep the capitalist fucking state intact and stable. They state in the article that they want a good economy, and that workers rights are essential to that aim. Oh yes, I am completely for workers rights. I really am. That’s why I am a socialist. However, in the large scheme of things the right to work laws are not really all that important. I know that I’m going to catch some hell for saying that but let’s look at the real story here. While this capitalist system exists, the unions cannot progress beyond a union mindset. They can’t, it’s not in their interest to. Think about the contradiction here. We as socialists are supposed to be pushing for the complete destruction of the capitalist state, yet you have the CPUSA fighting for its continued existence! How does that in anyway make sense? What we should realize is that the CPUSA and parties like it have a complete disconnect from the lives of workers, from the material conditions that they face, and no understanding of the modern capitalist system whatsoever. They support and defend a corrupt capitalist system at the expense of the people. They are class traitors, stabbing us in the back. They tell us that they support the workers while they do the opposite. Workers rights will not be secured by the victories in the increasingly alienated state, or by meaningless laws about unions. They will be secured by nothing else than the full goddamn emancipation of the working classes by the seizing of the means of production. These piddling little laws taken as “class warfare” -which, if you know even a little bit of Marx, you’d know is a continuous aspect of class divided society- is the height of ridiculous liberal bullshit. I’m sick of seeing supposed communists fighting little diversionary battles. What we should be fighting for is the overthrowing of the corporations, and the overthrowing of the wage slavery that funds them, not the continuation of said system. Are you content to stay in this system with its wage slavery and capitalist mode of production? Then you are not, my friend, a communist. You are at best a social democrat. And that’s being kind. What will bring about the emancipation of the working classes? It will be none other than the greed of the capitalist class the crushes the working class under its heel. When that oppression affects so many people, when their chains are too hard to bear, when they are starving and they are beaten and jailed and killed in the name of capitalism, these are the things that produce a class consciousness. It does not come as a result of welfare state politics. This liberal welfare state mindset is helping capitalism to continue, not ending it. The left has become the group of people in our societies most responsible for the perpetuation of this horrible capitalist system of wage slavery. We have become the epitome of the misled, the vacuous and misinformed masses who fight for the perpetuation of the very thing that keeps us in chains. Raising taxes on the rich will not free us, ending the so called “right to work” laws will not free us. In fact, they will keep us enslaved. We communists are for the full emancipation of the working classes, and the contradiction is that the capitalist system as it exists is not going to allow that. So what’s the answer?

Envisioning a New Society

We must realize that the only way that we are going to move forward is quite counter-intuitive. We must increase the alienation of the working classes. This means that we must let capitalists take the workers for all they’ve got so that they realize that their interests are directly opposed to the goals and motivations of the capitalist class. We must end liberalism, the force that keeps the working classes enslaved, and that means opposing a welfare state that keeps the working classes just happy enough to not revolt. The progression of economy and politics is one that must lead to the abolition of the capitalist state, and one that must lead to the abolition of the need for welfare, for taxes, for the whole capitalist state apparatus. We must work towards building a whole new society. Our so called socialists seem to have missed the entire point of Marx and Engels, and in a coming blog post I am going to take a look at Engels’ work titled “On the origin of the state” and what it means for our current understanding of contemporary politics. The point for today though is a rallying cry against the liberal bullshit that is perpetuating this evil system of enslavement, and the parties like the CPUSA that is helping them to keep their power. Down with capitalism! Down with wage slavery! Down with starvation welfare society! Down with nationalism imperialism and the people who support it! We must unite as workers to bring about the full destruction of this system, a complete overturning of the order of this society. No amount of welfare or union protecting laws is going to change that. Stay tuned comrades, there’s more to come.

Hope for a Hopeless World

It’s common knowledge that the world today is in bad shape. Worldwide war, warmongering, overblown nationalism, starvation, sickness, poverty, wealth disparity, hate, racism, police brutality, recession, depression and too many more to list. It seems sometimes that the world has entered the post-modern apocalypse we always feared. Sure, we have our twitter, our iPhones, our apps and our laptops. We have our cheap goods at walmart produced with slave labor. We have our movies to entertain us and our dime a dozen novels to read on our shiny new kindles. we have our TV and our Starbucks and our glittery worship of vacuous celebrities. And it just seems so, so empty. There doesn’t seem to be any way out of the doldrums. We are told time and time again, by people such as Francis Fukuyama, that this is the end of history. There is no more progress, there is no other alternative. We just have to fall in lockstep with our system, because there can never be any other. I’m here to tell you that history has just begun.

Looking Back

Before we look to the future, and since we’ve taken a look at the less than stellar present, let’s take a quick stroll down history lane. Yeah, things are bad right now. The world has a lot of problems, a lot of pain, a lot of suffering. However, things are better now than they’ve ever been in history. You don’t believe me? Ask the ancient Romans, who although having running water, heated baths and paved roads, could never dream of the luxuries that we now enjoy on a daily basis. The Romans had a slave state, so if you weren’t lucky enough to be among the members of the ruling class, life really sucked for you. It was truly brutish and short. The middle ages was a time of superstition, rule by religious authority, and death. Lots and lots of death. Executions in public squares, the Black Death, autocratic kings and queens, endless wars and the feudal system. Oh boy, the feudal system. The rulers had lost much of the technology of the Greeks and Romans and Egyptians, but for the serf life was much more harsh. You could expect a short nasty life, working your fingers to the bone every day just to make the ruling class richer and more comfortable. Your wife might die in childbirth, most of your children by the time they turned 5. Then came the age of enlightenment! Oh grand theories of science and art, philosophy and exploration! (Ignoring the rape, theft and murder that came from those colonizing missions for a moment) Galileo! Copernicus! Thomas Paine! The world moved beyond the feudalistic system of old, through the new mercantilism, and right into capitalism. Once again revolutions led the way, violent or by threat of violence. Old regimes overthrown, new inventions, the moveable type, the explosion in literacy rates and on and on and on. Yet life was still nasty, brutish and short. Women couldn’t vote, there was widespread slavery and abuse, no votes for the poor, the workers who made the economy hum and grow. Then came the industrial revolution (I know, I’m moving through this pretty fast) children working in mines, Chinese immigrants in the US dying building the transcontinental railroad, while being discriminated against and denied rights as citizens.  Now we are here again in the present. We have come a long way. Did that help cheer you up a little bit? If no, the next part just might.

Historical Materialism

What’s that you say? What’s historical materialism? Well, without getting into a major philosophical dissertation, it’s basically what I just wrote above, in a nutshell. You see, the universe is in constant flux. It’s always changing. Changes in our societies, our politics, our economies are no different. There is a war going on, a struggle between two things. One is called the thesis, the other antithesis. The thing, and the opposing thing. This is how things change. The fight between the aristocracy and the growing burgers, townspeople who were beginning production of goods, ended with the abolition of the aristocratic class as the ruling class. That new ruling class grew, and became the giant capitalist class we know today. And the working class? Those who, not owning the means of production must sell their labor? Well, we’re still selling our labor aren’t we? We still live in the capitalist system. However. Marx explained that we already see the seeds of the destruction of this exploitative capitalist order. We see it because of the contradictions in capitalism that will bring it down. We are once again engaged in class warfare, and history has shown us that the result of that battle between thesis and antithesis produces the answer, the synthesis. The answer to the problem. That answer is socialism, the democratic control of the means of production. You see, it may be hard to see it from day to day when you’re struggling, but we are moving forward. The whole weight of history is behind us, and we cannot lose. Things are changing, and they’re changing perhaps even faster than you think. Things are getting better. So keep your chin up comrades, and keep fighting. In the meantime my fellow workers of the world, how about uniting?

If you’d like to read a more in-depth body of work about historical materialism, or any other concept in Marxism, here are a couple of websites for you to check out:

http://www.PSLweb.org

http://www.marxists.org

Have a great day, and happy reading!

Some State Solution: The Problem with Israel

Some State Solution: The Problem with Israel

Is Israel, by the evidence of its history and policies, a racist, apartheid state? I would argue that for all intents and purposes, it is. That is not an assertion that should be made lightly, it is a grave charge against a state, and one that should be taken seriously. Then I must here present my reasons for labeling the state of Israel racist, and apartheid. Israel is in the news once again, as they send overwhelming firepower into the Gaza strip, punishing the Palestinians for their rocket attacks into Israel. To many people around the world, this story is quite the familiar refrain. Someone on one side starts shooting, and before you know it, the whole area is alight with rockets, missiles, bombs and gunfire. Often it would seem that people who aren’t familiar with the history of the conflict throw their hands up in exasperation. “That’s just the way that area is, they’ve been fighting for thousands of years, and they’ll keep fighting for thousands more.” That is quite an unfortunate assessment however, as there are reasons for this modern conflict, and those reasons aren’t as ancient as some would have you believe. These  problems go back to before the genesis of the state of Israel, back to the 19th century and the start of a Zionist movement.

 

The geographic area commonly called Palestine has a long and storied history, and has been the home of some of the world’s greatest religions and cultural traditions. Jerusalem is sacred to all of the Abrahamic religions, accounting for billions of believers worldwide. It has also long been a source of conflict as different religious and cultural groups vied for supremacy and control over the small sliver of land in the Middle East. That long and storied history however is far too complicated and long to include in this short essay, so it will have to suffice to begin a little more recently in the story, namely the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.

 

The state of Israel was created following the end of the second World War, however the movement to create such a state began in earnest in the late 19th century. There are a number of factors that would many people sympathetic to the Zionist cause, their hope for a homeland. Jewish communities in Europe had been long subject to horrible discrimination, slander, and even mass murder. Pogram was a common word in many countries, and many died for simply being the wrong member of an ethnic and religious minority. Perhaps it was thought that if the Jews had their own homeland, that they would be free forever from the scourge of racism and religious bigotry. Centuries of antisemitism had resulted in the murder of multitudes of Jews,  the destruction of their property and their disenfranchisement from the societies they lived in. Understandably, they wanted an end to that bigotry, and an end to living in fear. The problem is that the establishment of the state of Israel as a “Jewish state” has not solved those problems. They continue to live in a world that is rocked by war, hatred and ill will. The state of Israel did not solve the problem of anti-Jewish bigotry because it is impossible to solve problems of racism by nationalist xenophobia.

So if we know that Jews were running from persecution and mass murder, some may wonder why anyone would deny them a national home where they would feel safe. A haven where they would have their culture, traditions and people protected. The answer is a simple one, and it is one whose reasons have been played out time and again in multiple different scenarios throughout history. The problem is that we’re defining “Jewish” as a cultural and religious identity, an ethnic identity, and asserting that they should have an exclusive piece of land just for them, and no one else; which does reveal some problems. How does one define what a Jew is? How far back in one’s family tree does one have to go before they are considered Jewish? Is it only a religious and cultural identity? Is there a perceived biological aspect to the identity of “Jewishness”? Why should any country be able to deny the entry or settlement of people on the basis of race, class, national origin, religion or other factors of a similar nature? Does the history of oppression of a group of people give them the right to persecute and or exclude other perceived groups of humans? Is that morally or logically tenable as a building block of national policy and identity? The question arises whether or not Israel by its history and policies is a racist, apartheid state. I would argue that for all intents and purposes, it is. That is not an assertion that should be made lightly, it is a grave charge against a state, and one that should be taken seriously. Then I must here present my reasons for labeling the state of Israel racist, and apartheid.

 

During the British Mandate of Palestine in the early 20th century, the demographics of Palestine were much different than today. That alone, of course is not grounds for worry, however the differences between now and then, and how it came to be are historically significant. The Jews returning to the Palestinian region before, during and after World War Two did not simply slip into town and join the rest of the populace living in peace. During the British Mandate of Palestine, a majority Muslim population existed side by side with Jews, Christians, Druze and other minorities. The program of returning the Jews to the ancient land of Israel increased hugely after the war, and pushed out many of the original Palestinian inhabitants. It created a humanitarian nightmare. In the 2009 book by Richard Becker titled “Palestine, Israel and the US Empire”  this time in Palestinian history is explained.  Becker describes the Irgun, a Jewish terrorist group aiming to seize the entire land of Palestine from the hands of the British, and then the Palestinians, resorted to the horrific massacre of civilians, documenting eye-witness accounts of the horror. This was part of an ethnic cleansing campaign that would dramatically change the demographics of Palestine, and would steal away land from Palestinians who had lived there for many centuries. One such massacre was in a village called Deir Yassin. Becker states “On April 9th, 1948, the Irgun wiped out the entire population of Deir Yassin. The Irgun soldiers arrived in the village and announced that the residents had 15 minutes to leave. Then the attack began. The Zionist soldiers blew up homes with their inhabitants still inside, fired at will and at close range, and committed other atrocities. When it was over, more than two hundred lay dead.” (Becker, p. 61) That campaign of terror he describes was repeated many times as they drove out the Palestinians. Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced, causing a large humanitarian crisis. In discussing the  Palestinian right of return in Chapter 18, he mentions just how large that exodus of refugees really was. In 1948, the expulsion of almost three fourths of the Palestinian population caused 750,000 refugees, and the 1967 war led to another 300,000 refugees. (Becker) Israel took the land from the Palestinian people, and now have relegated them to tiny slivers of land in what used to be their own country. They are denied the right of return, and are forced to live within the confines of the Gaza strip and the West Bank. This is reminiscent of the regime of apartheid in South Africa that lasted until recently. Some wanted to create national homes away from the other ethnicities, to keep them separate. The population of the West Bank and Gaza now number in the millions of  people, people who still don’t have the right of return to their homes and their villages.

 

Aside from the history of the expulsion of the Palestinians from their homes and villages and being forced into defacto Ghettos, what exists in the State of Israel today that would designate them an apartheid state? We only have to look at the words of Israeli politicians, and the Israeli people themselves. Harriet Sherwood in the Guardian newspaper recently revealed the results of a poll first published in the Haaretz newspaper detailing what the Israeli public thought about apartheid and the Palestinian people. She said that the poll revealed that more than two-thirds of the respondents thought that the 2.5 million residents of the West Bank should be denied the right to vote should the area be annexed. Furthermore, three out of four Israelis polled wanted separate roads for Palestinians and Israelis, and 58% of respondents already considered Israel an apartheid state. (Sherwood )  Israel has denied the Palestinians a state of their own. Israel has demanded that they hold elections, and then blockaded those who dared to vote for the party Israel didn’t approve of, causing more humanitarian crises. Israel has assassinated at will Palestinian officials, and then condemned the Palestinians for fighting back. Palestine seems to be in a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” sort of position. This all arises from the goal of establishing a state that was of, by and for one religious group, at the expense of everyone else. That bad idea has now gone on for decades, causing thousands of deaths, many of them civilians, even children.

 

The irrational fear and distrust of the Palestinian people by the Israelis is evident in the speech of their politicians. In 2008, as reported by the Telegraph newspaper, Matan Vilnai, the Israeli deputy defense minister called for a genocide stating “The more qassam fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, they (the Palestinians) will bring upon themselves a bigger shoah because we will use all our might to defend ourselves,” (The telegraph) Shoah is the Hebrew word for holocaust. There have been many examples of this kind of speech.

 

In the book “Racism: A Very Short Introduction” by Ali Rattansi, he explains that racism can be based in cultural, or religious terms rather than overtly biological ones. He says “In practice, though, cultural demarcations are often drawn and used in a form that naturalizes them by implying that they are more or less immutable.” (Rattansi, p. 104) The Palestinians have been labeled as inherently violent, as incompatible for life in a society alongside the Israeli population. They have been subjected to apartheid, separated from the rest of their society for decades now, with no end in sight.

 

I believe that if we are to end the violent conflict in Palestine, we must bring about an inclusive, one state solution. We must heal the wounds, not by continuing to keep them separate, but by uniting them together into a peaceful coexistence. I believe it can be done. I think a two state solution would just legitimize the crimes of the Israeli state, and foster further resentment. Israel, in its current form as an apartheid state must end, for there to be peace again.

 

                                         CITATIONS

1)      Sherwood, Harriet. “Israeli poll finds majority would be in favour of ‘apartheid’ policies.” Guardian 23 OCT 2012, Online n. pag. Web. 16 Nov. 2012. <http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/23/israeli-poll-majority-apartheid-policies>.

2)      Becker, Richard. Palestine, Israel and the US Empire. 1st Ed. San Fransisco: PSL Publications, 2009. Print.

3)      Rattansi, Ali. Racism: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007. Print.

4)      ” Israeli minister vows Palestinian ‘holocaust’.” Telegraph 29 FEB 2008, Online n. pag. Web. 20 Nov. 2012. <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1580339/Israeli-minister-vows-Palestinian-holocaust.html&gt;.

 

 

 

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