The Communist Daily

The revolution starts here!

Archive for the tag “progress”

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

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.

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?

War is in the Air

It’s no secret that things are heating up in the Asia-Pacific region. After more than a decade of focus on the Middle East, including two disastrous wars fought by the US against helpless foes in the region, the US has decided that its hegemony in the Pacific region is being threatened by an ascendant China, and changing balances of power. The USA Today newspaper reported back in June that the US is planning on shifting 60% of its warships to the Pacific by 2020. The report came as a result of remarks by Secretary of Defense Panetta on the “re-balancing” of the US military towards the Asian region. The US has announced greater presence in Australia, building new bases there just recently, in addition to restructuring of other Asian partnerships in the region. Just today however, it was announced that the US is planning on moving more and more troop activity to the Philippines, claiming that it is aimed at helping victims of natural disasters. This is widely seen as a convenient excuse for increased US pressure on the region. Tempers have been flaring over territorial disputes, such as China’s dispute with the Philippines over the Scarborough Shoals, or their dispute with Japan over the Senkaku Islands. Those are just two examples of many territorial disputes that are threatening to endanger the peace in Asia, and the actors that are maneuvering are not backing down in the slightest. China is a growing regional power that is increasingly rubbing shoulders with its neighbors, claiming that it has to protect its territorial integrity. Meanwhile, Japan, China’s old arch-nemesis is electing politicians who are promising to revise Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, allowing Japan to throw away the peace part of their so called “Peace Constitution”. Such moves towards militarism should be viewed with great caution and reserve, as what happens in the coming months could forever change the course of history.

Now you might be thinking that I am being a bit too alarmist. I don’t think that I am, at all. Tempers are really heating up. The newly re-empowered Liberal Democratic Party of Japan has not only set their sights on revision of the pacifist constitution, but are also have said that they will not back down or compromise on the issue of the Senkaku Islands. Japan refuses to even admit there is a dispute. Japan is also at loggerheads over the issue of the Dokdo Islands, claimed as well by Korea, and with Russia over islands the Russians seized at the end of WW2. China has a large military, and recently announced their first operational aircraft carrier, a huge leap for a growing military force. China is a force to be reckoned with, and they are not afraid to assert their new found strength. In an article in the news site “RT”, a Russian news organization, they reported on the coming growth in the US military presence in the Philippines. In case you are thinking I am overstating the threat to the region from different directions,read what RT reported at the end of the article

“Chinese Communist Party Chief Xi Jinping urged his military to prepare for a struggle, without mentioning the potential aggressor.

“Push forward preparations for a military struggle,” he told the People’s Liberation Army, which consists of 2.3 million servicemen.”

It is my hope that things calm down in the area. A blow up in Asia could, and probably would start another world war.

What do you think of the current situation in Asia? Leave me a comment with your thoughts.

 

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.

The Problem with China

Before I begin this post, I want to head off some possible criticisms, nip em in the bud, to use the common parlance. I am not promoting the US, Japan, the EU or any capitalist run system over that of China. I am not, I repeat, NOT advocating various forms of nationalist and imperialist aggression, I am simply highlighting a problem I see on the left, everywhere, and particularly in the case of China. I also want to highlight the fact that I am not an expert, I am a student, and I am still struggling with a variety of positions that I have been considering. This is meant to spark dialog, to incite discussion, and to provoke thought. Please join the conversation in the comments section below, and feel free to criticize my position on this, and really anything. If you feel I am wrong, and you want to challenge me on it, please do so, but come prepared with documentation, and sound reasoning. And since every discussion of nationalism or China is bound to cause tempers to get a little heated, please keep this a civil discussion. Attack ideas, not people. At least in this case. Now, without further ado, the question at hand.

Is China Socialist?

I understand why many revolutionary communists support the government of China. I really do. However, I feel that there is a growing current of communist thought which discourages any criticisms of China and its program, and the government that runs it. Being one of the few “socialist” countries in the world, many wish to protect the legacy of the Chinese proletarian revolution, and further the cause of socialism in the world. The problem I see, is that this is self defeating. As scientific socialists, as scholars, we should be held to a high standard of intellectual honesty. The name of a political party is not as important as the real material conditions on the ground. It doesn’t matter if the flag over them is red, yellow, blue or green. It matters how the division of labor is carried out, who is benefiting from the state, and who is running the country. When we examine China closely, we see that there have been deep and systemic problems in its model from the very start. To answer our question of whether or not China is socialist, we need to look at China’s history, and see the basis for the modern state of China, and where it is headed.

A Great Revolution

China was once called “The sick man of Asia”. It was dogged by imperialist aggression during the 19th and early 20th centuries, and under the weak and corrupt imperial government of China, it let the Western powers walk all over it. There were signs in Shanghai that read “No Chinese or dogs allowed.” China was humiliated, abused and exploited. Without going into a detailed history of China (you can study that in your own time comrades) let me just say that what China was subjected to under imperialist aggression is despicable and disgusting. The British forced opium on the people, the Americans enjoyed extraterritoriality, as did many Western powers, and China was being carved up like a Christmas ham to please the palates of the capitalists and aristocrats of the capitalist powers. The government of China was powerless to stop them. Japan also took part in this aggression, taking Chinese land and humiliating the Chinese in war and in the peace treaty that followed. (See the Treaty of Shimonoseki for more information) Japan would eventually even go as far as to massacre thousands in Nanking, and take possession of Manchuria, establishing a puppet regime there called Manchukko. What happened to China is wrong, what the imperialist did is wrong, and that can be said without reserve or any caveats.

Long story short, the Communists, led by Mao Zedong eventually helped to defeat the Japanese, and then defeated the KMT nationalists under Chiang Kai-Shek. On the 1st of October, 1949, Mao declared the People’s Republic of China as a sovereign state. It was a huge victory for the people of China, and they regained their pride as a people, as a nation. Eventually even the Western powers acknowledged the rightful government of China as being in Beijing, not Taipei, and China then embarked on economic expansion that allowed it to raise millions out of poverty, and establish itself as  world power. (I realize that this is a very short version of China’s modern history, please don’t think I’m trying to be comprehensive here)

China Today

The problem is that China today has lost much of its connection to the revolution that culminated in a communist victory, and it has abandoned many of the original goals and methods of the revolution. Let’s look at some facts about China. Is it a socialist country? We will tell by the material conditions of the Chinese people, not by the mere claims of the government of China.

International corporations

International corporations have been allowed to run rampant in China, fearlessly and blatantly exploiting the Chinese people. Horrible working conditions, low pay and heavy handed control tactics have combined to create a multitude of problems that only benefits China’s ruling class. Foxconn comes to mind. China has allowed, for the benefit of the government, horrible terrible abuses of the Chinese people. These abuses include dangerous working conditions, long working hours with little or no overtime pay, suicides, and much much more. This benefits such companies as Motorola, Apple, Amazon.com and others. This kind of worker abuse is being allowed in China, and protests against it are squashed by the government.

Human Rights

The same people who protest angrily against the violations of civil liberties in the US and Europe, are the same ones who ignore horrible human rights abuses in China. Unfair trials, massive use of the death penalty for a wide variety of crimes, censorship of radio, TV, the internet and newspapers and every other possible medium, China is not upholding the rights of  human beings in their country. The suppression of the people means that they are losing the support of the people, and are undermining the validity of the revolution they claim to be continuing. (Once again, before I get inundated with “the US does it too” note that I don’t consider the US a socialist country either.) You cannot claim to be the voice of the people, when you crush protests, throw political opponents in prison, censor all media that dares criticize the actions of the government and kills thousands of Chinese citizens every year. That is not the work of socialism.

The rulers of the Chinese communist party have established themselves as the bourgeoisie in China. They have allowed capitalism to spring up, they have ignored the contradictions in their ideology, and they are building the fall of the people’s republic. They have established a state capitalist form of economics, and one that has abused and betrayed millions of Chinese. The Chinese communist party has become a end unto itself, for its own power. There is no accountability, there is no transparency, there is no democracy, and it is NOT a socialist country. It once was, it once had the promise of socialism, but has now thrown that out the window. It has sold its soul for entrance to the WTO and the capitalist club, and it cares not about the material conditions of the Chinese people.

I am fully aware that I am going to catch hell from some of my comrades for expressing this opinion. I fully understand that some think that it is more important to support China,than criticize it. However, if we cannot criticize, we cannot think, and if we cannot think, then why are we communists at all?

Communism must be democratic, it must uphold economic equality, it must uphold the people as the ruler, not a government that is beyond criticism. We will not achieve communism by handing over the lives of our people to corporations, but by handing over the means of production to the working class. I will not continue to support the Chinese government. It silences dissent from the left, those who dare to push for economic equality and rights for workers are silenced, that is not socialism. China has become a country that is ruled by those who are communists in name only. If we cannot admit that China is no longer socialist, if we cannot think critically about China, then we should just throw in the towel now. China is ruled by the bourgeoisie of China. Party members who run state corporations are becoming millionaires at the expense of the workers. This must not stand. China needs to change course, it needs to acknowledge these problems, instead of diverting attention by attacking its neighbors with territorial claims and stoking nationalist hysteria. China has already fallen to capitalism. It is not upholding socialism. If we are to be communists, we must be honest.

In conclusion, China is not socialist. It is not democratic. It is not free. It is not what it purports itself to be. Until the working class is truly in control of the government, and the means of production, it is not a socialist country. State ownership in and of itself is meaningless. What matters is who runs the state, and who benefits from that ownership. What do you think? Is China a socialist country? Am I overreacting? Bring your argument. Let’s talk about this.

 

 

 

Chavez Does it Again

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has won a 4th term in office after winning the presidential election against his foe, Henrique Caprilles. Various news outlets have reported dancing and celebrations in the streets of Venezuela, as the nation’s poor and working classes celebrated their beloved president’s reelection. Hugo Chavez has devoted his time in office to improving the lives of the poor of Venezuela, and standing up against US imperialism, not only in South America, but in the rest of the world as well. He is a supporter and ally of Fidel Castro and the Cuban people, helping them with aid and receiving medical care in Cuba as well. The lives of many Venezuelans have been improved by Chavez’s stalwart defense of the poor, and he has done much to build up a great socialist democracy.  In spite of assassination attempts by the US government, he has survived, and thrived in his political career. This blog wishes to congratulate Hugo Chavez and the people of Venezuela on their socialist revolution, and I wish them the best of luck for the next six years. Felicitaciones al pueblo de Venezuela! Hasta la victoria siempre!!!

Death in Libya

The world is still shocked. And by world I mean America. And by America I mean the ignorant people who couldn’t see something like this coming. You can already tell by the title what I’m talking about. Libyans, reportedly angry about a film that gravely insulted Islam, stormed the US embassy in Benghazi and killed several Americans, including the Ambassador to Libya, a Mr. Chris Stevens. They also seemingly dragged his corpse through the streets of the city triumphantly, as a hunter might display their captured trophy prey. That kind of behavior is barbaric, it is disgusting and it is wrong. I condemn in the strongest language possible the killing of diplomatic personnel from any country. That said, I think it’s not wrong to examine why this happened, and why the US can only expect more of this to happen.

Islam vs Christianity? A false dichotomy

There are many who want to frame all this ongoing violence from majority Muslim countries as being a cultural war between the forces of Judeo-Christian civility, and Islamic barbarism. This is a misdirection of the issue, and is completely off base. The issue is  much deeper than just religious differences, or hurt feelings. It goes to the very core of why the US is hated around the world.

There is a talking point among the talking heads of Western media, and how they love to drive it into the ground. “The Muslims are dangerous, they hold nothing but ill will towards us nice white Christian folk, we’re in danger yada yada yada”. Iran, Iraq, Palestine, Egypt, Libya et al. How true is that though? How many Americans have died from Muslim terrorism? Let’s look at the numbers. 2,600 some people dead on 9-11. 4 people dead in Benghazi. 17 dead on the USS Cole. Bombing of the Marine Barracks in Beirut. OK. That’s pretty much it? Sure there’s been a couple others, but let’s not get off track here. “Now what did the US ever do to deserve that?” You may ask tilting your head quizzically to one side. Gee, let me think. Give me a moment here.

….. ummm….. ummmm…… ummm….. ummmm…..

Well, we support the genocide and blockading of the Palestinians, overthrew the rightful governments of Iran, Afghanistan, and others, bombed Libya, invaded Iraq and Afghanistan, again, propped up, still prop up brutal dictators in Bahrain, Egypt, Iran and others, purposely insult their religion “just because we can”, exploit their natural resources, abuse their governments and their people and shit all over their culture and sovereignty. “Yeah, but we didn’t kill that many people.” You may say. Oh really? The toll in Iraq and Afghanistan ALONE is in the hundreds of thousands at least. Families dead, cities destroyed, progress halted, elections thrown, protesters jailed, refugees imprisoned starved and murdered, drone attacks on civilians, Israeli settlements, US gifts of weapons to Israel that kills Palestinian civilians, bombs and missiles and warships and boots on the ground and shock and awe and torture and Gitmo and secret renditions by the CIA and more bombs and more troops and more US flag waving and more “freedom” and more capitalism and more coca-cola and more McDonalds and more ripping up the Koran, and more countries collapsing, and they are left with nothing.

Nothing but the only goddamn thing that the US and all its imperial might can’t take from them. Their religious identity. Let me note right here that I am not  Muslim, I don’t believe in that religion, but I understand. The anger. The rage. They’re people who have been shat on and walked all over for so goddamn long that religion is the only thing they have. They don’t have nice cars and houses and food. They have their belief in their god, it warms them at night, and shades them by day. It is their opium and their placebo. It is their blanket and their fortress. And the Western man sits in his nice house, bought with money drenched in the blood of the weak and powerless, watching these developments on TV. He sips his singe malt scotch on the rocks and says smugly “Those barbarians, how can they even be considered human when they do things like that.” Then he pays as little tax as possible, which will be used to rain down the brimstone of heaven on the heads of more innocent Muslims around the world.

And you wonder why they’re mad.

So before all you self righteous assholes go condemning all Muslims, try something a little bit different for once. Start advocating the end of imperialism. Start advocating the end of interventionism and war. Start advocating for socialism, start advocating for progress. And reach out to the Muslims in your neighborhood. They’re people just like you. Accept them, understand them, love them.

End the cycle of violence, move beyond imperialism. We can make a better world. Join me.

An economic recovery—for capitalists

 

An economic recovery—for capitalists.

An economic recovery—for capitalists

 

Statement of the Lindsay/Osorio campaign

 

June 4, 2012

Unemployed job seekers attend a job fair in New York City.

Despite the economic turmoil of the last few years, the biggest banks and corporations have managed to consistently remain profitable ever since the massive taxpayer-funded bailouts. However, as the bleak jobs report for May shows, workers have been left out of this so-called recovery.

 

A total of 69,000 new jobs opened up in May, the lowest number in a year. Because about 125,000 jobs a month are needed just to keep up with the growing workforce, the official unemployment rate increased slightly to 8.2 percent. If workers who are thought to have “dropped out” of the workforce and those who have been forced to accept part-time work are included, the figure rises to 14.8 percent.

 

As these statistics make clear, the capitalist system offers no solution to the epidemic of unemployment and underemployment. That’s why the Lindsay/Osorio campaign proposes a socialist solution.

 

We demand: Seize the banks—Jail Wall Street criminals with the vast wealth of society—which we, the working class, create—liberated from Wall Street parasites, we can initiate a massive jobs program.

 

Our 10 point program states: Make a job a Constitutional right. Tens of millions are jobless and under-employed because the capitalists control employment. A decent paying job must be a legal, guaranteed right. The minimum wage should be raised to $20 per hour and a living income must be guaranteed for those who cannot work.

 

Capitalists employ workers for only one reason: without our labor, they cannot make a profit. When they can no longer profitably sell the commodities we make, as is the case in an economic crisis, they carry out mass layoffs without a second thought as to the devastating consequences to workers or their families.

 

Even in times of relative stability, the ruling class still needs a constant reserve of unemployed people to accommodate the chaotic and unplanned shifts in direction inherent in capitalist development. Having more workers than available jobs also helps depress wages and strengthens the negotiating position of the capitalists.

 

A job is central to human dignity and should be considered a basic right. Like all other rights for working people, it cannot be fully or permanently realized under capitalism. To fight unemployment at its root, support the Lindsay/Osorio campaign and join us in the fight for a socialist future!

 

Content may be reprinted with credit to VotePSL.org.

A Short History of the USSR: Part 1

It seems like I’ve been having a lot of discussions lately about the Soviet Union, what it was, what was the nature of its existence, and its legacy. It seems like any time one starts talking about the successes of the USSR, some self righteous person will pop up, and tell you condescendingly how absolutely horrible the USSR really was. Sometimes it really seems that many people are incapable of taking a nuanced view of history, or to even escape the red scare propaganda they’ve had shoved down their throats their whole lives.  So, let’s take a look at some facts about the USSR, it’s place in history, and what it meant for progress and socialism.

Before the Revolution: The Czar and the Serfs

To really understand the USSR, we have to start before it existed; just as we study colonial America to understand the foundations for the establishment of the US. History as we know, is a progression. The USSR didn’t just pop up out of nowhere for no reason.  The Russian Empire was the predecessor to the USSR. The Czar ruled with a heavy hand, and much of the population lived in poverty and servitude. It was only in 1860s that serfdom was abolished, and even then not in a way that actually benefited the serfs. Conditions were absolutely horrible for the millions and millions of subjects of the autocratic Czar. Up until 1861, serfs were essentially slaves, needing permission even to marry. They made up over 80% of the population of the Russian empire, but existed as slaves without rights. When serfdom was abolished, the landlords had their debts paid for by the government, while the serfs had to pay outrageous sums, above market value for the land they had worked their whole lives. This time was characterized by extreme poverty, high suicide rates among the peasants, high disease and death rates and worse. For a huge majority of the country, life was nasty, brutish and short. Meanwhile the Czar in all his imperial hubris, fought needless wars with countries like Japan, draining valuable resources to try to feed his quest for power and imperialism. Then came the last straw, the one that broke the camel’s back. WW1 began with great fanfare for the Emperor, and ended quite badly. He poured the resources of the Russian Empire into the war on Germany. Food and fuel shortages mounted as the Germans blockaded trade routes. Inflation skyrocketed and the lives of low paid workers grew ever dimmer with each passing day. In 1917 things had reached their breaking point, the Army sided with the people, the Emperor abdicated and a people’s Soviet was established that started working with the weak provisional government. How did the empire break? Strikes by workers shut down the economy, further destroying any hope for a populace that would support the war effort. Cities came to a standstill as working people of all kinds simply refused to continue a system that exploited them for so long. These were the birth pangs of a revolution that would forever change the world, and would drastically improve the lives of the Russian people, as well as the peoples of oppressed groups and ethnicities within the Russian Empire. This, in short, was the birth of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. For the first time in their history, the Russian people would  have the reigns of power in their own country.

This is only the first part of my historical discussion of the USSR, and more will come soon. The goal here is to illuminate the historical foundations, and material conditions of the USSR, and the historical and future implications of its existence.

Post Navigation