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First Worldist “left” hacks the 2016 US Presidential Election for Donald J. Trump

First Worldist “Left” hacks US presidential election for Donald J. Trump

by Jacob Brown

(llco.org)

How the First Worldist “left” united with Obama-Clinton regime to bring Trump to power:

One of the more blatantly reactionary examples of pseudo-feminists in action.

With the current “#J20” US Inauguration Day protests against Donald J. Trump, a First Worldist pseudo-feminism is presenting itself as the protests’ main ideological engine, and allowing the CIA, anti-Russian narrative pushed by the US imperialist Democratic Party to buttress questions of “illegitimacy”. (1, 2)  Of course, the purported protection of the reproductive health choices of First World women, while signing onto rhetoric about the supposed necessity of US Marines to help “fight for the global sisterhood” in the Third World has rendered itself hollow to the world’s masses after 15 years of the imperialist “War on Terror”.  Imperialist patriarchy packaged as liberation has produced the worst of both patriarchal worlds for the majority of Third World women, both with the proliferation of misogynistic Western gender culture and with its mirror opposite of imposition of traditional patriarchal gender roles and gender apartheid. It would appear that a repeat of the 2006 US International Women’s Day protests is upon us on “J20”. The 2006 IWD protests saw alleged “communists” marching with the likes of Zionist “feminist” Phyllis Chesler to denounce the Iranian state while NATO troops were imposing imperialist patriarchy in Afghanistan and Iraq. (3) With the current rhetoric being used by First Worldist activists who take their cues from the CIA and Democratic Party, perhaps Russia is the next target for “regime change”. The utilization of “Cold War” militarist rhetoric and pseudo-feminism by the imperialists are but only two dimensions of what these kinds of imperialist politics produces in the real world.

The 2011 Wisconsin protests injected First Worldist economism into the “Arab Spring” as it was beginning in Egypt, following the demonstrations in Tunisia. An example of this includes the infamous photo depicting the false statement “One World, One Pain.” (4) Pretending that the First World majority populations were a natural friend of the Third World had its genesis in this First Worldist fallacy. When the “Arab Spring” found its way into Libya just one month later, this First World “solidarity” was extended to mean NATO providing a free air force for anti-Qaddafi neocolonialist Jihadists. The fall of the Jamahiriya in Libya gave both a material and morale boost to NATO and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which would fuel the “pipeline wars” in Syria for the next 5 years. (5)  “Occupy Wall St.”, and the First Worldist networks that followed it, were advancing First Worldist populism with a vengeance. They continued the social-chauvinist thrust of the Wisconsin protests with anti-imperialist politics given less priority or mostly silenced altogether. A kind of false internationalism was supposedly bringing together social-democrats, anarchists, “left communists”, Maoists, Trotskyists, environmentalists, the EZLN, the social-imperialist parties in Greece, and various “rebels” associated with the US-backed Muslim Brotherhood, based on a rather nebulous idea about “tears in the fabric of history”. (6) These First Worldists, so enthusiastic for the “Arab Spring” in Egypt, were silent on the 2013 mass revolt that overthrew the US-backed stooge Mohammed Morsi (7), with numbers that dwarfed the Tahir Square protests by a factor of 7. (8)

If any population within First World borders was sharing “one pain” with Egyptian masses in either the 2011 or 2013 protests, it would have been the migrants who participated in the May 1, 2006 “Day Without An Immigrant” strike. (9) However, many of those migrants ended up getting deported by the Bush administration in the millions, and by the Obama administration by even greater numbers. First Worldists missed the mark on that issue as well, because too many of them were putting all their energy into pseudo-feminist posturing in tandem with the US State Department and the Zionist entity just 2 months before, or otherwise complaining about the presence of Mexican flags as “nationalist” and “divisive”!

The imperialist pseudo-feminism we saw deployed against Iran in 2006 was also utilized in Libya in 2011, with bogus reports of “Viagra-fueled mass-rapes” advanced by Susan Rice and Hillary Clinton. (10)  Of course, no evidence exists to support such claims, but there is ample evidence and testimony of sub-Saharan migrant African women being kidnapped and raped by the very “Libyan Revolutionaries” hailed as anti-patriarchal heroes in the West. (11) In addition to the pseudo-feminist propaganda track in the prelude to the NATO/GCC aggression against Libya, we had a First Worldist “false nationalism” coming from neocolonialist Libyan exiles that was selectively applied in an attempt to silence any non-Libyan supporter of the Jamahiriya with a potent voice. The “authentic voice of the subaltern” was used to justify NATO’s neocolonialist false “liberation narrative” (12), where juxtapositions such as “Muammar Qaddafi = Bad Dictator / Mahatma Gandhi = Good Liberator” were passing for a theoretically solid approach. (13)  Adding the false narrative of the “impending massacre of Benghazi’s population”, and the list of phony justifications for NATO intervention start to gain support in the realm of First World public opinion.

Matthew VanDyke, the American “Freedom Fighter” mercenary in Sirte during the NATO “revolution” Libya  in , would ask the various manifestations of “Occupy” in the First World for donations to continue his imperialist activity in Syria on the side of the neocolonialist “Free Syrian Army”.  He still breathes in 2017.

As the calls for NATO/GCC/Turkish intervention in Syria were increased, the pseudo-feminist angle was used to less of a degree, with some bogus propaganda about “regime rape rooms” being recycled from the last imperialist adventure in Libya. This time however, the false nationalist narrative was more heavily relied upon. The narrative spinning involved equating the imperialist-backed Muslim Brotherhood in Syria with the legitimate indigenous and African anti-colonial struggles (14), or variably by tokenizing Kurdistan liberation forces as a “Third Camp” (15). It is curious that the loudest voices claiming that the Kurdistan liberation forces were on a “long march to Damascus” to topple the Assad regime were doing so in tandem with the US State Department rhetoric about how “Assad must go”, not unlike what transpired in 2006 with the anti-Iran protests.

To understand why purportedly “anti-war” activist scenes around the First World gave space for neocolonialist identity politics to sell the NATO “revolution” in Libya and ramp up the call for NATO intervention in Syria, we can look at the populist and “critical race theory” trends coming into conflict with each other within formations like Occupy. The deliberate First Worldist populism mostly driving the message of Occupy was bound to come into conflict with other forces in and around the Occupy movement calling for decolonization, the politics of which is inherently at odds with the mantra of “We Are The 99% [of the First World]”, regardless if the particular decolonization politics presented is Leninist, anarchist, bourgeois liberal, or something else purportedly “beyond labels” in content. (16) As the “decolonize” rhetoric in the First World activist circles began to congeal, the populist politics of Occupy waned and ended with the Occupy brand itself becoming defunct. The people involved put away their Guy Fawkes masks and copies of Alinsky’s “Rules For Radicals”, and started to pick up art and/or poetry and Fanon’s “Wretched of the Earth” instead (often to the exclusion of other anti-colonial classics). It became easy for these “radical” First World protest scenes to tokenize pro-Muslim Brotherhood migrants from Palestine, Egypt, and Syria, and accept their neocolonial bogus “decolonial” narratives with unquestioning submission, in tandem with US imperialist “regime change” objectives.

With the uptick of police and paramilitary terrorism against the African diaspora in the United States between 2012-2016, alongside the already existing criminalization of generations of Black youth by the state, the First Worldist activist void left by Occupy was filled with the “Black Lives Matter” network.  This network came together at the same time rebellions were picking up in US cities affected by high profile incidents of police terror like Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, Maryland. Many well meaning veterans of the anti-colonialist movements within the United States had mistakenly believed the myth that the revolutionary spirit of the 1960s was coming back. (17)  As the Democratic Party’s presidential primary elections approached, the original militant anti-colonial thrust of those involved with the Black Lives Matter network was being put on hold in exchange for engaging with Democratic Party candidates over reformist policy issues, and a First Worldist confining of the issue of reparations to the African diaspora within the United States exclusively. (18)   It did not matter what any “official” BLM statement said at that point about refraining from electoral politics, as the horizons of BLM at that point had been limited by both reformist illusions and First Worldist chauvinism. This had practical implications as well, with the noticeable rift causing some around the BLM network to initiate an armed struggle without the material support of a large portion of the network busy with reformist politics.

An example of some weenie First Worldist “communist”  hack that helped pave the way for Trump, like the pseudo-feminist hacks pictured above.

At the same time that BLM was proliferating around the United States, nominally “communist” First Worldist forces were politically capitalizing on conceptions of group identity embraced by the increasingly college student base of the BLM network, smashing several layers of formal and informal First Worldist male dominated leftist groups in the United States and England in sometimes quite public ruptures. However, breaking the hegemony of historical oppressor groups over First Worldist formations did nothing to break the hegemony of First Worldism and social-imperialism in their general orientation. Indeed, even purported “Third Worldist” formations in the First World managed to sneak First Worldism through the back door by denying that most First World women and non-men constitute an enemy gender aristocracy (but use the opposite logic to justify the idea of a labor aristocracy!). (19) In all cases, the results of these social-chauvinist “communist” forces whether they consciously knew it or not, was to slow the progress of building New Power and preparing for Global People’s War. This is even the case when “Global People’s War” or “Third Worldism” is mentioned by these posturing First Worldists, as their penchant for bourgeois identity politics, navel-gazing, and tokenization betrays their true nature.

A parallel First World decolonization movement drawn from indigenous peoples in North America had emerged to confront domestic oil drilling and pipeline construction on indigenous lands. The relatively smaller population size of the indigenous internal colonies (20, 21) in comparison to the African diaspora in the US made for some interesting contrasts in political trajectory. This smaller sized force of mostly indigenous peoples consciously struggle for decolonization before it was trendy in activist circles, to emphasize the preservation of culture in opposition to Euro-American settler-colonialism.  The element of cultural preservation is more pronounced than other historical internal colonies in the US.  How this has played out on the ground, from “Idle No More” to the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipeline blockades has been almost the mirror opposite of the trajectory of BLM. Unlike the social movement network that originated with BLM, the indigenous protests tended to start out essentially with reformist politics and liberal, settler-imperialist boot-licking, and then more militant and uncompromising anti-colonial Native forces followed and increased the militancy (and may continue to do so, winter weather permitting, as of the time of this article’s publishing). It is not clear with a Trump administration allied with the non-Rockefeller wing of the US oil industry (inclined towards domestic oil drilling / piping in the US) (22), and with those identifying as indigenous people in North America at less than 5% of the total US and Canadian population, that anything besides Global People’s War will be able to stop any new settler-colonial “domestic drilling” agenda under the new regime. At the very least, the Native Warriors at Standing Rock have found themselves outside the capacity for First Worldist “Marxists” or the US Democratic party to co-opt them at this time. However, it isn’t likely that these social-imperialists will give up trying to do so, as their public fawning over US military veterans as some kind of “anti-colonial force” to oppose DAPL attests to. (23)

In 2006, the USA was at the lowest point in global public opinion it had been in decades. (24) There was no Leading Light Communism as an independent system operating in the world at that time. If there were, there may have been a basis to “globalize” the anti-imperialist left under Leading Light Communist leadership. Instead, genuine imperialists were stuck with a dogmatic ideological framework that prevented them from “thinking and acting globally”. Rather, many genuine anti-imperialists and friends of the Third World never escaped the left-liberal horizon of “think globally, act locally” for many years.  Only Leading Light Communism provides any real basis for genuine communist politics independent from First Worldist chauvinism promoted by “mainstream” social-imperialist political parties in the First World, and neocolonialist parties selling First Worldist fantasies to the masses of people in the Third World. The First Worldist “left” offers sometimes-true promises to First World bourgeois majority for more imperialist loot, and always-false promises to the world’s majority in the Third World of attaining First World status by adopting imperialist maldevelopment programs. What these First Worldists of all stripes like to ignore is that such false “proletarian internationalism” actually serves to corral people into pro-imperialist politics. This by default includes electing imperialist politicians for US president, despite any pretense by First Worldist “communists” of opposing electoral politics in principle! When First Worldist “communists” confine their notion of “mass line” to First World peoples exclusively, they are forced to essentially come to a synthesis with social-imperialist electoral politics, regardless of their stated inclinations towards some fantasy of “preparing the masses People’s War” in the First World.

The US social-patriot Michael Moore saw all this coming. (25) The white populist movement that started in 2010 as the “Tea Party” politically evolved into the anti-migrant and economic protectionist force that was to be the social base for Trump’s electoral victory, which Trump’s strategic adviser Steve Bannon coined as the “Alt-Right”. Traditional anti-labor, plus free trade conservative politics was turned on its head with Trump’s hostile takeover of the GOP during the Republican presidential primaries, with Donald Trump himself calling for the Republican Party to become an “American Workers Party”. (26)  The identity-based political patchwork combined with the cynical “middle class centrism” that the likes of Bill Clinton and Tony Blair has used to great effect in First World since the fall of the Soviet Union politics were utilized by the Hillary Clinton campaign.  However, the old Democratic Party electoral strategy could not stop Donald Trump’s campaign in a contest for US electoral votes. Along with Michael Moore, surrogates of the US Democratic Party like Van Jones, most of Hollywood, and even Barack Obama himself could not make the liberal politics of the past 25 years work for Hillary Clinton. As Donald Trump himself said many years ago in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, he would only run for president if he thought he could win. (27) Well, the First Worldist “left” set up this whole scenario for Trump to achieve electoral victory.

Without a doubt, the First Worldist “left” worked with Barack Obama and the Democrats to hack the election for Donald J. Trump. It is the nature of their politics, as they have been social-imperialist “hacks” for over a period of 15 years with zero credibility, even amongst their own bourgeois First World social base! The First World “masses” prefer Trump’s new GOP “workers party” to the fantasy “communist” outfits of the First Worldists.

“Daddy Donald wants a big kiss, you precious little First Worldist “leftist” weenies!  You did such a good job at not making revolution, that my ascendancy to USA Emperor was a piece of cake!”

How Leading Light Communists should operate during the ascendance of Trump, Marine Le Pen, Brexit, and the general First World nationalist political trends:

Both paramilitary, white nationalist violence and state repression against Third World migrants in the First World could increase. This could be a catalyst for an explosive May 1st within First World borders.  While their demands are likely to be confined to reformist and First Worldist politics, the connection that migrants have to the Third World masses might make for some great potential Leading Light Communist leaders.  This does not mean that Leading Light Communists should be leading some significant “anti-colonial movement” within First World borders, and such notions will need to be quashed both inside and outside the organization if these ideas find expression.  All that aside, it does mean that there are new opportunities to expose the global capitalist-imperialist system, and put Leading Light Communist politics in command of an emerging anti-imperialist united front.

Current efforts to oppose Trump and other hard right nationalists in the First World are dominated by the “left” First Worldist populists, pro-imperialist pseudo-feminists, and neocolonial and individualist fake posturing around “decolonization” connected to the liberal “globalist” wing of the imperialists.  This is unlikely to change beyond a general “washing out” of the more overtly liberal imperialist forces within such an anti-Trump, unorganized, left leaning coalition.  The commitment to building independent institutions of Dual Power within the First World itself is a noble but ultimately fruitless gesture, with no mass social base for revolution. The same gesture to “not allow US imperialism to go unchallenged” is equally noble yet fruitless if not linked up with the New Power of the Leading Light, based on uniting the world’s exploited in their billions as the driving force for a genuinely militant, material challenge to US/NATO imperialism. Nevertheless, Leading Light Communists in the First World should stay engaged with all people who seek an alternative to the current system, and be ready to impart political education and engage in ideological struggle. (28)

Outside of the First World, the First Worldists have failed terribly at supporting the international united front with their acquiescence to Western imperialist taking points since 2001. Ironically, it is now the right-wing nationalists who have taken up a pretense of “anti-imperialism” and “internationalism”.  Theirs is based entirely on a pan-nationalist framework devoid of any historical perspective on colonialism. (29)  This is why we are faced with the ugly and tenuous First World populist unity of anti-migration and anti-interventionism. This is also why Leading Light Communist politics in command can prevent us from becoming surprised by turns towards fascism from those we once believed were firmly in the progressive anti-imperialist camp. The fact that Donald Trump is very popular among the Egyptian, Syrian and Libyan masses (30, 31, 32) for his anti-NATO/anti-interventionist and anti-Muslim Brotherhood rhetoric during the US presidential campaign, even when often couched in a generalized reactionary anti-Muslim chauvinism suited for Trump’s electoral base in the United States, should be an indication that the First Worldist “left”, especially the “antiwar left” has lost its way on genuine anti-imperialism from a communist perspective. Consider this a wake up call to First Worldist so-called “communists”: These vulnerable populations you claim to represent, chose Donald Trump over you, most likely because of your adherence to outdated social-imperialist programs that puts them last, and not first.

Leading Light Communists can combat both the fake First Worldist “leftists”, and the right-wing usurpers of the anti-imperialist movement. We don’t have to defeat both camps simultaneously, but we need to understand that there cannot be strategic unity in coalition with either of these enemy forces within the anti-imperialist united front. Both the white nationalist imperialist camp and the phony “left wing” social-imperialist camp alike advance a politics that demand more for the First World and less for the Third World. The former wants to build border walls and fences to keep Third World migrants away from the value stolen from them. The latter call for a $15 minimum wage for First World workers exclusively, paid for by the international proletariat. Same politics, but different packaging. As long as the political line of the First Worldist “left” remains fundamentally indistinguishable from the line of white nationalists on questions of global value transfer, superficial differences between the two lines on gender and nation will not matter to the world’s oppressed and exploited majority.

Stopping US imperialism begins with Leading Light Communist politics in command!

The only silver lining about the impending Trump regime would be a temporary pullback of the imperialist military from the Global South early in his term (with the exception of some “hotspots” where there is talk of cooperation against Daesh), as well as a reshuffling of existing First World military alliances like NATO and trade agreements like NAFTA. This could potentially allow an opening for the New Power to expanded into places where it has yet to be built, and to deepen the roots of the New Power where it currently is being built. There is much that Trump is keeping close to his chest, so comrades should be mindful if his international policy rhetoric starts to lean less on making deals and more on stealing resources. This could be an indication that US imperialism is seeking to reimpose itself on the world’s oppressed and exploited majority in a rapid and expansive fashion. (33)  Such an aggressive move by Trump and Exxon’s Rex Tillerson could indeed be the catalyst for unleashing Global People’s War in the future, if the international defense of the New Power of the Leading Light is under such an aggressive imperialist attack.

Help us prepare for the best and worst case scenarios alike, by joining with and donating to the Leading Light Communist Organization! A New Power is being born in this dark world! Cherish and nurture it to total victory with your material solidarity!

Notes:
1. http://heatst.com/culture-wars/womens-march-falling-apart-because-racism-white-privilege/
2. http://www.blackagendareport.com/no_tears_for_john_lewis
3. https://www.prisoncensorship.info/archive/etext/gender/iwd06h.html
4. http://twitpic.com/419nfm
5. Oil & Energy Insider; “IRAN-IRAQ: Pipeline to Syria Ups Ante in Proxy War with Qatar”;
February 22, 2013
6. http://www.humanite.fr/monde/alain-badiou-des-printemps-aux-revolutions-554069
7. https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2013/07/01/on-the-wrong-side-again-inegypt/?utm_term=.d198d11f3235
8. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-egypt-protests-idUSBRE95Q0NO20130630
9. https://www.prisoncensorship.info/archive/etext/mn/mn335.pdf
10. https://levantreport.com/2016/01/04/new-hillary-emails-reveal-propaganda-executions-covetinglibyan-oil-and-gold/
11. http://www.miamiherald.com/latest-news/article1938633.html
12. https://kasamaarchive.org/2011/03/04/libyan-exception-dont-tear-the-sails-of-inspiration/
13. Tidal; “General Strike!”; Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak; December 2011
14. https://bayareaintifada.wordpress.com/
15. https://ncplc.wordpress.com/2014/10/09/neither-assad-nor-nato/
16. https://bayareaintifada.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/video-decolonization-is-not-a-tendency-2013-seattle-anarchist-book-fair-panel/
17. http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/Image_1_20161014_TPP.jpg
18. https://policy.m4bl.org/reparations/
19. https://anti-imperialism.org/2014/11/17/patriarchy-is-not-secondary-rethinking-gender-oppression/
20. http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-10.pdf
21. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/130508/dq130508a-eng.htm
22. http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/12/donald-trump-finally-admits-he-wants-builddapl-pipeline
23. http://abcnews.go.com/US/2000-veterans-arrive-standing-rock-protest-dakota-pipeline/story?
id=43964136
24. http://www.pewglobal.org/database/indicator/1/survey/7/response/Unfavorable/
25. http://michaelmoore.com/trumpwillwin/
26. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/06/us/politics/as-trump-rises-reformocons-see-chance-toupdate-gops-economic-views.html?_r=0
27. http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/what-donald-trump-told-oprah-about-his-presidential-hopesvideo
28. https://www.ungovernable2017.com/
29. http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/02/10/dugins-occult-fascism-and-the-hijacking-of-left-antiimperialism-and-muslim-anti-salafism/
30. https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/egypt/2016-11-29/egypts-unlikely-ardor-trump
31. http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/16/opinions/donald-trump-speech-syria-reaction/
32. https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/libya/2017-01-10/trumpian-peace-deal-libya
33. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySdhGyqGCZk

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On the Occupy movements

On the Occupy movements

(llco.org)

Recently, protests have broken out in many parts of the United States. The biggest of these is the Occupy Wall Street protest. These protests have been getting media attention recently. There is much hype right now claiming that these events are the beginning of an American revolution. It is important to understand the nature of these events. It is important not to be confused by liberal movementarianism. It is important to see through the hype.

1. Diversity of forces. These protests are diverse, but the overall movement is social imperialist and American populist. Like other high-profile protests, these events have a range of forces involved. While there are forces professing to be communist and anti-imperialist among the protesters, these forces do not represent the majority of the protesters by any means. Alex Jones-inspired, rightwing, crackpot populist groups have exerted influence in some places. The protesters also contain more traditionally Democratic Party forces calling themselves the “New American Dream Movement.” The demands are also diverse. While a tiny minority of people are trying to raise awareness about imperialism and its human toll, the dominant rhetoric of the protesters is economic populism and American patriotism. One of the demands is for a “left” version of the Tea Party in order to “take back the Democratic Party.” Typical social democratic and Democratic Party demands for an increased social safety net are also heard. There have been sometimes well-received open calls to reach out to White supremacists, Nazis, the police and military. In some places, despite police brutality against some of the protesters, there is pro-police and pro-military rhetoric, this has obviously kept many non-Whites and youth away. The overall social-fascist and social-imperialist thrust has meant that many national liberation forces and non-Whites are boycotting the protests or keeping them at arm’s length. Many are looking at Occupy movement with skepticism at present. “Occupy Wall Street? Wall Street is already occupied [by the United States]” is often heard.

2. Conspiracy over class? The narrative of the protests is “the people versus the banksters.” The protests claim to pit the “99% percent against the 1%.” This orientation is reflective of the general outlook of many engaged in the protests. They do not see social forces, they see cabals of elites and “banksters” as the main enemy, not the First World, not the global bourgeoisie. On the whole, they do not see capitalism as the enemy. Rather, they see the enemy as a largely invisible and mysterious elite. The main outlook is not even the typical First Worldist outlook of the vanilla revisionists. Such a narrow conception of the enemy makes the question of friends and enemies almost meaningless even within a First Worldist context. It allows for gross opportunism by almost all First Worldist forces.

3. Fan the flames… of what? for what? Movementarianism of a sort predominates within the so-called “far left.” Within the “far left” of American populism, a kind of movementarianism predominates that does not distinguish between social-imperialist struggles and anti-imperialist ones. There is an uncritical “support everything” mentality. Among the vanilla revisionists, there was a method of organizing that said the job of revolutionaries was to seek out the prairie fires that break out and then fan their flames. The question that has to be asked here is “Fanning the flames.. of what? for what?” Politicizing a reactionary social base along economic-nationalist lines is not progressive. This kind of movementarianism is the dominant practice within the political space of the vanilla revisionists, the far left of the Democratic Party and non-profits.  This includes the revisionists who will talk of socialism, communism, and even people’s war, and anti-imperialism, while at the same time fanning all the First World economic nationalism that is serves as the ideological justification for imperialism. On the one hand, they tell people that they deserve their First World way of life — which is based on exploitation and is unsustainable. On the other, they say they support — usually through empty solidarity rhetoric or self-serving revolutionary tourism — those who fight what makes that very First World lifestyle possible, those who fight imperialism against the Third World. When “far-left” First Worldist sects can’t deliver, as they never can, their audience turns toward the next best thing, the Democratic Party or they seek answers in more overtly fascist formations. If you make the key issue an increase in standard of living, what happens when anti-imperialism and First Worldist so-called “communism” doesn’t deliver for First World peoples (as it won’t)? Then they turn to the system, to imperialism and capitalism, which does deliver — at least most of the time at present. Without clear and consistent politics opposing social imperialism, opposing First Worldism, Americans, unless they get stuck in a cult, will always turn back to the Democratic Party because the Democratic Party can deliver to an extent or they will turn to overtly fascist formations.

4. No leaders, no New Power. Even if the government could be toppled, at present, this would result only in cosmetic changes because New Power does not exist in a serious way yet. Leadership does not exist. Without New Power, without leadership, there is no revolution. There are not the independent institutions required to fill the vacuum if the old state falls. People who are new to activism tend to overestimate the importance of street demonstrations. Look at Egypt.  Street protests allowed a regime to reinvent itself. The most important revolutionary work is not protesting. Protesting, in the United States, is a kind of street theater.

5. Rise of overt, militant fascism? With the recent economic downturn, contradictions within American society have heightened, contradictions within the global bourgeoisie have heightened. These contradictions are still non-antagonistic. However, not by a far stretch, is the relationship between the bottom 99% and the top 1%  antagonistic in the First World. They will find resolution within the system in the near future. The overall situation is still one where there is more unity than disunity among the American population as a whole. This is due to the high standard of living made possible through global capitalism-imperialism. We should not overestimate the potential rise of overt, militant fascism at the moment in the United States. In poorer parts of the First World, the potential for the rise of overt, militant fascism is greater.

6. Proletariat? You can’t have a proletarian, socialist, communist revolution without a proletariat. There simply is no significant mass base of communist revolution in the First World. Expecting the populations of the United States to rise up and establish socialism or communism is ridiculous at the moment. We cannot con our way to communism by simply infiltrating movements made up of social forces that oppose us. We cannot simply intrigue our way to power. Although we can use every tool in the toolbox, including conspiring and intrigue, we need to understand that global people’s war and the New Power of the Proletariat is the main vehicle to power.

7. Gather the anomalies. Even though these protests are in themselves not progressive, it is likely that they will contain a small minority of people who can be won to Leading Light Communism or anti-imperialist positions. Put the Leading Light Communist vision front and center. In other words, find those individuals who reject the entire First World way of life. Reject economism. Reject First Worldism. Reject First Worldist so-called feminism. Appeal to the head and heart. Appeal to intelligence and altruism. Look for the most intelligent, the most militant, the most caring.  Look for those people who want a whole new world. Equality. Altruism. Sustainability. Empathy.

8.  Think big. It is not enough to oppose merely 1%, we must oppose the whole First World. This is not a movement we can lead at present. Its programme, although unarticulated, is too reactionary and First Worldist. This does not mean we should not try to influence people at the protests, especially on the edges.. We should criticize First Worldism, economism, White chauvinism, etc. We should influence as many people as possible. We should organize as many as possible under our leadership to oppose the First World and to support Leading Light Communism. We should bring as many as possible in to our fold. If somehow this were transformed into a movement to eliminate the whole First World and establish global equality, we could lead it.

9. Learning moment. For some this will be a big learning moment. We should use the shortcomings of this movement and its inevitible failure (as a revolutionary movement) as a teaching moment. We should point out the problems of demanding a communist world while at the same time advocating First Worldism. The Occupy  movement will fizzle or go into the Democratic Party.  Seize this opportunity to teach. We are growing. We are on fire even though the economic crisis has put some life into the corpse of First Worldism. We have won ideologically. All they have left is huff and puff, just lies, just arrogance.

10. Stay on course. We have the science, the organization, the leadership to initiate the next great wave.

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On May Day and Occupy in the USA

On May Day and Occupy in the USA

(llco.org)

On the first of May, many people celebrate International Workers’ Day or May Day. Even though the day has not always been widely celebrated in the United States, its origins trace back to labor struggles there. May Day commemorates the victims of the Haymarket Massacre in Chicago in 1886. During a general strike by workers in Chicago, USA in 1886, a bomb was thrown by an unknown person. In response, the police fired into the crowd killing many workers. Also, many police died from friendly fire. At the first congress of the Second International in 1889, Raymond Lavigne, called for international demonstrations on the 1890 anniversary of the Chicago protests. In 1891, at the second congress of the Second International, May Day was formally recognized. Later, there were May Day riots in 1894. And in 1904, the International Socialist Conference in Amsterdam called for demonstrations to be held on May Day by social democratic and trade unions to establish the eight hour workday. May Day has since become celebrated in many countries around the world, sometimes as an official holiday. In the old socialist regimes, May Day was often one of their biggest holidays.

In the United States, May Day celebrations have diminished. The official holiday for workers is Labor Day, which is observed on the first Monday in September. Labor Day was established, in part, as an alternative to the radical May Day. Labor Day was promoted by more mainstream, reformist organizations like the Central Labor Union and Knights of Labor. Thus President Grover Cleveland moved the workers’ holiday to the Labor Day celebrated by the more reformist organizations in 1887. Fascist and reactionary states have often worked to eliminate or repress May Day. Even though the state actively worked to draw attention away from May Day, the main reason for the lack of strong May Day demonstrations in the United States can be traced to changes in global class structure. With the rise of US imperialism, the standard of living of workers in the United States increased. More and more concessions were won through reformist struggles. The economic burden was shifted onto Third World peoples. Social peace was won in the First World by increased exploitation and oppression of the Third World. Thus workers in the United States had less and less need of a May Day as workers in the First World became bourgeoisified. May Day became a holiday mostly for insignificant leftist sects and nostalgists. However, in the last decade, May Day has been revived due to protests by migrants in the United States against racism. Even so, May Day protests have been diminishing. The Occupy movement is seeking to revive May Day this year. Although, such a revival can be used by Leading Lights to educate and organize, the premises of the Occupy effort are deeply flawed. The revival of May Day is an honorable goal, however, Occupy profoundly misunderstand the balance of forces globally. A populist attempt to revive May Day, at best, will only gather support from the usual communities of activists and their allies. There may be some spectacles in a few major cities, but the kind of mass outpouring that Occupy expects will not happen. A real general strike will not happen. The general public in the United States simply does not want revolution nor is it in their interest to make real socialist, communist revolution. The conditions for real revolution do not exist in the First World, especially in the United States. The workers here do not have a class interest in uniting with the proletariat in the Third World. Workers in the First World have far more in common with their own overlords than they do with workers, peasants and lumpen in the Third World. Contrary to Occupy’s populist rhetoric, the reality is that most First World peoples are part of the metaphoric global 1 percent, not the global 99 percent. Populist movements in the First World tend to stroke up fascism and social imperialism, not proletarian internationalism. However, such movements will exist whether or not Leading Light participates. At least by participating, Leading Light has some ability to influence some attendees to break left toward internationalism, anti-imperialism, and communism instead of breaking right toward economism, chauvinism, populism, and fascism. Establish a pole for global equality, anti-imperialism and decolonization, revolutionary environmentalism, and Leading Light Communism this May Day. Criticize economism, populism, chauvinism, imperialism and social imperialism, fascism, and First Worldism generally. Participate. Educate. Lead.

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Fidel Castro, Leader of Cuban revolution, passes away

fidel-castro-obituary-slide-p9cb-superjumbo-v6

Fidel Castro, Leader of Cuban revolution, passes away

llco.org

On Friday the 25th of November, 7pm local time, Fidel Castro, the former leader of Cuba, passed away. Fidel Castro served as the leader of Cuba from 1959 to 2008, when he stepped down due to health issues and his advanced age.  Fidel Castro was born on August 13th 1926, and experienced his youth through a period in which Cuba was a neo-colonial asset, a mafia state, and puppet regime of the United States. Although having failed a previous focoist uprising against the Batista dictatorship, with a only a handful of fighters, he led a successful guerrilla war against the Batista regime, with patriotic forces capturing the Cuban state in 1959. He led his country through the turmoil of the “Cuban Missile Crisis” period, and also during the so-called “special period” following the breakup of the social-imperialist USSR in the 1990’s.

We should not sugar coat, or have illusions about the nature of the Cuban state. Although it may share many similarities with past socialist experiments, Cuba is not a socialist society today. The socialism of the Cuban revolution stagnated following its embrace of the “international socialist [sic.] division of labor” of the then social-imperialist Soviet Union under Nikita Khrushchev. Throughout the Cold War, many nationalist and national-liberation forces claimed the “Communist” label, and used communist rhetoric in order to secure support from the Soviet Bloc. It is questionable whether Cuba was ever a socialist state, or whether it was a patriotic regime with social-democratic reforms backed by Soviet aid.  Where Che Guevara embraced the Maoist emphasis on independent socialist development and moving society away from the Law of Value, Castro unfortunately embraced the development model promoted by the revisionist-led Soviet Union.  It was Castro’s leadership during the so-called “special period” that partially corrected this error after the end of Soviet aid in the 1990s.  While this prevented Cuba from economic collapse and maintained its independence from the United States, it did not place Cuba on a path towards communism.

Regardless of the class nature of the Cuban state, Castro’s leadership kept Cuba mostly independent despite the full weight of US imperialism bearing down on him in the form of the Bay of Pigs invasion, naval blockades, and CIA assassination plots. His role as Leader of Cuba, especially during the post-Soviet period was not easy. He led the Cuban people on an anti-imperialist, internationalist path during a time of tremendous turmoil for left wing nationalist regimes in the third world. Although not a communist, he was a brave and principled friend of oppressed people around the world, especially on the African continent. In a pointed historical rebuke to the mistaken foreign policy of Maoists in China after Lin Biao’s demise, it was Fidel Castro’s Cuba that materially defended the MPLA in Angola against the reactionary UNITA/FNLA, who were backed by the United States and China. Leading Light Communists see the socialist development model of Maoist China as superior to Cuba’s integration with the Soviet empire. Nevertheless, there were key instances where Castro and the Cuban regime had a better record of international solidarity with the masses of the Global South than with China in the 1970s.

We hope that the Cuban people will stay true to the anti-imperialist path laid out by Castro during his leadership. Leading Light Communists salute Fidel Castro, and stand with the Cuban people in mourning his loss and celebrating his legacy.
Notes:

1. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/26/world/americas/fidel-castro-dies.html?_r=0

2. http://llco.org/summations-questions-answers/

 

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Who and What are Trotsky-cons?

trotsky1937

Who and What are Trotsky-cons?

(llco.org)

The term “Trotsky-con” has become part of the lexicon of populist paranoia in the First World. Despite its currency with red-baiters and anti-Semites, especially during the years of the Bush administration, the term does correctly refer to the  link between Trotskyism and a certain group of policy thinkers within the new generation of conservatives that emerged after World War 2. The SWP USA, a party from which many Trotsky-cons emerged, feebly dismisses any connection as fascist conspiracy theory, as though the link were a pure invention of the paranoid delusions of Lyndon LaRouche and Pat Buchanan. (1) Despite their protests to the contrary, there are deep theoretic links between Trotskyism and imperialism. Neo-con Stephen Schwartz proudly defends his Trotskyist past and prefers that “neo-cons” be called “Trotsky-cons.” (2) He goes so far as to say he will defend Trotsky “To my last breath, and without apology.” (3)

Very early on, Trotsky was engaged in various power struggles within the Soviet Union against the proletarian line of Lenin and Stalin. As early as 1926, in the infamous Clemenceau Declaration, Trotsky sought to use imperialist invasion of the Soviet Union as a way for his forces to seize power. Just as the Bolsheviks were able to take power during World War 1, Trotsky saw his forces similarly positioned to seize power. Into the 1930s, as Europe was polarized between fascists and anti-fascists, Trotsky, even though he criticized fascism, he did not see fascist invasion as the main danger.  Once again, Trotsky increasingly saw Stalin as the main danger to the Soviet Union, even on the eve of World War 2. Once one understands the essence of Trotskyism, it becomes apparent why one of the only times that Trotsky supported national liberation was for the Ukraine in 1939. (4) Trotsky advocated civil war in the Soviet Union and Ukrainian succession on the eve of Nazi invasion:

“In the Russian Bulletin of the Opposition (82-3), February-April, 1940, the following long paragraph appeared in place of the opening two sentences of the Sunday Express version: ‘…I consider the main source of danger to the USSR in the present international situation to be Stalin and the oligarchy headed by him. An open struggle against them, in the view of world public opinion, is inseparably connected for me with the defense of the USSR.” (5)

No doubt Trotsky saw his Clemenceau Declaration in the 1920s and, later, de facto support for the Nazis as having a parallel with 1917. Trotsky was hoping that an imperialist invasion of the Soviet Union, even one carried out by the Nazis, could catapult him to power just as the German invasion of World War 1 was a factor in the October Revolution of 1917. Trotsky was hoping to turn an imperialist war into his own brand of “revolutionary war” against Stalin and Soviet socialism. Trotsky saw himself riding to power on the backs of Nazi tanks. Just as Lenin’s strategy of turning imperialist invasion into revolutionary war has been named “revolutionary defeatism,” Trotsky’s strategy could be called “counter-revolutionary defeatism” since it turns Lenin on his head.

This extreme reactionary position is one element of Trotsky’s politics, a very important one. However, this does not exhaust Trotsky’s politics. Trotsky held contradictory, conflicting, confused positions, which is why Trotsky, at the same time, can appear to be anti-imperialist and anti-fascist. It took another, Trotsky’s follower, Max Shachtman, to work out the kinks, to put forward a more coherent form of Trotsky’s counter-revolutionary defeatist line. Shachtman called Stalinism, “the new barbarism.” In 1939, following the Soviet invasion of Finland, Shachtman followed James Burnham in arguing against the SWP USA’s nominal and weak-kneed defense of the USSR. They argued that the Soviet Union was not socialist and did not even deserve nominal support. Shachtman came to support the Western imperialists against the Soviet Union. Like Trotsky, Shachtman came to see Stalin as the main danger to the world. Like Trotsky, who agreed to testify on the crimes of Stalin to the anti-communist witch hunters in the Congress of the United States,  Shachtman was not above selling himself to the imperialists. The original Trotsky-cons, like Shachtman, are those who evolved from supporters of Trotsky’s so-called “Fourth International” into Cold Warriors for Western imperialism. If Trotsky is the father of the Trotsky-con movement, Max Shachtman is its mother. In addition, there has emerged a second generation of high profile intellectual Trotskyists, who mostly came of age in the 1960s and 1970s, who, like the earlier Trotsky-cons, have converted to become stooges for U.S. empire. Trotsky continues to have imperialist offspring, even to this day there is another generation of First Worldist, so-called socialists who support imperialism for similar reasons.

Although twisted opportunism surely played a role  in uniting Trotskyists and empire, the roots of the Trotsky-con phenomenon are much deeper, found within the ideology of Trotskyism itself. At the core of Trotskyism is the Theory of Productive Forces and its twin, the Theory of Permanent Revolution. The Theory of Productive Forces overemphasizes economic development as a factor in advancing revolution. According to such a  mechanical misreading of historical materialism, a society is unable to build socialism if it has not developed an economic base that approximates that of Western Europe at the time; it is, according to such Trotsky-cons and those with similar outlooks, impossible to build socialism unless a country has already gone through Western style capitalism. Much of Maoism is a rejection of and answer to this kind of phony Marxism. Mao showed how it was possible to bridge the gap between the most backward semi-feudal conditions and socialism with his theory of New Democracy. Mao showed how by harnessing the power of the masses, a communist party can lead countries whose development has been stunted by imperialism forward to socialism. The whole history of socialism validates Mao’s view. In the 1930s, under Stalin’s leadership, the Soviet Union had developed socialism at a breakneck pace in unfavorable conditions. Stalin had correctly predicted that it was necessary to build socialism as rapidly as possible; Stalin famously said the Soviet Union must catch up to the West or be annihilated. Not only were the Soviet masses able to build an economic base, they did so while making ever greater strides toward proletarian democracy. By the 30s, the Theory of Productive Forces had been refuted in practice by the living example of the Soviet achievement. By the late 30s, there was no excuse for anyone to uphold the Theory of Productive Forces or Permanent Revolution. Yet Trotskyists continued to ignore the reality in front of them. They continued to reject “Socialism in One Country” on a priori grounds. As Harry Haywood correctly points out, Trotskyist veered between defeatism and utopianism:

“From late 1922 on, Trotsky made a direct attack on the whole Leninist theory of revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat. He denied the possibility (and necessity) of building socialism in one country, and instead characterized that theory as an abandonment of Marxist principles and a betrayal of the revolutionary movement. He published his own theory of “permanent revolution,” and he contended that a genuine advance of socialism in the USSR would become possible only as a result of a socialist victory in the other industrially developed nations.

While throwing around a good deal of left-sounding rhetoric, Trotsky’s theories were thoroughly defeatist and class collaborationist. For instance, in the postscript to Program for Peace, written in 1922, he contended that “as long as the bourgeoisie remains in power in the other European countries, we shall be compelled, in our struggle against economic isolation, to strive for agreement with the capitalist world; at the same time it may be said with certainty that these agreements may at best help us to mitigate some of our economic ills, to take one or another step forward, but real progress of a socialist economy in Russia will become possible only after victory of the proletariat in the major European countries.” (6)

Many Trotskyists rejected the possibility of socialism in the backward Soviet Union, or they rejected socialism there as “deformed.” According to view of Trotsky’s Permanent Revolution, real socialism’s only hope was for a more developed country to come to the aid of the Bolsheviks. Those who uphold this position today state that revolution in the underdeveloped countries of the Third World is impossible without the help of the “advanced” First World. So, they argue, it is necessary to have a revolution in Western Europe or the United States in order to develop socialism in the  the Third World generally. For these reasons, Trotsky and his modern followers reject the idea that the principal contradiction in the world is between imperialist and exploited nations. They see national liberation movements as incapable of making real proletarian revolution in Third World conditions. They are First World chauvinists who uphold versions of both the Theory of Productive Forces and Trotsky’s Theory of Permanent Revolution. This kind of position is echoed today by many overt Trotskyists and many covert ones. Such a view is found, for example, in the writings of many who were in the orbit of the RIM, another defunct fourth international.

James Burnham and Max Shachtman carried Trotsky’s criticism of Stalin to its conclusion. Not only was the mode of production in the Soviet Union not socialist, its mode of production was “bureaucratic collectivist,” worse than capitalism. Shachtman even suggested it was based on slave labor. (7) Anti-communist conservatives and liberals had long made exactly these kinds of claims. Thus it wasn’t long before Shachtman was on the side of the Unites States in the Cold War. Such Trotskyists end up supporting Western imperialism as progressive because it allegedly brings development, paving the way for future social change. In other words, Western-style capitalism and modernity are prerequisites to socialism. And, they argue, since imperialism brings Western-style capitalism and modernity, imperialism is progressive and should be supported. Such lines are CIA lines. Not surprisingly, it wasn’t long before such “communists” dropped any pretense to socialism at all. After abandoning any pretense of socialist revolution, the Trotsky-cons opted to use imperialism to export Western liberalism and modernity as, what they saw as, the best realistic option for the world. Stephen Schwartz noted the parallels between Bush’s grand designs of nation-building and exporting Western modernity with Trotsky’s Permanent Revolution in Bush’s Second Inaugural Address:

“‘The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands.’ This sounds like it came right out of Trotsky’s bottle: The survival of socialism in the Soviet Union increasingly depends on the success of socialism in other lands. Neo-con Stephen Schwartz said that ‘those who are fighting for global democracy should view Leon Trotsky as a worthy forerunner.’” (8)

Trotsky’s Theory of Productive Forces, Theory of Permanent Revolution, and criticism of socialism as it existed in the Soviet Union, are linked. There is a clear path from Trotsky’s First World chauvinism to the imperialism expressed in paternalistic terms by the neo-conservatives. It is no accident that ex-Trotskyists became Reaganites and the movers and shakers establishment far-right policy thinkers. James Burnham founded National Review. Some of these new conservatives passed through Shachtmanite Young People’s Socialist League at one point or another or passed through the Socialist Party when Schachtman was still a leading figure.  Jeane Kirkpatrick, Joshua Muravchik, Carl Gershman, Penn Kemble are worth mentioning. (9) Ex-Trotskyist and Public Interest founder Irving Kristol (father of William Kristol editor of the Weekly Standard) founded an anti-Soviet CIA front, the International Congress for Cultural Freedom. (10) (11) Kristol wrote in 1983 that he was a “proud” member of Trotsky’s Fourth International in 1940. (12) Public Interest co-editor Nathan Glazer was close to the Trotskyist movement. (13) Also, defense intellectual Albert Wohlstetter had been a Shachtmanite in the late 1940s. Later, he was mentor to Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle. (14) (15) These figures were the brainpower behind much of the conservative revival in the past decades.

There is another trend worth mentioning who are similar to Trotsky-cons, but do not identify as conservatives. Christopher Hitchens, an ex-Trotskyist, has been moving in a similar direction as  Trotsky-cons. Hitchens revels in his new found fame as one of the top promoters of war against Afghanistan and Iraq. Faux News never misses a chance to give Hitchens a soapbox to condemn “Islamofascism” and the anti-war movement. Hitchens was also a consultant to the Bush administration despite still claiming to be some kind of “leftist.” Because of his imperial “leftism,” Hitchens, like Sidney Hook who traveled Trotskyist circles and later worked for the CIA, is similar to Trotsky-cons, but is outside their conservative milieu. Some compare him more to the anti-Soviet liberals of the Cold War era. Even so, the underlying phenomenon is similar whether it is Hitchens or Irving Kristol. If one believes that socialism is impossible in the Third World, where development is lacking, one can easily come to see the “civilizing mission” and “manifest destiny” of the West as progressive and necessary — even though, as Lenin understood, decadent imperialism plays no progressive role in the contemporary world.

Another variation is the development of crypto-Trotskyism. Crypto-Trotskyism is Trotskyism under a Maoist cover. It is Trotsky’s Permanent Revolution disguised under false praise for the Cultural Revolution. For example, the RCP USA, at one point, claimed to be a Maoist party even though they rejected global people’s war as Lin Biaoism. (16)  In his infamous Conquer the World, their leader Bob Afakean, in all but name, upholds Trotsky’s Theory of Permanent Revolution and Theory of Productive forces. RCP USA advanced the claim that socialist revolutions can’t be sustained in the Third World without revolution carrying over into the developed First World, “the imperialist citadels.” Like Trotskyists before them, they sought to coordinate Third and First World revolutions through a fourth international led by First World organizations whose revolutions were deemed key, more important than those in the Third World. Thus they turn the Maoist truth, articulated by Lin Biao, that “the whole cause of world revolution hinges on the revolutionary struggle of Asian, African, and Latin American peoples” on its head. They see the First World as the key, not the Third. With such a reactionary ideology, it is no surprise that they have disrupted and spread confusion within the communist movement worldwide.  Today, their Trotsky-con kin denounce “Islamo-fascism,” and the crypto-Trotskyists join the choir with their attacks against Iran. What kind of “Maoist” party holds anti-Iranian demonstrations in a climate where the imperialists are imposing sanctions and on the verge of military action? In fact, their Iranian fraternal party echos Trotsky when it writes that the Islamic state as a bigger enemy than the United States. They issue statements that parrot the imperialist denunciation of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program and the alleged treatment of women there. They, along with RCP USA and similar groups, were de facto supporters of the recent CIA-backed attempted color revolution in Iran. What is really going on is that the Iranian “Maoists” implicitly seek a confrontation between the imperialists and the Islamic regime in order to advance their own interests, like Trotsky. Along with upholding, in all but name, the Theory of Productive Forces and the Theory of Permanent Revolution, RCP USA and its allies  increasingly attacksthe record of Lenin, Stalin and Mao in the same terms as the Cold War anti-communists. (17) They criticize revolutionary nationalism and reject the true Communists who understand that the vast majority of the First World population is thoroughly reactionary. These are not merely opportunist errors of Maoist organizations, they are systematic, reactionary errors. (18)(19) (20) This isn’t too say that there are not legitimate criticisms to be made of the communist tradition. However, the criticisms made by the Trotskyists and crypto-Trotskyists are, even when they happen to be correct, part of a reactionary package that must be rejected as a whole. Even a broken clock is right twice a day, but that is not any incentive to buy the broken clock.

Contrary to Trotskyist claims, the experiences of the Soviet Union and China are proof that it is possible to build socialism in unfavorable conditions. In fact, revolutions are always born in unfavorable conditions. Revolutions happen, as Lenin stated, in the weakest links. They happen when the old society is failed. The proletariat and its allies are very resilient. They have shown that they can overcome the problem of development. By the end of the Stalin era, for example, the Soviet Union had become an atomic power and had become a match for the West technologically. They had raised life expectancy to nearly the level of the West. (21) Real existing socialism has shown that development and empowerment of the masses is not an antagonistic contradiction. Empowering the masses is key to development, as Mao understood. The Soviet Union and China, under proletarian leadership, traversed in a few decades what took hundreds of years and the bloody legacy of imperialism to accomplish in the imperialist nations.

According to Trotsky-con Stephen Schwartz, there is “a psychological, ideological and intellectual continuity” between Trotskyism and conservatism. (22) Some might suggest that these Trotskyist-to-conservative political evolutions are accidental, just coincidence. Although similar conversions can be found among the social democratic “left,” which has been hostile to communism from the outset, it would be hard to find such a congealed group of Washington ideologues coming out of any other trend claiming to be “socialist.” At bottom, Trotskyism is First Worldism. It fights for the First World against the Third World. In this respect, it is not different than any number ideologies in the First World, including fascism. Long before they embraced conservatism, the Trotsky-cons were advocating imperialism and White chauvinism. All Trotskyists are Trotsky-cons at heart.

Notes

1. Sam Manuel. “Jew-hatred, red-baiting: heart of claims of ‘neo-con’ conspiracy ” The Militant Vol. 68/No. 24 June 28, 2004 http://www.themilitant.com/2004/6824/.html

2. Dale Vree. “What Is A Neocon? & Does It Matter?” New Oxford Review December 2005
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news//posts

3. Stephen Schwartz. “Trotskycons? Pasts and Present.” National Review June 11, 2003 http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment-schwartz.asp

4. Writings of Leon Trotsky, , “Ukrainian Independence and Sectarian Muddleheads.” Pathfinder Press, New York: 1973. Also see: http://www.etext.org/Politics/MIM/classics/text.php?mimfile=trotskyukraine.txt

5. Leon Trotsky. Writings of Leon Trotsky: NY: Merit Publishers, p. 124 (quoted from MIM, http://www.etext.org/Politics/MIM/classics/text.php?mimfile=trotskystalin.txt)

6. Harry Haywood. Black Bolshevik Liberator Press Chicago, Illnoisa USA 1978 p 178

7. Tony Cliff. The theory of bureaucratic collectivism:A critique 1948 http://www.marxists.org/archive/cliff/works/1948/xx/burcoll.htm#n12

8. Stephen Schwartz. “Trotskycons? Pasts and Present.” National Review June 11, 2003 http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment-schwartz.asp

9. John B. Judis. Trotskyism to Anachronism: The Neoconservative Revolution Foreign Affairs, July – August 1995 http://www.foreignaffairs.org/19950701fareviewessay5058/john-b-judis/trotskyism-to-anachronism-the-neoconservative-revolution.html

10. Leon Hadar. “The “Neocons”: From the Cold War to the “Global Intifada”” April 1991 http://www.washington-report.org/backissues/0491/.htm

11. Paul Greenberg. “The ‘Shocked’ Treatment” Commentary December 9, 2005 http://www.washingtontimes.com/commentary/-1714r.htm

12. Flirting with Fascism June 30, 2003 http://www.amconmag.com/06_30_03/feature.html

13. John B. Judis. Trotskyism to Anachronism: The Neoconservative Revolution Foreign Affairs, July – August 1995 http://www.foreignaffairs.org/19950701fareviewessay5058/john-b-judis/trotskyism-to-anachronism-the-neoconservative-revolution.html

14. http://www.lycos.com/info/albert-wohlstetter–paul-wolfowitz.html

15. Trotsky’s ghost wandering the White House National Post June 07, 2003
http://www.prisonplanet.com/trotskys_ghost_wandering_the_white_house.htm also see

16. Bob Avakian. For a Harvest of Dragons. RCP Publications. USA:1983. p 150-151. “ ….to cling to at least aspects of Lin Biao-ism. Lin Biao was a top leader of the communist Party of China in the 1960s and he is associated with the line of singling out U.S. imperialism for a common onslaught from the “third world,” with simultaneous national liberation wars defeating U.S. imperialism throughout the “third world,” and even possibly destroying it altogether. His line (as expressed in a 1965 pamphlet [written by Lin Biao], Long Live The Victory of People’s War) represented the absolutizing of what was then the principal contradiction in the world (between oppressed nations and imperialism) — raising it out of context of world relations and contradictions in which it actually exists and treating it as a thing unto itself and virtually the only significant contradiction in the world. While recognizing the existence of revolutionary situations and favorable revolutionary prospects in many countries in the “third world” it exaggerated this into a tendency to treat the “third world” as an undifferentiated whole, ripe everywhere for revolution. Related to this, in upholding the importance of armed struggle as a necessary means for replacing the old order with the new and insisting on the fact that in many places in the “third world” it was possible and necessary to make armed struggle the main and immediate form of struggle — in opposition to the Soviet revisionist line that attempted to make economic development the main task in the “third world” neo-colonies — Lin Biao’s line exaggerated this to a point of virtually insisting that everywhere in the “third world” revolutionary warfare could and must be launched right away (in Long Live the victory, whether one dares to wage a people’s war is made the touchstone of distinguishing Marxism-Leninism from revisionism). As part of this whole line, the objective fact that the proletarian revolution had been delayed in the imperialist countries and that there was as yet no proletarian revolutionary movement there was absolutized, so that the prospect of such revolution in the imperialist countries was all but dismissed…
…But to attempt to cling to Lin Biaoism in the world situation of today, with all its profound changes since the 1960s, including the principal contradiction, can only have very serious and disastrous consequences…”

17. Bob Avakian. From Ike to Mao And Beyond Insight Press USA:2005 p 241-245

18.  Bob Avakian in a Discussion with Comrades on Epistemology-
On Knowing and Changing the World Revolutionary Worker #1262, December 19, 2004 http://revcom.u s/a/1262/avakian-epistemology.htm

19. Bob Avakian. Conquer The World https://irtr.org/archive/marxleninmao.proboards43.com/index797a223fb67a05dea8905ab852594d01.html?board=math&action=display&thread=

20. Bob Avakian. From Ike to Mao And Beyond Insight Press USA:2005 p 245

21. Maoist Internationalist Movement. Stalin page http://www.etext.org/Politics/MIM/faq/sovietcomputers.html

22 Trotsky’s ghost wandering the White House National Post June 07, 2003
http://www.prisonplanet.com/trotskys_ghost_wandering_the_white_house.htm

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Which side are you on?

revisionism

Which side are you on?

(llco.org)

There are many characteristics of the New Power of the Leading Light, the Dictatorship of the Proletariat.  The New Power is the collection of revolutionary institutions created to replace the Old Power, the bourgeois state, institutions of civil society, etc. Leading Light states:

“Marx wrote that the old society is pregnant with the new. The New Power is, in part, the new state in miniature that arises within the old society. For awhile, both the Old Power and New Power exist side by side, which is why Lenin called this phenomenon “dual power.” The New Power is composed of independent institutions of the oppressed. The New Power includes the network of people’s institutions led by the Communist Party that rise up within the old society to challenge the Old Power. All of these institutions are directed by communist leadership to battle for hegemony with and, eventually, sweep away and displace the Old Power. In Lenin’s time, the main organs of the New Power were the Soviets, or worker’s councils. The Bolsheviks, led by Lenin, rejected the call to participate in a coalition government within the old state. Instead they demanded ‘All power to the Soviets!’”

The institutions that make up the New Power must move toward and aim at Leading Light Communism, the end of all systematic oppression. To achieve this the New Power has to be led by the most advanced revolutionary science. This means that the New Power is led by the Leading Light. These are important features of the New Power. However, there are other important aspects of the New Power.  The New Power is a state of a new type in miniature. And, as Lenin pointed out, all states by their nature are instruments of class rule. All states have a dictatorial aspect whether they are outwardly democratic or authoritarian. Thus the New Power is an instrument of class rule. It is an instrument by which one class oppresses another. The New Power is a weapon that the proletariat wields against the reactionary classes. Mao quoting Lenin:

“Why did Lenin speak of exercising dictatorship over the bourgeoisie? This question must be thoroughly understood. ‘Lack of clarity on this question will lead to revisionism. This should be made known to the whole nation.’”

One of the underlying themes of revisionist literature is the denial of the necessity of the New Power,  the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, as an instrument of class rule by which the proletariat protects and advances the revolution against reactionary classes. A common theme of revisionism is rejecting the need to destroy exploiting and oppressing classes as classes, destroying Old Power. A common theme of revisionism is to deny this aspect of the New Power in favor of collaboration with the class enemy.

The New Power should be understood as the most advanced scientific rule by those social groups that have a material interest in the elimination of all systematic oppression. The New Power is the most scientific rule by those social groups with an interest in Leading Light Communism over those that do not. While it may be true that all humans, conceived in the abstract, have an interest in ending all oppression, the reality is that humans are situated in social structures, in the here and now. Aristotle famously stated that humans are social animals. The human experience is always already situated in society, mediated by society. Thus individuals occupy very different positions in existing social hierarchies. An individual’s social position tends to determine the potential range of an individual’s behavior. People with wealth and power tend to seek to preserve the system that has given them wealth and power. For the rich and powerful to seek to preserve and expand their position and power is for them to be class consciousness. When they act to preserve or increase their position, they are acting in accordance with their class interest. At times, those without wealth and power can also seek to preserve the power of their exploiters and oppressors.  However, in such cases, the poor are acting against their own class interests. Therefore, when the poor act to preserve the system, they have false consciousness because they are acting against the interests of those in similar social positions. False consciousness amongst the poor is very common because they lack education, organization and proletarian leadership. The exploited and oppressed are taught that the system is just and necessary. Even so, because the poor are exploited and oppressed, they have less interest in maintaining the system. The poor, as a group, can be motivated for revolution in a way that the wealthy cannot be. The poor can be mobilized to fight for their class interest for revolution. This is why the proletariat, the global poor, is the social base for revolution just as the bourgeoisie, the global wealthy, is not. The job of the Leading Light Communist is to advance the class consciousness of the global poor, to give them to tools to liberate themselves, to arm the poor with revolutionary organization and science, to build New Power, to serve and lead the people.

The revisionist rhetoric from Kautsky to Khrushchev to Liu Shaoqi to Deng Xiaoping, in various ways, rejects the class nature of power, especially state power. Instead, the revisionist downplays or outright rejects the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, the New Power, as an instrument of class rule over the exploiters and oppressors.  Their rhetoric states or implies an abandoning of the goal of communism in favor of  a dictatorship of the whole people, of all social classes. Instead of advocating proletarian New Power to eliminate all class, they advance the position that all social classes can live in harmony, that the contradictions between social groups can all be mediated through the state, and, ultimately, through themselves. Lenin criticized the outlook of the social democrats that sought to eliminate contradictions within their own countries by cannibalizing other countries through imperialist war. Later, fascists would adopt a similar view to the social-democratic imperialists of Lenin’s day. They saw the state, as an expression of nation, as standing above social conflict, above class struggle. Mao identified a new type of bourgeoisie that had arisen in the Soviet Union and China to reverse the revolution. This new bourgeoisie expressed itself in similar terms. They tended to see themselves as a technocratic, managerial elite above class struggle. Whatever their self-conceptions and rhetoric, the reality is that their rhetoric is an expression of class struggle by the bourgeoisie against the proletariat. They restored capitalism by neutralizing and suppressing class struggle by the exploited and oppressed in the name of social harmony. They rejected the state as an instrument of class war. The revisionists did not do so openly at first. They sought to mask their bourgeois nature.  Later, after their counter-revolutions were completed and capitalism restored in the Soviet Union and China, the revisionists openly declared their capitalist sympathies. However, at first, they “waved the red flag to oppose the red flag.” In order to expose revisionism, it is necessary to see through its many disguises. Study the past.

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The first eight words of Mao’s Selected Works are: “Who are our enemies? Who are our friends?” Mao called the question of friends and enemies the question of first importance for revolutionaries. To answer this question incorrectly can transform a communist into a fascist. To answer it incorrectly can turn a servant of the people into a servant of Empire. To answer it incorrectly can lead to a rejection of the New Power, of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, in favor of the bourgeoisie. Today, First Worldism is one of the main forms of revisionism. First Worldism intersects with almost all other forms of revisionism. Two of the most common and poisonous revisionist forms are First Worldist feminism and First Worldist workerism. Both fail to understand the correct balance of forces in the world. First Worldists answer the question of friends and enemies incorrectly.  Thus, like the revisionists of old, they end up rejecting class struggle by the real proletariat in the Third World in favor of social unities that do not exist. They end up serving the bourgeoisie in its attempts to neutralize class struggle by the proletariat. The First Worldists dumbly claim that a basis for unity exists between most First World and most Third World peoples even though all evidence points to the contrary. They agitate on behalf of “all workers” without pointing to the fact that First World workers have long ceased to be part of the proletariat, that they have long entered the ranks of the bourgeoisie. First World workers are really just a First World working bourgeoisie. First Worldists agitate on behalf of “all women,” which mostly means First World women, without pointing out that the privilege of First World women is to a large degree a result of the imperialist, semi-feudal, patriarchal oppression of Third World women and men. First Worldists do not advocate the New Power of the proletariat of the Third World over the First World. They do not advocate for a reduction of First World privilege and power. Instead, they advocate more privilege and power for enemy classes, more privilege and power for most First World peoples. In the real world, this means a tightening of the screws on Third World peoples, including Third World workers, Third World women and men. When First Worldists agitate on behalf of the working bourgeoisie of the First World or the First World gender aristocracy, they are agitating for more privilege and power to those who already have more than their fair, equal share on the global level. They agitate for those whole lifestyles and privilege are incompatible not only with socialism, but incompatible with planetary survival. Some First Worldists tell their audiences in the First World that they are entitled to their wasteful consumerist lifestyles. Other First Worldists teach they are entitled to more “alternative lifestyles,” “community,” “gardens,” “wild spaces,” counter-culture, etc. This isn’t to say it is always wrong to agitate around “alternative lifestyles,” “community,” “gardens,” “wild spaces,” counter-culture, etc. However, such agitation must be done so under Leading Light leadership, within the context of Global People’s War, with politics firmly in command. Such agitation has to be done in the context of strengthening the New Power and reduction of First World entitlement. Despite superficial differences in style amongst First Worldists, they all agitate on behalf of First World groups for more entitlement. Whether it is a shopping mall or a hippy commune, both exist on Indigenous land, both exist within the context of Empire. Agitating for more First World entitlement implies more imperialism against the Third Word to prop up the diverse range of lifestyle options for First World peoples. Whatever the intentions of the First Worldists, they objectively advocate for less for Third World peoples, including the vast majority of those who work and the vast majority of women. And what happens when the small pockets of First Worldist sects and collectives cannot deliver on their utopian promises to raise everyone’s boat globally? Those they politicized, the lower and middle strata in the First World, will turn to those who may deliver the promise to increase First World privileges. First World lower and middle strata will back their own overlords in yet more imperialist policies and wars in order to receive the increase in power and privilege that the First Worldists have claimed they so deserve. Similarly, First World women align over and over with First World men against both Third World women and men. Just as First World workers have been transformed into a labor aristocracy, a type of new bourgeoisie, due to imperialism, so too have First World women been transformed into a global gender aristocracy, an aristocracy made up of First World men and First World women that align against Third World men and Third World women. In whatever forms they take, the social-democratic expansion of life options in the First World is connected to the restriction of life options in the Third World.  Expressions of First Worldism in the First World are always expressions of Empire:

“There is the socially conservative fascism of the Nazis and there is the social fascism that disguises itself as ‘left,’ ‘liberal,’ ‘social-democratic,’ ‘socialist,’ ‘communist,’ ‘feminist,’ etc… The Leading Light is about ending all oppression, including all gender and sexual oppression. However, one does not fight gender oppression globally by creating a happier empire, by creating more privilege in the First World, by smoothing over contradictions among First World enemies. Unless such work is providing some service to the Leading Light such activism simply becomes another face of the system.”

First Worldism has many faces. First Worldists can be more openly fascist or they can be wolves in sheep’s clothing. First Worldism has many flags, the pink or rainbow flag of liberal Empire and the black flag of traditionalism. They can even wrap themselves up in red, leftism, humanism, utopianism, hippy and new-age counterculture, etc. Mao warned us of those who “wave the red flag to oppose the red flag.” Regardless, First Worldism of all colors is reactionary. First Worldism rejects the New Power of the proletariat in favor of advancing class enemies. It is yet another face of the Old Power. Ultimately, First Worldists deny that an antagonistic contradiction exists between the First World and Third World, between the First World working bourgeoisie versus Third World workers. They deny that an antagonistic contradiction exists between First World women versus Third World women. First Worldism rejects class struggle in favor of non-existent social unities. Whatever the First Worldist intentions, the result is imperialism. By contrast, the New Power of the Leading Light is an instrument of proletarian rule. The New Power is an expression of the Global People’s War by the Leading Light against the First World and its agents. The New Power will be imposed on the First World whether the people of the First World desire it or not. The New Power is an instrument of global equality and sustainability. The New Power is a weapon to abolish the wealth and power of the First World.  The New Power is an instrument of rule by the global proletariat over its enemies. The New Power fights against the First World as a whole, including the global bourgeoisie and gender aristocracy. As Marx stated, “the proletariat cannot achieve victory without breaking the resistance of the bourgeoisie, without forcibly suppressing its enemies.” Today, this means breaking the resistance of the First World as a whole, including the First World working bourgeoisie, First World men and women. The New Power of the Leading Light is a mighty weapon to elevate the Third World in its struggle against exploitation and oppression.

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Oxfam’s lie that richest 85 people as “wealthy” as the bottom 3.5 billion

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Oxfam’s lie that richest 85 people as “wealthy” as the bottom 3.5 billion

(llco.org)

We have all heard it or read it in some version or another. We have all seen some version of the sensationalist statistic that 85 people at the top own the same amount of wealth as the bottom 3.5 billion. The statistic recently made it into numerous mainstream papers when Oxfam, the anti-poverty charity, affirmed the statistic in a 2014 report. It is a statistic often used by people to attempt to refute Leading Light Communism. They say “if 85 people own the same as the bottom 3.5 billion” then the First World middle strata can’t be siphoning off as much, consuming as much, as the Leading Light claims. They say Leading Light must be wrong when Leading Light says we have to not only reduce the standard of living for the very top, but we have to lower the standard of living for most of the First World too, including the First World working class. They say that if 85 individuals are really the main problem, then just overthrowing the very top percentage richest people ought be enough to dramatically even out the standard of living for the whole planet. Thus, the First Worldists say, Leading Light is wrong when it says that the middle strata of the First World will not gain materially from socialism. Thus, they say, the Leading Light is wrong when it says First World workers and ordinary people are not a proletariat, but an enemy of the proletariat. Who is right?

The original sensationalist statistic comes from Oxfam. Oxfam has done decent work compiling data on global poverty, but the statistic is a joke. In addition, the joke has wings. All kinds of other people and organizations have modified it to suit their needs. The statistic has a life of its own. No doubt, we will be hearing about it 10 years from now. There are numerous versions of the statistic floating around, but they all share the same flaw as the original Oxfam statistic. The statistic is so misleading that it is not an exaggeration to call it a lie. Felix Salmon, who has written elegantly on this topic, discusses the history of the statistic:

“The meme is older than the 2014 report. It started, back in 2011, with the Waltons: six members of the family, we were repeatedly told, were worth as much as the bottom 30% of all Americans combined. In the Oxfam version, the world’s top 80, or top 67, or top 85 richest people have the same wealth as the bottom half of the global population. The latest report has a new twist: it adds up the total wealth of the top 1%, and tries to work out how that compares to the wealth of the bottom 99%.

How does Oxfam arrive at its conclusions? When it’s just adding up a few dozen people at the very top, it’s easy: they just start at the top of the Forbes billionaires list, and start counting. As for the rest of the data, it comes from Credit Suisse, which puts out an annual Global Wealth Databook. Oxfam then uses the Credit Suisse data to derive all the rest of its numbers: it does no real empirical work of its own.”

One of the flaws is that the Credit Suisse data is too vague to reliably extrapolate as Oxfam does. That’s one error, but there is a more fundamental error. The more fundamental error stems from the problem that people do not know what the word “wealth” means when used by bourgeois economists. People do not understand that “wealth” is not the same thing as standard of living. “Wealth” simply means assets minus debts. For example, someone in the United States might have a tremendous amount of debt, perhaps they owe money on a house, a car, credit cards, student loans, and so on. Even though this person has negative wealth, they enjoy a happy, comfortable life as a member of the American, First World “middle class.” Another person, let’s a say a subsistence farmer in Bangladesh might have little or no debt. They may be on the verge of starvation. Their children might have to do child labor just to earn enough for food or medicine to get by. They might end up as a sex slave in order to avoid starvation. They might just survive on little more than handfuls of rice each day. This Bengali person who barely survives, because they have no or little debt, is technically counted as more wealthy than the American in the first example. Here’s a more famous example: Donald Trump had tremendous debt in the 1980s and 1990s. He had to declare bankruptcy. He had very little wealth, even though he was living in a huge mansion, owned numerous luxury cars, and was flying around in a helicopter around New York. Technically speaking, Donald Trump was not as “wealthy” as the peasant or sex slave in Bangladesh.

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If the Credit Suisse data is examined closely, we see just how flawed Oxfam’s extrapolations are. The following graphic visually represents the distribution of wealth between the various geographic-economic entities, which are represented in different colors. The 1 to 10 are deciles. “1” on the chart represents the distribution of wealth across the bottom 10 percent. “2” represents the bottom 20 percent, and so on. Look at the left side of the graph, the bottom deciles. What immediately jumps out? Felix Salmon answers in an excellent article debunking Oxfam:

“The weird thing is that triangle in the top left hand corner. If you look at the tables in the Credit Suisse datebook, China has zero people in the bottom 10% of the world population: everybody in China is in the top 90% of global wealth, and the vast majority of Chinese are in the top half of global wealth. India is on the list, though: if you’re looking for the poorest 10% of the world’s population, you’ll find 16.4% of them in India, and another 4.4% in Bangladesh. Pakistan has 2.6% of the world’s bottom 10%, while Nigeria has 3.9%. But there’s one unlikely country which has a whopping 7.5% of the poorest of the poor — second only to India. That country? The United States.”

Felix Salmon’s work is worth quoting in full:

“How is it that the US can have 7.5% of the bottom decile, when it has only 0.21% of the second decile and 0.16% of the third? The answer: we’re talking about net worth, here: assets minus debts. And if you add up the net worth of the world’s bottom decile, it comes to minus a trillion dollars. The poorest people in the world, using the Credit Suisse methodology, aren’t in India or Pakistan or Bangladesh: they’re people like Jérôme Kerviel, who has a negative net worth of something in the region of $6 billion.

America, of course, is the spiritual home of the over indebted — people underwater on their mortgages, recent graduates with massive student loans, renters carrying five-figure car loans and credit-card obligations, uninsured people who just got out of hospital, you name it. If you’re looking for people with significant negative net worth, in a way it’s surprising that only 7.5% of the world’s bottom 10% are in the US.

And as you start adding all those people up — the people who dominate the bottom 10% of the wealth rankings — their negative wealth only grows in magnitude: you get further and further away from zero.

The result is that if you take the bottom 30% of the world’s population — the poorest 2 billion people in the world — their total aggregate net worth is not low, it’s not zero, it’s negative. To the tune of roughly half a trillion dollars. My niece, who just got her first 50 cents in pocket money, has more money than the poorest 2 billion people in the world combined.

Or at least she does if you really consider Jérôme Kerviel to be the poorest person in the world, and much poorer than anybody trying to get by on less than a dollar a day. All of whom would happily change places with, say, Eike Batista, even if the latter, thanks to his debts, has a negative net worth in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

There’s no doubt that the trillions of dollars owned by the world’s top 1% constitute an enormous amount of money: there is an astonishing amount of wealth inequality in the world, and it’s shocking that just 80 people are all it takes to get to $1.9 trillion. You could spread that money around the ‘bottom billion’ and give them $1,900 each: enough to put them squarely in the fourth global wealth decile.

Oxfam claims that the $1.9 trillion owned by the world’s top 80 people is equal to the amount of wealth held by the bottom 50% of the world’s population. But look at just the top two-fifths of the 3.5 billion people referred to in the Oxfam stat. That’s 1.4 billion people; between them, they are worth some $2.2 trillion. And they’re a subset of the 3.5 billion people who between them are worth $1.9 trillion. As you add more people at the bottom of the wealth distribution, the Oxfam aggregate doesn’t go up, it goes down.

The first lesson of this story, then, is that it’s very easy, and rather misleading, to construct any statistic along the lines of ‘the top X people have the same amount of wealth as the bottom Y people’.

The second lesson of this story is broader: that when you’re talking about poor people, aggregating wealth is a silly and ultimately pointless exercise. Some poor people have modest savings; some poor people are deeply in debt; some poor people have nothing at all. (Also, some rich people are deeply in debt, which helps to throw off the statistics.) By lumping them all together and aggregating all those positive and negative ledger balances, you arrive at a number which is inevitably going to be low, but which is also largely meaningless.

The Chinese tend to have large personal savings as a percentage of household income, but that doesn’t make them richer than Americans who have negative household savings — not in the way that we commonly understand the terms ‘rich’ and ‘poor’. Wealth, and net worth, are useful metrics when you’re talking about the rich. But they tend to conceal more than they reveal when you’re talking about the poor.”

Far from being a sign of poverty, tremendous debt, hence, negative wealth, can be a sign of access to capital. First World people with debt are able to lose more money than most Third World people ever see in their entire lives. It can be a sign that you have privilege to be able to accrue so much debt.  Debt means something far different to people who survive at or near subsistence level. For most people in the Third World, debt is not access to capital, debt is dangerous. In the Third World, debt can lead to their starvation, pauperization, enslavement. It can commonly lead to death, literally. Even though they may have more wealth than rich Americans, ordinary people in the Third World have a much lower standard of living. This is why wealth is not the best way to measure global poverty. Income is a far more reliable measure.

First Worldists always think themselves very clever. They see the sensationalist Oxfam statistic and think “ah ha! Now I can silence those Leading Lights!” They don’t realize they are out of their league when they debate the Leading Light. Their epic battle is our swatting flies. To be fair though, most First Worldists who use the Oxfam statistic probably don’t understand what it means. Their First Worldist readers don’t know what it means either. Most First Worldists are simply ignorant, but the Oxfam economists who put the statistics together almost certainly knew they were misleading, lying to people.

To state the obvious, the Oxfam statistic does not refute Leading Light Communism. Leading Light Communism is about redistributing global standards of living so there are no rich and no poor, so everyone has a just distribution, so everyone prospers, so everyone has a happy life, to everyone can be their best selves. It should be obvious by now that wealth does not correspond to standard of living. People with very little wealth, even negative wealth like a bankrupt Donald Trump or Jérôme Kerviel, can have some of the highest standards of living. Those who say we only have to redistribute the top few percentiles of the economic pyramid in order to reach a just, socialist distribution of the standard of living, those who try to refute Leading Light Communism, are engaged in a big non-sequitur. On the contrary, once the wealth statistics are broken down, the data confirms the Global Class Analysis of the Leading Light. The data gives us insight into the interesting role of debt in American life. Debt is not only a means of access to capital, it is a form by which the American population have a kind of collective ownership of or tie to their parasitic society. To have debt is one way that you acquire a stake in the United States, the First World, its banks, its businesses, its economy. Debt is one of the ways that ownership of society, the value that flows into the borders, privilege, the means of production and distribution become collectivized, democratized across American society. Maoists in China wrote of a new bourgeoisie that had arisen there. This new bourgeoisie did not privately own capital  as the old bourgeoisie did. Yet the new bourgeoisie still had collective influence over and profited from the economy. The rise of the First World working bourgeoisie is similar in some ways to new bourgeoisie. The point is that class has changed dramatically since the days of Karl Marx. In any case, once examined under a microscope, once the statistics are understood, the Oxfam data confirms the class analysis of Leading Light Communism.

Socialism is not about re-distribution of “wealth” from those individuals with positive wealth to those with great negative wealth. In fact, it is capitalism that regularly takes value from poor and working people in the Third World to bail out those with great negative wealth, who are disproportionately in the First World. When the rich go bankrupt, when banks fail, when their wealth drops into the negative, ordinary people in the Third World end up footing the bill. In fact, it is ordinary people in the Third World who are the ones who, on a daily basis, invisibility bailout the debt-ridden, “middle class” and working populations of the First World that often have big negative wealth. The whole imperial system is based on an upward flow of value from poor and ordinary people in the Third World to the First World. To really change the system, we have to have a scientific understanding of economics, not one based on internet memes. Socialism is about changing the global flow of value. It is about redistributing the standard of living globally in order to end all oppression, to bring freedom and happiness to all, to reach Leading Light Communism.

Source

Oxfam’s misleading wealth statistics

 

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A letter from a reader: Do all Americans live like Bill Gates?

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A letter from a reader: Do all Americans live like Bill Gates?

(llco.org)

We received the following letter:

“I do not agree with the positions of Leading Light

At the time of Marx sub continent was a colony of British Imperialism. Many other Asian countries along with Afrcian and Latin American countries were colonies of European Imperialist Countries. But there was also exploitation going on in Britain , France , Holland and other world powers.

Marx condemned this Imperialist exploitation along with the exploitation of workers inside those European countries and raised the slogan of “workers of the world unite!”

At the time of Lenin difference between First and Third world was also there. Russia was a backward country whereas Germany , Britain , USA etc. were advanced capitalist countries. But Lenin always emphasized the role of International unity of working class.

Lenin and Trotsky built Third International which was also called Communist International or Comintern. In which comrades from all countries around the world were welcome.

If we will condemn the workers of advanced countries or consider them same as capitalists and Imperialists then we will make a big blunder theoretically.

There is a big class divide even in advance capitalist countries of West. There are billionaires and there are people who live in poverty. Many live in difficult economic conditions.

Though these conditions are much better than those in backward countries but how can one say that there is no class divide exist in USA , Britain , France .

Does all people in USA live like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Oprah Winfrey etc? No”

LLCO replies:

Thank you for raising important issues. True revolutionary scientists, Leading Light Communists, do not fear debate. True revolutionary science, Leading Light Communism, is an all-powerful weapon that can solve the problems facing humanity and our planet today. We thank you for having the courage to engage with new scientific breakthroughs. Dogma must be left behind if we are to really win. The exploiters, their intellectuals and intelligence agencies, have been perfecting the science of oppression. To defeat the oppressors, we must perfect the science of revolution. It is absolutely imperative that we spread Leading Light consciousness amongst the masses.

There are several points that need to be addressed.

1. It is true that Marx witnessed the birth of earlier phases of imperialism. Marx commented on the crimes of imperialism across the world, in places as diverse as Ireland and India. Also, Marx raised the slogan “workers of the world unite!” in the Manifesto. Even so, just because Marx raised a particular slogan does not make it true. Similarly, just because Lenin and Mao asserted something does not make it true. Marx, Lenin, and Mao were not infallible gods. Marxism is not religion. True Marxism is not simply what Marx said. True Marxism, today Leading Light Communism, is the most advanced form of revolutionary science. True Marxism, Leading Light Communism, is applying the most advanced science to the problem of ending all oppression. Real scientists do not appeal to Marx the way that Christians appeal to the Bible. Just because Marx called on all wage earners to unite a century and a half ago does not make such a slogan eternally true. Just because something may have been true then does not make it true now. It is important to elevate science, not metaphysics.

Marx raised that slogan a century and a half ago when  the world was very different. Marx looked at the trends he witnessed in Western Europe at the time, especially industrial England. He saw that as England was industrializing, two great classes were emerging: the capitalist class and the class of wage earners. Marx identified the latter class as the proletariat of his day. In the Manifesto, Marx projected that this pattern would be repeated globally. As it turns out, the world developed in more complex ways. In his more scientific works, like Capital Vol. 3, Marx began to note that all workers did not have the same relationship to the means of production. Even in Capital, Vol. 1, Marx speaks of “how industrial revulsions affect even the best-paid, the aristocracy, of the working-class.” In addition, Engels, toward the end of his life, noted that imperialism had a profound impact on the class structure of what would become the First World. For example, Lenin quotes Engels as early as 1858 as stating:

“The English proletariat is becoming more and more bourgeois, so that this most bourgeois of all nations is apparently aiming ultimately at the possession of a bourgeois aristocracy, and a bourgeois proletariat as well as a bourgeoisie. For a nation which exploits the whole world, this is, of course, to a certain extent justifiable.”

Arguing with the social-imperialist revisionist Kautsky, Engels stated:

“You ask me what the English workers think about colonial policy? Well exactly the same as they think about politics in general. There is no workers’ party here, there are only Conservatives and Liberal Radicals, and the workers merrily share the feast of England’s monopoly of the colonies and the world market.”

Lenin too noted changes in class structure resulting from imperialism:

“Imperialism has the tendency to create privileged sections also among the workers, and to detach them from the broad masses of the proletariat.” (1)

China’s great Maoist general Lin Biao pointed to important transformations in the global system since World War 2:

“Taking the entire globe, if North America and Western Europe can be called ‘the cities of the world’, then Asia, Africa and Latin America constitute ‘the rural areas of the world’. Since World War II, the proletarian revolutionary movement has for various reasons been temporarily held back in the North American and West European capitalist countries, while the people’s revolutionary movement in Asia, Africa and Latin America has been growing vigorously. In a sense, the contemporary world revolution also presents a picture of the encirclement of cities by the rural areas. In the final analysis, the whole cause of world revolution hinges on the revolutionary struggles of the Asian, African and Latin American peoples who make up the overwhelming majority of the world’s population.” (2)

Great Marxists of the past stated many things. At times, they noted the tendency of imperialism to transform some workers into a new type of bourgeoisie. At other times, they made statements contradicting this. Other writers have also noted the effect of imperialism on the class structure of the First World. However, the Leading Light was the first to fully understand and synthesize  global class analysis scientifically. It is not important to list all the quotes one way or another. Reality is what important, not what Marx, Engels, Lenin, or Mao may have said. It is important to realize that, in the case of Marx, Engels, and Lenin, they were writing at a time when the First World had not fully formed as the First World. The different statements in their work reflect the transitory period of the time in which they wrote. Today, there are imperialist countries of the First World, like the United States, that lack a significant proletariat. There are also imperialist, semi-imperialist, and emerging imperialist countries that retain a significant proletariat as Russia did in 1917. It may have been correct in Marx’s day to raise the slogan “workers of the world unite!” even in imperialist countries. However, it does not apply to today’s First World.

2. When Marx described the proletariat, the modern revolutionary agent, in his day, he was describing the emerging industrial worker in Europe. Marx described the proletariat as only making enough to reproduce his own labor from day to day. Marx described a class that was only paid enough to survive, not enough to accumulate. Marx described the proletariat as having no other income source but its labor. Marx described a producer class. Marx described an exploited class. Marx described a class that toiled in misery, a class that “has nothing to lose but its chains.” Marx described it as a revolutionary class.  Even if we were to accept Marx’s description of the modern revolutionary social base, the proletariat, as religious scripture, Marx’s characterization of the proletariat would not describe most workers in the United States and other First World countries. Firstly, most workers in the United States do not produce. Most are employed in management, services, and distribution. Industrial production has been in decline for a long time in the United States. The value that props up the economy of the United States is mostly created outside the United States. Just as the traditional bourgeoisie is parasitic, so too does the working bourgeoisie of the First World receive its income through exploitation of the Third World. Secondly, the First World working bourgeoisie often receives income and wealth from sources other than its labor. Many earn interest on bank accounts, receive social-democratic benefits, own stock — often through retirement plans, own small businesses, etc. They are not the simple worker that Marx described. Thirdly, they are not exploited in any significant sense. They currently earn more than they would under an equal system, a socialist system. Their lifestyle of consumption isn’t even ecologically sustainable. They would lose out under socialism, materially speaking. Fourthly, they do not toil in absolute misery as Marx described. They usually work in relatively comfortable environments. They earn vacation time. Their experience and lifestyle are closer to their own bosses than they are to the average Third World person. Fifthly, they have far more to lose than their chains. Sixthly, there is a whole history that confirms that the working bourgeoisie of the First World aligns more with its own overlords than with the proletariat of the Third World. They are not a revolutionary strata.

3. You ask the question whether all people in the USA live like Bill Gates? Does the man who makes a billion dollars (83,272,800,000 BDT) live the same as the man who makes a million (83,272,800 BDT)? Does the man who makes a million dollars (83,272,800 BDT) a year live as the man who makes 60,000 (4,910,000 BDT) dollars a year? Of course not. There is a great deal of stratification amongst exploiters (and exploited) everywhere. This is true in the First World also. A billionaire receives more of the social surplus than a millionaire. This does not mean that the millionaire is exploited. A millionaire receives more of the social surplus than a man who makes 100,000 (8,327,280 BDT) dollars a year. This does not mean the man who makes 100,000 dollars (8,327,280 BDT) a year is exploited. A person who makes 30,000 dollars (2,498,000 BDT) a year is not exploited either. The average person in the United States is not exploited either:

“The average ‘Joe American,’ who is 25 or older, has an income of 32,000 dollars (2,665,000 BDT) per year.  By contrast, most people in the world barely survive on less than 1,000 dollars (83,000 BDT) a year. For example, there are more people in India who make under a dollar a day than there are people residing in the United States. With his high income, the average Joe has access to luxuries and a lifestyle that is far out of reach for most people in the world. With this income a decent house, a car, a computer, stereos, a modern kitchen, swimming pools, education, vacation travel, entertainment, investments, are all within reach of Joe. Joe earns far in excess the value of his labor. With this income, Joe has more access to capital than many capitalists in the Third World. Joe earns far in excess of the amount that would be entailed by an egalitarian distribution of the social product worldwide. In other words, socialism would entail a big pay cut for Joe. He would lose most of his income according to a global, socialist distribution of income. He would lose his American lifestyle under socialism. In other words, Joe has about as much interest in socialism as the imperialist bourgeoisie. And he knows it, which is why again and again Joe lines up with his own bourgeoisie against the Third World.

According to the myth, Joe is a blue-collar worker… The reality is different. The average Joe holds a white-collar office job. These jobs are not the backbreaking, body-wrecking, life-ending jobs that many in the Third World endure. By comparison, Joe’s job is incredibly high paying, comfortable,  with short hours and long breaks. The culture associated with this kind of job has less in common with the work culture of the proletariat of the Third World, and more in common with the work culture of the bourgeoisie. Also, Joe does not identify himself with the global proletariat, those Marx described as ‘having nothing to lose but their chains.’ It is more common that Joe identifies himself with the imperial bourgeoisie.” (3)

We do not oversimplify. Even though the poorest working people in the United States are within the richest 15 percent globally, pockets of genuine poverty and exploitation do exist in the First World, especially amongst the homeless, migrants, drug addicts, etc. However, these pockets of poverty and exploitation tend to be unstable, scattered, and small. They do not provide a significant social base capable of making revolution in the First World. These pockets are surrounded by class enemies. In addition, because of class mobility in the First World, even the most impoverished tend to align with the system rather than against it. Asking people to make revolution is asking them to make sacrifice. It is asking them to risk losing their home, family, and life. Even the poorest in the United States have too much to gain by aligning with capitalism-imperialism. Revolution is the hope of the hopeless. Even amongst the most impoverished in the First World, too much hope remains.

There is only so much value created in the world. The vast majority of people in the First World earn more than the value of their labor. In other words, they directly and indirectly appropriate value from others. They are exploiters. The vast majority of the population in the First World would lose out under an equal distribution of the global social product, under a sustainable socialist system. This is true of both the traditional bourgeoisie and the working bourgeoisie in the First World. Organizing the First World working bourgeoisie around their immediate and mid-term economic interests, organizing around their class interest, is organizing them to secure a bigger piece of the global social product. It is organizing them for a bigger piece of the global pie. However, both the traditional bourgeoisie and working bourgeoisie of the First World already receive more than their fair share due to imperialism. To dangle the carrot of more wealth in front of First World peoples is to agitate for more imperialism. The Third World pays the price. In addition,  the vast majority of the population in the First World have lifestyles that are unsustainable. The bourgeois way of life that most First World people enjoy cannot be maintained forever. The planet simply cannot endure such a parasitic way of life forever. The vast majority of First Word people would see their incomes and wealth reduced under socialism. The global bourgeoisie, including most First World people, as a class have no economic interest in socialism.

Generally speaking, organizing First World peoples along economic lines is a characteristic of fascism and social-fascism, not genuine socialism. Both traditional fascism and social-fascism are an alignment of social forces where the lower bourgeoisie puts pressure on the upper bourgeoisie in order to secure a better deal for itself. The upper bourgeoisie enters into this arrangement with the lower bourgeoisie in the First World in exchange for social stability in the First World and to launch attacks on the global proletariat in the Third World. Since the upper bourgeoisie’s main source of income is imperialist exploitation, increasing the lot of the lower bourgeoisie in the First World usually means an increase in imperialist exploitation of the Third World. Fascism in the First World can take on two varieties. It can appear as traditional, conservative, rightist. Or, it can appear social-democratic, liberal, socialist, communist, leftist. This latter form often “waves the red flag to oppose the red flag.” The latter form is social-imperialism or social-fascism. Currently, there is a resurgence of fascism and social-fascism in the First World due to the economic crisis. The Occupy protests in the United States, for example, do not aim at global socialism or communism. They do not aim to return the wealth stolen by the United States to the Indigenous peoples of North America and Third World peoples. The Occupy protests aim to protect the imperial standard of living of the lower bourgeoisie in the United States. The Occupy movement is contradictory and diverse, but its overall direction is social-democratic and social-imperialist.  This is repeated over and over in the First World. Almost all revisionist parties, all First Worldist parties, are social-fascist in some aspects. By contrast, Leading Light Communists do not advocate for more wealth for the First World. Leading Light Communists advocate true equality and sustainability. For true equality and sustainability, for true socialism, for Leading Light Communism to exist, the First World way of life and the First World must cease to exist as it has. In the First World, the Leading Light organizes First World peoples not for their class interests, but against their class interest to stand with the exploited and oppressed in the Third World. The Leading Light organizes for true global equality and sustainability, not more privilege and consumption for the First World. Leading Lights in the First World advocate a healthier life that is based on global equality and sustainability. Since most First World peoples are class enemies at present, most will reject the communist message.

4. The Third International or “Comintern” welcomed all comrades of all countries. This is the correct line. Politics should be in command, not identity. There are true communists in the First World just as there are true communists in the Third World. Just because the First World as a whole is bourgeois does not mean that true communists do not exist there. Engels was one of the Leading Lights of his day. He came from a bourgeois background. Marx too was not a traditional proletarian. He was from an intellectual background. Lenin was trained as a lawyer. Mao was a privileged peasant who was able to go to school in the city. Che Guevara was trained as a medical doctor. Many of the greatest revolutionary leaders had access to bourgeois education. They had access to the world of science. They also had a foot in the world of the masses. They were bridges, conduits. The most advanced ideas of science passed through them to the masses. They forged ideological weapons that could be wielded by the masses. There are many First Worldist revisionists in the Third World just as there are many First Worldist revisionists in the First World. Also, there are Leading Light Communists, true communists, who are from the First World just as there are Leading Lights from the Third World. The criterion for whether one is a member of the true communist movement is not whether one is rich or poor, First World or Third World, etc. The criterion is whether or not one upholds the most advanced revolutionary science, Leading Light Communism. Leading Light Communism is what it means to be a true communist today. Politics in command. Leading Light Communism in command.

5. There is no scientific reason to claim that the working bourgeoisie of the First World and the workers of the Third World are the same class in any meaningful sense. There is no real evidence to suggest that there is potential for a revolutionary alignment amongst these groups; there is no evidence they share material interests. There is little history of genuine solidarity of any kind. Again and again, the First World working bourgeoisie aligns with its own traditional bourgeoisie in support of the capitalist-imperialist system. Again and again, it aligns against the Third World. The First World working bourgeoisie has far more in common with those above it than they do with the vast majority of humanity in the Third World. Real science is not dogma. Science is about predicting and explaining the world. First Worldism generates false predictions over and over about the revolutionary potential in the First World.  It does not explain the real world. First Worldism is fantasy. Leading Light Communism, by contrast, predicts and explains how people actually align and potentially align. Reality is the basis of science, not what Marx may or may not have said.

The world is much different than Marx described in the Manifesto. Not all those who are paid a wage or salary are revolutionary or potentially revolutionary. Even CEOs are employees of big corporations. They receive a salary, but that does not make them revolutionary. Police earn salaries yet are some of the biggest defenders of the system. The same can be said of management even though they earn wages or salaries. This has long been recognized by revolutionaries. This point can be extended to most First World people as a whole. The First World working bourgeoisie has far more in common in terms of its interests, culture and lifestyle with those above it than with those below it. Many First World working bourgeoisie have more access to capital than many capitalists in the Third World. They have access to capital in the form of loans, credit, homes, land, cars, etc. Just because they happen to earn a wage or salary does not make them revolutionary. Some, not all, earn more than capitalists in the Third World. In addition, ownership in the modern world is not as simple as it was in Marx’s time. Maoists began to discuss a new type of bourgeoisie that emerged in China within the Communist Party. It was not as though Liu Shaopqi or Deng Xiaoping literally owned factories. Yet Mao still called them a new bourgeoisie. Earlier, Lenin began to discuss the role of banks in the socialization of ownership across the bourgeoisie. Today, this socialization has democratized in various ways in the First World. Many of those who work in the First World buy stocks in corporations or own them through retirement plans. They earn interest on their bank accounts from their bank’s investments, exploitation of the global poor. They receive social-democratic benefits and the benefits of their state’s imperialist adventures. Many of those who work in the First World also own small businesses. The person who works in the First World is not the worker or proletarian that Marx described. There has been a kind of socialization of wealth across First World society. What makes First World affluence possible is imperialism, the impoverishment of the Third World. This is why there are never any real, significant socialist movements in the First World. This is why there is no history of real revolution, even though there is a long history of fascism and social-fascism. This is why there is a long history of social democracy, but no socialism.

Real communists represent the exploited, not the exploiters. They represent those who have a material interest in socialism, not those who have an interest in capitalism-imperialism. The world’s resources are not infinite. For the Third World to be equal, the First World must reduce its standard of living. Real communists do not stand for inequality; they do not stand for the preservation of the First World and continuation of exploitation. Real communists stand for global equality and sustainability, not for the continuation of First World privilege and  mindless consumption. We do not stand for the continuation of the imperialist, unsustainable, consumerist, First World, American way of life. We stand for a healthier, simpler, funner, more colorful, more intelligent, more heroic way of life. Leading Lights stand with the global poor who are overwhelmingly concentrated in the Third World. Leading Lights serve the people.

Saying Marx said so is no argument, especially since Marx’s real views are not as simple as they have been presented in your letter. If we are really to make revolution, we must look at reality, not dogma. We are raising the scientific bar. The way forward is clear. Leading Light Communism is the weapon of the most advanced revolutionary science. Armed with Leading Light Communism, led by the Leading Light, the masses will wipe away the old world. Down the First World and its agents! Up the poor peoples of the Third World! Global People’s War of the Leading Light! Our day will come.

Leading Light Communist Organization
June 28, 2012

Notes

1. http://www.prisoncensorship.info/archive/etext/mt/imp97/imp97b1.html
2. http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/lin-biao/1965/09/peoples_war/index.htm
3. http://llco.org/the-average-joe-amerikkkan/

* currency conversions from June 28, 2012 http://wwp.greenwichmeantime.com/time-zone/asia/bangladesh/currency-bangladesh/index.htm

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Global Inequality Versus Socialist Equality

 

equality

[This is an old article that was originally published about 5-7 years ago. It shows some of the development of our political economy.]

Global Inequality Versus Socialist Equality

(llco.org)

An approach to economics centered on equality as a regulative idea is in no way contrary to approaches that center around the mechanics of exploitation. It is not necessarily contrary to the labor theory of value or the theories of unequal exchange. Putting equality at the forefront also does not commit us to the kind of ultra-egalitarianism that Mao Zedong famously criticized. Obviously, there are certain cases where some inequalities are necessary and, even, desirable. It does demand that we act to greatly reducing the gaps between wealthy and poor populations, especially the gaps between the First and Third World. Equality demands the global social product be distributed evenly amongst the world’s population as best as possible.

Some might object that a socialist distribution is not an egalitarian distribution. Rather, a socialist distribution is one where wealth is spread out, not evenly, but to those who do the work and those countries who do the work: she who does not work, shall not eat. Whereas some have argued that the labor theory of value is necessary for explaining the mechanics of exploitation, the distribution principle associated with it is not adequate to rectify the problem of inequality between countries that has been generated by imperialism. Such a distribution principle does not address the problem of underdevelopment. Surely populations in the most underdeveloped parts of the Third World, that have been rendered unproductive by imperialism, should not continue to remain in dire poverty under a global socialism. Whole countries of the “industrial reserve army” in the Third World may not currently be productive, but should not resources and development be directed to such populations under socialism? According to demographers, for the first time in history, the majority of the world’s population is living in cities. The new “global countryside,” the base areas of the Global People’s Wars, will include the slums of Third World megacities. These slums are less sites for production then blights that show just how capitalism’s anarchy of production has failed to bring huge segments of the human population into production. Surely socialism must speak to these vast populations that will be the people’s warriors in the decades to come.

The global economy is a causal nexus where value in various forms is transferred around the globe from one person to another. So, if one person is receiving more than an equal share, then somebody else is receiving less somewhere in the causal nexus. Likewise, if someone is receiving less, someone else is receiving more. Imperialism has created a world order where those who receive less and those who receive more correspond to populations in the Third World and First World respectively. Using equality as a regulative idea, one should be regarded as exploited when one does not receive an equal, a fair, a just share. One is an exploiter when one receives more than an equal, a fair, a just share. A country or region is exploited, is part of the Third World, when its population is largely made up the exploited who have less than an equal share. A country or region should be regarded as part of the First World when its population is largely made up of exploiters who have more than an equal share. (1)

A quick look at global inequality

The income gap between the wealthy, imperialist countries and the poor countries of the global countryside points to the tremendous parasitism of the former on the latter. The income gap between the fifth of the world’s people in the former and the fifth in the latter was 74 to 1 in 1997, up from 60 to 1 in 1990 and 30 to 1 in 1960.

Now, all of the population of the First World are in the world’s richest 20% by income, which owns more than 85% of the world’s wealth. But if more than 50% of the world’s assets are own by the richest 2% of adults (most of whom live in the First World), the First World majority (less than 20% of the global population) owns 35% of the world’s wealth. 80% of the world’s population must make do with owning 15% of the world’s wealth. This First World monopoly of assets translates into a hugely disproportionate share of world consumption. In the 1998 study cited, 20 percent of the population in the developed nations were reported to consume 86 percent of the world’s goods. This astonishing degree of parasitism is underscored by a more recent 2002 World Bank study that reports that the richest 50 million people in Europe and North America have the same income as 2.7 billion poor people. (2)

After decades of “development” and market liberalisation, structural adjustment programs and Washington Consensus neoliberalism, the average income for the Third World is still only around 15% that of the First World in purchasing power parity terms, and more like 5% in foreign exchange rate terms. (3)

Parasitism is reflected in consumption also. The fifth of the world’s people living in the highest income countries consumed:

86% of the world’s GDP – the bottom fifth just 1%.

82% of the world’s export markets – the bottom fifth just 1%.

68% of foreign direct investment – the bottom fifth just 1%.

74% of the world’s telephone lines – the bottom fifth 1.5%.

93.3% of internet users – the bottom fifth 0.2%.

84% of the world’s paper – the bottom fifth 1.1%.

87% of the world’s vehicles – the bottom fifth less than 1%.

58% of total energy – the bottom fifth 4%. (4)

The majority of the increase in world consumption during the 1990s accrued to those already in the top 10% of world income distribution. Between 1993 and 2001, some 50 to 60% of the increase in world consumption accrued to those living on more than PPP$10,000 1993 – around 10% of the world’s population. For this 10%, 4/5 lived in the high income countries and most of the rest in Latin America. The remaining 40-50% of the increase in world consumption accrued mainly to those living on around PPP$3000-$6000, of whom the majority were in the burgeoning middle class of semi-comprador China. “Hardly any of the increase accrued to those on less than PPP$1000 a year ($2.73 day). Most of the latter lived in South Asia, Africa, and China.” (5)

The First World worker does not gain under an egalitarian distribution of the world’s wealth. If a socialist order existed between peoples and regions, it is impossible to ignore the fact that the First World populations as a whole would lose out in terms of income, assets, life opportunities, etc. Thus the First World worker has little interest in overthrowing the status quo in favor of socialism, in favor of equality.

The revisionist script is a predictable one. Whether the revisionists choose to justify or explain these global disparities in wealth according to “productivity” differences or the protestant work ethic, manifest destiny, white racial superiority or predestination makes not one whit of difference. Like other imperialists, First Worldist revisionists will do all sorts of ideological contortions to justify the current standard of living of First World “workers. ” Not only do they maintain that the current imperial standard of living in the First World is deserved, but that First World workers deserve even more of the global pie. Karl Marx would be spinning in his grave, Lenin too, if they were around to hear these scumbags justifying parasitism in their names. Reality matters. Theory has to match reality, it must predict and explain, it must be scientific if it is to be a guide to action. Leading Light Communism is a set of eye glasses whose lenses allow the masses to see the world as it is. We can stumble around blindly or we can choose reality, revisionism or Leading Light Communism.

Notes

  1. In value terms, it is true that the poorest people in the world are often those who are unable to find work and, hence, are not technically exploited. But since exploitation has taken on profound geo-political dimensions after World War II, if a group of people lives in an exploited nation (a nation which turns over the bulk of its surplus value to the First World) and is paid below the international value of labor, then it is exploited and its lumpen status ensures competition for wages drives down their value in their country, contributing to superprofits.
  2. United Nations Human Development Report 1998, ‘Consumption for Human Development’ (United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), New York 1998) online: http://hdr.undp.org/en/reports/global/hdr1998/
  3. Robert Hunter Wade, ‘Globalisation, Growth, Poverty, Inequality, Resentment, and Imperialism,’ in John Ravenhill, (ed.), Global Political Economy (Oxford University Press, 2008), p. 378.
  4. United Nations Human Development Report 1999, ‘Globalization with a Human Face’, (United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), New York 1998) online: http://hdr.undp.org/en/reports/global/hdr1999/
  5. Wade, 2008, p. 380.
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PF interview: Plato’s cave, First and Third World, science and epistemology

platocave

Plato’s cave, First and Third World, science and epistemology

(llco.org)

1. Thank you for taking time from your important work. Let me start by asking this: You write a lot about the “First” and “Third World.” Can you explain what you mean?

We are not the first to divide up human society into “worlds” or similar entities. When we talk of “worlds,” we are using a shorthand. It’s a kind of functionalist category that we use to explain human behavior and potential behavior at the global level. It is not unlike how we use the concept of “class” to describe the behavior and potential behavior of human aggregates.

There is the view that informed the outlook around the time of the Bandung Conference in 1955 and after. It is a view that divided the world into the Western imperialists, which was a kind of “First World.” Then there was the “Second World” of the socialist camp. Then there was the “Third World” of the colonies, neo-colonies, and poor post-colonies. Later, there is another outlook of the Chinese Communist Party of the Lin Biao era. This outlook divided the world into a “global city,” which was made up of the rich countries and Russia, and a “global countryside,” of the poor countries, including the many of the Russian colonies in Eastern Europe. This was the official outlook of the Chinese Communist Party from about 1965 to 1970. This was when Lin Biao was riding high as Mao Zedong’s successor, vice-Chairman, “closest comrade-in-arms,” “best student,” and so on. Lin Biao was being positioned as the high priest the Mao cult. He, and I am using “he” as a shorthand to really mean “his team,” was to be the main interpreter of Maoism. For various reasons, Lin Biao was murdered as a result of a political struggle. Mao wanted to pull back the revolution in the 1970s. Mao began to align with the West. So, then, there is the outlook of Mao’s “Three Worlds Theory” of the 1970s, after Lin Biao’s death. This was a view that divided countries up by military strength. The “First World” was made up of the powerful imperialists, the United States and Soviet Union. The “Second World” was made up of lesser powers like the European powers and Japan. The “Third World” was made up of the colonies, neo-colonies, and post-colonies. Sometimes people mistakenly think Mao’s main error was his “Three Worlds Theory” because it led to the alliance with the West. This really mistakes things. “Three Worlds Theory” was not guiding Chinese policy. China was shifting rightward in foreign policy years before the theory was introduced. Mao began shifting rightward on this issue even as early as 1968 and 1969, as he was ending the Cultural Revolution. Rather, the theory was a prop. This theory was a kind of window dressing that was used to give the appearance of justification to Mao’s anti-Soviet, pro-Western geopolitics. It was used to run interference on critics from the left. In any case,  all these kinds of views are often mixed up with each other, but they are very different. They have very different policies associated with them. And, historically, they were often in opposition to each other.

Our concept of the “First World” and “Third World” is different than all previous usages. Of the previous views, Lin Biao’s is the most accurate, but it still has deficiencies. Firstly, we do not simply apply the concept to just countries. It is because of  traditional colonization and the national liberation struggles that many have tended to regard single countries as the basic units of analysis. We see this as not always accurate or the best way to go about things. Some have criticized such a view on the basis that the country borders are artificial. Such borders were often drawn by the imperialists themselves. Some micronationalists have advocated that single nations, not multinational countries, ought be the basic unit of analysis. For example, they will say that the “Black Nation” inside the borders of the country of the United States belongs to a particular world.  Or they will say the Maya in Mexico belong to a particular world. Almost all countries today are multi-national ones, so they push the analysis down a level. They tend to think that revolution should happen on a micronational basis, with each nation having its own leadership, perhaps even its own ideology. Their view of a perfect world is one in which all micronations are independent, do not step on each others’ toes, and do not interfere with each other. It is the view associated with racial separatists movements. David Duke, the ex-Klan leader-turned-congressman, has such a view. Some Black and Chicano nationalists have similar views. They may disagree about how the borders are to be drawn or which nation has the right to exist here or there, but the ideologies are similar in their stated goals. It is a view also associated with the fantasy of northern Korean life, although, in reality, northern Korea is very dependent other countries despite its Juche rhetoric of independence and self-sufficiency. It is a view sometimes associated with Third Positionism and “left” fascism. We could call this view “pan-nationalism.” Our view is very different. It does not break humanity down into either countries or micronations. Our view is more in-line with the original Marxist aspiration to overcome artificial barriers dividing humanity. Our ideal is one humanity united by one ideology, revolutionary science, all-powerful, awesome Leading Light Communism. Tactically, we may have to work on a micronational or country-wide basis, but we should always aspire to make revolution in the biggest geographic area as possible at any given time. Thus for us, our basic unit is the Third World as a whole, although we divide that into zones on a practical basis. However, a zone in not based on anything except that it is the biggest area we feel comfortable managing at a particular time. Thus a zone is not as static as a country or nation is. A zone is based more our capabilities than anything else, although, naturally, social geographies play into it that. Our main area of operation is the Bangla Zone, but when we feel comfortable expanding beyond that, there is no reason not to extend our reach into say, Myanmar or the Hindi regions of India. We are also setting up zonal operations elsewhere, but that is deep politics.

Secondly, we base our view on standard of living of a population as a whole. Things like income, consumption levels, etc. give us a good idea about this. In this sense, even though the United States as a whole may be militarily and politically more powerful than, say, Switzerland, the latter is more First World. This is a big difference between our concept and Mao’s, for example. Also, our concept is not necessarily tied to economic or political independence or development, whatever that means. For example, imagine a country whose population is very wealthy, but also very small so that its economy was only based on oil  such that it could not defend itself without outside help. So, it was still dependent in important respects. On our view, such a country, perhaps not unlike some Arab Gulf states, is still First World. Thus our view departs a bit from the Bandung inspired view, which tended to lump the one-time colonies, even the wealthy ones, into the same category as their poorer neighbors. Our view is that the Saudis are more similar in terms of interest to the people of the United States than either are to the Palestinians. This is true, even though pan-Arabists will argue that the Saudis and Palestinians are really one nation. This is what we have discussed earlier about how national liberation and similar outlooks were tied to the classic model of colonization that has long since broken down. Thus, we must find new ways to understand the emerging Empire and resistance to it. This is one of the main breakthroughs of  today’s revolutionary science, Leading Light Communism.

Thirdly, the traditional concepts of worlds were sharply defined. We do not look at things through the lenses of traditional Aristotelian categories. This also ties into another question. People always ask us about the “Second World.” Our view is that when we talk about the First World and Third World, we are talking about poles on a continuum. Think of a spectrum, a single axis from right to left, with a “1” on the left and a “3” on the right. Some countries, micronations, regions, geographic areas, zone are more First World than others. They fall closer to the “1.” Others are more Third World. They fall closer to the “3.” If one must have a concept of a Second World, then it could occupy a position, perhaps equidistant, between to two poles.

We might represent the United States by a “U” and place it nearer to the “1” than Portugal, which we represent with a “P.” Or, we might represent Switzerland with an “S,” and place it closer to the “1” than the United States. Similarly, we could do the same thing with “C” for Chile, “M” for Mexico, and “B” for Bangladesh.

[1]-S–U————————————-P—-”2”—–C—————–M——————–B–[3]

This model can also be used to compare any unit. It is not limited to countries. Countries can be compared to nations to regions to zones, all can be compared to each other. The model is based on the simple idea of immiseration, those geographic populations closer to the “3” have more potential in terms of being mobilized against the system for revolutionary, socialist, Leading Light Communist change. Those closer to the “1” and farthest from the “3” have less possibility of making revolution. Of course, we aren’t saying that being near “3” is the only factor in play or that other factors like strong leadership can’t make up for some deficiencies in objective considerations. However, at a certain point, objective deficiencies simply cannot be realistically overcome. That’s part of what falling on the First World part of the continuum implies. We could even add that certain regions of this continuum are more prone to traditional fascism, which we see as a radical reorganization of society along traditionalist or crackpot lines to save capitalism. For example, those societies closest to the “1” probably are going to be stably integrated into the liberal Empire. Those somewhere between the “1” and “2,” but closer to “2,” like Russia, for example, will have a tendency toward fascism because they aren’t as well served by the liberal consensus as those closer to the “1.” Over time, Russia will probably be more integrated into Empire, but this is not written in stone. This model fits with the old saying that “liberalism is the face of capitalism when it is not afraid, fascism when it is afraid.” Remember what Karl Marx said: “The proletariat has nothing to lose but their chains.” This is also why we have focused our efforts toward the “3.”

2. You are definitely breaking new scientific ground. You mention science often. You’ve written a lot on the topic lately. Why is your theory of worlds more scientific than others?

This kind of theory is one of behavior and potential behavior of human aggregates at the global level. Sometimes we call it “Global Class Analysis.” This is why we use the terms “First World” and “Bourgeois World” interchangeably, similarly with “Third World” and “Proletarian World.” If people want, replace the “1” in the chart with a “B.” Change the “3” with a “P.” What makes one theory better than another? More scientific? As I have said so many times, it has nothing to do with metaphysics, even in its dialectical varieties. It isn’t some “dialectical method” or “dialectical underpinning” that makes one theory better than another. It has to do with a theory being a good tool with predictive power and explanatory power. These are not the same things exactly, although there are sophisticated approaches to try to reduce these two things down to one measure, but this is far too advanced for this interview. Imagine another graph with a horizontal axis labeled “PP” for “predictive power” and a vertical axis labeled “EP” for “explanatory power.” For this discussion, we’ll say they are not the same thing. The classic example of why they are not the same can be seen in the competition between the Copernican model, the heliocentric model, planets going around the sun, of the solar system verses the pre-Copernican model, the geocentric model, celestial bodies going around the Earth, with its epicycles. The epicycle model had been refined over a long period of time, so it mapped out the motions of the solar system very well. It had a higher degree of predictive power. In fact, when the Copernican model was originally introduced, the pre-Copernican model had more predictive power than the Copernican model. This was because the Copernican model had not been refined as much. The Copernican model was initially using circular, not elliptical orbits. So, it was generating more false predictions. So, strictly speaking, there would be no basis to switch paradigms to the Copernican model if predictive power was our only measure for a theory. However, as we all know, the Copernican model of planets going around the sun won out. This is what we use today. This is because science is not just about prediction, it is about meaningful prediction, it is about explanation too. Science is also about explanatory power. The pre-Copernican approach, the epicycle model, may have mapped the motions of the heavenly bodies more accurately, but there was no rhyme or reason to their motions. Their motions were simply mapped. And, if there was some new motion that was observed that had not been known before, they simply posited an ad hoc epicycle to account for it. So, even though the pre-Copernican model generated more correct predictions, it had no real explanatory power. One reason it evolved as it did was it cohered with the medieval intellectual view inherited from Aristotle. According to this view, the cosmos was like an onion with the Earth being the center. That was said to be why objects fell when dropped. They were said to go toward the center, where they naturally belonged. Cohering with this broader view was seen to have some explanatory power. However, in reality, cohering with a false, but widely accepted worldview, does not add to a theory’s power. To choose it over the Copernican model violates one of the main laws of explanatory power, Occam’s Razor. Simpler theories, those that say more with less, account for more with less, generate more correct predictions and exclude more incorrect predictions with less, are better than complicated ones. Even with its initial predictive weakness vis-a-vis the earlier model, the scientific community realized that the Copernican model had more potential. And the Copernican model was eventually refined to have both more explanatory and predictive power. When a theory has both more predictive and more explanatory power than another, saying it is “more scientific” is always more justified. However, there are hard cases. A theory can have more predictive power, but less explanatory power than another. A theory can have more explanatory, but less predictive than another. Say we have two theories. One has the coordinates of 6 on the PP-axis and 7 on the EP-axis. The other has a 7,6 position. Or a conflict between a 5,6 and a 4,8? There are many times when there simply is not enough information to choose between theories. They are too close in terms of overall virtue. When theories are too close to each other, the scientific community simply has to continue its work gathering information, testing, weighing evidence until one theory comes out on top. This happens all the time in science. A new, but not as refined, theory comes onto the scene, but it takes time for it to gather enough strength and refinement to shift the paradigm of the scientific community. In reality, things are a lot more complicated than what I have presented here. Nonetheless, even understanding this basic outlook would be an epistemological advance for those revisionists claiming to be Marxists today. There are other, higher, more advanced models all-powerful, awesome Leading Light Communism has developed, but we need to take things step by step.

In any case, our Global Class Analysis predicts and explains why revolutions have occurred where they do. It explains why certain populations will be more revolutionary than others. It predicts which populations will have potential to make revolution and which ones do not. Our analysis fits with everything we know about the experience of real revolutions and events like the non-revolution in Paris, May 1968. People went back to work for raises, despite the rhetoric. The Paris, 1968 ending was entirely predictable. Our analysis also predicts and explains the motions of the enemy classes that we see everyday in the media’s coverage of current events. We explain the sweep of history in a more accurate and refined way, drawing on Marx and others, obviously. All-powerful, awesome Leading Light Communism is the key to the past, present, and future.

3. You were talking about worlds, zones, and so on. You seem to be introducing a geographic dimension to class. Can you elaborate?

“Who are our enemies? Who are our friends?” are the first eight words of Mao’s Selected Works for a reason. Mao called this the “first question of revolution.” Class analysis, understanding friends and enemies, is the first task. Since Marx, the our understand of friends and enemies has become more and more geographic. What I mean is that friends are enemies are not just separated by wealth and social position, the proletariat has become more and more physically separated from the bourgeoisie. By the time of the Maoist revolution, revolution itself is seen as a people’s war that procededs geographically from the countryside to the city. Similarly with Lin Biao, the global revolution moves geographically from the global countryside to the global city. This is because human geography is reorganized around modern production and wealth. Within a country, wealhy people live here, poor people live there. Globally, wealthy people live here, here, and here. Poor people live there, there, and there. You can see this very dramatically in some of the cities in countries like Brazil. You might have an outpost of the First World, a wealthy residential community,  a business district, etc. walled off from the outside, which is still very Third World. It’s like a little First World fort from which to dominate and control the surrounding territory. You see this in Palestine with the Zionist settlers. They set up their guarded outposts, where they have a higher standard of living, while hostile Palestinians surround them. It reminds me a bit of pioneer commuities in North America. One sees a similar pattern in wealthy communities in China. In any case, even when there is close proximity of the First and Third World, the barrier separating them is often very pronounced. In these cases, it is a physical wall where guards patrol with automatic weapons. How should we see these wealthy communities in, for example, Brazil or China? Should we see such a community as simply a community of the Brazilian bourgeoisie who can be either patriotic or comprador? Such is the old Maoist type analysis. My contention is that this may be part of the story, but it isn’t the full story. Capital is more and more global, nation matters less and less, country matters less and less. Rather than seeing those who populate such communities as just the Brazilian bourgeoisie, we can see them and the communities themselves as outposts of the First World, part of the First World Empire. An extreme case of this would be the Green Zone in Iraq, where the Empire has literally built a city with a higher standard of living inside a Third World, occupied community in order to control and manage them. The nationalist, patriotic bourgeoisie is becoming less and less relevant. More and more, the world is not a collection of many empires with colonial possessions. Rather, power is mostly a single Empire that benefits, this First World includes populations of the old empires, but also First World outpost communities, military bases, management zones, financial zones, etc.  in poorer countries. These communities, regardless of their national or racial makeup, are loyal to their First World way of life, and the global imperial institutions that create it, first. They are part of the First World system of control first and foremost, usually nationalist loyalties, if they exist at all, are very secondary. This is partially a consequence of a more unipolar geopolitics. The patriotic bourgeoisie is becoming less and less relevant because the wealthy people in the poor countries have less ability to maneuver, they have less bargaining chips when there is only one imperial choice.

There are exceptions of course. Things are never set in stone. This is an emerging picture, the overall tendency is toward Empire. There are still remnants of the old world that Vladimir Lenin described. Some think an emerging Eurasian alternative, a Russia-China alliance, will block the emergence of global Empire for a time.  Thus, they think, the traditional categories will still have scientific utility. Sometimes people frame it in terms of Kautsky verses Lenin, but this is way too simple. Lenin was exactly correct when he was writing. The scramble for Africa, the cycle of world wars, and so on. And it would be a mistake to see the emerging Empire as anything Kautsky could have foreseen. It would be wrong to project current reality backwards. In fact, it was, in part, the tremendous damage done to capitalist by the breakdown of the system, the world wars that Lenin predicted, that has forced the bourgeoisie to reorganize. The Bolshevik revolution was partially a result of the systemic breakdown of World War 1. Similarly, the Maoist revolution and decolonial struggles emerged because the old empires had so weakened themselves through their massive bloodletting. They could no longer hold onto their colonial possessions since they were so weakened. Partially as a result of world wars, the capitalists lost control of massive parts of humanity, they faced the emergence of socialism that challenged their rule at the global level. Just as revolutionary science – Marx, Lenin, Mao, Leading Light – advanced to meet new realities, so too did the science of oppression. The capitalists have reorganized their economies and power to try to avoid catastrophic wars of the past. The most obvious artefacts of this advance in capitalist science is the promotion of social democracy and international institutions like the United Nations. In any case, it boggles the mind that you have these revisionist dogmatists talking about 2014 as though it were 1917 or 1949, as though adherence to Leninist or Maoist dogma is the solution to the current problems the people’s movement faces. Of course, I understand that the opposite problem exists where there are loudmouths and egomaniacs promoting themselves as worldclass leaders but without really providing any real scientific answers. There are plenty of snakeoil salesmen claiming to have their own unique “new synthesis.” They are a dime a dozen. There is a big difference between proclaiming a scientific advance and really making one. And contrary to popular misconception, the loudmouths are not all white.  However, just because there are fools in new clothing telling us to follow them does not mean we should follow the fools in outdated fashions and vice versa. Luckyily, our choice is not simply one between old fools and new fools, old dogma and new dogma. There is a real choice, a real road to the future, but it is not always easy to find or walk.

Anyone who honestly looks at all-powerful, awesome, glorious Leading Light Communism cannot in good faith say that we have not done our work. I have done exactly what I promised I would many years ago when we first began. We have done exactly what we said we would do. It boggles the mind that some Maoists extended support to us when we were just talking about things, as soon as we really did it, they withdrew their support. Sometimes I want to point at our work and say “here it is on a silver platter, we have carried out the principal tasks as you defined them without any support from you. Where is your support now that we have been proven right? Who was it who used to talk about parlour pinks?” In any case, Leading Light Communism is a genuine scientific advance over the Marxist-Leninist and Maoist traditions. I have done exactly what I have always done. We really are integrating the most advanced science in every area of human knowledge into an all-powerful weapon that can be wielded by the masses. There are plenty of opportunists and careerists who will continue to mock us. There are some who do not like me personally who have let their personal dislike of myself or other leaders transform themselves into liars, wreckers, virtual and real state agents. There are some who have become jealous, bitter, little wannabes and second-rate gossip mongers. Others become ostriches who cowardly bury their head in the sand to avoid seeing the sunlight of truth. Others have produced attacks, very similar to those of COINTELPRO in the United States, except more pathetic and inept. They are big into gossip directed at Leading Lights. In general, we have more to worry about: State agents have tried to disrupt our logistical networks domestically inside Bangladesh. It is an old story. Many will try to raise themselves up by tearing down great leaders, Leading Lights. There are plenty of people on the wrong side of history. Talking to them is like talking to a brick wall. We have a saying: “let the yappers yap.” Yes, we have advanced science. When have we ever walked away from the challenge of proving it? If you want a good laugh, go and ask one of these dogmatists why they think their dogma is more scientific, then compare and contrast with our discussions.

There is always going to be more false paths than the  one true path. In class society, there will always be more liars than speakers of truth. It takes time. It’s a protracted struggle, as Mao taught. We have to have proletarian attitude about all of this. No quick victories. We have to be long marchers, day in, day out. In a mere few years, under very bad conditions, with little money, we have established a new global revolutionary movement. This is just based on the pure science, on the idea. Imagine how it’s going to take off once we solve more organizational and logistical issues. We are just getting started. This is an exciting time to be alive. We are writing history as others write plays.

4. Those who are awake, the serious people, congratulate you on all you have accomplished. It is astonishing when you think about it. Some are always going to bring it back to one issue: You are rejecting Marx’s categories for your own. Are you?

There is always a doubting Thomas. And if I am moving beyond Karl Marx, so what? Marx should be seen as a scientist, not as a religious figure. Even Marx said “I am not a Marxist” on his deathbed. Most of those who claim to be Marxists today should not be seen as real Marxists. Rather, they are people who worship Marx, or Lenin, or Mao as one would worship God or a saint. No leader or writer is infallible. People are not perfect. Real Marxism is one and one thing only: the best science applied to the task of reaching the communist ideal, ending all systematic oppression. Science evolves. The best science is a science that is always evolving, advancing, becoming more powerful, able to solve more problems. Now contrast this with how dogmatists regard Marxism, Leninism, or Maoism. Their ideology is a metaphysics. It is stagnant, frozen. No innovation. Now, contrast their work to all-powerful Leading Light Communism.

Some people confuse innovation with revisionism. If all innovation were revisionist, Lenin would be a revisionist who ruined Marxism. Mao would be a revisionist who deviated from Marxism and Leninism. Even late Marx would be a revisionist who deviated from early Marx. This is a completely incorrect understanding of revisionism. Revisionism is not just about changing or updating Marxism. It is about revising the revolutionary heart out of the science. Revisionism can come in many forms. It does not always present itself as an innovation. It can also present itself as preservation of the orthodoxy. When it comes down to it, revisionism is really just about deviating from the science, which means deviating from Leading Light Communism. Updating, advancing, is necessary for a science to survive, to say relevant, to not ossify into dead, frozen metaphysics.

This reworking of basic categories is not exactly new. The Maoists were some of the biggest critics of revisionism. Yet Mao himself offered a new theory of class in his analysis of China. By the time of the Cultural Revolution, or the last years of Mao’s life, Maoists began to introduce the concept of the “new bourgeoisie.” This became applied to people like Deng Xiaoping or Liu Shaoqi by later-day Maoists. Did Liu Shaoqi or Deng Xiaoping own the means of production in the same way a traditional capitalist does? Could Deng Xiaoping sell a shoe factory to anyone he wanted? Could he give it away of his wife as a wedding present? Could he turn any factory in China into his personal swimming pool? Of course not. There were some similarities between the higher levels of the Chinese bureaucracy and the traditional capitalists, but also some differences. Hence the adjective “new” was used in describing this new bourgeoisie. The point here is that the Maoists had begun to separate class from the point of production in the strict sense found in Marx. They began to have a more complex view of class to match shifting realities. Similarly, in the United States, there is a situation where the old categories do not fit. A person in the United States might earn a wage in one job, yet might have an online-trading business to make extra money. They might also technically own the means of production through the ownership or stocks or through their retirement plan. On top of that, they partake of all kinds of public institutions that feed off of exploitation in the Third World. Some of these institutions they have some limited control over through the democratic process. Others they benefit from, but have less control over. At the same time, these ordinary people in the First World share the bourgeois way of life. Even if they do not own capital, they have access to it if they chose to liquefy their assets or take out loans. Just as the Maoists implied that the ownership of China’s productive capacity by the reactionary bureaucracy is collective, a similar process can be seen to have happened with ordinary people in the First World. They have complex relationships to production and distribution, but that relationship to production is less and less important. They partake of the benefits of being in the First World, the role of exploiter has been collectivized across whole strata and across whole geographic regions. It doesn’t really matter if they earn a wage or not. What is key is that they siphon off value unjustly from others or from the system as a whole. Whether that value ends up in their pockets through a wage or salary, in their pockets from a benefit payment, or a flow from a private sale, or if it ends up in an institution that they have a say in running or are benefiting from, of if they get a benefit by simply living in a geographic area, is not the main thing. The main thing is that they are exploiting others, what superficial form the value transfer takes is not as important. There are all kinds of ways exploitation happens, that value gets shifted around. And much of it is hidden from us. Just as it may not be immediately apparent how a man like Deng Xiaoping who earns a salary can be a part of the bourgeoisie, it may not be immediately apparent how a US worker can be. However, it is very important to look beneath surfaces. Just as Marx exposed a reality obscured by commodity fetishism, it is important to expose the reality obscured by dogma and privilege. Updating the science is fine, introducing new categories or changing old ones is fine so long as the new categories are better tools in terms of making revolution, as long as they have more predictive and explanatory power. Those who read Leading Light closely will know that Global Class Analysis not only updates our understanding of the First World, but also the Third World. Leading Light Communism also pioneers the theory of the New Proletariat and understanding the revolutionary demographics of the slums of Third World megacities. Again, this is a departure from the tradition that feels it is necessary to link class to the point of production. “But Marx said” is not a compelling argument against reality.

Today, when the people’s movement is at such an impasse, it is the time for great leaders to come forward with  real, true scientific advances, with Leading Light Communism. This is also why Leading Light Communism has been more well received in the Third World. The real proletariat in the Third World faces obliteration at the hands of empire. The impasse of the people’s movement has real consequences for them. Their sons and daughters are dying. Their land is poisoned. Finding a way out of the stagnation matters. Science matters. To put science back in the forefront of the people’s movement is to take back the future from those who have stolen it from us. This is why we say “our future is our own.” Now that the scientific breakthrough has been made, armed with the all-powerful sword of Leading Light Communism, nothing can stop us. Destiny is ours.

5. You said you were breaking things down in a simpler way in this interview so that you could be understood. Do you mean to say that what you are proposing here is a simplification? Because it is all very challenging.

I’m simplifying things a lot here. We’ve introduced the conception of high and low science in my writings. There are different audiences for different ideas and presentations. Different people need to hear different things depending on where they are in the learning curve. Some people are more advanced than others. Some people are even more advanced. Some lights illuminate. Some blind. There is high and low science. Then, there is really really high science, science that is part of our deepest politics. It’s just not helpful to expose people to it at this point. People are not ready yet. Plus, it could expose the organization to attack. When people are ready, we’ll introduce higher levels when their eyes adjust a bit to the current light being shined in their faces, when they are ready.

Someone recently described Leading Light as “Search and Rescue Team, Plato’s Cave.” This is very funny because she was not the first person to guess the other name of our organization. The allegory of the cave in The Republic is probably the most famous scene in all of philosophy. Socrates describes a scene where people are strange prisoners in a cave, chained to a wall. Because of the position of the light source, the prisoners only see themselves and objects as reflections on the cave walls. They mistake shadows for reality. All their lives they are mistaken. Imagine how difficult it would be trying to explain the outside world to one of the prisoners. Mao talks about the frog stuck in well. He looks up and mistakes the small patch of sky for the world. Imagine trying to educate someone who had somehow survived in a well their whole life about all the wonders of the world. Socrates points out that if one of those prisoners who had grown up his whole life in the cave suddenly was exposed to the outside world and sunlight, it would hurt his eyes, perhaps even blinding him until he adjusted. He would not immediately understand what was going on around him. Pain was the experience of Neo when he first woke up in the Matrix movie. All the world is a cave, illusions created by mind and class society. And leaving this cave can be blinding. This is how it is with truth, with real science, all-powerful, awesome, glorious Leading Light Communism. Some prisoners are still all the way in the deepest pit of the cave. Others are fumbling their way out. Some sit on the edge of darkness and light, like the Buddha of myth, refusing to embark to paradise before rescuing everyone else. Maoists used to say, “you cannot break every chain but one” In other words, all chains have to be broken to achieve true freedom. Similarly, Leading Light states that “nobody is free until we all are.” Socrates said those trying to rescue the prisoners would even risk their own death because of the ignorance of the prisoners themselves. And, Socrates did eventually meet that fate at the hands of the Athenian state. As Leading Lights, we, pledge everything in this great cause, even our lives.