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Is Leading Light Communism the path, or the goal?

5f5463992975d7a0dd09922e7d20ee45Is Leading Light Communism the path, or the goal?

By Comrade Jacob Brown

(llco.org)

What is Leading Light Communism, exactly? In some places, comrade Prairie Fire speaks of Leading Light Communism as the most advanced stage of the science of revolution. In other places, comrade Prairie Fire talks about Leading Light Communism as the final goal of socialist revolution, “communism” itself.

Which is it then? Is Leading Light Communism the path, or the destination? It seems that an ideological gap has emerged. Those equipped with orthodox Marxism-Leninism and Maoism are not typically able to grasp what is being said here, given their constricted approach to epistemology. Nevertheless, the traditional Leninist outlook on communism is one of stages, and this is the currently dominant paradigm in what remains of the old international communist movement.

It is the responsibility of Leading Light Communists to explain the difference, as the ideological forerunners of the Leading Light Communist movement at one time called its ideology “Maoism-Third Worldism”. This was conceived of as “taking the First Worldism out of Maoism, and the capitalism out of Third Worldism”. While this was a synthesis of sorts, it wasn’t a real breakthrough in and of itself. This is why some Marxist-Leninist critics of contemporary expressions of Maoism-Third Worldism would say that Maoism-Third Worldism was “simply [anti-revisionist] Marxism-Leninism”, effectively rendering Maoism-Third Worldism as a sectarian artifice. In a certain respect, these Marxist-Leninist and Maoist critics are correct. This is why a new break with the old dogma has been initiated by Leading Light Communists throughout the world.

The Leading Light does not view the struggle for communism, and the revolutionary science that flows from that practice, as being some kind of “continuity” with the high points of the previous waves of communist revolution –with some pretense of “rupture” with backward lines within the old international communist movement thrown in. Leading Light Communism demands a bigger break with the past, not to negate the past glories and lessons learned from the previous wave, but with a serious communist commitment to global social investigation and a 21st century communist practice that is geared to actually win.

With the purported desire to break with past communist conceptual frameworks, it might seem rather odd to the reader that in order to explain the thinking behind the term “Leading Light Communism”, we refer back to some things Karl Marx had said in The German Ideology and other manuscripts. We don’t do this for sake of “continuity” at all. We instead seek to demonstrate that communism itself is neither a standalone doctrine, nor some far off endpoint in history, but the actually existing movement of the world’s oppressed and exploited majority against all exploitation and oppression.

From Marx’s letter to Ruge (1843):

“Therefore I am not in favour of raising any dogmatic banner. On the contrary, we must try to help the dogmatists to clarify their propositions for themselves. Thus, communism, in particular, is a dogmatic abstraction; in which connection, however, I am not thinking of some imaginary and possible communism, but actually existing communism as taught by Cabet, Dézamy, Weitling, etc. This communism is itself only a special expression of the humanistic principle, an expression which is still infected by its antithesis – the private system. Hence the abolition of private property and communism are by no means identical, and it is not accidental but inevitable that communism has seen other socialist doctrines – such as those of Fourier, Proudhon, etc. – arising to confront it because it is itself only a special, one-sided realisation of the socialist principle.”

“…[Nothing] prevents us from making criticism of politics, participation in politics, and therefore real struggles, the starting point of our criticism, and from identifying our criticism with them. In that case we do not confront the world in a doctrinaire way with a new principle: Here is the truth, kneel down before it! We develop new principles for the world out of the world’s own principles. We do not say to the world: Cease your struggles, they are foolish; we will give you the true slogan of struggle. We merely show the world what it is really fighting for, and consciousness is something that it has to acquire, even if it does not want to.” (1)

From “Private Property and Communism” (1844):

“Whereas the still immature communism seeks an historical proof for itself – a proof in the realm of what already exists – among disconnected historical phenomena opposed to private property, tearing single phases from the historical process and focusing attention on them as proofs of its historical pedigree (a hobby-horse ridden hard especially by Cabet, Villegardelle, etc.). By so doing it simply makes clear that by far the greater part of this process contradicts its own claim, and that, if it has ever existed, precisely its being in the past refutes its pretension to reality.”

“Communism is… the actual phase necessary for the next stage of historical development in the process of human emancipation and rehabilitation. Communism is the necessary form and the dynamic principle of the immediate future, but communism as such is not the goal of human development, the form of human society.” (2)

From “The German Ideology” (1845):

“Communism is for us not a state of affairs which is to be established, an ideal to which reality [will] have to adjust itself. We call communism the real movement which abolishes the present state of things. The conditions of this movement result from the premises now in existence.” (3)

If the last quote from “The German Ideology” seems familiar to some readers, it may be because there has been a brief renaissance of the “original Marx” in the recent decades following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. This renaissance coincided with an attempted ideological fusion between various trends within the so-called “anti-globalization movement”, as well as various trends of anarchism, “communization”, and “ultraleftist / left communist” trends. The EZLN in Chiapas, Mexico was also in focus at the beginning of this post-Soviet era “breath of fresh air” out from decades-long Marxist-Leninist orthodoxy because of the uprising against the Mexican state in 1994.

But for reasons the Leading Light Communists have already pointed out many times, it would be incorrect to pretend that Marx’s view of global class polarization during his lifetime would apply to the age of capitalism-imperialism, to say nothing of the 21st century. It is precisely this exact error of those with this fascination with the “original Marx; untainted by Leninist ‘stages’ and ‘vanguards’ and ‘proletarian dictatorships’” that leads some of them to attempt a vulgarized “synthesis” of these various trends (4), while leading others with the same ideological preoccupations to characterize the EZLN uprising and other anti-colonial or Indigenous liberation movements in the Global South as having “authoritarian” deviations (5).

The response of much of the post-Soviet era Left (with any pretense of anti imperialism and anti-colonialism to it) to the “new, but old” criticism by the new wave of revanchist, Eurocentric, ultraleftists hinged on an extreme subjectivism around identity and localized cultural narratives (6). A rejection of universality, and with it a rejection of any notion of revolutionary science, was an inoculation of the 21st century decolonizer from colonial conceptions of universality –which finds expression in contemporary First Worldist “socialism” of today, all the way back to Christopher Columbus, and every export of “advanced culture” to the colonized within that 500+ year span of time. The cruel irony is that this subjectivism , even as it finds new expressions in our times to resist the openly social-chauvinist “Marxist critique”, does nothing to ideologically prepare the masses to resist neocolonial subversion of the revolutionary process. Indeed, it is often the case that such extreme subjectivism paves the way for even greater neocolonialist penetration of the world’s exploited (7).

It is clear that we need universality back on the communist and anti-imperialist agenda once again– specifically, universality in revolutionary science, universality in our practice, and universality in the final aim. We can kindly (at least at first go) dismiss those who insist on the subjectivist approach to engaging in the struggle against imperialism, as the global proletariat needs to be able assert itself as a class and establish its New Power in the world. Leading Lights don’t need to wait for some 5.5 billion individual people’s stories to be told before we can understand something about group level oppression, and how to uproot and eliminate it. We need to put Leading Light Communism in command, as the general will of the world’s oppressed –the Global Mass Line.

Conversely, we cannot copy previous models of class polarization put forward by Marx and Engels over 160 years ago. Our echoed assertion of communism as “the real movement which abolishes the present state of things” must be distinguished from previous Marxist conceptions of communism. This remains the case, even as we revisit one such previous conception. We do this to highlight what has been understandably muted by the classical Marxist-Leninist emphasis on a socialist stage lasting for “a long historical period” on route to full communism. We uphold Leading Light Communism as the science of revolution, and that Leading Light Communism is also the final aim of the Global People’s War and the New Power that its victories bring into being.

However, it is impossible for Leading Light Communism to either solely be the highest stage of revolutionary science, nor solely the final aim. The third aspect of what we call Leading Light Communism is what binds the science and the final aim together: Leading Light Communism is the real movement today which abolishes the present state of things. It is precisely the struggle itself to wipe national, gender, and class oppression off the face of the Earth. The assertion of the New Power of the Leading Light (via the unfolding process of Global People’s War, and the radical social experimentation that follows its victories) negates the oppression of some groups of humans by other groups.

There is no revolutionary science without active practice in the struggle for Leading Light Communism no theory without practice, only stale dogma. This unites Leading Light Communism the science with Leading Light Communism the actually existing movement against the oppressive rule of the old powers. Likewise, there is no final aim without active practice in the struggle for Leading Light Communism. No materialism-based communism can be some far off “heaven on Earth”, as it must be brought into being through the conscious activity of the revolutionary subject. This in turn unites Leading Light Communism the final aim with Leading Light Communism the actually existing movement of the New Power against the oppressive rule of the old powers.

This third definition of Leading Light Communism also allows for the broadest possible United Front against imperialism. With Leading Light Communism representing the most advanced expression of actually existing class struggle today, other tendencies representing broad masses of people of certain historically oppressed nation (or group of oppressed nations) or an oppressed gender in the Global South have a global standard of New Power to emulate and perhaps even surpass. Leading Light Communism claims a universality that these other socialist-oriented pan-nationalist tendencies, by their very definition, cannot claim. Nevertheless, this does not preclude Leading Light Communists from working with the broadest possible anti-imperialist coalition. What this does mean, is that in every instance of its work (whether working in coalition or on our own) the Leading Light will always put forward the material interests of the world’s oppressed and exploited majority first and foremost, and in tandem the strategic interests of the Leading Light in establishing its New Power in the world. Leading Light Communists, by definition, do not abdicate the responsibility of communist leadership within the United Front.

The point about surpassing Leading Light Communism is important, because the key to avoiding sectarianism is the recognition that Leading Light Communism fears no criticism. Indeed, if the advances of Leading Light Communism are surpassed by another tendency, that tendency becomes the Leading Light! The old “leading light” collectively must then reorient to a more correct line, or dissolve itself. The point is, only by continuously advancing Leading Light Communism through struggle, can any conservative dogmatic ossification of Leading Light Communism be negated. This also solves the basic epistemology problem of “stages of revolutionary science” represented by a historical communist leader’s name. Thus, the whole problem of an endless string of communist leaders’ names, as with what follows “Marxism-Leninism-Maoism” (when the science needs to advance) is resolved, alongside the tendency towards a bourgeois individualist deification of past communist leaders. Leading Light Communism by its very definition always positions itself to be the most advanced expression of communism today, not by pompous dogmatic declaration, but by testing (indeed, forging) the correctness of its line through the concrete criticism of the existing global struggle on our practice.

In turn, Leading Light Communism breaks with a tendency towards viewing the struggle for communism in a historical teleological way. The constant re-forging of the weapon of revolutionary science requires a conscious, revolutionary subject actively pushing the revolution forward towards Leading Light Communism. As comrade Prairie Fire pointed out previously:

“Our revolution is not chiseled into the atoms themselves. Our victory is not foretold by the stars. The Maoists began to see this, but did not go far enough. They understood that not only can revolutions go forward, they can go backward too. What is to stop the exploited and oppressed from rowing the boat in circles forever? There is one thing that will keep us moving forward: science. Science learns. Science adapts. This is why we must be guided by the Leading Light of revolutionary science.” (8)

Fundamentally, the resolution to the occasionally mysterious dual-definition of Leading Light Communism in LLCO literature is the third definition, which unites both the most advanced revolutionary science with the final aim. That is, Leading Light Communism is the actually exiting movement of the world’s oppressed and exploited majority today, with active cells growing and doing serious mass work in some of the poorest communities on the planet. And it is a struggle that needs your active participation as well. Walk this road of revolution with us, joining with the world’s proletariat to sweep away the old powers and make a whole new world! Get involved and be a Leading Light for communism today!

Notes:

1. Marx’s letter to Ruge (1843)

2. “Private Property and Communism”, Karl Marx (1844)

3. “The German Ideology”, Karl Marx (1845)

4. “Wobblies and Zapatistas”, Staughton Lynd (2008)

5. “A Commune in Chiapas?”, Aufheben #09 (Autumn 2000)

6. “Locating Race”, Malini Johar Schueller (2009)

7. “Revolutionary science in command, not identity politics”, http://llco.org/revolutionary-science-in-command-not-identity-politics/

8. Ibid.

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Revolutionary science in command, not identity politics

world-in-black-and-white-hands-1-300x300

Revolutionary science in command, not identity politics

(llco.org)

The true communist movement is guided by the Leading Light of revolutionary science. Marxism was the first synthesis that applied science to the task of total revolution, of reaching communism. Marxism-Leninism was the next breakthrough. Marxism-Leninism synthesized the universal lessons of the first wave of sustained proletarian revolutions, especially the Bolshevik revolution led by Lenin. Mao’s contribution or “Marxism-Leninism-Maoism” was the next. It represented the revolutionary synthesis of the greatest revolutionary upsurge in history. For a moment, a quarter of the world’s population in China cast their lot in with the Maoists to try to build a better world. When Mao’s theories represented the highest synthesis of revolutionary science, communists raised the slogan of “Mao Zedong Thought in command!” Later, this became “Maoism in command.” It has been almost a half century since the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, the last breakthrough by Maoists. Those who came before, including the Maoists, achieved great things, but also made many mistakes. Plus, the world has changed. The imperialists have been updating and perfecting their science of oppression. The Leading Light is the answer. Science learns. The Leading Light has elevated and advanced revolutionary science to a whole new, higher stage. Leading Light Communism is the highest stage of revolutionary science. It is the pinnacle of revolutionary thought today. Today, putting revolutionary science in command means putting Leading Light Communism in command. Other movements do not put revolutionary science in command. Many movements embrace emotionalism. Many movements make anti-science and anti-intellectualism a matter of principle. Many movements are based on identity. Many so-called Marxists claim to uphold revolutionary science, but few actually do. The capitalists have been so successful in their anti-communist propaganda that many “goodhearted newbies” are barely aware of the almost two centuries of scientific-revolutionary thinking that has come before. Imagine claiming to be a physicist today, but not knowing anything about Newton or Einstein. There are many who claim to be revolutionaries, but know next to nothing about Marx, Lenin, or Mao. The reactionaries have been very successful in spreading lies about the revolutionary movement. The task is on revolutionary leaders to raise the bar. The task is on us to increase political education. We are initiating the next great wave of revolution. If we are to go further toward communism, we must understand the past. We must put the most advanced revolutionary science in command, not identity. Here are some points to consider:

1. Only science can solve complex problems. The rejection of revolutionary science destroys the ability of the exploited and their allies to solve problems of poverty, development, the environment, health, power, etc. Those who attack revolutionary science only help the oppressors.

2. Those who oppose revolutionary science sabotage the efforts of the exploited and oppressed to liberate themselves. It sabotages revolution. It sabotages Third World liberation. It sabotages anti-imperialism. It sabotages the efforts to create revolutionary leadership. It creates a climate of anti-intellectualism amongst the oppressed and exploited and their allies. It creates a virtue out of the ignorance that  the oppressors have foisted upon the oppressed. Like the imperialists, such an outlook teaches the exploited and oppressed not to think, not to educate and advance themselves. It lowers the bar. It hinders the development of revolutionary leadership. It destroys the ability of the masses to become masters of their own destiny. It prevents the masses from becoming capable of self-rule. Such an outlook creates a climate where wealth, identity, charisma, popularity, position, connections, tradition are put in command. It creates a climate of corruption. It disempowers the masses. It hinders our advance toward socialism and communism.

3. The claim that revolutionary science is Euro-centric is the internalization of the European narrative that only Europeans develop and understand science. Revolutionary science is not “European.” Revolutionary science is not “white.” In fact, since Marx, world revolution has moved “eastward.” Our last great seizure of power occurred not in the “West,” but in China. Every human society has developed science and technology to various degrees. While the scientific revolution that helped usher in the capitalist era began in Europe, other civilizations have scientific traditions going back hundreds and thousands of years. Every complex society has developed intellectual and scientific traditions: China, India, the Middle East, Africa, the Americas, Europe. The rejection of revolutionary science is the internalization of the imperialist narrative that oppressed peoples are too primitive and ignorant to understand science. Those who reject science do a disservice to the masses.

4. To place identity over science does a disservice to anti-imperialism. Not only does it lower the bar generally, disempower the masses and weaken revolutionary leadership, it empowers comprador forces who use identity as a way to manipulate the masses toward reformist ends. It also undermines revolutionary feminism in favor of First Worldist so-called “feminism.” It is no accident that identity politics has become mainstreamed in the First World. It is the language of the Democratic Party, liberals, social democrats, pseudo-intellectals, pseudo-revolutionary academics, and other weenies. Identity politics is widely promoted within state (especially municipal) governments and non-profits. It is a fake “radicalism” to swindle the masses. If a political line cannot stand on its own without wrapping itself in identity or personal narrative, what does that say about the line?

5. Identity politics is not the answer to chauvinism. The way to answer chauvinism is not to disempower the masses, but to empower them with revolutionary science. This means giving the masses and revolutionary leaders the real tools they need to liberate themselves, not the tools they need to advance themselves within the reformist, pre-scientific and individualist-oriented systems.

6. Identity politics and narrow nationalism in the Third World lead to national oppression and fratricidal war. Such narrowness of mind only divides the masses. Only science can unite the world because science is rooted in reality.

7. Identity politics, especially in the First World, is itself a form of chauvinism. It empowers First World nationalism against Third World liberation. While we should support the struggles of First World captive nations, we should not do so at the expense of the Third World. We should not support the self-determination of First World captive nations at the expense of the Third World. To attack revolutionary science with First World identity politics is simply another form of First Worldism in disguise.

8. Ideology is a weapon, not a con. Not all ideologies are the same. Some ideologies are spoons. Some knives. Some bricks. Some guns. Some atomic weapons. Leading Light Communism, the highest form of revolutionary science to date, is the ultimate, all-powerful weapon. If we want the Third World free, if we want communism, then we arm the exploited and oppressed with the most powerful weapon available. If we want to end all oppression, we follow the Leading Light of revolutionary science. What else can unite humanity?

9. Revolutionary science is not a dogma. If another more powerful system of revolutionary science becomes available, then we arm the masses with that. If the fourth stage of revolutionary science gets surpassed, then our obligation is to embrace a fifth stage. If people want to surpass Leading Light Communism, then they need to do the real work necessary to advance science. Retreating into skepticism, relativism, nihilism, post-modernism, identity politics and other pseudo-intellectual weenie-isms does not help the exploited and oppressed. People need to get over their personal narratives and egos. Serve the people. Serve the Third World. Serve humanity.

10. Putting anything other than science in command is a security risk. Identity politics creates a climate where people are encouraged to reveal everything about themselves. It creates a climate where people are encouraged to tell their personal narrative, rather than discuss political line. It encourages a situation where people not only challenge others based on identity, but it encourages a situation where everyone is expected to give their personal information to establish their credentials. Politics should not look like a 12 Step meeting, it should be about power structures. Not only does identity politics make it easier for the state to collect information, it makes it easier to infiltrate activist circles. Identity politics is pig work.

There was a saying from the Stalin-era Soviet Union that the exploited and oppressed will row the boat to shore of communism with or without communist leadership. This is an incorrect outlook based on a teleological view of history. Our revolution is not inevitable. Our revolution is not chiseled into the atoms themselves. Our victory is not foretold by the stars. The Maoists began to see this, but did not go far enough. They understood that not only can revolutions go forward, they can go backward too. What is to stop the exploited and oppressed from rowing the boat in circles forever? There is one thing that will keep us moving forward: science. Science learns. Science adapts. This is why we must be guided by the Leading Light of revolutionary science. Today this means we must be guided by all-powerful, awesome Leading Light Communism.  Leading Light Communism in command! Revolutionary science in command! Follow the Leading Light! Be a Leading Light, not a dim bulb.

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What is fascism?

mussolini

What is fascism?
from MIM (2002)

(llco.org)

Here MIM culls some of the defining characteristics of fascism from classic texts of the Third International: Dimitrov’s report to the 7th world congress of the COMINTERN (1) and Dutt’s “Fascism and Social Revolution.”(2) Applying these principles today, we can say that even though the imperialists have not implemented fascist measures against the exploiter majority in First World countries, the imperialists are the principal prop of fascism in the oppressed nations. This is why MIM wages a concerted fight against nationalist social-democracy and fascism in Europe. Both are strains of militant parasitism; both support the status quo of oppression in the Third World.

1. Fascism is “the open terroristic dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinistic, and most imperialist elements of finance capital.”(Dimitrov, p. 2)

2. Fascism is an extreme measure taken by the bourgeoisie to forestall proletarian revolution; it “expresses the weakness of the bourgeoisie itself, afraid of the realization of a united struggle of the working class, afraid of revolution, and no longer in a position to maintain its dictatorship over the masses by the old means of bourgeois democracy and parliamentarianism.”(Dimitrov, p. 2) “The conditions [which give rise to fascism] are: instability of capitalist relationships; the existence of considerable declassed social elements, the pauperization of broad strata of the urban petit-bourgeoisie and of the intelligentsia; discontent among the rural petit-bourgeoisie, and finally, the constant menace of mass proletarian action.”(Dutt, p. 88)

3. Fascism concentrates each imperialist bloc into a single economic unit while at the same time increasing between-bloc antagonisms and advancing towards war. (Dutt, pp. 72-73)

4. Fascism promotes chauvinist demagogy (e.g. reducing the problem of parasitism to the “Jewish Question”) and anti-science obscuratinism (e.g. Dutt, pp. 54-58 or any Jerry Bruckheimer film). Fascism hypocritically adopts Marxist critiques of capitalism, and bourgeois democracy.(Dimitrov, pp. 6-7) It does this to “utilize the discontent of the petit-bourgeois, the intellectual, and other strata in society.”(Dutt, p. 89)

5. Still, fascism may not completely dispense with bourgeois democracy–e.g. banning revolutionary parties or even competing bourgeois parties–depending on “historical, social and economic conditions.”(Dimitrov, p. 4)

6. Both bourgeois democracy and fascism are forms of the class dictatorship of finance or comprador capital (in imperialist and semi-colonial countries, respectively)–that is, both use organized violence to maintain the class rule of the oppressors over the oppressed.

Hence, any differentiation between bourgeois democracy and fascism is a strategic or tactical matter–not a matter of Marxist principles.

7. The difference between bourgeois democracy and fascism is a matter of quantitative changes leading to a qualitative change. The qualitative differences are relevant to us in terms of their effect on our policies towards non-proletarian classes. “The accession to power of fascism is not an ordinary succession of one bourgeois government by another, but a substitution of one state form of class domination of the bourgeoisie–bourgeois democracy–by another form–open terrorist dictatorship. It would be a serious mistake to ignore this distinction, a mistake liable to prevent the revolutionary proletariat from mobilizing the widest strata of the working people of town and country for the struggle against the menace of seizure of power by the fascists, and from taking advantage of the contradictions which exist in the camp of the bourgeoisie itself. But it is a mistake, no less serious and dangerous, to underrate the importance of, for the establishment of fascist dictatorship, of the reactionary measures of the bourgeoisie at present increasingly developing in bourgeois-democratic countries–measures which suppress the democratic liberties of the working people, falsify and curtail the rights of parliament and intensify the repression of the revolutionary movement.”(Dimitrov, pp. 4-5; emphasis in the original)

8. Social democrats of the Second International ilk paved the way for the fascists by closely identifying itself with the national interests of their respective imperialists states, denying internationalism, placing their faith in bourgeois democracy and scuttling the extra-legal struggle for state power. Hence they earned the epithet “social fascists.”

9. The COMINTERN United Front policy was based on its assessment that “[f]ascism is the most viscious enemy of the working class and working people, who constitute nine-tenths of the people in [the] fascist [and proto-fascist] countries.”(p. 12) Furthermore, the working class in these countries constituted a unified proletariat. Fascism was eroding the material basis for differences between communist and social-democratic workers.(E.g. Dimitrov, pp. 24-34)

10. The labor aristocracy is majority in the imperialist countries and not proletarian. The fact that the imperialist allow the labor aristocracy bourgeois democracy is an example of the alliance between these two classes and consistent with the following observation from Dutt: “Fascism strives to establish political and organizational unity among all the governing classes of capitalist society (the bankers, the big industrialists and the agrarians), and to establish their undivided, open and consistent dictatorship.”(Dutt, p 89; emphasis added)

Notes:

1. George Dimitrov, Against Fascism and War, New York: International Publishers, 1986.
2. R Palme Dutt, Fascism and Social Revolution, New York: International Publishers, 1934.

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On patriarchy, coconuts, and feminism

On patriarchy, coconuts, and feminismpalm-trees-on-the-island

(llco.org)

First Worldism is a bag of dogmas that are uncritically accepted by most so-called revolutionaries today. In its most general form, First Worldism is the belief that there is a significant proletariat, a significant social base for revolution in the First World. It would be a mistake to think that First Worldism is simply about First World workers. There are many other ways that First Worldism is smuggled into the revolutionary movement. For example, one form of First Worldism looks to cobble together a stand-in proletariat from national minorities or oppressed nation populations in the First World. Yet another is to cobble together a stand-in proletariat from First World queers. Yet another is to try to cobble together a stand-in proletariat from First World women.These latter political lines are some of the last bastions of First Worldism. Perhaps because First Worldist organizations are dominated by men who want to do right by their women comrades, perhaps because of lingering guilt of male activists, perhaps because of identity politics, First Worldist feminism is considered sacrosanct. It is considered off limits even by those who might otherwise considered themselves “Third Worldists.” It is a strange “Third Worldism” that considers the majority of the First World population, First World women, to be so oppressed to be a revolutionary agent. So more and more First Worldists turn to First Worldist feminism and gender activism. First Worldism gets a second or third life. So First Worldism must die yet again. Only, this time, ever greater levels of farce that surrounds its demise.

How can First World women benefit by the patriarchal oppression of Third World women? Let’s explain it by imagining  two, small islands. One island is called “Fiwo.” It has a male and a female on it, Jack and Jacky. The second island is called “Tiwo.” It has a male and a female on it, Pat and Patricia. Jack and Jacky both like coconuts. However, it is very difficult to get coconuts. Gathering Coconuts is hard work. Jack and Jacky happen to have a gun that washed up one day on their island. Jack and Jacky pay an armed visit to Tiwo. There, they threaten the population of Tiwo. “Ten coconuts a day or you will both die!” Pat and Patricia are forced to meet their demands. Pat gathers three coconuts, but then gets tired. Pat comes up with a plan. Since Tiwo has strong traditions that demand women must do what men say, Pat demands Patricia gather the remaining seven coconuts. After all, Pat says, “You must follow my commands. We can’t go against tradition.” Furthermore, Pat, being a male, is a bit larger than Patricia. He adds, “and if you don’t gather the seven, I will beat you.” In the face of so much pressure, Patricia relents. She spend her day gathering the seven coconuts for Jack and Jacky who then distribute the full ten coconuts evenly. Since Jack and Jacky do not have to spend their time gathering coconuts, they use their free time to hunt and gather. The standard of living of all the inhabitants of Fiwo increase because of the imperialist and patriarchal oppression of Tiwo. Even though Jacky is a women, she benefits from the imperialist and patriarchal oppression of another women, Patricia.

In this simple thought experiment, it is easy to see how a woman can benefit from the patriarchal oppression of another women. It should not be too difficult to imagine how a woman in an imperialist country can benefit not simply through economic oppression of a woman in the Third World, but also the patriarchal oppression of a woman in the Third World. It should be easy to see how women in the Third World are pressed into working some of the worst jobs, pressed into maintaining the domestic sphere in an unfair way, pressed sometimes into horrible marriages where they are forced to be slaves to their husbands, etc. And, this patriarchal oppression squeezes even more out of the Third World woman than economic oppression by itself. There is a extra value that is consumed by the First World population, both male and female, that is over and above what would be generated by the economic oppression of of Third World women by itself, above what would be generated if men and women in the Third World were equally exploited. This extra value can, in part, be accounted for by patriarchal oppression of the Third World working woman. This extra value can, in part, be account for by the patriarchal oppression of the Third World woman in the domestic sphere also.

This idea should not be that big a leap for those who are familiar with Maoist thinking. Imperialism created a divided world. Imperialism creates a group of wealthy countries at the expense of poor countries. The populations of the wealthy countries have so lavish a lifestyle that the revolutions in those countries are, as Lin Biao famously said, “delayed.” Maoists called these countries “the global city.” These countries are also called “the First World.” Imperialism also creates a group of poor countries, “the global countryside,” “the Third World.” Imperialism transfers wealth from the Third World in order to keep the First World happy. In order to maintain First World development, imperialism interrupts the development of these Third World economies. In order to continue exploiting the Third World for the benefit of the First World, imperialism imposes a unique mode of production, a kind of mal-development, onto the Third World. This is both a mode of production and a political order that combines the worst elements of capitalism with feudalism. The order that results is a fusion of capitalism and feudalism that rejects the progressive, developmental aspects of capitalism. It is a comprador capitalism that does not bring progressive development that benefits the Third World combined with feudal aspects of production and political control. The most barbaric aspects of capitalism are combined with the barbarism of feudalism in order to keep value flowing from the Third World to the First World.

One aspect of feudalism is extreme patriarchy. Historically, feudalism is bound up with a gender apartheid where women are valued much lower than men. The feudal order justifies itself by reference to the family. Feudal lords are seen as father figures whose rule is as natural, it is said, as that of the father over the family. Women and children are often seen as property of the father. This extreme patriarchy is a pillar of semi-feudalism just as it is of traditional feudalism. Extreme patriarchy, as part of semi-feudalism, is propped up and sustained by imperialism. Thus this extreme patriarchy is imposed on the Third World for the benefit of the First World. It should not be hard to see how patriarchal oppression of women in one part of the world can benefit men and women in another part of the world. The brutality that women face in the Third World is part of a global system that provides a lavish lifestyle to people in the First World. Both men and women in the First World have their life options increased by the restriction of life options in the Third World. In this way, we can see how these ideas are not completely alien to the Maoist tradition. In fact, we could even say that this view of gender is implied by Maoist theory, even if it took Leading Light to unpack it.

Most so-called Marxists are no different than liberals when it comes to gender. Although they claim they uphold “proletarian feminism,” the reality is they merely repeat the talking points of liberals, of social democrats. Their feminism is one that looks at the world from the standpoint of the woman in the First World. They then take the outlook and condition of the First World woman to be universal. Just as they mistakenly believe First World men to be their enemy, they see the main enemy of Third World women to be Third World men. They grossly exaggerate the importance of the relatively small gender skirmishes between the First World genders. Then they go on to project their own condition onto the Third World. They claim there is no First World nor Third World women. They claim there is only women. And all women look like themselves, related to the world as they do, should share their interests, etc. And, when women of the Third World do not share their outlook, as they so often do not, First Worldist feminists think Third World women are deeply confused. First Worldist feminism, often masquerading as “proletarian feminism,” takes on the paternalist role of telling Third World women they are backward and in need of education. In its worst form, this is why First Worldist feminists support imperialist wars that target Third World peoples. Imperialists bomb Third World men and women for their own good, so the First Worldist feminist says.

Real proletarian feminism rejects this First Worldist dogma. Real proletarian feminism looks at the world through the eyes of the vast majority of women, the poor masses of the Third World. It is a feminism that understands that what Lenin called “the divide in the working class” is mirrored in the female population globally. There is no reason to simply assume that all women are equally oppressed by patriarchy. There is no reason to assume that women are all oppressed in the same ways. There is no reason to assume that some women cannot benefit from patriarchy just as some workers benefit from capitalism-imperialism. First World women benefit from the oppression of Third World women just as First World workers benefit from the economic oppression of Third World workers. Proletarian feminism understands that life options of First World women are increased often by the restriction of life options for Third World women. Real proletarian feminism, just as real global class analysis, is a guide to what Mao called the “first question” of revolution: “Who are our enemies? Who are our friends?”

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Comments on economism, right, and left errors

Comments on economism, right, and left errors

(llco.org)

“Dear Leading Light,

What is does the error of “economism” refer to?”

Leading Light replies:

Thank you for writing.

“Economism” is a term used to refer to a certain type of error. “Tailing” or “tailism” is another term often used for this error. Continuing rightist errors lead to rightist revisionism, a certain way of abandoning the revolution. It is the error of overemphasizing the more immediate, short-term, local, etc. interests of the masses to the detriment of their more distant, long-term, universal, etc. interests. For example, to only focus on the immediate interests of the masses (or recruits) such as higher wages or political reform, without connecting those the distant interests of abolishing class, ending patriarchy, liberating the Earth, actually reaching Leading Light Communism is to make this error.  Lenin criticized those who tailed the trade-union movement of his day. Lenin saw that tailing the trade unions was an error that would not lead to revolution, but only reform. Similarly, Lenin criticized those who held that revolution could be achieved by tailing political reformists through social-democratic, legislative victories within the bourgeois state. Mao criticized those who tailed after the united front to the point of liquidation of the leading role of the Party. Revolution is not made by gaining small, piecemeal concessions from the capitalist order. Revolution is not made primarily through reforms within the bourgeois order. Leading Light Communism is not reached by making small steps within the current system. There is no compromise with the old system, the Old Power. The Old Power is fundamentally an instrument of oppression. Rather,  the Old Power, must be swept away. It must be replaced by a New Power. To sweep away the Old, to create the New, to really win, requires the strong leadership, organization, discipline, political line, and science of Leading Light Communism.

Right errors are errors of tailing the masses (or recruits) or their organizations, rather than leading them to Leading Light Communism. In a sense, all errors are errors of political line, errors that can be solved through political rectification, education, training, discipline, etc. However, right errors are also tied to bourgeois or petty-bourgeois character. Such political errors can be exacerbated and caused in part by bourgeois and petty-bourgeois traits, a bourgeois or petty-bourgeois mentality: cowardice, lack of courage, lack of discipline, liberalism, putting superficial unity with others above political line, big ego, etc. Rather than taking on the burden of leading people to Leading Light Communism, those who make this error tail after everything under the sun. They tail after the immediate demands of the masses (or recruits) they tail after their friends and family, they tail after nationalists, First Worldist fake-feminists, or others. They do not have the courage to stand up, point out errors, teach and lead. They make the fundamental mistake of thinking that the way to lead people is by pretending to agree with them, not criticizing them, not educating them, etc. Although they do not see it, they are usually not respected by those they compromise with. Spinelessness is not an attractive characteristic. Rather than pulling the masses (or recruits) to revolution, the masses (or recruits) pull them to reformism and First Worldism.

By contrast, left errors are usually when you are too far ahead of the masses (or recruits). Left errors are usually when your demands on the masses (or recruits) are so advanced that you are unable to effectively reach or positively influence your audience. For example, anarchist demands to immediately end all hierarchy, to dispense with leadership, discipline, organization, etc. are ultra-left. The demand to end marriage or the traditional family immediately is ultra-left at present. The radical green attempt to save the Earth without regard for human need is ultra-left. The demand that people change every aspect of their personal lives immediately is ultra-left. You cannot simply wave a magic wand and change the world. You cannot change the world by fiat. Also, you cannot simply command change at bayonet point. You can demand anything you want, but really changing the world means meeting people where they are and pulling them forward, leading them. Mao called this “mass line.” You connect local, immediate issues to the big picture. Peasants want land. Mao used the issue of land as a way to advance people in stages to socialism then communism. Just as land is not an end in itself, better wages are not either. Land and wage struggles amongst poor peoples should only be seen as bridges to further revolutionary advances. They are not ends in themselves, by themselves they are not revolutionary. Another left error is the inability to make limited alliances with social groups or forces. For example, those who fail to support the united front against imperialism make a left error. Those who fail to side with patriotic-bourgeois, Third World regimes and forces that are attacked by imperialism make a left error. The Leading Light neither tails, neither cheerleads, neither liquidates into the united front nor abandons it. The Leading Light line is “Uphold the broad united front! Hold the Red Flag high!” In other words, critical support to all those fighting imperialism while at the same time contending for leadership of the united front. Those who seek to remain so pure that they cannot make alliances engage in a destructive left error. Like all errors, left errors are political errors, but they too can be exacerbated or caused in part by a bourgeois or petty-bourgeois character, bourgeois or petty-bourgeois mentality. Meanness, impatience, big ego, lack of love for the people, lack of compassion, lack of empathy, lack of humility, for example, often accompany left errors. Compounded left errors can lead to left revisionism just as compounded right errors lead to right revisionism.

Right and left errors often are found in the same individual. Individuals who make errors will often zigzag between the right and left. Sometimes right errors hide left errors; sometimes left errors mask right errors. This is because both kinds of errors result from lack of revolutionary science, from lack of solid Leading Light Communism, organization and discipline. They stem from lack of fully understanding Leading Light Communism, but also from lack of implementing its political line at the level of your character. Both types of errors can lead to revisionism, do nothingism, wrecking, pig work, snitching, gossiping, and other counter-revolutionary behavior.

As always, remember that the First World is very different from the Third World. The First World has no significant revolutionary social base, no proletariat. The vast majority of the Third World is made up of proletarian classes, poor peoples. This means that techniques of leadership will be very different in the First World than the Third World. In the Third World, mass line is an important tool. While some of Lenin’s and Mao’s approaches are still useful in the First World, Leading Lights in the First World will need to be much more creative. In the Third World, Leading Lights must mobilize the revolutionary social base. In the First World, Leading Lights must gather up anomalies for resistance against the First World. Since there are no significant masses in the First World, mass line does not apply broadly in the First World as it does the Third World. Those who attempt to simply apply mass line in the First World as you would the Third World end up in First Worldism, tailing reformism, tailing NGOs and non-profit organizations, bourgeois parties, etc. Accommodating First Worldists generally does not help the cause of the proletariat unless it is generating resources and recruits for the Leading Light. Those who muddle First Worldism with Leading Light Communism end up lying to the real masses in the Third World and giving cover for First Worldism of various kinds. Leading Lights in the First World will need to find new ways to recruit, new ways to educate, etc. that do not pretend the populations of the First World are revolutionary. In the course of implementing the glorious strategic plan of the Leading Light, the leadership has developed new, creative methods that will gather First World anomalies and transform them into Leading Light cadre.

Currently, the main problems are rightist ones. Rectify this by increasing the level of political education within the organization. Every cadre must deepen their grasp of the general line. Those rightists who tail so much that they let First Worldism slide do no favors to our cause. Every cadre should make an effort to educate at least one recruit or fence sitter. Those cadres with a better grasp of leadership should make an effort to educate those who have slipped into errors, especially rightist errors. Every cadre must increase their discipline as we go forward. Leading Lights are soldiers as well as teachers. Every cadre must put in work, sacrifice, donate on a regular basis. Be a red soldier of the Leading Light! Follow the Leading Light! Be the Leading Light! The sun is rising. Our day will come.

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Do Nothingism is counter-revolutionary

pinkchair

Do Nothingism is counter-revolutionary

(llco.org)

The world is a nightmare. Half of humanity lives and dies on less than 3 dollars a day. There are more people in India making 80 cents a day than even exist in the United States.. 22,000 children die due to poverty each and every day. Approximately 800 million people in the Third World world are chronically undernourished. The disparity between the wealthiest countries and the poorest ones is about 72 to 1. For the vast majority, for the global poor in the Third World, daily life is a struggle to survive. By contrast, life is relatively easy for the global bourgeoisie in the First World. Wealth in the First World is a result of poverty and suffering in the Third World. The consumption in the First World is so great that it threatens global survival.

There are those amongst the global bourgeoisie who are completely oblivious to the fact that their lives are based on the exploitation of the global poor and the Earth. They happily or unhappily go about their days unaware of the impact of their lives. This describes many ordinary people in the First World. However, there are others who do understand that their privilege is connected to the suffering of the vast majority and plunder of the Earth. Even though they realize the truth, they still choose to do nothing. They make a conscious choice of inaction. In many ways, it is the former group that is less morally reprehensible than the latter. Both groups enable oppression, but only the latter group has made a conscious choice to do so. Those who see suffering, but choose to walk away are more reprehensible than those who fail to ever notice it. Those who recognize global suffering, but fail to act against it, fail to support the people and their organization, are guilty of Do Nothingism.  Those in the First World who are aware of the great problems facing us yet do nothing, who stay aloof, are “parlor pinks,” social-imperialists despite what they may think. Do Nothingism is a major form of revisionism today.

There is no excuse to turn away from reality. There is no excuse to not fight for a better future. We must take on the burden of leadership.  We must put pettiness and ego aside. We must dare to do what needs to be done. Revolution is not easy. Creating a whole new world of peace, justice, and sustainability will not happen overnight. Success will only come if we stand together as one. Victory will only come through organization, discipline, loyalty, leadership. It is not enough to be willing to die for Leading Light Communism, to die for the total liberation of humanity and the Earth. We must be willing to live, patiently, everyday for revolution. We must be willing to take on the small burdens, the small tasks, the invisible tasks, that are required. We must be willing to give our time and resources. It is not enough to declare our commitment, we must prove it through action. Duty demands of us everyday. We must answer.  We can wake up from the  nightmare of capitalism. We must always remember that revolutionaries are optimists.

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Revisionism of the Cowardly Lion in the First World

Revisionism of the Cowardly Lion in the First Worldfurry

(llco.org)

Do Nothingism is one of the biggest forms of revisionism. It is especially prevalent in the First World. Many people recognize that the system is a horror, yet they choose inactivity, surrender. A choice is made not to aid the struggle, not even at arm’s length with a donation. So, these parlor pinks sit back and enjoy the privileges of being part of the global bourgeoisie, part of the First World. Often they convince themselves that they are not part of the problem because they can mouth some revolutionary rhetoric or self-identify as “communists.” To know there is a problem and do nothing about it is a greater moral failing than those in the First World who are blissfully ignorant of the horrors of the world. Choosing the wrong path is, in a sense, worse than simply stumbling down it. Lately, a similar, new type of revisionism is making more and more noise: Cowardly Lionism.

The Cowardly Lion roars about revolution, yet does little to actually aid revolution. The meme1Cowardly Lion is a guerrilla pornographer, who has never seen combat — as though online posting of images and news clippings of far-off battles aids those struggles one iota. The Cowardly Lion spams photos of AK-47s on facebook, yet would not know how to aim one at 50 meters. The Cowardly Lion roars about  people’s war, yet wrecks those who attempt to carry it out. The Cowardly Lion has no respect for those who actually have put their lives on the line, who have spilled blood or risked prison. The Cowardly Lion chooses to wave the red flag, even when waving the red flag undermines solidarity with Third World struggles. The Cowardly Lion chooses to preserve his own identity as a “communist,” he chooses himself, over effectively aiding Third World struggles. Obviously, the Cowardly Lion is not really leadership, communist, nor front-line fighting material, however, the Cowardly Lion won’t even get his identity dirty with anything as mundane as activism that might actually objectively aid Third World struggles, albeit in a minor way: CISPES-type work from the 80s and 90s, anti-militarism, etc. The Cowardly Lion’s ineffective roars are a transparent projection of his own inadequacies more than a real expression of solidarity. Some Cowardly Lions roar about the pigs, but then threaten to  call them when confronted. Some harbor snitches and traitors. The Cowardly Lion roars about security, as though he has anything to hide, as though the state cares about his blog. Cowardly Lions tend to travel in packs.

Cowardly Lions are mostly harmless. At most they wield influence only over those more meme2cowardly or foolish than themselves. They won’t fight. They can invent lies or spread gossip, but they just don’t have the credibility to inflict any harm amongst those that matter. And those who matter already know or won’t care. Would we really want someone in our ranks who could be influenced by a Cowardly Lion? Even when they seek to wreck, their fangs just aren’t that sharp. The Cowardly Lions only become really dangerous when they feel they are backed into a corner. They will snitch if they are too afraid. Otherwise, the jesters jest.

The Cowardly Lion is a kind of parody, mostly just comic relief, a little counter-revolutionary and mostly harmless. By contrast, real revolutionaries are true lions. They will live, fight and die for the people. They carry their lives on their finger tips. They put aside their ego. They put aside their personal differences and jealousies. They admit their limitations. They play the role that is needed and best suits them. They understand duty, discipline, loyalty, respect. Leading Light is a movement of true lions who will give everything, take on any burden, annihilate any obstacle in the way of the world that is to be. Follow the Leading Light. Be the Leading Light! Long Live the Leading Light. Our sun is rising. Our day is coming.

On the inverse cripples

On the inverse cripplesthumb-1

(llco.org)

Through Zarathustra’s remarks on the inverse cripples, Friedrich Nietzsche is criticizing modern intellectuals who are revered as geniuses:

“[F]or there are human beings who lack everything, except one thing of which they have too much — human beings who are nothing but a big eye or a big mouth or a big belly or anything at all that is big. Inverse cripples I call them.

‘And when I came out of my solitude and crossed over this bridge for the first time I did not trust my eyes and looked and looked again, and said at last, ‘An ear! And ear as big as a man!’ I looked still more closely — and indeed, underneath the ear something was moving, something pitifully small and wretched and slender. And, no doubt of it, the tremendous ear was attached to a small, thin stalk — but this stalk was a human being! If one used a magnifying glass one could even recognize a tiny envious face; also, that bloated little soul was dangling from the stalk. The people, however, told me that this great ear was not only a human being, but a great one, a genius. But I never believed the people when they spoke of great men; and I maintained my belief that it was an inverse cripple who had too little of everything and too much of one thing.’

When Zarathustra had spoken thus to the hunchback and to those whose mouthpiece and advocate the hunchback was, he turned to his disciples in profound dismay and said: ‘Verily, my friends, I walk among men as among the fragments and limbs of men. This is what is terrible for my eyes, that I find man in ruins and scattered as over a battlefield or a butcher-field. And when my eyes flee from the now to the past, they always find the same: fragments and limbs and dreadful accidents — but no human beings.” (1)

There is the great chemist who knows nothing of Ludwig von Beethoven. There is the engineer who has never read Immanuel Kant. There is the economist who has not read William Shakespeare. There is the historian who knows nothing about Albert Einstein. There is the artist who has never read Karl Marx. There is the sociologist who knows nothing of Isaac Newton’s laws. There is the great physicist who believes in the devil.

Bourgeois education, the university system, is highly specialized. It aims to develop an extreme level of specialization in a single area, usually discouraging broader education. This is not just true of the physical sciences and engineering, but it is true of the humanities. An individual might be highly adept at looking at the world through the lenses of his specialty, but that is all he can do. This allows him to see the problems within his specialty very clearly, but it makes him blind to the broader problems of the world. It also leads to a kind of compartmentalization of knowledge. People are not trained to connect their specialized knowledge to everyday life or to other areas. They have a very disjointed, unbalanced world view. It is kind of like a blind spot in reverse. A very tiny corner of the world can be seen very clearly, but the majority goes unseen and unnoticed.

This phenomenon ripples across broader bourgeois society. The United States has one of the most literate, educated populations in the world. Yet, according to a recent poll, more Americans believe in the existence of a literal hell and the devil than believe in Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Eighty-two expressed belief in a god. Seventy-two percent believed that Jesus is God or the Son of God. Belief in hell and the devil was expressed by 62 percent. Seventy-nine percent expressed belief in miracles. (2)

In Zarathustra, the description of inverse cripples passes into a description of society as “fragments and limbs of men,” “ruins and scattered as over a battlefield or a butcher-field,” “fragments and limbs and dreadful accidents — but no human beings.” Nietzsche’s politics are far from perfect, but he is correct that complete humans or what is described as human is not found in capitalism. What Nietzsche should have seen is that the “battlefield or butcher-field” was a humanity ravaged by the violence of imperialism, the exploitation of capitalism, the banality and stupidity of bourgeois society. It is a humanity scarred by bourgeois society where even its great intellectual accomplishments are accompanied by deformity and monstrosity. Nietzsche echoes Karl Marx when he describes the contradictions within and imbalances of bourgeois society, the contradiction of great intelligence and disability, great accomplishment and great banality, existing at the same time, in the same individuals and societies. It is a characteristic of bourgeois society that it can only produce feats of intelligence at the expense of a greater crippling of itself.

Nietzsche’s response to the catastrophe is confused, a mix of nihilism, irrationality, individualism, and traditionalism. Zarathustra places his hopes in a vaguely-described “overman” to surpass man. This is why Nietzsche could be appropriated and misappropriated by German fascism and eugenics. Fascism promised a rebirth of society, vitalism, heroism, but delivered only greater carnage and deformity, both physically, but, more importantly to Nietzsche, intellectually and culturally. Fascism resulted in a great brain drain in many fields, and only produced its own inverse cripples: advances in war technology, and little else. Martin Heidegger actively joined the Nazi movement, hoping for a way out of the spiritual void of modern society. By the end, he too recognized fascism as just another face of a system that promotes techne divorced from more meaningful ways of understanding the world. Following Heidegger, Herbert Marcuse saw both Western liberalism and Soviet society as two sides of the same coin. Despite claims to be very different from each other, both elevate “How to” knowledge over “Why?” knowledge. Knowledge about how to get from A to Z is emphasized without asking why should we be trying to get to Z. They both represent the rise of “instrumental reason” to the exclusion of other modes of thought.

The Soviet experiment was the first really sustained attempt at constructing socialism, attempting to reach communism. Soviet socialism was very influenced by the theory of the productive forces, a view that overemphasizes the role of technology in creating communism and underplays the role of revolutionizing power relations, culture and ideology, i.e. class struggle. It makes sense that if one sees the development of technology as the main force leading to communism, then one’s cultural and educational policies will echo this outlook. Techne will be overemphasized to the exclusion of broader knowledge. Divisions of knowledge and power will be consolidated that echo the liberal West, which has always seen technology as the key to creating prosperity, raising all boats, etc. It makes sense that Soviet society would come to measure itself by the goal posts of the liberal West. And, when Soviet leaders found socialism lacking, Soviet revisionists restored capitalism. Although the Maoist revolution made greater strides in understanding revisionism, capitalism was restored in China in similar ways.

Marx’s answer to the catastrophe, “battlefield or a butcher-field,” of capitalism is communist revolution.  Capitalism produces its own grave digger: the proletariat. In capitalism, science, its methods and approaches, are originally the product of an intellectual world populated by Zarathustra’s inverse cripples. However, it is when science is able to cross from the bourgeois intellectual world to the world of the dispossessed that revolution, overcoming the catastrophe of the modern world, surpassing current society, becomes possible. The great revolutionary leaders are not one-dimensional cripples. Great revolutionary leaders more approximate the ideal of communist multi-dimensional man. They have always had a foot in the world of high culture, the bourgeois-intellectual world, and a foot in the world of the masses. Marx was from a middle-class background, married a minor aristocrat’s daughter, and earned a doctorate. Even so, he dedicated his life to proletarian activism and writing, which landed him in poverty. Marx had a foot in both worlds. Lenin too was from a somewhat privileged background such that he received a university degree. A life of serving the people, of revolutionary work, transformed Lenin into a proletarian intellectual and leader. Mao was from a peasant background, but privileged and well-off enough to be sent off to the city to receive an education. He was radicalized by his exposure to science and ideology from all over the world. Both Lenin and Mao had their feet in both worlds as thinkers and men of action. Revolutionary leaders, the Organization itself, is a bridge by which science, its methods, approaches, etc. cross into the hands of the people, but in this process the ideas are transformed by the revolutionary leadership into weapons that can be wielded by the masses. Genuine Leading Lights act as a kind of transformative bridge to the masses. And in that process, science becomes transformed, forged into a new weapon, into revolutionary science, into all-powerful, awesome, glorious Leading Light Communism. Just as capitalism produces its own demise, so too does the culture of inverse cripples inadvertently aids in its own destruction. The proletarian struggle to end all oppression led by the most advanced revolutionary science ultimately destroys not only the physical brutality foisted upon society, but also the intellectual and cultural deformity. The inverse cripples of bourgeois society are replaced by proletarian intellectuals, people’s warriors, heroes, Leading Lights. The Old Power is killed. A New Power is born. A new, vital, healthy culture is born. Leading Light succeeds where Nietzsche fails.

The revolutionary movement is at a critical juncture. After great defeats in the Soviet Union and China, the proletarian movement is struggling to survive. Leading Lights are just now piercing the darkness. A more advanced revolutionary science, all-powerful, awesome, glorious Leading Light Communism, is emerging. It is the transformative stage. It is moving from leadership to the masses. It is being forged into a mighty sword to place into the hands of the people. The seeds of New Power are just beginning to sprout. True heroes are emerging. At the same time, the effects of bourgeois culture ripple, even more strongly toward the revolutionary movement as our successes mount. Class struggle can intensify as the revolution gains ground. Victories can lead to increased attacks on the Organization by class enemies. In this instance, it manifests as Do Nothingism and Cowardly Lionism. These overlapping errors are often a result of inverse cripples infiltrating or posing as the revolutionary movement.

There are numerous revisionists who mine quotes from the Marxist tradition. They pontificate on all kinds of subjects. They debate on social media about the history of socialism or political economy as perceived through dogmatic lenses. In terms of practice, these “Marxist-Leninists” and “Maoists” are not that different from each other, or heaven forbid, the Trotskyists they so despise. Despite their over-the-top rhetoric, they do very little. At best, they do small forays into First Worldist, movementarian activism. Although they can quote monger the works of Marx, they still have not grasped “Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.” (3) They can quote Lenin and Mao, but they have not grasped their meaning. They do not see what should be obvious: Revolution is about power. It is about seizing power, not merely talking or fantasizing about it. The Peruvians use to promote the slogan “Without state power, all is illusion.” The whole orientation of the revolutionary movement must be toward seizing power. If it is not, then all words, all posturing, is just fantasy, illusory. The inverse-cripple revisionist thinks himself oh-so revolutionary, but really he has simply honed the skill of parodying past revolutionaries. Thinking themselves revolutionaries, even revolutionary intellectuals, they have gone to incredible lengths to master this strange talent. They have fine-tuned their art, becoming masters of dogma and cos play. Sometimes they might even appear to the less advanced more sincere and passionate about revolution than real revolutionaries. At the same time, they have developed no other talents. And, whatever potential they once may have had has long since withered away. So, they are nothing but big mouths wearing Mao hats on social media. A few people claim that with binoculars, one can see withered dangling bodies attached to the mouths. Others believe the mouths ate the bodies.

Deviations have always plagued the revolutionary movement. Revolutionary leaders are marked by their origins and the societies in which they exist. The Organization too is marked by its birth. Marx’s works are filled with polemics against the revisionists of his day. They are filled with analysis of the problems of the revolutionary movement. The Communist Manifesto ends with an analysis that traces revisionism and deviation back to its class origins. Lenin advanced this method further. One of the greatest works by Mao is On Correcting Mistaken Ideas in the Party. In this work, Mao looks at the class origin of the mentalities that lead to deviations within the Organization. More than that, Mao proposes specific methods of rectification for each deviation. Part of the idea of criticism and self-criticism is to hammer out and destroy deviations using the collective wisdom of the Organization, to forge the cadre into a mighty weapon: people’s warriors, Leading Lights.

The inverse cripples and other effects of bourgeois decay will remain for the time being. The yappers will yap. The cowardly lions will roar. The jesters jest. Tumblr will reblog. Such is the air of capitalism. Lenin said that we have to be as radical as reality itself. We are scientists and warriors with revolutionary genius and heart. Organization. Leadership. Sacrifice. Duty. Courage. Honor. Respect. Loyalty. These are not mere words, they are the code for winning power. Serve the people; serve the Earth. Live and die for the people and the Earth. We carry our lives on our finger tips. Long Live the all-powerful, awesome, glorious Leading Light! Our sun is rising. Our day is coming.

Notes

1. Nietzsche, Friedrich. Thus Spake Zarathustra. The Portable Nietzsche edited by Kaufmann, Walter. Penguin Books. (USA: 1968) p. 250

2. http://uk.reuters.com/article/2007/11/29/us-usa-religion-beliefs-idUKN2922875820071129
3. Marx, Karl. “Theses On Feuerbach.” 1845 http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/theses/

Six Points on Third World Unity: Smaller Nations within Multi-National Formations

Six Points on Third World Unity: Smaller Nations within Multi-National Formationsjewelry

(llco.org, originally published Oct. 4th, 2008)

1. Ultimately, Leading Light Communism promotes global unity of all nations as a step toward achieving communism. Communism is defined as the elimination of all oppression of groups over other groups. This is the only way to true world peace.

2. Leading Light Communism promotes Third World unity. In order to challenge and defeat the First World, it is desirable to have Third World multi-national formations that are as large as possible. These formations have historically taken the form of multi-national states.

3. Within the context of Third World multi-national formations, provision should be made so that smaller nations are protected from physical and cultural annihilation. This means providing full protection of smaller nations: preserving their rights, arming the population, etc. Regarding culture, this means that, unless utterly reactionary, cultural traditions of the small nations should be protected and preserved within the larger formations. This means that local languages should be used for official purposes. Legal protections should be in place to preserve and encourage the flourishing of local culture. The administration of the smaller nations should be left to members of the smaller nations within multi-national formations. If land and reparations are owed to smaller nations, then land should be returned and reparations paid by the larger Third World formations.

4. Leading Light Communism pushes for maximal self-determination for all exploited nations. Self-determination, including the right of secession, is upheld except in cases where secession has a direct adverse effect on the self-determination of other exploited nations. Another way of stating this is that Leading Light Communism pushes for the right of maximal self-determination, including the right to secession, for nations except when the self-determination of a particular nation works against advancing the principal contradiction between exploited nations and imperialism. A single exploited nation should not advance its self-determination at the expense of other exploited nations.

For example, Leading Light Communism does not support phony “national liberation” or secessionist movements that are backed by US imperialism. In cases where secession directly, significantly and demonstrably increases the hegemony of imperialism or curtails the self-determination of other nations, Leading Light Communism rejects the right of secession in such instances. Imperialism is a bigger enemy than instances of national chauvinism. Making a deal with the imperialist devil is not a road to true liberation and self-determination.

5. Leading Light Communism, while promoting Third World unity, aims to break up First World unity in order to destroy the First World entirely. Those who seek to break up Third World multi-national formations as a matter of principle can end up aiding imperialism, especially US imperialism.

6. Leading Light Communism supports the self-determination of oppressed nations (that may not necessarily be exploited) under First World occupation. In particular, it supports the self-determination of the First Nations occupied by the US and Canada, the Aboriginal nations under White occupation in Australia, the Maori nation of occupied Aotearoa, the Black nation under US occupation, occupied northern Mexico,/Aztlan Boricua, and Hawai’i, among others.

First Worldism and Popper’s challenge

Comments on First Worldism and Popper’s challengepopper

by Prairie Fire

(llco.org)

False consciousness does exist. However, when First World peoples share the outlook of the propertied classes, it is, generally, not an example of false consciousness. A quick look at sociological data shows that the majority of White, Asian and Indigenous households in the United States own their own homes. For Whites, around 3/4th of all households own their own homes. For Blacks and Latinos, the number is around 50 percent. Without looking up the exact numbers, it is pretty obvious that the vast majority of households also own (at least one) car, usually several televisions, stereos, ovens, kitchen appliances, computers and other big ticket items. In addition to this, even the poorest households in the United States have large wardrobes, toys for children, and other smaller luxury goods. The vast majority of humanity cannot even to hope to live as well as the poorest worker in the United States. There are more people in India, for example, making less than 80 cents a day than exist in the United States. The median worldwide is 2 to 3 dollars a day. Even a person in the United States at the so-called “poverty line” (an arbitrary line set by the state) is one of the richest 15 percent in the world.

The reason they have the outlook of the propertied class is because the workers in the United States are a propertied class. They are not the proletariat that Marx described. They have far more to lose than their chains. They make far more than just enough to reproduce their labor for the next production cycle. They are not living at subsistence and sub-subsistence as Marx described the proletariat. Many First World workers have more access to capital than bourgeoisie in the Third World. Capitalism works for the vast majority of people in the First World. That is why they consistently support it and imperialism. This is why they do not support radical, progressive programs to remake society, but they do support social democratic reforms that benefit themselves. They are net beneficiaries of the imperialist system. The majority of the First World workers would lose out under an egalitarian distribution of the social product, which is why First World workers align with the system.

If First World workers were exploited, if they were making less than they were entitled to under a global socialist distribution, then we could speculate about false consciousness. But, this isn’t the case. They act like the imperial bourgeoisie because that is what they are. You have to be pretty deluded and dogmatic not to see it.

There is a famous essay by Karl Popper where he ridicules Marxism as a pseudo-science because, according to Popper, whenever Marxists observe something that falsifies Marxism, instead of throwing out Marxism (as we would with a scientific hypothesis), Marxists simply invent an ad hoc explanation for why the observation does not count as a true falsification. In other words, according to Popper, Marxism can never be falsified; so it is not a true science. According to Popper, it is more akin to religion. What Popper says about Marxism fits revisionism exactly. It fits First Worldism, pseudo-Marxism. There has never been anything close to a socialist revolution in the First World. Even after a century of First Worldist “socialist” activism of all kinds, even after huge economic downturns and depressions, the First World “socialist” movement is not an inch closer to revolution. Again and again, First World workers align for imperialism, for capitalism (in both its American form and and European social democratic form). For all the talk of “mass line” among the First Worldists, they are incredibly hard of hearing. Listen to your own beloved constituency. Look at them as they are, not as you would like them to be. The socioeconomic facts about world cannot be wished or willed away. Facts are stubborn things. No matter what kind of falsifications First Worldism encounters, First Worldists simply say that the reason First World workers do not make revolution is because they are suffering from false consciousness, they are brainwashed, etc.

We’ve shown the First Worldists that First World workers receive more than the value of their labor. We have shown First Worldists that they receive more than an equal share of the global social product. We point to the history of the revolutionary movement, to the many Third World revolutions and the complete lack of anything like a First World revolutionary movement of any size, let alone any First World socialism. We point to the behaviors, the self-descriptions, the psychology that First World workers share with the imperialist bourgeoisie. The simple fact is that Popper was right about the religious nature of First Worldism. He was right about revisionism. There simply is no empirical fact, no observation, that will shake a First Worldist’s belief that the First World peoples are a vehicle for socialist revolution. Whenever a First Worldist encounters a falsification, they make an ad hoc excuse. What would it take for the First Worldist to toss First Worldism? What kind of economic investigation would it take? What kind of event? What kind of observation? Is there anything that would shake his faith in the First World peoples?  Just as no fossil can shake the faith of the believer, no evidence can shake the faith of the First Worldist. Popper is right about First Worldism.  First Worldists are not a scientists. Their approach to the world is basically religious. Nothing can shake their faith. How much failure will it take before First Worldists wake up?

By contrast, we can easily answer Popper’s charge. We’d love to be proven wrong because we are scientists. We are not ostriches like the First Worldists. Most of us were First Worldists at one point, but we tossed First Worldism after it had been proven wrong again and again. If a First World socialist revolution occurs or gains significant strength, we will be the first to admit we were wrong. When we see First World workers seize power and purposefully lower their own standard of living to the benefit of the rest of humanity, when they pay massive reparations to the Third World, when they give back significant tracks of land to those they have occupied, then we will admit that what is going on is not social imperialism, but genuinely progressive. It would not even take a successful revolution in the First World to prove us wrong. When we see this kind of radical Third Worldist program adopted by significant segments of the First World population, not just a few activists and intellectuals, then we will pause to reevaluate our views.  When we see a significant number of people in the United States out on the streets  demanding that their own standard of living be lowered, demanding that they pay reparations and give back stolen land, then we will reevaluate our views. We won’t hold our breath. The reality is that there is no genuine First World revolutionary movement that has popular support anywhere in the First World. Those with a real communist program are demonized and laughed at in the First World.  In fact, the First World workers are so reactionary, they won’t even support First Worldist revisionists with their programs of mild re-distributions of wealth. Expecting the First World workers to align with Third World workers is as unscientific as expecting the imperialist bourgeoisie to align with Third World workers.

In the long term, for the most part, potential behavior is a function of material interests. This is why in the Third World, despite all the same attempts to bombard the population with capitalist propaganda, the people still rise up in radical rebellion from time to time. They rise up in communist rebellion, in proletarian rebellion, in national liberation. In fact, in the Third World, it is often the case that the capitalist monopoly of the media is even stronger than in the First World. Even so, reality breaks through. Capitalist misdirection only goes so far when it runs up against reality. False consciousness exists, and it can even exist for long periods. However, eventually reality wins out.

The reality is that the First World has no significant proletariat. This is why we  never see proletarian revolution in the First World. However, we do see fascist rebellion like the Minutemen and Tea Party. We have seen social-democratic/social-imperialist rebellion of anarchists and First Worldist so-called Marxists, like Paris of 1968, when Paris workers had a general strike then went back to the factories in exchange for double-digit raises. We also see movements between the fascist right and the social-fascist “left.”

It is a mark of science that it predicts and explains. First Worldism simply doesn’t correspond with reality, it doesn’t predict. And its explanations are all ad hoc and religious-like, as Popper saw. Leading Light Communism, by contrast, actually does predict and explain. It tells us where revolutions will happen and when they will not. It provides explanatory mechanisms that are not simply ad hoc and excuse like. This is what real revolutionary science looks like.

Marx distinguished his project from utopianism. He called his project scientific communism. Today, revolutionary science is Leading Light Communism.  Leading Light Communism is the real deal. First Worldism is a total joke. Unfortunately, First Worldism has done a lot of damage. It fans the fires of  First World fascism and social fascism. We are here to put them out.