FAQ part 1: What is the Leading Light?

Sep 4, 2011 by     15 Comments    Posted under: essential reading, FAQ, theory

Frequently Asked Questions part 1: What is the Leading Light?
(llco.org)

We live in dark times. Poverty. Endless war. Starvation. Disease. Cruelty. Rape. Suffering. Ecological catastrophe. It may seem hopeless. However, there have been moments when humanity reached higher, tried to be something better. What seemed impossible became possible. Revolution. A red wave spread across the globe. Humanity walked another road for a time. Even though the past revolutions have ended, they showed that the system is not invincible. We can do better. We can take power. Next time, we will hold power longer and take the revolution even further. Even our failings are better than the “success” of capitalism. The last great revolutions taught us many things, However, we need to understand that they are over. The last great waves of revolution have ended, even though scattered, shattered fragments remain. We will not go forward by merely looking backward. We will not go forward by trying to opportunistically cobble together the remnants of the past. Instead, we must learn from the past in order to surpass it, to go forward. We must study the past, sum up the past, advance the science, prepare ourselves, build the organization, cultivate the leadership, to initiate the next great wave of revolution. The Leading Light has the science, the organization, and leadership to really win. In any revolution, some are more advanced than others. Some people see farther. They guide. They help others to see. They pull others forward, sometimes kicking and screaming.  They are leaders of leaders, teachers of teachers. They are lights in the dark. They lead. The most advanced. The vanguard. The Leading Light.

When any great revolutionary breakthrough occurs, the science takes several forms. There are levels of understanding. People do not advance all at once. We have prepared this issue of Leading Light for those just entering our circles. It is meant as an introduction. All new cadre and supporters should familiarize themselves with these answers. These answers are the beginning of knowledge, not the end. Keep advancing. Prove yourself. Follow the Leading Light all the way. Be the Leading Light.

1. What is the Leading Light?

Leading Light Communist Organization (LLCO) is the vanguard organization of a new type. It is an internationalist organization to initiate the next great wave of communist revolution. It exists in many countries, both in the Third World and First World. The Leading Light is mostly clandestine. The Leading Light is guided by the new breakthrough, the highest stage, the revolutionary science of our age, Leading Light Communism. Only the Leading Light has the science, organization, and leadership to reach true communism.

2. What is the vanguard?

Not everyone is at the same place in their development. Some people have very reactionary views. Some people have confused views. Some people are just beginning to wake up. Some people have moderately advanced views. Some are more advanced. Others even more advanced. When the most advanced organize themselves, they form the vanguard. The vanguard has the most advanced revolutionary science. They are the most advanced who have come together to actually lead. They are the ones who will wake others up. They elevate humanity. They are teachers of teachers. They are leaders of leaders. They are the ones who will lead humanity out of the darkness. In this era, the Leading Light is the global vanguard.

3. What about other groups that claim to be revolutionary?

There are many other groups that claim to be revolutionary. Some are progressive, but flawed. Some are actually reactionary. Some are fascist. Some are revisionist. Some are wreckers who betray the revolution. Some are false-flag operations. The way we determine who is right and who is wrong, who is the vanguard and who is not, is by the methods of science. Revolutionary science in command. Only the Leading Light of revolutionary science can show us the road to freedom.

4. Should we unite with other groups?

As a matter of principle, we should unite as many people as possible under revolutionary-scientific leadership, under Leading Light leadership. However, not everyone is scientific. Not everyone shares our goals. Not everyone represents the proletariat, the exploited and oppressed. Not everyone is at the same place. Not everyone will follow revolutionary science. We unite with other, less advanced groups when it serves our aims, the aims of the proletariat. We do not unite for the sake of uniting. When we do unite with less advanced groups, we unite on a tactical basis and in a critical way. We always fly the red flag high. We always vie for leadership within coalitions and united fronts.

5. Why is the Leading Light mostly clandestine?

The Leading Light is clandestine because state repression and paramilitary repression are very real. We seek to destroy the Old Power by any means necessary, they seek to preserve it. We build the New Power. They seek to destroy it by any means necessary. Again and again, the state and their agents target revolutionary organizations, their leaders, and their followers. We should not be naive.

6. What is your goal? What is Leading Light Communism?

Nothing is more revolutionary than Leading Light Communism. Leading Light Communism means the end of all oppression. No classes. No poverty. No exploitation. No gender oppression. No sexism. No national oppression. No racism. No oppression of the young or old. No heterosexism. No oppression of the Earth, our common home. All chains must be broken. Communism is organized around the principle “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” Collectivity. Altruism. “Serve the people.” Communism means no state. Since no antagonistic social forces exist, no antagonistic contradictions, no state exists. Communism means equality. Communism is sustainability. Communism is true freedom. Communism is a society where every individual is the best that she can be, while at the same time serving the people. Everyone helps others to thrive, to flourish. Communism can only happen on the  global level. New culture. New song. New dance. Communism means a whole new way of life.

Past conceptions of communism were flawed in some respects. Past conceptions often failed to understand the full scope of oppression, instead it focused too much on the oppression only of workers. Oppression is much more complex. Past conceptions also failed to take into account the importance of nature. Nature was seen as something to be conquered, instead of liberated. Past conceptions tended to overemphasize the role of the technology of production — as though technology, in and of itself, could eliminate scarcity and serve up happiness and communism. While the technology of production plays an important role, the most important factor in creating communism is reorganization of social relations, i.e. class war, power struggle. Society was too much seen through a machine paradigm. Past attempts at communist revolution also became dogmatic. Science was abandoned. Only by putting revolutionary science in command can we reach true communism. Leading Light Communism is the next stage of communism. Leading Light has advanced a new conception of communism that breaks with the limited conceptions of past revolutions. Leading Light Communism is the only real communism today.

7. That sounds great, but doesn’t it go against human nature?

Humans have lived in all kinds of social configurations. Some of these configurations were very stratified, like feudalism and capitalism. However, for most of humanity’s existence, humans lived in more egalitarian tribal societies. The indigenous societies of North America, for example, were much more egalitarian than today’s capitalism. In much of the world, people lived in a similar manner for thousands of years. Marx called these societies “primitive communism.” In addition, the great socialist revolutions of the twentieth century proved that humans can live in more egalitarian and communal ways than capitalism provides. At the height of China’s revolution, a quarter of the world’s population was living in some kind of communal arrangement. Even in today’s world, there are pockets of people living in tribal societies. In addition, religious sects and others have chosen to isolate themselves and live in more egalitarian and communal ways — although often this has been within an imperial context. So, the claim that a more communal and egalitarian way of life is contrary to human nature has been proven false by the historical and empirical record.

Even if it were the case that perfect communism or perfect egalitarianism were impossible or not sustainable, this does not mean that it we should not aspire to realize as much of that ideal as possible.  Studies have shown that people are more happy and healthier in more egalitarian societies.  Humans are empathetic. There are less problems in egalitarian societies. So, we should aspire to realize as much of the communist ideal as possible.

Humans can use society to improve themselves. We can use society to encourage what is best in our natures and discourage what is not. We can use the New Power, the new society, to create a New Humanity, a better humanity.

8. Aren’t humans naturally greedy?

Humans are not naturally greedy. For most of their existence, humans have lived in more communal and egalitarian ways. Soldiers sacrifice themselves for their comrades. Parents sacrifice themselves for their children. Martyrs sacrifice themselves for their cause. Leading Lights sacrifice themselves for the liberation all of humanity and the Earth. Humans are naturally empathetic. We are social animals.

The reason that there is a widespread belief that humans are individualistic and greedy is because we live under capitalism. Capitalism teaches people they need to be individualistic and greedy to get ahead. This society teaches people that it is good to get ahead at the expense of others. This society teaches people that endless consumption is good. The reason that people think everyone is greedy is because so many people are greedy in this society. People are projecting the nature of the capitalist onto human nature. They are projecting the nature of the global bourgeoisie, of the First World, onto humanity.

Even if it was the case that humans were naturally greedy in some way, this does not mean that society should encourage this. Humans have the ability to change. Human nature is very malleable. Humans use society to modify their behavior. So, even if there were bad traits that are currently part of our nature, then we should use society to eliminate these. Society should be used to help perfect humanity, not encourage what is bad in us. We will create a New Humanity.

9. Are you talking about social engineering?

Yes, but so what? All societies are engineered. The question is what are they engineered for. This society is designed so that the few countries of the First World and their allies benefit by exploiting the vast majority of humanity in the Third World. This society is designed so power and wealth are unevenly distributed. This society is designed to encourage inequality. This society is a dictatorship of the global bourgeoisie. This society is designed to keep them in power. This society is designed to sacrifice people and the Earth for profits. Poverty, endless wars, ecological catastrophe are part of this system. The culture of the current system teaches people that the capitalist system is good and natural. The reality is that it is not good and it is not natural in any special way.

Leading Light Communism is a whole new system. We have designed a system that is governed by revolutionary science, Leading Light Communism. Leading Light Communism puts people and the Earth over profits. Leading Light Communism serves the people. It eliminates oppression. It eliminates poverty. It eliminates inequality. It promotes real altruism. It perfects humanity. It is sustainable. Leading Light Communism is engineered to  liberate everyone and the Earth.  Leading Light Communism aims at a New Humanity.

10. How will we take power? What form will our revolution take?

We are in the middle of a great war by the First World against the Third World.  Poverty. Famine. Suffering. Cruelty. Violence. Bombs. The imperialists of the First World turn the Third World into a giant graveyard. Those in power will not give up without a fight. The system can’t be reformed out of existence. There is a right way and a wrong way to fight back. Those who rush into battle without preparation will only meet defeat. Those who rush off without scientific, communist leadership will be defeated. Those who have no discipline will  be defeated. Those who have no organization will be defeated. Those who have no plan will be defeated. Such attitudes are those of the petty-bourgeoisie and bourgeoisie. Real change requires Leading Light Communist leadership, organization,  and discipline. If you want to make real change in the real world, then you put aside your individualism, emotionalism and pettiness. Drop your ego. You accept the Leading Light Communist leadership. Leading Light Communists will lead a global people’s war to actually win.

Our war is global people’s war. It is a war to end all war. It is a war of liberation. If we do not stand up and defend ourselves, nothing will ever change.  Global people’s war is the road to global liberation, to global power. In this sense, People’s war, broadly construed, is universal. Global people’s war is internationalist.
It is important to understand that people’s war is not just a military affair. Where it is possible, we need to create base areas, red zones. In these red zones, we create New Power. We create independent institutions of the oppressed. We create a new state in miniature. We create the people’s army, a mighty red army. We create a new culture. We create a new society in miniature. We create schools for the people. Literacy. We create a revolutionary culture. New art. New song. New dance. We carry out land reform. We begin the liberation of women and youth. We create people’s courts. We create a people’s committees. We create a new, collective economy. We create a new, sustainable relationship between ourselves and nature. We serve the people. We solve their problems. We live the revolution.  The red zone will be a beacon to the world’s oppressed and exploited. From there we go forward to conquer power across regions, countries, then, the world.

The world revolution is a global people’s war led by the Leading Light. The liberation struggles in many countries unite into a single global struggle led by the most advanced revolutionary science, Leading Light Communism. Our revolution will come from the darkest places. It will come from the global countryside. It will come from the global slum. It will come from the jungles and mountains of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The revolution will spread across the Third World, then to the First World. It will dismantle the First World as it currently exists; the New Power will be imposed on the First World whether the populations want it or not. It will sweep away imperialism, capitalism, and all injustice and suffering. It will be a glorious prairie fire of liberation. A new humanity will arise out of this struggle to build a new world.

11. Does the revolution have to be violent? Why not pacifism?

Let’s look at history scientifically. All the great social transformations of the past were complex phenomena. They were conflicts between social forces. Marx said that all of history is the history of class struggle. Past revolutions have had a commandist aspect and a mass aspect. They had a violent aspect and a non-violent aspect. Revolution is not a dinner party. Communist-led revolutions are the radical reorganization of society at the fundamental level. They are transformations of culture, economy, the state, and civil society. One social group takes power from another. Creating Leading Light Communism in our world will necessarily be a revolutionary process. Power and privilege will be radically reorganized. Wealth and its distribution will be radically altered. Entire ways of life will become incompatible with the new social order. Some will support it. Some will oppose it. The transformation will not happen through prayer. It will not happen through magic. It will not happen though hoping and crossing our fingers. To make Leading Light Communism a reality takes reorganization of social forces.  We must align friends against enemies. It takes building of institutions of the exploited and oppressed, New Power. It takes education and ideological remolding. And it also takes defending the revolution from those social forces that will destroy it: imperialists, capitalists, feudalists, fascists, First Worldists and other reactionaries. We must dismantle the First World as it currently exists. The reality is these struggles will necessarily have a violent aspect.

12. What about Gandhi and MLK? They won without violence.

Firstly, there is a lot of myth surrounding Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. It is important to know the real history, not the white-washed history that they teach in school.

Secondly, neither Gandhi nor MLK were really out to radically reorganize society at a fundamental level as we are. They were out to reform the current system, to cut a new deal with Old Power. In the case of Gandhi, colonialism and direct British rule was replaced by semi-colonialism, partial and indirect imperialist rule. In the case of MLK, we are not talking about ending empire and capitalism, but expanding its franchise, including full political rights to include Blacks, in the USA. Of course the system is going to be more accommodating to movements which are more reform oriented. If your demand is merely that you want taxes lowered, then, obviously, the system is not going to react the same way to you than if you want to abolish capitalism itself. Liberating all of humanity is not a reformist demand like lowering the drinking age, lowering taxes, changing noise ordinances, etc. Its not even a major reformist demand as Gandhi’s or MLK’s demands were. Leading Light Communism is a radical, fundamental, deep reorganization of the social order. It is the reorganization of all of society. It is taking wealth from some and giving it to others. It is taking power from some and giving it to others. It is changing thousands of years of entrenched social programming. It’s not the kind of thing that gets on the ballot. Leading Light Communism is a revolutionary demand.

In addition, Gandhi was not the alpha and omega of the Indian independence movement. A big factor leading to the success of the Indian independence movement was World War 2. The European empires had destroyed and weakened  themselves in that war. They were no longer able to hold onto their colonial possessions. India’s semi-independence occurred in the wider context of anti-colonial struggles worldwide. Not only did the violence of  World War 2 allow for the success of that struggle, so did the successful independence movements elsewhere — which were not all non-violent. A struggle in one colonial possession aided the struggle in another because it forced the weakened European empires to become further extended. Armed struggle in one part of the empire indirectly aided the struggle in India, just as World War 2 did. In addition, Gandhi was not the only one fighting for independence. There were other forces too that were not describing themselves as non-violent. The independence process was a complex one. The British turned over power to those they felt they could work with, the Gandhians. This applies to the Black movement too. It occurred in a broader de-colonial struggle globally — all of which were not professing non-violence. There were other forces besides MLK also. Ghettos were burning. The system was forced to bend by a broad spectrum of forces, not all were non-violent. It is simply a myth that non-violence alone led to these cases of reformist change. The actual history is more complex.

Power is not given, it is taken. Obviously, revolution will be met with massive opposition by those who do not want to lose their power and privilege. It is necessary to defend the revolution from those who would destroy it. This defense will entail imposing one’s will on others. Not everyone will just “go along.” There are people who will oppose it and will fight tooth-and-nail to keep capitalism going. The capitalists are willing to butcher and bomb Third World peoples for their resources. Do you think they will stop just because you ask them to?  We need real revolution, not fantasy.

13. Can’t we just reform the system?

No. To reach Leading Light Communism, we need to destroy the old world and start over. We are going against thousands of years of entrenched reactionary social programming within society. We plan on eliminating all oppression. We will build a whole new society. We will build a New Power. We are working for a massive reorganization of society. We will take wealth from the global rich and give it to the poor, mostly in the Third World. We will communalize life. We will give real political power to the exploited and oppressed, especially in the Third World. We will give political power to armies of youth. We will dismantle the First World as it currently exists. We will eliminate current conceptions of gender. We will eliminate the state. We will reorganize society around the needs of humanity and the Earth, not the market, not capital, not the First World. We will create new culture, new art, new song, new dance. We will eliminate the distinction between the sphere of work, the domestic, and play. Our revolution cuts the deepest. Leading Light Communism is the most advanced revolution yet known.

Obviously, it will be opposed by those with power and wealth, by those who benefit from the current system. Those with power will compromise on certain issues, but they will never be willing to give up power and change the system at the fundamental level. The idea that we can reach communism by gradually reforming the system is a form of revisionism. Those with power will oppose us at every turn. If it comes down to it, they will always use violence to try to stop the revolution. Power is not given, it is taken. This has been proven over and over by history. The only way to change a system at the fundamental level is through revolution, not reform.

14. Why do you say “science in command?” Isn’t science used to oppress people?

Science is the best set of tools that we have for solving complex problems. Changing all of society, undoing thousands of years of oppression, creating a whole new, communist world based on peace, equality, and justice is going to be very difficult and complex. We will not get there through prayer or magic. The answers are not carried in our veins or identity. Science allows us to look at different paths and see which one will most likely lead to a better world. It allows us to see farther than we otherwise could. Science is a form of collective experience that allows us to overcome the limits of our individuality. Under the current system, science is sometimes used to oppress people. However, this does not mean that science itself is the problem. The answer is not to reject science, but to turn it around, against the oppressor. Revolutionary science, Leading Light Communism, is the opposite of the science of the oppressor. When we say “science in command,” we mean “revolutionary science in command” or “Leading Light Communism in command.”

15. Why do you say Leading Light Communism is the highest stage of revolutionary science?

The oppressors have been perfecting the science of tyranny. They pay some of the best and the brightest from elite colleges to perfect ways to oppress people. They spend billions researching how to keep the capitalist system running smoothly. We must meet force with force. We must meet brain power with brain power. Just as they have developed the science of human oppression, we have been developing the science of human liberation for almost 200 years. Marx was the first to really apply the tools of science, in a rigorous and systematic way, to the problem of reaching communism, total liberation. Since, Marx, there have been many great social experiments — involving billions of people — that have added to this knowledge. We must study the past, especially the Bolshevik and Maoist experiments. We must look at history as a great laboratory. As we go forward, we will face many of the same problems that past revolutions did. We must understand what past revolutions that aimed at communism did right and what they did wrong. We must learn what laws govern social forces. However, it is not enough to look backward. We must also look at how the world has changed. The last great revolutionary breakthrough was the Maoist offensive in China. It reached its peak in the Cultural Revolution. That was almost a half century ago. It is important that we understand how the world has changed since then.

The Leading Light has the most advanced understanding of the past attempts to reach communism. The Leading Light has also advanced political economy to a whole new stage with its theory of global class analysis, new theories of exploitation and value, new proletarians, new socialism, and global people’s war. The Leading Light has expanded our understanding of how gender works on the global level. The Leading Light has also expanded our understanding of counter-revolution and revisionism. The Leading Light has also advanced our understanding epistemology and method. The Leading Light has also put forward a new vision of communism that corrects the mistakes of the past. The Leading Light’s internationalist practice, theory of New Power over the First World, and global people’s war also radically breaks from the past in many respects. There is simply no other paradigm from which to understand the world and change it. The Leading Light is the only communism today.

16. How big are you? What are your backgrounds? What do you look like? How do you work? What is your big plan?

We don’t reveal our numbers or capacities. If someone claims they represent the Leading Light, they probably do not. If someone claims to have insider information about the Leading Light, they are either lying or misinformed. We do not answer questions about our identities. There is no reason for anyone to know these things. People are curious. We understand. But revealing this information only helps the state. We operate in a clandestine manner. We infiltrate. We subvert. We build New Power. We are compartmentalized. Information is on a need to know basis. We do not wear our concrete plans on our sleeve. Study the science. Grasp deep politics. Understand what is said and unsaid.

We are white and black, First World and Third World, male and female, heterosexual and queer, old and young. We are everywhere. We are the ones who are leading humanity out of the darkness. We are making revolution for real. We are the pure hearts. No ego. We are disciplined, red soldiers of the Leading Light. Loyalty. Discipline. Intelligence. Science. Sacrifice.

17. What can I do to help?

Educate yourself. Study revolutionary science. Begin the process of ideological remolding. Familiarize yourself with Leading Light Communism. Drop your ego. We do not have time for it. Donate. Contact the Leading Light. Become a red soldier of the Leading Light. Follow the Leading Light. Become the Leading Light. We will find the role that best suits you.

You will have to prove yourself before you advance. This will take time. You will advance in stages. We are a mostly clandestine organization. Do not expect to understand everything or how we operate.

If you cannot be a Leading Light in this struggle, you can still help us. Donate to us. Donating should not be underestimated. It is what allows us to continue functioning. Promote our work and ideas far and wide.

Put Leading Light Communism in command. Be the Leading Light! Follow the Leading Light!

15 Comments + Add Comment

  • Completely satisfied with my understanding of Communism. My all supports for the revolution.

  • Architects of the future have to plan for events beyond demolition of existing structures. That surely is necessary for politics too. People will want to be able to foresee what will happen after revolutions. Socialism and communism are supposed to provide planned economies, planned by and for the people. Do any such plans exist already, for the future rather than those of the past ? No. When asked about plans, the standard response by some Marxists is that ‘it is too early for blueprints’. Well, is it too early ? Too early for whom ? For people to have confidence that there is more to revolution than destruction, and that there is something really viable and desirable to look forward to, making start on planning how to run a socialist economy would help. Already supermarket chains have elaborate means of planning their profit-making activities. How can parents be certain that they will be able to have better conditions for their children after a revolution ? Communists should move beyond generalised aspirations,
    because in any case marxism claims to be practical rather than idealist.

    • I agree with this sentiment, if by ‘blueprints’ you understand general lessons learned from previous economic problems of both socialist and generally underdeveloped nations are taken into account and some possible solutions are offered within given parameters. But I think it’s damaging to critical thinking and realism to imagine that we can already lay out what ministry will run this or that, or the exact laws and procedures of a nation like some (especially anarchist/syndicalist) groups tend to think. Most often such institutions,laws,etc will be based on ad hoc decisions and political struggle which couldn’t really be foreseen. And in the last instance the best economic policies won’t stand a chance unless the right balance of power exists. The late Soviet Union disregarded a lot of good solutions by researchers into improving efficiency through information technology, management techniques, accountability, better planning methods, worker empowerment and suchlike because the bureaucracy were in control and their political line was a distorted mess. I think it’s pretty clear that the lack of empowerment of workers in the late Soviet Union was one of the most crucial aspects of why its economy ‘failed’. With the masses in power, social imperialism wouldn’t have reached its monstrous forms, corruption and nepotism would have been corrected, popular participation would have improved common problems from below, and representatives/leaders would have been scrutinized, killing revisionism before it could cause so much damage. Political power is key, and we should trust that giving people that power will lead to society improving itself economically. People know how to solve problems which they encounter in their everyday life, and the outcome of their power will end up effecting them.

  • Responding to ‘Observer”s comments of Sept 11, 2011, for which many thanks, it seems worth viewing the future as consisting of features which persist from the present, such as scientific and technical progress, plus all that is innovated and newly built. The future will be a mixture of simplicity and complexity. Red base areas might be scattered around the world, increase in number and extent and eventually overthrow the rule of capital, or so Maoists would like to think. However, if we ever get to a stage of world socialism and then world communism, it won’t just be somewhere else, but right here wherever we happen to live. So, for instance, marxists in Detroit might have been thinking not only of how to form a red base area, but how to run Detroit in marxist ways. To persuade the citizens of Detroit that they should support revolution, it would be as well to let them know what is intended for the running of Detroit in publically beneficial ways. So it would be as well to have a deep consideration of what that would involve and require.

    • We’re not trying to persuade the reactionary people in Detroit to support us. You’d know that if you had read our writings.

      • I have read your writings, in which you describe people in the USA as being in the First World and thus, from your analysis, being averse to revolutionary activity, as they are said, by you, to be more concerned with preserving their privileges granted to them by imperialist plunder. However, how many our-of-work people in Detroit see it that way ? It is obviously true that there are vast differences in living standards between ordinary people in the USA and millions in the Third World, but, even so, there are so many very poor people in the First World that they shouldn’t just be written off in terms of perspectives for the future.

  • isang taas kamaong pagpupugay to LLCO just read the writings and i was enlighten and i agree to some of the sentiments.

  • I often wonder if your idea of the Third World invading the First World and imposing socialism might strike many as rather far-fetched. I can’t predict the future and neither can you but there’s no real evidence of any movement towards this anywhere in the world. Good dialecticians analyse the present rather than thinking up all sorts of scenarios for the future.

    Good Marxists understand that conflict between the Third World and First World is inevitable. However, what is the situation of the Third World at the moment in the world system of exploitation? Basically Third World countries are increasingly becoming the assembly line for the global economy. The brands and the intellectual property of the big corporations are owned in the First World, all the labour is done in the Third World. Thus Apple Mac is located in the First World but a great deal of the labour of assembling its products is done by companies like Foxconn in the Third World. Thus, the Third World craves ‘technology transfer’ and the First World governments seek always to frustrate this aim to prevent these countries competing in ‘high-value’ economic activities.

    Isn’t the real aim of a socialist Third Worldist to ‘expropriate the means of production’ globally? ‘Nationalising’ Foxconnn wouldn’t give China very much. Ownership of Apple Mac would give it a lot. When the Soviet Union occupied East Germany they transferred much of its plant to the Soviet Union as reparations, giving the USSR something of a technological boost. Surely, the aim of Third World countries in any far-reaching conflict would be some sort of reparations, especially in terms of technology.

    This doesn’t mean that all Third World nations need to be urged to start a world war for reparations. Again, it’s important to avoid implausible scenarios. War after war is waged against the Third World. War happens all the time anyway. Maybe its just a matter of putting reparations on the agenda when the Third World is sufficiently united to win victory in some of these wars.

    • “Good Marxists” are few and far between these days. Luckily, the Leading Light is teaching real Marxism, revolutionary science, again and tossing all the dead dogma. Real Marxists lead. They do not tail. They are forward looking.

      We have never said that there is one and only one way that revolution will come to the First World. In fact, we have said over and over again that it will most likely come through a process of crisis, re-proletarization, balkanization, invasion or ecological collapse. Whatever you may think of the invasion scenario, it is the one with something of a precedent in invasion of Nazi Germany by popular forces at the end of the second world war. What is incredibly idealist is the idea that revolution has to fit the pattern Europe of the 1800s. Also idealist is the Permanent Revolution scenario, whether advocated by those claiming to be Trotskyist or Maoist. First Worldist views simply do not correspond at all with the world today. Those who cannot even figure out, in broad strokes, the basic class structure of global society are not going to be very good at predicting the course of events. Dogma that claims to be “dialectics” is still dogma. First Worldism is neither good at predicting or explaining present global society nor its future likely course. Leading Light Communism, by contrast, has proven far better. Correct political judgments matter, whether it is on events in Nepal or on Wall Street.

      Expropriating the means of production is a necessary condition for revolution, obviously. We have pointed out many times that the global productive sector is more and more located in the Third World. At the same time, the Third World is not homogeneous. There are huge areas of the Third World and huge populations that are made unproductive at the same time. Obviously, the non-productive populations (generally speaking) live very different lives depending on whether they are in the First or Third World and whether they are rich or poor. We should avoid workerism be it of a Third Worldist or First Worldist variety. The real proletariat are those with nothing to lose but their chains.

      Also, we have advocated for a global people’s war against the First World. Such a war could take many forms. We have said that the borders between First and Third World do not always correspond to national or country borders. We have also not said that this global people’s war will necessarily take the form of national liberation struggles (as opposed to regional or continental or global struggles). If you look at the world today, national liberation has been, in some ways, replaced by broader strategies: Bolivarianism, Pan-Islam, Pan-Africanism, etc. We advocate a global people’s war for Leading Light Communism, not merely for reparations.

  • ‘The borders between First and Third World do not always correspond to national or country borders.’ Interesting idea. It sounds a bit like the old idea that certain areas in the US were part of ‘The West’s Third World’ I believe the theory had to do with the ‘super-exploitation’ of black or migrant workers in some western countries. I’m not sure migrant workers are ‘super-exploited’ as opposed to just ‘exploited’ unlike labour aristocrats who are not generally exploited. However, maybe the analogy stands. We often hear in the West that there are some jobs only migrants are willing to do. Some migrants employed by small businesses in the UK only get about £3 an hour (half the legal minimum wage).

    I’m a bit sceptical about jumping into bed with the ‘large parts of the Third World are unproductive-Planet of Slums’ theory. From my own studies I believe that large parts of the Third World do assembly work using techniques and often machinery imported from the West. They are as productive as the West in one sense but not in another as this necessary work is tends to be more labour intensive than the higher tech processes that stay in the West. However, these labour intensive processes are done as productively as they were when they were done in the West, on the whole. However, there are a great many workers in the Third World who are less productive than their western counter-parts-farmers and many service sector workers. However, their wretched incomes actually mean that food and services are cheaper in Third World countries despite the poor productivity. They subsidise the Third World export-orientated ‘modern’ sector, allowing them to pay lower wages and charge lower prices. I think we need to look at how many ‘unemployed’ people in the Third World are actually underemployed or working informally.

    Is Pan-Africanism really on the rise? (Much as I would like it to be.) Is Pan-Islamism really some stage on the road to world socialism? Sometimes Islamists have contradictions with imperialism. Sometimes they are begging the West to come and bomb their countries. (Obviously a whole lot of other Third World forces follow the ‘begging like dogs’ line, including many ‘Marxists’.) Part of the old national-liberation paradigm was modernisation of society. People like Nasser and Gaddafi ended up suppressing Islamists. Even the phony advocates of national liberation like Saddam and Mubarak tended to support ideas like women’s rights and limiting the influence of religion. Now all that is being swept away by Islamists who oppose women’s right, as leaders like Saddam, Gadaffi and Mubarak are deposed. There is also a history of Islamists opposing land reform and wanting to preserve feudal relations. To be honest I would support the defeat of western imperialism by an Islamists or just about anyone but it must be remembered that Islamists cannot unite the people due to their reactionary nature. The United Front against imperialism must be led by communists, communists should never tail reactionary opponents of imperialism.

    • The comment was not meant to suggest that Blacks in the United States are Third World peoples. They are not. The comment was meant to account for uneven geographic distributions of wealth, especially on the edges between First and Third World.

      There is a huge unproductive sector in the Third World. There are whole refugee populations, for example, where the populations do not produce much in terms of commodities yet they consume them in the form of aid. There are huge populations of displaced, “lumpen,” etc. Much noise is made of phone jobs, part of the unproductive sector, that are outsourced to India, for example. Nobody is claiming that the productive sector hasn’t shifted more and more to the Third World. Of course it has. However, alongside it is an unproductive sector. Being unproductive does not mean simply people are not working. It often includes those who are underemployed or working informally. Nothing you said really contradicts what was claimed. Just because there is more labor-intensive and/or productive work in the Third World doesn’t mean that there isn’t an unproductive sector there too. There is plenty of data on this on this website and numerous others. You’re skeptical? Ok. Noted. I’m not sure really what your point is here. Perhaps you should write a book or paper debunking such claims, until then I will just add “skeptical about large unproductive sector in parts of the Third World” in the Joseph Ball file. Just kidding.

      I didn’t specifically say Pan-Africanism was on the rise. I didn’t say Pan-Islamism was really some stage on the road to world socialism. I said that national liberation struggles do not have center stage in the anti-imperialist struggle as they once did. Anti-imperialist forces do not always raise the national banner as they once did. They often raise the Islamic banner, for example. This is not to say this is right or wrong. It is simply a fact about our world.

      Various forces, especially segments of the national bourgeoisie in the Third World, come into conflict with imperialism. Because these forces are not guided by revolutionary science, they are inconsistent in their approach to the broad united front. This goes for nationalist forces, but also for revisionist forces, “Marxist-Leninists” and “Maoists.” Look at the poor handling of united front issues by “Maoists,” for example. These problems will always reoccur in the broad united front until it is led by the communist line, a scientific line. It is fine to throw support behind anti-imperialist struggles, even those led by revisionists. But cheerleading revisionists as though they are communists does no service to the global proletariat.

      It is important to start rebuilding the communist movement on a scientific basis again. We have laid the groundwork, but there is more to be done refining the science. Turn a bad thing into a good thing, as Mao said. There are no socialist states today. The old, dogmatic movements from the 1960s and their imitators will be passing from the scene. We have a chance to elevate the science. We have a chance to build movements on an elevated scientific basis. In time, some of the fragments, the dogmatists, from the last great waves of revolution will join us. However, we will not go forward by refusing to put revolutionary science, Leading Light Communism, in command. Leading Light is a movement for global communism.

  • You don’t really need to wait for me to write a book about the ‘unproductive sector’ thesis. Arghiri Emmanuel already wrote his book ‘Unequal Exchange’ which argues that the Third World is just as productive as the First World the difference in wealth being caused by differential wage rates. My forthcoming article touches on this issue but can’t go into it in the depth that’s needed. When I first encountered Third Worldism (via MIM) Emmanuel’s ideas were at the core. LLCO doesn’t mention them much anymore and puts more emphasis on global inequality and this ‘global unproductive sector’ rather than Emmanuel’s theory of unequal exchange transferring value due to unequal wages.

    To be honest, on its own Emmanuel’s theory doesn’t work-it doesn’t take enough account of the technological divide, although he is right on labour productivity.

    The problem is ‘unproductive’ workers can’t be exploited by the First World or anyone else. You have to produce something to get exploited. So this new emphasis on the slum-dwellers rather undermines the clearer approach pioneered by MIM (before its problems worsened.)

    My argument is that your Third World ‘unproductive’ or ‘under-employed’ sector is actually part of the world system of exploitation. A full-length account by me on this subject is probably some way in the future, if it’s going to happen. However, Emmanuel, Samir Amin and others have written plenty on this theme. Their work needs updating to take into account the rise of the Asian Tigers and China but the basic framework is still relevant.

    • Unproductive workers can still be exploited if they are paid below the value of labor-power. This doesn’t happen in the First World but does happen in the Third World.

  • Just as Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara said ‘Our every action is a battle cry against imperialism, and a battle hymn for the people’s unity against the greatest enemy of mankind, the United States of America’

  • When we talk about “unproductive” workers in the Third World (the majority of the so-called workers in the FW are truly unproductive, but in a much more self-satisfied way), can we refer to them as the “reserve army of labor”–I think this was the phrasing– that Marx wrote about? Doesn’t this sector contribute to the process of exploitation as a whole in a decisive way, even if they don’t produce a great deal of value by themselves in their infomal work, I mean picking up rubbish and reusing or selling it, for example. Aren’t they, the slum-dwellers in the global South, part and parcel of the exploited class? I mean not only victims, but a necessary component of the exploiting process. Aren’t they proletarians or on the road of becoming proletarians at some point, and because of this more likely to share the proletarian world-view than the few remaining industrial workers in the formal economy of the FW.

    Maybe not enough attention is paid to the “technological divide”, as Ball says, but that advantage boils down to death value, death labor stolen from the third world super-exploited. If you don’t take into account this fact you are crediting FW claims to super-size wages. You can’t erase history when explaining political economy. The global economy doesn’t work as an autonomous system in more or less stable equilibrium and according to objective laws independent of class struggle.

    Red-clenched salute!

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