The Slum within the Global Countryside

Jun 7, 2011 by     1 Comment     Posted under: book review, economy, essential reading, theory

The Slum within the Global  Countryside: Reflections inspired by Mike Davis’ Planet of Slums
by
Prairie Fire

(llco.org)

“The brutal tectonics of neoliberal globalization since 1978 are analogous to the catastrophic process that shaped a ‘Third World’ in the first place, during the era of late-Victorian imperialism (1870-1900). At the end of the nineteenth century, the forcible incorporation into the world market of the great subsistence peasantries of Asia and Africa entailed the famine deaths of millions and the uprooting of tens of millions more from traditional tenures. The end result (in Latin America as well) was rural ‘semi-proletarization,’ the creation of a huge global class of immiserated semi-peasants and farm laborers lacking existential security of subsistence. As a result, the twentieth century became an age not of urban revolutions, as classical Marxism had imagined, but of epochal rural uprisings and peasant-based wars of national liberation.” (1)

Chen Boda and Lin Biao were the ones who really systematized Mao’s contributions. Chen Boda was the one who spoke of Mao’s contributions as the universal Marxism for the colonial world. Lin Biao introduced the idea that Mao’s contributions were a new stage. And it was Lin Biao who first introduced the concept of the global people’s war. World revolution was seen as a global people’s war, a wave of world revolution that spread across the global countryside to encircle the global city. This powerful metaphor has been, and continues to be, a key part of the highest revolutionary science to date, Leading Light Communism. However, the world is changing drastically. For the first time in history, the majority of humanity lives in cities, not rural areas. (2) This explosive demographic shift is part of a revolutionary change in human geography, perhaps comparable to the neolithic or industrial revolution. One of the most important implications of this shift is the growth of the global slum, especially within the global countryside, within the Third World. To change the world, we must understand it. For those seeking to make revolution in the twenty-first century, it will be necessary to understand the shifting social topographies that revolutionaries will have to deal with. The global slum must be integrated into our conception of people’s war.

The New Urban Explosion

There has been a population explosion in world, especially urban population. Today, the urbanization rate in parts of the Third World is greater than Victorian Europe of the industrial revolution was (3):

According to Mike Davis’ Planet of Slums:

“The world’s urban labor force has more than doubled since 1980, the present urban population — 3.2 billion — is larger than the total population of the world when John F. Kennedy was inaugurated. The global countryside, meanwhile, has reached its maximum population and will begin to shrink after 2020. As a result, cities will account for virtually all future world’s population growth, which is expected to peak at about 10 billion in 2050.” (4)

Not all this growing population of the urban poor live in slums. (5) However, the slum-dweller is growing faster than any other demographic group. Slums have multiplied. There are more than 200,000 slums on earth. These slums can be a few hundred people or contain more than a million.

There is also the phenomenon of the megaslum:

Megaslums are created when shantytowns and squatter communities merge into continuous belts of informal housing and poverty, usually on the edge of urban areas. (6) Gautum Chatterjee warns, “If such a trend continues unabated, we will have only slums and no cities.” (7) Using conservative estimates, there were 921 million slum-dwellers in 2001 and more than one billion in 2005, “nearly equal to the population of the world when the young Engels first ventured onto the mean streets of St. Giles and Old Town Manchester in 1844.”  (8) In the next few years, Black Africa will have 332 million slum-dwellers, a number that will continue to double every fifteen years. (9) Gaza, considered by some to be the world’s largest slum, is an urbanized amalgamation of refugee camps. Two-thirds of the population subsist on less than 2$ a day. (10) “Of the 500,000 people who migrate to Delhi each year, it is estimated that fully 400,000 end up in slums; by 2015 India’s capital will have a slum population of more than 10 million.” (11) The majority of the world’s urban poor no longer live in inner cities, from where many have been evicted. (12) Rather, they live in the slums on the periphery of Third World cities. (13)  The new poor usually exist on the edges of cities, not in the centers.


 

Thus the stereotypical patter of the American city is reversed. No longer is it rich suburbia on the edge of  a poor downtown. The emerging pattern in the Third World city is very different:

“[T]he principal function of the Third World urban edge remains as a human dump. In some cases, urban waste and unwanted immigrants end up together, as in such infamous ‘garbage slums’ as the aptly named Quarantina outside Beirut, Hillat Kusha outside Khartoum, Santa Cruz Meyehualco in Mexico City, the former Smokey Mountain in Manila, or the huge Dhapa dump and slum on the fringe of Kolkata. Equally common are the desolate government camps and crude site-and-service settlements that warehouse populations expelled in the course of municipal wars against slums. Outside of Penang and Kuala Lumpur, for example, slum evictees are marooned in minimalist transit camps.”  (14)

Historically, imperialism inflicts tremendous pain on the Third World, especially its countryside.  Many things cause people to move to the city to seek a better life: poverty, violence, war, etc. However, all of these existed before the modern period. Prior to the 1950s and 1960s, slums in the Third World experienced slow growth. It was only later that there was a great acceleration. To understand why slums grew so rapidly in the second half of the twentieth century, it is necessary to understand why growth was slower in the first half. Even though European colonial powers were responsible for creating slums,  colonial policies were often a fetter on slum growth. Colonial policies sought to prevent peasants and refugees from overwhelming cities, which were often centers of colonial administration. Colonial policies aimed at keeping the colonial social peace. They segregated cities according to nationality, color, and class. They sought to discipline rural migrations.  When regimes of the Third World gained nominal independence and became neocolonies, some of these fetters were removed. (15) As the nature of  underdevelopment changed from mono-crop and extraction-based underdevelopment to industrialized underdevelopment, and though the process of globalization, restrictions on migrations to urban centers were lifted. Originally, in a repeat of the industrial revolution in Europe, this helped to create the workforce necessary for the new industries, which were located in urban areas of the Third World. However, soon the flood of migration outpaced the needs of industry. This created a surplus humanity and the modern slum. In addition,  neo-liberal economic policies  contributed to the rise of the new urban poor and slumification. The austerity measures and structural adjustment policies imposed on the Third World by the First World and international lending agencies, especially from the 1980s to the present, and the end of big-state, slow-growth regimes only contributed to the slumification of the Third World city.  (16)

“In Latin America and the Caribbean, SAP-enforced austerity during the 1980s reduced public investment in sanitation and potable water, thus eliminating the infant survival advantage previously enjoyed by poor urban residents. In Mexico, following the adoption of a second SAP in 1986, the percentage of births attended by medical personnel fell from 94 percent in 1983 to 45 percent in 1988, while maternal mortality soared from 82 per 100,000 in 1980 to 150 in 1988.” (17)

“The massive transfer of resources from poor African countries to wealthy Northern creditors is one of the factors that has critically weakened health care and education in the countries that are now worst affected by the pandemic [of HIV/AIDS].” (18)

“[T]he coerced tribute that the Third World pays to the First World has been the literal difference between life and death for millions of people.” (19)

Just as changes in the imperial order contributed to the new urban landscape, so too has the collapse of both real and imagined socialism. Both socialist and revisionist regimes tried to enforce an orderly relationship between town and countryside. (20) However, this mostly ended with the end of the cold war. During the 1980s, under the revisionist, capitalist regime of Deng Xiaoping, China, for example, moved away from Maoist policies that sought to eliminate the contradiction between town and countryside. The revisionists moved away from the Maoist approach of balanced development. The Great Leap and Cultural Revolution aspiration of bringing the positive aspects of urbanization to the countryside, factory production, cultural and education, and services, was largely abandoned. As part of the capitalist restoration process, the revisionists began to relax restrictions on urban growth in the 1980s. (21) The result was urban overspilling into the rural, destroying farmland. (22) Revisionist policies reconfigured the relationship of both town and countryside, but not the way that Maoists imagined during the socialist period:

“The result of this collision between the rural and the urban in China, much of Southeast Asia, India, Egypt, and perhaps West Africa is a hermaphroditic landscape, a partially urbanized countryside that Guldin argues may be ‘a significant new path of human settlement and development… a form neither rural nor urban but a blending of the two wherein a dense web of transactions ties large urban cores to their surrounding regions.’” (23)

Traditional social problems, exacerbated by neocolonialism and globalization, the end of socialism, and new emerging landscapes,  contributed to the urban explosion and the slum. There is no sign of  slumification abating in the Third World.

Cardboard, Not Glass

The new urban landscape is not the one imagined by modernists and futurists. The modern city is not a well-ordered utopia of steel and glass:

“From Karl Marx to Max Weber, classical social theory believed that the great cities of the future would follow in the industrializing footsteps of Manchester, Berlin,  and Chicago — and indeed Los Angeles, Sao Paulo, Pusan, and today, Ciudad Juarez, Bangalore, and Guangzhou have roughly approximated this canonical trajectory. Most cities of the South, however, more closely resemble Victorian Dublin, which, historian Emmet Larkin has stressed, was unique amongst ‘all the slumdoms produced in the western world in the nineteenth century… [because] its slums were not a product of the industrial revolution. Dublin, in fact, suffered more from the problems of de-industrialization than industrialization between 1800 and 1850.” (24)

The global slum is born of cardboard, recycled plastic, crude brick and straw, cement blocks and scrap wood. Such materials shelter the typical urban-dweller of this century. She is desperately poor. She lives in squalor and decay, in excrement and waste, without urban planning, sanitation and services. (25) (26) If she works, the slum-dweller often has to commute long hours every day to work. Hours are spent every day just looking for water and food. (27) Life in the slum is crowded and desperate, a fight to survive. Life is cheap in the slum. Her landscape is one of make-shift shelters, shanty towns and pavement dwellers. For example, one million people live on the sidewalks, on the pavement, of Mumbai alone. (28) Also:

“In Mumbai the typical chawl (75 percent of the city’s formal housing stock) is a dilapidated, one-room rental dwelling that crams a household of six people in 15 square meters; the latrine is usually shared with six other families.” (29)

Although squatting contributed to the modern slum, the golden age of squatting has ended. Cheap spaces for the urban poor no longer exist. Today’s slum  is a rent plantation. People pay to be packed into tight spaces. Asia’s largest slum, Dharavi in Mumbai, for example, has a maximum density more than twice that of nineteenth-century New York. In Kolkata, an average of 13.4 people are crowded into each occupied room. Slums of rent-free living have been replaced by latifunda and crony capitalism. (30) New Democratic and socialist revolution of the future will take ever new forms to meet the concerns and interests of the slum-dwelling poor.

Toxins and Garbage

The slum is dangerous to one’s health. Industrial toxins, natural disasters, disease and sickness, lack of services, all contribute to the problems of the slum. One famous case is the Bhopal incident. In Bhopal, India on December 3, 1984, a gas leak killed about 10,000 people in a few days. Later, 25,000 more are estimated to have died and the over half a million who survived the initial effects are thought to have suffered from  severe aftereffects. Lung cancer, kidney failure, liver disease and other illnesses related to the accident have killed many others in the two decades since the initial gas leak. According to the government of India, 500,000 people were affected by the gas. After the disaster, Union Carbide simply abandoned the factory, leaving India stuck with the mess. Almost a quarter century since the leak, slums have grown around the site of the accident. Slums now exist side-by-side with millions of tons of toxic waste that have yet to be cleaned up. The Union Carbide factory site has yet to be cleaned up. Authorities have yet to study the effects of the remaining toxic waste on the drinking water and environment of local communities. The assumption here is that the poor of India are not worth the cost involved in removing the waste. The crimes of Union Carbide are typical examples of how First World corporations, literally, get away with murder. This pattern is repeated again and again.

The air itself is often toxic and polluted in the slum. The slum-dweller chokes on polluted air from cars, industrial production, and human waste. According to some, breathing Mumbai’s air is the equivalent of smoking two-and-one-half packs of cigarettes a day.  (31) Mexico’s pollution is also legendary. In addition to the volcanic smoke, massive human and industrial pollution, “Mexico City residents, for example, inhale shit: fecal dust blowing off Lake Texcoco during the hot, dry season causes typhoid and hepatitis.” (32)

The slum-dwelling population wades in a sea of garbage, toxins and filth. The new slum intersects with the global sanitation and water crisis. “From a sanitary viewpoint, poor cities on every continent are little more than clogged, overflowing sewers.” Kabul’s city palling director:

“Kabul is turning into one big reservoir of solid waste. If all 40 of our trucks make three trips a day, they can still transport only 200 to 300 cubic meters out of the city.”

Davis writes:

“The content of the waste is sometimes grisly; in Accra, the Daily Graphic recently described ‘sprawling refuse dumps, full of black plastic bags containing aborted fetal bodies from the wombs of Kayayee [female porters] and teenage girls in Accra. According to Metropolitan Chief Executive, ‘75 percent of the waste of black polythene bags in the metropolis contains human aborted fetuses.’”  (33)

“[D]igestive-tract diseases arising from poor sanitation and the pollution of drinking water — including diarrhea, enteritis, colitis, typhoid, and paratyphoid fevers — are the leading cause of death in the world, affecting mainly infants and small children. Open sewers and contaminated water are likewise rife with intestinal parasites such as whipworm, roundworm, and hookworm, and so on that infect tens of millions of children in poor cities. Cholera, the scourge of the Victorian city, also continues to thrive off the fecal contamination of urban water supplies, especially in African cities like Antananarivo, Maputo, and Lusaka, where UNICEF estimates that up to 80 percent of deaths from preventable diseases (apart from HIV/AIDS) arise from poor sanitation. The diarrhea associated with AIDS is a grim addition to the problem.” (34)

A billion people have no access to clean or usable or piped water, many of them are slum-dwellers. Basic amenities such as water are expensive and out of reach for many. For example, the population of Kibera slum pays up to five times for a liter of water more than the average American. (35)

This contributes to a massive health crisis. Illness related to water supply accounts for 75 percent of the illness that affects humanity. (36) Roughly a third of the slum-dwelling population is ill at any given time. In any other urban context, such a figure would amount to a pandemic.  (37)  However, the suffering of the slum is largely ignored by the bourgeois world.

Worlds Apart

The slum-dwelling population lacks access to health and other services. This is part of a growing polarization in the Third World. The most extreme health differences are no longer between towns and countrysides. Rather the most extreme differentials are between the urban middle classes and urban poor. For example, the mortality rate for children under five (151 per 1000) in Nairobi’s slums is two or three times higher than in the city as a whole, and half again as high as in poor rural areas. Also in Quito, infant mortality is 30 times higher in the slums than the wealthier neighborhoods. In Cape Town, tuberculosis is 50 times more common amongst poor blacks than amongst affluent whites. (38) This growing disparity between the slum and the middle and upper strata is part of what some have referred to as a return to medieval segregation. (39)

“In Luanda, where in 1993 a staggering 84 percent of the population was jobless or underemployed, inequality between the highest and lowest income deciles ‘increased from a factor of 10 to a factor of 37 between 1995 and 1998 alone.’ In Mexico the percentage of the population living in extreme poverty increased from 16 percent in 1992 to 28 percent in 1999, despite the much-hyped ‘success stories’ of the border maquiladoras and NAFTA.” (40)

This polarization is reflected in a growth of social and economic inequalities and growing geographic separation. As the slum grows, new, oft-walled enclaves appear. These “off worlds” are sub-cities for the middle and upper strata within the city. These “off worlds” are often self-contained, American-style walled communities:

“Brazil’s most famous walled Americanized edge city is Alphaville, in the northwest quadrant of greater Sao Paulo. Named (perversely) after the dark new world in Godard’s dystopian 1965 film, Alphaville is a complete private city with a large office complex, an upscale mall, and walled residential areas — all defended by more than 800 private guards.” (41)

These “off worlds” offer a stark contrast to the poverty of the slum. (42) While the middle and upper strata stay safe, the slum population is subject to the ravages of poverty, illness, natural and ecological disasters. Revolutionaries in Peru had an expression: they carried their lives on their finger tips. This meant that they might be called to make the ultimate sacrifice at any time. Those in the global slum also live on the edge, but not by choice. Theirs is a precarious existence, where death is always near. Such conditions make for a potentially explosive, revolutionary situation, which is why the reactionaries seek to control the slum through the “soft-imperialism” non-profits, NGOs, and criminalization and militarization.

Slum Economy, Excess humanity

A city’s population size bears little relationship to the size of its economy. (43) The growth in urban population does not correspond with economic growth. Production does not necessarily increase with population. Where there is capitalist production in the slum, it is carried out under barbaric conditions.  The growing slum has sometimes resulted in a reversal of the traditional Third World economy, rather than a labor-intensive countryside and capital-intensive city, now there are capital-intensive countrysides and labor-intensive de-industrialized cities. (44) Often the worst affected by production in the slum are not  the muscle-bound proletarian, stereotypical male  factory worker, as imagined by many so-called Marxists. The worst affected are often poor women and children:

“In exchange for tiny loans and cash payments, incredibly poor rural Dalits and Muslims sell their children — or entire families — to predatory textile contractors. According to UNICEF, thousands of children in the carpet industry are ‘kidnapped or lured away or pledged by their parents for paltry sums of money.’” (45)

“Most of them are kept in captivity, tortured and made to work for 20 hours a day without a break. Little children are made to crouch on their toes, from dawn to dusk every day, severely stunting their growth during formative years.”

“The children work twelve or more hours a day, six and a half or seven days a week, under conditions of physical and verbal abuse. Starting as young as age five, they earn from nothing at all to around 400 rupees (US $8.33) a month.” (46)

The growth of the global slum looks very different than the future predicted by First Worldist so-called Marxists. Slums have become a dumping ground for excess humanity, rather than a place of prosperity. (47) The typical slum-dweller is not a factory worker. Many slum-dwellers are unproductive in Marx’s sense; they are not even an industrial reserve army of the unemployed in Marx’s sense. In other words, they are not necessarily  used to depress wages. Wages are so low in the slum that they, often, cannot really go any lower. Sometimes, as in the case with Gaza, slum-dwellers rely on relief from international agencies. The slum economy is often dominated by the informal sector, not the traditional productive sector of Marx’s original vision of the future.  (48)

“The traditional stereotype of the Indian pavement dweller is a destitute peasant, newly arrived from the countryside, who survives by parasitic begging, but research has revealed, almost all (97 percent) have at least one breadwinner, 70 percent have been in the city at least six years, and one third had been evicted from a slum or chawl. Indeed, many pavement-dwellers are simply workers — rickshaw men, construction laborers, and market porters — who are compelled by their jobs to live in the otherwise unaffordable heart of the metropolis.” (49)

Remarking on late twenty-century Mexico City, one urban planner observes:

“[A]s much as 60 percent of the city’s growth is the result of people, especially women, heroically building their own dwellings on unserviced peripheral land, while informal subsistence work has always accounted for a large proportion of total employment.” (50)

The slum-dweller is not Marx’s stereotypical, male, proletarian factory worker. According to the CIA in 2002, “By the late 1990s a staggering one billion workers representing one-third of the world’s labor force, most of them in the South, were either unemployed or underemployed.” (51) And there is no expectation that these people will be integrated into production in the near future. The slum-dweller is not typically  or principally engaged in productive labor, in the creation of value. Rather, the slum-proletarian tends to be from the marginalized, lumpen, sometimes de-classed elements, and, even, oppressed small business class. (52) In fact, in certain places in Latin America, the traditional industrial and unionized worker constitutes a relatively privileged section of the Third World population. This is one reason why it is important to separate our concepts of exploitation and proletarian from point of production, from the factory and field. While the Labor Theory of Value may provide important insight into the creation of value, a far more useful global indicator of exploitation and revolutionary potential is  the equality  measure and simple poverty.  (53) (54) With the vast majority of industrial workers now living outside of the First World, the typical First World person may not be engaged in productive labor as Marx described, but neither is an ever more important segment of the dispossessed, Third World population. (55) Revolution is the hope of the hopeless.

Global Class

Marx predicted that the trends that he witnessed during the industrial revolution in Western Europe would occur globally. He thought that society would become polarized into two great classes, the industrial capitalists and their workers. Thus, as capitalism advanced, the paradigmatic producer and impoverished person would come to be represented by the industrial worker. He saw the industrial working class as the proletariat, the revolutionary agent. Marx thought competition and development would even out from country to country. Thus revolution was a matter of “workers of the world, unite!” However, things did not work out exactly the way Marx foresaw. Even Engels began writing of the bourgeoisification of large segments of the population of wage earners. Engels said that whole nations could be bourgeoisified. In Lenin’s time, the Bolsheviks began referring to a “labor aristocracy.” There is Lenin’s famous statement that the “seal of parasitism” affected whole nations. Lin Biao offered an alternative vision of polarization: the global city versus the global countryside. Lin Biao said that the proletarian struggle in the First World was “delayed” while it was vigorous elsewhere. This polarization of the global city of the rich countries and the global countryside of the poor countries, the First World and Third World, continues. The household per-capita income differential between a rich, First World city like Seattle and a poor, Third World city like Ibadan is as great as 739 to 1. (56) “In 46 countries people are poorer today than in 1990. In 25 countries more people are hungry today than a decade ago.” (57)

Lin Biao’s conception of the polarization is still essentially correct, although it is important to take note of the growing global slum within the global countryside. The growing urban population in the Third World has tremendous implications for the global class structure. Most city dwellers in the Third World are desperately poor. (58) Roughly a quarter of all urbanites in 1988 live in “absolute poverty,” surviving on one dollar or less a day. (59) According to one expert:

“Slums, however deadly and insecure, have a brilliant future. The countryside will for a short period still contain the majority of the world’s poor, but that dubious distinction will pass to urban slums no later than 2035. A least half of the coming Third World urban population explosion will be credited to the account of informal communities. Two billion slum-dwellers by 2030 or 2040 is a monstrous, almost incomprehensible prospect, but urban poverty overlaps and exceeds slum populations per se.”  (60)

The true proletariat, the revolutionary agent, has nothing to lose but its chains. The proletariat has long since passed from the First World. The real proletariat lives almost exclusively in the Third World. Over the next century, more and more, the typical proletarian will come to be represented by the slum-dweller of the Third World. This isn’t to discount other segments of the revolutionary and exploited classes, such as the poor peasant and industrial worker in the Third World, this is only to point to the rising influence of the slum-dweller, a demographic group that is going to play more and more of a role on the world scene.

Global People’s War

Anthropologist Michael Taussig writes of the outskirts of Cali:

“It dawns on me that just as the guerrilla have their most important base in the endless forests of the Caqueta, at the end of nowhere on the edge of the Amazon basin, so the gang world of youth gone wild has its sacred grove, too, right here on the urban edge, where slums hit the cane fields at Carlos Alfredo Diaz.” (61)

Mao famously compared the guerrilla among the peasants to a fish in the sea.  If trends continue as they do, the slums will be a new sea in which  people’s warriors swim. The rise of the global slum has implications for global people’s war, just as it has implications on our conceptions of what exploitation is and who constitutes the proletariat. Mao articulated a model of people’s war that was protracted, his model of people’s war began in the countryside then advanced to surround the city. People’s war of the past was mainly a rural affair. Red zones were areas that the revolutionary forces controlled in the countryside. Within red zones, the revolutionary forces created a new state and new economy in miniature. The red zone was the Maoist adaptation of Lenin’s conception of dual power to the Third World countryside. People’s wars, along with the red zone and dual power, will have to be adapted to the global slum.  People’s wars of the future may not necessarily advance from the countryside to the city. Although the global people’s war will still move from the global countryside, which contains the global slum, to the global city.  Global people’s war will advance from the Third World to the First World. While Lenin’s warnings about overestimating spontaneity and Maoist warnings about overestimating   insurrectionary models still apply, protracted people’s war applied to the slum will be explored in the coming century by Leading Light Communists. RAND researchers commented on how slum-based resistance could have tipped the scales in El Salvador’s civil war in the 1980s, “had the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front rebels effectively operated within the cities earlier in the insurgency, it is questionable how much the United States could have done to help maintain even the stalemate between the government and the insurgents.” (62) The lessons of the Iraqi resistance, both Sunni and Shia as urban-based resistance  movements, should also be studied. Air power, the favorite weapon of the imperialists, the scourge of rural guerrilla movements, is also less effective in urban contexts.

Georg Lukacs  once wrote that even if all of Marx’s individual predictions proved false, one could still be an “orthodox Marxist” because real Marxism, at its core, is simply revolutionary science. Marx was the beginning. Lenin was the first one to make the ideological breakthrough that led to the first sustained proletarian revolution. Mao was the one who made the next breakthrough. They were real revolutionary scientists despite their errors and limitations. They did not just inherit the mainstream so-called  revolutionary theories of their day. They adapted and expanded revolutionary science. They understood that Marxism is not a set of dogmatic formulas, it is a science — the science of human liberation.  Today, leftovers from the last revolutionary breakthroughs remain: “Marxist-Leninists” and “Maoists.” The forces that fly these banners today were not the ones who made the breakthroughs themselves. What is called “Marxism-Leninism” and “Maoism” today are merely an echo of the past breakthroughs. “Marxist-Leninist” and “Maoist” forces today grab the pre-scientific and popular form of these breakthroughs and run with them. These forces never grasped the scientific core, even if they applied the popularized, dogmatized form of the ideology. In some cases, the dogma works well enough so that these forces have been able to create sizable armed organizations and seize large swaths of territory in the Third World. However, the dogma is not good enough to conquer state power, let alone to reach communism. Times have changed. Old dogma won’t cut it. It is over 60 years since Mao declared the People’s Republic of China. It is almost a half century since the initiation of the Cultural Revolution. Science learns. Material reality, including the global class structure, is much different. The composition of the global countryside, with the growth of the global slum, is very different. Our conceptions of people’s war and global people’s war must evolve. Imperialists have been perfecting and advancing their science of oppression. We must advance the science of liberation to beat them. Marxism must adapt or die. Leading Light Communism is the revolutionary science of today. It is the new breakthrough.

Notes
1. Davis, Mike. Planet of Slums Verso, USA: 2007, p. 175
2. Davis, p. 1
3. Davis, p. 15
4. Davis, p. 2
5. Davis, p. 25
6. Davis, pp. 26-27
7. Davis, p. 18
8. Davis, p. 23
9. Davis,  p. 19
10.  Davis, p. 48
11. Davis, p. 18
12. Davis, p. 32
13. Davis, p. 37
14. Davis, p. 47
15. Davis, pp. 50-54
16. Davis, pp. 147-148
17. Davis, p. 148
18. Davis, p. 149
19. Davis, p. 148
20. Davis, pp. 50-54
21. Davis, p. 60
22. Davis, p. 135
23. Davis, p. 9
24. Davis, p. 16
25. Davis, p. 19
26. Davis, p. 7
27. Davis, pp. 93-94
28. Davis, p. 36
29. Davis, p. 34
30. Davis, pp. 87-93
31. Davis, pp. 133-134
32. Davis, p. 144
33. Davis, p.134-139
34. Davis, p. 145
35. Davis, p. 145
36. Davis, p. 142-145
37. Davis, p. 147
38. Davis, p. 146
39. Davis, p. 119
40. Davis, pp. 164-165
41. Davis, p. 188
42. Davis, pp. 117-118
43. Davis, p.13
44. Davis, p. 16
45. Davis, p. 187
46. Davis, p. 187
47. Davis, p. 175
48. Davis, pp. 177-179
49. Davis, p. 36
50. Davis, p. 17
51. Davis, p. 198
52. Davis, p. 179
53. Prairie Fire. Equality and Global Alignments. Monkey Smashes Heaven. http://llco.org/archives/8471
54. Prairie Fire Real versus Fake Socialism on Socialist Distribution. Monkey Smashes Heaven. http://llco.org/archives/3289
55. Davis, p. 13
56. Davis, pp. 25-26
57. Davis, p. 163
58. Davis, p. 49
59. Davis, p. 25
60. Davis, p. 151
61. Davis, p. 49
62. Davis, p. 102

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