Combat Bourgeois Culture by Building New Culture
30 January 2019
…[W]e can only regard as achieved what has become part and parcel of our culture, of our social life, our habits…
– V.I. Lenin, 1923 
The entrenchment of capitalist hegemony throughout the world has led to the development of a reactionary and degenerate culture based on hedonism and glorification of everything disgusting about humanity. The proliferation of bourgeois culture holds back revolution as it degrades the ability of the working class to wage class struggle. Bourgeois culture creates the conditions required for the existence of bourgeois class alliances with privileged and comprador elements of the working class. Bourgeois culture provides the necessary social and psychological patterns for the capitalist class to maintain its dominance over the working class.
As imperialism has installed its servant puppet regimes around the proletarian world, so has it spread bourgeois culture. At the heart of bourgeois culture are the media and entertainment corporations that effectively dumb down the masses and influence their thoughts and behaviors for the benefit of capitalism and imperialism. Bourgeois propaganda produced in the bourgeois countries is marketed not only to the masses in those countries but also to the masses in the proletarian exploited countries, thus facilitating the spread of bourgeois ideas and values to the proletarian masses.
Bourgeois culture glorifies violence to a very high degree, with gratuitous scenes of brutality and murder continuously pouring out of corporate entertainment propaganda. This depravity reflects the mindset at the heart of capitalism.
Bourgeois culture shamelessly hypersexualizes women while pushing the limits of what is considered morally acceptable and breaking taboos such as the sexualization of children. Pornography is widespread, helping to push the boundaries of acceptability. Bourgeois culture promotes liberal, fake “feminism” as a cover for the structural oppression of women and children under capitalism.
Victim-blaming is an integral part of bourgeois culture as capitalism attempts to justify its existence despite its unjust and inhumane nature. The victims of imperialism in the proletarian world are portrayed as culturally backwards and at fault for their own poverty when it is, in fact, a consequence of imperialist theft of their resources and destruction of their cultures. Victims of police violence are routinely smeared and blamed for their own suffering. Similarly, victims of rape and other physical abuse are often ridiculed and shamed, while the perpetrators are often absolved.
Bourgeois culture elevates superficiality and stupidity, mindless decadence and debauchery, and blind obedience to authority. Drug abuse is glorified throughout bourgeois propaganda. Bourgeois culture promotes the idea that morality is irrelevant or obsolete and that people have no responsibility for their own actions other than obeying authority. It perpetuates a narrow, selfish mindset based on individualism and opportunism.
Among the working class, capitalism discourages intellectual activity such as reading books, studying, and discussing important issues. Instead, bourgeois culture elevates television, video games, pornography, and other forms of mindless electronic entertainment which distract the masses from reality, pacifying them while poisoning their minds.
Capitalism wages a war on nature, portraying technology and economic growth as the solution to humanity’s problems instead of social ownership of the means of production. Capitalism promotes reckless genetic engineering of agricultural crops despite the potential threat to human and environmental health. Car culture is central to capitalism, as private individual transport is much more profitable to the capitalists than public mass transit despite its hugely negative impact on the environment. Capitalism has given rise to the phenomenon known as “planned obsolescence” whereby products are deliberately designed to break or become obsolete, increasing sales and profits along with further environmental destruction and wasted labor. Bourgeois culture mocks the destruction of nature by pretending to care while promoting blind consumerism and a wasteful, decadent lifestyle.
Capitalism pushes for the constant and expanding use of digital and wireless technology everywhere which is used by the state for surveillance of the masses. Bourgeois culture glorifies trans-humanism, the merging of humans with technology, which necessarily constitutes a type of eugenics program as long as capitalism and class division exist. The continuing destruction of the natural environment under capitalism is reflected in the increasing mechanization and enslavement of the working class and in its alienation from nature and addiction to electronics.
Bourgeois culture celebrates everything that is evil about humanity while ridiculing and dismissing everything that is good. Bourgeois culture celebrates the bourgeois lifestyle which is based upon the exploitation and sacrifice of others. Bourgeois culture is essentially a culture that worships death, a culture of destruction.
The socialist construction of New Power must necessarily be based upon a New Culture that celebrates life, a culture that respects nature and humanity, a culture that elevates discipline, intelligence, and self-sacrifice, a culture that stands in complete opposition to all the reactionary and degenerate elements of bourgeois culture. The New Culture must support the healthy evolutionary development of humanity in harmony with the Earth’s natural environment, and it must provide the necessary tools for the successful consolidation of socialist power – New Power – and the transition to communism.
New Culture must be based on an entirely new set of values that embody a revolutionary communist mentality. Everyone must be held accountable for the values they promote through speech, music, writing, and other forms of media. New Culture does not tolerate oppression, exploitation, or social chauvinism. It does not tolerate the objectification and dehumanization of people, in media or elsewhere, and it does not tolerate victim-blaming. It does not tolerate the glorification of drugs, violence, or sexual depravity. There is no place in New Culture for bourgeois degeneracy. New Culture upholds personal discipline and strength of character as important values. It upholds self-determination, self-defense, and proletarian organization. It reflects a responsible, egalitarian, proletarian mindset. New Culture upholds the principle of respect for humans and other biological life and does not have a liberal tolerance for violations of this principle.
Unlike bourgeois culture, New Culture promotes a healthy, balanced lifestyle and good habits that help maintain the health and happiness of the individual. New Culture is based upon those ideas and actions that support the liberation of the working class and the protection and rehabilitation of the Earth’s ecosystems. Proper nutrition, exercise, study habits, and social activity are all essential aspects of New Culture, as they are all important for nurturing healthy, intelligent, and productive people that New Power needs to survive and expand.
In New Culture, technology is viewed entirely differently than in bourgeois culture. Nature is more important than technology in New Culture. Technology should be used to liberate humanity from toil and drudgery in order to make more time for activities that actually elevate humanity, such as intellectual study and enjoyment of the natural world. The effects of technology, blatant and subtle, must always be considered. The more time humans spend interacting with technology, the less time they spend interacting with nature, and the more disconnected they become from their natural environment, both physically and psychologically. Too much time spent with technology means that technology ceases to be the servant and instead becomes the master. Thus, technology must be designed and implemented in a way that does not interfere with natural processes, in a way that supports biodiversity, ecological health, and human health. New Culture only values technology for its ability to liberate and elevate humanity. Mindless or destructive applications of technology have no place in New Culture.
New Culture is based upon collective ownership of the means of production, aiming for efficiency of production and efficiency of transportation and distribution while minimizing the need for human labor. New Culture values intelligent resource management including conservation of resources and careful planning of production to eliminate waste and negative environmental impact. Production techniques that are in harmony with the natural environment are important in New Culture. Closed-loop systems of production, distribution, and waste management are essential to maintaining the integrity of Earth’s ecosystems. Public transportation and clean energy generation are also essential. In addition to collective ownership of the means of production, New Culture embraces collective thinking and problem-solving. With collective ownership of the means of production along with scientific, democratic decision-making processes regarding production and distribution of resources, the necessity for labor could be drastically reduced while providing abundance for all humans in harmony with Earth’s natural processes.
New Culture emphasizes critical analysis and objectivity while encouraging criticism and self-criticism in order to recognize and correct errors: “If we have shortcomings, we are not afraid to have them pointed out and criticized, because we serve the people.” New Culture does not tolerate egotism and self-righteousness, but instead upholds the principle of “No investigation, no right to speak.” Logic, science, and discipline are highly valued within New Culture. Only if the masses become sufficiently advanced in their proletarian consciousness can they successfully wage the revolutionary struggle. New Culture is essential to bringing the masses to a higher level of political consciousness.
Bourgeois culture, politics, and economics are leading humanity and the Earth’s ecosystems to destruction. The ignorance and docility of the masses, and the lack of organization and proletarian consciousness among the left, allow capitalism to function without interference. Building New Culture as a part of New Power is an essential part of our revolution, as the proletarian masses must develop an entirely new set of values, habits, and institutions, an entirely new way of thinking and living, an entirely new way of understanding and interacting with the world, if our revolution is to succeed.
Bourgeois culture today is not merely a reflection of the degenerate capitalist system, but significantly influenced and manufactured by bourgeois institutions in order to engineer the consciousness of the masses to suit the interests of the capitalist ruling class. The successful liberation of humanity thus requires the development of a proletarian consciousness sufficiently advanced to allow the masses to free themselves from imperialist psychological manipulation, to free themselves from the capitalist system and the culture of destruction it perpetuates.
In his article “For a Cultural Association,” the Italian communist Gramsci discussed the need to develop an institution to promote and foster the development of a healthy revolutionary culture among the proletarian masses. Gramsci identified various reasons for the necessity of such an institution of proletarian culture: to integrate the political and economic activity of the socialist movement with cultural activity; to raise the level of political consciousness among the masses so they can better understand and overcome their problems without relying merely on discipline and trust in their leaders; to explore the deeper moral, spiritual, and philosophical problems of socialism and revolution; and to provide a way for revolutionary intellectuals to effectively contribute their skills and talents to the revolutionary struggle.
As our revolutionary movement grows, the need for institutions of revolutionary proletarian culture will also grow, although this will not happen evenly across the world. The need for proletarian cultural institutions will arise where revolutionary sentiment has taken hold among the masses, where New Power is being actively constructed. It is up to the Leading Lights of the world to provide the proper psychological and cultural direction for the development of New Culture among the revolutionary masses and to support the healthy development of proletarian cultural institutions as a part of New Power.
Let us build New Culture and New Power, and lead humanity out of the darkness! Forward, Comrades!
1. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. “Better Fewer, But Better.” 2 March 1923. Collected Works, 2nd English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1965, Vol. 33, pp. 487-502. Online: https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1923/mar/02.htm
2. Petras, James. “Cultural Imperialism in the Late 20th Century.” Global Policy Forum, Feb. 2000. Online: https://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/154/25597.html
3. Tracy, James F. “The CIA and the Media: 50 Facts the World Needs to Know.” Global Research, 1 Dec. 2016. Online: http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-cia-and-the-media-50-facts-the-world-needs-to-know/5471956
4. Petras, James. “Cultural Imperialism…”
5. “Rihanna’s ‘Better Have My Money‘ Promotes the Elite’s Obsession With Torture.” The Vigilant Citizen, 9 July 2015. Online: https://vigilantcitizen.com/musicbusiness/rihannas-better-money-promotes-elites-obsession-torture/
6. Donovan, Patricia. “Study Finds Marked Rise in Intensely Sexualized Images of Women, Not Men.” Buffalo University News Center, 10 Aug. 2011. Online: http://www.buffalo.edu/news/releases/2011/08/12769.html
7. Henson, Melissa. “’Toddlers and Tiaras’ and Sexualizing 3-Year-Olds.” CNN, 13 Sept. 2011. Online: http://www.cnn.com/2011/09/12/opinion/henson-toddlers-tiaras/
8. “Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture.” Leading Light. Online: https://llco.org/female-chauvinist-pigs-women-and-the-rise-of-raunch-culture/
9. Parenti, Michael. “Imperialism 101.” Against Empire. San Francisco: City Lights, 1995. Print. Online: http://www.michaelparenti.org/Imperialism101.html
10. Georgia Sand. “When Police Abuse and Kill People, Whose Fault Is It?” Cop Block, 7 Mar. 2015. Online: https://www.copblock.org/114354/whose-fault-is-it-anyway/
11. “Women ‘To Blame’ for Being Raped.” Daily Mail. Downloaded 16 Apr. 2017: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-369262/Women-blame-raped.html
12. Molitorisz, Sacha. “Society Is Past Its Use By Date.” The Sydney Morning Herald, 2 Dec. 2011. Online: https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/movies/society-is-past-its-use-by-date-20111202-1oajg.html
13. Steinberg, Arne. “How the Media Glamorize Illegal Drugs.” Accuracy in Media, 16 Sept. 2016. Online: http://www.aim.org/special-report/how-the-media-glamorize-illegal-drugs/
14. “How Morality Became Obsolete.” The Week, 23 Sept. 2011. Online: https://theweek.com/articles/481756/how-morality-became-obsolete Also see: Lawrinnce, Yolessa K. “The Question of ‘Good’ Versus ‘Evil’.” Brain World Magazine, 16 Dec. 2017. Online: https://brainworldmagazine.com/question-good-versus-evil/
15. “Resistance to Tyranny is Obedience to God.” Washington’s Blog, 3 Apr. 2015. Online: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2015/04/god-wants-us-challenge-support-tyranny.html
16. Williams, Ray. “Anti-Intellectualism and the ‘Dumbing Down‘ of America.” Psychology Today, 7 July 2014. Online. Archived: https://www.lusd.org/cms/lib6/CA01001399/Centricity/Domain/855/Anti-intellectualism.pdf
17. Foster, John Bellamy. “Capitalism’s Environmental Crisis—Is Technology the Answer?” Monthly Review, Volume 52, Issue 7, December 2000. Online: https://monthlyreview.org/2000/12/01/capitalisms-environmental-crisis-is-technology-the-answer/
18. Friedman, Michael. “GMOs: Capitalism’s Distortion of Biological Processes.” Monthly Review, Volume 66, Issue 10, March 2015. Online: https://monthlyreview.org/2015/03/01/gmos-capitalisms-distortion-of-biological-processes/
19. Shannon, Phil. “Stop Signs: Cars and Capitalism On the Road to Economic, Social and Ecological Decay” (book review). Climate and Capitalism, 9 Feb. 2012. Online: http://climateandcapitalism.com/2012/02/09/capitalisms-destructive-car-mania/
20. Hadhazy, Adam. “Here’s the Truth About the ‘Planned Obsolescence’ of Tech.” BBC, 12 June 2016. Online: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20160612-heres-the-truth-about-the-planned-obsolescence-of-tech
21. “Comments on Agriculture and Food in Crisis.” Leading Light, 3 June 2013. Online: https://llco.org/comments-on-agriculture-and-food-in-crisis/
22. “Drowning in a Sea of Microwaves.” Science in Society Archive, 17 May 2007. Online: http://www.i-sis.org.uk/DSOM.php
23. MassPrivateI. “CIA ‘Signature School‘ Is Creating Total Surveillance Smart Cities.” Activist Post, 7 Mar. 2017. Online: http://www.activistpost.com/2017/03/cia-signature-school-creating-total-surveillance-smart-cities.html
24. “Mass Media Promoting Transhumanism: the ‘Mind-Blowing Benefits of Merging Human Brains and Computers‘.” The Vigilant Citizen, 8 Feb. 2012. Online: https://vigilantcitizen.com/latestnews/mass-media-promoting-transhumanism-the-mind-blowing-benefits-of-merging-human-brains-and-computers/
25. Hernæs, Christoffer O. “The Ethics of Transhumanism.” Tech Crunch, 26 Aug. 2016. Online: https://techcrunch.com/2016/08/26/the-ethics-of-transhumanism/
26. Mangan, Holly. “How Addiction to Electronics Affects the Environment & Our Lives.” Money Crashers, 2017. Online: http://www.moneycrashers.com/are-we-addicted-to-consumer-electronics/
27. Dutt, R. Palme. Fascism and Social Revolution. International Publishers, 1934. p 15. Print. Online: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1ZP6ZurgOg-SEZ4Y2FfUHRRd3c/view
28. Mao Zedong. “Serve the People.” The Selected Works of Mao Tse-Tung. 8 Sept. 1944. Online: https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-3/mswv3_19.htm
29. Mao Zedong. “Oppose Book Worship.” The Selected Works of Mao Tse-Tung. May 1930. Online: https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-6/mswv6_11.htm
30. “War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery – NATO Information Operations.” South Front, 26 July 2016. Online: https://southfront.org/war-is-peace-freedom-is-slavery-nato-information-operations/
31. Gramsci, Antonio. “For a Cultural Association.” Selections from Cultural Writings. Edited by Joseph J. Waldmeir and John C. Waldmeir, translated by William Boelhower. Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2012. pp. 21-23. Print.