Which side are you on?
There are many characteristics of the New Power of the Leading Light, the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. The New Power is the collection of revolutionary institutions created to replace the Old Power, the bourgeois state, institutions of civil society, etc. Leading Light states:
“Marx wrote that the old society is pregnant with the new. The New Power is, in part, the new state in miniature that arises within the old society. For a while, both the Old Power and New Power exist side by side, which is why Lenin called this phenomenon ‘dual power.’ The New Power is composed of independent institutions of the oppressed. The New Power includes the network of people’s institutions led by the Communist Party that rise up within the old society to challenge the Old Power. All of these institutions are directed by communist leadership to battle for hegemony with and, eventually, sweep away and displace the Old Power. In Lenin’s time, the main organs of the New Power were the Soviets, or worker’s councils. The Bolsheviks, led by Lenin, rejected the call to participate in a coalition government within the old state. Instead they demanded ‘All power to the Soviets!’”
The institutions that make up the New Power must move toward and aim at Leading Light Communism, the end of all systematic oppression. To achieve this the New Power has to be led by the most advanced revolutionary science. This means that the New Power is led by the Leading Light. These are important features of the New Power. However, there are other important aspects of the New Power. The New Power is a state of a new type in miniature. And, as Lenin pointed out, all states by their nature are instruments of class rule. All states have a dictatorial aspect whether they are outwardly democratic or authoritarian. Thus the New Power is an instrument of class rule. It is an instrument by which one class oppresses another. The New Power is a weapon that the proletariat wields against the reactionary classes. Mao quoting Lenin:
“Why did Lenin speak of exercising dictatorship over the bourgeoisie? This question must be thoroughly understood. ‘Lack of clarity on this question will lead to revisionism. This should be made known to the whole nation.’”
One of the underlying themes of revisionist literature is the denial of the necessity of the New Power, the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, as an instrument of class rule by which the proletariat protects and advances the revolution against reactionary classes. A common theme of revisionism is rejecting the need to destroy exploiting and oppressing classes as classes, destroying Old Power. A common theme of revisionism is to deny this aspect of the New Power in favor of collaboration with the class enemy.
The New Power should be understood as the most advanced scientific rule by those social groups that have a material interest in the elimination of all systematic oppression. The New Power is the most scientific rule by those social groups with an interest in Leading Light Communism over those that do not. While it may be true that all humans, conceived in the abstract, have an interest in ending all oppression, the reality is that humans are situated in social structures, in the here and now. Aristotle famously stated that humans are social animals. The human experience is always already situated in society, mediated by society. Thus individuals occupy very different positions in existing social hierarchies. An individual’s social position tends to determine the potential range of an individual’s behavior. People with wealth and power tend to seek to preserve the system that has given them wealth and power. For the rich and powerful to seek to preserve and expand their position and power is for them to be class conscious. When they act to preserve or increase their position, they are acting in accordance with their class interest. At times, those without wealth and power can also seek to preserve the power of their exploiters and oppressors. However, in such cases, the poor are acting against their own class interests. Therefore, when the poor act to preserve the system, they have false consciousness because they are acting against the interests of those in similar social positions. False consciousness amongst the poor is very common because they lack education, organization and proletarian leadership. The exploited and oppressed are taught that the system is just and necessary. Even so, because the poor are exploited and oppressed, they have less interest in maintaining the system. The poor, as a group, can be motivated for revolution in a way that the wealthy cannot be. The poor can be mobilized to fight for their class interest for revolution. This is why the proletariat, the global poor, is the social base for revolution just as the bourgeoisie, the global wealthy, is not. The job of the Leading Light Communist is to advance the class consciousness of the global poor, to give them to tools to liberate themselves, to arm the poor with revolutionary organization and science, to build New Power, to serve and lead the people.
The revisionist rhetoric from Kautsky to Khrushchev to Liu Shaoqi to Deng Xiaoping, in various ways, rejects the class nature of power, especially state power. Instead, the revisionist downplays or outright rejects the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, the New Power, as an instrument of class rule over the exploiters and oppressors. Their rhetoric states or implies an abandoning of the goal of communism in favor of a dictatorship of the whole people, of all social classes. Instead of advocating proletarian New Power to eliminate all class, they advance the position that all social classes can live in harmony, that the contradictions between social groups can all be mediated through the state, and, ultimately, through themselves. Lenin criticized the outlook of the social democrats that sought to eliminate contradictions within their own countries by cannibalizing other countries through imperialist war. Later, fascists would adopt a similar view to the social-democratic imperialists of Lenin’s day. They saw the state, as an expression of nation, as standing above social conflict, above class struggle. Mao identified a new type of bourgeoisie that had arisen in the Soviet Union and China to reverse the revolution. This new bourgeoisie expressed itself in similar terms. They tended to see themselves as a technocratic, managerial elite above class struggle. Whatever their self-conceptions and rhetoric, the reality is that their rhetoric is an expression of class struggle by the bourgeoisie against the proletariat. They restored capitalism by neutralizing and suppressing class struggle by the exploited and oppressed in the name of social harmony. * They rejected the state as an instrument of class war. The revisionists did not do so openly at first. They sought to mask their bourgeois nature. Later, after their counter-revolutions were completed and capitalism restored in the Soviet Union and China, the revisionists openly declared their capitalist sympathies. However, at first, they “waved the red flag to oppose the red flag.” In order to expose revisionism, it is necessary to see through its many disguises. Study the past.
The first eight words of Mao’s Selected Works are: “Who are our enemies? Who are our friends?” Mao called the question of friends and enemies the question of first importance for revolutionaries. To answer this question incorrectly can transform a communist into a fascist. To answer it incorrectly can turn a servant of the people into a servant of Empire. To answer it incorrectly can lead to a rejection of the New Power, of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, in favor of the bourgeoisie. Today, First Worldism is one of the main forms of revisionism. First Worldism intersects with almost all other forms of revisionism. Two of the most common and poisonous revisionist forms are First Worldist feminism and First Worldist workerism. Both fail to understand the correct balance of forces in the world. First Worldists answer the question of friends and enemies incorrectly. Thus, like the revisionists of old, they end up rejecting class struggle by the real proletariat in the Third World in favor of social unities that do not exist. They end up serving the bourgeoisie in its attempts to neutralize class struggle by the proletariat. The First Worldists dumbly claim that a basis for unity exists between most First World and most Third World peoples even though all evidence points to the contrary. They agitate on behalf of “all workers” without pointing to the fact that First World workers have long ceased to be part of the proletariat, that they have long entered the ranks of the bourgeoisie. First World workers are really just a First World working bourgeoisie. ** First Worldists agitate on behalf of “all women,” which mostly means First World women, without pointing out that the privilege of First World women is to a large degree a result of the imperialist, semi-feudal, patriarchal oppression of Third World women and men. First Worldists do not advocate the New Power of the proletariat of the Third World over the First World. They do not advocate for a reduction of First World privilege and power. Instead, they advocate more privilege and power for enemy classes, more privilege and power for most First World peoples. In the real world, this means a tightening of the screws on Third World peoples, including Third World workers, Third World women and men. When First Worldists agitate on behalf of the working bourgeoisie of the First World or the First World gender aristocracy, they are agitating for more privilege and power to those who already have more than their fair, equal share on the global level. They agitate for those whose lifestyles and privilege are incompatible not only with socialism, but incompatible with planetary survival. Some First Worldists tell their audiences in the First World that they are entitled to their wasteful consumerist lifestyles. Other First Worldists teach they are entitled to more “alternative lifestyles,” “community,” “gardens,” “wild spaces,” counter-culture, etc. This isn’t to say it is always wrong to agitate around “alternative lifestyles,” “community,” “gardens,” “wild spaces,” counter-culture, etc. However, such agitation must be done so under Leading Light leadership, within the context of Global People’s War, with politics firmly in command. Such agitation has to be done in the context of strengthening the New Power and reduction of First World entitlement. Despite superficial differences in style amongst First Worldists, they all agitate on behalf of First World groups for more entitlement. Whether it is a shopping mall or a hippy commune, both exist on Indigenous land, both exist within the context of Empire. Agitating for more First World entitlement implies more imperialism against the Third World to prop up the diverse range of lifestyle options for First World peoples. Whatever the intentions of the First Worldists, they objectively advocate for less for Third World peoples, including the vast majority of those who work and the vast majority of women. And what happens when the small pockets of First Worldist sects and collectives cannot deliver on their utopian promises to raise everyone’s boat globally? Those they politicized, the lower and middle strata in the First World, will turn to those who may deliver the promise to increase First World privileges. First World lower and middle strata will back their own overlords in yet more imperialist policies and wars in order to receive the increase in power and privilege that the First Worldists have claimed they so deserve. Similarly, First World women align over and over with First World men against both Third World women and men. Just as First World workers have been transformed into a labor aristocracy, a type of new bourgeoisie, due to imperialism, so too have First World women been transformed into a global gender aristocracy, an aristocracy made up of First World men and First World women that align against Third World men and Third World women. In whatever forms they take, the social-democratic expansion of life options in the First World is connected to the restriction of life options in the Third World. Expressions of First Worldism in the First World are always expressions of Empire:
“There is the socially conservative fascism of the Nazis and there is the social fascism that disguises itself as ‘left,’ ‘liberal,’ ‘social-democratic,’ ‘socialist,’ ‘communist,’ ‘feminist,’ etc… The Leading Light is about ending all oppression, including all gender and sexual oppression. However, one does not fight gender oppression globally by creating a happier empire, by creating more privilege in the First World, by smoothing over contradictions among First World enemies. Unless such work is providing some service to the Leading Light such activism simply becomes another face of the system.”
First Worldism has many faces. First Worldists can be more openly fascist or they can be wolves in sheep’s clothing. First Worldism has many flags, the pink or rainbow flag of liberal Empire and the black flag of traditionalism. They can even wrap themselves up in red, leftism, humanism, utopianism, hippy and new-age counterculture, etc. Mao warned us of those who “wave the red flag to oppose the red flag.” Regardless, First Worldism of all colors is reactionary. First Worldism rejects the New Power of the proletariat in favor of advancing class enemies. It is yet another face of the Old Power. Ultimately, First Worldists deny that an antagonistic contradiction exists between the First World and Third World, between the First World working bourgeoisie versus Third World workers. They deny that an antagonistic contradiction exists between First World women versus Third World women. First Worldism rejects class struggle in favor of non-existent social unities. Whatever the First Worldist intentions, the result is imperialism. By contrast, the New Power of the Leading Light is an instrument of proletarian rule. The New Power is an expression of the Global People’s War by the Leading Light against the First World and its agents. The New Power will be imposed on the First World whether the people of the First World desire it or not. The New Power is an instrument of global equality and sustainability. The New Power is a weapon to abolish the wealth and power of the First World. The New Power is an instrument of rule by the global proletariat over its enemies. The New Power fights against the First World as a whole, including the global bourgeoisie and gender aristocracy. As Marx stated, “the proletariat cannot achieve victory without breaking the resistance of the bourgeoisie, without forcibly suppressing its enemies.” Today, this means breaking the resistance of the First World as a whole, including the First World working bourgeoisie, First World men and women. The New Power of the Leading Light is a mighty weapon to elevate the Third World in its struggle against exploitation and oppression.
* In our most recent work on Soviet revisionism, we have re-evaluated the nature of the Soviet state. Read the full article here.
** Our most recent terminology would regard First World workers as labor aristocracy, not as identical with the First World bourgeoisie.