Revolutionary Politics in the Era of Dying Capitalism
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” — Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Survival is the First Step
Capitalism is dying. Things are not getting better and millions have a sense of that. A sense that things aren’t “right,” cannot help those in the middle of the storm understand or survive it. To survive, people need a consciousness of what class or team they are on and who their enemy is. Then they can develop strategies and tactics to win. At the beginning of the twenty-first century we are in a deadly game that will decide whether human beings and life itself will survive on this beautiful planet. Class-consciousness is not optional in this situation. It is essential to survival.
What should be obvious is that to develop as a revolutionary requires study. When everything around us seems to be falling apart, the role of unity and consciousness cannot be overestimated. The unprecedented and growing equality of poverty in our country – a poverty that knows no color, sex, or nationality – is creating the basis for real class unity. Revolutionaries carry out the struggle for political unity wherever this equality of poverty exists. Nothing can be done without this unity and consciousness.
In Akira Kurosawa’s film “Seven Samurai,” bandits are plundering impoverished, defenseless villagers. They hire transient samurai warriors to organize the defense of the village. Some humor comes from the young fellow who thinks he’s tough and ready to fight, but quickly finds out his individual egotism and bravery cannot win. Only conscious organization stands a chance. Today a new class of workers, created by human labor replacing technologies, needs to unite and become conscious that humans not needed under this system need a new system. Understand that or die.
Debt Crisis Spells Doom for Capitalism
Our enemies appear to be invincible, like a gang of marauding bandits. They make all the decisions. They take all the wealth. They are ruining us. However, their weakness is that, like robbers who have taken it all, they are running out of places to rob. Desperate to make a profit, the enemy struggles to find profitable places to invest, so it is forced to speculate on debt. Throughout the world, bonds are being sold with negative yields. In the United States, the debt of the country is greater than the Gross Domestic Product, the value of all goods and services produced.
Individual debt is beyond any hope of clearing. College students face debt that they will be forced to pay on until they are senior citizens or dead. The mortgage crisis, caused by unregulated banking speculation, is worse now than in 2007, because now the lenders are loaning money with only nineteen cents in bank reserve for every dollar they loan, versus the 45 cents reserve of 2007. Investors are trying to keep things afloat by investing in speculative manipulation of the debt. In Europe for example, banks are starting to loan money at below zero percent interest, in effect paying consumers to borrow money from them. President Trump is calling for the same to happen in the U.S. This is unheard of. This precedes a crash of shocking proportions. This speculation, or betting on a profitable return when there is no likelihood of that, is creating a volatile stock market roller coaster.
Marketing the Big Lie
The underlying reason for this crisis is the leap to laborless electronic production. By eliminating millions of workers, the capitalist system has also begun to eliminate its own market. Tax breaks the capitalists get, and the bailout money they receive, is either hoarded or used to buy back their own stocks. That is what is keeping the financial system from immediately imploding. There is no trickle down, only fountains to the top.
Buying and selling – the market – means exchanging value for value. Each trader seeks to get at least an equivalent value in the deal. Profit relies on human exploitation. It is conservatively estimated that 800 million face unemployment globally by 2030. This makes it easy to see how a system based on exploitation will crash.
It is essential for the ruling class to try to control public opinion. They leave nothing to chance when it comes to what people think. Billions of dollars are spent to finance think tanks to spread the idea that capitalism is the best of all possible systems and the essence of freedom. Nearly all media and news services are owned and controlled by the capitalists for the purpose of telling you how and what to think. To see our way clearly to a revolutionary understanding on how to defeat the enemy is next to impossible, if we rely on what we know already, or what the enemy provides for us. Wishing won’t help. Begging won’t help.
Some people who call themselves revolutionary suggest we can vote ourselves out of this mess. Some think worker co-ops will bring a new era of socialism and freedom. Some say because the movement of the new class is objectively moving toward a communist system, we simply need to bolster it up but don’t need to educate the participants. Unfortunately, these nice ideas are cannot solve the problems of today and, if followed, will lead to defeat and destruction. That is because fascism has already been introduced into the equation.
A Vicious Enemy
Fascism is the merger of the corporations and the State, ruling by force what can no longer be ruled by “democracy.” Fascism is supplanting democracy in the United States. Law is for the benefit of the corporations. Sometimes a corporate criminal will receive a fine or a jail sentence, but that is “justice” for show. The corporate State is largely unaccountable, perpetrating war and ecological crimes throughout the country and world. The government represents those trying to violently preserve inequality in the world and their private control of all property that is necessary to run it. Everything we need to know about how the ruling class intends to deal with a threat to their property ownership is found in the cages and torture chambers at the southern border, and indeed around the world. They are violating all human rights of international law.
Unity — The Only Way Out of This Mess
Our strategy is working class unity to defend ourselves and eventually overcome our enemy. We are at war today, but our side doesn’t know it, neither understanding the enemy nor themselves. Fortunately, this can be rapidly remedied. Because a growing section of the population is falling into poverty (housing insecurity, food insecurity, health and medical insecurity) people are beginning to understand the commonality of the situation they are in. Like peasants besieged by bandits, unifying for defense is the only rational option. To do this our class – the new class of workers – has to overcome a lot of the historical divisions that have been used to keep us opposed to each other. We cannot pretend that real and gross inequalities for workers of color don’t exist. Unity can only be forged in common struggle against a common enemy. Identity politics and separate strategies will not work. Building an unbreakable unity of our class will not be easy but is essential. It is the only thing that the enemy fears and they will go to any lengths to make sure that can’t happen.
It is growing popular to identify oneself as socialist, with the caveat that one is not communist. It is important to note that socialism that is anti- communist will lead inevitably to fascism. The ruling class today understands this and entertains ideas that are “socialist.” Fascism’s history is full of national socialist constructs that were daggers aimed at the heart of the revolutionary movement. We understand that today’s new class is objectively communist and that the problems it faces under private property, can only be resolved by a system which distributes the abundance based on need and that is communism. Revolutionaries must clearly propagate ideas that will educate the combatants and enlighten the movement as to its objective communist character.
Agencies and agents representing the interests of the ruling classes are formed and funded specifically to misdirect and confuse the movement. If you are doing effective propaganda to unite the class, you will know by the attempts made to refute or silence you. This is basic to the revolutionary process and should be expected. Success or failure depends on building a large organization of conscious revolutionaries, who are independent of financial and organizational ties to the ruling class. Serving two classes or masters is not an option. “Which side are you on?” remains a relevant question. The revolutionary class will support its own program financially and in every other way. Organizing around the communist vision of a new society is how we will win. RC
November.December 2019 Vol29.Ed6
This article originated in Rally, Comrades!
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The age-old vision of a world without scarcity, without exploitation, class domination, organized violence, and stultifying labor has been the dream of millenia. The new completely socialized labor-eliminating means of production ... sets the basis for its realization. Now human history can begin, the light of the individual shining in the full brightness of liberated life, that can only be realized within true equality and cooperation: communism, a cooperative society.'Without Vision, the People Perish'
Rally, Comrades ! May/June 2011