Essay By Aaron Benjamin
1.) Recognizing The Issue of our time
If we are to stay true to Marxism we shouldn’t dogmatically follow Marx and every word he said, but, we should stay true to Marxist analysis and dialectical materialism in order to determine the proper solution for the modern contradictions of capitalism. Capitalism has developed to a much higher stage than in the days of Marx, we now have imperialism and most industries are governed more or less by finance capital. In order to stay clear of this dogmatic line, which is bound to cause problems, we should, analyze today’s conditions and come up with solutions for today. Not thump the manual and demand solutions for a capitalism that no longer exist, a capitalism from 200 or 100 years ago. We have to deal with the capitalism of today. Mao says “The principle of using different methods to resolve different contradictions is one which Marxist-Leninists must strictly observe. The dogmatists do not observe this principle; they do not understand that conditions differ in different kinds of revolution and so do not understand that different methods should be used to solve different contradictions.”
In what conditions has socialist revolutionary activity always taken place? When and wherever the contradictions of capitalism come to an extreme point in their development. When the contradiction between labour and capital becomes obvious to all of the working class and they become class conscious, turning into the revolutionary proletariat—When the people are starving, pay is low, thousands or millions are impoverished and there is no sense of hope for a better tomorrow under the current system which facilitates this misery—that’s when the majority of the population loses faith in the ruling class and their governing power and the proletariat realizes their place in society as the exploited and they take up arms against the exploiters. That’s when the conditions for revolution are met and realized.
Though, times have changed. Marx said once that revolution would come from the most advanced sections of the developed nations, like England, Germany, France, etc. but the history of socialist revolution has time and time again proven this to be false. As Marxists, our ideology develops in a scientific fashion based on practice, and practice has shown that Marx was wrong in that prediction. Therefore to still hold that view almost 200 years later is frankly a dogmatist, and therefore revisionist, view.
If we are to stay true to Marxism we shouldn’t dogmatically follow Marx and every word he said, but, we should stay true to Marxist analysis and dialectical materialism in order to determine the proper solution for the modern contradictions of capitalism. Capitalism has developed to a much higher stage than in the days of Marx, we now have imperialism and most industries are governed more or less by finance capital. In order to stay clear of this dogmatic line, which is bound to cause problems, we should, analyze today’s conditions and come up with solutions for today. Not thump the manual and demand solutions for a capitalism that no longer exist, a capitalism from 200 or 100 years ago. We have to deal with the capitalism of today. Mao says
“The principle of using different methods to resolve different contradictions is one which Marxist-Leninists must strictly observe. The dogmatists do not observe this principle; they do not understand that conditions differ in different kinds of revolution and so do not understand that different methods should be used to solve different contradictions.”
Lenin once said;
“To tell the workers in the handful of rich countries where life is easier, thanks to imperialist pillage, that they must fear the ‘too great’ impoverishment, is counter-revolutionary. It is the reverse that should be told. The labor aristocracy that is afraid of sacrifices, afraid of the ‘too great’ impoverishment during the revolutionary struggle, cannot belong to the party. Otherwise, the dictatorship is impossible, especially in Western-European countries”
What does Lenin mean by this? Lenin is saying that the working classes of imperialist countries are beneficiaries of that imperialism and therefore have a material Incentive to maintain it because it pays for the luxurious (on a global scale) lives they live. Thus they are “afraid of sacrifices”—tell me, on what planet would the first world average person, who makes between 48 and 51 thousand dollars a year, owns a house, a car or two, clothes, has a family with kids and has enough food and money to feed his own family tens of times over just suddenly pick up a gun and fight to government simply because they read a few articles about Marxism online?
They won’t. They won’t fight and risk their life for higher pay because they can simply vote for it. If you’re in the Third world, the exploited nations, and advocate for a pay increase, you might get shot by officials.
The material conditions in the imperialist nations aren’t there. Marx said the working class has nothing to lose but their chains, and where revolution and revolutionary activity have taken place and are taking place that is true. But in the first world where the average citizen has way more to lose than their chains, revolution will not occur. And no matter how much you push and educate your peers on Marxism, they will not see it as necessary or reasonable until they are faced with proper conditions. Concerning this, Fidel Castro has said; “Men do not shape destiny, Destiny produces the man for the hour.”
Now, let me clarify something. I’m not saying exploration doesn’t take place in the first world. It does. But on an international scale, overall, they’re not (as) exploited as third world workers. 80% of workers in America work in services like for example, Retail stores, fast food restaurants, etc. jobs that produce little to no value, but instead, only help realize value of commodities made by third world workers.
The average pay gap between the first world and third world is 72:1. So if there’s, say, just for example, you’re a third world worker making 1$ an hour for a factory job, and the other guy makes 72$ an hour to stand at a desk and sell what you made, who do you think would revolt in that situation? Wouldn’t it be insane and even Insulting for the latter to claim he’s as or more exploited as the former? The real exploited in that situation is the third world worker and thus revolution will come from them as history as shown countless times. Never has there been a successful first world socialist revolution. Never.
To expect the masses of first world, the beneficiaries of imperialist plunder, to suddenly revolutionize against the system and become socialist against their material interests is insane. They’re the global 1%, they’re at the top. To expect first world people to lead the revolution is equal to expecting part of the national 1%, including people like Bill Gates or Obama, to lead the American socialist revolution and destroy the system that facilitates their mass of wealth and luxury–though some less than bright neocons and ancaps will claim Obama did lead a socialist push–it’s not going to happen.
Socialist Revolution in the imperialist nations will only occur after their cut off from their source. After at least a chunk of the third world has had a successful socialist revolution (India or China going socialist would be enough to drag the first world down) which would cause western economies to collapse thus creating proper conditions. Which brings us to our next section
The action we should take in today’s capitalism is a mix of resistance and revolution.
Revolution in the third world, resistance in the first world.
The primary contradiction in today’s capitalism is that of the imperialist nations vs the first world nations. Still following the template of the oppressor and the oppressed, the exploiter and the exploited, the parasite and the producer.
Thus, as we’ve concluded, revolution will happen in the third world, as it already is; Nepal, Peru, India, etc. But then there arises a problem. We happen to be in the first world, so what do we do? Many anti-M3Wists claim that we just use this analysis as an excuse to be armchair revolutionaries. But this is far from it. As being in the first world, we can still act and tackle this primary contradiction and use our privileged position in the world to our advantage.
We can oppose imperialist war, that is first and foremost. We must oppose war by any means necessary in order to attempt to disrupt imperialism. Anything to loosen the parasitic grip of the west around the third world in order to give the third world workers breathing room to organize revolution.
Seeing as how we are extremely wealthy in comparison to our third world brothers and sisters in revolution, we can send then money and aid that they desperately need. You can go to various websites for these communist parties which are in the third world and are planning to, or have already, carrying out revolution and send them material support.
Since the original publishing of this essay on resolvecontradiction.wordpress.com there has been criticism of the resistance portion of the essay. Maoism Third Worldism supports revolution in imperialist centers… once third world revoution has occured. Becaise after the first world is cut off from its souce of value, then their economies will collapse and create revolutionary conditions. Resistence isn’t permanent, it’s only the action we should take now, for the time being.