Rules of the road

Kasama

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February 10, 2006

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the burningman

the Burningman

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Red Flags is a project of the Burningman, a Brooklyn-based writer also known as Jed Brandt.

The name came late one night a few years back when I got involved with New York City Indymedia on their "open-publishing" newswire. The moniker has no connection to the over-priced participatory arts festival in the Nevada desert. It's actually just a play on the translation of my last name from German. And at this point, I'm going to stick with it for online discussions.

Sympathtic to Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, and of the camp that believes this double hyphenation is an aesthetic atrocity, I tend to stick with "communist" as a shorthand.

Currently I work in media as a print production specialist, with both design and editorial responsibilities. I am a long-time volunteer with The Indypendent, NYC's "free paper for free people."

I worked for five years as a full-time activist and founding member of the Student Liberation Action Movement (SLAM), a militant, multi-racial student formation based at the City University of New York.

We formed to defend open admissions at CUNY, meaning access for working-class people to higher education. This was directly tied to the larger anti-capitalist movement, the struggle against white supremacy and various social issues including opposing police brutality and defense of political prisoners such as Mumia Abu-Jamal.

SLAM served as an incubator for scores of activists, with particular attention given to developing leadership skills among women, immigrants, people of color and those of working class background. We were very much inspired by the participatory ideas of Paolo Freire, among many others.

Though never a member of any political party, as a teenager I was an active member of the Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade.

I have traveled extensively internationally, including checking out the conditions in the Zapatista autonomous areas of Chiapas, Mexico. I am inspired by the world revolutionary movement, and challenged by the monumental task of our responsibilities here within the United States. I see our movement as intrinsically a part of the world struggle. I am a proletarian internationalist and will never salute the American flag.

I want to do my part and challenge others to do so as well.

mark

My name is Mark and I live in Australia where I am writing a PhD thesis in political philosophy. I used to be an anarchist, but now subscribe to a non-specific socialism. My main orientation today is towards anti-imperialism. I tend to be pretty Third Worldist, which is why I find Maoism attractive, though I am tentative about my attraction to it. I'm a bit tentative also about bunrningman's policy of phrasing this blog's terms of reference as 'the communist movement' when he on my understanding has quite a limited, generally Maoist, conception of what that constitutes, but still I find this a very valuable resource, and not one which in any way hides its biases.

Christopher Day

I'm a former anarchist, a founding member of Love and Rage newspaper, network and revolutionary anarchist federation. I was a founding and long-term member of SLAM. I spent a little less than two years in Chiapas, Mexico doing solidarity work with the EZLN for whom I retain profound respect as well as a healthy pinch of loving skepticism. SLAM and the Zapatistas taught me what it means for a movement to be really rooted in peoples lives and why anything less is doomed. I agree with Che that "revolutionarries are motivated by great feelings of love" and I cried at the end of the Motorcycle Diaries. (I also cried reading Fanshen on the subway.)

I generally call myself a revolutionary socialist, a red, a (pasty) Third World Marxist, and/or an anti-imperialist. I believe any revolutionary politics for the 21st century will have to both draw on and ruthlessly criticize the experiences of trying to build socialism in the 20th century. The Leninist model of a revolutionary vanguard party is an important part of our heritage but ultimately inadequate to the tasks before us. I agree with Mao that we must "be good at learning." I think the revolutionary left still has very important things to learn from Lukacs and Gramsci, from the Spanish Anarchists, from the New Left, feminism, ecology and queer liberation. I think that the 19th century Marxist-Bakuninist charcter armor is a drag and that a man will learn more spending a day wearing a dress than in a lifetime wearing a suit.

I think democracy matters and that the failures of 20th century socialism are largely rooted in failures to take seriously enough the development of revolutionary political democracy (admittedly no easy task under the circumstances).

I am an ecumenical internationalist and militant anti-sectarian. I am excited by what is happening in Latin America as well as what is happening in Nepal and South Asia. I try not to call people I disagree with on the left names that reinforce ancient divisions which doesn't mean I don't think that sharp debate is important. I don't believe there is one true path to revolutionary victory. The world is too awesome in its complexity to work like that. Rather we all make the road by walking.

I am presently in graduate school and have a beautiful and brilliant daughter who gives me hope in the future when the state of the revolutionary left sometimes fails.

I'm not a member of any revolutionary organization, but I play nice with as many as I can.

srogouski

I don't like labels so I won't call myself a Marxist, a Communist, or anything else.

Anyway, I was brought up what you might call a "Reagan Democrat" in New Jersey. I went to Rutgers and studied under Steven Eric Bronner and a few other "Marxists" and became a halfhearted leftist during the late 80s. I was active in CISPES and the anti-CIA recruiting movement for awhile but I drifted away from political activism after Clinton got elected and I thought all our problems were over.

I largely sleptwalked through the growth of a real fascist grassroots movement in the mid-90s even though a number of my friends tried to warn me. I remember arguing with my (now dead) friend Jeff about the dangers of fundamentalist Christians. Well, I had been brought up in suburban New Jersey and he in Texas so I guess he saw what was coming a bit more clearly. He wound up wandering drunken in front of a car on Houston Street one night and died at the age of 27. His girlfriend couldn't attend the funeral because his parents wouldn't accept the fact that their 27 year old son wasn't a virgin. They were genuinely creep born again Christians. I remember one argument I got into with Jeff and his blurting seemingly out of nowhere "don't you get it. These people keep babies in jars." I laughed at it until I started reading about Rick Santorum doing just that.

Unlike the majority of people in the USA, 9/11 moved me to the left, not right. I worked in lower Manhattan and the sight of national guardsmen patrolling the streets below Canal freaked me out. When I started to see Bush exploiting the issue and seemingly normal people around me saying things like "just nuke the Middle East" I began to suspect that people like Jeff had been right all along. So I started casually going to anti-war rallies, really just to take photos and mingle with the crowds, but taking an increasing interest in what was going on.

The February 15th, 2003 rally and Bloomberg's brutal supression of it was the real watershed. That was when I realized that the war in Iraq was an ideological war against the American people as well as a war in the Middle East. But I was still a bit clueless. I got involved in the Dean campaign and really didn't question the idea of working within the Democratic Party until I saw the big "bait and switch" in 2004 and how Kerry and Edwards just echoed the positions of the Republican party. So I started looking around for something more radical. I've done some organizing with World Can't Wait, even though I'm not completely convinced they're the right vehicle and I can even conceive of doing more work within the Democratic Party if they run a genuine progressive. But, honestly, I don't see that happening.

What's really made me cynical about Democratic politics and more sympathetic to the idea of a Marxist/Leninist party is the way a seemingly endless variet of reasons to get rid of Bush scroll past me every day and nothing happens. It almost seems as if the right's control of the media and the lack of an opposition party has made it impossible for the average American to process the information he/she needs to get a grip on the political landscape in front of him/her.

But that doesn't really inspire me or fill me with hope. The idea that it might not be possible to organize within the democratic system scares me to death.

Lurigancho

I think that the debates on this website have been dealing with some crucial issues, and I would like to both ‘troll’ these debates and participate in them, to the extent that conditions allow.

What I find particularly exciting here is the sense shared by many participants of the need to fuse MLM with broad mass struggles, and that new breakthroughs in theory and practice are necessary in order to make that happen.

I am tremendously excited and encouraged by developments coming out of Nepal. On the one hand, of course it is exciting that a Maoist party may be on the verge of taking power. But, perhaps just as exciting, is their determination to, as Prachanda put it, “take a clue from the 20th Century.” It seems to me that it is no accident that the Maoist Party that has shown the most willingness to question and challenge the history of the dictatorship of the proletariat during the 20th Century is also the most advanced revolutionary force in the world today. I think we have a lot to learn from Nepal, and I want to be a part of that learning process.

At the same time, while uniting with the Nepalese comrades in many of their criticisms of the past practice of the ICM, in particular their criticisms of dogmatism and the lack of democracy in the ICM and socialist societies in general, I want to signal that my support for their initiatives comes less from a certainty that what they are proposing is the right way to go, and more from a sense that something new needs to be tried, and that what they are proposing deserves to be tried out and summed up on the basis of practice.

The main project that I am currently involved in is a contribution toward a summation of the first wave of Maoist revolutionary movements in Latin America (looking at the period starting with the 1960s and going up through the experience of the People’s War in Peru). As part of this effort, I am mainly not going to be in the US for the next couple years. However, to the extent that I can, I want to participate in the sorts of debates happening on this website, and contribute to efforts to raise the level of both theoretical and mass work of revolutionaries in the United States and other imperialist countries.

Lu

I am a member of the Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade. I think that Individuals and groups must act on and fight for what they know to be true while constantly delving deeper and broader into all of reality. there is no other way to change the world nor to obtain more knowledge.

ShineThePath

I'm a Maoist youth from the Bronx, about to enter college. I work with the RCYB and support the international struggle across the world against Imperialism. I like theoritical discussions and try to do my best to put the ideas into action, usually in my school. I'm also very interested in the works of the Lacanian and Structuralist Marxists such as Louis Althusser, Slavoj Zizek, Alain Badiou, and Micheal Focault.

I support the RCP, USA, but I think there can be common ground found with many of the "revolutionary" groups today, and it is always intriguing to discuss different political lines and theories.

Red Guard

Sad to say, I learned Marxism-Leninism-Maoism by reading, which is to say I don't know it very well at all. I am a recent college dropout, work lame service industry jobs and live in the Northeast.

There are enough other people to apologize for the crime of revolution that communists can look to a way forward instead of getting too comfortable with the fog of defeat.

I take my name from the students and youth of revolutionary China who had the foresight and courage to rebel against the capitalist road flowing from the highest levels of the communist party of china. In the struggle of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, I see many things lacking in the aftermath of its defeat -- but most importantly is the tenacity to look beyond what people say they are to what it is they do.

We can win people over. Arguments aren't insults, and if we are to be scientific in the way that communists aspire, then let us take ideas on their own merits and not be judged by who holds them.

bartelby

I've known some of the folks on here for quite a while. Unfortunately I think my friendship and respect towards them may cloud the nature of my political divergence from those folks.

When things break off in the third world I am inspired but I know that until we figure out revolution in the u s of a we can expect our comrades there to be forced into positions of compromise that many american leftists have trouble imagining. I don't think offering to employ our privilege as folks in the metropoles in service of their struggles is in the long term a challenge to the system that depends upon that very privilege. We here cannot be the spigot through which liberation "trickles down."

I see a lot of the tactical fetishism that has swept the left in the 0ughts as an internalization of the capitalist entertainment culture which is consistently struggling for autonomy from reality. So all politics has to be "fun" and "sexy" and everybody has to be a "rock star" or else it's just the same old shit. I'm for boredom. I think there are new and important avenues of struggle opening up for revolutionaries who have the discipline to endure boredom. Boredom gets the goods. If you keep doing as you've done you will keep getting what you've gotten-even if it's fun and wicked-awesome.

I (hopefully) humbly refer to myself as an autodidact. I've taught and continue to
teach myself the ropes of performing "tactical investigations" entirely outside of any classroom.

C.L.R. James' Mariners, Renegades and Castaways is a book that had a large impact on me. This is part of what keeps me going back to my weekend job in the building where it was assembled.

I'm a former member of Love and Rage, currently a member of Bring the Ruckus.

Gregory A Butler, the mainstream communist

You've read the posts, now meet the dude who wrote them....

I'm Gregory Alexander Butler, self proclaimed 'mainstream communist' and founder of the GANGBOX: CONSTRUCTION WORKERS NEWS SERVICE [or, as I'm told that I'm referred to by certain officials of the New York District Council of Carpenters `that communist agitator Greg Butler!!`]

I'm 37 years old, African American (or, if you want to be supertechnical, biracial - my dad was an Irish American) and a lifelong New Yorker (born in Chelsea, raised in Far Rockaway and currently living in the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood called West Harlem).

My dad was a US Marine Corps combat engineer (that's the folks that deal with explosives) turned commercial artist and my mom was a homemaker who eventually became a nurses aid... I grew up around more or less left wing ideas - a mix of anti Vietnam war activism, christian socialism and buddhist-influenced eastern mysticism...

The first demonsration I ever attended was June 6, 1982 (a 1 million person march for the nuclear freeze in NYC's Central Park - which kindasorta became an anti Zionist imperialism march too since Israel invaded Lebanon just a couple of days before the march)

I joined the Young Communist League USA in August 1985, and graduated to the Communist Party USA in January 1991. I was a YCL USA national committeeperson from 1987 - 1993 and a CP of New York State state committeeperson and state labor commission member from 1993 - 1996... I also wrote for Dynamic, Political Affairs and the People's Weekly World..

I resigned from the CPUSA in 1996 - I finally figured out they weren't real communists...

I was briefly a member of the Progressive Labor Party for about a year... But, they wern't real communists either - and they were kinda institutionally racist - a mostly Latin@ organization that had a virtually all-White leadership... and many of the Latini@ members were segregated into all Latin@ clubs... [the excuse was the language issue]

Since 1997, I've been an independent revolutionary communist... because, honestly, I don't think that ANYBODY on the American left is anywhere close to practicing real revolutionary communist ideas....

Also, a lot of the left is filled with authoritarianism.... tiny groups run by mini me versions of Napoleon, who'd rather be the absolute kings of miniscule cults than reach the mainstream working class with the power of Marxist ideas... Along with the petty tyranny comes the usual sort of pathology you'd expect - White racism, male chauvanism, homophobia and just a general nastiness and inability to relate to people....

I'd rather not be associated with that.. so I went out and built my own thing.. In July 1999 I started the GANGBOX: CONSTRUCTION WORKERS NEWS SERVICE a union dissident listserv for construction workers... From just 12 people the day I started I've built up GANGBOX to an audience of 649 subscribers (plus around 2,000 people a day who aren't members but read the articles on my listserv)

I'm on yahoogroups at http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/gangbox/

Education wise, I'm a product of NYC's much maligned public school system - PS 104, Brian Piccolo Junior High School IS 53, Far Rockaway High School (all of which I graduated) and City College of New York (where I left after a year)... I graduated from the New York City District Council of Carpenters Labor Technical College in June 1996...

Occupationally, my first off the books job was being office manager of a Communist Party office on 125th St at the age of 17... my first on the books job was for Pathmark supermarkets in Chinatown later that year..

Then I worked for 2 1/2 years at Bakers Pride Oven Co, a unionized pizza oven factory in New Rochelle NY

Then, I worked for 1 1/2 years as a temp in the mailroom of Citibank Private Banking in Citicorp Center...

Then I worked for 6 months at Arrow Machinists & Fabricators, a non union sheet metal shop in Mt Vernon, NY that made bulletproof file cabinets for the US Army (the plant closed while I was working there... one Friday they gave us our pay, told us they lost the contract, and that was that - we were all out of work)

Then, after a brief 2 month detour as a temp filing cancelled checks at Goldman Sachs, I became a union carpenter..

In September 1992 I was initiated as a 1st year apprentice into the now defunct Bronx local 17 of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters & Joiners of America... As I said above, I attended the NYC District Council of Carpenters Labor Technical College for 4 years (September 1992 - June 1996) and graduated as a journeylevel carpenter...

Since then, I've worked on over 100 jobsites, including a couple of weeks down at Ground Zero (I helped rebuild the offices of American Express Chairman Kenneth Chennault on the 52nd Floor of Three World Financial Center, the American Express Tower - about 200 feet west of what we called `the pit` - the gigantic hole where the World Trade Center used to be )

I've also worked setting up and taking down trade shows at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, Madison Square Garden, the old New York Coliseum and just about every major hotel in Midtown...

I was appointed as a shop steward by the New York District Council of Carpenters in November 1998....

In April 2006, I wrote DISUNITED BROTHERHOODS: ...race, racketeering and the fall of the New York construction unions I've been told that I'm the first construction worker to have written an expose of the industry while still working in the business...

Check it out on Amazon.com:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0595391435/ref=pd_po_rvi_1/102-8512297-9351340?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance&n=283155

I'll be holding an event for DISUNITED BROTHERHOODS at Vox Pop, 1022 Cortelyou Rd Brooklyn on June 24... I hope I see some of you all there...

Well, that's my story....

Brownfist

I am an Indian citizen currently living in Toronto, Canada. I am a graduate student at York University (Toronto, Canada) in the Department of Social and Political Thought, and work as TA and community organizer.

I have lived in several countries in the world, including Bahrain, Qatar, India and Indonesia, and have experienced directly and indirectly the effects of American imperialism. I had to flee Bahrain during the first Gulf War, I marched with other students against the Suharto regime in Indonesia and directly have been harassed by American immigration and police after September 11th, 2001. I have been part of the Canadian left for 4 years now and have been involved with a variety of movements including the anti-war, pro-Palestinian and union movements. I am also in close contact with movements and debates within India.

I am extremely interested in theory and praxis, and spend much of my time debating marxist, poststructuralist and postcolonial theory. I am very much influenced by the third world marxism and movements, and closely identify with the Maoist movement in India. I am working closely with several union initiatives which employ a community organizing model. I am also currently running a archival project that is collecting materials from various ML/Maoist movements around the world including Nepal, India, Canada, Great Britain etc.

Harsh Thakor

I reside in India and am a sympathiser of the Maoist Movement in India and worldwide.Although I admire the C.P.I(Maoist)I feel that there line is strongly vitiated by left sectarianism and they have not developed a mass revolutionary line nor a correct practice towarsd revolutionary mass organisiations.No doubt they have led a heroic Armed struggle inAndhra Pradesh,Bihar and Dandkaranya but there line is semi-focoist,with their armed actions substituting peoples movements and not all based on them.Internationaly I feel it is premature to form a Communist International and an important debate is can the formulation 'Maoism' replace 'MaoTse Tung Thought'.A significant movement is also led in India by the C.P.R.C.I.(M.l) in Punjab and Orissa.and theoretically and in practice they are the most correct.(particularly iapproach to mass organisations)An outstanding struggle has been led of the tribals in Orissa and mass political struggles(particularly during 3 election campaigns in 1998,1999 and 2004) and heroic struggles of landless and landed struggles have bben led.However inadequate work has been done to defend Maoism , an All-India movement not built and a military line not developed in strategic areas.New DEmocracy Group is rightsit but still within the revolutionary camp while I consider the Liberation Group and the Kanu Sanyal Group to be revisionist.No group is totally implementing the mass line of Comrade Mao.

mohan singh

dear comrades ,

how should i get email id and website address of some chinese comrades who wrote articles and also given interview about condition in china after counter- revolution succedded in establism capitalism ? let me know ?

and also i found most of yuor links says marxism -leninism - maoism ! which false notion becasue fundamental changes have not been added after stalin able real meanings and study of lenin(leninism is the marxism in the age of imperialism and socilist revolution) stalin and mao added significantly to the treasure house of marxism . we cant call it as stalinism and maoism!!!
if anyone can mail me !! the armed struggle taken by socalled maoist is like child leaping for revolution - which just adventurism and also against basic tenent of marxism-leninism ! ( i am not speaking here for parlimentarians who belive in establishing socialism thr parlimentary means( khruscheve) these two are indeed against marxism and leninism which always lead to non other then reactinary group( faction ) who fail to understand marxism - leninism

slappy the dolphin

I'm a reluctant anarchist from Canada. I've been active for years, mostly in a mass organization that promotes internationalism and anti-imperialism. And I've never felt like more of a beginner. I'm beginning to grasp important concepts such as dialectical materialism and commodity relations, and I hope that this page will help me make sense of the questions that arise in my studies.

As part of my efforts to expand my understanding, I've had sharp struggles with other anarchist comrades in my town. I've noticed a pervasive dogmatism in both them and myself, which I am most interested in shaking off, so I can get the tools I need to help us get free.

Here's hoping.

friendly advice

Start with the world as it is and is becoming, not just how you want it to be. If you start with ahistorical principles, you'll be dogmatic whether you want to be or not and end up resenting people for not sharing your dreams.

Christopher Day

Thats very good advice. Of course grasping the world "as it is and is becoming" is real work. A good deal of anarchism's appeal I think comes from the way its "principles" spare one from having to really investigate things. This is especially so for the newly radicalized who generally have strong feelings about what is wrong in the world but an understandably shallow knowledge of its concrete complexities. Its hard to admit that you don't really know enough to stake out a position on a question particularly when you feel the urgency of doing so. Of course many self-styled Marxists are just as dogmatic. Calling oneself a Marxist isn't a guarantee of anything. When I was an anarchist i read Mao's statement "No investigation, no right to speak" as an attempt to supress speech. It took me longer than I care to admit to understand that it was a call for rigorous investigation of questions before making proclamations about them. It was directed at his fellow communists not at their critics.

r john

yes.

it was aimed a deep current in marxism to pronounce without knowing. To deduce without investigating. To proceed from verdicts to selected "evidence."

In his case he was dealing with two particularities: the a priori demands of the international communist movement imposing their diktats on the chinese revolution, and the traditions of chinese intellectuals (that without leaving the gate the scholar knows all the world.)

we are facing similar problems today. Where the RCP thinks it can "know" the right and wrong of the Nepali revolution based on fragmentary knowledge. And where a tradition weighs on our brains like a nightmare: obscuring reality and critical thinking with a flimsy skein of diktat and tidy precepts drawn from once-scientific works.

Here's to Mao. And here's to a real fight to look at reality as it really is -- as a precondition for the even more difficult task of changing the way it "really is."

off the shoulders

Now that's an interesting comment Chris. I would argue that a rigorous look at what the world is ultimately leads one to..wait for it...create the world as you want it to be. Why is this, because people will never be molded into what you want them to be. To echo Jacques Derrida, difference difference difference. The only authentic revolution that you can carve for yourself is in time. Once you get a bit more eastern on these things and drop the western metaphysics you'll find a lot of unnecessary philosophical stress(on top of all others) goes away. I for one to a certain extent accept people for what they are, there is line to be walked between affirmation and negation that I tread. To boot I accept opposites, one wouldn't be an anarchist without this silly little authoritarians.

Further no one more then Marxists have wanted for what they can never have. The Marxist epitaph of "changing the world" is all in all a pipe dream. That silly quote in the poverty of philosophy came via a disagreement with Hegel. Hegel at his best was something of a perspectivist, a man who had a certain level of respect for everydayness and context, a trait the likes of Heidegger and others would improve on. Marx thinks he can transcend everydayness; he wants what he can't have. Think of how the Marxists have constantly moved the finish line in terms of how a revolution must be completed, at first the revolution had to be in a country (Germany perhaps) then it became an international territory, and then it became the world. Isn't painfully obvious how what we want is always a head of us. By moving the finishing line the Marxists are subconsciously admitting this. The more personal driven anarchists have accepted more so then the Marxists that they will never get what they want, possibility is itself a possibility. And they still find joyful rebellion none the less.

Oh and if Mao was serious about that quote perhaps he would have come to accept Tibetan everydayness for what it was.

the weight of dust

Off the shoulders: I hope you'll be donating your first born to the Dalai Lama. LOL. Forget the future! Slave-holding theocracy is all where its at. Just meditate, bro. Chant and be happy. LOL.

JB

In any case... can we leave this thread for introductions?

Thanks.

Comments past this point will be re-threaded over the next few days.

Ira Wechsler

I live in Brooklyn, New York and started in 1967 as anti-Vietnam war protester. AS the war continued I studied to discover what was driving that barbarous conflict. I starting realizing it was imperialist and that profit driven needs and the resultant anti-communism were feeding the conflict.
I became a leader of S.D.S. on my college campus and soon after a member of the Progressive Labor Party, the only group that had practice in building a base in the working class for communist ideas and party building. It was the only group I saw that were not arm-chair pseudo-revolutionaries, or phony communists with dogma for politics . Through historical experience of the communist movement in the 20 th century it is very apparent that the communist movement brought about its own destruction by continuing flawed theory and practice. Nationalsim is never revolutionary and that has mired the practice and theory ofSoviet, Chinese, Vietnamese , and all other communist movements that seized or were leading significant movements on the international scene. The theory of popular frontism and class collaboration
that came from Dimitrov in 1935 and developed as New Democracy in China
has been a consistent loser for the communist movements. First it lead to the development of class in Russia and China and elsewhere and second it was predicated on the erroneous concept that state socialism will lead to a communist society. The maintenance of wages under state socialism drives the development of class differentiation and
enables the political and material corruption that so afflicted the Soviet and Chinese revolutions over time.

The Progressive Labor Party is fighting for communism not state socialism. No the state won't wither away immediately, but the revolution must abolish wages immediately. The dictatorship of the proletariat is not meant to defend the wage system but to hasten the movement to stateless society that will develop over generations. WE are an international party with members in US ,
Mexico (Oaxaca), Central and South America. We have friends in Europe and Asia. Never will the communist movement again be saddled with those who sacrifice the international class struggle for local national interests. Yes we will seize power and hold it in one area as the revolutionary process is not always even. We are not Troskyites.
We have made friends all along the Gulf coast as part of the anti-racist fight-back against post-Katrina racism and fascism in New Orleans. Black and Latino working class youth together with
white working class are quickly developing into the new leadership of our party. We have survived the decline of the Left in the U.S and are now thriving. We are recruiting soldiers in the military. The war in Iraq has awakened members of the military that imperialist war is NOT in their interest.
Working class soldiers in alliance with the international proletariat will eventually turn the guns around on the bosses. Every drop of oil that Exxon pumps out of the Middle East will only spur on the movement.

Chen Duxiu

How are you planning to "abolish wages"? How will that work exactly? That's like saying you're going to abolish war.

Ira Wechsler

"How are you planning to abolish wages?"
The fact is that the industrial nations have the technical and productive capabilities to
produce enough of the important compnents of civilized life for the entire world. That means enough food, decent housing, medical care and education. Money is a determiner of who gets and doesn't. It is irrelevant to meeting the needs for foods, building materials, etc. The international party will organize the production and transfer of materials so that all will have. Of course resource allocation will change dramatically in some areas of production. Perhaps there will be no HDTV production for a long while until more basic needs are satisfied . Snack foods and private plane production, and automobile production would undoubtedly be curtailed in favor of a vastly expanded mass transit system. Machine tools and , and power and water resource management tools would have to be
greatly expanded and exported to under developed areas of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Central universal planning of economic development and ecological protection would be of the highest priority. You are so conditioned by capitalist ideology and way of liefe that you can't imagine a different existence. Open your mind and wake up!

Christopher Day

A few points:

1. The international party that will do all of this allocating is yet to be built. Not a minor detail.

2. One reason it hasn't been built is that the contradictions within the international working class (and peasantry?) that it is supposed to represent are enormous. Nationalism is not just a trick of the bosses but also an expression of the particular historical experiences of different regions and peoples within global capitalism.

3. Telling someone to "open your mind and wake up" is, IMHO, an admission of ones essential failure to present a genuinely persuasive argument. While the question concerning the abolition of wages may have been an expression of Chen Duxiu's conditioning by capitalism, the answer to the question is a hell of a lot more complicated. The whole productive apparatus that is being counted on to meet all of humanity's needs was designed and organized around the presumption that it would be worked by wage labor. The character structure of the working people who make all this stuff possible is similarly built around that presumption. Reorganizing the whole physical and psychic apparatus of capitalist production can not be simply boiled down to an all-wise party deciding to allocate resources to water systems rather than HDTVs.

I believe these problems are solvable, but not if their actual complexity is disregarded nor if a contemptuous attitude is taken towards those who dare to ask questions. Actually solving these problems means precisely winning over those people who percieve the real difficulties involved.

If this is how ostensible communists talk to the people when our numbers are tiny and our organizations are weak, why should they expect to be treated with the respect due to the actual makers of history when we have state power?

decentered

"Central universal planning of economic development and ecological protection would be of the highest priority."

Umm to quite George Castanza's mom-may I ask why? How are you so sure that this paternalistic logic of developement and redistribution is not itself a result of capitalist ideology. What any form of centralized production has prefigured in it is a loss of a more local or even immediate autonomy and personal power over ones sustenence. If you go to the poorest parts of the world for example you see plenty of examples of local mutual aid and the key thing that gets in the way is not redistribution but simple acess to land and seeds. It's always been guilty week kneed liberals who perpetuate this christian based myth that people abroad need help.

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