Under classic Marxism, the struggle is about those who own the means of production and those who work for those owners. It seems a straight forward formula and a simple explanation for those of us who want to overthrow the existing social order and replace it with a workers state.
There are a number of overlapping issues that concern some of us on the revolutionary left. Marx wrote that “religion is the opiate of the masses.” Later VI Lenin and Kwame Nkrumah wrote about Imperialism or as Nkrumah called it “neocolonialism.”
Not all Marxist are anti-religious, but most accept the idea of workers taking over the ownership of production and the end of imperialism. There are still arguments on reforms vs. revolution. Many people would like to go back to the 1950s and 1960s attitudes in which workers were treated well enough that they were sold on the idea that workers and their unions had an alliance with the capitalist classes. Since President Ronald Reagan the ruling classes have focused on taking care of themselves at the expense of the workers and middle class. There are plenty of people who would be glad to accept reforms as we had in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Others, such as I reject that idea. The system is like a rotten apple. If we peal all the bad spots away, there isn’t enough of an apple to really eat.
I’m not the first person to make this observation. Rosa Luxemburg wrote in 1900;
“The State became capitalist with the political victory of the bourgeoisie. Capitalist development modifies essentially the nature of the State, widening its sphere of action, constantly imposing on it new functions (especially those affecting economic life), making more and more necessary its intervention and control in society. In this sense, capitalist development prepares little by little the future fusion of the State to society. It prepares, so to say, the return of the function of the state to society. Following this line of thought, one can speak of an evolution of the capitalist State into society, and it is undoubtedly what Marx had in mind when he referred to labour legislation as the first conscious intervention of “society” in the vital social process, a phrase upon which (reformist Eduard) Bernstein leans heavily.”
So I’ve decided that I will focus on one aspect of US capitalism, freedom. We are told that the advantage to capitalist society is all this freedom we enjoy. We are told our soldiers are fighting for “our freedom” in
Iraq and and they insinuate that without these wars, we would lose our freedom of speech, freedom of religion and a long list of other freedoms. Afghanistan
We have a two party system of pro-capitalist parties. With the help of our so-called “free Press” third partiesof any kind are marginalized and many topics, such as imperialism, or socialism are not up for discussion.
One of the main obstacles to our freedom in the
is organized religion. Those religious groups who support the status quo have tried to control us, through the law, cultural practices and beliefs. This is summed up in the quote by Rosa Luxemburg, “Capitalist development modifies essentially the nature of the State, widening its sphere of action, constantly imposing on it new functions (especially those affecting economic life), making more and more necessary its intervention and control in society.” US
In this case, organized religion has created an alliance with many capitalist, both politicians and the capitalist enterprises who support them, to create social controls on those who may not agree with or value such controls.
Such controls include opposition to the use of marijuana and other reasonably safe drugs for personal use by adults. They oppose sexual entertainment in films and print, restrict nudity, prohibit polygamy. They insist on putting their religious mantras on government buildings and institutions. They promote discrimination against agnostics, atheists and those whose religion does not focus on the existence of God.
Worst of all is their holy crusade to stop abortion, both through the legal system and illegal tactics including arson and murder.
While some leftist would consider some of the activities I listed as trite, such as legal marijuana, my argument is that we are constantly told we are a free people and that is an outright lie. Many people are denied their basic rights to health care and yet the government will jail them for the “unhealthy use of marijuana” and other drugs.
These are just some of many examples of the restrictions put on the so-called “free people” of the
. We are patronized, bullied and much of our life is dictated by this society’s leaders. Politicians pass laws to imprison us, the corporation we work for threaten our lively hood with such controls as drug testing and many religions pressure us to join their cultish institutions so they can further control what we think. US
This is one more reason why reforming this system is not worth it. We need to destroy it in some way. The only way to become free people is to destroy the system that patronizes us with false promises of freedom.