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Friday, January 27, 2012

Marxist logos—I only need a three head logo instead of five heads

It was some time ago that Mike Ely of the Kasama Project discussed three heads vs., five heads or even just one. In other words, many Maoist sites have a logo with Karl Marx, VI Lenin and Mao Zedong’s face. The one below is an example;

It’s a fairly simple logo that allows the reader to know that the site is both Marxist-Leninist and Maoist.
I was exposed to Maoism long ago, after he was dead. I read his books and realized a new way of looking at politics and philosophy. Of the various sects out there with their ideologies, symbols and “heads” I found Maoism to be the most democratic minded.
Still there are the longer versions of Maoists banners and flags that include Friedrich Engels and Joseph Stalin.
 Engels deserves to be on a banner, because most of what Marx wrote, Engels wrote with him. Stalin on the other hand is not a hero to all Maoists. He did have the right idea on “Socialism in one country” instead of Leon Trotsky’s continuing revolution. Stalin was an early ally of Mao and influenced much of Mao’s early writings. As time went on he changed those ideas and came up with many of his own. His wife, Jiang Qing didn’t like Stalin at all.
While some of us are willing to admit that Stalin was a paranoid and murderous tyrant, despite his important role in Marxist development, other Maoist still see him as a hero who is a victim of Bourgeoisie propaganda.
While researching this piece, I discovered that other people had great heads. I found an example of a Marxist-Leninist flag. I guess those who flew it figured the two of them were enough.
Then there is the Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist logo. I guess those people just don’t care for Mao and his contributions.

I love this banner with Jiang Qing's picture on it.

I found a Leon Trotsky logo with Marx-Lenin-Trotsky. I’ve seen those before. I guess a lot of people want at least three or four big heads on their banners. It lets us know who they favor.

Perhaps the most interesting was the Spartacus league in Germany which has a poster with the heads of Lenin, Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg. Not only were these lesser known Marxist theoreticians, they included an ancient rebel in their name. That is one thing other Marxists don’t do enough.

The only exceptions I know of are the groups calling them selves Túpac Amaru.
There are many Marxist writers who don’t get to be the big heads, mostly because they focus on geographic locations, or they are more specific in what they write about, while the other Marxist “heads” are more universally applied. There is Kwami Nkruma, Herbert Marcuse, Jean-Paul Sartre, Kim Il Sung and now his son Kim Jong Il, Antonio Gramsci; and José Carlos Mariátegui just to name a few.
 Mao Stalin and Trotsky are like the William Shakespeares of Marxist Theory. To the play writing student, classes always start with Shakespeare and from there on, a person can put on Eugène Ionesco or a Sartre play. It’s like that in Marxist Politics. Marx is the beginning. Even a lot of Socialist Democrats read him. Then there is Marxist-Leninism or communist revolution. Then a person can pick one of the other big heads, which will define their beliefs further. A lot has to do with vision and strategy. The other writers offer us some insight into the over all struggle and many have made huge contributions to Marxism. And let’s not forget the ancients who contributed in some way to our present beliefs, Democritus, Epicurus, Spartacus, Thomas Müntzer, and many more.
Now here is the big question. Marx is from the 19th century, Lenin crossed the 19th century to the 20th century, Stalin and Mao were products of the 20th century, so who will be a 21st century head to add to our collection? Some members of the RIM are already suggesting we add Abimael Guzmán or, as he is known, Chairman Gonzalo. Most Big heads are dead people, and Gonzalo is not. Some of his supporters, inside and outside of Peru already include him in the big heads;

There are Maoists who dislike him as much as some Maoists dislike Stalin. But it seems too early to try and add the next 21st Century “big head.” It’s early in the century and a lot can happen between 2012 and 2099. We will just have to wait and see. For now, The Kasama Project has rejected all heads. I like the simple round red symbol with Marx-Lenin-Mao. People realize I’m a Maoist. I don’t have to defend Stalin although I will defend Jiang Qing. -សតិវ អតុ


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