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Tuesday, May 07, 2013

In Wichita Kansas we do what we can

Compared to other parts of the world, the US has little in the way of Marxists-Leninists traditions of any kind. Here in the Midwest town of Wichita, I know of only one other Marxists-Leninist besides myself. So more than likely both of us will work with less radical parties and union efforts to try and raise the political consciousness of working people. I do know some left-wing democratic socialists and although we may have our differences, I believe we can work together on some projects. Working people here are not used to believing they have any rights at all. There is an unhealthy allegiance to the Kansas Republican Party and the military. I feel it is important to expose the corruption which is inherent in this system before we can discuss alternatives to it.

For example, our local newspaper, The Wichita Eagle, has reported that lobbyists spent $380,000 feeding, entertaining and giving gifts to legislators for the first three months of this year. And 74% of that was not properly reported. Kansas earned an overall grade of F for lobbying disclosure in a recent national study of state ethics laws.

Much of the corruption has gotten much worse since the far-right wing of the Republican Party—The Tea Party Republicans, backed by the Koch Brothers and ALEC, keep pushing this state to the right, with policies that simply fail in every respect of what a government should do. Jobs are still lacking, heath care is not available to a lot of people, public education has been partially destroyed and poverty has increased in the last several years.

Again, The Wichita Eagle reports that as of Monday, educators and social workers have detected 2,251 homeless children attending Wichita schools this year. The total went up 518 more than last year. The Wichita Eagle also admitted that the economy continues to drag down families and send them to shelters, motels and the streets.
Also reported today in The Wichita Eagle, are complaints from people who fear our Governor Sam Brownback’s new KanCare program. That program turned over the state’s health care program for the indigent and those too sick to work, to parasitic profiteers. Three corporations now run the program for a profit. It is hard to profit of the misfortunes of the sick and poor, but our right-wing-nut-job governor decided to do just that anyway. Now The Wichita Eagle reported that people are trying to block Brownback’s plan to turn home and community-based care services over to KanCare. Most people who are quoted in that article have had constant problems with KanCare complaining that the company is more concerned about its bottom line of making profits over the care of the patients. That is not counting Sen. Michael O’Donnell, R-Wichita, one of Brownback’s young boot-boys who won in the last election, who praised it. Well Duh!
For the last 25 years, Kansas has turned to the right, almost continuously after every election. It seems that far-right policies never really work, yet people just assume the policies didn’t go far enough to the right—or they just forget that this society was not always so “dog eat dog” and haters of the working poor and impoverished.
It is tempting to try and offer a Marxist, Marxist-Leninist or even Marxist-Leninist-Maoist alternative. But the reality is that most people living here have no idea what that really means. So they stick to outdated ideas that have damaged this society miserably, for the last 100 years or longer. And the simple fact is there are many people living here who this system has completely failed.
To put it simply—this system JUST DOESN’T WORK. That is what the people need to realize before we can offer alternative visions to them. We can offer them bits and pieces of the world they can have if they are willing to change. But until they can imagine change, this area is not ready for a revolution. There are many parts of the country where Marxists live and are trying to find new ways to reach people with new approaches. Sometimes they may be successful. But here in Wichita we need more than two active Marxist-Leninists before we can seriously try for a revolution.
I can still support international groups, such as the Maoists in India and the Philippines who are interested in Revolution. In such countries, they have numbers and people who understand what those differences can mean.
I can still stay in touch with the Kasama Project, as they work on new strategies to promote a revolution in the US. If I ever meet members of the New Communist Party (Organizing Committee), I might be able to work with them also.
We do have a Peace and Social Justice group here in Wichita. It is large enough that we can address issues of imperialism. We have some unions and some minor socialist parties that can at least offer some sense of worker solidarity or simply some hope for the future.
So I will continue to support Maoist revolution where I can. Where I can’t I will support revolutionary issues and ideas where I can. We all do what we can.
-សតិវ អតុ

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