Saturday, March 28, 2009

My response to "The Nation Magazine" forum on reimagining socialism

We see what a Nation Forum on “Reimagining Socialism” consists of (See blog below); the same dishonesty in intellectualism with which The Nation has become associated with for many years now under the Editorship of Katrina vanden Heuvel whose “socialist credentials” consist of an anti-communist resume of unending attacks on real socialism where it existed--- most notably in the Soviet Union and the East European people’s socialist democracies now under the thumb of gangster capitalism, and unending attacks on Communist Parties without explaining how it is possible to organize socialist movements and how workers can come to power without Communist Parties.

One characteristic each and everyone of these essays is short of is specific solutions to our common problems.

Is it not strange that the views of working class Communists--- Marxists-Leninists--- would not be invited or tolerated in such a forum on socialism? Certainly Communists have demonstrated a right to be heard based upon our activities.

None-the-less, this Forum on socialism is very interesting, useful and informative--- as well as being welcome--- because it demonstrates very clearly the bankruptcy of these well-heeled, muddle-headed, middle class intellectual socialists who supported Barack Obama--- first making the ridiculous claim that he was a “progressive” which provided Obama to get through the primaries [actually they did such a good job with Obama many of us were left scratching our heads wondering if he wasn't some kind of closet socialist or even a Communist); then they proclaimed to the world, “No, no; Obama is no socialist like us, to help Obama get past the vicious red-baiting of John McCain and the Rush Limbaugh's of the world; and they now are making the claim that Obama is a “centrist leaning to the left” and that there is something “progressive” to be found in each of his actions even when every single one of his most important acts has been to further drive down the standard of living of the working class while pushing up the cost-of-living factors combining to make life miserable for working people in a way none of these well-heeled, muddle-headed, middle class intellectual socialist dreamers of utopias could ever comprehend or understand no matter how much they erroneously claim to understand “The Open Marxism” of Antonio Gramsci,” who, with Palmiro Togliatti developed our modern day understanding that Communist Party Clubs are the back-bone, strength, brain and action centers capable of bringing about socialism when these Clubs form a mighty and powerful network comprising the Communist Party giving leadership to working class struggles for reform which constantly advance the need for the socialist alternative to capitalism, without which socialism has never been achieved and without which socialism will never be achieved in the United States or anyplace else… and it was Lenin and his comrades in arms who pioneered the way to power based upon what they learned from studying about capitalism from Karl Marx and the failure of the French communards during their short-lived but heroic stand we know as the Paris Commune.

French communards who were murdered fighting for the rights of working people.

Not to mention that the defeat of fascism was largely accomplished due to the leadership of Joseph Stalin who had to act quickly to feed and educate a starving and mostly illiterate nation, adequately house an impoverished nation while building up its industrial might while the most advanced imperialist countries not only sat back hoping that the new socialist society and government would collapse, but was doing all in their power to try to cripple all efforts by the Soviet people to create a better life than what they inherited by a bunch of arrogant, backwards, mean, selfish and cruel czars who lived off the blood and sweat of the people who wallowed in poverty under a government whose policies were formulated under terms known as “benign neglect.”

Antonio Gramsci, worker, Italian Communist Party organizer, thinker, theorist, philosopher, writer, activist, elected politician and victim of brutal fascist political repression.

Some of the socialists can even wax eloquent about the "Communist Manifesto" but they fail to comprehend--- or possibly in quaintly, caffelatte-liberal fashion ignore the fact--- that the reason Marx and Engels wrote and distributed the "Communist Manifesto" was to help build Communist organizations, i.e. Communist Parties in every country consisting of networks of Communist Party Clubs in working class communities and where people worked and recreated--- something the "red" Finns did quite well in communities in many states across America.

What our middle class socialist friends fail to understand, is that the "Communist Manifesto" packaged with the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides us with a very powerful educational action packet.

And the closest any of these muddle-headed middle class intellectuals can come to bringing themselves to acknowledge the contributions of Communists in building socialism as an alternative to this capitalist system which is rotten to the core, presently on the skids to oblivion, dragging along the working class down the short, bumpy road to perdition is the mention of Lenin’s famous question without acknowledging his name: “What is to be done?”

“What is to be done?,” a question none of these self-proclaimed, muddle-headed middle class intellectual socialists has attempted to even remotely articulate an answer to.

We working class Communists are not afraid to stand our views up against these faux socialists and bring forward real solutions to this current capitalist economic mess now unfolding before us on a global scale which threatens to engulf us all even deeper in wars, poverty, misery and despair all of which has roots in the capitalist system which is based upon the exploitation of labor where there are only two sources of wealth: labor and Mother Nature; capitalists rob the first and rape the latter which is where all of our modern day problems arise.

From reading these essays one would not imagine there are problems involving trying to save jobs by saving factories and entire industries because these “socialists” have never called for the public ownership of a specific factory as a means to saving jobs… nor a comment from any of these “green” socialists as to what should be done to save the jobs of two-thousand workers employed at one of the greenest and largest mass production plants in the world of which a hydro-dam is situated adjacent to it on the Mighty Mississippi River located in the midst of a quaint neighborhood that built up around the plant as workers struggled for their rights to work in a safe and healthy work environment--- a working class struggle which has created one of the greenest communities in North America or, for that matter, anyplace else in the world… and not a single one of these muddle-headed, middle class intellectuals who first posed as progressives supporting Barack Obama now claiming to speak for socialists and socialism who acknowledge they have no political base or political home other than their ivory tower surroundings from which to test their socialist perspectives on us don’t even question that Communists have been left out of this forum on socialism and they completely ignore the very specific problems of working people and the working class as they drone on and on about the need to begin building the movement for socialism behind struggles for reforms.

It boggles my mind that these socialists have the audacity and arrogance to write about working people losing their jobs when they cannot even muster engaging in dialog about saving closing plants as in the auto industry… common sense, never mind socialist understanding which is assumed to contain a modicum of common sense, dictates that you cannot save the jobs of workers whose plants are being literally demolished by capitalists who are so mean and vicious that they will blow up a plant and demolish it just to evade competition from the public sector.

We do not hear from these socialists any suggestions about bringing the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant and the hydro-dam that has powered the operation for decades compliments of local, state and federal tax-payers who have pretty much subsidized the entire operation including a thirty-million dollar high technology-learning center which is part of the public school system.

One can only “imagine” the kind of movement which might emerge should these socialists The Nation magazine has enlisted to bring us this forum on “reimagining socialism,” should these same writers spend a little time talking to workers at the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant and other closing plants and mines and mills about their futures’ before sitting down at their keyboards to write these kinds of frivolous essays when working people require so much more.

Are there no workers who are competent writers The Nation could have recruited for its “reimagining socialism” forum?

We do not hear the thoughts of these socialist writers about making the minimum wage a real living wage, constantly updated through appropriate legislation based upon real cost-of-living factors; why not?

We do not hear from any of these muddle-headed, middle class, intellectual, socialists the need to forge a massive united peace movement which begins to really educate the American people to the real nature of imperialism--- the highest and last stage of capitalism in its most decadent form--- by suggesting that instead of 800 U.S. military bases on foreign soil, what we really need is 800 public health care centers spread out across the United States providing free universal access to comprehensive, all-inclusive health care to the American people.

Most of these writers deny that socialism is on the table right now as we are living in what can only be described as the greatest “Marxist moment” in all of human history.

Three wars rage on while many of these “socialists” accept Obama’s concept of “peace” to be the successful imperialist occupation of Iraq where the oil flows to the west as the profits surge into the pockets of the seven thieves comprising the global capitalist oil industry.

Each of these “socialists” talk about how ‘climate change” is one of the greatest dangers we as human beings and our living environment face; but, none of these muddle-headed middle class intellectual socialists will stand with the workers of the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant struggling to save their jobs and a model of green manufacturing.

All were fully aware of the legislation being put forward by a handful of Minnesota State Legislators to save the plant… none struck a key on their computer keyboards as legislation was defeated by the political allies of Barack Obama in the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party--- which derives part of its name from the most advanced political party independent from capital created by progressive, socialists and communists which ruled Minnesota politics for two decades submersed in the day-to-day struggles of working people for a better life… not even a mention from these “socialist” writers in The Nation magazine’s Forum On Socialism about the base and foundation we have from what remains of the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party… a foundation of progressive and liberal thought that even this Republican Governor and one of the most well oiled and financed Republican machines has not been able to break through and crush.

One has to ask the question of these well-heeled, muddle-headed, middle class, intellectual socialists: What planet are you living on and writing from that you cannot answer even the most basic questions concerning “What Is To Be Done?” when it comes to addressing the specific problems of everyday life working people are experiencing?

Why no mention here from these socialists of the immediate need for a “people’s bailout?” No mention of the “Minnesota People’s Bailout” brought forward by the same small group of progressive Minnesota State Legislators who tried desperately to save the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant and hydro-dam in trying to save two-thousand good-paying union jobs providing these workers with decent work and a decent life. The “Minnesota People’s Bailout” could easily be used as a template by other state legislatures and the United States Congress to, as Minnesota State Senator David Tomassoni has said: “We need to work our way out of this economic mess not try to buy our way out;” a direct challenge to Barack Obama’s pro-profit, pro-Wall Street, anti-people agenda.

To hear it from these well-heeled, muddle-headed, middle class, intellectual socialists, there are no Wall Street coupon clippers nor capitalist sooth-Sayers… there is only the “high road” to socialism working with friendly capitalists or the “low road” to socialism forced on us by the merchants of death and destruction… according to them, the first road places socialism someplace in the distant future; the latter road may kill us all before we can get there… great excuses for well-heeled, middle class intellectuals to evade the here and now… especially when socialism is so abhorrent to Barack Obama he runs from it like he ran after getting the socialist oriented New Party endorsement in Chicago and ran for the door before saying “thanks;” staying just long enough to, reluctantly, get his picture taken.

It would be nice if just once The Nation magazine and its editor posing as a great defender of “class-less democracy” could see its way to allowing a Communist to venture an opinion on this question of “reimagining socialism” because such an opinion might put a little “zip” and “gusto” into the discussion of these well-heeled, latte-loving, muddle-headed, middle class intellectual socialists whose only value for an expensively bound Communist Manifesto is as an ornament on their ebony coffee tables with ivory drawer handles; intellectuals who fail to bring even the “love me, love me; I’m a liberal” enthusiasm for socialism into this discussion much less bringing forward the needed ideas working people need to become engaged in the struggle for real power… social, political and economic power.

It is almost like these writers are more afraid of socialism than they are of capitalism… they can afford to place socialism on the back-burner for another day waiting for working people to buy their coffee-table books. Working people cannot afford the luxury of such intellectualism as they struggle daily just for survival. Working people cannot afford the luxury of putting off the struggle for socialism because the struggle for socialism is now, more than ever, part of the struggle for survival.

Anyways, read what these writers in The Nation have to say… then read my blog for a working class Communist perspective on what socialist activists are doing as these middle class intellectuals, long divorced from any struggles, are writing about… some of the writings contain some good thoughts we can make use of.

Reading the views of others always helps us strengthen our own ideas about what the politics and economics of livelihood is really all about; real socialism.

To the extent that these essays in The Nation magazine contribute to a wider dialog, discussion and debate about the socialist alternative to capitalism they are most welcome and useful and the writers should be thanked for this; but that is about all… with a couple notable exceptions.

I do find it interesting that The Nation magazine would deny its readers voices from those with a political perspective who organized and led the struggles for the New Deal reforms through building the very powerful “People’s Front” while educating working people and so many people from all walks of life about the socialist alternative to capitalism.

From these writers we read their joke about the socialist economist concerning recession; but, from these socialist writers there is not the acknowledgment we are living in the midst of a full-fledged capitalist economic depression.

I find it rather ironic that these writers in "The Nation Magazine Forum on Reimagining Socialism all seem to think that socialism is not on the table today as if by some kind of pious proclamation they have the right to take it off the table.

Because none of these writers, by virtue of their middle class status, is suffering the brunt of the attacks on the working class creating a crises of everyday living for so many working people they have no sense of urgency to solve any of the myriad of problems working people are just expected to endure. In taking socialism off the table they don't even have the plain old common decency to address the need for specific reforms to alleviate the problems working people are experiencing.

For these middle class intellectuals every demand that working people make for reforms is always too much when they say that things have to be accomplished "incrementally." Socialism is too big of a leap but so is a living minimum wage based upon real cost of living factors is too much at one time.

These muddle-headed middle class intellectual socialists remain quiet as their Democratic Party friends bring forward the idea that a 70 cent increase in the minimum wage should be delayed in this time of crisis for restaurant workers because the bosses would suffer!

To the way of thinking of these muddle-headed middle class intellectuals working people will have to patiently "wait their turn" for Barack Obama's second term.

I am wondering if these middle class intellectual socialists who like to hold up Antonio Gramsci in opposition to Lenin think that Gramsci would set aside this Marxist moment by saying socialism is not on the table?

Build a Communist Party Club in your neighborhood, school or workplace today so we can bring real socialist perspectives into the public square for dialog, discussion and debate.

Yours in the struggle,

Alan L. Maki

58891 County Road 13

Warroad, Minnesota 56763

Phone: 218-386-2432

Cell phone: 651-587-5541


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