Friday, December 31, 2010
Is 'fighting back' counter productive?
In the past and in the present whenever there are any cuts made to the education budget or cuts to government jobs you will find socialist in the streets protesting to "fight back" against the cuts. But after a hundred or so years, we as a movement in the United States need to sit back and think to ourselves "is this really working for us? is this really productive to our cause? is this really raising consciousness among workers? Or is this showing the average US citizen that reforism works?"
Is fighting back against the cuts working for us? (By 'us' meaning communist orgs and groups) There are a lot of ways to approach this question and many more ways to answer it. The short answer is no. When we do 'fight back' we do not gain members nor does it raise awareness to real communist theories and ideas, or even radical ideas for a matter of fact. Some say "well if we advance communist slogans and try to organize as communist than no one will show up to the protest" Well to that I would say: "What is the point of being a communist organizer if you never organize for communism?" Some people feel like if other people are not organizing a group of people to yell at the US government for whatever reason they can find then they are bad communist and "arm chair revolutionaries". But I do not see these people who organize liberals into protesting as any more revolutionary than actual arm chair revolutionaries. In fact these organizers do little but reassure liberals that reformism works and that there is no need to revolt against the current capitalist system. Why would liberals radicalize if they think it is possible to reform capitalism from the inside or outside? which we all know is not possible.
Is this productive for the communist cause? While getting into the streets may cause direct contact with other people it actually draws people away from revolutionary socialism. As said above it only leads people to believe that reformism is possible and thus kills the idea of the need for revolution in the minds of the people. Although getting into the streets along with other people who are screaming can be inspirational to the communist but this inspiration is founded on false grounds because the bulk of the people around you are not in any way revolutionary. It would actually be better for the cause if we took anti-reformist stances and didn't participate in the organizing of liberals into shout squads. If the woman of this nation knew what the communist did for her as far as woman rights goes, if the average worker knew what communist have gone through to win him/her their workers rights then maybe 'communist' wouldn't be such a bad work. If workers knew what the world would look like without the 'reds' before us that organized so hard for their minimum wage and workers rights then they would be flocking to our revolutionary cause. But some socialist's constant complacency to just organize and move liberals in the streets in the name of "fight the power" for mere reforms are keeping us at the same numbers in memberships. Yes we know some of the protester based orgs are growing right now but as soon as it comes time to revolt these same orgs that are now growing would lose most of their membership. But what else should these orgs actually expect? When you advance liberal slogans you attract a liberal following and liberals will always chose flight before revolt. If these groups advanced communist slogans they would attract communist and maybe even convert a few fence sitting liberals over to our side.
Is this type of campaigning raising workers consciousness? Well let us be serious and completely honest about this. The average American worker does not care about politics and are especially xenophobic to anything new or different. Doing a 'fight back' campaign mainly reaches out to people who work for the government. At first you want to think 'well if they work for the government, and the government is trying to fire them and they see us trying to fight for their jobs won't they be more open to our ideas?' Not really, they may be thankful but we must remember that most socialist groups do these campaigns behind their liberal front groups so while the group may get new supporters and members for its front group these campaigns do little to forward the cause and ideas of communism.
I think I answered the question already to "is this showing the average US citizen that reforism works?" which the answer would be yes.
It is worth mentioning that while we should not use our communist groups to attempt to achieve reformism. It is important that we as individuals participate in trying to get lower tuition fees for collage and trying to stop charter schools from taking over public school buildings. We as individuals before being communist can not stand aside while kids parents are paying top dollar for a bottom tier education. Even though today the schools are capitalist and teach capitalism because education is in the hands of the capitalist. We communist must ensure that the children can read and write. We cannot control education and we cannot educate the masses into revolution or even educate them to have revolutionary ideas because as it was said "education in today's world is capitalist education." (1) So if education of the masses to revolution is not possible then we must support our children getting the best education they can get. It will just be up to us as individuals to teach our kids correct history.
Now here are some things Ive had said to me regarding my stance on these issues. "We should stay where the masses are. Marxist don't create their own groups separate of the masses." Lenin did and it worked out well for him. This sentence makes me think "well then go join the democrats" the same people who say that about not separating from the masses turn around and attack the CP-USA line for joining the democrats but they only do it for opportunistic reasons because they use the rhetoric that supports this move seeing as that is where the majority of the working class are in this country, with the democrats. So creating fight back campaigns does not keep you with the masses but just a few workers who might lose their job.
Ive heard "well, protesting and fighting back is a way to stay in 'the struggle' and to be a leader in the struggle". First off it should be clear that there is little to no 'struggle' happening in the US at the moment. Once again when I hear "leader in the struggle" I go right back to the liberal problem. Liberals don't struggle they complain and gripe then give up. Ive heard leadership in a socialist party say "well we didn't win and they made the cuts anyway but we got some new members out of the deal so it was worth it" that's a direct quote.
Fighting back doesn't help "the struggle" for socialism, it doesn't raise awareness. It just gives socialist something to do in their free time and then they are inspired by the protest which gives them a false hope which keeps them in the reformism circle. Fight back campaigns help prop up this capitalist system. As Ive explained; doing fight back campaigns is counter-productive because it gives the outsiders the idea that reformism can fix the system when any real revolutionary can tell you that the only thing that can fix this messed up imperialist, racist, capitalist system is a proletarian revolution by putting guns and "politics in command".
Say no to reformism!
When a reformist group posing as revolutionaries ask you to join, JUST SAY NO!
Let the system fall and we communist will pick up the pieces!
They say cut backs? We say wait til the people are pissed and arm them!
Written by: Dustin Slagle
*this article is about campaigns aiming to "fight back" against budget cuts and should not be viewed as and was not a polemic about FRSO (FB)