Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Reason Why Wisconsin Won't Lead to a Revolution.

People who are familiar with the left/socialist movement here in the United States know that every time a huge protest happens or a school building is occupied by students that the left will start screaming "the revolution is coming" or "this could be the start of the revolution" and "see the people in the United States are class conscious/revolutionary."

The event we see happening in Wisconsin is very important to pay close attention to. What we see happening is a right wing tea party supported governor who is a champion of corporate American billionaires trying to attack the unions right to collectively bargain. The governor is doing this to gain more support from the upper capitalist class (millionaires and billionaires) for making it easier for corporations to make more profits by paying their employees shitty wages, and the employees not having the legal right to demand higher wages.

It should be noted that this is the second attack on public workers, all in the name of "needing to cut the budget." The first cuts that were proposed to public workers were actually agreed to by the public workers and their unions according to MSNBC tv(1). But these second cuts will do more than make collective bargaining illegal it will also force public workers to pay double for their health care and force the workers to contribute 5.8% of their checks to their pension(2).

It is very important to support the unions and their right to collectively bargain. Even though a lot of unions in the US are reactionary and often side with the bosses before they would call for a strike. They can in some instances be the last line of defense for workers rights. So this post should not be seen as a attempt to stand against the Wisconsin workers.

I do want to touch on the claim that somehow the protest in Wisconsin means workers "do understand politics and are the first to engage in mass political activity." And that somehow workers trying to keep their jobs in Wisconsin is a sign that workers are trying to rise up and defeat the ruling and other bourgeois classes. Many populist socialist have made bolder claims that somehow all people who go to work and get a wage for their labor are working class(3). So by that claim I guess people making 300,000 dollars a year and millionaire CEO's who get paid by the hour are working class as well.

The truth of the situation is that probably 70% or more of those protester are pro-capitalism and they are just trying to keep their jobs. They are not there to do anything other than fight for their right to a fair job. This situation does not mean workers in the US are revolutionary or class conscious and as the link above falsely claims that US workers make common cause with workers in other countries. I would tell readers to go read any Yahoo news article, youtube, etc etc go read the comments about videos/articles about other countries. These comments are left by average everyday Americans and you will see that 70-30% are reactionary, xenophobic, and racist and ignorant, these are the real average US citizens. The people in left circles are advanced and are indeed not most of those things, but to claim the majority of Americans are revolutionary and not backwards is to lie to the people you're talking to.

Every time some bit of disorder happens does not mean "the revolution is here!" Here is what will probably happen; one of two things will happen. The Governor will win and the unions will be busted and the workers will be pissed off but will go back home eventually and start looking for a new job so their family doesn't starve but no revolt will happen and people in other states won't stand up with the workers (after all they have jobs and families to feed). Or the unions will win and everyone will cheer than go home and celebrate. But neither will lead to a revolution or even a radicalization of workers in the US. I really wish it wasn't true and I wish this would spark the prairie fire but it just won't happen brothers and sisters the conditions just aren't right at the moment.

If every time the left claimed revolution was about to happen then we would have around 3-6 revolutions every year. But what is most important is that we support the union in their struggle and encourage them to call for a general strike as the WIL (Workers International League) and the SA (Socialist Alternative) have advocated for. The people and the people alone will be the driving force.

Support a general strike in Wisconsin and Ohio!


  1. "...what is most important is that we support the union in their struggle..."

    I thoroughly disagree!

    Here, sharply posed, is the reality of the matter:

    The "workers" in question make EXPONENTIALLY more than you do, and probably even two or three times what I do, as things are. They are NOT, as you portray them, desperately poor and just trying to eek out a living on the verge of starvation. They are so wealthy that a very large percentage of them probably even own businesses of their own on the side, as well as stock portfolios, real estate, etc.! 5.8% of $35,000-$70,000+ a year isn't going to kill anyone, or even close.

    The hard and painful truth for the American "left" to accept is that these "workers" would actually lose more under AUTHENTIC socialism than is being demanded of them right now by "the Mubarak of the Midwest"! That they compare themselves to the Egyptian masses is an insult to the latter. Their conditions are not remotely similar and their demands are for the retention of their existing privileges OVER the Egyptian and other Third world masses:

    And moreover there isn't going to be any imperialist bourgeoisie or imperialist government with which to bargain/collaborate under socialism if it can at all be helped.

    Even the Tea Party racists can spout out anti-corporate dribble when it is opportunistically convenient. They complain of the bank bailouts, of executive bonuses, of powerful bureaucrats, even sometimes of the Iraq War. Does this make them progressive? That'll be a cold day in hell!

    The problem with the union movement in Wisconsin isn't that it's doomed to fail, it's that their objectives are reactionary! There is no "good" or "progressive" side to the debacle in Wisconsin. The situation instead reminds me of a lecture my law professor gave us in college one time. She described to us a case wherein a member of a pair of bank robbers decided he had been cheated by his partner and thus decided to sue for "his share" of the loot. Naturally, the court frowned on the case itself and found that neither of them had the right to stake a claim in the first place, given the means by which they had acquired the money in question.

  2. In that connection, one of the various particularly disgusting features of the Wisconsin action has been the celebration of American patriotism, which is inevitably the celebration of American colonialism and imperialism. Check out Tom Morello's little number:

    News flash to spoiled Wisconsin morons: this land AIN'T your land! And it ain't my land either. This land WASN'T "made for you and me"! This is stolen land and the debacle in question is over stolen loot! What we are witnessing in that video thus amounts to a celebration of genocide and plundering. And no, throwing in a verse about relief lines does not change that overarching essence.

    We shouldn't just "be the best protesters we can be". We need to ask these hard questions about the political contents of protests. We should not support ANY section of American exploiters in fighting for the retention, let alone extension, of their privileges. No one has a right to plunder, no matter how employed or waged they are. The proletariat is more essentially defined by the property-less condition than by the employed status anyway. The property-less condition is what gives the proletariat its class interest in bringing all property under common ownership. That's the only way the proletariat AS A CLASS can acquire property. The former First World proletariat, on the other hand, has acquired it by way of the de facto exploitation of the Third World masses, thereby rendering the latter the place where the international proletariat is overwhelmingly concentrated today. There is no First World proletariat to speak of. And even the 30% of these Wisconsin protesters you describe who allegedly have sympathies with socialism are, in fact, coming from a social-imperialist understanding of that, given the nature of their demands, as explained above.

    Does all this mean that real communists, Maoist Third Worldists, have no role to play in this situation? Are we to just sit at home and lament from afar? Of course not! We have a role. Real communists, leading light communists, need to be in really any given "mass" action that arises in America, be it one of these unionist actions or even a Tea Party rally, precisely in order to undermine them and actively attract as many people as will be interested to the genuine communist pole. We are looking for the few First Worlders, for the few Americans, who are willing to betray their own class interests and their country and fight on the side of the world's oppressed and exploited majority in the Third World. We are working behind enemy lines. Genuinely progressive mobilization in this country is bound up with opposing American imperialism and supporting revolution in the Third World.

  3. I am not attempting to be trite but all of your comments mention the LLCO, this is not a LLCO fan page so please do argue your point (and use the LLCO when it is applicable) but do not whore out the LLCO or any other groups on this blog please and thank you.

  4. My comments have always flowed from my uncensored outlook. The difference between past and present is that my organizational "open-mindedness" is in the past at this point. I am decided as to what organization the authentic communist vanguard in our context is and I support that vanguard organization openly. My occasional promotion of the said organization and of the Maoist-Third Worldist perspective is a natural outgrowth. No one in the Third Worldist camp but yourself would object. This is the first request for more censorship to that effect I have gotten. I thus tend to believe that the issue here is more basically that you are indecisive as to what side you are on.

    I can censor my views somewhat in such a way as to avoid routinely referencing LLCO, but if you expect me to censor my views on communist theory/political line, you've got another thing coming. Ask me to do that and I simply won't comment anymore.

    Bottom line: I think you're being wishy-washy. When you originally shifted to a Maoist perspective, you announced it and made according changes in the nature of your writings here. We decided months ago that we were specifically Third Worldists and that Third Worldism and authentic Maoism in today's context are synonymous. (I can find your exact quotes on this if a reference point is needed.) There should be a corresponding shift in the nature of one's writings; a shift that has not yet been reflected much on this blog.

  5. I have no problem with you posting your political ideas and thoughts but if you read my reply above I specifically said you can reference the LLCO when it applies but some of your replies have gone out of the way to praise and promote the LLCO and TBF I wouldn't want anyone to do that with any ORG and or party.

    And while I agree with many points and even most of the science of "MTWism" it seems like the lot of them forget one of the main points; Maoism. No where does Mao ever write to attack everyone as revisionist while saying as fast and as loud as you can "WE ARE THE VANGUARD AND THE FUTURE AND THE ONLY REAL COMMUNIST". It does not make you communist to be an asshole to everyone on the left while claiming to be the only real revolutionary communist org. That is the same shit the ISO does.

    I made my shift to maoism a while ago before we regularly started to talk. And you should also know that people change their minds I mean you said you used to work with Trots. I am writing a blog with Maoist perspectives on American politics and that is what it will be.

    I liked the article you got published on MSH BTW