Thursday, December 29, 2011

Proletarian and Workers Language!

First of all it is important to point out that some one who is a proletarian is someone who is both oppressed in some form or another and that person is also exploited for his/her labor, meaning he/she creates more wealth for his/her bosses than he/she receives. Some one who works at say McDonald's as a cashier is a proletarian. They do not actually produce any wealth but they do collect it for their bosses. The person in a factory somewhere who is making the pre-made patties for the restaurant use would be a proletarian because he/she is creating a product to be sold at a profit higher than s/he is paid. So in short anyone who PRODUCES wealth and receives a lower wage than s/he creates is exploited for their labor and thus is a proletarian. The cashier, while not a proletarian (as in they do not produce any wealth) is still a member of the working class and is still exploited.

I tend to think that it is hypocritical when I hear communist say that "we shouldn't separate ourselves from the working class" and yet they insist on talking at people like they are ignorant and the communist try to use this superior language that makes themselves feel smarter. They repeat "we shouldn't separate ourselves from the working class" over and over and then go to the working class and TELL them what they should believe and how things really are and mainly they just come off sounding really condescending and turn people off of socialism.

If we are not to remove ourselves from the masses (I will be replacing the words "working class" with "the masses" from now on) then we must adapt their ideas to our own. Not try and force the masses to take on our ideas fully because that will never happen. What is more important? That the masses have Marxist principles? Or that the masses call it Marxism?

An example of adapting our ideas to theirs: In the US the masses see that there are multiple classes. So instead of applying dialect materialism to the situation and adapting and moving forward the communist would rather scream at the masses that they are wrong and only the communist are right that there are only two classes. But I tell you that we must adapt the ideas of the masses into our own rather we like it or not. If the masses believe there are multiple classes then we must say "okay, how do we go forward with this way of thinking." Of course we should attempt to slowly educate and advocate to the masses that there are two main class blocs but to refuse to listen to the masses is to refuse the masses support.

In the US there is a general understanding in the masses that there is a upper class, a upper middle class, a working middle class, Working class poor, and the lower class (poor, homeless etc). That is five classes, some may argue there is only four recognized by the masses and that is fine and can be applied as well. The most common way I hear to deal with this contradiction between the masses and the American communist is to simply "educate the working class about class consciousness" But as it was so well put by a successful revolutionary in a imperialist dominated country:
"Education requires money, people and instruments. In today's world money is entirely in the hands of the capitalists. Those who have charge of education are all either capitalists or wives of capitalists. In today's world the schools and the press, the two most important instruments of education are entirely under capitalist control. In short, education in today's world is capitalist education. If we teach capitalism to children, these children, when they grow up will in turn teach capitalism to a second generation of children. Education thus remains in the hands of the capitalists. Then the capitalists have 'parliaments' to pass laws protecting the capitalists and handicapping the proletariat; they have 'governments' to apply these laws and to enforce the advantages and the prohibitions that they contain; they have 'armies' and 'police' to defend the well-being of the capitalists and to repress the demands of the proletariat; they have 'banks' to serve as repositories in the circulation of their wealth ; they have ' factories', which are the instruments by which they monopolize the production of goods. Thus, if the communists do not seize political power, they will not be able to find any refuge in this world; how, under such circumstances, could they take charge of education? Thus, the capitalists will continue to control education and to praise their capitalism to the skies, so that the number of coverts to the proletariat's communist propaganda will diminish from day to day. Consequently, I believe that the method of education is unfeasible...."(1)

It is not the masses who should be parroting us, but it us who should lead them in the right direction while helping them help themselves. Only by putting "politics in command!" can we successfully move the masses forward to communism. But a big step is that we as revolutionaries have to put the peoples politics into consideration and stop thinking we know all the answers. We don't and we can't, they are always going to be contradictions that need to be met and all we can do is try to solve it for the betterment of the masses.

I for one see a huge connection between why there is a separation of the masses and communist and the communist condescending nature. Ive seen it too many times where some one will walk away because the communist "know everything" and aren't listening to the people. And that leaves an impression on that person that communist are all that way; controlling and condescending and unwilling to listen to other peoples theory's and ideas.

Ive said it many of times that we communist are the main reason why we are so unpopular. We are disorganized, over barring, constant in-fighting, some communist insult other people that don't share their ideas constantly (I have never changed my mind because I was called stupid or ignorant have you?), we talk tooooooo much about stuff that happened in Russia back in 1919 and while it is important to learn from the past it is also a waste to dwell on it.

So this is my call to all communist to start using the language of the proletarian or else stay on your sidelines and keep shouting cause no one is listening. And no one is going to start listening to you til you start listening to them also. I end this with a quote that addresses what I'm talking about:

"Twenty-four years of experience tell us that the right task, policy and style of work invariably conform with the demands of the masses at a given time and place and invariably strengthen our ties with the masses, and the wrong task, policy and style of work invariably disagree with the demands of the masses at a given time and place and invariably alienate us from the masses. The reason why such evils as dogmatism, empiricism, commandism, tailism, sectarianism, bureaucracy and an arrogant attitude in work are definitely harmful and intolerable, and why anyone suffering from these maladies must overcome them, is that they alienate us from the masses."(2)

"Production by the masses, the interests of the masses, the experiences and feelings of the masses - to these the leading cadres should pay constant attention. "(2)

"We should pay close attention to the well being of the masses, from the problems of land and labour to those of fuel, rice, cooking oil and salt.... All such problems concerning the well being of the masses should be placed on our agenda. We should discuss them, adopt and carry out decisions and check up on the results. We should help the masses to realize that we represent their interests and that our lives are intimately bound up with theirs. We should help them to proceed from these things to an understanding of the higher tasks which we have put forward, the tasks of the revolutionary war, so that they will support the revolution and spread it throughout the country, respond to our political appeals and fight to the end for victory in the revolution. " (2)

Written by: Dustin Slagle


(1) "Communism and Dictatorship" by Mao Tse Tung November 1920 January 1921 [Extracted from. two letters to Ts’ai Ho-sen, in November 1920 and January 1921.]

(2) "The Little Red Book" (Quotations from Chairman Mao), Chapter:"The Mass Line", Published 1966. Quotes taken from;

Monday, December 26, 2011

A short review for Robert Service: Comrades a History of World Communism.

This is going to be a very short review because I want to issue a warning to someone wanting to buy this book more so than give an overview and opinion.

Usually it is easy to tell when a book is going to be overwhelmingly biased. When I was reading the back of this book and the reviews online I didn't get the feeling that Robert Service was an anti-communist (specially seeing as he has written biographies about Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin). In fact from reviews online he seemed to write fairly. Upon reading this book I now feel like I was ripped off by the book store.

The book is very much filled with personal opinions written as truths and the writer even degrades to name calling towards soviet supporters from the 30's and 40's. One point in the book he claims that a reporter was duped by the soviets when the reporter visited a labor camp. He claims the reporter visiting the labor camp wrote positively about the USSR because when he went to a labor camp the local soviet government replaced the labor workers with guards so they appeared well fed and that rehabilitation was working and that the laborers were in good conditions. And his source for this assertion? It isn't a document ordering guards to act as laborers or anything official what so ever. No, he sources the reporters positive letter as a source. The book is filled with false sources like this through out.

The book is also filled with baseless assertions such as claiming that Marxism is dead and communism is dead. As though Cuba, Laos, Vietnam, While perverted types of socialism there is also NK and China, Venezuela and Bolivia, Uruguay just elected an ex-guerrilla just don't exist. These type of false statements are made through out. It is hard to believe he has read anything that was not written by McCarthy himself by his writing style. Whats more upsetting is that I already bought his Stalin Biography. Guess that is money and time I will never get back.

Written by: Dustin Slagle

Friday, December 23, 2011

Religion, Should it be Banned Under a Revolutionary Government?

It is a complicated question with a complex answer that varies between many different groups and individuals.

Most communist are atheist or follow the slogan that "Religion is the opium of the masses." But as Maoist we are taught that;

"To link oneself with the masses, one must act in accordance with the needs and wishes of the masses. All work done for the masses must start from their needs and not from the desire of any individual, however well-intentioned. It often happens that objectively the masses need a certain change, but subjectively they are not yet conscious of the need, not yet willing or determined to make the change. In such cases, we should wait patiently. We should not make the change until, through our work, most of the masses have become conscious of the need and are willing and determined to carry it out. Otherwise we shall isolate ourselves from the masses. Unless they are conscious and willing, any kind of work that requires their participation will turn out to be a mere formality and will fail.... There are two principles here: one is the actual needs of the masses rather than what we fancy they need, and the other is the wishes of the masses, who must make up their own minds instead of our making up their minds for them" (1)

The first four sentences of this quote spell out exactly what a communist stance should be towards the banning of religion. Especially in the USA it would be impossible to expect the proletariat to allow a revolutionary government to ban their religion. Religion is important to the proletariat. And to ban it would be to go against the wishes of the masses. It is also important to point out that some nations with strong religious roots have turned to communism our socialism.

It is an error to call for the banning of religion in a nation as a whole. It shows people who espouse this would run the nation as the few ruling over the masses. But I would never suggest that we ban religion as a whole.

But it can also go both ways. As a comrade of mine said "right wing deviations should be banned" I think watched and monitored would be the best at first followed by state criticism and propaganda against right wing deviations of religions. Then when the masses are ready and support it we can close down the right wing deviations of religions. The other side of the coin is that some religions and certain sects of different religions are left wing in nature. They would support a revolutionary government that is centered around empowering the masses over the few. They would support a government that puts needs above profits and material want.

Religion will only be our complete enemy if we constantly attack it and threaten to ban it. Not all sects will oppose a revolutionary state. Some sects should even be reached out to and brought into the communist and socialist circles. Many of sects espouse social justice at their services. Should we alienate these people because of a quote by Marx? NO! It is foolish how communist act towards the religious peoples when we need to be engaging them.

Written by; Dustin Slagle

1, Quotations from chairman Mao, the Mass line. Taken from

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Occupy Movement. Here to Stay?

There are many opinions and different ideas about what the Occupy Wall Street Movement (OWS) stands for and really what it is in general. But what are the concrete things we can see the OWS changing for everyday Americans (or for the world) and how is it changing the cadre of other organizations?

As for the things that the OWS has changed in the daily lives of the average person. I can't see any. Most people I talk to on my bus commutes, at school etc only know what they have seen on the news. Most are indifferent or think it is silly to camp in the middle of town as a form of protest. One person who rides the bus with me often is a guy named Jamal and he said (paraphrasing) 'these protesters mainly look like hippies, the government is not afraid of them. How do they expect to force change when the government is not afraid of being forced to change?' (he asked rhetorically).

There have also been charges that some of the local occupy are corrupt. I was told "sometimes when a proposition was blocked by a large group, the people who put forth the proposition would wait til the people who blocked it left then they would bring it back up to be voted on so it could pass" This may possibly be an anomaly but it seems like this could be a major problem with this sort of democracy.

To be frank the OWS has not changed the everyday lives of the average proletariat. But I do see a change in the advanced of the working class and even a new energy in the advanced section of workers (proletarian revolutionaries).

I saw this weekend at a local event that the OWS has really influenced the people in my area. At the event people were doing hand signs as they do in the GA here locally. Though I found it annoying, people would respond when "mic check" was yelled. I really felt a more sense of unity among the different groups at this event also (not too much unity, it was still a leftist event). There was open talk of breaking laws and of revolutionary actions and even a class where we discussed what we would want out of a revolutionary nation. These were from some of the same people who attacked me in the past as a ultra leftist etc. Even the numbers of this event was larger than any normal crowd in my local area for any left event.

I think this new radicalization of the left in my area is very exciting. I hope even if the OWS goes away that the new feeling will stay. That more people will become radicalized and realize that reformist pacifism is not a plausible way to change anything. That when the government is faced with change it doesn't want or like that it will attack the people, rather they are peaceful or not.

I fear that the OWS in some places will tire out and be co-opted into the parliamentary road of trying to change things. This historically has been the death of many and most radical movements (and people) who walk this path. It tends to make groups and individuals content with the political and economic status quot because they are apart of it and can brush off revolutionary's with a simple 'we are doing what we can'. Working for small gains within the government also tends to relax the anger to the extent you lose some of or all the anger of the masses. Health care that was passed here in the states is a great example. We had independents and democrats pissed at the democratic party because we were not getting any real health care that would help the poor people, not to mention the democratic party hardly lifted a finger to try and pass a real health care bill. but since their members got a compromise and passed "something, anything" it quelled the anger and the people returned to the democrats. This will probably be the similar outcome if the OWS is absorbed into the parliamentary road.

Written by: Dustin Slagle