Left-Communists have nothing to 'show' for it, because we categorically reject the view that revolution is something any faction or sect can create of their own or take responsibility for. The revolution will not be a specifically "left-communist" revolution; the overwhelming majority of those participating - which is to say the overwhelming majority - will not be consciously Communist at all.
The Russian Revolution, for example, was well underway before Lenin ever boarded his sealed train, and if he had an influence on the course of events thereafter it was far eclipsed by the degree to which he was led along by them.
Indeed, the point is to change it. Mirror-imaging bourgeois liberalism (nationalism, but left-nationalism; imperialism, but in the name of anti-imperialism) draped in red flags changes nothing.Literally nothing. You are much like those philosophers of whom Marx said, „Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.“
And yet I myself am part of that working-class - I'm sitting in my trailer just now, looking at the workboots I wear to the factory every day.You are just standing aside and waiting for the water to carry the bodies of your enemies. But by doing that you exclude yourself from any contact with the global working class.
The overwhelming majority of workers do not want to (amd will not let themselves) be led around by the nose by sects of collegiate professional revolutionaries. We will make revolution in our own time, when circumstances require, and not before.
I deny that political activism can constitute class struggle at all.There are millions of dichotomies in capitalist development. By absolving yourself of class struggle, you want to just wait on the sidelines until capitalism destroys itself.
If we see a contradiction between the international character of Capital and localized production - we ought to always prefer international to local production. Decentralization, trust-busting etc. are petit-bourgeois policies which reinforce market competition. Only a thoroughly centralized monopoly capitalism is fit for international revolution.But you have to play an active role. And if you see a fault-line, which is for example the contradiction between the international character of capital and by now, alienation on an international scale, and localized production- it is very important to put more and more pressure on the system at every turn.
Ww have no long-term interest in better wages for Third World workers except to the extent they are necessary for the further intensification of capitalism in those nations.The fight of the Third World for better wages, collectively, intensifies the capitalist dead-end for the First World, and thus is very welcome. As are attempts to severe the trade links, because when capital hurts itself in such a manner due to fractional infighting, the contradictions are greatly amplified and preconditions for a revolutionary struggle may arise as a direct consequence.
Moreover, national protectionism demonstrably does not result in revolutionary conditions globally - the wave of protectionism following Smoot-Hawley in 1929, followed by the termination of the revolutionary wave (which had already been in rapid decline from 1924) demonstrates as much. Periods of intensified nationalism and protectionism are not advantageous for revolution - they erect too many barriers between laborers of different nationalities.
I don't want anyone to listen to me, because I don't see myself as part pf some vanguard. Neither do I think such will be necessary under revolutionary conditions, or at least not in its Leninist conception - the vanguard as I understand it consisting of nothing more than those workers with a broader practical understanding of capitalism than their immediate neighbors and not professional activists.We had our share of struggles, but who is going to listen to you of all people, when the time for revolution comes?
All this says is that protection and free trade are in fact two iterations of the same process, as I insisted on initially. The benefits accrued by protection (increased domestic production capacity and higher wages) are eventually spent on trade.I mean, even Engels said the following:
I disagree. In fact, as has been mentioned elsewhere in this thread, to a real extent there is more protection within certain segments of the economy today - the labor market, for example, with movement restrictions and hard borders - than there were when Marx and Engels were active. And certainly subsidization and dumping (what right-libertarians blithely call "crony capitalism") is far more commonplace today.By now there is no „protectionism“ in the sense of the XIX century either. It is often merely a question of whether global capitalist corporations can freely genocide people in poorer parts of the world or not, because free flow of goods and capital has been by now universally accepted as base norm, and achieved possibly to the fullest extent it could have ever been.
The same is true of the free-flow of Capital. Thanks in part to the War on Drugs, and also to populist measures implemented in the wake of the collapse of Bretton-Woods, there are far more restrictions on the flow of Capital today than in, say, the 1970s, before the closure of the gold window.
We are arguably further away from global integration today than in Marx's time - when a German revolutionary could travel to Belgium to attempt to buy arms for the working class, then move to Paris and thence on to London all without encountering a single border guard.
That isn't Engels' position.Of course, if you buy into the „reactionary people will be done away with by progressive capitalist people“ (Engels‘ crude thought)
And yet those revolutions failed - not in 1991 or 1989, or in 1956 with the Secret Speech, but virtually from their inception - Lenin recognized that the revolution in Russia was doomed with the failure of the revolution in Germany.I also have nothing but pity for you. Both Marx and Engels paid in dear disillusionment for their attitude towards poorer, not fully developed nations that barely had nascent capitalist industries. It is these nations who carried out most revolutions, whereas the developed nations in the XX century did jack shit other than war, plunder, and mass genocide.
Try to find the phrase "labor aristocracy" in Marx. You will not find it - it being the invention of later 'Marxians', just as "dialectical materialism" is the invention of Stalinists.All revolutions in the rich world failed for a reason Marx himself perceived already. “Free trade” served only to enrich some nations at the expense of other nations and thereby turn a whole nation into capitalist opressors, including a bourgeois working class.
The strata described by these people as "labor aristocrats" - union functionaries, highly skilled manual laborers and the like - typically prefer protection to free trade. This accounts for e.g. the phenomenon of the Teamsters endorsing Trump. If free trade were in their immediate interest they would support free trade candidates and policies.
Again, the "worker aristocracy" - defined as a subset of pseudo-petit-bourgeois workers in all capitalist societies, rather than the glistening generality extended to all First World workers it becomes in the mouths of Maoist Third-Worldists - have a strong preference for protectionism and for economic nationalism, not for free trade. On this very issue turned the fates of Pennsylvania and Michigan in the last American Presidential election.Marx made an observation that the free trade system of his time was destructive, dissolving the old groups and sharpening contradictions between proletariat and the capitalists. This was the sole reason to support it, basically Marx was the first accelerationist. Nowadays the following process has been in place: free trade has been used to placate the masses of the proletariat, turning them into “worker aristocracy” with cheap goods, and isolate the struggles of other proletarians by fragmenting them - destroying their local, national, family, and any other common identity. Not that Marx himself didn’t get into self-contradictions, like when he supported the right of weaker nations or former colonies to protect their nascent industries. He basically opposed protectionism by the strong, whilst allowing it for the weak.
Nor will it, by itself. But it will create the conditions necessary for sucu solidarity - not least by fully internationalizing Capital (which has by no means been achieved yet).This modern “free” trade policy (a monopoly at core, as Marx also had noticed before in the case of England) has immiserated huge swathes of the world, destroyed proletarian classes in many nascent industrial nations (Middle East, for example,is lost), but it has not led to global solidarity or a global worker’s class unity.
The Manifesto and many other works are not just hopelessly outdated in their anthropocentric, Eurocentric and Orientalist views, they are by now practically harmful, serving as left-wing enablers of colonialist conquest and capitalist genocide.[/quote]The idea that this type of “free” trade can lead to a world revolution when it hasn’t done so in 150 years and counting is... well, not exactly corroborated by evidence. Even if we go solely by the old communist thinking, which is outdated in many points that seemed important in the 1850s.
There certainly are parts of the Manifesto which are outdated. Marx and Engels made this point themselves in the introduction to the 1872 edition:
However, to argue that these documents empower "left-wing enablers of colonialist conquest and capitalist genocide" is laughable unless you refer to e.g. the People's Republic of China - a colonialist, genocidal, capitalist State with a Marxist veneer. And it isn't as if the Chinese bourgeoisie and Party apparatchiks take them seriously, either.However much that state of things may have altered during the last twenty-five years, the general
principles laid down in the Manifesto are, on the whole, as correct today as ever. Here and there,
some detail might be improved. The practical application of the principles will depend, as the
Manifesto itself states, everywhere and at all times, on the historical conditions for the time being
existing, and, for that reason, no special stress is laid on the revolutionary measures proposed at
the end of Section II. That passage would, in many respects, be very differently worded today. In
view of the gigantic strides of Modern Industry since 1848, and of the accompanying improved
and extended organization of the working class, in view of the practical experience gained, first in
the February Revolution, and then, still more, in the Paris Commune, where the proletariat for the
first time held political power for two whole months, this programme has in some details been
antiquated. One thing especially was proved by the Commune, viz., that “the working class
cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made state machinery, and wield it for its own purposes.” .
Leninism serves as a "left-wing enabler of of colonialist conquest and capitalist genocide" by enabling apoligism for the capitalist States of China, North Korea, the Soviet Union et al.
Marxists have no interest in the "self-determination of many people", but in the self-emancipation of the international proletariat. We neither have any interest in the replacement of a Belgian colonial empire in Africa in 1919 with a Chinese colonial empire in Africa in 2019, for we mean to see the end of the mode of production whoch creates the impetus for imperialism altogether.Leninsts saved Marxism from that pit of smug Western superiority and actually helped to destroy the colonial order, helping many people achieve self-determination in the face of advanced capitalist empires as enemies.
[Quore]But if we are still in the „just destroy all the inconvenient people on the capitalist development path“ mode, then we have truly learned nothing. Thanks Engels and his crude imperialistic, Western superiority shit he peddled with even greater zeal after Marx.
Third-Worldism has more in common with anarcho-primitivism than it does with any kind of rigorous Marxism.