Franz J.T. Lee, July, 2005
Towards developing a new science and philosophy for the Bolivarian Revolution
In a recent two hour interview with President Fidel Castro in the Dossier program of Walter Martinez, in Venezolana de Television (VTV), it was a real, intellectual joy to experience how this "praxical" and theoretical student of political economy and Marxism, not even once used the already so worn-out, empty, confusing concept "ideology" to identify revolutionary, superstructural phenomena with reference to the Bolivarian Revolution.
With scientific precision, Fidel mentioned and explained revolutionary philosophy and emancipatory theory. It would be highly advisable that we also learn how to create and use our own revolutionary concepts in stringent terms.
In Venezuela, this forms part and parcel of:
a) the creation of revolutionary subjectivity,
b) of revolutionary subjective factors,
c) of strengthening the revolutionary subject within the Bolivarian Revolution, and
d) of developing our own revolutionary praxis and theory.
However, as revolutionaries and emancipators of the Third Millennium, our theoretical and methodological problems go much deeper, have profound historical and "praxical" implications. For example, currently, the natural sciences, physics or chemistry, biology, the "life" sciences, they all change their fundamental concepts nearly every decade; on the other hand, our Marxist political and economic basic terms like "use-value", "surplus-value", "exchange-value", forces of production, relations of production, class struggle, class consciousness, etc., in their social contents, have only changed very slightly; in spite of the fact that dramatic changes have taken place in the capitalist mode of production ever since Marx wrote Capital in the middle of the 19th century.
Because of the absence of proper words and concepts to express fundamental current revolutionary and emancipatory processes, we already had to invent some new words and terms, inter alia, terms like "transhistoric", "praxis", "transvolution", "trifference", etc.
Before we briefly comment on the trans-historic necessity of developing an urgent New Revolutionary Science and Emancipatory Philosophy for the Bolivarian Revolution ... that is, a kind of "Lógica y Cosmovisión Sur" for Latin America, that should reflect the concrete new projects, Telesur, Petrosur, ALBA, Petrocaribe, etc. ... let us at first generally explain the practical, ideological and religious stumbling-blocks, that hinder its immediate global materialization. In future commentaries we will further highlight fundamental aspects of such a momentous revolutionary, emancipatory endeavor.
Until now, within the socialization and educational processes, by means of language, words and logics, the ruling classes, the international mass media and their "information" campaigns, have created a social medium across and along which they can (and in fact do) control, steer and canalize thought processes and their contents. Furthermore, by means of intra-systemic, reformist "freedom of expression", by usage of certain words and concepts as for example the term "terrorism", by coining their meaning in a determined way, it is quite easy to control revolutionary ideas, thinking and thought, to eliminate contradictions, to discover "thought-crime" and to globalize Newspeak.
Ever since kindergarten, kids have been taught to learn things by memory, to pray, to rattle down the credo, the Holy Mass, the Holy Mary, the Rosary, all by rote; likewise to learn poetry by heart, to repeat passively and to the point what the teacher and the priest teaches, to be afraid to ask questions at the risk of revealing one's "stupidity", to parrot every five minutes "¡Gracias a Dios!", "Si Dios lo quiere" - thank God!, if God so wishes.
As Fidel Castro stated, we respect all beliefs, all religious creeds, but we also respect those who do not believe; thus and in a true, Christian sense, we want to know the truth, so that the truth could make us free. In this scientific, philosophic spirit, we continue with our comments.
It is well known by now, that in the colonial world, the systematic destruction of native, independent, creative action, thinking and thought, of autochthonous, natural, simple theory and indigenous, social philosophy, that is, the very cruel, brutal Mental Holocaust of millions, was part and parcel of the Conquest, of "civilizing and christianizing" the "uncivilized", of "the white man's burden". In reality and for reasons of the extension of capital accumulation across many continents and centuries to come, colonialization was about conquering our very minds and souls, about developing master-slave mechanisms and relations, so that we would internalize and eternalize our very economic exploitation in defense of the feudalist, oligarchic, dominating, divine, papal status quo, far into the global reality of corporate imperialism of the 21st century.
Thus and in an anachronistic way, to this very day, millions in Asia, Africa and America still defend their "personal religion" or "private God" ... Alas, even the latter have already long ago been mercilessly swept away by Reason, Enlightenment and "Western Civilization", and as far as they referred to non-European gods they have been arrogantly degraded by Europe to heathen superstition, pagan voodoo or savage animism.
Sad to say, de facto the colonial, European God of Conquest ... like Caesar and Napoleon ... long ago has crossed the width and breadth of the planetary Rubicon, the vast oceans and endless continents, and as globalized Reason ... that is, as Capital ... is currently celebrating its victorious, imperial, spiritual veni, vidi vici over Africa, Asia and Latin America.
At the same time, this Christian exported divinity has caused a huge, complex problems for today's Bolivarian Revolution, that needs to be overcome by a New Revolutionary Science and Emancipatory Philosophy, by the possible New Socialism of the 21st Century. The toppled clergy and nobility historically never really understood what happened to them, they could do nothing against the onslaught of dialectics and Reason.
All these physical and mental massacres, genocides and "mentocides", were launched by the militarized feudalist Church State, engaged in "A Thousand Years War", by the coming bourgeois, capitalist missionary societies, like Wilberforce's London Missionary Society, who re-educated the peasants, serfs and chattel slaves as future capitalist wage-slaves, who till this day has filled our brains with European, colonial ideology, with capitalist belief systems, egoistic customs, racist values, cannibalistic, religious rites and rituals, ruling class ethics and alienating, monotheistic, patriarchal, racist religions, that schooled us how to become docile "drawers of water" and pacifist "hewers of wood" for our new imperialist slave masters.
This alienating anti-intellectual process destroyed many brain capacities and functions or deactivated them at least; functions, that are very hard to later recover in the public schools and universities. In this way, the fallacy was engineered that we think in words, and that words think for us; in fact, many students believe that they should just learn to acquire hundreds of words by rote, accumulate as many sentences as possible, and, consequently, they will have a real chance of becoming walking, encyclopedic, intelligent think tanks. In the same way, daily we read the newspapers, searching for "information" related by words. However, if we do not think for ourselves, that is, if we do not read between the words and lines, we never will know what is happening to us, what is going on in the world, in Venezuela.
Over the last half-a-century, and even before, in Venezuela and the world, this is what has mostly been happening in our university social science classes, in schools, in social and cultural institutions, and in nearly all presidential speeches to our respective nations, especially those of Bush, with the exception of few revolutionary leaders like Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro.
In a previous writing, we explained that for the bourgeois, democratic, capitalist revolution to triumph in the superstructure, it had to replace geocentricism and formal logics with heliocentricism and dialectics, that reflected the transformation of slave-holding and agricultural modes of production into dominant, technologically superior industrial production; also the energetic, driving, productive forces were changed, and therewith all the natural and social, labor and capital relations. We also pointed out that globalized imperialist, corporate capitalism can only be annihilated and replaced by a superior mode of micro-, meso- and macro-cosmic creation and creativity, with a completely New Science, Philosophy and Emancipation.
In tendency and latency, this is probably the trans-historic context of what President Hugo Chavez has in mind, what he anticipates with a New Socialism for the 21st Century.
This emancipatory endeavor presupposes that we assess our current global panorama in precise, spatial paradigms and incisive, temporal parameters, taking into consideration what I once have formulated as the Polynesian Syndrome.
Allow me, in a very simplified manner, to explain something fundamental for emancipatory victory, that has to do with the complicated, combined processes of the various levels of Scientific Praxis and of the different degrees of Philosophic Theory, that is, of the complexity of revolutionary Human Activity and Thought on planet Earth, and with acquiring historic consciousness and philosophic knowledge of current global realities.
Over the last six years, the strange secrets of the above have caused severe headaches to the Bush administration, and produced a series of major setbacks to the interventionist plans of the fascist Washington clique; whatever they tried to topple the Bolivarian Government in Caracas, all ended in a total fiasco.
Nobody really has studied this Bolivarian phenomenon scientifically and philosophically, that is, concretely and consciously, in order to place it into the context of a new logic, a new world outlook, a new socialism.
Let us thus briefly summarize the "Polynesian Syndrome" to explain this matter.
Of course, what we explain here, must have happened all across the "Third World" during the epoch of "Discovery" and the "Conquest". Captain James Cook, the infamous British 18th Century explorer, whose name can be found all over Polynesia, related once in his diary, how his huge Caravelle was approximating one of the islands, and that the natives were playing and running around on the beach, attending to their daily activities.
Nobody of them noticed anything strange. Their life continued as usual, as the Caravelle came nearer. Nobody had a premonition of the immediate danger, of the beginning of the end of their world. The inhabitants looked towards the ocean, but they registered nothing strange on the horizon, in fact, nothing at all. An excellent proof that one perceives things, reality, not only with one's eyes or senses, that is, by physical action, but also with mental relations, with thought, with theory. Something that has no relation whatsoever to our brains, to our thoughts and intellect, something we have never seen, heard or been told or taught of, remains incomprehensible for us; we cannot capture it with our imagination, it simply does not exist for us.
However, as Captain Cook relates further, his ship anchored, and the crew prepared itself to go on shore, for the purpose of which they lowered their small boats into the water.
The very moment the small boats touched the surface of the ocean, pandemonium broke out on the beach of the natives. Fearfully running in all directions, they lost their heads, not knowing what to do. It was the similarity with their own canoes that had made it possible for them to notice Cook's boats rowing towards them. This was the relation that had to be established for this historic encounter and for mutual perceptibility.
However and what concerns us here, are precisely the things that were not and could not be recorded. Let us imagine, that at that time, some type of social communication between the British crew and the Polynesians could have been established. Captain Cook would have told the native Polynesians of the existence of other worlds, entire continents, civilizations, cultures and peoples that shared the same planet with the Polynesians. He would have also told them, that the British had already discovered and colonized parts of Asia, Africa and America, and more importantly, that the earth was round and moved; also, that the colonizers were practicing a religion called Christianity, in which its believers, symbolically, eat the flesh of their savior, Jesus Christ, and drink his holy blood.
Of course, all Polynesians would have declared these Europeans as cannibals and vampires, of being totally crazy, ripe for the loony bin. On the other hand, if the Poynesians would have explained to Captain Cook their logic and world outlook, their actions and beliefs, he, like all Europeans, would have declared them as wild animals, soulless pagans, barbarians and savages.
Now, what is the moral of this story, with reference to our New Science and Philosophy, to our Bolivarian Revolution?
Compared to the Polynesians, with reference to what is really happening currently on Earth, we are in a worse situation. If the Polynesians were hundreds of years away from the knowledge and understanding of the then current colonial, capitalist reality, we are even worse off today. Judged from what we "know" about old stale news, about deciphering the human genoma, manipulating climate patterns, ripping football fields into comets some several billion kilometers away from planet Earth, creating mini-suns in laboratories, spreading international lies about "September 11", about "Bin Laden and Al Qaeda", about Venezuela and each and every effort to counter this system, we have to come to the conclusion that billions of us modern-day Polynesians are light years away from the current realities and dangers that threat or very survival. NASA, the Pentagon, the Secret Services, have knowledge about things that we could not even imagine in our wildest nightmares, even if they appeared right in front of our eyes.
Finally, within the context of the current information wars, the disinformation campaigns, the obsolete educational systems, the blatant lies and barefaced hoaxes of the mass media, the already inhuman conditions of life on this planet, the accumulated, metropolitan weapons of mass destruction, the tragic limits of a formal logical, bi-cameral, binary mind, caged in a rigid universal system, chained by religious fangs and pangs, we should be aware that unless we do and think something really new really fast, our human consciousness, our revolutionary action, our emancipatory transcendence, our very human transvolution, that is, our very hell, heaven, purgatory, limbo and nirvana, are all in serious danger of global and universal conflagration. Even more so, if something should go wrong with the experimental creation of future suns in our French laboratories.
Unless the "wretched of the earth", in unison with their threatened allies all around the globe, immediately decide to act scientifically and think philosophically, to find an emancipatory exodus out of the epicenter of this perverse system, we will all perish in this Corporate Imperialist Moloch.