Franz J.T. Lee, February, 2006

In Global Fascism: Labor Alienation versus Human Emancipation

After having read and studied the excellent long essay by Arthur Shaw: "Key things for revolutionaries: Truthfulness and Ethics ... they are invincible,"  I came to the conclusion that we need more such analyzes ... that we should publish more such original, theoretical contributions that are directly linked to daily events, and to the urgent formulation of a praxical Bolivarian Theory of Revolution, that must be understandable for everybody, be easy to grasp, without watering it down at all.

For this reason, I present the following simple reflections about alienation, which is a basic concept to understand the difference between intra-systemic capitalist revolution (evolution) and extra-systemic socialist emancipation (exodus), and to fathom why religion and ideology are still playing havoc with our militant forces, with our revolutionary vanguard in Venezuela.

What is alienation ... what is it to be an alien ... to be a stranger on this planet, at work, at home?

Why this aggression between us and our natural habitat, why burning forests, why deforest Amazonia, why our perverse and unilateral non-relations, why our chronic alienation?

Why should the primordial goal of the Bolivarian Revolution be the annihilation of all pathological forms of human alienation in Venezuela and in the rest of the world, and to replace them with healthy, sane, creating, creative, human emancipation?

In other words, why should we declare total war against capitalism, imperialism and corporatism, that is, categorically be against global Nazism and Fascism?

Why should the historic process of dis-alienation, of emancipation, be the matrix of revolutionary praxis and theory, of creating science and creative philosophy?

At the very latest by now, after Afghanistan, Iraq and Fallujah, and soon Iran and Venezuela, if we do not tackle the roots of all global exploitation, domination and discrimination, of all colonial and imperialist world wars, then we will never ever eradicate the North American "plague" (Simon Bolivar(, will not be victorious against world fascism.

The radix, the root of all evil, of our misery is Alienation.

Consequently, we have to grasp ourselves at out very roots, have to become radical, have to eradicate capitalist wage slavery. We don't have centuries to do this, in fact, we have just a few decades to survive.

Either we have not yet found ourselves, have never ever found ourselves, or we have lost ourselves again. in all these cases, dis-alienation ... not revolution ... that is, emancipation is finding the human species again, is to ostracize labor, to exorcise work from our souls, is to liberate all our creative, creating, human faculties, that have been sterilized and emasculated by all kinds of slavery, imposed by all colors, genres and calibers of patriarchal god-men and men-gods.

However, they themselves studied European thought and ideology, hence, the moment we want to eradicate modern capitalism and imperialism, want to weed out their evils, logically and necessarily, we have to go to the historic roots of their negation, to the three roots of Marxism, among them, we will find the end of classical objectivist idealist German philosophy, that is, we will encounter the European philosophic titans, Hegel, Feuerbach and Marx, the originators of modern dialectics, of the theory of human alienation, of revolutionary praxis and theory.

Ignorance is bliss, is fatal for revolutionary endeavors, but it would really be folly for us not to become wise, not to know the truth. Nonetheless, although very complicated, allow us to take you on a simple transhistoric trip to illuminate the vicious, violent warpath that human evolution and revolution have taken across the ages, and how all this is now terminating in a mortal cul de sac, in contemporary, total, totalitarian, corporate, imperialist alienation, in a global mode of human destruction, that threatens to wipe out life itself from the very face of the earth.

In fact, North American fascism is already approximating the genocidal dimensions of Nazi Germany, and yet millions, even in the USA itself, don't see anything, don't hear anything, don't smell the moribund stench of death that already poisons the air of the whole planet already.

Soon six billion obsolete, physical laborers, unemployed "speaking tools" will follow get the fascist royal treatment, will follow the Via Crucis of the "mad cows" of Britain.

This is our wonderful democratic world reality! This is the North American Empire, is the world of Cisneros and Estanga, this is capitalism. This is what so many of us want in Venezuela, are defending with our very lives! This is wherewith we are still flirting, are increasing our oil exploitation in the Orinoco delta, our international reserves, are constructing our gas pipelines across the continent, all within capitalist private property relations, terms and laws.

In the end we will be wondering how they all passed into the hands of Uncle Sam.

And thereafter, in the end, all the fans of "good capitalism," of Miami, will end up as cannon fodder and guinea-pigs in the world wars of Bush, and in the military experimental stations and laboratories of the Pentagon.

WHAT ARE THE INHUMAN RESULTS OF ALIENATION?

Nobody seems to see the militarization in the USA, its future concentration camps and torture chambers around the planet, to register the United States military forces of global occupation stationed strategically everywhere ... even in space, ready for military attacks ... to notice the mortal weapons of mass destruction, the CIA and paramilitary plans to assassinate thousands of "terrorists," the military coups against truly democratic popular governments, the millions of innocent victims of North American "foreign policy," ever since the "Bill of Rights."

This lackadaisical state of mind, this physical numbness and spiritual dumbness, this ideological decay and religious lethargy, this total intellectual absence of reason, of thought and thinking, of praxis and theory ... this is capitalist work, slave labor, wage-slavery, ora et labora, this is Alienation.

Now, let us take a speedy ad hoc sojourn through the history of human alienation.

Let us give a brief philosophical introduction to the phenomenon alienation.

It is of great revolutionary significance that the "young" Marx and Engels, arrived at scientific praxis and philosophic theory, at writing the "Communist Manifesto," by studying the theories of alienation of Hegel and Feuerbach, by a critique of religious alienation and bourgeois ideology. This is the fons et origo of all contemporary capitalist social critique.

In the Rhine province of Western Germany, around 1842-43, as a result of the spreading industrial revolution, increasingly the poor peasants and other impoverished workers began to steal wood from the estates of the large landowners. The Government intervened violently against these people.

The young Dr. Karl Marx who had freshly received the Ph.D. from the University of Jena and who could not obtain a university post, tried journalism as a means of survival. His political writings in the "Deutsch-Franzosische Jahrbucher" and the "Rheinische Zeitung" eventually led to his expulsion from Germany and his exile in France. It was there that he liberated himself from all kinds of future ideological alienating labels, he voiced the famous negation: "I am not a Marxist!"

In 1844, Marx came into contact with the first socialist and workers organization in Paris. Under the influence of the Left Young Hegelians and Ludwig Feuerbach, Marx had begun his intellectual life as an ardent Hegelian 1840-43. From his studies of philosophy, especially of Hegelianism, in 1843, he undertook the study of political economy, especially of the Adam Smith -- Ricardo School. of "good liberal capitalism."

In 1844, Marx made the first attempt to synthesize his philosophical and economic ideas in the "Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts (1844)," also called the Parisian Manuscripts. In this work, and also those written in co-authorship with Engels, "The Holy Family (1845)" and "The German Ideology (1845-46)," the concept of alienation plays a central role. Marx took the concept "alienation" from Hegel and gave it a new meaning.

In Hegel’s philosophy two main categories are alienation ("Entaußerung") and estrangement ("Entfremdung") -- they are extreme expressions of "other-ness." At the center (or beginning) of Hegel’s philosophical system is the Absolute -- the whole of reality. This Absolute first exists as pure Idea, a mere logical Idea. The Idea, and Hegel does not explain how and why, breaks out of itself to a completely alienated condition-- to Nature. In Hegel’s words, the Idea or Spirit resolves to go forth as Nature.

In the "Parisian Manuscripts (1844)," Marx had already commented: "the Absolute Idea is nothing in itself, only Nature is something." Hegel considered Nature as a lifeless dispersed mode of existence in contradiction with the lively permanent motion and universality of the Absolute Idea. This contradiction -- and here begins Hegel’s dialectics -- drives the Idea forward, which begins to emancipate itself from its lifeless egg-shell and is born as Mind. Mind then dialectically passes through a series of stages, from crude sensation, across religion, to reach its highest self-realization in philosophy, thus, eventually the Idea has completed its cycle and ends as Absolute.

Rudimentary Alienation

Now, let us look at the origin of rudimentary alienation that was transformed into the labor process itself, as the process of production, as "history," as its superstructure, at first it became feudal religion and thereafter bourgeois ideology.

The primitive alienation observable in European pre- "civilized" societies, in so-called "barbarism" and "savagery," had very much to do with ignorance and fear. The low level of consciousness of all so-called primitive peoples across the globe did not enable the species, man, to immediately penetrate his environment deeply or to understand the forces or laws of Nature.

As a result of equal, unequal and combined historical development, the sector of earthly existence which original (wo)man experienced was very limited. Concerning this, (s)he had some knowledge; about the rest only ignorance. In Venezuela and Latin America, also elsewhere, this phenomenon can still be seen all over.

Various scientific studies revealed that outside this field of ancient knowledge, an immense area of enigmatic and unmastered phenomena was explained by a mass of rituals and conceptions commonly known as magic, voodoo or obeah, something which is still being practiced in many parts of Africa, Asia, South America and Oceania, but also in metropolitan North America and Europe, especially in the White House and the Vatican City. Surely, Bush and the Pope always walk and talk with God.

In this respect not much has changed across the millennia; all the current immaculate virgins of the Venezuelan valleys, the holy rosaries, the sacred crosses, the divine signs of the cross, all belong to the dark sector of human history.

About concrete reality, what do millions of Venezuelans and North Americans know about the real Pentagon Aliens, the Scramjets, nanobots, HAARP in Alaska, the NASA "Flying Saucers" over The Andes, even over Iran, and especially about what is going on ... for decades already ... in Area 51 in the Nevada Desert or in Los Alamos; why are strange things departing and landing in Los Alamos, also, why the big noise under the ground?

What many of us do know is automatically to rattle "dios mediante" or "God Bless America!" the whole day, and nervously to let our groceries fall, in the hasty attempt to make the sign of the cross every time when we pass a cathedral, a church, chapel or pagan place of worship. The colonial missionaries of conquest really did a fine job with our minds, they effectively destroyed our original, authentic, sacred, human relations towards nature and towards ourselves. They radically estranged, dehumanized us, as laboring slaves, they alienated us.

For centuries, having directed colonial and neocolonial mal-education, dis-socialization and de-naturalization, Big Brother really got everything under control. The big secret of his global success: Mind and Thought Control, Mkultra experiments on "Manchurian candidates" alias Imperialist Alienation!

Historically, exactly there where labor, that is, where human control of natural forces, of domination and domestication of Mother Nature, of technology terminated, magic, superstition and religion took over. Originally ... not by the grace of any Almighty God ... by trial-and-error, by accident, by observing repetitive processes, primitive working man ... applying rudimentary technology, the stone ax ... did become aware of some laws or forces of Nature, but at first not consciously, that is, not scientifically. not praxically.

Hence, lingering on till today, also in Latin America, ancient magic of both types, reactionary ignorance which led to mental enslavement, religious indoctrination and ideological manipulation, to a master-slave mentality, and revolutionary ignorance which led to a spirit of self-discovery, that eventually was deviated to satisfy only the demands of the upper ruling classes across the globe, for example, to build a pyramid, a huge family grave, or a Taj Mahal, a huge, private love-nest.

However, as witnessed by Spartacus ... who was probably the prototype of Jesus Christ ... by the many ancient slave revolts, also in the minds of the toiling masses of the ancient slave-holding "civilizations" of Babylonia, Egypt or Greece, social class life did eventually awaken spiritual desires and material needs, that the respective ruling classes immediately "nipped in the bud," and never ever had in mind to guarantee or to realize, never mind their age-old sweet talk about "democracy."

Class society, no matter how "democratic," is an expression of alienation, of exploitation and domination of lower classes.

Nonetheless, Hegel would say that in ancient slave society there was still a discrepancy between social needs and material resources.

To dominate Nature, to subjugate her, to control the "speaking tools," ruling class man, whose sector of knowledge was greater, began to assume supernatural powers, "good" ones and "evil" ones, "male" ones and "female" ones, which had to be counteracted, neutralized or won over. On the other hand, also the toiling slave, with his limited consciousness, also created his own sacred powers, or was forced to accept those of his master.

This process on a continental scale specifically took place during the European Conquest of the "Third World"; the conquerors imposed their own religion, made at home, Made in Europe, and began to write their ruling history, disseminate their ruling ideas and ideology, began to control the mind of the colonial slave at their whim and caprice ... here in Latin America, today we still adore and worship the specters of this past mental holocaust, today still we suffer the pathological ailments of this mental violation, the after-effects of this alienating. cultural strychnine.

In its seventh year already, in spite of all the educational projects and missions to deepen the revolution, the Bolivarian Revolution has still very much to do, to purify the revolutionary process, to free it from all kinds of alienating religious illusions, ideological lies, fantasies, chimeras and phantasmagorias, all very carefully implanted across five centuries in the minds, hearts and souls of millions of Venezuelans and Latin Americans!

Ludwig Feuerbach had explained this stage of human social development very accurately. What really happened was that ancient Man projected his inner self into outer self-created beings, giving them super-human and divine properties. Later these supernatural phantoms were converted into divine monsters that served ruling class interests, and that began to threaten the revolting slaves and serfs spiritually, who began to fear the second death in hell more than their earthly demise.

In fact, if men were oxen, surely their self-projected gods would have horns. This alienating objectivation of Man, this loss of his human essence, of his subjectivity, later, of his desire to make the revolution, of revolutionary theory, already the hylozoistic pre-Socratics underlined.

In Hegelian dialectical terms of the objectivation of the World Spirit, of Reason, of Capital, obviously, the transformed, reformed Roman Catholic colonial god that was exported to America or Africa had to have blue eyes, a pointed nose, thin lips and straight blond hair, and his angels all had to be as white as snow.

If Jesus Christ ever had lived in the Middle East, impossibly he could have had these physical traits, hence for centuries already we are believing in another ruling class hoax.

Thus in emerging capitalism, in the original accumulation process, the illusion was created that by creating an illusion about reality you could actually control reality.

Concerning the production of feudal and capitalist monotheistic religion, of modern ideology, lies and hoaxes, the above alienating process of creating illusions is fundamental. it sets a fake human faculty free: instead of thinking of, by and for oneself, one begins to "believe" in what the ·good" masters, the "good" capitalists preach, in what they say, write and order us to do, to work diligently , to labor efficiently.

In this way ruling class ideology and religion were destroying social class consciousness, revolutionary theory; in this manner, all sorts of rites, traditions, rituals, customs and repetitive practices ... like political election campaigns, "Day of the Race" celebrations, Semana Santa and Navidad festivals, carnival, the world cup, all progressively were destroying class struggle, were deviating workers' interests into consumer channels, were eliminating revolutionary, innovative praxis. Alienation was taking its toll, lonely crowds were appearing on the streets, human zombies and robots were filling the malls and supermarkets, brainless and spineless students left the aula magna, the alma mater.

The Mental Holocaust, launched by all colonial, neocolonial, capitalist, imperialist and fascist lords, overlords and warlords epitomized in the capitalist illusions and fantasies that are occupying, preoccupying and controlling the minds of billions of oppressed peoples everywhere. Human and social relations have been converted into money-, into thing-relations. At the zenith of corporate globalization, everywhere we have reached the pauperized nadir of human existence.

Precisely this phenomenon, described above, is currently being used in the "war of ideas" of Rumsfeld's "full spectrum dominance." The hoaxes about "9/11," about "Bin Laden," about "Al Qaeda," about the "terrorists," about "Chavez the Tyrant," all these bare-faced lies function perfectly well ... till this very day millions are still swallowing the "world cup" of all hoaxes, including the very "terrorist" hemlock that Bush had filled it with.

Who really loves this alienating poison is the very "opposition" in Venezuela, but out of revolutionary ignorance, many staunch Bolivarian Christians still believe in these Pentagon fairy tales, reflecting a problem of alienation, that still echoes from the Stone Age.

Summing up, to make a very long story of mental torture very short, as time passed, rudimentary alienation passed from magic onto a higher plane, into polytheistic religion, and eventually reached patriarchal monotheism.

Patriarchal Alienation -- The Godfather

Before we conclude this transhistoric trajectory of labor alienation, of alien labor, with economic alienation, let us just demonstrate how cunning religious manipulation and ideological indoctrination work in daily life. earning our daily bread.

According to George Novack, an excellent example of how children are being tutored in self-alienation today still is the hammering in of "Our Father" in mission schools.

The humble child, for example, of a poor South African proletarian, in need, and who has no resources to fulfill his desires, whose parents are HIV Positive, begins by addressing the heavenly edition of a patriarch, of a Verwoerd, a Bush or Batista in class society: "Our Father."

This earthly despot is elevated far above earthly mortals to divine dimensions above the Universe: "Who art in Heaven." Then the little Black boy or girl gives the White ruler the reverence due to superior authority: "Hallowed be Thy Name."

Then the helpless petitioner to the Crown, who has lost his social desires long ago, also his material needs, does not ask for his needs to be fulfilled, but for those of Mammon, of Capital: "Thy Kingdom come; Thy Will be done." And this must not happen later, in heaven only, but immediately, while the fascists Vorster or Botha is murdering little children, must occur here and now, in Sharpeville, Soweto or Fallujah, in ruling class hierarchy: "On earth as it is in Heaven."

Similarly, as his "primitive" African forefathers had demanded a good harvest from the God or Goddess of Rain, now their Black descendant, the "civilized savage" begs: "Give us this day our daily bread."

Meanwhile on the world market grain was being destroyed to keep prices high, also white fascist South Africa was making business, was supplying the "communists," the Comecon countries secretly with wheat exports. At the same time, the then Soviet Union was attacking Apartheid, and millions of African children had no bread to eat.

The ignorant "savage," dominated by high priests, used to beg to be purified of taboos violated, fearing the wrath of the God of Thunder, today still his voice echoes in the following: "And forgive us our trespasses." This is then supplemented by the moralizing influence, gained from the "Dark Ages," from times of the Spanish Inquisition: "As we forgive those of others." Of course, the current African "serf" and slave knows nothing about the Inquisition or exorcism.

All this is then crowned by the weakness, docility, humility, fear and submission of the poor African child and his "wretched" family, by glorifying and perpetuating corporate imperialism, Orwellian fascist power: "For Thine is the power and glory forever." So shall it be, Master, Lord, Sir, Boss, Bush, don’t fail us: "Amen."

All this rudimentary alienation can still be seen today in customs as sending flowers to funerals and putting wreaths on graves, or at the feet of the statues of Bolivar or Mao. This rite dates back to times when ignorant man believed in another human existence after death. The departed souls needed similar things as they had on earth. The Pharaonic pyramid graves demonstrate this at best. Ancient peoples buried enormous "wealth," food, tools and weapons with the beloved dead -- stingy consumerist man allowed that today these have dwindled to a few flowers.

"Civilized" Alienation

With the development of agriculture, craftsmanship and stockbreeding, higher forms of alienation were engendered. "Civilized" man began to control Nature increasingly, but he also began to lose control over the social process of production. After the social division of labor, goods became converted into commodities and were exchanged on the market. The laws of the market began to rule the producers and later men themselves became commodities that could be bought and sold. Thus, simple slavery was the first organized system of alienation, if our global emancipatory endeavors will be victorious, then historically, wage labor will be the last.

Economic Alienation

Now, let us look at economic, capitalist alienation as it functions daily in Venezuela, where many of us work for a boss, for a capitalist, for a salary, for wages.

The worker loses control over a large part of his waking hours, going to work (in Caracas usually up to 2 hours), 8 hours at work, going home (up to 2 hours), thus 12 hours, half-a-day of his daily life. The time which has been sold to the employer belongs to him, not to the worker. He dictates what the worker will or will not do during that time. He dictates what the worker will produce, how he will do it, and where he will do it. He is master over the worker’s activity.

In the "Parisian Manuscripts of 1844," the "young" Marx explained this problem as follows:

"Labor is external to the worker, that is, it does not belong to his essential being. Therefore he does not affirm himself in his work but denies himself. He does not feel contented but dissatisfied. He does not develop freely his physical and spiritual energy but mortifies his body and ruins his mind. The worker therefore only feels himself to be himself outside his work, and in his work he feels outside himself. He is at home when he is not working and when he is working, he is not at home."

However, what is even worse, the raw materials which the worker uses, the tools, and even the products of his labor, do not belong to him. The only thing which he gets is the exchange value of his labor-power, which is not equivalent to the selling price of the commodities which he has produced. The wage, the money, which he receives, is specifically calculated only to reproduce his labor power to work tomorrow again. He can forget about saving to become a capitalist.

A European wage-worker can forget to become a capitalist today -- to be able to compete with "big" capitalists, he needs at least a billion US dollars, otherwise, he won’t survive. To work for 50 years, and saving his total "wages" of US$ 50,000 a year, could not even do it.

Just calculate how many workers will have to starve for how many years to become modern corporate imperialists. Apart from this, only managers, like the ex-CEOs of PDVSA, the "Gente de Petroleo," generally earn the few existing mammoth salaries in the "Third World." A capitalist, as "revenue" lives like a god from the "interests" which he acquires by exploiting labor power; a worker, like practically all "Third World" countries, forever lives from the "interests" of his permanent debts.

The modern capitalist worker has become alienated to himself. Work, contrary to creation and creativity, never was a means of self-expression. Work is just a means to attain a goal. And that goal is making money. People just talk about how to make money. In Osaka, the main commercial and industrial city of Japan, you don’t address a person whom you meet with "How do you do?" anymore, but, "How is business?’’ "Are you making money?"

This is economic alienation at its total extreme.

How money has become the "magical" power of turning things into their opposites, Shakespeare already has explained to us: "Gold: yellow, glittering, precious gold can make black, white; foul, fair; wrong, right; base, noble; old, young; coward, valiant."

A man’s worth is no more his talents or praiseworthy abilities or actions, but his bank account or his private property of the means of production, guaranteed by all democratic constitutions.

In Germany a Rotschild was loved, where Marx was hated. Exclusively for pecuniary reasons, for corruption, the "opposition" in Venezuela simply loves Gustavo Cisneros, while hating President Hugo Chavez Frias. Love has become a commodity, a flourishing commercial business of human prostitution.

In North America, even Death is commercialized: Morticians seek to induce people to buy more expensive coffins, so that the beloved can rest peacefully on foam mattresses. Here not the corpse’s need is satisfied, but the deepest feelings of the living family members are exploited by ruthless capitalists.

Conclusion

In the epoch of globalization, while we here in Venezuela are still adoring the Virgin Mary, human alienation has already crossed the very Rubicon of religion in Europe.

As Marx already wrote: "The miracles of God become superfluous because of the miracles of industry." In metropolitan countries, technology, genetic engineering, nanotechnology and futurology have taken the place of God, theology and religion.

At the University of Frankfurt in Germany, some 90% of the students never go to church, or only at Christmastime to satisfy their parents. About 50% of them don’t care about marriage, especially not in church.

This is the general trend in Europe and North America and yet the "Third World" is being flooded by religious cults, Jesus-shouters, New Tribes, Scientologists, who know absolutely nothing about the historical facts surrounding the Jesus-Movement, the Messianic principle, the early Christians or the genesis of the "Holy Bible," especially of its censorship in the interest of ruling class ideology.

After studying Hegel, Marx first became aware of the alienation of man as a citizen in his relation with the State. This was the real starting point of Marx’s scientific socialist thought. The so-called "social contract" theory (Rousseau) maintained that in higher developed complex human society, the individual must forfeit a certain number of individual rights to the State as the representative of the collective interest of the community. However, as we have seen, the State, a product of the division of labor, based in private property of the means of production, always represented dominant/ruling class interests. These so-called individual rights were taken by force, by class violence, in fact, by pure robbery. This forced forfeiture of individual rights to the State ended up with total alienation of all workers. In the modern State, ruling class violence by social order manifests itself, for example, in its penal powers, tax powers, forceful conscription for military service, to go and fight for the "fatherland" in its genocidal wars in Afghanistan or Iraq.

As George Orwell has warned, the totalitarian World State, the Leviathan, the Crown of Human Alienation, is currently in the making. It represents globalization, corporate imperialism, and defends the trillion dollar interests of a few corporate families, that practically control the world market, that own the whole world.

Socialist World Revolution negates class rule, the domination of man by man, and fights economic exploitation, the alienation of labor.

However, world emancipation goes far beyond all these, it is directed against all forms of Alienation, including Alienation itself, that is, including Labor per se, the source of all human misery.

It fights for total human emancipation, for human creativity and creation.