Franz J.T. Lee, July, 2007
Venezuela: To know what is socialism is to know what is capitalism
Venezuela is currently the most politicized country in the world ... just about everybody talks and debates politics. However, in one thing all the workers agree, they do not know what precisely socialism is.
So many simple people have contacted us; they would like to to know what really is socialism; well, let us introduce the debate: the Mission Socialism.
The starting point is the following; if one knows what is the quintessence of capitalism, is aware of its five bull-dozers, then the answer itself is a revelation, it is so very simple, so down to earth; it could scare the hell out of many infiltrated faked "Bolivarians," capitalist wolves in socialist red clothing. Also in Venezuela, over the decades not only what is socialism but also what is capitalism have disappeared from the official educational agendas and curricula.
Thus, in Venezuela, like anywhere else, in the current epoch of globalization, of world imperialist military aggression and of corporate genocidal vandalism, more than ever before in order to understand what is socialism, ... that is, logically, scientifically and philosophically, ... the conditio sine qua non is simply to know with incisive precision exactly what is capitalism.
It is imperative to know what is this system in which so many millions live, toil and die like flies.
For a worker, it could be so easy to sense, experience and understand what is capitalist reality; however, as a result of centuries of a psychological bombardment of formal logics, of merciless mind and thought control, of big lies, ideological indoctrination and religious manipulation very few of us are still able, can dialectically really negate this apocalyptic world order consequently and categorically.
What could any worker in any factory or industry in Venezuela observe or experience daily?
First, to survive he needs money, an exchange value, a commodity to sell; without money he and his family would eventually perish in utter misery and dire poverty. Long ago, at least his ancestors still had lands, some cattle or pigs, even forests and rivers, communal means of social production. Now he has nothing, only his skinny bones, meager face and ailing muscles, that is, his physical labor force.
In the "Third World," in Venezuela, this is his product, his merchandise, his bodily energy which is landing on the labor market to be bought, to be exchanged for money and later for basic life necessities. As such he is being exploited economically, he earns a pittance, a minimum salary. This just about reproduces his labor power for tomorrow, it enables him to keep the bodies and souls of his pauperized family together. We should not forget that this is the electoral basis, the heart-beat of the Bolivarian revolution.
The worker notices that his boss is getting richer and richer every day and that he himself is getting poorer by the minute. Also he realizes that the fact of being a boss, of having factories, which employ thousands of workers and of paying meager salaries to his wage-slaves, are the concrete generators of the skyrocketing accumulation of perverse wealth, social privileges and political power of his master. The worker makes his calculations and discover that he is being robbed, that industrial labor is robbery, that the bosses are vampires that live on blood-sucking of their exploited workers.
If the Bolivarian Revolution does not touch these profound depths of human injustice, democracy will become an empty word.
Hence, more and more the workers do not feel at home anywhere, neither in their cerros or favelas nor at their work places.
In "Capital," the "Grundrisse" and in the "Philosophic and Economic Manuscripts," Karl Marx has explained this exploitative process in economic detail, in the very scientific tradition of Aristotle, Adam Smith, David Ricardo and Thomas Malthus.
A "Mission Political Economy" would be very helpful to understand what socialism means in the epoch of globalization.
In a nutshell, this is the "patrix" of capitalism in Venezuela, in fact, anywhere else. This is economic exploitation of man by man, of man and nature. This is the epicenter of the alternative: Socialism or Barbarism. Its bloody trail we can follow from pre-colonial societies that used slave labor to construct pyramids and "great walls," to the minting of coins in Lydia, to the Oracle of Delphi which served as as ancient bank, to the discoveries and conquest of Carlomagno, of Vasco da Gama and Christopher Columbus, to Christianization, to militarization, to genocide of the indigenous peoples, to the bloody construction of the world market, to the Bermuda Triangle of unequal exchange, in brief, to global economic exploitation of the workers of the world.
This is the first thing that any modern revolutionary or socialist must know, must tell the workers and what must be negated unconditionally.
For centuries this was the quintessence of emancipatory education in the world, in Venezuela. The worker, the sovereign, must know that s/he is being exploited economically in capitalism. For too long the capitalist bosses of the world and their loyal Quislings were telling productive lies to billions of workers about the seven world wonders of capitalism, of heaven to come here and in the hereafter.
In reality they meant the coming of a possible atomic "hereafter"
The fact of the matter is that capitalism has failed, and is already bombing humanity towards the brink of the Moloch of self-annihilation, of total extinction.
Second, capitalism as a mode of production dominates, domesticates and destroys nature, women, workers, children and slaves. Across the ages the diverse ruling classes were developed all the necessary mechanisms to dominate the world politically.
In his famous classic "The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State," Friedrich Engels long ago has already explained the essential dominating political characteristics of the bourgeois, democratic, capitalist State. In his book "State and Revolution," Lenin described the role of the State in the epoch of imperialism. In his book "1984" George Orwell predicted the coming authoritarian, totalitarian, global fascist State, that is, the world military dictatorial hegemony of the USA already in total political control and domination of the United Nations.
In the "Caracazo," in the violation of political freedom and expression, in the defense of private property of the means of survival, in double standards of justice, in allowing the big fish to jump overboard while the small fish perish in the cesspools of stinking dungeons, a politicized working class can easily identify the political domination by the capitalist State. The State produces the necessary social conditions for economic exploitation of the natural and social resources, it fabricates the appropriate "peaceful climate" for investments and super-profits, it guards and defends the interests of the national and international ruling classes. Individual national states may weaken, may even vanish, but there is no capitalist mode of productive destruction and of destructive production, no class society without political domination, without a State power.
In most previous social revolutions the ancien regime, the decaying State apparatus, brutally still defended itself. In some cases, like in Russia, it even succeeded in restoring the capitalist status quo ante rem . All over the State has smashed popular rebellions and lower class uprisings. As we know, by means of a "reign of terror," aided by the guillotine, the new democratic, bourgeois, capitalist State was born. The best examples of capitalist political domination is all that which is currently happening in the Middle East under the Yankee-Israeli war boot.
Also here in Venezuela across the last decades we have experienced the political domination of capitalist, oligarchic master-slave relations.
Third, along with the accumulation of capital progressively came religious prejudice, "race apathy" and racism, including its fascist vocabulary: a "chosen people," camel drivers, pagans, natives, coolies, kaffirs, slit eyes, Aryans, a Herrenvolk, whites, white angels, Europeans, Christians, Westerners and Northern Civilized gods.
Out of master-slave labor relations logically social discrimination, that is, racism, developed. With the victory of the bourgeois capitalist revolution, the ideology of racism and its corresponding Apartheid and Zionist practices were born.
In fact, racism and capitalism form a Siamese twin, the one cannot exist without the other. Racism is the ideological reflection of the world market, of globalization. There is no capitalist mode of production without inherent racism, and vice versa. To eradicate racism, we have to annihilate capitalism and vice versa.
The regime of Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki did not annihilate capitalism in South Africa, more that ever racism is rife. In fact, the ordeal of the millions of poor Africans is worse today than even under fascist Apartheid. His the revolutionary masses in Venezuela are beginning to understand, they try to liberate themselves as "tin collectors," from their existence as "parasites" (Manuel Rosales). Hence racism, social discrimination, is a central element of capitalism in Venezuela and elsewhere.
Fourth, historically, the whole coming into being of capitalism, discoveries, Christianization and colonization, is one huge heinous military act, a brutal conquest, local, national and global terrorism, economic violence, political genocide, social holocaust, historical omnicide.
The birth, development and agony of capitalism have hundreds of millions of innocent victims. Also in Latin America, in Venezuela, capitalism has claimed millions of precious lives, all for the sake of establishing the world market, for profits, privileges and power.
In the capitalist mode of production, as Rosa Luxemburg already under-lined, militarism, war and genocide are big capitalist businesses and they are essentially anti-proletarian; currently the war industry and global wars generate big business for the current multinational giant corporations and they are central in the gigantic battle for future global hegemony. The workers of Venezuela sense the coming military intervention, and this is why more and more they become anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist and anti-reformist, they negate the current corporate world order.
Fifth, finally, all these motors of capitalism produce the destruction of human thought, reason and existence, the workers become totally alienated, they lose themselves. Obsolete religion, contagious ideology, big lies, ruling class education, socialization for barbarism, toxic privately owned means of communication, stereotypical customs and military behavior patterns are converting millions into lost Pavlov dogs, into Zombies pasted to mortal cellphones, and millions of drugs and pills destroy the very human fiber of the species. This process is alienation, the total destruction of the human species and therewith life on planet earth.
This is the most vicious and virulent crime of capitalism, not only in Venezuela but across the globe.
In pre-colonial times, among others, the ancient Arab and African materialists and the Chinese and Indian dialecticians have given us a method, a mode of thinking to identify with scientific precision what is what. They taught us what is dialectical identification and differentiation, that is, how to affirm and how to negate, how to be simple philosophic emancipators.
It is a matter of knowing what is capitalism.
Capitalism is economic exploitation, political domination, social discrimination, universal militarization and total human alienation.
Any world system that contains these essential elements is capitalism.
Now, when we say NO to capitalism, when we negate its aggression, oppression, repression, depression and suppression, we have no interest in reproducing them on another level. According to dialectics, saying NO is to confront something with its direct opposite, with that what it is not.
What is not capitalism?
It is its opposite, it is not socialism.
There we have the definition of socialism.
Socialism is not capitalism, it is not economic exploitation, political domination, social discrimination, universal militarization and total human alienation.
Hence, as yet, socialism as a mode of creation and creativity has never existed anywhere on earth. Like in Vietnam and Cuba, we still have heroic experiments but in many cases, with the aid of the United Nations capitalism has either placed an economic boycott on the country or has corrupted its leadership or it even has nipped the revolution in the bud.
There is only one real, true, human socialism: the negation of this capitalist mode of production and destruction, of the hell of corporate globalization. It will take some time for the Bolivarian revolutionaries to understand this concept of revolution, of modern socialism, nonetheless, capitalism itself will teach us what precisely is its opposite, its arch-enemy.
Socialism does not give to Bush, to the State, what belongs to State, and to God, what belongs to him. Socialism does not give anything to obscure fantasy, it is emancipatory Man himself. Already capitalism, by separating Church and State, drove God out of the State and replaced him with Reason.
Venezuela: To know what is socialism is to know what is capitalism.
This is the only sensible, stringent concept of socialism with which we could construct scientifically and philosophically the new, that which has never existed before, the emancipatory home of the new (wo)man.