Franz J.T. Lee, September, 2007
Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution currently in serious danger ... from within!
Four years after the death of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels explained to us how his comrade, "the great founder of modern socialism, has sketched the new world outlook with the clarity and expressive power of genius." (See: Friedrich Engels, Preface to 'The Condition of the Working Class in England' , 1887 Edition)
Let us look very briefly at the contents of the famous Communist Manifesto:
The first part of the 'Communist Manifesto' opens as follows: "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles."
Certainly, from our point of view, from the South, the above statement seems to be very very polemical indeed. We should not forget that already for Hegel Africa did not form part of world history, of world 'civilization'; furthermore, it was well-nigh impossible to launch class struggles in pre-colonial ancient epochs, in a world where primitive accumulation of capital did not yet exist and where slave and feudal societies could not be constructed as yet.
Our regions were even classified as "barbarian" or 'semi-barbarian' countries, but this was nothing new; the ancient Greeks also had called their 'uncivilized' northern 'British' and 'German' neighbors "barbarians."
In the Manifesto, Marx and Engels wrote:
"The bourgeoisie has subjected the country to the rule of the towns. It has created enormous cities, has greatly increased the urban population as compared with the rural, and has thus rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life. Just as it has made the country dependent on the towns, so it has made barbarian and semi-barbarian countries dependent on the civilized ones, nations of peasants on nations of bourgeois, the East on the West."
However, what is relevant here, especially for us in Venezuela and elsewhere, is the fact (already verified by history itself) that by 1848 nearly the whole world was already dancing around the French May pole, was singing the 'La Marseillaise,' was swinging the bourgeois tricolore and was marching down the global capitalist Champs Elysees towards coming European Nazism and fascism. Precisely this Marx and Engels were describing in the most powerful praxical and theoretical revolutionary document ever written. Later confirmed by Rosa Luxemburg, they warned that the revolutionary choice is communism or barbarism.
Marx and Engels explained that the bourgeoisie has created its own negation, its own non-bourgeoisie, the proletariat. This 'revolutionary' dialectical negation, the proletariat, is the only social class which has the 'historic' task to liberate mankind by annihilating the economic exploitation and political domination of man by man, by means of furthering the development of modern industrial technology. Of course, according to Marxism, like the bourgeoisie, the proletariat changes permanently.
Seen from a contemporary point of view, in a corporate world that has misused sophisticated technology and unilateral industrialization to develop apocalyptic arsenals of lethal, fatal and mortal weapons of mass destruction, the working peoples immediately will have to initiate powerful, alternative, incipient modes of self-defense, even invincible creative weapons of global emancipation. Measured by the rising internal and external ferocious attacks against Venezuela, this is even more valid for the Bolivarian revolution which has to radicalize itself urgently.
Currently the Bolivarian Revolution is in serious danger, from within!
In the second section of their historic document, Marx and Engels identified the 'communists' as the proletarian vanguard, as the most resolute, constant, advanced, revolutionary sector of the working classes. Later this communist vanguard will be described in more scientific detail by Lenin in his revolutionary theory of a new type of political party. Surely, this concerns the current construction of a revolutionary socialist party in Venezuela which logically has to place itself at the head of social transformation and revolution.
The third part mainly identifies the 'Communists,' the 'Communist Party,' but Marx and Engels also differentiated themselves from other existing utopian socialist and communist groups.
In the fourth section, they highlighted the theoretical position of communists in relation to other radical democratic groups or even to capitalist governments. Of course, provided that we know them, all these lessons are significant for the deepening of the Bolivarian revolution. According to Marx and Engels, without losing their proletarian identity, all communists have to adopt a non-sectarian political attitude, have to welcome and support all genuine democratic tendencies. In the construction of socialism in Venezuela, the above is imperative.
As a matter of interest, at that time, they saw Germany as the cradle of proletarian world revolution, because of its belated, impending bourgeois-democratic revolution. They were convinced that the German revolution could take a dialectical leap straight towards 'human emancipation' (Marx).
Finally, Marx and Engels declared, that they have nothing in common with any Illuminati, with any 'conspiracy sect.' Their clarion call was short and sweet: "Proletarians of All Countries, Unite!"
In faraway France, in the middle of the 19th century, in liberal, competitive capitalism, all this was reflecting the revolutionary workers' 'spirit' of the time. However, like today, this 'best of times' had its 'worst of times' (Charles Dickens); this age of light also generated an epoch of counter-revolution. of "democratic" obscurantism.
We really need revolutionary, juvenile, intellectual ferment in Venezuela. It is a creative epoch, a time of creation.
Our voices should go around the world, should tell the world in many tongues about our emancipatory naissance! We need the instruments, the technology, the websites and the radio programs to launch our democratic truth, our counter-attack against the diabolical Empire of Bush and Murdoch!
Unfortunately, we live in a world where money makes the world go round. Without this root of all evil, soon the whole revolution will be off air, will be without any air!
Surely, apart from Marx and Engels, Christian utopian socialists also took up arms against the capitalist Moloch. Victor Prosper Considerant (1808-1893), a Romantic Christian follower of the great utopian socialist thinker Charles Fourier, in counter-attack, published his own 'Manifesto of Democracy,' voicing his own slogan: "Our cause is the cause of God and of Humanity; our Banner that of Justice, of World Peace and of the Association of Peoples."
Nonetheless, what is significant for us is that Marx and Engels never denied their revolutionary indebtedness to the major bourgeois economic, philosophical, political and social achievements of their epoch. In his doctoral dissertation, Marx even gave ancient materialist philosophers like Democritus and Epicurus their scientific merit and credit within the new historical, materialist dialectical world outlook of human communism.
On March 5, 1852, Marx wrote to Joseph Wedemeyer:
"As far as I am concerned, I cannot claim the honor of having discovered the existence either of classes in modern society or the struggle between them. Bourgeois historians a long time before me have established the historical development of this class struggle, and bourgeois economists its economic anatomy."
As already expounded in the Communist Manifesto, Marx stated what he discovered:
(1) That the existence of classes is bound to definite historical phases of the development of production;
(2) That the class struggle necessarily leads to the dictatorship of the proletariat; and,
(3) That this dictatorship itself is only transitory, in the revolutionary process of abolishing all social classes, and of eventually establishing a classless, communist society.
Like in the case of President Chavez and of Venezuela, till today massively the ideologues of the metropolitan disinformation wars disseminate a galaxy of big lies about Marxism. All over we hear that Marx did not care about the individual, about human feelings and spirituality, that he was a cold-blooded 'communist monster' and has not developed any political psychology, not even a theory of human alienation.
Yes, comrades, it is folly to be wise!
Concerning Marx' conception of 'man' of the 'human being' and of the human species in totality, especially of the 'proletarian,' what is his concrete program?
We all should know that his point of departure is 'Beduerfnis,' want, human need. The interpretation of the whole 'human being' begins with human need.
Four years before writing the Communist Manifesto, in his 'Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844,' Marx stated:
"Man is first of all a natural being. As a natural being and a living natural being, he is endowed on the one hand with natural powers, vital powers ... these powers exist in him as aptitudes, instincts. On the other hand, as an objective, natural, physical, sensitive being, he is a suffering, dependent and limited being ... that is, the objects of his instincts exist outside him, independent of him, but are the objects of his need, indispensable and essential for the realization and confirmation of his substantial powers."
Hence, Marx suggested that within the socialist revolution we should develop our own 'vital powers,' that is, our creative powers; furthermore, we should especially develop our 'substantial powers,' that is, our emancipatory human powers.
Finally, now terminating this series of four introductory articles about the Communist Manifesto and its revolutionary socialist relevance for the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela and the world, allow me to quote extensively what I wrote on Labor Day 2003: "A specter is haunting the Fourth Reich ... the specter of Chavez!
All the oligarchic powers in Venezuela and abroad have entered into a fascist, neo-liberal alliance to exorcise this specter: Otto Reich and CAP, Aznar and Estanga, Ortega and Gaviria, 'Friends of Venezuela' and Enemies of 'Castro-Communism.' Where is the "party" in the 'opposition' that did not decry Chavez as a 'dictator,' as a 'tyrant'? Where is the anti-governmental 'stormtrooper of the apocalypse' that did not try to assassinate his character?
After the brutal massacre of dozens of Bolivarians, especially between April 11 and 13, 2002, after various serious attempts of political and economic coups, that normally no oppressive government ever would have survived, now Chavez is No.1 on the hit list of the mercenary 'Death Squads.'
With the most democratic constitution that the world ever has seen in the hand, for the majority of Venezuelans, for 85% of 24 million people, who have been languishing in critical misery and poverty over the last half-a-century, two things remain very clearly:
No puede ser! Uh, Ah, Chavez no se va! Their President must remain in power, if necessary, till 2021."