Franz J.T. Lee, November, 2009
President Chavez insists: The only road is towards Socialism!
All true revolutionaries in Venezuela insist that the only solution to the current imperialist threat is socialism. On November 15, 2009, on the occasion of the elections for the delegates of the congress of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) President Hugo Chavez Frias again confirmed this urgent endeavor.
At this decisive stage of the Bolivarian Revolution, the development of the 'young' Marx from the critique of religion to criticism of the State, of the bourgeois revolution, to the defense of human, proletarian emancipation, is very educative indeed.
In fact, Marx saved the concept emancipation and transformed it into a proletarian weapon against de facto degenerate forms of reformist 'revolution' and 'revolutionary' reformism. As a result of bourgeois 'emancipation' no slave, no worker, no woman were ever liberated from toil, domination and discrimination.
In the autumn of 1843, having just become a scientific and philosophic socialist himself, Karl Marx wrote a very significant article "On The Jewish Question" that was later published in February, 1844, in the "Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher."
In this writing, about the German Jewish question, we find the critique of Marx with regard to the ideas of Bruno Bauer, a member of the Hegelian Right. Marx criticized Christianity, Judaism and religion in general. What concerns us is Marx' scientific elaboration of the proletarian concept 'human emancipation,' which we introduced in a previous commentary. In the 1840s among radical revolutionaries one of the burning issues was the "Jewish Question," the political emancipation of the German Jews. In his polemics with Bruno Bauer, what concerns the Bolivarian Revolution are Marx's dialectical philosophic views about political, social and human emancipation.
At that time, for Marx there was a clear distinction between bourgeois revolution and human emancipation.
Of course, this work is full of juvenile fire-works, but it contains the healthy seeds of venturing far beyond bourgeois, democratic, capitalist revolution. In the epoch of global, corporate imperialism, of destructive, mortal globalization, together with Marx and Engels, we have to transcend international, fascist barbarism, and have to take the narrow serpentine road towards earthly human emancipation.
About the above mentioned historic document, what concerns us here ... that is, all revolutionaries, humanists and socialists of Venezuela and of the rest of the world ... is that we are describing Marx' emancipatory metamorphosis, as was illustrated in my doctoral dissertation, which was presented to the Johann Wolfgang von Goethe University in Frankfurt on the Main already four decades ago. In 1973 this thesis was published in German, titled "Suedafrika Vor Der Revolution?" and was immediately banned in my homeland; it came under the censorship guillotine of fascist Apartheid South Africa. 1)
Within the context of class struggles in South Africa, in the spirit of Frantz Fanon, we showed that the ideological antagonism "violence - peace," in reality only expresses two sides of the very same 'master -- slave' class relation: the true abolition of social violence is human emancipation.
Venezuela, our choice is simply: socialist defense and human emancipation against United States military megalomania.
Now, concerning the theory of socialist human emancipation, departing from the lessons of bourgeois, democratic, revolutionary theory and practice, from revolution, "Marx evolved his theory of revolution in the years 1840-1844, and it was intended to be a program for the bourgeois democratic revolution, then overdue in Germany. Germany's historical time lag as compared with her Western bourgeois neighbors (England, France) offered the German revolution a unique historical chance not only to make up for the 'political emancipation' that had been brought about by the Jacobine revolution in France, but even to surpass it in a 'human emancipation' which would go so far as to overcome the contradiction between citoyen and bourgeois." 2)
In the 1840s the big question was who, which social sector, would complete the French Revolution, would surpass it towards human emancipation. Like today still, already then the big incognito was the subject which has a class interest in socialist transformation. To resolve this problem, only to solve the Jewish question, of the 'people,' the Germans, the Europeans, of Judaism or even just of 'political emancipation,' all were (and are) not sufficient to annihilate exploitative capitalism.
Especially with the 'Manifesto of the Communist Party,' Marx clarified the issue pertaining to the revolutionary subject which would blaze the trail towards permanent world emancipation.
However, at first, against Bauer, what did he clarify in his essay concerning the 'emancipation of the Jews' who were exploited by German feudal society? This concerns not only Jews, but all exploited minorities, Afro-Americans, women, 'indigenas' or Palestinians. Let Marx speak for himself: "The German Jews desire emancipation. What kind of emancipation do they desire? Civic, political emancipation." 3)
Elegantly, Marx demonstrates the dialectics between a question and its answer and vice versa. By asking a precise theoretical question we already have the scientific 'praxical' solution. Ideological sophistry, reformist hair-splitting and theological jargon generally just wonder how many angels could dance a Vienna waltz upon the head of a pin. They do not question capitalism, and they do not give any new answer to any novel problems. Yes, social charity begins at home, in Venezuela, this is all the more valid for human emancipation from the coming Yankee military vandalism:
"How, then, does Bauer solve the Jewish question? What is the result? The formulation of a question is its solution. The critique of the Jewish question is the answer to the Jewish question. The summary, therefore, is as follows: We must emancipate ourselves before we can emancipate others."
In the name of human emancipation, Marx took up arms against privileged, egoist, private socialism, freedoms or emancipation. Also for us, in Venezuela, or anywhere in Humania South, against world imperialism the panacea is neither Arab, democratic or national socialism, nor is it individual, special or middle class emancipation:
"How are we to free you? You Jews are egoists if you demand a special emancipation for yourselves as Jews. As Germans, you ought to work for the political emancipation of Germany, and as human beings, for the emancipation of mankind, and you should feel the particular kind of your oppression and your shame not as an exception to the rule, but on the contrary as a confirmation of the rule."
Concerning the main errors of Bauer, it is not a matter of only criticizing the Christian State per se, we have to "investigate the relation of political emancipation to human emancipation and, therefore, puts forward conditions which can be explained only by uncritical confusion of political emancipation with general human emancipation."
Hence, in clarifying the question of the subject of such a transcending proletarian revolution, in my thesis I arrived at the conclusion that Marx not only crossed the line from radical bourgeois ideologist to theoretician of the socialist revolution but also from utopian to scientific socialism, which alone is susceptible of designing the bridge of global proletarian praxis that must of necessity link the criticism of the present with the concrete utopia of the future, and of actuating the 'alliance of thinking and suffering (wo)men that will liberate human society from the shackles of the bourgeois mode of production, and hence from the class system on a world scale.
It only remains to state: La lutta continua!
Dum spiro spero! As long as I breathe, I hope! (Leon Trotsky)
2) http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1844/jewish-question/index.htm http://www.franzlee.org.ve/sa04_chap3.html
3) ibid, et seq.