already worldwide; our
Hobson's choice, as a meager possibility, is now either global
socialism or human extinction.
Venezuela, Will we cast our vote
for the French
Revolution or for the Paris Commune?
Franz J. T. Lee
eve of the parliamentary
elections in Venezuela which will take place next Sunday, September 26,
2010, it is pertinent to ask whether Bolivarian Socialism still
considers the class struggle as an anti-capitalist transhistoric
Do 'socialist' democratic elections
form part of the current violent class struggles on a global scale,
inter alia, in Iraq, Afghanistan, China, Greece, France, USA,
Palestine, Gaza, Cuba, Bolivia, Colombia or South Africa? Is the Great
Depression or the Mega-Recession part of global class struggles? These
are theoretical, philosophic questions which yearn for praxical answers.
However, especially for our Venezuelan
comrades, for the Socialist United Party of Venezuela (PSUV), we will
just illuminate dialectically just some aspects of the concepts 'class'
Generally it is not known that if
something loses its negation, its opposite, it also begins to perish.
If socialism as a possible mode of creative emancipation cannot be
materialized on a world scale, out of necessity capitalist reality will
also perish. After the 'communist' hoax failed, now desperately
imperialism is trying to create an artificial negation, a black sheep,
Bin Laden, terrorists, etc. Similarly, socialism as Negation of
capitalism has to transcend, otherwise it will also perish in
Orwellian, capitalist barbarism.
Not everything that is called
socialism necessarily is radical anti-capitalism. We do not have an
easy task of creating human emancipation!
Always the Venezuelan government,
especially President Hugo Chavez himself, points out that the
'socialist revolution' in Venezuela is 'peaceful' but, at the same
time, it is an 'armed' revolution. In other words, we in Venezuela have
our own particular ideas about peace or arms, also our own meanings of
'socialist revolution'; we make and think a socialism and a revolution
So far, so good.
Venezuela has the birth right, the
sovereignty, to liberate and emancipate herself as she pleases.
Elsewhere we should practice this free self-determination.
Emancipation starts at home, or in the fight, in the class struggle to
obtain a home, a true motherland, a real "Matria", a decent, humane,
However, when it comes to learning
from other social revolutions the matter is different. Among other
things, if we study the Paris Commune, the October Revolution, the
Chinese Revolution, the Vietnam Revolution, the Cuban Revolution and
the Revolution of Guinea Bissau, we discover that all of them could not
escape the profound, violent contradictions of modern history, of the
history of class struggles. For centuries, we did not invent violence,
we are born into, live in and will die in capitalist violence, of which
the State has the monopoly. In Venezuela, the 'Caracaso' is an example;
lately Faluja and Gaza were other examples of fascist State violence,
verification of the international class struggle.
In dialectics, in knowledge and truth,
it takes at least two to tango the violent class struggle, a terrorist,
atheist, opulent master and a docile, lean, genuflecting slave; in the
last analysis, dialectically their social relation form the inexorable
Now, let us activate our theoretical
neurons and look at the concept 'class struggle' in a more profound
What is the historic, philosophic
context of class struggle, seen as the dynamic, dialectical generator
of labor, capital, competition, concentration, accumulation and
globalization? More precisely for us, for Humania South, for Venezuela,
class struggle concerns economic exploitation, political domination,
social discrimination, military genocide and total dehumanized
Let us answer some of these
significant questions in a very simple manner. This does not mean that
we will resort to simplistic jargon. On the contrary, simplicity, as
class conscious action, is the social mother of emancipatory beauty.
What is struggle?
Scientifically, what do concepts like
'fight', 'conflict', 'strife', 'antagonism', 'revolution',
'contradiction' and 'war' denote? Over two and a half millennia ago,
the dialectical key to open this bellicose Pandora Box was already
presented to us by a famous hylozoistic, materialist philosopher of
Greek Antiquity, by Heraclitus of Ephesus.
In the closed, geocentrist, formal
logical slave-holding world order, determined and defended by the two
systemic, philosophic titans, Plato and Aristotle, "agon", strife,
motion and "sphairos" repose, rest ... governed the 'cradle of
civilization'. The two systemic, philosophic guardian angels
logically counterpoised 'A' and its derivation 'Non-A'. The whole world
of antiquity was dancing 'two step', only two possibilities were
accepted as being socially 'correct': good and no-good, truth and
no-truth, that is, these were the only two sides of 'absolute truth'.
The ruling class struggle was directed against contradiction, against
political resistance, against dialectics. Already during the age of
Thales of Miletus, of the founder of philosophy, rebelling slaves were
already burnt at the stake. The class struggle of the exploited slaves
was yearning for the Christian dissension, for Luciferean heavenly fire.
Till today, working class
contradictions, relations, that is, true thinking and real thought are
all suppressed or forbidden. Freedom of thought, of speech, are myths.
Surely, one can freely think what one feels like, however, one should
just not voice it, not say it aloud! For wage slaves, in the
superstructural, ideological class struggle, dubito, cogito, ergo sum,
I doubt, I think, therefore, I am, is not valid. And yet, the Marxist
philosopher of Hope, Ernst Bloch, affirming global class struggle
stated categorically: Denken heisst Überschreiten, Thinking is
In reality, in the ideological
superstructure of simple accumulation of capital, in the ancient Greek
poleis, city-states, for example, in Miletus and Lydia, philosophically
a universal mind and thought control, a Mental Holocaust, was already
launched against any physical or intellectual resistance coming from
the under-dog toiling classes. In no way this is different today, quod
erat demonstrandum, in Apartheid South Africa, Nazi Germany, Iraq,
Afghanistan and Gaza.
Parmenides of Elea postulated the hen
kai pan, the eternal one and only, the future coming Roman Catholic God
(A). This expresses the perverse, unilateral relation Ruling Society
versus Exploited Nature, the labor process, class struggle, history.
On the other hand, Heraclitus
postulated everlasting motion, his panta rhei, his 'everything flows'
Both philosophies together form
dialectics, a contradiction, a struggle, motion; they form two
antagonistic sides of the same thing, of (A). Internally, in (A) rages
a merciless class struggle, dialectics.
Concerning the current international
class struggle against world fascism, what does this mean?
Concretely, this means that the
following are two sides of the very same thing, of the same process:
revolution and counter-revolution, the French Revolution and the Paris
Commune, the February Revolution and the October Revolution in Russia.
One is pro-capitalist (A), the other is pro-socialist (Non-A).
Surely, according to President Chavez
of Venezuela, the Bolivarian Revolution is anti-capitalist, is directed
against North American imperialism. Obviously, global capitalism is
imperialism and imperialism is global capitalism. The modern social
father (the 'Patria') of capitalism is the agonizing French Revolution,
logically, the future natural mother (the 'Matria') of socialism is the
living Paris Commune.
The above we have to bear in mind when
we go to the polls next Sunday.
Next Sunday, will we cast our vote for
the French Revolution or for the Paris Commune?
For Orwellian Barbarism or Human
Socialism? Are we for the flowing river of life or are we already
peaceful, resting in peace?
Concerning the above, Heraclitus
himself confirmed: 'Change alone is unchanging'. In other words,
eternal Rest and everlasting Motion are identical things. The class
struggle is history, is the labor process, is exploitative production.
Creation, creativity and emancipation are made of other kinds of
galactic star dust. About this more in a next commentary.
Ruling ideas became the ideas
ruling classes; via 'ideas' the class struggle entered the philosophic
In his doctrine of ideas Plato
elevated the One of Parmenides to sublime heights, to the summum bonum,
the 'Highest Good', to total 'Rest', to 'Rest in Peace'. Later the
neo-Platonists and religious Stoics gave it a more simple theologian
magic touch. As part of the bourgeois heliocentrist enlightenment,
formal logical mind and thought control, obsolete feudal structures,
expressed as religion, credos, catechisms, beliefs and revelations,
were tumbled by Reason, by the objectivist, dialectical Absolute Idea
of G. W. F. Hegel, by the weltgeist, by advancing, struggling Capital.
On the other hand, like elsewhere in
Arabia, Africa or China, very early the pre-Socratic panpsychic
philosophers were trying to introduce dialectics, the science of
motion, into ancient European thought. The philosophic materialist
tradition of Heraclitus, as negation of Platonic idealism, went across
Arab-African philosophers to medieval Italy, and as part of the
Renaissance entered bourgeois mechanical materialism, into modern
capitalist production, globalization, patriarchal world wars and
genocidal human extinction.
Heraclitus gave us two more keys to
create openmindedness, to understand universal, historic class
Firstly, he explained the patriarchal,
bellicose essence of our world order: "War is the Father of All
Things". Therewith he elevated Struggle to a central dialectical
concept. Intrinsically, in everything alive, in motion, is strife, is a
dynamo (possibility). However because of systemic limits, because of
the closed universal cage, possibility (Negation) is limited to a class
reality (A). Motion, Change, can only come from within, by means of
'peaceful' ways. Anything (B or Z) that goes beyond Parmenides and
Heraclitus, beyond (A) and (Non-A), beyond rest and motion, simply is
denied any existence. It is forbidden to think or act anything that is
not (A) or (Non-A). Anything that goes beyond the third law of formal
logic (and of dialectics) is 'terrorism' or 'communism'. Capitalist
Education and Socialization are the age old butchers of dialectics, of
contradictions, of Life.
The corporate and imperialist ruling
classes, who as a small elite, monopolize private property, capital,
violence and power, as an international global and globalized ruling
class, are armed to their teeth, and in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine
and Gaza they annihilate brutally any struggle of the oppressed
outcasts, of the modern exploited 'speaking tools'. This
discriminates minorities, gypsies, Marxists or 'camel-drivers'.
Never in the process of capitalist
production, of modern history, was class struggle so continental and
international as at the beginning of this millennium. In fact, historic
reality reveals that class struggle in an island, in one country, in a
region, on a single continent, is not enough. Capital, capitalism is
global, is globalized, hence, its negation, class struggle, socialism,
has to be worldwide.
Barbarism is already worldwide; our
Hobson's choice, as a meager possibility, is now either global
socialism or human extinction.
Finally, what did Heraclitus advise us
to do in such an apocalyptic super-depression and mega-recession, in
the epoch of the global collapse of capitalism?
For what exactly Venezuela will be
voting the coming Sunday?
Heraclitus, across 25 centuries
advises that it should be 'voted' by the workers for the Truth, by
means of global Praxis and Theory, that is, by means of human
emancipation. Nothing really new can become obsolete, out of date,
neither Jose Marti nor Simon Bolivar, neither Marx nor Rosa Luxemburg.
Heraclitus has the last word:
'To think healthy is the greatest
Wisdom is to tell the Truth, to act
according to Nature, to listen to her.'
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