Franz J.T. Lee, July, 2007
The Bolivarian Revolution has no choice, it has to be victorious!
According to US intelligence, Bin Laden now hides in Pakistan. Hence, we could guess who will be the next on the sonorous list of the "axis of evil," that is, who will accompany Iran, Syria, North Korea and Venezuela.
Definitely, if this international Russian roulette continues, then surely one by one we will all suffer the same fate as Afghanistan and Iraq.
The world crisis is deepening, the competitors for world hegemony are getting more and more desperate. World capitalism and imperialism are showing their true reality, their fascist grimace, their self-destructive power. On the other hand, a vile attack against the real, true negation of capitalism, against socialism is globalizing itself. Social reformism and neo-liberalism compete in their campaigns of denigrating scientific and philosophic socialism, that is, of fighting living, flowing, over-flowing Marxism.
In Venezuela, in the ferocious global emancipatory anti-capitalist battle, is Marxism really obsolete?
Why are so many Bolivarians anti-Marxist?
Could we ignore all the Marxist proletarian praxical and theoretical weapons of emancipation?
Only a total ignorance about scientific and philosophic socialism could lead to such fallacious assertions, which need urgent corrections.
Ever since 1789, ever since the political victory of the capitalist mode of production, ever since the birth of Marxism, over 666 times Marxism has been declared a dead duck. In the profit-sucking pipe-dreams of all capitalists it was considered to be obsolete. Even in Latin America, Africa or Asia where it is most needed to explain capitalist reality, it is being denigrated as some diabolical relict of the 19th century by all calibers of pro-capitalist and anti-communist forces. How alive Marx is today, what a die-hard is the dialectical negation of capitalism, is confirmed by the very fact that across the planet businessmen, war criminals and even presidents daily have to declare him and his praxis and theory as being a dead dog, as useless debris.
To worry that Marxism could become obsolete is not necessary.
Marx and Engels as expert transhistoric dialecticians have already created the emancipatory antidote against political obsolescence. On the contrary, they never declared Plato, Jesus Christ, Thomas Muenzer, Jose Marti, the fathers of the church or the founding fathers of the United States of America irresponsibly as being socially dead.
* If as socialists Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Rosa Luxemburg, Ho Chi Minh or Kwame Nkrumah today are obsolete, then how obsolete must be their predecessors?
* How obsolete must be the accumulation of capital itself?
* Has age-old capitalist exploitation become obsolete?
* Do we not have class relations anymore, no master-slave relations in the epoch of globalization?
* Have antagonistic classes disappeared in Venezuela, have we surpassed the class struggle?
* Why are Jesus Christ and Simon Bolivar up to date, and why are Marx and Engels out of date?
Is it a time factor or a revolutionary issue?
Marx was very wise, he never denied his indebtedness to the major bourgeois economic, philosophical, political and social achievements of his epoch.
On March 5, 1852, he wrote to 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."
Thus, we should not commit the error to ascribe to Marx important historic realities which he did not discover. For example, he was not the originator of the phrase: "Religion is the opium of the people!"
The mastermind of this expression was Arthur Kingsley, a British bishop.
Marx himself stated what he essentially revealed and what definitely concern contemporary Venezuela:
(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.
For sure, the "Communist Manifesto" has been cursed and blessed, burnt and framed in gold, bedeviled and glorified, criticized and analyzed, ignored and studied, used as a fig leaf and been tyrannically applied, and yet, the most sound and stringent critique and criticism came from Marx and Engels themselves.
Later, they immediately drew the necessary scientific and political conclusions, for example, from the collapse of Chartism in England, from the June 1848 Massacre of Striking Workers in Paris, the cowardice of the German bourgeoisie, the dynamics of French and German reaction, and the brutal intervention of the Russian Czar in Hungary.
In 1895, long after Marx' death in 1883, and two years before his own, Engels summarized the up-and-down and the laurels of the famous "Communist Manifesto" as follows:
"All of us, as far as the conceptions of our conditions and the course of revolutionary movements were concerned, were under the spell of previous historical experience, particularly, that of France. It was, indeed, the latter which had dominated the whole of European history since 1789, and from which now once again the signal had gone forth for general revolutionary change. It was, therefore, natural and unavoidable that our conception of the nature and the course of the 'social' revolution proclaimed in Paris in February 1848, of the revolution of the proletariat, should be strongly colored by the memories of the prototypes of 1789 and 1830."
From this, and this is relevant for the present phase of the Bolivarian Revolution, he concluded that history " has not merely dispelled the erroneous notions we then held; it has also completely transformed the conditions under which the proletariat has to fight. The mode of struggle of 1848 is today obsolete in every respect." (See: Friedrich Engels' Introduction to Marx's The Class Struggles in France,1895 Edition.)
Hence, it is not Marxism that is obsolete, or that class struggle is gone with the wind, it is a matter of "without theory, there is no revolution" (Lenin) We have to rejuvenate our superstructure, we cannot liberate ourselves from Yankee imperialism with ideas out of the religious Pleistocene.
It was not necessary for genuine Marxists to wait that bourgeois "scholars" of the 20th and 21st centuries would declare the "Communist Manifesto" and its revolutionary endeavors "obsolete"; for them, even far better, Marx and Engels themselves already had performed this excellent job; hence, the modern outcry against out-dated "Marxism" is in itself, at best, downright plagiarism, at worst, totally obsolete.
(For further information, see: Dirk J. Struik, BIRTH OF THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO, International Publishers, New York, 1975. )
Now, let us see what a modern Marxist perspective of the current global inferno could tell us.
Within the current bellicose context, on July 20, 2007, it was reported that Russian bombers which can transport atomic bombs were sighted over the North Sea, and that they were followed immediately by British and Norwegian fighter jets. Of course, this was still happening in international air space, however, it also occurred amid a growing diplomatic tension between Britain and Russia.
In the meantime, Northrop Grumman is busy equipping the United States B-2 bombers with new 30,000-pound-class penetrator weapons. We could guess what their destiny would be. Israeli pilots are being trained to participate in long range attacks over Iran. Furthermore, the United States, Indian and Israeli "axis of peace" is making great strides forward; according to the "Times of India," India plans to orbit an Israeli spy satellite next month.
But this is not all. The preparation for a period of nuclear war goes on. Imperialism catches itself more and more in its own network of mortal contradiction; every new adaptation is a nail in its coffin, is a step nearer to Socialism or Barbarism.
Taking for granted that both the American and Russian missiles are permanently remaining in a launch-on-warning mode, a space war staff writer informed us that the current nuclear threat is worse than during the Cold War period:
"William J. Perry, who is a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and co-Director of the Preventive Defense Project at Stanford University, said in congressional testimony Wednesday that "the danger of nuclear war occurring by accident' still existed."
This will not be quite so "accidental." On July 20 RIA Novosti informed us that the White House is preparing to stage a new September 11 ... "to orchestrate a staged terrorist attack in the United States," in order to transform the country "into a dictatorship and launch a war with Iran within a year."
In this belligerent spirit, Avigdor Lieberman, Deputy Prime Minister of Israel confirmed that Israel got the OK to attack Iran, has received permission from the US and Europe to bomb suspected Iranian nuclear facilities.
We should not forget that Lech Walesa threatened that "Venezuela's Chavez will pay for what he is doing." For sure, Walesa is the "ultraconservative Catholic former-president of Poland Lech Walesa, who was visiting Peru to receive a doctorate honoris causa from the University of Lima (accompanied by the fiery Peruvian anti-Chavez Mario Vargas Llosa)."
Of course, how one pays for his political doings, trying democratically to alleviate the misery of the poor, the overthrown Iraqi dictator and CIA Quisling Saddam Hussein already got a taste of the modern Socratic hemlock.
Any conscientious student of Marxism, of modern political economy, of the socialist theories of imperialism, from Marx to Ernst Mandel, to Alan Woods, knows what the above phenomena mean within the context of global over-production, recession and depression, in the epoch of global fascism. It is not an issue of Christian belief or messianic salvation, it is the reality of a brutal capitalism in mortal crisis. The tendential developmental laws of capital described in Marx' Capital predicted the current global organic composition of capital, the monopolization, the centralization and the progressive pauperization on a world scale with scientific precision.
We repeat: modern Bolivarianism has to enrich itself dialectically within the revolutionary, proletarian experience of Marxism, and current Marxism has to learn from the contemporary emancipatory efforts of the Bolivarian Revolution. Stalinism betrayed Marxism, during Hitler's national socialism, Marx was ransacked, during the Cold War Marx was devoured by the global anti-communist Moloch, Apartheid and Zionism abhor Marxism, millions in the "Third World" were exterminated because they dared to try to emancipate themselves in the name of Karl Marx.
All this, just to fail to annihilate the cause of all our problems, that is, capitalism on a world scale.
Our political attitude towards Marxism with precision determines our real fight against capitalism and imperialism.
We have the right to name our revolutionary efforts whatever we like, but if we call our objective socialism, then all crossroads logically do not lead to Rome, to the Vatican, but straight to Marxism, to Human Emancipation. This has nothing to do with euro-centrism, with atheism, this is a historical globalized truth that we have to learn pretty fast. In this most critical hour of mankind, at all costs, Marxism cannot afford another caricature of socialism.
Also, the Bolivarian Revolution has no choice, it has to be victorious.
As always we salute the Bolivarian Revolution, the immense efforts and sacrifices of President Hugo Chavez Frias to learn from past mistakes, to study concrete world reality, in recent addresses to the nation, to remind us permanently about Marxist revolutionaries, especially about Lenin, Trotsky and Rosa Luxemburg. Marxism does not want to realize a consumer communism, not a just or egalitarian distribution of goods, it goes to the grain of the problem, it concerns productive communism, that is, economic and social property relations, master-slave relations. These have to be abolished today and tomorrow.
We have no reason whatsoever to fear Marxism, to declare it obsolete, we have the historic possibility and duty to realize world scientific and philosophic socialism, that is, Marxism, for the very first time in history on a global scale.
If we should fail, not even Jesus Christ would be able to save us from nuclear conflagration anymore.
This is the apocalyptic corporate doom which the above data spell, this is why we should really care our Bolivarian Revolution, we could lose it forever.