How to Change: Restraint, and Issues of Equality

In previous posts I have advocated for some rather radical societal changes: smashing capitalism, fighting off cultural hegemony, etc. But let me explain how the essence of a new, better society also needs some restraint.

First, I have advocated for a vanguard party to lead us at first, or a small group of revolutionaries who will rule in the interests of the working class, what’s called the “dictatorship of the proletariat,” as Lenin proposed. But we must learn from history that we must put some legal/constitutional regulations on this group of leaders. What can happen is, like what happened with Stalin in the old USSR, a single leader may wrestle from the people far too much power and enact a totalitarian government serving only their interests. We must hold their feet to the fire as the people.

Second, we must not make any change too fast for the people will rebel against the new society, as happened during the French Revolution. We must not have economic “Five Year Plans,” or “Great Leaps Forward,” or how Khmer Rouge emptied the cities of Cambodia and shipped all the citizens to the countryside to work in collective farms. That would be insane. We can’t make such mistakes as these as far leftists have done in the past. Revolutionaries have not always known how to run a country. We must read the people and act accordingly maybe even welcoming a period of Thermidor.

What will be enacted right away, though, in the interest of a new, better, revolutionary society is enacting far leftist social changes. We must remove all wage discrimination between women and men. We must remove all hindrances for LGBTQ citizens from gaining equal rights. We must address the issue of reparations for both the Native American and African American communities. These must be addressed immediately. Capitalist WASP’s want to divide us through these differences. If we can make these changes we will realize that the only thing that separates us is class. Than all will become apparent.

What is to Be Done?.2020

To smash capitalism.

That is the central goal of the far/radical left movement.

Why is this our goal? This should be everyone’s goal in that the very rich, the 1%, usurp the labor value produced by the rest of us. They are society’s parasites contributing nothing to our material world. They have the most, we have the least…and we want it back.

This is not simple or easy. Unfettered, free market neoliberalism is the only thing we know here in America, and its cultural hegemony finds a no more welcoming place. So what do I mean by cultural hegemony? I take it to mean that our dominant American culture,all of our social constructs, which seep down into every subculture, function like the air we breathe. We never question its presence, it’s just taken for granted. We do not contemplate it’s existence or attributes. We just don’t.

So similarly, we rarely find any other avenue of thought outside of the capitalist system. Capitalism is so ingrained into our social milieu all alternative ways of organizing society seems ridiculous. The capitalist class has succeeded in making capitalism the best way to organize our society…the only way.

Few are firmly in control of the many. And they are successfully winning a class war that the 99% doesn’t even know is taking place. So our goal as the radical left is to tell the people how the capitalist class is thriving off the labor of the workers. To show how they contribute nothing while we contribute everything. How we suffer as a people as they prosper by what is ours.

As far/radical leftists, we must offer up an alternative reality to the masses. We must show how the system is rigged and how they are scammed every time. We need to expose them to another way.

The people are so drowning within the soup of capitalism they do not see these truths so apparent to you and I. It just plainly does not exist for them. And if anything does exist, it does not have their best interest at heart. Capitalism cares for everyone, equally.

We must show them another way.

A Dialogue: Media Bias

What is the media: The main means of mass communication (broadcasting, publishing, and the Internet) regarded collectively.

What is the purpose of the media: To serve as the fifth estate holding our politicians’ and other elites’ feet to the fire in the interest of plebeian citizens by fact checking and reporting the truth when communicating stories and analysis.

What is the media used for: Our mainstream network and cable news outlets, along with countless websites, serve the interests of the 1% by shining the “truth” through a curved capitalist lens.

But how?: Through the overtones and undertones expressed in every word and image.

So the media “message” is politically bent?: Of course. It serves the interest of the rich and powerful who own mass media.

How does it do this? It all looks on the up-an-up to me: Consider Gramsci’s cultural hegemony concept, in it’s best description:

“the ‘spontaneous’ consent given by the great masses of the population to the general direction imposed on social life by the dominant fundamental group; this consent is ‘historically’ caused by the prestige (and consequent confidence) which the dominant group enjoys because of its position and function in the world of production.”

Can we escape this media influence?: Of course not. We politically and culturally swim in it’s soup.

How can we change this?: If we recognize that there is a opaque pane in front of the truth.

Well, how do we get everyone else to see the truth: Organize, Comrade. Organize…

Gramsci, Cultural Hegemony, and Why it’s So Vital for Our Liberation

Antonio Gramsci is one of the most influential Marxist thinkers of the twentieth-century (born Jan. 23, 1891, Ales, Sardinia, Italy—died April 27, 1937, Rome). Both an intellectual and a politician, he founded the Italian Communist Party. But after his party was outlawed by Benito Mussolini’s fascists, Gramsci was arrested and imprisoned (1926). At his trial the fascist prosecutor argued, “We must stop his brain from working for 20 years.” In prison, despite rigorous censorship, Gramsci carried out an extraordinary and wide-ranging historical and theoretical study of Italian society and possible strategies for change. Extracts of Gramsci’s prison writings were published for the first time in the mid-20th century; the complete Quaderni del carcere (Prison Notebooks) appeared in 1975.

Gramsci’s greatest contributionto the far-left theoretical tradition is his writings on hegemony, or, as laterdeemed, cultural hegemony. Though he did not label his concept under any onename at the time, his closest characterization of the idea was,

“…(T)he ‘spontaneous’consent given by the great masses of the population to the general directionimposed on social life by the dominant fundamental group; this consent is ‘historically’caused by the prestige (and consequent confidence) which the dominant group enjoysbecause of its position and function in the world of production.”

What that does all thatmean? With a further analysis of Gramsci’s work included, it means that thedominant group in society has been so instrumentally constructing a worldview intheir favor that it has become the ruling worldview, or culture, of our society.Those in charge have created a point-of-view that everyone perceives as the onlyway to see the world. And they have so accomplished this feat they have us believethat it is the natural order, not that it is just man-made. Therefore, we endup oppressing ourselves.

You could easily relate to a dominant hegemonic system like the “divine rights of kings” in which the people once believed that the aristocrats were in their position for God decided so. But that was the previous hegemonic culture. After the French Revolution and its spread of liberal ideals, the hegemonic culture became capitalism. That’s why Gramsci was so concerned with the concept: capitalism has engrained itself so deeply into our perception of reality, as created by the powerful, that the masses cannot think outside of it. People just believe that this is just how the world works and there are no options otherwise. Since the “divine right of kings” worldview is now replaced by a capitalist cultural hegemony, we perceive that period as incorrect. But it seemed just as valid during those times as capitalism does now.

The importance ofthe analysis of hegemony by Marxist theorists is that even though capitalism asinstilled into our every worldview, thereare alternatives, namely, radical leftism.  If we could just expose the people to adifferent, fairer, and the better ideology of socialism, communism, etc., wecan realize that another world is possible, and the hegemony of capitalism canbe discarded just as the divine rights of king was once discarded as false consciousness.

It will be very difficultfor the masses to ever think outside of the capitalist-created ideology withoutmuch hard work by activists and leaders. But let’s show the people thatcapitalism is not the world.