Some friends and I will be meeting at Shelby Park in Old Louisville at 1:30pm, Sunday, for a General Assembly of the new Louisville Socialists political group. Come for a great discussion of some new ideas for collective action. You can RSVP at Meetup.com and become a new member. Hope to see you there!
A writing by Mao Tse-Tung, the late Chairman of Chinese Communist Politburo. This piece is an excerpt is from Book V called “Revolt.” This chapter pertains to “The struggle to abolish injustice; the battle cries of the new army which is gathering for the deliverance of humanity.”
The revolt of the peasants in the countryside disturbed the sweet dreams of the gentry. When news about the countryside reached the cities, the gentry there immediately burst into an uproar. When I first arrived in Changsa, I met people from various circles and picked up a good deal of street gossip. From the middle strata upwards to the right-wingers of the Kuomintang, there was not a single person who did not summarize the whole thing in one phrase: “An awful mess!” Even quite revolutionary people, carried away by the opinion of the “awful mess” school which prevailed like a storm over the whole city, became downhearted at the very thought of the conditions in the countryside, and could not deny the word “mess.” Even very progressive people could only remark, “Indeed a mess, but inevitable in the course of the revolution.” In a word, nobody could categorically deny the word “mess.”
But the fact is, as stated above, that the broad peasant masses have risen to fulfill their historic mission, that the democratic forces in the rural areas have risen to overthrow the rural feudal power. The patriarchal-feudal class of local bullies, bad gentry and lawless landlords has formed the basis of autocratic government for thousands of years, the cornerstone of imperialism, warlordism and corrupt officialdom. To overthrow this feudal power is the real objective of the national revolution. What Dr. Sun Yat-Sen wanted to do in the forty years he devoted to the national revolution but failed to accomplish, the peasants have accomplished in a few months. This is a marvelous feat which has never been achieved in the last forty or even thousands of years. It is very good indeed. It is not a “mess” at all. It is anything but an “awful mess.”
Taken from the “Address to President Lincoln” drafted by Karl Marx from the International Workingmen’s Association. This piece of an essay is from Book V called “Revolt.” This chapter is summarized as to pertain to “The struggle to abolish injustice; the battle cries of the new army which is gathering for the deliverance of humanity.”
When an oligarchy of three hundred thousand slaveholders, for the first time in the annals of the world, dared to inscribe “Slavery” on the banner of armed revolt; when on the very spot where hardly a century ago the idea of one great democratic republic had first sprung up, whence the first declaration of the Rights of Man was issued, and the first impulse given to the European revolution of the eighteenth century, when on the very spot the counter-revolution cynically proclaimed property in man to be “the new corner-stone of the new edifice”- then the working classes of Europe understood at once that the slaveholders’ rebellion was to sound the tocsin for a general holy war of property against labor; and that for men of labor, with their hopes for the future, even the past conquests were at stake in that tremendous conflict on the other side of the Atlantic.
Featuring a good critique of the modern media landscape, he illuminates how the media serves to ‘fool and rule” the masses. He then follows by painting a picture of what the news could be at it’s full potential when existing in a socialist society.
A good article in The Guardian about the President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro’s, new powers to rule by decree without having to consult the national assembly. This new system was approved by the assembly in an effort to install a Cuba-like form of a socialist economy to combat corruption, retail mark-ups, and exploitation by foreign companies.
But critics claim that Maduro’s policies, which are the legacy of Hugo Chavez, will not stop the inflation problem, the corruption problem, and will hinder investments in the Latin American nation.
With the death of Venezuelan Pres. Hugo Chavez, I have asked myself why I have been so supportive of his administration over the years. Here’s a list why I compiled with an important criticism at the end:
First, I must admit, that like Mr. Chavez, I am quite critical of capitalism, especially when ran in third world countries where much of the land and other resources belong to outside owners. He socialized many industries and much land in an effort to bring more control of the Nation’s resources for the people.
Secondly, I love a leader from a small country who lives shaking his fist at a much larger nation which opposes it, much like the relationship between Venezuela and the United States or Cuba and the United States. I love an underdog.
Thirdly, and perhaps superficially, I liked his charismatic style which at times could be clown-like and at other times be inspirationally moving. I’ll never forget Comandante Chavez speaking at a leftist rally on an Argentine soccer pitch about 10 years ago. The crowd started to spontaneously “pogo” (jump straight up and down) like they were at a rock concert. Then soon enough, about 10 seconds after the crowd began jumping, Chavez began to do the same behind the podium in an effort to identify with the gathered peoples that went crazy. It was both entertaining to see a 50-some-odd year old man pogoing like a 20-something in the crowd, which quickly built a bridge with the attendants that the other speakers did not.
Fourthly, he consolidated power under himself as much as possible during his three terms as President. Now as an American democrat, I hate any limitations on democracy in my home country, but in Venezuela, things are different. Venezuela, before Chavez won his first election as President in 1999, was ruled by oligarchs and foreign industry that kept the masses extremely poor without much hope for bettering their condition. His opponents even conducted an (as The Guardian reports) Bush-administration supported failed coup in 2002 in an effort to regain power and go back to the pre-Chavez status-quo. So since the “Chavista” movement was so fragile in the face of its critics, he had to consolidate power. The same thing could be said about Cuba and North Korea for the first 20 years of their leaders’ reign as supreme leader. I know this sounds like outright heresy in face of the U.S. constitution but other countries are not America. They do not have the same equal rights that we have here. There are nefarious parties connected to outside powers who want to economically occupy that nation. Sometimes consolidating power is the only way for a leader/party is the only way to maintain control for the better.
Fifthly, the overall reason I admire Chavez so much was for his revolutionary vision even though the nuts and bolts never worked out during his time as leader. Most people in the mainstream media will make big of this fact as they should, but he tried his best as a great ideologue in an effort to help the masses in Venezuela who had been forgotten by the oligarchy for so very long.
And finally, a criticism I have of Mr. Chavez is since Venezuela was turned away by the United States during the Bush years and labeled as anti-American, Chavez made friends with other ostracized leaders. Now his friendship with both Qaddafi and Ahmadinejad to me, despite the Venezuelan hard times, is serious black marks on his record and should be recognized.
The Venezuelan media has a released a photograph of Chavez and his daughters showing proof of life. Though he deals with the sometimes despicable Ahmadinejad (holocaust denier, amongst other things), Chavez is a big hope for fairer government in Latin America. He is forced to deal with people like the president of Iran because the U.S. avoids dealing with El Commandante because of his leftist positions.