C.N. you really need to read the Communist Manifesto. It won't take more than an afternoon of your time as it's basically a big pamphlet rather than a book. Read that and you'll see that your hating on Marxism in particular and leftism in general is quite misplaced. True Marxism is 180 degrees away from being "slave dependence" and instead seeks to empower the average person.
" Look at what Mao did during "the great leap forward." Look at what the Bolsheviks did. Look at what Hitler did. "
First of all Hitler was at the extreme polar opposite end of the ideological spectrum from communism. One can't get much farther away from it than Hitlerite fascism. As for Mao and Lenin they honestly weren't true communists any more than the crusaders could be considered true Christians. The Soviet Union for example went off the rails very early, at the stage when Lenin basically abolished the elected workers' soviets (councils). From that point forward, even before the demonic Stalin gained power, the Soviet Union could not be considered as following the precepts of true communism. True communism is grass-roots democratic proletarian socialism and represents the greatest hope for everyone in this world who isn't wealthy.
"But Marxism endlessly questions the individuals ability to take care of oneself in order to perpetuate self doubt, low self-esteem, and addiction to rationed hand outs - so that the individual doesn't get any ideas about things like freedom and controlling their own land."
You're falling for the capitalist propaganda. Marxism by no means seeks to control the average worker's ability to own their own home or car or t.v. etc. Marxism seeks to abolish bourgeois property, not proletarian property, in other words abolishing the private ownership of the means of production and exchange. In other words owning your own car is fine but not owning your own car factory because in so doing you would be in the position of being able to economically oppress those working for you who actually make the cars. Marxism isn't about handouts. It's about giving everyone an equal opportunity for success in life by a fair distribution of wealth. It's hard to fathom how anyone with a conscience could be in opposition to that. Who with a heart can honestly disagree that the highest form of human societal development would be a society in which there are no rich and no poor because everyone would be guaranteed (what would today be considered a middle class standard of living) from birth? What an individual does with that opportunity, whether he or she makes it worthwhile or squanders it, is up to the individual but an objective observer could hardly disagree with the idea of everyone being born into the same economic starting point.
"I don't understand how people can complain about our government for 400 years and not come to the common sense conclusion that the government HATES US. "
The government hates you because it is run by and in the interests of the WEALTHY. If you're not wealthy it s________ all over you.
"As a man, I DON'T LIKE IT! I don't like being told that I won't be able to achieve anything. "
Individually. You won't be able to accomplish anything individually versus the billionaire elite of the Bilderberg Group, Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission and A.I.P.A.C. Sorry but though the truth sometimes hurts it is better to face it than to avoid it. Only through collective action, and I mean not simply collective African American action but of all races who are ground under the heel of capitalism, basically everyone who isn't rich, will we have a good chance at radically changing the social order. If you think otherwise you're more than welcome to wear a sandwich board and go by yourself to holler in front of the John Birch Society's headquarters or whatever but you're pissing in the wind. The deck is stacked against us. The elite own the media propaganda machine and they own the government that hates you. They own the plastic marionette candidates that successfully bamboozle the majority of the electorate into thinking they are accomplishing something by voting for one or the other when it doesn't matter in the slightest who they vote for or IF they vote because it's all a dog & pony show.
This is a class issue. For African Americans it is also tinged with a race issue given the history there and the continuing pervasive, endemic racism in America. But black misleaders and toadies of the status quo like Barack Obama are a glaring reminder that the root of all our problems regardless what race we are is that we are, at least so far, on the losing side of a massive class struggle. Realizing that is the first step toward emancipation. The pissant concessions by the ruling elite in the '60s were nothing more than a safety valve, blowing off a little steam rather than risking an enormous explosion that would upend their precious one-sided social order.
What you and many tens of millions of others need to realize is that capitalism cannot be reformed and must be smashed or else we will constantly be dealing with the symptoms of it, slapping band-aids on arterial bleeding until the end of time. Please realize that capitalism is not the pinnacle of human development but only an intermediate stage between horrid feudal absolutism and true democratic proletarian socialism.
Submitted by Brutal Truth on Tue, 09/21/2010 - 23:03
True communists are not dictators but in favor of a truer democracy than you've ever experienced with the flaccid, pale puppet show that is American bourgeois "democracy". You don't seem to understand that I'm not talking about a bureaucratic government ownership of the means of production but rather a system in which there is direct worker ownership of the means of production, i.e. businesses being owned jointly by all of its workers (except for those that are small enough to be worked entirely by its owner like hot dog stands or newsstands) which would itself be worker ownership because he or she would be doing all the work on their own.
If you think you can reform a system that is built around greed and screwing over everyone else in order to enrich a tiny clique and somehow transform it into something that really represents what's best for everyone who isn't rich then you're tilting at windmills. Capitalism is doing what it's designed to do and the whole American system including its constitution written by the elite slaveowning planter class in the interests of the elite would be laughable for its irony were it not for the immense human suffering it overlooks being obviously no laughing matter. It mouths nice and high-minded principles but they have never been lived up to and since the 9/11 false flag operation the mainstreaming of police state measures and descent into overt fascism have been plain for anyone to see.
What you don't seem to grasp is that myself and people like me don't advocate some kind of tyrannical police state with a nightmare of a bureaucracy but the opposite, a transparent, widely decentralized (council communist) government which can be recalled at a moment's notice if it strays from representing the interests of the proletariat. Debate should be encouraged, not curtailed. And the underlying laws governing society would be based upon advancing and bettering society as a whole and transitioning to a classless society; part of this includes being able to do what one wants to do as long as it's not violating anybody else's civil liberties, in other words an adult could choose to smoke herb or choose not to without fear of legal punishment but someone couldn't kidnap a person and force them to smoke it. Likewise someone could work where he or she pleases but the old ideas of (bourgeois) property relations would be discarded , meaning it would be impossible for a citizen to be in a position to economically oppress others in an employer-employee relationship. Instead it would be a beautiful paradox: Nobody in the bourgeois sense of the word would be a business owner but at the same time everyone would be a business owner by being a worker and part-owner of whatever business in which they work.
The betterment of the proletariat is what true communists work towards and that is why we always bring forward the property question. We want a world in which the worker owns his or her own home but not a world in which a person can personally own his own homebuilding business unless he can do all the work himself. Otherwise it would be owned by its workers and whatever would be its profit margin rolled back into payroll. Free health care, free education through college, a good opportunity from birth for everybody. These are the things that true communists want. To answer your question, if they differ from these things that I mentioned then they are not true communists.
Submitted by Brutal Truth on Wed, 09/22/2010 - 19:05
Russell Means is way too caught up in narrowminded cultural-nationalist thinking to be able to see the forest for the trees so to speak. The answer isn't to distrust everything that doesn't originate within one's own community. Again, that's just lending a helping hand to the ruling elite by ensuring that no one group gains a critical mass of people and that everyone remains divided into tiny ethnic enclaves. He fails to comprehend the big picture and seems too hooked on cultural exclusivity. What's the difference between a white bigot claiming that white-oriented culture is superior to all others and a Lakota Indian claiming that indigenous native culture is superior to all others?
The solution isn't to try to revert to some prehistoric Luddite wet dream of a social order where we all worship "mother Earth" and shun advances in technology and new ideas if they originate with someone who grew up speaking a different language or having a different culture. Likewise Means falls into the same philosophical trap that you seem to be falling into regarding condemning all Marxist thinking by the examples of societies like the Soviet Union that blatantly deviated sharply from genuine Marxist teachings. For example, in Means's railing against Soviet destruction of the environment he overlooks that they were doing so explicitly counter to Marxism. Consider that it states in chapter 2 of the Communist Manifesto that one of the goals of a truly socialist society is "the bringing into cultivation of wastelands and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan." Nowhere does it say to rape the environment. It would be like me criticizing Christianity for advocating the beheading of people that refuse to convert to Christianity when the crusaders were obviously acting completely 180 degrees against what Christ's teachings were. The actions of the crusaders no more condemn Christ's actual teachings than societies claiming to be acting in the name of Marx but pervert and ignore his precepts could be used to condemn Marxism. If I claim to be a radical environmentalist and in the name of the planet decide to go to an oil refinery and execute everyone then cause a giant explosion that destroys the surrounding town then does that mean that environmentalism is ipso facto evil because of what I did? Of course not. This point doesn't need to be belabored, it's self-evident if you think about it.
There are certain universal truths in life. One of them is that if someone who owns a business is allowed to then he or she will inevitably pay his or her workers no more than he thinks he can get away with paying them. Honestly, and this may sting a little but it needs to be said: An African American business owner with a shop in Harlem employing black workers is no more likely to treat them any better than a white business owner in Bel Air would treat his white workers. It is a class issue, a difference of haves and have nots. Moreover, regardless of ingrained prejudices that affect so many of our white brothers and sisters, a black businessman in the conditions of his economic existence has infinitely more in common with white businessmen than he does with his own black workers. The solution: the abolishing of bourgeois property in the interest of the betterment of everyone who isn't of the propertied class. This is the solution whether one is talking about the economically oppressed here or wherever capitalism is the dominant economic system. True human progress can only really be defined in terms of economic equality, of advancing to the stage where nobody is born into poverty and nobody is born into wealth. A society's development has to be measured against how close or how far away it is from that end goal. Maybe I'm ahead of my time, in fact I'm pretty sure I am but that's OK. The world will eventually grow the hell up and the vast majority of its people will eventually decide that what is in their own best interests is also in the best interests of their brothers and sisters of the oppressed proletariat much in the same way that nobody in the developed world sends their kids to work in a coal tipple anymore. It's progress and it can be delayed, it can even be reversed temporarily but it can never and will never be permanently derailed. Progress is inevitable. The bourgeoisie is on borrowed time.
Submitted by Brutal Truth on Mon, 09/20/2010 - 18:43
"As flawed as USA capitalism is, I still think it is the best system in the world."
It's not even the best system compared to other capitalist societies like those found in western Europe where at least the workers have a little bit of clout, the government isn't unabashedly union busters and the people are educated enough to realize that socialism isn't a dirty word but the opposite. Capitalism is a heartless and evil system that works great for the wealthiest 1% or 2% or sometimes even 5% of the population but hands a giant s___ sandwich to the remaining 95%+ percent and expects them to like it. Capitalism is very good at doing what it's designed to do: Make the rich richer with the consequence of making the poor poorer. It should not be applauded or apologized for but torn down and replaced with a system designed around what's best for the average non-wealthy person, not the average Rockefeller.