Hello comrades,

I am sure that so many of you are sick and tired of being hit over the head by apologists for the free-market with the claim that ‘communism has killed 100 million people’. I have compiled a list of the crimes of capitalism with their known and/or estimated death tolls and have shown that capitalism’s victims by far exceed communism’s(which were actually socialist nations, since communism has never existed), even if those figures were true.

My estimates:

  • Extermination of indigenous Americans 1492-1890: 100 million
  • Atlantic slave trade of Africans 1500-1870: 15 million
  • French attempted repression of Haiti slave revolt 1791-1803: 150,000
  • French conquest of Algeria 1830-47: 300,000
  • The Opium Wars in China 1839-42 & 1856-60: 50,000
  • Irish potato famine 1845-49: 1 million
  • British suppression of the Indian Mutiny 1857-58: 100,000
  • Massacre of the Paris Commune 1871: 20,000
  • Famine under British colonialism in India 1876-79 & 1897-1902: 29 million
  • Military and police repression of labor strikes in the United States 1877-1938: 700
  • Blacks lynched in the United States 1882-1964: 3,445
  • Belgian exploitation of the Congo 1885-1908: 10 million
  • United States conquest of the Philippines 1898-1913: 250,000
  • British concentration camps in South Africa 1899-1902: 28,000
  • French exploitation of Equatorial African rainforest 1900-40: 800,000
  • German extermination of the Herero and Namaqua 1904-07: 65,000
  • The First World War 1914-18: 10 million
  • White Army pogroms against Jews 1917-20: 100,000
  • Italian fascist conquests in Africa 1922-43: 600,000
  • Japanese imperialism in East Asia 1931-45: 10 million
  • Fascist terror in Spain 1936-39: 200,000
  • Nazi terror/concentration & extermination camps 1939-45: 25 million
  • Allied bombing of German and Japanese civilians 1942-45: 1 million(inc. over 200,000 Japanese in atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki)
  • Kuomintang massacre in Taiwan 1947: 30,000
  • French repression of anti-colonial revolt in Madagascar 1947: 80,000
  • Israeli colonization of Palestine 1948-present: 30,000
  • British repression of the Mau-Mau revolt 1952-60: 50,000
  • Algerian war of independence 1954-62: 1 million
  • Military juntas in Guatemala 1954-96: 200,000
  • Papa and Baby Doc Duvalier regime in Haiti 1957-86: 50,000
  • Vietnam War 1963-75: 3.4 million
  • Massacre of communists in Indonesia 1965-66: 1 million
  • Tlatelolco massacre in Mexico City 1968: 400
  • US bombing of Laos and Cambodia 1969-75: 700,000
  • Nicaragua civil war(s) 1972-90: 80,000
  • Pinochet dictatorship in Chile 1973-90: 3,197
  • Angola civil war 1974-92: 500,000
  • East Timor massacres 1975-98: 200,000
  • Mozambique civil war 1975-90: 1 million
  • Argentina “Dirty War” 1976-82: 30,000
  • El Salvador military dictatorship 1977-92: 70,000
  • Kwanju massacre 1980: 1,000
  • Bophal Union Carbide disaster 1984: 16,000
  • US invasion of Panama 1989: 3,000
  • UN embargo against Iraq 1991-2003: 1 million(inc. 500,000 children under the age of 12)
  • Destruction of Yugoslavia 1992-95: 200,000
  • Capitalist coup de tat in Russia 1993: 2,000
  • Rwandan genocide 1994: 800,000
  • Congolese civil war 1997-present: 6 million
  • Indian farmer suicides 1997-present: 199, 132
  • NATO occupation of Afghanistan 2001-present: 30,000
  • US invasion and occupation of Iraq 2003-present: 1.2 million

TOTAL: 221, 641, 874 victims of capitalism, and counting.

Please stop fetishizing “small businesses”

All members of the bourgeoisie profit from the exploitation of the working class. This is just as true of Walmart as it is for the “Mom and Pop” place down the street. Fetishizing the petit-bourgeoisie/”Middle Class” is a classic fascist tactic. 

See: The Mass Psychology of Fascism.

The fact that Bernie Sanders seems radical shows how desperate American politics have become 

Many years ago I pitched a magazine editor on a story about Bernie Sanders, then a congressman from Vermont, who’d agreed to something extraordinary – he agreed to let me, a reporter, stick next to him without restrictions over the course of a month in congress.

“People need to know how this place works. It’s absurd,” he’d said. (Bernie often uses the word absurd, his Brooklyn roots coming through in his pronunciation – ob-zert.)

Bernie wasn’t quite so famous at the time and the editor scratched his head. “Bernie Sanders,” he said. “That’s the one who cares, right?”

“Right, that’s the guy,” I said.

I got the go-ahead and the resulting story was a wild journey through the tortuous bureaucratic maze of our national legislature. I didn’t write this at the time, but I was struck every day by what a strange and interesting figure Sanders was.

Many of the battles he brought me along to witness, he lost. And no normal politician would be comfortable with the optics of bringing a Rolling Stonereporter to a Rules Committee hearing.

But Sanders genuinely, sincerely, does not care about optics. He is the rarest of Washington animals, a completely honest person. If he’s motivated by anything other than a desire to use his influence to protect people who can’t protect themselves, I’ve never seen it. Bernie Sanders is the kind of person who goes to bed at night thinking about how to increase the heating-oil aid program for the poor.

This is why his entrance into the 2016 presidential race is a great thing and not a mere footnote to the inevitable coronation of Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee. If the press is smart enough to grasp it, his entrance into the race makes for a profound storyline that could force all of us to ask some very uncomfortable questions.

Here’s the thing: Sanders is a politician whose power base is derived almost entirely from the people of the state of Vermont, where he is personally known to a surprisingly enormous percentage of voters.

His chief opponents in the race to the White House, meanwhile, derive their power primarily from corporate and financial interests. That doesn’t make them bad people or even bad candidates necessarily, but it’s a fact that the Beltway-media cognoscenti who decide these things make access to money the primary factor in determining whether or not a presidential aspirant is “viable” or “credible.” Here’s how the Wall Street Journal put it in their story about Sanders (emphasis mine):

It is unclear how much money Mr. Sanders expects to raise, or what he thinks he needs to run a credible race. Mr. Sanders raised about $7 million for his last re-election in Vermont, a small state. Sums needed to run nationally are far larger.

The Washington/national press has trained all of us to worry about these questions of financing on behalf of candidates even at such an early stage of a race as this.

In this manner we’re conditioned to believe that the candidate who has the early assent of a handful of executives on Wall Street and in Hollywood and Silicon Valley is the “serious” politician, while the one who is merely the favorite of large numbers of human beings is an irritating novelty act whose only possible goal could be to cut into the numbers of the real players.

Sanders offers an implicit challenge to the current system of national electoral politics. With rare exceptions, campaign season is a time when the backroom favorites of financial interests are marketed to the population. Weighed down by highly regressive policy intentions, these candidates need huge laboratories of focus groups and image consultants to guide them as they grope around for a few lines they can use to sell themselves to regular working people.

Sanders on the other hand has no constituency among the monied crowd. “Billionaires do not flock to my campaign,” he quipped. So what his race is about is the reverse of the usual process: he’ll be marketing the interests of regular people to the gatekeeping Washington press, in the hope that they will give his ideas a fair shot.

It’s a little-known fact, but we reporters could successfully sell Sanders or Elizabeth Warren or any other populist candidate as a serious contender for the White House if we wanted to. Hell, we told Americans it was okay to vote for George Bush, a man who moves his lips when he reads.

But the lapdog mentality is deeply ingrained and most Beltway scribes prefer to wait for a signal from above before they agree to take anyone not sitting atop a mountain of cash seriously.

Thus this whole question of “seriousness” – which will dominate coverage of the Sanders campaign – should really be read as a profound indictment of our political system, which is now so openly an oligarchy that any politician who doesn’t have the blessing of the bosses is marginalized before he or she steps into the ring.

I remember the first time I was sold on Bernie Sanders as a politician. He was in his congressional office and he was ranting about the fact that many of the manufacturing and financial companies who asked him and other members of congress for tax breaks and aid were also in the business of moving American jobs overseas to places like China.

Sanders spent years trying to drum up support for a simple measure that would force any company that came to Washington asking for handouts to promise they wouldn’t turn around and ship jobs to China or India.

That didn’t seem like a lot to ask, but his fellow members treated him like he was asking for a repeal of the free enterprise system. This issue drove Sanders crazy. Again showing his Brooklyn roots, Bernie gets genuinely mad about these things. While some pols are kept up at night worrying about the future profitability of gazillionaire banks, Sanders seethes over the many obvious wrongs that get smoothed over and covered up at his place of work.

That saltiness, I’m almost sure of it, is what drove him into this race. He just can’t sit by and watch the things that go on, go on. That’s not who he is.

But Bernie Sanders is not Bukharin or Trotsky. His concept of “Democratic Socialism” as I’ve come to understand it over the years is that an elected government should occasionally step in and offer an objection or two toward our progress to undisguised oligarchy. Or, as in the case of not giving tax breaks to companies who move factories overseas, our government should at least not finance the disappearance of the middle class.

Maybe that does qualify as radical and unserious politics in our day and age. If that’s the case, we should at least admit how much trouble we’re in.

Small rant

The more I try to discuss political sociology with people the more I realize no one knows anything about capitalism, communism, or basically any other forms of government. 

People tell me to go live in Russia like every time I criticize capitalism. 
They don’t understand government structures at all. AT ALL.

Please read at least the Communist Manifesto before you try to discuss political sociology with me. 

anonymous asked:

I feel like an idiot for asking but, what's a fascist? What do they believe in?

Fascism is a hard ideology to define because nearly every modern government or political movement has been called ‘fascist’ by somebody. I contend that fascism was a political movement unique to the early 20th century, especially in Europe, because its worldview was shaped by events and philosophical ideas from the late 19th century until the interwar period. 

So how did fascism originally develop? It grew out of a European intellectual movement which criticized the alienating effect that industrial society had on modern man, as well as late 19th century critiques of Liberalism and Positivism. They believed that industrial society robbed men of their individuality; however they wanted to assert it at the same time. These ideas were adopted by many young people, especially young, middle-class socialists, because they wanted to rebel against what they perceived as pointless and archaic bourgeois morality and conformity. This is why in the 1930s, fascism looked like it might actually take over Europe: it successfully harnessed people’s dissatisfaction with modern society and directed it into political channels. For more on this, I’d seek out Wilhelm Reich’s “The Mass Psychology of Fascism”, it’s a great read. 

Fascists were influenced by philosophers like Gustav Le Bon who wrote about the need for a strong leading figure to lead the masses against social ills. He believed that people were fundamentally irrational, and should embrace their irrationality. This was taken up by fascist ideologues who thought that their members’ irrationality should be harnessed by the leader and directed into political action, which was mostly comprised of beating up socialists, communists and trade unionists (or Jews in the case of Nazism). Fascism was a fundamentally violent ideology which praised war and conflict. Both Hitler and Mussolini believed that war was the highest expression of human ability and society, and sincerely thought that life was a continual conflict between people for limited resources (hence the title of Hitler’s autobiography, Mein Kampf). To fascists war was a good thing because it let nations or races decide who was the strongest and who deserved the planet’s resources. (See also: “Social Darwinism”, counterrevolutionary notions of Darwin’s theories, all of which have been absolutely abolished scientifically by Kropotkin, et al.)

Fascism’s insistence on embracing irrationality is one thing that makes it hard to comprehend; although Hitler and Mussolini wrote their respective handbooks about fascist beliefs, they ultimately rejected concrete doctrines and always acted in response to current events. This is why a lot of fascist rhetoric and actions seem to be contradictory. A lot of the same notions that gave rise to fascism were picked up by Austrian school economists- specifically, the rejection of scientific empiricism in favor of sweeping generalizations about “human nature”.

The First World War gave fascism its mass base. Veterans across Europe felt alienated in civilian society after the war, which could not understand their experiences on the frontline. A lot of them wanted to return to an idealized comradeship and hierarchy of the front line, which fascist organizations like the SA and the Blackshirts offered. A lot of them didn’t actually care about the nuances of fascist ideology, they just felt like they didn’t belong in civilian society and needed order and comrades. Instead of a real enemy opposing army, fascism offered them a frontline against post-war society which was especially attractive in revisionist countries like Germany and Italy, where many wanted to destroy the existing Liberal order which they blamed for their countries’ humiliations. Antisemitism was a huge force behind this. 

Unlike socialists and communists, fascists wanted to cure modern society’s alienation through the creation of a hierarchal state made up of different social classes working together for the benefit of the nation. This is called ‘corporatism’ and is fascism’s only real contribution to economic thought. The competing segments of industrial society would be united by the leader act entirely through the state, which incidentally would preserve existing capitalist hierarchies and strengthen them. Fascists were for a sort of inverted social-democracy which would give social services to its members but not to anyone else. If you were not a member of the nation or the Volksgemeinschaft - tough luck. This is why many people participated in Fascist and Nazi organizations like the DAP or Hitler Youth; if you did not actively participate in the national or racial community, you were not a part of it and would be socially ostracized (or worse) and denied state benefits. They didn’t necessarily believe in fascist ideology, and many opposed it, but the fascist state required them to participate in it.

The major difference between fascism and socialism is that the former was all about preserving hierarchy and bourgeois society, while getting rid of industrial alienation through the creation of a totalitarian society. Mussolini thought that by giving up your individuality to the totalitarian state, you could have your energies and efforts multiplied by its services. Paradoxically, by surrendering individuality, alienation would somehow disappear. In industrial societies, fascism was popular with the middle class because it offered a cultural and social revolution which would keep hierarchies and fortify them through corporatism. Unlike conservatism, fascism wanted a cultural revolution that would create a “New Fascist Man” who had no individuality separate from the state. This is why it was appealing to the petit bourgeoisie; it let them vent their frustrations about modern society and be little revolutionaries while simultaneously protecting their property and position in the social hierarchy.

The emphasis on maintaining private property and hierarchy was what made fascists hate socialists and communists. Fascism marketed itself as the “Third Way” between Liberalism, which was responsible for alienation and the post-war Wilsonian order, and Socialism, which threatened to take bourgeois property in an economic revolution. Conservatives and fascists usually got along because they both hated the same things, but most conservatives failed to understand the revolutionary aspect of fascism and believed they could be controlled to curtail workers’ rights and revise the Paris Treaties, which didn’t really work out. Hitler wrote extensively against Marxism, something that conservatives are all too eager to overlook when discussing national “socialism”.

In the long run, capitalism inevitably results in material hierarchies indistinguishable from fascism. The only cure, ultimately, for this disease, is the implementation of socialism by means of proletarian revolution. I’d also encourage you to look into Trotsky’s “Fascism: What it is and how to fight it”. It’s a great primer on radical antifa strategy.  

j-aimeja-mie asked:

Hi, I really like the blog!! both pretty affirming, yet provoking. I'm a bit curious and so I was just wondering your view on the nature of governance: Do you think that democracy has some fatal flaws such as allowing an accepted majority to disadvantage minorities in need, perhaps for agendas of 'convenience' or 'security' of privilege? and if so, are there solutions that could fix running of governments to aid egalitarianism?

If liberal democracy (theoretically) recognize as ruler the people, according to the anarchists “ruler” should be the individual who has no need to delegate to others the management of its own interests nor to be “represented”, because he has the full right to choice. In addition, the anarchist thought denies the right of any majority to impose its will on the minority. Therefore it denies intrinsic value to the laws of men.
“Any law must appear first before the tribunal of our conscience” said the French anarchist geographer Elisée Reclus protagonist of the Paris Commune. “There is only one power,” Godwin wrote, “to which I can pay convinced obedience: the decision of my intelligence, the command of my conscience.”
Anarchism rejects then, besides any form of monopoly of the means of production (and products), that of knowledge, the hierarchical division of labor (both manual and intellectual) and any dichotomy and antagonism between town and country, mind and body.

Today’s world is run by advertising and by lies, by multinationals, the financial and military power; it is a world far more difficult to understand than the past. Yet capitalism has total control and it’s all-pervasive in respect of human beings as never before, a world seemingly democratic and free, which promotes in every possible way through propaganda its role of defender of the “security” of “citizens”, but is instead now completely devoid of freedom.

As Marx had well understood the structure of society is purely economic, not political. The bourgeois ideology of late imperialist capitalism instead paints itself first as a democracy, then possibly as an economic system (capitalism as the only possible system). The very idea of exporting democracy is to create more satellite liberal states to be submitted.
As a matter of fact the state developed as concealment and defense of class relations in civil society: “As the state of antiquity was above all the state of the holders of slaves in order to subdue the slaves, thus the feudal state was the organ of the nobility for holding down the peasant, both serfs and bondsmen, and the modern representative state is the instrument for the exploitation of wage labor by capital”.

The State has not always existed, its constitution is related to the appearance of private property and class and its shape follows the evolution of the relations of production, but its substance (that is to establish an “order” for the legalization and the consolidation of the capital) does not change.
Therefore it will cease to exist only in communist society, when it will be eliminated the economic and social structure that underlies it.

We could say the core elements of modern democracies are:

- The principle of legality and constitutionality.
- The affirmation of the democratic principle of popular sovereignty, which guarantees the political participation of citizens through representative democracy;
- Pluralism, namely the recognition and promotion of autonomous communities and social groups, which pose an intermediate level between individuals and the state;
- The separation of powers: the legislative, executive and judicial powers in the hands of different bodies of the state;
- A mixed economy in which the public initiative joins the private; orderly setup of public economics under increasing private management (privatization); the development of large, detailed laws for the protection of labor and social security.

Socialists, and especially the anarchists however criticize all these points as it is purely formal and reactionary liberties.
First of all representative democracy is not direct democracy (the voters can express themselves only through a representative and cannot dispute the operation of choice), secondly state laws are made in favor, supporting instead of opposing the large industrial groups, which in fact, the state often relies on as a client. And yet it is clear that pluralism is gradually transformed into a bipolar system in which emerging political parties differ only by secondary policies, and are subsidized by the corporative and financial power that dictate their political agenda.

The first function of the state, is therefore not the protection of its citizens, but the protection of the economic system itself (as with propaganda, as with repression), thus both the legislative and executive and judicial functions do nothing but benefit the capital (as the capital justify their existence).
In other words the state legitimates class society right through the limitation of individual freedom (that are turned into formal freedoms, the so called “rights”).

But the rights granted by the state, such as health care or education, are also fundamental rights for the existence of capital (workers should enjoy health and should be able to carry out multiple tasks).
A characteristic example is security: the state does not undermine the root of the problems, but they always create new laws and complications thus as to suppress the weaker social classes to the benefit of the richest (the prisons are enlarged and privatized, the people are scared, the working class is divided and unable to defend). Security also becomes a means of propaganda and aggression (for example in foreign policy) that keeps in check the public thanks to the growing militarization, the permanent tension touted by the media, the endlessly increasing fear generated by terrorism (often supported by the western intelligence services).

There is only one possible road to follow to fix the problem of inequality and lack of freedom: the abolition of class differences to be achieved with the expropriation and redistribution of the means of production and capital (class struggle), and the abolition of the state. The result will be the establishment of a society based on decentralization in small voluntary groups and on direct democracy without delegation.

Capitalism fails families with children because, among other things, 1) adding a child to your family increases your income needs but markets don’t respond, and 2) people are at peak fertility when they are at their lowest earning potential in their career. This is why good countries provide such things as per-child cash benefits, child care benefits, universal health care for children, free schools, and paid leave.

Capitalism fails the elderly because the elderly can’t work and markets give nothing to those who can’t work. Some system of intergenerational transfers, whether facilitated by financial markets (for those who can afford it and are sophisticated enough for them) or by public transfer programs like national pensions (which have proven to be the most successful for lower-earners).

Capitalism fails the disabled (and sick) because the disabled can’t work or cannot work as much and markets give nothing or little to such people. Disability insurance transfers are the usual remedy. National health insurance also helps a great deal in this regard.

Capitalism fails students because they are studying for much of their waking time and cannot make much income. This is usually solved with a mix of tuition subsidies, living stipends, and public loans. Public loans don’t generally show up as “income” for poverty purposes and so the magnitude of the student poverty rate can often be overstated in countries that rely heavily on that kind of student support.

Finally, capitalism fails the unemployed because they can’t find jobs and therefore a market income. All people are vulnerable to layoffs and redundancies. That is what it means to have labor market flexibility and dynamism. To counteract the income drops this entails for those hit by it in a given year, you generally need unemployment insurance.

So, as I’ve been saying for some time now, capitalism generates predictable patterns of poverty related to its inherent structural defects. The US is not immune to this and faces the same patterns of poverty you see in basically any other capitalist country. The difference is how the US responds to it, or rather doesn’t respond to it. This is most evident for children where the US is the absolute worst among developed countries, and has the child poverty statistics to show for it. But it is also evident in matters of degree for every other category of vulnerable populations as well.

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