anonymous asked:

Hey- I'm super uneducated on ableism and want to be more informed, so I apologize if anything I say is ableist because I ABSOLUTELY do not mean to come off that way. So, I was wondering if using language like "dumb" is acceptable when referring to an idea that seems unintelligent rather than a person? Like "This Obamacare replacement is just dumb" or whatever. Like if you legitimately think the idea is not a smart one. Again, sorry if I'm coming across as ableist. Thanks!

this is a tricky one because you’re working under the assumption that the obamacare replacement is unintelligent.

it’s not unintelligent. donald trump and the republicans know EXACTLY what they’re doing, which is denying poor people an essential right to free healthcare. it isn’t anything to do with them not being smart, it is to do with them not giving a shit about anything other than how much power and money they have.

don’t give the bad guys the benefit of the doubt of “not being smart”. at first glance donald trump doesn’t know jack shit about anything (and indeed, he does talk on topics he knows nothing about, but that’s arrogance not unintelligence) but take a look and realise that he was smart enough to trick almost 50% of the country into voting him. he’s not “stupid” - he’s an arrogant, selfish asshole who cares about nothing but money and power and subjugating anybody who disagrees with him. that’s why he’s shutting down research into global warming. because it doesn’t fit with his politics, not because he actually doesn’t believe in it.

calling donald trump and his policies stupid because we disagree with him is like calling lord voldemort and his beliefs stupid because we disagree with them - they’re not stupid. they’re intricately designed and planned to fuck over people who aren’t as lucky as themselves because they believe they are inherently better than everybody else.

not only is calling something unintelligent because it’s wrong paint actually happenstance unintelligent people badly (which like, isn’t their fault! it isn’t somebody’s fault if they don’t know something), it also does a disservice to discourse about politics as it allows people like donald trump and other republicans to get away with what they’re doing as just being unintelligent - when it’s not. it’s intelligent. it’s planned to hurt people of the working class and give more power and money and safety to rich people like himself. that’s always what the right-wing and capitalism in general has been about, and we can’t stand by and call that “unintelligence” - it’s wrong and it’s selfish and it’s evil

anonymous asked:

I was wondering if you could help me understand the withering away of the state. Is it that after the dictatorship of the proletariat and the need for the state is obsolete, the communist state turns into anarchism? Or am I oversimplifying this and missing something?

There are various tendencies within leftism that understand the whole concept of an intermediary “dictatorship of the proletariat” differently. Anarchists don’t typically see this intermediary period as particularly needed or helpful. Marxists of most stripes, on the other hand, typically see the D of the P as a scenario where the workers control the means of production in some collective/democratic fashion, but where the state still exists to ideally smooth out the transition from capitalism – in other words, the D of the P is just fancy terminology for socialism. Socialism would still involve money and scarcity in some capacity as well. As communal ownership over the means of the production and resource abundance become the tenets by which everyone lives, the social system progresses towards communism. By definition, if you’re at communism, you’re also at anarchism – communism is necessarily stateless and anarchism is necessarily classless. This scenario ceases to be a D of the P because the proletariat ceases to exist (as do social classes in general).

It’s important to recognize that communism/anarchism would still involve a horizontal “administration of things” for the maintenance of society, but the state as we understand it would become obsolete – that is, the state being an apparatus that enforces the material interests of the class with power in society. (By this logic, socialism would involve the majority working class taking power over from the minority bourgeoisie and using the state to uphold the interests of working class human need rather than bourgeois capital, eventually integrating all people as fellow travelers democratically controlling the collective means of production.) If communism/anarchism involve “government”, it’s fundamentally in the context of SELF-governance – no class domination of one group over another as legitimized by an apparatus over and above the people. In other words, direct democracy to its ultimate conclusion.

Hope this helped!


socialism was just defined as a system where “poor and working class people are in power”. i know whats being said but like. i would HOPE that poor and working class people WOULDNT be in power because poverty and classes would cease to exist. etc etc etc

anonymous asked:

but what does elections in a socialist context constitute? how would that work in a way that isn't vulnerable to capitalism but also holds the state accountable to the people

idk how to answer this that well bc theres a lot of different ideas about what elections under socialism would be like and its not something im super well read on BUT there could be direct democracy where elected officials could be recalled at anytime if a vote is requested and this would hold people accountable. also i think after a revolution if the working class has seized power and a large portion of the military has defected to support the revolution its going to be difficult for capitalists to take back that power because we greatly outnumber them. i think rosa luxemburg said something about a revolution changing social conditions irreversibly and that its a completely new era and wont be easy for the old ruling class to reassert themselves.
For the Many, Not the Few – DSA Labor for the Many – Medium
Unofficial caucus of DSA rank-and-file workers, local leaders, and union staff fighting for the many — not the few
By DSA Labor for the Many

The caucus for rank and file union members, local labor leaders, organizers and union staff fighting for the many — not the few.

At this moment of Left renewal and struggle for the future of the labor movement, DSA Labor for the Many caucus members want leadership to support a bold democratic socialist presence in the struggle of the working class to defend and renew the labor movement and help transform the world of work. We look to the DSA to help conceive and lead a broad and deep solidarity movement, engaging both with democratic socialists as workers and with workers who are not yet on the Left but who are in the fight.

Building broad and deep solidarity means electing leadership and developing a program to:

  1. Recognize organized labor and organized workers as the foundation of democratic socialism, which DSA should join with, defend, and organize to make more democratic and powerful.
  2. Reach out to the unorganized, including the majority of DSA members, to fight against the injustices of the new economy and support workers standing up for their rights and building their own democratic organizations, such as unions and worker centers.
  3. Stand in solidarity with all workers and unions against the onslaught of corporate and state union-busting.
  4. Organize to defeat every attack on labor and bring together powerful working-class community coalitions around transformative reforms that build worker power, heighten class consciousness, and raise expectations for social change.
  5. Represent the complete geography of DSA locals, and work together with democratic socialist leadership to organize and fight in “purple” and “red” parts of the country while also building labor power in “blue” union-dense states. We must acknowledge that we cannot change labor’s path without being dedicated to organizing the South, the Midwest, and the rural areas outside labor’s urban strongholds.
  6. Provide training and education to DSA locals to enhance a shared class analysis of economics, and dedication to labor organizing. Develop the skills for DSA members to become leaders both in their own workplace struggles, in their unions, and in solidarity campaigns with other workers.
  7. Lead in integrating an anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-xenophobic, anti-homophobic, anti-ableist, and anti-heterosexist analysis into DSA labor work, with every campaign assessing the legacy of oppression that so often accompanies worker exploitation while organizing to unite all workers around their shared class interest, and in solidarity around the particular, vital interests of workers of color, women, and other marginalized groups 

(Continue Reading)

2,375 BCE - The First Revolution

The ‘Liberty Cones’, codifying the legal reforms brought in during the reign of ensi Urukagina, c. 2375 BCE.

As academics and historians fill in more and more gaps in the archaeological record of humanity’s early history, it becomes more and more clear that class struggle - particularly in urban settings - has driven human development from the earliest beginnings of settled agricultural society.

In the early years of the 24th-century BCE, the city of Lagash lay on the fertile mud plains north of the junction of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in modern Iraq. It was a bustling metropolis made from baked clay and mud bricks -subsisting on fish from the rivers, herds of driven sheep, and a delicately engineered network of irrigated crops. With settled society came inequality and class: warrior-nobles and priests, who lived in lavish stone mansions and temples covered in bright paint and gilt; their cliental administrative middle-class; hovel-dwelling freedmen herders, fishermen and farmers; and an underclass of slaves, captured in war or self-sold debtors.

The reign of ensi Lugalanda brought social inequality to a head. The temple-technocrat son of the High Priest, Lugalanda’s accession marked, as far as we can tell, a new phase of extreme accumulation and opulence by a newly unified nobility and priesthood. The contemporary written accounts we can find speak of the regularisation of dispossession, with new laws forcing the poor to sell their property to the nobility, and the proliferation of state extortion and protection rackets. Lugalanda and his wife Baranamtara became co-equals in a vast public theft, in which they accrued an estimated 1,600 acres of land by confiscation. Taxmen were, according to later sources, “everywhere”. Sources also refer to a kind of atheistic abandon, in which the formal rites pertaining to the formation of new law were neglected in favour of naked greed. Clearly, contemporaries were horrified.

What happened next is infuriatingly unclear. But it is clear that Lugalanda and Baranamtara were deposed - and the programme of the new ensi, Urukagina, holds clues as to how.

Urukagina embarked on what can only be described as a radical programme of reform - which he was certain to claim credit for in the written records made by his regime. He enacted an anti-corruption purge of the Lagashi civil service, dismissing the chief herdsmen, head fishermen and the tax officials who Lugalanda had used to establish his personal fiefdom. He abolished debt-slavery, citing concern for the orphans and widows most preyed upon by the former government, and declared a general amnesty for petty criminals. Even his attitude towards the priesthood was markedly different to his predecessor, and although he gave the fallen Lugalanda’s confiscated estates back to the clergy, he corralled their social power by setting maximum fees and tithes.

Such a radical reversal of state policy in a militarised, violent, staggeringly unequal society goes far beyond a narrow palace coup, into the realm of social upheaval. The extremely pro-poor nature of Urukagina’s reform, preceded by a violently elitist priest-King, leaves popular revolt and political revolution as by far the most convincing explanation. Direct influence over the political process by freedmen and slaves, either demanding the reforms directly, or being mollified by post-hoc concessions from the new regime, demystifies Urukagina’s otherwise confusing reign. Urukagina himself was probably not of noble birth: none of his surviving proclamations use the honorific dumu, ‘son of’, meaning either that his origins were humble - or, more interestingly, he may have dropped his noble trappings in the manner of the populist aristocrats like the French revolutionary Duc d’Orleans, ‘Louis Egalité’.

Though many historians go much further than is historically supportable, hailing his inaugural cuneiform ‘Liberty Cone’ texts as ‘the first legal code’ or ‘the first Bill of Rights’, it is clear that the revolt which brought Urukagina to power was the outcome of an intense, politically complex process of class struggle - one in which populist leaders simultaneously broke the power bases of their rivals, whilst building new bases of power upon this marginalised and the disaffected. We will never truly know who Urukagina was - whether he was an honest commoner thrust to power by revolution, or a calculating nobleman who cleverly harnessed mass anger to topple opponents - but the events of the end of Lugalanda’s reign demonstrate universal truth: that true power rests in the hands of ordinary men and women.

anonymous asked:

Could you talk more about how socialism as a transitory stage isn't part of Marxism?

Sure, firstly I didn’t say it wasn’t part of Marxism, I said it had no basis in Marx – two different things, because “Marxism” is a tradition and body of thought which has changed and evolved since Marx. The idea that Socialism is a transitory state to Communism comes from Lenin, and as such it is part of ‘Marxism’ – Lenin did falsely claim to have taken it from Marx, but it was all his own invention. Lenin even used the terms socialism and communism interchangeably himself right up till 1917 (and sometimes afterwards)

Lenin said that socialism was the same as Marx’s ‘lower phase of communism’, and identified it as a transitional stage to communism. Confusingly Marx also wrote about a “transition period” but in Marx this is separate to the first phase of communism, it’s a transition during which the capitalist mode of production is still dominant, between the working class seizing political power and the establishment of common ownership of the means of production.

The lower phase of communism, (what Lenin called ‘socialism’) was not a transition to communism, as its name suggests, it was communism. Marx made very clear that communism in its lower stage would have abolished markets, commodity production, money etc. By ‘lower phase’ Marx was talking about the phase before complete abundance of everything for everyone, where we might have to have stuff like labour time vouchers - which are categorically not money. This is not a distinct form of transitional society, it’s a phase of communist society – the property relations and social relations of production are the same throughout both phases…It’s like, for example, the formal and real subsumption of labour are phases within the capitalist mode of production, not one type of society turning into another. 



On Saturday evening, the community of Boyle Heights came together to give a simple and direct message to the art galleries, their owners, and their patrons who are currently invading the community with their hideous bourgeois art: GET THE FUCK OUT. You are not welcome here.

This confrontation has been a long-time coming and will be only the first in a long line of such confrontations if these galleries do not heed the demands being made by the community. Members of Red Guards- Los Angeles have been active participants in the Defend Boyle Heights coalition that was formed earlier this year in order to confront the rapidly approaching gentrification of the community of Boyle Heights. Our time organizing among the residents of this community has been humbling for us. We have been inspired by this community’s willingness to stand together in the face of bourgeois developers, speculators, and gallery owners with far greater access to capital and the repressive machinery of the State than this working class, largely immigrant community will ever have while this land remains the dominion of capitalists and their pig footsoldiers. And despite the glaring imbalance of power, this community remains defiant and steadfast in its goals.

The anti-gentrification struggle in Boyle Heights makes abundantly clear to us the Maoist principle that has been instrumental in guiding our work: the masses of people, and the masses of people alone, are the motive force in the making of world history. The unified resistance of this community is powerful enough to move mountains, and will prove itself powerful enough to push back the forces of gentrification that have begun to show their faces as art galleries and other businesses which cater to the wealthy, with callous disregard for the destruction of community and culture which they leave in their wake.

The recent tactics of direct and hostile confrontation with these forces of gentrification demonstrate that the community itself—the palateras and palateros, the immigrant families, the senoras who overcame the scourge of gang violence within their communities, the muralists who have enriched their community with the colorful paintings and street art that adorn every wall and building in the neighborhood, the youth, the punks with their backyard-show scene—this community understands very well that the only reliable factor in this struggle is themselves and their ability, when unified, to resist even the most well funded galleriests, landlords, and investors seeking to rip the community apart.

This Saturday’s action was not a pleasant experience for those on the receiving end of it. There was no pretense of openness to dialogue or conversation with the gallery owners and their patrons. There was no coddling of the white liberal sentiment of “support” for the “message” but “disapproval” of the “tactics”. There was no willingness to dilute or defuse the righteous anger that was directed at the galleries like a shotgun blast. Standing side-by-side were older senoras who boldly denounced the presence of the galleries and detailed the material effect these galleries have on rent prices, with young, masked militants who made abundantly clear just how unwelcome the community at large feels the presence of high-priced art galleries, funded by west-siders and outsiders, to be.

Gallery attendees were harassed and harangued, pelted with water and bottles and an endless barrage of verbal assault. They were stopped in their tracks, surrounded, chased back to their vehicles and out of the around Anderson Street and Mission Road where the majority of these galleries have begun opening up. The galleries themselves were surrounded while members of the community banged on their windows, entered their galleries to smash bottles, and continued the barrage of verbal assault. The initial expressions of smug amusement turned into palpable fear from the gallery attendees as the confrontation continued to escalate with no signs of winding down. The gallery owners rushed to their doors to lock them and pull down the metal barricades over their windows. The community succeeded in shutting down several openings that night, ran many dozens of yuppies and rich hipsters out of the neighborhood, and undeniably birthed in many more an unwillingness to ever step foot in Boyle Heights for a gallery opening again.

So what does this confrontation teach us? We have learned that this community recognizes the importance of taking matter into its own hands. This community knows instinctively and through experience that politicians, city councils, and electoral politics will do nothing to come to its aid, and will in fact stand behind the very forces of gentrification that want to break the community up and sell each piece of it to the highest bidder. There is an awareness, sometimes spoken and sometimes unspoken, of the shared class interests among these politicians and the investors, speculators, and gallery owners currently driving much of the gentrification in Boyle Heights.

There is the knowledge, firsthand, that the police forces they are told to rely on to “protect” and “serve” them will likewise stand in defense of the forces of the bourgeoisie and will do nothing to protect the livelihoods of the working class residents that characterize the community—they will enter with guns drawn and chains ready to shoot them dead and drag the ones that remain to prison under pretenses of gang-injuctions, or, in the case of 14 year-old boys like the recently murdered Jesse Romero, petty vandalism. They know the pigs stand ready to do the brutal grunt work that the delicate hands and sensibilities of the bourgeois galleriests are unwilling to do themselves.

With this near complete inaccessibility to institutional power, our community is recognizing the importance of building its own power, outside of the system, as the only effective method for serving its people and protecting its livelihood and culture. While we wholeheartedly support and endorse the actions taken by the community on Saturday evening, we know that the only long-term solution to the problem of gentrification is the formation of working class institutions of power that are dedicated to serving the interests of the people. Concessions from city and state government, deals and collusion with galleries and landlords, temporary acquiescence to the demands of the community—these things are not enough. They amount to bones tossed to us by the representatives of the ruling class for the express purpose of derailing our anger and stunting our ability to build organizations that will claim all political power for ourselves and our community. They are carrots dangled before our heads which  these ruling class elites hope will distract us long enough to forget that they still retain the power to dictate the terms of our engagement with them.

These confrontations teach us the truth that all correct ideas emerge from the masses of people, and it is only through the process of engaging with our community, learning from their history of struggle and standing shoulder to shoulder with them in their current struggle, that necessary revolutionary leadership can be developed to guide them into confrontation not only with the forces of gentrification but all the forces of capitalism that exploit and oppress our people. The history of struggle within our community, the experience of struggle in the communities surrounding us which have fallen to gentrification, and our daily struggles to survive, are a breeding ground for the revolutionary ideas that are currently taking root in Boyle Heights and finding their outlet in these direct confrontations.

Just as we understand that the history of struggle within our community is the basis for their correct ideas, we must also recognize that capitalism, patriarchy, white supremacy, and the ideological divisions they create along class, gender, and racial lines also foster the creation of incorrect and backwards ideas within our community. Revolutionary leadership entails that we encourage and develop the correct ideas within our community and that we use our understanding of revolutionary theory to combat the manifestations of the backwards ideas that likewise exist.

We must be wary of those who continue to advocate for dialogue with the forces of gentrification. We must be wary of those who continue to push the idealistic line that if we simply convince the gentrifiers of our humanity and essential goodness as human beings perhaps they will abandon their plans to seize our community—that being “too confrontational” somehow reaffirms the gentrifiers conception of us as thugs and hoodlums who don’t deserve the space to live.

These positions fundamentally misunderstand the mechanics of capitalism and its auxiliary force of white supremacy that are at play in the urban removal currently being experienced in our community. Let us be clear: the gentrification of our community is and will continue to be driven by the opportunity to profit that exists in purchasing the relatively cheap land in our neighborhood, repurposing it in a way desirable as a playground for the wealthy, and then selling it back at much higher prices to the community of wealthy people who would now desire to live here. This process is independent of ethics and morality, for the only “morality” under capitalism is profit. The racialized justifications for this process are  nothing more than ideological rationalizations for the profit-driven conquest of our communities. If we were somehow able to combat the racist caricatures of our community that are utilized by those who advocate for its gentrification, the opportunity to profit from low-priced real estate would still exist and thus the motivation for gentrifying it would still exist.

We cannot fall into a trap of respectability politics or give weight to the idea that only opposing urban removal in “legitimate” and “respectable” ways will be successful: not only does this argument replicate the racist narrative of the white supremacists, but it is also entirely unsuccessful. Silverlake, Echo Park, Highland Park, and countless other communities did not succumb to gentrification because their residents failed to protest in a respectable enough manner. These communities made spectacular pleas to city and state government officials for affordable housing measures and rent control measures. They protested and lobbied city council officials, put out calls to vote for or against city council representatives based on their stance re: gentrification. They made cultural and artistic displays the demonstrated the vibrancy and artistic spirit of the community in hopes that the investors, speculators and landlords would be so moved they would be unwilling to displace the community: this did not work. These communities are currently crawling with the same yuppies and hipsters that are thankfully, mostly confined to the area around “Gallery Row” in Boyle Heights.

We must also be wary of and combat the notions that gentrification makes the community “safer”, more “beautiful”, or that “gente-fication” (the gentrification of the community by petty-bourgeois, brown gentrifiers) is an acceptable alternative to “gentrification”.

1. There is nothing “safe” about the forced, often violent removal of families from their homes and businesses. There is nothing “safe” about the threat of homelessness. Eviction is not “safe”. Increased police patrols and the violence and criminalization that accompany them are not “safe” for a community preyed upon by the pigs daily. This illusion of “safety” can only be enjoyed and its benefits touted by those with the economic resources to remain in the community after rents have doubled or tripled and the original community, with all of its contradictions and socially rooted problems, are displaced violently.

2. The “beautification” of the community is not for the working class residents who currently live there. Developers and the city only make efforts to “beautify” when they are preparing the area to be sold to a new class of bourgeois and petty-bourgeois residents, so we hardly care whether or not the neighborhood is going to be made more “beautiful” when that beautification necessarily comes at the expense of the community currently living there.

3. “Gente-fication” is no different from “gentrification” and results in the exact same large-scale displacement of working class communities. The fact that some number of brown and black oppressed nationalities have been able to gain access to wealth and capital, and can thus afford to live in a “redeveloped” neighborhood, is no excuse for the fact that the majority of our people have been systematically denied this access to wealth and capital due to the collusion of capitalism and white supremacy, and will therefore experience the process of “gente-fication” exactly the same as they would experience the process of “gentrification”–evicted, displaced, removed, uprooted and erased from the community.

Lastly, we must be wary of the sell-outs and opportunists, the “radicals” of yesteryear who have long since abandoned whatever genuine revolutionary spirit may have at one time flowed through their bones. These people come to us with a facade radicalism, but when the community finds an outlet for their outrage these will be the first people to hold them back, selling out the trust they have established in the community to carve out a niche of power for themselves on neighborhood councils, city councils, or non-profit organizations.

We see this clearly in figures like Carlos Montes, neighborhood council member and leader of Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) and their community front group Centro-CSO, who uses every instance of community outrage to position himself in front of news cameras, squeeze himself between grieving mothers after their children are murdered by the police, to give another tired and bland speech recycling rhetoric that hasn’t inspired anyone in 40 years. He uses his space at these events to sell the community watered-down, reformist solutions to problems that require genuine revolutionary analysis under the pretense that the community is not ready to hear the truth about the need for armed struggle and revolution, that they are not ready to rebel and engage in direct confrontation with the forces of capitalism that threaten their existence. When the storm of revolution arrives these vendidxs will be washed away in the tide, their newspapers and badges of honor from the “glory days” washed away with them.

Members of the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) present themselves to our community in a similar manner, wagging their fingers and critiquing our actions from afar. When our community accurately identifies the influx of galleries and their wealthy patrons as a gear turning the wheels in the process of gentrification, they come to us with condescending declarations that we are too stupid to understand these galleries are just a “symptom”, our anger is misguided and misdirected, and we should be directing our activities towards the “real culprits” who, in their class-reductionists analysis, are always banks which they provide no indication of how to meaningfully target at our current level of organization. Maybe if we subscribe to their newspaper they will teach the community how to achieve this. Regardless, the positions taken by these so-called radicals serve only to defuse the anger of the community, condescendingly “correct” their mistaken ideas from a position that is removed from their concrete struggle, and offer go-nowhere alternatives to a community that is achieving far more by engaging in direct confrontation, occasionally making mistakes, learning from and correcting those mistakes as the struggle advances.

Revolutionary leadership does not come from afar, in the form of condescension and finger wagging, and it does not lord itself over the community in the form of paternalistic advice from washed up old radicals who sell the community short at every turn. Revolutionary leadership emerges from within the concrete struggles of our community, by combining the community’s most forward and progressive ideas with revolutionary theory that encourages them in their rebellion rather than holds them back or leads them into the dead-ends of reformism and electoral politics.

Because gentrification, in the final analysis, is intimately tied to the mechanics of capitalism, we understand that only an end to capitalism will do away with the process of gentrification entirely. Only a recognition of the necessity for a revolutionary Party, institutions controlled by and in service of the working class and oppressed nations as a whole, and a revolution in the heart of the imperialist beast of America, will be sufficient to defend the livelihoods of working class people.

Our only hope in these conditions is to unite the various struggles of all working class and oppressed nationalities people under the banner of a revolutionary Party that will be capable of providing leadership and structure in a fight with the highly organized forces of capitalism, the bourgeoisie, and gentrification. Only the unity of these working class institutions, under the banner of a revolutionary Party, defended and reinforced by a People’s Army, will be capable of waging the struggle for national liberation for the oppressed Chicanx nation (and all other oppressed nations) and revolution that will deal the death blow to the forces of capitalism that destroy our families and our communities. We understand that all political power grows from the barrel of a gun, the traitors who say otherwise—be damned! Only a willingness to struggle on these same terms will lead us to victory.

In Boyle Heights we must stand in solidarity with the vigorous efforts being made to combat gentrification and to wrest control over our communities and our lives from the vulture capitalists who currently dictate where, how, and whether or not we live. The direct actions undertaken by this community on Saturday represent the initial steps towards creating that political power that in the long term will be necessary to establish control over our own communities and our own lives. We support and stand beside them in their rebellion. We respect and are humbled by their spirit of resistance. We know that it is right to rebel.

Down with the art galleries!

Down with landlords, speculators, and investors!

Down with vedidxs and false radicals!

Up with the rebellion! Up with revolution!

Defend Boyle Heights!

anonymous asked:

what are your thoughts on min wage policy? like a link to someone else's blog post or author or something will suffice if its a hassle to explain for what is probably the 25.3th time

nah i dont think ive ever actually explained my thoughts on minimum wage ever since i quit clinging to the sort of conservative bullshit about how it doesnt actually do anything, so this would be the first time. 

anyway, i think its important to point out the very real situation that exists right now (in america in particular, although surely elsewhere) where the minimum wage is well below where it should be, as inflation has pushed the real value down.

as you can see, $7.25 (the current federal minimum wage) was really worth about $.75 MORE in 2009 when the current minimum wage was set. since then, inflation has caused minimum wage workers to gradually lose money, eventually about $.75 per hour. if we were to adjust for inflation, the current minimum wage, based on the 2009 number, should be $8.00. 

but the 2009 number, which was certainly not properly adjusted for inflation, is still off the mark, as the highest minimum wage ever was back in 1968, when it was raised to $1.60, which today is worth almost $11 (the BLS inflation calculator puts it at about $10.88). knowing this, minimum wage workers, and even people that work slightly above the minimum wage, have been slowly robbed over the years, currently about $3.63 per hour.

none of this is really new or revolutionary. left-liberals have been saying this sort of thing for years, and every now and then it results in a meager minimum wage increase so that the centre-left parties get a bit of a boost in the polls or whatever. its more about politics (and business) than actually helping the workers out. 

where minimum wage becomes useful to marxists is when its understood in relation to capital. in his 1865 speech, which has since been published as “value, price, and profit”, marx says,

“A general rise in the rate of wages would result in a fall of the general rate of profit, but, broadly speaking, not affect the prices of commodities.”

this means that by increasing the minimum wage, you are forcing the capitalist to push more of their capital toward labor, resulting in a (temporary) decline in the rate and volume of profit. 

the common conservative argument against this is that the businesses would have to make up for the loss of profit by raising prices and/or letting workers go. while talking up the harm a minimum wage increase would do to capitalists, they conveniently ignore the effects it has on workers. one, of the many immediate effects, would be that a higher wage means an ability to consume [purchase] more. if anything, this would have a positive effect on businesses. more sales means a higher rate of production and a higher rate of production means the necessity for more workers. if taken into account, any workers that were let go could then be immediately rehired. any prices that were raised, would be general (the price of every commodity will not go up by the same amount that your wage did. a minimum wage jump from $7.25 to $10.00 will not bring the price of every item on wal-marts shelves up by $2.75), and would more than likely fall with increased competition. 

all of these things taken into consideration, business would be better off NOT firing workers, since they would need those workers (and possibly more) almost immediately as production must necessarily increase and it often costs a good deal of money to hire new workers anyway, so most capitalists would recognize that they would actually save money by doing “business as usual”, and keeping things going as they were, knowing that they’ll be able to raise their profits soon enough. 

another thing about a minimum wage increase that would be good for business is the effect it would have on the psychology of workers. in many ways, when people are able to meet their needs, they perform better. they aren’t as distracted in the workplace by outside stress, and so productivity often increases. the increase in minimum wage also often justifies an increase in the intensity of labor, so profits do not take as big of a hit, or even a hit at all, potentially creating an increase in profit. 

in this way, conservatives are right that the market would essentially stay the same, but only from the business standpoint, which is of course the side of the economy that they serve, so they have little interest in consumer politics, and absolutely none in labor politics. to the working class, this wage increase allows for a bit of breathing room, which is much needed, but can also be used against us, as it relieves some of the burden of capitalist society, leaving many workers with the idea that capitalism can work in their interests if they just vote for the party that pretends to care about labor the most. 

the marxist standpoint often recognizes the uselessness of reformism by itself, but that is not to say that we dont acknowledge that certain reforms are potentially more revolutionary than others. many marxists would, for example, cling to trotsky’s transitional program, which was a list of demands that were supposed to unite the working class in a struggle to achieve them, eventually leaving workers disillusioned with capitalism and realizing that the entirety of the program could only be achieved through socialist revolution. a positive effect would also be that as demands were met, the working class would grow more powerful and recognize that power, rather than shrinking under the pressure of the bourgeoisie. even if demands weren’t met, many workers would just be that more unwilling to compromise with the ruling class that denied them those things, and would become more and more revolutionary. this sort of thinking is a large part of socialist alternative’s platform, and they aren’t just settling for a $10 wage, but fighting for a $15 wage, which just goes to show that they are setting the bar much higher than many workers are forced to accept, and they are actively struggling for its realization. if you look up in seattle, where the majority of this work is being done by kshama sawant and other members of the organization, you’re seeing a lot of local businesses that are actually supporting the wage increase. funnily enough, you’re also seeing conservatives point to certain businesses closing down, trying to prove the logic of their position, but reporters from think-progress (among others) have been refuting these statements. 

a similar standpoint, and certainly one that was more prevalent in marx’s time, was that those things could be achieved through unions, and that certainly was the case in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as workers banded together and grew more and more militant, but many of the things achieved in those days were undone or suppressed by neoliberalism, especially after the height of the cold war. sadly, unions aren’t nearly what they used to be, so this isn’t nearly as possible at the moment, but you’re starting to see a collective push away from the politics of neoliberalism with things like OWS and the many anti-austerity protests that are happening all over the world, which suggests the possibility of a more progressive (and militant) generation that may be willing to return to unionization, or perhaps come up with entirely new ideas of how to struggle against capital. 

it is important, however, as ive already stated, to recognize this struggle as an ongoing one that is good for labor, but also for capital, and acknowledge that this will keep on going for a long time if our goals are only short-term and we focus solely on the minimum wage, letting left-liberals occasionally speak for us every few years when the inflation becomes too much to where it even starts to hurt profits. as marx says in his conclusion of “value, price, and profit”,

At the same time, and quite apart from the general servitude involved in the wages system, the working class ought not to exaggerate to themselves the ultimate working of these everyday struggles. They ought not to forget that they are fighting with effects, but not with the causes of those effects; that they are retarding the downward movement, but not changing its direction; that they are applying palliatives, not curing the malady. They ought, therefore, not to be exclusively absorbed in these unavoidable guerilla fights incessantly springing up from the never ceasing encroachments of capital or changes of the market. They ought to understand that, with all the miseries it imposes upon them, the present system simultaneously engenders the material conditions and the social forms necessary for an economical reconstruction of society. Instead of the conservative motto: “A fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work!” they ought to inscribe on their banner the revolutionary watchword: “Abolition of the wages system!“


Tfw Bill clinton tried to save the democrats but everyone in the room ignored him.

The Smart People in the room believed going after trumps temperament and appealing to suburban voters easily incensed by his bigotry would suffice.

They all collectively then ignored appeals by Bill and physically avoided traditional places of working class and grass roots power like unions and campuses, believing it to be loyal no matter what. Clinton didn’t even visit the “blue wall” state of Wisconsin. It flipped republican for the first time since 1984 on tuesday.

This is the next most tragic thing to come of this election.

And again, another show of the tremendous arrogance of the left that sank them.

It’s as I’ve been saying. The left lost the narrative and didn’t realize it until it was too late

The concept of hegemony thus belongs with the question: How is the working class to take power in a social formation where the dominant power is subtly, pervasively diffused throughout habitual daily practices, intimately interwoven with ‘culture’ itself, inscribed in the very texture of our experience from nursery school to funeral parlour? How do we combat a power which has become the “common sense” of a whole social order, rather than one which is widely perceived as alien and oppressive?

In modern society, then it is not enough to occupy factories or confront the state. What must also be contested is the whole area of 'culture’, defined in its broadest, most everyday sense. The power of the ruling class is spiritual as well as material; and any 'counterhegemony’ must carry its political campaign into this hitherto neglected realm of values and customs, speech habits and ritual practices.

—  Terry Eagleton - “Ideology: An Introduction”

anonymous asked:

doesn't the spanish revolution beginning in july '36 prove the need for a dictatorship of the proletariat? the friends of the durruti admitted that the anarchists had no plan and that apolitical anarchism had failed. weren't the friends of durruti making the point that many marxists make which is the need for workers power to smash the state which is exactly what the anarchists failed to do because of their fear of worker dictatorship?

Nope. You have a poor grasp of what was going on, who the Friends of Durruti were and what they believed - probably because you’ve taken your information from one of the various latter day trotskyist tracts which tend to make similarly bogus claims.

The Friends of Durruti were anarchists who defended anarchist principles in opposition to the CNT leadership, who had abandoned them. It is absolutely incredible to me that still, in 2016, so many marxists continue to hold up the example of the collaborationist CNT “leadership” as an ideal example of anarchism and anarchist principles in action. In fact, the grounds on which the Friends of Durruti challenged the faulty “anarchist” position of the civil war era CNT was 100% rooted in anarchist communist tradition - which has always been about “the need for worker’s power to smash the state” by the way.

As anarchists pointed out at the time, we have nothing against the “dictatorship of the proletariat” if that just means the working class taking power into our own hands. By 1936 however, that phrase had been specifically defined by Lenin, Trotsky and others as being synonymous with single party dictatorship (in Lenin’s ‘Left wing communism’ for example, and Trotsky’s’ terrorism and communsim’) anarchists then and now opposed it on that basis. 

the friends of the durruti admitted that the anarchists had no plan

The Friends of Durruti were anarchists, and they had a plan.

#BlackOnCampus – American University

I have been privileged enough to go to a school much more tolerant than Missouri, Yale, or Howard. However, tolerance doesn’t always equate with acceptance. There may not be as big of an issue here at American University, but there are underlying problems. Recently, I was in the library doing homework and I overheard some white girls talking about race. At first, I was happy that race was becoming discussed freely as a common topic of conversation. However, the conversation took a turn for the worse. One girl said that she didn’t understand why black people still talk about race, because slavery and the civil rights movement are over. Another girl asked, “What more do black people want?” This is sad because those girls think that the daily murder and mistreatment of black people should be ok because it isn’t slavery.

Since the events on the campuses of Missouri, Yale, and Howard, our BSA (Black Student Alliance) has had different discussions, activities, and videos to bring awareness and show solidarity. They photographed African American students holding whiteboards that said: “We must love and support each other… We have nothing to lose but our chains. #SolidaritywithMizzou.” I found this quote interesting and relevant because I’m reading Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto for a class. The last part of that quote is from the communist manifesto. Karl Marx was a supporter of equality, giving power to the working class, and taking power away from the oppressive class. To me this seems fitting because, as African Americans, we have been a part of the oppressed class for hundreds of years. The events in Yale, Missouri, and Howard have shown that even though we have made a lot of progress, we are still a part of the oppressed class.

On Thursday, November 12th, a white student posted on Howard’s Yik Yak that if he saw any black people out after 10 PM that weekend, he would shoot them. To me this is a terrorist threat. Most people, however, don’t see things like this as a form of terrorism, which is a huge problem. If a similar thing were to happen in another country, it would be considered terrorism, but when white people bomb churches and target one specific group of people consistently, how is that not terrorism? The Yik Yak comment was meant to strike fear into the black students at Howard so that they wouldn’t go out. That weekend I had tickets for a party near Howard’s campus. I knew about the threats, and they did scare me a bit, but I knew that was what the person wanted. They wanted to scare me so that I would become weak. The overall theme that I have seen from the events on these campuses is that the black students are becoming more and more intelligent and confident, a trend that is causing competition for the white students. This worries white people who have always seen us as inferior. They try to intimidate us so that we will become weak, but if we stand together and continue to thrive, there is nothing that can stop us!

– Written by Sabrina Matlock (redefy contributor)


Working class power

anonymous asked:

okay dude, im not even trying to make an aggressive statement about that? got it, stalin was far from perfect. but wtf did anarchists achieved in the 20th century? do u actually think they could have stopped the nazis?

no, you don’t “get it” at all actually - it’s not that he ‘wasn’t perfect’, jeez, to you give the same pass to other racist, woman hating homophobes?  He enacted anti-working class, anti-women, anti-queer, racist policies on a mass scale, destroying lives in the process - but hey, compared to what anarchists achieved, that’s …what…. good? Permissible? Not perfect but whatever, check out those happy factory workers?

Don’t judge Stalin against the achievements of the anarchist movement for fuck sake - judge him against basic standards of human decency.  Judge him against the basic principles of socialism which, believe it or not, have quite a lot to say about patriarchy, ethnic oppression and homophobia without any need to bring in the relative effectiveness of the anarchist movement as some kind of reference point. 

In answer to your second point, No. The 1940s anarchist movement could not have stopped the nazis - they were tiny, you may as well ask if the 2015 Maoist movement can stop ISIS.  Their aim was not to be a reified historical actor in their own right, it was to build autonomous working class power - which we believe can stop nazis, and racist homophobic mysogynistic scumbags like your pal Stalin too, for that matter.


replied to your post

“How would we stop Leitch in Canada? I’m terrified at the American…”

One important way to guard against the spread of hate is to support access and funding of public education at all levels. Even in Canada, illiteracy rates among older people are still quite high, which makes them more vulnerable to agreeing with whatever politicians tell them


college-educated white people voted for trump. non-college educated poc did not. the rise of fasicsm is about white supremacy and authoritarianism finding a renewed audience because of economic stagnancy and decline. it’s not about education, and painting trump supporters/fascists as “uneducated” isn’t just wrong it’s elitist and classist. liberals were saying this nonsense all election and it didn’t do a damn thing and won’t.

the only way to beat back the rise of fasicsm is organizing new forms of intersection working-class solidarity and power. if our strategy becomes “the right is ignorant and we need more education” we are all doomed.