Tom
Russian translation

My Path to Marxism

Preface

Dear comrades,

I hope everyone is doing okay considering the present stage of decay of capitalism.

I was invited by comrade Ivanov from the Prorivists to write an article regarding my personal pathway towards Marxism. I welcomed the opportunity for reflection on how I have started on the path of Marxism two years ago.

Theory-wise, I am still working on reading and re-reading the classic Marxist texts and grasping them the best that I can. I must thank the Prorivists publication for inspiring me, challenging me, and encouraging me to study someone like Hegel along with the other great Marxist-Leninists.

I hope you will find this article interesting. I have been told that it is surprising to see Americans becoming Marxist in this day and age. In general, I do not like to talk about myself but I hope my article can inspire honest people to become Marxists as well.

My Path to Marxism

My turn to Marxism has been based on: (A) my material condition (personal and historical) and (B) an understanding of my personal and historical condition. The combination of the COVID19 and my life experiences up to 2019 have allowed me to understand that capitalism simply cannot deal with the many challenges that humanity faces at this moment of history. After reading some Marxist texts, I have been convinced that capitalism should not and cannot be reformed under bourgeois dictatorship.

The bourgeoisie exert tremendous control over many aspects of life, including and especially academia, which poses itself to be neutral and scientific. Therefore, I need an alternative theory and outlook. As I read and think things through, I have only become more convinced that not only that capitalism must be smashed, but it is the social and moral duty of all thinking proletariat to actively find ways to smash it.

My Material Condition

I was born in Hong Kong in 1990 to proletarian parents. My parents had long periods of unemployment in Hong Kong. Neither of my parents have entered university. I have had long periods of time when I must rely on government assistance and familial support. My mother has some skills in the garment industry. Like many immigrants, the main reason for leaving the place of my birth was survival. In 2005, My family and I immigrated to the United States to start a new life here. My mother was able to find employment in the United States initially, but the same issues of unemployment and deprivation also manifested as time went on. As a result of economic difficulties, we have had family conflicts as well. In 2014, I obtained a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from the University. I have since worked at laboratory of University as a researcher studying a post-translational modification. However, to this day, I still rely on government assistance to buy food, to pay rent, and to support my family. Even the precursors to the typical American living standard are hopelessly out of reach for me today.

After living in both countries, I have been made to realize that I am a member of an oppressed people of all races around the world, whose oppression allows for the bourgeoisie and their middle class hangers-on to have good lives. My basic knowledge of Marxism has allowed me to understand my deprivations and shattered much of my resentment and self-loathing living under capitalism. Only Marxism has made me aware and proud of my status and my historical potential as a member of the proletariat, whereas capitalist society only offers me despair and self-loathing. Only with the Marxist worldview can I finally be secured in knowing who I am,which destroys the need for me to pretend to be someone I am not.

People generally desire to have a sense of community, decent social services, meaningful work, and free of basic worries. Underneath all of our struggles and intellectual combativeness, I believe that true Marxists want all people to be happy. We know that a better arrangement of society is already technologically and scientifically possible, but it is not possible under private property relations and the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. Even at my elementary level of understanding of Marxism, I have found that Marxism is the only morally acceptable way of thinking and way of life.

Hong Kong

I lived in Hong Kong until 2005 when I came to the United States. Hong Kong was a colony to the British Empire for 150 years. In 1842, the territory was signed away to the British Empire under the treaty of Nanking at the conclusion of the First Opium War. Nanking was the first of the Unequal Treaties that China signed with the bourgeois West and even Tsarist Russia as concessions. Since Hong Kongs return to China in 1997, Imperialist meddling, capitalism, and mental occupation have not stopped at all. In terms of relations of production, the Basic Law of Hong Kong keeps the territory under capitalism for 50 years. As the Chinese economy progressively developed into a world superpower, Hong Kong has been losing its relative economic significance that it enjoyed. As capitalism decays and inequality grows, Hong Kong has now become a fertile ground for the Imperialist United States and United Kingdom to attempt to sow discord and promote terrorism in China. For example, pictures from the Hong Kong democracy protests have included individuals from the Azov battalion, pro-Trump banners asking for liberation of Hong Kong, and the waving of the British colonial flag.

Furthermore, many Hong Kong protest leaders have been seen meeting with US diplomats. These leaders have also attended meetings of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which is the same institution that has promoted the Xinjiang lies.

As I became an adult in the United States and continued to study history, I have realized just how much we have been misled by Western lies. The imperialist United States has started and supported conflicts against many groups of poor and powerless peoples to maintain its system of exploitation and profits. The United States turns young economically disenfranchised sections into their cannon fodders against rival powers for complete world domination. The United States oppresses its own proletariat, particularly minorities, to grow their private profits. An understanding of the reality of poor working people in the United States itself and the history of world domination and exploitation by foreign Imperialist powers makes it an imperative for me to be against the United States and the private property relations that is the cause. There should be no controversy in identifying the United States as the heart of capitalist reaction today; objectively, it is the country most guilty of using brute force and poisoning minds around the world in order to stop the progress of humanity.

Internationalism

I have lived as a poor person in China for 15 years and in the States for 15 years. It makes no sense for me to be against the Chinese or the American proletariat. In fact, I have learned that the same assessment does not change with different ethnicities/nationalities. Even proletarians who were born and raised in the United States should not support their own bourgeoisie.

Therefore, no sane proletarian of any race should support capitalism which exploits them, much less the imperialist United States and its hangers-on. Capitalism has long ceased to be a progressive force in social development. No matter how hard bourgeois professors and bourgeois publicists try, people like me cannot subscribe to the narrow American nationalism against internationalism, which is integral to Marxism and communism.

Scientific Education

A standard scientific education is an elementary training in dialectical materialism. Instead of relying on speculations and opinions, we try to be objective and truthful when we engage in scientific research. Moreover, sciences most critical achievement is to uncover the essence (or laws) of certain natural processes. For example, instead of viewing the world as static or where a deity has created all biological species, the theory of evolution has shown reality in constant flux and how speciation has been a natural process. It should be somewhat intuitive for scientists in general to have an elementary understanding of dialectical materialism, especially biologists. I find Darwins theory of evolution an excellent example of dialectical materialism. I also find the Marxist view of social formation as natural history to be a great parallel in the realm of social science in the way evolution stands in biology.

Finally, I started studying post-Keynesian economics before coming to Marxism. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) has freed my thinking, criticized mainstream economics, and presented a more realistic picture of some of the operations of a monetary economy. MMT was definitely a step in the right direction and put me on the path of becoming much more intellectually combative. I still use some concepts and analyses from it to push back mainstream economics. While some of the theorys ideas are quite insightful, overall the theory is still too narrow and is predicated on the notion that bourgeois private property relations should not and cannot be changed. Even at my basic understanding of Marxism, Marxism has provided me with an integral worldview, a more profound criticism of bourgeois economics and politics, and a guide to action.

Trade Unionism and Fighting the Brainworm

In 2019, I became involved in one of the trade unions at the University. I was able to meet some of my first friends in the United States. Admittedly, our union is quite petit-bourgeois, but it has allowed me to practice politics at a much more involved level rather than simply being what Americans would call a couch potato of television/internet politics. Our union represents many different workers such as IT workers, scientists, and healthcare professionals. I started learning how to organize. It was a terrifying experience at first because I never had much experience in talking to people in the first place.

Our union achieved a historic contract victory in 2019 after five strikes. Other unions have also risen up in the University of California system to fight for better wages and conditions. After historic contract victories in multiple union struggles, our fervor died down. For me, the question became: where do we go from here? To continue to simply build our union in response to contract expiration in the future? or to go further? How do we go further? Yes, we have a collective bargaining agreement now, but why am I still so poor? Why does management always win in the various disputes between workers and management at the workplace?

After the contract victory in 2019, I became a union steward to help represent workers when they get into conflict with management. Among other things, a steward can file a grievance against the employer for violation of the collective bargaining agreement. My being as a steward pushed me right into Marxism. Why did being a steward have anything to do with Marxism?!

In every capitalist society, I believe that we are thoroughly conditioned to behave a certain way that is acceptable to the capitalist culture, which is decided by the bourgeoisie and their servants. There has been a conflict inside my mind because I have had to both live in a capitalist society and have had to fight the employer as a union steward. In order to fight for the workers, I had to fight against the internalized oppression within my mind as well. I believe that everyone knows what I am referring to here. Whenever one thinks about even a small act of rebellion within capitalist society, a trained instinct within the same person would try to stop such an act. For example, I am almost trained to think that if people were more educated and worked harder, they would not have needed unions or organization. Another example would be the notion that capitalism is fundementally fair, so the excuse for our poverty is that we have not succeeded because we are stupid and lazy. I needed to fight to block out this instinct so that I can represent workers at meetings against the management.

In a way, Marx and Lenin are doctors who give medicine to people like me so that we can start thinking clearly and start thinking about our real interests as workers. I still remember staying late at work and reading Capital before a meeting with management to get myself into the proletariat mindset. Indeed, an elementary understanding of surplus value and the labor theory of value are essential in first blocking out and eventually destroying the bourgeois economic brainworm. Furthermore, an elementary understanding of materialism shows that this instinct of ours is nothing more than a thorough bourgeois socialization done by the bourgeoisie and all their different types of hangers-on to continue their system of exploitation. I have become even more intellectually combative because of Marxism and trade unionism.

Finally, It was in the trade union struggle that I learned the idea of democratic centralism, which allowed me to understand why the USSR had to deal with the Trotskyist and Rightist fifth column mercilessly. Our unions recent internal strife and power struggle has shown me that the proletariat must be unified against the challenge ahead and must be tempered so that they can identify the opportunists. For working people, unity is essential and opportunists are potentially extremely destructive to any working class organization.

Importantly, it must be said here that, based on my elementary understanding of the Prorivists idea of scientific centralism, the Prorivists have taken the theory of the working class party organization further and has patched up the deadly defects of democratic centralism in response to the degeneration of the CPSU by introducing scientific centralism.

Breaking with the Progressives

In the United States, there is a two-party duopoly, where third parties are systematically excluded by the liberal Democratic party and the conservative Republican party. The two bourgeois parties are run by and for different sections of our countries millionaires and billionaires and their hangers-on. Currently, the United States is more politically divided than ever because: (A) capitalism is decaying than the proletariat can cope with and (B) the two sections of millionaires and billionaires have spent decades and billions on demagoguery to convince the proletarians that the corporatists are concerned about them and how their particular section of fat cats is going to deliver for proletarians in this democracy. Half of the American voters do not vote because we instinctively know that the politicians are all liars and are out for themselves. The Republican Party is more savage and nationalist, but the Democratic party is more deceptive and hypocritical.

Young people supported Barack Obama in 2008. Then, he revealed his corporatist and imperialist nature as time went on. I became a progressive (social democrat) during his presidency. In 2016, we wanted a progressive called Bernie Sanders as our president. Many of us have been sick of Americas inequality and aggression on a world scale. For many young people, Sanders 2016 presidential campaign was our political awakening. We realized that it was possible to do something in politics. This realization pushed me into trade unionism in the first place.

Out and out imperialist Hillary Clinton won against Sanders within the democratic inner party round of voting and became the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party. In response to Trump, Sanders rallied his supporters for Clinton against Trump. However, many of his supporters (naively) wanted a more left position out of the Democratic Party candidate Clinton. For some of us, Sanders committed betrayal. After Sanders, I mentally broke with the progressives in America.

Trade unionism showed a different path. It showed me that it is important for average people to organize themselves and not depend on one or a group of saviors. The proletariat needs a movement. Later, I learned the idea of the vanguard party from reading Lenin and from reading the history of the Bolsheviks. Furthermore, some of Lenins articles and the history of the CPSU showed me that Sanders turn was very much expected and that I was ignorant to expect social democrats to create needed social change.

The Rebel Path

Trade unionism, the complete bankruptcy of mainstream politics, and the thorough impotence of academics of all stripes forced me to try and find an alternative.

After being involved in my trade union for some time, It was becoming quite difficult for me to believe the official story about the USSR-the first workers state. One of my chief motivations in the trade union was to improve workers' lives. It was getting hard for me to believe that someone like Stalin, who got into trouble with the authorities and went to prison for the working class movement, was the dictator that the mainstream American culture and academia argued. Furthermore, it was becoming difficult for me to believe that the people in the USSR were simply duped by Lenin and the Bolsheviks.

In my trade union struggles, I have come to see that my professors are generally selfish careerists and hypocrites who cannot even tolerate trade unions or even someone like Sanders, despite all their talk of equality and human rights. Accordingly, the calculation became simple: If my professors are against the USSR, Lenin, and Stalin (much like their opposition to unions and Sanders), then logically, the USSR must be something that I may just benefit from. My independent study of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) introduced me to the idea that professors can obfuscate their theories to swindle poor people and help capitalists, so naturally, studying soviet history was a way for me to figure out what else my professors have been lying about.

Over time, I mentally broke with my bourgeois professors and mainstream academia that I once respected very much. Today, I simply ignore what academics say about great people like Lenin, Marx, Engels, Stalin, Mao, Castro, etcetera. In fact, whenever I am told something about these people, I automatically estimate the likelihood of the opposite being the truth.

I entered university thinking that knowledge and science can improve the lives of the people, but the reality is that I constantly feel inadequate, uninspired, and humiliated in academia on a daily basis. My entire work life so far is disconnected with poor people. Some people say that private companies are even worse. Why should I not become a Marxist if this is the reality I am dealing with? Why should we not smash this disgusting system? I happen to think that my turn to Marxism has been quite logical.

While I came to Marxism mainly through independent studies, I must thank the FinnishBolshevik and the CPGB-ML on the internet for giving me broad outlines and initial directions on what to read. The Marxist Internet Archive is invaluable in terms of my independent study. Even though I am against Trotskyism to my core, I believe I first learned of the October Revolution event through the Trotskyist opportunists and counter-revolutionaries.

The October Revolution of 1917

The mainstream American opinion is that the USSR was a dictatorship headed by Lenin and Stalin. People in the USSR are said to be monitored and can be imprisoned by the government without trial. Some even say that Stalin was a greedy racist idiot who killed and starved people he did not like. I would say the anti-communism in academia is much more subtle and more sinister. Communism is said to be inefficient because it makes people lazy and complacent. That is also the reason given as to why communism in the USSR collapsed.

Capitalism is said to be better than Communism, even though it is not perfect. Therefore, it is said that our duty as citizens and academics under capitalism is to raise our voice, engage in debates, and vote for politicians who would make regulations and redistributions. In other words, capitalism is eternal and we need to keep doing what we have been doing and hope for a different result!

When I read some non-bourgeois historical sources of Vladimir Lenin and the heroic struggles & achievements of the Bolsheviks during the October Revolution of 1917, I became very much inspired. There it was, working people could organize and have a revolution to create a new society where real meaningful democracy could be realized. As I read Lenin and Stalin, I realized that these individuals are heads and shoulders above the leaders we have now! Finally, an example to show that science and knowledge can be used to improve the lives of the majority! Finally, poor people can have real democracy! Not only that, I learned that many other countries followed the experience of the Bolsheviks to have their own national and even communist struggles!

For example, only after the heroic efforts and the titanic struggle of the Chinese Communist Party and the nameless proletarians and peasants was China able to stand up and become a superpower today. Mao Zedong once wrote that the Chinese never heard of Marx and Engels before the October Revolution. Under Vladimir Lenin, the Soviet Union returned land taken by Tsarist Russia back to China and treated the Chinese on an equal footing. The examples of Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam are also inspiring!

Led by Lenin, the peoples of the USSR carried out the October Revolution, which objectively advanced the USSR socially further than the capitalist West. The proletariat and peasantry bravely defended the revolution during the civil war against rabid interventionists and Tsarist remnants. Under the leadership of Stalin, the USSR industrialized their economy and collectivized their agriculture. A backward country was turned into one of the most technically advanced countries and the most socially advanced country in the world. Men and women of different nationalities of USSR came together as one to heroically defeat the Nazis in World War II and saved human civilization from outright barbarism. During that time, the dishonorable bourgeois West cowered from dealing with the Frankenstein monster that they had created. The West sought to bleed the USSR dry by appeasing the Nazis and by delaying a second front even after the USSR broke the back of the Nazis at the Battle of Stalingrad. Before WWII, the Wests economy entered a world crisis because the capitalist relations of production were not capable of supporting its productive forces; the USSR grew happily in that time. Today, the memory of the USSR is the light in a world of darkness. A simple act of remembrance of the titanic struggle and the achievement of the proletariat of the USSR is enough to fill ones chest with hope! No bourgeois publicist can change what has been achieved by Lenin and the brave oppressed peoples of the USSR.

The Prorivists (Scientific Centralists)

As I thought about the rich theory and history of the Bolsheviks in the lands of the former USSR, I could not believe there were no real Marxists left in the USSR after the 1991 disaster.

Sometimes I would use Russian keywords to try to find some Russian Marxist websites. I found VKPB on the internet. Soon after, I was able to find the Prorivists when I tried to learn other assessments as to the nature of Trotskyism.

The first article I ever read from the prorivists was the English article on Prorivists by the title of What is Trotskyism. Some of the ways Trotskyists talk about the USSR under Stalin is hardly different from bourgeois sources. However, It was important to understand the reason behind Trotskyism. Only after reading and re-reading can I understand more about this opportunistic phenomenon.

Another quite remarkable thing about the Prorivists is that the Prorivist has been able to extend Marxism further by taking the destruction of the USSR into account and offering better organization principles according to that. I am starting to see scientific centralism as a better theory of organization than democratic centralism.

The Prorivists have made me question my beliefs and broadened my horizon from politics and economics to philosophy and science as well. While groups like CPGB-ML and others have been good in giving me explanations and directions on Marxism-Leninism, I have never been challenged the way I am now being challenged by the Prorivists. While I think I understand some basic Marxist economics and politics, I dont believe I have a grasp of dialectical materialism that is satisfying yet. The Prorivists have been helping me alot in that regard.

The State of Marxism in the US

I must admit that I do not have a broad picture of Marxism in the United States that is completely satisfying to my conscience at this moment. Still, I can share what I know.

In general, Americans avoid Marxism like the devil avoids holy water. Yes, sometimes academics and students rail against capitalism in impassioned speeches. However, on the whole, there is no broad recognition of Marxism as an essential proletarian scientific theory yet, nor is there yet a broad recognition of the need of a Marxist political party. Even collective action at the trade union level is difficult. As we would expect under capitalism, the bourgeoisie and bourgeois ideas completely dominate every sphere of life. The American bourgeoisie has spent decades thoroughly educating people on laissez faire, individualism, and capitalism. Many cannot think of an alternative. American popular culture and politics is so toxic that nobody, except the educated people in universities, believes anyone is genuinely motivated by the public good. While this is quite well-founded and reasonable in many cases, Marxists and Marxism will have to get quite creative and persistent in convincing proletarians.

I have come across a few isolated self-proclaimed Marxist academics, but I do not know if they are revisionist, the extent of their activities, and the extent to which they are ignored and

silenced by the bourgeoisie. Perhaps people are trying the best they can. I do not want to discount them without even learning about or talking to them first. In any case, it is accurate to say that

the general state of Marxism is practically zero and that Marxists, including myself, are too timid, ignorant, lazy, and inadequate to lead the masses at this time. The solution is obvious: a correct understanding of Marxism and a tempering of personals are essential.

On the other hand, in the United States, we have an overwhelming and upside down historiography of Lenin, Stalin, and the USSR in general. Practically, to move forward, Marxists in the West must simply learn to defend the USSR against the dishonest, anachronistic, trivializing, badly-sourced, and unrealistic analyses from bourgeois academics and bourgeois media. Marxists need to be ready at all times to explain to the masses the destruction of the USSR by the bourgeois liberal opportunists within the CPSU.

For me, coming to Marxism was only possible after studying some Marxist texts and becoming convinced of it. Practically, coming to Marxism also requires a reassessment of soviet history by learning what Marxism roughly is and going through some first-hand accounts of the October Revolution and the Stalin era. The American media and academia are thoroughly anti-communist. It takes some level of intellectual combativeness, economic deprivation, and independent studying to rebel against bourgeois domination.

Social democrats are much stronger in the United States than Marxist-Leninists, since social democracy is somewhat more acceptable to the middle class Americans who are fascinated by gadgets and comic book fantasies. Recently, there has been an attempt by the social democrats to build The Peoples Party, which is supposed to represent the people (what is meant by people?) in American elections. Again, there is simply no recognition of a need to build a working class Marxist party. Marxism is not seen as the guiding theory. Eclecticism reigns. It boggles my mind how a proletarian can call him/herself a social democrat after opportunism of the second international and the fascism that rose out of its ruins.

Here is a question that nobody asks in the United States: what class is a Peoples Party even representing? The proletariat whose lives can only be improved by abolishing private property relations or the liberal middle-class humanitarian who has never even seriously thought about doing away with capitalism? My readers know that these two peoples have very different aspirations! Americans still talk about majority vs. minority and political beliefs rather than concrete social classes. This sort of political brainlessness is the result of decades of liberalism and capitalism.

Many American leftists have a romanticism with the Roosevelt days. Some bourgeois professors call that period the Golden Age of Capitalism. Even today, we hear leftists recount how Roosevelt and his economists regulated the economy and taxed the rich, as if the same political situation exists today, as if the solutions also apply, and as if Roosevelt himself was not a rabid imperialist. Never can they admit that it was the USSR that forced the Western countries to placate their own proletarians through various forms of bribes. This zombie idea is another factor that diverts a person from Marxism; instead of studying why a revolution is necessary, the person now studies how to regulate capitalism. In that logic, if any society can be made perfect by research and regulation, why do we even abolish slavery? If we admit that there are relations of production incapable of providing basis for decent living and that it is morally correct to carry out a revolution to abolish it, then why stop at slavery or feudalism?

As for American communism, Some people are channeled into the RCP (Revolutionary Communist Party), in which members behave like cultists around their leader. These people would set dumpsters on fire and yell at workers for not being as revolutionary as they are (because in their minds, turning workers away using hysterics is revolutionary). These frenzied individuals are some of the best gifts to the bourgeoisie against the cause of communism. Their conduct is very effective at discrediting communism as something not carefully thought out and studied. Communism is turned into something unscientific and impulsive.

Other than the RCP, Trotskyism dominates the American Marxism field. At almost every strike that I have been in, Trotskyists have been present to hand out their materials.

Practically, Trotskyists have complete free rein in this regard. There are no genuine Marxists or Marxist party that offers any material to expose the Trotskyists of their crimes: careerism, empty phrase-mongering, unprincipleness, opportunism, adventurism, counter-revolutionary conducts, and assassinations & wrecking in collaboration with the Nazis. Many American students, workers, and intellectuals are thoroughly petit-bourgeois, careerist, conservative, and dismissive of the history of the USSR under Lenin and Stalin, so naturally Trotskyism appeals to these Americans. Young intellectuals have often been unable to completely break with their bourgeois upbringing at American universities and break from their parents outlook. The ascendency of Trotskyism is a result of an upside down historiography of the USSR under Stalin brought about by decades of Trotskyist and bourgeois venom. Just like a virus, Trotskyism rapidly mutates, so there are many Trotskyist groups in the United States. The trick is to look for their praise of Trotsky and the putrid venom they spill against Stalin; once found, we can assume these groups are not worth the effort and proceed to ignore them.

Some time ago, I learned from some communists abroad that the CPUSA was thoroughly revisionist. Recently, I have learned about Marxist-Leinist parties in the form of PCUSA (Party of Communists USA) and PSL (Party of Socialism and Liberation). I do not know the theories or the practice of these parties yet, and I am keeping an open mind. However, my criticism at this time is that these parties do not fight Trotskyists at all and there is no study group either. To be fair, I would level this criticism at myself as well.

On the flip side, admittedly, there are no recognized Marxist political leaders in the United States. I would say that part of the reason why Americans are so reactionary is simply because there are no (or not enough) worthy and literate Marxist leaders who would go among the masses to listen to them and make sense of the collective struggle in Marxist terms. An individuals understanding of genuine Marxist theory is essential to be able to bring other people into Marxism. When there are no such individuals, how can there be a recognition, party, or movement?

Finally, something must be said about cowardice. Americans are not blind, we know that income inequality exists and is getting worse. We intuitively know that many are poor because the few are rich. We intuitively know that the capitalist system is unfair and that it isnt working for the proletariat. Furthermore, I cannot be the only person who thinks that bourgeois professors mislead the public for the bourgeoisie. Why do we not look to the experience of the Russian Revolution of 1917 for a way out? Why dont we give Marxism even a fair shake? The answer must also include laziness and cowardice. Yes, theories are extremely important, but behind theory is the fact that we are too lazy and too spineless to do the right thing. Comrades should encourage and persuade the masses above all, but we must sometimes criticize ourselves and the proletariat honestly to move forward. I will be the first to criticize myself: Yes, I can do better and I promise to do better. I believe Molotov said it well:

To wrest the working class from the clutches of capitalism is possible only with sacrifice. Anyone who wants to overthrow capitalism without sacrifice would do better to enroll in another party, the party of pacifists, idlers, babblers, and incorrigible bourgeois ideologues. Period. In short, the working class can tear itself away from capitalism only through the greatest of sacrifices. If this is not to ones taste, then just go on living in slavery. There is no alternative. [Chuev F., Molotov V., and Resis A. (1991). Molotov Remembers. Terra Publishing Center]

Capitalism is only going to decay further. It has no way to deal with all pressing issues of the day that the proletariat faces. Only under socialism can we begin to address and solve the issues created by capitalism that the proletariat suffers. However, private property relations are not abolished by our complaints about inequality. Only a revolution and a dictatorship of the proletariat can abolish private property relations. Now, each and every proletarian has the choice to struggle or to complain. Each proletarian has a complete freedom of choice. If we choose the path of struggle, some proletarians will have to put up with sacrifices. On the other hand, over time, the proletariat will inevitably lose its meager social status even if we choose to submit.

Furthermore, when we make attempts in our struggle, success will not only be dependent on our theory and practice (which, by itself, already requires a titanic effort), but also on our adversaries strength and on the objective situations that are often beyond our control. Choices and consequences are fully disclosed here. No deceptions. No fantasies. Not sure what choice to make? On a bad day, I sometimes have doubts too! My advice to new Marxists is to keep reading the classic Marxist texts and articles from the scientific centralists, think things through, and convince yourself. My choice has only been becoming easier for me as I read more. Furthermore, Soviet novels, Soviet art, Soviet accounts of the October Revolution, Soviet biographies of Lenin et al., and many first hand witness accounts of the October Revolution are particularly inspiring and should be used to steel oneself for the struggle.

In conclusion, the basic structure of Marxist political practice may be summarized as follows:
1. The recognition of the Marxist-Leninist theory as the guiding scientific theory for the proletariat. The active studying and mastering of the Marxist-Leninist theory by the proletariat, especially by its leaders.
2. The recognition of the Marxist political party as the guiding force for the proletarian movement; the active organization and education of members that form such a party.

3.

The recognition for the need and the active practice of connecting the broad masses with the party; also, the recognition of the guiding role of their Marxist party among the honest proletarian masses.
4. The Ideological and political destruction of all different forms of opportunism practiced by self-serving and/or ignorant people (opportunists) who represent all the non-Marxist and unscientific trends both outside and within the party: careerism, social democracy, liberal democracy, conservatism, libertarianism, revisionism, utopianism, nationalism, reformism, parliamentarism, idealism, ultra-leftism, Trotskyism, tailism, economism, petit-bourgeois romanticism, trade-unionism, identity-politics, etcetera.
5. The continuous effort to increase the class consciousness of the masses with the aim to elevate the masses into a revolutionary force capable of overthrowing the bourgeois government. When a revolutionary situation arises, the party will lead a political struggle to wrest power from the bourgeoisie, explode the bourgeois dictatorial state, and create a dictatorship of the proletariat. After that, the proletariat will begin to unwind private property relations and usher in the next stage of social development, which will finally begin to make all-embracing happiness and all-round development of all people possible.

That is my grading rubric for American Marxists. It is fair to say there is almost zero recognition of Marxist theory and practice (#1-3). Because of the extremely low score on the whole, my grade for American Marxism is a big F! How embarrassing for us!

Closing Statement

When I was younger, there was always a question that I wanted adults to answer for me.

However, I have never asked the question because I knew that they did not possess a good answer. The question was: why is the world in such a mess? Lets say a child asks me the same question. If I can honestly say to the child that I have tried my best, even though we have not been successful yet, then I would consider my life to not have been a waste. Furthermore, I can tell them that I got involved in trade unions because I realized that the proletariat must fight for its own rights. I can tell them that, despite my personal economic difficulties and the humiliation by the bourgeoisie, I was able to move beyond trade unionism and into Marxism even when it was widely considered immoral and unscientific by practically all my teachers. I might even be able to tell them that I helped to build a non-revisionist and non-Trotskyist Marxist party. Finally, I should be able to tell them honestly and unequivocally that they themselves must continue this historic struggle for the happiness of all.

July 2022



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