From email@example.com Thu May 24 10:54:26 2001
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 23:52:40 -0500 (CDT)
Dave Silver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Reaction and Resistance
The development of early mercantile capitalism in the 16th century gradually replaced the feudal system of land tenure, fiefs and vassals or serfs. As the contradictions deepened with increased trade and exchange of commodities and the demand for goods which new machinery of the Industrial capitalism produced in the late 18th century,feudal relations were broken asunder. Capitalism had its origins in the surplus produced in later type of farming societies, first in Asia then in Europe. Since commercial wealth develops at a greater rate than agriculture, capitalism moved ahead changing the means of production as well as the relations of production.
Goods and services, such as better and more permanent homes and transportation transformed social relations as cities grew and hand operated tools were replaced by machines. The semi slave relationship to the landowners of feudal society was gradually replaced by wage slavery of the factories and mines. The private ownership of the means of production also brought the 13 hour day and widespread diseases such as Tuberculosis particularly in the slums.
The French Revolution resulted in its bourgeois class seizing power from the Monarchy. Thus the lofty slogans of liberty, equality and fraternity. However bourgeois democracy was limited to men of property and wealth not the masses. Of course many class struggles and liberation movements especially since the beginning of the 20th century such as the struggle for the 8 hour day and against institutionalized racism have improved conditions. However we now live in an era where the corporate rulers-transnationals and banks- have superceded national governments and wield de facto control over the economic, political and social life of working and poor people all over the globe. These rulers will and have literally killed for profit for example making medications and health services prohibitively costly or creating a criminal justice system that condemns innocent people to death or long periods of incarceration which acts as a spur to the profits of the prison-industrial complex. This is so because the system demands ever increasing capital accumulation as power and wealth becomes concentrated in fewer and fewer hands and the disparity between rich and poor grows wider.
We need only witness the mega mergers in the communications and information industry. As Marx observed that the ideas of the ruling class are the ruling ideas and that the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force. So that when we look at our system of elections or our pronouncements about human rights we must lift the veil of lies and myths that it has any resemblance to a peoples democracy. Elections are staged so that only candidates are chosen who will not fundamentally challenge the system of profit first and then we ll see what crumbs are left for the people. With rare exceptions, mainly due to enormous struggles we will not be able to choose someone that says a job with dignity, decent housing, and quality health care is a human right. Or someone that calls for socialized medicine. Can anyone who says he or she not only opposes the illegal and immoral blockade of Cuba, but that country is a sovereign nation and has a right to build a different society possibly be chosen as a candidate for any of the larger Parties, of course not. The same can be said for sharply criticizing the policies of Israel and its military and financial partner, U.S. imperialism.
In order to forge any effective Resistance we must not only develop a viable organization but equally important a consciousness of the common enemy transnationals and banks which unite all of the crucial issues of exploitation and oppression. Part of that consciousness must include a recognition of the Black Liberation struggle as not a special question but rather central to class struggles. We cannot afford to overestimate our capabilities and underestimate the enemy as some Left Parties have done. In addition we must smash all illusions that the Democratic Party can be reformed or independent and become part of the solution. We must recognize that tactics and strategies change with the objective realities. Imperialism and its allies have justified their actions first to counter the Red Devil in Moscow, then it turned to the Drug Devil and now rests mainly on the Terrorist Devil.
We should be clear that this analysis does not and cannot provide a theory and method that will result in systemic and structural transformation of the capitalist/imperialist system in the U.S. Neither the objective conditions nor the level of consciousness that must inform an organized movement needed for a social and political Revolution exist at this time. In other words we are not talking about a rapid transformation of state and class structures of the country. What I argue is that an organized and effective Resistance (not excluding the electoral) aimed at changing the leaders, policies and perhaps some political institutions of the state is achievable.
As the late comrade Ken Cameron aptly noted that along with the working class in the developed countries the ever explosive third world, burdened by interlocking imperialist and internal exploitation, can rapidly develop a revolutionary critical mass. He concludes by noting that the world revolutionary thrust is still operating, inexorably like the giant forces of nature. Indeed it is.