I took some time off from consuming the news. In everyday life, I am quite easy-going and agreeable, so I needed to insulate my thoughts from the overwhelming amount of liberal and social democratic nonsense while I go through some of the classic Marxists texts. Recently I have started to consume the news, viz. I have started to listen to the nonsense again.
When bourgeois academics are interviewed about various social problems, I have noticed that time either does not seem to move forward or proceeds very slowly for these “intellectuals” because their reflection of reality does not seem to improve over time. Therefore, “time dilation” does not happen when we travel fast as physicists claim, but it takes place when people try to first deceive themselves and then others about the root cause of social ills in order to defend capitalism and the handful of exploiters.
Today, I listened to one such comedy in an interview with professor Matthew Desmond on his new book titled “Poverty, by America” which studies poverty and how to solve poverty in the United States.
The professor belongs to an institution which routinely uses an outdated, inaccurate, and incoherent worldview which continues to obscure the sight of the masses and keeps humanity from moving forward socially. Of course, we do not criticize academics with the intention that they will change, but the point is that the masses must be able to see the bankruptcy of academia and move beyond academia, which still continues to successfully pose as the voice of reason, moderation, science, and also purports to speak for the oppressed. In reality they are full of agents of the bourgeois state to continue the status quo. Indeed, Upton Sinclair once said that “it is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” Accordingly, by helping to keep the bourgeoisie and capitalism, their track record is naturally abysmal; their understanding never becomes more profound, nor do they suggest any adequate social action that can truly turn society around. In fact, examining my own memory, I think that I have heard all their spiel many years ago, and it is the same drivel today. Time never moves forward for bourgeois academics because capitalism limits human thinking. In contrast, let it be said that the inspiring history of the Communist struggle in pre-revolutionary Russia, which culminated in the October Revolution in 1917 and the subsequent successful construction of the first stage of communism offer much more exciting, valuable, and ample scientific & historical material for study than the modern Western academia on solving various social problems, which, I am sorry to say, still almost entirely consists of daydreaming, whining, and raving. After the babblers, the more “progressive” ones favor social actions and reforms only to prolong capitalism and the inevitable deterioration of living standard as long as capitalism remains. I probably will not read the professor’s book, since I work 90 hours a week for subsistence wages as a research scientist studying cancer, and I am surrounded by homeless people in Los Angeles. I do not have time for personal opinions, academic hesitations, or hypocritical bourgeois morality. I would like to spend what free time I have left on learning Marxist science instead.
Sections inside quote marks are from the interview transcript.
“There is an incredible amount of unnecessary scarcity in this land of abundance. So this book is about why, and this is a book about how we can finally abolish it.”
The reality is the opposite: under capitalism, private property owners are protected by the state which seems to stand above class, but in reality, it is controlled by the ruling class–the bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie has economic supremacy because it owns the means of production, and it can continue to run the capitalist circuit and more to extract surplus value. The bourgeoisie dominate culture because they own the media. They dominate the proletariat politically even without utilizing the police or the army which they control. Therefore, scarcity for the proletariat is a necessary consequence of this setup. As the professor himself said, this is a land of abundance. Many people have unimaginable wealth. Think the two facts (ie. poverty of the many and the wealth of the few) are connected? Does the professor even dare to connect the dots simply, clearly, repeatedly for the listeners? Do his colleagues do this? No, no, and no! However, I am still very much intrigued by the professor’s “solution,” so let’s keep reading.
“One obstacle is we do a very bad job connecting families to programs that they need and deserve. Sometimes we literally just don’t spend the money on fighting poverty.”
First, who is the “we”? Academics love to throw around the word “we” a lot as if he and I have any say in the bourgeois dictatorial state and as if the cruelly exploited and thoroughly propagandized masses know how to turn the ship around in general. Think having the bourgeoisie dominate the state has something to do with the state not spending money on fighting poverty? Why do people need welfare in the first place when they have produced more value in labor time than is necessary to keep them alive? We know this ever since the mid-19th century: the masses need welfare because the bourgeoisie have extracted too much value from the proletariat. On the other hand, is the professor claiming that society will be “okay” once “we» implement more adequate social programs and connect the masses to these welfare programs? Forget about developing every member of society fully, we just need to throw the poor some cash!
“Kids lose their school. Eviction comes with this mark, a blemish, which can prevent you from moving into good neighborhood and good housing, because many landlords see that mark, that court record, and they say, “No, thanks.” And so we push those families into worse housing, and we push those families into high-crime neighborhoods.”
Yes, evictions are terrible. However, the problematic point here is why we are focused on one family being pushed into worse housing or high-crime neighborhoods. What about the families who are already living in those neighborhoods? Our task is to lift everybody up and not prevent two families exchanging places in a social ladder. There should be no high-crime neighborhoods at all! Obviously that would anger the bourgeoisie whose fortunes are direct results of the poverty and the general wretchedness of the many.
“There’s very little evidence that immigrants dragged down wages for native workers or are contributing to poverty in America at all, but it really has a deep cultural resonance with a lot of Americans who are white and who are in struggling economic areas.”
Immigrants do not drag down wages? Under the insane capitalist system, having more labor power would make the price of labor power go down. In fact, many academics have trouble finding good employment and wages because there are too many academics and too much knowledge. Market crashes because there are too many products. Unemployment because there is too much money belonging to a minority. The employer can decrease wages as the reserve army of the unemployed increases. As for “cultural resonance,” we need to remember the bourgeoisie controls the entire cultural market and the media to deliver lies to the masses every single minute of every day. Why do immigrants like myself come to the States and to accept low paying work? Did I have a choice? Again, the issue is capitalism itself. Furthermore, there is nothing virtuous about shackling our lives to the whims of the market. It should not be allowed to dictate our lives, and it is a wild beast that needs to be slain.
“The electeds are very polarized, but on the ground, I think there’s a lot of Americans that want a — they want more opportunity, they want less poverty, and they want less inequality, on both sides of the aisle.”
Indeed, we have one section of millionaires and billionaires fighting another group of millionaires and billionaires, but they all end up laughing at dinners together as colleagues. As for the rest, the masses all want more opportunity, less poverty, and less inequality, but are not delivered by the elected “representatives.” One would think the professor can conclude that the elected are dictators for the rich and powerful? Are we Marxists extremists or radicals for saying “democracy” is dictatorship of the bourgeoisie? Marxism has detailed how the proletariat are exploited by the property owners, who are in turn protected by the bourgeois state, which serves them. The rich are wealthy because they exploit the proletariat. Cause and effect. Simple and clear. Because the bourgeoisie gets its way all the time, one would think that the professor can finally realize that for the masses to have more opportunity, less poverty, less inequality is not more “democracy,” but the dictatorship of the proletariat to replace dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.
“It’s huge. It’s a huge part of the story. So, after World War II, the job market really delivered for many Americans for decades.”
Think the world communist movement started by the Bolsheviks has something to do with it? Nooo! There is no connection between significant epoch-making events and history!
“Many of us get tax breaks from the government, which is an enormous part of government spending. And we protect those tax breaks, which starve anti-poverty programs. And then we continue to be segregationists in America, building walls around affluent communities and concentrating not only wealth and privilege, but also concentrating poverty. Many of us are connected to the problem, and the solution.”
So it is the slightly more privileged middle layer proletariat who are really at fault because these hamsters are looking out for their little nests and they are against the “solution,” not the big bourgeoisie who actually own the means of production, culture, media, and control the state or the intellectuals and scientists who should know better? The middle layer proletariat often are so bogged down by keeping their careers and status that they do not have much time set for understanding society and to change it, and so they remain philistines. The root of philistinism is capitalism.
“So, unions have an incredibly impressive track record in striving for worker empowerment. The problem in America today is organizing a workplace is incredibly difficult. And so let’s make it easier.”
Alright, part of his “solution” is trade unionism. However, dear reader, do not ever believe an academic when they say that they are supportive of trade unions. They are only supportive if the trade union is far away somewhere and don’t ever remotely bother their own careers. Also, more importantly, the communist movement has already long moved past banal trade unionism as a bankrupt opportunist enterprise if the latter were to stand on its own “merits” without a leading communist party because it leaves the exploitative society and bourgeoisie in place. Therefore, firstly, trade unionism is kindergarten for the proletariat. Secondly, trade unionism prolongs capitalism by redistributing wealth to a tolerable existence for some proletarians while real power still belongs to the bourgeoisie and many proletariat still suffer poverty. If the professor is even aware that there is a class struggle, i.e. The proletariat are actually dueling with the bourgeoisie, then trade unionism is like a feint from the bourgeois swordsman. The bourgeoisie still has his grip on us (i.e. exploitation is still in place) and is trying to disarm us (i.e. using trade unionism) before moving in for the kill (i.e. to kill communist movement), and the professor falls head first into this trap, thinking that we are winning! This analogy does not actually quite work obviously because the bourgeois academics are on the side of bourgeois dictatorship and not the proletariat. After all, who would risk their career when inevitably some bourgeois parents complain about radicalism? Finally, the professor is an outright reactionary to suggest that we should go back in time where capitalism was being reined in (again, only because of the Soviet Union, by the way) instead of heading into communism following the natural law of development of human society. Theoretically, the professor is a reactionary just like a Narodnik who insisted that capitalism was a mistake, and the masses needed to go back to peasant life. We see the social abuse that exacerbates every single day when we go against nature, which the professor and his colleagues have no problem continuing to prescribe even after decades of increasing inequality and social abuse.
“The deterioration of the American job means that, you know, the government has to do more to fight poverty. When the war on poverty and Great Society were launched, the job market was strong, and it was kind of a one-two punch: deep government investments along with a job market that was delivering. That massively cut poverty in America. Today, the job market just isn’t pulling its weight. And this is one of the reasons that we don’t just need deeper investments. We need different ones. And one of those investments is finding ways to empower more American workers.”
We should not overthrow the slave owners, instead we should convince the slave owners to do more to alleviate slave hunger. Maybe we should resurrect the Soviet Union just so we can put pressure on the West to go back to the good old days when the bourgeoisie bribed the proletariat with a regulated market? The professor is completely satisfied that the proletariat should remain in chains and be exploited. As long as the social abuse is not too obscene, then it’s okay.
“It’s also about ways that we need to interrogate our everyday lives and commit ourselves to divesting from poverty in our consumer choices, our neighborhood choices, in all the little ways that we go about our life that unwittingly contributes to this issue.”
If the bourgeoisie create poverty by extracting surplus value from the proletariat everywhere under a mutually connected all-encompassing capitalist mode of production, then how can one ever realistically “divest from poverty in our consumer choices?” On the other hand, actually, a fundamental way that reactionaries contribute to poverty is anti-communism and professorial cretinism. Intellectuals are supposed to lead the masses out of Plato’s cave and into the light, not pumping out pointless, idealist, upside down, and nonscientific “little ways” to solve the masses’ problems under the guise of “science.”
“So, one idea in the book is something called sectorial bargaining, which is a pretty wonky name, but the idea is pretty simple. Instead of organizing one Starbucks, then this Starbucks, then another Starbucks, what if everyone in food and beverage in America, every single worker, took a vote, and if that vote cleared 50%, 60%, whatever we’d like, it would activate the secretary of labor, who would form a bargaining panel made up of worker and business representatives who could come to an agreement for unions or protective rights that would protect all folks in that industry, every single barista, every single Starbucks?”
Since the 18th century at least, we already know that the bourgeoisie isn’t necessary for social production. Later on, the Soviet Union developed into a world superpower without the bourgeoisie. We also are completely aware of the general mechanisms by which poverty of the many are created by private property relations and the bourgeoisie that control them. Naturally, removing the bourgeoisie is one of the fundamental conditions which would allow the proletariat to truly abolish poverty. However, here, the professor cannot even conceive of a world without bourgeoisie, which is a world in which everyone is equal politically and economically. Looking at this, It’s almost as if the last 100+ years never existed for him.
In the same passage, in addition to trade unionism, the other solution seems to be voting and elections. I thought the professor had something profound, but it turns out that “we” have been doing the correct things these few decades (by voting & trade unions)! A respect for reality should have long shown that these are NOT solutions. Interestingly, the professor uses the word “protect” when discussing workers rights, but like his academic colleagues, they can never connect the dots simply, directly, and repeatedly that the workers protect themselves against the bourgeoisie. Lastly, what if the “activated” secretary of labor does not do what the workers want him/her to do? If they manage to make a deal, then the proletariat go back to work to make the capitalists more billions. On the other hand, what if the business representatives do not agree? The proletariat will do the same thing it has always done: sit on a bench, twiddling their thumbs, and pout or be satisfied with some bread crumbs. “The next time will be better, you just watch!” The correct alternative as demonstrated by the Bolsheviks is to follow science and the law of development of society to create a new communist society. Only a scientifically literate party can even stay focused on the historical role of the proletariat and can act like a solid and reliable rock so as to rally the masses to its banner.
“And so, this book is a call to reevaluate our values. It’s not a call for redistribution, I don’t think. It is a call for rebalancing our safety net.”
So reforming safety nets and welfare programs are not redistribution? Reality is just the opposite. Reformism is redistribution. In any case, forget about revolutionary (i.e. non-redistributive) social change, the professor does not even want to call for redistribution. Furthermore, trade unionism is redistribution. Even in theory, the professor vacillates between trade unionism and voting, which puts him roughly behind the tails of trade unionists half the time. He argues that “we” should “reevaluate our values.” I am pretty sure thinking differently does not change reality but then I’m not an idealist.
“I want a country that does a lot more to fight poverty than it does to guard fortunes.”
Me too, and you are not helping.
To summarize, the causes for poverty are:
1. Lack of access to social welfare programs.
2. State governments are not properly doling out the funds.
3. Government is not terrified of the people.
4. Lack of social movements to push for relief.
5. Lack of trade unions.
6. Unfair tax code.
7. People not voting properly.
The “expert” says that solutions for poverty are naturally the opposite of the above. Oh, I don’t know. I have only heard these “solutions” again and again for the last 15 years, and I have only been living in the United States for 15 years. It’s like there has been no passage of time!
Finally the professor summarizes:
“So, I think unions and worker power is essential to ending poverty in America.”
In America, by “worker power,” politically ignorant people do not mean political power, abolishing private property, or the dictatorship of the proletariat, they mean that workers should go on strikes to embarrass their employers to give the proletariat more bread crumbs by yelling “Union! Power!” This kind of “political theory” puts the professor squarely into the “economists” of pre-revolutionary Russia, who actually tailed the workers in terms of social movements and refused to educate and guide the masses in social science. Like the Mensheviks, the professor will turn against the workers he purports to love when they decide to actually take power. These people will cry out for the suffering bourgeoisie and criticize the extremism of the Communists. Naturally, the extremism of the bourgeoisie is invisible for these individuals. In other words, bourgeois intellectuals remain bourgeois intellectuals, whose values and worldview remain bourgeois. We can attempt to do anything under the sun and fail for decades but we cannot get rid of capitalism. As Tolstoy once said, “I sit on a man’s back, choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by all possible means—except by getting off his back.”
In 1848, Karl Marx captured the essence of the modern academia in the Communist Manifesto:
“A part of the bourgeoisie is desirous of redressing social grievances in order to secure the continued existence of bourgeois society.
To this section belong economists, philanthropists, humanitarians, improvers of the condition of the working class, organisers of charity, members of societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals, temperance fanatics, hole-and-corner reformers of every imaginable kind. This form of socialism has, moreover, been worked out into complete systems.
We may cite Proudhon’s Philosophie de la Misère as an example of this form.
The Socialistic bourgeois want all the advantages of modern social conditions without the struggles and dangers necessarily resulting therefrom. They desire the existing state of society, minus its revolutionary and disintegrating elements. They wish for a bourgeoisie without a proletariat. The bourgeoisie naturally conceives the world in which it is supreme to be the best…”
Even after more than 150 years, Marx’s description still fits the academics who are engaged in this type of activity. It’s long overdue that we recognize that bourgeois academia should be finally discounted as the origin/supporter of social progress but instead as duplicitous mercenaries promoting scientific ignorance, social stagnation, and anti-communism. It poses itself as progressive and scientific, but in reality, like the dying capitalism that it ultimately protects and prolongs, it does not advance but stays frozen in time. Instead, we need to continue to study Marxist science and the victorious Communist experiences of the past, forge ourselves, and take matters into our own hands. On the other hand, the masses will follow the theorists who produce the correct theory and who are truthful to them.
 Engels’ discussion of freedom and necessity are provided with more insightful definitions of these words Please see Anti-duhring.
 I simplified for the sake of brevity. There are many reasons that capitalism cannot but create unemployment. We also understand these mechanisms. As bourgeoisie, welfare and reforms are used to quell unrest.
 Of course, even if they say redistribution should happen, it’s still just empty talk.
 Funny how the professor does not go into how the government would be made to “fear the people.” Americans are pretty well-armed, so all they need is scientific leadership and organization to create meaningful social change. Right now, however, gun deaths are a massive social problem because of capitalism.
An Actual Time Dilation Phenomenon: 11 комментариев
Очень содержательная статья с массой тонких наблюдений. Во времена Маркса и Энгельса, сравнительно молодой пролетарский класс, эксплуатируемый предпринимателями со звериной жестокостью, в своей практической борьбе несколько опережал теоретиков и потому «телега» стихийных забастовок, массовых манифестаций, столкновений с полицией неслась впереди «лощади» научного осмысления происходящего и разработки стратегических концепций победы, причём не только в вопросе свержения старой власти, но и в вопросах построения нового общества. Иначе говоря, борьбы было много, побед — ни одной. Автор поднял очень важный вопрос о том, что и уровень умственного развития масс наёмных работников, и состояние теории, и возросшие возможности по подготовке научно-теоретических кадров марксистского толка могут изменить размах СОЗНАТЕЛЬНОГО, планового движения пролетариев умственного и физического труда. Не только хорошая теория значительно облегчает осуществление самой сложной практики, но и армия глубоких теоретиков гарантирует небывалую организованность и массовость левых сил.
«Армия глубоких теоретиков» не гарантирует ровным счётом ничего кроме гарантированного бесконечного балабольства. И я волшебно млею от «уровня развития» крестьян и рабочего класса в 1917-м году… Хотя именно рабочие, едва умеющие читать, составили революционный костяк.
Вот так мы изучаем историю большевистской партии… Махно может тобой гордиться.
С позволения спросить: «Что не так?» И давайте без ярлыков, а то придётся мне вас заставлять читать о Махно.
Да, Борька, наглости тебе не занимать!.. Кто-нибудь, «забаньте» уже, наконец, этого придурка!
Борис, а где вы видели «армию глубоких теоретиков». Её в истории ещё ни разу не было. Были только отдельные глубокие теоретики, раз в несколько столетий. Русские рабочие и крестьяне, будучи неграмотными, одержали блестящие победы над ВСЕМИ противниками коммунизма во времена Ленина и Сталина только потому, что БЕСПРЕКОСЛОВНО выполнили всё, что до их сознания довели настоящие большевики, которые тоже, всего на всего, лишь точно доводили до сознания масс рекомендации Ленина и Сталина. Но, разумеется, ситуация будет развиваться более надёжно, если настоящих знатоков объективных законов развития общества будет больше.
Не моя фраза, взято в кавычки, если заметили. И Вашу мысль понял (надеюсь) и посыл поддерживаю.
Борис, это заявление характеризует вас, как непорядочного спорщика. Что с того, что слова взятые в кавычки, не ваши? Вы использовали эти слова как, якобы, удачное выражение того, с чем вы согласны. Если бы вы с ними были не согласны, то зачем вы применяете их и пытаетесь убедить нас, что мы стоим на ошибочной позиции, занявшись научно-теоретической формой классовой борьбы. Жаль, что вы, человек не очень образованный, истерического склада характера, паникерского, скандального темперамента, за что во время войны, просто, расстреливают, требуете от нас то, что уже опробовано батькой Махно, Антоновым, ГКЧП, Руцким, Хазбулатовым, Анпиловым, Удальцовым… Простота — хуже воровства, а краткость — сестра таланта, но не сам талант. Чтобы изложить истину ясно и коротко, тем более для ограбленного рабочего, который не собирается умнеть, а только пьёт пиво, нужно немало попотеть. А для того, чтобы сформулировать ваши «предложения», нужно иметь только склочный характер.
«Балаболы» из прорывского племени организовали и успешно развивают журнал и газету, в которых любой пролетарий может найти не только ответы на актуальные вопросы современности, но и теоретические разработки, убедившись в том, что умные коммунисты существуют. А что сделали за последние десятилетия все «практики», которых вы не относите к разряду балаболов? Никто из них оказался не способен обеспечить качественного наполнения множество созданных изданий и поддерживать необходимый уровень пропаганды. Весь их кадровый потенциал — это разбросанная по кустам безмозглая пехота, способная только на тусовку и собраться под красным флагом 1 мая. Все их достижения из разряда «помощи рабочим» — пшик, не давший ничего коммунистическому движению. Прекрасный пример — рабочий от станка Этманов, которого обхаживали левые и записывали на радостях в коммунисты. Теперь он член партии «Яблоко».
Товарищ мой, любой пролетарий сейчас сидит на скамейке у подъезда дома, пьёт дешёвое пиво и слушает песню о том что «ща вагнера подъедут»…
Не о Вагнерах речь — о выворачивании смысла «пребывания» Группы Вагнер в Бахмуте и их значении. (Да, теперь в Артёмовске).
О теоретических разработках и полезности газеты вы, прошу, не объясняйте. Не было бы площади — хрен бы я вам противоречил. Ну или как-то так. Спасибо «Прорыву». (Зарифмовать не пытался).
А вы видели практиков? Я — нет… дальше обсуждать бессмысленно.
И опять вернусь к Вагнерам.
Пригожин сделал предложение, ужели ни кто не услышал? А!?
Как говорит товарищ Неверов: «Реальная практика начинается НЕ с бездумного ломания дров, а с размышления, с принятия правильных-оптимальных решений — СНАЧАЛА подумать, а только ПОТОМ действовать! К примеру, с чего начинается учебная, производственная, курсовая, преддипломная практика у студента?! С получения задания, обдумывания, расчётов, начертания схем и эскизов, которые потом воплощаются в материале, в жизни! Т.е. расчёты, чертёж, проект УЖЕ есть начальная фаза практики! А у левачествующих получается, что Маркс был застенчивым теоретиком — сидел 20 лет «на диване» и писал. Под стать ему и Энгельс — эдакий фантазёр маниловского пошиба. Он кое-где, конечно, поучаствовал в 1848 г., а потом пошла писать губерния: «Диалектика природы», «Анти-Дюринг», «Происхождение семьи, частной собственности и государства». А Ленин и Сталин тоже были кабинетными учёными, когда писали: «Развитие капитализма в России», «Что делать?», «Философские тетради», «Материализм и эмпириокритицизм», «Империализм как высшая стадия капитализма», «История ВКП(б)», «Экономические проблемы социализма в СССР» и т.д.? Или они всё же УЖЕ занимались коммунистической практикой?!»