As the socialist wave grows larger every day, especially among the youth, political debates are reaching a new level of heat for many of us. I recently got into the umpteenth debate about capitalism and communism with a friend, and ever since I turned Marxist-Leninist a few months ago, I realized that my friend, who had actually helped me become politically active in the first place, is but a liberal, just like the political activists I had once idolized with him.
To be clear, all liberals are not the same. All communists of today started out as liberals and we have all benefited from the changes that liberal politics ushered into our modern middle-class society. The only liberals I have a problem with are those who parade as intellectuals (they’re not) and who refuse to embrace communism as the next step in their social evolution. There is no denying that liberal politics has woken up a generation of today’s youth to the reality of racism, sexism, and gender discrimination but where it has failed is in waking us up to the reality of capitalism, neoliberalism, and imperialism. Continue reading
In the summary of Chapter I of State and Revolution, we read about how and why states are formed and how the state in capitalist society is the organ of oppression of the working class by the ruling class through military and paramilitary forces, and through taxation of the working class. We also read about how the antagonism between the working class and the ruling class is irreconcilable and hence, the working class must overthrow the state in an armed revolution and install a new form of government, the dictatorship of the proletariat, in order to win its class struggle and remove class distinctions during the transition period of capitalism to communism, which is when the state will finally wither away because it will no longer be required to enable the oppression of any class.
Let us proceed to the next chapter, which focuses on the European revolutions of 1848 to 1851, a series of liberal revolutions that began in France and aimed to replace the monarchical states with independent nations. Continue reading
If you’re new to socialism, you probably have come across suggested readings to understand Marxism. A classic text that remains highly relevant even today is Lenin’s State and Revolution, which was first published in August 1917. If you haven’t been able to find a copy to read, or if you’re struggling with reading or understanding it, I hope to be able to help you with chapter-wise summaries of the book.
In a February 2017 poll by the propagandistic organization Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, it was revealed that nearly 1 in 5 American millennials consider Joseph Stalin and Kim Jong Un “heroes”. The credibility of anything published by this deplorable organization is questionable but there is no denying that there is a rising interest in both communism and Stalin, and for good reason.
In this article, I share what some of the leading figures and politicals activists of the 20th century thought about Stalin: Albert Einstein, H. G. Wells, Nelson Mandela, W. E. B. Du Bois, Che Guevara, and Paul Robeson. I also share resources that will help in learning more about one of the greatest socialist revolutionaries in modern history and in shedding misconceptions bred by half a century of Western imperialistic propaganda.
In Part 1 of this article, Our Right to Vote is not a Sufficient Measure of Democracy, we read about how capitalist countries are authoritarian and how voting in national level elections in capitalist societies is essentially ineffective. In the second part of the article, we shall explore democracy in Actually Existing Socialist states (AES states) and understand concepts of freedom and authority from a dialectical point of view as opposed to an analytical point of view. Continue reading
In all the conversations I have with people about socialism and socialist states, the one argument invariably made by those who are pro-capitalism or by liberals who are yet to develop an understanding of socialism is that socialist states are dictatorships and not democracies. It’s not their fault, for we live in a world dominated by the North and the West, and liberal values across the globe are shaped by what those countries decide we must uphold. Continue reading
“I worry that travel is becoming more a form of consumerism, whether you live in Santa Monica or Shanghai, than a real exercise in curiosity, and that as the world grows more open and available, going to another country will seem more like going to a cool ethnic supermarket or trendy restaurant than a true journey into shock or difference.” – Pico Iyer Continue reading