Monday, August 31, 2009
The point is that the Chinese revolution did not evoke among the European bourgeoisie any enthusiasm for freedom and democracy—only the proletariat can entertain that feeling, which is alien to the knights of profit; it gave rise to the urge to plunder China, partition her and take away some of her territories. This “consortium” of the six Powers (Britain, France, Russia, Germany, Japan and the United States) was trying to make China bankrupt in order to weaken and undermine the republic.
The collapse of this reactionary consortium is a big success for the young republic, which enjoys the sympathy of the working masses the world over. The President of the United States has announced that his government will no longer support the consortium and will officially recognise the Republic of China in the near future. The American banks have now left the consortium, and America will give China much-needed financial support, opening the Chinese market to American capital and thereby facilitating the introduction, of reforms in China.
Influenced by America, Japan has also changed her policy towards China. At first, Japan would not even allow Sun Yat-sen to enter the country. Now the visit has taken place, and all Japanese democrats enthusiastically welcome an alliance with republican China; the conclusion of that alliance is now on the order of the day. The Japanese bourgeoisie, like the American, has come to realise that it stands to profit more from a policy of peace with China than from a policy of plundering and partitioning the Chinese Republic.
The collapse of the robber consortium is, of course, a defeat of no mean importance for Russia’s reactionary foreign policy.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Our industry, as well as our entire national economy, has been developing along capitalist lines. That is indisputable, and needs no proof. But anyone who limits himself to data on “development” and to the smugly boastful statement that “there is an increase of so-and-so many per cent” shuts his eyes to Russia’s incredible backwardness and poverty, which these data reveal.
The output of our entire factory industry was worth 4,307 million rubles in 1908 and about 4,895 million rubles in 1911, says the Minister of Finance exultantly.
But see what these figures mean. In America a census is taken every ten years. To come upon a figure similar to ours, we must go back to 1860, when America still had Negro slaves.
In 1860 the output of America’s manufacturing industry was valued at 3,771 million rubles, and in 1870 it was worth as much as 8,464 million rubles. In 1910 its value was already as high as 41,344 million rubles, i.e., almost nine times as much as in Russia. Russia has a population of 160 million, while America had 92 million in 1910 and 31 million in 1860!
In 1911 the Russian factory worker earned an annual average of 251 rubles, or 8.2 per cent more (in terms of the wages total) than in 1910, exults the Minister of Finance.
In America the average pay of the industrial worker in 1910 was 1,036 rubles, i.e., more than four times that of his Russian counterpart. In 1860 it was 576 rubles, i.e., double the present amount in Russia.
Twentieth-century Russia, the Russia of the June Third “Constitution”, is in a lower position than slave-owning America.
In Russia, annual productivity per factory worker was 1,810 rubles in 1908, while in America it was 2,860 rubles in 1860 and 6,264 rubles in 1910.
These few figures suffice as a brief illustration of modern capitalism and of the medieval oppression of serfdom which fetters it, and which accounts for the sorry plight of the bulk of the peasantry.
As a matter of fact, the plight of the peasantry is inevitably reducing the home market to miserable dimensions and dragging down the worker, who in 1911 earned half the amount earned by the American worker in the period of slavery. Besides, the conditions of the world market confront Russia with the alternative of either being crushed by competitors among whom capitalism is advancing at a different rate and on a truly broad basis, or of getting rid of all the survivals of serfdom.
Commentary:Russia's achievements fall behind America's because in America workers at least had a semblance of liberty and freedom of choice such as where he or she could work. This is not the case in Russia which meant employers paid less and had no incentives to pay more. These same problems would follow the Russia well into its transition to communism and communism's demise.
Monday, August 24, 2009
The most widely discussed topic today in Europe, and to some extent in Russia, is the “system” of the American engineer, Frederick Taylor. Not so long ago Mr. Semyonov read a paper on this system in the assembly hall of the Railway Engineering Institute in St. Petersburg. Taylor himself has described his system under the title of “scientific”, and his book is being eagerly translated and promoted in Europe.
What is this “scientific system”? Its purpose is to squeeze out of the worker three times more labour during a working day of the same length as before. The sturdiest and most skilful worker is put to work; a special clock registers—in seconds and fractions of a second—the amount of time spent on each operation and each motion; the most economical and most efficient working methods are developed; the work of the best worker is recorded on cinematographic film, etc.
The result is that, within the same nine or ten working hours as before, they squeeze out of the worker three times more labour, mercilessly drain him of all his strength, and are three times faster in sucking out every drop of the wage slave’s nervous and physical energy. And if he dies young? Well, there are many others waiting at the gate!
The capitalist cuts his expenditure by half or more. His profits grow. The bourgeoisie is delighted and cannot praise the Taylors enough!
The workers get a wage increase at first. But hundreds of workers get the sack. Those who are left have to work four times more intensively, doing a back-breaking job. When he has been drained of all his strength, the worker will be kicked out. Only young and sturdy workers are taken on.
It is sweating in strict accordance with all the precepts of science.
commentary:Again the problem with American workers then was that they were largely uneducated, mainly immigrants who were vulnerable to exploitation. The wages of workers increased because of increases in productivity. Europe on the other hand allowed fewer political liberties for those trying to improve their lot.
It is a permissible comparison. The Negroes were the last to be freed from slavery, and they still bear, more than anyone else, the cruel marks of slavery—even in advanced countries—for capitalism has no “room” for other than legal emancipation, and even the latter it curtails in every possible way.
With regard to the Russians, history has it that they were “almost” freed from serf bondage in 1861. It was about the same time, following the civil war against the American slaveowners, that North America’s Negroes were freed from slavery,
The emancipation of the American slaves took place in a less “reformative” manner than that of the Russian slaves.
That is why today, half a century later, the Russians still show many more traces of slavery than the Negroes. Indeed, it would be more accurate to speak of institutions and not merely of traces. But in this short article we shall limit ourselves to a little illustration of what we have said, namely, the question of literacy. It is known that illiteracy is one of the marks of slavery. In a country oppressed by pashas, Purishkeviches and their like, the majority of the population cannot be literate.
In Russia there are 73 per cent of illiterates, exclusive of children under nine years of age.
Among the U.S. Negroes, there were (in 1900) 44.5 per cent of illiterates.
Such a scandalously high percentage of illiterates is a disgrace to a civilised, advanced country like the North American Republic. Furthermore, everyone knows that the position of the Negroes in America in general is one unworthy of a civilised country—capitalism cannot give either complete emancipation or even complete equality.
It is instructive that among the whites in America the proportion of illiterates is not more than 6 per cent. But if we divide America into what were formerly slave-holding areas (an American “Russia”) and non-slave-holding areas (an American non-Russia), we shall find 11–12 per cent of illiterates among the whites in the former and 4–6 per cent in the latter areas!
The proportion of illiterates among the whites is twice as high in the former slave-holding areas. It is not only the Negroes that show traces of slavery!
Shame on America for the plight of the Negroes!
Commentary: Lenin forgets that at that time in 1913, many whites in the former slave holding areas were also illiterate as these were still mostly rural backward areas that were a century behind 100 years earlier. There were inadequete schools, no electricity and yes, there was racism.
However the bondage that Russian peasants faced is something we the American people of all colors and backgrounds now face. Compulsory education in government schools, forced indoctrination into political correctness have turned our youth into enslaved illiterates who will believe anything pop culture wants them to believe. The very values of Lenin and Marx helped pave way for a nation that ranks last in science and math and that graduates youngsters who cannot read or write
On August 31, 1911, the Federation had 1,841,268 members. Samuel Gompers, a strong opponent of socialism, was re-elected President. But Max Hayes, the socialist workers’ candidate, received 5,074 votes against Gompers’s 11,974, whereas previously Gompers used to be elected unanimously. The struggle of the socialists against the “trade unionists ” in the American trade union movement is slowly but surely leading to the victory of the former over the latter.
Gompers not only fully accepts the bourgeois myth of “harmony between labour and capital”, but carries on a downright bourgeois policy in the Federation against the socialist one, although he professes to stand for the complete political “neutrality” of the trade unions! During the recent presidential elections in America, Gompers reprinted in the Federation’s official publication the programmes and platforms of all three bourgeois parties (Democrats, Republicans and Progressists) but did not reprint the programme of the Socialist Party!
Protests against this mode of action were voiced at the Rochester Convention even by Gompers’s own followers.
The slate of affairs in the American labour movement shows us, as it does in Britain, the remarkably clear-cut division between purely trade unionist and socialist strivings, the split between bourgeois labour policy and socialist labour policy. For, strange as it may seem, in capitalist society even the working class can carry on a bourgeois policy, if it forgets about its emancipatory aims, puts up with wage-slavery and confines itself to seeking alliances now with one bourgeois party, now with another, for the sake of imaginary “improvements” in its indentured condition.
The principal historical cause of the particular prominence and (temporary) strength of bourgeois labour policy in Britain and America is the long-standing political liberty and the exceptionally favourable conditions, in comparison with other countries, for the deep-going and widespread development of capitalism. These conditions have tended to produce within the working class an aristocracy that has trailed behind the bourgeoisie, betraying its own class.
In the twentieth century, this peculiar situation in Britain and America is rapidly disappearing. Other countries are catching up with Anglo-Saxon capitalism, and the mass of workers are learning about socialism at first hand. The faster the growth of world capitalism, the sooner will socialism triumph in America and Britain.
How the world Works, the new bright star on youtube debates a group of Turkish leftys on Obama's healthcare program. He beats them out as liberals fume and whine.
I will continue with my series on Lenin and America and wrap it up I will also complete other articles that have been written but not published including the controversy surrounding Obamacare, the new youth brigade Obama plans to use to terrorize American citizens and the national debt. Possibly others.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Now the elections are over. The Democrats have won, and at once the consequences predicted by the socialists are beginning to tell. Roosevelt’s Progressive Party, with its 4.5 million votes, is a specimen of the broad bourgeois-reformist trend which has come on the scene in sweeping American fashion.
What happens to this trend is of general interest because, in one form or another, it exists in all capitalist countries.
In any bourgeois-reformist trend there are two main streams: the bourgeois bigwigs and politicians, who deceive the masses with promises of reform, and the cheated masses, who feel that they cannot go on living in the old way, and follow the quack with the loudest promises. And so we find the brand-new Progressive Party in America splitting at the seams right after the elections.
The bourgeois politicians who made use of Roosevelt’s quackery to dupe the masses are already yelling about a merger with the Republican Party. What’s the idea? It is simply this: the politicians want the cushy jobs which the victorious party in America hands out to its supporters with especial brazenness. The Republican split gave the victory to the Democrats. These are now ecstatically sharing out the luscious public pie. Is it surprising that their rivals are prepared to renounce the Progressive Party and return to the consolidated Republican Party, which has every chance of defeating the Democrats?
Indeed, this looks very much like a cynical cheap sale of “party loyalties”. But we see exactly the same thing in all capitalist countries; and the less freedom there is in a country, the dirtier and fouler is this sale of party loyalties among the bourgeois sharks, and the greater is the importance of backstairs intrigues and private connections in procuring concessions, subsidies, bonanza legal cases (for the lawyers), etc.
The other wing of any bourgeois-reformist trend—the cheated masses—has now also revealed itself in the highly original, free and lucid American style. “Scores who had voted for the Progressive Party, ” writes Appeal to Reason, the New York workers’ paper, “now come to socialist editorial offices and bureaux for all kinds of information. They are mostly young people, trusting, inexperienced. They are the sheep shorn by Roosevelt, without any knowledge of politics or economics. They instinctively feel that the Socialist Party, with its one million votes, is a more serious proposition than Roosevelt’s 4.5 million, and what they want to know most is whether the minimum reforms promised by Roosevelt can be implemented.”
“Needless to say,” the paper adds, “we are glad to give every one of these ‘progressives’ any information, and never let any of them leave without socialist literature.”
The lot of capitalism is such that its sharpest operators cannot help “working”—for socialism!
Commentary: Indeed, The lot of big wig capitalists cannot help working for socialists because their systems prevent competition and and suppress small business. Other marxists controls such as regualting the media are also useful tools.
Wilson, a “Democrat”, has been elected President of the United States of America. He has polled over six million votes, Roosevelt (the new National Progressive Party) over four million, Taft (Republican Party) over three million, and the Socialist Eugene Debs 800,000 votes.
The world significance of the U.S. elections lies not so much in the great increase in the number of Socialist votes as in the far-reaching crisis of the bourgeois parties, in the amazing force with which their decay has been revealed. Lastly, the significance of the elections lies in the unusually clear and striking revelation of bourgeois reformism as a means of combating socialism.
In all bourgeois countries, the parties which stand for capitalism, i.e., the bourgeois parties, came into being a long time ago, and the greater the extent of political liberty, the more solid they are.
Freedom in the U.S.A. is most complete. And for a whole half-century—since the Civil War over slavery in 1860–65—two bourgeois parties have been distinguished there by remarkable solidity and strength. The party of the former slave-owners is the so-called Democratic Party. The capitalist party, which favoured the emancipation of the Negroes, has developed into the Republican Party.
Since the emancipation of the Negroes, the distinction between the two parties has been diminishing. The fight between these two parties has been mainly over the height of customs duties. Their fight has not had any serious importance for the mass of the people. The people have been deceived and diverted from their vital interests by means of spectacular and meaningless duels between the two bourgeois parties.
This so-called bipartisan system prevailing in America and Britain has been one of the most powerful means of preventing the rise of an independent working-class, i.e., genuinely socialist, party.
And now the bipartisan system has suffered a fiasco in America, the country boasting the most advanced capitalism! What caused this fiasco?
The strength of the working-class movement, the growth of socialism.
The old bourgeois parties (the “Democratic” and the “Republican” parties) have been facing towards the past, the period of the emancipation of the Negroes. The new bourgeois party, the National Progressive Party, is facing to wards the future. Its programme turns entirely on the question whether capitalism is to be or not to be, on the issues, to he specific, of protection for the workers and of “trusts”, as the capitalist associations are called in the U.S.A.
The old parties are products of an epoch whose task was to develop capitalism as speedily as possible. The struggle between the parties was over the question how best to expedite and facilitate this development.
The new party is a product of the present epoch, which raises the issue of the very existence of capitalism. In the U.S.A., the freest and most advanced country, this issue is coming to the fore more clearly and broadly than anywhere else.
The entire programme and entire agitation of Roosevelt and the Progressives turn on how to save capitalism by means of bourgeois reforms.
The bourgeois reformism which in old Europe manifests itself in the chatter of liberal professors has all at once come forward in the free American republic as a party four million strong. This is American style.
We shall save capitalism by reforms, says that party. We shall grant the most progressive factory legislation. We shall establish state control over all the trusts (in the U.S.A. that means over all industries!). We shall establish state control over them to eliminate poverty and enable everybody to earn a “decent” wage. We shall establish “social and industrial justice”. We revere all reforms—the only “reform” we don’t want is expropriation of the capitalists!
The national wealth of the U.S.A. is now reckoned to be 120 billion (thousand million) dollars, i.e., about 240 billion rubles. Approximately one-third of it, or about 80 billion rubles, belongs to two trusts, those of Rockefeller and Morgan, or is subordinated to these trusts! Not more than. 40,000 families making up these two trusts are the masters of 80 million wage slaves.
Obviously, so long as these modern slave-owners are there, all “reforms” will be nothing but a deception. Roosevelt has been deliberately hired by the astute multimillionaires to preach this deception. The “state control” they promise will become—if the capitalists keep their capital—a means of combating and crushing strikes.
But the American proletarian has already awakened and has taken up his post. He greets Roosevelt’s success with cheerful irony, as if to say: You lured four million people with your promises of reform, dear impostor Roosevelt. Very well! Tomorrow those four million will see that your promises were a fraud, and don’t forget that they are following you only because they feel that it is impossible to go on living in the old way.
commentary: Lenin exposes the flaws of the two party system. Interestingly, he acknowledges the Democrats as the party of slavery and as a bourgeoisie party. Modern day Marxists such as the Socialist workers party have also acknowledged liberal Democrats as having a Bourgeois mindset. The problem however does not lie in the American republican system, but a corrupt influence of monopolistic corporations within the parties that have a negative influence.
It should be noted that Marxists have always had the opportunity to elect candidates. In the past election for example, the socialist green party nominated one of their own, a woman who was a supporter of the Russian invasion of Georgia. The two reasons that Marxists have failed is because first and foremost the two big parties receive donations and support that allow them to advertise their campaigns on local medias, (which then and even more now are corporate owned and influenced) and second because the overwhelming majority of the American public however sympathetic to the plight of the workers they may be do not desire such a system within their own government.
The leftist system of Old Europe resonates even greater now as corporations have grown bigger and more numerous. Its the left that they now support. Marxism is good for stomping out competing small businesses.
This figure—a million copies of a socialist weekly which American courts harass and persecute shamelessly and which is growing and gaining strength under the fire of persecution—-shows more clearly than long arguments the kind of revolution that is approaching in America.
Not long ago the sycophantic Novoye Vremya, a mouth piece of venal hacks, wrote about the “power of money” in America, relating with malicious joy the facts about the monstrous venality of Taft, Roosevelt, Wilson and, indeed, all Presidential candidates put up by the bourgeois parties. Here is a free, democratic republic for you, hissed the venal Russian newspaper.
The class-conscious workers will reply to that calmly and proudly: we have no illusions about the significance of broad democracy. No democracy in the world can eliminate the class struggle and the omnipotence of money. It is not this that makes democracy important and useful. The importance of democracy is that it makes the class struggle broad, open and conscious. And this is not a conjecture or a wish, but a fact.
At a time when the membership of the German Social-Democratic Party has grown to 970,000 and when the circulation of an American socialist daily has climbed to 984,000 copies, anyone who has eyes to see must acknowledge that a proletarian is powerless when alone but that millions of proletarians are all-powerful.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
The sharpening of the struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie is to be observed in all the advanced capitalist countries. The tendency is the same everywhere, though it manifests itself differently in accordance with the difference in historical conditions, political systems and forms of the labour movement. In America and Britain, where complete political liberty exists and where the proletariat has no revolutionary and socialist traditions that could be called living traditions, this sharpening of the struggle is expressed in the mounting movement against the trusts,(corporate monopolies) in the extraordinary growth of socialism and the increasing attention it is getting from the propertied classes, and in workers’ organisations, in some cases purely economic ones, that are beginning to enter upon systematic and independent proletarian political struggle.
In Austria and Germany, and partly also in the Scandinavian countries, this sharpening of the class struggle shows itself in election campaigns, in party relationships, in the closer alignment of the bourgeoisie of all sorts and shades against their common enemy, the proletariat, and in the hardening of judicial and police persecution. Slowly but surely, the two opposing camps are building up their strength, consolidating their organisations, drawing apart with increasing sharpness in every sphere of public life, as if preparing, silently and intently, for the impending revolutionary battles.
In the Latin countries, Italy and particularly France, the sharpening of the class struggle is expressed in especially stormy, violent, and occasionally forthright revolutionary outbreaks, when the pent-up hatred of the proletariat for its oppressors bursts out with unexpected force, and the “peaceful” atmosphere of parliamentary struggle gives way to episodes of real civil war.
The international revolutionary movement of the proletariat does not and cannot develop evenly and in identical forms in different countries. The full and all-round utilisation of every opportunity in every field of activity comes only as the result of the class struggle of the workers in the various countries. Every country contributes its own valuable and specific features to the common stream; but in each particular country the movement suffers from its own one-sidedness, its own theoretical and practical shortcomings of the individual socialist parties. On the whole we clearly see a tremendous step forward of international socialism, the rallying of million-strong armies of the proletariat in the course of a series of practical clashes with the enemy, and the approach of a decisive struggle with the bourgeoisie—a struggle for which the working class is far better prepared than in the days of the Commune, that last great proletarian insurrection.
Commentary: Lenin again mistakenly views the American revolution as a war for liberty exclusively for the higher ranking social classes. What is ironic is that the very areas that these corporate monopolies exercised corruption over the workers used the same techniques that the left uses to undermine the economy. They were capitalist in name only. Meanwhile, workers that migrated out to the American west escaped much of this exploitation and through many dangers and risks that came from this migration, many succeeded in finding the American dream.
Today, the former American frontiers are now as much enslaved to government control and corruption by the corporations as much as the urbanized areas of the nation are. It is also an indication that America's liberal elite are more to the left than Lenin and the Bolsheviks.
The two ways I have indicated of "solving" the agrarian question in developing bourgeois Russia correspond to the two paths of development of capitalism in agriculture. I call these two paths the Prussian and the American paths. The characteristic feature of the first is that medieval relations in landowning are not liquidated at one stroke, but are gradually adapted to capitalism, which because of this for a long time retains semi-feudal features. Prussian landlordism was not crushed by the bourgeois revolution; it survived and became the basis of "Junker" economy, which is essentially capitalistic, but involves a certain degree of dependence of the rural population, such as the Gesindeordnung, etc. As a consequence, the social and political domination of the Junkers was consolidated for many decades after 1848, and the productive forces of German agriculture developed far more slowly than in America.
There, on the contrary, it was not the old slave-holding economy of the big landowners that became the basis of capitalist agriculture (the Civil War smashed the slave-owners' estates), but the free economy of the free farmer working on free land -- free from all medieval fetters, from serfdom and feudalism on the one hand, and from the fetters of private property in land, on the other. Land was given away in America, out of its vast resources, at a nominal price; and it is only on a new, fully capitalist basis that private property in land has now developed there.
Both these paths of capitalist development quite clearly emerged in Russia after 1861. (End of feudalism in Russia) The progress of landlord farming is undoubted, and the slowness of this progress is not accidental, but inevitable so long as the survivals of serfdom remain. It is also beyond doubt that the freer the peasants are, the less they are weighed down by the remnants of serfdom (in the south, for example, all these favourable conditions exist), and finally, the better, all in all, the peasants are provided with land, the greater is the differentiation among the peasantry and the more rapid is the process of forming a class of rural capitalist farmers. The whole question of the further development of the country boils down to this: which of the two paths of development will ultimately prevail, and, correspondingly, which class will carry through the necessary and inevitable change -- the old land owning gentry or the free peasant farmer?
Commentary:Though Lenin welcomed the American revolution as a stumbling block to British Imperialism, Communists view the American revolution primarily as a revolution for landowners and the wealthy. They forget however that it brought about an end to the same policies that they would impose on us; policies that undermine freedom. America had freedom in abundance without interference by the state. This meant that more people could own property regardless of how poor they were.
In fact it was this very concept that allowed America to prosper. Examples abound of poor penniless immigrants and their families coming to America and moving from rags to riches, including Russian peasants, many of them Jews who suffered persecution at the hands of the Czar. These migrants and their descendants now live in great prosperity. Not so for the descendants of the October Revolution who suffered continued pestilence.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
No wonder the left hates him.
This one is called 10000pennies because of its use of money illustrations about the bailouts, our debt and deficits. Check it Out!
In Volume III of Capital (2. Teil S 156) Marx had already pointed out the the form of landed property with which the incipient capitalist mode of production is confronted does not suit capitalism. Capitalism creates for itself the required forms of agrarian relationships out of the old forms, out of feudal land property, peasants commune property, clan property, ETC. In that chapter, Marx compares the different methods by which capital creates the required forms of landed property.
In Germany the reshaping of the medieval forms of landed property. proceeded in a reformative way, so to speak. It adapted itself to routine, to tradition, to the feudal estates that were slowly converted into junker estates, to the routine of the indolent peasants who were undergoing the difficult transition from corv'ee to the condition of the Knecht and Grossbauer. In Britain this reshaping proceeded in a revolutionary, violent way; but the violence was practiced for the benefit of the landlords, it was practised on the masses of the peasants, who were taxed to exhaustion, driven from villages, evicted, and who died out, or emigrated. In America, this reshaping went on in a violent way as regards the slave farms of the Southern States. There violence was applied against the slave owning landlords. Their estates were broken up, and the large feudal estates were transformed into small bourgeois farms.
As regards the mass of unappropriated American lands this roll of creating the new agrarian relationships to suit the new mod of production IE Capitalism was played by the American General Redistribution by the anti rent movement or the forties the Homestead Act ETC. When in 1846 Hermann Kriege a german Communist advocated the equal redistribution of the land in America, Marx ridiculed the Socialist Revolutionary prejudices and the petty Bourgeois theory of this quasi socialism. But he appreciated the historical importance of the American movement against landed property, as a movement which in a progressive way expressed the interests of the development of the productive forces and the interests of capitalism in America.
7. Under What Conditions Can Nationalisation Be Brought About?
The view is often met with among Marxists that nationalisation is feasible only at a high stage of development of capitalism, when it will have fully prepared the conditions for “divorcing the landowners from agriculture” (by means of renting and mortgages). It is assumed that large-scale capitalist farming must have already established itself before nationalisation of the land, which cuts out rent without affecting the economic organism, can be brought about.
Is this view correct? Theoretically it cannot be substantiated; it cannot be supported by direct references to Marx; the facts of experience speak against it rather than for it.
Theoretically, nationalisation is the “ideally” pure development of capitalism in agriculture. The question whether such a combination of conditions and such a relation of forces as would permit of nationalisation in capitalist society often occur in history is another matter. But nationalisation is not only an effect of, but also a condition for, the rapid development of capitalism. To think that nationalisation is possible only at a very high stage of development of capitalism in agriculture means, if anything, the repudiation of nationalisation as a measure of bourgeois progress; for everywhere the high development of agricultural capitalism has already placed on the order of the day (arid will in time inevitably place on the order of the day in other countries) the “socialisation of agricultural production”, i. e., the socialist revolution.
No measure of bourgeois progress, as a bourgeois measure, is conceivable when the class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie is very acute. Such a measure is more likely in a “young” bourgeois society, which has not yet developed its strength, has not yet developed its contradictions to the full, and has not yet created a proletariat strong enough to strive directly towards the socialist revolution. And Marx allowed the possibility of, and some times directly advocated, the nationalisation of the land, not only in the epoch of the bourgeois revolution in Germany in 1848, but also in 1846 for America, which, as he most accurately pointed out at that time, was only just starting its “industrial” development. The experience of various capitalist countries gives us no example of the nationalisation of the land in anything like its pure form. We see something similar to it in New Zealand, a young capitalist democracy, where there is no evidence of highly developed agricultural capitalism. Something similar to it existed in America when the government passed the Homestead Act and distributed plots of land to small farmers at a nominal rent.
No. To associate nationalisation with the epoch of highly developed capitalism means repudiating it as a measure of-bourgeois progress; and such a repudiation directly contradicts economic theory. It seems to me that in the following argument in Theories of Surplus Value, Marx outlines conditions for the achievement of nationalisation other than those usually presumed.
After pointing out that the landowner is an absolutely superfluous figure in capitalist production, that the purpose of the latter is “fully answered” if the land belongs to the state, Marx goes on to say:
“That is why in theory the radical bourgeois arrives at the repudiation of private landed property.... In practice, however, he lacks courage, since the attack on one form of property, private property in relation to the conditions of labour, would be very dangerous for the other form. Moreover, the bourgeois has territorialised himself.” (Theorien über den Mehrwert, II. Band, 1. Teil, S. 208.)
Marx does not mention here, as an obstacle to the achievement of nationalisation, the undeveloped state of capitalism in agriculture. He mentions two other obstacles, which speak much more strongly in favour of the idea of achieving nationalisation in the epoch of bourgeois revolution.
First obstacle: the radical bourgeois lacks the courage to attack private landed property owing to the danger of a socialist attack on all private property, i.e., the danger of a socialist revolution.
Second obstacle: “The bourgeois has territorialised him self”. Evidently, what Marx has in mind is that the bourgeois mode of production has already entrenched itself in private landed property, i. e., that this private property has become far more bourgeois than feudal. When the bourgeoisie, as a class, has already become bound up with landed property on a broad, predominating scale, has already “territorialised itself”, “settled on the laud”, fully subordinated landed property to itself, then a genuine social movement of the bourgeoisie in favour of nationalisation is impossible. It is impossible for the simple reason that no class ever goes against itself.
Broadly speaking, these two obstacles are removable only in the epoch of rising and not of declining capitalism, in the epoch of the bourgeois revolution, and not on the eve of the socialist revolution. The view that nationalisation is feasible only at a high stage of development of capitalism cannot be called Marxist. It contradicts both the general premises of Marx’s theory and his words as quoted above. It oversimplifies the question of the historically concrete conditions under which nationalisation is brought about by such-and-such forces and classes, and reduces it to a schematic and bare abstraction.
The “radical bourgeois” cannot be courageous in the epoch of strongly developed capitalism. In such an epoch this bourgeoisie, in the mass, is inevitably counter-revolutionary. In such an epoch the almost complete “territorialisation” of the bourgeoisie is already inevitable. In the epoch of bourgeois revolution, however, the objective conditions compel the “radical bourgeois” to be courageous; for, in solving the historical problem of the given period, the bourgeoisie, as a class, cannot yet fear the proletarian revolution. In the epoch of bourgeois revolution the bourgeoisie has not yet territorialised itself: landownership is still too much steeped in feudalism in such an epoch. The phenomenon of the mass of the bourgeois farmers fighting against the principal forms of landownership and therefore arriving at the practical achievement of the complete bourgeois “liberation of the land”, i. e., nationalisation, becomes possible.
In all these respects the Russian bourgeois revolution finds itself in particularly favourable conditions. Arguing from the purely economic point of view, we must certainly admit the existence of a maximum of survivals of feudalism in the Russian system of landownership, in both land lord estates and peasant allotments.Under such circumstances, the contradiction between relatively developed capitalism in industry and the appalling backwardness of the countryside becomes glaring and, owing to objective causes, makes the bourgeois revolution extremely far-reaching and creates conditions for the most rapid agricultural progress.
The nationalisation of the land is precisely a condition for the most rapid capitalist progress in our agriculture. We have a “radical bourgeois” in Russia who has not vet “territorialised” himself, who cannot, at present, fear a proletarian “attack”. That radical bourgeois is the Russian peasant.
From this point of view the difference between the attitude of the mass of the Russian liberal bourgeoisie and that of the mass of Russian peasants towards the nationalisation of the land becomes quite intelligible. The liberal landlord, lawyer, big manufacturer and merchant have all sufficiently “territorialised” themselves. They cannot but fear a proletarian attack. They cannot but prefer the Stolypin-Cadet road. Think what a golden river is now flowing towards the landlords, government officials, lawyers, and merchants in the form of the millions which the “Peasant” Bank is handing out to the terrified landlords! Under the Cadet system of “redemption payments” this golden river would have a slightly different direction, would, perhaps, be slightly less abundant, but it would still consist of hundreds of millions, and would flow into the same hands.
Out of the revolutionary overthrow of all the old, forms of landownership neither the government official nor the lawyer can derive a single kopek. And the merchants, in the mass, are not far-sighted enough to prefer the future expansion of the home, peasant, market to the immediate possibility of snatching something from the gentry. Only the peasant, who is being driven into his grave by the old Russia, is capable of striving for the complete renovation of the system of landownership.
Commentary: Lenin and Marx speak much here about taxing to exhaustion not to mention oppressive rents. It would seen that modern liberals (Obama, Pelosi, Baldaci,)with their love of taxation and oppression are further to the left than that of Lenin and even Marx himself. hmmmm....
Friday, August 14, 2009
Marxism and the American General Redistribution
In Issue 15 of Vperyod April 20th 1905, Vladimir Lenin discusses Marx's views of America's founding and on land distribution.
...The year was not 1848 as erroneously stated in the article by Comrade-, but 1846. Herman Krige, a Co-worker of Marx and at the time a very young man, had gone to America in 1845 and there started a journal, the Volkstribun, for propaganda in such a manner that Marx was obliged to protest very strongly in the name of the German Communists against Hermann Kriege's discrediting of the Communist Party. The criticism of Krige's trend, published in 1846 in Westphalische Dampfboot and reprinted in Volume II of Mehring's edition of Marx's works, is of tremendous interest to present day Russian Social-Democrats.
The point is that the agrarian question at that time had been brought to the fore by the course of the American social movement, as is now the case in Russia; it was not a question of a developed capitalist society, but on the the contrar of the creation of the primary and fundamental conditions for a real development of capitalism.
Kriege gave no data in his journal for a concrete study of the distinctive features of the American social system and for defining the true character of the movement of the contemporary agrarian reformers who campaigned for the abolition of rent. What Kriege did do, though (quite in the style of our "Socialists-Revolutionaries"), was to clothe the question of the agrarian revolution in bombastic and high-sounding phrases: "Every poor man," wrote Kriege, "will become a useful member of human society as soon as he is given an opportunity to engage in productive work.
He will be assured such an opportunity for all time if society gives him a piece of land on which he can keep himself and his family. . . . If this immense area (the 1,400,000,000 acres of North American public domain) is withdrawn from commerce and is secured in restricted amounts for labour,[*] an end will be put to poverty in America at one stroke. . . ."
To this Marx replies: "One would have expected him to understand that legislators have no power to decree that the evolution of the patriarchal system, which Kriege desires, into an industrial system be checked, or that the industrial and commercial states of the East coast be thrown back to patriarchal barbarism."
Thus, we have before us a real plan for an American general redistribution: the withdrawal of a vast land expanse from commerce, the securing of title to the land, limitation of the extent of landownership or land tenure. And from the very outset Marx subjects this utopianism to sober criticism, he points out that the patriarchal system evolves inevitably into the industrial system, i.e., to use present day idiom, he points out the inevitability of the development of capitalism. But it would be a great mistake to think that the utopian dreams of the participants in the movement caused Marx to adopt a negative attitude to the movement in general. Nothing of the kind. Already then, at the very beginning of his literary activity, Marx was able to extract the real and progressive content of a movement from its tawdry ideological trappings. In the second part of his criticism, entitled "The Economics [i.e., the political economy]
"We fully recognise the historical justification of the movement of the American National Reformers. We know that this movement strives for a result which, true, would give a temporary impetus to the industrialisation of modern bourgeois society, but which, as a product of the proletarian movement, and as an attack on landed property in general, especially under prevailing American conditions, must inevitably lead, by its own consequences, to communism. Kriege, who with the German Communists in New York joined the Anti-Rent Bewegung [movement], clothes this simple fact in bombastic phrases, without entering into the content of the movement, thereby proving that he is quite at sea as regards the connection between young America and American social conditions. We will cite another example of his outpouring of enthusiasm for humanity over the agrarians' plan for parcelling the land on an American scale.
"In issue No. 10 of the Volks-Tribun, in an article entitled 'What We Want', we read: 'The American National Reformers call the land the common heritage of all men . . . and demand that the national legislature pass measures to preserve the 1,400,000,000 acres of land not yet fallen into the hands of the grabbing speculators, as the inalienable common property of the whole of mankind.' In order to preserve for all mankind this 'inalienable common property', he accepts the plan of the National Reformers: 'to provide every peasant, whatever country he may come from, with 160 acres of American land for his subsistence'; or, as it is expressed in issue No. 14, in 'An Answer to Conze': 'Of these unappropiated public lands no one is to have a holding in excess of 160 acres, and this only provided he tills it himself.' Thus, in order to preserve the land as 'inalienable common property', and for 'the whole of mankind' besides, it is necessary immediately to begin parcelling it out. Kriege, moreover, imagines that he can rule out the necessary consequences of this allotment‹concentration, industrial progress, and the like, by legislation. He regards 160 acres of land as an invariable quantity, as though the value of such an area did not vary according to its quality. The 'peasants' will have to exchange the produce of the land, if not the land itself, among themselves and with others, and, having gone thus far, they will soon find that one 'peasant', even without capital, thanks to his labour and the greater original fertility of his 160 acres, has reduced another to the position of his farm-hand. Besides, what matters it whether it is 'the land' or the produce of the land that 'falls into the hands of grabbing speculators'? Let us seriously examine Kriege's gift to mankind.
One thousand four hundred million acres are to be preserved as the 'inalienable common property of the whole of mankind', with every 'peasant' getting 160 acres. We can therefore compute the magnitude of Kriege's 'mankind': exactly 8,750,000 'peasants', who, counting five to a family, represent 43,750,000 people. We can also compute the duration of the 'for all time' during which 'the proletariat, as the representative of the whole of mankind', at least in the U.S.A., can lay claim to all the land. If the population of the U.S.A. continues to increase at its present rate, i.e., if it doubles in 25 years, then this 'for all time' will last something under 40 years; by then these 1,400,000,000 acres will have been occupied, and future generations will have nothing to 'lay claim to'.
But as the free grant of land would greatly increase immigration, Kriege's 'for all time' might come to an end even sooner, particularly if it is borne in mind that land for 44,000,000 people would not be an adequate outlet even for the pauperism existing in Europe today; for in Europe one out of every 10 persons is a pauper, and the British Isles alone account for 7,000,000 paupers. A similar example of naïveté in political economy is to be found in issue No. 13, in the article 'To the Women', in which Kriege says that if the city of New York gave up its 52,000 acres of land on Long Island, this would suffice to rid New York of all pauperism, misery, and crime 'at one stroke' and for ever.
"Had Kriege regarded the movement for freeing the land as an early form of the proletarian movement, necessary under certain conditions, as a movement which, by reason of the position in social life of the class from which it emanates, must necessarily develop into a communist movement; had he shown why the communist aspirations in America had to manifest themselves initially in this agrarian form,
which seems to contradict all communism, there would have been nothing to object to.
But he declares what is merely a subordinate form of a movement of definite, real people to be a cause of mankind in general. He represents this cause . . . as the ultimate and highest aim of every movement in general, thus turning the definite aims of the movement into sheer bombastic nonsense. In the same article (issue No. 10) he continues to chant his paean: 'And so the old dreams of the Europeans would at last come true. A place would be prepared for them on this side of the ocean which they would only have to take and to fructify with the labour of their hands, so as to be able proudly to declare to all the tyrants of the world, 'This is my cabin, which you have not built; this is my hearth whose glow fills your hearts with envy.'
"He might have added, This is my dunghill, which I, my wife, my children, my manservant, and my cattle have produced. And who are the Europeans whose 'dreams' would thus come true? Not the communist workers, but bankrupt shopkeepers and handicraftsmen, or ruined cottars, who yearn for the good fortune of once again becoming petty bourgeois and peasants in America. And what is the 'dream' that is to be fulfilled by means of these 1,400,000,000 acres? No other than that all men be converted into private owners, a dream which is as unrealisable and as communistic as the dream to convert all men into emperors, kings, and popes."
Marx's criticism is full of caustic sarcasm. He scourges Kriege for those very aspects of his views which we now observe among our "Socialists-Revolutionaries", namely, phrase-mongering, petty-bourgeois utopias represented as the highest revolutionary utopianism, incomprehension of the real foundations of the modern economic system and its development. With remarkable penetration, Marx, who was then only the future economist, points to the role of exchange and commodity production. The peasants, he says, will exchange the produce of the land, if not the land itself, and that says everything! The question is dealt with in a way that is largely applicable to the Russian peasant movement and its petty-bourgeois "socialist" ideologists.
Marx, however, does not simply "repudiate" this petty-bourgeois movement, he does not dogmatically ignore it, he does not fear to soil his hands by contact with the movement of the revolutionary petty-bourgeois democrats -- a fear that is characteristic of many doctrinaires. While mercilessly ridiculing the absurd ideological trappings of the movement, Marx strives in a sober, materialist manner to determine its real historical content, the consequences that must inevitably follow from it because of objective conditions, regardless of the will and the consciousness, the dreams and the theories, of the various individuals. Marx, therefore, does not condemn, but fully approves communist support of the movement. Adopting the dialectical standpoint, i.e., examining the movement from every aspect, taking into account both the past and the future, Marx notes the revolutionary aspect of the attack on private property in land.
He recognises the petty-bourgeois movement as a peculiar initial form of the proletarian, communist movement. You will not achieve what you dream of by means of this movement, says Marx to Kriege: instead of fraternity, you will get petty-bourgeois exclusiveness; instead of inalienable peasant allotments, you will have the drawing of the land into commerce; instead of a blow at the grabbing speculators, you will witness the expansion of the basis for capitalist development.
But the capitalist evil you are vainly hoping to avoid is a historical benefit, for it will accelerate social development tremendously and bring ever so much nearer new and higher forms of the communist movement. A blow struck at landed property will facilitate the inevitable further blows at property in general. The revolutionary action of the lower class for a change that will temporarily provide a restricted prosperity, and by no means for all, will facilitate the inevitable further revolutionary action of the very lowest class for a change that will really ensure complete human happiness for all toilers.
Marx's presentation of the case against Kriege should serve as a model for us Russian Social-Democrats. That the peasant movement in Russia today is of a really petty-bourgeois nature there can be no doubt. We must explain this fact by every means in our power, and we must ruthlessly and irreconcilably combat all the illusions of all the "Socialists-Revolutionaries" or primitive socialists on this score. The organisation of an independent party of the proletariat.
Commentary: Marx, Lenin and Krige's views of land redistribution were put to practice in Russia. The State however had more say on it. It lead to the disastrous collective farming system that brought about famine in the Ukraine.
Marx also supported the seizure of land from the Native American Indians in another tome that we might bring up later. He criticized them along with African slaves and their descendants as inferior and deserving of their lot.
This policy of property forfeiture history shows does not deter poverty but encourages it. (see SSI scamming and asset seizure) Poverty is always the result whenever individual liberty and right to property is not fully respected.
Though Economic prosperity does result when property is owned by many rather than few, Marx and Lenin's policies ultimately lead to it being owned by a few, namely, the elite party members in the Kremlin. This sad scenario has been repeated in other parts of the world such as China, Southeast Asia, Latin America and elsewhere with disastrous results.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
The incident took place in Missouri during a town hall meeting. Kenneth Gladney a 38 year old political activist was present handing out American flags. While there, members of the SEIU, a union service providers (most of whom work for lazy welfare parasites) confronted him over the flags, called him the n-word and then mercilessly beat him.
YOu would think the liberal owned media would shriek over this, they would have if he was handing out red flags and supporting Obama. Not so for Gladney. The media largely ignored what happened.
But The leftist blogsphere certainly didn't, in fact they applauded what happened!
Left wing blogs such as Democratic underground have even gone as far as to use racial slurs against the victim. In a title called Kenneth the Teabagging Drama Queen, posters placed a racist picture of Malcolm in The Middle's friend Steve in a wheelchair while mocking and ridiculing him.
On youtube and elsewhere, many others have even used racial slurs including the N-word while praising Obama and marxism and calling for violence against those who oppose them. More proof of what Obama and his ilk REALLY stand for.
THis incident is proof that the left is against civil liberties and free speech and that liberals are working close with white power extremists. The leftists media loves to lump libertarians and conservatives with them but now it is clear. The left not the right is racist. Need we remind that Democrats were the ones who gave us slavery and segregation in the south.
Barack Obama meanwhile along with others like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are the real uncle toms, not great African American activists like Jesse Peterson or Alan Keyes. They are being used by the left to perpetuate their national socialism throughout the nation.
Americans of all colors and stripes need to spread the word of this far and wide. Let the world see who is really racist. Let it also inspire us to revolution against the left and drive them out of the whitehouse the senate and congress. In 2012 we are going to remember what happened in St Louis. If can't vote them out, we need to throw them out.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Thankfully I'm not a member of congress, (yet) So I think I will discuss some of the trite involved in SS. You are of course familiar with my essays on the Social Security Administration robbing people using the SSI scam. But imagine what a chore it is to deal with SSA and those who work in it...
For Deedee Morgan, a retired homemaker who lives with her daughter in Brunswick Maine, it is a huge chore, not just getting benefits, but making sure they are handled correctly. Deedee suffers from Arthritis and impaired eyesight. She is legally blind and has difficulty seeing. When she and her daughter applied for SSI benefits they waited 6 months and then were turned down.
Deedee's daughter got an attorney to fight for her mother but it took another 3 months to get benefits. TO make the situation worse, Deedee did not get the right amount. Recipients who live with relatives receive 450 a month while independents live with 680 a month. Deedee only got 310. It took another month of trials to get the right amount and another 3 months to get back payment. Then they had to get retroactive funds, find a suitable rep payee ETC.
In total it took just over a year for Social Security to get their act together, and that was only because the courts forced them too.
For others there are other struggles. 38 year old Michelle from Boston received SSI for psychiatric disabilities that kept her from being gainfully employed. Her payee abused her funds, called her the N word and caused her nearly become homeless. Michelle had no food and clean cloths and had to rely 100% on services from the Salvation Army, the Boston Rescue mission and other local non profit charities. This, while an organization receiving taxpayer federal funds did nothing.
Enter Liberty Task Force and its founder, Michael Hornsby. Michelle was referred to LTF by a family friend who immediately got on the phone with an attorney and confronted the payee and the organization she worked for. They caved and it took only 2 weeks for Michelle to receive full payments and have her rent paid. Michelle has completed budget counselling courses and now manages her own money.
Many times Social Security imposes rep payees on people who don't need them. We told you the story of Kyle Prince, a resident of Omaha Nebraska who was defrauded by his former payee. Despite knowing how to manage money, the SSA wanted him to have the payee again. Nebraska Legal Aid put an end to the meddling by SSA.
Incredibly, Social Security will impose needless rep payees on those who don't need them while ignoring those who do. In many run down urban areas, homeless people with addictions and severe mental illness are getting upwards of over 1000$ a month! All of which goes to drugs and alcohol. Way to go BIG government!
To promote efficiency Supposedly, The SSA is now giving away ATM cards to its recipients for easy and secure access to cash.
The problem is though losing it. It takes an average of 2 weeks for a replacement to arrive. Contrast this to a normal ATM card by Bank Of America or some other establishment which takes an average of 3 to 7 days. They even Mail overnight if all else fails. Social Security doesn't do that.
Whats even worse is that SSA is expensive and wasteful. For every taxpayer dollar going to SSA, 60%-90% is skimmed off the top for so called administrative purposes. In addition, many received SSI SSDI who do not really need it at all! Its either because the jobs they could be working at have gone away (thanks to liberals and their taxes and big government regulations) Others, they have self esteem issues and then there are those who fake disability and are too lazy.
Then there are also those mentioned before who are victims of SSI scamming and theft. Disabled and those wrongfully and unjustly labeled disabled who have their assets and property taken from them.
What to do about social security? What is the real answer?
The real answer is simple. Suck up, throw out political correctness and shut it down!
A long time ago, the family and the church was the social security system. Everyone knew then that a village was not the answer, it took a family and a church. In those days when there were few taxes, welfare was supported by tithing Christians. 10% of their incomes went to aid the poor and suffering. They could easily tell the difference between a invalid deserving beggar and a beggar who was sturdy and undeserving and who merely needed guidance.
This was a time when men could decide where to go into business, before liberal meddling and when the individual was respected. Today that has disappeared and instead, a ruthless heartless communist government cares for us against our will. Until we return to the Bible and Faith in God, this will continue.
And we are deficits and national debt is getting worse...