Tag Archives: Marxism

Gandhi as Jesus? A critique of this pacifist nonsense by a marxist historian is now getting published

In the US amongst pacifist Christian liberals, Gandhi is considered to be the son of Jesus almost. The following is a brief look at this mindset which is brewed in India itself by the Hindu Right Wing politicians governing there. —An Interview With Perry Anderson on "The Indian Ideology" (of) Sentimentalizing Gandhi

A brief excerpt below from the interview with marxist historian, Perry Anderson…

‘he (Gandhi) did not want power for himself, as most politicians do. In his own way he was a great man. But that does not exempt him from criticism. He was gripped by a set of regressive personal fixations and phobias, had a very limited intellectual formation, was impervious to rational argument, and entirely unaware of the damage he was doing to the national movement by suffusing it with Hindu pietism as he reconceived it. He is to be respected, with all his blindness.’

‘But there is no need to sentimentalize him. The complete latitude he gave himself to declare as truth whatever he happened to say at any time, and then change it from one day to the next, still as the word of God shining through him, set a disastrous example for his followers and admirers. Nowhere more so than in his inconsistencies on satyagraha itself. For when it suited him, he was perfectly willing to contemplate violence —not only to send Indian peasants to their death on the Somme in the service of their colonial masters, or applaud Indian bombers taking off to conquer Kashmir, but calmly to envisage communal slaughter—‘civil war’— in the subcontinent as preferable to expelling the British. As a historian, one has to take cool stock of all this, not skate over it as Gandhi’s apologists continually do.’

Anarchism as applied to washing dishes

WASH YOUR OWN DISHES via CrimethInc

CAPITALISM
You wash the dishes, the ones who own them profit.
 
ANARCHISM
We all share in the dishwashing.

DEMOCRACY
Even as a dishwasher, you deserve a say in which politician is best suited to protect the economy that keeps you in the kitchen.

NATIONALISM
Forget about those dishes for a second — you’re a citizen of the proudest hation on earth!

LIBERTARIANISM
You wash the dishes, the owner profits even more.

FASCISM
The Mexicans who washed the dishes are deported, the Jews who owned the place are imprisoned, and everyone else is conscripted for military service.

UNEMPLOYMENT
The only thing worse than being trapped in a dish room is being trapped outside one.

NEO-LIBERALISM (AKA “Free Trade”)
The dishes are shipped overseas to be washed and you’re free to develop your own combination of Unemployment and Nationalism

REFORM
Smaller stack, warmer water, longer breaks –same dishes!

SOCIALISM
Dishwashers’ wages increase just enough to afford higher takes

COMMUNISM
From each according to his means, to each according to his need –as determined outside the dish room.

MARXISM
Between shifts, the dishwasher studies the intricacies of dialectical materialism. It turns out that thanks to his efforts, the dirty dishes have been accumulating value for his boss to invest in more dishes. The stuff about the dictatorship of the proletariat is more perplexing, but the party theorists reassure him that it makes perfect sense to them. Under their direction, he joins his fellow dishwashers in a risky coup d’etat. Afterwards, he is distraught to find himself still in the kitchen, washing dishes for the party bureaucrats. The bureaucrats reassure him that they will eventually wither away.

SYNDICALISM
The dishwashers join labor syndicates that send representatives to a council, at which it is decided which dishes are to be washed and when.

ANARCHA-FEMINISM
You wash the dishes for the boss — who washes the dishes at home?

ANARCHO-PRIMITIVISM
Down with dishes!

ANARCHO-PUNK
Down with washing!

INSURRECTIONARY ANARCHISM
A quixotic attempt to distill a political theory from the practice of smashing dishes.

-Crimethinc

Marx and Steinbeck

Steinbeck Grapes of WrathKarl Marx died today in 1883. Though I consider communism to be largely a failed experiment, I do agree with many of Marx’ tenets. Here is the opening paragraph of The Communist Manifesto:

The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. Freeman and slave, patrician and plebian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.

Today in 1939, John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath was published. The following passage typifies the message of the book which made Steinbeck and his novel a capitalist-socialist battleground.

One man, one family driven from the land; this rusty car creaking along the highway to the west. I lost my land, a single tractor took my land. I am alone and I am bewildered. And in the night one family camps in a ditch and another family pulls in and the tents come out. The two men squat on their hams and the women and children listen. Here is the node, you who hate change and fear revolution. Keep these two squatting men apart; make them hate, fear, suspect each other…

When word of the book burnings, bannings, denouncements and death threats reached Congress, an Oklahoma representative rose up to “say to you, and to every honest, square-minded reader in America, that the painting Steinbeck made in this book is a lie, a black, infernal creation of a twisted, distorted mind.”

I don’t know if it makes me feel better or worse to know that truth that threatens the status quo has always been suppressed, and its proponents ever maligned. But remember that those on the fringe are the ones whose positions provoke a rethinking of assumptions, who spark epiphanies and change the course of human history. In the immortal words of another rabble rouser, Henry David Thoreau, Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine. Yes, let’s!

Martin Luther King we

Apparently if collective humanity were to make the most of Dr. Martin Luther King and his legacy, we could use his holiday to think deeply about where our actions are leading us. I took the opportunity to reflect on who we think “we” includes. Everybody?

MLK’s dream was for “we,” but had nothing to do, nor indeed did not speak, nor could speak, for our masters. Let me avoid a slavery analogy.

With big brother surveillance having become intrusive as it is, I’m feeling more and more like “we” inhabit a goldfish bowl, yapping at each other about equality, fairness, respect, etc. while in reality “we” are in charge of nothing. From within the bowl we can but please the persons who feed us, keep our water filtered, and if we’re lucky, clean out our bowl every once in awhile. “We” can evolve ’til the cows come home, but our betters aren’t even in the dialog. They don’t gotta dream nor better themselves, they don’t even gotta swim.

What a farce to think that higher ideals, sacrifice and martyrdom will affect whoever is outside the bowl. Can we even fathom their zookeeping principles from Adam? Unless we assume responsibility for this bowl, this water, as the Marxists say, unless the means of production belong to us, we can only dream. And for dreaming, a dead MLK and his legacy is enough. Enough.