by J. Slavyanski
1. Constantly insist that Marxism is discredited, outdated, and totally dead and buried. Then proceed to build a lucrative career on beating that supposedly ‘dead’ horse for the rest of your working life.
2. Remember, any unnatural death that occurs under a ‘Communist’ regime is not only attributable to the leaders of the state, but also Marxism as an ideology. Ignore deaths that occur for the same reason in non-Communist states.
3. Communism or Marxism is whatever you want it to be. Feel free to label countries, movements, and regimes as ‘Communist’ regardless of things like actual goals, stated ideology, diplomatic relations, economic policy, or property relations.
4. If there was a conflict involving Communists, the conflict and all ensuing deaths can be laid at the feet of Communism. Be careful when applying this to WWII. Fascist movements who fought against the Soviets or Communist partisans are fine, but try not to openly praise Nazi Germany. Save that for private conversations if you must do so.
5. You decide what Marxism “really means”, and who the rightful representatives of Communism were. Feign interest that Trotsky was somehow robbed of power by Stalin, despite the fact that you hate him as well.
6. Constantly talk about George Orwell. Quote from Animal Farm or 1984. Do not worry about the fact that Orwell never set foot in the Soviet Union and both of those books are novels.
7. Quote massive death tolls without regards to demographics or consistency. 3 million famine deaths? 7 million? 10 million? 100 million deaths total? You need not worry about anyone checking your work, which is good for you seeing that you probably haven’t done any.
8. Everyone ever arrested under a Communist regime was most likely innocent of any crime. Communists only arrested harmless poets and political prophets who had a beautiful message to share with the world.
9. Everything Stalin did or didn’t do had some sinister ulterior motive. Everything.
10. Keeping with the spirit of #9, remember that Stalin was an omnipotent being, perhaps an incarnation of the Hindu deity Vishnu, who had full awareness of everything going on in the Soviet Union and total control over every occurrence which took place between 1924 and 1953. Everything that occurred during that time was the will of Stalin. Stalin knew the exact details of every criminal case that took place during that era and out of his boundless cruelty, had tons of innocent people shot for no reason regardless of where they were or their position in life. Being omnipotent, he was not dependent on information passed up from tens of thousands of subordinates.
11. Constantly attack ‘Communist’ regimes for actions that occur in capitalist regimes up to this very day.
12. Claim that Marxism is utopian because of its description of a possible future society. Alternately claim that Marxism failed because it never gave a detailed description of how a Communist society would look. Do not pay attention to the massive contradiction here.
13. Start referring to Marxism as being some kind of religious faith, Messianic, or whatever other spiritualist bullshit you can come up with. When people point out that you can draw similarities between virtually any political ideology and other religions, ignore them.
14. Remember the one-two anti-Communist attack: Attack the post-Stalin system on economic grounds, and claim it just doesn’t work. Since an informed opponent will most likely point out that actual socialist economics did indeed work during the Stalin era, and in fact worked very well, attack that era on human rights grounds.
15. Two words - Human nature. What is human nature? For your purposes, human nature is a quick explanation why political ideas or systems you don’t like are wrong.
16. Bolshevik revolutions were carried out with violence and bloodshed. Bourgeois revolutions were all carried out by democratic referendums, and there was no violence whatsoever.
17. Use words like ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ constantly. Do not accept any challenge to define these terms.
18. Communists can be for or against whatever is popular in your particular area. If you are preaching to a right-wing crowd, Communists are for degeneration and homosexuality. If you are preaching to a more mainstream audience, Communists were homophobic. Essentially, Communists are for moral degeneration and puritanical prudery at the same time. Again, do not notice the contradiction.
19. Constantly flog Stalin over the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement, while totally ignoring massive support and collaboration with Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan on the part of America, Britain, and France, long before the war and even after in some ways. As usual, do not allow your opponent to examine the context of the non-aggression pact.
20. Praise the newfound “freedom” of Eastern Europe. Ignore the massive depopulation via migration, plunging birthrates, huge alcohol and drug problems, political instability, civil wars, ethnic cleansing, sex trafficking and child prostitution, organized crime, high suicide rates, unemployment, disease, etc. Who cares about all that when you have freedom of speech?!
21. Constantly talk about the culture of fear in Communist nations, about that ‘knock on the door’ in the middle of the night. Ignore the ‘kick in your door in the middle of the night, stick a shotgun in your back, and haul your ass out of bed etc. because you are suspected of dealing,’ a normal occurrence in the American War on Drugs.
22. Attack Communists for suppression of religion. Attack Islamic fundamentalists for not being secular. What contradiction?!
23. Do not notice the irony that the US is currently fighting an incredibly expensive, losing war against an opponent which it funded, supported, and even handed its first victory in Afghanistan.
24. What should you say when confronted with all the continuing and often worsening problems in the world today, and asked for a solution? FREEDOM!! (Repeat as necessary until your opponent goes away)
25. Nothing from “Communists” can be trusted. Unless it somehow works in your favor, ala Khrushchev’s ‘Secret Speech’ from 1956, or anything Trotsky wrote.
26. Communist leaders were ‘paranoid’ for devoting so much time to security against counter-revolution. Ignore the mountains of evidence, including the restoration of capitalism in the East Bloc, that this threat was indeed real.
27. Communist regimes were never popular. If proof is presented in various cases to show otherwise, claim that the people were brainwashed. Make no effort to consider the budgetary and logistic constraints on such an undertaking.
28. Communist propaganda is crude and primitive. If someone mentions Red Dawn or worse, mentions the J. Edgar Hoover-endorsed comic book series known as The Godless Communists, run away.
29. Praise secularism in the name of ‘freedom’ and ‘pluralism’ until faced with a Communist. Then play the religion card.
30. Atrocities and other bad things that happen under non-Communist regimes are the fault of individual ‘bad people’. Anything bad that happens under a ‘Communist’ regime is the fault of the ideology and system. And Stalin.
31. Being an anti-Communist means not having to have any sort of ideological consistency whatsoever. Preach populist left-wing pseudo-socialism 90% of the time, and then compare the capitalist system to “Stalin’s Russia”(if you never really studied the subject, just read 1984 and Animal Farm). Complain about capitalism 99% of the time, but balk when someone suggests Communism as an alternative. Far right wing Fascist? Constantly complain about cultural degeneracy under capitalism, while remaining fanatically opposed to Marxism for no discernable reason save for your affinity for historic nationalism.
32. If you’re an anarchist, keep pointing out the ‘failure’ of Marxism while ignoring the fact that your ideology has a 100% failure rate throughout its entire history. Blame those failures on Communists, or stronger military powers. Ignore the fact that the most wonderful society is worthless if it can’t defend itself from reaction.
33. Neo-Nazi? Communism is Jewish!! Debate over.
34. Neo-Hippy? Tibet!
35. Constantly condemn the genocide that allegedly occurred under Mao, while ignoring the US’ relations with China established by Nixon, and the massive role capitalist China has played in the modern US economy. When you want to talk positively about China, it’s a capitalist country. If you need to criticize it, it’s still ‘Communist’.
36. Claim Marxism is not empirical. Neither are neo-liberalism, ‘democracy’, or ‘freedom’, but don’t worry about that.
37. Always insist that despite the location, country, historical era, past experience, and all other factors, Communists must want to recreate a modern-day copy of Stalin’s Russia, and all that entails according to you. Do not notice the inherent idiocy in this concept, such as your particular country being already industrialized, and not having a historical problem of severe backwardness.
38. Learn to use the magic word ‘totalitarian’. This word allows you to link two ideological opposites, Communism and Fascism.
39. Ignore the fact that socialist states experienced more economic problems parallel to the number of market reforms they made.
40. When challenged about numbers or historical context, resort to labels like “ruthless tyrant”, “cruel murderer”, and such. Remember, people like Stalin were mass-murderers because of all the people they killed, and we know they killed all those people because they were mass-murderers. It totally tracks!
by J. Slavyanski
Liberalism manifests itself in various ways.
To let things slide for the sake of peace and friendship when a person has clearly gone wrong, and refrain from principled argument because he is an old acquaintance, a fellow townsman, a schoolmate, a close friend, a loved one, an old colleague or old subordinate. Or to touch on the matter lightly instead of going into it thoroughly, so as to keep on good terms. The result is that both the organization and the individual are harmed. This is one type of liberalism.
To indulge in irresponsible criticism in private instead of actively putting forward one’s suggestions to the organization. To say nothing to people to their faces but to gossip behind their backs, or to say nothing at a meeting but to gossip afterwards. To show no regard at all for the principles of collective life but to follow one’s own inclination. This is a second type.
To let things drift if they do not affect one personally; to say as little as possible while knowing perfectly well what is wrong, to be worldly wise and play safe and seek only to avoid blame. This is a third type.
Not to obey orders but to give pride of place to one’s own opinions. To demand special consideration from the organization but to reject its discipline. This is a fourth type.
To indulge in personal attacks, pick quarrels, vent personal spite or seek revenge instead of entering into an argument and struggling against incorrect views for the sake of unity or progress or getting the work done properly. This is a fifth type.
To hear incorrect views without rebutting them and even to hear counter-revolutionary remarks without reporting them, but instead to take them calmly as if nothing had happened. This is a sixth type.
To be among the masses and fail to conduct propaganda and agitation or speak at meetings or conduct investigations and inquiries among them, and instead to be indifferent to them and show no concern for their well-being, forgetting that one is a Communist and behaving as if one were an ordinary non-Communist. This is a seventh type.
To see someone harming the interests of the masses and yet not feel indignant, or dissuade or stop him or reason with him, but to allow him to continue. This is an eighth type.
To work half-heartedly without a definite plan or direction; to work perfunctorily and muddle along—“So long as one remains a monk, one goes on tolling the bell.” This is a ninth type.
To regard oneself as having rendered great service to the revolution, to pride oneself on being a veteran, to disdain minor assignments while being quite unequal to major tasks, to be slipshod in work and slack in study. This is a tenth type.
To be aware of one’s own mistakes and yet make no attempt to correct them, taking a liberal attitude towards oneself. This is an eleventh type.
We could name more. But these eleven are the principal types. They are all manifestations of liberalism."
— Eleven Types of Liberalism, Mao Tse-Tung
Having a criticism of a policy does not lead to whole-sale negation of a project unless it relates to identity politics it seems. Cuba’s initial backwardness on gender issues can never be forgiven by Trots because they don’t actually care that Cuba now has transgender people elected into office, one of the highest ratios of female representation in government, and a national day against homophobia. They care about proving that their pure ideology is never tainted by such inconvenient things as culture, history, and reality.
I try not to get down on anarchists, firstly because I was one for many many years, and secondly because I genuinely think we can accomplish some pretty important short-term goals together. But seriously, Bookchin is the -worst- scholar ever, and gives all anarchists a bad name. I like Uncle Noam though, hes forthright as hell.
One of the most thoroughgoing authoritarians in the history of radicalism is none other than the “Father of Anarchism,” Proudhon, whose name is periodically revived as a great “libertarian” model, because of his industrious repetition of the word liberty and his invocations to “revolution from below.”
Some may be willing to pass over his Hitlerite form of anti-Semitism (“The Jew is the enemy of humankind. It is necessary to send this race back to Asia, or exterminate it …”). Or his principled racism in general (he thought it was right for the South to keep American Negroes in slavery, since they were the lowest of inferior races). Or his glorification of war for its own sake (in the exact manner of Mussolini). Or his view that women had no rights (“I deny her every political right and every initiative. For woman liberty and well-being lie solely in marriage, in motherhood,in domestic duties …”) – that is, the “Kinder-Kirche-Küche” of the Nazis.
But it is not possible to gloss over his violent opposition not only to trade-unionism and the right to strike (even supporting police strikebreaking), but to any and every idea of the right to vote, universal suffrage, popular sovereignty, and the very idea of constitutions. (“All this democracy disgusts me … What would I not give to sail into this mob with my clenched fists!”) His notes for his ideal society notably include suppression of all other groups, any public meeting by more than 20, any free press, and any elections; in the same notes he looks forward to “a general inquisition” and the condemnation of “several million people” to forced labor – “once the Revolution is made.”
Behind all this was a fierce contempt for the masses of people – the necessary foundation of Socialism-from-Above, as its opposite was the groundwork of Marxism. The masses are corrupt and hopeless (“I worship humanity, but I spit on men!”) They are “only savages … whom it is our duty to civilize, and without making them our sovereign,” he wrote to a friend whom he scornfully chided with: “You still believe in the people.” Progress can come only from mastery by an elite who take care to give the people no sovereignty.
At one time or another he looked to some ruling despot as the one-man dictator who would bring the Revolution: Louis Bonaparte (he wrote a whole book in 1852 extolling the Emperor as the bearer of the Revolution); Prince Jerome Bonaparte; finally Czar Alexander II (“Do not forget that the despotism of the czar is necessary to civilization”).
— Hal Draper
The mentality perpetuated by anarchists and liberals creates a peculiar line between the “good” and “bad” socialists. It seems that anarchists and liberals vehemently support communists/socialists who didn’t win their revolution (yet), or were swiftly defeated, such as: The Black Panthers, Communists who suffered under the Pinochet regime in Chile, American Communists black-listed under McCarthy, Malcolm x, academics like Walter Benjamin, and the occasional exception being support for Che, who they absurdly distance from communism and the Cuban revolution. Granted there are some people reactionary enough to distance themselves from all of these fighters.
The “Bad” communists are those who made their revolutions and held on, Castro, Lenin, Kim Il-Sung, Mao, and of course Marx and Engels themselves…
Liberals tend to rely on paying lip-service to radical figures, while distancing their legacy from the actual ideas they represented. They repackage revolutionary figures into “democracy safe” distortions. Radical histories become legitimate expressions of anger, but locked in their particular time period: the illusion being that legal methods have developed to address all of the ailments radicals have historically confronted.
Anarchists pretend to take the historical moral high ground by distancing themselves from all notable instances where the character of a revolution would be tested; or else they rewrite events like Makhno’s military dictatorship to be the epitome of anti-hierarchical egalitarian perfection. This way the difficult questions are never asked, and their politics are never put to the test— Questions like “Do we dare to win?” , and “How are we going to suppress the bourgeoisie counter-revolution?” (you know, that thing that has happened after every working-class revolution EVER?) Purity in intention subsumes all practical demands, and history is cherry-picked to present a story of the courageous martyrs with an uncompromising vision of liberty, and the tyrants who played the role of opportunist.
By taking authority out of the equation instead of seeing it as a problem to be solved, the difficult tasks of serious revolutionary activity are sidestepped. The stage is set for future coup attempts, and self-righteous anger when the legitimate revolutionary forces don’t cave to the minority vanguard of moral champions. This is not paranoid, this is already happening, and whereas many of us may not be totally sympathetic to “Stalinists”, and probably nearly none of us are sympathetic to the cultish RCP, the attitudes reflected in this attack are not isolated, but represent a historical continuity. When the weak and diffused anarchists outlets find themselves burnt out time and time again, and are sick of making grungier versions of Church style charity institutions, they get violent at other leftists groups, because it gives them the illusion that they are not utterly powerless. Let me be clear: this is not true of all anarchists by any means. Many anarchists supported the Bolsheviks, and fought alongside them. Many anarchists today are legitimately interested in left solidarity and wouldn’t dream of attacking other left groups; but in history and in modern practice we have to be aware and prepared of such profoundly counter-revolutionary sentiments from anarchists, and wingnut left-communist groups.
I am proud to stand in the legacy of revolutionary fighters from nearly every country on earth who were informed by Marxism-Leninism; I accept our historical faults and problems, and confront them directly. Struggle doesn’t mean having the right belief system, and it doesn’t mean not making mistakes, it means analyzing historical trends, adapting and evolving. To throw the baby out with the bathwater is to erase the most profound and successful tools the working class has developed to fight bourgeoisie class oppression. It is to distance yourself from global anti-colonial struggle, and resistance against imperialism. A-historical categories like “State” and “Power” say nothing about the current character of a revolutionary struggle: sometimes it is progressive to support people, places, or things, that you don’t agree with, or are doing something you think is “fucked up”, because there are larger conditions at work. Sometimes revolution isn’t about your desires.
“The first myth about Kronstadt is that it was a rebellion of the very same soldiers who were heroes of the October revolution. While it is true that many of the Kronstadt sailors were anarchists in 1917, they nevertheless loyally served Soviet power. During the Civil War, Kronstadt training camps provided elite and thoroughly revolutionary troops to the fight to maintain Soviet power. However, as more and more of the revolutionary sailors had to be sent to the front lines, green conscripts began to flood in, replacing the revolutionaries. By 1920, the Kronstadt garrison had been swamped with more than 10,000 fresh recruits. That brought the total number of soldiers and sailors at Kronstadt to 18,707. Most of these came from Southern Russia and the Ukraine, areas strongly influenced by Makhno. Only 5000 out of this number took part in the uprising.
But what of the ordinary participants of the Kronstadt rebellion? Were these sailors really ready to die for “communism without Bolsheviks”? Sailor Dmitry Urin wrote on March 5, in a letter to his father in the Herson province of Ukraine, “We dismissed the commune, we have Commune no more, now we have only Soviet power. We in Kronstadt made a resolution to send all the Jews to Palestine, in order not to have in Russia such filth, all sailors shouted: ‘Jews Out’…”. If anyone had any doubts about the “real revolutionary” content of this letter this phrase is sufficient to dispel that. It is so stark that it needs no further comment.
From the very beginning of the rebellion, the Communists suffered repression. On the third of March, 170 Communists in Kronstadt were arrested. Then, on the 15th of March, many old revolutionary sailors were arrested. But it was not only Communists who were repressed. A 17-year-old boy was sent to prison for asking why members of the RevCom received better food and bigger portions than ordinary workers.”
[Source with references]
With clashes between peasants and landlords on the one hand, and clashes between peasants and workers on the other, Makhno was pressed to institute policies that were far from “libertarian”. The real conditions of life for the peasants of the Ukraine from 1919-1921 were cruel and repressive. The cities in Makhno’s territories were not ruled by Soviets. Instead, they were ruled by mayors drawn from Makhno’s military forces. Makhno’s movement was severely centralized, with the leadership in the RevCom deciding everything. Makhno even established a police-security organization (!) led by Leo Zadov (Zinkovsky), a former worker-anarchist who was to become notorious for his brutality. Incidentally, in the early 1920s Zadov returned to the USSR – to join the GPU! He was rewarded for his services with his own execution in 1937. In the Ukraine, we see clearly that the anarchists were committing the same crimes that they accused the Bolsheviks of.
In September of 1920, Ivanov V. (representative of the Southern Front Revolutionary Soviet) visited Makhno. He later wrote this description of Makhno’s camp: “The regime is brutal, the discipline is hard as steel, rebels are beaten on the face for any small breach, no elections to the general command staff, all commanders up to company commander are appointed by Makhno and the Anarchist Revolutionary War Council, Revolutionary Military Soviet (Revvoensovet) became an irreplaceable, uncontrollable and non-elected institution. Under the revolutionary military council there is a ‘special section’ that deals with disobediences secretly and without mercy.”
Written by A. Kramer, Wednesday, 17 November 2004
— V.I. Lenin, Left-Wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder (via psycho-tropic)
if you ever want to know why some communists get along with republicans better than democrats just watch king of the hill
The righteousness and divine sanctity demanded by the Gospel (freedom from sin) should not be...
there’s a song by the FARC called “hit the yankee with a stick”
i really liked mercenaries for xbox but you couldn’t play as dprk and were always trying to kill dprks so what was the point