Thursday, February 28, 2008

The First-World Fetishism

There is a principal contradiction lingering in First-World communism… one of a vacillation between first-world and third-world fetishism. On the one hand we have first-world fetishists… the Trotskyist position that upholds that the bourgeois-indoctrinated labor aristocracy which suckles on the surplus profits of an imperialist government is an agent of revolution. This position romanticizes a class which a) tends to despise the "revolutionary" who claims to uphold them and b) upholds many of the pillars of the bourgeois superstructure which feeds them its ill-gotten crumbs. This deviation often believes that counter-revolutionary masses will someday vote communism into power (and thus adopt bourgeois electoral systems as their own, another key symptom of first-world fetishism), surpassing the plurality (50% + 1) threshold demanded by the US electoral system and overtaking the Republican and Democratic parties, after which the bourgeoisie will quietly acquiesce and graciously allow a dictatorship of the proletariat to be lorded over them. The chauvinism here is inherent in the absurdly bloated position given towards the labor aristocracy as a "revolutionary" vanguard.

On the other hand we see the third-world fetishists… who reduce socialist theory to a racialist game of "with us or against us." They forsake the scientific analysis of class structures in favor of generalization based on skin tone or GDP rates. The irony here is that such romanticizations, contrary to being part of petty nationalisms on the part of the "Third-world" peoples being discussed, are done by the very first-worlders who are being painted as the enemy. How often do we see the first-world communist romanticize everything which is "foreign" or "exotic" to him as an extension of his own desire to rub out his bourgeois background? Unfortunately for first-world communism, the answer is "far too often." This tendency to romanticize the "third-world" lends itself to reductionism in the extreme. The racism here is inherent in a quaint form of colonialism, as seeing the "other" as the "other" and nothing more. Under the counter-revolutionary three worlds reductionism no longer does the Iraqi situation differ from the Korean situation which differs from the Angolan situation. They are all lumped into a conglomeration of third-world fetishism, which only serves to destroy the unique revolutionary potential held in each by reducing the situation of each country to a racialist dogmatism. On an intellectual level this tends to lead to an acute obsession with the revolutionary potential of the "other" while totally ignoring the situation pertinent to the supposed revolutionary from the first-world. How often do we see the first-world communist lecture on the dynamics of Nepalese revolution? If only one-tenth of the energy which is spent on directing Nepalese revolution through the voice of enlightened (sarcasm here is emphasized) first-world communism advice was instead spent on directing revolution pertinent to one's own surroundings… we may have some actual revolutionary potential! Actual potential rather than a series of endless internet polemics of first-worlders lecturing third-worlders on how to fulfill their assigned role as saviors of the universe. Actual potential for revolutionary deeds instead of talk… instead of the first-world self-congratulationism on their revolutionary nature which we see so often. Instead of meaningless badges tacked on to whatever sectarianism one subscribes to… a series of intellectual ribbons bestowed from one group upon itself… totally ignoring the fact that no one outside the bourgeois intelligentsia even takes note of these ribbons themselves. The acute contradiction of an implied third-world geopolitical dominance which is directed by the first-world intellectual runs deep in the First-world communist movement.

As first-world communists we must undergo self-criticism to rectify these notions. It is these two fetishes which root our causes in the inert state that they are in at the moment. It is these two fetishes which hamper revolutionary consciousness. It is these two fetishes which instead root us in counter-revolutionary consciousness… to subvert ourselves to first-world dogmatism (whether of the first-world or third-world variety), to concentrate on lecturing revolutionaries on the situation in Angola from the safety of our homes… rather than fight to create change in our own backyards in a tangible and, yes, dangerous way. To denigrate ourselves to being the intelligentsia of the world communism movement usurps proletarian internationalism and replaces it with chauvinist patronism but, above all, it denigrates ourselves and usurps our own revolutionary potential. No longer satisfied with true self-criticism and growth, we instead become complacent to analyze everything but ourselves and our own path to revolution. This is the dogmatism of the worst sort which we must avoid.

There are identical threads which unite both forms of deviations, and unites this first-world/third-world fetishism among first-world communists. One root cause of each is idealism, whether it is to glorify the first-world or the "third-world" at the cost of scientific analysis. One root cause is reductionism, which assumes that the first-world is revolutionary without analyzing deeply… or to assume that everyone from the third-world is the same, without taking into account class structure or the fact that they may know more about the dynamics of the revolution in their own backgrounds than the first-world does. The final root cause is the marriage of revisionism and dogmatism… revisionism of the highest sort in that not only do we usurp revolutionary potential towards creating socialism through class analysis but the worst sort of revisionism in that we give up on the struggle within ourselves! This fetishist replaces real-world action with third-world patronism… all the more ironic when the actual communists of the third-world don't have time for polemic in the do-or-die fight against imperialism and revisionism at large. It is for these reasons that the Rural People's Party upholds the Juche idea, which elucidates the concept that the masses control their own revolution… the masses and not the foreign intelligentsia. It is the Juche idea which rejects the dogmatism and revisionism that has bogged the first-world into an ideological morass which will take self-criticism and true struggle to overcome. As communists we do not shy away from these goals, nor do we succumb to defeatism or liberal pacifism of spirit. As communists we identify these weaknesses to overcome and to revolutionarily smash them to pieces. Self-criticism without self-rectification is simply neuroticism. Revolution starts within ourselves, both on the individual and collective/societal and international levels. As communists who uphold the Juche principle of self-reliance, self-cultivation of revolutionary consciousness, and analysis of the situation in which we find ourselves (both literally ourselves and the environments we live in), we must analyze the hard facts of the First-World which we live in. We must ask the hard questions of how revolution can persist in an era and geography of hegemonic imperialism… in the belly of the beast. We must ask the hard questions of how to set up revolutionary consciousness and social relations in a bourgeois superstructure which will smash any genuinely revolutionary ideal. We must look at the concrete lessons of practicable socialism, as furthered by Jim Jones, and nurtured by the rural areas most removed from bourgeois superstructure. We must ask the tough questions of how to not only talk of revolution but enact revolution, of how to not only parrot the Juche idea (an oxymoron in the true sense!) but how to apply the Juche idea to our own concrete conditions. As Lenin did, we must make our own objective analysis, free of idealism, dogmatism, patronism, and with a dose of self-criticism. If we do all these things, as the Rural People's Party has endeavored to do, we may discover that we need not adopt fetishism to arrive at a revolutionary ideal in the near proximity… both in proximity to our hearts as individuals and in proximity to ourselves geographically. It is high time we lecture ourselves with the same zeal we lecture on the circumstances of revolution around the world… and in doing so we can cultivate true communism!

Rural People’s Party