Repost from the old site:
As a member of the Left, I am used to purges and being told that, in general, I am not leftwing enough. I’ve been purged from quite a few leftwing groups for insufficient political correctness or not being leftwing enough.
I was made to feel quite unwelcome at a Green Party meeting for daring to suggest that being invaded by millions of immigrants might be bad for US workers and the environment. I was given the cold shoulder by Greens for daring to suggest that their gleeful plot to defeat every Democrat running for office in 2000 was both offensive and stupid.
I was thrown out of the local cell of the CPUSA for “not being a Communist” and “supporting capitalism”.
Never mind that the noun “Communist” doesn’t have a whole lot of meaning anymore. The Communists in China are supporting capitalism in spades, in the very worst varieties of it yet, and still call themselves Communists. The Communists in Vietnam have introduced a lot of capitalism to their system.
Salvador Allende was a Communist who ruled Chile under a completely democratic system.
The Sandinistas had one of the most democratic systems in Latin America in the midst of an armed rebellion against the state.
Imagine if armed terrorists were running around the US, killing 1.8 million Americans over a 10-yr period, and being supported by the US’ worst enemies, say North Korea and Iran.
They have invaded farms and lined up the farmers and their families and farmworkers and tortured all of them to death. They specialize in raiding schools and hospitals where they murder teachers in front of their students and murder doctors, nurses and patients after lining them up against the wall. This is what America was supporting in the Contras.
Imagine that in the face of this provocation, a large US newspaper, a wildly rabid and yellow journalist sheet of the type we do not see anymore, regularly cheered the terrorists on with screaming boldface headlines, and every day urged the killing of the President, all members of Congress and everyone working for the US government. Do you think the FBI would shut down that paper or what?
This is what the Sandinistas had to put up with, and they didn’t even put the traitors in jail. They merely censored some of the more outrageous articles. Far from being a dictatorship, the Sandinistas were one of the most democratic states that ever existed.
Euro-Communists have run very European state governments for decades and have been present in Parliament and Cabinet level positions. Euro-style Communists have been running Indian state governments for decades also and have been present in the Parliaments of Japan and Nepal in large numbers.
In Europe, India, Nepal and Japan, the Euro-Comm types have all supported as much democracy as anyone else in their states supported, and they have all supported high levels of capitalism.
In the most recent issue of the CPUSA’s theoretical journal, the CPUSA fully supported the economic project of the Chinese Communist Party, and stated, “the transition from capitalism to socialism may be more on the order of decades than years”. Regarding democracy, the CPUSA said, “It seems probable that there can be no true socialism without complete democracy”.
Since 1979 and surely since 1989, there has been a Hell of a lot of rethinking going on in the Communist movements of the world. The dictatorship of the proletariat, democratic centralism, bans on private party – all of that is up for grabs. Many Communists nowadays support full democracy and a mixed economy.
There are now many religious Communists, especially Liberation Theology Catholics in Latin America and the Philippines. There have always been Muslim and Christian Communists in the Arab World. Cuba now allows Christians into the party. There are organizations of Christian Marxists in Cuba holding meetings and publishing documents.
Camilo Torres, a Catholic priest, led an armed guerrilla movement in Colombia in 1965. Another Catholic priest, an American, led an armed guerrilla movement in Honduras in 1983. There are Catholic priests who are very active in the Maoist NPA guerrillas in the Philippines. There were even Catholic priests, nuns and lay workers who supported the Shining Path in Peru, to the point of helping them carry out military operations.
If all this news violates your cherished ideas about what it means to be a Communist, you need to quit reading this blog right now and go somewhere where your lower intelligence can be better accommodated – such as this website.
Marx and Lenin were not Gods. Communism is a scientific movement. Marx and Lenin, being materialist beings (humans), were surely capable of error about many things. The Communist Manifesto is not a religious text. If you run your life by a cookbook, dogmatically define words only with a Webster’s, think definitions are as hard as rocks and pigeonhole people in various pegs on a pegboard, you are just flat-out on the wrong blog.
There are plenty on the Right who think that anyone who does not fit the Websters definition of Communist must be a liar or an idiot. There are plenty on the Left who think that anyone who does not fit their definition of a Communist is a “revisionist” or a “fake Communist”.
Npwadays, who is a Communist? To tell the truth, anyone who says he is! What is the definition of Communism? It’s in flux, and it means all sorts of things depending on all of the competing versions of the philosophy out there.
In the Linguistics branch called Semantics, we learned that the dictionary does not necessarily give you the correct or complete definition of a word. A word means whatever people who are using it say it means – it’s that simple. Communism means whatever Communists say it means, in all of their competing visions.
If you can’t your head around that, like I said, maybe you came to the wrong blog – go here instead. If this post stimulates your thinking, that’s the general idea. If you agree with most of the above, bookmark me.