“One day we must ask the question, “Why are there forty million poor people in America?” And when you begin to ask that question, you’re raising a question about the economic system, about a broader distribution of wealth. When you ask that question, you begin to question the capitalistic economy.” — “Where Do We Go From Here?” Martin Luther King, Jr., Aug. 16, 1967
Your history textbooks may have you convinced he was a blind patriot and arch conservative. They were wrong. Martin Luther King was a socialist, and the following clips show him talking extensively about the need to redistribute wealth and “economic power”, the right to a job, and the dignity of the working class.
Being anti-war does not equate to being anti-imperialist. Being anti-imperialist means supporting the only justifiable type of war, which is class war, while consistently opposing the wars that serve the capitalist class.
When the imperialists carry out reckless actions like the recent assassination of a top Iranian military official, aren’t they at least partly conscious of the ways this endangers their power structure? Don’t they see that the more resources the American war machine consumes and the worse proletarian living conditions become as a result, the greater the likelihood becomes that a revolution will happen? Don’t they see the obvious and growing signs of the U.S. empire’s collapse? Don’t they see that the more the neoliberal order exacerbates climate change and destabilizes the economy, the more the bourgeois power structure comes under threat?
In her 2017 book No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics And Winning The World We Need, Naomi Klein wrote in reference to her experiences in post-invasion Iraq that:
“There have been times in my reporting from disaster zones when I have had the unsettling feeling that I was seeing not just a crisis in the here and now, but a glimpse of our collective future-a preview of where the road we are all on is headed unless we somehow grab the wheel and swerve.”
Screenshot by Dandelion Salad via Flickr Watch the video below
Happy New Year!
“I imagine you already know that I am much more socialistic in my economic theory than capitalistic. And yet I am not so opposed to capitalism that I have failed to see its relative merits. It started out with a noble and high motive, viz, to block the trade monopolies of nobles, but like most human systems it fell victim to the very thing it was revolting against. So today capitalism has outlived its usefulness. It has brought about a system that takes necessities from the masses to give luxuries to the classes.” — Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter to Coretta Scott, 1952
The power structure that now dominates the globe is a logical extension of the project for colonizing Africa, Oceania, and the Americas that the European imperialist powers began over five centuries ago. From the start of this project, it’s been a constant rule for those in the colonizing powers that one’s society is at war with a weaker enemy. The indigenous people, who have been portrayed as not capable of running things, have had to be brought under the colonial boot according to the ideology of imperial conquest. And in accordance with the global rise of capitalism that colonialism precipitated, the same dynamic of subjugation has existed between the poor and the rich.
The United States, like the other parts of the world that have been ravaged by rampant economic inequality and corporate despotism, is headed for a social breakdown. This gets more apparent every time wealth disparity is shown to be at a decades-high level, every time the military budget is expanded billions of dollars to fight endless wars, every time the country’s militarized police shoots an innocent person. Ten or twenty years from now, our society’s current form will have taken on an extreme version of itself: no real freedoms, basically no semblance of democracy, and conditions for the majority of people that are in or approaching squalor.
“The dictionary definition of socialism is “a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.””
The capitalist class doesn’t hate communism out of concern for mass murder. The accounts of the mass deaths that communism has supposedly caused are exaggerated or fabricated, and capitalist governments have caused hundreds of times more deaths than can be attributed to communist ones. Anti-communism isn’t about human rights, at least not human rights as a socialist would define them. Capitalists and imperialists vilify countries like China because they don’t like that these countries have challenged the “rights” to exploit and oppress.
Is this our last chance before the darkness falls?
This is probably the most difficult piece I’ve ever had to write, at least about the Labour Party. My feelings about Corbyn and the Labour Party are on record, here, here, here and here, to name a few. The Labour Party is a party of Imperialism and always has been since its inception, well over a century ago. Even its high point in 1945, with the creation of the welfare state, occurred through pressure from below and just as today, capitalism was bankrupt and in crisis. The Labour government, in return for the Welfare state, saved capitalism from revolution (or collapse). The gains made during that critical period following WWII lasted about thirty years before the lords of capital started taking back what ‘we’ had tried to take from them and by 1975 we were clearly not equipped to resist. In part, the Labour Party was directly responsible, in fact it was party to the attacks on the Welfare state and the working class.