The U.S. empire’s global influence projects, especially the ones in Iran and Hong Kong, have a different nature from the ones that were carried out when American power was still in a stable state. There’s now an aspect of desperation to what America is doing abroad, an unacknowledged but ever-present reality that the purveyors of Western imperialism are fighting a losing battle against the inevitable process of imperial collapse.
It’s no wonder why Bernie Sanders’ supporters are so loyal to him in spite of his pro-imperialist tendencies. He’s offering them universal healthcare and adequate social benefits at a time when neoliberalism has made half of the country effectively poor. Many Americans have gravitated towards Sanders simply out of the desire to attain adequate living standards, which his policies would indeed create for them. What anti-imperialists must do is shatter the illusion that Sanders’ agenda of bettering life for Americans equates to an agenda of bettering life for the world’s colonized people, which Sanders has shown he doesn’t want to do.
In the vast literature dealing with the rise of Christianity, we find many different accounts of how this small sect of Jewish messianists arose, spread, and eventually took over the Roman Empire. However, most of these histories focus on Christianity as a group defined by a set of beliefs, or a group dedicated to the adoration of the person of Jesus Christ. While it is true that Christianity, as it arose, was certainly those things, it was also a group with its own socio-economic ideology and set of practices.
In addition to all of the propaganda pieces that anti-communists use to legitimize their position, they often utilize a more general rhetorical tool, which is the denunciations of communism that have come from two of the last century’s most prominent intellectuals: George Orwell and Christopher Hitchens. These figures maintain large cult followings and are widely seen as moral authorities for their crusades against civilization’s evil and hypocritical aspects, which for Orwell was a crusade against totalitarianism and for Hitchens was a crusade against organized religion. Yet the cultural and ideological makeup of both of these men caused them to infuse their works with the anti-communist agenda, and to give this agenda’s followers the sense that they’re righteous upholders of honesty and virtue.
A century ago, Lenin led the world’s first revolution against capitalism that successfully established a new and different government and society, the USSR. Lenin’s work before, during and shortly after that revolution left a legacy of insights, strategies, and programs. This panel aims to highlight and discuss some of the most pertinent aspects for today of Lenin’s life and work. We intend to include time for audience participation and discussion.
“Marxism and Karl Marx taught us there are two classes. There is the bourgeois and the proletariat. There are those who own the major centers of economic power, the factories, the banks, the means of transport, the means of communication and make profits from them. And then there are the rest of us who sell our labor power to those capitalists in order to survive. We get wages, we live by working, we’re proletarians. They live by owning, they’re capitalists.” — Caleb Maupin
“The principle of self-reliance–that one can and should solve one’s problems utilizing one’s own resources and skills and not become dependent on foreign powers–was the guiding philosophy of North Korea’s founding leader Kim Il-sung since the Korean people’s anti-colonial struggle against the Japanese. And it has been the country’s guiding philosophy ever since. North Korea’s experience during the Korean War–when countries that had pledged support didn’t come through with supplies of armaments in its moment of desperate need–reaffirmed its belief that to guarantee its survival, it cannot rely on others and needs to develop its own resources.” — Soobok Kim from ZoominKorea
“Marxism and Scientific Socialism as they emerged, they came to understand the concept of revolution as human beings advancing to higher stages of civilization.” — Caleb Maupin
In What Is To Be Done of 1902 Lenin opposed revolutionary spontaneity because it “strips away the disciplined nature of the Marxists idea of revolution, leaving it arbitrary and ineffective.” True to himself, Lenin then returned to opposition to spontaneous revolution after WWI during the German Revolution of 1918-19 when in a spontaneous uprising against the post-WWI system Rosa Luxemburg and the Spartacist League failed in an attempt to overturn German capitalism.
“This notion that the Pentagon is a humanitarian rescue organization that goes around the world saving people is a fiction. And how many more times are we going to fall for this?”
“The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.” — Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto, 1848
“Marx was keenly aware of capitalism’s ability to innovate and adapt. But he also knew that capitalist expansion was not eternally sustainable. And as we witness the denouement of capitalism and the disintegration of globalism, Karl Marx is vindicated as capitalism’s most prescient and important critic.” — Chris Hedges, Left Forum, May 30, 2015
The Roman Catholic Church and the Peoples Republic of China are set to sign an agreement, which would formally end the hostilities between these two entities. The Chinese government will formally acknowledge the Pope as the leader of the Catholic Church in China. In exchange, the Pope will reinstate ex-communicated Bishops selected by the Communist Party to lead Catholics on the Chinese mainland. In this context, it is worth reviewing the shifts and evolutions of Catholicism in global politics.
“I have seen British Imperialism at work in Burma, and I have seen something of the effects of poverty and unemployment in Britain. In so far as I have struggled against the system, it has been mainly of writing books which I hoped would influence the reading public. I shall continue to do that, of course, but at a moment like the present writing books in not enough. The tempo of events is quickening; the dangers which once seemed a generation distant are staring us in the face. One has got to be actively a Socialist, not merely sympathetic to Socialism, or one plays into the hands of our always-active enemies.” — George Orwell, 1938