- A few days ago, one of my closest friends hit me with
a heavily loaded question.
- "Are you a Communist?" she queried.
- To which I replied:
- I do not belong nor militate in any formal communist
party in the U.S. Nor do I belong to any other political entity or party.
Furthermore, I do not subscribe to a specific doctrine, ideology, or dogma.
My allegiance is to my core principles and values, which are premised on
honesty, justice, humanity, responsibility, critical thinking, open-mindedness,
egalitarianism, compassion, a belief in a Higher Power of my understanding,
and many of the teachings of Christ.
- My personal beliefs aside, communism is an incredibly
loaded word. Our infinitely mendacious educational, social, and media infrastructures
begin inculcating reflexive rejection of "all things communist or
socialist" into US Americans from the moment they draw their initial
- Why is the establishment so desperate to vaccinate us
against the "disease" of communism?
- Because at its hopelessly rotten core, capitalism, which
is manifested most strongly in the United States, is about exploitation,
hyper-competitiveness, "rugged individualism", survival of the
fittest, concentration of wealth in the hands of the few, profits above
all, property over people, greed, and selfishness. Perhaps worst of all,
this pyramid scheme masquerading as a "moral" economic system
inevitably leads to wars fueled by its insatiable demands for new markets,
more resources, and cheaper labor. Why else would 350 million out of 6.5
billion people spend a trillion dollars a year on a military that has the
capacity to destroy our planet thousands of times over, dwarfs the combined
firepower of the rest of the world, and plagues over 130 countries with
its "benign" occupations? We in the United States maintain a
carefully crafted façade as the "benevolent champions of democracy",
but will quickly install ruthless tyrants and commit mass murder (euphemistically
labeling our victims as "collateral damage") if sovereign nations
dare to resist our economic rape and plunder.
- And for those who have swallowed the specious argument
that "true capitalism" doesn't exist, you're dreaming. Pinch
yourself hard enough and you may awaken before it is too late. Capitalism
is a cancer upon the sentient beings of the Earth and we are suffering
through its advanced stages. Finance capital reigns supreme, massive oligopolies
abound, wealth is increasingly accumulating in the hands of the few, imperial
wars to expand markets and attain resources are increasing in frequency,
and the insatiable greed driving this appalling perversion is raping and
destroying the Earth.
- Some opine that if we could just dismantle the "socialist"
aspects of our socioeconomic system in the United States, restoring an
unbridled free market, the world would be a much better place. Certainly
our cynical plutocracy would welcome such a transition. However, it is
hard to envision too many working people truly welcoming a return to ten
year olds working twelve hour days, company towns, death and dismemberment
on the job with no recourse against employers maintaining perilous work
environments, miserly wages that would make today's working poor look relatively
affluent, blatantly monopolistic business practices, and wanton disregard
for the environment.
- History has clearly demonstrated that "free markets"
are "free passes" for acquisitive sociopaths who thrive on bullying
and exploiting a large percentage of the Earth's sentient beings. And despite
the ridiculously few and relatively minor restraints that social unrest
has forced the opulent class to implement in the US, adept players in the
deadly game of capitalism have refused to surrender their "inalienable
right" to fuck the rest of the human race in their relentless charge
to attain the power and wealth they so desperately crave to distract them
from the existential agony of their spiritual emptiness.
- [Note: If you don't find a historical perspective convincing
enough, consider the deadly machinations of the "free market"
in China as it hurtles headlong into the very bowels of capitalist Hell:
- Karl Marx predicted the inevitable implosion of capitalism
and theorized that a much more humane, egalitarian, and democratic system
would rise in its place. It is little wonder that the bourgeoisie in the
United States have striven so tenaciously to inculcate the unwashed masses
to despise, fear, and ridicule socialism, communism, and nearly all aspects
of Marxist thought. Sound bites, emotionally evocative images, ahistorical
presentations, fear mongering, jingoism, advertising, and numerous temptations
of instant gratification comprise a vast array of highly refined and insidious
propaganda that perpetually hammers our minds to create a potent and effective
false consciousness, and an irrational fear of anything but capitalism.
- Socialism and communism, the political manifestations
of Marxist ideas, have been grossly distorted within the framework of this
false consciousness. While it is true that the implementations of Marx's
philosophies have yielded mixed results (many of those outcomes are primarily
due to the unwavering hostility of the older, well established capitalist
powers in the second half of the 20th century, led of course by the U.S.),
the chasm between reality and the mind fuck we have received since birth
is wide enough to engulf Donald Trump's ego, or most of it anyway. For
evidence, one need look no further than our Cold War nemesis.
- Consider the pernicious myth that the United States "defeated"
fascism in Europe in WWII. This lie persists despite the fact that a number
of our very own uber-Capitalists did business with the Nazi regime until
the 1942 Trading with the Enemy Act finally forbade it. Ironically, Prescott
Bush, GW's grandfather, was amongst those profiting from Hitler's rise
to power. Further, our ruling elite refused to intervene on behalf of a
democratically elected government in Spain against Franco, who ultimately
rose to power as a fascist dictator. Perhaps most importantly, the US lost
about 500,000 people (almost all of whom were military personnel) in "defeating"
Germany. Russia, one of history's most heavily vilified "communist"
nations, sacrificed 20 million people to ensure Hitler's defeat. Had it
not been for those evil "communists", we might be speaking German
- Shortages of consumer goods is another "communist
failure" apologists for capitalism love to trot out as "proof"
that their beloved license to plunder and conquer is inherently superior
to a more just economic system. Yet time and again they suppress the real
reasons these shortages occurred. Recognizing the existential threat that
Marxist ideals posed to their Anglo, imperial, and patriarchal plutocracy,
the United States ruling class and its allies circled the wagons and imposed
crippling economic sanctions on nations attempting to implement communism
(i.e. Russia and Cuba).
- Domestically, communists and socialists endured harassment,
financial ruin, and prison. Witness the Palmer Raids and the witch hunts
of the McCarthy era. Thank God our opulent overlords nipped potential revolutionary
action in the bud. It is a tremendous relief that such a small number of
"richly deserving" individuals acted to ensure the perpetuation
of their virtual monopoly on the wealth of our nation, particularly in
light of the existence of over a million homeless US Americans. Heartwarming
- Yet our intrepid profit-seekers weren't content to stop
there. Realizing that the Soviet Union had an economy that was roughly
1/8th the size of the United States and was still largely agrarian all
the way up to the Russian Revolution, they decided to initiate a ruinous
military escalation that eventually culminated in the criminal nuclear
arms race. Enabling obscene profits for the military industrial complex
(by way of raping the US American taxpayer) and smothering communism in
its infancy, the vampiric bourgeoisie ensured the perpetuation of its abominable
existence. Meanwhile, the Ruskies faced the staggering tasks of industrializing
a technologically backward nation, rebuilding their devastated infrastructure,
and meeting consumer demands. So of course they didn't have a McDonalds
on each corner or a new car dealer within a three mile radius of every
home. They were too busy bringing their economy into the 20th Century,
recovering from Hitler's invasion, and matching the US warhead for warhead.
- Now, do I think that any manifestation of a communist
government to date is a utopia? No. I see their flaws. But remember, those
who have tried to implement socialism or communism have faced a formidable
adversary in the form of the rotten bastards who comprise both our "elected"
and our de facto governments. Crushing those who dare to attempt alternatives
to the sacred cow of capitalism and trumpeting our "monopoly"
on virtue, we US Americans would benefit tremendously from some serious
soul-searching about our participation in a morally bankrupt mode of being.
What spiritual growth or substance could possibly flourish in a system
premised on greed, selfishness, and self-absorption?
- Are we, the beneficiaries of a relative degree of physical
security and comfort (in exchange for our complicity in crony capitalism,
Neoliberal exploitation, and imperial invasions), truly superior to the
communists and socialists we have been taught to fear and revile? How many
invasions have Fidel or Chavez EVER launched?
- We the People are mere pawns of our multimillionaires
in Congress, the 10% who own 90% of our nation's wealth, massive corporations,
and a group which includes in its ranks both GW and other abject criminals
like Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, Abrams, Negroponte, and many others who
have acted with impunity dating back to the Nixon era. There is a revolving
door between our government (including both "elected" and appointed
officials) and major corporations. Cheney and Halliburton represent exhibit
A. Lobbyists and special interest groups pull our legislators' strings
and, in some instances, even write our laws, as was the case in the behind-closed-doors
deal that Cheney cooked for the energy corporations. And look at our most
likely Democratic Presidential nominee to be, Hillary Clinton, whose conservatism
is one of the best kept secrets inside the Beltway. As a First Lady, she
ostensibly fought aggressively for universal health care. She has now sold
us out by accepting nearly a million dollars from the health care industry.
Corruption, duplicity, mendacity, and egregious criminal conduct are not
the exception. They are the rule in our vaunted capitalist system.
- Our domestic politics, guided and determined by the demands
of our predatory socioeconomic structure, are not alone in reeking of the
fetid stench of profound moral decay. Consider our malevolent foreign policy,
including myriad CIA covert operations, economic extortion, and outright
imperial slaughter frequently employed to crush efforts by sovereign nations
to defy the capitalist paradigm and implement socialism. For convincing
evidence that we are NOT wearing white hats and making the world safe for
democracy, do a little research on Chile and Salvador Allende, Cuba and
Castro, Iran and Mossadeq, Franco and Spain, Ho Chi Minh and Vietnam (we
"only" killed 3 million people there), Honduras, Guatemala, El
Salvador, and Nicaragua.
- Here is a good starting point (the entire website is
excellent, but the page linked below gives a condensed version of parts
of our history the plutocracy doesn't want the masses to know the
mainstream media and textbook writers have done a masterful job of shielding
us from the truths displayed on this site):
- While it wasn't his intention at the time, David Starr
Jordan (from Imperial Democracy, 1899, pp. 50-51 cited in Monthly
Review, September 2006, p. 53.) penned an apt characterization of the despicable
foreign policy of the American Empire:
- "First you push into territories where you have
no business to be, and where you had promised not to go; secondly, your
intrusion provokes resentment and, in these wild countries, resentment
means resistance; thirdly, you instantly cry out that the people are rebellious
and that their act is rebellion (this in spite of your own assurance that
you have no intention of setting up a permanent sovereignty over them);
fourthly, you send a force to stamp out the rebellion; and fifthly, having
spread bloodshed, confusion and anarchy, you declare, with hands uplifted
to the heavens, that moral reasons force you to stay, for if you were to
leave, this territory would be left in a condition which no civilized power
could contemplate with equanimity or with composure. These are the five
stages in the Forward Rake's progress."
- Having analyzed our vile and reprehensible economic paradigm
from many angles, I find it virtually impossible to believe that a critical
thinking, decent human being could support our institutionalized rapacity,
at least not once they pierced the simulacrum so fastidiously maintained
by the corporate media.
- Fortunately, challenging life experiences spurred me
to undertake a spiritual and intellectual journey that enabled me to break
free of the prison of false consciousness. While I tend to look at the
world through a very eclectic lens, I derive most of my principles, beliefs,
and sociopolitical views from Marxism, the Friends of Bill W, Christ's
teachings, and Buddha.
- Together with many dedicated and exceptional human beings,
I am waging an intellectual/political struggle for social justice, a reasonable
degree of peace in the world, a significant reduction in exploitation,
a more equitable distribution of resources, an end to the rising epidemic
of unnecessary suffering, the formation of a social structure based on
our interdependence with nature and each other, the obliteration of the
moronic, sociopathic American myth that individuality and personal rights
supersede the well-being of the collective, true justice for criminals
and their victims, the evisceration of corporate power, awakening people
from their trance of self-absorption and apathy, and an end to the hedonistic
narcissism manifested in obscene levels of consumerism. A number of factors
indicate that we are in a pre-revolutionary stage in the United States.
Premature revolutionary activity at this point would be suicidal folly,
but meanwhile, we have plenty of opportunity to implement radical solutions
at the personal level and to employ political education to win hearts and
- If you still tremble at the notion of "Godless communists,
socialists or Marxists," remember that though I am not a Christian,
I am deeply spiritual and derive tremendous inspiration from Christ and
members of the Liberation Theology Movement. Marxist thought is not antithetical
to spirituality, morality, or Christianity. In fact, I examined its synthesis
with these elements in some detail when I wrote "Jesus Wouldn't
Bomb Anyone: Why are we waging war on the poor and oppressed?" at:
- No, I'm not the "communist bogeyman" that Ronald
Reagan (who was a far better actor in the White House than he was in Hollywood)
warned you about. How could I be? Communists, socialists, and Marxists
are only potentially threatening to those amongst us who will waste eternity
desperately attempting to squeeze camels through the eyes of needles.
- Forget worrying about the "communist threat."
We need to turn the moneyed establishment's idiocy on its head and focus
our energies on answering a question that affects the 90% of us who aren't
- How will humanity survive the capitalist threat?
- Jason Miller is a wage slave of the American Empire who
has freed himself intellectually and spiritually. He is Cyrano's Journal
Online's associate editor (<http://www.bestcyrano.org/>http://www.bestcyrano.org/) and
publishes Thomas Paine's Corner within Cyrano's at <http://www.bestcyrano.org/THOMASPAINE/.Ý>http://www.bestcyrano.org/THOMASPAINE/. You can
reach him at <mailto:JMiller@bestcyrano.org>JMiller@bestcyrano.org