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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Is This The Key To A Successful Leftist Revolution?

Currently, I am in the middle of watching a documentary about the battle over Chile. This battle culminated in the 1973, 9/11 military coup and attack on the Presidential Palace of then President Salvador Allende. That battle had started a few years earlier than that attack. The major players involved were the workers, the bourgeoisie along with the help they received from the Christian Democrats, and the United States. And what began as a democratic, leftist run government was changed into a brutal military dictatorship that installed and supported a very strong free market economic system. Of course, other such democratic, leftist run governments suffered a similar fate to what Allende's government in Chile did. The most notable examples occurred in Iran (1953) and Guatemala (1954). So we see that when leftist governments come to power through democratic processes, they are at risk of being attacked from powerful internal and external enemies.

Another way the Left can gain control is through revolution and autocratic rulers. But as Rosa Luxemburg pointed out about Lenin's government, such regimes are more bourgeoisie than Marxist because their basic structure resembles how the bourgeoisie run their businesses. And here we should note that the Conservative, pejorative of equating Socialism with "big government" is deliberately deceptive. For the hallmark of Socialism from the Marxist tradition is worker control. And those who are most opposed to worker control are in favor of elite-centered rule exercised by either the public sector elites, as with Lenin, or the private sector elites, as is currently with the US (click here).  We should note that those who have the love of money will not object to "effective" elite-centered rule. In addition, religiously conservative Christians will more probably support elite-centered rule because of they have a natural affinity toward authoritarianism.

We should note that a society relies on both structures and a set of widely held public moral values. Certainly, a leftist Revolution involves a change in the structure of our government and, hopefully, the workplace too. But such changes have occurred before only to be quickly undone by those who have wealth and/or connections with outside power. One of the reasons why those leftist structures that have arisen democratically are so vulnerable is because the values shared by those on the left are not widely held. Thus, perhaps, it is time to evaluate whether those on the Left should make changing society's moral values a prerequisite to changing its political structure. 

Without reference to changing society's political structure, Martin Luther King Jr. talked about the set of moral values required for joining the 'right side of the world revolution.' For he said the following (click here for source):
we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a "thing-oriented" society to a "person-oriented" society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

Note that King states that we have a choice between two sets of values. One set puts a higher priority on things than on people: for King, things include 'profit motives,' gadgets, and 'property rights.' The other choice would be to put a higher value on people than on things. And note what King says follows when a society puts a higher priority on things: racism, materialism/exploitation, war/militarism. BTW, what was added to that list comes from a similar King discussion on this topic. And if we note, what the largest enemies of past Marxist governments are, we find them to be those with wealth and the military.


Here, we should note that having a 'thing-oriented' society rather than a 'person-oriented' society will bring other consequences than just providing a hedge against leftist governments. It brings constant conflict and injustice. And in a world where the proliferation of WMDs is inevitable, constant conflict and injustice can only spell destruction for thing-oriented societies if not the whole world.



 

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