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by Brent Herbert
Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2008 at 4:22 PM
Correcting our political perspective
The following is intended as a friendly bit of helpful advice to those down on their luck Trots who call themselves the ‘fourth international'. It has been my experience over the years that even a murky and slightly muddle headed Trot is still heads and tails above everyone else in this place, which isn't saying much for everyone else. It has been my habit to consult a Trot from the Fourth International while always taking everything with a grain of salt, such that I never consult a Trot without making sure I am packing a salt shaker. However given the gravity of the current social crisis, I am no longer willing to tolerate carrying around a salt shaker, and so I thought that instead I would write this critique of the Fourth International.
Where to start?
One of the results of the unfolding historical process is that because of the degeneration of the Soviet Union a Trot has to walk on stage to play the role of Satan the Political Devil, one of history's greatest monsters. As the crisis has intensified, this has resulted in an intellectual degeneration in the Fourth International, as increasingly desperate Trots are found clutching at straws in the hopes of somehow mastering the historical situation in which they find themselves and thus resolving the historical crisis of their movement.
One example of this sort of thing is the way in which a Trot will use incendiary propaganda in the hopes of ditching the devil suit by forcing ‘the ruling class' to wear the damn devil suit instead. So we hear from Trots lately that the ‘ruling class' is driven by ‘their own filthy greed' and so on. Now the truth is a little more complex. Consider the capitalist. Even the greediest capitalist on earth is never found sitting ass first on some giant pile of hoarded wealth. At the very least that capitalist should stick that pile into some bank and earn 2 or 3 percent interest on the money, so simply trying to paint a capitalist as some greedy money hoarding hog at the trough is ineffective incendiary propaganda is also unlikely to result in a Trot ditching a devil suit, because it turns out that capitalists do perform some kind of useful social function in that they invest money in various projects.
This then leaves us to ask the question ‘why is it that capitalists are found investing money in various projects.' This is the real question that needs to be asked. We elect politicians but no one ever elected a capitalist and this leaves one to wonder why it is that a capitalist is now found to be holding the position of some kind of manager of all the world's financial affairs. This is the real question.
Therefore we want to criticize the system, for as the saying goes, it's bigger than all of us, and that means that it is bigger than a capitalist or a politician as well.
This is not to say that there is no place for so called ‘class warfare', but that would only be true in the case of really stubborn scheming shits, and even then the question that still remains to be answered at the end of it all, after cleaning the clock of those stubborn scheming shits, is why do we have a system in place that empowers such stubborn scheming shits like those ones.
Now let us consider the issue of Iraq. Iraq was once some kind of ‘quasi-socialist' country. Iraq's oil money was used by the Saddam and his state apparatus for the purposes of building up the infrastructure of Iraq, such that Iraq became one of the more modernized and developed nations in the region. A smart dictator, such as Saddam, or such as Adolph Hitler, always writes big cheques, with the difference between the two being that Hitler was a moron because he borrowed the money until he maxed out his credit card, and Saddam was more intelligent because he was following a more stable long term strategy of spending Iraq's oil money to modernize the country. Unfortunately for Saddam he became some kind of pawn in the game of international power politics and invaded Iran, or at least he managed to invade a few square miles along the border of Iran, which was not much of an invasion, and then he was stuck there for years making sure that Iran did not return the favor by invading Iraq. This then caused Saddam to go flat broke and from there it was all down hill for such a flat broke dictator who could not longer write cheques for Iraq since he was forced to write cheques to his creditors in the neighboring countries, and so, in order to no longer have to do that, as we know he decided that perhaps he might invade those neighboring countries and rid himself of the burden of paying off his debts.
Iraq was the one country on the earth not following the so-called ‘neo-liberal model'. Iraq did not give its oil money to a capitalist so that the capitalist could act as some kind of financial manager of Iraq's affairs, but instead Iraq was cutting out the middle man as Saddam made the decisions to build up Iraq's infrastructure instead. This was a very bad example, for every other country in the world was agreeing to have a capitalist appoint himself by a vote of one as their nation's financial manager, and every other country in the world was not getting their infrastructure built up, for the capitalist was taking the finances of those countries and investing them in such things as strip malls in Illinois or perhaps a car park in Indonesia. Saddam did not need the capitalist, because he already had a supply of drill bits for his oil wells, and therefore could not be blackmailed, and he was selling a commodity known as oil so he could not be blackballed either. Therefore Iraq was free to embarrass the capitalist of the world by showing the entire world what happens when a capitalist becomes the self appointed financial manager of all those countries which had no other option but to cave in when they were being bullied and blackballed by a capitalist.
Now the time has come for a capitalist to bully and ram his way into Iraq. He is a helpful fellow, that capitalist, and as his custom he is offering Iraq his services as a financial manager of Iraq's oil wealth.
Now we make note of the fact that this is Iraq's oil wealth, or at least it once was Iraq's oil wealth, as we could see during those days when it was being used in Iraq for the benefit of the people of Iraq, by building infrastructure rather than being used to generate high rates of profitable returns somewhere on the planet by some capitalist. I therefore ask the following question. When a capitalist bullies his way into Iraq and then gets his hands on Iraq's oil wealth, does the oil wealth of Iraq then become the ‘private property' of that capitalist? It depends on who you ask. If you were to ask a capitalist system judge in some capitalist system court, the judge would say that yes, Iraq's oil wealth is now the private property of the capitalist, for under the so called capitalist ‘justice system' possession of Iraq's oil wealth is nine tenths of the law, which is convenient for a capitalist, because it means that once a capitalist get his hands on Iraq's oil wealth that means he gets to keep it.
Therefore we can see, by studying the example of Iraq, that a capitalist actually owns nothing and that a capitalist actually has no ‘private property' whatsoever, but rather that this whole concept of the so called ‘privatized assets' of some capitalist consists only of social wealth of which the capitalist is not the actual owner but is just some kind of unelected, self appointed financial planner. This point is quite important to drive home, for if you start talking about firing a capitalist from his position as self appointed financial planner of the world, and then taking societies wealth and investing using some other method other than involving that capitalist as the middle man, right away that capitalist will start screaming hypocritically about ‘theft' and attempting to tar and feather the socialist as some kind of immoral thief, when, as anyone can see if they clear the smog out from between their ears and study the example of Iraq, if anyone is thief around this place it would be that capitalist himself.
A capitalist owns nothing, but instead has appointed himself financial manager of all the world's surplus wealth. We know that the world produces a lot of surplus wealth because the capitalist will be found controlling fantastic billions of dollars of the world's surplus wealth, and as the saying goes money does not grow on trees.
Now in keeping with this discussion of who is the immoral thief around this place, which is critically important, since it is the principal brain washing tool that a capitalist uses to screw up the minds of everyone on this planet, we should consider once again the subject of Iraq's oil money, which will now be invested by that self appointed financial planner of the world, some capitalist. Let us suppose that a capitalist was to take Iraq's oil money, and then invested it in a rubber band factory in Texas. There would then be surplus value generated by the workers at the rubber band factory and we know that this must be true because the capitalist might generate billions in profits from that rubber band factory, and money doesn't grow on trees. We also know that a capitalist does not make rubber bands, and that he produces nothing himself, but is instead some kind of financial planner for the rest of the world. Now let us suppose that we were to fire a capitalist from his self appointed job as financial manager of all the world's wealth, and as part of the deal we were to tell the capitalist that the gig was up at the rubber band factory, and that the capitalist should take a long cold shower to cool down and then take a long, long walk. Of course the capitalist would hypocritically scream bloody murder because the rubber band factory was his ‘private property', although as we can see if that rubber band factory belonged to anyone it belonged to the people of Iraq because they were the ones who paid for it, and the fact that some middle man like that capitalist muscled his way into the middle of that deal and signed some legal looking forms and various papers does not in anyway change the fact that the rubber band factory was never the private property of some capitalist. We could have just as easily cut out the middle man and the people in Texas could have talked to the people of Iraq and the people of Iraq could have agreed to invest some of their oil money building a rubber band factory in Texas, and so we can see that the capitalist is actually some kind of redundant fifth wheel of the world economy and his helpful offer to be a middle man in the circulation of all the world's produced wealth is not really required and only someone who had been brainwashed by a capitalist and that capitalist's phony so called ‘legal system' would feel that somehow a crime had been committed if such a rubber band factory were turned over to its true legal owners.
These are important points to make because everyone is so brainwashed and so completely screwed in the head by the constant devious behavior of capitalists that they don't think straight thus causing them to think that for some reason firing a capitalist from his job as financial planner of the world was an immoral crime of some sort for it meant ‘stealing' what they would call ‘the private property' of some capitalist. Actually all that was really happening was that the capitalist was getting his pink slip and his walking papers, and all that horseshit about how all the wealth in the world was the ‘private property' of some capitalist is just the horseshit spread around by that capitalist so that he cannot be fired from his job, and remarkably this proves to be true even when the capitalist proves himself to be a ruinously reckless incompetent.
Now none of this comes as any revelation to a Trot. But the point to be made here is that you must not deliver lectures on Marxist doctrine, but rather you should speak to people where they are at right now. As for this critical issue of so called ‘private property', it must be dealt with, for Trots always come across sounding like gangsters and thieves. My advice would be to focus on Iraq, for the simple reason that it is the most clear and obvious real world example of this sort of thing, where you can see the muscle man, the capitalist, worming his way into position as some kind of self appointed middle man, becoming a damnable thief, and then later on after having invested in one dozen factories, the capitalist will then become a naked hypocrite by claiming that each one of those one dozen factories was his ‘private property' while addle headed proletarians agree that it is not nice to be thief and that therefore the solution must be to perhaps lead a capitalist around on dog leash just to help to keep them under some kind of control. That same principle applies whether it was Iraqi oil or if the capitalist muscled in on Indonesian coffee beans of bauxite from Brazil and then invested in twenty factories in Kuala Lumpur.
If you find yourself talking to some impenetrable character who still does not grasp the concept, and perhaps thinks that Iraq is just one bad anomaly, you might want to remind them of the era of imperialist colonialism, when capitalists were really naked plundering pirates and when the whole planet was Iraq, which then explains all the looted plundered poverty we see on this planet, for poverty is not some inexplicable historical accident. Today's capitalist continues to be an imperialist colonialist and is still being a thief and looting the tin from Madagascar and the tangerines from Peru, the only difference being that in the middle of the last century the capitalist did a quick phony exit from imperialism and offered those countries their so called ‘independence' after which time that capitalist kept on looting the place doing so under the guise of that ‘neo-liberalism', which is still colonial robbery and confiscation by that same horde of capitalists who invaded the planet in the first place, but is now being done using such legal looking tools as signed documents which will be signed by the capitalist, the new legal owner of Peru's tangerines and also by some capitalistic stooge posing as a representative or Peru's government. If a capitalist has trouble finding a willing stooge then a capitalist can always bully up an unwilling stooge by using such tools as capital flight from Peru, starving Peru, bullying Peru, denying Peru spare parts, and so on. This will then be blamed on some Peruvian government which it will then be said had made ‘bad policy decisions' and therefore created ‘a poor business environment' which then resulted in ‘discouraging investment' and so on and so on.
The Revolutionary Working Class
It seems to be the standard doctrine that from this time forward only the ‘working class' has any revolutionary potential. This could prove to be true. However it may not be true and capitalism might still have some revolutionary potential, and we might see capitalism creating a gigantic global monopoly which would be one way of solving the current crisis which has as its root cause the free market system itself which competitively turned America into a gigantic constipating turd, and for which the only solution is to not apply any more free market principles. You see America, the gigantic constipating turd of global capitalism, is not going to become competitive because it just isn't possible for Americans to become cheap enough while still living in an expensive country like America, and in addition, Americans are really stubborn and unreasonable people in that no matter how many times they receive lectures, they refuse to sell themselves for the real cheap prices that would make a free market solution possible.
Therefore we can see that the only solution to be found to this ruinously destructive unfolding crisis would be in either an uncompetitive capitalist monopoly or a cooperative socialist economy. If the capitalist creates such a global monopoly, then our task becomes simpler because we would then just have the job ahead of democratizing that global monopoly. If a capitalist does not usher in the new era of the socialist economy and therefore there is no trace of revolutionary potential left in that capitalist system, then what that means is that the capitalist must now face the prospect of revolutionizing the American people, for that is what will happen as the process unfolds and America gets squeezed out of the free market asshole of capitalism.
It becomes obvious then that to speak of this capitalist monopoly is not to become a ‘two stage Stalinist', but rather it is to make perfectly clear that the revolutionary hour has come and that this time in history truly marks the very end of the road for capitalism. Now should such a capitalist monopoly emerge, then I would suppose that this would then make us all into ‘two stage Stalinists', because the alternative would be to put up with a despotic undemocratic gigantic monopoly, and so therefore as abhorrent as such an idea might be to any Trot, nevertheless we would have to accept reality and hold our noses and just go ahead and press on with the task placed before us by history.
The Worker's Party
Any student of the history of revolution would know that in is a constantly repeating pattern found in the historical record it is characteristic for anarchists to launch their anarchist version of the revolution prematurely. They always have this unusual tendency to show up just a little to early. But this is alright, because this curious repeating historical pattern means that you can always use an anarchist revolution as a pocket watch, and given what I have observed that would mean that the time must now be around two minutes before midnight.
Now let us assume that Trots have found themselves trapped in such a terrible historical crisis, that after years and years of effort they find themselves sitting looking at a clock, realizing that it is two minutes before midnight, and they have nothing going for themselves worth mentioning, and are still regarded as Satan the Political Devil by those grave diggers and undertakers of the Marxist ‘dictatorship of the proletariat', the proletarians of the world themselves. It was not some capitalist who buried the Trots six feet under, but rather it was the failure of Trots to accept the judgment of history concerning that failed dictatorship experiment, and also to refuse to accept the judgment of the proletarians who insisted on planting that thing six feet under, and then stubbornly refused to have their ‘consciousness raised' so that they would learn to like the idea sometime in the future when they were convinced to change their mind by strong Marxist type arguments. (The solution to this problem is obviously a democracy of the proletarians because you just cannot force people to do things.)
When a Trot is found in such a crisis a Trot might also be found short on ideas, and since not having any ideas is always unacceptable, and since having an idea is always better than not having even one single idea, therefore it is typical for people found in crisis situations to come up with an idea, even if it is a very bad idea. It would also be typical in a crisis situation for people with no ideas to come up with bad ideas, since if they had a good idea they would not be found in a crisis situation with no ideas.
Let us suppose that the time was around seven in the evening, and let us suppose that the Trot strategy was to form a mirror image of a bourgeois political party and then begin the task of entering into the process of bourgeois parliamentarianism. Perhaps that strategy might have some use if the time was seven in the evening. It is difficult for me to imagine that the ‘way forward for the working class' is to form some worker's party and then fight for the rights of worker's in the arena of the bourgeois beginning the whole process at two minutes before midnight. The idea seems even less likely to succeed when we consider that the idea was first proposed at around eleven in the morning and now we find that it is two minutes before midnight, which is not a good time to start working on such a project. The fact that a Trot would continually return to such an idea is a pretty clear indication that a Trot has no ideas left at all, for if a Trot had even two or perhaps three ideas left then we would assume that one of those might have come up by now, since it would be obvious that dumping over board the worker's party and a long struggle in parliament is not a project anyone would want to begin working at two minutes before midnight.
Now it is one thing to criticize someone for having no ideas and quite another to actually come up with some ideas, so I would like to make a few suggestions.
Let us suppose that a Trot was to see some workers going on strike. The correct approach to take would be to refuse to support the striking workers and to just tell them all to go fuck themselves.
Let us assume that worker's were once again being rebellious and brainless morons and they were going on strike to get their COLA and their health benefits restored, even though any worker with even half a brain should understand by now that they cannot have their cake and eat it too. Its either have a cake or eat a cake. So you can see that when some pointlessly rebellious assholes decide to go out on strike yet one more time it really is required that a Trot tell them to shove their strike up their own arse.
The alternative would be for a Trot to come across looking like some unrealistic pipe dreamer who goes around encouraging worker's to engage in their valient struggle to get their living standards increased, which would seem to indicate to me, every time I hear that line coming from some Trot, that apparently a Trot is an incompetent economist, for everyone knows that you just cannot get your living standards increased while remaining very competitive. It would also be a very bad strategy to encourage striking workers to raise their living standards by joining up with their international brothers and sisters who also on strike in other countries, or who should be and could be on strike in other countries, in one giant show of unity so as to get some capitalist to raise their living standards overall. You see if some braindead twit is out on strike, instead of having enough brains in his head to give a pink slip to some capitalist along with a set of walking papers, since capitalist like papers, especially signed papers, well in that case it is only appropriate that you tell any worker who goes on strike to go fuck themselves if they were looking for support from you and you should also try to discourage other workers from supporting them while they spend their time sucking on some turd like that strike action.
You should also not support workers who are getting laid off by the thousands, but instead if you were handing out Trot literature you should not be sucking up to them and trying to be a really caring Trot in the hopes of making a new friend, but rather your literature should more or less say that they can now go off and crawl under some rock somewhere and spend the rest of their lives sucking on some turd for some much badly needed nourishment.
It would be especially important to be a first class asshole to auto workers, since they are going down the shitter. What is significant about these auto workers are that they are the last few remaining small pieces of American auto turd being squeezed out of the asshole of capitalism, and when you consider all the really gigantic stools that have been passed out of that asshole in the last few decades, you must realize that any auto worker who still does not have the brains to fire a capitalist is an auto worker who deserves now to be permanently flushed down the economic shit hole of capitalism, there to float for a while, perhaps a year or two, and then finally sink down into the crud that has already settled down at the very bottom of that shitter.
It is also important never to agree with the unreasonable, stubbornly rebellious demands of some auto worker. It is important that auto workers be given lessons is sound economics. After all they are the last few remaining pieces of auto turd still floating in the toilet bowl of America, and all those other really gigantic turds got a really good flushing for a reason, because it is just not possible for an American to be a supporter of free enterprise capitalism because there is no way that an American could ever be cheap enough to be competitive enough while still living in an expensive country like America. Now if some brainless auto worker still wants to be a capitalist auto worker then an auto worker should just be told straight out to go fuck themselves by themselves, while every effort is made to ensure that no other worker in the country does anything to support any actions or demands of such a fucked up auto worker. Auto workers, like all American workers, should also be told to grow up and act like a fucking adult and stop stomping their feet and acting like bad children or holding their breath until their face turns blue because they are just not going to be getting all that stuff and that is all there is to it, because it is capitalism.
You might meet up with some particularly stupid stubborn shit of an auto worker who for some reason prefers to keep a capitalist on the job as America's financial planner, perhaps for no other reason than that it has always been that way (which is not much of a reason). Such an auto worker may propose putting up a trade wall barrier, which would then be a way an auto worker could be an auto worker while a capitalist could still play the role of the middle man who manages all the nation's financial affairs. This might work for an auto worker but when you consider the trade war that would result it would probably not be so good for the tangerine industry worker, or the guy making those rubber bands, and when you consider all the dropped turds that would have to be dropped just to save one auto turd not to mention to save some fucked up auto working turd who apparently would rather drop a turd on a tangerine worker rather than dropping a turd on some capitalist, well you can see how the only possible response to an auto worker like that one would be to tell that dumb fucker to go find a spot to park his card board box under some bridge, if he can still find a bridge that is not already occupied by some of those other auto workers who got squeezed out of the asshole of capitalism in their turn before the turn finally came around to the last few auto workers.
A Grand Coalition
Now it turns out that perhaps an auto worker or some striking worker is not the only one around this place who might need to be told to go fuck themselves, and it could also turn out to be true that some Trots need to be told to fuck off and die as well. This would mean forming the fifth international. That would not mean that the fourth international would not still exist and be found keeping busy but it would just mean that no one would be listening so there really wouldn't be much of a point for a fourth international to keep busy.
Now an auto worker or a striker will not tell a capitalist to fuck off and give a capitalist a pink slip and a set of official looking walking papers. As it turns out a politician will not even give a capitalist a temporary lay off notice for as you know our politicians are planning to stimulate the economy, and they are planning to do it not by laying off that capitalist from his job as our financial manager, even though that capitalist was the one who laid that gigantic constipating turd known as America, and instead our politicians seem to think that they are going to be getting away with borrowing money while at the same time giving that capitalist one more stimulating tax break.
Now if a Trot finds it offensive to grab a set of thumb screws at a time like this, because it would ‘turning towards bourgeois parliamentarianism' and ‘encouraging the deluded proletarians to harbor delusions' then it really is time to tell a Trot to fuck off and get out of our way and don't make any trouble for us, for it is time for some rolling thunder to start rolling across this land as those damnable buggers, those politicians, learn a real quick lesson in what it means to be pissing us off all the time, those stubborn fuckers.
Now I want to make the point here about how very unfortunate it would be to be creating some ‘fifth international' at a time like this, for as I have said, even a murky Trot I have found to be a cut above every one else in this place. However if Trots are going to be picking this moment in history to become petty then they deserve either a real good kick in the ass, and if that doesn't work they must be dumped overboard like a dead weight. This is a rude thing to be saying, but I am not in a very good mood right now and I don't feel much like tit nursing some Trot at this particular moment in my life. If there was some Trot around who wanted to be tit nursed then maybe a Trot should just grow up.
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