A New American Marxism
I have noticed that there is little movement on the left in America and even less being said about the lack of theoretical discussion and leadership. No one cares to talk about the state of our unions or the need to be a model for the future of American Labor. Well I would like to start a discussion by saying what I think about Marxism in America.
First of all, the 20th century saw a lot of development in the world wide Marxist movement. Starting with the Soviet Union, we began to see what kind of communist model dogmatism could build. It succeeded in coming to power but became beaurocratic and top-down quite quickly. The Bolsheviks killed the Mensheviks, someone killed Lenin, them Stalin killed everybody. They had no hint of democracy in their government, everything was controlled by the “dictatorship of the Proletariat”. This model of Communism was exported throughout the “Soviet Bloc” nations and failed miserably everywhere it went.
Then Chairman Mao came along with his “revisionist” model of Marxism, the peasant’s revolution. In China, the agrarian workers were organized into collectives at the village level from which they were able to rise up against the feudal landowners and eventually the foreign capitalist. The Maoist began, at first, to take care of the farmers and villagers as well as take the reins of the economy. The Great Leap Forward has made millionaires out of most of the Communist Party leaders. While the rights of peasants and workers are being left out of the social agenda of the People’s Congress and the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. The Maoist also had their followers like North Korea, Viet Nam Laos and Others. Likewise the “planned economies” of these nations are also making millionaires out of Communist leaders. Democracy must, once again, take a back seat to the “dictatorship of the Proletariat”.
At least, we learned that Marxism is neither stagnant nor dogmatic. It can be revised to fit the unique situation of every type of economy. From the Agrarian economies of the Third World countries to the Global economies of the industrialized nations. So I ask you, “What kind of Marxist Model will work in the American economy”? A New American Marxism must be devised and implemented to get this country back on track to organize and defend the American workers from their mutual enemies.
To begin with, I propose that we form an umbrella organization for all leftist to join and participate in supporting each other and critiquing our work in order to develop a unified model of American Marxism and a Party structure to support its work. We need an American Labor Party.
It is the perfect platform from which we can begin to organize the 88% of the American working class that the AFl-CIO either won’t or can’t seem to organize.
If we take a look at our own leftist history in America, in the last century, I would say that the formation of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) was our finest hour. It was clearly the leadership of the left that brought the CIO to rival the long standing power and position of the Knights of Labor. The strategy they used was a familiar one, they built democratic rank and file organizations that harnessed the needs and will of the people together. In a national movement they built organizing committees for every industry that they could find workers willing to unionize. They tried their best to keep the rank and file in charge of the unions they had built, but eventually, the conservative forces pushed the leftist out of power, in these unions and the rest is history.
So, where are we today and what do we do next? This is the crossroad of the American leftist movement. The Global Economy needs a global response and we don’t even have an effective national organization. We have no strategy and no money. We are bankrupt both physically and morally.
We are facing what every leftist organization in the world has gone through, total defeat and demoralization of our hopes and dreams. And like every other leftist organization in the world we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, heal our wounds and regroup. To stop trying is to admit defeat and defeat is unacceptable. Each generation must take up the struggle to fight for our survival as a class, not just individuals. For some it is time to pass on the baton and for others it is time to decide whose side are you on? Is it going to be THEM or US? You had better choose before it’s too late. Now is the time for all you Starbuck Stalinist, Latte Leninist and Mocha Maoist to get off your Wi-Fi’s and start building a new American Marxism.