Revolution: utopic and scientific
There has been talk of Arab revolutions; Greek and Spanish revolutionary parties winning free elections. Mankind has had revolutions for thousands of years meaning change of society. One class defeated, another wins. In Russia 1917 proletariat won.
Revolution: utopic and scientific
Fernando García Izquierdo
A few years ago a man committed suicide in the North African city of Tunis, and there followed a day or two of riots all over the country. That is to say, the said suicide was the catalyst of a series of serious incidents that set the country in a state of revolt.
There had been in Tunisia, it seems, a general feeling of dejection all along, a sentiment of having been completely abandoned by the body politic, that is by the State whose task it is precisely to promote the general wellbeing.
Already in the eighteenth century Rousseau had said, referring precisely to the cases when the body politic relinquished its obligations, that ‘the point had been reached when the state would perish unless it changed its manner of existence’. Marx would have said that revolution was needed.
It is evident that in Tunisia (as in many other parts of the world) there was then and there is today need for a change of the social system. Paraphrasing Rousseau once again, I would say that in Tunisia the State only served (serves) to keep the workers in their poverty and the priviledged few in the position they have usurped from the nation, either by force or cunning; trading one way or another with the former colonialists, or acting like these do in the old country, playing with money, speculating.
Point of no return.
This is not the only example, as I have intimated, of usurpation, either in Africa or elsewhere. Everywhere (some think) the state has gone to rot and must be wiped out. Revolution.
I have said ‘elsewhere’, and I want to emphasise that the same rottennes is causing the collapse of the rich capitalist countries in Europe and in America, (but not in Cuba.) England, France, Germany, Italy… come and see. Corruption, robbery, even at times murders, and pure stupidity are reaching such a state, that the same stage will be envisaged here in a couple of years, mark my words. Simply because the situation is one of exploitation and class-repression all over the Free World.
The state is no social-compact. It is (we repeat) an instrument of domination by a minority using the law they have enacted, and the police, the army and all the other institutions exclusively for their own benefit, to perpetuate the situation, the status quo.
The result (it is clear as day light) is, has been these many years and shall continue to be exploitation: that a few exploiters, rather rich, will get richer and richer; while the masses are being ruined, dispossessed, more and more. It will never end unless the system changes. We have said this already.
As time goes by, as the years pass with crisis after crisis and the worker going under more and more, physically and morally, it becomes necessary to recapitulate on the Crisis of 2008. The reader cannot fail to see the horror into which the world is sinking, the state of misery in which it is today compared to the situation of 2008.
One year, two years, three, four, five, six, seven, the ruin increases, the descent into hell accelerates, the mire, the tumult and the riots now invade towns and cities and even the countryside.
But reverting to the North African country mentioned above, let us make clear one important thing: the state there afforded the people misery and suffering, as we have intimated. This was the intrinsic reason for the revolt. When a body politic makes its workers redundant, as is happening everywhere, it means, at the very least, that it is itself redundant. And again we come back to the main theme of this article, revolution is needed.
The French President Sarkozy asked, immediately after the collapse of September 2008, for ‘la refondation du capitalisme’. What reconstitution, reformation or reconstitution did he and the other little imps plan to do? There is nothing doing; unless and until capitalism is killed and buried things will get worse and worse. We are seeing this. Only terrorism and war. Twin tragedies. Capitalist states produced ruin, murder and poverty. The system needs to be changed.
This is what I heard and read when the said Tunisian committed suicide. Profiteers from abroad and the compradore aristocracy both existed in the land as in colonial times. And as before, they were in existence only for the purpose of making money. Whites or Arabs, they constituted a minority. Like in the times of yore, they were sucking the people’s blood. The state helped them, while the people, the masses, were left to fend for themselves, to die in the street at times. Can anyone deny that the result of all this flagrant injustice cannot be but death and ruin?
About the suicide.
If I remember rightly, the man, the human spark that ignited the powder-barrel, was a qualified young man out of employment who had been reduced to earning his living pushing a wheelbarrow through the streets of the city offering vegetables for sale. I can imagine his frustration and despair. I see him in my imagination arriving back home every night, tired out, with a few ‘sous’ in his pocket and trying to go to sleep on his straw-mattress in a corner of his little place.
But, in addition, we learn, the man had to run some times, trying to avoid the enemy, the constant harassment by the police, who (if they caught him) would destroy his merchandise, take him to the police-station and God knows what
they might do to him.
For the important thing, under ‘Democracy’, is to respect the Law. Make no mistake about this, the man was attacked and pursued for not respecting the laws of the republic, the Law to which Rousseau (Montesquieu and others) referred to as the law that oppresses the people, the law that is made, not by the people, but by the usurper’.
It is written everywhere you go in the Free World (the Statute Book, they call it in England) that infringement of the law is not to be tolerated. ‘Law and Order!’ one of the most sacred Acts. We have been seeing it in that country for several centuries, the law and the order that keep the working classes in their essential poverty; the law and the order that allows the rich to become richer, to exploit other people for Profit, and to destroy the earth for Profit. Always and everywhere. Capitalism-imperialism.
On a Paris plateau.
That same day, the evening when the mentioned suicide ignited that spark which produced the flames that would turn so much of our world into ashes, one of those famous French ‘philosophers’ that our schools produce at ten a penny, on a television plateau, announced that ‘le Printemps Arabe est arrivé!’ A series of revolutions were to be expected that spring.
At once, everybody in the Free World exclaimed in unison that there were revolutions in the Arab world. The fact however was that, apart from Egypt, no Arab country followed suit. What did happen was, on the one hand, that the Free World invaded Libya, obviously with the intention of plundering the country and its riches. In other words, France and Great Britain, with power of attorney from the Pentagon, were instrumental in the invasion (mainly bombing) of the country, causing the death of thousands. Then came the murdering of Colonel Kadhafi (Gadaffi), and the country fell in absolute ruin, clearly committing in passing a crime against humanity and breaking all international laws.
Here again, both French President Sarkozy and British Prime Minsiter Cameron were, to begin with, the greatest lying when they said they were defending democracy. They were plundering, murdering and destroying. Secondly, they were two consumate hypocrites: for they had received all along big benefits from the hands of Kadhafi. It has been said the latter had poured lots of money into England (the London School of Economics is just one example) and as for Sarko, he was given, with Kadhafi’s money, an extra push towards winning in his day the French presidential elections.
And before these two Europeans, in the same region, the American George W. Bush caused havoc, as I say, in another part of the Middle East, first getting to organise some guerilla soldiers in the Pakistani mountains to go and fight communism elsewhere - and years later, going into Afghanistan where his friend Osama bin-Laden was now well established.
The communist leader Najibullah was murdered and the religious sects installed in power. The country was theirs. The Soviet force that was helping the national communists were sent packing. And a war of one hundred years commmenced, which was to set the Middle East on fire. With this story of the spring revolution the occasion presented itself to go again into Syria extending the Middle East war to other places.
Crumbling to dust.
The West has always sought to colonise the Middle East after the fall of the Ottoman empire (the Balfour Declaration of 1919 had no other meaning), and the Syria invasion was a continuation of the same policy.
At any rate, today’s Syrian entanglement was instigated and caused, clearly enough, by the same two little imps already mentioned, Sarko and Cameron, also with power of attorney and material help from Washington. The United States of America are not what they used to be. So they left the Syrian File in other hands. The two heroes mentioned, however, have now converted their ado into a tragi-comedy. They have converted a previously peaceful country (never mind it the government is dictatorial: there are others) into real hell. No revolution at all. Only anarchy and ruin.
As in Europe during the One Hundred Years War, in almost every country in the Midddle East everybody is killing everybody else, in the most savage ‘pot-pourri’ of all times. From Afghanistan to Turkey and Palestine; from Pakistan to northern Africa and beyond there is killing and destruction: sionists, islamists, salafists and what not; sunnites against shiites, crusaders and colonialists engaging alqaeda or whatever to change the Syrian regime, and these responding by killing Christian Arabs… and many others!
The Knight from la Mancha.
Don Quixote set off from home in order to defend and liberate suffering humanity. He wrested the whip from the hands of rich landowners at whose feet was a weeping, bleeding child; he saved peasant women, converted into ugly rags by indecent machos who abused and exploited them, etc.
I have seen him these last few days in the papers, where I have read he is fighting to save Greek children from starvation, to give a minimum-wage to the worker still in employment, a pension for those in old age; to maintain at least a modicum of public services: organising transport and giving citizens some social life, libraries, culture, theatres, a public radio; struggling to keep the hospitals functioning, overworked nurses paid, decent schools for those who cannot pay, and universities, etc.
It is objectionable for the wolves that Syriza should be so daring. The wolves understand absolutely nothing. Look at the way the bandits of the European Union, reply. ‘You just, before anything, pay the interest and return the capital you borrow!’ Finance is sovereign. The banks, the banks, the banks. That is economy and that is the law. The Law of the European Union.’
The union that girdles in those wolves.
Yes, the wolves that have transformed old Europe into simply an instrument of domination. It was at the beginning a fight (General Marshall’s Plan) to have West Germany girldled in with the capitalist world - ‘the Steel-and-Coal’ Union, the Common Market, the European Economic Community, and now this tool which is and has always been used to oppress the working classes, an instrument at present to deprive the people of their rights. Talk of the state and talk of democracy.
‘What are you telling me, Fernando,’ asked once (forty years or so ago, in Paris) one of my New York partners, ‘a Code du Travail? what is the meaning of it? what has that to do with loyalty to the firm, work, money? who needs that… did you say code, aberration you should have said’.
No more any law.
For about the suffering Greeks today, not even citizenship exists. This is what I know, in any case. Nothing is respected any more, ‘Oh, beware, working man, there is nowhere any law protecting you from the capitalists’ abuse.
The workers had a say in Greece. They went freely to the polls, elected a left-wing government. We now know what are Greece’s legitimate aspirations.
But the legitimate government is not allowed to govern. Wolves are now turning round and round, closing the circle, howling, waiting for the moment to jump on the victim and destroy democracy in the country.
‘You don’t respect our laws, indecent Greeks!’ they shout.
It is funny to see all these furious wolves, dressed in human apparel, writhing with rage, Merkel, Lagarde, Draghi, Juncker and the rest, all because Tsipras, the Knight of the Sad Countenance, disobeys orders and spends borrowed money. Doesn’t he know the law? banking, financial speculation, borrowing and making profits straight away? have these Greeks not gone to school?
No hay dinero. You must impose austerity on the people, save all that money you earn to pay the interest you owe. You spend capital on public services and even talk to us of a welfare state. Welfare is for the rich, for the favourites of the gods. And the one of the sad countenance knows that wolves don’t understand anything save abusing and robbing, employing their money for profit, as ‘Time’ magazine said some days back: Corporations now have developed new megatrends, meaning that they are ‘relying in financial wizardry’.Good language, is it not?
I had to laugh the other day reading in ‘The Economist’, that well-known mouthpiece of the City, that Mister Tsipras and his economics minister were taking the money ‘belonging’ to banks, German banks and other speculating joints. Apparently, in the case of Greece, borrowing is a crime, and worse still, borrowing in order to waste valuable capital in a welfare state. Hadn’t we finished with that already long ago. I thought of Mrs. Thatcher and Mr. Reagan.
Let’s hope Syriza does not fall into a trap.
The European Union might have the right to expel a member country from the union. Yet it is not this what they have in mind, the wolves. My opinion is that the hidden forces that control ‘Europe’ and the ‘Free World’, once a country has been clutched into their embrace, they won’t let it leave.
Then what? In the case of Greece, the capitalists want to have their cake and eat it; for I have just read that they may let Syriza go out of the monetary union, but will not demand Greece to leave the European Union. In other words, the wolves don’t want the Greeks to use the euro. Yet Greece will continue to be subject to the commands of Brussels, Frankfort, Berlin, etc. The country will continue to be member of the union and the military alliance.
I hope Syriza will not fall into this trap, for it would mean (for Greece) sinking into a sea of trouble and with no hope of recovering sovereignty.
If the country is actually expelled from the ‘monetary union’, they’ll keep it in their claws, without the Greeks having recourse to international or interregional money lending.
Greece needs to borrow money from somewhere, we all know that. We also know the country was invaded by Nazi Germany during the Second World War, and that after the war capitalism invaded the country and caused a civil war therein. Afterwards the fascist colonels took power. In the glorious years of the free world (with tourism and so on) Greece’s star shone brightly; then came the crisis of 2008. Who can now pinpoint the exact cause of the present Greek problem?
We can overcome.
Podemos cambiar el sistema. I agree, and a good change it would be. From capitalism-imperialism we can only expect decline and suffering. But I am not sure how things are developing.
I would not have been surprised if in Spain, too, these last elections had convincingly shown that the people wanted real socialism. I feel that the elections (which were not legislative) would have gone even more convincingly to the left if Syriza had delivered what it promised. But this is only a personal opinion from a man who no longer lives in Spain.
The hope however remains. I hear there is now a mayor in Barcelona and another one in Madrid who are very much left-wing, like in Greece, and that they are tackling problems like supplying urgently needed meals for the children of the many jobless workers. ‘Algo es algo.’ All this has made me think with nostalgia of the long past.
¡Madrid mi Madrid! I lived there as a child, from 1940 until 1953. A Madrid of an intensely blue sky where dozens of children played in the streets together; I saw many of them being taken by their parents to the Hospital del Niño Jesús, there to die of consumption. They did not have enough to eat.
The Franco fascist regime, under whose boot Spaniards lived, only thought, like today’s wolves, of accumulating money. While children were dying, such a hypocrite as millionaire Señor Serrano Suñer was making speeches in Madrid accusing ‘International Communism’ of not letting the Spanish government complete ‘la revolucion que la Falange tiene pendiente’). He went on to say, admitting that children were dying of hunger: ‘Tenemos agobiado el corazón de ver cuantos niños mueren de tuberculosis.’ (‘Our hearts suffer seeing children dying every day of consumption.) The man who so spoke had been Hitler’s favourite, among the Spaniards during the war, and after the war was a pal of English aristocrats like Churchill and Eden. He was a brother-in-law of the Caudillo, head of the Falange party and minister of foreign affairs: by rights the second in the fascist regime. Such is modern fascism for you.
The ten days that changed the world.
The October Revolution in Russia (November 1917, by the new calendar) followed in principle the course of many revolutions that had preceded it. But there was not the slightest doubt that it was a proletarian revolution. There was a real change. Intellectuals flocked from all over the rest of the world, to see and admire. One of them was an American, who got in the middle of the fight, took notes, and wrote a book entitled ‘The ten days that changed the World.’
‘Freeman and slave (wrote Marx and Engels in the Manifesto, 1848), patrician and plebeian, guild master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large or in the common ruin of the contending classes.’
It is curious to observe that nobody would have ever thought that the victorious bolsheviks had to pay to international bankers and like sharks the public deficit, that is the debts incurred in the past by the criminal, exploiting Zsarist government and all the robbing clique of the past. To cancel all that was one of first decisions taken by the new proletarian government. But then, Lenin was no Tsipras. Of course, the circumstances are not the same. I wonder whether today (with weapons of mass destruction) revolution is at all possible.
After the victorious bolshevik revolution there came a civil war, the Whites being helped by Britain and other capitalist countries, which lasted seven years, from 1917 to 1923. During these years the fight of the victorious proletariat against national and foreign reaction deprived the communists of everything.
Triumphant communism could only start working, in consequence, in 1924. For the first time in the history of mankind a proletarian state came to be. Scientific revolution, based on historical materialism. It was meant to represent the liberation of mankind.
In sixteen years, from 1923 to 1939, the communists transformed Russia and all the countries of the Soviet Union, for the most part undeveloped, primitive people. In 1943, the Red Army, alone, defeated one of the most modern, industrialised, military powers on earth, Nazi Germany, in Stalingrad. That same year, the great capitalist-imperialist countries of the West, sought the Soviet Union alliance in order to defeat nazism-fascism which had enslaved nearly all of Europe. The Soviet people had built, from scratch, a powerful industry. A primitive, feudal-patriarcal society now created a gigantic agriculture, which could feed millions and millions of people, a national railway system was built, aviation, navy…, without having access to modern patents of invention or being allowed to have free trade, normal commerce or communication with numerous rich counties. In addition what the Soviet Union did achieve in the realm of culture, all the branches of the arts, literature, music, etc., was truly tremendous. Last but not least, the Soviet Union became, as from 1943, the second world-power in the world, a giant in the defense industry, a hope and a great help to the oppressed peoples of the world.
Of course, the disintegration of the Soviet Union must not now be overlooked. It is one of the greatest tragedies in modern history. But I am not the advocate of any devil, in any case. Nor do I think I should devote more time philosophising about humanity’s triumphs and defeats. I only wanted to give a meaning to the word ‘revolution’.
For the rest, we shall see.