Saturday, December 20, 2008

Homelessness Stalks the Land of Minnesota and the USA

"It is another Great Depression for the American people, " Gus Hall, Marxist-Leninist of the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA), once said. "As hard-won economic cushions like unemployment, welfare and Social Security checks run out, millions are being thrown into the streets, on souplines and in shelters for the hungry and homeless." Economic crisis and poverty, Gus Hall continued, is part of the capitalist pattern "exposed and laid out by Marx, Engels and Lenin." (Gus Hall, Karl Marx: Beacon for Our Times)

More than 13% of the U.S. population, a part of the working class, lives in poverty. Homelessness goes hand in hand with cannibalistic capitalism. It is, Frederick Engels said in 'The Housing Question', a "secondary evil" of capitalism and is linked to the system where capitalists exploit workers. Monopoly ridden American capitalism throws 12 million working class people unto the streets at least once a year. Millions more are "full-time" homeless throughout the entire year, as decaying capitalism forces them to live in shelters, cars or on the streets. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2005)

In Minnesota, 9200-9300 people are homeless. American capitalism’s monstrous treatment of Blacks is exposed in the modern day scourge of homelessness. African-Americans are 3% of Minnesota’s population but are 38% of the homeless. (Wilder Research, 2007)

(Socialism will end homelessness forever because, as V.I. Lenin said, "the best buildings, the palaces, the mansions and manor houses" are "taken away from the bourgeoisie." Socialism would build housing for all.)

30 million working class people, including every homeless man, woman and child, could be housed in the vacant homes and apartments of America tonight! 12 million places sit empty year round and 4 million more luxury homes of wealthy parasites are vacant on any given night. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2005) A proletarian socialist revolution would, as Frederick Engels said, "expropriate the present owners" and "quarter the homeless in their houses!" (Frederick Engels, The Housing Question, 1872)

The American working class needs to stand up, speak out and fight back today against homelessness! We must advance our own demands with protests and mass people's lobbies. Nationalize the construction of new housing! This is the only way to quickly build millions of good housing units with cheap rent (no more than 10% of the renter's income). Nationalizing the construction of new housing also provides employment opportunities to Black people and other workers. Expand HUD and other government housing programs! Expand welfare--with no lifetime limit. Prevent homelessness by standing against layoffs and housing foreclosures and fighting for universal healthcare! One out of five homeless people are employed by capitalists at low wages. We should fight tooth and nail for living wage, not poverty wage, jobs!

Socialism will end homelessness forever because, as V.I. Lenin said, "the best buildings, the palaces, the mansions and manor houses" are "taken away from the bourgeoisie." Socialism would build housing for all. (V.I. Lenin, Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky, 1918)

Friday, December 12, 2008

'Capitalism is the Sick Element in our Society': Marxism and Psychology

Under capitalism psychology, a science which studies the human mind, embellishes the capitalist system of exploitation. Socialism will strike the capitalist fetters from science and sweep the anti-working-class, racist and national chauvinist, sexist, individualist, subjective and idealist ideologies which poison capitalist psychology into the dustbin of history!

V.I. Lenin's is right: "There can be no “impartial” social science in a society based on class struggle. In one way or another, all official and liberal science defends wage-slavery, whereas Marxism has declared relentless war on that slavery." (Lenin, Three Sources and Three Component Parts of Marxism)

"Under capitalism," said William Z. Foster, Marxist-Leninist former leader of the Communist Party of the United States, "science is a slave to the class interests of the bourgeoisie." He continues: "Biology justifies the mad class struggle and war; economics puts an unqualified blessing upon wage slavery; history proves that capitalism is perfected; psychology explains away poverty on the basis of the inferior beings, etc." (William Z. Foster, Towards Soviet America)

On the one hand, capitalism breeds mental health problems. On the other hand, capitalism distorts the science of psychology and infuses it with reactionary bourgeois ideology. Capitalism restrains the scientific role of psychology by injecting the venom of anti-working-class, racist and national chauvinist, sexist, individualist, subjective and idealist ideologies into psychology. The great Communist Gus Hall was exactly right: "Capitalism is the sick element in our society."

The fight between materialist and idealist philosophy rages in psychology. "The great basic question of all philosophy," Frederick Engels once said, concerns "the relation of thinking and being, spirit and nature." There are "two great camps": idealists and materialists. Those who believe that spirits or our mind is primary to nature are "idealists." Those who regard nature and the material world as primary are materialists. (Engels, Ludwig Feuerbach)

Marxist-Leninists take a side in the struggle between materialism vs. idealism.Lenin wrote: "Marx's philosophy is a consummate philosophical materialism which has provided mankind, and especially the working class, with powerful instruments of knowledge."

Marxism-Leninism's dialectical and historical materialism makes contributions to psychology:

"1. Marxism rejects as invalid and unscientific all theories of intellectual, emotional or behavioral inferiority of race, class, sex or national minority. It emphasizes the crucial importance of studying human development in the concrete reality of its existence, social and individual.

"2. Marxism approaches the human mind and consciousness as a product of the brain and central nervous system...

"3. Marxism stresses the important relationship of the individual to society. The psychology of individuals in the United States must be examined in the context of a class society with a specific--capitalist--superstructure. The effects of the ideological superstructure on the individual’s psychology is of vital significance in psychological study...

"4. Marxism sees the science of psychology as playing an important role in advancing human development...

"5. Marxism emphasizes that psychology and psychiatry are sciences which need to be advanced through careful, meticulous, comprehensive scientific work...

"6. Science is international in scope and requires the best efforts of scientists in all countries for full progress...

"7. Marxism believes that science advances through struggle, both scientific and social. (Struggle can expose false theories, correct one-sidedness and expose racist and reactionary ideology under the guise of scientific psychological theories.)

""8. Marxism believes that a socialist society can produce great changes in people’s psychological health and welfare. The provision of full, comprehensive, available, free health and mental health care is guaranteed under socialism. Likewise, the guarantee of employment, social security, education, equal opportunity, facilities for working mothers, equal pay, and an ever-expanding economic and social system provide psychological security for people under socialism." (Joseph Nahem, Psychology and Psychiatry Today: A Marxist View, 1981, International Publishers)

"Socialism," William Z. Foster said, "strikes the fetters from science." Science has the freest development under socialism because it isn't misused to defend the exploitation of another class. Contrary to the bourgeois slanders, the emergence of socialism in the Soviet Union showed the world that psychology can be made to be humane and fully scientific!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Jobs or Income Now!

"The forest of uplifted arms demanding work becomes ever thicker, while the arms themselves become ever thinner."--Karl Marx, "Wage-Labor and Capital"

The United States is bleeding jobs. The latest (Dec. 5, 2008) unemployment figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that 533,000 jobs were lost in November. 1.9 million proletarians have lost their jobs this year. Black and Latino working class people are hit the hardest. Capitalism, as Karl Marx pointed out long ago, spreads mass pauperization. The army of the unemployed grows. Economic crisis and poverty, Gus Hall boldly said, is part of the bourgeois pattern "exposed and laid out by Marx, Engels and Lenin."

"The capitalist class," the Communist economist Victor Perlo noted, "has always needed a reserve army of unemployed." V.I. Lenin was right on the mark: "An industrial reserve army of labor is an indispensable attribute of the capitalist economy." Unemployment is a weapon against labor to drive down wages. In times of economic crisis, capitalists lay off workers and impose speed up on workers with jobs. The Soviet Union abolished unemployment. "Not only was there no joblessness in the U.S.S.R.," Hall wrote, "but there was full employment without racism or discriminatory practices."

The working class needs to stand up, speak out and fight back! We require class struggle picketlines, protests and mass people's lobbies that demand Jobs or Income NOW! We must battle for a federal law against layoffs. For a public works program which can provide jobs. Money should be spent to create jobs and rebuild America, not wage imperialist war and occupation. Unemployment insurance and food stamps also need to be extended--with no exclusion of workers on strike.

(V.I. Lenin: 'Only struggle educates the exploited class. Only struggle discloses to it the magnitude of its own power, widens its horizon, enhances its abilities, clarifies its mind, forges its will.')

Gus Hall, the Marxist-Leninist former leader of the Communist Party of the United States, put it squarely: "It's time to demand that People Come Before Profits!"

In order to turn the economy around and prevent layoffs, the working class must fight to nationalize basic industries--let the proletariat call the shots! We also need to raise our voices for the 111th Congress to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, a law which would make it easier for laborers to form and join a union in order to bargain for better wages, benefits and working conditions. Tax the Rich.

Only socialism will finally end unemployment forever. The day approaches when American workers will turn to socialism and completely eliminate joblessness. Socialism will be, William Z. Foster of the Communist Party of the USA of yesteryear eloquently declared, the "climax" of "the everyday struggles of the workers." And Foster is right that "the time will come when the victorious toilers will build a monument to Lenin in New York." But in order to win this society without exploitation, Marxist theory must, as V.I. Lenin taught in What Is To Be Done?, be brought to the working class. We need a vanguard Marxist-Leninist Party and a proletarian revolution!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Revisionism vs. the Vanguard Role of the Marxist-Leninist Party

Revisionist falsification of, and attacks on, the need for a Marxist-Leninist Party and its leading vanguard role come fast and furious. Gus Hall, Marxist-Leninist former leader of the Communist Party of the USA, didn't tolerate the revisionist assault: "we have to fight for the concept, and for the absolute need of a revolutionary working class party in the ranks of workers." (Gus Hall, Capitalism on the Skids to Oblivion)

And V.I. Lenin, anti-revisionist to the core, taught that "by educating a workers' party, Marxism educates the vanguard of the proletariat, capable of assuming power and of leading the whole people to socialism, of directing and organizing the new order, of being the teacher, guide and leader of all the toiling and exploited in the task of building up their social life without the bourgeoisie and against the bourgeoisie." (Lenin, State and Revolution, 1917)

The Soviet book Right-Wing Revisionism Today rightly says: "The leading role of the communist party in socialist revolution comes naturally from the leading role of the working class in the revolutionary process, as scientifically established by Marxism-Leninism."

Stalin rightly said of a Communist Party in Foundations of Leninism: "The Party is the vanguard of the working class." He continued: "The Party is the advanced organized detachment of the working class. The Party is the highest form of class organization of the proletariat. The Party is the political leader of the working class." The Party is "an instrument in the hands of the proletariat for achieving the dictatorship (of the proletariat)" and for "consolidating and expanding the dictatorship (of the proletariat" once socialism is won.(Stalin, Foundations Of Leninism, 1924)

"To deny it (the Marxist-Leninist Party) the leading role," the Soviet book "Right-Wing Revisionism Today" says, "is to decapitate the socialist revolution."

But revisionism within the revolutionary Communist party of the working class ultimately means the liquidation of the party.

"By revisionism," a Soviet book points out, "Lenin understood an opportunist trend alien to Marxism and socialism that existed within the revolutionary party of the working class." Under the guise of "creative non dogmatic Marxism", revisionism rejects the fundamentals of Marxist-Leninist theory, replacing the basic principles with bourgeois and petty-bourgeois ideas. (Right-Wing Revisionism Today, 1976, Progress Publishers)

Otto Kuusinen wrote in Fundamentals of Marxism-Leninism that revisionism aims to liquidate the Party or transform it into a reformist organization. He said that Lenin's teachings on the Party was one of the revisionist's chief targets. And, whether it's openly stated or concealed, "the theoretical and practical efforts of the revisionists are in the final analysis always subordinated to their attempt to liquidate the Party or to transform it into a reformist organization."

The Soviet book smashes through the web of revisionism: "The surrender of a class and scientific (Marxist-Leninist) position in the activity of a Communist Party invariably leads to that Party's liquidation." (Right-Wing Revisionism Today, 1976, Progress Publishers)

Gus Hall, Marxist-Leninist former leader of the Communist Party of the United States, lived through the Earl Browder debacle and wrote often about liquidationism. Gus Hall once stated, "The most dangerous liquidationist trend is not disbanding the Party structure, but eliminating the Communist essence in our mass work." (Gus Hall, "Opportunism--the Destructive Germ," Political Affairs, May 1979)