First, let us address the police as they exist today, to put it bluntly, the police don’t exist for your protection, they exist to solidify the ruling classes’ hold on power. They do this by solidifying the rule of the state and thereby of the existing social order and current mode of production which is inherently exploitative in nature. They might be your friends now, going around the cities and towns promoting a false sense of communal solidarity. They may converse with you, help you, hell they may even save your life. But all of this is a mirage, masking their real purpose which isn’t all that hidden if you simply look closely. They exist solely to act as agents of the bourgeois state. On behalf of the state, they are granted the sole legitimate monopoly on violence in our society, thereby they are in many ways, the essence of the very state itself. They aren’t there to be your friend, though they may very well be so. They exist yes to prevent violent crime (which is the sole justification for their existence) but moreover to act as agents of capitalist exploitation. Look at this both now and in historical context. Who is there when the working class rises up and demands better working conditions? Who is there to intimidate and arrest when the people rise up in protest against injustice? Who was there to beat and kill when the workers demanded to join a union or to end child labor? Who is there to intimidate when the people stand up in the thousands against an unjust police killing or state corruption? Who is there to intimidate, to beat, imprison and kill when you act against their interests, against the interests of the ruling class? It is none other than the police force!
Sure they may seem your friend today, but when ‘shit hits the fan’, as they say, and 70% of the population declares itself in opposition to the current social conditions, it will be they who raise their baton and gun against the very people they are supposedly there to protect. As Trotsky correctly said, “The worker who becomes a policeman in the service of the capitalist state, is a bourgeois cop, not a worker.” They, as an institution, are always on the wrong side of history, I make no false gestures of communal solidarity with them. They serve no other purpose but to maintain and exploitative social system. To be more direct, what would happen if the workers banded together, rebelliously making up the majority of the population, and took the means of production which they toil day and night with from the capitalist who exploits them? Even if 80% of the people were in support, they would show up and beat, nay, kill those very workers! They would have no mercy! Historically this has always been the case. Show me one example where the police were on the right side of history!
But oh! You say that the police act against violent crime and therefore they are justified in their actions! But this is a meager excuse for the horrendous injustices brought about by the bourgeois state, and particularly its cronies (i.e. the police). We do not wish to abolish the police entirely today, but we do on the other hand wish to strip it of all its political attributes at once. In this way the police force, as it exists today, ceases to exist. How? Let us look to Marx’s writings on the Paris Commune as an example. Thus we transfer from focusing on the policing institutions that exist today in bourgeois society, to what will exist in the future socialist society:
“The Commune was formed of the municipal councillors, chosen by universal suffrage in the various wards of the town, responsible and revocable at any time. The majority of its members were naturally working men, or acknowledged representatives of the working class…. The police, which until then had been the instrument of the Government, was at once stripped of its political attributes, and turned into the responsible, and at all times revocable, agent of the Commune. So were the officials of all other branches of the administration. From the members of the Commune downwards, the public service had to be done at workmen’s wages. The privileges and the representation allowances of the high dignitaries of state disappeared along with the high dignitaries themselves…. Having once got rid of the standing army and the police, the instruments of physical force of the old government, the Commune proceeded at once to break the instrument of spiritual suppression, the power of the priests [as in separation of church and state]*…. The judicial functionaries lost that sham independence… they were thenceforward to be elective, responsible, and revocable”
But what all does this mean? It means for the first time ever, the establishment of legitimate democracy. Both in the political and industrial sense (socialism). In The State and Revolution, Lenin further clarifies:
“Democracy is a form of the state, it represents, on the one hand, the organized, systematic use of force against persons; but, on the other hand, it signifies the formal recognition of equality of citizens, the equal right of all to determine the structure of, and to administer, the state. This, in turn, results in the fact that, at a certain stage in the development of democracy, it first welds together the class that wages a revolutionary struggle against capitalism–the proletariat, and enables it to crush, smash to atoms, wipe off the face of the earth the bourgeois, even the republican-bourgeois, state machine, the standing army, the police and the bureaucracy and to substitute for them a more democratic state machine, but a state machine nevertheless, in the shape of armed workers who proceed to form a militia involving the entire population.”
The police in class society, admit it or not, is an inherently political institution. What Marx, and later Lenin proposes, is to strip the policing institutions of these very political attributes. But how does this work exactly? No longer will the police force be an oppressive apparatus of the state, no longer shall it act to hold down the majority of the population but is instead to be responsible to them. The organs of the police shall be democratically elected by the proletariat, responsible to them and at all times revocable. They will act only to solve serious crimes and arrest dangerous criminals, and by serious, it is meant violent.
But who then is to suppress counter-revolution on account of the overthrown bourgeoisie? This has already been answered, an armed militia involving the entire population (and you thought we communists were against guns)! In this way, it is the population at large acting as the state through its various militias which are inherently democratic in nature. The police can be instantly recalled by the people themselves, no longer can the police raise its batons to the working people en mass. If they rise up then they rise up, and no state institution shall stop them as it will be the will of the overwhelming majority of the people. But if the counter-revolutionaries rise up to bring back the overthrown oppressive order, then the whole population, through the armed militias, rises up and stops them, by force if necessary. Thus it is the majority acting to suppress the already withering away minority, and not a minority (acting through the police) acting to suppress the majority (the proletariat).
Obviously, it must be said, this was not, and likely could not have been done in the early Soviet Union. Indeed Lenin, due to the material conditions of early Russia, had to abandon this (what was at the time a) utopian ambition of a truly democratic society. However, in modern times, such a system is possible. And we communists hold it to be much preferable to the existing mode of exploitation. So we Leninists look back to the USSR as a tragic attempt at revolutionizing a society to get to such a point where this was possible, and we Trotskyists view it as a degenerated workers state after Lenin’s death under which the Stalinist bureaucracy abandoned Lenin’s original ambitions and betrayed the revolution, as the society envisioned by Lenin was never actually attempted even on a small scale by the Stalinist bureaucracy. Even when taking into accound the civilian police under Stalin, they could not and did even later attempt to do away with the police force, and never to strip it of its political attributes. Also, it must be said, socialism itself as an economic system was never actually achieved either in these workers states!
So now I ask you in closing, wouldn’t you prefer to strip the police of its political attributes? Wouldn’t you prefer a police force you can democratically elect, that was responsible to you and instantly recallable at all times? Wouldn’t you prefer a police force going only after serious, violent crimes? I think most sane people would. The police today are a hindrance to social progress, and moreover to a truly democratic society. They are not your friend. A better world is possible my friend, but not under capitalism! The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains, now more than ever!
See Karl Marx, The Civil War in France (Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Selected Works, Vol. 2, Moscow, 1973, pp. 217-21). (Also in State and Rev (below) pp. 26)
See Vladimir Lenin, The State and Revolution (Lenin Internet Archive (marxists.org) 1993, 1999, pp. 58).
When we look at the world today we do not see a very pretty picture. European social democracy isn’t doing so well and its economic crisis is worsened by the immigration crisis and with it the reactionary response among the more conservative elements of European society. Indeed European society is in a crisis unforeseen in the world today. The immigration crisis on top of that is unprecedented, and the solution to this problem is impossible without issues.
Anyone who asserts the immigration crisis can simply be solved entirely by some kind of ‘peaceful integration’ is a fool. Such things are not so easy, there will always be a clash of cultures like oil and water. But by no means is it acceptable for a state responsible for bombing a countries people to turn them down when they seek refuge. It is morally wrong. It is unjust. We must let them in, it is our duty as citizens of the earth! We must let them in allow them their dignity and right to exist! But we must also acknowledge the problems that inevitably arise in mixing two cultures together in such a rapid way. It is impossible to ignore their backward customs, regarding women in particular.
On one hand, you have liberals advocating that full integration will have no problems and on the other, you have conservatives such as Milo and Trump advocating total exclusion (i.e. ‘extreme vetting’, nationalism, etc.) on the basis of religion or nationality. Both are absurd notions even if their initial premise is based on a kernel of truth.
The Future of Capitalism
Slavoj Žižek in his book Trouble in Paradise makes a good argument for the state of the world today. I am admittedly inspired by this work in this regard. It is an eye-opening look at world events today. Let’s look at the 4 great forces of capitalism in the world today. European social democracy is collapsing, US neoliberalism is in an era of seemingly permanent recession and Latin America’s capitalism isn’t doing so much better either. The only capitalism that is working in the world today in Asia, is the so-called ‘capitalism with Asian values’. It is highly authoritarian in nature and totally incompatible with democracy, and because of its success in comparison with the other 3 prevailing versions of capitalism, it is undeniably the future of the capitalist system. The two principles of democracy and of capitalism have always been contradictory, but their total divorce is inevitable as capitalist society progresses. Slavoj Žižek has taken on the role of the social alarmist in this regard, and rightfully so.
Slavoj Žižek makes another valid point in posing the question: Who has the must brutally efficient, successful capitalism? It is none other than the kind advocated by the Communist Party of China. What irony is this? In China, it is illegal to point out this contradiction, that the CPC still justifies itself on a Marxist line yet fully embraces a total bureaucratic dictatorship and a virtual dictatorship of the foreign and domestic bourgeoisie. It is even illegal to point out that it is illegal to point out this contradiction. So many intellectuals, thinkers, and socialists have been imprisoned for breaking this, which is one of many, unspoken rules of Chinese society.
People often hit me with this question, “what about China? You are a socialist so you must support the Chinese one-party dictatorship, Stalin, Mao, etc.” But this is absolute nonsense. I am a member of Socialist Alternative yes, and it is a Marxist organization. But not a Marxist-Leninist organization. We are Trotskyists, and as such we are militantly opposed to Stalinism. We are also militantly opposed to a one-party state. Contrary to common belief you will not find a single page written by Lenin that advocates such a one-party system. In fact, up to 1924 in Russia, there were several mainstream political parties (the Left-Mensheviks, Anarchists, Social-Revolutionaries, etc.).
Worse still you accuse us, the most vocal opponents of totalitarianism and Stalinism of advocating the very things we are militantly and vocally opposed to. Socialist Alternative is part of the CWI, the Committee for a Workers International. It is an international Trotskyist organization and it just so happens that our Chinese counterparts have recently been illegally raided by the Chinese authorities for calling for an abolition of the Chinese dictatorship. Yes! In China, our organization’s counterpart has advocated the overthrow of the Chinese government you so fervently accuse us of supporting because we just so happen to fly the red banner.
Who supported the early worker’s revolts in Soviet Hungary, East Germany, and Czechoslovakia? It was us, the Trotskyists advocating the overthrow of Stalinism and the establishment of actual socialist democracy! 95% of the population, of the proletariat, was opposed to the Stalinist state during this time. They were calling not for the reestablishment of capitalism against socialism, but for socialism against Stalinism! Yes, it was we who supported their efforts, yes it was we who abhorred the lack of free speech, general elections, the lack of freedom of press and assembly, the religious persecution, and the one-party system that was the foundation of Stalinism in the USSR and the Marxist states of the 20th century! So how can we help but laugh when you accuse us of advocating these things? It is nonsense, total nonsense!
What ever happened to those white folks from those old photos?
A few months ago from this day of publishing, I had an interesting discussion with a white guy at work. The subject of riots came up. Pretty much, he attempted to place a mass association of “riots” to Black Lives Matter protesters. Fascinated with his thoughts (which severely lacked critical thinking), I throw him a critical thinking question:
“Do you think that Black Live Matter protesters, command riots?”
I had to repeat the question because he was in total shock, as if he walked from a train wreck, because he didn’t expect to engage in critical thinking.
Do you think MLK changed this white man’s bigoted social ideology? Any of them?
He answered no, which was smart; they do not command riots to occur. It’s a bit stupid to suggest such. While he did concede the point that BLM…
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Mars before the oceans dried up.
The lint behind the washing machine.
Gateway to another world.
The fairy bunnies and mysterious creatures.
The woman in the dark room with 100 lamps.
Driving under the electric towers to the mirror house, to that girl.
The star deity who came to me that young night.
The naked spirit woman whose name is CHIT’E
Whose function merged with the star deity, O Luna!
Whose sigil I wrote down blindly in geometric perfection while in trance.
The spirits of the long ago, of that world still out of touch.
The 8 keys to the celestial lizard, that poor creature I still must free.
DK! DK! DK! Gateway to another world hitherto unseen!
The two geese I always see in defining moments of my life.
The world after communism.
The species of the stars.
Heaven! O Heaven!
O speak to me your celestial grace!
Do me no harm you loving things!
64! 64, 64!
Older Republicans: MLK was actually bad, he hurt his cause. Blue lives matter. Occasionally says N-word out of old habit but tries not to. Wears Trump hat. Millenials are whining too much, it’s not like wages haven’t risen with productivity since the 1970’s, they are crushed by student debt, they can’t afford to house or medical care, or the job market is extremely scarce. “Muh bootstraps.” FAKE NEWS! Except Fox News, Fox News is the most reliable news in the world!
Republicans: Blatantly deny the overwhelming evidence that black people and other minorities are systematically put at a disadvantage. It’s poor people’s fault they are poor, nevermind the growing wealth inequality. Poor people just need to “pull themselves up by their bootstraps” and be born into a rich family like I was. Capitalist exploitation is good. Tax cuts to the rich trickle down to the poor- even though they never have. The world is 6000 years old and God will save us if we destroy the planet even though the overwhelming scientific evidence for climate change is a hoax. Supports small government in theory but a big government in practice. Only wants small government on things that low key allow people/ planet to get hurt. Obama is a socialist even though I don’t actually know what socialism is. Knees hit the floor faster than the democrats when big business comes knocking. Healthcare is a human right? Let me talk to you about the freedom of unfreedom!
Democrats: Praises President Obama and other Neoliberal politicians despite the terrible economic policies they have unleashed on working people, thinks an imperialist war-hawk with an ideological coalition of wall street, occupy wall street, LGBT+ rights, Saudi Arabia money is ‘progressive’ *cough Hillary. VoteBlueNoMatterWho. Thinks the TPP was a good thing. Abortion is more than just a tragic necessity, it’s a good thing. Drone strikes in X country are only bad when a Republican does it. Prides themselves on kneeling with more resistance to their capitalist overlords than the republicans.
Libertarians: Capitalism is good because it creates jobs. What do you mean empirical evidence of exploitation? Poor people have a right to be poor! But the slave signed a free contract! If you don’t want to be a wage-slave that’s okay! You can go sign a contract under another master or become a master yourself! There should be no age of consent, everything bad that capitalism does is actually the government. The state can disappear under class society. Neo-feudalism. Thinks they are anarchists.
“Progressive” Democrats: Bernie is a socialist like me. Let’s be socialist like Scandinavia because socialism is where the government regulates capitalism because I don’t know what socialism actually is. We have to vote for Clinton to stop Trump. Welfare state social-democratic capitalism is socialism, and it’s good. I’m a democratic socialist but NOT a communist.
All of the above: Socialism is when the government does stuff and when it does EVERYTHING, that’s communism!
Marxist-Leninists: Heavy historical revisionism *coughs Grover Furr. Actually, Stalin was good. Supports the DPRK because imperialism. What do you mean 20th century Marxism failed? The Berlin wall was a good thing, or a bad thing depending on which one you ask. Thinks the state-capitalist system in the USSR was socialist because daddy Stalin said so. Everything I don’t like is revisionist. China is socialist. Lowkey: Socialism is when the government does stuff when flying a red banner.
Green progressives: Pretty cool people. Good ideas on energy. Utopian ideas on government. Can be almost as bad as the republicans when it comes to GMOs, vaccines, David Avacado Wolff, and the shape of the earth. Eco-socialism. Sometimes actually knows that socialism is WORKER, not state control of the means of production. Somewhat unreliable sources.
Trotskyists: Will you buy my newspaper? Everyone thinks I’m a Marxist-Leninist because everyone thinks Marxism-Leninism = communism so I get called bad words. I get attacked for things Marxist-Leninists did even though Stalin killed or deported all the Trotskyists in the USSR. I was criticizing the same idea that the person attacked me for supposedly having myself. Permanent revolution works (in theory) even though there are no semi-feudal countries left and no real way for there to be a permanent revolution. The USSR would have been great if Trotksy was in charge. Reads a lot of books. Calls Marxist-Leninists ‘Stalinists’.
Anarchists: Let’s knock over trash cans and burn stuff. What do you mean objective material conditions? What is a dialectic? Is pretty cool. Smokes a lot of weed. Thinks the state can go away under class society. What do you mean by ‘lead a successful revolution’? You must be authoritarian tankie because you think we need even a small state in order to achieve socialism.
Just as the mind and the consciousness contained within it is an abstraction of material reality, so too is hallucination an abstraction of this abstraction. In the process in which hallucination begins, the abstracting mechanism of the psychedelic, or the part of the mind that procures the hallucination undoes the mechanism inherent to creating this abstraction between the real world and the mind. Though this division cannot practically be eliminated, it’s abstracting mechanism acts virtually in this way. The part of the mind responsible for blocking out the abstract phenomena of the material world is removed and reality in its purest, most vibrant form is revealed to the subject. The sense of self, the distinction between self and non-self withers away. This is the purest stage of psychedelic consciousness, and not when all sensation of external reality is lost.
In this state, the subject sees reality as it truly is, without an abstracting filter on the mind. Of course, the inert abstraction that is consciousness is not overcome but rather it is realized in the fullest sense of the word, in other words, the filter on sensory input is removed. The sky appears as an overwhelmingly beautiful creation, the most vibrant blues and colors of nature are fully appreciated by the subject. The complexity and beauty of reality itself are presented to the subject. But also this runs the risk of terrible danger as the mind ceases to be able to filter out the bad. Every phenomenon both internal and external is magnified. At this point, one understands the unknowable. Reality presents itself in a way hitherto unseen. It is the most real thing a person can experience. This is the stage where one reasons in a way that transcends formal logic, the epitome of dialectical thinking. The genius of the human machine is unleashed and ingenious thoughts and realizations flow like rivers in the subject’s mind. We should not embrace this as something transcending ourselves but rather as the epitome of the union of the self with other. In a way, this stage of the psychedelic experience ceases to be a drug which intoxicates the user, but rather causes the subject to be soberer than he/ she has ever been in the past. But of course no normal human being experiences this level of sobriety naturally, and therefore it is perceived as an intoxicant by society. Of course, I am not advocating one put themselves in this ‘sober’ mindset often. We are not made to continuously see reality in this way.
The real usefulness of psychedelics in its practical application is innumerable. However, its danger is also without limit. It must be used responsibly and in a strictly controlled setting. The subject must be of good mental health and stability at the time and in a comfortable setting. How many of mankind’s greatest discoveries have taken place under the brief time that the brightest members of the human race were widely exposed to these drugs? Bill Gates and Steve Jobs both accredit their success to these substances. The shape of DNA, one of the biggest milestones in biology was discovered on LSD, and so on. Scientists can sit in a room and work out a problem they have been trying to solve for months in a matter of hours. It can take a person to virtual heaven, or to virtual hell. I argue that society should embrace psychedelics again, as it did in the 1960’s. But with absolute caution and responsibility. Let them be tools used to usher in a new era of science, art, technology, spirituality and reason. I argue that the only thing that can save both spirituality itself and religion as a whole is the psychedelic experience. I argue that we can get done in 100 years what would take a thousand with these drugs. They should be strictly regulated and legal for all consenting adults of a certain age.