There is a divide between reformers who support and fight for various single issue causes and revolutionaries who want to change the political order of the entire world including all the singular issues that various reformists support. Real revolutionaries want to replace the capitalist imperialist world order with one that has a planned economy that provides for all in a socialist society. Chief among the reform issues for the last decade has been the environment and global warming due to human input into the climate. There are of course many others like poverty eradication, job issues, issues of sex, sexual orientation, housing, freedom of choice, theocratic dominance, race issues and a whole lot more. Meanwhile, the task of the revolutionary is to encompass all of this under the umbrella of world communist revolution. There are however, groups who are ultra-leftist and serve to alienate the masses than to unite them in a united front against capitalism. They exclude all struggles except for their own narrow interpretation of what is required for making a revolution to end capitalism. Trotsky identified this as “concealed reaction”. We have to overcome this limitation of concealed reaction if we are to effect real all encompassing revolution for a socialist world.
There is a seemingly futile and eternal struggle to achieve reform under the current capitalist order of things. There are many who struggle in various issues to attain even basic rights, such as woman's right of free choice and equal pay, basic human rights for gay people, rights for ethnic minorities, immigrants, the poor and others. The struggle becomes even more glaring when big banks and CEO's can get billions in bailouts and the people get almost nothing. There seems to be as many opposed to reforms as there are for reforms. These forces are locked in an age long struggle. Currently in the US there is a debate and struggle about healthcare reform, but what we have seen is wealth care reform. The Rich got their bailouts while healthcare is still under a wrangle. One would think the reformers would learn that reforms are almost impossible to attain under capitalism, but the struggle goes on and little real progress is made. That which is achieved is often stricken down with a stroke of a pen in an instant. To effect real reform can only come with total revolution as proved twice in history in the Paris Commune and the 1917 Russian revolution. When the toilers obtained power, the changes were instantaneous. Under capitalism many still struggle to attain basic issues, some of which have been ongoing for over a century. Then there are the flip flops back and forth like in California over gay marriages. This is the basic situation as it stands; reform versus revolution. For working class communists, the answer clearly lies in revolution. But many within the working class are deceived that change can come through reform despite the ongoing and accumulating evidence. Thus, those who toil toward revolution must educate the hopeful reformists to a revolutionary attitude.
Communist organizations used to be huge until Stalin virtually single handed managed to turn off many people due to his “socialism in one country” attitude and betrayal of the real Russian Revolution that sought initially to export communism to the entire world. The Russian Revolution began in Feb. 1917, led by women who were fired on by Tsarist troops because they were asking for bread for their starving children. The sparked a revolt that saw the Tzar and family flee for safety. Several provisional governments followed until Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin took control of the revolution in October of that year. The Bolsheviks not only cemented the revolution, but provided numerous benefits that are now separately called reforms today, such as full employment, full medical care, free education, abortion on demand, housing for all, gay rights and many others. Although today's Bolsheviks call for the same things, they are noticeably absent from many reform rallies and programs. In order to recruit for the big cause of world wide socialism, they need to get involved with the good intentioned people behind various reform movements. They can then interact on a one to one basis and recruit the people who are ready to move on to the larger idea of all encompassing revolution.
There are many reform groups that actually achieve their limited aims under the capitalist order, which are often later struck down. This in itself can be fertile ground for recruiting people when it is explained why they failed in the long run on the reform issue. On the other hand, revolutionists make transitional demands that cannot be realized under capitalism. A transitional demand is something along the lines of full employment created by reducing work hours at the same take home pay so that everyone can have a job and make an income. A reformer would take the same issue and ask for better work conditions and higher pay, but not necessarily fewer hours so that the slack can be picked up by the unemployed. But even this, capitalism cannot meet because in order to make a profit, costs must be kept down and in order to do this, the “incentive” of unemployment and the reserve army of the unemployed work to keep wages down. This then is the divide between a reform and a transitional demand. A transitional demand would in effect work to destroy capitalist profits.
Today, one such transitional demand would be to reduce waste and recycle to protect the world environment. Why is this a transitional demand? In order to clean up the mess that capitalists just dump to cut down cost, would introduce costs that would eat up profits and thus curtail the ability to expand and generate more profit. This is further proven when the toilers themselves are encouraged to volunteer in the recycling and clean up program at no pay, except where they can make money from turning in bottles, tins and recycled metals. Otherwise, they sort paper, cardboard and glass that the recycling companies pick up and process in huge volumes at low cost. It is estimated for instance that recycled aluminium uses only ten percent of the energy needed to process it from raw ore. This has a dual effect. It creates a source of profit while at the same time cutting into the existing mining of raw materials. It contributes to a crisis of overproduction that lowers the unit price for all. This is true for all recycled materials. It has a destabilizing effect on established companies that pressure and lobby to keep things as they are in the continuous drive for profit. Further, those who collect recycled materials are also subject to the anarchy of the capitalist market place that can be a boon one day and a bust the next. This adds instability to the recycling business as well that always serves as an extension to production from raw resources. For without the former, the recycling business would not exist. The waste of production serves as a raw resource of the recycling industry. The recyclers actually need the waste production of the capitalist lead industries in order to exist and thus are dependant on them. The capitalists are aware of this fact and recognize the contradictions involved. Marxists and communists can explain this to those who are commuted to a greener earth to show the tenuousness of their position under capitalist market place anarchy and that intentional communism is the only guarantee for a greener planet where the maximum use of all resources would be the norm.
The other big detriment to the earth brought to us by capitalism comes from planned obsolescence which has become necessary in their equation for making profit. Commodities are under engineered so as to fall apart, malfunction or break in order to guarantee a quick return to the market for more commodities similarly constructed. A demand for commodities such as made in times past that could last for decades would be a transitional demand because it would be a return to over engineering commodities and literally destroy the market for shoddy under engineered commodities that are a major source for profit. Capitalism could not sustain a growing profit under such a climate. This also serves to explain why we as a society have moved away from solidly made commodities to shoddy production. Similarly, by continually making upgrades, people are encouraged to dispose of perfectly good items for something more up to date and fashionable. All of this heavily adds to pollution. All of this is the result of the crisis of overproduction. Crises of overproduction are met by capitalist producers by one artful invention after another, to keep the profit machine going. Thus, a revolutionist getting behind a green cause can assist the cause of world revolution once everyone becomes clear on why we are increasingly inundated by toxic trash. From there we can collectively move beyond the impotent hand wringing and public relations of capitalist politicians, who serve their profiteering masters, to a planned economy that will embrace total recycling and quality production for all.
Turning out attention to social issues such as rights for women and gay people we can approach this either as a reform or as a transitional demand. Under the capitalist order of production, the idea that is enforced by religion is that women are to reproduce the next generation of toilers and soldiers and should not have access to abortion, have access to an equal wage for equal work or even have employment at all. Women who have abortions curtail the production of the next generation of workers. Women at work are not at home raising children for the next generation of toilers, soldiers and consumers. Thus the capitalist injunctions through the superstitions of religion and dumbing down to encourage them to be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. With gay people, a similar situation exists. With lesbians, the issue of reproducing the next generation of workers is similar to the working woman. With gay men, they are not contributing to “family values” by marrying, raising a family and being a “bread winner”. These are encouraged by similar methods and violence to respond to the demands of the capitalist order of living. Many gay people, especially the ones higher in the capitalist order actually turn against the gay community for perceived benefits. Once more, these are issues concerning the generation of profit. Free thinking and acting women and openly gay people threaten the capitalist order by removing people in the chain of consumerism through the reproduction of the next generation of toilers and consumers. The capitalist order has zero tolerance for the loss of any potential profit. To encourage such women and gay people to get back into line, they are either bought off or terrorized into compliance. Despite the decades of gay struggles since 1969, little actual progress for working gays has been made. The conscious revolutionary can get behind any woman's or gay reformist cause and demonstrate the futility of such activity of establishing anything beyond a temporary fix within capitalism through reform and that the solution lies in total revolution. By now there is plenty of history and examples to refer to. The revolutionary must be conscious of this history and use it effectively in persuasion. Each focus group is acutely aware of the difficulty of affecting permanent reforms and can be shown the way out of the roadblocks and futile detours trough the liquidation of the capitalist order in revolution to a world socialist order. Who better to serve such causes as the communist aware woman or communist gay person.
Racism is tacit capitalist state policy, furtively exercised behind a public relations exercise of deception to the contrary. No amount of scientific awareness or proof is sufficient to halt the advance of racist attitudes and the resulting terror of all minorities. Slavery, imprisonment, torture and injustice of all kinds are justified by such attitudes. By now, science has proven that we are all children of Africa as recently as 70,000 years ago and in some cases, far less. But capitalism maintains the racist card for reasons of dividing the masses and keeping at bay the threat of a united people who might rise up against their true oppressor. Thus the aware communist has to be behind all anti-racist cause whether reform or revolutionary. The true revolutionary must work within each group to educate about the true nature of oppression under the ruling class no matter how defined and what the solution is. The true revolutionary must recruit to a greater cause that will eliminate oppression right across the wide spectrum of humanity on an international scale.
War is endemic in capitalism simply because it is highly profitable. There are many who actively protest against war and these should be supported, encouraged and recruited to communism. The anti-war movement has deep roots extending back as long as war has been fought, but particularly since WWI to the present occupation and war in Iraq and Afghanistan conducted by the US and its allies for the oil found in these regions. In many cases, a false flag operation is conducted in order to get the masses on side. Before the soldiers march into the front, they are given glorious images of what war is about only to realize too late that war is an utter horror show of killing, maiming, raping and pillaging where everyone in the battle gets injured. The only people who profit from war are the war industrialists who make huge fortunes on munitions. Often time they are funded from tax revenues paid by the toilers. Any protest against such programs is a struggle in the real war; the class war of the rulers against the ruled. Revolutionaries need to get square behind the struggle against war for profit and extend it into revolutionary class war to end all war. The struggle on the street should end in self determination for all affected by the total seizing, expropriation and occupation of all the means of production. By turning out the bankers, CEOs, their politicians and armed police state onto the streets, we stand at the crossroads of history to change society to the new paradigm of world communism.
In every capitalist enclave on the planet is the crisis of unemployment and the associated poverty. Despite all the calls to end poverty and homelessness, this actually works out to be more of a war against the poor than the elimination of poverty. Marx defined this clearly stating that a reserve army of the unemployed is used to keep the wages of those still employed down and thus save cost to the capitalist. The war against the poor is terror meted out by the police and the hired security thugs of the state. The calls to end poverty fall mute in the face of a collapsing economy that generates poverty for hundreds of millions. The world industrial powers spend far more money on war and bailing out the rich than charity organizations can raise funds from the toilers to help the world's destitute. The wealthy and powerful have public relations campaigns about helping charitable causes, but it is the poor who pay to help the poor. The nature of capitalism is impotent to help alleviate poverty as the cost cutting measures imposed on the toilers actually increases poverty. Thus the only solution is to end capitalism through revolution and the people have to be educated to this reality and task that needs to be done before it is too late for most people. As it is now, capitalism puts more people to an impoverished death through engineered shortages and embargoes than they help with handouts that end up in the middleman's hands than in the hands of the needy. At home social programs to feed domestic hungry children are chopped in cost saving measures. When CEOs go bankrupt, they export jobs and cut off all support to their former employees at home. CEOs get trillions in bailouts and the unemployed worker gets cut backs and cut off from social programs.
There are Christians who are as adamant against the abuses of capitalism as are communist revolutionaries. They even call for the same kind of economy that is supported by communists. Further, these people are artful in the use of Biblical scripture to make a case of Christian communism. Instead of being strictly opposed to these Christians as they are to fundamentalist bigots, revolutionaries should form links to work together to end capitalism. Christian communists are also concerned with spirituality in addition and this is something that communists have to personally embrace to avoid tendencies to corruption. Communists being people are not immune to corruption and history bears this out on the pages of left newspapers and media. In addition, there are Buddhists who embrace communism, as well as Muslims. There are differences for sure, but communist above all have to avoid prejudice. As communists for a one world wide socialist society, we use as part of our defence, the social Gospel just as Jose Miranda does in his book “Marx and the Bible”.
Revolution is a universal class struggle of the toilers of the world, seeking to strike at the root cause of all human misery; exploitation by those who lord it over all of humanity and the planet. Revolution leads to a world wide society where politics is run from the bottom up, where the toilers rule and no one lords it over everyone else, where all representatives are subject to immediate recall upon failure to do their appointed tasks. Revolution to international socialism means that there is one class, undivided and there is no such thing as racism, spoiling of the earth, gay bashing and for women who can freely chose their own destiny. Revolution means that everyone will work together in peace and together to salve all problems that confront humanity.