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Why Be OPENLY Revolutionary?
by John Spritzler
The URL for sharing this article is https://www.pdrboston.org/why-be-openly-revolutionary
[Please read "What Is an Egalitarian Revolution?"]
[Also please read "Make Your Reform Effort Even Stronger"]
[Also please read "How to Defeat Big Money's Arguments"]
Here's why it is important to be openly revolutionary, meaning to openly declare--explicitly and clearly--that we aim to remove the rich from power, to have real, not fake, democracy with no rich and no poor, in other words to abolish class inequality and keep it abolished. And let's be clear: removing the rich from power doesn't mean passing laws about how the rich can spend their money on elections or something--laws that the rich are expert at getting around. No! It means taking away from the rich their wealth, which is their power. It means making the rich no richer than anybody else: no rich and no poor.
If we don't openly proclaim this egalitarian revolutionary goal (which even a lone individual can easily do as described here), then we will never win it. And we will remain a society of class inequality with a dictatorship of the rich (money is power!) that is fake democracy.
History shows this is the case. It shows that when it comes to anti-establishment movements, they can win what they explicitly aim to win, but no more than that.
Every anti-establishment movement in history illustrates this truth. Here are just a few examples.
The U.S. Civil Rights Movement aimed explicitly to abolish Jim Crow (the laws that were explicitly racist.) It succeeded in abolishing those laws. But because the movement did not explicitly aim to abolish class inequality, class inequality remains. Because of this, the ruling class has made life arguably worse for ordinary black people today than in the days of Jim Crow, by introducing the New Jim Crow or racist prison incarceration, as discussed here. And note that it was only because W.E.B du Bois early in the 20th century rejected the earlier black leaders' policy of accommodating to rather than abolishing Jim Crow and he explicitly said the goal was to abolish it, that even Jim Crow got abolished, as discussed here.
The South African anti-apartheid movement aimed explicitly to abolish apartheid. It succeeded. But because the movement did not aim to abolish class inequality, class inequality remains. Because of this, the ruling class (the same corporate owners that ruled during apartheid and who now use black politicians to rule) has made life arguably worse for ordinary black South Africans than during the days of apartheid, as discussed here (pdf) and here.
In the United States, the great labor movement for the 8-hour day explicitly aimed for the 8-hour day (meaning overtime pay for hours of work above 8), and the great labor movement for the right to form a labor union explicitly aimed for that demand. Both of these movements won their explicit goals. But because they didn't aim to abolish class inequality, the ruling plutocracy is still in power, and it uses that power to make many people have to work two or even three jobs to survive (sure, they get overtime if they work more than 8 hours on a given job, but not if the extra hours of work are at a different job.) And yes, labor unions are legal, but the ruling class has ensured that the top leaders of these big unions act to control and tame workers (occasionally letting them "blow off steam" with a short ineffective strike) instead of leading them to win substantial gains at the expense of the rich. Read about this here. This is why even though we need things like a general strike or at least unions honoring the picket lines of other unions, those things are as scarce as hens' teeth in the U.S. As a result economic inequality in the U.S. has gotten more and more obscenely great.
When an anti-establishment movement fails to make explicit and clear that its goal is to abolish class inequality, this is what happens. The ruling class easily co-opts the movement, as in the above examples. It agrees to the reform that the movement demands, but uses its power to render that reform essentially useless to the people who demanded it. It is always possible for a ruling class to do this, because they rule. The members of the ruling elite have power, and they use that power in whatever way is necessary to keep the rich rich and the poor poor.
In our present society that is based on money, money is power. The billionaires have the real power in our society because they are billionaires, because their bogus claim to rightfully own billions of dollars worth of social wealth is honored as a legitimate claim. To remove the rich from power entails rejecting their bogus claim to personally own their vast fortunes. Anybody who says that it is "theft" to reject the billionaires' bogus claims to own billions of dollars worth of social wealth is supporting class inequality, no matter how much they may claim to be in favor of making society more equal and fair.
The only way to remove the rich from power is for LOTS of people to know that THAT is the goal, not just some reform that leaves the rich in power. When people don't know that the goal is to remove the rich from power, then they are effectively unable to collectively do what it takes to remove the rich from power. Imagine, for example, if firemen did not know that the goal was to put out the fire. Imagine if your automobile mechanic did not know that the goal was to make your car drive safely and dependably. Imagine if your physician did not know that the goal was to keep you healthy.
That would, of course, be bad enough, but it's even worse when an anti-establishment movement doesn't know that its goal is to abolish class inequality. Why? Because the rulers know how to skillfully persuade a movement to adopt goals that leave the rulers in power.
It would be as if, when the firefighters arrive at the scene of a house on fire, the Mayor tells them that their goal is to water the garden and the firefighters think, yeah, that's our goal because gardens need water and we have a great water hose.
It would be as if the top boss of the auto garage told your mechanic that his/her goal was to make sure you were using the correct type of gasoline and educate you about that, and your mechanic thought, yeah, that's an important goal because using the wrong type of gasoline can create problems.
It would be as if the American Medical Association told physicians that their goal was to make sure that patients bought Big Pharma drugs and the physicians thought, yeah, that's an important goal because Big Pharma is a key industry in our economy and if it failed then bad things would happen.
Of course firefighters and auto mechanics and physicians are generally pretty clear about their real goal. But when it comes to the hugely important goal of removing the rich from power to abolish class inequality, it turns out that most people have difficulty explicitly articulating this goal even though they would LOVE to see it reached (as illustrated in this video of random people on the street being asked how they feel about that goal). The reason for this difficulty is that the ruling class has worked very hard to make people think that it is impossible to abolish class inequality, because (supposedly) hardly anybody even wants to do that.
To make people believe (falsely) that hardly anybody else wants to abolish class inequality, the ruling class censors that aspiration from being ever expressed in the mass or alternative media that it controls. Because people think it is impossible to abolish class inequality, they think it is foolish to even talk about it, never mind say openly and explicitly that that is one's goal. The result of this is that the ruling class remains in power and we end up stuck on the treadmill of defeat.
To get off of this treadmill of defeat by removing the ruling class from power, we have to build an egalitarian revolutionary movement that makes its egalitarian revolutionary aims clear and explicit, as discussed here.
The fact is that when a reform organization openly calls not just for the reform it is focused on but also declares that it aims to remove the rich from power to have real, not fake, democracy with no rich and no poor, it then GAINS MORE support from the general pubic, contrary to the wrong belief of most people that it would "scare people away" and lose support. You can see this for yourself in this video, and better yet, ask random people you encounter the same question people in the video are answering.
"NO RICH AND NO POOR" AND "NO CLASS INEQUALITY" REQUIRES THAT THE ECONOMY BE BASED ON "FROM EACH ACCORDING TO REASONABLE ABILITY, TO EACH ACCORDING TO NEED OR REASONABLE DESIRE WITH SCARCE THINGS EQUITABLY RATIONED ACCORDING TO NEED. ANY FORM OF CAPITALISM WILL LEAD TO CLASS INEQUALITY WITH SOME RICH AND SOME POOR.
To see why the egalitarian principle ("From each according ...") is necessary to avoid a return to class inequality please read "Mom and Pop Capitalism" and "Libertaria: a Libertarian Paradise." In order to shape society by the "From each according..." principle this principle MUST be widely and explicitly understood to be the aim of the movement. Otherwise, this principle will never--in practice--replace the longstanding capitalist principle that says "You can only have what you can afford to buy, and what you can afford to buy has nothing to do with whether you contribute reasonably to society."
"NO RICH AND NO POOR" AND "NO CLASS INEQUALITY" REQUIRES THAT THE GOVERNMENT EXCLUDE FROM POWER THOSE WHO OPPOSE EGALITARIANISM (I.E., THOSE WHO WISH TO REMAIN, OR TO BECOME, RICHER THAN OTHERS). TO BE SUCH A GOVERNMENT IT MUST BE BASED ON VOLUNTARY FEDERATION OF EGALITARIANS AS DISCUSSED HERE AND MORE FULLY IN THE LINKS THIS SHORT INTRODUCTION PROVIDES. OTHERWISE, A PRIVILEGED ELITE WILL BE ABLE TO--AND WILL INEVITABLY--REMAIN IN, OR GAIN, POWER OVER THE POPULATION.
For discussion of this please read "Why Should Laws Only Be Made by Local Assemblies" and "Why Only Egalitarians Can Make Laws."
BEWARE OF THOSE WHO SAY THEY HAVE A "PLAN" TO MAKE SOCIETY MUCH MORE EQUAL AND FAIR WITHOUT EVER SAYING THAT THE GOAL IS TO REMOVE THE RICH FROM POWER AND ABOLISH CLASS INEQUALITY BY MAKING THE ECONOMY BE BASED ON THE "FROM EACH ACCORDING..." PRINCIPLE AND THE GOVERNMENT BASED ON VOLUNTARY FEDERATION OF EGALITARIANS.
There are a variety of "plans" that are making the rounds and which purport to be a way of making our society much more equal and fair (etc.) without mentioning the need to remove the rich from power or to abolish class inequality by making the economy be based on the "From each according..." principle. These plans say or imply, "If we win such-and-such wonderful reform of our capitalist system, then this will result in our society becoming equal and fair." As indicated above, this is snake-oil, "get rich quick" nonsense. A movement that aims merely to reform (tweak) capitalism and that does not explicitly and clearly aim to remove the rich from power and abolish class inequality and hence make society no longer capitalist will--for sure!--leave the rich in power and maintain class inequality, and the rich will (as they must!) continue to treat ordinary people like dirt (as discussed here.)
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