Category Archives: Treatises

The Impotence of the Socialist Movement

The compulsion to outline the central problems of the Socialist movement has brewed inside me for years. Having been witness to several events, and a member of several organizations of the modern movement, I have come to see its sad state. Great upheaval was and still is possible given the Great Recession, but our struggle, especially compared to the movement just fifty years after the publication of The Communist Manifesto, fails to meet even the most basic of proper institutions to constitute a truly realized Party. Membership is low, public profile and opinion is basically non-existent, and words like “Communist” and “Socialist” are used as pejoratives terms and completely devoid of their reasonable content when used by pundits and politicians.

The following essay will be divided into three sections. Section I comprises a brief history of the American Socialist movement outlining is main currents, disunion through infighting, ideological rigidity and infiltration both by the strong arm of American bourgeois as well as the forces of Stalinism. This will show that, like many other groups, the American Marxist movement has been plagued by a terrible instinct to expel disagreeable members and to create “factions” or “opposition” coalitions which only serve to divide the movement as a whole and leave it open to disintegration. This, in some was because of but when also combined with the infiltration of the CPUSA and other organizations by the FBI, NSA and Comintern, this history has led to a demoralization of those comrades who still cling to the righteous principles of Marxism. Childish infighting and inexcusable meddling in the affairs of these groups has led to the expulsion or resignation of countless members and has dismayed potential ones.

In section II, I will review the status of the movement as it stands today and explain what its main drawbacks are. In short these include, a lack of unity and cohesiveness (obviously related to Section I), a complete lack of systematic and coordinated community relationships (formerly conducted by newspaper circulation and local and national meetings and conventions which are widely publicized) which results in the inability to reach wider audiences, and, despite minor involvements by the Socialist Workers Party, a lack of coordinated involvement within the labor movement. The general blame for this can be laid at the hands of the failure of genuine leadership to unite and harmonize the various voice of our struggle.

Section III will comprise my proposal to correct the failures of the past. Fortunately, this program can be instituted rather quickly. What can be dubbed, “The Unity Program” involves a new revival in a United Socialist Movement or a new United Front, which can bring together all fractured groups into a single cohesive unit. Following the lead of SYRIZA in Greece, the program entails calling all factions to set aside their differences and attend a united convention tasked with adopting a united constitution and create a forum for printed discussion of principles, theory, and strategy (in the form of a single news outlet). A consequence of the divided nature of the movement is the inability to capture the numerical strength of the cause. Uniting together into a single membership pool will help to show the great numbers which I am sure we compromise. An important factor necessary as part of the programs set forth in at this convention combined with the utilization of the increased membership, there needs to be an infiltration and radicalization inside both the student and labor movements. This increased organizational structure will allow the new party to focus on, and  engaging in, political activity including coordinating  strikes, organizing protests and establishing a community presence to provide necessary services – all of which will lead to increased membership and notoriety. This new party would need to establish real local branches which can coordinate local, regional and national activities, but remain focused on providing services to, and education for, the working class.

 

Section I – The Degenerate History of U.S. Marxism – Factions, Fragments, Fighting and Foistation

The history of American Marxism is scarred by a series of fragmentations and infiltrations. From the very beginning, leaders of the struggle, charismatic and unwavering, could be potent in times of revolution, but could also inhibit even the most simple of compromises. The numerous splits and opposition organizations – combined with the permeation of the FBI and Stalinist Comintern – have demoralization and paralyzed the movement. With scars so recent, it has been difficult to shake off this past and, unfortunately for us, the only way to begin mending scars, is to open them again.

The first organization of the Socialist kind in America was The Socialist Labor Party of America (SLP), established in 1876 and known as the Workingmen’s Party. Almost immediately after its founding, the SLP divided over tactics, chiefly between Anarchists and Social Democrats. By 1890 the party was severely at odds not only on its tactics, but between the differing nationalities and the influence of their respective parties back home. However, when the SLP came under the direction of Daniel DeLeon it began mobilizing towards electoral politics and tried to combine that effort with with trade unionism. The result was a great rise in numbers and popularity. However, the micro-schism of the past eventually splintered it in two, with many of the members being pressed into the Socialist Party of he famous Eugene Debs.

The Socialist Party of the United States gained significant notoriety through its coordination with many different groups, including trade unionists, progressive social reformers and populist farmers. In 1912 and 1920 emblematic leader, Eugene V. Debs, twice won over 900,000 votes. However, the opposition of the draft and to the First World War meant that Socialists and Anarchists were targeted and silenced. The party, therefore, waned during the war years. Eventually the Russian Revolution acted as a crowbar for the party, splitting between more liberal members (dubbed the “Left-Wing Section) and more traditional Marxists on how to respond.

In early 1919, Lenin, as the undisputed vanguard leader of the Worldwide Communist movement, invited the left wing of the Socialist Party of America to join Comintern as the Communist Party of America. A referendum, held in the spring of 1919 passed with nearly 90% support, but the leadership of the SPA, fearing its power threatened, suppressed the results. The elections would have meant that 12 out of the 15 open positions for the party’s National Executive Committee would be occupied by Pro-Russian leftists. Interparty divisions over the issue led to an overall decrease in membership, namely through expulsion and discontent resulting from the election. Eventually the party would lose two-thirds of its members.

In response the party called for an emergency convention of The Socialist Party to tackle the subject. At the meeting on August 30, 1919 the party’s Left Wing Caucus, bolstered by the success of the election held earlier that year, made plans to regain control of the party, sending delegations previously expelled to the convention to demand recognition. Although many of the Opposition members elected to refrain from “crashing the convention”, a small group lead by John Reed (famous Author of “The Ten Days That Shook The Earth” and subject of the Warren Beatty movie “Reds”) and Benjamin Gitlow went ahead with the plan. The leadership of the convention was informed of this attempt beforehand and had the crashers forcibly removed. As a result of this brutish act, many of allied leftist delegates who remained in the Party walked out and united together with the expelled members formed the Communist Labor Party. However, divisions within this faction which was led by C.E. Ruthenberg and Louis C. Fraina, turned away from that effort and formed their own party, the Communist Party of America, at a separate convention on September 1, 1919.

After the establishment of the Second Communist International in 1919, the Comintern dispatched an order, its main source of international power, demanding that the two Communist Parties, to unite under the banner of the United Communist Party. Consisting of around 12,000 members, this party apparatus was design for nearly one purpose: follow the bolshevik line. Divisions regarding the heavy hand of Moscow and the over the actions of the Party led to fissures between Charles Ruthenberg with Jay Lovestone and Nicholas I. Hourwich along with Alexander Bittelman. In response to this, the Comintern under Bukharin issued yet another order in May of 1921 ordering the merger of the two factions. It appeared that only the hard line of Moscow’s directives could keep American Communists together.

Even from the beginning, the Communist Party’s history is one of division and ruthlessness, at a time workers of the world were being sent to the battlefields of France and Poland, or to colonies abroad, which could have been led by a unified party. Instead of utilizing this oppression of workers and the tailwind of the Russian Revolution to organize the workers of America and enroll more members, the parties continued to split and divide. Only at the advent of Stalinism, the next great sin of American Communism, would they be united.

First Red Scare  

Brought on by fears of revolutionary activity in the United States, the Federal Bureau of Investigation set its sights on destroying and/or discrediting the Communist Party USA. In 1919, the Department of Justice, headed by Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer, acting under the Sedition Act of 1918, began raiding local Party offices and personal homes of notable party members, arresting thousands. Many of those arrested were foreign nationals and were later deported in what has since been called the “Palmer Raids.” All but outlawed, the Communist Party, with no help from the Comintern or allied left-wing groups such as the fledgling Socialist Party (Debs was himself incarcerated), was forced underground.

For nearly three years the party was nearly destroyed, forced to meet secretly and keep its members hidden. Finally in 1921, as the Palmer program, a near perfect success in political suppression, began to wane the organization attempted begin legally functioning as the “Workers Party of America.”

Continued Factionalism (1923–1929)

Based on the subjugation by Comintern directives and governmental suppression, the Communist Party was forced to adopt the thesis of the Fifth World Congress held in 1925. This dictum held that the revolutionary period of 1917 through 1924 would be followed by a period of stabilization of Capitalism. Therefore, the Comintern would no longer support foreign Parties outside the Soviet Bloc. This was direct result of Stalin’s new thesis of ‘Socialism in One Country” and was, in reality, a mere ideological cover for the ever-increasing Russification and Stalinization of the Soviet Union. As a result, the Comintern ordered the CPUSA to continue to involve itself in the American working class through union and labor organizations, although these organizations were increasingly anti-Communist.

Understanding that these policies were in contradiction to the facts on the ground in the U.S., the Party again became embroiled in division. CPUSA’s Executive Secretary, C.E. Ruthenberg, and his colleague Jay Lovestone advocated the maintenance the Comintern and Stalinist line, blindly following the orders of Moscow. Opposed to this policy was the Foster-Cannon faction, headed by William Z. Foster and James P. Cannon who headed the Party’s Trade Union Educational League, and the International Labor Defense (ILD) organizations respectfully.

Based on the blind loyalty of the Ruthenberg faction, in 1925 the Comintern again ordered the Foster-Cannon faction (which held the majority) to surrender control to Ruthenberg. Although Foster eventually complied, this capitulation led to continued factional infighting within the CPUSA. This division pulled the Communists away from their ultimate goal, providing leadership to the working class. The lost International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union strike of 1926 is only one example of how these fractions did nothing to promote the cause of the CPUSA.

Ruthenberg died in 1927 and like in Russia, his Stalinst lackey Lovestone succeeded him as party secretary. Hoping to revive his faction after the abdication of Foster, James P. Cannon attended the Sixth Congress of the Comintern in 1928 with the goal of convincing the leadership of his righteous position. Having set forth many connections to important players in the Comintern Cannon hoped to garner favor with the Stalinist leadership. While attending the congress, Cannon was given a copy of “Critique of the Draft Program of the Comintern” by Leon Trotsky.

This single event, a mere accident of history, was to shape the significant division led by Cannon. Together with Max Shachtman and Martin Abern, they began to organize support for Trotsky’s thesis and what would eventually be called the “Left Opposition.” As the rumors of this program came to light, the “Three Generals without an Army” were expelled from the party in Stalin-like fashion. Their Crime? Trotskyism. In response, Cannon and his followers organized the Communist League of America, and, no longer entangled with the Comintern, were instrumental in the Minneapolis Teamsters Strike and eventually formed the Socialist Workers Party and became members of the Fourth International.

While Cannon became acquainted with Trotsky’ critique, Lovestone had impressed the leadership of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union as a strong supporter of Nikolai Bukharin. As Bukharin was eventually purged in Stalin’s consolidation of power, this involvement was to have unfortunate consequences for Lovestone as a Comintern delegation sent to the United States demanded that he resign as party secretary. Although Foster, having given up his opposition pursuant to earlier Comintern orders, enjoyed little support in the CPUSA, to become its leader.

Upon returning to the U.S., Foster, having new authority from Moscow, expelled Lovestone who, along with longtime ally Benjamin Gitlow, formed yet another opposition group. dubbed the “Communist Party (Opposition)”, however, contrary to Lovestone’s expectations, he was only able to persuade several hundred CPUSA members to join him and his group dissolved in 1941.

The Self-Degradation of the CPUSA and further Splits in the CLA (1928–1935)

In response to Stalin’s disconnection with socialist and Social-Democratic parties, condemned by the Bolsheviks as “social fascists,” combined with the new Left Opposition of Cannon, membership in the CPUSA dropped from 24,000 members in 1928 to 6,000 in 1932.

By 1930, the party, now officially the Communist Party of the USA, abandoned the hitherto efforts to organize the working class within the American Federation of Labor, brandishing the slogan of “the united-front from below”. The Party devoted much of its efforts on organizing the masses of unemployed workers during the Great Depression with general success in organizing African-American workers.

In 1932, William Z. Foster, published a book entitled Toward Soviet America, a grand vision of the coming revolution and the building of a new socialist society in the United States based on the model of Soviet Russia. This book, which served as mandatory readings for CPUSA members, helped solidify a Stalinist cult of personality characterized by the writing in The Daily World during this period. With the emergence of Earl Browder as General Secretary of the Party, this only continued to become engrained in the CPUSA. Browder was obsessed with the “Great Game” of espionage and continued to move the party into lockstep with the USSR and helped facilitate its covert activities in the U.S. making the CP a cog in the machinery which facilitated the competition between the USA and USSR. Much of the articles of the time in People’s Daily World were merely regurgitation of Pravda propaganda. This obsession with foreign policy again hindered the efforts of organization of the working class.

The crippling force of Stalinism in the CPUSA was counteracted by Cannon and the new Communist League of America. This small group (in 1929 the CLA did not have more than 100 adherents) was only kept alive by the charisma of Cannon and Shachtman and benefited greatly from the previously discussed degradation and Stalinization of the CPUSA. Cannon famously helped led the 1934 Teamsters strike in Minneapolis, and benefited greatly from the press regarding his subsequent trial based on the Smith Act which forbid promotion of the overthrow of the U.S. Government.

In 1934, the Communist League of America merged with the American Workers Party led by A.J. Muste, forming the Workers Party of the United States. Even with this combined force, the group remained small and split over the issue of “entryism” called for by the “French Turn” promoted by Trotsky. Bitter debate and division again engulfed the organization and ultimately, the majority faction of Cannon, Shachtman, and James Burnham prevailed, promoting the entry of the Workers Party into the Socialist Party of America Whilst still a small minority faction headed by Hugo Oehler refused to accept this turn and yet another splinter group was formed. Negotiations commenced with the Socialist Party leadership, with the admissions of CLA and WPA members ultimately made on the basis of individual applications for membership rather than admission of the Workers Party as a whole and its approximately 2,000 members as a group.On June 6, 1936, the Workers Party’s weekly newspaper, The New Militant, published its last issue and announced “Workers Party Calls All Revolutionary Workers to Join Socialist Party.”

As is characterized by the history of American Marxism, The Socialist Party in January of 1936 was itself beset with factional disagreements. The SP’s left wing “Militant” faction sought to expand the organization into an “all-inclusive party” — inviting in members of the Lovestone and Trotskyist opposition movements as well as radical individuals as the first step towards making the SP a mass party. This rhetoric flies in the face of the actions of the National Executive Committee of the Socialist Party as it was simultaneously expelling the Old Guard for their factional organization and alleged “violation of party discipline.”

The Socialist Party, still focused on electoral victories like its reformist counterparts in Europe, only attracted around 188,000 votes in his 1936 elections, a far cry from Debs 900,000 just 15 years before. At the same time, Roosevelt’s New Deal policies (themselves a product of the success of labor organizing and agitation of the 1930s) and its popularity among leftist, as well as continued party fractionalization, resulted in significant party membership decline in similar amounts as the CPUSA had seen. All of this while capitalism was in a state of crisis in the form of the Great Depression, not far removed from the current situation of the late 2000s. The best the party could do would be to lobby for New Deal saeguards, but stopped short of revolution.

The Popular Front (1935–1939)

In 1935, the Seventh Congress of the Comintern declared the need for a popular front to oppose Fascism. Like clockwork, the CPUSA abandoned its opposition to the New Deal and provided many of the organizers for the Congress of Industrial Organizations, a competitor of the AFL. Characteristic of the Popular Front, the CPUSA pursued a policy of representing the Democratic Party as the lesser evil in elections, not dissimilar from the current CPUSA under Webb.

At the same time, Browder’s CPUSA supported Stalin’s ridiculous show trials and followed the Party Line. Browder and People’s World uncritically supported Stalin. Bowder himself likened Trotsky to “cholera germs,” calling the great purges, which all but destroyed the original revolutionaries of the 1917 Russian Revolution, “a signal service to the cause of progressive humanity.” Needless to say, this increased factionalist tension, and led to yet another decrease in membership as many could not stomach the atrocity, let alone have it praised by the leadership in the Party newspaper.

At the same time, in December 1937, delegates gathered in Chicago for a convention of the newly formed Socialist Workers Party, Shachtman, tasked with reporting to the group on the situation in American labor, declared that the impending war with Germany would lead to a massive shift in labor towards militarization, while Cannon further supported the merger of the AFL and CIO, which has thus far been competing for union membership.

The Popular Front (1939–1947)

The CPUSA, helped by its staunch opposition to the rise of Fascism saw membership increased to about 75,000 in 1938. However, as Stalin signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact with Nazi Germany on August 24, 1939, thousands of disaffected members resigned in protest. Soon thereafter, rifts began to emerge and after the after Hitler’s Invasion of Poland September of 1939 this rifts opened. Eventually, by November 1939, the CPUSA, bolstered by its love-affair with Stalin, considered Russian security sufficient justification to support the Nazi invasion. After receiving orders to foregoe criticism of Hitler, Browder, Stalin’s lap dog, began attacking Roosevelt. The Daily World moved from reporting on events in the USSR and the Comintern to focuseing on criticizing the Roosevelt Administration and even went so far as to praise Nazi Germany! In August 1940, after the assassination of Leon Trotsky, Browder continued to perpetuate the myth that the assassin was a disillusioned follower of Trotsky. He was, in fact, a NKVD agent hired by Stalin himself.

During the War, the CPUSA continued its rhetoric of militant trade unionism, but abided by the Popular Front principle of opposing strike actions. The leadership of the CPUSA became, after the invasion of the Soviet Union by the Nazis, outrageously pro-war and simultaneously supported the prosecution of leaders of the Socialist Workers Party under the newly enacted Smith Act.

Earl Browder expected the wartime coalition between the Soviet Union and the west to bring about a prolonged period of social harmony after the war. In order better to integrate the communist movement into American life, the party was officially dissolved in 1944 and replaced by a “Communist Political Association”.

That harmony proved elusive, however, and the international Communist movement swung to the left after the war ended. Browder found himself isolated when a critical letter regarding Bowder’s policies from Jacques Duclos, leader of the French Communist Party, received wide circulation and support. As a result of this, in 1945 he retired and was replaced by former leader and now Stalinist puppet, William Z. Foster, who would remain General Secretary until his own retirement in 1958. His first actions as secretary was to expel many members, including Bowder.

While being persecuted by American authorities for “attempting to overthrow the U.S. Government” in violation of the Smith Act, the SWP became embroiled in a ideological debate and again, divided. Having united and helped organize the United Mine Workers of America strike during the war along with facilitating protests by GIs, the SWP saw a brief period of rapid growth immediately after the war.

The majority faction, led by Cannon, supported Trotsky’s position that the USSR remained a “degenerate workers’ state” and should be supported in any war with capitalist states, despite their opposition to the government headed by Joseph Stalin. The minority faction, led by Shachtman, a former ally of Cannon in the split with the CPUSA and Socialist Party, held that the USSR should not be supported in its war with Finland due to its authoritarian and brutal policies.

Sadly, Cannon, who had been a revolutionary leader in the pre-war years and after spending time in prison, began to set in place the principles which his opposition called “bureaucratic and conservative.” The minority faction led by Shachtman eventually split away with almost 40% of the SWP membership as well as its youth organization, the Young People’s Socialist League, forming the Workers Party which would eventually reintegrate itself with the revisionist Socialist Party and would lead to the founding of the International Socialist league.

Second Red Scare (1947–1958)

Following the war, as the SWP split, the CPUSA became the target of persecution once again. The Truman administration’s instituted a loyalty oath program in 1947, which set forth the widely held position of rampant Communist infiltration and subversion within government. The creation of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, for whom most remember Senator McCarthy asking repeatedly, “Are you or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?” A positive answer to this question would certainly poise economic and financial ruin through blacklisting by both public and private organizations for those brought before it. At the same time, a purge of radicals from the labor movement followed the hearings. At the same time, CPUSA decided to back Henry Wallace’s campaign for president, which is completely unconscionable given his segregationist racism.

The SWP continued to fracture during this period. One such split was that of Sam Marcy‘s Global Class War faction. Like the CPUSA, it called for the support of Henry Wallace‘s Progressive Party Presidential run in 1948 within the SWP which conflicted with the leaderships position. Further disagreements surrounding the SWP’s support for the Hungarian Uprising of 1956  led this group to leave the party and form the Workers World Party. While still around, the WWP is a small fringe group which is very poorly organized.

Throughout the 1950s and into the 1960s, the membership of the SWP shrank from its highest point in 1948. However, the Cuban Revolution revitalized the SWP and the party threw its support behind Castro through the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. Utilizing this fervor, the SWP was able to enroll younger members of the party, leading to a significant change through the new leadership of Farrell Dobbs.

One important division came from the Workers Party, which had by this time become part of the larger Socialist Party. Hal Draper, seeing the rightward and revisionist direction of the SP, sought to reconnect students in Berkeley, California with the movement and created the International Socialist club. This organization would eventually splinter and develop the International Socialist Organization in 1976, which exists and is well organized today.

Illegalization and Infiltration of the CPUSA

After Congress outlawed the CPUSA in the Communist Control Act of 1954, membership of CPUSA had slumped from 80,000 in 1944 to a desperately low 5,000; 1,500 of which were FBI informants as part of the emerging COINTEL program. This infiltration continued to cripple the organization, and by 1956, upon the death of Stalin, the party was in complete disarray.

CPUSA in crisis and rise of Gus Hall (1956–1989)

After Khrushchev’s Secret Speech, the Stalinized majority of the CPUSA was discredited. With the loss of the Daily Worker, through decreased readership, membership further plummeted to a new low in 1958. The post-1956, CPUSA saw the rise of Gus Hall, as leader. Hall, an ultra-orthodox Stalinist, continued to demoralize the party by expelling all members who expressed any voice of discontent. The CPUSA under Gus Hall would tow the party line, supporting the Breshnev attempt at reinvigorating the cult of personality, until he was replaced upon his death by Sam Webb in 2000, who passed i t John Batchtell recently.

SWP Actions during the CPUSA Decline

The SWP has had, as described, a fascination with splits and divides. In the early 1960’s a the position of the SWP regarding Cuba brought them closer to the International Secretariat of the Fourth International, of which the SWP had left in 1953 citing ideological differences. This includes divisions which created the Freedom Socialist Party in Seattle Washington.

The SWP, avoiding the directed persecution suffered by the CPUSA and able to avoid the heavy hand of the Soviet Union, turned their efforts towards the civil rights movement and the Black nationalist movement, praising Malcolm X, who spoke at some SWP functions. Capitalizing on social discontent in the 1960’s, specifically on the issue of the War in Vietnam, SWP membership grew and it experienced a particularly brisk growth in the first years of the 1970s. This began the Socialist tendency for its obsession with the anti-war movement which continues today, focused on organizing large, legal demonstrations.

The SWP set up a two pronged approach as Jack Barnes became leader; first, absolute support of the Cuban Revolution, and second, absolute anti-war rhetoric. At the same time, the Pathfinder Press was created to publish the works of Trotsky, Cannon, Dobbs, and Barnes and to help fund the SWP.

In 1978, the SWP leadership, under Barnes, developed the program known as the “Turn to Industry.” This policy mandated the entrance of party members into blue collar industries particularly in meat packing and mine working as they were seen as the forefront of working class agitation. As a result, many members were asked to move and change jobs, often out of established careers and into low-paying jobs in small towns, disconnected from comrades and family. Many of the older members with experience in trade unions resisted this ‘colonization program’, which upset their established routine in the unions, as did some of the younger members who sought to educate themselves, something still seen a suspect in the SWP today.

Yet another Split in the SWP

Opposition to the “turn to industry” developed within the SWP and even within this fracture, there developed significant differences. On top of this, party leaders Jack Barnes and Mary-Alice Waters sought to move away from the “Trotskyist” label and from the Fourth International. In 1982, Barnes gave a speech, which was later published as, Their Trotsky and Ours: Communist continuity today in which he rejected Trotsky’s theory of Permanent Revolution. In reality, this split relates to the SWP obsession with the revolutions of Latin America and its irreconcilable position with the theory of Permanent Revolution.

The opposition factions continued to support the Trotskyism, and its label and correctly anticipated the SWP leaderships reassessing its place in the Fourth International. While declaring their support to the Cuban and the Nicaraguan Sandinista governments, the opposition remained critical of the actions by Castro and Sandinistas towards Stalinism. Additionally, they continued to oppose the “turn to industry”. Again, the party fractured around this change in position by Barnes. One group followed the Weinsteins on the West Coast, eventually becoming the Socialist Workers Organization and a second group gathered around George Breitman and Frank Lovell to create Socialist Action, which is still active today.

As we have seen, the only cohesive trend in American Marxism is towards division and infiltration. Both of these resulted in a demoralization of Marxists and the general impotence the movement suffers today. Only through a revitalization of the movement can these scars be healed and for the movement to come together again to strive for the emancipation of the working class form their capitalist exploiters. The question remains, where does the movement stand today?

Section II – The Current Structure

The status of the movement today is fractured, but fairly set. Due to lack of membership, and to collapse of nearly all Communist governments, the parties still surviving have remained generally stagnate, and new leaders have attempted to shake up their organizations. However, there are some general aspects which span ideological an historical divides. Briefly these include, a lack of unity and cohesiveness resulting from the fragmentation and infiltration described above, a complete lack of systematic and coordinated public relations, namely due to the lack of readership of newspapers and the inefficient use of social media and awareness-raising events including local and national meetings and conventions which are widely publicized and open to all, as well as large scale demonstration organized by Socialist groups. And finally, despite SWP’s turn to industry, which has been nearly completely ineffective, a lack of coordinated involvement within the labor movement. As stated in the introduction, the general blame for this can be laid at the hands of the failure of genuine leadership to unite and harmonize the various voice of our struggle.

Factions

Although hard to pin-down and diluted by the advance of the internet, the wide variety of socialist organizations found online suggests that the total number of socialists is actually quite large, but its numbers nearly impossible to quantify. The most comprehensive list of organizations is as follows:

–    Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS) – an online organization found at http://www.cc-ds.org/;

–    Communist Party of the USA (CPUSA) – previously discussed and below

–    Communist Voice Organization – A small left-communist organization critical of Trotskyism, Stalinism, and Maoism

–    Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) – Revisionist party focused on the ideology of Michel Harrington and pro-Democratic party

–    Freedom Socialist Party (FSP) splinter SWP group- very Small

–    International Socialist Organization (ISO) – Discussed herein and below

–    League for the Revolutionary Party (LRP); Trotskyist organization founded by a faction of the now defunct Revolutionary Socialist League in 1976. The RSL had in turn split from the International Socialists in 1973

–    Progressive Labor Party (PLP), Faction of CPUSA that split in 1961;

–    Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) Maoist group formed from the SDS organization in the 1960s;

–    Social Democrats USA (SDUSA) – described herein and below

–    Socialist Action – described herein and below

–    Socialist Alternative – described herein and below

–    Socialist Equality Party (SEP); splinter group of SWP which attempts to raise awareness by running candidates for office

–    Socialist Labor Party (SLP) – oldest party, was combined and split with groups into the Socialist Part, no online in paper only

–    Socialist Organizer – Splinter group of Socialist Action

–    Socialist Party USA – Discusssed herein and below;

–    Socialist Workers Organization (SWO) – Splinter group of Socialist Action;

–    Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP) – discussed herein and below;

–    Workers World Party (WWP) – discussed herein;

–    Working Families Party; new party organized from local Unions, only state organizations and small

–    World Socialist Party of the United States (WSPUS) – Fringe group of the World Socialist Organization

COMMUNIST PARTY of the UNITED STATES of AMERICA – CPUSA

Although most likely the largest Socialist Party, it has suffered significant transformation in recent years under the leadership of Sam Webb. With the loss of economic support by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1991, the party was forced to re-evaluate itself, ultimately causing a total overhaul of its structure CPUSA and activities. A much less Stalinized organization, the CPUSA Constitution calls for free universal health care, elimination of the federal income tax on people earning under $60,000 a year, free college education, drastic cuts in military spending, “massive” public works programs, the outlawing of “scabs and union busting,” abolition of corporate monopolies, public ownership of energy and basic industries, huge tax hikes for corporations and the wealthy, and various other programs designed to “beat the power of the capitalist class … [and promote] anti-imperialist freedom struggles around the world.”

Under Webb’s leadership, the CPUSA now touts a platform of true democratic socialism and trade unionism, while encouraging votes for Democratic candidates as a pragmatic electoral tactic to defeat conservatives. Other official CPUSA websites include the People’s World party newspaper, Political Affairs monthly party magazine, and the Young Communists League youth organization. The main issues surrounding the CPUSA is it degredated membership and its complete lack of public relations. Given the tattered image of the CPUSA through its sorted history described herein, Webb has done little or nothing (as most of the rejuvenating force has come through the YCL) at presenting a new image of the CPUSA. Although it has undergone significant changes in structure and allegiances, it is still remembered and is often categorized by its Stalinist past. No effort has been made to publically distance itself from this and its web presence remains little, disorganized and unappealing.

Furthermore, the party has not encouraged renewed emphasis on Marxist theory and evaluating the current state of Capitalism. Instead it has resigned itself to anti-war activities and mere commentary on events. It has no agitation wing, and it members are, notwithstanding its most dedicated, unable to contribute their full wherewithal to raising its profile, organizing its members, and engaging in political activities.

SOCIAL DEMOCRATS, USA – SD-USA

The SD-USA has focused on fielding candidates for local offices, and has only done a small amount of it since the 1980s. A small organization, especially compared to CPUSA, it is a revisionist organization, ideologically centrist, staunchly anti-CPUSA who, like the CPUSA under Webb, support Democratic candidates for office. The SD-USA claims to be the heirs to the party of Eugene Debs. Stripped of its membership in the Socialist International the SD-USA is all but defunct. The SD-USA remnant still functions asa mere shell of what it once was several decades ago. It has a web presence at its blog: Socialist Currents.

SOCIALIST PARTY USA – SPUSA

Another Revisionist organization, SPUSA has been all but inactive since its significant decline, and relationship to the Progressive Caucus of the Democratic party. While advocating electoral change, it is against revolutions as proposed by Communists. While running some local candidate, the party does not have a central organization and leaves its regional members to conduct business. It is in dire need of reorganization and does little or nothing, outside progressive activist Brian Moore of Florida, SPUSA nominee for President, who engages in protests and advocates the principles of Reformist Socialism. SPUSA maintains a website called Socialist National Committee/VoteSocialist.org and The Socialist WebZine which lacks content and is not often updated.

SOCIALIST ACTION

Socialist Action is a Trotskyist political party of “revolutionary socialists” originally founded by expelled members of the Socialist Workers Party. While the SA shares the SWP’s pro-Castro views, the SA still tries to retain its Trotskyist ideological roots. The SA states that they “oppose the Democrats and Republicans, all capitalist political parties, and all capitalist governments and their representatives everywhere … [and] Stalinist and neo-Stalinist regimes from the ex-Soviet Union to China.” This communist party has fielded some local political candidates in the San Francisco Bay and Northern Wisconsin and Minnesota over the years, and ran its first congressional candidate in 2010 (in Connecticut). The young wing, Youth for Socialist Action, is more active, organizing Camp Class Struggle each year in Superior Wisconsin. Adam Ritcher is the organizations shinning light. They maintain and outdated web presence at Socialist Action Newspaper, Youth for Socialist Action and VoteSocialistAction.

SOCIALIST EQUALITY PARTY – SEP

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) was originally named the Workers League (WL). Founded in 1966 as a Trotskyist communist group closely associated with the electoral campaigns of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), they maintain links to Trotskyism. When the SWP drifted away from Trotskyism in the early 1980s, the WL broke with the SWP and began fielding its own candidates. This has remained the goal of the organization understanding the up-hill battle faced. The campaigns are utilized to promote Socialism as a public relations tool. In 1994 the WL renamed itself as the Socialist Equality Party. The SEP’s shining light is its news site — the World Socialist Web Site (WSWS) – which is updated daily with articles, analysis, history, etc., written with an Trotskyist international perspective.

SOCIALIST WORKERS PARTY – SWP

After its shedding of Trotskysim, the SWP has moved towards “Castrismo” espoused by Fidel Castro’s calling Cuba “a shining example for all workers.” Like the CPUSA the Online Presence of the SWP is horrid, only to be found through its newspaper (which is still in print) The Militant. However, the militant lacks the inquisitive and theoretical gusto it had under Cannon and Dobbs, and is now, with the Pathfinder Press bookstore, the central marketing tool for the SWP. Recently, they have engaged in much activity around Hugo Chavez and Venezuela, although little in the way of theoretical work has been done on the subject. They are, for the most part, fairly well organized, but committed to the SWP and still reeling over the divisions discussed above. There is also a fair amount of Party Fetishism in the SWP and this has left a sour taste in the mouth of many prospective members. Party Secretary Barnes is also quite old, and obsessed with the history of this small organization and committed to the promotion of it and it alone.

INTERNATIONAL SOCIALIST ORGANIZATION

The International Socialist Organization (ISO) is committed to building an organization that participates in the struggles they are fairly decentralized with local branches across the country whose members are involved in helping to build a number of struggles. A Trotskyist organization, they tie themselves back to Debs, Cannon, Dobbs, as well as Rosa Luxembourg and Lenin. A fairly new organization that does not run candidates, their focused is on Marxist Theory and Socialist oriented news. The newspaper, Socialist Worker.org is a great resource, as well as their bimonthly magazine International Socialist Review, and their Haymarket Bookstore and the Center for Economic Research and Social Change, which runs the Website, Wearemany.org. In July of each Year they hold a conference simply Titled Socialism, which is the groundwork for the larger United Convention outlined in Section III. They seek to “build an independent socialist organization with members organizing in our workplaces, our schools and our neighborhoods to bring socialist ideas to the struggles we are involved in today, and the vision of a socialist world in the future.”

Socialist Alternative

Socialist Alternative (SA) is a Trotskyist democratic socialist most notably for its electoral success in the election of  Seattle City Councillor Kshama Sawant who was elected in November 2013.

Socialist Alternative was originally formed as Labor Militant in 1986 by members of the Committee for a Workers International who had moved to the United States. After a split and factionalism in the US Labor Party, Labor Militant changed its name to Socialist Alternative and in the late 1990s was heavily involved in the anti WTo protests in Seattle and around the world. In the run up to the Iraq invasion SA was highly involved in the anti-war movement, though was unable to garner it into more action. Electorally until 2013 the SA had supported thri party candidats like Ralph Nader during the 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008 presidential elections.

Since her election Sawant has been active in organizing the party around the 15 now campaign. That campaign is still very much active.

Anti-War Issue and Poor Leadership

In general all of these groups have suffered from a lack of focus. Distracted by the gains of the Anti-War movement during the 1960s and 70s, all of these groups have attempted to mobilize, with little success, around the unpopular wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and recently the engagement in Libya. This is usually a knee-jerk reaction and is supported with old platitudes regarding American Imperialism and engaged in with very little inquiry into the nature of each conflict. In this sense, they have marginalized themselves and ignored the larger struggle for which they have their ideological base. In many ways, the anti-war element of these groups has continued to led to their decline.

Furthermore, the lack of organization, and failure of leadership of centralized parties, specifically around the Economic Crisis of 2008 and the Arab Spring of 2011, has further marginalized these groups. They compete for attention of discontented workers, and do not seek to organize laborers into unions or other organizations. There is no effort to penetrate and radicalize the labor movement and most have appeared to resign themselves to positions of mere inquiry.

Section III – What Is To Be Done?

In 1901, Vladimir Lenin sought to expose his understanding of the state of revolutionary politics at the turn of the twentieth century. Seeing the growing influence of the Social Democrats, Lenin proposed a program by which the fractured and disorganized groups could come together to fight against mere trade Unionism and Social Democracy. At the time the landscape of revolutionary organizations looked much the same as our does, fracture, poorly organized, and theoretical defunct.

In response, Lenin proposed a new organization which would have a few essential functions. First, invigorate a small group of professional revolutionaries who can propose and outline the revolutionary theory which would guide the organization and the working class. Under the leadership of these professionals it would create a centralized political party which would serve as the vanguard, providing not only a theoretical basis for revolutionary actions, but the know-how and courage to enact those programs. Second, create an all-Russian Newspaper which can help to make ties with like-minded people as well as assert the revolutionary agenda in a uniform fashion. This Unity Newspaper would the organ of a united party, who single goal, is not the mere squabble regarding this-or-that current oppressive action or war. Instead, the single goal of this organization would be nothing else but the revolution itself!

I propose that this is exactly what is needed for our movement. The fractured state outlined above is the single greatest threat, especially given the current degeneration of Capitalism and the absolute lack of response from Socialists, to the continuous missed-opportunities of our struggle. Therefore, I implore all of the groups so dedicated to the principles of Socialism, to shed your pre-convinced notions, let go of your disgruntled histories, and clasp hands with your so-called rivals to come together for nothing less than the Proletarian revolution itself.

This, I do recognize, is no easy task. The scars run deep, the animosity strong, and faces the great power of the Capitalists who dominate over mass media (with the exception of the internet- which can be our greatest weapon). This power has never been stronger, while recently has been concealed in populist rhetoric – think only of our beloved Tea Party. If you see, as I do the necessity to reinvent ourselves or continue to be crushed by the screaming heads of Bourgeois ideology, then the goal has never been clearer and its necessity never more timely.

The means by which we can come together is rather simple. In the age of social media, one may be inclined to envision some grand Facebook chat, or e-mail correspondence, but alas, our divisions stem from our personal interactions and passion for our cause. Therefore, the only way in which to mend the wounds of the by-gone past is to come together again, as a grand movement, in a single location and air our dirty laundry.

 The Unity Program

Therefore, I propose that a grand United Socialist Movement convention be held, which can bring together all elements of the Socialist movement fragmented and lost in the sea of mediocrity and poor leadership. This does mean that each group will be forced, however painful, to cast aside their differences on minor issues which has thus far been the catalyst of division, and attend this united convention with open minds. The task of the convention shall be to adopt an agreeable united constitution, to elect, through democratic means, the leadership of this United Congress and create a forum (i.e. an All-American Newspaper) which, unlike the papers of the past – can and ought to be used for printed discussion of principles, theory, and strategy.

The other important aspect of this unity will be to, for the first time since the 19th century, allow us to count ourselves and provide the world with our great numbers, and by virtue of our new-found unity, our great strength! Creating a centralized membership pool will facilitate the coordination efforts of the professionals in carrying out the tasks before it. With the great numbers, coordinated and subject to the professional revolutionaries, we can, as Lenin cited, “ensure the flexibility required of a militant Social-Democratic organization, viz., the ability to adapt itself immediately to the most diverse and rapidly changing conditions of struggle, the ability, on the one hand, to avoid an open battle against an overwhelming enemy, when the enemy has concentrated all his forces at one spot and yet, on the other, to take advantage of his unwieldiness and to attack him when and where he least expects it. We must always conduct our everyday work and always be prepared for every situation, because very frequently it is almost impossible to foresee when a period of outbreak will give way to a period of calm.” As was needed in Russia, we need a central organization which can contribute to the most important work, namely “political agitation…illuminating all aspects of life, and conducted among the broadest possible strata of the masses.”

Like in Russia at the time, at present, no single American party can put itself fully towards these actions and expect to be successful. Instead the new United Socialist Movement “which will form round this newspaper, the organization of its collaborators (in the broad sense of the word, i.e., all those working for it), will be ready for everything, from upholding the honor, the prestige, and the continuity of the Party in periods of acute revolutionary ‘depression’ to preparing for, appointing the time for, and carrying out the nation-wide armed uprising.” So often Lenin is quoted for the purposes of a dogmatic expose of ideological and theoretical positions, but in this case, we have been given the program needed to resurrect ourselves, and the historical evidence of its success clearly before us.

Therefore, I beseech all Comrades, united by the vision of a greater tomorrow for all humanity; of a world free of the entanglements of excess and oppression; where each any every person can be free to live to their greatest potential, UNITE together and become the great organization which can lead the populace out of the darkness of exploitation and oppression and into the light of freedom and democracy. We cannot do this alone, for it is only through our great strength, ushered forth by the proletarian masses, that we can begin the great struggle to free ourselves and our comrades from the rancid conditions of our menial today and into the great possibilities of tomorrow.

I will end as does the Manifesto, “The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.”

Workers of the World, Unite!

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Commentary on the Rationalism and Empricism Debate

The debate between the epistemological schools of Rationalism and Empiricism has raged since the two became distinct during the 15th to 18th century. Starting with Descartes’ Meditations running all the way to the present day, the issues pertaining to the source of our knowledge and the content of our concepts, as well as the character of our understanding have been the central aspect of the discussion. It will be my goal to shed some light on the two schools and to discuss the validity of the each. I will show that the two have both pitfalls as well as promises, but ultimately they suffer the same kind of problem and neither have the solid foundation for which they claim. I will appeal to many contemporary philosophers who have taken on this question and how their input has changed the debate.

Rationalism

The doctrine of rationalism claims that, as A.J. Ayer properly stated, “there exist a super-sensible world which is the object of a purely intellectual intuition and is alone wholly real.” (LTL, 134) Descartes, in contrast, suggests that ideas are innate features of humanity and need only be appealed to by utilizing reason to come to an understanding. As the name implies, rationalists suggest that our knowledge is derived from reason – that being rational inquiry into the content of our innate ideas. They appeal to the composition of these ideas in order to claim the knowledge of certain principles. In order to do this, the notion of “substance” is created.

Substance, so say rationalists, is the material property of things which, when taken together can be deduced from a logic itself to constitute the Idea. It does not depend on our observation however; it depends on our ability of logical reasoning. A simple definition of rationalism is “the epistemological approach for which the derivation of knowledge is to be found a priori through reason and logical deduction alone; independent of observable phenomenon.

Rationalism once reigned supreme in continental Europe. Rene Descartes represents the first main post-classical push for rationalist thought. Writing in the early 17th century, Descartes suggests that although much of what we take to know is what is gained from our physical senses, observation alone is not enough to claim actual knowledge of Ideas. This is because all of the sensory information we receive can be doubted. Descartes proposes that perhaps our experience is a dream, or a delusion put forth by a powerful demon –to say nothing of the a priori understanding of Demons! In light of this fact, Descartes claimed only the basic claims which must hold truth even despite this delusion are those which we can have actual knowledge of because they are the basic principles of existence. These principles, so says Descartes, are derived directly from a benevolent deity through our immaterial soul, and the so there is dualism between the mind and the body; or soul and body, etc.

Gottfried Leibniz is another famous rationalist. Writing just after Descartes, and highly influenced by his writings, Leibniz disagreed with Descartes in a fundamental way. He rejected the dualism of Descartes and suggested that reality consists of countless monads. These are the simplistic individual “substances” that give us what we utilize to constitute “reality”. This reality can only come to us in response to what he calls a “pre-established harmony of the monads.” This harmony is a truth we can deduce from the way reality behaves and how we relate to it. What establishes the validity of this claim is our innate knowledge of the pre-established harmony of the monads and that we can know about this harmony via our rational ability.

Empiricism

Empiricism is the antithesis of Rationalism. Simply put, empiricism is a theory in which the derivation of knowledge is fundamentally the opposite of rationalism. For empiricists the notion of a priori deductive knowledge is vague, unclear, impossible, or unintelligible. As the name implies, empiricists argue that the derivative of knowledge must be found in experience or a posteriori. Generally this is open to a wide variety of inquiries into how one derives their knowledge from experience. For John Locke it was sensation and reflection. Basically, we have a sensory experience and have simple ideas in response to these basic interactions and create complex ideas through our ability to reflect upon the entirety of a certain experience. For Berkeley, the way things appear to us says nothing about how they actually are, which means the content of our ideas are merely not of the thing itself but of our perception of things.

Berkeley claims that we cannot know anything about how the world really is, because our knowledge is derived from our perceptive experience not necessarily from things that actually exist. David Hume also contributed greatly to empiricism. For Hume, our ideas come from sensations (Hume called them impressions) but the ideas are fainter, less vibrant forms of the original impression. In any case, those who argue this point have a strong tie to scientific inquiry, as science is in the business of making inductive “proofs” based on the continuity of our experience (however Hume raised an important problem with induction).

Britain was, and in many ways still is, the home to modern empiricism. John Locke was the first and arguably most influential of the empiricists suggesting that that the human mind is a tabula rasa, a “blank tablet.” This is where the sense impressions of our experience get written as our life goes on. It is the impressions we derive from our sensory abilities that constitute our knowledge. We derive all meaning and understanding through our experience of the world. There are two sources of our ideas: sensation and reflection. In both cases, Locke makes a distinction between simple and complex ideas. Complex ideas are those which combine simple ones and are divided into substances, modes and relations. The self is an example of a complex idea. The self is nothing more than a complex idea we have relating the history of our impressions and the ideas they become. However, Locke also asserts that this continuity suggests the existence of substances. Descartes claimed that knowledge of substances was innate where as substances of Locke are found in our ability to understand complex ideas. According to Locke, our knowledge of things is a perception of ideas that are in accordance or discordance with each other and that may provide a way to understand the rightness or wrongness of how we talk of them.

Berkley contends that given Locke’s claim, we could not say anything about how reality really is, only how it is perceived by us. If our ideas are gotten to by sensations, all we can know about is the sensations, not the cause of those sensations. Under his empiricism, the thing a person perceives is the only thing a person could know or experiences. If individuals need to speak at all of the “real” or “material” object, the latter in particular being a confused term that Berkeley sought to dispose of, it is this perceived object to which all such names should exclusively refer. It began the discussion in epistemology about the influence of languages on our thoughts about our perceptions. In concludes that the best argument for how we can agree or have a common experience of what we perceive to be physical objects can be found in the deduced cause of our perceptions and its continuity, which is God.

It has been said that the Hume represents empiricist thought taken to its logical conclusion. For Hume there is nothing we can claim any knowledge of except what we gain from experience. This experiential knowledge is gained through our sense organs. This data comes in the form of sensations. Hume calls these sensations impressions, these impressions are the immediate experience of sensation. These are encoded as ideas which are merely copies of the original experience which have a more lasting, yet less intense kind of experience. These impressions which become ideas are all that constitute our knowledge. It is the relation of these ideas to which we can claim more complex understandings. However, unlike Locke, Hume suggests no innate ideas or any claims to a nonmaterial or even material substance. We can not claim through some deductive, logical process any ideas. All we can do is to put together the impressions that remain as ideas together and find out what we can get out of it. Most of the ideas we have are gotten through by induction, taking the experiences of the past and suggesting that since it has happened consistently, understood through causal relations, in the past, then it will in the future. Hume does also ensure that we remember that this is not the kind of proof which Descartes and Locke could claim. Only an inductive principle whose basis is only thus far shown to be the case, there is no assurance that it will remain that way.

Alfred Jules Ayer, a twentieth century positivist philosopher commented on the debate between rationalism and empiricism in his book, Language, Truth and Logic. He suggests, in favor of the empiricists, that the notion of innate ideas is not justifiable and that the content of our verifiable experience is what gives us the ideas which we employ. However, Ayer also suggests that we can make deductive (what he calls analytical) hypotheses. These are like the a priori truths of rationalism but come from the linguistic availability of analytical thinking and some sort of confirmation. Metaphysics for Ayer was something to be done away with, as merely confused empirical word games. Instead he wished to see philosophy as the study of the meaning of our logical constructions. Ayer tries to summarize what he finds interesting in the dilemma. He suggests that we ought to allow the psychological theories (which suggests that our thinking selves are part of how we understand things through intuition) of rationalism. Yet, we are told that we ought to reject the a priori thesis of synthetic truths because our truths are either logical truths or empirical experience which all depends on our experience in the world.

Quine’s paper “Two Dogmas of Empiricism” attempts to dismiss Ayers claims of the meaning of words being reduced into constructions of sense contents. It was Quine’s goal to show that the ability to assure meaning reducing statements to sense-construction linguistic elements was that what would count as a reference incredibly obscure. He explored radical reductionism which is the theory that all statements can be reduced to words, sense datum or a compound of the two, which he found to be still quite ambiguous because the problem of what counts as the right compound still exists. He suggests that Carnap’s attempt in the project of solving this problem proved fruitless, even given Carnap’s ingenuity. He alludes to a solution to the problem later in his paper which is what I shall do.
It is my goal, using the approach of Wittgenstein, to show how the very talk of finding out anything about how the world really is and how we can know it is little more than trying to find the derivative of our language. This project is hopelessly devoid of substantial content as their meaning is unable to be clarified any kind of absolute way. To do this I will attempt to linguistically break down the important aspects of both theories in order to show how they could only have content if there was no variability of meaning. These will include the notion of ‘ideas’ as well as the notion of the derivation of knowledge. On the issue of ideas it seems hopeless to suggest what the content of our ideas are without first setting out a criteria for what counts as an idea. Think of a few questions; When can we claim to have an idea other than something else? What do ideas consist of? First, we seem to claim to have an idea when we can recall and use the words which constitute the content of what we are trying to communicate. It is not clear what the origin of this recollection is, specifically whether our recollection is a good representation of what it is we mean to recall. As it stands, what counts as an idea could be both variously understood and indeterminate in their accuracy and we have yet to find some way to clear up the problem.

The Problem

The construction of what we like to call ideas suffers the same ambiguous problem. The content of our ideas can seem to be one of only a few things. Descartes actually suggests that an idea just reduce back to another idea. These ideas are perhaps constructed semantically different or are much simpler but alas, where it is derived from could still be variously understood and indeterminate in regards to meaning and reference (like what sort of idea it relates back to). This issue did not worry Descartes. It was his thesis that in fact any simple idea we hold is in fact just a more abstract idea. These abstract ideas are innate in us, windows unto the mind of God. Therefore, all of our ideas, even simple ones like impressions and sensations, are only small parts of a more abstract, complex sort. However, we have access to this knowledge through our deductive rationality via God’s existence. It is the omnipotence of God which we have access through reason which opens to us the understanding of absolute truths. These include God’s existence (via the ontological proof), mathematics which is true of itself, and our own existence as a thinking substance. However, the problem remains. First and foremost, that which we can be certain of, first and foremost Gods existence, depends on other truths that justify the formers validity. However, if we are to suggest an unambiguous totality of certain truths, then we must be able to step outside them and be able to show it is the case. In this case, we cannot and what is being claimed to be a certain truth is nothing more than a shrewd word game which suggests something that it is not entitled to be posited; namely, the ability (for Descartes, God) to have knowledge of a system (here of ideas) from an outside, all knowing, all encompassing source which by its nature will provide you the right answer as to why it is so.

Our ideas could also be logical constructions of sense contents (which is the argument of Ayers), but this would suggest that the construction is accurate and/or is the most appropriate way of constituting them (which could be through correspondence with the world or appeal to commonality of human psychology). The problem here is intelligibility. The utility of ideas can only be found in their ability to be communicated, and to be valuable they would have to accurately construct the sense contents which are quite simplistic. Wittgenstein suggested that because we cannot be sure of what is being referenced, especially in this case where what is to be communicated as an idea which is nothing more than one kind of construction of sense contents rather than another, we can see that what would count as accurately referencing the same construction is at best unclear. There seems to be no way to determine what counts as accurate and what is not.

Paragraph 261 of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Philosophic Investigations presents this problem for users of language. In it he suggests that we need a justification for how the word is used in order to claim a correct understanding of that word. Without this justification we can in no way claim to understand what symbols, usually words, are meant to mean. Using the example of a sensation, symbolized with “S”, Wittgenstein suggests that when one utters or writes S which stands for a sensation it is not at all clear how this symbol is supposed to be understood. What we are looking for is a criterion of correctness. This first comes about in language. It comes about in words. The question is; what counts as a correct understanding, or meaning of a word? How do we know that the word person A is using actually reflects both for them and for me what the word –lets say W – actually is intended to mean?

Although human beings are relatively similar in their physical, genetic makeup, this similarity is not enough to give us clear cut evidence of mutual understanding. Perhaps we follow some rule that is not innate. But as Wittgenstein points out, any claim of understanding can be made to follow a rule. So the rule only provides us a one of many kinds of options to explain our claims of understanding. If we could come to one particular rule that would account for all the ways we claim understanding then we would have something, but we can use a wide variety of rules, or make any understanding fit into a rule in order to explain our claims. It is this continued variations, we cannot claim that a rule can account for our ability to claim understanding.

We are left with only one option. It is the fallback option that we can appeal to in order to get something. Wittgenstein gets here relying on pragmatism. Because we have yet to come to any solution on this issue we have another problem. Even with the problem of correct and incorrect understanding, we do seem to get along and do something with language. From this we have at least one thing to suggest. It is useful, we are able to, as Wittgenstein states, go forward. We can use language to communicate ideas, give and get instructions, and to use it to increase the overall complexities that we are privy to given our experience. In fact once we use language it is hard to divorce thought from it, or to envision a society with our kind of organization functioning without linguistic constructions.

Quine agrees. He suggests that it is the results of our uses of language to wield concepts that can allow us some insight into whether someone understands us. The same is true of scientific inquiry. We suggest something, and then must wait for tests in order to see the results. If the action accurately and adequately responds to the intention of the claim, then we have something to go on. Certainly this closes the door on purely analytic thinking, but it allows for the ambiguity of meaning to begin to be teased out. It also gives us an option for further inquiry into the possibility of proving our understanding and use of concepts via language.

It seems uncontroversial to claim that we use language; clearly we use it every day. In every human relationship the one thing shared, and must be according to Wittgenstein, is language. However, this problem is also a solution. If we are able to go forward, then we must have some form of correct understanding. This is simply pragmatically correct, not metaphysically or morally, but normatively. It is the right kind of understanding because we are able to use it to get something done. Therefore our ability to go on when communicating can be the standard of correctness. Does this satisfy what one would normally count for “correct?” Perhaps not, but certainly it is, given the small amount of complexities discussed already, at least it serves as something to ground our claims of correct understanding.

So the question, “What counts as right understanding?” is the kind that allows one to move forward. It is still possible to find various ways of understanding, and to make understandings compliant with some rule. We may use various rules to make our claim, or perhaps why we did one thing and not another in our various ways of understanding, but the only way to evaluate the claim of correct understanding is to act. It will be the action that results from one’s claim that they understood what was being communicated correctly or not. If the action does not reflect the intention of the original communicator and instead goes in another direction we can say, with some justification that the person did not understand.

There is a problem here. Perhaps it was not the understanding that was at fault, but the original utterance that does not actually reflect the intention of the speaker. An example of this would be a friend telling another friend to grab a piece of paper by asking, “Could you grab me that (while pointing) over there.” If the friend then grabs a stapler, he has in action, as far as that intentional statement was uttered, understood the stapler to be the referent of the word “that.” It was the original speaker’s unclear intentional statement which clouded the matter. The only solution to this ambiguity is to suggest a multi-layered kind of measure of correctness. The lower level of correctness is one in which the person understood the statement, but the statement itself was too vague to give a clear account as to what counts as attaining the desired result. This is represented by the example above. Much of what we see as misunderstanding is of this kind.

Perhaps this is the underlying beauty of innate absolute ideas. If we can derive our notions and ideas from more abstract, innate ones, then it cannot be unclear. However, in order to derive knowledge from innate ideas or intuition we would need to have initial knowledge as to the criteria of what counts as an idea. If one is to claim they have an idea, one must know what an “idea” refers to. Yet according to this notion we already have innate ideas in our mind and have personal access to them. The availability of derivation from innate ideas seems to be untenable. If we already have ideas built into us, and that knowledge of these ideas presupposes logical ability, wouldn’t we just have innate knowledge, at least of logic, as well? I am unclear as to the reason how we could derive what we already have that does not alter them conceptually. Even if they are something different, such as simple ideas, all that means it is a limited version of some innate idea. Why the need for immediate experience if knowledge, via abstract and absolute ideas, is innate in us. Even Descartes suggested that for the most part, many of what we take to be true is gotten to through experience and induction. So common experience tells us that empirical inquiry can be a source of our knowledge, yet because of uncertainty in experience we have to rely on absolutes whose derivative is self-contradictory?

For the empiricists I would also inquire as to what counts as an idea if it is either reflections, or impressions. If we are to induce knowledge from experience there must be a criterion of what counts and does not count as appropriate to the task at hand. However as far as I could tell, using Hume’s problem of induction as a base, the only thing that could counts is induction. The assumption of the future continuity in experience is unjustified and unwarranted. If this is the case, then the criterion of correctness in construction seems to lose its weight and be unable to be understood, as Quine suggested.

Hume’s problem of induction states that the process of inducing truths from the consistency in the past gives one no real confidence, other than belief that it will, that it will be that way in the next moment. All one has to go on is that things have happened a certain way in the past and that entails me to believe that it will do the same. There is no certainty in induction. A.J. Ayer thinks of the truths of induction have been made into the kind of hypothesis that science uses. A scientist suggests a hypothesis, which is essentially an inductive claim that needs to be verified in the testing of what is being tested. He seems to elude that these theories or hypothesis can come from intuition, which sounds like the intuition claims of innate ideas, however, they cannot be intuitively validated. That it is suggesting that although we have intuitions, they are at best, inductive intuitions that come from an engagement in the world.

Is my end goal merely to show that the notions used in both rationalist and empiricists are hopelessly unclear and able to be variously understood? Partially. I want to show that the vague, unclear notions of ideas and their derivative as well as knowledge itself are not effective in actually saying anything. What is being claimed by both here is unable to be justifiably claimed. They do not come from the mundane way in which we use what we could call ideas, nor does it make claims that can be understood and accepted. It is idle chatter, it is discussions of issues that seem to be ultimately too unclear to even really begin, although they seem interesting. Most of the disagreement in this debate is lingual. There is no definite way to pin down what counts as the meaning of most of the words used. As I have shown, the real culprit here is the word ‘idea’. Claims made about such variously understandable words which cannot, even for the sake of making an argument, be agreed on and therefore get us nowhere but a circle. The issue is not one of substance, but of what ultimately counts as intelligible language and genuine linguistic content. The rationalist/empiricists debate is devoid of both.

However, agreeing with Wittgenstein, I think we can get somewhere. There are a few ways in which this can be done. First, we have some sort of ultra-physical explanation of brain-states which find some sort of accordance with what people say so we could in fact have a map of what happens in our brains when we claim, to ourselves, to have an idea. This would give us an empiricist’s dream solution to the problem; we would have verifiable evidence available to answer the question of what it means to have an idea, or what ideas are. Ideas would then be a reference to the happenings of our brain in physical terms alone. As it stands thus far, this is not the case, the workings of the brain as a relation to what we take to know or the ideas we claim to have has yet to develop enough to get us here. I will leave this only as a potential opportunity.

The one thing we have left is pragmatism. We can understand that our use of language to communicate our concepts is almost always obscure and ambiguous. Even so, we do things. We use language and it has helped us to get things done. This in no way solves the problem, but we can accept the problem and attempt to do what we can with them. We do this without thinking about what the words actually mean, therefore perhaps dodging the meaningful question, and yet use them in ways that get done what we want done. This is the end result thus far of our use of language and it has had important developments in philosophy and science and culture. These developments surely are normatively worthwhile and we do, for the most part get along quite well using language. We certainly cannot deny the variably of the confusion when it comes to reference, yet we can use the language given its lack of clarity to get something done.

I have suggested a consequentialist sort of way to identify, as best we have available to us at present, when we correctly understand the things that one says. We do not know what they may actually mean or refer to until we do something with it, and then given its result we can conclude whether what we did was the same as the intent of the original statement. This, as many have suggested, is why philosophical issues are irresolvable. Philosophical arguments are the result of the ambiguity of the wielding of concepts mitigated through language. It is the misunderstandings, and intended lack of clarity in what is being proposed, which allow us to argue about what it is we mean and what the results of those concepts would mean for us. At least in the consequentialist point of view, it is not a problem with the actual meaning of the word as used, but the ability for action to get in line with the intentional aspect of the wielding of words. Words are used in two ways, to convey ideas and to get one to act, the former is unclear and fraught with disagreement when it comes to the reference or meaning of what is being said. In contrast the latter can be evaluated given the result of one’s response, which at least gives us something at which we can say that someone understood what someone had said using words to convey intention.

Conclusion

In discussing the issues at play in the rationalist and empiricist argument we have brought up many of the issues surrounding claims of knowledge and how we can derive our knowledge. The linguistic element of this argument cannot be ignored and in exploring the problems with language we have some sort of analogy between the ambiguity in using language to convey ideas and the ambiguity in understanding the derivative of our knowledge. As it has been argued with using language, the derivative of our knowledge is at best seen in our ability to apply our intentions, which come from experience, to engagement in the world. If this engagement works in the here and now and makes sense to us, then we are able to say at least how the world works for us and the knowledge we derived from that engagement. We act in the world, and this action gives us an insight into how the world works for us and towards us, we can know that it at least working for us and we can say something about it, and that thing that we say can have meaning to someone if they can take it and do what we intend. Just like if we posit something to be the case and it turns out to be the case. Certainly I am siding more with empiricists than the rationalist, but I believe both are hopeless in their attempts to prove any claims about the derivative of our knowledge or the certainty of our linguistic references.

On Democracy

So often in both philosophic and physical tenses the idea of the Utopia is or has been categorized as mere fantasy, so much so mostly because the term utopian in the real sense refers to something ideal but impossible. The notion of a utopian vision is seen nothing more than mere ramblings of idealistic or nonsensical pseudo-philosophers not really grounded in the real world, and instead thrust up to the clouds and into a realm to which, as it seems to most, is only useful to those who wish to spend their time there. Outside of certain texts[1] which attempt to exemplify the Idea or Utopia do so while also rejecting that Utopia is something either totally unattainable or as yet able to be attained or realized. However, this notion is the converse of the Idea itself. The Idea represents itself in Truth and Truth is found both in the physical and meta-physical realm, it is but the meta-physical elements in combination with empirically understood pieces of existence which coordinated these two ideas as united as one is Truth itself. It is this Idea, this Utopian “dream,” which is the highest form of human reason and is then the highest form of human ability, and is the conduit in which we may make the meta-physical, the physical.

It would be prudent to outline the link between the Truth to the human condition and human ability. In the simple sense, we are the offspring of Truth, and we are slaves to it in what it is and what it represents itself as. Truth is the fundamental essence of all existence, Truth is what is and what truth is not is what is not. Truth is just that, the truth objectively, outside our subjective empirical understandings of the existence and essence of existence. It is a common held notion that this Truth resides internally in the individual or embodied in the state, that we create the world or the interpretative “truths”, more precisely mere inferences, thereof, through experience or through the “truth” provided by the power entity or state. However, this flies in the face of both intuition and logic, both of which are products of the limited quantification of Truth that humans have achieved thus far. Truth then is not subjective, but objective and external. Gravity for instance is a piece of Truth as it has been proven logically; and as one can know absolutely, gravity is not subjective, its not up to our interpretations as the force of gravity; gravity is whether or not we experience it or not. We do not have the ability to change the nature of the universe; we can but come to it. We can also not create things, or openly interpret things as right or wrong in which are unarguably, or inexorably, right or wrong deduced by logic and found as part of Truth. As one can see, the objective Truth is the goal of all philosophy and all science as it aims to give the reality and nature of all things in existence. Truth is the answer to the almighty and great question; Why? However Truth is not a definition in itself and needs defining. From this we must understand that Truth is the fundamental nature of existence to which we are discovering, not interpretations of it.  It is this sense, this understanding of the fundamental nature of existence being Reason or Truth, that we can understand the vision of Truth and the reasons for knowing it. It is our ability, through the processive nature of quantified logic that we come to understand Truth. Essential elements embodied in this process are the very stepping stones at which we humans, as reasonable agents of Truth, can begin to understand the nature of reality. One can then see that through the logical process we can come to know what is, what is not, and what is wholly true and right, and what is wholly false and wrong.

This brings about a new principle, that which exists, as being founded upon Truth, if that which is able to be understood or proven by logic, has not simply the ability to be but what necessarily exists as the highest form of what is being sought and therefore what ought to be. Therefore, if we can envision something that works invariably in the logical process then it is, by definition, part of Truth and must exist in reality or ought to be created in reality. It is therefore possible to attain Utopian principles following that they can exist in the process; Logical Utopia ought to be instituted, as it is the highest form of human social organization. Humans have seemingly always retained this vision of Utopia, which can be quantified through logic yet has been fallaciously dismissed by nearly all philosophers and politicians alike as the unattainable, which is clearly false. Utopia’s logical nature forces us to retain a more fundamental understanding of Truth which is grounded in existence in direct relation to the arbitrary material elements of this world[2], hence it is a meta-physical/physical bridge found consistently in nature, and forces all who wish to understand it to understand this critical relation. In order to create the final epoch of human abilities we must first find and prove them a priori and then if they are not found in the world, as these are pieces of existence which are not of it by itself, but of it by necessity of the human condition, Reason, we are obligated by this, to create what we found a priori and make it a posteori truth or reality.

So that which can be understood in the logical process is possible, and from that, ought to be realized, it must then begin at the logical proof. This is the real goal of this essay, to both prove the logical nature of Pure Democratic (communist) “utopia” as the final epoch of human organizational ability and disprove the fallacies which surround its dismissal. The highest utopian vision has always represented itself in philosophy in the principles of Pure Democracy (communism). Pure Democracy as a logical system, not as purely as an ideal system of social organization, is a relatively easy concept to understand given basic truths about humanity and the essence of the human condition. It is the basic principle of Pure Democracy that sovereignty can neither be found purely in the individual nor purely in society. It is therefore the relation of the individual to society in which the sovereignty can be found. This seems a common, yet ambiguous statement, and quite rightfully so without certain understandings of the nature of the individual and the society.

To understand the reality of the human condition and what is commonly referred to as human nature, we must first ask ourselves what is common throughout all people of all history. What are things that they share? What are common themes? Given the benefit of the doubt, we have two common elements; the capacity to reason and the capacity to produce, to think critically and complexly and to produce that which we need to live, this seems intuitive if, as discussed above, we understand the humanity position as productive agents of Truth/Reason. We alone, as far as we know, have the ability to reason complexly and to continue to build on that knowledge through passing on, through complex thought, organized language, production techniques, and in language we were able to quantify certain things, again increasing our ability to reason and produce, but it was from the initial State of Reason and Production, the human condition, human nature, in which we are human. These two basic human abilities, Reason and production, metaphysics and physics,  are the nature of humanity as they are our only common facet, we are simply productive agents of Reason, and then are obligated to use our granted ability to employ logic to discover the Truth and implement that new-found truth in production. All other elements of humanity, what have been referred to as human nature, are nothing more than the relation of our physical experience and its interaction with our essence, which is nothing more than productive reason. Hence if we are denied this basic ability to reason productively, that institution or organization flies in the face of Reason and is therefore dehumanizing, and ought, guided by Truth, to be changed.

I feel that I must dispel here a common held and often argued human “instinct.” Many philosophers, politicians, and people in general have argued that we are merely through instincts, survivor creatures and that this creates our “rational self-interested nature.” This survival “instinct” is not indeed instinctual given the fact that we are survivors as a species stems from our ability to reason productively. Reasonable beings can realize the fact that they are finite, that one day they will no longer exist; therefore out of fear of the unknown we will do anything, even be taken from our own better judgment, even while realizing that it is against our better judgment, to escape death. Reasonable agents can and have separated themselves from what they are through persuasion or coercion of both what they are and the consequences of that fact. We have created things that do not exist in order to escape the Truth, in order to deny our own humanity for the end of safety, or complacency or the like. Also it is interesting to point out that we – Agents of Reason – through more complex logic and reasoning, have been able to wholly deny this self-interested “instinct” which, according to the definition of instinct, is impossible.[3]

From the very essence of mankind, Reason, we find also the nature of all things. That the world around us and all of existence in general, along with all that we can experience, is here only in relation and as the offspring of the Truth. The very essential pieces of existence; physics and meta-physics or science and philosophy, is nothing more than the movement or progression towards understanding the universe in its very basic sense. We attempt to quantify the Truth through science, and explain it through philosophy and each achievement in science or philosophy is nothing more than a step closer to the ultimate quantification of all things, Truth.

It is from the understanding of the essence of both humanity and existence itself that we can begin to assemble the things that are not at of themselves merely physical elements of our lives, but the meta-physical, the philosophical that become physical bodies. These include, but are not limited to, political organization, law, order, and public/private institutions of all kinds.

It is from this original condition, the Truth of both humanity and existence to which one can argue that what we can prove logically we can, and ought to employ and bring into being. It is this that allows the supposed unrealistic Utopian vision of Pure Democracy to actually be realized physically.  I must first though, quantify the idea of Pure Democracy. Democracy as its finds its derivative in language is the combination of the Greek words, Demos (the people) and Kratos (authority, rule). So basically, the power of authority rests in the people both as individuals and as a social group, or society. One must realize though, if power or sovereignty rests in the individual, than it must also rest in the aggregate of people, or the political entity which embodies the individual socially. Therefore, understanding its meaning, Pure Democracy is the ability for humanity to self govern both personally and interpersonally, to create in themselves the sovereign nature of their being and the nature of their society simultaneously.

The structure of a Pure Democratic society is not something that can be or would be written in a constitution or like document; it is not a contract, it is not the law that is presented to people, rather it is the law of Reason socially applied. Pure Democracies, given certain physical elements outside our selves (location, size, composition, resources ect) will dictate the structure of the particular society in which we find ourselves. It shall be the obligation under Reason for the people of a given society to organize them selves based on the Foundation of Reason and create a society based on the participation of all people, as we all are at our core, agents of Reason. Certain policies and “laws” (more precisely codes of action, dictated not by any sort of arbitrary authority of but from Truth) shall be come to through logical grounds and based on the participation of all people, as all are equal in Reason.

It is an interesting endeavor investigating early human organizations, which are the common representation of Pure Democracies. These groups, the aggregate of people do actually get together, and have worked. In early America, groups of Iroquois would have town meetings to which every member was to attend, and all always did. Another example can be found in the bushmen of sub-Saharan Africa. These groups of hunter gatherers represent the ability for groups of people, seen as equals, can come together and come to certain truth which guide the action of individual and society alike. Yet another, more recent representation of complex Pure Democratic systems can be seen in the Paris Commune during the French Revolution. This commune was set up so that the workers of certain factories and stores ran there business guided by the understanding of the self-governing nature of both individual and society and set up councils of workers which came together democratically to decide what needed to be done. The Commune in Paris worked as long as it was able to survive. All people in the Commune were both part of the system as equals and were able to be fed and provided for. In April and May of 1871 this representation of the virtues and functionability of Pure Democracy was destroyed by those who feared the community it created, who feared the Truth, the governmental forces of The Versailles Army. One may see these organizations being based solely on some sort of obligation to the tribe or group. And that is true, but since this form of organization is one that recognizes our nature as sovereign beings guided by Truth, we do not necessarily choose to participate, but we do of our nature as agents of reason.

The fact that Pure Democracies have existed but have for some reason or another have failed where the majority of elitists, representationalists, authoritarians and monarchists find there logical hindrance. How can people, as incompetent as they have shown to be, come together in this way? And how could it be possible given the complexities of modern civilization and social organization to do away with government as it stands? They simply say that it can not, that it is logically impossible given the self-interested nature of the human condition, to which I have already dispelled. In this they argue we must then, give up our humanity to a complex, inhumane organization known as the state.  However, this argument against Pure Democracy denies humanity its very essence, as has been shown. If humanity is at its basis, agents of Reason, we can see that they have in their nature the ability to self-govern. I can say this with certainty as governing is simply the application of Reason in accordance with the nature of existence, Truth, which manifests itself in nature. Governing is simply using Reason, through critical thought or logic, to make decisions about life, the chief goal of which ought to be to remain human, or agents of Reason. Sovereignty of the self is the foundation for the continuation and purification of Reason; we must first be in control of our own self-consciousness in order to apply Reason to nature, which is consciousness in general.

What is the basis then for these arguments against Pure Democracy? It is simply the fact that we have in our organizations outside Pure Democracy, left our Reason-based existence and put it in the hands of an organization that has thwarted our Reasonable nature in the name of civilization, security, progress or the like. However, as it is the very subjection of our nature that we have allowed the prospects for human flourishing, the full ability for us to reason on every level in every sense, to be taken from us and disenchanted our ability and obligation to realize the democratic essence of our own reasonable consciousness.

One can see the subjection of Reason in government by simple observation. By government I must point out that I mean in particular, political economy, the interworkings of both politics and economics in attempting to determine the arbitrary and destructive facets of our modern existence. For all intents and purposes these governments and government in general does nothing but create arbitrary aspects of a non-true existence to which we find ourselves at birth. We are then, under subjection of political economy at our birth, obligated to continue to play the game as a matter of continuing our lives until our death. This is pure exploitation of our nature for grounds based on a denial of our humanity as a whole. Only in Pure Democracy, the lone style of social organization that allows us the freedom to employ our nature can we truly be human, and use reason as an avenue to Truth and to a full human life which is the highest good and the goal of both living and reason itself.

There is a certain urge for me to leave this argument as it stands and allow one who accepts the Truth to understand the logical and reasonable aspects of this case. However, the urge I also feel is to outline how in which we ought to go about realizing this ideal, this Utopian vision. Understanding the philosophic nature of the goal is one of paramount importance, however getting there is also of nearly equally great importance. It then follows that I ought, guided by Reason, to outline the technique at which we can realize this dream. It has often been argued that the present state of things is one at which reorganization of society is impossible if not ridiculously difficult. I challenge this claim in the name of Truth. The old Christian mantra “The Truth shall set you free” is true of its very nature. So if we realize the nature of Truth we then understand that all that stands in its way is destructible, as it was constructed not of this world itself but of the meta-physical elements of our fallacious reason made “real” through the subjection of Reason. It is therefore the route at which we can get to Utopia, destruction and reorganization.

The only real avenue to the destructive facets of our current existence is revolution. This concept is wildly misunderstood and must then be coordinately redefined as not the enemy of the people or the common good, but the bringer of Truth in the form of destruction and reorganization. One must first understand that you can not destroy a system while at the same time participating in it. It is therefore of no use to aid the further alienation of man from reason and of that themselves. The revolution, or Truth in general, can not come out of the current system, it can not come from within or even slowly or entirely peacefully. This revolution must take place outside political economy. It is obvious to the observer and the one who understands Truth that there are those that are so alienated from themselves that they can recognize the Truth of the matter and yet continue there alienated existence. These are the people who can not envision the freedom of humanity in Pure Democracy. One can see these people in the structure of that which alienates us from Truth. Namely these things are the State, the Economy, and the Church. I hesitate to criticize certain beneficial elements of all three of these entities, however, in their whole they have allowed humanity to remain fragmented and outside of understanding Truth, it has enslaved humanity as agents of their goals, not of Truth.

Firstly the state, as has been shown is the giver of arbitrary laws and guidelines based on the participation or leadership of a few, whether they be representatives, nobles, or leaders of any kind in government. The law given by a state is capricious law imposed on people forced by obedience, not law dictated through Reason by the people as agents of. This fundamental difference is the focal point of the disparaging aspect of the state in relation to the individual. The state, regardless of composition is the Dictatorship of one sort or another. In history we have been witness to this phenomenon. In Roma for example, it was the Dictatorship of the Noblemen (the Senate) which then turned into the Dictatorship of the Caesar. We can see in the rise of Muslim Arabia the Dictatorship of the Caliph and Allah in general, something Muslims of that time and still currently have no problem with, a clear and true representation of the alienation from Reason. In Medieval Europe we find the Dictatorship of the Christian (Catholic) Church, Dictatorship of the Pope and the Dictatorship of the Feudal Lord. In China of the same period, we find the Dictatorship of the Dynastic Emperor. As Europe liberalized and sought to escape the tyranny of the Church, Pope and Feudal Lords and the recent Dictatorship of the Monarch, it came to them the vision of Pure Democracy as witnessed in the seldom found non-dictatorial societies in history. It was at this time where Reason allowed some to envision what Truth demands, but the imposition from above and original position of being born into the system allowed those virtuous ideas to be partially subverted and molded into the much easier but still arbitrary, state of the liberal “democracy.” With the rise of capitalist economics this step in the right democratic direction was then turned into the Dictatorship of the Bourgeois. It was only the leaders of industry or economics, itself a dehumanizing and self-alienated system, who then dictated the laws of which the people must obey. This dictatorship however, considered the economy the highest good and thus allowed the subjection of Reason in the name of progress economically, and in it the flaw and the perversion of the ideal that was come to previously. At the present time we still find ourselves subject to the Dictatorship of the Bourgeois. It is time, under the wings of Reason, to destroy the political entity of the Dictatorship of the Bourgeois for no dictatorship of men, but the Dictatorship of Reason, the dictator of existence itself. As has been shown, the Dictatorship of Reason in society is Pure Democracy and the only way in which humanity can be free to exists as we really are.

Economics has, since the capitalist revolution and subsequent evolution, since its origins in the Renaissance period in Europe, continued to this day as the culprit that allowed for the perversion of the Ideal sought after during the Dictatorship of the Monarchy. It is then important to outline[4] how this happened and why in order to understand the need for its destruction through the revolution so suggested.  The function of capitalist economics is the progress of private property through means of profit based production. The means of production are focused in the hands of a few which, to nearly any end, is based on profit maximization, even if it comes at the hand of human suffering.[5] This system was justified in its infancy, and throughout its existence, by the idea of progress and “a better life for all.” It is argued that profit maximization and private property incentives allow for human beings, given their self interested nature – something I have already proven does not exist above the nature of Reason – to be the best way to entice people to be the most they can be, and to be happy. However, it is this very basis the subjection of our Reason. Private property is material; it is something that has no real worth outside of our arbitrary economic and political, and from that, social standards. These standards have been defined not by us but for us by the Dictatorship of the Bourgeois. It is the ingeniously subversive element of Bourgeois Dictatorship less ubiquitous in most other dictatorships. It allows itself to create its own justification; we justify economic dehumanization in the name of “progress” and use the dehumanized “progress” of private property to justify the economic dehumanization for which we began. This cyclical nature of the state of things is the hurdle to which so few have crossed. Even Marx, the brilliant economist philosopher, whos ideas have strongly influenced me was, unable to understand the Truth outside the materialist concept of his theory. Marx’s theory is based on economics, where as has been proven, economics merely creates or justifies dictatorships, Marx’s Dictatorship of the Proletariat, although a much better dictatorship then has yet been seen is still a dictatorship guided by economics, not the higher good, Truth.

Religion is a much more contentious aspect of my argument, and I realize my controversial position to the alienated reader. However, I must acknowledge the benefits of the ideas embodied in the two prominent religions of our day. Both Christians under the teachings of Jesus Christ, and Muslims under the Teachings of the Prophet Mohammed have at their core the lessons to which Reason dictates. Both Christ and Mohammed were forbears and teachers of the Truth, attempting as I argue, to change the world quite literally in revolution in both cases, in order to establish a more Truth based world to live in. I must point out the early church after the death of Christ was a Purely Democratic one, in a pure sense. Under the teachings of Christ they organized themselves in common, taking no possessions as there own and making decisions as individuals in one sense and as a community as well, doing both in the name of Christ (a teacher of Truth). Muslims also have a similar tradition.

It can be seen that these particularly outstanding achievements of both faiths was eventually destroyed by the outside. What was the cause of this destruction? The answer is simple, the state and the stratification of the both faiths. In the case of the Christians, the persecution under the Roman Empire forced the democratic principles to be subjected as was the case in all other attempts in Pure Democracy in the name of security and continuation. The ideals of Christ where further perverted by the Romanification of the Church and the establishment of the supercilious foundations of the Roman Catholic Church. Christianity has since been a force of gross misunderstanding of the Truth embodied in Christ and has, through fear and persecution, continued the ideals of the state while also used to justify, quite contrary to the teachings of Christ, actions taken in the name of the Church, in direct confrontation to the Truth.[6]

Islam has a similar history. Most of the teachings in the Holy Qur’an, those of the prophets from both Judaism and Christendom, embody a sense of Truth represented in the transcendent God, or Allah. However, much of the Qur’an tells of proper conduct on a wide variety of issues. Proper treatment of political and military prisoners, women, the family, other religions are just a few examples. However, the Islamic faith, as with the Christian’s, was thwarted, its teachings distorted by the Dictatorship of the Caliphate. This leaders, both religious and secular, as the prophet Muhammad had been, quickly reverted to being little more than authoritarian leaders of the Islamic empire, focused on territorial expansion, spreading the faith in order to retain order, and after only a century or so began to persecute other faiths, in direct contradiction to the teachings of the Qur’an, and in that from Allah (Truth) himself. It was this secularization and stratification of the faith that, as was the case of all other religions, lead to its disillusion from its essence.

The downfall of religion in general is characteristic and representational of the general trend of history thus far. It is the structural, hierarchical nature of our existences as of now that allows for the subjection of our essence as humans, and quickly allows us to deny that very impulse of being in the name of some external idea that is of itself only a representation of the perversion already discussed. Reason is the highest good, because in it we find all other things we know, could know or have the ability to ever find. It is structure, rigid organization and dehumanizing products of our reason-alienation that has kept and does keep humanity captive and at bay from experiencing the Truth embodied in our very being as agents of Reason.

One can only imagine how the world may be outside the state of things as of now. We would be able to see things not as they seem through the state, but as the state of being in which the really are. All things of the world would be fundamentally different; the Dictatorship of Reason allows all to experience as it really is, not in the arbitrary framework of civilization, political economy, or religion. We, as agents of Reason, have an obligation to that Reason to throw of the shackles of self-estrangement and to become what it is we really are. This is the natural course of Reason, embodied in nature which has such been taken from us by the structure of society in the name of safety, organization, or culture.

Reason is not a simple thing to understand, especially given the functions of the entities of self-alienation that thrive on our inability to understand Truth. Can you imagine how economics could function when we all realize that private property is not something of nature but an arbitrary justification of our own initial perversion in organization? It could and certainly would not function, to the benefit of humanity as a whole. However, an even more pressing question is how exactly does Reason best be given to those separated from it. I have pondered this question as a matter of urgency and great importance. As of late there are two competing views, I simply stated above, one of which is absent of Reason and relies on our self-estrangement as an avenue out of it, of which I could never understand, while the other suggests that we must first get outside the entities of isolation and reorganize society on the basis of Reason, and in that the humanizing essentials thereof. This, this revolution, is the only means at which we can be guided by Reason to be ourselves in it. It is the revolution of the totalitarian regime, in its most human representation as the final stage of human development, the Dictatorship of Reason; the representation of which is Pure Democracy.

Education is paramount to this inevitable rebellion against the exploitation of our Reason by “civil society.” We must first as this essay began, to define to the masses the Truth, and the mechanism at which we can begin to come to it. We must first then teach the process, logic to our children, to our adolescents, and most importantly to the adults of this world as they are by far the most displaced of the populous. It is this first step where the inevitability of acceptance will be the beginnings of the Revolution. The next step then is to have a committee, on organization, a party that would embody the Pure Democratic image to which Reason guides us. This would be a true Democratic Party, which is nothing like the defiled  United States party of the same title who’s aims are in nearly no sense Democratic. This party must be made of those who understand and have come to understand the truth, and in that must also be a non-hierarchical group designated in its own framework to be the democratic ideal to which it aims. It ought to be composed of all those who understand regardless of any sort of arbitrary senses,[7] who wish to bring about this revolution as we have spent enough time in isolation to Reason long enough.

It is not critical or even necessary for this group or party to be a majority, or even large. It is not numerical numbers that matter in Truth, it is the Truth itself embodied in the ideal to which this group is dedicated. It does follow though that these people be engaged in, and committed to, destroying that which takes us from Reason. To the estranged person, this is a direct threat on their way of life, what they see they are. This is understandable in the framework of their disillusion, however as this party will be founded on, human beings are agents of Reason, not simple owners of possessions. The party then must destroy the hierarchy of life, which is the current class organization. This can only be done, through the elimination of the private property essence of our estranged existence as such. It must be that we separate ourselves, not only from ourselves or each other, but from that which has kept us from doing so; the rat race of post-modern life; to acquire more things, more trinkets, more unnecessary possessions and in which we find ourselves falling deeper into the rabbit whole of Irrationality, the state of being apart from Reason. It is then the elimination of private property which can allow us to focus on the real essence of humanity instead of being committed to the frivolous, constructed essence.

With the destruction of private property, this Democratic Party must also be dedicated to the deconstruction, or mere destruction of the political-economic framework of the current state, and in that the destruction of the state as a whole. This again may seem like a direct threat to those who feel dependent on those systems in order to structure their life. However, as is the common theme, this is only in relation to their state of being, the state of irrationality to which they currently reside. Governmental structures that are not based on Reason and in that the functionality of all persons being directly involved, or Pure Democracy, is an enemy to Reason and ought, in the name of Reason alone, to be dismantled and reorganized on the principles of Pure Democracy, or Reason.

The method at which this takes place is one of intense debate. Destruction in a sense implies harm, either physical or mental, and this may be. However, in the sense that Democrats[8] aim to destroy that which allows Reason to be held back is more that justifiable, it is wrong to do nothing, not to act even if something or someone may be harmed, as Reason is the goal of all things reasonable. Therefore, the destruction of that and those which enslave humanity ought to be seen as a saving grace, as the way to Truth and the way to becoming truly human again. It is only from the ruin of estrangement that we can find the recourse of Truth, and in that we ought, through Truth, to begin this revolution.

It has been my goal in this essay to provide Philosophic, historical, and instrumental pieces of the puzzle of Truth in relation to the state of things organizationally. I sought to employ logic and reason to quantify and describe Truth and Reason. In Reason, I sought to find the nature of humanity, as itself, and in humanity we find our ability to construct the Truth as purely as we can. It has been shown in this essays as a matter of effort in repetition to ingrain the fact that Pure Democracy is this Ideal, this Utopian dream that through Truth can and must be realized. I also wished to destruct the argument against the Truth argument in representing the history of the separation of humanity from itself. The three structures of estrangement the state, political-economy, and religion are the epicenter at which first understanding must come and where the Democratic revolution must also begin. I have then aimed to outline, and a pure outline is all I sought, the way in which the Revolution of Truth must be. I did not aim to write a platform, or organizational manual for this party, my goal was to allow the reader the structure of this revolution to quell any misunderstandings of zealous destruction merely for its own sake ideas one may have, preconceived, of revolutionary political theory. This revolution is not destruction for destructions sake, it is not destruction for the sake of a few, it is destruction for the sake of Truth, and in that for the sake of humanity as they are in Truth, not as they are in isolation of it. This essay is to be the beginnings of understanding the nature of revolutionary politics particularly aimed at destroying the dehumanizing elements of existence as such. To that end I feel my work has been satisfied and await the inevitable revolution of Truth and await the coming of Pure Democracy with arms raised.


[1] See Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit/Mind, Philosophy of Right

[2] Material elements – Capital, Private Property, Political Economy, Religion, ect.

[3] E.g. Suicide, self sacrifice, martyrdom

[4] I Stress outline, as I believe this subject is large and complex enough that another essay or study could better fully quantify the complexity of the situation.

[5] The Slavery of the Period of Capitalist expansion is characteristic of this notion.

[6] E.g. The Crusades, The Templar, and Witch Hunts and Persecution, The Church’s Position on Nazi Germany

[7] Race, Gender, Sexual Preference, ect

[8] To clarify, I mean the Pure Democrats or the party to which I have been referring to.