By Agonas – Dec 13, 2023
Critics often blame socialism for failures, overlooking the inherent contradiction in attempting to build a socialist society within a capitalist framework. While capitalism champions the notion of free markets and individual agency the reality for most is that participation in this system is not truly optional. Individuals must work to sustain themselves and their families this necessity to participate in the economic system creates a paradox – the appearance of choice within a system that is driven by profit and perpetuates inequality.
The challenges for nations attempting socialist reconstruction are compounded by the interference of American imperialism. Historical data reveals the United States has actively intervened to topple governments and destabilize nations perceived as challenging the capitalist status quo. According to documented instances, the U.S. attempted to change other countries’ governments a staggering 72 times during the Cold War alone.
Since the 19th century, the United States government has played a role, both overtly and covertly, in the replacement of numerous foreign governments on almost every continent. In the latter half of the 19th century, actions for regime change were initiated primarily in Latin America and the southwest Pacific, including significant events such as the Spanish–American and Philippine–American wars.
As capitalism evolves, its contradictions become more pronounced, often leading to what can be described as absurdity. This absurdity arises from the paradox that, capitalism brings progress and prosperity, only through the use of exploitation and inequality.
A select few amass significant resources, while a substantial portion of the population struggles to meet basic needs, highlighting the uneven distribution of resources and opportunities within the same system. The inherent human inclination toward meaningful work stems from a desire to contribute to society. However, the significance of work diminishes when individuals experience exploitation within a system where the reciprocity between their efforts and the rewards received is unjust leaving individuals feeling what Karl Marx described as alienation.
Chairman Mao Zedong’s “On Contradiction” from 1937 explains the dialectical method of analysis within the Chinese Communist Party, focusing on two world outlooks: metaphysical and dialectical. The metaphysical view sees the world as static, with external factors as the primary cause of change, while the dialectical view focuses on internal contradictions as the driving force for change. He highlighted the importance of recognizing the principal contradiction in any situation and discussed how opposites can become identical under certain conditions. He emphasized the need to alter systems to provide better choices for individuals rather than focusing on changing people directly.
Late-stage neoliberal capitalism champions individualism, making us feel personally accountable for the entirety of society rather than encouraging collective efforts. This narrative intentionally disregards the potential strength of working together and reinforces that societal progress depends primarily on individual actions rather than addressing the structural underlying hierarchy. Growing up in a culture that emphasizes individual struggle, competition, and the pursuit of the capitalist dream plays a role in the development of narcissistic traits.
A fundamental aspect of Marxist theory is the belief that, over time, the need for a state apparatus to enforce class distinctions and protect private property would diminish. As social and economic inequalities are reduced and class distinctions blur, the state is expected to become unnecessary and eventually “wither away.”
Under the dictatorship of the proletariat, there is an emphasis on collective ownership of the means of production, with the working class controlling and managing industries and resources. This concept is distinct from the state owning or centrally planning all businesses, as it envisions economic decision-making being distributed among various worker-owned and worker-managed enterprises. The focus is on worker self-management within a decentralized economic system, while the state plays a role in facilitating and protecting this collective ownership.
A colonized nation under capitalism cannot be restored as long as a white supremacist structure dominates or influences the cultural norms.
A Greek Canadian author, graphic designer, and advocate for decolonial education, they collaborate with The Rise Up Initiative, an Indigenous-led decolonial education program committed to critical thinking, particularly within the framework of Marxism and postcolonial theory.
Self-published author and illustrator of "Community," children's literature addressing class struggle. Contributions to MR Online and Orinoco Tribune, actively promoting social change and equity.
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