On Practice in the American Empire and America's Denial of Class and Class Struggle
To understand practice in this context, some recommended reading: Mao's Essay On Practice
What is practice? If you play a sport, program computers, play video games, practice usually entails working on a particular skill or concept in order to become better at that game, sport or programming language.
Effective practice requires self-awareness, adaptability and the ability to self critique. This should be applied to everything, even how one carries oneself as I'm about to do right now.
A couple of days ago I posted an entry in anger that perhaps I should not have. I'll admit that perhaps I was overzealous in my position which was, perhaps, overstated. Flat-out wrong, even. I've had more than a few of these moments and it's something I'm not proud of.
So you might be thinking, "What the heck does this have to do with Class Struggle or the American Empire?"
Well, for starters, we have to admit that there are classes in the first place. Unfortunately, such talk is considered heresy 'round these parts, so it's rarely discussed unless you hear some political hack or pundit whine "This is class warfare!" when people advocate for even the most modest reforms that might benefit someone other than the owners of the company nation, the bourgeoisie. Warren Buffet took it a step further by saying "Yeah, there's a class war, and my class is winning." But beyond the cursory talking points, having a real conversation on this subject is impossible.
If you want to see other examples of terrible practice, take a look at the current iteration of the Democratic wing of the US Capitalist Party. In 2016, their primary rigging was exposed for all to see. They put everything on the scales for Hillary Clinton and still lost the Electoral College just like they did in 2000 and 2004 to a far-right demagogue who was her chosen opponent, though it was difficult to tell who was who because they were almost identical policy wise. Imperialist. Capitalist. Anti-choice (Hillary has always been against bodily autonomy for women and chose an anti-choice asshat as her running mate, Tim Kaine). Anti-labor, etc.
Yet, we're supposed to believe that because they allow people of color, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, women, etc. that they're somehow kinder and gentler than the other wing of the Capitalist Politboro. Putting a velvet glove over the iron fist of capital doesn't make it kinder or gentler any more than skin color, gender differences make up for the lack of diverse opinions. It also doesn't hide the fact that these people are being used to prop up an illegitimate system. You can be any of the things I mentioned above and still be capitalist and imperialist, because for every one of those groups, human rights don't extend beyond first world borders.
It's three years later and they're literally rigging the game again after they were exposed. They may be running a quite a few candidates to try to cover up the con, but it's blatant to those of us who have paid attention. Sure, they let a few "Democratic Socialists" or "Justice Democrats" into the fold with last year's midterms, but that's just another part of the grift.
These 'Socialists' continue to bend over backwards for the politboro (e.g. AOC referring to Nancy "We're capitalists and impeachment is off the table" Pelosi as 'Progressive', Bernie conceding to the DNC despite blatant cheating and going along with the New Cold War etc.) while offering alternatives that will mysteriously vanish once they have the power and the votes because they decided 'compromise' was better instead.
If I had posted this to, say, TOP, they'd probably accuse me of being a Republican just because I didn't criticize them. We know what to expect from Republicans because they have no problem being out front greedy narcissistic douchebags who want women and anyone who doesn't fit the bill of able-bodied white male douchebag out of all areas of public life. We know they want to carpet bomb the world and take whatever resources or labor that they can for pennies on the dollar under the pretext of 'liberating' said target from so-called 'socialist' dictatorship. The problem is that the Dems think virtually the same while trying to maintain the illusion of inclusion re: the big tent. Any talk of class struggle, economic or environmental issues is largely ignored because that would cut into the Capitalist Party's profits.
Americans also seem to have a piss poor understanding of Socialism and what it entails. Instead, we get bad faith arguments and wholly ignorant lies about Socialism from political and media hacks alike. I present to you exhibit A:
What Baldy McJackass here doesn't seem to understand is that regulation of and concessions by capitalists does not equal Socialism. The means of production are still private and capital still has a stranglehold on the government. It's because of bullshit like this that ignorant college kids can whine that California is socialist because the professor said it's impossible to do business there. Did it ever occur to them that the capitalists who hold the state by the balls don't want new competition moving in on any part of their racket? Nope. Because socialism, that's why.
This mentality extends everywhere in the Empire. Just change a few words around in the American lexicon and suddenly Socialism is an American tradition. History says otherwise, but fuck history. If the media or political hacks say it's true, you god damn better believe it.
The biggest problem with the US Empire as a whole, however, can be summed up with this video:
Our worst practice is that we as a nation, despite the progressively worse shit constantly thrown at us, continue to get on our knees and take it. And that's without mentioning the fact that we continue to argue over the wrong issues.
Need a few examples? Okay: Video game developers continue to monetize every aspect of the games they release to the point that they'll release nothing more than a title screen, but we still shell out anywhere between 60 and a hundred bucks and thank them for it even after critics point this shit out for all to see.
Politicians and capitalists lie us into imperialist action abroad and send our kids and grand kids to die to offset the falling rate of profit and, again, we thank them for it.
Education continues to become too expensive for most and even if anyone does get an education, especially in the 'useful' STEM fields, finding meaningful, gainful employment is still impossible because employers want certification, perfect credit, drivers' licenses and 10 years experience with a new program that's only been out for a couple of months. Many people also go into a mountain of debt for the privilege, and yet again, we thank them for it.
Things get progressively worse across the board, and we thank them for it. We don't challenge them. We don't fight them. We don't revolt. We thank them.
As long as capitalism remains unchallenged and our practices continue to enable them, we aren't going anywhere.