For months, you have heard, on the part of the baizuo (Chinese term referring to politically correct Western leftists) ‘Marxist-Leninists’ that ‘patriotic socialism’ is a form of chauvinism comparable to the social chauvinism of the Social Democrats who voted for war credits.
Each of these online hucksters took turns LARPing Lenin’s indignant and fiery polemicizing against Kautsky and other western social democrats - only directed at ‘patriotic socialists’ such as myself, Caleb Maupin, Jackson Hinkle, Peter Coffin, and others. They accused us of neglecting - among other things - the national question, the chief significance of imperialism for revolutionary strategy as outlined by Lenin, the difference between the ‘nationalism’ of oppressed nations and the ‘nationalism’ of oppressor nations, etc.
These are all fine phrases and claims. But there is only one way to distinguish an authentic diamond from a fraudulent piece of plastic - and that is pressure. Diamonds are made under pressure, its imitators are destroyed by it. Pressure is what Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of special military operations in Ukraine - and the subsequent fiery storm of panic that erupted on both mainstream and social media - graced our so-called ‘true Marxist-Leninist’ opponents the burden of proving themselves worthy of withstanding.
The pure contingency of a real world-historical event unfolding before our eyes - that has not yet been consolidated by a discourse, ideology, or narrative - exposes ones true position behind all the phrase-mongering and virtue-signaling. Scratch a ‘Marxist-Leninist’ and you find a liberal. And boy, did Putin’s announcement have claws! Suddenly the posturing of these baizuo ‘MLs’ collapses. We go from a supposedly refined analysis of the relationship between imperialism and the class struggle, to the most rank ultra-left (which is, most inevitably, itself a right-deviation) opportunistic phrase-mongering about the ‘universality of class struggle’ amidst ‘inter-imperialist war.’
Recent events were a test that separates the frauds from the real-deal. So how did the popular ‘Marxist-Leninist’ influencers fare? Let’s check on Hakim:
‘Two capitalist nations are struggling with one another.’ Let us put aside the utter fucking stupidity of this description. The left has long went from recognizing capitalism as a mode of production, to a type of moral defect (namely, the phenomena of profiteering). Russia, whose nationalized oil industry is the lynchpin of its entire economy, is called ‘capitalist’ since it has not yet ‘abolished the commodity form’ or instituted ‘nation-wide’ CHAZ.
That is not to imply Russia is socialist in the sense strictly relevant to a proletarian dictatorship. But simply ‘capitalism’ is not a useful description. ‘Capitalist markets’ in the strict sense are mostly obsolete in the 21st century. This analysis does not betray any understanding of how Russia’s economy works, in what way it is caught in the web of definite global financial institutions, and all geopolitical, et. al implications. Traditional spontaneous, wild and chaotic capitalist production does not prevail in any part of the world.
Capitalism, or ‘capital,’ in the strictly modern sense of being used as a pathological description of the ‘true essence behind things’ is basically made-up hippie bullshit. ‘Why is all this bad shit happening? It’s capitalism, man, capitalism!’ But capitalism is superfluous. Capital is an epicycle of geopolitical metaphysics. If it is worshipped as a god by Western elites, it is probably worshipped directly, as Moloch or something else. Capital itself is not the essence, the ritual is. Capital determines nothing, since it has been reduced to a global geopolitical-institutional arrangement. An arrangement the forces of world anti-imperialism are blowing to smithereens as we speak.
Hakim tells us:
He is alluding to the notion that this is, in fact, an inter-imperialist war, and that the ‘duty of the working class of both countries’ is to oppose 'their respective governments. And only with a little bit of pressure, the ‘Leninist’ part of ‘Marxist-Leninism’ undergoes total surgical mutilation, with flawless operational success. That ultra-left stupidity which neglects the national question, and neglects the significance of anti-imperialism disappears, and we arrive at the view that class struggle has no form, that there is no dialectic of forms, that the form and content of class struggle are one and the same.
Behold the alchemical transformation of proletarian class struggle:
One Earth. One class struggle. Nevermind all geopolitical, national, civilizational, et. al contradictions, nevermind contradictions that pertain to forms - there is only one contradiction, namely the class struggle, whose form and content always and directly coincide.
Let’s just call a spade a fucking spade: Hakim is engaging in a type of bold-faced opportunism. He is trying to say that there is some kind of equivalence between the position of Russia and the United States (and thus by extension NATO, and the Ukrainian government) in the 21st century. His position is a slap in the face of Russian Communists, whose position is not only decidedly behind the Russian government - it is the position of the Russian government, which the Communists already play an extremely significant role in! It only deviates from the government’s position insofar as it is even more radical.
Russian Communists have long called upon the Russian government to recognize the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. They themselves had drafted the resolution for the Russian government to recognize them. But instead of sober, respectful analysis of the situation, Hakim has decided to get whipped into a frenzy by the astro-turfed and psychologically-engineered atmosphere of panic and shock across social media. It reminds me (Haz) personally of how all the ‘principled leftists’ responded to the night of Donald Trump’s 2016 election. I never forget that night, and never will.
It was one of those moments that exposed how full of shit these people are. Sure, months or years later they coped themselves into some kind of ‘sober position.’ But on that night, their naked and ugly liberal selves were exposed in full view. It was an embarrassing orgy of ideological betrayal the ‘radical left’ all mutually agreed to pretend never happened since they were all victim to it. Not me. It never crossed my mind to join in that liberal hysteria. I remember what a fool these ‘radical leftists’ made of themselves on that night with pristine detail.
I guess Hakim’s opportunism, after being exposed for what it is pathologically, deserves to be dissected theoretically too. When ultra-leftists decide to stake out some relevance amidst any news-worthy event, what they basically do is critique the ideological construction of the subjects involved. They explain that the problem is how the media describes ‘Russians’ and ‘Ukrainians,’ when the true subject is ‘the working class.’
Who is the working class? What is this working class? What form does it take, what is its actual, substantive reality? Alas, it has none. It is a purely ideological subject - it refers to a social formation defined entirely by its commitment to affirming certain ideological precepts. They aren’t talking about any actual, material class of people within Russia or Ukraine. They are talking about ‘all those who decide to define themselves by my Utopic caricature of humanity, rather than the real thing.’ The real problem with Putin is that he doesn’t agree with my ideology.
The real problem with all subjects involved is that they are not exhibiting commitment to my ideological precepts. Defining the essence of a subject in terms of their willful conformity to something is called moralism. Western leftists (and Hakim is a western leftist, even if he does live in Iraq - which itself is questionable), ultra-leftists, these are all moralists.
No serious Marxist-Leninist could ever refer to a ‘working class’ as a geopolitical subject. This is a Trotskyist form of psychopathy that was thoroughly rejected by both Lenin and Stalin. Through decades of experience, it has been proven that the proletariat is an essence of the people as a whole; and that Communists are an orientation within a broader popular front, over which they seek to gain hegemony (rather than premise the terms of). The people, of course, are not global, but specific to a country. The universalism of class struggle is the universality of a shared essence, a shared content, but by no means does this shared essence imply a shared form. Even premodern civilizations could recognize a shared humanity across different forms. That doesn’t make these differences unimportant, or even inessential to the essence itself.
And further, the proletarian subject is not neatly defined within the ranks of the people (defined against establishments, monopoly capital, imperialism, etc.), - it is rather an aspect, an essence of the people given intelligibility by Communists. That is not to say it is created by Communists from scratch, it is an aspect of the whole people Communists alone can acquire definite scientific consciousness of.
Such is the dialectic view, held by Lenin and all Communists who followed in his footsteps. It is especially true for Mao, for whom the proletariat were not even geographically or sociologically distinguished from the broad people in any intelligible way at all, but rather existed strictly as a tendency within the peasant mass, a tendency wrought out during the cultural revolution.
Where does this leave Russian Communists in relation to Russian geopolitics?
Russia is presently governed by a type of popular front, which is united against American unipolar imperialism. ‘Imperialism’ here, does not simply refer to a ‘bigger bully.’ It refers to a definite system, of a definite web of definite financial institutions, NGO-complexes, trade-relations, currency-regimes, etc. whose socius (or society) is the global establishment, commonly referred to in populist vernacular as ‘the globalists’ or ‘the globalist elite.’ A combination of the rotten vestiges of the British Empire and the postwar American bretton-woods system have produced this ‘elite’ which stands, as a class, as the final culmination of imperialist monopoly capital.
To speak of a ‘Russian imperialism’ is pure philistinism. There is no real ‘system’ represented by the popular front of Russian sovereignty. The nationalization of Russia’s gas industry has already provided the foundation for an alternative path of economic development. But the truth is, an independent, sovereign Russian ‘system’ has not been established. Russia has, for a long time, remained trapped in a global institutional financial system whose centers are based in London and New York. That is only starting to change with the rise of China, and the emergence of a new, counter-hegemonic global economic system.
The more Russia fights for its sovereignty, the more it fights for its independence from global American imperialist monopoly capital, the more it is confronted with the question of adopting a new, Russian economic system. Here begin Russia’s competing politico-ideological orientations: From liberals to Communists to technologists, all possess competing visions of Russia’s new beginning. The Communists remain the most powerful counter-hegemonic and anti-imperialist movement within Russia, and they have benefitted from every blow to American imperialism, and every blow to Russia’s reliance on the US-led global financial system.
Putin’s recent speech, criticizing the policy of Bolsheviks and Soviet Communists, was made in the context of a very fast growing domestic Communist party (which has made great gains among the youth especially, setting to rest the long-held view that it was a party of nostalgic boomers). This has probably intimidated the Russian status quo as a whole. But Putin himself represents no particular interest. He represents no intelligible class, or even state of affairs per se. He is a Russian centrist, who represents the bare minimum of Russian sovereignty under the conditions notwithstanding. But circumstances of a radical break with the West, give way to a powerful vacuum, one that Communists are sure to possess a great role in filling with their alternative and illiberal views about economic development.
Russian Communists, thus, are critical of Putin because they perceive him as not being anti-Western enough, and as too conciliatory to the globalist elite. In their view he should have done what he is now doing in Ukraine much sooner, actually.
Hakim makes the mistake of assuming we live in some neatly-defined system where every power has finished business with its own destiny. Thus there is ‘American’ and ‘Russian’ imperialism, thus there is ‘American’ and ‘Russian’ capitalism. But there is no indigenous Russian capitalist system - the extent to which Russia is tied to capitalism, is the extent to which it is tied to globalist monopoly capital and more specifically global financial institutions. Russia, qua Russian sovereignty, that is to the extent that represents an alternate polarity, implies an uncertain future. Putin’s nationalization of the energy industry was the first step in establishing this new polarity.
So-called ‘Marxist-Leninists’ have not independently rediscovered the essence of the insights of Marx, Lenin, et. al - they are pseudo-intellectual LARPers who fantasize about re-creating the exact scenario in which Lenin arose to world-historical significance. The situation is analogous to the first world war, they tell us, because ‘big powers’ are involved. Such is the brilliance of baizuo ‘Marxism’! Nevermind that the first world war was fought by a common ruling class, tied to common international financial institutions, nevermind that no global system had consolidated itself, nevermind that no equivalence to definite polarities had arisen - when ‘big powers’ fight each other, this is supposedly analogous to the first world war!
Western ‘Marxist-Leninists’ allege that Russia, upon the fall of the Soviet Union, has returned to its pre-Communist past. Such is their ignorance of basic history. Soviet Communism has made irreversible contributions to the contemporary of Russian civilization, not only culturally, but as it concerns the material, infrastructural and economic foundation of life. The Russian national identity as such remains a continuation of the one rediscovered after the Great Patriotic War, which embraces the multi-ethnic civilization before Peter the Great’s westernizing reforms. Until that point, so-called ‘Russian nationalism’ was nothing more than a fantastic perspective of a long Germanized ruling elite, and was insufficiently distinct from pan-Slavism.
Even the tamest contemporary Russian conservatism, thus, takes the Soviet contribution to Russian civilization and national identity as its premise. Russian ethno-nationalism, meanwhile, is a pro-Western and liberal phenomena, which is firmly aligned against the current popular front government. In no way can it be said that Russia has returned to its ‘Tsarist past.’ During the days of the Romanov dynasty, Russia continually found itself indebted to foreign banks, and French banks in particular during the 20th century. It was not a sovereign state in the modern sense, it was a comprador state of the international bourgeoisie whose economic interests were enforced through the repressive state apparatus of the gangsterized Russian autocracy.
The circumstances Russia now finds itself in are entirely unique. Russia is no longer socialist in the Soviet sense, but neither has it returned to the pre-socialist past. It is not simply a ‘capitalist’ state, anymore than China is.
But is war not a very bad, terrible thing?
Hakim, like the rest of the baizuo ‘Marxist-Leninist’ frauds, has simply fallen for the astro-turfed propaganda on social and mainstream media. As if this writing, full-scale deployment of Russian troops has not occurred. Civilian infrastructure is barely, if even at all, targeted by Russian attacks. We are nowhere even close to anything like a total war, unless NATO decides to intervene. Is this, ladies and gentlemen, what sobered Marxist analysis looks like in the age of social media? Whip yourself up into a frenzy about the end of the world, and a ‘great war,’ without understanding anything?
We can’t be surprised, because the entire basis of Baizuo ‘Marxism-Leninism’ lies in this type of sensationalist tailism. Their commitment to wokeness, identity politics, and political correctness stems from the same psychologically-engineered astro-turfing operations, and institutionalized social engineering. The ‘whiff’ of progress, whose detractors are denounced as ‘reactionaries,’ amounts to little more than mass-media legitimation. If CNN is promoting a social agenda, it must be ‘progressive.’ If the mass media is saying something, it must be ‘progressive,’ and one need only add a ‘Marxist’ sounding spin to be ‘revolutionary.’
If all of reddit has reached a consensus, and have updooted posts to the top of the website, this means the direction of the tide of history has been revealed. This is how these retarded bird-brained ‘Marxist-Leninists’ think. They cannot go against the narrative. They cannot go against the discourse or the consensus. They risk being ostracized, or looking like insane conspiracy theories if they do. When has someone like Hakim ever took a stand against the mainstream consensus of twitter, reddit, or elsewhere? Never!
Let’s see what the next famous ‘Marxist-Leninist’ breadtuber, whom we have already exposed as a fraud, Luna Oi had to say about the events:
NO WAR BUT CLASS WAR.
And with that, we have taken a one-way trip from Hanoi, Vietnam to a Portland, Oregon anarchist squat. I’m sure her American anarchism husband had no part in booking that flight, that would be a very sexist and misogynistic assumption. So, Luna Oi, voicing her entirely independent and indigenous Vietnamese opinion, claims they ‘do not support any war’ and only support ‘class war.’
Luna, was it a class war, or a national war of liberation that the Viet-Minh waged against France and later America? The irony is hilarious. Here we have an influencer whose entire career has been selling their Vietnamese identity as a source of legitimation of their otherwise indistinguishably American leftist opinions, and yet they express no self-awareness about what has actually given Vietnam significance for Marxism-Leninism in the first place. The Vietnamese war against both South Vietnam and the American occupiers was far more than a ‘class war’ (if it even was at all), it was a popular war of democratic and national-liberation.
Which is precisely the type of war Russia is waging in Ukraine, not only within the context of liberating the peoples of the Donbass, but the Russian polarity itself on a global ,geopolitical scale. Some may scoff at this view, after all, Russia is much more powerful than Ukraine, and itself is the ‘aggressor.’ This isn’t even true, since Ukraine was the first to cast a stone against the newly recognized Donbass Republics. But even if it was:
When North Vietnam initially invaded the South, the South was more poorly equipped, and logistically weaker than the North. Did this mean North Vietnam waged a war of aggression against the South, because it was more powerful? No, because imperialism is not defined by differences in power, but geopolitical relationships to a definite international system of monopoly capital.
It’s sad that I, an American, have to explain the basics of Vietnamese history to illustrate how absurd the Trotskyite and anarchistic claims of Luna Oi, who is allegedly indigenous to Vietnam (but with recent findings on Hakim, who knows these days…) but here we are.
It’s hard to even believe I have to write this. This is just basic fucking shit. They want to invoke the Zimmerwald Left and Lenin, yet Lenin is known for having railed against those ‘socialists’ who refused to recognize any positional difference between different nations, between oppressor and oppressed, and remarked that:
This division is not significant from the angle of bourgeois pacifism or the philistine Utopia of peaceful competition among independent nations under capitalism, but it is most significant from the angle of the revolutionary struggle against imperialism.
Aren’t these the dogmatic ‘Marxist-Leninists’ whose only reading list extends to dogmatically reciting the classics? How is Hakim and Luna Oi’s opportunism not equivalent to the social-democratic posturing about ‘pacifism?’ Did Lenin not decry the ‘pacifists’ for refusing to understand that the revolutionary war is, indeed, not just confined to the class war, but also to national wars of liberation? This is all very basic, primary knowledge of Marxism-Leninism 101.
But suddenly, we all join hands, and say ‘no war but class war!’ Absolutely disgusting, rank opportunism.