Monday, November 25, 2019

Decolonization Will Be Crucial For A Socialist Revolution In The United States

Any honest moral reading of the situation in the United States leads one to conclude that decolonization will be essential for creating a just society in the region. And American socialists in particular should recognize this fact as they work towards bringing about a revolution in their country.

They should recognize it because in all of the colonized places where socialist revolutions have happened, decolonization has been part of the revolutionary process. Korea didn’t have a socialist revolution until it was liberated from Japanese occupation. China had to go through the same anti-colonial liberation struggle before it could become socialist. 
Zimbabwe, which was called Rhodesia before its transition towards a communist African-led government, needed to become decolonized before it could become independent and socialist. The indigenous struggle has also naturally defined the socialist revolutions of Venezuela and Bolivia (and is now shaping the efforts from Bolivia’s proletariat to restore the socialist government that a U.S. coup effort recently stole from them).

As America’s process of class struggle continues and popular interest in socialism grows, we must make decolonization part of the goal that this burgeoning anti-capitalist movement desires. To act like the U.S. doesn’t need decolonization, to plan to create a “socialism with American characteristics” where socialism is built within a colonial structure, would be to erase the indigenous experience in the same way the capitalists have. If a region has been colonized, things will only be set right when it’s decolonized.

And the crucial part of supporting decolonization is to understand just what it would entail. Decolonization doesn’t merely mean changing symbols, or adopting a different mindset, or improving policies. It’s a transfer of sovereign authority over territory from a colonizing
power to the indigenous people of that territory. In the territory that’s currently called the United States, there are 562 Native tribes, and all of them must have their sovereignty returned to them.

Ideally this American decolonization process would result in these indigenous nations being as governmentally separate from each other as they were before they were invaded. And when Marxism’s goal for a “withering away of the state” is reached within the region, this will be able to happen. But in a world where these tribes will need to collectively fight off the capitalist colonialists, they’ll need to unite under a kind of indigenous confederacy-similar to the one that the Native resistor Tecumseh attempted to create in the middle of the continent after the U.S. was formed.

To finish and expand upon Tecumseh’s project for giving the indigenous people their autonomy, we’ll need to wage a militancy even greater than the one he led. This is why any nationwide decolonization project in America will need to interrelate with a proletarian revolution.

Under capitalism, the state functions as an instrument for enforcing both the hegemony of the bourgeoisie and the continuation of colonialism. In his work The State: an Instrument for the Exploitation of the Oppressed Class, Lenin observed that “In a democratic republic, Engels continues, ‘wealth exercises its power indirectly, but all the more surely’, first, by means of the ‘direct corruption of officials’ (America); secondly, by means of an ‘alliance of the government and the Stock Exchange’ (France and America). At present, imperialism and the domination of the banks have ‘developed’ into an exceptional art both these methods of upholding and giving effect to the omnipotence of wealth in democratic republics of all description.”

The American capitalists, after building their power structure on colonialism, have stayed in power for so long because bourgeois democracy is a very stable model for capitalism to function in. “Another reason why the omnipotence of ‘wealth’ is more certain in a democratic republic is that it does not depend on defects in the political machinery or on the faulty political shell of capitalism,” Lenin continued. “A democratic republic is the best possible political shell for capitalism, and, therefore, once capital has gained possession of this very best shell (through the Palchinskys, Chernovs, Tseretelis and Co.), it establishes its power so securely, so firmly, that no change of persons, institutions or parties in the bourgeois-democratic republic can shake it.”

This means we will never achieve decolonization, much less socialism, if we try to do it through electoral politics. The U.S. government, like all capitalist governments, will exist as a tool of the bourgeoisie until it’s overthrown and replaced with a socialist workers’ state. This has become extremely obvious as the U.S. has descended into fascism; this February, America’s Nazi-sympathizing, authoritarian president Donald Trump declared that “America will never be a socialist country.” The month after, he suggested that he’s going to mobilize his armed supporters if he ever finds it necessary to do so. These kinds of remarks reveal the end goal of the police militarization and crackdowns on liberties that America has long been undergoing. 

“To help keep you safe, I've made $600 million-worth of surplus military equipment available to local law enforcement,” Trump said last month to an audience of police chiefs. “If you remember, the previous administration didn't want to do that... They didn't want to make you look so tough. They didn't want to make you look like you're a threat.” Trump, who’s referred to American cities as war zones in his appeals for tighter policing, called his recent police crackdown “the surge,” echoing George W. Bush’s language about the Iraq War.

This situation where the U.S. empire’s wars are turning inward, which has been provoked by climate change, economic decline, a rapid collapse of American global power, and extreme inequality, exemplifies capitalism in its decay. As global capitalism becomes unstable, the country is descending down a cycle of escalating crises and reactions. As a result, the state is becoming ever more militaristic and intolerant of dissent. But this decay of capitalism also means that the colonial beast is weakening.

To strike the beast down, we must equip ourselves to overcome the state’s instruments of repression. By building the institutions for revolt, shifting the national narrative in favor of socialism, and making the proletariat armed and trained, we’ll create a movement that could overpower the government. It’s all about putting in the work and committing oneself to Marxism-Leninin’s goal of destroying and replacing the capitalist state.

If the people of China, Korea, and Zimbabwe were able to decolonize their lands and establish socialism, and if their ideological allies in history’s other socialist revolutions have been able to upturn additional nations, America’s socialists can do the same under the guidance of our region’s indigenous people. And after this mission for proletarian and indigenous justice has been carried out in the U.S., it will become much easier for the same to happen throughout the rest of Pan-America.

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