It was inevitable that things would get to this point. The decision by the U.S. ruling class to make inequality’s growth unlimited through neoliberal policies, the rise and decline of the American imperialist project, and the climatic and ecological crisis have all been leading to the predictable outcome we’re now experiencing. This is an outcome where the imperial core descends into rapid economic dysfunction, violence, and eventually the breakdown of the state.
The initial results from this unraveling are beneficial to reactionaries like Kyle Rittenghouse, the high school kid who shot two protesters this last week during a night of unrest in Kenosha. As Ukraine’s descent into economic and social collapse since the 2014 U.S. coup has shown, fascists love a failed state. It lets far-right militias act with more impunity, as has been shown while both Ukraine’s U.S.-backed fascistsand America’s armed “patriot” groups have exploited the recent chaos in their respective countries. But the descent into social collapse in the U.S. and much of the rest of the world is one that’s come from the collapse of global capitalism, as was foretold by the predictions from Marx about how capitalism will eventually consume itself. And this opens up the potential for the chaos to lead to the triumph of proletarian revolution, rather than of reactionary barbarism.
Whether or not this will happen depends on how well the people on the side of proletarian revolution mobilize. It will also depend on what kind of political line that the people leading the charge represent. Before taking the steps of becoming organized and equipped for a class-based civil war, it would be wise for you to read Lenin’s The State and Revolution, Mao’s Combat Liberalism, and other works that can help you avoid falling into liberal, idealistic, or adventurist thinking.
Because without the right line and political education, we’ll be blindly rushing into this extremely important task. We’ll be at risk of committing ourselves to counterproductive ideologies like anarchism, or of becoming aligned with the Democratic Party, or of otherwise drifting away from the Marxist-Leninist goal of overthrowing the capitalist state and replacing it with a proletarian-run state. Our responsibilities are to seek out the education that can help us avoid these ideological pitfalls, and then equip ourselves for confrontation with the forces of capitalist reaction.
Three months ago, the communist YouTuber and leader Hakim assessed what we’ll need to do before we can carry out this confrontation: “State repression will only get worse. The people not only should, but need, to fight back. Do not let fascism take hold, the U.S. is only a step away. Arm yourselves. Establish armed wings of revolutionary organizations. Start coordinating armed actions across the country with as many organizations as you can. Remember, never terrorist activity-only military and state targets. Establish Red bases around the country, and begin building dual power. People’s war is the solution.”
Our revolutionary crisis has since moved closer to the point where these tactics will be doable on a widespread scale. Millions of this year’s newly jobless people have had their unemployment benefits cut. Unemployment is still dropping, with mid-August unemployment claims having topped one million. In this year’s second quarter, U.S. GDP dropped by 32.9%. The austerity policies that the government is responding to the downturn with are sure to lead to a multiplier effect, where spending cuts bring about falling incomes which lead to further spending cuts. And so the process of capitalist contraction will continue in the coming months and years, with ever more people finding themselves left behind and willing to join a revolutionary movement.
If it sounds like wishful thinking that more people will join these kinds of militant revolutionary strains, consider that the U.S. military has openly expressed fears that the poverty and unemployment of the 2020s will lead to them having to deal with a class war. A 2016 U.S. Army War College document about the future of warfare warned that deteriorating living conditions for the lower classes will create:
A surplus of unemployed males with little to do but join gangs or engage in crime as a source of income. Joining extremist or terrorist organizations might also appear attractive as a way out. At the very least, in the event of some kind of conflict, these young men would provide a pool of potential recruits for those opposing the United States.”
This fearful anticipation was paralleled by a 2018 Pentagon war game that included a scenario where the military and intelligence agencies would have to counter a rebellion by the youngest generation of adults, who launch an attempt at revolution in 2025 for these reasons that the war game describes:
Many found themselves stuck with excessive college debt when they discovered employment options did not meet their expectations. Gen Z are often described as seeking independence and opportunity but are also among the least likely to believe there is such a thing as the “American Dream,” and that the “system is rigged” against them.
As the country’s transition into a failed state accelerates, so does the chance for a proletarian and anti-colonial revolution, where the disaffected lower classes unite to resolve the contradictions of the capitalist and settler-colonial system which has produced all of this misery. The George Floyd protests are an early part of this backlash from the country’s exploited and oppressed peoples. But before they lead to a movement that can overthrow the system, and that can replace it with a decolonized continent where society is developing towards socialism, their participants and supporters will need to get behind such a revolutionary program. Through this process of uniting the masses behind a revolutionary line, we Marxists will be able to build a fighting force which challenges the existence of the capitalist and settler-colonial state.
It’s this prospect, one where poor and colonized peoples work together to militantly carry out the Marxist-Leninist goals which have liberated countries like Cuba and China, that scares the ruling class. The police enabled Rittenhouse to commit his crimes because just like is the case in post-coup Bolivia, the capitalist state is in a united front with those who are willing to carry out fascist vigilante violence. They’ll try to use fascist paramilitaries, the military, and their militarized police to crush an attempt at revolution. We’ll need to be prepared for when they come after us.
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