Archive for the 'Communism' Category

Marx on religion: Dispelling more myths about socialism

Never has there ever been a worldview, never has there ever been an idea, and never has there ever been a word so misrepresented and so misunderstood as ‘socialism’… except possibly for ‘Marxism’. Because of this, it has been an ongoing feature here at Paulitics, to dispel some of the myths surrounding socialism (see here and here).

For some time now, I have been wanting to do a short featurette on Marx’s views on religion to dispel them once and for all, and today, having read the same blatantly mis-quoted phrase claiming to be written by Marx for the hundredth time, I finally decided that it was time to dispel this myth once and for all.

The first myth to dispel is that of the famous quote supposedly from Marx which is his opponents use to paint him as a dangerous elitist who scorned the masses. The quote which everybody seems to think Marx wrote is:

Religion is the opiate/opium of the masses”

The only problem with this is that nowhere in any of Marx’s writings, did he ever write these words.

Even the very few instances where this ‘quotation’ is given a citation, the citation is often not entirely correct thus making verification of this quotation even more difficult. The most common citation for this quotation is that it was written in 1843 and occurs in Marx’s essay “Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right”. In actuality, this quotation occurs in the Introduction to Marx’s Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right and was actually written right at the cusp between 1843 and 1844, many months after the main portion of the Critique was written. Indeed, because of this, many ‘collected works’ editions of Marx’s writings do not even feature the Critique as a part of the same text as the Introduction because Marx had written and published other material, most notably On the Jewish Question between his completion of the two parts.

Nevertheless, the full quotation of Marx’s ideas on religion expressed in this essay are actually, when read in context, rather anti-elitist. In fact, Marx’s ideas in his Critique are rather sympathetic to the religious masses whilst simultaneously being highly critical of the institution of religion itself.

The full quotation reads as follows:

“The struggle against religion is, therefore, indirectly a struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion.

Religious suffering is at the same time an expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sign of the oppressed creature, the sentiment of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.

The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of men, is a demand for their real happiness. The call to abandon their illusions about their conditions is a call to abandon a condition which requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, the embryonic criticism of this vale of tears of which religion is the halo.”

-Karl Marx.
Quoted in “Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right: Introduction.”
Robert C. Tucker, ed. The Marx-Engels Reader. 2nd ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1978. p. 54.

When reading the full quotation, the necessity of the ruling class never quoting the entire passage in its entirety becomes clear. Reading the incomplete non-quotation supposedly from Marx, one has the impression of a Christopher Hitchens or H.L. Mencken-like figure who looks down upon and scorns the masses for their religiosity.

Another important, oft-forgotten aspect related to this famous quotation is that Marx was not even the only person to say something along these lines. Four years after Marx wrote this quotation, Charles Kingsley, a Canon of the Church of England — a man who more likely than not had never read the then obscure and unknown Karl Marx — wrote that the Bible was used as an “opium dose for keeping beasts of burden patient while they were being overloaded.” (Howard Selsam & Harry Martel. Reader in Marxist Philosophy. New York: International Publishers, 1963. p. 224). Keep in mind this is a man of the church saying this independently of Marx.

So, it is really little wonder that the vast majority of the population takes Marxism and socialism to be synonymous with all that is evil.

The goal of this post and the series on dispelling the myths about socialism is not designed so much to convince people that Marxism and socialism are not evil (although I obviously think they’re the opposite of evil).  The goal of this series is to provide irrefutable proof that much of the popular conceptions about Marxism and socialism are either caricatures, half-truths or downright fictions.

The public can do with this knowledge what they like.  But it is clear to me that if a truly fair hearing of Marxism or socialism ever were to become possible, the ruling classes would not know what hit them.

The U.S. embargo against Cuba was never about ‘democracy’

“Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct; nor was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on record.”
                                                                                           -George Orwell, 1984

castro.pngThe progressive blogosphere (or at least what passes for ‘progressive’ these days) are awash lately in discussions about Cuba and the sudden decision of Fidel Castro not to seek the office of President of Cuba in the upcoming election.

Everywhere in quasi-progressive press and blogs, people are finding the courage to ask:  Why is there still an embargo on Cuba?  The problem is not the question — in fact, the question is the correct one.  The problem is that the corporate press — from which the blogosphere generally takes its cues — has managed to cripple the debate by intentionally leaving out an important detail about the long-standing, crushing U.S. embargo against thebush-with-turkey-in-crotch.png tiny island nation.  Namely, the U.S. embargo against Cuba was never about ‘democracy’ or human rights and the U.S. officials at the time that the embargo was enacted, were open and frank about this fact.

But you wouldn’t be able to tell that from the media reports about the recent events in Cuba.

What follows is a small sample of media reports.

The Associated Press [AP] reports that:

Asked by reporters at the State Department if Washington planned to change its Cuba policy now that Castro has stepped down, Negroponte replied: “I can’t imagine that happening anytime soon.”

[…]

We would hope that the departure from the scene of Cuba’s long-ruling dictator Fidel Castro would allow for a democratic transition. … We would hope that his departure would begin this transition,” Casey told reporters.

But he added that the United States is troubled by signs that Cuba’s leadership envisions this as a “transfer of authority and power from dictator to dictator light—from Fidel to Raul.”

Still, he said the Bush administration remains willing to help support the Cuban people in a true transition to democracy. [emphasis added]

The New York Times ran a report which, despite standing at 686 words, only mentions the embargo on Cuba once and even then, only in a dismissive context.  The Times reported:

Mr. Castro, whose photograph looks down from billboards across the island, is both revered and reviled by Cubans. In criticizing him in public, Cubans stroke an imaginary beard instead of uttering his name and possibly running afoul of the authorities. Those who praise him most often cite his investments in education and health care, and they agree with him that the country’s economic woes are caused not by neglect from Mr. Castro but by the trade embargo imposed by Washington.

Huffington Post contributor Sarah Stephens wins the Orwellian prize for her piece, on two grounds:

#1) Stephens writes that South Africa’s post-Apartheid democracy was “born with the help of U.S. sanctions”.  This is the height or Orwellianism.  It was precisely the U.S. that supported economically and politically the racist Apartheid South African regime up until the very end when it became politically impossible to continue to do so.  In fact, Ronald Reagan openly called Nelson Mandela a “terrorist” and here in Canada, even as late as 2001, we still had elected Parliamentarians such as Rob Anders calling Mandela a “terrorist”.

#2) If you read through her piece, it is interesting to examine why she believes the embargo should be lifted.  The reasons why Stephens believes the embargo should be lifted are not because of the massive loss of life it has caused in Cuba (more on that below).  Rather, the reasons she believes they should be lifted are:

a) “the Cuba embargo sullies our image around the world”

b) “[the Cuba embargo] undermines the national interest [of America].”

c) “The embargo sacrifices the constitutional rights of U.S. citizens to travel.”

d) “[the Cuba embargo] trade sanctions cost U.S. businesses about $1 billion annually”

e) “[the Cuba embargo] den[ies] U.S. citizens access to vaccines and other medical treatments.”

f) “Enforcing the embargo drains [American] resources from the war on terror.”

Based on the above reporting, one could be forgiven for assuming that the embargo has #1) been reluctantly pursued in the interests of the Cuban people and democracy; #2) that only crazy pro-Castro communists believe that the hardships of the Cuban people are actually caused by the embargo; and #3) that the reasons the Americans should now lift the embargo is because it’s hurting Americans.

There is no need for conspiracy theories to debunk these claims that the embargo was designed to foster democracy.  Had any of the media outlets reported on the actual openly stated reasons for issuing the trade embargo — reasons given by U.S. government officials at the time, the reality would be all to obvious.

A brief history of the events leading up to this is illuminating:

viva-fidel.png1953-1960: Castro, contrary to popular belief now, but openly acknowledged at the time, was anti-Soviet during his revolution against the brutal U.S.-backed Batista regime.  Indeed his reform proposals were initially were pro-democratic and anti-Soviet.  (see, for instance, the work of Jules Benjamin and Noam Chomsky for more on this).

January, 1960:  The United States begins its first attempts to overthrow the popular Castro regime through assassination and, later, by invasion and terrorism, and re-install a client regime.

1960-1962:  The U.S., having now pushed the previously anti-Soviet Castro into the Soviet sphere, now begins to characterize Cuba as a threat to the United States (itself a laughable concept) by arguing it is a ‘proxy’ or ‘base’ of the Soviets 90 miles off the tip of Key West, Florida.  This, of course, ignores the fact that the U.S. was engaged in actions against Cuba as early as 1960 long before any Soviet relations had been established.  Noam Chomsky, in his work Hegemony or Survival writes:

Washington was concerned that Cubans might try to defend themselves. CIA chief Allen Dulles therefore urged Britain not to provide arms to Cuba. His “main reason,” the British ambassador reported to London, “was that this might lead the Cubans to ask for Soviet or Soviet bloc arms,” a move that “would have a tremendous effect,” Dulles pointed out, allowing Washington to portray Cuba as a security threat to the hemisphere, following the script that had worked so well in Guatemala. Dulles was referring to Washington’s successful demolition of Guatemala’s first democratic experiment, a ten-year interlude of hope and progress, greatly feared in Washington because of the enormous popular support reported by US intelligence and the “demonstration effect” of social and economic measures to benefit the large majority. The Soviet threat was routinely invoked, abetted by Guatemala’s appeal to the Soviet bloc for arms after the US had threatened attack and cut off other sources of supply. The result was a half-century of horror, even worse than the US-backed tyranny that came before.

jfk-on-phone.png1962: United States President John F. Kennedy orders a case of Cuban cigars for his own personal use.  Upon hearing that the cigars had reached U.S. territory, Kennedy promptly begins the embargo under the explicit justification that Soviet presence there posed a ‘grave’ threat to the United States.

1962-1990: The U.S. engages in decades of terrorism, bacteriological warfare and biological warfare against Cuba.  This ranges from the poisoning of the domestic Cuban pork and chicken supply, the attempted destruction of the Cuban cash crop: sugar, and the October 1976 bombing of a Cuban civilian airliner by Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles who currently live in the United States despite their terrorist past.   Cuba, having been denied its traditional markets for sugar export, becomes a ‘favoured export partner’ with the Soviet Union.

1991: The Soviet Union collapses.  Following this collapse, the entire stated justification for the Cuban sanctions are now officially satisfied.  Given the reason stated by the U.S. government for issuing the sanctions — Soviet threat — sanctions should now be lifted as there is no longer any Soviet threat in Cuba.

1992: The George H.W. Bush administration increases the sanctions.  Bill Clinton, running to unseat Bush in the election, also promises harsher sanctions.

1993: Average caloric intake in Cuba plummets by 1/3 in 4 short years.  (see Victoria Brittain, “Children die in agony as U.S. trade ban stifles Cuba.” The Guardian (U.K.), March 7, 1997)

1994: Mortality rates for Cubans over the age of 65 increase 15% over 2 years.

clinton.png1996: U.S. sanctions increased yet again under the Helms-Burton Act which U.S. President Bill Clinton gleefully signs into law.  The new harsher sanctions,  are now justified under the new, post-1990 mantra of ‘democracy’ — the same mantra which, if you read the press reports, you would believe was always the justification for the sanctions.  In fact, as Orwell famously wrote, this history must constantly be ‘brought up to date’ because any detailed look at the original justifications quickly discredits this contention.

1999: Severity of U.S. sanctions increased yet again under U.S. President Bill Clinton’s watchful eye.

2008:  Bloggers uncritically believe media’s insinuation that the embargo has always been about democracy and human rights.  Few liberals bother to research the topic.  Instead, they accept the premise and support ending the sanctions regime because it’s hurting the United States.  Conservatives take the matter further and support continuation of sanctions as a means of collective punishment, then turn around and deny that sanctions have any effect on the Cuban economy, but rather that Castro is to blame for all problems.  Socialist bloggers, anarchists and freethinkers are left staring at each other in disbelief.

See also:

Propaganda in Action (Series)

Che Guevara: Cuban revolutionary or puppy-eating serial murderer?

Kettle calls the teapot black: Bush calls Cuba “criminal”

On intellectual honesty and the Cuba debate

Idiocy doesn’t cease being idiocy because it’s published

Communist Party of Canada leader to speak in Ottawa tomorrow

While I am not now, nor have I ever been a member of the Communist Party, I did nevertheless have an opportunity two years ago to hear Miguel Figueroa, leader of the Communist Party of Canada, speak at an event and I was thoroughly impressed. Thus, I was very pleased to learn that Figueroa (and possibly some others) will be talking and taking questions at Carleton University in Ottawa tomorrow, Monday January 28.

The event starts at 7pm in room 134 Unicentre at Carleton University. I’m going to be in attendance, so if any Ottawa comrades, bloggers or people who are quasi-left wing, even if not officially identifying as Marxist or Communist, wish to hear a very affable and likable speaker talk and/or would like to meet with me in person, please feel free to come on out.

My (limited) impression of Figueroa and Stu Ryan (perennial Communist Party candidate in Ottawa Centre who I imagine will also be attending) is that they are definitely not anything like those who used to run the CPC which everyone on the far left used to love to hate.

Hope to see some of you there!

Lectures by Michael Parenti and Alex Callinicos now available

new-blog-banner-7.pngI was just talking to some readers of my blog who were asking me when I was going to do a second episode of the Paulitics Podcast. 

I actually did Episode #2 of the podcast a while back and I just released Episode #3 of the podcast yesterday evening, so both are up and available for download to either your computer or iPod (or other .mp3 player).

For those of you who are interested, you can either check the podcast’s main page regularly for new updates at www.paulitics.mypodcast.com or, probably easier for you, you can download any number of free “podcast catchers” which will automatically download the latest episode of all of your favourite podcasts to your computer and then you don’t have to go hunting around for episodes every time a new one is published.

The best podcast catcher is probably iTunes (you don’t need an iPod to use iTunes) but there are other goods ones such as Juice.

Conversely, if you like the idea of having a program bring you podcasts but don’t want them automatically downloaded, you can use an RSS feed aggregator to catch as many podcasts as you like (such as www.feedbucket.com).

Two of my favourite podcasts which you can put into your podcast catcher or iTunes by copy the hyperlink are:

Democracy Now!: http://www.democracynow.org/podcast.xml
Big Ideas: http://www.tvo.org/TVOspecial3/WebObjects/TVOMedia.woa?bigideasfeed

Also, the Paulitics podcast hyperlink to copy into your podcast catcher is:
http://paulitics.mypodcast.com/rss.xml

Or, conversely, you can download or listen to episode #2 featuring a talk by Alex Callinicos on imperialism and empire from a theoretical perspective here.

And you can download or listen to episode #3 featuring a talk by the fantastic orator Michael Parenti on globalization and capitalism here.  (Parenti’s talk is much less theoretical than Callinicos’s talk).

War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength

My god, Orwell was prophetic.

Here’s the latest capitalist Orwellian doublethink, this time via Saskboy.

“Get your vote out Ontario. Mixed Member Proportional is on the ballot today, so even if you don’t like any of the parties (which would bewilder me, since Green is an option ;-) you can still vote in the referendum for MMP. Who doesn’t want a more representative democracy? (Amusing answer: Fascists, Authoritarians, Dictators, Communists, Jason Cherniak, James WDIKGrit, Saskatchewan NDP, most Americans, and political hacks.) “

I understand that not everybody is going to be a communist or a Marxist.  Heck, I even appreciate that probably a significant portion of this blog’s readership don’t actively identify as either communist or Marxist.  But c’mon, let’s at least have an ounce of honesty here!

This is my response to Saskboy via his blog.

“Communists don’t want more democracy? Wow, that’s news to me! I was under the impression that we advocated radically expanding democracy both within the current spheres of politics, but also into economic spheres (i.e. to ensure democratic control of the economy as opposed to elite control).

Silly me, all this time I’ve actually been opposing democracy when I’ve been meaning to expand it.

I also thought that I voted FOR MMP less than 1 hour ago in the Ontario election, but I guess since you say that we’re opposed to it, then I must be wrong.

Oops, wrong again. The Communist Party’s candidates say they support MMP and encouraged others to vote for it.  see here

Also, if you’re interested, you can also see here, here and here (votecommunist.ca) for more proof that the Communist Party not only supports MMP, but actually supports a MORE vigorously proportional version of proportional representation.

But kudos to Saskboy for not letting those pesky and inconvenient “facts” get in the way of his red-baiting.

I guess that supporting MMP actually means opposing MMP.

I guess that supporting a radical expansion of democratic rights means opposing democracy.

And, I guess that War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength.

The difference between the NDP and the Communist Party…

This is a great interview with Stuart Ryan, a candidate for the Ontario Provincial election in Ottawa-Centre.

To me, this interview just drives home the point that Ryan and his comrades can truly inspire with bold policies (ex. 50% reduction in tuition immediately, $20 billion for public secular schools and giving municipalities the power to tax corporations) whereas the NDP has lost its ability to dream, let alone inspire.

If you haven’t voted yet today, read this interview before you vote. It may not necessarily change your vote, but it will at the very least inspire you — and that’s not nothing.

~~~

Why have you chosen to involve yourself in the political process? Why did you choose to run in this constituency?

I have been involved in the political process for over 40 years, in terms of organizing over political issues such as opposing the Wars in Vietnam and now the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I see the elections, if that is what you mean as the political process, as a way to express our political views to the electorate so that they can pass judgement and see that the various issues we raise are related in that the capitalist system and the neo-liberal agenda take away the rights of workers, woman, aboriginals and people in general.
I run in Ottawa Centre because I have lived in the riding since 1979 and I know the issues that concern the people who live in the riding. It has a progressive history and is open to socialist ideas.

What prior political experience do you have? What skills and insight can you bring to office, from other non-political positions you may have held?

I have run for office in my Steelworker union in Windsor in the 1970s and in my Autoworker union now. I work for a CUPE union at Carleton University in Ottawa. I think I can bring my organizing skills in the labour movement, the anti-war movement and in the Central American solidarity movement to Queen’s Park and in building a base within Ottawa Centre to fight for a people’s agenda.

Which of your competitors do you expect to pose the biggest challenge to your candidacy? Why? What makes you the most desirable of all candidates running in the riding?

I think the biggest challenge to my candidacy is the feeling that people feel they have to vote NDP in order to win the riding, or to prevent a victory by the Liberal or Conservative party. This is a product of the first-past-the-post-voting system. I have had many people say that our ideas are good, and that I have been a good campaigner, but because they feel voting for the Communist Party might jeopardise the NDP. I think I would be the most desirable candidate because we have the best policies and that I would work very hard to make sure they are pushed for in the legislature.

What do you feel are the three most important issues to voters in your riding? Are these the same top three issues that are most important to you? What would you do to address these issues?

The three biggest issues in this riding are the crisis in public education; the increasing debtload of students because of tuition hikes; and the inability of municipal government to fund the social services downloaded by the Harris government form the province to the cities in 1997. They are my most important issues.
Re public education: Our Party will commit to spending $20 billion for a quality public secular school system in French and English for primary and secondary education.
We would commit to a comparable investment in public post-secondary education while reducing tuition by 50% now, and then eliminate it when the funding is adequate to provide the education for all who qualify for post-secondary education.
We would give municipalities secure funding through provincial grants and the ability to tax corporations. This would wean them off the property tax, which we would reduce by 75%, along with the scrapping of the market value assessment taxation scheme. We would give 50% of the gas tax for mass transit such as the O-train in Ottawa that would travel both east and west and north and south. We would upload to the province the funding of health, education, transit and welfare.

What should be the first order of business in the 39th Legislative Assembly?

The first order of business schould be the drafting of the legislation to implement Mixed Member Proportional Representation, following its victory in the October 10 referendum.

Are the property taxes in your riding at a fair level for the amount of services received in the municipality?

The property tax situation in the province is in chaos. Home owners are seeing property taxes increase as the value in their neighbourhoods go up while the property tax of businesses are diminished by a comparable amount. The net increase in revenue to the municipality coming from the residential tax increases is zero. Outraged taxpayers are blaming the municipal officials and are taking it out by voting for right-wing candidates who promise not to raise taxes (In Ottawa the slogan was “zero means zero”. The same candidate is now the mayor, and is backing a two per cent increase and campaigning to have the municipal financing system revamped.
The property tax system discriminates against tenants as they pay for the extra taxes landlords pay through higher rents.

How can the province lead the way in stimulating job creation?

The province should take action to save the manufacturing jobs leaving the province by insisting that raw materials be processed in Ontario rather being shipped raw out of the country. It should pass legislation to establish public tribunals so that corporations who are closing profitable factories, such as Hershey’s in Smith Falls and GM in Oshawa would have to justify their closing. Failure to do so would lead to the province taking over the closed business. Our Party would invest in mass transit and produce 100,000 units of social housing.

What are your views on the mixed member proportional representation (MMP) referendum?

I support MMP and will be voting for it. No longer will we have to choose between the lesser of two evils, and end up with the same mess. The last two governments in Ontario are proof positive of the problem. You will be able to vote for what you believe in and see it relected in the legislature.

Of the decisions made by Ontario’s 38th Legislative Assembly, which was the most beneficial to your this electoral district? To the province as a whole? Which was least beneficial, or even harmful, to your this riding? To the province as a whole?

The only thing that was good for Ottawa Centre was the tuition freeze for two years. That was negated by the new tuition scheme that will raise tuition 25-35% over four years.

You are running as a candidate for the Communist Party. A lot of people say that Communism is a dead idea or fear that a Communist government would implement some sort of repressive dictatorship. What do you say to this?

Communism is not a dead idea; we see revolutionary parties win in Venezuela and trying to bring socialism in by democratic means. This was tried in Chile in the 1970s but was overthrown by the CIA and the Chilean military. What will succeed is that the working class and its allies will demand socialism; it was the insistence of the Venezuelan people that stopped the coup against Hugo Chavez in 2002. The system that they will bring will be democratic, as it will be the will of the people that it be so.

The Communist Party is unlikely to win any seats in the election. Why did you decide to run for a small party rather than be involved with one of the major parties?

This is a good question, but if you want to bring about real change, you must be part of a party that calls for it. Our Party calls for socialism, public ownership of the means of production under democratic control. Working for a party like the NDP and the Greens would make you feel that you might get things done, but those parties will disappoint you – look at the record of the Bob Rae NDP government in Ontario that opened public sector collective agreements to attack benefits in order to save $2 billion from its deficit.

(original text from wikinews. Available here.)

~~~

If there’s a Communist Party of Canada (Ontario) in your riding, consider voting for a party that actually stands for substantive changes the capitalist system rather than merely slightly tinkering with it. Consider voting Communist!

Fight Exploitation.
Fight Inequality.
Fight Capitalism.

Che Guevara: Cuban revolutionary or puppy-eating serial murderer?

Okay, here’s a fun little intellectual exercise to try out:

Let’s see if we can spot the irrational, blinded-by-ideology individual amongst these two writers using only a writing sample from each on a similar topic.

Keep in mind, that some characteristics of irrational people are that they tend to:

1) Be incapable of using even-headed arguments without resorting to ad hominem attacks.

2) Unable to give an account of their opponent’s behaviour without using over-simplification or straw-men.

3) View those they disagree with as inherently evil, often attributing sadistic and/or even satanistic motivations to their opponent’s actions.

4) Ignore evidence which suggests that the subject of their attack is not the embodiment of pure evil seeking to destroy all of humanity and/or enslave all of humanity.

5) Believe their account to be the only valid account.  This last characteristic is often associated with a belief that every one either already agrees with their account or that every one would agree with their account if they could simply realize just how popular this account really is.

So keep these items in mind and look for which one of these two writing samples portrays their subject as a caricature — this will work even if you actually know nothing whatsoever about Che Guevara. Continue reading ‘Che Guevara: Cuban revolutionary or puppy-eating serial murderer?’

Our entire existence summed up in one cartoon

I just came across this cartoon over on reddit.com.  This is the best cartoon I’ve read in a very very long time.

capitalism.PNG

See also:

Peace is overrated

Why capitalism can’t continue forever and why socialism will prevail

From Bolivian President Evo Morales’ recent speech to the United Nations (the text of which has never been seen in the mainstream media).

It is important that we learn lessons from some sectors, from some regions. Let me avail myself of this opportunity: I come from a culture based on peace, from a lifestyle based on equality, of living not only in solidarity with all people, but also living in harmony with Mother Earth. For the indigenous movement, land cannot be a commodity; it is a mother that gives us life, so how could we convert it into a commodity as the western model does?

This is a profound lesson which we must learn in order to resolve the problems of humanity that are being discussed here, climate change and pollution. Where does this pollution come from? It comes from, and is generated by, the unsustainable development of a system which destroys the planet: in other words, capitalism.

I want to use this opportunity to call on sectors, groups and nations to abandon luxury, to abandon over-consumption, to think not only about money but about life, to not only think about accumulating capital but to think in wider terms about humanity. Only then can we begin to solve the root causes of these problems facing humanity. “

Hat tip to our good comrade Ian Angus who runs the fantastic ecosocialist blog “Climate and Capitalism“. He published the full text of Morales’ speech.

~

See also:

All that glitters is not golden

An apology is owed…

Support for capitalist parties in Canada

Is socialism violent or is liberalism hypocritical?: Dispelling the myths of socialism – PART I

Is Capitalism Justified?: Dispelling the myths of socialism – PART II


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