featured, historical perspectives

Long Live the Great October Revolution – 100 years of screwing Imperialism!

by Andre Vltchek

The world is in ruins. It is literally burning, covered by slums, by refugee camps, and its great majority is ‘controlled by markets’, as was the dream and design of individuals such as Milton Friedman, Friedrich von Hayek, Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. Führers like Kissinger and Brzezinski, sacrificed tens of millions of human lives all over our planet, just to prevent nations from trying to fulfill their spontaneous socialist, and even, God forbid, Communist dreams and aspirations. Some of the tyrants were actually very ‘honest’: Henry Kissinger once observed, publicly, that he saw no reason why a certain country should be allowed to “go Marxist” merely because “its people are irresponsible”. He was thinking about Chile. He “saw no reason” and as a result, several thousands of people were murdered…

Ruining, wiping out entire countries, just to prevent them from ‘going their own way’, has been fully acceptable in the circles of politicians, military strategists, intelligence officers and economists who are based in London, New York, Washington, Paris and in other centers of the so-called “free world”, from where almost all dispensable lives of “un-people” inhabiting Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, Africa and Oceania are being controlled unceremoniously.

The system of Western oppression often appears to be almost ‘perfect’. To a great extent it is certainly bulletproof.

But there is always one serious obstacle blocking the way of Western imperialism – the barrier that prevents it from fully controlling and ruining the Planet. That obstacle, the barrier, is called the Great October Revolution and its legacy.

Since 1917, for exactly one hundred years, there has been this ‘ghost’ haunting the European and North American empires: it is a ghost which whispers relentlessly about internationalism, about egalitarianism, about great humanistic dreams in which all people are equal, have exactly the same rights and opportunities, and cannot be exploited by one particular race, and by one economic dogma.

To make things even worse, this red and somehow very optimistic ghost does much more than just whispering: it is also singing, dancing, reciting revolutionary poetry and periodically taking up arms and fighting for the oppressed, even totally desperate human beings, regardless of the color of their skin.

One often wonders whether the ghost is really a ghost, or a living creature. Which makes it all even more frightening, at least for the tyrants and the imperialists.


The West is totally petrified! It tries to appear cool, in full control. It deploys its elaborate propaganda system, it regurgitates its dogmas everywhere; it injects them into arts, entertainment, news bulletins, school curricula, psychology, and even advertisements. It lies, twists facts, perverts history and constructs pseudo-reality. All available means are used; the ideological warfare is complete.

No matter what the Western Empire does, the red ghost is still here, all around; it is inspiring millions of educated and dedicated men and women all over the world. It is tremendously resilient. It never surrenders, never gives up fighting, even in those countries where all hopes and dreams appear to be totally destroyed. And where there are only ashes left, it at least never gives up haunting – frightening both the local elites and the implanted imperialist regimes.

While to many people living in the Western capitals, this red ghost is synonymous with the worst enemy, in most of the oppressed, occupied and humiliated nations, it represents the perpetual struggle against colonialism and oppression, and it symbolizes resistance, resilience, pride and the belief in a totally different world.


Imperialists know that unless this creature, the ghost and the hope it represents, are thoroughly destroyed, wiped out and buried somewhere deep underground, there can be no final victory, and therefore no celebration.

They are doing all in their power to discredit the ghost and the ideals it professes. They are presenting it in the bleakest colors, confusing people by connecting it with fascism and Nazism (while it is them – the Western imperialists – and their own system, that have been fascist and ‘Nazi’, for decades and even centuries).

They brutalize, terrorize and murder innocent people in countries that dare to decide to go Communist, socialist or simply ‘independent’. Such heinous acts are forcing the governments of embattled nations to become defensive, to protect their citizens, to take ‘extraordinary measures’. And these defensive measures are, in turn, described by the Western propaganda as oppressive, dogmatic and ‘undemocratic’.

The strategy and tactics of the Empire are clear and highly effective: you keep punching, molesting and harassing an innocent person who is simply trying to live her life. When she has had enough, when she decides to punch back, even arm herself, change the lock, you describe her as aggressive, paranoid, and dangerous to the society. You claim that her behavior is giving you the right to break into her house, to beat her up, to rape her, and then to force her into thoroughly changing her beliefs and lifestyle.bb

Right after the Revolution, 100 years ago, the Soviets gave the right to secede to all the former parts of the Russian empire. Sweeping democratic reforms were introduced. All the feudal and oppressive structures of Tsarist rule collapsed, overnight. But the young country was almost immediately attacked from abroad, by a group of nations that included the UK, the US, France, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania and Japan. Ruthless aggressions and foreign campaigns of sabotage radicalized the Soviet state, as they later radicalized Cuba, North Korea, Nicaragua, Vietnam, China, Venezuela and many other revolutionary countries.

It is an appalling, disgusting way of running the world, but it is highly effective; ‘it works’. And it has been done for so long, that no one is surprised, anymore. This is how the West has been controlling, manipulating and ruining the world for many centuries, enjoying absolute impunity, even congratulating itself for being ‘free’ and ‘democratic’, shamelessly using clichés such as ‘human rights’.

But at least now, there is a struggle.

The world used to be totally at the mercy of Europe and North America.

Until the Great October Socialist Revolution!


Recently, I wrote a book about The Great October Socialist Revolution, its impact on the world, and on the birth of internationalism. I had to write it. I had enough of reading and watching that entire anti-Soviet, anti-Communist propaganda bordello, that fundamentalist gospel; I had enough of being bombarded with brainwashing rubbish day after day, year after year, decade after decade!

After working in more than 160 countries, in all corners of the world, witnessing the Western murderous drive against democracy and the free will of the people, I felt it was my obligation to at least explain my position on the event that took place 100 years ago in the city and in the country where I was born.

And in my book I did exactly that.

It is not what some would call ‘an objective’ book. It is definitely not some tiresome academic essay, full of footnotes and useless citations. I don’t believe in ‘objectivity’. Or more precisely, I don’t think that human beings are capable of being objective, or that they should even aim at that. However, I strongly believe that they should clearly and honestly say and define where they stand, without deceiving their readers.

And that’s precisely what I did in my latest book: I took sides. I clarified what the Revolution means to me. I recalled what it means to hundreds of millions of oppressed and tormented human beings worldwide. I quoted some of them.

The Great October Socialist Revolution was not perfect. Nothing in this world is, nothing ever should be ‘perfect’. Perfection is appalling, cold, and even imagining it is tremendously boring.

Instead, the Great October Socialist Revolution made a heroic attempt to liberate people from archaic beliefs, from feudalism and blind submission, from physical, intellectual and emotional slavery. It also defined all human beings as equal, regardless of their race and sex. It did not do it through hypocritical ‘political correctness’, which only spreads some second-rate sticky honey over the surface of shit, leaving the excrement itself intact; it cut to the core; it built a brand new lexicon, understanding of the world, and it created a totally new reality.

It returned hope to hundreds of millions of human beings who had already lost all faith in better life. It gave pride and courage to slaves. It returned all colors and shades to the world, which was brutally divided between white and black, between those who had and had not, between those who were racially and ‘culturally’ destined to rule and those who were only destined to serve.

The West hated the red revolutionary ghost from the start. It hates it to this very day. It is because if Communist Soviet Union had won, that would have meant the end of colonialism and imperialism, as we know it. There would be no more plunder and destruction, no monstrous annihilation of Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, no ruin of Syria; no mortal threat hanging over North Korea, Iran and Venezuela, no millions of men, women and children sacrificed on the altar of global capitalism as is happening in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in so many other corners of the globe.

There would be nothing left of a racist, post-Christian global dictatorship; no system of twisted ‘values’ and no hypocritical ‘culture’ pushed down the throat of all conquered countries of the world, by a handful of historically gangster states, mostly located in Europe and North America.

The West fought the Great October Socialist Revolution from its first day. It fought the Soviet Union on all fronts, bathing it in blood, brainwashing its people and murdering its allies. It finally managed to injure it mortally in Afghanistan, breaking all the bones of the USSR first, and then of Afghanistan right afterwards.

Immediately after that, a rejuvenated campaign of indoctrination began. Its goal has been to fully obliterate the great legacy of the “Great October”. The West spared no means and billions of dollars were spent.

Naturally, what kind of ‘objectivity’ could one expect from a ‘culture’, from the part of the world which has been brutally tyrannizing and plundering the entire Planet for more than 500 years? How could it be lenient towards the event, towards the movement and country, which made the purpose of its existence the battle for the liberation of the world from imperialism and colonialism?


Now the struggle against neo-colonialist barbarity goes on, but under various banners. Red, Communist banners are still flying over China and Cuba, as well as Venezuela, Angola and other nations. There are many other colors of the resistance, as well. The coalition is broad.

But what is clear and essential is that The Revolution of 1917 inspired billions, consciously and sub-consciously.

What is also clear is that the West never really won. Had it won, it would not be shaking in fear, as it is now. It would not be oppressing free thought, overthrowing democratically elected governments, murdering the leaders who are struggling against its monstrous global regime.


To be frank, the ‘red revolutionary ghost’ is not really a ghost. It is still an extremely mighty creature. It is just hiding for now, regrouping, getting ready to raise its banners and drag to the battlefield all imperialist tyrants.

The West loves to talk about peace. It loves to lecture the world about ‘peace’. But its ‘peace’ is in fact nothing else other than a horrid status quo, in which there are only a few rich and mighty nations that are reigning over the world, and then there is the rest of humankind, one that consists of weak, miserable, submissive and servile ‘un-people’.

To hell with such ‘peace’! Such peace cannot last long; should not last long, as it is totally grotesque and immoral. It is not much better than the ‘peace’ on a slave plantation!

It is only the legacy of the Great October that can finish such a status quo. And it will.

The red ghost is haunting the tyrants. They are trying, but they just cannot expunge it from the hopes and dreams of the people who inhabit our Planet. The more scared the tyrants get, the more brutal are their deeds. And the more determined the people in the subjugated countries get.

100 years since the battleship Aurora fired its first salvo at the Winter Palace in Petrograd.

100 years since the world opened its eyes, realizing that a new world is possible.

100 years, and the Red October is still on the lips of people in Latin America, in Africa, Asia, everywhere.

Imperialists are brutal but naive. You can murder a man or a woman, you can murder thousands of them, even millions. But you cannot murder dreams. You cannot murder the courage of the human race, unless you murder the entire human race. You can kill, but you cannot permanently turn people into slaves.

During the Great October Socialist Revolution, people stood up. They rose. They smashed their chains.

They will rise again. They are rising again; just look carefully.

In the last 100 years, so much changed, and nothing changed. The hopes and dreams are still the same. And just as then, now, there is no peace without justice. And there is hardly any justice in the way our world is arranged.

Long Live the Great October Socialist Revolution!

Forward! As Hugo Chavez used to shout from his balcony: “Here no one surrenders!”

The red ghost is here, the ghost of the Great Red October. It is tremendously mighty. It is the ally of all oppressed beings. One day it will lead people to victory. There can be absolutely no doubt about it.

November 6, 2017, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Three of his latest books are his tribute to “The Great October Socialist Revolution” a revolutionary novel “Aurora” and a bestselling work of political non-fiction: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire”. View his other books here. Watch Rwanda Gambit, his groundbreaking documentary about Rwanda and DRCongo and his film/dialogue with Noam Chomsky “On Western Terrorism”. Vltchek presently resides in East Asia and the Middle East, and continues to work around the world. He can be reached through his website and his Twitter.


  1. Reading these comments is depressing. They serve as a microcosm for how utterly lost, atomized, backward and confused people in the West are. Large numbers of people see that there is indeed something deeply wrong with the structures of capitalism, but they are unable to situate the problem because they lack a class analysis of the situation. Instead, they misdiagnose the problem, lump those who oppose capitalism in with the capitalists (“Don’t you know that Mao was just a CIA agent?”), and then end up DEFENDING capitalism by prescribing social democracy, the worship of “small businesses” or some other flavor of the week capitalist fixer-upper. It’s like if a person had cancer, but this person thought they were suffering from some other ailment, and injected themselves with a carcinogen while imaging that they were “thinking outside the box” and “beyond stale dogma”. This is the state of much “anti-establishment” thinking: it opposes the crimes of capitalism, but it misdiagnoses them as the crimes of “power” or some other amorphous term that obliterates class content. And then, because of its ideological confusion and lack of direction, it falls prey to some pro- (and even hyper) capitalist “cure” (like right-wing libertarianism or “giving Trump a chance”), and then when it inevitably gets disappointed, it’s back to square one, with nothing to show for its troubles. And since it has no systemic critique of capitalism, it must of necessity find a scapegoat that lets capitalism off the hook yet again. And around and around and around we go, in an endless spiral of confusion, disorientation and leading the masses down blind alleys and dead ends. This is the price that the masses pay for the permeation of shit ideas.

  2. BigB says

    Distinguished and learned Professor of Economics Michael Hudson was on the Keiser show last week. When asked by Mad Max why the Russian Revolution failed, he replied “after Lenin, Stalin came along and shot anyone who had read Marx.” I thought that just about summed it up, coming as it did from a Marxist.

    • If Hudson said that, then it just shows that he’s not above the standard-narrative “Stalin was a monster who killed anyone who disagreed with him. To say that Stalin “came along” (out the blue? Did he just waltz into the Kremlin?) is also lurid stupidity.


    1) What do you think you know about Ulyanov that Kerensky didn’t?

    2) Unlike many “here”, I was raised in an actual Revolutionary Movement. The father and his comrades were Black Diasporist Radicals of the ’60/ ’70s who genuinely believed that an armed overthrow of the US government was feasible and inevitable. I attended various Revolutionary Meetings (as an observer) as a schoolboy; I attended Revolutionary Street Theater events and spent time, with my father, at the community Arts collective that was one of the hubs of Revolutionary Activity in the city. I met three famous activists in my father’s presence (including Muhammad Ali). My father and his comrades were passionate in their dream of a Better World but what my father came to understand much later, in life, was that in the struggle between passionate amateur Revolutionaries and professional (mercenary) anti-Revolutionaries, the latter (having access to serious funding, training, equipment, legal support and a total willingness (plus permission) to kill, will always win. The Movement was fatally infiltrated with moles/informers/ honey traps from the very beginning and became a tool of the Nixon Regime (plus even more powerful forces): what the Government wanted, basically, was to scare The Pyjama-Wearing Electorate away from any even slightly-radical thinking, as well as throwing a monkey-wrench in the process of desegregation (quite a few of the counter-revolutionary forces were literal Nazis, many imported after WW2).

    People my father considered friends (eg Fred Hampton) were executed by counter-revolutionary professionals. When MLK was assassinated for stepping outside the limits of his remit (by speaking against Vietnam), and J. Jackson tried to inherit MLK’S mantle, my father told me interesting things about Jackson that I remember to this day. Jackson… Sharpton… BHO…. it’s all the same trick. (Interestingly enough, my father also told me the Apollo Program was a hoax… I didn’t believe him on that one until c. 2004, when I casually investigated the matter, aiming to debunk an Apollo Skeptic… I came away from that realizing that I’d been duped as a 10-year-old).

    I learned a huge amount from my father’s nobly-doomed struggles and have been studying the problem of Revolution/ Resistance for more than forty years. I’ve been studying the deeper problem… of What We Think We Know About The World (and Why We Think We Know It)… for only the last 20 or so. My father gave me a great gift: he taught me to be a skeptic at a very early age, mocking the propaganda I brought home from school (about Messrs Lincoln and Washington, et al) in no uncertain terms.

    Having Radical Beliefs myself, and having gone to college, I’ve known many self-proclaimed middle class Communists… many have been my friends, and I have learned to humor their beliefs and ignore the many jarring disconnects (like the “Communist” friend who spent more than one Xmas in his Banker-Sister’s Manhattan penthouse, or the “Communist” friend who was literally terrified of poor people, or the “Collectivist” who always raged about the diktats of the renters’ association in his apartment building, or the “Communist” artist who makes his money doing public art for late-capitalist multinationals and has been angling desperately for some of that juicy “Global Warming” cash). I think we just don’t appreciate how powerful and romantic the Communist creation myth, as it’s disseminated by Western Media/Education is; it’s clearly designed to seduce a certain well-educated segment of disaffected Youth (a kind of proto-Punk) who might otherwise concentrate their efforts on genuinely disruptive activities (like, eg, bringing War Criminals to justice). Communism, in the Anglophone Sphere, is semi-subliminally sold as the kind of Beautiful Failure that can both frighten the Burghers and enchant their angry children. As Zizek says, a book is all the more powerful if you haven’t read it (The Bible, Das Kapital, Moby Dick) and very few Communists have actually read more than a page of Das Kapital… or anything Karl wrote.

    Only one of my “Communist” friends was ever well-read in Marx; I remember offending one of them by referencing, in a lunchtime chat, Karl’s letter about a mutual acquaintance whom Karl jokingly accused of looking like a ‘ni__er’… (the English word, not the German, btw)… Karl was quite sensitive about his own physical similarity to Frederick Douglas. He was a conservative member of the crypto-One Percent, after all; related by blood to an emerging Industrial power base that was challenging the old blood of Aristocracy for control.

    No, I don’t take most wide-eyed Consumer-Communists seriously, Norm, whether or not their hearts are in the right place. The ones who have done their homework and situated Marx’s 19th century academic papers within 21st century late-Capitalist Realities: I salute them, hoping we can agree to disagree. [addendum: Big B has just now posted a worthy comment along those lines, funnily enough, even using similar language: I swear that this passage predates his comment]

    But anyone who thinks a Marx-oid “Revolution” is not only desirable but possible, now, need only look at OWS as a neat little model for what is possible along those lines. The Serfs haven’t been self-sufficient, self-motivated and armed-to-parity levels, enough, since quite a few years before the co-opted French “Revolution” (haven’t you figured it out yet? Max Robespierre was a “useful idiot”) to pull it off. Armed Resistance is Futile: if they can invade and level Iraq, they can invade and level your fucking neighborhood. Even if The Serfs somehow managed to fight Gov to a standstill, how can you, in your wildest dreams, naively imagine that the Replacement System wouldn’t immediately default to localized, Warlord-Governed Feudalism? “Communism” is largely for middle class college kids who haven’t been exposed to enough romantic alternatives and there is no middle class during hypothetical post-Revolutionary reconstruction… there are only mad scrambles for power… and the eventual recapitulation of the Reactionary Control Mechanism that was deposed. THAT is the nature of YEAR ZERO politics. And that is the problem when zealously idealistic “revolutionary” types dream of tearing the shit down and starting from “scratch”: doomed not only to fail but to fail specifically in a way that regenerates the problem. That’s why a little mature circumspection is required here.

    History’s lesson is clear: “Revolutions” are extremely expensive (something they don’t really go into while they’re busy romanticizing the Communist Saints for you at Uni) and only another Gov (masquerading as a grassroots “uprising”) can overthrow a Gov in the modern age. The “Bolshevik Revolution” was as much a “grassroots uprising” as the coup in Ukraine, or Egypt, was. All three were “color revolutions”. The Enemy is clever, Norm… I’m not more clever than you are, but TFIC definitely are. Don’t worry: it’s not hardwired… you’ll see through the tricks, one day, too. It’s more about psychology than sheer brainpower (after all, there are brilliant astrophysicists who are also Christian, for example… it doesn’t mean they’re stupid, it means they’re emotionally vulnerable to the Bullshit).

    Now, the big story no one talks about was Iceland, right? Not a “Revolution”…. a Renovation. They jailed the Bankers. The first era of such a Good Thing can’t stick, totally, but what a beginning, eh? They circumvented the inevitable traps of YEAR ZERO politics. No need to reinvent the square wheel, they merely actually enforced existing Laws/ Principles without deferring, first, to entrenched Institutional Psychopathy. Well, of course, the jailed Bankers’ banking buddies came to their rescue, eventually, and got them out by re-wording the laws that jailed them… but it was a start… a model… a much more satisfying model than the YEAR ZERO pastiche of OWS.

    Anyway: I know you disagree. That’s fine, obviously. Just want to make my position absolutely clear. I was raised in a “Revolution” and I have some observations to share.

    • ““Communism” is largely for middle class college kids who haven’t been exposed to enough romantic alternatives and there is no middle class during hypothetical post-Revolutionary reconstruction”

      This shows how dyed-in-the-wool chauvinist your outlook is, given that most communists have been from poor countries and were workers and peasants. Apparently they don’t count.

      “The “Bolshevik Revolution” was as much a “grassroots uprising” as the coup in Ukraine, or Egypt, was.”

      One wonders whether you feel any shame when you belch our your vulgar bloviations. It reeks of a certain type of jealousy, too: since YOU can’t conjure a revolution with your “distributist” fad-movementism, all other attempts (even successful ones) at revolution are to be tarred with the lurid label of “coup”.

      • I’m curious: do you have any ideas of your own to offer, or is your only purpose here merely to react to my comments (with humorously grandiose adjectives which reek of the attic)…?

        But, Re: “Communism” is largely for middle class college kids…” I’m talking about here “in the West”… specifically, in comment threads, where kids who were raised by Capitalists, and who go to Capitalist Universities, and access The Internet with Capitalist Products, go online with grandiose pseudonyms and pretend to be Communists. cough

        • False. Communism isn’t largely “for” middle class college kids. It’s for the most marginalized sectors of society, for they are the ones who have the most to gain from it.

          U’m curious: do you do anything other than cough up stale, reactionary anti-communist tropes whose only impact is to reinforce bourgeois ideological hegemony? Are you capable of thinking about any of these things CREATIVELY?

  4. Your ‘great’ Commie revolution–USSR, China, Cambodia–wound up murdering around 100 million people in the 20th Century, so when it comes to greed and power, the Commies aren’t any better than the capitalists.

  5. Yes, because the only hope, for the world, against the Eurocentric octopus of Late Stage Capitalism, is the other totalitarian concoction, from Europe’s oedipally-disaffected bourgeois Intelligentsia (the real goals, sponsors and origins of the Bolsheviks aside). No other systems can be considered and no “Third World” populations should ever be allowed to go their own way, in any case. Right?

    To quote a Distributist text:

    “Distributism is not a middle ground between capitalism and socialism. Rather, it rejects both capitalism and socialism, which it sees as flips sides of the same coin. From the distributist perspective, capitalism inevitably leads to the concentration of power in big businesses who hold monopolies and exploit workers, consumers, and the environment. On the other hand, socialism also leads to a concentration of power, but in the hands of big government and a political elite. This concentration of power, either in big business or big government, has the same effect of disempowering the majority of people. Distributism sees capitalism and socialism, big business and big government, as mutually reinforcing, one leading to the other hand back again in a vicious cycle.”

    To name just one alternative worldview.

    It’s not just a choice between Coke and Pepsi. And “Globalism” is a totalitarian scale, whatever the system. Shake off your programming and admit that both Yankee Imperialism and the Red “corrective” were/are massive failures costing millions of lives… and equally antithetical to Individual Self-Expression and Happiness, appealing most of all to closet Authoritarians.

    • BigB says

      Hi Steve: what are we going to distribute, and how are we going to distribute it – without oil? That’s not the immediate problem (while we still have oil in the ground) – but it is the major transition we should be preparing for. What oil and resources we still have should be prioritized toward our transition away from oil: creating a “soft landing ” if you will. Energy channeled into a distributive economy is energy that can’t be used elsewhere. Or, we could channel all our dwindling resources into increased militarism, a new Cold War, and go out with a bang – not a whimper . Which seems to be the plan TFIC has for us?

      • BigB!

        Do you mean “oil as a resource we should shift away from for environmental and tech reasons” or “oil as a resource that has peaked as a total chemical volume in the earth”? Because I have to say that I lean toward the abiotic theory of geologic petrocarbon production, while also believing that it’s owing to oil-plutocrats and their evil machinations that haven’t been on Solar for decades already. I don’t buy the “dead dinosaurs” theory of oil, but I wouldn’t argue the point vociferously, as I can’t be certain, either way (not my field). What I am certain of is that Solar (and other non-oil) tech is way behind where it should be in development and that’s no accident. Re: TFIC’s plans: there are so many of them! And so many of the plans overlap and clash! It’s confusing down here for us Serfs…

        • (twice I tried to post a link to an abiotic-oil-info resource but neither link showed up, so Google “F. William Engdahl” to find his site, then search for “Confessions of an “ex” Peak Oil Believer” on the front page)

          • BigB says

            Oh Steve, I fear the self-replenishing abiotic wells are about a mile south of the groves of perpetually blooming magic money trees. I’m well aware of FWE’s conversion: I fear he may have been inveigled by his bromance with Lyndon LaRouche? There is evidence that discarded wells begin to refill with (upward) migrating oil: but an inexhaustible regeneration of hydrocarbons? That smacks of Lysenkoism: a big Soviet wishful thinking porky that refuses to die.

            It does pose the question: if oil was abiotic – would it be economic to recover it? We are talking about drilling 6 miles or so into the earth’s crust. Even when that becomes technically feasible: there is a balance to be struck between the price at the wellhead, the price at the pump, and the price secularly stagnant economies can afford. I’m pretty confident the price of oil is demand constricted by the amount Debt Zombie nations can afford: and the continued Great Recession is killing oil producing corporations and nations. The real economic conundrum is not whether the oil is running out (it’s not): but will the amount of debt that producers have had to accumulate to offset the current low price lead to “stranded assets”? Abiotic oil is a pipe dream: the real question is whether we can afford to recover our conventional proven reserves? (Whether we should or not is a moot point, it’s pretty clear we are going to burn every last drop we can get our hands on). If not, what are we going to do without them??? One way or another, them dead dinosaurs are going to come back and haunt us!

            • BigB!

              I’m deffo not in support of abiotic theory with any kind of economic/energy-producing advantage in mind… the Sun, by far, is the largest (near-infinite, on the scale of our lifetimes) energy-source in the solar system, we’re close enough to make use of it… any other energy source seems silly in comparison (and to anyone who says “what about when it’s cloudy or night?” my response: we actually have satellites, now, that can orbit the earth above the clouds! Oh yes, and microwave transmission tech, too! Amazing).

              (… and, btw: it turns out that there is mainstream support for theories of epigenetic inheritance, so Lamarck and Lysenko were not irretrievably insane; popular science is never quite as settled as our normative psycho-politics would prefer, eh? Hell, even “The Aether” is experiencing a comeback among some astrophysicists)… It’s just that there isn’t much persuasive proof that dinosaurs went and died in certain pockets of the terrain and thereafter got shoved miles under the surface where they generated billions of tons of combustible dino-corpse juice. And re: Larouche: a scary character indeed, but I’m not going to discount a theory just because he grabbed it for content for his pamphlet-publishing empire, any more than I discount MIHOP because Alex Jones once touted it.

              I always found Dave McGowan’s anti-peak oil arguments logically compelling; here’s one excerpt (followed by a link, if it’s safe to post links, still):

              “The notion that oil is a ‘fossil fuel’ was first proposed by Russian scholar Mikhailo Lomonosov in 1757. Lomonosov’s rudimentary hypothesis, based on the limited base of scientific knowledge that existed at the time, and on his own simple observations, was that “Rock oil originates as tiny bodies of animals buried in the sediments which, under the influence of increased temperature and pressure acting during an unimaginably long period of time, transform into rock oil.”

              Two and a half centuries later, Lomonosov’s theory remains as it was in 1757 — an unproved, and almost entirely speculative, hypothesis. Returning once again to the Wall Street Journal, we find that, “Although the world has been drilling for oil for generations, little is known about the nature of the resource or the underground activities that led to its creation.” A paragraph in the Encyclopedia Britannica concerning the origins of oil ends thusly: “In spite of the great amount of scientific research … there remain many unresolved questions regarding its origins.”

              Does that not seem a little odd? We are talking here, after all, about a resource that, by all accounts, plays a crucial role in a vast array of human endeavors (by one published account, petroleum is a raw ingredient in some 70,000 manufactured products, including medicines, synthetic fabrics, fertilizers, paints and varnishes, acrylics, plastics, and cosmetics). By many accounts, the very survival of the human race is entirely dependent on the availability of petroleum. And yet we know almost nothing about this most life-sustaining of the earth’s resources. And even though, by some shrill accounts, the well is about to run dry, no one seems to be overly concerned with understanding the nature and origins of so-called ‘fossil fuels.’ We are, rather, content with continuing to embrace an unproved 18th century theory that, if subjected to any sort of logical analysis, seems ludicrous.

              On September 26, 1995, the New York Times ran an article headlined “Geochemist Says Oil Fields May Be Refilled Naturally.” Penned by Malcolm W. Browne, the piece appeared on page C1.

              ” Could it be that many of the world’s oil fields are refilling themselves at nearly the same rate they are being drained by an energy hungry world? A geochemist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts … Dr. Jean K. Whelan … infers that oil is moving in quite rapid spurts from great depths to reservoirs closer to the surface. Skeptics of Dr. Whelan’s hypothesis … say her explanation remains to be proved …

              Discovered in 1972, an oil reservoir some 6,000 feet beneath Eugene Island 330 [not actually an island, but a patch of sea floor in the Gulf of Mexico] is one of the world’s most productive oil sources … Eugene Island 330 is remarkable for another reason: it’s estimated reserves have declined much less than experts had predicted on the basis of its production rate. “It could be,” Dr. Whelan said, “that at some sites, particularly where there is a lot of faulting in the rock, a reservoir from which oil is being pumped might be a steady-state system — one that is replenished by deeper reserves as fast as oil is pumped out” …

              The discovery that oil seepage is continuous and extensive from many ocean vents lying above fault zones has convinced many scientists that oil is making its way up through the faults from much deeper deposits … A recent report from the Department of Energy Task Force on Strategic Energy Research and Development concluded from the Woods Hole project that “there new data and interpretations strongly suggest that the oil and gas in the Eugene Island field could be treated as a steady-state rather than a fixed resource.” The report added, “Preliminary analysis also suggest that similar phenomena may be taking place in other producing areas, including the deep-water Gulf of Mexico and the Alaskan North Slope” … There is much evidence that deep reserves of hydrocarbon fuels remain to be tapped.”

              This compelling article raised a number of questions, including: how did all those piles of dinosaur carcasses end up thousands of feet beneath the earth’s surface? How do finite reservoirs of dinosaur goo become “steady-state” resources? And how does the fossil fuel theory explain the continuous, spontaneous venting of gas and oil?”

              • Big B says

                Thanks for the response. The thing is, there is a big gap between the theory and the real world economics. Conventional oil production has plateaued since 2005. 120% of the the increase in production since then has come from Canada and the US: from unconventional sources (tight oil, tar sands, fracking.) According to Charles A S Hall: Eagle Ford and Bakken (two of the biggest unconventional shale fields) are already post-peak. Oil majors ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, and Chevron hold a combined net debt of $184 billion, more than double their 2014 debt levels (Williams and Olson 2016). So can we relax, sit back, and wait for the dry wells to fill back up? I don’t think so.

                We’re not running out of oil: we are running out of easily accessible high quality oil. We’ve been facing a declining EROI for hydrocarbons since the ’60s [Jancovici] Declining EROI is directly correlated to declining global GDP – despite the increasing rate of production (up to 2005) [Jancovici 2013] The oil majors are getting lower return on investment; are borrowing heavily against future profitability to maintain current production; cannibalising capital reserves; cutting back on investment, capital expenditure, and exploration to make current debt repayments; thus cutting back on future profits; so they have to borrow more … It’s a self-reinforcing negative feedback death spiral – which sorely contradicts the fact that the wells are steady-state, self-replenishing, and sustainable.

                Not only that: wells just don’t have to fill up – they need to overflow exponentially – to maintain the debt-money growth paradigm. To allow 3% growth per annum: the current (peak) production will have to double in 33 years – just to allow ‘business as usual.’ Then quadruple in 66 years. Them rocks, seismic pressure and heat – better do their thang and start spewing out pure sweet crude from every fissure in the earths surface – or we fucked!!!

                • BB!

                  Well, again, I’m not arguing about the production curves… until the process of oil-creation is understood and described in comprehensive detail, it’s hard to correlate oil’s (in)accessibility with theory A or B or Z; if petro-genesis is a deep-planet process, I can imagine it taking decades for quite a bit of the “new” oil to make it toward the surface. My only strong suspicion is that we are never, at any given moment, being fed the Straight Whole Truth about anything of importance.

                  Whatever you’re advocating, I’m not advocating the opposite, I’m just pointing out that the “oil is fossils” theory seems preposterous for several reasons. I also don’t necessarily trust any facts/figures that come to us via channels owned/policed by The Petro Lords. Who knows what TFIC are up to? If they can orchestrate dozens of Wars under entirely false pretenses, why expect them to stop at that…?

                  But I must say I doubt that TFIC are just deliberately running things into the ground; I think they’ve got too many ThinkTanks plotting things out for years up the road. I don’t think “incompetence” explains it… though our disadvantaged POV of obscured, inverted and muddy info may lead to that conclusion…

                  • Big B says

                    Sorry Steve: I appear to have gone on abiotic digression.

                    FWIW: it is my unprovable but hard to shake intuition is that TFIC ARE running the system into the ground. They have no choice. You can’t stop a runaway debt driven economy (well, you could – by forgiving or restructuring the debt. Imagine that!) We’ve borrowed the future to finance the faux-prosperity of yesterday and today. And who benefits maximally from the prosperity? And who stands to collects the debt? And who will socialise the cost and have to pay???

                    You probably won’t agree: but I see the solution as a new and never achieved form of Communism. Actually, Communism itself, close to how Marx envisaged it – but with the interdependence of man and Nature as the core ethos. End private property rights (as enforced by the State repressive monopoly of violence); have a demonetised classless society based on true emancipation and equality; have everything in mutually respecting communal and collective ownership (not limited individual property rights and collective and state ownership); including communal and participatory representative (Soviet) governance and self-determination (not a dominant centrally planned top-down bureaucracy); and get rid of the fucking repressive State itself (not replace one concentrated Capitalist State autocracy with another concentrated Socialist State autocracy.)

                    The biophysical limitations and planetary boundaries we are currently pushing against are demanding and moulding a transition to such a simpler, sustainable future: but it won’t be voluntarily entered into. Of course, we will take no notice and try and push the limits. What no one can predict is what the end times of capitalism and socialism will leave to retrieve. Probably, not much. If anything at all.

                    It’s hard to be more positive: but civilisational collapse might be the best thing that ever happens to us! We might finally be able to get on with the greatest experience available anywhere – ever! Simply living!!!

                    • Big B!

                      Well, yes, old friend… I don’t agree! Laugh. Communism fails for the same reason Capitalism fails: that extremely active core of psychopaths who will eventually rise to the top of any hierarchy (and, make no mistake: there will always be hierarchies). And, as I’ve said elsewhere: even dogs have private property… the abolition of PP is a non-starter. Every communist I’ve ever known (and I’ve known quite a few) had private property and very, very few were suited to communal living of any kind, being, by nature, outliers. Plus: I think competition is good… people don’t try very hard when it’s removed; they tend to wallow and stew, which is okay for some but when everyone is doing it, you end up with East Berlin: an ugly, backwards village where everybody is busy drinking beer and denouncing everybody else to the (inevitable) Authorities. No, sorry, East Berlin was pretty fucked up: between tweaking West Berlin and East Berlin, West Berlin had more potential. It ended up in the hands of the Venal Psychopaths, but everywhere does… as long as we’re fantasizing, this is my version of The Dream!

                      People often claim, in defense of Communism, after the uninspiring track record: “but we haven’t tried the real, the good, kind yet!” Well, I feel the same about Capitalism. Stronger regulations and Serf-protections, real enforcement, the eradication of both Billionaires and Slave Labor… oh, and no Money Markets: let’s get rid of those. Money should be a medium of exchange, not a value in and of itself. I want to see skilled people, with real goods and services to offer, sell these things for reasonable (to be established by consensus) prices; I want to see house painters, plumbers, school teachers and nurses rise and Stock Brokers (and all such phantom professions) vanish. I want to see Banks function on the basic (anti-usury) Muslim model. I want to see doctors and hospitals and universities paid by the government. I want to see “people” defined logically, so corporations can’t claim to be them… and I want to see the more successful people pay a bit more taxes than the people who are just making enough to live comfortably in tiny homes with moderate possessions and low electric bills.

                      In fact, here’s the essence of my manifesto:


                    • Big B says


                      We can agree on this much: we don’t care much for the system we have now. There is a growing and tangible discontent with free market capitalism. And whilst I will not fully endorse a Capitalist system (or any BAU growth paradigm system): I will happily concede that the late cancer stage ‘Capitalism’ we have now – is not Capitalism at all. It is basically wholesale fraud and theft (“accumulation by dispossesion”). It’s not ‘free’ (except to the end-user – TFIC); the markets are rigged; the real economy has been usurped in favour of the tertiary leveraging of debt; it is anti-trust and controlled by oligopolies of power; they extract rent and any surplus value in a non-productive way; concentrating power in a small cabal of plutocrats (TFIC) – that in turn use their ‘free’ dark money to buy politics and influence public opinion to corrupt the system further. Your solution is ‘honest’ money (I’d add – created debt free), and productive investment (honest banking!). Hell, I’d take that over the out of control anti-humanity cannibalistic [Wetiko] psychoses we have now!!!

    • Martine says

      The mere fact that you use the ad-inspired Coke-or-Pepsi metaphor for your “argument” disqualifies you for any Capitalist-critical debate, sorry. You’ll have to expand your choice of drinks/imagination before I listen to anything you might have to say about Communism.

      • Not quite witty enough to grasp the metaphor, I see, so I’ll spell it out for you, comrade: the venal banality of the mass-produced, sugar-flavored toxins, which aren’t nearly as unalike, as the advertizing would have one believe… ah, but what’s the point? Other than the fact that you’ve just proved one of mine? A luta Continua! Off you go on your Revolutionary Stick-Horse…

        • Martine says

          No, it is not a question of wit, nor of me not grasping the intentions of someone who sarcastically throws the term “comrade” around to prove he is above-it-all.
          If that is proof of your “individual self-expression + happiness” then it is a very tired, easy, and rather widespread cyncical “self-expression” that proves how egoism of the West feeds off itself.
          Sounds like a dead-end to me.
          My revolutionary “stick-horse” at least will take me somewhere, however slowly but surely.

          • “My revolutionary “stick-horse” at least will take me somewhere, however slowly but surely.”

            If you were brighter you’d realize that we’re all headed in exactly the same direction, at exactly the same speed; the psychological crutch of your doctrinaire slogans have no effect on that reality. You couldn’t have less of an impact if you were in a chess club or a stamp-collecting group. Raise some children (well) or write an interesting book if you want to contribute something… posing in comment threads is as “revolutionary” as singing a Clash song into a hairbrush.

            PS If you don’t own an i-phone, please deduct 20% of my obvious scorn from this comment.

            • “You couldn’t have less of an impact if you were in a chess club or a stamp-collecting group.”

              But here you are, in this comment thread, disabusing all of us of our illusions as pertains the influence and impact that any one of us might have in the world.

              What is clear to me is that you have not read Marx or if you have, you have not understood and do not understand what you read.

              Marx does not propose “revolution.” Rather, Marx states as a matter of observation that given “the law of value” — which if you understand Marx, I obviously don’t need to clarify for you — poverty and the distress that comes with that is under capitalism very much the rule rather than the exception, and under this condition, people will have as much a tendency to rebel against as to resign themselves to their common and collective misery.

              Under such a situation, Marx reasoned, it would be better that a significant percentage of a revolting population actually understand the roots of its misery, of its systemic exploitation and oppression, than not. Because only with such comprehension might it struggle, if and when it might spontaneously do so, toward an actual overturning the conditions making for its subjugation.

              It’s not that ‘socialists’ want to rally people to revolution, but that people do of their own accord sometimes rebel against untenable social conditions, and clearly, if they are to make a bid to break the bonds of their social imprisonments, it would be better to be “informed” about the nature of the realities they are having to contend with than not to be so “informed,” so as to perhaps stand a better chance of transcending them toward something better.

              But lacking the luminously penetrating intelligence that you are so obviously endowed with, StAug, could you explain to the rest of us dullards how anyone goes about getting informed if not through the verbal or written expressions of others, whether in “interesting” books or articles or scholarly pieces of research, or even in derisory comment threads such as this one?

              As for “communism” being the sugar-flavored toxin equivalent of “capitalism,” you spout a variety of doctrinaire slogans of your own, don’t you? Otherwise, you would know that what you are spouting has no resemblance or connection to historical reality.

              The USSR after 1920 was clearly in grips of a bourgeois counter-revolution, what with the mass of the most fervent “revolutionaries” having been literally extirpated over the course of both WWI and the “Russian Civil War.”

              Not for you, StAug, possessed of a mind so superior to the rest of us that you are capable of knowing without having to go through the trouble of actually getting informed, but for other readers of this comment thread who might possibly be interested, a couple of well researched and referenced analyses of why the Russian Revolution likely ended up failing:

              a) The Russian civil war: a Marxist analysis by Megan Trudell


              b) Russia:
              How the Revolution was Lost
              by Chris Harman

              Yup. It will require a little time and maybe a little effort to get trough one or both of these dull historical summaries. But what is one to do if possessed of less than the requisite brightness to recognize that we’re all headed in exactly the same direction, at exactly the same speed?

              • Norman, the comment of mine you are now addressing was not about Marx, it was about the tendency of the sons and daughters of the Bourgeoisie to romanticize certain daddy issues in the form of a lifestyle choice masquerading as socioeconomic policies that can’t work, in my opinion, for a variety of reasons… an argument we had, months ago, in a thread that actually was about Marx. I’ve read quite a bit of Marx (I found his articles for the New York Daily Tribune, written as a bourgeois essayist, often anatomizing the scary lower classes for his American readers, of interest)… the bulk of the useful stuff is a fairly sound academic analysis of the history of capital. Marx’s weak spots have more to do with human psychology (a problem among cloistered bourgeois academics to this day)… his own versus that of The Masses, for whom he had no real love, understanding or respect, obviously (the prejudices of his class come very clear in his essays for the New York Daily Tribune, c. 1850-c. 1862: my fave bit is his Darwinian take on the lower orders). Marx, the son of wealthy German/ Dutch bankers and industrialists, who married into the upper class, had his own agenda to worry about (and, again: hat tip to the wealthy uncle who funded his efforts).

                I’m not smarter than you, Norm, but I may well be a tad more logical… or mature. Who knows? Maybe we’re both wrong. This is merely a comment thread, and nothing that any of us is up to, in it, will have even a semi-joule of impact on anything…. whatever any of us chooses to think.

                • “Norman, the comment of mine you are now addressing was not about Marx . . .”

                  Right. Marx has nothing at all to do with socialism or communism, and especially not with “The Russian Revolution.” And nothing at all in any of the comments you have made here ties into the subject of “revolution” and your half-baked notions of how you relate “the socialist project,” that is to say, “Marxism,” to such historical occurrences.

                  And once again, your favorite — (or would that be your “only?”) — tactic of argumentation is on display, namely, to denigrate the person making a case (in this instance, Marx) rather than addressing either factual errors or the substance of the argument(s) or analyses, and then on that basis, call bullshit on any valid point made.

                  And about not being smarter than me, Steve, but yet being more logical . . . or mature . . . Well, yes, of course.

                  • Norm, the comment-exchange you responded to had nothing to do with Marx or his writings (which neither of us has any proof that “Martine” has read) : “Martine” took a swing at me because she/he didn’t understand my “Coke/Pepsi” metaphor was in no sense a normative invocation of these Totalitarian Brands. That was the extent of it. If you wanted to address my commentary on the “October Revolution,” you picked the wrong comment to sample and rebut.

                    Also, my “anti-Marx” insinuations are not really ad hominems: I cited written material of his in which he makes prejudicial remarks against the “proles” (it’s on the record: read his for-Americans editorials of the 1850s)… I sourced his published material.

                    Anyway, we did all this already, Norm, in thousand-kilometer threads elsewhere. Re-read those, then, if you must. Don’t try to make me write it all down again… I have other things I’d rather do on this Sunday.

              • “But lacking the luminously penetrating intelligence that you are so obviously endowed with, StAug, could you explain to the rest of us dullards how anyone goes about getting informed if not through the verbal or written expressions of others, whether in “interesting” books or articles or scholarly pieces of research, or even in derisory comment threads such as this one?”

                I’m very much in favor of people reading as much as possible, investing the years it will take to come to a Greater Understanding of things… what I’m not into is people using catch-phrases, feel-good-slogans, faith-based thinking and pseudo-revolutionary zealotry in lieu of understanding a single fucking condition they pretend to address with their virtue-signalling Lifestyle choices. I find that tedious in the extreme.

                I respectfully disagree with BigB but he clearly knows his shit; if “Martine” knows anything, she/he hasn’t shared it in this thread, yet. She/he seems about as soundbite-“knowledgeable” as the many Hilary Voters I enraged last year.

                Now, to get specific about Communism: years ago, when I discovered that the Paris Review had been funded and run by the CIA as a venue for “agents of influence” , I was forced to re-examine my “cultural choices”… the books/music/Art I grew up revering, which I had once, naively, believed were organic decisions on my part. It hit me that my “choices” had been sculpted by Western Intelligence (via media and “education”). I asked myself: why exactly do I think I revere these Artists and Writers? It was a long and painful process, deconstructing my youthful enthusiasms . But it was healthy; it was good.

                I merely suggest that others should consider doing the same regarding their youthful crushes/ idols/ passions/ certainties. As a wide-eyed high school or uni student, you just don’t have the experience to know when you’re being brainwashed. For example, many young people believe that Drugs are culturally forbidden , which strengthens the lure (and keeps the prices up). Far from it: the mainstream sells you drugs/ booze before you can really talk. It wants a big chunk of the young peasantry to be foggy/distracted/powerless (the rest it culls in War).

                Can you think of other supposedly-forbidden things TFIC like to keep some of us (the uni-student types) chasing our tails with? (hint)

              • “But what is one to do if possessed of less than the requisite brightness to recognize that we’re all headed in exactly the same direction, at exactly the same speed?”

                That was a reference to Mortality, Norm, in case you missed it.

              • ““You couldn’t have less of an impact if you were in a chess club or a stamp-collecting group.”

                But here you are, in this comment thread, disabusing all of us of our illusions as pertains the influence and impact that any one of us might have in the world”

                Unlike some commenters, Norm, I’m not pretending to be a Revolutionary. And just because you have a rifle and know how to use it, do you think that makes you potentially (to borrow an ugly neologism) “impactful”? What is your plan for having some sort of influence, if it wasn’t in raising children….?

                • Big B says

                  Steve: that’s beautiful (not that you complement me – but mutually respectful thanks anyway.) I mean the bit about reappraising what you think you know (not as a once off, but as a continuous process.) What I thought I knew was rabid bullshit (I thought drugs were pretty cool too – until I learnt to equate drugs with (state sponsored) terrorism, gun running, people trafficking, etc.) To the point that what I think I know now, I know I don’t know (if that makes sense.)

                  If I can interject into your thread with Norm: (ignoring his bourgeois pretensions) I feel Marx is more pertinent than ever – as the first and foremost systems analyst. David Harvey (the foremost commentator on Marx, IMHO) identifies three ‘fatal’ contradictions with capitalism – the tendency toward universal alienation; the tendency toward universal exploitation of nature; (and the multiplier) the necessity of exponential compound growth.

                  The temporary accommodation of these destructive internal contradictions is the “spacial fix” – imperial conquest, resource acquisition, assimilating more nations into ‘democratic’ ‘free trade’ rule. I would submit we are at the end of this process. The fact that Russia, China, Iran, etc are opposed to the US-EU-NATO imperium on the political level may provide the illusion of an available spatial fix – but in reality we already have an integrated, self-organised, networked, complex adaptive system (linked on many interactive levels – not least the underlying BIS central banking system.) Which three (2.5 really) nations are vying to dominate.

                  We are already over-invested in complexity – hyperglobalism – and the hegemonic tendency is to create more complexity (EU-NATO integration; (postponed) trans-national trade agreements; OBOR…) But the investment in complexity is a law of diminishing return. In fact, it is how civilisations collapse [Joseph Tainter, 1988: ISBN: 9780521386739.]

                  Any rational empirical analyses would show that we have created an incredibly vulnerable ‘bubble economy’ – which is not just solely financially; but spatially; socially; and above all, bio-energetically unsustainable.

                  Modern Marxists, socialists, and capitalists – need to take stock of the underlying biophysical reality of where we are. 21st century socio-economics needs to account for biophysical restraints on the system. You can’t have a negentropic perpetual motion exponentially growing system. YOU CAN’T! It defies the 2nd law of thermodynamics. [Hall and Klitgaard: ISBN 978-1-4419-9398-4] As do the ‘laws’ and paradigms of not just our economics – but our underlying increasingly out of synch with reality psychology (or is that psychosis?) REALITY IS REAL; and it is just about to show us how real it is – unless we learn to respect it. That is the lesson all systems analysts will have to acknowledge, IMHO.

                  • BigB!

                    Jesus! My Sunday…. (screams)!!! (laugh)

                    In a nutshell: I agree with the vast majority of what you say here! I think that Marx the academic needs to be separated from Marx the “revolutionary”… the former, as a Systems Analyst, can be integrated perfectly well within a Critique of Things As They Are. Which is very far from using his philosophical work as a prescriptive blue-print (just as I can get behind a homeopath’s critique of Big Pharma while rejecting her/his suggestions for “cures” as bizarre/ irrelevant). I have an old Marxist friend who believes that the built-in, hidden contribution of the Proletariat needs to be celebrated in the High Temples of Tech… that a welder’s or janitor’s life needs to be accorded its due credit and dignity as such. But as a Serf, myself, I tried to explain to him that very few welders or janitors think of themselves as embodying those jobs: many of them think of themselves as poets, writers, artists, metaphysicians who need the money. The problem in my Marxist friend’s worldview was, ironically, the distance (and condescension) that his class had built into his “studies” of the problem.

                    The biggest System we need to Analyse is MIND; I feel that Marxist analysis fails there, for the same reason my friend assumed that janitors or lunch-ladies draw a sense of essential identity from their menial jobs.

                    Longer comment coming in response to Norm… (stay tuned)… and then, by Gawdz, I’m washing the dishes! laugh

                    • Big B says

                      “The philosophers have interpreted the world in many ways. The point, however, is to change it.” KM.

                      To do that; we have to analyse and change our minds – from modes of ‘having’ to modes of ‘being’ – and to continuously learn, unlearn and expand our horizons. To infinity: and beyond!!!

                      [enjoy the rest of your Sunday – catch you another time.]

                    • “To do that; we have to analyse and change our minds – from modes of ‘having’ to modes of ‘being’ ”

                      Quite eerie that you mention that, BB, because my weirdest, most aggressively and unashamedly postmodern (not ashamed of the word) novel is divided, thematically, along several axes, one of which is “Being” vs “Having” (yet another being Canada vs USA, also: beans versus grains: laugh!)

                      I post this not for anyone to “enjoy” (only a hardcore logovore could dig this stuff; most of my novels are MUCH easier on the eye) but to prove that what I claim is so:

                      (in the following scene, a strip-club-chain-owning Matriarch is on a respirator as she astral projects… she’s also being given a strawberry colonic… as a journalist is in the room to write about it)

                      “Slip these slippers on. Comfy? Radium-heated. Down the contemplative Chagalls-lined
                      hallway tiptoe we. Thirsty? Have this before we enter. Warm and good and not too titmousein-winter-needy. A steamed cocoa-beer from one of the border states. Missouri, I think. Drink
                      of it. Have you ever worked in the presence of herbal comas before? No? Any noise you
                      make or word you utter or boof you cut will tend to shade the experience or deflect the
                      trajectory of the soulmind in question, which is tethered to a Zero Point of infinite receptivity.
                      Sign this release (in English script). Here and here. And your initials. Excellent.

                      Behold I pull the plaited chords with o such quiet care and doesn’t the chamber suddenly
                      double in depth as the velvet purple parts like some giant’s big-labia Jerk-Box ‘til you doubt
                      the actual evidence of your slanting eyes? Are you dreaming, Dearest Chinaman? No! You are reflecting foetons which are reflected foetons from the armoire-colored monument of the nude reclining corpus of The Worlds-Famous Mama D’Avoire! A genius attends to her bottom (the genius called her Merlin called her PER or PA ETRA) as a harelipped intern
                      (from the proburbs) dry-washes the nesty vastness of D’Avoire’s eighty-year-old Afro in
                      yonder earthenware bowl of germinating oats on loan from a tributary Chieftain who owes
                      her one! O say can you hear the measured rise and fall of D’Avoire’s altered ribs supporting
                      the most photographed grain-based implants in the US? The armoire-colored megateats of M. D’Avoire? The still-hard sheens on the still-supple fleshes! The subtle drag of feted nipples
                      grip at breathing monogrammed sheets! Seven times every US minute the sweet warm gasmélange called air is sucked by D’Avoire’s autonomic urge then mixed with prana and
                      platelets and incandescent smattering of mitochondrial extraterrestrials in the propulsive crucible of her heart! One out of every two-hundred USands is carrying penicillin-resistant extraterrestrials is what the figure now indicates as you are or are not aware! So D’Avoire is revealed (this is your exclusive!) as being or having, among so many other attributes and qualities…!

                      The journalist scribble-scratches never once glancing down…

                    • Big B says

                      I thought you were busy!

                      I’ve got to be honest: the novel is no longer to my pipe and slippers taste. However, (not to go to far off piste): it does remind me stylistically of the ‘Nadsat’ of “A Clockwork Orange” (borrowed from the Russian; based in part on “slav propaganda” according to Burgess himself) which my teen self absolutely llllooooooovvvvvvvvvveeeeeeedddddd. Moog = Droog? (It’s a homophone anyway.) Links into Warhol, the Velvet Underground, and god of all gods – David Bowie (“droogie don’t crash here”) Ah. to again be young, disillusioned, and revolutionary!

                    • (Washed dishes, went shopping, fixed Daughter’s PC: busy indeed!)

                      As I said: the book is far too weird for most but the bizarre coincidence of “Having vs Being” was spooky as Hell (not to mention: look at the statue in the photo illustrating the post: it’s Ulyanov!)… I had to show you the Jungian overlap there, man! Laugh

                    • BigB says

                      Synchronicity: Marx’s way of staying anonymous! Laugh!!!

    • Your outlook seems to consistently reduce everything to generic “lives” (which means that all killing is automatically “wrong”), “authoritarianism” (as though “distributism” doesn’t itself have CLASS content and therefore AUTHORITARIAN content) and that falls back on the alt-right motif of “globalism” when what you’re actually timidly trying to say is capitalist-imperialism. Yes, the Red corrective IS authoritarian, because communists have no desire for mass suicide. Communists are not going to drop their guard and disband with the dictatorship over the bourgeoisie because people who can think only in crude vulgarizations “prefer” not to have authoritarianism.

      “No other systems can be considered and no “Third World” populations should ever be allowed to go their own way, in any case. Right?”

      Well, you’re the one who perpetually whines when these populations take up the banner of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.

      • “Well, you’re the one who perpetually whines when these populations take up the banner of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.”

        Har. Yeah… there used to be money in that, for Africans, didn’t there? Your “analysis” of history is so poignantly naive… you must be a Uni student.

        But can you please just get back to me after you’ve Smashed The State? I don’t need to keep hearing from you (over and over again) before you’ve fulfilled your Glorious Destiny…. it makes you appear to be nothing but a Silly Fantasist with nothing but shopworn “revolutionary” slogans to offer. And you’re so much more than that.

        • “Har. Yeah… there used to be money in that, for Africans, didn’t there? Your “analysis” of history is so poignantly naive… you must be a Uni student.”

          Funny; I was thinking that your bourgeois-chauvinist reading of history, dripping with ignorance and disdain for Third World struggles, and which de-emphasizes anything achieved by Third World peoples by making everything subordinate to the will and the “good” of First World imperialists, means that you’re under the thrall of right-wing memes. I could be wrong about that, but the rest of your posts, similarly dripping with vulgar and lazy nonsense, lead me to think I’m correct in my assessment of you.

          In one sense, there was indeed “money in it” for Africans. When China was under the leadership of Mao’s revolutionary line, China showed solidarity with Africa’s struggle against imperialism by building vital infrastructure free of charge. Certainly, it can’t denied that the Chinese comrades did more for Africans, and extended to them a far deeper internationalist solidarity, than people like you ever will. You seem capable only of snidely denouncing whatever doesn’t fit into your narrow and parochial Sanders-style social-democratic “good jobs” “socialism”.

          “But can you please just get back to me after you’ve Smashed The State?”

          This is the refrain of someone truly ad perhaps terminally clueless about the tactical and strategic dimensions of revolutionary struggle, the actual words and deeds of Lenin and Mao, of the practical process of building counter-bougeois hegemony, as though revolution is composed solely of “smashing the state” (a straw-man that conveniently allows you to snidely “har-har” from the sidelines while you offer nothing but hot hair and reactionary bloviations). It’s clearly you’ve read NOTHING about revolutionary practice, not even in the context of the countries where socialist revolution was achieved. Reducing everything to caricature might be enjoyable, but it’s not particular useful for unpacking the process of social struggle (and its shortcomings in the First World) and formulating a strategic outlook that the working class can actually use and implement. Your capitulationism is a dead-end. Your anti-communism is a dead-end. Your First World-chauvinism is a dead-end. You whine about middle class kids and their fake communism, but you would whine ALL THE HARDER if these kids were actually serious communists (heck, you whine when THIRD WORLD peasants and workers take up arms and do that which you wag your finger at me for not doing! How transparently reactionary can you get?). In short, your ideological take is backward – its class content is reactionary and capitulationist – and is not doing to go anywhere towards overthrowing capitalism-imperialism. By the way, thanks for admitting that you have no interest in doing this (I doubt that you noticed that you were doing this, but it might help to point it out). You call on me to “get back to” you after I’ve “smashed the state” (you apparently think that this is something I think I can do on my own, as though revolution were reducible to a commando raid), which means that you’re ASLEEP, not doing anything, or otherwise content in your idleness. Well, sleeping isn’t a strategy, but if you want to push that onto the masses as though it was, then at least have the decency to admit that you’re not on their side. Telling them to drop dead might be a more economical use of your time.

          Any chance you could get off your high horse and maybe THINK about these a bit more deeply? Or would that be too “boring” for you?

  6. Certainly … humanity has the intellectual, moral and spiritual capacity to build a world for future generations which is at true peace, and redirects finances wasted on weapons of war toward making sure all sacred-souled people have at least the basic necessities of food, clothing and shelter. Higher and more enlightened spiritual consciousness is the key.

  7. Big B says

    Good and thought provoking article. History doesn’t pause for end points. It is an ineluctable process that continues without end. To assume an end point is the (self-admitted) mistake of Francis Fukuyama – and it certainly wasn’t with the faux zenith of Western Liberal Democracy. Nor did history end 100 years ago: the historical dialectic will continue to evolve toward a new and transcendent type of society, coupled with a new and transcendent type of being – not one remodeled on the unsustainable past: one that embraces our cooperative and sustainable future. It cannot be anthropocentric: as most recent attempts at an industrialised, financialised society have been. It must be life affirming across the commons; regenerative and sustainative of all biomes and biodiversity. Have we ever had such a large scale society? Can we devolve and degrow toward one now? Is the ‘Revolutionary Dream’ of such an as yet unrealised vision for humanity? Or is it another rehash of the life-denying growth principle??? The Zeitgeist goal of humanity is to clear the collective consciousness of all past failures: open our minds – and let the future form. The alternative is simply unimaginable.

  8. rtj1211 says

    The key for this author is to evaluate honestly what was wrong with the nature of the post 1917 Soviet society and why it failed in the real world.

    Then a new, 21st century synthesis may re-emerge.

    My personal view is that it is not communism that is required, rather Gandhi’s million self-governing villages.

    1 million villages pose no threat to anyone. It is laughable that any Imperialist could claim otherwise. Decentralised decision-making, the minimum amount of centralised power.

    The real challenge is a global equivalent to the UK winding down the Empire after 1945. The UK did that well enough to maintain the Commonwealth. Whether the US is capable, whether China would consider it, I do not know.

    Uktimately what is essential is for enough humans to say this: ‘we need enough money to survive, but our non-negotiable values are a healthy home for families to live in, healthy food to eat, friendly relations in the family and the Community.’

    • “Decentralised decision-making, the minimum amount of centralised power.”

      How do you coordinate the needs of the entire society? How do you ensure allocation of resources and assistance to those sectors of the population who have been historically marginalized, and prevent the retention of locale-specific chauvinism? How do you ensure that these “million villages” don’t accumulate more and more wealth in competition with other villages?

  9. JJA says

    I was in New York last December. Walking along a street in Manhattan near Times Square I saw a huge billboard that proclaimed ‘Communism has killed 100 million people’ or words to that effect. I looked in vain for an asterisk that would point to a source for these figures, or for another huge billboard proclaiming how many millions had been killed by western imperialism and colonialism.
    On that same visit I was told that Putin had invaded Ukraine, that he wanted to invade the rest of the world etc. etc. I asked if anyone had heard Nuland and her ‘fuck the EU’ phone conversation about Ukraine but was met with blank faces. It is no wonder US is gripped by 21st century McCartheyism. I was glad to leave, doubt I will ever return.

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