Pamphlet by Socialists for Medical Freedom
I. Genuine socialists not guilty of the Great Reset
Often we have heard speakers in our movement here in New York decry the “socialists”, “Communists,” and “Marxists.” When one of us, a recently fired teacher from NY Teachers for Choice, identified himself as a “socialist,” he was roundly booed.
Supposedly, we are stripping you of our common liberties. We’re with the Great Reset!
Rosa Luxembourg: Socialist fighter, martyred by the Friekorps proto Nazis
Klaus Schwab: Great Resetter, scion of a Nazi family, Ming the Merciless Impersonator.
Do these two really look like they were separated at birth?!!!
Sorry to disappoint you. Maybe you actually believed in this superficial scapegoating (for a movement officially opposed to discrimination, some of you sure take the cake!). But we plead “not guilty.” The Great Resetters—Schwab, Gates–are not socialists. These sociopaths are instead technocratic fascists, members of a ruling class at the top of the capitalist economy that we socialists want to overthrow. Nor are their political minions socialists—Biden, Fauci, nor even AOC or Sanders. (The latter are right wing social democrats: to the right of FDR and the 1940s, pro-capitalist “New Deal. They’re not the worst of the lot–but they’re not socialists!)
Scapegoating us socialists for the Great Reset is leftover demagoguery from the dark days of Joe McCarthy (“Got a problem with capitalist society? Blame it on the Communists!–or black people, or Mexican immigrants, etc. etc.”). It is unfortunately true that this warmed-over bigotry has found some basis today in the fact that many, but by no means all, of the Socialists, even the Marxist revolutionaries, along with the Social Democrats (like AOC) have become pro-Covid repressive/censorship Fakirs. Just like the Stalinists in Russia, and in Europe during WWII, and like most all of the Social Democrats at the beginning of World War I, they’ve betrayed our socialist cause. They support their own governments’ Covid repression, including censorship. They should know better. But not because such fascist support is inherent in the socialist ideology and program. It isn’t. And we socialists aren’t with them, anymore! We’re with you, fighting for freedom!!!!
They’ve betrayed humanity and freedom, because, besides Trump Derangement Syndrome, they’ve been suckered into the quasi-religious ideology of scientism. Ever since they became (now pseudo-) socialists, they have understood that we cannot place our faith in reforming the bourgeois state But this Marxist understanding has coexisted uneasily with the scientistic belief that when the medical establishment tells you to take your shot—well, you just should! Anyone who refuses—is a right-wing ignoramus! Or a big baby! Doctor Fauci and Dr. Wallensky know best! Why? Because their M.D.s makes them both infallible and incorruptible!
But what about the tens of thousands of M.D.s and medical Ph.D.s who are dissenting from this narrative—even the inventor of mRNA, Dr. Robert Malone?! “Oh, no” comes the usual reply, “they’re ‘outliers’! We support stripping them of their license to practice medicine. They haven’t been given the seal of approval by the fact-checkers, quackbusters, nor by the World Health Organization, nor the FDA or the CDC (all corrupted/controlled by the very same corporate capitalists, whom, outside of the field of medicine, we consider to be our deadliest enemies—and of all of humanity, if we are to survive as a species!!!)”
But wait a second. Isn’t this not only a double standard, but the wrong, authoritarian standard? “No!” they reply. “Just like Marx, we believe in Science!,” (their voices becoming shrill). “Yes,” we genuine socialists reply. “So do we! But he also believed in free speech, critical thought and debate, the right to dissent, (1) and that science isn’t something that just comes out of Anthony Fauci’s mouth. It must be based on testing, and the right of dissenting scientists to be given the chance for refutation and challenge.”
So just like the “liberals,” these “socialists” have succumbed to this dangerous authoritarian nonsense. Thus they have now aligned themselves with the privileged Professional Managerial class, which has become the “cosmopolitan cadre” (van der Pijl) for the Great Reset—as Max Blumenthal, Denis Raincourt, Kees van der Pijl, Christian Parenti, and Mark Crispin Miller—all socialists, btw–have pointed out.
So we can fully understand your confusion of the Great Resetters with socialism. But we are not Great Resetters. And we are no more responsible for this abject betrayal by our former comrades, than we are for the Stalinist degeneration of the Russian Soviet experiment. Some of this latter degeneration was due to the tremendous pressure placed upon this experiment by imperialism; some may be attributed, it must be admitted, to some of the new socialist regime’s measures. But even these mistakes were made in desperate response to these pressures. But it had nothing to do with any purported intrinsic tendencies of socialism toward totalitarianism. (On the other hand, as we are about to try to show you, the “Great Reset” comes like an oak tree right out of the intrinsic tendencies of this acorn we know as “free market capitalism”!)
We strongly oppose both this betrayal by our former comrades. And we join you in opposition to the Great Reset, and Covid Repression, and in fighting for freedom.
So we want you to stop picking on us. More importantly, however, we want you to join us in understanding that socialism is the only way we can win. And that the conservatives’ solutions will not work to liberate us. We want to debate you!
II. The problems with conservative libertarian ideology
A. Nationalism: Nostalgia for a capitalist “Golden Age” America that never really existed. A view commonly expressed in our movement is that “America” is our defense against the Great Reset. At many of our rallies, one can hear patriotic songs, and see American flags. In the face of an elite globalist project that seeks to enslave all of humanity, this is understandable. Nevertheless, we need to understand a hard truth. The Nation-State, as anti-war socialist Randolph Bourne pointed out in a posthumously published essay in 1918, is a “myth,” confusing the good of our own popular communities with the imperialist interest of the ruling class that controls the government. And “War is the Health of the State!” As one of Bourne’s greatest students, the regional-socialist social and urban critic Lewis Mumford, wrote in a similar vein:
“Only in times of war, when frontiers are closed, when the movement of men and goods and ideas across “national” boundaries can be blocked, when a pervading sense of fear sanctions the extirpation of differences, does the national state conform to its ideal pattern. All the great national states, and the empires formed around a national core, are at bottom war-states: their politics is war-politics; and the all-absorbing preoccupation of its governing classes lies in collective preparation for armed assault… The suppression of regional characteristics, in the interests of national unity, is systematically carried on by the modern state; and in this effort the political agents are powerfully abetted by the financial forces of the metropolis, seeking to impose uniform standards in order to guarantee their own control of the “national market.” (2)
The liberal and social-democratic “Left” (Democrats in the US, Lula and the Workers Party in Brazil) moved so far to the right that they were indistinguishable from the right economically: distinguishing themselves only by their Left-sounding, social justice and identity politics phrases. It was only in this context of abject betrayal that national populism has gained great strength, Donald Trump in the US, and Bolsonaro in Brazil. But national populism encourages us into a purely passive role, and distracts us from actively asserting ourselves and our interests—economic, existential—in independent working -centered revolutionary movements. He writes that “This organic conception of a quasi-natural ‘people’ obtained its extreme translation in fascism” It is just as much a tool of the Deep State to be used to manipulate the lower classes—the small propertied middle class, and the working class–into forgetting about the class realities of our society, as is the Democratic Party’s Covid-repression worship now plaguing the Professional Managerial cadre for the Great Reset. (3) But there is, as Grayzone author Marcie Smith Parenti proclaimed at one of our City Hall rallies in the fall, “a ruling class!” And it uses national populism to pit one class against another, “natives” against immigrants—all the while covering its own presence.
Our conservative brothers and sisters would like to see a simple restoration to a capitalist democratic republic, where we vote for responsible politicians, who appoint regulators who really do their job to protect the public, and where Banks and Investment Firms, and Big Pharma and Big Tech corporations are tamed, not permitted to control the political process–if not broken up entirely. But the capitalist democratic republic has never really been democratic, in the first place. It is inevitably corrupt because it represents the capitalists who created it so that they could control it–not the masses. We don’t rule: which a real democracy would allow us to do. Instead, we vote for our “representatives”–who are bought off by the ruling class.
We socialists honor and respect the Bill of Rights, as a product of both the Enlightenment ideals of our (elite, bourgeois) Founding Fathers, and the demands of the working majority of late 18th century America—the farmers who were the rank and file of revolts to save their farms from the banks, in many of the original 13 states: Shay’s rebellion in Massachusetts being only the most famous example. To get the Constitution signed, the Fathers had to act upon their most libertarian impulses. You might say these revolts put the Founders on their best, most enlightened behavior: just as much as when they wrote and signed the Declaration of Independence: to enlist the masses in their cause. (4) But their motives for creating the specific, representative structure with that Constitution, were anything but. It was designed rather to empower them to squelch these revolts, which had been facilitated by the prior, radically democratic Articles of Confederation.
As Marx writes in the Poverty of Philosophy (1847),
In the bourgeoisie we have two phases to distinguish: that in which it constituted itself as a class under the regime of feudalism and absolute monarchy, and that in which, already constituted as a class, it overthrew feudalism and monarchy to make society into a bourgeois society.”
In this very last stage–their consolidation of state power, in order to oppress and exploit the working masses, the bourgeoisie transform themselves from a revolutionary class, to becoming an oppressive one. If you look at Federalist Papers 10 and 51, you’ll see that the Fathers created the U.S. Constitution, “a modern representative state,” to prevent the “tyranny of the majority” which they equated with democratic rule by the masses. Our country’s Founders were comprised of slaveholding landed gentry and Northern bankers and merchants. Their view of the rest of us, was the equivalent of “white trash”–or chattel slaves. Neither of which, they felt, should rule the country. They especially feared the danger that these popular masses would unite against them–the interracial solidarity they expressly feared might develop among the producing class, ever since Bacon’s Rebellion. (5)
Here is Madison on the populist proposals promoted at the time by desperate farmers losing their land to the bankers, in these rebellions: “A rage for paper money, for an abolition of debts, for an equal division of property, or for any other improper or wicked project,…” Out of his wealthy, slave-owning class interest, and those of his fellow Federalists, the wealthy Northern bankers and merchants, he wishes to defeat such proposals, via the creation and ratification of the U.S. Constitution of 1787. (6) Do you really think the government he and his fellow Federalists created was democratic???!!! Resoundingly, Randolph Bourne wrote in Part II of The State that while the potential for democracy was certainly there, it was defeated by this wealthy elite. (7) Thus the American Revolution, like the French, Dutch, and English Revolutions became, instead of a successful experiment in popular democracy, the first installment in the centralization of state power by the bourgeoisie in order to gain exclusive control over it, to be used as a weapon against the masses: the better to exploit you with, my dears! The Great Reset is just the latest installment in this process! So why do you want to support the first installment against the latest?! The slippery slope to hell is always paved with good intentions!
B. Populist Panaceas: Why do our conservative colleagues want to hang onto capitalism? While no one would deny it has given humanity incredible technological progress, it has also produced much evil over the course of its rule—slavery, colonialism, the exploitation and bloody repression of the working class, imperialism, racism, war, fascism, “regime change,” “shock and awe,” and now: medical genocide.
Our conservative friends would argue that capitalism’s competitive nature preserves our liberties. Really? Look around you. As Bobby Kennedy has been saying, the ruling class, produced by and benefiting from capitalism, has flushed the Bill of Rights down the toilet.
But this state of affairs, the conservatives will argue, is an accident. These monopolies were created via collusion with and support from corrupt politicians. Put in better officials, or weaken the State, create the “parallel” economic and social “structures” called for by Michael Rechtenwald and other conservative libertarians. And then we can reduce the power of these monopolies. We can even destroy them, and go back to a free market capitalism.
Rechtenwald calls for “parallel structures, parallel communications, parallel media, parallel money, parallel production, parallel exchange, and so forth.” (8) His newfound, conservative libertarian idol (Michael used to be a Left Communist), Antony C. Sutton, is a just a little bit more specific—but not by much:
“a majority of individuals declares or acts as if it wants nothing from government, declares it will look after its own welfare and interests” or, specifically, if “a majority finds the moral courage and the internal fortitude to reject the something-for-nothing con game and replace it by voluntary associations, voluntary communes, or local rule and decentralized societies.” (9)
Firstly, however, we need to critically examine this free market idyll. As our very own U.S. homegrown socialist Transcendentalist thinker Orestes Brownson, a few years before Marx, in his 1840 Democratic Party election pamphlet The Laboring Classes, pointed out, the “freedom” of the capitalists in the Jacksonian Era was contiguous with the exploitation of the workers and their immiseration. And what about the other oppressions that occurred in this purported “Golden Age”?: Slavery, racism, the oppression of women, the growth of homophobia, genocide against the natives, an expansionist war against Mexico?! (10)
Secondly, something that Proudhon and his followers have never understood, is that the growth of the size and the power of monopolies, was not an accident, and it was not dependent upon a corrupt State. This growth is intrinsic to the capitalist system, with or without State aid. As Marx wrote, precisely because capitalism is competitive, the capitalists, to cut their costs, continually replace workers with machines. This not only increases productivity, and provides them both a competitive edge, and a temporary “technological rent” their competitors will not in the meantime enjoy, But it also entails monopolization, or what Marx called the “centralization of capital”:
“…there is an increase in the minimum amount of individual capital necessary to carry on a business under its normal conditions. The smaller capitals, therefore, crowd into spheres of production which Modern Industry has only sporadically or incompletely got hold of. Here competition rages…. It always ends in the ruin of many small capitalists, whose capitals partly pass into the hands of their conquerors, partly vanish..” (11)
And finally, the process of replacing workers with machines within the production process lowers the rate of profit, since labor is the source of exchange value, and profit. (12) While, for a time, the capitalists can compensate for this by increasing their investments, to drive up the mass of profit (the big firms of course, here as well, more able to do this than the smaller: further centralizing Capital), eventually, the MoP will also go into decline. This leads to crises, including the waves of unemployment we are experiencing today, engulfing the system,
So, attempt to weaken the State, break up the monopolies, all you want (or can). Like the many headed hydra, new monopolies will form, and use their tremendous wealth to buy off the State.
Another problem with the conservative libertarian strategy is with their view that we can slowly but surely draw people away from the existing, monopoly controlled System, via the persuasive power of our ideas, as well as through the formation of these “parallel structures. Ironically, this is the same strategy championed by the illiberal cancel culture snowflakes most of us oppose. As Jessica Cassell argues in her Marxism vs. Intersectionality, in a paragraph based on Marx and Engels’ The German Ideology,
“This is a profoundly idealistic approach which is based on the idea that in order to change society, you need to change people’s views first—or even worse, that by changing “discourse” you can transform reality. The truth is that the dominant ideology in a class society is that of the ruling class. The ideology of the people who carry out revolutions, the exploited and oppressed masses, is imbued with all the reactionary ideas and prejudices imposed by the ruling class. It is in the course of the struggle to transform society that people (in large numbers) become transformed and change (to a large extent) their points of view.” (13)
Thus it is only through a working class-based, revolutionary socialist movement that consciousness can radically change, away from the corral placed around it by the ruling capitalist class.
Recently, in her newsletter, Dr. Meryl Nass has made similar prescriptions:
“People are breaking free and taking responsibility for their future. Where I live, people are learning self-sufficiency skills, creating home-schooling coops, building greenhouses and growing food. The migration to the countryside was deliberate.” (14)
Now, as far as personal, individual solutions during this terrible crisis, none of these are bad ideas. They might just help people, who can do them, survive. But they do not represent a political solution to this crisis. Instead, to accept them as such, is based upon a delusion: “old liberal utopia,” as Wilson Carey McWilliams asserted in The Idea of Fraternity in America (1973). This is “a world of total private liberty and the ability to gratify desires…” It comes out of a desire to take the“good” of capitalism–its narcissistic version of freedom–without the “bad”: its inevitable tendency toward monopoly, war, imperialism, and tyranny, and its fundamental basis in exploitation. If you accept such neo-Proudhonian utopias, you want to have your cake, and to eat it, too. It is based, in McWilliams’ words, on a blindness “to the nature of communion,”–the communion, and freedom, possible in a socialist workers democracy–and “is rooted in hatred of the self and fear of the other.” (15)
The only road forward is socialism!
The working class is the only class powerful enough to overthrow capitalism, beat back the Great Reset, and create real liberty, medical and every way else: as has been shown recently by the truckers convoys, in very limited fashion so far. Workers have the power to shut down production, via economic, political, and general strikes.
Socialist revolution would be the means by which to create real, radical democracy. The Communist League, led by Marx and Engels, declared as their goal:
“a democratic State wherein each party would be able by word or in writing to win a majority over to its ideas…. We are not among those communists who are out to destroy personal liberty, who wish to turn the world into one huge barrack or into a gigantic workhouse. . . . We have no desire to exchange freedom for equality. We are convinced … that in no social order will personal freedom be so assured as in a society based upon communal ownership.” (16)
Workers would control the economy directly, via councils, election of their own managers. We would gain direct control of the national and multinational corporations, at the point of production. We would expropriate the billionaires, so, as unlikely as it will be to corrupt our truly democratic system, they would no longer have the wealth to even attempt to corrupt it. No, we would not make their lives miserable—as they are trying to make ours now. But they would have to work like anybody else. And they could no longer effect their current sociopathic, “transhuman” schemes against the rest of us.
For we would live in a society that would fulfill our needs, and enable us to enjoy unimaginable freedoms in a truly democratic community: not make a few sociopaths rich, or give them the obscene levels of destructive power over the rest of us they enjoy today.
(1) See Karl Marx, Critique of Hegel’s Doctrine of the State, 1843 where he stands up for freedom of thought and expression against the Prussian bureaucracy, and attacks its totalitarian tendencies, Notes for a Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, by Karl Marx (marxists.org). See particularly the following passages: http://www.autodidactproject.org/quote/marx_bureaucracy01.html. And his The Civil War in France, 1871, Chapter 5, where he celebrates the Paris Commune’s destruction of the “centralized State power,” and, until it faced defeat by Thiers’ bourgeois government, the Commune’s complete freedom of the press. The Civil War in France (marxists.org)
(2) Lewis Mumford, The Culture of Cities, 1938.
(3) Kees Van Der Pijl, States of Emergency: Keeping the Global Population in Check. Clarity Press, 2022.
(4) Particularly enlightened was slaveowner Thomas Jefferson’s effort to place, in his Declaration, language decrying the slave trade, supported by King George III. Unfortunately this ran afoul of Southern slave-owning delegates to the Convention led by South Carolina delegate Ned Rutledge—who threatened to walk out if this language was not removed.
(5) Nancy Isenberg, White Trash: The 400 Year Untold History of Class in America. Viking Press, 2016.
(7) “The popular elements in the new States had only to show their turbulence; they were given no time to grow. The ambitious leaders of the financial classes got a convention called to discuss the controversies and maladjustments of the States, which were making them clamor for a revision of the Articles of Confederation, and then, by one of the most successful coups d’etat in history, turned their assembly into the manufacture of a new government on the strongest lines of the old State ideal.” The State (1918). By Randolph Bourne // Fair Use Repository (fair-use.org)
(8) Michael Rectenwald: Woke Capitalism Will Destroy Businesses Not Compliant With Great Reset (geopoliticsandempire.com)
(9) Antony C. Sutton, Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler, Chapter 12
(10) The Poverty of Philosophy – Chapter 2.5 (marxists.org); Orestes Brownson Society – The Laboring Classes, For his pains in writing a pro-labor socialist tract in support, or so he thought, of the Democratic Party incumbent President Martin van Buren, Brownson was expelled from the Democratic Party. The Democrats, even then, understand something that conservatives fail to: socialism is incompatible with their Party. Michael Paul Rogin, Fathers and Children: Andrew Jackson and the Subjugation of the American Indian. Vintage, 1975. Of course, with the 1787 Constitution, the U.S. bourgeoisie, while it had begun to become politically oppressive, and always exploitative, of white workers, farmers and black slaves, was still not reactionary. The industrial bourgeoisie—though it exploited and oppressed the developing working class—still had a revolutionary role to play: in its defeat of the Southern slave-owning gentry during the Civil War.
(11) Karl Marx, Capital, v. I, Chapter 25. Economic Manuscripts: Capital Vol. I – Chapter Twenty-Five (marxists.org). See also Marx’s critique of Proudhon, in his Poverty of Philosophy 9 (op cit.)
(12) Rechtenwald, the new-found conservative libertarian, would like to argue that the labor theory of value is bunk, that even Marx came to understand that labor had no connection to prices, and that therefore, everything is hunky dory. But I have yet to see him or anyone produced this fable admission from Marx. Marx did not invent this theory: it built on the work of classical economists Adam Smith, and David Ricardo. It is a truth literally based upon deduction, to rival the method of Sherlock Holmes: [to Watson] “How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?” (Arthur Conan Doyle, The Sign of Four) There is no other possible basis for exchange value, because commodities in general have nothing in common with each other except the labor that goes into them. The basis which Rechtenwald would like to present: the neo-classical “marginal utility” view, is purely subjective and cannot deliver an objective basis. Finally there has been objective empirical evidence presented by Andrewl Kliman and Anwar Shaikh, for the inevitability of a decline in the rate of profit, a subsequent decline in the mass of profit, and crises.
(13) Jessica Cassell Marxism vs. Intersectionality | Other | History & Theory (marxist.com)
(15) Wilson Carey McWilliams, The Idea of Fraternity in America. University of California Press, 1973. In the Epilogue: A Note on Generation and Degeneration
(16) This passage was included in the one and only edition of the Kommuniste Zeitschrifte, published by the Communist League, led by Marx and Engels, in September of 1847. It was probably, according to Richard N. Hunt, written by Karl Schapper. See Richard N. Hunt, The Political Ideas of Marx and Engels, vol. II: Classical Marxism, 1850-1895. University of Pittsburgh, p. 187, n. 54.
1. A young Karl Marx (centre, holding paper) and a young Frederick Engels (immediately behind) Photo credit – https://www.socialist.net/the-life-and-ideas-of-friedrich-engels-article.htm