Friday, February 10, 2017

Mao's, Combat Liberalism - Part 2


When conversing with just about anyone on any number of subjects, they always assume that the position that I am taking on the given topic of discussion is the liberal stance. Those from the right will call me a bleeding heart liberal in need of a good dose of fortitude, or something to that effect, and those on the left will mistake me for a liberal democrat or something similar, sometimes too liberal for their tastes. Whichever it may be, I always tell them that in order for me to be liberal, I would have to be a capitalist, which, I am not. I am a Marxist and cannot, thus, be a liberal, lest I betray the ideology that I have chosen to defend with much rigor. One of the best definitions of liberalism from a Marxist perspective is given by Mao in his brief work Combat Liberalism (September 7, 1937).

Mao then outlines several ways in which Liberalism can manifest itself. This is what liberalism is and Marxism is not.

Not to obey orders but to give pride of place to one's own opinions. To demand special consideration from the organization but to reject its discipline. This is a fourth type.

This basically means that if you consider your own opinion to be more important than that of the movement, you are risking doing damage to the movement. When an order is passed down, you are obligated to obey it for the good of the movement.

To indulge in personal attacks, pick quarrels, vent personal spite or seek revenge instead of entering into an argument and struggling against incorrect views for the sake of unity or progress or getting the work done properly. This is a fifth type.

This basically means that if you are prideful and attack someone personally with emotion, rather than working out any problem that you may have with them by using reason and logic, you are running the risk of doing damage to the movement. You are creating unnecessary discord.

To hear incorrect views without rebutting them and even to hear counter-revolutionary remarks without reporting them, but instead to take them calmly as if nothing had happened. This is a sixth type.

This basically means that if you hear or see someone spreading disinformation or anything else that challenges the movement's ideology and you do nothing to correct it, you are doing damage to the movement. You essentially become and accomplice.

To be among the masses and fail to conduct propaganda and agitation or speak at meetings or conduct investigations and inquiries among them, and instead to be indifferent to them and show no concern for their well-being, forgetting that one is a Communist and behaving as if one were an ordinary non-Communist. This is a seventh type.

This basically means that if you are in a position to spread the movement's ideology to the masses, and you fail do so, you are doing damage to the movement because there is no telling how many people you could have brought along with you. After all, there is always power in numbers.

To be Continued…..If you want keep reading the piece that is the source for this commentary, visit https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-2/mswv2_03.htm.

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