Sunday, February 12, 2017

Mao's, Combat Liberalism - Part 3


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.

To see someone harming the interests of the masses and yet not feel indignant, or dissuade or stop him or reason with him, but to allow him to continue. This is an eighth type.

This basically means that if you see someone actively harming the movement, and you do nothing to stop them, you are harming the movement just the same as they are.

To work half-halfheartedly without a definite plan or direction; to work perfunctorily and muddle along, "So long as one remains a monk, one goes on tolling the bell." This is a ninth type.

This basically mean that it you do work that is of no purpose to the movement and continue to do it, even though you have been corrected, you are harming the movement.

To regard oneself as having rendered great service to the revolution, to pride oneself on being a veteran, to disdain minor assignments while being quite unequal to major tasks, to be slipshod in work and slack in study. This is a tenth type.

This basically means that if you are given an assignment to do, but in your pride, refuse to do it because you consider yourself to be above such work, then you are damaging the movement.

To be aware of one's own mistakes and yet make no attempt to correct them, taking a liberal attitude towards oneself. This is an eleventh type.

This basically means that if you know that you have committed an error, but refuse to correct it, you doing damage to the movement.

We could name more. But these eleven are the principal types. They are all manifestations of liberalism.

Mao expands on much more in many other works. He expounds greatly upon the meaning of socialism and communism. Like others, he defines them, most basically, as being the common ownership of the means of production by the working class.

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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