We must immediately begin to explain that the communist road offers a future for humanity even in the face of vast ecological crisis


As climate change and resource shortages start to devastate this planet worse than they already have–and they will, and most of us will live to see it get very severe–there will be a profound despair among a lot of people. And we communists have to have a vision for another world beyond these things. And without a doubt there will be some truly difficult technological challenges in preserving a mass civilization on this planet.

But believe, we can do it. If we have to live under climate-controlled domes and grow our crops inside of these cities, believe, we will do it, and we will make these cities very good places to live. We can and will slowly but surely pull all the carbon out of the air and bury it back under the ground, and slowly but surely break down every last toxin we ever poured into the rivers. We can and will find a way to recycle everything, literally everything. Humanity can and will survive what is coming, and we will prosper, in harmony with the rest of the planet at last and nevertheless continuing to develop.

We communists have to be the ones to offer the solution, to reassure our human family that there is a future, there is a world that we can fight for and win–and in fact, we will. We have to be the ones who can say, as we follow the communist road, your children and your children’s children and all the generations after them, they will be safe and live good lives, they will not live in the hell that all other roads promise us. We can and will build a free, sustainable, and truly democratic world where people breathe fresh air, drink pure water, and eat healthy food, and it will even be much better than it is now. We have to help people understand that this is true. And because this is already a concern among the people, we should start right now.

A proposal for a universalizeable definition of “belief in God”

for a while i called myself an ignostic because we need to know what God is before we can even say whether or not we believe in a given specified God and no one can agree on the definition of “God.”

but i was still interested in this question, and so after some further thought i’ve started to put forward the idea that a useful and concrete restatement of the question of “what sort of theity does someone ‘believe’ in?” is “what fancies does someone have and most respond to when it comes to two questions: 1. why is there something instead of nothing; 2. why is there consciousness instead of a total lack of consciousness–that is, a cosmos filled with un-experiencing, un-feeling, insensate matter?”

and if you ask the question like that, well, basically 100% of people have had some fancy when they pondered those two questions. and if we ask what it means to “believe” in that fancy, well, since no one has any proof one way or another, i think that asking how much “belief” someone has in this fancy is actually something more like asking what amount of “feels-true-ness” they experience in response to it. and i think that basically 100% of people have felt at least one nanogram of “feels-true-ness” when they were having a fancy about what might be the answer to one or both of these two questions.

if we ask what “feels-true-ness” is, maybe an even more precise definition would be that the degree of “feels-true-ness” felt is the degree to which the fancy draws our attention and, relatedly, the degree to which we find ourselves wanting to let ourselves emotionally engage with the fancy.

so under that interpretation, basically 100% of people have some degree of “belief” in some sort of “God.”

my favorite fancy is still that God is love.

There is no genuine liberatory struggle without dialectical materialism: or, one reason why Maoist philosophy is way more important than you might think

cw sex mention

A friend of mine posted this video with this comment, and below was my commented response to their question.


the prevailing philosophy in our society views the world simplistically, as built out of monoliths and trash. things either always work some certain way (specifically, they work in a way that is easy, pleasing, and beneficial to the ruling class and the nation+gender+sexuality that primarily composes the ruling class), or else they are broken and garbage. e.g., all women are sexual PEZ dispensers, or else they are broken, messed up by some uninteresting, vile pollution in the world–they are not “real” women, or else the person interacting with them may not be a “real” man.

this is in contrast to dialectical materialism, which states that all things are composed of a struggle (or some set of struggles) of intertwined and opposing forces, and that each of those forces is itself composed of a struggle (or some set of struggles) of intertwined and opposing forces, all the way down. not that the truth is unknowable–but that all things in the world are fractally complicated, eternally changing, and must be examined in an all-around, thorough-going, holistic (that is, taking into account its relationship with all involved external factors) way if we are to grasp what is really going on with them.

in the short-term it benefits the privileged to view things in this monolithic, mechanical way–it cuts out a lot of extra mental effort for them; and what’s more, when they impose this worldview on others with less privilege using their ability to do violence, they create a terroristic regime where the oppressed–who at least on some level know the world to be more complicated because the way they are forced to live reveals undeniable truths that do not conform to the ruling-class story about reality–must somehow find a way to put on a face and an attitude where they pretend like they believe and see things in this same black-and-white, monolithic way.

living with this knowledge that things are complicated while simultaneously carrying out the terror-imposed play-acting as though things are as simple as the ruling class imagines creates a pervasive neurosis among the oppressed and exploited that (a) because the oppressed must focus on play-acting for so long, and with such intensity of focus, reduces their ability to easily determine the truth, thus forming an obstacle to arriving at and becoming certain of revolutionary truths; (b) debilitates them and makes it harder to struggle even when they do see clearly; (c) appears to the ruling class to be an endemic weakness, thereby continuously re-confirming their perception that everyone else is just a broken version of themselves, and thus that they alone are fit to rule.

it should be stated that (a) in particular is the soil of what Marxists call revisionism. those who have not broken with this mechanical way of thinking are unable to grasp all the various factors at work, and so in their attempts to re-shape society are bound to re-create capitalist mechanics in whatever spheres of society they have not started to understand in a thoroughly dialectical materialist way.

On Maoism’s ability to incorporate and be strengthened by what is sometimes called spirituality


Faults will turn to good, provided we use them to our own humiliation, without slackening in the effort to correct ourselves. Discouragement serves no possible purpose; it is simply the despair of wounded self-love. The real way of profiting by the humiliation of one’s own faults is to face them in their true hideousness, without ceasing to hope in God [the transformational powers of the revolution], while hoping nothing from self [our own self-defeating liberal tendencies]. (Fenelon, “The Need of Devotion in a Worldly Life,” 1689)

The reason that so much of what might be called “wisdom traditions” (e.g., this quote from 18th-century Catholic archbishop Fenelon that I found in Aldous Huxley’s anthology and analysis of wisdom, The Perennial Philosophy) can be incorporated into Maoism is because Maoism is the first manifestation of Marxism that takes the transformation of the self completely seriously.

It is true that all the saints throughout history wishing for a sincerely good society had only the most haphazard ideas about how our material surroundings limit and condition our ability to transform ourselves, but it’s also true that the Marxists up to Mao’s point were too content to wait for the external conditions to do their slow, passive, easily-reversed work.

Maoism incorporates both–and scientifically, understanding each in its place.

All successful communist movements up to this point *have* incorporated self-transformation, even if it was less explicit. The people have decisive advantages at our disposal, namely that we hold the machinery that makes the world run in our hands and have vastly superior numbers. But these advantages are useless until we are forged into an iron unity, and nothing can forge that unity without a culture of self-respecting humility–without a culture that gives us room and support to lower somewhat the walls of the ego so that we can hop over ourselves, look at things from our neighbors’ and comrades’ perspectives, and find ways to change ourselves that are mutually beneficial, building an ever bigger, stronger, faster organization. This process involving constant acts of humility is the *only* way communism can arise, mighty, from within the dangerous capitalist world.

We Maoists more than even other communists are often accused of being cultists. This charge will never go away until we win, because we always *will* place a massive importance on transformation of the self, of prioritizing looking for our own faults and errors instead of immediately looking for others to blame. We *do* embrace attitudes and practices that have traditionally been emphasized by spiritual traditions.

To carefully and thoughtfully tend to the deepest, subtlest, and most powerful parts of the mind–what is called the soul, which contains both our deepest love and our greatest fears–so carefully as Maoism does, this is what many people, myself included, understand as spirituality (or, if one prefers, the science of wisdom). Those who find us so spooky have no healthy model of the role “spirituality” can play in keeping a community strong and healthy. They have never seen a materialist “spiritual” practice, one legitimately guided by science.

When I first became a communist it was obvious to me that Marxism had to be combined with wisdom traditions to succeed. I have discovered that Maoism is already far closer to that than I would ever have imagined. We will build a truly good world with it–not with useless wishing nor with the rude fetishization of productivity, but in a way that is both humble and scientific. I have put all my hopes in it. I could not be more hopeful or more excited at what a thing we have at our disposal in Maoism.

On the necessity of communism in my own life

The root of every defect is a right tendency, and it is the abuse of that right tendency that turns it into a defect.

When I was born I set out to look for fulfillment in this society and found it drowning in wounds, mouth full of blood.

I looked for a way to transform the pain I felt seeing it and living in it into beauty and found I was best at it when I was destroying my body with drugs and alcohol to get far enough out of my mind, out of my fear, to write honestly, to write with a single, infuriated mind. And even then all I achieved was to condemn everything I had ever known while praising the concealed and unnamed goodness I saw struggling behind it all.

I knew I was destroying myself and I felt ashamed that I had been so turned against my own flourishing, that I had allowed myself to become so vain. The intellectual-bohemian distractions I used to be so caught up in make me gag now, they are over-ripe and bitter to me. And I am still bitter I fell for them, that I was ever anyone’s fool.

I love humanity, and in the final analysis every last one of us has turned to abusing ourselves because it is our way of coping with oppression, both ongoing and in the trauma we have inherited from ten thousand years of brutality.

All around the world there is only this rot, except there is also a purifying honesty, which admits that the whole world really is drowning in rot and insists we will never escape it except if we are willing to use any means necessary. It destroys me to wade into the rot. I can’t live another way. For my own well-being, I need the revolution. I used to worry that I was acting from something nobler but flimsier than that, but fortunately, it’s much more basic. For me, communism is a necessity.

The urgency with which liberals praise pigs for mere civility reveals their desperate desire to believe in the reformability of the police

There’s this video that went viral of a pig in Gainesville, FL showing up from a noise complaint on some black kids and instead of messing with the kids, plays b-ball w/ them instead, like yeah good job, you behaved like a human being for a second.

but check out how (and why) some people eat that shit up. they are *so desperate* for there to not be a systemic problem that they cling to even tiny, meaningless things like that. like, *for real*, those cops weren’t even going above and beyond basic decency, they’re just avoiding being douchebags for a second.

like, if anyone else undertook this behavior it would not deserve a cookie. and yet some people just lose their shit fawning over it. they are eager to try to frame evidence of moments of *merely acceptable* behavior as some kind of great acts of self-sacrifice and virtue. and it doesn’t seem like they are even aware of what a double standard they set for pigs vs. regular people.

and why? maybe because if there were a systemic problem with the pigs, then what would need to be done to resolve these issues–revolution, the destruction of capitalism, widespread thought reform, the total destruction of the united states and all its civic mythology–is a distressing thought to these people.

The importance of “Reform Our Study”: or, On Marxism as an all-considering method that must be practiced with one’s entire intellectual approach, rather than as a buffet of techniques

There’s something I’ve been trying to put my finger on for a while, about how people find some particular idea that Marx, Lenin, or Mao first fleshed out, and then they argue based on that isolated analysis alone that some campaign of theirs is correct.

But Marxism is not just a way of looking at economics, which people most often reduce it to. They take some of Marx’s insights and then use capitalist-minded methods and perspectives to try to respond to the world.

The other day, a comrade wrote something that quoted Mao’s “Reform Our Study,” and I realized this piece is intended to help people see exactly this error I was trying to put my finger on. Mao writes,

Many comrades seem to study Marxism-Leninism not to meet the needs of revolutionary practice, but purely for the sake of study. Consequently, though they read, they cannot digest. They can only cite odd quotations from Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin in a one-sided manner, but are unable to apply the stand, viewpoint and method of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin to the concrete study of … present conditions and … history or to the concrete analysis and solution of the problems of [our] revolution.

Get this: to practice MLM is to apply the STAND, the VIEWPOINT, and the METHOD of Marx, Lenin, and Mao. People may not even realize it–I know I didn’t, when I first started studying Marxism–but we all have to try to understand that this, and nothing else, is what it means to be MLM.

Their method is all-examining, all-considering. It is staunchly, unadulteratedly proletarian. It is based on seeking truth from facts where, as Mao writes, “‘facts’ are all the things that exist objectively, ‘truth’ means their internal relations, that is, the laws governing them, and ‘to seek’ means to study.”

Now I don’t know that I am quite there yet. I do know for sure that I need to keep studying to further deepen and sharpen my understanding of how Marx, Lenin, Mao, and Gonzalo approached problems. I do my best to be all-sided, to approach a situation looking at all the interconnections within it. But I do know that even I very often see self-declared Marxists treating Marxism (or ML, or even MLM) like a buffet where they can pick and choose articles or quotes or context-dependent positions that seem to justify their current position.

To use that method is to fail to practice Marxism. We cannot just see some aspects of the universe using a few of the methods they used–we have to study them and learn to examine all aspects of the universe using the entirety of the method they used.

This is why we say that the only true Marxists in this day and age are or are on their way to becoming Marxist-Leninists, and the only true Marxist-Leninists are or are on their way to becoming Marxist-Leninist-Maoists. Both Lenin and Mao understood this wholly, and deepened our practice of this entire, complex method.

We have to recognize that we all grow up in this society being given the capitalist-minded stand, viewpoint, and method. The communist movement will transform the world completely. If we intend to assist in this process, we must recognize that Marxism(-Leninism-Maoism) is a complete, all-examining method. Unless we have thoroughly transformed our thinking when it comes to philosophy, political economy, and methods of organization, and how they are part of one interrelated whole, we will fail to practice Marxism and will instead practice capitalist-minded thinking. We will be using some ideas formulated by Marx, but with a practice that can only, regardless of our intentions, perpetuate capitalist relations among people.