A fellow socialist responded to the argument that I made in a previous post by saying,
Can socialism win the argument this way? The framing seems to me to be, since both socialism and capitalism produce mass murder, lets go with the more equitable of the two systems? Like, if someone is saying communism is bad because it leads to mass murder, and you say that capitalism is also responsible for many mass murders, then you haven’t addressed their bigger argument.
* * *
So in response I said this:
Hence the link to the “debunking anti-communism” post at the bottom. The point of the comment is just to open people’s minds wide enough to consider reading the things in that link.
Edit: And also, to be honest with you .. well .. the contradiction exists. People are just going to die right now because the contradiction between the bourgeoisie and the working class exists. And the way it manifests is significantly just in the hatred in people’s heads. The privileged in this world are prepared to violently resist the movement to take away their privilege. They are prepared to violently destroy those who talk about taking away their privilege. We have to acknowledge that fact. We have to acknowledge that if and when socialists take power, the Republicans will not be magically converted. I’m not saying we have to kill them all, but we do have to prevent the most extreme of them from trying to sabotage things or murdering the new leaders. They are so brainwashed that we should expect that that is exactly what they would do.
Anyone who doesn’t confront this kind of thing is not facing the real issues that those who would actually try to bring socialism about are facing. The world we live in is a horrible one.
Two things. A quote from Malcolm X and a quote I saw on reddit earlier:
Malcolm X said,
You don’t have a peaceful revolution. You don’t have a turn-the-other-cheek revolution. There’s no such thing as a nonviolent revolution. . . . Revolution is bloody, revolution is hostile, revolution knows no compromise, revolution overturns and destroys everything that gets in its way.
And the reddit commenter said,
No shit the Soviet Union had serious problems. The first French Republic had serious problems too.
The world is a fucked up one. Even if we win, we will be dealing with the problem of how to confront reactionary, bigoted thinking until the day we die.
To quote the PCR-RCP:
Our perspective is that the civil war already exists and that . . . the proletariat . . . are enduring and experiencing violence on a daily basis.
I am lucky enough to be privileged, and even more fortunately I am not any longer so blinded by my privilege that I fail to understand that the world is soaked in violence no matter what we do. The term “the contradiction between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat” is a polite term to refer to the fact that thousands of people starve to death, or die of treatable diseases, or are murdered by police or reactionaries, or otherwise experience any number of kinds of violence, every day. The contradiction between the bourgeoisie and the exploited classes, which is fundamental to capitalism, means the war is already with us–it is simply that the proletariat is continuously losing.
That “contradiction” will persist with us through socialism, shrinking but still around, until we have actually achieved communism.
The argument is that the contradiction exists. We can ignore it and let the war proceed against the exploited and oppressed as it always has and not fight back, or we can fight back and win, and bring about a lasting peace. Those are the only two options. There is no option that involves no war.
Edit 2: If armed revolution is the only way to end the scenario where tens of millions die from capitalism each year and billions more live on in suffering, you have no choice but to weigh the tragic inevitability of innocent people dead in a revolution against those millions of deaths every year and billions in perpetual suffering. There are thousands of innocent people dying from capitalism every hour in this world, and just as much force involved. You can throw up your hands and say you don’t have to choose, but a choice not to choose supports the oppressor–is a choice to sit by while the “contradiction” stands for all time.