Tag Archives: marx

Movies For Socialists

Readers, it’s the beautiful month of May, and you know what that means-

That’s right! It’s a seemingly unending salvo of rabidly Socialist-themed blog posts!

From me, anyways…

Now readers, normally I’d get right into the thick of things and engage in a lengthy tirade on the insidious-and-soul-crushing nature of the Capitalist system and the failure of the radical left to challenge that. But since this post is coming to you late, how about I talk about something a bit lighter than the minutiae of modern political-economy instead?

How about movies?

Everyone likes movies, and lord knows that these ones listed here have probably done more to inspire righteous radicalism in the common man than all of the cliff notes on Das Kapital put together. Whether you’re a dirty, seditious Commie or just a fan of the berets and impassioned speeches, here’s Culture War Reporter’s recommendations for your revolutionary viewing pleasure:

The Edukators (German Title: Die Fetten Jahre Sind Vorbei)

Now right off the bat, yes, that is Daniel Brühl, of Rush and Inglorious Basterds. Now that you’re done wondering “where the **** have I seen that guy?”, let’s get into it.

Our story opens with a cadre of disaffected youth, tired and disillusioned with capitalism but not sure exactly what to do with themselves. The characters find themselves drawn into a campaign of pranking the houses of the wealthy elite- harmlessly, at first, but building momentum and severity. Their well-intentioned social statements spiral wildly out of control when they accidentally kidnap the owners of one of the estates they vandalize. Don’t think this is some cheap action movie though- the quiet, contemplative tone packs just as much punch, if not more, than any thriller.

More than anything, The Edukators is an exploration- touching on the zealotry of youth, the realities of growing up, and idealism in a world where ideals just aren’t relevant. The Edukators raises more questions than it offers, and is sure to convict both revolutionary and reactionary alike. Continue reading

A Picture of Socialist America

“So just what will a Communist world look like?”

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard that question- it seems that any discussion or (as it mostly is) debate on the subject of Marxism turns inevitably to that issue. How will _____ work under Marxism?

For the most part, Socialists won’t answer this question, claiming that predictions about the future are overwhelmingly wrong. I think there’s some points to be awarded for being cautious in the regard, but let’s face it- the absence of a clear picture of the world we’re trying to build does the movement more harm than it does good. Conservatives, after all, can point to a heavily mythologized Rockwell-esque picture of 50s America as the “good ol’ days” they’re looking to restore…

Elements like these tend to be left out of such descriptions…

…while Liberals, on the other hand, can point to a hybridization of Scandinavian and Western European welfare states.

Minus the rampant racism, corruption, and unemployment…

Ok, so that’s a bit of a potshot, but the truth of the matter is that both of the mainstream tendencies in this country have decently clear visions of the social system they’re trying to create, and there’s really no way the radical left can expect to compete for the hearts and minds of the public at large if all we have to offer is some vague, pie-in-the-sky promise that things will be infinitely better. We need a picture of a Socialist America, and while we’re gradually coming around to this concept, we could stand to do a lot more (and reciting this scene from Monty Python doesn’t count).


Here’s me pitching in. Continue reading

The Cultural Revolution

Gangs of schoolchildren sporting red scarves chant slogans as they march through the streets. A shop owner tears down an old sign for containing counter-revolutionary terminology. A man is publicly shamed for wearing pants too tight for manual labor- a young woman with scissors cut from the hem to above the knee. The son of a landlord is dragged through the streets as insults are hurled at him.

These are scenes from the so-called “Cultural Revolution”. Begun by Mao and his followers in 1966, these rallies and mass actions were meant to purge China of the last vestiges of antiquated, foreign, and Capitalist thought, replacing it with a proletarian culture that would forever cement the victory of the Maoists in 1950.

The Cultural Revolution quickly degenerated into something that could only be likened to the Reign of Terror following the French Revolution, with anyone accused of counter-revolutionary sentiment facing political and physical attacks. The “revolution” became a hotbed for corruption and suppression of dissent of any kind, and one might even argue that this major attempt to push socialism upon its inhabitants is actually what eventually led to the unraveling of Chinese Communism and its replacement with the sweatshops and slave-labor we more commonly associate with that nation today.

Mao, you see, had it backwards- trying to seize power and then change the hearts and minds of the public. That’s not a revolution, comrades, that’s just a coup. Rosa Luxemburg, an early but seminal Marxist thinker, once asserted that even if each and every civil servant and elected official were to suddenly become Communists, the world would not be one iota closer to being a Socialist one. Luxemburg understood the true nature of revolution- not some bleak military conquest but a fundamental change in the thinking and values of the majority of society. My ability to make you memorize Lenin, work on communal farms, and wave red-and-black flags will not make you Communists, no matter how long you do it (and even if it did, you’d be some pretty lousy Communists at that). The entire disastrous venture of the cultural revolution may have been avoided had Mao heeded the words of American Socialist and presidential candidate Eugene Debs when he proclaimed:

In the simplest possible terms, leaders come and go, the great will of the masses does not. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. The fight to change the basic values and principals of the people must come first– but how is this done? Continue reading

Guaranteed Minimum Income

Your name is John/Jane Smith, and you are an American citizen 18 years of age or older. On this merit alone, you will receive approximately 300 dollars per month to be deposited in a bank account of your choosing.

That right there is the gist of Guaranteed Minimum Income and the subject of today’s discussion. Continue reading

Culture War Correspondence: 4th Wave Feminism

GORDON: Ladies and gentlemen, last week, I kinda volunteered a discussion topic which Kat has graciously decided to roll with. Today, we’re going to be talking about feminism- where we stand now, and with an increasing number of people claiming that feminism’s work is done- what we’d like to see next on the agenda.

KAT: So perhaps we should start be establishing what the first three waves of feminism have accomplished.

You are probably all familiar with the fact that the first wave fought for (and won) the right for the vote.

Continue reading

Gordon Brown’s Labor Day Extravaganza

They say it’s better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission. I’m going to gamble on that and offer this, my Labor Day extravaganza of random leftist agitprop which I’m going to pretend is somehow connected to the blog’s purpose in that it shows you a bit of a subculture you’re probably not familiar with.

While I am fully prepared for Evan to chew me out, I am hopeful that you, the faithful readers, will soften his hard heart by reminding him of these two important facts:

Firstly, it’s Labor Day.

In this country, that doesn’t mean much more than a last chance to get some barbecuing in while the weather’s still pleasant. Considering how pitiful the labor movement has been in this nation, a bit of red flag waving and raised fists is far overdue.

Secondly, today is my birthday.

Continue reading

Fame Day: Socialism Conference

I’m writing these words in the last hours of what has been a quiet May Day.

For me, at least.

Elsewhere in the world, red and black flags are being proudly waved as people march through the streets, chanting and singing. In Greece, a nation-wide strike is being carried out in defiance of massive lay-offs enacted by the government. In Bangladesh, thousands are protesting after the collapse of a sweatshop resulted in the death and injury of hundreds of workers. Similar protests have broken out in the Philippines as nearly 10,000 workers march in Manila. Youth in Spain are raging against the nearly 30% unemployment rate. Korea, Cambodia, Turkey, Indonesia- just to name a handful- are witnessing similar turnouts.

Continue reading