Mao tse Tung wrote
that “politics is war without bloodshed,
and war is politics with bloodshed”. Theoretically, this statement
has merit in terms that often antagonism in politics, between governments,
results in organized bloodshed, warfare. However, generally, the nature of
belligerent actions between nation-states and/or state forces and it’s
inhabitants is due to economics. I believe we can comfortably say such antagonism
and belligerency is a result of negative revenue appropriation and distribution,
and/or control of the means and mode of production. If this is true, then,
it can more honestly and appropriately be proposed “politics is the
language of economics.”
As is often said in revolutionary jargon, people do not fight for ideas, they fight for bread. Essentially, our greatest success in organizing the poor and oppressed has been when providing social services for the people. In so doing, effective organizing was done, providing ideological and political determinants to confront state power and authority. Therefore, it behooves today’s revolutionaries to forge a language that serves to teach and encourage economic development in communities that are suffering. That seems like an obvious observation and corresponding relationship, yet, more often than not, activists are perplexing the struggle with confrontations against state repression. They get caught up in these power struggles opposing state repression, and fail to address the needs of their people in the more fundamental concern for bread.
Most recently, the U. S. government, the House, made significant cuts in food production for the poor. “The Agriculture Department oversees a vast array of food assistance programs, all of which were cut in the House bill. It reduces spending for a program that supplements food for women and children to roughly $6 billion from $6.7 billion this year. Food for Peace, a program that helps feed poor people overseas, was reduced to just over $1 billion from $1.49 billion in current spending.” (NY Times ‘A Tough Day for Farmers as Lawmakers look for Cuts’, 6-17-11. These cuts in food aid for the poor and various agricultural programs on June 16, 2011, will undoubtedly lead to the growth of hunger in this country.
Hence, politics being the language of economics lend to a praxis that is directly confronting the root of the problem affecting the poor and oppressed. The means and mode of production and distribution of wealth, with all of its ramifications certainly serves to forge divisions and conflict among peoples, races, ethnic groups, religion, etc., instigating class/national struggles.
While this supposition appears obvious, unfortunately, little attention by progressives has been focused on this reality. I think this failure is primarily because activists are uncertain about the type or kind of system that will arise out of the ashes of capitalist-imperialist demise. In either case, the challenges that are confronting the movement are here, and a national determination to confront these class divisions must be addressed.
Since politics is the language of economics, we need to forge a revolutionary
language that speaks in term of economic development. A language that institutes
the ideal of freedom and liberation subject to wrestling wealth from those
who control and hoard wealth. With the various weather related calamities
devastating Americans, including farm lands, it is expected food production
to decrease, homelessness, and dependence on government food subsidies to
rise. Here lies the contradiction, when the government is cutting food and
agricultural subsidies, essentially worsening the problem.
So, I would like to open a dialogue among activists on this specific issue. What type of government system do we hope to construct as a result of a successful revolutionary movement? What will it look like, and how do revolutionaries begin the process of building the economic institutions that will serve our revolutionary determination? Obviously, in my humble opinion, it is time for another National Poor Peoples March on Washington, D.C., to camp out on the Washington Mall and demand food, jobs and economic justice! ! !
People fight for bread, not ideas...