Community Life and Communism;
A Response to an Article by Kat Kinkade Entitled
Communism is Dead; Long Live the Communes1
Humans pass through different ages of development. From each age we internalize certain lessons. From religion we learn oneness with nature, from family we learn feeling and bonding, from community we learn cooperation and tradition, from state we learn order and responsibility. Internalizing the lessons from each of these stages of development means that they become a part of us and are always available to us when we need them, just like the heart is always available to us (if we don't abuse it). These lessons are fruits of evolution.
We are in the midst of the age of the state which concerns such things as the development of freedom, law, order, responsibility. In the age of the state we internalize the laws of nature which bring order, balance and harmony to life and make us part of the universe. They are things we do that make us truly social persons, things which incorporate us into the universe which operates by these same laws of nature. In the age of the state, we have passed through apprenticism2, feudalism3. We are now (early 2000's) coming towards the end of the period known as capitalism and the rise of the period known as socialism. The highpoint of capitalist development was reached early in the 1900's. In 1917 the socialist revolution established peoples power or rule of the majority for the first time. From that moment capitalism has been on the decline passing through the stage of imperialism and now entering the stage of fascism, the most violent reactionary phase of capitalism. Because of the viciousness of capitalist ruling classes and the lack of development of the people, socialism itself was not possible in 1917; the socialist revolution had established the socialist period of human development, and now it had to defend it. Russia, encircled by the armies and colonies of the capitalists, was forced to fight off external threats of invasion or blockade and from internal threats from spies and reactionaries. The period from 1917 to the early 1990's was the period of socialist development known as the dictatorship of the proletariat,4 a period in which it defended itself and consolidated its power.
What happened in the Soviet Union and around the world in the late 1980's and the early 1990's can be summed up by saying that socialist development shifted from the dictatorship of the proletariat to the building of people's republics. It was the “weening” of people's republics who had been dependent upon the Soviet Union, the recognition that socialism had arrived at a new maturity, a new place in the minds and hearts of humanity. By the early 1990's, socialism as an idea had been introduced to and understood by the majority of the people on the planet (either directly or indirectly) thanks to the blood, sweat, and tears of millions of comrades and friends of socialism. Socialism and world public opinion had by this time become forces to reckon with. There were many examples of countries which had taken the path toward socialism5 and world public opinion had reached a new point of development such that it along with the determination of people under attack by fascist imperialists were able to halt capitalist aggression (for example, China and Vietnam). Since the early 1990's the people have had greater confidence establishing their own power and choosing their own pathway forward (for example, Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and the Zapatistas in Mexico, and worker collectives in Argentina and elsewhere).6 In the Gorbachev era we entered the second or construction phase of socialist revolution or the building people's republics.
Capitalists in their efforts to stamp out this rise in peoples power have declared a war on “terrorism,” which just happens to include all the people's republics and any nation which stands up for their sovereignty against capitalist aggression. This so-called war on terrorism is simply the shift from capitalist imperialism to capitalist fascism7; its real purpose is to control people's power movements across the globe and enforce a global capitalist dictatorship. The threat of the fascists and their ringleader the USA is such that nations must either submit or risk attack or isolation. Fascism inevitably leads to world conflict; once you begin robbing the people of their freedom and sovereignty, you cannot stop because everyone is watching and wondering when their turn will come—ultimately people are forced either to submit or to choose sides. Capitalist fascists themselves are forced8 into continued war until they have established a worldwide fascist dictatorship. Fascism is essentially worldwide dictatorship by the capitalists; it can be nothing else. To paraphrase George Bush of the USA, you are either with us fascists or against us.
Since the socialist revolution (1917), there has been a sharp rise in community life. Because of the threats of invasion or subversion by fascist imperialists, people's republics instinctively turn to it for increased support and survival. In fact, problems such as nuclear holocaust and nuclear pollution, peak oil, global warming, trashing of culture continue encourage all progressive people to fall back on community life for their defense and survival. Communities are like dreams; they help us cope with day to day problems.9 When evil threatens, society falls back on the experience of the human race, developments we have passed through and lessons we have internalized. These developments reemerge (we slip back into them) to help us cope. Community life is one such development. Community life is part of human nature and only stands out when humans are oppressed. When the primitive Christian community were severely stressed by persecution, they turned to communitarian life. Although communitarian life flourished many many years ago when humans humans passed through the age of community life, the values we internalized from this period (sharing the land and its resources, consensus decision making, and respect for the ancestors) remain a part of us. But although community life helps us cope with present day life, it doesn't necessarily help us take the next step of progress. For that we need to know the laws of human development pertaining to present conditions.
The resurgence of communities in the age of the state is a signal that progress has shut down; a sign of oppression and suffering. In their quest for profits, capitalists hoard the best land, pollute the planet, break up families, isolate workers by breaking up their organizations and making them compete against each other. Such things go against communitarian values. When our ancestors (true and sincere laborers, leaders, scientists, discoverers, pioneers) create things that improve the quality of life for all while lowering the costs of living, we learn and benefit. Capitalists in their quest for profits buy up patents and use the state to suppress discoverers and their discoveries which though they would benefit the masses would hurt capitalist profits. Capitalists rewrite history, suppress inventions, and make harmless idols out of leaders of the people. We are meant to share the land and its resources. Capitalists control large tracts of land and drive the people off them either to secure resources or to suppress resistance. Communities operate in a consensus-based fashion; they and their elders come to general agreement based on a system of customs and traditions or nowadays a program of action. In the capitalist system, workers have little or no say in what products are created or what is done with the products they create. Capitalists control the state apparatus and the media so they are able to make and enforce laws that promote their own interests (not those of the people). By their control of the media, capitalists are able to suppress information. Capitalism alienates workers from production; workers generate capital for the capitalists who use it to further oppress them. It's natural for humans to cooperate for the common good, to share the land and its resources, to decide things working with the elders and basing decisions on consensus. Humans are able and willing to live this way because cooperation makes life easier and tradition makes progress possible. Humans are meant to live and work together and to pass on the knowledge of the ancestors. But capitalism ultimately makes these things impossible.
Community life seems contradictory; it reemerges in the age of the state to helps us cope with problems that it cannot solve. Community life flourished in a different age, an age when there was a different set of problems and an age when humanity was at a different level of development. Though communities find themselves in the age of the state, they are not equipped to deal with the complex issues of state, just as we would not expect an adolescent to be able to deal with the problems of an adult. However, although communities cannot solve the contradictions of capitalism, they can help ease the suffering caused by these contradictions.
Communities have a key role to play in history. The are a natural and necessary response to the crises of the early 2000's. Communities: should be more tolerant to and accepting of people seeking refuge from fascist imperialism; should seriously and sincerely begin the task of building the infrastructure for communism and supporting the rise of people's republics; should avoid such things as elitism, immaturity, utopian delusions, selfishness, irresponsibility, lack of awareness of the needs of the people. Using communities just to escape and forget about capitalism is a recipe for disaster equivalent to burying one's head in the sand. Such a position is unnatural; it severs the link with society, with the majority, with the people, with our ancestors. When this happens, communities become unreal, lose their reason for being, and begin to die. Unless communities are linked with the majority of society, unless they deal directly or indirectly with the laws of progress for all the people now in this age of the state, communities stagnate. Communities should stick to the narrow road of progress and not turn their backs on those who would travel it with them. Sooner or later everyone will have to make the decision either to work for or against the interests of the people, for or against progress; this is inevitable. Communities should learn how best to serve the people, remaining open and free, how best to help the people survive till communism and the new age come.
Communism means that you contribute toward society according to your talents and get back from it all that you need. Communism means comradeship or alignment of the will with the nature's laws which brings us into harmony with other humans and nature. Comradeship means: 1) that we unify in struggle for progress; 2) that we realize that we are all in the same boat called Earth and we either “hang together or hang separately;” 3) that we solve our problems in a way that recognizes, accepts, and utilizes individual opposites/differences/talents for the good of all in order to create universal abundance which brings with it all that we need.10 Under communism human development reaches maximum cooperation and sharing. Such a development does not yet exist but we are developing toward it. Communism is the final stage of development in the age of the state. It is the precursor of the new age to come, the age of Aquarius.11
Community life and communism are not the same; they are two different levels of development. Confusing them can only lead to problems. As a step in human development, community life flourished, as we have said, many years ago and has since become an integral part of human life. Communism is also a step in human development but one which has not yet flourished and indeed has not even been established12 for humanity; we have not yet evolved to the state where the majority of humans are ready for communist life. If you were to start teaching a child the things you would teach a teenager or an adult, then you would quickly run into problems; the child would not understand or accept what you are teaching and become confused. Trying to teach humans communism or getting them to live communistically would cause problems because in fact most humans have not yet evolved to the point where they can actually live such a life. Communism is what we are coming to; it has not yet been established on the planet nor can it be established until the grip of the fascist capitalists on the rest of the world has been broken and their arsenals and institutions destroyed. There is no space to establish communism until the “right of the people of each nation to freely pursue their own pathway of development” is established, enforced and protected by majority people's power backed by their own international forum of nations.
Socialism is the next progressive step for humankind. Justice and common sense require that we replace capitalism with socialism to insure that all the people have their needs met. Because of the limitations and reaction of capitalism, people have not been getting all that they need. We are not ready for communism yet but must implement socialism to insure that at least people get back all that their labors produce. Though communists have their own agenda (namely working toward the communist revolution), their first priority is the next step which is building and maintaining socialism to see that the people's needs are provided for. Only when socialism begins to fail in providing for the needs of all the people do communists and their vanguard establish the communist revolution. For the time being, however, communists work with communist parties and people's-power organizations around the planet to establish people's republics. When we reach the point where the people of each country can freely choose their own pathway of development, we will have reached the highpoint in the of the socialist period of human development. The communist revolution occurs at this point and communists and their vanguard the magi13 establish the first communist network. At this point in time, all progressive work shifts to consolidating communist power and working with the socialist states to insure that the “people get what they produce.”14 Communists and the magi utilize the existing structure of the communist parties to organize socialist states around the globe according to the needs and votes of the majority of the people. Revolutionary momentum shifts at this point (the highpoint of socialist development); all progressive movement then comes under the sway of the communist revolution.
Communities have a vital role to play in this age of the state,15 but they must be linked with the rest if the world. Communities should strengthen their ties of cooperation with other communities and develop toward one large network. Communities can and should function as the infrastructure for the communist revolution to come. Communities: 1) should participate in forming revolutionary theory and in implementing the communist program: the safe transition to socialism (the triumph of peoples power across the globe) and the establishment of communism; 2) should join with communists16 across the globe both with those within communist parties and with those outside communist parties to form the new revolutionary class, the communist class; 3) should greatly increase their capacity and expertise to deal with refugees from fascist capitalism; 4) should do the groundwork for building the infrastructure for what will become the first communist life on the planet. Communities work with communists to coordinate the progress of humankind; though much of their work is involved in dealing with refugees from capitalism, communities become home bases for communist work and planning. While community life helps society cope with the contradictions of capitalism, only correct revolutionary theory, peoples-power organizations and organizing, and the guidance of communists can get us to the next step in human development.
Many who decide to leave the capitalist world have higher needs, higher consciousness, and higher will-power. Communities should work with these and all who come to them. It should train them, support them, and begin to build the new world with them. Communities should be great places to enlighten and train people, to give them the revolutionary theory which will help them see what steps are necessary for progress of society. Communities should organize those who come to them and send them out to help build and support people's republics, to help the people take their place in what is rapidly becoming a socialist world.
A few that come to community life will remain and these are the few who help develop and implement the theory for the communist revolution. These are communists, part of the revolutionary class that make and lead the communist revolution. Communists work with the community movement, understand its limitations and fashion it so that it becomes the infrastructure for communism when the communist revolution occurs. Communists in communities work with communists around the globe to help implement a plan of progress for all the people, a plan that is sustainable, a plan that provides for all the needs of all the people, a plan that best utilizes community life in the interests of human development. Communities have become the first step people make away from capitalism and communists should make sure that this energy, consciousness, and resource is not wasted but put into the service for the progress of humanity.
Communism unifies humans on the planet, helps us solve our problems and insures order, abundance, and fulfillment to all. Communism is the best offering of the age of order and law. It prepares us for the new age.17 Communism is a higher human development, a new way of thinking, and new sphere of operation. Though people refuse development, nature's laws are inexorably progressive, always headed for higher development, always headed towards perfection. Communism will come slowly as evolution comes slowly, but come it will.
Joseph D. Chafe
1Kindade, Kat; “Communism is Dead; Long Live the Communes,” Communities; Journal of Cooperative Living, No. 82, Spring 1994, page 8
2The author uses this term to mean that period in the development of the state during which the people willingly or unwillingly let others “stand on their shoulders” for the sake of progress.
3In feudalism humans learn to “cultivate” such things as personality, leadership, art, fashion, culture.
4Proletarians are workers forced by the circumstances they find themselves in to sell their labor power to the capitalist. They are distinguished from other classes such as peasants, landlords, capitalists who have other means of income. The term “dictatorship” is not always pejorative. Parents are dictators (allbeit benign) in the interests of their children. Because of the threat of sabotage and espionage by capitalists and their supporters, proletarians had to dictate in the interests of society. This situation is not unlike the establishing of martial law in the aftermath of some great catastrophe.
5Not all of them were successful though,as, for example, the Salvador Allende administration in Chile.
6This is proletarian democracy, not the bourgeois or capitalist-ruling-class “democracy” which capitalists hypocritically display on their war banners.
7Fascism is the practice in colonies brought back to the homeland. It is the state run by the corporations using the tactics honed in their colonies and by the Nazis to set up global capitalist dictatorship. Fascism is the most reactionary phase of capitalism. [Thanks to the Journal of Anti-Racist Action for their help on understanding fascism.]
8Capitalists are forced into war: 1) because of the continuing rise and prosperity of people's republics which pose the threat of “bad example” to the people; 2) because of the need to secure natural resources; 3) to distract the people (by setting up a bogeyman to arouse patriotism) from problems stemming from the basic contradictions of capitalism such as unemployment, poverty, crime, breakdown of family life, community life, and culture not to mention such things as peak oil, global warming, pollution; 4 ) to police subject nations as sources of natural resources and cheap labor; 5) to secure imports needed to replace decreased homeland production which results from enormous military spending (of the USA in particular) and free market speculation; 6) to enforce their currency on the world market.
9Sleep is the reemergence of a previous development to help us cope with current problems. The author read somewhere that sleep is actually the form of consciousness that preceded present day consciousness. Sleep is the reemergence of humanity's previous level of consciousness to help us cope with life.
10 Needs include such things as leisure time, security, pleasure, health.
11The age of Aquarius brings with it the recognition that we are divine beings, caretakers not just of earth but of the universe as well. The next age of human development is our initiation into the cosmos. Master Jesus spoke of this new age to come, the precursor of which is communism, when he said that if we seek first the kingdom of God, then we would get all that we need.
12There has been a socialist revolution (1917) but there has not yet been a communist revolution.
13This author uses this word “magi” to describe those great souled persons who will lead all communists into the New Age. These are the responsible ones who use their talents in the service of the people.
14Jack Fischel (Handbook of Complete Logic; contact author at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about Jack Fischel) defines socialism as contributing to society according to your abilities and getting back from society what you produce [in goods and services] and communism as contributing to society according to your talents and getting back from society what you need. Under socialism there is not yet universal abundance so that some may not be as talented or as wealthy as others. We will have reached the highpoint of the communism when there is universal abundance so that all people have their needs met, have higher consciousness, and higher responsibility. Under communism all will be freely able to use their talents and abilities to the fullest to contribute to society and in return get back from society all they need.
15Communities are the result of stress put on the people by the rise of and fall of capitalism; they are the reassertion of basic human values developed and handed down to us by our ancestors; they help us survive the challenges of predatory fascism by housing and retraining refugees from capitalism.
16Communists are those who struggle to meet the needs of the people, who are aware of the laws of human development, and who act to the interests of the majority of the people.
17Communism acts like a buffer between the new age (the age of love and understanding) and the current age; from communism we transition into the new world, the world of complete logic, the world of the mind, “the Kingdom of God.”