“Accepting” the 3rd Worldist Debate with Self-Serving Dishonesty

Since no one is actually willing to take up the Third Worldist challenge I’m reduced to having to accept text replies. First Worldists are so confident that Third Worldism is wrong, yet they are unable to stand up and defend stance that in a debate. One person has decided to pen a rather obnoxious self-serving blog post in an attempt to refute Third Worldism.

I introduce you to Common Ruin (insert joke about comparing First and Third World living conditions here). He sent me a Facebook message informing me that he had “accepted” my challenge. I use quotation marks because he actually hasn’t. I specifically requested a live debate not a blog post exchange. This is a tactic several people have tried to use. They don’t want to actually accept the debate, but instead write snide comments. (Or in this case a blog post.)[1] Since no one is actually willing to step up and have a debate I am forced to exchange words over blog posts, which is not a debate.

Common Ruin a.k.a. Michael Acuña’s post begins with self-pity completely unrelated to the actual subject matter. Why Acuña felt the need to talk about the stress of having to train for his menial job as he’s defending an ideology which proclaims First World people to be oppressed is pretty transparent. From the beginning he’s already made himself out to be a victim as a way of forming an appeal to emotional. The point is to create an image of him being really overwhelmed, so that if I disagree that First World people are exploited he can make it look like I was making a personal attack.

Of course such underhanded tactics is not enough. He proceeds directly into insults: “I’ve thus been reduced to interjecting in vacuous internet debates between soi-disant ‘revolutionary leftists.’” Had Acuña actually known anything about me he would know that I’ve never claimed to be a revolutionary. This is a common attack made by First Worldists. When you point out how First World people are cosplaying revolution, they immediately reply by placing the word revolutionary in quotation marks. He is also inflating his ego by painting a picture of himself lowering himself to answering someone like me. Condescending of this nature is not necessary and speaks only to his own ego. His personal attacks continue with the line: “Before I begin, a word on the issuer of the challenge is in order—for the sake of those of you who’ve had the good sense to avoid his material up to this point.” Already from the start he has made this out to be personal. He’s not responding to a conflicting ideology with principled debate, he’s responding emotionally with personal attacks. He isn’t doing this to defend First Worldism, he’s doing it to attack me personally. Throughout his post he repeatedly refers to myself and not the Third Worldist ideology. He betrays his intention to attack me personally, not the ideology. My better judgement tells me to just ignore this post and return to fighting pro-imperialist ideology as espoused by my current exchange with Joshua Stanton. But as usual if you don’t respond to every single petty incident name calling you’re accused of not being able to defend your position, or be able to debate. Ironic really.

Please allow the following quote from his blog post to show how “real” a revolutionary he is and what he considers answering a challenge to debate: “Unruhe is a paunchy manchild from an undisclosed location in Canada, who frequently dons himself in Maoist regalia and records videos on a wide variety of subjects, uploading the result to YouTube.” Actually I’m in Niagara Falls, I say that in my videos and blog posts. He’s not even paying attention, aside from attacking my appearance. Now please allow me to move onto the actual arguments.

He begins by misrepresenting the Third Worldist line, or at least doesn’t know it and has made a large error.

“According to those who subscribe to the tenets of Maoism Third-Worldism, First World capitalist countries have been involved in imperial domination of unindustrialized countries for centuries. They point out that this was originally conducted to provide the nascent European and North American bourgeoisie with access to the raw materials necessary for industrial development, which is congruent with conventional Marxist histories of the period. However, Maoist Third-Worldists distinguish themselves by additionally arguing that the dynamics bourgeois imperialism unleashed retarded the revolutionary potential of the working class residing in hegemonic nation-states, and they further regard the contemporary practice of globalization as having finally extinguished it altogether.”

False. We don’t say there is no revolutionary potential in the First World, we say there is no significant revolutionary potential in the First World. We say that the “working class” of the First World has been bought off with the spoils of imperialism. It is a mathematically proven fact that super exploitation subsidizes the wages and social programs that First Worlders receive. This very comfortable standard of living is enough to keep someone from actually carrying out revolution. No one is going to give up the social benefits they have to become a guerrilla fighter who has a life many, many times more difficult than that of even the lowest paid worker. This is total idealist romanticism on their part.

First Nations people are a good example of those who have revolutionary potential. Many are willing to fight and die against the government, particularly A.I.M. It is unfortunate that their numbers are so small. I’d like to quote myself here in my upcoming book on Third Worldism:

“If Blacks stood up and tried to make revolution, the White population would support the government beating them down. Even the most liberal supporters of ethnic equality would support such state violence. To deny this, is to deny the very racist nature of U.S. society. Could we expect the Black population of the U.S. at 13.2%[2] to over throw the other 86.8%? The whole point of class struggle is to have the masses carry out revolution against the minority capitalist class. If First World workers won’t even fight for themselves, how can we expect them to fight for Black liberation? Even if we assume the best possible scenario of 100% revolutionary capability on the part of Blacks, their numbers are too small to achieve revolution. Even if they did it would be Black liberation, not class war. You have to have the working class on the side of the revolution for it to be a class struggle, a Marxist revolution. The exact same is even more true for Native Americans at 1.2%[3] of the population. To suggest that such a small group of people could bring revolution is essentially the same error that Wang Ming and the 28 Bolsheviks made in China. Such is nonsense, and unscientific. Best case scenario with these struggles, these groups could carve out some kind of autonomous region in which they could exercise a modicum of self-determination. Given the economic nature of capitalism, any such autonomy would be utter crushed by U.S. society.”[4]

 He continues:

“Third, produced a standard of living this new class of Western labor aristocrats would not jeopardize through acts of workplace militancy or political radicalism. In short, the haute bourgeoisie in the West provide the workers of their countries with material security, derived from the “super exploitation” of the subaltern proletariat, in exchange for those workers’ docility. Hence there is reason to suspect revolution will not ignite in the most advanced centers of capital, as Marx and Engels predicted,[5] but instead in peripheral, relatively backward territories.”

 We state that real revolutionary potential has been lost. If Acuña had actually bothered to read any Engels about the advanced nations he would have seen that he already confirms our stance.

“The English proletariat is actually becoming more and more bourgeois, so that the ultimate aim of this most bourgeois of all nations would appear to be the possession, alongside the bourgeoisie, of a bourgeois aristocracy and a bourgeois proletariat. In the case of a nation which exploits the entire world this is, of course, justified to some extent.”[6]

“Do not on any account whatever let yourself be deluded into thinking there is a real proletarian movement going on here. . .

“And–apart from the unexpected–a really general workers’ movement will only come into existence here when the workers are made to feel the fact that England’s world monopoly is broken.

“Participation in the domination of the world market was and is the basis of the political nullity of the English workers. The tail of the bourgeoisie in the economic exploitation of this monopoly but nevertheless sharing in its advantages, politically they are naturally the tail of the “great Liberal Party.”[7]

 See how Lenin distinguishes between the labor bureaucracy and the labor aristocracy already in 1915.

“Certain strata of the working class (the bureaucracy of the labour movement and the labour aristocracy, who get a fraction of the profits from the exploitation of the colonies and from the privileged position of their “fatherlands” in the world market), as well as petty-bourgeois sympathisers within the socialist parties, have proved the social mainstay of these tendencies and channels of bourgeois influence over the proletariat.

“The baneful influence of opportunism has made itself felt most strongly in the policies of most of the official Social-Democratic parties of the Second International during the war. Voting for war credits, participation in governments, the policy of a class truce, the repudiation of an illegal organisation when legality has been rescinded — all this is a violation of the International’s most important decisions, and a downright betrayal of socialism.”[8]

 Lenin already saw that the working class in the advanced countries was being bought off.

“The right Independents and the followers of Longuet do not understand and explain to the masses that the imperialist super-profits of the advanced countries enabled and enable them to bribe the upper strata of the proletariat, to throw them crumbs of these super-profits drawn from the colonies and from the financial exploitation of weak countries, to create a privileged section of skilled workers, etc.

“Without exposing this evil, without fighting not only against the trade union bureaucracy but also against all petty-bourgeois manifestations of the craft and labour aristocracy, without the ruthless expulsion of the representatives of this attitude from the revolutionary party, without calling in the lower strata, the broad masses, the real majority of the exploited, there can be no talk of the dictatorship of the proletariat.”[9]

This buying off is far greater today than it was during Lenin’s time. This can easily be accomplished by the historically growing wealth gap between the First and Third World from 12:1 to 72:1.[10]

Even Mao saw during his time how the “working class” of the First World had lost its potential for revolution.

“In the various nations of the West there is a great obstacle to carrying through any revolution and construction movement; i.e., the poisons of the bourgeoisie are so powerful that they have penetrated each and every corner. While our bourgeoisie has had, after all, only three generations, those of England and France have had a 250-300 year history of development, and their ideology and modus operandi have influenced all aspects and strata of their societies. Thus the English working class follows the Labour Party, not the Communist Party.

“Lenin says, ‘The transition from capitalism to socialism will be more difficult for a country the more backward it is.’ This would seem incorrect today.”[11]

Just because First Worldists think they themselves personally have revolutionary potential, does not mean that the “working class” of the First World does. This is where the disconnection with “the masses” is made. They cannot get past their own self-image to the reality of the world around themselves. It would do him well to read Engels, Lenin, and Mao.

Acuña continues with his misrepresentation:

“To paraphrase Unruhe, Western workers are now in possession of ‘significantly more than their chains’—an argument bourgeois sociologists have been directing against Marxist theory for nearly a century, incidentally.”

Paraphrase is a good word to use here. Paraphrase: “a restatement of a text or passage giving the meaning in another form, as for clearness; rewording.” Interesting choice of word. This is not what we say at all. Bourgeois theory claims that material living increased so therefore what Marx said was wrong; that exploitation does not cause the effects he claimed. This is not what Third Worldists are saying. We say that the burden of exploitation has been shifted to the Third World. Marx was right, inequality did increase but not in the way he predicted. If we follow the revisionist First Worldist line then the bourgeoisie are right. The inequality became global. The rich countries versus the poor countries, the global cities versus the global countryside. Instead Acuña has decided to lie and change what I said to mean something else. Such dishonesty is typical of First Worldists attacking Third Worldism.

He claims in his post that he has presented the Third Worldist argument and then proceeds to “debunk” it. In fact he has misrepresented it. What he is attacking is a straw man that he has created. Let me give you a good example of his ignorance.

“First of all, Maoism Third-Worldism hinges on a notion of unequal exchange between the First and Third World that is foreign to Marxist economic theory.”

May I please point the reader to the collected works of Lenin and Mao. He is literally saying that unequal exchange between the First and Third World doesn’t exist in a Marxist economic analysis. The stupidity (yes stupidity, as capitalism is a system of unequal exchange, unless it’s described in Marxism then it’s not somehow) of this statement is unfathomable. He’s literally denying the basis of imperialism. This is the very foundation of imperialism. This metaphorically spits in the face of Lenin and economic reality. This has to be one of the most reactionary things I have ever read. I’d done with this reactionary malcontent.

This post Acuña made is full of dishonesty, name calling and pseudo-intellectual nonsense. He says very little with as many antiquated words and unnecessary jargon as possible. I get the very real sense this was written by a middle class privileged college White kid that has tied his politics into the self-serving perception that he is the victim of capitalism. I mean self-serving in the real sense:

adjective: preoccupied with one’s own interests, often disregarding the truth or the interests, well-being, etc., of others.[12]

My point in the Third Worldist challenge was that First Worldists won’t debate, instead that they will call people names, engage in personal attacks, and make dishonest criticisms. Appropriately that is exactly what he has done here. Refused to engage in a debate and proceeded to take all the aforementioned actions. On top of that he has denied the works of Lenin. This isn’t worth going any deeper into.

If you think attacking someone’s appearance, calling people names, and misrepresenting what someone says I’d like to introduce you to your new best friend Joshua Stanton http://freekorea.us/ You two have the same level of behaviour.

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[1] https://commonruin.wordpress.com/2015/06/07/answering-jason-unruhes-maoist-third-worldist-challenge/

[2] People Quick Facts, U.S. Census Bureau

[3] Ibid.

[4] Jason Unruhe, The Spiritual Atom Bomb, 2015, incomplete work

[5] As Marx explains in his preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy (Chicago: Charles H. Kerr & Company), p. 12, “No social order ever disappears before all the productive forces, for which there is room in it, have been developed; and new, higher relations of production never appear before the material conditions of their existence have matured in the womb of the old society” (emphasis added). Engels specified the manner he foresaw this process unfolding in his Draft of a Communist Confession of Faith as follows: “communist revolution. . . . will develop in [civilized] countries more or less rapidly, according as one country or the other has a more developed industry, greater wealth, a more significant mass of productive forces.”

[6] F. Engels, October 7, 1858 “Letter to Marx”

[7] Engels to Bebel August 30 1883

[8] V.I. Lenin, 1915, “The Conference of the R.S.D.L.P. Group Abroad”

[9] V. I. Lenin, Jane Degras, ed., The Communist International: 1919-1943 Documents

[10] How Was Life? Global Well-being since 1820, Income inequality since 1820, OECD iLibrary

[11] Mao Zedong, A Critique of Soviet Economics

[12] http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/self-serving