Criticism and self-criticism is a large and necessary part of the Marxist tradition. It is only through investigation and introspection that we advance theory, and correct our mistakes. In our time today, it’s been forgotten about. Marxist groups across the world are standing around scratching their heads asking themselves where we have to go from here, now that the movement has stagnated. Some have ideas, ones that have been completely ineffective.
Third Worldism takes a strong stance in support of investigation and criticism. Yet, we are often accused of fettishizing the third world. Opponents of the ideology claim that we uncritically support third world people over first world people. Our detractors claim that we merely place an unquestioning faith in third world people due to their lower level of material life and super-exploitation. In other instances, we are ignorantly accused of simply hating first world workers.
Nothing could be further from the truth. We have been the most critical of third world movements. It is First Worldist Marxist organizations that uncritically support them. Third Worldism began as a rejection of the dogma and stagnation of the prevailing theory. Who is it that has been criticizing and denouncing the actions of the Communist Party of the Philippines, and its leader Jose Sision, for his alliance with the Third Positionist Rodrigo Duterte; which includes the abandoning armed struggle? Third Worldists have. Why is it that First Worldists have ignored the fact Sision called a man who openly uses death squads against poor and marginalized people, the “Hugo Chavez of the Philippines?” There has been dead silence from First Worldist groups. Third Worldists were years ahead on criticism of the revolution in Nepal and its reactionary turn. Meanwhile, First Worldists have been uncritical in their support of them.
A very real danger exists. Uncritically cheerleading these movements, without pointing out their errors causes harm. When errors are made, how can they be corrected? Instead First Worldists attack anyone who dares post anything analyzing their mistakes. A problem cannot be overcome if it’s not confronted. The actions of First Worldists reveal the fettishization they have of third world movements.
One merely has to look at the Facebook pages of First Worldists to see endless amounts of guerrilla porn; pictures of third world people in guerrilla outfits marching in the jungle. At the same time, they post pictures of first world people cosplaying guerrilla struggle. Just search their blogs and you’ll see nothing critical, nothing that calls them out on their errors, you’ll see nothing that advances theory. In fact, they attack anyone who dares take a critical eye to third world groups. They’re attacked for being partisan, or trying to sabotage revolutionary unity.
Given this, on what basis can First Worldists claim that we fettishize third world people? We are the only ones who are critical of their movements and theory. It’s just another example of the dishonest attacks First Worldists use.