With all the ludicrous distortion, malicious slander, and brazen hypocrisy the proponents of capitalism and their little fellows spew against Karl Marx, that German political philosopher and Marxist theoretician, this co-author of revolutionary politics remains standing firm against the wind of blanket dishonesty and sheer political rhetoric. What these false judges do to Marx, their predecessors of the same reactionary character did to every revolutionary member of the human clan.
The Athenian philosopher Socrates was a towering intellectual figure who advanced the struggle of logic and reason. This human wonder of Greek extraction, who brought fame and honor to the you-teach-me-I-teach-others scholarly tradition, when he taught Plato, Plato educated Aristotle, and Aristotle illuminated Alexander the Great, the conquering son of King Philip II of Macedonia, was a public intellectual who carried with him the incontestable evidence of an almost otherworldly intellectual finesse.
Not allowing his brilliance to function as a ticket of intellectual freedom, the Athenian authority, fearing Socrates' intelligence and intellectual dominance, hurled spurious charges at him under the contraption whose idea was that he was a corrupting influence upon the youths of Athens, whose penalty was death – by the imbibing of hemlock juice.
Then too was the man himself, Galileo Galilei, the greatest scientist just prior to the arrival of the godfather of Newtonian physics. Galilei carried in his body the collective mental sophistication of an entire epoch of human civilization. His mental calisthenics catapulted him to pointing his telescope in the direction of the heavens, but more than that, his extraordinary human intelligence helped him undress the old scientific lie under the weight of the geocentric theory, which was earlier propounded by Claudius Ptolemy, "Claudius" drawing a line of distinction between Ptolemy, one of the four generals of Alexander the Great who inherited his empire - the other three being Cassander, Antigonus, and Seleucus.
The now substituted geocentric theory was based on the idea that the Earth is the center of the material universe, whereby the Sun, Moon, and stars revolve around it. For the second time, Galilei had rebelled against "holy doctrine," this time upholding the heliocentric theory of the Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, who was also later proven true by the three laws of planetary motion discovered by the German astronomer and polymath Johannes Kepler, his first law for example, which states that planets move about the Sun in elliptical orbits, having the Sun as one of the foci.
The Roman Catholic Church, under the aegis of Pope Urban III, began an inquisition of Galilei when Father Vincenzo Maculani da Firenzuola led the trial on grounds that the physicist had committed a heretical sin by challenging the established theological orthodoxy of the Holy Church. On June 22, 1633, the trial ended with this verdict and penalty, as reproduced from history dot com:
"We pronounce, judge, and declare, that you, the said Galileo… have rendered yourself vehemently suspected by this Holy Office of heresy, that is, of having believed and held the doctrine (which is false and contrary to the Holy and Divine Scriptures) that the sun is the center of the world, and that it does not move from east to west, and that the earth does move, and is not the center of the world.”
“We order that by a public edict the book of Dialogues of Galileo Galilei be prohibited, and We condemn thee to the prison of this Holy Office during Our will and pleasure; and as a salutary penance We enjoin on thee that for the space of three years thou shalt recite once a week the Seven Penitential Psalms.”
In November 1992, 359 years after its trial of the Italian genius, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope John Paul II, before the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, embarrassingly vindicated and absolved the astronomer of the "sacred" charges that had, like a cap, been placed on Galilei's head. It took more than three centuries for this church to recognize and accept its erroneous dismissal of Galilei, but the man, after recanting his ideas under the weight of Catholic coercion, had already vindicated himself and made peace with his scientific conscience when he said in a muffled voice, "All the same, it moves."
Like Galileo Galilei, Jesus Christ was also a victim of revolutionary opposition. After he had exposed the double standard of the Scribes, the Pharisees, and the Sadducees, and became a reprieve for the Jewish riffraff, the leader of the Apostles became an object of scorn and ridicule to the extremity that he was condemned to impalement, where his execution was made even more humiliating when he was flanked by two hardcore criminals, Gestas and Dismas, whose names we know according to Biblical apocryphal.
The recollection of the resistance of Socrates, Galilei, and Jesus and their concomitant reprisals by the dominant ruling class of the day occupies a minuscule portion of the history of revolutionary opposition. Throughout the pages of history, we read countless instances of men and women, who with every ounce of strength, opposed the popular ideology of their dispensation. Whether it was Socrates, Galilei, and Jesus, or King, Gandhi, and Parks, one theme recurs throughout the whole history of our civilization: the sometimes nebulous, but present manifestation of the Hegelian dialectic, of which there is a thesis and an antithesis, which by a struggle, morphs into a synthesis. In human history, this is the class struggle.
In their 1848 magna opus, The Communist Manifesto, Marx and his lifelong intellectual partner Engels, began Chapter One, Bourgeois and Proletarian, with the following observation: The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. All through the line of historical progression, from barbarism, feudalism, and now capitalism, there has always been the presence of the class struggle. From the premise of self-preservation, what they call nature's first law, the inherent desire and need to survive is itself human in nature.
With this need, then the materialist conception of history and the means of production. In the old slave societies, wealth was concentrated in the hands of a few elites, and slaves, wanting to survive, were forced to work for their masters. Under feudalism, land, one of the factors of production, was the private property of the ruling class, who then gave parcels of it to the nobles, who in return exchanged their loyalty. In the capitalist mode, the means of production are in the hands of the capitalist. The lands are owned by the capitalists. The factories are owned by the capitalists. The banks and other financial institutions are owned by the capitalists. The concentration of these powerful agents of production and distribution is the private monopoly of a few elites. The masses of today, like their slave and peasant ancestors of yesterday, have to survive. Thus, they must work for the capitalist. What that differentiates the workers of capitalism from the laborers of slavery, according to capitalist propaganda, is the question of voluntary labor. While slaves were under compulsion, today's workers can choose whether or not to work. But this is only a façade. This is only an illusion of freedom. This is nothing but a capitalist ploy intended to give the worker a sense of independence, but in the realm of truth, he is still a slave - a slave of capital.
The capitalist enriches himself by enslaving the worker and robbing him of his labor. By expropriating the surplus value of the worker's labor, the capitalist cheats the worker, giving him only what it takes to keep him in the circle of dependence, misery, and squalor. We must, then, explain the labor theory of value - even under succinct conditions - and its relations to the exploitation of the working class, because this is a germane ingredient of the ideas we carry in our heads as young radicals, the ideological representatives of the oppressed peasants, who in the not too distant future, subject to the laws of dialectics and their own human inclinations, will sound the trumpet of this glorious, people-sponsored revolution.
We begin our argument by proposing that the capitalist entity will liquidate in the absence of the labor of the workers. Without labor, the process of wealth creation will be halted or seriously wounded. It is labor that creates value and not the reversal. It is also not what is heralded in the academia of bourgeois politicians that for example, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Jack Ma, and Elon Musk, etc., bask in affluence because of their unparalleled genius and rare human fortitude. No other nonsense could be more characteristic of dishonesty than this mendacious storytelling propagated by the bosses of capitalism and the beneficiaries of the self-aggrandizing system of exclusion and oppression.
Contrary to popular opinion, it is the collective labor of the workers of Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, Alibaba, Tesla and SpaceX, etc. that produces the billions of dollars. All these corporate executives do is to steal the surplus value of their employees and give them a pittance. To think that wealth is the production of the intelligence of a single individual who is all-knowing is tantamount to the bunkum that the Ethiopian eunuch was the father of either a son or a daughter. This is the same arrant absurdity that they vomited around the establishment of the League of Nations that it was the assassination of Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary on 28 June 1914 in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, by Gavrilo Princip of the Black Hand movement of Serbia, that caused World War I.
The worker spends more time toiling than is necessary to earn his wages. After earning his emolument, he continues working for the capitalist. What the worker produces after earning his salary is surplus value. It is not the capitalist that produces this surplus value; instead, this additional value is a product of the labor of the worker. But the capitalist steals this additional value in the name of chief executive officer.
It is not a matter of sufficiency to aver that the capitalist is not guilty of exploitation because he pays his workers. This argument is fundamentally erroneous. The surplus value that the capitalist collects for himself does not belong to him because it was not produced by him. The capitalist elements again preach in their bourgeois economics textbooks that if rent is the reward for land, wages the reward for labor, then profit and interest are the rewards for capital and entrepreneurial ability. Even with this argument, exploitation cannot still be divorced from the production process. That a corporate boss invested his money does not mean he should be given carte blanche. His money, without the addition of labor, cannot produce more wealth. Just as in biology as it is said that intercourse without seminal ejaculation cannot impregnate a woman, similarly, in the productive relations, capital, without the fertilizer of labor, is a useless capital.
Exploitation can only be dismantled when the workers, the true owners of the commodity, take complete control of the production and distribution of wealth. It is this workers' ownership or workers' democracy that can liberate the working class from the claws and tentacles of capitalist exploitation. But it is also this social democracy, characterized by the socialization of the means of production, that the capitalist bureaucrats eschew with the greatest severity.
It was this capitalist discomfort of workers' control that Marx and Engels predicted would result into a revolution. It was also for this reason that Lenin advocated the establishment of a vanguard party. While Engels in the Dialectics of Nature, discussed the negation of the negation in relation to the transition from primitive communism to a more advanced stage of communism, Lenin, like Marx and Engels himself, was aware that the capitalist elements will never surrender their wanton wealth without a struggle. And the workers too, having grown in their consciousness and bombarded by the urgency of their deteriorating working conditions and grinding exploitation, will form a resistance.
Aware of this and desiring to keep their ugly grip on society, the capitalists resort to certain strategies to control society. The device of state control that keeps the status quo in the ranks of power is the superstructure. By using the media, the military, the police, religion, law, and academia to spread its ideology, the ruling class empowers itself in the class struggle against the rebellious, revolutionary base.
It uses this superstructure to perpetuate its existence and authority. In every class struggle, there will always be competing interests, which is why it is a struggle in the first place. There can be no classless society in the presence of the state. That is, for the state, for the class, and vice versa. To abolish all classes, we must abolish the state, which is because the state is a class within itself and for itself. Thus, Lenin advanced the idea of the dictatorship of the proletariat. After the revolution, in the event the working class rises to power, one class would simply be superseding another class, which is not characteristic of true communism, and it is why it bears the name socialism, an intermediate stage between capitalism and communism - an advancement in the struggle of humanity.
The dictatorship of the proletariat will protect the revolution from bourgeois infiltration because the capitalist, having lost power, would want to rise again. If this happens, the revolution will experience degeneration. So to ensure total proletariat victory, a revolutionary structure must be erected to defend the revolution not only against right-wing opposition, but counter-revolution because it is inevitable that some comrades, not understanding the trajectory of the struggle or because of their conceited personality and excessive craving for worship and domination, will split the vanguard party into different power-seeking tendencies. And this is where the most sophisticated ideological cadres must coalesce and intervene to brutally defend the revolution against reactionary apostasy.
That the capitalist superstructure exists and that the dictatorship of the proletariat will be analogous to it, is itself an evidence of the class struggle, class interests, and class domination. In as much as wealth and power are unevenly distributed, classes will continue to exist, and in as much as classes continue to exist, a fierce antagonism will be on display. And this will produce the stratagem whose purpose will be to maintain political and economic authority and have a sway over the society. In socialism, the dictatorship of the proletariat; in capitalism, the superstructure of the military, the newspapers, the TV and radio stations, law, religion, and academia, etc.
The singular element common to the functioning of the superstructure is the presence of propaganda. Information that is biased, distorted, and simply dishonest in order to favor one side and dismiss the opposing side is a common conscious or unconscious propaganda tactic used in the class struggle.
This phenomenon is frequent in neocolonial Africa, where the proponents of capitalism and their lapdogs present the system as the only architecture of national governance that can liberate the masses out of oppression and create a middle class that enjoys the decency of human living in the mode of high-paying jobs, good road networks, advanced medical facilities, sophisticated institutions of learning, high-speed internet connectivity, piped water, and affordable electricity.
All this, they say, can be achieved under capitalism. But what cripples this argument is the emphasis on the whole and not on the constituent parts of the capitalist order. By thinking that European and American capitalism is the same as African capitalism, is to believe that this system can unchain Africa from the shackles of poverty. It must be expressed here that capitalism, even in the West, is a failed and decaying political and economic system. Objectively, it has been able to make some progress: keeping the workers coming back for more by giving them the taste of a good, yet quasi life.
When the capitalists defend their system as the best economic framework because it has given their citizenry a middle class life, they certainly veer off the topic of student loan debts, wage cuts, expensive health care, mortgage difficulties, racism, wars, diseases, savage exploitation, crude competition, and the capitalist contradictions unmasked by COVID-19.
We agree that capitalism has achieved very brilliantly. Unfortunately, however, this brilliant performance has been for the few elites and not for the working class. In the so-called advanced capitalist countries, only a few elites enjoy the wealth of the country. According to Forbes' 2021 World’s Billionaires List, there are 724 billionaires in America. Before you put your hands together, know that there is bad news. Only seven of them are black. Why?
It is this absurdity of Western capitalist success stories that neocolonial flunkies present to the African people through their copied and pasted political programs of societal transformation. This too is an unfortunate situation. Capitalism in the United States can never be capitalism in Africa in general and especially Liberia in particular. Uncle Sam and his relatives exert great control over their economies and never bow to the dictates of other nations.
But in Africa, we must answer the question of imperialism and foreign dominion over our economy. In Liberia, our economy is characterized by the privatization of the productive forces, but unlike the imperialist countries, this “Liberian privatization” is the ownership of the commanding heights of the economy by foreign multinational corporations like China Union, Arcelor Mittal, Firestone, Bea Mountain, MNG Gold, Golden Veroleum, and Sime Darby, etc.
These foreign companies make huge profits out of our national resources, give the government a pittance, and repatriate million dollars' worth of surplus value to America, Asia, and Europe. So when we watch the TV and surf the web, we see our resources wearing the tag of infrastructural, scientific, and technological advancement. Ironically, however, when we look around Monrovia and the hinterland, we see holes, darkness, illiteracy, and grinding poverty.
This abhorrent and indignant degree of poverty and the need to keep Liberia and her African friends more subservient to the capitalist world order is what ushers in international financial capital through the channel of the World Bank and the IMF, as well as some guilt-induced aid doled out by USAID and other American agencies.
We must establish here that the prescriptions of the IMF and the World Bank can never foster development in Liberia. The raison d'etre of the IMF must experience rigorous intellectual scrutiny before we can go any further in discussing its purported ability of economic liberation. And the reason for this existence should begin with the history of aid.
The Americans believed that German scientists had been developing nuclear weapons since the 1930s and that Adolf Hitler would not hesitate using them in warfare. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt or FDR then approved the Manhattan Project to counter this perceived German threat. The project was headed by Lieutenant General Leslie Groves along with two scientific minds, J. Robert Oppenheimer and Enrico Fermi. When FDR died in office on 12 April 1945, he was replaced by Vice President Harry S. Truman, who having learned of the project, gave it his imprimatur.
After the United States declared its neutrality at the outbreak of World War II, she was forced to eat her words when Pearl Harbor, a US Navy base, was attacked by the Japanese military on 7 December 1941. Counting on the Manhattan Project, the US government entered the global war and responded with a nuclear assault against two Japanese cities. Thus, on 6 August 1945, the first atomic bomb ever used in warfare, the Little Boy, was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Three days later on 9 August, a second atomic bomb, the Fat Man, was dropped in Nagasaki, another Japanese city.
Because America's entry into the war was at the end of the second global conflict, she did not experience any significant catastrophe. But like Japan, many European countries were terribly affected by the war. Broken economies. Damaged infrastructures. Weak systems. These European nations became a shadow of their former selves, drawing a parallel between the literary title of Chinua Achebe's book, There Was a Country.
When the Second World War was over, it became the idea of then US Secretary of State George C. Marshall that the United States should intervene and help in the rebuilding process of Europe whose political, social, and economic systems had been devastated. On 5 June 1947 at Harvard University, Marshall outlined a plan that would see the United States dole out about US 20 billion dollars to finance the European reconstruction project.
Expecting that with this aid European nations would recover from the war years and stand on their own two feet, the US government aided about fourteen European countries, including Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Austria, Greece, and the Netherlands, etc. When the Marshall plan had completed its five-year mission in 1952, there was a significant shift in the history of aid.
By 1952, when most European countries were beginning to show signs of recovery, aid turned its focus on Africa by and through the World Bank and the IMF. Preceding the Marshall plan, these twin institutions were born in July 1944 at a meeting held at the Mount Washington Hotel, in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, USA. The African soil, fertilized by poverty, illiteracy, and despair, became an arable land for the seeds of Western aid.
Today, about 74 years since the establishment of the IMF, Africa has become the toy of the dominant order, whose IMF policies can never break the yoke of poverty. What this institution does is to keep doling out millions of dollars of aid through its “give but take” scheme as well as its austerity measures.
More IMF prescriptions, more dependence. More dependence, more capitalist domination. More domination, more suffering. More suffering, more aid. More aid, more corruption. This is the characterization of neocolonial African politics. Now, when these neocolonial governments change power, the only change that happens is the flipping of the same coin, vindicating the French writer Jean-Baptiste Karr when he said, "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose," the more things change, the more they remain the same.
In Liberia the CDC, a neocolonial political party, superseded the Unity Party, another neocolonial political institution. If the system does not change, the country will never change. Therefore, as the system engenders more poverty and its backers send in more money, the local governance actors steal more of it to bask in despicable hedonism, at the peril of the suffering Liberian people.
It is this outcry of corruption by Mr. McCarthy, the US ambassador to Liberia, that we must address. We must now pay a visit to the US Embassy on Benson Street, knock this white man's door, and wake up this Uncle Sam representative.
Not too long ago, Joe Biden, like Satan in the Garden of Eden, spoke through Mr. McCarthy, our human serpent. The American Satan, speaking through Serpent McCarthy, delivered a diplomatic message to the Liberian Eve about corruption.
In this relayed message, the white serpent expressed the frustration of the US government in how Liberian government officials have stolen the millions of dollars that have come to the country in the name of aid. He signaled how jaded American politicians are about giving Liberia any future financial assistance:
“I think when you look at the country with democratic improvement and a free press, you realize corruption is holding this country back. We want to see some result, want to see change, improvement in education, health, and a better quality of life. But now we are very discouraged to see the lack of progress.
Liberia’s failure on the MCC is a concern and I have said this since I got here to Liberia. When I went through my confirmation hearing, I spoke to the minority party and majority party -- although not at the same places. Both parties were saying that they all are tired of funding development in Liberia and seeing no result.
Many of these people have worked in Liberia for years. It is not just 1960 when USAID was created, but the organization has been here since the very beginning. These people are very exhausted and not interested in funding projects or efforts that are not going to get results.
Just bypassing those scores, I think everyone wants Liberia to get on the road to development, independence, and self-sufficiency which is the greatest everybody talks about. Liberia has resources so much more than other countries would love to have—you have a huge coastline, minerals, urban land, and dependent rainforest and you have so much working in your favor."
These words emanating from the twisted tongue of the US Ambassador are riddled with American hypocrisy and blatant mockery of the Liberian people. This Ambassador is either consciously playing a double standard game or is a victim of a one-sided bourgeois education.
It is pathetic how a white man who prides himself as an ambassador cannot tell the difference between the bigger picture versus the smaller picture. It is humiliating for a white man to leave untouched the bone of contention of the Liberian development question.
But what can we expect from a neocolonial agent sent to West Africa? What can we expect from a man educated in the ways of a system that uses its academia to spew the rotten propaganda that capitalism is the only alternative? All that we can expect from this white man is hypocrisy and nothing but hypocrisy.
We must accept the idea that corruption is a bad practice, but we must also vehemently drum into this white man's skull that we reject the preposterous argument that corruption is the foremost reason Liberia and her African friends remain mired in the abyss of abject poverty and despondency. This is a low class proposal that is worthy of the most malodorous garbage site in the global community.
But again, what else do we expect from the mouth of a serpent? What else do we really expect from the mouth of an American serpent? All we can do is debunk these dirty lies and with the harshest of our stockpile of words, describe the ugly character of these proponents of American capitalism.
Unfortunately for this white man, the curtain of corruption is so thin that it cannot conceal the reprehensible dealings between the imperial, capitalist forces and their local, neocolonial buffoons and puppets. That Liberia is backward even though it is rich in natural resources is not primarily the result of corruption. We accept that Liberian leaders are corrupt and we hence chastise them, but never will we allow white men like McCarthy, who will come from Washington with their zero understanding of political economy, to redact the principal reasons of the backwardness of the state under the gloss of pecuniary impropriety.
To allow powerful and influential men of the McCarthy type to charge corruption with the crime of economic sclerosis is to bury deep into the ground the neocolonial argument. To allow this sweeping propaganda to go unnoticed is to close our eyes to the question of imperialism. To allow this American liar brush off the expropriation of the surplus value of our natural resources by foreign multinational corporations and to hence conceal the American long hand of capitalist domination and exploitation, is to betray the Liberian redemption struggle.
Realizing the propaganda war the global capitalist hegemony has waged against Marxist theory and left-wing agitation, it should come as no surprise to revolutionary militants when we read the ideologically malnourished lines of bourgeois politicians and their senseless apparatchiks. Never must we lose our revolutionary vision in the fog of the capitalist superstructure that carries with it the Red herring tactic.
At this time when the world order is strenuously trying to stave off the collapse of capitalism, its doyens will employ a myriad of political strategies. They will come in different colors and patterns. They will come in different tastes and styles. They will come in many different forms. But all these iterations will be subsets of the universal, all carrying on their foreheads the common characteristic identity of socialist dismissal and capitalist approbations. As they come, so shall we intervene - we who are the custodians of the African liberation struggle.