Published Mar 4, 2007 5:02 PM
There are many people that refuse to listen to the message of Socialism because they claim it is an extremist message. They put those who defend the Soviet Union and other past socialist nations, those who are calling for revolution, and those who desperately want to see change in the category of extremists with Timothy McVeigh and such. In fact, in 2001 the director of the FBI, Louis Freeh, labeled the Workers World Party a “threat” in a speech, provoking much outcry.
But my answer is thus: Is it extreme to want people to have jobs?
That’s what we’re after. We’re not after a welfare state, we’re after a society in which everyone is employed and paid a decent wage.
Is it extreme to want people to have decent quality healthcare?
Is it extreme to want democracy in the workplace?
Is it extreme to want an end to war?
Is it extreme to want equality for women and gay people?
These are not extreme demands.
What makes us extremists in their eyes is that we dare to look at history. History has shown that there have been nations that have achieved these demands. What makes us extremists is that we can look at Cuba, at North Korea, at China, at the USSR with our own eyes, not the lenses the oppressors put on us.
We can see a society with full employment. We can see free health care clinics. We can see a country with more hospital beds per capita than any nation on earth. We can see streets without poor people begging for spare change. We can see workplaces in which people are not being exploited, but rather cooperatively working for the good of the country. We can see ethnic groups sitting down together after years of feuding. We can see lesbian, gay, bi and trans people and women standing up, in a society that is no longer holding them down and repressing their inner instincts.
We dare to see this, so we are extremists.
People associate the word “extremism” with Timothy McVeigh and neo-Nazis, people who commit acts of terrorism.
If this is the criteria then I can think of no group greater deserving of the title than the leaders of the capitalist world, in particular the imperialist U.S. government. They are the ones who bombed and sanctioned Iraq for a decade to force it into obedience. They are the ones who funded death squads in South America to put down the emerging forces of social reform. They are the ones who trained and now harbor Luis Posada Carriles, the man who blew up a Cuban airplane and killed scores of innocent people.
They are the ones who rule the world, and in doing so, allow 30,000 children to die every day from starvation. They are the ones who ravaged and underdeveloped the strong societies that once existed in Latin America and in Africa, only to replace them with chattel slavery and centuries of bondage.
They are the ones that are preparing for war with Iran, and they are the ones that let Hitler run rampant until it was clear that the Soviet Union was going to run him into the ground.
These are the extremists. The extremists are the bosses, the ones who own the banks, factories and large farms. These are the violent extremists and their ideology is profit, and they are so devoted to this ideology that they are willing to sacrifice the lives of millions to reach its end.
If we want to see an end to these horrors, we need to overturn their system, and we need to build a new world. Marxism-Leninism offers us a path to do so.
Extremism is truly what you make of it.
Long live the Revolution!
Caleb T. Maupin