Friday, March 16, 2018

200 Years: Marxism from MLM Textbook from CPI Maoist


From the earlier account of the early life of Marx and Engels it is clear that they were both very extraordinary and brilliant men. 

However, it is also very clear that Marxism was not some invention that suddenly emerged from the thoughts of these magnificent brains. The socioeconomic changes of that time provided the basis for the emergence of the true proletarian ideology.

The actual content and the form of that ideology, however, were the product of the struggles waged in the most important fields of thought of that time. 

Marx and Engels being deep intellectuals had a wide and deep grasp of the latest advancement of thought in the most advanced countries of the period. They, thus, could stand on the shoulders of the great thinkers before them, absorbing whatever was good, and rejecting what was wrong in them. And it was thus that they built the structure and content of Marxism.

Let us see which were the main fields of thoughts on which they based their ideas. Thus therefore we can also understand the main sources of Marxism.

1) The first source of Marxist thought was German Classical Philosophy. Any ideology has to have its grounding in some philosophy and both Marx and Engels, as we have seen, had a strong base in German classical philosophy.

German philosophy had, during the period 1760 to 1830, grown to become the most influential school in European philosophy. It had its base in the German middle classes. This class was intellectually very advanced but had not developed the political strength to make revolution, or the economic resources to make an Industrial Revolution. This was what probably inclined them towards elaborate systems of thought.

However, this class, having many civil servants, had many contradictory aspects. It sometimes leant to the industrial bourgeoisie and proletariat on the one side and sometimes to the feudal classes on the other. This was thus reflected in German philosophy having both a progressive as well as an anti-progressive aspect. 

This was particularly seen in Hegel’s philosophy upon which Marx and Engels largely based themselves. They therefore rejected all the anti-progressive aspects that upheld the existing feudal society, and developed upon the progressive and revolutionary parts, to lay the foundations of Marxist philosophy.

2) English Political Economy was the second important source of Marxism. England being the centre of the Industrial Revolution it was but natural that the study of the economy and its laws should reach its peak in this country. It was a new field of study, which basically started with the growth of modern capitalism. It had its firm basis in the modern industrial bourgeoisie and played the role of justifying and glorifying capitalism. It also provided the intellectual arguments for the rising bourgeoisie in its struggles with the feudals.

In England its period started with the publication in 1776 of the world famous book The Wealth of Nations, by Adam Smith. He basically argued that if capitalism were given the fullest freedom to grow it would lead to the greatest progress of humanity. He thus provided the argument for the reduction of controls of any sort by the feudals on the capitalist class.

David Ricardo was another famous classical economist who played a crucial role in the battles of the bourgeoisie with the landlords. He was the one who pointed out that as capitalism progressed the average rate of profit of the capitalists fell. His very significant discovery was the development of the labour theory of value, which showed that all economic value is created by labour. Other later economists analysed the causes of economic crises under capitalism.

English political economy basically served the interests of the industrial bourgeoisie. It therefore played a revolutionary role against the feudal classes. However the economists very often did not carry forward their analysis beyond the point where it hurt bourgeois class interests.

Thus, for example, Ricardo, though he developed the labour theory of value, did not expose the exploitation of labour by the capitalist class. This was done by Marx. He took ahead the work of the English economists beyond the limits of the capitalist class and drew the necessary revolutionary conclusions from them. It was thus that Marx developed the principles of Marxist political economy.

3) The third source of Marxism was the various socialist theories, which mainly originated from France. These theories represented the hopes and aims of the newly emerging proletariat class. They were both a reflection of, as well as a protest against capitalist exploitation and oppression of the working class. France at that time was the main centre for revolutionary groups and revolutionary theory, which inspired the whole of Europe. It was therefore natural that socialist theories too mainly came out of France.

Most of these theories had major defects, as they were not based on a proper scientific analysis of society. Nevertheless, they represented a break with the individualism, self-interest and competition of bourgeois revolutionary theory. They also pointed the way forward for the proletariat from capitalist society. Marx thus made a study of these theories of socialism and communism before formulating the Marxist principles of scientific socialism.

While in Paris, he spent a considerable amount of time with the leaders and members of the numerous French revolutionary and socialist groups. Marx took what was best in socialism and gave it the scientific basis of the doctrine of class struggle. He thus developed the principles of Marxist scientific socialism.

This then is the story of how Marxism emerged from the three great sources of ideas in the then most advanced countries of the world. The three Sources of Marxism – German philosophy, English political economy and French socialist theories – corresponded to the three main component parts of the new ideology – Marxist philosophy of dialectical materialism, Marxist political economy and Marxist theory of scientific socialism. In the following pages we will try to understand the essence of each of these parts.

The Basic Formulations of Marxist Philosophy : Dialectical and Historical Materialism

As we have repeatedly seen earlier, Marx and Engels always insisted that all philosophy should be practical and linked to the real world. This was expressed in the most clear manner by Marx in his famous saying, “The philosophers have always interpreted the world in various ways; the point, however, is to change it.” 

By this, Marx meant that he did not want to become a philosopher like our rishis and munnis sitting on some mountain and meditating regarding supernatural things. He did not see much point in thinking and contemplation unless it was linked to the practical world. His basic search was to try to understand how the world was changing and thus to participate in actual practice and change today’s world and society. 

He thus was interested in a philosophy that would be applied in social practice.

In order to do this Marx had to take a stand with regards to the basic division in all philosophy – the division between idealism and materialism. This division is regarding the basic question as to, which is primary – spirit or nature. Those who take the stand that spirit is primary belong to the camp of idealism, whereas those who take the stand that nature is primary belong to the camp of materialism. Idealism is always connected in one way or other to religion. Being men of practice, who were absolutely opposed to religious beliefs, it was but natural that Marx and Engels established Marxist philosophy firmly in the camp of materialism.

In doing so they were definitely influenced and aided by the writings of Feuerbach and other materialist philosophers of that time. However these philosophers were mechanical materialists who understood nature and society to be like a machine turning round and round without any development or real change. Marx rejected mechanical materialism because it did not give any understanding of historical change and development.

For this Marx had to turn to dialectics, which is the science of the general laws of motion. The essence of dialectics is that it understands things in their inter-connections and contradictions. Dialectics thus was able to provide the science of development that Marx knew was necessary to change the world.

At that time Hegel’s philosophy and laws of dialectics (which Marx studied deeply) were the most advanced in Europe. But Hegel had developed his philosophical laws in an idealist way by only making them applicable to the field of thought. He belonged to the camp of idealism and refused to recognise that nature and material social being are primary, and spirit and ideas are secondary. He thus did not accept that his system of thought itself was a product of the development of human society to a definite stage. He refused to understand that his laws of thought were themselves reflections of the laws of nature and society.

Thus, as Marx said, Hegel’s dialectics, by being idealist, was standing on its head – that means it was absurd and illogical. Marx turned Hegel’s dialectics the right side up – that means he made it rational – by putting it on the basis of materialism. Marx took Hegel’s dialectical laws and gave them the approach of materialist philosophy. He thus made Hegel’s laws of thought also into laws of nature and society. He thus formulated Dialectical Materialism, which is the essence of Marxist philosophy.

By giving dialectics a rational and materialist basis Marx changed it into a philosophy of revolution. Marx and Engels applied dialectical materialism to the study of society and history and thus discovered the materialist conception of history. The materialist conception of history was a new and revolutionary way of understanding society and social change. 

It explained the basis of social changes and political revolutions not as an invention of some brilliant men’s brains but as the product of the processes within society. It showed all revolutionaries that the path to social change lay in understanding society and accordingly formulating the ideas to bring about change.

The starting point of the materialist conception of history is the level of development of the material productive forces i.e. tools, machinery, skills, etc. Marx says that according to the stage in the development of the productive forces we get definite relations of production i.e. relations of ownership and control over the means of production.

Thus, for example, backward productive forces like the wooden plough, and wind, hand and animal operated mills give us feudal relations; modern productive forces like tractors, harvesters, etc., when they are widespread, give rise to capitalist relations of production. These relations of production constitute the economic structure of society, or the economic base of society.

On top of the economic base of society arises a legal and political superstructure with definite forms of social consciousness. Further, Marx says that it is the mode of production (consisting of the productive forces and relations of production) that conditions the social, political and intellectual life in general.

Thus, for example, the feudal mode of production gives rise to very severe oppression on women and lower castes and a very undemocratic political system; the capitalist mode of production, on the other hand, reduces social oppression and brings some bourgeois democratic rights.

At a certain stage in the development of the productive forces they come into conflict with the existing relations of production. These old relations of production start preventing the development of the productive forces. Unless these production relations are changed the productive forces cannot develop. This period when the relations of production start acting as chains on the development of the productive forces is the beginning of the epoch of social revolution. 

Revolution is needed to change the relations of production i.e. the relation between the various classes in society. Once this happens and the relations of production or property relations are broken i.e. the economic base is changed, then the change in the whole superstructure follows quite quickly.

This materialist conception of history was the first great discovery of Marx, which he accomplished in 1844-45. It was the foundation on which the other great pillars of Marxist theory were built.
In later years Marx and Engels, and the other Marxist Teachers further developed Marxist philosophy. However its essence remained the basic principles of dialectical and historical materialism mentioned above.

Struggle Against Utopian Socialism and the Establishment of Scientific Socialism

Utopian socialism is the term used to describe the main trends of pre-Marxist socialism, which arose and became prominent in the first half of the nineteenth century. The terms ‘utopians’ (derived from the idea of Utopia, which is supposed to be a state of things where everything is perfect) and ‘socialist’ became popular first in the 1830s. 

They were used to describe a group of thinkers who developed theories to transform society on a more egalitarian basis by removing the individualism, selfishness and competitiveness in human nature. Many of these thinkers or their followers tried to implement their theories by setting up ideal communities where all the members worked, lived and shared the fruits of their labour on a cooperative basis.

They believed that such ideal communities would provide the example that would then be followed by the rest of society. They thus did not rely on the actual processes in society for building their schemes of socialism. Rather they thought that the rationality of their plans and ideas itself was sufficient to convince people and change society.

Utopian socialism was first and foremost a reaction to the oppression and exploitation of the working class under capitalism. The working people had fought bitterly for the overthrow of feudalism. However the bourgeoisie’s slogans of freedom, equality and fraternity had only meant freedom for the capitalist class and intensified exploitation of the workers. The various socialist doctrines arose as a result of the emerging class contradictions between the capitalists and workers and as a protest against exploitation.

They attempted to build a system that would provide justice to the toilers.

The anarchy of capitalist production was another cause for the new socialist theories. The utopian socialists attempted to build rational systems that would provide for the needs of humankind in an orderly and harmonious fashion. Some of them even tried to convince capitalists and government officials that their socialist systems where much more rational, planned, and therefore desirable than the existing capitalist system. They even thus attempted to get funds from the rich for their projects.

The main defect of pre-Marxist socialist doctrines was that they did not have a real basis in the class contradictions and class struggles unfolding in society. Though their ideas were themselves the product of the class contradictions within society, the utopian socialists did not realise that it was absolutely necessary to wage the class struggle in order to achieve socialism.

Though their ideas were in reality a reflection of the aspirations of the infant proletariat, the utopian socialists did not recognise the central importance of the revolutionary role of the proletariat in bringing about socialism.

When Marx and Engels came into contact with the socialist and communist groups they started trying to convince the followers of the utopian socialist theories of the incorrectness of their ideas. 

They participated intensively in the debates in the various revolutionary and working class groups where these theories and ideas were being discussed. 

Their main aim was to give a scientific basis to socialist theory. For this they had to expose the defects and wrong understanding of the earlier socialists and place socialism on the sound basis of the Marxist theory of class struggle.

As Marx himself pointed out the theory of class struggle was not something new invented by him. In fact the earlier socialists and even bourgeois writers were quite conscious about and wrote about classes and class struggle. However the essential difference of the Marxist theory of class struggle is that it showed how the class struggle led inevitably to socialism and communism.

Marx first of all showed that classes are not something that have always existed in human society. He showed that there was a long period in human history when there were no classes at all (i.e. during primitive communism).

There would also be a period in the future when there would again be no classes. Secondly Marx particularly analysed the present day class struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat and showed how this class struggle would inevitably lead to revolution by the workers and the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat i.e. socialism. Thirdly, Marx pointed out that this dictatorship of the proletariat was itself a period of transition to a new society.

The proletariat could only develop by destroying itself as a class, by abolishing all classes and establishing a classless society i.e. communism.

It is this theory of class struggle that Marx and Engels developed, propagated and brought into practice throughout their lives. It is this Marxist theory of class struggle that converted socialism into a science, which laid the basis of scientific socialism. With this, socialism was no longer to be seen as the product of some brilliant mind, but it became the necessary outcome of the struggle between two historically developed classes – the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. 

Because of scientific socialism the task of the socialists did not become one of trying to develop the most perfect, harmonious and rational system of society like the utopian socialists had tried to do. Under scientific socialism the task was to analyse society, to analyse the history and economic basis of the class contradictions in society, and from this economic basis to find the way to end all class conflict and bring socialism and communism.

The scientific clarity of Marxist socialist theory was so great that most sincere elements in the various socialist and communist organisations of the 1840s soon rejected the pre-Marxist and non-class varieties of socialism. Marx and Engels soon became ideological leaders within the socialist movement. When a new international organisation was formed in 1847 uniting workers, intellectuals and revolutionary socialist groups of various countries they at once became its leaders.

 They suggested its name, The Communist League, and it was they who were appointed to draft its programme. This programme is the world historic Communist Manifesto.

The Communist Manifesto was not only the first programme and general line of the international proletariat. It also laid down the basic principles of scientific socialism and the approach to all other types of socialism. With its quick translation into numerous languages, the Manifesto soon spread the basic ideas of Marxist scientific socialism throughout Europe and then throughout the world. The basic principles outlined in this document have in essence remained firm for more than 150 years, upto this day.

As we have seen earlier Marx developed his principles of political economy in continuation of and in opposition to the bourgeois political economy of the English economists. Most of Marx’ earlier economic writings from 1844 to 1859 were in the form of a critique of bourgeois political economy. He countered the claims of the bourgeois political economists that capitalism was a permanent and universal system.

On the other hand he proved that capitalism could exist only for a limited period and was destined to be overthrown and replaced by a new and higher social system. His later economic analysis, particularly the various volumes of his main work, Capital, concentrated on discovering the economic laws of capitalism. The in-depth analysis of the relations of production in capitalist society, in their origin, development and decline, thus forms the main content of Marx’ political economy.

Bourgeois political economists always made their analysis in the form of a relation between things i.e. the exchange of one commodity for another. Marx however showed that economics deals not with things but with relations between persons, and in the last resort between classes.

Since under capitalism it is the production of commodities that dominates, Marx started his analysis with an analysis of the commodity. He pointed out that the exchange of commodities was not a mere exchange of things but actually an expression of the relation between individual producers in society who have been linked by the market.

Though commodity exchange has existed for thousands of years, it is only with the development of money and the birth of capitalism that it reaches its peak linking up the entire economic life of millions of individual producers throughout society into one whole. Capitalism even converts the labour power of the worker into a commodity that is bought and sold freely in the market place.

The wageworker sells his labour power to the owner of the means of production, i.e. the capitalist. The worker spends one part of his working day producing the equivalent of his wage, i.e. producing what is necessary to cover the cost of maintaining himself and his family. The other part of his working day is spent producing for the maintenance and growth of the capitalist. The worker gets absolutely no payment from this production which is for the capitalist. This additional value which every worker produces, over and above the value necessary to earn his wage and maintain himself, Marx called surplus value.

It is the source of profit and the source of wealth of the capitalist class.

The discovery of the concept of surplus value exposed the nature of exploitation of the working class. It also brought out the source of the antagonism between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. This class antagonism was the principal manifestation of the fundamental contradiction of capitalist society: the contradiction between the social character of production and the private character of ownership. This discovery of surplus value was referred to by Engels as the second important discovery of Marx (along with the discovery of the materialist conception of history). Lenin called the doctrine of surplus value as the corner stone of Marx’ economic theory.

Marx also analysed in detail the periodic economic crises that repeatedly affected capitalism.

He explained capitalist crises also as another manifestation of the fundamental contradiction of capitalism. He thus exposed the falsehood of the bourgeois economists who at that time propagated that capitalism could not face any crisis, as the operation of the market would solve all problems. They tried to present that whatever was produced by the capitalist would automatically be sold in the market place.

Marx however exposed that the nature of the working of capitalism itself would lead inevitably to crisis. He showed how capitalists in their desperate urge to earn more and more profits went on madly increasing production. However at the same time every capitalist tried to maintain a higher rate of profit by cutting the wage rates of his workers and throwing them into poverty. The working class composes the largest section in society and the poverty of the working class automatically means the reduction of their capacity to buy the goods available in the market.

Thus on the one hand the capitalist class goes on increasing the production of goods being supplied to the market, whereas on the other hand it goes on reducing the buying capacity of a large section of the buyers in the very same market. This naturally leads to a severe contradiction between the expansion of production on one hand and the contraction of the market on the other hand. 

The result is a crisis of overproduction where the market is flooded with unsold goods. Numerous capitalists are thrown into bankruptcy. Lakhs (100,000s) of workers are thrown out of their jobs and forced into starvation at the same as the shops are filled with goods that remained unused because there is no one to buy them.

Marx further concluded that the anarchy of these crises of capitalism could only be resolved by resolving the fundamental contradiction of capitalism between the social character of production and the private character of ownership. This could only be done by overthrowing the capitalist system and establishing socialism and communism, and thus giving a social character to the ownership of the means of production. 

Marx showed that the social force that would bring about this revolution had been created by capitalism itself; it was the proletariat class. It was the proletariat alone who had no interest in continuing the present system of exploitation and private ownership. It alone had the interest and capacity to establish socialism.

Marx analysed how every crisis intensified the contradictions of the capitalist system. He described the process with each crisis of centralisation of capital into the hands of a smaller and smaller handful of capitalists. This proceeded alongside the immense growth in the misery and discontent of the vast mass of workers. As the contradictions of capitalism sharpened, the revolutionary upheavals of the proletariat grew in strength, finally resulting in revolution, the confiscation of the capital of the capitalists and the building of a socialist society with a social character of ownership suited to the social character of production.

In this way, Marx, starting from the economy’s most basic unit – the commodity – brings out the nature of the economic laws governing capitalism. He thus exposes the scientific economic basis for the socialist revolution and the road to communism.

Marxism Fuses Its Links with the Working Class

As we saw earlier Marx and Engels were deeply involved in the revolutionary communist groups of the eighteen forties. They thus came to lead the Communist League which was an international body uniting the revolutionaries of various European countries. They also drafted its programme – the Communist Manifesto –, which acquired world historic significance. However at that time – in 1848 – the influence of Marxism had yet to reach the vast working class masses. The influence of the Communist League was limited and it consisted mainly of exiled workers and intellectuals. In fact at that time Marxism was just one of the many trends of socialism.

The 1848 Revolution, which spread insurrection throughout the European continent, was the first major historical event where Marxism proved itself in practice. Marx and Engels were in Brussels when the Revolution first broke out in France. 

The Belgian government fearing the spread of the Revolution immediately expelled Marx from Brussels and forced him to leave for Paris where he was soon joined by Engels. 

However as the revolutionary wave spread to Germany, both decided to immediately move there in order to directly participate in the revolutionary events.

There they tried to consolidate the work of the Communist League and the workers’ associations.

They brought out a daily newspaper, the Neue Rheinische Zeitung, which served as an organ of propagation of the revolutionary line. The newspaper took a line in support of radical bourgeois democracy as the completion of the bourgeois democratic revolution was then the main task in Germany.

However the paper simultaneously served as the organiser of the emerging revolutionary proletarian party in Germany. Marx and Engels even tried to form a mass workers’ party by uniting the workers’ associations of various provinces of Germany. The paper lasted for one year. With the collapse of the revolution in Germany and other parts of Europe, the paper was forced to close down and Marx was expelled by the Prussian King.

He retreated to Paris but had to soon leave from there too because of persecution by the French authorities. Engels continued in Germany fighting as a soldier in the revolutionary armies till the very end. After military defeat, he escaped, and towards the end of 1849, joined Marx, who had by then settled in London. England then continued to be their centre till the end of their lives.

The defeat of the 1848 Revolution had spread confusion among the revolutionaries and proletarian activists throughout Europe. Most of the earlier dominant trends of socialism could not provide any proper understanding regarding the reasons for the course of events during the revolution. It was in such an atmosphere that Marx took up the task of explaining the social forces behind the initial victory and later defeat of the Revolution. Since France was the centre and principal starting point of both the upsurge and decline of the revolution, Marx concentrated his analysis on the French events.

This he did through his brilliant works, The Class Struggles in France, 1848 to 1850 and the Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte. They were Marx’ first attempts to explain current historical events by means of the materialist conception of history. He analysed with complete clarity the class forces behind each of the major turns and twists in the revolution. He thus provided the class basis for revolutionary proletarian tactics. By exposing the role of various classes at various stages, he showed who were the friends and enemies of the revolution and therefore the approach of the proletariat to each of them.

In the following period, Marx continued his writings on all the major political events throughout the world. In all these writings he presented a clear perspective from a proletarian viewpoint. This distinguished them from all other varieties of socialism, which proved incapable of providing real answers to the continuously changing world situation. It clearly established the superiority of Marxism over other brands of socialism as a practical tool for understanding and changing the world.

Simultaneously, Marx and Engels worked energetically to unite the weak and fragmented organisations of the working class.

 The Communist League, which had its main centre in Germany, faced severe repression from the Prussian police. Many of its members in Germany were put behind bars and the organisation itself was finally dissolved in November 1852. During the long period of reaction after the failure of the 1848 Revolution Marx and Engels tried continuously to reorganise and revive the working class movement. Besides writing and publishing their works extensively, they maintained constant contact with the working class organisations in various countries, particularly England, France and Germany. Their constant attempt was to form an international organisation of the working class and to set up separate parties of the proletariat in the industrially developed countries.

The main work in this respect was done by Marx. He worked throughout this period under very difficult conditions. After having been driven out by the governments of various countries, even after Marx settled in London he was under constant surveillance of the secret police, particularly of Prussia. Besides the political repression Marx’ economic situation was always very bad. Due to the poor and disorganised state of the revolutionary working class movement at that time it was unable to support him as a full-timer.

Thus his only source of earnings was the small payment per article which he got for writing for a large American newspaper The New York Tribune. This was of course totally insufficient for Marx’ large family. They thus faced constant poverty, debt and even starvation. Many a time things from the house had to be pawned to provide for food. Marx had six children but only three survived beyond childhood. When his baby daughter died the burial had to be delayed for a few days till some money was collected for the burial. Marx himself faced constant serious illnesses, which he had to struggle against to complete his work.

Throughout all these economic difficulties the main support for the Marx family was Engels. After the failure of the 1848 Revolution Engels had been forced to take up a job in his father’s Manchester firm. He worked there for twenty years, first as a clerk and then for the last five years as a partner in the firm till 1869. During this period he had a substantial income, with which he would regularly help Marx.

Engels’ help however was not merely economic. Though he did not get much spare time because of his job he put in all efforts to continue study and help Marx. They corresponded very regularly and constantly exchanged ideas. Marx always consulted Engels on major questions, particularly on decisions regarding the international working class movement.

Their efforts finally bore fruit in 1864 with the formation of the International Workingmen’s Association – the First International. Marx soon became its leader and was primarily responsible for drawing up its first programme and constitution. The International’s programme however did not contain the strong words of the Communist Manifesto.

The First International, unlike the Communist League, was not an organisation limited to small groups of revolutionaries. In fact many of the sections of the International, especially those of England and France, represented organisations with a vast mass following of workers. However, most of these organisations did not have a clear and correct understanding.

Though they were composed predominantly of workers the level of consciousness was normally lower than that of the selected revolutionaries of the Communist League. The programme and constitution thus had to be formulated keeping this in mind. 

The correct line had to be presented in a manner acceptable to the member organisations of the International. Marx, with his great ideological depth and practical organisational experience was at that time the only person capable of thus drafting these documents and was therefore given this task. In subsequent years too, it was he, who drafted all the most important documents of the First International.

It was thus Marxism alone that could provide the ideological, political and organisational perspective for the First International. Implementation of this perspective meant constant struggle against the various anarchist and opportunist trends that arose within the movement.

Among other things the anarchists opposed a strong organisation whereas the opportunists opposed resolute struggle. Fighting both deviations, Marx and Engels worked to build the International into a mass organisation of struggle, uniting the workers in both Europe and America. This they largely succeeded in, doing leading at the same time to the formation of independent proletarian parties in many of the industrialised countries of the world.

By the time of the historic Paris Commune of 1871, Marxism had advanced very far from it’s position at the time of the 1848 Revolution. Marxism no longer remained as merely one of the trends of socialism. The earlier brands of Utopian Socialism had been swept away by history and it was Marxism alone that retained full practical significance. Marxism also was no longer restricted to small groups but had become a mass phenomenon. Its influence extended to the proletarian movements in various industrialised countries.

It provided the ideological leadership to independent proletarian parties.

It headed a massive proletarian movement, which had begun to challenge the bourgeoisie. Marxism had fused its links with the vast working class masses.

200 Years: Remembering the Early Life of Marx and Engels until they became Marxists

Obviously nobody can be born a Marxist – not even Marx. There has to be a process through which ideas and views are developed and formulated and take a basic shape which can be called an ideology. Naturally Marx and Engels too had to go through such a process before they came to discover and themselves grasp the basic truths of what we today know as Marxism. This process of thought was naturally determined to a great extent by the concrete experiences that both of them went through. In order therefore to understand this in some depth let us briefly look at the early life experiences of these two great teachers.

Karl Marx was born on 5th May 1818, in the town of Trier, in what was then called Rhenish Prussia, and which is today part of Germany. His father, Heinrich Marx, was one of the top lawyers of the town. The family was well to do and cultured, but not revolutionary. Both Marx’ parents came from a long line of Jewish priests. Thus, though they were economically well off, they had to face social discrimination in the anti-Jew atmosphere of Prussia.

In 1816, Marx’ father was forced to convert to Christianity because the Prussian government had then brought out a rule stopping Jews from practicing law. Similarly, in 1824, another Prussian law was passed to prevent non-Christians from being admitted to public schools. To overcome this, again Heinrich Marx was forced to baptize his son Karl, along with all his brothers and sisters.

Thus, though he was no believer in organised religion, Marx’ father was forced to adopt a new faith just in order to pursue his profession and give his children a good education.

Marx’ hometown, Trier, is the oldest town in Germany, which for many centuries had been the residence of Roman emperors and later the seat of Catholic bishops, with a religious administration for the town and surrounding area.

In August 1794 the French armies captured the town, instituted a civil administration, and brought in the ideas and institutions of the French Revolution. The town only went back into the hands of the Prussian king after the defeat of France’s Napoleon in 1815.

Thus during the time of Marx’ birth and youth it still carried the definite impact of twenty-one years of French revolutionary ideas.

Trier was a small town, similar in size to our smaller taluka towns, with a population then of around 12,000. It was principally a market town for the surrounding area, which for centuries has been a famous wine-growing area. Its population was composed of occupations typical to a ‘service’ town – civil servants, priests, small merchants, craftsmen, etc.

It had remained untouched by the Industrial Revolution and was thus economically relatively backward. During Marx’ youth it also had a high degree of poverty. Official statistics in 1830 gave an unemployment figure of one in every four, though the actual figure must have been much higher. Beggars and prostitutes were common and the figures of petty crime like stealing was extremely high. Thus Marx from a very young age was witness to the misery of the poorer labouring classes.

After attending elementary school, Marx entered the Friedrich Wilhelm Gymnasium (secondary school) in 1831, from which he passed out in 1835. Within three weeks he was sent for further studies at the law faculty of the university forty miles away from Trier, at the city of Bonn (an important centre which is today the joint capital of Germany).

Marx, with a desire to learn as much as much as possible, immediately registered in nine courses that besides law, included poetry, literature, art, etc. He was at first regular at lectures but gradually lost interest, particularly in the law lectures, which he found dry and unsatisfying. He reduced his courses first to six and then to four.

He decided to study on his own and soon got involved in the stormy life of the students of whom he soon became a leader. Being deeply interested in writing poetry he also joined the Poetenbund, a circle of young writers founded by revolutionary students. In the constant struggle between the sons of the feudal nobles and the bourgeoisie, he soon became a leader of the bourgeois group. He was often involved in fistfights and sometimes in sword-duels.

He carried a stiletto knife (somewhat similar to our gupti knives), for which he was once arrested and had a police case put on him. He was also sentenced to one day in the university’s student prison on charges of “nightly uproarious disturbances of the peace and drunkenness”. Marx, in one sword-duel was even injured on his right eyebrow. This led to his father withdrawing him from the Bonn University and bringing him back to Trier in August 1836.

While he was in Trier he got secretly engaged to Jenny von Westphalen, the daughter of Baron von Westphalen a nobleman and senior Prussian government official. Jenny, who was four years elder to him, and Marx, were childhood loves who had decided to get married while Marx was still in school. They now got engaged with the approval of Marx’ parents, but without Jenny’s parents approval, which was only obtained in 1837.

In October 1836 Marx moved to the University of Berlin, which was the capital of Prussia. The university was much larger than Bonn and was renowned as a major centre of learning. After registering for his University courses, Marx immediately jumped into a storm of work. He stayed up night after night, eating irregularly, smoking heavily, reading heavy books and filling up notebooks. Instead of formal classes Marx pursued his studies on his own. Working at a tremendous pace he moved from law to philosophy to poetry to art and then to writing plays and stories and then back to philosophy and poetry.

His overwork had a bad effect of his health, particularly his TB affected lungs, and he sometimes was forced to take a break. But he was always back to his excessive work habits, reading up everything, from the ancient to the latest works of scientists and philosophers. His bent was towards philosophy, always trying to find universal meaning; always searching for the absolute in principles, definitions and concepts.

During his second year at the University he joined a group of philosophy students and teachers called Young Hegelians. They were followers of the famous German philosopher, Frederick Hegel, who had taught at Berlin University and died in 1830. They tried to give a radical interpretation to Hegel’s philosophy and for this were sometimes called Left Hegelians. One of Marx’ friends in this group, its intellectual leader, was a professor called Bruno Bauer who was a militant atheist who constantly attacked the church’s teachings.

Such attacks, along with the radical political views of the Young Hegelians, made them a target of the Prussian authorities. Thus when Marx completed his doctoral thesis he could not obtain his degree from the Berlin University, which was dominated by reactionary appointees of the Prussian government. After completing his studies in Berlin, he submitted his thesis and obtained his Ph.D. in April 1841 from the liberal leaning University of Jena that was outside Prussian control.

After obtaining his degree he had hoped to become a lecturer at the Bonn University where Bruno Bauer had shifted to in 1839. But Bauer himself was in trouble because of the student disturbances his anti-religion lectures were causing. Finally the King himself ordered the removal of Bauer from the Bonn University. This meant the end to Bauer’s teaching career as well as any hope of a teaching job for Marx.

Marx started concentrating on journalism, which he had already started immediately after leaving University. This also helped him to participate more thoroughly in the rapidly growing radical democratic opposition movement then developing in his Rhineland province and the neighbouring province of Westphalia. These provinces which had experienced the liberating influence of the French anti- feudal reforms were major centres of opposition to the Prussian king. Industrialisation had also led to the growth of the bourgeoisie, particularly in Cologne, the richest city of the Rhineland. This meant strong support for this radical opposition movement by the industrialists, who were fed up with the excessive controls of the feudals.

Marx first started writing for, and then, in October 1842, became the chief editor of The Rheinische Zeitung, a daily newspaper supported by such industrialists. In Marx’ hands the newspaper soon became a fighter for radical democratic rights. This however brought Marx into constant conflict with the Prussian censors who were very repressive. Finally, when the paper published a criticism of the Russian Czar’s despotism, the Czar himself brought pressure on the Prussian King to take action. The paper was banned and had to be closed down in March 1843. Marx then started involving himself in a plan to bring out a new journal The German-French Yearbooks.

During this period, from 1841 to 1843, Marx was deeply involved in the stormy political life of that period. However he was basically a radical democrat and did not at that time hold communist views. At the level of philosophy his major transformation during this period was in 1841 after reading a book The Essence of Christianity by Ludwig Feuerbach which presented a criticism of religion from the standpoint of materialism. This book played a major role in shifting Marx’ ideas from the idealism of the Young Hegelian group to materialism. Another philosophical work of 1841 (The European Triarchy) that influenced Marx was the attempt by his friend, Moses Hess, to develop a communist philosophy by combining French socialist and Left Hegelian ideas.

However at that time Marx yet had only a limited knowledge of the ideas of the socialists and communists. His first contact was in 1842 when he read with interest the works of many of the leading French socialist theorists. He was however not converted to communism or socialism by these readings. This change came about more through his contact with working class communist groups and study of political economy, both of which took place mainly after moving to Paris at the end of 1843.

 Seven years after their engagement, Marx and Jenny were married in June 1843. They had a short honeymoon in Switzerland during which Marx wrote a booklet where he presented his initial criticisms of Hegel. After the honeymoon he started the study and preparations for moving to Paris from where the earlier mentioned German-French Yearbooks was to be brought out. This move to Paris was planned in order to avoid the Prussian censors. However, though the journal was planned as a monthly, it collapsed after only one issue that came out in February 1844.

Marx’ period in Paris was however marked by very significant new experiences. Of the greatest importance was direct contact with the various socialist and communist groups of which Paris was a hot centre. Besides meeting a large number of theoreticians and revolutionaries Marx benefited greatly by regular contact with the many working class revolutionaries in Paris. At the same time Marx started a study of political economy in which he read most of the works of the famous English economists. The revolutionary contacts and further study had their impact. These were reflected in Marx’ writings.

The only issue of the Yearbooks was of crucial importance because it contained Marx’ first broad generalisation of a Marxist materialist understanding of history that was contained in an article criticising Hegel’s philosophy. It was in this article that Marx made the highly important formulation regarding the historical role of the proletariat. He also here made his famous formulation that religion is the opium of the people. The same issue also contained an article by Engels on political economy, which also gave a materialist understanding regarding the development of modern capitalism.

It was Marx’ interest in Engels’ writings that led to their meeting in Paris between August 28 and September 6 1844.This turned out to be a historic meeting that helped the two great thinkers to clarify their ideas and lay the first foundations of Marxism. Though they had both independently come to similar conclusions earlier, this meeting helped them to achieve complete theoretical agreement. It was at this meeting that they more clearly came to an understanding regarding the materialist conception of history, which was the cornerstone of Marxist theory.

Frederick Engels was born on 28th November 1820 in the textile town of Barmen in the Rhine province of Prussia. His father was the wealthy owner of a cotton-spinning mill and was a fiercely religious Protestant Christian with a reactionary political outlook.

Barmen, like Marx’ Trier, also belonged to the part of Prussia which had seen twenty years of French conquest. It thus also had progressive influences on it. However its main characteristic was that it was one of the biggest Rhenish industrial centres. Thus Engels from a very early age saw the severe poverty and exploitation of the working class. To survive against factory competition craftsmen were forced to work from morning to night. Often they tried to drown their sorrows in drink. Child labour and occupational lung diseases were rampant.

Engels attended the Barmen town school till the age of 14. He was then sent to the gymnasium at the neighbouring town of Elberfeld (today both Barmen and Elberfeld are merged into one town). This gymnasium (secondary school) had the reputation of being one of the best in Prussia. He was an intelligent student with an early flair for learning languages. He was also part of a poetry circle among the students and wrote his own poetry and short stories. He was planning to study economy and law but his father was more interested in making his eldest son learn the family business. At the age of 17 he was suddenly removed from school and made to join as an apprentice in his father’s office.

 Though this was the end of Engels’ formal schooling he continued to use his free time to study history, philosophy, literature and linguistics and to write poetry, which he was attracted to. The next year, in July 1838, Engels was sent to work as a clerk in a large trading firm in the large port city of Bremen. The big city atmosphere brought Engels in contact with foreign literature and the press. In leisure he started reading fiction and political books. He continued learning new languages and besides German got some knowledge of Latin, Greek, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French, English, Dutch, etc. This ability to learn languages continued throughout Engels’ life during which he learnt to be quite fluent in over 20 languages including Persian and Arabic. Also in Bremen, Engels became a good horseman, swimmer, swordsman and skater.

While at school itself Engels had been a fighter against bureaucracy. Now as a grown youth he was attracted to the radical democratic ideas of the bourgeois democratic revolution then taking shape in Germany. The first group he was attracted towards was the Young Germany literary group that stood for radical political views. He soon started writing for a journal being brought out by them from the port city of Hamburg, not far from Bremen. He wrote two articles on the situation in his home district. He exposed the severe exploitation of the workers in Barmen and Elberfeld, the diseases suffered by them, and the fact that half the children of the town were deprived of school and forced to work in the factories. He particularly attacked the hollowness of the religiosity of the exploitative industrialists (which included his own father).

Towards the end of 1839 he started a study of Hegel, whose philosophy he tried to link with his own radical democratic beliefs. However he only made further progress in this when he finished his clerkship in Bremen in 1841, and, after a few months gap, moved to Berlin for one year’s compulsory military service.

While in military service he joined the Berlin University as an external student and did a course in philosophy. He then became closely connected with the Young Hegelian group which Marx had been part of. He, like Marx, was also influenced greatly by the materialist views in Feurbach’s book that came out in that year. Engels’ writings now started to have some materialist aspects. The main thing he always stressed was political action. This was what made him split, in 1842, from his earlier Young German group, which he felt restricted itself only to empty literary debate. He however continued to strongly be linked with the Young Hegelians, particularly Bruno Bauer and his brother.

It was this closeness of Engels with the Bauers that prevented a friendship with Marx, when they met for the first time in November 1842. Engels at that time had finished his military service and was on his way from his hometown to join as a clerk in his father’s business in Manchester, in England. On the way he visited Marx at the newspaper office in Cologne where Marx was then the chief editor. Marx, by then, had however started criticising Young Hegelians, and particularly the Bauers, for concentrating their propaganda too much on religion rather than politics. Hence Marx and Engels, having different political affiliations, could not come close at this, their first meeting.

 It was Engels’ experiences in England that made him a communist. He developed very close links with the workers of Manchester, as well as the leaders of the revolutionary workers Chartist movement. Manchester was the main centre of the world’s modern textile industry and soon Engels undertook an in-depth study of the working and living conditions of its workers. He would regularly visit the working class areas to gain direct knowledge. In this process a love grew between him and Mary Burns, young Irish factory worker, who would later become his companion and wife. Besides collecting material for his future book on the conditions of the working class in England, Engels came to understand the revolutionary potential of the proletariat. His regular participation in the movement convinced him that the working class was not merely a suffering class, but a fighting class whose revolutionary actions would build the future.

Besides working class contact, Engels also made a deep study of the various socialist and communist theories and even met many of the French and German leaders and writers who had formulated these theories. Though he did not adopt any of these theories, he made an analysis of their positive and negative points. At the same time he started a deep study of bourgeois political economy. This was in order to help him analyse the economic relations of society, which he had started feeling was the basis of all social change. The initial results of his study he put down in his article that was published by Marx in his journal brought out from Paris. As we have mentioned earlier, this led to correspondence between Marx and Engels and their historic meeting in 1844.

Engels was then on his way back from Manchester to his hometown Barmen, when he stopped on the way to meet Marx who was then staying in Paris. Their discussions helped Marx to better formulate the materialist understanding of history which they had both started believing in. They also, at this meeting, started work on their first joint book, which was an attack on Bruno Bauer and the Young Hegelian group, which they had both earlier belonged to.

Engels spent the next eight months doing intensive communist propaganda and organisational work in Germany. During this period he was in constant revolt against his father who opposed his communist work and tried to get him to work in his factory. After just two weeks at his father’s office Engels rejected it completely and left Barmen to join Marx. Marx by that time had again become the target of feudal authorities. The Prussian King had brought pressure on the French King, who expelled Marx from Paris. Marx was forced to move to Brussels in Belgium along with his wife and eight-month-old child. This is where Engels came and set up house right next to Marx’s house.

Marx in the meantime had done deep work and had developed the main features of the new world outlook, which they had discussed at their earlier meeting. In Brussels both Marx and Engels started intensive joint work. This was, as Engels said, to develop the new outlook in all possible directions.

The result was the historic book, The German Ideology, which however only got published almost a hundred years later. The main purpose served this book served at that time was for the two great thinkers to self – clarify regarding their old understanding and set up the pillars of the new world outlook, which later came to be known as Marxism.

Marx and Engels had become Marxists!

Source : MLM Textbook from India

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Defend Comrade Dallas and fight for his freedom!

“You can take everyone from a man, but not what’s here [pointing at his head]. Even if you kill him. And if he dies, this remains with others.”

—Chairman Gonzalo, aka Abimael Guzman, on the night of his arrest

Midday on March 9, federal agents surrounded our beloved comrade Dallas with shotguns and arrested him. As we write, he is sitting in the state’s dungeons.

We believe that this abduction of our comrade is the most recent and aggressive attempt on the part of the pigs—city, state, and federal—to quell and repress revolutionary organizing and the militant antifascist movement. Although there can be no doubt that wherever there is true resistance to the rise of fascism, the state will be sure to try to crush it, we believe that the movement in Austin has attracted particular attention.

They see that it has become an example to others—and so now they wish to make an example of it by stringing up our comrade.

In recent years, Austin, Texas, has made international headlines for its militant antifascist struggle. Communists and anarchists have turned the streets of Austin into a battleground in the fight against genocide, deportation, and torture. Around the world, comrades have shown interest in and respect for Austin’s antifascists, who show the fascists no mercy, outnumbering them and putting up a fierce fight in all confrontations.

What has perhaps attracted the most serious attention, not just from fascists but from pigs as well, is the movement’s staunch, hardened militancy and its high degree of organization—and the fact that it is for the most part led by communists.

This attention and subsequent repression began even before the sharp rise in fascism in the lead-up to Trump’s presidency. Nearly two years ago, people we assume the state believed were associated with the movement were visited by FBI agents who attempted to question them.

Not long before Trump was elected, antifascists painted over fascist graffiti that the University of Texas had left untouched on the pillars of a museum on campus—and the pigs struck out wildly, arresting three people who were walking nearby on no evidence we can see.

But with the growth of the movement in size, sophistication, and militancy in the aftermath of Trump’s election, the repression began to increase sharply. The week following Trump’s election, three anti-Trump protests occurred. The first was led primarily by students from UT Austin after a walkout was staged, lasting for several hours, disrupting traffic for most of the work day. The next night, communists took charge in the street, urging protestors to take up more street space and to actively resist riot pigs sent to corral the protest.

Tensions were very high, and by the pigs’ violent behavior it seemed clear they were itching to arrest antifascists. Three nights later, on November 13, six protesters, one of them being Dallas (which is not his legal name), were arrested and given various charges ranging from resisting arrest to assault. On the word of the Austin Police Department, an article alleged that all six were members of Red Guards despite the lack of any proof or cause to believe the claim.

During the protest, one of the six was having health issues and was further injured during her arrest. She requested medical attention and was taken to the hospital, where she was harassed by the police, who asked her about her political affiliations and pressured her to state that she was in RGA.

Since then, over the course of a series of antifascist counter  protests, militant anti-gentrification demonstrations, and communist-led rallies, the state has only further intensified and refined its attempts to intimidate and punish the movement. They have arrested whoever they could, charging them with whatever they thought would stick, including arresting people for engaging in self-defense against fascists who had assaulted them.

When someone was arrested at a militant anti-gentrification march, an FBI agent came and questioned them in the jail without checking in.

Not long ago, after December 9, 2017, when Austin’s antifascists confronted, embarrassed, and drove out neo-Confederates and other fascists, the police report openly described all of the antifascists on the ground as members of “Red Guard.” It could likely go without saying, but at every point the police showed bald camaraderie with the fascists on the ground, shaking hands with them, joking and laughing with them, and eagerly protecting them while leaving the antifascists open to attack and turning a blind eye toward the fascists’ own open assaults.

During all of this, the movement in Austin has only grown stronger, refusing to be rattled or deterred by the increasing intimidation and repression. Because of the state’s unchangeable commitment to a degenerate, reactionary world, we feel sure they cannot abide the example set by the movement in Austin in its courage, unflinching militancy, and sophistication.

And in the face of this resolve, we believe they grew increasingly convinced that they could not destroy this movement simply through generalized repression, and therefore must do as the bourgeoisie have done so often around the world: singling out the particular individuals they see as key to the movement, and then persecuting them with violence and intimidation they believe will be harsh enough to break their will or simply destroy them, hoping that by doing so they can end the movement.

For the leadership he has shown in protests, and because he is a staunch supporter of RGA, we believe it is obvious that they’ve had their eyes on him for at least two years, hoping to either imprison him or kill him.

On November 13, 2016, as Dallas was being arrested by a DPS officer for a supposed assault that he did not commit, in what seems clear to us to be an attempt to murder him, Texas DPS officer Goodson wrapped his arms around his neck, twisting it and breaking it in two places, nearly leaving him paralyzed from the neck down. Ignoring repeated requests from Dallas to leave in an ambulance for the hospital, another officer proceeded to arrest him and throw him in jail, where he spent the night with a broken neck.

The pigs failed to kill him, and he survived that night and recovered slowly after invasive surgery, wearing a halo for months, which left him unable to bathe or cook for himself.

We believe that, after their failure to succeed in what looks to us to be attempted murder, the state decided to try to arrest him for more serious charges.

The series of events that led to his recent arrest by federal agents was set in motion by what we believe to be fabricated charges by Jesus Mares and his partner, Angelica Clarke. We are of the opinion that Dallas’s accuser, Jesus, may have been an informant for a few years or that he is now being paid to be one.

He initially met Dallas in 2015 but cut contact for a while, returning in 2016, months before Dallas’s neck was broken. For well over a year, Jesus tried to incite him and other organizers to use unnecessary violence and acts of armed intimidation against federal agents.

This contrasted starkly with the politics Jesus pushed at all other times, which were invariably for reconciliation with reformists.

It is our opinion that Jesus, realizing that no one would help him carry out terroristic acts, chose to burn bridges with all serious organizers in the area to prepare to falsely accuse Dallas since he had no actual crimes to report.

Shortly before Dallas’s arrest, Jesus and Angelica began harassing Dallas’s fiancée in person and via messaging apps.

On February 13, Jesus reported an assault with a deadly weapon that supposedly occurred two days previous, while Jesus’s partner accused Dallas’s fiancée of assault. Dallas was arrested at gunpoint in his fiancée’s apartment complex on March 3.

 Hearing him yelling outside, his fiancée opened the door to see what was happening, and was subsequently detained in a squad car for hours while the police obtained a warrant to search her apartment.

Upon being released, she was told she could wait in the car or leave while her apartment was searched despite being earlier told during her detainment that she could be in her apartment as the search was conducted. She chose to leave only to return hours later to an upturned apartment.

The pigs had left a Make America Great Again hat sitting prominently by itself, propped up near the entryway of her apartment. We believe this was an attempt at intimidation, and could be construed as a threat.

With his bail set at $70,000, Dallas remained in jail for five days as his friends, family, and comrades raised the portion needed to pay a bondsman. After his bail was paid and he was waiting to have his ankle monitor installed, his fiancée, who is pregnant with his child, was arrested.

In an unsurprising show of cruelty, they kidnapped her as she was headed out the door to her nine-week ultrasound. This day, International Working Women’s Day, would have been their first chance to hear their child’s heartbeat. Although Angelica had accused her of assault at the same time Jesus accused Dallas, it was not until almost immediately after Dallas’s bail had been posted that they then arrested her. We believe this clearly shows that the pigs were trying to cause the most financial and psychological harm possible, keeping them from seeing each other and their unborn child for the very first time.

Dallas was released shortly before an International Working Women’s Day event got underway, and his first act immediately after being released was to come by in support of this event. He told everyone attending that he and his fiancée had both been facing these acts of repression.

At the event, he read a deeply moving poem he had written in jail titled “To My Unborn Child.”

He urged everyone to fight to get his fiancée out of jail, as she is an incredible example of a devoted woman organizer. Even after being unexpectedly imprisoned for days, and despite not knowing whether there were more warrants for his arrest, his very first priority was to rally his comrades to help defend his pregnant fiancée and to contribute to the success of this important event. Dallas has been a tireless organizer in advancing the women’s struggle.

Everyone who knows him can attest to how many times he has stood up against misogyny and sexual misconduct and violence.

These are the acts of a committed organizer, and are absolutely unsurprising for anyone who has known Dallas.

He has always shown the deepest concern for the people, and lives above all else to see this political work continue even as his freedom and his life have come under sustained and potentially lethal attack. Inspired by his dedication and his touching call to action, his comrades immediately donated hundreds towards the bail fund and began discussing ways to aid the defense of his fiancée.

The next morning, Dallas and a friend headed to the bail bond office to meet the further requirements of his bail. Immediately upon exiting the car, they were surrounded by undercover cops and federal agents.

Dallas was arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm as a felon, firearms we believe he had no access to.

And while Dallas is a convicted felon, what is particularly absurd is that the conviction occurred almost two decades ago, when he was 17, for spray-painting a building whose owner pursued the maximum penalty of a year in prison.

Despite the fact that he never claimed to live with his fiancée and that he is not on the lease, the pigs claim that firearms they seized while raiding his fiancée’s residence are evidence of this possession, firearms that they themselves admit were legally acquired and registered.

 It is certainly not a crime to own guns in Texas, and we do not see the police raiding homes to seize arms from “patriots” and to accuse them of fabricated crimes.

Although the feds were there only to arrest Dallas, the person who was with him was detained and forced to identify themself. After running their name, a federal agent asked, “So what did you steal?” and began asking leading questions about a fabricated theft that this person certainly did not commit. They said they did not steal anything and that there were no warrants for their arrest.

The feds stopped harassing them, but an undercover made sure to say something to the effect of “if you don’t want to be in trouble, then don’t hang around communists,” which we believe is only further evidence that the feds are eager to invent phony crimes in order to imprison communists.

We feel that the pigs are clearly aiming to cause psychological terror on all sides: to Dallas, to his fiancée, and to everyone who associates with them, through arrests, detainments, and harassment, hoping that some will implicate themselves unwittingly in a fabricated crime.

Jesus and Angelica claim that the alleged assault happened before 7 a.m. on a Sunday, as they were returning books to Dallas and his fiancée.

A fight over books sounds so ridiculous that it may be possible that the judge thinks Jesus and Angelica merely claimed it was over books rather than over something that would implicate them in a crime as well, like a deal in weapons or drugs.

To be clear, it would be ridiculous to assume either, as Jesus is already legally well armed, and both

Dallas and his fiancée are completely sober. In fact, both of these comrades are known for helping their comrades and friends achieve sobriety and stay sober, and their help has been invaluable to many.

We believe that Jesus is a compulsive liar, lying about everything from his relationships to his drug use. As far as we can tell, he brings guns everywhere, and we believe he is itching to use them. He has offered to arm various people or train them in firearm use with what seems to be no regard for their legal status, ability, and well-being.

If we are correct in our assessment that the FBI is using him as an informant, then it is obvious that they do not give a shit about the reliability, character, or mental stability of their informants as long as they believe it will give them a shot to put dedicated organizers in jail.

Jesus has not ceased his harassment even after all these arrests have occurred. A couple of days after Dallas’s first arrest in this sequence of events, Jesus, after seeing one of Dallas’s attorney’s clients inside a courthouse, texted that client a picture of their own mugshot. On another day, he acted in such a way that, we believe, constituted an attempt to impersonate one of Dallas’s attorney’s legal assistants, specifically asking two of his clients whether they had completed the steps needed to finish handling their cases.

Jesus also stalked Dallas’s attorney inside the courthouse, following him into a stairwell and cornering him there to loudly confront him about representing Dallas.

We expect Jesus will continue harassing people with just about any degree of connection to Dallas. We believe that he is vindictive and that he takes joy in others’ fear. This use of reckless informants and repression tactics is not new in Texas.

In 2008, FBI informant Brandon Darby suggested two activists make firebombs to use against state vehicles, and they were both arrested and imprisoned for years as a result of this federal plot. Like Darby, Jesus seems to be motivated by self-interest rather than any kind of sense of duty to the state. Unlike Darby, Jesus failed to sway the organizers he was targeting to attempt any terroristic acts.

With what seems to us to be no meaningful evidence, the feds have stacked charges against Dallas that could carry a total of 30 years in prison. If he is sentenced to all 30, he would be completely unable to be a part of his unborn child’s life, and would certainly suffer psychologically, trapped for decades in the state’s dungeons.

We hold that this yet another obvious case of the hypocritical U.S. state breaking its own laws and policies to attempt to destroy a political movement that threatens its disgusting existence and the genocidal oppression and exploitation it inflicts on most people on earth.

Let us say this clearly: these arrests will not kill the revolutionary work being done daily here and across the country. We uphold as we always have that the bourgeoisie are a class damned by their own utterly decadent existence to bring the hatred of the masses upon themselves, to suffer blow after blow from the global working class led by the communist movement until they are subdued and snuffed out once and for all.

The state is dreaming the diseased dreams of a doomed class when it thinks it can drown our movement and the masses in bloody and cruel repression. The reality is that all they can do is hasten their own destruction.

They cannot break the will of the movement guided by the sharpest weapon the proletariat has ever wielded: Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism. Though we have many lessons to learn from our errors, and though it grieves us unspeakably that someone we treasure has fallen into the hands of the enemy, we have never been embarrassed by our work and our struggle, and we never will be. We will uphold, defend, and apply Maoism until our deaths.

As anyone who has known Dallas can tell you, he is a man who seeks no praise and truly embodies the revolutionary spirit Mao speaks of in his speech “Serve the People,” one who gives his whole life and self in service to the people.

After Hurricane Harvey brought unimaginable destruction and grief to the Texas coast, he was in the first convoy from Austin to join Serve the People – Houston, ready to begin disaster relief in the midst of still-high floodwaters and prowling white nationalists armed with rifles looking to kill looters.

His experience with Serve the People – Austin enabled him to streamline the food and supply servings in the most affected neighborhoods. But more than that, his deep love for the people shone through in every interaction, and he was always able to connect with the masses, figuring out what they needed most and always giving more than he had promised.

Being passionately dedicated to political education, he has studied many topics with virtually everyone in the Austin movement and beyond, tirelessly educating others and striving to learn more daily. Dallas is an inspiration to an untold number of people with his internationalism, self-sacrifice, humility, and dedication. For years and years he has given absolutely everything he has to the movement and to the masses, and the movement has benefited from it tremendously.

Those who know him love him beyond words.

We refuse to let these crimes against a great servant of the people go unnoticed and unchallenged. We have no faith that he would be granted leniency by the state, but we intend to fight every single step of the way to protect him from every kind of harm, to see him freed from the enemy’s dungeons as soon as possible, to ensure his family and his loved ones are protected—and to bring the light of truth to this most insidious attempt to kill and criminalize revolutionaries.

We call upon everyone who loves the people as Dallas does to take up this fight alongside us—tirelessly, staunchly, and wholeheartedly. Below you can find ways to show your support, and we will update going forward on how you can join in his defense.

What they seek to do to him, they will try to do to countless of us. We will never rest in the defense of the masses, Dallas, and all true revolutionaries. In our unity, guided by our ideology, we are stronger than they can possibly imagine.

Struggle with us to expose the state’s hypocritical repression!

Spread the urgency of defending and freeing Dallas to the four winds!

Free Dallas!

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