From my studies of Marxism, Maoism-Third Worldism seems to the be the logical conclusion following an honest analysis of the class struggle and consistent application of Marxist theory.
But, like many, I was initially hostile to Maoism-Third Worldism. I thought it was ‘anti-white’, divisive, and ignorant.
I even tried critiquing it from a Marxist position, to which I intended to write an article at some point.
My change came only after I tried to pick apart M-TW from a Marxist position. The more I read the more I came to the same conclusions as the very people I was trying to criticize. At first it was frustrating, and then I began to become critical of my own positions and truly attempt a completely objective analysis that was properly scientific and void of any undue bias.
“Communists must always go into the why’s and wherefore’s of anything, use their own heads and carefully think over whether or not it corresponds to reality and is really well founded; on no account should they follow blindly…” – Mao Tse Tung
What I found was this: not only is Maoism-Third Worldism a completely legitimate and logical reassertion of Marxism, but also answers many questions contemporary Western Marxism has failed to answer.
Questions like who are the proletariat? Who are the exploiting classes? What does it mean to be exploited? What is the relationship between the ‘First’ and ‘Third’ worlds? What does it mean to be ‘anti-imperialist’?
All of these questions answered scientifically within the context of our modern age of global capitalism.
Clearly, with the short time given, I cannot sufficiently elaborate all that should be elaborated upon. However, I can give a few examples and provide resources for further study.
E.g. ‘what does it mean to be exploited’?
According to Marx, exploitation comes from being paid a wage below the value of labor for the purpose of the private accumulation of capital. Essentially surplus value as it is classically understood.
No one should be surprised by this.
But what does this mean today as compared to 160 years ago when Capital was first drafted?
The Western left has actually drifted away from this understanding of exploitation or at least its scientific understanding. This is because many of the ‘workers’ in the First World not only perform unproductive labor, as it is termed, but are not even exploited. This is because many ‘workers’ in Amerika and Europe already receive wages above the value of their labor. This phenomena has created not only a labor aristocracy (the higher rungs of the working class), and a false consciousness, but a labor nobility. Meaning ‘workers’ who, by definition, are net-exploiters. Their lavish standard of living is quite literally built on the exploitation of the global proletariat. This difference in the price of labor power is what is called ‘imperialist rent’. Meaning these ‘workers’ within the imperialist nations are direct beneficiaries of capitalist exploitation and in fact may hold little material interest in an actual world socialist revolution.
Now, upon hearing this, many people, even socialists, may get offended. No one here is implying that those in the First World do not “work hard”. For the most part First Worlder’s take pride and effort in their work. The question is not one of effort, it is the question of contradiction. The contradiction between the core and periphery nations. That the price of labor power with identical productivity is significantly lower in the periphery than in the core. As we know, profit is made not at exchange, but during the labor process. Meaning that if one group of workers are receiving more, others are receiving less. This is a contradiction that socialist revolution would solve in the most proletarian of ways: by compensating labor to a wage conceived under a common plan. This entire analysis is illustrated below:
This is only one example of how M-TW answers questions that the establishment Western Marxists have left untouched.
Now, regarding some of the more common criticisms of M-TW coming especially from the Western Marxists. The assertions of racism, chauvinism, and revisionism surrounding M-TW are simply baseless.
First, the perceived ‘anti-White’ analysis of M-TW is not some racial supremacy garbage but a factual understanding of how Whiteness functions socially and the ‘White proletariat’ are privileged above international non-’whites’(see this for more information). It is factual, not racist, to point out that ‘white’ families have as much as ten times the net worth of Black families in Amerika. It is correct, not biased, to point out that ‘whites’ comprise a vast majority of the petty-bourgeois and bourgeois in Amerika. These claims of racism are reactionary defensive mechanisms based on a false conscious; ignoring material conditions, class struggle, and accepting a completely bourgeois identity rather than realizing a proletarian solidarity. The real racism comes from trying to make Amerikan ‘whites’ into the exploited masses; creating an entirely false racial identity and class character.
Second, there is no chauvinism in M-TW. There is chauvinism in suggesting that a select minority of the worlds populace should live lavishly while the rest of the world anguishes. The opulent life-style of the Amerikan consumerist cannot be safely replicated internationally. Suggesting that the worlds resources serve the use-values of the world’s toiling masses is not chauvinism but actual socialism. The idea that some First World college students are the center of revolutionary potential while half the world lives on 2 USD a day is complete and utter nonsense. To accept this bourgeois individualism means rejecting proletarian internationalism.
Third, M-TW is not revisionist, rather it is only a reassertion of the already established Marxist-Leninist line. Fundamentally there are no new contributions brought out by Maoist-Third Worldists. Maoism-Third Worldism should properly be called Marxism-Leninism or simply Maoism as it only reanalyzes the contemporary world under the same line; paying close attention to the class struggle and the inner mechanisms of global capitalism-imperialism. The goal remains the same. To promote proletarian internationalism, national liberation, and socialist revolution. With all of this said, M-TW can be understood as the truly consistent and non-revisionist application of Marxism.
If you were skeptical as to the nature of Maoism-Third Worldism, hopefully I have at least piqued your interest. If you are lamenting my change in position, all I can give you is an apology. However, I remain convinced to the legitimacy of Maoism-Third Worldism and the resulting conclusions.
I know that Gonzo Times is a self-described ‘anti-authoritarian’ website and I respect this disposition and that of the readers. I realize that my political stances are becoming increasingly “authoritarian” and this is why I want to carry on my work elsewhere. In any sense, I appreciate all the support I have had over the past several months.
Check out my future writings as well as those of Comrade Klaas, and Comrade Josh on our website.
Also check out Comrade Nikolai Brown and his website that remains the most enlightening in the realm of Maoism-Third Worldism and Anti-Imperialism.