In this episode of Wine, Women, and Revolution, Heather talks theory with her comrade Mason. This episode is an experiment in having drinks with some friends and talking about socialist theory. We recorded this episode back in January. After this recording, Mason lost their home in a fire. If you have the means to do so, please help get them back on their feet. Mason is a great comrade. Help now. Donate here
For The People
Mason is one of the organizers with the group For The People – AC. FTP helps organize communities to provide for their own material means. First, they provide resources to help communities organize themselves. Second, their support committee is for anyone who wants to help provide resources or volunteer. Finally, FTP directly engages with the community to provide political education and organizing.
Alternative Organs of Political Power
We recorded this episode near the end of the last government shutdown. But now, are looking down the barrel of yet another shutdown at the time of posting this. If the government is shut down long enough, things like food stamps and housing assistance will dry up. When these systems fail, people are left with nothing to rely on. That is why we need alternative power structures run by the people. Community members know what they need. Therefore, they should be in charge of saying how those needs are met. Those new structures are called Organs of Political Power.
Don’t be afraid to voice your feelings. If you are a communist, scream it from the rooftops. If you are a socialist, don’t be ashamed of the term. Capitalism sucks, don’t be afraid to say you are anti-capitalist. Its so important to let people know about the goals of of changing society. We talk about the science of revolution. Transformation cant come until the message is understood. Too often, people only think of electoral politics when talking politics. There is so much more.
Next, Heather and Mason transition to Venezuela. Heather declares herself president of the United States since apparently that is the process now. After joking around, the conversation turns serious. We are on the brink of invading yet another foreign country, and it is getting bipartisan support. The US has been backing coups in Venezuela since 2002. It failed last time, so we are at it again. Make no mistake, this is about oil and capitalism. Latin America, may be the greatest source of the US’s stolen wealth.
Scientific Study of Capitalism
Marx attempted to use scientific reasoning and apply it to the study of capitalism. One of his theories is called “The Tendency Of The Rate Of Profit To Fall”. It sounds more complicated than it is. Capitalism leads to various crisis. Our current crisis of capitalism began in 2007 with the economic collapse. This was a legitimate crisis, and led to the most massive transfer of wealth from workers to the capitalist class. The “economy” might be doing better on paper. Realistically, most individuals are doing worse than 2007. Capitalism requires higher and higher levels of exploitation to continue. (At this point in time, Heather’s dog burst into the studio. Once she was escorted out, the conversation continued)
Wealth is accumulated in the hands of a few. Theory says this leads to the rate of profit to fall. People cant afford to buy goods. Next, competition leads industries to fail. Finance capital is able to prop up that failing system. It masks the real crisis of capitalism. Finance capital allowed capitalists to restructure entire countries and their economies. Next, newly created countries are forced to take massive loans. This results in the resources of the country being owned by finance capitalists instead of the citizens. Even the physical land is a commodity to be sold. Because banks own everything, citizens have nothing. Finally, citizens have no choice but to take exploitative jobs. Pay is low and conditions are dangerous, because workers have no power.
The Revolution – How Do We Get There?
Next, Heather and Mason talk about the future. Mason stresses we only can transform society if we engage with people. We struggle together. We must develop the transformation we want. You can have a crisis of capitalism, but if the people don’t understand what is happening nothing changes. Therefore, our job as socialists is to discuss things like imperialism and solidarity. We make class consciousness. Lastly, Heather and Mason move the conversation to a few more topics. They include environmentalism, the middle class, trade unions, and basic organizing.