Monday, 16 January 2017

The Wage Scales: Alex Jones Flirts with the Ghost of Rosa Luxemburg

Yes its seems Alex Jones has finally started to run out of right wing talking points to fire up the survivalists. These is either a case of exhaustion, he's run out of right wing nationalists to quote mine for attacks on the "global order" and has had to start nibbling away at the playbook of less well know revolutionaries. Or possibly Alex has realised now that Donald Trump will be the President his old playbook won't really work anymore. His conspiracy theory loving, authoritarian nationalist community have now become the establishment so he can no longer rely on the boogieman of the liberal elite coming to take the guns and open the FEMA camps. So perhaps he's begun a rebranding process? Perhaps this is the start of a phasing out of the right wing rhetoric, and the drip feed of leftish scaremongering?

Personally I hope its the former, and that seems likely leftist circles are already swamped with vaguely anti-Semitic crackpots as it is. If INFOWARS becomes INFOCLASSWARS this will only get worse. To me Alex Jones is a transparent conman, and that was before I learned he was selling things. When I first encountered Jones I thought he was just an internet radio shock jock. I first saw him on a documentary series airing on Sky one about secret societies. Jones was in the one about the group of rich people who have an owl statue, he told a story about how for exposing this group of shadowy rich men he was bombarded with death threats, and was actually attacked by two men in cloaks armed with daggers. Yes really, he survived by "viciously attacking them" now I'll be honest the documentary series was really poor -another lowlight was following a man around an industrial estate car park trying to meet up with an "real Illuminati member", said member was a no show- and I was really sceptical, but that basically killed what little credibility I was willing to give the show.

I mean assuming for the sake of argument what Alex was true, why is he still alive? He didn't shut up about the group with the owl statue, he continued to expose their sinister plans to a larger audience. But apparently this common sense deduction is not all that common, plenty of people around the world drink willingly from the font of Jones.

And for that reason I'm a little optimistic, by turning to Rosa Luxemburg two things are happening, his followers who know who she was will probably be alarmed that Jones is identifying with a Communist, and one who actively attempted a revolution to boot. They'll probably ditch Jones, most will probably follow another of the tinfoil hat brigade, but a few at least (at least I hope a few) will put some distance between themselves and the 24 hour stream of consciousness lies and scaremongering, and be better people for it.  Those who didn't know who she is will probably be intrigued and devote their considerable obsessive skills to finding out more from this wise sage. If your one of those, or just someone else eager to find out more on Rosa Luxemburg then here's my recommendations

Archives: Rosa Luxemburg tag

Specific Texts:

The Mass Strike

A Call to the Workers of the World

Leninism or Marxism Also known as Organizational Questions of the Russian Social Democracy

Down With Reformism

The Junius Pamphlet also known as the Crisis of Social Democracy

Order Prevails in Berlin her last text, written just before her execution.


Rosa Luxemburg: A True Revolutionary, by Staughton Lynd

Rosa Luxemburg's Legacy, a podcast

Rosa a West German Film

Rosa Luxemburg is well known and usually respected by most people aware of Communist and Anarchist theory, but unlike Karl Marx or Lenin didn't break into popular culture. She was an active militant in the Kingdom of Poland (part of the Russian Empire) and in Germany. She dedicated most of her life to the German Social Democratic Party (SPD). Her reasoning for this was that at the time the SPD was the largest and strongest organisation committed class struggle. When the German working class defeated German Capitalism, they would bring the entire world much closer to revolution. A small irony after Rosa left for Germany in 1905 Russia, the most backward of the European powers and often regarded as the least likely to have revolutionary potential, had a revolution. A revolution led largely by the small urban working classes in the cities, though the peasantry weren't idle either.

The 1905 Russian Revolution was defeated, but the Tsar was so shaken that the regime had to pass many political reforms, the founding of a state parliament (The Duma), legalising Trade Unions, and weakening (but not removing) censorship of the press and political factions. Tsarism still remained, the secret police were still around, political repression and corruption continued and living and working conditions remained extremely poor, but within the space of a few months the Russian Empire had gone from the most backward, to nearly catching up with the rest of Europe. It also meant that the revolutionary underground of the Russian Empire became a lot more important and influential. Rosa renewed her contacts with many of them, including Lenin, however it didn't take to long for her to become a critic of the Bolshevik faction.

Meanwhile in Germany she became increasingly critical of her party colleagues. The German SPD was becoming increasingly moderate and compromising to the Kaiser's government. This would culminate with the SPD voting in war credits in 1914 allowing the German military to mobilise for its invasion of France and starting World War I. Rosa would be imprisoned again for criticising a government and its militaristic tendencies. This was not the first time she'd been in prison, but it was the first time she'd been imprisoned by her own party leaders. In 1918 Germany was in the middle of a revolution, as sailors and soldiers mutinied in their thousands, ending World War I in the process. The mutinous soldiers and sailors started linking up with German workers who were also mobilising against the war and its austerity conditions. Ultimately this lead to the abdication of the Kaiser and the proclamation of a parliamentary republic. The SPD as the largest party became the head of the new Republic, however at this point the SPD leadership no longer wanted a revolution so allied with what was left of the German military and police, helped form the right wing paramilitary Freikorps, and unleashed a wave of terror against the German working class, many of whom had voted for the party and were members.

Two of these members were Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, who had supported the revolution and helped form a new organisation (The Sparticist League), both of whom were captured on the 15th of January and tortured, before being executed.

From Great Moments in Leftism

Here's a few more quotations from Rosa that Jones might like to use.

"The proletarian revolution that has now begun can have no other goal and no other result than the realisation of socialism. The working class must above all else strive to get the entire political power of the state into its own hands. Political power, however, is for us socialists only a means. The end for which we must use this power is the fundamental transformation of the entire economic relations."
From the Socialisation of Society (December 1918)

"Marxist theory is nothing but the scientific reflex of the class struggle engendered by capitalism with the inevitability of a law of nature."

From the 25th Anniversary of Marx's death (1908)

"it is the class-conscious proletariat that is the active and leading element, while the big bourgeois turns out to be either openly against the revolution or liberal moderates, and only the rural petit-bourgeoisie and the urban petit-bourgeois intelligentsia are definitively oppositional and even revolutionary minded."
From the Mass Strike (1906)

"Socialism alone is in a position to complete the great work of permanent peace, to heal the thousand wounds from which humanity is bleeding, to transform the plains of Europe, trampled down by the passage of the apocryphal horseman of war, into blossoming gardens, to conjure up ten productive forces for every one destroyed, to awaken all the physical and moral energies of humanity, and to replace hatred and dissension with internal solidarity, harmony, and respect for every human being."
From a Call to the Workers of the World (November 1918)

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