Happy Final Day of Hanukkah and what is the Maccabean Revolt

For 2019CE, on the Gregorian Calendar, today is the last day of Hanukkah. On the Hebrew Calendar, it Begins 25 Kislev, and ends 2 Tevet or 3 Tevet on some years.  The Holiday is supposed to last 8 Days, and the background from this is a story that during a revolt, the Jews only had enough oil to light a candle for 1 Day, but it lasted 8 days. Judea had been part of the Ptolemaic Kingdom until 200 BCE when the Seleucid Empire took it over. Antiochus III the Great was the leader of the Empire at the time. Antiochus III allowed the Jews to continue to live their lives how they had before and to keep their https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bd/Maccabean_revolt.jpgcustoms. After Antiochus III died, their successor, Antiochus IV did not allow the Jews to keeps their customs and traditions, and they outlawed Judaism. Antiochus IV demanded that a statue of Zeus be put in a temple which was previously used for Judaism. . Mattathias (Mattityahu), a Jewish priest, and his five sons Jochanan, Simeon, Eleazar, Jonathan, and Judah led a rebellion against Antiochus IV. This would eventually what would lead to Hanukkah. Mattathias killed a Jew which was complying to the conversion of the Temple and the Rebellion had begun. Later Judah had retaken the temple and  “cleansed” it (meaning they made it Jewish again rather than Greek). According to the Talmud, unadulterated and undefiled pure olive oil with the seal of the kohen gadol (high priest) was needed for the menorah in the Temple, which was required to burn throughout the night every night. This is why they needed the candles so much and why the holiday was declared. The revolt was know as the Maccabean Revolt as it was from a type of Jews who rebelled. Judea then became an Independent Nation which lead to the independent Hasmonean dynasty . The new country was located in Modern Day Palestine and Israel. Israel is the modern day country where the Jews live, though it is in conflict with a country called Palestine which also owns Jewish Lands but is mostly Muslim.  Neither Palestine nor Israel are fully recognised around the world, and they have land disputes.

Judea During the Revolt
Judea During the Revolt

 

PLEASE NOTE: THESE DO NOT REPRESENT MY RELIGIOUS VIEWS, I AM JUST TRYING TO EXPLAIN THE HISTORICAL PARTS OF HANUKKAH AND TO TELL PEOPLE ABOUT WHAT IT IS ABOUT, I AM NOT PROMOTING ANY RELIGION.

What is Neo-Liberalism?

Neo-Liberalism is one of the economic systems used in the United States, and many other countries in the west. You may even hear the US Democratic Party and the UK Labour Party called “Liberal” (though the Labour Party is often considered Social Democracy (which is similar)). Neo-Liberalism is basically Capitalism with regulations. The idea is that to help the workers. but keep capitalism, they just put regulations so they do not have to replace the system. This has many issues as it allows an exploitive system to keep existing, just a little “less bad”. Things Neo-Liberals often support are taxes, welfare, business regulations, and stuff like that. The Term became popular in the 1960s and 1970s CE, and is a new version of Liberalism which became popular after the 2nd Great War(Neo means new). It is often associated with laissez-faire. Neo-Liberalism is supposed to allow laissez-faire, but with regulations which are supposed to help large corporations be “checked”.

Flaws of Neo-Liberalism

Neo-Liberalism has many flaws. One of the mains ones is that it allows capitalists to continue to exploit workers and harm the people in other countries who are poorer. All Neo-Liberalism does is it adds limitations which are supposed to protect the workers, but they often do not, they just allow capitalism to continue to reign for longer, as may look like the workers are getting many “victories”, even though they are not. Neo-Liberalism has not gotten rid of wage labour, but has just slightly improved wages and wage regulations, please check out why we are against the minimum wage, where we look at it from both a capitalist and a communist perspective.

 

Another issue with the attempts with Neo-Liberalism is the large companies still stay on top, and the regulations do not help the smaller companies which are run by  less rich people. In-fact, the large corporations often do not pay that much is taxes, if any, while the average person or small business still has to pay taxes like normal. The Guardian reported Netflix, did not pay any income tax in 2018. A large company is still easily able to keep a smaller company from being able to reliably compete.

 

Another issue is that many places that use Neo-Liberalism have Neo-Nazi or Neo-Fascist tendencies, such as the United States, and Neo-Liberalism helps keep it like this. Neo-Liberalism tries to regulate economics, and while doing it, they only really enforce it for the smaller companies, while the larger companies often get let off for stuff that normal companies would have to do.  This means that the individual is more controlled by the state unless they work for one of the large companies, where the boss would control you more.  This leads to corporatism and authoritarianism (and eventually totalitarianism (which has already partially happened in the United States)). Since Neo-Liberalism just helps postpone revolution, very little stops the state and bourgeoisie from grabbing tonnes of power before the proletariat can do anything.

What is an Alternative to Neo-Liberalism?

An Alternative to Neo-Liberalism is Communism. The Proletariat will revolt and overthrow the state and become self-supporting, no longer relying on Capitalists. The workers own the means of production and there is no currency or bosses or state. People live in Communes and use workplace democracy and trade with other communes through mutual aid. Communism happens after the workers revolt and after the state, currency/money, and capitalism are abolished in the area that Communism is happening. Communism brings a higher standard of living for everyone (except the former Bosses in most cases).

 

 

The Leftist Case against a Minimum Wage

The minimum wage is an attempt to try to force companies to create a liveable wage for their employees. Labour Unions like the Industrial Workers of the World fought to raise it. However, it still remains ineffective and possibly even counter-productive in keeping Worker’s Rights. This article used the United States as its main example, but most of the stuff is applicable to other countries to an extent.

If you want to see my older article on the subject from mostly a capitalist viewpoint, please check out Why We need to abolish the Minimum Wage (Old)

It’s Not Liveable

First of All, the Minimum wage is not really all that liveable, at least in the United States unless you choose to be homeless. The Federal Government makes the minimum wage 7,25USD an hour, though states may have their own. Full time is 8 hours making it about 58USD a day, if you work 5 days in a week thats 290USD a week, About 1200USD a Month and around 14400USD a Year. According to ApartmentList The Median Price of a Flat in the United States is around 1000USD per month for 1 Bedroom. If you only ate Potatoes, you would need to eat about 21 of them to meet the recommended calorie intake (a Postdate is around 56 Calories and the Recommended is around 1200 a day). A bag for 1USD contains around that many. If you eat only that you can get buy for 30USD a month for food. The Basic Utilities (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Rubbish) will cost you around 70USD on the cheap end (does not include Internet). For Internet  you will most likely have to pay (Unless 10 Hours a Month for Free From NetZero is good Enough), for a DSL Connection you will Probably need to Pay around 40USD a Month . If you need a Bus Pass that will cost Around 20USD a month, if you need a Mobile Plan, thats 1USD a month from FreedomPop. If you choose to have Insurance, the price for that is About 400USD a month for an individual. Already we are in debt, and we have not even considered taxes and emergency spending or interest rate from your past debt. The Minimum wage is not liveable if you choose to live a normal life.

The Minimum Wage does not keep up well with Inflation

Many people in the US want to raise the Minimum wage to 15USD an hour. More than 50% agree with this. I can to an extent agree with this. The 7,25USD minimum wage was passed in 1994CE. 7,25USD in 1994 is about the same as 11USD in 1994. But since the US government is so slow, it may be a few years until the Minimum wage is updated. By then, Inflation would have caught up. The Minimum wage in the United States does not keep up with Inflation.

It creates an Artificial Pay limit

The Minimum wage also makes an artificial pay limit. It sets a suggested number which everyone chooses to set as their payment for their employees rather than a living wage. It allows for companies to pay a little bit over minimum wage sound like they are paying a lot when in reality they are still not paying a liveable wage. If a company pay 13USD an hour its not much better than a 7,25USD  per hour wage. The Minimum wage increasing also gives land lords the green light to raise their prices. If the minimum wage were to raise, landlords would just raise prices and inflation in general would go up thus eventually cancelling out the raise.The minimum wage also in many ways sets the standard salary for other jobs. If you have a 2nd tier job, just make it pay 20 000 USD a month, its more than minimum wage but not a liveable wage, and for each tier, you just add a little bit more. This is what happens when you have a low minimum wage and the  state rather than the unions try to regulate it which brings us to our Next Point.

It weakens Unions

The Minimum wage tries to make unions less relevant. If the wage is set to something super low, but just high enough to make some people happy, the workers wont rebel and demand higher wages. Unions get weaker since there is less use for them which allows for the wages to stay low.  If the workers all got together on strike, they would get much higher than what the minimum wage is, but the minimum wage is just enough to make the workers not go on strike and demand higher wages, meaning that it is just meant to weaken something (Unions) to keep something else the same (Capitalism and Low Wages).

It keeps Capitalism alive

The Minimum wage is just a Neo-Liberal way to keep capitalism intact. It is part of a negotiation between the Bourgeoisie and the Proletariat mediated by the State. But this just gives the state more of a reason to exist and lets the bourgeoisie continue to exist. We dont want to negotiate with these pigs, we want to overthrow them, they are leeches and as long as they exist, we are being exploited.

Workers are Still Exploited

The Bourgeoisie still makes profits off the worker’s labour, even if they are paying them more. It does not in any way fix Worker Labour Exploitation or Wage Slavery. Even if it does work for large Corporations, the Minimum wage may harm smaller businesses which are just starting out. In the beginning, a business may not be able to pay liveable wages, though a worker may still choose to work there for other reasons, though they cant because of the Minimum wage laws. In the long run this leads to Monopolies forming.

The fear of Globalism

If we have minimum wage laws, the Bourgeoisie may just move their work force to Asia or Africa for a fraction of the cost, profiting a United States Company, and keeping the those countries poor. This is already happening in the Chinas and Africa where people (including Children) in those countries are being paid pennies a day to do work when the company owner does nothing and gets huge profit.

 

An Alternative to the Minimum wage.

There are great alternatives to the minimum wage which carry less or none of the negative effects we listed above.

One of them is a “Maximum Wage” like the 1:12 Ratio in the Swiss Confederation. What this does is it makes the highest paid person in a company make a maximum of 12 times as much as the lowest worker. The benefit to this is it prevents 1 person from raising to the top and provides better living conditions for the workers and more equality in general.  While the Swiss do have a Minimum wage, the 1:12 ratio is a much better way to fix the problem.

 

Another way is Socialism or Communism.

Socialism and Communism are not the evil ideologies portrayed in the West. Socialism is when the workers take control of the means of production and abolish the bourgeoisie and is a step towards communism for Marxists.  Communism is a step further than socialism, in Communism, the state and Money/Currency are both abolished.  All transactions are between workers and there are no bosses and all the resources are owned collectively. This is good because it can help impoverished peoples improve their living conditions and not be exploited, and it helps just about everyone except the former bourgeoisie and state.

 

 

Also happy 100th Birthday to CPUSA on 20 December 2019CE.

02 December 2019 Ditch School Day

02 December is the day were you are supposed to ditch school. School, at least in the US, is a Neo-Nazi Organisation which controls you a tonne and it would be better if it was dismantled. I am happy for the people who ditched school and hope they had a very good day.

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday 199th Friedrich Engles!

28 November 2019 CE is the 199th Birthday of Friedrich Engles! Engles was the main co-writer for Marx’s work. They are a huge part of history as they helped improve working conditions, and helped spread awesome ideas of freedom. Their ideas were used in created countries which claimed to be Socialist. Even Anarchists like us like what Engles did, as they laid many ideas of what we needed to fix to be free from the bourgeoisie. Engles is often forgotten, but they in many ways were even more important than Marx as they had ideas like “withering away of the state”, which is used by Marxists as a way to finally achieve Communism. We cant wait for Engles’ 200th Birthday.

How to respond to “Your a Socialist/Communist so you should give me half of your stuff”

You a Communist/Socialist, so you should give me half of your stuff right? No, thats not how Communism/Socialism work. I get this question asked to me a lot. People think that me being a Communist means that I want to give half my stuff to some random stranger or person I know. But like most people, they do not know how Communism or Socialism actually work, and say things that contradict what they think Socialism is.

 

Recognising What Socialism and Communism Actually Are

Communism and Socialism
Communism and its common logo (Hammer and Sickle) as well as socialism with raised resistance fist (A symbol used by many rebels). Shows how they are against social classes. Credit to Investopedia.com

Communism is the collective ownership of the means of production and resources. In Communism, there are no classes or states, just workers who make the decisions collectively and take only the resources they need. Currency almost never exists and most exchanges between communes are done via trades and Mutual Aid.   You retain personal property, but private property is dissolved becomes owned collectively.

Socialism in most cases is just a way to achieve Communism most commonly advocated by Marxists where the workers own the means of production and the state which is run by workers works on improving the infrastructure and nationalises industries (in some cases) and then gives out money evenly.

Know the difference between what you think these things are, and what they are, and know the difference between Communism and Socialism.

Personal vs Private Property

Private Propety Vs Personal Property Meme
A Funny Meme about personal and private property. BTW Stalin was not a real communist. Credit to @solidarity_with_all on Instagram

Personal Property is stuff you use for yourself, that cannot be used to exploit workers, things like your toothbrush, everyday clothing, a decent place to live, food, drink, and in most cases your smartphone.

Private Property is stuff that can be used to exploit workers or the environment and make money as well as put someone ahead. These things often include Factories, oil pumps, offices, and machines.

Know the Difference.

People who ask the question “Your a Communist so you have to give me half your stuff” do not seem to know the difference as most people do not have that much private property.

 What uninformed people thing Communism and Socialism Are

The Red Iceber, Anti-Communist Propoganda Mcarthyism
The Red Iceberg, Anti-Communist Propaganda, part of Mcarthyism

People who do not know what these things are often have incorrect ideas of what Communism and Socialism are. Most uninformed people think that an authoritarian dictator just makes everyone work and than gives all of them a little money and the workers have no control of the workforce and cant even choose their jobs. People often use examples such as the Soviet Union to justify this. This is incorrect because in Communism the workers own the means of production, and the state is non-existent. Please see my article on The Myth of A Communist Country.

People often do not seem to know the difference between Socialism and Communism and often seem to lump them together. Though many people often view Socialism as just a less extreme form of Communism, which is not true as Socialism is actually just a transition period between Capitalism and Communism that is often used by Marxists. There are many stages to socialism where many different things happen, and near the end, the workers state which was created near the beginning begins to wither away via Withering Away of The State. And After Lenin Died, the USSR actually had very little in common with any of these.

How this question contradicts with their existing beliefs of Socialism and Communism

Since most people who do not know what Socialism and Communism are think that the State redistributes stuff evenly, then the state would be the one who gave them half my stuff, not me just handing it over.

 

How This Question Contradicts with what Socialism and Communism actually are

This question implys that people in Communism own lots of Private Property and just give half of their stuff to everyone. What these people fail to realised is that Communists and Socialists are for personal property and in most cases do not believe that that should be collectivised. Which  Brings us to our next point.

If things are collectivised, then you would not “give” your stuff to someone else, it would just be mutual ownership.

Also, in Communism, everyone is supposed to be equal, and unless the other person gave you half their stuff as well, it would not be equal. As well as that there are other people you would have to share stuff with, not just that 1 person.

Conclusion

People who use the argument “if you are a communist/socialist, then give me half your stuff” do not know what Communism or Socialism really are. They just use their uninformed ideas of what Communism are to try to attack it.

Corbyn is a Hypocrite, not A Socialist

Corbyn had been the leader of the Labour Party of the United Kingdom since 2015. His goals were to try to make the Labour Party party for the working class again. Though the Labour party had almost never been a true Worker’s Party, as they have always done their fair share of helping corporations and banks and not helping the working class. While all this was happening, Corbyn stayed loyal to the Labour Party.

 

About the Labour Party

A Piece of Labour Party Symoblism
A Piece of Labour Party Symbolism

The Labour Party of the United Kingdom is a political party which is similar to the United States Democratic Party (though in some ways a little more left). They are a centrist political party with a tilt to the left. They claim to support things like workers rights, social justice, and better infrastructure. They are often considered an alliance with Social Democrats, Democratic Socialists, and Trade Unionists.  Their biggest competitor is the Conservative Party of the UK (Which is like the Republican Party of the US). Rather than improving by revolution, they try to improve by reform, which is just patching up the existing Neo-Liberal system that currently exists.  This is why the Labour Party can be more accurately described as a Neo Liberal Party than a socialist party, they just try to take capitalism, and improve it a little so people think its getting better when in reality it is not much better and capitalism itself is an obsolete ideology which needs to be replaced.

Who is Jeremy Corbyn?

Corbyn protesting the Apartheid
Corbyn protesting the Apartheid

Jeremy Corbyn is the current leader of the Labour Party. He identifies as a democratic socialist. He has a history of activism in SOME cases. He protested the apartheid and even got arrested, he was openly for nuclear disarmament, and even had parts in Anti-Fascist Action Protests. But whenever his party does something, even if it is something he disagrees with, like the war in Iraq, he still remains loyal with the same party. He joined the Labour party when he was 16 years old in 1965CE. 1 year later, the party announced a wage freeze, and 3 years after that, they created a foundation for a set of rules under the name In Place of Strife. These rules would do things like limit rights for workers to go on strike. In 1976CE the Labour Party brought austerity, which is a system of taxing, which later lead to the Winter of Discontent in 1979CE, which was mass strikes from workers who demanded better wages and working conditions. This is very hypocritical for a party which aims to be the party for the working class, but while there had been parts of the party who had rebelled to these new taxes, those councils were expelled from the party, while  Corbyn was still in the party and seemed to be ok with what was happening. They introduced Poll taxes in the 1980s and 1990’s CE, and enforced them on a local level, and when the Early 2000’s came along, The Labour Party even helped the UK get into war with Afghanistan and Iraq (Corbyn was against this), and when the Financial Crash of 2008 happened, the Labour Party was the party to bail out the banks and keep the bank owners and bourgeoisie in power. During all this, he stayed in the party. In Fact, he was in the party for over 50 years.

His Weak Plans to Make the Labour Party more Left

Corbyn wants to make the Labour Party more left, but does not want much revolution and is trying to do it through reform. He is trying to reform a party which has betrayed the working class many times and just trying to improve it. In a large and bureaucratic party like the Labour party, I do not think that this will happen that fast. Corbyn remains loyal to a party which did many things against the working class, and we are not sure if he will actually try to improve the party that much, as the party has done many bad things that he has been supportive of, at best what I think will happen is he will try to change some of the policies that are  passed through the government and try to make them a little more leftist, but that will only be a few at a time, not many new ideas. At best his efforts would just be patching up Neo-Liberal Capitalism rather than bringing socialism or any decent leftist ideology, which is just increasing the ticking time bomb of eventual revolution.

Other Good Resources on the Topic