[Marxism] Armed Struggle

sobuadhaigh at hushmail.com sobuadhaigh at hushmail.com
Thu Oct 15 15:18:44 MDT 2009

Artesian wrote:
"... the real question for all is: Is armed 
struggle both (an) available substitute for and a 
successful alternative to class-conscious mass

As Artesian constructs the problem armed 
struggle and mass struggle are counter 
poised to each other. Accordingly, there 
are  authentic revolutionary movements based
on mobilizing a class conscious mass base 
and then there are small groups of armed
adventurers trying to circumvent that
process. If I have got it right then 
armed struggle is essentially a delusional 
dead that no doubt derives from a 
petite bourgeoisie class background. 

I am well aware of this argument and have 
heard it used against any number of 
revolutionary movements right up 
until the time the cities did,
indeed, get surrounded by the 
countryside and the masses rallied
to a revolutionary movement dedicated 
to the seizure of state power. I am 
also aware of truly delusional dead end
movements guilty of the crime of 
self-destructive stupidity. The 
question as formulated by Artesian
does nothing to make the distinction
between such diverse phenomenon
as the Irish Citizen Army and the
Red Army Faction (aka Baader-Meinhof).
As such, whatever insight derives from
that question is useless.

Are armed struggle and mass struggle 
inherently contradictory? Does a 
mass base preclude the orientation 
of an implacable opposition to the 
legitimacy of bourgeoisie rule and 
the capability of contesting that
power by force if necessary?

These questions touch on far more
than the coming eradication campaign
by the Indian security forces against
a Maoist army. As the political 
stability of the American leviathan 
continues to erode at the same pace 
as the Artic ice cap melts, one 
wonders about the future. Those
murdering abortion providers and
parading assault rifles outside
Obama events have clearly indicated
they believe the government is 
illegitimate and must be confronted.
Those liberals now seized by a fear 
of a military coup betray an
underlying unease over the very 
stability of bourgeoisie rule 
that is bserious even though there 
is no probability of imminent
troop deployments around the
White House.

As pointed out on this site,
the American people would not 
stand for the naked interruption
of the civilian rule. To violate
those Constitutional provisions
would destroy the historic social 
contract between the American people 
and a government that bases its 
legitimacy on a popular, bourgeoisie 
led, revolution. To destroy this
contract that the vast majority 
Americans support would result in 
what? Petition drives? Nasty comments 
on twitter? No, a military coup in 
this country would ignite mass 
opposition  and armed resistance 
involving a chaotic, bewildering 
array of social and political 

I am not sure that Dick Cheney 
ever contemplated the thought
that the international situation was 
so perilous that America could not 
run the risk of an election 
that might bring in someone totally 
unprepared to handle the situation. 
I am not sure that George
Bush really stole both of the 
presidential elections he was in. 
Cheney did not engineer a coup but 
if would have the end conclusion 
would logically be the same as if 
Bush stole even one of those elections,
i.e the the existence of an 
illegitimate governmental authority 
that would have justified forcible 
regime change from within according 
to the very premise of said 
bourgeoisie revolution. 

Obviously our people are not 
ready for such a drastic step. 
Obviously the continuing economic 
decline and the harsh austerities 
in store for the vast majority in 
this country will continue to shatter
the capitalist consensus and 
dramatically increase political 
polarization. Across that polarized 
divide there will be violence
because that is what intense 
political polarization engenders. 
What shape that will take and to
what end it will come I do not know. 
America is not the Philippines, or India,
or Nepal but neither is it Switzerland. 

There is truly a relationship 
between political power and the 
barrel of a gun that derives from 
history itself. What, where, when 
and how that relationship is 
expressed is a serious matter 
that deserves serious, reasoned 

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