Tag Archives: revolution

Blog 2 – Alienation

Marx’s theory of Alienation is surprisingly common when looking into our social structure in the U.S.  Being a capitalist country, we developed a mode of production that deprives humans of being “human”.  Workers are basically drones, gears in a grand industrial clock, where they are emotionless and have only one output which is labor.  What is the point of constantly grinding out work, the same thing day in and day out, if you can’t enjoy life.  It’s unfortunate that this net, that is alienation, has caught so many people and exploited them.  However, as seen in history many times over, revolution seems to cure, even if only for a short time, the proletariat’s epidemic.  I would assume that in order to achieve a “fresh start” that overcoming bureaucracy would be necessary and as time passes it seems more and more difficult.  Alienation of the worker is spreading and it looks as if we are drifting further away from humanism.


Blog # 5 Fanon

Colonialism is a big concept on Fanon’s part. I do see where he gets the violence and agree with his theory. Colonialism, there is no attempt to hide the control by the governing capital. The police are right there on the street next to you speaking with force to get jobs done and follow the mother capital’s rules. This can make many people angry and in the mood to revolt with violent tendencies. The natural reaction is to fight fire with fire and what more do you expect from a massive colonized group that is being oppressed. It happened all over the world, in France, India, the United States and many other nations where revolution was sparked. But, you need the spark to be set and the best people are the ones with the least to lose and the most degraded in the society. They are the backbone to most revolutions as they provide the numbers in battle. Now, how can we compare this to society today…?

Revolutions around the world are still occurring, but lets look a little closer to home. Although we live in a capitalist society, that just covers up the oppression occurring. revolutions are taking place all around the nation from New York to Oakland. These events could be the start to a societal revolution that the people see is needed. There is still no spark yet, and the group is not focused so there will be no success in a revolution. Also the fact that the military with its standing army, hellfire missiles and stealth planes, any violent revolution will be slaughtered…Other methods must take commencement. As a nation, we have to take Oakland as a major example and just tweak the formula. It isn’t enough to just get people together. The group has to be focused with core ideas. They cant just stand around with their own personal ideas, one to disband the government while others just want milk and gas to cost less. With core ideas, their is a willingness and a bond to fight together. From the lumpenproletariat to the doctors and lawyers in our society, change will only commence if core ideas are drawn together and focused into a concise plan for success. 

Even though the cops are not armed on every street corner, capitalist society uses different control methods. from education to authoritarian government tactics the people are not entirely free and and oppressed not by guns, but by society. So as a society, we have to look at Oakland. If we have a problem with the way this nation works, we have to stand up as a group and act. We are not the worst in the world (some nations have over 50% unemployment rate for late teen-mid 20’s) but if this trend where the 1% gets richer while the rest suffer, it wont be long until we reach those numbers. So we look at Fanon with colonialism and control by the mother country. Even though we cant see them everywhere physically…All we have to do is look inside their methods through schooling, cuts in certain government and private areas, the disparity between pay between the CEO of companies and their workers, gas, taxes, control on certain substances even if their is a medical gain, etc. Just takes some reading in between the lines to see that we are still a controlled populous by a different mother country, wearing different clothing, speaking a similar language, with different tactics. We are still the colonized providing for the government. 




Post# 5 Fanon

Revolution for Reform
The Occupy Wall Street protests are perceived in the media as this big uproar in America. I think that the perspective of the Occupy Wall Street protests within the media is misleading which should focus more on the issues at hand rather than the protest themselves. The people of America want to be heard and establish a new society that will benefit more than the 1%. The video “Nobody Can Predict the Moment of Revolution” shows the people’s issues at hand and the call on the government to fix the problems within our society. I liked this video because it showed the perspective of the people and gave insight on how the issues within our society effect a very widely diverse population. The video showed young, middle aged, and older people speaking on the same issues that have affected them throughout their whole lives. I think this video really grasps the concept of how Americans are demanding reform. No matter how long it takes the cause will spread into awareness and the people of America will continue to voice their issues until there is a change.

‘Colonized’ by Corporations?

“Colonized by Corporations,” a column by Chris Hedges (Truthdig, 5/14) brings together multiple themes and concepts from the course — colonialism, decolonization, exploitation, revolution, legitimacy, violence, ideology, racism and white supremacy, to name a few.  Hedges argues that theorists of colonial rule like Frantz Fanon offer the best insights into the functioning of our own system, which he calls a “corporate state”:

“We have been, like nations on the periphery of empire, colonized. We are controlled by tiny corporate entities that have no loyalty to the nation and indeed in the language of traditional patriotism are traitors. They strip us of our resources, keep us politically passive and enrich themselves at our expense. The mechanisms of control are familiar to those whom the Martinique-born French psychiatrist and writer Frantz Fanon called “the wretched of the earth,” including African-Americans. The colonized are denied job security. Incomes are reduced to subsistence level. The poor are plunged into desperation. Mass movements, such as labor unions, are dismantled. The school system is degraded so only the elites have access to a superior education. Laws are written to legalize corporate plunder and abuse, as well as criminalize dissent.”

In order to challenge the “corporate state,” Hedges argues we must first recognize ourselves as “colonized subjects.” But, as Fanon observed in “Black Skin, White Masks,” the psychological mechanism of cognitive dissonance often inhibits such recognition:

“Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief.”

On the question of the “revolutionary potential” of different social classes and class “fractions,” Hedges concurs with Marx, that the marginalized poor (lumpenproletariat), as a group, present little threat to the ruling elite.

“The real danger to the elite comes from déclassé intellectuals, those educated middle-class men and women who are barred by a calcified system from advancement. Artists without studios or theaters, teachers without classrooms, lawyers without clients, doctors without patients and journalists without newspapers descend economically. They become, as they mingle with the underclass, a bridge between the worlds of the elite and the oppressed. And they are the dynamite that triggers revolt.”

Blog 2: Charismatic Ron Paul 2012

Max Weber in “Domination and Legitimacy” develops the character of an charismatic authority figure. Weber introduces an authority figure which is bases their leadership on individual and collective principles, and who “preaches, creates, or demands new obligations – most typically, by virtue of revelation.” Weber’s depiction of a charismatic authority figure, can be compared with the characteristics and leadership of republican candidate for the 2012 election, Dr. Ron Paul. Although his views may seem radical to some, his interest and proposed initiative of reforming the United States can benefit the currently unstable American society. For example, Dr. Ron Paul proposes the idea of legalizing hemp. He views hemp as a “good product” and recognizes not only its medicinal benefits, but its economic and environmental value as well.

Although some people do not support the legalization of hemp because of the plants reputation of being a Schedule 1 Drug, many are beginning to recognize the misrepresentation of hemp in the American society. The criminalization of marijuana that sparked a false understanding of hemp, which is now, through the legalization or decriminalization of marijuana in some states allows people to evolve from their negative views. Like Durkheim proposes, “crime was useful as a prelude to reforms which daily become more necessary” and it is through the criminalization of marijuana that caused the revelation of the law, and is now attempting to promote the change of tradition in order to refine social facts. Ron Paul’s proposal can revolutionize the foundation of American society, however, “it is recognition on the part of those subject to authority which is decisive for the validity of charisma.”

We as a society must come to terms with reality and begin to support those in favor for our overall interest and well-being. It is only from the support of the individuals can the charismatic authority figure be able to apply their proposals through their leadership. We must have “absolute trust in the leader,” but must understand that if the leader “fails to benefit his followers, it is likely that his charismatic authority will disappear.” People must not forget that although it may seem that they do not have a voice in their society, that it is far from the case. An individual is powerful, and if one applies their energy and time to support a cause for change, a revolution will inevitably occur. “Charismatic authority repudiates the past, and is in this sense a specifically revolutionary force,” but it is only though the support of the individual can change come. Success in Ron Paul’s election will definitely bring about a needed change to the American society, it will “result in a radical alternation of the central attitudes and directions of action with a completely new orientation of all attitudes toward the different problems of the ‘world’.”

Blog 1: Class consciousness and Global Revolution

In The German Ideology, Marx’s theory elaborates on the structure of society, organization of labor and class, interests of the individual verses the state, and the inevitable revolution against the ruling class by the majority. His theories are unfolding right before our eyes around the world. Marx explains that “the interest of the separate individual or the individual family and the communal interest of all individuals” vary. This causes great disparities in society because the interests of the certain individuals in specific classes are not being met, while the interest of the ruling class profits. Throughout the past year, citizens of countless countries such as Egypt, Libya, Russia and the United States, have gathered to defend their rights and fight for social change and equality. Marx in The German Ideology explains the conditions which ultimately causes the rise of the working class, and its goals to seek change. Marx illustrates that the timing of the revolution is important. He explains that certain “conditions of life, which different generations find in existence, decide also whether or not the periodically recurring revolutionary convulsion will be strong enough to overthrow the basis of the entire existing system.” There are elements which contribute to a revolution, one of which is the development of class consciousness. Currently, people around the world are becoming more aware of their position in society and its role in their daily lives. By recognizing their conditions, people begin to connect to others through understanding, they find a“relation of individuals to nature and to one another.” This relation is what allows for people to come together, despite the disparities that exist between each other, and have a common ground for seeking social change.

People are realizing that they have a voice, and have come to recognize that they have power in their society because many have found a new collective understanding through new relation to others who are suffering from the same conflicts. They seek to find justice and equality in how they are represented by their government. Marx’s theory of the revolution concludes with the organization of ideas for change. He explains that it is important for the ideas of the revolutionists to be universal because then the revolution can“represent its interest as the common interests of all the members of society.” Global movements, including Occupy Wall Street, have brought a masses of people together (the 99%), who seek to not overthrow the government, but aim to encourage change in the policies and regulations that the government enforces, which dictate and impact the daily lives of the mass of individuals. Marx’s theory demonstrates that “the class making a revolution appears from the very start, if only because it is opposed to a class, not as a class but as the representative of the whole of society; it appears as the whole mass of society confronting the one ruling class.” His theory is valid, and seems that a revolution is inevitable especially when certain conditions and time seem to align in a society. His ideology is proven by the various protests around the world today. Perhaps, people will always be inclined to seek and fight for change, and find justice in their lives and in the life of their society.

— Karina Khafizova