Of cooperation and struggle:
notes on the idea of the Volksgemeinschaft
By Kat Ulrike
Events have overtaken this writeup, that those whom desperately trying to keep the order of things had to repeat the rhetoric of interclass "folkish" unity, of surmounting actual disagreements with palliative solution enough to describe as a revolution, of replacing an incorrectly sounding statement with a watered one trying to appear as populistic as the harsh-sounding original, or even trying to appeal to the people that the change being cultivated be realised, without the necessity of dismantling order; that actually it rather aggravates age old tensions amidst contemporary rhetoric and actions trying to minimise that existing internal dispute.
But in case of the people, the messages the system had afforded to babble can turn into theirs, supplanting the existing messages, replacing obviously fabricated illusions with actually existing inconveniences, enough to point against the system and its existing inconvenience trying to whitewash with half-baked programs and a repetition of rhetoric; that repetitive words such as unity, folk, struggle, is theirs and not with the system and its apologetics desperately trying to cover up the reality in the name of "minimising actual tensions", much more that they want to reverse the typical situation, in which "society sits in judgement of the people: now the people sits in the judgement of society. The proclamation is that the people, rather than the system, will shape the societies in which they must live." (Paraphrasing Marcos's "notes on the New Society")
And as has been referred to before, there must be an intimate link between unity, cooperation, and struggle. Of building a Volksgemeinschaft (people's community) that uplifts and benfits the people and at the same time a continuing struggle for its survival. To the left it is intersectoral (not just international), that those whom actually creating history yet affected by the repressive order and its invented crisis has the will to unite, to instill discipline, to create actions, "arouse, organise, mobilise" pointing against the order and its protectors, apologetics therein, be dismantled and create a new enough to realise the aspirations of the actually laboring yet repressed folk; to the right it is interclass, that regardless of the class, of actually existing inequalities and top to bottom repressions, it is necessary to break down barriers in the name of the nation, that anything as all for the folk whilst the state trying to keep firm in its age-old order surmounted by modern day development "enough to minimise tension". But there's a major differences between the two: one has consensus, a common program leading to a bloc, a front both to counter the system and to build an actually existing Volksgemeinschaft, the other was just plain icing to cover the actual social pyramid and be called a "Volksgemeinschaft"!
Indeed to hear such statements and basis for an intersectoral bloc with a Volksgemeinschaft to form: of what is cooperation without a common program between sectors to agree with? Of what is cooperation without struggle to deal and resolve for? In the end there lies struggle within that cooperation and unity, particularly coming from internal contradictions, that there are dissenting opinions that has to be resolved, all despite agreeing to a common program of action, that in it also comes a series of resolutions with a renewed unity as its conclusion. On the right, however, did create their own version of that unity, but primarily an attempt to break down class differences in pursuit of "unity" alone, yet however, that unity has no common program besides "putting a society in order" and a series of palliative reforms tailor made to silence the people. Hence, that Volksgemeinschaft of theirs fails to realise its full potential, that amidst its pretense of unity, it did not make use of the contradictions to resolve tensions nor its compromises failed to stop tensions, it is a shallow unity that actually fails to benefit the actually laboring folk, knowing that that unity being babbled about includes those whom failing to adhere amidst parroting such statement.
In looking back at history, Italian workers in Mussolini's "Saló Republic" end up striking if not joining the Partisans all despite the Duce promised a renewed Fascism "truly" committed to the working classes he once formerly tried to aligned with (such as socialisation), only to found out that workers, peasants, even the intelligentsia were opposing him and his failed policies, that his proposed "third way alternative to Capitalism and Communism" was failed to materialize. And just like his control over Italy prior to the war, the Saló Republic remained as it was: that in key industries oligarch shareholders still played a central role, workers' rights were severely limited, having wages and living standards lower, and trade unions had no power to assert rights as what Mussolini promised. These realities within that republic somehow failed to cultivate an existing Volksgemeinschaft that has promised to benefit the masses, particularly the workers, amidst its pretense of offering an alternative; that its unity, cooperation, or other similar word being peddled as such, also failed to cultivate since there were no equal opportunities, true and sound mutual benefit, and actually existing subjugation by the ruling class pretending to be for the people. Furthermore, there are those whom had once supporting Mussolini, or even Hitler out of ideas be end disenchanted for seeing them supporting (and be supported by) the Nobles, the Junkers, Oligarchs, and be justified that "anything is within the state and nothing should be against the state". Where were the followers of Acleste de Ambris? Of Otto and Gregor Strasser? Where was the anticapitalist, antifeudal idea within those so-called "national revolutions"? These men were either imprisoned, killed, or simply disappeared for speaking contrary to the established belief, especially those of uniting with the reaction on the pretense of cooperation and a distorted view of the Volksgemeinschaft.
And thus, not even wonder why these attempts, amidst its populist, or even "socialistic" rhetoric, failed as contrary to those of the Albanian, Yugoslav Partisans, of Germans with its Widerstand, of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese Guerrillas who had succeed in putting forward their promise with some truly realised an actually existing Volksgemeinschaft and the unity of peoples; that as according to Mao Zedong:
"unity, struggle, unity through struggle; to wage struggles with good reason, with advantage and with restraint; and to make use of contradictions, win over the many, oppose the few and crush our enemies one by one."
Furthermore, he also expressed the same idea in another statement:
"This democratic method of resolving contradictions among the people was epitomized in 1942 in the formula "unity, criticism, unity". To elaborate, it means starting from the desire for unity, resolving contradictions through criticism or struggle and arriving at a new unity on a new basis. In our experience this is the correct method of resolving contradictions among the people."
Mao's quotes somehow tend to say that his views on unity and struggle is more than just unity alone but bonded by a common program with mutual benefit and opportunity, as it calls for "the peasantry, the proletariat, the petty bourgeoisie and national and patriotic elements from the bourgeoisie to collectively operate for the building of a socialist society". But being Marxist-Leninist, the united front as what Mao stated, is guided under the basic unity of the proletariat and the peasantry, that in according to Lenin, inevitably assume the form of political supremacy against the system and the domineering capital.
However, despite cultivating the essence of unity, solidarity, and conciliation amongst sectors (or classes), his idea is far from Mussolini, or even Hitler who rather attempted to break down class hostility between the laboring people and of the privileged few, using the nation if not the race as its justification. Quite nice to hear such phrases from those men like "unity", "folk", "community", "homeland" without answering the issue on "capital", "repression", and "social justice". And since they also assume they are anti-capitalist, of strongly anti-oligarch from their statements, then where's the anticapitalism in cooperating with the junkers, the burghers from what they say and do? Indeed that there were conscious-driven burghers are willing to support the workers like what Mao stated in this post; but to see Hitler, Mussolini, or any other leader pretending to be for the people, all but end collaborating with the reaction, on the pretense of breaking down actual class hostility and putting order in the name of patriotism, the original idea of struggle according to their earlier platforms has slowly dying out; that they actually closely bound up with Capital itself instead of their "attempt in harnessing Capital in the name of cooperation" with the capitalist, be it the junker, the burgher, and those who trying to keep their interests, from what happened in their respective countries during the war until to the present with Obama, Xi Jingping, and Merkel doing. That somehow makes real social justice, true profound essence of communitarian solidarity cannot be realise in its fullest form amidst its façades and rhetorics, as what Lenin said:
"You cannot do this without the revolutionary enthusiasm of the proletarian and semi-proletarian mass. This enthusiasm can be aroused only by taking revolutionary measures against the privileges and profits of Capital. Failing this, your promised control will remain a dead, capitalist, bureaucratic palliative."
Creating a really existing Volksgemeinschaft comes with both unity and contradiction as said earlier, and that there are contradictions hath to be resolved amidst having a common program being agreed; of course, it would resort to a series of resolutions and a renewed program and unity that tries to cultivate equal opportunities, mutual benefit, and solidarity amongst sectors bonded under a common aspiration. After all, these sectors whom actually involved are the ones rolling sleeves and working, trying to make matters into opportunities with positive conclusions coming. What kind of Volksgemeinschaft being babbled about if it requires collaboration with the junkers, of the reactionaries, of the rotting system itself? In actuality, it alienates the farmers clamoring for a land to till, of workers for a decent wage or even the right to control factories, as well as students, intelligentsia for their academic freedoms and civil rights. These forces are likely to create a common unity to counter the established power, much more that these forces are enough to set new foundations of a decent, progressive society with a newfound traditions to cherish for.
And since these so-called "national revolutionaries", despite using the language of the masses, of "unity and solidarity", had actually given up its popular pretentions in favor of supporting the reaction, then how come men like Juan Peron, Muammar Gaddafi, or Hugo Chavez did heed the people and realised its promised upliftment despite being military men and supposedly sworn to keep order? They are likely to be called as "National Revolutionaries" than the reactionaries assuming, urging a call for intersectoral cooperation against the ruling class and to build a new community in place of the existing dilapidated one; ironically, the military and the masses during their formative periods did have major differences contradicting, that the soldiers are defending the system madly under their superior's orders while the workers are asserting social changes the system opposed for out of their interests. And yet they did have unity to yearned for, even trying to cultivate with given that most of these two have common lower-class backgrounds; they have the same enemy besides foreign Imperialists be it its landed stooges and its apologetics trying to divide further and make war between two as possible. But then, given the fact that these soldiers and workers shared the same hardship and idea to put forward, it takes two to tango for them to make use of contradictions amongst themselves, to win over the many, oppose the few, crush their enemies one by one, and realise the common programs being agreed as both patriots and laborers. Peron was a soldier, yet he focused on social welfare and modernisation that really caters the Argentinian laborer; Gaddafi was also a soldier, yet turned Libya from a mere desert oasis ruled by an American stooge into a developed state over the Sahara with direct democracy putting into action. These countries, not even same as the former Soviet Union in its standards, did assert their independence, justice, and a true sense of communitarian solidarity in which masses afforded to benefit equally its greater share.
And no wonder why the west looked upon those two so badly in the past, that because of their stooges being kicked out from their seats if not their assets being taken over by the people themselves for their Volksgemeinschaft, they have to set sanctions if not directly wage war against them. Libya has been destroyed, Syria has been trying to resist, Iran and Venezuela, Cuba and Juche Korea faced immense threats amidst its pacific settings. On the other hand, the west continues to instil that their model, example of a Volksgemeinschaft as ideal one, that in actual as all but still illusory amidst its modern day hodgepodge, pseudo-populist or pseudo-progressive rhetoric, and perhaps, its pseudo-liberality being everyday shown.
Again, the system afforded to speak about such words meant to be for the people, it's up to the latter if they will take theirs or make use of their words enough to counter them.