THIS ARTICLE WAS REWRITTEN TO INCLUDE PREVIOUS UPDATES (El 15 de mayo de 2016/15 May 2016). This article is specifically about the socialists who identify as Marxist and who align themselves with the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) and the Socialist Equality Party (SEP).
Maybe this is part of the ongoing, “We’re going backwards as fast as possible in many ways” trend.
Over the past six months, mi amigo/my friend spent some time commenting on the World Socialist Web Site (wsws.org). Initially it was a mostly positive experience. He didn’t have any problem with the people who run the site. All except two of his comments — don’t know what was wrong with those — were posted and he didn’t get banned. That’s an accomplishment. But recently he ceased commenting because more and more commenters were acting like assholes and he found it frustrating and no longer worth his time.
We both had a somewhat false impression of who socialists are, or at least the ICFI variety of socialist (Socialist Equality Party). He and I thought the ICFI socialists were mostly like us. That’s true politically speaking, but he was disappointed to learn that they have these outdated blind spots that we weren’t aware of. And one of their writers who has been with the site for a long time and whom I won’t name comes across as prudish and rather conservative. He was probably born during or before WWII. Prudish and conservative in the sense that he wrote an article about some other writer at another site and felt the need to go on about the “foul language” used by the writer. He was referring to sexual language and felt the need to sanitise that writer’s language in his own article. I thought: Well, I thought we were all adults here so what’s the big deal? Adults use sexual language (all the time) when they feel the need to or want to make a point. I know I do and I suspect this writer has done so too on occasion, no? Seemed rather conservative and prudish to me.
As of this writing (el 15 de mayo de 2016/15 May 2016) they have written many informative articles about Bernie Sanders’s campaign with each article dismissing/denouncing Sanders as a genuine and legitimate socialist and stating Sanders’s claim to be a “democratic socialist.” They are correct in that a genuine socialist would not run for president within the orbit of a thoroughly corrupt and imperialistic capitalist party as the undemocratic Democratic Party. I despise the Democratic Party (as well as the Republican Party). Because of the support Sanders has generated from his campaign, the ICFI socialists chose to interpret this as a wave of interest in socialism in the US. But is it really? They forget that when their own writers interviewed Sanders’s supporters that most of his supporters only had a vague understanding of what real/genuine socialism is and were often mostly ignorant on Sanders’s own policies, especially his Middle East international war policies and Sanders’s strong support and ass-eating for “messiah” Obama. Many of the Sanders’s supporters were also clueless about Obama’s policies and his continuation and expanding on the despicable policies of the illegitimate Bush regime. When interviewed, most of Sanders’s supporters merely regurgitated corporate media soundbites they’d heard.
The Socialist Equality Party have written multiple times about the 2000 stolen election in the US. But disappointingly, they give respect to illegitimate George W Bush by referring to him as “president George W Bush.” Ugh. That makes me cringe. I remember that for years those on the supposed “left” referred to Bush as resident Bush. At that time, many people refused to call him “president” and rightly so because the election was stolen; it was not legitimate (and neither was the 2004 election; that election was stolen in Florida and Ohio). I’ve never referred to George W Bush as “president” and never will. But as of this writing, the wsws have an article on their site referring to GWBush as “president” and it’s written by their vice presidential candidate for the 2016 election.
In their articles, mi amigo and I get very tired of their use of the word “America.” They use “US” and “America” interchangeably. Or they refer to “the American government” instead of the US government. I often wonder why they use “America” when “US” is only two letters. Much easier to type than “America.” I use “US” on pink barrio. I never use “America.” And when I read “America” — while cringing — I often think to myself: Which America are you talking about? North, Central or South? There are three Americas and some of us are very tired of the US — a country without a name — constantly being referred to as “America” as I wrote in this article: The US is not “America” awhile back.
There’s also another language problem they have. But this problem is widespread in US culture — perhaps the US sheeple are getting this from the disreputable and sloppy US corporate media — and that’s this problem: “The congress and senate” is how many people say it. It should be “the house and senate” because the congress consists of two bodies: The house of representatives and the senate. And when referring to the corrupt corporate parasites in each body they should be referred to as “representatives” (as in house of representatives) and “senators” (as in the senate). The senate (the upper body) is part of congress but when it’s written or spoken “the congress and senate” that implies that the senate is not part of congress but rather a separate body outside of congress, which it’s not. Then there are the many people (including the wsws writers and their commenters on occasion) who refer to “congressmen and senators.” That should be “representatives and senators.” Because senators are congresspersons because, again (for the thick people), senators are in the congress. And since there are women in the congress (both the house of representatives and the senate) it is sexist to use the term “congressmen” instead of the gender-neutral congressperson(s). But honestly, I don’t expect anything to change with this sloppy and sexist language. It already seems to be fully cemented in people’s speech. It’s just that it becomes understandingly confusing to people who live in other nations and who don’t understand our corrupt system of governance. Internationals are confused by this sloppy language which is, in part, why I’m bringing it up because a few people have e-mailed me about it over the years asking for clarification because I always write it the way I’ve indicated above (the house and senate/representatives and senators and congresspersons), then people read the sloppy language on other sites and become confused. And frankly, both representatives and senators of the bourgeois elite ruling class represent/work for their corrupt corporate owners’ interests and couldn’t care less about the working class people they’re supposed to be working for.
Mi amigo/My friend noticed the sexist language in their articles and comments — I’d noticed that many times before myself as well as the occasional anti-gay comment from some commenters — from self-described socialists, and he responded to it. But no one supported mi amigo in the comments. One person challenged him and said, “If you have a problem with the use of “man” (as in “mankind,” instead of humankind) you’re not a Marxist.” Oh really!? Mi amigo responded by saying he had never claimed to be a Marxist and he doesn’t like wearing labels. The commenters are very big on using labels for other commenters on the wsws, and sometimes they do so for people they know nothing about. It would seem that being sexist and a male chauvinist is one of the requirements for being a Marxist/Communist, which he and I were not aware of. Many commenters wear the Marxist label on the wsws and, as he said, that’s how the wsws identify. I would imagine that many people read their site who are not Marxists. One has no way of knowing the age of anyone there, but our sense is that most of the people there who comment were born during or before World War II. So they have this generational sexist language engrained in them and see nothing wrong with it and they seem to come with this “females should be subservient to males” mentality. I have noticed that they have very few female writers on the site, although that may be slowly changing. It’s a heavily-male dominated site. That could partly explain why no one agreed with mi amigo and his statement about the sexism on the site. So in that sense, the ICFI socialists are not who and what we thought they were. Sexism/chauvinistic thinking is a requirement for being a Marxist/Communist?
One thing we both noticed was that the female commenters on their site were the first of all people to rush to defend the sexism on the site when it was pointed out. It seems to go along with this cultist thinking that the regular commenters feel they must defend their writers who are apparently seen as sacrosanct. Among the commenters, there is this cultist-like thinking on that site — that’s how it comes off to us — and it comes with this veiled superiority complex that “we socialists” or the ICFI socialists are superior to others. Mi amigo told me there was one abrasive ignorant woman commenter who used the term “pro-abortion” (she said she was pro-abortion). Mi amigo pointed out to Ms Ignorant that he was not aware of anyone being “pro-abortion,” but rather one is pro-choice. That’s what it’s technically called; a woman having the right to choose to have an abortion or not. Not pro-abortion. “Pro-abortion” is the language I’ve most often heard the conservatives/right-wing crowd use consistently when opposing a woman’s right to choose.
Then there’s the regular cheer-leading, gushing in the comments from some regular commenters. To be clear, I’m not talking about occasional compliments and praise here which can be appreciated (and which I receive occasionally on pink barrio…muchas gracias), but rather — what has become predictable — gushing on a daily basis from the same commenters. One will often see:
“Excellent article, comrade. Upward and onward”
“Excellent article ….as always… nail on the head”
“[Writer's name]” does not write often on WSWS but when he does he “sure packs a punch”.”
“Very clear mandate Jerry …onwards and upwards.”
Then one regular commenter who always writes in a very formal and uptight style begins his comment with, “Thank you so much for this article and an update on the election…”
Sigh. It gets to be a bit much, and predictable. Worship and adoration of the writers is required on a daily basis? That would seem to be the case based on the comments of some of the regular commenters. Seems a bit cultist.
As I said earlier, mi amigo and I usually agree with the political positions of the wsws.org (their writers, that is). It’s just a shame that the site comes with this negative baggage that one thought we had already worked through over the past decades. I guess if you don’t read the comments below their articles, you mostly won’t notice it other than the occasional sexist language in the articles (two examples that come to mind: “Congressmen” “Mankind”). And there have been other examples of that. These days, I’ve learned from experience that generally speaking little seems to be as it’s originally perceived. Sexist and gender-specific language is now back “in” and considered perfectly acceptable (not as far a I’m concerned). Gender-neutral language is “out” (even though I’ll continue to use it). Male chauvinism is in. Feminism is out. I read an interview recently with singer Helen Reddy wherein she commented on how women have lost a lot over the years since she first made “I Am Woman” the Feminist Anthem. She’s noticed. It seems that much of the progress that we thought we had made over the past decades has evaporated very quickly and with the help of fake “liberals” and fake “progressives” — who in the end are nothing but Democratic Party shills and hacks and with their heads firmly planted in their messiah neocon Obama’s upper colon — and with the help from sexist and male-chauvinist self-described Marxists/Communists.
Another major thing I’ve noticed with the Marxists/socialists, is that they live under some wishful-thinking illusion that USans — the working class — and others around the world are going to turn to socialism in a mass movement and revolution. That’s a common theme on their site. I don’t see that happening in reality unfortunately. At least in the New Conservative, Lobotomised, Gentrified, Techie and Soul-less San Francisco, most people I see are too paralysed on the sidewalk standing in people’s way with their face buried in that phone in their hand and playing with their sex apps or they’re on data-mining so-called “social media networks” owned by the billionaire class. Unfortunately, very few people in the big scheme of things — meaning the general population — are going to turn to socialism or any mass movement where millions and millions are going to be in the streets in a genuine revolution. I just don’t see that happening. What one can accurately say is that millions and millions will be and already are addicted to their
smartphones stupidphones. Millions might be in the streets in Europe since Europe is different in a positive sense, but not for socialism per se. And you’re not about to get millions in the streets here in The Cesspool/the US/los Estados Unidos for something that matters in most people’s lives because, well, I don’t need to explain that do I?
Niles Niemuth, the SEP’s vp candidate, looks like a very good candidate. He’s a genuine progressive — not a fake-progressive like those Dembots who call themselves “progressive” and remain circulating in the orbit of the non-progressive, right-wing, imperialistic, neocon undemocratic Democratic Party — and I especially like Niles’s open borders immigration position. Chau.—el barrio rosa