Left Extremism – Capitalist Con-trick
Revolutionary socialists are referred to as “left extremists”. Indeed society has designed a continuum of shorthand concepts to describe the various ideologies within it. It starts at the fascist “extreme right” and ends with the various parties “to the left” of the Communist Party. We denounce this method of classifying political views. In this society there are only supporters of capitalism and revolutionary socialists. (In fact we should not need to use the adjective “revolutionary” as Socialism by its nature is a revolutionary theory). All who support the economic base of capitalism are simply capitalist supporters and this similarity dissolves all superficial differences between them.
The existence of such shorthand descriptions raises some pertinent questions. Who designs this continuum? Whose norms are the Socialists deviating from? The dominant ideas in society, until the working-class become Socialists, are the ideas of the ruling class. Bourgeois ideology permeates the entire system. Any person who argues that capitalism cannot be reformed to work in the interests of the immense majority, and says the only role the working class should play in capitalism is in destroying it and instituting Socialism, is clearly too “extreme” for our rulers to stomach. The capitalist class can easily cope with a Harold Wilson. In fact as long as the economic base of capitalism remains—commodity production, markets, money—there will be a capitalist class who will control society in their own interests. This is because it is their society.
The term “extremist” is a value-loaded term. It suffices to create in the popular imagination an image of a defective personality; a neurotic with a beard and a bomb who sees oppression all around him when in fact society is free and equal. Durkheim said deviancy had a functional importance in society. It repels the majority and hence unites that majority into a moral community staunchly protecting the status-quo. If the workers are united against Socialism then the capitalists are happy as the Socialist is alienated. This image is reinforced every time a discontented worker sees violence as the only way out of a horrid system. Such a view is tragic. Socialism can be established through the ballot box. This is an idea that will not be highlighted by the capitalist press because it would not frighten workers. The term “extremist” is but another word for “dangerous” to the ruling class. It must be the work of the working class, to overcome the capitalist stranglehold over society. It is essential for Socialism to become the norm because until it does, all the evils of capitalism will remain. It is not that Socialist views are extreme. It is simply that anything short of them will let the capitalist class maintain their hold on society.