Since we live in a class society and the interests of our two main social classes – those of the bourgeoisie and the proletariat – are completely opposite, therefore, in this kind of society there could be no inter-class (allegedly objective) position. Even if we look at the events in this society not as their participant, but as an outside observer, still it is impossible to refrain from accepting a particular point of view, which corresponds with the perspective of one of the opposing forces. Having a classless position in a class society is like trying to sit in between two chairs – you will inevitably find yourself falling off from both chairs and hitting the floor.
For example, how can one figure out who is right and who is wrong, if one is trying to assess the actions of a wolf and a sheep ‘from the side’? The wolf wants to eat, so it kills the sheep. The wolf can’t not kill the sheep, otherwise it will itself starve to death. Similarly, the sheep wants to live and doesn’t want to be eaten by the wolf. And it seems each one of them is right in its own way. But that’s true only if the irreconcilable conflict between the wolf and the sheep is observed by a human. How would this conflict be seen by another wolf or by another sheep? Clearly they couldn’t be objective, but instead would adopt the point of view of their brother in blood: the sheep would support the point of view of the sheep, the wolf would support that of the wolf’s.
The same thing happens in our class capitalist society, when the interests of the two main social classes clash. The capitalist can’t not exploit the worker and not appropriate his labour, because if he does, he will cease to exist as a capitalist. The capitalist, too, doesn’t want to be eaten by other capitalists, so he has to get richer and richer, become stronger and stronger, to be able to withstand the competition with other capitalists – in order to do that, he has to increasingly exploit and pressure the worker.
The worker, in turn, does not at all want to be exploited and oppressed, he wants to have a good life, too – with material prosperity and a peaceful mind. But to be able to provide more or less decent life conditions for himself, he constantly has to fight for his rights against the capitalist, at least to some extent limiting his oppression.
As we see, the capitalist and the worker have completely different perspectives – each of them sees the same thing from the point of view of two different social classes. This is precisely what different class positions are – the position of the bourgeoisie and the position of the proletariat.
So, who is right? Whose position one ought to assume? Whom to support?
This depends on who is observing them and who is assessing them. If the observer is just another capitalist, then he for sure wouldn’t understand the worker and would always support his brother in class. But if the assessment is made by a worker, then he himself is in the same position as the observed worker and he is, too, getting pressured and oppressed by his employer. It means that the worker would always support another worker, that is of course if he hasn’t lost his mind.
Why is it important to understand that there are different class positions? At the very least to understand the essence of what is happening in the world and in the country, and how what is happening may affect us all.
For instance, imagine the government passes a new law. The media are relentlessly praising it, all the officials are also foaming at the mouth, convincing us that this newly passed law is really good and that the country shall now live in prosperity all thanks to it.
And what are we to think? Should we believe them or not? It’s very simple – we must first remember, that we live in a class society and the power at the moment belongs to the class of the bourgeoisie, that all the laws which get passed and which everyone is made to obey by the government are in its favor.
The new law is good for the bourgeoisie, that’s why the bourgeoise and its minions – the journalists and political “scientists” – praise it, after all this law will make the bourgeoisie even richer.
But is this law good for us, hired workers? We do not belong to the bourgeoise, we do not own plants, factories, newspapers, cruise liners etc., we only have our salary to live on. How will this new law affect us and people like us? Will we have to pay more out of our own pocket or not?
Only by answering these questions, that is, only by assuming the class position of hired workers – the one that reflects our own deep-rooted interests, we will understand the true meaning and the essence of the new law, we will understand its consequences and how it will affect us.
And this is precisely the way historical events must be assessed, especially when we talk about the 20th century, which still causes a lot of debate among workers who have forgotten their class position.
Any emotional assessment, such as “good” or “bad”, is always a class assessment. And before agreeing with it, before supporting this or that author, think carefully about which class they represent. This will expose the true essence of what the author himself often hides. This way no one will be able to trick you anymore.
For example, imagine an author of some article is slagging off the Bolsheviks, vilifying them to no end – claiming they were “bloodthirsty”, “killed millions of Russian people”, “destroyed a great country”, “exiled the best people”. And the author presents this point of view as being entirely objective.
In reality, there is nothing objective about his position – he has adopted the position of landlords and the bourgeoisie, that is, of the class of exploiters, which made up no more than 1,5%of the Russian population at the time. The Bolsheviks, however, clearly reflected the interests of the oppressed and the exploited classes – the Russian hardworking peasantry, the working class and other layers of the working population.
The first decrees of the Bolsheviks, passed on the same night when the October armed revolt prevailed (on the night between 25th and 26th of October 1917), were “The Decree on Land” and “The Decree on Peace”.
“The Decree on Land” gave, at last, the land to the Russian peasantry, taking it away from landlords and the aristocracy; the peasantry has been fighting for that since the middle of the 19th century. Note that it amounted to 80% of the country’s population at the time. “The Decree on Peace”, which the entire working part of the country, exhausted by years of pointless slaughter, was looking forward to, put an end to the imperialist war, in which Russia was fighting for the interests of the English and French bourgeoisie. Russia lost almost 5 million of its citizens in that war! And for what? Just so the English and the French bourgeoisie may prosper? For the sake of their profits our people had to die? And after all this, it’s the Bolsheviks who are “bloody” and “bad” and not those who mercilessly sent our people to die for someone else’s profit?
It is completely obvious that these claims can only be made by someone who hates his own people, despises workers like us, hired workers, and tries to please the current Russian bourgeoisie, protect its “right” to parasitize off of millions of workers, rob and oppress them. Such people can make these claims openly only because today the same bourgeois that were driven away by workers under the leadership of the Bolsheviks in 1917, are in power. And for these bourgeois it is beneficial to show the Bolsheviks in a bad light, so that the Russian folk nowadays didn’t even think of freedom and wouldn’t realize that it can only be achieved the same way the Russian workers were led by the Bolsheviks 100 years ago.
Without a clear class position, without understanding whose interests are more precious to you – those of the laborers like you, workers and peasants, or your employers, the exploiters, it is impossible neither to understand the history of our country, nor figure out what is happening today.
MLLM “Work Way”