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                  <h1 class="entry-title ">Is Marxism Relevant? Some
                    Uses and Misuses – by David Gilbert, political
                    prisoner</h1>
                  <div class="entry-meta">
                    <span class="posted-on"> <a
href="https://abolitionjournal.org/is-marxism-relevant-some-uses-and-misuses-by-david-gilbert-political-prisoner/"
                        rel="bookmark"><time class="entry-date
                          published"
                          datetime="2017-01-16T14:41:01+00:00">January
                          16, 2017</time></a></span><span class="byline"> </span> <span
                      class="cat-links"> </span>
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                <p>by <strong>David Gilbert</strong></p>
                <p>(1/16/2017)</p>
                <p><em>“Imperialism is piracy […] reorganized,
                    consolidated and adapted to the aim of exploiting
                    the natural and human resources of our peoples.”<br>
                    “[N]obody has yet made a successful revolution
                    without a revolutionary theory.”</em></p>
                <p>– Amilcar Cabral<a
href="https://abolitionjournal.org/is-marxism-relevant-some-uses-and-misuses-by-david-gilbert-political-prisoner/#_edn1"
                    name="_ednref1">[1]</a></p>
                <p>One of my biggest joys and most valued activities is
                  corresponding with younger-generation—by now it’s
                  generations—white anti-racist activists. Most of them
                  identify as anarchist or anti-authoritarian, but
                  knowing my history, often ask what I think about
                  Marxism. These activists have been mightily turned off
                  by the examples of Marxist-Leninist (M-L)
                  organizations in the U.S. which all too often have
                  been characterized by dogmatism, sectarianism, and
                  heavily top-down internal power dynamics. Political
                  “debate” frequently devolved into each side plucking
                  competing quotes from Marx or Lenin or Mao—as though
                  that proved anything. Perhaps worst of all, many
                  predominantly white and male “Marxists” used the
                  powerful terminology to insist that fighting white and
                  male supremacy was “secondary” to the class struggle
                  and that opposing homo- and transphobia was
                  irrelevant.</p>
                <p>Those examples are rightly rejected by radicals
                  rooted in love for and commitment to oppressed and
                  exploited humanity. But what led many of my generation
                  to embrace Marxism, in sharp contrast to the above
                  misdirections, was the reality that most of the
                  exciting revolutions that were sweeping the third
                  world (what’s now called the Global South) were led by
                  M-L parties—not Marxism as some musty catechism from
                  19th century Europe but rather as a living tradition
                  being applied and developed by modern third world
                  revolutionaries.</p>
                <p>A blanket dismissal of Marxism runs the risk of
                  losing some important building blocks for analyzing
                  the nature and vulnerabilities of capitalism. In
                  addition, my experience during more than 50 years in
                  the struggle has shown that those who were able to
                  sustain activism over the long and difficult haul
                  often had some foundation in theory and in a sense of
                  history.</p>
                <p>What follows is not an argument for or against
                  Marxism as the defining framework, and it certainly
                  isn’t an attempt to provide an overall or in-depth
                  explanation.<a
href="https://abolitionjournal.org/is-marxism-relevant-some-uses-and-misuses-by-david-gilbert-political-prisoner/#_edn2"
                    name="_ednref2">[ii]</a> Instead I want to talk
                  about a few broad concepts which I found very useful
                  and still seem very relevant today. Often these ideas
                  are markedly different from the more visible versions
                  put forward by various predominantly white and male
                  Marxists. (For brevity’s sake I’ll refer to those whom
                  I feel distort the analysis in this way with quotes:
                  “Marxists.”) Before getting into the heart of this
                  paper, I’ll briefly review the path that led me to
                  study and then try to apply Marxism.</p>
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              <div><a
href="https://abolitionjournal.org/is-marxism-relevant-some-uses-and-misuses-by-david-gilbert-political-prisoner/"><font
                    size="+2"><b>Continue Reading</b></font></a><br>
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              <div><span style="color:rgb(41,47,51);font-family:"helvetica neue",helvetica,arial,sans-serif;letter-spacing:0.26px;white-space:pre-wrap">David Gilbert 83-A-6158
Wende Correctional Facility
3040 Wende Road
Alden, New York 14004-1187</span><br>
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