Against Communism, Against Capitalism: The New Asian Revolution
In the past and present, Asian movements have acted under the ideologies of communism and capitalism. Both have been hailed as means to national liberation: our concern here is that this is neither true liberation nor that nationalism can be terms liberation. The Asian Revolutionary Movement sees that both communism and capitalism are twin faces for civilization. Our concern is that a revolutionary movement that does not attack civilization itself is doomed to fall back into the imperialist trap.
Asia has been split by civilization since it arose nearly 10,000 years ago. Asian civilization has generally been a more gradual pace of development and ‘progress’ whereas western nations have gone ahead full speed as soon as their technologies have allowed them to. The heritage of Asian cultures carries this long standing belief in a different pace of civilization, although this has always been against those who have lived either as hunter-gatherers or mild agriculturalists (in either case, generally without power relations).
The size and span of Asia has made it the land of plenty for colonialism and conquest, and our history has shown us this. The counter-currents have turned against this rampant attack upon our ways of life and co-opted the drive of the oppressors. While once we had only to deal with the problems of civilizations arising within, now we have to deal with those arising around us. Asia has been faced with extermination or coercion to the insanity of the globalized, technological-industrial civilization.
In the eyes of the colonizers, Asia remains a vast resource, and Asians remain either an obstacle or another resource. What lies ahead of us is dim, and we have been back against the wall. The response to this unchecked imperialism has not been to go against the entire order, for we have been pawns in their world order for too long. Instead we have sought, as with the oppressed world wide, to take the colonial control back into the hands of Asia. Moving with the imposed ideologies of nationalism, production, progress, and technological addiction, we have been co-opted.
This co-option takes the form of self-imposed oppression. Now the leash is no longer held from a far, but from within. The notion of liberation in Asia has turned to a question of not what power exists, but who holds it. In turn, the action has turned from abolishing power to claiming it by the same means that it has been put on us. In short, we have been force fed an imperial way of life so much that our idea of liberation has turned into the desire to take the position of those who have destroyed so much of our being.
We saw it in North Vietnam, North Korea, China, and so on, where communism has been upheld as national liberation. We saw it in Japan, South Vietnam, South Korea, Philippines, and so on, where capitalism has been upheld as national liberation. But when we look closely what do we see? It seems that the only difference was who would stand behind the capitalism instead of communism. The scale was whether their economy was globalized (a resource for the world) or national (hierarchy self imposed). The imperial/colonial powers of course stood behind Asia as a puppet rather than a mirror.
What this means is that the communists, while thought to be the opponents of capitalism, are actually just as much pawns of modernization and industrialism. Under Mao, in the name of nationalism, the people of China stood by as their self-sustenance was torn from under their feet and industrialism was put in. The communal scale of existence was replaced by the illusion of a ‘collective conscious’ (the People’s Republic of China) in order to open up for all things on a ‘mass’ scale. The outcome of this was that ecological devastation came as surely to the communists as it did to the capitalists.
Yet the struggle for Asia remains as either capitalist or communist. The underlying nationalism serves to give up the individual into the good of the whole. In this way, individuals will sacrifice their livelihoods to the future that is the product of a power-hungry elite. The individuals turn towards some vanguard to tell them what is good for the nation; this has always meant self-sacrifice for the people and ecological destruction.
What the Asian Revolutionary Movement seeks is an end to this entire way of seeing liberation, we are looking outside the narrow lens of civilization and seek a true liberation that allows us to be autonomous and carry our self-determination. We recognize that capitalism and communism are two faces of the same beast and we hope to bring this awareness to revolutionaries the world over.
The Asian revolutions have sought an economic and political solution to the problem of colonialism and imperialism. ARM seeks to move outside of these bounds: we seek a reality that realizes that no institution, no civilization will ever grant us freedom. We have no interest in reforming the State or any power structure; we seek to abolish them all, as they stand between us and a world of possibilities. The productionist, industrial way of life will inevitably destroy life on this planet, as the community of life stands in the way of ‘resources’ needed to build a completely synthetic reality, devoid of all that it means to be human and to live.
The Asian Revolutionary Movement carries solidarity with those who are fighting off the plague of civilization: those left with no other option than to put their lives on the line so that one day they may live free of any power structure. We have no solidarity with groups that seek to reform or carry on the productionist-industrial civilized death trip. Oppression and exploitation of life on this planet will never be liberation.
ARM recognizes that while destructive ideologies such as communism and capitalism undermine our psyche, life on this planet is under threat of extinction. We seek to destroy the means of production and end the division of labor, returning to the hunting and gathering way of life that has shaped the human being. Anything that stands in the way of life is a target.
By this act of dissent and resistance we hope to help push civilization off once and for all, from within and abroad. We stand against the 10,000 year old force and say enough is enough. We refuse to sit by as civilization destroys the possibility of life for us and our children.
Civilization, by its nature, will continue to grow until all that can be used will. We have no options left other than to fight or to lay our own graves. Confronted again with the options left to Asian revolutionary movements of the past, we know now that true liberation comes only from abolishing power, not reform.