I am not a Maoist, but one of my favorite pamphlets is written by Mao, entitled “Combat Liberalism.” It defined the very essence of liberalism as a manifestation of opportunism. As a communist, defending liberalism is in no way, shape or form on my agenda. I despise liberalism as the essential face of imperialism. I would go so far as to say I seek a liberal-free world.
Liberalism is what Americans learn in elementary school classes. Its chief tenets include the belief that capitalism is the best system possible, that the USA is a “free country” and that everyone—every person existing, regardless of context or class content—should have the “equal” right to express their opinions without fear of repression. This highlights two excellent examples of liberal drivel already. One is the denial of class analysis in favor of terms like “the people,” and the other is idealism and denial of actually existing conditions in favor of one’s own personal opinions.
Liberalism also discourages confrontation and violence of any sort and demands one not try to “control” the thoughts of others. In this manner liberalism discourages violence of the oppressed and thus prolongs violence of the oppressors. Communists say that “control” is not a crime, particularly in a world filled with starvation, imperialist war and homelessness. In a word such as this, there needs to be much more control than there is, a control of the peace-creating kind. After there is no such massive preventable suffering, then perhaps we can discuss the merits of this “freedom” you speak of.
Expanding on this, liberalism says “everyone has a right to be wrong.” Communists say no, and certainly say no when it comes to questions of life-and-death that may literally affect the entire planet and the future of the human race. There is no place for “opinion” in light of science.
For a liberal, what happened in this country or that country, such as what happened in Chile under Augusto Pinochet or Indonesia under Suharto, needs no explanation whatsoever. It was just pure evil, plain and simple. Yes, evil happened, and figuring out the material causes of why it happened is just being a hopeless ideologue (not to mention insulting all those poor people who died). According to liberals, people like Lenin and Stalin didn’t actually care about the proletariat, it was all just one big ploy for power. They were just pure evil and that’s all there is to it, defying material conditions and any kind of logic.
Marxist-Leninists define “progressive” as that tending to abolish gender, nation and class oppression. This is based on nothing but objective science—it would be difficult to argue that to provide the most livable life for the greatest amount of people would not represent a qualitatively higher stage in the development of humans.
One must always be sure what one is about when one approaches a particular task. Marxists have their priorities straight and urge liberals to give up their postmodernism and subjectivism for science. Repressive measures, even up to violence and the banning of reactionary works, are completely necessary. If liberals want their people to be “free” so badly then they should give up liberalism and become communists, as the sooner we reach a socialist world, the sooner repressive organs like the state will become outdated. The sooner we arrive at a world with little or no preventable deaths from imperialist war, starvation, disease, homelessness etc., the sooner we can begin yapping about equality and freedom for all under the law. Until then, it is pure idealism.
Communists have sometimes united with liberals over fascists, since the existence of liberalism presupposes limits on the repressive powers of the bourgeois dictatorship, whereas fascism places no such limits and resorts to the most blatant reactionary terrorism. We therefore recognize the differences in the particular form of bourgeois governments, while recognizing at the end of the day they all come from the same class origin. Fascism is merely another form of imperialism and capitalism, much the same way liberalism is. It would be easy to take a Comintern/ George Orwell line on this question and end up in the “they are exactly the same thing” camp, which would be suicidal. This unity strategy lead to the Soviet official Dimitrov’s famous “United Front Against Fascism” strategy during World War II. In these dark times, unity can be a positive, but this is not the same as communists turning into liberals ourselves. Now that the rule of the bourgeoisie is threatened internationally, the threat of fascism comes from the continued existence of liberalism. The liberals of today are the fascists of tomorrow.