||Revolutionary Socialist Culture of Peace||Its Relation to a Culture of Peace for the 21st Century|
There are hints of the culture of peace in the classic revolutionary literature. For example, in his last writings, Lenin spoke of the need to move away from war communism toward an economy of peace, and the need for a cultural revolution to lay the basis for communism. In the midst of planning guerrilla war, Mao Tse-Tung dreamed of a coming "epoch of peace." And another great guerrilla warrior, Che Guevara seems to be describing a culture of peace in his most famous essay, Man and Socialism in Cuba. The same can be said for the most famous essay by Joe Slovo, the Communist leader of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the guerrilla army that helped liberate of South Africa from apartheid rule.
For the most part, however, we are moving into uncharted territory, because the great revolutionary leaders of the past usually have assumed that revolution must be achieved through violence, a strategy that has always led without exception to a socialist culture of war. We must go beyond what they envisioned.
We can take our motto from the American Revolution and its Declaration of Independence that "whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends ["Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness"], it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government..." And we can learn from the French Revolution, which abolished the old order and then, as described by Lenin, "rousing the vast masses of the people in defence of its gains ... they resisted the whole world" We can learn as well from the French Commune which, as Karl Marx described, went for the first time beyond capitalist democracy to create a workers' democracy.
We may learn much from the Russian Revolution as the first successful working-class revolution, proving that Marx and Engels were correct that the working class is the leading revolutionary class. Although it was never fully implemented, the Russian Revolution made possible the first great experiments in workers' control of the economy, the key to an economy of peace that can provide a stable economic base for the future culture of peace.
From the great revolutionaries of the 20th Century, including Lenin and Mao Tse-Tung, we may learn the fundamental principles of revolutionary leadership, organization and strategy. And from Marx, Engels and Lenin we may learn the important principles of history, psychology and dialectics that are fundamental for revolutionary theory and practice.
The revolution of the 21st Century must develop new methods to defend itself against the violence of the inevitable attacks by the capitalist culture of war intended to destroy revolutionary movements and new revolutionary governments. In the past, revolutionary movements adopted the methods of the culture of war, but now there are new methods of defense under development that promote a culture of peace, the methods of nonviolent defense as developed and practiced by Gandhi and King.
Successful experiments with nonviolence such as that in South Africa are being repeated and enlarged in other struggles in recent years. An important part of training for revolutionaries in the 21st Century will be the study of these nonviolent resistance movements and training and experience in the disciplined methods that prove to be successful. See, for example, the People-power revolution in the Philippines. No doubt, there will be more and more such movements in the coming years - and more lessons to be learned and applied.
A unique and new method for exporting the revolution without violence is that of Cuba's revolutionary medicine.
Internet and other new means of communication can help speed up and strengthen the development of consciousness that will make possible the revolutions of the 21st Century. Hopefully this Website can play a part.
Some may argue that capitalism is too strong and will overcome any new revolutions. But if we are to believe the predictions of Mao Tse-Tung and Fidel Castro, the American Empire is headed for collapse, which will leave a void of power in the world. It is up to us whether that void is filled by new cultures of war or by a revolutionary culture of peace.