“We are Marxists and Marxism teaches that in our approach to a problem we should start from objective facts, not from abstract definitions, and that we should derive our guiding principles, policies and measures from an analysis of these facts.” — Chairman Mao Zedong
Across the history of organizing the masses of the working class, certain forms of decadence and distortions of theories, histories, and tendencies have arisen within Marxism. Typically these bastardizations of historical materialism can be codified as petty bourgeois. We see these organizations, ideas, and figures throughout the history socialist struggle, portraying themselves as in the interest of working-class liberation, yet steeped within utterly bourgeois sympathies and reaction.
Petty bourgeois reaction is present in every single significant revolutionary event in recent history. Whether it be Bourgeois Liberals in the Paris Commune, the Mensheviks in the October Revolution, the Kuomintang in the Chinese Revolution, or the German Social Democrats in the Spartacist Uprising, these forces have continually stood against the interests and revolutionary character of the working class. Each example represents a dereliction to the working class and highlights their subservience to the ruling bourgeoisie.
Currently, a petty bourgeois ideology plagues the Western Socialist zeitgeist, which has largely been spread by the work of writer J. Sakai. It evades a name, but we can refer to it as “First-World Third Worldism” (FWTW). In most circles, it is taboo to present a single criticism of their book Settlers, written in 1983. Virtue signaling towards POC comrades, FWTW’s own guilt has suspended historical materialist analysis, not allowing critique of an ultraleftist, anti-Marxist line. Nevertheless, it must be confronted head-on, why a self-professed anonymous Maoist such as Sakai, with no known connection to organizing nor even academic circles, should be adopted, without question, at face value, by Marxist-Leninists.