Land Reform

Part of This Series of Posts:

Land reform is the solution not ‘Land back’ to the American issue of land. Complete nationalisation is also not the answer in the short term. The native people should be included in an extensive land reform program as well as given self-determination. Black people should also finally be given 40 acres and a mule (tractor).

Socialists states have always implemented land reform. ‘Land back’ has never been implemented, America is no exception if it were to ever become socialist. The problem with ‘Land back’ is that it is a baseless slogan which has a different meaning depending on who uses it. It also has some dodgy backers such as Jeff Bezos who funds the official organisation. The same people who espouse this view also view the native peoples as ‘noble savages’, and have race essentialist views that they think they must think the way they want or else ‘they are not real natives’. No, it is up to the native people themselves to decide what they want to do, virtue signalling does nothing for oppressed peoples. It is not up to you who likely is a white man, suffering from white guilt to decide for them. That is the national question and it is theirs, each, to decide on a tribe by tribe basis.

I also think that complete state ownership of land straight away is not the answer. If we look at the Soviet Union, the Bolsheviks came to power on a program of ‘Peace, land and bread’, which was simple and was the simple needs of the people that they were actually existing with at the time. They did not say they were going to nationalise everything today and create a socialist utopia tommorrow, no they were pragmatic and realistic, meeting the direct demands of the people in front of them. There is so much land in America owned by massive corporate entities, this could all be broken up easily and redistributed after the revolution in a broad program of land reform. The vast majority of people have become disillusioned with the corporate work place and as a result the socialisation of such means immedietely would not necessarily be favourable to people. We saw a similar process in the Soviet Union where land was reformed first and only nationalised on a large scale over a decade later. Under socialism, whereby the corporate workplace is collectivised, it has to be given new meaning and have some level of democracy among it’s workers going forward in America.

Also, monopolisation necessitates collectivisation (due to class contradictions) but you cannot apply that where monopolisation has not happened yet as people are going to associate the collective with their fears of the corporate so you cannot just expect them to want to join something larger initially which is why in the Russian revolution the peasants were given land redistributed from the landlords. Different places have different material conditions when it comes to the application of land reform and thus it all depends on the conditions whether land is reformed and given out to the masses on a large scale or whether it be nationalised straight away which would be the case if the socialisation of agricultural production has already happened. It is likely that large corporate farms would be broken up, while farmers who work their own land would be given more land while new families would be given land to work. Socialism has to mean something directly to the people and historically this has often been land reform as land is space in its most direct sense, what it means directly depends on the material conditions.

When it comes to the capitalist system, of course the monopolisation of capital is inevitable but that does not mean you should be celebrating the closure of small businesses and celebrating that monopolisation. We as Marxists know that it is an inevitability and that the petty-bourgeoisie are a class doomed to proletarianisation (to put it in their own words) whether they like it or not eventually. It is merely a process of the system that is just the way it is. It also does not mean that we should be sad either on the other hand, but of course when you know a local mom and pop shop is closing and is being taken over by some corporate entity, that leaves a big loss on the community.

There is a tendency within Marxists (Western in particular) where they hate the petty-bourgeoisie, they see it as a ‘bad class’, despite the vast majority of petty-bourgeois people not being exploiters of labour at all. Of course they are a reactionary class but as they are a class on a downward spiral, they are definitely a section of the people we can reach out to and win over to the cause. Historically this has been especially true with the toiling masses of peasantry who in rural areas are a key group to win over as they are the rural masses. The Chinese revolution for example came primarily from the peasantry who had some stake in the system to some extent however small. There is also another problem with Western Marxists in particular where they look for a pure kind of proletariat but with looking at class through such a lens the irony is that there is no such thing as a pure anything and by that logic the vast majority of people are petty-bourgeoisie because they have some stake in the system. As in simple terms the petty-bourgeoisie is anything in between proletariat and bourgeoisie and thus far more people are petty-bourgeois than they realise.

However if we look at the corporate structure that proceeds after monopolisation has occured, we see that there is created an abstraction of the class struggle. Due to monopolisation there are more layers between you and the boss, the boss hires security to keep the workers in line and prevent theft, the bosses hires one-quarter of the workers to manage the other three-quarters and has HR to keep things in line and ensure the bosses interest is met over everyone elses. The bosses likely has no direct interaction with the workplace at all. This gives rise to labour unions but for the last few decades since the fall of the socialist bloc and collapse of militant unions, along with whitewashing of capitalists and reforms, has led to their complete decimation at the hands of union busters and the capitalists cronies. This has yet to be solved in the west for the most part as recently we saw the Amazon workers attempt at a union fail.

It is the monopolisation of capital inherent of the capitalist system (capital accumulation) as well as the conditions that arise from that monopolisation which make inevitable the development of socialism, this is how us Marxists know that socialism is inevitable, and in just the same way it is the contradictions that arise in socialism which make Communism inevitable. It is up to the Communist party to seize power and scientifically guide this process as either way we are heading into some kind of bourgeois socialism.

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