Reprint from Volume 35 Issue #16 of The Worker newspaper - published by The Workers Party U.S.A
Call of the Party
December 6, 2021 - The predominant ideology of the capitalist society is the ideology of the ruling bourgeois class. Possessing real economic and political power, the capitalists have been using the mass media and all the other means at their disposal to enslave the working people spiritually.
The monopoly bourgeoisie in our day has pride of place in advocating the ideological values of capitalism. It has considerable resources and opportunities for systematic "brainwashing" of the public. The propaganda of pro-imperialist views and opinions is being carried on allegedly on behalf of the people and in their interests. The monopoly bourgeoisie seeks to present its narrowly egotistical interests as those of the whole people, and, in effect, to mislead the working masses, to prove that black is white and vice versa. Thus, the financial magnates present themselves as "benefactors" rather than exploiters, and the trade unions and other working-class organizations as "enemies of the nation" rather than champions of its interests in the struggle against monopoly capital.
Big Business has created a far-reaching and ramified network for a daily ideological offensive against the minds of the working people which includes millions of dollars spent annually on think tanks, troll factories, print media, audio and visual exhibits, etc.
In the interests of the financial oligarchy, the bourgeois mass media vigorously manipulate public opinion, trying to foster a stereotyped mentality among the population. The real masters of the mass media in the imperialist countries usually prefer to remain in the background and to manipulate public opinion by pulling carefully hidden strings. With that aim in view, they spread rumors and gossip, create Big Lie campaigns, create sensations, organize provocative "information leaks", ignore or deliberately distort facts which are disadvantageous to the monopoly bourgeoisie, say, by distorting the truth about the role of the profit-motive in influencing research outcomes.
But even the most sophisticated brainwashing can do nothing to prevent a worsening of the crisis of bourgeois ideology, for none other than the bourgeoisie itself has trampled on the ideas of liberty, equality and fraternity once inscribed on its banners. All the attempts of its ideologues to find new slogans that would attract the masses end in failure. Hence the pronounced social pessimism and disbelief in human initiative, in the creative potentialities of nature, society and thought. There are diverse schools and trends in bourgeois philosophy, sociology and other knowledge fields, but none of these is able to captivate the masses or to give an objective understanding of reality.
The crisis of bourgeois ideology is also expressed in that ever more people in the capitalist countries realize that its main dogmas are out of touch with real life and have nothing to do with the interests of the working people.
One of the major dogmas of the bourgeois ideology is the assertion that private property in the means of production is the everlasting form of social organization. Any forms of social organization rejecting the principle of private property are rejected by bourgeois ideology outright and countered with the claim that private property in the means of production is the summit of human civilization. But in these days of the so-called "death of communism," the workers are ever more convinced of the fallacy of that assertion.
Another widespread dogma of bourgeois ideology is the allegation that wars are natural to mankind. Numerous theories have been invented to validate that allegation. The ideologists of the exploiter class have always justified and continue to justify wars as an inevitable and eternal phenomenon. Some explain wars by "man's biological inclination to aggression," by a "genetic code of violence," a "biological antagonism between races," or "excessive overpopulation of the Earth" linked with a supposed shortage of territory, raw material and fuel sources, while others attribute wars to "inborn subconscious instincts of aggressiveness and destruction" or to various social phenomena such as religious convictions.
All present-day bourgeois theories of war, however diverse the language in which they are couched, are permeated with a racist, chauvinist spirit, with lack of faith in human reason. Clearly, such reactionary theories can serve only one purpose: to justify the aggressive wars of imperialism. An improvement of the international situation is not coincident with the class interests of the monopoly bourgeoisie.
The widening gulf between bourgeois ideology and the vital needs of social development serves to intensify its reactionary, inhuman nature. That is manifested, in particular, its frenzied anti-social offensive justified by chauvinism and glorification of arbitrary power.
The anti-social offensive against labor legislation and social programs is ideologically closely tied in with the policy of repression and persecution of progressive parties and organizations.
The bourgeoisie is trying to create conditions for the poisonous weeds of reactionary nationalism and chauvinism to luxuriate in the imperialist countries. The bourgeoisie would like to make these weeds as attractive to as many as possible not only in order to intensify the national oppression of minorities and racial discrimination but also in an attempt to distract people from the struggle against the real culprit – monopoly capital. The aim is for pessimism and stress to permeate every aspect of social life in the developed capitalist countries, creating a favorable climate for an infringement on civil liberties, for an extension of pay-the-rich schemes, and for militarist hysteria.
The crisis of bourgeois ideology, with its growing antagonisms towards the people and their potential, also manifests itself in extreme abstract scientific dogmas which falsely promise loyal followers a frozen state of perfect knowledge and "eternal happiness." Imperialism throughout the capitalist world has fully embraced reaction and has now gone over into an open and large-scale offensive against the forces of democracy and progress.
Clearly, the capitalists, who never part with a dime except in anticipation of a greater return, would not be parting with billions of dollars literally trying to force their ideas down the peoples' throats unless the people were actively expressing their interest in replacing the capitalist system.
The Workers Party, USA says that the capitalist system is suppressing everything that makes us human. The very lives of the people give rise to the demand that these conditions must be changed. The necessity for change arises not only from the exploitation and oppression imposed on the people. Even more importantly, it arises from the deepest aspirations for the people, from their vision of a truly human society.
For more than 200 years the workers and oppressed people of our country have been coming out in struggle after struggle to assert their rights and bring forward their program for society. From the very beginning, the American people have fought to create a society which guarantees equal rights for all and in which the political power arises from and is controlled by the people themselves. From the very beginning, the American people worked to create a land of refuge and peace and throughout our history we have always sympathized with and supported the liberation struggles of people everywhere.
Today, these profound egalitarian, democratic and internationalist traditions of our people are carried forward in the struggles and aspirations of the working class. Socialism and communism already exist in the hearts and minds of the people - in the drive of the workers to emancipate themselves and be the conscious creators of their own society.
We say that there is really only one political issue – one irresistible, relentless political task – facing the working class and people. That task is to create the subjective conditions for revolution – the consciousness, organization and independent political initiative of the workers themselves.