Saturday, March 26, 2016

A Marxist Response to Halliburton

"We can do things the cheap way, the simple way, for the short term and without regard for the future. Or, we can make the extra effort, do the hard work, absorb the criticism and make decisions that will cause a better future." - Mike Rounds

A Marxist response to Halliburton

By: Christopher Williams

This is a response to Kent Halliburton’s, 

“I am Done with Being Made to Feel Like a Social Reject (Part Two): Thomas Jefferson You Are More Right than You Know!” (

I will try to go point by point as there’s a lot of issues addressed in the article . 

1. I'll start with Rousseau: He was basically a bourgeois idealist who pulled his theory out of thin air to rationalize his class interest. Social contract isn’t a thing. People revolt not because of any violation of some supposed contract nor any kind of idealistic moralizing nor abstract appeals to justice. They revolt because of real material conditions of death and suffering that are no longer survivable , quaint moralizing be damned! Revolution happens because of a crisis where the old way of doing things is literally impossible and the material conditions exist for a new way of existing. 

2. The American Revolution: Jefferson and his revolution was essentially a bourgeois revolution, and by that I mean it was started, led by, and served the merchant class, it was a necessary revolution as it threw off the yoke of the old feudal system, which is a positive, but to move beyond that we need to move beyond the ideological system that it works within. 

3. The Civil War: The Civil War was basically a resolution of the question of what form work under American capitalism would take. It was a question of chattel slavery vs wage slavery, obviously wage slavery won that battle. There wasn't really anything revolutionary about the civil war nor even really anything progressive despite some nice sounding speeches. 

4. Women’s Rights: Kent starts out ok here, but then goes bad, reverse sexism is like reverse racism: it isn’t a thing. What Kent points to here are basically the things that MRA’s bitch about as proof of women being sexist when in reality this is just the negative effects of patriarchy rebounding on its benefactors, at best some of it might be a female backlash against patriarchy but these are all consequences and fruits of sexism itself not some “reverse sexism”.

5. On Police Brutality: There's a lot of good stuff here but strangely Kent talks about police brutality like its a new thing or as if we have a “rising” police state. Reality is we always have had a police state for as long as police have existed. Any knowledge of the history of police demonstrates the classist, and in the US especially, racist roots of police forces and the poor and black who have always been on the receiving end of the boot of the law. It is only in recent decades that such violence has become more inflicted on increasingly less privileged whites and in no small part due to black activist work that people are being forced to face what the oppressed have always known.

6. On Revolution: I have little to say here as most of this is pretty well known fact, I will just reiterate the Marxist perspective that revolution is the only means by which liberation of the workers will be achieved as those in power will not give it up without a fight. We however are not really in a revolutionary crisis at this time so fomenting revolution is premature, we should have no tolerance for adventurism. The people need education and mass organization before revolution would be advisable. Currently the American Left is in shambles, the average worker is horribly backward on multiple issues, and the most well trained and organized people in the country are right wing reactionaries. That is a recipe for disaster. The correct recipe is teaching the correct theoretical line and following it up with correct practice.

7. Gun Violence: Kent is largely correct here except for one glaring issue: “ The real answer is to solve the problem of mental illness. If we, as a nation, were to actually take the time to give the mentally ill the treatment that they truly need, they would be thousands of times less likely to resort to violent actions with guns. “ This is ableist garbage. Most shooters are not mentally ill and mentally ill people are far more likely to be the victims of violence than the perpetrators. Laws that disarm the mentally ill just leave a frequently oppressed group defenseless as do most liberal gun control laws which are also frequently racist as well. 

In Summary: There is some good stuff by Kent on some relevant issues but ultimately it is bogged down by liberal (bourgeois ) idealism with a dangerous wandering into almost MRA territory and pretty blatant ableism.


  1. What about economic rent the taxation of which was number one on the to do of Mrx's Communist Manifesto but now seems to have been forgotten?

  2. I had not yet considered the issue, but I may in include it in a future post. Thank you for the suggestion!