6.00 Defense

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6.00 Defense.
6.01 Capitalism is Violence. (scroll below)
6.02 Armed Struggle. (scroll below)

6.0 Defense and Class Hatred. For the most part, Catholics, both communist and otherwise, believe in the right of self-defense. Capital is not pacifist. It spends billions to protect the wealth which it steals. Self-defense against the oppressor's murder and theft is nothing new. As the Communist Manifesto put it, "The history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggles." The struggle against oppression and exploitation constitutes the main substance of human history. Capital lives by the sword. Should it be a surprise when it dies by it?

There is hatred by capital against the working class. Communism does not teach hatred, but teaches how to defend against it. Fidel Castro explained about class hatred:

What really caused hatred? Man's exploitation, oppression, marginalization and social injustice that, objectively, is what causes hatred--not Marxism. Marxism has said, "Well, classes exist; class struggle exists, and this causes hatred." It's a question not of preaching class hatred but of explaining a social reality, something that has occurred throughout history. It isn't a call to hatred; rather, it is an explanation of the hatred that exists when people become aware that they are being exploited. [Fidel Castro, Fidel and Religion: Castro Talks on Revolution and Religion with Frei Belto (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1987), p. 282].

The class hatred of capital and of its servants in the church hierarchy becomes passionate against revolutionaries. In describing this hatred, which results in constant persecution, lies and murder, the biographer of the revolutionary priest, Camilo Torres, quoted an observation made by Lenin:

In the life of great revolutionaries the oppressor classes subject them to constant persecution, hear their doctrine with the most savage rage, with the most furious hatred, with the most immoral campaign of lies and calumnies. After their death, they try to convert the into inoffensive canonized icons, surrounding their names with a certain aura of glory in order to "console" and trick the oppressed classes, castrating the content of their revolutionary doctrine, dulling the revolutionary edge of this doctrine, degrading it. [Vladimir Lenin quoted in German Guzman, Camilo Tores (New York: Sheed & Ward, 1969), p. 297].

6.1 Capitalism is Violence. Ignatius Ellacuria, S.J., a priest in El Salvador, before he was killed by it with US capitalist help, pointed out that the existing order, where the economic, political, and religious resources are monopolized by the wealthy, is violence. Ellacuria called this violence a social sin. He maintained that from the biblical perspective, this violence is different from the use of force to redeem the established violent order. Ellacuria wrote:

The prevailing violence calls for extreme remedies. Any moral evaluation of the remedies cannot start from the assumption that the situation is normal, that it is not violent. In any cases of established violence, we may be not only permitted but even required to use the force that is necessary to redeem the established violence. The good being sought does not justify the evil entailed in the means to achieve. But if evil is an achieved and concrete fact already, it must be reduced and eventually eliminated.
The bible message offers us many concepts that will help us to evade the danger of disembodied solutions. . . The eradication of violence in all its forms is an urgent task that cannot be postponed. Stress must be placed on that form of violence which is protected by legal forms, which entails the permanent establishment of an unjust disorder, which precluded the conditions required for the human growth of the person. Our rejection of violence calls for attitudes and lines of action that cannot help but be extreme. [Ignatius Ellacuria, Freedom Made Flesh: The Mission of Christ and the Church (New York: Orbis: 1976), pp. 225, 228-230].

6.2 Armed Struggle. Some Catholics, such as those in Colombia's National Liberation Army (ELN), believe that the best defense is going on the offense. They specialize in attacking the oil infrastructure and kidnapping multinational employees. The "taxes" paid by the oil companies support the communist government in the northern regions of Colombia that border Venezuela.

Another armed offense in which Catholics have given a hand was Cuba's 26th of July Movement, which included the assistance of six Catholic chaplains in the rebel units. The Cuban success has been an inspiration for 40 years to working people throughout the world. Regulation No. 1, issued by the rebel army while it was in the Sierra Maestra and applied to the legal system by Act No. 33 and Act no. 39 in 1959, allowed for discretionary use of the death penalty--for offenses such as murder, espionage, treason, rape, robbery, desertion, insubordination and counterrevolutionary activity.

In Fidel Castro's view, Catholics and communists have the same morality, and that is what makes them good fighters: they seek austerity, humility, the spirit of sacrifice and love of neighbor. [Raul Gomez Treto, The Church and Socialism in Cuba (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1988), p. 79]. To Fidel's list might be added "single-mindedness." Seventy years before Fidel, Fr. Thomas Hagerty of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) described this virtue in the warfare with industrial capital:

As revolutionaries the Industrial Workers of the World aim to use any and all tactics that will get the results sought with the least expenditure of time and energy. The tactics used are determined solely by the power of the organization to make good in their use. The question of "right" and "wrong" does not concern us. No terms made with an employer are final. All peace so long as the wage system lasts, is but an armed truce. At any favorable opportunity the struggle for more control of industry is renewed. No part of the organization is allowed to enter into time contracts with the employers. Where strikes are used, they aim to paralyze all branches of the industry involved, when the employers can least afford a cessation of work - during the busy season and when there are rush orders to be filled. The Industrial Workers of the World maintains that nothing will be conceded by the employers except that which we have the power to take and hold by the strength of our organization. Therefore we seek no agreements with the employers. Failing to force concessions from the employers by the strike, work is resumed and "sabotage" is used to force the employers to concede the demands of the workers. [Quoted in Vincent St. John, The IWW: Its History, Structure and Methods (Chicago: IWW Publishing Bureau, 1917].

All suffer and many die at the hands of capital. When the pope visited Cuba in January 1998, Fidel Castro pointed out in his greeting that 70 million natives had lost their lives as a result of the conquest and colonialization of the western hemisphere, 12 million Africans had been enslaved and injustices had been perpetrated that still remain after centuries of struggle and sacrifice. During World War II 50 million Soviet people lost their lives in defending against Nazi aggression. In 1965 one million members of the Indonesian Communist party (PKI) and of Indonesian trade unions were killed by the capitalist class. Only the Soviet and Chinese parties had more members than the PKI. The PKI was unprepared and placed their trust in the government. A similar number were killed in Vietnam before the people won out. In Angola 100,000 members and supporters of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) have lost their lives between 1961 and the present. In Colombia 40,000 have died in armed struggle.

Capitalist violence comes from its armies and police but even more so from its lack of nutrition, sanitation, health care and housing. The liberation theologian, Jose Miranda, in discussing malnutrition has commented about capital's inherent or structural violence:

I refer principally to the aggression committed by the capitalist system itself, which is far more evil than that by the police and military. Millions of children die in the world each year from simple malnutrition. And many more are mentally deficient all their lives from the same cause. And many millions of humans have their lifetimes cut in half from the same cause. It is not as if the resources presently existing in the world were inadequate to produce sufficient nutrition for all. What is happening is that capitalism as a system does not permit existing resources to be directed to the satisfaction of needs, because the purpose it imposes upon them is the augmentation of capital. Unless a demand of buying power is foreseen which makes a profit likely, there is no production; but the world's most tragic and urgent needs are without buying power and consequently cannot translate into demand. Capitalism has seized the resources of humanity, and physically kills millions of human beings day-by-day with hunger or leaves them lifelong mental defectives. Would it be more violent to shoot them than to prevent them from eating? Where did this definition of violence come from? The aggression is right here, right now in the form of genocide, and it is constant. The Bible (Gen. 9:6) teaches:
Who spills man's blood,
by man will his blood be spilled,
for God made man to his image.
[Jose Porfirio Miranda, Communism in the Bible (trans. Robert Barr, Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1982), p. 73].

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