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More on Marxist “reflection theory,” the importance of communism as a scientific approach to understanding and transforming reality—and refutation of opportunist attacks on this by phony “communists”

In Part 1, I spoke to the fundamental principle upheld and applied by Marxism (communism) that whether something is true, or not, depends on whether it is in correspondence with—is a correct reflection of—objective reality. I refuted the erroneous line of argument that attacks this fundamental principle and seeks to substitute subjective, supposed “class truth” for actual objective truth.

Marxist “reflection theory” also includes this basic principle of communism, as a scientific method and approach (and this is the basis of science in general): Reality exists objectively—independently of anyone’s perception of it, thoughts about it, etc.—and people’s consciousness, thoughts, ideas, and so on, are a reflection of objectively existing material reality. This is in direct opposition to the incorrect notion that it is the ideas, theories, and so on, of people—or of a god or gods—which create material reality, or determine what reality actually is.

Of course, as I pointed out in social media message number Twenty-One (@BobAvakianOfficial), one of the defining characteristics of human beings is that, “We can create in our imaginations all kinds of beings, and other things, that do not exist in the real world.” But what we create in our imaginations is derived from and is a variation of really existing things, reflected in our minds. For example, that is why “god” is generally thought of in masculine terms—“God, the Heavenly Father” (or, as it is sometimes put, “The Man Upstairs”)—which is a reflection of the objective reality of patriarchal (male-dominated) society.

In opposition to the actual scientific method and approach of communism, the argument for “class truth” includes the notion that there is something in the basic nature and social position of proletarians—or, more generally, oppressed people—that makes them especially able to grasp the truth about the need and the basis for an emancipating revolution. This notion leads to tailing the masses of oppressed people, and can lead to some very harmful positions and actions, because in reality the “spontaneous” outlook and inclinations of the masses of people, including the most exploited and oppressed, are largely shaped by the basic relations and functioning, and the ruling ideas and ways of thinking, of this system of capitalism-imperialism that they are forced to live under. Instead of tailing this, there is a need for sharp struggle to break people away from these poisonous influences, and win them to taking up the method, the outlook and values, and the goals of communist revolution that actually represent their fundamental interests. (This is a very important question that I have spoken to more fully in the article at, Scientific Communist Theory and the Problem with “Mass Line.” And, as I noted in Part 1, the article at Issue 4, “Ajith—A Portrait of the Residue of the Past,” by Ishak Baran and KJA, goes into this more extensively.)

As I also emphasized in Part 1:

Attacking the “reflection” principle of communist theory—which, again, is the foundation for its scientific method and approach—will lead to all kinds of serious problems. Once any professed attempt to transform the world departs from a scientific grounding, and gives expression to subjective inclinations, the door is open to serious distortions of reality and to truly terrible acts, even in the name of supposed lofty ends. And there is particularly great irony, and great harm, when the attack and the distortion is done by opportunists claiming to be communists!

The new communism, which I have brought forward—putting communism on an even more consistently scientific and thoroughly emancipating basis—is firmly, fundamentally opposed to that bankrupt and dangerous approach:

The new communism thoroughly repudiates and is determined to root out of the communist movement the poisonous notion, and practice, that “the ends justifies the means.” It is a bedrock principle of the new communism that the “means” of this movement must flow from and be consistent with the fundamental “ends” of abolishing all exploitation and oppression through revolution led on a scientific basis.