1. Where did you find ProleWiki from? How familiar are you with it? Comment what made you want to join ProleWiki and what areas you are interested in contributing to.
I found ProleWiki on Lemmygrad a while back (I've been lurking for quite a long time at this point, but I'm going to begin to change that). I'm pretty familiar with the project and have used it multiple times in order to educate myself and others. In regards to what I'm interested in contributing to the project, I'm not wholly set on a single topic yet, but I want to further step into the world of Turtle Island's Indigenous people's thoughts and practices and share it with everyone.
2. What current of Marxist thought do you uphold? Describe as thoroughly as needed your path towards your current political perspective.
I uphold Marxism-Leninism. My journey kicked off with the lockdowns during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Something about the isolation, mental strain, and questioning of the why of it all forced me to rethink what I considered true. I wouldn't say I fully committed at this point, but I certainly changed a lot. It wasn't until I had to quit my job in 2021 that I fully immersed myself into the readings. I very quickly became enamored with an entire world of knowledge and history that was hidden from me and I have consistently deepened my knowledge of many topics every day since.
3. Have you read our principles? Comment your agreements or objections to their points.
I have read the principles and I agree with them wholeheartedly. I would specifically like to highlight the anti-imperialism section as this is something that tends to trip people up (including me at one point), so it's incredibly important to both critically uphold these nations and educate people on why such support is necessary.
4. What is your understanding of gender? Should Marxists support the LGBT community?
Gender is a complex social construct that exists to perpetuate certain ways of thinking and being within a society. Within class society specifically, these roles are used to alienate people from themselves and others in order to oppress and exploit certain groups more than others. Marxism has always been inseparable from the gender and sexual liberation movements and failure to support the LGBT+ community either individually or collectively only serves to further this oppression and exploitation. That is why an anti-LGBT+ stance is fundamentally anti-Marxist.
5. What is your position on Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong? How would you describe their historical role? Share any comments or critiques you have regarding them.
Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong were both remarkable revolutionaries, leaders, and theorists. Their historical roles as leaders within their respective liberation movements provides us with valuable theory that can be looked upon and adapted to our specific material conditions. Both Stalin and Mao have inspired countless individuals and movements with their works and actions and will continue to do so for a very long time. My only major criticisms of Stalin was his support of Israel in its beginning and the sometimes misguided population transfers. In regards to Mao, I agree with the Communist Party of China that he made mistakes with his unrelenting class struggle that materialized in the Cultural Revolution and the Great Leap Forward. As always, even though they made mistakes, this does not mean a wholesale condemnation of them, their party, or their nation. As Deng Xiaoping said, "Chairman Mao made mistakes, yes. Nonetheless, he was one of the principal founders of the Communist Party of China and the People’s Republic of China. Thus, when we look at his merits together with his mistakes, we think that his mistakes take second place, while his merits take first. And this means that the contribution he made to the Chinese revolution cannot be forgotten and that the Chinese people will always cherish his memory; they will always think of him as one of the founders of the party and of the republic."
6. What are your thoughts on China, Vietnam, Cuba, DPRK and Laos? Do you believe any of these countries is socialist? Why or why not?
All countries in question are indeed socialist. They have all shown through their theoretical structures and practices that they uphold Marxism-Leninism along with their specific adaptations for their material conditions. China has specifically shown incredible progress in their theoretical and material landscape, providing other socialist and non-socialist nations alike a way forward that isn't capitalism. Cuba, with their internal policies sometimes being ignored by the West, is one of the most progressive nations in terms of pushing forward their ideas of gender and sexual equality, socialized healthcare systems, and self-reliance. The DPRK is a shining beacon of hope that constantly reaffirms that they are in a struggle for reunification, autonomy, and development. Unfortunately, I know much less about Vietnam and Laos, but this isn't a point of contention for me as I do support them, it's a matter of trusting the words of comrades on this topic and further educating myself on topics I don't yet have a firm grasp on. I can see, however, that the unrelenting push towards progress from all of these nations shows us clearly that they are envisioning and building a future for the entirety of humanity rather than for a select few.
7. What is settler-colonialism, are there any countries that still fit that description and what should be done regarding them?
Settler-colonialism consists of actively sending masses of people from one region to physically settle in regions that are occupied by the indigenous people of the respective area in order to create an imperial and colonial foothold there. The countries that fit this description today include the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the Zionist Entity of "Israel." The only real solution to getting rid of settler-colonial projects is decolonization, which includes the return of indigenous lands to the indigenous populations of the respective regions and self-determination in terms of politics, economy, and development on all ends.
8. What is your analysis of the situation in Palestine? What do you think of the 2023 October 7 events and the groups involved from both sides of the conflict?
The Operation Flood of Al-Aqsa is unprecedented, but not unbelievable. The Zionist Entity (and all oppressive systems) fully believe that oppression will never create resistance, which has consistently shown to be untrue, so their atrocity propaganda of the events is necessary to perpetuate the lie of "Israel" as "defending itself." The Palestinian resistance forces have shown the world the paper tiger that the Zionist Entity is even with its support from the United States and the larger West. All the Zionist Entity can do is continue their unrelenting bombing campaigns and kill more children, while all the Palestinian forces can do is struggle against it. All I can hope for is a swift end to the Zionist Entity and the return of Palestine to its people, from the river to the sea.
1. In your own words, how would you describe dialectical materialism?
Dialectical materialism is a holistic philosophical worldview that derives its principles from observable phenomena. Dialectics posits that all phenomena are in constant motion, are changing, and are in contradiction to itself and other phenomena. Materialism posits that the material world exists and is prime and that ideas are creations of the material world, not the other way around. The synthesis of these shows us that the material world is not static and unchanging as metaphysical materialists claim, and it is not consciousness-derived as idealists claim. Reality is made of material, contradicting processes that can be scientifically studied to be known.
2. What are your thoughts on national liberation or the concept of land back (either one)?
National liberation is a core concept of Marxism and revolution. Any nation under oppressive imperialist and colonial forces cannot develop (development itself is another core concept), and therefore must free itself from the clutches of said forces in order to begin a process of development through self-determination. Marxists (especially new ones in the West) sometimes struggle with this idea because it sometimes means the critical support of nations that exist under the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, but it's important to continue to highlight the progressive nature of society, meaning that societies do not simply change by decree, but must be built by degree. National liberation is but one degree in which a nation needs in order to begin its journey towards socialism and eventually communism.
3. What do you think is the most pressing issue for communists in your country? What is your opinion of communist parties there?
I live in the United States, so the most pressing issue for communists here is education, agitation, and organization. Self-proclaimed communists that live here must rid themselves of a mountain's worth of programming and propaganda to even get started, let alone successfully organize into a cohesive party or movement. The rampant individualism that exists here doesn't bode well for a lot of communists since it's sometimes invisible to us, so a lot of self-criticism and allowing others to criticize us without us turning our heads is necessary in order to effectively grow. The communist parties here still seem to be in their developmental stage and not ready to be the vanguard, but I critically support all parties and movements that work to move forward on the road to liberation. It's still important to criticize them as necessary, and it's often necessary since, as I said, it seems to me like they're still in their developmental stages.
4. What is Imperialism and how do institutions and programs like the IMF, Belt and Road Initiative, and the World Bank relate to it?
Imperialism is capitalism's dying breath, clawing its way to other parts of the world in order to sustain itself, or, as Vladimir Lenin called it, "moribund capitalism." This is also another reason that national liberation is paramount, since it breaks a chain of the imperialist system, further weakening it. The institutions listed vary in their purpose, where the IMF and the World Bank are controlled by Western imperialist nations as a way to perpetuate their own imperialism. On the other hand, the Belt and Road Initiative is a multi-national developmental project initiated by China as a way to connect much of the world politically, economically, and culturally. One strand is imperial, colonial, and neo-colonial, whereas the other strand is developmental, connection-minded, and anti-imperial.
5. Have you read works from Marxists, pertaining but not limited to those from historical or existing socialist states? Please note some that stood out to you and what contributions to Marxist thought that they added and why you liked them.
I have read many works from Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, and many others. These four, however, have contributed immensely to Marxism and deserve highlight. Lenin wrote on many, many topics, but I believe his theory of imperialism in "Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism" was his most important. Stalin, I think, should be most known for his answering of the national question in "Marxism and the National Question." Mao was an amazing writer in his own right, and I think his writings on dialectical materialism are masterpieces as they are still widely known today as some of the best information on contradiction in his "On Contradiction" and on epistemology in his "On Practice." Deng was less of a writer, but he still gave China and the rest of the world immense insight on economic development with works such as "Building a Socialism With a Specifically Chinese Character" and "We Can Develop A Market Economy Under Socialism."
1. Do you have any comments or feedback about this application process? We will use it to improve the process.
I really like the idea of asking about ongoing and developing events, like the 2023 October 7 events in Palestine. Doing more of this in the future would be, I think, very beneficial to the project in recruiting comrades for these important tasks of disseminating and highlighting important and pertinent information that some people may be confused about at first.
2. Do you have familiarity or skill with any programming languages or MediaWiki?
I do have past familiarity with a couple of programming languages, but I have fallen out of learning them and have mostly lost what I knew. I do not currently have plans to reintroduce myself to these skills, but that, of course, may change in the future.