A Beginner's Guide to Overthrowing Capitalism

[Cheerful trumpet music] Hello The film you are about to see will introduce you to the basic concepts of revolution You will learn why revolution is necessary in order to dismantle capitalism; the different forms that revolution can take; and just some of the tactics and strategies that are available to the modern-day revolutionary communist By the end of the film, we hope that you will be prepared to begin participating in revolutionary activity yourself Revolution is serious business [Softly bangs fist] And it requires serious study and consideration But after you have familiarized yourself with the concepts which we are about to present, we trust that you will be well on your way to waging revolution against the tyranny of capitalist oppression, which grips us all [Calm cheerful music] If you’re a communist, you are well aware that capitalism must be dismantled But how do we go about it? This question has been debated for almost two centuries even before Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels wrote the Communist Manifesto way back in 1848 There are those who say that the best way to do away with capitalism is gradually, over time, through reform By voting for anti-capitalist candidates and working through the legislative process, communists can slowly but surely implement laws and regulations that weaken capitalism and strengthen the working class At least in theory One of the first and most prominent communist reformists was Eduard Bernstein, a German social democratic politician who was wrong about everything! [Buzzer sound] Reformism dictates that the most pragmatic approach to fighting capitalism is to work within the existing political systems of the state through election, legislation, and other legal measures Reformists are skeptical that revolution is even achievable at all in the real world, and they see revolution as an unrealistic and unachievable fantasy Now don’t get us wrong: reformist activity is unquestionably important! Voting and participating in existing political systems can do a lot of good for the working class and other vulnerable groups Introducing and passing laws and fielding leftist candidates can lead to a wide range of benefits Including: Keeping reactionaries out of office And it is important to oppose political candidates who would make life worse for vulnerable people [Buzzer sound] Alleviating the suffering of the oppressed Legal reforms that protect vulnerable people from harm and improve their living conditions are unquestionably worth fighting for Creating better conditions for revolution! When working people have better living conditions, they are better able to participate in revolutionary activity and successful socialist-oriented policies can demonstrate the merits of socialism to the masses Organizing the working class and other vulnerable groups through trade unions and other such groups which creates tremendous opportunities for building class consciousness For all these reasons and more, even revolutionaries should participate in reformist action Revolutionaries must strive for tactical unity with reformist minded communists, and yes, even with liberals, to improve our position and to reduce the suffering of vulnerable people as much as possible However, reform is also not enough Marx and Engels touched on reformist socialism when they discussed bourgeois socialism in the communist manifesto, writing: “this form of socialism by no means understands abolition of the bourgeois relations of production, an abolition that can be effected only by a revolution, but administrative reforms, based on the continued existence of these relations; reforms, therefore, that in no respect affect the relations between capital and labor.” In other words, Marx and Engels knew that some capitalists sought to convince workers that reform was a better solution than revolution so that they could preserve their own power over society and the subjugation of the working class Rosa Luxemburg further elaborated on the need for revolution in her 1899 pamphlet Social Reform or Revolution “Reformists do not really choose a more tranquil, calmer and slower road to the same goal, but a different goal Our program becomes not the realization of socialism, but the reform of capitalism; not the suppression of the wage labor system but the diminution of exploitation, that is, the suppression of the abuses of capitalism instead of suppression of capitalism itself.” Luxemburg did not dismiss reformist activity out of hand, she believed that working within capitalist democratic systems was vital for building class consciousness

and creating better conditions for the revolution But Rosa knew that the only way to do away with the brutal system of capitalism once and for all, was to dismantle it completely which calls for revolution [Triumphant trumpets] What is revolution? Revolution is, quite simply, the replacement of one system with another system entirely Where reform seeks to alter and change a system in order to improve it, revolution relies on abandoning a system entirely to erect a new one in its place Think of your car’s engine: if your car won’t start hopefully it’s just a small problem A bad sparkplug, a loose belt, that sort of thing If the engine is in good shape except for a bad part here or there, your mechanic can reform the engine by replacing the broken part with a new one But what if it’s a major problem? What if the engine is in such bad shape that it would be more time-consuming and expensive to fix it part by part? Sometimes it’s a better option to just replace the entire engine or maybe even call it a loss, sell the car for scrap and buy a new one This would be a revolutionary action: replacing the old system with a new one Revolution! Some systems are so inherently flawed and poorly designed that they require replacement This was certainly the case with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7! A major flaw in the design meant that the battery might explode at any time! Swapping out the battery wouldn’t help, factory servicing could do nothing There was no amount of tinkering that would fix the problem If you didn’t want your phone to explode your only option was to replace your note 7 with a completely different model A clear case for revolution! [Parsh british accent] Now admittedly an automobile or a cellular phone is a good bit less complex than human society However these examples do demonstrate that reforming a system is only a viable long-term solution when the system itself is adequately designed A system can only be reformed if it is worthy of reform! If a system is inherently unfair, if power is distributed unevenly, if performance potential is severely curtailed, then revolution becomes the only viable long-term solution Capitalism is an inherently and irredeemably flawed system As we can see from the incredible wealth disparity that exists in capitalist states around the world, power is not distributed evenly enough for the workers of the world to have any hope of dismantling capitalism through reform The only way to completely topple this unjust and self-preserving system is through revolution But how do we have a revolution in a capitalist state where the government has nearly limitless power? How can a small group of revolutionaries ever hope to challenge the globe-spanning empires of exploitation which exist under capitalism? It does seem daunting! However, let’s not get ahead of ourselves: before we decide how we’ll be overthrowing capitalism, let us first take a look at some of our options Revolutionary Classification When you think of leftist revolution perhaps you think of angry workers wearing masks and clashing with police in the streets, or maybe you think of guerrillas in the jungle with AK47s These are certainly examples of revolutionary activity but they are certainly not our only options Violent armed conflict is but one of many ways of dismantling capitalism and for most leftists in most places around the world today, it is very unlikely to be the most viable path to revolution We shall now familiarize you with the options you have available for revolutionary activity This will be an overview of the fundamentals of each classification If you’re interested in learning more about any of the strategies and tactics outlined below, links will be provided in the description of this video for further reading and study Now, let’s get things sorted! [Video game music] Spontaneous Revolution These days most notable examples of revolution are spontaneous in nature Revolutions arise spontaneously out of desperation and frustration with material conditions and with little to no prior planning and coordination Importantly spontaneous revolutions tend to lack clear goals, objectives and coherent direction which severely curtail the effectiveness of spontaneous revolution In some cases spontaneous action blurs the lines between revolutionary and reformist activity Especially since, again, most spontaneous actions have incoherent goals Whether a spontaneous action seeks revolution or reform is often unclear The driving force behind spontaneous activity is frustration, anger and a demand for change Even if the activists aren’t sure or don’t agree with each other about what that change should look like And as a side note,

spontaneous reformist action can be very effective for achieving limited reformist goals Spontaneous actions are more likely to be victorious when they seek out reform measures that are more limited in scope Successfully achieving such limited smaller scale reformist change ambitions requires significantly less coordination and planning And so most successful spontaneous actions seek limited reforms Trade union worker strikes are a small-scale example of spontaneous reformist activity Usually, strikes and worker demonstrations arise when disputes between unions and employers come to an impasse Union workers strike spontaneously, but with very specific and focused reform demands which make them much more likely to succeed Spontaneous protests in political demonstrations are much more likely to achieve results when they have specific objectives of reform Demonstration campaigns to repeal or pass specific laws for example can be very useful for achieving specific reformist aims Spontaneous revolution on the other hand is far less likely to have clear and decisive results Here are just a few recent examples of what might be described as spontaneous revolutionary activity: The Occupy movement was a spontaneous effort against capitalist corruption and oligarchy that began on Wall Street in New York City [Triumphant music] Activists around the world were suddenly inspired to spontaneously erect similar movements in their own cities The occupation of physical space by protesters for months on end was a powerful and highly visible symbol of frustration with the failures of capitalism And it had tremendous impact in terms of anti-capitalist propaganda and building class consciousness among workers of many nations However, occupy ultimately came to an end with demonstrable social impact, but without any concrete revolutionary success, and only limited influence on systemic reform [People shouting in Arabic] The Arab Spring was a series of spontaneous movements in northern Africa and West Asia With major events occurring in more than half a dozen nations protests began, initially, in Tunisia and spread throughout the region Some of these movements erupted into armed conflict and violent revolution, and in some countries these movements have continued on in struggle to this day The spontaneous nature and uncoordinated demands of these uprisings led to results which were mixed at best In Egypt a power vacuum led to a military coup and as of now the country remains under virtual dictatorship, under military strongman Abdel al Sisi Tunisia the birthplace of the Arab Spring has managed to establish a relatively stable democracy But most of the other Arab Spring movements were either suppressed or continue on with uncertain futures The yellow vest movement started spontaneously in France last year as a result of rising fuel prices, cost-of-living increases and changes in taxation which combine to place heavy financial burden on working people The yellow vest movement has since spread far and wide with similar demonstrations being held around the world To date these movements remain relatively incoherent in terms of ideological platform and demands, though they have been successful in gaining attention for the frustration of the workers of the world and the failure of capitalism to provide workable solutions to these problems Analyzing these kinds of spontaneous movements leads us to varying conclusions A spontaneous action can be very useful in seeking reform if they are well coordinated and organized, backed with coherent ideology and with specific achievable goals in mind The spontaneous armed revolutions that are not grounded in coherent ideology are highly likely to lead to power vacuums and harsh reactions from the state and the military Spontaneous movements can be very useful for building class consciousness by showing workers the power of unified action! Rosa Luxemburg saw spontaneous action as vital for paving the way for more organized revolution “The working class in every country only learned to fight in the course of their struggles Socialism seeks and finds the ways and particular slogans of the workers struggle only in the course of the development of this struggle, and gains directions for the way forward through this struggle alone.” Even Vladimir Lenin who was strongly opposed to spontaneous revolution, admitted that the spontaneous activity of trade unions could build class consciousness in so much as such activity inspired the conviction that it is necessary to combine in unions, fight the employers, and strive to compel the government to pass necessary labor legislation, et cetera And so it is clear that focused and reformist-minded spontaneous action can build class consciousness serve as useful propaganda, and otherwise make way for successful revolution

However, spontaneous revolution is unlikely to ever bring about permanent, lasting, dismantling of state capitalism Which is why each and every comrade must understand [Nasal voice & american accent] Scientific Revolution! Capitalism is a scientific form of oppression What we mean by this is that capitalist elites have devoted trillions of dollars over nearly 3 centuries and pushed some of the most brilliant minds in the world to develop methods and institutions which build and maintain power over the workers of the world Capitalist states field militaries police forces and intelligence agencies to violently enforce capitalist authority State and corporate media outlets constitute potent propaganda factories which inundate the world with sophisticated communication campaigns which reinforce capitalist hegemony Think tanks and lobbying groups and other powerful institutions spend vast fortunes developing programs to scientifically further the interests of capitalist power brokers Well, whether these capitalist systems of oppression are toppling socialist movements in developing nations, vis à vis the CIA, torturing vulnerable people for profit in privately owned and operated prisons, or pushing capitalist agendas through corporate media empires, the results are the same: scientific oppression The architects of scientific oppression are experienced and well versed in undermining and oppressing the opposition to the capitalist order Spontaneous and uncoordinated revolutionaries might have some limited success in achieving short-term reforms every now and then, but any uncoordinated attempt to dismantle the scientific oppression of capitalism is doomed to failure, suppression and violent counter-attack This is why we must turn to scientific revolution! Only a well coordinated and organized scientific revolutionary movement can have any hope for resisting, and ultimately dismantling, scientific oppression Historically scientific revolution has been the domain of Marxist-Leninists, Maoists and so on, but we here at the Breadville Institute of Communism believe that all leftists, including anarchists, would benefit tremendously from taking a scientific approach to revolution We must analyze the scientific oppression we endure from every angle! Seek out and exploit opportunities and use scientific methods of trial and error and evaluation to refine our efforts and constantly improve our techniques The scientific oppression can be scary: our enemies have vast resources and deep experience in the suppression of revolutionary movements like ours, but take heart comrads! The workers of the world can rapidly improve our circumstances and build a viable platform of revolution through science! This tastes terrible! Now all that said, let’s now examine some viable, nonviolent strategies that we leftists have for advancing a revolution Now all these techniques require hard work, scientific methodology, and a significant amount of time, but if we’re willing to put in the years of hard work and sacrifice it’ll take, we can have hope for dismantling capitalism, and building a better world Speaking a better world building, I wrote this song about building a better world, it goes something like this: [Begins singing] Luna [off camera]: I told you no guitar today! But I wrote a song for the video I thought it would make the video a little bit– Off camera: No, sorry! No, no, no More snappy and appealing, no? All right. Well– [Beep] Militant Unionism and Organisation Anarcho-syndicalism is arguably the oldest and most established anarchist framework for scientific revolution Anarcho-syndicalists call for organizing workers of all trades into workers syndicates and general unions These militant unions differ from mainstream trade unions in some fundamental ways: While trade unions exist to improve worker conditions and to facilitate collective bargaining within a particular trade, militant unions unite workers of all professions with the ultimate goal of ending wage slavery and allowing workers to overthrow capitalism and control their own labor directly and democratically. And that sounds pretty far-out if you ask me! Now the largest militant Union today is the IWW, or the Industrial Workers of the World And militant unions like the IWW train workers around the world in organizing and resisting capitalist oppression A potential weapon of anarcho-syndicalist militant unionism that could have far-reaching revolutionary impact is the general strike The general idea of the general strike is that if enough workers are organized into cohesive militant unions, then all workers could simultaneously go on a general strike together, at the same time!

Delivering a crushing blow against capitalism by cutting off the flow of profits into the pockets of capitalist elites That would help us build a better world Speaking of building a better world uh, I did want to share one little thing with you ♪ If we buiiild a beetter… ♪ Luna [off camera]: Hey, I told you no guitar today! You really– you don’t want to hear the song? – Off camera: No guitar, sorry – You don’t just want to hear first and make decision– Okay. Alright, this’ cool man. All right Uhm [Short beep] Organizing workers and militant unions together will have some immediate short-term benefits as well Such as elevating class consciousness, and training workers in the tradecraft of collective bargaining, and otherwise resisting capitalism I mean imagine if just 10% of all the workers in a major city all went on strike simultaneously, man! These kinds of actions could have significant impact on showing the strength and importance of the working class, *and* building class consciousness You know leftists must also consider other forms of militant organization Things like disability unions, prisoner unions, consumer unions, tenant unions, and other types of unions would go a looong way in building collective strength for vulnerable people One of the first priorities of any revolution-minded leftist organization must be to organize Direct Action Direct action is revolutionary activity intended to accomplish political goals without the aid or intervention of any third party Examples of direct action include occupying physical spaces, sit-ins, boycotts, demonstrations, disrupting reactionary events and institutions, hacktivism, all kinds of stuff! It’s a pretty wild man! You know direct action has been used by activists ranging from the suffragettes, to the American civil rights movement, to Gandhi’s independence movement to great effect throughout modern history Through scientifically composed and democratically organized direct action activity, revolutionaries can accomplish goals rapidly and build class consciousness by demonstrating the power of the working class Direct action also shows that anti-capitalist progress can be made outside of electoral politics And successful direct action campaigns prove that the working class can lead itself and get things done without the aid of elected officials and outside of the restrictive and capitalist dominated state electoral apparatus Now, let’s talk about dual power structures A dual power structure is an institution or a program that exists outside of the system of the capitalist state and corporate hegemony Dual power structures are built and operated directly by the working class to serve the community and advance the revolution Dual power structures include things like anarchists food programs like Food Not Bombs, neighborhood service groups that fill in potholes and fix houses and help people in need, public health service providers like needle exchanges and community directed drug rehab programs, legal service centers who help immigrants and activists and so on! The dual power structure served revolution in a variety of ways They support people in need, including vulnerable and at-risk segments of society And they provide relief to workers so that they’re better able to serve the revolution They provide desperately needed services to the community, which the capitalist state would never provide, man! They serve the revolution directly by providing logistic, legal and material support to comrades in need They are powerful for building class consciousness and demonstrating to the masses that we all need to rely on no capitalist state to build and maintain our communities As the revolution develops, dual power structures may even supplant the state entirely in time, and allow for a smoother and more peaceful transition of power from capitalist elites to the working class That’s you and me, brother! “When the Party says “power to the people’, we ain’t jiving a pound! we say power to the people!” Community defense operations involve protecting vulnerable people and activists who are threatened by fascists and state violence The most prominent example of community defense groups today might be the various anti-fascist groups which show up to protect activists and vulnerable people from fascists and the police at political demonstrations But there are many other examples of revolutionary community defense Throughout history, anywhere working people have been violently suppressed, community defense organizations have sprung up to protect them During the civil rights era the Black Panthers famously took to the streets with firearms and law books on community patrols and cop-watch outings They followed the police in predominantly black neighborhoods in Oakland, Chicago,

and other major cities They made sure that the cops didn’t harass or unjustly arrest vulnerable community members The Black Panthers were so successful at this organization that prominent conservatives and even firearms rights groups like the NRA were forced to push through restrictive gun laws and other legislation so they could reduce the capacity for the Black Panthers to defend communities Today groups like Redneck Revolt, the John Brown Gun Club, the Socialist Rifle Association, Pink Pistols and countless others have formed and armed vulnerable people for self and community defense Community defense organization may not be for everybody and I get that, man And of course firearms aren’t even available in all nations, but as our revolution develops, we can be assured that the capitalist police states and fascist thugs will become increasingly violent against our movement and we must be prepared to defend ourselves from reactionary violence That brings us to mass line Mass lines’s a concept that was pioneered by Mao Zedong during the Communist revolution in China But it’s since been adopted and put into practice by a wide variety of communists and anarchists in a variety of political environments The central idea of mass line is to connect the revolution with the masses as directly as possible Mass line strategy involves building a feedback loop between revolutionary activists and the public at large Mass line is sometimes likened to a factory A political factory where the raw materials are ideas that are fielded from the masses These ideas are refined and developed by revolutionaries with as much involvement from the public as possible And that way they are used to produce a final product in the form of political activity And we as revolutionaries should be mass-line-minded at all times In our daily lives, we can poll our fellow working people, ask them what issues are most important to them, ask them what changes they’d like to see, and ask them what services are lacking in the community and use these ideas to develop political programs that’ll easily garner popular support Mass line can be as simple as talking to your co-workers, your family and friends about the issues they’re facing But it can become much more sophisticated Organized revolutionaries can call public meetings, go to places where people naturally gather like malls and public parks, and field ideas and hold discussions Develop the ideas that are gathered from the public into workable plans and then put those ideas right into action man..! Mass lines are a flexible and powerful way to build class consciousness, give the public at large a better sense of connection with politics, and collect victories that will build support for the revolutionary movement So listen comrades, before we can have any reasonable hope for implementing decisive revolution, we gotta strive to have the people on our side, baby! We gotta socialize people to believe that revolution’s not only possible, but absolutely necessary, daddio And mass line is one of the quickest and most powerful ways to connect our groovy movement to the wider society And accelerate that revolution so we can build a better world ♪ if we wanna build a b– Luna [off camera]: Hey, no guitar! Come on, man. I got the microphone on, just let me sing a little bit. I got, you know, we got the cameras rolling, it’ll be good and… [intelligible] [Starts singing again] Luna: Cut!! [European accent] Agitation is activity that focuses the public on one important subject by emphasizing a major contradiction surrounding that subject Agitation is intended to take note of injustice and to build a sense of a righteous anger at the oppression we face Propaganda is scientifically developed persuasive communication Now propaganda is not inherently misleading or dishonest, contrary to popular belief, though it can be And of course capitalists often distort the truth to advertise products and diminish class consciousness and suppress revolutionary activity via propaganda Communist revolutionary propaganda on the other hand, must be rooted firmly in the truth Our revolution would benefit the vast majority of society, and so the truth is on our side! We must develop agitation and propaganda programs that educate the public, eradicate popular misconceptions about socialism, and advance the revolutionary cause Now as we all know, YouTube and other social media platforms have become notorious for facilitating fascist and reactionary propaganda But fortunately in the past couple of years the left has built strong propaganda outlets of our own on YouTube and these other social media outlets Agitation and propaganda must be intensely developed and propagated to build support for our movement and to dispel the lies presented by fascist and capitalist propaganda

The war we wage against capitalism is more than anything a war of ideas! And communicating our ideas sharply and persuasively should be a priority for all leftists! The working class revolution has precious little time for study and yet! Nevertheless, time must be found for study and to teach our comrades what we have learned Every revolutionary organization should put as much emphasis as possible on training and teaching members revolutionary theory and tradecraft! Fortunately today we have a wide variety of ways to study and teach these concepts! There are thousands of videos on communist ideology, strategy and methodology which can be quickly consumed and easily shared Workshops and classes must be set up whenever and wherever possible If you have an ability to teach and communicate, you should consider teaching or running a class or a workshop for your comrades The work of revolution is complex and ever advancing and so, the more time we dedicate to education, the greater our chances for glorious victory! No, where’s that carrots that’s gonna talk next? Tactical Unity No matter your ideology, you must look for opportunities to work with other groups to achieve goals that will advance our revolution Marxist-Leninists and anarchists must overcome our differences and lend support to one another as fully and openly as possible We must share information and lend a hand on each other’s projects with an eye towards revolution Revolutionary communists must also work with reformists, and, yes, even the Liberals to push forward candidates, legislation and other vehicles that will aid at risk and vulnerable people and better prepare society for our revolution Tactical unity won’t just further our objectives, it will also give us much-needed opportunities to work with those who disagree with us, which presents wonderful opportunities for good-faith debate and discussion so that we might learn from one another and hopefully win over non-revolutionaries to our side One of the best ways to convince someone to join the revolution, is by working together with them on a project you both care about Coordination of Tactics and Strategy All of these methods of revolution are powerful, but none of them will independently lead to revolution Our scientific revolution must combine our efforts into a strategically cohesive movement so that different activities reinforce each other For instance: striking workers will need the resources of dual power structures to feed and clothe and shelter themselves while they are off work They will need the strength of community defense organizations to defend them from reactionary violence They will need to use mass line tactics and agitation and propaganda programs to win over public support for the strike Coordinated direct action campaigns can lend strength to the strike and apply even more pressure to employers Having a deeper understanding and wider experience of all of these revolutionary strategies and tactics will make you better able to find opportunities to combine efforts and scientifically refine your revolutionary activity We must always be refining and improving our movement If enough of us arm ourselves with the knowledge of revolutionary tradecraft, we can change the world! Plant the seeds today and nurture them and they *will* grow This is only the beginning of a long journey of revolution, but we can, we must reach our destination! Now that you are armed with a basic understanding of communist revolution, we hope you will begin to put these ideas into practice Find a local organization dedicated to dismantling capitalism! You may find comrades and organizations such as the IWW, Earth Strike or the DSA Or you may have to form a group of your own If you are interested in forming your own anarcho-communist organization, you may want to watch our film Anarchist Organization Methodology and You You will find links to this and various other resources in the description of this film Workers of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains How did that sound? Did that– did that sound okay? Glue: Woah, well that sounded great, professor Carrot Pr C: Oh, well thank you G: Yeah sounded great, yeah G: Y-you smell great too! Pr C: Oh, um, thank you. I guess I’ll just be going G: And you look Pr C: Oh don’t, don’t say it, Glue G: Delicious!! Pr C: Oh get away Glue, no, go away! Oh boy, don’t eat me oohh!! G: Get back here! I just want to chew on your yummy-looking face for a little while! Luna: God damn, Glue, not again! G: Oh I’m sorry, Luna, I’m just so [Glue and Pr Carrot shout in the background] Oh my Goood [Glue and Pr Carrot keep shouting and breaking stuff in the background] Stop it, he’s not a carrot! [American 50s type narration] So naturally, if labor costs go up, prices go up, simple arithmetic Well, let’s take a look at the miner for a concrete example Miners average 65 dollars a week for working underground, daily risking their lives as in the Centralia disaster

111 dead For this kind of work the miners got an increase of 1 dollar and 20 cents a day Now, let’s see what happened to this increase under big business manipulation The cost of the increase for coal produced was 40 cents per ton For these three tons, the coal companies increase their prices by $4.50 Three tons of coal make two tons of steel The steel companies increased their prices on two tons by as much as $20 Two tons of steel are used in the average car Auto companies increased their prices by as much as $100 Big business doesn’t know how to add, it only learned the multiplication table No wonder prices go up