On behalf of The International, Akash Chatterjee and Debojit Banerjee conducted an interview with Eddie Smith & Carlos Garrido from Midwestern Marx, an organisation that works for the working class in the United States.
Here goes the Interview.
What is your aim through your work? What do you want to preach?
Our work aims to provide political and economic education for the American working class so they can have a clear path forward for advancing their struggle. We believe that the traditional working class as theorized by Marx has largely been abandoned by the American left. The industrial workers whose labour provides the material base of all modern civilizations. It is this class in particular that we hope to reach with the revolutionary theories of Marxism.
Why did you people take such an initiative? I mean, what influenced or triggered you to take such initiative.
After graduating college Carlos L. Garrido and Eddie Liger Smith, the co-founders of our website, decided to start their news outlet, which they hoped would grow into a small printing press. After 1 year we have achieved goals of growing the site to a sustainable level and printing our first Journal: The Journal of American Socialist Studies.
Could You please tell us more about your work?
How much difficulty do you people face in your everyday work?
Carlos and Myself (Eddie) are both going through grad school right now, so we are always trying to balance our everyday work with what we have to do for the website. We also have an editorial board with 4 other writers who are extremely helpful in allowing us to divide up the workload.
The daily tasks we have to complete involve posting articles to the website, posting videos around social media, posting to YouTube, editing various articles, and of course lots of reading. We spend at least an hour each day reading theory, news, and history to ensure we at MidwesternMarx are always adding to our understandings of Marxism
In a country like the US, where strict prejudices work for the communists, please tell us about your daily experience.
Recently we had our first run-in with censorship where our Tik Tok account with 350K followers was taken down without explanation. Through contacting tik to representatives, and a mass outcry of support online, we were able to get the account reinstated.
While anti-communist crackdowns are not what they used to be in the United States, we remain very aware that what we are trying to do will draw the ire of the American ruling class. We expect further attempts to attack our project and are preparing for how to deal with these attacks when the time comes. Many older communists have told us stories from the days of the red scare in the US when communists could be hauled off to jail with little reasoning. We hope this kind of repression never returns to the United States, but we will be prepared for it if it does.
What are your aims in the future?
For now, our goals are to continue growing the website on all platforms. We have begun working on our next printing project which will be a compilation of works from our Senior Editor Thomas Riggins.
How do you people see the US imperialism and genocides?
People in the US are waking up to the crimes of US imperialism. The interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan are now viewed with disdain by most American people. One goal of our project is to show disillusioned Americans that this endless imperialism is connected to capitalism, and is carried out by the capitalist class.
Your book works on writing the alternative history of the US, could you please tell us what this alternative history is?
For us, telling an Alternative history to the US means revealing all of those throughout our history who have struggled against imperialism, capitalism, racism, and the violence they cause. Many people have been written out of American history because they chose to stand and fight against everything America has stood for since its inception. We hope to rescue these figures and highlight their struggles which have been removed from history. The same goes for figures who are taught in American history but have had their revolutionary ideas removed from American history books. We hope to reclaim these revolutionary ideas and use them to galvanize the modern American socialist movement.
How do you differentiate Democrats from republicans? Do you see any difference at all?
The recent Afghan crisis; what is your take on that?
There are small differences between Democrats and Republicans, but not major ones. Both parties are controlled entirely by corporate oligarchs. The Republicans seem to have deeper ties to weapons contractors while the Liberals have cosized up to big tech companions. Both want increased hostility with China, and neither will likely invest any of America’s resources in anything but Militarism and corporate subsidies. The Republican Party also tends to be overtly crude and often racist, while the Liberals have adopted political correctness, and prefer doing imperialism with a smiling face. Both parties have cult followers who believe those on the other side are evil. We don’t believe any kind of legitimate Marxist or socialist movement can come from either party.
The recent events in Afghanistan show the changing form of US imperialism. Democrats like Joe Biden prefer a more subtle covert form of imperialism than directly invading and occupying foreign nations. The withdrawal of ground troops in Afghanistan was followed by CIA led drone strikes throughout the country, and various covert actions by Us special forces and pentagon contractors who remained in Afghanistan after the so-called “withdrawal.” I believe that in the coming years the US empire will shift all available resources to convert targeted in China, which the US now sees as their #1 security threat by far.
For Afghanis, this change in US imperialism to a focus on drone warfare changes little. Imperialism began against the nation in the late 70s when a progressive government came to power but would be ousted with the help of the US who funnelled money and arms into the right-wing Mujahideen. The withdrawal of troops in 2021 is just another chapter in the long story of US interventionism In Afghanistan.