Perhaps nothing elicits more disagreement and debate among Marxists and other left activists than a discussion about the media. There is no doubt that the mass media is omnipresent, mediating every aspect of our lives. How one relates to and interprets the world is largely coloured by how the media informs us. The disconnect between what is happening on the ground, and how it is reported in the media becomes even more clear during periods in which workers and youth engage in mass struggle. Excluding those directly participating in the Occupy movement, the public at large was presented with a somewhat distorted picture of what was happening on the ground.
Since ancient times, homosexuality has been documented amongst humans. Despite this, there is considerable debate, even amongst Marxists, as to whether homosexuality is a lifestyle choice or the product of genetics or a combination of both. While many Marxist groups have come out in favour of supporting gay rights, Stalinists condemned homosexuality for decades as a bourgeoisie perversion and in most countries where the Stalinists seized power homosexuality was banned.
Another variation on the demand to “tax the rich” is the call for a tax on financial transactions, otherwise known as a “Financial Transactions Tax” (FTT), “Tobin Tax” (after the Nobel economics laureate, James Tobin, who first proposed the idea in 1972), or “Robin Hood Tax” (i.e. taking from the rich and giving to the poor).
The present economic crisis has been described in various ways by mainstream commentators. All manner of “solutions” have been posed, both by the bourgeois politicians and economists, and by the reformist leaderships of the working class. What these commentators and representatives cannot admit is that this crisis will not be solved by this or that reform. Society is living through a crisis of capitalism and the choice facing mankind is simple: socialism or barbarism.