Action & Analysis: Missing the point of human collaboration to transcend capitalism

Hamid Assian

Summary: Based on an intervention at a Los Angeles International Marxist-Humanist Organization meeting in response to the argument that immediate action was more important than theoretical reflection — Editors

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More often than not, I hear this debate in forums and meetings of varying political or activism focus:

“We need to act NOW!!” opposing “We must understand and analyze the system BEFORE we act!”

This debate is especially dominant because of the very real urgency of now imposed upon the planet by the increasing state of violent climate change and the increasingly volatile, inequitable and unstable socioeconomic-political system humans choose to, unconsciously or consciously, apply to ourselves and our biosphere.

As a Marxist who has worked for non-profits (becoming aware of both the effectiveness and impotence of such an organization) and has been on the front line of many issues such as the Trans-Pacific Pipeline, net neutrality, Gaza, Black Lives Matter, the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak in Porter Ranch, CA, etc., there is a concerning division in the philosophies to implement a transcendence of capitalism.

Human being, or should I say, being human and the development of human consciousness requires both action & analysis.

Ego-driven human dysfunction is the source of humanity’s struggle to reach a collective, a “socialism,” and to create a truly empathetic, compassionate state of democracy for all. It is the source of hierarchical division inherently manifesting divisions of otherness within our social systems.

Action without a deep, scientific and systemic (both abstract socioeconomic- politics and material biosphere) analysis is precisely why humans, humanity and the biosphere are in a state of multiple crises. The majority of humans do not even have the time to step out of their ego-driven and fear-based survival to see the contradictions we have created for our own existence.

And analysis without action is a stagnant death of human relations to what I view as ourselves: the biosphere and the universe at large.

Ego-driven human dysfunction is also the very driving force where our brothers and sisters become divided within this debate of Action vs. Analysis.

Throughout human existence, the only way we have survived and, for some, thrived, has been this ebb & flow of analysis and action. The very trial and error of picking different berries and finding out which were edible and which were poisonous has this embedded in human consciousness, human interaction and our environment.

We must then let go of our egos and embrace both the internal and external manifestations of our consciousness in our struggle to bring about a Marxist and humanist socioeconomic-political society to the forefront of humanity. We must analyze, study and then apply in action as we are in a state of continuous evolution and always will be.

Analysis of our socioeconomic-political system, especially new analysis from experience and observation, will be more fulfilling and creative as an analytical conduit of human conscious synthesis and evolution if it is put into action. Again, actions will fail and succeed. It will resonate and dissonate. It will inform, reinvent and resynthesize the analysis to become more coherent with a humanist perspective manifested in our socioeconomic-political systems — our underling relationships with ourselves as a species, a planet and a universe. We are all these simultaneously as we are both the analysis and the action. The two unconditionally and continuously inform the other.

I implore any Marxist or activist or empathetic, compassionate human being seeking to create systemic change to understand the need for both Action & Analysis.


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  1. Mia Carlsen

    Thank you Hamid. What you are writing is extremely important at the present moment of the development of capitalism. We need to understand the dialectical relationship between theory and practice. With the strong position of neoliberalism there is a need to take seriously the issue of organization and how to organize,as well. To connect as a collective is extremely difficult these days. But with discussions as the one you put forward, we will all be able to improve. With solidarity, Mia