The Spirit of Internationalism

  • Describing the selflessness and heroism of Norman Bethune, the Canadian doctor who lost his life in service to the cause of the Chinese people’s war of national liberation, Mao Tse-tung asked, “What kind of spirit is this that makes a foreigner selflessly adopt the cause of the Chinese people’s liberation as his own? It is the spirit of internationalism, the spirit of communism.” (1967, p337)
  • Lenin adjured us that the obstacles facing us as we attempt to create a new world may seem daunting, but in the face of them, “We have an advantage over the enemy. We have a magic weapon — the masses of the people are on our side.” This is an expression of faith (a spiritual pronouncement) which has been born out in real life. As the Narcotics Anonymous Basic Text insists, “If it’s not practical, it’s not spiritual.”
  • When Ho Chi Minh was in prison for the crime of being a communist revolutionary he taught,
  • One of the most famous spiritual postulates known world-wide to be espoused by a leader of the international working class was Che Guevara’s when he said, “Let me say at the risk of sounding ridiculous, that a revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love.” Love is a spiritual sentiment… In Che’s Man and Socialism (1965) he explains in detail why socialism requires a “new man,” of higher quality than the human living in class society.
  • On that note Jean Paul Sartre, in his outstanding introduction to Franz Fanon’s panegyric to the people’s liberation movement (Wretched of the Earth, 1964) explains the difference between the spirit of the oppressor class and that of the oppressed when he effused,
  • When Mao Tse-tung makes the declarations “The universe is in great order,” and “The future is bright, the road is tortuous,” he is expressing faith — a sentiment basic to all spiritual dispositions.
  • Similarly, when Lenin adjures us that “We have fought better than our forebears; our children will fight better than we do. They will surely win…” he is expressing faith in the people’s cause, he is expressing the spirit of confidence in the ultimate victory of humanity over evil. (Lenin, 1913)

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