Dictionary of Revolutionary Marxism

—   Coa - Col   —

Short for Combat Battalion for Resolute Action. This is yet another Indian government paramilitary force attempting to suppress the
Naxalites (Maoist revolutionaries).


“The state is a sphere of coercion. It would be madness to renounce coercion, especially in the epoch of the dictatorship of the proletariat...” —Lenin, “Once Again on the Trade Unions, the Current Situation and the Mistakes of Trotsky and Bukharin” (Jan. 25, 1921), LCW 32:97-98.

CODE SWITCHING   [Linguistics]
Varying your use of language when speaking to different types of people, or in different situations, or on different topics, etc.

Internal psychological conflict which arises from incongruous ideas and beliefs held simultaneously. Thus the confusion which results from holding incompatible or incoherent ideas.
        Cognitive dissonance often develops for a period after someone initially changes their mind about some one important idea. For example, if a religious person abandons their irrational belief in God, they might for a time be confused about morality (assuming they previously thought that God’s word was the source of moral principles). Making one change in a person’s ideas often leads to a necessary cascade of further related changes, as the person switches from one general outlook to another, and tries to develop a new coherent overall worldview. Anybody who learns to seriously think at all has to go through this sort of thing. Thinking necessarily involves periods of confusion that take time and further thought and/or investigation to clear up.

[To be added...]

[In ethics:] The first big division among all the various ethical theories that have been developed over the centuries is between cognitivism and
non-cognitivism. Cognitivism holds that moral judgments are meaningful, and that they are either true or false. Non-cognitivism, incredibly, denies these facts! MLM Class Interest Ethics is of course a cognitive ethical theory. Thus we say a sentence such as “The U.S. imperialist war against Iraq is wrong!” is both clearly meaningful, and definitely true!

A secret program within the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the U.S. federal government to frame revolutionaries for crimes they didn’t commit, foment suspicions and conflict within revolutionary and radical groups, and blacken the reputations of revolutionaries with all sorts of false accusations and rumors. Although this sort of thing has gone on at one level or another within the government for well over a century and continues to happen today, the official COINTELPRO program ran from 1956 to 1971.

COINTELPRO (an acronym for Counter Intelligence Program) was a series of covert, and often illegal, projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) aimed at investigating and disrupting dissident political organizations within the United States. The FBI used covert operations from its inception, however formal COINTELPRO operations took place between 1956 and 1971. The FBI’s stated motivation at the time was “protecting national security, preventing violence, and maintaining the existing social and political order.”
         According to FBI records, 85% of COINTELPRO resources were expended on infiltrating, disrupting, marginalizing, and/or subverting groups suspected of being subversive, such as communist and socialist organizations; the women’s rights movement; militant black nationalist groups, and the non-violent civil rights movement, including individuals such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and others associated with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Congress of Racial Equality, the American Indian Movement, and other civil rights groups; a broad range of organizations labeled “New Left”, including Students for a Democratic Society, the National Lawyers Guild, the Weathermen, almost all groups protesting the Vietnam War, and even individual student demonstrators with no group affiliation; and nationalist groups such as those “seeking independence for Puerto Rico.” The other 15% of COINTELPRO resources were expended to marginalize and subvert “white hate groups,” including the Ku Klux Klan and National States’ Rights Party.
         The directives governing COINTELPRO were issued by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, who ordered FBI agents to “expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize” the activities of these movements and their leaders. [From the Wikipedia entry on COINTELPRO.]

See also: GERONIMO PRATT,   RAINBOW COALITION,   and COINTELPRO: FBI’s War on Black America (1989) [high quality 50 min. documentary video by Denis Mueller & Deb Ellis (no longer available on the Internet as far as we know)].

The long post-World War II contention between United States imperialism (and its bloc) and the Soviet Union (and its bloc). This contention came very close to becoming an inter-imperialist nuclear war at several points, most notably during the
Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962. But fortunately (and rather surprisingly!), all-out war did not happen. The contention was fierce, however, and involved a number of “proxy wars” by each side against the other, an enormous military arms race, major economic struggle, and so forth. During the first period (up until the mid-1950s), the Soviet Union was still a socialist country—though one with many serious defects—and from then on the Soviet Union was a social-imperialist country (i.e., socialist in name only, but capitalist-imperialist in actual fact). Thus most of the Cold War was an inter-imperialist contention between the two capitalist superpowers armed to the teeth. Humanity was lucky to have survived it!
        [More to be added... ]

A type of financial security often composed of the riskier portions of mortgage-backed securities; i.e., a share in a package of bonds or mortgages which is most often created in order to hide the high-risk nature of these particular bonds or mortgages. Since the risks of the underlying debt are hidden from view, both credit rating agencies and investors can be fooled into treating these CDOs as more conservative and valuable investments than they really are. The financial institutions issuing the CDOs can therefore trick unsuspecting (but greedy) investors into buying very risky debt by promising high interest rates. Thus even in their actual purpose, CDOs are yet another form of capitalist financial fraud.
        See also:

“COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY” (In the Russian Village Commune)
VILLAGE COMMUNE—Collective Responsibility In

1. Living and working together as a group (as opposed to
2. An ethical theory based on the collective interests of groups of people (such as classes), rather than on the separate interests of individuals.


COLONY [Imperialist]
A country or territory owned, controlled and economically exploited by the ruling class of another (
imperialist) country. In the early period of capitalist-imperialism (from the late 19th century up until World War II), the possession and exploitation of outright colonies was the dominant form of modern imperialism. However, after World War II a variation of capitalist-imperialism, known as neocolonialism, became the dominant form. Unlike colonies, neocolonies are not typically controlled and exploited by just a single imperialist country, but rather in a somewhat more hidden and indirect fashion by the imperialist system as a whole.
        [More to be added.]

“Europe needs colonies. She does not even have enough. Without colonies, from an economic point of view, we shall sink to the level of China.” —Eduard David, a German Social-Democrat, during the colonial period of imperialism, and illustrating the strong support for imperialism by revisionists. Quoted in Robert Clough, Labour: A Party Fit for Imperialism (London: 1992), p. 41.

Coltan is an ore which is a blend of minerals (columbite and tantalite) which are rich in the valuable elements niobium and tantalum. These elements are now in wide demand for the construction of cell phones and other electronic equipment.
        Although coltan exists in many places in the world, and China is the largest producer, much of it now also comes from Africa (especially the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda), and other countries victimized by imperialism in Latin America and Asia. There are many outrageous cases of child labor, forced labor, super-exploitation, extremely dangerous working conditions, and other atrocious situations in these mining regions, including militias backed by different imperialist powers fighting over this wealth. On top of this, there are many serious and growing environmental problems related to this mining. Coltan mining is a clear example of the horrors of modern capitalist-imperialism at large in the world today.

Dictionary Home Page and Letter Index