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The Socialism/Communism Discussion Thread

socialism communism Marxism MLM anarchism leftism class war dialectical materialism USSR Stalin

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#81
joe00uk

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Considering that the ruling wealthy would rather forcibly upgrade everyone to compete with robots for crap wages than actually help labor, I doubt socialism will ever take root. As for revolution? Good luck. We've got guns, they've got guns, tanks, cruise missiles, battleships, etc.

Yet, what was the outcome of the Vietnam War?

 

So the window of opportunity for socialism is gone barring something so far out of field it's practically impossible.

This is a defeatist attitude which is really just destructive and doesn't help anyone or anything. Sorry. The opportunity for socialism will exist for as long as there are antagonisms between a ruling class and an oppressed class which will eventually erupt in revolution. Capitalism is but one stage of human civilisation and it would be foolish to think that it'll be here forever - feudalism didn't last forever and nor did slave-owning societies before that. It is possible that capitalism will wipe us all out or whatever but IMO, it's pointless to dwell on that.



#82
Rusakov

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The Vietnam War is a non-sequitur in this case. The army was not as familiar with Vietnam as they were with the United States. And Vietnam didn't have massive surveillance like we do today. These days, if you get too uppity then the wealthy will know about it.

 

As for the second half of your post; not only does it smack of predestination, but there have been false starts before. I'm sure Karl Marx would have thought it inevitable that Socialism would win during the Great Depression, but it didn't thanks to a public works project and World War II.

 

If things start to look too socialist the wealthy will just put out a barely-good-enough works project or have a gnetleman's war where the wealthy of each participating country covers each other's asses, but destroys a large portion of infrastructure. Or failing either of those, just continue brainwashing people and make them just wealthy enough to be repulsed by the possibility of revolution.



#83
Outlook

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 Yet, what was the outcome of the Vietnam War?

 

Suffering, and an incompetent, bloody government.

 

"[1988] As many as three million people in northern Vietnam may be facing starvation, according to Hanoi's official radio and to reports from international aid organizations, which have been asked for emergency food supplies."

http://www.nytimes.c...aid.html?src=pm

 

"I can now total the overall domestic and foreign democide for North Vietnam during this period (lines 467 to 472). One estimate presumably of the overall National Liberation Front democide (line 468) is shown for comparison to the sum of North Vietnam's democide in South Vietnam (line 467). It is much larger than even the high and is given in the source without explanation, justification, or citation.11 I therefore ignore it. In total then, North Vietnam probably murdered some 216,000 people (line 472)."

 

" In total 3,760,000 Vietnamese probably died of political violence during over forty-two years (line 831). Some 1,250,000, or over 33 percent of them were murdered. This does not count Laotians and Cambodians killed by Vietnamese governments, virtually all by Hanoi. When these are added and those Vietnamese killed by foreigners subtracted, the total democide by Vietnamese is 1,760,000 people (line 838)."

http://www.hawaii.ed...s/SOD.CHAP6.HTM


Outlook's secret song of the ~week: https://youtu.be/Gnyr3sbdKkU

#84
joe00uk

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The Vietnam War is a non-sequitur in this case. The army was not as familiar with Vietnam as they were with the United States. And Vietnam didn't have massive surveillance like we do today. These days, if you get too uppity then the wealthy will know about it.
 
As for the second half of your post; not only does it smack of predestination, but there have been false starts before. I'm sure Karl Marx would have thought it inevitable that Socialism would win during the Great Depression, but it didn't thanks to a public works project and World War II.
 
If things start to look too socialist the wealthy will just put out a barely-good-enough works project or have a gnetleman's war where the wealthy of each participating country covers each other's asses, but destroys a large portion of infrastructure. Or failing either of those: just continue brainwashing people and make them just wealthy enough to be repulsed by the possibility of revolution.

Hmm... yes... but if no one even bothers to try to help build socialism then that reduces the likelihood of revolution even further. If we don't maintain a positive outlook (as in, hopeful for the eventuality of revolution) then we'll just become depressed and lethargic and nothing at all will get done. Some effort has to be made, we can't all just wallow in despair because that makes things even worse.



#85
joe00uk

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 Yet, what was the outcome of the Vietnam War?

 

Suffering, and an incompetent, bloody government.

 

"[1988] As many as three million people in northern Vietnam may be facing starvation, according to Hanoi's official radio and to reports from international aid organizations, which have been asked for emergency food supplies."

http://www.nytimes.c...aid.html?src=pm

 

"I can now total the overall domestic and foreign democide for North Vietnam during this period (lines 467 to 472). One estimate presumably of the overall National Liberation Front democide (line 468) is shown for comparison to the sum of North Vietnam's democide in South Vietnam (line 467). It is much larger than even the high and is given in the source without explanation, justification, or citation.11 I therefore ignore it. In total then, North Vietnam probably murdered some 216,000 people (line 472)."

 

" In total 3,760,000 Vietnamese probably died of political violence during over forty-two years (line 831). Some 1,250,000, or over 33 percent of them were murdered. This does not count Laotians and Cambodians killed by Vietnamese governments, virtually all by Hanoi. When these are added and those Vietnamese killed by foreigners subtracted, the total democide by Vietnamese is 1,760,000 people (line 838)."

http://www.hawaii.ed...s/SOD.CHAP6.HTM

 

And that proves, what? That revolution is a chaotic and bloody process where excess is regrettably often committed?...



#86
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And that proves, what? That revolution is a chaotic and bloody process where excess is regrettably often committed?...

 

It was not a revolution, as much as it was a corrupt, and power-hungry government committing acts of atrocities on innocent people. What's even more sick is that people like you and Ru think that it's ok for millions of innocent people murdered at the hands of an abusive government and brush it off as "casualties of revolution." This is no different than Al-Qaeda car-bombing innocents and labeling them as casualties in an anti-imperialist struggle. And you ask me why I put you in the "avoid" list. Shit.

 

what the heck happened to you Lunix? Your signature is quoting two different people, one of which helped get Augusto Pinochet into power and the other who was a spoiled brat who thought altruism was a weakness.

 

The fuck you talking about, considering war to implement your political ideology and then saying "oh Lunix, taking the moral low and quoting a man who said something that you agree with yet I have no evidence that you support what he did as a person."


Outlook's secret song of the ~week: https://youtu.be/Gnyr3sbdKkU

#87
Rusakov

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Joe, you're beginning to sound a lot like Mark Zuckerberg.

 

Move fast and break things.

 

 

The same can be said of revolution. Things go very fast and a lot of stuff gets broken. Wouldn't it be better if we moved carefully and built things instead?



#88
Rusakov

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The fuck you talking about, considering war to implement your political ideology and then saying "oh Lunix, taking the moral low and quoting a man who said something that you agree with yet I have no evidence that you support what he did as a person."


I don't want war to implement a political ideology. I think it's a very stupid idea in fact.



#89
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The fuck you talking about, considering war to implement your political ideology and then saying "oh Lunix, taking the moral low and quoting a man who said something that you agree with yet I have no evidence that you support what he did as a person."


I don't want war to implement a political ideology. I think it's a very stupid idea in fact.

 

Doesn't help that you considered it.

The Vietnam War is a non-sequitur in this case. The army was not as familiar with Vietnam as they were with the United States. And Vietnam didn't have massive surveillance like we do today. These days, if you get too uppity then the wealthy will know about it.


Outlook's secret song of the ~week: https://youtu.be/Gnyr3sbdKkU

#90
Rusakov

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I was simply responding to Joe's declarations in that post.



#91
joe00uk

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And that proves, what? That revolution is a chaotic and bloody process where excess is regrettably often committed?...

 

It was not a revolution, as much as it was a corrupt, and power-hungry government committing acts of atrocities on innocent people. What's even more sick is that people like you and Ru think that it's ok for millions of innocent people murdered at the hands of an abusive government and brush it off as "casualties of revolution." This is no different than Al-Qaeda car-bombing innocents and labeling them as casualties in an anti-imperialist struggle. And you ask me why I put you in the "avoid" list. Shit.

It was a revolutionary, anti-imperialist war and of course it's deplorable that there were innocents murdered however it should not come as a surprise during such extreme circumstances as war. Al-Qaeda isn't an "anti-imperialist" struggle, you're borderline straw-manning me here.



#92
joe00uk

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Joe, you're beginning to sound a lot like Mark Zuckerberg.

 

Move fast and break things.

 

The same can be said of revolution. Things go very fast and a lot of stuff gets broken. Wouldn't it be better if we moved carefully and built things instead?

What do you mean by that? Reformism?



#93
Rusakov

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What do you mean by that? Reformism?


Yes. I realize it's anathema to Marx-Leninist thought, but let's face it, reformism would be better at this point.



#94
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It was a revolutionary, anti-imperialist war and of course it's deplorable that there were innocents murdered however it should not come as a surprise during such extreme circumstances as war.

 

I think you missed out something though, there is a very big difference between political violence, and murder, which the author differentiates across a span of 42 years.

 

" In total 3,760,000 Vietnamese probably died of political violence during over forty-two years (line 831). Some 1,250,000, or over 33 percent of them were murdered. This does not count Laotians and Cambodians killed by Vietnamese governments, virtually all by Hanoi. When these are added and those Vietnamese killed by foreigners subtracted, the total democide by Vietnamese is 1,760,000 people (line 838)."

http://www.hawaii.ed...s/SOD.CHAP6.HTM

 

The definition of political violence: "Political violence is violence outside of state control that is politically motivated." [src] So that would mean things like collateral damage, riots, and crossfire.

The definition of mass murder (according to the author): "the indiscriminate killing of any person or people by a government." [src]

In the same source he defines democide: "The murder of any person or people by a government, including genocide, politicide, and mass murder."

 

 

Al-Qaeda isn't an "anti-imperialist" struggle, you're borderline straw-manning me here.

 

From a video Osama bin Laden released in 2004:

 

"But, after things had gone too far and we saw the injustice of the US-Israeli alliance against our people in Palestine and Lebanon, I started thinking of that. The events that influenced me directly trace back to 1982 and subsequent events when the United States gave permission to the Israelis to invade Lebanon, with the aid of the sixth US fleet. At those difficult moments, many meanings that are hard to describe went on in my mind. However, these meanings produced an overwhelming feeling to reject injustice and generated a strong determination to punish the unjust ones. While I was looking at those destroyed towers in Lebanon, it occurred to me to punish the unjust one in a similar manner by destroying towers in the United States so that it would feel some of what we felt and to be deterred from killing our children and women." [src]

Outlook's secret song of the ~week: https://youtu.be/Gnyr3sbdKkU

#95
joe00uk

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What do you mean by that? Reformism?


Yes. I realize it's anathema to Marx-Leninist thought, but let's face it, reformism would be better at this point.

No, because that's what's happening in Venezuela and as is being proven right now, this is giving the bourgeoisie time to fight back and they are doing this via economic warfare by the corporations. It's a highly ineffective method and is extremely vulnerable.

 

 

 

It was a revolutionary, anti-imperialist war and of course it's deplorable that there were innocents murdered however it should not come as a surprise during such extreme circumstances as war.

 

I think you missed out something though, there is a very big difference between political violence, and murder, which the author differentiates across a span of 42 years.

 

" In total 3,760,000 Vietnamese probably died of political violence during over forty-two years (line 831). Some 1,250,000, or over 33 percent of them were murdered. This does not count Laotians and Cambodians killed by Vietnamese governments, virtually all by Hanoi. When these are added and those Vietnamese killed by foreigners subtracted, the total democide by Vietnamese is 1,760,000 people (line 838)."

http://www.hawaii.ed...s/SOD.CHAP6.HTM

 

The definition of political violence: "Political violence is violence outside of state control that is politically motivated." [src] So that would mean things like collateral damage, riots, and crossfire.

The definition of mass murder (according to the author): "the indiscriminate killing of any person or people by a government." [src]

In the same source he defines democide: "The murder of any person or people by a government, including genocide, politicide, and mass murder."

 

 

Al-Qaeda isn't an "anti-imperialist" struggle, you're borderline straw-manning me here.

 

From a video Osama bin Laden released in 2004:

 

"But, after things had gone too far and we saw the injustice of the US-Israeli alliance against our people in Palestine and Lebanon, I started thinking of that. The events that influenced me directly trace back to 1982 and subsequent events when the United States gave permission to the Israelis to invade Lebanon, with the aid of the sixth US fleet. At those difficult moments, many meanings that are hard to describe went on in my mind. However, these meanings produced an overwhelming feeling to reject injustice and generated a strong determination to punish the unjust ones. While I was looking at those destroyed towers in Lebanon, it occurred to me to punish the unjust one in a similar manner by destroying towers in the United States so that it would feel some of what we felt and to be deterred from killing our children and women." [src]

 

Okay, well Vietnam isn't an area I know that much about so in the meantime, I'll just accept your argument.

Just because Bin Laden (possibly) had anti-imperialist roots doesn't mean the whole of Al Qaeda was never perverted by (or even founded upon) Islamic extremism.



#96
caltrek

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The Kulaks presented an obstacle to collectivisation. Remember, the USSR started out as an extremely backward, semi-feudal nation and popular rumour spread by counter-revolutionaries had many peasants and kulaks convinced that Stalin was the antichrist. At best, 20% of the peasantry was indifferent to the Bolsheviks to start with. So when Stalin introduced collectivisation in 1929, many kulaks burned their crops and slaughtered their livestock in protest. This cannot be blamed on Stalin.

 

 

So Stalin declares war on the Kulaks, the Kulaks fight back, and this cannot be blamed on Stalin. Right.

 

(They really do need an emoticon with rolling eyes in this forum).

 

Wrote one Pyotr Gorky:

 

 

Every day they send us lectures asking us to sign up for such-and-such a kolkhoz (collective) for eternal slavery, but we don't want to leave our good homes.  It may be a poor little hut, but it's mine, a poor horse, but it's mine.  Among us, he who works more has something to eat. We peasants are used to working, but you our government, change the pay every day arbitrarily..We ourselves don't know what to do.  There aren't any nails, there is nothing and life is bad. We will not be able to eat in the kolkhoz...Therefore  we beg you to turn the rudder of the kolkhoz movement and let the peasant own property. Then we assure you that everyone will be able to put more surpluses on the market, and trade will be free, and then we will be glad to help the state.

 

How obscene.  Huts, horses, and small plots of land get defined as "the means of production" that are seized by the state "on behalf of the proletariat" .  Famine results and we are expected to treat this as a good thing and equate the Kulaks with CEOs of modern multi-national corporations.  Truly obscene.

 

One thing Stalin said that is worth remembering:  "The death of one man is a tragedy.  The death of millions is a statistic."

 

Pretty much sums up the moral bankruptcy of Stalin's "proletarian" morality.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#97
joe00uk

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1. "Stalin declares war on the kulaks" - expropriating their land for collectivisation, you mean? Okay, but I don't see what's really so wrong with that considering it's for the greater good of society as a whole...

 

2. Why would you send me a source directly from one such kulak? It's rather obvious that they would be in this begrudging mood and may even make up things...

Yes, I agree, they do need an eye-rolling emoticon.

 

3. Why would these things not be defined as the means of production? They are things that can be used to produce goods, therefore they are means of production.

 

4. Oh my god, no, no, no - when did I ever say famines were good? Kulaks were an exploitative class though but I'm just saying that if the kulaks had not been so immature and selfish ("I want! I want!" rather than thinking of greater good) and responded like this then the famine wouldn't have been as bad. The other factor in this famine was the western USSR drought. 

 

5. :rofl: this quote is actually mistakenly attributed to Stalin - he never said this.



#98
caltrek

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1. As the letter illustrates, it backfired.  Productivity dropped, so it produced for the greater good no benefit.  The letter illustrates this, but the analysis carried out by M. Lewin  (and others) backs that up.

2. Herer we go again.  Only Stalinists are permitted to submit any evidence for us to consider in regards to Stalin.  Another potential use for that missing emotican.

3.  Your home is a means of production?

Earlier you argued that there was a difference between the means of production and private property.  You have now conflated the two. If your home is a "means of production" then so are the clothes that you wear, your computer, your telephone, your radio (as an information source), etc.  All private property becomes subject to confistication. Yet you are the one that argued that there is a a difference.

4. It is not a matter of you saying that famines are good, it is a matter of you defending policies that contributed to those famines.

5. Oh well, there goes the last shred of credit I was willing to give to Stalin.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#99
joe00uk

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1. It backfired due to kulak sabotage. I know it sounds like a scapegoat but it is true... read that extract I posted earlier.

 

2. No, it's just that of all sources, a kulak? One of the very people who likely did all this sabotage all in the name of individual freedom?

 

3. No, and I agree with you here - it was wrong to evict them from their homes as this was personal property and not private. As for their land, though, (the extra land they had other peasants working on in the Tsarist regime) this was rightfully expropriated.

 

4. Again, the policies didn't cause the famine, a drought coupled with kulak sabotage of the collectivisation programme did.

 

5. ...well, okay then...



#100
caltrek

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 M. Meissner, 'The Deng Xiaoping Era. An Enquiry into the Fate of Chinese Socialism, 1978-1994'

 

 

I see you are a bit of a fan of what I believe is my old professor "Mitch" Meissner.  Shortly before I graudated from college, Meisnner was one of two professors that sat on my orals board for my overall evaluation. I remeber he was particularly suprised by my choice of topics to discuss, which included 1) the political economy of the United States, and 2) the political philosophy of Albert Camus. 

 

I suppose Camus has become a sort of answer for me to Marxists-Leninists and Maoists.  Like you, Meissner was a decent sort of fellow, but in my opinion a little to blind to the pitfalls of Maoism.  Of course, he was a much more learned man on the subject than I would ever hope to be.  Still, I found Camus to be the more persuasive of the two. In Camus' book The Rebel he includes a chapter on State Terrorism and Rational Terror.  It has been a while since I last read that section, and I intend to do so again some time soon.  In the meant time, the concluding sentences are worth consideration:

 

 

Prometheus alone has become god and reigns over the solitude of men.  But from Zeus he has gained only solitude and cruelty; he is no longer Prometheus, he is Caeser. The real, the eternal Prometheus has now assumed the aspect of one of his victims. The same cry, springing from the depths of the past, rings forever through the Scythian desert.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: socialism, communism, Marxism, MLM, anarchism, leftism, class war, dialectical materialism, USSR, Stalin

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