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Marxism discussion thread

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#1
10 year march

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We have a capitalism discussion thread so I think it's fair we have a Marxist one as well.

I'm a Marxist myself and will post/reply to people here when I am on this site.

#2
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Achievements of socialism in the soviet Union.

https://m.youtube.co...h?v=s5axVunzQSA

#3
wjfox

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If you want to be under the jackboots of a brutal dictator, lose your freedom of speech, and go hungry, Marxism is a great way to achieve that.

 

Capitalism may have its faults, but I'd choose it any day over communism.


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#4
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If you want to be under the jackboots of a brutal dictator, lose your freedom of speech, and go hungry, Marxism is a great way to achieve that.
 
Capitalism may have its faults, but I'd choose it any day over communism.


Capitalism is a dictatorship by the capitalist class.
People don't go hungry under Marxism the soviet Union didn't go from having equivalent economic power of 1917 Brazil to competing with USA by starving people.

CIA statistics show the soviet Union had greater nutrition then USA.

As for Maoist China the country was already having frequent famines and Mao put a end to it.
(China was socialist between 1966 and 1976, and utilised maos new democracy (state capitalism) from 1949 to 1966.

#5
caltrek

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Actually, we already have a Socialism/Communism Discussion thread:

 

https://www.futureti...d/?hl=socialism

 

I point this out not by way of criticism. Certainly, newer members should be allowed, even encouraged, to start new threads on similar themes to get a fresh start on the topic and not be expected to wade through pages and pages of opinions and arguments before giving their own perspective. Still, I thought you might be interested in that old thread as it may guide you to the thinking of others in this forum.

 

 

A link I provided in that forum was in regards to Kruschev's famous speech denouncing Stalinism.  This is important so that we can distinguish actually existing Communism under Stalin from some theoretical models that might be derived from a reading of Marx.

 

https://genius.com/N...ences-annotated

 

Here are some relevant remarks I made in regards to that speech and the general topic:

 

Bukharin was a communist who at one point vied with Stalin for leadership of the Soviet Union. Ditto Trotsky.  When Kruschev gave his speech, he was in the process of consolidating his leadership of the USSR.   

 

In his speech, Kruschev is also critical of Trotsky and Bukharin.  Trotsky and Bukharin were also rivals to each other.  The one thing that all  of these sources seem to agree on is the dictatorial nature of Stalin, and the opportunistic nature that allowed him to rise to power. Given the cynical and self-serving nature of Stalin's methods, it is difficult to believe that only he truly channeled the Marxist-Leninist spirit, or that if he did, that it can be taken as anything but a severe condemnation of Marxist-Leninist methods. The one defense that does seem open to Marxist-Leninists is that Lenin's testament warnings regarding Stalin should have been taken more seriously.

 

Marxist-Leninists have nobody to blame but their previous leaders in being distrusted.  From Stalin's purges of other leaders of the revolution to the forming of temporary alliances with other leftists with an eye to one day removing those other leftists from the scene.  With that philosophy at their core, how can any alliance with Marxist-Leninists be treated as anything less than problematic?

 

In the U.S. this led to nearly endless sectarian splits and to the discrediting of those on the left who at least initially supported the revolution in Russia. That extremism of the left also led to a justification of extremism on the right.  That extremism on the right was not by any means justified, but arguing against it became more problematic. 

 

Democratic socialism seeks to put those problems behind us.  It tolerates opposing opinions and does not demand a one-party system. Persuasion is accented in importance and the idea that power only flows from the barrel of a gun is discredited.  With that re-definition of socialism, one arrives at a socialism that is far more palatable to the sensibilities of the American public, not to mention the European public.  Ironically, this renders Marxist-Leninism utopian, while socialism becomes the rightful and effective heir of those on the left.


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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


#6
caltrek

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Capitalism is a dictatorship by the capitalist class.

 

 

This is often used to justify the so-called "dictatorship of the proletariat" that Marx proposed.  It is important to note that when Marx wrote that phrase, elections in England were restricted to participation by the propertied class. If I recall correctly, in his book Socialism, Michael Harrington argued that at one point Marx equated socialism with universal suffrage.  Something that has now been achieved, at least outside of the deep south in the United States where voter suppression tactics still affect the right to vote.


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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


#7
caltrek

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People don't go hungry under Marxism the soviet Union didn't go from having equivalent economic power of 1917 Brazil to competing with USA by starving people.

 

Many would dispute that. For example in this article:

 

https://russiapedia....llectivization/

 

 

 

7,000,000 died in 1931 – 1933, and the official newspapers remained silent about the famine.

 

 

Edit: As I remarked later in the thread I linked regarding our previous discussion: "Well, if you slaughter a significant percent of your population, that does leave more wealth for the remainder."

 

I would add and/or modify that to read that if a significant portion of your population dies from famine, that does leave more wealth for the remainder when crop yields eventually return to their previous higher levels. 


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


#8
joe00uk

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If you want to be under the jackboots of a brutal dictator, lose your freedom of speech, and go hungry, Marxism is a great way to achieve that.

 

Capitalism may have its faults, but I'd choose it any day over communism.

I, too, would rather the destruction of the planet than have my choice of 3,000 different kinds of toothpaste taken away from me.



#9
caltrek

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Also, by way of comparing life under Soviet rule versus life in the west:

 

Germany also had massive devastation inflicted upon it. Recall Dresden, for example.  Yet, learning from the whole Versailles treaty fiasco, the choice was made to resuscitate West Germany, not demand more reparations. Further, the process of rebuilding actually allowed it to modernize its industrial base. The whole argument revolves around whether it was better to be part of the eastern satellite system, or be integrated into the western system.  Clearly, West Germany did better by being integrated into the western system. There was a considerable amount of planning that went into this effort - recall the Marshall plan.  That planning may have been to save capitalism, but it was planning never-the-less.  Planning that at one point would result in the election of the socialist Willie Brandt.  The same Willie Brandt that had to talk West Berliners down from a massive protest of the building of the Berlin wall that may well have resulted in a brutal massacre of those West German protesters by forces of the East. Some maintain the Brandt never did forgive Kennedy for not coming to the aid of West Berlin in this moment of crisis. For his part, Kennedy is thought to have felt relief that the whole Berlin problem would be resolved by the partitioning that occurred.  He also felt it a propaganda victory for the west.

 

 

Who could blame Kennedy in that belief?  East Berliners were voting with their feet in massive numbers.  The west was willing and able to offer superior inducements. The actual construction of the dividing partitions was carried out by the forces of the east. No matter how you slice it, that was a victory for the west.


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


#10
caltrek

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More on the "dictatorship of the proletariat" under Stalin:

 

The soviets substituted their will for the proletariat, the Central Committee substituted its will for that of the soviets, the Politburo substituted its will for the Central Committee, and Stalin substituted his will for the Politburo.

 

This also points to how the Soviet Union may have otherwise marched forward - through true democracy (at least in a republican form) rather than through a Stalinist dictatorship.  


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


#11
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As for Maoist China the country was already having frequent famines and Mao put a end to it.
(China was socialist between 1966 and 1976, and utilised maos new democracy (state capitalism) from 1949 to 1966.

 

Again, highly disputed:

 

https://en.wikipedia..._Chinese_Famine

 

 

The Great Chinese Famine (Chinese: 三年大饑荒, "three years of famine") was a period in the People's Republic of China between the years 1959 and 1961 characterized by widespread famine. The policies of ruler Mao Zedong contributed to the famine. Estimates of deaths due to starvation range in the tens of millions.

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


#12
Erowind

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Capitalism is a dictatorship by the capitalist class.

 

 

This is often used to justify the so-called "dictatorship of the proletariat" that Marx proposed.  It is important to note that when Marx wrote that phrase, elections in England were restricted to participation by the propertied class. If I recall correctly, in his book Socialism, Michael Harrington argued that at one point Marx equated socialism with universal suffrage.  Something that has now been achieved, at least outside of the deep south in the United States where voter suppression tactics still affect the right to vote.

 

 

As an aside. Universal sufferage is not achieved in general. Felons cannot vote to take an example. Being stripped of any political leverage the state and private profiteers have reduced them to chattel slaves in work camps by the millions. There is a genuine argument to be made that the worst of our society, say a mass murder, may not deserve political leverage. Leaving that discussion to the side for the moment that's not what's happening here. People committing non-violent "crimes" like consuming illicit substances are also stripped of all their rights, and the majority of felons are not mass murderers. As an anarchist I'd also argue it's wrong that non-citizens cannot vote. If someone is participating in society, living here, and being taxed they deserve the same rights as anyone else. Universal suffrage is closer than it was in the past yes, but until all humans have political leverage it is not achieved. 


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#13
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#14
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If you want to be under the jackboots of a brutal dictator, lose your freedom of speech, and go hungry, Marxism is a great way to achieve that.

 

Capitalism may have its faults, but I'd choose it any day over communism.

I, too, would rather the destruction of the planet than have my choice of 3,000 different kinds of toothpaste taken away from me.

 

 

There's a better way to respond I think comrade. Your response, and don't take this the wrong way, implies that a socialist state is actually a totalitarian hellscape. I'd much rather point out that Wjfox makes his statement from a position of comfort within the imperial core, and that should he be a slave in the cobalt pits he'd probably have a different tune.

 

 

Edit: Uggh, this is worded badly I'm sorry. I don't mean to attack you character Wjfox. I've made similar arguments in the past too. My point is that it doesn't make sense to criticize socialism for authoritarian conditions while accepting those same conditions within capitalism. Again sorry, leaving my stupidity here for everyone to see as I always do. 



#15
caltrek

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Capitalism is a dictatorship by the capitalist class.

 

 

This is often used to justify the so-called "dictatorship of the proletariat" that Marx proposed.  It is important to note that when Marx wrote that phrase, elections in England were restricted to participation by the propertied class. If I recall correctly, in his book Socialism, Michael Harrington argued that at one point Marx equated socialism with universal suffrage.  Something that has now been achieved, at least outside of the deep south in the United States where voter suppression tactics still affect the right to vote.

 

 

As an aside. Universal sufferage is not achieved in general. Felons cannot vote to take an example. Being stripped of any political leverage the state and private profiteers have reduced them to chattel slaves in work camps by the millions. There is a genuine argument to be made that the worst of our society, say a mass murder, may not deserve political leverage. Leaving that discussion to the side for the moment that's not what's happening here. People committing non-violent "crimes" like consuming illicit substances are also stripped of all their rights, and the majority of felons are not mass murderers. As an anarchist I'd also argue it's wrong that non-citizens cannot vote. If someone is participating in society, living here, and being taxed they deserve the same rights as anyone else. Universal suffrage is closer than it was in the past yes, but until all humans have political leverage it is not achieved. 

 

 

Yes, well that is the sort of thing I had in mind when I wrote of "voter suppression" in the South.  Your points are well taken and more precise, so I will accept your comments as an improved modification of my basic point.


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#16
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If you want to be under the jackboots of a brutal dictator, lose your freedom of speech, and go hungry, Marxism is a great way to achieve that.

Capitalism may have its faults, but I'd choose it any day over communism.

I think what you're criticizing is authoritarian socialism. Marx was anti-authoritarian and believed Communism was a spontaneous and natural movement like Capitalism is seen as being from Feudalism. There's a lot of nuance within and between economic theories.

Dictatorship of the proletariat is a stupid way of saying democracy.
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#17
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Wikipedia isn't a good source it's edited by the CIA and random people.

No bourgeoisie democracy is a dictatorship by the bourgeoisie DOP is not bourgeoisie democracy.

#18
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Wikipedia isn't a good source it's edited by the CIA and random people.

No bourgeoisie democracy is a dictatorship by the bourgeoisie DOP is not bourgeoisie democracy.

 

I didn't say western democracy. Democracy as a term is understood as the control of the state by the people it governs. The various degrees and flavours in which it's done doesn't except the idea of the dictatorship of the proletariat. I mean it's in the name, total control of the state apparatus by the proletariat, the working class.


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#19
PhoenixRu

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I think what you're criticizing is authoritarian socialism. Marx was anti-authoritarian and believed Communism was a spontaneous and natural movement like Capitalism is seen as being from Feudalism. There's a lot of nuance within and between economic theories.


Dictatorship of the proletariat is a stupid way of saying democracy.

 

Is it joke or what?

 

I think Marx understood History much better than his modern interpreters (twisting his words to fit their own agenda). Surely he couldn't expect and never ever wrote that a great transition between social formations (from capitalism to communism, in this case) may be calm and mild. The more that he had the real example of not so distant past: French revolution with its horrors. The European proletarian revolution he expected during his lifetime wasn't supposed to be any less turbulent and violent, rather the opposite. Btw, Marx himself said he "may be guillotined" in the course of these events. So, when he wrote about "proletarian dictatorship" he meant exactly dictatorship. Revolution was meant to create the opportunity for better world, but creation of this world would still take decades or centuries and this wouldn't be an easy road.

 

"You must create good from evil, because there is nothing else you can create it from." Let refined intellectuals wrinkle their noses, but this is exactly how history works.

 

The same is applied to Soviet Union. This is ahistorical (and plain silly) to point a finger on its flaws, mistakes, crimes and proudly declare that "this kind of socialism doesn't work, we have a better idea..." Soviet Union was a first human attempt to create the classless society started in relatively backward country and was fiercely resisted by other, much more richer and technologically advanced countries. It was interrupted by devastating invasion and then by exhausting cold war... Actually, the Soviet story, with all its dark (or bloody) pages, was in general a story of success, and not failure. Don't you like it, my dear Western leftists? Do you think you can do a better job? Excellent, I wish you good luck (no irony!) and then we'll compare the results... The keyword is "compare". And so far we have nothing to compare.



#20
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My god. Russian nationalism and socialism don't mix well.
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