Thread: Do you think that a communist revolution from above is possible?

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    Default Do you think that a communist revolution from above is possible?

    Hello all, I would like to ask if socialism from above, socialist workers revolutions from above done by a minority of the society, without the support of the majority of that society is possible. I ask this because I think that there is a great need to destroy capitalist states and replace it with socialist workers states, not in 2020, not in 5 years but right now today. Because pain, misery, hunger and the mental, physical and general problems of the oppressed cannot wait for the regular workers, at least for low-wage working class to become communists by their own will, to join communist labor parties and to support a communist revolution.

    We all know that most poor people in USA and in other countries are too far to the right-wing, too right-wingers. So I think that waiting for all poor people to become communists requires a super powerful patience. Besides it is very hard for people to ideologically shift from being right-wingers to left-wingers
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    minority of the society
    why a minority?
    socialist workers states
    why a state?
    not in 2020, not in 5 years but right now today.
    today, like May 1st today? I don't think that's possible
    pain, misery, hunger and the mental, physical and general problems
    will always exist to a certain degree in one form or the other

    the oppressed cannot wait for the regular workers, at least for low-wage working class to become communists by their own will,
    their gonna have to

    We all know that most poor people in USA and in other countries are too far to the right-wing, too right-wingers.
    if poor people are too right wing, who isn't right wing?
    So I think that waiting for all poor people to become communists requires a super powerful patience.
    you're gonna have to
    Besides it is very hard for people to ideologically shift from being right-wingers to left-wingers
    lots of people have done it, like hillary clinton for example
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    Thanks for the reply. But you know with all the economic problems of people, with people not experiencing any personal growth physically, mentally, socially and economically, I guess people should've been ultra-leftists, radical leftists, communists already in favor of a communist revolution. Maybe the ones that we have to blame are the anti-communism media. The anti-socialism media is so powerful that I think, that';s one of the main reasons of why many poor people (who should be leftists by now) are not leftists
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    No, certainly not in the US, nor is it advisable anywhere. Even the Bolsheviks came to power thanks to popular unrest, and with some popular support. The only exception is military coups, and bourgeois militaries are notoriously reactionary.

    "We are convinced not only of the uselessness but even of the harmfulness of all conspiracies. We are also aware that revolutions are not made deliberately and arbitrarily but that everywhere and at all times they are the necessary consequence of circumstances which are not in any way whatever dependent either on the will or on the leadership of individual parties or of whole classes." --Engels in Draft of a Communist Confession of Faith

    Besides it is very hard for people to ideologically shift from being right-wingers to left-wingers
    Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if many of our forum members previously dabbled in right-wing politics, before arriving at the radical left. If a person is drawn to politics, especially radical politics, they can go either way, depending on who gets a hold of them sooner and more convincingly. Most people are not really "right-wing" or "left-wing;" most people are just rather apathetic about politics (at least in comparison with the folks on here). This is why I believe that some of the best places to find recruits are at the right-wing fringes. They just need to be educated and guided, before they can guide others. Otherwise, they will just become -- or stay -- some sort of right-wing extremists (ancaps, minarchists, fascists, Zionist theocrats, Islamist theocrats, alt-rightists, neo-feudalist neo-absolutist reactionaries, whatever).

    if poor people are too right wing, who isn't right wing?
    Honestly? Middle-class professionals, as paradoxical as it may seem, hold the most progressive views today as a group. Precisely those people who are thought of as the emblematic working class (manual workers in mining, construction, manufacturing, etc.) are also the ones who most easily succumb to right-wing populism. Here in Israel, if you're a Jew, then the poorer you are and the farther into the "periphery" (i.e. away from Tel Aviv) you are, the more likely you are to vote for the same Likudniks and right-wingers who will deprive you of any chance to live in dignity and conscience, let alone climb the social ladder. In the last Knesset elections, many -- hell, maybe most -- of the few Jews who voted for the Arab alliance were PhDs.
    “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible…” —Peter Thiel, VC-ist, PYPL, FB, $2.7B. “[T]he notion of ‘capitalist democracy’ … ha[s been] rendered … into an oxymoron.” —Ibid.
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    I think one way of looking at this would be to see the revolutionary left as being the 'underdog', one which, by the 'underdog' narrative, gradually rises in notoreity (due to the growing relevance of its canon), and begins to actively *usurp* the dominant hegemonic social narrative due to the crisis of capitalism and its bourgeoisie.
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    "Change will not come from above" cuts both ways. The radical's task is to win over the masses, to educate and agitate if you will. Simply imposing your own will on the masses will inevitably lead to abuses (read Stalin). A true socialist society steeped in human rights is worth waiting for.

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    Hello all, I would like to ask if socialism from above, socialist workers revolutions from above done by a minority of the society, without the support of the majority of that society is possible. I ask this because I think that there is a great need to destroy capitalist states and replace it with socialist workers states, not in 2020, not in 5 years but right now today. Because pain, misery, hunger and the mental, physical and general problems of the oppressed cannot wait for the regular workers, at least for low-wage working class to become communists by their own will, to join communist labor parties and to support a communist revolution.

    We all know that most poor people in USA and in other countries are too far to the right-wing, too right-wingers. So I think that waiting for all poor people to become communists requires a super powerful patience. Besides it is very hard for people to ideologically shift from being right-wingers to left-wingers
    I would think that a revolution from above would be impossible. But a revolution originating at the bottom, among workers, peasants, students, the unemployed, the precariat, etc. could achieve success more rapidly if they are led by members of the communist party. And the only way this can be achieved is by the leaders having engaged in years of education, preparation and strategic and tactical training
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    Minority can create a spark, which is only effective if majority is ready to start the fire.
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    Hello all, I would like to ask if socialism from above, socialist workers revolutions from above done by a minority of the society, without the support of the majority of that society is possible.

    “First let the majority of the population, while private property still exists, i.e., while the rule and yoke of capital still exist, express themselves in favour of the party of the proletariat and only then can and should the party take power“—so say the petty-bourgeois democrats who call themselves socialists but who are in reality the servitors of the bourgeoisie.

    “Let the revolutionary proletariat first overthrow the bourgeoisie, break the yoke of capital, and smash the bourgeois state apparatus, then the victorious proletariat will be able rapidly to gain the sympathy and support of the majority of the non-proletarian working people by satisfying their needs at the expense of the exploiters“—say we....

    These strata of the working and exploited people provide the vanguard of the proletariat with allies and give it a stable majority of the population; but the proletariat can win these allies only with the aid of an instrument like state power, that is to say, only after it has overthrown the bourgeoisie and has destroyed the bourgeois state apparatus."

    https://www.marxists.org/archive/len...919/dec/16.htm
    Any anti-communist is a dog. - Jean-Paul Sartre.
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    “Let the revolutionary proletariat first overthrow the bourgeoisie, break the yoke of capital, and smash the bourgeois state apparatus, then the victorious proletariat will be able rapidly to gain the sympathy and support of the majority of the non-proletarian working people by satisfying their needs at the expense of the exploiters“
    The majority of working people today are not "non-proletarian." That was written at a time when the peasantry was the largest class, which is no longer the case. The entire discourse is anachronistic.
    “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible…” —Peter Thiel, VC-ist, PYPL, FB, $2.7B. “[T]he notion of ‘capitalist democracy’ … ha[s been] rendered … into an oxymoron.” —Ibid.
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    The majority of working people today are not "non-proletarian." That was written at a time when the peasantry was the largest class, which is no longer the case. The entire discourse is anachronistic.

    You're throwing out the baby with the bathwater -- you want to summarily dispense with *all* of Lenin's content just because demographics have changed. If anything, today's larger *proletarian* proportion only makes this stated approach even *more* relevant, since there are no longer significant petty private interests for balkanized autonomy coming from small-scale agricultural concerns (the peasantry of the past).
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    You're throwing out the baby with the bathwater -- you want to summarily dispense with *all* of Lenin's content just because demographics have changed.
    Not with all of the content, only with the specific quotations broached by General Winter, which are concerned with winning the support of the peasantry and which, frankly, I don't see as having any relevance to TomLeftist's original question.
    “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible…” —Peter Thiel, VC-ist, PYPL, FB, $2.7B. “[T]he notion of ‘capitalist democracy’ … ha[s been] rendered … into an oxymoron.” —Ibid.
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    No matter how desperate the situation is today, we can't *force* workers to seize the means of production. Class consciousness among the masses is needed for that. As for whether centralized state control on behalf of workers during a transitory period is preferable to private capital having free reign until the masses wake up of their own volition, arguably, yes. At least centrally-directed production can prevent certain catastrophes that an everyone-for-themselves race for profits actually encourages.
    "I'm a pessimist because of intelligence, but an optimist because of will." - Antonio Gramsci

    "If he did advocate revolutionary change, such advocacy could not, of course, receive constitutional protection, since it would be by definition anti-constitutional."
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    As for whether centralized state control on behalf of workers during a transitory period is preferable to private capital having free reign until the masses wake up of their own volition, arguably, yes.
    Any reason why you prefer centralized planning over, say, decentralized planning?

    At least centrally-directed production can prevent certain catastrophes that an everyone-for-themselves race for profits actually encourages.
    In the immediate aftermath of a revolution, the greater, more urgent concern would be getting out of the ongoing crisis (caused or exacerbated by the social unrest) than preventing a future crisis.
    “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible…” —Peter Thiel, VC-ist, PYPL, FB, $2.7B. “[T]he notion of ‘capitalist democracy’ … ha[s been] rendered … into an oxymoron.” —Ibid.
    I don't care who does the electing, so long as I get to do the nominating.” —Boss Tweed
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    I see I need to continue :

    "The petty-bourgeois democrats, their chief present-day representatives, the “socialists” and “Social-Democrats”, are suffering from illusions when they imagine that the working people are capable, under capitalism, of acquiring the high degree of class-consciousness, firmness of character, perception and wide political outlook that will enable them to decide, merely by voting, or at all events, to decide in advance, without long experience of struggle, that they will follow a particular class, or a particular party....

    Capitalism would not be capitalism if it did not, on the one hand, condemn the masses to a downtrodden, crushed and terrified state of existence, to disunity (the countryside!) and ignorance, and if it (capitalism) did not, on the other hand, place in the hands of the bourgeoisie a gigantic apparatus of falsehood and deception to hoodwink the masses of workers and peasants, to stultify their minds, and so forth."

    The point of the quotes is that you'll never win the majority of the population under capitalism.

    "In mockery of the teachings of Marx, those gentlemen, the opportunists, including the Kautskyites, “teach” the people that the proletariat must first win a majority by means of universal suffrage, then obtain state power, by the vote of that majority, and only after that, on the basis of “consistent” (some call it “pure”) democracy, organise socialism.

    But we say on the basis of the teachings of Marx and the experience of the Russian revolution:

    the proletariat must first overthrow the bourgeoisie and win for itself state power, and then use that state power, that is, the dictatorship of the proletariat, as an instrument of its class for the purpose of winning the sympathy of the majority of the working people." https://www.marxists.org/archive/len...919/dec/16.htm
    Any anti-communist is a dog. - Jean-Paul Sartre.
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    Not with all of the content, only with the specific quotations broached by General Winter, which are concerned with winning the support of the peasantry and which, frankly, I don't see as having any relevance to TomLeftist's original question.

    Okay, that's *this* part:



    “Let the revolutionary proletariat first overthrow the bourgeoisie, break the yoke of capital, and smash the bourgeois state apparatus, then the victorious proletariat will be able rapidly to gain the sympathy and support of the majority of the non-proletarian working people by satisfying their needs at the expense of the exploiters“—say we....

    ---


    But what about the *rest* of the content -- ? (These speak to TL and the original topic.)



    “First let the majority of the population, while private property still exists, i.e., while the rule and yoke of capital still exist, express themselves in favour of the party of the proletariat and only then can and should the party take power“—so say the petty-bourgeois democrats who call themselves socialists but who are in reality the servitors of the bourgeoisie.

    These strata of the working and exploited people provide the vanguard of the proletariat with allies and give it a stable majority of the population; but the proletariat can win these allies only with the aid of an instrument like state power, that is to say, only after it has overthrown the bourgeoisie and has destroyed the bourgeois state apparatus."

    ---



    Any reason why you prefer centralized planning over, say, decentralized planning?

    Jumping in here, I'll note that the problem with decentralized planning is that it resembles our current state of exchange-value-balkanized 'ownership' -- breaking productive units down to the local level just begs-the-question of how those local productive units are supposed to then conduct material distribution on a cooperative / collective basis, as in the case of linear, cascading supply-chains for complex types of manufacturing (computers, etc.).

    *Any* use of barter and/or money over these local-to-local 'synapses' just re-introduces the realm of exchange values, since one could always trade for the sake of increasing exchange-values (arbitrage) instead of for collective use-value production goals, for *humane* ends.

    Also there's something called 'redundancy of effort', meaning that something productive like *farming* can be done more-easily, with less labor and resources, on a *large* scale, to benefit more people at once, than having *many* people tend only to small plots, for the same overall output.


    ---



    At least centrally-directed production can prevent certain catastrophes that an everyone-for-themselves race for profits actually encourages.


    In the immediate aftermath of a revolution, the greater, more urgent concern would be getting out of the ongoing crisis (caused or exacerbated by the social unrest) than preventing a future crisis.

    Is this 'social unrest' somehow *chaotic* -- ? You certainly seem to be implying that it *would* automatically be that way.

    One of the reasons *for* centralization is so that there *can* be coordination over the geographical large-scale, as for completing the proletarian revolution against the bourgeoisie. There doesn't necessarily have to be a 'crisis' in the course of revolution, if the revolutionary workers as a whole have their shit together. Centralization, in the context of this thread's topic, would be *appropriate* for displacing the capital-based approach to production (collective seizing of the means of mass industrial production).

    Here's a quick way of conceptualizing this large-scale, though individually-determined, social arrangement, towards socialism and communism:



    [T]he layout of *work roles* would be the 'bottom' of 'top-down' (though collectivized) social planning, and would be the 'top' of 'bottom-up' processes like individual self-determination.
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    Default Do you think that a communist revolution from above is possible?

    We all know that most poor people in USA and in other countries are too far to the right-wing, too right-wingers. So I think that waiting for all poor people to become communists requires a super powerful patience. Besides it is very hard for people to ideologically shift from being right-wingers to left-wingers
    Well, when individual policies are listed, large percentages of people support things to the left of the Democratic Party. Class-based initiatives like minimum wage electoral proposals win even in deep republican-voting states.

    But I also don't think that the revolutionary dynamic depends on people changing ideas as much as actively participating in social changes which in turn change ideas on a large scale.

    Your question depends on what is meant by "from above/below" and what is meant by "communism/socialism". My understanding of Hal draper's arguments about this question is that from above/below is less about the popularity of ideas than about active involvement and participation. If a majority in the US voted for a CP, but passively supported these elements, then it would still be "from above". (Putting aside the fact that in the US, there is low electoral participation)

    If socialism is workers re-organizing society, then participatory "from below" activity is essential. Draper's view is that this is essential to Marxism because the process is what allows workers to train themselves to run society and figure out how to work together to forward class interests.

    The majority/minority question imo has more to do with the point made earlier about hegemony by Ckaihatsu. A minority supported rule (like in US elections) can be seen as legitimate by the majority if that arrangement is hegemonic or seen as "common sense" by most people. A revolution, duel power, is a battle over that legitimacy. Revolutions are much more polarized then almost any election, but there will be people who are unsure and could be convinced by whatever forces seem to legitimately have effective solutions to whatever crisis in society led to upheavals in the first place. If workers are organized and have begun running some aspects of society out of necessity or because of mass strikes... the "idea" of communism no longer remains an idea... it becomes a choice, a viable option and gains legitimacy.

    Take, for example, the Egyptian revolt... was that the majority? How do we calculate that? Does it matter when Suez workers could scare the government enough to ditch their main official? Edit: obviously Egypt never developed distinct class-based organizing... this is just an example

    If workers in a new crisis can pull off mass strikes then the question of numbers is less important... they would have to have huge chunks of support and coordination to get to that point--then it becomes a question of power and organization.

    At any rate, to be a revolution "from below" it probably has to be a majority of workers who are actively participating in a movement or upheaval with enough class participation and organization to make working class power possible (running major parts of production and distribution)... so even if that ends up as a minority of the total population, we are talking about a minority of millions and millions of workers in a country like the US.

    The "from below" question is: are workers able to organize together to express their class interests and flex their power as a class towards their aims.


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    Brad: The thing is that the great majority of low income workers (Fast food workers, store workers, retail stores workers etc) are so self-absorbed, are so entertained in their free time with their inane smart phones, are so family-narcissists, so group-narcissists, so full of vanity, and so arrogant. That some times I think that the great majority of workers and poor people in USA prefer to live in the hell that they live in right now, to continue living as slaves like they are, wage-slaves, tax-slaves, Pentagon-slaves, bills-slaves, TV-slaves, etc) that I think that most low income workers prefer their depressive daily routines and painful life of driving in depressive ugly roads (just to get to work), of dealing with arrogant self-absorbed consumers (Like the workers of Walmart and Mcdonalds etc. that are treated like garbage, like trash by the right-wing white european consumers (of Walmarts etc), (Most middle class european nordic anglo-saxon people are extremely violent and oppressive). That they prefer that painful life they live, than to beg for help, to listen to alternative ideologies coming fro Democracy Now, Russia Today News, etc. , or to at least listen to mainstream Hollywood movie stars like Sean Penn, Danny Glover etc. who have said that socialism is better than capitalism.

    The USA is a country of evil people, in all the 3 classes (upper, middle and lower), and a very weird society in which the poor oppressed classes (lower classes) are more arrogant, more radicalized to the right-wing, than the upper classes.

    I am affraid that it will be almost impossible for poor americans, for low income workers to be open minded for socialism, or even for an anti-war third party. Because the traditional parties Democrats and Republicans always find a way to sell to the masses fake populist options in all presidential elections. So you will see the stupid mind-controlled zombies voters (100 million voters), voting either for Michelle Obama, Ivanka Trump, Marco Rubio or something right-wing corporate politician, sold to the masses as an anti-war leftist. And because US masses, US low income workers are so arrogant, so full of vanity (as a result of driving their stupid shiny cars with computerized gadgets and the stupid movies like Fast and Furious, forcing, tempting the slaves to get into sports cars all the time. And the Verizon, Sprint phone corporations forcing the vulnerable, gullible masses to keep spending a lot of money on inane, un-necessary stupid electronic gadgets (like smart phones, etc.)

    The system has a way to sell to the masses fake populists, and to economically control the masses, by forcing people to live a literally marriage, to get economically married, enslaved with phone corporatorions, mortgate corporations, car corpolrations banks etc.

    So it will be real real hard for even the Green Party to rise to the White House in 2020, 2024, or 2028

    No matter how desperate the situation is today, we can't *force* workers to seize the means of production. Class consciousness among the masses is needed for that. As for whether centralized state control on behalf of workers during a transitory period is preferable to private capital having free reign until the masses wake up of their own volition, arguably, yes. At least centrally-directed production can prevent certain catastrophes that an everyone-for-themselves race for profits actually encourages.
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    I see I need to continue
    I repeat. Even the October Revolution did not succeed without popular initiative, nor was it devoid of popular support. The only possible "revolution from above" in the pure sense is a putsch (as in Blanquism).

    You can bring up as many Leninist substitutionist quotations as you like. When there is a contradiction between Lenin on the one hand and on the other hand Marx, Engels and the eternalized battle cry of the First International that "The emancipation of the working class must be the work of the working class itself," then ceteris paribus, I will go with the latter.

    The point of the quotes is that you'll never win the majority of the population under capitalism.

    "In mockery of the teachings of Marx, those gentlemen, the opportunists, including the Kautskyites, “teach” the people that the proletariat must first win a majority by means of universal suffrage, then obtain state power, by the vote of that majority, and only after that, on the basis of “consistent” (some call it “pure”) democracy, organise socialism.
    For you to cite this is an ugly straw man conflating revolutionary socialism with reformism. All that is needed, as a bare minimum, is a large-enough section of the proletariat willing to take active measures, not a "majority of the population" (though it certainly is preferable and helpful, not unrealistic, if the rest of the class has at least some rudimentary idea of its class interests). What do you think is a "revolution from below"?

    But what about the *rest* of the content -- ? (These speak to TL and the original topic.)
    For a start, TomLeftist's question was whether "revolution from above" was possible, not whether it was desirable, however it's defined.

    You can't have a government by and for the working people when the working people altogether refuse to accept and cooperate with the new government. The result is either counterrevolution or descent into tyranny, as the new government attempts to survive and resorts to widespread, permanent repressions.

    (As for the "so say they" quotation, it was neither an argument nor a proposal, but simply the summary of an opposing ideological position. I saw no reason to address it.)

    Jumping in here, I'll note that the problem with decentralized planning is that it resembles our current state of exchange-value-balkanized 'ownership' -- breaking productive units down to the local level just begs-the-question of how those local productive units are supposed to then conduct material distribution on a cooperative / collective basis, as in the case of linear, cascading supply-chains for complex types of manufacturing (computers, etc.).
    Ckaihatsu, what is your response to the economic calculation problem?

    How is decentralized planning balkanized when allocation of resources *is* direct but decision-making is participatory?

    You have personally suggested a system under which prioritization in planning relies on citizen feedback. In fact, many of the things you've said before made me think you preferred decentralized planning:

    "*everyone* [. . .] being able to manifest their/our more-collective-interest in handling these social ills *directly*, as from a mass-collective-administrative co-participation over society and its social production on a *common* (not private-balkanized) basis."

    "necessary mass-popular socio-political 'oversight' and 'regulation'"

    "All assets and resources will be collectivized as communist property in common -- their use must be determined through a regular political process of prioritized demands from a locality or larger population"

    *Any* use of barter and/or money over these local-to-local 'synapses' just re-introduces the realm of exchange values, since one could always trade for the sake of increasing exchange-values (arbitrage) instead of for collective use-value production goals, for *humane* ends.
    Decentralized planning does not necessitate recirculation. I see no reason why labor voucher implementation would be less effective under decentralized planning.

    Is this 'social unrest' somehow *chaotic* -- ? You certainly seem to be implying that it *would* automatically be that way.
    Not necessarily the unrest itself, but the time and place within which it occurs. It may be more likely than not, considering how often such revolutions occur either in the midst or in the aftermath of economic or martial crises. Then you have to consider possible reprisals by the national bourgeoisie or the surrounding bourgeois states. Moreover, possible short-term costs of revolution -- currency devaluation, sovereign default, stock market collapse, decline in FDI -- are all typical.

    Are you saying that it was foolish to ever implement the NEP?
    “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible…” —Peter Thiel, VC-ist, PYPL, FB, $2.7B. “[T]he notion of ‘capitalist democracy’ … ha[s been] rendered … into an oxymoron.” —Ibid.
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    All that is needed, as a bare minimum, is a large-enough section of the proletariat willing to take active measures, not a "majority of the population" (though it certainly is preferable and helpful, not unrealistic, if the rest of the class has at least some rudimentary idea of its class interests). What do you think is a "revolution from below"?


    But what about the *rest* of the content -- ? (These speak to TL and the original topic.)


    For a start, TomLeftist's question was whether "revolution from above" was possible, not whether it was desirable, however it's defined.

    You can't have a government by and for the working people when the working people altogether refuse to accept and cooperate with the new government. The result is either counterrevolution or descent into tyranny, as the new government attempts to survive and resorts to widespread, permanent repressions.

    (As for the "so say they" quotation, it was neither an argument nor a proposal, but simply the summary of an opposing ideological position. I saw no reason to address it.)

    This is a good contextualization -- a corollary of a stepped-up, hurried revolution (that's considerably substitutionist, per the thread topic) is that such a revolution would most-likely have to act like a rival nation-state since it's not entirely grounded in mass participation.

    Perhaps 'government' is the right word for this in-between, interim kind of social order, absent the more-preferred mass worldwide upheaval that would *immediately* displace bourgeois rule, leaving minds reeling at the 'overnight' pace of change.

    By virtue of this revolutionary organization / party being a 'government' it would be relatively-more-ambiguous as to whether this government was *competing* as a *rival nation-state*, or was going-through-with the proletarian revolution for a full paradigm-shift to socialism, towards communism.

    (In other words, the 'material pyramid' applies here, where a more-focused, vanguard-party-type approach makes for a *taller* pyramid, reaching new heights, but is also necessarily *thinner* in shape, indicating less-robustness and relative-top-heaviness. A *broader base* material pyramid would be an option, for more stability, but it would confer much less height from ground to tip.)



    Ckaihatsu, what is your response to the economic calculation problem?

    I'll include the following post from a past thread with that very title:




    I'll jump in here to suggest that perhaps, in many minds, the post-capitalist 'political' and 'economic' get too tangled-up and interwoven, with messy conceptions of both, as a result.

    While discussions can continue over how rigid-to-flexible central planning should be, I'll point out that anything involving an overall social *direction* -- in the sense of what civilization is *for* -- should be considered 'political', while all else -- the nitty-gritty -- is *economic*, and should be addressed in mostly *logistical* terms.

    I have no doubt that a post-revolution communistic gift economy would be mostly sufficient everywhere, with enough liberated-labor and mutual coordination to effect the main point of bringing humaneness to humanity for the first time in human history.

    It's *beyond* the basics where matters of complex production and supply-chain linkages come to the fore -- my own concern would be with the supply of liberated labor for all of the distributional logistics being discussed here.

    Unfortunately, this particular thread's topic may not be very motivating for most, either now or in a future reality, and people might wonder to what they should reasonably give their labor for, if one can more-easily enjoy a more-modest, reliable existence *without* such complicated and dubious considerations, and the exertions of one's more-discretionary efforts.

    Regarding the role of liberated labor within the context of a centralized political economy (read: mass political involvement and common-direction-planning), here's a summation / treatment from another thread:


    ---


    [If] simple basics like ham and yogurt couldn't be readily produced by the communistic gift economy, and were 'scarce' in relation to actual mass demand, they *would* be considered 'luxury goods' in economic terms, and would be *discretionary* in terms of public consumption.

    Such a situation would *encourage* liberated-labor -- such as it would be -- to 'step up' to supply its labor for the production of ham and yogurt, because the scarcity and mass demand would encourage others to put in their own labor to earn labor credits, to provide increasing rates of labor credits to those who would be able to produce the much-demanded ham and yogurt. (Note that the ham and yogurt goods themselves would never be 'bought' or 'sold', because the labor credits are only used in regard to labor-*hours* worked, and *not* for exchangeability with any goods, because that would be commodity production.)

    This kind of liberated-production assumes that the means of production have been *liberated* and collectivized, so there wouldn't be any need for any kind of finance or capital-based 'ownership' there.


    ---


    And:


    ---


    My framework [...] addresses the *outer reaches* of what a strictly moneyless communistic 'gift economy' could conceivably cover. Some on the revolutionary left have suggested that perhaps a *remnant* of the former markets could exist within a post-capitalist social order, to cover luxury / specialty production, since such might be *unaddressed* by the more mass-oriented mainstream gift economy.


    ---


    However, a regular market-based approach to luxury / specialty production could very well be more cumbersome than it's worth -- it would be tolerating a kind of exchange-values-based 'black market' within an otherwise free-access social paradigm.

    My 'labor credits' is meant to acknowledge a post-capitalist liberated-labor on its own terms, without resorting to backsliding to any system of exchange values.


    A post-capitalist political economy using labor credits

    http://www.revleft.com/vb/blog.php?bt=14673

    ---



    How is decentralized planning balkanized when allocation of resources *is* direct but decision-making is participatory?

    I'd welcome an elaboration on this particular approach to post-capitalist political economy that you're indicating -- I've heard various versions of 'market socialism' in this context, which is what I addressed in my previous post.

    How can allocation-of-resources be direct, at the same time that decision-making for the same is participatory, as over an extended area of geography (maybe up to an entire continent) -- ? (In other words what if the population of Mineralstown collectively says 'We don't want to be a part of the globally popular Five-Year Plan 2022 for neo-industrialization and -modernization, and we don't want others from outside Mineralstown digging up our lands as part of that globally-centralized plan' -- ?)



    You have personally suggested a system under which prioritization in planning relies on citizen feedback.

    I'll have to object to the use of the term 'citizen', since that term tends to imply the context of a functioning nation-state, which *wouldn't* be approrpriate to our politics (and my own approach).

    To clarify, here are relevant excerpts from that system / model:



    communist administration -- All assets and resources will be collectivized as communist property in common -- their use must be determined through a regular political process of prioritized demands from a locality or larger population -- any unused assets or resources may be used by individuals in a personal capacity only

    communist administration -- Assets and resources are collectively administered by a locality, or over numerous localities by combined consent [supply]

    communist administration -- Assets and resources have no quantifiable value -- are considered as attachments to the production process

    consumption [demand] -- Every person in a locality has a standard, one-through-infinity ranking system of political demands available to them, updated daily

    consumption [demand] -- Basic human needs will be assigned a higher political priority by individuals and will emerge as mass demands at the cumulative scale -- desires will benefit from political organizing efforts and coordination

    ---



    In fact, many of the things you've said before made me think you preferred decentralized planning:

    "*everyone* [. . .] being able to manifest their/our more-collective-interest in handling these social ills *directly*, as from a mass-collective-administrative co-participation over society and its social production on a *common* (not private-balkanized) basis."

    "necessary mass-popular socio-political 'oversight' and 'regulation'"

    "All assets and resources will be collectivized as communist property in common -- their use must be determined through a regular political process of prioritized demands from a locality or larger population"

    I'm weird in that my conception of post-capitalist socialist planning is *both* centralized *and* decentralized, as can be discerned from the model. I also contend that this is the *only*, *best* possible approach to the 'economic calculation problem' -- matters of production would popularly *emerge* cumulatively / collectively from the whole population, regardless of individual work status, from a regular daily process of individually-prioritized demands, aggregated on the whole per locality (or localities).

    (There's then a specifics-dependent 'synapse' regarding the provision of sufficient liberated-labor for the realization / implementation of whatever popular -- or not -- per-item plan for production.) (Meaning that either there *is* sufficient available-and-willing liberated labor for any given plan, or else there *isn't*, resulting in a kind of checks-and-balances between mass popular demand, and the required liberated-labor for the realization of such.) (Within this model of mine there could be the usage of the societal incentive of 'labor credits', which would be earned at greater rates of labor credits per hour at whatever work roles were socially necessary but were distasteful and avoided by a simple voluntary gift-economy provision of self-determining liberated-labor.)

    For the sake of context, I'll note that the following statement from post #16 sums-up the situation succinctly:



    [T]he layout of *work roles* would be the 'bottom' of 'top-down' (though collectivized) social planning, and would be the 'top' of 'bottom-up' processes like individual self-determination.

    ---



    Decentralized planning does not necessitate recirculation. I see no reason why labor voucher implementation would be less effective under decentralized planning.

    My understanding of the Marx 'labor voucher' approach is that such labor vouchers would be issued for work done, but I contend that this approach is *lacking* since the *valuations* of the labor vouchers would have to be determined somehow, but no good system for such a 'valuating' has actually been proposed. My standing *critique* of the labor-vouchers approach is here:


    Pies Must Line Up






    ---



    Not necessarily the unrest itself, but the time and place within which it occurs. It may be more likely than not, considering how often such revolutions occur either in the midst or in the aftermath of economic or martial crises. Then you have to consider possible reprisals by the national bourgeoisie or the surrounding bourgeois states.

    Oh, okay.



    Moreover, possible short-term costs of revolution -- currency devaluation, sovereign default, stock market collapse, decline in FDI -- are all typical.

    You're implying that the working class has an *interest* in these bourgeois material-vehicles -- I'll assert that we have an *alternative* immediately available, in the form of my proposed 'labor credits' and overall 'communist supply and demand' model.


    [7] Syndicalism-Socialism-Communism Transition Diagram






    ---



    Are you saying that it was foolish to ever implement the NEP?

    I think we should see it as a historically-necessary *capitulation* to market forces, within the greater context of a stagnating revolution that wasn't able to spread to Europe. It was *unavoidable*, but not-desirable.

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