Capitalist Temptations | Wanna get rid of those stupid ads? Us too! Help us to be non-dependent from corporate money again and sign up for a monthly donation now!

Thread: Being a Communist as an adult

Results 21 to 40 of 41

  1. #21
    Join Date Mar 2008
    Location traveling (U.S.)
    Posts 14,535
    Rep Power 62

    Default


    I'm not sure whether subordinating environmental objectives to the class struggle for socialism is necessarily a good thing.

    Right after making this statement you're then admitting that the capitalist class doesn't give a shit about the environment, or even humanity itself -- so wouldn't the class *overthrow* of the bourgeoisie *be* the best option for humanity to realize healthy hands-on approaches to repairing the environment, as expediently as possible -- ?

    If not class revolution, then what *would* be possible regarding the environment, more in the here-and-now, according to you -- ?



    it could be argued that it is unavoidable as the capitalist class have subordinated the sustainability of humanity on the planet to their pursuit of profit by lobbying political influence and promoting "climate change denialist" narratives in the media. working for reforms risks postponing revolutionary socialism for class collaboration. I guess it depends on what the revolutionary left should see themselves as responsible for and what is within the scope of their control (as the bourgeois state- democratic or not- clearly isn't within their ability to control). The soft left as you put it have however become utterly hysterical and seem to sense that a major crisis of capitalism is on its way or has already arrived. Their capacity for moral outrage is directly proportionate to the utter futility of reforms, the more powerless they are the more urgently they wrap themselves in the cloth of "principle" to rationalise defeat. they let the far right goosestep right over them as if they aren't even there. I can't think of a 20th century comparison to what is going on now in terms of the sheer anarchy of whats going on. comparisons with Nazism and fascism suggest the danger we are in but are still overblown in that there is still a legalistic-democratic camouflage for the bourgeois state in the west. Whilst Trump supporters are wrong on alot, they have occasionally get things right in order to channel dissent and have at least grasped that the ruling classes relationship with reality is now remote. As crazy as things are now, its still hard to see how a few people meeting in a basement somewhere could produce a working revolutionary socialist government in maybe a few decades. But its never happened nor will happen any other way.

    Laika, you *continue* to mix scales -- matters like revolution, the environment, and humanity, *far overshadow* any small-group 'meeting in a basement somewhere'. I'm finding this to be a rather disingenuous illustrative approach when we both know that large-scale class struggle goes on all over the world, on a daily basis.

    Trump and Trump supporters -- and all Republicans, and probably most Democrats -- are *liars*. They are only interested in financial self-aggrandizement, and they see politics as a means to an ends in that direction.

    I do agree with this part of yours:



    working for reforms risks postponing revolutionary socialism for class collaboration.

    And, regarding this:



    I guess it depends on what the revolutionary left should see themselves as responsible for and what is within the scope of their control (as the bourgeois state- democratic or not- clearly isn't within their ability to control).

    The revolutionary left is the revolutionary working class -- it / we certainly don't have control of the bourgeois state, but that's the reason for revolutionary overthrow, so that a workers state, if needed, can be used to spread the revolution worldwide and can begin to control decommodified production for humane ends.
  2. The Following User Says Thank You to ckaihatsu For This Useful Post:


  3. #22
    Join Date Mar 2008
    Location traveling (U.S.)
    Posts 14,535
    Rep Power 62

    Default


    My hesitation of accepting open class struggle is that I'm assuming we already *have* seen what such a situation would look like. The historical experience of the communist regime in the 20th century was pretty definitive in the use of terror as a method of rule unrestricted by law.

    So you favor bourgeois law over revolutionary terror -- ? (!)



    To the best of my knowledge, there is no reason to believe that any non-dictatorial system or anarchist version of communism will be any more successful today than were the Ukrainian or Catalonian anarchist territories. Nor is it likely that we will come up with a wholly original conception of a revolution or the state as that is a wholly anti-marxist and idealist assumption, unless you make a case for a "revolutionary" leap in the understanding of "revolution" and a new set of institutional practices that would result.

    Proletarian revolution doesn't *have* to have institutions of any kind, and my model at post #16 shows a certain approach as to how this might be done -- as ever much would depend on actual conditions / circumstances at the time.



    the structure of the state and of the revolution is determined by objective qualities and not simply the will or ideas of individuals as "preferences". What is more likely is an *evolution* of the Marxist-Leninist model (probably derivative of Anti-Revisionism) as the most effective model to perpetuate itself in the 20th century being reinvigorated and adopting the new technological inventions and scientific discoveries of the 21st century. I will concede I am heavily under the influence of anti-communist propaganda, but as long as the above assumption holds true, 21st century communism will be either a continuation or an escalation of its 20th century Marxist-Leninist counterpart. A 21st century Lenin would look on the communist systems of the previous century and draw conclusions, as the real Lenin studied the Paris Commune and drew the conclusion of the necessity of the dictatorship of the proletariat for Russia in 1917. hence, I'm not eager to support a movement that could reasonably produce a stalin/mao/pol pot or assist in creating such a regime even if I recognise there may be an underlying historical necessity for it. I'd like to say we could do better, but we have to work with what is available.

    I see the flat vs. hierarchical configuration issue as being a material *trade-off*, depending on what circumstances may indicate / call-for:



    [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.)
    https://www.revleft.space/vb/threads...63#post2882563
  4. #23
    Join Date Feb 2016
    Location UK
    Posts 56
    Rep Power 2

    Default

    So you favor bourgeois law over revolutionary terror -- ? (!)
    I'm certainly inclined to, yes. I think the chances of survival are higher in the US than in the killing fields or the gulag. Bourgeois Law does at least discriminate on the basis of guilt and uses evidence to decide if someone is guilty of violating laws on attacking person or property. Revolutionary terror does not, because its purpose is to intimidate the class enemy, not punish the guilty. its therefore utterly indiscriminate and the "class enemy" can easily be members of the working classes who fall under the influence of "counter-revolutionary" ideologies. So in practice, the workers state attacks members of the working class.
    Proletarian revolution doesn't *have* to have institutions of any kind, and my model at post #16 shows a certain approach as to how this might be done -- as ever much would depend on actual conditions / circumstances at the time.
    We're going to disagree here, but there are specific characteristics to a *capitalist* state as determined by the economic base. In order for private property to operate, capitalists must be "free" to buy and sell within the marketplace. This creates a *private* sphere of economic activity that is independent of the state. Under Socialism, as economic activity becomes part of the state so the "private" sphere ceases to exist. whole areas of society that were once in private hands, such as art, culture, science, family relations, sexuality, etc become politicised as a part of the state. In order that these activities may be planned as part of social production they are necessarily subordinated to the state. In the Soviet Union, socialist realism became the official ideology for art and literature, science was regulated to correspond to dialectical materialism as the official ideology, and family and sex were politicised with sex being treated as hetrosexual as a form of "production" of children, and men and women performing semi-traditional gender roles based on a division of labour between the sexes. There is a great deal of fluctuation in the pattern this takes, and variation based on nationality, culture, traditions and geography, as well as the intensity of the class struggle at a given moment. but I'd argue that- to a greater or lesser extent - socialism must produce a "totalitarian" society as a superstructure corresponding to the needs of planning the economic base. This relies on a right-wing libertarian analysis and so could well be revised but I think the basic outline is still pretty sound. it also treats the blueprint coming out of Marxism-Leninism as representative of Socialism and so can be historically substantiated based on using the experience and practice of those systems. This isn't desirable, but crudely it would seem more scientific.
    Right after making this statement you're then admitting that the capitalist class doesn't give a shit about the environment, or even humanity itself -- so wouldn't the class *overthrow* of the bourgeoisie *be* the best option for humanity to realize healthy hands-on approaches to repairing the environment, as expediently as possible -- ?If not class revolution, then what *would* be possible regarding the environment, more in the here-and-now, according to you -- ?
    I don't have one. thats not the answer I want to give but its where I am at. the conclusion I've reached of the necessity of socialism and that socialism necessarily has totalitarian characteristics is a catch-22 situation. I respect the fact if you decide this position is a waste of time as I certainly could not advocate it as an ideal, just as the best approximation of what is practically possible. nor am I comfortable acting on that position by joining a political party based on a double negative. You are older than me, have more experience and can remember a time before "neo-liberalism" as an absolutist capitalist ideology that goes out of its way to present itself as infecting everyone, everything, everywhere, so the reactionary influence of libertarianism on my own thinking is at least in part generational.
    Laika, you *continue* to mix scales -- matters like revolution, the environment, and humanity, *far overshadow* any small-group 'meeting in a basement somewhere'. I'm finding this to be a rather disingenuous illustrative approach when we both know that large-scale class struggle goes on all over the world, on a daily basis.
    If I am in error, its going to be a pretty big one. I'm not intending to be disingenuous in shifting from the "historical" to the "individual" levels of struggle, but rather using it to clarify my thinking. I have never explicitly and all out accepted an Anti-Revisionist Marxist-Leninist ideology as would make sense given my views because I find it so difficult to stomach. If I were bold enough, I'd say that my "moral" objections were the result of capitalist thinking and that my own emotional discomfort is the product of ideological error, but I still can't square supporting a Stalinist model with my own conscience and that has proven resistant to change. I am inconsistent, but it is because I want to be persuaded by evidence and experience rather than logic alone.
  5. #24
    Join Date Mar 2008
    Location traveling (U.S.)
    Posts 14,535
    Rep Power 62

    Default


    I'm certainly inclined to, yes. I think the chances of survival are higher in the US than in the killing fields or the gulag.

    You're still relying on your *own*, contrived scenarios -- you're assuming *too much*, in other words, by trying to make it sound like the future will automatically resemble *past* historical events.



    Bourgeois Law does at least discriminate on the basis of guilt and uses evidence to decide if someone is guilty of violating laws on attacking person or property. Revolutionary terror does not, because its purpose is to intimidate the class enemy, not punish the guilty.

    What you're missing is that a revolution is not about *civil law* -- the point of it is to push past our current bourgeois era so that people are no longer dependent on *exchange values* (private property) for their life and livelihood. The only reason that civil-type laws exist *at all* is because there is a historically-received *dichotomy* between the public sector and the private sector, and civil law is the patch-over that attempts to resolve these inherent contradictions. (For example, when is violence *currently* considered appropriate under civil law -- ? Is it when people are calling for justice in a pro-active way after police have summarily executed someone of color in an impoverished part of a city, or is it when a union of workers has gone without a new contract for months and the members strike and attempt to physically prevent hired scabs from taking their jobs while they're on strike -- ?) (The answer, of course, is 'neither', because both of these realities aren't recognized as 'legitimate' according to bourgeois law.)



    [revolutionary terror is] therefore utterly indiscriminate and the "class enemy" can easily be members of the working classes who fall under the influence of "counter-revolutionary" ideologies.

    This seems fitting, though -- a revolution is about mass class consciousness, and if people decide in that context to be *counter*-revolutionaries then they should be treated as such by the revolution.



    So in practice, the workers state attacks members of the working class.

    In this scenario, this action would be entirely appropriate because people have free will and can decide for themselves what their own politics are -- if anyone acts *against* the working class, revolution or not, they should understand and deal-with the consequences of their anti-working-class actions, whatever those happen to be.



    We're going to disagree here, but there are specific characteristics to a *capitalist* state as determined by the economic base. In order for private property to operate, capitalists must be "free" to buy and sell within the marketplace. This creates a *private* sphere of economic activity that is independent of the state.

    Your 'superstructure' example here -- exchange values -- is erroneous because: Who or what issues the *currency* in the first place -- ? How is monetary *policy* determined -- ? In both cases there's no 'independent' base because the monetary aspect is an artifact of the bourgeois *superstructure*.



    Under Socialism, as economic activity becomes part of the state so the "private" sphere ceases to exist. whole areas of society that were once in private hands, such as art, culture, science, family relations, sexuality, etc become politicised as a part of the state. In order that these activities may be planned as part of social production they are necessarily subordinated to the state.

    During a revolutionary period, yes, I imagine that much -- approaching *all* -- of social life would become highly politicized, but it wouldn't *have* to be a nightmare totalitarian state overseeing every tiny second of every person's moment-to-moment activities. Again you're over-relying on historical examples, and in so doing you're conflating the fUSSR's *bureaucratic* collectivism with what could be a future *true* workers collectivism, without any dependence on specialized, fixed administrative roles or institutions (because such would be elitist-bureaucratic compared to regular, *productive* work roles). The end of a private sector doesn't mean the end of *personal* ('private') lives, because the *political* meaning of private is in the sense of 'private property', or private ownership of pieces of mass industrial production, for profit.



    In the Soviet Union, socialist realism became the official ideology for art and literature, science was regulated to correspond to dialectical materialism as the official ideology, and family and sex were politicised with sex being treated as hetrosexual as a form of "production" of children, and men and women performing semi-traditional gender roles based on a division of labour between the sexes. There is a great deal of fluctuation in the pattern this takes, and variation based on nationality, culture, traditions and geography, as well as the intensity of the class struggle at a given moment.

    (Again) this is *bureaucratic* control you're describing, a necessary downslide from the initial 'soviet' workplace formation due to foreign invasions and the resulting famines at that time.

    I *don't* think that people's personal lives would have to be politicized, although the 'superstructure' that emerges from collectivist control would certainly *influence* and *shape* the personal sphere, as with free birth control and abortions being available -- we're in a different time now and much advanced industry has been built up in the last 100 years. Revolutionary politicization *now* could mean that people pay attention to news on the Internet and participate regularly over matters of collectivist policy and planning, such as on a forum like this one, RevLeft.



    but I'd argue that- to a greater or lesser extent - socialism must produce a "totalitarian" society as a superstructure corresponding to the needs of planning the economic base.

    I accept this reasoning, and such 'totalitarianism' would be part of the 'humane efficiency' of planned production (some comrades will argue against the existence of dozens of different types of toothpaste today).

    What's most to-the-point, of course, is what the *characteristics* of such a 'total society' would be like -- I'll reiterate that I don't think people would even have to forfeit their *personal* lives, even in the midst of contentious global revolution. Politicization has a *positive* connotation in that the spread of politicization -- a revolution -- can displace the logistical messiness of conventional exchange-values ('economics') *altogether*, so that mass formal public demand enjoys a quick responsiveness from liberated-production, such as for food, housing, etc., without a single dollar changing hands.



    This relies on a right-wing libertarian analysis and so could well be revised but I think the basic outline is still pretty sound. it also treats the blueprint coming out of Marxism-Leninism as representative of Socialism and so can be historically substantiated based on using the experience and practice of those systems. This isn't desirable, but crudely it would seem more scientific. I don't have one. thats not the answer I want to give but its where I am at. the conclusion I've reached of the necessity of socialism and that socialism necessarily has totalitarian characteristics is a catch-22 situation. I respect the fact if you decide this position is a waste of time as I certainly could not advocate it as an ideal, just as the best approximation of what is practically possible. nor am I comfortable acting on that position by joining a political party based on a double negative. You are older than me, have more experience and can remember a time before "neo-liberalism" as an absolutist capitalist ideology that goes out of its way to present itself as infecting everyone, everything, everywhere, so the reactionary influence of libertarianism on my own thinking is at least in part generational. If I am in error, its going to be a pretty big one. I'm not intending to be disingenuous in shifting from the "historical" to the "individual" levels of struggle, but rather using it to clarify my thinking. I have never explicitly and all out accepted an Anti-Revisionist Marxist-Leninist ideology as would make sense given my views because I find it so difficult to stomach. If I were bold enough, I'd say that my "moral" objections were the result of capitalist thinking and that my own emotional discomfort is the product of ideological error, but I still can't square supporting a Stalinist model with my own conscience and that has proven resistant to change. I am inconsistent, but it is because I want to be persuaded by evidence and experience rather than logic alone.

    Well, I do appreciate your honesty and openness -- unfortunately history is a *linear* thing and we don't have that many unique examples of socialism-in-action. Hopefully we'll have imminent opportunities to do this thing in a '21st-century' kind of way.

    I'll invite your reflections on what 'totalitarianism' / 'total society' could potentially mean, in both positive and negative ways, and I'll note that the 'Stalin' model -- socialism-in-one-country -- is *not* necessary, nor is the model that we should be striving for in our *contemporary* reality.

    (My own framework model that I developed and advocate is at post #16.)
  6. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to ckaihatsu For This Useful Post:


  7. #25
    Join Date Dec 2013
    Location Portugal
    Posts 273
    Rep Power 5

    Default

    I'm certainly inclined to, yes. I think the chances of survival are higher in the US than in the killing fields or the gulag. Bourgeois Law does at least discriminate on the basis of guilt and uses evidence to decide if someone is guilty of violating laws on attacking person or property. Revolutionary terror does not, because its purpose is to intimidate the class enemy, not punish the guilty. its therefore utterly indiscriminate and the "class enemy" can easily be members of the working classes who fall under the influence of "counter-revolutionary" ideologies. So in practice, the workers state attacks members of the working class. .
    You're ignoring the daily violence of the status quo that is necessary so things do not change, but that is taken as natural.
    "There were two 'Reigns of Terror', if we could but remember and consider it; the one wrought murder in hot passions, the other in heartless cold blood; the one lasted mere months, the other had lasted a thousand years; the one inflicted death upon a thousand persons, the other upon a hundred million; but our shudders are all for the "horrors of the... momentary Terror, so to speak; whereas, what is the horror of swift death by the axe compared with lifelong death from hunger, cold, insult, cruelty and heartbreak? A city cemetery could contain the coffins filled by that brief terror that we have all been so diligently taught to shiver at and mourn over; but all France could hardly contain the coffins filled by that older and real Terror - that unspeakable bitter and awful Terror which none of us has been taught to see in its vastness or pity as it deserves."
    So what if millions die from revolutionary terror, it's still nothing compared to the slow continuous terror from contemporary societies. Besides failure is not a guarantee, neither that the only result from terror are authoritarian soviet style states.
  8. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Full Metal Bolshevik For This Useful Post:


  9. #26
    Join Date Apr 2008
    Location Canada
    Posts 1,244
    Rep Power 0

    Default

    I'm certainly inclined to, yes. I think the chances of survival are higher in the US than in the killing fields or the gulag.
    If you'll just do a bit of research, you'll easily find this is wrong. Even the incarceration rate in the U.S. is higher. We also have to take into account the wider social conditions at times when mortality rates in Gulags were higher. If, for several reasons, resources are strained in the country as a whole, naturally the problem will be more acute in the most remote regions. It's not just a matter of comparing body counts, either---the U.S. prison system is there to sustain the existing system as an end in itself by segregating "undesirables."A prison system in a revolutionary socialist society is there to help sustain a revolution---that is, a process of transition from bourgeois to communist society. There's risk of excesses in the midst of upheaval of the current system, but as others said, they don't compare to the piling up of bodies by an unchallenged status quo.
    Bourgeois Law does at least discriminate on the basis of guilt and uses evidence to decide if someone is guilty of violating laws on attacking person or property. Revolutionary terror does not, because its purpose is to intimidate the class enemy, not punish the guilty.
    Legal guilt...perhaps. Even that is by no means a certainty, but when it is, bourgeois notions of "justice" are selective and at best incidentally in the interest of workers. Bourgeois Law is not inherently evidence-based...it's evolved this way for sustainability purposes where expedient, just as other reforms have been accepted. In other places where class rule is more blatant, you see groups like the "Death Squads." Then there's the legal regime of say, Saudi Arabia, propped up for the sake of bourgeois interest in access to resources.
    its therefore utterly indiscriminate and the "class enemy" can easily be members of the working classes who fall under the influence of "counter-revolutionary" ideologies. So in practice, the workers state attacks members of the working class.
    Again, this is circumstantial. Excesses do happen in the context of revolution. We can do our best to limit these, especially with a benefit of hindsight that didn't exist before. Even without that benefit, this is no argument for leaving an ultimately worse system intact.
    We're going to disagree here, but there are specific characteristics to a *capitalist* state as determined by the economic base. In order for private property to operate, capitalists must be "free" to buy and sell within the marketplace. This creates a *private* sphere of economic activity that is independent of the state.
    We (and much of the capitalist class, at least) recognize the necessity of a state to keep the economic machine running. Without an imposed legal basis for private property to dress it up in the language of "rights", it truly is "naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation."Even if such a private sphere were somehow kept entirely disconnected from a bourgeois state, this would be no more of a mark of "freedom" than southern slave-owners escaping the legal authority of the federal U.S. government in the north. This idea of a dichotomy between private enterprise as "freedom" and state-run enterprise as "totalitarian," and the resultant view in some cases that market intervention is a "compromise" of freedom even if for laudable purposes, is ideological nonsense. It's only material basis is in ruling class hegemony.
    Under Socialism, as economic activity becomes part of the state so the "private" sphere ceases to exist. whole areas of society that were once in private hands, such as art, culture, science, family relations, sexuality, etc become politicised as a part of the state. In order that these activities may be planned as part of social production they are necessarily subordinated to the state. In the Soviet Union, socialist realism became the official ideology for art and literature, science was regulated to correspond to dialectical materialism as the official ideology, and family and sex were politicised with sex being treated as hetrosexual as a form of "production" of children, and men and women performing semi-traditional gender roles based on a division of labour between the sexes. There is a great deal of fluctuation in the pattern this takes, and variation based on nationality, culture, traditions and geography, as well as the intensity of the class struggle at a given moment.
    Somewhat true, sure. Of course, none of this precludes spontaneous communal activity which sometimes went further than the state had intended. If we treat the state as the point of cultural origin, then we see its ubiquitous influence as "totalitarian." If we treat the people, in socialist fashion, as culture's point of origin then the state is an expression and reflection of this. Then such a system is not tyranny imposed from above, but the proletarian dictatorship widely embraced.The trouble is when inorganic, entrenched "leadership" develops, with its own separate aims. This is where the state's ubiquitous influence is a problem---not merely because it is ubiquitous, as the term "totalitarian" implies.
    to a greater or lesser extent - socialism must produce a "totalitarian" society as a superstructure corresponding to the needs of planning the economic base. This relies on a right-wing libertarian analysis and so could well be revised but I think the basic outline is still pretty sound. it also treats the blueprint coming out of Marxism-Leninism as representative of Socialism and so can be historically substantiated based on using the experience and practice of those systems. This isn't desirable, but crudely it would seem more scientific. I don't have one. thats not the answer I want to give but its where I am at. the conclusion I've reached of the necessity of socialism and that socialism necessarily has totalitarian characteristics is a catch-22 situation. I respect the fact if you decide this position is a waste of time as I certainly could not advocate it as an ideal, just as the best approximation of what is practically possible. nor am I comfortable acting on that position by joining a political party based on a double negative. You are older than me, have more experience and can remember a time before "neo-liberalism" as an absolutist capitalist ideology that goes out of its way to present itself as infecting everyone, everything, everywhere, so the reactionary influence of libertarianism on my own thinking is at least in part generational.
    The "libertarianism" you're referring to here is not "libertarianism" at all---it's the private tyranny of capital let loose.
    If I am in error, its going to be a pretty big one. I'm not intending to be disingenuous in shifting from the "historical" to the "individual" levels of struggle, but rather using it to clarify my thinking. I have never explicitly and all out accepted an Anti-Revisionist Marxist-Leninist ideology as would make sense given my views because I find it so difficult to stomach. If I were bold enough, I'd say that my "moral" objections were the result of capitalist thinking and that my own emotional discomfort is the product of ideological error, but I still can't square supporting a Stalinist model with my own conscience and that has proven resistant to change. I am inconsistent, but it is because I want to be persuaded by evidence and experience rather than logic alone.
    All or most of us here would rather be experiencing revolution/socialism rather than simply discussing or engaging in polemics about it."Totalitarian" is really a meaningless buzzword, but yes, authoritarian methods may well be necessary to realign an economy in which, currently, different fiefdoms work at cross purposes or engage in everything from direct and immediate harm to criminal squandering of potential. This may well necessitate a sort of secondary revolution to keep or grab the means of production from an entrenched bureaucracy if such a development could not be prevented with hindsight. That said, where the alternatives is the status quo, such means are vastly preferable.
  10. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to The Intransigent Faction For This Useful Post:


  11. #27
    Join Date Feb 2016
    Location UK
    Posts 56
    Rep Power 2

    Default

    So what if millions die from revolutionary terror, it's still nothing compared to the slow continuous terror from contemporary societies. Besides failure is not a guarantee, neither that the only result from terror are authoritarian soviet style states.
    Doesn't the indifference to the deaths of millions from revolutionary terror prove how little we care about the proletariat as people and simply wish to use them as an instrument for our own ambitions? how is it millions of people can become disposable?
  12. #28
    Join Date Dec 2013
    Location Portugal
    Posts 273
    Rep Power 5

    Default

    Doesn't the indifference to the deaths of millions from revolutionary terror prove how little we care about the proletariat as people and simply wish to use them as an instrument for our own ambitions? how is it millions of people can become disposable?
    MILLIONS OF PEOPLE ARE ALREADY DISPOSABLE! These hypothetical millions of deaths from terror (that would be enacted against the ruling class) are nothing compared to the deaths due to global capitalism, how many die of hunger and curable and preventable diseases every year? Or victims of oppressive regimes? Or in the US where the prison system is nothing more than an excuse to put away the undesirables, (drugs users, mentally ill, poor people in general), are those deaths indifferent to you? You can't say no but then being afraid to enact change. Use them for our own ambitions? you are the one separating communists from the working class when many communists are part of the working class.
  13. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Full Metal Bolshevik For This Useful Post:


  14. #29
    Join Date Feb 2016
    Location UK
    Posts 56
    Rep Power 2

    Default

    MILLIONS OF PEOPLE ARE ALREADY DISPOSABLE! These hypothetical millions of deaths from terror (that would be enacted against the ruling class) are nothing compared to the deaths due to global capitalism, how many die of hunger and curable and preventable diseases every year? Or victims of oppressive regimes? Or in the US where the prison system is nothing more than an excuse to put away the undesirables, (drugs users, mentally ill, poor people in general), are those deaths indifferent to you? You can't say no but then being afraid to enact change. Use them for our own ambitions? you are the one separating communists from the working class when many communists are part of the working class.
    Yes. But Communists didn't kill people under Capitalism. They killed people under Communism when they may have had the power to do otherwise. they used that power deliberately and consciously kill people in the name of the revolution. nor can the workers benefit from communism if we kill and bury them for not being class conscious enough. its not hypothetical, its history- so its not wrong to ask whether that is really the true and fullest expression of a communist morality. if human life is worthless under capitalism, why should we treat human life as worthless under socialism and communism when we have the power to change it?
  15. #30
    Join Date Mar 2008
    Location traveling (U.S.)
    Posts 14,535
    Rep Power 62

    Default


    Yes. But Communists didn't kill people under Capitalism. They killed people under Communism when they may have had the power to do otherwise. they used that power deliberately and consciously kill people in the name of the revolution. nor can the workers benefit from communism if we kill and bury them for not being class conscious enough. its not hypothetical, its history- so its not wrong to ask whether that is really the true and fullest expression of a communist morality. if human life is worthless under capitalism, why should we treat human life as worthless under socialism and communism when we have the power to change it?

    Such treatment of human life is *not* treating it as 'worthless' -- your scenario posited that certain working-class types would become counterrevolutionaries and would oppose the proletarian revolution and its red terror. This means the same as it meant before, at post #23:



    So in practice, the workers state attacks members of the working class.


    In this scenario, this action would be entirely appropriate because people have free will and can decide for themselves what their own politics are -- if anyone acts *against* the working class, revolution or not, they should understand and deal-with the consequences of their anti-working-class actions, whatever those happen to be.

    ---


    Also, your formulations are *continuing* to look disingenuous:



    nor can the workers benefit from communism if we kill and bury them for not being class conscious enough.

    Who's 'we' -- what's the scenario on this one -- ?

    And who said that the red terror would be directed at those who are 'not being class conscious enough' -- ?

    If you'll note, the standard is / should-be about who in the population are *counter-revolutionaries*. You're making it sound here like a devilish version of a game show, where contestants have to be 'class conscious enough' to escape with their lives, otherwise the boogeyman's gonna get them.
  16. #31
    Join Date Feb 2016
    Location UK
    Posts 56
    Rep Power 2

    Default

    Also, your formulations are *continuing* to look disingenuous:
    I don't anticipate pushing this line of argument any further will be constructive. So I'm just going to agree to differ and let it be.
  17. The Following User Says Thank You to Laika For This Useful Post:


  18. #32
    Join Date Mar 2008
    Location traveling (U.S.)
    Posts 14,535
    Rep Power 62

    Default


    I don't anticipate pushing this line of argument any further will be constructive. So I'm just going to agree to differ and let it be.

    You may just want to *rephrase* and try a different tack.

    But what I'm seeing is that your self-admitted 'morality' is a difficult basis to use for argumentation, since it's -- by definition -- *idealism*, and so you have to formulate situations / scenarios that are artificially / abstractly putting revolutionaries and the revolution in a bad light.

    You're basically not-accepting the material premise for proletarian revolution, anyway -- that the world *needs* an overthrow of current private property relations so that workers can control social production and give rise to an egalitarian social order.
  19. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to ckaihatsu For This Useful Post:


  20. #33
    Join Date Feb 2016
    Location UK
    Posts 56
    Rep Power 2

    Default

    You may just want to *rephrase* and try a different tack.But what I'm seeing is that your self-admitted 'morality' is a difficult basis to use for argumentation, since it's -- by definition -- *idealism*, and so you have to formulate situations / scenarios that are artificially / abstractly putting revolutionaries and the revolution in a bad light.You're basically not-accepting the material premise for proletarian revolution, anyway -- that the world *needs* an overthrow of current private property relations so that workers can control social production and give rise to an egalitarian social order.
    bluntly, I am trying to be a revolutionary and a conscientious objector at the same time. it doesn't work and I know it. The idealist morality of non-violence still contains some truth about the value of people's lives, the natural propensity for human beings to empathise with one another, and to want each others happiness. you couldn't really build a decent society without something like that. moreover, idealism means treating political language about class struggle, dictatorship of the proletariat, revolutionary terror etc as deceptive and not taking it at face value. dialectics makes this a lot harder because it muddies the waters about what violence is right and wrong almost exclusively on who is committing it, and blurs the distinction between dictatorship and democracy so that "peace" is a relative state dependent on which ruling class it serves. Marxism understands society as in a semi-permanent state of civil war and so insists that a revolutionary and socialist state wage a class struggle accordingly, using the objective character of class struggle to turn the state into an instrument to wage a war against (at least) a section of its own people. its all very unnerving and rings alarm bells. ultimately this is a view that's opposed with Marxism, particularly if the defence of the revolutionary state takes precedence over the rights of individuals to the protection of the law as a probable basis for a free and civilised society (or at least some measure of autonomy and civil peace). In the end I can't reconcile my own conscience or capacity with empathy with the necessity of violence. that's not an uncommon experience amongst communists but I've never definitively "picked sides" because, this is all fine in a theoretical discussion, but in real life that could get nasty pretty quickly. there isn't a book or person I could turn to for moral guidance because communists never anticipated just how ugly things could turn out, and there aren't many contemporary theorists even posing this sort of question because they won't directly equate communism with the violence and will say it either didn't happen or is not representative of the communist "idea" even if marxism-leninism (and maoism) are the most historically significant example of it being put into action.. so, yeah.... its pretty messed up. definitely not what I signed up for when I started out reading communist literature.
  21. #34
    Join Date Jun 2017
    Location India
    Posts 38
    Organisation
    Guevarist League of India(GLI) , ex-HSRAist,pro-communist
    Rep Power 0

    Default

    I dont think whats happening in todays world is no less than barbarism. Savage beheadings to avenge the slaughter of a religious animal in India gives you a full - view of this situation where fear and natural reductionism , reactions throttle the proleteriat to live his life in security amidst plasticly synthesised communal elements that catalyse capitalist exploitation by intensifying inter-community conflicts ..Is this not reactionary violence ? Where people dont dare to challenge the feudal leaders pronouncement though it being irrational?If a communist cant love and love beyond shocking gory and bloody aftermath his ideological aims, of a small ,say, street clash between him and sundry he is pretending to revolt while he is engaging in a self-satisfactory contradictory verbiage .If I speak of revolution I should mean it.*division* and compartmentalisation is promoted by capitalist conservative forces who generate inter-repulsive bonding forces which entrench their stronghold over their Capital and the men they bought as serfs and animals , letting them divide and fight as animals for no reason *owing to generated situations of lack of unity * is all they want ...P.S. - Are you one of them hiding under the refuge of hypocrisy and pretence ?
  22. #35
    Join Date Feb 2016
    Location UK
    Posts 56
    Rep Power 2

    Default

    I dont think whats happening in todays world is no less than barbarism. Savage beheadings to avenge the slaughter of a religious animal in India gives you a full - view of this situation where fear and natural reductionism , reactions throttle the proleteriat to live his life in security amidst plasticly synthesised communal elements that catalyse capitalist exploitation by intensifying inter-community conflicts ..Is this not reactionary violence ? Where people dont dare to challenge the feudal leaders pronouncement though it being irrational?If a communist cant love and love beyond shocking gory and bloody aftermath his ideological aims, of a small ,say, street clash between him and sundry he is pretending to revolt while he is engaging in a self-satisfactory contradictory verbiage .If I speak of revolution I should mean it.*division* and compartmentalisation is promoted by capitalist conservative forces who generate inter-repulsive bonding forces which entrench their stronghold over their Capital and the men they bought as serfs and animals , letting them divide and fight as animals for no reason *owing to generated situations of lack of unity * is all they want ...P.S. - Are you one of them hiding under the refuge of hypocrisy and pretence ?
    I wish I had the refuge of hypocrisy and pretence, for I do sincerely wish to do what is right for the people. That is no easy thing, and my revulsion at what has been done in communism's name is an expression of my desire to do what is right. it is not easy to reconcile the passion for a better world with recognising our common human capacity for cruelty. I am conflicted and confused as to what is right and I find it disturbing that communists have learned so little from the past century of atrocity and fall into stereotyped responses. our theory is crippled and our depth of feeling impoverished by the illusion of security in repeating thought terminating cliches. we have yet to attain a level of wisdom where we could exercise power in such a way that it shows a humility before the forces that the class struggle unleash. we are ideologically in our infancy, full of ourselves because we think our ideas make us special. we are like children wielding a gun: we have yet to know death and see that the measure of a man cannot be quantified merely in loyalty to our cause. if we are the vanguard of humanity, it must be greater and deeper than that.
  23. The Following User Says Thank You to Laika For This Useful Post:


  24. #36
    Join Date Dec 2013
    Location Portugal
    Posts 273
    Rep Power 5

    Default

    ckaihatsu how can you make paragraphs? I couldn't in my last post, and judging by the last Laika and guevarism posts they couldn't either.After pressing enter twice it starts a new paragraph on the editing screen, but it's removed after posting.
  25. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Full Metal Bolshevik For This Useful Post:


  26. #37
    Join Date Jun 2017
    Location India
    Posts 38
    Organisation
    Guevarist League of India(GLI) , ex-HSRAist,pro-communist
    Rep Power 0

    Default

    Laika , you are a visionary delusionist , dont take the world to be like the past it has changed and historical literature of the last century which are right-oriented , for me they carry no relevance. So whats good according to you ??To keep mum and let the atrocities spill the beans and bring the spells of horror amidst the dryness of mental courage and strength.Marxs ideas still are worth a great insight ....His ideas as I investigated are true ....In my nation , communists couldnt establish a communist state government on top of the underlyong existing capitalist bedrock layer....This was a reactionary move by communists according to Marx not to last long and so did it ...
  27. #38
    Join Date Mar 2008
    Location traveling (U.S.)
    Posts 14,535
    Rep Power 62

    Default


    bluntly, I am trying to be a revolutionary and a conscientious objector at the same time.

    A conscientious objector of what -- ?



    it doesn't work and I know it. The idealist morality of non-violence still contains some truth about the value of people's lives, the natural propensity for human beings to empathise with one another, and to want each others happiness. you couldn't really build a decent society without something like that.

    Okay, now you've made your 'morality' more-concrete. However, you're not addressing *this* point from post #28:



    Doesn't the indifference to the deaths of millions from revolutionary terror prove how little we care about the proletariat as people and simply wish to use them as an instrument for our own ambitions? how is it millions of people can become disposable?


    MILLIONS OF PEOPLE ARE ALREADY DISPOSABLE! These hypothetical millions of deaths from terror (that would be enacted against the ruling class) are nothing compared to the deaths due to global capitalism, how many die of hunger and curable and preventable diseases every year? Or victims of oppressive regimes? Or in the US where the prison system is nothing more than an excuse to put away the undesirables, (drugs users, mentally ill, poor people in general), are those deaths indifferent to you? You can't say no but then being afraid to enact change. Use them for our own ambitions? you are the one separating communists from the working class when many communists are part of the working class.

    ---



    moreover, idealism means treating political language about class struggle, dictatorship of the proletariat, revolutionary terror etc as deceptive and not taking it at face value.

    I really don't think that the definition of 'idealism' is *that* elastic -- here's the definition as applicable to our common usage in the *political* context:



    In philosophy, idealism is the group of philosophies which assert that reality, or reality as we can know it, is fundamentally mental, mentally constructed, or otherwise immaterial. Epistemologically, idealism manifests as a skepticism about the possibility of knowing any mind-independent thing.

    ---



    dialectics makes this a lot harder because it muddies the waters about what violence is right and wrong almost exclusively on who is committing it, and blurs the distinction between dictatorship and democracy so that "peace" is a relative state dependent on which ruling class it serves.

    No, this is incorrect as well -- dialectics is nowhere near as specific in meaning as you're positing here -- it's more of a *framework* (the resolution of the 'continuous' with the 'discrete'), so it contains no particulars itself.

    I think you're *projecting* your *own* assertions here, falsely onto 'dialectics', which we can still deal with:

    You're saying that dialectics can't inherently distinguish between 'right' and 'wrong' -- and you're *correct* because it's just a cognitive / empirical *tool* -- actual interpretations are left to the reasoning ability of the 'user', such as what is 'right' and 'wrong', moralisticallly. I myself prefer to use the terms 'constructive' and 'deleterious' instead of the much-more-vague 'right' and 'wrong'.

    The use of violence is just like the use of any other tool -- it's *not* entirely subjective, as you're contending, and that's why civil laws / rules exist to regulate its usage in the everyday context (though not to the benefit of those who do the *producing* for society).

    You're implying that a proletarian revolution would introduce a new 'ruling class', which is not exactly accurate -- yes, a revolutionary vanguard would have the socio-material latitude to *act* in a ruling-class kind of way, but only to the extent that it uses that mandate to suppress the *bourgeois* ruling class, to then displace it entirely. Once the class divide has been abolished the revolutionary vanguard would no longer have the same context of *class* in which to operate and its social-planning functions could then be done by everyone generically -- specifically those who are an active part of the classless collectivist social production.

    We can clarify that there would be *no* peace during a dictatorship of the proletariat transitional phase, since its very purpose would be to wage class war against the bourgeois ruling class.



    Marxism understands society as in a semi-permanent state of civil war and so insists that a revolutionary and socialist state wage a class struggle accordingly, using the objective character of class struggle to turn the state into an instrument to wage a war against (at least) a section of its own people.

    '[T]he objective character of class struggle [turns] the state into an instrument to wage a war against (at least) a section of [class struggle's] own people.'

    This makes no sense -- class struggle is not a *person*, or people, and it's not an *institution* like the bourgeois state. There's no clear possession available in your statement regarding 'its own people'. You may want to rephrase.



    its all very unnerving and rings alarm bells. ultimately this is a view that's opposed with Marxism, particularly if the defence of the revolutionary state takes precedence over the rights of individuals to the protection of the law as a probable basis for a free and civilised society (or at least some measure of autonomy and civil peace).

    Your own opinion aside, the objective social dynamic of class struggle is *not* opposed to Marxism -- it's the opposite, it's *defined* by Marxism.

    Yes, the operations of the revolutionary workers state, if any, would *not* be analogous to your precious '[bourgeois] civil law'. The revolutionary workers state would be to *insert* the working class as the collective decision-makers over all social / societal matters, since bourgeois 'civil law' cannot resolve the inherent contradictions between the public sector and the private sector (who gets to use what machinery and natural resources, why, and for-what, etc.).



    In the end I can't reconcile my own conscience or capacity with empathy with the necessity of violence. that's not an uncommon experience amongst communists but I've never definitively "picked sides" because, this is all fine in a theoretical discussion, but in real life that could get nasty pretty quickly.

    This is your *own* personal opinion, and is *not* based on any reasoning rooted in actual material conditions. You yourself don't *have* to reconcile your own conscience with this plan of action, proletarian revolution, and you *don't* have to disparage such as '[getting] nasty pretty quickly'.



    there isn't a book or person I could turn to for moral guidance

    I'm not a moralist, so I may not be the most qualified to speak on this topic, but, again, your own need for 'moral guidance' really isn't applicable here, because the subject of 'morality' simply isn't relevant to the process of proletarian revolution -- the politics for such is more of a *judgment call* based on one's weighing of empirically counterposed socio-political factors, particularly the mutually exclusive interests of the ruling class versus those of the working class.



    because communists never anticipated just how ugly things could turn out,

    (Again) this is just your own opinionating on history -- note that you're not *discussing* the actual *historical factors* of such, you're just putting forth a perfunctory *opinion* on it, for whatever that's worth. (I, for one, am not interested in your personal *opinion* on such.)



    and there aren't many contemporary theorists even posing this sort of question because they won't directly equate communism with the violence and will say it either didn't happen or is not representative of the communist "idea" even if marxism-leninism (and maoism) are the most historically significant example of it being put into action.. so, yeah.... its pretty messed up. definitely not what I signed up for when I started out reading communist literature.

    Well, all *you're* doing is putting the word 'communism' on one tile, then the word 'violence' on *another* tile, and then putting the two tiles side-by-side. You seem to think that making multiple assertions over abstract terms is sufficient to make a point, and -- guess what -- it *isn't*. You're not discussing anything about the actual history, so why bother with this contrived line of yours -- ? I've already suggested that you may want to take another approach, and I'll reiterate that suggestion now.
  28. #39
    Join Date Mar 2008
    Location traveling (U.S.)
    Posts 14,535
    Rep Power 62

    Default


    I wish I had the refuge of hypocrisy and pretence, for I do sincerely wish to do what is right for the people. That is no easy thing, and my revulsion at what has been done in communism's name is an expression of my desire to do what is right. it is not easy to reconcile the passion for a better world with recognising our common human capacity for cruelty. I am conflicted and confused as to what is right and I find it disturbing that communists have learned so little from the past century of atrocity and fall into stereotyped responses. our theory is crippled and our depth of feeling impoverished by the illusion of security in repeating thought terminating cliches. we have yet to attain a level of wisdom where we could exercise power in such a way that it shows a humility before the forces that the class struggle unleash. we are ideologically in our infancy, full of ourselves because we think our ideas make us special. we are like children wielding a gun: we have yet to know death and see that the measure of a man cannot be quantified merely in loyalty to our cause. if we are the vanguard of humanity, it must be greater and deeper than that.

    Let me ask you this, Laika -- why are you so satisfied with the current elitist, class-riven social order of capitalism, to the point that you eschew the risks and realities of violence associated with a potentially successful proletarian revolution -- ?



    ckaihatsu how can you make paragraphs? I couldn't in my last post, and judging by the last Laika and guevarism posts they couldn't either.After pressing enter twice it starts a new paragraph on the editing screen, but it's removed after posting.

    Hmmmm, I'm not sure how to respond -- the website's been acting rather goofy lately regarding some of my posted images (in [img] tags), and with [youtube] tags, but I've always been able to do blank lines easily enough.

    Maybe it'll help to say that I do use a text editor, and then copy-and-paste the whole text into the thread's 'post' / edit area, for posting. Maybe try that -- ?
  29. #40
    Join Date Feb 2016
    Location UK
    Posts 56
    Rep Power 2

    Default

    Let me ask you this, Laika -- why are you so satisfied with the current elitist, class-riven social order of capitalism, to the point that you eschew the risks and realities of violence associated with a potentially successful proletarian revolution -- ?
    Let just stop here and live and let live. I think its best I solve this one on my own as its connected with personal problems (i.e. depression) that won't be solved in the course of a thread. It wasn't my intention to unload on you or anyone else on Revleft but continuing down this route would be unfair and selfish. We may disagree but nonetheless thanks for your input.
    Last edited by Laika; 20th June 2017 at 07:53.

Similar Threads

  1. What would be taught in schools in a communist society?
    By radiocaroline in forum Learning
    Replies: 41
    Last Post: 11th March 2014, 09:41
  2. Views of Stalin as a person and his actions?
    By Always Curious J in forum Learning
    Replies: 60
    Last Post: 26th May 2013, 09:00
  3. Replies: 13
    Last Post: 2nd October 2011, 17:34
  4. Education in a Communist society
    By Rusty Shackleford in forum Learning
    Replies: 39
    Last Post: 29th June 2009, 19:00
  5. A new communist organization
    By anomaly in forum Theory
    Replies: 160
    Last Post: 27th March 2006, 07:09

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts