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Thread: Being a Communist as an adult

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  1. #1
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    Default Being a Communist as an adult

    hey,

    I will be turning 28 in a months time and its got me thinking about a lot of stuff. I've had nearly a decade with depression and thankfully that's coming to an end and I'm nearing full recovery. (if you think its weird I think of myself as "old", a year with depression feels more like a decade and it really ages you.) I've thought a lot about whether I can really still be a Communist as I get older and its struck me just how "odd" it is. Communism is (at least in the west) something for young people. The enthusiasm of the young is great, but it tends to burn out and doesn't really "mature" into something that can survive the bad times as well as the good. They are also very new to the ideas and so still live with the "honeymoon" phase of the ideology when it all seems new, fresh and rosy. the initial seduction by the ideology as a way to imagine our own future and the possibilities of what we could achieve is something that very much fits in a young person's psyche- especially students for whom the fascination with radical ideas can be a bit of a narcotic. I have had doubts about communism, some of them very serious given the sheer brutality and cruelty of the systems involved, and felt burnt out from it. I still get those moments but I'm learning to manage them and be open about my doubts as its healthier. often it just makes it come back stronger. I do feel that I am a better person for doubting the theory though and thinking about what it "actually" means outside of pure theory. language is necessarily deceptive and never gives you the whole picture, especially when its political.

    I'm wondering if I'm alone in thinking along these lines (probably not) and if there are any communists, anarchists or radicals who have made the transition to "adulthood" without being sucked in to the conformist "maturity" that ruling class have on offer.You don't really think about Communists being parents having kids and taking them to school, or being a mother or father, or anything like that. Nor does having a family or a job and a career fit into the stereotype of the "dedicated revolutionary" who puts the cause above everything else. its the young who have that amount of time to read, think and be political active in the main.

    it's just weird realising that you're walking such an unfamiliar path and wondering how much the ideology really separates your own experiences from that of everyone else as an adult. Nor is any form of "conformity" really sustainable given the fragility of the status quo (especially on environmental issues) so just putting it down to "youthful idealism" is really dishonest. Anyone have any advice or insight on this?
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  3. #2
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    hey,

    I will be turning 28 in a months time and its got me thinking about a lot of stuff. I've had nearly a decade with depression and thankfully that's coming to an end and I'm nearing full recovery. (if you think its weird I think of myself as "old", a year with depression feels more like a decade and it really ages you.) I've thought a lot about whether I can really still be a Communist as I get older and its struck me just how "odd" it is. Communism is (at least in the west) something for young people. The enthusiasm of the young is great, but it tends to burn out and doesn't really "mature" into something that can survive the bad times as well as the good. They are also very new to the ideas and so still live with the "honeymoon" phase of the ideology when it all seems new, fresh and rosy. the initial seduction by the ideology as a way to imagine our own future and the possibilities of what we could achieve is something that very much fits in a young person's psyche- especially students for whom the fascination with radical ideas can be a bit of a narcotic. I have had doubts about communism, some of them very serious given the sheer brutality and cruelty of the systems involved, and felt burnt out from it. I still get those moments but I'm learning to manage them and be open about my doubts as its healthier. often it just makes it come back stronger. I do feel that I am a better person for doubting the theory though and thinking about what it "actually" means outside of pure theory. language is necessarily deceptive and never gives you the whole picture, especially when its political.

    I'm wondering if I'm alone in thinking along these lines (probably not) and if there are any communists, anarchists or radicals who have made the transition to "adulthood" without being sucked in to the conformist "maturity" that ruling class have on offer.You don't really think about Communists being parents having kids and taking them to school, or being a mother or father, or anything like that. Nor does having a family or a job and a career fit into the stereotype of the "dedicated revolutionary" who puts the cause above everything else. its the young who have that amount of time to read, think and be political active in the main.

    it's just weird realising that you're walking such an unfamiliar path and wondering how much the ideology really separates your own experiences from that of everyone else as an adult. Nor is any form of "conformity" really sustainable given the fragility of the status quo (especially on environmental issues) so just putting it down to "youthful idealism" is really dishonest. Anyone have any advice or insight on this?
    Am still in my early teens , and it seems really something "obsessing" for me .I dream of revolution in my wildest dreams .I was infatuated with fantasies of Revolutionaries at a time when I had a crush, and quite often I feel equality(in a different context) is not there .
    I found Communism answering questions I had about this political system . My physical deficiency deprived me of equality and yes I too was and still am depressed over many factors in life .
    Gradually , I am understanding life with a political stance and how to manipulate people with revolutionary confidence .

    Guevara taught me this - " Be a realist and demand the impossible"
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    it's just weird realising that you're walking such an unfamiliar path and wondering how much the ideology really separates your own experiences from that of everyone else as an adult.

    Well, do you think it's a *positive* thing, or not-really -- ?

    I think getting down to this core of the issue -- mostly in how you yourself feel about it -- would be the key to your question.



    Nor is any form of "conformity" really sustainable given the fragility of the status quo (especially on environmental issues) so just putting it down to "youthful idealism" is really dishonest. Anyone have any advice or insight on this?

    Yeah, this reminds me of the 'belief' issue that was just brought-up at another thread:



    To put it simply, our revolutionary politics doesn't rely on any kind of 'belief', because we already know enough about how the human social world works to say that it's *class struggle* that drives developments forward through the centuries. Those who have power have an interest in *hanging onto* that power, even if it costs millions and billions their well-being -- and even their lives -- so that the elite power structure is kept intact (the bourgeoisie). For the sake of entrenched power the ruling class would rather see death and destruction (etc.) than allow regular people to have access to that which is already produced (food, technology) so that people can live better lives.

    Thus 'belief' in how the world works *isn't* required, because we already *know* how the world works, including the overarching dynamic of class struggle, also known as 'historical materialism' (how history is determined in the most broad / general ways).
    https://www.revleft.com/vb/threads/1...81#post2883781


    ---


    So, likewise, our politics don't *depend* on any kind of spontaneist 'youthful idealism', because the facts of the world are greater than any one of us -- larger than how anyone may subjectively *interpret* what 'communism' may or may not happen to be. A *proletarian revolution* is what's long overdue, for strictly human-societal-*objective* reasons (rational optimization of social production for actual *humane* needs instead of for increasing *exchange* values).


    Worldview Diagram



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    Well, do you think it's a *positive* thing, or not-really -- ?

    I think getting down to this core of the issue -- mostly in how you yourself feel about it -- would be the key to your question.





    Yeah, this reminds me of the 'belief' issue that was just brought-up at another thread:





    ---


    So, likewise, our politics don't *depend* on any kind of spontaneist 'youthful idealism', because the facts of the world are greater than any one of us -- larger than how anyone may subjectively *interpret* what 'communism' may or may not happen to be. A *proletarian revolution* is what's long overdue, for strictly human-societal-*objective* reasons (rational optimization of social production for actual *humane* needs instead of for increasing *exchange* values).


    Worldview Diagram
    I feel that it is potentially a "bad" thing, and purely in personal terms, putting yourself in a situation where you are potentially involved in political violence is dangerous for yourself or anyone around you. worse, it relies on a series of beliefs that are necessarily an incomplete understanding of the world- so revolution is basically gambling or Russian roulette even at the best of times. there is an unreality about the "beliefs" because they are so abstract they don't connect with personal experiences. talking about "class struggle" is one thing, mounting the barricades with bullets and shrapnel flying around is quite another. its not possible to know "how" revolutions will turn out, whether you win/lose, whether the revolution "eats its own children" (i.e. you or someone you care about) because as an individual you are only a very tiny piece of the big picture. When your a kid, its cool because you get so "high" off the thought of being important by having these ideas. there's still the narcissism of youth at work thinking the world will change simply because you "will" it to and your somehow protected from the worst things humanity can do to each other. When you're an adult however, the sense of mortality is at work and you don't evaluate the situation in the same way because you value different things. you recognise just how insignificant you are and how little control you have over the situation as an individual. ultimately "history" doesn't care about what happens to you- whether you end up in prison, get lynched by a mob, buried a mass grave or live out your life inconsequentially as an activist who other people just think is a bit of a "weirdo". You start to wonder how best to look out for yourself and its not something I hear get talked about much. its rare to hear a communist talk about the possibility that they will fail or get it wrong and how they deal with that possibility on a day to day basis.
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    I feel that it is potentially a "bad" thing, and purely in personal terms, putting yourself in a situation where you are potentially involved in political violence is dangerous for yourself or anyone around you. worse, it relies on a series of beliefs that are necessarily an incomplete understanding of the world- so revolution is basically gambling or Russian roulette even at the best of times. there is an unreality about the "beliefs" because they are so abstract they don't connect with personal experiences. talking about "class struggle" is one thing, mounting the barricades with bullets and shrapnel flying around is quite another. its not possible to know "how" revolutions will turn out, whether you win/lose, whether the revolution "eats its own children" (i.e. you or someone you care about) because as an individual you are only a very tiny piece of the big picture. When your a kid, its cool because you get so "high" off the thought of being important by having these ideas. there's still the narcissism of youth at work thinking the world will change simply because you "will" it to and your somehow protected from the worst things humanity can do to each other. When you're an adult however, the sense of mortality is at work and you don't evaluate the situation in the same way because you value different things. you recognise just how insignificant you are and how little control you have over the situation as an individual. ultimately "history" doesn't care about what happens to you- whether you end up in prison, get lynched by a mob, buried a mass grave or live out your life inconsequentially as an activist who other people just think is a bit of a "weirdo". You start to wonder how best to look out for yourself and its not something I hear get talked about much. its rare to hear a communist talk about the possibility that they will fail or get it wrong and how they deal with that possibility on a day to day basis.

    I'll suggest that you probably don't have much *experience* in on-the-ground struggles, because you're positing a line that sounds more like *alienation* than arm-in-arm political struggle in the streets and workplaces.

    Your pessimism is understandable, but I don't share it -- there's much to say about the momentum of *initiative*, especially considering that our collective class foe is *conservative* by nature and can quickly become *overwhelmed* by mass movements that have far more *direction* (will / impetus / interest) going-forward into the future than they themselves ever will, because their interests are in hanging onto what they already have, to maintain *stasis*.

    Our *weakness* is as atomized individuals, and our *strength* is in numbers -- you're only looking at the *individual* and not in common interests and causes internationally, from the world's proletariat. A recent example could be the pipelines thing where much support came in from all over the world -- it's not a *labor* struggle, exactly, but it's not far from it, either.
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    I'll suggest that you probably don't have much *experience* in on-the-ground struggles, because you're positing a line that sounds more like *alienation* than arm-in-arm political struggle in the streets and workplaces.

    Your pessimism is understandable, but I don't share it -- there's much to say about the momentum of *initiative*, especially considering that our collective class foe is *conservative* by nature and can quickly become *overwhelmed* by mass movements that have far more *direction* (will / impetus / interest) going-forward into the future than they themselves ever will, because their interests are in hanging onto what they already have, to maintain *stasis*.

    Our *weakness* is as atomized individuals, and our *strength* is in numbers -- you're only looking at the *individual* and not in common interests and causes internationally, from the world's proletariat. A recent example could be the pipelines thing where much support came in from all over the world -- it's not a *labor* struggle, exactly, but it's not far from it, either.
    That's a fair criticism. I'm living in a rural area and there aren't readily available opportunities for political activism, nor is there somewhere I can go (regularly) to be around people who are more sympathetic and understanding of my views. revleft is the closest online equivalent to that. so I'm perhaps more self-conscious of the isolation than I necessarily need be. Stepping up to dissent from what other people believe can be intimidating if you feel you're doing it alone and difficult to process emotionally.
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    That's a fair criticism. I'm living in a rural area and there aren't readily available opportunities for political activism, nor is there somewhere I can go (regularly) to be around people who are more sympathetic and understanding of my views. revleft is the closest online equivalent to that. so I'm perhaps more self-conscious of the isolation than I necessarily need be. Stepping up to dissent from what other people believe can be intimidating if you feel you're doing it alone and difficult to process emotionally.

    Well, there's far more to (revolutionary) politics than activism -- I'd much rather see a smallish nucleus of laser-like-focused revolutionaries in the streets (who know what they want to see societally, from A to Z), than a large protest movement that can get no further ideologically than *identity* politics.

    Look at the recent British elections -- the Corbyn thing shows that there's a real conscious grassroots surge going on that simply *can't* find expression in the bourgeois framework of political representation. And now that Corbyn is enjoying this kind of support he's just lurched rightward to support the status quo agenda.
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    Well, there's far more to (revolutionary) politics than activism -- I'd much rather see a smallish nucleus of laser-like-focused revolutionaries in the streets (who know what they want to see societally, from A to Z), than a large protest movement that can get no further ideologically than *identity* politics.

    Look at the recent British elections -- the Corbyn thing shows that there's a real conscious grassroots surge going on that simply *can't* find expression in the bourgeois framework of political representation. And now that Corbyn is enjoying this kind of support he's just lurched rightward to support the status quo agenda.
    I agree with you. Corbyn's "shock" result is very much a symptom of the crisis in British (and international) politics. there is a real anarchy in what is going on and a deep disconnect between the media narratives and what seems to be happening on the ground. The media particularly promotes identity politics as a substitute to real change by directing people's anger towards substituting class politics for politics based on race and gender. Worse, identity politics has alienated people to the extent that they support far-right nationalist politics when it offers no solutions to the immediate economic and social problems (much like identity politics).

    The importance of activism is in the unity of theory and practice; it is in people being willing to take the risks involved in publicly committing themselves to a revolutionary communist platform, being willing to make mistakes and to learn from them. I worry that the sort of student-based parties are not a substitute for a working class organisation, yet in the UK (as in the US) there are few far-left political parties that are in a position to take a revolutionary message out into the streets. They are too small, badly organised and constantly short of money and most of them are "nowhere" theoretically. They've been pretty much frozen in time since the collapse of the Soviet Union and haven't united into a single united party that could maximise its national impact.

    The value I place on activism is partly to compensate for my own deficiencies as an "arm chair theorist" whose been very busy online making a lot of statements but has never committed himself to a party or an ideology but is also to do with the new urgency of living in a "post-trump election" world where we can no longer take the stability of global capitalism for granted. its easy to be radical when you don't have to act on it.

    Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement is pretty decisive in fulfilling capitalism's death wish (even though the Paris agreement was already insufficient to actually combat climate change). Even if Trump were impeached, the damage is done and its global (and the problem is bigger than Trump as an individual but he's the most visible sign of capitalist decline and collapse). I might have said revolution was possible for kids or grand kids (if I had them), but it now looks increasingly likely that I will live long enough to actually see a revolution in the west. I may have had an intuition that something "wasn't quite right" and things couldn't go on like this forever, but I never expected it to get this bad this quickly. This is not the world I expected to grow up in and its hard to get my head around. it turns my stomach thinking about where we are heading next.
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    I agree with you. Corbyn's "shock" result is very much a symptom of the crisis in British (and international) politics. there is a real anarchy in what is going on and a deep disconnect between the media narratives and what seems to be happening on the ground. The media particularly promotes identity politics as a substitute to real change by directing people's anger towards substituting class politics for politics based on race and gender. Worse, identity politics has alienated people to the extent that they support far-right nationalist politics when it offers no solutions to the immediate economic and social problems (much like identity politics).

    The importance of activism is in the unity of theory and practice; it is in people being willing to take the risks involved in publicly committing themselves to a revolutionary communist platform, being willing to make mistakes and to learn from them. I worry that the sort of student-based parties are not a substitute for a working class organisation, yet in the UK (as in the US) there are few far-left political parties that are in a position to take a revolutionary message out into the streets. They are too small, badly organised and constantly short of money and most of them are "nowhere" theoretically. They've been pretty much frozen in time since the collapse of the Soviet Union and haven't united into a single united party that could maximise its national impact.

    The value I place on activism is partly to compensate for my own deficiencies as an "arm chair theorist" whose been very busy online making a lot of statements but has never committed himself to a party or an ideology but is also to do with the new urgency of living in a "post-trump election" world where we can no longer take the stability of global capitalism for granted.

    its easy to be radical when you don't have to act on it.

    This is a common misconception -- I happen to be something of a 'Wilde'-ist, and the following excerpt comes to mind:



    Ernest. But, my dear fellow—excuse me for interrupting you—you seem to me to be allowing your passion for criticism to lead you a great deal too far. For, after all, even you must admit that it is much more difficult to do a thing than to talk about it.

    Gilbert. More difficult to do a thing than to talk about it? Not at all. That is a gross popular error. It is very much more difficult to talk about a thing than to do it. In the sphere of actual life that is of course obvious. Anybody can make history. Only a great man can write it. There is no mode of action, no form of emotion, that we do not share with the lower animals. It is only by language that we rise above them, or above each other—by language, which is the parent, and not the child, of thought. Action, indeed, is always easy, and when presented to us in its most aggravated, because most continuous form, which I take to be that of real industry, becomes simply the refuge of people who have nothing whatsoever to do. No, Ernest, don’t talk about action. It is a blind thing dependent on external influences, and moved by an impulse of whose nature it is unconscious. It is a thing incomplete in its essence, because limited by accident, and ignorant of its direction, being always at variance with its aim. Its basis is the lack of imagination. It is the last resource of those who know not how to dream.

    So what this means for politics -- in my interpreting -- is that it would be far more advantageous to 'get everyone on the same page' (coordinated subjective social reality) than to have many 'actions' on-the-ground that just turn out to resemble political zombiehood. Look at *religious* zeal, for example -- much effort is put into proselytizing for the sake of a having a common *culture*, or collective *groupthink*. Every religious appeal pretty-much ends with a call for the new convert to give up control of their own life, obviously for the sake of the group and however it's being led at the moment.

    There are parallels to politics, too, where some would rather have a solid 'groupthink' platform over a given issue, regardless of its veracity or correlation to reality, than to just provide everyone concerned with a path of provable *conclusions* that all can verify and accept as being based in reality and real events.



    Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement is pretty decisive in fulfilling capitalism's death wish (even though the Paris agreement was already insufficient to actually combat climate change). Even if Trump were impeached, the damage is done and its global (and the problem is bigger than Trump as an individual but he's the most visible sign of capitalist decline and collapse). I might have said revolution was possible for kids or grand kids (if I had them), but it now looks increasingly likely that I will live long enough to actually see a revolution in the west. I may have had an intuition that something "wasn't quite right" and things couldn't go on like this forever, but I never expected it to get this bad this quickly. This is not the world I expected to grow up in and its hard to get my head around. it turns my stomach thinking about where we are heading next.

    Well, the '70s were the real turning-point where the economy had already been stagnating for awhile (since about the mid-'60s), and then we saw the beginning of the attacks on labor unions, with 1981 being the year of the Volcker Shock (raising of interest rates in the U.S. to pay the bill for the Vietnam War) -- things have been declining ever since. I happened to be born into the downslope (I'm 44 now), and now we're seeing the ruling class attack the vestiges of a government social-service orientation. The upside is that this aggressive class warfare feeds-into *accelerationism* -- meaning that people have no choice but to *become* class-conscious, if they weren't already, so the political spectrum takes on a *sharp* dividing line between the status quo, and everything to its left becomes *revolutionary* because left-reformism (trying to 'fix' the system) is shown to be unrealistic and impossible due to the relentless fascist-right-type actions of the ruling class.
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    This is a common misconception -- I happen to be something of a 'Wilde'-ist, and the following excerpt comes to mind:







    So what this means for politics -- in my interpreting -- is that it would be far more advantageous to 'get everyone on the same page' (coordinated subjective social reality) than to have many 'actions' on-the-ground that just turn out to resemble political zombiehood. Look at *religious* zeal, for example -- much effort is put into proselytizing for the sake of a having a common *culture*, or collective *groupthink*. Every religious appeal pretty-much ends with a call for the new convert to give up control of their own life, obviously for the sake of the group and however it's being led at the moment.

    There are parallels to politics, too, where some would rather have a solid 'groupthink' platform over a given issue, regardless of its veracity or correlation to reality, than to just provide everyone concerned with a path of provable *conclusions* that all can verify and accept as being based in reality and real events.





    Well, the '70s were the real turning-point where the economy had already been stagnating for awhile (since about the mid-'60s), and then we saw the beginning of the attacks on labor unions, with 1981 being the year of the Volcker Shock (raising of interest rates in the U.S. to pay the bill for the Vietnam War) -- things have been declining ever since. I happened to be born into the downslope (I'm 44 now), and now we're seeing the ruling class attack the vestiges of a government social-service orientation. The upside is that this aggressive class warfare feeds-into *accelerationism* -- meaning that people have no choice but to *become* class-conscious, if they weren't already, so the political spectrum takes on a *sharp* dividing line between the status quo, and everything to its left becomes *revolutionary* because left-reformism (trying to 'fix' the system) is shown to be unrealistic and impossible due to the relentless fascist-right-type actions of the ruling class.
    Quoting Oscar Wilde? I like you're style. That deserves a friend invite.

    ...and you're right: getting people on the same page is more important.

    You're also right about the shift in the 70's as what is going on now is an extention and an aggrevation of neo-liberalism. Really, it has only stripped Capitalism of its reformist pretensions of class collaboration and peace. Perhaps I'm too pumped up on climate change hysteria, but I find a sort of accelerationism into an ecological catastrophe truly terrifying. I'm still attached to the status quo and my pessimism lies in that I don't look forward to open class warfare.

    Do you think that being afriad of the future is the wrong response? Wilde's Great men have yet to write a course of events for history that may yet provide a humane outcome for this century. Imagining a solution is perhaps the greater task so that people may agree on a change of direction.
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    Quoting Oscar Wilde? I like you're style. That deserves a friend invite.

    ...and you're right: getting people on the same page is more important.

    You're also right about the shift in the 70's as what is going on now is an extention and an aggrevation of neo-liberalism. Really, it has only stripped Capitalism of its reformist pretensions of class collaboration and peace. Perhaps I'm too pumped up on climate change hysteria, but I find a sort of accelerationism into an ecological catastrophe truly terrifying. I'm still attached to the status quo and my pessimism lies in that I don't look forward to open class warfare.

    Do you think that being afriad of the future is the wrong response? Wilde's Great men have yet to write a course of events for history that may yet provide a humane outcome for this century. Imagining a solution is perhaps the greater task so that people may agree on a change of direction.
    Why are you afraid of an open class struggle ?

    - - - Updated - - -

    I have a dream to reorganise our nation's Student Radical Faction ....when I reach adulthood in its true sense ....I have talked with old Marxists of India who tell me ,"Communists are dying owing to lack of unity" and whats the reason - internal revolts arising from Internal Intersecting contradictions....

    Is communism few pages of theory or few lines of story written down the ages ......Tell me 1 word will it be happening in Praxis ?
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    I should say , theorising communism into Works of Literary supplements wont add an iota to the "Mass Movement " one looks for .....Explain how and when ? Dont use subtlery explain clearly ......Mutual agreement and understanding ....

    I guess Marx knew it well ....the uneducated werent interested about theory while , focusing on educating people what and why ? Bourgeoise is a creation of Marx to vilify those who open up channels for organisation of labour - Cant I say this ? A bourgeoise would have agreed
    But what about a proletariat of a THIRD WORLD NATION WHO KNOWS NOT WHAT HE IS ENTITLED NOR IS HE LITERATE

    So being communist as an adult would be post-youth reluctancy and a steep parabolic curve against Revolution with inclination towards Reaction .....

    Activists are reactionary visionaries who wait for events to occur

    Visionary revolutionaries disseminate their Individualist subjective concern

    Where is union ?
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    Why are you afraid of an open class struggle ?- - - Updated - - -I have a dream to reorganise our nation's Student Radical Faction ....when I reach adulthood in its true sense ....I have talked with old Marxists of India who tell me ,"Communists are dying owing to lack of unity" and whats the reason - internal revolts arising from Internal Intersecting contradictions....Is communism few pages of theory or few lines of story written down the ages ......Tell me 1 word will it be happening in Praxis ?
    I am afriad of an open class struggle because revolutions cannot be controlled. by definition, they are the absence of control and a failure of control (by the ruling class). they cannot be made "safe" for anyone. As much as I distrust the status quo, there is still something resembling the rule of law, and there is still space to think and feel differently in limited government and free societies. admittedly it may not last. however, revolution means that violence is democratised from the state to the people, and a truly democratic state may yet provide the people with the right to decide who lives and who dies in a revolutionary terror expressing the will of the people, a tyranny by majority. if the state is to be abolished, its power must return to the people and the people must decide for themselves how to use violence and determine their own future. I don't trust the masses because I don't believe human beings are wholly rational; we have our lusts, our hatreds and our fears and given the power to decide who lives and who dies the evidence would suggest that we care very little about human life if killing others is the means by which to ensure our own life. the scariest thing is that people may not even need a reason to kill as obedience may mean it is the decision to kill is at such a low level of consciousness that people may not need a reason. it becomes habitual. empty. revolutions are like machines grinding flesh and bone in the search for ideological purity; they fill mass graves and they call it justice. terror is driven not by reason but by the incentives within state apparatus of "kill or be killed". guilt is irrelevant- you just have to feed the beast its pound of flesh or else you will be eaten. that is frightening to conceive of and Even if fascists do it, I cannot comprehend how supporting such a system may be just, moral or compatible with individual conscience. it reduces ideology to the level of nonsense. the problem is that communism, in is desire to plan everything, gives the state the unlimited power of life and death in order to "plan" the course of people's lives. Can we really risk that power based on the assumption that it is somehow temporary?I n the 20th century, men had machine guns and gas vans. In the 21st century, our weapons are chemical, nuclear and biological. As the productive forces have developed, so has man's capacity for destruction in order to wage a class struggle. if you gave me the choice, I wouldn't wish revolution on anyone- but its not my choice because the forces at work are much greater than any single individuals ability to control or to humanise. I don't think its unreasonable to be afraid of such a thing, though in any communist country my fear of a system which gives power to the people is enough to condemn me as an enemy of the people. In the end, I'm just not that loyal to the cause because I still believe in a morality greater than the will of the majority (or the minority that claims to represent the "will of the people").
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  23. #14
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    Thats cowardice -> Remember what Rosseau said , teach your child how to live not how to avoid death .In case otherwise , my ideological equation doesnt balance I wont fear losing my life cause an Ideological defeat is like losing all the life you had and you had dreamed of- - - Updated - - -
    I am afriad of an open class struggle because revolutions cannot be controlled. by definition, they are the absence of control and a failure of control (by the ruling class). they cannot be made "safe" for anyone. As much as I distrust the status quo, there is still something resembling the rule of law, and there is still space to think and feel differently in limited government and free societies. admittedly it may not last. however, revolution means that violence is democratised from the state to the people, and a truly democratic state may yet provide the people with the right to decide who lives and who dies in a revolutionary terror expressing the will of the people, a tyranny by majority. if the state is to be abolished, its power must return to the people and the people must decide for themselves how to use violence and determine their own future. I don't trust the masses because I don't believe human beings are wholly rational; we have our lusts, our hatreds and our fears and given the power to decide who lives and who dies the evidence would suggest that we care very little about human life if killing others is the means by which to ensure our own life. the scariest thing is that people may not even need a reason to kill as obedience may mean it is the decision to kill is at such a low level of consciousness that people may not need a reason. it becomes habitual. empty. revolutions are like machines grinding flesh and bone in the search for ideological purity; they fill mass graves and they call it justice. terror is driven not by reason but by the incentives within state apparatus of "kill or be killed". guilt is irrelevant- you just have to feed the beast its pound of flesh or else you will be eaten. that is frightening to conceive of and Even if fascists do it, I cannot comprehend how supporting such a system may be just, moral or compatible with individual conscience. it reduces ideology to the level of nonsense. the problem is that communism, in is desire to plan everything, gives the state the unlimited power of life and death in order to "plan" the course of people's lives. Can we really risk that power based on the assumption that it is somehow temporary?I n the 20th century, men had machine guns and gas vans. In the 21st century, our weapons are chemical, nuclear and biological. As the productive forces have developed, so has man's capacity for destruction in order to wage a class struggle. if you gave me the choice, I wouldn't wish revolution on anyone- but its not my choice because the forces at work are much greater than any single individuals ability to control or to humanise. I don't think its unreasonable to be afraid of such a thing, though in any communist country my fear of a system which gives power to the people is enough to condemn me as an enemy of the people. In the end, I'm just not that loyal to the cause because I still believe in a morality greater than the will of the majority (or the minority that claims to represent the "will of the people").
    I dont think Revolutionaries fear death ...The proletariat in backward regions of the world is still dying of pain hunger and of the cold-heartedness of sundry men ,that has stripped them of their rights , the entitlements a human is supposed to get , so first Unity and Solidarity needs to be entrenched and retrenched....If the proletariat denies , big economies shall tremble
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    I think there are worse things than cowardice comrade. It is unavoidable that a revolutionary should fear death as all humans have the biological instinct to survive and to want to live. the capacity for self-sacrifice is not normal human behaviour (Huey P. Newton called it "revolutionary suicide"), nor is it truly self sacrifice unless you have a "self" with value to sacrifice. I don't agree with Sergey Necheyev's view from "The Catechism of a Revolutionary" (below) but I can certainly see what he is getting at. The problem with the nihilist conception of a revolutionary is that revolutionaries become the model for the revolutionary state and society. So if a revolutionary is "wholly absorbed in the single thought and the single passion for the revolution" so will be the society that results from it. That is dangerous because it is so authoritarian;
    "1. The revolutionary is a doomed man. He has no personal interests, no business affairs, no emotions, no attachments, no property, and no name. Everything in him is wholly absorbed in the single thought and the single passion for revolution.____________2. The revolutionary knows that in the very depths of his being, not only in words but also in deeds, he has broken all the bonds which tie him to the social order and the civilized world with all its laws, moralities, and customs, and with all its generally accepted conventions. He is their implacable enemy, and if he continues to live with them it is only in order to destroy them more speedily."
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    Quoting Oscar Wilde? I like you're style. That deserves a friend invite.

    ...and you're right: getting people on the same page is more important.

    You're also right about the shift in the 70's as what is going on now is an extention and an aggrevation of neo-liberalism. Really, it has only stripped Capitalism of its reformist pretensions of class collaboration and peace. Perhaps I'm too pumped up on climate change hysteria, but I find a sort of accelerationism into an ecological catastrophe truly terrifying. I'm still attached to the status quo and my pessimism lies in that I don't look forward to open class warfare.

    Do you think that being afriad of the future is the wrong response?

    No, it's certainly understandable that since the future is by definition *unknown*, it can cause trepidation if one is trying to 'figure it out' or is mulling over certain potential trajectories like that of climate change.

    The thing, though, is that our *politics* is something we *can* control, collectively -- once the world's working class has the reins we could quickly fix many outstanding problems that simply can't be addressed within the domain of capitalism (poverty, access to technology, etc.). If you'll notice, there's much less emphasis on environmental issues from within the revolutionary / hard left, compared to the liberal / *soft* left, because of this urgency over societal control. The soft left would prefer to do a lot of hand-wringing, and try to 'fix' environmental issues from the context of the here-and-now, under capitalism, while the *revolutionary* left says 'Let's get to workers power as quickly as possible and then we *all* will have the wherewithal to address environmental issues directly, that couldn't be fixed under capitalism.'



    Wilde's Great men have yet to write a course of events for history that may yet provide a humane outcome for this century. Imagining a solution is perhaps the greater task so that people may agree on a change of direction.

    Regarding world-historical development, the following book is invaluable:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=harm...hrome&ie=UTF-8


    And -- for a ready-made 'solution', I've already created the following model:


    labor credits framework for 'communist supply & demand'






    communist supply & demand -- Model of Material Factors





    http://www.revleft.com/vb/entries/11...ly-amp-demand)


    A post-capitalist political economy using labor credits

    http://www.revleft.com/vb/blog.php?bt=14673
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    I'm not sure whether subordinating environmental objectives to the class struggle for socialism is necessarily a good thing. 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.
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    It seems you are in a place similar to me. I am your age, and about one year ago started studying and thinking about Communism seriously once again after many, many years of basically not caring at all. And it is certainly the case that I am by no means able to dive into these things with such abandon, or convince myself so fully, as I once might have been. While it is true that youths take to radical ideas easier and with more enthusiasm, it is because their minds are more superficial. One might miss this childish enthusiasm sometimes, but really: When you meet a 30-year old whose political thinking is like a 16-year old's, everyone cringes.

    Many people confuse "growing up" with becoming de-radicalized (and this is certainly part of ruling ideology). What can be done is keeping one's radicalism while abandoning one's *idealism*. Accepting the frustrating nature of everyday politics and mundane life in general and how life as lived has to be dealt with as it happens and cannot be forced into a pre-conceived model of some kind. Killing off idols and so on. I commend you for taking your doubts seriously and not being afraid to air them - far too many leftists refuse to do this, as I'm sure you're aware.

    So this is all part of maturity, of passing into adulthood. We want of course to avoid the trap of adult=conformist, but this is a little more tricky. See the "rebellion" of youth is not really something that threatens any ruling order. It is a sort of sanctioned ritual, something you are expected to go through, even encouraged. It can even be argued that adults are increasingly "allowed" this sort of transgression as well - 30 is more like 20 nowadays. Here the thing is I think to preserve and nurture for oneself the seeds of this youthful spirit - desire for autonomy, disgust with the arbitrariness of the adult world, etc. - while avoiding the ego-satisfaction that comes from merely "being against" and shocking other people.

    It is possible that antidotes to these things can be found within the tradition itself. Lenin for example did a good job of ripping to shreds many of those airy-fairy notions one is likely to fall into at the onset of political engagement (and here I mean not just Lenin as a person, but also the experiences of the Russian revolution from within which he was writing, and from whence these lessons were taken).
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    I should say , theorising communism into Works of Literary supplements wont add an iota to the "Mass Movement " one looks for .....Explain how and when ? Dont use subtlery explain clearly ......Mutual agreement and understanding ....

    I guess Marx knew it well ....the uneducated werent interested about theory while , focusing on educating people what and why ?

    Educated people happen to be the ones who make the world go around, in terms of *civilizational* development, since they're the ones in the *professional* professions like government, business, education, engineering, art, journalism, science, etc. -- at the time of Lenin the revolutionaries had to *depend* on such professionals, regardless of politics, in order to make things run properly in Bolshevist Russia.



    Lenin understood that economic conditions were dire, so he opened up markets to a greater degree of free trade, hoping to motivate the population to increase production. Under the NEP, not only were “private property, private enterprise, and private profit largely restored in Lenin’s Russia,” but Lenin’s regime turned to international capitalism for assistance, willing to provide “generous concessions to foreign capitalism.”[16] Lenin took the position that in order to achieve socialism, he had to create “the missing material prerequisites” of modernization and industrial development that made it imperative for Soviet Russia to “fall back on a centrally supervised market-influenced program of state capitalism”.[17] Lenin was following Karl Marx’s precepts that a nation must first reach “full maturation of capitalism as the precondition for socialist realization.”[18] The main policy Lenin used was an end to grain requisitions and instead instituted a tax on the peasants, thereby allowing them to keep and trade part of their produce. At first, this tax was paid in kind, but as the currency became more stable in 1924, it was changed to a cash payment.[3] This increased the peasants' incentive to produce, and in response production jumped by 40% after the drought and famine of 1921–22.[19]

    NEP economic reforms aimed to take a step back from central planning and allow the economy to become more independent. NEP labor reforms tied labor to productivity, incentivizing the reduction of costs and the redoubled efforts of labor. Labor unions became independent civic organizations.[citation needed] NEP reforms also opened up government positions to the most qualified workers. The NEP gave opportunities for the government to use engineers, specialists, and intelligentsia for cost accounting, equipment purchasing, efficiency procedures, railway construction, and industrial administration. A new class of "NEPmen" thrived. These private traders opened up urban firms hiring up to 20 workers. NEPmen also included rural artisan craftsmen selling their wares on the private market.[20]

    ---



    Bourgeoise is a creation of Marx to vilify those who open up channels for organisation of labour - Cant I say this ? A bourgeoise would have agreed

    No, the bourgeoisie *isn't* a subjective label -- the bourgeoisie is the class, collectively, that directly benefits from its private ownership of the means of mass industrial production. The workers, on the other hand, do *not* have any say-so over how production is determined, as they / we are just paid a *wage* for everything that we produce -- exploitation.

    Yes, the ruling class (bourgeoisie) is the class that currently organizes labor, but labor doesn't *require* the bourgeoisie to do this since labor could readily organize *itself* if it wasn't being actively *repressed* by the bourgeoisie / ruling-class. (Capital is given freedom for corporate organization, but labor is not allowed to self-organize and control unions from the rank-and-file.)



    But what about a proletariat of a THIRD WORLD NATION WHO KNOWS NOT WHAT HE IS ENTITLED NOR IS HE LITERATE

    I think workers in Third World countries have a certain sense of what they are being cheated out-of since they are subject to exploitation and repression on a daily basis -- all it takes these days is to watch television (or use the Internet) to see how the wealthy live and what special privileges they take for themselves.



    So being communist as an adult would be post-youth reluctancy and a steep parabolic curve against Revolution with inclination towards Reaction .....

    Yes, I think that people generally tend to get more conservative as they get older -- more to hang-onto, more to lose, and needing to prepare for old-age -- but there certainly are older revolutionary communists around, so be careful of stereotyping.



    Activists are reactionary visionaries who wait for events to occur

    Activists are *not* reactionary, unless they are, as we've seen with recent pro-Trump rallies and the like -- generally activists are *radicals*, and susceptible to the lure of nationalism since they're so close to status-quo-based events.



    Visionary revolutionaries disseminate their Individualist subjective concern

    Revolutionaries are not about individualism and subjectivity -- proletarian revolution is *objectively necessary* for the well-being of most because of existing reactionary conditions that apply to *everyone* who has to work for a living.



    You're talking about the connection of bottom-up struggle, with top-down real-world existing events. This is always the dynamic in front of us -- it's a constant empirical reality of politics.



    I am afriad of an open class struggle because revolutions cannot be controlled. by definition, they are the absence of control and a failure of control (by the ruling class).

    I *don't* agree with this definition -- the whole *point* of having collectivist planning is that so that things *can* be controlled by the masses, over 'economic'-*material* concerns, entirely, as in what is produced for society instead of for private profit.



    they cannot be made "safe" for anyone. As much as I distrust the status quo, there is still something resembling the rule of law, and there is still space to think and feel differently in limited government and free societies. admittedly it may not last.

    Marxists don't say that bourgeois society is the *worst* form of class society to ever exist -- it's not counterrevolutionary to acknowledge the material gains that have been made under the capitalist system. Sure, civil law and civil rights are 'positives', but we also have to look at the raw *destruction* wreaked on humanity, such as with two world wars and ongoing imperialist warfare today, for starters.



    however, revolution means that violence is democratised from the state to the people, and a truly democratic state may yet provide the people with the right to decide who lives and who dies in a revolutionary terror expressing the will of the people, a tyranny by majority. if the state is to be abolished, its power must return to the people and the people must decide for themselves how to use violence and determine their own future. I don't trust the masses because I don't believe human beings are wholly rational;

    One correction here -- it wouldn't be 'the people' in control, it would only be active *workers* in control.

    The best way to contextualize the issue of violence is that it could be used for collective *self-defense* against counterrevolutionaries -- sections of the bourgeoisie that wouldn't want to give up power over social productivity.



    we have our lusts, our hatreds and our fears and given the power to decide who lives and who dies the evidence would suggest that we care very little about human life if killing others is the means by which to ensure our own life. the scariest thing is that people may not even need a reason to kill as obedience may mean it is the decision to kill is at such a low level of consciousness that people may not need a reason. it becomes habitual. empty. revolutions are like machines grinding flesh and bone in the search for ideological purity;

    I think you're missing the forest for the trees here -- you're taking a very *individualistic* perspective on class warfare and missing the fact that the ruling class can always *give up*. There's no need for proletarian violence as long as the ruling class abdicates without lifting a finger of opposition. Of course I don't think that those in power would give up so readily, but any violence would be on a *class* -- not individual -- basis. If a successful revolution requires grinding flesh and bone due to the need for the revolution to succeed, then that what would be objectively called-for.



    they fill mass graves and they call it justice. terror is driven not by reason but by the incentives within state apparatus of "kill or be killed". guilt is irrelevant- you just have to feed the beast its pound of flesh or else you will be eaten. that is frightening to conceive of and Even if fascists do it, I cannot comprehend how supporting such a system may be just, moral or compatible with individual conscience. it reduces ideology to the level of nonsense. the problem is that communism, in is desire to plan everything, gives the state the unlimited power of life and death in order to "plan" the course of people's lives.

    This 'power' -- if you like -- *already* exists. The imperialist war machine *every day* lives by the principle of 'kill or be killed', because the ruling class' very existence requires repression of its class enemy.

    The scenario you're putting forth is *dramatic*, but it's just your particular contrived narrative -- we don't know how an ultimate class showdown will look, and neither does anyone else. The point remains the *reason* for any realized violence -- who, or what institutions, if any, *should* have the power over life and death -- ? Imperialist ones, or proletarian ones -- ?

    Yes, a proletarian revolution *could* make use of a workers-state vehicle, if that's collectively deemed appropriate to the situation at-hand, but *nothing* would be done on a strictly *individual* basis as you're indicating here. And once the class enemy is defeated there would no longer exist any *purpose* for that revolutionary vehicle (the workers state), and so it would be obsolete in the context of a newly empowered world public that can now direct its *own* productivity through its *own* work, for humane ends.



    Can we really risk that power based on the assumption that it is somehow temporary?I n the 20th century, men had machine guns and gas vans. In the 21st century, our weapons are chemical, nuclear and biological. As the productive forces have developed, so has man's capacity for destruction in order to wage a class struggle. if you gave me the choice, I wouldn't wish revolution on anyone- but its not my choice because the forces at work are much greater than any single individuals ability to control or to humanise. I don't think its unreasonable to be afraid of such a thing, though in any communist country my fear of a system which gives power to the people is enough to condemn me as an enemy of the people. In the end, I'm just not that loyal to the cause because I still believe in a morality greater than the will of the majority (or the minority that claims to represent the "will of the people").

    There's no such thing as a 'morality' outside of people themselves -- if a revolution is needed that massacres counterrevolutionaries in the most bloody and gruesome ways, then so be it. Counterrevolutionaries always have the option of *giving up* if they want to forestall their own ends in that way.

    You keep showing that you don't *trust* collective power, and that you'd prefer decision-making to be placed in the hands of an *individual* -- whether it's done the first way or the second way would greatly depend on actual *circumstances*, but *either* of these would have the same aims / ends, anyway -- the overthrow of the ruling class -- so don't sweat the *means* of effecting that so much.



    Thats cowardice -> Remember what Rosseau said , teach your child how to live not how to avoid death .In case otherwise , my ideological equation doesnt balance I wont fear losing my life cause an Ideological defeat is like losing all the life you had and you had dreamed of

    - - - Updated - - -

    I dont think Revolutionaries fear death ...The proletariat in backward regions of the world is still dying of pain hunger and of the cold-heartedness of sundry men ,that has stripped them of their rights , the entitlements a human is supposed to get , so first Unity and Solidarity needs to be entrenched and retrenched....If the proletariat denies , big economies shall tremble

    Exactly -- I think Laika is suffering from reductionism, a mindset that can't accommodate *gains*, like life itself.

    We have a present-day *holocaust* going on, and we can't be spending so much time on the particulars in-the-abstract of *which methods* exactly to use -- what counts is where things are once all the dust has settled.
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    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. 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. 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.

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