Thread: Are poor americans too scared and too shy to become marxists?

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  1. #1
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    Default Are poor americans too scared and too shy to become marxists?


    I have a question. How come many poor people in USA, are still voting for the traditional capitalist parties (Democrats and Republicans), when they are aware that the state public health system (medicaid, medicare, social security, food-stamps etc) has been privatized little by little since the introduction of Thatcherism, Reaganism, and Neoliberalism to the USA in the 1980s, all the way until today with the neoliberalism Obamacare and Trumpcare.

    From my own point of view. I just do not understand the reason of why poor people are also living in parking lots, in their cars, taking showers in public bathrooms, living in motels 3 days a week, and the other 4 days in parking lots, in their cars, because houses, apartments and condos are priced at around 900 dollars or more a month. And since the US economic system is no long able to provide many dollars toi the whole USA, to all americans. Because of the kidnapping, highjacking of the dollars produced by a small top upper class. I just do not understand how come those poor US voters are still voting and believing in the free market political parties. When the rational thing to do for poor people who are living a hell on earth, without houses, taking showers on Mcdonalds bathrooms etc. should've been to be more communists, more marxists, more violent, more agressive than Karl Marx, Che Guevara, Durruti and Lenin.


    ,
    A good answer for anti-communist hockey dads if they tell you to leave the USA: "If you force me to leave USA, I will leave USA. Otherwise I will stay in your Glenn Beck country trying to help the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency https://www.thecommunists.net/what-we-stand-for/ who will overthrow the US government in the near future, seize state power and destroy capitalism once americans cannot endure anymore so much pain and suffering caused the free market capitalist system of Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin"
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    Honestly, I'm afraid the main reason is just ignorance, which is a void that's easily filled with capitalist propaganda, jingoism and bigoted identity politics. The state of class consciousness today is abysmal.

    But I wouldn't rule out that some of them might be simply "shy" or "scared," namely of becoming pariahs if they live in an anti-socialist bubble and are isolated from like-minded people. After all, in the US at least, "socialist" has been successfully turned into a slur, and "communist" into a call to exorcism.
    “[T]he notion of ‘capitalist democracy’ … ha[s been] rendered … into an oxymoron.” —Peter Thiel, VC-ist, PYPL, FB, $2.6B.
    “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” —Warren Buffet, investor, BRK, $81.1B.
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    Yeah, and why don't *I* have a swimming pool in *my* private airport -- !


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    You are right, I guess that most poor US citizens are really closet-communists, but they are still not ready to come out of the political closet and become radical leftists

    Honestly, I'm afraid the main reason is just ignorance, which is a void that's easily filled with capitalist propaganda, jingoism and bigoted identity politics. The state of class consciousness today is abysmal.

    But I wouldn't rule out that some of them might be simply "shy" or "scared," namely of becoming pariahs if they live in an anti-socialist bubble and are isolated from like-minded people. After all, in the US at least, "socialist" has been successfully turned into a slur, and "communist" into a call to exorcism.
    A good answer for anti-communist hockey dads if they tell you to leave the USA: "If you force me to leave USA, I will leave USA. Otherwise I will stay in your Glenn Beck country trying to help the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency https://www.thecommunists.net/what-we-stand-for/ who will overthrow the US government in the near future, seize state power and destroy capitalism once americans cannot endure anymore so much pain and suffering caused the free market capitalist system of Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin"
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    The revolutionary left is disorganized, obscure, and plagued by its own past as well as the totalizing capitalist material reality and the cultural hegemony of capitalist thinking. The working people and the underclass, the precariat, etc. are not organized as a class, and even if sometimes capable of carrying out spontaneous actions which arguably have both proletarian content and not just subversive but revolutionary potential, these actions (because of the state of being disorganized) remain separated from each other. I guess nothing more serious will happen until there is not a cataclysm that will be apparent, sensed by most of the working class, and will be clear that it was caused by the capitalist system itself, and not just a 'malfunction' of it.
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    Honestly, I'm afraid the main reason is just ignorance, which is a void that's easily filled with capitalist propaganda, jingoism and bigoted identity politics. The state of class consciousness today is abysmal.
    Yep. The trouble is we have to engage workers under present conditions, but present conditions make reactionary explanations more readily accessible.

    The stigma around socialism is still strong, and it will take a lot of work to change that.
    Last edited by The Intransigent Faction; 4th November 2017 at 00:38.
    "I'm a pessimist because of intelligence, but an optimist because of will." - Antonio Gramsci

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    Well, what does it mean to be a Marxist or a Communist today? Nobody, it seems, knows for sure. Some of us are trying to find out. I am. I don't have a clear answer by far.

    Sorry for not developing this more, but I have to sleep. I just think this is important.
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    Well, what does it mean to be a Marxist or a Communist today? Nobody, it seems, knows for sure. Some of us are trying to find out. I am. I don't have a clear answer by far.

    Sorry for not developing this more, but I have to sleep. I just think this is important.

    I've always appreciated the *objective*, *factual* nature of socialist-type investigations into social reality, and I wouldn't *want* to devolve into unfalsifiable, bourgeois-constrained / idealist constructions of reality. Political economy really *is* the ultimate 'layer', or 'level', to comprehensively describe society, based as it is on *materialism*. (All *animals* are materialists, btw, out of *necessity*.)
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    I've always appreciated the *objective*, *factual* nature of socialist-type investigations into social reality, and I wouldn't *want* to devolve into unfalsifiable, bourgeois-constrained / idealist constructions of reality. Political economy really *is* the ultimate 'layer', or 'level', to comprehensively describe society, based as it is on *materialism*. (All *animals* are materialists, btw, out of *necessity*.)
    I don't think it is objective. But that's not a problem. Quite the opposite: we operate with a massive theoretical framework and we intend to do something with it. Because of that, we can't be and shouldn't be 'objective'. Factual is also debatable. More like interpretative. Mere facts and investigation of facts is something the whole bourgeois myth of science builds itself upon. What makes marxian methodology unique is that it has a rigorous interpretative framework.
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    I don't think it is objective. But that's not a problem. Quite the opposite: we operate with a massive theoretical framework and we intend to do something with it. Because of that, we can't be and shouldn't be 'objective'. Factual is also debatable. More like interpretative. Mere facts and investigation of facts is something the whole bourgeois myth of science builds itself upon. What makes marxian methodology unique is that it has a rigorous interpretative framework.

    Understood -- no argument.

    But, that said, in terms of interpretation / *scope* -- how the 'objective' overlaps-with / touches-upon the 'subjective' / interpretive -- I've settled-in on a particular perspective / 'framework' that's entirely *objective* while also being Marxian. It derives from the postulate that *nothing* is more broadly influential and deterministic over society than the class divide, and the class struggle:


    History, Macro-Micro -- politics-logistics-lifestyle






    (You may have to click the placeholder image to bring up the original graphic on the image hosting website.)
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    Well, what does it mean to be a Marxist or a Communist today?
    Political economy really *is* the ultimate 'layer', or 'level', to comprehensively describe society, based as it is on *materialism*.
    Marx's critique/response to British classical economics is only one part of a three-tier canon. The other two parts are his response to German idealist philosophy and his response to French utopian socialism. (Paraphrasing Lenin here; The Three Sources.)

    On the other hand, I think one could call oneself a Marxist without accepting all three, at least in the "scientific" sense if not the ideological one. Actually, for the former, I'd consider sufficient the acceptance of historical materialism as a valid and preferred methodology for historiography and sociology.
    “[T]he notion of ‘capitalist democracy’ … ha[s been] rendered … into an oxymoron.” —Peter Thiel, VC-ist, PYPL, FB, $2.6B.
    “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” —Warren Buffet, investor, BRK, $81.1B.
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    Yep. The trouble is we have to engage workers under present conditions, but present conditions make reactionary explanations more readily accessible.

    The stigma around socialism is still strong, and it will take a lot of work to change that.
    I always say, you can weaken a movement, but you cannot end the class struggle until you end class itself.
    “[T]he notion of ‘capitalist democracy’ … ha[s been] rendered … into an oxymoron.” —Peter Thiel, VC-ist, PYPL, FB, $2.6B.
    “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” —Warren Buffet, investor, BRK, $81.1B.
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    No it's because there is no action. and I don't mean some stupid protests, I mean real action. Why are there no revolutionary militias? if there was a civil war the capitalists would blast our asses off in a second because we are too busy trying to illegalize the weapons we need to fight the oppressors. We need to be training people to fight and building a army of the revolution. And even if you do anything we always make ourselves look stupid because there is no discipline among the ranks of the proletariat.
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    Well, what does it mean to be a Marxist or a Communist today? Nobody, it seems, knows for sure. Some of us are trying to find out. I am. I don't have a clear answer by far.

    Sorry for not developing this more, but I have to sleep. I just think this is important.
    So, having overcome my intertia I will expand some on this.

    People need to realize that there is a vast gulf separating us from the first Marxists and the ”revolutionary period” - if not temporal then at least ”eventual”. Between then and now, the 20th century happened, which is to say quite a lot.

    Leaving aside the debate on what went wrong or if it all went right - the Soviet experience has to be acknowledged as an integral part of the history of Communism. Meaning: We stand today, as a potential empancipatory movement, with this as part of our being, with no ”before”. It is our lost innocence. We cannot simply look at the October revolution as if the rest didn’t happen.

    The Soviet experience is not simply a failed revolution. It is a unique and unparalleled phenomenon. Why it went his way, exactly how it was able to sink to such depths of madness, is not something that can be superficially explained by ”a wrong turn”. Just how does a situation like East Germany arise? It simply cannot be reduced to a response to outside pressures, or anything like that. These regimes grew into systems with a logic of their own, of which to my knowledge nowhere near a satisfying analysis has been made.

    Of course this is not new. An anti-soviet current rose to the surface in the 60s. The way this should be looked at from my perspective is: It arose for a reason. Anyone who wants to consider the history of Communism, needs to consider it in its fullness - in its triumph of 1917, in the reaction to the reality of the regimes, and of course in its end of 1989. All this has to be taken into account to work out where we go from here.

    That includes of course all the pertinent intellectual work and theoretical development and deconstruction that has been done in all this time. Tradition cannot be regarded except from the vantage point of today.

    Even those who reject the stalinist turn often look upon the October revolution with nostalgia as a kind of blueprint for action. Stalinism has to be worked through, it cannot be worked around.

    If the Paris Commune was the lesson from which the Bolsheviks formulated their tactics, maybe the October revolution should be a similar lesson for us.

    Of course the blood-curdling nature of really existing socialism contains far more than certain elements of Marxist theory or of the particular organizational tactics of the Communist parties. It expresses things inherent to modernity and the Enlightenment themselves. These require thinking about.

    So then: What to do? Well, I mentioned the ”end” of communism of 1989, which really is a kind of end, and one which I regard with certain amount of positivity. Communism today can really if it so wishes move out of the shadow of the Comintern it was condemned to live under. There being no real movement as of present, means there is no authority in the same sense as before. And for me, the only way to make sense of Communism is to try to articulate what it means to me, for myself, without the use of received stock phrases. And if others are also doing this, then we can talk.

    This was rather disjointed, but hopefully I got the point across.
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    The working class itself does not acquire class consciousness. By themselves, workers may high - to the fragmented struggle for their parochial interests in the workplace, joining together in one enterprise. Of course, alone, without the support of other workers is useless. Therefore, we need a Marxist organization composed of the most conscious representatives of the working class - Communists. How to create an organization that is described in the writings of Lenin. We should learn from Lenin, to take his experience and use in our environment, adapt to them. But the main motive is the same: the creation of the territory of the state network of Marxist clubs United under a single Central resource(the Bolsheviks it was the newspaper "Iskra"). Thus is formed the Marxist kernel (the"skeleton" of a future Communist party). It is the core of propaganda within the working groups, took control of trade unions, creates a new one, where they do not. In the end, under the supervision of the trade unions in the state. The working class is closely linked with Marxist organization, which at that time is already a vanguard of the working class. This is a real Communist party, which is able to carry out the socialist revolution and overthrow the class of exploiters.



    But the bourgeoisie all forces will spend to stay in power. In terms of the threat of overthrowing the bourgeoisie and establishing a proletarian dictatorship they forget about democracy. This establishes the fascism(the open dictatorship of the bourgeoisie).
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    I have a question. How come many poor people in USA, are still voting for the traditional capitalist parties (Democrats and Republicans), when they are aware that the state public health system (medicaid, medicare, social security, food-stamps etc) has been privatized little by little since the introduction of Thatcherism, Reaganism, and Neoliberalism to the USA in the 1980s, all the way until today with the neoliberalism Obamacare and Trumpcare.

    From my own point of view. I just do not understand the reason of why poor people are also living in parking lots, in their cars, taking showers in public bathrooms, living in motels 3 days a week, and the other 4 days in parking lots, in their cars, because houses, apartments and condos are priced at around 900 dollars or more a month. And since the US economic system is no long able to provide many dollars toi the whole USA, to all americans. Because of the kidnapping, highjacking of the dollars produced by a small top upper class. I just do not understand how come those poor US voters are still voting and believing in the free market political parties. When the rational thing to do for poor people who are living a hell on earth, without houses, taking showers on Mcdonalds bathrooms etc. should've been to be more communists, more marxists, more violent, more agressive than Karl Marx, Che Guevara, Durruti and Lenin.


    ,
    I would say this tendency for workers to vote against their own interests is largely due to the failure of the Left to capitalize. After the 2008 financial crisis, many Left academics thought that the contradictions of capitalism were finally overwhelming itself, and that the First-World proletariat are finally becoming a revolutionary agent. Boy, how wrong they were. Instead of people viewing the crisis as an internal failure of capitalism, many people started to view it as the "distortion" of the capitalist system, caused by a plethora of outside influence such as; minorities, immigrants, or globalists. Hence why, instead of seeing a growth in revolutionary potential, you see tue opposite: the growth of anti-globalist movement across the globe.

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  19. #17
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    Default Are poor americans too scared and too shy to become marxists?

    TragicFarce: who was saying that the economic collapse was a distortion? Establishment liberals and conservatives? Of course they did.

    But the response on the ground in my experience was Occupy, BLM, and an increased interest in socialism in a broad sense.

    The people who doubled-down on capitalism were largely conservatives. A lot of the alt-right figures were obnoxious college libertarians before the crash. If they believed that the market is infallible but it crashed—well it’s easier for middle-class types to scapegoat than admit that their whole world-view was wrong and they are dupes.

    The failure of the left imo has been the inability to create a sustained home and alternate vehicle for new radical views. This is often due to protests being smashed by repression or beaten into intellectual confusion by the pundits and op-Eds. IMO this is due to lack of longer term strategy by both the organized radical groups or the “diversity-of-tactics” supporters.

    Radical sentiment is on the rise but people are not going to just join a radical grouplette n masses nor are they going to see some street fighting propaganda of the deed and spontaneously resist in masses. Liberals build bridges to win over radicalize game people to “practical and reasonable” positions and actions. People on revleft complain about this, or cynically predict this as the outcome of any movement, all the time.

    We should focus on building these bridges to attempt to enable more dynamic and permanent space for radical politics outside the clutches of organized liberals (NGOs, local democrat machines, etc) we also need to build the vehicles for practical (radical) work and strategies or else liberals will manage to convince people that impractical strategies for change (like voting for party corporate-vetted candidates) is more practical (easier to do, concrete, and accepted common sense) than “pie in the sky” sorts of radical maximum demands (because we refuse to make demands on principle or we make empty demands that don’t help build class power).
    Last edited by Jimmie Higgins; 13th November 2017 at 16:50.
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    TragicFarce: who was saying that the economic collapse was a distortion? Establishment liberals and conservatives? Of course they did.

    But the response on the ground in my experience was Occupy, BLM, and an increased interest in socialism in a broad sense.

    The people who doubled-down on capitalism were largely conservatives. A lot of the alt-right figures were obnoxious college libertarians before the crash. If they believed that the market is infallible but it crashed—well it’s easier for middle-class types to scapegoat than admit that their whole world-view was wrong and they are dupes.

    The failure of the left imo has been the inability to create a sustained home and alternate vehicle for new radical views. This is often due to protests being smashed by repression or beaten into intellectual confusion by the pundits and op-Eds. IMO this is due to lack of longer term strategy by both the organized radical groups or the “diversity-of-tactics” supporters.

    Radical sentiment is on the rise but people are not going to just join a radical grouplette n masses nor are they going to see some street fighting propaganda of the deed and spontaneously resist in masses. Liberals build bridges to win over radicalize game people to “practical and reasonable” positions and actions. People on revleft complain about this, or cynically predict this as the outcome of any movement, all the time.

    We should focus on building these bridges to attempt to enable more dynamic and permanent space for radical politics outside the clutches of organized liberals (NGOs, local democrat machines, etc) we also need to build the vehicles for practical (radical) work and strategies or else most people will continue to see liberals somehow manage to convince people that impractical strategies for change (like voting for party corporate-vetted candidates) is more practical than “pie in the sky” sorts of radical maximum demands.
    I completely agree with you. While yes, the Left has been growing without a doubt, it seems as if the nationalist right is growing much stronger, evident by; Trump, Brexit, Le Pen, Russia, and Poland. I kind of agree with you when you say that the Left fails to provide a decent alternative, so here I shall provide an example Zizek uses often. In the movie "V for Vendetta", at the end, the people finally smash the fascist state. But what happens next? Sure there is tue awesome revolutionary action that pumps everyone up, that qualifies as a true "event", but what about the day after? How do normal people go on with their lives? This, I claim, is another failure of the Left: to propose a real, political alternative.

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    I am in complete agreement with your diagnosis of the faults of today’s left. The question then becomes a matter of prescription. What to do? In the First World I think there is a stigma on the left against the kind of mass organization required to overhaul society. A real socialist organization is required, but I must hasten to add that a Leninist party is not what I would like to see. What I would like to see, and more importantly, take part in and join is an organization(not a party aimed at taking power in an electoral, reformist sort of way)that is leaderless, with democratic decision making that sets as its aim the elucidation to the lower classes a means out of being the lower class.
    October was a catastrophic failure from the very beginning- or at least following the arrest on December 30, 1917 of Nikolai Avksentiev, the first act of repression by the Bolsheviks against Socialist Revolutionaries. It is clear that the contempt held by Lenin for democracy, and his fairly dogmatic, fundamentalist outlook he held on what exactly a social revolution is, doomed October. Of course, history could have played out in a variety of ways, but as long as the Bolsheviks were in power, nothing resembling socialism, that is to say, a democracy led by the working class, could ever truly take place.
    And with the Bolsheviks becoming the poster child for socialism in America, it is no wonder the working class there wish little part in it. The right wing has thoroughly convinced the American lower class that there are really two options for who shall rule society: billionaires or Stalinists. And the Bolshevik revolution’s historical course seems on the surface to justify this view, until one truly delves into the theory of what exactly revolutionary socialism is, and to encourage people to do this on a mass scale, some kind of mass scale socialist organization must necessarily be constituted.
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    I am in complete agreement with your diagnosis of the faults of today’s left. The question then becomes a matter of prescription. What to do? In the First World I think there is a stigma on the left against the kind of mass organization required to overhaul society. A real socialist organization is required, but I must hasten to add that a Leninist party is not what I would like to see. What I would like to see, and more importantly, take part in and join is an organization(not a party aimed at taking power in an electoral, reformist sort of way)that is leaderless, with democratic decision making that sets as its aim the elucidation to the lower classes a means out of being the lower class.
    October was a catastrophic failure from the very beginning- or at least following the arrest on December 30, 1917 of Nikolai Avksentiev, the first act of repression by the Bolsheviks against Socialist Revolutionaries. It is clear that the contempt held by Lenin for democracy, and his fairly dogmatic, fundamentalist outlook he held on what exactly a social revolution is, doomed October. Of course, history could have played out in a variety of ways, but as long as the Bolsheviks were in power, nothing resembling socialism, that is to say, a democracy led by the working class, could ever truly take place.
    And with the Bolsheviks becoming the poster child for socialism in America, it is no wonder the working class there wish little part in it. The right wing has thoroughly convinced the American lower class that there are really two options for who shall rule society: billionaires or Stalinists. And the Bolshevik revolution’s historical course seems on the surface to justify this view, until one truly delves into the theory of what exactly revolutionary socialism is, and to encourage people to do this on a mass scale, some kind of mass scale socialist organization must necessarily be constituted.

    You're defending a go-slow, nationalist, reformist-type of organization from history:



    The Socialist Revolutionary Party, or Party of Socialists-Revolutionaries (the SRs;Russian: Партия социалистов-революционеров (ПСР), эсеры, esery) was a major political party in early 20th century Russia and a key player in the Russian Revolution. Its general ideology was revolutionary socialism of democratic socialist and agrarian socialist forms. After the February Revolution of 1917, it shared power with other liberal and democratic socialist forces within the Russian Provisional Government. In November 1917, it won a plurality of the national vote in Russia's first-ever democratic elections (to the Russian Constituent Assembly), but the October Revolution had changed the political landscape and the Bolsheviks disbanded the Constituent Assembly in January 1918.[1] The SRs soon split into pro-Bolshevik and anti-Bolshevik factions. The anti-Bolshevik faction of this party, known as the Right SRs, which remained loyal to the Provisional Government leader Alexander Kerensky was defeated and destroyed by the Bolsheviks in the course of the Russian Civil War and subsequent persecution.

    And, from a recent post at another thread:



    Antiwar demonstrations[edit]

    In a diplomatic note of 1 May, the minister of foreign affairs, Pavel Milyukov, expressed the Provisional Government's desire to continue the war against the Central Powers "to a victorious conclusion", arousing broad indignation. On 1–4 May, about 100,000 workers and soldiers of Petrograd, and after them the workers and soldiers of other cities, led by the Bolsheviks, demonstrated under banners reading "Down with the war!" and "all power to the soviets!" The mass demonstrations resulted in a crisis for the Provisional Government.[9] 1 July saw more demonstrations, as about 500,000 workers and soldiers in Petrograd demonstrated, again demanding "all power to the soviets", "down with the war", and "down with the ten capitalist ministers". The Provisional Government opened an offensive against the Central Powers on 1 July, which soon collapsed. The news of the offensive and its collapse intensified the struggle of the workers and the soldiers. A new crisis in the Provisional Government began on 15 July.


    I don't think the problem is with the exercise of power itself, *during* a worldwide proletarian revolution, because this concern is forwarded *abstractly*, outside of any larger real-world context.

    Yes, we're all thinking 'USSR' here, but the USSR was *invaded* by capitalist armies during the time of Lenin's direction, and even though it prevailed it suffered tremendously from that outside destructive intervention of the Whites.

    In other words it's *inaccurate* to lay the failure of 'socialism' on socialism itself when counterrevolutionary forces were very much involved and culpable for that eventual constrained Stalinistic 'failure'.

    What concrete steps would be taken to ensure mistakes of socialism aren't repeated

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