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

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

    To start with, I'm a technocrat with leanings towards anarchism and Marxist ideas. Now, what I'm talking about here is a scenario in which a modern socialist revolution happens.

    I'm going to simplify things as much as possible for the sake of brevity. Specifically here I'm referring to the early days of the USSR&PRC. As can be seen throughout history, the founding which a country is built upon has profound significance for the rest of its existance. Now, I've noticed that the authoritarian version of socialism practiced by Stalin in the USSR and Mao in the PRC, has a lot of support on communist forums. Imo, it would even be safe to say that the plurality of modern communists favor an authoritarian version of communism (like what I referred to before) to a liberterian/anarchist one. So we're going to leave the anarcho-communists and related schools of thought (which I'm more inclined towards) out of this discussion, and focus on this phenomenon. The pervasive streak of authoritarianism in communism is most likely due to the fact that the two major socialist experiments were, at their founding days, dictatorial and repressive, from which it has been carried over from.

    Now, you can argue that the "dictatorial and repressive" element I spoke of is false, or an exaggeration. To argue that it's entirely false is, in my humble opinion, an untenable position. Now, I'm not going to look at every single thing here and analyze how bad it was, that's not the intention. Let's grant, for the sake of argument, that the "official version" is 50% true (it hurts to simplify things so crudely, but bear with me), I mean the oppression was half as deep or something. Even if you grant this generous proposition, you're left with some nonarguable governmental actions, just to name a few: Purges, extrajudicial disappearances of actual and perceived dissidents, etc

    Now, my questions are (speaking of the time after the revolution):

    1) Should it be possible for people to be punished without a chance to defend themselves in a(n actual) trial?

    2) Should dissidents, discontents, be "dealt with"? If yes: If force is necessary, should it be used? Lethal force?

    3) If not, what concrete steps are going to be taken to avoid and learn from the mistakes of the past?
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    The democratic rights necessary to prevent degeneration of what is sometimes called "socialism" can only be safeguarded by political transparency. I discuss this in my lengthy essay Spartacus Ex Machina. I will check back next weekend, if you have any questions about this you would like me to answer. Few things are as valuable as a thoughtful and considered question. -- All the best, ben Seattle
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    To start with, I'm a technocrat with leanings towards anarchism and Marxist ideas. Now, what I'm talking about here is a scenario in which a modern socialist revolution happens.

    I'm going to simplify things as much as possible for the sake of brevity. Specifically here I'm referring to the early days of the USSR&PRC. As can be seen throughout history, the founding which a country is built upon has profound significance for the rest of its existance. Now, I've noticed that the authoritarian version of socialism practiced by Stalin in the USSR and Mao in the PRC, has a lot of support on communist forums. Imo, it would even be safe to say that the plurality of modern communists favor an authoritarian version of communism (like what I referred to before) to a liberterian/anarchist one. So we're going to leave the anarcho-communists and related schools of thought (which I'm more inclined towards) out of this discussion, and focus on this phenomenon. The pervasive streak of authoritarianism in communism is most likely due to the fact that the two major socialist experiments were, at their founding days, dictatorial and repressive, from which it has been carried over from.

    Now, you can argue that the "dictatorial and repressive" element I spoke of is false, or an exaggeration. To argue that it's entirely false is, in my humble opinion, an untenable position. Now, I'm not going to look at every single thing here and analyze how bad it was, that's not the intention. Let's grant, for the sake of argument, that the "official version" is 50% true (it hurts to simplify things so crudely, but bear with me), I mean the oppression was half as deep or something. Even if you grant this generous proposition, you're left with some nonarguable governmental actions, just to name a few: Purges, extrajudicial disappearances of actual and perceived dissidents, etc

    Now, my questions are (speaking of the time after the revolution):

    1) Should it be possible for people to be punished without a chance to defend themselves in a(n actual) trial?

    2) Should dissidents, discontents, be "dealt with"? If yes: If force is necessary, should it be used? Lethal force?

    3) If not, what concrete steps are going to be taken to avoid and learn from the mistakes of the past?
    I will not divide my answer into three parts, as I feel my answer with sufficiently answer the first two. In your question, you specify "after the revolution", and this is an important distinction. Most "terrors" of a revolution only happen during the events in which the revolutionary agent takes power. For example, the Reign of Terror in France, and the atrocities committed by the Bolsheviks during the Revolution and Civil War. Therefore, after the revolution, as we saw in France, the atrocities cease for the most part. Now, to look at the case of the Soviet Union, and this shall apply to China. In the USSR, the Bolsheviks themselves were the revolutionary agent, not necessarily the workers. As a vanguard party, their entire purpose was an attempt to solidify a proletariat revolution. The problem with is that the "event" in which proletariat was a revolutionary agent was the entirety of the USSR itself, and it failed to solidify itself control. This is due in large part that the USSR was in isolation. Sure, at one point, a third of the world was communist. However, no other nation was near as industrialized as the Soviet Union was, therefore, the proletarian revolutionary agent was much weaker. I feel as if I ended on a tangent, but I hope I answered at least one of your questions.

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    Hi, just to clarify: your question was geared towards people who supported the ussr as an example of socialism?

    I’m curious to hear that answer as well.

    I think probably most users here are at least somewhat critical of the ussr, so that may change the discussion a bit.
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    Hi, just to clarify: your question was geared towards people who supported the ussr as an example of socialism?

    I’m curious to hear that answer as well.

    I think probably most users here are at least somewhat critical of the ussr, so that may change the discussion a bit.
    I'm new, what does the crown next to your name mean?

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    I'm new, what does the crown next to your name mean?

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    1) Should it be possible for people to be punished without a chance to defend themselves in a(n actual) trial?

    2) Should dissidents, discontents, be "dealt with"? If yes: If force is necessary, should it be used? Lethal force?

    3) If not, what concrete steps are going to be taken to avoid and learn from the mistakes of the past?

    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'.

    I happened to address this 'use of collective power' issue fairly recently, with a particular scenario and proposal -- I think of it as being a *convenient*, 'go-to' treatment for any counterrevolutionary activity, without being damaging:



    I think we should *want* the socialist state to have that power, but I'm more concerned with the real-world *logistics* of such -- 're-education facilities' sounds a lot like *jail*, and the *staffing* of such jail-like facilities would be an inherently *political* task, and not a material-productive one. The revolutionary workers would have to set up a social *institution* of some kind for the organization of personnel to staff these facilities, and there would have to be a collective, but decisive, decision-making process over who is sent to re-education programs, and who isn't, and why.

    So basically it would be 'messy', but I could
    readily see that worldwide conditions of protracted open class struggle could objectively *call* for such impositions of revolutionary 'authority', as for the use of re-education facilities. I just don't feel confident that such fixed-institution-type practices would be logistically clean or worth the socio-political organization that such institutions would require for their functioning.

    Maybe more-of a 'quarantine'-type approach would be better, but that, too, would be a fixed institution of sorts, with various kinds of messy overhead, as well.

    After some additional thought on this topic I came up with a possible approach: Counterrevolutionaries could be 'quarantined' inside of existing *skyscrapers*, with an outer wall and a motion-detecting *perimeter* well within the exterior wall. There could be a conical-shaped *netting* around each skyscraper (and within the motion-detecting perimeter), flared outward, so that anyone falling on the outside of each skyscraper -- for whatever reason -- would have a soft landing and would slide downward and outward, triggering the perimeter. (And/or they could just re-enter the building and resume "regular" life there.)

    The idea is that this measure would be *temporary*, with all of the amenities of life and living provided-for daily inside such a structure, so that such people under 'collective house-arrest' would feel relatively comfortable in the interim until the proletarian revolution would be completed. Doubtlessly there would also be maintenance-type tasks within each building, as well, to keep people busy if they wanted.

    Security cameras on every floor could broadcast their live video feeds out onto the Internet, so that informal voluntary revolutionary participation could be done by anyone, watching the various feeds to keep track of things there. And, derived from such Internet-based involvement could be the makings of an organic mass voluntary participation -- an 'emergent' 'institution' overseeing and tending-to each given skyscraper, with proceedings ongoing on a RevLeft-type discussion board for cooperation and decisive actions given whatever situation.

    Perhaps the most complex aspect of this approach -- as with the whole revolution itself -- would be keeping policy *consistent* across each and every skyscraper facility, so that any possible discontinuities would be solidly ironed-out. The overall idea here is to be as humane as possible to as many class enemy personnel as possible so that they're excluded from active real-world politics, but without antagonizing any of them personally so that they could claim an inherently messy *social* situation and treatment. Once the revolution is completed all such prisoners could then be released because they and their reactionary ideas would no longer have any traction in such a fully post-capitalist social order.
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    I happened to address this 'use of collective power' issue fairly recently, with a particular scenario and proposal -- I think of it as being a *convenient*, 'go-to' treatment for any counterrevolutionary activity, without being damaging:
    Originally Posted by Ckaihatsu
    After some additional thought on this topic I came up with a possible approach: Counterrevolutionaries could be 'quarantined' inside of existing *skyscrapers*, with an outer wall and a motion-detecting *perimeter* well within the exterior wall. There could be a conical-shaped *netting* around each skyscraper (and within the motion-detecting perimeter), flared outward, so that anyone falling on the outside of each skyscraper -- for whatever reason -- would have a soft landing and would slide downward and outward, triggering the perimeter. (And/or they could just re-enter the building and resume "regular" life there.)


    The idea is that this measure would be *temporary*, with all of the amenities of life and living provided-for daily inside such a structure, so that such people under 'collective house-arrest' would feel relatively comfortable in the interim until the proletarian revolution would be completed. Doubtlessly there would also be maintenance-type tasks within each building, as well, to keep people busy if they wanted.

    Security cameras on every floor could broadcast their live video feeds out onto the Internet, so that informal voluntary revolutionary participation could be done by anyone, watching the various feeds to keep track of things there. And, derived from such Internet-based involvement could be the makings of an organic mass voluntary participation -- an 'emergent' 'institution' overseeing and tending-to each given skyscraper, with proceedings ongoing on a RevLeft-type discussion board for cooperation and decisive actions given whatever situation.

    Perhaps the most complex aspect of this approach -- as with the whole revolution itself -- would be keeping policy *consistent* across each and every skyscraper facility, so that any possible discontinuities would be solidly ironed-out. The overall idea here is to be as humane as possible to as many class enemy personnel as possible so that they're excluded from active real-world politics, but without antagonizing any of them personally so that they could claim an inherently messy *social* situation and treatment. Once the revolution is completed all such prisoners could then be released because they and their reactionary ideas would no longer have any traction in such a fully post-capitalist social order.

    and giant water slides inside of netting, that go from the top of the skyscraper down into an aquarium environment where the slide becomes glass and you'd be able to see reactionaries shooting through this vast network of water slides or a slightly more ambitious idea is to make an entire reactionary city but only made out of slides and climate controlled rooms and to go up they'd enter into a 'pod' that would propel them several stories upwards using only water and air, and then make this slide city *above* a regular city but with a giant trampoline stretched out to prevent the very unlikely chance of an escape-suicide, made out of a material that is sufficient for a trampoline but blocks no light

    if there were engineering issues with this which i can't imagine there would be, it would most likely be due to something on the ground literally so continuing to build a structure there would be replaced by a large platform with a trebuchet that could launch people across the problem area onto a padded platform or *air-pool* with a ladder to climb up to the platforms afterwards. the risk of injury imo would be extremely low because there would be nets everywhere and the live stream would definitely allow people to watch something happen

    i think rather quickly, a *sky-ocean* could be created with a water tube penetrating through the center of the sky ocean making the breach point fairly shallow so when people come shooting out into the ocean they are only under water for a minute. alternatively, the water tube could extend a distance into the air, a distance that wouldn't kill or injure them when they'd shoot out the tube down to the sky-ocean. there should def. be a live stream of that imo
    "whatever they might make would never be the same as that world of dark streets and bright dreams"

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    and giant water slides inside of netting, that go from the top of the skyscraper down into an aquarium environment where the slide becomes glass and you'd be able to see reactionaries shooting through this vast network of water slides or a slightly more ambitious idea is to make an entire reactionary city but only made out of slides and climate controlled rooms and to go up they'd enter into a 'pod' that would propel them several stories upwards using only water and air, and then make this slide city *above* a regular city but with a giant trampoline stretched out to prevent the very unlikely chance of an escape-suicide, made out of a material that is sufficient for a trampoline but blocks no light

    if there were engineering issues with this which i can't imagine there would be, it would most likely be due to something on the ground literally so continuing to build a structure there would be replaced by a large platform with a trebuchet that could launch people across the problem area onto a padded platform or *air-pool* with a ladder to climb up to the platforms afterwards. the risk of injury imo would be extremely low because there would be nets everywhere and the live stream would definitely allow people to watch something happen

    i think rather quickly, a *sky-ocean* could be created with a water tube penetrating through the center of the sky ocean making the breach point fairly shallow so when people come shooting out into the ocean they are only under water for a minute. alternatively, the water tube could extend a distance into the air, a distance that wouldn't kill or injure them when they'd shoot out the tube down to the sky-ocean. there should def. be a live stream of that imo
    I found something that could function as a sort of *blueprint* for your idea. Here it is:


    Of course it does have *some* issues, which I'll list here:
    1- it's a city, not an ocean
    2- There is no water pumping from the earth's surface to eject people into the sky ocean
    3- The stuff you described not attached via water slides

    However, it's only a few small steps to get to what you're talking about, those engineering hurdles must be easy to overcome (we could probably solve them within a few years). Furthermore, as ckaihatsu noted, we'd be building all of this off of existing skyscrapers so 99% of the work is already done.

    One thing that we could do is use water slides as a point of reentry to the skyscraper, which in turn would have a skydiving platform they could use when they were ready for reentry into society. Of course, we would have many safety precautions to the re-integrated-to-be ex-counterrevolutionaries jump platform so that they don't accidentally (or worse, *purposeful*) fall to their (admittedly grisly) deaths.

    EDIT TO ADD: if someone was too squeamish to use the jump platform, we could let them use a system of zip lines that would tour them through their newly liberated city, and parade them in front of everyone to let them know that another ex-counterrevolutionary has been shown the gleaming light of communism.
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    i like the blimp idea, there could be a series of blimps or *sky-ships* like this but guided on steel cables

    29c86b3c6a2bdb6d8e55291466b6af40.jpg

    there could also be a large flat platform where they could hook up to elastic cords while in a harness and jump around for exercise and fun, similarly there could be an elastic cord attached to their harness while on a super trampoline or *cannon* system with the cord attached to an elevated area as well as a vertical *track* system so they could get maximum jump or launch height without worrying about dying.

    for extra safety the sky-ships could have balloons attached to them and also the balloons would be attached to steel track system that also has balloons that are also supported by their own steel track system and balloons. i'm also interested in how magnetism could be used to elevate platforms or actual islands, and what the ecology would eventually look like at different elevations
    Last edited by Ele'ill; 15th November 2017 at 23:10.
    "whatever they might make would never be the same as that world of dark streets and bright dreams"

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    A bonus to erecting sky oceans would be a *dramatic* decrease in sea level, which would mitigate the effects of polar ice caps melting and *raising* the sea levels. I can't find much info on other benefits for removing water from the surface of the earth but I'm sure there are more, with *minimal* environmental side effect/damage.
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    ignorance15strength:
    Whatever problems occurred in the formation of the so-called communist states were a result of unhealthy and reactionary social forms re-forming in a new system. A political/social/economic framework does not social forms make; on the contrary, social forms and the frameworks they take are intertwined and reify one another. The answer to every question you asked is: it doesn't matter. There is no situation present that can be reasonably assessed to answer such questions and theorizing them now, arguably in the most capitalist time we've ever seen, is a terrible idea and a waste of time.

    A much better use of our time is discussing this amazing floating world for counter-revolutionaries idea and why it will work. I have some thoughts:
    1) The main problem is the tubes. Yes, floating cities or flying cities or cities that tilt precariously on top of skyscrapers will work, but the tubes are a weak point. They are also *ugly* and I believe aesthetic was a big per-condition to this whole theory. We need to be *beyond tubes* here. What we need is a way to move counter-revolutionaries from their pseudo-prison back into society without the transportation process being so inefficient.
    2) The answer: other counter-revolutionaries. We have a surplus of people and since we're talking technocracy here that means we have a surplus of potential energy. Let's harness it, literally, and have counter-revolutionaries *physically carry* others back into the enlightened. How does one carry another from a floating city back to earth? Great question. Answer: balloons.
    3) Balloons are not only prettier than tubes, they are *cheaper* and more *flexible.* Tubes are rigid and stupid. Balloons are malleable and fertile. Furthermore, we could have a balloon filling process in the floating city which would serve as a social ritual to better initiate the counter-revolutionaries to our superior society below. It is very personal, filling flaccid plastic with your breath, very revolutionary, really.
    If we have no business with the construction of the future or with organizing it for all time, there can still be no doubt about the task confronting us at present: the ruthless criticism of the existing order, ruthless in that it will shrink neither from its own discoveries, nor from conflict with the powers that be.
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    ignorance15strength:
    Whatever problems occurred in the formation of the so-called communist states were a result of unhealthy and reactionary social forms re-forming in a new system. A political/social/economic framework does not social forms make; on the contrary, social forms and the frameworks they take are intertwined and reify one another. The answer to every question you asked is: it doesn't matter. There is no situation present that can be reasonably assessed to answer such questions and theorizing them now, arguably in the most capitalist time we've ever seen, is a terrible idea and a waste of time.

    A much better use of our time is discussing this amazing floating world for counter-revolutionaries idea and why it will work. I have some thoughts:
    1) The main problem is the tubes. Yes, floating cities or flying cities or cities that tilt precariously on top of skyscrapers will work, but the tubes are a weak point. They are also *ugly* and I believe aesthetic was a big per-condition to this whole theory. We need to be *beyond tubes* here. What we need is a way to move counter-revolutionaries from their pseudo-prison back into society without the transportation process being so inefficient.
    2) The answer: other counter-revolutionaries. We have a surplus of people and since we're talking technocracy here that means we have a surplus of potential energy. Let's harness it, literally, and have counter-revolutionaries *physically carry* others back into the enlightened. How does one carry another from a floating city back to earth? Great question. Answer: balloons.
    3) Balloons are not only prettier than tubes, they are *cheaper* and more *flexible.* Tubes are rigid and stupid. Balloons are malleable and fertile. Furthermore, we could have a balloon filling process in the floating city which would serve as a social ritual to better initiate the counter-revolutionaries to our superior society below. It is very personal, filling flaccid plastic with your breath, very revolutionary, really.
    I find myself slightly concerned that the balloons might *pop*, however if we were to reinforce then with additional silicone liners perhaps they'd hold until the ex-counter-revolutionary was safely delivered to the ground. We could also attach harnesses to the ex-counter-revolutionaries so if their balloon *did* pop, they'd have a harness when they fell, which should be *adequate* safety gear.

    Our superior society at this point might be seen as *underground*, with little to no light reaching the barren earth, so we would probably want to hang 1000s of sun lamps *underneath* the floating sky-city/water park, which would be on constantly so we could grow crops at a faster rate and people could get vitamin d at any time (a luxury the counter-revolutionaries would not have- they'd have to wait until the sun rose *naturally* on the east). We'd have it way better than them due the permanent glare of "sun"light on our bodies.
    "I'm not interested in indulging whims from members of your faction."
    Seeing as this is seen as acceptable by an admin, from here on out when I have a disagreement with someone I will be asking them to reference this. If you want an explanation of my views, too bad.

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