Thread: How is Communism ethical?

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  1. #81
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    There is direct violence, as in people actually harming each other, which is the violence we are familiar with. There is also structural violence, the myriad ways in which a multidude of actions collectively create conditions whereby some people are disadvantaged, go hungry, are unable to make sufficient income, have to move away from their homes, starve, die from preventable illnesses etc. This kind of violence is not reducible to any particular person, is not their 'fault' as such, it is the result of the functioning of a particular system. This system we recognise as capitalism. Capitalism as the primary mode of production in any particular society, and further, especially today, as a global system which has subsumed all previous social forms into itself, has in one way or another, changed these forms to conform to the logic of capitalist production. This includes even the most backward regions of the planet, including Congo, Sub Sahara etc. Yes, some forms of production, subsistence level agriculture, appear as the remnants of previous modes of life but today they are not, they are subsumed into the overall system of capitalist production because an African small farmer must produce not only for direct consumption but also for sale in order to gain income for other nescessities. In this way, its a mistake not to view the African nations as deeply embedded into the overall model of global production, because even their lack of effective means to compete economically means something different today than it did 150 years ago. It means that they inevitably in order to survive as political units, subordinate their overall production to the global production or face utter ruin and disintegration as coherent units.

    Our friend is willing to accept the notion of structural violence where it concerns failed communist experiments, but not where it concerns the final and complete level of the globalised capitalist economy. But you can't have it both ways, you can't criticise communist negligence or ineptitude while at the same time maintaining the position that capitalism is not a complete system which regulates all spheres if life. That is, a system where the overall result of an unknowable number of actions results in a definite logic which we call a society. Moreover, a society in which the immiseration of the majority of the planets population is collateral for that society's reproduction of itself.

    You must choose one or the other. Either nobody is in overall control of society and thus the overall blame for immiseration falls upon the system itself, which is true for capitalism as well as the failed communist experiments, OR we enter the 'great man theory of history' where the myriad of individual actions is condenced into the changes enacted by great, famous or infamous men or women.
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  3. #82
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    It's not "bias" that I merely take account of the fact that every Communist regime is despotic and murderous, and that those within them desperately attempt to flee to the Capitalist countries.

    It *is* bias when you're just making a facile, simplistic claim over *all* of the reputations of those who were revolutionary in one way or another. Political *content* matters, as in the goal of annihilating private property relations and also what actions were necessary to keep some semblance of the revolution going while it became isolated to just one nation-state, the USSR.

    You treat history with blinders on, only looking in the direction you want to, and ignoring all else that *also* impacted the events and people that you're oversimplifying, then dismissing.

    Here's a framework that may remind you that there are other things going on around any given event -- like the Allied invasion of revolutionary Russia in 1917 that I already mentioned, which you'd rather ignore, according to your whim and continued bias.


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






    Of course this isn't to say that world events were ultimately *favorable* to the task of proletarian revolution then, because the Bolshevik revolution wound up getting *constrained* to its own borders instead of being internationalist as planned.



    Are you seriously going to defend Marxist-Leninism?

    Only to the degree that it was *revolutionary*, meaning national-liberation, basically -- the USSR was a 'degenerated workers state' and the workers retained much in the way of collective autonomy on the job, making it the most socially *progressive* nation-state in the world, both then and now.



    You claim that I am localising the events, however, the Bolsheviks were financed and supplied by both British and American multinationals, and the German Kaiser. The liaisons of Trotsky and Lenin to the west, among other Marxist radicals, are no secret, neither was the Wilhelm II's hostility to the Tsar.

    So what's your point, then, in the context of these historical factors?



    You have already told me of your proposal to mass incarcerate political dissidents, so you are morally bankrupt, and this is not "character assassination". Do you believe that you can create the Utopia by following the same violent tactics of the past? Unless that is you think the gulags were a sign of Utopia.

    You continue to confuse 'means' and 'ends', to the point where you're readily willing to condemn revolutionary *means* while *ignoring* its ends. This is a continuation of bias on your part because if you're so against violence and death *in general* you would do far better to chronicle the far greater scales of human tragedies borne out of Western *imperialism* rather than with a century-old mass attempt at socialism.

    Also your repeated terming of 'utopia' is just baseless *slander*, because you're using a contrived *idealism* ('utopia', or an imaginary land), as a distraction from actual revolutionary purpose and historical collectivism in the name of workers power, through the initial soviets, or 'workers councils'.

    I'm noting that our replies to you may not be worth the effort, due to your lack of listening skills and lack of reciprocity on an issue-by-issue basis. You should watch yourself because if you're unable or unwilling to have a *two-way* conversation and discussion, instead of just hurling accusations, then there's no reason for you to be here.
  4. #83
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    how many native Americans starved when the capitalists killed off most of their food supply. how many were starving in Africa when capitalist powers came and took their crops. how are starving in south america when the capitalist privatized their land and stole their crops. but that doesn't matter to you does it as long as you can make profit off of the misery of others
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    Why is this even being talked about like its in the past tense? Every year something like 900,000-1.3 million children die of hunger and malnutrition in India. Like I said, every single year India experiences a 'Holomodor', just no one actually gives a flying fuck.
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    You're right ckaihatsu, perhaps I have become complacent and frustrated. Lets talk about your proposed 'means', if you believe me mistaken about them.

    You continue to confuse 'means' and 'ends', to the point where you're readily willing to condemn revolutionary *means* while *ignoring* its ends. This is a continuation of bias on your part because if you're so against violence and death *in general* you would do far better to chronicle the far greater scales of human tragedies borne out of Western *imperialism* rather than with a century-old mass attempt at socialism.
    My issue with your proposed 'means' of interning political dissidents is that this seems, and historically seems, to be a rather 'indefinite' means. That is unless you propose taking on the task of eradicating political dissidence entirely, which would surely involve far more than internment. Could you specify the 'ends' that you would hope to achieve of this means, that is, 'specifically', not simply with standard Marxist rhetoric of "liberating the proletariat". What exact end(s) would come of enabling certain organs to detain and intern individuals based on their political activity, ideology, etc. As far as I can see, all that comes of this kind of systematic political oppression is death, and great numbers of it, whereas in your previous descriptions of your envisioned future internment centres, you appear to have sanitised the whole affair. How do you suggest that your proposed means of stifling dissent won't turn out like the Gulags of Russia, or worse, like the Killing fields of the Khmer Rouge? Because there appears very little difference in principle, in so far that 'the ends justify the means'. If the ends do indeed justify the means, and whatever means taken are a mere utility to the ends, then what prevents the means from naturally becoming as terribly violent as they have historically been? I am apprehensive to accept what you are willing to compromise on behalf of certain ends.

    Thanks
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    During the American Revolution the Nationalist Forces Hung Loyalists, Every Revolution needs fear in order to bring an end to itself.
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    You're right ckaihatsu, perhaps I have become complacent and frustrated. Lets talk about your proposed 'means', if you believe me mistaken about them.

    Okay, thanks for taking a deep breath and a step back.



    You continue to confuse 'means' and 'ends', to the point where you're readily willing to condemn revolutionary *means* while *ignoring* its ends. This is a continuation of bias on your part because if you're so against violence and death *in general* you would do far better to chronicle the far greater scales of human tragedies borne out of Western *imperialism* rather than with a century-old mass attempt at socialism.


    My issue with your proposed 'means' of interning political dissidents is that this seems, and historically seems, to be a rather 'indefinite' means. That is unless you propose taking on the task of eradicating political dissidence entirely, which would surely involve far more than internment.

    Again, the revolutionary goal *isn't* a Stalinistic socialist *state* -- at most, the dictatorship of the proletariat *could* potentially / probably be a 'workers state', but this vanguardist-type strategy would only be for the repression of the bourgeoisie. It wouldn't continue indefinitely into a new kind of ruling class because once bourgeois resistance is overcome the means would immediately exist for humanity to collectivize among its members, and would vastly outnumber the transitional vehicle of the revolutionary vanguard.



    Could you specify the 'ends' that you would hope to achieve of this means, that is, 'specifically', not simply with standard Marxist rhetoric of "liberating the proletariat". What exact end(s) would come of enabling certain organs to detain and intern individuals based on their political activity, ideology, etc. As far as I can see, all that comes of this kind of systematic political oppression is death, and great numbers of it, whereas in your previous descriptions of your envisioned future internment centres, you appear to have sanitised the whole affair. How do you suggest that your proposed means of stifling dissent won't turn out like the Gulags of Russia, or worse, like the Killing fields of the Khmer Rouge? Because there appears very little difference in principle, in so far that 'the ends justify the means'. If the ends do indeed justify the means, and whatever means taken are a mere utility to the ends, then what prevents the means from naturally becoming as terribly violent as they have historically been? I am apprehensive to accept what you are willing to compromise on behalf of certain ends.

    Thanks

    Well, the 'ends' is the liberation of all of humanity -- I think that's the most succinct way to put it, and the catalyst would be the active worker-revolutionaries of the world, seizing the means of mass industrial production so that such can be repurposed away from profit-making, and into directions of worker-collectivist-control.

    Nothing about the October Revolution was self-defeating or imploding -- I have to emphasize that its deteriorating material conditions came from the lack of the revolution spreading to Germany and Europe, etc., and also from the foreign and domestic 'White' resistance of counterrevolutionaries, which destroyed its nascent soviet-collectivist material economy, necessitating a backpedalling to market relations (Lenin's NEP), for the sake of survival of *some* semblance of the original -- arguably premature -- step of collectivization.

    The boogeyman here -- and not just from yourself -- is the reservation that empowering a vanguard / party would enable runaway authoritarianism, but I think that the counterargument is that any future proletarian revolution will *have* to be 'healthy'. It will have to spread worldwide rather quickly, and should be able to overcome bourgeois resistance (counterrevolutionaries) anywhere and everywhere. The *means* used for this would certainly depend greatly on unfolding socio-political conditions at the time -- fortunately the world is no longer at a loss for *technological* means, so I don't forsee any scarcity of productive assets (factories) being the internal problem that it was 100 years ago.

    You seem to be insisting that potentially realistic 'violence' would be a problem, but in this attitude you're just returning to your myopia regarding means-and-ends. You may want to discuss -- or at least acknowledge -- the significance of what revolutionary 'ends' *are*.
  9. #88
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    Okay, thanks for taking a deep breath and a step back.
    No problem..

    Again, the revolutionary goal *isn't* a Stalinistic socialist *state* -- at most, the dictatorship of the proletariat *could* potentially / probably be a 'workers state', but this vanguardist-type strategy would only be for the repression of the bourgeoisie. It wouldn't continue indefinitely into a new kind of ruling class because once bourgeois resistance is overcome the means would immediately exist for humanity to collectivize among its members, and would vastly outnumber the transitional vehicle of the revolutionary vanguard.
    Well, this is my point entirely. I understand perfectly well that your own expressed goal is not the erection of kind of "Stalinistic socialist state", however, it would appear that due to the seemingly 'indefinite' nature of ("bourgeois") political/ideological oppression entrusted to specific organs, such as the so called 'vanguard state', that whichever organ entrusted with the execution of such 'indefinite' means thus becomes indefinite altogether, as if an end unto itself. That is, unless you believe this 'vanguard state' capable of permanently suppressing political dissent in posterity, given only a temporary period of time? In which case, as I previously suggested, this would surely require more than mere temporary internment.

    Well, the 'ends' is the liberation of all of humanity -- I think that's the most succinct way to put it, and the catalyst would be the active worker-revolutionaries of the world, seizing the means of mass industrial production so that such can be repurposed away from profit-making, and into directions of worker-collectivist-control.
    I asked you to give specific ends that would come of specific means, without reverting to typical and broad generalisations, however, it appears you have done so anyway. The above statement is not specific at all, rather, I wished to understand exactly what would be achieved through large scale internment based on political and ideological dissent. In my estimation, systematic political oppression and the 'liberation of all of humanity' are not quite qualities that go hand-in-hand. I would like to understand the process by which one arrives at this 'liberated humanity', that is, liberated from what exactly? Political and ideological diversity? You seem to have brushed by the whole mechanics of the process, in that, how does one get, precisely, from a state of (A) Revolution, chaos, polarisation, active resistance and counter revolution; to (B) political 'harmony' and order, etc. You would suggest that this gap is bridged merely by the temporary framework of a 'vanguard state' that would (by some measure) relinquish its power upon doing so? At which point, everything would fall into category B, with no further need for what could possibly arise, i.e. such as category A?

    The boogeyman here -- and not just from yourself -- is the reservation that empowering a vanguard / party would enable runaway authoritarianism, but I think that the counterargument is that any future proletarian revolution will *have* to be 'healthy'. It will have to spread worldwide rather quickly, and should be able to overcome bourgeois resistance (counterrevolutionaries) anywhere and everywhere.
    It seems rather unfounded to assert that the possibility of power escaping the idealistic and becoming tyrannical and authoritarian can be equated to a mere 'boogeyman'. Are you suggesting that it is not at all even a 'risk' that the fruit of violent and turbulent revolution might well be authoritarian? You believe the remedy to this is that the revolution would require 'worldwide' involvement? How would that look exactly... would there be a centralised global vanguard state, or localised individual states?

    Thanks
  10. #89
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    Honestly when you think about it communism is the inevitable end to the long history of humanity, it is the last stage of humanities progress from throwing rocks to being truly free from oppression.
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    Well, this is my point entirely. I understand perfectly well that your own expressed goal is not the erection of kind of "Stalinistic socialist state", however, it would appear that due to the seemingly 'indefinite' nature of ("bourgeois") political/ideological oppression entrusted to specific organs, such as the so called 'vanguard state', that whichever organ entrusted with the execution of such 'indefinite' means thus becomes indefinite altogether, as if an end unto itself.

    No, this is a widespread misconception that also attempts to *dissuade* away from revolutionary consciousness and activity.

    As I just explained,



    [The workers state] wouldn't continue indefinitely into a new kind of ruling class because once bourgeois resistance is overcome the means would immediately exist for humanity to collectivize among its members, and would vastly outnumber the transitional vehicle of the revolutionary vanguard.

    So we're both making assertions, but the difference is that yours are strictly *opinions*, since you're not providing any *reasoning* for why you've come to the conclusion that you have.

    You may want to *address* the points I'm making, for the sake of a sustained *conversation* -- otherwise we're just talking past each other.


    ---



    That is, unless you believe this 'vanguard state' capable of permanently suppressing political dissent in posterity, given only a temporary period of time? In which case, as I previously suggested, this would surely require more than mere temporary internment.

    Okay, well, for the *third* time now, you're preferring to address *means*, without addressing *ends* at all -- the saying is that you have to break eggs to make an omelette, so how is this task of proletarian revolution any different? You may want to bring 'ends' into your consideration and political conclusions.



    I asked you to give specific ends that would come of specific means, without reverting to typical and broad generalisations, however, it appears you have done so anyway.

    What kinds of specifics are you interested in hearing about?



    The above statement is not specific at all, rather, I wished to understand exactly what would be achieved through large scale internment based on political and ideological dissent.

    Well, in warfare what's the point of damaging and/or disabling one's opponent -- ?

    It's so that they can no longer participate in antagonistic activities against oneself and the group that one is with.



    In my estimation, systematic political oppression and the 'liberation of all of humanity' are not quite qualities that go hand-in-hand. I would like to understand the process by which one arrives at this 'liberated humanity', that is, liberated from what exactly? Political and ideological diversity? You seem to have brushed by the whole mechanics of the process, in that, how does one get, precisely, from a state of (A) Revolution, chaos, polarisation, active resistance and counter revolution; to (B) political 'harmony' and order, etc. You would suggest that this gap is bridged merely by the temporary framework of a 'vanguard state' that would (by some measure) relinquish its power upon doing so? At which point, everything would fall into category B, with no further need for what could possibly arise, i.e. such as category A?

    You're repeating yourself here -- I addressed this issue in my previous post, and then also copy-and-pasted it above, in *this* post:



    [The workers state] wouldn't continue indefinitely into a new kind of ruling class because once bourgeois resistance is overcome the means would immediately exist for humanity to collectivize among its members, and would vastly outnumber the transitional vehicle of the revolutionary vanguard.

    You seem to think that the vanguard organization or party would be 100% substitutionist for workers self-activity, when the *opposite* is true -- the more 'bottom-up', 'grassroots' militant labor participation worldwide in revolutionary politics and activity, the *better* the vanguard / party would be, because more mass involvement means more attention on issues and realities that are socially critical, for a result of relatively *less* substitutionism by a workers state / vanguard. Heck, I myself would rather see *no* vanguard or workers state, but I don't think that would be very realistic, considering the bourgeoisie's vast history of violent destructive opposition to any kind of national independence, not to speak of labor militancy and communist-type organizing.



    It seems rather unfounded to assert that the possibility of power escaping the idealistic and becoming tyrannical and authoritarian can be equated to a mere 'boogeyman'. Are you suggesting that it is not at all even a 'risk' that the fruit of violent and turbulent revolution might well be authoritarian?

    All of these factors, however you want to label them, would all be *far better* than what's going on now, since we're still under the class system of capitalism.



    You believe the remedy to this is that the revolution would require 'worldwide' involvement? How would that look exactly... would there be a centralised global vanguard state, or localised individual states?

    Thanks

    I think centralized coordination is very important, but even under the most dire situation -- like what Lenin was in -- I think that widespread involvement would, today, be much more feasible and doable, due to current digital communications technologies. In other words we *wouldn't* want to have a tip-of-the-pyramid political hierarchy, but rather more of an 'unfinished pyramid', where a missing top tip would yield an uppermost *flat area*, or 'plateau', meaning a quasi-specialized mode of participation from many in a vanguard / party.

    The global revolution would have an inherent interest in *not* letting the internal political arrangement get too balkanized (fragmented), because too many geographically-bounded 'states' -- like what the anarchists envision -- would be counterproductive for large-scale scales-of-efficiency.

    What *I* would want to see, personally, would be the implementation of my labor credits FAQ, since I think it's a good framework for *any* scale of mass revolutionary participation, at any variety of local-to-global scales.

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