Thread: Why today's left are such a bunch of boring theorists?

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  1. #1
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    Default Why today's left are such a bunch of boring theorists?

    They keep talking all the time about some mysterious concept of worldwide communism, while doing absolutely nothing in practice (except for stupid street actions, as if they changed anything in the smallest way), indifferently observing the poor working 12 h shifts, sleeping 3 days in a motel and 4 on parks' benches, taking showers in mc donalds, eating trash; no one even so far has accomplished Marx's intended task (that he didnt have time for) of summarisation of vol 1 Capital on 1 printing sheet (not talking about further volumes) to make it available for masses. Why cant homeless and poor unite and take worldwide action against rent, refusing to pay it countrywide or worldwide and refusing to leave houses? I think police would not be able to do much because people are defending their basic right - to have a roof over head. Why can't they demand land from the government and the rich for collective farming, to grow bread for themselves, organize a countrywide campaign called sth like "bread on the table and roof over the head for the needy"? I dont think that fathers of communism created their work for this that several centuries later people would be dying of hunger on the streets in a world of abundance of everything while some super smart guys writing smart statements about communism on forums and blindly repeating mantras. Concepts of 18 century were good at that time, but they need to be adjusted for our time. Today's left are just an association of people by interest in the capitalist world; definitely we live in the most reactionary epoch of empty words.
    Last edited by MikeN; 12th February 2018 at 13:19.
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    They keep talking all the time about some mysterious concept of worldwide communism, while doing absolutely nothing in practice (except for stupid street actions, as if they changed anything in the smallest way), indifferently observing the poor working 12 h shifts, sleeping 3 days in a motel and 4 on parks' benches, taking showers in mc donalds, eating trash;

    In line with the wording of the thread's title that you provided, we shouldn't expect much from the liberal-left anyway (as distinct from the revolutionary left).

    There's a dialectic between theory and practice, and the political work of expositing *theory* is necessary because the hegemonic corporate culture certainly doesn't encourage any scientific, objective analysis of society and why people can be so impoverished and dispossessed within a larger environment of wealth and plenty -- not that I would *trust* a liberal to represent and recount the basics of communism accurately.



    no one even so far has accomplished Marx's intended task (that he didnt have time for) of summarisation of vol 1 Capital on 1 printing sheet (not talking about further volumes) to make it available for masses.

    That proposed effort wouldn't be required anyway -- it's already been done:


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital,_Volume_I

    http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/marx/section3/



    Why cant homeless and poor unite and take worldwide action against rent, refusing to pay it countrywide or worldwide and refusing to leave houses? I think police would not be able to do much because people are defending their basic right - to have a roof over head. Why can't they demand land from the government and the rich for collective farming, to grow bread for themselves, organize a countrywide campaign called sth like "bread on the table and roof over the head for the needy"? I dont think that fathers of communism created their work for this that several centuries later people would be dying of hunger on the streets in a world of abundance of everything while some super smart guys writing smart statements about communism on forums and blindly repeating mantras. Concepts of 18 century were good at that time, but they need to be adjusted for our time. Today's left are just an association of people by interest in the capitalist world; definitely we live in the most reactionary epoch of empty words.

    This is *strategically* a bad idea, because it's based on the social dynamic of *consumption*, and so leaves the *production* (of food, etc.) to the existing capitalist commodity / exchange-values system, while expecting and struggling-for the privately-produced food-commodities only. It feeds right into a commodification of one's *politics*, to the behest of private producers, through the institution of *charity* and possibly the politics of reformism. And why should *individuals* have to use their time for small-scale *subsistence farming* when the means already exist for *large-scale* production using machinery and fuel -- ?

    The point of a proletarian revolution is that such would be the collective self-empowerment of the *working class*, seizing the means of production and taking on the empirical capacities to *produce* and *control* all aspects of social production, for unmet human need instead of for profit-making.
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    Yeah, struggle is low. Workers in places like the US feel defeated and defensive. Right-wing populism in Europe is able to capitalize on this demoralization.

    Itís frustrating.

    If the left does a lot of naval gazing, itís likely due to this sense of defeat. So they talk about abstract things or write cynical posts online so at least they can feel smart in their defeat. Or they attack others on the left for minor or sectarian reasons.

    But I donít think class consciousness or a massive democratic workers movement can be willed into existence. So the question is: what do you do when struggle is low that might help create more favorable conditions?
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    We don't live in revolutionary times. The economic and political conditions don't exist yet for a revolution and one cannot be ordered up like a pizza. Rosa Luxembourg.

    One can still agitate, organize and educate. (sounds like a slogan.) Capitalism has completely submerged culture making it almost impossible to expose the public to its abuses.
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    This thread almost makes me angry. I think the attitude is almost defeatist.

    Ahem......

    I think there are two main points I want to make.

    Firstly, it is correct- the US masses feel demoralized. True.

    But honestly, I think we are in a situation similar to the Bush era. There are many, many people who cannot stand Trump and the overflowing of a backlash is inevitable. So my point is........... just as Bush created a backlash, so will Trump. There will be a tide of leftism I assume. Probably it will be hijacked by the Democrats.

    My second point...... which side was the US on in the Cold War? The US is not at the forefront when it comes to revolution.

    The forefront will be in the third world. That is where you will find the revolutionary energy. It is not that the US doesn't understand revolution..... it's that it does undestand it and it has made a conscious decision to be for colonialism, imperialism and counter-revolution.

    Revolution will rise up through the third world. With that it will overflow and reach the US. But the US will be stunted in its development of revolutionary consciousness. Of course not all US people are the same. You can make yourself the exception. But I am talking in general.
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    They keep talking all the time about some mysterious concept of worldwide communism, while doing absolutely nothing in practice (except for stupid street actions, as if they changed anything in the smallest way),
    Well there you have it, there is in fact quite a lot they are doing in practice, and that should tell you something. I see the exact opposite of what you see: everyone today are obsessed with practice. That includes leftists. The pressure all around is to "do something" - anything at all! And in the meantime, their theory is weak, confused and cliched. That so much of their practice is worthless is then no surprise, because Communism is the UNITING of theory and practice. You don't put one against the other.

    Many people think that the Left is weak because Communist intellectuals are too intellectual, that is not true. The Left is weak because those intellectuals ceased to be the LINK between the academy and the workplace floor. "Post modern" or whatever radical theory is exciting as hell. The reason it appears somewhat flabby and impotent is because discussion of it is more or less RESTRICTED to the academy, and in an often watered-down form to other educated strata (media folks etc.). Why has this sort of theory not found its way out to the working masses in a tangible way, transformed itself into part of a living movement? That should be the question to ask, but what do the old school Communist parties do? They parrot cliches about "post modernism" and try to sell some "down to earth, regular people not some academic elite" line worthy of a right-wing populist. However given that a firm proletarian base still exists within many of those parties, I can grant that this points to a real sense of disconnect, which is the problem.

    But you see what I am doing here is trying to understand what is going on, what the problem is, how it got this way. In other words, I am using theory.

    Now to be very blunt here: You could use a whole lot MORE theory, because your writing is extremely ill thought through. The homeless and poor will "just unite" and "take action", is that it? They are defending their "basic right" - what does that mean? Will anyone care about their "basic right"? You "think" that the police will not do anything - what reason do you have to think this? "Concepts of 18 century were good at that time, but they need to be adjusted for our time" - and yet people who try to do this are according to you too preoccupied with theory. Which concepts need to be adjusted, why were they good back then but not now? And also, I have heard this one line so many times I can't count - blindly repeating mantras was it?
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    I think postmodernism and Marxism are diametrically opposed. I think postmodernism is inherently anti-Marxist.
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    [N]o one even so far has accomplished Marx's intended task (that he didnt have time for) of summarisation of vol 1 Capital on 1 printing sheet (not talking about further volumes) to make it available for masses.
    I have to confess that I was not aware Marx intended to do this. Perhaps someone can direct to me to the appropriate texts or records? As for the logic of this sentence of yours, I can’t help but observe the obvious: had Marx judged such a hypothetical summary to be particularly urgent politically, he would have surely made the time to write it in the twenty years of his life following the publication of Capital, volume I. Instead he wrote two more volumes of Capital and an additional fifteen manuscripts of material for volumes of Capital he never got around to composing. In accordance with your allegedly anti-dogmatic orientation, you might suppose that Marx’s political judgment was never any good in the first place. In my opinion, you would be supposing wrongly. It is hard to imagine, I should add, that someone who is capable of saying the following has much experience of political practice to go on:

    Why cant homeless and poor unite and take worldwide action against rent, refusing to pay it countrywide or worldwide and refusing to leave houses? I think police would not be able to do much because people are defending their basic right - to have a roof over head.

    Marx was a brilliant writer, but no human writer can write the one page that will convince “the masses” of what has been staring all of us in the face for centuries of capitalism’s history anyways. The fact is that however accessible Marx’s writing can be, his thought is complex and difficult to digest, so that the facility of his writing has often backfired and conveyed the highly misleading impression that sophisticated concepts like the dialectic of base and superstructure and the law of value are simply ‘vulgar’ tools used by politically committed and “therefore” untrustworthy writers to make “real life” simpler than it really is. Practically without exception, the various nuances Marx is accused of omitting by deploying naively binary conceptual frameworks are explicitly treated by Marx’s texts (though sometimes only in those further volumes, as you call them) and are accounted for by his theory in highly compelling ways. Thus another one of Marx’s virtues–his ruthlessly thorough attention to the warnings of his own intellectual conscience–has tended in more recent generations to become a positive defect: one is supposed a priori to doubt everything Marx argued because, after all, no one individual can be right about everything. Or worse, politics is tendentially transformed into a “lifestyle politics” in which new generations must overturn received wisdom with new ideas just because they are new generations. I hope I do not need to add the obvious: that I am sure Marx was wrong about a few if not many things. Be that as it may, and to speak of practice, you will never in a million years find an engineer who abjures Newtonian mechanics just because “no one individual could have been right about so much” or even because the theoretical physicists now happen to know better. In a political context, in summary, the criticism of attempts to understand present-day conditions in terms of now classical theories as ‘dogmatic’ serves the reactionary purpose of cutting the contemporary left off from its rich tradition and in the most favorable case forcing new thinkers to perform that almost comically familiar but thoroughly pointless tradition of slowly and painfully reinventing what by now might as well be called the wheel.

    What requires more reflection if not ‘navel-gazing’ is why politically pertinent theories like Marx’s are condemned for doing justice to an object–that massive conglomerate of human beings, productive activities and property relations called a mode of production–whose complexity is necessarily only revealed by equally complex cognitions. The point of a theory is to be right, and the accessibility of a uselessly simplistic theory is just as useless. It is always better, finally, to be misunderstood than quite justly silenced for blindness to solid realities, which has been the historical fate of all rhetorically simplified Marxisms.

    I should also remark, in closing, that the great teacher of Marxian theory, its relentless initiator to nuance and complexity, is nothing but Marxian practice, or better, Communist politics. The endless qualifications and reformulated problems and half-solutions that one finds in the Grundrisse–so unlike in this respect the starkly effective and illuminating though basically unsatisfactory pronouncements of the Communist Manifesto–and then in the relatively tidy first volume of Capital represent Marx’s reaction to and (part of his) struggle to correct the failure of 1848’s revolutionary wave in Europe. The various ‘failures’ of Marxist political regimes in the twentieth century, on the other hand, have surely had more than a little bit to do with the Marxists’ failure to understand Marxian theory properly in the first place. I remain perpetually appalled to this day that Robert Tucker in his biography of Stalin–who is otherwise thought of as extremely conversant in literature of all kinds–could go so far as to write, “Whether Stalin had ever read Capital is not known”. (56)
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    Dear friend: I think that we must love not only leftists who are wrong, but also right-wingers poor people. The answer to your question is lack of book-reading. From my own personal experience, when I have to do a lot of domestic chores, working and busting my physical body doing labor like cooking, going out to buy food, doing hassles (even if not officially working) even by just staying at home working (that's right un-employed poor americans work a lot as well. Even more than many americans who work 40 hours a week).

    Poor americans physically work a lot, it is a hell, a punishment of working 16 hours of their working days for many many reasons, like from using beat up cars, old fashioned cracked appliance, living with a bunch of people. Dealing with internal family depression, family pessimism (sadness and negative energies inside the houses of poor lower class people etc etc etc

    And many other physical and mental impediments that destroy the motivation of poor people to get into the websites in their houses of leftist news sites like Democracynow.org, wsws.org, marxist.com, socialistworker.org even non-marxist news alternatives infowars.org informationclearinghouse.info etc. They are too destroyed, they don't have any physical and mental energies.

    And many leaders of the left, many owners of leftist movements are not rich, they are also poor people, even if they are middle class people, they are poor fixed income middle class people lots of family and social problems. Their lives are also hell, they are not fresh and energized like Paul Ryan is. So it is a hell so because life is a hell for leftists oppressed, for right-wingers poor americans who are oppressed. All that destroys the motivation toward book-reading, toward an orderly study on how to overthrow capitalism and replacing it with a dictatorship of the proletariat.

    Destroying capitalism and replacing it with a Paris Commune workers state requires scientific studies, and most people, think that political activism does not require scientific knowledge. A comrade once told me that the problem of Cindy Sheehan (a leftist activist) was that she didn't have any knowledge at all on how to destroy the capitalist system and replacing it with socialism. Cindy Sheehan is socialist, but her problem is that she doesn't have any knowleddge at all on how to destroy capitalism and replacing with socialism (and the answer on how to destroy capitalism and replacing it with socialism, is with weapons, with an armed violent war of the organized socialist armed forces against the armed forces of the US government and the right-wing armed sectors.

    Authentic socilaist should forget cold-turkey elections. Because elections are the biggest lie of all human history. They dont work at all and smart well-read people should forget about elections, because it is easier for a camel to pass thru a needle, than to overthrow capitalism and to replace it with socialism, with a US regular presidential elections

    So the answer to your question again of why the left is in such a mess, is lack of marxist leftist book-reading literature in the leaders of the leftist parties and lack of marxist book-reading and leftist news websites in the oppressed poor sectors

    PS: There are many many other answers to your question, like elitism in the owners of the leftist parties (some leaders of the leftist movements and intellectuals live a good life without pain. A little bit of elitism as well in the US workers, even many Walmart workers feel happy and optimist. Elitism and arrogance in millions of poor americans, a very fake-optimism in poor americans. Thinking that they can boost themselves up from lower-class toward middle class even without a college degree. At least a university doctor or lawyers degree makes life a little bit easier for any lower class poor person. But since US capitalism is such a trap, lower class people are economically banned from getting a full professional university degree (so college degrees should be altogether forgotten cold-turkey). The thinking that e-bay, Youtube make money fast scams, food-banks, buying junk stuff at Thrifty Stores and then re-selling those junk stuff on Craigslists.org, buying wrecked cheap houses and then renting those houses, woirking extra hours. And many many other things that prevent a communist marxist revolutionary situation in the USA

    I think we marxists, should force socialism, should force a revolutionary situation, and not just wait for Walmart workers and the homeless of USA to become marxists. Because from what iv'e seen that will be impossible. So I think we will have to think about a marxist revolution from above. Because a marxist, an ultra-leftist revolution from below is too hard. It is very very hard for the oppressed leftists to move toward the ultra marxist orthodox left. Most poor people who are leftists are happy with social-democracy (with the green party, with bernie sanders) and that makes me really angry, because they know that there are pure ultra-leftists options in USA like wsws.org, socialistworker.org, Bob Avakian etc. but they (the majority of US leftists) have chosen the option to stay in the arrogant elitist theory left (Like truthdig, commondreams.org democracynow.org) instead of looking for more extremists chimotherapies for the cancer of capitalism



    They keep talking all the time about some mysterious concept of worldwide communism, while doing absolutely nothing in practice (except for stupid street actions, as if they changed anything in the smallest way), indifferently observing the poor working 12 h shifts, sleeping 3 days in a motel and 4 on parks' benches, taking showers in mc donalds, eating trash; no one even so far has accomplished Marx's intended task (that he didnt have time for) of summarisation of vol 1 Capital on 1 printing sheet (not talking about further volumes) to make it available for masses. Why cant homeless and poor unite and take worldwide action against rent, refusing to pay it countrywide or worldwide and refusing to leave houses? I think police would not be able to do much because people are defending their basic right - to have a roof over head. Why can't they demand land from the government and the rich for collective farming, to grow bread for themselves, organize a countrywide campaign called sth like "bread on the table and roof over the head for the needy"? I dont think that fathers of communism created their work for this that several centuries later people would be dying of hunger on the streets in a world of abundance of everything while some super smart guys writing smart statements about communism on forums and blindly repeating mantras. Concepts of 18 century were good at that time, but they need to be adjusted for our time. Today's left are just an association of people by interest in the capitalist world; definitely we live in the most reactionary epoch of empty words.
    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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    there are pure ultra-leftists options in USA like wsws.org, socialistworker.org, Bob Avakian etc.

    As an aside, Tom, I don't think we should call the regular revolutionary left 'ultra-leftists'.

    I understand that you're using the term to provide *emphasis* ('far-leftward-ism'), but what I understand as 'ultra-leftist' is that the term is used either for *dismissiveness* ('too-far-left' / unrealistic), or else as an anarchistic formulation used to eschew regular-socialism-type vanguardism.

    Also, I agree with your stance of rejecting (bourgeois) electoralism entirely -- I myself go further and reject *any* electoralism, in favor of my system of daily individual *ranked* demands / proposals / requests / orders -- see tinyurl.com/labor-credits-faq.



    consumption [demand] -- Individuals may possess and consume as much material as they want, with the proviso that the material is being actively used in a personal capacity only -- after a certain period of disuse all personal possessions not in active use will revert to collectivized communist property

    consumption [demand] -- Every person in a locality has a standard, one-through-infinity ranking system of political demands available to them, updated daily

    consumption [demand] -- Basic human needs will be assigned a higher political priority by individuals and will emerge as mass demands at the cumulative scale -- desires will benefit from political organizing efforts and coordination

    consumption [demand] -- All economic needs and desires are formally recorded as pre-planned consumer orders and are politically prioritized [demand]

    consumption [demand] -- A regular, routine system of mass individual political demand pooling -- as with spreadsheet templates and email -- must be in continuous operation so as to aggregate cumulative demands into the political process

    consumption [demand] -- Individuals may create templates of political priority lists for the sake of convenience, modifiable at any time until the date of activation -- regular, repeating orders can be submitted into an automated workflow for no interruption of service or orders

    tinyurl.com/labor-credits-faq
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    Does anyone here have any good books on proactive action?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thats the most likely way it will go down. BUt it doesnt mean we should wait.
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    My plans are breaking forum rules, so I can tell only one thing here - I'm going to Venezuela or Africa and then I do what I need to do I just need more peoples because alone it's almost impossible. I have website (posting link also break rules...), where I want to unionize communists whose aren't only theorists, but ones who can leave their boring lives and make strong, significant size communist movement commune. To make communism we don't need to make senselless manifestations with few peoples against whole country. We must UNIONIZE efficiently and fully, not make new and new sites with useless info... local movements aren't enough, because they're just too small. Universal commune for all is the way to start progress, dispersed we are only *****es of capitalists or if we refuse poor and homeless. Choose one place and attract all communists there - It's my first objective.

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