Thread: “Revolutionary dictatorship of proletariat”

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    Question “Revolutionary dictatorship of proletariat”

    What is your point of view regarding the theory of “Revolutionary dictatorship of proletariat”?

    Hi everyone! I thought this would be a good question for discussion.

    “State interference in social relations becomes, in one domain after another, superfluous, and then dies out of itself; the government of persons is replaced by the administration of things, and by the conduct of processes of production.”
    Friedrich Engels, Socialism Utopian and scientific, 1880

    This is a clear reference to the idea of Workers’ State, its necessity during the transitional stage, and how it dies away gradually towards the establishment of Communism.
    Considering the changes in the capitalist system, since this theory initially was proposed by the founders of Marxism; do you think that it still forcefully stands? What are your reasons?

    Thank you for participating.
    “If money is the bond binding me to human life, binding society to me, connecting me with nature and man, is not money the bond of all bonds? Can it not dissolve and bind all ties? Is it not, therefore, also the universal agent of separation?”

    (Karl Marx)

    Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844
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    I believe it does still stand. I have seen no recent developments that would go against this theory. If the proletariat is to subordinate the bourgeoisie as a class, they must have an organ capable of doing this. The state is nothing but the organized monopoly of legitimate violence for the subordination of one class or classes by another, and I see no reason the proletariat won't erect their own state for this very purpose. As for the state "withering away", when society is socialist, therefore having no classes, how can there be a state? There are no classes to subordinate, no organized body of one class against another. Certainly we will still see administration of things, and these activities will become engrossed in society, certainly not a state.
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    I believe it does still stand. I have seen no recent developments that would go against this theory. If the proletariat is to subordinate the bourgeoisie as a class, they must have an organ capable of doing this. The state is nothing but the organized monopoly of legitimate violence for the subordination of one class or classes by another, and I see no reason the proletariat won't erect their own state for this very purpose. As for the state "withering away", when society is socialist, therefore having no classes, how can there be a state? There are no classes to subordinate, no organized body of one class against another. Certainly we will still see administration of things, and these activities will become engrossed in society, certainly not a state.
    Thank you Windy for your response.

    I think the second part of your argument, is contradicting the first part. Because, in the first part you agree with the necessity of the establishment of the Proletarian state during the transitional stage, after the overthrow of the bourgeoisie power.

    As it is clear from the quote, withering away of the state, is referring to the gradual process of replacing government interference in the social relations, in one area after another; by the administration of things, and conduct of processes of production, in such a way that eventually all domains will be needless of it. Until then, the society is still moving towards socialism - or better say towards the establishment of Communism.
    “If money is the bond binding me to human life, binding society to me, connecting me with nature and man, is not money the bond of all bonds? Can it not dissolve and bind all ties? Is it not, therefore, also the universal agent of separation?”

    (Karl Marx)

    Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844
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    Engels perceives the state as a "special coercive force." As soon as class ceases to exist, the state loses its coercive character, and then is no longer really a state, according to Engels. I disagree on two accounts. The first is the notion that the state will wither away. It's predicated on the belief that class will just wither away after the revolution, as the proletarian state continues to fight against the bourgeoisie. This is not backed up by the historical record. The revolution doesn't cool down. Class struggle remains poignant to the bitter end. Neither class nor the state will just wither away. The initial revolution is just the beginning, not the beginning of the end.

    My second disagreement is with the nature of a large, administrative body of this sort. I don't find this to be desirable. I prefer the model of decentralized communes to take the role of the state after the class struggle. Given the argument above that the state's coercive nature won't just wither away, it makes more sense to build a dual power, that of the commune, to replace the national state when it becomes appropriate. I also think it may be appropriate to speak of a contradiction between the proletarian state and the masses in that elected officials partake in different labor than their constituents (mental vs manual), and the difference in labor shapes their worldview, in such a way that their worldview can become alienated from that of the masses. The notion of a large administrative body which doesn't engage in coercion seems like an impossibility. Some hierarchy is certainly inevitable in final communism, but the hierarchy proposed by Engels maintains mental labor above manual labor, which will most certainly remain coercive, if not be the basis for the reemergence of bourgeois ideology, as was seen in all the historical models.
    "All reactionaries are paper tigers." Mao Tse-Tung
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    Engels perceives the state as a "special coercive force." As soon as class ceases to exist, the state loses its coercive character, and then is no longer really a state, according to Engels. I disagree on two accounts. The first is the notion that the state will wither away. It's predicated on the belief that class will just wither away after the revolution, as the proletarian state continues to fight against the bourgeoisie. This is not backed up by the historical record. The revolution doesn't cool down. Class struggle remains poignant to the bitter end. Neither class nor the state will just wither away. The initial revolution is just the beginning, not the beginning of the end.

    My second disagreement is with the nature of a large, administrative body of this sort. I don't find this to be desirable. I prefer the model of decentralized communes to take the role of the state after the class struggle. Given the argument above that the state's coercive nature won't just wither away, it makes more sense to build a dual power, that of the commune, to replace the national state when it becomes appropriate. I also think it may be appropriate to speak of a contradiction between the proletarian state and the masses in that elected officials partake in different labor than their constituents (mental vs manual), and the difference in labor shapes their worldview, in such a way that their worldview can become alienated from that of the masses. The notion of a large administrative body which doesn't engage in coercion seems like an impossibility. Some hierarchy is certainly inevitable in final communism, but the hierarchy proposed by Engels maintains mental labor above manual labor, which will most certainly remain coercive, if not be the basis for the reemergence of bourgeois ideology, as was seen in all the historical models.

    This is an excellent encapsulation of the anarchist position, and I share the concern of a potential runaway revolutionary-leadership institution that would be objectively socio-materially *privileged* and class-like in relation to the rest of society. Here's from a different, fairly recent thread:



    [B]ureaucracy is inherently *non-material-producing* ('unproductive') labor that itself benefits materially from the tangible production that *others* are doing while the bureaucrats are in their administrative roles. This is a *slight* difference of material interests, depending much on the overall, greater social conditions at that time, and the internal political culture. But the hazard is always there, of a clearer divergence of interests coming to the fore if this schism-of-convenience remains unresolved -- no successful revolution -- for too long a period of time.
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    This is an excellent encapsulation of the anarchist position, and I share the concern of a potential runaway revolutionary-leadership institution that would be objectively socio-materially *privileged* and class-like in relation to the rest of society.
    I'd like to make the important distinction between my view and the anarchist conception of the state. Anarchism proposes that the state, according to it's nature, is opposed to the interests of the masses, and is therefore necessarily repressive towards the masses. This is different from my position, which remains aligned with the traditional Marxian understanding of the state as an expression of class struggle, only that I don't hold to this position dogmatically.

    I agree with the quote you copied from the other thread. I'd categorize administerial labor as petty bourgeois in capitalist and post-capitalist society. It's certainly unfair to think of it as an exploiting class in and of itself, as anarchists describe, because such a categorization seems anti-materialist in my view. Furthermore, we can't eliminate manual labor from society. We need teachers and doctors, etc. For this reason, I really don't think we can consider manual laborers as exploiters of mental laborers. But we do need to treat the both on an equal footing, without putting one over the other.

    Divergence of interests between the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat (and peasantry) is not inevitable. Mao described the development of knowledge as such: perceptual knowledge leads to rational knowledge. Rational knowledge builds ones worldview, which impacts the way one acquires perceptual knowledge. The petty bourgeois nature in which a government official perceives knowledge is qualitatively different from that of a proletarian, and their respective worldviews may be slightly (or greatly) different. This is why I, like Mao, emphasize the importance of the mass line, as the only way in which government officials can prevent their petty bourgeois nature from dominating the formation of their worldview. They must rely on the lived experiences of the proletariat and peasantry.

    With the fear of rambling, I'm gonna end here. I think I've sufficiently distinguished my own position from the anarchist position.
    "All reactionaries are paper tigers." Mao Tse-Tung
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    I'd like to make the important distinction between my view and the anarchist conception of the state. Anarchism proposes that the state, according to it's nature, is opposed to the interests of the masses, and is therefore necessarily repressive towards the masses. This is different from my position, which remains aligned with the traditional Marxian understanding of the state as an expression of class struggle, only that I don't hold to this position dogmatically.

    I agree with the quote you copied from the other thread. I'd categorize administerial labor as petty bourgeois in capitalist and post-capitalist society. It's certainly unfair to think of it as an exploiting class in and of itself, as anarchists describe, because such a categorization seems anti-materialist in my view. Furthermore, we can't eliminate manual labor from society. We need teachers and doctors, etc. For this reason, I really don't think we can consider manual laborers as exploiters of mental laborers. But we do need to treat the both on an equal footing, without putting one over the other.

    Divergence of interests between the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat (and peasantry) is not inevitable. Mao described the development of knowledge as such: perceptual knowledge leads to rational knowledge. Rational knowledge builds ones worldview, which impacts the way one acquires perceptual knowledge. The petty bourgeois nature in which a government official perceives knowledge is qualitatively different from that of a proletarian, and their respective worldviews may be slightly (or greatly) different. This is why I, like Mao, emphasize the importance of the mass line, as the only way in which government officials can prevent their petty bourgeois nature from dominating the formation of their worldview. They must rely on the lived experiences of the proletariat and peasantry.

    With the fear of rambling, I'm gonna end here. I think I've sufficiently distinguished my own position from the anarchist position.

    Okay, agreed, and your previous statements / posts already showed you to not be an anarchist dogmatist, anyway.

    The issue that I'm interested in here is about how revolutionary leadership *should* / might be constituted for the best coordination, with the most ground-level participation possible, given whatever conditions of open class struggle that may prevail.

    I have a past graphic illustration that's useful for *structure*, but I have to update it. So, for overall *structure* only:


    Multi-Tiered System of Productive and Consumptive Zones for a Post-Capitalist Political Economy



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    I'm not sure that I'm qualified to respond to your question regarding consumption and economic organization of the state. I'm not too strong in the economic side of things. I've spent a lot of time reading and thinking about political theory and the political organization of the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry. From this political perspective, I'd say that during the revolutionary phase, we need checks and balances to ensure that the administerial leadership doesn't diverge from the interests of the masses, perhaps in the form of contested elections, perhaps in the form of frequent referendum, or a combination of these and several other ideas. As far as post-revolutionary leadership is concerned, I'm really quite partial to the decentralized commune model. I believe through the development of communist culture, we should see the reemergence of gift economies, in which communes trade goods between each other on an equal basis. As far as global coordination is concerned, it certainly gets more complicated, and to be perfectly honest, I haven't thought much about post-revolutionary organization, so I really don't think I'm qualified to respond to your question.
    "All reactionaries are paper tigers." Mao Tse-Tung
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    I'm not sure that I'm qualified to respond to your question regarding consumption and economic organization of the state. I'm not too strong in the economic side of things.

    I think the economic side of things is the most deterministic, ultimately, just as exploitation rates of labor are today.



    I've spent a lot of time reading and thinking about political theory and the political organization of the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry. From this political perspective, I'd say that during the revolutionary phase, we need checks and balances to ensure that the administerial leadership doesn't diverge from the interests of the masses, perhaps in the form of contested elections, perhaps in the form of frequent referendum, or a combination of these and several other ideas.

    I'm fine with these conventional approaches to decision-making within the *dotp* context, but I certainly don't think that mass reliance on representative personages is *desirable*.

    That's why my own particular approach (tinyurl.com/labor-credits-faq) uses a *ranking* system, so that everyone's ranked-item lists, daily, can be tallied on the whole according to each given rank position, to see which proposals receive the most tallied 'votes', per rank slot (#1, #2, #3, etc.). This obviates any need for any political-type personages, ever, since the system is granularly bottom-up, by design. (See tinyurl.com/additive-prioritizations.)



    As far as post-revolutionary leadership is concerned, I'm really quite partial to the decentralized commune model. I believe through the development of communist culture, we should see the reemergence of gift economies, in which communes trade goods between each other on an equal basis. As far as global coordination is concerned, it certainly gets more complicated, and to be perfectly honest, I haven't thought much about post-revolutionary organization, so I really don't think I'm qualified to respond to your question.

    I think gift economies would be *ideal*, but I'm uncertain that such would be *sustainable* since socially-necessary work roles vary widely in hazard / difficulty / distastefulness, and a pure gift economy would be unable to *differentiate* among various work roles that may be *very different* from one to the next:



    [I]t's entirely possible that many 'non-political' people could very well continue to live only for their own self-seeking interests, seeing a world revolution as merely being a 'backdrop' to the living of their own lives. Such people wouldn't *interfere* with world events, but wouldn't really be intellectually interested in such, either, nor would they participate in them. Such people couldn't be *coerced* to be-on-board, even though they would indisputably *benefit* from the political work of others who all helped to transform the world away from capitalism and up onto collectivist production.

    Hopefully what such people *wanted* to do for work would be *compatible* with what liberated society *needed* from (liberated) laborers, so that, from their individualistic perspective, they'd just be doing something acceptable and incidentally benefitting far more people with their work-activity than before.

    My own political concerns have to do with the question of 'What if there's a *scarcity* of liberated labor to fulfill unmet human need?', especially since such a post-capitalist society would be non-coercive and free-access for matters of consumption, almost a 'perfect storm' of conditions encouraging the non-participation of liberated labor.

    (Fortunately I have a framework model done, yadda-yadda -- see my other posts in this thread.)
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    I think the economic side of things is the most deterministic, ultimately, just as exploitation rates of labor are today.


    I agree, although numbers exhaust me. Economics really isn't my strong suit, beyond conceptual understanding.


    I'm fine with these conventional approaches to decision-making within the *dotp* context, but I certainly don't think that mass reliance on representative personages is *desirable*.

    That's why my own particular approach uses a *ranking* system, so that everyone's ranked-item lists, daily, can be tallied on the whole according to each given rank position, to see which proposals receive the most tallied 'votes', per rank slot (#1, #2, #3, etc.). This obviates any need for any political-type personages, ever, since the system is granularly bottom-up, by design.


    During the stage of the dictatorship of the proletariat, I think it's still nice to have leadership. But in the after-phase, I admit I do find your model quite appealing. The problem is you'd still need to have people who actually do the coordination, but without any decision making power to themselves, it does seem to override the risk of having the administration diverge from the interests of the working classes.


    I think gift economies would be *ideal*, but I'm uncertain that such would be *sustainable* since socially-necessary work roles vary widely in hazard / difficulty / distastefulness, and a pure gift economy would be unable to *differentiate* among various work roles that may be *very different* from one to the next:
    In my perception of communist culture, individualism has largely been done away with. Not entirely, that's impossible, but largely. Local communal meetings, based on direct participation, will direct and organize labor in such a way that needs will be met. It will take time, for sure, but this is what an end goal would look like to me.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Err. My quotes didn't work. I'm still new here
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    Well, the 'mass line' is the ideal, since it's fully about a correct line spontaneously emerging out of a genuine mass bottom-up process. If the mass line was basically correct and infallible then there wouldn't *be* a need for any kind of vanguard and/or vanguard party.

    In practice I think it might be unwieldy, though, since a theoretical full participation (as on a RevLeft-type discussion board) would be very time-consuming since organic centralism would presumably be the overall process, towards centralization. It's *only* out of this consideration that I think a more-agile 'leadership' could very well be necessary, in some kind of dialectical relationship between the vanguard / party and the masses of revolutionary workers.
    Yes, having complete mass political participation is unwieldy. Not everyone can or wants to dedicate time to political decision making. That's why, despite my criticisms of the abuses of a centralized state, it's an absolute necessity in revolution.

    I wouldn't automatically *mistrust* any kind of vanguard / party, but I think the temptation would always be there to *abuse* a basically bureaucratic-administrative specialization, given that the vanguard / party would specialize in *mental* labor and would be consuming from the work of those who provide the members with the production they need for their personal consumption.
    I'd be more nuanced by saying that I would automatically mistrust any kind of vanguard, because of the temptation to abuse, although I would not automatically oppose a vanguard, if it shows itself legitimately revolutionary.

    I'd *much* rather see a more-distributed, *organic* approach to mass decision-making, where each person's regular work role would have an *administrative* component attached to it, so that everyone would be a co-'micro'-administrator as well, particularly over their own individual production process. Of course larger proposals and plans would be in the mix as well, for the benefits of large-scale efficiencies, if so implemented.

    But this arrangement brings us back to the mass-line dynamic, where full bottom-up decision-making over social production would be relatively slow and time-consuming. Hence the likelihood, imo, for some kind of centralized organization that's more agile, at the expense of being top-down.
    Again, I agree. Mass participation in administration seems mostly like a pipe dream. Some sort of centralization, which we can call democratic (because it must be), is inevitable and necessary, not to be confused with the Leninist formulation of democratic centralism.

    To be clear, I'm not *prescriptive* of a possible vanguard / party -- I think it would depend heavily as a revolutionary strategy on what the prevailing political conditions happened to be for open class struggle, more-or-less worldwide.

    If the 'revolutionary vanguard' could be *de-institutionalized*, then the global vanguard could be the maximum amount of proactive participation from the maximum number of revolutionary workers, as on a discussion forum like RevLeft. It could be vast, with the strength of cumulative inputs on all kinds of local-through-global issues, simultaneously parallel, giving rise to an emergence of clearly prevailing mass political sentiment. Here's that logistical framework again:

    labor credits framework for 'communist supply & demand'
    I think here we have the same problem with the fact that people can't all participate in administration, nor do they all want to. We should certainly encourage mass participation, but what's most important is that the will and interests of the masses are implemented by the central authority. I really don't think we can eliminate the petty bourgeois nature of administration. A few solutions I would propose are 1) only permitting proletarians (and peasants) to be elected, 2) term limits, such that former proletarians don't stay in office too long, gradually losing their former proletarian worldview, and 3) perhaps contested elections. Encourage whatever mass participation we can, but we can't count on it or require it.

    And here's a sample scenario:
    I really don't agree with this revolutionary model. As Engels said, a revolution is the most authoritarian act one can do. As Mao said, revolution is not a dinner party. We shouldn't be afraid to be authoritarian when the conditions require it. If the people arrested are released after the election, you think they won't struggle against the new order? Indeed, they certainly will. Furthermore, once their generation dies, history has shown that new embryonic bourgeoisies continue to form, and we must struggle against them. This seems like an idealized expression of what revolution actually consists of.

    Well, sure, in any given *socialist* context there's simply no need for personage-making, or political-commodification. The idea is *collectivism*, after all, with a mass consensus -- presumably correct -- deciding on what policies to prioritize for implementation.

    This is what *this* (yet-another) diagram is meant to convey, that 'politics' is a realm of its own at the greatest heights of social magnitude:


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


    This empirical reality, though, doesn't mean that we need to be Matrix-like bio-drones to a centralized uber-machine -- it just means that the revolutionary approach to politics seeks to concentrate the best ideas and concrete approaches from the greatest number of revolutionaries for its body-politic. No one can or should be able to do politics 24/7/365, so people will still have their *logistical* and *personal* time to themselves, to some degree, as a matter of objective social reality, alongside 'politics'.


    Worldview Diagram
    I don't have anything to add here. I largely agree with you, I think, except that for me personally, I think I do in fact do politics 24/7/365. I live and breathe politics, and politics impregnates all areas of my life. xD
    "All reactionaries are paper tigers." Mao Tse-Tung
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    Thank you Windy for your response.

    I think the second part of your argument, is contradicting the first part. Because, in the first part you agree with the necessity of the establishment of the Proletarian state during the transitional stage, after the overthrow of the bourgeoisie power.

    As it is clear from the quote, withering away of the state, is referring to the gradual process of replacing government interference in the social relations, in one area after another; by the administration of things, and conduct of processes of production, in such a way that eventually all domains will be needless of it. Until then, the society is still moving towards socialism - or better say towards the establishment of Communism.
    Stardust, I'm not sure I understand the contradiction you bring up. I do agree with the necessity of the Proletarian state after the overthrow of bourgeois power, or the transition stage if you will. In this period class along with the state will wither away bringing us to the establishment of communism(the first stage, or socialism as its commonly called). Can you perhaps clarify a bit more?
    -windy-
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    Yes, having complete mass political participation is unwieldy. Not everyone can or wants to dedicate time to political decision making. That's why, despite my criticisms of the abuses of a centralized state, it's an absolute necessity in revolution.

    Well, this is highly debatable -- it boils down to the variable of 'how much substitutionism would be allowable and appropriate'. If most of the world's population becomes radicalized, but remains leery of full participation, that could be a real-world context of tacitly empowering a somewhat-substitutionist vanguard / party, since hardly anyone on the ground would actively *oppose* such a political vehicle.

    I'll also remind that the class enemy wouldn't just be sitting on its hands, waiting for the next chess move from the proletariat -- expediency could very well be critical, necessitating a more-agile vehicle of proletarian representation.



    I'd be more nuanced by saying that I would automatically mistrust any kind of vanguard, because of the temptation to abuse, although I would not automatically oppose a vanguard, if it shows itself legitimately revolutionary.

    The mass-approved implementation of a vanguard would probably have sufficiently solid revolutionary political capital to muscle-through any rivulets of ideological opposition, or corruption-from-within, so, again, I'm not too worried about any given use of such a vanguard / party. Here's from a past thread:



    [T]he vanguard / party should *not* take power from the working class -- it should be a two-way street, as much as possible.

    Depending on actual events the vanguard may be relatively more *agile*, but it shouldn't be striving for *complete control* over the direction that the proletariat takes.

    Also, my standing statement on vanguardism:

    tinyurl.com/ckaihatsu-vanguardism

    https://www.revleft.space/vb/threads...00#post1553100


    ---



    I'd *much* rather see a more-distributed, *organic* approach to mass decision-making, where each person's regular work role would have an *administrative* component attached to it, so that everyone would be a co-'micro'-administrator as well, particularly over their own individual production process. Of course larger proposals and plans would be in the mix as well, for the benefits of large-scale efficiencies, if so implemented.

    But this arrangement brings us back to the mass-line dynamic, where full bottom-up decision-making over social production would be relatively slow and time-consuming. Hence the likelihood, imo, for some kind of centralized organization that's more agile, at the expense of being top-down.


    Again, I agree. Mass participation in administration seems mostly like a pipe dream. Some sort of centralization, which we can call democratic (because it must be), is inevitable and necessary, not to be confused with the Leninist formulation of democratic centralism.

    I have to emphasize that much regarding a revolutionary strategic implementation would depend on prevailing conditions of class struggle -- maybe, given highly-favorable conditions, the 'pipe dream' of full, unhurried mass participation could actually be *realistic*, with real-world class rule experiencing profound political bankruptcy, similarly to today, but with the full working-class consciousness from practically everyone.



    I think here we have the same problem with the fact that people can't all participate in administration, nor do they all want to. We should certainly encourage mass participation, but what's most important is that the will and interests of the masses are implemented by the central authority. I really don't think we can eliminate the petty bourgeois nature of administration. A few solutions I would propose are 1) only permitting proletarians (and peasants) to be elected, 2) term limits, such that former proletarians don't stay in office too long, gradually losing their former proletarian worldview, and 3) perhaps contested elections. Encourage whatever mass participation we can, but we can't count on it or require it.

    I would *tend* to agree here, but I remain critical / wary of the conventional personage-representative hierarchy of decision-making. I'd rather *not* see *any* political careerist-type 'positions' *at all*, in favor of the provisions from my model for truly individual-based, bottom-up inputs into an organic qualitative political process, iterated daily:



    communist administration -- All assets and resources will be collectivized as communist property in common -- their use must be determined through a regular political process of prioritized demands from a locality or larger population -- any unused assets or resources may be used by individuals in a personal capacity only

    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

    ---



    I really don't agree with this revolutionary model. As Engels said, a revolution is the most authoritarian act one can do. As Mao said, revolution is not a dinner party. We shouldn't be afraid to be authoritarian when the conditions require it. If the people arrested are released after the election, you think they won't struggle against the new order? Indeed, they certainly will. Furthermore, once their generation dies, history has shown that new embryonic bourgeoisies continue to form, and we must struggle against them. This seems like an idealized expression of what revolution actually consists of.

    You're saying that my skyscrapers-as-jails-for-active-counterrevolutionaries proposal isn't authoritarian *enough* -- ?

    This is meant to be a tactic of convenience during a decisive worldwide upsurge so that individual proletarian retributive acts aren't necessary or condoned, when ruling-class counterrevolutionaries could instead be quickly identified on-the-ground and warehoused with a minimum of hierarchy and potential controversy around each case.



    I don't have anything to add here. I largely agree with you, I think, except that for me personally, I think I do in fact do politics 24/7/365. I live and breathe politics, and politics impregnates all areas of my life. xD

    If you're breathing politics 24/7/365, I guess you've never tried breathing nitrous oxide -- ! (grin)
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    Well, this is highly debatable -- it boils down to the variable of 'how much substitutionism would be allowable and appropriate'. If most of the world's population becomes radicalized, but remains leery of full participation, that could be a real-world context of tacitly empowering a somewhat-substitutionist vanguard / party, since hardly anyone on the ground would actively *oppose* such a political vehicle.

    I'll also remind that the class enemy wouldn't just be sitting on its hands, waiting for the next chess move from the proletariat -- expediency could very well be critical, necessitating a more-agile vehicle of proletarian representation.
    I agree. That's why we need centralized, agile, democratic and proletarian power.

    The mass-approved implementation of a vanguard would probably have sufficiently solid revolutionary political capital to muscle-through any rivulets of ideological opposition, or corruption-from-within, so, again, I'm not too worried about any given use of such a vanguard / party. Here's from a past thread:

    Also, my standing statement on vanguardism:
    My argument may be more semantic than political, but if the "vanguard" is strictly confined to enacting the will of the masses, I don't really see the benefit in calling it a vanguard. This state/party/whatever entity is agile in that it is centralized. Perhaps I've misunderstood the notion of a vanguard, but is it not supposed to be independent of the masses, in order to be able to guide them along a correct revolutionary line? If the vanguard is subject to the will of the masses, I don't see the use in calling it a vanguard.

    [QUOTEI have to emphasize that much regarding a revolutionary strategic implementation would depend on prevailing conditions of class struggle -- maybe, given highly-favorable conditions, the 'pipe dream' of full, unhurried mass participation could actually be *realistic*, with real-world class rule experiencing profound political bankruptcy, similarly to today, but with the full working-class consciousness from practically everyone.[/QUOTE]

    I don't know, I'm still skeptical. At the very least, it's not a given, and while it's ideal, we shouldn't count on it in developing our revolutionary theory.

    I would *tend* to agree here, but I remain critical / wary of the conventional personage-representative hierarchy of decision-making. I'd rather *not* see *any* political careerist-type 'positions' *at all*, in favor of the provisions from my model for truly individual-based, bottom-up inputs into an organic qualitative political process, iterated daily:

    I agree with you once we reach full communism. But in the meantime, these positions still serve an ever-present purpose. Although I'm totally open to term limits and requiring that officials come from proletarian milieus.

    You're saying that my skyscrapers-as-jails-for-active-counterrevolutionaries proposal isn't authoritarian *enough* -- ?

    This is meant to be a tactic of convenience during a decisive worldwide upsurge so that individual proletarian retributive acts aren't necessary or condoned, when ruling-class counterrevolutionaries could instead be quickly identified on-the-ground and warehoused with a minimum of hierarchy and potential controversy around each case. [/QUOTE]

    Yes, that's what I'm saying... xD Class enemies are gonna be antagonistic either way. Under house arrest so that they don't hate us, it seems counter-productive. The revolution will last more than a lifetime. It's not like we have to convince them to our side so that we can release them again. The revolution won't be over by then. Furthermore, it doesn't provide a solution to the fact that class enemies will continue to grow out of other parts of society. We've identified based on the historical record that they grow out of party bureaucracy. But they could hypothetically just as easily grow out of other areas of society. I don't know. It seems insufficient to me. I may criticize vanguardism, but authoritarian democratic and proletarian power against class enemies, frankly, it's one of the most beautiful things in the world.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Once again, my quotes didn't work quite right
    "All reactionaries are paper tigers." Mao Tse-Tung
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    I agree. That's why we need centralized, agile, democratic and proletarian power.

    Okay. Agreed.



    My argument may be more semantic than political, but if the "vanguard" is strictly confined to enacting the will of the masses, I don't really see the benefit in calling it a vanguard. This state/party/whatever entity is agile in that it is centralized. Perhaps I've misunderstood the notion of a vanguard, but is it not supposed to be independent of the masses, in order to be able to guide them along a correct revolutionary line? If the vanguard is subject to the will of the masses, I don't see the use in calling it a vanguard.

    Referring to the *structure* of this illustration from post #7, I'll remind that 'centralization' can happen at various scales, though the greater the generalization / centralization of production, the more efficiencies-of-scale that can be realized:


    Multi-Tiered System of Productive and Consumptive Zones for a Post-Capitalist Political Economy






    ---



    I have to emphasize that much regarding a revolutionary strategic implementation would depend on prevailing conditions of class struggle -- maybe, given highly-favorable conditions, the 'pipe dream' of full, unhurried mass participation could actually be *realistic*, with real-world class rule experiencing profound political bankruptcy, similarly to today, but with the full working-class consciousness from practically everyone.


    I don't know, I'm still skeptical. At the very least, it's not a given, and while it's ideal, we shouldn't count on it in developing our revolutionary theory.

    I agree -- my *point* is that prevailing conditions of class struggle could and do vary widely, so there's a 'best-case-scenario', a 'worst-case-scenario', and everything in-between.


    ---



    I would *tend* to agree here, but I remain critical / wary of the conventional personage-representative hierarchy of decision-making. I'd rather *not* see *any* political careerist-type 'positions' *at all*, in favor of the provisions from my model for truly individual-based, bottom-up inputs into an organic qualitative political process, iterated daily:


    I agree with you once we reach full communism. But in the meantime, these positions still serve an ever-present purpose. Although I'm totally open to term limits and requiring that officials come from proletarian milieus.

    Yes -- to me that would be a *minimum* of acceptable implementation, if overall conditions forced such a degree of substitutionism.


    ---



    You're saying that my skyscrapers-as-jails-for-active-counterrevolutionaries proposal isn't authoritarian *enough* -- ?

    This is meant to be a tactic of convenience during a decisive worldwide upsurge so that individual proletarian retributive acts aren't necessary or condoned, when ruling-class counterrevolutionaries could instead be quickly identified on-the-ground and warehoused with a minimum of hierarchy and potential controversy around each case.


    Yes, that's what I'm saying... xD Class enemies are gonna be antagonistic either way. Under house arrest so that they don't hate us, it seems counter-productive.

    'So that they don't hate us' -- ?

    Their personal *feelings* about the enactment of a proletarian revolution are *irrelevant* -- the point, to reiterate, is that revolutionaries could *individually* use a blanket policy, like internment, to non-destructively corrall class enemies, with a minimum of per-case *controversy* or logistical complications, because of the policy's expediency, consistency, and non-harmfulness.



    The revolution will last more than a lifetime. It's not like we have to convince them to our side so that we can release them again. The revolution won't be over by then. Furthermore, it doesn't provide a solution to the fact that class enemies will continue to grow out of other parts of society. We've identified based on the historical record that they grow out of party bureaucracy.

    You're being pessimistic now. 'Class enemies grow out of party bureaucracy' -- ? No.



    But they could hypothetically just as easily grow out of other areas of society. I don't know. It seems insufficient to me.

    Insufficient *how* -- ?



    I may criticize vanguardism, but authoritarian democratic and proletarian power against class enemies, frankly, it's one of the most beautiful things in the world.

    Okay. You seem uncertain and equivocal.



    Once again, my quotes didn't work quite right

    Keep at it -- I'm sure you'll figure it out.


    ---


    From past threads:



    [It's] a *logistical* necessity -- overall there could be a 'cat-and-mouse' dynamic all over the world in terms of actions and counteractions, in an ongoing situation of active class warfare.

    The ruling class is far fewer in number so it's relatively easier for them to coordinate and maneuver -- the working class has to be relatively *as*-focused, while being far more numerous. The possibilities for complication would theoretically be more likely for the proletariat -- hence the need for some kind of 'focusing' mechanism, if you will, the *vanguard* or *vanguard party*.

    I wouldn't want to see substitutionism happen any more than anyone else, so, in line with 'revolution', massive numbers of workers would have to be actively involved in reviewing what their 'vanguard' is doing, etc. In the context of proletarian interests we might see 'the vanguard' as a kind of *civic service* -- perhaps everyone working-class would devote 2 years of their life to serving in it, as a common unwritten social practice, which would also cut against potential substitutionism.

    Also consider that if, at *any* point there had to be negotiations with the bourgeoisie for whatever reason, there would have to be a relative *consensus* and a single point of contact with them. A vehicle that would already be in operation, and relatively more 'executive' in function than the larger internal culture of class-warfare debating and discussing, would be necessary.

    ---



    Consider [...] that a time of upheaval would be a period of intense *politics*, with many issues and sub-issues to decide / determine, for the world's working class as a whole. This is where a vanguard / party would be of some utility, in being somewhat more conscious / dedicated to that kind of navigation, but no vanguard could speak-*for* the proletariat, arbitrarily, on its own, without political discussions all around to either reinforce the vanguard's policy positions, or to argue *against* those positions, whatever they may be.

    In other words the point isn't for the working class to just *hand things off* to an elitist organization -- *that's* where the danger that you're specifying *would* be valid. The point is for the vanguard to be 'one step ahead' of world events, with overall trajectories of pro-proletarian politics popularly *described* and fundamentally supported by the world's workers, for the vanguard to heed.

    No, by definition a vanguard party is *not* elitist. It can only be relevant to working-class interests as long as it's *correctly representing* those objective interests, as for workers' power globally.
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    Referring to the *structure* of this illustration from post #7, I'll remind that 'centralization' can happen at various scales, though the greater the generalization / centralization of production, the more efficiencies-of-scale that can be realized:

    Multi-Tiered System of Productive and Consumptive Zones for a Post-Capitalist Political Economy
    Seems reasonable to me.

    I agree -- my *point* is that prevailing conditions of class struggle could and do vary widely, so there's a 'best-case-scenario', a 'worst-case-scenario', and everything in-between.
    Fair enough.

    Yes -- to me that would be a *minimum* of acceptable implementation, if overall conditions forced such a degree of substitutionism.
    Again, seems fair enough.

    'So that they don't hate us' -- ?
    yes, they do. That's my point. You wanted to keep them under house arrest until the end of the revolution. I'm saying we can't release them at the end.

    Their personal *feelings* about the enactment of a proletarian revolution are *irrelevant* -- the point, to reiterate, is that revolutionaries could *individually* use a blanket policy, like internment, to non-destructively corrall class enemies, with a minimum of per-case *controversy* or logistical complications, because of the policy's expediency, consistency, and non-harmfulness.
    That's fine. I'm suggesting that I'm non-harmfulness isn't a necessary goal. That's what I mean by authoritarianism. We shouldn't hesitate in treating our enemies with the wrath of the proletarian dictatorship.

    You're being pessimistic now. 'Class enemies grow out of party bureaucracy' -- ? No.
    Well, they did in China and the Soviet Union. Bureaucrats are petty bourgeois and develop a petty bourge worldview. This causes them to grow away from the masses, like they did in the above examples.

    Insufficient *how* -- ?
    Even with the propose de reforms, I'm still concerned that other areas of society could develop similarly antagonistic relationships with the proletariat. I'm not being pessimistic. I just want to be reasonable and acknowledge that we can't know everything about revolution without participating in revolution, and I don't want to make the mistakes of our predecessors.

    Okay. You seem uncertain and equivocal.
    Perhaps I'm being unclear. My criticisms of the vanguard are not because it acts in an authoritarian manner. Mao wisely said that it's important that we make the distinction between our enemies and our friends. To our friends, we're building vibrant, proletarian democracy. But our enemies, they experience the full wrath of the "dictatorship" aspect of the dictatorship of the proletariat. My criticisms of the vanguard are strictly limited to its petty bourgeois nature and consequent petty bourgeois worldview that it consequently develops. As far as the revolutionary pre-full communist stages are concerned, I'm not concerned about state hierarchy because hierarchy is bad. My primary concern is the fact that the hierarchy has a tendency to abandon the masses.

    From past threads:[/QUOTE]

    I like the civil service idea. I also agree that the masses need to keep a constant check on their leaders.

    Here is where I disagree. I understand that theoretically the vanguard isn't supposed to arbitrarily make decisions without input or support for the workers. If I thought it was possible, I'd still be proud Marxist Leninist. The problem is that history has shown that the vanguard has a tendency towards elitism, even if initially this isn't the case.

    I've developed a number of solutions to this problem, which maintain the centralized, agile nature of the dictatorship of the proletariat while removing, to the best of my ability, the vanguard aspect of the state.

    Perhaps my argument is entirely semantic. For me, my definition of the vanguard relies on the historical formulation and not the dictionary definition. According to the dictionary, any form of state which takes the frontlines against counterrevolution could be considered a vanguard. I don't think this is fair. The vanguard is the group of particularly conscious workers who lead the revolution, not arbitrarily, inspired by the masses, as you described, but nevertheless, it refers to a specific group or party. In my defense of multiparty democracy, the notion of this definition of the vanguard is entirely broken down, because there's not one party which leads the revolution; if a party abandons revolution it can be more easily taken out of power.
    "All reactionaries are paper tigers." Mao Tse-Tung
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    yes, they do. That's my point. You wanted to keep them under house arrest until the end of the revolution. I'm saying we can't release them at the end.

    Hmmmm, well I guess it's open to interpretation. I'll also remind that prevailing *conditions* of struggle would factor-in to a large extent.

    Actually, though, I'll have to insist that it's *not* a marginalized, *subjective* factor that would be overwhelming, this cumulative group of physically-active counterrevolutionaries. If they *were* released after the revolution is over, they would have no real power or influence, being sealed-off from society until then, because society would have shown that capitalist relations is a relic, since society demonstrably moved-on from that point, ushering in the beginnings of communism.

    Even if these holdouts represented a significant proportion of society (say, 5 to 25%), they simply wouldn't be welcome or empowered to 'bring back capitalism' once (transitional) socialism prevailed. Either they'd have to get with the program or else just fend for themselves from nature's available bounty, do their own farming, etc., which would certainly be an option.



    That's fine. I'm suggesting that I'm non-harmfulness isn't a necessary goal. That's what I mean by authoritarianism. We shouldn't hesitate in treating our enemies with the wrath of the proletarian dictatorship.

    Okay, understood -- the only reason I made up this 'skyscrapers' scenario is to say that it would be logistically easier to *contain* active counterrevolutionaries than to dispose of them outright, arguably. I guess I'm most concerned with knock-on effects like the families of the disposed persons raising a stink as a matter of civil society / treatment, etc., leading to a *secondary* dynamic of right-populist hand-wringing, and political contentiousness against the revolution from personal grief.


    ---



    The revolution will last more than a lifetime. It's not like we have to convince them to our side so that we can release them again. The revolution won't be over by then. Furthermore, it doesn't provide a solution to the fact that class enemies will continue to grow out of other parts of society. We've identified based on the historical record that they grow out of party bureaucracy.


    You're being pessimistic now. 'Class enemies grow out of party bureaucracy' -- ? No.


    Well, they did in China and the Soviet Union. Bureaucrats are petty bourgeois and develop a petty bourge worldview. This causes them to grow away from the masses, like they did in the above examples.

    Oh, okay, I understand where you're coming from -- I'd argue, though, that *true* statist bureaucrats are *not* petty-bourgeois, but rather *are* bourgeois since they collectively have ultimate decision-making power over all societal aspects. Yes, as a group they have distinctly different objective interests, similar to that of business unions, in playing a 'middleman' role between the proletariat and the existing world of produced, consumable goods which may or may *not* be sufficiently distributed for human need.


    ---



    Class enemies are gonna be antagonistic either way. Under house arrest so that they don't hate us, it seems counter-productive. The revolution will last more than a lifetime. It's not like we have to convince them to our side so that we can release them again. The revolution won't be over by then. Furthermore, it doesn't provide a solution to the fact that class enemies will continue to grow out of other parts of society. We've identified based on the historical record that they grow out of party bureaucracy. But they could hypothetically just as easily grow out of other areas of society. I don't know. It seems insufficient to me. I may criticize vanguardism, but authoritarian democratic and proletarian power against class enemies, frankly, it's one of the most beautiful things in the world.


    Insufficient *how* -- ?


    Even with the propose de reforms, I'm still concerned that other areas of society could develop similarly antagonistic relationships with the proletariat. I'm not being pessimistic. I just want to be reasonable and acknowledge that we can't know everything about revolution without participating in revolution, and I don't want to make the mistakes of our predecessors.

    'Reforms' -- ? We've been discussing proletarian *revolution*, and *not* reforms.

    Yes, counterrevolutionaries could come from *any* demographic of society, for any revolution-antagonistic reason -- sure, we don't have a crystal ball here and it's pointless to try to 'predict' what actual revolutionary events would be. Nothing can substitute for actual mass-experiential revolutionary events.


    ---



    Perhaps I'm being unclear. My criticisms of the vanguard are not because it acts in an authoritarian manner. Mao wisely said that it's important that we make the distinction between our enemies and our friends. To our friends, we're building vibrant, proletarian democracy. But our enemies, they experience the full wrath of the "dictatorship" aspect of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

    Okay.



    My criticisms of the vanguard are strictly limited to its petty bourgeois nature and consequent petty bourgeois worldview that it consequently develops. As far as the revolutionary pre-full communist stages are concerned, I'm not concerned about state hierarchy because hierarchy is bad. My primary concern is the fact that the hierarchy has a tendency to abandon the masses.

    The vanguard is necessarily petty-bourgeois -- ?

    I'm sorry, I just can't see that -- I happen to make a clear distinction between a potential, broad-mass 'vanguard', and a far more organizational 'vanguard party', if necessary:



    [I] think the vanguard could exist *at-large* (in-general), as it does today, without any intentional formal formulation or vehicle -- a vanguard party may *have* to exist, in addition, to cover any situations where a decisive *decision*, or command, would be required. I'd imagine the party would be derived from the (general) vanguard as-a-whole, but with the baggage of having to have discrete membership -- organizational overhead, basically.

    The *instrument* of this vanguard / party would be the workers state (at whatever size and extents worldwide), and [...] it should be thought-of as a routine revolutionary duty, so that it exists and is-empowered as a total *institution*, but one that has no careerist-type 'specialists' over the medium- or long-term (maybe 2 years within any 20 years, subject to adjustment according to realities). I assume that much, if not all, of its workings would be transparent anyway, so certainly its actions and functioning would be the subject of news and discussions far beyond its internal personnel anyway.

    ---



    I like the civil service idea. I also agree that the masses need to keep a constant check on their leaders.

    Yup.



    Here is where I disagree. I understand that theoretically the vanguard isn't supposed to arbitrarily make decisions without input or support for the workers. If I thought it was possible, I'd still be proud Marxist Leninist. The problem is that history has shown that the vanguard has a tendency towards elitism, even if initially this isn't the case.

    Yes, understood, and in line with my working definition of 'vanguard', all decisions would be *emergent* from it, with no personage-leadership fixed roles or tenures. There would have to be some general societal definition / criteria for one being part of this general vanguard, perhaps actively working and accepted by 'x' number of peers as being politically / ideologically suitable -- peer review.

    (See excerpts from my framework model at post #13 for a bottom-up *process*.)



    I've developed a number of solutions to this problem, which maintain the centralized, agile nature of the dictatorship of the proletariat while removing, to the best of my ability, the vanguard aspect of the state.

    Well, don't keep this a secret -- feel free to expound on your proposed procedure(s) for all of this.

    I'll note that a workers-state would just be a formality, and also a way to kick things off from present-day conventional capitalist practices -- if an agricultural department happens to be a part of an existing nation-state it could be seized and run similarly to the way it is now, but with full workers control and determination as a prerequisite, going-forward.



    Perhaps my argument is entirely semantic. For me, my definition of the vanguard relies on the historical formulation and not the dictionary definition. According to the dictionary, any form of state which takes the frontlines against counterrevolution could be considered a vanguard. I don't think this is fair. The vanguard is the group of particularly conscious workers who lead the revolution, not arbitrarily, inspired by the masses, as you described, but nevertheless, it refers to a specific group or party. In my defense of multiparty democracy, the notion of this definition of the vanguard is entirely broken down, because there's not one party which leads the revolution; if a party abandons revolution it can be more easily taken out of power.

    I don't find this more-conventional approach to be *necessarily* problematic, but, as you know, I certainly don't *favor* it. I've developed a particular type of grouping, the 'general vanguard', as being feasible for an absolutely flat-level ad-hoc way of mass organizing, which I think would be objectively preferable. (See post #13.)
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    Stardust, I'm not sure I understand the contradiction you bring up. I do agree with the necessity of the Proletarian state after the overthrow of bourgeois power, or the transition stage if you will. In this period class along with the state will wither away bringing us to the establishment of communism(the first stage, or socialism as its commonly called). Can you perhaps clarify a bit more?
    -windy-
    Well Windy, my conclusion was based on the second part of your argument, as you said:

    "As for the state "withering away", when society is socialist, therefore having no classes, how can there be a state? There are no classes to subordinate, no organized body of one class against another. Certainly we will still see administration of things, and these activities will become engrossed in society, certainly not a state."

    As you referred to a "Socialist" society (still in the transitional stage). But now from your second post, I realised you actually meant a "Communist" society. It's alright, as these two terms often are used interchangeably; however, I was looking at things with a pair of more logical spectacles
    “If money is the bond binding me to human life, binding society to me, connecting me with nature and man, is not money the bond of all bonds? Can it not dissolve and bind all ties? Is it not, therefore, also the universal agent of separation?”

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    Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844
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    Hmmmm, well I guess it's open to interpretation. I'll also remind that prevailing *conditions* of struggle would factor-in to a large extent.

    Actually, though, I'll have to insist that it's *not* a marginalized, *subjective* factor that would be overwhelming, this cumulative group of physically-active counterrevolutionaries. If they *were* released after the revolution is over, they would have no real power or influence, being sealed-off from society until then, because society would have shown that capitalist relations is a relic, since society demonstrably moved-on from that point, ushering in the beginnings of communism.

    Even if these holdouts represented a significant proportion of society (say, 5 to 25%), they simply wouldn't be welcome or empowered to 'bring back capitalism' once (transitional) socialism prevailed. Either they'd have to get with the program or else just fend for themselves from nature's available bounty, do their own farming, etc., which would certainly be an option.{/QUOTE]

    I think there are two problems. The first is that you ignore the strength they could gain by organizing. There's a reason we have to prohibit their organization during the revolution. Simply put, I think you're looking at this in a best-case scenario. The second problem is that I really don't think the revolution will be over within a lifetime. I think realistically, it will take a few hundred years before the whole globe reaches full communism. In the first place, individual third world nations need to struggle for independence. Secondly, independent third world nations will need to unite and cooperate. Not until the unity of the third world will we see the fall of imperialism, and not until the fall of imperialism will the conditions be ripe in the first world to join the revolutionary bandwagon, so to speak. Meanwhile, once imperialism is effectively neutralized, the third world will still be fighting against internal exploitation. For more detail, I recommend reading On New Democracy by Mao. In summary, the national bourgeoisie can serve a progressive role in the revolution for national independence if the organs of mass power provide the proper conditions. Besides, the third world kinda needs the bourgeoisie to develop industry and socialize the economy. We can neutralize their political power by keeping them under the heel of the masses, while they are still permitted to develop industry, to be seized by the workers state when the time is right. In brief, the revolution is a long process. It won't happen within a lifetime, so freeing counterrevolutionaries at the end isn't something we have to worry about, anyway.

    Okay, understood -- the only reason I made up this 'skyscrapers' scenario is to say that it would be logistically easier to *contain* active counterrevolutionaries than to dispose of them outright, arguably. I guess I'm most concerned with knock-on effects like the families of the disposed persons raising a stink as a matter of civil society / treatment, etc., leading to a *secondary* dynamic of right-populist hand-wringing, and political contentiousness against the revolution from personal grief.
    I get where you're coming from. Maybe I'm a psychopath, but I just don't really feel sympathy for the wife of a banker who complains about her husband's "disappearance." If she wants to be a witness for the imperialists to justify invasion, so be it. The imperialists would oppose us, with or without her. Maybe I'm just excessively harsh.

    Oh, okay, I understand where you're coming from -- I'd argue, though, that *true* statist bureaucrats are *not* petty-bourgeois, but rather *are* bourgeois since they collectively have ultimate decision-making power over all societal aspects. Yes, as a group they have distinctly different objective interests, similar to that of business unions, in playing a 'middleman' role between the proletariat and the existing world of produced, consumable goods which may or may *not* be sufficiently distributed for human need.
    I get your point, but I don't think so. State bureaucrats who occupy administrative posts and coordinate production, in my opinion, can't really be classified as bourgeois, in that they don't really own the means of production. If we must attribute a role in state administration as bourgeois, I think it would be more fair to give this title to the heads of state enterprises. If we want to look at a historical model, we can look at the economic reforms pursued after the death of Stalin which gave the state enterprises virtual autonomy. If state planners were bourgeois, this reform wouldn't make any sense according to their interests, because these reforms made state plans virtually meaningless suggestions. I continue to maintain that state planners, performing mental yet socially necessary labor, can be more justly categorized as petty bourgeois. It also explains how we can have state planners who act in the interests of the proletariat and those who don't. If state planners were bourgeois, they would all be opposed to the proletariat, instead of just segments who took up reactionary beliefs.

    'Reforms' -- ? We've been discussing proletarian *revolution*, and *not* reforms.
    I'm referring to reforms to the vanguard model, not reforms to capitalism.

    Yes, counterrevolutionaries could come from *any* demographic of society, for any revolution-antagonistic reason -- sure, we don't have a crystal ball here and it's pointless to try to 'predict' what actual revolutionary events would be. Nothing can substitute for actual mass-experiential revolutionary events.
    Exactly my point in the beginning. Class enemies can and will likely grow outside of your proposed 'skyscraper.' We don't have a crystal ball, and we can't know precisely where they will come from to prevent it.

    The vanguard is necessarily petty-bourgeois -- ?

    I'm sorry, I just can't see that -- I happen to make a clear distinction between a potential, broad-mass 'vanguard', and a far more organizational 'vanguard party', if necessary:
    I need to emphasize again that I worry our disagreement is merely semantic. I'm operating under the Leninist conception of the vanguard. If the masses collectively constitute the vanguard, I don't thin it's fair to call it a vanguard.

    According to the Leninist conception of the vanguard, the people who make up the vanguard are professional revolutionaries. The occupation of 'professional revolutionary' is more mental than manual labor. It maintains the same contradiction that exists between government officials and the masses, even if initially the vanguard doesn't suffer from this deviation.

    Yes, understood, and in line with my working definition of 'vanguard', all decisions would be *emergent* from it, with no personage-leadership fixed roles or tenures.
    I've definitely come to agree with the no personage-leadership fixed roles or tenures. In my orthodox ML days, I was hesitant, but I've come to see very clearly the dangers in having a single leader until his/her death.

    There would have to be some general societal definition / criteria for one being part of this general vanguard, perhaps actively working and accepted by 'x' number of peers as being politically / ideologically suitable -- peer review.

    (See excerpts from my framework model at post #13 for a bottom-up *process*.)

    Mass peer review? You mean like an election?

    Well, don't keep this a secret -- feel free to expound on your proposed procedure(s) for all of this.
    I wrote a couple essays on this topic this weekend. I won't be able to do them justice on this forum, but I'll try to summarize the main points.

    1) Government officials are, in my view, an unfortunate necessity for this stage of the revolution. As I've mentioned, they have a petty bourgeois nature, which leads to a petty bourgeois worldview. What we need to do is take measures to endow these officials with a proletarian worldview. I've already mentioned it here, although it's not present in the great socialist experiments of the 20th century. The two I expounded in my essay were the prohibition of non-proletarians/poor peasants from holding office. That is, if you're a teacher or a doctor or whatever, tough luck. The second measure was to have strict term limits, so that officials don't really have time to deviate from the proletarian worldview since leaving the factory for a few years.

    Another proposal which I first read in the Ethiopian constitution of 1987 was that the workers all vote for their representatives, but the representatives go back to the farm or factory after. They go to the government just for the biannual congress and the election of the "presidium." I didn't address this in my essay, but this could be a useful thought, too. At the very least, it would limit the amount of regular government officials. I'm not sure it would have any real effect on the revolution.

    The second essay I wrote handled a more complicated measure, which is contested elections. First, I went into the history of socialist countries and how in fact in many cases, like the USSR and China, material conditions didn't really provide the opportunity for multiparty elections. Nevertheless, I've proposed here that having several parties claiming to best represent the masses could act as a check on the other parties, forcing them all the maintain a closer relationship with the masses in order to remain relevant.

    Of course, we don't want to work with bourgeois parties, so I've set up some rules for party participation. 1) The party leadership must be proletarian, following the proposals I've made for the state. 2) The party may not advocate neoliberalism, fascism, or any other outright counterrevolutionary ideologies. We will tolerate a variety of leftist ideologies, from Maoism to Chavezism. 3) The party may not engage in demagogy. (For example, if a population is homophobic, a party doesn't have the right to incorporate homophobia into their platform just for votes.)

    With these rules in place, I identify two major risks with this proposal, aside from the possibility that all the parties collude, and it's as if we had one party, anyway. I don't have a solution to that, other than the masses should "storm the headquarters" ASAP.

    The two dangers I've identified are the following: a) a party may begin to engage in demagogy after having their right to participate in elections, and b) a revolutionary party may begin to deviate from the mass line in their program and head towards counterrevolutionary conclusions, like the ones listed. After considering the pros and cons of either letting the parliament be responsible for banning parties, or the masses, I've come to the conclusion that a fusion of the two is necessary. The proposal to ban a party which has fallen into one of these two traps can come from an MP or from an organ of the masses, and must be approved by a majority of the masses by referendum and by a parliamentary majority as well. In the case of a disagreement, the specific MPs who disagreed with their constituents would have to meet with them and discuss the disagreement, and if they still don't agree, the will of the masses takes priority.

    The reason I would be concerned about leaving the question up entirely to mass action is in the case when a large majority of the masses have been duped by the very demagogy that we're seeking to avoid. The primary (although there are several) reason that I wouldn't leave the question up to the parliament is that there would be more of a tendency towards collusion, or towards semi-counterrevolutionary parties eliminating revolutionary parties, or ML parties trying to act like a vanguard and taking out the non-orthodox parties.

    Please tell me if you identify any holes in the dangers I identified or in the solutions I proposed. I've tried to provide as many fail-safes as possible to maintain mass control over the state, while maintaining the agility that comes with a representative (yet participatory) democracy over a direct democracy. There is certainly the opportunity to add more popular participation in the system, which would function as another fail-safe against the restoration of capitalism from within.

    I don't find this more-conventional approach to be *necessarily* problematic, but, as you know, I certainly don't *favor* it. I've developed a particular type of grouping, the 'general vanguard', as being feasible for an absolutely flat-level ad-hoc way of mass organizing, which I think would be objectively preferable. (See post #13.)
    Objectively better, sure, but I maintain the same concerns about insufficient agility or too much apoliticalness among the masses. My concerns aren't necessarily a reality. They're just concerns.

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    Mass peer review? You mean like an election?

    Cute -- but, seriously, sure, why not -- ? All prospective 'general-vanguardists' would have to each be approved by 'x' number of revolutionary predecessors, in an academic kind of process.



    I wrote a couple essays on this topic this weekend. I won't be able to do them justice on this forum, but I'll try to summarize the main points.

    1) Government officials are, in my view, an unfortunate necessity for this stage of the revolution. As I've mentioned, they have a petty bourgeois nature, which leads to a petty bourgeois worldview. What we need to do is take measures to endow these officials with a proletarian worldview. I've already mentioned it here, although it's not present in the great socialist experiments of the 20th century. The two I expounded in my essay were the prohibition of non-proletarians/poor peasants from holding office. That is, if you're a teacher or a doctor or whatever, tough luck. The second measure was to have strict term limits, so that officials don't really have time to deviate from the proletarian worldview since leaving the factory for a few years.

    I tend to agree here, depending on actual conditions / circumstances for the socialist transition, but this kind of administrative specialization can be cut-against with an immediate *broadening* of mass-participation, or a 'general vanguard' as I've already outlined. (The socialist-minded 'government officials' would be akin to a 'vanguard party'.) ('Party' implies a formal institutional-type of political organization with explicit work-role memberships and professional duties -- the trade-off is reliance on more substitutionism.)



    Another proposal which I first read in the Ethiopian constitution of 1987 was that the workers all vote for their representatives, but the representatives go back to the farm or factory after. They go to the government just for the biannual congress and the election of the "presidium." I didn't address this in my essay, but this could be a useful thought, too. At the very least, it would limit the amount of regular government officials. I'm not sure it would have any real effect on the revolution.

    Yeah, it's not bad, but I don't think that this particular detail would be that deterministic -- the essential functioning is still that of a basically substitutionist, specialized formal administrative body that is schismatic in relation to the workers and the population as a whole.



    The second essay I wrote handled a more complicated measure, which is contested elections. First, I went into the history of socialist countries and how in fact in many cases, like the USSR and China, material conditions didn't really provide the opportunity for multiparty elections. Nevertheless, I've proposed here that having several parties claiming to best represent the masses could act as a check on the other parties, forcing them all the maintain a closer relationship with the masses in order to remain relevant.

    Again I don't see this as being that substantive while the socialist-transitional administration is professionally specialized, the way academia is in relation to the general population today.



    Of course, we don't want to work with bourgeois parties, so I've set up some rules for party participation. 1) The party leadership must be proletarian, following the proposals I've made for the state. 2) The party may not advocate neoliberalism, fascism, or any other outright counterrevolutionary ideologies. We will tolerate a variety of leftist ideologies, from Maoism to Chavezism. 3) The party may not engage in demagogy. (For example, if a population is homophobic, a party doesn't have the right to incorporate homophobia into their platform just for votes.)

    With these rules in place, I identify two major risks with this proposal, aside from the possibility that all the parties collude, and it's as if we had one party, anyway. I don't have a solution to that, other than the masses should "storm the headquarters" ASAP.

    Sure, none of this is objectionable, and you seem to be more focused on the immediate moments following a successful global insurrection -- the composition and functioning of the workers state.



    The two dangers I've identified are the following: a) a party may begin to engage in demagogy after having their right to participate in elections, and b) a revolutionary party may begin to deviate from the mass line in their program and head towards counterrevolutionary conclusions, like the ones listed. After considering the pros and cons of either letting the parliament be responsible for banning parties, or the masses, I've come to the conclusion that a fusion of the two is necessary. The proposal to ban a party which has fallen into one of these two traps can come from an MP or from an organ of the masses, and must be approved by a majority of the masses by referendum and by a parliamentary majority as well. In the case of a disagreement, the specific MPs who disagreed with their constituents would have to meet with them and discuss the disagreement, and if they still don't agree, the will of the masses takes priority.

    Your formulation here reminds me of this:


    Centralization-Abstraction Diagram of Political Forms






    But again, I'm not interested in the machinations that accompany your representative-based formal structures of administration. I find your proposal to be far too hierarchical, necessitating a whole social infrastructure of parliamentary-type procedural rules as a result, making it quite detached, specialized, and substitutionist.



    The reason I would be concerned about leaving the question up entirely to mass action is in the case when a large majority of the masses have been duped by the very demagogy that we're seeking to avoid. The primary (although there are several) reason that I wouldn't leave the question up to the parliament is that there would be more of a tendency towards collusion, or towards semi-counterrevolutionary parties eliminating revolutionary parties, or ML parties trying to act like a vanguard and taking out the non-orthodox parties.

    Understandable, and realistic -- that's why the 'bottom-up' process should be much more *organic* and flat-level in its composition, if at all possible, in preference over your bourgeois-derived institution of formal representative-substitutionist procedures.



    Please tell me if you identify any holes in the dangers I identified or in the solutions I proposed. I've tried to provide as many fail-safes as possible to maintain mass control over the state, while maintaining the agility that comes with a representative (yet participatory) democracy over a direct democracy. There is certainly the opportunity to add more popular participation in the system, which would function as another fail-safe against the restoration of capitalism from within.

    Yes, I've been critiquing your ideas along the way -- I favor my own, daily individual-personal rankings over material and political issues, collated by rank position (#1, #2, #3, etc.) over a 'locality' geographic area or areas, as described at post #13.


    ---



    I don't find this more-conventional approach to be *necessarily* problematic, but, as you know, I certainly don't *favor* it. I've developed a particular type of grouping, the 'general vanguard', as being feasible for an absolutely flat-level ad-hoc way of mass organizing, which I think would be objectively preferable. (See post #13.)


    Objectively better, sure, but I maintain the same concerns about insufficient agility or too much apoliticalness among the masses. My concerns aren't necessarily a reality. They're just concerns.

    Thanks -- I appreciate the thought you're putting into the consideration of my proposal.

    Yes, a truly bottom-up process would be more time-consuming and less agile than a specialized political body like that of a vanguard party. On the other hand, things *could* sort-out rather quickly if the iteration was day-by-day, with RevLeft-like discussions going on 24/7/365, regardless. Perhaps it could be clearly seen that Proposals 'N' and 'Q' were consistently mass-ranked higher than all others, over several iterations / days, so that proposal-space would reduce quickly, etc.



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