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Socialism |OT| The Dawn of a Red Era

Oct 25, 2017
6,587
0
#1


Greetings, comrades and bourgeois capitalist pigs! Great Marx's Ghost has seen to it that Reset Era has opened its doors on the same day (well according to the old calendar system anyway) that the October Revolution happened 100 years ago.

This thread is meant to be a place for comrades and enemies of the people alike to discuss socialism in all its variants* - its history, its diversity of thought, its art and aesthetics, its intersections with other movements of oppressed and exploited peoples, and so forth. Feel free to debate whether you even think it's feasible or not, though I would assume that the people posting here will primarily think the answer is "yes".

*except for "national socialism", which is not actually socialism but fascism

A quick rundown for anyone who might be confused about what constitutes "socialism" since it is a word that has been used to describe a myriad of things. For the sake of common understanding, we will define socialism here as a system in which the workers collectively own the means of production. That's it. That means there could be markets or not. A democratic government could operate everything or not. There could be no government at all - that's anarchism, which is a form of socialism (except for the "anarcho-capitalists"). It is a very broad ideology which is why so many socialists seem to stick icepicks in each others' heads.

Lastly please remember that proper socialism requires one to be ruthlessly critical of all that exists, and that includes yourself. Criticism and self criticism are key to advancing your political beliefs.

With that said, we will now proceed to construct the Socialist Era.

RESOURCES
I've tried to compile a list here that represents material that is friendly to new socialists or people interested in the ideology and which is largely reflective of the ongoing movement. There exist very many classic works of socialist thought but it would be an endless list if I tried to compile them here. If you have any suggestions for additions, please let me know, especially since there are so many different socialist tendencies.

FOR BEGINNERS
The ABCs of Socialism - An introductory book/pdf made by Jacobin
Socialism101 - Introductory site compiled by r/communism, so it has a Marxist-Leninist bent
The Marxist Internet Archive - Repository of historical Marxist writings

SITES AND MAGAZINES
Jacobin - Probably the most popular general socialist magazine currently
Catalyst - Jacobin's sister magazine
In Defense of Marxism - Official page of the ISO, one of the larger Trotskyist organizations
The North Star - Socialist site with North American focus
Counterpunch - Self proclaimed radical muckraking magazine
Libcom - Anarchist/libertarian communist site
Monthly Review - Socialist magazine
The Morning Star - British socialist newspaper
Climate & Capitalism - Eco-socialist articles
Green Left Weekly - Eco-socialist articles, incuding contributions by Lafiel
Socialist Economist - Economics weekly
The Next Recession - Economics blog by Michael Roberts

PUBLISHERS
Verso
Haymarket Books

YOUTUBE
https://m.youtube.com/user/RichardDWolff - Marxist economist Richard Wolff
https://m.youtube.com/user/readingcapital - Reading Marx's Capital with David Harvey
And too many videos of Slavoj Zizek sniffing and scratching to count
 
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#5
I guess I'll introduce myself.

I've being active in the Australian socialist movement for over 4-years from 2013 to today. I'm a member of https://socialist-alliance.org/ in Australia. I am a co-convenor of the Melbourne (one of the major cities in Australia) branch here and am a elected on the national leadership of my party and currently in terms of movement work I do outside party-building I'm heavily involved in campaigns around public housing and homelessness. You can also read https://www.greenleft.org.au/ the publication of my party (that is fairly broader than just presenting the views of the party) to get a good sense of what the radical left scene is like in Australia. :P
 
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sphagnum
Oct 25, 2017
6,587
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#7
I guess I'll introduce myself.

I've being active in the Australian socialist movement for over 4-years from 2013 to today. I'm a member of https://socialist-alliance.org/ in Australia. I am a co-convenor of the Melbourne (one of the major cities in Australia) branch here and am a elected on the national leadership of my party and currently in terms of movement work I do outside party-building I'm heavily involved in campaigns around public housing and homelessness. You can also read https://www.greenleft.org.au/ the publication of my party (that is fairly broader than just the party) to get a good sense of what the radical left scene is like in Australia. :P
Thanks for the introduction comrade.
 

Dr. Benton Quest

Resettlement Advisor
Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,195
0
#14
No tankies in this right?

Anyway, hello comrades.

The people's flag is deepest red,
It shrouded oft our martyred dead
And ere their limbs grew stiff and cold,
Their hearts' blood dyed its every fold.
So raise the scarlet standard high,
Beneath its shade we'll live and die,
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,
We'll keep the red flag flying here.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,026
0
#17
I certainly have a complicated relationship with socialism and especially communism, but on the balance I think my goals fall in line with you guys', namely the abolition of the rentier class and the disalienation of labor either through communal ownership or direct worker ownership. I just find myself experiencing friction with a good chunk of the current sort of culture, especially online, and am skeptical about some of the things that I perceive as weaknesses in Marxism or socialist movements so far.

I guess what I'd ask is; if I'm very argumentative over a lot of things, I hope you'll trust that I'm arguing in good faith and want the same fundamental transformations that all of you do
 
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sphagnum
Oct 25, 2017
6,587
0
#21
I certainly have a complicated relationship with socialism and especially communism, but on the balance I think my goals fall in line with you guys', namely the abolition of the rentier class and the disalienation of labor either through communal ownership or direct worker ownership. I just find myself experiencing friction with a good chunk of the current sort of culture, especially online, and am skeptical about some of the things that I perceive as weaknesses in Marxism or socialist movements so far.

I guess what I'd ask is; if I'm very argumentative over a lot of things, I hope you'll trust that I'm arguing in good faith and want the same fundamental transformations that all of you do
Argue away. The truth comes out of the dialectic!
 

Eylos

User requested ban
Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,111
0
#24
Yo subscribed, awesome thread. Next month there's the centenary. Any good movie sugestion? I only know october from einsenstein and Reds.
 
OP
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sphagnum
Oct 25, 2017
6,587
0
#26
Yo subscribed, awesome thread. Next month there's the centenary. Any good movie sugestion? I only know october from einsenstein and Reds.
It doesn't quite count but there's always Battleship Potemkin.

I really want to see The Death of Stalin.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,026
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#27
Yo subscribed, awesome thread. Next month there's the centenary. Any good movie sugestion? I only know october from einsenstein and Reds.
So here's actually a great example of the sort of thing I genuinely want to know more about: why is there so much reverence for the Russian revolution and the USSR? At least based on what I've learned so far it...didn't exactly work, insomuch as the socialist and communist systems that emerged from it aren't ones we particularly want to replicate, even setting aside the Stalinist era. My view of the entire rise and fall of the USSR is that there's a lot of very important lessons to be learned about organizational traps and dangerous tendencies within political structures
 
Oct 25, 2017
106
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#30
So here's actually a great example of the sort of thing I genuinely want to know more about: why is there so much reverence for the Russian revolution and the USSR? At least based on what I've learned so far it...didn't exactly work, insomuch as the socialist and communist systems that emerged from it aren't ones we particularly want to replicate, even setting aside the Stalinist era. My view of the entire rise and fall of the USSR is that there's a lot of very important lessons to be learned about organizational traps and dangerous tendencies within political structures
I think it depends on the individual. I've seen very highly upvoted posts on r/latestagecapitalism about USSR being state Capitalism. However, when I said that Soviet Russia was State Capitalism a mod banned me. That ban then was turned into a 1 hour ban by another mod I think after I messaged going "wtf?"

I'm of the opinion that the USSR was State Capitalism. What it does though is lend credence to the idea that highly centralized governments can actually be effective. Russia was turned into a world power after the rise of the USSR. Of course, that kind of ignores the whole murdering of Kulaks. But Tankies gonna tank.

I kind of waver between big government, and "maybe anarcho-communism could work". The problem with anarcho anything is that I think it only really works with extremely small communities.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,026
0
#31
I think it depends on the individual. I've seen very highly upvoted posts on r/latestagecapitalism about USSR being state Capitalism. However, when I said that Soviet Russia was State Capitalism a mod banned me. That ban then was turned into a 1 hour ban by another mod I think after I messaged going "wtf?"

I'm of the opinion that the USSR was State Capitalism. What it does though is lend credence to the idea that highly centralized governments can actually be effective. Russia was turned into a world power after the rise of the USSR. Of course, that kind of ignores the whole murdering of Kulaks. But Tankies gonna tank.

I kind of waver between big government, and "maybe anarcho-communism could work". The problem with anarcho anything is that I think it only really works with extremely small communities.
Right and to be clear I'm not accusing anyone of being a Tankie. Its just that even among the people who say "yeah no Stalin was fucked" there's an emotional attachment to the USSR that I don't fully understand, mostly because its hard for me to view it as a thing I'd like to emulate.
 

Eylos

User requested ban
Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,111
0
#32
So here's actually a great example of the sort of thing I genuinely want to know more about: why is there so much reverence for the Russian revolution and the USSR? At least based on what I've learned so far it...didn't exactly work, insomuch as the socialist and communist systems that emerged from it aren't ones we particularly want to replicate, even setting aside the Stalinist era. My view of the entire rise and fall of the USSR is that there's a lot of very important lessons to be learned about organizational traps and dangerous tendencies within political structures
It was the First big sucessfull revolution, basicaly, there's the Paris commune, thats very important too, but too brief. Lenin, Trotsky, John Reed are famous good writers, and the story is very interesting.
 
OP
OP
sphagnum
Oct 25, 2017
6,587
0
#34
So here's actually a great example of the sort of thing I genuinely want to know more about: why is there so much reverence for the Russian revolution and the USSR? At least based on what I've learned so far it...didn't exactly work, insomuch as the socialist and communist systems that emerged from it aren't ones we particularly want to replicate, even setting aside the Stalinist era. My view of the entire rise and fall of the USSR is that there's a lot of very important lessons to be learned about organizational traps and dangerous tendencies within political structures
Depends on the person. I personally am not a big fan - I just like the memes - but I see the USSR as a grand failed project. I don't believe in Great Man theory; I don't believe the USSR was the living embodiment of the wills of Lenin and Stalin or whatever. It was an attempted democratic project of millions of people that failed due to the material conditions it evolved within. The democratic part got jettisoned pretty early, but even within the society that emerged there were still some elements of it that survived - for example, those 99% voting counts? Those actually happened, because the government was obsessed with showing its legitimacy, and the people knew that. They couldn't really freely pick who was on the ballot but they could abstain, or better yet threaten to abstain, which caused party members who had to organize the vote massive headaches which the people used to their advantage to get various local issues addressed. Quite clever.

The USSR helped fund anti-racist, anti-imperial, and anti-capitalist movements all over the globe. It made great strides in science. It provided for its people pretty well once they got through the initial horrors considering it wasn't following market logic. At the same time the civil war was horrendous, Stalin was a monster, and the subsequent leaders were pretty bog standard authoritarians, but no worse than what modern China does.

I guess I see it as a society striving to build itself according to new and higher principles that just kept subverting itself while also being sabotaged from the outside. There's a lot to take pride in and a lot to feel shame about. Not too different from the US.

One perspective I read that I liked was that after the revolution, the massacres, the famine, the show trials, and especially World War II the Soviet people felt that they had emerged from the crucible and, having survived, deserved their right to seek a new world. I'm just sad they failed to do it. But I'm still proud of the ones who genuinely tried.
 
Oct 25, 2017
106
0
#35
I certainly have a complicated relationship with socialism and especially communism, but on the balance I think my goals fall in line with you guys', namely the abolition of the rentier class and the disalienation of labor either through communal ownership or direct worker ownership. I just find myself experiencing friction with a good chunk of the current sort of culture, especially online, and am skeptical about some of the things that I perceive as weaknesses in Marxism or socialist movements so far.

I guess what I'd ask is; if I'm very argumentative over a lot of things, I hope you'll trust that I'm arguing in good faith and want the same fundamental transformations that all of you do
I think a lot of the internet culture is kind of a "violent" reaction against neoliberalism. It's hard not to get extremely flippant and angry when neoliberals argue that sweatshops are good, and that Amazon is just so amazing, and Elon Musk will save us all, etc...
 
Oct 25, 2017
106
0
#39
There are always tankies
I'm not a Tankie except when I'm trolling neoliberals. And then its full on "Kulaks deserved it". Probably counter productive. I need to break that habit.


Speaking of neoliberalism, I found this article very enlightening.

https://www.theguardian.com/working...t-the-apocalypse-take-lessons-from-costa-rica

The gist of the article is: downsize. Stop being obsessed with continual economic growth (which is going to be unsustainable since infinite growth isn't possible). And provide for your citizens and give them equal access to high quality social services (notably healthcare). Costa Ricans are happier than Americans despite having less gizmos and gadgets in their lives. We actually really don't need fancy 4k TVs and Spotify, and those things don't make humans happier. I mean they might for a bit, but the hedonistic treadmill is real. If you disagree, you necessarily argue that humans are collectively happier with 4k TV being a thing than they ever were capable of being hundreds of years before. And I don't think the evidence pans out for that.
 

turmoil7

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,420
0
#43
Hi comrades

Are you hopeful about the future? Particularly I'm not, western democracies are designed to make people think that voting the rival bourgeois party of the ruling one will change things.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,026
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#44
The gist of the article is: downsize. Stop being obsessed with continual economic growth (which is going to be unsustainable since infinite growth isn't possible). And provide for your citizens and give them equal access to high quality social services (notably healthcare). Costa Ricans are happier than Americans despite having less gizmos and gadgets in their lives. We actually really don't need fancy 4k TVs and Spotify, and those things don't make humans happier. I mean they might for a bit, but the hedonistic treadmill is real. If you disagree, you necessarily argue that humans are collectively happier with 4k TV being a thing than they ever were capable of being hundreds of years before. And I don't think the evidence pans out for that.
So this actually ties very directly into something I was discussing previously, especially in global terms; if you're attempting to establish political leadership, how do you do that democratically? If you're going to get ahead of things and try to smooth a transition before it gets painful and abrupt, people are going to be unhappy because they're experiencing what is, to them, a very tangible decrease in things they care about, and it becomes very precarious to not get voted out (this is very related to how American labor will still see things get worse for them as they improve for countries like China and Indonesia because of how all of America benefits from exploitation)
 
Oct 25, 2017
384
0
#46
So this actually ties very directly into something I was discussing previously, especially in global terms; if you're attempting to establish political leadership, how do you do that democratically? If you're going to get ahead of things and try to smooth a transition before it gets painful and abrupt, people are going to be unhappy because they're experiencing what is, to them, a very tangible decrease in things they care about, and it becomes very precarious to not get voted out (this is very related to how American labor will still see things get worse for them as they improve for countries like China and Indonesia because of how all of America benefits from exploitation)
Focus on taking care of people's needs and stop making essential goods commodities. Give people security and hope that there future will be safe. Concern yourself more with redistribution than with growth, we already have the wealth, its just that all the rich people took it.

I've sort of grown to hate the term "safety net" when referring to welfare programs. The real goal of welfare programs shouldn't be to take care of you when things get bad (that's the kind of logic that leads to means testing), it should be to guarantee that things won't get bad. The social democrats and planners of the postwar consensus weren't building safety nets, they were making promises that the ruin of the Great Depression wouldn't happen again.
 
Oct 25, 2017
106
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#47
Alright, what do you guys do when it is time to vote in a Presidential election? Unlike local elections, third parties have 0 chance. And an actual Progressive candidate running under a Dem ticket isn't going to happen (https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entr...ellison-loyalists_us_59ea6a44e4b0a484d0634a08)

So what do we do? Still vote 3rd party? Or vote for neoliberal Democrats simply because at least their flavor of economic neoliberalism is less harsh to the poor and minorities?

The accelerationist in me leans towards voting 3rd party. The practical side of me leans voting Democrat.

I know your thoughts pigeon. Would like to hear other thoughts.
 
Oct 25, 2017
603
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#48
I want to start out by saying I'm not a socialist (I'm social democrat), but I believe that socialism might have the answer to the great automation era that's to come soon. I also have a great respect towards socialists as they pulled my home country away from its fascist regime and into a social democratic country.

I came here to ask if there's some literature and other media you guys could recommend that I could look at to learn more about socialism and the various types of ideologies under the socialist banner. I'm very much so curious about it and its answers towards the future.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,026
0
#49
Alright, what do you guys do when it is time to vote in a Presidential election? Unlike local elections, third parties have 0 chance. And an actual Progressive candidate running under a Dem ticket isn't going to happen (https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entr...ellison-loyalists_us_59ea6a44e4b0a484d0634a08)

So what do we do? Still vote 3rd party? Or vote for neoliberal Democrats simply because at least their flavor of economic neoliberalism is less harsh to the poor and minorities?

The accelerationist in me leans towards voting 3rd party. The practical side of me leans voting Democrat.

I know your thoughts pigeon. Would like to hear other thoughts.
Unsurprisingly I always vote Democrat as well, and honestly its hard for me to consider doing otherwise because grander plans, at least at the level of national elections, require the American people to not disappoint me and the more I research American history the more I realize that that's basically always happened
 
Oct 25, 2017
106
0
#50
Focus on taking care of people's needs and stop making essential goods commodities. Give people security and hope that there future will be safe. Concern yourself more with redistribution than with growth, we already have the wealth, its just that all the rich people took it.

I've sort of grown to hate the term "safety net" when referring to welfare programs. The real goal of welfare programs shouldn't be to take care of you when things get bad (that's the kind of logic that leads to means testing), it should be to guarantee that things won't get bad. The social democrats and planners of the postwar consensus weren't building safety nets, they were making promises that the ruin of the Great Depression wouldn't happen again.
I agree.

A lot of things called safety nets shouldn't be safety nets. When services are reserved for the poor, you can be guaranteed those services will be slashed or shitty.