Socialism |OT| The Dawn of a Red Era

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sphagnum

sphagnum

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,354
Asceticism as leftism feels like an ideological dead end, although I do draw on some Buddhist theory and try to avoid forming attachments to my entertainment.
Wasn't Buddha anti-asceticism? Isn't that one of the whole points of the Middle Path? Or is that just supposed to be "don't starve yourself to death trying to prove how detached you are"?
 

Pekola

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,614
The In-Between
We all participate in capitalism every day of our lives. It is a totalitarian, all-encompassing system. It is nigh-impossible to avoid. Are we all supposed to live on a farm, harvesting food with hand-made tools or something? Should we not watch movies or buy computers or wear clothes purchased from a store?

The goal of socialism is not to destroy civilization, it's to surpass this exploitative mode of production.
How would it effect it ?
we live in a capitalist society, consumption under it doesnt make anyone more or less anti-capitalist, besides in a non-capitalist society, movies, games, comics etc. would still exist.
To live in a capitalist society doesnt make you a capitalist. You can be a republican and be british for example, and that's not contradictory.
The same way we reconcile going to the grocery store and buying some Wheaties with our anti-capitalist beliefs. There is no ethical consumption under capital, and there's no speedrunning through capitalism into socialism, so you do your best to be good and to live in certain respects as though the revolution had come to pass and you don't live within an alienating hellscape. Sometimes that means going to the supermarket and getting some Wheaties as long as it doesn't come out that the Wheaties factory is putting thalidomide in a town's drinking water.
It is like any other middle class luxury. Being anti-capitalist doesn't mean I don't get to have fun.

I just have my fun then beat myself up over it like a proper liberal.
I don’t know if living like hermits is the solution. But the Amish (kinda) do something like that, proving it’s not exactly impossible to adopt such a lifestyle.

(which of course leaves us with the issue of actually dismantling capitalism, which I don’t know if it’s something that can be done by divesting oneself of modern living like the Amish do, since that would require creating specialized communities. )

I ask because, recently I’ve seen a trend toward expansion being favored by gamers. The highest end graphics. The largest games. More content. More engagement.

One notable example, is gamers have recently expressed discontent about Pokémon, and one of the suggestions I see is that they should grow. Hire more people. Put more budget into the games.

But there’s never any thought given to the idea that perhaps this isn’t such a good thing because it’s a model that requires an extreme amount of growth (kinda like how Breath of the Wild required over 300 employees working for 5 years).

So this race to the bottom, I think, goes opposed to having less crunch. Less unfavorable conditions. Because there’s always an insatiable demand for growth.
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
8,014
Wasn't Buddha anti-asceticism? Isn't that one of the whole points of the Middle Path? Or is that just supposed to be "don't starve yourself to death trying to prove how detached you are"?
My conception of Buddhism comes from pop culture and social osmosis so it's mostly a perversion of a branch sect (Zen Buddhism?) with some Americanisms mixed in. That said, I think you're correct. The original Buddha was not an extreme ascetic, I think that's a modern invention.
 

DrSlek

Member
Oct 29, 2017
3,483
How do you all reconcile playing video games with your anti-capitalist beliefs (if you have them).

How does that work?
Capitalism is the game that nearly everyone else is playing currently. There's no choice but to play the same game until everyone else realises the rules are unfair, it sucks and we should play something else. If you're luck enough to be able to start or join a worker cooperative, that's awesome. But otherwise the most we can do is try to educate people about the inherent injustice of the Liberal economic system.
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
8,014
I don’t know if living like hermits is the solution. But the Amish (kinda) do something like that, proving it’s not exactly impossible to adopt such a lifestyle.

(which of course leaves us with the issue of actually dismantling capitalist things, which I don’t know if it’s something that can be done by divesting oneself of modern living like the Amish do, since that would require creating specialized communities. )
I've thought of this as well and while it's true it is possible, on some level, to remove yourself from global capitalism, it also deprives you of the ability to change it (for the better).

Which is why I think asceticism is not the way. It is not empowering. It is the freedom that comes from self annihilation, which is a certain kind of spiritual freedom but not one that can save others.

I ask because, recently I’ve seen a trend toward expansion being favored by gamers. The highest end graphics. The largest games. More content. More engagement.

One notable example, is gamers have recently expressed discontent about Pokémon, and one of the suggestions I see is that they should grow. Hire more people. Put more budget into the games.

But there’s never any thought given to the idea that perhaps this isn’t such a good thing because it’s a model that requires an extreme amount of growth (kinda like how Breath of the Wild required over 300 employees working for 5 years).

So this race to the bottom, I think, goes opposed to having less crunch. Less unfavorable conditions. Because there’s always an insatiable demand for growth.
The trend has always been there. If/when game prices go up in response to game dev unionization, you'll quickly see who the true believers really are and who are the fauxgressives who just parrot what sounds good without considering the wider implications.

I sort of roll my eyes whenever there's talk about "crunch" on gaming side, because I can't help but feel most of it is very surface level and not rooted in class solidarity but rather in soundbite-centric liberal politics. I'm sure some people genuinely mean it, and maybe a few people like Schreier see a real future there, but by and large gamers are not ready for "the revolution". They can't even talk about their favorite games or heteronormativity without resorting to crass tribalism and reactionary politics, there is no way they're ready for class dialectic.
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
8,014
Also, I mentioned "detachment" earlier and my inspiration for it mostly comes from watching the degeneracy that goes on in gaming subcultures. The relentlessness with which some gamers base their identity and self worth on brands and properties seems to the logical end result of unchecked consumerism, so I feel obligated to check myself.
 

Eylos

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,252
I don’t know if living like hermits is the solution. But the Amish (kinda) do something like that, proving it’s not exactly impossible to adopt such a lifestyle.

(which of course leaves us with the issue of actually dismantling capitalism, which I don’t know if it’s something that can be done by divesting oneself of modern living like the Amish do, since that would require creating specialized communities. )

I ask because, recently I’ve seen a trend toward expansion being favored by gamers. The highest end graphics. The largest games. More content. More engagement.

One notable example, is gamers have recently expressed discontent about Pokémon, and one of the suggestions I see is that they should grow. Hire more people. Put more budget into the games.

But there’s never any thought given to the idea that perhaps this isn’t such a good thing because it’s a model that requires an extreme amount of growth (kinda like how Breath of the Wild required over 300 employees working for 5 years).

So this race to the bottom, I think, goes opposed to having less crunch. Less unfavorable conditions. Because there’s always an insatiable demand for growth.
in socialism the industry will still exists, but the workers would own it, in the game industry game developers would determine how, what, when, and since they dont need to care for profit to exist or any CEO, they would create art without the pressure to create lootbox, microtransactions or have crunch.
Sure you have different ideas of how a post-capitalist society would work, but that's not something to far of what most socialists agree.
 

Pekola

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,614
The In-Between
I've thought of this as well and while it's true it is possible, on some level, to remove yourself from global capitalism, it also deprives you of the ability to change it (for the better).

Which is why I think asceticism is not the way. It is not empowering. It is the freedom that comes from self annihilation, which is a certain kind of spiritual freedom but not one that can save others.
Well how can you convince others to live life a certain way if you’re not willing to lead by example?

You can’t be what you can’t see. And I don’t think people really see how socialist ideas can change their lives for the better.

So my wondering was not with the idea to abandon power (which would be required to dismantle predatory practices). I merely wanted to know if you can retain said power without engaging with capitalism itself.

Or at least, not as strongly as the rest of the world does.

Which isn’t a 1:1 with being Amish. But for example, they use horses and limit he use of electricity (green living). I think that’s a nice idea to adopt.
 

Deffers

Member
Mar 4, 2018
1,192
Well how can you convince others to live life a certain way if you’re not willing to lead by example?

You can’t be what you can’t see. And I don’t think people really see how socialist ideas can change their lives for the better.

So my wondering was not with the idea to abandon power (which would be required to dismantle predatory practices). I merely wanted to know if you can retain said power without engaging with capitalism itself.

Or at least, not as strongly as the rest of the world does.

Which isn’t a 1:1 with being Amish. But for example, they use horses and limit he use of electricity (green living). I think that’s a nice idea to adopt.
Main problem is, under socialism, you still live in an industrial society. Production still gets produced, but not because of coercive power structures. In optimistic formulations people don't even work unless they want to. So the way to live life by example is to live life in a way that doesn't alienate and atomize you, in a way that has no regard for capital or power structures. You can't be what you can't see, it's true, but it's hard to have a visible monastic existence. What're you gonna do, livestream your asceticism?
 

Pekola

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,614
The In-Between
Main problem is, under socialism, you still live in an industrial society. Production still gets produced, but not because of coercive power structures. In optimistic formulations people don't even work unless they want to. So the way to live life by example is to live life in a way that doesn't alienate and atomize you, in a way that has no regard for capital or power structures. You can't be what you can't see, it's true, but it's hard to have a visible monastic existence. What're you gonna do, livestream your asceticism?
Well I was thinking more along the lines of creating comprehensive alternatives to harmful emissions and getting other people in your communities to adopt them as well.

I.E. creating green transportation methods. Horses, bikes, electric public transport.

Idk...I tried? 🙃
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
8,014
You can’t be what you can’t see. And I don’t think people really see how socialist ideas can change their lives for the better.
I can't see it either. My belief in it is based on theoretical principles and because I've run out of options. Autocracy, nope, theocracy, nope, feudalism, nope, liberalism, nope. By process of elimination, socialism is the only one left.

Also the Amish are a, no offense to them, cultural joke. That's the problem with the hermit life, the liberal gestalt turns you into a joke (see also: hippies) and then what good ideas you have are poisoned by the joke.

I do think green living is a good idea but I think a capitalistic culture is not going to acknowledge it until they're literally burning from the sun and dying of thirst. Unfortunately, this is already happening in Central Europe and equatorial India so we might not have to wait that long for people to "wake up".

Oh the other problem is, capitalists still control the land and the resources (MoP) that would sustain a commune, meaning they can kill you with a flick of a switch. The Amish exist on sufferance of the capitalistic government, they are not truly independent of it.

I see no way of escaping this very simple power differential without seizing power from capital.

I think this is why worker-based socialism has a brighter future. It's visible, exceptionally so, whereas monastic living is by and large invisible.
 

Pekola

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,614
The In-Between
I can't see it either. My belief in it is based on theoretical principles and because I've run out of options. Autocracy, nope, theocracy, nope, feudalism, nope, liberalism, nope. By process of elimination, socialism is the only one left.

Also the Amish are a, no offense to them, cultural joke. That's the problem with the hermit life, the liberal gestalt turns you into a joke (see also: hippies) and then what good ideas you have are poisoned by the joke.

I do think green living is a good idea but I think a capitalistic culture is not going to acknowledge it until they're literally burning from the sun and dying of thirst. Unfortunately, this is already happening in Central Europe and equatorial India so we might not have to wait that long for people to "wake up".

Oh the other problem is, capitalists still control the land and the resources (MoP) that would sustain a commune, meaning they can kill you with a flick of a switch. The Amish exist on sufferance of the capitalistic government, they are not truly independent of it.

I see no way of escaping this very simple power differential without seizing power from capital.

I think this is why worker-based socialism has a brighter future. It's visible, exceptionally so, whereas monastic living is by and large invisible.
Okay, so what are you doing to achieve it? What are your plans?

Do you know how to bake bread, at least?
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
8,014
I linked this to our resident Buddhist umop 3pisdn today and I'll bring it up again here.

https://grist.org/article/the-bad-news-about-nudges-they-might-be-backfiring/

Over the course of six experiments in the last couple of years, researchers at Carnegie Mellon tried to find an answer. They asked participants to imagine themselves as “policymakers” (like members of Congress; one experiment was conducted on graduates of a public policy school). When a carbon tax was the only option presented, 70 percent of participants were in favor of it. But when they were also given the option of approving the clean-energy nudge, boom, support for the tax dropped to 55 percent.

Similarly, the researchers found participants liked the idea of expanding withholdings for Social Security in order to increase benefits. But when they were given the option of requiring large companies to sign their workers up for a retirement savings plan by default, support for the Social Security idea fell.

Why’s that? One explanation is that people tend to overestimate the power of nudges. Automatic enrollment in a greener electricity plan generally has “a pretty small effect” on carbon emissions, said David Hagmann, an author of the study and a postdoc at Harvard.
Human minds are tricky, fickle things and getting them to go where you want them to go is very difficult. They want easy outs for problems, and if you give them one, they think they won't have to sacrifice.

IMO, liberal charity works on the same principle. They think they can "save the world" by donating X% of their income but what it really is, is guilt laundering.
 

Old_King_Coal

Member
Nov 1, 2017
149
Okay, so what are you doing to achieve it? What are your plans?

Do you know how to bake bread, at least?
Bear in mind that the division of labour still exists under socialism. I won’t necessarily need to bake my bread myself as that’s what the bakers will be doing. Meanwhile , I’ll be contributing some other form of socially useful labour that the bakers can enjoy in return.

Thats why socialism is a progression rather than a regression. We don’t want to go back to individual subsistence living, we want the collective power of society at work. But that collective power would be from the voluntary free association of society’s members, rather than coerced out of people via the need to earn a wage to buy commodities on a market.
 

emesve

Member
Oct 25, 2017
650
On the topic of "leading by example", I don't see it that way at all. There's no reason why you would need to "live by example" because it's not an example at all. We're talking about state level changes, not individual ones. Whatever you do, you're still within the system. Say if you do live by "example" (which it can never be), and you're lucky enough for it to not be absolutely horrible for you, what are you proving? You're only validating the current system by allowing for the "freedom" for you to do your "socialist thing", it serves no one, and you won't get any useful information of it. Experimenting on a city / regional levels, maybe yeah, but individual or tiny communities doesn't make any sense.

Work within the system that you're in, there's no need to "live" any other way, of course, within your own ethical framework. So in the end it just depends on your ethics regarding an individual's actions inside the current system. I don't have that much of a problem with it, because I'm here and fully willing to progress to better systems, ready to give up whatever I need to so that we can have a better system. People have chosen for this system democratically, so there's not much to do besides convince them.

So convincing / educating people should be the main goal. If you think that "leading by example" works well toward that goal, by all means, I don't think that works though. I think the main problem is with the quality of our education, worldwide really -- social frameworks, critical thinking, empathy, should be the absolute core curriculum of any education. Education really is the only key IMO, a society stands and falls by it. We should focus on getting that in to education so that we can finally steer towards real everlasting change, everything else is a house of cards.
 

Rupetta

Member
Oct 27, 2017
638
Boston/Helsinki
Okay, so what are you doing to achieve it? What are your plans?

Do you know how to bake bread, at least?
If you are truly interested in contractions of socialists here and questions of disengagement it is more useful to focus on politics - so you might ask who here supports/opposes labor-cooperation schemes in the workplace, or how they vision maintain indedependence through political activity while resisting cooptation, specifically regarding participation in dem party politics/elections. The question about patterns of consumption is completely peripheral/ uninteresting for socialists as no one believes you can achieve change though consumption.
 
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Oct 29, 2017
5,043
"Dropping out" makes you an anomaly and alters your relation to capital. The advent of new social relations depend on the class deliberating and acting as a whole, not on any group of individuals "leading by example" or educating people to what they already know.
 
Oct 29, 2017
5,043
I linked this to our resident Buddhist umop 3pisdn today and I'll bring it up again here.

https://grist.org/article/the-bad-news-about-nudges-they-might-be-backfiring/


Human minds are tricky, fickle things and getting them to go where you want them to go is very difficult. They want easy outs for problems, and if you give them one, they think they won't have to sacrifice.

IMO, liberal charity works on the same principle. They think they can "save the world" by donating X% of their income but what it really is, is guilt laundering.

I don't get some of the methodology here.

> Similarly, the researchers found participants liked the idea of expanding withholdings for Social Security in order to increase benefits. But when they were given the option of requiring large companies to sign their workers up for a retirement savings plan by default, support for the Social Security idea fell.


What is the difference between these two (outside of market forces for 401k/IRA/etc)? Both are literally a monolithic unaccountable organization withholding wages and putting them into savings.

> Nudges are supposed to be a complement to beefier policies, not a replacement, but the Carnegie Mellon study suggests they run the risk of being seen as a low-lift substitute.

People's struggles and efforts are relative. Why do you think ERA liberals throw 40% of their wages away on a Tesla but couldn't care less about industries that pollute more in a year than every car driving American does in their life, combined?

Or dipshits that buy Nike shoes.
 
Oct 29, 2017
5,043
Because consumption is so deeply engrained in our society that people, even those who think they're Leftist, willingly participate in and prop up Capitalist relations and inauthentic societal conditions. Deep down, most people know that ideology is shit so they wrap it up in performative nonsense as catharsis. Those that don't know ideology is shit have simply replaced and transferred their traditional religious, bourgeois and/or conservative up bringing onto something not much different other than simply being newer and shinier.
 

umop 3pisdn

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,699
samoyed I'm not really sure if anyone is interested in this, but since I have some intentions of being a religious professional, maybe it's worth presenting a take regardless. Also I suppose the revolution needs its own 'theological' discourses lol...

Regarding whether or not Buddhism is ascetic, Bhante Punnaji makes the claim that asceticism, sensuality, and the middle way, all present distinct responses to our experiences. Essentially, both denial or aversion (asceticism), and delight or clinging (sensuality), inflame the mind, while the middle way is instead the attempt to 'cool' the mind by consciously recognizing and diffusing its perturbations. So really one could say that the middle way is more like an attempt to transcend the axis through self-reflection and autonomy, while asceticism and sensuality are opposing reactive impulses towards our experiences. But this might not speak directly to how we think of asceticism and sensuality in general. I'd claim that asceticism seems to evoke a range of meanings, from the extremes of self-mortification, to the much more tepid kind of withdrawal from the world that we might otherwise call "voluntary simplicity".

So I suppose it depends what we're talking about, because monasticism certainly seems to fall into the latter category (though certainly not the former), however if we're using monasticism as our model, we can also consider it supererogatory where Buddhist discourse is concerned, in that it's just not practical or possible that every individual in the world should become a monastic and seek enlightenment. Instead, one adopts such a lifestyle because it is called for by their individual or personal commitment to self-emancipation in its most radical or complete sense. Most Buddhists probably aren't going to engage with Buddhism as that kind of practical soteriology, and instead a lot of Buddhist discourse is about a more mundane kind of thriving (through things like generosity and harmonious social relations). However, it's the most radical stuff about enlightenment that tends to get emphasized, which I think gives people the impression that Buddhist philosophy says we should all leave our homes and go fervently meditate under a tree, when really that's only the case (and indeed one would only commit to that kind of sacrifice,) if the soteriological problem of Buddhism was the most keenly felt in one's life.

I've written a bit in the past about the relation of Buddhist philosophy and soteriology to the more Hegelian (or perhaps Marxist) conception of human thriving and our causes of suffering. They actually have far more in common than one might realize, and Hegel's own criticisms of Buddhism arguably don't really land, but without getting too into it, the exigence of enlightenment is distinct from creating just and harmonious societies that have the capacity to sustain themselves indefinitely without succumbing to their own internal contradictions. Because such a society is still conditioned or a product of circumstantiality. So while Buddhism would absolutely recognize that as a worthy aim, and perhaps even recognize it as morally necessary, it can never be a permanent state of affairs, which is to say that the world can't really be saved, it can only enter into more favourable circumstances, which isn't salvation in any sort of final or absolute sense (you could think of the paradox of progress). So basically, if you're so hardcore of an 'existentialist' that you're intent to transcend circumstantiality so as to never experience (the fear of) death or deprivation ever again, then the praxis is in part to withdraw from society and superfluous social relations, but this is because the phenomenological observation of the subtlest forms of suffering isn't really a social activity, and pursuing enlightenment perhaps requires the kind of specialization in contemplation that a more thorough social mindedness would arguably prevent.

So yeah it's pretty contextual. I think a lay Buddhist can be a Marxist or engaged in politics, 'worldliness', etc, with no contradiction whatsoever, while a monk or a nun that is essentially a 'meditation professional' cannot. Scholar monks are somewhere inbetween the two (I basically see scholar monks as the likewise academic Adorno Marxian types that say 'Y'all handle the activism, I'll handle the theoretical foundations of the movement'.) And they aren't strictly delineated, because people have different kamma and aptitudes, etc, but I'd say this is generally how these roles are or would be maintained by some kind of division of labour and/or or regard/engagement with a socialist society. There are basically different registers of Buddhist theory and praxis that are relevant in different contexts or practices, but on the whole Buddhism reserves the ability to sublate the moral exigences of socialism via the 'unconditionedness' of nibbana essentially taking you out of worldliness by definition or necessity.
 
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samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
8,014
> Similarly, the researchers found participants liked the idea of expanding withholdings for Social Security in order to increase benefits. But when they were given the option of requiring large companies to sign their workers up for a retirement savings plan by default, support for the Social Security idea fell.

What is the difference between these two (outside of market forces for 401k/IRA/etc)? Both are literally a monolithic unaccountable organization withholding wages and putting them into savings.
I'm not totally clear, let me try to unravel it.

Idea 1: Expanding withholding (Social Security tax on current employers/employees that pays into SS) to expand benefits
Idea 2 (the nudge): Make retirement savings enrollment the "default", which encourages people to save according to nudging theory, since some people are not naturally inclined to seek it out (at least in the US, hence our poor individual savings rate)

People liked Idea 1 on its own, but when presented with Idea 2, they liked Idea 1 less. Idea 1 is a straight up expansion of the welfare state. Idea 2 is meant to prod people into saving more (401k, roth, etc), which would presumably translate to a more comfortable retirement for themselves.
samoyed I'm not really sure if anyone is interested in this, but since I have some intentions of being a religious professional, maybe it's worth presenting a take regardless. Also I suppose the revolution needs its own 'theological' discourses lol...
I read it and feel moderately more enlightened? So that's good I suppose?
 

Deffers

Member
Mar 4, 2018
1,192
It was a neat discourse and I think that Marxism can be enlightened by theological discussions. Besides, I can't be the only one who ever initiates religion talk in this thread.
 

Oheao

The Fallen
Oct 28, 2017
5,872
London, Ontario, Canada
Because consumption is so deeply engrained in our society that people, even those who think they're Leftist, willingly participate in and prop up Capitalist relations and inauthentic societal conditions. Deep down, most people know that ideology is shit so they wrap it up in performative nonsense as catharsis. Those that don't know ideology is shit have simply replaced and transferred their traditional religious, bourgeois and/or conservative up bringing onto something not much different other than simply being newer and shinier.
Well, for me it's that if I didn't consume things like video games I'd be so depressed and would probably be suicidal for not having any enjoyment in my life. And a dead me obviously can't do anything to try to move things forward.
 
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samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
8,014
Well, for me it's that if I didn't consume things like video games I'd be so depressed and would probably be suicidal for not having any enjoymwnt in my life. And a dead me obviously can't do anything to try to move things forward.
This is also my thought process regarding moral self flagellation. Obviously I'm not advocating bacchanal hedonism but I think self destructive nihilism is pointless as well.

Fulfill your needs enough to live a productive life, just don't overdo the self starvation or the self indulgence. The "middle way", in Buddhist terms.

As an aside, it is unfortunate that while I think Buddhism has some important insights to offer for coping with the modern world, it bears a lot of surface resemblances to centrism.
 

Old_King_Coal

Member
Nov 1, 2017
149
Well, for me it's that if I didn't consume things like video games I'd be so depressed and would probably be suicidal for not having any enjoyment in my life. And a dead me obviously can't do anything to try to move things forward.
I believe the idea is not that consumption itself as a leisure activity is a mark of bourgeois thinking, but rather that believing consumption is a path to social change, or that one’s consumption choices can mark someone as more moral is bourgeois thinking.

Consumption here is referring more to the act of buying on the market. By choosing what to buy, you allocate your small part of global capital in a certain direction using the market as your mechanism. But you have a tiny share of capital, compared to big industry corporations (the body of the bourgeois). So ultimately consumption can never be a path to social change as it still relies on the social relations of capitalism (whereby people engage with each other socially through commodities on a market indirectly) which inherently places all the power with the ones with the vast majority of capital.

When we start engaging in social relations directly rather than through commodities, that’s when... something. I’m still new to this so I don’t really know what my conclusion is.
 
Oct 29, 2017
5,043
Well, for me it's that if I didn't consume things like video games I'd be so depressed and would probably be suicidal for not having any enjoyment in my life. And a dead me obviously can't do anything to try to move things forward.

I'd like to take the opportunity to just point out that the discussion was specifically about empty "political" consumption, such as buying a Tesla or Nike shoes.

You know I wouldn't criticize someone just living their life.
 

Eylos

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,252
i was thinking what you guys think we organize a book group thread for marxist books? create a thread for the book, help each other, analysis, discuss, each 1/2 weeks a chapter (if its big) etc.
 

umop 3pisdn

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,699
I read it and feel moderately more enlightened? So that's good I suppose?
It was a neat discourse and I think that Marxism can be enlightened by theological discussions. Besides, I can't be the only one who ever initiates religion talk in this thread.
Thank you. I was thinking it might be an interesting parallel to the question of how much social engagement is required by one's theoretical commitments to Marxist thought. I'm more familiar with Hegel's thought than I am Marx's, but Hegel was incredibly influential in articulating the necessity of a voluntary or participatory social ethic in the realization of the individual and broader social thriving, so I think it's productive to take him as a kind of model.

But I do think there are ways of suspending these considerations, and that while someone joining or forming a semi off-grid anarchist commune wouldn't have much practical value at all in reorganizing our broader societies, it would still have a symbolic value, and perhaps empower a minority of people to live what they perhaps see as a more harmonious lifestyle, if their particular ideological commitments lead them to that conclusion. I mean most people don't think the revolution is happening in their lifetimes, so taking this more as a prompt for individual (rather than societal) fulfillment isn't necessarily external to the program?
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
8,014
I mean most people don't think the revolution is happening in their lifetimes, so taking this more as a prompt for individual (rather than societal) fulfillment isn't necessarily external to the program?
I actually think it will and it will be triggered by climate change but it's not a thing I can make happen today or tomorrow unless I adopt accelerationism and I've rejected accelerationism for being fundamentally inhumane.

I think the heart of this question is the role of praxis in your life, praxis, understood as action towards changing society. Monasticism is personal empowerment but not necessarily societal empowerment.
 

umop 3pisdn

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,699
I actually think it will and it will be triggered by climate change but it's not a thing I can make happen today or tomorrow unless I adopt accelerationism and I've rejected accelerationism for being fundamentally inhumane.
I'm personally undecided on the issue, but descriptively I only see it happening through accelerationism, and normatively I agree that that's fundamentally inhumane, which is a pretty paralyzing situation w/r/t action that can be taken, lol. And maybe that's why I'm a little bit amenable to the futile symbolic commune thing, because if you're essentially morally barred from taking practical action, you can at least still take idealistic and futile symbolic action...

I think the heart of this question is the role of praxis in your life, praxis, understood as action towards changing society. Monasticism is personal empowerment but not necessarily societal empowerment.
While this is true, I think there's a kind of security suggested by being ensconced by society or social consciousness (and by extension self consciousness, since the causality of self and society is bidirectional). If you're enlightened you're essentially empowered to set aside both individual and social considerations, because the fundamental boundaries guarding these spheres have decisively broken down. So while it might be most easily regarded as self-emancipation from our frame of reference, its consequences should be a kind of ethics that would be hitherto regarded as supranormal, or perhaps even impossible, due to our taking of 'self-interest' for granted.
 
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Sibylus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,447
I tend to agree with samoyed that climate change will be the trigger. The outlook is already bad in terms of cost of human and animal life, the environment that feeds us, and my fear is that the profit drive will take us to extinction.
 

umop 3pisdn

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,699
I tend to agree with samoyed that climate change will be the trigger. The outlook is already bad in terms of cost of human and animal life, the environment that feeds us, and my fear is that the profit drive will take us to extinction.
This is where I am. I don't know what exactly it will take for the Overton window to shift, but regarding the nearish future all I can predict is that we'll continue to ping pong between wanton neoconservativism and the mild or illusory course corrections of neoliberalism until our society either runs down the clock, or snaps out of it and manages some kind of herculean last minute course correction.
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
8,014
Taking Plato's allegory of the cave for a moment, when a person leaves the cave and learns about the Sun, they have the options of living under that Sun or returning to the cave to spread knowlege of the Sun. I don't feel there is an objectively right answer there.

I even think returning to the cave and putting yourself back in chains is also a valid answer for some people.
 

umop 3pisdn

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,699
Taking Plato's allegory of the cave for a moment, when a person leaves the cave and learns about the Sun, they have the options of living under that Sun or returning to the cave to spread knowlege of the Sun. I don't feel there is an objectively right answer there.

I even think returning to the cave and putting yourself back in chains is also a valid answer for some people.
I agree. And I think this is why I personally see value in a rebirth doctrine even if I'm not convinced of it in a more metaphysical sense. Given that fortune or circumstances are distributed so chaotically, then given a long enough span of time or enough births, every one of these outcomes becomes 'inevitable', even if the desired or more ideal one isn't happening right now...
 

Pekola

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,614
The In-Between
I wasn’t suggesting to live as hermits >:L

It’s clear to me that there must be both a social and political concerted effort to adopt socialist ideas.

So we’re talking first about towns, where people can own the means of production, greener living, ect. Then states; you start creating the blueprint. First on a small scale...and then THE WORLD! Eventually, you have enough leverage for Gay Space Communism! The final frontier.

I’m half-joking. But if anyone has better ideas on kick-starting our ERA ruled socialist utopia, let’s hear it ;3
 

umop 3pisdn

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,699
I wasn’t suggesting to live as hermits >:L

It’s clear to me that there must be both a social and political concerted effort to adopt socialist ideas.

So we’re talking first about towns, where people can own the means of production, greener living, ect. Then states; you start creating the blueprint. First on a small scale...and then THE WORLD! Eventually, you have enough leverage for Gay Space Communism! The final frontier.

I’m half-joking. But if anyone has better ideas on kick-starting our ERA ruled socialist utopia, let’s hear it ;3
For sure. I've just coincidentally self-designated myself the hermetic apologist! :p

Honestly, I tend to falter when it comes to problems about the practical material organization of society (there's a reason [and primarily an aesthetic one] that I tend to prefer idealists like Hegel over historical materialists like Marx,) but I think there's an argument that a socialist revolution would require a simultaneous global or wide scale conversion to establish itself? But that sort of thing is way beyond my level of education.
 

AshGerhardt

Member
Oct 27, 2017
536
Canada
I want so badly to respond to posts in threads like that but I worry I'm out of my element, I'm a relative baby as far as being a lefty goes only really gaining proper understanding of it like early last year. Mostly my frustration is with people who are adamant that communism must exist with an authoritarian government. When people try to say we don't have to do things that way they just deflect and refuse to engage with what's being said. Seems like a bunch of people who've just decided for themselves that it'll never work and are unwilling to give any consideration whatsoever to further research or discussion.

Also there was talk of like a book club earlier, I'm down for that, my initial exposure to these ideas was through YouTube and since later last year I've been trying to read a lot more. Most of what I'm reading hasn't been the theory though which I really should do.
 

Oheao

The Fallen
Oct 28, 2017
5,872
London, Ontario, Canada
I want so badly to respond to posts in threads like that but I worry I'm out of my element, I'm a relative baby as far as being a lefty goes only really gaining proper understanding of it like early last year. Mostly my frustration is with people who are adamant that communism must exist with an authoritarian government. When people try to say we don't have to do things that way they just deflect and refuse to engage with what's being said. Seems like a bunch of people who've just decided for themselves that it'll never work and are unwilling to give any consideration whatsoever to further research or discussion.

Also there was talk of like a book club earlier, I'm down for that, my initial exposure to these ideas was through YouTube and since later last year I've been trying to read a lot more. Most of what I'm reading hasn't been the theory though which I really should do.
They are mistaking a forced revolution that we are mainly familiar with that is inevitably authoritarian in contrast to a true workers' revolt. I think a book club would be interesting too as I am woefully underead in socialist works (I guess because of my views that socialism needs to be accessible to the working class and that it shouldn't use works as a form of gatekeeping).
 

Eylos

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,252
i thought i learned my lesson to no enter those threads anymore, nothing changes i only get pissed... sigh...
which book you guys are interested?