Socialism |OT| The Dawn of a Red Era

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sphagnum

sphagnum

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,354
what do you think of the book club?
I'm cool with it, but I'm not sure what the best thing to start with would be since we have posters with differing depth of knowledge. My personal bias is towards Origins of the Family since I like history more than Marx's dry economics stuff.

Alternately: read Settlers.
 

Eylos

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,252
my sugestion for the thread, i think its better if someone else posted i'm already in some block lists and some people might be wary/agressive about me after my fights in the last thread, feel free to change anything

Title: Lets read! The Origins of the Family, Private Property and the State by Friedrich Engels [Marxist Book Club]



First Published: October 1884, in Hottingen-Zurich;


Full book for free: https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1884/origin-family/index.htm


Introduction

After Marx’s death, in rumaging through Marx’s manuscripts, Engels came upon Marx’s precis of Ancient Society – a book by progressive US scholar Lewis Henry Morgan and published in London 1877. The precis was written between 1880-81 and contained Marx’s numerous remarks on Morgan as well as passages from other sources.
After reading the precis, Engels set out to write a special treatise – which he saw as fulfilling Marx’s will. Working on the book, he used Marx’s precis, and some of Morgan’s factual material and conclusions. He also made use of many and diverse data gleaned in his own studies of the history of Greece, Rome, Old Ireland, and the Ancient Germans.
It would, of course, become The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State – the first edition of which was published October 1884 in Hottingen-Zurich.
Engels wrote The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State in just two months – beginning toward the end of March 1884 and completing it by the end of May. It focuses on early human history, following the disintegration of the primitive community and the emergence of a class society based on private property. Engels looks into the origin and essence of the state, and concludes it is bound to wither away leaving a classless society.
Engels: “Along with [the classes] the state will inevitably fall. Society, which will reorganise production on the basis of a free and equal association of the producers, will put the whole machinery of state where it will then belong: into the museum of antiquity, by the side of the spinning-wheel and the bronze axe.”
In 1890, having gathered new material on the history of primitive society, Engels set about preparing a new edition of his book. He studied the latest books on the subject – including those of Russian historian Maxim Kovalevsky. (The fourth edition, Stuttgart, 1892, was dedicated to Kovalevsky.) As a result, he introduced a number of changes in his original text and also considerable insertions.
In 1894, Engels’s book appeared in Russian translation. It was the first of Engels’s works published legally in Russia. Lenin would later describe it as “one of the fundamental works of modern socialism.”

The idea is to create a marxist book club, to read a book (or more) for each month or a part of it if its a very big book, like the capital. Don't be shy to ask anything and to post your analysis.

The book for this month of July/2019 is the one above.
 

Pekola

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,614
The In-Between
my sugestion for the thread, i think its better if someone else posted i'm already in some block lists and some people might be wary/agressive about me after my fights in the last thread, feel free to change anything.
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.
You DON’T HAVE to. No, seriously. In fact, it’s probably better if you don’t because you run the risk of getting warned/banned if you get too heated.

And it’s like...this is a board. What you say here literally means nothing, unless you have an intrinsic understanding of how to educate others. That’s not something you do by arguing, specially something as pie-in-sky as socialism is to many.
 

Eylos

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,252
You DON’T HAVE to. No, seriously. In fact, it’s probably better if you don’t because you run the risk of getting warned/banned if you get too heated.

And it’s like...this is a board. What you say here literally means nothing, unless you have an intrinsic understanding of how to educate others. That’s not something you do by arguing, specially something as pie-in-sky as socialism is to many.
yeah i know, kinda forgot that today with the offenses and red scare
 

anthro

Member
Oct 28, 2017
253
my sugestion for the thread, i think its better if someone else posted i'm already in some block lists and some people might be wary/agressive about me after my fights in the last thread, feel free to change anything

Title: Lets read! The Origins of the Family, Private Property and the State by Friedrich Engels [Marxist Book Club]
When do you want to start it? Sooner is probably better. It's a short book but still around 100 pages on Marxists.org. Online book clubs seem to need plenty of time or else people quickly get overwhelmed and disappear.
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
8,014
I've recommended dozens of things to read in this thread and I think samoyed is the only person who ever did so so why bother participating in a new thread?
Started "Socialism Utopian and Scientific" btw. Haven't gotten very far though.

Having seen book clubs come and go on GAF, I would advise against it. Not because I believe it's a bad idea, but because I believe it's unsustainable. People don't have that much patience. A 40 minute YouTube video is pushing it for them. Hours of reading is not going to get very far.

Alternative: Open discussion about this or that theory/concept which is mentioned in a book, together with a summary of the authors' main points, some excerpts, and some recommended readings.
 

Pekola

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,614
The In-Between
Started "Socialism Utopian and Scientific" btw. Haven't gotten very far though.

Having seen book clubs come and go on GAF, I would advise against it. Not because I believe it's a bad idea, but because I believe it's unsustainable. People don't have that much patience. A 40 minute YouTube video is pushing it for them. Hours of reading is not going to get very far.

Alternative: Open discussion about this or that theory/concept which is mentioned in a book, together with a summary of the authors' main points, some excerpts, and some recommended readings.
How about we bring ideas out to the EctEra mainstream?

Like...we decide on a topic, flesh it out into an idea that ERA would be interested in discussing, and post it separately? Or would that just defeat the purpose of this thread?
 

Eylos

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,252
I've recommended dozens of things to read in this thread and I think samoyed is the only person who ever did so so why bother participating in a new thread?
some people like to read together and discuss and to have someone to do questions and share analysis, like an incentive to people, and its never bad to read again

When do you want to start it? Sooner is probably better. It's a short book but still around 100 pages on Marxists.org. Online book clubs seem to need plenty of time or else people quickly get overwhelmed and disappear.
whenever you want


Started "Socialism Utopian and Scientific" btw. Haven't gotten very far though.

Having seen book clubs come and go on GAF, I would advise against it. Not because I believe it's a bad idea, but because I believe it's unsustainable. People don't have that much patience. A 40 minute YouTube video is pushing it for them. Hours of reading is not going to get very far.

Alternative: Open discussion about this or that theory/concept which is mentioned in a book, together with a summary of the authors' main points, some excerpts, and some recommended readings.
i think its better to start with the basic, because i see people that want to start to read but doesnt know how and dont have no one to discuss together
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
8,014
How about we bring ideas out to the EctEra mainstream?

Like...we decide on a topic, flesh it out into an idea that ERA would be interested in discussing, and post it separately? Or would that just defeat the purpose of this thread?

It is a very very frustrating method but it already happens to an extent.

The Discourse in ETC is very bad overall. Half of all posts would be "but vuvuzuela".

I'm not opposed to it but I just want people to know that it can be disheartening.
 

anthro

Member
Oct 28, 2017
253
Started "Socialism Utopian and Scientific" btw. Haven't gotten very far though.

Having seen book clubs come and go on GAF, I would advise against it. Not because I believe it's a bad idea, but because I believe it's unsustainable. People don't have that much patience. A 40 minute YouTube video is pushing it for them. Hours of reading is not going to get very far.

Alternative: Open discussion about this or that theory/concept which is mentioned in a book, together with a summary of the authors' main points, some excerpts, and some recommended readings.
Sounds like a better idea, since read-a-long threads bleed quickly. I think people are entertained by engaging in low barrier to entry arguments and occasionally effort posts, so an open discussion format that is around something a particular book is about could be more useful for both discussing the book and enticing people to enter the discussion on the topic, even if they aren't actually reading the book.
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
8,014
As a self-labeled Marxist that has read more of Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century than Das Kapital, I'm a bit of a failure as a revolutionary so it's actually embarrassing for me to recommend anything. In terms of reading, I'm more of a Liberal Keynesian than I am a Marxist.
 
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Oheao

The Fallen
Oct 28, 2017
5,872
London, Ontario, Canada
This is the Socialism, Utopian and Scientific PDF I'm reading: https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/download/Engels_Socialism_Utopian_and_Scientific.pdf

Marxists.org has a lot of canonical texts you don't need to give money to capitalist pigs for.

There's also the Grundrisse which is on my to-read list: https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1857/grundrisse/
I have read Socialism, Utopian and Scientific, but I have barely read anything else. I've read The Communist Manifesto, and that's it I think?
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
8,014
I have read Socialism, Utopian and Scientific, but I have barely read anything else. I've read The Communist Manifesto, and that's it I think?
House would probably also have you read Gundrisse and Critique of the Gotha Program.


I cannot in good conscience recommend a reading I have not read myself but Manifesto, Socialism Utopian and Scientific, Grundrisse, and Critique pop up time and time again when you hang around lefty circles so they seem to form "the canon".

And of course, Capital.
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
8,014
I'm decently well read but not in socialism, more of a fiction guy. I'm a socialist because I desire universal justice and socialism is the only ideology that seems to be intent on delivering it.
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
8,014
The Hegelian dialectic of corn and bread leads to cornbread.

That's how dialectical materialism works.
 

Deffers

Member
Mar 4, 2018
1,192
That reminds me, if we're talking about the Canon, we should probably actually include the bread book. Maybe some Bakunin on the side-- any thoughts on that? I'm always stanning for Bookchin but maybe (more like definitely) those two should come first.
 

Pekola

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,614
The In-Between
Out of curiosity, what did you think we did?
I don’t know I guess I expected more activism and organizing and less feeling like if you don’t say words like Marxist-Revolutionary Leninist Anarcho-Praxis or w/e then you’re not really engaging in the conversation.

And I realize you don’t really intend it to be this way, but that’s how it reads to me.
 

Oheao

The Fallen
Oct 28, 2017
5,872
London, Ontario, Canada
I don’t know I guess I expected more activism and organizing and less feeling like if you don’t say words like Marxist-Revolutionary Leninist Anarcho-Praxis or w/e then you’re not really engaging in the conversation.

And I realize you don’t really intend it to be this way, but that’s how it reads to me.
I definitely need to engage in activism, I guess I just need to figure out how.
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
8,014
I don’t know I guess I expected more activism and organizing and less feeling like if you don’t say words like Marxist-Revolutionary Leninist Anarcho-Praxis or w/e then you’re not really engaging in the conversation.

And I realize you don’t really intend it to be this way, but that’s how it reads to me.
Yes, you're not wrong. This captures a lot of internet socialists, including us. The activism happens in the real world, not in forums. Antifa, running for office, unionizing, volunteering, protests, etc.
 

anthro

Member
Oct 28, 2017
253
I don’t know I guess I expected more activism and organizing and less feeling like if you don’t say words like Marxist-Revolutionary Leninist Anarcho-Praxis or w/e then you’re not really engaging in the conversation.
Adhering rigorously to Democratic Hegelian Marxism-Bukharinism IS organizing.
 

Deffers

Member
Mar 4, 2018
1,192
I don’t know I guess I expected more activism and organizing and less feeling like if you don’t say words like Marxist-Revolutionary Leninist Anarcho-Praxis or w/e then you’re not really engaging in the conversation.

And I realize you don’t really intend it to be this way, but that’s how it reads to me.
I also wish there was more activism and organizing but it's really difficult. First off, we have to activism and organize within the context of this forum (in the sense that we're not a discrete activist community in here, we're all pretty spread out and broke), meaning that most of our efforts by nature have to be limited to this forum. You know, this forum where we've only barely occasionally dipped the needle away from "all communists want Stalin now." WITHIN our own community, we also have a lot of learning to do and a lot of discussion to have. There's been a TON of posts on this thread just about what is and isn't communism or socialism in the first place. The trend of an increased mainstreaming of democratic socialism has been good for us, but it's also a lot of work and it's important to bridge a gap between new people/people who got into it from the likes of Bernie and AOC versus, yunno, those with more radical aspirations.

Secondly, WITHIN the context of this forum, there's not a consensus on what we should do. Not only because we frequently feel we don't have a sufficient grasp of the theory to speak on it, not only because we have different ideas of WHICH theory to promote in the first place, but also because it's difficult to come up with a concrete design of what *is* the most effective strategy. When I jumped in this thread, my initial idea was to make a thread describing various socialist tendencies with the addition of a form or quiz that would test people on how well they know socialism. That spun out pretty fast and went nowhere, in part because there wasn't really a guarantee I was firm enough on the theory to properly represent what was going down (and in part because it turns out that making a quiz robust enough is really hard and takes effort).

Eliminating those kinds of ways to move forward, the most we really CAN seem to do, for now, is try to get ourselves educated as best we can. Which, given the dictates of real life (and whatever activism we're already committed to on the local level, if it should exist) we don't have a lot of room to expand Era's socialist project right now.
 

umop 3pisdn

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,699
I'm not cut out to be an activist, my vocation is spewing air out of my mouth hole tbh. Though yeah the socialist political economy seems to need less of that and more of the other thing, but I'm basically just an aesthete that prefers abstraction or theory as the aesthetic object, so not very much can be expected of my moral character or specific intellectual strengths lol. Philosophers are kinda do nothing dilettantes that claim they solve problems merely by identifying and characterizing them.
 
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samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
8,014
That reminds me, if we're talking about the Canon, we should probably actually include the bread book. Maybe some Bakunin on the side-- any thoughts on that? I'm always stanning for Bookchin but maybe (more like definitely) those two should come first.
I'm supportive of both, I'm not an authority here. There's always value to be found outside of Marx and Engels.
 

Ogodei

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
7,045
North Jackson High
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.
It'd be an easier sell if their motive was still profit, just if they were not alienated from that. You as a worker would have *more* motive to work hard because collective success would directly translate to your financial success, and the workers would have a stake in the company's failures too (whereas now there's little concern for the fate of your comrades because the capitalist machine decouples the hiring/layoff process from the skill and productivity of the workers). It would build an esprit de corps which would breed greater wealth and greater innovation.
 

Pekola

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,614
The In-Between
Activism is like placing a small candle on the dark road. It can never be the sun, but it helps. Which isn’t to say all of us can be activists. But there’s always something to do.

Anyways, I’m ready to read if you all are. I guess we should start with concepts instead of books themselves, right? I’m sure there’s a lot to cover.