Socialism |OT| The Dawn of a Red Era

Kosmokrator

Member
Jan 2, 2018
262
All of that to say “Leninism doesn’t have to become Stalinism if you do it right. And history can vouch for it.”

I’m so done with y’all sometimes lol.
Ok? Sometimes in political discussions you make arguments not just assertions backed by goodwill emanating from your rear end. What’s your stake in this other than appearing like you’re somehow above everything?
 

Kosmokrator

Member
Jan 2, 2018
262
Like I said, I didn’t mean any malicious intent. It was in a joking manner.

I wasn’t mocking the content of your post.
I apologize for overreacting then, I chalk up to the fact that I was labeled a tankie before in this very thread for arguing a similar thing. I really hope I didn’t come across the wrong way, then again I’m a Trot so everyone thinks we’re assholes anyway.
 

Pekola

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,717
The Gay Rat Association
I apologize for overreacting then, I chalk up to the fact that I was labeled a tankie before in this very thread for arguing a similar thing. I really hope I didn’t come across the wrong way, then again I’m a Trot so everyone thinks we’re assholes anyway.
It’s okay! I’m actually conflict averse 99% of the time. I was just trying to be funny (and failing).

But now I want to know what a Trot is. Google isn’t showing me anything.
 

Deffers

Member
Mar 4, 2018
1,262
Trot==Trotskyist. I forget the specifics but I think it's a vanguardist tendency, and I *do* remember that it definitely broke from Marxist-Leninism because Trotsky broke off from Stalin. Or Stalin tried to break a hatchet off in Trotsky's skull. One of the two.
 

Kosmokrator

Member
Jan 2, 2018
262
Trot is a (usually) derogatory term for a Trotskyist, and Trotskyism is the political theory/practice associated with them. Historically it comes out of the break with Stalinism in the Communist International, and attempted to regroup itself outside of it. The break happens in 1927 and the ice picking happens in 1940, so definitely before.

None of that probably explains what Trotskyism actually is, what makes it a trend per se but I’ll come back in a longer post.
 
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sphagnum

sphagnum

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,670
Stalin pretty much opposed a bunch of stuff that Trotsky wanted (militarization of the working class, nationalization of agriculture) and then shanked him and stole the ideas for himself once he cemented his power. The difference is that Trotsky was more committed to internal party democracy, although if you want to be cynical, he had to be since he was the underdog.

Though the real big difference between them was permanent revolution vs. Socialism-In-One-Country.
 

Kosmokrator

Member
Jan 2, 2018
262
Stalin pretty much opposed a bunch of stuff that Trotsky wanted (militarization of the working class, nationalization of agriculture) and then shanked him and stole the ideas for himself once he cemented his power. The difference is that Trotsky was more committed to internal party democracy, although if you want to be cynical, he had to be since he was the underdog.

Though the real big difference between them was permanent revolution vs. Socialism-In-One-Country.
I’m the only Trot here huh?
 

Oheao

The Fallen
Oct 28, 2017
6,453
London, Ontario, Canada
I don't really know which sect I'd fall into because lately I've not really considered myself a true socialist since I don't partake in any activism. And what matters most is doing something. The working class man/woman with no reading background at all yet goes on strike is infinitely more socialist/true to the cause than a person who has read a thousand works yet has never got off their chair.
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
9,009
Most revolutionary leadership have a surplus of self confidence, it comes with the territory. People who don't have that just keep their heads down and stay out of trouble, aka, moderates.
 
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Pekola

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,717
The Gay Rat Association
Most revolutionaries have a surplus of self confidence, it comes with the territory. People who don't have that just keep their heads down and stay out of trouble, aka, moderates.
I don’t know...Plenty of women plenty of women suffer from impostor syndrome and will often undersell themselves.

I don’t think that makes them moderates. People wage their own quiet battles everyday. Which is why I think intersectionality is important.

In order for “revolutionaries” to emerge, they must realize their own worth in a world that has deemed them to be wanting.
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
9,009
I don’t know...Plenty of women plenty of women suffer from impostor syndrome and will often undersell themselves.

I don’t think that makes them moderates. People wage their own quiet battles everyday. Which is why I think intersectionality is important.
Sorry, I had in mind the difference between rank and file revolutionaries and a leader like Trotsky but I failed to express it. When you get to that level you're probably high off your own farts. It takes a lot of self confidence to lead a socio-political revolution. Rank-and-file tend to have more ordinary concerns like what you said. This is why, while there's a lot of socdems/demsocs, there's only one AOC, so far.

That's not to diminish the importance of rank-and-file. Popular revolutions are built off the backs of the base, not the singlehanded accomplishments of visionary leadership. But there is a distinct personality difference between people who stand on the podium and people who sit in the audience.
 

Rupetta

Member
Oct 27, 2017
746
Boston/Helsinki
Fr. New YouGov poll: https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/n0eqovafro/econTabReport.pdf#page199

”47. Socialism - Favorability
Do you have a favorable or an unfavorable opinion of socialism?”

Highest favorability is in the highest income bracket (+100k) where 37% hold a very/somewhat favorable opinion...

Race cat breakdown very/somewhat favorable : very /somewhat unfavorable %

white: 29:51
black: 36:16
hispanic: 26:36

edit: usual disclaimer:

”When you think of socialism, what comes closest to your idea of what socialism means?”

A large welfare state and significant government regulation, funded by high progressive taxation: 36%

An economic system where most property is owned collectively and not by individuals: 20%

A centrally planned economy with an oppressive one party state: 12%

Not sure: 33%

The ”Are these examples of socialism?” statements are also a hoot
 
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Pekola

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,717
The Gay Rat Association
I must admit I’ve read nothing of the family. I’ve gotten stuck in a reading rut. I was reading something else and told myself “I’ll finish this and then get on to the family! Yay!”

I have finished neither and stopped reading altogether. Please throw corn in my direction as punishment.
 
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samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
9,009
There was another one of those polls sometime back, I can't find it right now, and it asked "what is socialism?". All the answers were "wrong", I distinctly remember sphagnum pointing this out, but one of them was "socialism is social media".
 

Deffers

Member
Mar 4, 2018
1,262
As some of you may have caught, I'm thinking of starting a thread clarifying the definitions of various socialist terms, in the vain hopes that maybe I won't feel like I'm about to shit blood every time someone creates a thread about socialism.

Personally, I'd have a bit about how socialism ISN'T state ownership of companies, isn't a welfare state, isn't a centrally planned economy. I'd honestly go into how socialist theory predates Marx, not just because it's interesting but because people don't really... get the whole deal. I'd honestly even sneak in a bit about the definition of anarchism and maybe Bakunin's split with Marx during the time of the First International, simply because it's germane to understanding socialism and anarchism alike.

I'd have a bit about the difference between private property and personal property (for God's sake we don't want to take your toothbrush).

I'd have a bit about dual power in the Proudhon sense versus the Lenin sense, especially if that's going to be a thing the Black Socialists of America want to promote.

I'd have a bit about how a stateless society is not the same as a society without government, and maybe expound on the goal of a stateless society in general.

Can anybody else think of any specific things they'd want to see covered in a thread specifically targeting confusion about socialist terms, or have anything they'd want to contribute to the above points?
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
9,009
I think it'd be more productive (as far as an undertaking like this can be productive) if you simply laid out some authoritarian "socialist" states and confined them to their own label (Stalinism, Maoism, Chavismo, Juche, etc). I can already see the bickering from a hard line "what is and isn't socialism" thread, it involves a lot of no-true-scotsman from detractors and supporters. If you look at that capitalism thread/poll by Oheao you can see that the vast majority of people can't even "properly" define capitalism.

Marx, Bakunin, Lenin, Trotsky, DSA, BSA, your own, Bernie's, Ocasio-Cortez's, demsoc vs socdem, etc.
 
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sphagnum

sphagnum

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,670
Here's Engels talking about how state ownership is not the same as socialism, from Socialism: Utopian and Scientific.

In any case, with trusts or without, the official representative of capitalist society — the state — will ultimately have to undertake the direction of production. [4] This necessity for conversion into State property is felt first in the great institutions for intercourse and communication — the post office, the telegraphs, the railways.

If the crises demonstrate the incapacity of the bourgeoisie for managing any longer modern productive forces, the transformation of the great establishments for production and distribution into joint-stock companies, trusts, and State property, show how unnecessary the bourgeoisie are for that purpose. All the social functions of the capitalist has no further social function than that of pocketing dividends, tearing off coupons, and gambling on the Stock Exchange, where the different capitalists despoil one another of their capital. At first, the capitalistic mode of production forces out the workers. Now, it forces out the capitalists, and reduces them, just as it reduced the workers, to the ranks of the surplus-population, although not immediately into those of the industrial reserve army.

But, the transformation — either into joint-stock companies and trusts, or into State-ownership — does not do away with the capitalistic nature of the productive forces. In the joint-stock companies and trusts, this is obvious. And the modern State, again, is only the organization that bourgeois society takes on in order to support the external conditions of the capitalist mode of production against the encroachments as well of the workers as of individual capitalists. The modern state, no matter what its form, is essentially a capitalist machine — the state of the capitalists, the ideal personification of the total national capital. The more it proceeds to the taking over of productive forces, the more does it actually become the national capitalist, the more citizens does it exploit. The workers remain wage-workers — proletarians. The capitalist relation is not done away with. It is, rather, brought to a head. But, brought to a head, it topples over. State-ownership of the productive forces is not the solution of the conflict, but concealed within it are the technical conditions that form the elements of that solution.

Don't forget to bring up Posadism and Maoism-Third Worldism!
 

Deffers

Member
Mar 4, 2018
1,262
J. Posadas was probably unironically perceived as daddy by his international.

I don't even like Engels.
 

Deffers

Member
Mar 4, 2018
1,262
I just googled him...idk. Like, dude straight up had the whole mad scientist look about him lol.

If you’re gonna do a write-up about socialism, please don’t scare people. If a child can’t understand it, then we’re dooooomed 😵
Posadism is unironically meme socialism, you don't have to worry too much. It's an in-joke because Posadas was BUGFUCK. Besides, I have some personal life stuff going on so I'm going to have to take it slow. I'll be sure to post updates as I work through it and get the opinions of people who know this stuff better than I do.

In the meantime, please enjoy this emblem created by the artist behind Night In the Woods for the DSA Posadist Caucus, a very serious organization that definitely exists. I do appreciate just how much of Posadism they managed to get into one image.

 

Pekola

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,717
The Gay Rat Association
Posadism is unironically meme socialism, you don't have to worry too much. It's an in-joke because Posadas was BUGFUCK. Besides, I have some personal life stuff going on so I'm going to have to take it slow. I'll be sure to post updates as I work through it and get the opinions of people who know this stuff better than I do.

In the meantime, please enjoy this emblem created by the artist behind Night In the Woods for the DSA Posadist Caucus, a very serious organization that definitely exists. I do appreciate just how much of Posadism they managed to get into one image.

Omg the UFO and the Dolphin...I’m gonna cry 😂

I can’t claim to know what people back in 60’s felt like, but I’m thinking people saw Posadas as a bit of an oddball?

I mean even today, someone saying “so yeah, after the nuclear war we’ll have communism and we should get the aliens on our side when they make contact” would be looked at funny.
 

Deffers

Member
Mar 4, 2018
1,262
Omg the UFO and the Dolphin...I’m gonna cry 😂

I can’t claim to know what people back in 60’s felt like, but I’m thinking people saw Posadas as a bit of an oddball?

I mean even today, someone saying “so yeah, after the nuclear war we’ll have communism and we should get the aliens on our side when they make contact” would be looked at funny.
Pretty much! Communists in the 60's, Trotskyists especially, were pretty maligned as you might imagine, and they were like "You're, uh... not... helping." The Sixties was a bit more open to that kind of stuff, but only so much. Didn't help Posadas pretty much ran a cult. Most sane people thought nuclear war was an absolute catastrophe, even back then.
 

Rupetta

Member
Oct 27, 2017
746
Boston/Helsinki
Pretty much! Communists in the 60's, Trotskyists especially, were pretty maligned as you might imagine, and they were like "You're, uh... not... helping." The Sixties was a bit more open to that kind of stuff, but only so much. Didn't help Posadas pretty much ran a cult. Most sane people thought nuclear war was an absolute catastrophe, even back then.
In marxist terms, “sect” is more useful than the term “cult” considering Marx had a lot to say about the former and you can analyze posadism through that also
 

Scottt

Member
Oct 25, 2017
955
If you make the thread, it will probably be important to head off the replies saying that Soviet, etc., "socialism" demonstrate how bad socialism is.
 

DrSlek

Member
Oct 29, 2017
3,743
I wonder how heavily they'll lean into the class war aspect.

Edit: Actually I've never looked at Snowpiercer through a Marxist lense....but.....holy shit!

 
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lmcfigs

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
6,871
I wonder how heavily they'll lean into the class war aspect.

Edit: Actually I've never looked at Snowpiercer through a Marxist lense....but.....holy shit!

This is a pretty insane scene for a bunch of reasons. But one thing that sticks out in particular is that Tilda Swinton looks so much like Ayn Rand here.
 

Sibylus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,587
Finally finished Origin of the Family! Enjoyed it quite a bit, are we doing a thread or more freewheeling discussion here?
 

Deffers

Member
Mar 4, 2018
1,262
Hey guys. I'm still sitting through some personal stuff, but I've managed to do writeups on some socialist tendencies and I've done a bunch of research. I've been going through chronological order, so I decided to describe three major pre-Marxist leftist tendencies that had major influence: Fourierism, Blanquism, and Mutualism. Here are those:

Before Marx—The Utopian Years

It may surprise many of you to know that socialism and communism were not invented by Marx. And it may surprise you to know that anarchism isn’t just an absolute libertine free-for-all. So let’s discuss some notable historical tendencies prior to Marx and their consequent impact on the movement. We’re going to start in the 18th century, since applying the label of “socialist” to historical movements of the past is a waste of time.

Fourierism

This is an odd little branch of socialism that is where I’m going to start, because it’s typical of the Utopian line and had major influence by way of its publications. An invention of Charles Fourier, this socialism was deeply mystical. Based at least in part on highly esoteric readings of the Bible, Fourierism promoted the ideals of communal living and letting people pursue their own desires as part of stages of societal development. Fourier thought he’d discovered a fundamental type of social attraction, and that society would naturally begin to develop into societies of free association in forms like cooperatives where people would decide what to do through the nature of free association. Fourier was not remotely what we’d consider a scientific or atheistic socialist. Dude believed in God and Eden straight up—and that’s not remotely what I’d title the unusual aspects of his belief systems. He thought people would begin to grow tails as his socialist system was implemented, and that eventually people would start living to be a hundred and forty-four years old and creatures called anti-lions would begin to exist to help humans. Dude was wilding. One of my favorite parts about Fourierism is its connection to the occult. You see, Eliphas Levi is a major figure in European occultism, and his earliest work was first published in Fourierist journals before the French Revolution. After speech restrictions leveled off after Napoleon, Levi went back to putting Fourierist and Socialist ideas in his occult publications. Aleister Crowley claimed to be a reincarnation of Eliphas Levi and his protégé who detonated himself with Mercury Fulminate, Jack Parsons, started off as a communist before HUAC got to him. So that’s a neat thing, this odd intertwining of the occult and socialism.

Blanquism

Blanquism is an incredibly important, yet little-discussed tendency within socialist thought. Blanquists were outright revolutionaries. Unlike the gentler Fourierists, they were out for blood. Blanquists were of the opinion that the people could be led to revolution by a small group that would take initial actions—the first signs of vanguardism. Louis Auguste Blanqui, the creator, basically looked at society, decided it needed to go, and said “Give me twenty good men.” Blanqui’s plan was simple: a highly regimented, authoritarian organization would through utmost secrecy establish a coup in the government and use the state apparatus to introduce socialist ideas. Blanqui didn’t really give a damn about what socialism looked like. He needed to overthrow the bourgeois and that’s all he cared about. As you might imagine, this is kind of sparse ideological ground.
So I said that Blanqui was important: why is that? Well, he became a touchstone for later Socialists. Marx and Engels considered Blanqui’s socialist thought carefully when writing about communism, and “Blanquist” has been a consistent accusation levied against communist movements to this day. The focus on doing your own thing with a vanguard is not something that socialists typically see as good, because modern socialists and anarchists pin their hopes on the labor movement. And given the emphasis on a revolutionary vanguard by so many socialist movements, it’s unsurprising that it becomes a touchstone for conversation.

Proudhon’s Mutualism

Pierre Joseph Proudhon. The first person to call themselves an anarchist. Some would call him father of the movement. I appreciate him for his writings, though, being real, dude was turbo anti-semitic and racist. So keep that in mind. It’s an unfortunate tendency in early anarchist thinkers. Contrary to the common idea, anarchy has seldom really been about having absolutely no hierarchy in society. Proudhon coined the famous phrase “Property is Theft.” However, Proudhon also coined the less famous phrase “Property is Freedom.” Proudhon insisted that property produced by labor was essential to liberty—but property acquired through coercion was illegitimate and begot oppression. Since the state is predicated on holding the monopoly of violence, the state represents an illegitimate influence. Instead, Proudhon advocated mutualism—people would establish systems similar to credit unions to fund each others’ endeavors and a free market would exist, just one beyond capitalism. Property would be defined along lines of active use. This produces a classification of legitimate and illegitimate forms of income. If your income comes from your own labor, you’re good. Income produced by rent or investments, though? No good.
So this is hugely important. The nature of property in Left thought is tremendously crucial, even for Marx, and here Proudhon’s work is relevant. There’s a huge distinction between private property and personal property, because they aren’t the same thing. If you “own” a factory, you probably don’t own it in the eyes of Socialists and Anarchists—because you aren’t the one typically working that factory. The workers who work that factory own it. But, say, your toothbrush, or the house you live in? That’s your property. The car you drive is your property.
Proudhon is a major advocate for worker co-operatives, and also forwarded the unfortunately-titled concept of Dual Power. It’s unfortunately titled since there are two concepts called dual power in Socialist thought, and the later one is more commonly known than this earlier concept. So, in Proudhon’s conception, dual power is a kind of praxis where people generate structures, economies, and resources that are parallel to the markets overseen by capitalism and the state. This has in time produced the praxis of agorism, the idea of using black or grey markets as a form of direct action. It’s an uncommon stance, but the Black Socialists of America have produced a less radical praxis in the form of their advocacy for generating dual power through worker co-operatives. It remains to be seen how effective this ends up being.
Proudhon is a huge deal for anarchists. Of the earliest Leftist thinkers, he is the first to outright challenge the legitimacy of the state. While later anarchists would typically question the necessity of market systems, mutualists are widely welcomed and respected among anarchists today despite their free market tendencies.
Any thoughts?
 

DrSlek

Member
Oct 29, 2017
3,743
Hey guys. I'm still sitting through some personal stuff, but I've managed to do writeups on some socialist tendencies and I've done a bunch of research. I've been going through chronological order, so I decided to describe three major pre-Marxist leftist tendencies that had major influence: Fourierism, Blanquism, and Mutualism. Here are those:



Any thoughts?
Seems pretty good to me so far