• It's the most wonderful time of the year! Make your list and check it twice. The ResetEra Games of the Year 2019 Voting Thread is now live. Voting will be open for the next 5 days, 1 hour, 45 minutes, 8 seconds, and will close on Jan 26, 2020 at 9:00 AM.

Socialism |OT| The Dawn of a Red Era

What tendency/ideology do you best align with?

  • Anarchism

    Votes: 43 15.0%
  • Marxism

    Votes: 24 8.4%
  • Marxism-Leninism

    Votes: 12 4.2%
  • Left Communism

    Votes: 7 2.4%
  • Democratic Socialism

    Votes: 109 38.1%
  • Social Democracy

    Votes: 75 26.2%
  • Other

    Votes: 16 5.6%

  • Total voters
    286

Kilrogg

Resettlement Advisor
Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,953
I don't use Discord much these days, but screw it, can anyone send me an invite?

It's exhausting being a woman and a leftist on Era, ya'll. And lonely.
Though I'll admit I'll have to reread your thread, as parts of it weren't very clear to me, I definitely agreed with the gist of it. Also, ERA would unquestionably be lesser from losing you. Your takes are always informed and valuable. You're good people.
 

Mekanos

Member
Oct 17, 2018
15,451
Considering how interdependent all of the nations are now, I feel like we'd need to unite the world around a communist ideology to achieve true communism. The path to that would have to start with a true alliance of nations. At least the big ones. This could feasibly happen as climate apocalypse looms closer and we're forced to cooperate as a species.

From there, we'd likely need to make systemic changes to the way resources are handled globally as well as seriously limit the use of oil and other fossil fuels. Just limiting oil use alone would cause chaos if our economic system wasn't completely reformed. That is to say, I think there are incentives to destroying capitalism for the nations of the world due to climate apocalypse.

Goddamnit Mekanos stop making me think abstractly.
The issue is always going to be about decentralizing power. As long as you have a small group of people controlling everything, the system will reward their greed. I don't see how the state can function in the longterm if we are going to decentralize power. Every industry and institution would have to be run democratically.

Climate apocalypse might change things, I suppose. All that money won't be worth much in that situation, which means the rich might start hoarding. Stopping that might be harder.
 

Poodlestrike

It's salt.
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
6,111
The issue is always going to be about decentralizing power. As long as you have a small group of people controlling everything, the system will reward their greed. I don't see how the state can function in the longterm if we are going to decentralize power. Every industry and institution would have to be run democratically.

Climate apocalypse might change things, I suppose. All that money won't be worth much in that situation, which means the rich might start hoarding. Stopping that might be harder.
Well, it's like you say - decentralizing power means introducing more democracy, no? Worker ownership of firms would be a good place to start. No need for full collective ownership to the only goal. I'd be leery of conceptually linking it to the climate crisis, tho. People tend to react to emergencies by consolidating power behind strongmen, not distributing it. Makes for simpler (not better, mind, but simpler) decision making, which is reassuring when everything's on fire. Literally, this time.

Honestly, these last few years - Trump winning, the 2018 elections, and on a personal note, graduating and entering the workforce - have had me examining my own politics a lot more closely. Stuff like power dynamics, intersectional identities, and incentive structures was always important, but the exact way that they influence stuff even outside of the strictly political sphere wasn't always obvious to me. I get now why some people tend to frame progress as requiring a "revolution," changing things is a big lift, and it can seem easier to try and do it all at once rather than fight the remnants piecemeal. But at the same time... I can't get past the prior examples of history. When you have a revolution, a true disposal of the old system, the revolutionaries very rarely get to replace it with exactly what they set out to. The French get Napoleon, the Russians got Stalin. Not exactly ideal outcomes.
 

Scottt

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,248
Thinking more about the concept of technology now that I've read the articles sphagnum shared. When I first asked, I had a kind of preamble in mind that I decided not to write out because I didn't want to restrict the question. But the articles actually interact with my beginning thoughts in some direct ways, especially because they share a focus on the 1960s and 70s and on the Grundrisse.

The question I had came after reading George Grant's Technology and Empire. Grant was a conservative Canadian who thought that the growing influence of liberalism from the United States would lead to the end of the Canadian nation. For him, the founding liberalism of the United States defined it as a technological empire whose spread would inevitably lead to the dissolution of nations and the establishment of a universal and homogenous state (a bad thing for him). He arguest that liberalism, which seeks freedom and excellence for all individuals, becomes a technological society by harnessing technology for that end, but Grant (emulating a couple other thinkers from the 1960s) argued that 1) by seeking to direct technology towards individual excellence, liberal society instead becomes subject to technology and 2) once all individual wants are met, everyone becomes the same, and so individual and national differences become useless.

Grant's book is tied to the contexts of the late-1960s and its advancement of communications technology, Vietnam, and Canadian political/economic shifts. It's really interesting to read how the Soviets sought out a very different use of technology during the same time period. Grant doesn't much talk about technology and labor, though--his argument was just that the Canadian foundation of conservatism was becoming overwhelmed by American liberalism. But the articles do point towards the reason I'd been thinking about it in the first place: Grant's depiction of technological advancement is that it serves the ends of liberalism, while the Grundrisse (and its explication in the blog article) suggests that technological advancement would lead to the collapse of capitalism. Common between them is that technology is flexible, but the utilization of that flexibility is contradicted.
 

Snowy

Member
Nov 11, 2017
1,125
Honestly, reading that Bernie/Mississippi thread brings the more black-pilled parts of me to the fore. Large swaths of the Dem intelligentsia have completely written off the idea that anything can be done to curb the appeal of racism for white Americans, and the species continues to confit itself in its own excess. It’s hard for me to escape the conclusion that we may only fix ourselves after we’ve wrecked the planet as a place we’d want to collectively own and share in the first place.
 

warp

Banned
Jan 11, 2020
12
could i get a discord invite too? on an unrelated note, i find it funny how chuds think of resetera as a scary leftist boogeyman site when most people here are just standard neolibs at best.
 

Mekanos

Member
Oct 17, 2018
15,451
Well, it's like you say - decentralizing power means introducing more democracy, no? Worker ownership of firms would be a good place to start. No need for full collective ownership to the only goal. I'd be leery of conceptually linking it to the climate crisis, tho. People tend to react to emergencies by consolidating power behind strongmen, not distributing it. Makes for simpler (not better, mind, but simpler) decision making, which is reassuring when everything's on fire. Literally, this time.

Honestly, these last few years - Trump winning, the 2018 elections, and on a personal note, graduating and entering the workforce - have had me examining my own politics a lot more closely. Stuff like power dynamics, intersectional identities, and incentive structures was always important, but the exact way that they influence stuff even outside of the strictly political sphere wasn't always obvious to me. I get now why some people tend to frame progress as requiring a "revolution," changing things is a big lift, and it can seem easier to try and do it all at once rather than fight the remnants piecemeal. But at the same time... I can't get past the prior examples of history. When you have a revolution, a true disposal of the old system, the revolutionaries very rarely get to replace it with exactly what they set out to. The French get Napoleon, the Russians got Stalin. Not exactly ideal outcomes.
Perhaps it's fatalistic, but I've come to terms with the inevitability of the climate crisis. It's coming. We should think of it as a chance to organize and help each other. It's going to get worse before it gets better.

I've also accepted I will probably see uprisings in my lifetime, a couple of decades even. The current standard of neoliberal society with America as the world superpower is in its twilight years.
 

Televator

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
6,030
Just a little note about something I thought about while learning more about socialism.

From my experience, people‘s barriers in thinking about socialism as just an economic model needs to come down en masse. It really is more a state of mind. Wanting power/capital to be more justly distributed extends to more than just money and is an ideology that begins to color the world around you.

It probably sounds a bit abstract, idk, but money isn’t the only currency in the world. Currency takes many forms.
 

Sibylus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,399
- If civilization is preserved against the onslaught of AGW, I see it being dominated by either socialism or eco-fascism, or a multi-polar world seized in total war between the two. Liberalism is already failing, and the shrinking center cannot hope to sustain it as the crisis deepens can calls for more drastic action.
- Internationalism is indeed the only sensible way. The more we can be divided and compartmentalized, the weaker the eventual revolutionary wave. Further, the nation states will conspire together to put them down.

And the rest of my twopence will come later lol.

I don't use Discord much these days, but screw it, can anyone send me an invite?

Though I'll admit I'll have to reread your thread, as parts of it weren't very clear to me, I definitely agreed with the gist of it. Also, ERA would unquestionably be lesser from losing you. Your takes are always informed and valuable. You're good people.
I see you got set up, good.

And thank you, it really does mean a lot to hear folks say so. I've certainly had to weigh how much Era actually wants to hear voices like mine, how much it values them, and how much I should bullhead through regardless of how much (or how little) approval Era's founders and tenders give to leftist voices.
 

Sibylus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,399
Well, it's like you say - decentralizing power means introducing more democracy, no? Worker ownership of firms would be a good place to start. No need for full collective ownership to the only goal. I'd be leery of conceptually linking it to the climate crisis, tho. People tend to react to emergencies by consolidating power behind strongmen, not distributing it. Makes for simpler (not better, mind, but simpler) decision making, which is reassuring when everything's on fire. Literally, this time.

Honestly, these last few years - Trump winning, the 2018 elections, and on a personal note, graduating and entering the workforce - have had me examining my own politics a lot more closely. Stuff like power dynamics, intersectional identities, and incentive structures was always important, but the exact way that they influence stuff even outside of the strictly political sphere wasn't always obvious to me. I get now why some people tend to frame progress as requiring a "revolution," changing things is a big lift, and it can seem easier to try and do it all at once rather than fight the remnants piecemeal. But at the same time... I can't get past the prior examples of history. When you have a revolution, a true disposal of the old system, the revolutionaries very rarely get to replace it with exactly what they set out to. The French get Napoleon, the Russians got Stalin. Not exactly ideal outcomes.
More democracy is indeed the answer, and worker ownership of firms is a good start. But we should by no means stop there. Like universal healthcare, collective ownership of the means of production confers fantastic benefits that are transformative to the entire system and the people who live in it. Gone, the alienation we experience with our labor when each of us can live without the performance of busywork or filler jobs, when labor is not beholden to job and unemployment numbers. Make no mistake, it's a start, because we have to go further to protect workers from destitution or entrapment by predatory firms if their firm under-performs and can no longer provide for them. It could prove to be an important step, but it can't be the final one.

And while I agree in the main that revolutions can be messy, tragic things... the captains and managers of capitalism have given people no choice. The people can be conscientous, kind, and patient, but their backs are against the wall and their "betters" have no intention of allowing capital's replacement (legislatively or otherwise).
 

Poodlestrike

It's salt.
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
6,111
Perhaps it's fatalistic, but I've come to terms with the inevitability of the climate crisis. It's coming. We should think of it as a chance to organize and help each other. It's going to get worse before it gets better.

I've also accepted I will probably see uprisings in my lifetime, a couple of decades even. The current standard of neoliberal society with America as the world superpower is in its twilight years.
See, I'm kind of a climate optimist, in a way. It's certainly going to get worse before it's going to get better, but we just got reports saying that we're on track for less warming than initially forecasted. As technology improves and we use less fuel and capture more carbon, I'm hopeful that we'll be able to get things under control before the point of no return.
Just a little note about something I thought about while learning more about socialism.

From my experience, people‘s barriers in thinking about socialism as just an economic model needs to come down en masse. It really is more a state of mind. Wanting power/capital to be more justly distributed extends to more than just money and is an ideology that begins to color the world around you.

It probably sounds a bit abstract, idk, but money isn’t the only currency in the world. Currency takes many forms.
I get this, to an extent. I just don't know how thoroughly I'd buy into the idea that socialism is really the end philosophy, or whatever you'd call the singular notion that sums up the world, mostly because I don't think there is one. Human relations never really struck me as being like physics, where there's a Theory of Everything and all you have to do is plug in the right constants. It's weird, and messy, and infinitely complex. If you wanted to define socialism broadly as "power should be distributed" then - yeah, sure; there's lots of ways to describe things if you're willing to be that general about it. But the more I see of the actual strictures and variants of socialism, the less sure I am that that's really all it is.
More democracy is indeed the answer, and worker ownership of firms is a good start. But we should by no means stop there. Like universal healthcare, collective ownership of the means of production confers fantastic benefits that are transformative to the entire system and the people who live in it. Gone, the alienation we experience with our labor when each of us can live without the performance of busywork or filler jobs, when labor is not beholden to job and unemployment numbers. Make no mistake, it's a start, because we have to go further to protect workers from destitution or entrapment by predatory firms if their firm under-performs and can no longer provide for them. It could prove to be an important step, but it can't be the final one.

And while I agree in the main that revolutions can be messy, tragic things... the captains and managers of capitalism have given people no choice. The people can be conscientous, kind, and patient, but their backs are against the wall and their "betters" have no intention of allowing capital's replacement (legislatively or otherwise).
See, this is the kind of thing that I struggle with. I can get behind the basic stuff, but transformative benefits from collective ownership of... not everything, but everything that can produce more things, to use the crude definition... that doesn't really ring true to me. You talk about alienation, but alienation is a personal phenomenon, not a collective one. People can feel connected to their work for a ton of reasons, or disconnected for just as many. You talk about filler jobs, but those inefficiencies are linked to particularities of supply and demand and management, not ownership, truly - if we were post-scarcity, I'd understand it, but as is... I just don't. I agree we need to protect people from predatory behavior, but how does that change when you expand further? If you're concerned about small groups of people screwing over individuals, why doesn't that apply to large ones? And that's before we get into the benefits of well-regulated markets as a means of resource allocation. People should be provided for, we have the resources for that, but there's a lot of stuff that we just don't, and that's not all tied up at the top.

I prefer a... I don't know if this is an okay thing to say, but I've always been fond of the label sewer socialism? It might have started out as a derogatory ephitet, but I find it kind of charming. I'm not really convinced of all the big, theoretical endgame stuff, but I like the idea of starting from some simple core principles and improving things based on those.

And honestly, it's not even that a theoretical global revolution would be tragic (though, again, a hypothetical bloodiest event in human history should be considered very very very carefully and probably shouldn't be done for theoretical benefits). It's that historically, after you violently tear down a system, you don't actually get to choose what replaces it. People who succeed in the armed overthrow of structures are very rarely the people you want dealing with the fallout of that conflict, but they're the ones who get to do that because they're the ones with the most guns, to put it somewhat glibly.
 

Televator

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
6,030
I get this, to an extent. I just don't know how thoroughly I'd buy into the idea that socialism is really the end philosophy, or whatever you'd call the singular notion that sums up the world, mostly because I don't think there is one. Human relations never really struck me as being like physics, where there's a Theory of Everything and all you have to do is plug in the right constants. It's weird, and messy, and infinitely complex. If you wanted to define socialism broadly as "power should be distributed" then - yeah, sure; there's lots of ways to describe things if you're willing to be that general about it. But the more I see of the actual strictures and variants of socialism, the less sure I am that that's really all it is.
Diagnosing and prescribing are different things, but I guess maybe I would be more accurate in describing my post as more like me describing using Marxist type of thinking to “diagnose” or critique systems outside of economics, but not actually employing any particular brand of socialism or “prescribing”. I just didn’t want to sound so... err... clinical about it. lol

Things are very complex, but it’s not impossible to parse out some cause and effect that contributes to the likelihood of certain outcomes. As to what model of socialism will work best to address societal ills, I honestly couldn’t tell you. I’m a recent convert, and my tentative alignment is DemSoc. Maybe I read or experience something next month that tells me that some other model of socialism aligns more with my priorities, but what I can see right now is that capitalism perpetuates very bad economic and social woes.
 

Sibylus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,399
See, this is the kind of thing that I struggle with. I can get behind the basic stuff, but transformative benefits from collective ownership of... not everything, but everything that can produce more things, to use the crude definition... that doesn't really ring true to me.
I can't speak to all traditions and schools of thought, but to sum up as many in as tidy a nutshell as I can:
  • Collective ownership of the means of production
  • The dissolution of private property (which isn't to say personal property, ie your home and belongings now belong to everyone)
  • The gradual or immediate dissolution of the state

You talk about alienation, but alienation is a personal phenomenon, not a collective one. People can feel connected to their work for a ton of reasons, or disconnected for just as many.
On the basis of political economy itself, in its own words, we have shown that the worker sinks to the level of a commodity and becomes indeed the most wretched of commodities; that the wretchedness of the worker is in inverse proportion to the power and magnitude of his production; that the necessary result of competition is the accumulation of capital in a few hands, and thus the restoration of monopoly in a more terrible form; and that finally the distinction between capitalist and land rentier, like that between the tiller of the soil and the factory worker, disappears and that the whole of society must fall apart into the two classes – property owners and propertyless workers.
The worker becomes all the poorer the more wealth he produces, the more his production increases in power and size. The worker becomes an ever cheaper commodity the more commodities he creates. The devaluation of the world of men is in direct proportion to the increasing value of the world of things. Labor produces not only commodities; it produces itself and the worker as a commodity – and this at the same rate at which it produces commodities in general.
This fact expresses merely that the object which labor produces – labor’s product – confronts it as something alien, as a power independent of the producer. The product of labor is labor which has been embodied in an object, which has become material: it is the objectification of labor. Labor’s realization is its objectification. Under these economic conditions this realization of labor appears as loss of realization for the workers[18]; objectification as loss of the object and bondage to it; appropriation as estrangement, as alienation.[19]
So much does the labor’s realization appear as loss of realization that the worker loses realization to the point of starving to death. So much does objectification appear as loss of the object that the worker is robbed of the objects most necessary not only for his life but for his work. Indeed, labor itself becomes an object which he can obtain only with the greatest effort and with the most irregular interruptions. So much does the appropriation of the object appear as estrangement that the more objects the worker produces the less he can possess and the more he falls under the sway of his product, capital.
All these consequences are implied in the statement that the worker is related to the product of labor as to an alien object. For on this premise it is clear that the more the worker spends himself, the more powerful becomes the alien world of objects which he creates over and against himself, the poorer he himself – his inner world – becomes, the less belongs to him as his own. It is the same in religion. The more man puts into God, the less he retains in himself. The worker puts his life into the object; but now his life no longer belongs to him but to the object. Hence, the greater this activity, the more the worker lacks objects. Whatever the product of his labor is, he is not. Therefore, the greater this product, the less is he himself. The alienation of the worker in his product means not only that his labor becomes an object, an external existence, but that it exists outside him, independently, as something alien to him, and that it becomes a power on its own confronting him. It means that the life which he has conferred on the object confronts him as something hostile and alien.
Till now we have been considering the estrangement, the alienation of the worker only in one of its aspects , i.e., the worker’s relationship to the products of his labor. But the estrangement is manifested not only in the result but in the act of production, within the producing activity, itself. How could the worker come to face the product of his activity as a stranger, were it not that in the very act of production he was estranging himself from himself? The product is after all but the summary of the activity, of production. If then the product of labor is alienation, production itself must be active alienation, the alienation of activity, the activity of alienation. In the estrangement of the object of labor is merely summarized the estrangement, the alienation, in the activity of labor itself.
What, then, constitutes the alienation of labor?
First, the fact that labor is external to the worker, i.e., it does not belong to his intrinsic nature; that in his work, therefore, he does not affirm himself but denies himself, does not feel content but unhappy, does not develop freely his physical and mental energy but mortifies his body and ruins his mind. The worker therefore only feels himself outside his work, and in his work feels outside himself. He feels at home when he is not working, and when he is working he does not feel at home. His labor is therefore not voluntary, but coerced; it is forced labor. It is therefore not the satisfaction of a need; it is merely a means to satisfy needs external to it. Its alien character emerges clearly in the fact that as soon as no physical or other compulsion exists, labor is shunned like the plague. External labor, labor in which man alienates himself, is a labor of self-sacrifice, of mortification. Lastly, the external character of labor for the worker appears in the fact that it is not his own, but someone else’s, that it does not belong to him, that in it he belongs, not to himself, but to another. Just as in religion the spontaneous activity of the human imagination, of the human brain and the human heart, operates on the individual independently of him – that is, operates as an alien, divine or diabolical activity – so is the worker’s activity not his spontaneous activity. It belongs to another; it is the loss of his self."
In estranging from man (1) nature, and (2) himself, his own active functions, his life activity, estranged labor estranges the species from man. It changes for him the life of the species into a means of individual life. First it estranges the life of the species and individual life, and secondly it makes individual life in its abstract form the purpose of the life of the species, likewise in its abstract and estranged form.
Similarly, in degrading spontaneous, free activity to a means, estranged labor makes man’s species-life a means to his physical existence.
The consciousness which man has of his species is thus transformed by estrangement in such a way that species[-life] becomes for him a means.
Estranged labor turns thus:
(3) Man’s species-being, both nature and his spiritual species-property, into a being alien to him, into a means of his individual existence. It estranges from man his own body, as well as external nature and his spiritual aspect, his human aspect."
(4) An immediate consequence of the fact that man is estranged from the product of his labor, from his life activity, from his species-being, is the estrangement of man from man. When man confronts himself, he confronts the other man. What applies to a man’s relation to his work, to the product of his labor and to himself, also holds of a man’s relation to the other man, and to the other man’s labor and object of labor.
In fact, the proposition that man’s species-nature is estranged from him means that one man is estranged from the other, as each of them is from man’s essential nature.
The estrangement of man, and in fact every relationship in which man [stands] to himself, is realized and expressed only in the relationship in which a man stands to other men.
Hence within the relationship of estranged labor each man views the other in accordance with the standard and the relationship in which he finds himself as a worker.

You talk about filler jobs, but those inefficiencies are linked to particularities of supply and demand and management, not ownership, truly - if we were post-scarcity, I'd understand it, but as is... I just don't.

Spend more time in the workforce and you'll recognize more and more just how many inefficiencies directly spring out of ivory tower ownership and managerial types. The workers on the ground hold things together while corporate passes down nonsensical requirements, directives, and suggestions that make it clear they don't have the first or last idea of the people they're trying to sell to or the workers under them. The drive-through that has to hold almost no food, for only a few minutes, have near-zero food waste, and keep order times around a minute and change... when any worker in the middle of that knows you have to exile cars into the parking lot and hold more than you're supposed to to make corporate's numbers work... that's not the particularities of supply and demand and management, it's the inescapable result of a capitalist ownership class that walls itself off from the real world and demands the impossible while stealing their workers' surplus.

Capitalist production is inherently inefficient, and the examples abound. Food production is sufficient for our worldly needs, but the political will to distribute well is not. We hold vastly more empty houses than our homeless. We push wages down so far behind inflation that workers have to work longer to still go hungry as their bosses make record profits. The global north robs the south in a race of diminishing returns to find cheaper labor and materials and keep the infinite profit curve going, pretending as though there is no limit and that time is running out. We have no right to talk about how capitalism has made life pretty livable for our middle class when we turn our faces away from the rape of Asia, Africa, and the Pacific.

I agree we need to protect people from predatory behavior, but how does that change when you expand further? If you're concerned about small groups of people screwing over individuals, why doesn't that apply to large ones? And that's before we get into the benefits of well-regulated markets as a means of resource allocation. People should be provided for, we have the resources for that, but there's a lot of stuff that we just don't, and that's not all tied up at the top.

I prefer a... I don't know if this is an okay thing to say, but I've always been fond of the label sewer socialism? It might have started out as a derogatory ephitet, but I find it kind of charming. I'm not really convinced of all the big, theoretical endgame stuff, but I like the idea of starting from some simple core principles and improving things based on those.
Collectively holding bad actors in check is far more realistic when there are far fewer ultra-rich and ultra-poor. Gone, the days of crushing press institutions into dust through high-powered lawyers and litigation, or of constructing megalomaniacal compounds to ride out the climate crisis, unleashing private armies to fight on the workplace, or hatching schemes to leave the planet, and us, to die. A worker acting in bad faith is checked by all the rest.

Socialism, especially in the Marxist tradition, has from the start fought for immediate objectives and improvement (such as unionization, safer workplaces, shorter workdays, higher wages, the rights of children, anti-imperialism, democracy, the safekeeping of the environment, the development of culture, etc). Don't mistake its rich theoretical history for being its only facet.

Marx said:
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it."

And honestly, it's not even that a theoretical global revolution would be tragic (though, again, a hypothetical bloodiest event in human history should be considered very very very carefully and probably shouldn't be done for theoretical benefits). It's that historically, after you violently tear down a system, you don't actually get to choose what replaces it. People who succeed in the armed overthrow of structures are very rarely the people you want dealing with the fallout of that conflict, but they're the ones who get to do that because they're the ones with the most guns, to put it somewhat glibly.
Emma Goldman said:
"It cannot be sufficiently emphasized that revolution is in vain unless inspired by its ultimate ideal. Revolutionary methods must be in tune with revolutionary aims. The means used to further the revolution must harmonize with its purposes. In short, the ethical values which the revolution is to establish in the new society must be initiated with the revolutionary activities of the so-called transitional period. The latter can serve as a real and dependable bridge to the better life only if built of the same material as the life to be achieved."

We must, each of us and collectively, live and cultivate the values of the society we fight to build. The seeds of the new is in the old, and there is no there from here without through. That is how you begin to shape the course of the revolution and what follows. Inaction is not a viable choice. We can but live our best, do our best, and give our best to the future.
 
Last edited:

Mekanos

Member
Oct 17, 2018
15,451
See, I'm kind of a climate optimist, in a way. It's certainly going to get worse before it's going to get better, but we just got reports saying that we're on track for less warming than initially forecasted. As technology improves and we use less fuel and capture more carbon, I'm hopeful that we'll be able to get things under control before the point of no return.
What are these reports? Because the vast majority of climate reporting I've seen indicates we are probably past the point of no return, and now it's just a matter of mitigating the damage. I don't really see how being a climate optimist is possible in a decade that starts with Australia being on fire. The global south will feel the worst of this before Americans do, at which point we will see a massive influx of climate refugees and governments becoming more hostile to foreigners with a focus on fascism and authoritarianism. We're already seeing it in Europe. I'm not saying go out in the streets and rob all the grocery stores like the world is going to end tomorrow, but I have little faith in the governments and corporations of the world effectively reducing the threat of a climate crisis. A Bernie presidency could be a first big step as he has made climate change an important part of his platform, but it's going to take a lot more than just one elected official.
 

Kilrogg

Resettlement Advisor
Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,953
BadEmpanada with some quality analysis on accidental leftist critique.

Just watching the beginning of BadEmpanada's vid made me want to watch the show. Which I did. I enjoyed it, it good.

Then, a few days later, ThoughtSlime came out and criticized the show in his own video:


Both viewpoints are interesting IMO.
 

Mekanos

Member
Oct 17, 2018
15,451
More and more feeling like there is no point in posting on this site as long as leftist thought will be met with hostility and repeating the same arguments and talking points over and over.

...well, maybe it's still better than Last Jedi arguments.
 

FliXFantatier

Master of the Reality Stone
Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
4,745
Los Angeles
More and more feeling like there is no point in posting on this site as long as leftist thought will be met with hostility and repeating the same arguments and talking points over and over.

...well, maybe it's still better than Last Jedi arguments.
It's all about slowly moving the overton window... That is all we can hope for right here and right now.
 

umop 3pisdn

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,461
More and more feeling like there is no point in posting on this site as long as leftist thought will be met with hostility and repeating the same arguments and talking points over and over.

...well, maybe it's still better than Last Jedi arguments.
I'm trying to pay close attention to my feelings with regards to this kind of work so I can more effectively apply my effort in harmony with that. I think it's just extra exhausting if a person is continually oscillating between hopefulness and despair, which I think might be an inevitability in this situation. Conserving one's energies becomes really important ime because no one can really have that strong or consistent of a view of what they're doing under those conditions.
 

Mekanos

Member
Oct 17, 2018
15,451
Basically I made this joke elsewhere but:

Me in 2016: Haha yeah I'm a socialist, let's be like the Nordic countries! Bernie Sanders woo! Health care! Free college!
Me in 2020:





The inability of liberal capitalism to rationalize or justify the suffering of the global south, even with a theoretical welfare state utopia for first world countries, has definitely pushed me towards anarchism in the last few years. But I'm not too caught up in the specific labels. As long as we are against the existence of the modern state, military-industrial complex, capitalist oligarchies, etc. that's enough solidarity for me.
 

Eylos

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,613
More and more feeling like there is no point in posting on this site as long as leftist thought will be met with hostility and repeating the same arguments and talking points over and over.

...well, maybe it's still better than Last Jedi arguments.
yeah i understand this, its becoming complicated with these elections, try to relax and give a time of the forum if its too much.
 

Poodlestrike

It's salt.
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
6,111
Diagnosing and prescribing are different things, but I guess maybe I would be more accurate in describing my post as more like me describing using Marxist type of thinking to “diagnose” or critique systems outside of economics, but not actually employing any particular brand of socialism or “prescribing”. I just didn’t want to sound so... err... clinical about it. lol

Things are very complex, but it’s not impossible to parse out some cause and effect that contributes to the likelihood of certain outcomes. As to what model of socialism will work best to address societal ills, I honestly couldn’t tell you. I’m a recent convert, and my tentative alignment is DemSoc. Maybe I read or experience something next month that tells me that some other model of socialism aligns more with my priorities, but what I can see right now is that capitalism perpetuates very bad economic and social woes.
I think I'd definitely agree with that last sentence, lol.
What are these reports? Because the vast majority of climate reporting I've seen indicates we are probably past the point of no return, and now it's just a matter of mitigating the damage. I don't really see how being a climate optimist is possible in a decade that starts with Australia being on fire. The global south will feel the worst of this before Americans do, at which point we will see a massive influx of climate refugees and governments becoming more hostile to foreigners with a focus on fascism and authoritarianism. We're already seeing it in Europe. I'm not saying go out in the streets and rob all the grocery stores like the world is going to end tomorrow, but I have little faith in the governments and corporations of the world effectively reducing the threat of a climate crisis. A Bernie presidency could be a first big step as he has made climate change an important part of his platform, but it's going to take a lot more than just one elected official.
Unfortunately, I don't have links - it's something I heard in a podcast about new projections having us indexed at a degree or so less warming than earlier expected. Maybe we're already past the point of no return on some stuff, but the flipside of those dire "for every tenth of a degree X terrible things happen" numbers is that for every tenth of a degree less, things get that much better. Couple that with new carbon capture technology and the ever-dropping cost of solar and wind, and I dunno, I'm feeling better about it than I used to.

There's also some personal experience in this, I guess. I've always found that there's two kinds of unsolvable stress-inducing problems: the kind that constantly poke you with a stick, and the kind that sorta loom in the background. The former is basically impossible to feel good about, but I've found it helpful to try and power-of-positive-thinking the latter, y'know? It's corny, but it helps sometimes.

As for your other post, on hostility towards leftist thought... Idk, I can only really use the perspective I have, and part of that's as a mod, lol. But I think that too much has gotten tied up in the ongoing fight-for-fight's sake stuff, as well as the Democratic primary. You can't really say that somebody is hostile to all leftist thought just because they don't respond well to certain arguments or favor certain candidates, especially in a system as ideologically incoherent as the US's.

And Sibylus I'm not ignoring you, I swear, I just haven't had time to go through your post yet XD
 

Mekanos

Member
Oct 17, 2018
15,451
As for your other post, on hostility towards leftist thought... Idk, I can only really use the perspective I have, and part of that's as a mod, lol. But I think that too much has gotten tied up in the ongoing fight-for-fight's sake stuff, as well as the Democratic primary. You can't really say that somebody is hostile to all leftist thought just because they don't respond well to certain arguments or favor certain candidates, especially in a system as ideologically incoherent as the US's.
It's definitely tied up in the issue of horse race politics, but when you constantly see posts about how leftists are racists or class reductionists, it makes you just want to not post.
 

Poodlestrike

It's salt.
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
6,111
It's definitely tied up in the issue of horse race politics, but when you constantly see posts about how leftists are racists or class reductionists, it makes you just want to not post.
They say the same stuff about some of the things you guys accuse them of. Everybody's got their back up, nobody can give an inch, and nobody's interested in discussing anything. Just putting points on the board, as if anybody's keeping score.
 

Mekanos

Member
Oct 17, 2018
15,451
They say the same stuff about some of the things you guys accuse them of. Everybody's got their back up, nobody can give an inch, and nobody's interested in discussing anything. Just putting points on the board, as if anybody's keeping score.
That's sort of my point. We are at an impasse. Liberalism and leftism/socialism are largely opposing ideologies. Which is okay, we can have discussion about it, but the problem is nobody is sure what is allowed to be said and what isn't in terms of rulings and bans. This adds to the hostility. I think there is a fundamental disagreement with the moderation team and most leftists - probably some liberals too - on what sort of discussion should be facilitated and allowed. Which is fine. But I think more clear rules would help at least. Everyone otherwise tries to tiptoe around them to fire off their hot takes from the hip - I'm just as guilty of this.

It's also a frustration that Bernie threads get so much heat and becomes a proxy war of liberalism vs. socialism even though his position is fundamentally not socialist but social democrat in execution. Often it feels like being a Bernie supporter means you're advocating for some insane communist revolutionary even though his platform is reformist in nature - Warren's is as well. Though now the Bernie/Warren feuding is less about their policy and more about the "can a woman be president" issue. These things come in cycles, I suppose.

(I took a little while to think about how to word this, but I feel like a more open discussion with the mod team with leftists on how to proceed going forward might be helpful. I don't know. I'm just one poster, trying to make sense of forum discussion.)