Socialism |OT| The Dawn of a Red Era

What tendency/ideology do you best align with?

  • Anarchism

    Votes: 59 14.4%
  • Marxism

    Votes: 32 7.8%
  • Marxism-Leninism

    Votes: 20 4.9%
  • Left Communism

    Votes: 8 2.0%
  • Democratic Socialism

    Votes: 156 38.1%
  • Social Democracy

    Votes: 105 25.7%
  • Other

    Votes: 29 7.1%

  • Total voters
    409

infinite

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,075
I got to listen to this weeks episode of the Michael Brooks Show and he was so on point calling the coronavirus fallout neoliberal Chernobyl
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,854
Ontario
An establishment democrat would use one wish to find out if the wishes actually worked and the results were as described and not some monkey paw abomination.

What an illuminating tweet. Yeah, the problem is democrats just don't want good things. Sure.
lol maybe good political analysis doesn't come from assuming that because one side is the "good guys" that their intentions are always good and it's reality that fails them

literal cult behavior
 

Bronx-Man

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
14,983
Cannot believe Dems blew the response to biggest national crisis in a century this badly.

I mean...I can believe it. I don't wanna.
 

Temascos

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,252
I read that article earlier, and as much as I would like to see a fairer society come to fruition, it sadly won't be without a fight. Rest assured, people will want to go back to "how things were before" despite the 'wisdom' of the economic system and our leaders being a major part of this entire crisis in the first place.

I can't fault people not understanding or knowing the full risks of Covid-19, given that it's a new disease, and that the Chinese government tried to hide how bad it was. But when they were destroying roads to their cities that very moment should have been all hands on deck, everywhere on the planet. Keeping the economy running was our leaders' priority, and we've paid a ghastly price for it.

And the sad thing is, people can and will go through all of this all over again if it meant keeping to tradition.
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
10,382
That Vice article is way too optimistic for me. I think COVID19 can catalyse a lot of changes in global society but I'm not expecting the end of capitalism this year. The most definitive prediction I can make is that we're living in a historical turning point and Fukuyama is a buffoon.



 

Mekanos

Member
Oct 17, 2018
17,734
As I said earlier, I don't think COVID-19 will infect and kill capitalism singlehandedly, but I can see neoliberalism taking a pretty heavy blow. We're in uncharted territory here.
 

Bronx-Man

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
14,983
This is already a 9/11-level event crisis at best case, WWII at worst case. Society will be changed forever after something like that, but I can only hope it’s change for the better.
 
Nov 14, 2017
1,287
I feel this back-and-forth on Twitter covers most of my views on "will covid kill capital":


I think Konings is right in that neoliberalism, let alone capitalism itself, has proven very resilient and adaptable. People thought it was done for after 2008 but it seems at times the most we have achieved is an amplification of critique (plus a bunch of people steeped in neoliberalism saying it either has to go or doesn't exist). But I think he's underselling the point that Seijo is making here, because he's not simply talking about neoliberalism as an ideology, or bailouts being "hypocritical", but actual lived experience of its institutional mechanics by the population as a whole. Of course, this is contingent on enough governments actually committing to putting financial logic in a holding pattern as a crisis response. After 08 we had QE, which made some people say "if we can print money to save banks, why can't we print it for X?" (not strictly accurate but nevertheless totally valid as a point about institutional capabilities/responses), but otherwise was largely opaque/removed. If people actually live through a world where the role of money is substantially altered from their point of view, with "pay-for" taking a back seat to "pay-to", I think that would be a lot more direct and impactful.

Also Rashida Tlaib has a bill to mint the coin (two actually!) for a fully universal financial support system. The money nerd in me was really excited and then I saw the first twitter reply from a self-described teampete progressive dem asking if Hamas had input on the bill and remembered what she's up against.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,854
Ontario
I feel this back-and-forth on Twitter covers most of my views on "will covid kill capital":


I think Konings is right in that neoliberalism, let alone capitalism itself, has proven very resilient and adaptable. People thought it was done for after 2008 but it seems at times the most we have achieved is an amplification of critique (plus a bunch of people steeped in neoliberalism saying it either has to go or doesn't exist). But I think he's underselling the point that Seijo is making here, because he's not simply talking about neoliberalism as an ideology, or bailouts being "hypocritical", but actual lived experience of its institutional mechanics by the population as a whole. Of course, this is contingent on enough governments actually committing to putting financial logic in a holding pattern as a crisis response. After 08 we had QE, which made some people say "if we can print money to save banks, why can't we print it for X?" (not strictly accurate but nevertheless totally valid as a point about institutional capabilities/responses), but otherwise was largely opaque/removed. If people actually live through a world where the role of money is substantially altered from their point of view, with "pay-for" taking a back seat to "pay-to", I think that would be a lot more direct and impactful.

Also Rashida Tlaib has a bill to mint the coin (two actually!) for a fully universal financial support system. The money nerd in me was really excited and then I saw the first twitter reply from a self-described teampete progressive dem asking if Hamas had input on the bill and remembered what she's up against.
I'm not that familiar with Seijo but Konings from what I've read is primarily focused on critical institutionalisy approaches to the development of fiance so i'm not really surprised that's his take.

I think the semantic difficulties around "neo-liberalism" makes the conversation difficult. Will neoliberalism survive this, maybe? But i think the question of whether the current popular notions of value creation and economic participation will survive this are on to something
 
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entremet

Member
Oct 26, 2017
17,179
I can't see Biden winning honestly. He was a band-aid anyway. He completely disappeared. Sucks that Bernie didn't connect with the olds. Oh well.
 

DrSlek

Member
Oct 29, 2017
5,105
That Vice article is way too optimistic for me. I think COVID19 can catalyse a lot of changes in global society but I'm not expecting the end of capitalism this year. The most definitive prediction I can make is that we're living in a historical turning point and Fukuyama is a buffoon.



History is a slow March, and the self destruction of capitalism will be no different. Add it to the enormous pile of things Karl Marx was right about.
 

dabig2

Member
Oct 29, 2017
3,109
The first national projection of the #COVID19 pandemic’s potential cost to 200 million Americans in the commercial market.
@CoveredCA
estimates the cost of testing, treatment and care could hit $271B and premiums could rise 40% in 2021 w/o federal action.
M4A at this point is no longer up for debate. The ACA even on its best days can't even begin to address this. I don't think some liberals are fully appreciating the after-effects of this pandemic. Even after the pandemic washes over, people are going to be crippled FOR YEARS from healthcare costs alone, not to even bring in the loss of jobs and/or homes. And we all will suffer as a result, even if you never got COVID-19.

Means testing ain't going to get it done. ACA improvements ain't going to get it done.
 

phazedplasma

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,293
Had to take a break from the news and sit down with a movie last night.

I watched Matewan.

Had no idea about the labor mining wars in this country. Sent me down a wikipedia rabbit hole.

Fantastic movie.
 

entremet

Member
Oct 26, 2017
17,179
I'm getting pessimistic about any real improvements to the social safety net since, after the 08 crisis, we basically transferred wealth upwards to the oligarchs after that. That could have been a time for massive infrastructure investment, but it was wasted and the Neoliberalism sham machine continued.

I'm somewhat optimistic about growing discontent with the populace. That could lead to real change. Trump was a reactionary candidate after all. Yet, close to four years later we're back at square one.
 

phazedplasma

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,293
I think this whole virus thing will just further entrench the people who "want obama back" and want "everything to go back to the way it was"
 

doomspore

Member
Oct 28, 2017
3
The thread in OT got me curious, does anyone know of any writing thats about the intersection of socialism and AI beyond the whole space communism thing? I wanna learn about the cyber proletariat.
 
OP
OP
sphagnum

sphagnum

Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,408
Every day I wake up thinking "We're in the prime scenario to push for M4A, worker control, mass redistribution/UBI, breaking capital's stranglehold, providing jobs for everyone through the GND and other programs for the inevitable oncoming depression, but the Democrats picked Joe Biden lol"

The thread in OT got me curious, does anyone know of any writing thats about the intersection of socialism and AI beyond the whole space communism thing? I wanna learn about the cyber proletariat.
This isn't quite what you're looking for, but I had linked to some pieces about socialism and technology a while back: https://www.resetera.com/threads/socialism-ot-the-dawn-of-a-red-era.585/page-178#post-28332052
 

Mekanos

Member
Oct 17, 2018
17,734
Every day I wake up thinking "We're in the prime scenario to push for M4A, worker control, mass redistribution/UBI, breaking capital's stranglehold, providing jobs for everyone through the GND and other programs for the inevitable oncoming depression, but the Democrats picked Joe Biden lol"
Democrats love losing, I guess. Easy to have the high moral ground as a moderate if you're always ceding ground to the right.
 

Scottt

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,521
So where do we go from here?

Many people over the last 24 hours have sworn off electoralism. More power to you, if that's what you want to do. I would suggest turning your energies to labor struggles and trying to build alternate centers of power. I'd also say you're wasting your time if you think LARPing with the Austin Red Guard will do anything.

For everyone else, these are my not-so-organized ramblings.

I've been spending the day processing what happened last night, and while some people will still hold out hope for a Bernie comeback, I think it's pretty clear that Biden will take the nomination. A sober analysis of the results shows that Bernie failed to turn out the youth and that he continues to struggle with particular voting blocs. We have to be able to come to grips with this if we're going to make any progress going forward.

Bernie's campaign and his theory of change are founded on the idea that large numbers of people don't vote because they see all politicians as part of the same, bought off class of bloodsuckers, but that if you speak to them and offer them something that will benefit them materially, you can mobilize them to vote. As an outsider to the Democratic Party, Bernie rejected the typical strategies employed by other Dems in favor of bringing in a new alliance of voters who would presumably be in favor of his cause. This didn't happen - or, rather, there were simply more people willing to vote for the safe choice of Biden than people willing to take a gamble on the more radical alternative. His campaign formed a sharpened voting base that was meant to cut through a divided field with 30% support. He succeeded in crafting that base, but not in expanding it. Until we can figure out (if we can figure out?) a way to get young people more active, since ideally we don't want to wait 20 more years until Boomers are all dead, we HAVE to engage better with broader audiences. If you don't, and you wish to turn away from electoralism, what exactly is your plan? How are you going to mobilize a general strike or insurrection when you can't even get people to go cast a ballot? Those things happen when material conditions permit them. That's not where this country is yet or those things would already be bubbling up.

Socialism cannot be, and must not be, the sole domain of young online people. Socialism is not an identity. It's a system, one that is meant to encompass all people, and that means electoralists need to find ways to appeal to all people. If you cannot win an election without the Boomers and Karens, then you better figure out how to appeal to the Boomers and Karens - at least to a better degree than you do already. Karen has just as much a right to control the means of production as you.

Bernie has three particular blocs that he struggles with - old people, middle class suburbanites, and black voters. Boomers want stability and they're terrified of the s-word; the second group also want stability as a consequence of their class position; the third is a bit trickier. Let's start there.

The 2016 Bernie campaign was rightfully criticized for its numerous racial gaffes, with Bernie constantly putting his foot in his mouth due to his lack of familiarity with black issues, having come from the very white state of Vermont. He took this to heart and rebuilt his 2020 campaign to be highly intersectional, and the diversity of his base shows the fruits of that labor(especially with Latinos!). It would no doubt put to bed the myth of the all-white Bernie Bros. if liberals could be honest for a minute about Bernie's supporters. And we know from the first three states that Bernie was favored by non-Southern black voters (not sure about NV here, actually), and from the pre-SC polls that Bernie was actually neck and neck or even overtaking Biden with black voters nationally. What this means is that black voters are not lost to socialists. First, they're not a monolith who just blindly vote for the establishment Dems. That's a racist caricature that needs to be stamped out. We know that as with other blocs there is a generational divide - Bernie tends to win or at least do well with young black voters, but loses handily with old black voters. This is no different than every other demo, except that even when he wins with young black voters, it seems to be by a lower amount. What we see, overall, is a bloc of voters who are by and large pragmatic in their decisions, because they need to be more than perhaps most other groups in this country. When Bernie had the momentum, he was starting to earn a lot of trust and support - but it was tenuous, and he failed to lock it down. He failed to transition to unifier status, to demonstrate that he was the best choice to defeat Trump. And that gave the establishment a chance to shore up behind Biden and to remind people of why he was the safe bet.

Black voters are not unreachable. There may be a hefty amount of black voters who are more conservative or moderate on average than other Dems by virtue of being forced into the party on account of the GOP's racism, but they know better than most how racist this country is and would like to see policies that would help end those injustices. We can improve greatly here by promoting more black comrades and people more intimately connected to and familiar with the needs and preferences of black voters. They want change. But they also need assurances that the Dem will win (in other words, that the other voting blocs won't freak out). And that can, and does, lead to strategic voting.

If that's the case, then we need to make ourselves the choice of strategic voters - or at least reduce the margins enough that even if we lose them, it's not a blowout.

Middle class suburbanites. Unlike the previous group, this one will always be hostile to socialism as a result of their class position - or they would be, if the middle class was not in the process of being liquidated, proletarianized, precarified. Remember, there is no actual "middle class" in the way Americans like to view it. Class is based on control of the MoP. Work with that. Everyone hates their boss, even (especially?) PMCs. We must remind them that they are also exploited workers, even if they are labor aristocrats. There is a lot we can play with here regarding economic struggles, but as a result of this group's bougie dreams, they tend to dislike the sort of rough and tumble, aggressive attitude of someone like Bernie. They want someone more cerebral, more academic - a Warren or Buttigieg or Obama. They want someone who reflects their own class dreams and aspirations and, failing to get it, will settle for the candidate who is more familiar and comforting like Biden. Socialists are always going to have an edge to them that people in this group are fearful of - but imagine if eloquent Buttigieg had followed more in the philosophical footsteps of his father, or if Warren was a bit more left. We can make inroads here. It just requires that we have some candidates who reflect these attitudes. AOC has the sort of charm and grace that I think a lot of these people are drawn to, but she may be too green for them right now. The other thing to remember is that these are the Resistance types who are proud to support the party and establishment. Someone who has worked through the party will be seen as less hostile than an independent who is trying to hijack the party. So far, it seems most demsocs are trying to infiltrate the party rather than pull a Bernie. That should help reduce fears about "disloyalty".

Old people - the toughest bloc to break into. They have decades and decades of propaganda that has formed their view of socialism, and studies show that people tend to stick to the beliefs formed during their 20s throughout their lives. But we have the best policies for them, bar none. Hammer that like there's no tomorrow and hope you can peel some of them off. I believe Bernie could have done this if he wasn't so entirely focused on youth and non-voter turnout.

It's a fairly daunting task to try to reorganize our methods of outreach to meet all these different and differing groups, but again - unless your plan is to just wait until 2040 or 2050 when Millennials and Gen Z are running the show, it has to be done. And if we just sit around and wait, the movement will collapse. Once Bernie's campaign is done, there will be no figurehead to solidify around unless AOC takes a shot in 2024, which we can't just assume. And socialism is about the masses, not leaders. So we must appeal to the masses, learn from the masses, be the masses.

Since we cannot know yet what the 2024 presidential race will look like, we need to find ways to keep socialism moving forward without it. That means doubling down on linking up with other activist movements, unions in particular, and building local power, whether electorally or otherwise. One of the prime problems that socialists face is that they are still often viewed as crazy kooks. Bernie and AOC have done a ton to start smashing that apart, but we need to go further. If we are going to convince the blocs that Bernie is losing that our theory is beneficial to them, we need to earn their trust. Building alliances and local power does that. When you have socialists everywhere reliably running things like sewer socialists, it will only help show their competence and value. It gets us more in touch with the masses, from whom our line must be drawn, and will encourage more people to join the ranks. The fact that I even have to say that shows the disconnect rhst exists between caddes and voters right now - we need to connect more, draw more from the working class, take more city council seats and state senate seats and so forth. The bench will grow so that we have more candidates to choose from in the future, which will help us connect to even more voters. Keep fighting for Congressional seats, even if we lose them. And even if we don't have a good presidential offer in a given year, keep holding the candidates who are running's feet to the fire.

There are great dangers inherent in reformism that I don't think I need to repeat here, at least not for this audience. I very much dislike that socialism in the US is primarily an electoral movement that separates "us" from "them", with the implication that "we" need to "educate" "them". I wish we had more of a presence in labor, but labor is so weak right now that it would not have much political value. The age of soviets controlling the government is past us, and the material conditions in the US are such that people have a weird hybrid stable-precarity that they aren't quite ready to abandon. Hence, we are forced by necessity to turn to liberal democratic elections. And we've gotten good results, to be fair! Bernie has done a lot for our movement. Socialism is now stronger in the US than its been in half a century. There was an exit poll from Texas - Texas! - showing a 57% favorable view of the word. People may not know what it means, but they know they like it. And with Bernie completing his role, we now have a chance to ensure everyone knows it means more than just social democracy.

We know that the fundamentals won't change under a Biden presidency. The dialectical struggle underpinning all of this rages on unabated. That means all the same issues destroying the country and the world will continue with some bandaids slapped on. We are in a better position now to be the alternative voice of reason and to build on the failures that will inevitably result. Liberalism cannot save itself - it can only delay its inevitable rot. Let us engage with the masses so that they can save themselves before the system collapses.

Fight, fail, fight again, fail again, fight again - until the people's victory.
I've been thinking back to this post a lot for the last few weeks and wonder how it might fit within these new, advancing circumstances. Obviously nobody is sure what the future looks like right now, but it seems like the impacts of the virus increase the possibilities of either full-on biofascism, a deepened welfare state that still protects capitalism, or socialism. Apart from electoralism, I have heard so much talk about ensuring care and help among communities and supporting those who need it--not only from the government, but from ourselves. To me, that's also the ethical basis of socialism, but I'm not sure how to impart "socialism" within acts of "community support." And, further, how can that fit together with these revised approaches to electoralism?

Edit: What I'm getting at is how to combine sphagnum's good thoughts with articles like these:

https://www.groene.nl/artikel/dit-is-de-normale-orde

https://climateandcapitalism.com/2020/03/11/capitalist-agriculture-and-covid-19-a-deadly-combination/
 
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Oheao

The Fallen
Oct 28, 2017
9,094
London, Ontario, Canada
“I think the government should not … own the means to production,” Polis said. “I’m not a socialist like Donald Trump, so I think that’s a very dangerous way to go, and I think that rather than these corporate bailouts, we should talk about helping people.”


When socialism means bailing out corporations and not helping the people...
 

FliXFantatier

Master of the Reality Stone
Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
5,161
Metro Detroit
Every day I wake up thinking "We're in the prime scenario to push for M4A, worker control, mass redistribution/UBI, breaking capital's stranglehold, providing jobs for everyone through the GND and other programs for the inevitable oncoming depression, but the Democrats picked Joe Biden lol"
Yea it’s like all the stars have aligned in our favour but there is no one to act on it. It’s infuriating really.
 

entremet

Member
Oct 26, 2017
17,179
Yea it’s like all the stars have aligned in our favour but there is no one to act on it. It’s infuriating really.
Well, most of the Dems party is full of neoliberals thanks to Bill Clinton shifting to the party right and making them bow down to corporate money. Obama was just the second coming of this after the 08 crash.

I'd take Obama over Romey or McCain obviously, but this incrementalism is gonna destroy us.

Only the Progressive wing of the Dem party is leading the way in terms of real progressive policy--Bernie, and the freshmen Congresswomen.
 
Nov 14, 2017
1,287
I'm not that familiar with Seijo but Konings from what I've read is primarily focused on critical institutionalism approaches to the development of fiance so i'm not really surprised that's his take.

I think the semantic difficulties around "neo-liberalism" makes the conversation difficult. Will neoliberalism survive this, maybe? But i think the question of whether the current popular notions of value creation and economic participation will survive this are on to something
For sure; while I can't speak for anyone in that thread, I think a focus on instrumentality is the right one here. Both in terms of neoliberalism operating through instrumental measures and being ideologically instrumental, making means into ends. It's one thing for those means to fail at producing their stated ends, like full employment or minimum standards of living, because they just say there is no alternative. Same goes for needing to bail-out finance or carefully regulate+construct a market in order for it to function, because the goal is to have a market/financial sector, so if that's what it takes that's just pragmatic and responsible governance. But if we start to see this instrumental reasoning laid bare to a much larger proportion of the population, as well as fundamental reshaping of those means themselves (e.g. paying people to stay at home instead of making them look for work to "earn" their benefits) it could push things in the right direction.

Seijo is an MMTer but I think he's part of the newer wave developing it as critical/cultural theory. He's one of the hosts of Money on the Left; I don't listen to podcasts a lot but they provide full transcripts which is handy.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,854
Ontario
For sure; while I can't speak for anyone in that thread, I think a focus on instrumentality is the right one here. Both in terms of neoliberalism operating through instrumental measures and being ideologically instrumental, making means into ends. It's one thing for those means to fail at producing their stated ends, like full employment or minimum standards of living, because they just say there is no alternative. Same goes for needing to bail-out finance or carefully regulate+construct a market in order for it to function, because the goal is to have a market/financial sector, so if that's what it takes that's just pragmatic and responsible governance. But if we start to see this instrumental reasoning laid bare to a much larger proportion of the population, as well as fundamental reshaping of those means themselves (e.g. paying people to stay at home instead of making them look for work to "earn" their benefits) it could push things in the right direction.

Seijo is an MMTer but I think he's part of the newer wave developing it as critical/cultural theory. He's one of the hosts of Money on the Left; I don't listen to podcasts a lot but they provide full transcripts which is handy.
you pretty much summed it up

thanks for the rec as well, I am am always on the hunt for quality content
 

Axon

Member
Mar 9, 2020
122
Well, most of the Dems party is full of neoliberals thanks to Bill Clinton shifting to the party right and making them bow down to corporate money. Obama was just the second coming of this after the 08 crash.

I'd take Obama over Romey or McCain obviously, but this incrementalism is gonna destroy us.

Only the Progressive wing of the Dem party is leading the way in terms of real progressive policy--Bernie, and the freshmen Congresswomen.
Honestly what most people in America consider progressive or left would be considered centrist or even right-wing in some other countries. The democratic party isn't really progressive, its just more so than the republicans.
 

saenima

Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,883
Honestly what most people in America consider progressive or left would be considered centrist or even right-wing in some other countries. The democratic party isn't really progressive, its just more so than the republicans.
I think many Dems talk a good progressive talk when it comes to electoralism and narrative setting, but in reality it's hardly a progressive party. Like you say, it's only in comparison to the appallingly racist GOP that they come out looking good. If the american system realistically supported more than two parties, leftists and progressives would create their own political space and the Dem party would be almost completely irrelevant. There's only so much that 'not GOP' can do for you when there are another half a dozen parties claiming the same.
 
OP
OP
sphagnum

sphagnum

Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,408
Tlaib's got a primary challenger. Throw some money to our Comrade in Congress if you can. Considering it was a narrow win last time and the Biden wing is currently energized I don't expect it to be an easy re-election.