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Socialism |OT| The Dawn of a Red Era

Oct 25, 2017
3,176
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It's funny because in my experience here the opposite seems to be true. I teach a unit about Marx (I mean, uh, "Economic Systems and Fairness") in my middle-school humanities class here in Taiwan and the kids are usually on board with him until I get to the word "communism" and then the kids are like WELL HOLD ON A MINUTE, HUMAN NATURE.
 
OP
OP
sphagnum
Oct 25, 2017
6,587
0
It's funny because in my experience here the opposite seems to be true. I teach a unit about Marx (I mean, uh, "Economic Systems and Fairness") in my middle-school humanities class here in Taiwan and the kids are usually on board with him until I get to the word "communism" and then the kids are like WELL HOLD ON A MINUTE, HUMAN NATURE.
Ah, I see the same talking points apply everywhere
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,176
0
Ah, I see the same talking points apply everywhere
Yeah. To be fair, I'm at an Western-style school so most of my kids have at least a little bit of exposure to the Western educational system and common reflexes their teachers have against anything anti-capitalist, but you'll find similar thinking among the Taiwanese adult population who never even set foot in a bilingual school (thank you, KMT). I do this unit after one concerning the French Revolution, though, so I get to press them on why they don't think Feudalism was human nature, which is a good way to get them thinking at least a tiny bit more critically.
 
Apr 16, 2018
1,493
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It's funny because in my experience here the opposite seems to be true. I teach a unit about Marx (I mean, uh, "Economic Systems and Fairness") in my middle-school humanities class here in Taiwan and the kids are usually on board with him until I get to the word "communism" and then the kids are like WELL HOLD ON A MINUTE, HUMAN NATURE.
Yeah. To be fair, I'm at an Western-style school so most of my kids have at least a little bit of exposure to the Western educational system and common reflexes their teachers have against anything anti-capitalist, but you'll find similar thinking among the Taiwanese adult population who never even set foot in a bilingual school (thank you, KMT). I do this unit after one concerning the French Revolution, though, so I get to press them on why they don't think Feudalism was human nature, which is a good way to get them thinking at least a tiny bit more critically.
To what extent do you think the White Terror has an influence or significance for this?
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,176
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To what extent do you think the White Terror has an influence or significance for this?
It definitely has some effect in both directions with regard to support of leftist principles. The KMT successfully enshrined anti-communism as part of Taiwanese identity during the authoritarian period, doing so violently because they are fascists. The DPP is a social democratic party that is both anti-KMT and anti-China, and leans heavily pro-independence (though officially is soft on the idea), but does not have any real leftist elements in its platform and tends to distance themselves from them. They're especially popular in the south where people like Kaohsiung's DPP mayor Chen Chu is able to sell her past imprisonment by the KMT to get the support of pro-independence supporters (but she's at risk of losing to the highly popular KMT candidate Han Kuo-Yu in the next election). So the White Terror is used as a rallying cry by the DPP for bourgeois democracy but not much else. They can and do sell workers down the river at the drop of a hat.

Openly leftist parties and movements are divided between pro-unification groups and pro-independence groups like everything else. The pro-unification groups tend to be M-Ls or Trotskyites. They have strong anti-colonial stances against Japanese or American meddling in Taiwan. People in the pro-independence groups like the New Power Party are either social democrats akin to those in the DSA in the US or vague leftists without many concrete details. I think a good place to start reading more about Taiwanese attitudes towards the left is this article from New Bloom Magazine, which started as a Sunflower Movement-affiliated publication but has gone more explicitly leftist over time: https://newbloommag.net/2015/07/09/stalinism-part-one/

There's also the Confucian, Daoist, and Buddhist principles that promote work and familial connections over all else. That tends to stop most socialists from doing much because there's a lot of "I have to work all the time even if I'm not paid appropriately or allowed ownership because that's just what life is about."
 
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Oct 25, 2017
407
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Is there a modern day equivalent to Das Kapital for the digital economy? E.g looking at software/labor the way Marx looked at the industrial revolution.
 
Apr 16, 2018
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Is there a modern day equivalent to Das Kapital for the digital economy? E.g looking at software/labor the way Marx looked at the industrial revolution.
Christian Fuchs is probably the most well-known academic who's transposed Marx's concepts to today's age. I highly recommend this one as a primer: http://fuchs.uti.at/books/reading-m...tion-studies-perspective-on-capital-volume-1/

The journal tripleC is the go-to for open-access academic articles. They had a special issue called 'Marx @ 200: Debating Capitalism & Perspectives for the Future of Radical Theory' that might interest you.The rest of the journal is worth a look-through, so go check out the rest of the issues in the journal.

Otherwise there are many others who applied political economy to the digital age. Herbert Schiller's Digital Capitalism in the first decade of the 2000's is one example, but it's mostly concerning information. There's a book coming out next year called Marx and Video Games at Zero Books by Jamie Woodcock that might also interest you.
 
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Oct 25, 2017
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Herbert Schiller's Digital Capitalism in the first decade of the 2000's is one example, but it's mostly concerning information.
I believe you mean his son, Dan Schiller.
He talks about a possible transition from the slogan "free flow of information" over to forms of security to keep it a self-sustaining system. That feeds into another term that's closely related to this, surveillance capitalism, which is another form of looking at the extraction of all kinds of information into state and corporate power to reduce self-determination.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surveillance_capitalism
 
Oct 27, 2017
265
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Berkeley, CA
These topics are very interesting, especially in context of how some of the products of surveillance capitalism are convenient to a lot of people (which applies to most products under capitalism I guess) which makes it hard to resist. Also I gotta check out that Marx and Video Games book when I have the chance lol
 
Oct 27, 2017
316
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Boston/Helsinki
Christian Fuchs is probably the most well-known academic who's transposed Marx's concepts to today's age. I highly recommend this one as a primer: http://fuchs.uti.at/books/reading-m...tion-studies-perspective-on-capital-volume-1/

The journal tripleC is the go-to for open-access academic articles. They had a special issue called 'Marx @ 200: Debating Capitalism & Perspectives for the Future of Radical Theory' that might interest you.The rest of the journal is worth a look-through, so go check out the rest of the issues in the journal.

Otherwise there are many others who applied political economy to the digital age. Herbert Schiller's Digital Capitalism in the first decade of the 2000's is one example, but it's mostly concerning information. There's a book coming out next year called Marx and Video Games at Zero Books by Jamie Woodcock that might also interest you.
Yes, Fuchs is the way to go - but would still say Monthly Review (overall) has more interesting and high quality OA articles than 3c.

Here is another Fuchs’ article MR: https://monthlyreview.org/2016/01/01/digital-labor-and-imperialism/
 
Apr 16, 2018
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Yes, Fuchs is the way to go - but would still say Monthly Review (overall) has more interesting and high quality OA articles than 3c.

Here is another Fuchs’ article MR: https://monthlyreview.org/2016/01/01/digital-labor-and-imperialism/
Sorry. Yes. MR is definitely the way to go. It’s just that triple C is more focused on communication while MR is all-purpose.

MR is my number one journal and publisher though. They even give discounts if you’re in prison!
 

ebs

Member
Oct 27, 2017
192
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Hey all,

I'd like to educate myself a little bit. Specifically looking for any texts which more objectively lay out the pros/cons of both capitalist systems and socialist systems and historical performance of each, with minimal advocation for either, any suggestions?
 
Oct 26, 2017
354
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Hey all,

I'd like to educate myself a little bit. Specifically looking for any texts which more objectively lay out the pros/cons of both capitalist systems and socialist systems and historical performance of each, with minimal advocation for either, any suggestions?
I think that’s going to be very hard to find. The two ideas are so antagonistic to one another that any writing about one through the other’s lens will be very unkind, and you likely won’t find anyone dispassionate enough to do an objective contrast/compare in the way you want to see.

But truthfully, there are few real justifications for capitalist systems, especially in the ways they exist currently, and the evidence is all around us.

The ills of this world can all be tied in one form or another to capitalism, whether it’s related to environment, education, health and disease, poverty, or any number of other problems, and any benefits you can point toward for capitalism could just as easily be achieved in a true socialist system without the requisite divisions between and exploitation of people and various groups.

As far as book recommendations that aren’t inherently socialist but will give you well researched looks at the state of the world in relation to economic systems, have you read any Naomi Klein?

For my money, No Logo, Shock Doctrine, and This Changes Everything are a perfect trilogy of “Everything is Fucked but Why and By Whom?”


Edit: tons of great accessible books out there. From the Folks that Brought you the Weekend, The S Word, A People’s History of The United States...

I think that just seeking out the suppressed history of labor and exploitation will take you a long way. Once you see the history, even without the difficult theoretical stuff, the truth is pretty evident I think.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,027
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Hey all,

I'd like to educate myself a little bit. Specifically looking for any texts which more objectively lay out the pros/cons of both capitalist systems and socialist systems and historical performance of each, with minimal advocation for either, any suggestions?
The person above made a lot of good points as well, and a follow up point I'll make is: pretty much all nations currently calling themselves "socialist" aren't really. That's not a "no true scotsman" thing, there are very very basic standards about how workers control labor that no-one is doing right now, and so when you're reading about this stuff its important to keep in mind that what's being discussed is not "lets turn the world into Vietnam or North Korea". The important thing to understand is how much of capitalism is both destructive and also unnecessary.
 
Oct 29, 2017
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Capitalism Pros - Monster Energy Drinks, you get to pay other people to clean up after you, you get to pretend like the things you naturally gravitate towards are actually done so because you're an ethical and good person, people with 0 aptitude get to blame it on Capitalism, iPhones.

Capitalism Cons - Alienation, Soc Dems (+ Tankies, Fascists), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Socialism Pros - Free Association, Democracy, Twitter activists will actually have to do something socially useful

Socialism Cons - No yearly Call of Duty, suddenly inner city leftists will have to fix things that break in their apartments themselves.


The ills of this world can all be tied in one form or another to capitalism
Keep this religious fundamentalism out of our socialism thread
 
Hey all,

I'd like to educate myself a little bit. Specifically looking for any texts which more objectively lay out the pros/cons of both capitalist systems and socialist systems and historical performance of each, with minimal advocation for either, any suggestions?
May not be the Objective™ you're looking for since he's a Marxist geographer but David Harvey's A Brief History of Neoliberalism is a very good starting point.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,246
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suddenly inner city leftists will have to fix things that break in their apartments themselves.
That's not a negative. The problem is the continual move towards unrepairable design fostering a replacement culture. Reversing that will undoubtedly cause growing pains, but it's a net benefit compared to today where something is simply disposed because it's cheaper to replace than the labor required to fix it.
 
Oct 29, 2017
3,207
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you've been explicit that the world is deterministic and not shaped by political forces or actions
Yet I keep saying the exact opposite of these things.

Just because I tell you that your activism is ultimately meaningless doesn't mean that I think everything is meaningless or that the outcome is inevitable. It's not an either / or.