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Socialism |OT| The Dawn of a Red Era

Oct 29, 2017
4,126
Define "modern".

https://www.troploin.fr/ and Gilles Dauve.

Last 15 years?

Tiqqun/Invisible Committee/End Notes/Theorie Communiste have some good works that are worth reading, though I disagree with some of their conclusion. They go as far as theorizing what truly socialized production might look like or a society in transition and how to get there.


Older/New Left era?

Marcuse is pretty bad in some aspects but One Dimensional Man is pretty topical even today and his analysis of the USSR is interesting. Althusser is problematic in a different way but his works on structuralism better defined the State as a tool that reproduces capitalist rationalization and logic.
 
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Mar 8, 2018
623
Althusser is problematic in a different way but his works on structuralism better defined the State as a tool that reproduces capitalist rationalization and logic.
Specifically, "Ideology and Ideological State Apparatus" and "Contradiction and Overdetermination." Unfortunately, these are reproduced in separate volumes.

If you are going to recommend Marcuse and Althusser, I think Deleuze and Guatteri's Anti-Oedipus is probably essential reading for it's synthesis of Freud/Lacan and Marxism (e.g., in the concept of desiring-production). I realize that Marxists consider Deleuze at best a highly heterodox Marxist, however.
 
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Oct 29, 2017
4,126
Specifically, "Ideology and Ideological State Apparatus" and "Contradiction and Overdetermination." Unfortunately, these are reproduced in separate volumes.

If you are going to recommend Marcuse and Althusser, I think Deleuze and Guatteri's Anti-Oedipus is probably essential reading for it's synthesis of Freud/Lacan and Marxism (e.g., in the concept of desiring-production). I realize that Marxists consider Deleuze at best a highly heterodox Marxist, however.
I wanted to stay away from anything a little to heady, hence why no Zizek.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,363
I'd also recommend some books in political economy, such as The Origin of Capitalism by Ellen Meiksins Wood or, if you're okay with something older and a bit more dense, The Making of the English Workig Class by E.P. Thompson.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,811
I think the chapo stanning for the soviet union (whether it's ironic or unironic, I can't tell.) has me kinda wanting to learn about the modern applications of socialism on the internet outside reddit because the irony posting is fucking thick and kinda muddies up genuine criticism of the soviet union and how it used socialism and communism
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,811
And also holy shit academic writing about theoretically uses of communism and socialism is so fucking boring. You can practically smell the fucking academic circlejerk coming from it. I guess I'm more in it for practical essays for it. But hot goddamn if lefty twitter is any indication of what academic left is like, uh no thanks.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,811
Mainly I was into socialism for the shitposting and what not

But I've never actually liked mainstream democrats and very angry at how Obama fucked over a lot of people, so I guess in a fucked up way I was using socialism as a conduit to express the anger

Now I'm more into how to make socialism more tolerable for people in the midwest and get rid of the conservative's imagery of it
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,811
Also dear godalmighty


reddit needs to re open shittankiessay subreddit or just open a blog for it on tumblr

just a big ole can of STFU to tankies and showing them how they fallen into a trap

God help me if I ever fucking become a legit tankie
 
OP
OP
sphagnum
Oct 25, 2017
8,508
I've read about The ABCs of Socialism and legit cannot remember shit about it

Manufacturing Consent is Chomsky right?
ABCs is basically a simple explanation of socialism 101, so if you've already read it then you're good on that front. And yeah, MC is Chomsky.

Since you're interested in stuff about practical applications but specifically in a modern context, I'd say maybe peruse BSA's list here (specifically Part 5 with Bookchin and Ocalan - some of the stuff is links to PDFs - though that follows a particular type of confederalist tendency).

https://blacksocialists.us/resource-guide
 
Mar 4, 2018
945
Confederalism is the idea of a union of states working together. Murray Bookchin and Abdullah Ocalan go in on that and their work is rooted in the anarchist tendency, though it has a bunch of socialist elements. Rojava does Democratic Confederalism. The idea, roughly, is bottom-up organization that emphasizes community and free associations.

EDIT: Rojava's as close as you'll get to socialism in practice in the 21st century. And they've messed up sometimes too.
 
Mar 4, 2018
945
Essentially democratic socialist organization at a municipal level, linking together society on a wider scale.
Oh yeah, that's one detail my explanation forgot to emphasize. This all is based on the municipal, community level where people work together and can define things often in a relatively free and unstructured way. So thanks for pointing that out.
 
Oct 26, 2017
5,886
Would the united states with less centralization qualify as confederalism?

Can we sell confederalism to red states because it says "confederal"?
 
Mar 4, 2018
945
Would the united states with less centralization qualify as confederalism?

Can we sell confederalism to red states because it says "confederal"?
I can't speak to the former-- I don't believe so, since our guarantees of federalism end at the state level, rather than the municipal level. I think you'd basically have to Hail Mary pass just before ancapistan if you wanted to follow existing legal trends to the point where things are autonomous at those levels.

But on the latter-- I believe there's genuine promise there. The focus on small community organization and free association within the municipal context appeals to various aspects of the American memeplex; individualism, freedom of association, active participation in governance, striking out against a larger oppressive entity. Primarily confederalist caucuses would have political goals that would be familiar to rural voters (state's rights on steroids) while simultaneously providing representation for the more populist ideals that statistically speaking most Red state voters are known to hold (like support for healthcare). It provides the radical package of "shaking things up" in a way that's far more approachable. It also gives them flexibility in approaching typical Democrat wedge issues. It's not a silver bullet, but I suspect there's promise there.
 
Oct 25, 2017
447
doesn't rojava literally have a constitutional right to private property

like no beef i'm a succdem but calling that socialism seems like calling sweden socialism, something i'm basically fine with in practice but surprised to see in this thread
 
Oct 29, 2017
4,126
I don't recall the context, but I'm in the habit of calling them "Left of Capital". Their reactionary tendencies manifest in their allegiance to the State, the liquidation of various worker's movements, their historical support of bourgeois nationalism/national socialism, their fetishization of "red" military expeditions, the support of ethnic cleansing, their corporatism...
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,363
I hadn't listened to The Dig podcast before, but there was a really good discussion on the most recent episode with Kafui Attoh that mainly focused on public transit and the role of the automobile in creating Marxist idiocy. But relevant to the conversation we were having before, they brought up the liberal fascination with personal responsibility, and how that feeds into a false mindset of thinking individual activism, instead of collective action around of material interests, will lead to change. This is also reflected in the liberal tendency to blame certain groups of people for something like Trump's win in 2016, instead of looking at the structural issues that brought us there.

Link to episode: https://www.blubrry.com/thedig/43035788/against-idiocy-with-kafui-attoh/
 
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Oct 25, 2017
12,195
It's very depressing how many shitlibs on here are all too willing to attack their own in bad faith while chastising us for some not providing some "Unity" bullshit.
 
Oct 26, 2017
5,886
As well as a bunch of bad faith posters taking any opportunity to lob potshots at socialism. I'm pretty sure they even made the argument that they're doing this for our own good and that they think they're helping by holding us to higher standards. Like, get real and get over yourself.
 
Oct 27, 2017
42
I fInally got around to reading the ‘militancy is the highest form of alienation’ and ‘give up activism’ articles that House linked me to much earlier in the thread, as well as a reply to the latter. They were excellent, and are quite helpful for situating how left com (I think) ideas work in practice.

The articles, for anyone curious:

https://libcom.org/library/militancy-ojtr

https://libcom.org/library/give-up-activism

http://libcom.org/library/anti-activism
The most key line from these articles:

This is a modest proposal that we should develop ways of operating that are adequate to our radical ideas. This task will not be easy and the writer of this short piece has no clearer insight into how we should go about this than anyone else.
It's easy to point out the failings of the activist model because they're readily apparent, even to activists themselves. When it comes time to posit an alternative though the critics can't say anything beyond "it's hard." IMO it's mostly just the left flagellating itself for its own weakness which is really a result of conditions that it has no power over. There simply isn't a large enough base for revolutionary politics in the West to accomplish anything large-scale so the sliver that does arrive at some type of radical critique of the prevailing system and wants to achieve their aims has to take up less than ideal methods (sectarianism, activist specialization, joining NGOs and liberal groups, etc). I'll say the first article is a bit different because it's talking about the post-68 European environment where the range of possibilities seemed less restricted.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,754
Why the hell is it so hard for left-wing parties to be pro-nuclear power and pro-NATO/EU army/something like that?

Sorry, need to vent. Not sure if this is a right place but whatever, can't figure anything else.

We got parliamentary elections here in Finland on Sunday, and i'm trying to figure who to vote. The Greens and Left Alliance both share my values for most part... except both are anti-NATO and anti-nuclear power. I guess i should be thankful they're at least pro-EU, unlike local Communist parties (not likely to gain any seats).
I suppose i will vote either one (more likely the Left Alliance), since i sure as hell ain't gonna vote for center or right-wing parties.

But still, frustrating. Is being rather strongly left but pro-NATO/nuclear rare?

Because i figure my positions will raise questions:
I'm not so much pro-NATO as i'm pro-EU-internal-military/defense alliance, since i see the US as an unreliably ally (reasons for that start with R) and NATO likely being dragged into some mess they cause. But i think that anyone pro-NATO is probably also for EU military, which i feel is necessary for further unity within EU, cutting reliance from the US, and because we got Russia next to us.
And pro-nuclear stance is because it is necessary. Renewables are good, but they can't really fulfill all demand here anytime soon (probably never, given our climate), and once we get rid of fossil fuels, we're gonna need nuclear to replace that.
 
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Oct 29, 2017
4,126
It's easy to point out the failings of the activist model because they're readily apparent, even to activists themselves. When it comes time to posit an alternative though the critics can't say anything beyond "it's hard." IMO it's mostly just the left flagellating itself for its own weakness which is really a result of conditions that it has no power over.
"It's Hard", especially to come up with a solution, because the solution isn't something to be crafted by the political Left, which is weak simply because the professional activist has some level of separation from the proletariat. Which leads to...



There simply isn't a large enough base for revolutionary politics in the West to accomplish anything large-scale
This. The proletariat assesses and acts on if/when there is a revolutionary situation.
 
Oct 26, 2017
5,886
So if we are not in a revolutionary situation, is it ok to be pursing short term reformist goals in the meantime?
To me, yes. The way I see it is you reform with an eye towards enabling/supporting revolution should it ever happen. I cannot really accept the accelerationist model (too many casualties) so this is what I stick with.