• Introducing Image Options for ResetEra 2.0! Check the left side navigation bar to show or hide images, avatars, covers, and embedded media. More details at the link.

Socialism |OT| The Dawn of a Red Era

Oct 25, 2017
1,363
Global catastrophe due to climate change is not going to be averted under normal reformist measures, though. Decades of inaction have moved us past that point. That doesn't mean we need to try and push for proletarian revolution, as that's antithetical to what the movement is, as already stated. But there will be massive disruptive change of some sort, either to try and curtail the damage or as a reaction to the damage.
 
Oct 26, 2017
5,887
I like to think there's a qualitative difference between "reform, while waiting/preparing for revolution" and "reform, under the impression that revolution is impossible/undesirable", the latter is what characterizes the bulk of liberals.

We all know when a society reaches it's tipping point there are people who march and people who stay at home and try to ride it out, and it's important not to be the ones who're trying to ride it out (although ironically it's the people who do who tend to make it out alive).
 
Nov 1, 2017
131
Well as the theory goes, machines are the embodiment of the labour put into creating them, so their value is that labour. They transfer the value present in them into the things made with them. If a machine is used to make 4 things in its lifespan before breaking, then the value in it gets split over those 4 products.

Something something dead Labour, something something vampires sucking living labour.
 
Oct 26, 2017
5,887
Yes, I think the easiest way for me to conceptualize it is, in the case where machine labor replaces human labor, it's still because we desire a better, faster, more efficient human that's not physically possible. Ultimately, the value is coming from the concentration of human labor beyond human capacity.

Also it is the transference of the machine's value as capital into the product's value as a commodity, etc.

It's difficult to internalize value as a social relation because I was raised to think of things in discrete terms.

I need to try my hand at Capital again one of these days.

Also stumbled onto this: https://medium.com/@MichaelMcBride/...icial-intelligence-170-years-ago-4fd7c23505ef

“Once adopted into the production process of capital, the means of labour passes through different metamorphoses, whose culmination is the… automatic system of machinery… set in motion by an automaton, a moving power that moves itself; this automaton consisting of numerous mechanical and intellectual organs, so that the workers themselves are cast merely as its conscious linkages.”
Labour no longer appears so much to be included within the production process; rather, the human being comes to relate more as watchman and regulator to the production process itself… As soon as labour in the direct form has ceased to be the great well-spring of wealth, labour time ceases and must cease to be its measure.Capitalism thus works towards its own dissolution as the form dominating production.
This is the conclusion I came to long before I discovered Marxist theory, and after exposure to Marxist thought, one of the futures I fear is when capitalists own all productive machines (henceforth the only sufficiently effective form of labor to be of any worth in the market). In such a pessimistic scenario, there's three further branches where:

1) Capitalists leave the Earth with their robot gods, proletariat rebuilds society and either does something new or goes through this same process

2) Capitalists control all society, provide a stipend (UBI) simply to sustain consumerism.

3) Capitalists claim ownership of all the world, relegate proletariat to permanent ghettos, retreat into automated impregnable fortresses
 
Last edited:
Nov 1, 2017
131
I found that it’s easier for me to get my head around it if I replace the exchange value with the word worth. The word worth cannot be used for one thing. It’s a comparison. You can say something is ‘very useful’ and it makes grammatical sense. You can’t say ‘very worth’ outside of colloquial slang, but even then the rest of the sentence is being implied. You have to say what it’s worth. It’s ‘worth 2 bagels’. So by linguistic necessity, worth is a concept defining the relationship between more than one thing.

I seem to recall that Marx even points out how pleased he is that English already has a word for this at some point.
 
Nov 1, 2017
131
Well I wouldn’t say ‘use worth’, usefulness is an inherent property of a thing, no relationship needed.

As for automation, if no living labour is being used, no value (‘worth’) is being created. If there’s no value being created, there’s no surplus value, and no profits. Capitalism is all about profit, so capitalism will collapse.

Of course, that would be reached gradually, so long before then, as profit gradually dries up, capitalism will become so lethargic that the material conditions will become revolutionary. Or so it goes.
 
It is really disheartening to hear the one thing I would absolutely die for (UBI) and would've killed for in the past is the thing that numbs any chances for real class conscious

I guess the one thing that really scares me off being a real socialist is like tankies and that line of thinking. I was thinking about tankies and the way they fall inline for their authoritarian heroes is exactly like the same way capitalist fall inline for their inhumane overlords. That kinda scares me that would happen to people that would otherwise believe in something that would probably help others out. I've always wanted to study leaders of the soviet union ww2 and post ww2 and see what they're intrepretation of socialism was and see where they went wrong. Just very scared I'll turn to tankie if I do that. Also really curious to learn about Cuba.
 
It should be noted there's other less dystopian conceptions of UBI but it's easily the one most perverted to suppress class consciousness rather than to elevate it.

To me it's a priority for the ptoleriate (sic) but more and more for me, it's the enviroment and making healthcare available to everyone I don't even know if class consciousness is even in the near ten, I need to think and read more. But making a more responsible and just society and all. But there are so many fucking nuances and people to read about socialism it seems kind much for me to grasp. I can't even spell ptoleriate correctly, never mind maintain 100% class consciousness. Academic lefty twitter just seems to make socialism so maddening and being socialist shitposting seems like the worst because I don't knoewhat dialetic is?
 
Oct 26, 2017
5,887
Proletariat.

"Making healthcare available to everyone" is possible under capitalistic systems thought difficult to achieve because of political corruption. Environmental justice is quite a bit harder because of how it conflicts inherently with consumerism.

Dialectic is when you take two opposing ideas and analyze them against each other to learn something new about both those ideas and form an encompassing theory of both (synthesis). I recommend this video, which talks about the Hegelian master/slave dialectic. Marx based some of his personal philosophy on Hegelian dialectic so it's a good starting point to understand the kind of contrasting that drives Marxism and Marxist-descended ideas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgNt1C72B_4

For Hegel it was master/slave, for Marx it was capital/labor.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,917
It is really disheartening to hear the one thing I would absolutely die for (UBI) and would've killed for in the past is the thing that numbs any chances for real class conscious

I guess the one thing that really scares me off being a real socialist is like tankies and that line of thinking. I was thinking about tankies and the way they fall inline for their authoritarian heroes is exactly like the same way capitalist fall inline for their inhumane overlords. That kinda scares me that would happen to people that would otherwise believe in something that would probably help others out. I've always wanted to study leaders of the soviet union ww2 and post ww2 and see what they're intrepretation of socialism was and see where they went wrong. Just very scared I'll turn to tankie if I do that. Also really curious to learn about Cuba.
Do you value human life? Do you have at least two political scruples? Do you have self worth? If so, you'll probably not become a tankie.

I've seen a dude dismiss any criticism of communist states as "bourgeois propaganda." Then turns right around and says "socialism with Chinese characteristics" looks promising, and he's interested in seeing how will work out. If anyone points out that moving the means of production under state control, or state involvement in private enterprise, doesn't actually do much in regard to the class struggle, he dismisses them as "counterrevolutionary." Russian expansion and domination in the USSR it downplayed, since it doesn't compare in raw numbers to what the US has done historically, and it was for the sake of the future of communism, of course! It's all a part of the transition! Nevermind Revolutionary Catalonia, which hit closer to the mark in six months than Stalin's Russia ever did* - the anarchists had slaves! For real he claimed there were slaves in Revolutionary Catalonia. These dudes swallow whatever bullshit they're fed if it's colored red. Now I know how there are still young Chinese who still buy into the party rhetoric hook, line, and sinker. Oh, yeah, and "tankie" is a slur, apparently.

I always thought you guys were cool here, but spending some time on a leftist meme circlejerk thread on my old forum gave me a whole new appreciation for this OT. Still, I was surprised to see Stalin apologists speak out strongly in favor of trans rights!

*Yeah, I know it wasn't exactly true socialism or anarchism, but to me it seemed a whole of a lot more proletarian than the USSR turned out to be.
 
Oct 26, 2017
5,887
I didn't really start with socialism. I started with "shit's broken why isn't it being fixed?", then I stumbled onto socialism because Marx tries to explain "why shit's broke" and "why it isn't being fixed" and I agree with some of his conclusions and insight.

It probably helps to make sure your position is grounded in something more axiomatic (means fundamental, like 1 + 1 = 2) rather than looking to socialism to inform your morals. For me it was universal empathy and the undesirability of suffering. Those were the most basic things I could figure out for myself and say "this is true and nothing I ever learn will stop it from being true", the rest is just building off of that.
 
OP
OP
sphagnum
Oct 25, 2017
8,508
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.
The nuclear stuff is frustrating but it seems to come from misplaced fear about nuclear was/meltdowns and woo woo new agey garbage marketed by green capitalists and cranks.

As for NATO, well, socialists don't historically have a good relationship with NATO. Obviously Marxist-Leninist states were in conflict with it, but outside of that - even if you didnt/wouldn't have supported the Eastern Bloc states - NATO primarily exists as an extension of capitalist power. Russia is too, except in a more openly autocratic way. Neither one is a friend to socialism.

It would be interesting to see if there was some sort of (slight) shift in rhetoric if, say, Bernie and Corbyn came to power since they'd be running two of the biggest parts of NATO. Not that they're revolutionaries or anything.
 
May 16, 2018
215
The Nuclear thing is big sticking point for a lot of people. Especially amongst young voters.
I got a friend who eats up the anti-AOC rhetoric hook line and sinker.
I don't grill him on it, cause that wouldn't change anything, but I know that if I did once he brought up nuclear I would have to concede.
Most young voters are deeply concerned about climate change, it's partially why a lot of them don't own cars. So the Green New Deal and it's perceived failings are big fucking deal.
 

brainchild

GameXplain
Verified
Nov 25, 2017
5,828
Minnesota
I didn't really start with socialism. I started with "shit's broken why isn't it being fixed?", then I stumbled onto socialism because Marx tries to explain "why shit's broke" and "why it isn't being fixed" and I agree with some of his conclusions and insight.

It probably helps to make sure your position is grounded in something more axiomatic (means fundamental, like 1 + 1 = 2) rather than looking to socialism to inform your morals. For me it was universal empathy and the undesirability of suffering. Those were the most basic things I could figure out for myself and say "this is true and nothing I ever learn will stop it from being true", the rest is just building off of that.
Even axioms of truth are still relative, but I agree in the sense that my moral compass is similar. Having said that, such a position isn't necessarily the 'objectively correct' position to take, but it's certainly intuitive.
 
Oct 26, 2017
5,887
Even axioms of truth are still relative, but I agree in the sense that my moral compass is similar. Having said that, such a position isn't necessarily the 'objectively correct' position to take, but it's certainly intuitive.
Well, that's true. I used to believe in objectivity as a kid but not anymore. I do think if there's no way I can break a moral down any further, it might as well be axiomatic for all practical purposes of having an internally consistent moral code. The pitfall of infinite granularity/infinite self-reflection is just that, a pitfall. It's fun to think about occasionally but I decided I wouldn't get anywhere like that.
 

brainchild

GameXplain
Verified
Nov 25, 2017
5,828
Minnesota
Well, that's true. I used to believe in objectivity as a kid but not anymore. I do think if there's no way I can break a moral down any further, it might as well be axiomatic for all practical purposes of having an internally consistent moral code. The pitfall of infinite granularity/infinite self-reflection is just that, a pitfall. It's fun to think about occasionally but I decided I wouldn't get anywhere like that.
You're right to call it an axiom, there's nothing wrong with labeling it as such; everything that follows it is based on it. It just so happens to be a basis that was established abstractly.
 
Oct 26, 2017
5,887
Socially progressive on paper. I say "on paper" because most urban gentrification is driven by the lifestyle and spending habits of white liberals, and no one who knows anything about gentrification can call it socially progressive. The best excuse that they can muster is that the increased economic activity has collateral benefits for the people in the area (neglecting to mention that real estate in those areas is rarely owned by non-whites, and that the "opportunities" in those areas are rarely available to non-educated non-whites).

Economically, a liberal can be anything.
 
Is it possible to rich and a liberal? What does the word liberal mean in the US?
people here are going to refer to it in the least generous terms but in the US context since the early 20th century it just means someone with normal progressive politics.

outside of extremely online folks most americans who self-describe as liberals are going to prefer higher redistribution, heavy state involvement in healthcare provision, a less punitive justice system, and a more tolerant attitude towards immigration. they're probably not going to support abolishing the market economy but that's also true of virtually everyone.

it's definitely true that there's high profile rich folks who are eager to be associated with being socially liberal but irl people are not gonna distinguish between liberalism and social democracy because america's political vocabulary is screwed up. it's not what i'd prefer (it'd be nice if people even knew what corporatism meant before referring to it) but it's the reality we have to work with
 
Oct 26, 2017
5,887
A big part of it is people project their own ideas about what "liberal" means onto the label because that's the direction our culture went in after WWII. When an American person says "I'm a liberal", I don't really know what they mean except:

1) They vote D
2) They don't say the f-word out loud around gay people, or the n-word around black people although they might try to say "nigga"

Otherwise they can be anything!

"Socialism" has the same issue but instead of a hundred definitions, there's a hundred self-acknowledging branches of socialism. A typical liberal never goes through life asking "what is a liberal? what am I? what does any of this even mean?". Or if they find another identity, "liberal" is still who they are in the voting booth.
 
Last edited: