The fascist coup of January 6

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  trotskysspectre  •  3 weeks ago  •  65 comments

By:   David North

The fascist coup of January 6
...even if the initial effort has fallen short of its goal, it will happen again.

This is a coordinated, planned fascist insurrection. Trump supporters passed through police barricades outside the Capitol and entered the building without serious resistance.


S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



The fascist coup of January 6
by David North

The fascist insurrection in Washington D.C.—which resulted in the storming of the US Congress, the panicked dispersal of terrified senators and members of the House, the delay of the official validation of Joseph Biden’s Electoral College majority, and even the occupation of the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi—is a turning point in the political history of the United States.

The hoary glorifications of the invincibility and timelessness of American democracy have been totally exposed and discredited as a hollow political myth. The popular phrase “It Can’t Happen Here,” taken from the title of Sinclair Lewis’ justly famous fictional account of the rise of American fascism, has been decisively overtaken by events. Not only can a fascist coup happen here. It has happened here, on the afternoon of January 6, 2021.

Moreover, even if the initial effort has fallen short of its goal, it will happen again.

What occurred yesterday was the outcome of a carefully planned conspiracy. It was instigated by Donald Trump, who has been working with a gang of fascist conspirators strategically positioned within the White House and other powerful institutions, departments and agencies of the state. Wednesday’s operation carries with it the overwhelming stench of the Trump sons, close aides like Stephen Miller, and numerous others working behind the scenes within the military, the National Guard and the police.

The conspiracy utilized the well-known techniques of modern coups. The plotters identified the meeting of the Congress to ratify Biden’s Electoral College majority as the propitious time for action. The assault was prepared by weeks of lying claims by Trump and his minions that the 2020 election had been stolen. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rendered critical service by withholding Republican recognition of Biden’s election for weeks, thus providing time and legitimacy to Trump’s efforts to discredit the election with totally fraudulent claims of ballot fraud.

A majority of Republican congressmen and a substantial number of Republican senators orchestrated Wednesday’s political debate at which the legitimacy of the Electoral College vote was challenged, to provide the necessary pretext for the planned right-wing uprising. The final signal for the storming of the Capitol building was given by Trump himself, who delivered an insurrectionary harangue to his supporters, who—one can be certain—were directed by elements with police, military and paramilitary training.

It has already been widely noted that the fascist gangs encountered virtually no resistance as they stormed the Capitol. In the most critical and vulnerable areas of the Capitol building, the police were hardly to be seen. To politically evaluate the police response on Wednesday, one has only to recall the violence deployed last June against a peaceful anti-police brutality demonstration in Lafayette Park.

Had a left-wing protest been called in Washington to protest Trump’s efforts to overthrow the results of the election, the demonstrators—as everyone knows—would have been met with a massive show of force by the police and National Guard. There would have been police sharpshooters placed strategically on every building in the vicinity of the protesters. Military helicopters and drones would have been circling overhead. The slightest unauthorized movement by the crowd, however peaceful, would have been met with demands for their immediate dispersal, followed within minutes by the launching of barrages of tear gas cannisters. Hundreds, if not thousands, would have been kettled and arrested.

The response of the Democratic Party to the coup has been a pathetic display of political spinelessness. The first hours of the insurrection passed without a single prominent Democratic leader issuing a clear denunciation of the conspiracy, nor did they call for popular resistance to the coup. Former President Obama and the Clintons, who are followed by millions on Twitter, remained silent throughout the day.

As for the president-elect, Biden waited hours before finally appearing before the public. After describing the attack on the Capitol as sedition, Biden made this extraordinary appeal to the leader of the conspiracy, “I call on President Trump to go on national television now, to fulfill his oath and defend the Constitution and demand an end to this siege.”

Normally, when confronted with an attempt to overthrow the constitutional regime, the political leader threatened by the conspiracy must immediately seek to deprive the traitors of all access to the mass media and a nationwide audience. But Biden, instead, called on Trump to appear on national television—to call off the insurrection he himself had organized!

Biden concluded his remarks with the following clarion call. “So, President Trump, step up.” This bankrupt appeal to the would-be fascist dictator will go down in history as Biden’s “Hitler, do the right thing” speech.

The Democrats, let alone the media, have no intention of exposing the full depth of the conspiracy and holding its plotters and organizers responsible. The effort to cover up the crime has already begun, with the media already bloviating on the need for Democrats and Republicans “to come together in bipartisan unity.”

The decision of the Senate, in the evening hours, to uphold Biden’s election is not the end of the crisis.

Appeals for “unity” with the conspirators clear the path for the next effort to carry out a fascist coup d’état. This is the lesson of the invasion of the state Capitol last April by armed fascist thugs in Lansing, Michigan and the subsequent conspiracy in the autumn of 2020 to kidnap and assassinate the Democratic governor of the state, Gretchen Whitmer. The Democratic Party and media quickly suppressed coverage of these crimes and hardly defended Whitmer against the attack. The plotters, thus far, have received little more than a slap on the wrist.

The Democrats’ response to the fascist conspiracy is not dictated by merely cowardice or stupidity. Rather, as representatives of the financial-corporate oligarchy, they are frightened that the exposure of the criminal conspiracy and its political aims would ignite a mass response within the working class that spirals into a movement against the capitalist state and the interests it serves.

The effort to conceal the conspiracy must be opposed. Workers must take up the demand for the immediate removal and arrest of Trump. He cannot be allowed to remain in power, utilizing the immense power of the presidency to continue his plotting. His retention of the White House represents a massive threat to the people of the United States and the world. Trump still has the power to declare a national emergency and even launch war. His finger remains on the nuclear trigger.

Nor should his co-conspirators be left in office. The Republican senators and congressmen involved in the conspiracy must be likewise removed from the Senate and Congress, arrested, place on trial and sent to prison.

The continuing reference by the Democrats to their “Republican colleagues” is itself a mockery of democracy.

The demand must be raised for a public investigation with open hearings, aimed at identifying all those involved in the conspiracy, leading to their arrest and imprisonment.

Absolutely no confidence should be placed in the in-coming Biden administration—assuming that his inauguration is not blocked by a further uprising—to hold the conspirators to account and defend democracy.

It must never be forgotten that Biden and the Democrats represent nothing more than another political faction of the same ruling class. As Obama declared immediately after Trump’s election, the conflict between the Democrats and Republicans is nothing more than an “intramural scrimmage,” i.e., a friendly fight between members of the same team. In a statement issued Wednesday evening, Obama singled out Republicans for praise, writing obsequiously: “I’ve been heartened to see many members of the president’s party speak up forcefully today.” The only purpose of such a statement is to conceal the truth about the extent of the fascist coup.

The events of January 6, 2021 must be taken as a warning. The working class must elaborate a political strategy and plan of action to defeat future efforts to impose a dictatorship.

The political and economic dynamic of capitalist reaction and counterrevolution will continue, even with Trump out of office. This dynamic will not abate after January 20. The Democratic Party, whose congressional and senatorial delegation is stacked with millionaires and people with the closest ties to the CIA and the military, are no less capable than the Republicans of organizing a conspiracy to suppress democratic rights.

In any event, the policies of the Biden administration, which will pursue policies set by Wall Street and the military, will perpetuate and escalate the anger and frustrations exploited by the fascists.

Throughout the past year, as it has conducted an unrelenting struggle against the ruling class policy of herd immunity, the Socialist Equality Party has shown in detail the connection between the ruling class’s inhuman response to the pandemic and the Trump administration’s assault on democratic rights.

The danger has not passed.

It is essential to build a network of rank-and-file committees in factories and workplaces capable of organizing broad-based popular resistance through the mobilization of all sections of the working class.

Above all, workers must understand that the disintegration of American democracy is rooted in the crisis of capitalism. In a society riven by staggering levels of social inequality, it is impossible to preserve democracy.

Draw the lessons of January 6!

Take up the fight for socialism and the defense of democratic rights!


Tags

jrDiscussion - desc
[]
 
Trotsky's Spectre
Freshman Quiet
1  seeder  Trotsky's Spectre    3 weeks ago

This distinctively American form of fascism will not go quietly into the night. The working class can no longer afford to wait for events to play out. The working class must enter directly into the stream of political events with their own working class agenda. Where to start?

The demand must be raised for a public investigation with open hearings, aimed at identifying all those involved in the conspiracy, leading to their arrest and imprisonment.

Agree or disagree, and why.

 
 
 
Kathleen
Masters Principal
1.1  Kathleen  replied to  Trotsky's Spectre @1    3 weeks ago

It's a fair assumption to find out who these people were that were involved in these crimes. What their background is too.  All the people they arrested need to be identified to the public.

 
 
 
Tessylo
PhD Principal
1.1.1  Tessylo  replied to  Kathleen @1.1    3 weeks ago

They're all right wing domestic terrorists.  

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
Masters Guide
1.1.2  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  Kathleen @1.1    3 weeks ago

What their background is too

I am betting that some brother/sister marriages are involved.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
Professor Expert
2  FLYNAVY1    3 weeks ago

Trump, Don Jr., Giuliani, Ted Cruz, and Josh Hawley, all need to be arrested and charged with sedition and possibly insurrection. 

Those terrorists with the Trump hats, flags, and stars -n-bars need to be arrested and charged as well.

What happened yesterday will happen again.  

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Junior Guide
3  Drakkonis    3 weeks ago
The hoary glorifications of the invincibility and timelessness of American democracy have been totally exposed and discredited as a hollow political myth. The popular phrase “It Can’t Happen Here,” taken from the title of Sinclair Lewis’ justly famous fictional account of the rise of American fascism, has been decisively overtaken by events. Not only can a fascist coup happen here. It has happened here, on the afternoon of January 6, 2021.

Only, it didn't. What I saw was a bunch of people mostly just standing around, some waving flags or whatnot. As much as the media tried to sensationalize the "violence", it wasn't much more than that. If this was a coup, it seems rather an ineffective and aimless one. The impression overall was that a bunch of Trump supporters stormed the capitol building and then, basically, asked "now what?" after which they allowed themselves to be pushed out. If there were demands issued, they so far remain unreported by the media. 

Nor is it true that American democracy has been exposed as a myth. This is evident in that we're still a democracy and this spectacle at the capitol had zero chance of changing that. Democracy wasn't threatened by this episode because there was no factor in it that could have changed the outcome we have. Instead of recognizing this obvious fact, we are told that democracy is, or was, in danger. Um, no. It never was. None of Trump's efforts gained the least amount of traction in trying to overturn the election. We were bombarded with ideas like "what will the military do?", "is Pence going to nullify the electoral college?", "will the Trump picked Supreme Court install Trump as president again?"  All of these things, with which the media pundits spent endless amounts of time speculating about were  not real things. No one in government had the least concern about them at all, in spite of what they said publicly. They were purely submitted for the shaping of public opinion.  The military gave classes on the military's roll in our nation, meaning it didn't involve itself in the question. The Pence question was a non-question because he had no legal authority to do other than what he did and no court would support it if he had. None of the courts, including SCOTUS gave Trump's claims the time of day. Even so, we still had endless speculation of what "could" happen. Please! 

What occurred yesterday was the outcome of a carefully planned conspiracy. It was instigated by Donald Trump, who has been working with a gang of fascist conspirators strategically positioned within the White House and other powerful institutions, departments and agencies of the state. Wednesday’s operation carries with it the overwhelming stench of the Trump sons, close aides like Stephen Miller, and numerous others working behind the scenes within the military, the National Guard and the police.

And people complain about Qanon. Even if this were true it would have to have been one of the most incompetent, ineffective and aimless conspiracies in history. But, hey, who doesn't love a good conspiracy, right? How about this one, and given the way things turned out, might make more sense. Someone on the left knew this was likely to happen and, conspiring with the capitol police, let it happen so that Trump and Trump supporters would look even worse than they already did? If we're going to just start tossing out unsupportable (at this time) theories, why not include that one? 

No, what I think happened here is fairly simple and straightforward. Occam's razor and all that. A bunch of people who thought, rightly or wrongly, an injustice was being done did something stupid and pointless to draw attention to this fact. It wasn't a coup. It wasn't insurrection. It was just people being people but people with political agendas are using it to present something more advantageous to themselves. 

That's what I see. 

 
 
 
Tessylo
PhD Principal
3.1  Tessylo  replied to  Drakkonis @3    3 weeks ago

[deleted] Deaf, dumb, and blind to not see this coup/insurrection, for what it is.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Junior Guide
3.1.1  Drakkonis  replied to  Tessylo @3.1    3 weeks ago
You must be blind.  Deaf, dumb, and blind to not see this coup/insurrection, for what it is.

Sorry. Have no time for your personal attacks. Maybe if you wish to present a counter argument???

 
 
 
Tessylo
PhD Principal
3.1.2  Tessylo  replied to  Drakkonis @3.1.1    3 weeks ago

"This is all not a matter of . . . . 'or what not' . . .it's a fascist coup incited and led by your dear leader!"

 
 
 
Trotsky's Spectre
Freshman Quiet
3.1.3  seeder  Trotsky's Spectre  replied to  Drakkonis @3.1.1    3 weeks ago

That the vile figure called Donald Trump -- vomited up from the criminal underworld -- ascended to the presidency at all is irrefutable demonstration that United States 'democracy' is in terminal decline.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Junior Guide
3.1.4  Drakkonis  replied to  Trotsky's Spectre @3.1.3    3 weeks ago
That the vile figure called Donald Trump -- vomited up from the criminal underworld -- ascended to the presidency at all is irrefutable demonstration that United States 'democracy' is in terminal decline.

Maybe, but if so, hardly for this alone.

In any case, it seems clear what you would replace it with if you could. A system no more democratic than any fascist state. 

 
 
 
Trotsky's Spectre
Freshman Quiet
3.1.5  seeder  Trotsky's Spectre  replied to  Drakkonis @3.1.4    3 weeks ago
'Maybe, but if so, hardly for this alone.'

That is a substantial rework of your earlier assertion that it 'is evident in that we're still a democracy...'

As I see it, all that remains is a few, thread bare trappings of democracy. But then, I view our nominal democracy from the perspective of the history of worker struggle. Perhaps you think that so long as one section of the ruling class can turn up its nose at another section of the ruling class by casting a 'vote' meaning just that, all must be well.

You seem to write from the perspective that Trump is an aberration and his removal will make most things right. Trump is the manifestation of amassed wealth, privilege and social power held by a tiny elite; this is fundamentally incompatible with the practice of democracy.

The events of recent months would not occur apart from some or another section[s] of the ruling class. Trump's removal reflects the growing lack of confidence in his ability to serve the interests of US imperialism worldwide, and his ability to repress rising social opposition at home.

The difference between what we have now and what I propose is a state of, by and for the worker, which is the 90%. Understandably, the ruling class [the 1% and The Next 9% together] seeks to thwart the awakening of worker class consciousness. This accounts for the ongoing efforts to divide, disorient, confuse and misdirect the working class.

A government framed of, by and for the working class implies more democracy than the ruling class can stomach.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Junior Guide
3.1.6  Drakkonis  replied to  Trotsky's Spectre @3.1.5    3 weeks ago
That is a substantial rework of your earlier assertion that it 'is evident in that we're still a democracy...'

You can see it as whatever you wish. 

As I see it, all that remains is a few, thread bare trappings of democracy. But then, I view our nominal democracy from the perspective of the history of worker struggle. Perhaps you think that so long as one section of the ruling class can turn up its nose at another section of the ruling class by casting a 'vote' meaning just that, all must be well.

Again, you can see it whatever way suits you. Apparently you wish to view it through the lens of your "socialist/communist" fantasy world. Reality has shown that particular "democracy" to be anything but. It's always "power to the people" and "working class struggle" with you guys, but it always ends up as a dictatorship run by elites filling their ranks with corrupt hangers on who will do anything to their "fellow working class brothers" as long as it raises them above the shit such systems inevitably leave the struggling masses in. 

You seem to write from the perspective that Trump is an aberration and his removal will make most things right. Trump is the manifestation of amassed wealth, privilege and social power held by a tiny elite; this is fundamentally incompatible with the practice of democracy.

You don't know me at all, let alone well enough to think you can describe my perspective. You wish to hold out Trump as some sort of pariah that is unique to a capitalist system but you kid yourself, assuming you actually believe the crap you are trying to convince others of. The system you advocate for has always been filled with people just like him, just disguised as something different. People who struggle and claw their way to the top in order to avoid the degradations inflicted on the working class by the elites in a system that told them they would be in charge. 

What's so laughable about your efforts to convince others of the justices of your "cause" is that anyone with any ability to think at all can simply look at the horrors inflicted by every single attempt to realize your "vision" of democracy in history. It is truly astonishing that anyone could still promote your "democracy" after looking at the number people your system "democratically" killed in the 20th century.  The amount of oppression and suffering inflicted by your "democracy" is truly impressive. 

The events of recent months would not occur apart from some or another section[s] of the ruling class. Trump's removal reflects the growing lack of confidence in his ability to serve the interests of US imperialism worldwide, and his ability to repress rising social opposition at home.

Again, you don't know anything about me, especially if you think I'm going to buy what you attempt to sell here. Your brand of democracy is even more imperialistic than what you think the capitalists guilty of, only you just call it "liberation" rather than "imperialism". One simply needs to point to China for a current example. 

The difference between what we have now and what I propose is a state of, by and for the worker, which is the 90%. Understandably, the ruling class [the 1% and The Next 9% together] seeks to thwart the awakening of worker class consciousness. This accounts for the ongoing efforts to divide, disorient, confuse and misdirect the working class.

Um, yeah, except what you propose has been promised by others and has never, ever happened. Instead, a system demonstrably worse than capitalism ever was are the only examples you can point to. Divide, disorient and confuse? Are you kidding? All it takes is a cursory skimming of history to know what you are actually selling. Suffering, oppression and death. 

A government framed of, by and for the working class implies more democracy than the ruling class can stomach.

Oh, sure. For the person who has no concept of reality and the nature of people, it does "imply" something that poses as democracy. But it has not once in all the attempts to try it ever worked out that way. Not even kind of. What you get, instead, is what has always been gotten. A system where the 1% with real power and no real checks on it impose their vision on everyone else and God help anyone who doesn't fall into line. 

Here's the way I see people like you who try to sell the evil that you do. Fanatics who believe that if only people could be exposed to the "truth" of your vision, they'd see the rightness of your cause.  How could they not, right? And if they don't see it, they're the enemies of the people. They must be because no right thinking person could fail to see it the way you do. That's gotta be a given, right? And because they're "enemies of the people", anything you do to them is justified. I mean, they're evil and bad, right? And, we have to be vigilant, because there's always counterrevolutionaries trying to bring down the just "democracy" any right thinking person would obviously be for. Plus, they make handy scapegoats for explaining why government policy isn't working in this or that area. And your fanaticism gives you justification for what you will do.

Want to know the worst of what you're selling? It's completely unnecessary for you to live your happily socialistic/communist life. Ever heard of Mondragon? Worker owned company and all that? Do what they do. Start or buy your company, put the worker in charge of it and have at it. If your "worker in control of the means of production" is actually better, prove it. No reason you can't do it within a capitalist system, since it's already being done.

But that's not really what you guys want. You want to be god of your society. Tell people what to think. How to act. What they need to believe. No dissent allowed. 

And all I have to do to prove all of this is just open a history book. So, go sell it to someone else, thank you. 

 
 
 
Trotsky's Spectre
Freshman Quiet
3.1.7  seeder  Trotsky's Spectre  replied to  Drakkonis @3.1.6    3 weeks ago

You contend that Marxism:

-- Reproduces Capital’s sins [rot/tyranny/elitism/imperialism, etc.],
-- Lacks the reality of positive accomplishment,
-- Is contradicted by history,
-- Is a fanatics philosophy and
-- Is unnecessary for worker ownership.

I reply:

By definition, states that repress workers are no worker states.

Stalin’s distortions did not achieve socialism. Since it emerged in 1923, Trotsky’s Left Opposition battled indefatigably the very abuses you name.

The Left Opposition’s analysis proved correct on the character of Stalin’s bureaucratic state, on industrialization, on stable currency, on ‘socialism in one country,’ on the Chinese Revolution, on the first 5-year plan, on land, on the Kulaks and more.

In 1936, Trotsky wrote, ‘…the Soviet state acquired a totalitarian bureaucratic character’ [p. 117, The Revolution Betrayed] and ‘the Soviet Union is a contradictory society halfway between capitalism and socialism’ [p. 264]. That is followed by a naming of multiple tendencies toward bourgeoisie [Capital] political economy. This includes that under Stalin, the bureaucracy ‘converted itself into an uncontrolled caste alien to socialism.’ The last of these was that ‘on the road to socialism [depicted as a future, yet unachieved condition] the workers would have to overthrow the bureaucracy.’

Is Stalinism the inevitable end of worker states? Absolutely not! And as the greatest political theoretician of the last century, Leon Trotsky, said, even the most advanced worker revolution was a contradictory society half-way between Capital and socialism. Had you read even one book, Trotsky’s ‘The Revolution Betrayed,’ you would know that.

Trotskyists are not answerable for Stalin’s petty-bourgeoisie tendency, or for the world wide horrors it produced –in whatever name they were wrought. That replies to most of the points you make.

And far from performing the horrors for which the International Marxist Tendency is routinely rebuked, the International Committee of the Fourth International [founded by Leon Trotsky] opposed those horrors at every point.

As for history, we have Marxist historians. Moreover Marxism itself is a philosophy of dialectical material history.

Co-Operatives usefully demonstrate a point the ruling class doesn’t admit – that workers ARE capable of managing their affairs. What workers CANNOT do under Capital is to construct a worker economy. They CANNOT implement the social planning needed for socialism. They CANNOT escape Capital’s boom/bust tyranny. And [above all], they CANNOT resolve Capital’s integral contradictions which give rise to and perpetuate continual crisis.

You referred repeatedly to the absence of Marxist ‘reality.’ Let us consider ‘realism’ in reference to Capital.

In light of all previous historical experience, how realistic is it to imagine a set of conditions that would allow the world capitalist system to resolve [or at least contain] the many explosive problems already visible on the economic and political horizon before they threaten the very existence of the present world order?

Is it realistic to think that geopolitical and economic conflicts between major world powers within the imperialist system can be resolved on the basis of negotiation and multi-lateral agreements before they reach or pass the point of profoundly destabilizing international politics?

How probable is it that disputes over access to and control of raw materials critical for economic development – including but not limited to oil and natural gas – can be settled without violent conflict?

Is it realistic to suppose that innumerable struggles for regional influence – as between China and Japan, or China and India – be resolved without resort to arms?

Is it realistic to suppose that the US can continue to pile up currency deficits in trillions of dollars WITHOUT fundamentally destabilizing the global economy?

How realistic is it to suppose that the world economy can absorb without substantial fiscal turmoil the impact of a major US fiscal crisis?

How realistic is it that the US will retreat from its hegemonic aspirations and accept a more egalitarian distribution of global power among states?

How likely is it that the US will yield ground by compromise and concessions, to economic and potential military competitors whether in Europe or Asia?

How realistic is it to expect the staggering rise of social inequality throughout North America, Europe and Asia WITHOUT creating serious or even violent levels of social conflict?

How realistic is it that the US will accommodate, graciously and peacefully, the rising influence of China?

Given US socio-political history, HOW realistic is it to suppose that for years and even decades to come, the US working class will CONTINUE to accept a continual downward spiral of living standards without bitter and very substantial protest?

So long as we are going to discuss realism, these are the kind of questions that must be frankly faced.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Junior Guide
3.1.8  Drakkonis  replied to  Trotsky's Spectre @3.1.7    3 weeks ago
Stalin’s distortions did not achieve socialism. Since it emerged in 1923, Trotsky’s Left Opposition battled indefatigably the very abuses you name.

Which doesn't mean a thing. Zero relevance. Know why? Because no country that's tried Marxism has ever succeeded in making Marxism work. But even more important is the question "why is this so?" The reason Marxism or Socialism will never work is it requires humans, all of them in the given society, to be altruistic. Humans are not altruistic. So you end up with the history attempting Marxism gives us. The worst sorts of people in charge because the population has traded freedom for an unattainable ideal. 

Further, there is no room for dissent. None. Not a single person can opt out and those who do have to be crushed. 

In 1936, Trotsky wrote, ‘…the Soviet state acquired a totalitarian bureaucratic character’ [p. 117, The Revolution Betrayed] and ‘the Soviet Union is a contradictory society halfway between capitalism and socialism’ [p. 264]. That is followed by a naming of multiple tendencies toward bourgeoisie [Capital] political economy. This includes that under Stalin, the bureaucracy ‘converted itself into an uncontrolled caste alien to socialism.’ The last of these was that ‘on the road to socialism [depicted as a future, yet unachieved condition] the workers would have to overthrow the bureaucracy.’

And he was right. What he apparently didn't realize was that it couldn't be any other way. Trotsky was an idealist, more concerned with the ideal than with the realities. 

Is Stalinism the inevitable end of worker states? Absolutely not!

Well, this certainly hasn't been proven to date! Not even close. 

Trotskyists are not answerable for Stalin’s petty-bourgeoisie tendency, or for the world wide horrors it produced –in whatever name they were wrought. That replies to most of the points you make.

Um, nope. Doesn't even come close to replying. Take everything you've said so far and your defense is "they just weren't doing it right!" What you don't get is that it can't be done "right". That's why fanatics like yourself scare the crap out of me. You think it's just a matter of everyone knowing what you know. Then they couldn't help but agree and make it work this time. Because there's something special about you or something that will make it work this time. 

But if you get the chance to try, this is how it will play out. Either you'll get frustrated when you learn that not everyone shares your vision and you'll begin to be just like every other Marxist leader in history or someone more  ruthless than you will force you out just like they did Trotsky. Because that's what happened every single time. No exceptions. Ever. 

And far from performing the horrors for which the International Marxist Tendency is routinely rebuked, the International Committee of the Fourth International [founded by Leon Trotsky] opposed those horrors at every point.

And what difference did it make? 

As for history, we have Marxist historians. Moreover Marxism itself is a philosophy of dialectical material history.

Which I think is a load of horseshit because it assumed all that was needed was to rearrange social organization to achieve desired outcome, as if humans were as programmable as any machine. What if said humans didn't want the same outcome or liked the social organization as Marx? Answer, too bad. 

Co-Operatives usefully demonstrate a point the ruling class doesn’t admit – that workers ARE capable of managing their affairs.

You realize America is a capitalist system and there's coops all over the place, right? 

What workers CANNOT do under Capital is to construct a worker economy.

Really? Mondragon corp might disagree with you. There's no reason I can think of preventing any company from operating on Marxist principles in a capitalistic society. Why would it be necessary to base the entire society on Marxist principles? 

They CANNOT implement the social planning needed for socialism.

And thank God for that! I don't want to be a Marxist. 

hey CANNOT escape Capital’s boom/bust tyranny.

Looking at history, neither can Marxists, apparently. 

And [above all], they CANNOT resolve Capital’s integral contradictions which give rise to and perpetuate continual crisis.

Whatever that means. But by the way it sounds, neither could the Marxists. They pretty much stumble from one  crisis to the next, just like everyone else. 

In light of all previous historical experience, how realistic is it to imagine a set of conditions that would allow the world capitalist system to resolve [or at least contain] the many explosive problems already visible on the economic and political horizon before they threaten the very existence of the present world order?

Couldn't care less. See, one of the biggest differences between you and I is that I place the problems of the world on people, while you place it on systems. Put another way, you think the solution is in the system and it is the system which will  make people better and happier. I believe the solution is people and and personal responsibility regardless of the system will make them happier. There is no system that can make people better people. 

Is it realistic to think that geopolitical and economic conflicts between major world powers within the imperialist system can be resolved on the basis of negotiation and multi-lateral agreements before they reach or pass the point of profoundly destabilizing international politics?

Nope. Same holds true of Marxist, though. China and the Soviet Union had most of their troops on their shared borders and China even fought Viet Nam. Step out of your idealism long enough to acknowledge this. 

How probable is it that disputes over access to and control of raw materials critical for economic development – including but not limited to oil and natural gas – can be settled without violent conflict?

That's a good question. We should ask the countries around China that very question. You know, the country that  has 17 different border disputes with its neighbors? The one that's using force to gobble up most of the South China Sea? The one that's claiming it's bullshit claim of being a near arctic power so that it can get in on developing natural resources in an arctic it doesn't remotely share a border with? The one that's building it's military as fast as it can so it can back up its current belligerence? 

You keep going on in this vein. Apparently the idea is that Marxism can actually solve these problems. I'm assuming you are thinking of something like global Marxism without competitors. Well, that would certainly solve the problem to a degree. The whole world would no longer be fighting for these resources. Instead, the whole world would simply be exploited for the elites who actually ran (owned) this Marxist world. 

Given US socio-political history, HOW realistic is it to suppose that for years and even decades to come, the US working class will CONTINUE to accept a continual downward spiral of living standards without bitter and very substantial protest?

Why US socio-political history? Why not simply go with world history, since we'd be talking about the same thing? My answer is, I don't know how long, but eventually things will

  1. get violent
  2. something else will get set up, 
  3. No matter how good intentioned or well set up it, too, will get corrupted
  4. People will get violent and set something else up
  5. Rinse, repeat

You need to get your head out of your idealism and look at the real world. No human system will answer our problems because we who set up the system are the problem. If you think you can change that with the proper system, especially a Marxist one, you will become a monster. You will excuse it by thinking you have the right to impose your ideals on others, enslaving them to you, for no other reason than you think you're right. That's insane, especially in light of historic Marxism. Marxism is not democracy. It never will be because it cannot allow any view but its own. It is a lie that fanatics believe because they think they will somehow make it work the way it's supposed to this time around. It's that very thinking that creates all the suffering, oppression and death that always attends Marxism. The Marxist thinks all of that is worth it and justified if, in the end, what they envision comes to pass. No matter how much blood it takes. 

I prefer the capitalist system because it affords me the maximum amount of freedom. Marxism takes my freedom away. In Marxism, what I think doesn't matter. What would matter is how closely I served someone else's ideals. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
PhD Principal
3.1.9  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @3.1.8    3 weeks ago
The reason Marxism or Socialism will never work is it requires humans, all of them in the given society, to be altruistic.

It requires that people cooperate for a greater good.   A couple of examples.   For decades organizations known as worker cooperatives have existed wherein the workers are also the owners.   The workers cooperate to make their organization a success because they benefit from that success.  While the benefits are unequal (different jobs demand different compensation to be fair), the spirit of cooperation is there because everyone benefits from it.

Another example is very familiar to all of us.   It is our society based on representative democracy.   We all are willing to pay taxes so that we have good schools, transportation infrastructure, utilities, etc.   We pay different amounts based on our situations, but we all benefit from this.   None of us could possibly provide the benefits of society on our own ... we all recognize that with cooperation we can all get greater benefits.

Cooperation itself demands a certain level of altruism.   Just existing as a non-narcissist means there exists some level of altruism.   So altruism is not nearly as rare as you suggest.   Also, to reiterate, pure altruistic behavior is not required to achieve socialism.   

That established, I share your concern in general.   To me the biggest challenge in theoretical socialism is to systemically encourage everyone to contribute in some way.   I agree that there are plenty of human beings who are lazy and willing to simply live off others.   The general solution to that lies in equal opportunity but unequal results.   In an ideal socialistic society nobody would be impoverished.   Thus everyone, even the laziest among us, would be able to live an okay life, have healthcare, etc.   But the lazy non-contributors would not have the benefits of others.   They would not have the discretionary income to take nice vacations, buy nice cars, etc.  

This is a society where technology has made it possible for everyone to be fed, clothed, housed, educated and receive medical attention.   But beyond those basics, those who seek to have a better life will naturally pursue the opportunities afforded to better themselves.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Junior Guide
3.1.10  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.9    3 weeks ago
It requires that people cooperate for a greater good.   A couple of examples.   For decades organizations known as worker cooperatives...

Yes, I pointed this out above, somewhere. I also state that there's absolutely no need to establish a Marxist state in order for these coops to exist. As I recall, it was you who brought Mondragon to my attention. Now, perhaps there are factors I am not aware of, but I don't see why it is necessary to eliminate capitalism as the basis of a national economy when there's nothing in capitalism that prevents a company from being worker owned. 

The workers cooperate to make their organization a success because they benefit from that success.

Agree. However, the principle at work here isn't Marxism but, rather, what some call enlightened self interest. Plus, it's voluntary. That makes a huge difference.

I watched an interesting YouTube video not long ago. It was about a disillusioned young American man who thought he'd give the Soviet Union a try. This was during the days Stalin was trying to increase and modernize it's industrial capacity as fast as possible. He worked as a welder in some place where they were trying to build a new steel factory or something. 

Long story short, he wrote about what life was like at that time. Basically, not much better than a gulag. Long, hard hours, not much food, corrupt officials, people dying because results mattered more than safety and the whole sad list. Technically, he was a volunteer as well. But there was no actual payoff for him. All he did went to benefit the state, not even other people. There was no promise that they would own that factory after it was built and they would eventually recoup their efforts. They'd just get moved to some other project until they could no longer work and then live on government subsistence. That's the way it was for everyone, except the elite, who always find a way to make sure it's others suffering rather than them. 

That's Marxism. I don't mean ideologically, I mean practically. It always turns out to be all about the State, not the people. It's always a dictatorship rather than any sort of coop and it's always maintained by the elites Spectre goes on about. They have to because they are the state and they will do whatever keeps them in power. 

Cooperation itself demands a certain level of altruism.   Just existing as a non-narcissist means there exists some level of altruism.   So altruism is not nearly as rare as you suggest.  

Can't agree with you here. Cooperation as you speak of it is more properly enlightened self interest. I do a thing because at some point doing so will benefit me directly. Altruism would be doing the same thing and knowing it won't benefit you at the end. 

Also, to reiterate, pure altruistic behavior is not required to achieve socialism.

I'm not sure I can agree with that, either. In a practical, real socialist society (Marxism) and not the ideal one in books, most people will have to do what the state needs them to do rather than what they'd like to do. They'll need a lot more ditch diggers than administrators, for instance. Altruism would be necessary because that ditch digger will never get what he wants for himself and his family. Certainly not what the administrator will get for himself and his. 

In an ideal socialistic society nobody would be impoverished.   Thus everyone, even the laziest among us, would be able to live an okay life, have healthcare, etc. 

Except we don't need socialism to get us there. The society you describe is one made possible by tech making us a post scarcity society. One where no one had to work if they didn't want to because our level of tech takes care of it all. Automated farms, factories, resource gathering and all the rest. There isn't any particular ideology needed to reach that. Except I think capitalism  would get us there faster. China seems to understand this as they seem to be operating economically as capitalists more and more. 

This isn't to say capitalism is perfect. We all know it's not. Especially the unrestrained greed of the current practices. China made a trade pact with the EU and this never should have happened. Considering China's human rights abuse and its growing belligerence toward the rest of the world, they should have rejected it flat out. They didn't because some will make a lot of money by doing so. 

In short, the problem with capitalism as practiced today is that it has no social aspect. Current thinking is that the point of capitalism is to make as much money as possible and nothing else. Job creation is incidental and, worse, being eliminated as fast as they can possibly automate those jobs, because it makes more money. (sort of inevitable in trying to reach a post scarcity economy like the one illustrated by Star Trek, though. 

What we need to do is reward, governmentally, businesses that not only make money, but improve society socially. For instance, no need to restrict how much money a company can make, but make it beneficial to them in taking surplus money and starting new businesses that employ more people. Tax it if they just hold on to it. Something like that. Find ways to give businesses reason to use their wealth socially. I'm sure economists can figure this out. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
PhD Principal
3.1.11  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @3.1.10    3 weeks ago
I also state that there's absolutely no need to establish a Marxist state in order for these coops to exist.

The concept of state control is the exact opposite of Marx' intent.   It was Lenin, Stalin, et. al. who created an authoritarian state and called is Marxism, Socialism, Communism.   A state to force cooperation is not in any way, shape or form what Marx was talking about.

Now, perhaps there are factors I am not aware of, but I don't see why it is necessary to eliminate capitalism as the basis of a national economy when there's nothing in capitalism that prevents a company from being worker owned. 

Capitalism is simply minority control over the productive resources of the economy.   It is merely the label given to the observation that economies where productive resources can be privately owned tend to consolidate wealth and power into an increasingly smaller minority.   All the things we associate with capitalism are not provided by capitalism.   A free market (or close) is not provided by capitalism.   It exists independent of capitalism.   Supply and demand is not an emergent property of capitalism.   Innovation is not a function of capitalism.   All of these factors exist regardless of the distribution of wealth and power.

If there were no capitalism, that would simply mean that there would be no systemic mechanism that enables extremely successful, clever people to amass incredible wealth and power.   Elon Musk, now the richest man in the world, is an incredible human being.   He is creative, ambitious, energetic, inspirational, gutsy, etc.   Great qualities and he uses them for, in general, the greater good.   He deserves to be wealthy and influential since he earned it.   Capitalism systemically enables him to amass a net worth of $188 billion.   That level of wealth is so far beyond what anyone would ever need to live even the most lavish life and yields so much influence by a single individual, it is clearly over-the-top rewards due to the snowball effect of capitalism (levering ownership).   Same situation holds true with monopolies.   An entity can reach a critical mass that gives it unfair advantage over all competitors (and thus stifles good competitive offerings).

One can view socialism in the abstract as a systemic mechanism for dampening the snowball effects of success.   To be clear, as an entity's wealth and power grows, so do constraints on the increase.   The system itself would provide opportunities for everyone to become millionaires (just the opportunity, no guarantee).  But as the millions grow the acceleration will start dampening.   So Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, etc. would all still be incredibly wealthy but their first $100 million would be a lot easier to achieve than their next $100 million, etc.    Instead of the capitalistic snowball effect accelerating as wealth grows and thus consolidating wealth with a tiny minority, socialism (theoretically) systemically encourages the growth of many smaller entities.

 
 
 
TᵢG
PhD Principal
3.1.12  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @3.1.10    3 weeks ago
That's Marxism. I don't mean ideologically, I mean practically.

Not even close.

Altruism would be doing the same thing and knowing it won't benefit you at the end. 

Concern for the greater good knowing that this in turn benefits oneself is a form of altruism.   Cooperation for the greater good is the point I was making.   In fact I was thinking of behavioral biology (and this also applies to sociology) since we are talking about groups of individuals interacting.

For example :

In evolutionary biology, an organism is said to behave altruistically when its behaviour benefits other organisms, at a cost to itself. The costs and benefits are measured in terms of reproductive fitness , or expected number of offspring. So by behaving altruistically, an organism reduces the number of offspring it is likely to produce itself, but boosts the number that other organisms are likely to produce. This biological notion of altruism is not identical to the everyday concept. In everyday parlance, an action would only be called ‘altruistic’ if it was done with the conscious intention of helping another. But in the biological sense there is no such requirement. Indeed, some of the most interesting examples of biological altruism are found among creatures that are (presumably) not capable of conscious thought at all, e.g. insects. For the biologist, it is the consequences of an action for reproductive fitness that determine whether the action counts as altruistic, not the intentions, if any, with which the action is performed.

Point being that words like altruism should not be dogmatically limited to a single extreme or common usage.   That stifles the use of language and makes it next to impossible to communicate without engaging in sidebars like this.   In other words, it is a waste of time to debate each word.

I'm not sure I can agree with that, either. In a practical, real socialist society (Marxism) and not the ideal one in books, most people will have to do what the state needs them to do rather than what they'd like to do. They'll need a lot more ditch diggers than administrators, for instance. Altruism would be necessary because that ditch digger will never get what he wants for himself and his family. Certainly not what the administrator will get for himself and his.

There are no actual socialist societies.   None have ever existed.   It is all theoretical.   If one is to discuss Marxism then one must recognize that this is a purely theoretical discussion and that the actual theory has never been tried.   Lenin, et. al. did not follow even the basic theory of Marx.   Lenin wanted to, but Russia was not a mature industrial nation (far from it) and thus did not satisfy the initial requirement for Marxist theory.   Later (two years before he died), Lenin realized that he had to shift his focus and build Russia into an industrial nation before he could even start thinking of evolving into socialism and eventually communism (as Marx defined it, not the state-centric, authoritarian rule that has become the defacto definition).

Marx' vision was a stateless society where the system was technologically capable of providing food, shelter, etc. for everyone and people could then be free to pursue higher interests.   Instead of working to live, they would live to work (to do productive things based on their abilities).

People who would 'dig ditches' would do so by choice.   Not because some uber-powerful state forced them to do so.   That is a direct contradiction of what Marx proposed.   If society need ditch diggers and there was a shortage of people willing to do the job, the market dynamics would find ways to fill the void.   This might be done by the wages for ditch diggers rising or by clever automation.   As is true in any society and economy, the needs will change over time.   New opportunities will emerge and others will disappear.   The people will react accordingly.

Except we don't need socialism to get us there. The society you describe is one made possible by tech making us a post scarcity society. One where no one had to work if they didn't want to because our level of tech takes care of it all. Automated farms, factories, resource gathering and all the rest. There isn't any particular ideology needed to reach that. Except I think capitalism  would get us there faster. China seems to understand this as they seem to be operating economically as capitalists more and more. 

Agree, if we get to such a future it could very well be with a variant of capitalism.   The point, however, is that what most people call 'socialism' is a direct contradiction with what Marx actually envisioned.   It is a misunderstanding of the theory.

In short, the problem with capitalism as practiced today is that it has no social aspect.

It also systemically encourages the consolidation of wealth and power.   That is the aspect I have focused on here.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Junior Guide
3.1.13  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.11    3 weeks ago
The concept of state control is the exact opposite of Marx' intent.   It was Lenin, Stalin, et. al. who created an authoritarian state and called is Marxism, Socialism, Communism.   A state to force cooperation is not in any way, shape or form what Marx was talking about.

Yeah, I know. We've had this discussion a few times. I agree with it, but think it's not a very relevant point because my concern has more to do with practicality rather than theory. That is, regardless of whatever Marx intended, it always, always turns out the same way. Totalitarian dictatorship. 

Capitalism is simply minority control over the productive resources of the economy...

Um, that sounds like a socialist's description of capitalism. That is, it seems to define capitalism by effect as seen through the lens of socialism. I understand that this is a subject you like to talk about. Normally, I might be interested as well, but not at the moment. I've basically been quarantined for the last six weeks for a non-Covid illness no one can identify and I'm feeling more lousy than usual today. 

But, I have to say that should I participate, I would be more interested in discussing the effects of the systems more than I would be discussing the theory behind the systems. I don't know how much of the conversation between Spectre and I you have actually read but the reason I go after him so hard is that he's trying to sell something that isn't real. Because it isn't, it always ends in bad things. This isn't opinion. It is a historically provable fact. It is a theocracy, where any action is justifiable in the name of it's god. 

So, sorry you wrote all that you did without getting much of a reply from me, but it was an effort just to write this much. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
PhD Principal
3.1.14  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @3.1.13    3 weeks ago
That is, regardless of whatever Marx intended, it always, always turns out the same way. Totalitarian dictatorship. 

The point is that the totalitarian dictatorship contradicts what he wrote.  It is not correct to say that Marxist theory leads to totalitarian dictatorship.   The dictators used labels of 'socialism' and 'communism' as a smoke screen within which they built their ugly regimes.   It is incorrect to believe that simply because they used Marx' labels that they have implemented Marxism in any form. 

Key takeaway.   Marx was for the people (the workers) being in control and was against minority control by capitalists or by the state.   This is core to his philosophy and people should at least know this much.   If he had been alive when the former USSR was formed he would have railed against its authoritarian state as being the exact opposite of his views.   He would not have approved of a dominating state oppressing the people of the nation and removing, virtually, all freedoms.

 
 
 
TᵢG
PhD Principal
3.1.15  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @3.1.13    3 weeks ago
Um, that sounds like a socialist's description of capitalism.

It is what it is Drakk.   By definition, capitalism is control over the productive resources of the economy by a tiny minority (capitalists) and socialism is control over the productive resource by the people as a whole.   If instead of a tiny minority, the control over productive resources was by the majority then we would be in a gray area between capitalism and socialism.   There still would exist owners and employees (those who do not own and cannot leverage private property) but the issues associated with minority control would be substantially less.

Who knows, that might be where this ends up.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Junior Guide
3.1.16  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.12    3 weeks ago
Point being that words like altruism should not be dogmatically limited to a single extreme or common usage.   That stifles the use of language and makes it next to impossible to communicate without engaging in sidebars like this.   In other words, it is a waste of time to debate each word.

Crap. Gotta respond to this. 

I have to say I'm completely confused by your point. It doesn't make sense to me. Communication depends on words meaning the same thing for each participant or how can communication take place? Wouldn't we be talking past each other if we use a word that meant something different to each of us? I can accept that altruism, for instance, can mean something different. Not a problem. But that meaning is dictated by context, isn't it? We are able to communicate because we assign the same meaning to all the words in this post, or should. If we didn't, are we communicating? 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Junior Guide
3.1.17  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.14    3 weeks ago
The point is that the totalitarian dictatorship contradicts what he wrote.  It is not correct to say that Marxist theory leads to totalitarian dictatorship.   The dictators used labels of 'socialism' and 'communism' as a smoke screen within which they built their ugly regimes.   It is incorrect to believe that simply because they used Marx' labels that they have implemented Marxism in any form. 

Totally get that and agree. However, what I said was, every attempt to employ Marxism has resulted in the same thing. That is not the same as saying Marxist theory leads to totalitarian dictatorship. The first is simply a historical observation. The second states that totalitarian dictatorship is implied by the theory. 

Key takeaway.   Marx was for the people (the workers) being in control and was against minority control by capitalists or by the state.   This is core to his philosophy and people should at least know this much.   If he had been alive when the former USSR was formed he would have railed against its authoritarian state as being the exact opposite of his views.   He would not have approved of a dominating state oppressing the people of the nation and removing, virtually, all freedoms.

Yes, and again I agree. But in my opinion, neither you or Spectre can get beyond this point to what is practically relevant. That is, every attempt to employ Marxism has had the same tyrannical  result. And saying, yeah, but that's not Marxism is obvious and avoids a rather obvious practical question. Why does every attempt end the same way? 

 
 
 
TᵢG
PhD Principal
3.1.18  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @3.1.16    3 weeks ago
I have to say I'm completely confused by your point. It doesn't make sense to me. Communication depends on words meaning the same thing for each participant or how can communication take place?

I had already explained my meaning and noted that there are levels of altruism (there are more options than simply pure altruism) and that cooperation has an element of altruism.   Instead of recognizing my meaning you started debating the meaning of the word 'altruism'. 

TiG @3.1.9Cooperation itself demands a certain level of altruism.   Just existing as a non-narcissist means there exists some level of altruism.   So altruism is not nearly as rare as you suggest.   Also, to reiterate, pure altruistic behavior is not required to achieve socialism.  

Drakk @3.1.10Can't agree with you here. Cooperation as you speak of it is more properly enlightened self interest. I do a thing because at some point doing so will benefit me directly. Altruism would be doing the same thing and knowing it won't benefit you at the end. 

TiG @3.1.12Concern for the greater good knowing that this in turn benefits oneself is a form of altruism.   Cooperation for the greater good is the point I was making.   In fact I was thinking of behavioral biology (and this also applies to sociology) since we are talking about groups of individuals interacting.

( followed by my biological example of altruism at a level less than 'pure' )

I was expecting you to recognize that socialism does not require pure (100%) altruism but rather a lesser level of altruism where the benefit to the individual is recognized but indirectly.   People working for the same coop will not get a direct, immediate benefit by working harder or longer, but they will get some benefit due to the resulting success of the enterprise.   The altruism here is to do what is best for the enterprise even if it inconveniences one personally.   It is not pure because there is benefit but it certainly is a level of altruism.

I hope this is clear because I am not interested in writing more on the meaning of a word.

 
 
 
TᵢG
PhD Principal
3.1.19  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @3.1.17    3 weeks ago
Yes, and again I agree. But in my opinion, neither you or Spectre can get beyond this point to what is practically relevant. That is, every attempt to employ Marxism has had the same tyrannical  result. And saying, yeah, but that's not Marxism is obvious and avoids a rather obvious practical question. Why does every attempt end the same way? 

You write 'every attempt' as if any of these dictators actually tried to implement Marxism.   But that is not the case.   There have been precisely zero serious attempts.   Lenin was the closest and he abandoned his attempts almost immediately and went to authoritarian rule.

Marx would have advised Lenin (I am confident) that trying to grow socialism in pre-industrial Russia was a fool's errand.   Marx had always maintained that socialism is not possible until a mature industrial base existed.   As I noted, two years before his untimely death, Lenin finally recognized his critical failure and was moving to build an industrial society with plans to later start an evolution towards Marxist communism (aka socialism).

To call these attempts at Marxism is to not understand Marxism.   So if someone claims to be attempting to implement Marxist theory but in reality they do, arguably, the polar opposite, is it not correct to point that out and to reject the initiative as not being Marxism?   The mere use of a label does not mean the label is even remotely true.

 
 
 
Thomas
Freshman Guide
3.1.20  Thomas  replied to  Drakkonis @3.1.6    3 weeks ago
run by elites filling their ranks with corrupt hangers on who will do anything to their "fellow working class brothers" as long as it raises them above the shit such systems inevitably leave the struggling masses in. 

This is a pretty good description of capitalism

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Junior Guide
3.1.21  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.19    3 weeks ago
You write 'every attempt' as if any of these dictators actually tried to implement Marxism.   But that is not the case.   There have been precisely zero serious attempts.   Lenin was the closest and he abandoned his attempts almost immediately and went to authoritarian rule.

Okay. Let's say I accept this for the sake of argument. What constitutes a genuine, real attempt at Marxism and why hasn't anyone tried it yet?

 
 
 
TᵢG
PhD Principal
3.1.22  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @3.1.21    3 weeks ago

Marxism is simply theory.   The theory is based on the establishment of a mature industrial society that is capable of providing the normal living resources for all people.   Thus people would be free from the need to work to exist but rather put their energies toward greater goals. 

We are getting close to this point.   With the advent of practical AI coupled with modern machinery and energy sources, if we had the will I think we would soon have the means to literally eliminate poverty.   The minimum lifestyle would be modest but certainly humane.   We are close to the first step.

So one of the reasons this has never occurred is because we simply did not have the means to make it happen.

Another critical reason is systemic.   To transform an existing system like ours into one like I am describing would be a tremendous undertaking.   People would resist the change (think of what it takes to get a constitutional amendment and then amplify that by an order of magnitude).   This kind of change will not happen by virtue of an initiative.  If it were to happen it would happen over a very long period of time (generational) and would be evolutionary.   It would not be driven top down but rather evolve from the people.  Society itself must evolve to a point where people not only understand the concepts but actually want them and are willing to put forth the effort to make them real.   None of us will live long enough to see this.   IMO.   And, of course, this might never happen in any form.

Marx, because he was a product of his revolutionary times, believed that socialism would emerge through a revolution.   He believed that capitalism would collapse under its own weight (and that might prove true) and that a worker revolution would seize control of the industrial base and evolve (via socialism) into his view of communism (a stateless society where people had all that they needed to survive and contributed their talents to the betterment of themselves ... and their society).   I am confident (and trust) that Marx was dead wrong here.

Well this is all a very nice ideal, but even modern society has a very long way to go if something like this were to ever emerge.   Nobody can 'try it' or make it happen; all that can be done is for people to become aware of the systemic weaknesses of capitalism and to evolve (generations) into a society that truly seeks a system where economic control is in the hands of the people as a whole and not in the hands of a minority.

By the way, even though it seems silly, Gene Roddenberry sought to put forth his vision of where Marxist thinking might go.   The world he created to match the fundamental principles of Marxist theory is known as Star Trek.   Quite seriously, that series realizes the principles of Marxism in an imaginary future society.   It is an easy way to envision one possible manifestation of what Marx viewed as communism (which is profoundly different from what that label means today to most people).

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Junior Guide
3.1.23  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.19    3 weeks ago
To call these attempts at Marxism is to not understand Marxism. So if someone claims to be attempting to implement Marxist theory but in reality they do, arguably, the polar opposite, is it not correct to point that out and to reject the initiative as not being Marxism?   The mere use of a label does not mean the label is even remotely true.

The problem here is you are mixing two different issues as if they are the same. Attempts at Marxism and what Marxism actually is. The result appears to be that the only thing that could legitimately be called an attempt is one that resulted in actual Marxism. This pretty much voids the meaning of "attempt". One could not say that NASA wasn't attempting to create a rocket that could get to space because a particular rocket exploded on the launch pad, for instance. 

All attempts at Marxism are exactly that. Attempts. Attempt doesn't require success to qualify as an attempt. Nor does saying that every attempt ends in the same oppressive system mean that one doesn't understand Marxism. One can quite accurately say there is a difference between ideological Marxism (what Marxism intends) and practical Marxism (what attempting ideological Marxism results in). 

From my perspective, you treat ideological Marxism as a thing that, if practiced as intended, would have as a result ideological Marxism in a practical reality and thus, the only thing that should be counted as an attempt is one that had this result. But, to my mind, this ignores any problems inherent in Marxist theory, which I will address by responding to the rest of what you posted.

Marx would have advised Lenin (I am confident) that trying to grow socialism in pre-industrial Russia was a fool's errand.   Marx had always maintained that socialism is not possible until a mature industrial base existed.   As I noted, two years before his untimely death, Lenin finally recognized his critical failure and was moving to build an industrial society with plans to later start an evolution towards Marxist communism (aka socialism).

If Marx would have advised such I would completely agree, however such advice suggests there is an inherent problem with Marxism. If Marxism were a viable theory as Marx envisioned it, being pre-industrial should not be a barrier. It should work under all conditions. If it cannot, it cannot be completely right. Had Marx actually advised such, would it not have been a tacit admission that reaching an industrialized state is better achieved by capitalism? No one could claim Marxism as the reason, certainly. 

Lastly, I certainly do consider every country that claims to be Marxist as attempts at Marxism, even though they fall far short of ideological Marxism. For me, I am not debating whether or not a nation actually is Marxism but, rather, that the attempt always ends in the same thing and will never result in something different. I believe the reason for this is that Marxism doesn't account for a realistic assessment of human nature and is the reason attempts at Marxism will always fail. 

Since this is the argument I am interested in, I'm not going to debate what constitutes Marxism with you. I'm not going to debate what constitutes an actual attempt. I'm not interested in theory. I'm interested in the practical results. Practical results indicate Marxism is not a viable option, unless we reach a post scarcity level of tech, and even then, who's going to care? 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Junior Guide
3.1.24  Drakkonis  replied to  Thomas @3.1.20    3 weeks ago
This is a pretty good description of capitalism

Thanks. If you read the whole exchange I hope you understand that the point I was making was not that capitalism was better (although I think it is better than Marxism) but rather, the kinds of exploitations Spectre spoke of would continue in his Marxist utopia, just under different methods. That is, we're always going to have that sort of thing no matter what system one implements. 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Junior Guide
3.1.25  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.22    3 weeks ago
By the way, even though it seems silly, Gene Roddenberry sought to put forth his vision of where Marxist thinking might go.   The world he created to match the fundamental principles of Marxist theory is known as Star Trek.   Quite seriously, that series realizes the principles of Marxism in an imaginary future society.   It is an easy way to envision one possible manifestation of what Marx viewed as communism (which is profoundly different from what that label means today to most people).

No. It doesn't seem silly and I understand what you're trying to communicate. However, I think we need to recognize that Roddenberry's vision would not have been achieved by any ideological system but, rather, advancement of technology to a level where such a civilization were possible. 

Further, while Gene's vision is a nice one, it isn't necessarily the one that would result from such a level of technology and for the same reason Marxism doesn't work today. People. They are what they are. One constant seems to be that we are never satisfied with enough. We always want more. Gene likes to think people would better themselves but this isn't necessarily so. The tech available to us today provides for an amazing ability to provide for basic needs and access to opportunity. But has this advanced us in the direction of Gene's vision? I would argue not. Rather, it seems to encourage our hedonistic tendencies. Being entertained seems to be the goal of most of the population and it is getting worse. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
PhD Principal
3.1.26  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @3.1.23    3 weeks ago
The problem here is you are mixing two different issues as if they are the same. Attempts at Marxism and what Marxism actually is.

There is no problem in my answer.    The so-called attempts at Marxism never tried to implement Marxism.   They used the labels, and in Lenin's case, the objectives, but even Lenin went directly to authoritarian rule.   That is not Marxism and thus his was not an attempt at Marxism.

The result appears to be that the only thing that could legitimately be called an attempt is one that resulted in actual Marxism.

Yeah Drakk.   One has to be somewhat close to what Marx was talking about to be implementing Marxism.   If someone claims to be implementing democracy yet in their first steps they impose a dictatorship do you call that implementing democracy?    By your reasoning I could attempt anything as long as I declare my intent properly.   That is exactly what these authoritarians have done.   They have labeled their initiatives 'socialism' and then implemented nothing of the sort.   To accept that is simply naive.

This pretty much voids the meaning of "attempt". One could not say that NASA wasn't attempting to create a rocket that could get to space because a particular rocket exploded on the launch pad, for instance. 

Oh come on Drakk this is ridiculous semantic nonsense.   If NASA was following its method for launching a rocket and the implementation failed, then that would be an attempt.   If, however, NASA simply said it was trying to launch a rocket and instead was building a bomb then that was not a failed attempt at launching a rocket.   It was labeled as such but the label was a smokescreen ... a lie.   The label of 'socialism' has been, in the history we typically discuss, a total lie.   Venezuela is the most recent lie.

All attempts at Marxism are exactly that. Attempts.

Looks to me that you have your mind set on this and I am wasting my time discussing it.   You apparently want Stalin's regime to be an attempt at Marxism even though it truly is the polar opposite of not only Marx' principles but the end objective.   If you are going to ignore the obvious facts and ignore my explanations, why are we discussing this?

From my perspective, you treat ideological Marxism as a thing that, if practiced as intended, would have as a result ideological Marxism ...

Completely off base.  To attempt Marxism one must be seeking the objectives of Marxism and must be following the principles of Marxism.   Otherwise it is a sham to call it Marxism.   Of all the attempts at Marxism, which one had the objective of the people having democratic control over the productive resources of the economy and started with a mature industrial society capable of sustaining all the people?   None of them.   Lenin was the closest (and most believable in his claims) to having Marxist objectives but he violated a fundamental tenet of Marxism (industrial society) and completely bypassed democratic rule by imposing authoritarian rule.  The closest was not even close.  Lenin tried to implement 'Leninism';  one can say that without criticism.   Labeling what he was doing as Marxism ignores the facts.   The rest of them were all worse.  It has been a game of labels. 

If Marx would have advised such I would completely agree, however such advice suggests there is an inherent problem with Marxism. If Marxism were a viable theory as Marx envisioned it, being pre-industrial should not be a barrier.  It should work under all conditions. If it cannot, it cannot be completely right. Had Marx actually advised such, would it not have been a tacit admission that reaching an industrialized state is better achieved by capitalism? No one could claim Marxism as the reason, certainly. 

LOL of course Marxism is not viable.   Marx envisioned that the industrial state was precisely reached through capitalism.   He quite likely would have advised Lenin that he was premature, that socialism is an interim condition in the evolution from a mature industrial nation under capitalism into communism.   Drakk, Marx was primarily a critic of capitalism.   His life's work was to analyze capitalism and identify the inherent problems he saw with it.   His notions of socialism and communism were always in consideration of what happens when capitalism fails.   And he believed that capitalism would fail under its own weight.

I find this criticism of Marxism funny because you seem to think that an approach must solve all problems and work in all conditions.   A fine thing to imagine, but that would be superhuman would it not.   Do you really, truly think that is a fair criticism?   After all, our system of government fails miserably to address all the things it should.   Clearly its checks and balances have failed to prevent career politicians organized in powerful political parties from fucking things up.   Do you think our founders did not have a viable theory and/or that they botched the implementation?

Marxist theory is imperfect.   Of course.  And contemporary 'socialists' continue to work on refined theories with the intent of being more effective.   So don't argue that Lenin had to do field upgrades to Marxism in attempt to make it practical.   He did not tweak Marxism, he fundamentally violated it.   And, as noted, the others were far worse.

I'm interested in the practical results. Practical results indicate Marxism is not a viable option, unless we reach a post scarcity level of tech, and even then, who's going to care? 

As noted earlier, you do your intellectual growth a disservice by refusing to recognize that calling something Marxism does not mean it is Marxism.  If one violates the tenets of an approach but keep the label, they are engaging in a sham.   And Marxism is indeed not a viable theory to apply today.   Anyone who had the notion that they would somehow, through some initiative, transform their economy into one following Marxism is by definition utterly confused.   Marxism applies to a mature industrial society where capitalism is crumbling under its own weight.   It requires the people to understand this and understand how to move beyond it (class consciousness) and have the sociological means to achieve it.  

Nowhere on the planet has something like this been possible.   By that fact alone you should realize that calling anything an attempt as Marxism is ridiculous.  All we have seen are authoritarian rulers using the labels while implementing something entirely different.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Junior Guide
3.1.27  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.26    3 weeks ago
Looks to me that you have your mind set on this and I am wasting my time discussing it.

Yeah, I've told you this in just about every conversation we've had on this subject that I'm not interested in defining Marxism or pointing out how every Communist nation missed the mark on Marxism. I told you I'm only interested in discussing the attempts at practical Marxism. And while you may not agree that these count as attempts, I think they do and for very good reason. I'm not required to hold your view. I'm sorry if that bothers you. 

If you are going to ignore the obvious facts and ignore my explanations, why are we discussing this?

From my perspective I am not ignoring obvious facts. And I'm not ignoring your explanations. I am disagreeing with them. And the reason we're discussing this is you keep making this about what Marxism is, which has no relevance to my point. That point is that every attempt at Marxism has resulted in an oppressive dictatorship, to put it mildly. Your point is that what they practiced wasn't real Marxism. Fine. Fine all day long. So the obvious question is, why has no one ever tried to create what you consider a Marxist society? There are a lot of people in this world, past and present, who believe in Marxism, root and branch. In your view, none of these people ever tried actual Marxism, even thought they believed in it, that passes your muster. Why? Why has no one tried what you consider actual Marxism? 

 
 
 
TᵢG
PhD Principal
3.1.28  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @3.1.27    3 weeks ago
I told you I'm only interested in discussing the attempts at practical Marxism.

There have been none.  So talking to me about practical attempts to implement Marxism is a waste of time.   I have explained this in detail so I have no motivation to type anything more.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Junior Guide
3.1.29  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.26    3 weeks ago
I find this criticism of Marxism funny because you seem to think that an approach must solve all problems and work in all conditions.   A fine thing to imagine, but that would be superhuman would it not.   Do you really, truly think that is a fair criticism?   After all, our system of government fails miserably to address all the things it should.   Clearly its checks and balances have failed to prevent career politicians organized in powerful political parties from fucking things up.   Do you think our founders did not have a viable theory and/or that they botched the implementation?

Apparently, you didn't spend much time reading my posts to Spectre. I said nothing to defend any system of government or capitalism. My response to him was that his criticism of capitalism and promotion of Marxism was naive at best if he thought it would solve social ills. My point was that we'd still have the same Bourgeoisie but operating under a different system. One where they had much more power and fewer restrictions. 

As noted earlier, you do your intellectual growth a disservice by refusing to recognize that calling something Marxism does not mean it is Marxism.

 I don't know how many times I've told you that what these communist countries called Marxism wasn't Marxism. I don't know how many times I've said I agree with you on this. But, it doesn't actually matter because what does matter is those countries called it Marxism or, knew it wasn't but believed they would eventually arrive there. You can't just dismiss that because what they had isn't perfect Marxism. It wasn't so much they weren't doing actual Marxism as it was recognizing a dictatorship would be the only way to achieve it eventually. 

Now, in my opinion, it seems dishonest to assume that out of all those countries at least one of them hadn't intended to do actual Marxism. I think all of them intended true Marxism but found it impossible to do so without doing what they did. And any attempt at Marxism, no matter how ideologically pure will always result in a dictatorship. Even in a fully industrialized nation. This is because a. there can't be any competing system allowed to threaten it, b. everyone has to participate whether they want to or not. No dissent allowed. c. there can only be one vision concerning what Marxism is and the direction of future actions to prevent the system from eating itself through the struggle of competing views. And finally d. the nature of human beings is such that those in power will not relinquish it once attained. Also, power attracts those who desire power. 

Marxism applies to a mature industrial society where capitalism is crumbling under its own weight.   It requires the people to understand this and understand how to move beyond it (class consciousness) and have the sociological means to achieve it.  

And even if you had all of those conditions, it would still result in the same oppressive dictatorships we've already seen for the reasons given above.  

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Junior Guide
3.1.30  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.28    3 weeks ago
Marxism applies to a mature industrial society where capitalism is crumbling under its own weight.   It requires the people to understand this and understand how to move beyond it (class consciousness) and have the sociological means to achieve it.  

Works for me. 

 
 
 
Trotsky's Spectre
Freshman Quiet
3.1.31  seeder  Trotsky's Spectre  replied to  Drakkonis @3.1.8    2 weeks ago

You equate Stalinism with socialism. Why? You need failed ‘Marxist’ states. Peg Stalinism as the petty-bourgeoisie tendency it is, and your point becomes inoperative.

The proletarian line understandably unsettles you; the bourgeoisie always sees emerging revolutionary tendencies as its most dangerous opponents. That's why imperialism’s forces combined to intervene in Russia for counter-revolution. It’s why reactionary factions in Germany cooperated with Social Democrats [elevated by the working class two months earlier] to murder Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg in January 1919. That was the bourgeoisie response to 1917.

From 1917, the ruling classes concluded that the at all costs, development of working class Marxist leadership had to be prevented at all costs. You feign that Stalinism is Marxism to blame socialists everywhere for Stalinist mayhem under the rubric of 'failed socialism.' Far from showing socialism’s evils, the horrors of the 20th century [including WW I / II] show the extent to which the ruling classes and their Social Democratic agents and the Stalinists were guided by that lesson.

The falsity of that equation was exposed earlier by the capitulation of the Second International in supporting war. Within weeks of Germany’s Aug 4, 1914 march on Belgium, Lenin authored a resolution repudiating that war as ‘a bourgeois, imperial and dynastic war.’ Lenin wrote:

‘The conduct of the leaders of the German Social-Democratic Party, the strongest and most influential in the Second International [1889-1914], a party which has voted for war credits and repeated the bourgeois-chauvinist phrases of the Prussian Junkers and the bourgeoisie, is sheer betrayal of socialism. Under no circumstances can the conduct of the leaders of the German Social-Democratic Party be condoned, even if we assume that the party was absolutely weak and had temporarily to bow to the will of the bourgeois majority of the nation. This party has in fact adopted a national-liberal policy.’ [Tasks of Revolutionary Social Democracy in the European War, V.I. Lenin, Collected Works, V 21, p. 16].

Lenin’s resolution also condemned the French and Belgian ‘socialist’ parties as ‘just as reprehensible.’ 

‘The betrayal of socialism by most leaders of the Second International [1889-1914] signals the ideological and political bankruptcy of the International. This collapse has been mainly caused by the actual prevalence in it of petty-bourgeois opportunism, the bourgeois nature and danger of which have long been indicated by the finest representatives of the revolutionary proletariat of all countries. The opportunists had long been preparing to wreck the Second International by denying the socialist revolution and substituting bourgeois reformism in its stead, by rejecting the class struggle … and by preaching class collaboration; by preaching bourgeois chauvinism under the guise of patriotism and the defense of the fatherland, and ignoring or rejecting the fundamental truth of socialism…’ [Ibid., p. 16-17].

Statements as ‘sheer betrayal of socialism,’ ‘adopted a national-liberal policy,’ the betrayal of socialism’ and ‘ignoring or rejecting the fundamental truth of socialism’ identify a key issue that has harassed world socialism since its earliest days. This is a permanent motif in Marxian history.

The Third International [first Congress, Mar ‘19] continued the struggle. Trotsky insisted that the Third International had to be based on adamant opposition to the opportunism and revisionism that destroyed the Second International. He introduced Theses on the Conditions of Admission. His 21 points included the obligation of parties regularly to remove reformists and centrists from every responsible post and to recognize a complete break with reformism and centrism.

In 1923, Trotsky and supporters [many of the most important leaders of the October Revolution], formed the Left Opposition to struggle against the decay of inner-party democracy, to develop industry, to strengthen socialist planning and to lower the prices on industrial goods. It isn’t that ‘even in the early 20s, socialism was failing;’ it is that Stalin’s faction deliberately limited production, scaled back state planning and pushed toward an orientation toward the better-off sections of the peasantry, the kukaks. This was not socialism’s ‘failure;’ this was socialism being abandoned.

At work [as Lenin saw] long before 1914, these counter-revolutionary/reformist/centrist tendencies continued to be the focus of revolutionary struggle across the century and into our century. Stalinism reproduced this tendency many times.

Mao’s regime implemented bourgeois nationalist measures. It expropriated the landlord class, but was also intensely hostile to the working class. It brutally suppressed Chinese Trotskyists active in urban proletarian centers after the ’27 defeat. After much equivocation, the regime took control of much of Chinese industry. The CCP established a bureaucratic police state along Stalinist lines. It combined nationalization of industry with socialist rhetoric within an internal regime which repressed no one so much as the left opposition.

Under the Great Leap forward, some 30 million starved. Abroad, Maoism practiced Stalinist theory – an alliance with the bourgeoisie in backward countries. Throughout Asia, the consequences were disastrous. Nor should we forget that In Indonesia, a million workers and peasants were slaughtered by the CIA-backed Indonesian military and anti-communist paramilitary forces in ’65 – 66. And in Vietnam, Stalinists brokered a partition in ’54 with French imperialism, setting the stage for US intervention. This is no worker policy and China was/is no worker’s republic.

This tendency was seen in Germany in '23 and in China in '27. in '36-38, Stalinists helped strangle a revolutionary situation in France. In the Spanish Revolution, Stalinist supported the bourgeoisie government of Azaña. Stalin flooded Spain with GPU agents who carried out a reign of terror AGAINST revolutionary socialist tendencies. Stalin's people suppressed insurrection in Barcelona. They kidnapped, tortured and murdered Andres Nin, leader of the POUM. In the US, the Stalinist Communist Party supported the Democratic Party and President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration.

Born of social and political reaction, Israel was created by the exclusion and expropriation of Palestinians from their homeland. The betrayals and anti-Semitism made this possible. In the 20’s, the Palestine Communist Party struggled for a unified movement of Jewish and Arab workers. It was the nationalist degeneration of the Stalinist parties which split the PCP along ethnic lines, and convinced many Jewish socialists to turn to Zionism. Stalinists then ended the betrayal of the Palestinian working class by supporting Israel’s creation as part of its post-war agreements with imperialism.

Few things show the falsity of these ‘socialist’ factions as the Korean War. After breaking with the Fourth International a decade earlier, Max Shachtman’s organization, misnamed the ‘Worker’s Party, airdropped leaflets to Chinese and North Korean soldiers giving them so-called ‘socialist arguments’ for surrendering to US invaders. Socialism? In what world?

Shachtman wasn’t alone. Pabloite revisionism also repudiated Trotskyism. In ’63, European Pabloites and the ‘Socialist Workers Party’ betrayed the Fourth International. They accepted Ceylonese PM Sirimavo Bradaranaike invitation to lead section of the Pabloite International to join her bourgeois coalition government. It betrayed socialist principles utterly. The SWP betrayal led to civil war that cost 100,000 Sri Lankans their lives. But never mind the betrayal, or that the SWP aligned with the bourgeois and therefore was no socialist organization. Just put the rap on the socialists!

After Pabloism and New Left Guerrillaism there was Wohlforth’s break with the Worker’s League. Then it was Joseph Hanson. There was Healy and Bernstein and Steiner and Brenner. The list of betrayers and betrayals continues. In the end, it is the same revisionism and opportunism which Lenin and Trotsky condemned but others call ‘socialism.’

That is to be rejected utterly. To repeat myself, socialists are not obligated to answer for petty-bourgeois orientation or for Stalin’s betrayals. No matter how much you insist otherwise, that is not our business. It has no revolutionary import, and it is not socialism. Stalinist parties used class-collaborationist policy to block the working class struggle to implement socialism. It happened time and again. No Marxist will interpret these caricatures as 'Marxism.' Nor will I.

I unsettle you? No. I don't. I think what 'unsettles' you is a working class which sees that in the midst of post WW II revolutionary crisis, it was the Social Democrat Parties rescued Europe from a socialist victory. When they 'get' that, what becomes of the Republican Party Perpetual Fog Campaign that the Democratic Party is 'socialist?' I think they'll see right through it and immediately opt for the genuine article. From the perspective of those who live on proletarian generated surplus value, I'm guessing that registers as a solitary horror.

I addressed Mondragón under co-operatives, noting their use and their limitations. Socialist ‘microcosms’ are a variant on Stalin’s pretend ‘socialism in one country.’ Yet, you say that ‘there’s no reason I can think of preventing any company from operating on Marxist principles in a capitalistic society.’

Do you think I’m unaware of cooperative labor? Marx, Engels and Rosa Luxemburg addressed it. Mondragón was named in the World Socialist Web Site a few years past in connection with Fagor’s closure. Along the lines I said, it states:

‘Fagor’s demise is proof of the warning made nearly 150 years ago by Karl Marx. In his 1864 Inaugural Address to the Working Men’s International Association, Marx insisted,

“The experience of the period from 1848 to 1864 has proved beyond doubt that, however excellent in principle and however useful in practice, cooperative labour, if kept within the narrow circle of the casual efforts of private workmen, will never be able to arrest the growth in geometrical progression of monopoly, to free the masses, nor even to perceptibly lighten the burden of their miseries… To save the industrious masses, cooperative labour ought to be developed to national dimensions, and, consequently, to be fostered by national means… To conquer political power has, therefore, become the great duty of the working classes.”’

As Alejandro López and Carlos Hernández say, ‘Fagor was created precisely to prevent the conquest of political power by the working class.’ You know full well that the ruling class won’t agree that decisions about society’s resources be made by the proletarian class. ‘Cooperative labor’ is ‘accepted’ because it does not press class struggle. And in the end, market diktats will settle the question anyway. Fagor’s closure shows that Mondragón can’t escape Capitalist crisis and havoc. And it must match measures that competitors implement. 

I could say [much] more, but it’s time to quit. I may not be doing much research in the next week or so. But I'll be along.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
Professor Expert
3.2  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Drakkonis @3    3 weeks ago

And all whipped up to a frenzy by Trump, Giuliani, Et.al...... just prior to them moving on the capital.  That's what you aren't willing to connect.  

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Junior Guide
3.2.1  Drakkonis  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @3.2    3 weeks ago
And all whipped up to a frenzy by Trump, Giuliani, Et.al...... just prior to them moving on the capital.  That's what you aren't willing to connect.  

Um, what makes you say that I don't make this connection? 

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
Professor Expert
3.2.2  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Drakkonis @3.2.1    3 weeks ago

Did you?  Ever thought of mentioning it to complete your thoughts and communicate them?

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Junior Guide
3.2.3  Drakkonis  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @3.2.2    3 weeks ago
Did you?  Ever thought of mentioning it to complete your thoughts and communicate them?

No, I didn't mention it because I don't think it relevant to what I was actually discussing. Specifically, my view of some of the article's claims. That a coup actually happened. Democracy was defeated. All the scary untrue accusations meant,  in my opinion, to tell the unthinking what to think and what should be done about it. 

If you think differently about it I'd be interested to hear your opinions, but not if they concern telling me what mine should be. 

 
 
 
Trotsky's Spectre
Freshman Quiet
3.2.4  seeder  Trotsky's Spectre  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @3.2.2    3 weeks ago

The World Socialist Web Site [WSWS], voice of the Socialist Equality Party [SEP] under the International Committee of the Fourth International is the sole outlet to give consistent warning of yesterday's eventualities. On October 14, 2019, it published a Statement from the Political Committee of the Socialist Equality Party demanding Trump's immediate removal from office. The first of eight grounds for this demand was:

'Trump is utilizing the power of the presidency to create an unconstitutional and illegal dictatorship.'

The WSWS published further warnings of yesterday's action on June 4, 2020 and on September 24, 2020 . On October 27, 2020, the WSWS published information on an online discussion of this matter hosted by the SEP. It hosted a further online meeting on November 19, 2020 .

As recent as yesterday, the WSWS published a demand that ' coup plotter Trump ' be removed from office immediately.

Yesterday's events [and more] were anticipated and addressed repeatedly by the WSWS. Yesterday was no surprise to anyone who has followed the SEP record  on the matter.

This line of inquiry is not well received here because it faults the Democratic Party for its failure and refusal to offer a principled program countering the rise, growth and mainstreaming of a distinctively US fascist movement. That resistance can/must come solely from the working class -- directly entering the stream of political events with its own demands.

 
 
 
Kathleen
Masters Principal
3.3  Kathleen  replied to  Drakkonis @3    3 weeks ago

It started off that way, I have no problem with protests. I did not like when they broke into the building. If they stood outside in an area that was not trespassing and disrupting what was going on outside then it would be legal for just a protest. I feel that Trump should have conceded long ago after the courts decision on it. also, I did not like the speech he made yesterday that provoked all this. 

He needs to tell his supporters that it is over and to not cause any problems for a peaceful transition. That's what he should have said yesterday. There are always some crazies that will not listen, but at least he would have given a more clear picture of his feelings about the election.

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Senior Guide
3.3.1  Thrawn 31  replied to  Kathleen @3.3    3 weeks ago
at least he would have given a more clear picture of his feelings about the election.

His feelings are perfectly fucking clear! He has made them clear for months. He does not view the election as legitimate, he does not think he lost, he does not think Biden is the next president, he WANTED his supporters to do this (hence calling them to Washington in the first place and then telling them to march on the Capitol), his own aides have said that he was enjoying it and didn't want to stop it. How much more clear does he need to be? 

 
 
 
Kathleen
Masters Principal
3.3.2  Kathleen  replied to  Thrawn 31 @3.3.1    3 weeks ago

Clear for the events that day. We all know how he feels about the election. He should have told them to keep it just a peaceful protest. I did use the word provoked, or are you just not paying attention. 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Junior Guide
3.3.3  Drakkonis  replied to  Kathleen @3.3    3 weeks ago
It started off that way, I have no problem with protests. I did not like when they broke into the building. If they stood outside in an area that was not trespassing and disrupting what was going on outside then it would be legal for just a protest. I feel that Trump should have conceded long ago after the courts decision on it. also, I did not like the speech he made yesterday that provoked all this.

Pretty much feel the same way. Those who committed crimes should be prosecuted for them, for instance, but I think most of them didn't have any particularly nefarious intent in mind beyond making a statement by their presence or feeling like they were "doing something".  I didn't watch very much of Trump's speech because he was saying the things I imagined he would say.. And the crowd was acting, for the most part, as mindlessly as I expected. Sad and boring overall. 

He needs to tell his supporters that it is over and to not cause any problems for a peaceful transition. That's what he should have said yesterday. There are always some crazies that will not listen, but at least he would have given a more clear picture of his feelings about the election.

Actually, I think he should have done it a while ago. Aside from the media having it out for him, the things he said and did were the reason he lost the election, not because it was stolen. Trump was Trump's biggest enemy, in my opinion. Case in point would be his speech yesterday, something he may very well bear criminal liability for concerning what happened afterwards. It may be that is why he's suddenly coming all "peaceful transition" all of a sudden. He knows he stepped on it. 

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
Professor Expert
3.3.4  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Drakkonis @3.3.3    3 weeks ago

Not bad..... Akin to jailing the pusher vs the user.

 
 
 
Kathleen
Masters Principal
3.3.5  Kathleen  replied to  Drakkonis @3.3.3    3 weeks ago

Agreed. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
3.3.6  JohnRussell  replied to  Drakkonis @3.3.3    3 weeks ago

Those hundreds of people who broke into the Capitol are largely composed of conspiracy nuts, white nationalists, psychologically disturbed and brainwashed individuals , and other misfortunate dregs of society. All mesmerized by Donald Trump. 

There is a reporter for a British tv network that was with the "protesters" for the entire 5 hours they were in the building. He was interviewed on CNN tonight and said he was stunned to see so many of them were down the rabbit hole of conspiracies. Many of the people who did this were Q Anon believers. One of them told the reporter he was there to go after the pedophiles in Congress. 

If we, as a country, dont get a grip on the massive levels of misinformation that are pouring from right wing media into gullible peoples minds every day America is fucked. 

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Senior Guide
3.4  Thrawn 31  replied to  Drakkonis @3    3 weeks ago
What I saw was a bunch of people mostly just standing around, some waving flags or whatnot.

Miss the part where 14 officers were injured, the mob physically broke into the Capitol building and invaded the Senate chamber and multiple offices forcing a suspension of Congress' constitutionally mandated duty?

 
 
 
Tessylo
PhD Principal
3.4.1  Tessylo  replied to  Thrawn 31 @3.4    3 weeks ago

"or whatnot"

JFC!

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Junior Guide
3.4.2  Drakkonis  replied to  Thrawn 31 @3.4    3 weeks ago
Miss the part where 14 officers were injured, the mob physically broke into the Capitol building and invaded the Senate chamber and multiple offices forcing a suspension of Congress' constitutionally mandated duty?

Nope. Miss the part where I said "mostly"? From what I saw, most of the people appeared to be outside and most of them were not doing much of anything except standing or walking around. Of course, there were those who weren't just doing that. 

 
 
 
Thomas
Freshman Guide
3.5  Thomas  replied to  Drakkonis @3    3 weeks ago
None of Trump's efforts gained the least amount of traction in trying to overturn the election.

Yes they did. The Evidence is what happened wednesday. It does not matter that the officials, courts and what have you did not give Trump the time of day, because there are millions of people who believe, based on his lies, that he has been wronged. That is what is important. You can take all of your courts and put them in a bag with most of congress and throw them out because these people do not care. They showed this by their actions at the president's request. These peoples false beliefs are the problem. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
PhD Principal
3.5.1  TᵢG  replied to  Thomas @3.5    3 weeks ago

The danger of not thinking critically.

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Senior Guide
4  Thrawn 31    3 weeks ago

Those who entered the building need to be charged with sedition and given the maximum penalty. The DoJ needs to bring the hammer down on everyone they can as hard as they can, including Trump and his idiot "lawyer".

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Junior Guide
4.1  Drakkonis  replied to  Thrawn 31 @4    3 weeks ago
Those who entered the building need to be charged with sedition and given the maximum penalty.

Out of curiosity, why do you draw the line at those who entered the building? 

 
 
 
Thomas
Freshman Guide
5  Thomas    3 weeks ago
Biden concluded his remarks with the following clarion call. “So, President Trump, step up.” This bankrupt appeal to the would-be fascist dictator will go down in history as Biden’s “Hitler, do the right thing” speech.

Sorry, but I had to laugh out loud when I read this.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
6  Nerm_L    3 weeks ago

How can anyone confuse Sovereign Citizens with Fascists?  How can anyone believe that people demanding government get off their backs, people who bemoan political correctness, and people who refuse to wear masks would tolerate the government imposed and enforced regimentation of society espoused by Nazis and Fascists?

What happened at the Capitol has more in common with Little Big Horn than with a beer hall putsch.  Donald Trump has more in common with Geronimo than with Hitler.

The steadfast effort by exceptionally smart stupid people to create a phony homogenized Euro-centric American history has blinded us to our real past.  We've lost the lessons of our American history.  America was created on the frontier by stubborn, resourceful, and self-sufficient settlers; not by European statecraft. 

The exceptionally smart stupid people are clueless because they do not know American history and, obviously, don't want to learn.  Fascists?  What a moronic comparison.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Guide
6.1  Sean Treacy  replied to  Nerm_L @6    3 weeks ago
How can anyone confuse Sovereign Citizens with Fascist

The violence done to the English language by progressives  can't be overstated. They hear buzzwords and just call anything they don't like by it.  Safire would have a field day updating his dictionary with these idiots. 

 
 
 
Dulay
PhD Principal
6.1.1  Dulay  replied to  Sean Treacy @6.1    3 weeks ago
The violence done to the English language by progressives  can't be overstated.

Nerm has made it clear that he is not a progressive. 

 
 
 
Dulay
PhD Principal
6.2  Dulay  replied to  Nerm_L @6    3 weeks ago
How can anyone confuse Sovereign Citizens with Fascists?  How can anyone believe that people demanding government get off their backs, people who bemoan political correctness, and people who refuse to wear masks would tolerate the government imposed and enforced regimentation of society espoused by Nazis and Fascists?

I suppose the same way you are confusing the insurgents with Sovereign Citizens. 

What happened at the Capitol has more in common with Little Big Horn than with a beer hall putsch.  Donald Trump has more in common with Geronimo than with Hitler.

Your use of the label 'Little Big Horn' illustrates utter ignorance. So does comparing Trump to Geronimo. 

The steadfast effort by exceptionally smart stupid people to create a phony homogenized Euro-centric American history has blinded us to our real past.  We've lost the lessons of our American history.  America was created on the frontier by stubborn, resourceful, and self-sufficient settlers; not by European statecraft. 

More argle-bargle. 

The exceptionally smart stupid people are clueless because they do not know American history and, obviously, don't want to learn.  Fascists?  What a moronic comparison.

Well YOU fabricated it, so there's that. 

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
6.2.1  Nerm_L  replied to  Dulay @6.2    3 weeks ago
I suppose the same way you are confusing the insurgents with Sovereign Citizens. 

I am not confused because these people are too white.  These groups are airing the same grievances and making the same demands as did the western Indians.  What is happening has more similarities with the Indian Wars than with the Civil War.

Your use of the label 'Little Big Horn' illustrates utter ignorance. So does comparing Trump to Geronimo.

Trump has been claiming the rights of indigenous people.  The complaints have been about intruders and invaders taking land, destroying culture, and ending a way of life.  Trump has been playing the role of Crazy Horse; not Armstrong Custer.  Trump certainly has not been playing the role of Adolf Hitler.

Well YOU fabricated it, so there's that. 

The history of the Indian Wars isn't a fabrication.  The Federal government really did force Indians onto reservations then broke promises and failed to abide by treaties.  Highly educated, big city liberals justified their actions by claiming to 'civilize the savages'.  

High minded liberals called Geronimo's Apache uprising an insurgency, too.  Geronimo was fighting for survival.  The high minded liberals were fighting for ideology.

 
 
 
Dulay
PhD Principal
6.2.2  Dulay  replied to  Nerm_L @6.2.1    2 weeks ago
I am not confused because these people are too white.  These groups are airing the same grievances and making the same demands as did the western Indians.  What is happening has more similarities with the Indian Wars than with the Civil War.

Seriously Nerm, that is some galactic bullshit. Please, just stop. 

Trump has been claiming the rights of indigenous people.  The complaints have been about intruders and invaders taking land, destroying culture, and ending a way of life.  Trump has been playing the role of Crazy Horse; not Armstrong Custer.  Trump certainly has not been playing the role of Adolf Hitler.

Wow, I thought your first paragraph was bad. 

Nerm, I have no idea where you get the bullshit you post but it could use a heavy dose of reality and a thorough review of factual history. 

Here's just a little clarification for you Nerm:

Crazy Horse was a Lakota war leader. He didn't send out others to fight for him and then leave to hide in his bunker. 

The history of the Indian Wars isn't a fabrication.  The Federal government really did force Indians onto reservations then broke promises and failed to abide by treaties.  Highly educated, big city liberals justified their actions by claiming to 'civilize the savages'.   High minded liberals called Geronimo's Apache uprising an insurgency, too.  Geronimo was fighting for survival.  The high minded liberals were fighting for ideology.

None of which is revelatory or justifies your ridiculous comparison of Trump to Geronimo Nerm. 

BTFW, Teddy Roosevelt a 'liberal'? 

jrSmiley_10_smiley_image.gif  

 
 
 
Sunshine
Senior Guide
7  Sunshine    3 weeks ago

I recall reading past comments about the 2020 BLM violence stating that sometimes violence is necessary for change.

Many comments supporting Antifa as antifacist as they beat down people and set cities on fire.  And they expect to be taken serious. 

 
 
Loading...
Loading...

Who is online


igknorantzrulz


32 visitors