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    • Contentious
    Communism and the Death of Castro
    • Jaime Lannister wrote:

      I was joking with Lucretia because he and I both know communism has never actually been seen in practice (some arguments could be made that we've seen it occur on a smaller scale for a short period, e.g. revolutionary Catalonia in the 1930s) but everyone always goes "b-b-b-but Stalin!" since all you need to do is say you're communist and suddenly it's true.

      It is now. Face it, history has forever associated that term with the disaster that was the Soviet Union. Stick with the term Marxist.
    • Jaime Lannister wrote:

      DaruniaDancing wrote:

      Jaime Lannister wrote:

      Ever hear of Stalin? Ho Chi Minh? China? Cuba? National Socialism?
      I can't tell if you're joking.But if not, this is really silly. Karl Marx would roll over in his grave if he knew his ideas were being associated with dictatorship. He was a small 'd' democrat. Fundamentally, socialism and communism mean public ownership of the means of production. In the Soviet Union, Vietnam, China, and Cuba, this was not the case. An elite group of government bureaucrats controlled the means of production. Private ownership remained intact. As a result, these countries could be described as examples of state capitalism.

      I can't even bother responding to the assertion that Nazis belong in the socialist or communist tradition. No offense, but read some history! Who did Nazis blame the Reichstag fire on? Say I were to accept for a moment that the Soviet Union was an example of communism in action. They kept bone fragments of what they believed to be Hitler's skull for decades as a trophy! No country on Earth sacrificed more to put down fascism. It's ludicrous.

      Anyway, sorry for the rant...
      Have you by chance noticed my signature?
      I was joking with Lucretia because he and I both know communism has never actually been seen in practice (some arguments could be made that we've seen it occur on a smaller scale for a short period, e.g. revolutionary Catalonia in the 1930s) but everyone always goes "b-b-b-but Stalin!" since all you need to do is say you're communist and suddenly it's true.

      Which is why North Korea is a shining example of Democracy of course, I mean it even has Democratic and Republic in its name :cookiemonster:
      My bad! Sorry I jumped the gun. I think I'm just a little nervous because I have a bone scan today.
    • Red Dingo wrote:

      It is now. Face it, history has forever associated that term with the disaster that was the Soviet Union. Stick with the term Marxist.
      To be honest I just want to see Leninist-Stalinists to adopt the term "alt-left" to package their ideology in a more friendly light.

      I would say that no person who has come to understand communism for what it is and how it relates to the Soviet Union would then turn around and continue to hold it in disdain so much as see the need to distinguish the vices of the authoritarian and the virtues of the libertarian.

      Which is to say, it's an issue about education more than it is terminology. When you condition a whole generation to think negatively of the term, it's just the omission of education.
    • The problem is that there is a lot more nuance than there is vocabulary. Even throwing out the baggage of Stalinist history, "Marxism" is a sociological theory AND an economic model AND a set of predictions about the future (or what was to be the future in the increasingly distant past). If I used the sociological theory to construct novel economic models and make novel predictions about the future am I a Marxist? Even if those models are individualistic and RatEx and even if those futures are not communal? What if I model economics as class warfare and predict a future with an empowered body of blue collar workers based on an entirely different sociological model to the one Marx proposed?
      ~~~
      Although postsocratics like St. Augustine and Judith Butler explored a diverse set of ethical and metaphysical ideas, their unifying feature as a movement was a principled refusal to speculate upon which of the four elements the world was made out of.
      ~~~


      boxes is the best human and I am going to get her a kitten or 2 kittens
    • Foo wrote:

      What if I model economics as class warfare and predict a future with an empowered body of blue collar workers based on an entirely different sociological model to the one Marx proposed?
      Then you get to name it after yourself. Seriously coin new terms and meme them into the jargon.

      Tony wrote:

      I would say that no person who has come to understand communism for what it is and how it relates to the Soviet Union would then turn around and continue to hold it in disdain so much as see the need to distinguish the vices of the authoritarian and the virtues of the libertarian.

      Which is to say, it's an issue about education more than it is terminology. When you condition a whole generation to think negatively of the term, it's just the omission of education.
      I think you credit sheep with the intellect of wolves. At the end of the, it's only the historians who care for the true meaning of communism, just as it's only the anthropologists who care about the actual meaning of the swastika. To the masses both are symbols of authoritarian ideologies now. It also does not matter how much education you receive when your or your family were made to suffer under said ideologies, the symbols they waved will forever stir memories of pain and blood in your heart.

      But lol at the so-called virtues of the libertarian. It pretty much fails for the same reason the authoritarian does.
    • Red Dingo wrote:

      John wrote:

      he doesn't seem to have been at all opposed to a dictatorship, provided it was run by the lower-classes.
      And this would be why Marx was an idiot. The moment the lower class has absolute political power, it stops being the lower class. Being the underdog doesn't necessarily mean one has the sort of integrity and insight to responsibly wield power. Far from it in fact; they have enough emotional baggage to want to get back at their former oppressors.

      This is why I find it hilarious when Marxists go on tirades about the bourgeoisie as if the proletariat would not be just as selfish and destructive if the paradigm shifted...
      eh that's kind of the point

      The idea is that when the proletariat comes out on top, the bourgeoisie won't exist as they have lost their material possessions that allow them to exploit the working class. So the idea is that there no longer is "class" since we'd all be proletariat.
    • I think it depends on the context we're talking about. Historically when a group has overthrown those in power (e.g. what happened with the Russian Empire) there is a vacancy in power which is occupied. Though it seems almost inevitable that the hole in power will be filled by someone with more selfish ambitions of power. Can't say I know a whole lot on Lenin himself but what came after was Stalin and yeah. I don't think anyone outside Tankies would disagree this happens - and it doesn't necessarily have to be a "communist" overthrow - take Chile for example when the CIA removed the democratically elected leader and replaced him with Pinochet, an atrocious, capitalistic, pro-USA dictator who murdered those who opposed them. IIRC there are still thousands of Chileans unaccounted for who have disappeared (read: killed)

      That's certainly true and something to be wary of.

      Now if you're suggesting women are going to come into power and install a brutal, Misandrist Matriarchy to oppress all male-identified individuals, or gay people are going to come into power and send all the Straighties to conversion therapy, then there's a seat for that belief over in the corner where things such as "All Muslims in Europe are sleeper cells waiting to wage jihad on the west to eradicate Democratic Christian society" belong.
    • Tony wrote:

      Red Dingo wrote:

      It pretty much fails for the same reason the authoritarian does.
      Are you a proponent of moderate communism, then? Or do you just not agree with the humanitarian pursuits of the far left?
      I'm a proponent of the idea that all systems are doomed to failure by virtue of the fact that they are run by psychotic apes. Capitalism is pressing the pleasure center button until you starve to death. Communism is expecting people to willingly eschew luxury for the sake someone they have never met. Then there is Socialism, which while nice, does not quite fit in a universe where all closed systems are destined to die unless they shift the burden of entropy onto others. It also lacks competition which a big motivator for technological progress (like I said Passion>Reason). Libertarians make the mistake of thinking that all people are equally capable of knowing what's best for themselves, at the same time it forgets that humanity has survived as a social species that sometimes had to compel individuals. Far left or far right.

      Of course if every participant was actually committed to making one of these systems work, then it might last a couple centuries, but that's a lot to expect from the masses.

      DaruniaDancing wrote:

      I think words can be reclaimed. Not too long ago, socialist was one of the dirtiest of political words in the United States. And yet, the most popular politician in the country right now is a self-identified socialist!
      Well...it helps that we didn't wage a cold war with another world power toting that word around. I mean technically Hitler's party called themselves socialists but fortunately most people remember them as Nazis...which is also rising in popularity lately.

      Lucretia wrote:

      eh that's kind of the point
      The idea is that when the proletariat comes out on top, the bourgeoisie won't exist as they have lost their material possessions that allow them to exploit the working class. So the idea is that there no longer is "class" since we'd all be proletariat.
      That's not how it ever works out. Losing material possessions doesn't suddenly convert bourgeoisie to that way of thinking. The revolutionaries don't ever stop at taking away their things. No, what happens is children being executed for political reasons and the former proletariat becoming the new oppressors or they vote in a new one. When there is no class, someone inevitably steps in to create one.

      Jaime Lannister wrote:

      Now if you're suggesting women are going to come into power and install a brutal, Misandrist Matriarchy to oppress all male-identified individuals, or gay people are going to come into power and send all the Straighties to conversion therapy, then there's a seat for that belief over in the corner where things such as "All Muslims in Europe are sleeper cells waiting to wage jihad on the west to eradicate Democratic Christian society" belong.
      Not exactly. I'm merely stating that being the victims of oppression does not suddenly inoculate people against becoming the new oppressors. Just look at Rwanda, after decades under the Tutsi rule, a group Hutus decided to start a rape-happy genocide. Then there's Israel, you'd think a country run by Jews would surely see the danger of blind nationalism after centuries of diaspora and pogroms, yet blind nationalism is exactly whats going on down there now.

      Now it would be a stretch say that giving women and gay people political power would lead to exactly those scenarios. That sort of change would take several generations and some very ruthless political maneuvering. It's not impossible, just very unlikely and certainly not within the scope of intent for most Feminist and LGBT organizations.
    • Anna Claire wrote:

      yeah, down with governments!
      anarchy~!
      So instead of having a bunch of psychotic apes organized, you'd rather have them left to their own devices and at the mercy of the one with biggest stick...yeah good luck with that.
    • It seems a bit odd to insist that no possible system can work, given that it's at least conceivable that the correct situations will lead to the "psychotic apes" behaving in anticipated ways.

      Or, to put it another way, advertising is an entire industry devoted to "hacking" human brains to make them do things that aren't in their obvious best interests (things that are obviously what they want generally don't bother with ads), and it seems to be a fairly successful one. If we can control people in that realm, it seems odd to say that they can't be influenced in others.

      May those who accept their fate be granted happiness;

      Those who defy it, glory!
    • I think any far left or far right system/ideology is doomed to fail. Communism in particular, I don't see working. If a country would implement it now, it would result in a major brain drain. Only a dictatorship could prevent emigration.

      A (quasi) free market with the government ensuring social benefits is the way to go imo. Northern European countries do it best.
    • john_marston wrote:

      Only a dictatorship could prevent emigration.
      Emigration to a communist society would not be an unwelcome thing. Emigration from sounds unlikely as no safe and sound person would conceivably elect to adopt hierarchy and capital over free and fair access to resources and healthcare, a dramatic decrease in work hours, etc. That said, unless you follow authoritarian ideology, there's nothing tethering people to it so if it "doesn't work" for you, you're welcome to try to "convince" some schmuck into being subservient.
    • Tony wrote:


      Emigration from [communism] sounds unlikely as no safe and sound person would conceivably elect to adopt hierarchy and capital over free and fair access to resources and healthcare, a dramatic decrease in work hours, etc.

      Nonsense. If you have a high end job, you have access to all the healthcare and resources you want, and you will still enjoy many luxuries on top of that. Brain drain is a real issue for socialistic/communist systems. Why on earth would, say, a surgeon or lawyer accept the same standard of living as a proletarian? That is unfair, and a moronic ideology if you ask me.

      And it's not like the only options are communism or etreme capitalism. Most Northen European countries, for example, similarly offer practically 'free' (nothing is actually free) healthcare and provide the less fortunate with nearly the same opportunities, while also being 'capitalistic' and having a free market.
    • Tony wrote:

      Why does this ape anarchy have to be disorderly?

      Biggest stick sounds very capitalistic and hierarchical to me.
      You ever try herding sheep without a dog? The biggest stick scenario is how it ends up, because even if you manage to build a working anarchist utopia, it's inevitably crushed by a hierarchy lead by a guy with a big stick (which he probably named after a woman).

      John wrote:

      It seems a bit odd to insist that no possible system can work, given that it's at least conceivable that the correct situations will lead to the "psychotic apes" behaving in anticipated ways.

      Or, to put it another way, advertising is an entire industry devoted to "hacking" human brains to make them do things that aren't in their obvious best interests (things that are obviously what they want generally don't bother with ads), and it seems to be a fairly successful one. If we can control people in that realm, it seems odd to say that they can't be influenced in others.
      Yes in the old days, it was called religion, but who pray tell will be doing this brain hacking.