Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Cheezy the Wiz, Feb 6, 2012.
RATM? Those people back the Zapatistas and other loons.
Whats wrong with the Zapatistas? Of all the guys with guns in Mexico, they're probably the most admirable.
Also this dude, is badass:
I have no idea what the Zapatistas are, but RATM are supposedly self-confessed communists, so I thought they'd be relevant to this thread.
We live in a society where we have greater access to information than at any point in human history. If you don't know who Pol Pot, or the Zapatistas are all you literally have to do is type it into a search engine and you will know more than you ever wanted to about them.
Probably a fair description, although I'd say that it's in the tradition of utopian communism than class-struggle communism; more Diggers than Communards, sorta thing.
General approval, I guess. Their politics can be a bit imprecise at times, and there's uncomfortable streaks of Third Worldism through some of it, but I think that's mostly reflective of de la Rocha's background. (His father was a Chicano activist, and his grandfather fought in the Mexican Revolution.) I certainly appreciate that compared to most other politicised bands with a mainstream presence, they don't pull any punches.
Don't really see what's "loony" about the Zapatistas. Far from perfect, but they're an isolated, impoverished and mostly illiterate movement of indigenous peasants in a peripheral region of a poor country, they've really only go so much to work with.
What are your thoughts about the Fabian Society?
My grandad was a lifelong Fabian and he was convinced that socialism could be achieved through evolution. I don't fully buy that notion.
Edit: In that he believed in them, not that he was literally a member
I think that their project is in principle viable (although hugely unlikely), but I also don't think their project is actually something they share. For the Fabians, "socialism" is what I would see as socialised capitalism: the same basic wage-system, just with private employers switched out for a more benign and/or democratic set of public and cooperative ones. There's no real critique of the wage-system in Fabianism (or reformist socialism in general), just a critique of certain inegalitarian organisations of the wage-system.
Sounds more like a Social Democracy than like 'true' Socialism.
I'm honestly pretty happy to abandon the term "socialism" altogether. It means a hundred different things depending on how you ask, and it's pretty futile to insist upon a specifically Marxian definition, especially when we already have a perfectly good word- "communism"- to do just that. All that's necessary to is to remember that "socialism", in this looser usage, carries no implications of post-capitalism.
Not, mind you, that I'm quite ready to let it encompass "sometimes having to pay taxes, maybe", because that would just be stupid.
What your opinions on the United Nations/organizations and other international bodies such as the ICRC?
I would love to work for the UN someday and want to ensure I would survive the inevitable Communist Revolution.
According to my (limited) knowledge, current capitalist and democractic societies actually would allow communism within the system.
One of the main principles of communism - workers owning the means of production could be achieved through creating cooperative companies/corporations/enterprises where internally the corporation ownership and decisions are ran with communist principles in mind ( Every new employee gets a vote and share of the company after joining )
Theoretically, if such companies would be more efficient compared to current capitalist companies, they could slowly take over all means of production within the society and actually create an communist state without the need of revolution.
The questions for the reds in this forum would be the following:
Are there any laws in place that actually prevent this from happening?
What else aside from laws (if there are any) are the reasons why communism could not be achieved within current capitalist regimes?
Not that I feel addressed or can answer in the spirit of this thread, but I like to to respond something anyway.
A problem I can think of is that if it is about the accumulation of capital, an efficient way to do so is to "exploit" your workforce. To not be able to do so because the to be exploited are the owners at the same time means a natural disadvantage.
Which comes down to the fundamental forces of capitalism being incompatible with Communism.
I assume you mean that by exploiting workers, the capitalist owner get more profit after salaries to reinvest and expand his business, hence gaining competitive advantage over business where workers are not exploited.
I dont see no reason why (in theory*) the business ran with communist principles could'nt still reinvest the same amount of profits AND provide little bit better income for the workers due to not having to pay any money to non-working owners, that extra income should result in more motivated and productive workers and hence more productive and competitive business.
*one hole in my theory i realized myself is that salary income is taxed more than investor income, which is the first obstacle - but i guess workaround could be made for that, like paying that extra salary out as dividends since the workers in fact are the owners/investors.
I don't think Fabians are bad people. (though New Labour can piss off). But I do think they're disregarding a very useful tool.
A body in need of much reform.
I don't know what you mean by "within capitalist society." Wherever socialism exists, capitalism does not, and vice versa. Socialism isn't "allowed to exist" within capitalism, capitalism means the private ownership of means of production. If they are owned communally instead, then it isn't capitalism. Those things exist outside capitalism. Maybe you mean democratic or liberal societies, that they allow things like communes to exist. That proves nothing. This isn't a question of Epicurean withdrawal from a world we morally disagree with, it's a question of reforming society itself. It is a question of morality, of liberation, of civic duty.
There is really no merit to the "capitalist and socialist enterprises should compete" idea, because we don't care about how well it "matches up" against capitalist enterprise. And since socialists disagree with the very idea that we should be competing against each other in such win and lose scenarios, why would we engage in such activity in the first place? It would be like asking a pacifist to fight for his right to be passive: it misses the point entirely of the morality.
Communism has just as many meanings, depending on who you ask, so that argument is a non-starter. In addition, socialism is just as much a Marxist term as communism - in that it predates Marx but that he gave it a specific definition within Marxism. Besides, there is a great deal of space between capitalism and communism. Things will not magically happen overnight. There must be a transition period, whether you think they'll be weeks, months, years, or generations. This transition period deserves a name. I've always understood it to be socialism. If we don't use the term to mean something, then we provide our foes with another tool of slander, to invent and re-invent it as they wish. Why disregard a useful word and give it to them for use against us?
How much literature is there that discusses that the longer the workday, the more that the ownership class can keep down wages due to keeping the employees more dependent on their employers while maintaining a larger reserve labor force. A reserve labor force that is harder for the overworked, exhausted employee to fight off or join teams with so they just accept their subsistence wages.
Marx explicitly discusses the "trick" of over-time wages in Volume 1 of Capital. Not that it was bad as a concept, but rather that its initial creation in Britain was the result of collaboration on the parts of government and business, such that by creating over-time laws, employers could slash wages and thus force their workers to work more hours, because they needed the over-time pay in order to make ends meet as before.
The "reserve" labor force you speak of is really more of a threat to organized labor action, though I've seen it used in person as a "my way or the highway' threat to staff who dare to question management.
I may have incomplete understanding of what exactly is meant by socialism/communism/capitalism - but lets just say what i proposed is something for a "transistional period" towards socialism and/or communism.
I dont see how competing the way i described is any different from any other non-violent way of achieving communism in the future in regards to it being a win/lose situation?
Could you elaborate?
I don't think that we all that widely read to begin with. The interest was in Marx's Hegel, and Marx's Hegelianism, rather than much of what Hegel had to say for himself, and at this point there's plenty of academic lit for you to get whatever you need without having to near the incomprehensible old Württemberger yourself.
Some very clever, very well-read people think there's something worthwhile in Hegel, and some very clever, very well-read people think it's all garbage. Can't say I'm in a position to have much of an opinion.
I don't think you'll find this distinction in Marx. For Marx, capitalism is the mediation of social relations by value, and the abolition of that mediation can only be communism. If value-mediation remains, it's capitalism, however, socialised. If value-mediation has been abolished, it's communism, however underdeveloped. The transition is necessarily immediate, even if getting things settled is not.
If we don't claim the term as our own, what does it matter to us if they manipulate it to their own ends? They re-invent "liberal" and "progressive", too, but it doesn't matter very much to me.
Separate names with a comma.