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Ask A Red V: The Five-Year Plan

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Cheezy the Wiz, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. _random_

    _random_ Jewel Runner

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    See that makes sense in light of the notion of proletarian internationalism and the close ties between the CPUSA and the CPSU. Lincoln, while pretty rad, was unambiguously a capitalist. I suppose he is symbolic of liberation in American iconography, and also Marx was a fan. Still seems kind of strange.
     
  2. Hygro

    Hygro soundcloud.com/hygro/

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    Sure, it's just like, you still gotta win.
     
  3. Cheezy the Wiz

    Cheezy the Wiz Socialist In A Hurry

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    Yeah Lincoln is seen as a progressive hero in American history. The man obviously had his problems (his views on race were not the best, and even while freeing Afro-American slaves his government was ruthlessly pushing forward with colonization of Indian lands in the West), but he was also responsible for crushing the intensely reactionary Old South and destroying one of the last remaining bastions of human enchattlement on the planet. He thus played a progressive role in history (Alexander Hamilton is seen in much the same way). Marx hailed Lincoln as the "single-minded son of the working class" and certainly thought very highly of him.

    An interesting contrast is that in the same year as that Lincoln picture, American Nazis held a similar rally, and guess which president they chose to hail:



    The president who owned slaves vs. the president who freed all slaves. It's a no-brainer for me, and it was a no-brainer for the millions of Americans who supported the CPUSA during the Popular Front years.
     
  4. _random_

    _random_ Jewel Runner

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    Is that Washington? The picture is too small for me to tell. Also, that's not the George Lincoln Rockwell ANP is it? I don't think that existed at the time. What organization is it?
     
  5. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    Hmm, I'm not so sure that's true. Possibly it is if you adopt the dogmatic Marxist-Leninist definition of capitalist which says anyone who's not for the abolition of private property and the dictatorship of the part of the proletariat is a capitalist, but I have a hard time imagining any modern-day "unambiguous capitalist" saying something like this:

    An important thrust of the Republican Party's program, often understandably forgotten given the whole slavery thing, was against the class of traders and financiers who were understood by the Republicans, much like the Southern slaveowners, to profit from the work of others. This is IMO a fundamentally anticapitalist stance.

    More anticapitalist sentiment from Lincoln:

     
  6. Hygro

    Hygro soundcloud.com/hygro/

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    It's really interesting to think that the Communist Manifesto was written 12 years before the Civil War and its ideas were already fairly widespread in this country.
     
  7. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

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    It is!

    In one of Harry Turtledove's alt-history novels, Abe survives and goes on to become a communist; I didn't understand how this could be until I found out what you just posted.
    You're right but so was Cheezy. It's a fairly huge deal that Bernie is being taken seriously at all given his own self-branding. It was unthinkable that a serious presidential candidate would even use the word socialism in a non-insulting manner (much less brand themselves one) 10 years ago. Huge deal.
     
  8. Cheezy the Wiz

    Cheezy the Wiz Socialist In A Hurry

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    Before the First World War, the United States had such strong labor and socialist movements that it was widely believed that it was where the worldwide socialist revolution would begin. Much of that predates Marx, too, so it's not as if the world had to be informed of Marx's thoughts in order to Think Of Socialism.
     
  9. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    You might be interested in this paper by a former professor of mine :)

    :D Another Turtledove fan? I love that whole series.

    Precisely. Socialism and worker democracy are indigenous to the US.
     
  10. _random_

    _random_ Jewel Runner

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    So why do you think that turned out so wrong? At this point, the US is known among western powers as the only one with no major party that grew out of the labor movement, and for having weak unions and a weaker political left. Where did we go wrong?
     
  11. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    Part of the answer is that corporations became more powerful and more organized in the US than they did elsewhere. That's probably not the whole answer though.
     
  12. Cheezy the Wiz

    Cheezy the Wiz Socialist In A Hurry

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    A variety of factors, from an intensely divided working class along racial lines to the "pressure valve" of the West, to very militant bourgeois repression.
     
  13. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    The "pressure valve of the West" has traditionally been offered as an explanation for why class struggle never took on European-style militancy, but that isn't really accurate. The most militant worker resistance actually coincided in time with the period of Western expansion.

    Obviously racism was a big factor, but I also don't see bourgeois repression as being more militant in the US than it was elsewhere (though I'm open to being shown otherwise on that point).
     
  14. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

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    Was racism less prevalent in Europe at the time or did they have significantly fewer minority members of their population at the time than the US did?
     
  15. _random_

    _random_ Jewel Runner

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    The latter was more of a factor I'd say. European nations never imported African slaves en masse for plantation labor after all.
     
  16. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    In Europe the working class divided along ethnic and nationalist lines rather than racist ones, that's all. And yes, it was not because Europeans weren't racist but rather because Europe was not really a multiracial society in the same way the US is.

    Of course, this is all rather arbitrary since race is a completely made-up construct.
     
  17. _random_

    _random_ Jewel Runner

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    It's certainly not the worst bit of historical iconography appropriated by the America's radical left:

    I'm sure that seemed like a good idea at the time.
     
  18. mech654

    mech654 Prince

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    I am curious what the red panelists think of the current crisis in Brazil. Is it a just a temporary setback for the PT, or a return of neoliberalism?
     
  19. west india man

    west india man Immortal

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  20. Cheezy the Wiz

    Cheezy the Wiz Socialist In A Hurry

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    Looks like the Young Patriots. Bad symbolism, but good work. They grew out of SDS. BPP worked with them and the Young Lords to create the Rainbow Coalition, a joint-venture socialist, anti-racist action group.

    While PT certainly has its problems, and is guilty of some minor austerity measures, I don't think it's fair to call them neo-liberal because they are not so snivelingly subservient to First World capital like Temer and his gangsters, who it is impossible to dispute the neo-liberal credentials of.

    In my opinion Brazil is in a bad place, and will be for the next several years. There's a likelihood that Dilma could return, and I think some of the other parties are mildly upset about the government reshuffling and have threatened to end their support for Temer, but even if that's the case foreign capital has shown its hand. The reports coming out of Brazil from comrades are neither optimistic or encouraging.

    On the other hand, the coup forced Maduro to react very defensively and proactively, and I think there are good signs that PSUV is beginning a new leftward push to deepen the roots of Venezuelan socialism to guarantee widespread opposition to any attempted coup d'etat. I personally hope they will finally destroy Venezuelan capital for good, but it's a toss-up as to whether or not they will risk such a venture after such a stinging defeat for Latin American leftism in Brazil.
     

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