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Socialism and Change

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LBird
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Joined: 21/07/2013

Marcos wrote:

...  we also published  a thread proving that the SPGB was not a Leninist party like he is claiming all the time...

So, if the SPGB is not 'Leninist' in its ideology (even I'll grant that the SPGB's is not a 'democratic centralist' organisation, like the SWP, of which I have personal political experience), why does it publish documents and threads that claim to support 'democracy', but it doesn't support democratic social production (including ideas, of course)?

When I ask you, or robbo, or anyone else, to answer the question 'Do you support the democratic production of social truth?', you answer 'No'.

When I dig further, to find out why you always give this anti-democratic answer, I find that, like Lenin, you follow Engels (not Marx) and his 'Materialism' (not Marx's 'social productionism'), and have Faith In Matter (like Engels and Lenin), rather than Faith In Humans (like Marx).

There are dozens of thinkers that understand the difference between Marx and Engels, not just Lukacs and Gramsci, but also Labriola, Brzozowski, Bogdanov, Pannekoek, Hook, Dunayevskaya, Kolakowski, Avineri, Carver... and others, too many to list.

Unless the SPGB starts to question its kneejerk anti-democratism, and finds some answers to these political questions (which have been getting asked since before the SPGB was founded), then it will not prosper (or, only amongst 'materialists', rather than amongst Democratic Communist workers, its intended class audience).

Terrell Carver places the origin of the problem in 1859, in Engels' review of Marx's Preface and Introduction. That would be a good place, for anyone interested, to start - 45 years prior to the founding of the SPGB.


Marcos
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Joined: 23/04/2017

LBird wrote:

Marcos wrote:

...  we also published  a thread proving that the SPGB was not a Leninist party like he is claiming all the time...

So, if the SPGB is not 'Leninist' in its ideology (even I'll grant that the SPGB's is not a 'democratic centralist' organisation, like the SWP, of which I have personal political experience), why does it publish documents and threads that claim to support 'democracy', but it doesn't support democratic social production (including ideas, of course)?

When I ask you, or robbo, or anyone else, to answer the question 'Do you support the democratic production of social truth?', you answer 'No'.

When I dig further, to find out why you always give this anti-democratic answer, I find that, like Lenin, you follow Engels (not Marx) and his 'Materialism' (not Marx's 'social productionism'), and have Faith In Matter (like Engels and Lenin), rather than Faith In Humans (like Marx).

There are dozens of thinkers that understand the difference between Marx and Engels, not just Lukacs and Gramsci, but also Labriola, Brzozowski, Bogdanov, Pannekoek, Hook, Dunayevskaya, Kolakowski, Avineri, Carver... and others, too many to list.

Unless the SPGB starts to question its kneejerk anti-democratism, and finds some answers to these political questions (which have been getting asked since before the SPGB was founded), then it will not prosper (or, only amongst 'materialists', rather than amongst Democratic Communist workers, its intended class audience).

Terrell Carver places the origin of the problem in 1859, in Engels' review of Marx's Preface and Introduction. That would be a good place, for anyone interested, to start - 45 years prior to the founding of the SPGB.

Some of those individuals that you are citing they were Leninists. Dunayeskaya was never able to break away from Leninism and Trotskyism, and she considered that  Engels was a post Marxist, She never broke away with the concept  of Leadership,  but she rejected the vanguard party to lead, and she created a cult of herself.

According to her analysis socialism existed in the Soviet Union until 1930 before the so called coup of Stalin, and the SPGN since 1917 said that socialism was never established in one country

Engels never created a cult of himself, he always considered himself as a student of Marxism. On that thread that was mentioned we disclosed all the main components of Leninism and none  of them were  applicable  to the SPGB,  and despite that L Bird continues playing the same lyrics.

Now he is citing Dunayeskaya when in prior occassions he has rejected her thoughts when we had also indiicated that she belieives in the unification of idealism and materialism like him

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LBird
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Joined: 21/07/2013

Whilst what you are saying is true, Marcos, you're still not addressing the core political problem here.

There are plenty of Leninists who can see that there are problems with Engels, which is why I quote them about problems with Engels. You seem to think that because I agree with them about this issue, that I support them completely, politically. Why you can't separate this out, I don't know.

I've told you this many times, especially regarding Dunayevskaya, but it doesn't seem to make any impression on you - perhaps you are just following the 'materialist' method, of slandering your opponents, and making up lies.

Whatever the case, you still have (never) addressed the key political issue which is facing the SPGB - how can 'matter' be 'democratic'?

Simple fact is, it can't - which is why Marx didn't employ the concept, and Engels was politically mistaken to have translated 'material' to mean 'matter'.

I'm not slandering you when I call you a Leninist - it's a term of political analysis, for a 'materialist' who claims to know 'matter' through a 'special consciousness' which is not available to the class as a whole. This ideology leads to a refusal to grant democratic control to the working class - you do this everytime you argue that only a minority can determine 'truth'.

Unless the initial political concept of democracy is employed, to found a philosophical concept which is inescapably democratic, and leaves power in the hands of 'conscious activity' which is not individual or elite, then there will be no democracy for workers, no matter what any party claims.

Marx started from 'inorganic nature' - this is not 'matter'. Engels is the origin of this idea that 'matter determines consciousness'. Marx, on the contrary, always argued that any 'nature' we know was 'nature-for-us', a social product of our conscious activity, of theory and practice. Thus, 'matter' exists for some societies, but not others. There are many other concepts, dating back to the Ancient Greeks, that suit the democratic theory and practice of the revolutionary proletariat far better than the concept of 'matter'.

Now, I'm treating you like an adult, so please respond in the same terms - FFS, answer the political questions surrounding 'matter', and why anyone would choose a ruling class concept, and expect it to be useful to the exploited class, when it sets out to challenge the exploiting class. 'Matter' is a conceptual mirror of 'Private Property'.


robbo203
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Joined: 07/11/2011

LBird wrote:

 

So, if the SPGB is not 'Leninist' in its ideology (even I'll grant that the SPGB's is not a 'democratic centralist' organisation, like the SWP, of which I have personal political experience), why does it publish documents and threads that claim to support 'democracy', but it doesn't support democratic social production (including ideas, of course)?

When I ask you, or robbo, or anyone else, to answer the question 'Do you support the democratic production of social truth?', you answer 'No'.

.

 

Yes thats quite true. I dont support the "democratic production of truth"  not because I am not a democrat but because the idea of putting scientific theories etc to a global democratic vote  is PLAIN BONKERS.  Its as simple as that.  When is LBird going to get that through his skull? The idea is totally impractical as well as totally unneccessary.  That is not what democracy is for.  Democracy is about practical decisons that affect us - locally regionally and globally - and I support that. LBird, however,  does not    He wants a system of totally centralised decisionmaking whereby literally the whole of society is supposed to decide on literally everything.  Since there are billions of decisions to be made and since LBird has emphatically ruled out any kind of devolved or local desicionmaking whatsoever who is going to make these decisions since clearly 7 billion people  will have neither the time nor the inclination to make them?  Thats right - the people who will make these decisions will be a tiny techncratic elite.  In the name of democracy LBird's daft ideas will kill democracy stone dead.

 

This is what makes LBird in de facto terms a Leninist and it doesnt surprise me in the least given his background as a one time supporter or member of the Trotskyist SWP

LBird
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Joined: 21/07/2013

robbo203 wrote:

LBird wrote:
When I ask you, or robbo, or anyone else, to answer the question 'Do you support the democratic production of social truth?', you answer 'No'.

Yes thats quite true. I dont support the "democratic production of truth"  ...

So, you are quite openly making a political decision without, and prior to, the organised, class conscious, working class.

Why this doesn't ring massive alarm bells with those in the SPGB who really believe that they are democrats, I don't know. Perhaps no-one gives a shit.

robbo203 wrote:
...The idea is totally impractical as well as totally unneccessary.  That is not what democracy is for.  Democracy is about practical decisons... 

Here, again, is an ideology that has pre-decided for workers, what is impractical, what is necessary, what democracy is for.

Surely, for anyone hoping to build for democratic socialism, only the workers themselves can determine these issues, not The Great Man robbo, who has as much regard for workers' democracy as Uncle Joe, never mind Lenin.

And, once again, 'practical' is put ahead of 'theoretical' in robbo's political method - and this is the exact opposite of Marx's social method of 'theory and practice'.

This means, in political terms, according to Marx's method, that robbo himself will supply the 'theory' that precedes his 'practice' - he's hiding his 'theory', and pretending that it's all just 'practical' stuff (and by this he means 'individual practice').

robbo is lying to workers, when he denies having any theory. He has a theory, and it's an elitist one. Workers, beware.

'Socialism', for robbo, is robbo's theory and practice.


alanjjohnstone
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Joined: 22/06/2011

Quote:
'Socialism', for robbo, is robbo's theory and practice.

That may be so and it may not be so, LBird.

But the fact is that Robbo was obliged to resign from the SPGB because his ideas were not agreed and accepted by it. His circulars to all branches were discussed and debated by them and by the Party as a whole where they were voted upon by conference and subsequently rejected. 

Nevertheless, he is on the forum still able to freely offer his views, just as you are.

Surely, this must give you pause for thought in your accusations concerning the non-democracy of the SPGB.

(As a caveat, i was not a member at the time so i may be over-simplifying the controversy) 

"I have no country to fight for; my country is the Earth, and I am a citizen of the World." - Eugene V. Debs

robbo203
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Joined: 07/11/2011

LBird wrote:

robbo203 wrote:

LBird wrote:
When I ask you, or robbo, or anyone else, to answer the question 'Do you support the democratic production of social truth?', you answer 'No'.

Yes thats quite true. I dont support the "democratic production of truth"  ...

So, you are quite openly making a political decision without, and prior to, the organised, class conscious, working class.

Why this doesn't ring massive alarm bells with those in the SPGB who really believe that they are democrats, I don't know. Perhaps no-one gives a shit.

robbo203 wrote:
...The idea is totally impractical as well as totally unneccessary.  That is not what democracy is for.  Democracy is about practical decisons... 

Here, again, is an ideology that has pre-decided for workers, what is impractical, what is necessary, what democracy is for.

Surely, for anyone hoping to build for democratic socialism, only the workers themselves can determine these issues, not The Great Man robbo, who has as much regard for workers' democracy as Uncle Joe, never mind Lenin.

And, once again, 'practical' is put ahead of 'theoretical' in robbo's political method - and this is the exact opposite of Marx's social method of 'theory and practice'.

This means, in political terms, according to Marx's method, that robbo himself will supply the 'theory' that precedes his 'practice' - he's hiding his 'theory', and pretending that it's all just 'practical' stuff (and by this he means 'individual practice').

robbo is lying to workers, when he denies having any theory. He has a theory, and it's an elitist one. Workers, beware.

'Socialism', for robbo, is robbo's theory and practice.

 

LOL LBird - I am not the one who is "pre-deciding" anything .  The only one who is doing that is you, chum!  Show me a single living worker apart from yourself who seriously argues  that tens of  thousands  of scientific theories that are churned out every single year should be subjected to a global plebiscite involving 7 billion plus individuals.  Why you would want to implement such a monumentally stupid, pointless and wasteful procedure I have no idea but  you seem quite determined that this is what "democratic communism"  should entail though, as I say, I have yet see anyone else  rallying to support your madcap idea.   

Seriously you are a one off.  Absolutely unique and idiosyncratic. Still, I guess its what makes the world go round - and a little more interesting than it would otherwise be

LBird
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Joined: 21/07/2013

alanjjohnstone wrote:

Quote:
'Socialism', for robbo, is robbo's theory and practice.

That may be so and it may not be so, LBird.

But the fact is that Robbo was obliged to resign from the SPGB because his ideas were not agreed and accepted by it. His circulars to all branches were discussed and debated by them and by the Party as a whole where they were voted upon by conference and subsequently rejected. 

My apologies to the SPGB then, alan. Since no-one has advised me otherwise, and robbo's anti-democratic ideology has gone completely unchallenged by other posters here (and I presume at least some must be party members), I've assumed that robbo is both a party member and thus speaking in some official capacity.

But the political problem still remains for the SPGB. Why doesn't it officially (or even one member!) make a stand for workers' democracy in social production? If it has rejected robbo's anti-democratic ideas, why hasn't it declared what it is for?

alanjjohnstone wrote:
Nevertheless, he is on the forum still able to freely offer his views, just as you are.

I've got no problem whatsoever with robbo peddling his anti-democratic shite openly - it should help to provoke thought amongst democratic socialists. What concerns me is that I'm the only one here openly challenging him, and defending democracy in social production.

alanjjohnstone wrote:
Surely, this must give you pause for thought in your accusations concerning the non-democracy of the SPGB.

(As a caveat, i was not a member at the time so i may be over-simplifying the controversy) 

Well, I've apologised for my assumption - but it only throws into sharp relief even further, your (and other members) failure to defend democracy in the face of robbo's individualist, elitist, 'materialism'.

But... perhaps that's the real problem - you and the other members still cling to Engels' (anti-democratic) 'materialism', and so you are ideologically hamstrung from politically answering robbo's dangerous elitist ideas.

Perhaps I should end this, given my apology to the SPGB, with giving the SPGB (or even just one member) the chance to correct my misunderstanding of the SPGB's attitude to democracy in social production.

So, here goes - does the SPGB (or even just one member) argue for the democratic production of social truth? If not, who or what is to be the social producer of social truth within the 'socialism' that the SPGB envisages?


robbo203
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Joined: 07/11/2011

LBird wrote:

I've got no problem whatsoever with robbo peddling his anti-democratic shite openly - it should help to provoke thought amongst democratic socialists. What concerns me is that I'm the only one here openly challenging him, and defending democracy in social production.

 

Youve got some barefaced cheek, LBird, lying through your teeth like that.  Ive stated on umpteen occasions and I am getting bored with having to repeat myself - I support the concept of democracy fully.  For me, a socialist society  will be a society in which democracy will flourish  at many levels - local , regional and global.  I just do not support  YOUR concept of "democracy" as society wide totally centralised, decision-making with no other form of decisionmaking being permissable. In practice YOUR concept of "democracy" will turn out to be the absolute opposite of democracy.  You dont care to admit this because, at base, your ideology is a Leninist one and you are embarrassed  to have been outed as a Leninist

LBird wrote:

So, here goes - does the SPGB (or even just one member) argue for the democratic production of social truth? If not, who or what is to be the social producer of social truth within the 'socialism' that the SPGB envisages?

 

You will be had pushed to find anyone, let alone any member of the SPGB,  to support your crackpot idea of holding, literally, tens of thousands of global plebiscites every year to determine the "truth" of  all those scientific theories that are chruned out each year.  I cant believe anyone can come up with such a dumb idea.  What on earth would be the point of the exercise, anyway?. If I believe in a particular scientific theory and a majority vote against what is supposed to happen? Am I suppose to relinguish the theory I support or what?  You dont explain .  You NEVER explain.  You have no idea of what democracy is supposed to be for.  Frankly I  think you are just a poseur  who has fallen in love with the sound of your own voice. That is why you are not prepared to seriously argue your case and persistantly back away from any kind of searching question that exposes your ideas for the nonsense they clearly are 

Vin
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Joined: 03/12/2011

I would like to say that the idealist LBird talks absolute bollocks.

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