Greetings fellow socialists, please support me as I try to spread socialism to the youth.

June 2024 Forums General discussion Greetings fellow socialists, please support me as I try to spread socialism to the youth.

Viewing 15 posts - 46 through 60 (of 92 total)
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  • #94623
    Alex Woodrow
    Participant

    Localism does have all of the solution ALB and gnome, and socialism and localism very much go together because the whole idea of socialism is being anti-Globalization so that workers have local communes and enjoy the fruits of their labour which they locally produced. Also, this is environmentally friendly with there being much less travelling around, hence far less pollution as well as appealing to any society regardless of its material conditions. By the way gnome, saying that socialism has to be a for the world is true, and no one is denying that. However we need to start somewhere, and thus we need to spread the word of localism so that, overtime, more and more communities implement localism until, eventually, the whole world has localism.Just look at Tristan Da Cunha, before being invaded by imperialists they implemented localism and it worked out very well for them, they certainly used to set an example for the rest of the world.

    #94624
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

     Hi Alan

    alanjjohnstone wrote:
    Not the way i read Engels' remark. I interpret it meaning that the West's movement to-wards socialism will be in gradual steps…and the Communist Manifsto written a year or so later, laid down these steps that were required in M and E's opinion in 1848. In later decades this gradualism they decided was no longer necessary – capitalism had fulfilled its task and developed the means of production so that socialism was an immediate possibility,…

    Which brings us back to my point of the referencing of the outdated idea of "gradualism" in one of your responses to Alex. I first said that confusion could arise from this, because I was fully aware that Marx and Engels corrected some of their earlier ideas. With respect, I would advocate not using quotes from Marx and Engels that they themselves later discarded.I have done quite a bit of thinking on the idea that the material circumstances need to be just right before socialism can be established. Two points that are basic requirements for socialism to be brought about, are being put forward here. First, that a workable majority of workers understand and want to bring socialism into existence. Second, that the material conditions need to be correct. One of these exist today. We are more than capable of feeding, housing, clothing and medically treating the population of the world to a good standard, in a sustainable manner. It is the first that is lacking.Imagine, if during Marx and Engels time, there had been a workable majority of the worlds population that understood and wanted socialism. Surely, given such a situation, the socialist majority would have been able to bring a socialist world into existence, before the material conditions were fully met? The marvelous thing about humans, is our resourcefulness and ingenuity, if we want to do something we find a way. But we have to want it first.

    #94625
    steve colborn
    Participant

    Alex, your statement, "the whole idea of socialism is being anti-Globalization so that workers have local communes and enjoy the fruits of their labour which they locally produced. " is quite some statement and as someone who considers himself a "Socialist", one with which I could not disagree with more!It is not up to Socialists today, to delineate strictures and limitations on a future Socialist society. It will be up to "future Socialists" to decide at "that time" and within the circumstances pertinent to "that time", what way "they see" Socialism progressing. Understanding that the Socialist society will only come about through the actions of a majority, who both want and understand the action they are taking part in and who actually work together to bring Socialism about.Who knows what scientific breakthroughs may happen, in a scientific community released from the onerous restrictions placed upon them by the "profit first, last and everytime" system, (Capitalism) they work under today, do you?It may be, that our future Socialist brethren will follow a more "localised" version of production, by the same token, they may not.My balls are not crystal, I cannot see the future, I trust in future "Socialists" to make any and all future decisions, in the interests of all, not as they do today, in the narrow banded interest of a tiny minority of "Social Parasites". Maybe we should leave the future, to our future selves? Steve Colborn.

    #94626
    steve colborn
    Participant

    By the way Celtic, you may be interested in a post I did on the WSM forum site on the 26th June, added to by Marcos Colome,"For Marx, it was, "the emancipation of the working class, must be the work ofthe working class themselves".For Lenin it was, "the workers can only achieve a trade union consciousness".In other words, Marx believed that workers, by their own efforts and knowledge,moreover their democratic actions, could bring about their own freedom from thetyranny of minority class oppression. Lenin on the other hand, believed workersneeded to be led, like sheep, to their emancipation and did not possess theintellectual nous to affect societal change, without the exterior aid,leadership and intelligence of "leaders" such as, 'surprisingly enough' lol,Lenin and his arrogant ilk.The likes of Lenin, Totsky, Stalin, Mao, Castro et al, have in actuality, setback the cause of 'our' class emacipation, more than all the efforts of theCapitalist class could ever do, by leading workers up the blind alley's of thecult's of personality, leadership and false promised hope.In fact today, Socialists/Communists spend as much time stating what"socialism/communism is not, as they do stating what it is and the realrelevance of these ideas to our fellow workers.You really could not make up this shit if you tried and the Lenist's, Trot's,Maoist's et al, have certainly tried and succeded in their derailment. The voiceopposed to which, has always, since 1904, been the SPGB and earlier the SP ofCanada and after, other companion parties.In which, in my own small way, in every medium, as have others, tried to play mypart. More power, (in the understood meaning of this word) have many, many otherdemocratically minded individuals done the same and power to their elbows.Steve Colborn.— In WSM_Forum@yahoogroups.com, "wsmforummoderator" <wsmforummoderator@…>wrote:>> Why do you think that the Leninist are still supporting the so called vanguardparty, and the leadership concept ? The main reason is that, they callthemselves Marxists, but they do not think that the working class can liberateitself, they need leaders, cadres, and the chieftain of the party, that is thebasic concept of the guerrilla fighters and left-wingers activism.>> They think that the workers are like little children who need the guidance oftheir parents, and they must the carry the workers by their hands, and in theirminds like Lenin, socialism is just state capitalism, workers' state, and thedictatorship of the party>> I have said many times, if we have a vast majority of workers willing toestablish socialism and with the proper political consciousness capitalism willlast less than a roach in a chicken nest, and the resistance of the ruling classwould be minimal, even more, they will be forced to go alongside with theworkers>> The Socialist Party has been hitting the nail on the heads for more than 100years and our analysis has been correct since the very beginning that it wasfounded, and our foundation are simple, the best way to learn about us is byreading our publications and the discussions in this forum.>> — In WSM_Forum@yahoogroups.com, "Steve" <stvclbrn@> wrote:> >> > Is'nt funny, that those who traduce, or seek to disparage those, who even inthe smallest measure, would place themselves in the "Marxian" tradition,conveniently forget the Marxian axiom that, "the emancipation of the workingclass, will be the work of the working class themselves"? No determinism there,or any other snide snipes at the Marxian democratic tradition!> > Steve ColbornIt says it all really!Fraternal regards, Steve Colborn.

    #94627
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    In the context of the thread the lack of material conditions was one explanation given  why the Russia of 1917 could not achieve socialism regardless of the good intentions or otherwise of the Bolsheviks and Lenin. Was Russia similar to England of 1847 when Engels wrote, probably therefore his quote was apt. Two other reasons also existed for why Russia could not jump to socialism, one being the issue of lack of socialism in other parts of the world which Celtic himself accepts but which now Alex disputes believing we can have localism or a  form of autarky.  And your own addition that what is also required is the support of the majority. i would add the caveat …also the understanding of the majority. In 1917 Russia the Bolsheviks did not have the support nor the understanding of the majority. The peasant party of the Social Revolutionaries had the majority, and their programme was probably better understood  by the peasantry, hence why its slogans was hijacked by the Bolsheviks.  You did refer to a workable majority but the thread's question is can a minority (the bolsheviks) of a minority (the working class)  because it controls the political power of the state impose its will upon the majority and create socialism which is the claim of Lenin and Trotsky, using the camoflage of the dictatorship of the proletariat to justify and argue it can. Celtic is influenced by such a case and that is why he repeatedly returns to the necessity of a minority vanguard party (but avoids the consequences of such a position, military dictatorship and rise of a new ruling class) If a majority overthrows the existing state and establishes socilism before the material conditions have been developed it may be described as socialism but not the socialism of free access since society will be incapable of producing an abundance and rationing would be required in distribution.  Many religious/utopian movements have advocated sharing freely in the fruits of nature. The early Christian communities to the Diggers. The Material Conception of History suggests that ideas grow from the manner and mode of production, hence the communism of the church was dropped, and not taken up because production was based on private ownership that competed with communal consumption. I suggest if the material conditions are wanting,  socialism achieved will be very different from the 19th/20th/21st centuries ideas of what it is. In an earlier message i did in passing remarked on the interesting thought of what if and what could be if these communistic rebellions of the 13th-15th centuries had been successful. 

    #94628
    ALB
    Keymaster

    As "Marxists" we have always held that the development of capitalism was "historically necessary" before socialism could be established. However, this has not been a unaminous view amongst socialists. Party member Ken Smith in his 1988 book Free is Cheaper argued that capitalism was not a necessary development in history:

    Quote:
    The great contribution of Marx was to put the bourgeois system into its historical context; to show that society evolves just as much as animal and plant species evolve. He liberated it from the static world of Adam Smith, Ricardo, and their modern followers – there are none so blind as those who will not see. He insisted however, that it was contingent but also necessary. We now know that nothing is necessary in the world of experience; there is no amount of experience that will allow us to conclude that any historical event is necessary. Nature is full of blind alleys from the dinosaurs to Neanderthal Man.The bourgeois system, Capitalism, the Market system, call it what you will is not an essential pre-condition of a free-society, of a world where people co-operate freely to produce all they need and then help themselves to the proceeds, be they porridge oats or Porsche cars. Marx's theory argues that the Market economy was a necessary stage to provide the machinery-for-abundance which could be used fully once the ownership of land and everthing on it and under it was restored to the people.But there never was a problem of machinery, either mechanical or social. The human race has been discovering needs and simultaneously satisfying them since time began, from the eyed needle to the flint arrow-head, from printing to the water-mill. To the charge that the Middle Ages didn't develop steam power, we can reply that the nineteenth century did not develop electronics and we ourselves have not developed who knows what?The Market economy is a cul-de-sac leading nowhere. Much of that produced during the past five centuries, structures both physical and social, will be an enormous burden of garbage needing to be removed. Little of it could be used or adapted for a society producing only use-values.

    This raised some eyebrows of course but Ken was not expelled. In fact we distributed his book, because it's an easy to read case for a society of free access.Immanuel Wallerstein, the theorist of capitalism as a single world-system, took a similar position in his 1983 book Historical Capitalism: that capitalism was a contingent development (happened to develop) but not a necessary one (had to develop). Maybe, but what other form of society could have developed at the end of the feudal period? Wallerstein suggested a society of free and independent producers as in Switzerland once they'd driven out their feudal lords. Gerrard Winstanley obviously thought that a system of communist farms could have developed (and tried to implement this).Who knows? But it's a bit of an academic argument since we are where we are and can't go back to the 16th century and start all over again. Whether contingent or necessary capitalism is here and socialism is now unarguably a historical possibility on a world scale. 

    #94629
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    I tend to lean towards thinking that the material conditions for socialism need not be especially specific. It's like a socialist from 200 years in the future traveling back in time and saying, "Socialism can only come about once humans figure out how to grow cucumbers on Mars." The technology is irrelevant. I already included the caveat (that Alan missed in #47) that understanding socialism was the most crucial piece needed to build a true socialist world.Previously Alex mentioned that material resources have always been available, with people learning how to utilise them effectively. The horrors of mass starvation around the globe, exploded since western capitalist nations invaded, forcing people off fertile lands, stealing resources etc. How often have I heard  socialists (myself included) talk of capitalism creating artificial scarcity.The only thing that has ever truly stopped anything that we would call socialism from taking shape, is lack of understanding the marvellous possibilities that exist.I would go as far in saying that once capitalism had established such a foothold as we see today, it may be virtually impossible to break it's stranglehold on society. Those who have so much to gain from capitalism have become masters at distracting and splintering the majority of workers with stress and trivia.I hope I am wrong.   

    #94630
    Alex Woodrow
    Participant

    Sorry Steve I didn't make it clear. What I was meant to say is that localism is an option and I believe it can work, however it is up to the people in any society to choose how they want their community to be run.

    #94631
    Alex Woodrow
    Participant

    ALB I must say that I for one consider myself a person who believes in equality, and thus you can call me a socialist, communist or anarchist because any one of these three words fits my description.Though maybe I am not a marxist, as I feel that jumping straight to socialism is possible regardless of what material conditions are like in a certain community because localism will solve these problems.Anyway, if anyone here has examples of problems that may occur in a society of localism, then would it be all right if you could please say, as I really don't see any problems of localism.

    #94632
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    Hi Alex,In saying you do not consider yourself a "Marxist", you are waving a red rag at a bull, with some in the SPGB. I do not see myself as a "Marxist", but I am most definitely a socialist. Once people start to identify themselves so strongly with an iconic figure head, Marx, Lenin and others, it so often leads to misguided adherence to everything the icon says, writes and does. A bit like a religion. So often iconic infallibility rears its head.

    #94633
    Alex Woodrow
    Participant

    Yeah I agree with you there SocialistPunk. There are some who idolise Marx so much almost like he is a god to them.

    #94634
    twc
    Participant
    Alex Woodrow wrote:
    Anyway, if anyone here has examples of problems that may occur in a society of localism, then would it be all right if you could please say, as I really don't see any problems of localism.

    The problem with localism is that society is global. Localism cannot sustain itself locally. It cannot reproduce itself on its own terms.That alone is sufficient to damn it.Society condemns the local to inhabit the global — to at most function as local organ of global organism. More than that is disease of the global organism.We are in this together. Humans need each other. We are individuals because we are society.Our resources [minerals and agriculture], technology [science and engineering], culture [language and arts], and prowess [we humans ourselves] are global.They form the essential social “substance” by which society daily reproduces itself.The global character of our social “substance” is a fundamental constraint that confronts our fragmented capitalist society. Localism now opposes itself as a barrier to social progress.The localism that strives to localize our social “substance” is as anti-socialist as nationalism and racism. The proletarianism that limits its sights to local worker control of local factories is fundamentally anti-socialist.Political localism revolts at the frightful conquest of the local by the global. It reacts against what capital is impelled to do, simply because it is capital.Global capital clinically annihilates local capital. Global capital mercilessly plunders local labour. It is the nature of capital to rape our social “substance”.Seekers after the grand old days of local capital should never forget that local capital was equally avaricious on the local scale. The fault lies not in the global but in the capital.As the Communist Manifesto put it far too long ago “The workers have no country. … They have a world to win.”That world is inextricably global. To win it, we have no choice but to deal with that!

    #94635
    Alex Woodrow
    Participant

    Hold on twc. We, as human beings, are capable of producing an abundance of resources all in our local communities, hence every local community worldwide can stand on their own two feet. Don't know where you got the idea of localism being like nationalism, as localism is just a society of where people in a local community work together and a society which has good ethics, a society which gives all power to the people."Global capital mercilessly plunders local labour" what and you want that to continue? Do you even know what revolution is? What bringing justice to workers is?Under your world system there would be no revolution, just the same old global capitalism exploiting people. Under the system in which I advocate there would be no exploitation, as I said all power to the people.Localism is hardly a nationalistic system, as nationalism is imperialist thus capitalist. Localism, on the other hand, puts the interests of the community first, and it does not have central authority as the people are in charge, as well as the fact that local communities are against imperialism because they just want to live in harmony in their own community while, at the same time, respecting other communities and having a peaceful world.I completely agree with you that humans do need each other however your world system won't do this, only localism will. For example, there are, lets say, doctors and nurses within each local community, helping to take care of the most vulnerable. In localism these doctors and nurses stay in their local communities and thus we have a world with good health for all. In the globalized world, on the other hand, doctors move around, such as many doctors coming into the UK from India and Africa in the 1960's and I wonder why those parts of the world are suffering from huge health issues?Finally, how is localism against capital? Local communities want to live a happy and healthy life by where they have enough resources to survive, I really don't get what you are on about here regarding localism and capital. 

    #94636
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    What is local? What is its boundaries? Why should geography define a individual rather than common affinities of interests and  culture as suggested by twc. How does one local community access needs that are not produced locally? Just take your example of nurses and doctors. What about the sugical and medical equipment they require? What about the pharmaceuticals they dispense? Can all local communities produce these. And even if it was possible , is it desirable, rather than use economy of scale and centralise some forms of production for efficiency to avoid duplication of effort and research. How does the local engage with the wider world in the democratic process of deciding what, where, when and how much to produce.  I think Adam gave the answer. Society will be a mix of overlapping local, regional and global as it is more or less structured now.  Experience and practicalities will simply re-order the priorities and As a resident i will be a member of the neighbourhood commune, the parish, perhaps,  which will be affiliated to the city commune which will in turn be federated with neighbouring communes and in turn with world-wide communes. As a producer , i will be a member of the workers council, which will send delegates to the regional workers council which will liaise with the world congress of workers councils. As a patient, i will have a local health adviser at a local clinic or what used to be called a cottage hospital in the countryside but for specialised treatment i may have to go to a regional hospital or perhaps for ground-breaking procedures to a medical centre someplace far away.I'm a world citizen. I am a nomad. 

    #94637
    Alex Woodrow
    Participant

    Well first off alanjjohnstone why can't there be specialised treatment in every local community?Also, duplication is just a minor issue and also occurs under this current globalized world anyway so it makes no difference.What is stopping us from getting rid of all social hierachy and giving all power to the people, as the vast majority of people hate government but love democracy so localism doesn't sound like at all a bad idea."Society will be a mix of overlapping local, regional and global as it is more or less structured now." I cant believe I am hearing this from a supporter of the Socialist Party of Great Britain, as the SPGB stands for revolution. Unless, that is, you are not a supporter of the Socialist Party of Great Britain.To an extent Geography should define an individual, because where one is born should stay for the rest of their life since, in an ideal world, there will be local people running their local communities and thus no one would need to travel.Local is a village or town community, anywhere between a population ranging from, at the very lowest 100 to the very highest about thirty thousand.The boundaries is outside of that local community, so basically going into another local community."How does one local community access needs that are not produced locally? " So let me get this right, you are saying how we are all one world yet, at the same time, you say how some communities can't stand on their own two feet while others can. What even makes you think that not every local community can stand on their own two feet? I mean workers are intelligent, hard working and have a range of skills so are capable of producing anything in their own local community. This just shows the utter hypocrisy of globalism, looking down on ordinary workers saying that they can't stand on their own two feet, hence why I am a supporter of localism.

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