Satire and counterpropaganda.
March 2023 › Forums › General discussion › Satire and counterpropaganda.
- This topic has 90 replies, 10 voices, and was last updated 3 months ago by covvie99.
December 20, 2022 at 6:23 pm #238320
Incremental change in society’s belief systems and incremental change to remove Capitalism. This is about as much use as teaching a whale to fly, you keep misinterpreting me. I have said I want to remove Capitalism and that incremental change is the only option I can see, but I’m willing to join the front lines if another option presents itself. The ideological war you dismiss has been going on in the media and right-wing Capitalists are winning hands down. Ignoring that is about as much use as a rubber beak to a woodpecker…December 20, 2022 at 6:43 pm #238321
Right-wing or left-wing capitalists. We’ve lived under both and there’s no real difference.
Leftism just diverts people, or confuses them, squanders their energies which would be best served in promoting real socialism.December 20, 2022 at 6:51 pm #238324
Merry-go-round.December 20, 2022 at 6:52 pm #238325
Right and left-wing ideologies exist outside of capitalism! Socialism is not Capitalist, Social Democracy is Socialism within a Capitalist framework and is only meant to temper the existing state of things. While Democratic Socialism is used as a stepping stone to replacing Capitalism with Socialism. Something you claim to want… You are a leftist if you believe in Socialism…December 20, 2022 at 6:57 pm #238326robbo203Participant
“Get involved with people who share similar base belief systems like getting rid of Capitalism and proposing a resource-based economy with communal ownership.”
But, Covvie, these beliefs are quite alien to what the Labour Party stands for – whether in the past (Old Labour) or the present (New Labour).
Those (few) people left in that organisation who still talk in terms of “getting rid of capitalism” as opposed to reforming or modernising it, generally have in mind, by “capitalism”, merely private enterprise. They equate capitalism with private enterprise and the free market and imagine that nationalisation etc is somehow non-capitalist or even “socialist”.
But it’s not. Nationalisation, state interference in the market economy and state welfare have also been closely associated with the (explicitly anti-socialist) Political Right – historically speaking. Look at the example I earlier gave of Bismarck; there are many other such examples. State capitalism is not the province of the Left only and, in any case, it’s got nothing to do with socialism as we are using the term here in its classical Marxian meaning as a synonym of communism – a stateless moneyless wageless and non-market alternative to capitalism. Or what you call a “resource-based economy”.
This is the frustrating thing for us as socialists. I can appreciate the point you make about the need to approach those who see themselves as socialists (but don’t hold our definition of socialism) in a positive and constructive manner. Unavoidably, however, the interactions between us and them will have to eventually boil down what Schumpeter called (in relation to the market econony) an element of “creative destruction”. We cannot pretend that we share the same objective when we don’t. One of us has to give ground if the other viewpoint is to prevail.
What you might be thinking of is that we share much the same values and have the same broadly pro-worker outlook. I can go along with that and this might indeed be a useful basis for a fruitful discussion with such people. But we have to be honest and open about where we differ.
The socialist movement, in the sense of people wanting to establish the kind of society we are talking about here, is indeed small and has made little progress in all the years it has been operating. But is not going to make more progress by accommodating itself to a conception of socialism that is, in fact, a form of capitalism, however humanised or reformed that capitalism may be.
All that is going to achieve is to change us from an organisation advocating for socialism in the explicit sense that we are talking about here, into an organisation advocating something else. We may attract more members but it won’t be for the cause we currently espouse.December 20, 2022 at 7:21 pm #238327
At university the leftist student union not only refused to print my notices advertising local SPGB meetings; it also trashed my socialist article on the 1989 Peking crackdown.
Those left-wingers have ended up as stockbrokers in the City!
Finally I managed to get my SPGB pieces published in the university chaplain’s Anglican newsletter!December 20, 2022 at 7:24 pm #238328
Incremental change in society’s belief systems, yes, as long as it’s towards understanding that socialism (a society based on the common ownership and democratic control of productive resources, with production directly to mean people’s needs not sale or profit) is both desirable and possible and that capitalism cannot be reformed to work for the majority. In a sense, that’s what we are in to. That is the real issue in what you call the “ideological war”.
Incremental change to remove capitalism begs the question by assuming that capitalism can be changed incrementally into either into socialism or to work in the interest of the wage working majority. Experience as well as theory have shown neither to be the case. The Social Democratic and Labour parties of Europe tried to gradually change capitalism but ended up by being gradually changed, by the experience of running capitalism, into common or garden parties of capitalism (as you have recognised happened with the Labour Party).
A campaign to get people to change their belief system to believe that capitalism can be reformed in their interest would, if successful, lead to disappointment and bitterness because capitalism can’t be reformed in that way. It would have better been spent in trying to incrementally change people’s ideas towards understanding and wanting socialism.December 20, 2022 at 7:42 pm #238329
There are plenty of Socialists who are not in the SPGB mindset and don’t enjoy circular debate and inferences suggesting they aren’t socialists. Nationalisation is taking away power from corporate entities to exploit us. Industry and Infrastructure under Socialism are produced in the same way, by the people for the people. Incremental change is the option left if outright support for your ideals/revolt fails. If no one will join your revolution, then it’s simply a protest of a few. Moving society towards Socialism is necessary to get support for the previously stated revolution. Helping to shift people’s thinking by pushing the Overton window to ideologies that are communal-based ownership from privately owned. Removing Capitalism by supplanting it, is still removing capitalism.
I understand your arguments around different interpretations of Marxism, but if we can just agree that we want a replacement of Capitalism based on a resource-based economy that’s ecologically friendly, sustainable and communally run and owned then we get past the preconceptions/misconceptions of socialism and appeal to everyone. You may have to compromise on the name of that system to appeal to all and remove misconceptions and erroneous stigmas. Most of us in Society just want security, food and shelter and the opportunity to thrive, concentrate on those similarities between people and we can grow support for real change. The removal of hierarchy, Capitalism and greed. Move towards a society that applauds individual growth over personal financial gains.December 20, 2022 at 7:43 pm #238330
Yes, Thomas, it seems that works both ways between people with ideological differences who are unable to see the importance of common ground.December 20, 2022 at 7:45 pm #238331
Please read my reply just after yours. As it works for both of you. But essentially agreed on the main point that we want to replace capitalism with a system of communal ownership and a resource-based economy.December 20, 2022 at 9:30 pm #238335
If by “resource-based economy” you mean the moneyless society of abundance as envisaged by Peter Joseph and Zeitgeist then we both do have more or less the same aim. But what has distinguished the SP from others aiming at this is:
1. A denial that state capitalism (Nationalisation) is a step towards this goal, and
2. A denial that capitalism can gradually be transformed from capitalism into such a society.
We have said this from the beginning on theoretical grounds which the failure of both Nationalisation and gradualism in the last century has amply confirmed.
We are not in favour of repeating this failure in the 21st century. That would only postpone socialism longer.December 20, 2022 at 9:54 pm #238336
Yes, a resource-based economy is a socialist-style system with the con of finance being removed and I have read and approve of the Zeitgeist movement as a possible vehicle for this.
However, While I don’t want to continue a circular debate the term state capitalism including Nationalisation is a total misrepresentation that I will never agree with. We live in a society where Privatisation has usurped Nationalisation at a huge cost to the general public, not just in financial cost but also control. We are now exploited by energy prices that have gone up 800% since August 2020.
From my point of view, an instant change in the form of revolution is unlikely and while I’d be on the front lines, the only other option is incremental change. Not my first choice, but as I said I’m a realist. To believe that you can accomplish your goals with such little support seems extremely optimistic at best. Anyways take care!December 20, 2022 at 10:13 pm #238337
I should have added of course that another distinguishing point is that we say that socialism can only be establishment democratically, both in the sense that a majority want and understand it and of using the ballot box. Obviously at the m moment there are too few people who want socialism. That’s the problem but not a reason for abandoning campaigning for socialism in favour of campaigning for reforms within capitalism.
Anyway, you now know exactly where we are coming from !December 21, 2022 at 3:56 am #238350twcParticipant
No, covvie99, you are not a realist.
A realist investigates social appearance.
You are a naive realist.
You are indistinguishable among the common herd of capitalists, workers, conservatives, radicals who — as you say — desire “security, food and shelter and the opportunity to thrive, concentrate on those similarities between people and we can grow support for real change”.
If social desire conquered, it would have delivered “security, food and shelter,” etc. But, social desire has failed.
A naive realist — like yourself — might swallow his pride and humbly investigate social appearance to discover what social processes thwart, have always thwarted, and necessarily must thwart, social desire.
Until then you remain smugly indistinguishable among your kindred capitalists, workers, conservatives, radicals into whose naive skulls it has never penetrated that:society — as capitalistically constituted — is governed not by social desire but by social capital.
For once, read our Object and Declaration of Principles and challenge your naive delusions about the reality of capitalist society.
—December 21, 2022 at 4:14 am #238351
Thank you for the elongated vitreous ad hominem. I’m obviously anti-capitalist, your bile comes from the intolerance of views that differ from yours. I’ve already said I read your principles, they are outdated, ideologically insular and questionable. You can’t even admit anyone who agrees with Marxist principles is an ally, you’d rather abhor the left and socialists with a different perspective.
I’ve had a wonderful, eloquent, intelligent, thought-provoking debate, but this wasn’t it…
Feel free to enjoy the singular-minded silence of righteous anonymity…
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