"socialism" popular in the US

May 2024 Forums General discussion "socialism" popular in the US

Viewing 15 posts - 136 through 150 (of 170 total)
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  • #206212
    Ozymandias
    Participant

    Culturally Collectivist? Whit? Mate you are gonny get yourself in trouble on here if you start banding about terms like “Middle Class haha.

    #206216
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Socialists/Communists in the USA are like chicken teeth and fish legs, there is only one group who can be called socialist which is the WSPUS. The Libertarians are just a bunch of lovers of capitalism. The middle class is a fallacy created by capitalism and when the shit hits the fan, everybody starts to make a line to collect unemployment, food stamps,  and to give up their lovely toys such as cars, credit cards and homes.( rented to a bank for 30 years )  Rich peoples are also building their own bunkers like the preppers in case of an atomic disaster. Anarchists are the opposite of the real anarchists they want more state control and regulations. More than 99.9 % of the peoples of the USA are migrants descendants and they do not live in collectivism, and they are culturally divided

    #206223
    Headbutt
    Participant

    Ozymandias .. why is that? I’m no fan of the urban middle classes, so apologise if it’s a sore point. Should I assume that that demographic is honoured here?

    As regards ‘culturally collectivist’, it’s just a clunky way of saying people within cultures which practice collectivism as a matter of course. Multi-generational living, family farms, religious groups, off-grid multi-occupancies, etc. There are a million iterations. I would put money on these groups being a better/greater force for actual lived socialism in the US. Those urban middle classes do the least to forward the actuality.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by Headbutt.
    #206225
    Headbutt
    Participant

    Marcos, I’m a pragmatist .. so measure only action (lived ethics, not ‘political action’). I don’t care what people call themselves, or who they vote for. If you’re living collectively, own the means of your survival, and also provide the labour implicit in that survival .. you’re a communist/socialist as far as I’m concerned. It’s worker ownership and non-surplus productivity. That could be the family farm, a multi-generational home, a small business making just enough to feed and house the group which owns it, a religious sect living via common purse, or a village engaged in subsistence agriculture. Many prepper and libertarian types fit this definition, so I would argue against any essential capitalism in that group.

    For me it’s clear cut. The buying and selling of labour, paying of rents, purchase of the products of survival etc, the insistence on individualism, choice, privacy, a state safety net etc … is all capitalism. It’s a voluntary dependence upon the complex infrastructure of the capitalist system, IOW.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by Headbutt.
    #206228
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Middle class only existed in England during the XVIII century,  https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/ch01.htm://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/ch01.htm

    It was a social class which oscillated between the bourgeoisie and the proletarian class, and most of them became proletarians. That intermediate does not exist anymore. It is only a fallacy created by capitalism to brainwash the minds of some workers with the belief that they are living in better conditions. Social classes are defined according to their relationship with the means of production. That historical process was mentioned by Marx and Engels in the Communist Manifesto.

    What you have mentioned and defined is not socialism, it is pure bourgeois reformism. Socialism/communism is a post-capitalist society, it is not capitalism within capitalism, it has been tried many times and it has failed including the projects of the utopian socialists. Nobody in this capitalist society is living collectively, and we do not collective own the means of productions, they are privately owned by the minority class

    #206232
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    The red-baiting  Republican smear the Democrats as socialist strategy

    https://www.commondreams.org/node/140233

    #206235
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    They do not have any other commodity to sell at this time, and probably millions of peoples are going to buy it, and Trump can be a winner again

    #206236
    robbo203
    Participant

    I don’t care what people call themselves, or who they vote for. If you’re living collectively, own the means of your survival, and also provide the labour implicit in that survival .. you’re a communist/socialist as far as I’m concerned. It’s worker ownership and non-surplus productivity

    Hi Headbutt

    I would agree that to the extent we have to somehow survive in capitalism doing what you suggest above may well be  preferable in many ways to  conventional wage slavery.  I would also go along with the suggestion that it is probably more conducive to developing a communist/socialist outlook

     

    However, I dont think it necessarily follows that you are, or will become, a socialist or communist as a result.   There are a wide range of different kinds of intentional communities, some with quite a different purpose or mission to others.  Check out this link

    https://www.ic.org/

     

    Your description could also apply to peasant proprietorship which is still very significant in much of the  Global South but could probably be more accurately described as pre-capitalist than post capitalist

     

    I guess the point is that socialism or communism – synonyms as far asclassical Marxism is concerned – is a post capitalist and global system – a stateless, classless moneyless non-market alternative to capitalism.  A commune might incorporate some of the features of such a system but is not really a social system as such and cannot really isolate itself from the ramifications of the social system we currently live under – global capitalism

     

    That is not to say there is no benefit in joining a commune or whatever from a pragmatic standpoint and if this is what you have in mind then I would say go for it.  However, it is not prerequisite to being a socialist or communist. The vast majority of us who are socialists or communist would fall under the category of being conventional wage slaves though I do know of one or two comrades who have lived , or are living, in communes

     

    Regarding “worker ownership and non-surplus productivity”,  if you are referring to producer coops I am rather more sceptical than I am in the case of communes.   Though Marx envisaged coops (along with the joint stock company) as being a transitional form en route to a post capitalist society he nevertheless saw them as being very much constrained and limited by the economic laws of capitalism.  I live in Spain which is home to what is perhaps the world’s famous cooperative – Mondragon.  It has a chain of retail outlets – Eroski supermarkets (one near Malaga which I have occasionally popped into) – which are frankly indistinguishable from any other capitalist supermarket.

     

    Mondragon seems to have steadily moved away from its founding philosophy as it has grown in size.   This link might be of interest to you

    https://libcom.org/library/myth-mondragon-cooperatives-politics-working-class-life-basque-town

     

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by robbo203.
    #206241
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Georgi Plekhanov wrote extensively about the Populist and Populism which was a political/economical trend which existed in Russia before the emerge of the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks which claimed that the peasants were the leaders of the workers’ revolution, and the peasants should collectively own lands ( Narodniks ) and that their communes were a route toward socialism, this conception of peasant collectivism is not new, and it was proven to be wrong. even more, Plekhanov, who was a populist he became a Marxist and wrote against that conception.

    Most peoples in our time do not read him but it is very important to read his work to understand many wrong conceptions which exist nowadays to debunk the ideas of the communes and the coops.

    Luckily I was able to collect his works when they were being published by Progress Publisher ( Moscow )  during the 60 and the 70, in a different language.

     

    Peasants communes were tested in Bolivia and Venezuela and it was a complete failure, as well, workers coop were tested in Venezuela and Bolivia and both were a total failure, and workers coop were also tried in Argentina and they failed too. Many so-called communists Quakers moved to that region to help the peasants communes and coop

    #206242
    robbo203
    Participant

    “Peasants communes were tested in Bolivia and Venezuela and it was a complete failure, as well, workers coop were tested in Venezuela and Bolivia and both were a total failure, and workers coop were also tried in Argentina and they failed too.”

     

    We have to be very careful  about dismissing worker coops and communes as a “complete failure” when we in the World Socialist  Movement have hardly been a raging success!  Or are you suggesting we too should be dismissed because we have “completely failed” to make significant progress in the 100 plus years we have been around?

     

    Both Marx and Engels had positive things to say about worker coops and communes.   Marx, for instance spoke of coops as constituting a transitional form from the “capitalist mode of production to the associated one”  and  how the “co-operative factories of the labourers themselves represent within the old form the first sprouts of the new” even if they reproduced “everywhere in their actual organisation all the shortcomings of the prevailing system”  (Capital Vol 3)

     

    Similarly with regard to communes Engels wrote:

    “When one talks to people about socialism or communism, one very frequently finds that they entirely agree with one regarding the substance of the matter and declare communism to be a very fine thing; “but”, they then say, “it is impossible ever to put such things into practice in real life”. One encounters this objection so frequently that it seems to the writer both useful and necessary to reply to it with a few facts which are still very little known in Germany and which completely and utterly dispose of this objection. For communism, social existence and activity based on community of goods, is not only possible but has actually already been realised in many communities in America and in one place in England, with the greatest success, as we shall see.” http://marxengels.public-archive.net/en/ME0121en.html

    Dogmatically dismissing coops and communes as a complete failure strikes me as being neither helpful nor even accurate.  Is the giant Mondragon cooperative a “complete failure”? Clearly not. In capitalist terms it is quite successful.   There have also been hundreds, if not thousands, of communes  around the world that have successfully managed to continue over many years, even decades.

     

    We need a more nuanced understanding of what “success” or “failure” means in this context.  Not many people would argue that the purpose of communes or coops is  to deliver socialism as we in the WSM understand the term.   So the question might be better phrased – can these institutions inadvertently, if not intentionally, assist the spread of socialist ideas by providing examples of lived experiences and practices that go against the grain of capitalist convention and capitalist ideology?

    I believe they can – potentially – though it doesn’t necessarily follow that they will.  Our job as socialists is not to discourage workers from adopting particular lifestyle choices that they see – in many cases quite rightly in my opinion  – as being more congenial than conventional wage slavery but rather to point out that they need to go beyond mere lifestyle  choices if they want to bring about a fundamental change in society

     

    Because ultimately that is what is needed insofar as no commune or coop however successful can ever really escape the consequences of operating in a capitalist society

    #206243
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    You can  take a trip to Bolivia, Argentina and Venezuela like I did and see it by yourselves. We can also support Richard Wolff. It is also dogmatic to accept everything that Marx and Engels wrote because on their time communes were very popular and many were created by the what Engels called the utopian socialists. That is not new for me either. When I was young I was able to see one of the biggest workers coop formed by a workers union, and the coop does not exist anymore and it became a business enterprise, even more, a good friend of mine who was working with those workers was killed and vanished from the face of the earth

    #206244
    PartisanZ
    Participant

    Marxists’ Internet Archive
    Georgi Plekhanov
    1856 – 1918

    https://www.marxists.org/archive/plekhanov/index.htm

    #206247
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    All those factories taken over by workers in Argentina were considered as socialists model by the Trotskyists ( and the SPGB wrote an article about that ), the workers had to run those factories as regular business enterprises to produce profits, as soon as they were producing profits, the state passed a law to take them back and became the partners with the original owners, besides seeing that, I read about it extensively, and I have contact from different places who know about that too including contacts from Bolivia, Argentina, and Venezuela, part of my contact was also   a librarian from Cuba who  recieved literature from  the Socialist Party which I sent to her.

    #206248
    robbo203
    Participant

    We can also support Richard Wolff. It is also dogmatic to accept everything that Marx and Engels wrote because on their time communes were very popular and many were created by the what Engels called the utopian socialists.

    I don’t dogmatically accept everything Marx and Engels wrote -far from it –  and nor do I support Richard Wolff and his views on worker coops .   All I am saying is that it come across as very dogmatic to assert without even bothering to qualify your statement that coops and communes have been a “complete failure” which is factually incorrect anyway.

    If they are a complete failure where does that leave us in the WSM who – if we are to be honest with ourselves – have completely failed to make significant progress in over a century of being politically active.  I can’t help noticing that you conspicuously declined to answer this question

    I think it would be wise to be a little less smug about ridiculing others for being a complete failure  when we are not exactly a shining example of success ourselves

    #206249
    ALB
    Keymaster

    We  also discussed this 30 years ago and 1989 Conference passed this resolution:

    This Conference reaffirms the Party’s position on co-operatives as set out, for instance, in the chapter on “The Co-operative Movement” in the 1942 edition of Questions of the Day, that is:
    “In the minds of many workers the Co-operative movement is regarded as being in some way linked up with socialism. When the co-operators take up this attitude they claim in justification that Robert Owen, the co-operative pioneer, was actively concerned for some part of his life with possible means of escape from the capitalist system (…) Robert Owen’s solution was that small groups of workers should try to establish self-supporting ‘villages of industry’, in which there would be no employer, no master. They would constitute, as it were, little oases in the desert of capitalism, owning the ‘land and means of production common’. He anticipated that the movement would grown until finally the workers would have achieved their emancipation (…) The Co-operative Movement cannot solve the basic economic problems of the workers as a whole, or even of the co- operative societies’ own members. Its success is merely the success of an essentially capitalist undertakings (…) Co-operation cannot emancipate the working class. Only Socialism will do that. The workers cannot escape from the effects of capitalism by retiring into Owen’s ‘villages of industry’. They must obtain for society as a whole the ownership of the means of production and distribution, which are the property of the capitalist class. For this they must organise to control the machinery of government. Once possessed of power they can then reorganise society on a socialist basis of common ownership. Owen’s original aims can only be achieved by socialist methods.” (1989)

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