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Friday, June 11, 2010

Stop defending the terms Communism and Socialism:

Current mood: cynical

Views: 791
Comments: 18
When someone says Communism, Socialism or Marxism what do you think of? Do you think of Workers Cooperatives, Equal Rights, Democracy that is truly fair and not controlled by any class, extensive Civil Liberties. Do you see the hammer and sickle as a sign of hope, forward thinking and a societal goal?

Or do you think of the United Soviet States of Russia, Stalin, the Peoples Republic of China, Chairman Mao, North Korea and Kim Jon Il? These aren't communists, as you've probably been told a thousand times before, these are State Capitalists - they use a system where people are viewed as worker ants that must be controlled for maximum output no matter what the cost.
As you could expect, this led to the largest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increase in history of 650% in the USSR.
As you could expect, this led one of the largest travesties in human history with famine galore, human rights abuse, Gulags, labour camps and persecution. When Stalin died, nobody cared for him. Rightfully so, after all, not only did he destroy the lives of millions of people, he destroyed the use of the word communism.

You see, if everyone uses a word in a different context - like calling a female a girl and a male a boy rather than males girls and females gay girls - the word changes it's meaning. In the aforementioned example girl no longer means male child it means female child. Communism, Socialism, Marxism - whatever you prefer to call it now means State Capitalism.

If instead we gave the ideology a new name it would have a clean proverbial slate and a chance at being accepted as a political view. A chance at one day being a possibility.

The more people defend the old terms, the further backwards the cause of leftism in general is as most people are too idiotic and close minded to accept our views and understand the true traditional meaning of Communism.

Perhaps I'm rambling on without making any sense. I had to write this twice as the first time it didn't post and I'm probably being a bit idealist here, but any discussion and opposing points are greatly welcomed.

Thanks for reading!

I suggest you read the comments, especially Nietsche's as the criticism is very constructive for seeing the other side of the argument, which to be perfectly honest I find myself more on the side of recently anyway.
7:32 pm - 18 comments - 9 Kudos - Report!
sfaune92 wrote on Jun 21st, 2010 7:51pm

I think of the first paragraph, if you cut away the "hammer and sickle"; that's the kind of working-ant-communism-thingy. I think of my home country, Norway, supposedly the best country to live in while hearing the words "socialism".


Ratchet27 wrote on Jun 25th, 2010 8:08pm

Makes a lot of sense man. Although, my preferred method is to forget names. No system fits EXACTLY in one catagory. (IE USA is not wholly and completely Capitalist) The result in my case is that nobody understands what I'm saying. :/ They ALWAYS want me to scrap parts of my ideals so my ideals CAN fit into one of these overused, and changed catagories. Anyway, thanks for some of the info there. I didn't actually know some of that! :D


leeb rocks wrote on Jul 1st, 2010 10:52pm

How on earth would you possibly separate it? Half the literature traces back to Marx (a well known communist) a large section of the other half back to Lennin (no introductions needed). Any one in the know knows that the economic ideals and social structures proposed are communist and the first thing they will ask is "isn't this just communism". Then what? Your options are lie through your teeth (which will not end well being such an obvious lie) or admit it is communism under another name and be back at square one.

I can see where you are coming from here and it is frustrating the general ignorance towards the theory but this is really a poorly thought out idea. Personally I doubt the system would be brought about under the red banner as it were. Rather if it is to occur it'll be through reform/radical worker action without a necessary strong ideological base.


leeb rocks wrote on Jul 1st, 2010 10:55pm

Second post due to space restrictions.

It is really counter productive to assume people are too stupid or arrogant to accept it. The most common argument in my age group is that "it's great in theory but doesn't work in practice/human nature". These are easily dispelled and then we can see where these people go from here.

Link this to Neitsche if you want a proper critique of the idea.


romencer17 wrote on Jul 1st, 2010 11:28pm

When Stalin died, nobody cared for him.

wrong. most of the country loved him at the time. People didn't realize that he was the one ordering all the bad shit to happen, they thought it was the rest of the government. people who got sent to Gulags would write letters to Stalin because they thought that he didn't know about them, and that if he found out he would save them. The mass population of the USSR didn't realize he was the one in charge of all the atrocities until years later.


metallicafan616a wrote on Jul 2nd, 2010 7:55pm

Leeb Rocks, I think anyone who supported communism would understand my viewpoint surely?

My main point is that I believe Communism means these days USSR etc state capitalism as that's what everyone believes it is. There's no real point in trying to convince everyone otherwise because most people most definitely are too stupid to understand. Hell, the fact that they try to dismiss it with that statement without understanding it is evidence of this.

Romencer, perhaps I was wrong on that fact. Another problem is that when thought about Communism at school they literally said these, and I figured that that fact was genuinely true. A dumb assumption now that I think about it considering everything else they said was bollocks :haha:


leeb rocks wrote on Jul 4th, 2010 2:22am

"most people most definitely are too stupid to understand." If it were true this would be immediate grounds for the dismantling of democracy, no? The intricacies of Marxist theory are not inherently more complex than the more obtuse righters of classical liberal doctrines or any kind of political ideology.

If we apply this loose individual relativism to political terms it makes it far too easy for an ideological position to simply cease to exist in any organised fashion. Political ideologies should not change with time under the same term. It just confuses things too much.

And again I need to make the most pertinent point of what good would this possibly do? At best your knowingly lying to the population. At worst your causing extreme harm to the ideology you seek to improve. You will be called out on this in seconds if you tried it and torn to shreds by anyone with the briefest clue of what they are talking about.


Nietsche wrote on Jul 4th, 2010 2:29pm

The use of the word communism by revolutionary socialists actually has a mildly interesting history. It was originally used by Marx and Engels do distuinguish themselves from the various socialist movements which they criticised in the first section of the Manifesto. The socialist movement basically collapsed into sectism after the defeats of 1848 up until the founding of the first international when "Internationalist" came into vogue. The 1860's also saw the founding of the first social-democratic party in Germany. Originally "social-democracy" had meant a combination of social policies favourable to the working-class and petit-bourgeois democraticsm so M & E vigorously attacked the use of the word. Of course noone payed attention to them and "social-democracy" became the word in vogue for revolutionary Marxism up until the first world war. The first time the word "communism" reared it's head again was during the battles in the second international between the revisionist and Marxist wings.


Nietsche wrote on Jul 4th, 2010 2:34pm

Karl Kautsky threatened that if revisionism became a solid tendency within the international and not just a general atmosphere then he would have to split off and take back the name "communist". A few years later Kautsky's most devoted pupil recalled this threat in the midst of world war one when all the social-democratic parties had betrayed their supposed allegiance to internationalism and supported their own countries. In 1919 the split between the communists who supported the Bolsheviks in Russia and aligned themselves with the communist international and the social-democrats who cried about the subversion of "democracy" by the "anarchist" and "new bakunin" figure that was V.I.Lenin and aligned themselves with the second or "socialist" international.


Nietsche wrote on Jul 4th, 2010 2:34pm

The point about the comintern/second international split is especially important because contrary to popular belief the comintern in it's early days did not just blindly follow orders from Moscow. In order to get it to do that they first had to expel the majority tendencies of both the German and Italian communist parties. Those two tendencies were the first to use "state capitalism" or in the Italians case "simply capitalism" to describe the USSR. However they also continued calling themselves communists in opposition to the Moscow led CP's which they percieved as having fallen back into social-democracy.


Nietsche wrote on Jul 4th, 2010 2:41pm

Now there are several important points to get out of all that. First that a hell of a lot of Marx talks about "communism" as does Lenin and as does the first two main currents of anti-stalinist communism. You'd have some difficulty getting around that fact. Practically everyone whose ever heard the name Karl Marx associates it with the "spectre of communism" for better or worse. Then associating "communism" with either the SU or other "socialist" countries and you have a serious problem.

Opposition to the Soviet Union when the SU is framed as being "communist" is usually an excuse for general anti-communism and anti-Marxism anyway. By ceding the term you also cede the intellectual war and admit that the Soviet Union had something to do with the early socialist movement.


Nietsche wrote on Jul 4th, 2010 2:46pm

Not to mention the fact that you also cede that the USSR was a country which had somehow surpassed capitalism albeit in a highly unpleasant form. That kind of belief was what led a lot of the Trotskyist and Schactmanite milieu into supporting US interventionism during the cold war.

There's also the fact that if you start talking about most of the stuff communists are for you'll get red-baited anyway especially in somewhere like america but practically anywhere you go someone's going to call you out for being a red.


The_Clansman_ wrote on Jul 23rd, 2010 1:42am

sounds good bro


Kylianvb wrote on Aug 25th, 2010 5:59pm

Really liked this article. I support the communist ideals, but when I say that I usually get blank stares or people crying "Y U WANT TO KILL ALL TEH PEOPLE AND MAKE EVERYONE POOR"..


IRISH_PUNK13 wrote on Aug 31st, 2010 4:05pm

I support the ideas behind Communism, but I don't ever see it getting the point where it can be run right. IMO When Lenin was still around USSR was doing alright, but then when he died it went to hell because of the fact that the people in charge were greedy, and became the very thing that the Communists were against in the first place.
The thing though is that I can never see it working for that reason. Animal farm actually sums this up pretty well. They make what's basically their own 10 commandments, and after a while it get's to the point where the leaders change the rules so that they can be better than all the others. They were taking larger shares of what was made, and putting the others back into the same exact situation they were in before.


six6six6six6 wrote on Sep 1st, 2010 12:31pm

Hmm, good idea. Communalism?


metallicafan616a wrote on Sep 1st, 2010 12:37pm

I just say that I have a unique political view in which workers control the means of production - if they understand that I'm a Communist then at least they won't be an idiot who believes that the USSR or China etc. was a Communist country.


Ur all $h1t wrote on Oct 3rd, 2010 11:54pm

Nietsche wrote on Jul 4th, 2010 at 1:46pm :

There's also the fact that if you start talking about most of the stuff communists are for you'll get red-baited anyway especially in somewhere like america but practically anywhere you go someone's going to call you out for being a red.

Yep, and then it looks like you've something to hide.


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