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By Rapperson
#14803085
It's time to stop mutilating other threads and have it out here.

I will post more substantive analysis later, time permitting, but here goes:

History has shown that Marxist government is, or very soon becomes, a dictatorship. It is an oppressive government that curtails many human rights, notably freedom of speech.

Marxism promises freedom and rights for workers, but routinely fails to deliver. The rights of workers under a Marxist government are invariably worse than under contemporary democratic/capitalist system, and often enormously so.

Marxist government frequently, though not always, entails abuses of genocidal proportions.

Economic development in a Marxist system can present a shortcut to extremely backward nations to achieve industrialization but invariably stagnates in poverty relative to a contemporary democratic/capitalist system.

Development of new technologies in a Marxist system is minimal to nonexistant, leading to stagnation.

Marxist industrialized economies historically have been the worst cases of environmental abuse and damage.

When Marxists take power, those elements of the party/movement that actually believe that democracy/freedom will be delivered as promised are soon purged, often executed. The Kronstadt sailors are a prime example.

In the long term there is NOTHING that Marxism has ever achieved to improve the rights or living conditions of the population compared to contemporary capitalist systems.

Exception: A Marxist system is sometimes able to achieve greater progress and quality of life in a backward nation compared to other backward nations, but only temporarily. The Marxist nations eventually stagnate while the others continue to develop.
User avatar
By Rapperson
#14803121
JohnRawls wrote:@Rapperson

The very first example is the English Civil War perhaps. The final days of the feudal order in England was overthrown and the people were fully made in to propertiless labour force. Also the Monarchy was crushed and capitalism had free reign over the country.

Something along the lines of this:

To summarise it briefly, this interpretation is that the English Revolution of 1640-60 was a great social movement like the French Revolution of 1789. The state power protecting an old order that was essentially feudal was violently overthrown, power passed into the hands of a new class, and so the freer development of capitalism was made possible. The Civil War was a class war, in which the despotism of Charles I was defended by the reactionary forces of the established Church and conservative landlords. Parliament beat the King because it could appeal to the enthusiastic support of the trading and industrial classes in town and countryside, to the yeomen and progressive gentry, and to wider masses of the population whenever they were able by free discussion to understand what the struggle was really about.


That's all very interesting. There's only a slight detail missing: What does all this have to do with capitalism?
User avatar
By JohnRawls
#14803124
Rapperson wrote:That's all very interesting. There's only a slight detail missing: What does all this have to do with capitalism?


The state power protecting an old order that was essentially feudal was violently overthrown, power passed into the hands of a new class, and so the freer development of capitalism was made possible.
User avatar
By Rapperson
#14803126
JohnRawls wrote:The state power protecting an old order that was essentially feudal was violently overthrown, power passed into the hands of a new class, and so the freer development of capitalism was made possible.


So in other words, no connection whatsoever.

Or are you saying that if capitalism had not yet existed, the english civil war would not have occurred?

Or are you saying the Pacific war 1941-1945 was fought over tourism? Remains of war materiel have made tourism (such as diving) more popular in parts of the Pacific than would otherwise have been the case, so freer development of tourism was made possible.
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By Dagoth Ur
#14803129
Stalin did more for humanity than a million reactionaries put together. But we got Rapperson doing some real piss poor "analysis" so I guess we should just ignore that.
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By JohnRawls
#14803130
@Rapperson

Pretty much, there would not be a need for it. If capitalism didn't exist then the alternative would be feudalism which was already represented in the face of the king and his landlords. Capitalism is an economic model.

The pacific war was fought over resources of the region and control of trade lanes in the region not to mention expansion of the workforce for Japan.
User avatar
By Rapperson
#14803132
JohnRawls wrote:@Rapperson

Pretty much, there would not be a need for it. If capitalism didn't exist then the alternative would be feudalism which was already represented in the face of the king and his landlords. Capitalism is an economic model.


Now listen. The english civil war had nothing to do with feudalism vs. capitalism. Nothing! It was a power struggle between king who wished to rule absolutely, and the gentry/parliament who wished to rein in the king's power to levy taxes; coupled with religious mistrust.

You can read about it here at your leisure:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_C ... Background

If you have any sources that support your case, please post them.


####

JohnRawls wrote:
@Rapperson

The pacific war was fought over resources of the region and control of trade lanes in the region not to mention expansion of the workforce for Japan.



Are you saying it was not fought over tourism?
Last edited by Rapperson on 07 May 2017 23:31, edited 1 time in total.
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By JohnRawls
#14803139
Rapperson wrote:Now listen. The english civil war had nothing to do with feudalism vs. capitalism. Nothing! It was a power struggle between king who wished to rule absolutely, and the gentry/parliament who wished to rein in the king's power to levy taxes; coupled with religious mistrust.

You can read about it here at your leisure:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_C ... Background

If you have any sources that support your case, please post them.


####

JohnRawls wrote:
@Rapperson




Are you saying it was not fought over tourism?


How is that different from fighting for capitalism? Removal of monarchical power and full removal of serfdom while giving extensive amount of power to urbanised industrial/merchant elites is transition to capitalism from feudalism....

A slogan saying "I fight for money and power" will not attract any supporters. If you want to say that they were not shouting " I am fighting for capitalism " then it does not change the fact that is what they were fighting for anyways. The term " Capitalism " didn't even exist back then.
Last edited by JohnRawls on 08 May 2017 00:00, edited 1 time in total.
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By Rapperson
#14803141
JohnRawls wrote:How is that different from fighting for capitalism? Removal of monarchical power and full removal of serfdom while giving extensive amount of power to urbanised industrial/merchant elites is transition to capitalism from feudalism....

A slogan saying "I fight for money and power" will not attract any supporters. If you want to say that they were not shouting " I am fighting for capitalism " then it does not change the fact that is what they were fighting for anyways. The term " Capitalism " didn't even exist back then.


No it isn't. Anyway, serfdom had been fully abolished in England long before the civil war started.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_o ... of_serfdom

Sources please.
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By JohnRawls
#14803148
This is a long read but it explains the situation a bit more. (Not my text by the way)
Also you are correct at saying the serfdom was abolished to a degree already hence i referred to this war as a war between last remains of feudalism vs capitalism.

Transition from feudalism

The transition from feudalism to capitalism is often viewed as the result of a gradual and rising progress of technology, urbanisation, science and trade – inevitable because humans have always possessed “the propensity to truck, barter and exchange” (Adam Smith). However, as writers such as Ellen Meiksins Wood and Robert Brenner have demonstrated, the rise of capitalism depended on very specific and localised conditions and was the result of a process that was far from automatic.

The relatively recent change from a primarily agricultural society of petty producers to a society of commodity production and market dependence required a change in the social relations at the heart of society. The central relationship instead of being between landlords and un-free peasants became one between capital-owners and propertyless wage-labourers. Such a change could only be bought about by a complete rupture with the old relations of human interaction.

By the 17th century trade, mercantilism and money lending had grown and developed in Europe but these by themselves did not undermine the foundations of feudal society. The mere existence of commodity production, merchants’ capital and money lenders capital are necessary but not sufficient conditions for the full development of capitalism. “Or else ancient Rome, Byzantium etc. would have ended their history with free labour and capital” (Karl Marx).

Only in England were conditions right for the essential prerequisite to take hold, capitalist relations in agriculture. The later industrial revolution would have been extremely unlikely without an agricultural sector that was productive enough to support it.

These changes can be explained by looking for the ‘prime mover’ in society. In capitalist societies this is the need to accumulate capital. In feudalism the need to maintain class position takes this role.

In order to maintain and improve their position as members of the ruling class and to defend it against their rivals, their underlings and moneylenders, the pressure was on feudal landlords to increase rents. In capitalism surplus wealth is extracted through economic means; it is because of the market-dependency of the wage-labourer that labour-power is sold. In feudal society, as the peasants have their own means of production, surplus must be extracted via ‘extra-economic’ methods through the real or ultimate threat of force, which explains their un-free status.

By the mid 15th century through ongoing resistance and evasion the peasantry of much of western Europe including England, were able to break the shackles of serfdom and gain their freedom. This proved a problem for landlords as they could now no longer depend on arbitrary peasant labour or duties and income from rents fixed long-term by custom, the value of which tended to decrease in the face of rising costs.

In order to counter this tendency in England, more easily than in other western European countries, landlords were able to appropriate peasant holdings that had became vacant due to a falling population. These properties were able to be leased at rates in excess of customary rent.

Another option available to landlords was the imposition of fines and levies. Charges could be made whenever land changed hands or was inherited and many landlords used these as a method for removing customary peasants from their land so that competitive commercial rents could be charged. However this process did not go on unchallenged; widespread and fairly successful peasant uprisings were a recurrent theme for much of the 15th century. This trend continued into the 16th century with security of tenure and the question of fines being core to what became know as Kett’s rebellion of 1549. If successful such events may have “clipped the wings of rural capitalism” (Stanley Bindhoff), but they were not and by the end of the 17th century around 70-75 percent of cultivatable land was under the control of English landlords.

In France the property rights of peasants developed along a different line. The monarchical state had evolved into an independent collector of tax and had the power to draw revenues from the land; it had an interest in curbing the rents of landlords, so that peasants could pay more in taxes. The state was thus in competition with the lords for surplus peasant product and for this reason often intervened to secure peasant freedoms and property. French landlords had a legal difficulty in occupying vacant peasant lots and so the majority of the land remained under customary rents. The state used peasant production as a direct source of revenue and increased its power by intervening in matters between peasants and landlords to guarantee the continuity of the system.

This can be contrasted with the form of state that developed in England during the Tudor period (1485-1603). Here monarchical centralisation was dependent on the support from landlords, evident from the growth of parliamentary institutions of the period. The weakness of the English peasantry deprived the monarchical powers of a means of generating an income independently of landlords. Powerful elements of the nobility and gentry would support the monarchy’s centralising efforts in the hope of achieving the stability and order necessary for their own economic growth. It was however these same elements from the landlord class who had the strongest interest in freeing themselves from customary peasants and replacing them with commercial tenants.

The nature of the two different states can be illustrated by the content of peasant revolts in the two countries. In England, revolts were directed against the landlords in an attempt to protect peasant ownership against the encroachment of capitalistic property relations. In France the crushing taxation of an absolutist state was the source of the peasants’ grievances.

Market dependency

English landlords controlled a large proportion of the best land but didn’t have, or need, the kinds of extra-economic powers that other European feudal ruling classes depended on. Instead they largely depended on the increasing productivity of tenants and required the state only as a means of protecting their private property and enforcing contractual obligations. In England, unlike anywhere else, an increasing amount of rents took the form of economic leases being fixed not by law or tradition but variably priced according to market conditions. For tenants this meant having to respond to market imperatives and taking an interest in agricultural ‘improvement’ and increasing productivity, often involving enclosure of common lands and increased exploitation of wage labour. Both producers and landowners were becoming dependent on the market for their own self-reproduction.

Market imperatives rather than market opportunities were the driving force of the process. Tenant farmers were specialising in competitive production for the market because they needed to in order to be able to continue leasing. This can be contrasted with the peasant who may have had the opportunity to sell surplus product on the market but, as they owned their own means of subsistence, was in no way dependent on it.

Peasants who were unable to keep up with fines or tenants that failed to compete successfully were pushed into a mere subsistence existence and eventually made landless. Some became vagabonds, wandering the roads looking for food or others became wage labourers on large farms. The landless became not only labourers but also consumers as they needed to buy goods in the market which they had previously been able to produce themselves. This was one of the reasons a healthy home market was able to develop in England.

Until 1640 the state operated in the interest of the old feudal order, restricting the full development of capitalist relations in the countryside. During the turbulent events of the English civil war the commercial classes, favouring capitalist development against the traditional rights of peasants and monarchy, managed to take hold of Parliament. The rate of change now rapidly accelerated with the ‘improving’ capitalist tenant farmer becoming typical by 1660. State-sponsored enclosure of common lands increased and became commonplace, forcing more and more peasants into becoming landless wage-labourers.

The emergence of the landlord/capitalist tenant/wage-labourer triad made the agricultural revolution possible and laid the groundwork for the industrial revolution. Growing agricultural production provided rising incomes for not only the middle but the lower classes, fuelling the growth of the home market. “Industry fed on agriculture and stimulated in turn further agricultural improvement – an upward spiral that extended into the industrial revolution” (Robert Brenner)

Worldwide market

Once English capitalism reached its industrial phase the world-wide market with its competitive pressures became the means for the spreading of capitalist social relations. Economies that depended on trade would be subject to the market imperatives of competition and increasing productivity. These market imperatives transformed social property relations leading to a new wave of dispossession and commodification of labour-power, both small agricultural and independent industrial producers faced the same fate. As more and more people were brought under the sphere of market dependence the strengths of these imperatives grew. Capital was able to remake the world in its own image.

The social changes of the 17th century freed technology and science from the shackles of feudal backwardness, making possible the advances that began in the 18th century. Yet the direction of technological development is dictated by the profit motive, the need to accumulate capital for its own sake. Could the 21st century see a further period of social change, where humanity as a whole takes control of the productive powers and where human need becomes the guiding force for a new age of technological and scientific progress?

By studying capitalism we learn that human society is not the result of some eternal logic or divine laws but is created through our own actions as we produce the things we need and use every day. The historical conditions that set in motion the social changes that have transformed the world were in no way inevitable. We must fully understand the full power of market imperatives, of the need to accumulate capital and of the need to raise the productivity of labour. We must also have a clear idea of their origins. Once we can begin to answer how and why society works in the way it does we are already some way towards understanding what could be done to change it.
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By Rapperson
#14803151
@JohnRawls

I said serfdom was completely abolished, not to a degree. Please do not misrepresent me.

Also, when I said sources, I meant a verifiable link. What you posted is not a source. It is just a paste so it is useless.

Oh never mind, I found it. Now I understand why you didn't post the link:

https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/soc ... capitalism

The socialist party of great britain is not a reputable source. Give me a break.
Last edited by Rapperson on 08 May 2017 00:29, edited 1 time in total.
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By JohnRawls
#14803154
It is an explanation. If serfdom is abolished it does not mean serfdom like conditions don't remain in another form. If i call something " Not Serfdom " then it does not mean it is not serfdom in reality. The same way Communist China is communist in name only nowadays for example.

The socialist party of great britain is not a reputable source. Give me a break.


Why?
User avatar
By Rapperson
#14803160
JohnRawls wrote:
Why?


Because it's a partisan entity, duh.

JohnRawls wrote:It is an explanation. If serfdom is abolished it does not mean serfdom like conditions don't remain in another form. If i call something " Not Serfdom " then it does not mean it is not serfdom in reality. The same way Communist China is communist in name only nowadays for example.



If you want to argue that serfdom still existed when historians say it didn't, the burden of proof is most definitely on you.


@stephen50right

Yes, it's like the mutants in The Omega Man, isn't it? Convinced that the disease is the only state of health.
By mikema63
#14803195
"I'm going to make a thread for serious discussion and analysis of Marxism."

"It's a disease like from that movie I like."
:|
#14803198
@OP

Marxism on stagnates when capitalist nations put on sanctions.

Honestly, Marxism is a good idea over all, but needs more checks to ensure that unpopular dictatorship does not ensure. However, this is a purely political issue, while Marxism is an economic philosophy, so its not a really big problem.
#14803219
Rapperson wrote:History has shown that Marxist government is, or very soon becomes, a dictatorship. It is an oppressive government that curtails many human rights, notably freedom of speech.


History has also shown that capitalism is, or very soon becomes, a violent dictatorship. It is an oppressive government that curtails many human rights, notably freedom of speech.

Rapperson wrote:Marxism promises freedom and rights for workers, but routinely fails to deliver. The rights of workers under a Marxist government are invariably worse than under contemporary democratic/capitalist system, and often enormously so.


Even if we are to accept this as true, one must define rights in a way that is agreeable. For the Bolsheviks, which is who you are mostly considering, a right was a strictly theoretical notion unless it had the ability to be expressed. If you have there right to vote, but it is on a weekday, and you're in a neighborhood where they legislature determined you only needed one precinct for a hundred thousand people, and it was open for less time than anywhere else, you'd still theoretically have the right to vote—just no way to exercise that right.

You have freedom of expression, in theory, but compared to the expression that someone that owns a TV network has, you have virtually no voice at all.

Lenin wrote:In capitalist society, providing it develops under the most favourable conditions, we have a more or less complete democracy in the democratic republic. But this democracy is always hemmed in by the narrow limits set by capitalist exploitation, and consequently always remains, in effect, a democracy for the minority, only for the propertied classes, only for the rich. Freedom in capitalist society always remains about the same as it was in the ancient Greek republics: freedom for the slave-owners. Owing to the conditions of capitalist exploitation, the modern wage slaves are so crushed by want and poverty that "they cannot be bothered with democracy", "cannot be bothered with politics"; in the ordinary, peaceful course of events, the majority of the population is debarred from participation in public and political life.

...Democracy for an insignificant minority, democracy for the rich--that is the democracy of capitalist society. If we look more closely into the machinery of capitalist democracy, we see everywhere, in the “petty”--supposedly petty--details of the suffrage (residential qualifications, exclusion of women, etc.), in the technique of the representative institutions, in the actual obstacles to the right of assembly (public buildings are not for “paupers”!), in the purely capitalist organization of the daily press, etc., etc.,--we see restriction after restriction upon democracy. These restrictions, exceptions, exclusions, obstacles for the poor seem slight, especially in the eyes of one who has never known want himself and has never been inclose contact with the oppressed classes in their mass life (and nine out of 10, if not 99 out of 100, bourgeois publicists and politicians come under this category); but in their sum total these restrictions exclude and squeeze out the poor from politics, from active participation in democracy.


Marxists realize that history exists and things change. For the most part, the attempts the Chinese (as problematic as they can be in their use of Marxism) to urbanize their population addresses this. It took centuries to do that in the West, and we have gained legitimate, tangible, expressions of rights. There are a lot of questionable use of power by the Chinese government—but this is a concrete attempt to give concrete things to people that had largely been swept to the side by the imperialism the preceded the communists.

Rapperson wrote:Marxist government frequently, though not always, entails abuses of genocidal proportions.


Please provide an example that equals the genocide of the Native Americans, native Australians, Belgian Congo, and Jewish Holocaust.

Economic development in a Marxist system can present a shortcut to extremely backward nations to achieve industrialization but invariably stagnates in poverty relative to a contemporary democratic/capitalist system.


On the face of it, your assertion collapses upon the slightest scrutiny:

Pew Research wrote:A remarkable 72% of Hungarians say that most people in their country are actually worse off today economically than they were under communism. Only 8% say most people in Hungary are better off, and 16% say things are about the same.


Sunday Express wrote:A stunning 64 per cent of Russians who were aged ten or over in the totalitarian one party state rated the quality of life higher than under the current rule of Vladimir Putin.

A quarter of a century after the fall of the Red flag from the Kremlin in 1991, the same pattern is shown in nine out of 11 ex-Soviet states, according to a new poll.

The findings appear to offer an indictment of post-Communist regimes which have seen a mixture of chaos, rampant crime, revolution, wild capitalism, economic mayhem and dictatorship in the years since Mikhail Gorbachev quit as the last Soviet leader.

Respondents in oil-rich Azerbaijan - run by authoritarian president Ilham Aliyev who succeeded his father Heydar Aliyev - gave a crushing verdict with 69 per cent saying life was better in the USSR.

In Armenia, the figure was even higher, 71 per cent.

In Ukraine, which has seen some of the greatest economic hardship and political turmoil since 1991, around 60 per cent of the over 35s saw life as better back in the USSR.

In Belarus, the most Soviet-like of the European states of the former USSR, where even the secret police retain the KGB acronym, some 53 per cent still preferred life under Moscow's rule.

And in Kazakhstan, where dictator Nursultan Nazarbayev employed Tony Blair as a consultant, three in five of the older 35s preferred life under Soviet rule.

Only older residents of two ex-Soviet republics believed life is better now - those in Tajikistan and rigidly totalitarian Uzbekistan, two of the poorest states, where 39 per cent and four per cent respectively saw their existence under the Kremlin politburo as superior.


But let us go further; Marxism is a form of analysis, and how, why, and who is using it can determine what is occurring. This is not particularly remarkable, this is how most methods of analysis work. However, it seems strange to dump the entire premise for the analysis because conditions in some of the models of one type of application were not perfect.

This is part of the crux of what a lot of anti-marxists don't quite understand. The Soviet Union, China, Vietnam, etc, etc, are workers' states and their ideology is socialist. However, this does not mean that they were socialist in a Leninist sense.

Lenin wrote:Complete and final victory on a world scale cannot be achieved in Russia alone; it can be achieved only when the proletariat is victorious in at least all the advanced countries, or, at all events, in some of the largest of the advanced countries. Only then shall we be able to say with absolute confidence that the cause of the proletariat has triumphed, that our first objective—the overthrow of capitalism—has been achieved.

We have achieved this objective in one country, and this confronts us with a second task. Since Soviet power has been established, since the bourgeoisie has been overthrown in one country, the second task is to wage the struggle on a world scale, on a different plane, the struggle of the proletarian state surrounded by capitalist states.


[url="[url=http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1921/10thcong/ch03.htm]Lenin[/url]"]Socialist revolution can triumph only on two conditions. First, if it is given timely support by a socialist revolution in one or several advanced countries. As you know we have done very much in comparison with the past to bring about this condition, but far from enough to make it a reality.

The second condition is agreement between the proletariat, which is exercising its dictatorship, that is holds state power,and the majority of the peasant population[/url]

Lenin in 1922 wrote:But we have not finished building even the foundations of socialist economy and the hostile power of moribund capitalism can still deprive us of that. We must clearly appreciate this and frankly admit it; for there is nothing more dangerous than illusions (and vertigo, particularly at high altitudes). And there is absolutely nothing terrible, nothing that should give legitimate grounds for the slightest despondency, in admitting this bitter truth; we have always urged and reiterated the elementary truth of Marxism - that the joint efforts of the workers of several advanced countries are needed for the victory of socialism.


This is consistent with Marx, who lampoons a socialist that attempts to say that he is building socialism in one country:

Marx wrote:Lassalle, in opposition to the Communist Manifesto and to all earlier socialism, conceived the workers' movement from the narrowest national standpoint. He is being followed in this -- and that after the work of the International!

It is altogether self-evident that, to be able to fight at all, the working class must organize itself at home as a class and that its own country is the immediate arena of its struggle -- insofar as its class struggle is national, not in substance, but, as the Communist Manifesto says, "in form". But the "framework of the present-day national state", for instance, the German Empire, is itself, in its turn, economically "within the framework" of the world market, politically "within the framework" of the system of states. Every businessman knows that German trade is at the same time foreign trade, and the greatness of Herr Bismarck consists, to be sure, precisely in his pursuing a kind of international policy.

And to what does the German Workers' party reduce its internationalism? To the consciousness that the result of its efforts will be "the international brotherhood of peoples" -- a phrase borrowed from the bourgeois League of Peace and Freedom, which is intended to pass as equivalent to the international brotherhood of working classes in the joint struggle against the ruling classes and their governments. Not a word, therefore, about the international functions of the German working class! And it is thus that it is to challenge its own bourgeoisie -- which is already linked up in brotherhood against it with the bourgeois of all other countries -- and Herr Bismarck's international policy of conspiracy.

In fact, the internationalism of the program stands even infinitely below that of the Free Trade party. The latter also asserts that the result of its efforts will be "the international brotherhood of peoples". But it also does something to make trade international and by no means contents itself with the consciousness that all people are carrying on trade at home.

The international activity of the working classes does not in any way depend on the existence of the International Working Men's Association. This was only the first attempt to create a central organ for the activity; an attempt which was a lasting success on account of the impulse which it gave but which was no longer realizable in its historical form after the fall of the Paris Commune.

Bismarck's Norddeutsche was absolutely right when it announced, to the satisfaction of its master, that the German Workers' party had sworn off internationalism in the new program.


And Engels, who was more blunt:

Engels wrote:Will it be possible for this revolution to take place in one country alone?

No. By creating the world market, big industry has already brought all the peoples of the Earth, and especially the civilized peoples, into such close relation with one another that none is independent of what happens to the others.

Further, it has co-ordinated the social development of the civilized countries to such an extent that, in all of them, bourgeoisie and proletariat have become the decisive classes, and the struggle between them the great struggle of the day. It follows that the communist revolution will not merely be a national phenomenon but must take place simultaneously in all civilized countries – that is to say, at least in England, America, France, and Germany.

It will develop in each of these countries more or less rapidly, according as one country or the other has a more developed industry, greater wealth, a more significant mass of productive forces. Hence, it will go slowest and will meet most obstacles in Germany, most rapidly and with the fewest difficulties in England. It will have a powerful impact on the other countries of the world, and will radically alter the course of development which they have followed up to now, while greatly stepping up its pace.


You are essentially making up an ideology and attacking it as a strawman. The fact is that these standard-of-living points do not address the validity of Marxism, nor are they clean enough that external variations can be appropriately removed for measurement.

Rapperson wrote:Development of new technologies in a Marxist system is minimal to nonexistant, leading to stagnation.


Wikipedia wrote:1957: First intercontinental ballistic missile and orbital launch vehicle, the R-7 Semyorka
1957: First satellite, Sputnik 1
1957: First animal in Earth orbit, the dog Laika on Sputnik 2
1959: First rocket ignition in Earth orbit, first man-made object to escape Earth's gravity, Luna 1
1959: First data communications, or telemetry, to and from outer space, Luna 1.
1959: First man-made object to pass near the Moon, first man-made object in Heliocentric orbit, Luna 1
1959: First probe to impact the Moon, Luna 2
1959: First images of the moon's far side, Luna 3
1960: First animals to safely return from Earth orbit, the dogs Belka and Strelka on Sputnik 5.
1961: First probe launched to Venus, Venera 1
1961: First person in space (International definition) and in Earth orbit, Yuri Gagarin on Vostok 1, Vostok programme
1961: First person to spend over 24 hours in space Gherman Titov, Vostok 2 (also first person to sleep in space).
1962: First dual manned spaceflight, Vostok 3 and Vostok 4
1962: First probe launched to Mars, Mars 1
1963: First woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova, Vostok 6
1964: First multi-person crew (3), Voskhod 1
1965: First extra-vehicular activity (EVA), by Aleksei Leonov,[18] Voskhod 2
1965: First probe to hit another planet of the Solar system (Venus), Venera 3
1966: First probe to make a soft landing on and transmit from the surface of the moon, Luna 9
1966: First probe in lunar orbit, Luna 10
1967: First unmanned rendezvous and docking, Cosmos 186/Cosmos 188.
1968: First living beings to reach the Moon (circumlunar flights) and return unharmed to Earth, Russian tortoises and other lifeforms on Zond 5
1969: First docking between two manned craft in Earth orbit and exchange of crews, Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5
1970: First soil samples automatically extracted and returned to Earth from another celestial body, Luna 16
1970: First robotic space rover, Lunokhod 1 on the Moon.
1970: First data received from the surface of another planet of the Solar system (Venus), Venera 7
1971: First space station, Salyut 1
1971: First probe to impact the surface of Mars, Mars 2
1971: First probe to land on Mars, Mars 3
1975: First probe to orbit Venus, to make soft landing on Venus, first photos from surface of Venus, Venera 9


Rapperson wrote:Marxist industrialized economies historically have been the worst cases of environmental abuse and damage.


Industrialization is always messy. Please provide an example of industrialization under capitalism taking place in a tidy and environmental way.

Ideologically, if we are to separate the Marxist ideology from whatever you're imagining, the first environmental efforts were put forward by Marxists:

Engels wrote:Classical political economy, the social science of the bourgeoisie, in the main examines only social effects of human actions in the fields of production and exchange that are actually intended. This fully corresponds to the social organisation of which it is the theoretical expression. As individual capitalists are engaged in production and exchange for the sake of the immediate profit, only the nearest, most immediate results must first be taken into account. As long as the individual manufacturer or merchant sells a manufactured or purchased commodity with the usual coveted profit, he is satisfied and does not concern himself with what afterwards becomes of the commodity and its purchasers. The same thing applies to the natural effects of the same actions. What cared the Spanish planters in Cuba, who burned down forests on the slopes of the mountains and obtained from the ashes sufficient fertiliser for one generation of very highly profitable coffee trees – what cared they that the heavy tropical rainfall afterwards washed away the unprotected upper stratum of the soil, leaving behind only bare rock! In relation to nature, as to society, the present mode of production is predominantly concerned only about the immediate, the most tangible result; and then surprise is expressed that the more remote effects of actions directed to this end turn out to be quite different, are mostly quite the opposite in character; that the harmony of supply and demand is transformed into the very reverse opposite, as shown by the course of each ten years’ industrial cycle


Rapperson wrote:When Marxists take power, those elements of the party/movement that actually believe that democracy/freedom will be delivered as promised are soon purged, often executed. The Kronstadt sailors are a prime example.


Do you think that during the Russian Civil War the Krondstadt sailors, so loyal to the Bolsheviks, just sat there and waited in one place and then revolted in anger years later?

Obviously this is not the case. The loyal Krondstadt soldiers were distributed all over Russia to fight the Whites and the crummy soldiers were sent to Krondstadt because it wasn't a theater of action.

Trotsky, who built the Red Army, wrote:Yes, Kronstadt wrote a heroic page in the history of the revolution. But the civil war began a systematic depopulation of Kronstadt and of the whole Baltic fleet. As early as the days of the October uprising, detachments of Kronstadt sailors were being sent to help Moscow. Other detachments were then sent to the Don, to the Ukraine, to requisition bread and organize the local power. It seemed at first as if Kronstadt were inexhaustible. From different fronts I sent dozens of telegrams about the mobilization of new “reliable” detachments from among the Petersburg workers and the Baltic sailors. But beginning as early as 1918, and in any case not later than 1919, the fronts began to complain that the new contingents of “Kronstadters” were unsatisfactory, exacting, undisciplined, unreliable in battle, and doing more harm than good. After the liquidation of Yudenich (in the winter of 1919), the Baltic fleet and the Kronstadt garrison were denuded of all revolutionary forces. All the elements among them that were of any use at all were thrown against Denikin in the south. If in 1917–18 the Kronstadt sailor stood considerably higher than the average level of the Red Army and formed the framework of its first detachments as well as the framework of the Soviet regime in many districts, those sailors who remained in “peaceful” Kronstadt until the beginning of 1921, not fitting in on any of the fronts of the civil war, stood by this time on a level considerably lower, in general, than the average level of the Red Army, and included a great percentage of completely demoralized elements, wearing showy bell-bottom pants and sporty haircuts.

Demoralization based on hunger and speculation had in general greatly increased by the end of the civil war. The so-called “sack-carriers” (petty speculators) had become a social blight, threatening to stifle the revolution. Precisely in Kronstadt where the garrison did nothing and had everything it needed, the demoralization assumed particularly great dimensions. When conditions became very critical in hungry Petrograd the Political Bureau more than once discussed the possibility of securing an “internal loan” from Kronstadt, where a quantity of old provisions still remained. But delegates of the Petrograd workers answered: “You will get nothing from them by kindness. They speculate in cloth, coal, and bread. At present in Kronstadt every kind of riffraff has raised its head.” That was the real situation. It was not like the sugar-sweet idealizations after the event.
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By quetzalcoatl
#14803222
It's painfully obvious where @Rapperson intends to take this thread. He holds in his mind an idealized prescriptive vision of capitalism, based on concepts promulgated in the late 1900s and early 20th century (Mises, Hayek, Friedman, Rand). The problem is that such a version of capitalism has never existed, and never will. Capitalism is not prescriptive. It evolved over centuries, constantly mutating to adapt to new social and political realities and new technologies.

Capitalism does not exist, in the sense conceived by Objectivists. It is no accident that they called capitalism "The unkown Ideal." Capitalism is not an -ism. It was not consciously designed based on an existing political ideology, but evolved organically over a half millennium. The attributes of capitalism are adaptations that arose in response to specific external challenges. The pertinent attributes of capitalism as it now exists are:

1) Rationalized legal definition of property
2) Limited liability corporations.
3) Co-optation of the political process, leading to dictatorship of the oligarchy.
4) Effectively immortal corporations.
5) Effective sovereignty of corporations (transnational, independent of the state).
6) Limitation of competition through centralized control of markets.

Note that these attributes are all survival adaptations, and do not reflect the various moral imperatives (freedom, self-ownership, etc.) promulgated by its theorists. That capitalism has survived as long as it has is due to its viral mutability. Ironically, the very success of its proponents in promulgating the capitalist ideal has contributed to its ossification. The adaptations necessary to its continued survival are furiously resisted.

Incidentally, this puts the lie to the notion that the United States was founded as a capitalist nation. At the time of the American Revolution and the early republic, states severely limited corporations and viewed them with extreme suspicion. Charters were limited in time and were often revoked for cause. Corporations could not own property other than that specifically required for its business. Corporations could not make political contributions or charitable gifts - these were regarded as violations of fiduciary responsibility. Trusts (companies owning other companies) were not even envisioned, much less permitted. The idea that corporations could have inalienable right would have been considered with horror - indeed the states went out of their way to specifically delineate the prerogatives of corporations. These were seen as contingent privileges subject to the will of the legislature, not rights.

Capitalism, as it now exists, has evolved into a system of political control, with the making of money the means to this end, rather than the end itself. The official state apparatus is becoming increasingly irrelevant, an auxiliary to the corporate oligarchy that rules as co-equal to the state. It is not about freedom, it is about power and control.

We live in a dictatorship. It is different in its optics from the soviet dictatorship, but not in its ruthlessness. America has more people in prison (as a percentage of its population) than Stalin's gulag at its height. Our legislatures are rubber stamps for the dictatorship of the oligarchy, just as the Soviet Congress of People's Deputies were a rubber stamp for the Politburo.
Last edited by quetzalcoatl on 08 May 2017 03:32, edited 1 time in total.

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