Scenarios where socialists ought to support liberals? - Page 2 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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As either the transitional stage to communism or legitimate socio-economic ends in its own right.
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#14427270
Decky wrote:

Liberation of the working class while fucking over the working class! Liberal "communism" is just the left wing of liberalism. You might as well talk about a sober Scotsman.


On the contrary, I think there's good reason for the hyphen in liberal-capitalism. A system in which the workers which work at their factories have socialized them to their own collective ownership could still governmentally and philosophically be couched in idealist liberal justifications aspiring to civil rights, freedom of speech, and other liberal conceptions.

Of course, for so many Marxists, this is merely group private property, or "vulgar workerism", as nothing less than incoherent "ownership of all by all" property conceptions will do. This is the main reason no movement within liberalism can popularly emerge to slice off the capitalist part of the hyphen. Capitalists portray such a thing as "communist", but communists are instrumental here in portraying such a thing as "capitalist".

And this is why we can't have nice things.
#14427273
Nice things spring from the party, without the party steering the worker's state and using the means of production, distribution and exchange as a hammer to crush the enemies of the working there are no nice things.
#14427297
Decky wrote:Nice things spring from the party, without the party steering the worker's state and using the means of production, distribution and exchange as a hammer to crush the enemies of the working there are no nice things.


But let's say that the "worker's state" simply mandates worker ownership of all firms and direct democratic and secret ballot (for obvious reasons) forms of democratic management with instant recall. This is sufficient to keep bourgeois exploitation suppressed after the revolution, since any worker at a firm legally must have part ownership, and therefore is able to take equal part in electing management, and in setting wages. Why is there a need for state ownership and all sorts of superfluous Marxist stuff, when it is sufficient for the state to (as well as doing normal state stuff) simply stop absentee ownership? There cannot be alienation and surplus labor extraction if individual firm dictatorship is replaced with full democracy.

Unless you imagine that the working class, having complete egalitarian control of the firms they work at would choose to exploit themselves when free of the bourgeoisie, but at that point you can't say with a straight face that you care more about the worker's interests than some dogmatic robot application of the teachings of left wing Jesus.
#14427302
You haven't thought this through, who will send troublemakers to Siberia and run the masive millitary parades on may day and other important aniversaries and mobalise the people to save the world from the Germans when they go back to their old ways?

Anyway if you give the working class what they want you do not get democratically run workers co-ops you get this.

Image
#14427309
Technology wrote:Of course, for so many Marxists, this is merely group private property, or "vulgar workerism", as nothing less than incoherent "ownership of all by all" property conceptions will do.


The problem is that when you don't have ownership of all by all you can't really do democratic planning of the economy, you're still subject to the market economy and all its failings.

Economic planning was cumbersome back in the days before the Information Age, but it ain't cumbersome anymore.
#14427317
Decky wrote:Anyway if you give the working class what they want you do not get democratically run workers co-ops you get this.


This is a little bit of a strawman, since what workers want is good conditions for themselves, and they can then be misled about how to achieve that. Workers want good wages. Nigel Farage tells them that the capital dictators/bourgeoisie will give them good wages if their control is unhindered, so he is basically telling them that they need to not have control in order to have control. Marxists in power tell the same story except that the state is the capital dictator.

Workers need direction in the sense that they need a system that avoids having the question of how to achieve what they want removed from their hands, or abstracted into some distant macro-plan.

Workers are good at knowing what they want on a direct level, because they know their own material desires. If workers are to get what they want out of capital, then they must be the managers of the capital they work at. Nigel Farage and Vladimir Lenin by contrast are fundamentally telling the workers the same thing, despite being on opposite ends of the political spectrum; that they don't need to have power to have power. Neither are interested in putting the direct stakes of workers before their formulation of their needs. The only difference is that Nigel Farage wants to pass the job onto the bourgeoisie, whereas Lenin and Stalin set their government itself to tell workers what they want to have.

The alternative is to have the state create the conditions whereby workers co-operatively make the decisions about their direct material survival without fixed bossism in the name of an owners income, nor fixed bossism in the name of a 19th Century labor value theory filtered through the dictates of a central command class.


KlassWar wrote:The problem is that when you don't have ownership of all by all you can't really do democratic planning of the economy, you're still subject to the market economy and all its failings.


The failings which are caused almost exclusively by monopoly product power which allows price setting, and non-diversification of risk, as well as monopsonistic labor power on the other side which allows wage setting. Common mode failure.

Democratic planning of the economy simply subjects each worker to the sum of all the significantly filtered perceptions of other workers ideas about what every worker everywhere needs, with the final say of a command class. This is incredibly inefficient, since the market already contains this information. All you are doing is letting people decide on things far removed from affecting them, and letting their needs in that location, at that time, be hindered by what the command class thinks is the best aggregate (from the democratic centralism) perception of some sort of universal need, and you are doing this for every industry wage, price, and production quota system. Common mode failure.

It's completely inefficient, not to mention oppressive and misery inducing. It's also pointless since as noted the information is already in the market. The key thing is to prevent market failure by stopping that information content from being reduced by monopolistic micro-management by capital or state.

Marxism fails because it rejects the market, and even as technology develops to make its system more and more possible, it remains every bit as superfluous and oppressive. This is also why it remains a minority philosophy, unlikely to gain support among the mass of liberal workers.
#14428737
Workers are good at knowing what they want on a direct level, because they know their own material desires. If workers are to get what they want out of capital, then they must be the managers of the capital they work at. Nigel Farage and Vladimir Lenin by contrast are fundamentally telling the workers the same thing, despite being on opposite ends of the political spectrum; that they don't need to have power to have power. Neither are interested in putting the direct stakes of workers before their formulation of their needs. The only difference is that Nigel Farage wants to pass the job onto the bourgeoisie, whereas Lenin and Stalin set their government itself to tell workers what they want to have.


You really don't seem to get this, the party and thus the goverment of a Soviet style state is the will of the international working class made manifest, it does not have its own interests, by definition it can't. It is the represenitive of the working people of this world at the head of their state just as the pope is the representitive of God on this earth through their church.
#14428815
Also, Lenin was outvoted by his party several times. People like to paint him as some monster that created this top down system. He wanted an NEP far earlier, even before the civil war, but did not get it. He wanted curbs on Proletkult and other fringe left things that were attempting to dictate a socialist society before there was a socialist society, and it took him literally years to stop them from burning Shakespeare and the like.

The Party itself trusted Lenin because the working class and peasants in the party trusted Lenin. Now, after the civil war and after Lenin and after Stalin are all points in which people argue that the beurocracy and administration of the country subverted the party. The party ceased to become a mechanism of the working class, but it doesn't mean the party itself was necessarily a bad system.

This all goes some way in underlining a plank of James Connolly that the Bolsheviks either didn't or couldn't take to heart at the very end:

James Connolly wrote:I believe that the development of the fighting spirit is of more importance than the creation of the theoretically perfect organisation; that, indeed, the most theoretically perfect organisation may, because of its very perfection and vastness, be of the greatest possible danger to the revolutionary movement if it tends, or is used, to repress and curb the fighting spirit of comradeship in the rank and file.
#14506435
Social liberalism to free social minority groups from discrimination. From ethnic minorities to the GLBTI community.

Internal divisions only aid the corporate-state-capitalist system against a united opposition
#14506445
I have a hypothetical scenario:

Let's say we live in a country where Capitalism is, for all intents and purposes, unregulated. Working conditions are poor, low pay and long hours are the norm. On top of that, the nation's social policy strictly hinders individual rights. Let's say for whatever reason a worker's revolution is impossible. The only chance for improving conditions for the working class is for economic and social reform that would cut work hours, improve pay, and improve working conditions. These reforms would have to be done by legal political action. If a party that wanted to implement these changes, and had the political capital to do so, would Marxists join in the political process?
#14506462
Klasswar, serious question. You believe that information technology would make efficient, democratic planning not only feasible but preferable to market based allocation of resources. Can you point to any serious computer scientists/economists/whatever whose work seriously suggests this possibility (I'm not even asking for a ready-made computer program or the like, just work in that general direction)?

I'm serious - I don't mean this as a "gotcha"* - if I was shown sufficiently compelling research, I'd be willing to accept the view that planning might be possible now/in the near future.

* I do believe that markets are generally more efficient than planing (i.e., there may be specific interventions necessary, but in general the market mechanism works).
#14506464
Lightman wrote:ou believe that information technology would make efficient, democratic planning not only feasible but preferable to market based allocation of resources. Can you point to any serious computer scientists/economists/whatever whose work seriously suggests this possibility (I'm not even asking for a ready-made computer program or the like, just work in that general direction)?


I am not sure what you mean by serious but Allin Cottrell and Paul Cockshott wrote a book called "Towards a new Socialism", one is a computer scientist and the other an economist and they argue exactly this plus the book is freely available and could be found here.

I am reading it currently as well.
#14506466
no.

or yes if we are absolutely sure that all fascists will be immediately liquidated after the revolution.

But yeah, seriously there is no conceivable situation, from where we stand, fascists are nothing but armed guards of capitalism
#14506469
fuser wrote:no.

or yes if we are absolutely sure that all fascists will be immediately liquidated after the revolution.

But yeah, seriously there is no conceivable situation, from where we stand, fascists are nothing but armed guards of capitalism


But what if an international worker's revolution was still a long ways off (as it is now), and a fascist party was trying to overthrow capitalism and replace it with an alternative socioeconomic system, such as corporatism or national syndicalism?
#14506470
Capitalism with some other fancy name and more repression isn't really very attractive to us.

Marxists have a very clear cut view of fascism and which is, that fascist parties never try to overthrow capitalism but preserve it by unleashing more repressions.

Fascism and Social democracy are right and left wing respectably of same thing i.e. liberal capitalism.
#14506472
fuser wrote:Capitalism with some other fancy name and more repression isn't really very attractive to us.

Marxists have a very clear cut view of fascism and which is, that fascist parties never try to overthrow capitalism but preserve it by unleashing more repressions.

Fascism and Social democracy are right and left wing respectably of same thing i.e. liberal capitalism.


I think this view that Fascism is just a repressive form of capitalism is as silly as saying that a welfare state capitalism is a kind of socialism.

Let's break down Marx's definition of capitalism.

According to Marx, capitalism is characterized by:

  • Private ownership of the means of production
  • Generalized commodity production
  • Capital accumulation
  • free wage labor

Out of the four of these, I'm completely opposed to the last 3 (especially the second one) and pretty ambivalent about the first one. I mean, I'm sure you would have to agree that someone who opposes wage labor, capital accumulation, and generalized commodity production is pretty damn anti-capitalist, even if they aren't necessarily for handing over the means of production to the workers (though I think the state would have control over anything that matters, so it's hard to see how private property in the usual sense would survive fascism).

The only things I really disagree with Marxism are its support for internationalism; its opposition to the nation-state and the state in general (total deal-breaker), to imperialism, and class society (although, this last bit is really just because I think that class is not all that fundamental to social relations and would play a very different role under fascism).

I also disagree with the idea that the economy should be organized around the principle of production for use as well as the capitalist principle of production for profit, and instead advocate a third alternative of production for production.
#14506476
First is the most important and the other three are dependent on first. Either you are for abolishment of private property or you are not.

its opposition to the nation-state and the state in general (total deal-breaker), to imperialism, and class society (although, this last bit is really just because I think that class is not all that fundamental to social relations and would play a very different role under fascism than capitalism).


Right, so you are not for either abolishment of private property or resultant antagonist classes ergo, you are just an arm of capitalism and I don't think Marxists will support such non Marxist platform.

Basically you are not overthrowing it just modifying it exactly like the social democrats trying to modify capitalism.
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