Scenarios where socialists ought to support liberals? - Page 3 - Politics | PoFo

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As either the transitional stage to communism or legitimate socio-economic ends in its own right.
Forum rules: No one line posts please.
fuser wrote: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.

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.

Is every system with private property a kind of capitalism, in your view? Because, as far as I know, both feudalism and the classical societies before it had private property, and yet neither was capitalist.

If not, then I don't see why someone who opposes 3 of the central features of capitalism is really just an "arm of of capitalism".

Also, I only said I wasn't necessarily against private property, but that doesn't mean I am in any way for it, either. Ownership is kind of irrelevant ultimately in any case, since what "ownership" means exactly is defined by the state which will have to direct the economy in the interests of the nation rather than any particular class within the nation.

The impression I'm getting from you is that you seem to believe that it is impossible for someone to be against capitalism and yet, not a communist. Is this your belief?
Whenever the alternative to liberalism is worse for the working class.

For example, the non-Bolshevik socialist/communists should have allied with the liberals in the Russian civil war to prevent the Bolsheviks from seizing power and crushing the Workers' Revolution. We would have succeeded as the workers/peasants hated the Bolsheviks and just needed a viable socialist alternative available to rise up and purge them like they did at Tambov and Tula. Once they had been defeated, we could have then turned on the liberals, who had so little support due to their anti-worker policy's and crushed them.
Saeko wrote:The impression I'm getting from you is that you seem to believe that it is impossible for someone to be against capitalism and yet, not a communist. Is this your belief?

No, there are many non Marxist utopian line of thoughts, for example anarchism (the left variant).

Plus my take on Fascism is mostly based on its historical roots and dominant political and economical thought and not on your personal utopian take of it, as it currently stands there is no overthrowing of capitalism without abolishing private property at least anarchists (utopian as they are) understand this.

Your platform is not marxist in any sense to gather support from us, you are not even opposed to existance of antagonist classes when our whole politics revolves around it.

Our demands are quite simple and not complex, do you agree with following :

1. Abolish private property.
2. All power to Soviets.
3. In entire world.

Tim wrote:For example, the non-Bolshevik socialist/communists should have allied with the liberals in the Russian civil war to prevent the Bolsheviks from seizing power

Just like the Socialist Revolutionary Party, eh?
In response to the op, one historical example would have been to put an end to the jacobin terror during the French revolution, the Spanish civil war another example.

In response to fuser, I think most anarchists would agree with your three points, it a shame the Bolsheviks betrayed at least 2 of them
Decky wrote:You really don't seem to get this, the party and thus the government 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 representative of the working people of this world at the head of their state just as the pope is the representative of God on this earth through their church.
This all knowing party is of course led by middle and upper class people. Lenin was very clear on this, that the working class are utterly incapable of leading themselves. The working class (according to Lenin) are only capable of creating trade union consciousness on their own. They need middle class, Bourgeois and even aristocratic intelligentsia to lead them into socialism. Lenin himself was technically a noble. But more importantly he was the height of Cosmopolitan, spending many of his days in the cosmopolitan Cafes of multicultural, multi national, multi ethnic Vienna.

Although half Russian himself, Lenin held Russians in contempt. He no doubt attributed his own genius to his Jewish and German inheritance. Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamanev, they were all the same middle class intelligentsia who ultimately held the working class in contempt as any sort of leaders, spending many years out of the country amongst Europe's international cosmopolitan literati. Trotsky was a bit different in that he held everyone in contempt apart from his reunion with Lenin and even then he probably thought he should have been leader. Stalin although having proletarian roots had been trained by the Church. Even though he may have rejected God he retained the Church's view that the masses need to be led by a firm hand under their intellectual and spiritual betters.
Yes, a United Front against Bolshevism:

Never forget that the rulers of present-day Russia are common blood-stained criminals; that they are the scum of humanity which, favoured by circumstances, overran a great state in a tragic hour, slaughtered and wiped out thousands of her leading intelligentsia in wild blood lust, and now for almost ten years have been carrying on the most cruel and tyrannical regime of all time.

Furthermore, do not forget that these rulers belong to a race which combines, in a rare mixture, bestial cruelty and an inconceivable gift for lying, and which today more than ever is conscious of a mission to impose its bloody oppression on the whole world. Do not forget that the international Jew who completely dominates Russia today regards Germany not as an ally, but as a state destined to the same fate.

The danger to which Russia succumbed is always present for Germany. Only a bourgeois simpleton is capable of imagining that Bolshevism has been exorcised. With his superficial thinking he has no idea that this is an instinctive process; that is, the striving of the Jewish people for world domination, a process which is just as natural as the urge of the Anglo-Saxon to seize domination of the earth. And just as the Anglo-Saxon pursues this course in his own way and carries on the fight with his own weapons, likewise the Jew. He goes his way, the way of sneaking in among the nations and boring from within, and he fights with his weapons, with lies and slander, poison and corruption, intensifying the struggle to the point of bloodily exterminating his hated foes.

In Russian Bolshevism we must see the attempt undertaken by the Jews in the twentieth century to achieve world domination. Just as in other epochs they strove to reach the same goal by other, though inwardly related processes. Their endeavor lies profoundly rooted in their essential nature.

Germany is today the next great war aim of Bolshevism. It requires all the force of a young missionary idea to raise our people up again, to free them from the snares of this international serpent, and to stop the inner contamination of our blood, in order that the forces of the nation thus set free can be thrown in to safeguard our nationality, and thus can prevent a repetition of the recent catastrophes down to the most distant future.

If we pursue this aim, it is sheer lunacy to ally ourselves with a power whose master is the mortal enemy of our future. How can we expect to free our own people from the fetters of this poisonous embrace if we walk right into it? How shall we explain Bolshevism to the German worker as an accursed crime against humanity if we ally ourselves with the organizations of this spawn of hell, thus recognizing it in the larger sense?

There's always Hitler's ghost asking you to join him in opposing Bolshevism.
Come on TiG, you're better than that. Do you really believe that to oppose Bolshevism is to be pro-Nazi? Do you deny that the Bolsheviks did in many instances (but not all) support party privilege over the interests of the working class, which caused workers to revolt even amongst the "advanced" working class in Moscow? See here.
Its incredible the level of German demonising Commie appeasing propaganda that our societies have absorbed. Take Niemollah's nasty little rant

First they came for the Communists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Communist.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Suggesting that the Nazis were psychopaths who saw everyone as an enemy. Suggesting that Germans were fools to back the Nazis because they were going to end up in a concentration camp. You see its weird but no one seems to notice that Niemollah's message is a disgusting lie about Nazi Germany: many socialists and trade unionist that were put into concentration camps in the early days of the regime were released and reintegrated into the new order. The large majority of Germans were happy with Hitler until it became clear that he had lost the war. And even after Hitler lost the war Hitler still had an approval rating that puts Obama's current rating to shame. But it was a devastatingly accurate portrayal of Bolshevik Russia:

First they came for the Octobrists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not an Octobrist.

Then they came for the Kadets, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Kadet.

Then they came for the Right SRs, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Right SR.

Then they came for the Anarchists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not an Anarchist.

Then they came for the minority nationalists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a minority nationalist.

Then they came for the Left SRs, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Left SR.

Then they came for the Mensheviks, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Menshevik.

Then they came for the Left Communists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Left Communist .

Then they came for the Workers Opposition, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Workers opposition.

Then they came for the Trostkyists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trostskyist.

Then they came for the Zinoviists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Zinoviist.

Then they came for the Bukharinists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Bukharinist.

Then they came for the Kirovoists , and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Kirovist.

Then they came for the Iagodaists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Iagodaist.

Then they came for the Erzovists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Erzovist.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
fuser wrote:
1. Abolish private property.

Well actually, pretty much. However, I'm not about to hand it over to the workers either, I don't see why they'd be any better than the capitalists, really.

2. All power to Soviets.

No. All power goes to the state.

3. In entire world.

By conquering it, sure.
Godlberk wrote:TIG do you reject the possibility of any left critique of the seizure of power by the Bolsheviks? (whilst accepting the constriction of options caused by the historical conditions)

ComradeTim wrote:Come on TiG, you're better than that. Do you really believe that to oppose Bolshevism is to be pro-Nazi?

There is something that both Stalinists and Trotskyists flatly reject about Trotsky, which is still true:

Trotsky wrote:There are some who say that since the actual state that has emerged from the proletarian revolution does not correspond to ideal a priori norms, therefore they turn their backs on it. This is political snobbery, common to pacifist-democratic, libertarian, anarcho-syndicalist and, generally, ultraleft circles of petty-bourgeois intelligentsia. There are others who say that since this state has emerged from the proletarian revolution, therefore every criticism of it is sacrilege and counterrevolution. That is the voice of hypocrisy behind which lurk most often the immediate material interests of certain groups among this very same petty-bourgeois intelligentsia or among the workers’ bureaucracy. These two types – the political snob and the political hypocrite – are readily interchangeable, depending upon personal circumstances. Let us pass them both by.

A Marxist would say that the present-day USSR obviously does not approximate the a priori norms of a Soviet state; let us discover, however, what we failed to foresee when working out the programmatic norms; let us, furthermore, analyze what social factors have distorted the workers’ state; let us check once again if these distortions have extended to the economic foundations of the state, that is to say, if the basic social conquests of the proletarian revolution have been preserved; if these have been preserved, then let us find in what direction they are changing; and let us discover if there obtain in the USSR and on the world arena such factors as may facilitate and hasten the preponderance of progressive trends of development over those of reaction. Such an approach is complex. It brings with it no ready-made key for lazy minds, which the latter love so much. In return, however, it not only preserves one from the two plagues, snobbery and hypocrisy, but also presents the possibility of exerting an active influence upon the fate of the USSR.

The Stalinists are the political hypocrites, the Trotskyists the political snobs. His recommendation is quite, right, we need to look at what's going on in the situation and analyze it completely. In his analysis, and this is again something that both Stalinists and Trotskyists completely reject, the policy of criticism of the Soviet Union must be measured and appropriate:

Trotsky wrote:...some of our comrades say: Since we do not want to become tools of Stalin and his allies we therefore renounce the defense of the USSR. But by this they only demonstrate that their understanding of “defense” coincides essentially with the understanding of the opportunists; they do not think in terms of the independent politics of the proletariat. As a matter of fact, we defend the USSR as we defend the colonies, as we solve all our problems, not by supporting some imperialist governments against others, but by the method of international class struggle in the colonies as well as in the metropolitan centers.

We are not a government party; we are the party of irreconcilable opposition, not only in capitalist countries but also in the USSR. Our tasks, among them the “defense of the USSR”, we realize not through the medium of bourgeois governments and not even through the government of the USSR, but exclusively through the education of the masses through agitation, through explaining to the workers what they should defend and what they should overthrow. Such a “defense” cannot give immediate miraculous results. But we do not even pretend to be miracle workers. As things stand, we are a revolutionary minority. Our work must be directed so that the workers on whom we have influence should correctly appraise events, not permit themselves to be caught unawares, and prepare the general sentiment of their own class for the revolutionary solution of the tasks confronting us.

The defense of the USSR coincides for us with the preparation of world revolution. Only those methods are permissible which do not conflict with the interests of the revolution. The defense of the USSR is related to the world socialist revolution as a tactical task is related to a strategic one. A tactic is subordinated to a strategic goal and in no case can be in contradiction to the latter.

...We must not lose sight for a single moment of the fact that the question of overthrowing the Soviet bureaucracy is for us subordinate to the question of preserving state property in the means of production of the USSR: that the question of preserving state property in the means of production in the USSR is subordinate for us to the question of the world proletarian revolution.

I quote Trotsky so much because he's not only right, but he exposes the hypocrisy of his latter-day followers and the ultra-leftist idealists that tend to see him as some kind of safe and fun alternative to serious business. He, more than any of the other ultra-leftist fools that use his name, would have plenty of good reasons to not take such a position. But he was a better Marxist than that. And this is cold logic.

At the end of the day, there are two active classes: the proletariat and the bourgeoisie.

Fascism is ultimately unsustainable because of the fact that it is reliant upon the petite-bourgousie instead of one of these classes, subordinating it to the bourgeoisie who do not like fascism, but find it as a useful battering ram against the proletariat.

After the conquest of the Soviets, there was a multi-party state in what would become the USSR. Those with means also had the press, and they began to print lies about the government (mostly Bolsheviks, but also Left-SRs and Mensheviks) signing treaties with the Germans and surrendering Russia to become part of Germany. There was widespread press demanding pogroms. In many cases, groups of Jews were turning up dead at the hands of panicked people new to print news.

The government then restricted freedom of the press. This was followed by assassinations, by White Armies bringing in the Germans, the Americans, the British, the Japanese, to invade Russia. In this crises, things tightened up. The Bolsheviks had already absorbed many of the most revolutionary members of other parties in the October Revolution. As the revolution became increasingly at risk, the Reds absorbed more radicals and revolutionaries—just as the Whites absorbed every reactionary and bigot in Russia. The Reds consolidated under the power of the Bolsheviks, which won the war.

Those that opposed the Bolsheviks opposed the Reds. In a war like this, there was no being neutral—it meant support of the Whites. When the Whites lost, they went abroad—many of them consolidating under a love of fascism that had been developing amongst the Whites since before the civil war.

So is anyone that criticizes the Soviets a fascist? Not really, but fascism is the logical and historical counter to the Bolsheviks—even the radical-leftists that decided they wanted the proto-fascists to beat the people trying to defend worker committees.

To go back to the start, was the Soviet implementation perfect? No. It does not mean that you try to burn the whole thing down wholesale though.

ComradeTim wrote:Do you deny that the Bolsheviks did in many instances (but not all) support party privilege over the interests of the working class, which caused workers to revolt even amongst the "advanced" working class in Moscow? See here.

Lenin wrote:As a result, the political situation in the spring of 1921 was such that immediate, very resolute and urgent measures had to be taken to improve the condition of the peasants and to increase their productive forces.

Why the peasants and not the workers?

Because you need grain and fuel to improve the condition of the workers. This is the biggest “hitch” at the present time, from the standpoint of the economy as a whole. For it is impossible to increase the production and collection of grain and the storage and delivery of fuel except by improving the condition of the peasantry, and raising their productive forces. We must start with the peasantry. Those who fail to understand this, and think this putting the peasantry in the forefront is “renunciation” of the dictatorship of the proletariat, or something like that, simply do not stop to think, and allow themselves to be swayed by the power of words. The dictatorship of the proletariat is the direction of policy by the proletariat. The proletariat, as the leading and ruling class, must be able to direct policy in such a way as to solve first the most urgent and “vexed” problem. The most urgent thing at the present time is to take measures that will immediately increase the productive forces of peasant farming. Only in this way will it be possible to improve the condition of the workers, strengthen the alliance between the workers and peasants, and consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat. The proletarian or representative of the proletariat who refused to improve the condition of the workers in this way would in fact prove himself to be an accomplice of the whiteguards and the capitalists; to refuse to do it in this way means putting the craft interests of the workers above their class interests, and sacrificing the interests of the whole of the working class, its dictatorship, its alliance with the peasantry against the landowners and capitalists, and its leading role in the struggle for the emancipation of labour from the yoke of capital, for the sake of an immediate, short-term and partial advantage for the workers.

Thus, the first thing we need is immediate and serious measures to raise the productive forces of the peasantry.

This cannot be done without making important changes in our food policy. One such change was the replacement of the surplus appropriation system by the tax in kind, which implies a free market, at least in local economic exchange, after the tax has been paid.

What is the essence of this change?

Wrong ideas on this point are widespread. They are due mainly to the fact that no attempt is being made to study the meaning of the transition or to determine its implications, it being assumed that the change is from communism in general to the bourgeois system in general. To counteract this mistake, one has to refer to what was said in May 1918.

The tax in kind is one of the forms of transition from that peculiar War Communism, which was forced on us by extreme want, ruin and war, to regular socialist exchange of products. The latter, in its turn, is one of the forms of transition from socialism, with the peculiar features due to the predominantly small-peasant population, to communism.

Under this peculiar War Communism we actually took from the peasant all his surpluses—and sometimes even a part of his necessaries—to meet the requirements of the army and sustain the workers. Most of it we took on loan, for paper money. But for that, we would not have beaten the landowners and capitalists in a ruined small-peasant country. The fact that we did (in spite of the help our exploiters got from the most powerful countries of the world) shows not only the miracles of heroism the workers and peasants can perform in the struggle for their emancipation; it also shows that when the Mensheviks, Socialist-Revolutionaries and Kautsky and Co. blamed us for this War Communism they were acting as lackeys of the bourgeoisie. We deserve credit for it.

Just how much credit is a fact of equal importance. It was the war and the ruin that forced us into War Communism. It was not, and could not be, a policy that corresponded to the economic tasks of the proletariat. It was a makeshift. The correct policy of the proletariat exercising its dictatorship in a small-peasant country is to obtain grain in exchange for the manufactured goods the peasant needs. That is the only kind of food policy that corresponds to the tasks of the proletariat, and can strengthen the foundations of socialism and lead to its complete victory.

Nobody wanted War Communism. Not the Bolsheviks, not the peasants, not the workers. But it had to be done as the White Armies went through and decimated everything with the aid of every other major power on Earth.

Your complaint about the Soviets having to put down a food riot in 1921 (the same time, incidentally, Lenin finally was able to scrap the hated War Communism) is akin to beating someone's face so bad that his teeth break, and then accusing the dentist of cruelty when pulling a broken tooth from his mouth.
Dagoth Ur wrote:That people are valued solely for their contributions not what they own. This erodes stratification, eliminates unnatural hierarchy, and is the key to the end of the division of labor.

This still doesn't explain anything. What I'm asking you and fuser is who will have the authority to decide how capital will be used?
Those who actually use the capital will be the final authority on it's usage (through a worker's Soviet).

Of course there are examples of where this kind of local autonomy would not be possible, like in the case of war, but socialism is presumed to be global and peaceful so this isn't really an issue. I'm sure that we will set up some kind of military hierarchy between the Soviets but that is a matter for policy-makers at the actual time.

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