Senter wrote:During the period of the establishment of socialism in a capitalist country, for some time there would be socialist and capitalist enterprises operating "side-by-side". This stage is called "Democratic Socialism" or "Social Democracy". But throughout this stage the co-ops must be on guard against sliding more and more into capitalist structures as it will be constantly encouraged from all sides by "outside" capitalist influences. Unfortunately, this reversion back into capitalism is underway today in several European social-democratic countries. The economic crisis is creating an opportunity for capitalist-roaders to realize greater success.
Stardust wrote:Doesn't this highlight the economic dynamics of Capitalism, and the fact that under the capitalist 'political and military rule', such dynamics are directed to create opportunities for the 'Capitalists', and them only.
We must not be naive, if Socialism - a classless society - is our goal; we cannot possibly work with the existing system (no matter how different in our own isolated structures we act), 'hoping' that someday we will be able to ‘reform’ this society from its basis.
Senter wrote:If socialism is "the dictatorship of the proletariat", how is it "classless society"? Marx makes it clear that it is class society, but with the working class as the ruling class.
Sure, literally speaking, Senter; you do have a point here. However, “Socialism” and “Communism” are often used interchangeably. And, in this paragraph, I was referring to what is actually understood as “Communism”. So, we should read:
“If Communism – a classless society – is our goal…”
I believe that Socialism is a transitory stage, starting immediately after the overthrow of the political and military powers of Capitalism, by the people, workers and the revolutionaries. This stage to begin with, is a class based society, as inherited from Capitalism. And therefore, the necessary measures for the elimination of the classes will be required; so by the end of this atage, and just before the beginning of Communism; any traces of a class based society – in the economy, policy and cultural spheres – will be done away with permanently.
The duration of this transitory stage (Socialism) which will act as a bridge between the two – the old and the new systems of society (Capitalism and Communism) – will depend on how agreeable the situation after the overthrow of the Capitalist powers is – i.e. How the economy has developed in terms of productivity, how quickly will it be possible to re-organise and maintain the new economic order, how well the political situation is: Will there be peace (unlikely), or (organised) attacks by (the defenders of) Capitalism; and how the society has developed culturally, and so forth...
Stardust wrote:We cannot use the Capitalist model of ‘gaining power’ from the ruling class, as the change from Feudalism to Capitalism was a change from one type of class based society to another, i.e. not different in their cores; whilst our aim today, is creation of a society fundamentally different from all those before.
Senter wrote:Our aim today is also to change from one type of class society to another.
No indeed, our ‘aim’ is not, and should not be so, i.e. a class-based society. Otherwise, why bother the efforts? And, as I have pointed out above, the transitory Socialist phase, will only act as the means to an end; nature and duration of which will entirely depend on the existing circumstances of society after the seizure of power from capitalism. If the circumstances are favourable, this stage may well be very short-lived.
Actually, I am surprised at you Senter, as from your earlier posts my understanding was that as a ‘Socialist’ – as you refer to yourself – you also stand for a ‘classless society’. If that is not the case, then what do you really stand for..?
Senter wrote:It would be as fundamentally different from capitalism as capitalism was from feudalism.
Again, as mentioned earlier; the difference would not be the same in nature. The transition from Feudalism to Capitalism, did not lead to the elimination of the classes; but it replaced the existing main classes with the new classes, i.e. Capitalists and Workers, as oppose to the Lords and Peasants. Whilst, Socialism aims to fundamentally change this reality, by the elimination of all classes…
Stardust wrote:The revolution, as 'violent', 'disorderly' and 'unideal' as it may sound; is not what the workers and the revolutionaries 'want', but unfortunately under the Capitalistic realities 'is' the only way which leads to the 'real and lasting solutions'.
Senter wrote:How do we know how it would work out unless we try it? Violent revolution didn't work in Russia, China, and elsewhere.
Haven’t revolutions already happened in the history of the class-based societies, including that of Capitalism? As I pointed out earlier, the revolution will not be violent because anyone tries to make it so (well, except from the ruling class and its political – military apparatus), but it will be at some stage; because Capitalism doesn’t want to let go of all the privileges it has been enjoying for decades.
And, that’s exactly how it happened in the countries you have referred to.
Stardust wrote:If the workers, revolutionaries and the progressive thinkers today do not organise and ‘plan’ on how things need to be done to achieve Socialism- both, during and after the revolution; the violent uprisings will come about ‘nevertheless’, due to the deepening of the unwanted and difficult circumstances for majority of the people on the planet. And, we see that happening every day, in the different parts of the world. We see how peaceful protests, demonstrations and strikes turn violent by the police and the state militaries. But the tragedies will be created, one after another; for the lack of vision, and not knowing exactly where we should be aiming for. Such thing will make most of the movements futile, and the efforts will go down the drains…
Senter wrote:But unlike in the 1920s, we have no workers' organization popular and powerful enough to rally the people. Don't you see that by working to develop workers' co-ops we buy the time and presence needed to develop support, guidance, assistance, a party, and a real alternative again for the workers as we had in the 1920s? Today, bourgeois theory that destroyed the 1920s workers' movement along with bourgeois laws, will remain standing against any effort to develop a revolutionary theory of action that the working class can commit to. There are too many ingrained biases and distortions in people's minds due to such brainwashing propaganda. But actual results on the ground that serve the working class would win out over the propaganda, and a popular movement could develop again. But with only words you'll be waging an uphill battle. And if you would also advocate workers' action and fighting for workers' rights, then why would you exclude building of workers' work places?
Although, it may seem difficult and unattainable to some, but I do believe that the formation of a powerful and influential Workers’ Party, and its route to a successful revolution; should come about through the everyday, actual struggles of the working class (on the ground), with the intellectual help of the progressive thinkers and visionaries. And we have these today, there are people who struggle, and work hard in both areas (which are and should also be; interconnected). We just need to keep open eyes to see these movements, and try to keep up with and/or contribute to them in the ways we’re able to.
However, people have different conceptions of the realities, and no one can stop them from doing so. I am only as much against ‘the idea’ of your suggested model, as it does not ‘aim for’ or offer ‘practical’ lasting solutions to the existing realities of our day.
If you are confident that such model will work, by all means why not try it; however, I think that within the context of Capitalism, it would ‘at best’ only succeed in producing some exemplary, but unconnected and short-lived models for the real revolutionary changes to follow.
Stardust wrote:Therefore, our efforts today, should not be on how to ‘reform’ the existing system, under the political and military rule of Capitalism; so it would somehow evolve’ ‘gradually’, because that would be and has proven to be wishing the impossible!
Senter wrote:Proved impossible? Where, when, how?
Well, ‘reforms’ have so far proven to only lead to the temporary fixes. They do not offer lasting, quality changes that the working class really need.
Senter wrote:So according to that statement, you would entirely exclude any effort for reforms. Do you really believe pure theory can win over the working class? How many of them?
I think the answer to this, is given earlier on in this post, where I have pointed out how I think the Workers’ Party should take shape. Therefore, I am not against the everyday struggles of the working class for the improvement of their living conditions, real income, to have a say in the economic and political decision makings and so forth; however, I do think that such struggles should be joined with the struggles for the revolutionary changes – the efforts to abolish the foundations of the existing order, and bring about Socialism. Otherwise, with the Capitalist domination of power in societies; any reform could only do so much.
Stardust wrote:It is clear that such need (the need for state) will be gradually built up from ‘within’ a Socialist society, and certainly ‘not’ from within Capitalism. Let us not try to distort the original Marxian writings.
I need to make a typing correction here I’m afraid, as the section in the parenthesis, i.e. (the need for state), should have been in fact (the need for the ‘withering’ of the State). As you have probably noted, Socialists believe that the need for the workers’ State, will arise immediately after the overthrowing of the Bourgeoisie State; and it will remain so as long as the classes have not entirely been done away with.
Senter wrote:I didn't. I wrote what you said in somewhat different words. No distortion involved. The claim I was addressing is there to be read, and it was that socialist society is "classless", which is incorrect. And I addressed it.
But you implicitly did so. Let me quote the part in your argument which I was referring to:
Senter wrote:In Marxist-Leninist theory, communism is the end-game. It is a society and economy that will be stateless and classless. There will be no state apparatus to run the country because none will be needed, and there will be no classes because the "bourgeoisie" (capitalists) will have long ago given up all hope of private enterprises. Again, in Marxian terminology, the state will have "withered away".Communism cannot be imposed, then. People cannot be forced to give up their hope for a private business with private profits so classes cannot be ended by edict. And the state apparatus cannot reasonable be dismantled and eliminated by edict or decision. it all must naturally evolve. The state and class identity must "wither away."
Which clarifies the fact that you are for the ‘reforms’ and against the ‘revolution’.
You tried to use the Marxian theories, against what they actually stand for. As according to you, the ‘withering of state’ implies that there is no need for a revolution in Capitalism, and therefore we should make efforts to reform it and make that state to wither away. Whilst, as I pointed out earlier, that was not the case, and the original Marxian writings do not suggest such thing.
I see no need to answer to the rest of your argument, as they have already been answered in this post.
Just one point though, you have mentioned that: Marx spoke of “revolution”, he never qualified it as “violent”.
Not mentioning the word “violent” (in these specific writings); does not disqualify the nature of the revolution being as such. Marx, like the other revolutionary thinkers of his era, was fully aware that the revolutionary changes of societies cannot be achieved peacefully – from both; the historical experiences, and the current occurrences of his own time – because those in power won’t allow them to be otherwise.
Furthermore, Marx did not confine himself to the theoretical work only, but he dedicated most of his active life to the practice of his revolutionary theories – from writing for the radical newspapers, to his involvement with the Communist league, the foundation of the First International, and more… That is how he taught us to be, and precisely how our goals will be attainable.
Antonio Gramsci, Prison Notebooks 1929 - 1935