How withered does it get? - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

Wandering the information superhighway, he came upon the last refuge of civilization, PoFo, the only forum on the internet ...

Discourse exclusively on the basis of historical materialist methodology.
Forum rules: No one line posts please. This forum is for discussion based on Marxism, Marxism-Leninism and similar revisions. Critique of topics not based on historical materialism belongs in the general Communism forum.
User avatar
By AuRomin
#14655144
Marx often wrote that the withering away of the state will naturally occur after the state is demolished and the bourgeois are replaced by a so called dictatorship of the proletariat. What are your opinions on how the state withers, such as:

-Does the state fully disappear?

-Does the withering happen naturally, or does there need to be another revolution or power change for this to happen? (realistically or ideologically)

-Is it realistic to want the state to wither? Or is this phrase simply used by Marx to explain the optimizing of the state?

I would like to know personal opinions, not just the accepted interpretation of Marx. The main reason why I ask this is because Marx seemed to want a society without government other than by the people (as an anarchist might propose), but wished his ideologies to remain separate from anarchism, because rather than an immediate change from the state existing to not, communism would provide a slow descent from the state to self-government. I would assume from this that he wanted a sort of stream-lining of the state, because in the end abolition of the state is just abolition of the state, no matter how you get there (you can't depend on the culture or society to keep itself static).
#14655161
The state functions as the formal mechanism for resolving contradictory interests, reserving the use of force for those occasions where it becomes necessary. Given the evolved nature of the human species, it's unlikely that need will ever disappear, regardless of whatever other forces may be in operation.
#14655169
For this discussion, I really like Freeman Dyson's idea of how biotech will alter the future economy:



How can a system based on scarcity persist when the technology to supply yourself with abundance is ubiquitous?
#14655170
Withering refers to two processes -
1. The reduction of responsibilities of the state from primarily functioning as an enforcer of the status quo to its more mundane responsibilities such as maintenance and protection of the people from external threats.
2. The transfer of day-to-day duties from the state to local communities, which erodes the physical presence of the state.

None of us will ever see such things so this is all pretty much pure theory. We couldn't fit into such a society.
#14655717
Ummon wrote:For this discussion, I really like Freeman Dyson's idea of how biotech will alter the future economy:



How can a system based on scarcity persist when the technology to supply yourself with abundance is ubiquitous?

I admit I didn't watch the video (I prefer writings; videos are too slow) but it seems like he wants us to grow everything.

But is there enough fertile land and humus for this? Ecologists want to use wood for heating, they want to use wood for their houses, they want bio/organic food (20% more land for fruits, twice more land for cereals, tens of times more land for cows, etc), they want swamps to purge water, they want plants to produce their drugs and clothes. And now they want to grow their smartphones out of the soil?

I know that anyway ecologists plan to eradicate children and kill 90% of the world population, and turn them all vegan. But even under those parameters I doubt there is enough fertile land. Soon they will manage to turn a very fertile country like France into a giant forest where everyone will die because we can't eat trees.


In comparison steel and many other things are perfectly recyclable and this only costs energy, which we can produce from solar power, nuclear fusion and waste. In the future we could perfectly have robots build everything, recycle 100% of what is worth recycling, rendering the extraction of more resources useless because we already have enough. Good old fashioned industry actually works and it may be made less harmful than some so-called ecological "solutions".

Physical considerations should prevail over ideology, as opposed to what we are currently doing in ecology, this ideology that attempts to solve real problems with religion. So, is there enough fertile land for this? Can the humus sustain this?
#14655740
Well, from Freeman Dyson's perspective things like machinery and the background support system of engineers, technical experts, etc that you need for old industrial infrastructure are very expensive whereas for a biological economy you just need dirt and the sun. The truth is it probably won't be an either/or type of thing, but they'll go hand in hand. Let me give an example. Say you want to break up an asteroid, but you don't want to spend a lot of time, energy, or resources to do so. Well, you could prep a large swath of space with biological cells designed to "eat" some of the asteroid in order to break it into components and make it easier to manufacture. Then perhaps you can take the plant material and process it to extract other nutrients. So suddenly something like the asteroid belt becomes relatively easy to manufacture from. You can just send mini-probes loaded with genetically pre-programmed seeds and have them shoot a couple at different sites on an asteroid and in say a few years you'll have a large harvest of raw materials for processing that could be taken back to Earth in several orders of magnitude less time than it would take to build robot excavation teams for each asteroid. Space is not really a limiting factor because we could use the suface area of space to our advantage and all of the materials there. Space manufacturing will be a really exciting thing to see unfold.
#14655742
Ummon wrote:Well, from Freeman Dyson's perspective things like machinery and the background support system of engineers, technical experts, etc that you need for old industrial infrastructure are very expensive whereas for a biological economy you just need dirt and the sun.

But what "expensive" means? You need more energy in one case and more natural exclusive resources on the other hand. Energy will be cheaper and cheaper while exclusive resources will always be as expensive as today whatever our economic systems and technology will be. And when it comes to labor, I do not think production will still need humans but managing vast lands is more likely to take more labor than managing a factory.

Economically this does not make sense to me. On the opposite exclusive resources such as land will be the bulk of value.

The truth is it probably won't be an either/or type of thing, but they'll go hand in hand.

Sure and I advocate for the development of GMO. But I do not think organic production will ever be important. There may already be too much strain on the environment.

Paradoxically self-claimed ecologists are currently increasing the burden on the environment because they want Nature to produce everything because they see Nature as cool/holy/good. I expect that many developed countries will raze their old forests to replace them with industrial forests of fast-growing species that will exhaust the humus and turn the land into dirty barrens.

Space is not really a limiting factor because we could use the suface area of space to our advantage and all of the materials there. Space manufacturing will be a really exciting thing to see unfold.

I am not convinced that spatial industries will rely heavily or significantly on organic productions as we will likely have something better, but Neil Stephenson's biotech habitats were certainly cool to imagine and biotech will be needed for terraforming.
#15074391
AuRomin wrote:
Marx often wrote that the withering away of the state will naturally occur after the state is demolished and the bourgeois are replaced by a so called dictatorship of the proletariat. What are your opinions on how the state withers, such as:

-Does the state fully disappear?



Technological implementations aside, I think global society would still need to 'upgrade' our 'social software' since capitalism's market mechanism and use of exchange values is just too problematic, regardless.

Keep in mind that the 'state' here *has to mean* a *workers state*, because without a way to proactively repress the bourgeois ruling class, there is no proletarian revolution or dictatorship-of-the-proletariat. My understanding, and that of many, is that 'dictatorship of the proletariat' *equals* 'workers state', which is all a *transition* to the post-class humanity of complete collective self-organization of social production, or 'communism'.


AuRomin wrote:
-Does the withering happen naturally, or does there need to be another revolution or power change for this to happen? (realistically or ideologically)



The idea here is that the workers state would be relatively specialized compared to the population as a whole, even in the midst of international revolutionary mass upheavals against class rule -- it would either be a diffuse, ad hoc, 'vanguard', by participation, or would be an even-more specialized, institutional-type *vanguard party*.

Given that this revolutionary leadership, however composed, would be a *fraction* of the global population, numerically, once the bourgeoisie has been overthrown this 'vanguard' function would immediately be superseded by *humanity as a whole*. Dialectically the vanguard apparatus would instantly become vestigal and the world's population could then simply coordinate its own global production, with the ruling-class foot off of its neck, and no longer existing at all. I have a model for this post-class situation:


Emergent Central Planning

Spoiler: show
Image



AuRomin wrote:
-Is it realistic to want the state to wither? Or is this phrase simply used by Marx to explain the optimizing of the state?



Post-class / post-state humanity wouldn't *need* a state because such would then be *backwards* and anarchronistic in the new, historically-progressive context of worldwide classless society. A state is only necessary, objectively, for specialized, caste-like coordination for the sake of elitism, to uphold a social in-group (private property owners), against a social out-group (laborers).

So vanguardist revolutionary aims are to *wield* that state, or *a* state -- a *workers* state -- in the interests of the workers, to *repress* the class foe, which is exactly what a bureaucratic state apparatus can do, through high-level, broad-scope coordination -- a revolutionary vanguard.

Anarchist "concerns" about this workers state apparatus lingering-on after a successful proletarian revolution, by 'retaining power', are bullshit because, again, this state apparatus, then as now, would numerically be a *tiny* percentage of the overall population -- a formality, really -- and, with the superseding of bourgeois class rule, humanity would have no impediments anymore against it, to collectively self-organize social production on a global scale. The vanguard or vanguard party could not 'stay in power' because there *would be no* 'power' existing anymore in society as we're so used to knowing it these days. With elitism (class) gone, there's no power at-stake, or even existing, to fuss over.

A historical vanguardist, post-revolution, could conceivably *try* to tell someone to 'do it this way', and they would rightly be laughed-at because society could just do it itself, without that person, in the way that it collectively deems to be best. Anyone's individual opinion or advice would be just that -- one person's opinion or advice, and worthless without a larger, liberated workforce that would be the ones doing the actual work for the social good.

AuRomin wrote:
I would like to know personal opinions, not just the accepted interpretation of Marx. The main reason why I ask this is because Marx seemed to want a society without government other than by the people (as an anarchist might propose), but wished his ideologies to remain separate from anarchism, because rather than an immediate change from the state existing to not, communism would provide a slow descent from the state to self-government. I would assume from this that he wanted a sort of stream-lining of the state, because in the end abolition of the state is just abolition of the state, no matter how you get there (you can't depend on the culture or society to keep itself static).



I'll repeat myself, just briefly, reiterating that the withering-away would happen *instantly*, dialectically, because once the class divide no longer exists, humanity would be a whole, finally, and so could collectively self-organize, especially over social production.

'Self-government' wouldn't really be a thing, because there would be no government / state, because there would no longer be any elitism to uphold. Everyone would be in the exact same boat, on planet Earth, and could only make gains by coordinating with anyone and everyone else, as to what should be produced, and for what reasons.

Any conceivable 'anti-social' behavior could be handled instantly, in a 'swarming ad-hoc' kind of way, I'd imagine, with consideration and care for the person having the problem. The history, then, of a global proletarian revolution that brought humanity to that post-class point, I think would go a long way to establishing social norms of egalitarianism and a sense of collective accomplishment that would cut against any possible anti-social sentiment, for a long time afterwards.


quetzalcoatl wrote:
The state functions as the formal mechanism for resolving contradictory interests, reserving the use of force for those occasions where it becomes necessary. Given the evolved nature of the human species, it's unlikely that need will ever disappear, regardless of whatever other forces may be in operation.



I have to *disagree* with you on this, unfortunately, because if we're talking about a *post-class* context, then there would no longer be any 'contradictory interests' to resolve.

If we're talking about the *transitional* period where the bourgeois ruling class is proactively being repressed, then, yes, I would agree here that a (workers) state would be 'resolving contradictory interests', by actively repressing the bourgeoisie and its elitist control of the means of mass production, so that such could instead be directed towards meeting human need as a socio-political priority.


[7] Syndicalism-Socialism-Communism Transition Diagram

Spoiler: show
Image



Dagoth Ur wrote:
Withering refers to two processes -

1. The reduction of responsibilities of the state from primarily functioning as an enforcer of the status quo to its more mundane responsibilities such as maintenance and protection of the people from external threats.



If the timeframe is *post-class*, then there's no longer a need for a state *at all*, because there would be nothing left that's 'external' -- everything would be 'internal', to humanity as a whole, worldwide.

If 'the people' wanted to form some kind of 'civil society security force', then that would be under their discretion, in that society, at that time.


Dagoth Ur wrote:
2. The transfer of day-to-day duties from the state to local communities, which erodes the physical presence of the state.
None of us will ever see such things so this is all pretty much pure theory. We couldn't fit into such a society.



I'll argue that 'duties', whatever those may be, should ultimately be at the *individual's* discretion in a post-class society.

I'm even critical of the 'community' entity, since such is *geography*-based and is not necessarily socially productive.

In my 'labor credits' / 'Emergent Central Planning' model I have the necessarily-geographically-bound local self-grouping called a 'locality' which is primarily for aggregating mass demands, and for consumption-in-common:


Emergent Central Planning

Spoiler: show
Image



labor credits framework for 'communist supply & demand'

Spoiler: show
Image


https://www.revleft.space/vb/threads/20 ... ost2889338


communist supply & demand -- Model of Material Factors

Spoiler: show
Image


https://www.revleft.space/vb/threads/20 ... ost2889338

So the WP data shows 14 unarmed black people sho[…]

My positive thing is about North African culture[…]

So when an actor playing a mom on TV says, "[…]

Election 2020

Even if Biden "copies" Trump's policies[…]