The Two Forms of Socialism - 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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#15109254
Senter wrote:Both his alternatives for "socialism" are references to state capitalism. Neither one is actually socialism, which is a socioeconomic system in which the working class owns and actively runs and controls the MoP. But in all the examples you listed in your post the state owns and dictates to workers. That is not liberation of workers!

At this point most of the opposition would turn to dictionary definitions of socialism. If that's what you want to do, please do.

I have no quarrel with you ; and for that matter don't even get your point any more than you seem to understand what I was attempting to get at . I will simply reiterate that what socialism definitively is comes down to subjective semantics . For instance , while I , and maybe you as well , would consider Tito's Yugoslav model of worker's self management to be a prime real world example of socialism , the likes of Stalin and Mao would beg to differ . https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titoism#Ideology , https://www.marxists.org/history/international/comintern/sino-soviet-split/cpc/yugoslavia.htm , https://revolutionarydemocracy.org/archive/latest.htm Lastly , you have resorted to the " No True Scotsman" argument .
#15109576
Senter wrote:
Well, in the first place I completely reject Ludwig von Mises and anything he says. I'm no genius but I can refute everything I've seen him say with a few facts.

Both his alternatives for "socialism" are references to state capitalism. Neither one is actually socialism, which is a socioeconomic system in which the working class owns and actively runs and controls the MoP. But in all the examples you listed in your post the state owns and dictates to workers. That is not liberation of workers!

At this point most of the opposition would turn to dictionary definitions of socialism. If that's what you want to do, please do.



Deutschmania wrote:
I have no quarrel with you ; and for that matter don't even get your point any more than you seem to understand what I was attempting to get at . I will simply reiterate that what socialism definitively is comes down to subjective semantics . For instance , while I , and maybe you as well , would consider Tito's Yugoslav model of worker's self management to be a prime real world example of socialism , the likes of Stalin and Mao would beg to differ . https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titoism#Ideology , https://www.marxists.org/history/international/comintern/sino-soviet-split/cpc/yugoslavia.htm , https://revolutionarydemocracy.org/archive/latest.htm Lastly , you have resorted to the " No True Scotsman" argument . QRG9Gq-xtr8



The denotation of socialism definitely does *not* 'come down to subjective semantics', because you then proceed to provide an alternative *objective* definition for it, in the Titoist 'flavor':



Elements of Titoism are characterized by policies and practices based on the principle that in each country the means of attaining ultimate communist goals must be dictated by the conditions of that particular country, rather than by a pattern set in another country. It is distinct from Joseph Stalin's socialism in one country theory as Tito advocated cooperation between nations through the Non-Aligned Movement while at the same time pursuing socialism in whatever ways best suited particular nations.



https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titoism#Ideology




In the economic theory of self-management, workers are no longer employees but partners in the administration of their enterprise. Management theories in favor of greater self-management and self-directed activity cite the importance of autonomy for productivity in the firm and economists in favor of self-management argue that cooperatives are more efficient than centrally-managed firms because every worker receives a portion of the profit, thereby directly tying their productivity to their level of compensation.



https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Workers ... management



Contrast this Titoist approach to that of the original Communist Manifesto, for example:



[The] Manifesto was later recognised as one of the world's most influential political documents. It presents an analytical approach to the class struggle (historical and then-present) and the conflicts of capitalism and the capitalist mode of production, rather than a prediction of communism's potential future forms.

The Communist Manifesto summarises Marx and Engels' theories concerning the nature of society and politics, namely that in their own words "[t]he history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles". It also briefly features their ideas for how the capitalist society of the time would eventually be replaced by socialism. In the last paragraph of the Manifesto, the authors call for a "forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions", which served as a call for communist revolutions around the world.[1][2]



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Communist_Manifesto



And here's the quintessential historical example of its manifestation:



The October Revolution had followed and capitalized on the February Revolution earlier in the year. The February Revolution had overthrown the Tsarist autocracy, resulting in a provisional government. The provisional government had taken power after being proclaimed by Grand Duke Michael, Tsar Nicholas II's younger brother, who declined to take power after the Tsar stepped down.

During this time, urban workers began to organize into councils (soviets) wherein revolutionaries criticized the provisional government and its actions. After the Congress of Soviets, the new governing body, had its second session it elected members of the Bolsheviks and other left-wing groups such as the Left Socialist Revolutionaries (Left SR) to important positions within the new state of affairs. This immediately initiated the establishment of the Russian Soviet Republic. On 17 July 1918,[c] the Tsar and his family, including his five children aged 13 to 22, were executed.

The revolution was led by the Bolsheviks, who used their influence in the Petrograd Soviet to organize the armed forces. Bolshevik Red Guards forces under the Military-Revolutionary Committee began the occupation of government buildings on 25 October (O.S.; 7 November, N.S.), 1917. The following day, the Winter Palace (the seat of the Provisional government located in Petrograd, then capital of Russia) was captured.

The slogan of the October revolution was All Power to the Soviets, meaning all power to grassroots democratically elected councils.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/October_Revolution



So, DM, contrary to your characterization of 'socialism' being about 'subjective semantics', it can instead be most accurately defined in the direction of *workers power*, in contrast and opposition to *private property ownership* and subdivided control / power over subdivided parcels of private land.
#15109583
Rancid wrote:
The second form of "communism" sounds like China. That is, it's not really communism, more like state managed capitalism.



You mean the Bolshevik / October Revolution?

No, I'll remind that the proletarian revolution had to start *somewhere* -- the Bolshevik Revolution aimed to spread workers power *internationally*, and not to contain it into a single nation-state, as with Stalinism or Maoism.


Political Spectrum, Simplified

Spoiler: show
Image



And:


Ideologies & Operations -- Fundamentals

Spoiler: show
Image
#15109586
ckaihatsu wrote:You mean the Bolshevik / October Revolution?


No, I mean China's state managed capitalism. How the hell do you think I'm talking about the USSR when my post was on modern China? :?:
#15109590
Rancid wrote:
The second form of "communism" sounds like China. That is, it's not really communism, more like state managed capitalism.



ckaihatsu wrote:
You mean the Bolshevik / October Revolution?

No, I'll remind that the proletarian revolution had to start *somewhere* -- the Bolshevik Revolution aimed to spread workers power *internationally*, and not to contain it into a single nation-state, as with Stalinism or Maoism.


Political Spectrum, Simplified

Spoiler: show
Image



And:


Ideologies & Operations -- Fundamentals

Spoiler: show
Image



Rancid wrote:
No, I mean China's state managed capitalism. How the hell do you think I'm talking about the USSR when my post was on modern China? :?:



There's no need to be rude, and you were initially referencing my post, in which I did not mention China at all.

Mao's China, Stalin's Russia, and even Tito's Yugoslavia, can all be considered as forms of *revisionism*, because none of those examples actually empowered the *workers* of those countries at all, which is what (workers-of-the-world) socialism is *all about*.
#15109591
ckaihatsu wrote:There's no need to be rude, and you were initially referencing my post, in which I did not mention China at all.

I was not referencing your post. I was responding to the opening premise of this thread.
#15110014
Deutschmania wrote:I have no quarrel with you ; and for that matter don't even get your point any more than you seem to understand what I was attempting to get at . I will simply reiterate that what socialism definitively is comes down to subjective semantics . For instance , while I , and maybe you as well , would consider Tito's Yugoslav model of worker's self management to be a prime real world example of socialism , the likes of Stalin and Mao would beg to differ .

There is no argument that socialism is capitalism. Most interested people know the two are opposites. Capitalism involves the rule of the capitalist class over the working class, and socialism involves the rule of the working class over the capitalist class. The rest of the story is about the particular details of the implementation in any particular country and based on the specific conditions in that country.

The strategy that interests me does the best job of gradually "tuning" the specifics to the needs over time, as was done in the implementation of capitalism in feudal society. So specifically, that strategy advocates the development of worker-owned, worker-controlled cooperative corporations and the election of politicians who favor legislation to accommodate and facilitate that process. And that would be nothing like the process of violent revolution by those you mentioned.
#15110100
Senter wrote:
There is no argument that socialism is capitalism. Most interested people know the two are opposites. Capitalism involves the rule of the capitalist class over the working class, and socialism involves the rule of the working class over the capitalist class. The rest of the story is about the particular details of the implementation in any particular country and based on the specific conditions in that country.

The strategy that interests me does the best job of gradually "tuning" the specifics to the needs over time, as was done in the implementation of capitalism in feudal society. So specifically, that strategy advocates the development of worker-owned, worker-controlled cooperative corporations and the election of politicians who favor legislation to accommodate and facilitate that process. And that would be nothing like the process of violent revolution by those you mentioned.



But, *strategically*, it's a common misnomer that capitalism's own political processes can get society *to* socialism -- this bad strategy is called 'parliamentarism':



Marx and Engels considered this a fatal delusion for the socialist movement, believing it would only waste time and allow reactionary forces to grow stronger. Marx, particularly, held the view that parliaments are indirectly representing the interests of classes but resolve problems superficially, with its politics ideologically displaced and abstracted from social conditions.[5] This means, for Marx, that parliamentary cretinism creates an imaginary world without sense, memory, and understanding of the real world.[6] This condition perpetuates parliamentarism by defending it against the proletariat through the destruction of the Parliament itself to reinforce the executive branch.[7]



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliamentary_cretinism
#15110323
ckaihatsu wrote:But, *strategically*, it's a common misnomer that capitalism's own political processes can get society *to* socialism -- this bad strategy is called 'parliamentarism':

With all of that being said however , Marx also stated these things .
The Communists do not form a separate party opposed to the other working-class parties.

They have no interests separate and apart from those of the proletariat as a whole.

They do not set up any sectarian principles of their own, by which to shape and mould the proletarian movement.

The Communists are distinguished from the other working-class parties by this only: 1. In the national struggles of the proletarians of the different countries, they point out and bring to the front the common interests of the entire proletariat, independently of all nationality. 2. In the various stages of development which the struggle of the working class against the bourgeoisie has to pass through, they always and everywhere represent the interests of the movement as a whole.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/ch02.htm
The Communists fight for the attainment of the immediate aims, for the enforcement of the momentary interests of the working class; but in the movement of the present, they also represent and take care of the future of that movement. In France, the Communists ally with the Social-Democrats(1) against the conservative and radical bourgeoisie, reserving, however, the right to take up a critical position in regard to phases and illusions traditionally handed down from the great Revolution.

In Switzerland, they support the Radicals, without losing sight of the fact that this party consists of antagonistic elements, partly of Democratic Socialists, in the French sense, partly of radical bourgeois... In short, the Communists everywhere support every revolutionary movement against the existing social and political order of things.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/ch04.htm
In our midst there has been formed a group advocating the workers' abstention from political action. We have considered it our duty to declare how dangerous and fatal for our cause such principles appear to be.

Someday the worker must seize political power in order to build up the new organization of labor; he must overthrow the old politics which sustain the old institutions, if he is not to lose Heaven on Earth, like the old Christians who neglected and despised politics.

But we have not asserted that the ways to achieve that goal are everywhere the same.

You know that the institutions, mores, and traditions of various countries must be taken into consideration, and we do not deny that there are countries -- such as America, England, and if I were more familiar with your institutions, I would perhaps also add Holland -- where the workers can attain their goal by peaceful means. This being the case, we must also recognize the fact that in most countries on the Continent the lever of our revolution must be force; it is force to which we must some day appeal in order to erect the rule of labor.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1872/09/08.htm And to this I would add these words from Lenin . https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1920/lwc/ch07.htm [ quote="Senter"]There is no argument that socialism is capitalism. Most interested people know the two are opposites. Capitalism involves the rule of the capitalist class over the working class, and socialism involves the rule of the working class over the capitalist class. The rest of the story is about the particular details of the implementation in any particular country and based on the specific conditions in that country.

The strategy that interests me does the best job of gradually "tuning" the specifics to the needs over time, as was done in the implementation of capitalism in feudal society. So specifically, that strategy advocates the development of worker-owned, worker-controlled cooperative corporations and the election of politicians who favor legislation to accommodate and facilitate that process. And that would be nothing like the process of violent revolution by those you mentioned.[/quote ] Such co-operativism is not particular to the socialist left . Not only can it be found in such places as Romagna https://www.yesmagazine.org/economy/2016/07/05/the-italian-place-where-co-ops-drive-the-economy-and-most-people-are-members/ , it also has existed in Spain , even under Franco's fascism https://www.theguardian.com/social-enterprise-network/2012/mar/12/cooperatives-spain-mondragon , and lastly none other than the British Conservative Party eendorsesthe idea of cooperative enterprise , as part of the Big Society . So even before the establishment of a socialist republic , and/or co-operative comminwealth , co-operative enterprises can be established , in the interim , no matter the prevailing political regime .
#15110326
ckaihatsu wrote:But, *strategically*, it's a common misnomer that capitalism's own political processes can get society *to* socialism -- this bad strategy is called 'parliamentarism':

That's right. The political processes must be intervened and altered if necessary in order to promote worker-owned and operated businesses. At some point, if those businesses prove to be superior and the expansion continues, the ultimate transition will be so popular among the public that the politicians, who would be the most supportive, will yield to pressure or will face a takeover of some sort IMHO. My point is that violent revolution leading to seizure of power be a socialist/Marxist force has proven to be a recipe for failure.
#15110328
Saying that the Nazi and Soviet form of economic organization are the same because they both involve the use of the state to enforce economic dictates is as retarded as saying that Capitalism and Feudalism are the same because both systems use the state to enforce private property rights.
#15110329
Deutschmania wrote:
Such co-operativism is not particular to the socialist left . Not only can it be found in such places as Romagna https://www.yesmagazine.org/economy/201 ... e-members/ , it also has existed in Spain , even under Franco's fascism https://www.theguardian.com/social-ente ... -mondragon , and lastly none other than the British Conservative Party eendorsesthe idea of cooperative enterprise , as part of the Big Society . So even before the establishment of a socialist republic , and/or co-operative comminwealth , co-operative enterprises can be established , in the interim , no matter the prevailing political regime .



But then my standing *issue* -- and perhaps I should phrase it as a *question* -- is how do these proposed 'worker cooperatives' even acquire the *necessary capital* to take (collective) ownership in the first place?

I subscribe to the critique that such is simply a different form of *capitalist business ownership*, one that happens to feature *workers* as the demographic, instead of outright business types, but the overall economic dynamic would remain the same, that of needing to be competitive in the desired markets, and also internally *exploitative* of the labor force, meaning themselves.
#15110337
Senter wrote:
That's right. The political processes must be intervened and altered if necessary in order to promote worker-owned and operated businesses. At some point, if those businesses prove to be superior and the expansion continues, the ultimate transition will be so popular among the public that the politicians, who would be the most supportive, will yield to pressure or will face a takeover of some sort IMHO. My point is that violent revolution leading to seizure of power be a socialist/Marxist force has proven to be a recipe for failure.



You're sounding like an echo of *all* past promotions of this scheme -- you seem to think that the overall capitalist economics would somehow become *different* just because *workers* would somehow be able to acquire the workplaces that they currently work *for*, as wage-slaves.

You sound like you're trying to *denigrate* and *degrade* the vanguardist violent-revolution-leading-to-seizure-of-power approach, when it's the vanguardist approach *only* that can adequately address the issue of how workers would *acquire* the means of mass industrial production / workplaces, in the first place.

The 'recipe for failure' is expecting capitalist economic dynamics to *behave differently* just because workers somehow manage to acquire ownership of their workplaces, on a localist basis. You sound like an anarchist / Frankfurt-School type with this line of yours.
#15110360
ckaihatsu wrote:But then my standing *issue* -- and perhaps I should phrase it as a *question* -- is how do these proposed 'worker cooperatives' even acquire the *necessary capital* to take (collective) ownership in the first place?

I subscribe to the critique that such is simply a different form of *capitalist business ownership*, one that happens to feature *workers* as the demographic, instead of outright business types, but the overall economic dynamic would remain the same, that of needing to be competitive in the desired markets, and also internally *exploitative* of the labor force, meaning themselves.
Also it could be financed along the lines of the Marc Corra Law .
And co-operatives , such as most notably Mondragon , have been competitively successful .
Lastly , at the risk of sounding flippant , I feel that the idea that workers in a co-operative business would be exploitive of themselves is like saying that masturbation constitutes fornication , in that I am supposedly having sexual relations with myself .
#15110369
Deutschmania wrote:
kA1m1MMDj1g 87395oUPDR0 Also it could be financed along the lines of the Marc Corra Law . Th4jxvEzlXw And co-operatives , such as most notably Mondragon , have been competitively successful . 5_rA-ydA9xk Lastly , at the risk of sounding flippant , I feel that the idea that workers in a co-operative business would be exploitive of themselves is like saying that masturbation constitutes fornication , in that I am supposedly having sexual relations with myself .



Okay, thanks, I'll be taking a look at these soon.

I don't mean to sound ultra-left (overly dismissive as a matter of doctrine), but that's the line I've heard, from received-wisdom, and I will *maintain* that some kind of workers-state-type organization, most likely hierarchical, will be necessary to take on the world's bourgeois class and the centralization that *it* uses (think NATO, etc.).

I have a treatment of vanguardism, from my time at RevLeft:


Spoiler: show
https://www.revleft.space/vb/threads/117736-Vanguardism


From all the discussions on vanguardism I've ever been around, including on this thread, it seems that there are really only a handful of issues involved.

My greatest concern is that we don't get *bogged down* by history. While I admire and champion all comrades who are adept at revolutionary historical matters -- certainly moreso than myself -- I've found that I've shied away from a more comprehensive, academic approach simply because the past is *not* directly transferable onto the future. There are many substantial, determining details of the historical situation back in 1917 that are *not* confining us today -- sheer material productive capacity would be one, not to mention communications capability, and so on.

This means that we *can't* look to the Bolshevik Revolution as the definitive, transferable model by which to form all revolutionary plans for the future. Yes, we should all be well aware of its intricacies and outcomes, but no, we should not be *beholden* to its *specific* storyline here in the 21st century.

I'm more than a little surprised that so many are so concerned about a vanguard organization's potential for "hanging onto power" after a revolution is completed. In my conceptualization the vanguard would be all about mobilizing and coordinating the various ongoing realtime aspects of a revolution in progress, most notably mass industrial union strategies and political offensives and defenses relative to the capitalists' forces.

*By definition* a victorious worldwide proletarian revolution would *push past* the *objective need* for this airport-control-tower mechanism of the vanguard, for the basic fact that there would no longer be any class enemy to coordinate *against*. Its entire function would be superseded by the mass revolution's success and transforming of society.

A vanguard is certainly needed *for* a revolution simply because it would be the ultimate centralization of mass political power that the world has ever seen -- far moreso than current bourgeois institutions like the UN Security Council or the United Nations General Assembly or whatever. A vanguard would accurately reflect the minute-by-minute interests of the mass working class, similar to the several Marxist news sites in existence today.

I'd imagine that most of the routine political issues of the day, even going into a revolutionary period, could be handled adeptly by these existing organizations and organs -- however, the tricky part is in carrying out specific, large-scale campaigns that are under time pressure. This is where the world's working class should have the *benefit* of hierarchical organization, just as the capitalists use with their interlocking directorates and CEOs and such.

A vanguard organization would have to, unfortunately, *take over* and *be responsible for* certain crucial, time-sensitive aspects of a united front against the capitalists. Too much lateralism -- which anarchists promote -- is just too slow and redundant in its operation, organizationally, to hope to be effective against the consolidated hierarchies that the capitalists employ.

Just as it's easier to travel in elevators than in cars we should *strive* for a vertical consolidation of militant labor groupings as part of a worldwide proletariat offensive. This tight centrality and focus would enable the vanguard to manuever much more quickly and effectively against the class enemy's mobilizations, no matter where and when they take place, worldwide.


Chris
#15110453
Okay, I watched the videos.

My overall concern remains the same -- for the receipt of a *bank loan* the workers-as-purchasers would need to show *collateral* to get a bank's participation, which puts them right back at the financing question as a whole.

And -- Wolff shows surprising *optimism* regarding capitalism, for being so *critical* of it. There's nothing to *guarantee* that a business under collective workers' self-exploitation would be successful in the marketplace, so why is he *recommending* participation in the capitalist system, after describing its hazards so thoroughly?
#15110484
Richard Wolff debates FOX's Stuart Varney on Wealth Distribution & Worker Coops




This *clinches* that Wolff is a *reformist*, a "socialist" in name only, who doesn't even want a redistribution of wealth away from the rich, nor an end to capitalism. He just wants a progressive tax structure, some worker co-ops, and that's about it, with no mention of foreign policy, either.

Speaking of *co-ops*, I think Wolff is *co-opting* Bernie's game -- !

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