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By ComradeTim
#14452999
I am intrigued by the large number of Marxist Communists both on this site and in the wider world. As far as I can see it, all State-Socialist Marxist attempts building Communism have ended in failure, oppression and massacre with nothing to show for it.

Compare this rather forlorn picture with the achievements of Marxism's main major alternative, Syndicalism. In Catalonia, Aragon and the Levante, from 1936-1939, huge amounts of the towns and countryside was placed under worker control (up to 70% in some areas and only limited by the influence of reformist "Socialist" and "Marxist" elements). Huge increases in production efficiency (doubling in some areas) and workplace safely were seen. More than eight million people were involved rubbishing claims that Anarchism cannot work on a large scale. All of this occurred in the midst of a civil war. This progress was destroyed not by Fascists as such but Marxists.

In the light of this, the predominance of Marxism as a progressive Socialist ideology baffles me. I wonder if anyone can shed some light on this?
#14453168
I don't think that the "Marxist Communists," as you call them, were as ineffective as you think. Nor were they as distanced from, "Syndacalism."

After all, Andres Nin was Trotsky's secretary, and Catalonia, Aragon, and Levante were bankrolled by Stalin.

I am curious if you'd have an issue with the pre-civil war construction of the soviet state.

It's more or less after the civil war that things get dicey, so far as socialists arguing about these things. Things had to shore up in fighting the Americans, the British, the Germans, the Japanese, the former White Armies, and having a civil war all at the same time. But then there's the question of the Workers' Opposition, the Left Opposition, and the Right Opposition. There were others.
#14453247
First of all,

The Immortal Goon wrote:Catalonia, Aragon, and Levante were bankrolled by Stalin.


This is absolute nonsense. Stalin gave the absolute minimum of resources in both money and weapons AND (this is highly important) ONLY TO STALINISTS. http://spartacus-educational.com/SPrussia.htm.No help what so ever was given to Anarchists who were doing the real revolutionary work while Marxists were denying the very EXISTENCE of a Communist society that was happening under their very noses. The double-think involved is truly breathtaking. In return for this pitiful help, Stalin helped himself to the entire gold reserve of Republican Spain (510 tonnes).http://flag.blackened.net/revolt/spain/ ... _gold.html. Communism was built despite Marxist interference not because of it.

The Immortal Goon wrote:I am curious if you'd have an issue with the pre-civil war construction of the soviet state


Certainly not. It was essentially a blend of Anarcho- Communism and Syndicalism that worked well considering the circumstances. I do take issue with the claim that it was anything to do with Marxism. Marxism was the destruction of that system, beginning under Lenin and finished under Stalin. To say that the bureaucratization of the Soviet Union was necessary to win the war was throwing the baby out with the bathwater in my opinion. The White threat was never very great anyway, they could barely agree what to call themselves, let alone fight. They had more officers than common troops at some points! Lenin never intended to leave the soviets democratic. "

Wikipedia wrote: Lenin argued that the Soviets and the principle of democratic centralism within the Bolshevik party assured democracy. However, Lenin also issued a "temporary" ban on factions in the Russian Communist Party. This ban remained until the revolutions of 1989 and made the democratic procedures within the party an empty formality
#14453285
Comrade Tim wrote:This is absolute nonsense. Stalin gave the absolute minimum of resources in both money and weapons AND (this is highly important) ONLY TO STALINISTS.


While I don't necessarily disagree with this...Yeah, I pretty much just don't disagree with it. I was throwing a bone to my Stalinist comrades.

One cannot say the same for the other Bolsheviks, however, who were doing revolutionary work throughout the conflict in support of these areas. This includes Trotskyists as well as various international brigades that broke from the Comintern.

Comrade Tim wrote:Certainly not. It was essentially a blend of Anarcho- Communism and Syndicalism that worked well considering the circumstances. I do take issue with the claim that it was anything to do with Marxism. Marxism was the destruction of that system, beginning under Lenin and finished under Stalin.


This is wildly incorrect. Lenin was the architect of that system in most ways. It is true that Lenin put the temporary ban on factions, but he did so with a vote. Lenin, unlike Stalin, was frequently voted down.

However he, with a Red Army built by the same factions that came to support the revolution in Spain and died at the hands of Franco and Stalin, did the almost impossible task of winning the civil war.

It should also be pointed out that Lenin, at the end of his life, was fighting against bureaucratization in the Soviet Union.

In fact, something I'm always railing on about, was that Lenin did not accept that the Soviet Union was socialist and thought a lot of work had to be done before it could get there. Not the least of which being fighting bureaucratization. After the civil war when there was an attempt to rebuild what was lost, Trotsky (incorrectly) said there was no reason to have labour unions any longer since they were in a worker's state. Lenin set things right:

Lenin wrote:Comrade Trotsky falls into error himself. He seems to say that in a workers’ state it is not the business of the trade unions to stand up for the material and spiritual interests of the working class. That is a mistake. Comrade Trotsky speaks of a “workers’ state”. May I say that this is an abstraction. It was natural for us to write about a workers’ state in 1917; but it is now a patent error to say: “Since this is a workers’ state without any bourgeoisie, against whom then is the working class to be protected, and for what purpose?” The whole point is that it is not quite a workers’ state. That is where Comrade Trotsky makes one of his main mistakes. We have got down from general principles to practical discussion and decrees, and here we are being dragged back and prevented from tackling the business at hand. This will not do. For one thing, ours is not actually a workers’ state but a workers’ and peasants’ state. And a lot depends on that. (Bukharin : “What kind of state? A workers’ and peasants’ state?”) Comrade Bukharin back there may well shout “What kind of state? A workers’ and peasants’ state?” I shall not stop to answer him. Anyone who has a mind to should recall the recent Congress of Soviets, and that will be answer enough.

But that is not all. Our Party Programme—a document which the author of the ABC of Communism knows very well—shows that ours is a workers’ state with a bureacratic twist to it. We have had to mark it with this dismal, shall I say, tag. There you have the reality of the transition. Well, is it right to say that in a state that has taken this shape in practice the trade unions have nothing to protect, or that we can do without them in protecting the material and spiritual interests of the massively organised proletariat? No, this reasoning is theoretically quite wrong. It takes us into the sphere of abstraction or an ideal we shall achieve in 15 or 20 years’ time, and I am not so sure that we shall have achieved it even by then. What we actually have before us is a reality of which we have a good deal of knowledge, provided, that is, we keep our heads, and do not let ourselves be carried awav by intellectualist talk or abstract reasoning, or by what may appear to be “theory” but is in fact error and misapprehension of the peculiarities of transition. We now have a state under which it is the business of the massively organised proletariat to protect itself, while we, for our part, must use these workers’ organisations to protect the workers from their state, and to get them to protect our state. Both forms of protection are achieved through the peculiar interweaving of our state measures and our agreeing or “coalescing” with our trade unions.


Stalin made further and more permanent error that Trotsky—the latter eventually accepting Lenin's point of view. Stalin declared that it was a socialist state (this was at variance with Marx, Engels, and Lenin).

What did Lenin think of Stalin, "continuing," his work?

Lenin wrote:Comrade Stalin, having become Secretary-General, has unlimited authority concentrated in his hands, and I am not sure whether he will always be capable of using that authority with sufficient caution...Stalin is too rude and this defect, although quite tolerable in our midst and in dealing among us Communists, becomes intolerable in a Secretary-General. That is why I suggest that the comrades think about a way of removing Stalin from that post and appointing another man in his stead who in all other respects differs from Comrade Stalin in having only one advantage, namely, that of being more tolerant, more loyal, more polite and more considerate to the comrades, less capricious, etc. This circumstance may appear to be a negligible detail. But I think that from the standpoint of safeguards against a split and from the standpoint of what I wrote above about the relationship between Stalin and Trotsky it is not a [minor] detail, but it is a detail which can assume decisive importance.

...

[In relation to Stalin's policies to other countries]

I think that Stalin's haste and his infatuation with pure administration, together with his spite against the notorious "nationalist-socialism" [Stalin critised the minority nations for not being "internationalist" because they did want to unite with Russia], played a fatal role here. In politics spite generally plays the basest of roles...

The Georgian [Stalin] who is neglectful of this aspect of the question, or who carelessly flings about accusations of "nationalist-socialism" (whereas he himself is a real and true "nationalist-socialist", and even a vulgar Great-Russian bully), violates, in substance, the interests of proletarian class solidarity, for nothing holds up the development and strengthening of proletarian class solidarity so much as national injustice; "offended" nationals are not sensitive to anything so much as to the feeling of equality and the violation of this equality, if only through negligence or jest- to the violation of that equality by their proletarian comrades. That is why in this case it is better to over-do rather than undergo the concessions and leniency towards the national minorities. That is why, in this case, the fundamental interest of proletarian class struggle, requires that we never adopt a formal attitude to the national question, but always take into account the specific attitude of the proletarian of the oppressed (or small) nation towards the oppressor (or great) nation.

...all the material which Dzerzhinsky's commission has collected must be completed or started over again to correct the enormous mass of wrongs and biased judgments which it doubtlessly contains. The political responsibility for all this truly Great-Russian nationalist campaign must, of course, be laid on Stalin and Dzerzhinsky.


So I would ask you not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. After Lenin died, Stalin was quick to play himself up as a disciple of Lenin—when Lenin clearly didn't think much of him. Stalin threw out everything Lenin had been trying to accomplish toward the end, and the west was more than happy to go along with it. They supported Stalin against Trotsky; they then were happy to put all of Stalin's mishandling onto Lenin. Stalin was happy to have the mantel of Lenin, and the west got to show that Lenin was inherently a monster like Stalin.

Since you may be new to this, I would suggest you read Trotsky. But be critical about it as, remember, he's Stalin's chief rival and eventually killed by Stalin. But he's the counterweight to the Stalinist/bourgeois propaganda around the subject.
#14453287
All of this stuff about the alleged "intentions" of Lenin is all very well but not relevant to the original question.

The point is Lenin DID fail. Stalin DID become leader. The Soviet Union DID become autocratic. All other Marxist attempts at Socialism HAVE failed.

What I would like to know is, how can belief in Marxism be justified after so many failures when there is a perfectly good ideology, Syndicalism present?
#14453549
The Immortal Goon wrote:Where did syndicalism succeed?


It succeeded in building a Communist, classless society in the aforementioned Anarchist Spain, not to mention an Economy which was more productive and efficient than both Capitalism and the Planned Economy. Considering this was done in wartime, the peacetime effects can only be greater.

The Immortal Goon wrote:And, again, I certainly take issue with the idea that the ideas are mutually exclusive.


Marxism is a Statist Ideology. This was all done without the State and in fact COULD NOT BE DONE with it. Marxists throughout history have said that a quick transition to Communism is impossible. Marxists don't believe in the FULL control of Unions. If you take what has been written by me as true, then you are not a Marxist but a Syndicalist.
#14453687
Comrade Tim wrote:It succeeded in building a Communist, classless society in the aforementioned Anarchist Spain, not to mention an Economy which was more productive and efficient than both Capitalism and the Planned Economy.


Well if a quick transitional society being constantly attacked by fascist forces counts, than you can hardly say Marxism ever failed. It succeeded in building a communist, classless society in Russia, China, Vietnam, Hungary, Austria, Finland, Ireland, and other places that were more productive and efficient than both capitalism and the planned economy. But it collapsed in one way or another.

Marxists throughout history have said that a quick transition to Communism is impossible


It seems your example for Anarchist Spain seem to prove this to be correct.

Marxists don't believe in the FULL control of Unions.


This depends on the Marxist. Do see the Workers' Opposition link cited above. Also, "soviet," is a word meaning, "committee," as in, "workers' committee." The initial set up of the Soviet Union that Lenin led, the one that you said you agreed with before the civil war, was direct control from worker unions. HOWEVER—Lenin also fought to make sure that even in this system of your labour union electing people up a ladder, the union remained autonomous from the government that rose from electing your fellow workers as representation.

Which was a deliberate attempt to curb the power of bureaucracy. I cited Lenin speaking of this when Trotsky took the view that it was redundant to have a labor union and elected representatives from the labor union in control of things.

I am a Marxist and a syndicalist; as all Marxists really are.

Russia had mostly peasants in the creation of the Soviet Union, and they represented themselves regionally instead of by trade (which makes sense as their trade was tied to the land anyway) but the Soviet state looked like this:

"Professional unions, the factory shop committees, and other democratic organizations," that is to say soviets, elect representatives to go to the city Soviet. The city soviet decides what constitutes a, "democratic organization," though unions and committees pretty much get in.

The Ward Soviet worked under the city Soviet in basic areas taking care of basic needs. In addition to recognized unions and shop committees, "the Soviet system is extremely flexible, and if the cooks and waiters, or the street sweepers, or the courtyard servants, or the cab drivers of that ward organised and demanded representation, they were allowed delegates."

Every few months, these city and ward soviets get together nationally by sending elected members of themselves to the All-Russian Congress of Soviets. Here a committee is voted upon, the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, that works as parliament when the All-Russian Congress of Soviets is not in session. Because, again, these are workers that have jobs.

For things that are needed, national transportation, food distribution, etc, a commissar is elected. These can be instantly recalled at any time by any group. There were eleven in the early Soviet Union. These commissars elect a chairman, who again can be recalled at any time. This was Lenin while this particular set up was maintained.

This, in my mind, is a sensible use of syndicalism. It is the workers electing workers to represent them. Now, and nobody was more sensitive to this than Lenin (I'm trying not to wall-of-text you), the problem came from two areas: The first was that there were a lot of things the workers didn't necessarily know how to do. For instance, if you were elected from your job (whatever you do) and then found yourself elected up the ladder to make sure, say, make the railroads run on time, what do you do? You probably find some people that know something about railroads. And here we got into the problem with bureaucracy that Lenin wanted to curb:

Lenin wrote:What then is lacking? Obviously, what is lacking is culture among the stratum of the Communists who perform administrative functions. If we take Moscow with its 4,700 Communists in responsible positions, and if we take that huge bureaucratic machine, that gigantic heap, we must ask: who is directing whom? I doubt very much whether it can truthfully be said that the Communists are directing that heap. To tell the truth they are not directing, they are being directed. Some thing analogous happened here to what we were told in our history lessons when we were children: sometimes one nation conquers another, the nation that conquers is the conqueror and the nation that is vanquished is the conquered nation. This is simple and intelligible to all. But what happens to the culture of these nations? Here things are not so simple. If the conquering nation is more cultured than the vanquished nation, the former imposes its culture upon the latter; but if the opposite is the case, the vanquished nation imposes its culture upon the conqueror. Has not something like this happened in the capital of the R.S.F.S.R.? Have the 4,700 Communists (nearly a whole army division, and all of them the very best) come under the influence of an alien culture? True, there may be the impression that the vanquished have a high level of culture. But that is not the case at all. Their culture is miserable, insignificant, but it is still at a higher level than ours. Miserable and low as it is, it is higher than that of our responsible Communist administrators, for the latter lack administrative ability. Communists who are put at the head of departments—and sometimes artful saboteurs deliberately put them in these positions in order to use them as a shield—are often fooled. This is a very unpleasant admission to make, or, at any rate, not a very pleasant one; but I think we must admit it, for at present this is the salient problem. I think that this is the political lesson of the past year; and it is around this that the struggle will rage in 1922.

Will the responsible Communists of the R.S.F.S.R. and of the Russian Communist Party realise that they cannot administer; that they only imagine they are directing, but are, actually, being directed? If they realise this they will learn, of course; for this business can be learnt. But one must study hard to learn it, and our people are not doing this. They scatter orders and decrees right and left, but the result is quite different from what they want.


Connected to this, of course, was that the countries that made up the USSR were not only technologically backward, but had pretty much had almost all of its industry taken by Germany in WWI, and what was left was sacked by the French, British, American, Japanese, and White armies coming into Russia for years and years during the civil war. Trotsky maintained that the rise of Stalin was a result of this problem, right or wrong.

The other problem was really the civil war forcing the system to break down in various places. When the Whites came into an area and, say, murdered all the Jews and packed up anyone that was not useful as forced labor and put them onto a train to send to the next Red city to arrive as frozen bodies with a sign on them saying, "food delivery for the Reds," because they had just sacked all the food in said area (this really happened often)—the political representation broke down pretty fast. Electing your fellow dishwasher to represent you became very difficult when he was hanging from a tree because the White soldiers thought his nose looked too big, and you were wandering the frozen wastes looking for food because your town was in cinders and the food all taken.

This, of course, was exasperated by the unpopular (but necessary) advent of War Communism, that is to say, pooling all the resources together and attempting to distribute it. You grew your food, the Red Army would take it, and you'd get almost nothing back because they had to eat and supply our friend above wandering the frozen wastes.

It's really hard to run a democratic system with that level of oppression coming in to crush it.

The thing didn't end up going perfectly as a whole, of course. But it was a legitimate attempt to build a workers' government that, had at its core, a kind of syndicalism in that the unions themselves elected their representatives as workers. We can look at where it went wrong, and we should, but we should also look at what they got right—even if it didn't last until the final days.

Anyway, Marxists are syndicalists. You are just an anarcho-syndicalist.
#14453706
The Immortal Goon wrote: Marxism...succeeded in building a communist, classless society in Russia, China, Vietnam, Hungary, Austria, Finland, Ireland, and other places that were more productive and efficient than both capitalism and the planned economy.


Beg Pardon? Can you give me some examples of that (non-Russian)?

The Immortal Goon wrote: It seems your example for Anarchist Spain seem to prove this (a classless society can't be created) to be correct.


Did you miss the part when I said that
ComradeTim wrote:This progress was destroyed not by Fascists as such but Marxists.
?

The Immortal Goon wrote:I am a Marxist and a syndicalist; as all Marxists really are.


So you renounce the state as despotic by default? This is a central Syndicalist tenet, but fly's in the face of the Marxist doctrine of a Workers State that will eventually wither away.
#14453726
ComradeTim wrote:Beg Pardon? Can you give me some examples of that (non-Russian)?


Of ultimately failed communist societies similar to the anarchists in Spain? Sure.

China ([url=Guangzhou]1[/url], 2)
Vietnam.
Hungary
Ireland.

ComradeTim wrote:Did you miss the part when I said that


It didn't seem relevant in light of the rest of my post. Especially since it isolates one faction of Marxists (the Stalinists) while ignoring the Marxists that were fighting in the revolution. Most famously the POUM, led by Trotsky's secretary and with George Orwell in its ranks, and liquidated by the Stalinists.

ComradeTim wrote:So you renounce the state as despotic by default?


Of course, it's a class dictatorship. But it's utopian to just assume that we can make it go away tomorrow and everything will just go according to plan for no reason at all.

ComradeTim wrote:This is a central Anarcho-Syndicalist tenet, but flies in the face of the Marxist doctrine of a Workers State that will eventually wither away.


I fixed that sentence for you.

I'm a Connollyist above anything else (except for a Marxist, of course).

The IWW is an organization I support, even if they lean a little more anarchist in the last few decades.

Their description of Connolly:

IWW wrote:Connolly considered himself a Socialist, but always advocated revolutionary Syndicalism, which he called "Industrial Unionism ", and advocated the political system of a " Cooperative Commonwealth ".

Connolly did not consider himself an Anarcho-Syndicalist, however in 1908 when a split in the IWW occured between the Marxist Daniel De Leon and the Anarcho-Syndicalists, Connolly sided with the Anarcho-Syndicalists. Although De Leon was a major influence on Connolly for many years, he never the less became repulsed over time by De Leon's sectarianism and dogmatism.


But this is a simplification. Connolly was one of Lenin's heroes, actually and Connolly became a crucial difference in the way that Lenin and Stalin, for instance, ruled.

One of Connolly's main arguments in the DeLeon-Connolly controversy was for a material change in society instead of arbitrarily changing social values in the wrong epoch for the sake of ideology.

So whereas DeLeon, one of the, "Popes of Marxism," thought that we needed to live and work, and marry as if we were in a socialist society in order to make the socialist society, Connolly argued that the material conditions in which we lived had to change and from this changes in life may or may not alter in the way theorized:

Connolly wrote:Now as to marriage: I stated that I believed in monogamic marriage and disagreed with Bebel who taught otherwise; also that I thought his book was too prurient to do good as a propagandist work, although there was valuable propagandist material in it. I repeat all that. Bebel not only unnecessarily introduces long drawn out tales of sexual excesses but often explicitly approves of them. It has been said that his work is based upon that of Morgan but the most delicate minded could read Morgan without a blush and the same cannot be said of Bebel. Thus on page 65 after telling of the brutal lusts and sexual outrages of the kings and knights of the Middle Ages he speaks of them approvingly as “a healthy sensualism, that sprung from a rugged and happy native disposition among the people.” A fine summing up of a period of unbridled lust and outrage! Healthy sensualism indeed; brutal animalism would be a better characterisation. On page 323, he says “The satisfaction of the sexual instinct is as much a private concern as the satisfaction of any other natural instinct.” This from the man whose book is supposed to be based upon that of Morgan, although Morgan expressly teaches that the satisfaction of the sexual instinct is a social act intimately related to and acting upon the economic conditions of society at large. On page 19, (Bebel) says: “If with monogamy paternity is often doubtful, it is impossible of proof with polygamy.” What does that mean? I do not know. I have read it backwards and forwards and up and down and diagonally. I have studied it when the sun was high in the heavens at noonday and have wrestled with it through the weary watches of the night and it seems to me that if it is not absolute indecency then it must be blithering idocy. Why should polygamy make proof of paternity impossible? Or perhaps we will be told, that like the omission of an important negative from Vandervelde’s letter, this also is a typographical error. On page 37, Bebel says: “It is the custom in the Netherlands when the host has a dear guest that he lets his wife sleep with him on faith.” This is introduced out of all bearing to its intent, clarifies no obscure point and is told apropos of nothing in particular. It was probably some more “healthy sensualism.” I have used the word “pruriency,” let me make it stronger and say indecency, and explain what I mean by indecency in this respect. I consider that whosoever tells of the sexual act needlessly or in any other manner, but as a scientist would speak of his investigations or a surgeon of his operations, is acting indecently. Rebel declares openly and avowedly that under Socialism the modern monogamic marriage will collapse, and yet his work we are told is based upon that of Morgan, and Morgan declares as unreservedly his belief in the beauty and permanency of modern marriage. Let me quote Bebel, page 346, “Bourgeois marriage is the result of bourgeois property relations.” In future society there is nothing to bequeath. The modern form of marriage is thus devoid of foundation and collapses. He might as well say: “The concentrated tool of production is the result of bourgeois property relations; in future society these relations will have disappeared, therefore the concentrated tool of production will collapse.” Comrade DeLeon also believes that the monogamic marriage will remain, yet he declares that the book he disagrees with is the best aimed shot at the existing social system. Either DeLeon has not much faith in his own marksmanship or else he believes the best aimed shot is that which proceeds from correct premises to wrong conclusions.


This was followed by Lenin, followed the line. He admitted that he was, "an old man," that didn't like the sexual revolution that followed the Russian Revolution. But he didn't legislate about it because, like Connolly, he knew that the material conditions had changed and that society reflected that.

Now, counter this with Stalin that very much, like DeLeon, expected socialism to develop from legislation instead of material conditions. Stalin declared that there was socialism (something Marx, Engels, and Lenin said could only be international) and legislated accordingly. Following the marriage example, Stalin instituted the "Decree on the Prohibition of Abortions, the Improvement of Material Aid to Women in Childbirth, the Establishment of State Assistance to Parents of Large Families, and the Extension of the Network of Lying-in Homes, Nursery schools and Kindergartens, the Tightening-up of Criminal Punishment for the Non-payment of Alimony, and on Certain Modifications in Divorce Legislation." This made it nearly impossible for a woman to have a right to an abortion, difficult for women to divorce, and Stalin illegalized homosexuality—all things Lenin had legalized and left to material reality to sort out.

So here is, yet another, example in the difference between Marxists that you seem unaware of. I am a Connollyist. We are Marxists, and like all Marxists, like a form of syndicalism.

You are an anarco-syndacalist.
#14453737
Hmm. Having considered the matter at length, I have decided that I was at fault with the original post. Reformist Syndicalism sits perfectly well with Marxism. It is only my own Anarcho-Syndicalism that is incompatible with it.
#14454353
ComradeTim, you're good people. The non-Marxist left need a boost on this forum to make things interesting.

Keep up the debate a bit, there's a private leftist forum here (SNRF) that you'll probably be invited to, given another excellent debate or two like you gave.

The left on here used to be very strong. By far the strongest faction. We've become like Ents, slow and letting the forum pass us by as libertarians come and recede and the far right march loudly but never reach as far as their rhetoric. We need more blood like yourself. Thank you for a good debate!
#14455787
ComradeTim wrote:All of this stuff about the alleged "intentions" of Lenin is all very well but not relevant to the original question.

The point is Lenin DID fail. Stalin DID become leader. The Soviet Union DID become autocratic. All other Marxist attempts at Socialism HAVE failed.

What I would like to know is, how can belief in Marxism be justified after so many failures when there is a perfectly good ideology, Syndicalism present?


Some people somehow believe that the unfettered accumulation of power by an individual or very small group will somehow succeed. It exists in every spectrum. The leftists have Communism, the right wingers have Fascism, and the libertarians have Ayn Rand/Corporatism (similar to Fascism). Time and time again has shown that these forms of government always fail, because human nature dictates that there is no such concept as complete rational self interest.
User avatar
By ingliz
#14455833
#14455914
...Of course, that only works as a defense if you completely ignore the dialectical argument being made and his conclusion not to legislate for it.
User avatar
By ingliz
#14456066
you completely ignore the dialectical argument

You completely ignore material reality. Contrary to Soviet expectations, the number of abortions continued to rise, and the number of births continued to fall, into the 1930's. By the mid-1930's in Moscow there were nearly three abortions for every birth (Lorimer, 1946). Because of these trends and because of population losses resulting from civil war, forced collectivisation, disease and famine, something had to be done.
Last edited by ingliz on 25 Aug 2014 17:44, edited 2 times in total.
#14456111
And yet Lenin was able to admit he was an old man and let the material reality of the workers' state dictate the social conventions. Unlike Lenin, legislated social conventions to create the fiction of socialism. Stripping women of the rights of their bodies and legislating that more than half of the workers of the workers' state to be denied sometimes crucial medical care in the hopes they become baby factories is hardly a stunning victory of socialism.

Lenin had lost huge amounts of the Soviet population to Germany in the birth of the Soviet Union; and the population was hit hard by the civil war, and he never entertained such a thought of such legislation. It's a hilarious absurdity to draw Stalin doing exactly the opposite of Lenin's policy as consistency with Lenin.
User avatar
By ingliz
#14456146
The ideology of a liberal Russian intelligentsia (mainly derived from Engels) needed to be set aside when demographics became a decisive factor in the expanding Soviet economy. Marriage and the family were no longer 'the private concern of individuals, but... of the nation as a whole'.
#14456163
Ideology comes from material reality, not the other way around. There is no need to put aside an ideology for it or summon a new one into being in order to fight against ethics stemming material reality. It's at best pointless, at worst destructive.

Ingliz wrote:Marriage and the family were no longer 'the private concern of individuals, but... of the nation as a whole'.


Then you agree with DeLeon, and I agree with Connolly, in one of the first big ideological breaks in socialism in the 20th century.

Lenin, too, agreed with Connolly.

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