The Myth of Late Stage Capitalism - Page 12 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15195283
Thanks everyone, and *good night*! Drive safe!


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Trotsky issued the call for the formation of a new, Fourth, International. And arising from that change came the call for the overthrow of the Stalinist bureaucracy inside the Soviet Union in a political revolution.

In defining this revolution as political, rather than social, the Fourth International explained that it still considered the Soviet state an expression of the proletarian dictatorship that had been established in 1917. While that workers state had suffered a profound degeneration, it had to be acknowledged that the property forms created by the October Revolution had not yet been liquidated. The Fourth International called upon the workers to overthrow the Stalinist bureaucracy. It warned that the bureaucracy’s defense of its own material interests was incompatible with the progressive development of the productive forces of the Soviet Union. But Trotsky explained that the bureaucracy, to the extent that its own privileges were based on the property forms established in the aftermath of the October Revolution, was still compelled to defend these property forms against imperialism.



“Stalin serves the bureaucracy and thus the world bourgeoisie; but he cannot serve the bureaucracy without defending that social foundation which the bureaucracy exploits in its own interests. To that extent does Stalin defend nationalized property from imperialist attacks and from the too impatient and avaricious layers of the bureaucracy itself. However, he carries through this defense with methods that prepare the general destruction of Soviet society. It is exactly because of this that the Stalinist clique must be overthrown. But it is the revolutionary proletariat who must overthrow it. The proletariat cannot subcontract this work to the imperialists. In spite of Stalin, the proletariat defends the USSR from imperialist attacks.”



https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/1 ... r-d30.html
#15195390
Also, for all you 'the-USSR-was-hell' types out there:



Furthermore, we must point to the deep-going alienation of the working class itself [in the USSR] from the state property. Property belonged to the state, but the state “belonged” to the bureaucracy, as Trotsky noted. The fundamental distinction between state property and bourgeois property—however important from a theoretical standpoint—became less and less relevant from a practical standpoint. It is true that capitalist exploitation did not exist in the scientific sense of the term, but that did not alter the fact that the day-to-day conditions of life in factories and mines and other workplaces were as miserable as are to be found in any of the advanced capitalist countries, and, in many cases, far worse.



https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/1 ... r-d30.html
#15196332
ckaihatsu wrote:
Also, for all you 'the-USSR-was-hell' types out there



I got to see the Soviet system.

You didn't.

I also got to hear what people thought of it. You need to remember America has a lot of Russian immigrants that fled your workers paradise, I wouldn't try to persuade them it wasn't all that bad....

One guy I used to talk with is Victor Khomenko. He is the owner/chief engineer of BAT Technologies. He's a terrific engineer, I admire his work, although I can't afford it.

In any case, we disagreed about nearly everything. Lots of Russian thought going from the far Left to the far Right made sense. It didn't, of course, but you can't blame them. Perhaps I should mention he's Jewish?

In any case, the Soviet system was awful. If you persist, I will talk about just how nightmarishly awful it was...
#15196344
late wrote:
I got to see the Soviet system.

You didn't.

I also got to hear what people thought of it. You need to remember America has a lot of Russian immigrants that fled your workers paradise, I wouldn't try to persuade them it wasn't all that bad....

One guy I used to talk with is Victor Khomenko. He is the owner/chief engineer of BAT Technologies. He's a terrific engineer, I admire his work, although I can't afford it.

In any case, we disagreed about nearly everything. Lots of Russian thought going from the far Left to the far Right made sense. It didn't, of course, but you can't blame them. Perhaps I should mention he's Jewish?

In any case, the Soviet system was awful. If you persist, I will talk about just how nightmarishly awful it was...



Well, per my just-posted diagram, I'm not 'persisting' in talking about the USSR, but rather *diagramming* around it and the whole Cold-War era in general.

I don't think *anyone* who's far-left would term the USSR a (stereotypically-demeaning) 'workers paradise', because it was actually *Stalinism*, and *not* collective workers control, though the USSR was still worth defending *geopolitically*, and many considered it a 'degenerated workers state' for some time after the initial imploded Bolshevik Revolution.

So, uh, *congrats*, I guess, on the personal experiential historical experience.


Political Spectrum, Simplified UPDATE

Spoiler: show
Image
#15196352
ckaihatsu wrote:
Well, per my just-posted diagram, I'm not 'persisting' in talking about the USSR, but rather *diagramming* around it and the whole Cold-War era in general.

I don't think *anyone* who's far-left would term the USSR a (stereotypically-demeaning) 'workers paradise', because it was actually *Stalinism*, and *not* collective workers control, though the USSR was still worth defending *geopolitically*, and many considered it a 'degenerated workers state' for some time after the initial imploded Bolshevik Revolution.

So, uh, *congrats*, I guess, on the personal experiential historical experience.




The idea behind behind all this is checks and balances. The problem with governments like the USSR, or modern Russia for that matter, or China, is a lack of checks and balances.

And if you add in those checks and balances, ta daa!! Congrats, you just created what already exists.

I know you have your fancy diagrams nobody looks at, they don't feel real.
#15196373
late wrote:
The idea behind behind all this is checks and balances. The problem with governments like the USSR, or modern Russia for that matter, or China, is a lack of checks and balances.

And if you add in those checks and balances, ta daa!! Congrats, you just created what already exists.

I know you have your fancy diagrams nobody looks at, they don't feel real.



Yeah, it's the damndest thing, and yet here they are, and here *we* are. The diagrams *seem* to be too abstract and specialized, but I'll argue that that's how knowledge / learning *is*. It may not be *pretty*, but at least it's *accurate*. (Here's another one that illustrates this 'weirdness' principle of depiction.)


inductive vs. deductive reasoning

Spoiler: show
Image



So, yeah, that's how these things *are* -- it may be counterintuitive but it's an accurate representation of real-world historical dynamics -- colony-to-what, basically, which is what the whole Cold War was about, U.S. vs. USSR.

The 'checks-and-balances' are just *one* particular approach -- the Western bourgeois one -- while the 'soviet democracy' approach is *another* one, historically, notably.



Soviet democracy, or council democracy, is a political system in which the rule of the population by directly elected soviets (Russian for "council") is exercised. The councils are directly responsible to their electors and bound by their instructions using delegate model of representation. Such an imperative mandate is in contrast to a free mandate, in which the elected delegates are only responsible to their conscience. Delegates may accordingly be dismissed from their post at any time or be voted out (recall).

In a Soviet democracy, voters are organized in basic units, for example the workers of a company, the inhabitants of a district, or the soldiers of a barracks. They directly send the delegates as public functionaries, which act as legislators, government and courts in one. In contrast to earlier democracy models according to John Locke and Montesquieu, there is no separation of powers. The councils are elected on several levels: At the residential and business level, delegates are sent to the local councils in plenary assemblies. In turn, these can delegate members to the next level. The system of delegation continues to the Congress of Soviets at the state level.[1] The electoral processes thus take place from the bottom upwards. The levels are usually tied to administrative levels.[2]



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



And, my *own* approach to these objective social-role-interest dynamics, in socio-*material* terms, for a *post-capitalist* context:


Spoiler: show
...Some of the readily apparent *checks-and-balances* dynamics enabled with the labor-credits system are:

- (Already mentioned) One could work for personal material-economic gains -- the amassing of labor credits -- instead of having to 'like' *both* the socio-political aspect *and* the personal-material-economic aspect of one's work within a strictly-voluntaristic, non-labor-credit, communistic-type political economy. (Individual vs. socio-political realms)

- The contribution of one's potential liberated labor to societal objectives would always be fully optional, since the premise of a communist-type social order is that no one could ever be *actually* coerced for their labor since the ubiquitous norm would be that no productive machinery or natural resources in the world could be used on a *proprietary* / private-accumulation basis, while all the material necessities for life and living would always be in readily-available, sufficient quantities for all. Collective social productivity would be *very good* using post-capitalist, communist-type liberated-labor self-organizing, leveraged with full automation of all productive processes, for *huge* ratios of industrial mass-production output, per hour of liberated labor input. (Individual vs. socio-political and material realms)

- Mass demand, as displayed publicly, per-locality, by the daily mass-aggregated tallied rank positions (#1, #2, #3, etc.), will always be an existing social-pressure, specifically regarding liberated labor contributions to the general social good for varying qualities of public consumption. Such active liberated labor may or may not receive labor credits for their valid efforts, depending on such general *implementation* of circulating labor credits, or not, and the specifics of any active policy package. (Socio-political and material realms vs. individuals)

- Active liberated-labor would control all *ultimate* ('point-of-production') productivity for society, but *not-necessarily-working* people of any intra-voluntary collective 'locality' (or localities) could make and agree-on proposals and final policy packages that contain great *specificity*, as over *exactly* who (which persons) are to be included as active liberated-labor, and also their respective rates of labor credits per hour per discrete work role, and each worker's particular work schedule, as a part of the overall project scheduling. (Consumers vs. liberated-labor)

- Any intra-voluntary 'locality' could collectively develop and agree-on any particular proposal or final policy package, with specifics over staffing, rates of labor credits per included work role, and work schedules for all work roles / liberated-laborers, but if the liberated-labor-internal social process *did not approve* of the terms for any given proposal or policy package they would not *forfeit* their collective control over the implements of mass industrial production as a result -- realistically the result would most-likely be a *devolving* of larger-scale work organizing, since no agreement was reached between mass-demand and self-organized liberated-labor. Production could still take place on any ad-hoc basis, with liberated labor always getting 'first dibs' on anything they themselves produce, but it would be far more small-scale, localized, and balkanized than if larger-scale, multi-locality proposals and policy packages could be realized, for material economies of scale. (Liberated-labor vs. consumers)

- Any given finalized policy package will include a formal announcement of key proponents, politically responsible for that project's implementation, if satisfactory participation to cover all the necessary components of it is present. There is never any *standing*, *institutional* administration over everything, as we're used to seeing historically at the nationalist level. If a project *isn't* performing up to formal expectations (as detailed in its policy package), the proponents can be replaced with a mass-approved (exceeding in ranking over the initial policy package) proposal that 'tweaks' those details that need changing, such as which personnel, exactly, are deemed to be the formal 'proponents' of that project. (Consumers vs. administration)

- Proponents of any given active finalized policy package would have considerable logistical social latitude for administrating over its implementation, depending-on / limited-by its finalized detailed terms. In some instances, for example, proponents over *several* localities, of several *similar* policy packages -- say, over agriculture -- or even at regional, continental, and *global* scales -- may cross-coordinate to *generalize* production across many similar policy packages, for the sake of greater efficiencies of scale. (Administration vs. consumers)

- Proponents are meant to represent the exact terms of an active finalized policy package, and by extension, to also represent popular demand for certain material production and/or socio-political initiatives. Proponents may bring attention to certain aspects of the active finalized policy package in the course of its implementation, as with any possible differences on the part of active liberated-labor on the project. (Administration vs. liberated-labor)

- Liberated-labor will always be able to physically organize internally, without external interference. Depending on each active finalized policy package's provisions, liberated laborers may decide on their own the details of *how* they collectively supply their labor, to meet the objectives of that policy package -- as with specific personnel of their own, which work roles are absolutely necessary, the scheduling of work shifts and personnel, what geographical location(s) are to be used, how machinery is to be used, what the supply chains with other factories are, how the bulk-pooled labor credits funding is to be divided-up, if any additional funding of labor credits is needed, or even if locality debt issuances for additional labor credits are to be called-for, what maintenance may be needed on infrastructure / machinery, what education or training may be required for certain workers, etc. (Liberated-labor vs. administration)

https://web.archive.org/web/20201211050 ... ?p=2889338
#15196420
late wrote:
Not really, a command economy is going to crash spectacularly, and irretrievably.



This knee-jerk interpretation / imputation isn't going to fly -- it wasn't a 'command' economy. You're thinking of what came *after* -- Stalinism.

*Before* the October Revolution there were *already* soviets, or workplace collective councils to run the workplaces, and the *build-up* of such fed into the Bolshevik Revolution itself.



Workers' councils

According to the official historiography of the Soviet Union, the first workers' council (soviet) formed in May 1905 in Ivanovo (north-east of Moscow) during the 1905 Russian Revolution (Ivanovsky Soviet). However, in his memoirs, the Russian Anarchist Volin claims that he witnessed the beginnings of the St Petersburg Soviet in January 1905. The Russian workers were largely organized at the turn of the 20th century, leading to a government-sponsored trade-union leadership.

In 1905, as the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) increased the strain on Russian industrial production, the workers began to strike and rebel. The soviets represented an autonomous workers' movement, one that broke free from the government's oversight of workers' unions and played a major role in the 1905 Russian Revolution. Soviets sprang up throughout the industrial centers of Russia, usually organizing meetings at the factory level. These soviets disappeared after the revolution of 1905, but re-emerged under socialist leadership during the revolutions of 1917.

Soviets emerged as inclusive bodies to lead workers, and to organize strikes and to politically and militarily fight the government of Russian empire mainly through direct action, with the primary actors being non-totalitarian leftists, including socialist revolutionaries and anarchists as Lenin's party was a minority.[3][4][5] During this time they established minor worker cooperatives though the operations were minor due to Russian crackdown on leftist organizations.[6]

Russian Revolution

The popular organizations which came into existence during the February Revolution were called "Councils of Workmen's and Soldiers' Deputies." These bodies were supposed to hold things together under the provisional government until the election of a constituent assembly could take place; in a sense, they were vigilance committees designed to guard against counter-revolution. The Petrograd Soviet of 4,000 members was the most important of these, on account of its position in the capital and its influence over the garrison.[2]



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_(council)#Workers'_councils
#15196429
ckaihatsu wrote:
This knee-jerk interpretation / imputation isn't going to fly -- it wasn't a 'command' economy. You're thinking of what came *after* -- Stalinism.



But it did happen.

Humans are perversely vulnerable to autocracy, and other perversions of power. Without strong checks and balances, it is all to easy for a government to decay into a dictatorship (as has happened so often in recent years) or autocracy.

The American threat to democracy has had me wondering just how strong those checks and balances need to be, because what we have now is clearly inadequate.
#15196435
late wrote:
But it did happen.

Humans are perversely vulnerable to autocracy, and other perversions of power. Without strong checks and balances, it is all to easy for a government to decay into a dictatorship (as has happened so often in recent years) or autocracy.

The American threat to democracy has had me wondering just how strong those checks and balances need to be, because what we have now is clearly inadequate.



Yeah, from a purely *mechanistic* perspective Western bourgeois democracy has *always* been inadequate because it's been *class-specific* democracy, meaning democracy within the gentry / landowner / white / male / slaveowner.

It sounds like you're bemoaning the *process* right now, which is understandable, but I'd add what about *immigrants* today? What about the Haitians? Or Burma, Mali, Sudan, Tigray.
#15196459
late wrote:
checks and balances



Here's the most I can say on the topic -- the following diagram shows the relative inherent material interests of each of the four basic components of social production.

I think that both workers and resources (both natural and social) have inherent material interests in *less* activity, for less social production / productivity. Administration and consumption would both objectively *benefit* from production, by definition, so their interests are intrinsically *countervailing* to those of workers and resources, for self-conservation.

These *structural* dynamics of society and its social production and distribution will have to be addressed by *any* social-productivity paradigm, as for post-capitalism / post-scarcity, since these are timeless socio-*material* dynamic components, of actual social (commodity) production in the real world.


A question for our Marxists DIAGRAM

Spoiler: show
Image



Components of Social Production

Spoiler: show
Image
#15197848

PaulB • 6 hours ago • edited

Excellent piece. Consider-

1. Rarely if ever addressed by MSM is what is the cause of all of these people fleeing the Middle East and going to Germany and other EU countries? This is a direct consequence of decades of US/NATO wars, now extending from the Levant, to Caspian Basin, Persian Gulf, Southwest Asia, China Sea, Indian Ocean, Horn of Africa, the Maghreb, to Eastern Europe and Russian Border. Millions of people have left affected countries to escape the chaos, violence and poverty these wars have unleashed. Post-911 militarization has cost US taxpayers > $20 trillion and displaced/killed 37 million people (likely low estimates; See: https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar

2. You can bet the US is putting immense pressure on Germany, Poland and Lithuania to maintain a hostile relationship with Belarus/ Moscow. WWII ended over 7 decades ago, but Germany is still occupied by 40K US troops. The Pentagon is building a major ground-based missile defense system in Poland, clearly directed against Russia. Poland is little more than a US stooge/vassal.

3. The Pentagon has three major theaters of operation- Ukraine and Eastern Europe, the Persian Gulf and Arabian Peninsula (Yemen) and Taiwan Strait. The American ruling elite are enraged that the Russia-China-Iran axis have attained economic/military parity and are viewed as an intolerable obstacle to US global power. The increasingly reckless and bellicose foreign policy by the US needs to be considered within the context of accelerating economic decline. Indeed, the decline of late-stage American Capitalism has progressed to the point where its very survival is contingent upon constant debt monetization (aka money printing) to prop up financial markets and the military. This is becoming increasingly tenuous as this orgy of money printing and debt has created gigantic bubbles in every asset class- equities, bonds, real estate, aka the ‘everything bubble’, which has increased inflation and threatening to derail the dollar's role as the world reserve currency.

The US/EU ruling elite have no way of resolving these severe structural economic problems and are preparing for war and a rendezvous with disaster. Link follows. See- As Polish Border Crisis Deepens Merkel EU Refuse to Talk to Lukashenko and Belarus, Talk to and Blame Putin Instead by Alexander Mercouris Nov 11, 2021; Link: https://theduran.com/merkel-runs-to-put ... der-crisis



http://disq.us/p/2kpl6vg
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