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Ivan_IV

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Reply with quote  #91 
I think it's imperative to actively combat this on all fronts; Socialism is a complete scourge and there is no better example than what happened in my own country (Russia). Our history is by far the best example of the horrors of Socialism, in action. I think though it would be relatively easy to combat Socialism ideaologically and politically given that we do have so many examples of just how horrid said system is and how inefficient it is. Not to mention there are numerous academic works which have annihiliated Socialism philosophically and ideaologically (the chaps at the Mises Institute are a very good resource).

I think it's important that we are active in our given nation's politics and get out there and do something about it. Attend and organize counter-demonstrations, beat them back at every single term. Infiltrate and dismantle their parties. Push for the illegalization of such parties. Put out propaganda against them. There is numerous political tools we have at our disposal. We need not be armchair philosophers and I for one think we need to get more exposure, do more, get out there more, and so forth.

The idea of anyone supporting Socialism, legitimately in this day and age given what a tremendous failure the Soviet Union, the Eastern bloc nations, China (which is now essentially capitalist in all but name) and most especially the DPRK (for a modern example) is completely absurd. I say all of this having not read any other responses in the thread but I will go back and read them after posting this. I think this a very important issue and something that needs to be adressed. Socialists are by far the most annoying to discuss politics with and I know this from having many far-left friends.

Not to mention, a lot (not all, I realize I'm generalizing here) of modern Socialists are involved in such things as illegal drugs and other such illegal activities so just finding out names and reporting them would go a long way.

Note: when I speak of Socialism, I am refering to the Socialism from the likes of Marx and others; namely the "dictatorship of the proletariat," and the proletariat owning the means of production, etc. etc. I am not refering to say the economies found in Scandinavian countries or any of that sort. I don't really consider that "Socialism." I also want to make clear, I'm not some free market, Libertarian nutter even though I did mention the Mises Institute.

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DavidV

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Reply with quote  #92 
There's social democracy, there's socialism, and there's Communism. Politics can be just as "sectarian" as religion- schisms, each group claiming they are the one true upholder of whatever, which is true with Communism. Many of today's "socialist" left in the West are crypto-Communists anyway.

On the other end, there is a difference between Nazism, Italian Fascism, Falangism, and things like corporatism, synicalism, Integralism or Integrism, even if those ideologies share certain similarities, they are different from each other. It's Communism and Fascism or Nazism, which represent the most extreme example and are ultimate evil.

What is known as Communism is anything descending from the Bolsheviks, known as Leninism or Marxism-Leninism. Which in turn split into Trotskyism and Stalinism, the latter splitting in the 50s (and the more hardline Communists are Anti-Reivsionists), and then there was Eurocommunism and today's "New Left" (urgh). Of course, the Frankfurt School aka Political Correctness can be seen as another form of Communism, can't it? How many real socialists, social democrats or liberals are around today, that aren't tainted by this?

Juche appears to have deviated completely, and is as much a religion as ideology now. North Korea has abandoned any references to Marxism-Leninism and Communism in its most recent constitutional change, indeed it seems.

In pre-1917 Russia, the other left parties were the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries, who were repressed by the Bolsheviks and became anti-Communist exiles.

There are other less-known forms of anti-Communist socialism, like World Socialism/Impossibilism and DeLeonism. Interesting that those groups share much of the Right's views on Communism, and also recognise what fascism is (and what it isn't).

Of course, the majority of those in ruling Communist parties in the Soviet Bloc rejected Communism completely by the end of the Cold War, or never believed in it, which left the True Believers a tiny minority in most countries and far more common (sadly) in the West. But are those fundamentalist leftists any more or less dangerous than crypto-Communists who pretend they aren't derived from it?
Ivan_IV

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Reply with quote  #93 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidV
There's social democracy, there's socialism, and there's Communism. Politics can be just as "sectarian" as religion- schisms, each group claiming they are the one true upholder of whatever, which is true with Communism. Many of today's "socialist" left in the West are crypto-Communists anyway.


In my initial post I am speaking of Socialism as defined by Socialists or what you would call Communists themselves. To the Communist, Communism is a stateless, classless society that directly follows Socialism which is a transitionary period between bourgeois-capitalism and Communism. If you read the works of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Hoxha, etc. or read Soviet publications you will instantly see this distinction and you will notice the Soviets refered to their state as a Socialist one. It is true however that leftists follow the "one true Scotsman," fallacy more so than any other political tendency.

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What is known as Communism is anything descending from the Bolsheviks, known as Leninism or Marxism-Leninism. Which in turn split into Trotskyism and Stalinism


Actually, I'm not sure if you could even consider "Stalinism," ideaologically or theoretically distinct from Marxist-Leninism. Trotskyism sure, he put out 500 papers daily but "Stalinism"? No.

I think it's convienant to use the definition of Socialism given by Marx in that it represent a means of production completely different than reformed capitalism and something for more dangerous than simply regulating and intervening in the markets. Granted, the definition of Socialism and what it "is," is dependent upon whom you talk too, I just think it's more accurate and more convienant to use the definition I am than again using a definition of Socialism in which it's merely the regulation and intervention in the markets. Most modern day leftists and Socialists (Communists) would say that those Scandinavian economies that some call Socialists are still capitalist and that SocDems are merely reformists and not Socialists anyway.

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Ponocrates

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Reply with quote  #94 
I think one of the main points of divergence between Trotsky and Stalin is that the former wanted to get beyond the nation-state immediately and support class-struggle revolution everywhere globally.   Stalin was inclined to support and protect communism in the one country where it existed - Russia - and subordinate everything to that end.   So Stalin favored a kind of nationalism.   This caused him to withhold support for revolution in some places and betray the cause (like in Spain) and sometimes ally with "reactionary" forces.   Much of the disillusionment among communists occurred when they realized that being a communist meant you were a pawn of the Soviet Union and not necessarily for the working class.   Often in Western countries you had Stalinists and Trotskyists who hated each other.

Socialist-lite also is not appealing to me because I am not an egalitarian.   I am glad there is inequality of all sorts and I think that's natural.   However, with inequality, there follows duty toward all parties.   People should complain when people are not doing their duty to those above and below.  People should not attempt to do the impossible: to erase all forms of inequality.  It will simply replace one hierarchy for another - and often a worse and dishonest one.         




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DavidV

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Reply with quote  #95 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan_IV

Actually, I'm not sure if you could even consider "Stalinism," ideaologically or theoretically distinct from Marxist-Leninism. Trotskyism sure, he put out 500 papers daily but "Stalinism"? No.


I didn't. What I was implying that Marxism-Leninism, Bolshevism and Communism mean essentially the same thing, and that Stalinism and Trotskyism are but two varieties resulting from that schism. Then the Stalin-Tito split that produced Titoism, and the Sino-Soviet split was the schism that produced the Maoists, and then Hoxhaists. Of course, China had effectively began to abandon Communism in the late 70s, and both Vietnam and Laos have long since abandoned socialist economics.

Eurocommunism was the resultant split from the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia, from which quite a few of today's "socialist" (as opposed to social democratic) parties in the West descend, and not all Eurocommunist parties were European. So you have this absurd situation from all those schisms, to show you that political movements are just as sectarian as religion, in that Mao and allies accused the Soviet Bloc of being "revisionist", yet by 1968 it was evident that the Soviets had retreated to "neo-Stalinism" which made Eurocommunists the real "revisionists" at least before Gorbachev appeared on the scene and allowed the majority of the last generation of apparatchiks to show their true colours (i.e. gave up on it/never believed in it).

Santiago Carrillo was one of the authors of Spain's current constitution and actually stood with King Juan Carlos I at crucial times, and by the end of the Cold War he said he'd transitioned out of Communism to become a social democrat because he felt there was "no sense in prolonging the movement".

Notice how Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan are still ruled by the last generation of party elites, who abandoned all pretense of Communism as they looked to secure their rule over newly-independent states, even if Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan in particular retain the totalitarian apparatus of repression. Unreconstructed Communist parties are still president in Russia, Ukraine and a few other places, and while Moldova voted them back into power there is nothing remotely "socialist" about them (The Economist even said they were "actually a centre-right party", lol). Neither is Transnistria, which still retains Soviet symbols, remotely socialist but rather a virtual corporate state.

Quote:
I think it's convienant to use the definition of Socialism given by Marx in that it represent a means of production completely different than reformed capitalism and something for more dangerous than simply regulating and intervening in the markets. Granted, the definition of Socialism and what it "is," is dependent upon whom you talk too, I just think it's more accurate and more convienant to use the definition I am than again using a definition of Socialism in which it's merely the regulation and intervention in the markets. Most modern day leftists and Socialists (Communists) would say that those Scandinavian economies that some call Socialists are still capitalist and that SocDems are merely reformists and not Socialists anyway.


Yes, that's the common theme- some types of socialists argue that social democracy and even Communism are simply "reformist" and "state capitalist" (because some utopian socialists want a moneyless society!).

But the retarded nature of today's "left" in the West is you will get the following types:
- the "True Believer" Communists who defend those evil regimes and often downplay or deny their crimes, just as neo-Nazis deny the Holocaust.
- the crypto-Communists who pose as "socialists" or "progressives" though what we can include in that category is up for debate.
- the above category who will either say "Communism wasn't that bad" or "Communism hasn't been tried anywhere yet", who are your typical delusional Leftists.

Ultimately these people deep down are revolutionary socialists who like you to believe their revolution won't have the human cost associated with Communist regimes, just as neo-Nazis like you to think their version of utopia won't have the same results. A plague on both their houses! In fact Peter Hitchens said nearly as much in one of his articles. What does it say that those types I mentioned above are actually far more visible and vocal in the West than in countries that actually suffered such regimes? They represent, to me, the peak of absolute stupidity and delusion.

This type of sectarianism ("one true upholder") is evident in the Irish Republican movement as well. Until 1986, Sinn Fein/IRA refused to recognise the legitimacy of the Irish Republic. Indeed, aside from abstaining from political participation, their primary goal was to overthrow the government in Dublin and set up a new republic ruled by them (with predictable consequences of such a revolution). The split in 1986 produced Republican Sinn Fein/CIRA, and later on there came the Real IRA. Those groups consider SF/IRA "traitors" and claim they are the real upholders of Irish Republicanism.

Of course, this is evident in the post-Vatican II "traditionalist movement" where you have rival traditionalist groups chasitising each other, rival sedevacantist groups doing so, and the most radical are the ones who've elected their own pope!
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