Ask a Marxist?

Anonymous (@) 8 years, 12 months ago

If you have any questions about Marxism? Shoot. Or if you want to discuss some aspect of it. It is good to be knowledgeable so at least your criticisms have validity.

January 28, 2013 at 7:42 pm
Anonymous (2,833) (@) 8 years, 11 months ago ago

@imhotep, What if I spray painted your house that you lived in with whatever I wanted?

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Anonymous (170) (@) 8 years, 11 months ago ago

@hulklol, When all material needs of society are met. I imagine we would first work to clean up the mess we’ve made of our ecology. I also imagine we would go to the bottom of the ocean, and to the stars. People would be free to develop their minds and bodies, through art, sports, science, and many other things.

People will do many things with their free time, I imagine travel will be an everyday part of life. But the arts, the sciences, and sports will occupy much of the time. I feel people in this future society will be the ultimate generalists. They will be highly educated and have highly diverse interests, they could be a doctor or scientist in the morning, a sportsman in the afternoon, and a poet in the evening.

I personally think art would blossom, as more people would have the time and opportunity to become artists.

I think what we like and what we’re good at, has a correlation. I think people will be able to do what they want, because you have incentive to do well at something you like. If there is necessity for citizens to perform other functions in emergencies, or temporarily, than that would occur as it does now.

I personally like birth control. As a device that could prevent disease, I’m sure birth control would be produced and would be available. Beyond that there will be no laws to force people to use birth control, or not too. You have to remember this system is designed to determine democratically what society needs and to produce it, it is not a legislative body as we know it.

I don’t think their would be because it is not an economic issue, and so not of concern to the collective. You have to also remember, Marx believed in the right for nations self determination. So if some of the soviets don’t want to allow certain drug use, it would be within their rights to do so, but this would be determined democratically, and would only be a law in that particular soviet. However, I don’t think soviets would be able to legislate something internally that would break the basic human rights, that would be voted upon by the entire collective, so there would be limits on how much any particular soviet would be able to control something.

If it is a true Socialist/Communist society, than that would mean that it is global. I imagine this would open travel up. You probably wouldn’t need anything like a passport, and it would probably be free to travel.

I have read Einstein’s “Why Socialism,” and enjoyed it.

Thanks for the great questions.

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Anonymous (170) (@) 8 years, 11 months ago ago

@ijesuschrist, Then I would probably kick your ass. Then re paint my house lol.

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lunacharski (11) (@lunacharski) 8 years, 11 months ago ago

@IJesusChrist, there is a misconception about the Marxist idea of the abolition of private property. Marx isn’t talking about your right to personal possessions, he is discussing private property in the means of production. He also shows that the only thing that the working class, the vast majority of the population, truly own is their labor power, but in order to survive they must sell their labor to the capitalist. In other words, a worker’s government would not infringe on your right to have your possessions and your dwelling to be as you would want to make it. Abolition of private property in the means of production isn’t about nationalizing your toothbrush, it is about placing the factory or enterprise that produces your toothbrush under the control of a democratically planned economy so that everyone would be guaranteed a toothbrush, or could use the factory to generate more according to the need of the people for toothbrushes. Just a little example of planned economy in a microcosm under a dictatorship of the proletariat. ie a worker’s democracy

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lunacharski (11) (@lunacharski) 8 years, 11 months ago ago

@Leumas: Marxism, as a philosophy, is based on dialectical materialism, which summed up understand that the material universe is in a constant state of flux, and we see this dialectical flux all around us. So, in that sense, there is no such thing as “pure Marxism” because Marxism is a method that is not fixed and set in stone, but is developed through the unity of theory and practice. That said, I think I understand the essence of your question. Can a worker’s revolution and the establishment of a worker’s government really happen? Have we not seen its failures particularly in the USST, etc. Studying the experiences and dynamics of these states (which I refer to as deformed or degenerate workers states) is certainly essential when thinking about the establishment of a workers state that can lead humanity to socialism. The subject of how the Stalinist bureaucracy took over the workers revolution in Russia, and how it effected the prospects of world revolution in the 20th century, is a topic that has been studied quite often by Marxists, and for a good analysis I recommend Leon Trotsky’s “The revolution betrayed.” But to sum it all up, the rise of Stalinist dictatorship in the worlds first workers state was the result of the extraordinary conditions that the revolution came under, and in particular it’s total isolation. A workers revolution today in, let’s say, a western Industrialized nation would not have to face most of the difficulties faced in Russia, or even China, Eastern Europe, etc. Unlike 1917 Russia, these countries have a huge working class that could more effectively stand up to counter revolution from the exploiting class, and would have at its disposal the highest levels of economic development in human history to date. Even under Stalins bureaucratic rule over the USSR, the centrally planned economy took Russia literally from the dark ages to a world superpower in a little over a decade. Imagine if such methods, applied instead in a truly democratic and socialist way, could do for a highly industrialized country like the US, France, the UK? Human productivity would reach levels never dreamed of throughout most of human history

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Anonymous (2,833) (@) 8 years, 11 months ago ago

@lunacharski, cool.

so communists still get pissed if i spray paint their house… bummer.

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lunacharski (11) (@lunacharski) 8 years, 11 months ago ago

I apologize for the lengthy response, if anything needs cleared up let me know

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Anonymous (170) (@) 8 years, 11 months ago ago

@trek79, First of all, being a member of the working class does not mean you are less intelligent or less capable than anyone else. Leonard Susskind is a nobel laureate physicist in theoretical physics. He did not have the opportunity to go to college until his mid to late twenties I believe, he worked as a plummer. So saying you would have to lower the bar, when training new professional doctors and scientists is fallacious, as well quite bigoted.

As I have stated many times, human need is determined democratically, and the more time that goes by the more needs will be identified and produced for, because you align your means of production each time. So overtime your productive capacity and productive efficiency would only increase (I truly don’t know how this could be perceived as spartan). If people decided democratically that everyone should have a jet ski, and it is within productive capacity, then jet ski’s would be produced. I also believe happiness is a vital need, as mentioned earlier this would necessarily be factored in to every economic determination of need.

The Capitalist system objectively causes misery for the majority of humans on earth, these people have NO other economic option, you can’t get more controlling then that. I truly don’t understand how an economic grid that constantly grows more productive and more efficient to the point of super abundance could be considered spartan.

It is important when evaluating new thoughts to not have confirmational bias.

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lunacharski (11) (@lunacharski) 8 years, 11 months ago ago

@piptherational,
Actually, it can largely be summed up in three points! Here is a link to a piece written by Lenin that summarizes the essentials of Marxism. The main components are 1.marxs philosophy of dialectical materialism 2. Marx’s scientific critique and analysis of capitalism 3. The theory necessary for the establishment of a workers revolution, workers state and the practical political methods needed to move to communism. Here is the link that will sum up the details http://socialistorganizer.org/the-three-sources-and-three-component-parts-of-marxism/

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hulklol (352) (@hulklol) 8 years, 11 months ago ago

@imhotep,

Thanks for the great answers!!

I have some other questions if you don’t mind.

What do you think about the libertarian communism & social anarchism? Have you read Bakunin, Malatesta or Kropotkin? If yes, what do you think about it? What are the main differences between Anarchist communism & Marxism?

When you say that a communist society will be organized by a workers democracy, will there be someone who isn’t a worker? Can it be a peoples democracy?

Have you hear about Degrowth? If yes, what do you think about it? Do you think it could play an important roll in the organization of a communist society?

Under your point of view, which was the biggest difference in the thought between Marx and Lenin?

What are your thoughts on today’s Cuba?

Sorry, again that’s a lot of questions. I hope you don’t mind :)

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Ray Butler (1,423)M (@trek79) 8 years, 11 months ago ago

@imhotep, Well, I have spelled out how I think the most logical system should be set up. I am not for the current system, so don’t say I am biased.
Another thing is that I am a high school drop out, never completed any higher education, I have been a streetsweeper for years, don’t put words in my mouth that I think shit kickers can’t be intelligent and that I’m bigoted.
Doctors need to prove they can be at a certain level of ability is all I am saying, you can’t get everyone to train to be a doctor in hope that enough will be good enough, people choose to be a doctor, like many other occupations, and there is no shortage of people trying to become one, just that so many fail the standard. The only two ways to change this is to 1) force more people to try to become doctors or 2) lower the standards doctors have to qualify for.

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Anonymous (170) (@) 8 years, 11 months ago ago

@trek79, This is all I’m trying to say, when a student has a free education, and all their needs provided for, they are more likely to excel. If anybody who had the desire, and ability to study medicine were given this opportunity, then there would be more than enough doctors. You don’t go to medical school if you don’t have the means. One of Cuba’s problems is they have to many trained professionals like doctors, and they don’t have jobs for all of them, because it’s a small island. This is because they have a free education, and all or most of their needs provided for.

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Anonymous (170) (@) 8 years, 11 months ago ago

@hulklol, Economically I think Libertarian Communism inevitably revert back to capitalism. Here is an article which explains the differences between Anarchism (and its various types), and Marxism, and it offers a Marxist critique of Anarchism: http://socialistorganizer.org/anarchism-vs-marxism/.

I have only heard or read of those three in passing.

As soon I can I’ll get to your other questions.

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Anonymous (170) (@) 8 years, 11 months ago ago

@hulklol, Oh and I don’t mind the questions. Keep them coming :).

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更高的存在 (2) (@huanhanjuexing) 8 years, 11 months ago ago

你认为我国人相信马克思主义吗?

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Ray Butler (1,423)M (@trek79) 8 years, 11 months ago ago

@imhotep, That is not nessecarily true, I would argue that if a person has nothing to loose or nothing to prove then they are less likely to put an effort in. If a person does not have the means to become a doctor, yet wants to, then there are options like student loans and scholarships. If people get it for free then chances are most of the people would lose motivation halfway through.
If, however, they have taken out a significant loan, they are much more commited to following through with their enrollment. It helps to know how money works before you dismiss its applications. Yes there will be people who simply have a passion to be a doctor and do not need extra motivation to follow through with studies, but there will be plenty who find the workload too much and drop out.
The cost of such an education weeds out people who do not want to make the commitment and it enhances the motivations of those who do make the commitment. I think it would be better to provide the opportunities for more people to loan the means for a degree rather than to clog up the schools with a bunch of likely dropouts. Just sayn.

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lunacharski (11) (@lunacharski) 8 years, 11 months ago ago

@hulklol, The Matxist theory of the state is that the state is a permanent armed body of force that defends the interests of a ruling class. When revolutions occur, one exploited class overthrows the other, and replaces the old state machinery with a new one that will serve its class interests. The bourgeois revolutions in the 17th and 18th centuries are examples of how the feudal aristocracy was overthrown and replaced with bourgeois states (English Civil War leads to birth of parliamentryism, French Revolution established a Republic, etc) in capitalist society, the class struggle is worker vs, capitalist, proletarian vs. bourgeoisie.

From this theory, we Marxists (I don’t like to differentiate Leninism from Marxism, I will explain later) understand that overthrowing the capitalist class means sweeping away the old state machinery and replacing it with a new one. And a state must be in the hands of a ruling class, so to speak, so the state would be in the hands of the working class.

We Marxists try not to speculate too much on the particular forms that a workers state will take, since that will depend on historical circumstances that have not yet occurred. There are many forms that this state could take, but what they would have in common would be that they were states in control by the working class. Some may be more centralized and others less so. So whether or not the actual bourgeoisie would be able to participate individually in such a system is really not something we can certainly answer. There are forms that this state could take that might permit them to have a vote if they become workers, and other forms of the state that will be stricter against the old ruling class. Those depend on circumstances.

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Almeida (304) (@xetado) 7 years, 11 months ago ago

@chekovchameleon, Foremost, sorry for bumping this such old thread, I was searching for some Marxist threads here in HE :)
As to the last example you gave (the single man and the man with a family), who is to judge what the family or the single man needs and which parameters are going to be used? And what exactly does the concept of ‘accommodate’ encompass? Human species needs more than food and water to have a nice life, right? Thanks, fellow Marxist :P

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