Not An Introduction, But A Thank You


#1

This isn’t really an introduction, but I’m not sure where else it would best to place this, so I suppose here goes:

Many years ago, when I was 14 or 15, I was an active contributor to YouthDebates. I remember it was after the 2015 election and maybe just before the Brexit referendum.

I enjoyed coming home after a long day at school and taking part in conversations on British politics. It was fun. As an avid Liberal Democrat, it was challenging to defend my political outlook at a time when the party had been decimated. It was a stimulation and the experience of being on these forums grew me as a person, both intellectually and in terms of character. Through the process of annoying many fellow members, and appealing to a few less, I gradually learned the art of rhetoric (okay, you got me, I still haven’t persuaded anyone to be a Liberal Democrat, but at least they’re now listening and not yawning…). By this, I mean that YouthDebates cleared most of the sophistry in me and it inspired me to be eager to learn more, to challenge critically, to reflect on what I believe. It taught me how to debate with valid arguments, not with facts and fallacies; it encouraged me to be open-minded to new ideas. And it fundamentally deepened what I knew: I quickly dropped the mantle of political partisanship and started to dedicate my time to learning the tenets of political philosophy and economics in order to understand the faults in my reasoning and the gaps in my understanding. It was dedicating my time to these that ultimately led me to leave these forums.

The community here was amazing - many familiar faces and names come to mind, all of whom were always supportive and friendly. It felt like a second life and I would gladly and easily reckon them amongst my close friends. I met so many engaging, interesting and bright people, with whom I dearly wish I had stayed in contact. I would be overjoyed - but I doubt it - if any of them are still here now, reading this.

Since my time on YouthDebates, I’ve not stopped debating anything that comes up in the political landscape, but I’ve done more so face-to-face. YouthDebates set me and inspired me on a journey and a process of learning and character-building. In spite of dedicating hours a day to YouthDebates during the final year (life tip: that’s a great way to procrastinate doing work), I achieved good GCSE results and now have an offer from the University of Oxford on a course that is renowned for requiring a high degree of critical thinking and openness to new ideas. Let my conditional offer on that course be a testament to how much YouthDebates changed, inspired and made me for the better.

So, this is a thank you - to all the site staff, to all the forum members back in my days, and to everyone who still contributes to these forums. Your work here at inspiring and engaging young people is invaluable and I am incredibly grateful. I hope and pray that you will continue to be a gathering place for so many young people who, like me, love to discuss politics, but may not necessarily find the time and place to do so in their ordinary lives. Thank you all.


#2

Were you the guy who had Tim Farron as your profile picture?


#3

if you can link your old pfp i can take you to where most YD folks went to


#4

also P.s liberal democracy wont survive by 2050


#5

Um what, lol? Compared to Marxism, Liberalism is a resounding success. Unlike Marxism, liberalism as actually achieved things and shown to be functional. And liberalism IS adaptable, as history shows. Any attempts at Communism just return to capitalism. Markets are an inevitability of human society. Every, EVERY major civilization has had trade and some form of currency.

Marx had some good points, but he was clearly shown to be wrong at several other points (such as predicting that the revolution would start in developed Europe, while they were indeed most popular in developing nations). Any attempts to revise or evolve are denounced as ‘revisionist’ by Orthodox Marxists such as yourself.

Now if you’re referring specifically to Neoliberalism, then I can definitely see your perspective. Whether or not neoliberalism can survive is its own argument, but Marxism has been dead since the mid 20th century, and frankly it doesn’t need a comeback. Unionism does, socialism does, and centrism sure as hell does, but Orthodox Marxism doesn’t. I know you will disagree with me but I’m tired of you tooting the same horn


#6

weve already had this conversation before, but if your idea of liberalisms “adapatability” is basically temporarily shut down liberalisms ideals like human or political rights *see mcarthy era, see FBI and CIA actively sabotaging leftist movements, outright even blocking democracies where communists where elected.

I didn’t even bring up marx or that the dialectics would be the one to end liberal democracy, Liberal democracy is horrible at dealing with existential crisis, it usually has to become an authoritarian society when ever its confronted with even relatively minor threats (see churchill sending tanks to Scotland to crack down on unions) or Theresa mays police literally brutalising unions etc. Liberal democracy does not face 1…or 2…3 existential crises, but 4 crises, all of them simultaneously currently!

  1. Climate change crisis: We are going to see massive food and water shortages hit many parts of the world, both in non liberal democracies and in liberal democracies, rich western nations will whether this alot better but will still suffer heavily from these shortages, as well as lost land too the sea and desertification. This alone is going to cause hundreds of billions, if not trillions of dollars in damages. During deep recessions like these is when liberal democracies start seeing shit go down like in Greece, where soldiers had to be deployed to protect banks! , almost also happened in ireland too but luckily the irish economy was much stronger then greece’s. We haven’t even gotten to other factors that climate change will introduce like the potential risk of ancient pandemics coming back from sibera, or deadly mosquitoes slowly colonising temperate climates both in america and europe. These are going to put massive strains on liberal democracies alone, and thats just one CRISIS.

  2. The Super migrant crisis: The above conditions i just mentioned about liberal democracy? Well its going to produce phenomenon that is quite interesting, tens of millions (some even predict hundreds of millions) of climate refugees, mostly from the middle east and africa due to portions of land becoming inhabitable for large population societies, as well as the fact that the few stable states in africa have become increasingly less stable over the last few years. The cause of the syrian civil war itself was largely climatic in nature, some experts believe syrian refugees are the first climate refugees for this reason. I.e Massive completely bizare drought hits syria, folks protest it, bashar suppresses it, people get desperate because they are starving and dying of thirst, which kicks off the rebellion and the syrian civil war. Both from northern africa and syria we are seeing a fraction of what will come to europe in the next few years and we have already literally seen several european states openly abandon and move away from liberal democracy because of it, Orban of hungary, a big player in europes visegrad group calls it “national democracy” , as in a democracy that is anti liberal with a strong nationalist focus. Just so you know, i dont think its leftists who are going to win here in europe, which i think you are assuming im implying by saying liberal democracy wont survive. No i think facists are going to take over. The hard left is too disorganised to provide a proper counter balance at the moment that could otherwise prevent this, though it is present so We likely will overthrow the reactionaries after they destroy liberal democracy. Europe’s liberalism is already facing a giant onslaught and is loosing badly, before the shit has truly hit the fan with migrants!

  3. Automation crisis: about 30-40% of workers around at the moment are going to lose their jobs in less then 20 years, from every level of the workplace, i.e high paying, low paying and mid paying jobs. UBI to be successful needs to be implemented NOW while we can still safely discover its flaws and issues, there are however only temporary pilot UBI programmes , which are tiny and often ineffective or WORSE when they were successful were SUPPRESSED https://www.reddit.com/r/BasicIncome/comments/97kduk/now_that_ontarios_basicincome_pilot_has_been/

. Even if you believe most of these people will end up working. (30-40% of the work place is tens of millions of people in large countries, you are not going to shove these people into university or high level training at once). Assuming UBI is even successfully introduced it still means countless people are going to see a sharp drop in their quality of life for reasons beyond their control, particularly in middle and upper class job losses, 10+ years of hard work only to basically end up on the proverbial curb. All of this just to support an economic mode of production that is already crumbling at the next crisis ill bring up and roughly describe. Trump is the result of a few hundred thousand workers being disenfranchised by free trade,Imagine what america is gonna get in response to automation , or europe for that matter. Probably will make leftists much stronger in the end because they promise to collectivise automata.

Again any one of these crises has taken liberal democracies to their knees where they almost stopped being liberal democracies. Its not going to survive ALL of them AT ONCE,

4 . Financialisation peak: One of the main components of marxism, especially on why capitalism is unsustainable is its inherent contractions, the conflict between workers interests. Heres a simplified description of the consequences of some of these contradictions.

How capitalism in the long wrong has escaped from essentially total collapse caused by this happening roughly every 8 years is the ascendency of finance, essentially the debt economy. This is however not sustainable in the long run and all we really need to see is wait for either china or the USA to burst first with their respective massive debt bubbles. Automation is only going to accelerate this due to profit being extracted surplus value, so workers dont get any money to even purchase the goods being produced.

Also kaiser if you believe Marx and Engels made “good points” then that means you agree with capitalism being unsustainable as that was the sum of their points

The 4th point of these by the way is the only one that has marx indirectly involved, but more on that here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67HfnfLYr7U


#7

No. The idea that capitalism is unsustainable is not one of their “good points”. I was referring to the idea that workers on all levels, not just upper management, should have at least some choice in the direction of a company. That’s what I’m referring to. As for the takeover of proper fascists, I doubt that will happen. Reactionaries, sure, but not quite fascists.

As for climate change, solving it and liberal democracies are not mutually exclusive. The idea that it is the corporations in Europe and the US that output the most pollution is absurd. It’s the fast-growing nation’s that are the worst, specifically India and China. Europe barely scratches the surface of that, though I will admit that us Americans do have something much larger to worry about.

As for the rise of Marxists post supposed reactionary takeover, I highly doubt that. The issue with most of these far-right societies is that they are economically unstable. By isolating themselves they will eventually meet the same fate that the Qing did, eventually becoming totally stagnant. Anyone with a hint of understanding of basic economics and Realpolitik would know this (the latter of which is ironic, since it was a Reactionary conservative, Otto von Bismarck, who founded the idea that today’s extreme right vehemently rejects). That economic instability will lead to people looking back to the old order, most likely to Social Democracies. Since the Far-Right seems to use the same populist tactics as the far left I doubt that the latter will seem appealing after the inevitable failure of the former. From there you only have a few directions to go.

As for markets and trade, they are an inevitability of human society. From a capitalist POV, THAT is capitalism, not the idea of “means of production”. A capitalist wouldn’t have any issue with cooperatives on an ideological level, so long as they were allowed to act as corporations do, competing in an open market. They both provide the same exact function, but the former spread wealth more equally and increase spending power, which is excellent for the economy. That is why I do support cooperatives and properly regulated and decentralized unions: they’re better for everyone in the long run. Liberalism has shown itself to be extremely adaptable over time, and I doubt that it will fail to adapt to the current crisis.


#8

Marxism doesnt make any normative claims, it is analyses. This isnt even an marxist idea at all, this has been a contemporary socialist idea for centuries, long before marx, READ, MARXISM is the prediction that capital will fail due to its own internal contradictions, the workers will become class concious and will seek to collectivise the means of production and transition to a socialist mode of production, this leads to lower phase communism etc etc. Nothing to do with “shoulds , coulds dos” etc, in a nutshell marxism says socialism is going to happen because the material conditions of society will produce it.

My my point was that liberal democracy is horrible at handling crisis without abandoning its principles, even then its during crisis that liberalism is in danger historically speaking.

I literally did not bring this up, this doesnt address anything I said.

America doesnt have proper waste infrastructure, the only reason why it hasnt ecologically collapsed is because of the sheer amount of land the USA has.

The material condition will lead to a socialist uprising at some point, one of the biggest problems liberals have with engaging marxists is that we reject the importance of individuals, we focus on material anaylises.

Good for you to notice, you know better then I thought,

Not necessarily, these countries historically had capitalist mode of production and did fine when they were far more isolated, what matters is what they do with their economy post isolation, to which they dont really have any plan (i mean central planning is a viable route but its still tricky if you dont have autarky in critical areas).

BASIC EGUNOMICS. meme counter +3

Much of the modern far right in europe are a collection of true reactionaries and what i would term “rogue” capitalists. Capitalists are basically split on free trade, as many and I mean many stand to benefit from isolated economies and states, or at the very least a group of states with very different rules compared to other areas of the world and each other , (an example of this would be ireland and its super low corp tax rate vs most of europe, this is something many corporations have helped ireland defend). Social democracy was a concession to the workers from the capitalist class for them to remain the ruling class, combined with the marshal plan.

Marxists are aware of this, its an important part of our view on history, in principles of communism we literally discuss previous class systems in reference to this and historical modes of production.

Capitalism as a term and concept didnt exist until recently, because its heavily tied to the concept of capital, i.e the capicty and means to produce. Capital was not something that could be massed or used or all owned until early capital (i.e just prior to the industrial revolution) had occurred.

Capitalists don’t have an ideology, they are a big part of the constant violations of liberalisms ideals, when you say capitalism, you mean liberalism. Your model of “capitalism” falls apart in a centrally planned economy like china that still supports private property and private ownership of the means of production, as well as generalized commodity production and the value form being largely intact.
But no, coops don’t conflict with liberal ideology in the slightest, the main reason why coops dont do well in a capitalist mode of production is because the incentive structure of a coop is towards the betterment and improvement of conditions of the workers within the coop, not the overall profitability of the firm. Because of this , it is exceedingly difficult to receive investments from both banks and standard capitalists, as their money is tied primarily to the profitability of the venture, which isnt the main goal of it, Many worker coops however are profitable due to the improved conditions within the coop, as well as a personal stake in the firm, but the issue with its incentive structure means it will never be an attractive investment for traditional members of the capitalist system, Coops literally had to make their own banks just to function and expand.

This still does not deal with Capitals internal contradictions however,

So you are in favour of a corporatist form of economics (im using the actual meaning of corporatism)

By adaptable , you mean again abandoning its own principles or mutating them for political expediency right? You didnt actually address how liberalism is going to survive the above 4 crises, really you didnt address any of my core arguments at all (which is why I didnt even bother replying until now). As I said I would be genuinely impressed if liberal democracy survived one of these crises fully intact, but definitely not all 4 of them, and theres a 5th one I forgot about, the ecological crisis.