Who is your role model and why is it Chairman Mao?

praxis
theory

#1

Marx -kinda obvious being the local marxist of the place.
Also on my booklist will be bread guy (after im finished a 2 more books im reading him)


#2

Quite the variety. A good bit of Eric Blair, Aristotle, John Locke (obviously), Murray Rothbard, etc. Usually try to stay away from Marxists and Conservatives, but I do plan on looking a bit into them at some point


#5

Why avoid marx? Anarchists and Marxists for even a while were the same group , but even after that split Marx is still important reading for most anarchists,as many of its variations derive from him(considering his theory is the most important for all socialists of the modern era,)

Besides a good chunk of Marxism discusses the problems of capitalism, its impacts on society etc and even anti Marxists heeded many of these issues.


#6

True, but Marxism is inherently divisive and functions on a straw man narrative. While it does correctly point out many of the issues with capitalism, it’s own propositions are half-assed and it seldom self-criticizes. Compare that to Liberalism or Libertarian Socialism which consantly seek to self criticize, debate, hence why I try to avoid it. In that way it is somewhat similar to fascism in that it requires a straw man to actually function

It can really only be seen through it’s own lense and is rather inflexible. It has some good concepts but attempting to apply based on it is nearly impossible.

My whole shtick is about liberties and rights. Marxism doesn’t really care about that; it really limits itself to industrialization and unionization. Capitalism isn’t one great monolithic entity. It works excellently with city states (see Hong Kong and Democratic Athens for more), but when scaled up to a nation state the inequalities become magnified.

I’d personally rather see a world of democratic, capitalist city states than a world of Communist nation-states.

However, if you could point me to a “Marxism for dummies” book of sorts I’d love to give it a look


#7

….straw man…narrative? how? what? I mean post modernist criticise the “meta narrative”, but ive never seen them call it a straw man narrative, generally speaking when something is a straw man its generally false and untrue,

theoretical prediction as to what will occur*

This is one of the main reasons why I think Marxists should just call themselves a school of economics/philsopipphy rather then just Marxists, it creates a situation where the initiated like yourself think it has been static even since marx and engels died. Maybe the London school of economics? Because if you know anything about the history of Marxism, its nothing but marx, and other Marxian authors being completely savage critics of each other, its why its “divisive” in the left in the first place. I remember a blog discussing neo Marxist theory talk about this, the quote im thinking of was amazing. Edit I FOUND IT :smiley:

an example of this is the national question, I,e should communists support nationalism?
Marx himself endorsed nationalism for the purpose of freeing ethnicities from oppression, later Marxists who were in opposition to both lenin and later much more heavily opposed to stalin like Rosa Luxembourg completely panned that idea for good reason (nationalism is an incredibly effective tool for establishing chauvinism, which allowed the USSR to cover up much of the shit it was doing as well as justify decidedly both anti socialist and anti Marxist actions).

You do realise much of the libertarian socialists ARE Marxists?

what philosophy liberalism? anarchism?

what part of liberating the working class implies this? Marx on his fucking grave said “WORKERs of all lands, unite!” or “We have nothing to lose but our chains” (both quotes where marx is fully ideological outside of his theory)

Marxists have never argued this, you are echoing an older version of me because I said this to other socialists while I was still right wing.

City states are optimal units for specialisation and usually lack much of the overhead of a much larger scale state, however theres a reason why city states are not dominant in the world (they actually used to be even more common in the past)

Capitalism requires global hegemony to function,

Capital has progressively weakened democracies, its shattered the American democracy, british democracy is in a severely damaged state and this is trend we are seeing in many places, capitalists also tend to back anti democratic forces during crisis and in general.

mate you are soo much better off just reading a few of marx’s writings, some of it will you know already if you have read other related authors anyway so you wont have too much trouble. Im not sure what I would recommend to you however.


#8

Yes, precisely. The rights of the individual must not be infringed upon unless said individual infringes on the rights of another, in which case any action to neutralize that threat so long as it only targets the one infringing, may be taken.


#9

Strictly following classical liberal ideals about rights doesn’t do society any good. You have to actually look at the causes of suffering, conflict, and adversity in society, and create a system that resolves or at least mitigates said issues. Capitalism is destroying democracy, solidarity, equality, and the planet. Capitalism isn’t serving humanity’s best interests. While I myself am I not very well versed in Marx’s works, through looking at the world and the problems that face the people of the world, I firmly believe that common ownership of the economy by the workers is the way to resolve these issues of preserving democracy (both political and economic), solidarity, any semblance of equality in society, and the environment itself. While I know you won’t instantly turn to socialism, I highly urge you to take a pragmatic look at what policies and property relations will provide the greatest good to the greatest number of people, as opposed to sticking strictly to enlightenment ideals of natural rights. I will admit that they do seem quite appealing at a first glance, and I’d say some of those ideals certainly have a place in our society, but not on some inherent ideological basis, but on a pragmatic basis, on the results of those ideals. However, these ideals have stood to perpetuate the grasp of society the wealthy possess. They do not work in the best interest of most people. We need a system that does.


#10

Because by “liberating the working class” they often mean taking private assets by force regardless of how much actual exploitation was taken to gain them. And it usually involves a lot of unnecessary violence

City states are great. They’re not dominant because the short-term power of nation states outweighs the long-term benefit of decentralized city states.

Despite the Athenians limiting rights to male citizens, the general structure of the late Athenian Republic (both political and economic) is excellent

And no, capitalism does not require hegemony. Cronyism does, as does imperialism, but proper ethical capitalism suffers from hegemony, it doesn’t benefit. Competition benefits everyone. Properly regulated capitalism with stiff competition drives rapid innovation, as you can clearly see

Special interests have, not capital. Those are mainly the interests of the elites, though trade unions are definitely to blame as well (as a citizen of NY I can back that up with personal experience). Cronyist elites tend to back non-democratic governments to keep themselves in power. When unregulated capitalism becomes cronyism, doubly so in an authoritarian structure. But when special interests are curbed through some sort of absolute (i.e. direct constitutional democracy) then that issue gets put away pretty easily.

Individuals will always act in their own interest. Capitalism attempts to channel that self interest for the betterment of humanity as a whole while socialism attempts to shift human nature. This is made easier in an authoritarian structure where the party is allowed to run rampant. This is why all authoritarian leftist movements end up as ML or Maoists. Libertarian socialism is a middle ground I can tolerate, as it still recognizes the freedoms of the individual and places great importance on them


#11

Ah but you see pragmatism is the very reason that I am not a socialist. Realistically it will never happen through means I am willing to accept. Regulatory capitalism is achievable through those means however, as is compromise. There is a fundamental disconnect between socialism and my contractual viewpoint. Wages are not inherently exploitative in my mind. They are in yours.


#12

These are inherent to capitalism. Capital accumulation due to hierarchical property relations results in vast inequality, with the market acting as a tool of selection for often greedy and power-hungry men who will use this accumulated capital to essentially purchase a portion of government to protect and further their ability to accumulate capital. By allowing business and capitalist to have more free rein by justifying their claims to the wealth they have generated through the labor of others, you enable them more so to corrupt the political and economic systems in which they reside. Capitalism doesn’t want to be regulated like you want it to. While it is possible to a degree, there will always be limited gains after long struggle, ultimately giving you inadequate conditions for the rest of society. Imperialism, hegemony, and “cronyism,” aren’t separate from capitalism, they are parts of it. Give capitalism enough time and you will end up with these things. They are integral and inseparable from its functions.

Capitalism enables, empowers, and rewards greed, ultimately creating a world in which greed is king: a world in which inequality is unthinkably vast, where democracy is a lie, and the people and planet pay the price. Socialism doesn’t try to shift human nature, it attempts to harness the desire and good that comes with equality through solidarity with other members of society. These are very real parts of human nature, yet have been suppressed through incessant propaganda and financial scarcity that have made people scared of change and poor when compared to the owners of the means of production.

While that is true, I don’t think that is ultimately what is important. Even if they weren’t exploitative, they still result in an undesirable system, and thus, a better system should be pursued.

It is possible nonetheless, while not necessarily easily to establish, it certainly is. While there will be some costs up front, in the long-term the benefits will outweigh the costs. That’s what I mean by looking at it pragmatically. While it may not be a pretty process, it is a process we must endure if we are to secure a decent standard of living and decent security, in addition to the health and survival of the planet, which ultimately dictate our own health and survival.


#13

Crony capitalism is a myth, there is only capitalism, there are many variations however the idea of a crony capitalism comes from the myth that historically when markets were less regulated and therefore being more free markets the system worked alot better (spoiler alert it didn’t, communists where at peak power during this era because of how shit it was)

Oh for fucks sakes not you too, “mug human nature”
Goddamnit Locke


#14

first piece of material anyway, its a good disambiguation and I personally consider it mandatory reading for any non marxist who plans to read Marxian literature to any serious degree

https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1847/11/prin-com.htm

https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1875/gotha/index.htm
^ pretty short book , marx basically grilling one of his fellow socialists in the era but also describes key critical details about the transition to communism, (many of the things marx discusses hear are relevant when discussing the USSR and its problems as well)

https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/theses/index.htm

^very short thesis,

^ complete this list and you will be able to talk well with any marxist, THERE IS A ALOT more but this is good enough to be considered reasonably knowledgeable in classical Marxism,

Also you will be forgiven for not reading Capital volume 1 as its a beefy read and its a hard one, if you read these you will be able to read any marxist, or should be able to. This would be the closest to a “marxism for dummies” i can think of while still being honest and accurate, MIA are generally pretty good but i disagree with the manifesto being given that much credence, principles of communism which i linked is a far superior document.


#15

Jefferson,Fourier,Cole,St. Simon,Smith,Ricardo, Warren,Marx,Engels,Godwin,Thoreau,Lincoln,Brown,Douglass,Sankara,Malcolm X,Proudhon,Kropotkin,Bakunin,Hodgskin,Chomsky,Locke,Rawls,Long,Goldman,Berkman,de Cleyre,Malatesta,Swartz and many others.


#16

Thank you. I’ll get to it ASAP