Socialism; just buried beneath the debris? Watch

Corporate79
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While I don't claim to be an expert in political or philosophical thought, I have, found recently some glaring loopholes in the popular arguments against the pursuit of a communist state.
Marx's idea of communism is based on a fully advanced capitalist country's proletariat masses discovering the extent of their exploitation. Yet this has never happened, each country that has so far purported to be similar to or actually claimed to be communist has in fact developed from, feudal, imperialistic or very early capitalist systems. The prime example being Russia, deposing its Zsar in favour of the 'socialist' regime.
My question is, am I missing something from my understanding, or is it a (deliberate?) media misinterpretation, are they attempting to bury socialism in the debris of tyrants?

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Are you Shaw?
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Marxism = history is a class struggle, the contradictions (dialects) of capitalism will result in a workers revolution which will overthrow the current government and replace it with a dictatorship of the proletariat on the road to communism.

socialism = public ownership (In Marxist theory, the dictatorship of the proletariat)

communism = economic equality and stateless society (The end of world history according to Marx)

the confusion arises as a result of, socialism being a 'dictatorship', Bakunin argued against Marx arguing it would be no better than what came before it, Lenin held they differed only intention.

Soviet 'communism' is Lenin's interpretation of Marxist theory as well as several other ideas (in the Soviet Union under Stalin 'socialism in one country' prior to Lenin's death 'continuous revolution' of Trotsky et al was popular')

Maoism developed as a result of Stalinism.

Pretty much all 'socialist' states have just been tyrants although public ownership is common, so it's right to call them 'socialist' but not really Marxist.
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Martyn*
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Socialism has indeed been well and truly burried beneath the conspiracy called Marxist Socialism. No-one today speaks of Socialism without referring to Marx. Sad really.
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MagicNMedicine
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Socialism is alive. Ask any Republican - they will tell you the USA has a Communist president.

Who really won the Cold War?
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Corporate79
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(Original post by MagicNMedicine)
Socialism is alive. Ask any Republican - they will tell you the USA has a Communist president.

Who really won the Cold War?
The USA, one cannot become the president without getting the votes to put you there. If socialism is alive and well in america, its because of a natural shift in the ideological shift in the population. Since 9 republican presidents have been elected since the cold wear began, vs the democrats 7; it would appear the right wing of american politics are still firmly in the majority.
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DaveSmith99
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Socialism has become synonymous with Marxism, but they aren't the same thing. The closet we have had to Marxism was probably the Commune of Paris, which lasted for a couple of months before it was crushed.
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Observatory
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Socialism is a set of policies, which seem to be poor ones.

Marxist historiography is a predictive theory about the course of history that has largely been falsified by events. Today I think it is better regarded as pseudoscience or as a religion. One might be able to argue that socialist policies would work better if the course of Marxist historiography were followed, but I think extraordinary evidence would be required. Economic science suggests that the reasons the policies are bad would apply in almost any realistic situation. Furthermore, not all socialists are Marxists.

Historically the advanced country that moved furthest toward socialism was actually Britain 1945-1979. The result was that it temporarily ceased to be among the most advanced countries, and then the policies were partially reversed.
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Observatory
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(Original post by MagicNMedicine)
Socialism is alive. Ask any Republican - they will tell you the USA has a Communist president.

Who really won the Cold War?
I don't think "any" Republican would tell you that. Some would, but then some Democrats would have told you that Bush was a Nazi - who really won WWII?
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MagicNMedicine
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(Original post by Corporate79)
The USA, one cannot become the president without getting the votes to put you there. If socialism is alive and well in america, its because of a natural shift in the ideological shift in the population. Since 9 republican presidents have been elected since the cold wear began, vs the democrats 7; it would appear the right wing of american politics are still firmly in the majority.
One has to wonder at the track record of this right wing of American politics seeing as the US has trillions of dollars worth of debt and has mortgaged its future to splash out on welfare payments and now Obamacare where Soviet style death panels decide who can live and who can die.
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L1nk
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(Original post by Are you Shaw?)
Marxism = history is a class struggle, the contradictions (dialects) of capitalism will result in a workers revolution which will overthrow the current government and replace it with a dictatorship of the proletariat on the road to communism.

socialism = public ownership (In Marxist theory, the dictatorship of the proletariat)

communism = economic equality and stateless society (The end of world history according to Marx)

the confusion arises as a result of, socialism being a 'dictatorship', Bakunin argued against Marx arguing it would be no better than what came before it, Lenin held they differed only intention.

Soviet 'communism' is Lenin's interpretation of Marxist theory as well as several other ideas (in the Soviet Union under Stalin 'socialism in one country' prior to Lenin's death 'continuous revolution' of Trotsky et al was popular')

Maoism developed as a result of Stalinism.

Pretty much all 'socialist' states have just been tyrants although public ownership is common, so it's right to call them 'socialist' but not really Marxist.
This is right I think.

Something else that differentiates the vast majority of contemporary socialists from Marx was that Marx believed that communism was possible only if the preceding phase of communism, namely socialism, was capable of exponentially increasing production (thereby achieving material superabundance).

Whether or not that's what communism really requires, it is the exact opposite of what nearly all socialists today want. They are in favour of heavy redistribution, not in favour of economic growth since they believe that the latter is the root of all "evil" (environmental degradation, "consumerism", etc).

As far as I am concerned, the modern socialist DIY-semi-primitivist-hippy attitudes are not compatible with traditional communist thinking which put sheer economic growth as a very important goal (if not the most important goal).

Socialism hasn't been "buried", it's just quite clear to most people that the nationalisation of industry is not going to increase production or material prosperity or eradicate class struggle as previous generations of socialists strongly believed.

For me, that's why socialism is sometimes seen as being "buried". It's not because of its otherwise tyrannical character. Socialism need not be tyrannical but even if it wasn't, the bottom line is that markets have been shown to work and command arrangements, in many instances but not all, have been shown to be disappointingly unproductive.

Maybe liberal market socialism escapes such difficulties but traditional let's-nationalise-all-industries-and-miracles-will-happen is dead (as it should be).
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MagicNMedicine
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(Original post by Observatory)
who really won WWII?
The Soviet Union.
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anarchism101
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(Original post by MagicNMedicine)
The Soviet Union.
Depends what you mean by 'won'. If you mean 'Who was most responsible for the Allied victory?' then yes, it's the Soviets. If you mean 'Who gained the most from the war?', then I'd say it's the US hands down.
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Jizzle88
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(Original post by Corporate79)
While I don't claim to be an expert in political or philosophical thought, I have, found recently some glaring loopholes in the popular arguments against the pursuit of a communist state.
Marx's idea of communism is based on a fully advanced capitalist country's proletariat masses discovering the extent of their exploitation. Yet this has never happened, each country that has so far purported to be similar to or actually claimed to be communist has in fact developed from, feudal, imperialistic or very early capitalist systems. The prime example being Russia, deposing its Zsar in favour of the 'socialist' regime.
My question is, am I missing something from my understanding, or is it a (deliberate?) media misinterpretation, are they attempting to bury socialism in the debris of tyrants?

An astute observation, and foundational to rebutting historically based refutations and assertion of a 'failed' system of thought.
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Jizzle88
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(Original post by Martyn*)
Socialism has indeed been well and truly burried beneath the conspiracy called Marxist Socialism. No-one today speaks of Socialism without referring to Marx. Sad really.
Beyond the outdated economic theory and prophetic determinism, Marxism offers a razor sharp paradigm that revolutionized the way that we think of society.
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John Stuart Mill
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(Original post by Martyn*)
Socialism has indeed been well and truly burried beneath the conspiracy called Marxist Socialism. No-one today speaks of Socialism without referring to Marx. Sad really.
I'd disagree, there's adamant discussion of Fabian socialism and the Frankfurt school who used many of Marx's insights into capitalism for their observations, it depends who you talk to, if you talk to a man who knows nothing about poetry about poetry he's not going to tell you anything except maybe William Blake was one, it's the same with socialism.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by Corporate79)
While I don't claim to be an expert in political or philosophical thought, I have, found recently some glaring loopholes in the popular arguments against the pursuit of a communist state.
Marx's idea of communism is based on a fully advanced capitalist country's proletariat masses discovering the extent of their exploitation. Yet this has never happened, each country that has so far purported to be similar to or actually claimed to be communist has in fact developed from, feudal, imperialistic or very early capitalist systems. The prime example being Russia, deposing its Zsar in favour of the 'socialist' regime.
My question is, am I missing something from my understanding, or is it a (deliberate?) media misinterpretation, are they attempting to bury socialism in the debris of tyrants?

Some great discussion in this thread.

Regarding your thoughts regarding Marxist theory and the masses discovering their exploitation i actually think the masses are already well aware of their 'exploitation' as Marx put it but this is to a large degree balanced out by those who benefit from the current system (they don't have to be in the 1% to own a home and have two cars - i.e feel wealthy) and i wonder if Marx underestimated the pliability of the middle classes in his paradigm. There is from some circles a large degree of envy and a sense of unfairness but the middle classes despite not being part of the societal elite appear to be content with their relative wealth.

(Original post by L1nk)
This is right I think.

Something else that differentiates the vast majority of contemporary socialists from Marx was that Marx believed that communism was possible only if the preceding phase of communism, namely socialism, was capable of exponentially increasing production (thereby achieving material superabundance).

Whether or not that's what communism really requires, it is the exact opposite of what nearly all socialists today want. They are in favour of heavy redistribution, not in favour of economic growth since they believe that the latter is the root of all "evil" (environmental degradation, "consumerism", etc).

As far as I am concerned, the modern socialist DIY-semi-primitivist-hippy attitudes are not compatible with traditional communist thinking which put sheer economic growth as a very important goal (if not the most important goal).

Socialism hasn't been "buried", it's just quite clear to most people that the nationalisation of industry is not going to increase production or material prosperity or eradicate class struggle as previous generations of socialists strongly believed.

For me, that's why socialism is sometimes seen as being "buried". It's not because of its otherwise tyrannical character. Socialism need not be tyrannical but even if it wasn't, the bottom line is that markets have been shown to work and command arrangements, in many instances but not all, have been shown to be disappointingly unproductive.

Maybe liberal market socialism escapes such difficulties but traditional let's-nationalise-all-industries-and-miracles-will-happen is dead (as it should be).
That's very interesting and not something you associate with mainstream socialism today. It's interesting that actually it is private individuals who are pushing the frontiers towards exploitation of space resources and it is this that could within decades create potential material super-abundance (how that remedies with the profit motive given the potential collapse in price i don't know but i do recall prices fell during Victorian economic expansion). On the flip side though charities and the state have made great strides in things like the super collider and nuclear fusion.
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Oldcon1953
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(Original post by Corporate79)
The USA, one cannot become the president without getting the votes to put you there. If socialism is alive and well in america, its because of a natural shift in the ideological shift in the population. Since 9 republican presidents have been elected since the cold wear began, vs the democrats 7; it would appear the right wing of american politics are still firmly in the majority.
Here in The U.S.the Dems. control the Senate and the Reps. control the House pf Representatives. obamas only major piece of legislation is obamacare and it's dying a slow death. If Republicans get out and vote in the mid-term elections we stand a chance of also controlling the Senate. We might not than be able to repeal obamacare, since it's very difficult to get a law like that repealed, we can defund certain parts of it and amend others till it's unrecognizable. The Senate is full of obamas comrades and they recently changed the voting rules so now it only takes a simple majority to confirm Presidential appointees. The Republicans have gone into defensive mode and are digging in their heels determined to minimize any further damage to the economy. It's going to be a long 3 years for the Pres. Obamacare was his undoing. When he said,"If you like your current healthcare plan you can keep it", and knew at the time it wasn't true he really screwed up. Quite a few of his Dem. comrades have bailed on him.
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Micccol
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(Original post by Oldcon1953)
Here in The U.S.the Dems. control the Senate and the Reps. control the House pf Representatives. obamas only major piece of legislation is obamacare and it's dying a slow death. If Republicans get out and vote in the mid-term elections we stand a chance of also controlling the Senate. We might not than be able to repeal obamacare, since it's very difficult to get a law like that repealed, we can defund certain parts of it and amend others till it's unrecognizable. The Senate is full of obamas comrades and they recently changed the voting rules so now it only takes a simple majority to confirm Presidential appointees. The Republicans have gone into defensive mode and are digging in their heels determined to minimize any further damage to the economy. It's going to be a long 3 years for the Pres. Obamacare was his undoing. When he said,"If you like your current healthcare plan you can keep it", and knew at the time it wasn't true he really screwed up. Quite a few of his Dem. comrades have bailed on him.
There is civil war in the republican party atm bro...

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Oldcon1953
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(Original post by Micccol)
There is civil war in the republican party atm bro...

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Bit of an overstatement. VERY important elections coming up. Loyalties are being tested. There's a lot of pressure to get everyone one board. Rep. victories in November would take any wind that's left out of the Dems. sails
and send a message to congress and 2016 Pres. cands. that we've,(cons), have had a bellyfull. It's a big dream I know but one can dream.
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Oldcon1953
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(Original post by anarchism101)
Depends what you mean by 'won'. If you mean 'Who was most responsible for the Allied victory?' then yes, it's the Soviets. If you mean 'Who gained the most from the war?', then I'd say it's the US hands down.
The Soviet effort in WWII was Herculean But in all honesty wasn't it to save their own butts? Stalin didn't give a fig about you guys. Once Stalin signed a sweetheart pact with Hitler it was all over. Had the Allies not opened up the 2nd Front Europe would be history. We lost 22,000 Merchant Marines feeding you guys Did you forget about Lend-lease? What did we get out of it? The Marshall plan. We got to rebuild Europe. Any country we established bases in has prospered and was set an example of what a free Democracy looks like. Any exceptions to what I've just said are insignificant. Nobodies perfect
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