/r/Marxism

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Marxism is a growing/changing economic/sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry based upon a materialist interpretation of historical development, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis of class-relations within society and their application in the analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism encompasses an economic theory, a sociological theory, a philosophical method and a revolutionary view of social change.

Marxism is a growing/changing economic/sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry based upon a materialist interpretation of historical development, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis of class-relations within society and their application in the analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism encompasses an economic theory, a sociological theory, a philosophical method and a revolutionary view of social change.

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/r/Marxism

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15

Why DSA Should Agitate for a One State Solution

Check out this article on Palestinian Liberation, the demand for a One State Solution, and a marxist approach! From DSA's Reform & Revolution caucus.

https://reformandrevolution.org/2024/07/05/why-dsa-should-agitate-for-a-one-state-solution/

11 Comments
2024/07/08
01:17 UTC

9

Marxist views and policies on Refugees/Immigration (legal or otherwise)?

I want to know more in depth about this subject due to the rampant increase of far right politics in Europe because of the refugee crisis and what far righters would make you believe to be “swarms of immigrants crossing our borders”. It’s clear as to why they push for this agenda. Because Europe is currently struggling, especially in places like the UK, France and Turkey and they need a scape goat for the people to blame it on. I believe this quote by Lenin, although in context he’s talking about Jewish people, can be adopted for refugees and immigrants.

“we often see the capitalists fomenting hatred against the Jews in order to blind the workers, to divert their attention from the real enemy of the working people, capital... It is not the Jews who are the enemies of the working people. The enemies of the workers are the capitalists of all countries. Among the Jews there are working people, and they form the majority. They are our brothers who, like us, are oppressed by capital” - Lenin

I know why we take in Immigrants and refugees and why we’re constantly told to hate them. But I want to have a deeper and better understanding of how left wing politics would interact with this issue because I’ve only ever seen the right wing measures. If anyone can also point me to some good literature and reading of the subject if there is any I’d really appreciate it too.

15 Comments
2024/07/07
15:36 UTC

5

how tot calculate the value of more than 1 product.

lets say the value for 1h of socially necessary work is 1 unity of value. and i produce, at the same 5h, 10 Kg of wheat seeds and 5 kg of wheat. how much is the value of the Kg of wheat and Kg of Wheat seeds.

if there is only 1 product that would be easy, it would be 5 unities of value, after all there is 5h of work.
but when there is more than 1 product how do I distribute that 5 unities of value? would it be equally, so the Kg of wheat and wheat seed would be both 5/15 = 1/3 unities of value? that sounds wrong.

6 Comments
2024/07/07
03:20 UTC

11

Supporting agitation in colonised states?

I think I have come to the conclusion that without revolution in colonised states, revolution in imperial states will not occur, or at least until it is too late, due to climate change.

This isn't to say support for revolution in the global south should be selfish, but rather recognising the two way relationship necessary for revolutionary success. Without revolution in colonised states, the workers in imperial states will likely not face the material conditions necessary to provoke revolutionary consciousness. The exploitation by the imperial bourgeois state of the colonised is enough to keep their heads above the figurative water.

At the same time, without following revolution in the imperial states, the new revolutionary global south will be crushed and we have seen this time and again. These colonised states may now wield the industrial power in this century but they lack the economic power, up front, to sustain this. Let alone the trade networks without being forced to deal with other bourgeois states like Russia, who don't actually support revolution in these countries, they are just cynically using them to stick a finger up to the West.

If the global south revolutionises, it will be a very different position than in Marx's time whereby productive industry still occurred in the imperial states, which is virtually non existent today. Our industries are largely financial management and service industries which in and of themselves do not actually provide the means to live to their workers.

I do not support putsches, intervention by westerners, nor do I believe workers can be made to have a revolution when they are not ready, this flies in the face of dialectical materialism. However I do think there must be something we can do to support workers in these colonised states doing what they know. Maybe funding independent printing presses for printing in the languages of the workers, rather than exporting material in the languages of former colonisers. Maybe something else. This would be about support, not westerners taking over the job with a white saviour complex.

What can I or we do?

23 Comments
2024/07/06
10:59 UTC

10

Need resources on PFLP

So maybe this isn't the best place to ask but since I didn't know where else to go I thought maybe I should ask here. Can I get some recommendations (books, yt vids, anything basically) to get an understanding of the history of the resistance groups within Palestine (such PFLP and Hamas) since their foundation until now and also I'd like to know which ones were more popular among the people and the reasons for that popularity.

8 Comments
2024/07/06
09:27 UTC

17

Looking for a Marx quote

Where is it that Marx rejected the idea that communism was about making everyone equal? Where he acknowledges that those who are naturally more talented, work harder, are willing to undergo years of education and specialized training, etc. deserve to be compensated more? I know he said it, I'm just having trouble remembering the quote and where it's from.

13 Comments
2024/07/05
17:46 UTC

7

Elaboration?

Kind of get the point but just wondered if I could get an answer here as to what did Marx mean when he states in The German Ideology: “all struggles within the State…are merely the illusory forms in which the real struggles of the different classes are fought out among one another.” He later says, “all forms and products of consciousness cannot be dissolved by mental criticism, by resolution into ‘self-consciousness’…but only by the practical overthrow of the actual social relations which gave rise to this idealistic humbug.”

Thanks

3 Comments
2024/07/05
14:38 UTC

103

Vanguardism Appears to be very unpopular

And I don't get why. Context: this is from my experience talking, mainly online, with anarchists.

I don't get it. Perhaps I misudnerstand, the idea is that those of us that are class consciousness must play an integral role in social change. It is obvious that most of society, at least here in the UK, is not class conscious. That doesnt mean the masses are stupid, it's a consequence of years of socialism being misrepresented and marginalised in discourse. Of course people won't thus be class conscious. But did Lenin not advocate listening to workers, not just talking down to or lecturing them? So why does that characterisation persist?

Or am I just talking to the wrong people.

204 Comments
2024/07/04
20:20 UTC

8

Revisiting Chomsky's essay "The Responsibility of Intellectuals"

For the day that's in - the Fourth of July, I've put together an overview of Chomsky's famous essay on The Responisbility of Intellectuals. "American aggressiveness, however it may be masked in pious rhetoric, is a dominant force in world affairs and must be analyzed in terms of its causes and motives."

https://proletarianperspective.wordpress.com/2024/07/04/noam-chomsky-on-the-responsibility-of-intellectuals/

0 Comments
2024/07/04
11:32 UTC

7

Thoughts on professional psychology movement?

I was very interested in Marxism and Neo-marxism in college, especially discussions of labor. As a recent grad (23’) starting to work in a more professional setting I have come across/been asked to read some professional development books and materials. Currently reading Kim Scott’s Radical Candor which stresses the importance of caring enough about your workers to tell them what they’re doing wrong and how to improve. I can’t help but wonder what a Marxist or neo-marxist take on this type of thing becoming more and more widespread. Is it positive to move towards a more positive work culture? Is it a tactic to satiate the workers?would love to hear others thoughts

5 Comments
2024/07/03
16:46 UTC

14

Trying to find a Lenin quote

Hi y’all, I’m trying to find a particular Lenin quote where he’s discussing how the bourgeoisie creates culture wars (particularly about the rise of anti semitism at the time) to distract the proletariat from unifying and revolting. Can someone help? Sorry if this is the wrong place too.

2 Comments
2024/07/03
16:23 UTC

9

'Karl Kautsky: From Marx to Hitler', Paul Mattick, 1939

https://www.marxists.org/archive/mattick-paul/1939/kautsky.htm

...

When we said that Kautsky represented also what was ‘reactionary’ in the old labour movement, we are using that term in a highly specific sense. The reactionary elements in Kautsky and in the old labour movement were objectively conditioned, and only by a long period of exposure to an inimical reality was developed that subjective readiness to turn defenders of the capitalist society. In Capital Marx pointed out that “a rise in the price of labour, as a consequence of accumulation of capital, only means, in fact, that the length and weight of the golden chain the wage-worker has already forged for himself, allow of a relaxation of the tension of it.”^([4]) The possibility, under conditions of a progressive capital formation, of improving labour conditions and of raising the price of labour transformed the workers’ struggle into a force for capitalist expansion. Like capitalist competition, the workers’ struggle served as an incentive for further capital accumulation; it accentuated capitalist ‘progress’. All gains of the workers were compensated for by an increasing exploitation, which in turn permitted a still more rapid capital expansion.

Even the class struggle of the workers could serve the needs not of the individual capitalists but of capital. The victories of the workers turned always against the victors. The more the workers gained, the richer capital became. The gap between wages and profits became wider with each increase of the ‘workers’ share’. The apparently increasing strength of labour was in reality the continuous weakening of its position in relation to that of capital. The ‘successes’ of the workers, hailed by Eduard Bernstein as a new era of capitalism, could, in this sphere of social action, end only in the eventual defeat of the working class, as soon as capital changed from expansion to stagnation. In the destruction of the old labour movement, the sight of which Kautsky was not spared, became manifest the thousands of defeats suffered during the upswing period of capitalism, and though these defeats were celebrated as victories of gradualism, they were in reality only the gradualism of the workers’ defeat in a field of action where the advantage is always with the bourgeoisie. Nevertheless, Bernstein’s revisionism, based on the acceptance of appearance for reality and suggested by bourgeois empiricism, though at first denounced by Kautsky, provided the basis for the latter’s own success. For without the non-revolutionary practice of the old labour movement, whose theories were formed by Bernstein, Kautsky would not have found a movement and a material basis on which to rise as an important Marxian theoretician.

This objective situation, which, as we have seen, transformed the successes of the labour movement into just so many steps toward its destruction, created a non-revolutionary ideology which was more in harmony with the apparent reality, and which was later denounced as social-reformism, opportunism, social-chauvinism, and outright betrayal. However, this ‘betrayal’ did not very much bother those who were betrayed. Instead, the majority of the organised workers approved of the change of attitude in the socialist movement, since it conformed to their own aspirations developed in an ascending capitalism. The masses were as little revolutionary as their leaders, and both were satisfied with their participation in capitalist progress. Not only were they organising for a greater share of the social product, but also for a greater voice in the political sphere. They learned to think in terms of bourgeois democracy; they began to speak of themselves as consumers; they wanted to take part in all that was good of culture and civilisation. Franz Mehring’s History of the German Social Democracy typically ends in a chapter on ‘Art and the Proletariat’. Science for the workers, literature for the workers, schools for the workers, participation in all the institutions of capitalist society — this and nothing more was the real desire of the movement. Instead of demanding the end of capitalistic science, it asked for labour scientists; instead of abolishing capitalistic law, it trained labour lawyers; in the increasing number of labour historians, poets, economists, journalists, doctors and dentists, as well as parliamentarians and trade-union bureaucrats, it saw the socialisation of society, which therewith became increasingly its own society. That which one can increasingly share in one will soon find defendable. Consciously and unconsciously the old labour movement saw in the capitalist expansion process its own road to greater welfare and recognition. The more capital flourished, the better were the working conditions. Satisfied with action within the framework of capitalism, the workers’ organisations became concerned with capitalism’s profitability. The competitive national capitalistic rivalries were only verbally opposed. Although the movement was at first striving only for a ‘better fatherland’, and was later willing to defend what had already been gained, it soon reached the point where it was ready to defend the fatherland ‘as it is’.

The tolerance that Marx’s ‘followers’ displayed towards the bourgeois society was not one-sided. The bourgeoisie itself had in its very struggle against the working class learned to ‘understand the social question’. Its interpretation of social phenomena became increasingly more materialistic; and soon there was an overlapping of ideologies in both fields of thought, a condition increasing still further the ‘harmony’ based on the actual disharmony of class frictions within a rising capitalism. However, the ‘Marxists’ were more eager than the bourgeoisie to ‘learn from the enemy’. The revisionist tendencies had developed long before the death of Engels. The latter, and Marx himself, had wavered and displayed moments in which they were carried away by the apparent success of their movement. But what with them was only a temporary modification of their essentially consistent thinking became ‘belief’ and ‘science’ for that movement which learned to see progress in larger trade-union treasures and greater election votes.

After 1910 the German social democracy found itself divided into three essential groups. There were the reformists, openly favouring German imperialism; there was the ‘left’, distinguished by such names as Luxemburg, Liebknecht, Mehring and Pannekoek; and there was the ‘centre’, trying to follow traditional paths, that is, only in theory, as in practice the whole of the German social democracy could do only what was possible, i.e. what Bernstein wanted them to do. To oppose Bernstein could mean only to oppose the whole of the social democratic practice. The ‘left’ began to function as such only at the moment it began to attack social democracy as a part of capitalist society. The differences between the two opposing factions could not be solved ideationally; they were solved when the Noske terror murdered the Spartacus group in 1919.

With the outbreak of the war, the ‘left’ found itself in the capitalist prisons, and the ‘right’ on the General Staff of the Kaiser. The ‘centre’, led by Kautsky, simply dispensed with all problems of the socialist movement by declaring that neither the social democracy nor its International could function during periods of war, as both were essentially instruments of peace. “This position,” Rosa Luxemburg wrote, “is the position of an eunuch. After Kautsky has supplemented the Communist Manifesto it now reads: Proletarians of all countries unite during peace times, during times of war, cut your throats.”^([5])

The war and its aftermath destroyed the legend of Kautsky’s Marxist ‘orthodoxy’. Even his most enthusiastic pupil, Lenin, had to turn away from the master. In October 1914 he had to admit that as far as Kautsky was concerned, Rosa Luxemburg had been right. In a letter to Shlyapnikow^([6]), he wrote, “She saw long ago that Kautsky, the servile theoretician, was cringing to the majority of the Party, to Opportunism. There is nothing in the world at present more harmful and dangerous for the ideological independence of the proletariat than this filthy, smug and disgusting hypocrisy of Kautsky. He wants to hush everything up and smear everything over and by sophistry and pseudo-learned rhetoric lull the awakened consciences of the workers.”

...

The theoretical unclarity and inconsistency that Kautsky^([15]) displayed on economic questions, were only climaxed by his acceptance of the once denounced views of Tugan-Baranowsky. They were only a reflection of his changing general attitude towards bourgeois thought and capitalist society. In his book “The Materialistic Conception of History,” which he himself declares to be the best and final product of his whole life’s work, dealing as it does in nearly 2000 pages with the development of nature, society and the state, he demonstrates not only his pedantic method of exposition and his far-reaching knowledge of theories and facts, but also his many misconceptions as regards Marxism and his final break with Marxian science. Here he openly declares “that at times revisions of Marxism are unavoidable.”^([16]) Here he now accepts all that during his whole life he had apparently struggled against. He is no longer solely interested in the interpretation of Marxism, but is ready to accept responsibility for his own thoughts, presenting his main work as his own conception of history, not totally removed but independent from Marx and Engels. His masters, he now contends, have restricted the materialistic conception of history by neglecting too much the natural factors in history. He, however, starting not from Hegel but from Darwin, “will now extend the scope of historical materialism till it merges with biology.”^([17]) But his furthering of historical materialism turns out to be no more than a reversion to the crude naturalistic materialism of Marx’s forerunners, a return to the position of the revolutionary bourgeoisie, which Marx had overcome with his rejection of Feuerbach. On the basis of this naturalistic materialism, Kautsky, like the bourgeois philosophers before him, cannot help adopting an idealistic concept of social development, which, then, when it deals with the state, turns openly and completely into the old bourgeois conceptions of the history of mankind as the history of states. Ending in the bourgeois democratic state, Kautsky holds that “there is no room any longer for violent class conflict. Peacefully, by way of propaganda and the voting system can conflicts be ended, decisions be made.”^([18])

Though we cannot possibly review in detail at this place this tremendous book of Kautsky,^([19]) we must say that it demonstrates throughout the doubtful character of Kautsky’s ‘Marxism’. His connection with the labour movement, seen retrospectively, was never more than his participation in some form of bourgeois social work. There can be no doubt that he never understood the real position of Marx and Engels, or at least never dreamed that theories could have an immediate connection with reality. This apparently serious Marxist student had actually never taken Marx seriously. Like many pious priests engaging in a practice contrary to their teaching, he might not even have been aware of the duality of his own thought and action. Undoubtedly he would have sincerely liked being in reality the bourgeois of whom Marx once said, he is “a capitalist solely in the interest of the proletariat.” But even such a change of affairs he would reject, unless it were attainable in the ‘peaceful’ bourgeois, democratic manner. Kautsky, “repudiates the Bolshevik melody that is unpleasant to his ear,” wrote Trotsky, “but does not seek another. The solution is simple: the old musician refuses altogether to play on the instrument of the revolution.”^([20])

Recognising at the close of his life that the reforms of capitalism that he wished to achieve could not be realised by democratic, peaceful means, Kautsky turned against his own practical policy, and just as he was in former times the proponent of a Marxian ideology which, altogether divorced from reality, could serve only its opponents, he now became the proponent of bourgeois laissez faire ideology, just as much removed from the actual conditions of the developing fascistic capitalist society, and just as much serving this society as his Marxian ideology had served the democratic stage of capitalism. “People love today to speak disdainfully about the liberalistic economy,” he wrote in his last work; “however, the theories founded by Quesnay, Adam Smith and Ricardo are not at all obsolete. In their essentials Marx had accepted their theories and developed them further, and he has never denied that the liberal freedom of commodity production constituted the best basis for its development. Marx distinguishes himself from the Classicists therein, that when the latter saw in commodity production of private producers the only possible form of production, Marx saw the highest form of commodity production leading through its own development to conditions allowing for a still better form of production, social production, where society, identical with the whole of the working population, controls the means of production, producing no longer for profit but to satisfy needs. The socialist mode of production has its own rules, in many respects different from the laws of commodity production. However, as long as commodity production prevails, it will best function if those laws of motion discovered in the era of liberalism are respected.”^([21])

These ideas are quite surprising in a man who had edited Marx’s “Theories of Surplus Value”, a work which proved exhaustively “that Marx at no time in his life countenanced the opinion that the new contents of his socialist and communist theory could be derived, as a mere logical consequence, from the utterly bourgeois theories of Quesnay, Smith and Ricardo.^([22]) However, this position of Kautsky’s gives the necessary qualifications to our previous statement that he was an excellent pupil of Marx and Engels. He was such only to the extent that Marxism could be fitted into his own limited concepts of social development and of capitalist society. For Kautsky, the ‘socialist society’, or the logical consequence of capitalist development of commodity production, is in truth only a state-capitalist system. When once he mistook Marx’s value concept as a law of socialist economics if only applied consciously instead of being left to the ‘blind’ operations of the market, Engels pointed out to him^([23]) that for Marx, value is a strictly historical category; that neither before nor after capitalism did there exist or could there exist a value production which differed only in form from that of capitalism. And Kautsky accepted Engels’ statement, as is manifested in his work “The Economic Doctrines of Karl Marx” (1887), where he also saw value as a historical category. Later, however, in reaction to bourgeois criticism of socialist economic theory, he re-introduced in his book “The Proletarian Revolution and its Programme” (1922) the value concept, the market and money economy, commodity production, into his scheme of a socialist society. What was once historical became eternal; Engels had talked in vain. Kautsky had returned from where he had sprung, from the petite-bourgeoisie, who hate with equal force both monopoly control and socialism, and hope for a purely quantitative change of society, an enlarged reproduction of the status quo, a better and bigger capitalism, a better and more comprehensive democracy — as against a capitalism climaxing in fascism or changing into communism.

The maintenance of liberal commodity production and its political expression were preferred by Kautsky to the ‘economics’ of fascism because the former system determined his long grandeur and his short misery. Just as he had shielded bourgeois democracy with Marxian phraseology, so he now obscured the fascist reality with democratic phraseology. For now, by turning their thoughts backward instead of forward, he made his followers mentally incapacitated for revolutionary action. The man who shortly before his death was driven from Berlin to Vienna by marching fascism, and from Vienna to Prague, and from Prague to Amsterdam, published in 1937 a book^([24]) which shows explicitly that once a ‘Marxist’ makes the step from a materialistic to an idealistic concept of social development, he is sure to arrive sooner or later at that borderline of thought where idealism turns into insanity. There is a report current in Germany that when Hindenburg was watching a Nazi demonstration of storm troops he turned to a General standing beside him saying, “I did not know we had taken so many Russian prisoners.” Kautsky, too, in this his last book, is mentally still at ‘Tannenberg’. His work is a faithful description of the different attitudes taken by socialists and their forerunners to the question of war since the beginning of the fifteenth century up to the present time. It shows, although not to Kautsky, how ridiculous Marxism can become when it associates the proletarian with the bourgeois needs and necessities.

Kautsky wrote his last book, as he said, “to determine which position should be taken by socialists and democrats in case a new war breaks out despite all our opposition to it.”^([25]) However, he continued, “There is no direct answer to this question before the war is actually here and we are all able to see who caused the war and for what purpose it is fought.” He advocates that “if war breaks out, socialists should try to maintain their unity, to bring their organisation safely through the war, so that they may reap the fruit wherever unpopular political regimes collapse. In 1914 this unity was lost and we still suffer from this calamity. But today things are much clearer than they were then; the opposition between democratic and anti-democratic states is much sharper; and it can be expected that if it comes to the new world war, all socialists will stand on the side of democracy.” After the experiences of the last war and the history since then, there is no need to search for the black sheep that causes wars, nor is it a secret any longer why wars are fought. However, to pose such questions is not stupidity as one may believe. Behind this apparent naïveté lies the determination to serve capitalism in one form by fighting capitalism in another. It serves to prepare the workers for the coming war, in exchange for the right to organise in labour organisations, vote in elections, and assemble in formations which serve both capital and capitalistic labour organisations. It is the old policy of Kautsky, which demands concessions from the bourgeoisie in exchange for millions of dead workers in the coming capitalistic battles. In reality, just as the wars of capitalism, regardless of the political differences of the participating states and the various slogans used, can only be wars for capitalist profits and wars against the working class, so, too, the war excludes the possibility of choosing between conditional or unconditional participation in the war by the workers. Rather, the war, and even the period preceding the war, will be marked by a general and complete military dictatorship in fascist and anti-fascist countries alike. The war will wipe out the last distinction between the democratic and the anti-democratic nations. And workers will serve Hitler as they served the Kaiser; they will serve Roosevelt as they served Wilson; they will die for Stalin as they died for the Tsar.

Kautsky was not disturbed by the reality of fascism, since for him, democracy was the natural form of capitalism. The new situation was only a sickness, a temporary insanity, a thing actually foreign to capitalism. He really believed in a war for democracy, to allow capitalism to proceed in its logical course towards a real commonwealth. And his 1937 predictions incorporated sentences like the following: “The time has arrived where it is finally possible to do away with wars as a means of solving political conflicts between the states.”^([26]) Or, “The policy of conquest of the Japanese in China, the Italians in Ethiopia, is a last echo of a passing time, the period of imperialism. More wars of such a character can hardly be expected.”^([27]) There are hundreds of similar sentences in Kautsky’s book, and it seems at times that his whole world must have consisted of no more than the four walls of his library, to which he neglected to add the newest volumes on recent history. Kautsky is convinced that even without a war fascism will be defeated, the rise of democracy recur, and the period return for a peaceful development towards socialism, like the period in the days before fascism. The essential weakness of fascism he illustrated with the remark that “the personal character of the dictatorships indicates already that it limits its own existence to the length of a human life.”^([28]) He believed that after fascism there would be the return to the ‘normal’ life on an increasingly socialistic abstract democracy to continue the reforms begun in the glorious time of the social democratic coalition policy. However, it is obvious now that the only capitalistic reform objectively possible today is the fascistic reform. And as a matter of fact, the larger part of the ‘socialisation programme’ of the social democracy, which it never dared to put into practice, has meanwhile been realised by fascism. Just as the demands of the German bourgeoisie were met not in 1848 but in the ensuing period of the counter-revolution, so, too, the reform programme of the social democracy, which it could not inaugurate during the time of its own reign, was put into practice by Hitler. Thus, to mention just a few facts, not the social democracy but Hitler fulfilled the long desire of the socialists, the Anschluss of Austria; not social democracy but fascism established the wished — for state control of industry and banking; not social democracy but Hitler declared the first of May a legal holiday. A careful analysis of what the socialists actually wanted to do and never did, compared with actual policies since 1933, will reveal to any objective observer that Hitler realised no more than the programme of social democracy, but without the socialists. Like Hitler, the social democracy and Kautsky were opposed to both bolshevism and communism. Even a complete state-capitalist system as the Russian was rejected by both in favour of mere state control. And what is necessary in order to realise such a programme was not dared by the socialists but undertaken by the fascists. The anti-fascism of Kautsky illustrated no more than the fact that just as he once could not imagine that Marxist theory could be supplemented by a Marxist practice, he later could not see that a capitalist reform policy demanded a capitalist reform practice, which turned out to be the fascist practice. The life of Kautsky can teach the workers that in the struggle against fascistic capitalism is necessarily incorporated the struggle against bourgeois democracy, the struggle against Kautskyism. The life of Kautsky can, in all truth and without malicious intent, be summed up in the words: From Marx to Hitler.

2 Comments
2024/07/03
00:29 UTC

3

Marx’s wrongful prediction where the revolution would start

Hi Comrades! I’m currently writing an lesson about neoliberalism and pinkwashing for my sections of the youth wing for the Swedish left party, and am currently discussing the racist tendencies on leftists of the global north, so called left anti-communists to critique revolutions in the global south for not following their idealistic view of a revolution. I’d like to also show that Marx was wrong in his theory, as he stated that the revolution would start in the industrialised world, however it started in the non-industrialised and agricultural world instead (when these revolutions have later fallen to revisionism is a discussion for another day). And I was wondering if anyone knew in what work Marx wrote this statement.

Edit: In discussion with my fellow comrades in the comments, It’s become apparent that I’ve understood Marx wrong. My point still stands that a lot of the critique wester leftist have against socialist experiments in the global south are often not educated enough and partially based in unconscious racism, but my understanding of Marx was faulty.

So thank you comrades for educating me on this!

37 Comments
2024/07/02
21:15 UTC

11

Understanding nature

As someone who is interested in the natural sciences, especially physics, but also Marxist, I wonder if there is any meaningful way a Marxist approach can get a richer understanding of the world than those using different philosophies of science. I've heard and read a lot of criticisms - from Marxists - of Engel's Dialectics of Nature and Anti-Düring. Is this because nature cannot be said to be dialectical or because Engels was not a scientist and therefore just not good at application?

Surely, there are some reactionary or just plain wrong philosophies that damage the sciences, such as relativism, or even falsification which is flawed. What philosophy, if not dialectical materialism, can a Marxist use as a lens for interpreting the natural world? Science may not revolutionise a society, ie radicalise the proletariat and cause the overthrow of capitalism, but that doesn't mean it won't continue to enrich a proletarian society. In order to do so though, a healthy philosophy is required. So what is it, if not dialectics? (I don't think many Marxists will be arguing against the materialist aspect)

14 Comments
2024/07/02
11:41 UTC

29

How does one find good Marxist orgs to join? Advice for organizing.

Hi comrades, I am in the United States, and I am considering leaving the party that I currently belong to. I do not feel comfortable publically discussing the reasons for leaving the org since I don't want to air out the orgs dirty laundry but would be happy to discuss it via private chat.

But where do I go? Who do I join instead?

How does one get organized if the organizations in your area are either politically weak or internally disfunctional? How do vet an org you are thinking of joining to know if it has a healthy internal democratic centralist culture? Is it ok to join a party if you don't agree with all of the party's public program?

Is it worth it to stay with an imperfect org under the premise that it is better to be organized imperfectly than to not be organized at all?

Help. 😭. I don't want to be politically homeless.

56 Comments
2024/07/02
04:06 UTC

17

Article: Soviet Planning Demystified

Across the left-wing political spectrum, the Soviet Union is often viewed as the prime example of a planned economy. However, despite the fascination with its perceived success, it is rare to find leftist political figures who possess a deeper understanding of how resources were actually allocated. The planned model is often dismissed as simply deciding the allocation of resources through "rational" means, without much consideration of how this rationality can be determined. A notable example of this is Hakim’s response to Economics Explained's video on the Soviet economy. Throughout the video, Hakim not only makes several factual mistakes (such as stating that only around 10,000 products were centrally planned) but he also fails to provide any clear and concise explanation of how exactly a plan could be formulated. Instead, he only asserts that plans are formulated for “political reasons,” which, if anything, would indicate the superiority of a market system with its clearer monetary incentive system driven by market signals. The goal, then, is to offer an informal introduction to the primary concepts of mathematical techniques — specifically Linear Programming — that emerged during the 1960s and 70s for formalizing plans and allocating resources.

Read the full article on the RTSG Substack, and feel free to leave your thoughts below.

2 Comments
2024/07/01
23:23 UTC

7

A critique of Arendt and the predisposition of American towards fascist totalitarianism

This is an 8 page critique I wrote, I can’t post images or share links So i posted below. Hope some of you are kind enough to read, give me honest criticism but remember I’m a baby philosopher

Have We Tasted the Boot? George Orwell, legendary author, activist, and anti-fascist, saw the rising dangers of totalitarianism and fascism firsthand. After fighting with anarchists in Spain during the Spanish civil war, he famously wrote in his book 1984 “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face- forever.” (176). Orwell was warning us of the dangers of Totalitarianism, which theorist Hannah Arendt defines in her 1954 essay On the Nature of Totalitarianism as “the most radical denial of freedom.” (90). Americans are quick to point out what we see as a totalitarian regime. Defying all definition, a hive-mind of programmed thinkers can be easily misled into labeling a democratically elected socialist government tyrannical, totalitarian, and an enemy to human rights, while simultaneously not knowing what constitutes totalitarianism. Ignorant to the fact that tyranny and totalitarianism are two different ideological forms of philosophical governance systems. All the while, a fascist regime will be a beacon of freedom, as it holds American interests. Americans will buy Ukrainian flags, support weapon sales, and prepare for war as our ally bans opposing political parties and embolden Neo-Nazis. What is behind the mass consent which gives power to the institutions that lays the framework for fascism? Does America really hold dear the value of “free speech for all” while imprisoning anti-capitalist protestors and voices? Why are black liberation groups criticized for arming themselves at protests, while police protect White Nationalist groups doing the same? Are we free? Who is in charge? The answer: No, and not us. America is not susceptible to totalitarianism, it is innately totalitarian in its oppression of the working class, working towards the self-destructive and dialectically contradictory goal of infinite growth of profit for the Bourgeois class who founded and continue to run this nation in the interest of the capital owner only. This American regime is unique in its effectiveness at telling its people they are free while mentally disarming her working class. While I do find Hannah Arendt's philosophy of the systems of totalitarianism slightly flawed, if one uses a dialectical approach considering the history of class antagonism while using her definitions of totalitarianism, it become clear that we are not only being subjected to the endless boot of fascist totalitarianism, but embracing it, simply because we have been trained to by the very design of the Capitalist system A quick survey of the average daily lives and emotional state of Americans is in order before we examine this totalitarian state. The National Institute of Mental Health has found that 7.8 percent of all adults in the United States have experienced a major episode of depression. In a more telling statistic, this number nearly doubles to 15.2 percent in young people aged 18-25. In a 2022 Gallup poll, 50 percent of American workers reported feeling stressed and disconnected from their job on a daily basis, with 22 percent going as far as to say they are sad and distressed. As a student, I have experienced and struggled with these feelings of helplessness, falling into deep depressive states as I feel powerless to make a change. Through a critical analysis of these conditions through a dialectical materialist view, it become clear this is by design of the system we live in. How does this relate to totalitarianism? Hannah Arendt makes clear the distinction between strength and power. Power is simply the potential for action in a public sphere. This power lies in unity between the people; it is impossible to hold power as an individual. Strength, on the other hand, is our ability to withstand mental attack, the will to persevere. Keeping in the terminology of Emanuel Kant, The human drive of survival suggests strength as a concept to be a priori knowledge, which in hand suggests conflict and struggle between classes to be a universal an a posteriori inevitability, validated by Hegel’s dialectic and illustrated in his theory of the Slave-Master relationship. In strength, tyranny and totalitarianism radically differ according to Hannah Arendt . Tyranny lacks the strength of totalitarianism because it can only effectively divide its masses, but is unable to prevent to dissent and vulnerable to the eventual strength of said populace, while totalitarianism effectively divides and wears down its mass's mental strength in order to prevent its destruction as and manufacture consent for its abuses. Capitalistic America’s ruling class not only sees the danger of unity, but also the danger of education and mental strength, the courage to speak out. Arendt argues that isolation is the most effective tool of totalitarianism, writing that “in complete loneliness, we realize that one man alone has no power at all but is always overwhelmed and defeated by superior power.” (94). Marx’s theory of alienation very simply explains how capitalism naturally isolates the individual, Capitalism’s strongest tool in hindering the development of class consciousness, a step necessary for radical systemic change, as a tool of self-preservation. The further specialized an economy or workplace becomes, the less the worker sees the fruit of his labor and thwarts more profit is stripped from his labor. He feels increasingly lost and disconnected from his human nature and from the people around him, seeing them simply as competition in a wage driven society. As the power the working class and autonomy in the workplace and political sphere slowly diminishes, the strength is worn down, reducing said worker to something subhuman in the eyes of the bourgeois class, the nameless laborer, the assembly line worker, the gig worker. When the mental strength of an individual is worn down, power changes from potential into a pipe dream. Why fight? Why work to change a system that has already won? Furthermore, Marxist theory and literature that assures the worker he has the strength needed to enact political through unity and the same militant action by which all nations were founded is demonized and hidden from him. He is taught that his place in the world will always be that of a worker, not a revolutionary. The masses have successfully been indoctrinated to believe the causes of the bourgeois classes are in their interest, effectively betraying his class and the interest of their fellow man. This is our reality, an innately totalitarian nation characterized by its suppression of the masses, its attack on our strength, and its global imperialistic geopolitical interventionism against Democratic sovereign nations who challenge American homogeny. The means of capitalism’s self-preservation, specifically the use of force by the state to protect capital, and their subsequent justification of said force to the public, when critically analyzed through a materialist lens clearly shows that the capitalist implementation of the jesuit morality in proletarian culture to which its bourgeois ruling class is not beholden to to be yet another self-preservation method of capitalism through coercive corporate media complicity. This force is exerted through both physical and psychological means. These methods are a psychological and spiritual attack on our strength. Dismissing these forms of consent manufacturing as not an act of violence simply because they are not necessarily physically harming us; they are training us to harm ourselves through capitalist coping mechanisms to dull and destroy our bodies, anything to placate the desire escape the prison of our totalitarian existence. We also must critique the state monopoly on physical violence, inflicted on its own citizens through its police force and against the exploited global masses with its military action, repression of colonized populations, and the occupation of countless countries for use as coward operating bases as an intimidation tactic against threats to western imperialist interests. These same tactics, specifically state violence, have historically been used as means of colonial repression by western colonizing powers. In accordance with Michel Foucault’s boomerang theory, these same methods of repression inevitably will be and have been used against its own citizens. This has been very publicly demonstrated through the militarization of police and modern “riot” tactics. This violence strengthens the mental and physical control of the ruling class and demoralizes its opponents. This violence however is only one mean of placation and is not the sole source of the American establishment’s political power; Its institutions are designed to ensure its survival and prevent the fostering of strength among the masses, differentiating America as a totalitarian state from a tyrannical state, as the tyrannical state derives from force alone, a contradiction which inevitably leads to the growth of strength in the populace. When means of repression are unable to deter self-development of strength, they are at risk of violent revolt of the masses. The success and power of Americas force is dependent on its ability to shape culture and morals. While Hanna Arendt describes force as always illegitimate, history clearly shows that force has been the only successful path for mass populist movements seeking systemic change. to disagree with her. Arendt states that violence is used by the powerless, while it is clearly used with impunity by the ruling classes. Arendt asserts that force is never a substitute for power, to which one must ask: If strength is a necessary prerequisite for political power and is successively suppressed in the population, then how will the masses ever gain power? The success of the American empire has disproven her opinion that force is never legitimate and is disregarded by the ruling class, relegating the working man to a morality that disempowers him and discourages resistance and the formation of legitimate political strength. Her conclusion that violence and force are illegitimate forces are ahistorical, completely disregarding the success of almost every mass militant proletarian action in enacting total political change. The people have NO power except for the power of mass organization and armed struggle, which is inherently violent. There is a reason any possibility of violence is met with more violence by the state, and this is because they are aware that with it comes the possibility for change, making us inherently powerful. Strength is the deciding factor in suppressing the masses, and strength can be worn down. The Hegelian dialectic asserts that the ultimate goal of man and drive behind history is in pursuit of total freedom. This innate and primitive urge to fight for freedom cannot. I believe her assertion of violence being an illegitimate tool of the powerless is based in the very totalitarian morality she criticizes. The double standard of a system telling its people that nonviolence is a virtue while actively brutalizing its citizens strongly weakens even her advanced theory in its failure to address what she would see as a legitimate political tool for oppressed masses under totalitarianism. This moral double standard is an intentional attack and attempt to suppress our strength by the capitalist class, and Leon Trotsky describes the framing of morality as one of the most effective tools of class suppression and warfare. In his 1938 essay Their Morals and Ours, Trotsky writes “The bourgeoisie […] is vitally interested in imposing its moral philosophy upon the exploited masses. […] The appeal to abstract norms is not a disinterested philosophic mistake but a necessary element in the mechanics of class deception.” (The New International 165). It is clear this class deception has been effective, as it permeates all facets of our culture and is unintentionally furthered through philosophers in the highest levels of academia grounding themselves in a morality keeps the working class complacent and placated, such as Hannah Arendt. She misses the very point of philosophy in the words of Karl Marx, “The philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways, The point however is to change it.” As Trotsky says, it is vital for the survival of the working class to “expose this deceit’ and deny capitalist moral assertions. While Arendt Made clear her parameters for tyranny and totalitarianism, there are cases where further examination and the willingness to question preconceived notions of morality is necessary to understand how totalitarianism can flourish in stealthy ways. One of these cases is the United States of America. We spend so much time worrying about the active wave of fascist ideology and nationalist groups in America due to the possibility of a totalitarian future, when we should be discussing the fact that it is all by design, that we are already being crushed by Capitalistic totalitarianism. Critical analysis of structures and theory is necessary to combat this, and the education of the working masses on these subjects is necessary, and the work philosophers like Hannah Arendt only serves to disempower workers and maintain capitalist homogeny . The working class must reject the notion all violence is immoral, accept that resistance against oppression is a righteous cause, and reclaim the fact the people will always hold power through the capacity of revolution, and the fear of such action by those who rule.We refuse to let ourselves be told our only tool is one of illegitimacy. We are living under the boot. What shall we do? Being born under this boot, we have two options; We accept the boot as part of our lives, begging for the boot to crush us slower while we are slowly being destroyed, or we can stab at the boot with all our might, ensuring it never has the strength to step on us again. “The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Proletarians of All Countries, Unite!” Karl Marx Works Cited Trotsky, Leon. “Their Morals and Ours.” The New International, June 1938, pp. 163–173. Orwell, George, et al. 1984. Alfaguara, 2022. Koskie, Brandi. “Depression Statistics: Types, Symptoms, Treatments & More.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 14 Jan. 2022, https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/facts-statistics-infographic#depression-types. Collins, Leah. “Job Unhappiness Is at a Staggering All-Time High, According to Gallup.” CNBC, CNBC, 12 Aug. 2022, https://www.cnbc.com/2022/08/12/job-unhappiness-is-at-a-staggering-all-time-high-according-to-gallup.html#:~:text=In%20the%20U.S.%20specifically%2C%2050,sad%2C%20and%2018%25%20angry PENTA, LEO J. “Hannah Arendt: On Power.” The Journal of Speculative Philosophy, vol. 10, no. 3, 1996, pp. 210–29. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/25670190. Accessed 1 July 2024.

Marx, Karl, Friedrich Engels, and Harriet E Lothrop. Wage-Labor and Capital. New York: New York Labor News Co, 1902. Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/04004084/>. Kant, Immanuel, and Oliver Wendell Holmes Collection. Critique of Pure Reason. trans by Meiklejohn, J. M. D London: Bell & Daldy, 1872. Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/07039385/>. Hegel, G. W. F. Phenomenology of Spirit. Translated by A. V. Miller, Oxford University Press, 1979. Fanon, Frantz, 1925-1961. The Wretched of the Earth. New York :Grove Press, 1968.

5 Comments
2024/07/01
23:02 UTC

14

Overcoming the Ancien régime in the American Revolution

Is it fair to contrast the Bourgeois revolutions in overcoming the Ancien régime, with the proletariat overcoming capitalism? Earlier in my political develop I had ruthless and emotional criticism of the founding fathers regarding slavery, and I still kind of do, but I'm sobering up on their historical moment.

At the time of the American Revolution which could be characterized as the dictatorship of the Bourgeoisie, their political revolution was that of overcoming the political and economic forces of the monarchy and the Ancien régime broadly. Just like in the dictatorship of the proletariat, capitalism will still exist in its overcoming, the future of socialism inherits the illegitimated relations of capitalism. Bourgeois revolutionaries inherited the illegitimated aspects of the Ancien régime which include slavery. Although under the early dictatorship of the Bourgeois, slavery still existed(s) their theoretical project was (and is) to abolish slavery.

Hopefully this comparison is appropriate in recognizing that just how overcoming capitalism will inherit cruelties that need overcoming, the bourgeois revolutions like in the US inherited slavery, yet sought the desire to overcome it through the theories of bourgeois right.

18 Comments
2024/07/01
19:39 UTC

0

Does Marx completely deny the existence of ones-self and thus deny the existence of any concept of gender or self expression?

Hello. There is a comrade in a discord I am in who rejects the concept of gender on the ground that humans are an entirely social creature. In reference to Marx's idea that humans cannot principally exist in any sense other than biological without other people. They deny any existence of ones-self in contrast to society as a petite-bourgeois right deviation. They claim, I cannot be a Marxist because I haven't "interacted with basic Marxist" texts, as Marxism isn't a choice but rather a field of study.

I think, while he is right that Marx did say that humans exist as parts of society, and you cannot take humans as individuals outside of society, I think its pretty clear that this DOES NOT invalidate the existence of the internal self. Ones external actions, labor, and choices are social, but this is not to say there cannot be an internal existence.

I think its very materially dubious to say that humans do not have an individual, non-social identity. Humans all develop with individual memories and experiences, traumas and unique genes. Our identities develop uniquely, and with great noise, and are not duplicated. How our brains connect within themselves, is unique, and susceptible to harmful calibration and noise. Our existences in coping with disables, death, and illness in unique circumstances forms unique patterns in all of us. And, how one chooses to express this inner noise, is influence from society, and judged by society, but cannot be entirely said to be a product of society.

They think this is baseless and a-material, and points back to Marx's statement that we are entirely social creatures. They also use this to reject gender, despite it being a material observable, non-mutating fact, across known society post-proto-communism. Memetically mutating from place to place that these ideas conveniently evolve.

9 Comments
2024/07/01
14:58 UTC

15

How does Roma history and ongoing opression fit into the present class struggle and fight for liberation?

Roma (Indian origin) are Europe’s largest racial minority. They have been through 500 years of Chattel Slavery in Wallachia and Moldavia (current day Romania) untill slavery was abolished in 1856. Roma were owned by the state, the boyars and the Orthodox Church. This history of Eastern European Chattel Slavery predates Western European colonialism in Africa and the Americas, first documented attestation of Roma in the Romanian space being made in 1385, when Dan I of Wallachia donates 40 g*psy families to the Tismana Monastery.

To this day, Roma haven’t received any compensations, the history is still suppressed, not taught in schools, not acknowledged publicly by the former slave owners, even though this is the longest period of Chattel Slavery based on ethnicity to ever be documented worldwide.

Roma have also been targeted for the Final Solution in the Holocaust next to Jewish people, but Roma are rarely mentioned. Romania has too deported them to Transnistria during WW2. Unlike Jewish victims, Roma received no reparations.

Roma are treated as subhuman and they experience systemic opression all over Europe. In Romania, they are still segregated at the margins in the villages where their ancestors were slaves, with no access to drinking water nor infrastructure.They also experience environmental racism and are being frequently evacuated and forced to live near landfills such as the one in Pata Rât, Cluj.

These are centuries upon centuries of endless dehumanizing and despicable opression that Roma have faced, and still, they have little to no solidarity and are excluded and left out from most global discussions and movements.

We need to familiarize ourselves with the Roma struggle. There is no liberation without the liberation of the most silenced and subjugated of us. Everything is interconnected.

2 Comments
2024/07/01
08:45 UTC

28

Essay: How China Beats the West in its Own Game

How exactly does China utilize its foreign investments? Many members of the “Left” have criticized the CPC for allowing foreign enterprises to operate in China, believing that the Party has somehow capitulated to the will of the Western oligarchs who run these companies. This article will provide insight into how China actually engages with foreign companies, uses their investments and foreign IP transfers for the purpose of moving up the industrial chain.

Read the full article here.

This article is the fifth part of RTSG’s series of articles exploring China and her economy, with previous articles covering China’s state-owned enterprises, China’s financial system and economic growth, and China’s corporate governance.

20 Comments
2024/06/30
18:00 UTC

6

how value, exploitation, concurrency works in the service sector?

marx define the service sector as unprodutive labor, so it doesnt aggregate value to the products.
but, how does it works, why the service work doesnt add value to products? people say there isnt a product where the value is put but why you have to put it in a physical object? and cant you think of the product of cashier, the salesman, the janitor that work at some store being the product you buy when you go to that store? the product couldnt be selled if it wasnt armazened, registred and located properly, right?
and if the servicer doesnt add value, how to determine the price of his wage? some teacher who is bad at teaching or some store where the accounting is done in paper will get the same money as a good teacher or a technological store?
and that way wouldnt a sector of production which requires a lot of service workers be inviable?

16 Comments
2024/06/30
02:50 UTC

8

Theory is important and all, but what do I point to?

I'm reading Sheldon Wolin's "Democracy Incorporated" and (political readings in general) it refers to a lot of vague collusions with the government and corporate actors to economically demoralize and weaken the citizenry via conscious price hikes and active inaction.

When discussing the finance-state apparatus with the "uninitiated" "normies" I use the same assumptions, namely healthcare increasing prices, the gutting of the social security and stuff like that, which directly cause people living paycheck to paycheck. Then CNN enjoyer will say:

**"like what?" and I'm like..."2007 loans, and Reagan era stuff" then they'll go "**Yeah but what about now? Biden just spent millions on infrastructure and healthcare and education, the government cares" and I'm like "well inflation" and they'll go "Yeah he just did the inflation act, inflation isn't intentional it's just hard times right now" and I say "well under the democrats, roe v wade got overturned" and then they'll say "but the democrats mean well, it's just that damn supreme court!"

Basically I'm struggling to find real world examples of class conflict that go beyond the obvious, and can give credit to theoretical explanations of capitalism, specifically in the imperial core. It's obvious that things are shitty for people right now, but the visible and conscious class incentives are not obvious. Can anyone help me with this?

9 Comments
2024/06/28
19:55 UTC

15

'The Cynical Calculations of the World Bourgeoisies and the Massacre of Palestinians', The Communist Party, Issue 58, July 2024

In many Western countries, that is, those nations bound by an alliance with the United States, the Palestinian cause holds sympathy among the population and there are participatory demonstrations in its support, in some cases with large crowds. This has been seen recently in the United Kingdom, France and the United States itself.

The plight of the Palestinian people is identified as an exemplary case of oppression and injustice, reasoning that fighting against them is seen as a way to combat all injustice and political oppression, according to the motto “Palestine is the world”.

This conviction is fueled by feelings of indignation, compassion and solidarity, feelings which arise from the horrors of a war that, like the generality of conflicts in present-day capitalism, reaps terrible massacres among the civilian population, and which has a distinctly asymmetrical character as to the power relations between the parties involved in the conflict.

This is, however, a dangerous simplification.

The asymmetrical nature of a war does not define its essence. In Gaza, the army of the bourgeois Israeli state is not up against proletarian masses and the dispossessed in revolt but armed militias of bourgeois parties, headed by Hamas, which is itself supported by regional and world imperialist powers.

The proletarians of Palestine are mere cannon fodder according to the cynical calculations of these clashing bourgeois formations, including, of course, the Palestinian bourgeoisie-in-waiting.

The October 7 massacre perpetrated against Israeli civilians, in a kibbutz well known to have a pacifist orientation, and which also affected numerous immigrant proletarians, was one such calculation. Those who conceived, organized and implemented it knew that it would lead to the certain massacre of thousands of Palestinians. The assault was implemented in order to strike against the regional plans of Israel and its allies in the interests of another bloc of imperialist states headed by Iran.

The interests of the Palestinian working class, doubly oppressed, i.e., on both a national and class level, are at complete odds with the politics of Hamas and its supporters, allies and financiers.

Seventy years of Israeli-Palestinian conflict—generated and aggravated by the maneuvers of regional and global bourgeois powers—confirm that a solution within the framework of imperialism is insurmountable.

World capitalism is marching towards what is both its salvation and the ruin of humanity itself: a third world war. The economic crisis of overproduction has left humanity at the precipice of the abyss. Even if the capitalist states reached the solution of “two peoples, two states” in Palestine, it would only be a continuation of a higher, more serious level of the conflict already underway. In other words, there would be an even higher number of victims, mainly proletarian, on both sides of the front.

Taking the side of the so-called “Palestinian resistance”, that is, for the establishment of a Palestinian state within the framework of capitalism, means setting out on the road that leads, not to the defeat of oppression or social and political injustice, but to the deployment of proletarians in the new world war that is rapidly developing before our eyes.

That the good intentions of the world’s masses, who are mobilizing in reaction to the massacres in Gaza, are being used for the purposes of expanding and continuing the war, is proved by the fact that these mobilizations are directed by organizations that, beyond calling for a “ceasefire”, line up behind the Palestinian national-bourgeois parties in this 70-year conflict.

These organizations offer no criticism of the Palestinian nationalist parties, nor of the imperialist regimes that support them, nor any appeal addressed to the workers of Israel, nor any solidarity arising from the massacre of Israeli proletarians carried out by the militias of the bourgeois parties of Gaza.

The ethical law that seems to arise from the politics of these pro-Palestinian is that it should be a matter of standing alongside those who suffer the greatest massacre, justifying the lesser massacre of civilians. The problem is that it is not the asymmetry of the number of casualties that explains the nature of the conflict; this asymmetry is a fact that is highly susceptible to change, in the development of a conflict that is bourgeois in nature, and which will entail the increasing involvement of other capitalist states.

By ignoring the bourgeois nature of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, haphazardly tucking it away behind the asymmetry of forces, the pro-Palestinian movements aim to enlist ever larger masses on an international level in a war that is not social, that is, between classes, but between states of the same class, the capitalists.

In this way, any distinction between oppressors and oppressed, including the harassment of women in Islamist regimes, disappears behind the clash of states: this means the end of the struggle against exploitation and class domination within those countries that are supposed to support the “Palestinian cause”. It claims to fight against exploitation, injustice and oppression; instead, any struggle in this sense is set aside in favor of a conflict between capitalist states, justified as a reaction against the national oppression of the Palestinian people.

Throughout the Arab-Middle Eastern region, the Palestinian question—the struggle against the US-Israeli devil—is fomented to mislead the proletarian masses from the struggle for their goals and against their respective bourgeois regimes. Turkey and Iran are perhaps the most striking examples of this strategy of the bourgeoisie to engage its proletarians in war propaganda and stifle their class aims.

In Western countries, the centers of mobilizations for a “ceasefire” and in support of the “Palestinian cause” are the universities. Students are the easiest social stratum to mobilize into the activist movement, even more so than the petty bourgeois, as they are concentrated and entrenched in academic institutions and putting off your studies for a while is not as difficult as it is for the petty bourgeoisie to interrupt its entrepreneurial enterprises. Even more so, the condition of the workers. They are all the more distant from the condition of workers, as they are not subject to corporate despotism; notably, they will lose no wages. So much so that it is certainly erroneous to speak of a student “strike”.

These characteristics, combined with the inter-class nature of their social stratum, and the passing nature of their individual class position, which propels most of them toward a higher social position than the proletariat, make students a mostly petty bourgeois movement from which the big bourgeoisie occasionally draws to renew the ranks of its political personnel.

Without a position or social function to provide a firm footing, as is—also—the case with the proletariat, the student movement is characterized by impotence and, consequently, it makes a ruckus, disorients and leads ultimately to the same false radicalism. Proletarians have greater constraints to break, but when they finally succeed, they become aware of their social and, therefore, political power.

The student movement, due to its petty bourgeois nature, is bound to vacillate between the class positions of the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, favoring the class with the stronger force. It is more susceptible to bourgeois ideology than that of the proletariat due to the culture disseminated through bourgeois institutions. It’s consequently fertile ground for the renewal of opportunist parties, which find in it a fruitful environment to replenish their ranks, collectively parroting the motto “workers and students united in struggle”, which can only mean workers aligning with petty-bourgeois activism.

The mobilizations underway in American universities naturally remind one of the anti-war movement against the Vietnam war in the 1960s and 70s. At the time, the bourgeois American State was directly involved in the conflict and sent tens of thousands of young people to die through compulsory conscription. At the height of the stability acquired during the post-world war reconstruction, and by virtue of their established dominance in the theater of imperialist powers, young Americans were no longer interested in going to die in a war so far from the confines of their homeland. A segment of the American bourgeoisie itself considered the choice to continue the military engagement to be a mistake. The masses in action were far superior, whether in the university or out.

Today the situation is quite different. For decades capitalist society has burned away the illusions of growing prosperity and is shrouded in a despairing atmosphere of hopelessness. The middling petty bourgeoisie thins and crumbles by the day. Its desperation, a result typical of the kind of powerlessness which affects the class, manifests in fanatical and reactionary movements. The student milieu is no exception; its movement tends to embrace false radicalism, from various identitarian wings to being fatally attracted to spurious revolutionary solutions that mystify and replace social revolution with bourgeois war.

The International Communist Party shows young people, students and workers the path of the workers’ and communist movement, of the social revolution against all wars between capitalist states.

The end of the dual national and class exploitation of the Palestinian proletariat and its dispossessed, along with the other national minorities (such as the Kurds, for example) can only come about through the international communist revolution. The political directions which place us on the historic path to our goal are the opposite of those whipped up by the pro-Palestinian camp: in every country, workers must struggle against their own bourgeoisies, in Gaza and the West Bank as well. Proletarians of all countries must say “No!” to inter-class solidarity in the name of war. We must appeal to the proletarians of Israel, too, to urge them to struggle against the Israeli State, side-by-side with the proletariat of Palestine.

https://www.international-communist-party.org/English/TheCPart/TCP_058.htm#palestine

https://www.international-communist-party.org/English/TheCPart/PDF/TCP_058.pdf

17 Comments
2024/06/26
23:54 UTC

14

Weird characterization of the jewish religion on "On the Jewish Question"

I just finished reading that text and realized that, on the second part, the way Marx characterizes the jewish religion - e.g. it being the religion of the "practical and personal necessities" - sounded quite strange to me, as he doesn't really cite the torah or the talmud. Maybe it's something he takes from the Bauer texts? I really don't get it. BTW i've read it in portuguese and "practical and personal necessitites" is just my free translation to english.

9 Comments
2024/06/26
16:40 UTC

72

Where is all the Marxist Economists?

Who are some relevant Marist Economists?

Where are the Marxist explanations for 2007?

I understand their is Richard Wolff, but the Soviet Union isn't so long dead I would expect all their economists to be dead, if old now. Does China not produce Marxist Economists? I would think there is at least as many free market economists?

What are some predictions being made?

69 Comments
2024/06/26
01:09 UTC

6

Science of time

There are many theories on how time functions, whether it branches, where all possibilities exist simultaneously, or wherever everything is already determined, we just lack the knowledge to predict so. What theory works most accurately in a dialectical and material manner that I can read up on? I am still interested in reading what others, such as the idealists, but obviously particularly a Marxist understanding.

22 Comments
2024/06/25
12:00 UTC

9

Why is the consumption of the rich insufficient yo prevent a recession due to overaccumulation?

So basically my understanding of overaccumulation is that competition drives capitalists to invest in machinery, which lowers the value of a commodity and increases the volume of production. Since commodity values fall, so does the SNLT for labor power, meaning lower wages.

So at the sane time commodity output is expanding, worker consumption is falling.

Now, a portion of surplus value must be reinvested to stay competitive. What I don't understand is why the consumption of the rich cannot fully absorb the excess production.

They own the surplus right? So why not spend it on consumption? I can see ot being a problem if capital accumulation happens faster than they can spend their income, but that's not a necessary condition in theory right?

I guess my question would be, if demands are unlimited like is assumed in classical econ, why is the consumption of the rich insufficient for prevention of a recession due to overaccumulation?

9 Comments
2024/06/24
02:25 UTC

5

Is this correct understanding of the marxist theory of crisis?

Ok so the thing that I've been struggling to understand about marxism for the longest time is how marx saw capitalist crisis unfolding and how it connects to the TRPF.

So I think I got it, but I wanted to check with y'all given that you guys probably understand it better than I do. I read this article to understand it better, but I could be misunderstanding, hence me checking: https://www.marxist.com/underconsumption-and-marxist-theory-of-crisis.htm

Ok, so.

The TRPF in and of itself does not CAUSE capitalist crisis. What it reveals is that the PRODUCTIVE CAPACITY of capitalism is constantly growing because the organic composition of capital is continually shifting towards constant capital concentration (c/v is constantly growing, which means that s/(c+v) is constantly falling).

This continual productive capacity growth leads to a greater volume of commodities being produced than can be absorbed by the market.

Within capitalism, the bulk of production is geared towards MOP (department 1). However, the MOP is purchased in order to produce either more MOP or consumer goods.

However, consumption of commodities is limited. This is because worker wages are fixed at the level of subsistence due to the iron law of wages. This is not a problem so long as the volume of commodities is close to the level needed for subsistence.

This does become a problem when the volume of commodities produced becomes much greater than what is needed for subsistence. Sure, a portion has been consumed by the capitalists as well in luxury, but how much luxury as actually possible for them to consume?

The fundamental problem here is the continual reinvestment of surplus value into production, thereby increasing productive capacity. The more you invest, the greater the productive capacity, the greater the consumption needed to dispose with all of production. As productive capacity expands, the income of the rich grows faster than their ability to spend it, and this is where the crisis really gets going because now you can no longer recoup all of your investment in the market, it is too saturated. This prevents Say's law from operating, and therefore the circuit M-C-M' is disrupted.

This, then causes a recession as capitalists are forced to lower prices below cost in order to offload industry, driving many into bankruptcy and effectively concentrating capital in fewer hands or removing it from overall production. This leads to layoffs and the like.

The fundamental problem here isn't under-consumption because even if consumption were greater, you'd still continually be reinvesting in ever greater productive capacity. You only realize the crisis once under consumption kicks in but it isn't the fundamental cause. This also explains the bubble and burst structure of the capitalist economy.

Is this a more or less accurate understanding of the marxist theory of crisis? Thanks!

4 Comments
2024/06/23
20:37 UTC

15

Is there any sort of analysis on the exploitation of consumers by capitalists?

I mean this has always been going on to some extent, but I guess the difference is that exploitation of consumers isn't intrinsic to the capitalist mode of production, whereas theoretically you could have a capitalist society where the capitalists do not exploit consumers at all. However, with the tendency of the rate of profit to fall, it seems like the necessity can only increase for capitalism to exploit consumers as well as workers. It seems like after a while, exploitation of consumers will be as integral to the survival of capitalism as exploitation of workers (if it isn't already integral).

18 Comments
2024/06/22
11:12 UTC

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