alcohol industry

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commiegal
alcohol industry
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Can anyone recommend any artickes about a marxist perspective on the alcohol industry as I am trying to write an article about this for my blog? 

A.Simpleton
There may well be

'modern' articles (i.e. 20th 21st century) written from an 'alleged' marxist perspective - that's not to dis them. It's just that Marx himself - the source of clarity - would have depicted the production, distribution et al of it as a 'commodity' like any other: its production process as equally oppressive for workers as any other. What we are now bombarded with as 'moral' 'societal' 'issue-of-the-month' in bourgeois terms,no doubt existed in trumps: opium he studied in some detail along with its trade and in Engels 'Articles on Britain' will no doubt contain many references to 'mother's ruin' 'laudanum' etc. But their view was radical: Marx was more concerned to reveal say the 'moral vileness of the banking/credit system that overarched the whole 'lie' ,the key realities common to all oppression of the workers

He drank considerable amounts himself : smoked heavily. His daughter Jenny died at 16 and later when bereft of his wife Eleanor his exhausting life's efforts over - alone it is reliably reported that he lived his last years in considerable alcoholic disarray.

Unique, exceptional but ...only human.

Try libcom?

 

AS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ernie
Alcohol

Sorry for the lateness in the reply commiegirl but in order to be of more help could you give more of an outline of what you are trying to say in the article then we could give you more help.

A simpleton is right that alcohol is another commodity.Not sure about Marx's being a dysfunctional alcoholic in his final years. He produced some of his most interesting work at that time. What are the sources for Marx's alcoholism?

The response of the workers' movement to alcohol has been complex. A lot of socializing in the workers' movement took place in the context of drinking, taverns, banquets etc. However, there was also a concern for the damaging impact of alcoholism on the class. This could take on a moralizing tone with the idea of stopping drinking in order to give more time to militancy, but this concern could also  take the form of solidarity and help for those effect. There is a story of a factory in pre-revolutionary Russia where the Bolsheviks had a powerful influence in the work force.There was a worker who was an alcoholic and not very functional who was causing all the workers problems by being late, not safe etc, so the Party comrade asked him to stop drinking but he refused, so after several efforts to get him to stop and his refusing they with the backing of the whole work force asked for him to be sacked. During the Polish mass strike of 1980 all the bars were closed down by the strike committees because of the very serious and damaging problem of alcoholism amongst the proletariat in Poland, as else where in Eastern Europe.

There is no simple black and white marxist response to alcohol. Problematic alcohol use is a problem in many working class areas which have suffered profoundly from the crisis, and is becoming an increasing problem in many work places as the pressure of work become unbearable. However our response is not some condemnation of those effected for moral weakness etc but to try and explain the social decay that is leading to the presures that can lead to problematic alcohol use. On the other hand, we don't have any problem with socializing involving drink:mine will be a pint please!

jk1921
DTs?

ernie wrote:

During the Polish mass strike of 1980 all the bars were closed down by the strike committees because of the very serious and damaging problem of alcoholism amongst the proletariat in Poland, as else where in Eastern Europe.

Christ, I hope they didn't cause anyone to go into the DTs. Sudden withdrawl from an ethanol addiction can be deadly. Ernie is right, its a complex question and there is no straightforward answer, but I hope if in future struggle a decision is made to close down the bars there is a plan to deal with the medical consequences.

The academic journal International Labor and Working-Class History once did an issue on "Drink and the Working Class." I don't know how helpful it would be though:

https://ilwch.esc.edu/issues/45-spring-1994/

ernie
indeed

Jk good point about the sudden withdrawal, it is not something try at home! Certainly very dangerous. I wonder what happened in Poland, because theVodka is rum old stuff ? ER's must have filled up with pretty ill people. Given how organised the class was in Poland I suspect they thought about this.

KT
Serious drinkers say....

"Abstentionism" in the alcoholic sense is not specific to the proletarian programme: the Czarist state abandoned millions in revenue to ban alcohol during WW1 in order to make its troops fight more effectively. Or so it hoped. We all know about Prohibition in the 1920s US (even if some say this was in fact designed to promote a new market and increase totalitarian state control). In between (and afterwards) the Christian and other temperance sects, some linked to working class movements. However what emerges is this: every serious working class uprising has taken a position to limit if not prohibit the consumption of alcohol. Why? Because a movement which depends on developing, rather than dampening collective consciousness must necessarily move in this direction. Trotsky was convinced that the bourgeoisie was trying to drown the Russian Revolution in alcohol (he was right) – and the 1980 Polish strike committee knew that in order to be on their toes, clarity was essential. A revolutionary direction implies a break with habits of old, however comforting or dependent individuals or classes might be on therm. This is not a moralistic question, but one of the dynamic of the struggle. I write, of course, as a barely-functioning abuser of alcohol and other substances...

A.Simpleton
Ooops ..

Indeed ernie : 'What are the sources for Marx's alcoholism?' er... I apologise for such a slovenly aside. 'Sources close to a bloke upstairs on a bus' could be my only - horrifically Daily Mail-ish - contrite response ...er..  he named his dog 'Whisky' ?.... er.. no it won't stand up in court.

I think the phrase 'I resemble that remark' is nearer the truth.

AS 

 

jk1921
Alcohol vs. cannabis?

KT wrote:

However what emerges is this: every serious working class uprising has taken a position to limit if not prohibit the consumption of alcohol. Why? Because a movement which depends on developing, rather than dampening collective consciousness must necessarily move in this direction. Trotsky was convinced that the bourgeoisie was trying to drown the Russian Revolution in alcohol (he was right) – and the 1980 Polish strike committee knew that in order to be on their toes, clarity was essential. A revolutionary direction implies a break with habits of old, however comforting or dependent individuals or classes might be on therm.

This is an interesting take, especially when juxtaposed to what Jamal wrote in the Cannabis thread:

Jamal wrote:

There is so much misinformation regarding cannabis. It's the same with mycelium. The science behind both are extremely interesting, and if you really take a close look at them, along with their underlying histories, you can find many examples of why they might be a threat to the status quo.

So, are we to believe that cannabis could be a "threat to the status quo", while alcohol "drowns the revolution"? If cannabis is a threat to the system, why are there tendencies towards legalization? How does the legal/illegal nature of these various commodities affect their use as methods of social control?

 

ernie
social.control

Cannabis nor any other intoxicant is a threat  to the system rather they are they are potentialy means of social social control whether ilegel or legel. The ravages of the "counter culture" and its individulist ideologies on those of the 68 generation are the graphic manifesttion of this. 

jk1921
Medicine

ernie wrote:

Cannabis nor any other intoxicant is a threat  to the system rather they are they are potentialy means of social social control whether ilegel or legel. The ravages of the "counter culture" and its individulist ideologies on those of the 68 generation are the graphic manifesttion of this. 

Right, but its interesting that many factions of the bourgeoisie now think marijuana should be legal. Is this a change in tactics of social control, i.e. before they were using marijuana as a way of expanding police powers and locking people up, now they want to relax the laws to make it more available, legitimize it. etc.? A US Congressman lambasted some official from the DEA the other day in a hearing screaming at him, "Marijuana never killed anyone!" That's probably untrue, but a secondary point to the the fact that major bourgeois factions want to relax the drug war and give maruijuana the same legal status as alcohol.  Of course, Jamal makes another point about the possible therapeutic uses of marujuana for various conditions that continue to escape the ability of modern medicine to relieve--but, perhaps there are broader social issues that undergird these conditions? Alcohol was once used as medicine as well--and still is by many people who self-medicate.

LBird
Drugs and morality

The issue about alcohol (or, more widely, drugs) is a moral issue.

That is, it is related to human choices, judgements, standards, beliefs, etc.

It is not simply related to class issues, about power over production and distribution.

The bourgeoisie might choose to legalise or criminalise all/any drugs, depending on its perceived interests.

The proletariat might choose to legalise or criminalise all/any drugs, depending on its perceived interests.

To say that 'morality' is socially-produced, is not to say that any class must have a particular 'morality'. Our 'proletarian morality' will be created during the process of our liberation, and will bear the marks of that process.

That is, the question of whether 'individuals' will be allowed to consume any (or every) type of drug will be answered during the historical process of revolution.

There are no universal rights, only social judgements.

Fred
Alcohol is a downer and

Alcohol is a downer and eventually a depressant.  Marijuana, LSD, Mescaline and the like are uppers and potentially mind opening.  At least so Aldous Huxley claimed, amongst others.  And I recall in the early 70's how The Guardian's writer on theology said that LSD heightened her awareness of the presence of god. Though this may only go to prove how phony these so-called mind-expanding substances actually are.  But tribal people like in the Amazon rain forest, where the forest is still unmolested ( I nearly said "primitive" people which is probably wrong, though 'tribal" doesn't seem right either) make great use of mind opening substances do they not, which may explain their reluctance to be swept up and crushed by the advanced civilization offered by capitalism?   Perhaps there's more to their universe and to the pursuit of visions, than is to be comprehended in the alienation in which we live under capitalism, where drug use generally stems from misery and usually  brings about more. 

 

A.Simpleton
Spot On

“the so-called 'rights of man' ... are only the rights of the member of civil society, that is, of egoistic man, man separated from other men and from the community.'

Thus none of the so-called rights of man goes beyond the egoistic man, the man withdrawn into himself, his private interest and his private choice, and separated from the community as a member of civil society ... The only bond between men is natural necessity, need and private interest, the maintenance of their property and egoistic persons.” 

[Marx : On The Jewish Question : 1843]

With specific regard to Cannabis ('versus alcohol'): to me, the following report submitted by 'civil rightists' - however 'well intentioned' - shows that the whole question and any 'attitude' change or 'legal gain' that might result, reveals nothing about, nor contributes to Proletarian Revolutionary concerns.

It is all solidly on Bourgeois terrain: begins, lives and ends entirely within the bourgeois concepts of 'legality' rights'.

If you have even 1% confidence in the 'surveys' and 'figures' so assiduosly researched re: use , imports, value ( I would multiply all those by at least ten) the result - acceptable gain fo the 'activists' - is er... to do with 'saving the exchequer money' (!) ( er.. paying V.A.T on spliffs is a 'good thing' because 'obviously' State Capitalism can then 'do good works with the extra dosh' ....ahem)

It also ignores the fact that Global Capitalism already does need and has for some time needed desperately what it calls 'dirty money' : which definition is itself bollocks because it is all 'dirty money'/

As if the even more massive surplus values extracted by 'Official' Arms Dealers were any 'cleaner'

This 'Business Plan For Bringing Another Commodity Within The Grasp Of State Capitalism' is called

The C.L.E.A.R Plan for The Regulation of The Cannabis Market in the U.K.

10.3 Potential Tax & Duty Revenues

10.3.1 Based on estimated excise duty revenues at £1 per gram per 5% THC, VAT on
recent total cannabis market values at 20%, licenses based on estimated numbers of
growers taking 1 square metre to 2 square metre licences a £200 per square metre per
annum and additional income tax revenues based on £200 per offender per annum (if
records expunged), the revenue raised by licensing and taxing cannabis would range
from £3.2 Billion to £9.2 Billion per annum, with an average of £6.4 Billion.
10.4 Cost Savings and New Costs

10.4.1 Estimated cost savings to the Criminal Justice System would fall between £293
Million and £646 Million per annum with an average of £512 Million.
10.4.2 New costs of a compliance regime and collections are estimated at between £157
Million and £317 Million per annum, with an average of £214 Million.
10.5 Overall Cost Benefit

10.5.1 Overall the net benefit to the taxpayer of a taxed and regulated cannabis
market could range from £3.4 Billion to £9.5 Billion per annum, with a best
estimate of £6.7 Billion per year at recent market levels.

It is a 'moral' issue and as LBird rightly says: morality is socially produced. 

(A genuine question c'rade re 'choice': my first tendency is to think that it is 'class based' in this sense: that the ownership of / power over the means/relations of production/distribution dictate that - at present 'morality' -only their morality of course -  is by contrivance owned by the ruling class. I'd like to understand your different formulation better.)

AS

LBird
Formulation of morals?

A.Simpleton wrote:
It is a 'moral' issue and as LBird rightly says: morality is socially produced.

(A genuine question c'rade re 'choice': my first tendency is to think that it is 'class based' in this sense: that the ownership of / power over the means/relations of production/distribution dictate that - at present 'morality' -only their morality of course - is by contrivance owned by the ruling class. I'd like to understand your different formulation better.)

You say, AS, “at present 'morality' -only their morality of course - is by contrivance owned by the ruling class”. But there is also our morality, which isn’t ‘owned by the ruling class’. Put simply, in a class-based society, there will always be contending ideas, including those surrounding ‘morality’.

For example, during strikes, it is regarded by workers as a ‘moral choice’ to cross picket lines and go to work: that’s why those choosing to do so are called ‘scabs’, and the memory of those ‘scabbing’ is often passed on to the next generation, so that a scab’s children can suffer from ‘moral disapproval’ from their peers years later. This is socially learned. The argument that the scab ‘had no choice, and had a mortgage to pay’ is rightly met with derision, and the pointing out that all are in the same boat, and that the only protection for all is united action.

But this morality of ‘putting the collective interest above individual free choice’ is also part of bourgeois morality, in the context of the state’s forces, for example, where “loyalty to one’s comrades” and “esprit d’corps” are stressed at the expense of both ‘free choice’ and, often, even life and limb.

And, conversely, under Communism, surely the ‘rights’ of a sick individual will take precedence over those of the healthy collective?

This means that seeing our morality as ‘collective’ and theirs as ‘individualistic’, and seeing these as based in ‘material conditions’ (which remove human choice from the equation), is too simplistic, IMO.

‘Morals’ are always socially determined, and what’s ‘right’ in one social context can be ‘wrong’ in another.

If I was pushed to declare what I think should be at the heart of ‘morality’, my answer is ‘democracy’. That is, ‘morals’ should be determined by a vote. And thus as society changes, so will morality.

This, I think, marks off proletarian morality from bourgeois morality. Their morality is always based on the interests of the few (whether ‘collective’ or ‘individual’, as context determines) and so is not open to democratic control, whereas ours should be based on the interests of the majority. And the latter can only be determined by voting.

Of course, ‘morality’ is a political issue, and will remain so forever. The notion that ‘morality’ is outside of human society (and that an ‘individual’ can determine their own moral views) is an ideological belief. We will have to create our moral judgements ourselves, during our process of self-emancipation.

But will this mean a ‘universal morality’, across the planet? I don’t know. I imagine some issues will be so important as to be universally applied. Perhaps others will be left to more local control.

PS. I like a drink, and will vote for 'real ale' production to be increased, even if it means 'Socialism in one brewery'!

Alf
drug war

I agree with LBird that there is such a thing as proletarian morality. This is a subject we have written about in the past and will certainly be returning to:

https://en.internationalism.org/ir/127/marxism-and-ethics

https://en.internationalism.org/ir/128/marxism-and-ethics-pt2

But of course for the ruling class, the question of drugs is a question of finding the right balance between social control and profit. Up till recently it has probably been more profitable to keep drugs illegal and cream off the illegal drugs trade, and to use their illegality as a pretext for repression and even imperialist intervention. But the 'war on drugs' is increasingly blowing up in their faces and the Obama team has stopped using the term. The situation in Mexico, for example, has got completely out of hand and is aggravating social chaos and undermining the authority of the state (even though the state is intimately linked to the drug gangs). The 'war on drugs' appears as an increasingly irrational policy and this is forcing the more inelligent bourgeois factions to rethink it. 

jk1921
Morality?

Alf wrote:

I agree with LBird that there is such a thing as proletarian morality. This is a subject we have written about in the past and will certainly be returning to:

 

LBird may be right that there is a proletatian morality, but what does that have to do with alcohol? Alcohol is an intoxicating substance capable of causing serious physical dependency by depressing the GABA receptors in the brain. Some people are more sensitive than others for some as yet unknown reason, but the fact remains that alcohol is capable of causing long term neurological changes in the brain that are generally deleterious to human health. That's a fact. Its not socially constructed.

Of course, there are social factors that go into producing alcoholism as an epidemic, but the physical properties of it as a substance are not really disputed by any serious scientist. Where does morality come it exactly?

A.Simpleton
Yup: I get it

Thanks: you clarify it very well and encourage me.

The way you formulate it follows precisely from and fits with the way I have understood the meaning of the straightforward yet radically profound core premises (G.I.1845) of Marx's 're-depiction' of ... well ...pretty nearly everything. I would dare to add the way it was meant to be understood. 

That meaning is fundamental to not misunderstanding Marx's materialist method: or dangerously confusing Marx's material conception of history with all the simplistic 'materialisms' - which he himself took to task in some detail and threw in the same bin as idealism, dualism, empiricism: the bin marked 'realm of unreal abstraction'.

Later with that. I won't derail the thread.

I'm not sure who - if anyone - claimed that they did but as you rightly say 'Rocks don't talk' ..... and the idea of 'Rock Music' is surely a ghastly absurdity.

AS

 

LBird
Do 'facts' speak for themselves, just like rocks?

jk1921 wrote:
LBird may be right that there is a proletatian morality, but what does that have to do with alcohol? Alcohol is an intoxicating substance capable of causing serious physical dependency by depressing the GABA receptors in the brain. Some people are more sensitive than others for some as yet unknown reason, but the fact remains that alcohol is capable of causing long term neurological changes in the brain that are generally deleterious to human health. That's a fact. Its not socially constructed.

Yes, but is it a bad thing?

jk1921 wrote:
Of course, there are social factors that go into producing alcoholism as an epidemic, but the physical properties of it as a substance are not really disputed by any serious scientist. Where does morality come it exactly?

Can you really not see the 'moral' content of your post?

You are assuming that 'alcohol' is a 'bad thing'.

That might be a justifiable judgement, in the eyes of some, but it is still a moral viewpoint, not the 'facts' speaking for themselves. Science cannot provide us with moral judgements; 'rocks' do not speak to humans; it positivism to suggest otherwise. And politically, positivism leads to 'technological determinism' and 'experts' telling the majority what is 'right'. After all, who can argue with 'science'? Well, we humans can. Science is a human activity, not 'rocks' telling us the 'truth' or forming our morals.

If we slightly re-word your post:

jk1921, might as well have wrote:

LBird may be right that there is a proletatian morality, but what does that have to do with lifeLife is an intoxicating substance capable of causing serious physical dependency ... Some people are more sensitive than others for some as yet unknown reason, but the fact remains that life is capable of causing long term neurological changes in the brain that are generally deleterious to human health. That's a fact. Its not socially constructed.

Of course, there are social factors that go into producing life as an epidemic, but the physical properties of it as a substance are not really disputed by any serious scientist. Where does morality come it exactly?

Life kills far more than alcohol. In fact, life has a 100% success rate in causing fatalities.

Or replace 'alcohol' with some dangerous sport, like 'sky-diving' or 'base-jumping'.

You might be correct, jk, to suggest alcohol is a problem. But it is a social and thus moral problem, not a simple 'factual' problem that is 'scientifically obvious' to all.

I, for one, enjoy its effects. All societies use, and have used, drugs, of one form or another.

But the argument of whether my personal enjoyment should be outweighed by the damage done by many addicts to themselves, is a moral and political, and not a scientific, argument.

That's the fact. And it is socially constructed.

Fred
ethics

I find the idea that matters concerning morality and ethics can be submitted to a vote and thus decided by a head count sickening, though I'm not sure why!  Am I allowed to drink alcohol,  eat beet root,  have sex, listen to Bach, read George Eliot and so on...well, comrade, we'll have to take a vote on that, after all this is a democracy!  In fact it all sounds a little like "1984" all over again; not at all my idea of a communist society; not at all my idea of a mature democracy, and all a bit like an SWP and left wing bourgeois idea of what communist democracy will be like: in short an even more distasteful and cleverly disguised version of what we've already got. 

If the proletariat can't get beyond this sort of childish head counting, so beloved by the bourgeoisie and its trade unions, then communism is doomed before it starts. 

The proletarian revolution will usher in a new and more highly developed, civilized and educated type of human being, or fail. Solidarity will break down the old barriers blocking human responses like sensitivity to others,  intuitive understandings,  and loving and mutual  appreciations of other people, their thoughts,feelings and aspirations, as we knowingly and consciously work together and define what is our common good. That's what proletarian democracy means. It's completely new.  A show of hands will hardly do in this situation where a maturing realization of our common purpose becomes democracy in action. 

LBird
Fred Jughashvili?

Fred wrote:
I find the idea that matters concerning morality and ethics can be submitted to a vote and thus decided by a head count sickening, though I'm not sure why!

Simple question, Fred. If not us humans, who or what should decide what is moral or ethical?

As for 'childish head counting', you really should change your tag to 'Joe', Fred!

Marin Jensen
Might is right?

Lbird wrote:

our (morality) should be based on the interests of the majority. And the latter can only be determined by voting.

I think there is some confusion here. You might decide by a vote what was the majority view of a moral position at any given moment, but that does not make it right in and of itself.

Lbird says that morality is socially determined, but that rather begs the question of why we live in society in the first place (unlike orang-utangs for example) and what makes social living and social cooperation possible.

LBird
Magical Mystery Morality?

LoneLondoner wrote:

Lbird wrote:

our (morality) should be based on the interests of the majority. And the latter can only be determined by voting.

I think there is some confusion here. You might decide by a vote what was the majority view of a moral position at any given moment, but that does not make it right in and of itself.

Same question to you, LL, as I posed to Fred: who or what does 'make it right'?

jk1921
BAD

LBird wrote:

You are assuming that 'alcohol' is a 'bad thing'.

NO, I am not. I never said alcohol was "bad." I said it was "generally deleterious to human health." That's a fact. if you want to consume a product that is unhealthy, be my guest. I am not Mayor Bloomberg. But as the comrades above point out, in most major instances of massive working class struggle, alcohol has been controlled. Not so much beause it is "bad" in some moral sense, but for practical reasons--because the conscious proletariat has recognized the negative effects of alcohol in the futher development of the consciousness and unity necessary to carry the revolution through to completion.

None of this means that alcohol doesn't have some limited medicinal uses--such as a mild sedative in emergency field surgery--but in general it is poisonous to human health on many levels. This is a fact of chemistry and physiology. Socially speaking, it is probably one of the strongest indictments of capitalist society that so many have to resort to consuming poison in order to self-medicate anxiety and depression or to feel uninhibited enough to participate in social activities.

There is a strain of indivdualist libertarianism in your last paragraph that I suppose fits in with your relativist approach to epsitemology and science itself. I wonder if you recognize it.

jk1921
What is your goal?

LBird wrote:

Fred wrote:
I find the idea that matters concerning morality and ethics can be submitted to a vote and thus decided by a head count sickening, though I'm not sure why!

Simple question, Fred. If not us humans, who or what should decide what is moral or ethical?

As for 'childish head counting', you really should change your tag to 'Joe', Fred!

What is the goal of this post? Are you implying Fred is a Stalinist? Why use such mocking insults like this? Fred's post semed like honest questioning based on his incomprehensions of your approach. Why turn around and imply he is a Stalinist?

LBird
Moral rockism

jk1921 wrote:

LBird wrote:

You are assuming that 'alcohol' is a 'bad thing'.

NO, I am not. I never said alcohol was "bad." I said it was "generally deleterious to human health." That's a fact. if you want to consume a product that is unhealthy, be my guest.

Your 'facts' are not mine. And you're moralising again...

jk1921 wrote:
There is a strain of indivdualist libertarianism in your last paragraph that I suppose fits in with your relativist approach to epsitemology and science itself. I wonder if you recognize it.

You wouldn't recognise 'epistemology and science' if it bit you on the arse. Every none-positivist approach, to you, is 'relativism'. And yet more 'psychological assessment' by Dr. jk.

Why not try reading, thinking, formulating an opinion, putting together an argument, and providing evidence of all this by quoting authorities?

LBird
Laughs? Not in jk's communism, just sterile moralism

jk1921 wrote:

LBird wrote:

Fred wrote:
I find the idea that matters concerning morality and ethics can be submitted to a vote and thus decided by a head count sickening, though I'm not sure why!

Simple question, Fred. If not us humans, who or what should decide what is moral or ethical?

As for 'childish head counting', you really should change your tag to 'Joe', Fred!

What is the goal of this post?

You really are a humourless prig, aren't you?

Fred
If you're so convinced  that

If you're so convinced  that you and you alone have the keys to understanding Marxism and the proletarian struggle LBird, I'm surprised that you lack sufficient confidence in your self and your beliefs to be able to avoid hurling silly insults at other comrades who have the cheek to question your dogmatism.  Perhaps its you who's "the humorless prig".   Your view of communism, as it comes across in the way you discuss, and assuming that you're correct (lol), makes  me glad I won't be around to see it. 

 

Democracy as "childish head counting" which is the sophisticated version of Stalinism,  will be replaced by democracy as creative interaction, and full and open discussion and debate.  Decisions will emerge as a consensus from this process to such an extent that the bourgeois fetishism of taking a vote on everything may not even be necessary.  This is because we will have overcome such immaturities through solidarity and the growth of consciousness.  I'm surprised you dont see this LBird. 

If I was going to quote an authority on this I'd quote Pannekoek.  So please take it as a given. 

 

LBird
Humour, or less

Fred wrote:
If you're so convinced that you and you alone have the keys to understanding Marxism and the proletarian struggle LBird...

On the contrary, Fred, it's because I think that the wider class 'alone has the keys to understanding Marxism' that I constantly ask questions about my thinking and ideas. What surprises me is that so few appear to want to do the reading, thinking, formulating arguments, finding evidence from texts, trying original gambits to test the water, and actually debate the issues. For example, I've tried to stimulate a debate on 'scientific method', to try to clarify my own views, but there doesn't seem to be a taste here for actually doing any research, just merely repeating worn-out 19th century shibboleths. Even when I quote from ICC-recommended texts, the argument is ignored, not combatted, and the old slogans are merely thoughtlessly reiterated.

Fred wrote:
Democracy as "childish head counting" which is the sophisticated version of Stalinism, will be replaced by democracy as creative interaction, and full and open discussion and debate. Decisions will emerge as a consensus from this process to such an extent that the bourgeois fetishism of taking a vote on everything may not even be necessary. This is because we will have overcome such immaturities through solidarity and the growth of consciousness. I'm surprised you dont see this LBird.

And I'm surprised you won't debate this. You've had enough chances, because I'm forever mentioning 'democracy'. You're the one assuming democracy means 'childish head counting' (your words, not mine), not me. You actually have no idea what I mean by democracy, and have just constantly poo-pooed any mention of it. This is the very first time that you've made any attempt to elaborate your diagreement with what you consider my use of 'democracy'.

And 'consensus' is not 'democracy'. But you haven't discussed that either, have you?

Fred wrote:
Perhaps its you who's "the humorless prig". Your view of communism, as it comes across in the way you discuss, and assuming that you're correct (lol), makes me glad I won't be around to see it.

Once more, I'm surprised at this, because I thought you shared my sense of humour.. no, I'm shocked. Surely we've been engaging in 'comradely teasing', when I've suggested you change your tag to 'Joe'? It's an attempt to show where 'anti-democracy' might lead.

Perhaps you're more like jk than I thought...

Marin Jensen
Insults are not acceptable

LBird wrote:

You really are a humourless prig, aren't you?

This forum is not a gentleman's debating club, but nor is it libcom. Gratuitous insults are unacceptable.

jk1921 wrote:

I don't know you from a hole in the ground, but based on how amaterurish you continually sound, I would reason that I am magnitudes more widely read than you are.

This is not much better.

If you get frustrated because your arguments are not getting through, you just have to accept that either comrades have understood what you say but are not convinced by it (for whatever reasons), or have not understood in which case you have to explain better, or even (dare I say it) that one might, just possibly, be wrong. Insults are not arguments.

Enough said, I hope.

LBird
Unanswered questions

Lone Londoner wrote:
If you get frustrated because your arguments are not getting through, you just have to accept that either comrades have understood what you say but are not convinced by it (for whatever reasons), or have not understood in which case you have to explain better, or even (dare I say it) that one might, just possibly, be wrong. Insults are not arguments.

Enough said, I hope.

Perhaps this wouldn't happen if comrades actually answered questions about statements that they've made, rather than continually ignoring the implications of their views, which follows the pattern set by discussions on 'scientific method'. For example...

LBird wrote:

LoneLondoner wrote:

Lbird wrote:

our (morality) should be based on the interests of the majority. And the latter can only be determined by voting.

I think there is some confusion here. You might decide by a vote what was the majority view of a moral position at any given moment, but that does not make it right in and of itself.

Same question to you, LL, as I posed to Fred: who or what does 'make it right'?

How come comrades can always find the time to either personally abuse me as having 'psychological problems' (jk1921), or comment on the childish exchanges (between jk1921 and me), but can't find the time to actually answer a question, so that the debate can go forward?

There is a pattern of ignoring difficult questions, turning the question into one of 'styles of debate' rather than the original content, and then all jumping in to 'hold the ring' like supposed neutrals.

You personally have done this twice, LL. First, the 'science issue', and now the 'origin of morality issue'.

Why aren't answers forthcoming?