EU, Brexit, populism:Against nationalism in all its forms!

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Fred
EU, Brexit, populism:Against nationalism in all its forms!
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The discussion that follows was prompted by the article: EU, Brexit, populism:Against nationalism in all its forms!. The discussion was initiated by Fred.
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Fred
a cynical view

Talking about communism Amos says:

Quote:
This  goal seems immeasurably distant today, and the advancing decomposition of capitalist society – above all, its tendency to drag the working class into its own material and moral downfall – contains the danger that this perspective will be definitively lost.  And yet it remains the only hope for a human future.

Communism is the only hope for a human future yet there is a danger, says Amos, that the perspective of communism will be lost! Yet a cynic might ask: when was it ever found? In the 1848 struggles? Too early to go anywhere.  In 1871? An opportunity for a massive slaughter of workers by the bourgeois class. Even Marx admitted that this revolutionary  attempt was doomed to failure, in historically immature circumstances. In 1917 in Russia? Possibly. Though even Luxemburg suggeste the question could only be raised in Russia, not  answered. In 1918 in various countries, but especially in Germany?  Possibly, but who really knows?    There were widespread and extremely violent uprisings of the working class against their bourgeois rulers. There were disorganised minorities of communists,  who talked about communism and even criticised what was happening in Russia as a mistaken  methodology for building communism.  But in Germany, the lying, deceitful bourgeoisie,  dressed in communist red, managed fairly easily to pull the wool over the eyes of the working class and lead revolution into the dead end of Social Democracy. 

This is a sad and sorry tale. Though of course we have learned lessons from these revolutionary failures. Or have we?  Well, in theory we have. 

So on to 1968.  The re-emergence of the international working class as a fighting force.  But did it really know what it was doing? In France it got rid of de Gaulle and more significantly world wide, produced a variety of communist groupings. But during the 70's did the class for itself ever develop genuine communist perspectives or was that left for the minuscule communist groupings to achieve?   But they of coursed soon embarked  on paths of self-destruction and in-fighting in the supposed pursuit of communist clarification, which saw many such groups break down and even disappear;  while the wider class went on and on striking  for mere economic gains though never  attaining  wider political understandings of the nature of capitalism, never mind any class consciousness. Where does the communist consciousness of the working class lie? Is it only within its revolutionary minorities, or does it need to be a much wider class manifestation as argued by Pannekoek? 

Then we had the 80's: the years of truth. Violent confrontations again, specially in Poland, where the distasteful truth emerged that the class, far from developing its own consciousness, preferred the succour of the Catholic Church  and of a Trades Unionism clothed, like Social Democracy,  in startling red.

A sad and sorry tale again  culminating in the dramatic collapse of Soviet communism which signalled the end of working class belief in the possibility of communism in any form whatsoever, except perhaps in its Social Democratic form as in 1918.  It. did begin to appear that the working class as a class didn't have a clue about its own emancipation, or even the need for it, nor what communism is or even capitalism, and had no interest in finding out. The dullness and acquiescence of no future and no hope for change settled like a fog over the earth  as decomposition blanketed thought, even threatening all life on the planet.

So the perspective for communism is lost and yet finding it in its truest form is all that can save us and offer new opportunities and possibilities. But this begins to sound like idealist dreaming as the bourgeoisie sinks into greater idiocy and incoherence dominated by the likes of its various political parties of left and right, the populism of leaders like Trump, the grinning vacuity of Clinton, the childish terror of IS and its bewildered adherents and the various fortress states of those remaining countries that haven't succumbed to outright decay and adhere to an increasing and violent State Capitalism, with military and  police control of everything. 

So the communist perspective may be lost, the ICC suggests, and yet it remains the only hope for a human future.  

 

Amos wrote:
And it is not a question of passively waiting for it to happen, like the Day of Judgement. The seeds of revolution lie in the revival of the class struggle, in returning to the path of resistance against attacks from right and left, in social movements against austerity, repression, and war; in the fight for solidarity with all the exploited and the excluded, in the defence of ‘foreign’ workers against gang masters and pogroms. This is the only struggle that can revive the perspective of a world community.
 

The cynic could argue that waiting for the working class to find its feet again, is precisely like waiting for the Day of Judgement, towards which, the deranged bourgeoisie like Satan and the Fallen Angels expelled from their phony capitalist  Heaven, fall unstoppably ever down to a miserable doom. And because the ruling class drags us along with it, in our petty-bourgeois unquestioning submission, the chance of escape, of the emergence of genuine conscious working class struggle, is a bleak and difficult prospect. Amos describes how to do it. But is it still really a possibility? 

 

 

 

 

 

         

LBird
We haven't even started on theory, yet. Never mind practice.

Fred wrote:

There were disorganised minorities of communists,  who talked about communism and even criticised what was happening in Russia as a mistaken  methodology for building communism.  But in Germany, the lying, deceitful bourgeoisie,  dressed in communist red, managed fairly easily to pull the wool over the eyes of the working class and lead revolution into the dead end of Social Democracy. 

This is a sad and sorry tale. Though of course we have learned lessons from these revolutionary failures. Or have we?  Well, in theory we have

[my bold]

I think that the situation is even worse than you suggest, Fred.

I'm of the mind that the proletariat has still not successfully 'decoded' for themselves, what Marx was arguing, about Communism, democracy, and workers' power.

That is, 'in theory, we haven't'.

Whilst we follow Engels' fundamental misunderstanding of Marx, and the following line of the Second International, Kautsky, Plekhanov, Lenin, etc., we will remain adrift.

lem_
then... so what?

If it were true that no-one has understood Marx (perhaps excluding you?) then why think it even matters, he would be just another theorist, perhaps even a bourgeoise one

LBird
Who does understand Marx?

lem_ wrote:

If it were true that no-one has understood Marx (perhaps excluding you?) ...

It's because it's become clear to me, as I'm still trying to understand Marx, that no-one yet has understood Marx, that I constantly try to discuss and clarify his ideas, about us and our world.

But it's not a task for me alone, but for the proletariat. Unless Marx's ideas become 'common currency' amongst workers, then I fear that the bourgeoisie will prevail... or 'common destruction of the contending classes'.

I think that the task of Communists is to make this class understanding far easier to achieve.

lem_ wrote:
...then why think it even matters, he would be just another theorist, perhaps even a bourgeoise one

To my mind, Marx is onto something. He seems to provide some way forward for the democratic control of production by the direct producers. As a Communist, I find his ideas stimulating.

lem_
>> To my mind, Marx is onto

>> To my mind, Marx is onto something. He seems to provide some way forward for the democratic control of production by the direct producers. As a Communist, I find his ideas stimulating.

That's fine, that you think all these things. I think you ought agree, though, that it isn't Marxism, or much at all to do with Marx, he simply inspired you to your work, LBirdism.

Be honest

LBird
Inspiration, dedication or mutilation?

lem_ wrote:

>> To my mind, Marx is onto something. He seems to provide some way forward for the democratic control of production by the direct producers. As a Communist, I find his ideas stimulating.

That's fine, that you think all these things. I think you ought agree, though, that it isn't Marxism, or much at all to do with Marx, he simply inspired you to your work, LBirdism.

Be honest

I'm being honest, lem_.

And I've been so honest in the past that I've quoted Marx, to show where I'm getting my views from.

The real problem is that what's taken as 'Marxism' is actually 'Engelsism', so most 'Marxists' are nothing to do with Marx's views.

I've also shown that since the 1890s (eg., Labriola in 1896), Communists have been saying this. I've given dozens of names and quotes.

You don't know whether this is true or not, lem_, because you haven't read all these authors. You, like most comrades, simply take on trust, as I used to do, what the 'experts' of various parties say is 'Marxism'.

I've since found that workers are being lied to, by an elite that claim to know better than workers what 'Truth' looks like.

lem_
stange and evasive

Are you a Marxist or not? Are your ideas Marx's own, or not?

I tend to almost always not comment on what I haven't read, I'm pretty sure. e.g. on the 'time' thread, I was talking on your beliefs, not the science article.

Claiming that I need to have read your sources, to do so, sounds very un-democratic tbh

Fred
when the working class invented Marxism

There's nothing essentially complicated about Marxism, after all Marxism is all derived from the existence of the working class.  If there was no working class there'd be no Marxism and no Communist  Manifesto.  Marx and Marxism were all invented by the working class, not the other way round. And nowadays Marx and Marxism is the working class and inseparable. 

I think perhaps this is the most fundamentally awkward thing to understand about it. The difficulty is  a religious leftover from the days when people thought God and selected individuals created everything and all ideas, and that ordinary people were just crap to be pushed around and screwed. But having served his time at the feet of bourgeois philosophers and economists Marx began to realise that the source of his developing ideas lay elsewhere, and that in so far as he was speaking and writing from a point of view different from that of the traditional bourgeois class he was speaking as a communist worker, of which in the 1840's there were now a number in various countries,  and that the daily life and struggle of the working class was actually the open  mine they were now finding rich theoretical gold in. 

You're always very keen LBird to tell us where you get your ideas from, but never seem to have considered from where the authors who trade in these ideas that you pick up got them from originally. But in Max's case it's very clear. 

Having submitted his bourgeois academic  predecessors to criticism it began to dawn on the young Marx that what was motivating and urging him on to new ideas and the remorseless critique of capitalism itself, was the actual practical day to day struggle for existence of the working class, in all its ignorance and dirt. And that the working class, not necessarily  well educated individualised bourgeois thinkers, was the fount of new ideas and thought,  and a new  kind of consciousness too. and thus  represented humanity's future. For buried under all the dirt and squalor of early 19th. century working class existence was emerging a new type of humanity,  having nothing to lose but a world to win, and which indicated daily  not only  a better future where love and solidarity replaced the money pursuit. but  one where the real emancipation of humanity and humanity's thought processes would be possible.

But if this state of affairs had not already existed historically, implicit in the daily lives of workers under capitalism,  and if workers had not been in the process of learning how to resist, Marx would never have been a Marxist, merely a very clever appendage  to German philosophy. 

LBird
My ideas, your ideas, our ideas

Fred wrote:

There's nothing essentially complicated about Marxism, after all Marxism is all derived from the existence of the working class.  If there was no working class there'd be no Marxism and no Communist  Manifesto.  Marx and Marxism were all invented by the working class, not the other way round. And nowadays Marx and Marxism is the working class and inseparable. 

I think perhaps this is the most fundamentally awkward thing to understand about it.

I quite agree, Fred.

And since we think this, then we must agree that only the working class can determine what its 'Marxism' actually is. That is, 'Marxism' can be constructed/amended by a vote. There is no 'Truth of Marxism' that an elite party can hold, which was what the elitist Lenin argued.

This is the 'most fundamentally awkward thing to understand' for Leninist 'materialists', who believe that they alone know what 'Marxism' is, to the exclusion of the decisions by workers themselves.

'Materialists', who claim that 'matter determines', deny this 'awkward thing'.

Fred wrote:

The difficulty is  a religious leftover from the days when people thought God and selected individuals created everything and all ideas, and that ordinary people were just crap to be pushed around and screwed. But having served his time at the feet of bourgeois philosophers and economists Marx began to realise that the source of his developing ideas lay elsewhere, and that in so far as he was speaking and writing from a point of view different from that of the traditional bourgeois class he was speaking as a communist worker, of which in the 1840's there were now a number in various countries,  and that the daily life and struggle of the working class was actually the open  mine they were now finding rich theoretical gold in. 

You're always very keen LBird to tell us where you get your ideas from, but never seem to have considered from where the authors who trade in these ideas that you pick up got them from originally. But in Max's case it's very clear. 

Having submitted his bourgeois academic  predecessors to criticism it began to dawn on the young Marx that what was motivating and urging him on to new ideas and the remorseless critique of capitalism itself, was the actual practical day to day struggle for existence of the working class, in all its ignorance and dirt. And that the working class, not necessarily  well educated individualised bourgeois thinkers, was the fount of new ideas and thought,  and a new  kind of consciousness too. and thus  represented humanity's future. For buried under all the dirt and squalor of early 19th. century working class existence was emerging a new type of humanity,  having nothing to lose but a world to win, and which indicated daily  not only  a better future where love and solidarity replaced the money pursuit. but  one where the real emancipation of humanity and humanity's thought processes would be possible.

But if this state of affairs had not already existed historically, implicit in the daily lives of workers under capitalism,  and if workers had not been in the process of learning how to resist, Marx would never have been a Marxist, merely a very clever appendage  to German philosophy. 

[my bold]

Again, I couldn't agree more, Fred. I get my 'ideas' from comrades like you and me, who insist that the 'working class' are the 'fount of new ideas and thought'.

That's why I argue that only the democratic proletariat can determine what 'matter' and 'time' are, for example, and that physics and maths must be democratised, indeed all science.

'Truth' must be socially produced by a democratic decision by the direct producers. 'Truth' can be elected, and then replaced by a later 'truth' that is produced by our social 'fount'.

The 'materialists' deny this, and insist that 'The Real World' determines 'The Eternal Truth', and they further claim that only they, a small elite of 'scientists', can know this 'Truth', and so this 'Truth' cannot be elected or removed.

As I said before, whilst workers look to 'materialism' (ie. Engelsism/Leninism), rather than Marx's ideas about 'social production' (including 'truth'), then they will be hamstrung. Workers must regard themselves collectively as the 'fount' of all knowledge, as we both seem to argue.

lem_
I find it very frustrating

I find it very frustrating etc. that you won't listen to anyone who hasn't read the same books as you, and use not replying as a rhetorical stratgey.

Not to mention your misreadings.

Or your repetitous sloganising. I quite like your inconsistencies, though. Shall we have a vote?

lem_
everywhere the same

yet another thread ruined by LBird claiming there is no truth.

there may not be a real truth, or even a truth which isn't socially constrcuted. that doesn't mean every fact is arbitrarily created by consensus. you've had any number of demonstrations otherwise, which go gnored because you're begging the question

LBird
lem_ and the 'arbitrary creation' of what lem_ reads

lem_ wrote:

yet another thread ruined by LBird claiming there is no truth.

there may not be a real truth, or even a truth which isn't socially constrcuted. that doesn't mean every fact is arbitrarily created by consensus. you've had any number of demonstrations otherwise, which go gnored because you're begging the question

[my bold]

One fine day, lem_, you'll actually read and remember what I write, as opposed to the 'dream world of the devil' that you create for me.

Marx does not argue that our object 'is arbitrarily created by consensus'.

Marx argues that objects (our 'facts'/'truths') are socially created by democratic theory and practice.

This is not 'arbitrary', but is related to the needs, interests and purposes of the direct producers.

And only the direct producers can determine their object.

This scientific method of 'the subject creating their object', by theory and practice upon inorganic nature, is Marx's method.

By this method, we create our own 'truths'. And so, as Marx argued, we do not passively contemplate 'truth' (discovered once and forever), but can actively change it (and build our world to our purposes).

lem_
one thing about the leftist

one thing about the leftist populism, and i think it was demo. who used the IMHO correct term "phony" is how corbyn and sanders seem like good people, doing good principled things, in the way that most working people can't really.

i can't think of the last significant "good" thing i did. but sanders is cool and corbyn lives to his means... just another variant on bourgeoise 'charity'?

Fred
phony socialists

I wonder whether Corbyn or Sanders really believe that capitalism can be made to work for the benefit of everyone alive or not.  Does the bourgeoisie in general think that, or don't they care anyway? Does the real bourgeoisie know that capitalism is a system of exploitation which will only ever work for their own bourgeois satisfaction? And so they go on hoping that the mass of workers will never fully realize this? And never truly threaten it?  Do not forget lem, the bourgeois is a Machiavellian creature; a creative liar; an arch-deceiver and always on the look out to protect his own individualised personal interest and future, no matter what the cost to anyone else. And his own personal interest and future is inextricably  mixed up with and linked to the future of his beloved country, his Nation,  and its erstwhile friends in other Nations. Hence Imperialism and the constant threat of war.  

It might be wise indeed not to trust in or believe a word the likes of phony socialists like Corbyn and Sanders ever utter! 

lem_
honest slavery

Would imagine that it's mostly unconscious; I doubt that Corbyn wakes up each day and rubs his hands together thinking about how he can further immiserate the proletariat.

Would probably think they wholeheartedly believe in the commodification of labour, that makes workers into an object (slave) to the market; whether or not they want us exploited beyond that.

Does this distinction make sene to you?

Fred
Yes lem it makes sense to me.

Yes lem it makes sense to me. But I'm not totally sure it's true.  Are the bourgeoisie's politicians such dummies that they don't know anything about classes and the class struggle. Maybe Corbyn is.  But what about Sanders and Cameron? Don't they realise at all how exploitative their financial system is? Don't forget they are the inventors of machiavellianism  and are born liars and deceivers.