Jump to content

What went wrong in Animal Farm?


Recommended Posts

Hmm, it was some time since I read the book, but I'll give it a try.

[hide]Winston had already lost his will to live. But the party would not kill him until he had fully given himself to them, to Big Brother. When he saw the news, he experienced great admiration for Big Brother. They noted this, and shot him immediately, to his great joy.[/hide]

Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding the environment sitation; their are of course some economic needs to be considered. However, if environmental sacrifice is to be made it must not be made for the purpose of wealth acquisition eg: it has often been said that are more efficient alternatives to oil are already available. If this is true then it is wrong to sacrifice both efficiency and enviroment for the sake of corporate wealth.

It must also be taken into account that the enviroment is part of the economy. Destroying the forest with over-logging,clearing,e.t.c may result in initial economic boosts but if their is no forest in the future from to obtain raw recources that obviously has a negative economic impact.

Simply put: Wealth acquisition must take dominance over economy,efficiecny,environment,e.t.c

Regarding the christian topic; well that seems to be going in an off-topic and non-sensical manner, but it seems that socialism and communism do not seriously infringe on christian ideals (Of course I'm no expert, but as of yet no one has given a reason for such a thing)

Regarding the possibility of communism succeeding and coming about; Well, since their has never been a communist goverment their are no cases from which to determine wether communism can work once in place, but their is little reason to doubt such a thing. As for communism coming about, their seems to only be one real attempt at such a thing from Lenin and his party which unfortunately failed due to a set of unlikely social,economical,political, and international circumstances. What has been seen in China,e.t.c was only corrupt succesful attempts at dictatorship following suit thanks to obvious influences.

Of course however, communism's complete succes in removal of state,intended economy,e.t.c would probably take many years to succeed and needless to say a preparatory stage of socialism would almost certainly be neccesay. However this does not mean that the eventual success of communism is an impossibility.

As for the matter of ''smarts''; one's capabilities may have little to do with what one deserves since it is not known wether a person can determine such things through his own will. As a matter of fact, it is even possible that all is determined by destiny (scientific deternimism) and in this case their is definetely no choice in such a matter. Thusly we cannot say for sure it would be fair to judge what people deserve based on their capabilities.

Besides this, it is readily and blatantly apparent that in a capatilist society people are not neccesarily rewarded according to their capabilities anyway. We can see this in how many philosophers and scientists are not insaneley rich whilst some far less useful celebrities are.

Not to mention that one has to wander how many geniuses have been wasted and how many are in the process of being wasted because they have never been given a chance (for example, they have not been able to afford schooling in order to get the qualifications they need. Or that perhaps they simply have not well in school because school does not truly test one's intellect but rather one's discipline and memmory, but that is an completely unrelated and off-topic statement so nevermind that)

Clearly, it is blind to think that in a capitalist society one is rewarded for his qualities or his abilities.

Link to post
Share on other sites
However, if environmental sacrifice is to be made it must not be made for the purpose of wealth acquisition eg: it has often been said that are more efficient alternatives to oil are already available. If this is true then it is wrong to sacrifice both efficiency and enviroment for the sake of corporate wealth.

Which is exactly what is happening today in the world. They are getting money on their oil, and so they want everybody else to feed them more money by making us believe that oil is the best and cheapest means of fueling veichles.

Sure, it's cheap because the business have been around for some time now. But do we still need it? No, we don't. We have all other alternatives, and yes, just like the oil it will take some time to adjust the system - but it will be for the best of all people. The only ones who will lose something are those who are rich and powerful.

It must also be taken into account that the enviroment is part of the economy. Destroying the forest with over-logging,clearing,e.t.c may result in initial economic boosts but if their is no forest in the future from to obtain raw recources that obviously has a negative economic impact.

This is also a big problem in the world today. Most people are thinking of how much money it will cost, and how our economies will be affected. That isn't the problem. Are we really concerned for the economy? Well, of course we are because we live in a capitalist world where economy comes first, then the human and then the environment - at best.

We need to get past those things. This isn't about money. This is about our very lives, this planet's life and everything on it! That is why Socialism is the best adjustment to everything - it takes care of both humans and the environment.

Regarding the christian topic; well that seems to be going in an off-topic and non-sensical manner, but it seems that socialism and communism do not seriously infringe on christian ideals (Of course I'm no expert, but as of yet no one has given a reason for such a thing)

Which is the whole point - Jesus taught us to be Socialists - to put the human and the living in front of money and wealth, to care for our fellow man - not ask money out of him.

Regarding the possibility of communism succeeding and coming about; Well, since their has never been a communist goverment their are no cases from which to determine wether communism can work once in place, but their is little reason to doubt such a thing.

Communism is not a form of government - it's a state of being. No state can be a Communist state because Communism does not have a state. Socialism, on the other hand, has one, and a very vauge one, not the form of government like USA has, a creature giving out orders to be followed. Democracy will always be present, not like we have today, once every four/five years.

As for communism coming about, their seems to only be one real attempt at such a thing from Lenin and his party which unfortunately failed due to a set of unlikely social,economical,political, and international circumstances. What has been seen in China,e.t.c was only corrupt succesful attempts at dictatorship following suit thanks to obvious influences.

Yes, every government or revolution that followed the so-called "Socialism" back then followed what Stalin dictated in the Soviet Union - stalinism.

Lenin commited his mistake because he thought that Russia would get help from a more advanced country like Germany, which was on the path to Socialism. Unfortunately, the Nazi thugs prevailed and crushed those dreams. Of course, as you said, there were many other factions that caused the Soviet Union to become what it became.

Of course however, communism's complete succes in removal of state,intended economy,e.t.c would probably take many years to succeed and needless to say a preparatory stage of socialism would almost certainly be neccesay. However this does not mean that the eventual success of communism is an impossibility.

I believe it's a human rythm. Once a system becomes unuseful and corrupt, it is overthrown by it's people. Feudalism couldn't continue, so capitalism was implemented. Now, capitalism is already corrupted, destroying every aspect of human life and knowledge, trying to consume as much it can. Socialism is ultimately inevitable, people will one day (hopefully soon) understand that capitalism can no longer sustain itself - the days of classes and elites are long gone.

As a matter of fact, it is even possible that all is determined by destiny (scientific deternimism) and in this case their is definetely no choice in such a matter. Thusly we cannot say for sure it would be fair to judge what people deserve based on their capabilities.

We can't sustain the belief that our lives are based on destiny. What about those of us who don't believe in destiny, should they be forced by those who do believe in it?

Besides this, it is readily and blatantly apparent that in a capatilist society people are not neccesarily rewarded according to their capabilities anyway.

They are indeed not. The one thing needed in a capitalist system is to know how to get by things, how to make as much money as possible. Ever wondered how many celeberties know anything about chemistry, or basic physics? Or even basic math?

We can see this in how many philosophers and scientists are not insaneley rich whilst some far less useful celebrities are.

Which is what Socialism changes. It is those philosophers and those scientists who contribute their knowledge to society that are rewarded. Actors will have a place in society too, of course. But they will not be able to make just one movie and get insanely rich on it - as they can today.

Not to mention that one has to wander how many geniuses have been wasted and how many are in the process of being wasted because they have never been given a chance (for example, they have not been able to afford schooling in order to get the qualifications they need. Or that perhaps they simply have not well in school because school does not truly test one's intellect but rather one's discipline and memmory, but that is an completely unrelated and off-topic statement so nevermind that)

These problems will all be solved in Socialism. No longer do we have to wait years before a future scientists have to be born in a rich family in order to invent something useful.

Clearly, it is blind to think that in a capitalist society one is rewarded for his qualities or his abilities.

Yes - just take a look on George Wild-wild-west Bush.

Link to post
Share on other sites

''Regarding the possibility of communism succeeding and coming about; Well, since their has never been a communist goverment their are no cases from which to determine wether communism can work once in place, but their is little reason to doubt such a thing.

Communism is not a form of government - it's a state of being. No state can be a Communist state because Communism does not have a state. Socialism, on the other hand, has one, and a very vauge one, not the form of government like USA has, a creature giving out orders to be followed. Democracy will always be present, not like we have today, once every four/five years.''

You know what I mean by communist goverment,:D perhaps it would have been more correct to say: since their has never been a ''communist system ''in play'''' than ''since their has never been a communist goverment ''

BTW: for clarity's sake; when I speak of economy I speak of it on the scale of the entire country and regarding all the people, I am not speaking about the stock markets,international trading giants,e.t.c

As a final note, somebody mentioned that their seems to be far more liberals here than conservatives (or something to the effect). Well, as far as I can see from my older visits on this board to now, it seems that more people on the forums have become enlightened past trying to be liberal or conservative, they simply want to discuss or atleast stress their personal views than joining some left/right army.

Link to post
Share on other sites
You know what I mean by communist goverment,:D perhaps it would have been more correct to say: since their has never been a ''communist system ''in play'''' than ''since their has never been a communist goverment ''

My apologies then.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe that the best government one could have these days is a socialliberal, like what most european countries have.

mostly in european countries it stands between socialism and liberalsocialism. it is mostly a matter of opinion what you want. I think that the it is better if we get lower taxes, and the individual him or herself decides what to use money on. I don't want to see the money I have worked hard for being used on something I don't want at all.

in the constitution it says that we should have freedom. Freedom to decided over our own funds! I believe in Freedom, Diversity and Tolerance.

communism would be great if it worked but it does not, and if we try we might risk ending up with another stalin regime, like they did in Russia.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I think that the it is better if we get lower taxes, and the individual him or herself decides what to use money on. I don't want to see the money I have worked hard for being used on something I don't want at all.

The problem comes when one induvidual has so much wealth and power that he alone can control other people. When he can buy whatever he wants and evict every single poor person from his precious property. Wow, what a freedom.

I believe in Freedom, Diversity and Tolerance.

So do all Socialists.

communism would be great if it worked but it does not, and if we try we might risk ending up with another stalin regime, like they did in Russia.

They didn't even try Communism in Russia - they partially tried Socialism, and that was when Lenin was around. Russia went directly from imperialism to a hybrid-Socialist state, with civil war and an unstable surrounding countries.

Beside this, almost every Socialist today understand what Stalin was like and what stalinism is. They have learned from the mistake of our ancestors.

But of course, the longer we wait the greater damage capitalism will do on our world. We already have destroyed oceans, tonnes of trees being cut down every day, people living in death and decease, rich corrupted bosses and so on. Yes, this is probably the world we would like to live in. This is probably the system we would advocate every alien race to use too - even if that meant waging war with them.

Link to post
Share on other sites

no socialists do not believe in those values. socialists don't want the individual to have freedom to decide what to use money on.

and if we have lower taxes, then everybody get more money. in my country in the four years the party I am member of have been in the government they have lowered the highest tax possible from 50% to 48,5%! this is what I call progress!

and socialists do not believe so much in diversity.more equality.

and many places where communism has been tried it has ended up with a dictator. don't you agree?

Link to post
Share on other sites
no socialists do not believe in those values.

How would you know?

socialists don't want the individual to have freedom to decide what to use money on.

But they can! If you work more then you will recieve more money. But of course, if you feel that you are not given the freedom to dictate what other people should and shouldn't do, then I'm sorry. Try fascism instead.

and if we have lower taxes, then everybody get more money.

It depends on your perspective. If you are very rich, then of course, loosing some extra money is always hard. If you are poor, having a high tax can be destructive.

and socialists do not believe so much in diversity.more equality.

Please, explain to me how we do not believe in diversity? If you mean that we don't tolerate huge corporate farts sucking out every bit of life from the poorest person, stomping down on every life know to us, polluting the oceans and waging wars - then yes, you are right. We don't tolerate insane dictators telling us what to do or not do, while the dictator himself sits in his lazy throne. We don't tolerate racism.

So you mean that this is diversity?

So what we believe in equality? We believe that every person should have all rights to clean water, food, housing, free healthcare and education. We believe that no other human is somehow better than others, that wheter you are black, white, Arab, indian, Hindu, Chinese or Russian and so on, you are still a human with just as much capabilities as everyone else.

I don't know, maybe you find it wrong to have blacks and Arabs among us? Maybe we westerners are more intelligent and beautiful, so we should have the rights to order them around as we wish? To conquer and steal their recourses? To leave other nations bleeding and dying while we, 20% of the total population, should live in wealth and power? If you believe that diversity is this, then - I have to say - you are sick.

and many places where communism has been tried it has ended up with a dictator. don't you agree?

I don't know what you are missing. Firstly, Communism has never been tried. Secondarily, what was tried in the Soviet Union was a light-stalinist-Socialist system - which later became a stalinist one. After this, only stalinist governments have been tried, NOT COMMUNIST OR SOCIALIST REVOLUTIONS.

And if you are interested, which you probably aren't anyway, before Pinochet came to power in Chile, they actually did try Socialism. The majority voted for it. And what happened? Did it turn into a dictatorship? People fled the country? No - your precious capitalist U.S. Government sent their CIA forces - which later installed Pinochet and which led to thousands of dead people under his fascist dictatorship.

News flash - the US government will rather support oppressive dictators and corrupt leaders long before they even considet the word "Socialism". They are openly advocating fascism.

Link to post
Share on other sites

But they can! If you work more then you will recieve more money.

socialism believe that you should work as hard as you can, and in return you receive what you need. you don't receive more if you work more. you work as much as you can.

Try fascism instead.

no thanks, I will manage with liberalsocialism ;)

If you are poor, having a high tax can be destructive.

so if you are saying this, how come you want high taxes? that is what socialists want.

Please, explain to me how we do not believe in diversity? If you mean that we don't tolerate huge corporate farts sucking out every bit of life from the poorest person, stomping down on every life know to us, polluting the oceans and waging wars - then yes, you are right. We don't tolerate insane dictators telling us what to do or not do, while the dictator himself sits in his lazy throne. We don't tolerate racism.

So you mean that this is diversity?

So what we believe in equality? We believe that every person should have all rights to clean water, food, housing, free healthcare and education. We believe that no other human is somehow better than others, that wheter you are black, white, Arab, indian, Hindu, Chinese or Russian and so on, you are still a human with just as much capabilities as everyone else.

I don't know, maybe you find it wrong to have blacks and Arabs among us? Maybe we westerners are more intelligent and beautiful, so we should have the rights to order them around as we wish? To conquer and steal their recourses? To leave other nations bleeding and dying while we, 20% of the total population, should live in wealth and power? If you believe that diversity is this, then - I have to say - you are sick.

what the hell are you talking about? :O

as I pointed out in my previous post I believe in tolerance, so why do you suddenly start talking about racism? it has nothing to do with socialism or liberalsocialism or capitalism.

what I mean by diveristy is that everyone does not earn the same, we are different people and not equal. some are good at mathematics and some at languages, and therefore I believe in seperating students at a school, so that for example very smart students can have more challenges, and not so smart students who perhaps find the normal education difficult, can get more help.

we have many people in our society, arabs, jews, africans etc. and that is the diversity. many people together in one society

this is typical socialists, trying to use racism to fight more rightwing ideologies. it seems to me that you are the racist, who believe we are more inteligent, and that every western person is white. socialists can also be racism you know. there is not a direct link between rightwing political ideologi and racism

and to be hounest I do think that imperialism could be one of the means to get a step closer to globalisation.

so what you are saying is that communism never ever in world history has even been tried in a country?

Link to post
Share on other sites
socialism believe that you should work as hard as you can, and in return you receive what you need. you don't receive more if you work more. you work as much as you can.

Yes, stalinism believs that you should do this. Socialism gives you more if you work more. Ask any other Socialist. Ask Edric O, he knows for sure.

so if you are saying this, how come you want high taxes? that is what socialists want.

Socialists don't want high taxes because there is no use for high taxation. In our system, today, I believe that the rich should have higher tax, and the poor a lower one.

In a Socialist society, everybody has a flat tax. It is all built on how much the people want to contribute to their society - not something a government can force people to do.

what I mean by diveristy is that everyone does not earn the same, we are different people and not equal.

How am I supperior than you? And how are you supperior than me?

As I've said numerous of times, in a Socialist society, people do not have the exact amount of payment. There are still different kinds of rewards depending on your work and how much your work really benefit for the society. Example: a person who create a robot that can help everyone with the absolute hardest physical work is more beneficial to a society than say a new kind of car.

But, even though there will still be some rich and some poor people, there won't be the kind of scale we are living in today, where the poor are living under the existence-line (the basic human needs, housing, food, water etc), while the rich are billions upon billions of times richer.

some are good at mathematics and some at languages, and therefore I believe in seperating students at a school,

Every person should have the basic knowledge when they graduate from school. If someone is better then they will of course get a harder challenge if they want one.

so that for example very smart students can have more challenges, and not so smart students who perhaps find the normal education difficult, can get more help.

And you believe what? That very smart students are not given a chance to read more difficult books and solve harder questions, and that students finding the normal education hard, won't have their chance in a Socialist society?

we have many people in our society, arabs, jews, africans etc. and that is the diversity. many people together in one society

Yes, United in Diversity. A Socialist saying.

it seems to me that you are the racist, who believe we are more inteligent, and that every western person is white.

Well, I don't believe in it I can assure you, but in a recent poll made in the US, around 40% of those who were asked wanted all American Arabs to have special rules. Many companies in the West don't give jobs to people who have a Middle-Eastern name. That isn't racism?

socialists can also be racism you know.

All people can be racists. Even those who believe in Jesus (i.e. American militia guys).

there is not a direct link between rightwing political ideologi and racism

Maybe not a direct one, but capitalists supports the idea of classes. Classes give rise to hate, jealusy, about many things. Especially when the higher up you go the smaller the groups will become. You would soon find that it is all ruled by a tiny minority, who dictates laws and regulation, which we somehow take as granted like laws from God or something. Laws should be followed, yes - but only if those laws are supported by the majority. It would be very stupid if we should protect a law that only 1-10% supports.

The point here is - class-society will always have problems. Maybe not racist, but other things that often hugely benefits the majority, while it goes against the tiny minority (since, obviously, the majority has developed it).

and to be hounest I do think that imperialism could be one of the means to get a step closer to globalisation.

Are we changing subject now? If so, then tell me your views of globalization.

so what you are saying is that communism never ever in world history has even been tried in a country?

In the known history of countries. It may have been tried in Atlantis or whatsoever, but to answer your question directly:

NO! COMMUNISM has never been tried in any country in human history.

(Now, I suppose you're going to say "but hey, you forgot East Germany" or something, right?)

;)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I won't intervene in the discussion between American Cyborg and Emperor Harkonnen, or at least not right now, because I don't have the time for it. I will probably come back later to correct Emperor Harkonnen's errors, but right now I have to answer something Ace said on the first page of this topic:

Nothing went "wrong" in Animal Farm in the sense that there was no way it could go right.  The inevitable was simply fulfilled.  Marx himself stated that it would be necessary to establish a "dictatorship of the proletariat" to nationalize and redistribute wealth and that this dictatorship would fade itself out as it became needless.  This is so laughably niave it's surprising that people actually believe it.  The notion that a party with absolute power would voluntarily relinquish it is a joke.  Calling it a "combination of unpredictable historical circumstances," when it is such a blatantly predictable occurance, makes my head spin.  Communism (which is, IMO, an obsolete relic of the mid-nineteenth century that is incompatable with modern society) if ever achieved, must be done through democratic means.  A forceful revolution in which a period of martial law is incorporated into the plan is a recipe for a totalitarian autocracy.

That is one massive STRAWMAN. Of course the notion that there has to be a dictatorship (in the modern sense of the word - that is, an autocracy or oligarchy, with an all-powerful party) which will somehow magically give up power, is naive, stupid and absurd. And no communist - not Marx, nor any other - ever supported such a silly idea. For one thing, Marx never actually used the phrase "dictatorship of the proletariat". All he did was talk about how, in a socialist system, the proletariat (the vast majority of the people) would "dictate" policy - as opposed to a capitalist system, in which the bourgeoisie (the capitalist ruling class) dictates policy. The phrase "dictatorship of the proletariat" was coined much later, and it was meant to have the same meaning as the word "democracy" has for us today (keep in mind that in the 19th century, the word "democracy" was used for political systems in which only wealthy males could vote - the idea of allowing everyone to vote, which we take for granted as proper democracy today, was considered a "dictatorship of the proletariat").

Communists DO NOT believe that any party should have absolute power at any point in time. The Party-with-absolute-power situation in the Soviet Union developed as the result of a combination of unpredictable historical circumstances, and, after it developed, it led inevitably to stalinism. That is why the majority of present-day marxists place a lot of importance on democracy: the historical fluke that allowed the Party-with-absolute-power situation to develop in the Soviet Union must never be allowed to happen again.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Communists DO NOT believe that any party should have absolute power at any point in time.
Interesting statement.  According to this statement Lenin and co. were not communists, as he himself was in a position of absolute power for the better part of seven years.

Anyway, Whether or not Marx coined the phrase "dictatorship of the proletariat" doesn't really make a difference but if you want to nit-pick, then my mistake.  At any rate, he was an advocate of a coup d'

Link to post
Share on other sites

You have a strange talent of posting something, dissappearing, and then re-appearing immediately after someone replies to that post, Ace. ;)

Interesting statement.  According to this statement Lenin and co. were not communists, as he himself was in a position of absolute power for the better part of seven years.

More like two years. Opposition parties were only outlawed in 1920, and the only reason they were outlawed was because of a number of assasination attempts made by members of various parties against key bolshevik figures. Simply put, the assasination attempts made the bolsheviks paranoid, so they eventually outlawed opposition parties in the areas they governed (remember that there was still a civil war going on). This was one of the ways in which the tense atmosphere of the civil war contributed to the excessive concentration of power in the hands of the Communist Party, which eventually helped the rise of stalinism. But in 1920, I don't think anyone saw anything special about the wartime decision to outlaw opposition parties - many countries were doing this sort of thing on a regular basis, after all. And keep in mind that dissent itself was not outlawed. Dissenters were forbidden to form political parties, but they were not forbidden to speak out. After all, there were several dissenting factions within the Communist Party itself as late as 1927 - before Stalin consolidated his power.

Oh, and on another note, Lenin never held absolute power. He was a major authority figure within the party and held more power than anyone else, but his power was far from "absolute". The Communist Party was led by the Central Committe, and the country (Soviet Russia, since the Soviet Union didn't exist yet) was led by the Council of People's Commissars.

Anyway, Whether or not Marx coined the phrase "dictatorship of the proletariat" doesn't really make a difference but if you want to nit-pick, then my mistake.  At any rate, he was an advocate of a coup d'
Link to post
Share on other sites
You have a strange talent of posting something, dissappearing, and then re-appearing immediately after someone replies to that post, Ace. ;)
Why repeat if you've already made your point?
More like two years. Opposition parties were only outlawed in 1920, and the only reason they were outlawed was because of a number of assasination attempts made by members of various parties against key bolshevik figures. Simply put, the assasination attempts made the bolsheviks paranoid, so they eventually outlawed opposition parties in the areas they governed (remember that there was still a civil war going on).
So in other words, throughout most of Lenin's time in power the communists were only on the way to gaining absolute power and didn't actually have it yet.  I see little difference.
This was one of the ways in which the tense atmosphere of the civil war contributed to the excessive concentration of power in the hands of the Communist Party, which eventually helped the rise of stalinism.
This is what I'm talking about...how could the "honest communists" you referred to be so idiotic as not to see this centralization of power to be an big fat totalitarian dictatorship waiting to happen?
But in 1920, I don't think anyone saw anything special about the wartime decision to outlaw opposition parties - many countries were doing this sort of thing on a regular basis, after all.
Oh, well in that case it must be ok then.
And keep in mind that dissent itself was not outlawed. Dissenters were forbidden to form political parties, but they were not forbidden to speak out.
Well how nice of them.  Words without consequence is just hot air.  That is like free speech without elections or worker dissent without unions.  It is useless, and the freedom is in name only.
Oh, and on another note, Lenin never held absolute power. He was a major authority figure within the party and held more power than anyone else, but his power was far from "absolute". The Communist Party was led by the Central Committe, and the country (Soviet Russia, since the Soviet Union didn't exist yet) was led by the Council of People's Commissars.
So in other words, Lenin didn't have all the power, his Bolshevik buddies had some too (and of course none of the lot had any legitimate claim to leadership).
Notice the following: He says THE PROLETARIAT (i.e. the people) should have "political supremacy". He doesn't say a small group of unelected leaders should have any power. For that matter, he doesn't mention leaders at all.
Finally we're getting somewhere.
He keeps saying the proletariat will do this and the proletariat will do that - with no mention of any leadership body separate of the people themselves. That doesn't mean he doesn't expect such a body to exist; it only shows that he expects any such body to be entirely under the control of the people.
Yay!  You've got it.  This fantastically shortsighted expectation is a textbook example of why Marx's model of a red revolution would simply never work.  I shall elaborate.  If you were to draw a picture of the proletariat Marx always spoke of, he would be a factory worker, or perhaps a farmer, struggling to make ends meet.  He is not an educated fellow.  Uneducated people are afraid of change.  Uneducated people do not start revolutions (or they are just very bad at it).  Marx should have learned this from the French Revolution.  It was the bourgeoisie middle class, comparably well-off when contrasted with the plighted peasant, that was the the force behind the revolution.  Who of the proletariat class would start this revolution then?  Would it be the commoner, the worker, the farmer, or one of the few educated men that had the knowledge and skills to organize such a thing?  Is it not conceivable that this group would be able to manipulate the uneducated majority?
Notice, also, how Marx makes it clear that the state is supposed to be "the proletariat organized as the ruling class" - in other words, the state must be democratic.
How does one vote if one cannot read?  Even if they can vote, how do they know to vote well, and how do they know any better?  How can people with no education effectively hold the leaders accountable?
I don't see how you can draw any conclusions to the effect that Marx wants an undemocratic system. He simply mentions that the proletariat (or their representative government) will need to make radical "despotic inroads" on the capitalist economic system in the aftermath of a violent revolution.
When the despotic inroads are organized by a group separated from that of the uneducated majority, is it not a natural prediction that what they gain by pillaging capitalists will be used to preserve their own power?
Awww, you almost had me believe you actually had some idea of what you were talking about, but I guess you don't. Since Marx refers to the days immediately following the revolution in the excerpt you quoted, he is obviously describing his vision of the transition from capitalism to socialism. So what he is describing isn't even full socialism yet, much less communism!
Don't mock me.  Of course I know that, I was merely pointing out that Marx advocated centralizing power in a STATE which is a contradiction to your notion that a marxist revolution is immune to corruption because corruption is such a natural extension of power.
While we're on the subject, I should mention that Marx considered a violent proletarian revolution to be the only solution to capitalism, because it was the only solution back in the 19th century (keep in mind that even in the so-called "democracies" of the 19th century, the majority of the people did not have the right to vote). Things have changed a lot in the meantime, however. In the present day, peaceful ("velvet") revolutions are the norm, and violent ones are very rare. Marx's plan for a violent revolution is pretty much obsolete in today's democracies.
And yet, you are still arguing for it.  Why?
Link to post
Share on other sites

So in other words, throughout most of Lenin's time in power the communists were only on the way to gaining absolute power and didn't actually have it yet. I see little difference.

You see no difference between having absolute power and not having absolute power? The communists in Lenin's time weren't "on the way" to absolute power any more than the Weimar Republic was "on the way" to nazi dictatorship. Both the Soviet Union and Weimar Germany were hijacked by power-hungry groups (the stalinists and the nazis, respectively). And the fact that a country is hijacked by a group who seeks absolute power doesn't necessarily mean that the country was "on the way" to having a government with absolute power prior to the hijacking. In fact, the whole reason why it's called a "hijacking" or "takeover" is because it diverts the country from the course it was following beforehand.

This is what I'm talking about...how could the "honest communists" you referred to be so idiotic as not to see this centralization of power to be an big fat totalitarian dictatorship waiting to happen?

"Totalitarian dictatorship"? The concept of a totalitarian dictatorship didn't even exist back then. The word "totalitarian" itself had not yet been invented. And the whole idea of having a one-party state was entirely new. They were sailing into completely uncharted waters. Sure, they probably had some notion that too much concentration of power in too few hands could lead to some corruption and abuse, but such concentration was commonplace in most other countries that existed at the time (for example, the German Empire) - so they had no reason to believe that it could result in anything too much out of the ordinary.

Maybe a centralization of power and/or a one-party state sounds like an instant recipe for disaster to you and me, because we live in the 21th century and know the history of the 20th. But the people living in 1917-1924 did not have any of this knowledge.

Well how nice of them.
Link to post
Share on other sites

Quick response before I respond in full; I find the comparison between the Soviet Union and the Weimar Republic to be somewhat flawed. The Weimar Republic was heavily fractured politically, and one party was able to rise to absolute power through a near-Darwinian process of thuggery, terror, and political maneuvering. The Weimar Republic, as an ineffective, weak, conservative Republic put in place by foreign powers, was certainly not on the way to Nazism, but, it certainly did little to stop it. In fact, it was unable to mitigate the factors that made Nazism inevitable. The early Soviets, on the other hand, had just emerged victorious and paranoid from a bloody revolution followed by a bloody civil war. I would argue, once the Russians had been divided into their Red and White factions, communism had failed. None of the leaders in the revolution would have escaped unscathed, those who survived with their sanity intact were killed (Trotsky) and everyone else was power-mad (Stalin). The early Soviet Union is only like the Weimar Republic inasmuch as it was incapable of controlling internal political elements. Not too compelling a model for communism. Further, communism, supposedly, has no government -- no leaders. So, wasn't the hope of communism in Russia doomed from the moment someone took charge of things? I mean, fancy words and double meanings aside, communism has no leaders. No one man or group is in charge. The Russian revolution was spearheaded by men who took charge. Now, in order for communism to come out of this particular scenario, I see the necessity for the men who took charge in the revolution to step down and refuse to take charge afterwards. Pretty much what Ace said about a dictatorial government stepping down being naive, only in less fancy words.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I compared the early Soviet Russia with the Weimar Republic because both countries were "hijacked" by a dictatorial regime that no one predicted or saw coming. Of course, today we have the benefit of hindsight, so we can plainly see the factors in the Weimar Republic that led to the rise of Nazism, and the factors in the Soviet Union that led to the rise of Stalinism. But the people who actually lived in those times did not (and perhaps could not) see where their countries were heading. It's all too easy for us to "predict the past"...

As for the October Revolution and the Russian Civil War, there is no reason why such a war would have to lead to the failure of whatever new system the revolutionaries are trying to implement. Think of the American Revolution, for example. It involved a bloody war with the British, but that didn't lead to the rise of any American version of Stalin! Notice also that George Washington was offered the Crown (on more than one occassion), but he refused to be king. If a small group of people start a revolution and take charge of things during that revolution, then they are probably a group of very idealistic people (otherwise they wouldn't have started a revolution in the first place!), so there is a high probability that they WILL, in fact, go through with their promise to give up power after the revolution and establish the system they want to establish. That's what happened in the American Revolution, after all.

It is naive to assume that a dictatorial government would ever step down of its own accord, but a revolutionary leadership isn't a government yet, and no revolutionary leaderships have anything like absolute power (because their followers could always just defect to one of the other sides in the revolution/civil war if they feel the leadership no longer represents their ideals).

Of course, it's best if we never have a situation where a small group of people take charge of things, but I'm saying that even if such a situation develops, all is not lost. You can only say that all is lost when a peace-time, stable government assumes absolute power.

P.S. Communism has no leaders, but socialism does involve a democratic leadership and government. And socialism is the system that communists want to replace capitalism with. So there's no problem with a communist leadership, as long as it's democratic. If it stops being democratic, then it's time to start worrying.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

Really nice debate going on there ever since the don't know how many weeks ago I last posted this. Anyways, Ace and EdricO have been pulling me to their sides with each of their posts, so now I'm a little confused. Anyways, I want to ask EdricO:

Last time, you talked about "common knowledge" that setting up communism in an undeveloped country made up of mostly uneducated people would need the help of a more developed communist country. Why is this so?

Also, on this board you later posted that the people are intelligent enough, however, to start a revolution of their own. So do they still need help from another communist country then?

Just some questions.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Last time, you talked about "common knowledge" that setting up communism in an undeveloped country made up of mostly uneducated people would need the help of a more developed communist country. Why is this so?

Also, on this board you later posted that the people are intelligent enough, however, to start a revolution of their own. So do they still need help from another communist country then?

Just some questions.

Don't seek logic in marxism. Hegelian dialectical logic allows presence of truth and lie at the same level in any time-space point. This could be seen here: while communism claims to be perfectly democratic, to be a reflection of conscious decision of individuals, these individuals must be brainwashed enough to make such decision or forced to it by "help" of another communist country. This "forcing" is a form of education  ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites
Last time, you talked about "common knowledge" that setting up communism in an undeveloped country made up of mostly uneducated people would need the help of a more developed communist country. Why is this so?

Think of Germany, just after World War 2. How would that country look like if the Allies just left it after it had been defeated? Look at what's left of Somalia today. Wars do cost, and things might not look pretty after one, so help from other countries to build industries and share technology would help them greatly.

Also, on this board you later posted that the people are intelligent enough, however, to start a revolution of their own. So do they still need help from another communist country then?

Revolutions, up to this day, have often happened just because the people didn't like the current system of the country. Cuba, for example, had no clear plan of establishing "socialism" after the revolution, the whole thing started to come into function only after Batista's overthrowing. If Castro wished, he could just as well chosen to use the system of the United States.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

You really are fond of straw man fallacies, aren't you, Caid?

Don't seek logic in marxism.

If there's anything you believe to be illogical in what I'm saying - or in marxism in general - then please, point it out and let's discuss it. Otherwise, stop making unfounded accusations.

While communism claims to be perfectly democratic, to be a reflection of conscious decision of individuals, these individuals must be brainwashed enough to make such decision...

Who said anything about any "brainwashing"?

...or forced to it by "help" of another communist country. This "forcing" is a form of education  ;)

You seem to misunderstand me on purpose (as you usually do). The kind of help that Russia expected from a possible Western European socialist country in the years following the revolution of 1917 was economic assistance. Simply put, Russia was very poor and underdeveloped, so it needed a significant influx of modern technology, industrial know-how and plain old money in order to make the jump from near-feudalism to a socialist system. It did not need - and never asked for - anything that might have had anything to do with "forcing" socialism or communism upon anyone. The same applies to any other country that might find itself in Russia's situation.

I'm curious, Caid: Why is it that you never seem to be able to argue against what I'm actually saying? Why is it that you can't argue against marxism or communism without first trying to twist them so that they fit your arguments?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...