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So am I a bad communist?

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Soviet cogitations: 2051
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 24 Jun 2011, 08:37
Party Bureaucrat
Post 31 Jan 2012, 05:09
The title is mostly a joke, but I have been thinking about something:

We have a lot of people on this forum with clearly defined positions: We have / had the hardline stalinists, the traditional marxist-leninists, left communists, pseudo-anarchists, maoist third world guys, a CP USA guy somewhere, democratic socialism guys etc. In short, the entire spectrum.

If I had to pick something out, I'd probably settle on a reformed USSR/DDR (not Gorbachev reform, but actual workers democracy reform) as the place to go, while figuring out where we'll end up.

But then.. I have a lot of sympathy for democratic socialism, for left communism, I can appreciate some of the more hardline stalinist views, I can get behind some euro-communist stuff etc.


So... Am Runequester a bad communist?
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Under communism, there is no freedom; you are not free to live in poverty, be homeless, to be without an education, to starve, or to be without a job
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Jul 2006, 04:49
Ideology: Juche
Old Bolshevik
Post 31 Jan 2012, 05:13
Quote:
But then.. I have a lot of sympathy for democratic socialism, for left communism, I can appreciate some of the more hardline stalinist views, I can get behind some euro-communist stuff etc.


No, in fact, you are a better Communist than many others because you reject dogmatism. I myself, despite disagreeing with Mao and Trotsky, can still appreciate some of their works and theories.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 23 Dec 2011, 01:28
Pioneer
Post 31 Jan 2012, 05:47
I think you're on the right track, I would say I feel similarly. I have certain disagreements with Third Worldists, but I also agree with them on many other issues. It is really about learning from one another, I've talked to Maoists and they express an optimism that in time the competing sects will again unify, and I believe that this too will be the case.

If I had to pick I think a reformed DDR would be top of my list, but honestly Czechoslovakia or Yugoslavia would be up there too. In general though between existing socialist states Cuba hands down, I've been there a few times now and its so impressive to see how well they are doing in Cuba, versus all the shanty towns you see in a place like Santiago Chile, which is supposed to be more developed. It would be nice to stop the drift to the right in Cuba, but I generally think life is good in Cuba for most and as a system it has proved innovative, adaptive and over all responsive to popular will.

I think it comes down to mutual exchange of experience, if other currents of the left are to be able to appreciate your arguments on past experience of socialism in the 20th century, movements like Chavez, or Gaddafi can't be dismissively ignored. There is value to solidarity, and I do see a great many contemporary communist parties focusing on this aspect. The way to unity will be having discussion on current events, and gradually coming to a better understanding of the past that is not so fractious.

Finally, rejected the kind of black-and-white view can be helpful. You're absolutely right, there is valuable material and experience which can be traced to all currents of the left. That being said, there is a line between useful discussion and surrendering. The information war is of the highest importance in the present struggle. I think people who go around quoting BBC and using it to challenge the claims of other communists or socialists are problematic at best, and a real obstacle to the movement at worst. Those on the left who cannot appreciate the role of media, and ignore fundamental marxist tenets, should be avoided, from a marxist perspective it is dishonesty, to stop just short of the truth.

I think as long as you are committed to evaluating world events from a Marxist perspective you can be conceived of as a good communist. While its good to make use of other sources, of course, being well immersed in contemporary marxist scholarship as well as on-the-ground independent reporting marks the difference I think between the arm-chair socialists and the real socialists. I mean, if possible you should be out there on the street, handing out propaganda, its a good experience.
"The present is a time of struggle; the future is ours."
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 15 Jan 2012, 12:29
Ideology: Other Leftist
Pioneer
Post 31 Jan 2012, 21:13
as the previous posters have said, you are not a bad communist and probably on the best communist path thats possible, i to am like you and i think that all communists should be able to learn from a variety of view points, that way we can progress forward together as equal humans.
so keep at it and no matter what other 'factions' may say within the communist movement its always good to read from as many comrades as possible even if they did have there 'theoretical leader' killed with a ice pick ;p
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Sep 2006, 22:05
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Philosophized
Post 31 Jan 2012, 21:45
Aurelian wrote:
I've talked to Maoists and they express an optimism that in time the competing sects will again unify, and I believe that this too will be the case.

I've never heard a Maoist say this without exclusively meaning a unification of the anti-revisionist branch. Trotskyists and other non-Stalinist marxists are still usually maligned by most Maoist groups. Of course the same cancer exists on the Trotskyist side about the unification of tendencies meaning just the unification of anti-Stalinist commies. Really adhering to Stalinism/Trotskyism/Maoism in any first world nation is nonsensical to the extreme. All of their defining ideas deal with issues alien to our political situation. That is we aren't nations of peasants trying to overcome our economic backwardness (well America is but none of these cats have the right answer for us). These sects by themselves are what are creating the issue. They're just identifications of our points of disagreement while we all agree on everything that has any relevance to our modern world.

@OP: You're part of our new generation of post-USSR marxists. It's just these old dinosaurs in the movement keeping us fighting over events from when most of our parents weren't even born yet. If communists ever hope to be politically relevant again we have to destroy the old adversarial way of thinking.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2008, 18:12
Party Member
Post 31 Jan 2012, 23:38
No, you are not a bad communist. I'd like to think we all on this board want to achieve the same goal; we just differ on what the best methods are to achieve it.

As people have pointed out, you are prepared to look at the issue from a variety of angles, keep your mind open to various writers and their viewpoints and not get bogged down in dogmatism. The worst Marxists are those who adhere blindly to one particular method (Stalinsim, Trotskyism, MTWism etc) and automatically disregard anything else without even taking the time to think about it.

We must remember that principles are to be disregarded in Marxism. We cannot hold eternal truths as that violates dialectics (you could say this is the one eternal truth
).

Quote:
@OP: You're part of our new generation of post-USSR marxists. It's just these old dinosaurs in the movement keeping us fighting over events from when most of our parents weren't even born yet. If communists ever hope to be politically relevant again we have to destroy the old adversarial way of thinking.


This
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 23 Dec 2011, 01:28
Pioneer
Post 01 Feb 2012, 02:14
Dagoth Ur wrote:
I've never heard a Maoist say this without exclusively meaning a unification of the anti-revisionist branch. Trotskyists and other non-Stalinist marxists are still usually maligned by most Maoist groups. Of course the same cancer exists on the Trotskyist side about the unification of tendencies meaning just the unification of anti-Stalinist commies. Really adhering to Stalinism/Trotskyism/Maoism in any first world nation is nonsensical to the extreme. All of their defining ideas deal with issues alien to our political situation. That is we aren't nations of peasants trying to overcome our economic backwardness (well America is but none of these cats have the right answer for us). These sects by themselves are what are creating the issue. They're just identifications of our points of disagreement while we all agree on everything that has any relevance to our modern world.

@OP: You're part of our new generation of post-USSR marxists. It's just these old dinosaurs in the movement keeping us fighting over events from when most of our parents weren't even born yet. If communists ever hope to be politically relevant again we have to destroy the old adversarial way of thinking.


The division is sown to the extent you label adversaries as "stalinists," to be fair many of the ML camp label Trotskyists, Trotskyites. I think moving beyond the labelling perhaps is the first step to reunification. There is a certain point to be made about 'old dinosaurs' like the Stalin Society perhaps, I think you'll find there are very few in the world communist movement that actively praise or idolize past leaders.

On another note, I do find significant division between ML and Trotskyists in current affairs. Libya is a key example, but then this plays out in other conflicts too. I think the error is a misunderstanding in some instances, as no one is praising Gaddafi, they are simply seeking a more balanced view on the issue. I find many accounts on the Trotskyist have attempted to portray the Libyan civil war as a revolution for democratic socialism, ie fulfilling tenets of the green book. If we are going to have a debate on Libya, I would argue it is important to have some clarity on sources. The Voltaire Network, Global Research are both good sources to get some objective news. Essentially what the independent journalist commission from France (VN) found was there was genuine resistance to corruption in the government, but that this number only comprised a portion of the revolutionaries. There were also islamists, expatriates, opportunists, people who disagreed with the government. We know it was in no way shape or form socialist, yet we also know the Gaddafi regime was not saintly in any regard, nor was it Marxist. Some would argue here that NATO crushing Libya was in net value a good thing, but I think that just highlights the very clear division between different currents in the world communist movement.

All in all, I agree with you, we need to emphasize commonality and agreement. Some of the divisions, particularly here in Canada are quite confusing. In another thread someone brought up the experience of KKE, and it is particularly invaluable as they begin to hold conferences to get to the bottom of the central questions plaguing unification.

@gRed Britain: I agree that every different sect needs to be evaluated and respect. At this point each different group has a collection of literature, experience, and theories that have far-reaching relevance. When we look at how bourgeois capitalists analyze the world they consistently invoke references to Greek philosophers, Renaissance philosophers, etc., so coming to a thorough understanding of the past is in fact intrinsic to the success of any movement. Your past and your experience is your foundations, that said as socialists we should be grounded in the present, and be looking to the future as well. Looking at different parties I see this to different degrees. For example, look at the Democrats and Republicans and the truths they hold about Lincoln and Roosevelt and the New Deal. All of these people lived long before we were born, but inevitably will remain important to contemporary economists. Understanding how the North industrialized and the South didn't, and then understanding what effect the New Deal had as an attempt to 'fix' capitalism.
"The present is a time of struggle; the future is ours."
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 31 Dec 2011, 06:02
Pioneer
Post 01 Feb 2012, 06:24
You're a great communist so far as I'm concerned. I haven't met any communists here that were bad communists. This site is actually filled with absolute brilliance compared to the nitwits of some other leftist sites (cough, RevLeft...). I'm actually myself trying to become a better commie Christian, and things are going well.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 12 Jun 2011, 15:14
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Pioneer
Post 01 Feb 2012, 06:36
Well, if you are, then so am I.
Actually your, and my views seem to not be all that different. My political ideology is also eclectic. I identify as being a democratic socialist, just to make it simple. But I also have strong left-libertarian leanings. And I sympathise with western marxism / euro-communism as well. Personally I feel that it's probally best not to use the Communist moniker around people who might be unfamiliar, or unsympathetic, towards it. I've found that certain people, especially baby boomers, tend to not have a good understanding of political history. Like they don't know difference between Communism, Nazism, and socialism. So I don't concern myself with labels, and will use different political descriptions,depending on whom I'm dealing with. I just try to give critical consideration to various schools of thought, and adopt whatever ideas seem valid, and worthwhile to me.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 12 Jun 2011, 15:14
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Pioneer
Post 01 Feb 2012, 06:51
Das_ALoveStory wrote:
You're a great communist so far as I'm concerned. I haven't met any communists here that were bad communists. This site is actually filled with absolute brilliance compared to the nitwits of some other leftist sites (cough, RevLeft...). I'm actually myself trying to become a better commie Christian, and things are going well.

Oh yes, I know what you mean.
I also had been on RevLeft. But now since I've been relegated to "opposing ideologies", I don't visit it much. I was thusly restricted because I had argued that abortion should be limited to before viability. They considered this opinion to be pro-life, and therefore sexist. And I think that there were also a number of administrators who did not like my third camp views too. So see, even self described Communists might still disagree over certain policies, and/or philosophies. I'm just glad that we're able to have spirited, friendly, debate here.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 31 Dec 2011, 06:02
Pioneer
Post 02 Feb 2012, 01:16
Quote:
Oh yes, I know what you mean.
I also had been on RevLeft. But now since I've been relegated to "opposing ideologies", I don't visit it much. I was thusly restricted because I had argued that abortion should be limited to before viability. They considered this opinion to be pro-life, and therefore sexist. And I think that there were also a number of administrators who did not like my third camp views too. So see, even self described Communists might still disagree over certain policies, and/or philosophies. I'm just glad that we're able to have spirited, friendly, debate here.

Exactly. I'm a teenager, and some of them actually make me a bit ashamed of my age group
... If I were them, I would get rid of all of their ideology restrictions (except maybe Nazism because it's clearly terrible) because us Leftists are trying to get rid of the blatant lie that we hate freedom or whatever.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Dec 2004, 23:53
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Philosophized
Post 02 Feb 2012, 06:09
As far as the overrated labeling oneself is concerned the only bone I have to pick with the term "democratic socialism" is that the majority of folks I've come in contact with as democratic socialists are really just social democrats.

Dagoth Ur wrote:
If communists ever hope to be politically relevant again we have to destroy the old adversarial way of thinking.


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"By what standard of morality can the violence used by a slave to break his chains be considered the same as the violence of a slave master?" - Walter Rodney
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
Philosophized
Post 03 Feb 2012, 00:22
No,you're a pretty cool guy.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Sep 2011, 11:23
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Pioneer
Post 06 Feb 2012, 03:54
runequester wrote:

But then.. I have a lot of sympathy for democratic socialism, for left communism, I can appreciate some of the more hardline stalinist views, I can get behind some euro-communist stuff etc.


So... Am Runequester a bad communist?

Not enough enough data to decide


Imo all these flavours have some "good sides", but then again you can find "good sides" even in liberalism. I think that is mostly the key feature of each of these views that lead to certain conclusions not merely some particular aspect. For example, "democratic socialism", you mentioned, argues about the presevation of the parliament (and hence it's executive power: beurocracy). Well if you believe in this...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhQKmixO8MA
Soviet cogitations: 2051
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 24 Jun 2011, 08:37
Party Bureaucrat
Post 06 Feb 2012, 05:34
Well dem-soc isn't the ideal but if that's where we end up, it'd be infinitely superior to what we have now.
Soviet America is Free America!

Under communism, there is no freedom; you are not free to live in poverty, be homeless, to be without an education, to starve, or to be without a job
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Sep 2011, 11:23
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Pioneer
Post 06 Feb 2012, 06:41
runequester wrote:
Well dem-soc isn't the ideal but if that's where we end up, it'd be infinitely superior to what we have now.

I suppose you are referening to the "original" social demo, of kautsky for example, where there is no capitalism. However in this stage of capitalism/imperialism we are entering even capitalist social demo (of the 80's for example) would be preferable.

This is the reason why it is dangerous the way you put it. There's no "where we end up" if the people's struggle isnt directed towards there, and communism and social demo are two different targets. We are living in the ultimate stage of capitalism, there is no turning back to previous stages. Whatever change happens that deviates from capitalism now on will be *the* change. So we must try to clarify completely each of these tendencies
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhQKmixO8MA
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 24 Jul 2011, 15:36
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 16 Feb 2012, 21:48
I do see myself redder then ever and have a die hard belief to the end, of my comminist belfiefs, and people say all I speak is true communism, and from my opinion. But thats my problem, I live in a Capitalist world and who can tell me right or label what beliefs I have? I have read up on Marxism - Leninism - bit of Trotsky - some Mao - Stalinism - and other examples of Socialist communism but what exactly is MY label and who am I with, though we as communists are all "family" per say. I believe in workers rights to better work conditions and benefits, I believe in some form of state religious censorship in public, I dont believe in absolute openess in government because some people just cant handle some decisions, I do believe in a form of government and a dictator with a parliment and republic system, voting I would say should be granted to local soviets and party members, and I believe in just about all agreed with Marx and Lenin minus a continuos revolution and more a long term plan. I also believe that hate crimes can be solved with a bullet when in aggressive acts and that violence towards others or any sort of segragation is a trip to prison. I think the flow of capital should be accessable to all but only doled out by government based on need....such as farmers needing tools and meeting quotas...you know...stuff to complete the goal. I would say for the most part that "freedom of speech" is a privledge not a right and discriminations or speaking out against anything with out justification respondes with a manditory lesson on the topics and if repeling then a rehabilitative penalty. On a big topic, people who prove a burdon on society or fail to integrate at ones will when given highest possibilties shall be put to use as a forced labourer with no (only essential) rights. For the idea of proggression and forced labour of the working the motivation should not be to build thier lives better but to build all's lives better for all to be at an equal. Putting ones self infront of the goal of society will reqire manditory integration in the most suited way and that capital is not owned by any one person but by the state and is borrowed for use in completing the goal. Also I would say that flow of money capital should be a constant and that no one is to hord large sums of cash for their own needs with out a punishment insueing. All this and more is my prospective and this is just the tip of the iceburg. For all I have said here.....how good or bad of a communist am I? : ) Do answer if you have an answer please and thank you comrades
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