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Definitions

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Soviet cogitations: 4764
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Jul 2007, 06:59
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Forum Commissar
Post 30 Dec 2010, 08:50
It is a means to understand how the world works, but this is largely because it places the focus not on the "object itself" but on the object, as it aprehended by the subject. This isn't a mere viewpoint, which would be the estranged individual, but the objective way in which we are formed as historical subjects by our social praxis, our material world and how we change it.
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"You say you have no enemies? How is this so? Have you never spoken the truth, never loved justice?" - Santiago Ramón y Cajal
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Soviet cogitations: 83
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Jan 2012, 22:09
Pioneer
Post 24 Jan 2012, 11:13
Off the top of my head...

The words socialism and communism can be used interchangeably and to mean the same thing. You can say the end goal is either or both. However the words have changed over time. Marx and Engels just talked of communism, Lenin and Trotsky talked of both, nowadays we mainly just talk of socialism.

Communism (as defined by Marx and Engels)
No state (state is police, army, prisons)
No government (everyone is a part time planner)
No elite, no classes, no money, no countries, not much division of labour (everyone wears various 'hats')
No countries

this obviously doesnt come overnight after you establish a workers' government, it takes a long time, needs several advanced countries at least. First there is a lower phase, which is imperfect communism where there is some difference in wages for different jobs. Obviously you can't expect a brain surgeon to work for the same wage as a secretary on day 1.

Socialism as defined by Lenin and Trotsky
This is basically the lower stage of communism. The economy is publicly owned, democratically planned, with a small variation in wages. This is separated from the revolution by a transition period.

Transition
You can't get socialism overnight. It takes time. Lenin reckoned it would take a generation or two in Russia, and needed several advanced countries to join in to work. In Russia it was particularly difficult because it was a backward country. Socialism is impossible in a backward country without the aid of several advanced ones. Russia got stuck in this period because of the isolation of the revolution in a backward country and because they failed to address the growing domination of the bureaucracy. Lenin gave an example of some people who wanted to buy canned meat and asked the Central Committee for permission. It seems a small example but decades later was what ground the economy to a halt.

So you have revolution -> transition period (dictatorship of the proletariat) -> socialism -> communism or socialism/communism

Dictatorship of the proletariat
The transition period. It should be democratic. It means that the working class have power. In Russia it was for the first few months, but was eroded by the civil war and the sabotage by other parties. After the civil war this should have been reversed but in fact increased until Russia was completely controlled by Stalin. This happened because of the impossibility of building socialism in a backward isolated country. The bureaucracy won control of the country. Most bureaucrats were knowledgeable people inherited from the Tsar's regime.

Backward country
A country where most people are peasants, semi-feudal, capitalism has not developed properly, usually dominated by foreign capital. Revolutions are more likely to happen but less likely to succeed. Marx stressed the crucial role of the working class, ie urban workers, and in backward countries most people are peasants who can never lead a revolution to socialism.

Revolution
Abrupt change form one regime to another. If there is democracy it could be simply an election of a socialist government who have a mandate to nationalise the big industries and banks. However the capitalists would want to sabotage it if possible and might cancel the elections in the first place. Only 2 people died in the actual Russian Revolution. Many died in the civil war which started a few months later, started by generals in the Russian army (Russia was in WW1 at the time and the Tsar had abdicated in February) loyal to the Tsar and capitalism/feudalism.

Dialectical materialism
Revolution is like boiling water or a new species forming. It is a change in quality, brought about by changes in quantity. More heat -> water changes into steam, more genetic change -> new species formed. This is an example of the philosophy behind Marxism, called dialectical materialism. Gradual change in the consciousness of the working class and their conditions can lead to social revolution.

Social revolution
Change from capitalism to a planned economy

Political revolution
Change in regime but the economy stays basically the same
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Soviet cogitations: 3765
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 11 Nov 2009, 07:13
Ideology: Other Leftist
Politburo
Post 01 Mar 2012, 07:00
I thought these were supposed to be definitions based on consensus, not "whatever the shit I want" definitions
daft punk wrote:
No state (state is police, army, prisons)

Oversimplification is oversimplified. The state is the apparatus of the ruling class. It is the manifestation of oppression and the enforcement of that oppression. All social institutions of the state must be destroyed to achieve statelessness.
daft punk wrote:
nowadays we mainly just talk of socialism.

Says who? The CPUSA? Communism should be just as much in dialogue as socialism and communism to keep class struggle and ideology at the forefront.
daft punk wrote:
as defined by Lenin and Trotsky
This is basically the lower stage of communism. The economy is publicly owned, democratically planned, with a small variation in wages. This is separated from the revolution by a transition period.

When you say "as defined by Lenin and Trotsky," you should really put an actual definition, not whatever your interpretation is.
daft punk wrote:
Socialism is impossible in a backward country without the aid of several advanced ones.

Once again, says you. This shouldn't be your definition for "transition." It should be the definition for Permanent Revolution and Theory of Productive Forces.

I think that definitions people offer should have sourced material with concrete definitions. It's not an opportunity to push forward your trotskyist line.
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Soviet cogitations: 2293
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
Party Bureaucrat
Post 01 Mar 2012, 11:38
Daft Punk you are making a very big mistake. Actually, you confuse the Dictatorship of the proletariat and the Revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry, which was indeed a bourgeois and democratic transition. I will explain that it my article.

Don't make assumptions that might derail a tread, especially this one
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"Fishing is part of agriculture" Gred
"Loz, you are like me" Yami
"I am one of the better read Marxists on this site" Gred
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Soviet cogitations: 2293
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
Party Bureaucrat
Post 01 Mar 2012, 12:08
An old trotskyist should be able at least to know that the Dictatorship of the proletariat wasn't supposed to be democratic. Because, in Lenin's works, democratic mostly stands for bourgeois. The dictatorship of the proletariat can't be democratic because it is the dictatorship of a class, not the dictatorship of the whole population. In some of his works, Lenin said that the Soviet power was much more democratic than any bourgeois democracy, but he was speaking about "democracy" for the proletariat, and not about democracy "in general" (which is Kautsky's definition of democracy). Yet, we know that marxism doesn't analyze things in absoluto.
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"Fishing is part of agriculture" Gred
"Loz, you are like me" Yami
"I am one of the better read Marxists on this site" Gred
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Soviet cogitations: 4032
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 27 Oct 2006, 23:10
Politburo
Post 01 Mar 2012, 12:15
Concerning your topic: is this similar to how we no longer call ourselves social democrats?
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Soviet cogitations: 2293
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
Party Bureaucrat
Post 01 Mar 2012, 13:13
Yes, I think so. In a way, social-democrat involved that there could be two kinds of democracy: social democracy and bourgeois democracy. But the term social-democracy implied that you took the viewpoint of democracy in general, that is to say the idea that democracy, as a political system, could be oriented towards socialism. But Lenin responded: no, this is not true. Every political system can be nothing else than the dictatorship of a class. Therefore, the name social-democrat wasn't scientific. That's why we called ourselves neither socialists, nor social-democrats, but communists.
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"Fishing is part of agriculture" Gred
"Loz, you are like me" Yami
"I am one of the better read Marxists on this site" Gred
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Soviet cogitations: 2293
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
Party Bureaucrat
Post 04 Mar 2012, 04:51
This is what Lenin said about democracy in general: "We must look forward to the emergent new democracy, which is already ceasing to be a democracy, for democracy means the domination of the people, and the armed people cannot dominate themselves."

It was his response to the question: What shoud be the name of our party?

Communist! of course.
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"Fishing is part of agriculture" Gred
"Loz, you are like me" Yami
"I am one of the better read Marxists on this site" Gred
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 172
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Feb 2012, 16:12
Ideology: Left Communism
Pioneer
Post 14 Mar 2012, 05:45
daft punk wrote:
Transition
... Socialism is impossible in a backward country without the aid of several advanced ones...


During the 50s and 60s the USSR wasn't backward anymore, like, at all. They were one of the largest industrial powers, it saw significant I+D, its population was on average better educated than in the Western world... Need I go on?
Cm'on baby, eat the rich!!! - Motörhead
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