Soviet-Empire.com U.S.S.R. and communism historical discussion.
[ Active ]
[ Login ]
Log-in to remove these advertisements.

Some questions from a novice

POST REPLY
[+-]
Soviet cogitations: 8
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Sep 2012, 23:28
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 21 Sep 2012, 23:56
Greetings everyone. As you can see im entirely new to the forums
but would like to immerse myself into a community of like minded individuals (at least in political spectrum) as I have grown an interest of "socialism" and the history behind the movement itself. Although, as I am still learning, I have wanted to ask people such as on this board, a few questions about the ideology and how certain things stand with it.

My questions:

1. What is the stance on pacifism? Is there a possiblity of a worker's state to come about without an violent revolution? I recall a quote by lenin that stated
Quote:
The peaceful development of any revolution is, generally speaking, extremely rare and difficult, because revolution is the maximum exacerbation of the sharpest class contradictions; but in a peasant country, at a time when a union of the proletariat with the peasantry can give peace to people worn out by a most unjust and criminal war, when that union can give the peasantry all the land, in that country, at that exceptional moment in history, a peaceful development of the revolution is possible and probable if all power is transferred to the Soviets. The struggle of parties for power within the Soviets may proceed peacefully, if the Soviets are made fully democratic, and "petty thefts" and violations of democratic principles, such as giving the soldiers one representative to every five hundred, while the workers have one representative to every thousand voters, are eliminated. In a democratic republic such petty thefts will have to disappear.


Lenin's collected works

2. I understand most tend to be "irreligious" or at least "atheist" but can religion co-existence with the movement but on a "private manner" and "personal manner" (in example, if someone believes strongly in theism and buddhism etc but does not mix his religion with the movement but keeps to himself about it, is that ok?) I've understood that Lenin and trotsky strongly advocated against religion and its abolishment, that it is entirely incompatiable with "communism" but is it ok to "enforce" that upon people who still hold faith to religion?

3. What exactly is "Marxism-leninism" and how is it different from "leninism" or are they 1 in the same?


thanks for any input that you provide!
Soviet cogitations: 236
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Jul 2012, 03:04
Ideology: None
Pioneer
Post 26 Sep 2012, 20:35
1.
From Lenin's National and Colonial Questions:
Quote:
Recognition of internationalism in word, and its replacement in deed by petty-bourgeois nationalism and pacifism, in all propaganda, agitation and practical work, is very common, not only among the parties of the Second International, but also among those which have withdrawn from it, and often even among parties which now call themselves communist. The urgency of the struggle against this evil, against the most deep-rooted petty-bourgeois national prejudices, looms ever larger with the mounting exigency of the task of converting the dictatorship of the proletariat from a national dictatorship (i.e., existing in a single country and incapable of determining world politics) into an international one (i.e., a dictatorship of the proletariat involving at least several advanced countries, and capable of exercising a decisive influence upon world politics as a whole). Petty-bourgeois nationalism proclaims as internationalism the mere recognition of the equality of nations, and nothing more. Quite apart from the fact that this recognition is purely verbal, petty-bourgeois nationalism preserves national self-interest intact, whereas proletarian internationalism demands, first, that the interests of the proletarian struggle in any one country should be subordinated to the interests of that struggle on a world-wide scale, and, second, that a nation which is achieving victory over the bourgeoisie should be able and willing to make the greatest national sacrifices for the overthrow of international capital.

Thus, in countries that are already fully capitalist and have workers’ parties that really act as the vanguard of the proletariat, the struggle against opportunist and petty-bourgeois pacifist distortions of the concept and policy of internationalism is a primary and cardinal task.


Stalin gave a better answer in his 1939 Dialectical and Historical Materialism:

Quote:
Contrary to metaphysics, dialectics does not regard the process of development as a simple process of growth, where quantitative changes do not lead to qualitative changes, but as a development which passes from insignificant and imperceptible quantitative changes to open' fundamental changes' to qualitative changes; a development in which the qualitative changes occur not gradually, but rapidly and abruptly, taking the form of a leap from one state to another; they occur not accidentally but as the natural result of an accumulation of imperceptible and gradual quantitative changes...

Contrary to metaphysics, dialectics holds that internal contradictions are inherent in all things and phenomena of nature, for they all have their negative and positive sides, a past and a future, something dying away and something developing; and that the struggle between these opposites, the struggle between the old and the new, between that which is dying away and that which is being born, between that which is disappearing and that which is developing, constitutes the internal content of the process of development, the internal content of the transformation of quantitative changes into qualitative changes...

Everything depends on the conditions, time and place.
It is clear that without such a historical approach to social phenomena, the existence and development of the science of history is impossible; for only such an approach saves the science of history from becoming a jumble of accidents and an agglomeration of most absurd mistakes.

Further, if the world is in a state of constant movement and development, if the dying away of the old and the upgrowth of the new is a law of development, then it is clear that there can be no "immutable" social systems, no "eternal principles" of private property and exploitation, no "eternal ideas" of the subjugation of the peasant to the landlord, of the worker to the capitalist.

Hence, the capitalist system can be replaced by the socialist system, just as at one time the feudal system was replaced by the capitalist system.

Hence, we must not base our orientation on the strata of society which are no longer developing, even though they at present constitute the predominant force, but on those strata which are developing and have a future before them, even though they at present do not constitute the predominant force.

In the eighties of the past century, in the period of the struggle between the Marxists and the Narodniks, the proletariat in Russia constituted an insignificant minority of the population, whereas the individual peasants constituted the vast majority of the population. But the proletariat was developing as a class, whereas the peasantry as a class was disintegrating. And just because the proletariat was developing as a class the Marxists based their orientation on the proletariat. And they were not mistaken; for, as we know, the proletariat subsequently grew from an insignificant force into a first-rate historical and political force.

Hence, in order not to err in policy, one must look forward, not backward.

Further, if the passing of slow quantitative changes into rapid and abrupt qualitative changes is a law of development, then it is clear that revolutions made by oppressed classes are a quite natural and inevitable phenomenon.

Hence, the transition from capitalism to socialism and the liberation of the working class from the yoke of capitalism cannot be effected by slow changes, by reforms, but only by a qualitative change of the capitalist system, by revolution.

Hence, in order not to err in policy, one must be a revolutionary, not a reformist.

Further, if development proceeds by way of the disclosure of internal contradictions, by way of collisions between opposite forces on the basis of these contradictions and so as to overcome these contradictions, then it is clear that the class struggle of the proletariat is a quite natural and inevitable phenomenon.

Hence, we must not cover up the contradictions of the capitalist system, but disclose and unravel them; we must not try to check the class struggle but carry it to its conclusion.

Hence, in order not to err in policy, one must pursue an uncompromising proletarian class policy, not a reformist policy of harmony of the interests of the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, not a compromisers' policy of the "growing" of capitalism into socialism.

Such is the Marxist dialectical method when applied to social life, to the history of society.

As to Marxist philosophical materialism, it is fundamentally the direct opposite of philosophical idealism.


2.
Religion as a private matter can exist. However the Church cannot, as the Church is an agent for reaction and the ruling classes. According to historical materialism, religion was created as a means for the ruling classes to maintain authority over the lower classes. In it we see the vestiges of old class relations, as most bibles were compiled during the feudal era(a time when man was subject to the king, lord, church, and land. The bible doesn't contain pro-Capitalist stands however, as the Bourgeoisie wasn't the ruling class. Now-a-days, it isn't a 'sin' to be 'greedy,' seeing that it is a law of Bourgeois Capitalism, simply because the Church has had to conform with changes in class relations.

3.
This is what I wrote on another thread.

Quote:
Marxism-Leninism

A Marxist-Leninist is one who upholds the theories of Marx, Engels and Lenin and other revolutionaries. We uphold Revolutionary principles such as: The Dictatorship of the Proletariat, Stagism, Pragmatism, Democratic Centrism, Dialectical Materialism, Scientific Socialism, Historical Materialism, Vanguardism, Socialist Patriotism, and Proletarian Internationalism.
A Marxist-Leninist is also one who follows Realpolitik and Pragmatism while making policies. We hold that material considerations have to be made when making such policies, and that those policies must be compatible with material conditions before being applied. As material conditions are changed, it is necessary for qualitative changes to be made to ensure development continues.

We bitterly despise the Bourgeois Capitalists, as they are our greatest enemy, although we uphold Capitalism as necessary for the evolution of the Dialectic..

There are other variants of Marxist-Leninism, such as Hoxhaism, but the prime example of a Marxist-Leninist was the former General Secretary of CPSU Joseph Stalin. We also hold that Stalinism is Marxism-Leninism as applied according to the conditions of the USSR from the 1920s-56, while Hoxhaism was Marxism-Leninism as applied from the 1940s-85. We also point again to Comrade Stalin, who, in his 1951 Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR
, made suggestions for the Soviet Union to change its economic policies, in the coming future, to insure that it matched the changed material conditions of the USSR since the '20s.

The ultimate objective of Marxism-Leninism is to achieve Communism, where all power is vested in local Soviets, or labor councils, which distribute products according to need and manage local economies exclusively. Our belief is that such a state of things will be created naturally, as there are inherent contradictions in Capitalism and Socialism which will lead to Communism.
[+-]
Soviet cogitations: 8
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Sep 2012, 23:28
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 27 Sep 2012, 13:18
Thank you for your response
.

So in regards of religion: Religious organisations are not accepted but private worship is? and in regards to my first question, then the role of the vanguard party is to build up that "revolutionary" momentum, to overthrow the capitalist system via a violent revolution as I believe Marx once said? If so, what if a party was to gain say...political power in a government, to where it held the power to bring about social/economic changes, would a "revolution" still be needed or, would the party at that point just serve as occupant of seats in said government to prevent further increase of bourgeois power?
Loz
[+-]
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 11879
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
Philosophized
Post 27 Sep 2012, 13:57
Quote:
If so, what if a party was to gain say...political power in a government, to where it held the power to bring about social/economic changes, would a "revolution" still be needed or, would the party at that point just serve as occupant of seats in said government to prevent further increase of bourgeois power?

That's correct, a revolution would of course be needed, because you really can't bring about a revolution by parliamentary means. Communists can and do participate in bourgeois parliaments for various reasons, it's an "auxiliary" form of struggle, but the revolution is something else.
Last edited by Loz on 27 Sep 2012, 20:30, edited 1 time in total.
Soviet cogitations: 2051
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 24 Jun 2011, 08:37
Party Bureaucrat
Post 27 Sep 2012, 18:04
I don't think, taken in isolation, that communism through parliamentary means is impossible.
However, at some point, this will trigger reaction from the bourgeois elements of society, and at that point, you're in a revolutionary situation whether you intended to or not.
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
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 5150
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 08 Nov 2007, 06:31
Embalmed
Post 27 Sep 2012, 19:44
Leon wrote:
So in regards of religion: Religious organisations are not accepted but private worship is?


Couldn't say without being utopian and arbitrary. We have no idea what such small details of life are in socialism/communism, but from my observations, there really is no necessity for attacks on individual, local (religious) culture, as it is simply culture and we embrace a right of all peoples to have access to it.

The church, on the other hand, is just plain reactionary and I think the religious in socialism will have much less of an inclination to regard them as an authority on religious matters and an integral part of being religious.

Quote:
and in regards to my first question, then the role of the vanguard party is to build up that "revolutionary" momentum, to overthrow the capitalist system via a violent revolution as I believe Marx once said?


The vanguard party is more about consolidating and organizing the revolutionary momentum that exists into one front with platforms derived its constituent, the most politically advanced and conscious of the proletariat. Ultimately it is the working class that makes the revolution.

Quote:
If so, what if a party was to gain say...political power in a government, to where it held the power to bring about social/economic changes, would a "revolution" still be needed or, would the party at that point just serve as occupant of seats in said government to prevent further increase of bourgeois power?


Yes, it would still be needed, because the reforms any left party can bring in a bourgeois state are at maximum welfarist stuff. We will still have capitalism and the workers will remain out of power, communists would just be mediating the relationship between them and the bourgeoisie.
Image
Soviet cogitations: 236
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Jul 2012, 03:04
Ideology: None
Pioneer
Post 28 Sep 2012, 20:54
Leon wrote:
So in regards of religion: Religious organisations are not accepted but private worship is?

Conscript gave the best explanation.


Quote:
in regards to my first question, then the role of the vanguard party is to build up that "revolutionary" momentum, to overthrow the capitalist system via a violent revolution as I believe Marx once said?

No, no. The Revolution will be created by the Proletariat. It is the role of Vanguard party to defend and organize the Proletariat when their uprising beings. How will they do that? They will construct Soviets and Labor Unions from which Workers will have direct authority over the Means of Production and their local economy, while arming the Proletariat and keeping them in contact with Comrades in other parts of the country in question. The term Vanguard is supposed to be a literal meaning.
The party's role is for organization.

You see, the only legitimacy Socialism has is that there are contradictions in Capital which can be solved by Socialism. Such contradictions can also be solved by Fascism, Keynesianism, or other systems. This is why a Leninist Vanguard party is needed, as it is a force for raising class consciousness and organizing the Proletariat as society makes a transition from Capitalism to Socialism to Communism. Since humans are conscious individuals, and consciousness is determined by social conditioning, it is necessary for the Proletariat to be given the highest quality education, otherwise voices of reaction and revision will corrupt our standards. We aren't Totalitarians or anything. The only Totalitarians are Liberals, who call for Objective Morality, Absolute Ideals, Imperialism, Exploitation, and Alienation. In retrospect, we call for morality to be held relative to society, we believe ideas are relative to material conditions(and are reflected from matter into our minds empirically), collective ownership, and freedom from subjugation.

Quote:
If so, what if a party was to gain say...political power in a government, to where it held the power to bring about social/economic changes, would a "revolution" still be needed or, would the party at that point just serve as occupant of seats in said government to prevent further increase of bourgeois power?

Stalin argued that revolutions would be needed in order for qualitative changes to be made in society. Policies should not be made according to ideals, but rather in accordance to material conditions that exist in a country.
Loz
[+-]
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 11879
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
Philosophized
Post 28 Sep 2012, 21:46
Quote:
You see, the only legitimacy Socialism has is that there are contradictions in Capital which can be solved by Socialism. Such contradictions can also be solved by Fascism, Keynesianism, or other systems.

What contradictions are you talking about? Elaborate please.

Do you agree that Fascism or state intervention in economy doesn't and can't solve the contradiction between the social nature of production and the private capitalist form of appropriation of the result of production which engenders anarchy of production, unemployment, economic crises, and an implacable struggle between the basic classes of capitalist society, the proletariat and the bourgeoisie?
Soviet cogitations: 236
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Jul 2012, 03:04
Ideology: None
Pioneer
Post 29 Sep 2012, 00:29
Loz wrote:
What contradictions are you talking about? Elaborate please.

Exploitation, Alienation, the constant need for expansion of Capital, Imperialism, etc.

Quote:
Do you agree that Fascism or state intervention in economy doesn't and can't solve the contradiction between the social nature of production and the private capitalist form of appropriation of the result of production which engenders anarchy of production, unemployment, economic crises, and an implacable struggle between the basic classes of capitalist society, the proletariat and the bourgeoisie?

What I meant by that was that they offered quick fixes to contradictions in Liberalism, such as relative development of countries(relative enough that the 3rd world will never be able to surpass the 1st.) The only choice for the 3rd world is to split from Liberalism and adopt State Capitalist policies, much like what caused the rise of Prussia during the 19th century. If we compare the rise of Prussia to the rise of China, we can deduce that the premier Superpower[s] will cut off China from the world markets, just like what was forced upon Prussia and then Germany by the French and British, to such an extent that an Imperialist war would be the only choice for the power.

A split from the 3rd world is however not likely, rather they are more likely to split from one power and economic bloc and join another.

What will be the first general reaction to such moves that will lower living standards exceptionally in the 1st world? Nationalism, which closely follows with Fascism.

Of course 3rd wayism is not the answer, but Fascism's extreme form of Imperialism will offer a quick fix to contradictions in Liberal Capitalism. It is just Capitalism in decay.


You see, the Chicago school fixed contradictions in earlier forms of neo-Liberalism, and I'm afraid we're going to go through a slow and grueling process of constantly reformed versions of Capitalism until it exhausts itself for the final time. I'm not saying Fascism will necessarily take over, but rather pointless policies will be adopted over and over again by the Bourgeoisie to maintain class supremacy, unless there is a Vanguard party that can maintain consciousness in the Proletariat.
Loz
[+-]
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 11879
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
Philosophized
Post 29 Sep 2012, 02:14
Quote:
Exploitation, Alienation, the constant need for expansion of Capital, Imperialism, etc.

Of course fascism, Keynesianism and so on "solved" none of these, on the contrary.


Quote:
Of course 3rd wayism is not the answer, but Fascism's extreme form of Imperialism will offer a quick fix to contradictions in Liberal Capitalism. It is just Capitalism in decay.

But fascism, i would say, grows out of these contradictions.
[+-]
Soviet cogitations: 8
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Sep 2012, 23:28
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 29 Sep 2012, 02:48
I must say thank you all for your posts to my questions, it has given me quite an insight.
Alternative Display:
Mobile view
More Forums: The History Forum. The UK Politics Forum.
© 2000- Soviet-Empire.com. Privacy.