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

How to live like a communist in a capitalist World.

POST REPLY
[+-]
Soviet cogitations: 589
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Dec 2013, 14:24
Ideology: Democratic Socialism
Unperson
Post 13 Feb 2014, 10:33
I only ask as yesterday I was taken to task and advised on how to live one. The advice I was given would lead to a very austere lifestyle, you would live like a secular monk, giving your life & possessions over to helping the poor and kissing the wounded. Which is great but I don’t think you have to live like that to be a Marxist. Now what about the first two Marxists, Marx and Engels. Marx would never have told us the personal is political. He did lead a very extravagant lifestyle, when he had money and was certainly no spendthrift. Borrowing money from Engels and German immigrants to Britain and never paying it back. Blowing it on lavish parties, fathering an illegitimate child and even replying to a letter from Engels, who writes to tell him of the death of his father with a demand for money! A master class in insensitivity. He was, by all accounts a very rude, blunt and argumentative man. He often saw the worst in people. Sadly a trait that has been carried over to ‘marxist’ regimes with their show trails. Though I doubt he would have endorsed those as he’d have probably been the first in the dock.
I don’t get the idea from the reading of Marx that under socialism we will live like secular saints so why should we be expected to live that way under capitalism.
You can eat meat, go fox-hunting, fishing, to a bull fight, smoke, drink, drive a gas guzzler, eat at McDonalds and even read the Sun and still be a Marxist! I’m not saying you should do any of these activities just that if you did you can still be a Marxist.
You don’t need to give up meat, take public transport, give money to charity, read the Guardian, listen to Billy Bragg or Woody Guthrie and you can let your kids play with toy soldiers, guns and tanks etc.
In short, you don’t need to be like the modern parents from Viz. Quite frankly I’m sure most of us would rather you didn’t act like them.
Soviet cogitations: 1128
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2008, 18:12
Party Member
Post 01 Mar 2014, 22:44
Marxism is a social and economic theory, not a lifestyle choice to be adhered to under capitalism.

It's the classic argument the bourgeoisie use when people mention inequality. If you're poor they say you're just bitter, lazy and envious. If you have money they say you are a hypocrite. Either one is designed to neuter any debate on inequality.

In terms of lifestyle under capitalism you should live as normal life as possible IMO. Yeah you could do the ultra austere thing, but what would that achieve? Will people immediately flock to your banner because they see you living in rags? Actually I think most people, even the working class, look down on people like that. Everyone wants to make money; why do you think the working classes play the lottery each week? Even if you give most of your money away, when did charity ever solve the fundamental problems of capitalism?

One could argue that if you are the leader of a socialist/communist organisation then it is not a good idea to be seen leading an extravagant lifestyle. But I doubt you are one of these and so this obviously doesn't apply. Even then, many workers might think of you as a bit devious if they know you have plenty of money but just give it away in order to look poor.

Finally you have to remember that you may not live to see the revolution. In that case you may find yourself looking back on your life wishing you'd spent a bit more money on yourself rather than just giving it away and living in self-imposed poverty.
Soviet cogitations: 1
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 17 Apr 2014, 16:18
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 17 Apr 2014, 23:03
I think these could be quallified as fallacies. It's ad hominem; attacking the speaker instead of the argument. Communism isn't, indeed, being Robin Hood and stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. Some people just don't get this part
[+-]
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 1277
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 29 Sep 2011, 13:51
Party Member
Post 30 Apr 2014, 03:59
There is nothing wrong with being rich or even leading a super extravagant lifestyle as long as it does not come at the expense of others which unfortunately in a modern capitalist world almost always does. No one has to live in poverty to prove any sort of a point. There is a bare minimum to which all people are entitled to. One cannot help others without first helping oneself both materially and psychologically. Everything Yami stated above all fall into the realm of normal everyday life to which any person can indulge in including marxists. Communism's ultimate end game is a world where we could all live like royalty after all.

Communists don't fight the rich but instead fight the exploitation of the proletariat by the rich. Nobody really hates the rich. Everybody's five minutes away from being rich. I believe a communist in a capitalist world can do whatever he wants as long as it does not come in excess. Driving around in a Ferrari dressed in a $500 Armani suit and wearing a Rolex is what I mean by excess.

To proudly call oneself a communist in a capitalist world I believe that you should at a bare minimum:

1. avoid all material excesses

2. work hard and fair with conviction and pride no matter what one's job is

3. join your local communist party

4. talk and keep up with politics

5. read the papers, (learn how to read between the lines)

6. attend communist rallies and speeches

7. contribute in any way that you can to the betterment and development of your local community

8. read marxist literature

9. post useful and interesting things on soviet-empire.com

10. donate whatever you can to help the unfortunate, the poor and the homeless (without having to sacrifice your happiness or well-being)

11. Divulge any information that would be beneficial to the working class or that reveals any sort of injustice without jeopardizing your well-being unless you wish to become a martyr.

12. spread the marxist belief through social media and verbally

13. take whatever action necessary that would bring about the fall or be detrimental to the spread of the far right (as long as it doesn't land you a life sentence or a death penalty)

14. overthrow your corrupt bourgeois government when possible if its being led by a communist party at the vanguard of the proletariat

15. drink little alcohol but often

16. smoke if that's your thing

17. don't gamble if it isn't your once a week poker game with the guys in the basement

18. have sex as often as possible

19. watch all the classic movies and listen to all the classic musicians

20. learn to speak at least two languages

21. learn the Internationale in your own language if possible

22. hang a red banner in your home & buy a Che Guevara t-shirt

23. go on a pilgrimage to Lenin's mausoleum at least once in your lifetime

24. celebrate International Workers' Day

25. try your best to be a respectable and intelligent human being and not a screaming idiot like those people you see everyday in the subway on the way to work.
Image


My laws shall act more pleasure than command,
And with my prick I'll govern all the land.
Soviet cogitations: 304
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 05 Feb 2014, 00:36
Komsomol
Post 03 May 2014, 23:07
Yeqon wrote:
There is nothing wrong with being rich or even leading a super extravagant lifestyle as long as it does not come at the expense of others which unfortunately in a modern capitalist world almost always does. No one has to live in poverty to prove any sort of a point. There is a bare minimum to which all people are entitled to. One cannot help others without first helping oneself both materially and psychologically. Everything Yami stated above all fall into the realm of normal everyday life to which any person can indulge in including marxists. Communism's ultimate end game is a world where we could all live like royalty after all.

Communists don't fight the rich but instead fight the exploitation of the proletariat by the rich. Nobody really hates the rich. Everybody's five minutes away from being rich. I believe a communist in a capitalist world can do whatever he wants as long as it does not come in excess. Driving around in a Ferrari dressed in a $500 Armani suit and wearing a Rolex is what I mean by excess.

To proudly call oneself a communist in a capitalist world I believe that you should at a bare minimum:

1. avoid all material excesses

2. work hard and fair with conviction and pride no matter what one's job is

3. join your local communist party

4. talk and keep up with politics

5. read the papers, (learn how to read between the lines)

6. attend communist rallies and speeches

7. contribute in any way that you can to the betterment and development of your local community

8. read marxist literature

9. post useful and interesting things on soviet-empire.com

10. donate whatever you can to help the unfortunate, the poor and the homeless (without having to sacrifice your happiness or well-being)

11. Divulge any information that would be beneficial to the working class or that reveals any sort of injustice without jeopardizing your well-being unless you wish to become a martyr.

12. spread the marxist belief through social media and verbally

13. take whatever action necessary that would bring about the fall or be detrimental to the spread of the far right (as long as it doesn't land you a life sentence or a death penalty)

14. overthrow your corrupt bourgeois government when possible if its being led by a communist party at the vanguard of the proletariat

15. drink little alcohol but often

16. smoke if that's your thing

17. don't gamble if it isn't your once a week poker game with the guys in the basement

18. have sex as often as possible

19. watch all the classic movies and listen to all the classic musicians

20. learn to speak at least two languages

21. learn the Internationale in your own language if possible

22. hang a red banner in your home & buy a Che Guevara t-shirt

23. go on a pilgrimage to Lenin's mausoleum at least once in your lifetime

24. celebrate International Workers' Day

25. try your best to be a respectable and intelligent human being and not a screaming idiot like those people you see everyday in the subway on the way to work.


Honestly I think this list is a bit too long, and too vague in some parts like point 1 but ultra specific like in 23 and 24.

However the gist is good. How are you a communist? You espouse socialist ideas, read Marxist literature and have a bit of integrity.

You act like a good and hard-working person who is also a communist, act reasonable and like an internationalist rather than a dogmatist and you'll do well.

It will also make you a happier person leading a more fulfilling life and you'll be able to espouse the ultimate humanist ideals in the form of Marxism-Leninism if you do so.

Thus one is a "good communist"

I've definitely lapsed, to be honest. But it's the effort to keep try and going that will make the difference. Because you get but the one life
Loz
[+-]
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 11879
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
Philosophized
Post 04 May 2014, 00:24
I'd like to think the whole post is tongue-in-cheek or otherwise jokingly written.
It's not the late 19th century of Rakhmetovs and Narodniks anymore, and luckily the 70s communes bullshit has been dead for decades now.
"Communism" isn't a lifestyle.
Alternative Display:
Mobile view
More Forums: The History Forum. The UK Politics Forum.
© 2000- Soviet-Empire.com. Privacy.