I agree. Dissent IMO is a regulatory social function. It only loses its meaning when it comes from those who simply miss capitalism because of their privileged position.
Additionally, Marxism comes out of the best philosophical traditions of radical humanism, a rebellious school at the best of times. As scientific socialists, we should be open to debate and dissent.
There is plenty of backing for this logic, including Mao's "Its right to rebel"
Flip Brezhnev and Khrushchev.
Dissent can be both positive and negative and should be dealt with this in mind imo.
But negative dissent is surely subjective? I mean, aside from obvious examples like 'dissenting against the soviet system by wrecking machinery', which is clearly criminal.
My point is that there should be limited legal means to deal with intellectual and street dissent. I'd rather see workers spontaneously shut down a fascist protest with rank and file party members in attendance than the state machinery be employed. I mean, they should be there to stop an incident getting out of hand, but I see nothing wrong with workers tearing down fascist or racist signs, provided they have passed a vote in favour in their local popular organ or council with security forces ready to intervene in case of a serious fracas.
Isn't the same true of "positive" dissent.
Yes, I do not believe that changes the essence of my point.
Because the positive or negative aspects of dissent are subjective, the legal apparatus should not be there for the state to clamp down on all dissent to suit temporary whims of the governors. Instead, shutting up the fascists should be organised by local party branches/workers councils/popular movements.
I'd leave them where they are but flip Lenin and Stalin.
Once capitalists know we can release the Kraken, they'll back down and obey our demands for sure.
Let's just do both, actually.
I'm surprised at the people who put Stalin above Lenin. Could you elaborate on why? I'm guessing the industrialisation, and material benefits etc?
Lenin sucked as a leader, that's why.
War Communism? fail.
New Economic Policy? fail.
Plus he was in a coma during the founding of the USSR. EPIC FAIL.
So you want everyday people to deal with dissent (in this case, from fascists)? What's the difference between this and the state doing it? The intended outcome is exactly the same. I think you'll find that in practice, your idea would not be very effective. Nor does it promote a healthy way to deal with disagreement and could quite frankly be more chaotic in the short term than just letting the Fascists be.
Here's something else to consider. What if (in a Socialist state) a group of anarchists decide to go around destroying public property as part of their dissent? It's a common tactic for them. Should the state just sit by an do nothing while property it has provided for the people's use gets damaged?
Last edited by Fellow Comrade on 22 Oct 2009, 01:31, edited 1 time in total.
Without him, Stalin wouldnt have done any of the things he did do. The revolution was necessary and important. And it was the first revolution of its kind. A revolution needs a leader too, and Lenin was the best leader of the revolution.
The difference is that one gives the state a bad reputation/image, and the other doesnt.
The poll is asking about the best Soviet leader however. Lenin never really got a chance to lead the Soviet Union.
The other would simply be viewed as doing the State's dirty work for it. There really isn't any difference. It's a nasty job, but a job that has to be done under a dictatorship of one class over another. I'd rather the state deal with real dissent than risk letting ordinary citizens create an even worse situation.
I don't think it should become a issue of who or what is at the leadership of the party what is important is the ideological standing of the party and its members. Clearly the Soviet Union was formed under the banner of the theory's of Karl Marx and Frederic Engels, To this great science we must add the names of Vladimir Lenin and of course the leader who could of signalled the end to Imperialist aggression Joe Stalin. So in my humble opion the leader of the Soviet Union most important to me is all the above.
Fellow Comrade, the people are not always embodied in the state. Mao showed us that the Party could be infiltrated by a new bourgeoisie, in Venezuela our own Comrade Rabbit termed them the Bolibourgeoisie. The Party should rightly control the state apparatus, but we cannot expect the party to be free of corruption, infiltration or ideological impurity. Local regional and workplace councils, however, have a much more organic link with the workers. Therefore, a demonstration against fascists called by those organs is a far more grassroots approach. Additionally, if we vest power in the state to break up demonstrations because of their political content, there is a chance that legislation will be used to break up demonstrations of the left opposition, labelling them as fascists and enemies of the people also.
Comrade, revolution is not a tea party. Rather it be chaotic than have the state degenerate and become stagnant. Workers must have power on the street, the state would do well to take into account the feelings of the masses, rather than take on the responsibility of classifying which dissent is prohibited and which is not.
This is a distinctly seperate matter. Citizens should defend their workplace, if attacked, and be able to rely on the police to pick up rioters. I would argue the same point if it were communist or fascist rioters in a socialist state. The point I am making is the judgement call on who should break up a rally purely on ideological content. The role of the state in the breaking up of a fascist rally should be to be legally biased on the side of those who broke it up, rather than sending in the boys with truncheons.
Sholokhov: What you are advocating is very similar to the cultural revolution. That didn't work well at all and also targeted people who did not deserve to be targeted.
OF COURSE. I'm not saying Lenin was not important. Without Lenin, there would never have been socialism. But Lenin's historical task was the revolution, not leadership of the Soviet Union. Maybe I should have chosen my wording more carefully. I should have said "he sucked as a state leader".
Don't debate a strawman. The Cultural Revolution was aimed at a much broader scope than I am talking about. I am talking about shutting down fascist rallies, not the eradication of a 'backward culture that is holding back the revolution'. Nor am I advocating that the Party relinquish authority in the political arena. Now please debate the specific points I made, rather than the Cultural Revolution.
I have a few main points
a) That the party/state should not be the sole arbiter of which dissent is to be shut down.
b) That popular organs such as local and factory councils should be used to mobilise support against fascists, before calling on state repressive organs.
c) That the party/state can be infiltrated, and is not 'always right', therefore must be checked on the street by popular action.
Yes you are. Dissent is political and dealing with it is a political action.
What you are talking about might be on a smaller scale, but the outcome would be similar I believe (again - on a smaller scale). During the cultural revolution, Red guards (civilians) used their position to settle old scores with people they didn't like. The same could very easily happen under your preferred policy.
My comparison is not a straw man. It looks quite accurate. Mao's idea behind dealing with dissent in the cultural revolution was quite similar to yours. The fact that you mentioned him is a good indication of where you're getting influence from as well.
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