I'm not picking a fight.
I'm just saying that often our disagreements reach an impasse when we come to the different usage of terms which we have: You have some very particular ideas about words like "god", "the soul", "liberalism" ..etc.
If the terms we start from are different, we can hardly expect to agree ... and if we appear to agree, we might actually not - if our terms aren't exactly the same in the first place.
Dagoth Ur wrote:See here for example, I'd probably say that Liberalism upholds personal property which Communism doesn't have a problem with, but the idea of "private ownership of the means of production" is more of a means than an end for most Liberals.
Truth is that marx saw the human rights, as all perceived within the context of private property. The society of the bourgoise, based on the human rights, is a society of egoistic individuals that the measure of their freedom is not the degree of their unification in society, but from their isolation from eachother
"... the human right to freedom is not based on the assiciation of man with man, but contrary on the separation of man from man" (Marx). The right of private property is "the practical use of the right to freedom of man" (Marx), is the right of everyone for themselves, regardless of others and independently from the society to use and manage the property, that is "right of self-interest" (Marx).
Equality is equality of liberty described above: "equality is that the law is equal for all - or defend someone either persecuting" (Constitution of 1795). therefore "None of the so-called rights of man, therefore, go beyond egoistic man, beyond man as a member of civil society – that is, an individual withdrawn into himself, into the confines of his private interests and private caprice, and separated from the community. In the rights of man, he is far from being conceived as a species-being; on the contrary, species-like itself, society, appears as a framework external to the individuals, as a restriction of their original independence. The sole bond holding them together is natural necessity, need and private interest, the preservation of their property and their egoistic selves. "(Marx). The only link that unites these people is a natural necessity, the private interest, the preservation of their property and egoistic personality.
In general this aspect is considered in marx;s "on the jewish question", bur rather in brief and complex. I've read a nice article by V.A Vazioulin (R.I.P yesterday) "The paradoxes of dignity under Marxism", but I can;t find it in english.
http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/wo ... -question/
The droits de l’homme, the rights of man, are, as such, distinct from the droits du citoyen, the rights of the citizen. Who is homme as distinct from citoyen? None other than the member of civil society. Why is the member of civil society called “man,” simply man; why are his rights called the rights of man? How is this fact to be explained? From the relationship between the political state and civil society, from the nature of political emancipation.
Above all, we note the fact that the so-called rights of man, the droits de l’homme as distinct from the droits du citoyen, are nothing but the rights of a member of civil society – i.e., the rights of egoistic man, of man separated from other men and from the community. Let us hear what the most radical Constitution, the Constitution of 1793, has to say:
Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.
Article 2. “These rights, etc., (the natural and imprescriptible rights) are: equality, liberty, security, property.”
What constitutes liberty?
Article 6. “Liberty is the power which man has to do everything that does not harm the rights of others,” or, according to the Declaration of the Rights of Man of 1791: “Liberty consists in being able to do everything which does not harm others.”
Liberty, therefore, is the right to do everything that harms no one else. The limits within which anyone can act without harming someone else are defined by law, just as the boundary between two fields is determined by a boundary post. It is a question of the liberty of man as an isolated monad, withdrawn into himself. Why is the Jew, according to Bauer, incapable of acquiring the rights of man?
“As long as he is a Jew, the restricted nature which makes him a Jew is bound to triumph over the human nature which should link him as a man with other men, and will separate him from non-Jews.”
But, the right of man to liberty is based not on the association of man with man, but on the separation of man from man. It is the right of this separation, the right of the restricted individual, withdrawn into himself.
The practical application of man’s right to liberty is man’s right to private property.
What constitutes man’s right to private property?
Article 16. (Constitution of 1793): “The right of property is that which every citizen has of enjoying and of disposing at his discretion of his goods and income, of the fruits of his labor and industry.”
The right of man to private property is, therefore, the right to enjoy one’s property and to dispose of it at one’s discretion (à son gré), without regard to other men, independently of society, the right of self-interest. This individual liberty and its application form the basis of civil society. It makes every man see in other men not the realization of his own freedom, but the barrier to it. But, above all, it proclaims the right of man
“of enjoying and of disposing at his discretion of his goods and income, of the fruits of his labor and industry.”
There remain the other rights of man: égalité and sûreté.
Equality, used here in its non-political sense, is nothing but the equality of the liberté described above – namely: each man is to the same extent regarded as such a self-sufficient monad. The Constitution of 1795 defines the concept of this equality, in accordance with this significance, as follows:
Article 3 (Constitution of 1795): “Equality consists in the law being the same for all, whether it protects or punishes.”
Article 8 (Constitution of 1793): “Security consists in the protection afforded by society to each of its members for the preservation of his person, his rights, and his property.”
Security is the highest social concept of civil society, the concept of police, expressing the fact that the whole of society exists only in order to guarantee to each of its members the preservation of his person, his rights, and his property. It is in this sense that Hegel calls civil society “the state of need and reason.”
The concept of security does not raise civil society above its egoism. On the contrary, security is the insurance of egoism.
None of the so-called rights of man, therefore, go beyond egoistic man, beyond man as a member of civil society – that is, an individual withdrawn into himself, into the confines of his private interests and private caprice, and separated from the community. In the rights of man, he is far from being conceived as a species-being; on the contrary, species-like itself, society, appears as a framework external to the individuals, as a restriction of their original independence. The sole bond holding them together is natural necessity, need and private interest, the preservation of their property and their egoistic selves.
It is puzzling enough that a people which is just beginning to liberate itself, to tear down all the barriers between its various sections, and to establish a political community, that such a people solemnly proclaims (Declaration of 1791) the rights of egoistic man separated from his fellow men and from the community, and that indeed it repeats this proclamation at a moment when only the most heroic devotion can save the nation, and is therefore imperatively called for, at a moment when the sacrifice of all the interest of civil society must be the order of the day, and egoism must be punished as a crime. (Declaration of the Rights of Man, etc., of 1793) This fact becomes still more puzzling when we see that the political emancipators go so far as to reduce citizenship, and the political community, to a mere means for maintaining these so-called rights of man, that, therefore, the citoyen is declared to be the servant of egotistic homme, that the sphere in which man acts as a communal being is degraded to a level below the sphere in which he acts as a partial being, and that, finally, it is not man as citoyen, but man as private individual [bourgeois] who is considered to be the essential and true man.
“The aim of all political association is the preservation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of man.” (Declaration of the Rights, etc., of 1791, Article 2)
“Government is instituted in order to guarantee man the enjoyment of his natural and imprescriptible rights.” (Declaration, etc., of 1793, Article 1)
Hence, even in moments when its enthusiasm still has the freshness of youth and is intensified to an extreme degree by the force of circumstances, political life declares itself to be a mere means, whose purpose is the life of civil society. It is true that its revolutionary practice is in flagrant contradiction with its theory. Whereas, for example, security is declared one of the rights of man, violation of the privacy of correspondence is openly declared to be the order of the day. Whereas “unlimited freedom of the press” (Constitution of 1793, Article 122) is guaranteed as a consequence of the right of man to individual liberty, freedom of the press is totally destroyed, because “freedom of the press should not be permitted when it endangers public liberty.” (“Robespierre jeune,” Historie parlementaire de la Révolution française by Buchez and Roux, vol.28, p. 159) That is to say, therefore: The right of man to liberty ceases to be a right as soon as it comes into conflict with political life, whereas in theory political life is only the guarantee of human rights, the rights of the individual, and therefore must be abandoned as soon as it comes into contradiction with its aim, with these rights of man. But, practice is merely the exception, theory is the rule. But even if one were to regard revolutionary practice as the correct presentation of the relationship, there would still remain the puzzle of why the relationship is turned upside-down in the minds of the political emancipators and the aim appears as the means, while the means appears as the aim. This optical illusion of their consciousness would still remain a puzzle, although now a psychological, a theoretical puzzle.
The puzzle is easily solved.
Political emancipation is, at the same time, the dissolution of the old society on which the state alienated from the people, the sovereign power, is based. What was the character of the old society? It can be described in one word – feudalism. The character of the old civil society was directly political – that is to say, the elements of civil life, for example, property, or the family, or the mode of labor, were raised to the level of elements of political life in the form of seigniory, estates, and corporations. In this form, they determined the relation of the individual to the state as a whole – i.e., his political relation, that is, his relation of separation and exclusion from the other components of society. For that organization of national life did not raise property or labor to the level of social elements; on the contrary, it completed their separation from the state as a whole and constituted them as discrete societies within society. Thus, the vital functions and conditions of life of civil society remained, nevertheless, political, although political in the feudal sense – that is to say, they secluded the individual from the state as a whole and they converted the particular relation of his corporation to the state as a whole into his general relation to the life of the nation, just as they converted his particular civil activity and situation into his general activity and situation. As a result of this organization, the unity of the state, and also the consciousness, will, and activity of this unity, the general power of the state, are likewise bound to appear as the particular affair of a ruler and of his servants, isolated from the people.
The political revolution which overthrew this sovereign power and raised state affairs to become affairs of the people, which constituted the political state as a matter of general concern, that is, as a real state, necessarily smashed all estates, corporations, guilds, and privileges, since they were all manifestations of the separation of the people from the community. The political revolution thereby abolished the political character of civil society. It broke up civil society into its simple component parts; on the one hand, the individuals; on the other hand, the material and spiritual elements constituting the content of the life and social position of these individuals. It set free the political spirit, which had been, as it were, split up, partitioned, and dispersed in the various blind alleys of feudal society. It gathered the dispersed parts of the political spirit, freed it from its intermixture with civil life, and established it as the sphere of the community, the general concern of the nation, ideally independent of those particular elements of civil life. A person’s distinct activity and distinct situation in life were reduced to a merely individual significance. They no longer constituted the general relation of the individual to the state as a whole. Public affairs as such, on the other hand, became the general affair of each individual, and the political function became the individual’s general function.
But, the completion of the idealism of the state was at the same time the completion of the materialism of civil society. Throwing off the political yoke meant at the same time throwing off the bonds which restrained the egoistic spirit of civil society. Political emancipation was, at the same time, the emancipation of civil society from politics, from having even the semblance of a universal content.
Feudal society was resolved into its basic element – man, but man as he really formed its basis – egoistic man.
This man, the member of civil society, is thus the basis, the precondition, of the political state. He is recognized as such by this state in the rights of man.
The liberty of egoistic man and the recognition of this liberty, however, is rather the recognition of the unrestrained movement of the spiritual and material elements which form the content of his life.
Last edited by ckkomel on 09 Jan 2012, 16:35, edited 1 time in total.
however here, why one should identify "the fruits of his labor and industry" with "private property" and not personal property, and ... " "the fruits of his labor"? (as Shigyalov also notices)
And afterall, the concept of society as a "collection of individuals" is wrong? I mean I understand how Marx mean it, but on the other one, abolishing this notion, of individuals that each of them has specific rights, no matter what the "society" (ie the state) says, can lead to major misunderstandings and arbitrary actions against the individual. Or an individual is always seen as a citizen?
(On the latter one, and the separation that marx him self does, I always wondered why the Soviets never used the term "soviet citizen" but rather "soviet man/men" or "soviet people" only.
Οcourse this is an abstract philosophical question because in practice "of enjoying and of disposing at his discretion of his goods and income" means the right to sell(dispose) the goods, and accululate capital out of this commercial transaction.
Heh, the communism as "youthful idealism" story. Here (considering my country, Slovakia, is post-communist) it is "communism is for grumpy old people who still hold onto the old times" excuse instead.
Shit, I wish I had more time to write this... I have to leave shortly, so take this as part 1 of my response:
No, they're not. Liberty (of property; the freedom to pursue your self-interest which must necessarily collide with all other self-interests due to property) and equality (before the law; it is this equality, the equality-as-property-owners of all people, which causes the material inequalities of bourgeois society) are realized and suck, while "brotherhood" (as the third of the classical French ideals) has never been more than an empty phrase which is not reflected in liberal theory due to its shallowness.
If you're referring to the "political compass" approach, that's wrong. The political compass with its separate axes regards the "authoritarian/libertarian" axis as a scale of state involvement in the economy; to be a "libertarian" in that sense is to fight for the individual rights of property owners.
The "necessity" and "inevitability" of socialism is a twofold thing, it's full of contradictions. On one hand, it's a historical inevitability because the development of the productive forces objectively tends toward situations where they shake off the limitations that the respective relations of productions impose on them, i.e. technological progress will inevitably destroy the socio-economical superstructure that is capitalism - file sharing kills the entertainment industry just like the appearance of mechanized industry killed feudal ways of production.
On the other hand, socialism is a necessity because the proletarians, in their subjectivity, must necessarily overthrow the current state of affairs if they want to create socio-economic circumstances in which they can be truly human.
But these two aspects (rather: "moments") are inextricably interconnected. "Capitalism must fall, but we have to do it."
That's patently wrong. No Marxist-Leninist would disagree with them - Marxism-Leninism is sadly fatally entangled in its bourgeois-moralist roots here. Others, however, would, for the following reasons:
Human "rights" are, at their core, inseparable from civic duties. Human rights are legislation, they are what states have to grant to their citizens in exchange for their citizens' allegiance and subordination. That means that they also find their natural limitations: The right to life is limited by the draft, the right to education is limited by the state's refusal to finance tertiary education for everybody, etc. It is the state that allows us these rights. The right to free speech can then only be realized within the state-given circumstances. Now these circumstances also include private property, so the state that says "you can say whatever you want" is the same state that keeps the printing presses and TV studios under firm control of the bourgeoisie.
Human rights are the bourgeois edition of "the King's grace". They are worthless. The people of the world don't need an authority to allow them to say what they want.
I'm sure they were. Otherwise, their actions make no sense at all - they were either communists or clinically insane, but they all seem too clever to be insane, so we have to assume that they really meant well.
Maybe you're confusing libertarianism with true anarchism here. Just a hint.
Besides, part of the awesomeness of Marxism is that it does not "uphold values". That would be idealist. Idealism is a philosophical tradition in which the world is explained mainly by what happens in people's heads, it gives priority to consciousness. Idealists uphold values and usually think that if everybody were just a bit more nice to each other, the world would be beautiful and nice. Bourgeois ideology is at its core idealist; especially libertarianism is pure idealist garbage. Marx, Engels, Lenin and most other classical Marxist theorists have all spent very much time fighting idealism.
Marxism is materialist. That means that we give priority to matter. We give priority to what really happens, objectively, and draw our conclusions from that. We don't tell people to be nice, we examine the world and arrive at explanations for why people aren't nice. So while idealism is like, "the world is stupid because people are mean to each other, let's be nice!", materialism is like "the world is stupid because of certain socio-economic systems which force people to compete with each other, let's abolish these systems so we can be happy".
That's a good explanation. But tell me, should people be allowed to chose their religion (or not), or have a fair election? In my opinion, of course they should. It's just what has become a fundemental part of society. How angry would people be if the state just got up an said "All of you have to be Hindus", or something like that?
In a communist society, we recognize that certain things like being able to woship as you please is just obligatory. That is a Libertarian concept.
Back to Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot, many would say that they saw their people little more than meat tto be grinded for the state. That might not be true, but if it were true, then I sure wouldn't want them representing my ideology.
Mabool wrote:You're deliberately dwelling on the property based "rights" whereas I was referring to certain abstract qualities which liberalism "champions" - things like racial, sexual and religious equality.
I fail to see how these values are necessarily bound to a capitalist economy.
Mabool wrote:Nihilism is a good starting point for things, but leaving it as an end seems utterly pointless.
Why bother with any sort of Socialism if it doesn't matter?
I put a whole extract from the Marx's jewish question (that nobody read it as it seems lol) where all these things are analyzed in brief..
Common sense, however, perceive the human rights not on this framework. For all the people is for example a right to have whatever opinion they want, or the right to publicly express it. Or do whatevert they want with themselves as long they don't harm any other (ofcourse where is the limit of harming the other, is set by the bourgoise law, and here's the subtlety of the whole question)
However, Marx states:
I think that marx just pointed out, how private property is the basis of all human rights in bourgois law, because the whole difference is made by this :"The limits within which anyone can act without harming someone else are defined by law".
so in socialist law, where, for example, private property is considered a harm to the rest, how is this definition of "liberty" wrong?
As for this:n "It is a question of the liberty of man as an isolated monad, withdrawn into himself", I don;t see any wrong with it. That's why it is called "human rights" and not "social rights". Are the basic rights, that a single ("isolated") human, has by the time their born.
There are two conflicting views.. The one is like the one that m. Thatcher stated very clearly "there is no society, there are just individuals".
Well, the negation of this would be "there are no individuals, just society".
In this latter one, "society" can decide what a specific individual must do, and because "society" cannot decide just like that, it is the state that will decide in the name of the society as a whole.. How far can the state intervene in the life of a single person? What rights does the state have on a single person's life and what rights does this person have to protect him form "society"? Has the state the right to do whatever it wants to a person, or the "society's" liberty is somehow restricted?
I, personnaly, believe, that a person (yes, isolated, separated, withdran to himself etc) must have certain rights, that no "society" or state can break.
If you agree with this, what rights would that be? would be this different, from the commonly known "human rights"?
Why do you think that? Under developed capitalist relations of production, almost everything becomes a "means of production" and therefore "private property". You can make a shitload of money using your phone and computer, or even pen and paper. The line that communists often draw between "personal" and "private" property seems to me to be an illusion - especially after the advent of modern information technology.
There is no reason to draw this artificial line and "stop" the historical process of negation of property at a certain point (as if we could!). Using things and owning things are two different matters, anyway. The main justification for the entire "personal property" thing seems to be "I want to keep my tooth brush and underwear" - but why should anyone else even want these things after you've used them? To truly own these things, you'd have to defend them with violence (or the threat of it). Would you shoot somebody or call the cops on them if they took "your" toothbrush? Pure personal property as a category on its own besides private property seems to me to be ridiculously unnecessary. Humanity can share everything. And with things like cars, personal property is in fact a reactionary, harmful thing.
How is their beloved market supposed to work without it? If they don't understand its central role in their entire world view, that doesn't mean it's not there.
Quoting Marx, ckkomel wrote:
lolol and you mocked me about quoting Marx, the philosopher?
To perceive society as a collection of individuals is a positivist mistake. Society is not a random "collection", it is a social system (or rather, a multitude of such systems). In bourgeois society, there truly appears to be some degree of randomness because everybody is an isolated, atomized "individual" (the Latin "individuum" means exactly the same as the Greek "atomon" - you can't divide it, it's a (prison) cell, sorry for the pun.) - a highly abstract monad, which enters into random business connections with random other people - compare the commodity fetish: Everybody is equal, everybody can do what they want as long as they don't harm others, everybody is a monad, everybody is effectively an abstract bank account and a legal-economical subject, a station for the commodities to rest a while during circulation - and relations between people appear as relations between things.
Your identification of society with the state is, if I may say it, very symptomatic of ML reflecting bourgeois crap of the highest degree. If society consists of the state, does that mean we're parts of the EU-national state machines we live in? Of course not, otherwise it wouldn't use violence against us. So, clearly, society and the state aren't necessarily equal. Can they be equal? Yes, but only in one specific moment: When the state socializes the means of production - as Engels says, this is also its last act. This in turn means that after capitalism, there won't be a state which could "act arbitrarily" against people, and that the entire question of human rights is a profoundly bourgeois one which just does not relate to us in the slightest.
The only "right" I would accept is the right of everybody to satisfy their needs to the biggest extent possible with the current development of the productive forces. However, this is not a "permission" like the bourgeois human rights. Considering that every person has different needs and wants, this isn't even something that could theoretically be granted to people by a state, since only the people themselves know what they need and want, so this is something that everybody has to define, claim and act on continuously, for themselves. Communism gives us the power to do so collectively, rationally, and in a planned and proportionate fashion. Communism is the mode of production in which humanity constantly fulfills its own dreams.
Because citizens are atomized, subjugated individuals. Liberated working masses are neither atomized nor subjugated.
Well, that's what Marxism-Leninism is, amirite? ML socialism has been outdeveloped. To want to go back to a previous state of affairs which obviously collapsed due to its own contradictions is to spit in the face of dialectical and historical materialism.
Again, one important part of materialism is that we don't talk about how things "should" be. We look at how things are. (This also explains why Marxism is anti-morality: Morality consists entirely of phrases that say how something "ought to be", which is by definition idealist and subjectivist and anti-scientific and fruitless.)
I would guess that under communism, atheism will be by far the most widespread world view. I can't imagine anybody persecuting Christians though. Why would anyone do that if there's no state?
About elections, as we can currently witness in Russia, modern information technology is making it extremely hard, or impossible, to have unfair elections, so... but then again who would you want to elect? Bourgeois elections are instruments of oppression which "should" be boycotted and attacked. But after capitalism, of course we'll choose people who do stuff for us. Nobody knows if this is going to happen by way of secret ballots or just "community decisions" as in "you're good at this, do it" or even a volunteer-based approach, even though I think the latter two options look more promising than the boring old vote counting thing. But these things will probably depend very much on the concrete occasion, personally, I very much prefer approaches based on consensus decision-making over simple "elections", but I don't see elections dying out at any time soon because we like to argue too much (lol, that was a lesson for the bourgeoisie on how to properly pull off a "human nature" argument).
Well, if you want to put it this way, yes. But I'd say that, like ckkomel, you're making a positivist mistake in doing so. Positivism (connected to the empiricist tradition of Locke and Hume) means to just look at the outer appearance of things. It is a cornerstone of bourgeois ideology; the entire body of bourgeois scientific knowledge is based on positivism. This is opposed to the Marxist method of dialectical analysis (rationalist tradition; important forerunners were Spinoza, Kant and Hegel) that attempts to find the essence of things by looking at the systems behind the appearances. When the USSR was still around, its philosophers and scientists had to wage a deadly fight against positivism because it tries to dissuade us from knowing things about the world, it makes it impossible to perceive the world as changeable, and it denies that society develops according to laws. In a world, it is profoundly reactionary.
The reason I'm calling what you said a positivist mistake is because you're acting like a positivist: You're not looking at what libertarianism and communism are, you're just looking a superficial similarities. Libertarianism is, in its entirety, the ideology of that part of the bourgeoisie (and petty bourgeoisie) who want to be free from the state because they don't like its regulations. They want capitalism to be worse, not better. We, on the other hand, want to transcend capitalism. And even the superficial similarities aren't really there: Freedom to do all sorts of things may be a part of libertarian ideology, but communists don't really talk about that stuff much because it's commonly understood that communism will fulfill these desires (except those that relate to property, of course). Because we've understood that we have to change material conditions in order to change subjective needs, we give priority to material conditions (the essence of the matter) instead of focusing on details like freedom of religion (the appearance of a social ideal).
Never assume bad intentions if stupidity is also a viable explanation.
How can you fail to see this? The status of blacks has historically been intricately connected to the capitalist economy that first used them as slaves and later transformed them into proletarians, likewise, the status of women began to change with their proletarization in the 19th century. At the rate at which capitalist relations of production continue to unfold, everybody becomes equal as a proletarian or bourgeois. Now religious equality is a tricky issue; Islam and Catholicism are highly incompatible with bourgeois morality, which is why Protestantism is predominant in those bourgeois societies that are developed the farthest. Therefore, bourgeois society can never truly grant religious freedom to Muslims or Catholics - they are just too sexist (shut up, dag). In fact, I don't even know what religious equality is supposed to mean if you disconnect it from property. Are Islam, Christianity and Hinduism all equally stupid? Yes, but it has never been possible to take away the freedom of stupidity...
I am a communist. I can't help being a communist, having gained what I think is a sufficient understanding of dialectical and historical materialism. Often, I (being a lazy frag) wish that I could just disconnect my way of thinking from my praxis, live a normal life and just continue wasting my time with Marxist theory without letting it materialize - but I can't. As a communist and as a social being, I naturally associate with other communists (in real life, that is, even though it's an interesting question: how do social dynamics work on the internet?) and my actions have a direct influence on the society I live in. Being therefore already entangled in a revolutionary social process, I have a simple choice: Participate constructively or act as an inhibitory, reactionary force. Play along with the social process that communists are naturally a part of, or leave it. I play along because I hate capitalism and because it would be incredibly satisfying to change the world.
I am also equipped with empathy. I think it sucks that some people can't fulfill their needs, and it sucks even more that I'm one of them. This is quite an important addition to the above, and I insist that it has nothing to do with morality. Empathy is a neurological system that we can't help having, it is beyond cognition, beyond choice and therefore beyond morality.
Is that a trap? There is no law after capitalist law.
Law is the way in which the ruling class shapes society. Bourgeois law is a guideline for a society in which the bourgeoisie or proletariat can coexist. It is a form of blackmail: Stick to these rules or be punished. During the dictatorship of the proletariat (which is no real state, but a period of revolutionary turmoil) we're not going to attack the bourgeoisie with laws, I see no need to do that. After all we're not trying to come up with rules for a society in which they'll have to coexist with us according to certain rules, we're trying to liquidate them as a class. A law for that purpose would make no sense; in war, you don't attack your adversary because he broke your laws, you want to defeat him.
I'll just pretend you wrote "post-capitalist rules for living together" instead of "socialist law"
Consider this example: Two people stand before a house. Under the bourgeois definition of liberty, the house will belong to the person who gets there first and claims it, the other person will then not be able to find a place to live because he can't harm the other's property.
Under communism, of course, they would just share the house.
As Lenin said again and again, it's the way of approaching things that makes all the difference. The entire notion that "you can do whatever you want unless you don't harm anybody else" is based on the perception that people have naturally conflicting interests, which is only the case because of property.
By the way, this is again why we must not differentiate between "personal" and "private" property.
This is the view of people as monads: Everybody has their own property, everybody wants to increase their own property, and therefore, everybody has to compete with everybody else. If you take property out of the equation, none of this makes sense anymore, because people are not monads, they are social beings and it's only property that makes us think they are!
In fact, all needs and interests that we have are fundamentally social, which is why the view of people as monads is the fundamentally wrong approach to satisfying them - which is why capitalism never does it.
What do we need? Consider Maslow's hierarchy of needs. As with everything we take from bourgeois science, we have to cleanse it from metaphysical and positivist garbage, of course, but if we do that, we get a neat categorization of everything a person needs:
Physiological needs: Food, water, sex, medicine
Emotional needs: Friendship, love, solidarity, self-esteem, respect of others, respect by others
Needs of self-actualization: Creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, acceptance of facts
None of these needs can be fulfilled by, or for, a monad; they all can only be fulfilled by means of social cooperation with fellow human beings. Under communism, agriculture and food processing provide food not for monads who compete for it, but for society. Under communism, friendship, love and mutual respect will be basic attributes of human existence. Creativity and sponaneity can only be realized in collaboration.
In a word: We, as people, as a collective, want all these things, and we are going to provide for them. Collective production is incompatible with private property; it is also incompatible with the view of people as monads.
Private property individualizes people. There were "no individuals" before bourgeois society. Collective systems have exploded, they have been ripped apart into individual monads. Alienation, estrangement. We want to overcome this. We want to negate this. So yeah, under communism, there are no individuals in this sense. Of course everybody can still do whatever the hell they want, with much more freedom than they've ever had before. I love dialectics.
All these questions just demonstrate how paradoxical state socialism is. And all these questions are purely moral, idealist, and irrelevant.
The state intervenes in its subjects' lives as far as necessary to protect the mode of production that it safeguards.
The state has no rights on a person's life (the property logic in here makes me cringe; but okay - as long as you accept property, you have to start with the fundamental notion that everybody owns their own body).
The state does whatever it wants to a person; this has never been different, it will never be, because this is what a state does - it treats people like shit.
Again, the only "right" I accept is the right of everybody to satisfy their needs to the biggest extent possible with the current development of the productive forces. This way, I could say that property is wrong, because it prevents people from doing this. But that would be moral and stupid.
(It's still how I act, though. I've noticed that it's impossible to live entirely without some kind of "moral values", so I had to choose at least one value I could base my actions on, and it was this. I still hate morality though.)
I just wanted to say that was a really great post Mabool.
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
Well, besides the difference between abstract philosophcal thinking and materialist analysis, this particular quote seems quite abstrac to me, as well.
I see as the the people living in a society obliged to follow some certain rules that this society demands, but is also a possibility that a certain individual or a whole group of them to disagree with these rules.. And either try to establish their way of social living or just go away from this society. So, yes, from this point of view, a society can be external to the individuals, and restrict their independence. But what independance can be?
Ok, but you don't answer the question on wether the individuals can have certain rights to protect them from the state.
Can a state force you to work 15h a day? Can it dictate to you what religion you have? Can it take you away and send you to whatever location and on whatever job it judges their is need on? Can it torture you (no matter waht you have done)? Can send you to jail because you are a communist? or because you are a bourgoise minded?
An if you don;t like the word "state", say "majority"
All declaretions of the first international, were starting with the exclamation "citizens", so was the commune.
And after all what this "subjugated individuals" suppose to mean?
And so.. In socialism the ruling class is the working class.
There was no soviet law? what are you talking about?
The same again.
No man they wouldn't! Duality comes after individuality now???
It's the central planning to decide who will take it.. After all, the one guy may have 7 children and 3 wives (may be muslim ) and the other one can be just a lonely student, that already has a suitable house. Will they share it??
This kind of "communism" is quite primitive.
Yeah primitive, hippy and stuff like that, they can all use my bed as long they have boobs
In the garden of eden maybe. Until then you have mechanisms, state, police, authorities, etc.. Either you have some rights in the society as a person or not. But here you are ready to abolish all legal system. So if I kill you to steal your belongings (is that property of yours or you will just "provide" them to me when I ask you to), will no one be there for you. After all you did't even have a right to personal property, at all.
Ah, so "The state intervenes in its subjects' lives as far as necessary to protect the mode of production that it safeguards." but state socialism is a paradox...
After all yes.. So because it generally happens we must take away all the protections that people have against authority. After all if they want they kill you...
So Soviet Union, USA, and Pinochet, were the same thing, as long they had state..
Leftist and anarchist at the highest peak of development..
Cannot discuss on such basis, Mabool.
You know that materialism is a philosophical position, right? It's the justification of methodological naturalism (the basis of science).
Well yes, people will always have to play along with the rules of their society. If somebody is a misogynist (for some obscure psychological reasons) under communism, he won't be accepted. But independence from society is no independence because we're still social beings. When Marx talks about the "species-being" of humanity, he uses the German word "Gattungswesen". Gattung means species, but this word also strongly implies collectivity. When he says that we're alienated from this Gattungswesen, he means that we're alienated from our collectivist roots. Apes live in herds, the first people lived in tribes - it is bourgeois society that turned us into monads. Every person is just a reflection of society, not vice versa. If you try to get away from society, you get even farther away from your species-being. In away, excluding yourself from society is almost like suicide. (I would consider everybody who lives a mainly solitary life to be profoundly disturbed). People need people. This is why social systems work at all. So under communism, people can't "go away". They will be forced to play along, and funnily, this will most probably mean something "do whatever you want as long as you're not mean to others" - which is still entirely different from "do whatever you want as long as you don't harm anybody's 'liberty'."
Argh. Again. This is not something that Marxists talk about. We do not waste time discussing how things should be in paradise. These questions are insanely metaphysical, moralist, idealist, anti-Marxist and reactionary.
The fact is: States do this. Why do you then ask whether they can? Of course they can. Should they do this? Stupid question, because you'll never change anything by saying that they shouldn't. All states in history have done these things to varying degrees.
That was wrong then. The "citizen" is a profoundly bourgeois concept.
Subjects? Kings also talk about their "subjects", but that's a really stupid word because they are obviously objects then.
You're subjugated if there is an authority above you that gives you orders that you have to follow. All citizens are subjugated to their state.
There was, but it was bourgeois law. Lenin knew this:
In "The State and Revolution", Lenin wrote:
In Lenin's attempt to reach communism, that was doubtlessly the case. But Lenin is making a great mistake here. Not only because he, again, makes the mistake of looking at distribution, but principally because he says that law depends on the state, instead of regarding both equally as results of the relations of production of society. Separating the state from the relations of production, he can of course proclaim that in the first phase of communism, we'll have a "bourgeois state without the bourgeoisie" - which is what the Soviet Union was - but, hm, that's just patently wrong.
In "The Poverty of Philosophy", Marx wrote:
I'm not quite getting this...?
It's a thought experiment. A metaphor. I was not talking about how houses will be distributed under communism, because I have no idea how that is going to happen.
How is that primitive and not awesome? Surely you're not defending the bourgeois family?
"Karl, come again, I think this guy didn't hear what you just said...?"
"After the fall of capitalism there won't be a new class domination culminating in a new political power."
"Thank you. And what does political power consist of?"
"The state, police, authorities..."
"So after capitalism, there won't be a state, or cops, or authorities?"
"Of course not."
I don't think I can make it any clearer, sorry.
A perfect explanation for the abolition of property that I've once read (I think it was Engels, I wish I could remember and show you the quote in context because it's really awesome) is that the proletariat forces on society its own condition: No property. We're proletarians, man. We don't have anything. What could you steal from me? I don't have money, or even a car, or even decent food on my table. I'm piss poor. Of course you can sleep at my place if you want to, of course I'll share my food and things with you if you need them, but you wouldn't gain anything by killing me. We will both gain much more if we team up and kill a bourgeois and take what he has.
What could you steal under communism? Would you kill people to get their books, musical instruments, underwear and dishes?
Sure. The communist mode of production does not need to be safeguarded by a state, in fact, it is incompatible with a state. Leninists know this, otherwise they wouldn't accept that the state will wither away.
No. What we "must" do (and I'm not telling anybody what to do, but hey) is abolish authority because there are no protections against it.
One of them wasn't imperialist and actually tried to provide its citizens with a good life. That was nice. And the only difference.
Thank you! At least you respect my development.
"You think differently, therefore I'm not going to talk to you" - way to be a scientific socialist.
Citizens are the opposite of subjects. Actually exactly because they have rights and are supposed to participate in the politics and social development, on their time.
Communism is more than this, however.
This is fundamentally wrong. Marx never argued that "after capitalism" there won't be state, cops, authorities. This notion only resides in the leftists' minds, nowhere else. Under communism(not socialism) there will be no state, in theory, but it is also that the state ceises to exist in its histrocal form, of class domination. It transforms to a mechanism of the people to plan the economy and the resources of the society. Technically is a state of all people, ( and not of a specific class, since there are no classes)
This mechanism (the "community", as engels prefer to name this kind of state) has no laws? No rules?? this extract of Lenin discuss about the bourgois laws not laws in general.. So in your paradise (because you are discussing the paradise, not me) there will be no murdereres, no thieves, no rapists, no sociopaths, and -f course- no people that want to regain private property and have extra profit, from the means of production? and so there will be no need for "cops".. Where do you find all these?
As for the "human rights" in general:
What you really say, sounds like "when communism arrives all people will be free, no one will tell them what to do, no racism will exist, no discrimination about sex, gender, religion, or ethnicity will exist", but you lack the legislative basis of this society that will protect the citizens, the individuals, its members, pick a name, from such actions against them.. So called "human rights" provide this protection as well.. What is the big deal about it?
PS: When you are arguing from the point of "abolition of all law" and "abolition of personal property" ( I assume you consider that all we'll be "collective" like in those primitive societies you talked above) how can I discuss? If communism is this to you then you eventually will find everything as "anticommunistic". This is childish anarchism, even more "infantile" than the "infantile disorder" lenin discussed about.
Just a quick question or two:
Mabool wrote:So empathy is neurological condition which we should heed, but territoriality isn't?
Commies have gone to a great deal of trouble to reassure people that their personal property is not threatened, but we're just bullshiting?
Mabool wrote:There's a distinction I'm trying to make between the abstract values of liberals and their practical application. Values such as freedom from racial, sexual, religious persecution and individual rights are the abstracts, while the market economy is the practical application of that. Why is it that when Communism is put to them, their criticisms don't dwell on the lack of a market economy, but upon the violent measures committed in the name of socialist societies? Many of them acknowledge that the market economy is flawed and regularly unjust, but they believe that it minimizes the violent excesses and violations of human rights which they see as inextricable from Communism.
(I'm not arguing that they're correct or anything - just that this is the way that many of them reason)
Mabool wrote:Again here you are making an equation which I don't think is entirely justified: i.e. "that liberalism and capitalism are synonyms".
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