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Did Marx support a strongly centralized state or no? Comrade 06/29/2020 (Mon) 18:13:17 No. 2117 [Reply]
I am open to non-marxist points of view. Evidence for: >Whilst it forces on more and more of the transformation of the vast means of production, already socialized, into State property, it shows itself the way to accomplishing this revolution. The proletariat seizes political power and turns the means of production into State property. https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1872/04/nationalisation-land.htm >The nationalisation of land will work a complete change in the relations between labour and capital, and finally, do away with the capitalist form of production, whether industrial or rural. Then class distinctions and privileges will disappear together with the economical basis upon which they rest. To live on other people's labour will become a thing of the past. There will be no longer any government or state power, distinct from society itself! Agriculture, mining, manufacture, in one word, all branches of production, will gradually be organised in the most adequate manner. National centralisation of the means of production will become the national basis of a society composed of associations of free and equal producers, carrying on the social business on a common and rational plan. Such is the humanitarian goal to which the great economic movement of the 19th century is tending. https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1872/10/authority.htm >If man, by dint of his knowledge and inventive genius, has subdued the forces of nature, the latter avenge themselves upon him by subjecting him, in so far as he employs them, to a veritable despotism independent of all social organisation. Wanting to abolish authority in large-scale industry is tantamount to wanting to abolish industry itself, to destroy the power loom in order to return to the spinning wheel. Let us take another example — the railway. Here too the co-operation of an infinite number of individuals is absolutely necessary, and this co-operation must be practised during precisely fixed hours so that no accidents may happen. Here, too, the first condition of the job is a dominant will that settles all subordinate questions, whether this will is represented by a single delegate or a committee charged with the execution of the resolutions of the majority of persona interested. In either case there is a very pronounced authority. Moreover, what would happen to the first train dispatched if the authority of the railway employees over the Hon. passengers were abolished? But the necessity of authority, and of imperious authority at that, will nowhere be found more evident than on board a ship on the high seas. There, in time of danger, the lives of all depend on the instantaneous and absolute obedience of all to the will of one. When I submitted arguments like these to the most rabid anti-authoritarians, the only answer they were able to give me was the following: Yes, that's true, but there it is not the case of authority which we confer on our delegates, but of a commission entrusted! These gentlemen think that when they have changed the names of things they have changed the things themselves. This is how these profound thinkers mock at the whole world. We have thus seen that, on the one hand, a certain authority, no matter how delegated, and, on the other hand, a certain subordination, are things which, independently of all social organisation, are imposed upon us together with the material conditions under which we produce and make products circulate. https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1847/communist-league/1850-ad1.htm >But no more than local and provincial self-government is in contradiction to political, national centralisation, is it necessarily bound up with that narrow-minded cantonal or communal self-seeking which strikes us as so repulsive in Switzerland, and which all the South German federal republicans wanted to make the rule in Germany in 1849. – Note by Engels to the 1885 edition.] Evidence against: >With all the great towns organized into Communes after the model of Paris, no government could repress the movement by the surprise of sudden reaction. Even by this preparatory step the time of incubation, the guarantee of the movement, came. All France [would be] organized into self-working and self-governing Communes, the standing army replaced by the popular militias, the army of State parasites removed, the clerical hierarchy displaced by the schoolmaster, the State judge transformed into Communal organs, the suffrage for the national representation not a matter of sleight of hand for an all-powerful government but the deliberate expression of organized Communes, the State functions reduced to a few functions for general national purposes. Such is the Commune – the political form of the social emancipation, of the liberation of labour from the usurpations (slaveholding) of the monopolists of the means of labour, created by the labourers themselves or forming the gift of nature. As the State machinery and parliamentarism are not the real life of the ruling classes, but only the organized general organs of their dominion, the political guarantees and forms and expressions of the old order of things, so the Commune is not the social movement of the working class and therefore of a general regeneration of mankind, but the organized means of action. The Commune does not [do] away with the class struggles, through which the working classes strive to [read for] the abolition of all classes and, therefore, of all classes [class rule] (because it does not represent a peculiar interest, it represents the liberation of “labour,” that is the fundamental and natural condition of individual and social life which only by usurpation, fraud, and artificial contrivances can be shifted from the few upon the many), but it affords the rational medium in which that class struggle can run through its different phases in the most rational and humane way. It could start violent reactions and as violent revolutions. It begins the emancipation of labour – its great goal – by doing away with the unproductive and mischievous work of the State parasites, by cutting away the springs which sacrifice an immense portion of the national produce to the feeding of the State monster on the one side, by doing, on the other, the real work of administration, local and national, for working men’s wages. It begins therefore with an immense saving, with economical reform as well as political transformation. The Communal organization once firmly established on a national scale, the catastrophes it might still have to undergo, would be sporadic slaveholders’ insurrections, which, while for a moment interrupting the work of peaceful progress, would only accelerate the movement, by putting the sword into the hands of the Social Revolution.

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>>5903 >I would say no. He supported the idea of a state ran by the entire working class themselves, but not an all powerful hierarchical one (see: Paris Commune). Saying that Marx thought the paris commune was the blueprint for communism/socialism is the hot take of the century. His entire writing denouncing idealism and outlining his vision is based on the shortcommings of the paris commune and its orginisation.
Why does it matter? Marx wasn't some prophet. Think for yourself.
>>5910 Why does anything matter...........>?
>>2117 We'll never really know because he died before he had the chance to touch in this topic in Capital.
>>5908 He and Engels saw it as an example of the DotP. I get they critiqued it too and they never wanted to act like they knew the future though.

Organising Resources Comrade 11/14/2020 (Sat) 14:42:20 No. 5922 [Reply]
/edu/ what are some resources that you've used or know of to help newbies learn to organise? Obviously "Just join local X to get experience", but just doing prior reading. MLs, Anarkiddies, Syndies, etc. All sources and styles welcome. Just trying to build a little portfolio to read and share.
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Books/Sources on America's Coal Wars? Comrade 11/04/2020 (Wed) 18:22:02 No. 5576 [Reply]
I'm a history major in Burgerstan, I'm hoping to really focus in on labor history and eventually get some kind of law degree so I can help Unions or work for OSHA or some shit. I thought it might be a good idea to start reading up on one of the more violent episodes of American Capitalism. Can anybody recommend some good accounts or Historians that cover the Coalfield Wars?
I know a few books but I gotta wait until I can go back to the library to find the titles.
Robert Ovetz's When Workers Shot Back: Class Conflict from 1877 to 1921 would probably be a good starting point. 606 pages; it has a section on the West Virginia coal wars.
Nigga if you are a history major you should be recommending books to us

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Why is the Proletariat the revolutionary class? Comrade 11/09/2020 (Mon) 20:39:09 No. 5634 [Reply]
I haven't read much but I'm confused as to why Marx and others conceived of the proletariat as the class that would overthrow capitalism. If we look at history through a materialist lense it seems to me that it's only been a third propertied class overthrows the current system of production, not the people without property. For example, it wasn't slaves that overthrew slavery, it was landlords. It wasn't serfs that overthrew feudalism, it was the bourgeoisie. Every revolution calling itself socialist that actually took state power was led by petit-bourgeois intellectuals like Lenin, Ho Chi Minh, Mao, and Fidel Castro and manned mostly not by workers, but by peasants in a semi-colonial semi-feudal relationship to the means of production. Most proletarian movements in advanced capitalist societies have been reformist and class collaborationist. How, after all of this evidence, can we say that the proletariat is the revolutionary class? How can you say the workers have nothing to lose but their chains when they need capitalism to keep going so they can have running water, electricity, and the spectacle to keep them comfortable?
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in both examples provided, classes were sediment and predetermined. this allows for middle classes that can flourish and help the workers because they had a common enemy. In capitalism, however, the middle classes are dissolving into either the proletarian or the bourgeoisie. This class organization means that the proletarian will become the ONLY class with revolutionary potential because, eventually, they will be the only non possessing class. for now though, there is some weak solidarity with some petit bourgeoisie so we should take advantage of that as much as we can at least. hope this helped comrade ! :)
>>5656 >they will be the only non possessing class a non possessing class has never been able to overthrow a class system. Again, who overthrew slavery? It wasn't the slaves. Assuming a non possessing class will overthrow our current class system is a break from all historical trends.
well i am not sure how things will play out, but my point was that the proletarian may have to break that cycle out of necessity. however i dont think we should ignore our petite comrades that, with out the influence of the proletariat, would surley not revolt
>>5658 >but my point was that the proletarian may have to break that cycle out of necessity just because something is necessary doesn't meant it will happen, remember Marx is not a determinist, he noted that not just proletarian revolution is possible, but that the "common ruin of the contending classes" is just as much a possibility, and if the climate alarmists are correct, this is the where we already are and basically the course change would come too late to matter.
>>5634 The capitalist mode of production is increasingly powerless. In the pursuit of profit, it is stuck in maintaining the infrastructure of society. Infrastructure maintenance is an unprofitable or low-profitable business. But without infrastructure, society cannot function. Only the proletariat, who do not work for profit, can lead the whole society from the inevitable collapse caused by capitalism.

Comrade 11/06/2020 (Fri) 22:00:38 No. 5610 [Reply]
I've heard the May '68 failure characterized as being due to a conflict between the PCF and the students themselves. I haven't finished reading PDF related (below) but so far it seems to support this, being from the perspective of the students and, as you would expect, laying the blame on the PCF as well as heaping them with epithets (comparing them to liberals, for example). So my questions here are: <1. Is this book known to anyone? If not, does it look like a decent primary source from the students' point of view? <2. Does anyone have anything more sympathetic to the PCF that could balance it out? Or even something more neutral to both sides? Thx anons
The PCF and CGT told the wildcat strikers to go back to work because they thought they would win the election, they sabotaged the whole thing for their own bourgeois political gain only to be BTFOd by Gualle in the actual elections. You can't balance out betrayal.
OP here, sorry that I never posted the file. I forgot TOR users can't post files. The book is Worker-Student Action Committees by Gregoire and Perlman, probably can be found on Google. >>5619 I didn't clarify that I wasn't implying the PCF couldn't be in the wrong. Do you have a good book on it? Do you think the book I mentioned is good? It's short af so I'll probably just read it anyway.

socialism and institutional pluralism Comrade 11/09/2020 (Mon) 20:56:46 No. 5637 [Reply]
It seems like most socialists are either Marxists who support comprehensive state planning, or anarchists who support either cooperative firms or informal local economies. Isn't this a false dichotomy, though? Different institutions have different strengths and weaknesses. Non-centralized institutions are necessary to deal with major collective action problems, like for instance climate change, but can come with a small number of failure points. One could imagine a world where SOEs produce public goods and homogenous commodities at scale, while smaller cooperatives form to produce more differentiated or experimental products. I suppose a difficulty this introduces is that unlike everyone both owning and working for the state, or everyone both owning and working for their cooperative, this produces a seeming worker-owner split, with everyone owning the state but only some working for it. But there might presumably be a way to fix this with the way the state funds new cooperatives and collects back surplus from successful ones, which would seem to be necessary to avoid independent capital accumulation in an economy of just cooperatives anyway; and there may be aspects of the labor/ownership split that are physically inevitable per Critique of the Gotha Program (it cannot ever be the case that the only people who benefit from labor are the laborers, etc.) Probably people have already done the math on this, or shown ways you could do it or why you couldn't, but I'm an ignoramus, so I'm posting this here.
I agree with your overall point, that we're not dealing with two absolutes, you either centrally plan everything or you decentralise everything. The world we are inheriting, or will inherit, will come with issues and conditions that can only be solved by something that acts as a state apparatus. >Non-centralized institutions are necessary to deal with major collective action problems, like for instance climate change Funny, because I'd actually say that climate change is something that needs a central/unified/planned solution, rather than a bunch of decentralised solutions that would probably be counter-productive more often than not. Things we need central planning/state apparatus to deal with: >climate change >nuclear arsenal >nuclear energy and accompanying infrastructure >medical science and healthcare >defense on a "national"/regional scale >maintenance of ecosystems, land, fisheries, oceans, etc. >standardisation of things like electrical appliances, and anything else that needs to interwork with other part >standardisation of education (to some degree, to make sure everyone is sort of on the same level) Other than that, everything can be decided on a local scale, by community councils or assemblies, or whatever, similar to how the Zapatistas make decisions and run their region. The idea is that every autonomous region (to call it that) would be largely self-sufficient when it comes to things like food, water, shelter, education, and the basic necessities, while the rest would be made in cooperation with the other regions. Or that's how the whole libertarian marxism, libertarian communism thing sounds like to me.
>>5654 >Funny, because I'd actually say that climate change is something that needs a central/unified/planned solution That's actually just me being a dumbass - I meant to list climate change as something that required a centralized solution!

Essay writing / academic skills Comrade 10/15/2019 (Tue) 14:32:20 No. 5544 [Reply]
Hey /e/

Im a brainlet prole that recently got a scholarships to university, and Im wondering if there are any resources that you could recommend to improve general academic skills with an emphasis on essay writing. I've done a general scan for books and courses on libgen and TPB. But I wanted to get some advise with a left perspective. When I say brainlet I mean dyslexic and when I say prole I mean any unskilled job I can land (bar work, kitchen work, construction, etc.) My degree is in healthcare and administration.
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The scientific value of materialism Comrade 05/12/2020 (Tue) 21:20:53 No. 1572 [Reply]
Hello comrades. I have doubts about materialism since the philosophical part of Marxism isn't my strength, but I want to be able to understand it better since materialism is the foundation of marxist theory and the communist movement. I've had arguments in the past with people who claim that modern science doesn't prove materialism or that materialism cannot explain things like the origin of the universe or quantum mechanics. Well, where do I begin with this? Is materialism the truth? The most basic part of marxist philosophy is the assertion that matter is objectively real, right? How do I prove this then? Maybe one of you STEMlords around here can help me out with this. Any resources on this is appreciated.
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>>2244 No wonder modern physics has come to this state of decay. No evidence doesn't mean it doesn't exist. If from the beginning, you assume it doesn't exist, then you won't pay any effort to find it. It's not a thought experiment, but a matter of practical engineering. First, the environment exists homogeneous everywhere, that's because matter is not solid but full of hole, that's why we cannot isolate the environment inside the box from outside the box. So what we need is a very solid material, that could isolate inside and outside. And also the risk of explosion/implosion, because the difference between outside and inside environment. Therefore it must be a very very strong material. > For a start you have neglected diffraction of the electron as it passed through the slit - the film will show a diffraction pattern spread over the level of uncertainty in the electron's position, not a point-like marker of the exact position. Are you sure? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJ-0PBRuthc If what you said is right then the early controversial debate surrounding Copenhagen school made no sense. You should stop a little bit and read carefully what I've written. I never said my box is to receive the electron. My box is to see the flying trajectory of electron (and if possible, seeing the vibration state of the environment surrounding electron) > Your argument presupposes its own conclusion: in order to produce an experimental setup to measure an electron's position to an arbitrarily high precision, you must already have the ability to make such a measurement of the position of your instruments. You're right, but my intention is not to measure an electron's absolute position to an arbitrarily high precision. I just want to see the relative position of electron to the apparatus at a small enough particular moment. >Your argument presupposes its own conclusion: in order to produce an experimental setup to measure an electron's position to an arbitrarily high precision, you must already have the ability to make such a measurement of the position of your instruments. Again, what I need isn't arbitrarily high precision measurement of the apparatus, but ensure that the apparatus must be something very static, so that at high enough time resolution, we cannot see its vibration. If we make the whole apparatus in a rigid enough material, so that in the interaction with environment, the whole apparatus vibrate uniformly together, instead of each part of the apparatus interacting differently with environment. >You seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of the uncertainty principle. It does not arise as a result of our limited technological ability to measure these quantities, but rather as a fundamental property of quantum mechanics itself. Physicists have been attempting to disprove the uncertainty principle for close to 100 years. Any speculation about the philosophical nature of quantum mechanics must incorporate the uncertainty principle fully into its model of reality, unless you have sufficient experimental evidence to overturn one of the most fundamental principles of modern physics. Otherwise your suggestions have all the credibility of a perpetual motion machine.

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That was a good thread. Anybody still feel like discussing this?
>>3914 >That was a good thread. yes lota effortposts >Anybody still feel like discussing this? yes, go ahead
>>3914 Yes
>>3914 Bumping for this guy again

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Scientific Socialism and Dialectics Comrade 04/13/2020 (Mon) 22:23:20 No. 882 [Reply]
Alright so I've had a few interactions with people on /leftypol/ who seem to think that Dialectics means rejecting the Aristotelian law of non-contradiction. As far as I can tell this has no real basis in the work of Marx or Engels and is a good to not be taken seriously by anyone who understands logic or philosophy or mathematics. I was really confused about where this came from for a while. I have read Mao's "On Contradiction" many times and I suppose that text could be read that way, but I don't think that is what Mao meant by contradiction or "the unity of opposites". Last night though I read Leon Trotsky's "The ABC of Materialist Dialectics" and I think I've found my answer. In it, Trotsky straight up makes a case for why A=/=A, and does make a somewhat compelling argument until you examine it critically. This piece is well written like most of Trotsky's work, but his argument is full of non-sequitors and general misreadings of Marx and Engels. I want to make this thread to do some comparing and contrasting between four texts in particular, but we can bring in other lit if people want. Those four texts are... Anti-Duhring by Engels: https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1877/anti-duhring/index.htm The ABC of Materialst Dialectics: https://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1939/12/abc.htm Dialectical and Historical Materialism: https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/stalin/works/1938/09.htm On Contradiction by Mao Zedong: https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-1/mswv1_17.htm The first thing I want to note is in paragraph 12 of the general introduction to Anti-Duhring:

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>>5086 You understand this is schizo nonsense, right? This is why no one comes here.
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>>882 gonna leave this here, seems relevant
>>5615 These... >>5086 >>5132 Not me. And yes, I know my reading is schizo, but it is still better than Trotsky's!!!!
>>5616 Thank you for the contribution!

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Is it possible that magic and myth are true? Anonymous 07/21/2020 (Tue) 22:51:05 No. 2633 [Reply]
Inspired by my reading of the book, Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn How do we know myths, stories, magic, etc. are not real? Assuming what we know scientifically is true, how does this negate myth, legend, etc? Why are dinosaurs not simultaneously animals and also monsters when they fit what we would have called monsters? Why are overriding social systems not tantamount to a spirit or God when they control our actions and shape our life histories even if they don't act consciously? Are they not what we'd call an egregor, i.e., a presence brought into existence by the actions and beliefs of a large number of people? Is our Sun not a God when it is responsible for all life on Earth? Is the biosphere not some sort of Earth spirit when it encompasses all living things yet influences each individually and can be destroyed through harming the Natural (non-human) World. Are spirits not the electrical currents moving through your brain? Do we not tell history as a story? In the beginning there was nothing but the One, then the One expanded into the Everything, as the Everything continued to expand soon the beating hearts of the Everything, the Stars began to form from the energy of the Beginning, the stars coalesced into huge interstellar communities, galaxies; in the nuclear core of the stars more building elements were created, and from the stars came the planets; in the deep seas of one planet around one star life formed out of the energy of the planet's iron core, over the course of billions of years life arose in complexity in a way matching the Everything until finally from Life emerged the Someone, a complex arrangement of the Everything capable of consciously perceiving itself. Why isn't our understanding of the Universe, even being scientifically true, a myth? Myths were once truths, after all.
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Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.”
>>2633 Perhaps, perhaps not
>>2640 >Stories of magic and Myth are usually based -Sage (2020)
God fragmented itself into numerous pieces so it could be able to die. We are what's left in the process of this decaying God.
>>2634 >this graph is totally right lol ok igno

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