The Political Compass (again)

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Re: The Political Compass (again)

Postby DissidentRage » 2017-09-08, 13:36

lmao... To be fair Cuba and Rojava are doing alright, and a few other states like Chile and Venezuela were doing okay until we screwed them over hard. USSR and China were bureaucratic nightmares but also a product of their environment. But I do think a major mistake is a lot of these started from the top instead of from the bottom, and so lost sight of the best interests of the people.
actually I support Rojava

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Re: The Political Compass (again)

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-09-08, 14:35

DissidentRage wrote:To be fair Cuba and Rojava are doing alright

Cuba has been growing increasingly capitalistic (like every other communist country ever), and Rojava was never communist.
and a few other states like Chile and Venezuela were doing okay until we screwed them over hard.

Neither of these were ever communist, either.
USSR and China were bureaucratic nightmares but also a product of their environment.

Both of those were (and China still is) a lot more than just a "bureaucratic nightmare." India is a bureaucratic nightmare. The leaders of both the USSR and China again grew increasingly capitalistic until eventually, there was no longer any semblance to the ideals of communism in either country.
But I do think a major mistake is a lot of these started from the top instead of from the bottom

What would be one example that started from the top and one that started from the bottom? From what I can tell, they always start from the top. The leaders may not start from the top, but that's true of every system. Even absolute monarchies have sometimes been preceded by a rise to power.

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Re: The Political Compass (again)

Postby DissidentRage » 2017-09-08, 15:08

vijayjohn wrote:Cuba has been growing increasingly capitalistic (like every other communist country ever), and Rojava was never communist.


Cuba has had to make moderate concessions to get through an embargo that was forced onto them in order to survive, and Rojava is a libertarian-socialist democratic confederation. Making compromises are not indicative of some kind of failure of socialism, but rather the barbarism of capitalism.

vijayjohn wrote:Neither of these were ever communist, either.


Allende definitely was and Chavez made important moves that were reflective of socialism, like nationalizing the oil industry. The problems we're seeing now are the result of an oil embargo against Venezuela combined with US-financed counter-revolutionaries with a fondness for Pinochet worship.

vijayjohn wrote:Both of those were (and China still is) a lot more than just a "bureaucratic nightmare." India is a bureaucratic nightmare. The leaders of both the USSR and China again grew increasingly capitalistic until eventually, there was no longer any semblance to the ideals of communism in either country.


China hasn't been communist since Deng Xiaoping. And yeah, Kruschev was extremely revisionist. I don't know why you bring up India since that's not relevant as it's never even approached socialism.

And again, these shifts are more indicative of the barbarism of capitalists and counter-revolutionary business interests than the actual tenets of socialism.

vijayjohn wrote:What would be one example that started from the top and one that started from the bottom? From what I can tell, they always start from the top. The leaders may not start from the top, but that's true of every system. Even absolute monarchies have sometimes been preceded by a rise to power.


The Paris Commune started from the bottom with radical Parisian laborers and supported by the National Guard. The Spartacist Uprising was an attempt. In both cases they were murdered wholesale by capitalists. The latter is noteworthy because the murder of Rosa Luxemburg helped create the Weimar Republic which paved the way for fascism.

It set the historical precedent that, given the choice, liberals will choose fascism over socialism. But this isn't a surprise, since liberalism ultimately hinges on misanthropy and a deep-seated hatred for democracy.
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Re: The Political Compass (again)

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-09-08, 15:59

DissidentRage wrote:Cuba has had to make moderate concessions to get through an embargo that was forced onto them in order to survive

But North Korea has not?
Making compromises are not indicative of some kind of failure of socialism

Why not? If the whole point in the end was to get to the point where there is no state (among other things) and that has literally never happened, then why isn't that indicative of some kind of failure of socialism?
but rather the barbarism of capitalism.

What is so barbaric about capitalism? Sure, capitalism has problems, but how does that make it barbaric?
Allende definitely was

He was communist; his party was not.
Chavez made important moves that were reflective of socialism, like nationalizing the oil industry.

The US has also nationalized several of its industries in the past hundred years. It has nothing to do with socialism. And again, Venezuela has never been a communist state.
The problems we're seeing now are the result of an oil embargo against Venezuela combined with US-financed counter-revolutionaries with a fondness for Pinochet worship.

The problems we're seeing now are the result of government corruption.
I don't know why you bring up India since that's not relevant as it's never even approached socialism.

Actually, yes, it has; socialism has played a huge role in Indian politics ever since the struggle for independence. If anything, it's only relatively recently that it's started moving away from socialism. That's not relevant to the point I was trying to make, though; I only brought it up as an example of a state that really is a good example of a bureaucratic nightmare, for reasons having nothing to do with socialism.
The Paris Commune started from the bottom with radical Parisian laborers and supported by the National Guard. The Spartacist Uprising was an attempt. In both cases they were murdered wholesale by capitalists.

In the case of the Paris Commune, yes. In the case of the Spartacist Uprising, no; the uprising was crushed, but about 3,000 people were killed in total on both sides, and there were about 500,000 participants in the uprising (on one side of the conflict). Neither of these had anything to do with the dismantlement of the state that existed at the time, let alone the creation of a new one.
It set the historical precedent that, given the choice, liberals will choose fascism over socialism. But this isn't a surprise, since liberalism ultimately hinges on misanthropy and a deep-seated hatred for democracy.

Um, seriously? What do you even think liberalism is?

If liberals choose fascism over socialism given the choice, then why doesn't this happen in, say, Finland?

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Re: The Political Compass (again)

Postby DissidentRage » 2017-09-08, 18:38

vijayjohn wrote:But North Korea has not?


I'm going to assert that the DPRK is not communist. There's nothing about juche that screams socialist. They've been running as a totalitarian dynasty for three generations now while their people suffer.

vijayjohn wrote:Why not? If the whole point in the end was to get to the point where there is no state (among other things) and that has literally never happened, then why isn't that indicative of some kind of failure of socialism?


Because they are the results of active coercion by capitalism. The implication you have been trying to make is that they imploded because they are somehow functionally flawed by virtue of being communist and just don't work on their own accord. Are you switching gears to imply that failure to withstand the willful sabotage of capitalists is what you're actually referring to? In that case I would perhaps agree with you there. Should've followed the Kronstadt model more thoroughly. :P

vijayjohn wrote:What is so barbaric about capitalism? Sure, capitalism has problems, but how does that make it barbaric?


It is inherently, necessarily oppressive, exploitative, and violent, at every level, and it can never be restrained. The Nordic countries were considered bastions of social democracy where capitalism was successfully "kept in check," but the laws meant to protect the people from the toxicity of capitalism are currently being rolled back by reactionary partisans and the oppositions too weak to stop them.

And I put "kept in check" because as a leftist I perceive the tendency of capitalism to destroy lives for profit as its natural function and that it is working as intended when it steamrolls everyone else.

vijayjohn wrote:The US has also nationalized several of its industries in the past hundred years. It has nothing to do with socialism.


Indeed it doesn't. Often it was to silence a restless public. Now you have public services being privatized while the media lauds the looters as "innovators."

vijayjohn wrote:The problems we're seeing now are the result of government corruption.


No, the unrest has been stirred up from day one of Chavez being elected specifically by the business sector, and the counter-revolutionaries are actually backed up by the US government. The two leaders of the opposition party spent time in a neo-fascist political/religious group.

vijayjohn wrote:In the case of the Spartacist Uprising, no; the uprising was crushed, but about 3,000 people were killed in total on both sides, and there were about 500,000 participants in the uprising (on one side of the conflict). Neither of these had anything to do with the dismantlement of the state that existed at the time, let alone the creation of a new one.


The Spartacist Uprising was an attempt to bring in communist influence after an important official died. The response was for social democrats to have the reactionary Freikorps cut off Rosa Luxemburg's head.

vijayjohn wrote:Um, seriously? What do you even think liberalism is?


In the context of economic models, supporters for capitalism, including private (not personal) property, with the means of production owned by a few at the top.

vijayjohn wrote:If liberals choose fascism over socialism given the choice, then why doesn't this happen in, say, Finland?


Are you suggesting Finland hasn't had a very prominent right-wing movement in the past decade? Actually, _a lot_ of countries all over the world are facing a fascist uprising. The reactions of left-liberals range from weak dismissals to legitimizing their platforms, as many ardent "centrists" do here.
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Re: The Political Compass (again)

Postby Johanna » 2017-09-08, 22:09

DissidentRage wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:But North Korea has not?

I'm going to assert that the DPRK is not communist. There's nothing about juche that screams socialist. They've been running as a totalitarian dynasty for three generations now while their people suffer.

Yeah, I think that someone on this very subforum a few months ago said that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is neither democratic, for the people, nor a republic, and the only thing right about its name is that it is indeed Korean.

Given that, why would anyone trust the regime on the account of being socialist?
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Re: The Political Compass (again)

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-09-08, 23:15

DissidentRage wrote:I'm going to assert that the DPRK is not communist. There's nothing about juche that screams socialist.

Why not? It has its origins in Marxism-Leninism, after all. It includes the belief that progress is driven by the masses. There is no longer a strict social hierarchy (at least in theory). The literacy rate is high, medical insurance is free, education is state-funded...
Because they are the results of active coercion by capitalism.

If every communist state is subject to active coercion by capitalism, how is that not already a failure in itself? What is the point of a communist state if it will eventually be co-opted by capitalists anyway?
The implication you have been trying to make is that they imploded because they are somehow functionally flawed by virtue of being communist and just don't work on their own accord. Are you switching gears to imply that failure to withstand the willful sabotage of capitalists is what you're actually referring to? In that case I would perhaps agree with you there. Should've followed the Kronstadt model more thoroughly. :P

I don't care about the Kronstadt model, and no, I'm not switching gears at all, but I think you only partially understand my point. Everyone is different, yet the entire theory underlying communism whitewashes a lot (if not all) of the differences between people and unrealistically portrays humanity as being far less flawed than it actually is. It includes no provision whatsoever for preventing communism from being simply used as an excuse for a rise to power and relies on the unrealistic assumption that someone will assume power and then just suddenly abandon it so there is no state. Every communist state has been flawed right from the get-go because in practice, it has only ever been a vehicle for certain people to assume power, and, typically, to become dictators, in the name (and under the guise) of social revolution. It doesn't need "active coercion by capitalism," whatever that even means.

Have you ever actually been to a communist state, or is this all just theory for you? Do you have friends or relatives or even acquaintances who lived in one? Have you ever listened to what people who have have to say about what the reality on the ground is like? Because I have been in a communist state before and have parents who came from one and were even highly sympathetic to the communist cause at one point, as was I. In Kerala, the first elected government was communist, but there was a famine in the late 1950s and early 60s. The US sent food aid to Kerala because at this time, it was obsessed with preventing communist revolutions worldwide and wanted to prevent one from gaining even more power than it already had as a result of the famine. The CIA was deeply involved in trying to promote anti-communist protests, and my dad even participated in some of these because he was from a Christian family and in that part of the world in those days, this is what good Christians were expected to do. None of this worked. Kerala remained staunchly communist for decades.

Initially, the communist party in Kerala played an important role in securing the human rights of people at the very bottom of the social chain. This worked out well as long as the party was led by someone who was genuinely concerned for their rights and made earnest efforts to uphold them. However, this did not last long because the party is made up of committees whose members were seeking power for themselves, not to improve the human rights situation for those who desperately needed it, and lots of those people were from precisely those parts of society that had maintained social oppression in their own interests. Now the communist party has become the worst violator of casteism in the state according to local low-caste people themselves, despite originally having been responsible for ending some of the worst aspects of casteism. There was no need for any sort of coercion; it happened simply because the idealized version of the theory behind communism does not work.
It is inherently, necessarily oppressive, exploitative, and violent, at every level, and it can never be restrained. The Nordic countries were considered bastions of social democracy where capitalism was successfully "kept in check," but the laws meant to protect the people from the toxicity of capitalism are currently being rolled back by reactionary partisans and the oppositions too weak to stop them.

And I put "kept in check" because as a leftist I perceive the tendency of capitalism to destroy lives for profit as its natural function and that it is working as intended when it steamrolls everyone else.

Everyone else but who? I am also a leftist, and in that capacity, I don't agree with you at all.

What is the difference between being "restrained" and being "kept in check"? How can capitalism be kept in check if it can never be restrained? What does it even mean to say capitalism "is inherently, necessarily oppressive, exploitative, and violent, at every level"? I live in the same capitalist country you live in, so does that mean I will feel oppressed, exploited, or victimized by violence everywhere? Or what?
No, the unrest has been stirred up from day one of Chavez being elected specifically by the business sector, and the counter-revolutionaries are actually backed up by the US government. The two leaders of the opposition party spent time in a neo-fascist political/religious group.

I challenge you to name me a source for this that is neither communist nor run by the government of Venezuela.
The Spartacist Uprising was an attempt to bring in communist influence after an important official died. The response was for social democrats to have the reactionary Freikorps cut off Rosa Luxemburg's head.

Yes. That's different from what you actually said, though:
In both cases they were murdered wholesale by capitalists.

Murdering one leader is not the same as murdering the protestors wholesale. And like I said before, there's a difference between the leaders coming from the bottom and social change coming from the bottom.
vijayjohn wrote:Um, seriously? What do you even think liberalism is?


In the context of economic models, supporters for capitalism, including private (not personal) property, with the means of production owned by a few at the top.

Sooo basically, you're using "liberalism" indiscriminately as a synonym for "capitalism."
Are you suggesting Finland hasn't had a very prominent right-wing movement in the past decade?

No, not at all! But that's exactly my point: because it has, it has also had a choice between that and socialism. Which one did it go with?
The reactions of left-liberals range from weak dismissals to legitimizing their platforms, as many ardent "centrists" do here.

Here I'm having trouble telling who you're talking about. Are you talking about people specifically in Finland or throughout Europe? And in either case, which people?

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Re: The Political Compass (again)

Postby md0 » 2017-09-09, 4:18

MLs are doing a disservice to communism :whistle:
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Re: The Political Compass (again)

Postby Saim » 2017-09-09, 7:08

I'm still wondering how you're supposed to reach a bottom-up approach to communism through the state. Isn't the state by definition top-down?

vijayjohn wrote:Sooo basically, you're using "liberalism" indiscriminately as a synonym for "capitalism."


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberalism

During the 20th century, liberal ideas spread even further as liberal democracies found themselves on the winning side in both world wars. Historian Martin Conway argues: "Liberalism, liberal values and liberal institutions formed an integral part of that process of European consolidation. Fifteen years after the end of the Second World War, the liberal and democratic identity of Western Europe had been reinforced on almost all sides by the definition of the West as a place of freedom. Set against the oppression in the Communist East, by the slow development of a greater understanding of the moral horror of Nazism, and by the engagement of intellectuals and others with the new states (and social and political systems) emerging in the non-European world to the South". As a consequence, liberal values were acquiring a wider currency, transcending the limited contours of liberal parties and electorates, thus becoming part of how West Europeans recognize and communicated with each other.[14]

In Europe and North America, the establishment of social liberalism (often called simply "liberalism" in the United States) became a key component in the expansion of the welfare state.[15] Today, liberal parties continue to wield power and influence throughout the world. However, liberalism still has challenges to overcome in Africa and Asia. The fundamental elements of contemporary society have liberal roots. The early waves of liberalism popularised economic individualism while expanding constitutional government and parliamentary authority.[16] One of the greatest liberal triumphs involved replacing the capricious nature of absolute royal rule with a decision-making process encoded in written law.[16] Liberals sought and established a constitutional order that prized important individual freedoms, such as the freedom of speech and of association; an independent judiciary and public trial by jury; and the abolition of aristocratic privileges.[16]

[...]

Social democracy, an ideology advocating progressive modification of capitalism, emerged in the 20th century and was influenced by socialism. Yet unlike socialism, it was not collectivist nor anti-capitalist. Broadly defined as a project that aims to correct, through government reformism, what it regards as the intrinsic defects of capitalism by reducing inequalities,[169] social democracy was also not against the state. Several commentators have noted strong similarities between social liberalism and social democracy, with one political scientist even calling American liberalism "bootleg social democracy" due to the absence of a significant social democratic tradition in the United States that liberals have tried to rectify.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservat ... nservatism

Liberal conservatism is a variant of conservatism that combines conservative values and policies with classical liberal stances.[33] As these latter two terms have had different meanings over time and across countries, liberal conservatism also has a wide variety of meanings. Historically, the term often referred to the combination of economic liberalism, which champions laissez-faire markets, with the classical conservatism concern for established tradition, respect for authority and religious values. It contrasted itself with classical liberalism, which supported freedom for the individual in both the economic and social spheres.

Over time, the general conservative ideology in many countries adopted economic liberal arguments, and +the term liberal conservatism was replaced with conservatism.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_democracy

Critics of contemporary social democracy, such as Jonas Hinnfors, argue that when social democracy abandoned Marxism it also abandoned socialism and has become a liberal capitalist movement,[153] effectively making social democrats similar to non-socialist parties like the U.S. Democratic Party.

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Re: The Political Compass (again)

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-09-09, 7:35

Yeah, but I want to know what he means by "liberalism." What definition of the term is he using such that it requires adherents to choose fascism over socialism when given a choice? I honestly find this proposition of his baffling since it seems to me that in practice, "liberalism" can mean a fairly wide range of political views. I don't see why it would be impossible, for example, to be both leftist and liberal; isn't it possible, or did I get that completely wrong?
I'm still wondering how you're supposed to reach a bottom-up approach to communism through the state. Isn't the state by definition top-down?

I agree.

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Re: The Political Compass (again)

Postby Saim » 2017-09-09, 8:51

vijayjohn wrote:Yeah, but I want to know what he means by "liberalism." What definition of the term is he using such that it requires adherents to choose fascism over socialism when given a choice? I honestly find this proposition of his baffling since it seems to me that in practice, "liberalism" can mean a fairly wide range of political views.


The communist thesis regarding fascism is that it is not some sort of deep evil that we can guard against simply by asserting liberal values as almost metaphysically universal (declaration of human rights and all that), as fascism is a reaction to economic crises that are inevitable under capitalism, and that the "Liberal" establishment will prefer fascism over socialism because fascism preserves property rights. So we need radical economic restructuring (i.e. a redistribution of power, not just social-democratic concessions and welfare) if we want to prevent fascism. At least that's how I understand the argument.

I don't see why it would be impossible, for example, to be both leftist and liberal; isn't it possible, or did I get that completely wrong?


So I think the way many anticapitalists would classify it would be that the Left is broadly synonymous to anticapitalism, whereas there would also be a left-wing branch of Liberalism (social democracy, left-liberalism, social liberalism), which wouldn't necessarily be part of the capital-l Left.

Although I'm against capitalism as well but I'd probably prefer to make common cause with social democrats and left-liberals on many issues than with Marxist-Leninists. Of course if I say that to a Marxist-Leninist they'll inevitably call me a liberal as well (or a Trotskyite).

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Re: The Political Compass (again)

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-09-09, 19:20

Thanks for explaining all of this, Saim Bhai! :)
Saim wrote:The communist thesis regarding fascism is that it is not some sort of deep evil that we can guard against simply by asserting liberal values as almost metaphysically universal (declaration of human rights and all that), as fascism is a reaction to economic crises that are inevitable under capitalism, and that the "Liberal" establishment will prefer fascism over socialism because fascism preserves property rights. So we need radical economic restructuring (i.e. a redistribution of power, not just social-democratic concessions and welfare) if we want to prevent fascism. At least that's how I understand the argument.

But then even under this theory, I don't see how there's any way to guarantee that power is redistributed in such a way that fascism doesn't arise anyway. As I'm sure you know, there are plenty of communist states that have been characterized by racism and/or ethnic discrimination at one point or another, too.

EDIT: Also, I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess that anyone who thinks fascism is an inevitable product of capitalism really must have no clue about the history of Kerala.
So I think the way many anticapitalists would classify it would be that the Left is broadly synonymous to anticapitalism, whereas there would also be a left-wing branch of Liberalism (social democracy, left-liberalism, social liberalism), which wouldn't necessarily be part of the capital-l Left.

Hmm, okay. :hmm:
Although I'm against capitalism as well but I'd probably prefer to make common cause with social democrats and left-liberals on many issues than with Marxist-Leninists. Of course if I say that to a Marxist-Leninist they'll inevitably call me a liberal as well (or a Trotskyite).

Yeah, I think I'm honestly losing patience with these kinds of 200+-year-old, seemingly endless nerdfights about political ideology and am finding myself more interested in learning what kinds of privilege I have over other people, especially if I'm not already aware of and/or don't pay enough attention to said privilege.

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Re: The Political Compass (again)

Postby md0 » 2017-09-10, 5:23

But then even under this theory, I don't see how there's any way to guarantee that power is redistributed in such a way that fascism doesn't arise anyway. As I'm sure you know, there are plenty of communist states that have been characterized by racism and/or ethnic discrimination at one point or another, too.

Those have been the problems with most readings of Marx.
First the pseudoscientific belief that communism is inevitable because of technological progress, regardless of what humans do, and then also of Marxism lack of a build in theory to deal with non-economic relationships of power, which have to be supplemented from elsewhere.

But I would note that fascism is not just racism. Corporatism is one of the most characteristic aspects of fascism.
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Re: The Political Compass (again)

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-09-10, 20:50

md0 wrote:But I would note that fascism is not just racism. Corporatism is one of the most characteristic aspects of fascism.

Fair enough, but it doesn't seem to me as if communist regimes were always 100% against corporatism, either.

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Re: The Political Compass (again)

Postby md0 » 2017-09-11, 4:32

It might apply for contemporary PR China, but it's hard to see it describing Yugoslavia, USSR, or other socialist republics. The former simply did not have a large enough private sector for it to be the main driving force in politics.

And still, I don't think PRC qualifies as fascist. Totalitarian, for sure.
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Re: The Political Compass (again)

Postby Hent » 2017-10-05, 13:12

Dr. House wrote:Economic Left/Right -1.38
Social Lib/Auth -1.64

Wow this is quite accurate. What party is the closest to this result?


Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD)

But I don't like their PRC ass kissing.


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