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Marxism

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 9:59 pm
by Cisairse
Hello NSG, I'd like to open a conversation about Marxism.

To preface this post, I consider myself a Marxist, but I am not a communist. I believe that Marx's philosophy is correct and valid, but I disagree with the political solution to the problems he identified.

For those of you unaware what Marxism is, I highly recommend you go and read The Manifesto of the Communist Party[/ir]. It is a very quick read (less than 100 pages), but covers most of Marx's theories as an overview.

Marx's economic and political theories were expanded upon greatly in his other works; most notably [i]Capital
(which I have read Vol. 1 of), The German Ideology, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon, and many other written works.

To start off this discussion, I have a few questions for the community:
  • Do you believe that Marx's views on the class dichotomy are valid, or reductionist? Some modern authors have claimed that Marx downplayed the role of intersectionality in oppression, but Marx himself wrote about gender roles etc often, including in the Manifesto.
  • Is Marxism—Leninism revisionist, or is it merely an extension of Marx's views?
  • Do you believe that Marx has been vindicated or damned by the more than 170 years since he began to publish his theories?

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 10:01 pm
by Cisairse
To answer my own questions:
  • I'm weary of modern socialists who claim that Marxism is "class reductionist," because I believe that Marx was correct to correlate all other oppressive criterion to class.
  • I haven't read anything that shows Marxism—Leninism is revisionist per se, but many supposedly ML states other than the Soviet Union corrupted Marxism to suit their anticolonial agenda and thus became highly revisionist in their actual operation.
  • I believe that Marx's theories have only become more true in society since he began to publish his works.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 10:27 pm
by Alcala-Cordel
This is gonna be a fun topic, here are my answers:

1. Yes, and his predictions have been very accurate. I don't agree with everything he says, but his reflection of the class issue is on point. Almost every major issue relates to class somehow.

2. It is revisionist, and it does not accuratelyreflect the ideals of communism at all. A lot of MLs don't seem to have an accurate grasp on the things Marx wrote. Further, they've supported some terrible regimes just because they oppose the United States. America is far from the only evil out there, and China is not our ally.

3. Some of his ideas have aged poorly, but the overwhelming majority of them remain accurate to this day, especially his reflections on class conflict. Marx was basically a prophet.

The term communism has been so twisted that most people associate it with state-capitalist countries such as the USSR or PRC. Communism is stateless. Anyways, the people's revolution is not gonna call itself communist, and it probably won't call itself socialist either.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 11:15 pm
by Forsher
Marx's take on history is teleological or, at the least, progressive/destined and, ultimately, bears more resemblance with Whiggist history than it does history as a modern subject.

To be clear, what I mean is that the stuff historians study is seen as:

  • having no sense of destination whatsoever (e.g. class revolution, increased liberalism, more justice)
  • multiple (e.g. there are as many 9/11s are there are people) but is not memory (which is frequently purposive and constructed to serve those purposes)
  • complex (i.e. the multiple experiences of history do not emerge out of class relations or interests... whether that's social, economic, Marxist, ethnic or whatever class... but rather more arcane and difficult to summarise processes... which is, of course, a big reason why history has no sense of destination)

So... I think Marxism is wholly discredited.

In terms of whether aspects of what Marx thought make sense? Of course. But the framework he proposed? No. I'm not even sure it's worth reading Marx to try and understand what our contemporaries say about Marx.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 12:11 am
by Risottia
Cisairse wrote:To preface this post, I consider myself a Marxist, but I am not a communist. I believe that Marx's philosophy is correct and valid, but I disagree with the political solution to the problems he identified. ...

In Italy we would say you're "marxiano" but not "marxista".

PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 12:15 am
by Risottia
Forsher wrote:Marx's take on history is teleological or, at the least, progressive/destined and, ultimately, bears more resemblance with Whiggist history than it does history as a modern subject.

To be clear, what I mean is that the stuff historians study is seen as:

having no sense of destination whatsoever (e.g. class revolution, increased liberalism, more justice) ...
...

I sense filthy postmodernist deviationism, which is a byproduct of the decadent bourgeoise class system.
Image

PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 12:15 am
by Nevertopia
Marxism has failed every time its been tried.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 12:20 am
by Risottia
Cisairse wrote:Do you believe that Marx's views on the class dichotomy are valid, or reductionist?

Valid as a model. Any model is necessarily reductionist.
Is Marxism—Leninism revisionist, or is it merely an extension of Marx's views?

It's an adaptation of Marxism to the circumstances of a revolution in a proto-industrial society.

Do you believe that Marx has been vindicated or damned by the more than 170 years since he began to publish his theories?

Vindicated. The analysis of the surplus-value accumulation mechanism is still used even by non-Marxist economists.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:19 am
by Duvniask
Nevertopia wrote:Marxism has failed every time its been tried.

And so it was, since Ancient times, we were once again made to hear the screeching of people who get their politics from memes, thinking they sound clever when they say Marxism has failed every time its been tried.

Never mind that Marxism is not something you "try", as if the materialist conception of history is disproven by people who tried to will socialism into existence without the necessary development of productive forces and social relations which historical materialism suggests you need in the first place (!).

PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:56 am
by Sundiata
Cisairse wrote:To start off this discussion, I have a few questions for the community:
  • Do you believe that Marx's views on the class dichotomy are valid, or reductionist?
Largely reductionist, I don't believe the classes are in conflict. I believe that every class has a mutual responsibility.
Some modern authors have claimed that Marx downplayed the role of intersectionality in oppression, but Marx himself wrote about gender roles etc often, including in the Manifesto.
  • Is Marxism—Leninism revisionist, or is it merely an extension of Marx's views?
  • I believe that Marx's views on class relations are often improperly applied outside of the economic sphere. However, that isn't to say that economic analysis presents a complete picture of oppression's causes. I also oppose the materialist conception of history.

    /*:m]
  • Do you believe that Marx has been vindicated or damned by the more than 170 years since he began to publish his theories?
  • Neither, most people aren't educated economic experts with PhDs. Much of Marx eludes their understanding.

    PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 4:03 am
    by Prozitia
    Sundiata wrote:
    Cisairse wrote:To start off this discussion, I have a few questions for the community:
    • Do you believe that Marx's views on the class dichotomy are valid, or reductionist?
    Largely reductionist, I don't believe the classes are in conflict. I believe that every class has a mutual responsibility.
    Some modern authors have claimed that Marx downplayed the role of intersectionality in oppression, but Marx himself wrote about gender roles etc often, including in the Manifesto.
  • Is Marxism—Leninism revisionist, or is it merely an extension of Marx's views?
  • I believe that Marx's views on class relations are often improperly applied outside of the economic sphere. However, that isn't to say that economic analysis presents a complete picture of oppression's causes. I also oppose the materialist conception of history.

    /*:m]
  • Do you believe that Marx has been vindicated or damned by the more than 170 years since he began to publish his theories?
  • Neither, most people aren't educated economic experts with PhDs. Much of Marx eludes their understanding.

    Since you seem so enlightened, can you explain to us what makes society what it is?

    PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 4:07 am
    by Sundiata
    Prozitia wrote:
    Sundiata wrote:Largely reductionist, I don't believe the classes are in conflict. I believe that every class has a mutual responsibility.
    I believe that Marx's views on class relations are often improperly applied outside of the economic sphere. However, that isn't to say that economic analysis presents a complete picture of oppression's causes. I also oppose the materialist conception of history.

    Neither, most people aren't educated economic experts with PhDs. Much of Marx eludes their understanding.

    Since you seem so enlightened, can you explain to us what makes society what it is?

    I am nowhere near educated enough to fully do that, let alone come close.

    PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 4:15 am
    by Ansarre
    Marxism is a disease and its a good thing that we were so successful in combating it throughout the Cold War and beyond. Unfortunately it has had a resurgence in modern times, not-ironically among privileged people who haven't had to suffer under it. Marxism and the other diseases it has spawned must be suppressed and adherents & sympathizers should be no platformed and removed from any positions they hold that are influential in society (politics, business, diplomatic corps, academia, media etc.)

    PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 4:19 am
    by Prozitia
    Forsher wrote:Marx's take on history is teleological or, at the least, progressive/destined and, ultimately, bears more resemblance with Whiggist history than it does history as a modern subject.

    To be clear, what I mean is that the stuff historians study is seen as:

    • having no sense of destination whatsoever (e.g. class revolution, increased liberalism, more justice)
    • multiple (e.g. there are as many 9/11s are there are people) but is not memory (which is frequently purposive and constructed to serve those purposes)
    • complex (i.e. the multiple experiences of history do not emerge out of class relations or interests... whether that's social, economic, Marxist, ethnic or whatever class... but rather more arcane and difficult to summarise processes... which is, of course, a big reason why history has no sense of destination)

    So... I think Marxism is wholly discredited.

    In terms of whether aspects of what Marx thought make sense? Of course. But the framework he proposed? No. I'm not even sure it's worth reading Marx to try and understand what our contemporaries say about Marx.


    Marx doesn't outline historical destination, he just outlines what makes history move the way it does, which is material conditions. The first point is just distorted to the point of mixing theory with the American "left" without considering the flexibility of leftism. For your second and third point, yes, history is complex. But most materialists don't look at history in the way you claim they do. They observe human nature and make connections according to that. That doesn't mean you should take "all history is class conflict" literally, because the way "class" is used here also tends to explain what makes other societal concepts what they are. And in the end, it is clear that the material interests of a given portion of society is the key factor here. That split in society makes classes.

    "I'm not even sure it's worth reading Marx to try and understand what our contemporaries say about Marx."
    And that's exactly why you should read his works. The modern political climate is filled with bullshit to its brim, nobody knows what they are talking about anymore. Hell, maybe you will be able to explain Marxism better than me if you do. But please, don't assume Marxism is what it is due to a giant pile of strawmans.

    PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 4:35 am
    by Servilis
    Cisairse wrote:Hello NSG, I'd like to open a conversation about Marxism.

    To preface this post, I consider myself a Marxist, but I am not a communist. I believe that Marx's philosophy is correct and valid, but I disagree with the political solution to the problems he identified.

    For those of you unaware what Marxism is, I highly recommend you go and read The Manifesto of the Communist Party[/ir]. It is a very quick read (less than 100 pages), but covers most of Marx's theories as an overview.

    Marx's economic and political theories were expanded upon greatly in his other works; most notably [i]Capital
    (which I have read Vol. 1 of), The German Ideology, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon, and many other written works.

    To start off this discussion, I have a few questions for the community:
    • Do you believe that Marx's views on the class dichotomy are valid, or reductionist? Some modern authors have claimed that Marx downplayed the role of intersectionality in oppression, but Marx himself wrote about gender roles etc often, including in the Manifesto.
    • Is Marxism—Leninism revisionist, or is it merely an extension of Marx's views?
    • Do you believe that Marx has been vindicated or damned by the more than 170 years since he began to publish his theories?

    1. His views on the class dichotomy are valid, except for the part where he gets a bit anti-semetic, nonetheless, his Class Dichotomy is the foundation of most Left Wing Economic Philosophies, and no, it is not Reductionist, nor is it entirely accurate, it's just generally true, some of his social views can get a bit icky, we're not exactly sure about his social views that much, but from what I have read, he and Hegel had a few disagreements on LGBT rights, nonetheless, Marx' principle of The Worker is his biggest Social belief if I'm honest.
    2. Marxist-Leninism is not Revisionist, it is Revolutionary, to me it's merely a matter of how the ideology is achieved, is it achieved through peaceful reform? If so, then it is Revisionist, if it is achieved through a Revolution, then it is Revolutionary. Examples of Revisionist ideologies include Trotskyism, Social Democracy (Although sometimes this can be Revolutionary, depends who you ask), Democratic Socialism (same story with SocDem), Anarcho-Pacifism, etc,
    Examples of Revolutionary ideologies include most of the shit you find on the Left Quadrants of the Political Compass.
    3. Leftists will always be damned by the Economic and Social Right. A lot of whackjob Right Wingers often downplay any form of Leftism as a threat, Big Daddy Karl is no exception. The Right Wing and the Left Wing are usually at arms with each other, as they have been, ever since the Right-Left concept was created by French Politicians trying to figure out who to tell from who. (Spoiler : They put Politician's Seats based on how they differed Economically and Socially, Progressives got put on the Left Seats, Moderates in the Middle and Trads on the Right), in the end, the Political world is Leaders yelling at each other, Leftists will fight each other, they will fight alongside each other, and they will fight themselves, same goes for everyone the Political Spectrum.


    My take :
    There is no perfect solution to interpreting the gobbledygook that is the language used in Theory, all we can do is form our own philosophies or stick to already formed ones, and from there, we can focus on fighting the actual enemies :
    Rich People and Reactionaries.

    PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:57 am
    by The Emerald Legion
    Do you believe that Marx's views on the class dichotomy are valid, or reductionist? Some modern authors have claimed that Marx downplayed the role of intersectionality in oppression, but Marx himself wrote about gender roles etc often, including in the Manifesto.

    I think they are wholly wrong, because they treat classes as these static unchangeable identities, things you can neither control nor change.

    Also his ideas of what constitutes oppression are little more than infantile envy.

    Is Marxism—Leninism revisionist, or is it merely an extension of Marx's views?

    Any alteration to an ideology is necessarily revisionist, even an extension.

    Do you believe that Marx has been vindicated or damned by the more than 170 years since he began to publish his theories?

    Damned, totally and thoroughly so.

    PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:02 am
    by Questarian New Yorkshire
    Cisairse wrote:To start off this discussion, I have a few questions for the community:
    • Do you believe that Marx's views on the class dichotomy are valid, or reductionist? Some modern authors have claimed that Marx downplayed the role of intersectionality in oppression, but Marx himself wrote about gender roles etc often, including in the Manifesto.
    • Is Marxism—Leninism revisionist, or is it merely an extension of Marx's views?
    • Do you believe that Marx has been vindicated or damned by the more than 170 years since he began to publish his theories?
    Marxism is interesting and cool and Marx was right about many things. He doesn't need to be taken as a sole or only source to be right about some things and at the same time disregarding his work entirely for whatever reasons people do isn't good either.

    I'm not a Marxist, I would say I am Marx-inspired though. A lot of people don't understand Marx and read things into (or out of him) that they shouldn't. Conflating Marxism with intersectionality is another thing. Intersectionality is just whatever. It's a different strain of thinking to Marxism altogether. I wouldn't call a person who expresses their view of social justice purely through intersectionality as a Marxist. In fact they'd obviously be an anti-Marxist: Marx described in his work how classes in the society conflict and clash, not 'systems of oppression or privilege.' His work should be taken in the context of describing the dynamics of society rather than abstract concepts like privilege or oppression.

    Leninism is a strategy. It's not unusual at all that it should work with Marxism but they are separate things.

    I think history proved Marx right, even though it was not kind to actual Marxist-Leninist polities.

    PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:10 am
    by BurritoBowl
    Reducing oppression to a form of class conflict is accurate in the aspect that other forms of oppression - sex, race, gender, religion are executable solely because the oppressor class controls levers of power which are only accessible to those of their economic class.

    PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:44 am
    by Cisairse
    Risottia wrote:
    Cisairse wrote:To preface this post, I consider myself a Marxist, but I am not a communist. I believe that Marx's philosophy is correct and valid, but I disagree with the political solution to the problems he identified. ...

    In Italy we would say you're "marxiano" but not "marxista".

    I have seen similar stylings in English, generally rendered as "Marxian but not Marxist."

    I myself shy away from that language because Marx himself identified exactly what communism is (or more specifically, what "communists" do), while "Marxism" generally refers to all of the ideas and writings of Marx, some of which (such as material history, and the labor theory of value) are much more prominent in his writings than actual theories of communism, so I generally use the term "Marxist non-communist."

    Of course I'm probably missing something and am wrong to do that, lol. There's so much of Marx that I haven't yet read.

    PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:57 am
    by Cisairse
    Nevertopia wrote:Marxism has failed every time its been tried.

    I'm not sure if you can say that so resolutely.

    The way I have seen it analyzed is that the proletariat revolution which Marx prophesied was necessary to end the dictatorship of the bourgeois simply never happened in the industrial societies to which it was authored for.

    And many of the more theoretical parts of Marx's future-writing, for example the large increase in overall production that would result in abundance once the capitalist mode of production was abolished (prophesied as a necessary result of the labor theory of value in situations where sell-value no longer existed and the full use-value of products was being used without excess) actually did occur in the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union's rapid industrialization and stratospheric rise to superpower status from being a backwater neo-feudal failed state shocked much of the contemporary world.
    What I think vindicated this particular bit of Marxism is that it was later shown not to be unique to the Soviet Union; China and Vietnam saw similar rapid industrialization and economic excess while they followed Marxist models.
    And all this is despite the labor theory of value being cast off as nonsense by contemporaries and even by some modern economists.

    As for the ultimate fate of socialism in this countries, well, that's another subject entirely. I have seen convincing arguments that the Soviet Union never truly deviated from Marx's prescribed history of class warfare until after the death of Stalin, and that the fact it devolved into totalitarianism was orthogonal to the ongoing dictatorship of the proletariat and not necessarily due to it. In fact, one can look at the early years of the German Democratic Republic and find a transitional communist state that wasn't devolving into totalitarianism at all and likely would have slowly evolved into a protosocialist sort of "two-party state" without the dictatorial usage of democratic centralism etc, except you know the USSR came in and fucked that all up.

    PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 7:01 am
    by Cisairse
    Ansarre wrote:Marxism is a disease and its a good thing that we were so successful in combating it throughout the Cold War and beyond. Unfortunately it has had a resurgence in modern times, not-ironically among privileged people who haven't had to suffer under it. Marxism and the other diseases it has spawned must be suppressed and adherents & sympathizers should be no platformed and removed from any positions they hold that are influential in society (politics, business, diplomatic corps, academia, media etc.)

    This seems like an extreme reaction to theories which seek to explain economics and history and have, in some cases, done so exceptionally accurately.

    Servilis wrote:Anarcho-Pacifism

    woah woah woah what

    PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 7:11 am
    by Joohan
    Marxism does provide useful insights into how we perceive the class dynamic in societies; however, it is flawed in that it asserts that all history is a result of dialectic class struggle. People are influenced and driven by more than simply their material conditions ( religion being a fantastic example ), and to conflate the progress of history to being that of a struggle between the have's and have not's is to ignore man's pursuit towards inner spiritual enlightenment.

    OG ML's are pretty friggin cool though

    PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 7:25 am
    by Dominioan
    Sorta posting to find this again on view posts, but Marxism is pretty accurate on all sorts of things about class and class conflict. But he also leaves out other influencers, like faith. Anyone remember the Crusades?

    PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 7:27 am
    by Stylan
    I am a Marxist, probably a MLM or ML in like a month


    Of all sad words, of tongue and pen, the saddest are these - Marx was right again.

    PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 7:29 am
    by Cisairse
    Dominioan wrote:Sorta posting to find this again on view posts, but Marxism is pretty accurate on all sorts of things about class and class conflict. But he also leaves out other influencers, like faith. Anyone remember the Crusades?

    Marx actually does address this. From the point of view of a proletarian, there is literally no difference between the crusades and the nationalist wars of WWI.
    Both are upper-class conflicts with upper-class goals.

    The Manifesto even states "the parson has ever gone hand in hand with the landlord."