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View Diary: Trotsky's continuing relevance (47 comments)

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  •  the whole point is that before the development of (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    UnaSpenser, NY brit expat, koNko

    capitalism (and before that, those held in captivity under feudalism and slavery)the extent to which workers could, at times, control their own work, made it less alienating and more likely to be self actualizing if we have some control over it. Once capialism and the wage labor system were in place, it is very hard to see any real self-determination of our labor.

    •  seems like a natural process: one starts doing (2+ / 0-)
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      koNko, isabelle hayes

      tasks because they need to be done. one may find oneself more suited to certain tasks and that others are not so suited and the shift of tasks amongst people begins. when one is doing what suits one, over time, one gains a clearer sense of self.

      •  Indeed. (1+ / 0-)
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        isabelle hayes

        Survival comes first, self-actualization later.

        The first freedom is freedom from hunger and people struggling with that have little use for political philosophy even when it might help them.

        Trotsky threw food to Russian peasants because they were starving and a bag of wheat could be a great motivator to participate in a grand experiment.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:20:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  there's a lot to learn (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          from the bolsheviks, meaning those who lenin-trotsky spoke for; for they were able to reach the peasants, always conservative and religious

          this is only being put forth for one purpose, so no one need remind me of what stalin did to the peasantry

          there was the terrible toll the aristo's war was taking on the army, made up of peasants' (and industrial workers') sons, and those worried about the toll it was taking on their families

          and there already were forms of "soviets" in the countryside, where locals were directing some policies about food production

          when the workers' revolution got going in petersburg, the peasant/worker-soldiers in the trenches and their families in all the russias, and the peasant/worker soldiers in the army stationed in petersburg, got revolutionized too

          their revolution is a marvel, despite what followed after Lenin's death years later, especially if one considers that until the former allies, and the whites, etc., colluded to put it down, there was very little loss of life

          •  They won the battle and lost the war (1+ / 0-)
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            isabelle hayes

            So to speak.

            Every revolution has it's celebrated "deeds done in the darkest hour" but what follows tends to be more important in terms of actual social and economic progress.

            The Russian revolution accomplished justice of a sort, unfortunately it didn't last long enough to prevent injustice of another types that were possibly worse in ultimate impact and the society still struggles with the consequences.

            Russians are tough. They also lead Nazis into a frozen hell scorching the earth behind then so they could not retreat.

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 07:34:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  And my point (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NY brit expat

      Is that before the advent of the industrial revolution, the vast majority of people were subsistence farmers and not part of the  petite bourgeoisie merchant and craft classes that enjoyed the control over their lives you celebrate, who incidentally, were small business capitalists and quite often (at least in Europe and parts of Asia) guild members that used monopolistic practices to maintain the privileges for themselves.

      What really changed the world was industrialization, which enabled the expansion of capitalism on a large scale. Industrialization had positive and negative effects, but found no lack of recruits and you may consider why.

      Marxists offered one solution to the economic changes industrialization brought, Luddites another.

      Neither has been particularly enduring because, despite the surrender of self-determination, real or imagined, it seems most people rather live in relative comfort in groups than struggle at subsistence on their own.

      So while I think Marx was an astute critic of Capitalism, ultimately he did not offer an alternative solution that works for most people.

      Going forward, we need to answer the technology question I raised because we are not in the 19th Century but the 21st, and strangely this loops back to the Luddites.

      Destroy the machine or remake it?

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:15:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Addenda (1+ / 0-)
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        isabelle hayes

        I just want to clarify my parting statement about the "problem" that loops back to the Luddites since that might be a bit obtuse.

        Specifically, the problem is "Technological Displacement" of people as technology disrupts the social and economic order of societies, as it has for the past 50 years or so.

        We either need new models or to regress and accept the cost of that, and obviously this takes some adjustment in values and expectations is either case.

        The "uncharted" economic territory the world now finds itself navigating is very much a product of technology and the advantages it has handed to elite capitalist entities.

        Retooling the model to achieve greater fairness has interesting and not necessarily advantageous implications for affluent countries unless people embrace some basic changes in values, expectations and lifestyle to make the system sustainable.

        And this goes way beyond the frame of how Marx conceived social and economic order.

        We live in another world.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 07:51:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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