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View Diary: Anti-Capitalist Meetup: Part 2 on the Need for Anti-Capitalist Democratic Internationalism (65 comments)

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  •  I feel there is a lot of human warmth and (1+ / 0-)
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    diomedes77

    love in Marx. There is coldness too, but even the scientific view of socialism was meant to pull us out of the subjective traps Geminijen correctly points out, to point out the truthful faults and limitations of other theorists, and to toughen us up for the awful cruelty of capitalism and the painful sacrifices of revolution. I've certainly been inspired by many things he wrote and said to try to be a more sacrificial person for others and to view myself as a species-being with value unassociated with my ability to consume commodities. I'm sure some old school theorists could tell me I'm naive and need to understand this or that better and go to the original German or whatever. I just wish the man could have lived another 50 years so that Stalin could have heard what he really thought. But then like Luxemburg, Marx would have been been murdered too.

     

    garden variety democratic socialist: accepting life's complexity|striving for global stewardship of our soil and other resources to meet everyone's basic needs|being a friend to the weak

    by Galtisalie on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 08:36:11 PM PDT

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    •  I see Marx as a great moralist. (1+ / 0-)
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      Galtisalie

      I also think he was among the greatest humanitarians of the 19th century.

      He had moments of anger and resentment, as do all humans. But the vast majority of his work was all about the emancipation of human potential from the tyranny of capitalism and "want" in general.

      Good point about Stalin. And Lenin, too. To me, they were MINOs. Marxists in name only.

      Lenin basically believed that capitalism must be imposed on Russia in order to create a surplus and modernize the nation. He actually used some of the primitive accumulation methods of 18th century capitalists on the Russian people. And Stalin set that into overdrive.

      IMO, it's pretty clear they didn't listen to Marx. They wouldn't have had their revolution in Russia at all, if they had. Marx would have told them they were just going to "socialize scarcity." He beat Thatcher to that idea by more than century.

      “While we do our good works let us not forget that the real solution lies in a world in which charity will have become unnecessary.” ― Chinua Achebe . . . {Economic Left/Right: -9.12 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.77}

      by diomedes77 on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 08:43:05 PM PDT

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      •  I'm no expert but I place (1+ / 0-)
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        diomedes77

        Lenin in a much different category than Stalin. I agree with you, and I know you are not suggesting otherwise, but I still want to say a word in Lenin's defense.

        I'm with Luxemburg on the profound errors Lenin made. He was also cruel to a degree I cannot excuse, starting with the murder of the Czar's family. However, I think he meant well in his goals and probably would have adapted for the good. Luxemburg was critical but also forgiving because of the difficulties that Lenin faced during war conditions.

        Stalin made many wrong decisions worse, and on a moral level adapted for the bad and then turned it up a thousand notches. Lenin set the stage for many mistakes that followed, but Stalin was the horrors that followed because if he said it, it was not a horror. The madness of a totalitarian police state that ruined the "socialist" experiment for gemerations did not have to descend upon the Soviet Union. If Lenin had been succeeded by any number of other leaders besides Stalin, the 20th century might have been much better. Not all authoritarians become Stalinist (or Maoist) totalitarians. I'm fully supportive of democracy, including deep democracy of the economy, and recognize that state capitalism was a mistake and not socialism, but the pervasive cruelty of the times of Stalin was the responsibility of Stalin.

        We can all learn and grow and adapt for the good--unless we are a Stalin and do not care to. I know there are still good Marxist-Leninists in this world. I am in solidarity with them, and where I disagree I tell them, they don't put me on a show trial or put an ice pick in my brain. They don't come after the good anarchists, Trotskyites, and independent socialists like Orwell anymore like the Stalinists did in Spain. If Stalin had not been so absolutely dishonest and hellbent on winning the internal battle Franco might have lost and the anarchists might have continued their successful society for all the world to see, and a southern front would have opened up against Hitler. Stalin probably would not have been able to enter his unforgivable temporary deal with Hitler.

        In summary, in addition to turning every good thing Marx taught upside down, Stalin was very immoral. I think that Bengelsdorf on the problem of democracy in Cuba expresses the distinction nicely. Marx failed to resolve the difficult problem of democracy/decentralization and control/central power, which Lenin amplified, and then Castro made many similar errors and did some cruel acts. But he adapted for the good--not nearly enough but a lot; however, the U.S. eroded his potential for success and further adaptation for the good for it's own capitalist agenda, which Luxemburg expressed so well. Meanwhile, he and now his brother value Marx's liberating humanitarian vision. Nothing at all like Stalin. Stalin would have shot half the island, and then gone over to Jamaica and shot Michael Manley for being a lousy democratic socialist and then if possible shot me for writing this comment few will read, as a matter of paranoid principle and message discipline. That's no more socialism than what we have in China today.

        garden variety democratic socialist: accepting life's complexity|striving for global stewardship of our soil and other resources to meet everyone's basic needs|being a friend to the weak

        by Galtisalie on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 10:01:42 PM PDT

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        •  Well said. (1+ / 0-)
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          Galtisalie

          We're on the same page.

          And you gave me another name to research: What is his or her first name? Bengelsdorf?

          I am always learning new things in my political journey, and don't intend to ever close my mind to that.

          “While we do our good works let us not forget that the real solution lies in a world in which charity will have become unnecessary.” ― Chinua Achebe . . . {Economic Left/Right: -9.12 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.77}

          by diomedes77 on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 11:03:29 AM PDT

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          •  Carollee. (1+ / 0-)
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            diomedes77

            Here's the link: http://www.amazon.com/...

            It's an excellent scholarly book. It is not polemical but rather detailed, careful, and fair.

            I have so many books to read I learn about here. We do what we can. Solidarity!

            garden variety democratic socialist: accepting life's complexity|striving for global stewardship of our soil and other resources to meet everyone's basic needs|being a friend to the weak

            by Galtisalie on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 12:23:04 PM PDT

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            •  Thanks, much. (nm) (1+ / 0-)
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              Galtisalie

              *

              “While we do our good works let us not forget that the real solution lies in a world in which charity will have become unnecessary.” ― Chinua Achebe . . . {Economic Left/Right: -9.12 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.77}

              by diomedes77 on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 01:31:22 PM PDT

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