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Things are certainly going to crapola for many poor Central American children these days. But at least they are not having their lives ruined by elected socialists. Barbarism is so much better. Somalian freedom anyone? Where, oh where, have I read about this before? Some murdered democratic revolutionary internationalist perhaps.  

The Political-Economic Basis For Anti-Capitalist Democratic Internationalism

We must refuse to separate morality from economics, to ignore the historical and political dimensions of economic justice, and to narrowly define "justice" as the head-in-the-sand enforcement of U.S. laws. (According to a good Jesuit who mourned for those dying in Central America, including his owns priests, justice should be in the service of love.) For instance, when we receive reports about Latin American children in flight to the U.S., we must be mindful that the U.S. has spent generations undermining Latin America efforts to achieve economic justice.

Every once in a while, the U.S. gets a stark example of international blowback. But what if the projectiles involved in this scenario are small defenseless human beings? Does the U.S. learn from its mistakes and attack the underlying problems? No. Instead, in the case of international blowback, as with domestic blowback, we simply blame and harass the victims.

In a detailed report, the UN High Commissioner on Refugees has explained the need for international protection for unaccompanied children from Central America and Mexico. (http://www.unhcrwashington.org/....) But coming from the UN, it is ignored by the U.S. government.

The politically-expedient way of dealing with blowback, if you are a supposedly compassionate U.S. president, is to look at legal minutia with a view to stepping up deportation, rather than seeing the big picture and your actual legal authority.

It is easy to see why a president concerned about mid-term elections might cower. After all, Cuban Canadian USian Senator Ted Cruz has our backs. Unfortunately, the helpless young human beings who are on the run and are receiving an unjust response to the blowback their fleeing constitutes only understand their own desperation. So, for a U.S. president to act compassionately using his legal authority risks losing mid-term elections, and that is just that. But what does that say about U.S. voters, particularly those on the likely winning side in mid-term elections?

It is a cruel sanctimonious voter, and hardly one who holds up to timeless standards of decency, who would be swayed to vote against helping the innocent and helpless. Many of these voters follow a religion that claims, if they will excuse the lack of the King James Version, "el señor protégé a los forasteros; sostiene al huérfano y a la viuda." (Salmo 146.) But perhaps God only speaks English. (But wasn't that Psalm written in Hebrew?)

The U.S. in its international relations discourages economic justice because it smacks of socialism. Socialism, of course, sounds good to me. However, the U.S. will not even ratify the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights signed by President Carter. This unkind refusal to recognize standards of material decency does not sound good to me at all.

But there is much more to the story. A Latin American government going to the left risks being toppled by its U.S.-funded military. The U.S., under pressure from Republican Cuban Americans concerned about making leftist dominos fall, assuming it was not, as claimed by a Zelaya minister, directly responsible for the reactionary coup, will happily move on to the illegal replacement "president," who ironically will have been put into power because the leftist was wanting the people to have greater control over their democracy and constitution. The UN General Assembly unanimously condemned the 2009 military coup of Honduras's elected president.

Shame on the elected president of a Central American country for moving left and seeking some measure of economic justice. That, the U.S., or more importantly, U.S. transnational corporations, simply cannot abide.  

The coup's legacy is the very violence that is forcing children to flee for their lives, with an able assist from the failed U.S. drug war, which turns Central America into a drug transit zone. And then we complain about the foreign orphans who have no choice but to flee.

Ultimately, what can end this immigrant-bashing and "border pressure"? Anti-capitalist democratic internationalism of the type I think Luxemburg and Marx, not to mention Eugene V. Debs and Reinhold Niebuhr, could endorse.

I suggest that there are two principal political-economic reasons why truly compassionate USians must support anti-capitalist democratic internationalism. One is a "prophylactic" reason and the other is a "stimulative" reason. Both are interrelated, and the distinctions I draw are not absolute but illustrative.  

The first/prophylactic reason is that, as the desperation of Central American children reflects: the U.S. is not isolated unto itself, as the border zeitgeist would indicate, but is instead the senior partner of global capitalist imperialism, creating destruction and exploitation of people and the environment all around the world.

The second/stimulative reason is that the workers of the U.S. themselves need socialism and are unlikely to get what they need from domestic, plutocrat-controlled political "democracy" alone, which will require outside stimulus. And, circling back to the first reason, if the U.S. does not itself become socialistic, it is unlikely that the cancer of capitalism will cease expanding and re-expanding around the planet until no more profits are to be made and the planet has been thoroughly cooked. Hence, outside stimulation of the U.S. to become socialistic is necessary both for the good of the U.S. and for the good of the rest of the planet, if one cares about it.

On the first reason, I will briefly turn to Rosa Luxemburg. On the second, I will briefly turn to Marx. I am no scholar of either, and many of the people who read this will be scholars of both. I look forward to their corrections and additions to the extent I misconstrue anything. I am not trying to win an academic, much less a dogma, fight but merely to suggest that these two thinkers gave good guidance worth considering on the topics to which I am assigning them. The "reasons" I am giving are ultimately my own interpretations of reality and potential reality, as opposed to the referenced works of the authors, so please do not blame anyone else, including Luxemburg or Marx, for any interpretative failings I am making.

Capitalists Gobbling Up Conditions of Accumulation

I am using as my reference Rosa Luxemburg's The Accumulation of Capital, 1913. There is a reason that the U.S. supports free trade outside its borders and outside of any international social compact, and this is that capitalism requires this for its own continuation. Thus, capitalism ever seeks to control society and to resist society controlling capitalism. "[A]part from the observation of price fluctuations there is no social control – no social link exists between the individual producers other than the exchange of commodities." (Ch. 1)

In contrast to every other form of society, including "a primitive communist agrarian community" and "an economic system based on slave labour or corvée," with a capitalist society:

in certain periods all the ingredients of reproduction may be available, both labour and means of production, and yet some vital needs of society for consumer goods may be left unfulfilled. We find that in spite of these resources reproduction may in part be completely suspended and in part curtailed. Here it is no despotic interference with the economic plan that is responsible for the difficulties in the process of production. Quite apart from all technical conditions, reproduction here depends on purely social considerations: only those goods are produced which can with certainty he expected to sell, and not merely to sell, but to sell at the customary profit. Thus profit becomes an end in itself, the decisive factor which determines not only production but also reproduction. Not only does it decide in each case what work is to be undertaken, how it is to be carried out, and how the products are to be distributed; what is more, profit decides, also, at the end of every working period, whether the labour process is to be resumed, and, if so, to what extent and in what direction it should be made to operate.
(Id.)
And profit generation requires both ever-increasing markets and ever-increasing places to accumulate capital. This is a problem even larger than the problem of booms and busts: "cyclical movement of boom, slump, and crisis, does not represent the whole problem of capitalist reproduction, although it is an essential element of it." (Id.) Other than squeezing the workers of the world, capitalists can only stay in business by expanding:
Expansion becomes in truth a coercive law, an economic condition of existence for the individual capitalist. Under the rule of competition, cheapness of commodities is the most important weapon of the individual capitalist in his struggle for a place in the market. Now all methods of reducing the cost of commodity production permanently amount in the end to an expansion of production; excepting those only which aim at a specific increase of the rate of surplus value by measures such as wage cutting or lengthening the hours of work.
(Id.)
Section Three of Luxemburg's master work details "The Historical Conditions of Accumulation." In contrast to most of Sections One and Two, it is readily understandable to the layperson. I would recommend that all anti-capitalists read it. It will tick you off. Luxemburg describes capitalist exploitation of humanity in clear terms sure to raise your blood pressure.

Simply put, capitalism, if it stays as the global economic system, is hard-wired to maximize exploitation of the workers of the world and the other physical and chemical resources of the world until profits can no longer be made. Honduras and the rest of the world are merely places for capitalists to make money. All of these varying places will be sought out, to varying degrees and in varying ways, and as much as possible any vestiges of decency eliminated, until every bit of profit can be soaked out or capitalism or human life itself ends.

Political Democracy's Limitations and Potential in the U.S.

The U.S. is far from a perfect place, and that of course includes its political system. In my spare time, I operate a one-person volunteer website with a simple post on Reinhold Niebuhr’s Constructive Criticism of Democracy that is, as far as my obscure website goes, frequently read. I think that on some level religious people want to receive permission from a theologian like Niebuhr to express their doubts about democracy.

By the same token, I would like to use Karl Marx to "give" leftists permission to hold out some hope for U.S. democracy, but only under certain circumstances where it receives outside stimulation to be much deeper. If the democracy of the U.S. does not assert extensive control over the U.S. economy, its democracy will continue to be stagnant and the workers of the U.S. and the world will continue to suffer under the capitalist hegemony which the democratic communist Luxemburg so well documented.

In a short 1872 speech, Marx famously held out hope that the U.S. could undergo a non-violent revolution:

You know that the institutions, mores, and traditions of various countries must be taken into consideration, and we do not deny that there are countries -- such as America, England, and if I were more familiar with your institutions, I would perhaps also add Holland -- where the workers can attain their goal by peaceful means. This being the case, we must also recognize the fact that in most countries on the Continent the lever of our revolution must be force; it is force to which we must some day appeal in order to erect the rule of labor.
But later in the speech he made a qualification which applies to the U.S. and every nation:
Citizens, let us think of the basic principle of the International: Solidarity. Only when we have established this life-giving principle on a sound basis among the numerous workers of all countries will we attain the great final goal which we have set ourselves. The revolution must be carried out with solidarity; this is the great lesson of the French Commune, which fell because none of the other centres -- Berlin, Madrid, etc. -- developed great revolutionary movements comparable to the mighty uprising of the Paris proletariat.

So far as I am concerned, I will continue my work and constantly strive to strengthen among all workers this solidarity that is so fruitful for the future. No, I do not withdraw from the International, and all the rest of my life will be, as have been all my efforts of the past, dedicated to the triumph of the social ideas which -- you may be assured! -- will lead to the world domination by the proletariat.

Yesterday, I did a diary in Hellraisers Journal on Henry O. Morris's Waiting for the Signal. Written 25 years after Marx's speech, the novel suggests that by the end of the 19th century many U.S. socialists had given up hope of a non-violent revolution in the U.S.

How can Marx's and Morris's competing views be reconciled? The critical ingredient for the U.S. achieving a non-violent socialist revolution seems to me for the workers of the U.S. to be in solidarity with the other workers of the world. As long as we each view ourselves as competitors as opposed to brothers and sisters, we will be highly susceptible to divide-and-conquer. Yet, workers in the U.S. are in bad shape, having lost much of the manufacturing sector to China and other low-wage nations in the worldwide capitalist race to the bottom. To me, a central focal point of all workers of the world needs to be recognition of a global social compact. With such recognition, non-violent pressure from abroad, and not just blood pressure, might yet build for the U.S. to become an economically just nation for its own workers and those of the world.

Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 5:10 AM PT: Here's the link to Part 1 of this series: http://www.dailykos.com/...

Originally posted to Anti-Capitalist Meetup on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 03:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Hellraisers Journal, Anti-Capitalist Chat, Street Prophets , and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tonight's anti-capitalist meetup has been (9+ / 0-)

    x-posted to:

    wild wild left:

    http://www.wildwildleft.com/...

    Docudharma:

    http://www.docudharma.com/...

    The Stars Hollow Gazette:

    http://www.thestarshollowgazette.com/...

    FDL (sans pictures again, they do not like pictures from dkos):

    http://my.firedoglake.com/...

    "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

    by NY brit expat on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 03:10:46 PM PDT

  •  ACM Schedule (6+ / 0-)

    JULY

    13th: UnaSpenser?
    20th: Diomedes77
    27th: Geminijen

    AUGUST

    3rd:
    10th:
    17th:
    NY Brit Expat
    24th:
    31st:
    Annieli

    Hi Comrades and Fellow Travellers!

    We've ended June with a bang with a great piece by Annieli.  We have some volunteers for July.  In fact, we only have one opening for the 13th. Galtisalie comes back on the 6th, Diomedes77 is writing for us for the first time on the 20th and we have Geminjen on the 27th. It is possible that UnaSpenser can do that date and that is why her name has a question mark next to it ...  But, if you can take that date that would help this important and worthy series keep going.

    Alternatively, if you could put a piece in queue that is NOT time sensitive, we can use it when need arises. That would help everyone out in organising the series!

    For August, we have only two dates filled; NY Brit Expat will do the 17th and Annieli will do the 31st. If you can write something for the 3rd, 10th, or 24th, that would be extremely helpful!

    Please can you help by volunteering to post. It does not have to be fancy or theory ... it can be about anything from an anti-capitalist perspective ... perhaps an action that is happening that you think is important, a discussion of current events or serious debate ... whatever you feel comfortable with and what you can do!

    Please respond to this post or/and send a private message by kosmail to NY Brit Expat and/or send a message to our email group: dkanticapitalistgroup@gmail.com

    Please, the ACM needs you to write, can you volunteer to keep this great series going?!

    "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

    by NY brit expat on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 03:13:36 PM PDT

    •  Great news! (5+ / 0-)

      UnaSpenser is on for next Sunday!! yay!!

      "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

      by NY brit expat on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 05:07:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think much of Marx's optimism stems from the (6+ / 0-)

      fact that his focus on identifying exploitation of workers lies much more in the exploitation that occurs in production process, especially in an industrial society, (cheapening labor costs through more intensive exploitation on the job), than in the exchange process of Markets as Luxemburg does. Focusing more on production as the site of exploitation made Marx more aware of the role of technological development. H e seemed to believe that the ability of technological development would lead us to a world where there would be no necessary scarcity at which point, it would be easier to eradicate  the capitalist social structure that artificially created scarcity for some and institute a socialist society. This is a very brief comment on a very complex analysis of the cause of exploitation.
      Interestingly, the new "electronic: mode of production we are in seems to conflate the productive and exchange mode in ways that make both production and exchange forms of exploitation totally integrated.

    •  Forgot to ask: (0+ / 0-)

      Do I just post the diary in the normal fashion? Or does it need to go to a meetup box of some sort?

      Again, it will be my first time.

      . . . .

      Excellent diary above, btw.

      •  You are asked to get it in the ACM queue (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        diomedes77

        by 5 pm ET on Friday, then nybritexpat will publish it for the group at 6 pm Sunday. Hope that answers your questions. You may want to message nybritexpat if you other questions or if you want a more astute response!

        Thanks!

        Greatly appreciate you writing for the group and look forward to it immensely.

        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 08:16:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks. Much appreciated. (nm) (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          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 Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 08:28:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  In my opinion the U.S. should take in the Central (10+ / 0-)

    American refugees. They are fleeing violent conditions in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador with a background of U.S. intervention both military and economic and U.S.-supported leaders who don't do enough to stem the lawlessness the children want to escape. So we have a responsibility to help them.

    So many books--so little time. Economic Left/Right -7.88 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian -6.97

    by Louisiana 1976 on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 03:21:01 PM PDT

      •  We don't feed the trolls in this group. (0+ / 0-)

        Why don't you answer your own question and provide an explanation for your position?

        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 09:26:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think it is a fair question.. (0+ / 0-)

          They travel a thousand miles thru Mexico, yet Mexico has no moral obligation to these refugees?

          What about the UN?

          Refugees from Syria are housed in UN erected camps just over the border in Jordan.

          But the UN calls the Latin American refugees a "regional problem" they won't get involved in and put the entire burden on the US.

          •  Mexico, to my knowledge, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Galtisalie, BlueDragon

            did not and has not supported right wing coups in CA.

            Obama did and still does.

            We broke, we bought it…in this case children.

            •  Right.. so let me ask you a question.. (0+ / 0-)

              you think if left-wing socialists had been successful in taking over those countries, everything would be hunky dory?

              Have you seen the strife in Venezuela?

              I think you are fooling yourself that interventions by the US caused all the problems in that region.

              Oh.. and a question.. we broke Iraq as well.  Are we not responsible at all for what is going on there?

              •  Socialism is left wing. No need to add the extra (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Galtisalie

                adjective.

                Just as Fascism and Nazism are right-wing. An additional qualifier is unnecessary.

                And, yes, we broke Iraq by invading it with our military. It was obscene, despicable and unconscionable. To believe that evil can be "fixed" by more of the same is pure idiocy.

                •  So.. we can't fix Central America, right? (0+ / 0-)

                  We should just butt out.  Ok.. Thanks.  Gotcha!

                  •  We can help them via humanitarian aid . . . (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Galtisalie

                    along with an end to our endless attempts to make sure they never have leftist governments.

                    We can keep those kids here as refugees, care for them, give them food, shelter, health care, etc. They've already been through hell. We shouldn't add to it.

                    We can make sure that we push for treaties that help workers, instead of just capital. And we can make sure we push for environmental treaties that greatly reduce pollution across the globe.

                    There are a thousand things we can do to help. Using military force doesn't help them at all. It just makes matters infinitely worse, as we keep demonstrating.

                    “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, Anthills of the Savannah Economic Left/Right: -9.12 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.77

                    by diomedes77 on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 08:00:35 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

  •  thanks for this thoughtful diary (6+ / 0-)

    I too am reflecting on the recent RWNJ photo-op and its thinly disguised racism

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

    by annieli on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 03:22:37 PM PDT

  •  Well done Galtisalie!! (10+ / 0-)

    You have done justice to Luxemburg as well as Marx. I think that Marx certainly was far too hopeful in his understanding of the US ... he lived there and wrote (for newspapers) there and was there after the civil war (and corresponded with Lincoln, btw). The optimism is interesting, he understood the violence which was required to ensure full capitalism in the US (yes, that was the purpose of the Civil War ... again Luxemburg's understanding of the requirements for capitalism to survive are very helpful) to understand this need, he saw the rise of the complete consolidation of the system and the rise of what was called monopoly capitalism. So, I find his optimism interesting (and rather unlike him to be honest; yes, there must be a bit of optimism to be a revolutionary socialist, but he did understand the system well enough to have been a bit more cautious!).

    Irrespective of the above, I agree completely about the need for anti-capitalist internationalism. An additional reason is that those that rule enjoy the disharmony amongst those that should be united and play upon nationalism and xenophobia to do divide and rule. We are all exploited at the hands of this wretched system and the sooner that we realise that workers and peasants fighting for their rights are our allies (and not a threat to us, but to the ruling class instead) and that the ruling classes are not only destroying our present and potential futures of ourselves and the planet, the sooner we can get rid of the swine. Socialism can not be built in one country and that means that we need an international movement, so I agree and agree strongly!

    Our movement to eliminate the system must be democratic and it must be international and it must be based upon international solidarity. For too long we have allowed ourselves to be divided along false national boundaries. We have allowed those that claim to be democratic deny that right to democracy to others on a continual basis. Hiding behind false words has blinded so many, but it is impossible to continue to lie when your actions demonstrate constantly another reality. To quote Marx  on freedom

    "Freedom can be attained only in and through the community. The development of real freedom always and everywhere means the restriction of the freedom of others to oppress and do wrong. Freedom for the vast majority necessarily means restriction of the freedom of a small minority to exploit the labour of others, destroy nature monopolise the social means of production and communication.

    Freedom consists in converting the state from an organ superimposed upon society into one completely subordinate to it; and today, too, the forms of state are more free or less free to the extent that they restrict the “freedom of the state. Karl Marx
    Critique of the Gotha Program, Chapter 4 (https://www.marxists.org/...)

     

    "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

    by NY brit expat on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 03:37:36 PM PDT

  •  "We must refuse to separate morality from (7+ / 0-)

    economics"

    This is a foundational conversation that we need to have as a human race, particularly those of us in the dominant countries.

    Until we can get people to see the absolute necessity of this and to figure out how to come to some common ground on principles of morality based in justice and sustainability, it is almost impossible to talk about, much less do anything about, the dystopia in which we live.

    When people cheer about "capitalism!" and "democracy!" (which seems only to mean that you get to cast some kind of vote regardless of whether it has meaning), I cringe. Tell me the moral principles underlying the application of these systems and then we can talk. There is no morality in an economic system, nor in the mere act of voting. Both of these things must be imbued with a code of justice and sustainabililty before they have any meaning.

    Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

    by UnaSpenser on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 04:51:06 PM PDT

    •  I cannot tell you how many times (8+ / 0-)

      Marxist economists have told me of the need to eliminate the morality from his work and I cannot tell you how many times I have been driven to anger by this belief. What are we without morality, without justice, for what do we struggle and fight every day!! Agreed completely!

      "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

      by NY brit expat on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 05:06:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it's baffling that people think we can organize (5+ / 0-)

        societies in a meaningful way without establishing any morality.

        Do they understand what amorality looks like?

        Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

        by UnaSpenser on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 05:09:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  He does slloe for the subjective and the objective (3+ / 0-)

        But I think he was trying to present a scientific approach of the dynamics that make people  do things and eliminate the kind of faith-based (unverifiable) influence of many religions from the belief that life begins at conception and any intervention in pregnancy after that moment constitutes murder, to the idea that you will find virgins waiting for you in heaven to the idea that woman  are innately evil (Eve & the apple, menstrual blood)and thus have to been controlled by men and kept in a limited role in society, to t he idea that poor people are poor because of paying for sins in past lives (reincarnation?) or ideas of predetermination by an omniscient god, etc
         I grant you that the left has rather overdone this view and taken all emotional content out of politics and life.  But the problems is whose morality to we follow, how can we make a broad morality that allows maximum human tolerance of the other, etc.
        It ain't easy.

      •  David Harvey and Richard D Wolff are exceptions. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Galtisalie

        I think that morality is way high on their list.

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

          [ Parent ]

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

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm no expert but I place (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              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

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well said. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                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

                [ Parent ]

  •  The second key: "The revolution must be carried (9+ / 0-)

    out with solidarity; this is the great lesson of the French Commune, which fell because none of the other centres -- Berlin, Madrid, etc. -- developed great revolutionary movements comparable to the mighty uprising of the Paris proletariat."

    This was where I saw the potential of Occupy - if we were acting in solidarity with the Arab Spring uprisings, as well as, labor movements all over the world and the up and coming political experiments in South America.

    "We are the 99%" resonated around the world. Rather than buy into the authoritarian messaging that we didn't have a message or we needed to make demands, had we focused on building global solidarity under the "99%" meme (even if the number is just a marketing word), we would have been building the first real movement which could direct some profound change toward justice and sustainability. We need to all stay connected.

    Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

    by UnaSpenser on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 05:07:40 PM PDT

  •  Depends on what is meant by "internationalism". (5+ / 0-)

    There are disparate views on this, dating back to the debate during the First International, about how this should be organized.

    This applies to solidarity, as well. One cannot really create solidarity from above. If this is attempted, it isn't solidarity. To anarchists, solidarity is synonymous with mutual aid. It can't exist but through liberty and free association, and willing reciprocity. I think some of the working class in the U.S. fear socialism because they think they will have to give up freedom and individual autonomy, regimented to marching along in "solidarity" as defined by bureaucrats. I truly believe that if I could sit down with some of my "don't tread on me" working class co-workers and others with whom I am in contact with in my job and explain a kind of socialism they have never heard about before, they would gladly support it.

    Tell them they could control the workplace directly, tell them no elites will order them around, that they can self-manage their neighborhoods, that they will have choices, and individual autonomy, short of exploiting others using property as a control, and they would go for it. But alas, it could backfire and I'd be suddenly out of work and homeless. There is the rub. At the moment, my voice is muted by capitalism.

    I think the anti-government working class may come to a point when they can be reached. Many are anti-corporate, and they despise the way they're treated, and want to feel as if they have value again, and I think the people at the bottom whom some socialists write off might be reachable at some point in the future.

    But if they're approached to join some mass of people as mere human bodies to populate a movement, forget it.

    "Liberty without socialism is privilege, injustice; socialism without liberty is slavery and brutality." - Michael Bakunin (Economic Left/Right: -10.00 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -9.79)

    by ZhenRen on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 05:42:06 PM PDT

    •  What Bakunin wrote 145 years ago (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Galtisalie, thanatokephaloides

      fits well with my comment:

      From The Basic Bakunin, Writings 1869-1871:

         

      From the beginning of history until today, there has never been a politics of the people, and by "the people" we mean the common people, the working rabble whose labor is the world's pabulum. There has only been the politics of the privileged classes, and these classes have used the physical force of the people to dethrone each other and to take one another's place. The people, in turn, have supported or opposed them only in the vague hope that at least one of these political revolutions—none of which could have been made without their help but none of which has been made for their sake—might alleviate somewhat their poverty and their age-old slavery. They have always been deceived. Even the Great French Revolution betrayed them. It eliminated the aristocratic nobility and replaced it with the bourgeoisie. The people are no longer called slaves or serfs; the law proclaims them free-born. But their slavery and their poverty remain unchanged.

          And these will remain unchanged so long as the masses of the people continue to be used as the tool of bourgeois politics, whether this is called conservative, liberal, progressive, or radical politics, even if it gives itself the most revolutionary airs in the world. Because all bourgeois politics, regardless of its color and its label, has at bottom but a single aim: to preserve bourgeois rule; and bourgeois rule is proletarian slavery.

      "Liberty without socialism is privilege, injustice; socialism without liberty is slavery and brutality." - Michael Bakunin (Economic Left/Right: -10.00 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -9.79)

      by ZhenRen on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 06:19:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  too many people think the definition of socialism (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ZhenRen, tardis10, diomedes77

      is "government runs everything."

      I had a conversation recently where someone expressed this. When I said, "no. In socialism workers control the means of production and distribution, even if they decide that some service or product should be nationalized."

      The response was, "well, you can quote a dictionary, but we all know what socialism really is."

      How do we get people to open up their minds beyond the false dichotomy of "good capitalism vs teh evil socialism"?

      Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

      by UnaSpenser on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 10:04:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Approach it with an anti-state vocabulary (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Galtisalie, diomedes77

        Some of these people are sick of feeling the burden of authority on their backs. They understand anti-authoritarianism, they simply are confused, and don't know there are other forms of organization that are socialist but not placing them under the yoke. In fact, most people are ignorant about this, no matter what their station. Most haven't really studied this.

        It's too bad only one definition of socialism abounds in the minds of most people.

        "Liberty without socialism is privilege, injustice; socialism without liberty is slavery and brutality." - Michael Bakunin (Economic Left/Right: -10.00 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -9.79)

        by ZhenRen on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 10:23:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The good thing about the left's humiliation (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          unfangus, ZhenRen, diomedes77

          due to disaster of state totalitarian capitalism under Stalin and Mao is that we have the chance, and really no choice, but to rethink things. Capitalism, on the other hand, is for the most part stuck in triumphalism.

          I look on our challenge as having four fronts, which I show in this home-made chart: http://gardenvarietydemocraticsocialist.com/... As you know, I am multi-tendency, so the chart reflects that.

          The base of the chart is essentially anarcho-socialistic, and in my mind is in some ways the most important part. This is where socialism can most directly be built and experienced, including in the here and now. It also uses direct action and labor organizing to ideally help wrest control from the capitalists, while recognizing that things like Taft-Hartley are impediments to change.

          The sides of the chart represent involvement with national and subnational institutions, i.e., the "democratic" institution of electoral politics and the clearly undemocratic institution of the judiciary. I do not believe in abandonment of these middle-tier institutions, for all of their frustration, but on the other hand, I do not personally place my chief hope there. I do my part in GOTV and Voter Protection, etc., and think for instance that leftward pressure in Dem primaries and assertions and protests at SCOTUS are very important, but I am glad to have my expert and dedicated liberal friends, such as those at Daily Kos, to do a lot of the heavy lifting on national and subnational institutions, especially in general elections. I am a "hold my nose" Dem on the left wing of the possible who can't stand the idea of another Clinton presidency, and I am hoping for a Warren or Sanders Dem primary challenge, but in the end, will probably have to make the awful decision to vote for Clinton over an even worse Republican--although again Clinton is horrible.  

          And at the top of the chart (not hierarchical of course, and essentially grassroots and interconnected with the base) is direct democratic involvement with the work of international solidarity, where I think we should focus on a largely unknown UN committee as a pressure point. I hope that by as many human beings as possible coming to see ourselves as having economic justice rights and other personal rights, we can build a worldwide movement for deep democracy and solidarity that puts pressure back down on national and subnational institutions. I hope that with the great majority of the people of the world united in insisting upon everyone's rights being respected, everyone's basic needs can be met, while remaining respectful of our cultural differences. In future diaries this year for ACM, I am trying to flesh this international part of the chart out.

          Warm regards.

          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 04:23:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Since it's never been tried, how would they know? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Galtisalie, ZhenRen

        There has never been a socialist nation in the modern world. I'm so sick of hearing from right-wingers and, yes, liberals, about all the supposed failures, the Soviet Union, China, North Korea, etc. etc.

        But they never got to socialism. Far, far from it. They were light years away from it.

        These folks need to watch the video where Chomsky explains the abuse of the word:

        https://www.youtube.com/...

        •  Of course, Chomsky is an anarchist (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Galtisalie

          Most anarchists define socialism within a libertarian (in the traditional meaning) context. In that view, socialism really isn't socialism if it doesn't allow direct self-management of the community.

          "Liberty without socialism is privilege, injustice; socialism without liberty is slavery and brutality." - Michael Bakunin (Economic Left/Right: -10.00 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -9.79)

          by ZhenRen on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 12:47:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Orwell was an admirer of anarchists, as you (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ZhenRen, diomedes77

            know much more than I. Although he, like me, was a mere democratic socialist, he did not think that what Stalin was doing was anything like socialism. I agree. As I say in another comment thread above, Stalin was wrong in many ways, both in terms of mechanics but also in terms of his immorality. He was not an anarchist, but he was also not a Marxist.

            That said, I welcome the criticisms of Stalin's system, even by those who are insincere on the right. Those who are sincere are comrades in many cases and otherwise at least potential allies. Those who are insincere become triumphalist parodies incapable of admitting the ineptitude and immorality of their own failed system, i.e., capitalism. I wish that Orwell would have lived long enough to turn his pen back on capitalism. I wish Stalin had not been in power to do wrong and require one single word from Orwell's mighty pen. (Or did Orwell type?)

            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 04:17:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It wasn't just Stalin (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Galtisalie, diomedes77

              The Bolsheviks under Lenin and Trotsky were horrible. Under Trotsky's orders, thousands of peasant anarchists in the Ukraine were slaughtered, to give just one example.

              "Liberty without socialism is privilege, injustice; socialism without liberty is slavery and brutality." - Michael Bakunin (Economic Left/Right: -10.00 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -9.79)

              by ZhenRen on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 08:24:58 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  My leanings are with the anarchists. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ZhenRen

            Not as most people (incorrectly) seem to view it, as the absence of all order. But as Chomsky and others see it. Actual democracy in practice. Collective self-autonomy, though this might sound like an oxymoron.

            I see the potential for the collective to enable, expand, defend and project individual self-autonomy.

            Rilke once said that lovers should protect each other's independence and autonomy, etc. This may sound paradoxical, but it really isn't.

            “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 10:57:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I am sorry it is too late for me to recommend (0+ / 0-)

              your comment, or I would. Hope you see this.

              As ZhenRen and I have discussed a few times, I have a deep appreciation for anarchism. I am multi-tendency, but I believe that anarcho-socialism will be the foundation of much that is good in a just and loving world. Regards, Francisco aka Galtisalie

              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 Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 01:43:16 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Die rote Rosa came to much the same conclusions (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Galtisalie

    as Thomas Piketty with far less data...
    The US has had two non-violent revolutions, the first under Theodore Roosevelt (conservation, antitrust, etc.), the second under Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  But the counter-revolutionaries have stolen back almost all the gains of the middle class since 1980.  

    O Jungens, ich will doch gar kein Mensch sein (Jimmy Mahoney in Mahagonny by Brecht/Weill)

    by richardvjohnson on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 04:24:06 AM PDT

    •  The things we will never know! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      richardvjohnson, unfangus, tardis10

      The sad thing is that Luxemburg was not able to live a long life. She might have then left a much greater mark on socialism as it was experienced in the 20th century. Probably Stalin would have had her killed. I would have liked to have her around to meet the left Keynesian Joan Robinson, who wrote the introduction to Accumulation of Capital I read, to grapple with the issues in an honest way. Too bad that never occurred and that the meeting minutes are not available for all of us to benefit from. I have said before that I would have liked to see a Luxemburg/Robinson ticket for president and vice president of our world. This is not because they would have agreed on everything but because they would have been able to get to the essential truths through the use of their hearts and minds. I do not think that Luxemburg would have thought that Piketty's proposals were nearly enough for the challenges at hand today or in her own time, but on the other hand, she would have appreciated the contribution to the international democratic dialogue he was making.

      Coming so close on my reading of Henry O. Morris's novel, I am not feeling so warm for Theodore Roosevelt these days. I also would not call what happened under either Roosevelt revolutionary. Some progress was made, but not nearly enough. I am not trying to win a purity contest, however, and greatly appreciate the dialogue. As you say, almost all the gains have been swept away, but I would put the date back to 1947 with the passage of Taft-Hartley, and I would suggest that the focus should be on the workers broadly defined, and not the middle class per se. I would like to see a nice general strike now and then to point political democracy in the right direction from the worker's viewpoint.

      Cheers and regards!

      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 04:52:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Indeed I agree TR had some very bad points (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Galtisalie

        (hunting, imperialism) but no one else could have succeeded with the beginnings of environmentalism and the attempt to rein in the excesses of folks like JP Morgan.
        You're absolutely right that the Bolsheviks would never have permitted Rosa Luxemburg to live even if the proto-Nazis had spared her.  Too much free thought for any totalitarian to put up with.  You're also right about Taft-Hartley.  And I'm sorry I referred just to the middle class, of course I'm in sympathy with all workers.  Recently I reread Manhattan Transfer and the USA Trilogy and I'm thoroughly radicalized...
        I listen to the Brecht/Weill Berliner Requiem frequently and I cry at Rosa's song.

        O Jungens, ich will doch gar kein Mensch sein (Jimmy Mahoney in Mahagonny by Brecht/Weill)

        by richardvjohnson on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 06:18:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Where do we go from here ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Galtisalie

    I like these criticisms of capitalism.  This was a good journal.

    I really don't need to be convinced that capitalism is problematic.  However, I recognize that it is worth educating others especially since we all have been so immersed in capitalism's ideology.

    I would be interested in suggestions on how to proceed toward an alternative system.  This seems to be what is missing from anti-capitalistic criticisms.

    I think you will find that without defining an alternative vision that people will conclude that capitalism is "as good as it gets" (or something like that).  At least, I tend to get that reaction anytime that I talk about such matters.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

    by noofsh on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 04:35:49 AM PDT

    •  Great point. (0+ / 0-)

      We cannot simply criticize capitalism. I agree 100%.

      I think we work passionately and constructively on that in this group, despite the "anti" nature of our name. I essentially said the same thing in Part 1: http://www.dailykos.com/...
      Please see also my Mother's Day piece where I began to talk about the humble but international frame of mind that to me we need going forward: http://www.dailykos.com/...
      To me much of our battle begins with knowing our rights and knowing how to deploy ourselves most productively to build a better world.

      We humans have a lot of work to do. But by honestly recognizing how far we have to go, at least we can be heading in the right direction.  

      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 05:05:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Each element is and has been in place (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Galtisalie

    The U.S. has, and has had, sufficient support for the principles of Christian Socialism, both in its ideological and party senses, but it has always had them diffused, always had them a minority voice in the conversation. When labor was strongest, we were out-shouted by the narrow concerns of the immediate wage gain or the retributive voices of violence. When internationalism was strongest, we were dismissed as appeasement or impure radicals. When Occupy was going. . . I wasn't there, but we know how there are troops of people at this site who campaign on the issue that "religion" (as if there were a non-religious, as a concept) is inferior to the enlightened system of belief in the lack, or the anti-, or the badness of.

    In short, Christian Socialism in the U.S. has never had a political party. It has never had a platform and fielded candidates on a local level. It has never built up from the bottom nor come down from a brilliant leader.

    Consequently, there are loads of folks, and they have to embrace Democrats like disappointed beauty queens on prom night.

    "for all the murders, rapes, and thefts,/ Committed in the horrid lust of war,/ He that unjustly caus'd it first proceed,/ Shall find it in his grave and in his seed." -- Webster, "The White Devil," IV i 8-12.

    by The Geogre on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 05:56:28 AM PDT

    •  This is an important topic you raise. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Geogre

      I value your wonderful mind and opinions highly. Maybe you can be the leader of the Christian auxiliary to the worldwide socialist cause. You certainly have the chops, the moral clarity, and the scars. I'll follow you. Seriously, thanks so much for commenting so honestly.

      I purposely don't identify as a "Christian" socialist, but as a socialist who is also a Christian. I also consider my Christianity to be "100% socialized." I'm a big tent ethical democratic international socialist who thinks we need less division on "the serious left." I can't quit Jesus, and through the better part of a lifetime of soul-searching believe he was a socialist before that was a word and would have me be one too.

      Tried once early on in my socialist transformation 25+ years ago to give up Jesus, but it didn't take. Now I firmly believe that Jesus properly understood can advance the cause because it is his cause too, e.g., "earth as it is in heaven."

      I actually love all the atheists and agnostics I come into contact here at Daily Kos. I appreciate where they are coming from, and no one's going to hurt my feelings by telling me they think this or that. "I know whom I have believed" and MANY bad things have been and are done under the banner of "Christianity."

      That said, I'm "out" as a Christian because I want all my comrades to see that they can be in solidarity with me and I can with them. This group is a joy to me in my practice.

      Note too that a truly disgusting white supremacist fascist group in the U.S. goes by the name "Christian Socialist." I refuse to provide the link to their hateful group.

      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 Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 07:18:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm with you! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Galtisalie

        The European parties manage pretty well to stick to their socialist roots and to offer (depends on the nation) an alternative to their "middle left" coalition partners. We remain stuck, in the U.S., with the single nomination system. I was hopeful when New York passed the multiple nominations process, and we now see the Working Family Party wielding the clout of the left.

        I would actually think our best bet is to channel our old names, Farmers Progressives Party and the like, if we can first get multiple nominations.

        For anyone not familiar with the issue of multiple nominations, it means that Obama would, in 2012, run as a Democrat. The FPP could nominate him, too. At the election, he would receive votes from X Democrats and Y FPPs and Z Socialists and W Communists. The result would be a win, but he would know, and everyone would know, what his left vote was. It would encourage the "left" groups to field unique candidates in local races because contributors wouldn't be put under the "us or the Republicans" dilemma any more.

        My problem with the anti-religious is my age, I think. To me, it's like being anti-music. I can understand someone being anti-jazz (I guess) or anti-rap, but saying, "Music has always accompanied war, so it is bad" is nonsensical. It is human to have music. It is human to have religion as well, and these structures of religion show up in the belief systems of the anti-religious. There is a wonderful poem by Bertolt Brecht, "To Those Born After," where he apologizes, "We who worked for friendship never could be friendly ourselves." (Sorry if the link starts reading aloud to you.)

        Even so we realised
        Hatred of oppression still distorts the features,
        Anger at injustice still makes voices raised and ugly.
        Oh we, who wished to lay for the foundations for peace and friendliness,
        Could never be friendly ourselves.
        We can't fall into that trap, and sometimes I do.

        "for all the murders, rapes, and thefts,/ Committed in the horrid lust of war,/ He that unjustly caus'd it first proceed,/ Shall find it in his grave and in his seed." -- Webster, "The White Devil," IV i 8-12.

        by The Geogre on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 10:38:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Well..... (0+ / 0-)

    I, for one, deeply despise capitalism, but mainly the corporate variety. If Wall Street only could accept money through voting into existence charters, maybe I could agree with it more.
    If you all hate capitalism so much, or at least the manifestation of it in the extreme commodification of all of human existence, then you all have some rather easy revenues of escape and liberation, but they will take some work.
    First, one must understand that the market is currently our public sphere - buying and selling. An easy to combat this is to open up public spaces which are not private, and not falling for the tragedy of the commons BS excuse. This would begin to open up avenues to practice life outside of commercialization and begin to eliminate the idea that everything must have a price because it holds vast incongruity together over large distances. The US is a large free market, but even FA Hayek thought that currencies should come into being in more local areas and compete, as well as other people thinking that altervative, or concurrent currencies could even out the macro-fluxes in the monetary system.
    So, second, create your own currencies, (already above).
    Base them on mutual aid and time-shares or whatever you want.
    Thirdly, no wealth. Whenever you can avoid it, do not create it or accept it, (in the form of stocks, mostly).
    Fourth, boycott, and alternative networks of stores in the locale.
    Fifth, commercial society is only essential in cities that have no beginning and end, and no true coherency to them. If cities had more shape and built to scale, then anarchism and communism would truly be possible. (One thing in the morning, another in the evening, without becoming any of them).
    Sixth, build online networks similar to the Internet of Things, to take stock of society's projects. After all, anarchism is largely limited by knowledge assymetry, but may become possible, due to the great greed of corporations building the Internet of Things on their own terms and leasing it out to use and collect information on from the masses.
    Kick capitalism while it's down!!! And don't let it get back up.

    •  Thank you Political Guy. (0+ / 0-)

      It is too late for me to recommend your comment or I would.

      I agree with the substance of what you wrote, but want to comment on a couple of things:

      1. "If you all hate capitalism so much, or at least the manifestation of it in the extreme commodification of all of human existence, then you all have some rather easy revenues of escape and liberation, but they will take some work." This is a group of dedicated people on the serious left. Each week we struggle with these issues. Some of the struggle is easy, but a lot is very difficult. You are welcome to join us in this discussions if you share our interests.

      2. This group has a wide-swath of views on the serious left. Some, like me, are multi-tendency. But we share the goal of a humane and sustainable world and know that this will not come with capitalism.
       

      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 Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 01:39:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Galtisalie!!! (0+ / 0-)

    You are becoming one of my fav contributors.  

    Accessible, astute and timely, this essay has it all.

    Solidarity indeed - unless all human labor is valued equally, there will always be an impetus for outsourcing and exploitation.  

    ..the smoker you drink, the player you get....

    by Diane Gee on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 03:06:13 PM PDT

  •  I have grown to embrace the idea of socialism. (0+ / 0-)

    Growing up, I was taught socialism is evil and un-American. But looking at where true capitalism has taken the country makes me take another look at socialism. Now I welcome or at least "hear out" ideas that I once though were so bad. Thanks so much for your thought provoking diaries and comments.

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