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Buttershit would probably enjoy this book.

Anyone read this book, or on this topic in general? The more I read about the history of socialism the more I wonder if Marx wasn't a mixed blessing. It's not that I object to Marx's core insights on many things, including his critiques of utopian socialism. But that Marx's thought historically tended to become the sole litmus test for whether you are a socialist or not increasingly seems like a fatal monomania of the left. Everything for more than a century has had to be strained through Marx's categories, which are ultimately ingeniously twisted Hegelian categories, for better or worse. And on top of that, nobody even agrees exactly what Marx's categories were, or how they changed over time, or about certain ambiguities latent in them.

Anyone actually read the "utopian" socialists? Or read both them and Marx, without wholly rejecting Marx or doing the typical Marxist thing and subsuming them all under Marx's rejection of them as mere proto-Marxism?
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I don't know anything about this sorry
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>>19053286
You've hit the issue that Marxism has become a secular religion and Marx its prophet, his words are taken as holy scripture.
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>>19053286
that’s an extremely interesting period of history that i’ve been thinking about a lot recently (socialism/communism before and during 1848)
check out Proletarian Nights (La Nuit des prolétaires) by Jacques Rancière. it’s similar
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>>19053286
Class struggle in your union is a litmus test for communism.

Marxism is yet another bourgeois liberal ideology, if more useful than most.
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>Anyone actually read the "utopian" socialists? Or read both them and Marx, without wholly rejecting Marx or doing the typical Marxist thing and subsuming them all under Marx's rejection of them as mere proto-Marxism?

Yes to both questions. I especially admire Fourier out of the more well-known utopian socialists and find that most doctrinaire Marxists tend to misunderstand Marx’s own critique of Fourier, Owen, and the others while overlooking how much Marx and Engels respected them. The history of the workers’ movement is such a minefield full of overlapping sectarian interpretations that it’s hard to cut through the weeds on questions like these, but I think there’s a way of recognizing what was lost in the rejection of the utopian socialists without pitting Marx or Marxism as the chief culprits. Social conditions changed, workers became ever more urbanized and socialized and both the commune/phalanx and Proudhon’s petit-bourgeois Main Streetopia became ever more remote, the mass party took the place of the conspiracy and secret society, the soviets and councils took the place of parliaments, Haussmannization made barricades and street fights lose their significance, etc.; in short, militants began to face the brute facts of this world in new and ever more pressing situations that didn’t take as well to dreaming and imagining new worlds as the time of the utopians had.

Nevertheless, it should be admitted that the economism of Second International Marxism did do much damage even to the utopian strivings of Marx’s own vision and the communist program as a whole; as did the Marxism-Leninism of the Comintern and on, which more or less turned Marxism into a doctrine of national self-determination and developmentalism. A comradely critique from the Manifesto turned into a proscription of the same spirit which had animated the movement Marx and Engels gave their lives to, and it all undoubtedly harmed the imaginary of subsequent emancipatory struggles (though there are significant exceptions to this rule, as recorded by scholars like Richard Stites). But it should go without saying that both the social democracy of the late 19th century and the Leninism of the 20th also animated people in other no less venerable ways and freed millions from the prospects of colonization and other horrors—while of course exacerbating others like bureaucracy and even introducing new ones—and that for their participants, the exigencies of social revolution and civil war often seemed to take precedence over florid thoughts of seas of lemonade and all that.

(1/2)
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>>19053609
Though it might seem paradoxical, I think Marx’s thought still provides us the best framework for making sense of the significance of utopian socialism and the “proletarian dreams” the other anon hinted at by mentioning Rancière. And I don’t mean to say it’s because Marx “superseded” them. What I mean is that Marx, so often misunderstood by his detractors (and supporters) as being a mainly prescriptive thinker, provided a descriptive theory by which we can understand the social conditions out of which the utopian socialists and those like them emerged and appropriately recognize their creativity with respect to these conditions. The utopian spirit embodied in those like Fourier helped form the will and subjective orientation of generations of militants, while Marx revealed the objective circumstances within and against which they all lived. Marx provided the map, and the utopians knew how to say, “fare forward, voyagers.” We still need both.

(2/2)
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>>19053609
>>19053613
Nice post.
Don't like Marx(too much logic, too much thinking)but the utopian socialists were pretty good from the little I've read
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>>19053609
>>19053613
Nice effortposts. Do you think conditions have changed so much that a third element or additional elements might be necessary? The one element I still see as "live," or at least not on life support, is the anti-bourgeois sentiment. That seems to be going strong, but even it doesn't seem to take seriously Marx's objective/descriptive tendency, or the utopian socialists' visionary daydreaming. People can't and don't imagine a radically different socialist future (Fischer/Zizek quotes about this), they literally can't imagine a way outside capitalism. But they also instinctively seem to know that studying Marxism is a "nobly tragic pastime." The excitement and fire that made people think Marxism had real answers in the sense that knowing those answers would imminently change the world, that seems gone.

I have a feeling that socialists and Marxists with nothing to fight for will inevitably accept the bourgeois post-Marxian perspective that Marxism is really a fait accompli, in that it was integrated into the "consciousness of modernity" by becoming an instinctive part of the social sciences and reform politics. People will consciously or unconsciously accept the impossibility of escape from capitalism, and console themselves that Marx's injunctions that, for example, the bourgeoisie become the representative class of everything wrong with modern society, became reflexive for many moderns who weren't even Marxist or socialist. Thus Marxism "spent" itself, the socialist "moment" "really had value in the long run, just not in the way he thought!" The same knowing way we speak of Fourier and Saint-Simon who thought their ideas were imminently achievable.

This is already effectively what people think, but I mean it will become more and more accepted, and socialism (Marxist or otherwise) won't even "feel" like an alternative anymore.

Is there anything in modern society that Marx would even recognize? I really wonder whether he would advocate for some insane radicalism if he were resurrected today, something far more practical than theoretical to jolt people back into some consciousness of solidarity and make class oppositions visible again. I wonder if he'd see even today's most "radical" Marxists as empty talkers.

The last thing I could see a genuine radical Marxist taking seriously as a possibility was third worldism and that failed. Now we're supposed to do, what? Lumpenprole third worldism in the first world, as gig economy slaves with perfected prolefeed and legalized marijuana? Or am I supposed to start thinking about class warfare on a thousand year timescale here?
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>>19053286
Is the moth even still around, been about a year since I've been here
On pre-Marxist socialism (or at minimum non-Marxist contemporaries who had no interest in his framework whatsoever), I've read a tiny bit of Owen, some Christian socialist stuff (Kingsley, Maurice etc) and some of the older agrarian socialists like Winstanley and Spence.
Kingsley's novels are better than his polemics honestly. Spence is endearing in a curmudgeonly way. And so on. Which is to say I never particularly felt that they escaped the condescension of posterity, even if that's probably unfair on my part. Still worth looking at I guess. Effortposter was right that people glance over Marx's respect for Owen et al. Just hard to shake my sense that we're past them in a way we're just not with Marx

>>19054443
In answer to your final question: yeah, you probably are. Unless climate change or something causes mass proletarianization that is. Then taking a hammer to the looms will probably seem a downright no-brainer
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>>19053286
>This time period is known as BM
lul
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>read Mehring's biography of Marx
>"Of course, Proudhon's execrable babbling was no match for the shimmering godlike Marx's excellent and essentially revolutionary ideas. It is only to be expected that Proudhon's refusal to obey the resplendent demigod Marx's will in all things would irritate even the ruggedly handsome, always delightfully scented Marx's good nature. When the puny and insignificant Weitling dared to avert his eyes from the golden adonis Marx while--o, the horror!--Marx was speaking, it was only too natural that the ... (it goes on like this for several hundred pages)"
>read Ruhle's biography of Marx
>"Marx's fantabulous ideas are really quite increbulous. Each day Marx wrote a new spectacularly exciting new awesome and great idea that revolutionized the world. Here is just a small sampling of the brilliant and incredible things Marx wrote in just one day of writing his wonderful beautiful (it goes on like this for several hundred pages)"
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China, despite being decried by some ignorant Western leftists as revisionist, actually offers the 21st century a kind of new socialism based on pragmatism and synthesis, and has shown miraculous results. China has reassessed many aspects of its Maoist legacy and has decentralized state control of its economy to some extent since the Deng Xiaoping era in order to stimulate economic growth. China has come to realize that in order to properly advance their society through the stages of economic development described by Marx, they must first pass through the stages of capitalism, then achieve full socialism, and finally communism. In essence, this idea is a pragmatic solution that applies Marxist ideas to recognize the material conditions that exist in the country. They sought to industrialize the country and consolidate enough wealth and international power to rebuild it after it had been ransacked by Western imperialism. We are now quite close to this goal, and Xi Jinping, a committed Marxist scholar and son of the revolution, is doing everything in her power to ensure that it is achieved.
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>>19055126
i'll check it out, thanks for the recommendation
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>>19055179
>her
His*
I apologize for this grave mistake.
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>>19055179
>despite being decried by some ignorant Western leftists as revisionist
*fascist
That’s not ignorance

>>19055193
>I apologize for this grave mistake.
Your execution has been scheduled for next Tuesday.
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>>19055179
Lol this is just rationalizing anything China does as "marxist" regardless of what they're actually doing
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>>19055179
China is just the NEP with computers, you needn't gild it. In the literal sense it fully relies on a 'revision', namely that socialist enterprises may engage in commodity production, subordinate (to large degree at least) their state-planned production to market stipulations, and otherwise submerge themselves in the 'ordinary buying and selling' Lenin described. And still in some meaningful sense be 'socialist' that is.
I am open to this logic, that what is meant by 'socialism' (though of a definitely primitive or undeveloped form, as the Chinese themselves insist) is essentially an SOE sector embedded in a market economy that operates only sporadically along actually, properly, strictly 'socialist' lines - working to blunt and negate the law of value just so much that national development may continue in the face of an opposed global capitalism, that a stronger base for socialism 2.0 may be constructed. But lets drop the triumphalism please. And acknowledge that there actually is a certain (though not necessarily absolute) level of deviation from what Marx strictly describes in the Gotha Critique etc.
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>>19055179
who cares
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>>19055179
China is the foremost postmodern authoritarian state. It has nothing to do with socialism, marxism or communism, or any other existing ism.
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>>19055483
This doesn't describe its economy though
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>>19055179
>20 more years
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>>19055298
It's the ultimate accelerationist force: it uses capitalist methods to achieve material gains for the population without weakening the institutional power of the communist party which can then easily harness this power in future, unlike in Soviet Union where the state institutions collapsed under capitalist pressures and gave way to weaker, less Marxist-inclined political institutions.
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>thinking China is communist
They're class collaborationist since the early 2000s. Thinking they'll go back is wishful thinking. Accept it Marxfags, Bombacci won after all.
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>>19055732
Accelerationism is passé. Roll on neo-neo-Luddism

>>19055745
'Class collaborationist' is not a mode of production. Having said that I still wouldn't want to live there.
Also liberalisation was at its greatest in the 90s, so earlier than your claiming anyway
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>>19055764
>'Class collaborationist' is not a mode of production.
You're right, but it's incompatible with the communist one.
>Also liberalisation was at its greatest in the 90s, so earlier than your claiming anyway
I'm talking about two different things. The enshrining of class collaborationism in the PRC happened with the Three Represents off 2002.
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>>19055732
>it uses capitalist methods to achieve material gains for the population without weakening the institutional power of the communist party which can then easily harness this power in future
Engels:
>...in the Social-Democratic Party itself, and even in the ranks of the Reichstag fraction, a certain petty-bourgeois socialism finds a voice. This takes the form that while the fundamental views of modern socialism and the demand for the transformation of all the means of production into social property are recognised as justified, however, the realisation of this is declared possible only in the distant future, a future which for all practical purposes is quite out of sight. Thus, for the present time, one has to have recourse to mere social patchwork, and sympathy can be shown, according to circumstances, even with the most reactionary efforts for so-called "uplifting the working classes".
Lenin:
>Today, the theories of these petty-bourgeois ideologists, when they come forward as the spokesmen of the interests of the working people, are positively reactionary. They obscure the antagonism of contemporary Russian social-economic relations and argue as if things could be improved by general measures, applicable to all, for “raising,” “improving,” etc., and as if it were possible to reconcile and unite.... they simply can not understand the necessity for a struggle, a desperate struggle of the working people themselves for their emancipation. The “friends of the people,” for example, seem to think they can manage the whole thing themselves. The workers need not worry. Why, an engineer has even visited the offices of Russkoye Bogatstvo, and there they have almost completely worked out a “scheme” for “introducing capitalism into the life of the people.” Socialists must make a DECISIVE and COMPLETE break with all petty-bourgeois ideas and theories....


btw, there's no communist party with any power in China. and there wasn't one in Russia either since the late 1920s
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>>19055818
the CCP was always class collaborationist lol. Mao allied with capitalists to develop the productive forces
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Marxism doesn't work.

Socialism doesn't work.

Communism doesn't work.

Capitalism works.
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>>19055839
That's even worse for Marxfags.
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>>19055873
uh huh
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>>19055818
>incompatible
Injurious, I agree. Incompatible, not really. It's not like oil and water or something. Though it has definitely led to Western-style instrumentalism and political decline, yeah. If you're insistent on it not being socialism the stronger angle is surely to just default to the Gotha Critique like I mentioned anyway?

>Three Represents
Oh okay my mistake
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>>19055884
>If you're insistent on it not being socialism the stronger angle is surely to just default to the Gotha Critique like I mentioned anyway?
My point is that it isn't communism (socialism it kind of is, national socialism that is), and that's why it works.
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>>19055833
>Lenin quote from 1894
Lol. Yeah and then when Lenin was actually in government he realised socialist and capitalist relations were going to coexist for at least some period of time. Thus, his 5-part model of the Russian economy.

>>19055895
Ah. Well for a Marxist, socialism and communism are two aspects of the same thing (becoming/being). But fair enough. Are you a 3Pist?
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>>19055963
>Are you a 3Pist?
Not really. I'm a pragmatist, I don't care about who is in charge economically as long as my family is fine and niggers and faggots are in prison/expelled. Capitalism, socialism they all have their merits and downsides.
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>>19055985
your time will come
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>>19055985
Fair enough. Communists have assuaged their own anxieties by claiming China is neoliberal. In reality, the majority of Western commies turn into good little neolibs the second you raise immigration/demographic replacement.
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>>19053286
Problem with Proudhon, is that he wanted a good commodity, a good money, a good wage labor, a good money creation.
Marx understood that all those are categories of Das Kapital, and that they need to be abolished in order to emancipate humans.
Proudhon is forgiven for not having understand this. He was a proto-communist after all. What is not forgivable, is retards who still didn't get this, and are Proudhonists in 2021.
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>>19055963
>Lol. Yeah and then when Lenin was actually in government he realised socialist and capitalist relations
for directly revolutionary ends, including the intensification of class struggle on the countryside, and not in the name of "material gains" for a reconciled "population".
every fucking bourgeois politician strives to achieve "material gains" for the "population". slap on it a promise of socialism "in the distant future, a future which for all practical purposes is quite out of sight" as Engels has put it, and you have China.

>>19055963
>Well for a Marxist, socialism and communism are two aspects of the same thing (becoming/being).
no they aren't. read Marx instead of watching Stalinist youtubers you child

>>19056217
>Problem with Proudhon, is that he wanted a good commodity, a good money, a good wage labor, a good money creation.
lol sounds like China. using commodity production, money, wage labour "to achieve material gains for the population". and thus we learn that they can be quite good in abstraction from any communist movement whatsoever, as long as a capable state suppresses their bad side and lets the good side do its wonders for "the people".
Marx is truly lucky to not be alive today.
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>>19056385
>directly
The Chinese claim to have socialism right now. As did Lenin's Russia. I don't know why you're sperging about the 'distant future'. I think we simply disagree on what constitutes a 'revolutionary' end. I'm not even sure that there's a very meaningful distinction between Lenin saying capitalism and socialism will co-exist and the Chinese saying the exact same thing but supposedly lacking this legitimising 'end' in the first place. They reformed because there was clearly loads of black market stuff happening, regardless of their efforts to the contrary. Both Russia and China - that's the ultimate reason. The GPCR/Gang of Four play into it as well I guess. I don't care to argue whether the above constitutes a 'revolutionary' end anyway really. You could claim it was one simply by virtue of it saving the country from descending into chaos or something. 'Intensifying class struggle' is presumably as much a revolutionary end as 'preventing ourselves from collapse' if the entity at risk of collapse is a socialist country. I guess my issue is that the struggle seems primarily semantic/polemic.
>youtubers
I don't, but if people want to that's fine I guess. As long as they're open to their arguments being criticised.
Feel free to expand on 'no' though, I'm open to criticism. Stop being a baby.
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>>19056564
>The Chinese claim to have socialism right now. As did Lenin's Russia.
meanwhile Lenin:
>No one, I think, in studying the question of the economic system of Russia, has denied its transitional character. Nor, I think, has any Communist denied that the term Soviet Socialist Republic implies the determination of the Soviet power to achieve the transition to socialism, and not that the existing economic system is recognised as a socialist order.

>I think we simply disagree on what constitutes a 'revolutionary' end.
yes, my goal is to correctly present what communism is while your goal is to present a conservative bourgeois state as revolutionary, so obviously we will "disagree" on this
>Intensifying class struggle' is presumably as much a revolutionary end as 'preventing ourselves from collapse' if the entity at risk of collapse is a socialist country.
"ourselves" being a bourgeois state. it's only a revolutionary end when the thing being preserved is proletarian power. in China the power has been from the beginning in hands of bourgeois revolutionaries that strove to reconcile all modern classes for the purposes of building a modern bourgeois state.
>I guess my issue is that the struggle seems primarily semantic/polemic.
the struggle is one of the proletarian movement versus bourgeois conservation under red flags
>Feel free to expand on 'no' though
"no" means there's simply no such thing in Marx. feel free to read him any time
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>>19057074
Refusing to quote the whole paragraph?
>No one, I think, in studying the question of the economic system of Russia, has denied its transitional character. Nor, I think, has any Communist denied that the term Soviet Socialist Republic implies the determination of the Soviet power to achieve the transition to socialism, and not that the existing economic system is recognised as a socialist order. But what does the word “transition” mean? Does it not mean, as applied to an economy, that the present system contains elements, particles, fragments of both capitalism and socialism? Everyone will admit that it does. But not all who admit this take the trouble to consider what elements actually constitute the various socio-economic structures that exist in Russia at the present time. And this is the crux of the question.
Further:
>But the fact will become intelligible if you recall that we definitely did not regard the economic system of Russia as something homogeneous and highly developed; we were fully aware that in Russia we had patriarchal agriculture, i.e., the most primitive form of agriculture, alongside the socialist form

Lenin was still referring to 'socialist enterprises' in 1923, both in the form of state-owned enterprises and cooperatives.
So. It had both capitalism and socialism then. By 'socialist order' it's fairly clear he meant something along the lines of Stalin's 'Final victory of socialism'. So yes:
>The Chinese claim to have socialism right now. As did Lenin's Russia.

>revolutionary
No, my issue is that I don't see why the Russian Civil War constituted a legitimate case for market reforms, but the Cultural Revolution did not.
And China has not been in the hands of 'bourgeois revolutionaries from the beginning' lol. This is just false. And even if it were, they followed Lenin's course of action(!), so I guess for capitalists they make decent communists. The reverse is true as well in fairness. It's just that the formulation applies equally well to Russia's NEP.
>"no"
If by this you mean that the thing we refer to since Lenin's time as 'socialism' was then known as 'lower-stage communism', sure. But that is once again purely semantic.
If your issue is more philosophical, I would like to hear more. Is it the Hegelian trappings? the 'stagism'? Something else?
'The real movement' etc etc
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>>19055850
>Capitalism works.
Anon, 4chan, 2021.
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>>19053286
I agree with all you've said here.
A similar thought I've had recently:
Marxists categorically construct truth as fidelity to a correctly configured Marxism, as if Marx's thinking was completely free of ambivalence or inconsistency. This is true of everyone from spanning academic marxists, ruling ML parties, ultraleft cells, and twitter cranks like Aimee Terese. All incongruous lines of thought, all claiming fidelity to the "correct" Marx.
Exploring the points of tension in Marx's ouvre and the Marxist tradition would be a completely different project.
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>>19055289
>Your execution has been scheduled for next Tuesday.
holy kek!
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>>19057745
>construct truth as fidelity to a correctly configured Marxism, as if Marx's thinking was completely free of ambivalence or inconsistency.
Close. To a correctly configured Marxism where repeated recursive attempts to correct the Marxism by praxis have resulted in a demonstrated best fit by class war success.

Anyone who claims Marx was right isn't a Marxist. Marx was demonstrably wrong, but the method was significantly right, prior to recent recursive attempts (chiefly post-Fordism).

But in order to understand the role of Operaismo in critiquing Leninism, you need to simultaneously conduct the liberal analysis if you're scholarly. The praxic analysis deals with itself.

Think of it as double post-destination of the method of salvation if that helps.
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>>19053286
Havent read, but I do know of a number of utopian communities pre marx. A lot of interesting stuff durring and after the english civil war for example.
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>>19053286
Heard of the utopian american community experiments in the 1800's?

shakers did pretty well everything considered beside the troubling fact that they didn't really breed. But thats not necessarily a problem I guess. Maybe you could even see it as a success.
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>>19055850
lmao it's on life support, let it go anon



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