• 25 Posts
Joined hace un año
Cake day: mar. 23, 2022


Yeah, at some point it’s not even about convincing the person you’re arguing with. Good points.

How does Azov force the government to do what they want? Can you give an example?

Ukronazis vs Russonazis?
Libs and reactionaries will constantly bring up the Wagner group in response to having the existence of the Azovites pointed out to them. This counterargument strikes me as lazy and equivocating, but I've always had trouble responding to it. What would people here recommend I say to this point? Assuming I say anything at all.

I see. That explains why I had never heard the term before. I was fourteen or fifteen when the annexation of Crimea occurred, so I certainly wasn’t paying attention. It makes sense why people here don’t talk about them. It really undermines this idea that people in these oblasts are welcoming the Russian liberators.

So is that just not true? Is there anything that actually supports the idea that people in Crimea and the Donbass want to reaffix to Russia? The elections were a landslide, and I doubt they were faked, but maybe they were? Were these just paramilitaries send to support existing rebels? This is kind of big news to me.

The “Little Green Men,” Stalin’s deportation of Crimean Tartars, and the definition of “Imperialism”
I was arguing with someone in the V**shite subreddit because I'm a masochist. That was the first time I'd ever heard the term "little green men." Apparently, not knowing who these guys are disqualifies me from having an opinion on Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014, so I'm trying to learn. Who are these people? Did they do something awful and genocidal that I'm not aware of? Or is this person just talking out of their ass? In my research, I encountered more of Stalin's infamous deportations, namely that of the Crimean Tartars to the Central Asian SSRs. It seems downright ghoulish to me that he would do that, especially given the death and suffering it caused. Is anyone familiar with the rationale behind these deportations? Is it not as bad as it seems, or is this a black mark on his record? If it's a black mark, how do we make sense of that while still upholding Stalin's legacy? And of course, whenever Russia comes up, the radlibs and the anarchists all flock together to insist that Russia is a colonizing, imperialist power. I'm aware that imperialism is something pretty specific, and not something that Russia can be rightfully accused of. Even so, I have to admit that I'm not fresh on what DOES count as imperialism. Will someone elucidate this for me? Thanks in advance.

Can climate change be stopped if the PRC and the Global South must industrialize?
Took my monthly foray into Reddit and made a post of r/capitalismvsocialism asking people what they thought would happen to capitalism when climate change wreaks it havoc across the planet. I learned three things about liberals. 1. They either think climate change is not happening or is not a serious threat. 2. They think Communists pollute more because China, a developing nation with over 1.4 billion people, currently has a higher raw annual CO2 output, which incidentally isn't true. 3. They think capitalist green energy is on pace and everything's gonna be fine guys don't worry we still have PLENTY of time. But someone did argue that "zero carbon means zero carbon for everyone," therefore the global south can't burn fossil fuels if climate change is to be combated effectively. Is this really true? Is there no way for these countries to develop without causing climate change?

Earth is objectively the coolest, obviously, but Venus is a “yas queen slaaaaaay” in my book. Absolute girlboss. So hot.

Does historical materialism argue capitalism is “necessary”?
I've heard it said before, though I can't remember where, that Marx regarded capitalism as a necessary stage in social development. Does this imply that capitalism is inevitable, along with all its exploitation? Maybe I'm misinterpreting something, but I don't really like the idea. I understand that communism refers to a post-capitalist society rather than a non-capitalist society, making capitalism "necessary" for the creation of socialism, but I don't think it follows to argue that capitalism is something every society must move through. Thoughts?

I know Castro wasn’t too hot on the LGBTQ property, but is there any evidence that he rounded them up and put them in camps? For being gay?

Obviously this is extreme and hateful rhetoric, but isn’t there a kernel of truth to the idea that settlers need to be driven off of stolen land for decolonization to succeed? If violent resistance is off the table, what exactly does that leave us with?

How to spot a psyop?
I've read many discussions in which certain ideas are denounced as CIA sabotage. I find myself torn between the two camps that form whenever this happens, usually because I have no idea what a CIA psyop actually looks like and have no reference for what a Marxist solution to, say, the question of what anti-colonial society actually looks like. It's not an easy question, and it's made all the more murky with the knowledge that plants and saboteurs absolutely exist. Is there an ascribed methodology to identifying CIA propaganda?

These are the same people that fell for the Borat schtick

Never ever seen a girl in thigh high socks because I don’t live in anime world.

Comrade Castro my people yearn for freedom. Please send MiG-29 fighter jets to liberate occupied Ohio from the mosquitoes.

Read “abortion pills” as abortion, because that’s the vast majority of abortions.

Land of the free.

Vladimir Putin under arrest for ligma
Imagine my shock when, stoned out of my gourd, I see the ABC Nightly News headlines. "Warrant Issued For Vladimir Putin's Arrest" And it's issued by an "international" criminal court America has already deemed an unnecessary inhibitor to their colonial project. I feel like the media is gaslighting us. Very briefly my sense of reality was annihilated. I was caught in a bizarre imperialist fantasy where nothing made sense. I wanted ask my sister what year it was and whether Kiev had finally sacked Moscow. I was convinced I had missed some major developments. My fault for falling for the MSM clickbait, apparently.

It sounds like the government doesn’t really have a lot of answers. Couldn’t this just be speculation?

The Aral Sea and other(?) environmental disasters under socialism
I recall my anticommunist high school history teacher kicking up quite a bit of dust over the destruction of the Aral Sea. My understanding is that the sea was drained to irrigate cotton plantations, but that's the extent of my knowledge on the subject. It's often cited as an example of environmental degradation under socialism, and functions well as a "whataboutism" when someone suggests that socialism leads to better environmental outcomes and ecological justice. Even though I feel it's an apples and oranges comparison, I do think it's worth discussing how such missteps can be avoided in current and future socialist projects. What were the incentive structures in place that resulted in the drainage of the Aral Sea, and how can we ensure something like it doesn't happen again? What have AES states done to this effect?

Some shitheel politician from Texas, never did anything memorable.

Quick question, I was always taught in school that blitzkrieg was enabled by innovations in tank technology. If it’s not that, what enabled Hitler to (briefly) overwhelm much of Europe?

These two statements don’t really go together. If you respect the rights of sex workers, you’ll aim to abolish the system which oppresses and rapes them. It really has nothing to do with moralizing over sex.

I think that last bit about China is a bit unfair. Murder is illegal everywhere, and everywhere there’s murder. It doesn’t mean murder generally isn’t being “handled well.” I’d be more curious about the volume and nature of sex work in China.

toGenZedongThe Sex Worker Question
94 meses

Is pornography still exploitative if no money changes hands? I figure if I want to put my ass on the internet for free, there’s nothing wrong with that, right? I’m not sure how that specific kind of pornography relates to capitalism.

And what about drawn pornography? Are we coming after the furries? lol

The Sex Worker Question
I see sex work as somewhat analogous to coal mining. It's not that it isn't real work, or that those who work in that capacity don't deserve rights, dignity, or a society that works for them. The problem, of course, is the ever-present exploitation of the workers coupled with the severe unpleasantness of the occupation which ensures that the people who do work these jobs are those with few other options. That isn't to say that all sex workers and/or coal miners are miserable. Even so, the patterns around this kind of work are unmistakable. Given these facts, I think most reasonable people understand that sex work should go extinct. That isn't to say that you can't make pornography or have sex with strangers. However, it's impossible to gauge enthusiastic consent when money is changing hands, and enthusiastic consent is a vital component for an ethical sexual encounter. My question for the community is how exactly this is meant to be accomplished. How can sex work be abolished without harming the very people it's meant to protect? The number one problem western sex workers face, more so than creepy clients, is the cops, who profile them, steal their wages, and arrest them on a whim. Clearly, criminalizing sex work hasn't done much for sex workers. What are some alternatives?

It depends how close they are to a Marxist understanding of the world… I can talk with my twin sister pretty easily about even the spicy stuff, but propaganda has made it difficult to express my views with the average person. People will flip their shit if you even mention Stalin, Mao, or the others, much less suggest that they weren’t literally Hitler.

There’s also the reality that being a communist is a bit like being an atheist or a vegan. These beliefs aren’t compatible with current liberal society, and consequently even encountering a communist as a liberal can feel like an attack. That obviously doesn’t hold true for everyone, but it does happen. I hold my tongue most of the time.

Marx’s Theory of “Metabolic Rift”?
I learned about this in my class today, where we read Marx's 1844 manuscripts. My understanding is that in pre/post-capitalist society, humans have a reciprocal relationship with nature mediated by labor, whereas under capitalism, humans are alienated from nature due to both human labor and nature falling under the domain of "private property," and so that bond between people and nature is broken. Worsening the problem is that capitalists don't participate in the delicate dance between our economies and our natural environments, but seek only to extract as much as possible as quickly as possible. It's a sustainability argument, clearly, and I understand abstractly how and why capitalism is unsustainable from an environmental perspective. It's a prescient theory, but when Marx goes on about the perils of urbanization, he loses me. Is he arguing that we should/will be living in relatively small, closed-system communities? Or that we shouldn't import and export food? That definitely doesn't resemble AES states, or any other industrial society, for that matter. Can someone clarify this theory for me?

The “withering away of the state”?
Lenin cites this concept from Marx early in "State and Revolution." To me, it implies that socialist states can be reformed from within to achieve communism, whereas under capitalism revolution is necessary to build socialism. I do not understand this at all. What makes post-capitalist society special in this respect? Am I misinterpreting something?

Tali Perch, writing in Guernica Magazina, chronicles the horrors of Stalin's repression, banditry, and genocide. She readily conflates him with Hitler. Notably, Stalin's goons break into poor shtetl homes looking for gold and cash. It was an interesting read about generational trauma. Even so, I have a hard time believing some of the claims put forward. Does someone more knowledgeable than me want to clarify its contents?

Certified reddit moment

I’ve seen this map before…

Lin-Manuel Miranda?

On “Whataboutism”
If I had a dollar for every liberal who has accused me or some other ML of “whataboutism” concerning the Uighur “genocide” or Russia’s “aggression” in Ukraine, I’d be a rich woman. I suspect many of you have had similar experiences. Libs love this quick jab of a response because it’s technically a sound argument. Saying something to the effect of “America is worse” doesn’t automatically imply the opposition, be they the CPC or whoever else, is completely innocent of whatever crime they’re accused of committing. But liberals completely miss the point of this argument, deliberately or not. Put simply, “America bad” arguments are about casting doubt on the legitimacy of the organizations peddling these lies. Knowing that the Western media conditionally reports and condemns war and genocide proves they have ulterior motives in doing so. This is how we can be certain consent is being manufactured for a new cold war. It forces people to wonder if they've swallowed malicious propaganda. Liberals get angry when you take their sources from them, and crying “whataboutism” is a weak parry we can just charge through. Don’t get psyched out by it. When every “credible” source spews malignant falsehoods about AES states, we need to challenge those sources. It’s faster and easier than debunking these lies piecemeal, and has the advantage of operating beyond the scope of liberal thought. You’re not arguing fallaciously when you draw attention to the blinding hypocrisy of the American empire. Create distrust of the Western propaganda machine at all costs. This is important work, and we’re the only ones doing it.

Cultural Revolution and Great Leap Forward
What actually happened as a result of these movements? People usually use them as evidence that Mao killed however many millions of people. I'm aware that they aren't fondly remembered periods in Chinese history, but I'm not sure how accurate the wikipedia entry on the subjects are. Does anyone have further reading?

While that’s true, it doesn’t really answer the question.

I’m gonna vote guys I’m gonna vote so hard
I'm seriously considering voting for Tim Fucking Ryan. This won't be the first time I've cast a ballot for monstrous bourgeois pigs. Do I have to turn in my card if I admit to voting for Joe Biden? If I had known the horrific treatment of immigrants would only intensify under him, I might have not voted in 2020, but he dangled hope over all our heads, and I was one of the idiots who reached to grab it. I find myself cyclically struggling with the urge to vote. Obviously, the midterms are tomorrow, and I'm getting fearful that the fascists will win. I worry about the queer community, I worry about reproductive rights, and I worry about all the other shit. If I vote, I'm going to vote Democrat down the line. Nothing will change, but maybe things won't change for the worse. It's frustrating that the only thing we can do within the parameters of the capitalist system is swallow these bad-faith choices. I would like to do literally anything else, but I can't. Liberal politics is an addictive drug.

I can help, but know I’ve had no experience being a mod.

This first happened to me when I read “Elementary Principles of Philosophy” by Georges Politzer. Was sold on Marxism ever since. Here’s the link if you want to check it out.

Is communism the end of history?
So as Marxists, as I understand it, we're supposed to consider systems like feudalism, capitalism and socialism as fundamentally transitory. I also understand that communism is different, being classless and therefore containing no contradictions that would drive any "autodynamic" or organic social change. Maybe I have a skewed understanding of our ideology, but this feels like a bold assertion. If history can be summarized as class struggle, and communism has no class struggle, is communism the end of history? Hopefully this makes sense.

My understanding is that after Lenin “recovered” from his second stroke, after he started investigating personally, the scrutiny aimed at Stalin lessened. Lenin had his third stroke before the party met to discuss Stalin’s actions in Georgia, but Trotsky was there, and he gave a lot of ground to Stalin’s side. Strong talks about that in the book I linked. That to me indicates that Lenin’s investigations clarified things in a light that favored Stalin, but that’s just my speculation I suppose.

I am fairly certain that Lenin’s request to remove Stalin from office was dictated after his second stroke.

But I think I’ve lost the thread of the argument. If you’re critiquing the Great Purges, my understanding was there was a real threat of Nazi collaboration within the Soviet Union. That comes to me word of mouth, though I do recall reading something by Grover Furr explaining that Trotsky was guilty of this.

Fair enough. Read the first chapter of that source and tell me if there’s some good reason I shouldn’t take it at its word. From what Strong claims, it sounds like Lenin had more serious conflicts with these other characters than he ever had with Stalin, even if he may have known them personally for longer. If Lenin was able to forgive these guys, I don’t think it’s fair to suppose that he wouldn’t have forgiven Stalin (assuming that’s what you’re saying).

toGenZedongAny criticisms of Stalin?
9 meses

Lenin recovered from his second stroke enough to investigate the Georgia matter himself before suffering his third stroke and dying. You make it sound like Lenin was warning the world of the evils of Stalin on his deathbed, and that’s just not what happened.

And Stalin and Lenin had been colleagues and friends for twenty years by this time. They knew each other since 1905. And was he not in prison for working on the revolutionary socialist project?

And I apologize for being rude, but this is just contrary to everything I’ve learned about Stalin. Frankly, it feels indistinguishable from liberal histories of Stalin, which have been extremely falsified. So when I say you’ve been mislead in a serious way, I’m being quite serious.

You’ve been mislead in a very serious way. That “warning,” which is more critical of Trotsky than of Stalin, comes from Stalin’s only conflict with Lenin, which happened to take place during Lenin’s last days, over Stalin’s supposed “brutality” in Georgia. Since Lenin only got this information second-hand (he was bedridden), he never published that “testament.” Once he recovered, he began to investigate personally. After he did, Stalin was acquitted.

On another note, those “left-wing Bolsheviks” like Zinoviev and Kamenev betrayed Lenin at the very hour of the revolution. Trotsky had been against it until that hour. Stalin and Lenin had been working together to bring about the revolution for decades, longer than any of these “left-wing Bolsheviks,” and on top of that he never backstabbed Lenin. The idea that Lenin and Trotsky of all people were close friends and Stalin was a distant, shifty politician lurking in the background waiting to take power is absurd. Stalin was the only legitimate successor to Lenin, especially since he built the party into power even before Lenin’s death.

Stalin saved the world from the Nazis too, so you might want to show a little bit of respect for this great leader. I think part of that respect involves doing your research before you unknowingly reiterate these lies in an explicitly pro-AES community.

Aristotle thought women had fewer teeth than men. Plato thought that abstractions were real. Everyone but Heraclitus was convinced all change was illusory and history moved in a flat circle. It’s amazing how people ignore that all of these philosophers have more or less been proven wrong by modern science.

This is super interesting and exactly what I was looking for, no offense to the other valid points made. I’ve also recently learned about Lao Tzu, who was a contemporary of Heraclitus, the “Father of Dialectics.”

Is Marxism Eurocentric?
I'm reading through some of our literature (namely *_Socialism, Utopian and Scientific_*) and I really get the sense that many of our intellectual forebears think that everything important in philosophy happened in Europe. Granted, European philosophy is necessarily of primary relevance in a critique of early capitalism, but when Engels traces the history of these strains of thought (materialism, dialectics, etc.), they all go back to ancient Greece. I find this suspicious. Is this a consequence of lopsided education, either of the target audience or of Engels himself? Have non-western Marxists grafted dialectical materialism onto Asian or African philosophy? Are there analogous movements within these cultures that dovetail nicely with Dialectical Materialism? Or do they more or less take Engels at his word here? Maybe I'm misinterpreting something.

Any criticisms of Stalin?
Given that this community has generally positive view of Stalin, I'm curious what he did that my comrades find irredeemable or out of line. Since it's easy to criticize the Soviet Union from a western perspective, bonus points if you explain how this was detrimental to the development of socialism and/or communism.

If you have the money, support, and desire to do so, go to college. If not, trade school is a pretty good option. It’s a better return on your investment, anyway. Those jobs will always be needed. Tech can get you pretty far too, if that’s your thing.

You could always spend a couple years in community college and finish out your undergrad at a public university if you’re broke, and you’ll probably be able to go on to grad school without too much financial difficult due to stipends and what not, but you’ll be poor all the while. Don’t get any ideas about starting a family until you’re a bit older. That’s just the reality of living under capitalism right now, unfortunately.

I think you should follow your heart on this one. If you’re gonna be working forty hours every week for decades, you should try to enjoy your work. That’s probably a little bourgeois, but it’s just my two cents.

While being conscientious about your diet and eating habits is definitely wise, I would advise you to just eat whenever you’re hungry and stop eating when you’re full. Eat slowly, don’t do anything else when you eat, and make sure the food is wholesome. If you want to have one big meal a day, that’s fine too, but just bear in mind that like you said, the way to lose weight is to consume fewer calories than you burn. There’s really no gimmick to it.

I tried intermittent fasting when I was still running cross country, and while I did lose a little weight, I was also running at least five miles a day. Now that I’m taking Adderall, I intermittently fast whether I like it or not, yet I’ve been gaining weight.

I’d be suspicious of these dieting strategies and the culture they are a part of. Not everything is down to being skinny, and we come in all shapes and sizes. Just my two cents.

Question about the role of morality in Marxism
I found myself in a discussion about historical materialism where I ended up saying something along the lines of "scientific progress helps us to build more ethical societies because it enables us to see through the injustices of race, religion, and capitalism." I was kind of firing from the hip, but I couldn't think of anything better to say. My conversation partner asked me if I thought you could do a scientific experiment or analysis on a moral problem, and I was frankly stumped. I know we aren't supposed to think in moral categories, but I sense every one of us thinks, and correct me if I'm wrong, that capitalism is wrong and communism is right morally speaking. With that in mind, as contradictions are resolved per historical materialism and as different peoples have socialist revolutions within their societies, do these societies become more moral in any sense?

Demolition of “ghost cities” in China
I saw a video on Reddit showing the demolition of dozens of vacant high rise buildings in China. In addition to what you might expect, the comments alleged a "Ponzi scheme" in the housing market, and that some were still paying mortgages on the destroyed buildings. Any idea what's happening on that front?

How is Marxism-Leninism scientific?
I've always heard my comrades insist that Marxism-Leninism is scientific. I understand how dialectical materialism is scientific, and I understand that Marxism-Leninism is rooted in dialectical materialism. For a while, that satisfied me, but lately I've been reading material about how Marxists might present falsifiable hypotheses which made me realize I don't understand how this works at all. How do I, a Marxist, go about studying society scientifically in a way that dovetails nicely with dialectical materialism? Do I have to do experiments? What does that look like? How will I know if I'm wrong? Examples would help.

What do you all think of Settlers
The book by J. Sakai, not the type of person, hence the capitalization. There are people who say it's too divisive.

Is Dialectical Materialism “Unfalsifiable”?
Had an argument where someone tried to tell me historical materialism is "necessarily true" and therefore not scientific or useful. Only response I can think of is that dialectical materialism is a philosophical framework, and isn't subject to the same rules of falsification as a hypothesis. It feels somehow unsatisfying. Have any of you encountered this argument before? What do you say to it?