• 3 Posts
Joined 9M ago
Cake day: Jul 11, 2020


Honestly a lot of people I’ve talked to disagree with what I’m saying partially / completely, but I really feel like we can do a lot of work through social media --> memes, visuals, music, promotion of materials, etc. Obviously a concerted effort behind an org. works best, but I’ve yet to see any marked change in engagement through institutions like Gravel, CPC, CPUSA, SRA, local groups, what have you. With the sheer scale of the internet, we should be spitting these things out like candy. It’s free real estate. There is potential for backfire with liberalism, and that’s something I think everyone’s seen too often, but otherwise it’s a net positive so long as the people engaging in them join a party and educate themselves and mature over time. Liberals and their ilk will complain about tankies online all day while also wanting better living conditions at home. Sooner or later they will make the connection that either A) their POV is outright wrong or massively inefficient in seeing anything through; B) when they finally achieve something–UHOH-- they pulled a Tanky or whatever and finally shut up; or C) related to (A), they will waste years of their lives operating at a snail’s pace that they become jaded and give up.

Now, I’ve seen a lot of well-minded folks pull a Trot and just devote their entire being into a newspaper that no one but themselves read, so don’t do that. I swear to God if I see another newspaper / blog plug I’m going to fucking blow a gasket. There’s hundreds of them, just funnel everyone into a few that’re good. I try to plug RedSails.org bc I believe Roderic Day is really good writer, and great at journalistic writing. Too many write like it’s the Next American Novel and it drives me up the fucking wall. Also, holy shit, these folks should just get a laser printer or transition to digital. These liberals ironically do more for HP and Dell inkjet profit margins than raising any CC I swear to God.

The rapper Noname has done infinitely more good in this respect than these dime-a-dozen litterers. I don’t even listen to her music but I see her social media presence gaining traction with thousands. PLUS she isn’t a liberal (so far I’ve seen) and plugs actual theory, and she does so tactfully and says little to nothing about China, Russia, etc. Now some might say that’s a negative, but I believe baby steps is > hitting the gas pedal right at the start. Get the folks interested and reading, and then they will come to us. That’s how it happened for me, and it’ll happen like that for others.

More traditional POV: join a union, learn organizing tactics and agitate from within. Attend marches on things, but I personally believe these to be a waste of time and often outright detrimental; public talks are a better alternative.

It’s fine. One thing to note is that technocracy’s flaws can only be found in capitalist nations, but never attributed, and hand-waved as an inherent flaw in design, whereas its successes can only be found in AES, but always de-fanged from its clear ideological / political perspective.

The Good:

  • policy based on expertise / merit
  • cool trains and nice city planning
  • that’s about it.
  • China. USSR.

The Bad 1:

  • Even highly educated / trained people can make mistakes.

The Bad 2: Only Happens Under Capitalism But People Make Mistakes Guys Please Edition:

  • Tuskegee (racist, exploitative, common denominator of capitalism)
  • History of eugenics and scientific racism (racist, exploitative, common denominator of capitalism)
  • Wall St. economists (exploitative, common denominator of capitalism)
  • Military actions (racist, imperialistic, common denominator of capitalism)
  • “China will collapse by the year 1999, 2000, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2016, 2020 because of ghost cities, inflation, debt, COVID” - that dude who keeps shilling his book

*** There’s more to it obviously, and I remember there being a couple of lectures / papers that seriously discussed the potential flaws in technocracy wrt bureaucracy, lags in policy and differences in opinion (e.g., doctors’ vs economists’ opinions on healthcare), but it’s all sorta meh to me? I don’t see it happening in a socialist state tbh. I can try and dig those back up if I can find them.

Very true. I’d consider all the SJW types I’ve met to be liberals, though. That’s so far at least. Even the BLM co-founder in my area is a godawful liberal.

This is actually a well-written article. Short, simple, great opening, no grammar mistakes, well-organized in headings and images, cited hyperlinks with M/D/Y (should be Y/M/D, oh well) … Sad how we’ve been conditioned into reading awful writing over the years. I don’t understand how NYT maintains its image of quality when so many of their writers have a fetish for becoming the Next American Author, which drags would-be 500 word articles into 1200.

There’s always one who goes “yeah but they invest and stuff. Investing is good! Landlords are good!” but they forget about the fact that they invest insofar as they’ve insulated themselves in a market. There’s one LL firm that owns all the real estate in my area, and there’s another one down the road that does the same for them. Rent increases on a regular basis and the reason given is useless cosmetics and beautification, like $100 increase on changing the balcony glass inserts. Oh, and the rent never goes down once it’s complete. Gee I wonder why? The goddamn elevators don’t work! Someone nearly drowned in a fucking elevator from rainwater flooding because it was built on flood-prone land with absolutely zero safety precautions against it. Again, gee I wonder why?

Like, if I started a business of kicking guys in the balls, and some schmuck down the street starts a bodyguard business to protect against my business, suddenly we’re both valuable? Oh, if you don’t want to be kicked in the balls, just hire the guy who doesn’t kick you in the balls. If you get rid of the ball-kicking business, you kill all the jobs of the ball-protectors and the investment opportunities of the ball-kicking enterprise. Tim’s neighborhood doesn’t have anyone kicking his nuts! Like, dude, the money involved in this socially legitimized CBT scheme doesn’t actually do anything. Stop letting me kick you in the nuts just because I do it to a lot of people.

Only off the cuff in seminars and art exhibits because they brought it up first. Of the dozens I’ve talked to they’ve been universally abhorrent people who only care for their immediate concerns and will gladly kill you if given the chance. Their aligning with leftists movements seems to be a coincidence, if not outright opportunistic. They’ll appropriate terms and ideas and bastardize them in their own ideologically inconsistent way (like “lived experiences”, “bodies”, “dialogues”) while refusing all historical precedents (USSR, East Germany, DPRK, PRC, Vietnam … but for some reason never Cuba?*), and subscribing to racist ideas of blood purity and enlightenment race science like IQ, propensity for violence, “creativity gene”, the proportion of black athletes in basketball (??), penis size, “care-giving gene” of Asian women, phrenology, and a bunch of other mind-numbing nonsense. Like, they’re so obsessed with this shit while also wanting a minimum wage increase or something, and suddenly that makes them O.K.? It’s so strange. Maybe I’m just living in a so-called shit hole? They’ll always ask if I studied history in a condescendingly bewildered way. Yes, I majored in it, this is exactly why I’m saying it.

Never met a more closeted racist bunch in my life; at least the conservatives are open about their hate. Somehow the conservatives I’ve met are more knowledgeable about Israel’s fuckery, which is just about the only thing I agree with them on, whereas these SJW types will cry about antisemitism for the nth time, and will always mention the Doctor’s Plot and some forced connection to the Holocaust, as if they’re going through a mental checklist. Yes I am bitter about my university experience. Hopefully that changes post-COVID when they realize their idealist visions are impossible.

The one thing I realized is that debates (formal or otherwise) are useless and serves as an exhibit in rhetoric and sophistry. I believe Plato or Aristotle said something akin to it, but I never thought to put two and two together until recently. If you want to convince someone, they have to be the one to approach you, in earnest, and you have to tread very carefully. The Socratic method works best when it’s an apolitical topic, and when both parties are neutral and intellectually honest with themselves. I’d rather just tell them off and give resources than baby someone like that.

*My pet theory for Cuba is that they come from privileged backgrounds, and have some memories of vacationing at their resort beaches.

I came across their channel thanks to YouTube’s algorithm of all things. Good content

At the end of the day, information is information. Communism is both a highly specific and flexible lens with which we view the world. It’s not the be-all and end-all, however, as many, if not all, are still bound to tradition, culture, etc. We shouldn’t be surprised if a communist / communist sympathizer turns out to be anti-LGBT despite the penchant for liberation, equality, etc. Likewise, we shouldn’t shy away from learning opportunities just because they don’t fit our stripe.

To give a personal example: the most helpful economics courses were, in fact, the same neo-liberal garbage that universities manufacture to sustain capitalism. These were the same profs that I would both learn from and would gladly strangle given the opportunity. The math doesn’t lie, the logic is sound, but often the methodology is fraudulent, and the bias is as clear as daylight. I feel a bit strange whenever I give out financial advice or help with homework, but this is information worth knowing so long as it’s relevant. The only exceptions were my labor and macro profs, who were Chinese and Polish respectively. They didn’t / couldn’t say it explicitly, but it was very clear they were pro-China and pro-USSR.

Meanwhile my history prof is a centrist white sexpat fuck who covers his fetish for Vietnamese women with a PhD in “Modern Southeast Asian History and International Relations”. That being said he’s incredibly knowledgeable and I learnt a lot from him. I’m also shooting him the first chance I get.

You know the joke about atheists being the only ones who actually read the Bible? It’s cringe but the point stands.

Literally everyone I know is a liberal or rightist, with the exception of one, who has been a communist since the 5th grade (how that happened, I have no clue). Don’t put up with anything for the sake of face, nor should you downplay it. Don’t go out of your way to antagonize, either. These are still your friends at the end of the day. Don’t proselytize and develop an ego. I only bring up politics when they ask me, and I don’t hold back if they’re being ignorant as shit.

I’m not really sure how it would pan out. This isn’t usually the kind of thing one would think about, but it is interesting. I do recall reading a couple of papers about sex in the DDR, however, which went into great detail about pretty much everything related to sex: sexual satisfaction, comfort, feelings of security and stability, etc., and it was compared to their western counterparts. Basically, women in the DDR were, on average (I can’t remember the specific demographics), more satisfied with their partner, and less restricted in terms of the nuclear family model. Women also felt more independent and liberated in their daily lives through higher wages, stable jobs, economic movement, less work, daycare, healthcare, and education. All of these factors echoed one’s life in every respect, which naturally influenced how women went about dating and choosing partners. I remember a particularly funny bit where a group of drunken men were complaining about how East German women were so hard to get and complained that they “had to be interesting” to get a girl. The horror!

Tangentially related, there was a trend of nudism called the FKK. Wikipedia says that it experienced a revival in the east “possibly because of a more secular cultural development,” but that same article it sourced (which I used in my paper) goes into much greater detail about social ideas surrounding nudism being a conduit for socialism via healthy, natural bodies. Likewise, it wasn’t some perverse trend of middle-aged men or rebellious teens, rather, it was entire families going for a trip to the beach in the nude, which the wiki decides to not include for context (I wonder why?). It was, for the most part, non sexual, as it was more seen as a way of connecting to nature and cleansing the body from the dirty city (physically, spiritually, what have you). Also, one would think that a nudist trend would invite less than ideal hygienic conditions, but it was actually the opposite, for reasons I addressed earlier. Once Germany reunified, it comes as no surprise to see that the social restrictions on nudism came from the western half. Of course the FKK wasn’t some national habit, but it wasn’t exactly a minority group either, so we can summarize that relationships in the DDR were less prudish to some extent.

While these don’t answer your question directly, through history we can get a sense of how it could look based on how it looked then through representative examples. I managed to find the title of one, but I can’t access it anymore since universities love to act inclusive and caring until you graduate. If you / anyone reading has university access, feel free to read it, but for those who don’t, it might be included in Herzog’s larger work here Sexuality in Europe: A Twentieth-Century History

Herzog, Dagmar. “Post Coitum Trist Est…? Sexual Politics and Cultures in Postunification Germany.” German Politics and Society 28 no, 1 (2010): 111–40.

Likewise, check out Victor Grossman for an interesting perspective of a westerner who defected to the east. This is a biography, but there are mentions of daily life, family structures, etc. littered throughout which could relate to your question.

Grossman, Victor. A Socialist Defector: From Harvard to Karl-Marx-Allee. New York: Monthly Review Press, 2019.

In terms of literary merit, he’s quite average, if not outright bad. I haven’t come across an instance where he’s brought up as a shining example of anything really (the exception being r/books, which is filled with illiterates). Unless, of course, you’re Harold Bloom, and included 1984 because it’s “the 1984” (as if that means anything).

Animal Farm is quite hamfisted, and is a pretty good bedtime story for children in that no one really cares about it and it exists for them to doze off via hypnosis. Does anyone really care about the Very Hungry Caterpillar? Of course not, and that’s Animal Farm. Of course, the historical context of Animal Farm is also totally wrong and so ideologically slanted against Stalin that it’s as if Stalin himself had humiliated him in public by pulling his trousers down in public. It’s really strange just how committed Orwell was about it. There’s also racist, sexist, and chauvinistic undertones that Orwell lets slip because he’s way too invested in the whole talking-animal-yumen-nature shtick, hence the hammy-ness of it all.

1984 is quite decent, actually. Great use of language to describe the 5Ws. Look no further than the first chapter, which is a textbook way to grab the reader’s attention. He paints a vivid picture of the barrenness of the environment, the cold weather, the clothes, and staging of the character. How often do you read a passage and think to yourself “what the fuck is even happening here?”. This doesn’t happen in 1984, and at times it reads like a script (in a good way). Its premise, however, and everything else, is so ridiculous that it borders on the comical–even more so considering how much effort he put into the useless appendix of vomit. Read 1984 like you would a Saturday cartoon in the newspaper while taking a shit.

The merit of reading Orwell is so minimal that you’re better off just reading the history and philosophy of the things he’s plagiarized. Don’t fall into the trap thinking that reading Animal Farm or 1984 will give you deep insights into governmental structures and the USSR. Too many people do that as a substitute for actually reading about the real thing. Want to learn about Stalin? Read Stalin. Soviet/DPRK/Chinese governments? Read their works.

Orwell has cemented himself in the western canon solely due to his propagandist power. You’ll soon realize that no one ever talks about Orwell outside of pro-western Cold War rhetoric, and at that point you should raise a few eyebrows as to why that is. His senile ramblings of essays, in particular “Why I Write”, is quite nice. Truly the best thing of Orwell is his obituary.

Has anyone studied Marxism outside of western institutions (e.g., in AES institutions)?

I studied history for my undergrad, but having suffered through liberalism and chauvinism in my seminars (by both peers and profs) seriously turned me off. I feel that much of academia wrt history is completely useless bourgeois fact finding with the most deranged theoretical lenses that co-opted te…

bro brobrobrobro… he admits he was wrong!1!!! enlightenment!!!

CBC is the textbook example of liberalism I can think of. Once you see it, it’s more blatantly obvious how ghoulish they are hiding behind a progressive mask. Like they’ll waste money on useless* anti-racism vids, and then propagate shit against Muslims, Chinese, Russians under the guise of intelligent geopolitics, featuring some Cambridge or UofT ghoul.

*Not that their vids are bad, like spotlights of racism in Canada, but the effect is so negligible when they do nothing about them and in fact encourage such behaviour by releasing horseshit like this. Why do they act surprised about an increase in anti-Asian attacks? Could it be because they’re pedaling racist bullshit about COVID and China? Exaggerate the “backwardness” of Chinese but deliver it through the mouthpiece of some useless tenured faculty in a useless department like poli-sci or IR to legitimize Orientalism? What about Muslims or anyone who looked brown after 9/11, or black people with Ebola? Nah, impossible. We’re just balanced, critical journalists. Our only flaw is that we show a Toronto-heavy perspective!!.

The Cranes Are Flying (1957). Soviet. Live action. About the Second World War.

In the Mood For Love (2000). Chinese. Live action. Deals with the societal baggage surrounding romantic love and commitment between neighbours/friends.

The Goddess (1934). Chinese. Live action. Silent film. Poverty, selfless motherly love, self sacrifice, longing.

The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (1978). Live action. Classic and masterful kungfu film. If only Marvel films tried to emulate this in their films.

Sonnenallee (1999). German. Live action. Deals with German reunification and “Ostalgie” in popular media–the nostalgia for East German way of life, culture, politics, etc.

Good Bye, Lenin! (2003). German. Live action. I haven’t actually seen this one yet, but it’s so often paired with Sonnenallee that I felt obligated to include this film as it deals with similar themes.

“The Shower” / “소나기” (various adaptations from the 1959 novella). Korean. Live action or animated. Very heartfelt and sentimental. Youthful love, longing, etc.

Laurence Olivier’s Richard III (1955). English. Live action, Shakespeare. This is just pure cinema, with none of the modern political baggage. Great acting.

I also vouch for Le Samourai and Seven Samurai.

Lol no worries, I’d rather someone point out stuff than not at all. Looking back on my textbook I found that subchapters use ”第一节“ and “第二节” format, so its main usage would be exclusively for listings and ordinal numbers?

LOL I know what you mean. I stumble with the measure words here and there, like apparently saying "二个。。。“ is incorrect as it should be "两个。。。“ .

I’m also learning mandarin, and I have to agree. Being a native English/Korean speaker, it’s nice knowing how much easier it is grammatically and logically. 是, 了, 不, 都,etc. aren’t riddled with exceptions and conjugations. If I have to sit through another test of figuring out if a sentence is present perfect continuous tense I will lose my shit. Getting the tones right and internalizing pinyin is definitely its own set of challenges however.

I can’t answer your main question, but wrt other sources, I find Mark Edele’s The Soviet Union: A Short History to be decent at addressing all the large points surrounding the USSR. As you can guess from the title, Edele doesn’t go in depth with any topic in particular, but its value comes from the bibliography he lists at the end of every chapter. This book would be heavily supplemented by the prof, however. There is the occasional garbage about what he thinks “communism” and “socialism” are, so just ignore those babbles.

As for Socialist Realism, I don’t understand why your professor would say that: it’s very clearly defined as an aesthetic style of utopian optimism, where individuals undergo a process of refinement (the New Soviet Man/Woman). It can either be futurist, as one might find with the Flying City (Krutikov), or more traditional in character with beaming smiles, proletarian outfits, and a generally lighter colour palette; the latter is similar to the art published by the DPRK and the PRC. Films such as “Tanya” (1940), and “Aelita, Queen of Mars” (1923) exhibit these qualities. Of course, there is also the theme of nationalism/national unity, which is shown beautifully in “The Cranes are Flying” (1957).

Soviet Formalism is another thing entirely. My seminars basically focused on these topics alone, but I can’t for the life of me find all the pdfs. I think I just forgot to download them before the course modules expired.

Here is an .edu link which is great for finding primary sources. One of the brief essays under Socialist Realism was written by another Soviet scholar, and he does a better job at explaining what exactly it is/was.

A very brief and accessible IPA handbook (pdf).

Title. Also a nice layout. 64 pages. …

Video was of China’s Tianwen-1 Mars Mission. …