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Cake day: Feb 28, 2022

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Tito lovers of the world, unite!
Anyone here care much about Yugoslavia? I'm pretty interested at the moment, namely because: * worker self management seems rad * pretty cool multiethnic state that balanced minority rights, regional autonomy, and party oversight pretty well * a bit like a red precursor of the EU * property law was radically different and separated nominal ownership (pretty much all the state) from use rights (enterprises etc) in basically the same way old English common land did * choosing industrial democracy over political democracy doesn't seem like a bad choice at all

It is a great language with a great history. I’ve been trying to learn for a while but struggle keeping at things on my own: I was reading the Le Monde Diplomatique Esperanto edition for a while but following it was murderously hard. I’m going to try my hand at listening to and reading the things you mentioned though.

Worth noting for those reading who don’t know the history of Esperanto is that it was strongly associated with the peace movement - think “no war between peoples, no peace between classes”. It is almost worth thinking of it as a language suited to international proletarian politics.

OP, did you ever do any summer schools or such? I’ve seen some in Europe but am not brave enough to stick to the “Esperanto only” rule so haven’t been. Also, where are you from?


Already do. IMF in the 70s and FDI has been preferred to developing domestic companies since thatcher.

Of course, the IMF’s job was to break the labour party and FDI means investment from the US and vain attempts to reclaim some petrodollars.


That’s the kind of thing I’m thinking of, yeah.

I guess the real question is whether or not the privileges I’m referring to will be absorbed by the US to shore up its position (America first) or if they’ll suffer the same thing (eg decline).


Is the UK starting to lose its imperial core privileges?
Due to inflation, energy crisis, worsening pay and conditions, increasingly authoritarian right wing govts, the impending collapse of the NHS, higher education entry criteria choking the number of graduates, etc. I'm reasonably sure the final straw would be a currency crisis. A stable currency *feels* like imperial privilege. Has anything been written on this? The characteristics of imperial core countries, I mean. I'd be interested to know if there are any examples of countries that have ceased to be core countries that have been analysed through a Marxist lense.

Insulate houses to conserve resources for the revolution and increase the comfort of my comrades by providing them with warm homes.

Edit: other idea:

  • Localised horticulture to provide a wide variety of locally produced produce. Today it is known as market gardening: in the future, social gardening.

Beautiful. Is that a line from one of his poems?


A good example of bullshit for kids which will make them see how absurd class is


It is worth remembering that offshoring worked precisely because labour wasn’t international enough. In the UK we used to bring migrants from India etc to work in factories and mills. They struck for better pay and conditions, as well as respect, like everyone else. They benefited from the pro-union laws. Offshoring undermined that.


Looking at other revolutions, lots seem to follow wars. I suspect the mass mobilisation into fighting units might be key. This might be why the west now avoids the “total war” of the past


Same applies to the UK. It’d make a good dozen states, none of which could plausibly project themselves in the same way that the UK does today. Critical support for secessionists is a good move.


All three of those require fuel. I don’t think anybody could plausibly hope to win a war or revolution without it. So, maybe start with helping to unionise oil refineries and distribution networks? Or, hypothetically, let’s say they ought to not be available to the state. Ahem.


As noted by other posters, the key to gun violence is cultural and economic change. Open carry was what allowed the black panthers to protect protests in California in the 60s, and we should probably not want the door closing on that.

That said, I’m really bloody glad I’m not american


Pictured saying she’s a communist is Ash Sarkar, for those who don’t know. She’s great.


The UK did a similar sort of thing with rationing, “dig for victory”, even nationalised restaurants. I think the point was to prevent a revolution like 1917. Imagine the mass mobilisation of war coupled with the immense hardship of capitalism - it provides a means for people to take over (eg, organisation and familiarity with violence) and the motivation (end the injustice of widespread poverty).

I suspect this was why the UK’s NHS didn’t get abolished after the conservatives came back to power. Weaning people back on to the markets took a long time. We kept rationing until 1958, for instance. Some people suffered from its abolition (my own grandmother said she ate better before rationing ended than for years after) but people generally benefited and so mass mobilisation was averted.


I’d distinguish between small rentiers and small capitalists. But I’ll declare an interest: I hate my landlord, but I love the guy who runs the deli that sells nice food supermarkets won’t sell.


I’d always been taught that the famine followed the collectivisation rather than the other way around. Hadn’t even considered it before. Anyone got any reading material on it?


MY THOUGHTS TO YOUR THOUGHTS


Point out that the uyghur situation is more complex and has historical roots. During the 50s or 60s the Uyghurs pogrommed han Chinese in what is now Xinjiang. The morality of intervention requires us to be ahistorical, and to intervene in conflicts we almost never understand except for with the benefitiof many years of hindsight.

I’d respond that in a system where consent is manufactured by a press which is an outgrowth of the ruling system, is it ever possible to know what war is just?

If you wanted to troll him, say America should take on so many wars that the public and establishment alike tire of being imperialist scumbags while the military itself atrophies through being spread too thin on unwinnable wars.


That seems pretty hopeful. What’s to stop unions doing what they did in lots of western countries and reaching an accommodation with capital? Or simply falling short of actually revolting


I’m down with that. What timezone are you in and what kind of times can you do? I’m zero availability on weekends but weekday evenings could work.


Communist elearning?
Does anyone have any idea if there are online courses run by and for communists, to help acquire a better understanding of theory and practice? I was thinking that if not, maybe a Moodle instance where people can try things out would be good. Possibly harebrained: it might be better to just add to Prolewiki when we can.

This picture has made me realise I always assumed Lenin to be Godzilla sized. The cat helps with scale.

Unless the cat is also fucking enormous


Questions, I have many!

  • Have you considered building it as a Lemmy client rather than a standalone forum?

See: https://join-lemmy.org/docs/en/client_development/custom_frontend.html

In terms of what would be different, UX could focus on eg, surfacing longer comments first, presenting each comment as a thread within a category (which would be a post on Lemmy rather than a community). It could even be a “sticky” forum UX pointed at a single post or set of posts, for instance. That might promote the kind of long running discussions you’re looking for.

  • What features will differentiate it from eg, Discourse? Or other existing forum software?

  • Do you have any plans for helping people make and plan groups?

Longer discussions are, I’d posit, more a result of culture than interface. The cultural enablers here would be things like groups with meetings that offer interaction centred around ML topics. It seems reasonable to assume that better tools for this might help with that change.

Just thoughts - it is awesome that you’re motivated enough to do this!


Sounds amazing. Were you planning on cowatching or just recommending it?


Got a link? This comrade is failing at google :/


What book is that from?



Right, I guess. I suppose I’m just having trouble connecting the dots - seeing how the quantitative becomes qualitative. Time will tell and all that.

Going back to your earlier comment about (effectively) redistribution, it’d be neat to see a federation of coops who distribute some of their surplus/profits to a foundation or something along those lines. Something to act as a petit-vanguard, developing communist projects that can raise class consciousness and so on. Hard to do though.


What I’d like to know is about ideas that can work on a small scale, outside of AES, and preferably as an exercise in party building. Worker cooperatives don’t seem sufficiently combative (as far as I can see) to cause change. Unions are too battered. But what else could work?


It is a great cheese, but with lentils I suspect it’d be awful


The Culture series by Iain M Banks. Post-scarcity, fully automated luxury communism type thing. Confronts the reader with various dilemmas about autonomy, utilitarianism and what to do when faced with external threats. I’d recommend starting with State of The Art, which is a short story where the Culture visit earth in the 1970s and try to decide whether or not to make contact.

There’s also the Fall Revolution series by Ken McLeod. It is four books from pre-revolution but post-reconstruction after a century of civil war and plague. The first two books deal with a communist microstate type thing, the third is set on a communist earth after people chose global communism in a vote and deals with the fallout of a runaway singularity. The fourth is an expedition by the communists of the third book to an Elon Musk style ancap colony on another planet. They’re all great, if a bit hefty.


What kind of cheese? Please don’t say cheddar…


Can anyone give examples of the exploitative nature of the wage relation being abolished?
I've been thinking about what this looks like in practice. My first instinct is Yugoslavian self management, which at least ticks the boxes of surplus not accruing to capitalists and control being exercised democratically (AIUI). My question is, what examples (or plans) do people know of that have (or could) make work less exploitative? I also wonder about worker cooperatives for this, although I'm aware of the argument that such organisations just make workers complicit in their own exploitation, I'm not sure I buy it. Thoughts on that are welcome too.

I’m not sure it counts. It was certainly a good case study for Marx, but fundamentallyiim going to say it doesn’t count because it only lasted for a month or two. Maybe that’s too arbitrary.


There’s a good section on the Yugoslavian economy and worker self management in particular in “Economic Democracy: The Political Economy of Self Management and Participation” by Donald George. It is available on Libgen in scanned PDF. I’m actually working on turning it into a searchable epub at the moment.


Do you have a source on the billing thing?


She’s essentially a particularly right wing Gaullist. See dirigisme.


(UK perspective)

Two thirds of people under 50 voted for Labour under Jeremy Corbyn. The future is bright, bright red. Throughout Europe and beyond.


France has never had a communist revolution: the revolution of 1789 amounted to the bourgeoisie overthrowing the feudal order.

Sorry to be a killjoy. There’s good reading to be had in this by Eric Hobsbawm if memory serves.


Voting systems designed to keep out “extremists”.

Ho ho o


See Gramsci: coercion vs persuasion. Mussolini vs Thatcher, in your terms.


At minimum, it means presidential systems suck.

It’d be very entertaining to watch Macron, as part of a presidential council of three, have to choose between a communist and a fascist. I’d be genuinely intrigued to see how it went. Maybe live broadcast it 24/7 to get reality TV vibes, like the Osbournes.


This is a good one: https://web.archive.org/web/20220308224623/https://newleftreview.org/issues/ii100/articles/perry-anderson-the-heirs-of-gramsci

If you’re interested in more afterwards, I’d suggest going to newleftreview.org, finding his other articles, and finding them on archive.org. It is a neat paywall bypass for lots of publications.


I’d like to hear people’s views on Perry Anderson
He's an old hand in British Marxism, a noted historian and critic. I've been reading his old articles in the New Left Review to try to find interesting books to read (and to get a head start on grasping them critically). What I wonder is whether or not he's a well known (and well regarded) writer internationally. What takes do people here have? Thoughts on NLR are welcome too. I'm keen on it but open to alternatives.

What are the perks of de-dollarisation?
Western sanctions on Russia are leading to trade being denominated in other currencies between eg, India and Russia. Iran and China are both in on this too. Aside from a general undermining of the US, what are the implications? As far as I can see, some would be: * The US ability to interfere with other countries' foreign currency reserves is severely limited (since those reserves don't need to be in dollars) * The US ability to print endless money might come under pressure, potentially endangering its ability to spend freely on its military * Financialisation and de-industrialisation bite harder as US financial services might become less useful and America has lost much of its advantage in actually making stuff. * Lessened capacity for the US to exert hegemony over other states via fiscal and monetary domination/coercion (a la gramsci) Is that stuff right? And what else is there? PS, sorry if this isn't quite the right community, I'm new here.