Decadence

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petey
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Feb 4 2006 17:43
Lazy Riser wrote:
I would also appreciate some insight as to whether communism determines the objective needs and abilities of each individual. Does it in some way ensure people take on behaviours required to satisfy social human need?

ok. now we're getting somewhere.

lem
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Feb 5 2006 01:15

Aufhebens main problem with "theories of decline" is that it does not identify going beyond capital with class struggle, despite some attempts to make decline dependent on class struggle by e.g. radical chains. Actually theres a couple of things about the article that I don'y understand if anyone can help. 1. Mandel describes the history of the capitalist mode of production as driven not by the central antagonism of labour and capital but the antagonism beyween capital and pre-capitalist economic relations. No-one, I think, would deny that these relations exist. But why is there this antagonism?

2. Grossmans is wrong about the relationship between economy and politics because Capital is incomplete - it needs a understanding of the political economy of the working class not just that of capital. What is the political economy of the working class.

Cheers

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OliverTwister
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Feb 5 2006 07:20

Fuck Europeism. The idea that the proletariat only exists in the factory gates or that the bourgeoisie are divided into nations is a completely a-historical and anti-materialist dogmatic approach.

Armchair Socialism wrote:
Jack wrote:
Armchair Socialism wrote:
Really, is your response to the question "what do you think of America and Britain looting Iraq?"...."I don't care"???

Is your responce "what do you think of the would-be Iraqi ruling class plotting to drag Iraq back to feudalism, execute Trade unionists and oppress women even more than they are now by way of a bloody campaign of murder against the working class?" ... "I don't care, because they're better than America"???

Armchair Socialism wrote:
Well we know America has been dong those things already.

The American Government forced changes in the Iraqi Constitution which resulted in the Constitution going from a sort of Social-Democracy to the foundations for a theocracy.

We also know that every independent Iraqi government has been doing those things, to the greatest extent they could (in other words to the extent that the proletariat was weak) since the first day of Independence.

Armchair Socialism wrote:
The Iraqi's initially had stuff like the oil money been reinvested in Iraq, now they have stuff which restricts the rights of women.

Oil money reinvested into Iraq? Yeah... into the fucking army!

Armchair Socialism wrote:
The American Government kept Saddam Hussein's legislation against Trade Unions and for all we know those big underground "chambers" being used in Iraq now, may house troublesome Union men and women.

No... "our" bourgeoisie saw no reason to change the laws of their class brother which had worked so well in maintaining his power?

Armchair Socialism wrote:
Plus, I'd called the bombing of Baghdad or Fallujah "a bloody campaign of murder against the working class" wouldn't you?

That might be the only thing you say which I agree with. Emphatically yes.

However I'd also call the bombing of Halbja the exact same.

Armchair Socialism wrote:
So really the things you list are already happen and will continue to happen if America stays. In most of its neo-colonies America has installed brutal and "backward" Governments. Personally I don't see how an Iraqi Government (not made up of "lackeys") could be any worse.

That's capitalism.

What's happened in America's "Non-neo-capitalies" ... Vietnam for instance? North Korea?

Armchair Socialism wrote:
Lazy Riser wrote:
Not to their face I wouldn't.

Indeed.

However, I bet your average Iraqi would feel the same way about American and British troops.

Lazy Riser wrote:
But the Iraqi Worker-Communists do.

Yes they do and to be honest you'd have to admit they are in a really difficult situation.

There is no "material base" for Communism (or Communists) in Iraq and this means that they really can't do anything significant.

really?

http://libcom.org/library/journey-to-iraq-testimony-kurdish-icg

I wish there was "no "material base" for Communism (or Communists) in [the USA] and this means that [we] really can't do anything significant."

Armchair Socialism wrote:
What you have to remember though, is that one day there will be a material base for Communism in Iraq. So the question (should) become what is the "best" (and quickest) way to get to the point where there is a "material base" for proletarian revolution in Iraq (i.e. Modern Capitalism).

Gee, I bet the workers will be so excited when that day comes!

Armchair Socialism wrote:
There are mountains of evidence that suggest that the process of creating a Modern Capitalist country is significantly hindered by being under the Imperialist "thumb".

However, there is also a lot of evidence that suggests a country that breaks free from Imperial domination will develop Modern Capitalism very rapidly.

Awesome. I keep hearing about these countries which "break[] free from Imperial domination [and] develop Modern Capitalism very rapidly," and I lookd all over for them, but I just can't seem to find any. I've been told Cuba, North Korea, Iran, and Venezuela are some examples... but they are free from imperial domination the same way that a divorced prostitute is free from patriarchy.

Also, it's worth pointing out that as "Modern Capitalism" can only mean global capitalism, no country can develop it. Perhaps you mean develop heavy industry, in which case I would ask which imperial overlord has been de-developing the US Rust Belt (or Dirty South, for that matter)?

Armchair Socialism wrote:
So that's what situation like Iraq really reduce themselves to....figuring out who are the "most gracious masters of capital" and "supporting" them, because without their success, we will never succeed.

That depends on who you mean by "we" and "succeed". The only way in which that statement would be a correct one, would be one in which "we" does not include me or any other members of my class, and "success" means our further exploitation.

Armchair Socialism wrote:
Lazy Riser wrote:
You’d better stump up some evidence for that.

Well I touched on it above, but really the "evidence" is the history of the bourgeois. A successful bourgeois that is not "under the thumb" of an Imperialist country, will start to develop said country.

Interesting...

On a side note, is it permissible to use the phrase "I already said I was right!" as evidence of said rightness? That would be awesome!

Armchair Socialism wrote:
Really, the only example of a bourgeois that removed Imperialist rule and then failed, is the Khmer Rouge. On the other hand, there is only one significant example of a "dependent" bourgeois creating Modern Capitalism (South Korea).

1) Afghanistan-Zimbabwe

2) Algeria-Taiwan

Really... there are no iron laws of how the bourgeoisie act inherent to their nature except one - maximization of power. Whether they develop a certain area or not depends on whether it helps them in their quest for power. Sometimes local bourgeoisie will develop a certain area very quickly, sometimes colonial bourgeoisie will develop the economy of a colony very quickly.

Besides which, even if we could point out historically that every "National" bourgoisie developed "its own" nation better than "foreign" bourgeoisie, that would be interesting but would only have the significance you give it if you hold being proletarian means being an urban factory worker.

Armchair Socialism wrote:
Alf wrote:
Armchair Socialism claims that large parts of the capitalist world can still go through a progressive development....

Yes I do "claim" that because it's obvious.

Surely you wouldn't dispute that Capitalism doesn't have progress to make in certain parts of say Africa?

Yeah, having lived there I would. The only interest that the majority of Africa has had for the bourgeoisie has always been as Capital, including the most cynical form of human exploitation which amounted to many genocides.

The only African regime which is developing industrially to any great length is South Africa. This is roughly equivalent to the development of certain coastal tribes in the 1500s-1800s as slave traders and projectors of European bourgeois hegemony, and it's about as progressive for the people of that continent - witness the SA invasion of Lesotho during the anti-monarchical uprising there in the late 90s.

Armchair Socialism wrote:
Alf wrote:
....communist revolution [....] could only come about on the basis of certain objective material conditions.

Absolutely.

So why do people (who claim they're "materialists") oppose those that will bring about these conditions?

Without attempting to speak for Alf I understand those material conditions to be the global existence of the bourgeoisie and the proletariat.

I have to admit, i'm not sure of the class composition of Antarctica's population. Perhaps that is the area which needs to develop these classes so that we cann have communist revolution? Who are we opposing that will bring about these conditions? I cheer Norway on in it's century-long quest to develop the Antarctican proletariat.

Armchair Socialism wrote:
Alf wrote:
He himself was often too impatient to declare that these conditions had already arrived, but his basic method is what is important here.

Well he didn't declare it, because the evidence suggested that this wasn't the case.

If the "material conditions" for proletarian revolution are there, then one would expect to see proletarian revolutions happening, or at least a very militant and confident working class.

In the absence of these things, we can't "declare that these conditions had already arrived". Doing so would be silly!

Indeed. I wish the "material conditions" for proletarian revolution were in the US so that the working class "here" would be as "militant and confident" as that in Iraq, or Iran.

Revolutionaries never ought to be silly.

Armchair Socialism wrote:
Alf wrote:
For the ICC, the theory of decadence provides the only coherent framework for refuting these ideas.

And Christians burned "witches" because God refuted the idea that they weren't "witches"!

Alf wrote:
Whereas the frenzied growth taking place in China today is an example of a 'development' that is threatening to undermine the very bases of a future communist society....

Poo!

The "frenzied growth" in China is creating a modern proletariat, which is an essential requirement for a proletarian revolution.

The ancient proletariat telegraphed: it would like to know how modern it must become before it can have a revolution.

Armchair Socialism wrote:
Alf wrote:
....because it contains the seeds of gigantic catastrophes on the economic, military, and ecological levels.

Have you ever heard of the "Rapture"? ....I think it would appeal to you.

Alf wrote:
There is no benefit for the future generations in the continuing diseased growth of capitalism anywhere on the planet.

Moralism masquerading as materialism.

Cynicism againt hope for a bright future for humanity masquerading as materialism.

Armchair Socialism wrote:
Alf wrote:
The very survival of this system holds the danger that there will be no future generations.

Wow, you seem to love "doom scenarios".

I'm glad I'm not the only one who creams my pants every time I think about the ability of the bourgeoisie to blow the world up 1000 times over.

Armchair Socialism wrote:
Alf wrote:
And that to my mind is the firmest possible basis for rejecting any support for any part of the bourgeoisie.

And also the "basis" with which you give "back handed" support to every Imperial adventure.

Go easy comrade, we internationalists only support every imperial adventure which does not involve supporting any part of the bourgeoisie.

[edited to fix quotes]

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Alf
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Feb 5 2006 09:32

Well, I couldn't have defended myself any better than Oliver Twister has done. Excellent post. Armchair Socialism's position is rehashed Menshevism No, no, they said in 1917, we can't have a proletarian revolution in Russia, first it's got to develop the material conditions for socialism, so we must support the Russian bourgeoisie....Against which all the revolutionaries of the time insisted that the proletarian revolution is a world revolution or it is nothing. Capitalism is a world system; it rises and above all it it goes into its decline as a world system.

For exactly the same reason 'national bourgeoisies' in the 'underdevelped world' cannot escape from imperialist domination. In fact they cannot refrain from becoming imperialist themselves Rosa Luxemburg made this clear in 1915, and every experience of so-called national liberation since then has confirmed her view.

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Lazy Riser
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Feb 5 2006 12:13

Hi

The case for relating the rate of Iraq’s economic homogenisation with the specific shape of its bourgeoisie is unconvincing. Unfortunately, it looks relevant to the question of international capitalism’s decadence. Armchair Socialism, could you give us some examples to show that gains by the Iraqi resistance advance working class interests as a whole.

Love

LR

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Alf
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Feb 5 2006 19:43

LR the question you raise about commodity exchange as a social relation needs to be answered, as does the problem of how communist society will distribute its products without the medium of exchange. I am pressed for time right now, but here are a few points.

Surely the relationship between wage labour and capital is the prime example of how commodity exchange is based on a social relation? Marx spent the first part of Capital arguing that behind the apparently 'fair exchange' of labour power for a wage, there is in fact a social relationship, a relationship of exploitation.

Marx also demonstrated that this relationship contains an inherent tendency towards the crisis of overproduction the workers are by their very nature 'overproducers' in relation to their capacity to constitute a solvent market for capital.

The crisis of overproduction, in turn, shows that capitalism has for the first time created the possibility of material abundance, but it is incapable of realising it. The commdity form, and above all the commodity charatcer of labour power, has to be abolished if the gigantic productive powers set in motion by capital are to be used to satisfy human need.

This is why Marx rejected all the Proudhonist utopias which thought that it was possible to have a socialist/communist society where the commodity form still persisted. The attempt to create a society of 'free and equal exchangers' would be the surest basis for a return to the exploitative capitalist social relation. Marx was insistant that in a real human community 'the producers do not exchange their products'. There have been various efforts to go into more detail about how this might function, from the Critique of the Gotha Programme to the debates between the Dutch and Italian left communists in the 30s, and so on. But I think that would take us outside this current thread on decadence.

Armchair Socialism
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Feb 5 2006 20:05
OliverTwister wrote:
We also know that every independent Iraqi government has been doing those things, to the greatest extent they could (in other words to the extent that the proletariat was weak) since the first day of Independence.

Yes they did do these things. However, whilst doing these things Iraq also made a tremendous amount of progress towards becoming a modern Capitalist country. That was happening up until the Iran-Iraq War.

Since then, Iraq has gone backwards. A reasonably secular country, with "trimmings" of the modern world. Has descended into a cess-pit of human misery where Tribes and Medieval Superstitions have become the "norm".

OliverTwister wrote:
Oil money reinvested into Iraq? Yeah... into the fucking army!

Don't be a dope.

Saddam Hussein and co. before the Iran-Iraq Wars were in the process of making a modern Capitalist country and the Iraqi Government of today made some noises about doing the same things.

OliverTwister wrote:
That's capitalism.

Not really.

What's happening in the neo-colonies is not Capitalism, rather it is form of dependent Capitalism that only develops small portions of the neo-colony whilst keeping the rest of the colony in a swamp of pre-Capitalism.

OliverTwister wrote:
What's happened in America's "Non-neo-capitalies"....

For the most part, progress.

Are these the same Kurdish Communists who are participating in Iraq's bourgeois "democracy"? ....in that case I'd say Social Democrats is a more fitting term for what they do.

OliverTwister wrote:
I wish there was "no "material base" for Communism (or Communists) in [the USA] and this means that [we] really can't do anything significant."

Huh? confused

OliverTwister wrote:
Gee, I bet the workers will be so excited when that day comes!

Emotional appeals in the place of structured points?

OliverTwister wrote:
Awesome. I keep hearing about these countries which "break[] free from Imperial domination [and] develop Modern Capitalism very rapidly," and I lookd all over for them, but I just can't seem to find any.

China, Russia, South Africa, etc. etc.

OliverTwister wrote:
Also, it's worth pointing out that as "Modern Capitalism" can only mean global capitalism, no country can develop it.

What do you think England started developing in 1800? ....or America in 1850? ....or Russia in 1917? ....or China in 1949?

OliverTwister wrote:
That depends on who you mean by "we" and "succeed".

"We"....Communists and Anarchists.

"Succeed"....a proletarian revolution.

OliverTwister wrote:
1) Afghanistan-Zimbabwe

2) Algeria-Taiwan

What are these examples suppose to prove?

Afghanistan was "free" for under two decades, Zimbabwe is starting to develop, Algeria from what I've read is taking some tentative steps towards development and Taiwan is the other, somewhat less successful, South Korea (admittedly I forgot to include it earlier, my mistake).

OliverTwister wrote:
Really... there are no iron laws of how the bourgeoisie act inherent to their nature except one - maximization of power. Whether they develop a certain area or not depends on whether it helps them in their quest for power. Sometimes local bourgeoisie will develop a certain area very quickly, sometimes colonial bourgeoisie will develop the economy of a colony very quickly.

True there are no "iron laws", but generally an independent bourgeois will develop a country completely. Where as a neo-colony will only develop "pockets" of Capitalism with the exceptions coming where the Imperialists have to develop the country properly (as in South Korea).

OliverTwister wrote:
....that would be interesting but would only have the significance you give it if you hold being proletarian means being an urban factory worker.

Well as I haven't said that a proletarian is only a proletarian if they work in a factory, I don't know where you have got this from.

However, I will do a little speculation myself. I suspect you consider the peasantry ("the muck of rural idiocy") as part of an oppressed army which allies itself with the proletariat. Am I wrong?

OliverTwister wrote:
Yeah, having lived there I would.

How can you possibly say that there is no room for (proper) Capitalist development in Africa?

OliverTwister wrote:
The only African regime which is developing industrially to any great length is South Africa.

And if things continue this way, South Africa will be the first African country to have a proletarian revolution.

OliverTwister wrote:
Without attempting to speak for Alf I understand those material conditions to be the global existence of the bourgeoisie and the proletariat.

I have no idea why people insist on these "global verdicts". I seems not to have occurred to them that certain areas of the globe are at different points of development, therefore making what is possible in these places different from what is possible in other places.

OliverTwister wrote:
Indeed. I wish the "material conditions" for proletarian revolution were in the US so that the working class "here" would be as "militant and confident" as that in Iraq, or Iran.

What are you babbling on about now? ....how is the Iranian or Iraqi working class "revolutionary" (in the sense that as a class they are ready to run society).

OliverTwister wrote:
The ancient proletariat telegraphed: it would like to know how modern it must become before it can have a revolution.

Well at this point we don't know. We will know how "modern" a proletariat needs to be when we see the first functioning Communist societies (and before you ask, no Russian and Chinese Socialist despotisms, are not an example of proletarian revolutions).

OliverTwister wrote:
Cynicism againt hope for a bright future for humanity masquerading as materialism.

As an "old fart" once said...."criticise everything"!

Alf wrote:
Armchair Socialism's position is rehashed Menshevism....

The only reason why you would bring up the Menshivik "bogeyman" is to discredit me in front of Bolshevik wannabes.

However, I really have no intention of trying to appeal to anyone under the Bolshevik "banner". Socialist despotisms are just "not my thing".

Alf wrote:
No, no, they said in 1917, we can't have a proletarian revolution in Russia, first it's got to develop the material conditions for socialism....

Well on that question, they were right.

Alf wrote:
Capitalism is a world system; it rises and above all it it goes into its decline as a world system.

Utter garbage!

Capitalism didn't "rise" as a "world system". It developed in specific regions at specific times and other regions at other times.

And it will fall apart in the same manner.

Alf wrote:
For exactly the same reason 'national bourgeoisies' in the 'underdevelped world' cannot escape from imperialist domination. In fact they cannot refrain from becoming imperialist themselves....

What a contradictory paragraph.

If "national bourgeoisies [....] cannot escape from imperialist domination" how can they become "imperialist[s] themselves"???

Alf wrote:
Rosa Luxemburg made this clear in 1915, and every experience of so-called national liberation since then has confirmed her view.

Well I do like Rosa Luxemburg, but like all of us, she was wrong a lot.

For instance, both China and Russia have shown that a country under the imperial thumb can break that imperial domination and then become a modern Capitalist country.

Lazy Riser wrote:
Armchair Socialism, could you give us some examples to show that gains by the Iraqi resistance advance working class interests as a whole.

Huh?

The Iraqi resistance is a bourgeois nationalist "movement". It won't advance the interests of the Iraqi working class "as a whole" other than if it wins, creating a modern Capitalist country which will then lay the material foundations for a proletarian revolution.

The same way the French revolutionaries in 1789 didn't advance the interests of the French proto-working class (in any significant way). What they did was get rid of the "feudal muck" and start France down a path of development which will eventually make proletarian revolution possible.

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Lazy Riser
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Feb 5 2006 22:12

Hi

Quote:
The Iraqi resistance is a bourgeois nationalist "movement". It won't advance the interests of the Iraqi working class "as a whole" other than if it wins, creating a modern Capitalist country which will then lay the material foundations for a proletarian revolution.

I see. The Iraqi resistance relies on foreign interventionists for a reason to exist, it’s the only way they maintain their special status and authority. They cannot afford to “win”.

How does placing Iraq back to its pre-invasion configuration advance the working class (either here or there) why won’t the same chain of events unfold and history simply repeat?

I’m still not clear as to why foreign intervention won’t do a fine job of restoring authentic capitalism to Iraq, as far as I can see it already has. Could you give some examples of where a fiercely nationalist bourgeois resistance has integrated their country into international capitalism more effectively than their more ostensibly more accommodating peers?

Love

LR

Armchair Socialism
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Feb 5 2006 23:49
Lazy Riser wrote:
The Iraqi resistance relies on foreign interventionists for a reason to exist, it’s the only way they maintain their special status and authority. They cannot afford to “win”.

That is, if I'm to give credit where (I think) credit is due, a very perceptive statement and one of the reasons why we should support the resistance.

Right now in Iraq, things like Communism and Anarchism are seen by (most) Iraqis' to represent Western "decadence" or some other twaddle. Indeed any secular thing is looked down on Iraq right now.

So, if the resistance wins, gradually "decadent" things will gain more prominence. This will not happen if Western countries continue to occupy the country because things like Communism and Anarchism will be associated with the occupation (especially when you consider the ICP's "proud" status as American lackeys).

I think a couple of good examples in this case are "Saudi" Arabia and Iran. In "Saudi" Arabia all modern things are looked down on (and can get you killed) and the same is true of Iran.

However in Iran, there are signs that change could be coming and that people are fed up with the Mullahs. Nothing like that is happening in "Saudi" Arabia.

Lazy Riser wrote:
How does placing Iraq back to its pre-invasion configuration advance the working class (either here or there)....

Well in both America and Britain the ruling class will be significantly weakened in the eyes of the working class.

That's what "we" want (to expose the incompetence of our "rulers").

In Iraq, if history is any guide, a successful and independent bourgeois will (most likely) start to develop Iraq into a modern Capitalist country which will in turn serve to lay the foundations for a proletarian revolution.

Lazy Riser wrote:
....why won’t the same chain of events unfold and history simply repeat?

Well they could, but do you think that if the American Empire is humiliated in Iraq that they will be able to launch another military intervention there any time soon?

It took Britain decades to "get over" the Suez crisis and that event was really the final nail in the coffin of the British and French Empires. Hopefully a defeat in Iraq will spell the end for the American Empire.

Lazy Riser wrote:
I’m still not clear as to why foreign intervention won’t do a fine job of restoring authentic capitalism to Iraq, as far as I can see it already has.

No it hasn't done a "fine job". The type of Capitalism in Iraq now, is doing a thorough wrecking job on the modern infrastructure in Iraq. Leaving virtually every industry to rot bar the Oil industry.

That is not "authentic capitalism".

Lazy Riser wrote:
Could you give some examples of where a fiercely nationalist bourgeois resistance has integrated their country into international capitalism more effectively than their more ostensibly more accommodating peers?

Vietnam was bourgeois nationalist, so was China (Mao undoubtedly saw himself as another Emperor), Cuba was explicitly nationalist to start with (though the results remain uncertain), South Africa underwent a black nationalist resistance, Chavez appears to be doing a similar thing in Venezuela, Iran has made great strides since the removal of the Shah and so on.

Plus I nearly forgot, the French revolutionaries of 1789 were fierce patriots. They did alright.

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jef costello
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Feb 6 2006 01:18
Armchair Socialism wrote:
It took Britain decades to "get over" the Suez crisis and that event was really the final nail in the coffin of the British and French Empires. Hopefully a defeat in Iraq will spell the end for the American Empire.

Wishful thinking, the British Empire had already collapsed, the fact that Suez required France and Britain to work together with Israeli help proves that Britain's power was already decimated.

I agree with Lazy's statement, but I don't think that those are grounds to support those Iraqi forces, they will not try to win, because that is not their aim. It will not help the proletariat to have violent gangs of religious and sectarian bastards running a series of personal fiefdoms across what is left of Iraq. The Shia areas will gradually be assimilated by Iran. The Kurdish areas will try to set up a state unless any of the governments with an interest stops them (I imagine Turkey is most likely to do so)

I don't know the best path for Iraq, its worth debating, but I think supporting forces that we are ideologically opposed because they may provoke an opposite reaction is insanity. By that logic would you have supported the contras?

Armchair Socialism
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Feb 6 2006 02:58
Jef Costello wrote:
Wishful thinking, the British Empire had already collapsed, the fact that Suez required France and Britain to work together with Israeli help proves that Britain's power was already decimated.

I said it was "the final nail in the coffin". The last attempt by two destroyed Empires to try and "show their strength". If they had been successful in Egypt (I guess "most people" here would "denounce" the Egyptian resistance?) then they may have attempted more ambitious ventures to try and rebuild their Empires.

Jef Costello wrote:
....they will not try to win, because that is not their aim.

Huh? confused

Why would they fight if they didn't want to win?

The more extreme groups in the resistance want a "new" Ottoman Empire, others want the return of Saddam Hussein, others want a Muslim cleric and the Kurdish participants want a Kurdish State.

You need to win to get these things.

Jef Costello wrote:
It will not help the proletariat to have violent gangs of religious and sectarian bastards running a series of personal fiefdoms across what is left of Iraq.

Were as having an army of professional killers does them loads of good.

Do you know what happened to the working class in Chile, Colombia, Guatemala and so on???

Jef Costello wrote:
I don't know the best path for Iraq, its worth debating, but I think supporting forces that we are ideologically opposed because they may provoke an opposite reaction is insanity.

Yes, "we citizens of the Empire" will sit here and debate what should happen to the residents of our colonies whilst making sure to "denounce" attempts by the residents to decide for themselves.

How 1910!

Jef Costello wrote:
By that logic would you have supported the contras?

Are you deliberately trying to be dull or does it come naturally?

The Contras were lackeys of the American Empire trying to overthrow an independent national bourgeois and return Nicaragua to its status of neo-colony.

Lackeys of the Empire are precisely the people I have been saying we should oppose, along with the Empire of course.

Have you ever come across the statement that we (Communists and Anarchists) should oppose the imperialism of our own bourgeois?

I thinks it origins come from the time of the First World War and we all remember what happened to the "lefties" of that era who didn't oppose their own bourgeois. Don't we?

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Lazy Riser
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Feb 6 2006 09:38

Hi

Quote:
Why would they fight if they didn't want to win?

Perhaps they expect a reward in the next world.

Quote:
Leaving virtually every industry to rot bar the Oil industry…

…That is not "authentic capitalism".

Oh but it is. They have oil, we have ring tones.

The resistance and the collaborators are two faces of the same coin. What practical action do you suggest we carry out to support one side over the other?

Love

LR

Armchair Socialism
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Feb 6 2006 17:14
Lazy Riser wrote:
Quote:
Why would they fight if they didn't want to win?

Perhaps they expect a reward in the next world.

Perhaps, we obviously can't rule out superstition as a reason for their actions. They are a pious bunch.

However, the proper Muslims like Al Queda* (who do make up only a small percentage of the resistance, 1 to 5% if I remember correctly) do want to create a new Muslim Empire.

They think creating a Muslim Empire will ensure them a "better seat" in Allah's court and therefore have every reason to want to succeed.

_____

*I refer to them as proper Muslims as they appear to be the ones who take the Koran most seriously, the same way Pat Robertson or someone who blows up an abortion clinic is a real Christian.

All "mainstream" Religions are Medieval and barbaric and the most devout followers act in the same way. Christian fascism is real Christianity, etc. etc.

Lazy Riser wrote:
Oh but it is. They have oil, we have ring tones.

I think that you know there is more to it than that.

Lazy Riser wrote:
What practical action do you suggest we carry out to support one side over the other?

Good question.

Going to fight for the resistance or sending money would be silly and extremely dangerous things to do. So really we don't need to form any links with the resistance.

What I do suggest we do is give unconditional support to the resistance and give unconditional opposition to our own ruling class and they're hired guns.

We should tell people that we meet that we support Iraq's "right to self determination" and completely oppose the Imperialism that has been conducted in Iraq.

In my opinion, you can't consistently "denounce" the Imperialism if you "denounce" the anti-Imperialists.

Class struggle is about "taking sides" and in this side we must oppose our own ruling class. Sure that may sound selfish, but proletarian revolution is in my class interest and I want to try and "speed up" that process as much as I can.

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Lazy Riser
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Feb 6 2006 18:51

Hi

Quote:
What I do suggest we do is give unconditional support to the resistance and give unconditional opposition to our own ruling class and they're hired guns.

Ho ho, comrade, I like your style. History shows our unconditional support is the kiss of death for any cause. Are you sure our support would help? Chance would be a fine thing. Who are “we” anyway, I’m not sure we’re on the same side.

Quote:
We should tell people that we meet that we support Iraq's "right to self determination" and completely oppose the Imperialism that has been conducted in Iraq.

That’s what the middle class want us to do to discredit, by association, key positions on economic security and political liberty. By the way, how is the UK working class better able to determine its own destiny than Iraq’s? What track record of success are you using to back up your orthodox anti-imperialism?

Love

LR

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Alf
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Feb 6 2006 22:27

Armchair Socialist says countries dominated by imperialism can't be imperialist. Saddam's Iraq is a perfect example the US used him in the war against Iran for their imperialist interests, but by launching the war he was also pursuing the imperialist interests of Iraqi capital, with the ambition of becoming the leading power in the region. He proved it again with the invasion of Kuwait. The Iranian bourgeoisie is currently pursuing its imperialist interests in Iraq as well, and is arming itself with the ambition of becoming the dominant power in the region.

And yet we are supposed to give 'unconditional support' to the resistance. Forget Menshevism, this is just Trotskyism. The aim of all these opposition factions is to become the best defender of the interests of Iraqi capitalism, and thus of Iraqi imperialism. In order to do so, they will ally themselves with bigger imperialist predators, most likely the USA's main rivals. Anti-imperialism is a complete and utter fraud.

I will be away for a couple of weeks, and may not be able to get onto the web, but I hope others who have defended internationalism against the supporters of the Iraqi 'resistance', on this and other threads, will continue the battle.

Lazy Riser's picture
Lazy Riser
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Feb 6 2006 22:45

Hi

Quote:
defended internationalism against the supporters of the Iraqi 'resistance', on this and other threads, will continue the battle

I’m only defending Internationalism by accident. Me, I’m in it for the Left of Capital.

Love

LR

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jef costello
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Feb 7 2006 00:40
Armchair Socialism wrote:
Jef Costello wrote:
Wishful thinking, the British Empire had already collapsed, the fact that Suez required France and Britain to work together with Israeli help proves that Britain's power was already decimated.

I said it was "the final nail in the coffin". The last attempt by two destroyed Empires to try and "show their strength". If they had been successful in Egypt (I guess "most people" here would "denounce" the Egyptian resistance?) then they may have attempted more ambitious ventures to try and rebuild their Empires.

Who would denounce the Egyptians?

I may have gone a little far but it was a sign of desparation, to ally yourself with Israel, having been overruled at the creation of the state and seeing as you'd sentenced its president to death for terrorism.

Quote:
Jef Costello wrote:
....they will not try to win, because that is not their aim.

Huh? confused

Why would they fight if they didn't want to win?

Depends what you mean by win I supose, I simply mean that they have no realistic plan for a state or any kind of reconstruction, for the most part they are reactionaries linked by either dreams of supposed lost pasts or future utopias. They don't need to win, they'll die hapy anyway so why not let them, if they take a few Americans with them then what's the harm I suppose?

Quote:
Kurdish participants want a Kurdish State.

Kurds haven't fought the americans, the americans will probably let the turks do it, to keep their hands at least vaguely clean.

Quote:
Were as having an army of professional killers does them loads of good.

The US Army professional? You do fall for some propaganda.

Quote:
Yes, "we citizens of the Empire" will sit here and debate what should happen to the residents of our colonies whilst making sure to "denounce" attempts by the residents to decide for themselves.

No I denounce attempts by reactionary fucks to impose a new caliphate or whatever fascistic wet dream they have in mind upon the Iraqi people.

Quote:
Jef Costello wrote:
By that logic would you have supported the contras?

Are you deliberately trying to be dull or does it come naturally?

The Contras were lackeys of the American Empire trying to overthrow an independent national bourgeois and return Nicaragua to its status of neo-colony.

Lackeys of the Empire are precisely the people I have been saying we should oppose, along with the Empire of course.

You really are a cock aren't you.

I was merely pointing out that alongside the idiocy of your "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" logic (ooh Hitler or Stalin am I spoilt for choice!) was your insane assertion that the Iraqi working class. once it was under the yoke of the resistance (competing section of the bourgeoisie), would be closer to freedom. By that logic Hitler coming to power was a boon for the communists. History or at least basic logic should prevent you from running your fucking mouth at me when some of your assertions are such obvious bollocks. You had some decent points somewhere in there so its not all bad.

And stop making ridiculous sweeping statements about Iraq, it makes you look lke a tosser.

Armchair Socialism
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Feb 7 2006 11:21
Lazy Riser wrote:
History shows our unconditional support is the kiss of death for any cause.

Well not really.

The sections of the left that "unconditionally" supported the Vietnamese Liberation Army did a lot better than the parts that said something along the lines of....

"We don't support the occupation, but we don't like the Viet Cong - they're nasty."

During the 60's (in America particularly) the groups carried signs like "Victory to the Viet Cong" came a lot closer to becoming a "revolutionary backbone" than those whose message was just "US out of Vietnam".

Plus, the people who were uneasy about supporting the Vietnamese Liberation Army virtually all ended up trying to help some bourgeois liberal run for office. That is not revolutionary.

Lazy Riser wrote:
Are you sure our support would help?

Well it won't in the sense that the men and women fighting the "Coalition forces" will do the hard work. What our support for them will do is help undermine our bourgeois by highlighting their incompetence as rulers in the eyes of the working class.

After all, we can't very well call for the working class to overthrow ruling we consider competent and support.

Lazy Riser wrote:
Who are “we” anyway....

Working class revolutionaries, who else?

Lazy Riser wrote:
That’s what the middle class want us to do to discredit, by association, key positions on economic security and political liberty.

Why should Communists and Anarchists care about what the "middle class" (reactionary swines) thinks? ....unless of course you're planning to run for Parliament?

And "economic security"???

Lazy Riser wrote:
What track record of success are you using to back up your orthodox anti-imperialism?

The "track record" of the last century where those that who verbally opposed Imperialism but were reluctant to support the anti-Imperialists (whoever they were) ended up either supporting bourgeois liberals get elected or running for election themselves.

And as we all should know you can't "elect" Communism through bourgeois "democracy".

Alf wrote:
Armchair Socialist says countries dominated by imperialism can't be imperialist.

Not on their own they can't.

If they are to be "Imperialist" then they have to do so with the backing of their Imperial masters (think the way Britain used the Indian Army) and often the Imperialism they then partake in benefits their Imperial masters and not the country "doing" the Imperialism.

Alf wrote:
....but by launching the war he was also pursuing the imperialist interests of Iraqi capital, with the ambition of becoming the leading power in the region.

Poo!

It is quite possible that Iraq not only didn't benefit from the Iran War, it actually made terrible losses (this was the time when Iraq's earlier "gains" started to fall apart).

If Iraq had overthrown the Iranian Government, America would have benefited.

Plus, the "leading power" in the Middle East was already America and if they had gained control of Iran again they would have strengthened that power. Iraq would have remained a lackey.

Alf wrote:
He proved it again with the invasion of Kuwait.

Well this example directly contradicts what you just said about the Iran-Iraq War showing that Iraq wanted to be a "leading power".

In Kuwait Saddam Hussein did try and establish Iraq as a "leading power" in the Middle East and we know how America reacted, don't we?

Alf wrote:
The Iranian bourgeoisie is currently pursuing its imperialist interests in Iraq as well, and is arming itself with the ambition of becoming the dominant power in the region.

Yes Iran as an independent power is now trying to establish itself as a "world player", hence all the current news attention in the media of the already established "world players".

What Iran is not is a lackey of anyone. Indeed Iran, China, Russia and Venezuela all seem to be forming a small "coalition" to challenge America's economic and military hegemony.

However, it must be said a lot of the stuff about Iran meddling in Iraq is bullshit.

Alf wrote:
Forget Menshevism, this is just Trotskyism.

As I have already mentioned, I have no intention of appealing to the Bolshevik "wannabes" among you, so pasting the label "Menshivik", "Trotskyist" or whatever on me will do little harm.

The people who wish to seriously consider my points (and not just repeat crusty old Leninist or reformist formula's) will correctly consider your attempts to discredit me through allying me with the odious Mr. Trotsky to be you blowing smoke out your ass!

Alf wrote:
Anti-imperialism is a complete and utter fraud.

I'm sure that's just what the Polish thought whilst German tanks rolled through the streets.

Lackey!

Alf wrote:
I will be away for a couple of weeks, and may not be able to get onto the web....

You're not off to Iraq to join up with the "coalition forces" are you?

Jef Costello wrote:
Who would denounce the Egyptians?

Well Alf - the bootlicker - would....

Alf wrote:
Anti-imperialism is a complete and utter fraud.

http://www.libcom.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=95791#95791

After all resisting the French, British and Israeli invasion would obviously be silly according to him.

Jef Costello wrote:
I may have gone a little far but it was a sign of desparation....

Most definitely.

These were "desperate" Empires willing to do anything to reassert themselves.

What's perhaps most interesting about the Suez crisis is that the new Empires (Russia and America) both stepped in and told the old and frail Empires to "pipe down" and "grow up".

Jef Costello wrote:
....I simply mean that they have no realistic plan for a state or any kind of reconstruction....

I did point out above that some people want a Muslim Empire, where as others want Saddam Hussein back, others want a Shia state, the Kurds want a Kurdish state, etc. etc.

There are lots of "plans".

Jef Costello wrote:
....for the most part they are reactionaries....

Undoubtedly, but the "throne of reaction" currently happens to be placed at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. in a place curiously named the "White House", even though it was built by black slave labour.

Jef Costello wrote:
Kurds haven't fought the americans....

From BBC News....

ANSAR AL-ISLAM wrote:
Ansar al-Islam is a radical Sunni Muslim group with its base in mountainous northern Iraq.

It draws its recruits from Kurds who oppose the US-backed Patriotic Union of Kurdistan party, according to US intelligence website globalsecurity.org.

The group, which is also known as Ansar al-Sunna, suffered a severe setback during in early 2003, losing many bases to the US bombing campaign.

In February 2004, it claimed responsibility for simultaneous suicide bomb attacks on the offices of the two US-backed mainstream Kurdish political parties.

The group's alleged leader, Mullah Krekar, has lived in Norway as a refugee since 1991.

The US has accused Ansar al-Islam of ties to al-Qaeda.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4268904.stm#ansar

Jef Costello wrote:
The US Army professional?

Soldiers are "skilled practitioners" of murder, making them professional killers.

Jef Costello wrote:
No I denounce attempts by reactionary fucks to impose a new caliphate or whatever fascistic wet dream they have in mind upon the Iraqi people.

By becoming a de facto supporter of American and British Imperialism (which would impose anything on Iraq provided this regime listened to its orders)?

Jef Costello wrote:
I was merely pointing out that alongside the idiocy of your "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" logic....

Well I think it is perhaps time you offered your opinion on what you support in Iraq. Then everyone can judge just how "idiotic" my logic is.

Jef Costello wrote:
....was your insane assertion that the Iraqi working class. once it was under the yoke of the resistance (competing section of the bourgeoisie), would be closer to freedom.

Well I actually said that the Iraqi working class would be "closer to freedom" once Iraq started to develop Modern Capitalism which would lay the foundations for proletarian revolution.

That "insane assertion" is grounded in historical materialism, perhaps you should give it a try some day.

Jef Costello wrote:
By that logic Hitler coming to power was a boon for the communists.

Good grief what an absurd statement.

Jef Costello wrote:
History or at least basic logic should prevent you from running your fucking mouth at me when some of your assertions are such obvious bollocks.

Well this is a message board is it not? ....and therefore people do "run their mouth" here.

What your statement really means is that you don't like what I have to say and you want me to shut the fuck up. However unfortunately for you I'm not going to stop "running my mouth" and I will continue to challenge your assertions if I think that your assertions fundamentally harm the prospects of proletarian revolution.

Short of having me banned, there's not much you can do. grin

Jef Costello wrote:
And stop making ridiculous sweeping statements about Iraq....

What "ridiculous sweeping statements"? ....I haven't made any statements along the lines of there being no Kurds in the resistance or that all the resistance are utopian nutballs, but you have!

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Lazy Riser
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Feb 7 2006 12:46

Hi

Quote:
The sections of the left that "unconditionally" supported the Vietnamese Liberation Army did a lot better

Ch’yeah right. They won, no wonder we live in a workers’ paradise today.

Quote:
What our support for them will do is help undermine our bourgeois by highlighting their incompetence as rulers in the eyes of the working class

Ch’yeah right. Every working class person I meet is totally brainwashed into believing our rulers are supremely competent, not to mention incorruptible. This must stop.

Quote:
Why should Communists and Anarchists care about what the "middle class" (reactionary swines) thinks? ....unless of course you're planning to run for Parliament?

Damn your black heart to hell. You’ve got me. Why the “quotes” though?

Quote:
The "track record" of the last century where those that who verbally opposed Imperialism but were reluctant to support the anti-Imperialists (whoever they were) ended up either supporting bourgeois liberals get elected or running for election themselves.

And the problem this caused was what? As you say, we shouldn’t care what middle class people think, or do.

Love

LR

Armchair Socialism
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Feb 7 2006 17:13
Lazy Riser wrote:
Ch’yeah right.

If you re-read my post you'll see I said they "did a lot better" at providing a "revolutionary backbone".

That is through supporting the Vietnamese Liberation Army, opposing the American Army and best of all refusing to work with left-bourgeois politicians ("the Galloway's"). They "came closer" to creating a genuine revolutionary outlook which could form the foundations for proletarian revolution.

True many of them have now "gone over to the other side" (we do live in a particularly reactionary period) but the people who were busy campaigning for some bourgeois liberal and "denouncing" the "Viet Cong" had already switched sides.

Lazy Riser wrote:
Ch’yeah right. Every working class person I meet is totally brainwashed into believing our rulers are supremely competent, not to mention incorruptible. This must stop.

At this point in time the majority of working class people (and some "Communists") all look at society through the "prism" of bourgeois hegemony.

There are "radicals" who are flocking like sheep to the odious Mr. Galloway who no doubt wish to build a "Socialist movement" through a "great leader" (Galloway).

This is not revolutionary because these people are still looking at class society through that "prism" if you will. It seems not to have occurred to them that we don't need any fucking leaders!

Lazy Riser wrote:
Why the “quotes” though?

Well "middle class" is a word that if I'm not mistaken has its roots in some form of Sociology and places a class distinction on certain people outside of their relationship to the means of production.

Therefore, although I occasionally use the word myself, most of the time I use the phrase petty-bourgeois. Like the good Marxist I am. wink

Lazy Riser wrote:
And the problem this caused was what?

I'm sorry, I mistook this as a Communist and Anarchist discussion board. My mistake.

The problem of reformism should be self evident.

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Lazy Riser
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Feb 7 2006 18:56

Hi

Quote:
The problem of reformism should be self evident.

The Iraqi Resistance is reformist. Supporting it is reactionary.

Love

LR

Armchair Socialism
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Feb 7 2006 20:05
Lazy Riser wrote:
Quote:
The problem of reformism should be self evident.

The Iraqi Resistance is reformist. Supporting it is reactionary.

Well your "dictionary" must be completely different from mine. In mine reformism is mucking about in the swamp that is bourgeois "democracy" where as taking up arms is a big "no no".

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Lazy Riser
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Feb 7 2006 20:27

Hi

Is it the violence that makes it special? Why do arms make it less reformist?

Love

Tracey

lem
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Feb 7 2006 20:41
Armchair Socialism wrote:
In mine reformism is mucking about in the swamp that is bourgeois "democracy" where as taking up arms is a big "no no".

If I were a communist during WWI and took up arms against the Germans etc. I could still be reformist. No? So what your trying to say is that if you take up arms against an imperial oppressor of your own country you cannot be reformist. Which is just nationalism I'm afraid (I think, maybe an odd kind).

Some people think that nationalism is infact the last stage of capitralism, and that it strengthens capitalism. Do we really want to strengthen capitalism, fall into reformism etc solely on the contentious idea that it will develop these countries forces of production?

I haven't read much, but I have read this short pamphlet http://www.prole.info/pamphlets/continuingappeal.pdf

Armchair Socialism
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Feb 7 2006 21:50
Lazy Riser wrote:
Is it the violence that makes it special? Why do arms make it less reformist?

Well the only way that a Communist society will be established is through proletarian revolution and unfortunately revolutions are violent things.

Where as people who try to "reform" a system are reformists because they work within the "legal framework" of said system. A revolutionary works "outside" of this "framework".

So "arms" don't necessarily make something "less reformist", it is working "outside" of the boundaries of class society that make something reformist.

lem wrote:
If I were a communist during WWI and took up arms against the Germans etc. I could still be reformist. No?

Well real Communists in 1914 didn't "take up arms" and defend "their" bourgeois, though a lot of pseudo-lefties did support "their" country (Kropotkin springs to mind).

So really this question is of no relevance.

lem wrote:
So what your trying to say is that if you take up arms against an imperial oppressor of your own country you cannot be reformist. Which is just nationalism I'm afraid (I think, maybe an odd kind).

Well unfortunately in some countries "taking up arms against an imperial oppressor" (national liberation is what its usually called) is all that is possible.

The material conditions for proletarian revolution are simply not there and this therefore limits what you can hope to achieve.

In times of "bourgeois revolution" (which is effectively what national liberation movements really are) all one can do is support the bourgeois and "denounce" their opponents.

Marx and Engels had a pretty clear view on this and so do I.

lem wrote:
Some people think that nationalism is infact the last stage of capitralism, and that it strengthens capitalism.

I haven't heard of this theory myself, however I have heard of Lenin's Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism. Is that what you are referring too?

lem wrote:
Do we really want to strengthen capitalism, fall into reformism etc solely on the contentious idea that it will develop these countries forces of production?

Well unless you accept some self proclaimed "Marxists" theories about the world being on "one page", then we must make specific judgements for specific places.

In the countries that occupy the "third world", what is required is a "bourgeois revolution" which will develop the "forces of production" which will then lay the material foundations for proletarian revolution.

Where as in the "first world" the material foundations for proletarian revolution are either already there or close to getting there. And therefore there is no need for Communists to even consider "supporting" the bourgeois of these countries.

Indeed it looks like any progressive role the bourgeois has played in the Modern Capitalist countries has either come to and end, or is close to an end.

lem
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Feb 7 2006 22:06
Armchair Socialism wrote:
Where as people who try to "reform" a system are reformists because they work within the "legal framework" of said system. A revolutionary works "outside" of this "framework".

The definition of reformism I use is someone who will accept a nicer capitalism. According to this definition these people are reformist.

Armchair Socialism wrote:
Well real Communists in 1914 didn't "take up arms" and defend "their" bourgeois, though a lot of pseudo-lefties did support "their" country (Kropotkin springs to mind).

So really this question is of no relevance.

Its not in theory impossible to be a armed reformist though, if what I said is true, which you seem to agree with. And I would have thought that "true" communists aren't reformists, and its kinda irrelevent

Armchair Socialism wrote:
In times of "bourgeois revolution" (which is effectively what national liberation movements really are) all one can do is support the bourgeois and "denounce" their opponents.

Again that a different derfinition of a bourgeois revoliution than what I use - Iraq is not under a fuedal mode of production

Armchair Socialism wrote:
I haven't heard of this theory myself

Read my link

Armchair Socialism wrote:
In the countries that occupy the "third world", what is required is a "bourgeois revolution" which will develop the "forces of production" which will then lay the material foundations for proletarian revolution.

You mean nationalism, because their own bourgeois can develop their capital more quickly - which TBH is contentious. Do you have an argument or reference for this?

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Lazy Riser
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Feb 7 2006 22:55

Hi

What’s wrong with a bit of reformism? As long as it puts more food on my plate, why inhibit it? Why should we stay poor for the sake of dumb taboo?

Love

Cicely

lem
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Feb 7 2006 23:04

Why would it put mor food on your plate in this instance?

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Lazy Riser
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Feb 7 2006 23:06

Hi

Say it did, would it be wrong? Say I blackmailed the Left of Capital to tickle my fancy, and I loved it. Reformism? Yes. Bad? No.

Love

Erica

lem
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Feb 7 2006 23:34

neutral