"Free Speech" for Reactionaries? May 6, 2004 by RedStar2000
This collection began as yet another "discussion" of the reactionary social role of religion...but then turned into something more interesting: the meaning of free speech in post-revolutionary society.
You do force your opinions on people. The nature of your posts show this.
Yes...if you don't agree with me, I will...er...um...make fun of you???
And RedStar, you should [not?] be so intolerant man, those people believe what they believe as much as you believe what you do, and being rude about it is not the way to show them. You will only make it worse.
You suggest, perhaps, that they can be seduced into rational thinking?
Well, perhaps you're right.
Why don't you implement your approach -- be all nice and respectful towards the godsuckers -- and I'll continue my "intolerant" attacks on their bullshit "ideas".
And we'll see what happens. When one of them decides to be rational and dump all that god crap...we'll ask her/him: whose arguments impressed you more?
I maintain that the way to defeat superstition (or any other bad ideas) is to attack them.
Bad ideas don't just "go away" all by themselves.
Let's use intolerance as the basis for our utopian society, let's see how long it'll stay utopian.
I can understand your recommendation; Christians have such a long and brilliant record of tolerance. (!)
...but hey Redstar has already made up his mind on [Voegelin]; he likes to provide mis-information; it's the nature of his encrusted convictions.
Are you saying that I'm "wrong" about Voegelin's central hypothesis? And if you're not saying that, what the fuck are you saying?
Oh, you don't like my "encrusted convictions".
That's a damn shame.
second, I'm not sure. redstar, if you have even bothered to read Jesus's teachings...
No one has read "Jesus's teachings"...he never wrote anything down. Possibly he was illiterate.
All the crap in the "Bible" about what he "taught" was written by other people and was written down decades, even centuries, after he was dead.
(And yes, by the way, I have read it...it's all crap!)
...linking witch hunts to Christianity is like linking the monstrous acts of Stalin with communism and the acts of Hitler with capitalism.
First, you will note that, to the best of my knowledge, neither Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, nor Taoists ever burned helpless old women for "witchcraft".
Only Christianity has that "distinction".
Second, like it or not (and I don't), Stalin was a sincere communist who thought he was doing the right thing...what "had" to be done to "save the revolution". He operated well within the Leninist paradigm -- that "version" of "Marxism" that posits the "necessity" of a "workers' state".
I've explained why I think that entire paradigm should be rejected many times, so there's no need to repeat it here.
But when I see well-meaning people trying to get communism "off the hook" with regard to Stalin, I can only shake my head...for all his many faults, blunders, and crimes, the name of communism will be linked to Stalin for a long time to come.
Only when we prove to working people that we have completely repudiated the outlook that led to Stalin will communism ultimately shed this unfortunate historical burden.
As to Hitler and capitalism, they are quite literally blood brothers. The Nazis were installed at the direct bequest of the leading members of the German capitalist class. The Third Reich was a capitalist country throughout its existence. German corporations prospered on slave labor and one of them even went so far as to acquire a patent on their gas chamber!
I might add, in this context, that the overwhelming majority of the Christian clergy -- both Catholic and Protestant -- "had no problem" with the Third Reich and many of them were enthusiastic supporters of Nazism.
It's also pretty much common knowledge that after the Third Reich was defeated, the Vatican itself engaged in a conspiracy to smuggle prominent Catholic Nazis out of occupied Germany to hiding places in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, etc.
A good example of Christian tolerance, right?
So in [the] future, stop being such an annoying, opinion bullying, intolerant time waster, and don't post on my topics again!
Or else what? You'll send me to "Hell"?
The position Redstar expresses was not the position of the Manifesto's authors. Nor has it been the practice of any but the most repressive Stalinist state. IMO the policy followed by Cuba today is a more positive example.
Quite so. Marx and Engels thought that religion, like the state, would "wither away"...at least, that was their view in 1847.
Their views (especially Marx's) on the state changed radically after the experience of the Paris Commune. But, admittedly, I don't think they ever expressed the full-scale opposition to the public presence of religion that I have.
Neither, of course, did any of the "Stalinist" regimes...including that of Stalin himself. The Russian Orthodox Church was a legally functioning organization throughout the period of the USSR. The priesthood was on the public payroll and the government even sponsored a couple of seminaries to train new con-men.
True, a few cathedrals were demolished and others were shut down for various periods of time. But, over-all, religion continued to function in the USSR.
Surprise! It didn't "wither away" any more than the so-called "workers' state" did.
As to the Cuban Government's "positive example", you yourself (in another thread) noted that the Catholic hierarchy there regards the Batista era as "the golden age of Catholicism in Cuba".
An accurate perception, no doubt, but also a good sign of what those bastards look forward to "when Fidel dies".
The tolerance of Catholicism by the Cuban revolutionaries will be repaid as it always has been...with a knife in the back and a warm welcome for the return of U.S. imperialism.
"Tolerance" of reactionary ideas always has a single consequence: the victory of reactionary ideas.
Sorry about that.
First posted at Che-Lives on April 18, 2004
Witch-hunts go all the way back to paganism and shamanism.
What are you saying here? Did the classical Greeks or Romans "burn witches"? Or did they do that in ancient China? Or ancient India? Or Parthia (Persia)? Or Babylon? Or ancient Egypt?
I know that some native American nations have a concept that has been translated into English as "witch" (actually "shape-changer"). I'm not aware that they ever hunted down people accused of shape-changing and executed them following a "confession" under torture.
Perhaps that did happen...but as you indicate, my knowledge is far from universal.
Why don't you enlighten us with some specific parallels?
(By the way, although the Christian "justification" for witch-burning comes from a verse in the "Old Testament" -- "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" -- I don't believe there's a single recorded instance of anyone ever being executed for "witchcraft" in the "Bible". Does that make the "Hebrew children" better "Christians" than the Christians?)
As I said, a few of the most repressive Stalinist regimes shared your position. China during the Cultural Revolution, for example. Possibly Pol Pot?
As far as I know, the old Chinese temples (or almost all of them) are still there. So, for that matter, are the famous Cambodian temples.
The inference that my views were shared by Mao and/or Pol Pot is just rhetorical...unless you want to offer some quotations from those guys that parallel what I have said.
But actually, religion did wither away more than the state did...an amazingly low percentage of East Germans believe in God, for example.
Or at least claim to be non-believers.
But it's interesting that you brought up East Germany. One of its very last acts was a huge nation-wide celebration of Martin Luther...the vicious anti-semite and advocate of the murder of rebellious peasants.
And was it not the German Protestant clergy in East Germany that led the final round of mass demonstrations in favor of ending the GDR and re-uniting with capitalist West Germany?
You know it was! East German tolerance for religion was one of the factors that led directly to its demise as a "socialist experiment".
The same thing happened in Poland. I suspect that similar parallels could be found elsewhere in Eastern Europe...but once again I must confess to the accuracy of your correct assessment of my "limited knowledge".
Hmm...if tolerating ideas other than yours always leads to the victory of those ideas, your ideas ain't worth much. That is, you can't effectively defend them in open debate. That seems to be true for your ideas on other subjects, IMO.
Well, thanks for the "compliment".
Might I suggest that the real world is not a high school debating club? It's not simply a matter of "academic discussion" of "interesting ideas".
In the struggle to overthrow capitalism and establish communism, those with reactionary ideas will act on them...or at least try to. If counter-revolution is not practical at the moment, then they will do their best to spread their ideological "justification" for counter-revolution while awaiting the opportunity to put their words into deeds.
What should be the communist response to this real-world phenomenon? If we "tolerate" reactionary ideas (like religion), then those ideas have at least the chance to spread and influence people in a counter-revolutionary direction.
Maybe, if all goes well, that won't happen. But nothing "always goes well"...including communist society. When difficulties arise, what will the reactionaries say? "See...this is what happens when you abandon God!"
Also, it looks to me like the Cuban Revolution is still there, while Mao and Pol Pot ain't.
A tie ballgame in extra innings does not call for a celebration...the game continues.
The funny thing is, RedStar's normally a big believer in the overriding importance of objective conditions to any kind of social phenomenon. Almost to the exclusion of anything else, in an oversimplified version of Marx's method and theory of historical materialism.
Your "praise" overwhelms me.
But when it comes to his pet hobbyhorse, religion, all of a sudden objective conditions have nothing to do with it, and state repression is the answer to all bad ideas.
Since I am against the whole idea of the "workers' state" (something you are well aware of), where does this "state repression" crap come from? Certainly not from me.
Oh, I forgot your Leninist-Trotskyist "pet hobbyhorse"...you can't even conceive of a post-revolutionary society without a large fat-assed "revolutionary" bureaucracy running everything.
Very well, I will say "for the record" once again: the suppression of the public presence of religion will be the act of the working class itself...not of me or a small group of people who agree with me.
I or some future people who think like I do about this will stand up in local and regional workers' councils and advocate that the public presence of religion should be eliminated from communist society. If the class agrees, and I think it will, then and only then will it actually be done.
It will be essentially no different from banning the public presence of Nazism.
But perhaps you find that "intolerant" as well.
First posted at Che-Lives on April 18, 2004
What do you think his central hypothesis is?
In short: that we (modern humanity) are nearly all guilty of the "gnostic heresy" and some of us are "possessed by demons".
Here's a good summary of Voegelin's "ideas"...
Note the central contradiction: in Christian dogma, the world is "good" and humanity is "evil". The "gnostic heresy" asserts the opposite: humanity is "good" and the world is "evil".
Voegelin traces our "wrong path taken" back to the 13th century!
Oh, and one of the reasons we cling to the "gnostic heresy" is "demonic mendacity".
I must therefore apologize for suggesting that someone else was an advocate of Voegelin's nonsense; I did indeed mis-read a post that I mistakenly attributed to him.
Now, what's your excuse?
Oh and cut the sarcasm, you only impress children with that kind of stuff.
When arguing with godsuckers, who do you think I'm talking to?
First posted at Che-Lives on April 19, 2004
This just looks like more of his speculation. I've told him what I think about it; its unprofessional.
I'm not a "professional". Why should I "act" like one?
However I would also expect such an advanced society to understand that forcible repression of ideas or convictions, whatever you may think of them, is a barbaric practice.
Your speculations, being somehow "more professional" than mine, have some rather alarming consequences.
Freedom for racists? sexists? homophobes? Nazis?
Where exactly do you draw your line as to what is to be "tolerated" and what is not?
I don't think 20th century communist countries reflect Marxist theory, yet they all say they're Marxist to the best of my knowledge. Similarly, what has been done in the name of Christianity isn't what Christianity is about.
Actually, 20th century Leninism was a kind of reflection of Marxist theory...to be specific, it concerned the application of Marxism to pre-capitalist and semi-capitalist societies.
And it worked...it developed the economies of those countries to the degree where they could enter the world market as modern capitalist countries.
Of course, there were many atrocities along the way...that's normal for the emergence of capitalism from feudalism. Every capitalist society comes forth drenched in blood...I know of no example to the contrary.
Compare, for example, Engels' The Condition of the English Working Class in 1844 to the conditions of workers in Stalin's Russia or Mao's China. I'm not sure...but it may be that Leninism was, for most people, a more humane form of the transition to capitalism than was the "normal" bourgeois path.
Of course all this has nothing to do with Marx's theory of proletarian revolution in advanced capitalist countries...which is still an essentially untested hypothesis at this point.
Thus the "crimes" committed in the name of "communism" were really the more or less normal features of any transition from feudalism to capitalism.
Where is the equivalent analysis of Christianity?
The crimes of the Christians were done in the name of propagating "the true religion", crushing "heresy", and destroying "witchcraft" and other "works of the devil".
Lacking any real-world referents, Christians disguised their ambitions for power and wealth in imaginary conceits. (There's no such thing as a "true religion", "heresy", or "witchcraft".)
Inspite of their claims to be "for the poor and oppressed", almost never have they demonstrated anything but the crudest of ambitions...to suck up to the ruling class; to loot and plunder; to grab as much earthly power as they could get away with; etc., etc., etc.
And this has been the case uninterrupted for more than 1,700 years!
Maybe you'd have a stronger argument if we were now looking back on 1,700 years of one "Stalin" after another.
But that isn't the case, is it?
Christianity has shown what "it is about" for 17 centuries...and it's all bad!
(All the other religions suck too, of course...but that's hardly any "defense" for Christianity.)
No, you end up falling back on something very similar to Voegelin's position: religion is "good" but people are "evil".
...religion is as old as the world (of humans) and it will always be that way...
That's what the godsuckers would have us believe, anyway. Much as capitalists have declared that "history has ended" with capitalism as the "final form" of human society.
I consider both such views as unacceptable to communists.
It may be that humanity will "always" be slaves to superstition; my "personal choice" is to bet against it.
And to "rig" the game against the bastards as best I can!
First posted at Che-Lives on April 19, 2004
It's legitimate for me to point out that some of your allegations are not supported by the body of work we can strictly call Marxism.
Fair enough, I suppose. What I "try" to do is look at things in the way I think Marx and Engels would have looked at them "if they were alive today".
They were critical observers; "doubt everything" is a remark attributed to Marx.
This is the approach that seems necessary to me...otherwise we get trapped in an endless maze of claims, assertions, suppositions, labels of all sorts, etc.
To look at social reality with clear eyes is difficult; to figure out what people are really saying and really doing is far from easy.
I do the best I can...even though no one pays me to do it and thus I am "unworthy" of the label "professional".
Typically I wouldn't draw a line, with possible exception for Nazis. If we were talking about racist actions, sexist or homophobic actions or deeds, that would be another story. What we are talking about is freedom of thought and speech. Freedom to express your convictions and associate with others, so long as certain ground rules are observed of course. I am part of the segment of the Left that considers these things valuable.
Let's get specific. At the present time, Christian fundamentalists have web sites where they post the names, addresses, and photographs of doctors who perform abortions.
The photos are (I've been informed) overlaid with the cross-hairs of a rifle scope.
In addition, these doctors are labeled "genocidal killers" and compared to Nazis.
Without ever using the word, these Christian sites obviously intend to incite murder.
"Freedom of speech"?
(And, by the way, no one can interfere with "freedom of thought" no matter what they do...there's really no way to get "inside" someone's mind and make them think what you want them to. It's only social behavior that can be "controlled".)
I think the people who came to power were corrupted by it (as Lord Acton's famous quote goes...), corrupted by their lust for power.
Well, perhaps. We have no way to read Stalin's mind or Mao's mind. All we have to go on is what they said and what they did.
I think if sheer self-glorification had been their only real motive, they would have been "less political" -- if you know what I mean.
But I agree that power granted or seized by a single individual is always corrupting (regardless of whether or not Acton actually said it -- it would have been a rather odd thing for a "lord" to say).
There were some obvious parallels between Stalin and Czar Peter "the Great"...both attempted to "modernize" Russia "overnight" "at gunpoint"; Peter had to defeat a Swedish invasion and Stalin a German one; etc.
I think there are probably parallels between Mao and some of China's great "reforming emperors" of the past...particularly those that came to power as a consequence of great peasant rebellions. My knowledge of Chinese history is too hazy to expand on this point; but it would be quite strange if such parallels did not exist (similar material conditions and all that).
Similarly I think the people that committed crimes in the name of Christianity were corrupted by this power and wealth.
Well, which came first? Did they seek power and wealth because they were initially corrupt to begin with...or were they "nice guys" who got corrupted by the circumstances they found themselves in?
Stalin and Mao were "nice guys" before they came to power; that is, they both had long histories "in the wilderness" of poverty, struggle, etc.
Can this be said of those who came to power within Christianity over the last 1,700 years?
In medieval times, it was customary for the "second son" of a feudal lord to "take holy orders" in Christianity...and, after the necessary bribes were distributed, become a bishop or better. This didn't necessarily involve any religious duties at all; as a bishop, you had a claim on church income ("tithing" was compulsory...especially for the peasantry).
The struggle for the positions of arch-bishop and cardinal was much more vigorous...because you had a shot at the papacy (the big money!). Those higher positions were often the possession of wealthy families...inherited along with the family palace. But there were drawbacks...assassination (by poison) was very common. The Christians played for keeps.
I think a critical and accurate history of Christianity would reveal that nearly all of its prominent figures were clearly corrupted before they conducted their first mass.
Things are more subdued in our own "secular" age...but we've seen enough cases of sexual abuse of children (not just among Catholic priests) to realize that Christianity is still using faith as a weapon against the very people who believe in it.
And don't forget Latin America and Opus Dei...the semi-secret clerical fascist order that does its best to promote brutal military dictatorships in that unhappy continent.
You see, twist and turn as you might, you cannot overcome the historical practice of Christianity. It's not just one or two odious figures that must be "explained" or "excused"..."their name is legion".
In fact, it would be laborious to try and find half-a-dozen prominent Christians without innocent blood on their hands...or at least a treasury stuffed with funds extorted from a helpless peasantry.
May I suggest you set aside philosophy for a year or two and read history: particularly the Roman Empire after 300CE, medieval and renaissance Europe, and the role of the Christian ideologues in the rise of modern capitalism.
If the social practice of Christianity won't convince you of the reactionary nature of that religion, I don't know how philosophy will help.
First posted at Che-Lives on April 19, 2004
You're presenting extreme cases.
The real world is extreme.
In fact, people who practice a "private spirituality" are, I think, quite rare. The real "social face" of religion is very different: an aggressive "in your face" mentality that, if they could, would ban the teaching of evolution; would abolish female reproductive freedom; would make as much of their "moral code" into public law as possible; and very definitely would make their particular faith a state religion if they could!
Here's yet another "extreme" example (from today's BBC news)...
France's interior ministry has ordered the expulsion of a Muslim cleric who advocated the beating of women.
Algerian-born Abdelkader Bouziane, an imam in eastern Lyon, told a magazine that the Koran authorised the beating and stoning of adulterous wives.
"Freedom of speech"?
I trust you are familiar with George Orwell's masterpiece 1984.
In the 1950s, they made kids read it in high school.
It's a simple-minded polemic against Stalinism, of course, as was Animal Farm..."masterpiece" is not the word I would choose to describe it.
But beyond anti-Stalinism, both books "sent a message" very much in tune with bourgeois ideology: successful rebellion is impossible. In 1984, the "proles" are capable only of riot...not revolution. In Animal Farm, the other animals do not rebel when the pigs become the "new humans" (ruling class).
In short, boys and girls, forget this popular rebellion crap...even if you win, you'll just create a new group of tyrants as bad or worse than the ones you overthrew.
No wonder they're still making high school kids read those two pieces of shit.
...but what do you want to accomplish by saying that what someone believes is crap?
Well, you could think of it as "shock therapy". When you tell someone flatly that their views are "crap", you may have "shocked" them into a serious re-thinking of their ideas.
When they produce their "reasons" and you "rip them to shreds", that may have the effect of really "turning them around".
On the other hand, if you confine yourself to flabby observations like "everybody's entitled to their own opinion", then you've done nothing to enlighten them.
What you're really saying (perhaps unconsciously) is: "Ha, that dummy believes in crap while a smart guy like me knows better".
Most people believe that capitalism is "good" and communism is "bad". Shall we just say "whatever"? Or should we try and show them why capitalism is crap?
And if you agree with the latter option, why stop there? Why not vigorously attack "all the old shit"?
What's the point of a "communist" society where people think it's "ok" to murder gay people because homosexuality is "an abomination in the Eyes of the Lord"?
Then how are the people that do these things Christians? They are just hypocritical idiots that called themselves Christians, and you're using them to make Christianity into this horrible thing that it's not.
I think you misunderstand my point. Christianity is not just a set of ideas...its social practice defines "what it is".
We don't oppose Nazism simply because Mein Kampf is a long-winded, poorly written book full of really stupid "ideas". The social practice of Nazism defines its real identity. We know what Nazis will do if they think they can get away with it.
We also know what religion will do whenever it gets the opportunity...but, for some reason, people appear to be quite reluctant to admit the obvious.
...in schools [evolution is] taught from the viewpoint that it's fact.
I think Redstar said that Christianity was responsible for the toppling of the social[ist] experiment in Poland. It was hardly a social[ist] experiment; more forced dictatorship. They never chose to go under this social[ist] experiment and the church just unified the people so they could stand up for what they wanted.
Well, you have a point. Polish "socialism" was imposed by Russian bayonets after the war; prior to World War II, Poland was a Catholic fascist dictatorship thoroughly permeated with anti-semitism. That's what people "wanted" there. I've read that there was actually a pogrom (a campaign to murder Jews) in Poland in 1946!
What happened in Poland after the Russians left? Well, they got rid of "socialism" all right. What else? They outlawed abortion for Polish women! Who came up with that idea?
Take a wild guess!
Christianity teaches everyone is equal just the same as communism; the non-Christian is not worse than the Christian or the other way around.
It never ceases to amaze me that the Christians on this board manifest an absolutely appalling ignorance of their own religion.
Dammit, go read your "Bible"! Look for the verses that discuss "pearls before swine" and "giving the children's food to dogs".
Both phrases attributed to "Jesus", by the way.
When "Jesus" says "He that believeth in me shalt not die but have everlasting life", what's the implication for those who don't "believe in him"?
"Equality" my ass!
[The] only slight difference between the equality in communism and the equality in Christianity is that Christianity teaches that everyone is equally bad and in communism everyone is equally good - but I can't see this causing much [of a] problem.
If everyone is "equally bad", then communism is impossible -- it would "always" turn back into capitalism.
That sounds like a "problem" to me.
Indeed, that actually points directly towards the main Christian "criticism" of communism: because humans "are all sinners", the world will always be "a place of suffering".
Or, as "Jesus" put it, "The poor ye shall always have with you."
You can't tar everyone with the same brush - there ARE good religious people out there, but they are NOT the ones going out and trying to push their beliefs onto people.
Then how would we communists even know they existed, much less have any quarrel with them?
All the godsuckers who come to my attention do so by way of public advocacy of reactionary ideas.
I don't see any way to verify your assertion...you might be right; you might be wrong.
Everyone is equal; everyone is a sinner!!!!!
But not everyone is dumb enough to believe in "sin".
...being Gay is a sin just the same as any other sin...
Well, that's comforting news.
I'm sure the gay people on this board will be glad to hear that they get to burn in the same "Hell" as everyone else; there's no special, hotter "Hell" set aside "just for them".
Please show me where Marx and Engels call for ideological repression and control as necessary pre-condition[s] to the emergence of communism.
I don't think they do...and least nothing readily springs to mind.
The hypothesis of ideological struggle in post-revolutionary society derives from the experience of 20th century "socialism"...the simple fact that a whole bunch of "socialist" societies were overthrown from within.
Granted that there were obvious material causes for those developments, some (including me) have noted the prevalence of reactionary ideas in those societies and consider that they played a definite role in what actually happened.
No social order, after all, is overthrown in an "ideological vacuum" -- people need "ideas" of some sort to change things. Social constructs like religion exist precisely to produce and distribute reactionary ideas; if they were permitted to exist in communist society, they would carry on with their project.
Perhaps to no avail; as noted earlier, Marx and Engels thought religion would "wither away" and ultimately die out for "lack of interest".
It is certainly possible that proletarian revolution and the beginning of communism in a "western" country would prove to be so absorbing and interesting that all the churches would be abandoned and allowed to quietly decay into ruins.
I simply don't think it's going to be that "easy". I expect those bastards to "fight like hell" to preserve their dirty little racket; as far as I'm concerned, religion is no different than any other form of organized crime.
In a larger sense, what we have observed is that reactionaries of all kinds do not "fold their tents and steal away into the night" after being defeated. Much like us, they reorganize to "fight again another day".
Think about it: the Nazis were crushed in World War II...but now there are more of them around than there were in, say, 1925? Why didn't they just "give up"? (Hint: they got a helping hand from the Vatican...and U.S. imperialism, of course.)
Reactionaries have a "vision" of a future world, much as we do. They think their vision is worth fighting for, much as we think ours is worth fighting for.
They do not "play fair" -- I do not see why we should.
If they win, we're lampshades and soap.
I don't propose to give them even a chance to win.
First posted at Che-Lives on April 20, 2004
Orwell considered himself a genuine socialist (i.e libertarian) and fought in the Spanish civil war.
Perhaps he did so consider himself. Further, perhaps he was...at least at the time he wrote Homage of Catalonia.
(Though wasn't he the fellow who refused to shoot some fascist because the bastard happened to be taking a shit?)
But we are not "obligated" to "take people's word" for what they may choose to call themselves.
I think it's not unreasonable to say that Orwell's (and other's) perfectly justified antipathy towards Stalin blinded them to the realities of the capitalist tyrannies in which they lived.
Quite a few "anti-Stalinists" evolved into overt pro-capitalists. Orwell died before he could do that...but I think he was headed in that direction.
I don't know how you can assert he was "in tune with bourgeois ideology" or against rebellion.
Technically, I was talking about the books. The message they send is successful rebellion is impossible.
That's very much a message that every ruling class wants the masses to believe.
Now, as to the point I was making, and which you ducked (again), 1984 raises rather eloquently the possibility, nay danger, of thought control.
Sorry, I simply don't see the relevance of that novel to post-revolutionary society.
Nothing, in fact, turned out like Orwell "predicted".
If you consider that "ducking the issue", all I can say is "quack!"
...it would be nice not only to hear you speak of the practical difficulties of thought policemen and restriction but also to hear you condemn the principle.
Why? That is, why "condemn" a "principle" that cannot be implemented in the real world?
Would you like me to "condemn" the "principle" of humans flying by flapping their arms?
"Thought control" is a meaningless phrase...and, I think, is often used in a very dishonest way to condemn the suppression of advocacy of reactionary social behavior.
At the very least, the phrase is a distraction from the real issue.
Should there be "freedom of speech" for reactionaries?
I say no!
First posted at Che-Lives on April 20, 2004
With regard to religion, many anti-capitalists have been religious.
Indeed they have, especially in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Why? Because they missed "the good old days" when "a lord was a lord" and "a priest was a priest"...both to be instantly and unquestioningly obeyed by "the lower orders".
Much of religion in that long ago era still reflected a feudal orientation...while the bourgeoisie back then was a revolutionary class.
So of course there were "anti-capitalist" religious figures...fighting a rear-guard battle against a new social order that was overturning everything they believed in.
It wouldn't surprise me to learn that some of them anticipated the "worst" -- overturning the "aristocracy of blood and faith" was merely a prelude to the end of all aristocracies.
If so, they were right about that.
Augusto Sandino, Leo Tolstoy, and many others.
Even if you could produce 100 or 1,000 individual names, it would not make any measurable difference in the historical social role of religion.
I think you know that.
From the middle ages until the enlightenment the most progressive movements were all radical christians.
No question about it. And, as I'm sure you also know, they were rarely more than a small proportion of Christendom and were also murderously crushed by "official Christianity".
It's more complex than religion = capitalism.
It is indeed very complex...especially the "big picture".
Godsuckers don't really "like" capitalism...because it's "too libertarian." Nevertheless, they will defend capitalism because (1) that's where the money is right now; and (2) communism would be even more libertarian and thus worse for them.
You have to understand how the sincere believer really looks at things: the imposition of "God's law" on humanity is priority one. They support anything that will help them achieve that goal and oppose anything that leads away from that goal.
In communist society they would support capitalism as the first step leading back to what they really want.
Today, in existing capitalist societies, they support the most draconian repressive measures -- the quasi-fascist "war on drugs" is a good example. To them, it's a step "in the right direction".
Next to actual state power in their own hands, what they really want is clerical fascism...a nominally secular regime that will do their bidding -- including mass murder of any (even other believers) who will not yield to their "true" faith.
This is what they have done over and over again whenever they had the chance.
Give them "freedom" in communist society...and the bastards will try to do it again!
Socialists should not be censored.
Oh? Suppose some Stalin-wannabe gets up in a meeting and says "make me supreme dictator for life and everything will turn out fine"?
Is it "censorship" to boo that arrogant bastard off the podium? To throw rotten fruit and vegetables at him? Or eggs? To rush the podium and give him a sound thrashing?
In other words, are reactionary ideas (no matter who puts them forward) deserving of "a fair hearing" or is it justified to greet them with "instant rage"?
You may (or may not) be amused by this: I was once characterized as an "anarcho-Stalinist" because I said that anyone who tries to "give orders" should be taken out and summarily shot.
You can't go from "we should censor fascists" to "we should censor all religions or anyone who disagrees with us".
I agree; that would be quite a stretch from what I actually said...which is that there should be no free speech for reactionaries.
Granted, it may not always be possible to discern just where a particular opinion leads.
Socialists, communists, and anarchists will, no doubt, have many heated arguments over the shape of post-revolutionary society even after the revolution...arguments that I think the working class must resolve.
But we know where the religious path leads...they even have their own preferred brand of fascism.
Thus, I see no reason to give them "an inch" of toleration...any more than the Nazis.
...it's to our advantage to allow critics to exist and speak their mind; it shows that our system really is free and that we know we can defeat their ideology in rational debate.
Critics? Rational debate?
Have you utterly forgotten that these are the same people who used to torture and burn harmless old women to death for "witchcraft"? And who would do it again if they could!
I'm sorry, but I see no possible way to include religion within the realm of "critic" or "rational debate".
Rather, I see them as barbaric thugs who would, given the chance, create a monstrous tyranny and a new "dark age".
I will, if I can, deprive them of that chance.
Permanent systemic censorship on a wide scale would eventually lead to the rebirth of the state & class society.
I don't see the connection. As long as power is dispersed to the working class and there is no "political center of gravity" (with an army, police, etc.), the "levers of power" that a new ruling class would need are simply not present.
Indeed, I would expect "underground believers" to advocate centralization...as a step towards recreating the kind of class society in which they have always flourished.
Religion "needs" a centralized state apparatus...or at least finds one extremely useful; we don't.
He, Orwell, was merely fighting what he saw as a perversion of Socialism in the form of Stalinist Soviet Union. Was he wrong?
Why then, if that's "all" he was doing, did he make it clear that rebellion is "impossible"? Either rebellion ends with Big Brother and rioting (but never revolutionary) "proles" or it "ends up" creating a ruling class of pigs.
And if revolution "always" comes to a "bad end", then isn't the "moral" and "rational" conclusion to accept the status quo?
I don't think you "Orwell fans" have really grasped the direction he was going in...perhaps because he died prior to reaching his destination.
I think if he'd lived another five years or so, he would have written one of those "I Choose the West" (capitalism) essays that were so common in the 1950s.
This still doesn't give you the right to forbid all religions...You could turn it around; people who truly believe that god doesn't exist also preach, they also try to convince other people of their right; so both sides are wrong with the preaching thing, not just the "believers".
Then what will you have? That no one should ever talk about their ideas and why they think those ideas are right?
Or that it's "only" religious or anti-religious ideas that should never be talked about?
What you're overlooking here is that this is part of an ongoing struggle over the future of the human species.
Either we liberate ourselves from capitalism or we are doomed to endless decades and centuries of exploitation and oppression.
Either we liberate ourselves from all forms of superstition or we are doomed to endless decades and centuries of ignorant brutality.
You may think that you can be "neutral" and "above it all", but you can't.
Whatever you say or do over the whole of your life adds to or subtracts from the chances of liberation -- that's true for everybody, by the way.
The amount that you (or any individual) adds or subtracts may be and most likely is "too small to measure".
But it's there.
First posted at Che-Lives on April 21, 2004
Firstly, I demolished your "argument" that atheism was scientific.
I guess I'm suffering from "short-term" memory failure again...as I have no memory of being "demolished" on that question.
Secondly, I objectified, quite clearly, your postulations as to what would happen to religion under communism/socialism as un-Marxist speculation. Mere fanciful idealistic tripe.
What are you saying here? That we are not "permitted" to "speculate" on the shape of communist society? Or that we may do it, but it's "un-Marxist"? Or that you think my particular speculations are "mere fanciful idealistic tripe"?
It seems to me to be not only "permissible" but imperative to "speculate" on the shape and attributes of what we are fighting for.
Just asserting that we should "overthrow capitalism" and everything else will "work out ok" is the perspective of a fool!
Revolutionaries should not issue "blank checks" to anyone...and neither should the working class. The clearer we are on what we want, the better our chances are of getting it.
No, it would not necessarily result in de facto suppression of free speech for reactionaries; that is what the Leninists say.
The Leninists were not wrong about everything.
For example, once the media are in the hands of working class collectives of one kind or another, do you think they will permit access to those who would argue that wage-slavery should be restored?
Do you imagine that the old ruling class and its lackeys will be permitted to retain sufficient resources to publish their own media?
And you reproach me for being "guilty" of "fanciful idealistic tripe"?
By seeking to deny freedom of speech, even if with good intentions, you are perpetuating an instrument of class rule. For our own good, of course.
Indeed I am! I think the working class should "rule" over the defeated bourgeoisie and its supporters.
In fact, I think that's the real meaning of that famous/notorious phrase "dictatorship of the proletariat" (and not the rule of some self-appointed Leninist elite).
You have a problem with this?
Your imaginary division between "reactionaries" and proletariat is another one of your fantasies.
Well, I've said that I expect the overwhelming majority of the working class to have appropriated revolutionary ideas prior to the revolution itself.
If you think this is a "fantasy", then you are left with some rather unsavory alternatives.
1. Only a minority of the working class will be revolutionary and must therefore impose revolutionary measures on the bulk of the class at gunpoint.
2. The working class cannot be revolutionary at all unless led by an elite of middle class "professional revolutionaries".
3. Proletarian revolution is impossible.
Did I leave anything out?
The proletariat, of course, is not immune to reactionary illnesses.
It certainly isn't. Should we sit back and let these illnesses "run their course" or should we seek to combat them?
By seeking to deny freedom of speech you deny the political emancipation of the working class.
You mean the working class is not "politically emancipated" "unless" it is "free" to embrace and propagate reactionary ideas.
By that measure, the working class is "politically emancipated" right now...their freedom to embrace and propagate reactionary ideas is unlimited.
Leninists have repeatedly accused the working class of "reactionary" influences to justify the denial of not only its freedom of speech but also its self determination.
Yes they have. In the Leninist paradigm, the working class is always "backward" (permeated with reactionary ideas) by definition.
This appears to be a "definition" that is not unacceptable to you; your argument seems to be that "since (some? most? all?) workers have reactionary ideas, they must have the freedom to advocate those ideas".
My "fanciful speculation" is, as I've indicated, quite different. I expect the vast majority of the working class to be revolutionary, not reactionary.
Is this what you consider an argument? Well, in that case, if the bourgeoisie exploit us why shouldn't we also exploit people if we have the chance?
In the eyes of the bourgeoisie, when we compel them to disgorge their booty, we will be "exploiting them".
I repeat, you have a problem with this?
First posted at Che-Lives on April 27, 2004
First rule of debating with Redstar: He never concedes a point, no matter much and how many times it has been proven wrong.
And what's the "first rule" of debating with you?
"Just take my word for it; you've been proven wrong."
Um...no I haven't.
Your particular speculations are more deserving of criticism. Why? Because they fly in the face Marxism and what Communists believe. For Marx, religion is linked to its, material, root causes, that is, it is linked to oppression, therefore if you remove this oppression, religion will "wither away".
Communism is not a matter of "belief" and Marxism is not a religion.
Yes, religion is certainly a product of material reality...but we don't have a "universal law" that dictates the speed with which ideas change to reflect changes in material reality.
Given the well-known reactionary character of the seriously religious, I do not think they will "just give up". In fact, I actually expect them to fight harder for "all the old shit" than the ex-bourgeoisie themselves.
After all, we've actually seen this happen. When the old ruling class is overthrown (unless they gain massive foreign support), they are very demoralized...usually they just flee in disarray.
But look at the religious counter-revolutionaries (in Poland or East Germany, for example). They didn't run and hide...they fought back against the "godless communists" and, ultimately, won!
Of course I'm oversimplifying a complicated situation for the sake of argument; nevertheless, I simply can't imagine that those bastards will "go quietly".
In their eyes, they have "God on their side".
They've got you on their side too.
Redstar denies that existence determines consciousness and postulates that religion will not go away without taking drastic, violent measures.
Drastic? Violent? That remains to be seen, does it not? I've spelled out my proposals many times...none of which are necessarily "violent"...though admittedly quite drastic in the eyes of the godsuckers.
He wants to put ideological progress before material, another Leninist trait.
The struggle against religion and other reactionary ideas is a reflection of changing material reality.
"Another Leninist trait"? You mean there's more than one?
I support crushing the bourgeois state apparatus but am against unnecessary repression.
That's meaningless; no one is "in favor" of "unnecessary" repression.
The dispute is over what is necessary.
...but this is not to be confused with denying working class self determination and instituting a monopoly of ideas.
More abstractions. What exactly is "a monopoly of ideas"? How would you recognize it in the real world?
Marx once said that the "ruling ideas of an epoch were the ideas of its ruling class". But that didn't stop him.
Its supporters = Whoever opposes you, proletarian or not. If you oppose Redstar's truisms you must be silenced.
Not above a little rhetorical overkill, are you?
Perhaps you find it "easier" that way.
I also find it funny that you advocate the immediate passage from Capitalism to Communism in some posts, but then in others maintain that it is necessary to keep class mechanisms in place.
That's because you don't pay attention to what I actually say; you're too busy looking for "debating points" to "score".
What I've actually said (in many posts) is that we should begin the building of communist society on day one after the revolution and not be detoured into building up any kind of "transitional" state apparatus.
That in no way implies that ideological struggle over the shape of communist society as well as against all of the ideological heritage of pre-revolutionary society will not take place.
It should be made quite clear that this mechanism will be used against the working class itself.
Possibly -- there will undoubtedly be "pockets" of reactionary ideas within the working class.
I don't think they will be wide-spread...but perhaps your estimate is different from mine.
Your quarrel here is clearly not with the bourgeoisie, that is just a smoke screen you're throwing up, but with the religious.
Considering the sheer number and length of the posts I've made on this board attacking the religion racket, your use of the word "smokescreen" is rather disingenuous.
Based on historical experience, I expect the seriously religious to act as the principal core of counter-revolutionary activities. There will be others, but I think religion will be the "biggie".
Freedom of speech is condition for self determination which is the only way to assess majority. The only alternative to this is vanguardism.
Why? Because you said so?
I disrespectfully disagree. Our reactionary enemies (of all kinds) are not interested in "winning a majority" in the "free marketplace of ideas".
What they ultimately envision is a military coup of one sort or another...and the "majority" can either submit or be massacred.
We, of course, would be among the massacred.
I suppose you will be the judge of what is acceptable as opposed to the working class itself.
Of course...I've always had a lurking ambition to be "Supreme Eternal Dictator". *Laughs*
If it is free only to agree with you, then it is not free at all, is it?
And what is the mystical source of my "great power"? How am I able to set up this arrangement and maintain it?
There's no centralized state apparatus in "my version" of communism, remember? No police. No army.
All I can do is persuade people to suppress reactionary ideas.
Perhaps you fear that I might be really good at that.
If the revolutionary majority is indeed sufficiently enlightened, it does [not] need you to tell it what to do.
Well, it doesn't need any specific individual to "tell it what to do".
But should people listen to me and act on my views, on what grounds can you complain?
That they should have listened to you, instead?
This is nonsense. I challenge you to back this up with quotes or other material.
As you wish...
The dictatorship of the proletariat cannot be exercised through an organisation embracing the whole of the class, because in all capitalist countries...the proletariat is still so divided, so degraded, and so corrupted in parts...that an organisation taking in the whole proletariat cannot direct exercise proletarian dictatorship. It can be exercised only by a vanguard. -- V.I. Lenin
I've already answered this. If you really expected this, you wouldn't deny them self-determination, you'd have no reason to!
How am I "denying self-determination" to the working class by advocating the suppression of reactionary ideas? If the working class agrees with me and does act to suppress reactionary ideas, have not they "self-determined" what measures to take?
If they disagree and do not act to suppress reactionary ideas, what could I possibly do about it?
All I could do is keep advocating my position in the hope that eventually I would persuade the working class that I was right.
Just like I do right here on this board.
(Yeah, I know, my "successes" have been meager.)
You didn't answer my question.
Yes I did.
You asked: "Well, in that case, if the bourgeoisie exploit us why shouldn't we also exploit people if we have the chance?"
And I answered: "In the eyes of the bourgeoisie, when we compel them to disgorge their booty, we will be 'exploiting them'."
And your response was "The eyes of bourgeoisie matter not to me. What they call exploitation I call justice long overdue."
Quite so. In my view, the suppression of reactionary ideas is justice long overdue!
First posted at Che-Lives on April 28, 2004
My argument is that religion will die of its own accord if you act on the causes of oppression.
If you're right about that then you obviously have nothing to worry about, right?
If religion (and other reactionary ideas) decay into insignificance in the last years of the old regime and the first years of the new, then there will be "nothing to repress".
If someone like me still advocates repression of reactionary ideas, everyone will just have a good laugh. They'll suggest that I go repress the cult of Isis while I'm at it. *Laughs*
Somehow, I don't think this is what you really have in mind.
My impression of your position is that you envision keeping the freedom of speech for reaction that already exists and just "adding us" to the mix.
A "level playing field" for revolution and reaction, right?
How "noble" of you.
...that forcible repression is not a progressive mechanism, it merely drives reactionary ideas underground, for material progress is the true progressive mechanism in this and the one we should focus on.
"Material progress" is not going to stop some godsucker from filling his kid's head with superstitious bullshit.
I know...that doesn't bother you.
It bothers me!
If by not going quietly you mean opposing the collective will of the revolutionary majority I agree something must be done but I stop there. I stop there and let true, as opposed to superimposed and idealist, societal progression take place. (emphasis added)
Something must be done? Very well, what do you suggest? A firm admonishment?
Struggle could mean a respectful, tolerant, opposition to.
Good grief! Now I'm not only supposed to "tolerate" reactionary ideas, I'm supposed to "respect" them!!!
"Excuse me, Mr. Nazi, sir, but have you considered the possibility that the Jews may not be our misfortune...sir?"
Noting that you have accused me several times of "fantasy", may I suggest -- "sir" -- that I'm not good enough at that to play in your league?
In most contemporary bourgeois societies there is in fact a [bourgeois] monopoly of ideas but dissent is tolerated...It remains to be seen, though, if this "bourgeois tolerance" would persist if dissent (specifically ours) was an actual threat.
No, it does not "remain to be seen"...the brutal repression of revolutionary and even merely progressive views by the bourgeoisie is a matter of well-documented historical record.
As it happens, we are approaching the 34th anniversary of the Kent State massacre...when the Ohio National Guard opened fire on unarmed anti-war demonstrators, killing four and injuring many more.
Bourgeois "tolerance" indeed!
As has been said here before, repression of dissent, or in other words negation of freedom of speech, is something that has been traditionally, historically, used against progressive men and women of all ages.
Yes, reactionaries repress progressives whenever they can.
Is it the "tool" that's "at fault" or is it those who wield the tool for their own purposes?
You blame the tool; I blame those who presently use it in their own class interests.
This is why I said "I consider the negation of freedom of speech reactionary".
A-historical, lacking a class bias, and thus an empty abstraction.
Tolerance must of course be all-inclusive. You can not decide that you will tolerate only "progressive dissent" because the application of the distinction, the criteria, can become in and of itself a reactionary device.
Will you be attending the services when the first Aztec temple is re-opened? Have you ever watched a human sacrifice before? I'm told it's quite a "spiritual experience".
With no such device you have at least guaranteed that progressive forces will not be crushed by force.
The Weimar Republic was very tolerant of the Nazis...did that save anybody's "progressive" ass when the Nazis took over?
Possibly (nay, most likely) -- they (repression mechanisms) will end up being used against progressive individuals as well as reactionaries.
Possibly? Sure. "Most likely"? Why?
I would "speculate" that prior to the "active phase" of any repressive measure there would be considerable debate over the matter.
And since those measures would not be imposed by any elite but rather reflect the will of the class as a whole, it would be distinctly odd if they were used against progressives.
Unless, of course, you (like Lenin) have a deep distrust of the class as a whole...think it's just "full" of reactionaries and "can't be trusted" to "do the right thing".
Care to explain to the class how a group of people can "self determine" themselves, i.e decide their own matters for themselves, if they are not allowed to express their ideas freely in the first place...
They "self determine" the range of ideas they are willing to consider as legitimate options.
If they decide that reactionary ideas are not legitimate options, do you question their right to do so?
On what grounds?
You have effectively conceded the debate to avoid the problematic of state and police apparatus.
Well now. First you awarded yourself a trophy for "demolishing" my contention that atheism is scientific; now you have awarded yourself another trophy with the assertion that I have "conceded the debate".
Why stop there? Why not award yourself a Nobel Prize...for tolerance?
You're free to advocate anything you like but the only person defending that freedom here is me and don't you forget it.
You and Voltaire, eh?
I hope you won't take offense if I say that I prefer to "take my chances" on the revolutionary working class.
I'll just argue my disagreements and hope you won't class me as one of your reactionaries and have me shot.
Now there's an idea. Should those who advocate free speech for reactionaries be considered reactionaries themselves?
Nah! Once they're outvoted and reactionary ideas are suppressed, their whining won't make any political difference anyway.
In all capitalist countries at a given moment in time which [Lenin] is referring to. This does not substantiate your "by definition" lunacy.
Well, Leninists still say that sort of thing...even on this board.
In fact, it's hard to think of any Leninist group that's ever repudiated that particular analysis or suggested that it was true in Lenin's time but is no longer true now.
If Lenin's analysis of the working class is time-specific, then what possible need would there even be for a vanguard party now?
Perhaps you are aware of some obscure variant of Leninism that now rejects "the leading role of the party" in post-revolutionary society...all I can say is that I've never heard of such a thing.
You tell me...who are you talking about?
This throwing in of the towel on your part...
In your dreams.
First posted at Che-Lives on April 28, 2004
Red herring: appeal to emotion.
Red herring: appeal to ridicule.
The practical logic of your position is...distressing; thus you wish to dismiss my objections as in some sense a departure from formal logic.
Very well...but they won't go away for all that.
If on the other hand we are talking about a repression carried out by a majority, with no state or police apparatus involved, there are two, immediately apparent, dangers. First that progressive forces might fall victim to the majority and second that unnecessary repression will be employed. The latter is what I believe is your case. Maybe you aren't concerned with reactionaries but I am. I'm concerned with people, that's why I am a leftist and communist. Just because they are "reactionaries" doesn't mean they lose their humanity in my eyes. I'm concerned with all unnecessary suffering, theirs too.
It always comes down to this...every time.
At the root of all these noble defenses of "freedom of speech" in the abstract is the axiomatic assertion that...reactionaries are people too.
Of course, we are not people in the eyes of our class/ideological enemies...that's been demonstrated fact throughout the entire history of class society.
But we communists are supposed to be "different"..."better"..."on a higher moral plane"...or something.
They can be unfair to us; we "shouldn't" be unfair to them, right?
They can repress us; we "shouldn't" repress them, right?
They can kill us; we "shouldn't" kill them, right?
And all this from someone who purports to be a "Marxist" and a "communist" and even an "atheist".
A "concern for people" is, indeed, a "noble attribute"...but a communist always wants to know which people?. More specifically, which class of people?.
I may as well be "upfront" about this. In my view, our class enemies have a good deal of "suffering" coming to them "in simple justice".
First and foremost, they will feel enormously deprived by the loss of their wealth, power, and prestige.
Secondly, I expect the more infamous members of the ruling class will probably be summarily executed...as well as those who were prominent public defenders of the old order.
Thirdly, I expect the same penalty to be enforced against members of Nazi and other racist cults...regardless of whether or not they've actually "done anything".
Beyond this, I expect the workers at each enterprise to decide the fate of their own ex-bosses...was he a decent guy or was he a bastard? If the latter, then you know the outcome. I expect soldiers to decide the fates of the officers who commanded them.
And I expect no mercy whatsoever to be shown to any cop at all! They are all bastards by definition.
Does all of this horrify you? Or frighten you? Or bring tears of pity to your eyes?
If it does, then you should get out of radical politics -- or at least get out of communist politics -- and take up some form of charity work...where everybody is "just people".
In the context of a real proletarian revolution, the idea of "free speech" for reactionaries is simply absurd. Every one of them is damn lucky if they don't get shot!
Sometimes reactionary forces win. No amount of *progressive* repression can prevent that.
How much do their chances improve if you don't even try to repress them?
Why would you want to restrict the options of the working class if you didn't distrust it to make the right ones?
I was saying that the class itself can legitimately decide to exclude certain options...not that I was going to do it.
And I repeat: do you challenge their legitimate right to do that?
If so, on what grounds?
That reactionaries "are people too"???
To suggest that Leninists will always, under any circumstances, consider the vanguard necessary is, I think, either misrepresentation or misunderstanding of their views.
I think the most you'd get out of them would be something along the lines of "after the state withered away in every part of the globe, then the vanguard party could dissolve itself".
But even then...they might suggest that some sort of "permanent guardianship" of classless society will "always be necessary" -- namely them, of course.
I have consistently put my views both in historical and class perspective.
But which history?
And what class?
First posted at Che-Lives on April 29, 2004
The way you argue with people is absurd...If you think I'm going to dignify that crap with an answer, you obviously have no idea who you're talking to...I'm not interested in what you expect or any of your other delusions...Don't flatter yourself. Your idiocy may disgust me but you don't scare me. I know how to respond to bullies and reactionaries and it ain't with fear, that I can guarantee you 100%...
I think I have a pretty good idea who I'm talking to...a bourgeois liberal trying to pass himself off as a "communist" and even a "Marxist".
But that's not as easy as you thought it was, is it?
First posted at Che-Lives on April 30, 2004
· Communists Against Religion -- Part 19 June 6, 2006
· Conversations with Capitalists May 21, 2006
· Vegetable Morality April 17, 2006
· Parents and Children April 11, 2006
· The Curse of Lenin's Mummy April 3, 2006
What Did Marx "Get Wrong"? September 13, 2004
Class in Post-Revolutionary Society - Part 1 July 9, 2004
Demarchy and a New Revolutionary Communist Movement November 13, 2003
A New Type of Communist Organization October 5, 2003
The "Tools" of Marxism July 19, 2003
Marxism Without the Crap July 3, 2003
What is Socialism? An Attempt at a Brief Definition June 19, 2003
What is Communism? A Brief Definition June 19, 2003
A New Communist Paradigm for the 21st Century May 8, 2003
On "Dialectics" -- The Heresy Posts May 8, 2003
|What schools are becoming under late capitalism are puffed-up games of trivial pursuit; a collection of bits and pieces totally unrelated to each other or to anything that is relevant to a kids life or to an adults life. That is a criminal waste of human potential.
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