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People Are Not Property -- Part 3 October 5, 2003 by RedStar2000


If you have read parts one and two of this series, then I will be honest with you and tell you that there is not all that much that is "new" here.

People bring up the same bad "ideas" in the same bad "language" over and over again...and I criticize them as usual.

It's in the very nature of reactionary politics--even from "leftists"--to simply repeat the same old shit ad nauseum. The contempt for both women and children is never very far below the surface. If my posts serve any purpose, it's to bring that contempt out into the open for people to see...and reject in disgust.


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quote:

...see people disputing custody of kids...


In communist society, children are not property. They choose who they want to live with and if the person they choose is agreeable, that's an end to it.
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First posted at Che-Lives on September 9, 2003
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quote:

You're going to let a three year old decide if he wants to stay with his mom or dad?


Or even his grandmother, if both are agreeable.

Children are not property!

Even a lawyer-wannabe should be able to understand that.
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First posted at Che-Lives on September 9, 2003
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quote:

Of course children aren't property but that doesn't mean small children are capable of deciding who to live with! What if it's a baby? What if the kid wants to stay with the mom but she's an alcoholic/drug addict? You have to [be] realistic, a communist society isn't going to make every family perfect. Do you honestly think you could have made an important life decision when you were four years old?


I hate to break it to you but a four-year-old child is more competent to decide who s/he wants to live with than you are.

Assuming that we are not dealing with actual abuse here, then kids should certainly decide who they want to live with.

Who knows those people better? Who knows what they are like to live with better?

Your picture of "mom" as a drunk or a junkie is partial at best...she may also be very devoted to the kid, whereas "dad" looks like "a nice, clean-cut guy" but, at home, is a bloody tyrant.

Be reminded that there's no reason why the kid can't change his/her mind, if things don't work out.

But when you have parents or third parties making those kinds of decisions...who knows what idiocies they will come up with based on who knows what kind of asinine reasoning.

I've seen some of that stuff "in real life"...and it's simply unbelievable!
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First posted at Che-Lives on September 10, 2003
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Well, it looks like we may have the beginnings of another "people are not property" thread.

quote:

I'm sure you think it's a whole "can" of laughs, choosing to go and live with mum or dad.


I'm sure it's a pretty serious matter, especially for a very young child who will be tempted to think "it's my fault" that this family couldn't function.

Is it the situation you are trying to trivialize...or just my views of it?

quote:

At the age of five, do you really think that you can make an informed decision?


Informed? Informed of what? All the kid needs to do is "pick one". They will pick who they want to live with.

Do you really believe that you or some third party should have the right to force someone to live with another person...on the grounds that you are bigger than them, and therefore they can't punch your arrogant face in like you deserve?!

quote:

The first thing I remember about my father was him buying me a toy train set; the first thing I remember about my mother is her making me visit the dentist. At that age who do you think I would prefer to live with? Now that I look back on it, I realise my farther was an ass-hole, and I hope never to see him again unless I am holding a hockey stick.


Fair enough; but perhaps if you had had the chance to live with your father, he would have turned out to be a different kind of person (kids change the adults they live with...a lot).

Who knows? More train sets and fewer trips to the dentist and you might not be a supporter of U.S. imperialism...

quote:

The child is obviously going to want to live with the lenient parent, who gives the child what it wants rather than what it needs.


So? Is it not better to live with people who are nice to you than people who are mean to you "for your own good"?

Or is there an aspiring Leninist beneath your facade of "nice guy" reformist? Do you really believe that people, like sheep, need to be "herded" in the "right direction" whether they like it or not?

Maybe you believe that "suffering is good for the soul" or some such crap.

Or is it just kids, in your view, who should be shit upon?

quote:

Well what he has said is ludicrous to the extreme...


I suppose to suggest that children are not property is "ludicrous" to someone who lives in class society and fundamentally accepts its norms, its "rightness".

Whatever "changes" in the social order you might at one time or another propose, you fundamentally accept a social pyramid of inequality...where, among other things, big people decide the fate of little people without regard to their own wishes in the matter.

Hierarchy and dominance/submission are rooted so deeply in your whole outlook that you would embarrass a baboon.

Call yourself any name you like: at heart you are Colonel Blimp and everything you say about everything just confirms that.

What a "great mum" you must have had!
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First posted at Che-Lives on September 11, 2003
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quote:

This has nothing to do with property. Why do you persist in assuming that because I don't think a baby is capable of making an important life decision, I view them as property and believe I should decide their destiny?


If you don't want to decide, fine.

What we are speaking of here is who decides.

Inserting infants into the matter is a distraction. If you're not old enough to communicate a decision, then you obviously don't get to decide.

(But note that there's been a good deal of research on infants in recent decades...someday it might well be possible for an infant to convey a preference without being able to speak.)

quote:

I just don't see how you can advocate forcing children to decide between their parents when their not even old enough to read. Kids that age will believe anything you tell them, I know I was one.


Who said anything about force?

Is it so hard to just ask the kid her/his preferences? If the kid is undecided, well, that's a different situation. Maybe both parents are really great or really awful. Maybe there should be other choices available.

Where is your common sense?

What I am proposing is that this kind of choice is too important to be left to people who are unaffected by the consequences.

Should I be allowed to order you to live with someone you detest? On the grounds that I'm bigger than you?

quote:

Small children can't understand the consequences of doing whatever they want when they're that age.


News flash! None of us ever "understands the consequences" of what we do before we do it and not even after we do it. Only "gods" are omniscient.

We do whatever we can to protect children from the inevitable dangers of living in a world that was not designed for either their safety or their convenience.

But that is not what you're really getting at, is it?

Like it or not, you want it to be acceptable for someone to be able to force a child to live with someone whom they do not want to live with...on the specious grounds that that someone "knows what's best for the child".

quote:

Suffice to say, you're horribly naive.


Suffice it to say, from the kid's point of view, you're just horrible, period.
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First posted at Che-Lives on September 11, 2003
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quote:

There's no way you can convince me that it's a good thing for a child that small to be made to chose between his parents.


No, it's not "a good thing". It is simply better than letting a third party do it...following months of high-priced legal squabbling, of course.

And the child is not "made" to choose; his or her preferences can easily be ascertained in a non-threatening atmosphere...and those preferences prevail.

Of course it is easy enough to imagine scenarios where difficulties arise--"mommy is a junkie", blah, blah, blah.

If you understood anything about the latitude of personal freedom in communist society, you'd realize that "junkies", providing they have regular access to their drug, are fully capable of normal functioning--it is "our own" Nazi-like persecution of drug users that results in them living on the streets at the edge of the abyss.

How about a real problem? What if the kid's choice is a member of a religious cult? There's a situation a lot worse than drug addiction...and the kid's choice would be reluctantly but firmly vetoed.

Happy now?

quote:

Would you allow a three year old to decide he wants to leave home because his parents made him eat his broccoli?


It's amazing how this stupid question constantly arises.

Perhaps the best step would be for communist society to render the broccoli plant extinct...so that the matter never arises!

What is it with you people and food that smells and tastes like shit? And you want to make kids eat it?!

If you take a multi-vitamin on a daily basis, you can live for 80 years or more and never eat a fucking vegetable!

The truth of the matter is that if kids are presented with a variety of foods tastefully prepared, they will choose a diet that suits their physical as well as their psychological needs. No kid is going to live on candy. That is a myth.

If you ask me, I think "food fights" with kids is just a way for some parents to play power games with their kids...games the parents always lose.

quote:

I was talking about the consequences of things like eating nothing but candy and other things that kids want to do. We DO know the consequences of these things.


Well, I already answered the "candy diet" objection. What "other things" are you referring to?

quote:

There's a difference between FORCING a child to live with a parent they HATE and asking them to choose who they want to live with. Not to mention, with the parents just broken up, the child is likely in no condition to be deciding their own living conditions (not that they ever are.)


You give yourself away with your parenthetical statement. Your real position is that kids should never have the right to choose who they live with.

Try Leninism; you'll like it.

quote:

And unless you wish to "spoil" a child, too much of something good is practically always a bad thing because you come to expect it.


And what would the world be like if people went around actually expecting an abundance of "good things"?

Why that's "outrageous"! "Utopian"! "Impossible"!!!

However, let's be fair. Note that the world "spoiled" was in quotes. The myth that children can be "spoiled"--like rotting meat?--is slowly dying a long-overdue death.

It wasn't that long ago that the quotation marks would not have been present.

quote:

A third party with an unbiased perspective, well at least not as biased, is in a far better [position] to make a decision which is in the child's best interest, even if the child does not know it.


It's better for me to make decisions that affect you because those decisions won't affect me. My decisions about what you have to do will have no consequences for me at all.

That strikes me as a pretty good definition of tyranny.

Want to re-think it?

quote:

Nobody here has ever said children should be considered property.


Because if they did, they'd openly expose their shitty politics for all to see...and reject.

quote:

Which means that RS's comment can only make sense if he is saying that any decision taken by another which affects you renders you property.


That's not only sophistry but inept sophistry at that.

What we are speaking of here is one of the most intimate and personal aspects of one's life...who will you live with?

If someone else is allowed to make that decision for you--and you have no recourse against that decision, then what does that make you?

Have you not been made into a thing? An object to be moved here or there at your owner's convenience? A favored pet, perhaps, if you are lucky? An ornament for someone else's self-esteem or perhaps an object of shame?

You can't do that to people.

On the other hand, perhaps you can.

quote:

I'll bet that he will say 'when it can communicate'. This would fail because the determination of what constitutes communication is itself not an absolute, someone would have to decide.


Yes, and the determination of what constitutes determination of what constitutes communication would have to be decided...and off we go into the reformist playground of infinite regression.

For someone who is so "practical", you display an extraordinary lack of common sense.

quote:

And this is the case when discussing whether to allow a child to decide such important issues as with whom it will live. Make no mistake, nobody here is suggesting that the child's input should be disregarded; only that it should not have the final say. Why? Because quite simply a child does not have the experience to make intelligent judgments.


But we are not speaking of judgments "in general"--I'm not consulting five-year-olds on, for example, which city is "best for kids" to live in. As you say, they have too little experience of the world to make informed decisions on almost everything.

Almost. One of the things that they do have first-hand experience of is what it's like to live with two people and which of those two people it would prefer to live with. In fact, the kid is the ranking authority on that question; no one else but a sibling is qualified to make an informed choice.

quote:

Like most of us they [teenagers] don't look at long term implications but only at what it is in for them right now.


Does that mean that even we grown-ups should seek out someone to "decide for us" everything of "long-term" consequence? Which is to say, everything?

Not on my planet!

quote:

What all who are arguing against RS are disputing is his absolutism, not the idea that there may be a lower age than the current one to allow a person to take control of his/ her own life.


That's a fair summary; I am an "absolutist" on questions like this. I favor maximum personal autonomy for all, even kids. As I noted towards the beginning of this long post, there are circumstances in which I would abridge that autonomy...but it would take a drastic situation for me to do so.

The careless presumption that "we grownups always know best" is unwarranted by current experience and is contrary to a core value of communist society.

quote:

I don't understand why Redstar consistently takes this view that children should be allowed to judge for themselves, and that that those judgments should be acceptable.


Because they are people, not property. Their lives belong to them...not anyone else.

And it would be a piss-poor "communist" revolution that did not free us all, young and old alike.

quote:

Often what a child needs is to be disciplined to a degree...


A few strokes of the cane from Colonel Blimp, eh?

Nice guys, these reformists.
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First posted at Che-Lives on September 12, 2003
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quote:

You truly send me into rages when you do this evasion coupled with distortion thing that you do so often.


Perhaps you should seek professional help. This is a message board, after all. The "loser" of a "debate" here doesn't get taken out and shot.

Indeed, perhaps you should try using the internet in a different and, from your standpoint, more productive way.

You could set up a web site of your own--humanizing_class_society.org, perhaps--featuring your own ideas on the best way "forward". You'd have time to write lengthy, coherent expositions of your views. Your only contact with message boards would be to drop in briefly and plug your site. The frustration and rage would diminish and, after a while, you'd be a happier man.

Or, as I suggested earlier, you could find boards that are more receptive to your views. There are, I'm told, more than 100,000 message boards on the internet and the number probably grows daily. I can tell you that I myself have visited dozens of boards looking precisely for places that it makes sense for me to invest my time and energy.

That doesn't mean places where people fall all over themselves to agree with me; it means boards where I actually get interesting responses to my views.

Certainly I would not stay at a board where I was constantly "enraged"--your word. That's just being a masochist.

Think it over.

quote:

They [Redstar's responses] rank up there with the worst of American right wing distortions of socialism.


Obviously, you are very upset to make a remark like that...one for which you have no evidence whatsoever.

Not to mention the fact that I am a communist, not a socialist. Naturally the people who are for socialism--a slightly more humane kind of class society--will view any criticism by communists as a "distortion".

quote:

Answer the implied question you evasive fart. EXPLAIN WHY MAKING DECISIONS FOR A CHILD IS TO TREAT THEM AS PROPERTY WHEREAS MAKING DECISIONS LIKE WHETHER SOMEONE LIVES OR DIES IS NOT TO.


This would presumably refer to my remarks about the death penalty in communist society for crimes of violence.

Very well. When someone commits a violent act on your person, they have, by definition, stated that you are something "less than human". As one of the de-constructionists might say, their act of violence against you is also a form of speech as well...and it says something specific about you.

It also asks something about communist society...do we permit people to treat others as "sub-humans", as "things" to be destroyed at someone's whim?

My answer is no. Those who attack and injure, rape, or kill have declared themselves to be enemies of communist society.

As you already know, my views towards the enemies of communist society are quite harsh...some would say "Stalinist". The only reason I am opposed to prisons, gulags, etc. is because of the effects of such practices on us...to use those methods is to become torturers and contaminate ourselves with a fascist world-view.

A bullet in the skull is both more humane, less damaging to ourselves, and eliminates a declared enemy.

It may or may not serve as a deterrent to violent crime--studies are mixed on the subject--but a dead murderer will never kill again.

That's good enough for me.

quote:

The same thing goes for your evasions about what a child is and is not going to be allowed to judge. You seem to be saying that he/she now actually will not be allowed to decide all things. So why allow him/her to decide one of the most crucial things that will affect his/her life? Either RS you will allow it, or you won't. You can't say 'I'd allow him/her the final choice - except that I might override it' as you in fact do seem almost to be saying. That does not make sense.


Do you want me to make a list?

Silly question; of course you do. And it better contain hundreds of pages of details; otherwise it's just "vague utopianism".

We were speaking of a specific situation here, remember? I'm in favor as a principle of kids choosing which parent or caregiver to live with (assuming the parent/caregiver is agreeable). I think in this particular case even a very young child's judgment is superior...because s/he knows the people involved. S/he knows from first hand experience what it is like to be taken care of by those people.

No one else knows that except a sibling.

Would I ever veto the kid's choice? Of course I would...and mentioned a specific example (the kid's choice is a member of a religious cult).

There would certainly be other extreme situations where that unhappy option might be unavoidable; as you like to constantly remind me, it is not a perfect world.

But I speak here of the "default option"--absent any truly grave considerations, the kid chooses and that's an end to it.

What else? Well, I think kids should be introduced to a wide variety of foods and allowed to choose freely--food fights with parents are simply stupid.

I think kids should be given the opportunity to socialize with other kids from a very early age...and allowed to choose their little friends freely.

I don't think it much matters what clothing kids wear as long as it's comfortable and durable.

On the other hand, kids do have to learn to use the toilet...they are not free to shit and piss wherever they like.

Kids do have to learn not to play in the streets...and for that matter, how to avoid or minimize the other dangers of a technological society.

And they do have to learn to read and write, use a computer and a calculator, and learn at least the rudiments of thinking about things in a scientific, rational way.

Recall that I never suggested that personal autonomy can be "unlimited", merely that it should be maximized.

That core value of communism is for little people as well as big people.

quote:

It seems that you will treat children 'as property' in that you wont allow them to decide where they should live. How exactly RS is this different in importance from allowing them to decide who they should live with, and just why should this difference of importance matter anyway given that we (or more accurately you) are denouncing something in such absolute terms.


I would let kids decide where to live if I could figure out a practical way to do that. In a highly mobile society, the sight of parents dragging their kids from place to place certainly "looks" indistinguishable from the way they drag the rest of their possessions around with them.

Thus I can only respond with the answer you always find so distasteful--after the revolution, we'll see what we can work out on this question. Perhaps some creative solutions are possible and just haven't been thought of yet. Or perhaps such solutions exist and I have just never run across them.

My (limited) observation is that very small children are quite flexible regarding locations...it is older kids who develop attachments to a particular place.

So we'll see.

quote:

I am no reformist. You know it. It's just something you feel may help your case, is it not?


Subjectively, you may be convinced that you are not a reformist. I think the evidence--which I have summarized elsewhere--shows objectively that you are well within the reformist paradigm--specifically pre-World War I social democracy.

I think that "world-view" informs all of what you write, is reflected in every position you take on matters of controversy.

And I think you try to distance yourself from this "tag" only because you think it makes you "look bad" on this board. On a board of declared reformists, the label wouldn't bother you at all.

quote:

I am against corporal punishment. I think that a harsh word may be necessary, but no more than that. I doubt I would ever even "smack" a child.


Good! We are in agreement on that, at least. But you know there are those who would think that view "unacceptably lenient". Such people have much to say on the subject of "discipline"...all of it pretty ugly.

And the "cane" is an "old English tradition", is it not?
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First posted at Che-Lives on September 12, 2003
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quote:

Women who fuck men without protection, knowing that there's a risk of an unwanted pregnancy are dumb tramps and shouldn't have the right to abort babies.


Yes, we should "make them suffer".

This, folks, is called misogyny--hatred of women for being women. The use of the phrase "dumb tramps" is the give-away.

Whenever someone posts on this topic and uses words like "slut", "whore", "tramp", "bitch"...you should immediately recognize the real attitude that's being expressed.

They will always deny it of course, often saying something like "I like women, it's just these xxxxx's that piss me off."

Would you believe someone who said to you "I like black people, it's just these n*****s that piss me off."? Or, "I like Jewish people, it's just these k***s that piss me off."?

Inspite of our best efforts to be "socially acceptable" and "politically correct", the words we choose to use reveal more about our real attitudes than we think.

And this is a very good example of that.

quote:

I'm all for men who blow up abortion clinics.


I, on the other hand, am all for feminists who kill guys who have or plan to blow up women's clinics. I don't think it's happened yet, but I hope it will.

I also think it would be a good thing if, in any city where a women's clinic was blown up or torched, the fanciest and most prestigious cathedral was burned to the ground. That also hasn't happened yet (to my knowledge), but I think it would be a good thing if it did.

The hatred of women is just another kind of fascism...and should be met with the same response.

quote:

People need to stop having sex with every beautiful person they met.


And they need to stop eating and breathing, too. Because they're dead.

quote:

Capitalism is tearing the family unit apart and we need to stop it.


Indeed it is, and Marx and Engels commented on that fact in the Communist Manifesto.

Their views were a little different; they did not think that "we need to stop it" and, in fact, didn't think it even could be stopped. They appear to have thought that the traditional family was becoming archaic...and on its way out of human history.

They seemed to have been right about that.
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First posted at Che-Lives on October 2, 2003
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quote:

I'm not a misogynist, but I call a bitch, a bitch and a whore, a whore.


Yes you are and your language proves it.
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First posted at Che-Lives on October 2, 2003
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quote:

I figured you wanted to know
you know
why we call them hos bitches,
etc., etc., etc.


Good example of misogynist lyrics.

Young women in class society are often compelled to use their sexuality as a commodity...that is, as a form of labor power to be sold to an employer just like any other. (On certain streets in San Francisco, you can find young men in the same situation.)

Does this merit some kind of "special" condemnation? Have the young women committed some "special" offense that everyone who is employed has not committed?

Aren't we all the boss's "ho"? And won't things stay that way until the bosses are overthrown?

Then why single out women for special condemnation?

Misogyny, that's why.
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First posted at Che-Lives on October 2, 2003
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quote:

The song is about a woman who he wishes would make some other choices than what she does.


Did she ask for his advice?

quote:

You can feel that he has love for her and wants her to change "But don't be bad and play the game get mad and change." also "I love you like a sista but you need to switch and that's why they called U bitch".


I don't feel any "love" there. His attitude suggests to me that he believes the contempt that others have for her (bitch) is justified...and that only if she "changes" will that no longer be the case.

No, it's not "justified". If this guy had written a song about a woman who became a cop or a mercenary or a greedy landlord or a capitalist pig, etc., then you could say the contempt was justified.

In this case, the only "justification" is misogyny...the idea that it is especially "unacceptable" for a woman to use her sexuality to survive in a patriarchal society.

Had she married some rich "musician", the song would never have been written.

quote:

And I don't hate women...


As I noted earlier, that's what misogynists always say.

quote:

ewwwwww@ a woman letting 34 men fuck ..what a hooker...I bet her hole would be completely worn out.


34 times, eh? And you, has your penis fallen off yet? I'm assuming you've had intercourse at least 34 times.

quote:

Women should have more respect for themselves, period.


Translation: they should have more respect for your opinions of them.

Why? Why should any sensible woman care about the opinions of a misogynist?

Do people of color worry about the opinions of racists?

quote:

Maybe someone could write a book on how to deal with promiscuity. I know a lot of girls in their mid-twenties that are clinically depressed because of their sexual past while they were young and how it affects them now.


Or maybe they're depressed because they live in a patriarchal society that officially despises them because they were sexually active young women.

It is kind of depressing to live in a society that does not consider you "quite human". Almost, but not quite.

If the constitutions of advanced capitalist societies were honest about the matter, they'd officially define a female citizen as "3/5ths of a man".
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First posted at Che-Lives on October 3, 2003
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quote:

You're right, maybe he did feel was justified because she wasted her life doing the wrong things over and over again, doesn't see the error in her selfish and ridiculous ways and dies because of it. Like you said she didn't ask for help which may have saved her life.


Does this mean that "because" she didn't ask for this guy's help, she's a "bitch"?

quote:

...most of his songs have a message that a lot of people miss because they have this notion of rap being about money and drugs.


Whereas this song is about money and sex.

quote:

You forgot a few, like pushing her child away off on her mother so she could go to the club, spending her welfare money to get her hair done and not spending it on the child to buy food and clothes and rent and such, and not going to school to get a job for some real money.


If every mother who has ever had her own mother watch her child while she went to work (whatever that work might be) is a "bitch"...then there are hundreds of millions of them.(!)

Spending money to get her hair done is an "occupational expense"...no different than a mechanic buying a new tool.

As to going to school, you might be quite shocked at the number of women who work in the sex industry to put themselves through school. A woman who holds a "McJob" will have neither the money nor the energy nor the time to go to school...it's simply not practical, particularly if she's also a mother.

Not to mention the fact that there are lots of college graduates out there who are very far from "real money"...often because they don't want to do what you have to do in this society to get "real money".

quote:

...and if you read the lyrics the song was written in response to Deloris Tucker asking Pac why he calls some women bitches. Yes he was rich, does that make him an evil capitalist murderer who oppress[es] the proletariat?


Well, his response sucks!

As to his personal wealth, you tell me what he did with it.

The usual practice in the entertainment industry is to hire someone to "manage your wealth"...this is done by investing in various corporations who make a profit by...well, you know what they do.

Perhaps he did otherwise...but once people get rich, they change...a lot!!!

They may indeed still "talk the talk"...but their actual behavior is usually very different.

If you are wealthy in capitalist society, you are "special"...and that is something that you are not allowed to forget--and in time, you won't let anyone else forget it either.
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First posted at Che-Lives on October 3, 2003
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quote:

My own views on the subject are extremely traditional anyhow and not politically influenced, as far as I know.


You just contradicted yourself. Do you think "tradition" just falls out of the sky?

No, you have (unconsciously, no doubt) absorbed a patriarchal view of sexual "morality"...one that actually is pre-capitalist and goes back to the time when women were property (nomadism).

You put a contemporary "spin" on it by applying it to men as well as women...but that doesn't change its fundamental absurdity.

Sex is an appetite, like thirst or hunger. To deliberately refuse to satisfy it with an attractive and willing partner is as dumb as deliberately going thirsty or hungry.

To hold those who do enjoy the pleasures of the flesh in some kind of special contempt is just neo-puritanical arrogance.
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First posted at Che-Lives on October 3, 2003
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quote:

I think to say I do not know that tradition is politically influenced suggests I have a lowly intellect.


It isn't a matter of "intellect"...unconscious adoption of "traditional views" even happens to "geniuses".

If we fail to develop the habit of subjecting all social ideas to critical examination, we will inevitably absorb bits and pieces and chunks of the "accepted opinion" of whatever social group we happen to find ourselves in.

If you grow up in a racist society, for example, you have to make a conscious effort to overcome the racism that you absorbed "without paying attention". It doesn't just "happen".

Growing up in a class society dominated by the bourgeoisie, you have to make a conscious effort to overcome bourgeois ideology, bourgeois values, bourgeois philosophy.

Look, in fact, at this board. Many people have overcome "the old shit" partially...the part of contemporary society that they subjected to critical examination and rejected. The rest just stays in the back of their brains, influencing their views...and they don't even "know" it.

For example, there were two posts in the Commie Club forum today that said, in effect, "what's offensive about calling a slut a slut?"

Can you imagine them saying "what's offensive about calling a n****r a n****r?" Of course not! They know that racist language is unacceptable on the left.

It has never occurred to them to question sexist language. They've examined racism consciously and rejected it. They've never examined patriarchal misogyny critically...so they just repeat "what everybody knows"...that some women really "are" "sluts".

quote:

Would you say it is acceptable for someone to sleep with someone else whilst they are in a relationship with one person? It is not because sex signifies a bond between two people and therefore you break it by sleeping with someone else. Sex has developed as a physical means to display emotion. It should not be undertaken outside a long-term relationship.


If you rephrased that statement to insert the word "I" in the appropriate places, then I would not quarrel with your views. You have every right to conduct your sex life as you and your partner(s) see fit...and it's absolutely none of my business.

But that is true of everyone else as well!

One of the "by-products" (or epiphenomenon) of class society is the regulation of sexuality for the purpose of orderly inheritance of property. The use of religion for this purpose is well known.

Since religion is not in such great shape these days, defenders of class society have fallen back on secular arguments--the use of "psychology" to develop "arguments" for "traditional morality" is also well known.

And, of course, there is always fear. Sexual indulgence used to involve the "palpable risk" of "Hellfire"...now, they just tell people that if we have lots of sex with lots of partners, we will get AIDS and die.

Eventually, AIDS will become a curable disease...and who knows what they will threaten us with next?

But behind all this is a simple fact: property. The abolition of private property and the right of inheritance means that there will no longer be any material basis for "traditional sexual morality".

And that should finally put an end to it.
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First posted at Che-Lives on October 4, 2003
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It seems to me a little realism is in order here.

Cuba does not "crack down" on prostitution simply because it is an additional source of hard currency...which Cuba desperately needs to buy high-tech (expensive) stuff on the world market that it cannot produce itself.

The hard-currency shops that Cuban prostitutes shop in are profit-making enterprises. She purchases things that are imported at one price and sold to her for a higher price. She pays in dollars or euros. The profit that the Cuban government makes from that transaction eventually ends up in the central bank...where part of it goes to import more consumer goodies and part of it goes to buy crude oil or spare parts for Cuba's refineries or a high-tech medical device or...whatever they think they need most.

To put it crudely, if Cuba "eliminated" prostitution, the power would be off in Havana for an extra hour each day...no fuel for the city's generators.

As to the motivations of the women involved, you can get stuff at the hard-currency shops that is simply unavailable otherwise. Even basic things like toothpaste or toilet paper are often unavailable in the state stores...much less something like a new refrigerator, air-conditioner, personal computer, etc.

The fact of the matter is that there are not enough tourists "to go around"...hence the vast majority of "prostitutes" are probably lucky to turn one trick a week and thus the "eagerness" with which unattached male tourists are "set upon".

I suspect that the overwhelming majority of women who engage in prostitution do so from motives of economic necessity...and all efforts to "suppress" it are simply futile attacks on women's clear perceptions of their own economic realities.

In a real communist society, of course, there is no money, no commodity exchange, and hence no economic motive for prostitution.

It can only exist in a class society.
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First posted at Che-Lives on October 16, 2003
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quote:

The worst aspect of the prostitution was the pimps. They really do seem to be the same the world over.


You know I've heard and seen so much propaganda on this subject that I'm beginning to get a little skeptical.

Does anyone really know how many women "have pimps" at all?

Or much else of the details of these women's lives?

That black guy in the fur coat and fancy car that you see on dummyvision...just how "typical" is he, really? A scary fairy-tale for the white folks, perhaps?

It seems to be that when we deal with the representations of the ruling class--as opposed to first-hand experience or information from people we think are reliable sources--we should not just "assume" that we are being given an accurate picture.

The ruling class has its own priorities...and telling us the truth about anything is not one of them.

quote:

Prostitution is a result of a morally corrupt society.


No, morality has nothing to do with the matter at all. It is an economic activity like any other--the woman (occasionally young man) is the worker and the john (customer) is the boss.

All forms of wage-slavery are degrading...there's nothing "special" about prostitution in that regard.

Whenever we sell our labor-power, we are all "hos". Yes, that's a shameful thing to be...and is why Marx called shame "a revolutionary emotion".

It serves only the interests of the ruling class for workers to "look down" on other workers or adopt an attitude of "moral superiority" to other workers.

We're all in the same boat.
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First posted at Che-Lives on October 16, 2003
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quote:

Well the idea [of prostitution] sickens me to an extremely high degree redstar2000.


Planning never to have a job, then? Or just a "really good one" without a boss?

quote:

Would you feel comfortable having a relationship with a women who had slept with other men just for the 'pleasure' of it. Or even indeed a prostitute. Would you even be able to trust her when she considers sex just a matter of pleasure; is she likely to be faithful since she doesn't consider sex an intimate matter?


Well, um, I have...both. Looking back, I realize that it was part of my education...coming to terms with the fact that women really are autonomous individuals just like me.

You see I grew up in an era of lies--the 1950s--when people pretended to believe in "sexual morality", "good" girls and "bad" girls, faithfulness, etc. and everyone was lying.

In the 1960s, the lies started to crack...by now they are so much rubble. In the present era, the only sensible position is to assume that everyone "fools around" whenever the opportunity presents itself.

What that means is that "trust" between intimates has to be based on something other than sex...which I think is a good thing.

What makes a relationship is not two (or more) bodies rubbing together...it is minds that are "in emotional dialog" with one another that constitute a relationship.

People can have, believe it or not, passionate love affairs without ever touching; and people can have sex five times a day with the same person for 50 years and never really know each other at all.

quote:

How can you explain the number of women that feel sex has strong meaning to it and emotional responsibilities attached to it?


And how explain the numbers that don't?

The reason that both men and women still focus on sexual exclusivity is, I think, an egotistical one. We "like" the idea of being the "center" of someone's universe, physically and emotionally. (Almost never do we apply the same standard to our own behavior, of course.)

Well, humans also were once quite fond of living at the "center of the physical universe", the special favorite of "God", the "crown of creation".

We've learned better than that. We know objectively that we are an extremely trivial part of a very large universe and that there are no gods at all.

And that's ok.

Now we are learning to make a distinction between emotional involvement with another person and the physical act of sexual intercourse. To be sure, we hairless primates are slow learners, especially compared to our close cousins, the Bonobos.

But we'll get there. The trend is a clear one and not all the labor camps in the world will stop it...or even slow it down.

Speaking of which...

quote:

I suggest we put all 'pimps' into labour camps for the remaining period of their lives. And, that we put prostitutes into moral and emotional rehabilitation, and then we make prostitution illegal and the penalties for it severe, this is all in a revolutionary socialist society.


Your obvious relish here is very revealing. Why do you like the idea of harshly punishing people who have done no harm?

You realize that you are not talking about major or even minor members of the old ruling class here. You're not talking about war criminals or cops or even some loud-mouth "conservative".

Just ordinary people trying to "get by" in a very harsh world.

What is the real source of your wrath? And of those who enthusiastically agree with you?

Misogyny?
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First posted at Che-Lives on October 18, 2003
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quote:

Anyway, I find work to have far different emotional and physical implications than sex.


On what logical grounds? You go to work and do what you're told to do for money. What's the difference between you and any other prostitute?

Don't say that there are things you won't do for money. Prostitutes say that too.

quote:

Because part of this kind of love is a desire to create and raise children with that person...


In the U.S., the divorce rate is around 60% and stable (for the moment); I assume the figures are similar in the U.K. That means that there are six chances in 10 that you will not raise children with the partner who has them; in fact, there's a fairly good chance you will end up raising some other guy's kids and some other guy will raise yours.

If you find this appalling, recall that kids are still kids...yours are no more "special" than anyone else's.

quote:

I do of course view this as a great crime and therefore those who are guilty of it as having done much harm and deserving of punishment and I do relish their punishment.


What is the "great crime"? In bourgeois society, everything is for sale. Why single out prostitutes or pimps?

In communist society there is no money and nothing is for sale; prostitution and pimping are impossible.

In your Leninist version of state-monopoly capitalism, prostitution is possible...but I cannot see that there is anything "wrong" with it. In fact, to be consistent, your Ministry of Light Industry should organize a chain of state-owned bordellos where women could pursue this "career choice" in relative safety and free from individual (petty bourgeois) pimps. When an individual woman was ready to leave "the life"--very few women are "life-long" prostitutes--she could apply for new training, etc.

quote:

I would just as harshly punish a man for promiscuity as I would a woman.


Another revealing remark! Now it's not just prostitution that is a "crime" but even promiscuity should be "punished".

Good grief!

What in the world is all this based on???

quote:

Thus I must keep a good eye on her. That actually creates some friction...


No doubt! Very few people like the feeling of being spied on.

quote:

I know not everyone views sex the way I do...I view those people as morally bankrupt.


On what grounds???

quote:

Consider this: it [promiscuity] does harm society. If that is true my opinion may actually be on the correct path.


But "your opinion" is sheer assertion. Where is the evidence that this assertion has any validity at all? Not to mention that "harm society" is such an ambiguous phrase that it could be twisted to mean anything.

quote:

To some extent you are right about me not having the right to impose my morals, but I would if I had the chance.... I believe that ultimately people would be happier if they accepted my moral views though.


Well, the kind of views you express used to be the law. Obviously, people were pretty damn unhappy with those laws.

Doesn't that suggest something to you?

quote:

I really do find prostitution highly objectionable, so much so I would like to see people responsible punished and for prostitution to disappear entirely. There are a lot of people who agree with me, thus the illegality of prostitution in many countries. The difference is that I would be far more active and severe in prohibiting the practice.


Well, in the time of the first Queen Elizabeth, convicted prostitutes were stripped to the waist and whipped through the streets of London.

Does that appeal to you?

Let's take a look at some other "pit stops" on the road you propose to travel.

quote:

Prostitutes around the world still do it because they need the money, either to support their kids, the bills...etc, but now it's increasingly done to keep up a drug habit.


Prostitution is "stressful" work and many women use various narcotics to relieve that stress. Women don't become prostitutes to support their "drug habit", they take drugs to support their "work habit".

quote:

Anyone who says that promiscuity is alright is some kind of anarchistic, hippy chucklehead. Have you ever heard of STD's??? It is because of this attitude that rates of std's such as gonorrhea and chlamydia are on the increase for those under the age of 25. Jesus tapdancing Christ!!! Syphilis is making a comeback...SYPHILLIS... a disease that was on the wane for decades is now showing up in teens!!!


This piece of shit could have come straight from the pages of Mein Kampf. I'm not being "rhetorical" here; Hitler's infamous work actually has pages devoted to STDs, especially syphilis.

The appeal, such as it is, is to fear. In the 17th century, it would have read "Woe unto ye fornicators, ye shall rot on Earth and burn in Hell". Since "Hell" has lost its terrors, the neo-puritans must fall back on fear of sickness; their new slogan is "SEX =DEATH".

If they could, they'd put labels on everyone's genetalia...like the "warnings" on packs of cigarettes.

quote:

So why don't we stop arguing about the semantics and go force our governments to take more care of the part of the population that is likely to turn to, or actually does practice, prostitution.


Because we do not have the power to "force" capitalist governments to do or not do anything...except in the last few days before the revolution. And then there's no point in bothering.

We'll do it ourselves.

quote:

It [prostitution] needs to be legalized, unionized and treated like any other profession.


A small voice of sanity amidst the howling wilderness of neo-puritanical idiocy.
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First posted at Che-Lives on October 20, 2003
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