The REDSTAR2000 Papers

Listen to the worm of doubt, for it speaks truth. - Leftist Discussion

Class in Post-Revolutionary Society - Part 3 (Against Maoism) August 7, 2004 by RedStar2000

The stubborn issue of class in post-revolutionary society cannot be avoided by Leninist sloganeering. Does the "dictatorship of the proletariat" mean that the class rules itself or does it mean that a small and self-appointed elite rules "for" the class?

It really is "one or the other".



...these are the points raised by Lenin that seem to be absent in Maoism (from what historical experience there has been with Maoism however).

1. Free and democratic elections with right of recall of all officials.

2. No official must receive a higher wage than a skilled worker.

3. No standing army but the armed people.

4. Gradually, all the tasks of running the state should be carried out by the masses on a rotating basis. When everybody is a bureaucrat in turn, nobody is a bureaucrat. Or, as Lenin put it, "Any cook should be able to be prime minister."

Lenin's State and Revolution is the most unusual book of all those that he "wrote".

I say "wrote" because most of it is a "copy & paste" job; Lenin diligently searched out every scrap of Marx and Engels that he could find wherein those two guys discussed post-capitalist society.

If memory serves me, there is hardly any mention in this work of the "vanguard party" or its "leading role". Why? Marx and Engels never discussed such a them it was the masses that made history.

Another interesting thing about State and Revolution is that it had no relationship to Lenin's actual practice following the Bolshevik seizure of power. Although state officials were not supposed to receive a higher salary than ordinary workers, it was easy to set up a system of "perks"...good apartments, cars, special food rations, etc. Bolshevik party members who held state positions lived considerably better than ordinary workers from the very beginning.

Needless to say, the recall of Bolshevik officials was never permitted at all. By 1919 or so, the soviets were "rubber-stamps" for official decrees.

So it makes one wonder: why did Lenin write it?

It's of course possible that he was completely sincere...he really thought that the measures he copied from Marx and Engels would be implemented after the revolution.

Or, he wrote it as a "recruiting pamphlet"...particularly addressed to those Russian workers attracted to anarchism. He wanted to "prove" that Bolsheviks were not "despotic Marxists".

If that was the case, it "worked" -- to this day, State and Revolution is a "must read" for potential recruits to most Leninist parties. And whenever Leninists feel "attacked" on the issue of proletarian democracy, State and Revolution is the text they reach for first.

Some Leninists will say that Lenin "would have" done all those good things...but the civil war made them "impossible".

A good excuse, one might be tempted to think. Yet after the civil war was over, things just got worse.

Not only did the soviets remain powerless, but even within the party itself the rules were changed in such a way as to reserve all substantive political debate to the leadership. Rank-and-file party members were no longer permitted to organize themselves to promote a change in the "line". Lenin, Stalin and Trotsky were all in agreement on this step.

It is sometimes pretended (particularly by Trotskyists) that these measures were always intended to be "temporary" or "emergency" steps...but if you go back and actually read the speeches that were made at the time, there's not so much as a hint of "temporary" about them.

Thus, I think that State and Revolution was an aberration...a sharp departure from all of Lenin's other pre-revolutionary writings and irrelevant to his post-revolutionary practice.

The real core of the Leninist paradigm is found here...

"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 directly exercise proletarian dictatorship. It can be exercised only by a vanguard."

The Trade Unions, the Present Situation and Trotsky's Mistakes by V.I. Lenin

That's what Leninism, in all its variants, means.
First posted at AnotherWorldIsPossible on July 23, 2004


I mean, it's obvious that the proletariat does not embrace revolutionary ideology, because if they did, a lot of our work would be already done. However, huge sections of the proletariat are more into bourgeois ideologies, voting, religion, and other "answers", sometimes even quite backward, anti-people stuff.

We live in a "period of reaction" and the influence of reactionary ideas appears to be overwhelming.

But periods of reaction are not permanent. After a while, a new generation appears, fresh and ready to "storm heaven".

When that happens, the fog of reactionary "consensus" dissipates...revealing the real strength of reactionary ideas (not much!) and the eagerness of the masses to take a fresh and critical look at everything.

As was noted by Lenin himself in the immediate aftermath of the February 1917 rising: the masses were far to the left of the party. (!)

I think this is a general truth and will remain so; no small group can ever be as thorough in criticizing the old order as the masses themselves...once they decide to do it.


How ARE we supposed to deal with all the bullshit ideologies left over from capitalism if we don't concentrate the advanced into the revolutionary party, and work to overcome the leadership/led contradiction by mass struggle and political education so that the masses are equipped to become the masters of society, and run it in their interests?

If you assume that the masses are not "equipped" to become "the masters of society" even at the very moment when they have overthrown the old order, then you have, at the same moment, assumed that you "are equipped" to do the job.

And once you find out how comfortable your bottom feels in that plush chair...why would you "ever" want to give it up? Or your kids? Or their kids?

All things considered, it's almost always better to be one of the "masters" than one of the...well, you know.


What would you suggest revolutionaries do that is different than what Lenin did?

I would suggest that we should begin by abandoning the conceit that our political consciousness (however "advanced") gives us "the right to rule".

It does no such thing!

We may, at best, facilitate a proletarian revolution and the transition from capitalism to communism...but we will not "lead" the revolution, much less "administer the transition" (rule) "on behalf of the proletariat".

There is nothing wrong about trying to develop revolutionary ideas as best we can and struggling for those ideas within the working class. Nor is there anything necessarily wrong with taking initiatives to demonstrate our ideas in practice.

There's not even anything wrong with conscious communists organizing themselves into a political group to advance the influence of communist ideas among the masses...though a "movement" is clearly superior to the old-style "party" framework.

But we must reject the idea that we are "history's darlings", the "chosen ones" who will "change the world" because of our "special insight" or "advanced political consciousness".

The real world doesn't work like that.


It's all well and good to trash Lenin, but until you solve the problem of how to move the working class into the position where they not only see the need to run society in their interests but are actually able to do it, the rest is all academic.

Do you imagine that you are an "Archimedes" with a Leninist "lever" who can "lift the earth"?

You cannot "move" the working class in the sense you are speaking of here; it's too big. Only the class can move itself.

This should be obvious when you consider the actual performance of all the different varieties of Leninist parties in the "west". No matter what their "line" or how vast their claims of "dialectical insight", the working class has mostly ignored them. Were/are they all just really lousy Leninists? Total fuckups?

Or have they failed because they tried to do something that simply isn't possible -- "make" the working class revolutionary without regard to the difference between their own size and the size of the class.

"But Lenin did it is possible," the Leninists retort. No, that reverses the actual sequence of events. The Russian urban working class was already revolutionary and chose to support the Bolsheviks in the belief that they were the most revolutionary political group at hand.

Whatever we do or don't do, the working class sets its own pace and becomes revolutionary only when material conditions make revolution the obvious rational choice.

And, in fact, that's the time when the masses are actually ready to listen to and carefully consider communist ideas. Prior to that, only a small number of workers are even interested in communist ideas.

These considerations likewise apply in the post-revolutionary period. The transition to communism can only be the work of the workers's not something that can be led or guided or administered by an elite, however well-meaning.

We can try to persuade the masses "what is to be done", but we can't do it for them or make them do it at gunpoint. If the attempt is made to do either of those things, the result is always ignominious failure.


Or, to pose the bigger question, how are we going to make revolution? Who's going to make it happen, and how?...But please, tell me how this is going to happen without leadership that understands the real world conditions and has a plan for overcoming them.

Did someone "plan" the transition from ancient despotism to feudalism? Or from feudalism to capitalism? Who?

What makes you think that something as enormous and complex as a change in the relations of production can be "understood" or "planned" by anyone?

Perhaps if you had a party of millions -- all with the genius of Marx -- it might be feasible.

In the real world? With folks like you and me? No.

Any "plan" thought up by a small group of people, even fairly bright people like us, is guaranteed to be hopelessly inadequate.

The best thing we communists can do is encourage resistance to capitalist hegemony...and hope that it will spread and deepen. We are, in a sense, the "memory" of our class...and we can warn against the repetition of past blunders. To a very limited extent, we can even "point the way forward"...again hoping that the best features of past revolutions will "repeat themselves". (If that doesn't happen, our advice will be irrelevant.)

But when you've said that, you've said about all there is to be said. Neither Marxism nor anything else can predict the future in useful detail. One cannot "conjure up" a proletarian revolution on demand...or "make one" like making a pizza.

Revolutions are the consequence of an enormous number of factors interacting in enormously complex ways...which is another way of saying that we don't know why they happen or when they will happen.

We can only hope that one will happen as soon as can be.
First posted at AnotherWorldIsPossible on July 24, 2004


The contradiction between mental and physical labor is a contradiction all "Straight to Communism" (Pseudo-Anarchy) ideology has yet to deal with. Communist society obviously implies that the class system is long gone, but as long as you have such a contradiction between mental and physical labor, the class system is bound to exist no matter if you say it does not. The fact remains, it is there.

Funny you should it's a "contradiction" that I've never written about before.

Consider the implications:

1. Under capitalism, "mental labor" is usually paid better, supplied with better working conditions, is less physically exhausting, and generally considered more "prestigious".

2. Under capitalism, "manual labor" is usually paid less, under worse working conditions, is physically exhausting, and is considered "demeaning" and "degrading".

So, how would a communist approach this question?

Well, it's not unreasonable to expect that many items will be rationed in the early post-revolutionary years.

So...why not a bigger ration for those who perform the "drudge" work necessary to keep a society functioning?

If there's a shortage of some desirable commodity, why not give the manual laborers "first crack"?

Secondly, working conditions are actually pretty flexible in many respects...would it be unreasonable to have a shorter work-week for manual laborers and to take appropriate measures to improve their working conditions? (Actually, I expect they'd do this themselves, spontaneously.)

Things like "prestige" are more subtle...but there are steps that could be taken. For example, after we demolish all the statues of generals, politicians, and similar scum, we could put up some statues to plumbers, electricians, and even janitors. (There's a fine piece of "socialist realist" sculpture in downtown San Francisco called "The Mechanics" -- a bunch of naked guys shaping a piece of sheet metal with a giant press.)

In other words, I don't see that this "contradiction" is a "big deal".


Wages is another situation you are going to come over; the wage system just can not be destroyed and you have communism. What comes from this is economic chaos in society; this would cause a disturbance amongst the people and they would more likely take it out against your "communism".

Obviously the abolition of wages would go "hand-in-hand" with the provision of goods to people "according to need".

And, to be fair, it's always possible that the first attempts to establish communism will fail...and people will, in disgust, turn towards a Leninist despot or even towards a restoration of capitalism.

In the long run, history is "on the side" of communism...but the short-run can get complicated.

We'll do the best we can and then...see how it goes.


By giving people the exact same amount of rations for different work? Is there not inequality as well as equality in this action? If I work twice as hard, doing more labor and work than another of my associates and they get the same ration, then there is inequality as well as equality in the system and it cannot be Communism.

That's actually one of the standard bourgeois criticisms of communism. The bourgeois thinks that there "must be" a connection between work and "reward".

Communism assumes that people actually enjoy productive labor...what they do not enjoy is being exploited, taking orders from stupid and arrogant bosses, etc.

If you are doing work that you enjoy in conditions that respect your human dignity, then what matters your material "reward" as long as it meets your needs?

You're not going to get "rich"...but neither is anyone else.

In communist society, who you are has no connection with material reward or accumulated wealth.

Just think: does it "bother you" that you have no "title of nobility"? It does not...such things no longer matter.

The kind of extravagant personal consumption (waste) that exists now will not exist under communism...and no one will miss it.

quote: have to deal with the fact that Communism cannot exist in one nation and spread throughout the world at an even pace.

I expect the next wave of proletarian revolutions to begin in Western Europe and carry most of the EU into communism fairly rapidly.

Beyond that, we'll see.

quote: have to deal with a people not having the ability to rule themselves directly as of yet. Yes, they may be politically aware in some aspects, but most in this country are not that aware of anything, and there is still the presence of unequal education amongst them as well as illiteracy.

I presume you are speaking of the United States here.

This is an argument that I run into quite often; Americans are "too reactionary" and must have a "socialist" despotism imposed on them to "teach them" to "rule themselves".

It's a foolish and ultimately self-defeating proposition, of course. There are no peoples who are "genetically reactionary" and the American working class will be, when the time comes, just as revolutionary as any other. If Marx was right, the laws of capitalism itself make that inevitable.

Your error is one of historical confusion. The American working class of today is not the class that will make a proletarian revolution.

The American working class of tomorrow which actually does make a proletarian revolution will be fully fit to "govern itself".

At least I think that's the most reasonable assumption for communists to proceed with.


Also communism cannot exist in one nation; it would be doomed not only to be crushed by other capitalist powers, but also it would not give people in the other countries [the chance] to develop their production at the same pace causing inequality in the level of productions.

"Crushing" an advanced and technologically developed country that is making the transition to communism is not "the piece of cake" that you apparently think it is. Be reminded that U.S. imperialism and its lackeys have actually failed to pacify Afghanistan or you really like their chances against a communist EU?

Not to mention the general world situation at the time when proletarian revolutions are taking place. I would anticipate that the remaining capitalist countries will be having many difficulties of their own, domestic and foreign. Sure, they'd like to intervene...but, at that point, will they be able to?

I don't think so.

As to global economic inequality, I would rather expect that to be around for a very long time. A communist country might or might not provide assistance and might or might not impose progressive conditions on that assistance.

For example, if a primitive capitalist country asked us for aid, we might say "sure...but we can't give it to you unless you provide a free eighth-grade education for every female child in your country."

Is that "social imperialism"?

On the other hand, if you propose that communism must be artificially delayed until the whole world is "economically equal", then that is just a recipe for postponing communism indefinitely.

Something which has a "not-so-secret appeal" to some Leninists...who are rather looking forward to that plush chair, massive desk, and corner office on the 50th floor of the Ministry for Global Economic Development.

The limo and driver are nice too.
First posted at AnotherWorldIsPossible on July 24, 2004


After the Sandinistas overthrew the Somoza government, an ultra-left group called for direct worker ownership in the factories. The armed workers would take control of production without the benefits of management, state planners, and bureaucrats, or a formal military. While this does sound very appealing, this syndicalism denies the necessities of state power. Under such an agreement, the Nicaraguan revolution would not have lasted two months against US-sponsored counterrevolution that destroyed the nation.

Having consulted your dialectical crystal ball, you "know" this, of course.

So what was the right strategy? The Sandinistas formed a coalition with "Left" Jesuits and "base" Christian communities and set up a traditional Leninist state.

And the counter-revolution won. Today the Sandinistas and the Somoza-istas jointly administer one of the most corrupt regimes in central America.

Something to be really proud of, eh?
First posted at AnotherWorldIsPossible on July 27, 2004


How so is it complete incoherence?

Because that's always the outcome of a rant. You make a huge number of highly dubious assertions containing a large number of unspoken assumptions, many of which are palpably untrue.

Anyone who attempts a coherent response would have to quote you "sentence by sentence" to "de-construct" all the babble.

Take for example the title that you chose for your thread: Left anti-Communism; Anarchism and Pseudo-Anarchism.

I know what the word anarchism means; I have no idea what "left anti-communism" refers to or who those "pseudo-anarchists" are...presumably not "real" anarchists. (?)

Your "reasoning" appears to be: (1) Anyone who wants to actually establish a real communist society after the revolution is an "anti-communist" while (2) only those who propose not to establish communism are the "real communists".

Nonsensical assertions like that are very characteristic of "internet rants". They are presumably intended to "stir people up" rather than actually make sense.

Or consider this "sentence"...


Many of these Left anti-Communists have expressed that a truly liberated society would be controlled by the workers themselves, through direct participation, instead of being run by Leninists, Stalinists, Maoists, or other ill-willed, power-hungry, bureaucratic cabals of evil men who betray revolutions.

Was Marx a "left anti-communist"? After all, his version of the "dictatorship of the proletariat" made workers' control of everything explicit.

And as for myself, I have explicitly stated that I do not think any of the 20th century Leninists were "evil" or "traitors"...I just assert that they were wrong.

Do you understand the difference between "evil" and wrong?

Or this sentence...


It compares an ideal with an imperfect reality, and reality comes far off in the comparison to the ideal. This Ideal remains untainted by existing practice.

I don't even know what you're trying to say here.

A communist wants to establish communism. If I see someone else who claims to be a communist but does not, in fact, establish communism or even make any attempt to establish communism, am I supposed to just accept that?

No, I compare reality with what I want...and if reality doesn't "measure up", then I seek to change reality until it does.

It's what revolutionaries do.
First posted at AnotherWorldIsPossible on July 28, 2004


Also Pseudo-Anarchism is something that presents itself not as Anarchism, as something else, usually "communism" like the PLP, but in reality the theory is more aligned with Proudhon's thought and other Anarchist theory.

As I understand the post-revolutionary perspective of the Progressive Labor Party, their idea is to replace the state apparatus with the party apparatus.

Everyone will have to be a member of the party and be subject to party discipline. Party leaders will be appointed for life. The army will be part of the party to keep things "under control".

And, from one of their ex-members, I understand they also plan to send women back to the kitchen and the nursery as well as re-criminalize homosexuality.

Their "communism" is fake!

As to your reference to Proudhon, while his followers probably constituted the majority of activists in the Paris Commune, contemporary anarchists usually agree that his views were essentially reformist.

Though, to be sure, there are anarchists who unknowingly follow Proudhon -- namely, the "shadow economy" anarchists.


No, my reasoning is those people are not Marxists, are [un-]realistic in that matter. Yet have the "straight-to-communism" theorists and Anarchists provided historical evidence for the success of such a de-centralized nation, after initial revolution with capitalism. They provide no specifics of how the society's functions will look like afterwards. What are the specifics of how the contradictions of class society will be met, and how to accomplish their agendas without internal and external sabotage. So far, every de-centralized nation has yet to successfully survive for a period of time in a capitalist dominated globe.

On what basis are you so "sure" that a "de-centralized nation" cannot survive "internal and external sabotage"?

Simply because it hasn't happened yet?

But wait! Your hyper-centralized Leninist states have also failed. Specifically, they rotted from within -- the party apparatus became a new capitalist ruling class.

So who is being "unrealistic" here? Communists who think we should go "straight to communism" or Leninists who want to replicate a failed experiment?

As far as "specific measures" are concerned, many ideas have been put forward...even a few by me.

Crime & Punishment--Some Brief Notes on Communist Justice

Communist Society -- Some Brief Reflections

No doubt they will seem very "unrealistic" to you. That can't be helped. If you're really intent on being Minister of the Interior ("chief cop") of a post-revolutionary Leninist state, then all arguments against such a position will inevitably strike you as "unrealistic".

That don't make it so.


Engels is clear and is critical of Anarchists in the Commune and makes it clear that Centralization in Germany was the most important part in the revolution "...If the Prussians are victorious the centralization of state power will be helpful for the centralization of the German working class; furthermore, German predominance will shift the center of gravity of West European labor movements from France to Germany. And one has but to compare the movement from 1866 to today to see that the German working class is in theory and organization superior to the French. Its domination over the French on the world stage would mean likewise the dominance of our theory over that of Proudhon, etc."

Yes, Engels screwed that one up pretty badly.

You do recall the consequence of "German domination" of socialist theory, don't you?

It was called social democracy...and its performance in 1914 remains the biggest disgrace in the history of the modern proletariat.

Beyond this, of course, you have to remember the historical period in which Engels (and Marx) were writing. Centralization was seen then as "the wave of the future" and therefore "inherently" progressive.

That's no longer the case.


Obviously I am saying, you compare the reality with an ideal that is conjured up with no historical backing or materialist view. You have lost sight of Historical Materialism and have slipped into Idealism.

I don't see on what you base that criticism. There obviously have been working class insurrections without Leninist fact, with perspectives much closer to what I want.

Are you saying that because they were defeated, that "means" that they were "idealist"?

But the Leninists have also been "defeated" how come I'm an "idealist" while you are a "realist"?

Objectively, it seems to me that my perspective is much more "in tune" with historical materialism than yours...I continue to insist that successful proletarian revolutions are only possible in advanced capitalist countries. You, on the other hand, entertain fantasies of "socialism" in Nepal!

The Leninist assumption that objective material conditions can be overcome "by act of will" on the part of a "conscious minority" seems to me to far more fundamentally idealist than anything I've ever written.


[Never] yet has there been a drastic change from one Economic Mode of Production to another. We can't go from capitalism to communism, the only thing that will come from this is an economy that is irrational, that will lead back to capitalism.

You realize, of course, that when it comes to "leading back to capitalism", Leninists are the world-class experts.

And, of course, there have been periods of rapid transformation in the relations of production.

One that comes to mind immediately took place in Russia throughout 1917 (without a vanguard): the Russian peasantry spontaneously expropriated the landed aristocracy and became rural petty-bourgeois in a single year.

But as I've noted elsewhere, no sensible person denies that there will be a "period of transition" between capitalism and communism after the proletarian revolution.

It is the political character of that transition that is in dispute.

Will it be "administered" by a conscious and tightly-organized elite using a state apparatus, police, prisons, labor camps, conscript armies, etc.?

Or will it be done directly by the working class as a whole?

Which option would you choose?
First posted at AnotherWorldIsPossible on July 28, 2004


The PLP does argue for a vanguard to lead initial revolution; however they, like you, also want to go straight to communism.

You can write this -- "like you" -- after I explained why PLP's "communism" is fake.

Thus leaving the reader with the impression that my communism is also fake without having to present any arguments or evidence for that.

Nice work!


I would argue that there is a need to look into why people are in prison, not just generally give people amnesty.

Well, it would take a lot of people and time and resources to do that; the euphoria that prevails in revolutionary times wants to see immediate action taken where possible.

I'm willing to concede that your position might actually be more sensible; but I predict that you will lose the vote in the soviets...assuming that you haven't already taken their vote away. (!)


Alone from the sickening barbaric nature of this whole process (it might as well be the revived Hammurabi code), once again there are no specifics, only guesses, thoughts, and effortless babble.

I might remind you that there are "specifics"...which you find to be "sickening" and "barbaric".

Prisons and labor camps and all that goes with that evidently strike you as "civilized".

Oddly enough, it is your formula that strikes me as truly sickening and barbaric...all you want to do is emulate the bourgeoisie, only more so.


Example "I think that in the long run forensic evidence". Marx fought Proudhon with the aid of the dialectical method and proved that since everything in the world changes, "justice" must also change, and that, consequently, "immutable justice" is metaphysical nonsense. Your legal system, even at its barbaric nature now, will be outmoded quickly; so 3 pages of legality is not going to work. In fact it will be constantly changing in order to keep up with justice of the masses.

If my "babble" is "effortless", you clearly put a good deal of work into yours.

The use of forensic evidence to determine guilt or innocence of a crime is scientific.

The use of "dialectics" to prove anything is metaphysical nonsense.

As to a post-revolutionary legal code changing to reflect the justice of the masses...well, of course it would!


But apparently just murdering them is better, instead of trying to bring them to terms with society. Although, apparently I want to be a chief cop, you have no problem murdering criminals in cold blood. Does this not sound like pure Beria to anyone?

"Bring them to terms with society"? How does caging someone like an animal for decades "bring them to terms" with a human society?

Indeed, the term "caging like an animal" has become obsolete; modern zoos are far more humane than modern prisons.

And speaking of contradictions...did anyone notice how we "pseudo-anarchists" are "unable" to deal with "internal and external sabotage" one minute -- and the next minute we are all "Beria" intent on "murder"?


The fact is as long as you're in a capitalist dominated world, as we are in, you are going to have to rely on centralization or "Siege Socialism"...

Which, in practice, turns out to be pretty much like what we have now...capitalism temporarily minus capitalists.

Your "siege socialism" is not only not worth a revolution, it ain't even worth a vote!


Also it just seems peculiar to me, how would workers control every aspect of society without the help of "trained" labor. I do not think that workers can systematically lead medical, chemical, and other scientific work in these spheres when they have yet to have experience with them. So there is bound to be a bureaucracy; you can’t have "direct" worker control; it is just illogical.

Revolutions are "illogical"...that does not keep them from happening anyway.

I'm sure there will be many difficulties in the transition period.

I'm also confident that the working class can overcome those difficulties.

You, of course, are not...which is why you think you should run things instead of the working class.

I wouldn't bet on your chances with Confederate money.
First posted at AnotherWorldIsPossible on July 29, 2004


You assume everything in the future for some reason may become better when there is also capability for the worse, and that is the point.

If so, it's a rather obvious one that few would argue.

The whole point of a revolution is to make things "better", is it not?

Would the Bolsheviks have acted at all in 1917 if they thought that everything was going to get worse?

Sure, I assume that proletarian revolution will improve matters dramatically...with some rough spots at the outset.

No other assumption makes any sense at all.

"Arise ye prisoners of starvation...and go on a diet?" Is that what you want?


Yes, like another "Beria", many de-centralized notions are going to lead to illogical murder. Pol Pot was the greatest example of this illogical thinking; he murdered a good number, yet he was not able to cope with external sabotage as well, obviously. Therefore, your system of brutal murder is pointless.

Another incoherent paragraph. Whatever you are attempting to say, Cambodia is clearly irrelevant to this discussion. I am discussing the steps to be taken following proletarian revolution in an advanced capitalist country. Cambodia was a backward peasant country that had been bombed into near-savagery by U.S. imperialism.

And there is nothing pointless about my "system of brutal murder" will not be undertaken by an elite of "state secret police" but by democratic vote of the working class on each defendant. If you engage in criminal violence (including counter-revolutionary violence) against the working class...expect the worst!


There has been many ways in which "prison", if you will, has reinstituted people into society with great effect, instead of lining them up in front of firing squads. Soviets had more than 2 million German soldiers imprisoned, and after the labor camp experience, they were given the opportunity to go back to West or East Germany, many of which on arrival joined or actively participated with their Communist Parties.

Really. And did this "labor camp experience" (isn't that a terrific euphemism?) save the GDR?

Um, no, it didn't, did it? When all those POWs (except the ones that died from the "experience") got back to Germany, what do you think their real opinions of "communism" were? What do you think they told their families, friends, anyone they thought they could trust?

Are you fluent in mid-20th century German profanity?


I have a question, what will happen to those who speak out against such barbarism that your Judicial System is? How will [you] inevitably have to crush dissent over such atrocious acts?

The range of "legitimate dissent" will be, as all things, decided by the working class itself.

So they may just laugh at you or they might, if you've upset them, decide to never trust you with anything of importance.

And you may not have any friends, either.


I conclude with a question about the Redstar papers. "Marxism without the bullshit". It seems very abstract from Marx in many ways; all of dialectics is gone; there is no historical correlation. Also what happen to the "Dictatorship of the Proletariat", your transitional system to communism, what will that look like?

It will, most likely, look very different from anything that you can possibly imagine.

Real futures are like that.
First posted at AnotherWorldIsPossible on July 29, 2004


A journalist once wrote about the "ordeal" of German prisoners in their home coming to West Germany...

Journalists write lots of things...occasionally, they are even true.

Most German soldiers were guilty only of the "crime" of being conscripted into an imperialist army. The correct response would have been to simply send them all home (except the officers...who should probably have been executed) after the German surrender.

Stalin was having none of that; his idea was that German slave-labor would "repay" the USSR for the damage caused by the Third Reich. He looted German factories from the same motivation.

It was criminal stupidity; the USSR gained little and permanently alienated a large section of the German working class.


Reading his "papers", one gets the sense that the future is not that bad, and that technology would be so advanced, we would have to do nothing.

As someone who likes to invoke "history", you seem remarkably ignorant of the last fifty years of technological development. Don't you recall Marx's words on this: capitalism constantly revolutionizes the means of production.

Can you imagine what things will be like in 50 or 100 years? I can't!

The two things that we can reasonably assume are: (1) technology will be significantly in advance of what exists at present; and (2) while scientific discoveries will continue to be made, the implementation of new technology will slow down drastically a decade or two prior to the proletarian revolution itself ("the relations of production have become a fetter on the means of production").

"Dialectics" sure doesn't seem to help you much.

Does that mean that "all" manual labor will have completely disappeared by the time of proletarian revolution? Probably not. Does it mean that there will be a lot less manual labor than there is now? Almost certainly!


For example you talk about forensic science in that time period, assuming that it has made great leaps forward, to be the only thing needed for trial.

I didn't suggest that it would be "the only thing" needed for trial. But, it's actually advanced quite a bit in the last couple of decades...and it is far superior to, for example, "eye-witness accounts" -- which are notoriously unreliable.

An unknown but possibly substantial number of people are in prison today for violent crimes they did not commit...convicted by "eye-witness" testimony that was coached by the police.


One would think with an 8 hour work WEEK, it can't possibly be that bad in capitalist society as well, especially in imperialist nations.

Well, at least you caught the detail...even if you completely missed its significance.

The report that I remember reading suggested that by 2020, all the wealth that is produced today could be produced if everyone had a job and worked an eight-hour WEEK.

Under capitalism, that will not happen, of course. Some workers will still be working 40, 50, even 60 hour weeks. Many others will be part of the "reserve army of the unemployed"...and "live" in increasing misery.

Pretty "bad", eh?


Why would they risk revolution when they can just throw us even more scraps from their exploitative system. Why would they not just give more to the "aristocrats of labor" to avoid such situations.

The days when capitalists "threw scraps" to the workers appear to be coming to an end; all the "public welfare" programs are being gutted or dismantled. Trade union contracts are being "re-negotiated" to -- in one sense or another -- actually reduce workers' wages and worsen their conditions. (The only real "aristocrats of labor" -- the professional leadership of the trade unions -- are cooperating in this outrage.)

As to the reason that this is happening, the logical suspect is "the tendency of the rate of profit to fall over time". When profits decline, capitalists are under tremendous psychological and financial pressures to raise them back up to their former levels or even higher...and the only way they've ever been able to do that is by reducing labor costs.

Continued long enough, this process does indeed "risk revolution" and, if Marx was right, even makes it inevitable...but the capitalists no longer have a choice.

I'm not sure that even imperialism will "help" them much longer...the costs of conquest and occupation may exceed the "return on investment". Private corporations can still make profits from imperialism...but the imperial venture is a loser for the capitalist system as a whole.


Your judicial system has the intent of "murder". It has already indicated that the guilty would just be murdered. It is a superstructure that would shame humanity.

And your prisons and labor camps? Something for "humanity" to really be proud of?


[The working class] can also gather the forensic evidence that you need, because miraculously they suddenly and mystically have the "power" to do so.

Curiously enough, a good deal of present-day forensic evidence is contaminated...many police are not properly trained to secure and protect a crime scene and while there are privately-produced "kits" to aid the novice, they are widely admitted to be inadequate. There was a story about the "rape kit" used by the New York Police Department not long (the kit) is pretty pathetic.

If better training is needed, the working class can do's not "impossible". The same goes for the kits.

The interpretation of forensic evidence is a highly-skilled profession and not something that "any worker" can do. People who go into that line of work do so because they enjoy it...not for the money.


I guess the working class as well will have the power to form vigilantes and seek justice. As untrained vigilante groups roam around their towns, surely there can be no problem with this.

Yes, I think this will be very common in the first few years after the revolution.

You have a problem with that?


Of course I can't imagine what it could look like. Because you have yet to state what it would look like, just implying it will be a "rough" era. Yet you can assume all you want about how your "communism" will look like, but when it comes to the "rough" transitional era. There are less specifics, if any, as with your "communist" look into the future.

The "rough sense" of your statement here appears to be a complaint about "lack of details" both for the transitional period and for communism itself.

Yet you do not complain to Bob Avakian; his picture of the era of the vanguard party is even "fuzzier" than mine. He speaks a great deal about overcoming this "contradiction" and that "contradiction", etc., etc....but he never deals with specifics about how he plans to do those things.

He just promises to "do them".

Perhaps Avakian and I do have one thing in common...a reluctance to spell out in great detail what we would do in a future where almost all of the relevant circumstances are still unknown.

From a theoretical standpoint, I think there are certain things we should not do...but as to what we should do, that's much more difficult because we don't know what conditions we will find ourselves in.

If you find that unsatisfactory, fair enough. But while you're roasting me, don't forget to turn up the heat under Chairman Bob.

And finally this...


...yet when a woman left with no other choice takes out an abuser she'll almost certainly be convicted.

Is she guilty of killing someone? Yup.

Should she be in prison? Nope.

Children are also being set to prison for life for taking out abusive parents that this system gave them no means of escape from. They are viewed as monsters.

In communist society, women who kill rapists or abusive partners and children who kill abusive parents will not only not go to prison or even be tried...they'll get a medal and we'll throw a big parade to honor them.

Communism takes the liberation of women and children very seriously.
First posted at AnotherWorldIsPossible on July 30, 2004


While I agree that communism takes liberation very seriously, this approach you are putting forward is just wrong...Finally, my point was that the system that creates and gives rise to these conditions is the enemy, not those that are to some extent or another forced to acts that are defined as crimes under this system --often simply to survive -- be it armed robbery, petty theft, or killing an abuser.

What would you have us do? In a post-revolutionary society, some people will still commit violent crimes. Is it sufficient to simply observe "well, that's just a remnant of class society...someday that won't happen any more."?

I think the revolutionary proletariat will demand personal security from violent crime...and will take matters into their own hands to make that actually happen. That is what happened in both revolutionary Russia after 1917 and in revolutionary Spain after 1936.

For reasons that we don't understand, there is a small percentage of humans who actually enjoy hurting people...and I see no reason why that would not always be the case, even in communist society.

You cannot tell the vast majority of people to "just tolerate" that. They won't do it...nor should they.

I will grant you that when there are no longer economic pressures that force women and children to live with abusers, the number of murdered abusers will likely decline sharply. On the other hand, abusers don't necessarily limit their violence to their families -- such bastards are likely to be nailed for violent assaults against others. Their life-spans are likely to be drastically shortened anyway.

Which, in my view, is a very good thing.
First posted at AnotherWorldIsPossible on July 30, 2004


Not only is that not true about Stalin, you literally made that up with a guess. The German prisoners were more of a burden than "cheap labor".

If so, that merely confirms my point. The USSR gained little or nothing by insisting that German POWs enjoy "the labor camp experience".


Also Stalin did no such thing, as you claim he robbed the German people.

The dismantling and removal of entire factories from Russian-occupied Germany to the USSR is is the fact that much of the high-tech equipment was left in railroad cars to rust into scrap metal.


Certainly you're way off; German people paid no reparations besides the land appropriation to Poland.

I don't know if there were ever any formal reparations paid or not...but surely the absence of several million POWs and the lost factories did little to "help" the GDR.

If you go back and read accounts of the immediate post-war period, Stalin wanted $10 billion in reparations from Germany.


When the Roman Empire fell, the technological gains all seemed to stop in Europe and digression [?] came about, moving things into a spiral backward.

Well, yes and no. Europe in the "dark ages" (400-1100CE) was a less complex social order than the elaborate despotism of the Roman Empire. In that sense, things "went backwards".

But technology continued to advance in several important respects: (1) the invention of the iron plow; (2) the adoption of the stirrup; (3) the invention of the modern harness for horses; and (4) advances in windmill technology. All of these things contributed to the "flowering of feudalism" in the "High Middle Ages".

To this one might also add the spread of the modern "hard-cover book"...scrolls went out of use during this period.


As well with a fall of another large Empire, the US, there is the same possibility as well to come in the future. This is certainly a possibility.

Well, we can't know that one way or the other until we actually reach that point in time, can we?

Sure, "it's a possibility". There are lots of "possibilities". If you think that Leninist despotism is an appropriate remedy for a society collapsed into low-tech barbarism...hell, I won't even bother to dispute that.

It would be an even shittier world than we have now...and that's really saying something.

It's just not saying anything about communism.


Dialectics teaches everything moves, but it can move forward and back, acknowledging that we can only look at trends and the historical experiences of others prior [to us] to determine what the future would look like, not assumptions, but relevant facts.

To assume that the future will "look like" the past is an error known as "the French Generals' Fallacy" -- from the observation that French generals were always well-prepared to fight the last war.

The assumption that "all we have to do" is "imitate Lenin" or "imitate Mao" and the road to victory is simply foolishness.

Most of the lessons of past revolutions are negative -- they tell us plainly "don't do what we did or, like us, you will lose!"


The new "communist" US would certainly be isolated as well, and would not have the same participation and activity in the global scale of capitalist development. This would certainly effect the technological development flow. Also, the "trained" professional work force would certainly not take kindly to your fast approach...With your fast paced solution to it, it is most likely technicians, medical personnel, and scientists have the high possibility of leaving the nation to protect their "bourgeois right."

You think they wouldn't be just as quick to depart your Leninist socialist despotism? Or perhaps that more of them would stay with you because you promised to preserve their privileges indefinitely?

Ok, you might be right. So what?

Many "middle-level" and "low level" technical workers would find, I think, a communist society much more appealing than your alternative.

For one thing, all their stupid fucking bosses would have gone into exile.


Simply forced artist movement to make sculptures of workers will not do much...

Who the hell said anything about "force" in this context? Can't you imagine anything happening without someone pointing a gun at people to make them do it?

We would invite sculptors and painters to make art that would promote communist ideas. They'd be perfectly free to decline the invitation.

Good grief!

quote: how can there be communism in such a inequitable productivity amongst different nations?

How is it that there have always been great differences in the productivity of nations...and the world didn't come to an end?

Yes, there will be communism in some places and capitalism in other places and semi-feudalism in still other places.

If you say there "can't be communism" until "the whole world is equal", you've just postponed communism indefinitely.


...the other capitalist states will try to sabotage the nation, and they will make it a brutal struggle for victory.

You are simply generalizing the Soviet experience...elevating that specific historical sequence of events into a "universal" -- true for all revolutions at all times.

That's dumb!

What makes you think that the remaining capitalist states, regardless of their desires, will be in any position to sabotage anybody? In what way is a capitalist China, India, Arabia, Indonesia, etc. going to "sabotage" a communist Europe, a communist North America or a communist Japan? How are those capitalist states going to do anything to us when class struggle is undoubtedly raging in their own homelands?

You're still living in 1917...try to imagine 2077, instead!


Also I must say, I do have a problem with "vigilantes", because they are just usually as brutal, inhumane in more cases than "police", and are just simply unjustifiable.

No, they are not "just" as brutal or inhumane as the the age of proletarian revolution.

Police have a "sub-culture" that is essentially fascist. They are "pro-actively" violent and repressive -- which is why they summarily murder so many unarmed suspects.

The Social Role of the Police

I have a cynical suspicion that your preference for professional police derives from the fact that cops will obey your orders and vigilantes might not.

Correct me if I'm wrong.


It brings me to the point again, as you have yet to describe your "transitional period" and how it would deal with the contradictions I had mentioned before: Bourgeois Right, Surplus Value, and The Law of Value. Also there has been almost nothing said about the wage system being abolished without having disastrous consequences on the economy.

No, you have not mentioned any of these things before...except the last, abolition of the wage-labor, to which I did respond.

redstar2000 wrote: Obviously the abolition of wages would go "hand-in-hand" with the provision of goods to people "according to need".

"Bourgeois Right" would obviously be abolished in the process of the revolution itself. No one would "issue a decree"...people would just do it.

"Surplus value" and the "law of value" would have less and less meaning as wage-labor was phased out. Within a decade or so, those concepts would have no meaning at all.


People are not just simply "bastards".

This may or may not be scientifically true. Nevertheless, you cannot deny that there are people who act as if they were bastards despite lack of obvious provocation.

Now, what are you going to do about that? Borrow my "famous armchair" and ponder the question: "Gee, what caused that guy to rape and murder that little girl?"

Or, are you going to take steps to keep him from ever doing that again?
First posted at AnotherWorldIsPossible on July 31, 2004


His whole discussion of crime does not really distinguish between the condition pre-revolution, during the revolution, post revolution and during the transition to socialism and communism. All these situations are treated as identical by RS2000 making for one big fuzzy confused mess.

Well, I am trying to respond to you-know-who...who leaps from period to period with almost every sentence. I apologize if my responses have not always been clear.

Most crimes in class societies are crimes against property, crimes against established authority, or crimes against "morality". That such people will be amnestied in the course of the revolution itself goes without saying.

And, in practical terms and given the sentiments characteristic of revolutions in general, I expect the prisons and jails to be emptied more or less "at once".

Ok...what happens then? A fair number of those guys are going to go right back to the behavior that got them locked up in the first place.

Since there will be little or no public authority at that point, how will people respond? No doubt there will be public militias in the process of organizing as order is restored...but there's nothing in the way of "established procedure" to detain and try suspects according to "rules of evidence".

Therefore, I think it's reasonable to expect a period (brief though it might be) of "vigilante justice". Criminals "caught in the act" might well be summarily executed; in other cases, a suspect might receive a brief, informal trial...with perhaps a small assembly voting guilt or innocence. Prejudice against those strongly identified with the old order will be wide-spread...if you're an ex-cop, ex-boss, etc., you're probably dead meat.

As you know, revolution "is not a dinner party".

As the new society "digs in", procedures will be gradually introduced to provide for "fair trials"...though they will still have a very different character from bourgeois legality. There will be much greater concern with "what actually happened" and the "tricks" of high-priced lawyers or the intrigues of professional police will not be permitted...indeed, neither lawyers nor police will likely even exist. (There will be professionals who deal with the "detecting" functions that police perform now...experts in forensics, for example.)

Meanwhile, much of what is "criminal" now will no longer be so (drugs, for example)...and there will be little material incentive to engage in "property crimes".

For minor crimes, I'm in favor of "jails" that would have the "look and feel" of ordinary apartment buildings except you couldn't leave...sentences would mostly run around a year and certainly not more than three years. Humane treatment and rehabilitation would be the top priorities. First offenders might almost always receive probation.

For serious crimes (violent crimes against people, including counter-revolutionary violence), the alternatives are much grimmer. Exile would be the humane option, if some place can be found willing to accept such an individual. Otherwise, it's "the needle of death".

You-know-who finds this "terribly barbaric"...though he thinks "the labor camp experience" is "just fine".

What he (and many) overlook is that any kind of elaborate prison or labor-camp system requires guards and overseers. What kind of political outlook do people with such jobs inevitably acquire?

Can you say fascist thug?

Bourgeois social scientists have actually performed some rather terrifying experiments along these lines. They divided a group of college-age volunteers into "guards" and "prisoners"...and within three days, the "guards" were exhibiting sadistic behavior towards the "prisoners". The experiment had to be terminated.

Do we want that?


RS2000, despite everything he has said has now presented us with a human nature argument! He would have us believe that it is impossible to ever reach a point in society where men do not abuse and rape women!

Perhaps it is not "impossible"...what I actually said was: For reasons that we don't understand, there is a small percentage of humans who actually enjoy hurting people...and I see no reason why that would not always be the case, even in communist society.

Yes, that is a "human nature" argument...and it may be just as wrong as most such arguments turn out to be.

But I know of no evidence to support the contention that there will be "no rapes or abuse of women" after the transition to communism has been completed.

It would be "nice", but...
First posted at AnotherWorldIsPossible on July 31, 2004


I think that even in revolutions we have to have ways of making sure that we don't (out of the best intentions) carry out our own injustices.

We can't "make sure" of things like that; revolutions are enormous and semi-chaotic events...injustices are inevitable.

Naturally, we'd try to minimize them...exerting whatever influence we had to see that some kind of informal justice took place. One thing we'd have to keep a sharp eye on is the "settling of old scores"...workers who had personal grudges against other workers making totally unjustified accusations. It might be useful to suggest that worker vs. worker charges should always be judged by a workplace assembly.


Do we simply uphold summary execution for reactionary acts in general?

I think there'd be a strong prejudice in that direction...though non-violent counter-revolutionary activity should be considered a minor crime.


All-American frontier justice of "hang 'em high" has a long history -- and it is not a good one, or one that we want to imitate.

It's something that I think will happen regardless of our opinions. Conscious communists will, to be sure, encourage the working class to adopt procedures that will make for "fair trials". As things settle down, vigilante justice will "wither away"...not least because most of the potential targets of that justice will be either dead or in exile.


But is it correct (or revolutionary) to simply suggest that women open fire on those who beat them, and that this be celebrated by the revolution and the society?

Yep! We might even have "Inez Garcia Day"...I think that will do a lot more to "transform men's attitudes" than any number of lectures.

(I should explain: Inez Garcia was a young Chicana in California who hunted down one of her two rapists and shot him to death. After several highly-publicized trials, she was finally acquitted.)


This view that redstar proposes seems rife with potential for miscarriages of "justice" -- and it also seems like a recipe for "pointing the spearhead down" (i.e. treating backward sections of the people as if they are the main target of the revolution, and the dictatorship of the proletariat). It is not a view based in a class understanding, or a correct view of resolving "contradictions among the people" (including in cases where those contradictions involve real and intolerable oppression.)

Well, if "real and intolerable oppression" is involved, where do you "point the spear"?

If some jerk is always making sexist jokes, treating women in a disrespectful way, generally acting like an asshole...then by all means talk sense to him as much as you can; women will probably ostracize him and for good reason. Should women vote to throw his sorry ass out of the workplace for good...that's fine with me.

But once he crosses the line to physical abuse of women, then he is "the enemy". The time for talk is over.
First posted at AnotherWorldIsPossible on July 31, 2004


The solution to this problem is to gradually fight the contradiction of mental/manual labor, and also gradually bring equitable payment of labor between the two. These suggestions are more suitable than a complete radical "rupture" from bourgeois right, if such were possible.

The problem with your "gradual" road to communism -- however "reasonable" and "realistic" it sounds, is that those at the top will always find "good reasons" to "slow things down even more"...until the idea of communism is finally abandoned.

Proceed slowly and carefully, says the reformist.

And you echo him.



The economical question in your system has yet to be answered, and it actually leaves me to wonder if you have the basic understanding of what capitalism is?

With the abolition of wage-labor, money, the market, commodity exchange, and, most basic, the production of commodities for profit, all of the economic characteristics of capitalism are gone.

I do not know how fast this can be done...but the faster the better!


...and just because artists are not creating "communist" art, this does not mean it should be suppressed...

You seem to be obsessed with "suppression"...I never suggested that non-communist art should be suppressed.


It is funny that you name all the imperial nations as the communist nations as well. Implying that communists won't have to fear because we are the most incredibly strong anyway.

Um, yeah...if Marx was right, that's how it will happen.


I believe a communist world is not possible if there are remnants of capitalism and there are socialist nations as well. A "communist" society would have to be equitable in productive forces throughout the nation. The contradiction between town and country is only escalated on a mass scale between Imperial Nations and the Third World, and since this is an international struggle, on that simplified basis, how can there be communism? The Soviet Union had to build industry just not in Russia, but in the the other Autonomous States, the same is true with China. order to begin the transition to communism, we need: (1) No remaining capitalist countries at all; (2) "Equity" of productive forces among all countries; (3) "Equity" of productive forces between urban and rural areas in each and every one of those countries.

You know what I think? I think communism is just an impossible dream to the "second coming of Jesus" to Christians. Your real priority (much like the Christians) is a "benevolent" despotism.

You will, no doubt, continue to consider yourself "realistic"...self-flattery is ever present among so-called "realists".

There will come a time when the working class will decide who is "realistic" and who is not. But if you think that you will "short-circuit" that decision with a well-planned coup...please recall my remarks on vigilante justice.

It ain't 1917 no more.
First posted at AnotherWorldIs Possible on July 31, 2004


They inherit a society where an untrained proletariat on its own can not handle and there is an essential need for a state.

I believe your ambition is already clear for all to see.

All you have to do is convince that "untrained proletariat" to accept your despotism.

Maybe they will, but I predict they won't.

And what are you going to do then?


When the working class will never be able to judge "fully" who is "realistic" until they have been trained to do so, and as I see it, most still believe in God.

In western Europe, they mostly don't believe in "God" any important reason why they are ahead of us!

But that is secondary. You obviously intend to "take command" of the "untrained" working class since they "cannot" judge who is realistic.

You manifestly lust to be a boss.
First posted at AnotherWorldIsPossible on August 1, 2004


A man slaps a woman, and there is no "time for talk" -- he is just an enemy? And execution is appropriate?

That does seem "extreme", doesn't it?

But if he can "slap" and get away with it, why not on the occasion of his next fit of anger, punch? Or kick?

And if women persist in refusing to yield to his demands, why not rape? Or murder?

What right do you or I or anyone have to place women at risk because we're busy "pointing our spears" in some other direction?

And what does all our yap about "a new world" actually mean if we can't pay attention to the masses' real needs?


There are, at the same time, many backward and reactionary forces who carry out oppressive and backward acts -- tyrannies and even great outrages. Wife beating, rape, murder of neighbors, racist attacks, etc. but the lowlevel backward people who carry these things out need to be confronted, identified, struggled with and stopped. But they can't be seen as the "target of the revolution" or as the equivalent of "the target of the revolution."

I note that you used the word "stopped". That, it seems to me, is "what we can unite on". Anything less than that is unacceptable to me.


On a fundamental level, backward men are acting against their own interests. They can (in many cases) be struggled with, won over, and transformed. They are not the ruling class and top agents of that class.

This is not to say (to repeat and make clear) that we don't struggle with them, or stop their backward acts.

Fine. A guy who slaps a woman can do a six-month term in one of my "humane jails" and we can "struggle with him". But if he does it again? And seriously injures his victim?

Sure, on each occasion he may express "real remorse" and promise to "never do it again". Millions of battered women have heard that shit. For the most unlucky's pretty close to the last words they ever hear. (!)

I'm not against "struggle" with backward elements...but I do think that communists should be clear about what is acceptable and what is not.

If we are "flabby" about things that have an immediate effect on people's lives, why should they care about our "fine rhetoric" and "grand promises"?

Indeed, if an articulate capitalist-roader comes along who makes even better-sounding promises...why shouldn't they listen to him instead of us?


But that the methods and assumptions and context of that struggle is different from how the revolution views and treats the ruling classes. And also it is a recognition that if the attention of the masses of people gets FOCUSED on the madness and conflicts *among the masses* -- then the revolution itself gets forgotten, derailed, and that larger struggles ends in defeat.

In the cultural revolution there was sharp struggle: is our enemy the petty tyrants who bug us in so many ways (foremen, local professors, lowlevel party officials) -- or is there a much larger struggle going on, over the very direction of society. Being clear on this was a life and death matter (even while no one would or should argue that the petty tyrannies were ok, or that they shouldn't be criticized, ended, etc.).

I suspect this is an incorrect analysis...because it is not really focused on the masses.

Let's face it. If the masses really thought that Mao's thought was worth defending, Deng's counter-revolution would have set off a civil war.

Perhaps the reason that didn't happen is precisely because the masses did not see anything to fight for...the "petty tyrants" were not eliminated by the anti-revisionists.

What the masses actually saw in their daily lives didn't really change. So they were passive...none of the people contending for the top positions had anything of interest to say to them.

(Much as Russian workers were passive on-lookers in the "great struggle" between Stalin and Trotsky.)

There seems to be a kind of "built-in" assumption in Maoist thought that if "the line at the top is revolutionary" then "therefore" the practice at the base "will be" revolutionary.

Experience suggests that assumption is not justified. A revolutionary line "at the top" is necessary but not sufficient unless it actually gets implemented in your workplace and in your neighborhood and even in your own family.

If ordinary people do not "feel liberated", then all our rhetoric about liberation will fall on deaf ears.
First posted at AnotherWorldIsPossible on August 1, 2004


Simply the proletariat is not able to just start analyzing situations and epochs of time in order to come to rational conclusions that will advance society; the ever prevalent situation at this moment is the imperial structure beginning to further under-develop their skills.

Capitalism makes workers "more ignorant" the longer it that what you're trying to say here with that phrase "under-develop their skills"?

*Shakes head in disbelief*

I thought your remarks on Pol Pot and Cambodia were really bizarre...but you have topped yourself with this one.


Instead of cramming students with useless facts on every subject, they were taught the ability to analyze situations in their subjects and to learn how they developed...

Evidently the teaching was extremely the resistance to Deng, after Mao's death was virtually zero.


Also you have yet to answer my questions upon the Law of Value being diminished in your "transitional period", please address this question.

The "law of value" states that the exchange value of a commodity is equal to the socially necessary labor time to produce it. As communism is introduced in one part of the economy after another, exchange itself "withers away" and with it the old capitalist "law of value".

People no longer "buy and sell"...they produce and use.

As I noted earlier, there's no way of telling how "fast" this can be introduced...but the faster the better.


You caught me, an ambitious new Caesar, and you're the heroic Brutus trying to stop me. I never knew that my hidden "ambition" would be revealed for all to see. But you have taken off the mask from me, how noble of you.

Neither heroism nor nobility were required...just an attentive reading of your posts and their implications.
First posted at AnotherWorldIsPossible on August 2, 2004
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