Muad'Dibber
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What about democracy? Can’t voting fix our problems?

The closest link to answering my question seems to be https://old.reddit.com/r/communism/comments/duk2yy/the_problem_with_democratic_socialism_in_related/

But it didn’t say why socialism is a step towards communism, but why social democracy isn’t a step towards socialism.

Muad'Dibber
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Social democracy leaves power in the hands of capital, while begging them for minor reforms. It can never progress towards socialism, because voting is “rigged” in bourgeois democracies ( IE really a capitalist dictatorship ). Capitalists control the political system, and would never allow supplanting their power via a system that they completely control.

The first step towards socialism, is the dictatorship of the proletariat (DotP), IE the forceful taking of state and economic power by a working class party. No DotP has ever taken power by voting, and socialism has never been reached via social democracy. It has always accompanied by war, usually civil war between the propertied classes and the unpropertied masses.

These questions are all mostly answered by the most basic introductory ML texts, Lenin - State and revolution, and Luxembourg - Reform or Revolution, Engels - Socialism: Utopian and scientific.

Pardon me, I mean:

Step zero Capitalism

Step one social democracy

Step 2 socialism

Step 3 communism

While social Democrats might not want socialism, just co-op the movement/party / whatever and just transition it to socialism?

Muad'Dibber
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It never has happened like that, ever, because you can’t “vote away” capitalist power. They will never let you vote away their wealth no matter how many times you try.

In fact, capitalist -> socialist transition has been the least common, and has only occurred once historically (east germany). The most common has been feudal / peasant economy -> socialism. And every single example we have was accompanied by civil war.

Start MoP -> End Examples
Clan Socialist Mongolia
Clan Feudal Germany
Clan Slave West Africa
Slave Capitalist US
Feudal Capitalist Western Europe
Feudal Socialist USSR, China, DPRK, Vietnam, Cuba
Capitalist Socialist East Germany
Socialist Capitalist USSR
Feudal Slave Roman Republic
Slave Feudal Late Roman Empire (Colonate)
DankZedong ☭☭☭
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This is an illusion many (mostly) Western leftist or lukewarm socialist seem to have. They think that if they’d just get enough people to vote for the right party, the capitalist class will just stop what they are doing and resign their positions of power. ‘Sorry guys, guess we will just stop exploiting y’all. GG no RE!’.

It implies that we are just not working hard enough to implement actual change. Because change will come if we just vote left, right?

Like you said, a transition from capitalism to socialism has never happened before except for the DDR, which has its’ own special story as well.

Western leftists should really start to understand that a violent revolution is inevitable if we want actual socialist change.

It’s also an incredibly lazy way of thinking. Look at history, look at the changes that were made that still benefit you today. Look at how they were won. It’s probably not because some group of capitalists thought: ‘hey, what if we just let these people take two days a week off? You know, have them work less and make less profit for us.’ No, actual change will never happen in a capitalist system as said changes do not benefit the capitalists. You have to fight for them, and you have to abolish capitalism.

Even things as simple as an 8 hour workday in the US were obtained through bloodshed. A lot of effort has gone into erasing socialist movements in US history.

Thanks for the info!

Muad'Dibber
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No probs, and sorry you’re getting downvotes here, esp since you’re asking in earnest.

Here’s a good intro Marxism-Leninism study plan with a lot of audiobooks linked. The first few books are very short, and would get you up to speed.

I checked at my library last month and they had zero audio books for anything leftist. You could try to arrange for libraries to host these audiobooks? Prob won’t work lol but the price of free could maybe make it work? They do have the paper version of the leftist books

Muad'Dibber
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Those are torrents, so download any torrent client ( I like libretorrent for android ), and an audiobook player (I like smart audiobook player on android ), and you’re all set.

Or if they’re youtube, you can get newpipe and download the whole files, or listen to them in the background.

Here are the torrents

I’m suggesting library for others not me :p many don’t associate youtube with audio books, so like me they might just check the library and give up.

I’m planning to newpipe it

Is that dessalines voice?

To answer this question, we need to talk about what is a state. Quoting Engels:

“The state is, therefore, by no means a power forced on society from without; just as little is it ’the reality of the ethical idea’, ’the image and reality of reason’, as Hegel maintains. Rather, it is a product of society at a certain stage of development; it is the admission that this society has become entangled in an insoluble contradiction with itself, that it has split into irreconcilable antagonisms which it is powerless to dispel. But in order that these antagonisms, these classes with conflicting economic interests, might not consume themselves and society in fruitless struggle, it became necessary to have a power, seemingly standing above society, that would alleviate the conflict and keep it within the bounds of ’order’; and this power, arisen out of society but placing itself above it, and alienating itself more and more from it, is the state.”

“Because the state arose from the need to hold class antagonisms in check, but because it arose, at the same time, in the midst of the conflict of these classes, it is, as a rule, the state of the most powerful, economically dominant class, which, through the medium of the state, becomes also the politically dominant class, and thus acquires new means of holding down and exploiting the oppressed class. Thus, the state of antiquity was above all the state of the slave owners for the purpose of holding down the slaves, as the feudal state was the organ of the nobility for holding down the peasant serfs and bondsmen, and the modern representative state is an instrument of exploitation of wage labour by capital.”

The bourgeois state is a tool to oppress the working class, and therefore cannot be used to liberate it. It is designed to prevent workers from gaining too much power. Elections are stacked in favor of the rich, who have the assets to campaign, who can use their dominion over the press to spread their lies, who can outright buy votes. And even when workers manage to get representatives in power, the bourgeoisie will sabotage them, by character assassination or actual assassination. See, for example, what happened in Chile when Allende tried to implement socialism by the vote. As Lenin put it:

“The proletarian revolution is impossible without the forcible destruction of the bourgeois state machine and the substitution for it of a new one

If you want to go deeper into this subject, I recommend reading Lenin’s The State and Revolution and The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky.

Social democracy is the ‘softest’ form of capitalism. As others have said, there are a few issues with this:

  • benefits usually come from exploitation of the working class in underdeveloped countries
  • benefits can always be taken away. Capitalists will do everything in their power to take them.
  • Policies usually do nothing to address the core issue (capitalism). Contradictions will continue.

It’s basically a way to delay the crises created by capitalism, not a solution to it. That being said, I do think worker run co-ops and unions are a good route to go within capitalism.

Pardon me, I mean:

Step zero Capitalism

Step one social democracy

Step 2 socialism

Step 3 communism

While social Democrats might not want socialism, just co-op the movement/party / whatever and just transition it to socialism?

Why have you copy and pasted the same response like 10 times, and without further engagement with the posts being made?

If you don’t want to learn, don’t ask.

I could bring up fact that reformism never worked anywhere, but it’s even simpler - socialdemocracy isn’t a step towards socialism because they don’t even declaratively want to implement one.

Pardon me, I mean:

Step zero Capitalism

Step one social democracy

Step 2 socialism

Step 3 communism

While social Democrats might not want socialism, just co-op the movement/party / whatever and just transition it to socialism?

Cooping socdem party was tried many times and failed miserably each and every time. Usually it also caused terrible losses to the communists attempting it. Your step one is ending with the face on pavement, usually with capitalist boot on your neck.

It’s over one hundred years since the socdem betrayal, literally everything had been tried and we are absolutely sure that socdems are only useful as a source of people who can be potentially radicalized, except that they are just willfull or not tool of the bourgeoisie and trying to walk with them is, as Lenin put it, “stepping in the bog”.

Thanks for the input!

Historically, social democracy has only ever been a tool to preserve imperialism and capitalism. It’s a great way to prevent revolutions at home, but every implementation we see of it today, for example, relies on imperialism to function. People at home get a nice welfare state, but people abroad are exploited to provide it.

There’s also the history of social democrats fighting harder against anti capitalist efforts than they do against fascism. They may not consider themselves on the same side as fascists. They may not be directly, but their efforts to squash anything to the left of them effectively make them allies, right up until the fascists turn their eyes on the social democrats.

I’m curious, would the same critiques apply to Libya before it was ruined by NATO? It’s my basic understanding that they were a form of Islamic/Muslim social democracy but they still generally operated for profit. At the same time they objectively great things for the people with a social safety net on par or better than the most advanced imperial countries like Sweden (one of the largest arms dealers in the world), without global exploitation.

It’s also my understanding that Libya had a unique form of democracy, having aspects of direct democracy and avenues for average workers to have their voice heard and represented. It seems to me if there is any kind of social democracy that could baby step to socialism it would be that. The people in said country have every reason to be against global capitalism/imperialism, the complete opposite of Norway or Sweden.

I could be wrong, and I’m happy to be corrected if I am because I’m certainly no expert, but Libya was a socialist project. Just like many socialist countries, capitalism still exists to varying degrees because it is efficient at raising productive forces and because it’s necessary to a degree just because capitalism still maintains hegemony over the world.

It’s important to also remember that some social democracies and socialist projects may look similar from the inside, but the view from the outside will be drastically different. As you pointed out in your last sentence, one is against capitalism/imperialism while the other isn’t.

imperial countries like Sweden

Did a quick search on wiki and the last direct Imperial thing they’ve done was like 1878 ish

Muad'Dibber
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I linked you this above already: https://www.telesurenglish.net/analysis/Scandinavias-Covert-Role-in-Western-Imperialism-20170320-0022.html

Imperialism is not “when a country invades another”. Its the theft of land, labor (surplus value), and natural resources of a weaker country to feed a stronger one. Nordic countries are 100% a part of the imperial core, most of their largest companies like H&M are rich from paying proles in SE asia wages from the 1800s.

Someone explained this to me before. Social Democracy is a case in which capitalism is the system and social/some economic issues are taken more seriously. But when the issue ultimately comes between changing social status and preserving capitalism, the people that are benefiting from capitalism(that can also mean a foreign industry or domestic industry) will use their political power as a class to prevent the actual push to the left. If for example the people overwhelmingly want price controls, the bourgeoisie, holding at least some power because this is a capitalist system, will have an active interest in fighting against the will of the people, EU is a great example of this. Your friends may tell you how Sweden is based bc of their healthcare and housing(so do AES but whatevs) and how they’re so smart, but EU requires private sectors for membership. So even if Sweden is doing good job with some metrics, keep in mind that the exploitation of labor and unfair concentration of wealth into smaller hands over time has not changed. The private sector is still exploitative and Social Democracy doesn’t change that. Also I’m legally obligated to say “SocDems killed Rosa” when speaking on Social Democracy.

Pardon me, I mean:

Step zero Capitalism

Step one social democracy

Step 2 socialism

Step 3 communism

While social Democrats might not want socialism, just co-op the movement/party / whatever and just transition it to socialism?

that’s not too bad a place to start, and I may be wrong, but I think that could be considered a Big Tent party. I personally think that if you are in an explicitly ML group and can’t get the message out there to the public for whatever reason(most likely group size), I don’t think it’s opportunist to try joining a broad coalition with SocDems, the main problem I’d see is if there are lots of groups in the coalition then the ML message may be lost, but broad coalitions can also introduce you to like-minded individuals that could be good for the ML cause. Long explanation that I gave(sorry) but I guess I’d say Social Democracy isn’t the goal but that being said SocDems can help with certain issues in coalitions, but I’d watch out because they are the furthest right on the left side

Yeah what you said is roughly what I meant. AFAIK violent revolution in the west is definitely not possible at the moment and we should move on to other strategies, at least for the time being.

Do you speak portuguese? I saw an amazing video about this just yesterday, if so, I could send the link to you.

Which one was it, camarada?

“What is bourgeois democracy?” (O que é a democracia burguesa?) from Jones Manoel

https://youtu.be/Kr45dzQK77A

Ooooh, yeah, his most recent video. I haven’t watched it yet, thanks!

He is one of my fave, alongside with João Carvalho and História Pública

Do you speak portuguese?

Unfortunately not

It’s okay, I’ll try to resume the main points. Even if its not as complete as the video maybe its a starting point.

He initialy is criticizing an author that views “democracy” as unique thing, without differentiating between burgeois and proletarian democracy. The author claims that a revolution would be an expantion of democracy and rights in the society.

Obviously, communists are not against such thing but its a mistake not to separate between the two. In a bourgeois democracy, you wont see presidential candidates that propose the abolition of the private property leading the pools in a normal situation. If this is happening, this is a bourgeois democracy in crisis. This proposal breaks one of the pillars of capitalism and of this system. History has shown us that when this happens, the bourgeoisie will use any means necessary to preserve the status quo, like they did with Allende in Chile. The only way for the workers to secure their interests in this case is to resist and overthrow the bourgeoisie.

But this is a rupture. This is a revolution and is outside of the “legality” of the bourgeois democracy. The only way to transition to socialism from capitalism os therefore a revolution.

Social-democracy is still capitalism, and a failure to secure workers interests by overthrowing the capitalists means that any victories of the proletariat can and will be taken away for them to profit. This is what hapoened with Allende, this is what happened in Brazil the last few years with the fall of the PT (workers party) and this is what happened in Germany. In all of these cases, what came next was fascism.

Social-democracies are better than fascism/liberalism and can help us organize the working class, but we must understand that the only way out, that our endgame is the revolution.

Social-democracies are better than fascism/liberalism and can help us organize the working class,

This point in particular is what I’m trying to say, that social democracy is a step in the right direction and it’s easier to work up from there

Well I agree partially, because if people are voting for socdems that means they are rejecting liberalism and other captalist alternstives. Also it means material condition of the working class should be better than in these other types of capitalism, so it should be easier to organize the working class.

There is one thing though: people supporting socdems doesnt mean they will support revolutionaries - in fact, they may even oppose it - and as we know, social democracy cannot liberate the working class, only the revolution can do that. The main problem with social democracy is that it “diverges” potential revolutionaries to reformist policies and this is dangerous. So even though social democracy could be seen as a steping stone, I dont think we should, since no revolution started from a social democracy (as far as I know), instead, by focus on seizing power, any victories achieved by soc dems would be achieved but we wouldnt risk loosing the revolutionary horizon

Thanks for the explanation!

Youre welcome! Hope it helps you

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