S. Artesian's questions

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Tom Henry
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Jul 15 2017 08:59
S. Artesian's questions

In the ‘That’s not how that [communization] shit works…’ thread I was trying to examine how people knew (Khawaga it happened to be) how communization works. And I referenced the communization of people in Russia from 1917 onwards. This question has to do, obviously, with the nature of a transitional state (or dictatorship of the proletariat).

My points were twofold.

Firstly, I wanted to know how one can know how something works if it has never worked, that is, never happened. This is the knowledge that Khawaga (other people do this all the time too of course) claimed to have by writing the sentence, in regard to communization.

I know that he could have meant: “That’s not how that [communization theory] works”.

But since the poster he was responding to had related the theory to actual events, it must be presumed that Khawaga was saying more than: “Communization is a theory that has not been tested out in practice, so we have no idea if it will work or not, therefore the communizers are pushing communization as an 'article of faith', an ideal, particularly when they dress it up with any sense of scientific foundation or inevitability, however small.”

But Khawaga did not say this he just said: “That’s not how that shit works.”

My second point was that the communizers claim they have abandoned the idea of the transitional state but in fact, if one examines it carefully, there is a practical requirement for a transitional state that cannot, and will not, from the evidence of history, be willed away. Pennoid agreed with this in the really good brief exchange beginning here:

https://libcom.org/forums/theory/that%E2%80%99s-not-how-communization-shit-works%E2%80%A6-06072017?page=1#comment-595632

However, once S. Artesian got onto the thread at post number 7 the thread went off the rails.

He has asked me a series of questions. He has refused to contextualize them properly for me. But I think they are telling questions anyway. So I am going to answer them without the context he places them within.

Because they are ‘out of context’ the questions are loaded and they are designed to either reveal that I don’t know very much or that I am a liberal counter-revolutionary. At that point in our ‘discussions’ I think it would be fair to say that S. Artesian thought I was an anarchist, and so his strategy is also to show how anarchists have got things wrong or are weak in the theoretical and knowledge-of-history department.

My answers will prove S. Artesian right of course within the terms he has been obliged to reveal over the course of ‘discussion’ with him, that is, his adherence to leftism (or Leninism of some kind).

Before Artesian formulated his questions properly he formulated them thus, post 51 (two upvotes):

Quote:
As I said, I support the Russian Revolution; I think the April Theses were a correct assessment of the course that needed to be taken to prevent the destruction of the revolution at the hands of reaction. I support, FWIW, the seizure of power at executed by the MRC of the Petrograd Soviet.

Do you support that seizure of power? Yes or no?

If you do, then that objectively makes you a supporter of Lenin, of Trotsky, a Leninist, a Trotskyist, a Bolshevik, as much as it does me.

If you don't....just say so... so I can ask you about your "soft spots" for provisional bourgeois governments, constituent assemblies, participation in inter-capitalist wars, etc.

That's the condition, answering that question, for any further discussion.

So yes or no, and if you can't give a yes or no answer to that question, to that critical moment in the history of class struggle, then you are truly a time-wasting dilettante.

I had already told him that I did not want to ‘discuss’ with him, I wanted to discuss with libertarian communists, since whatever he is politically, I have had the same experience before when ‘discussing’ with self-proclaimed Leninists.

Artesian prefaces his more formal questions (post 83) with this:

Quote:
I am not a Leninist. I do not buy the "theory" of the vanguard party. I do not buy Lenin's theory of imperialism.
I am no more, and no less a Leninist than Rosa Luxemburg was in her evaluation of the Russian Revolution.
Which doesn't stop me from disagreeing with certain aspects of her analysis of capitalism and her analysis of the Russian Revolution.
I think the April Theses are a correct evaluation of the situation in Russia, following as they do, Trotsky's explication of permanent revolution.

But I defy anyone to explain what this really means, which is why I asked him to explain, rather than leaving me to guess.

Anyway, since there is no context then I will answer the questions based on my knowledge of what happened in the Russian Revolution and which people were crucial within certain soviets and committees, and the Bolshevik party itself, and how they contributed to the tragedy that continued into the reign of Stalin.

See my other forum topic: Can we ever escape Leninism?

Quote:
I support the overthrow of the bourgeois Provisional Government as executed by the Military Revolutionary Committee established by the Petrograd Soviet. Do you?

No.

Quote:
I support the dispersal of the Constituent Assembly. Do you?

No.

Quote:
I support the formation and deployment of a Red Army against the counterrevolution. Do you?

No.

And his supplementary question is:

Quote:
So answer the concrete questions on the Russian Revolution-- or the US Civil War, since you brought it up: A "tragic conflict" brought about be capitalism causing the death of 500,000 or 600,000 "proletarians" on both sides? Or a conflict requiring the abolition of slavery, and producing a valiant, if constrained, attempt to establish racial equality in the former slaveholding states, and worthy of the support of the IMWA?

My answer to this is:

The US Civil War was indeed a war, like the war of the USSR government against the people of Russia, that contained elements of tragedy and the drivers of progress that were required at the time for the further development of capitalism. This does not mean I do not hate slavery more than waged-labor, for how can I not? But Black people in the US are still laughing at the gripes of whites who complain about the history of wage-slavery they and their ancestors have had to endure down the years. The term wage slavery supersedes mere ‘slavery’ as the great white focal point of Marxist ideology.

I would also ask here. Does your support for what you term as “a conflict requiring the abolition of slavery” (the US Civil War) mean that you support the conflict that required the abolition of fascism during the period 1939 to 1945 in Europe?

But you may have gone now, S. Artesian, and our fireside chats may be over.

In which case my challenge to others here on Libcom is to also answer the questions above. Perhaps only the first three though, as they are more straightforward. They do indeed force one to choose a side. But that is just the first step.

And for the context I set my answers in, see the forum topic: “Can we ever escape Leninism?”

Tom Henry
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Jul 16 2017 11:04

Read from here:

https://libcom.org/forums/theory/can-we-ever-escape-leninism-15072017#comment-595999

Also check zugzwangs intelligent posts on the thread.

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Steven.
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Jul 16 2017 12:09

It looks like this is a new discussion about a discussion which is already ongoing on another thread. Also looks like you are using it to try to bash one particular poster. If there is no good reason to keep this thread here, I would propose locking/binning it

el psy congroo
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Jul 16 2017 12:21

I wouldn't lock or bin the 'can we escape one'. Lock all the others, fine. But not that one.

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Hieronymous
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Jul 16 2017 12:42

Why not just delete all these threads?

el psy congroo
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Jul 16 2017 12:48

Why not just delete libcom? I mean, fuck it...

Tom Henry
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Jul 16 2017 12:53

No, libcom's library is a really useful resource. It is good that it continues.

It is up to Steven whether he deletes this or all of the related threads.

No one should blame him if he (or the admin team) does.

We posters don't own this place.

We should be grateful, as I am, that it exists.

Tom Henry
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Jul 16 2017 14:25

Steven,

Instead of this being locked or binned can it be moved to the thread you feel it's apprpriate to?

The reason I created another thread with this was because S. Artesian had derailed the original thread and I wanted to split his arguments from there.

Far from 'bashing' Artesian (far out Steven) my intention here is to answer his questions as he demanded.

But the other reason I think a new thread is useful is because I think other posters should evaluate the questions to see which side they are on in regard to them - as Artesian wanted.

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Steven.
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Jul 16 2017 16:34

Artesian has now been banned from the site following a request to our email address to do so

el psy congroo
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Jul 16 2017 16:41

Wait, so, he banned himself?

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Khawaga
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Jul 16 2017 16:46

Yeah, he asked for it on multiple threads and is also the reason for his temper tantrum, i.e. deleting his posts.

mn8
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Jul 27 2017 23:37
el psy congroo wrote:
Wait, so, he banned himself?

He banned himself, via the Admins. If he deleted his posts, he may as well also get banned. It doesn't explain why his followers still seem so keen to mention his posts from elsewhere though. If he doesn't want to talk here, he shouldnt then...

bootsy
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Jul 28 2017 01:21

I found his comment deleting thing really annoying because usually I really enjoy reading his contributions... Tom Henry you really like the sound of your own voice don't you? S. Artesian may have thrown a temper tantrum who Tom Henry irritates me even more since he mostly seems interested in showing off.

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Khawaga
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Jul 28 2017 09:21

I guess that makes Tom the greatest follower of Artesian....

bastarx
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Jul 28 2017 09:44

Alleged, largely unproven Leninism aside S.Artesian is a sharp dude who usually has interesting things to say. Tom Henry OTOH has the usual Nihilist Communist pestering style which is less and less interesting.

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Serge Forward
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Jul 28 2017 10:35

I'm sure S.Artesian is a nice enough chap face to face but he was often a bit look at me Verruca Salt on here. I know Tom Henry from way back in his anarcho-postie days and we're still mates decades on. Still, he can be pedantic and annoying on here and his nihilo-twaddle is a bit grating.

el psy congroo
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Jul 28 2017 14:05

What's with the passive-aggressive egging on then?

Can anyone here describe what nihilist communism is? Does anyone here have specific critiques besides 'fucking nihilists' (who don't care about anything!) a la The Big Lebowski? I literally can't distinguish between Serge Forward and the character in his avatar at this point.

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Serge Forward
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Jul 28 2017 14:25

Steady on el psy congroo. This isn't Nam, y'know.

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Soapy
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Jul 28 2017 18:10

You took him admins, like you took so many bright flowering young men at khe sanh, Langdok, Hill 364. So S. Artesian, in accordance with your final wish, we have banned you.

Fuck it, let's go bowling

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Serge Forward
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Jul 28 2017 18:39

grin

zugzwang
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Jul 28 2017 22:38

I saw the Big Lebowski for the first time recently, wasn't that impressed by it. It wasn't my kind of comedy, and I couldn't sympathize with any of the characters. If the film had a message it was lost in the intentionally confusing plot. At least I can finally understand where all these inside jokes/references come from. A Fish Called Wanda, now there's a good comedy (Cleese can piss off with his politics though).

el psy congroo
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Jul 28 2017 19:02

'Shut up, Donny.'

I love the Big Lebowski so much. Even the soundtrack chills me out.