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Why all the Kautsky hate?

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yoda's walking stick
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Jun 29 2011 23:42
Why all the Kautsky hate?

So I'm reading Terrorism and Communism, because I think you really need to understand and have a position on the russian revolution as a socialist in the post-cold war era.

Anyway, Trotsky hates Kautsky. Hates him. But on the major issues Trotsky brings up, I feel like I'm in agreement with Kautsky. Primarily, it seems to me, the Bolsheviks shouldn't have disintegrated the constituent assembly; it was all a downhill from there as far as I can see it.

Does this make me an unforgivable peti-bourgeoisie? I feel like Kautsky is universally hated on the left.

Is there something else I'm missing? Because he sounds perfectly reasonable from Trotsky's description.

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888
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Jun 29 2011 23:56

he was a social democrat?

yoda's walking stick
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Jun 30 2011 00:07
888 wrote:
he was a social democrat?

That can mean a variety of things though, right?

In his case, does it mean that he wanted to reform the capitalist system? Or does it mean he supported electoral means of achieving socialism?

Apparently, he supported WW1. Guess he blew that one. hahah

Alexander Roxwell
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Jun 30 2011 01:36

I do not believe that Kautsky "supported" World War I altho his "opposition" might very well have been of the Robert Kennedy type rather than a real opposition.

Kautsky did go with the "Independent" Social Democrats when they split with the main group (as did Eduard Bernstein !) and so he was not a "complete" reactionary. I think he was a "centrist" which meant that he did see the validity of "some" of the Spartacist/early CP criticism's of the Social Democrats but that he did cling to a fundamentally Social Democratic perspective.

I wish I could read German because I would like to review some of the early squabbles on the German Left. Paul Levi, for instance, was one of the early leaders of the German CP who never-the-less refused to go along with the idiotic "10 preconditions" for membership in the Third International and thus caused a split in the German Communist movement early on.

I would probably come to similar conclusions about Kautsky that Trotsky did. Rosa Luxemborg also criticized the Bolsheviks for disbanding the Constituent Assembly. I would guess that most of the "unity" and "splits" in the early German CP were much like those elsewhere at this time - confused and inconclusive.

But I can't read German and most of this stuff has not been translated.

RedHughs
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Jun 30 2011 04:48

As far as I'd understand, the constituent assembly was a bourgeois-democratic formation. The Bolsheviks put an end to it in somewhat dishonest fashion but I don't think communists should respect representative democracy of any sort.

I would say the two problem of the Bolsheviks were gutting democracy in the Soviets and suppressing free speech for revolutionaries (anarchists, ordinary worker etc) - more or less the problems articulated by the Kronstadt rebells (though the problems began before that rebellion).

The struggles in the Russia Revolution and Civil War were extremely complex. Call me a simpleton but I find Wikipedia useful here.

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Jun 30 2011 05:06

Kautsky 'the pope of Marxism' was targeted for polemic because of his stature and influence in the workers movement, specifically the German SPD, which was the largest and most 'prestigious' Marxist party of the time. His theoretical work set the tone of the debate.

When Kautsky became more conservative with age, he showed great hesitation at actual working class revolution.

I recently started another thread on an anti-Kautsky work written as a response from the Bolsheviks to the book you are reading, Terrorism And Communism. The book is Dictatorship And Terrorism by Karl Radek.

I'd highly recommend reading Radek's response to the Kautsky book you are reading to get a clear picture on why Kautsky was attacked by the Bolsheviks.

http://www.marxists.org/archive/radek/1920/dictterr/index.htm

ajjohnstone
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Jun 30 2011 06:30

1939 Socialist Standard (overly sympathetic, i think, almost sycophantic) obituary

http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/archive/kautsky%281939%29.pdf

capricorn
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Jun 30 2011 08:13

Kautsky was basically a good bloke but Lenin turned him into the best known renegade since Judas Iscariot. In fact, however, in their argument over what Marx meant by "dictatorship of the proletariat" Kautsky wiped the floor with Lenin. Which no doubt partly explains Lenin's animosity towards him. And Kautsky did see that, in the circumstances of the time, Russia couldn't avoid passing through the capitalist stage, as Lenin was forced to admit in 1921 when the Bolshevik government adopted the "New Economic Policy" of state capitalism, defined as the development of capitalism under the control of the "proletarian state" (the name the Bolshevik government arrogated to itself).

In any event, Kautsky wrotes more books and articles popularising Marx's ideas than Lenin, Trotsky and Radek put together. All they produced was propaganda and specious arguments to justify the Bolshevik dictatorship in Russia, though I think Lenin once wrote an article on Marx for a Swiss encyclopaedia but this was copied from Kautsky anyway. OK, in politics, he was a democratic reformist, not as bad being an advocate of a vanguard-party dictatorship like the Bolsheviks.

No wonder they (and their justifiers today) hate him.

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Jun 30 2011 08:23

http://www.marxists.org/archive/mattick-paul/1939/kautsky.htm

Quote:
The Marxism of Kautsky, then, was a Marxism in the form of a mere ideology, and it was therewith fated to return in the course of time into idealistic channels. Kautsky’s ‘orthodoxy’ was in truth the artificial preservation of ideas opposed to an actual practice, and was therewith forced into retreat, as reality is always stronger than ideology. A real Marxian ‘orthodoxy’ could be possible only with a return of real revolutionary situations, and then such ‘orthodoxy’ would concern itself not with ‘the word’, but with the principle of the class struggle between bourgeoisie and proletariat applied to new and changed situations. The retreat of theory before practice can be followed with utmost clarity in Kautsky’s writings.
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waslax
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Jun 30 2011 08:49
yoda's walking stick wrote:
So I'm reading Terrorism and Communism, because I think you really need to understand and have a position on the russian revolution as a socialist in the post-cold war era.

Anyway, Trotsky hates Kautsky. Hates him. But on the major issues Trotsky brings up, I feel like I'm in agreement with Kautsky.

Yeah, all the leading Bolsheviks hated Kautsky. They felt really betrayed by him and his support for the German state in WWI. Remember, they were all Social Democrats prior to 1914, and Kautsky was the "Pope", the leading international interpreter, of "Marxism" until then. Lenin, apparently, even refused to believe for a while that Kautsky had betrayed, even after having it confirmed to him.

But do keep in mind that on all (nearly all?) these issues dealt with in Trotsky's book, that you don't need to agree with either Trotsky or Kautsky. Don't get caught thinking that the only "real" alternatives were constituent assembly or Bolshevik dictatorship. There are other positions, closer to libertarian communist ones. And there were other such positions defended at that time. Such as Mattick's.

Communard
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Jun 30 2011 09:35

"If Lenin calls Kautsky a renegade it's clear that he thinks Kautsky was previously a follower of the true faith, of which he now considers himself the only qualified defender. Far from criticising Kautskyism, which he shows himself unable to identify, Lenin is in fact content to reproach his former master-thinker for having betrayed his own teachings. From any point of view Lenin's break was at once late and superficial."

http://libcom.org/library/renegade-kautsky-disciple-lenin-dauve]

yoda's walking stick
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Jun 30 2011 10:09

So why all the constituent assembly hate?

My understanding what there were other parties, at least nominally socialist, which received a plurality. Lenin didn't like the results, as losers in democracy are bound to, and dissolved it. No?

capricorn
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Jun 30 2011 10:55
waslax wrote:
Yeah, all the leading Bolsheviks hated Kautsky. They felt really betrayed by him and his support for the German state in WWI. Remember, they were all Social Democrats prior to 1914, and Kautsky was the "Pope", the leading international interpreter, of "Marxism" until then. Lenin, apparently, even refused to believe for a while that Kautsky had betrayed, even after having it confirmed to him.

I think you are mixing up Kautsky with German Social Democracy generally. Despite what it says in some places on the internet, Kautsky did not vote for war credits of the German state. He was not even a member of the Reichstag. What he advocated was that the SPD Reichstag members should abstain. When they voted to vote for, he accepted this as a majority decision but in the following year came out against this. Lenin was aware of this as in a previous pamphlet he criticised Kautsky for advocating abstention (rather than voting against) war credits.

Kautsky's position on the war can be likened to that of Ramsay MacDonald in Britain (who didn't support war credits either), ie opposition of liberal pacifist grounds. In any event, he cannot be counted as a supporter of "the German state in WWI", though the SPD can be.

What Lenin refused to believe was that the SPD members of the Reichstag had voted for the war credits. He wasn't alone in refusing at first to believe that they had betrayed the international working class in this way (though those who took a closer look at the SPD in the years up to WWI knew that something like this was likely to happen).

yoda's walking stick
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Jun 30 2011 11:09
capricorn wrote:
In fact, however, in their argument over what Marx meant by "dictatorship of the proletariat" Kautsky wiped the floor with Lenin.

Hi Capricorn!

Where can I read this?

Best,
Yoda

capricorn
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Jun 30 2011 11:22

Here: http://www.marxists.org/archive/kautsky/1918/dictprole/index.htm

yoda's walking stick
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Jun 30 2011 11:26

thanks!

a.t.
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Jun 30 2011 11:26

In regards to the Constituent Assembly iirc it was actually an Anarchist Kronstadt sailor that closed it down and the Bolsherviks' results showed a majority within working class electorate anyway. Not to defend the Bolsheviks but in critising them we shouldn't just revert to the standpoint liberal bourgeois-democracy which is what Kautsky did.

yoda's walking stick
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Jun 30 2011 11:39
a.t. wrote:
In regards to the Constituent Assembly iirc it was actually an Anarchist Kronstadt sailor that closed it down and the Bolsherviks' results showed a majority within working class electorate anyway. Not to defend the Bolsheviks but in critising them we shouldn't just revert to the standpoint liberal bourgeois-democracy which is what Kautsky did.

What you're describing sounds more like a coup than the popular revolution which is what, to my understanding, Marx had in mind:

"All previous historical movements were movements of minorities or in the interests of minorities. The proletarian movement is the self-conscious independent movement of the immense majority, in the interests of the immense majority."

revolut
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Jun 30 2011 12:14

I don't see an open contradiction. Marx had in mind a nation where the proletarians were "the immense majority", what certainly was not the case of Russia in 1917.

a.t.
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Jun 30 2011 12:52
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What you're describing sounds more like a coup than the popular revolution which is what, to my understanding, Marx had in mind:

Well perhaps, like I say I'm not defending the Bolsheviks merely clearing the ground for a better critique, but I don't think the revolution can be limited to the October seizure of power and in this whole period there was massive working class unrest and, whether we like it or not, support for the Bolsheviks.

Quote:
I don't see an open contradiction. Marx had in mind a nation where the proletarians were "the immense majority", what certainly was not the case of Russia in 1917.

Well Marx in the 1870s definitely though that revolution was a possibility in Russia, this is afterall why he focused so much time and effort on his study of the peasant commune. Even if there wasn't a proletarian demographic majority in Russia at the time there certainly was in Europe as a whole, Marx knew that the Russian revolution would only ever be possible in terms of a wider European proletarian revolution. He wasn't constrained by viewing possibilities for revolution in the composition of individual countries but on an international scale.

And besides we shouldn't underestimate the size and importance of the (very militant) Russian working class, I believe that in actual numbers it was equivalent to that of France and St Petersburg and Moscow were massive centres of industrial Capitalism.

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Jun 30 2011 13:25
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So why all the constituent assembly hate?

My understanding what there were other parties, at least nominally socialist, which received a plurality. Lenin didn't like the results, as losers in democracy are bound to, and dissolved it. No?

No.

Theses On The Constituent Assembly, by Lenin, December 1917.

Quote:
1. The demand for the convocation of a Constituent Assembly was a perfectly legitimate part of the programme of revolutionary Social-Democracy, because in a bourgeois republic the Constituent Assembly represents the highest form of democracy and because, in setting up a Pre-parliament, the imperialist republic headed by Kerensky was preparing to rig the elections and violate democracy in a number of ways.

2. While demanding the convocation of a Constituent Assembly, revolutionary Social-Democracy has ever since the beginning of the Revolution of 1917 repeatedly emphasised that a republic of Soviets is a higher form of democracy than the usual bourgeois republic with a Constituent Assembly.

3. For the transition from the bourgeois to the socialist system, for the dictatorship of the proletariat, the Republic of Soviets (of Workers’, Soldiers’ and Peasants’ Deputies) is not only a higher type of democratic institution (as compared with the usual bourgeois republic crowned by a Constituent Assembly), but is the only form capable of securing the most painless transition to socialism.

4. The convocation of the Constituent Assembly in our revolution on the basis of lists submitted in the middle of October 1917 is taking place under conditions which preclude the possibility of the elections to this Constituent Assembly faithfully expressing the will of the people in general and of the working people in particular.

5. Firstly, proportional representation results in a faithful expression of the will of the people only when the party lists correspond to the real division of the people according to the party groupings reflected in those lists. In our case, however, as is well known, the party which from May to October had the largest number of followers among the people, and especially among the peasants—the Socialist-Revolutionary Party—came out with united election lists for the Constituent Assembly in the middle of October 1917, but split in November 1917, after the elections and before the Assembly met.

For this reason, there is not, nor can there be, even a formal correspondence between the will of the mass of the electors and the composition of the elected Constituent Assembly.

6. Secondly, a still more important, not a formal nor legal, but a socio-economic, class source of the discrepancy between the will of the people, and especially the will of the working classes, on the one hand, and the composition of the Constituent Assembly, on the other, is due to the elections to the Constituent Assembly having taken place at a time when the overwhelming majority of tile people could not yet know the full scope and significance of the October, Soviet, proletarian-peasant revolution, which began on October 25, 1917, i.e., after the lists of candidates for the Constituent Assembly had been submitted.

7. The October Revolution is passing through successive stages of development before our very eyes, winning power for the Soviets and wresting political rule from the bourgeoisie and transferring it to the proletariat and poor peasantry.

8. It began with the victory of October 24-25 in the capital, when the Second All-Russia Congress of Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies, the vanguard of the proletarians and of the most politically active section of the peasants, gave a majority to the Bo!shevik Party and put it in power.

9. Then, in the course of November and December, the revolution spread to the entire army and peasants, this being expressed first of all in the deposition of the old leading bodies (army committees, gubernia peasant committees, the Central Executive Committee of the All-Russia Soviet of Peasants’ Deputies, etc.)—which expressed the superseded, compromising phase of the revolution, its bourgeois, and not proletarian, phase, and which were therefore inevitably bound to disappear under the pressure of the deeper and broader masses of the people—and in the election of new leading bodies in their place.

10. This mighty movement of the exploited people for the reconstruction of the leading bodies of their organisations has not ended even now, in the middle of December 1917, and the Railwaymen’s Congress, which is still in session, represents one of its stages.

11. Consequently, the grouping of the class forces in Russia in the course of their class struggle is in fact assuming, in November and December 1917, a form differing in principle from the one that the party lists of candidates for the Constituent Assembly compiled in the middle of October 1917 could have reflected.

12. Recent events in the Ukraine (partly also in Finland and Byelorussia, as well as in the Caucasus) point similarly to a regrouping of class forces which is taking place in the process of the struggle between the bourgeois nationalism of the Ukrainian Bada, the Finnish Diet, etc., on the one hand, and Soviet power, the proletarian-peasant revolution in each of these national republics, on the other.

13. Lastly, the civil war which was started by the Cadet-Kaledin counter-revolutionary revolt against the Soviet authorities, against the workers’ and peasants’ government, has finally brought the class struggle to a head and has destroyed every chance of setting in a formally democratic way the very acute problems with which history has confronted the peoples of Russia, and in the first place her working class and peasants.

14. Only the complete victory of the workers and peasants over the bourgeois and landowner revolt (as expressed in the Cadet-Kaledin movement), only the ruthless military suppression of this revolt of the slave-owners can really safeguard the proletarian-peasant revolution. The course of events and the development of the class struggle in the revolution have resulted in the slogan "All Power to the Constituent Assembly!"—which disregards the gains of the workers’ and peasants’ revolution, which disregards Soviet power, which disregards the decisions of the Second All-Russia Congress of Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies, of the Second All-Russia Congress of Peasants’ Deputies, etc.—becoming in fact the slogan of the Cadets and the Kaledinites and of their helpers. The entire people are now fully aware that the Constituent Assembly, if it parted ways with Soviet power, would inevitably be doomed to political extinction.

15. One of the particularly acute problems of national life is the problem of peace. A really revolutionary struggle for peace began in Russia only after the victory of the October 25 Revolution, and the first fruits of this victory were the publication of the secret treaties, the conclusion of an armistice, and the beginning of open negotiations for a general peace without annexations and indemnities.

Only now are the broad sections of the people actually receiving a chance fully and openly to observe the policy of revolutionary struggle for peace and to study its results.

At the time of the elections to the Constituent Assembly the mass of the people had no such chance.

It is clear that the discrepancy between the composition of the elected Constituent Assembly and the actual will of the people on the question of terminating the war is inevitable from this point of view too.

16. The result of all the above-mentioned circumstances taken together is that the Constituent Assembly, summoned on the basis of the election lists of the parties existing prior to the proletarian-peasant revolution under the rule of the bourgeoisie, must inevitably clash with the will and interests of the working and exploited classes which on October 25 began the socialist revolution against the bourgeoisie. Naturally, the interests of this revolution stand higher than the formal rights of the Constituent Assembly, even if those formal rights were not undermined by the absence in the law on the Constituent Assembly of a provision recognising the right of the people to recall their deputies and hold new elections at any moment.

17. Every direct or indirect attempt to consider the question of the Constituent Assembly from a formal, legal point of view, within the framework of ordinary bourgeois democracy and disregarding the class struggle and civil war, would be a betrayal of the proletariat’s cause, and the adoption of the bourgeois standpoint. The revolutionary Social-Democrats are duty bound to warn all and sundry against this error, into which a few Bolshevik leaders, who have been unable to appreciate the significance of the October uprising and the tasks of the dictatorship of the proletariat, have strayed.

18. The only chance of securing a painless solution to the crisis which has arisen owing to the divergence between the elections to the Constituent Assembly, on the one hand, and the will of the people and the interests of the working and exploited classes, on the other, is for the people to exercise as broadly and as rapidly as possible the right to elect the members of the Constituent Assembly anew, and for the Constituent Assembly to accept the law of the Central Executive Committee on these new elections, to proclaim that it unreservedly recognises Soviet power, the Soviet revolution, and its policy on the questions of peace, the land and workers’ control, and to resolutely join the camp of the enemies of the Cadet-Kaledin counter-revolution.

19. Unless these conditions are fulfilled, the crisis in connection with the Constituent Assembly can be settled only in a revolutionary way, by Soviet power adopting the most energetic, speedy, firm and determined revolutionary measures against the Cadet-Kaledin counter-revolution, no matter behind what slogans and institutions (even participation in the Constituent Assembly) this counter-revolution may hide. Any attempt to tie the hands of Soviet power in this struggle would be tantamount to aiding counterrevolution.

http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/dec/11a.htm

For more on the general idea of a socialist coalition government, more can be read in State And Revolution.

The coalition partners of the Bolsheviks, the Left-SR's, resigned from government and began a campaign of terrorism following Brest-Litovsk. The CA was broken up by an anarchist Kronstadt sailor as noted above.

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Noa Rodman
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Jun 30 2011 14:42

Kautsky believed that after the war, which split Social-Democracy, the reason was gone for upholding the split. He knew the split had deeper causes than the mere sudden 'betrayal' of the leadership in August 1914, but he didn't think the split would be better able to avoid these causes, at least not with those measures the KPD/Bolsheviks proposed.

He was supportive of the October revolution, and didn't afaik make a fetish out of the constituent assembly. He perfectly predicted what was going to happen in the circumstances Russia was in, but the Bolsheviks were aware of the dangers as well, and so it's not like Lenin only afterwards recognized Kautsky was right, the Bolsheviks from the start were aware of what Kautsky was saying.
Maybe another debate, namely of Kautsky with Trotsky on Georgia (where Kautsky lived for more than half a year) brings out the difference in positions more concretely.

Kautsky fully blamed Germany for the war (documented in a large book). He actually bothered arguing against the 'Kriegsmarxismus' of Renner &co. He wrote against Cunow's break with Marx on the issue of the state. He didn't have any illusion about the fact that the "social gains" were a only result of the capitalist requirements during the war and the economic crisis afterward, and not a result of any 'democratic victories' won by workers' struggles.

Kautsky never compromised with Stalinism (unlike other austro-marxists who thought it was an acceptable form for Russia or the anarchists' collaboration in Spain).

Kautsky also opposed the New Deal reformism of the bourgeoisie, stating state control of finance couldn't solve crises, bankruptcies and unemployment, on the contrary, it would make them worse.
With the rise of fascism Kautsky also resisted the response within the socialist parties in the form of a sort of New Deal socialist anti-fascism (which in reality copied the fascist program).

I think even Trotsky, despite his hatred of Kautsky, would recognise that in many respects Stalinism was worse than a Social-Democracy (along Kautskyian lines).

RedHughs
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Jul 1 2011 23:53
capricorn wrote:
In fact, however, in their argument over what Marx meant by "dictatorship of the proletariat" Kautsky wiped the floor with Lenin.

[linked added by Red]

Ah, only if you believe the proletariat has more than an ice crystal's chance in supernova of gaining traction within the bourgeois democratic circus. The text is a good read for Kautsky's articulation of a socialism that only wants to succeed through the mildest of democratic victories.

Anyway, while I'll admit my Kautsky hatred might be rising, I think it's worth noting that Kautsky has been taken as something of the creator of the illusions of socialism-through-bourgeois-democracy by various polemics. But that strand had been running through socialist circles since the Communist Manifesto.

And the thing is, framing Kautsky's actions as a "betrayal" expresses the continued belief that social might be otherwise be achieved "if it weren't for those betraying leaders".

yoda's walking stick
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Jul 2 2011 02:50

I guess what I don't understand, is that if you're advocating a truly popular revolution of the "immense majority," rather than a Bolshevik coup, surely that can be accomplished through the democratic process. I mean if the "immense majority" really want to socialize the means of production it should be fairly easily to make it so through democratic means.

capricorn
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Jul 2 2011 05:15
yoda's walking stick wrote:
I guess what I don't understand, is that if you're advocating a truly popular revolution of the "immense majority," rather than a Bolshevik coup, surely that can be accomplished through the democratic process. I mean if the "immense majority" really want to socialize the means of production it should be fairly easily to make it so through democratic means.

That's what Marx thought (except for the "fairly easily" bit, "possible" might be a better wording)) but it's not what most people here think, not even those who claim to be in the Marxist tradition (but then they take their cue from Lenin the Bolshevik rather than Marx the Democratic Revolutionary Socialist). They think Marx as well as Kautsky was wrong on this key point.

RedHughs
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Jul 2 2011 07:02
yoda's walking stick wrote:
I guess what I don't understand, is that if you're advocating a truly popular revolution of the "immense majority," rather than a Bolshevik coup, surely that can be accomplished through the democratic process. I mean if the "immense majority" really want to socialize the means of production it should be fairly easily to make it so through democratic means.

Tell me how long have you been a journalist?

Bourgeois democracy is sham, a gimmick, a racket, a shell game, a long-con inside a short-swap outside the bag that's pulled over your eyes...

Under the circumstances where, for whatever reason, a given democratic nation were to approach some condition where the majority were committed switching to socialism, the ruling class would be delighted to take the prominent revolutionaries and give them the official reigns. "Sure, start reorganizing things, we'll just sit back, unleash some false-flag terrorist groups, begin vilifying, assasinating and terrorizing the other more prominent socialists, release some exciting, new and addictive drugs, raise the price of food to new heights, destroy the transportation system and, yah, we'll tell you did - since you did, 'cause your' in charge". And that's just tactics that have been used by the bourgeois in the past in less extreme situations.

Read about Cointellpro, Operation Gladio, coups in Latin America, etc, etc..

So, No

------------

RedHughs
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Jul 2 2011 07:10
capricorn wrote:
yoda's walking stick wrote:
I guess what I don't understand, is that if you're advocating a truly popular revolution of the "immense majority," rather than a Bolshevik coup, surely that can be accomplished through the democratic process. I mean if the "immense majority" really want to socialize the means of production it should be fairly easily to make it so through democratic means.

That's what Marx thought (except for the "fairly easily" bit, "possible" might be a better wording)) but it's not what most people here think, not even those who claim to be in the Marxist tradition (but then they take their cue from Lenin the Bolshevik rather than Marx the Democratic Revolutionary Socialist). They think Marx as well as Kautsky was wrong on this key point.

For most here, I suspect it is more a matter of being in the anarchist/libertarian tradition. Libcom = Libertarian Communist.

My understanding is that Marx did indeed take a pro-electoral-strategy position - sometimes. So what? In this today and age, such a strategy is still transparently failed and bogus.

But point of being in a "political tradition" isn't that you mindless follow everything the founder said 160 years ago but that you gain from the analyses and mistakes that happened through-out those 160 years.

capricorn
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Jul 2 2011 07:34
RedHughs wrote:
So, No

If the ruling class is that powerful even in the face of a majority opposed to them, how could they ever be dislodged?

yoda's walking stick
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Jul 2 2011 12:10
RedHughs wrote:
yoda's walking stick wrote:
I guess what I don't understand, is that if you're advocating a truly popular revolution of the "immense majority," rather than a Bolshevik coup, surely that can be accomplished through the democratic process. I mean if the "immense majority" really want to socialize the means of production it should be fairly easily to make it so through democratic means.

Tell me how long have you been a journalist?

Bourgeois democracy is sham, a gimmick, a racket, a shell game, a long-con inside a short-swap outside the bag that's pulled over your eyes...

Under the circumstances where, for whatever reason, a given democratic nation were to approach some condition where the majority were committed switching to socialism, the ruling class would be delighted to take the prominent revolutionaries and give them the official reigns. "Sure, start reorganizing things, we'll just sit back, unleash some false-flag terrorist groups, begin vilifying, assasinating and terrorizing the other more prominent socialists, release some exciting, new and addictive drugs, raise the price of food to new heights, destroy the transportation system and, yah, we'll tell you did - since you did, 'cause your' in charge". And that's just tactics that have been used by the bourgeois in the past in less extreme situations.

Read about Cointellpro, Operation Gladio, coups in Latin America, etc, etc..

So, No

------------

I think things like Cointelpro, or even much more intense police malfeasance in the face of an "immense majority" dedicated to socialism, are going to be brushed aside. I think the same goes for internal coups. Sheer numbers go a long, long, way. Look at the Arab Spring. Invasion by an outside capitalist force is probably a whole different bag of potatoes, depending on the relative size of the two different countries.

yoda's walking stick
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Jul 2 2011 12:31
capricorn wrote:
RedHughs wrote:
So, No

If the ruling class is that powerful even in the face of a majority opposed to them, how could they ever be dislodged?

Exactly.

EDIT: Just to clarify the position of you anti-democracy folks, is your position that a socialist revolution need not be carried out by the "immense majority," or simply that the "immense majority" could not affect democratic change?

radicalgraffiti
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Joined: 4-11-07
Jul 2 2011 12:41

i wouldn't say i was anti democracy, just anti representative democracy.

I think it is pretty clear that the state/capitalists will not wait for a situation where a overwhelming majority, or even a significant minority, of the population supports socialism before they launch there repression and abandon parliamentary democracy, so any strategy that relyies on the majority of the working class being socialist before a revolution begins is doomed to fail