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 Post subject: heya
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:44 pm 
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hi, is this the secret left communist treehouse? i got some questions if that's ok


what exactly is left communism and how does it differ from other communist currents that exist right now?

i see a lot of mention here of 'society and the spectacle' and situationism, does this have any relationship to gramsci's ideas about cultural hegemony, and is situationism still relevant?

are there some basic texts i can look at to understand where you all are coming from especially re: theories of consciousness and what the role of communists is in class struggle? the role of communists in non-revolutionary periods?

how is left communism different from nihilist communism (dumb and possibly offensive question, sorry)?

thanks
elk


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 Post subject: Re: heya
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:06 pm 
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We try not to be secretive or anything but yea.

I think left communism in the historical sense just means, anyone that would've and was, murdered by the other tendencies that came into power, trotskyism, stalinism, maoism etc. That's a pretty gross simplification, but it gives you a good idea of how the tendencies feel about each other.

I won't claim to be an authority on left communism, not being one and all, and will instead just talk about Marxism in general.

I'd say the most important thing about Marxism is that all of our politics and such orbit working class interests, that is our sole point of reference and the only thing that gives the Marxist meaning.

What makes left communism different from most other currents is that its more dead than the other currents. But that's largely a consequence of two things. The state of Marxism is going to reflect the state of working class struggle, Marxism is the logic of the proletariat, and when the proletariat aren't struggling they have no need for it. By this I fully intend to imply that trotskyism/stalinism/maoism etc. are not marxist and that left communism is closer to marxism, as such we are living in a time when working class struggle is fairly low, so the state of marxism reflects this (that's why this website is so slow, we are the True Marxists*copyright symbol here*).

The other factor would be that left communist groups don't tend to evangelise as much as trot or stalinist etc. groups do, and that's a result of most left comms understanding that material conditions influence "consciousness" much more strongly than "consciousness" influences material conditions. i.e. they recognise that they're not gunna build a mass party and hit a critical mass and then boom revolution, so they don't put much effort into it.

The stuff about society of the spectacle is largely because the singular situationist we have on this site is more out-spoken than the more quiet mass, a case of vocal minority as it were.

I'm also sure you'll find most people here think Gramsci is ****, and I'm sure if you ask you'll get plenty of responses as to why so I'll leave that to others.

As far as basic texts, you could just browse a few red-marx threads, pay particular attention to my posts which are obviously the best, here's a good few that you may find relevant to your line of questioning.

why-all-leftist-activist-groups-are-********-t25.html
what-is-meant-by-the-party-t111.html
the-dictatorship-of-the-proletariat-as-a-state-t964.html
weekly-marx-quote-discussion-t59.html (this one is particularly long, but most relevant to your immediate question about consciousness, though I do recommend reading Nihilist Communism for their take on consciousness)

Here's a thread where someone helped me see past Nihilist Communism's flaws, I got a little hung up on the text myself at one point.

nihilist-communism-discussion-t678.html

None of your questions were stupid or offensive, my responses were likely more offensive, no worries and such, hope you enjoy your stay.

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 Post subject: Re: heya
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:21 pm 
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thanks, looks like a lot of good places to start

if you wouldn't mind me heckling you a bit more about nihilist communism, more strict materialist approaches to consciousness, rejection of party building etc from the nihilist comm thread which is all i have time to read today:

zanthorus said this, which i like:
"the fall in the rate of profit leads to a crisis of production. The proletariat seeks to defend itself which it can only do by organising itself as a class, the class organisation is drawn into conflict which leads to it usurping political power, political power is used to set free socialised production from it's capitalistic fetters, labour becomes directly social labour."

but then why isnt there global revolution whenever capitalism enters crisis? is there some difference between 'falling rate of profit' crises and 'crises of overproduction'? do we just sit around and wait until the Last Final Crisis of capitalism until there can be a legitimate proletariat usurpation of power? it seems like capital always uses the momentum of crises to produce another profitable cycle, i know b/c of the tendency of the rate of profit to fall (and likely the environmental havoc capitalism causes) capitalism will, in theory, eventually end, but... how, if not by the working class taking power during capitalism? i'm sure part of my issue here is an inability to imagine a non-capitalist world, being an unhappy prisoner of my own context.

i am 80% sure zanthorus is being facetious when he talks about "marxist eschatology" but that is one of my main questions about non-leninist currents that have this air of 'waiting for a messiah'... ive read (some, not enough) marx and engels and i dont see them as 'mechanical materialist' in the way non-leftists try to portray them, but do left comms think socialism is inevitable? or is it that the fall of capitalism is inevitable and the crisis it results in can either be socialist or reactionary?

if the answer is 'get off the internet and go read capital' that's ok too


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 Post subject: Re: heya
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:27 pm 
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See, I actually disagree with Zanthorus and ZeroNowhere on that point as you can see here

post15841.html#p15841

You will also do well to take certain things like what Zanthorus said about marxist eschatology with a grain of salt, we indulge in satire around here because we can.

We can look to the manifesto about the outcomes of Capitalist society.

"a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes. "

I believe the collapse of roman society counts as the "common ruin" and the transition from feudalism to capitalism constitutes a "revolutionary reconstitution."

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 Post subject: Re: heya
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:33 pm 
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elk wrote:
h

how is left communism different from nihilist communism (dumb and possibly offensive question, sorry)?


For the most part,

Left communism = the party is the highest expression of communist consciousness, but is nothing other than an educational tool. There's also council communism.

"Nihilist Communism" = the argument that nothing is really "needed" on the part of pro-revolutionaries for revolution to happen. It's essentially the rejection of predetermined pro-revolutionary strategy. The book rejects any notion of "class consciousness" or "socialist consciousness." I think for the most part it's a good read.


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