Why talking about Communism matters

Spreading the ideas of Socialism and Communism has always been important but it’s never more important than at the time of a systematic crisis of Capitalism.

Image by andreasmarx via Flickr

DB0: If you remember Orgthingy, he was the contributor to the Division by Zer0 who wrote an article on socialism a month or so ago. Today he returns to discuss a bit of why the Socialist society can only based on democratic principles and why we need to promote. Orgthingy is not a natural English speaker so please try to read more into his sentences if it doesn’t immediately make sense.

Many have told me already that Capitalism is a “Natural system therefore loved by society”. First of all, it’s not natural at all. It’s a fairly new system that emerged just few centuries back in Europe, brain-washed the people then democratically got applied (at least in countries like UAE and Kuwait, but Capitalism democratically emerging isn’t the case in most of the world I guess).

[DB0: I have to disagree with Orgthingy here, as he is taking a very simplistic view of the rise of Capitalism. Capitalism didn’t brainwash the people just like that. The state helped the capitalist mode of production take hold, by protecting the bourgeoisie from proletariat aggression and by always siding with the Capitalist on legal challenges. As the mode of production spread and people’s rebellions (e.g. the Luddites) failed to stop it, eventually the got used to it. So it wasn’t democratically applied, but rather brutally forced on peasants and artisans.]

Most of this blog’s regular readers already know that Capitalism offers inequality and contradicts with democracy, yet people these days seem to like it as most  are ignorant of the ‘bad’ aspects of it). Now if you do similar techniques, like educating people on Socialism and Communism, through schools or any other way, then you’d end up with a fully-democratic move towards this economic system and ‘country’ since you’re not forcing ((forcing, even if they don’t clearly know what Socialism and Communism really are, would be against people’s will, therefore contradicts with democracy and idea of revolution which needs support of majority of the people)) any of the two ideologies onto people.

This was of course a simple and theoretical view, since in reality it would be much more complex to achieve having a communist/socialist society. Capitalism unfortunately is a ‘changing-proof’ kind-of system ((by that, it means it’s hard to reform a bourgeois state apparatus into communist or socialist ideologies)) and prevents that from happening. Simply put, capitalists have the money and power.  For example they use expensive mass advertisement for their political campaigns (and unsurprisingly win); They’ve got the money/power, therefore media would not spread the idea of communism and socialism, but actually oppose it as much as possible ((Dbo: This is a bit simplistic really but the main idea is right)).
Thus without the people’s support, a ‘democratically’ emerging communism and socialism is impossible, as the capitalist-propaganda model will break even through a revolutionary spirit. A Revolution of minority can only fail.

[Db0: This is not strictly true. While a revolution without popular support will fail, during times of severe downturn, such as a period of economic crisis, the spark of a revolution can be lit by a minority uprising and this can quickly spread elsewhere. People who were neutral may become supportive, and those who were a bit opposed may become neutral and silent consentors. But one has to remember that the current system is indeed maintained by a minority rule. The minority of the state and the capitalist class. To overcome this, a socialist revolution would probably just need to have a somewhat larger minority than that]

What has to be done then? You may be wondering what should we do to get Socialism/Communism into power. First of all, don’t lose hope. What we need to do is get people’s attention, especially now since we’re in a recession (like what I’m doing by writing this article). Second: Communists and Socialists all around the world should focus on education (not necessary through media, but L’Humanite is a great example of ‘communist-media’) of what Socialism and Communism really are and free their minds from propaganda of the capitalists.

Socialists/Communists all over the world, unite! Educate those who don’t know!

Db0: The idea of Orgthingy is basically very similar to what my tactic is, although I do not limit myself to Socialism only. The whole point of this site is to spread my ideas around. I believe that each of us is incapable of changing the world by himself but small actions in concert would be enough. I would be happy to know that I’ve managed to convince two people to not only espouse Epicurean/Anarchist/Communist thoughts, but to also attempt to convince two more people themselves.

For all of us, it is vitally important to promote grassroot informational campaigns and word-of-mouth “advertising” of what we espouse. And it’s not enough to simply do it behind close doors in a forum of our peers and bask in the groupthink, like some Rothbardians like to do. We must go out, on open ground and challenge others and ourselves (to defend our ideas). Doing this will not only give our voices a chance to be heard by the silent majority, but strengthen your own arguments and give a much needed confidence.

So don’t be afraid of dialogue. Go out, challenge and be challenged!

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Socialism doesn't apply via self-description

Should we take those who call themselves “Socialist” at their word? Anti-Socialists seem eager to do so but such a label can only be assigned by act, not by word

Socialists in Union Square, N.Y.C. [large crow...
Image by The Library of Congress via Flickr

Db0: A reader recently contacted me asking if he could write an article on Socialism and have it posted at the Division by Zer0. Since WordPress provides the capability to have multiple users and since the contributor role already exists and since writing has been slow around here lately, why not? Following you’ll find the opinion of Orgthingy from (I assume) France, edited for clarity by yours truly.

Whenever I mention that I’m a socialist, many point out that I’m a “Communist Nazi” or “Racist Bastard”, when I ask how’s being socialist racist, they answer “Nazis are National SOCIALISTS YOU RACIST BASTARD GO TO HELL!”; it basically annoys me.

Hitler, Stalin, Saddam Hussein, and other “dictators” are nothing but the usual: Dictators that use the Communist and Socialist noble messages to satisfy themselves. Hitler didn’t provide jobs by his “Creative and evil Socialist ideas” but rather to kill the Jews (and others) so the Aryan-blooded Germans would think he actually created jobs for them.  He didn’t. Socialism isn’t about satisfying anybody by killing others.

Now Stalin’s turn, USSR wasn’t Socialist/Communist at all, but State Capitalist. Stalin was a control-freak, but not every kind of control means “The Socialist Devil”; Capitalism has its kind of control as well, but people just don’t know.

Now it’s Saddam’s turn: His country had billions of dollars ,before he became president, flowing into country’s revenue, then he made his country billions in debt! After googling I found out that he spent the money either on weapons or for personal use; that really isn’t socialism.

People Wake up, just because they claim they’re socialists doesn’t mean they are!

Db0: Orgthingy is pointing out the classic fallacy of taking Dictators at their word on whatever they claim to be. Thus Stalin was a “Communist”, Hitler a “Socialist” etc. The people who accept such a self-definition by dictators and brutal regimes are guilty of intellectual dishonesty, for they won’t as readily accept, say, the claims of North Korea of being a “Democratic Republic”, nor would they accept claims of such people that their acts are for the greater good and whatnot.

It is obvious that a dictator will attempt to provide legitimacy to their rule. It will always be “for the people” or “for the nation” and any other such rhetorhic. The specifics will not matter but it will be whatever most people believe in. As such the dictators of USSR called themselves Communists, and the fascists of Germany called themselves National Socialists (as Socialism back then was still quite popular).

However to believe one thing those Leaders say but dismiss the other is simply disingenuous. Especially since what they claim to be has a perfectly clear definition already which diverges from their actual practices. For example, Socialism is supposed to be Worker’s ownership of the means of production and egalitarianism, but National socialists promoted exactly the opposite. Their regime was defined by a strict hierarchical pyramid of power and corporate cronyism, where economic freedom was high but political freedom low. Indeed, Capitalists all over the world loved the Nazis (as they have loved every other fascist/right-wing dictator since).

The rulers of any country will hijack the ideology that is most popular at the moment in order to retain their rule with the minimum of resistance. Nazi leaders gave the illusion of working for the good of the German people (National “Socialism”) while the USA ruling elite give the illusion of allowing power and choice for everyone (“Democracy”). None of these have much legitimacy and nor do they necessarily merge with what others mean when they say “Socialism” or “Democracy”. These labels do not work through self-identification.

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