Originally posted by AdAbsurdum
That was more or less the idea... but the problem is that they don't come from collectivist cultures. They appropriated the idea and it didn't work
for them because I think they failed to understand the mechanism behind it.
I agree. The culture they came from was essentially feudalistic in nature. That's what they knew, and all they had known for generations and
generations, and I believe that it had become ingrained, permeated the entire structure and infected any subsequent products. The basis for that
system was greed and power at it's basic level, and the same motivations are at play to this day.
I don't just mean in the US. It was the same in all of Europe, Russia, and China. I believe that's why any form of government instituted by a people
of that background will eventually devolve in to totalitarianism. It's s reversion back to the feudalism that the culture has allowed itself to
become most comfortable with. It matter nary a bit whether it starts from the left or the right, it always seems to end at the same place, and the
only difference is the length of the journey. The same sort of underlying rationale that applies to the US, with it's imported ideologies, applies
equally to Cuba, Mexico, Nicaragua, Venezuela... all of the "New World" countries. Whichever side they approach governance from, they always arrive
at the same place eventually - totalitarianism and centralized command and control. That aspect is inherent in the feudalistic system. It happened in
Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and a host of other western hemisphere countries, and we see it happening right now, as we watch, in the US. No place is
immune, regardless of what pseudo-patriots may say.
The same thing happened with the Russian Revolution, Mao's Revolution - anywhere that started out as a feudalistic society with a monarchy, OR that
got it's start from a people used to that sort of government, which includes all of the former colonial areas. What you arrive at then is two
separate camps, both of which are feudalistic in nature and totalitarian in character, opposed to one anther, and at each other's throats based
solely on the end of the spectrum their individual "revolutions" proceeded from.
I reckon what I'm trying to say here, and not saying very well, is that all of these "revolutions" start claiming the best intentions for the
people, and always devolve backward to feudalism by anther name, not evolve forward to what the stated intent was. It so far has seemed to matter not
a bit whether it was a "socialist" revolution or whether it was approached from the other side. The end results so far have been in a feudalistic
society by another name.
I will return to this halting attempt at an explanation of my thoughts later, when I attempt to identify the enemy, but you may be able to see where
it's going already.
Let me pitch you my idea....
The over all goal is the decentralization of power. Removing the control of our destinies from the state and putting that back into the hands of the
people. This is impossible in Capitalism as you will just a have a new "Corporate State" arise in place of a Federal Entity. The struggle is against
I submit that so far it has also always turned out to be the case in all implementations of socialism, with the exception that the "Corporate State"
is replaced by the "Central Committee" or it's equivalent. I don't see the enemy as either socialism, communism, or capitalism. It's more
insidious than any of those. Those are just economic systems used as labels meant to distract the attention of the people away from the culprits, and
direct their hatred towards one end of the political spectrum or the other - but always away from where it's due.
My idea continued...
And so the issue here is how labor is intrinsic to one's own capabilities. One can not lay claim to what doesn't belong to them or else it is theft.
I believe that we would still have to have a monetary system. That system instead of being a fiat currency should be a Labor Dollar. The cost of
production is based on the amount of labor required to produce a commodity.
I'm against fiat currency as well, and most definitely against allowing a private interest to regulate public finances, as is the case with the
Federal Reserve. Regulation of the medium of exchange used by all should never be in the hands of the one, or the one again controls the all thereby -
not much difference in my mind between that and allowing the State to manage social programs that they attempt to make the people dependent upon. In
both cases, it's a power grab - controlling that which they make the people dependent upon, and so controlling the people made dependent thereby.
I'm not familiar with the "Labor Dollar" concept. It seems to me that the cost of raw materials also needs to be factored in to the cost of
There is, of course, a corollary problem in the corporatism we have right now.
We are in agreement. I would like to add that I see America as a Corporate run state and the USSR as a State run Corporation. Both concepts are flawed
since we will always see the revolutionary vanguard stalled and stamped out by the state in it's attempts to reclaim centralized power structures. It
is there that the fallibility of the human condition come to light.
Sounds reasonable to me. Furthermore, it seems to me that you identify the same enemy that I do there, regardless of the differing vectors we approach
the problem from. As I said above, I don't see it as socialism, communism, OR capitalism.
One absolute master is as bad as the next to my mind...
Hence why not only the means of production must be seized by our collective interests but also the deconstruction of the centralized power structures
into a more decentralized communal system of stronger checks and balances.
To be honest, I don't much care WHO claims ownership of the means of production. I guarantee those means will be misused to produce artificial
dependencies no matter who lays claim to ownership. In all cases that I'm aware of where it's claimed that "the people" or more usually "the
workers" own the means of production, they do not. In all those cases, the State has actual ownership, and "the people" or "the workers" are left
holding nothing. Since the State owns all, the State maintains an iron grip on the people.
I'm all for the state and the "workers" keeping their furry mitts off of MY means of production, and they can hash out the rest amongst themselves.
As long as I have the means to care for me and mine, they can fight over the rest until the planet melts down. I don't suppose everyone can say that,
though. My own means of production CAN'T be taken away from me and still leave me standing and breathing, so I may be a special case here. My own
well-being isn't reliant on factories and such (which I generally assume is what is meant by "the means of production"). Sure, those things make my
life slightly more convenient - I won't lie about that - but I'm not DEPENDENT upon them. They are luxuries, not necessities.
Even a that, I indulge in fewer of those luxuries than most, because I don't want to BECOME dependent upon them.
That's why I prefer to stand and fight for my own land, and try to minimize interference by the State in my own affairs. I can leave
the "Corporation" with the turn of a car key.
I disagree. The rise of a Corporate State is well under way and is far more overreaching than any thing we've seen so far.
That particular portion of my philosophy is still under construction. It took a massive hit when Obamacare was passed, essentially a power grab by the
State to force me to interact with a corporation and force me to financially support that corporation. From where I stand, that is all the evidence
that I need that you are right here, and that the Corporate State is gathering steam, and becoming far more overreaching than is necessary or healthy.
It's also part of what I meant when I said I'd stand and fight for my own land, and try to minimize interference by the State. Obamacare is where I
draw the line, and where I will make my final stand. If and when they come to enforce that, that is the precise time and place all hell will break
loose in my little world, and it will doubtless be the end of me.
I guess that's one way for them to "take care of my health" against my wishes.
Collectivist in nature, perhaps, but it's a matter of scale and control...
"You can not legislate morality."
Nope, and it should never be attempted. I have a really basic view of what constitutes "justice", and were I to expound upon it here, I'd surely
draw fire. Suffice it to say that if one doesn't injure another, I don't much care what they do. Doesn't matter what I think of it personally,
because I'm not the one doing it. If no one else is injured, no real harm is done, and if someone else IS injured, it should be dealt with summarily.
That is all the basis of "morality" that I recognize.
Another facet of your quote is the implication that force social programs won't work. You can't legislate the morality that forces folks to take
care of other folks they don't want to take care of. Well, you CAN legislate that, but trouble won't be far behind when you do, if the people thus
subjugated have an ounce of backbone in them.
We would have no need for wealth redistribution if the only thing traded as value was labor. You can not take one's labor and give it to another.
Just to be sure we would decentralize state powers and put that into the hands of the people.
I personally don't see a need for "wealth redistribution" any way. I don't want any one else's wealth. I don't even want to build up too much
"wealth" of my own, because that would just be more to worry about and lose sleep over. I'd prefer to leave the headaches of wealth to the
wealthy, and sleep easy.
Part of my problem, I suppose, is that I don't measure real wealth in dollars or ounces of gold. REAL "wealth" in my mind is somewhat more
intangible than it seems to be to others. That's a whole 'nother subject as well, though.
The point is, people place "value" on all sorts of things, regardless of the official medium of exchange. It's true enough that one's labor can't
be taken and given to another, which is why early on that is what I decided my only "product" would ever be - or, more properly, my knowledge of how
to properly apply my labor. People don't really pay me for what I do, they pay me for knowing how to do it. Trade will be established using anything
that has a perceived value, and is transportable, regardless of the official means of exchange. It will never be limited to labor as long as there are
pretty baubles that someone places value on.
I'm all for decentralizing State powers. That was the original intent of the US government, I believe. It so happens that greedy people will always
work their way into the system, whichever "side" that system is on, and move it back towards feudalism and centralization. That was the whole
problem with implementations of communism, and it's rapidly becoming the whole problem with out current implementations of capitalism - and it's
accelerating. What we REALLY need is a mechanism emplaced to weed out and eliminate those people from ever gaining power in the first place. Then,
either economic system would be workable - as long as the proper steps were taken to eliminate economic powers from seizing governing powers. One
would think it ought to be the other way around - governing powers actually GOVERNING economic powers. Preventing monopolies (including State
product-based monopolies), and punishing actual harm done, that sort of thing in addition to regulating commerce and issuing money - whatever the
money was based upon or backed by.
I have a slight grin as I'm typing this...
I would recommend reading into it. Subcommander Marcos has written extensively and has been nothing more than a tool of the people. I believe that teh
EZLN stands as a perfect model to accomplish what I am talking about here.
I realize, though, that it's a personal problem on my part, and a bias. I don't know that the EZLN is of the same character. If their
people are happy with their performance, then so am I. So long as they confine their control to Chiapas, and their own people, I have no beef with
Well, the "control" they exhibit is a function of the people. Marcos is SubCommander because the People are the commander. He takes no military
action with out the people coming to a decision first. Because this is an Indigenous Resistance movement they are only interested in Chiapas for them
personally but still seek to counter and deny the tools of the State that seek to further deprive them of Liberty.
I have issues with "commanders", "subcommanders" etc. I still have nightmares every now and then concerning Commandante Cero (Eden Pastora for
those who have forgotten) and his boys. It's a personal problem though, something that I'll have to fight my own way through, if I ever get through
it. In all fairness, I don't think Pastora was a communist per se, but he did ally himself with the FSLN, and fought common cause during the
Sandinista War. Later, when he saw what the communist leaders were doing with the victory, he turned against them and Ortega, and created ARDE. He's
still alive, I hear, and I have often wondered if he ever regrets throwing in his lot with the FSLN considering the way they fulfilled their
With the EZLN, I see virtually the same posters, hear the same catchphrases, the same sort of "re-education" of the campesinos, all that sort of
thing, which brings it all immediately back to mind. That's something I'll have to get past before I can really objectively assess the EZLN. If they
confine themselves to Chiapas, that makes it easier. The Pastora and Ortega gang immediately set about exporting their revolution, and that never sat
at all well with me.
You may not know it, but in that revolution, the majority of the revolutionaries weren't communists. The communists there were only core cadre who
gathered up followers with promises of improving life for all. The vast majority of the followers and the actual fighters weren't communists. After
they achieved a victory, the communists immediately turned on their former followers, and eliminated enough of them to insure power to the communists.
They "took over" the revolution, co-opted it after it was already a success by the efforts of others, and life was improved for NONE but that cadre.
For them, life improved lavishly. Most others were considerably more inconvenienced than they were before the revolution. That's what caused Pastora
to turn against them.
We are in agreement. Marxism is dead. I don't know of any communist to date who would disagree. I can understand how the words take on different
meanings than the ones I intend, that is the nature of this language.
Well, one step in getting the point across would be to find other, more current terms to replace those dating from the Marxist era, like
"bourgeois", "revolutionary vanguard", "proletariat" and "dictatorship of the proletariat", "reactionary", "counter-revolutionary", etc.
Those terms, and others like them, tend to either turn people off or set people off - not because of their actual meanings, but because of the
overtones imparted to them courtesy of the Marixst era. Christians tend to run into the same problems with their use of certain catchphrases peculiar
to christianity. It immediately identifies them, and sets a tone where people start expecting a pitch that may not be forthcoming in reality. In any
event, it tends to make folks tune out and get defensive - the very folks they seek to influence. I've never understood why christians can't figure
out that simple fact, and persist as they always have.
Words have power all their own. The first step in getting your message out to a wider audience is to replace those loaded terms with more innocuous
ones that don't put people on an immediate defensive. Makes it easier to scale the walls when the walls aren't purposely built up for an expected
I find myself in agreement with Zapata, "I would rather die on my feet than live on my knees."
I have thought about this question for years and I have come to the conclusion that it is better to fight with no improvements and die on your own
terms than to die as tool of the State in hopes of improvements that will never come.
I agree, with the caveat that one must choose his battles with what he perceives as the best interests of his People in mind. It's better to die as a
free man than live as a slave, regardless. A free man can never be conquered, he can only be killed, and there are things in this world far worse than
dying. Whether I die as a tool of the state or otherwise is entirely up to me, and what's in my heart at that time. A hammer, as a tool of the
carpenter, doesn't know whether it hammers a nail solely for the carpenter, or for the family that will inhabit the house. A man, on the other hand,
knows his own motivations. He knows WHY he does what he does. That allows him to decide for himself whether he is a tool of the State or a tool of his
People in any given action.
In some cases, it can be fairly said that the State is the tool of the man, rather than the other way around. It's his vehicle to get where he feels
he needs to be to do what he believe to be the right thing. I suppose it's a hard thing to get across without going into too much detail. For what
it's worth, I don't believe that the warrior under discussion was looking to make any improvements in conditions at that point, he was seeking to
prevent further erosion, in the hopes that there would be less in need of repair when time for improvements rolled around.
In retrospect, I think he may have failed in that goal, but he gave it his all, nonetheless.
The entire purpose for a warrior is to protect his People. That, and nothing more. It's not to defend a government or a flag or a
philosophy, it's always for the People. What is in the heart determines why one does what he does, it doesn't determine the route he takes to do it.
That is often determined by expediency
What you describe here is the revolutionary vanguard.
It serves to protect the people from their collective enemies. What has to be done on our end is coming to an agreement as to what/who these enemies
are. I don't think that would be all that difficult.
I don't think it would be all that difficult, either. It seems, and I may be off here, but it SEEMS that we are pointing in the same direction, the
only difference is we are on different vectors to get there. I believe that the basic "enemy" is over-centralization of command and control,
exemplified by a feudalistic system whatever the modern label that one cares to hang upon it to mask the feudalism. In any system where everything is
centralized like that, you will have masters and slaves, lords and serfs. It doesn't matter whether you call it "communism" as exemplified by the
former USSR, or "corporatism" as exemplified by the current US, or "national socialism" as exemplified by WWII Germany or "colonialism" as
exemplified by the 17th and 18th century "New World" or more recently Africa. The core is always the same. Feudalism in disguise.
The good news is that, just like a wheel, if you take out the hub out of a centralized system, the whole thing crashes. It worked in the USSR, it
worked in Germany, it worked in America 240 odd years ago, and it would work again. The key is to find the most effective means of taking out the hub,
and having another, better, replacement in the wings when you do, ready to go. What we're disputing over here is what the most effective replacement
would be. Whatever that turns out to be, it won't work at all without safeguards to keep the greedy feudalists from seizing the reins again.