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25th August 2012 22:41l'EnferméLenin did not invent that convention, he was following the Second International Marxism convention where lower-phase/first-stage communism was called "socialism" and pure communism/higher-stage communism was called just "communism". The usual criticism was Lenin receives for this is that he 1) did not realize that Marx did not follow this convention and 2) Lenin invented it, and both points are proven wrong if you read the State and Revolution.
Of course the scientific distinction between socialism and communism is clear, Marx did not believe otherwise(the fact that Lenin sometimes used different words for Marx's concepts is completely irrelevant, they're still talking about the same things). Marx did not believe that a state would not exist in lower-phase, he believed that a bourgeois state would not exist. In lower-stage communism/socialism, the state loses it's political functions and becomes an economic coordination mechanism.
23rd August 2012 16:55robbo203On the other point you make about state capitalist monopoly you are misreading Lenin. He is trying to distinguish one form of state- capitalist monopoly from another and clearly says "socialism is merely state-capitalist monopoly which is made to serve the interests of the whole people" meaning as opposed to a state capitalist monopoly serving the interests of the capitalists only. THAT is the point you miss . But it is still a state capitalist monopoly that he calls "socialism" and you can hardly deny what appears in black and white in front of your very eyes!
23rd August 2012 16:51robbo203No you are dead wrong on both counts. Lenin did NOT simply comment on the fact, as he saw it, that people regarded socialism as the lower the phase of communism. It was actually lenin himself who introduced this innovation and palmed it off as a convention. Not only that, far this being a mere observation, he approved of this distinction in saying "But the scientific distinction between socialism and communism is clear." Lenin's confusion ran ever deeper since he contended that in this lower phase of communusm which he dubbed socialism"all citizens (woud be) transformed into hired employees of the state" . That a state would still exist in communism albeit the lower phase, contradicts everything Marx said about communism and also implies the continuation of wage labour as opposed to labour vouchers
So in no way is Lenin implying that state-monopoly capitalism run the interests of the whole people is socialism. He says "for socialism is merely the next step forward from state-capitalist monopoly. Or, in other words, socialism is merely state-capitalist monopoly which is made to serve the interests of the whole people and has to that extent ceased to be capitalist monopoly." So he's clearly saying that socialism comes after state-capitalist monopoly, so how can it be inferred that he's saying that socialism is state-monopoly capitalism run in the interests of the whole people? "...ceased to be capitalist monopoly". If state-capitalist monopoly ceased to be capitalist, it's obviously not state-capitalist monopoly anymore.
What Lenin means is crystal clear. He means: State-monopoly capitalism is the last stage of capitalism, it's the most advanced form of capitalism so far, it's the last form of capitalism before socialism, the only place to go from here is socialism. Advancing FROM monopolies is advancing TOWARDS socialism. "state-monopoly capitalism is a complete material preparation for socialism, the threshold of socialism".
23rd August 2012 16:05l'EnferméThat's simply ridiculous. Lenin didn't describe socialism as the lower phase("first-stage) of communism, he said that what Marx called lower-stage communism is "usually" called "socialism"(usually called that during his times, not Marx's), yet in the State and Revolution, where he allegedly "redefines" socialism, he still calls his socialism(lower phase communism) "communist society".
And no, Lenin never defined socialism as "state capitalist monopoly run in the interests of the whole people". That's another fabrication abused by Anarchists and Ultra-Lefts. The original quote is from here http://www.marxists.org/archive/leni.../ichtci/11.htm
23rd August 2012 11:37robbo203Hi Inferme
I think the point about Lenin's redefintion of socialism is that he was not "merely" updating the term to reflect modern usage. He was himself actively contributing to this alteration in the meaning of the term. An added complication is that his describing socialism as the lower phase of communiusm (which is a distortion of Marx's view) contradicts his other new definition of socialism as state capitalist monopoly run in the interests of the whole people. Lenin was thus fundamentally inconsistent even in his redefintion of socialism
Regarding "vanguard-ism", it's not central to Leninism(let's pretend there's such a thing as Leninism). It's not anything to Leninism, "vanguard-ism" is a later Stalinist invention. The vanguard party is an entirely different thing, and good examples would be the pre-war SPD, the RKP(b), and the CNT-FAI. The point of one is to raise the entire class-conscious proletariat to the level of revolutionaries, and to distill class-consciousness to those workers who are still under the spell of false consciousness. The vanguard Party has nothing to do with conspiracies, small circles of revolutionaries, elitism, Blanqusim, and all that nonsense. The SPD in it's revolutionary period, for example, had a million worker-members(and 2.5 million workers in it's trade unions), and it was in Lenin's eyes, until 1914, the model vanguard party.
And yeah, sorry for 3 posts, but it didn't all fit into 1.
Re. Lenin's alleged depiction of socialism as state-capitalism run by the proletariat and Marx regarding Socialism as synonymous with Communism, that's true. However, you miss the point. When Lenin writes "socialism", he means Marx's lower-stage communism. He says so clearly in the State and Revolution. His justification for re-naming Marx's lower-stage communism into "socialism" and higher-state communism into just "communism" is that in the early 20 century, those were the popular names. Check out parts 3 and 4 of Chapter 5 http://www.marxists.org/archive/leni...ev/ch05.htm#s3 Lenin is perfectly aware of the different terminology Marx uses, he merely updates it to what was then, modern times.
22nd August 2012 15:21l'Enferméhttp://www.revleft.com/vb/showpost.p...67&postcount=3
Comrade I think you would find, upon further study, that your conclusions in that post are wrong. Your impressions re. "Leninism" are negatively influenced by the fabrications and lies of "Marxist-Leninists"(i.e Stalinists), Trotskyists(and I'm not talking about Trotsky, most of the time Trotskyists have little to do with Trotsky), Ultra-Lefts and Anarchists. In reality, Lenin's contribution to Marxist thought are too little to be thought of as a new "doctrine", "ideology", whatever. Lenin's biggest contribution to Marxism, or more specifically, in this case, to Marxian Economics, is Lenin's theory of "imperialism" as the "latest stage of capitalism". Practically everything attributed to Lenin actually comes from Kautsky when he was a Marxist revolutionary theorist(i.e before 1910).
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