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    Default Cuba

    What are your opinions on Cuba? I heard some horrific things about Cuba and good things about it. I'm not really sure who to trust and get good information from.

    CON CUBA

    For example, a minister friend of mine stated that cubans make less than $10/month and their prisons are worse than Mexico's.

    PRO CUA

    Just look under the socialist action article.

    I'd love your opinions.

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    As a Communist, I'm interested in whether or not they have Capitalism or Communism, oh hey, it's Capitalism ;_;

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    ^And that is my issue with Cuba, they're not 100% socialist. I'm a libertarian communist supporting a direct democracy.

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    Well, it's not that simple.

    Cuba is certainly a progressive society, and historically has both lifted its people out of oppression, educated them, kept them healthy and performed, in these 3 areas, comparably well to any first world country (Consider that it is a small, third world country in a less than desirable geographic area!). It has also managed, despite not being the heart of industrialisation, to export its expertise and to create and manage probably THE best biotech industry in the world.

    However, it does have its problems. It relied a lot on subsidies (cash and trade) from the USSR because of the USA trade embargo. It's difficult to over-estimate the damage the USA trade embargo has done to Cuba's economy over the years. Who knows what it might have achieved, democratically, if it wasn't in a perpetual state of economic defensive warfare.

    Whilst the embargo is the source of many problems, one cannot hide behind this in totality. Cuba is not a Socialist society, because at the national level, there is a severe deficit in democracy. It is also currently undergoing a slow transition towards Capitalism. It has a dual currency problem which has created haves/have-nots, exclusive tourist resorts and it has recently re-instated the ability to own up to one private property, and several small business ventures (very small, but business ventures nonetheless).

    Oh and, for the record, Cubans tend to earn around 12-20 dollars per month in salaries. Obviously those who rent their houses out to tourists and receive foreign currency receive more, though it is punitively taxed.

    Hope this helps.

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    None of the above has any relevance to what a Communist would be concerned with.

    Socialism isn't a matter of "democracy," it's the abolition of Value.

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    Socialism isn't a matter of democracy?

    It's only a matter of democracy.

    The economic arguments for Socialism are what we think are best for the working class, and what we assume the working class, in a Socialist democracy, would implement, and what we would educate them.

    As the USSR showed, you can quite conceivably abolish private property and the market without an iota of workers' democracy. No democracy = no Socialism.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stammer and Tickle View Post
    Socialism isn't a matter of democracy?

    It's only a matter of democracy.

    The economic arguments for Socialism are what we think are best for the working class, and what we assume the working class, in a Socialist democracy, would implement, and what we would educate them.

    As the USSR showed, you can quite conceivably abolish private property and the market without an iota of workers' democracy. No democracy = no Socialism.
    Value also still existed in the USSR. Private property was replaced with State property, hence State Capitalism.

    I like to make the comparison between the early USA Mining towns where the corporations owned the entire town. The USSR was just an upscaling of that.

    Democracy is not the defining characteristic of Socialism, it is the abolition of Value.

    What's there to be democratic ABOUT anyway? Should we or should we not make working places safer, uhm duh yes. Perhaps I have a poor imagination, but I just can't think of much that would really need to be voted on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Broletariat View Post
    What's there to be democratic ABOUT anyway? Should we or should we not make working places safer, uhm duh yes. Perhaps I have a poor imagination, but I just can't think of much that would really need to be voted on.
    If you're willing to be so blase about that decision, then no doubt you'll extend that to more important decisions.

    I repeat, extreme, direct (as opposed to representative), recallable workers' democracy is the hallmark of Socialism.

    What exactly do you mean by the abolition of value?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stammer and Tickle View Post
    If you're willing to be so blase about that decision, then no doubt you'll extend that to more important decisions.
    Like WHAT? I just want one example, what is some important decision that would need to be democratically decided? They're few and far between under Socialism I guarantee you.

    I repeat, extreme, direct (as opposed to representative), recallable workers' democracy is the hallmark of Socialism.
    We can repeat ourselves all day long :P

    What exactly do you mean by the abolition of value?
    Out of curiosity, have you ever read Das Kapital?

    I like to demonstrate the differences between Communism and Capitalism in terms of Value with a diagram.

    Under Capitalism you have a division of labour, and each sphere of production is isolated from one another and produce for private interest. Since they are isolated, there must be a mechanism with which to distribute social labour, this relationship between each sphere is Value.




    I contrast this with Communism, where, there's still a division of labour, but they are not isolated from one another. Instead of having various individual units of collective labour, society as a whole is considered as a whole collective labour. You will also note that, within the capitalist factory this sort of organisation is also present, and this is why we think Communism can work. It works every day inside the factory. The Sweatshop is the model for Socialism. Obviously the fact that society will be run by the worker's versus the factory run by the Capitalist means there's a shit load of differences but you know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stammer and Tickle View Post
    The economic arguments for Socialism are what we think are best for the working class, and what we assume the working class, in a Socialist democracy, would implement, and what we would educate them.
    The conception of socialism as being about 'workers' power' has historically been considered as a cover for worker-managed capitalism by proponents of the thesis that socialism involves the abolition of the proletarian condition. This is incidentally a good example of where dialectical thinking comes in handy. The conception of socialism as working class power relies on concieving the proletariat and bourgeoisie as discrete entities which enter into a purely external relationship with one another, rather than being entities which only exist as they do by virtue of their relationship with one another, which is to say that the proletariat exists as proletariat by virtue of it's relationship with the bourgeoisie and vice versa. The existence of wage-labour and hence the working-class presupposes the existence of capital, and so any situation in which workers remain workers, regardless of whether individual firms are organised 'democratically' or retain more traditional managerial structures, is a situation in which capitalism exists.

    To put it another way, we don't want what's best for the working-class at all, because it is not any external relationship which the working-class has with other social groups which we find problematic, but the very situation in which a working-class exists. Being a member of the working-class is inherently sucky, hence the point is to no longer be members of the working-class, not to perpetuate and even glorify the situation of being working-class with added democratic flavouring.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stammer and Tickle View Post
    What exactly do you mean by the abolition of value?
    I would think that it would be fairly self-evident that Broletariat is referring to the abolition of the conditions in which the social character of labour is asserted indirectly through the act of exchange, and human subjective activity becomes objectified as an alien power in the form of money. In plain english, it means we abolish capitalism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Broletariat View Post
    Like WHAT? I just want one example, what is some important decision that would need to be democratically decided? They're few and far between under Socialism I guarantee you.
    For the record, the communist critique of democracy is not intended to be a critique of democratic decision making as such, but rather the conception by which the democratic form of organisation is made into the all-encompassing content of socialism, whereas in reality communism is not a question of form but rather content, and hence the critique of democracy does not negate democracy for another equally flawed method of organisation, but rather surpasses the question of organisation altogether. "... we do not propose to substitute for the democratic schema which we have been criticizing any other schema of a state apparatus which in itself will be exempt from defects and errors." (Bordiga, The Democratic Principle)
    "From the relationship of estranged labor to private property it follows further that the emancipation of society from private property, etc., from servitude, is expressed in the political form of the emancipation of the workers; not that their emancipation alone is at stake, but because the emancipation of the workers contains universal human emancipation – and it contains this because the whole of human servitude is involved in the relation of the worker to production, and all relations of servitude are but modifications and consequences of this relation."

    - Karl Marx -

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zanthorus View Post
    For the record, the communist critique of democracy is not intended to be a critique of democratic decision making as such, but rather the conception by which the democratic form of organisation is made into the all-encompassing content of socialism, whereas in reality communism is not a question of form but rather content, and hence the critique of democracy does not negate democracy for another equally flawed method of organisation, but rather surpasses the question of organisation altogether.

    That seems to line up with what I was saying. I tend to imagine that it will be less democracy more science though. I mean we might need some democratic decisions for like, shit I don't know, but there's a few things I'm sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Broletariat View Post
    That seems to line up with what I was saying.
    Partly, I was just pointing out that not everyone who holds to a critique of democracy believes in replacing it with systems which appear to be based on questionable views of the nature of science.
    "From the relationship of estranged labor to private property it follows further that the emancipation of society from private property, etc., from servitude, is expressed in the political form of the emancipation of the workers; not that their emancipation alone is at stake, but because the emancipation of the workers contains universal human emancipation – and it contains this because the whole of human servitude is involved in the relation of the worker to production, and all relations of servitude are but modifications and consequences of this relation."

    - Karl Marx -

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zanthorus View Post
    Partly, I was just pointing out that not everyone who holds to a critique of democracy believes in replacing it with systems which appear to be based on questionable views of the nature of science.
    Science probably isn't the best word to be used, but I can't think of a proper substitute, unless you could offer one?

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    I don't see where the supposed contradiction between democracy and the abolition of value comes from? Surely to abolish capitalism, the working class must constitute itself as a class for its own (something that transcends the mere interdependency relationship in regards to capital that Zanth was talking about, that is: to transcend its existance as a mere slave class), form itself into a potential ruling class and then take over political power by abolishing the capitalist political power (that is, its state) and putting its own political hegemony (its own "state") in place.

    Democracy plays a key part in this process as the struggle for democracy forms the class, is the engine for its self-emancipation as a collective and therefore of every individual.

    After the political seizure of power indeed the main task is to overcome and abolish the law of value we inherited from the old economy. And while the main capitalists will have ceased to exist as a class, as the main means of production have been socialised, there will still be other classes: petit-bourgeoisie and middle strata which hold certain monopolies on skills and knowledge. These layers can only be assimilated into the working class part by part. Socialism, being the transition from the old society ruled by value to the new society ruled by planning of the free association of producers (that is, communism), is therefore still a class society, be it one that is dieing and where the class struggle is having a different character.

    Democracy here too plays an integral part, for as long as class society exists, so too will the workers "state" and so too will democracy as a form of governing. Only when all classes have been absorbed into the working class and the working class therefore has negated itself, is there no longer any class hegemony and distinct political rule. All functions of the state have then collapsed within society itself and democracy has come to an end.

    But I agree with Stammer that the battle for democracy in the here and now is indeed absolutely vital for the reasons I already mentioned.
    I think, thus I disagree. | Malcom X: "You can't have capitalism without racism" | RIP tech, I'll miss you!

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    I've only read the beginning of Das Kapital, a couple of years ago, it was too dense for me at the time and i've not gotten back into it as of yet.

    The abolition of value cannot be achieved in an un-democratic environment. In all situations but proletarian democracy, classes or strata will exist and continue to exist, with different socio-economic interests. No group but the one-day educated working class will be able to 'abolish value', for this reasons.

    For the record, Zanthorus, Capitalism can be abolished whilst value still exists. It is currency that needs to be abolished, I think you must mean to say.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Q View Post
    I don't see where the supposed contradiction between democracy and the abolition of value comes from? Surely to abolish capitalism, the working class must constitute itself as a class for its own (something that transcends the mere interdependency relationship in regards to capital that Zanth was talking about, that is: to transcend its existance as a mere slave class), form itself into a potential ruling class and then take over political power by abolishing the capitalist political power (that is, its state) and putting its own political hegemony (its own "state") in place.

    Democracy plays a key part in this process as the struggle for democracy forms the class, is the engine for its self-emancipation as a collective and therefore of every individual.

    After the political seizure of power indeed the main task is to overcome and abolish the law of value we inherited from the old economy. And while the main capitalists will have ceased to exist as a class, as the main means of production have been socialised, there will still be other classes: petit-bourgeoisie and middle strata which hold certain monopolies on skills and knowledge. These layers can only be assimilated into the working class part by part. Socialism, being the transition from the old society ruled by value to the new society ruled by planning of the free association of producers (that is, communism), is therefore still a class society, be it one that is dieing and where the class struggle is having a different character.

    Democracy here too plays an integral part, for as long as class society exists, so too will the workers "state" and so too will democracy as a form of governing. Only when all classes have been absorbed into the working class and the working class therefore has negated itself, is there no longer any class hegemony and distinct political rule. All functions of the state have then collapsed within society itself and democracy has come to an end.

    But I agree with Stammer that the battle for democracy in the here and now is indeed absolutely vital for the reasons I already mentioned.
    It wouldn't let me thank this post for some reason, so i'll comment on it anyway.

    When talking about democracy, I was talking about the 'here and now', and the post-Capitalist, but not yet communist stage, where currency, value and exchange still exist. It is imperative that during this period, Socialist democracy is an absolute hallmark of any society aspiring to communism, otherwise we end up as the USSR did.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Q View Post
    I don't see where the supposed contradiction between democracy and the abolition of value comes from?
    We weren't implying there is one, just that Socialism (which is the same thing as Communism by the way) is the abolition of Value.

    Surely to abolish capitalism, the working class must constitute itself as a class for its own (something that transcends the mere interdependency relationship in regards to capital that Zanth was talking about, that is: to transcend its existance as a mere slave class), form itself into a potential ruling class and then take over political power by abolishing the capitalist political power (that is, its state) and putting its own political hegemony (its own "state") in place.
    Certainly, the Dictatorship of the Proletariat

    Democracy plays a key part in this process as the struggle for democracy forms the class, is the engine for its self-emancipation as a collective and therefore of every individual.
    Within the working class sure, and during the transition definitely, but I was speaking more into established Communism.

    After the political seizure of power indeed the main task is to overcome and abolish the law of value we inherited from the old economy. And while the main capitalists will have ceased to exist as a class, as the main means of production have been socialised, there will still be other classes: petit-bourgeoisie and middle strata which hold certain monopolies on skills and knowledge. These layers can only be assimilated into the working class part by part. Socialism, being the transition from the old society ruled by value to the new society ruled by planning of the free association of producers (that is, communism), is therefore still a class society, be it one that is dieing and where the class struggle is having a different character.
    I think this is putting the cart before the horse. The DotP is the political expression of the economic struggles. The economic struggles will be coming first.

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    The DotP, a genuine one, will be the most extreme expression of democracy that the world has seen hitherto.

    In addition, you cannot put the economic struggle before the political struggle or vice versa. Both are key and, in a dialectic sense, feed off each other and come into existence out of each others' midst. Rosa Luxemburg was quite strong on this in her analysis of the early Russian Revolution of 1905.

    In any case, it is immaterial since economic struggles will be first defensive (economism), as they are currently, and then offensive, as the class struggle heats up. But you cannot abolish value without political power - i.e. without a successful culmination of the political struggle, so really your 'cart before the horse' comment is an irrelevance to the democracy & abolition of value debate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stammer and Tickle View Post
    I've only read the beginning of Das Kapital, a couple of years ago, it was too dense for me at the time and i've not gotten back into it as of yet.
    I would highly recommend it, check out my notes here.

    http://redmarx.freeforums.org/help-m...pital-t17.html

    The abolition of value cannot be achieved in an un-democratic environment. In all situations but proletarian democracy, classes or strata will exist and continue to exist, with different socio-economic interests. No group but the one-day educated working class will be able to 'abolish value', for this reasons.
    So under proletarian democracy, there is no classes, yet we call it the proletarian democracy? I'm a little confused.

    For the record, Zanthorus, Capitalism can be abolished whilst value still exists. It is currency that needs to be abolished, I think you must mean to say.
    This is highly indicative that you should re-read my post explaining Value.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stammer and Tickle View Post
    It wouldn't let me thank this post for some reason, so i'll comment on it anyway.

    When talking about democracy, I was talking about the 'here and now', and the post-Capitalist, but not yet communist stage, where currency, value and exchange still exist. It is imperative that during this period, Socialist democracy is an absolute hallmark of any society aspiring to communism, otherwise we end up as the USSR did.
    So what the hell is between Capitalism and Communism? What makes it not Capitalism and not Communism?

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