Could the Revival of Trotskyism Save the World?

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Summerlander
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Could the Revival of Trotskyism Save the World?

Postby Summerlander » 31 Jan 2015 17:55

A while ago, Rebecca posted a link containing information about a NASA-sponsored ecological economics study which warned about the inevitability of capitalism leading mankind to its extinction. The key factors highlighted to bring about the collapse of civilisation are unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.

According to the modelled study involving human and nature dynamics led by mathematician Safa Motesharrei, we can no longer take the risk of tolerating imperialism and the greed of capitalism. The rich are getting richer; the poor (who are often exploited) are getting poorer. It should no longer be a choice of which political system you choose to follow. The facts are bringing out the Marxist in me.

So why have I mentioned the interpretation of Marxism by Leon Trotsky and not Leninism or Stalinism? Besides Trotsky being represented as the nicest pig in Orwell's "Animal Farm" (to cut a long story short), Trotsky took into account certain aspects of Marxism which were ignored by Stalin (the ditherer early in Russian Revolution and later the despicable liar and despotic ruler) and which Lenin had overlooked (but later came to agree with Trotsky). Namely, Trotsky pointed out the need for permanent revolution by the working class in the process of begetting worldwide socialism which would ultimately bring harmony and stability. (This opposed Stalin's view that communism should only thrive in Russia.)

Trotsky also favoured production as needed and pointed out that part of the Marxist ideology was to encourage people to think for themselves. It's not about having idols like in the monarchical Czarist regime and, well, Stalinism! Josef Stalin was deluded when he described his regime as Marxist-Leninist and it is important to make that distinction.

You may point to the the mass killings by the Trotsky-led Red Army. But would Trotsky have wished for a conflict with the fascist Whites? Remember that he was originally a Menshevik and was compelled to join the more aggressive Bolsheviks after Vladimir Lenin's exile. Perhaps this headache would have been avoided if the 1905 revolution had been successful. Can you imagine what Russia and the world would have been like if Trotsky had taken the lead after Lenin's death instead of the ignominious Stalin?

Perhaps we should encourage our children to study the works of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels as a start. Perhaps they can devise a better, just (and truly egalitarian) system in the future, inspired by the communist manifesto, which might just save us.

Just to append, we should continue to ridicule religion as it has a tendency to stultify human progress. Heard of the new proposed method by scientists to eradicate certain incurable genetic defects by generating people with DNA from three donors? Well, the pious are already attempting to convince politicians to ban it on the grounds that science is playing God. Never mind the betterment of our lives and the mitigation of human suffering as a result, right? Good lord!

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"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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deschainXIX
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Re: Could the Revival of Trotskyism Save the World?

Postby deschainXIX » 31 Jan 2015 19:37

Whoops! I probably should have written my post in this thread not the other. Didn't see this in time, though.

Could you provide the link Rebecca posted? If it's too far back and you can't find it, don't worry about it.
Well said.

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Summerlander
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Re: Could the Revival of Trotskyism Save the World?

Postby Summerlander » 31 Jan 2015 20:26

That's okay, don't be silly! And I understand why you are slightly iffy about Trotsky. The whole reason for me upholding Trotskyism is summed up in the following maxim: We may have to be cruel to be kind. :mrgreen:

Found the link:
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/mar/14/nasa-civilisation-irreversible-collapse-study-scientists



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"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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Re: Could the Revival of Trotskyism Save the World?

Postby deschainXIX » 31 Jan 2015 21:11

(I'm just going to continue our conversation over here.) Thanks for the link. I’ve read that before, I think, if not here then somewhere else.

Indeed, the primary criticism of communism seems to be that humans are incapable of such an empathetic and equitable society. I’m not certain that I’m quite as cynical about our potential as a species. That doesn’t mean I’m not cynical about our innate tendencies--absolutely I am. I just think that we are capable of transcending and revolutionizing ourselves.

I am convinced that, at our current disposition, wherein we are too close to Locke’s “state of nature,” we are in fact too primal to engage in a communistic society. We’re stuck with this sort of Darwinian, hierarchical social tower based on crudely meritocratic ladder rungs because it’s what we’re most at home with--for obvious reasons. But it is indubitable to me that we can violate and depart from that state of nature (via science or humanism) in order to make ourselves and our world more compromising to the happiness and comfort and proliferation of sentient creatures; perhaps what I mean to say is that I believe we are capable of one day transfiguring our paradigm, our beau idéal, our exemplar of a perfect society to something more logical. (Or maybe not. Maybe the solution to the Fermi paradox is that biological organisms, by evolutionary principle, are too selfish and regressive to ever advance civilization beyond city-building.)

Also, as you pointed out, communism is a goal that must be approached indirectly through softer economic theorems like socialism, due primarily to all of the negative connotations associated with the word for it’s undeniably messy history. These days, the mere mention of the term “communism” makes people hiss and roll their eyes in malice and instinctive rejection. Similar to, incidentally, terms like “evolution,” “global warming,” “the Big Bang,” et cetera. People tend to have these things called buzz words, whose advent in a conversation immediately provokes a cessation of communication. :D

I’m not literate in Marxian economics, but I will be eventually. I think John Lennon’s song “Imagine” got it right on all accounts. The trouble is how to get there safely. :D
Well said.

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Summerlander
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Re: Could the Revival of Trotskyism Save the World?

Postby Summerlander » 02 Feb 2015 20:30

I like your healthy blend of cynicism and recognition of the anthropic potential. I agree with you. Things can get a whole lot better. I am also a dummy when it comes to Marxian economics but the core principles of Marxism are something we could all aspire to. When I think of Trotskyism, I think of a socialist revolution - one, I hope, will be as smooth and as amicable as the Carnations in Portugal (where the government made a major concession) if it ever comes to pass.

In upholding Trotskyism, I also welcome anyone to criticise it by pointing out negative, and perhaps nefarious, aspects I'm not aware of. However, I am sure Marx's communist manifesto is far more positive and pragmatic than the Bible or the Quran. We don't have to follow Trotsky to the letter, just as we don't have to religiously adhere to Buddhism, but we can certainly garner the best precepts from both and use that as a stepping stone for something better. One does not need to be a Buddhist to meditate, know the golden rules of mutual respect, and achieve a balance between egoism and altruism. In a similar vein, one does not need to be a Trot in order to work towards economical fairness and equality.

But nothing stops us from talking about the ideas that certain people in history had and how useful they could be. Do I think communism had a fair trial? No, I don't. Not with Stalin, Castro, Mao, Neto, or the Kim family of North Korea. Those systems seemed to lack humanism and certainly science. The latter certainly lacked in Stalin's Russia for convenience and hence the reason why such example can never be held against secularism or even atheism for that matter. The parallels between the indomitable Josef Stalin - who made his servile people grovel for survival - and God's underlings who pray and beg for fortune, is undeniable. Not to mention the impregnation of lies carried by both Stalinism and religion.

This is something that Snaggle will never understand. He refuses to acknowledge that a psychotic Marxist dictator will use religion to confound and subdue the populace; that such despot will even pretend to be a God-believer or a messiah (sent by Providence) and thus his whole methodology cannot possibly represent a fair secular society let alone disbelief in the supernatural. We are yet to see a truly Enlightened state in the world.

Perhaps the revival of Trotsky's revolution would not be enough. Something stronger may be needed before it's too late. People need to come together worldwide and think about how our economical problems can be solved. For example, the desertification that capitalism has disseminated throughout the world is atrocious. China feeds 20% of the world's population on just 7% of its arable land while the States feeds 5% on 20% of its arable land. Something isn't right there.

But it is admirable to see how scientists work together to forestall environmental dangers and rectify past mistakes. For instance, they have been proactively "cloud seeding": where silver iodide crystals have been introduced to the base of storm clouds to improve the chances of rain. You see how this technique can indirectly influence the economy? The trouble is, it is expensive and not always reliable. Scientists from the Swiss Meteo Systems International also helped the Abu Dhabi government to create more than 50 rainstorms! How productive can we be? So there is room for optimism even though there is a sense of urgency in that a recent UN report concluded that Africa may only be able to feed 25% of its population by 2025 (something Enra Traz didn't see coming), if soil degradation on the continent continues at the current pace.

What do we need? Get our brains into gear, be proactive, be fair, and forget our petty differences.

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"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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Summerlander
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Re: Could the Revival of Trotskyism Save the World?

Postby Summerlander » 25 Jul 2015 01:24

I decided to revive this topic with what's been going on in the UK politically... :-)

We have witnessed the downfall and ruination of the Labour Party; newspapers certainly make it look like there'll never be another Labour government and many socialists argue that the party corrupted itself long ago by devising strategies (within a welfare state) that only served to sustain capitalism - a monster, they say, that soon eradicated Marxist ideals.

The British welfare system was never voluntary like the ones in Sweden, Finland and Denmark, and this may be the reason why it was never as prosperous. The equality of compulsory contribution in, I daresay, a mildly communist scheme, cost us our freedom - as I see it now, Labour's brand of welfare would never work in the long run in a nation with a capitalist zeitgeist.

But for those of you who erroneously think Labour is to blame for the Great Recession (why anyone would think this is beyond me as we're talking about a global symptom here), don't forget that in the 2008 economic meltdown - which oversaw the crashing of investment banks such as the Lehman Brothers and the near implosion of the global banking system - it was UK's Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown who averted the capitalist crisis by initialising support for banks. It was also the Labour Party who put William Beveridge's welfare plan into action post-WWII - a plan that extended government pension, gave us cheap housing, universal secondary schooling, and an entirely free NHS! (Just so you know before Labour is only remembered for the bad!)

Now guess who reduced the insurance element and shifted the system towards targeted, means-tested supplementary benefits - one of the reasons why poverty in Britain has remained stubbornly high (according to professors Pat Thane and Noel Whiteside). That's right! The Conservative government - the culprits most recently voted for by the bulk of the bucolic regions in the UK. (Mr Cameron knew what he was doing when he targeted the uneducated with his demagoguery!)

If you believe that welfare systems encourage fraud - and it's true that certain individuals claim benefits that they are not entitled to - I would say this: Why let the few fraudsters among us ruin it for everybody? Critics of welfare point out that generous benefits drive people to sponge off the state rather than work - this is a specious argument as diddlers will be diddlers under any form of government! They do have a point when they point out that hard workers on meagre wages experience resentment when they learn about spongers but, a little realism is required here: when the public press announce that a 'massive' £1.5 billion is claimed fraudulently, they are only talking about less than 1% of the welfare budget unaccounted for, no different to unidentified loss in any private business.

Do not let the Tories convince you that you cannot be trusted with a generous welfare system; don't let them patronise you as Cameron's coterie widen the gap between rich and poor. While they accuse you of robbing the state through tax evasion, you are robbed through exploitation under the guises of law, order and, as if society isn't inequable enough, the doubly iniquitable monarchy. Welfare states can work and have proved to be some of the best for economic growth in places like Sweden and Germany.

It behoves a nation when its populace are reassured and looked after. To quote John Farndon in The World's Greatest Idea:

'People can buy houses with the reassurance that the state will be there to catch them if they fall. They can spend money on improving their circumstances confident that if they fall sick they will receive proper medical care. More significantly, perhaps, entrepreneurs can start or expand a business, knowing that if it goes wrong, neither they nor the people they have employed will be out on the street. Without that cushion, many of those decisions - the decisions that are essential for the economic as well as social well-being of society - might seem risky if not reckless. The lessons of the 1930s - the lessons of fascism and the worst aspects of communism - taught that a country cannot afford to ignore its poor and disadvantaged. Common humanity means that we should not. In our own personal interest, we want that safety net to be there to catch us should we fall, however comfortable our circumstances are now. That's what a welfare state should do when it's working at its best.'

Brilliantly said and I recommend his literature. 8-)

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"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava


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