The Evolution of Socialist Ideas and Principals

The Evolution of Socialist Ideas and Principals

From the writings of Marx, Engels, Bakunin and many others of the 19th century, to the writings of Kropotkin, Lenin, Castro, 'Che', Bookchin, and many more, the basic principals of socialism have not changed. Much of our language and terms, that we use in expressing our ideology have also not progressed. The labels "bourgeois", "proletariat", and the term "dictatorship of the proletariat", for instance, have not changed since the mid 1800's. But the world, and humanity has changed. As all living organisms, with IQ's greater than my boot size, will have noted, life is dynamic - It changes. While the change may not be in a progressive manor, it still changes. And yet, most of our leftist ideals have not changed a whole fuck of a lot over the last 150 some odd years. Why is that? Are we not the "progressives"? Have we learned nothing in our comrades long struggle? Where are we going with our struggle in this 21st century?

The main part of our historical struggle has been focused on rights of the working class people. It took a long hard fight to achieve the right for working class men to be allowed a vote in elections in "western" countries, and more years for wymen, then immigrants and people of colour. Many suffered great hardship and violence during the struggle, and many still struggle in the world for such rights. While there has been many loses, there has also been many gains. Human ape's civilization moves on in it's dynamic progress of change. Scientific knowledge and an ever greater understanding of our evolutionary history has gained us a greater understanding of where we, the human ape, came from. This is knowledge that Marx, Engels, Bakunin, etc., could not have known. Hell, how could they even be able to comprehend the Jazz music I'm listening to right now (John Coltrain), on a 4 hour long play list of Jazz music on my computer wired to 3 amps and 8 speakers? Think about it. Think about what you have around you in a 5 metre radius. Think about how mind blowing that would be to anyone from the 19th century. We have riches surrounding us, and yet are still unhappy with our lot. Why? Because of our perceptions of the wealth of others around us.

The propaganda memes that assail our every senses, here in the rich part of the world, urge us to not only consume, but to consume every greater "quality" of goods. Even the simplest organism, living in a petri dish moves toward the sweetest nutrient, or, as I use to spray paint on walls, "The Urge to Buy, Terrorize's You". As technology has spread through out the world, even the poorest of people want to have our rich lifestyle, in spite of the reality that our little blue ball can not sustain unrestricted growth in the demand for consumer goods. But, by what right do we, of the rich countries, to try to prevent others from seeking, and obtaining, that which we take for granted?

So, what is to be done? How are we to archive equality for all with out lowering the standard of living for all in rich countries, which would be totally unacceptable to people in rich countries, and yet not totally devastate earth's natural environment? I ask you all to ponder the following questions, and seek discussions with others, and not just with other socialist/communist/anarchist/etc. types, but with anyone that is interested.

Discussion Points

(1) How do we neutralize the ever growing threat of literal belief in what has proven to be very dangerous memes and memeplexes (religion, Fascism, etc.)?

(2) How can the poor of the world be helped out of poverty, and given the same opportunities that people in rich countries have, with out (a) lowering of most people in rich countries standard of living, and (b) destroying the environment?

(3) How do we insure the protection of all differently abled people, be they autistic, bi-polar, para or quadra pelagic, or otherwise off the range of "average" humans, to pursue their own version of a satisfying life?

(4) How do we insure the continued survival of all human cultures, while removing the bad components of those cultures?

I do not intend this to be a complete list. These are just a few point to start a discussion, it is up to all any interested person to add other points, or to expand my points. This isn't a discussion about me, or about leftist philosophy. It is about we, the critical, sceptical and scientifically thinking people coming together to find new solutions. Of particular importance is the participation of people of less developed nations, and of differently abled people. Capitalism is not going to solve the problems of earth, and it inhabitants, but neither are the old methods of socialist/communist states. Nor will petty sectarian disputes. All people who have been able to remove the yoke of the theist meme are or potential allies, and for that we must treat them with honest critical respect. Division in the face of the enemy has never been an intelligent or successfully tactic.

One last note, I've put this discussion in several groups - Socialist Atheists, Atheist News, Anarchist Atheists, FreeThinking Anarchists and Left Wing Atheists. Check the replies in all.

Tags: Anarchism, Communism, Marxism, Socialism

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I'm with you Muhammed. Socialists gloating about the financial crisis are like fundamentalist religionists gloating about about Hurricane Katrina or the Australian bushfires - we are all being punished for our wicked ways because we didn't listen to their holy men.
Could the same thing not be said about the capitalist analysis of the failure of The Great Leap Forward? Unless of course you believe that financial meltdowns are as much a part of nature as a hurricane or bushfire, in which case I'd like you to explain what the weather has to do with credit markets.

Lets keep in mind that Scandinavia is pretty far removed from any kind of classical Marxism. I think that all of us, capitalists and socialists can agree that reason is the best foundation on which to build an economic system (even when we don't agree on what reason actually is). Markets are good for maximizing profit and planning is good for creating stability and predictability. What we are dealing with here is the result of capitalism being placed on an ideological pedestal instead of reason. We learned these lessons in the 1930's, but our real national religion urged us to further deregulate the financial "industry" and we are observing the inevitable result.
Yes, quite right. Game theory shows that without punishment for greed, greed takes over, and becomes the norm, but it eventual collapses and all people suffer. But this is still not providing any ideas toward solutions. Incentives are needed to get people to find new and better ways of doing things for the progress to universal equality, and the evolution of human society.
Deep ecology is as bad as religious superstition.

I forgot to mention: the term "differently abled" is bullshit. There is no such thing, just disabled or handicapped.
This is as much of my time as I'll waste on this mystical nonsense:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_ecology
Just a little bit simplistic Alex? While participating in groups like the AN is a good idea, it has a few flaws, like (1) lack of Internet connection or a computer, (2) lack of education, and thus an inability to even conceive of a non-god universe.
While the Culture Artist Organization has many good ideas, it doesn't address the immediate need of most of the world's population. Food, education and an ability to provide for for their future is much more pressing for most humans, and many would just not go for it (I would, but I'm an tree hugger).
As for your answer to number 3, did you check out "The Gonzolog"? Andra (Gonzo) make it quite clear that what "differently abled" people need is to be abled to live as they want to live. They do not want people who fall in the "normal" range of the human spectrum to speak for them, or decide what is best for them. They just want to be all they can be, and to be treated with the respect that anyone wants.
As for 4, I think there are some aspects of all coutures that are good. The good aspect may be overshadowed by some rather horrible aspects, but why should the good, or even benign aspects be destroyed as a by deleting the whole culture? Once again, I would say education is the key. Take the Haida people of Canada's Pacific north coast. In their past, they terrorized the other tribes of the pacific coast with raids for slaves. They were very violent, but they have some of the most unique and beautiful art I've seen. The Haida creation myth is a really cool story, as are their other myths. When the English came to the BC coast, the Haida were almost totally wiped out. Thanks the the 1/2 Haida artist Bill Reid (January 12, 1920 – March 13, 1998), their culture has not been totally lost, and thus the world was not impoverished by the extinction of another culture.
I don't disagree with you about the Cultural Artist stuff, I'm just a bit pessimistic about how greedy most humans are. I'll read your book though, and get back to you on this.
My take. (I know there are going to be loads of repeats here, but I am doing this from just vomiting this out of my head.

>>>(1) How do we neutralize the ever growing threat of literal belief in what has proven to be very dangerous memes and memeplexes (religion, Fascism, etc.)?

Education (i.e. school, college) has always been weak on this because the state and those who have access to better schools, have an interest in limiting peoples ability to think for themselves. Newspapers do the same. So we have to make as many side routes to educate people to think for them selves and that it is always better for them not to take 2nd degree or more peoples word for anything. and demonstrate cracks in logic..

>>>(2) How can the poor of the world be helped out of poverty, and given the same opportunities that people in rich countries have, with out (a) lowering of most people in rich countries standard of living, and (b) destroying the environment?

By forcing obstructions out of the way and making sure what feeds that is staved. Military and police often access to their life sustainance, (sue me if its not in your dictionary) by the income they derive from their paychecks. So we need to seek ways to create means of income.

We will have to accept some loss of standard of living, especially wealthier people, but the downward shift only gives people a feeling that they don't have all they need. But there has been research that has found similar levels of satisfactions of life while being just above poverty, as those who are extremely wealthy. The only time it really goes down is if your standard of living goes way down.

Limiting the criteria from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs does limit the burden to the environment.

>>>(3) How do we insure the protection of all differently abled people, be they autistic, bi-polar, para or quadra pelagic, or otherwise off the range of "average" humans, to pursue their own version of a satisfying life?

There is some limitations, but often the current system limits it because of the expenses that a monetary system of accumulation of wealth gives.

>>>(4) How do we insure the continued survival of all human cultures, while removing the bad components of those cultures?

Culture is a local option as long as it doesn't get invaded or occupied. Removing the bad components goes back to the first question, or at least the answer I gave which has to do with the side routes of education.


Oh yeah, Kitty Liberation Now.
I think Tedster is correct - Education. Of course it would have to be real education, based on facts. Most of the worst cultural practises stem from religion, either past religions or current religions. Dawkins idea of teaching children all religious myths, on an equal basis, would go a long way to improving the culture's education.
As an educator I can tell you first hand that the education system in the United States is still not totally free from religious indoctrination. I live 30 miles from a rural public high school that has an "Ethics and Morality" class that takes scripture strait from the bible and teaches it to the class. It's a deeply conservative town so no one has complained.

Thankfully, this kind of thing is usually isolated. But still....
My village, in Alberta, Canada, is a few mile from a large Hutterite colony (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hutterites).The colony is just about the same size as my village, and aside from farming, they make their own clothing, have a wood working shop and a metal working/welding/machine shop. They also have their own school, which excludes any teaching of evolution. The most common form of early death for their children is from drowning, but they will not allow their children to learn to swim. Hutterite women have no rights, and girls as young as 12 are coursed into "breeding with men from other colony's.
I didn't know that about the Hutterites! When I was involved in anti-nuclear/"peace" activism, the Hutterites were pointed to as an example of a peaceful community.

Why wouldn't they allow their children to learn to swim?

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