on marxism

On the one hand, I get really irritated with many modern “apolitical” hippies who have absorbed so much neoliberal individualism that they think all of the world’s problems can be solved with positive attitude and good vibes – they are removed from all socio-political reality and tend to float in a bubble of economic privilege. On the other hand, I’ve become kind of disillusioned with much of the left’s resistance to adapt to different material conditions – we are not going to win over the working class of today with 1917 larping and newspapers heavy with Marxist jargon (at least in much of the Western world, which is what I can personally speak for). I make these complaints both as someone invested in hippie/raver subculture and as a leftist committed to world transformation beyond class society; the merging of these two traits was a driving force behind this blog, as I wanted to help reinvigorate a cultural-political connection that’s been seemingly dormant for decades (and is only starting to revive as of recently with the solarpunk movement). 

It’s a real shame that Murray Bookchin came down so hard on what he described as the “mystical” elements of environmentalism and feminism, because I feel as though an aesthetics revival is overdue on the left – especially within social ecology. Not everyone gels with the “mystical” vibes that Murray was criticizing (most won’t, in fact), but to categorize all cosmic yearning into the same box as the aforementioned neoliberal hippies is a tad reductionist. There are those of us who crave story, purpose, color, and other such “mushy” shit in our worldviews; there’s nothing inherent to anti-capitalism that demands that we rid ourselves of these cravings. In fact, I can’t stress enough that they are intensely useful to the cause. 

I’ve gone into more detail on this topic in a @leftist-daily-reminders post that outlined my support for a “dual power” tactic – we need to create parallel institutions for the people of the world to pour their support into, adapting the language and aesthetic choices to the given area. I also support intentional communities that try to break away from society and consciously present an alternative to laypeople. The class struggle should always be firmly about putting power into the hands of the people, and that will mean diversity in the details. Diversity in the details, united in anti-capitalist purpose. I’m not suggesting that we revitalize a solarpunk/Starhawk aesthetic where it doesn’t apply – just that there are many places where it will apply and that we on the left need to be more open to a unified front with it. Rather than coldly refusing to engage with any positive visions for the future (”The socialist society of the future will be built by the people of the future; we shouldn’t anticipate the details.”), we need to be enthusiastic in our visions for the post-capitalist future. After all, how else are we going to get the people on the train without a clear picture of the destination? (or at least a relatively clear picture of the destination, beyond just “communal control over the means of production”)

Thoughts?

anonymous asked:

Can you please help me understand the difference between anarchism, communism, and marxism?

Very simplified version with probably lots of flaws: 

Socialism is a system where the means of production are owned by the people and are used to meet the needs of all, as opposed to capitalism where the means of production are owned by a small elite and used to generate profit for that elite. The goal of Socialism is to lead to Communism; a classless, moneyless, stateless, egalitarian society. 

The (main) difference between Communists and Anarchists is how they want to achieve that goal. Communists want to use the state as a tool to transition from Capitalism to Socialism to Communism, at which point the state would no longer be needed. Anarchists oppose authority and argue that you cannot create equality using hierarchical systems, and so want to do away with the state immediately.

Marxism describes the Economic and Philosophical theories of Karl Marx. Among other things he described how society progresses from one type of society to another through class struggle, and described how the logical inconsistencies inherent in Capitalist society must inevitably lead to its destruction.

Some good introductory books:

Anarchism
The Conquest of Bread - Peter Kropotkin
Anarchy Works - Peter Gelderloos

Communism
The Communist Manifesto - Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

Socialism
The ABC’s of Socialism -  Bhaskar Sunkara
The ABC of Socialism - Leo Huberman
The Soul of Man Under Socialism - Oscar Wilde

If, in a blind rush for any shred of fleeting social-media popularity, the Tories choose Jacob Rees-Mogg to lead them, it’ll mark the victory of the most reactionary Ultra wing of the party, and it’ll turn them into an unelectable laughing stock.

Shh, don’t tell them.

A cute moment in the early morning for both Lily and her favorite sister, Lisa. Lily asked her if she could help her study a Marxist author she found at her local library a couple of days ago. Seeing her precious little sister dressed up in her usual clothes, she sighed with a smile and told her “sure, let me just put on some pants on.” Lisa is not a Marxist or even interested in any kind of politics, but she enjoys spending time with her little sister and is glad that Lily has fallen in love with reading.

I personally enjoyed this one, I think it came out super cute.

Oh, and if you’re interested, the author Lily found is Antonio Gramsci. Don’t read him by yourselves, kids, he tends to give you headaches.