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Enraged American Donating Member (276 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 11:59 AM
Original message
Communist Party
Is Communism dead? The French Communist Party only received about 3% of the vote in the 2002 election. The "radical left" (read Trotskyist) Parties (Worker's Struggle/Revolutionary Communist Leage/ Worker's Party) received 10% of the French vote in the first round of the national presidential election.

The American Communist Party is drained of funds.

The Soviet Union is gone.

Castro is isolated.

What happened to the Communist Party? And why are the college "radicals" all Trotskyists? What is so damn attractive about Trotsky?
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JohnKleeb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 12:00 PM
Response to Original message
1. I dunno
I dont have a problem with communism actually.
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Cocoa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 12:06 PM
Response to Original message
2. they have at least one representative on the Iraq gov. council
I've heard they have significant support in Iraq, especially in the Kurdish area.
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jiacinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 12:20 PM
Response to Original message
3. To be blunt
Americans will never be communists.
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aneerkoinos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Interesting syllogism
American will never be communist.

If American becomes communist -> he's no longer American.

Oh, the good ol' days of McCarthy!
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nemo137 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 10:33 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. i'm thinking it's just a general statement of fact.
an american can be as socialist, liberal, leftist, or anarchon-syndaclist as he wants, and still be taken moderately seriously, but once you cross that line into communism, 80 years of societal programming takes over, and people look at you sideways.
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markses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 10:39 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. The mystic speaks, ladies and gentleman
Having peered into his mystical crystal ball, the mystic has a clear understanding of what will happen in 50, 100, 200, 300 years!

Gaze upon the bluntness in wonder! Enter his magical circus tent!

For 50 cents more, he will discuss in great detail the trade imbalance in Zimbabwe, with only index cards scribbled with notes from a professor's book on Eritrea! Gaze, curious onlookers, gaze!
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moondust Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 10:42 PM
Response to Original message
7. Who wants a gummit of totalitarian thugs?
Certainly nobody in their right mind.
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ShaneGR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 10:50 PM
Response to Original message
8. Well, I certainly hope so
Communism looked great on paper but in reality it was a terrible system. Instead of the government recognizing the right of all people the communist governments tended to give people rights only if they were viewed as being beneficial to the state.

I'll take capitalism mixed in with some targetted socialism. Much better.
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Dirk39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 11:08 PM
Response to Original message
9. The Trotskysts said from the start...
- just like Marx - that socialism wouldn't be possible in one country. Somehow, and among many other reasons, this was their reason to oppose the Soviet Union. They might somehow feel proved by history. The so-called Eurocommunists - esp. the communist parties of Italy, France and Spain got into a trap. On the one hand, they were compromising with the Soviet Union, on the other hand they comprimised with capitalism. The so-called 3. way in Europe failed, they became Social Democratic parties with the burden of compromising with the Soviet Union. But if you don't care about names and labels, it might not be too dead. Chavez has much more in common with communism, than the Eurocommunists ever had, for example. And capitalism has failed awfully in improving the life of people in east-europe and the Sovietunion. For example, the live-expectancy rate in the former Sovietunion is 5 years lower on average, than under leninism-stalinism. This means that the lower classes might have lost 1/3 of their lives within 15 years (yes, I can count till ten, but I know about classes). Communism did succed in a very autoritarian country, who has never seen a democrazy before. Germany somehow might have had the most alive left-marxist movement in history before the Nazis. Stalin occupied the communists, Hitler did the rest. And the ones, who escaped to America - noone can offend them for this - were just tired of being just one more time victims. A lot of immigrants were throwing their books in the ocean, while escaping to the USA.
Than the cold war started. They didn't have much luck in the past century...
Just some thoughts,
Greetings from Germany,
Dirk
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LoZoccolo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 11:16 PM
Response to Original message
10. One big problem with communism...
...is that you have to get into such a compliant, conformed mindset under a vanguard party to organize a revolution, and after the revolution you'd have to maintain that mindset to prevent a counterrevolution, and it all becomes so totalitarian it doesn't even work and it's not even worth it. It's just one ruling class replacing another. And you can see it coming just by hanging out with the people in those organizations long enough; it's obnoxious and you know it's all just gonna head to shit if the people who act that way now are actually going to gain power.

I think the appeal of Trotskyism is that it's untried, so it's adherents can claim that what happened to the totalitarian communist countries won't happen after /their/ revolution.
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Dirk39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 11:26 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Although you're right about that "mindset"....
and you just not find it only among "stalinists", you find it a lot among far-left people. I'm not offensive, 'cause I would consider myself, being one of them, somehow.
But the thing that's still unrevealed to me is, that you don't find that in marxism. Even this leninist idea of a proletariat, that has to be led by an avantgarde is completely strange, if you compare that to Marx. The communists always wanted more freedom and more democrazy, not less. And the conception of the "dictatorship of the proletariat" has to be related to the marxist theory, that all states are dictatorships of one class. But the proletariat, in marx' theory, is a class that dissolves itself and ends all dictatorships. But I'm still uncertain about the evolution that was leading from Marx to Lenin, and even worse, to Stalin.
Greetings,
Dirk
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alexwcovington Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 11:21 PM
Response to Original message
11. "Communism" is dead...
Just like "Liberal" is a slur... depends on who you ask, and then there are similar alternatives under different names
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markses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 12:07 AM
Response to Reply #11
16. Communism was ALWAYS dead
Edited on Mon Sep-15-03 12:13 AM by markses
"A SPECTRE is HAUNTING Europe, the SPECTRE of communism. All the forces of old Europe - Pope and Czar, metternich and Guizot, French Radicals (Democratic Underground) and German Police (Free Republic) - have joined into a holy alliance to EXORCISE this SPECTRE..."

(Ein Gespenst geht um Europa, das Gespensts des Communismus. Alle machte des alten Europa haben sich zu einer heiligen Hetzjagd gegen dies Gespenst verbndet, der Papst und der Zar, Metternich und Guizot, franzsische Radikale und deutsche Polizisten.)

Communism is always a ghost, until it's not. It certainly has yet to materialize on this planet (neither, for that matter, has the so-called "liberal democracy"), but it is indeed curious - and this, I think, is the object of Marx's fascination - that no end of energy is expended warding it off, exorcising its spectre...

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laconicsax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 11:50 PM
Response to Original message
13. Communism never existed in practice
Soviet Union: Dictatorship
China: Dictatorship
Cuba: Dictatorship
N. Korea: Dictatorship
Vietnam: Dictatorship

Communism has no experience being put into practice, and in my opinion, isn't feasible except on paper.

Communism is an economic system, which is why it fails when applied to government. A capatalist, free for all style of government would fail as well. The problem of course, is that the government must be a communist one for the communist system to work, and since a communist government isn't possible, the economic system doesn't work either.
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Dirk39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 11:55 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. That's too easy...
we now face a kind of capitalism, that starts to resemble stalinism and leninism. The free-trade-ideologists are not far from stating, free trade never existed in practise, while the free trade in practise kills more people than two Worldwars. They're just going on, stating that "free trade" always finds barriers, and if this barriers no longer exist, it will offer wealth and freedom and democrazy for all of us. It's just funny to see, how capitalism, partly based on the same positivism of the 19th century, reveals itself as the ideology it always was...
Dirk
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ElkHunter Donating Member (300 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 11:56 PM
Response to Original message
15. One of the attractions of Trotskyism
is Trotsky himself. He was an uncompromising rebel who fought against stalinism and capitalism equally. He gave hope to those who were interested in a radical new society that revolution did not have to mean the absense of democracy.

If you read any of the works of James P. Cannon, a former member of the IWW who went on to become a founder of both the Communist party and the American Trotskyist movement, you quickly learn that the Trotskyists were able to attract a talented core of skilled labor activists and talented intellectuals. Despite their size, they were able to play a pivitol role in the 1930's labor movement, including the leadership of the famous Minneapolis Teamster strike of 1934.

When radicalism grew on the college campuses in the 1960's the Trotskyists were in a position to take advantage of the fact that they were the original anti-stalinists who still offered a pure vision of a socialist society. Besides the fact that the Trotskyists were in the leadership of the anti-war movement, I think that one of the advantages they had among students was that Trotsky was an intellectual who gave young people a lot of meat to digest.

Personally, I think that Trotskyism died with the fall of the Soviet Union. The movement just doesn't know it yet. If there is going to be a society that moves beyond capitalism I doubt very much that it will come from the remanents of communism, whether Trotskyist of Stalinist. Rather, a "new socialism" will have to be created that has learned the lessons taught by both capitalism and soviet-style communism. To my mind if there is a future in socialism it is in what is called "market socialism."
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MSchreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 01:38 AM
Response to Original message
17. Nothing happened to the Communist Party
It's right where it has been since the 1930s -- on the left flank of the Democratic Party. See for yourself:

http://www.cpusa.org /

As for "What is so damn attractive about Trotsky", I would say it is partially the fact that Trotsky was a political opponent of "official Communism" (Stalinism and its descendants), Social Democracy and capitalism. The other factor is the cabal of so-called "Trotskyists", who distort Trotsky's politics to make them palatable to "middle-class" students (and the "middle class" in general).

I do happen to agree with the poster who said that "Trotskyism" effectively died with the end of the Soviet Union. After the collapse of the USSR, it was necessary to learn the lessons and move forward from the old "Trotskyist" movement. Some ex-"Trotskyists" (myself included) have done that. A new democratic communist movement is developing out of the ashes of the old organizations. The Left Wing of the Socialist Party USA, the Communist Party of Great Britain, the Democratic Socialist Party of Australia, the Scottish Socialist Party, the Socialist Party of the Netherlands, etc., are representative of this emerging international movement of democratic Marxists.

Martin
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