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(8,352 posts)
1. I read Marx, Engels, Lenin, Trotsky, et al.
Sat Sep 7, 2013, 10:03 AM
Sep 2013

the summer before I left for West Germany as an exchange student.

I still believe that many of the ideas and critiques were sound and even reasonable. The political Communism that arose from the economic philosophy was just as imperialistic, destructive, and totalitarian as what was predicted Capitalism would produce.

I eventually grew up psychologically and realized that it was not the form of economic philosophy that was the root problem. It is the human psychological condition that is the root cause. Men and women will be destructive, brutal, selfish, and act in 'evil' ways, AND men and women can be constructive, tender, empathic, and act in some of the most selflessly 'good' ways you can imagine. There are no utopias. There are no 'perfect' forms of governance. Religion is not the answer nor is the lack of religion the solution either. It comes down to individual choices & actions done with either no awareness and reactive to the world as it is and a childhood that once was or with awareness and proactive to the world and others having resolved the childhood that once was and will never be again.

Thus will it every be.


(111,210 posts)
6. I realized before I was out of my teens that Communism and Objectivism suffered the same fatal flaw
Sat Sep 7, 2013, 10:42 AM
Sep 2013

Neither system would work until and unless humanity had been perfected.

Later I saw Communism in practice start to morph into the feudalism it had replaced, the families of the Old Guard inheriting their positions like any aristocracy and the working people largely out of control of their situations. The dictatorship of the proletariat, something that sounds an awful lot like democratic control, has simply never been practiced by leaders who don't trust the people.

Communism has accomplished a transition from a colonial aristocracy to a mixed economy in those countries that haven't been afraid to make that transition. Part of that is likely encouraging the often foreign colonialists to leave.

Elsewhere it has ossified around its successes into a system inherited at the top and with little mobility elsewhere.

Marx, Engles, Trotsky and Lenin were all keen observers of captialism. Their prescription for Utopia is what fell short because they were not keen observers of humanity, especially the ones who find themselves in power after a revolution.


Egalitarian Thug

(12,448 posts)
12. True. I think one of the very many things we tend to overlook is that, while perfection is
Sat Sep 7, 2013, 02:30 PM
Sep 2013

still unattainable, we should never quit striving for it. What I find among the politically obsessed throughout the spectrum is a common dismissal of high expectations. Further, I believe that this is a primary cause of the free-falling standards throughout our nation and much of the world. Whether the subject is the President, education, or whether we can call it macaroni & cheese anymore, the most common salve recommended defenders of status quo is to simply lower one's expectations. "We can't be perfect so don't bother trying".

The people need to heal before they/we can progress and few of us are able to see our own sickness.



(8,352 posts)
13. I think these two quotes sum up what we are both getting at.
Sat Sep 7, 2013, 05:03 PM
Sep 2013

"Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp -- or what's a heaven for?" Robert Browning

"Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes." C.G. Jung

I do not believe humanity is capable of not striving in some form or fashion towards idealistic dreams, but in order to ever have a chance of realizing some of those visions in the hear & now, we must look within. That means understanding ourselves, resolving our childhood issues, and waking up by growing up psychologically.


(75,480 posts)
3. I have never read Marx or Lenin, forbidden books in my Catholic school,
Sat Sep 7, 2013, 10:06 AM
Sep 2013

although I tend to be a socialist myself in ideology. I should probably pick them up and start reading. I sure as hell have read all the Nazi stuff from the other side. It's time. Thanks for the reminder.

Starry Messenger

(32,342 posts)
5. I have.
Sat Sep 7, 2013, 10:35 AM
Sep 2013

Even knowing the science behind this makes it painful to observe in real time. But you know its getting obvious when even the Daily Show is talking about imperialism.


(11,481 posts)
8. I have.........
Sat Sep 7, 2013, 10:58 AM
Sep 2013

And yes we ARE there. We need a return to fundamental Bolshevism BEFORE the bureaucracy ( and remember, after Lenin's death) became a parasite on the worker's party and the worker's state.


(35,293 posts)
10. And one of the first things the Bolsheviks did was restore empire.
Sat Sep 7, 2013, 02:07 PM
Sep 2013

They insisted on keeping Polish territories and the Ukraine; they insisted on retaining control over as much of the former empire as possible by military means.

And when that failed, they did things like they did in Georgia--have a small number of people declare a new, Soviet state, and then have a large invasion to support that very small number of people.

For empire. Except that they couldn't call it "empire" even though it had everything but an emperior. That little oversight didn't stop the non-emperors from calling western countries, as their leaders won and lost elections, "empires."

Meanwhile, stop and consider what "imperialism" meant to Lenin when he wrote it, not the nice metaphorical uses that can be applied to pretty much anything we don't like. Even Germany was an empire--it "owned" Namibia and Cameroon. Few bits of Africa were free. Much of Asia was under the control of another country, that country being in many cases Russia. While imperialism had receded since 1800, it was still pretty intense in 1900. Even that partial retreat is a problem, of course--there were many fewer square miles of territory under empire in 1900 than in 1800, so imperialism retreated with capitalism, which makes sense--mercantilism needed empire, capitalism didn't to nearly the same extent.


(11,481 posts)
14. No the FIRST thing the Bolsheviks had to do......
Sat Sep 7, 2013, 07:05 PM
Sep 2013

was defend themselves against the imperialist armies of the WWI Allies who invaded and supported the White army during the Civil War.

Trotsky, the Marxist road not taken and the linear descendent of Lenin and the original Bolsheviks.


(56,582 posts)
11. No, we have very little in common with the industrial age
Sat Sep 7, 2013, 02:30 PM
Sep 2013

For that matter, we've implemented every plank of the Manifesto except universal equal liability for labor here in the US.

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