train

train wrote

Socdems think they can push Biden by talking with him and his team behind the scenes. Quite frankly they don't see him as an adversary. A lot of leftists just go along with it because I don't think they want to isolate themselves from a broader "left". I think this will just feed the disillusionment people have with what they see as left politics.

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train wrote

They are basically interactive surveys. Users can submit ideas, link them to other ideas, and then those ideas can be voted on. It's an interesting way to find points of consensus and difference of opinion.

The downsides are obviously that setting one up requires some level of effort and you need buy in from the comunity you're looking to understand. The end results though can be pretty cool in that you can use network analysis techniques to see how support for different ideas are linked.

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train wrote

Honestly you really don't have to worry that much about tech doing anything other than mass surveilance and more efficient exploitation. That's most giant tech companies right there.

All the other stuff you mentioned is mostly hype to inflate stock prices and let the super rich imagine they're living out some sort of Randian fantasy.

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train wrote

Reply to by !deleted20335

They get it in their heads that they must uncritically support all nation states that oppose the US. It's a lot of willful ignorance and self delusion much like many other online subcultures. Luckily though I have never met such a person IRL.

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train wrote

I think this article undersells just how absurd the great leap forward was. Yes, it relied on exploitation as state capitalism does. However, it became so much worse because of really shortsited and pseudoscientific ideas being applied uncritically and universally. There was lysenkoism, the four pest campaign, falsified grain yields, backyard furnaces, and more. It's kind of baffling really.

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train wrote

Reply to comment by lastfutures in demsocs by lastfutures

It really depends but as I said the term is diluted to the point where it may not be that useful. Social democrats, socialist reformists, and even revolutionary marxists that dislike vanguardism all use the term.

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train wrote

Reply to demsocs by lastfutures

Honestly, I think in the aftermath of the Bernie campaign a lot of the ideological differences between social democracy and democratic socialism are coming to the forground. Although I do worry that 'democratic socialism' is such a diluted term now that it's lost it's utility in communicating a set of ideas.

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train wrote

At this point in time, Marxism and its defenses seem more a religious thing than scientific, though its basis was more scientific than religious.

I think this is in part a consequence of propaganda that aims to build faith in Marxist methods. This kind of thinking seems to proliferate online especially.

The latter is now being contested scientifically, oddly enough.

Idk if quantum physics really challenges the concept of an objective reality. Rather I think it brings into question our previous understandings of how objective reality may operate. As such, I think it may still be compatible with dialectical materialism. Overall though the philosophical questions raised by theoretical physics are fascinating.

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train wrote

Well for one I do think other philosophies are scientific in nature, particularly those that incorporate some understanding of uncertainty. Your best bet is to contrast dialectical materialism with positivism though.

I should also say dialectical materialism is unique in how it uses dialectics to frame and understand continuous processes. However it's still very much a materialist philosophy and so it's not unique in many other respects. That includes how it contrasts with idealism.

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train wrote

I'm a Marxist so I'll say why I think Marxism is scientific. First of all though, I do think a number of Marxists use the term "scientific" as a way of borrowing the public legitimacy of science to validate their own ideology. I don't really think that's a good thing though as it leads people away from critiquing their own ideas which is ironically not very scientific.

As far as why I think Marxism is scientific it's because Marxism is based on the philosophy of dialectical materialism. Dialectical materialism, to put it simply, is a belief in an objective material reality that we can imprecisely observe. It dictates that the ideas we use to describe objective reality are based on our observations. Thus as we come across new observations that contradict our previous ideas, we must develop new ideas to resolve this contradiction.

There is more to it than that but I hope it's clear how such a philosophy melds really well with things like the scientific method. Of course this means Marxists should probably be interogating their more fundamental beliefs more often than many of them do.

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train wrote

I think you're right in someways but wrong in others. For one I really don't know that the PKK and subsequently the YPG have ever really had a meaningful international unit. It's entirely possible they aimed to expand those ranks even if they were not very successful in doing so. Although to be fair I don't actually know what the numbers are.

This of course doesn't mean playing up Bookchin isn't part of the PKK's and now Rojava's external propoganda. It certainly is. They clearly want to inspire sympathies from westerners as their claim to legitimacy was in part due to the US backing them in a war against ISIS. However, this strategy is limited and has done little to protect Rojava from Turkey.

Lastly, this isn't just part of Rojava's external propoganda. It's clearly internal too. I legitimately don't think they would have had much buy in from people in norntheastern Syria had Öcalan and the PKK not embraced some form of municipalism.

That doesn't mean Rojava is actually communalist. It also doesn't prove that communalism or democratic confederalism are worthwhile political philosophies. Hower, as I said, I do think the relative success of Rojava has actually drawn more people toward Bookchin and communalism. I think that's true even if, as you say, the intention was to draw communalists to the PKK and Rojava.

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train wrote

I think this article misses a key point in that I believe rising tensions with China are helping to fuel this racist and violent misogyny.

I'm not 100% certain but I'm guessing US military occupations in post war east Asia helped embed the fetishization of Asian women in American culture. I also think Asian imigrants' relationship to capital may dictate their vulnerability to racialized violence. South east asian and pacific islander immigrants seem particularly at risk as many come from poorer backgrounds. A lot of that poverty though is a direct result of US and European military and economic policy in east Asia.

I'm certainly worried that if the reason for rising conflict with China, namely a conflict between American and Chinese capital, is not exposed then racialized violence will only get worse. The history of US imperialism may be useful in helping to expose this conflict for what it is. However, liberal media and especially the Biden administration are avoiding the topic entirely for obvious reasons.

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train wrote (edited )

I get what you mean but this seems more like an argument to define the term anarchism to exclude certain self described anarchists. I don't think they describe themselves as such in bad faith. With that said, idk how useful it is to argue about whether or not they are anarchists. I think that detracts from the ideological argument which is far more substantive.

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train wrote

That's not how I understand it. Bookchin opposed individualist anarchism which is not what all self described anarchists believe is anarchism. His break from using the term anarchist to describe himself I believe is more about creating a distinction between his own philosophy and individualist anarchists. That's not a distinction all self descrilbed anarchists care to make.

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