The Leftist theory, politics, and activism discussion Thread

Where on the left spectrum do you fall?

  • Anarcho-Communist

  • Democratic socialist

  • Liberal

  • Centre-Left/Social Democrat

  • Anarchist

  • Anarcho-Syndicalist

  • Marxist

  • Maoist

  • Leninist

  • Other

Results are only viewable after voting.


May 17, 2013
The House that Peterbilt
Oh I know you know that. Not going for a debate. Just kinda...venting. When I saw some of the names likely to work in the Biden administration some the defense "consultant" space I just threw my hands up. What an easy goddamn opportunity to not set us up to do more shitty things.

I'm not sure if I'm more angry that they aren't even making a valiant effort to pretend, or if I'm grateful that the crumbling facades make it so patently obvious that it is time to get out of here.

Imma gonna stay I reckon.......................seems to me shit is changing and we have entered one of those periods where folks begin paying attention again..........

we will win this,if only through sheer attrition as boomers and red staters die the fuck off
Reactions: Bachafach^^^
Jul 29, 2012

Imma gonna stay I reckon.......................seems to me shit is changing and we have entered one of those periods where folks begin paying attention again..........

we will win this,if only through sheer attrition as boomers and red staters die the fuck off
Listening to The Storm Before the Storm by Mike Duncan. This is seeming all too familiar, and I feel like I've done my service to this country that I love. I feel fine with cashing out.


ANTIFA *funded by Soros* cucking the fash
Dec 6, 2019
Varaždin, Hrvaška
OpinionDare to declare capitalism dead – before it takes us all down with it
George Monbiot
Contributor image for: George Monbiot

The economic system is incompatible with the survival of life on Earth. It is time to design a new one
Thu 25 Apr 2019 01.00 EDT
1 year old

For most of my adult life I’ve railed against “corporate capitalism”, “consumer capitalism” and “crony capitalism”. It took me a long time to see that the problem is not the adjective but the noun. While some people have rejected capitalism gladly and swiftly, I’ve done so slowly and reluctantly. Part of the reason was that I could see no clear alternative: unlike some anti-capitalists, I have never been an enthusiast for state communism. I was also inhibited by its religious status. To say “capitalism is failing” in the 21st century is like saying “God is dead” in the 19th: it is secular blasphemy. It requires a degree of self-confidence I did not possess.
But as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to recognise two things. First, that it is the system, rather than any variant of the system, that drives us inexorably towards disaster. Second, that you do not have to produce a definitive alternative to say that capitalism is failing. The statement stands in its own right. But it also demands another, and different, effort to develop a new system.
Perpetual growth on a finite planet leads inexorably to environmental calamity
Capitalism’s failures arise from two of its defining elements. The first is perpetual growth. Economic growth is the aggregate effect of the quest to accumulate capital and extract profit. Capitalism collapses without growth, yet perpetual growth on a finite planet leads inexorably to environmental calamity.

Those who defend capitalism argue that, as consumption switches from goods to services, economic growth can be decoupled from the use of material resources. Last week a paper in the journal New Political Economy, by Jason Hickel and Giorgos Kallis, examined this premise. They found that while some relative decoupling took place in the 20th century (material resource consumption grew, but not as quickly as economic growth), in the 21st century there has been a recoupling: rising resource consumption has so far matched or exceeded the rate of economic growth. The absolute decoupling needed to avert environmental catastrophe (a reduction in material resource use) has never been achieved, and appears impossible while economic growth continues. Green growth is an illusion.
A system based on perpetual growth cannot function without peripheries and externalities. There must always be an extraction zone – from which materials are taken without full payment – and a disposal zone, where costs are dumped in the form of waste and pollution. As the scale of economic activity increases until capitalism affects everything, from the atmosphere to the deep ocean floor, the entire planet becomes a sacrifice zone: we all inhabit the periphery of the profit-making machine.
This drives us towards cataclysm on such a scale that most people have no means of imagining it. The threatened collapse of our life-support systems is bigger by far than war, famine, pestilence or economic crisis, though it is likely to incorporate all four. Societies can recover from these apocalyptic events, but not from the loss of soil, an abundant biosphere and a habitable climate.
Mark Carney tells global banks they cannot ignore climate change dangers
The second defining element is the bizarre assumption that a person is entitled to as great a share of the world’s natural wealth as their money can buy. This seizure of common goods causes three further dislocations. First, the scramble for exclusive control of non-reproducible assets, which implies either violence or legislative truncations of other people’s rights. Second, the immiseration of other people by an economy based on looting across both space and time. Third, the translation of economic power into political power, as control over essential resources leads to control over the social relations that surround them.

In the New York Times on Sunday, the Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz sought to distinguish between good capitalism, which he called “wealth creation”, and bad capitalism, which he called “wealth grabbing” (extracting rent). I understand his distinction. But from the environmental point of view, wealth creation is wealth grabbing. Economic growth, intrinsically linked to the increasing use of material resources, means seizing natural wealth from both living systems and future generations.
To point to such problems is to invite a barrage of accusations, many of which are based on this premise: capitalism has rescued hundreds of millions of people from poverty – now you want to impoverish them again. It is true that capitalism, and the economic growth it drives, has radically improved the prosperity of vast numbers of people, while simultaneously destroying the prosperity of many others: those whose land, labour and resources were seized to fuel growth elsewhere. Much of the wealth of the rich nations was – and is – built on slavery and colonial expropriation.
Like coal, capitalism has brought many benefits. But, like coal, it now causes more harm than good. Just as we have found means of generating useful energy that are better and less damaging than coal, so we need to find means of generating human wellbeing that are better and less damaging than capitalism.
There is no going back: the alternative to capitalism is neither feudalism nor state communism. Soviet communism had more in common with capitalism than the advocates of either system would care to admit. Both systems are (or were) obsessed with generating economic growth. Both are willing to inflict astonishing levels of harm in pursuit of this and other ends. Both promised a future in which we would need to work for only a few hours a week, but instead demand endless, brutal labour. Both are dehumanising. Both are absolutist, insisting that theirs and theirs alone is the one true God.
Support for Extinction Rebellion soars after Easter protests
So what does a better system look like? I don’t have a complete answer, and I don’t believe any one person does. But I think I see a rough framework emerging. Part of it is provided by the ecological civilisation proposed by Jeremy Lent, one of the greatest thinkers of our age. Other elements come from Kate Raworth’s doughnut economics and the environmental thinking of Naomi Klein, Amitav Ghosh, Angaangaq Angakkorsuaq, Raj Patel and Bill McKibben. Part of the answer lies in the notion of “private sufficiency, public luxury”. Another part arises from the creation of a new conception of justice based on this simple principle: every generation, everywhere, shall have an equal right to the enjoyment of natural wealth.

I believe our task is to identify the best proposals from many different thinkers and shape them into a coherent alternative. Because no economic system is only an economic system but intrudes into every aspect of our lives, we need many minds from various disciplines – economic, environmental, political, cultural, social and logistical – working collaboratively to create a better way of organising ourselves that meets our needs without destroying our home.
Our choice comes down to this. Do we stop life to allow capitalism to continue, or stop capitalism to allow life to continue?
• George Monbiot is a Guardian columnist
Reactions: SwollenGoat


ANTIFA *funded by Soros* cucking the fash
Dec 6, 2019
Varaždin, Hrvaška
Hegel on Bastille Day
Hegel was no reactionary, and he had a special sympathy for the French Revolution.

Our new issue – looking at what the Bernie campaigns accomplished and the work left to do – is out next month. Get a discounted print subscription today!

In July 1820, G. W. F. Hegel and his students arrived in Dresden to see some of the city’s art. The year was not an auspicious one for liberal or revolutionary circles.
Napoleon’s armies disbanded, Europe’s reactionary powers restored the old order through the Holy Alliance. With police spies snooping around, positive sentiments for the French Revolution and the ghosts of progress were seldom exhibited. Such sentiments were forced underground by reaction, and to even speak favorably about the revolution in public or in official circles would be near-lunacy. That’s why in the case of Hegel — someone described as a Prussian-state philosopher — the scene Terry Pinkard describes is remarkable.
Hegel gathered friends and colleagues and ordered top-shelf champagne — Champagne Sillery, the most distinguished of its day. He passed bottles around the table, but “when it became clear that nobody at the table knew exactly why they should be drinking to that particular day, Hegel turned in mock astonishment and with raised voice declared, ‘This glass is for the 14th of July, 1789 — to the storming of the Bastille.’”
Needless to say, this toast astonished the students there, among them Eduard Gans, who would later become Marx’s law professor. How could Hegel be so reckless to express such dangerous sympathies at the height of Restoration Europe?
Hegel once told his friend Immanuel Niethammer that to be a philosopher was to be an “expositus,” an exposed person. Once the French Revolution rediscovered that Nous, reason, governs the world, Hegel, the philosopher of reason, would inevitably find himself — whether he liked it or not as a Prussian state philosophy professor — allied to those progressive and potentially rebellious forces. The philosophy of absolute reason thus had real political consequences.
The French Revolution decisively shaped Hegel’s life and thought. One of the first anecdotes we have from Hegel’s student days at the Tubingen seminary is how he and his student-friends, Holderlin and Schelling, planted a “Liberty Tree” together on July 14, 1793, when the Jacobin terror was at its peak. They danced and sang revolutionary songs around it, anticipating that the new revolutionary dawn would soon come to Germany.
Even more than planting a revolutionary maypole, Hegel was a member of the Jacobin Club in Tubingen. That experience inspired him to write subversive passages in his “Historical Fragments” collected by Karl Rosenkranz from Hegel’s Bern Period (1793–1797). Here are some excerpts:
How dangerous the disproportionate wealth of certain citizens is to even the freest form of constitution and how it is capable of destroying liberty itself is shown by history in the example of Pericles of Athens; of the patricians in Rome, the downfall of whom the menacing influence of the Gracchi and others in vain sought to retard through proposals of agrarian laws…
It would be an important topic of investigation to see how much of the strict right of property would have to be sacrificed for the sake of a durable form of republic. We have perhaps not done justice to the system of sansculottism in France in seeking the source of its demand for greater equality of property solely in rapacity.
We also find this passage preserved in the historical studies, which may be an instance of Hegel’s early Jacobin oratory, addressed to a reactionary defender of the status quo against the unleashed revolutionary energies of the people:
There is a great difference between the passivity of military subordination (under a monarchy) and the rage of insurrection; between the order of a general and the flame of enthusiasm which liberty establishes through all the veins of a living being. It is this sacred flame which strained all nerves; it is for this flame, it is to enjoy it, that they exerted themselves. These efforts are enjoyments of liberty, and you wish the people to renounce them. These activities, this endeavor on behalf of the public, this interest is the active principle, and you wish the people to throw itself more into inaction and torpor.
After the Reign of Terror and the fall of Robespierre, Hegel took a more somber and often times very critical view of Jacobinism in his later Jena period, right through to the publication of his masterwork, the Phenomenology of Spirit. But it is important to understand how Hegel understood the Jacobins’ role as not entirely retrogressive, but progressive to the development of human freedom, or what Hegel calls the development of human spirit in history.
Hegel’s critique of the Terror was more salutary towards the Jacobins than mainstream scholars give credit for. According to some, Hegel took a counterrevolutionary position, almost similar to that of Edmund Burke. Against this reductionist view, we need to revisit the points Hegel’s Jena writings and lectures from 1805–06.
Hegel is clear in these works that in order for the idea of freedom to become flesh, spirit requires force to create the conditions for freedom. As he puts it in his Jena Wastebook Aphorisms: “Through consciousness (rational) spirit intervenes in the order of the world. This is spirit’s infinite tool, also bayonets, cannons, and bodies.”
Reactions: SwollenGoat