The Evolution of Socialist Ideas and Principals

The Evolution of Socialist Ideas and Principals

From the writings of Marx, Engels, Bakunin and many others of the 19th century, to the writings of Kropotkin, Lenin, Castro, 'Che', Bookchin, and many more, the basic principals of socialism have not changed. Much of our language and terms, that we use in expressing our ideology have also not progressed. The labels "bourgeois", "proletariat", and the term "dictatorship of the proletariat", for instance, have not changed since the mid 1800's. But the world, and humanity has changed. As all living organisms, with IQ's greater than my boot size, will have noted, life is dynamic - It changes. While the change may not be in a progressive manor, it still changes. And yet, most of our leftist ideals have not changed a whole fuck of a lot over the last 150 some odd years. Why is that? Are we not the "progressives"? Have we learned nothing in our comrades long struggle? Where are we going with our struggle in this 21st century?

The main part of our historical struggle has been focused on rights of the working class people. It took a long hard fight to achieve the right for working class men to be allowed a vote in elections in "western" countries, and more years for wymen, then immigrants and people of colour. Many suffered great hardship and violence during the struggle, and many still struggle in the world for such rights. While there has been many loses, there has also been many gains. Human ape's civilization moves on in it's dynamic progress of change. Scientific knowledge and an ever greater understanding of our evolutionary history has gained us a greater understanding of where we, the human ape, came from. This is knowledge that Marx, Engels, Bakunin, etc., could not have known. Hell, how could they even be able to comprehend the Jazz music I'm listening to right now (John Coltrain), on a 4 hour long play list of Jazz music on my computer wired to 3 amps and 8 speakers? Think about it. Think about what you have around you in a 5 metre radius. Think about how mind blowing that would be to anyone from the 19th century. We have riches surrounding us, and yet are still unhappy with our lot. Why? Because of our perceptions of the wealth of others around us.

The propaganda memes that assail our every senses, here in the rich part of the world, urge us to not only consume, but to consume every greater "quality" of goods. Even the simplest organism, living in a petri dish moves toward the sweetest nutrient, or, as I use to spray paint on walls, "The Urge to Buy, Terrorize's You". As technology has spread through out the world, even the poorest of people want to have our rich lifestyle, in spite of the reality that our little blue ball can not sustain unrestricted growth in the demand for consumer goods. But, by what right do we, of the rich countries, to try to prevent others from seeking, and obtaining, that which we take for granted?

So, what is to be done? How are we to archive equality for all with out lowering the standard of living for all in rich countries, which would be totally unacceptable to people in rich countries, and yet not totally devastate earth's natural environment? I ask you all to ponder the following questions, and seek discussions with others, and not just with other socialist/communist/anarchist/etc. types, but with anyone that is interested.

Discussion Points

(1) How do we neutralize the ever growing threat of literal belief in what has proven to be very dangerous memes and memeplexes (religion, Fascism, etc.)?

(2) How can the poor of the world be helped out of poverty, and given the same opportunities that people in rich countries have, with out (a) lowering of most people in rich countries standard of living, and (b) destroying the environment?

(3) How do we insure the protection of all differently abled people, be they autistic, bi-polar, para or quadra pelagic, or otherwise off the range of "average" humans, to pursue their own version of a satisfying life?

(4) How do we insure the continued survival of all human cultures, while removing the bad components of those cultures?

I do not intend this to be a complete list. These are just a few point to start a discussion, it is up to all any interested person to add other points, or to expand my points. This isn't a discussion about me, or about leftist philosophy. It is about we, the critical, sceptical and scientifically thinking people coming together to find new solutions. Of particular importance is the participation of people of less developed nations, and of differently abled people. Capitalism is not going to solve the problems of earth, and it inhabitants, but neither are the old methods of socialist/communist states. Nor will petty sectarian disputes. All people who have been able to remove the yoke of the theist meme are or potential allies, and for that we must treat them with honest critical respect. Division in the face of the enemy has never been an intelligent or successfully tactic.

One last note, I've put this discussion in several groups - Socialist Atheists, Atheist News, Anarchist Atheists, FreeThinking Anarchists and Left Wing Atheists. Check the replies in all.

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I have not a bloody clue why the Hutterites are against swimming lessons, and as for them being peacefully, well they are suppose to be, but the reality in our bar when they sneak off the colony, is not that way. They have tended to be some of the worse for picking fights as they are so arrogant in their belief that they are superior, as everyone else is going to burn in hell. The worst thing about them to me, is that they treat the women and girls worse than their cattle.
While they don't, to my knowledge, have bathing suits, but still go swimming in a dug-out that they set up with a diving board, I don't think the issue for them is bathing suits. The offer to teach the kids to swim was made with the intent of doing the teaching at their dug-out, so no one would be requiring them to ware anything other than their normal swim ware - their under ware. The problem is the little kids drowning when there is no older kids to supervise them. The older ones learn to swim on their own, or drown.
There are many strange things about Hutterites, like the sight of them decked out in old style home made cloths, but driving new 4x4 trucks or large passenger vans (owned by the colony). When they come to buy things, it's always the men, and they will refuse to deal with a women. When they come to our shop, for instance, to buy our broken bags of caustic soda (used to make soap), or the like, they resist talking to my boss, Janice. Wayne, my other boss and Janice's husband and business partner, has forced them to deal with her or fuck off, but they still resist it.
What I experienced in Nicaragua was just a slight taste of what the campesinos (peasants) life is like, and the experience of the poor in the Americas is not like anything else in Europe, Asia or Africa. Nor do I assume it to be. The Sandinista Front at that time, were trying to bring basic literacy to the Campos, as well as teaching them basic health care. Unfortunately, the American backed counter revolutionary guerrillas (the Contras) were doing all they could to destroy this. Many health care workers and teachers were murdered by them. Most of the old (pre Columbian) cultures in Nicaragua had been destroyed over a hundred years earlier. In your country, the roots of each tribe's culture is much older, and even the add on parts from Islam are much older.
As I said before, education, without the taint of religion is one of the most important thing we must strive to achieve world wide, for human culture to evolve.
I think the most influential teachers are not found at school, but rather at home. What do you think would happen if even 1% of mothers could be reached?
Unfortunately, many bad influences can come from the home though.While I recognize that converting the parents to think rationally, and pass that ability for critical thought on to there children, this is not always possible because of the demands of the economic realities that most of us live in. But when I say that education is most important, I do not mean it in a strictly academic school based setting.
These are interesting questions Mac. Huge questions. I have no idea what the answers are to any of them. However, since you asked them in the interest of discussion, I will give it a go. I think with any overwhelming problem, you have to break them down into smaller, more manageable pieces. Apologies in advance for solving the worlds problems in 5 paragraphs or less.

1.) I'm not sure that anyone can agree on what are dangerous memes vs. benign memes, but I do know that if you want beliefs to change, you will have to change the culture that espouses them.

In my line of work, I have to make change happen frequently on an organizational scale. What we do is find a group of innovative people and convince them to change first. Those people convince others to change, and so on. Probably 1 in 20 people is willing to change their routine drastically without much resistance.

Those people will change, and then talk to others. Then you get a group of early adopters. This is where you succeed or fail in making a long term change. If the early adopters don't like the change, failure is pretty well imminent because they will spread the news that the change is negative and then other people won't comply. The trick is to focus your attention and efforts on this small group.

You need to be well organized, have a clear message, and have people available who are good leaders. You also need adequate resources to make something happen.

2.) There was a UN resolution signed in 1970 promising that wealthy nations would contribute .07% of their gross national income to developing nations. Member nations have not necessarily followed through but there are still billions of dollars in aid going to developing countries annually. Beyond that, charitable donations from individuals and corporations are also made in the trillions of dollars each year. Distribution is very difficult unfortunately. Recipient nations also bear some responsibility for aiding in distribution of resources and that doesn't always happen. There are greedy a-holes all over the place.

Check it out:

Excellent! This is the sort of thing I was hopping to see show up in this discussion! :}*
Mac, you keep mentioning education as the key to a more enlightened citizenry. As an educator in the United States I am curious as to what the Canadian educational system is like. In the U.S., our national ideology is reflected in the extreme inequality of inner city and wealthy suburb schools, lesson plans are structured more towards behavior management that learning, and assesment is based on effort not knowledge.

This is a topic that I feel very passionately about and I could go on and on (and on and on), but I am more interested in what you have to say about what the condition of public education is in Canada.




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