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Where’s the best place to live in light of collapse?

Ok we are 323 comments in on the collapse post and 98% didn’t bother to make even a slightly thoughtful answer. So... i guess i will be the change i want to see in the world
First off, If you are the fatalistic nihlistic type you can just go where you think it will be nice to die, maybe that is with friends and family, maybe it is on a beach in mexico, or feeding your body to the last polar bear. For everyone else that still has the instinct and drive for self-preservation….
What are the best places to be leading up to or during collapse?

First let's question the question.

What difference does it make to know "What are the best places to be leading up to or during collapse"?
The answer is dependent upon your own personal situation. Your personal situation has limiting factors.
Your personal Limiting Factors constrain you usually somewhere between those extremes, everyone has different options.
If we assume you are asking the question "What are the best places to be leading up to or during collapse" because you want to have the best standard of living available for as long as possible or simply survive the incoming population bottleneck, then the practical question becomes ...
"What are the best places to be, leading up to or during collapse, that i can get to, and establish myself in such a way that I can maintain the best standard of living possible for as long as I can or simply increase my probability of surviving the incoming population bottleneck."
It is important to ask this question to constrain the search space to the possible. It makes fuck-all difference if a somali goat herder knows about the ToP SeCret ElitE mULtibiLLioNaIre New ZEaLand sOUth IsLaNd ReDoUbt BuNkeR CoMmUnITy It is not going to help him and should not be in the search space as a survival strategy.
TL:DR Constrain your search space to what is realistically achievable for you.
  1. Start with your baseline probability of survival and increase it.
  2. Don't let a search for "best place" stop you from achieving "good enough place" or "better than where i was previously place".
  3. You are just trying to be an early adopter of increasing your survival probability stats before the non collapse-pilled masses.
  4. Think of surviving bottlenecks like surviving a charging bear attack, you don't need to be able to outrun the bear, you only need to be able to outrun the slowest people in the group up to the point the bear's appetite is satiated.
  5. Remember working with others can leverage group synergies and massively increase the realistic capabilities, but this requires you establish social cohesion with sane cooperative people that have a similar goal orientation. /greencommunes
.............................................................................................................
What are the best places to be, leading up to or during collapse, that i can get to, and establish myself in such a way that I can maintain the best standard of living possible for as long as I can or simply increase my probability of surviving the incoming population bottleneck." 

Ok now lets question the new question some more...

In order to answer this we need to untangle some of the subjective and objective elements.
The objective elements of human survival are well known.
Optimizing location is a series of subjective trade-offs. There is no perfect place, they all have advantages and disadvantages.
So you must decide your personal preference of which goods and bads you most desire and what your scenario expectations are of the future.
Your personal preferences and collapse expectations mean the “best area” is specific to you.
What you can achieve and what do you desire, find the overlap between the two, then do research to find the place that gives you the most goods with the least bads and increases your probability of survival and standard of living.
One of the best strategies is to adapt yourself to your local circumstances to take advantage of the advantages, and plan ahead to mitigate the disadvantages, it is really all most people can do for themselves.
Do you like not living in unbearable heat, maybe moving to greenland is NOT a better option than just buying 400watts of solar panels and attaching it to a small efficient AC that keeps one room of your house cool even during summer electricity blackouts. Most problems have multiple solutions, it is worth it to take time and think about things from an economic perspective and different time horizon perspectives.
Increasing your optionality is better than narrowing it when it comes to survival, rather than the binary thinking, of “go way out into the northern mountains, farm and live in a bunker” versus “be a full time yuppie and ignore collapse issues”. Getting 2 acres you can put a cheap used rv camper on and go do permaculture on during weekends, near enough your place of employment/where you live, is probably a better plan. Indeed the small dacha’s and country gardens helped many people survive the collapse of the USSR. They would spend weekends and haul potatoes/veggies back to the city with them on the bus. Hedge your bets to cover the most scenarios including the most likely scenarios like losing your job or getting in a car accident. Survival and thriving always has and always will involve dynamic adaptation.
Here is a very short list of some of potential trade-offs that you may need to think about and some brief descriptions of how they can affect things. This is NOT meant to be a systematic or exhaustive analysis, this is just me stream-of-conscious flowing on strong coffee to help others start thinking about it for themselves. There are unlimited variables
Most of these maps are of the USA. If you have other maps please post them in the comments and i will edit this post to squeeze them in. From these maps and a little critical thinking you can figure out where is best for YOU. If you need to figure something out go to google images and search for maps it is easier than ever to find what you need. But remember the map is not the territory, there are great spots maps don't have the resolution to show.These are just some random things i pulled up real quick. mapporn is a good source
https://gain.nd.edu/our-work/country-index/
https://ourworldindata.org/charts
https://ucanr.edu/blogs/dirt/blogfiles/37486_original.jpg
https://www.plantmaps.com/
There are a lot of submaps,for example if you click california then it brings first and last frost date maps, heat maps etc…
http://www.bonap.org/
On the left hand side there are lots of links to climate and biogeography maps
https://www.firelab.org/sites/default/files/images/downloads/whp_2018_classified_midsize.jpg
Firehazard map
https://imgur.com/a/drI7nZB middle of nowhere
hdd+cdd= change in energy requirements for climate control https://energyathaas.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/caldeira.png
https://fitzlab.shinyapps.io/cityapp/ Find out what your city will be like in 60 years
human development index https://imgur.com/a/VDmTac7
https://imgur.com/a/XoGw1Ic solar and wind potential combined
https://imgur.com/a/97XEe22 1% of population lives here
https://imgur.com/a/Ki4Zegq land quality
https://imgur.com/a/kYzus5H Fig. 2 Spatial distributions of projected damages. County-level median values for average 2080 to 2099 RCP8.5 impacts. Impacts are changes relative to counterfactual “no additional climate change” trajectories. Color indicates magnitude of impact in median projection; outline color indicates level of agreement across projections (thin white outline, inner 66% of projections disagree in sign; no outline, ≥83% of projections agree in sign; black outline, ≥95% agree in sign; thick white outline, state borders; maps without outlines shown in fig. S2). Negative damages indicate economic gains. (A) Percent change in yields, area-weighted average for maize, wheat, soybeans, and cotton. (B) Change in all-cause mortality rates, across all age groups. (C) Change in electricity demand. (D) Change in labor supply of full-time-equivalent workers for low-risk jobs where workers are minimally exposed to outdoor temperature. (E) Same as (D), except for high-risk jobs where workers are heavily exposed to outdoor temperatures. (F) Change in damages from coastal storms. (G) Change in property-crime rates. (H) Change in violent-crime rates. (I) Median total direct economic damage across all sectors [(A) to (H)].
https://i.redd.it/x9a2x7627vm31.png Nuclear targets
https://i.redd.it/s8stxdk9a6i31.jpg Chernobyl fallout, demonstrates the nonlinear patterns of distribution
https://i.redd.it/al06n7nofwi21.png Reliance on nuclear energy.
https://i.imgur.com/AbcjwaD.jpg
https://imgur.com/6o2XcHD
https://i.redd.it/jvp1e7maxhr01.jpg Global solar potential
https://i.redd.it/zk0hbo2bhf4z.png Renewable electric supply
Power plants http://i.imgur.com/esUA6iN.jpg
https://i.redd.it/6s781fax1cs21.jpg Red and orange have same populations
https://i.redd.it/cbndvblgz0x21.jpg Agricultural suitability
https://i.redd.it/cpkaqv5h11d31.jpg how america uses its land
https://i.redd.it/2w1va9h2w7431.png Life expectancy by congressional district
https://i.redd.it/kgrz9rweksx21.jpg food for humansgreen versus animal feed purple
https://i.imgur.com/TOlZ2SD.gif line that separates wet and dry USA
https://imgur.com/oqJXKsV Is food a human right? See paupericide
https://i.redd.it/xbvng0ul8nz01.jpg food self sufficiency
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/315066937/figure/fig2/AS:[email protected]/Worlds-hybrid-PV-Wind-power-plant-cumulative-FLh-map.png combination wind+photovoltaic capacity
https://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/images/content/95539main_fig1.jpg human appropriated net primary productivity
https://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/images/content/95543main_fig2.jpg avoid the pink and orange unless your strategy is cannabilism in fast or hard crash.
https://nimaehsani.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/water_scarcity_map.jpg?w=748 water shortage
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/84/Global_malnutrition.png malnutrition
https://science.sciencemag.org/content/sci/354/6309/aaf8957/F5.large.jpg
submitted by MakeTotalDestr0i to collapse [link] [comments]

Week 48; Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

The humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico worsened with the inadequate response by the federal government. Amid criticism, Trump threatened to pull out, but later backed off. Although the death count officially stands at 45, reporting revealed possibly hundreds more preventable deaths related to the Hurricane Maria.
Trump remains silent on both California’s deadliest wildfires and the deadliest combat incident since he took office. He continues to focus on undoing Obama’s legacy, piece-by-piece. The Mueller investigation hit Trump’s inner-circle, and social media’s role in aiding Russia continues to unfold.
  1. On Saturday night, Richard Spencer led another white supremacist torch-lit rally at University of Virginia. The rally lasted 10 minutes and 40-50 people attended. Spencer vowed, “we will keep coming back.”
  2. On Sunday, Trump attacked former ally Sen. Bob Corker in a series of incendiary tweets, saying “Corker “begged” me to endorse him for re-election” and “wanted to be Secretary of State.” Trump claimed to have said no to both.
  3. Corker responded, tweeting it’s a shame the WH has become an “adult day care center,” and that someone “missed their shift this morning.”
  4. On Sunday, Pence left a Colts game after a protest during the national anthem. Pence later issued a full statement opposing the protests. The Colts were playing the 49ers, a team known to protest.
  5. Before the game, Pence tweeted a photo of him and the Second Lady wearing Colts gear. The photo was one he originally tweeted in 2014.
  6. Shortly after, Trump tweeted he had asked Pence to leave the game “if any players kneeled,” and said he was proud of Pence and the Second Lady.
  7. The pool of journalists covering Pence were not allowed into the stadium, and were told, “there may be an early departure from the game.” ABC estimated Pence’s flight cost taxpayers nearly $250k.
  8. Bowing to pressure from Trump, the Cowboys’ Jerry Jones, after kneeling with players in week 3 of the season, changed course saying any player who “disrespects the flag” by kneeling will not be allowed to play.
  9. On Tuesday, Trump threatened the NFL over protests saying the league is “getting massive tax breaks” and the law should be changed. This claim is false: the NFL gave up its 501(c)(6) tax-exempt status in 2015.
  10. On Tuesday, bowing to pressure from Trump and fans, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who previously had said players had the right to voice their opinions, sided with owners opposed to letting players demonstrate.
  11. On Monday, Pence headlined a fundraiser in CA for Republicans including controversial, Kremlin-ally Rep. Dana Rohrabacher. Rohrabacher had a previously undisclosed meeting in Russia with Veselnitskaya described in Week 47.
  12. University of Wisconsin approved a policy which calls for suspending or expelling students who disrupt campus speeches and presentations. The policy mirrors Republican legislation passed by the state Assembly.
  13. On Columbus Day, unlike Obama, Trump celebrated the “arrival of Europeans,” but did not mention of the suffering of Native Americans.
  14. On Sunday, the Trump’s DHS allowed the Jones Act waiver, which helped speed relief to Puerto Rico, to expire. No explanation was given.
  15. Trump’s EPA announced it would repeal the Clean Power Plan, Obama’s signature policy to curb greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. The statement described the regulation as the “so-called Clean Power Plan.”
  16. On Friday, Trump addressed the Value Voters Summit hosted by the Family Research Council, which has been classified by SPLC as an anti-gay hate group. Trump is the first US leader to address the group.
  17. Reuters reported the Trump regime has been quietly cutting support for halfway houses for federal prisoners, severing contracts with as many as 16 facilities, necessitating some inmates stay behind bars longer.
  18. ABC reported the Treasury Dept’s inspector general is looking into allegations reported by BuzzFeed in Week 47 that agency officials have been illegally looking at private financial records of US citizens.
  19. A report compiled by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) at House and Senate Democrats’ request, found the Trump transition team ignored ethics officials and refused to cooperate with the GAO.
  20. Trump named Kathleen Hartnett White to the WH’s Council on Environmental Quality. Hartnett White, a climate science denier, once also said, “fossil fuels dissolved the economic justification for slavery.”
  21. In response to a filing by CREW, Trump’s DOJ told a court in DC that Trump can destroy records without judicial review, including tweets.
  22. Brian Brooks became the second candidate under consideration for deputy Treasury Secretary to withdraw from consideration. Mnuchin said he has no plans to fill the number two slot in his agency.
  23. WAPO reported at the Interior Dept, when Zinke enters the building a staffer takes the elevator to the seventh floor, climbs the stairs to the roof and puts up a special flag. The flag comes down when he leaves.
  24. On Wednesday, NBC reported Tillerson calling Trump a “moron” was provoked by Trump suggesting a tenfold increase in the US nuclear arsenal during a July 20 meeting with the high-ranking national security leaders.
  25. In response to the story which he called “Fake News,” Trump tweeted a threat to revoke the broadcasting licenses of “NBC and the Networks.”
  26. Later that afternoon, at a news conference, Trump again lashed out at the independent news media saying it’s “frankly disgusting the press is able to write whatever it wants to write.”
  27. In a statement Wednesday night, Republican Sen. Ben Sasse asked Trump if he was “recanting” his oath to protect the First Amendment.
  28. Indiana Republican lawmaker Jim Lucas drafted a bill that would require professional journalists to be licensed by state police.
  29. Under pressure to confirm Trump’s judicial nominees, McConnell will no longer allow “blue slips,” used by senators to deny a nominee from their state a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing and vote on confirmation.
  30. The Trump regime withdrew from United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), citing anti-Israel bias and a being in arrears on a $550 million payment. Israel remains part of UNESCO.
  31. NYT published an interview with Corker in which he said Trump is treating his office like a “reality show” with reckless threats at other country that could put our country “on the path to World War III.”
  32. Corker said he is concerned about Trump, and Trump’s behavior should concern “anyone who cares about our nation.” He added there is no ‘good cop, bad cop’ underway with Tillerson — Trump is undermining diplomacy.
  33. Corker said nearly all Senate Republican share his concerns: “the vast majority of our caucus understands what we’re dealing with here.”
  34. WAPO reported Trump is frustrated by his cabinet and that he is not getting enough credit for his handling of three hurricanes. Trump is lashing out and rupturing alliances with both Republicans and Democrats.
  35. One confidant said Trump is like a whistling teapot, saying when he does not blow off steam, he can turn into a pressure cooker and explode: “I think we are in pressure cooker territory.”
  36. Politico quoted 10 sources current and former WH aides who employed strategies like delays and distractions as “guardrails” in trying to manage Trump’s impulsivity.
  37. Vanity Fair reported sources say Trump is “unstable,” “losing a step,” and “unraveling.” They say the WH is in crisis as advisers struggle to contain Trump who is increasingly unfocused and consumed by dark moods.
  38. Trump allegedly told his former bodyguard Schiller, “I hate everyone in the White House!” Kelly is allegedly miserable in the job, and is staying on in a sense of duty and to keep Trump from making disastrous decisions.
  39. One former official speculated Kelly and Mattis have discussed what they would do if Trump ordered a nuclear strike — “would they tackle him?”
  40. According to sources, Bannon said the risk to Trump’s presidency wasn’t impeachment, but the 25th Amendment. Bannon thinks Trump has only a 30% chance of making it the full term.
  41. In a column “What Bob Corker Sees in Trump,” conservative columnist Peggy Noonan urged Republicans they have a duty to speak on the record about what they see happening with Trump.
  42. On Thursday, at a signing ceremony for his health care executive order, Trump nearly walked out of the room without signing the order. Pence pulled him back in.
  43. On Tuesday, Trump said in an interview with Forbes that he could beat Tillerson in an IQ test. Trump met with Tillerson later that day at the WH.
  44. On Friday, Corker called out Trump for his effort to disempower Tillerson saying: “You cannot publicly castrate your own secretary of state without giving yourself that binary choice.”
  45. CNN’s Fareed Zakaria said, “It’s very clear now that we essentially have no diplomacy going on in the United States,” adding the way Trump has treated Tillerson is “the most dramatic example of it.”
  46. On CBS’s 60 Minutes, Parscale claimed he fine-tuned ads on Facebook to directly reach voters with the exact messages they cared most about. He also claimed he handpicked Republican Facebook employees to help.
  47. Daily Beast reported the Kremlin recruited two black video bloggers, Williams and Kalvin Johnson, to produce incendiary YouTube videos calling Hillary a racist. The videos were spread on social media platforms.
  48. WAPO reported Google has uncovered evidence about $100k of ads purchased by Russian agents to spread disinformation on across the company’s many products, including YouTube, during the 2016 election.
  49. Google said the ads do not appear to be from the same Kremlin-linked troll farm that bought ads on Facebook. Some ads touted Trump, Bernie Sanders, and Jill Stein, while others aimed to fan the flames of divisive issues.
  50. Rep. Devin Nunes, who recused himself as Chair of the House Intel Committee’s Russia probe, unilaterally signed off on subpoenas to Fusion GPS, the research firm that produced the Steele dossier. Democrats were not consulted.
  51. Reuters reported Chuck Grassley, the Republican chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is also taking steps to discredit the dossier according to Democrats on the committee.
  52. Carter Page told the Senate Intel Committee that he will not cooperate with any requests to appear before the panel on Russia, and will plead the Fifth.
  53. Daily Beast reported the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is looking at Cambridge Analytica’s work from the Trump campaign as part of its Russian probe.
  54. Cambridge Analytica, which has ownership ties to the Mercers and Bannon, was brought in to help the campaign by Kushner. The company is also under investigation in the UK watchdog for its role in Brexit.
  55. NYT reported Israel caught Kaspersky Lab working with the Russian government to search the world for US secrets, using Kaspersky software to scan for classified words. Kaspersky software is used by 400 million people.
  56. WSJ reported that Russia’s use of the Kaspersky program to spy on the US is broader and more pervasive than the operation against one individual in Week 47. Trump continues to deny Russian meddling in the US election.
  57. Politico reported as part their posture to cooperate, Trump’s attorneys may offer Mueller a meeting with Trump. If Mueller doesn’t ask by Thanksgiving, attorneys may force the issue by volunteering his time.
  58. Legal experts were surprised by Trump’s lawyers strategy noting Trump would be speaking under oath and he routinely distorts facts, and that Trump would be interviewed in connection with a criminal investigation.
  59. CNN reported Russian operatives used YouTube, Tumblr, and even Pokémon Go as part of their effort to interfere in the election, using a campaign titled “Don’t Shoot Us” to spread a divisive message.
  60. NBC reported Manafort had a previously undisclosed $26 million loan from Deripaska through a series of transactions. It is unclear if the $26 million is a loan or an indirect payment from the Russian oligarch.
  61. The loan brings the total financial relationship between Manafort and Deripaska to $60 million over the past decade, according to financial documents filed in Cyprus and the Cayman Islands.
  62. Manafort’s spokesman, Jason Maloni, initially responded to NBC with a statement including: “Mr. Manafort is not indebted to former clients today, nor was he at the time he began working for the Trump campaign.”
  63. Maloni’s statement was later revised and that sentence was removed. Both Manafort and Maloni have received subpoenas to supply documents and testimony in the Mueller probe.
  64. Yahoo reported Andrew Feinberg, former correspondent for Sputnik, provided a guide and emails to FBI investigators looking into possible violations of the law which requires agents of foreign nations to register with the DOJ.
  65. Further, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is investigating RT and Sputnik as possible parts of the Russian state-run propaganda machine in the broader probe into Russia’s election meddling.
  66. On Friday, Mueller’s team interviewed Trump’s former chief of staff, Priebus. Priebus’ lawyer said he voluntarily met with investigators and “was happy to answer all of their questions.”
  67. Priebus was present during Trump’s efforts to limit the Russia probe, and for discussions that led to the firing of Comey. He was also asked to leave the Oval Office before the infamous Trump-Comey conversation.
  68. Politico reported Twitter deleted tweets and other user data of potentially irreplaceable value to investigators in the Russia probe.
  69. Federal investigators believe Twitter was one of Russia’s most potent weapons. Bots and fake accounts launched recurring waves of pro-Trump, anti-Clinton story lines that were either false or greatly exaggerated.
  70. AP reported Twitter has turned over 201 accounts linked to Russian attempts at influencing the 2016 election to Senate investigators. It is unclear if the posts associated with these accounts have been deleted.
  71. CNN reported an attorney for Roger Stone said he has complied with the House Intel Committee request to provide the identity of his intermediary to WikiLeaks’ Assange.
  72. WSJ reported Congressional investigators are homing in on connections between the Trump campaign, and Facebook, and Twitter. Digital director Parscale was paid $88 million during the campaign, the highest paid vendor.
  73. Every vendor that worked with Parscale on the Trump campaign signed a nondisclosure agreement, and there are no federal disclosure requirements for online ads.
  74. Both Congress and Mueller are investigating the role activity on Facebook and Twitter played in the 2016 election, and whether the Russian social-media activity was in any connected to the Trump campaign.
  75. A Morning Consult poll found Trump’s approval has fallen in every state since he took office. The swings were as high as 30 percentage points in blue-states IL and CA, to 11 points in red-state LA.
  76. A Reuters/Ipsos poll found Trump’s popularity is eroding in small towns and rural communities: in September 47 approve/47 disapprove, down from 55/39 in his first four weeks in office.
  77. WAPO reported as of October 10, Trump’s first 263 days in office, he has made 1,318 false or misleading claims.
  78. The Brookings Institute released a 108-page report which concluded Trump “likely obstructed justice” in his firing of Comey. If Mueller agrees, there are legitimate articles of impeachment that could be drawn up.
  79. In a letter to Mattis, over 100 Democrats are demanding proof that Trump did indeed consult with the Pentagon as he claimed in a tweet, prior to announcing his ban of transgender individuals from military service.
  80. A Kaiser Foundation poll found 62% of Americans say Puerto Ricans aren’t getting the help they need. 76% were aware Puerto Ricans are US citizens.
  81. On Thursday, in a series of tweets, Trump threatened to abandon Puerto Rico’s recovery effort, blaming the island for its infrastructure problems and saying and relief workers would not stay “in P.R. forever.”
  82. The tweets follow harsh criticism from Puerto Rico of the Trump regime’s response to Hurricane Maria. One Puerto Rican said, “He doesn’t think of us as Americans.”
  83. Trump also quoted a Sharyl Attkisson, a television journalist with Sinclair Broadcasting, in saying that while Puerto Rico survived Hurricane Maria, now “a financial crisis looms largely of their own making.”
  84. Later Thursday, the WH issued a statement committing “the full force of the U.S. government” for now, but adding “successful recoveries do not last forever.”
  85. At a House Energy and Commerce hearing about efforts to rebuild the island’s energy grid, Sec. Rick Perry referred to Puerto Rico as a country.
  86. Next day, Trump referred to the Virgin Islands’ governor as a president.
  87. VOX reported although the official death count in Puerto Rico is 45, they found 81 death linked to Hurricane Maria, as well as 450 more reported deaths, most of causes still unknown, and 69 still missing.
  88. Puerto Rico’s governor said four deaths are being investigated as cases of leptospirosis, a disease spread by animals’ urine through contaminated water. A total of ten people have come down with the disease.
  89. Rachel Maddow reported a doctor resigned from the disaster response team in Puerto Rico after seeing medical workers getting manicures and pedicures from residents of the island in medical triage tents.
  90. NYT reported on Puerto Rico’s health care is in dire condition, and continues to suffer from mismanagement. The US Comfort ship with 800 medical personnel which can serve 250, has seen 82 patients in six days.
  91. CNN reported Puerto Ricans are drinking water from a hazardous-waste site, having no other options for water.
  92. A Politico/Morning Consult poll found just 32% of registered voters think the federal government has done enough to help Puerto Rico.
  93. Bloomberg revealed one of its reporters was inadvertently put on the Pentagon’s internal email list which detailed how to spin Hurricane Maria to convince the public that the government response was going well.
  94. On Thursday, Trump also signed an executive order ending Obamacare subsidies for the poor. Not paying the subsidies could boost premiums for millions and send the health insurance exchanges into turmoil.
  95. NPR estimated consumers who earn 400% of the federal poverty level — $48k for individuals or $98.4k for a family of four — will see their the cost of their plans rise by, on average, 20% nationwide.
  96. Doctors, hospitals, insurers, state insurance commissioners and patient advocates denounced Trump’s move. Trump actions puts pressure on Congress to protect consumers from soaring premiums.
  97. WSJ reported if Congress doesn’t succeed, WH aides said Trump “will claim victory” for ending the Iran deal, cutting billions in payments to health insurers, and deporting hundreds of thousands of immigrants.
  98. On Friday, a coalition of attorneys general from 18 states and DC filed a lawsuit to block Trump’s halt to subsidy payments under Obamacare.
  99. NYT reported as of Friday, Trump has taken 12 actions which could weaken Obamacare and curtail enrollment, including spreading negative news releases and posting infographics criticizing the health law.
  100. On Saturday, Trump boasted on Twitter that health insurance companies’ stocks “plunged yesterday” after his steps to dismantle Obamacare.
  101. A Kaiser Health poll found 71% of Americans say the Trump regime should work to improve Obamacare, while just 21% say make it fail.
  102. On Friday, Trump slammed Iran as a “menace” and called for “decertification” of the nuclear deal, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), saying Iran is “not living up to the spirit of the deal.”
  103. Trump sent the deal back to Congress with a 60-day window to address its “many serious flaws” or see it “terminated.”
  104. Top officials on Trump’s national security team, including Mattis and Tillerson, said Iran has technically complied with its restrictions. The International Atomic Energy Association also confirmed compliance.
  105. Daily Beast reported while McMaster also wanted to save the Iran Deal, Trump consulted Fox News’ Sean Hannity and former UN Ambassador John Bolton, two neoconservatives who pushed for decertification.
  106. The leaders of Britain, Germany and France declared their commitment to stand by JCPoA. They deal was the culmination of 16 years of diplomacy.
  107. After being added to Trump’s travel ban, Chad pulled its troops from the fight against Boko Haram in Niger. US officials had warned Trump his decision would have major consequences for the fight against terrorism.
  108. California’s deadliest wildfires charred more than 221,754 acres of land in Northern CA, and left at least 35 dead and hundreds more missing. Trump has yet to publicly comment or tweet about the wildfires.
  109. Nor has Trump publicly commented on the deadliest combat incident since he took office, which took place in Niger last Saturday while Trump was golfing. The ambush by ISIS left four soldiers dead and two wounded.
  110. As the week ended, 24 days after Hurricane Maria, just 64% of Puerto Ricans had access to drinking water, and only 14.6% had electricity.
  111. Trump spent his fourth weekend since Hurricane Maria golfing. On Saturday, he visited Trump National Golf Club in VA, his 72nd day of golf since taking office.
submitted by 1000000students to TheConstitution [link] [comments]

State Capitalism

The text below is an exchange had between Sire_26 and the BSA chat group about State Capitalism. This record exists for the sake of education and does not necessarily reflect the positions of BSA as a whole.
Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Sire_26: Lenin [identified as] an orthodox Marxist, so he felt that the USSR needed to be in a holding pattern until a revolution took place in Germany or another more developed country; the thing is, Russia never left that holding pattern until the collapse of the USSR.
Anon #1: yeah
Sire_26: When “capitalism” as we understand it took full control. Trotsky predicted this would happen.
Anon #1: now russia is just as capitalist as anywhere else, and considerably smaller.
Sire_26: Mikhail Bakunin is the real ☕️, tho. PLEASE read him.
Anon #2: What are your thoughts on Luxemburgism?
Sire_26: The only “ism” and “ist” labels you should be entertaining is “Marxist” and various forms of “Socialist” lol everything else is dogma.
...
Luxemburg is super important, and everyone should read her works on “reform” and the role that it should play. But she should be someone we’re studying just like everyone else (including Lenin, Mao, Trotsky... they all have thoughts to contribute to this conversation).
We have to stay true to the science (dialectics), though.
...
Anon #3: Wait are we saying that Soviet Russia was capitalist?
Anon #2: It was lol It had capitalistic aspects at some points but they definitely tried socialism. At least in my research.
...
Anon #3: I think that’s a bit intellectually dishonest lol of course Czarist Russia was capitalist and imperialist, but after the Russian revolution and the formation of the Soviet Union I think it would be more than misleading to call Russia/Soviet Union “capitalist.”
Just because there is a socialist revolution, does not mean that the bourgeoisie and remnants of capitalism just are wiped away like with the brush of a stroke.
The dictatorship of the proletariat has to be installed to suppress bourgeoisie/capitalist counter revolution.
According to Stalin/Lenin there has to be an entire historical epoch of socialism to transition society into communism.
Sire_26: It was state capitalist.
Anon #4: Czarist Russia was more of a mix a capitalism and feudalism than actual capitalism
Anon #3: Czarist Russia represented all of the ills of rising imperialism.
Sire_26: Internally, it was never socialist to begin with. From the infrastructure of the Bolshevik Party, to the later formation of the USSR. Vladimir Lenin advocated for and acknowledged this (including state capitalism). The problem is that because of things like democratic centralism and the overall adherence to orthodox Marxist principles, the conditions were set for the totalitarian state to come to fruition under Stalin, and ultimately, as Trotsky predicted, for the USSR to collapse.
If you read Lenin, you’ll see exactly what I’m referring to.
Anon #2: I find this very interesting lol
Sire_26: Lenin not only acknowledged, but desired & promoted the State Capitalist nature of the Soviet Union, & this can be seen through his intra-party debates & private letters.
See here: http://libcom.org/library/what-was-ussr-aufheben
See here: http://libcom.org/library/the-bolsheviks-and-workers-control-solidarity-group
Please read: http://libcom.org/files/Maurice%20Brinton-%20The%20Bolsheviks%20and%20workers'%20control.pdf
The Bolsheviks inherited an economy that was underdeveloped (coming from feudalism). Lenin’s solution was “State Capitalism,” which would allow the economy to develop. This required capitalist policy, but with specific sectors of the economy controlled by the state.
Lenin rationalized this approach with Marxist theory, pulling on the idea of capitalist development being necessary before Socialism can truly succeed. [Marx actually rejected stagism at the end of his life, for the record.]
Lenin also believed that a socialist revolution in Germany would provide the developing Soviet economy with resources and support.
Regardless of what his intentions were, what Lenin and his party advocated for in a move towards Socialism set the conditions for the catastrophes that would later transpire, and U.S. government propaganda will continue to cite this in arguing that “Socialism” should be avoided.
We mustn’t fetishize the leaders of the past, or be apologists for the errors in their rationales. We must learn from the mistakes in their methods in an effort to develop realistic approaches that stay true to the socialistic principles we all claim to embody.
This is not a discussion about Lenin’s “intent,” but rather what did and did not exist in the USSR.
Please see here:
Marx and Lenin's views contrasted | By Richard Montague https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/2000s/2001/no-1169-december-2001/marx-and-lenins-views-contrasted … via @OfficialSPGB
Please scroll down to number five (“Current Tasks of the Trade Unions”) to see where Lenin makes a demand for “one-man” management:
“On the Question of the Trade Unions and their Organization” | From the 9th Congress of the Bolshevik Party (1 April 1920) https://www.marxists.org/history/ussgovernment/party-congress/9th/01.htm
Lenin in 1919 demanding one-man management:
“Introduction of One-Man Management in Lieu of Board Management in Centrotextil: Draft Decision for the Council of People’s Commissars” | By Vladimir Lenin https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1919/sep/04.htm
Given the circumstances, one could find many arguments for why a “one-man management” policy (amongst other things) could’ve theoretically worked for the time, but policies like this were inherently antithetical to socialist principles, and set the stage for later catastrophe.
Anon #3: https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/stalin/works/1924/foundations-leninism/
Sire_26: Obviously they tried it. It wasn’t what feudal Russia was. But this doesn’t mean that it was actually socialist or communist. So many of Lenin’s positions were completely antithetical to Marxist principles, and many self-identifying Marxist-Leninists excuse this by saying those who take issue are “utopian,” when really it’s just Marxism. It’s actually not that complicated.
Some Marxist-Leninists acknowledge this, but most don’t.
...
This is one of those topics where, if you haven’t read deep into the history, or read Marx or Lenin or Trotsky or Stalin (and I mean actually read them, or at the very least thorough summaries of their positions), then we’re just going to keep talking in circles.
The crux of the conversation is State Capitalism vs. Socialism. A Communist State vs. a Communist Society (as outlined by Marx). You can call any of it whatever you want (the semantics aren’t what’s important here); what matters is that we understand the characteristics of each potential existence and/or theory, as well as what really happened in the past.
This is why we have to be vigilant in combating dogmatism. It tries to shortcut digging into the reality of the history, and this is dangerous, because – as the cliche goes – those who fail to understand history are doomed to repeat it.
“Scientific Socialism” as an idea and concept is what we should be collectively adhering to; not the philosophy of only one person or revolutionary leader, but dialectics (the science).
I highly recommend Anton Pannekoek’s writing on State Capitalism:
Anton Pannekoek - State Capitalism and Dictatorship https://www.marxists.org/archive/pannekoe/1936/dictatorship.htm
This is one of those difficult things, because many of our Black revolutionaries of the past identified with Marxism-Leninism and Maoism. But, again, if you read Fred Hampton’s speeches, he talked about the dialectics – the objective reality of our situation. The reality of our situation now is not the same as what it was in 1969 America, or 1917 Russia. Malcolm X also spoke about this in “The Ballot or the Bullet” too. We can’t look at their words in a static way and try to format them to now; it won’t work.
Lenin and Trotsky’s methods may have held more weight in the past (on paper), and strictly in a theoretical sense for their time (and there’s a lot to learn from their strategy when it comes to direct action and propaganda campaigns), but we’re dealing with a different situation/reality right now, and we need REAL socialism. We need REAL communism (as outlined by Marx).
We don’t need centralized power and more* state capitalism. Our state is already working off of fiat currency. We have already accumulated enough wealth ... for shit to change on a widespread level under socialist representation. We just need to break through the liberal and conservative propaganda, as well as the voter suppression.
In 1969, when Hampton was advocating for the collectivization of arms and weaponry in Cook County, there may* have been more weight and logic to that strategy. In 2018, where the military power of the state is even wider and enforced, this approach is not only not logical; it’s not possible (at the degree to which he spoke of). It just isn’t.
We have to be looking at how poor and working-class people are to actually take control of the state apparatus, as well as the private sector (this means in the workplace). This requires a certain degree of gradualism (please read Luxemburg for more on this, though).
Anon #5: I think looking at one as impossible and the other as possible through gradualism is a mistake. The only thing that any of us agree on is the idea that that revolution, through ballot or bullet, is going to be unfathomably difficult.
Sire_26: Looking at what as impossible?
Anon #5: Collectivization of arms and weaponry. If the idea of a gradual victory is possible in your mind for taking control of state apparatus, there has to be room in your mind for the other option. Dismissing either entirely is a mistake.
Anon #6: It's a false dichotomy to my mind.
Sire_26: Did you listen to Malcolm X’s “The Ballot or the Bullet”? Genuinely asking (not being insincere). The entire point X was making is that despite the fact that every revolution throughout history has been bloody, we’re in a unique position here in America. Even though we don’t have a true “democracy,” we still have democratic processes in front of us that we need to take advantage of as Black American people.
If you’re entertaining the idea of insurrection (that is, an armed uprising against the state) in 2018, then you’re simply not thinking about the practical points of such an effort.
We need to be on the road to real revolution; not destabilization. We are stabilized, despite the fact that we’re ideologically fragmented and have institutions rotted to the core by capitalism. We are stabilized compared to many war-torn countries around this world.
Inviting insurrectionist planning is not rational for more reasons than I could list in this group chat. If you’d like to speak with some socialist combat veterans I know about this topic, I can put you in touch.
Anon #6: Gradualism isn't a rejection of the revolutionary option, just the understanding that it has to be put off, and that survival has to take priority.
Sire_26: And yes, that is a false dichotomy that was just created.
Exactly.
Anon #5: Sire_26 and I aren't talking about the same thing when we say the words "revolutionary option."
Sire_26, I feel like you're narrowing what I'm saying in a way I'm not doing to you x_x if you were to tell me we're going to be able to vote in/write into law socialism "in 2018", I'd say it isn't possible. As far as insurrection goes, it wouldn't be possible in 2018 either.
Neither are. Both are huge projects that would take years to get anywhere.
[And] btw yes, I did listen to Malcolm X's ballot or bullet. Just so happens that the guy advocates for black capitalism a lot in order to take better control of black communities. There's a lot to be said for historical context, and that thing you mentioned earlier about taking some things to heart, while leaving other things in the past.
Anon #3: I wouldn’t say Malcolm advocated capitalism, but rather black self determination.
Sire_26: Exactly. Malcolm X was anti-capitalism (there are quotes from him on this).
@[Anon #5], you’re kind of creating false dichotomies in your responses, and begging the question (a logical fallacy). We’re not talking about anything happening right this second. We’re talking about quite the opposite; gradualism.
There’s a stark difference between revolutionary changes to systems and a coup.
You’re entertaining the idea of a coup being a viable option in America. I’m saying it’s not an option right now, while many insurrectionists would insist on the contrary.
Anon #5: I'm not talking about a coup, personally. Coup implies like, "kill the president, and senators/legislators, take power from above" which isn't my point. It wasn't Fred Hampton's point, either, when he was advocating for collectivization of arms and weaponry. At the time, it was about defense. Defense of community, protecting self determination, that sort of thing.
Listen, this topic is complex and i'd rather talk about it than go point by point in writing, which i feel would take a long while. Plus, to be honest, reading back i feel like i kind of derailed the original point.
Conversations about amassing weapons vs. "how to revolution" are definitely not the same thing.
Anon #7: This topic is gonna properly get fleshed out on here.
Sire_26: I’m with you on the point about Fred Hampton (although it’s debatable), but even with the size of the police state now, “defense” has to take on an entirely different meaning when it comes to us protecting ourselves. I think we should be advocating for that on an individual/personal level, ya dig? But I’m not an idiot. I see what the BIE classification does. We saw what COINTELPRO did. We know the state has even more power now.
A coup is much more complicated, but it is violent uprising. Insurrection. Armed struggle. These are all aimed to achieve successful coups, or control of the state apparatus. When many use the word “revolution,” that is what they’re associating with it (in a practical sense). I’m saying the dynamics have changed; gradual revolution is real, but this does not mean we should be limiting ourselves – rather, reading the climate and accelerating the process whenever we can.
Again, this is “The Ballot or the Bullet” conversation.
We can def explore this via phone or Discord or whatever at another time. It’s an important conversation to have.
Sorry for the massive walls of text lmfao we might as well share these conversations at some point, they’re so long.
I would definitely say for everyone (myself included) that we all gotta sit with perspectives sometimes instead of jumping to respond so quickly. What’s most important is not winning a debate or argument or making someone think like you do, but rather figuring out what the truth (not “your” or “my” truth, but the objective* truth) is, and making the truth known.
Anon #5: yeah, agreed.
Sire_26: 💯💯💯
Anon #5: i don't mind walls XD i do a lot of reading in my free time
Sire_26: Ayyyeee you’re like me then lol I don’t mind either.
Quick correction, by the way. I had a typo in one of my earlier messages lol
“Internally, it was never socialist to begin with. From the infrastructure of the Bolshevik Party, to the later formation of the USSR. Vladimir Lenin advocated for and acknowledged* this (including state capitalism). The problem is that because of things like democratic CENTRALISM and the overall adherence to orthodox Marxist principles, the conditions were set for the totalitarian state to come to fruition under Stalin.”
HUGE typo/mistake lol
Here’s what I was referring to:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_centralism
...
Anon #5: That does make more sense in context Democratic centralism sounds hugely problematic x_x
Sire_26: Very very. Actually read Lenin’s views on it, though. And peep what he did to the unions – 110% not true to Marxist ideology whatsoever (that’s why some people say Marxism-Leninism is an oxymoron).
Again, though, and this is the nuance – THEORETICALLY his method could’ve* made sense FOR THE TIME. That does NOT mean that it 1) applies today or 2) is actually Marxism/Socialism.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1919/sep/04.htm
https://www.marxists.org/history/ussgovernment/party-congress/9th/01.htm
Anon #2: Can you explain the term Marxist-Leninism is they have conflicting views?
Sire_26: That’s a dense one, Tommy. If you hit the http://Marxists.org or @libcomorg primers on Marxism and Leninism separately, though (hell, even the Wikipedias), you’ll be able to start forming your own views on Marxist-Leninism. You cannot just take my word for it.
Lenin based his theories and strategies on the works of Marx, however in his practice (actions), he advocated for policies that were directly antithetical to Marx’s outlining of real* socialism. Does that make sense? Now for you or anyone else to see how that is, you have to really* dig into the history, as well as his writings. I’ve shared some good sources on it right now, but there’s much more to it all.
Anon #5: what about the idea of marxism that places the material realities of each circumstance within the context of relations of capital? I.E. We need to go from feudalism to capitalism, so we'll do state capitalism until we can get to socialism, because Lenin recognized that trying to jump from feudalism to socialism was unrealistic and wouldn't have functioned.
There was a bourgeoise consolidation of power, sure, but it might still be marxism in the context of trying to eventually get to socialism...?
Sire_26: Absolutely. If you see the string of tweets I shared earlier in our convo, this is me speaking to this as briefly as I can. [Marx rejected stagism towards the end of his life, so according to the logic of the "Marxist" dogmatist, this wouldn't be "Marxism."]
Also, please see Anton Pannekoek’s brief essay on this.
When we use the word “Marxism,” we’re talking about adhering [to] or working through Marxist theory. Someone can claim to be a Marxist, but we have to be looking at whether or not they’re being true to the theory in practice.
State Capitalism as a concept is not something limited to states like the USSR or PRC.
America is theoretically State Capitalist. It’s a shining example of State Capitalism. We just make the distinction with the USSR and PRC because under the guise of a “worker’s state,” there is really just a bloated bureaucracy of bourgeois who are enforcing capitalist principles (there’s still wage labor, etc etc etc – it’s not Socialism as explained by Marx – you can call it whatever you want, but it isn’t Socialism).
Lenin was an orthodox Marxist, which is why he used this argument you just outlined to advocate for rapid industrialization and the “holding pattern” until revolution took place elsewhere. But because of this, some people feel he was an opportunist (they’re pairing this approach with the fact that he advocated for highly centralized authoritarian state policies, and never enacted truly socialist policy internally from his position of power).
Check the sources out and keep reading if you can! We’ll be here all night if y’all are just going off of my word lol you have to verify everything I’m saying for yourselves in order to challenge it and/or reach your own conclusions.
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Anon #3: I think while discussing Marxism/Leninism we shouldn’t recognize that Lenin applied Marxism to Russia’s specific conditions. Nobody even thought that Russia would be the country where revolution would occur, they thought the countries that were most industrialized with the largest proletariat (i.e Germany) would break the chain of capitalism.
But as I stated before, socialism represents an entire epoch of history, so to say that a state is not socialist because it has remnants of capitalism, aka wage labor, I think is false. Lenin and Stalin admit that for a period of time the Bourgeoisie is still more powerful than the proletariat. That’s why the state and dictatorship of the proletariat is so important, to suppress the bourgeoisie. Socialism is complex and looks different in different countries because of differ condition.
Cuba still has wage labor, but are we saying that Cuba isn’t socialist because of it?
Anon #5: whether or not we call countries "in the process of socialism" may or may not depend on whether or not we think those in power are currently sincere about attempting to move towards socialism, which is more belief based than anything else, even when we do have actions to point to that signify one way or the other.
Anon #3: A period of time after revolution the bourgeoisie is more powerful than the proletariat*
Sire_26: [Anon #3,] I addressed what you said in your first paragraph in my response earlier in this discussion, as well as tweets sent out a bit ago.
Cuba isn’t socialist. Maybe it is closer to real socialism than America, but it isn’t socialist. This isn’t even really something to debate. It’s a fact, if you call yourself a Marxist or at least go by Marxist theory. Whether you agree with Marxist theory or not is up to you.
There are no real examples of socialism that we can look back to within the last century (on a national level – we have tiny pockets of it in places like Spain, but again, not what Marx was talking about to scale). It just hasn’t existed yet.
Just because a state has parts of it that are socialist ... doesn’t mean that they have reached a truly socialist society, nor does it mean those in power actually intend on getting everyone to a socialist society (as [Anon #5] is hitting on right now).
Again, this comes right back to Marx. I’m not saying you all should read all 800+ page volumes of Das Kapital or something, but we have to have a grip on what he was talking about before we speak on Lenin. That’s the only way you get to see what’s true and what’s false. I study the economists and professors who have read Das Kapital front to back MULTIPLE times (personally); of course I read Marx excerpts and analyses myself as well. You have to at least try at some point to dig into this stuff, or else it’s just rhetoric and not facts.
"Critique of Gotha Program" is considered a “required reading” amongst hard left elitists lol I’m not gonna go that far with it, but I will say that it’s a great place to start.
We can speculate all day long about what all of these revolutionaries actually intended; the facts are the facts, though. We can see what did and did not happen. What has and has not happened. We can look at our challenges and the reality, and try to come up with realistic approaches that help us reach ... a communist society.
Anon #3: Bruh, Cuba is socialist lol I’ve been to Cuba, I’ve been to international conferences there, I’ve spoken to people. Ive been to lectures in Cuba BY Cubans about the economy, politics, etc.
Again, socialism is a PROCESS not a conclusion. To imply that Cuba isn’t socialist ludicrous to me.
Also, Cuba bring a socialist state 90 miles away from the the imperialist beast needs to be taken into context. To me, to imply that Cuba isn’t socialist is an ultra leftist argument. If it’s not socialist, then what is it?
You keep saying “reached true socialist society” implies that socialism is a process.
Sire_26: You could literally apply that same logic to America, and then argue that it is socialist, but to a lesser degree. Cuba is closer to true socialism as defined by Marx, but it just isn’t true socialism. I honestly don’t know what else to say. I’ve been as clear as I can be.
Is there no longer wage labor there? Do workers control the means of production there? If the answer to both of those questions is “no,” then it isn’t socialism as Marx explained it.
https://www.marxists.org/history/erol/1960-1970/cuba.htm
https://www.reddit.com/socialism/comments/5v2n6t/is_cubas_economy_one_of_state_capitalism/
I definitely get where you’re coming from. You can call it whatever else you want and try to defend it and say it’s good, but it isn’t an example of a socialist territory on planet earth.
“It's in an awkward transitional phase between a state-driven socialism and state capitalism. There are already petite bourgeoisie in Cuba, such as taxi company owners, who make over $1,000 USD a month which is absolutely massive in Cuban terms where the average monthly salary is $25. There are still strong socialist and Marxist currents in the Cuban Communist Party, but Cuba has hinted towards a Chinese model of state capitalism with Raul frequently praising China. Like some social scientists on Cuba have commented, I suspect Cuba migrating fully to state capitalism to motivate the lifting of the embargo in exchange for American investments. The country is still very laudable and pretty pro-proletarian, but I don't think this will last.”
That’s the top comment in the thread I linked to. Explains it very simply and clearly.
I think places like Cuba need to be supported, of course. But we need real socialism. [People, not "places," need to be supported.]
Sire_26: And “state-driven socialism,” as that person put it, just means the state apparatus is being used to push for socialist programs or socioeconomic policy, but it’s not actually socialist in its structure because the workers don’t control the means of production lol
Anon #3: The reason that cab drivers make so much is because they have access to American dollars and tourism.
Sire_26: I gotta bounce for the day. I’ve said all I possibly can on this topic for now. I hope y’all get a chance to check out the resources and get back to me.
Anon #3: I think that we can critique any society, and Cuba isn’t exempt from this, but to say that Cuba ISN’T socialist is again, ultra leftist, and a bit misleading to me.
Also, ask the Cubans about their revolution and is their country socialist, and how they view themselves. They will tell you otherwise, despite what an online forum says.
The strides that the Cuban revolution made in nationalization of industry, land reform, social justice, economic justice, giving workers power, internationalism, etc etc speaks to their socialist revolution, despite how much we intellectualize it.
Sire_26: You’re saying a lot of things, but the key is in defining what “Socialist” is. Calling me or anyone else an “ultra leftist” for adhering to Marxist theory and over a century’s worth of development on this doesn’t speak to the root of the conversation.
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Anon #3: Cuba did this in the face of constant imperialist aggression, sanctions, military aggression, etc etc etc, so to denounce them as not socialist because they don’t meet all of Karl Marx qualifications seems dogmatic and doesn’t take into account Cuba’s specific conditions. Not to mention Karl Marx was philosophizing about European society.
Sire_26: You’re acting like I’m coming at Cuba! I’m not trying to take away from their achievements. We’re talking about what is and isn’t socialism. If you want to take the word “socialism” and turn it into something else, then by all means go ahead. Marx isn’t god. He codified a foundation for socialism that Castro and countless others stated they wanted to stay true to. That’s the reality. So the convo is about whether they’ve stayed true to it or not. It’s really that simple.
Anon #8: socialism isn't defined by how much imperialist agression a country goes through
Anon #1: Word. Cant blame the USSR for being antagonized by America for an entire century. Who knows what might have manifested had that not happened.
Cant blame Cuba for Batista.
These are their material conditions.
Anon #3: But these are theoretical definitions, we’re talking about the struggle for socialism AGAINST imperialism and capitalism and their material conditions. I think it’s a lot more nuanced than some definition on paper, and as binary as “this is socialism, this is not.”
Anon #1: I agree. Its bigger than labels at the end of the day. Its war over resources.
Anon #3: Also, we should beware of the people/sources we read when it comes to socialism/communism or whatever. A lot of academics just intellectualize phenomena from the ivory towers of academia, and not even revolutionaries or involved in struggle.
They come a dime a dozen lol
Sire_26: But you’re talking as if we don’t have the written texts and communications of the actual revolutionaries, though. Their views and their experiences. We have all of it, so what are you really trying to say?
That’s a logical fallacy to start making generalizations about where potential* or perceived* sources of information are coming from instead of delving into what we’re actually speaking about. I perceive that as a diversion from the real crux of the conversation, which is actually defining “socialism.”
What you’re doing is revisionism, and the “ultraleft” argument is literally rhetoric. Let’s talk about the theory and the history here.
If you want to discredit Marx and go at Marx, then go at Marx, but that means you also have to reconsider your thoughts on what the actual revolutionaries claim, because all of them (for the most part) claimed to abide by Marx (as do most of the people here in this group chat). Fidel Castro is not exempt from this. That means his base and foundation was Marxism.
You have yet to address the points about socialism. You’ve just reiterated the sentiment that socialism is a “process” and that “ultra leftists” say that Cuba isn’t socialism; and you keep bringing up the challenges Cuba faced as if to imply that I think, because they haven’t achieved real socialism yet, the validity of their gains should come into question. I repeat: these are all logical fallacies.
I implore all who haven’t already done so to check out this guide to logical fallacies, so that you’re more familiarized with how they’re used to “win” arguments in the court of public opinion: https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/
There’s more in-depth Wikipedia articles and YouTube videos on logical fallacies that we can find as well. Understanding these can help everyone in conversing constructively with others here.
Everything is a process. No one put anything into “binaries” by stating that Cuba isn’t socialist. It’s just assessing the conditions and seeing whether they, on a very fundamental level, fit the definition of socialism.
We have to know where we’re going and what it looks like in order to carve out the right path; this is the fundamental reality of the situation. We are assessing the reality of the situation.
Saying that Cuba isn’t a socialist country says nothing about whether or not they’re on the right path, or if the intentions of their leaders are in the right place. It’s just saying that they aren’t socialist.
Again, just because there are socialist institutions* and programs* in a country doesn’t make the country as a whole socialist. Because there is wage labor in Cuba, and because the government (state) – not the workers – control the means of production directly, it is state capitalism. It is not real socialism. This is something Lenin wrote and gave speeches about. This is something Trotsky wrote and gave speeches about.
The irony of the situation is – just as Trotsky predicted would happen with the USSR – Cuba is becoming more and more capitalist by the year, and it’s all connected to the nature of state capitalism.
Cuba identifies as a “Unitary Marxist–Leninist one-party socialist republic.” Of course, if you refuse to challenge that notion on any level, then you’re not going to find any value in this discussion in the first place, except in reaffirming what you already believe to be true. The base assumption of this dialogue is that you’re open to the other perspective; I’m doing my best to try and present that to you from a variety of sources here.
I seriously implore all of you to check out the Reddit threads I linked to in here, or Google search “Is Cuba Socialist? Reddit” and read all of these threads of people arguing about exactly this (for years). It goes on and on and on. I’ve read these discussions. I’ve studied the revolutionaries. I’ve moved through identifying with Marxism-Leninism, and then through identifying with Trotskyism, and on and on; to come to the understanding that I have now. It only came from educating myself and reading others’ countless arguments online, and studying the history from a variety of perspectives, constantly challenging what I knew to be true. This is dialectical materialism; not confirmation bias.
This is why I recommended Reddit to everyone the other day; if you want to visit this conversation with more people and debate it out, then feel free to head on over to /Socialism, and you’ll see the same exact arguments I’m raising brought up there, but probably without* sources. It’s a better forum than a Twitter group chat. Perhaps we could have these kinds of discussions on there; everyone can introduce conversation topics, and we can all comment in threads along with sources to our arguments.
I’ve at least tried to give you sources and proof for all of my claims. It’s all there in the writing; from http://Marxists.org to LibCom. At some point, we get to a place where we’re not addressing the core arguments anymore, and instead we’re resorting to ad hominem labeling, and begging the question.
If you keep reading, you will find the truth. The exploration can’t stop here in this group chat. We have to go on and keep learning. If scholars and people who have actually studied all of this stuff for longer than we’ve been alive and who can explain all of their views to you STILL can’t convince you off of verbal communication alone, then clearly there’s a misunderstanding on someone’s part.
For anyone who doesn’t believe me, here’s a Wikipedia page on the politics of Fidel Castro: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_of_Fidel_Castro
Here’s a Jacobin article on Cuba and Socialism and where they are headed: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/10/alternative-cuba-socialism-left-opposition-worker-control/
Please excuse any typos.
Anon #3: You’re giving us jacobin and wiki articles about Cuba. I’ve read the history of Cuba, I’ve read Marx, I’ve been to Cuba and got educated by the Cubans on their political process and conditions. I can assure you that actually going to a country and seeing/studying things for yourself is more insightful than online discussion boards and articles from outsiders. I retain that you can criticize Cuba, but to say it ain’t socialist is wild. But as I stated before, Marx was philosophizing about Europe, not an island slave colony, so to say it’s not socialist cuz it doesn’t adhere to all of MARX’s credentials is a stretch. Gotta strongly disagree here.
Anon #1: This is good.
Hash it out.
Anon #5: Honestly, the more i think about the question "is cuba socialist?", the more i wonder what the value of the answer is. The answer definitely isn't the determining question of whether or not we're going to support the state as socialists. I don't think it's socialist per marx, for reasons that go from restaurants and taxis to reactions to capitalist embargoes. But, as a leftist, i'm definitely going to support their state and endeavors to move further left. I think dividing it in yes/no answers is reductive of a frankly complicated question.
Anon #1: As a human, i am proud of the legacy of both the ussr and cuba
Anon #8: i don't think one party states are compatible with any democratic notion of socialism. that's the main flaw of 20th century socialism.
Anon #9: [Twitter user was a philosophy professor who said something along the lines of, "You're being condescending, and telling people 'You're wrong because you haven't seen things as I have.' Also, you're making baseless statements, claiming that people are using logical fallacies when it's just your opinion." The Twitter user deleted their account, and so the record of their responses is no longer with us - this is a rough recall of what they stated, and is more likely than not partially inaccurate.]
Sire_26: Am I really saying “as I have”? And a logical fallacy is a logical fallacy. It’s a matter of fact; not opinion. My statements aren’t baseless. They’re right here for everyone to read and judge for themselves.
And I also second what [Anon #8] and [Anon #5] are saying.
Anon #1: also, through which institution would workers own resources if not the state or some form of state?
Sire_26: My biggest point is that there is no way this exchange alone is going to end with us agreeing on this. All I ask is that there are facts and sources brought behind your arguments that everyone here can also explore. And everyone should actually be exploring these sources before responding.
Anon #9: [Twitter user then said something along the lines of, "I'm a philosophy professor, bro; I teach people about logical fallacies for a living. I think I'd know what I'm talking about on this one lol"]
Anon #3: lol ^ honestly bro
Sire_26: You literally just used one: https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/appeal-to-authority.
I’m not trying to be disrespectful or discredit; I’m just about getting to the crux of an actual argument.
Anon #9: [Twitter user said something along the lines of, "LOL damn, you got it, you got it. I think I'm just gonna leave y'all to it then lol"]
Anon #8: the thing is workers don't control the cuban state. if they did then fine. i mean some anarchists don't want a state at all, but even by the classical marxist definition of socialism which Cuba claims a lineage to there is inconsistency.
And it's not just about definitions but if cuba is a capitalist state it changes our entire analysis. if there is resistance to the cuban state we need not to get into the stale "anti imperialist" analysis of it must be a cia plot
Anon #3: Workers control the state in Cuba.
Anon #1: Sounds socialist
...
Sire_26: Juridically, and on the surface, yes. But what about the bureaucracy that Trotsky spoke about? The bureaucracy that forms around that state apparatus? What of wage labor? What of the distribution of wealth? These are things you’re not addressing.
It’s like saying that America is a democracy. Juridically, yes. But there is that reality of capitalism that constantly encroaches upon and corrupts the legal processes we establish.
Everything you’re saying is argued against in that Anton Pannekoek article I linked to in here twice. Please, feel free to read it and respond to all of his points. He’s written extensively on this (in the early 20th century, mind you). That would be way more productive than us going back and forth here.
I challenge you to it. You can craft a Reddit post on it, and we can all respond in the comments. If you’re open to that.
Anon #3: I have addressed them. The first thing Cuba did when competing the revolution was land redistribution to the peasants, expropriated housed, land, property, nationalized industry. Free education, free health care, 95% of Cubans own their home, etc
I don’t have that much of an interest in proving if Cuba is actually a socialist state lol
Sire_26: Alright, cool.
Anon #10: Just read that whole argument. Lol
Sire_26: Hit dem links tho, fam. Dig into it! Let us know your thoughts.
submitted by Sire_26 to BlackSocialists [link] [comments]

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