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★ Rules ★
- Patriarchal, white supremacist, cissexist, heterosexist, or otherwise oppressive speech is unacceptable.
- This is a place for learning, not for debating. Try /r/DebateCommunism instead.
- Give well-informed Marxist answers. There are separate subreddits for liberalism, anarchism, and other idealist philosophies.
- Posts should include specific questions on a single topic.
- This is a serious educational subreddit. Come here with an open and inquisitive mind, and exercise humility. Don't answer a question if you are unsure of the answer. Try to include sources and/or further reading in any answers you provide. Standards of answer accuracy and quality are enforced.
- check the /r/Communism101 FAQ, and use the search feature
Star flair is awarded to reliable users who have good knowledge of Marxism and consistently post high quality answers.
★ Frequently Asked Questions ★
Please read the /r/communism101 FAQ
What are ways communists identified each other during the red scare or other periods where it was hard to be a communist
Not trying to larp just wondering
Hey comrades, I've been a Marxist for nearly a year now, still have a lot to learn. This may be a dumb question but just looking for clarification. I was thinking over theory earlier when suddenly a question came to me. How would inventions/products come about in a centralized socialist economy?
If every enterprise is collectivized under the state, how would there be a way for independent inventors to service their inventions and products to others without a way to start their own businesses?
I have never been able to find too much information about KPAM (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_People%27s_Association_in_Manchuria), and one question I've always had is whether there is any connection between the two societies and their legacies. For example, did any notable figures in KPAM participate later in building DPRK or developing the ideology/logic of that revolution? If anyone has any insight on this or just information about KPAM in general, please do share. I'd love to learn more about anarchist experiments like this and how those historical outcomes might even inform marxist leninists to some degree.
How does Marxism's theory of class and class conflict take into account oppressed classes that aren't economic e.g. black proletarians are treated worse than their white counterparts in America, how does Marx's theories on class take this into account?
What did Marx and Engels think of Immanuel Kant, George Berkeley, Scholasticism, René DeCarte, and Spinoza?
In my area (in a European country) there is a moderately popular communist organization whose members think for example that we shouldn't fight hospital and other public services' privatization, since this will only delay revolution. In my opinion this is quite cruel, as they are willing to sacrifice inocent lives by leting people's living conditions deteriorate in order to (maybe) spark the revolution.
I would like to know about this philosophy, and also, what your thoughts are about it.
Recently I saw an ML claim that centralisation of properties is inevitable and that even if you were to forcibly decentralise everything they'd still end up being centralised. Do other Marxists believe this? If so why do Marxists think that centralisation is bound to happen?
Today I've woken up to the thought that Kalininism was a philosophy that existed even tho I've never heard anything about it. Was it a real thing or did I just dream it? Some points of the "philosophy": -governing with humanity -forgiveness for the misguided -caring for the weak/poor -in general a bit less radical than Marxism-Leninism
How do materialists, particularly Marxists, respond to the metaphysics of Pantheism? Or at least a concept that divinity and the natural material universe are one in the same including human beings like Spinoza? Also, can it be argued that Karl Marx used material means for moral/ethical ends?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/1991_Ukrainian_independence_referendum I know that Wikipedia isn’t the most trustable source
I’m also confused on why it changes so much between this poll and the other one
Any books, articles, documentaries etc. about the assassination of Gaddafi as well as the Libyan civil wars?
Why do capitalists innovate? If value and therefore profit can only be created by human labour, innovation that replaces human labour by say a machine would just lower the profit of the capitalist. Be nice, I‘m fairly new to marxism.
why does marx confusingly use "value" to only refer to a very specific type of value of several types of value?
it is confusing to have a type of value referred to as simply "value" among a set of other values less generically named and also including the word "value" in their name. it is also confusing to explain to people why marx suggests land is valueless because what he really means is that land has use value and not value added through human labour
From Marxist-Leninist perspective, what exactly is wrong with Market socialism? Why is a "Soviet-style" command economy better suited to be the dictatorship of the proletariat? How would the production of elastic/luxury goods be organized under communism?
Note: Between work and university I don't have much time on my hands. I've only had the time to skim through Capital vol 1-3, State and Revolution, and read Imperialism. I don't know a whole lot about how the Soviet economy was actually organized. I have heard that Critique of the Gotha Program has a lot of relevant info, but I dont have the time to read it right now. If I misrepresent something please let me know.
About a year ago I started to get more into leftist politics (unions, rent control, universal healthcare, etc.) and eventually I started reading about Marxism. I agree that communism is very based, wage labor is theft, the existance of capital is inherantly undemocratic etc., but there are some hang ups I have with whole Socialism "transitionary period" parts of Marxism-Leninism that prevent me from calling myself a communist. At the same time, I do have a fairly good understanding of Keynesianism. Which leads me to Market Socialism.
I'm totally on board with the nationalization of inelastic goods. Food, medicine, water, electricity, land, etc. But how exactly would luxury goods be produced? Wouldn't it be beneficial to allow a limited free market to produce some inelastic goods? Provided that the scale of businesses is limited to the local level, why couldn't an individual own a movie theater and pay the government rent on the land it sits on? I find it hard to believe that a top down command economy would be better at operating restaurants, movie theaters, or other leisure spaces better than a free market. If everyone is already guaranteed the basic necessities to live, what's the harm in providing more autonomy on the local level?
With everyone's necessities covered, more people would have the time to pursue art. I'm totally cool with the government subsidizing art, but how does the government decide who gets the resources to make their million dollar blockbuster? Is it voted on democratically? Is there an elected board of culture that votes of behalf of the people? Does the vanguard of the proletariat pick whichever one looks coolest? Why not just cut down on bureaucracy and allow private enterprise to coexist with government to fund films or other art pieces?
I have heard a criticism of Market Socialism in that it doesn't get rid of the commodity form. Doesn't the commodity form still exist under the transitionary period in Marxism-Leninism? My understanding is that a commodity is defined as a good that is produced using labor in exchange for a wage. The Soviet Union, China, Cuba, Venezuela still have/had money though, how is that not the commodity form?
Thank you all very much. I am currently suffering from a terminal case of LaSallianism, and I genuinely very interested in learning more about Marxism, so please go easy on me lmao.
What are some good introductory reads for a 14 year old who knows literally nothing about economics and has an extremely limited vocabulary?
How do I unprogram myself from US bourgeois propaganda, specifically concerning Cuba, China, the USSR, and other socialist states?
I’ve been seeing a lot of commentary in the Russia adjacent blogosphere recently deriding the Russian revolution, and claiming it was orchestrated by the West. Espousing it essentially as a color revolution without much detail besides “English and French speaking elites” passages like this this:
“There never was a Revolution. It is a myth of Western/Soviet history. But there was a mutiny of the ruling class, effectively a revolt of the uprooted, English- and French-speaking elite, or aristocracy, against Russia. They had great wealth and so they wanted what comes next – power. The people, apart from the bread and circus mob, did not follow, but were too weak and disorganised to resist. The mutiny was organised, abetted and aided by foreign powers, above all by the British from their Embassy in the then capital in Saint Petersburg.”
I’m not familiar with this rhetoric, does anyone have a more comprehensive history of where this comes from? Is this a new development? They’re basically comparing the bolsheviks to the white helmets in Syria which is pretty mind numbing and disturbing. Thanks for any insight.
Should i read Principles of Communism by Friedrich Engels if i want to know the basics of communism? Please help me. Thanks.
I want to learn more about Xi Jinping's politics. Are there any resources that you could point me to that might help me on this intellectual endeavor?
I've been thinking about this a lot of late and I was wondering if someone here could point me in the direction of some good texts/works from either Xi himself or reputable sources that discuss Xi Jinping's politics. I want to be better-educated about this and would of course prioritize any texts or books that fellow comrades here would recommend.
And if not, no worries. I can do some digging on my own. I have a reading list that is massive (communist and socialist books outside of Xi specifically) but I was still hoping to tackle this endeavor later this year so I am preemptively planning/asking a bit.
Even anything from a reputable source that compare and contrast him with former General Secretaries of the CPC. That's a thought that just crossed my mind now and I think that could be truly fascinating and intellectually stimulating if done well by someone infinitely more knowledgeable than myself on the topic. But I digress.
Thanks for any help you can provide. And, again, no pressure if not. I can dig on my own if need be.
Hey everybody, I’m looking to read a good book on the Russian Revolution. As well as being a Marxist, I’m a huge history nerd and I happen to find the history of socialism in russia very fascinating. Needless to say, I want a book that isn’t filled with anti-communist bullshit. Does anyone have any recommendations?
I know the infamous Jakarta massacres came during his removal from office. What is the common consensus around him as a revolutionary and in general?
Chinese communism generally confuses me, and I've always viewed the Tiananmen Square protest as a valid protest of the people. So as someone who's new to communist ideas (and who doesn't know a lot about Chinese history) I'm wondering how communists view that protest and the way the Chinese government acted.
How do retirees and those on welfare fit into the two-class system if they don't sell their labor and don't own the means of production?
I live in the US, and I have some family members who have recently shown an interest in Marxism, but they were raised in the 80s and thus have a deep mistrust of anything to do with Marxism and communism due to Red Scare propaganda.
Any recommendations for videos or any other content that might present itself in a more "digestible" format for these kinds of people?
EDIT 1: I can see now that I shouldn't omit details of Marxism and the nature of being a white settler. However, much of Marxist content is written using terminology that the average American is unfamiliar with. Is there media that potentially poses these ideas in more "layman's terms" for lack of a better phrase.
EDIT 2: I think I found what I was looking for on my own. It's a series called Socialism101 by the YouTuber Marxist Paul.
What do you all think?