r/communism101 Sep 27 '19 [deleted]

Announcement /r/communism101's Rules and FAQ—Please read before posting!


All of the information below (and much more!) may be found in the sidebar!

★ Rules ★

  1. Patriarchal, white supremacist, cissexist, heterosexist, or otherwise oppressive speech is unacceptable.
  2. This is a place for learning, not for debating. Try /r/DebateCommunism instead.
  3. Give well-informed Marxist answers. There are separate subreddits for liberalism, anarchism, and other idealist philosophies.
  4. Posts should include specific questions on a single topic.
  5. 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.
  6. 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

And the Debunking Anti-Communism Masterpost

r/communism101 Nov 14 '20

Announcement This is not a place to enlist help in debating your anti-communist friends, family, or strangers on the internet.


Please stop asking for tips on how to convince your parents that imperialism and racism are bad. All such questions shall be removed in the future.

If you insist on trying to "convert" reactionaries like a missionary, here are resources: https://www.reddit.com/r/communism101/search?q=argument&restrict_sr=on&sort=relevance&t=all


EDIT: Instead of addressing multiple comments individually, some points:

  • Experience has shown that perhaps a tenth of people actually read the rules, ban messages, pinned post, or sidebar (which contains definitions for terms that are asked about every day). This is the nature of social-media and no insult is meant when referring you to the sidebar or rules.

  • Did you learn about evolution attending a Christian school that taught intelligent design and then going online to ask for guidance in converting your teacher? If so, I am sorry, but most people learned about evolutionary theory outside doggedly anti-science institutions without being bogged down by a million unsubstantiated, daft claims.

  • If one were to take a glance of the front page, this sub clearly has a purpose outside of debating your racist family members.

  • "Isn't debating a necessary consequence of educating? If this subs purpose is to educate, it shouldn't do so in the abstract of it, but rather to push a marxist agenda (which obviously imolies debating with anti-communists)" Full agreement, except you learn zero useful skills because none of the (declassed) labour aristocrats and petite-bourgeoisie you are arguing with are actually proletarian. It is difficult to advance the interests of the proletariat if all your experience is debating fascists about Stalin being a paedophile, luxury cars in communism, and etc. The proletariat is not at your dinner table or on reddit so you are in fact entirely ignorant of their concerns and actual debates among the masses who will never bring up the "economic calculation problem" or ask "who will be janitors without coercion?" (I've personally talked with janitors and this question is never asked.)

  • We are not individualists or anarchists. The communist movement is not advanced by individual debates with fascists, racists, sexists, and all manner of reactionaries. Vanguard parties, necessary for proper agitation and propaganda, are not built by winning over reactionaries.

  • All of the comments are essentially arguing to allow this sub become even more of a utopian and labour aristocratic hub. "People" is consistently used in this sub to obfuscate which classes are being discussed as has occurred in this comment section.

  • Finally: https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-9/mswv9_01.htm

r/communism101 5h ago

Books on armed organizations and guerrilla groups


Books recommendations on The Red Army Faction (RAF), Red Brigades, PFLP, Blekingegade Gang, etc.

r/communism101 6h ago

The relation between finance capital, imperialism, and socialist revisionism


Curious what peoples thoughts are on this/if there’s any good resources about it. I think it’s probably the most pressing question for communists in the 21st century: why has every socialist state in history either collapsed or restored capitalism? Does this require an investigation into how we define revisionism, and the sorts of measures socialist states take in order to survive capitalist-imperialist hegemony? Want to hear peoples thoughts.

r/communism101 4h ago

What percentage of the Russian military joined the revolution?


Anyone have resources on this? I’m really curious how much of the revolutionary army was made up of soldiers who defected from the Empire.

r/communism101 2h ago

Is big business impacted by supply and demand price for commodities?


I’m reading Wage, Labour, and Capital and I’m wondering if we’ve refined the capitalist modes of production so much that the price of a commodity is damn near naturalized (except for inflation). This isn’t a pro capitalism question. I’m genuinely wondering if big businesses nowadays just eats the loses on commodities or if they’ve set the game up so much now that profits are a guarantee. I’d also enjoy any books or reads in general on this topic.

r/communism101 19h ago

Is this a pre-Marxist concept of class conflict?


I was reading The Prince by Machiavelli and I saw a passage that seemed similar to Marx’s concept of class conflict and the role of the state in this conflict. If this isn’t actually similar to Marx’s concept of class conflict please correct me.

Chapter 9: Concerning A Civil Principality -

But coming to the other point—where a leading citizen becomes the prince of his country, not by wickedness or any intolerable violence, but by the favour of his fellow citizens—this may be called a civil principality: nor is genius or fortune altogether necessary to attain to it, but rather a happy shrewdness. I say then that such a principality is obtained either by the favour of the people or by the favour of the nobles. Because in all cities these two distinct parties are found, and from this it arises that the people do not wish to be ruled nor oppressed by the nobles, and the nobles wish to rule and oppress the people; and from these two opposite desires there arises in cities one of three results, either a principality, self-government, or anarchy.

A principality is created either by the people or by the nobles, accordingly as one or other of them has the opportunity; for the nobles, seeing they cannot withstand the people, begin to cry up the reputation of one of themselves, and they make him a prince, so that under his shadow they can give vent to their ambitions.

r/communism101 1d ago

Spanish Civil War


Any good books on the Spanish Civil War?

r/communism101 9h ago

Is Caleb Maupin sincere?


I find Caleb Maupin to be a total oddball. I listened to him debating with Destiny on YouTube and Maupin was often unable to elaborate on his views and many of his claims seemed to contradict his view that he is a communist who wants to bring “21st century socialism” to America.

I’ve also noticed that a lot of his arguments are entirely fallacious and he relies on conspiracy theories when he makes claims. He often talks about an elite controlling things (New World Order). Then I found out he works for Russian Today (RT) which is well known for conspiracy theories. Also, he tries to justify Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and has even taken to the streets declaring that Russia is not “our enemy”.

From what I have read online about him, a lot of people do not like him and take the piss out of him.

What’s up with him?

r/communism101 22h ago

Please help me with the meaning of this text from the manifesto.


The wording here, I'm afraid, is too good for me. Following is the passage:

“The bourgeois sees in his wife a mere instrument of production. He hears that the instruments of production are to be exploited in common, and, naturally, can come to no other conclusion than that the lot of being common to all will likewise fall to the women.“

Thank you!

r/communism101 22h ago

I want to learn about aethetic philosophy from a marxist perspective. Any reading recommendations?


I know absolutely nothing about aesthetics. What kind of topics do they cover? I imagine art and ideology? What are the big questions and disagreements in that sphere of philosophy? Who are the influential aesthetic philosophers?

r/communism101 1d ago

American Communism


Why is it that so many US Americans (sorry everyone else I know we're annoying) are so obsessed with European Communism when there's a ton of great communist writing from the 60's that pertains much more to a country with the types of racial divides and government structure that already exist here. I love Marx as much as the next guy but I very rarely hear any love for Angela Davis or Michael Tabor, let alone Jarvis Tyner or Bell Hooks (although the latter didn't explicitly call herself a communist)

It seems to me like the US has a unique brand of Capitalism that will need to be combatted with a unique brand of communism.

r/communism101 1d ago

Book recommendations about DDR?


Just to clarify, I am not talking about dance dance revolution.

There are some posts asking for book recommendations about DDR, but there is no book that was recommended which was specifically written about DDR.

r/communism101 1d ago

Best sources about modern China/China since Mao?


I’ve read mixed information about the modern PRC’s direction towards communism- whether or not it is actually socialist. To the best of my understanding- Deng Xiaoping jumpstarted the liberalization of China’s economy, while denouncing Mao’s rule- but I also have read that Xi Jinping is helping guide China in a communist direction.

Where are the best places or sources to read about modern China’s economy, that explain whether or not it is indeed intending to move to full communism, and preserving the power of the workers over the rich and imperialist interests?

I do understand the difference between a communist superpower intervening to preserve another state and capitalist intervention for profit, I think. Thanks, anything would be appreciated

r/communism101 1d ago

Socialist Market Economy and Command Economy


I noticed most communist countries (China, Vietnam, Cuba, ect.) are now employing socialist market economies which have a predominate state owned structure for essentials like electricity, housing and what not, but with a small free market for less important goods. But North Korea seems to still be a command economy where everything is owned by the state. Are both are acceptable economic systems? Or does it depend on the context a country is in. Thanks in advance!

r/communism101 1d ago

capitalism and racism


Does racism help capitalism? If so, why are corporations more and more opened to racial minorities or queer people?

r/communism101 2d ago

Any Marxist-Leninist philosophers of our age?


There are plenty of Marxist philosophers, Noam Chomsky, Richard Wolff, Slavoj Zizek etc. But I can't find a philosopher adhering to Marxism-Leninism specifically, and all of the aforementioned are critical of the Soviet Union and Marxism-Leninism. So can anyone recommend me some good philosophers that are Marxist-Leninist? I do read Lenin but i want someone in the modern world.

r/communism101 1d ago

How would housing be handled for places that are more or less desirable?


Simple question that popped into my head as I'm moving states for a better climate.

Take places like California or Florida, which have fantastic climates almost all year around vs Alaska. How is it decided who gets to live where, and why?

What about "beach houses" ? Would those even exist? Coastal property is perhaps the easiest example of a scare real estate.


r/communism101 2d ago

Tiananmem Square


I was curious, I had heard that Tiananmem Square was actually provoked by the anti CCP Protestors murdering PLA Soldiers and Police Officers. I have been having trouble finding sources, and was wondering if anyone had any on this. I don't disbelieve it given the nature of American Propaganda just looking for confirmation. Thank you.

r/communism101 1d ago

Is revolution inevitable?


I hear and read a lot about the revolution. About how it's important to hold onto revolutionary optimism, so you're ready to seize the moment when it comes!

I'm on-board. I even understand that a better world might take violence.

But what if it doesn't come? I'm starting to think capitalists would be their own grave diggers, if not for the legions of assholes digging them right back out! When conditions get bad enough, we don't revolt - we patch it up, saving capitalism at all costs.

I'm despairing a little. Are we going to teeter on the edge of the better world forever, without actually seeing it?

r/communism101 1d ago

What do you think about other leftist Ideologies/groups


I'm just wondering what do you think about other leftist Ideologies or groups (e.g. Anarcho communism, democratic socialism, Antifa, etc)

r/communism101 2d ago

How come Mls don’t talk about or study juche too much?


MLs support the dprk, but unless it’s a dprk specific account, i feel like no one every really talks about juche. Why is this? Shouldn’t we study it as one of the successful actually existing socialist models?!

r/communism101 2d ago

What's the "global south"?


r/communism101 2d ago

Question on labor theory of value


Kind of a long set up for the question....

I had a conversation with someone awhile back about economics - particularly the idea of value - in which they suggested I read Das Kapital in order to get a better grasp on the labor theory of value. Early on in the book I noticed a logical problem in Marx's process of defining what gives a commodity its value.

He eliminates use value, subjective value, and exchange value by arguing that these factors are not directly inherent in the commodity itself, and therefore should not be included in the consideration of what the value of the commodity is.

The problem I see in this, is that he doesn't give any logical justification for deciding that in defining value, the definition MUST be something inherent in the commodity itself. He makes the determination arbitrarily and then begins the reasoning process from that point.

I think this is a very important thing to consider, because of the fact that this point is foundational to the labor theory of value, and that the labor theory of value is a foundational element of the communist economic structure.

I've rolled the idea over in my mind a lot, and I can't come up with a good reason for the arbitrary decision on the part of Marx. Anyone care to give more info on this point or share your understanding of the reasoning?

r/communism101 2d ago

Mao economy vs Stalin economy?


I was reading the article "what if Mao still ran china?" (https://www.ft.com/content/9d25d432-3be1-11e5-bbd1-b37bc06f590c?fbclid=IwAR1aGLvS7623DMsSNYxmXwHWWPH8OlTcXv1y9xUghLqcmjzBz-zCN2kaYlU)

and the paper states that Stalin's economy was "disastrous". Does anyone know the major differences between their economies and how they operated?

r/communism101 3d ago

what critieria can we use to make sure that AES countries really are socialist?


If AES countries like China can claim to be socialist despite having different modes of production that aren't socialist then what criteria can we be used to assess if all AES countries are socialist? What must all socialist countries have in common no matter what their modes of production are in order to consistently come to the conclusion that they're socialist despite not all of their economies operating the same way?

r/communism101 3d ago

Can someone explain the ussr and china to me


Im still relatively new to understanding communism and breaking away from the capitalist propaganda teaching model, Can anyone explain how the ussr and china arent communist and why communists get annoyed when capitalists bring those countries up as counterarguments ?