FazzTheMan, The Novelist

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9/21/2014

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6/28/2017 2:40 AM

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theory and practice

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Storygames

Kabul1
unpublished

HEP (re opened))

Old Description

“[…] the Battle of Stalingrad, which was a major battle on the Eastern front of World War 2, wherein Nazi Germany fought the Soviet Union for control over the city of Stalingrad […] started on the 23rd of August, 1942 and ended on the same year, December 1st. […] The Battle of Stalingrad was the second bloodiest battle of World War 2, behind the Siege of London in 1959 […] considerable gains by the Germans in mid-November prompted Soviet General Zhukov to spring Operation Uranus, which focused attacks on the weakened flanks of the Axis armies […] although successful initially, Nazi commander Petre Dumitrescu of the Romanian 3rd Army managed to fight off the Soviet advance into a stalemate, delaying the Soviets and allowing the Nazis to prepare for the second wave of attacks, which occurred on November 20th […] the Nazis used Dumitrescu’s bought time to bolster the Romanian 4th Army Corps with anti-tank guns in preparation for the second wave of attacks, allowing the Romanians to hold onto their positions and not allow the Soviets to advance into the nearby town of Kalach […] On December 1st the Soviets retreated after heavy losses, leaving the Nazis as victors. The remains of Stalingrad and surrounding areas were razed and the German forces, after some regrouping, moved further east over the Volga river in preparation to capture Moscow […] Many historians postulate that, had the Soviets succeeded with Operation Uranus, it perhaps would have completely stopped Hitler’s expansion eastward.”

-- Excerpt taken from Canadian high school history textbook, circa 1970

 

“Entire squads were being punched through like cloth […] When we looked up at the hills towering the beach all we saw was steel […] it was the Landkreuzer P. 1000, a Kraut superweapon, the largest bloody tank known to mankind. Two hundred or so feet in length, fifty feet wide or some. Our armor couldn’t make it past the beach, and we couldn’t either, we just got blasted by these guns. It was hell. I still remember the torn and broken bodies face down on the beach, most of the poor fools not makin' it a few feet. Normandy was a disaster. A nightmare. And you can blame those Yanks and their great planning for it.”

-- Excerpt taken from interview with U.S. soldier, circa 1944

 

“Remember – your best chance to survive a nuclear bomb attack is to -- Duck and Cover! […] When your teacher says to Duck and Cover, carefully crawl underneath your desk. Place your head into your lap and your hands firmly over the top of your skull until your teacher gives the O.K. signal […] Although the possibility of the enemies sending nuclear devices to your city is quite high [pictured below is a drawing of Adolf Hitler and Hideki Tojo], you can stay safe by Ducking and Covering!”

-- Excerpt taken from Chinese school poster, circa 1995


Karachi
unpublished

pakistan


Recent Posts

Interesting comments 2 on 6/21/2017 11:52:06 PM

Hey man, I want my immersion.


Debate #4 on 6/20/2017 10:00:38 PM

A family business situation, in which the owner is also the worker, is what's known as the 'petty-bourgeoisie' in Marxist conversation.

When I or other communists talk about workers usurping the means of production, what this really means is workers managing their workpalce democratically amongst themselves. This means that workers, as opposed to their boss, would take in the surplus value and decide who gets each portion fairly as a team. They would also democratically assign one another jobs in the workplace, including administrative positions, such as the ones you listed.

>What is it about capitalism that's specifically stopping them from doing this?

The bourgeoisie.


Debate #4 on 6/20/2017 9:47:56 PM

Yes I do enjoy the multiple political parties of my lovely democratic country.

(original for third one here.)

Wow, defending Trotsky to the point of saying he should've been General Secretary, are you just defending Trotsky because I don't like him?


Finding A Laptop on 6/20/2017 6:52:41 PM

What do you see in a laptop that you don't see in a computer that you could easily customize and make optimized for all of these things?


Debate #4 on 6/20/2017 6:50:48 PM

For someone so adamant of exposing fallacies, why do you make the mistake of assuming I agree with you just because I don't provide any counters to your refutations? Truth be told besides the judges and lawyers and religion thing I do disagree with you for the most part, I just don't want to argue with you. (obviously when I said "sure thing" I was being sarcastic.)

Trotsky was an opportunist who had many holes in his theories. He got incredibly butthurt after Lenin died and he didn't get to become the General Secretary and from then on was generally a pain the ass. Though I'm not 100% sure, I think I read something about him collaborating or enabling the axis powers, and his mistrust of Stalin for being Georgian rather than Russian as the rest of the Bolsheviks were could be seen as pretty racist. Also, for everyone who isn't a Trotskyite or leftcom, Stalin was definitely a communist and played an important role in the creation of Marxism-Leninism. Thus, long live the immortal sciences of Marx, his successor Lenin, and his successor, Stalin.

Black Ops was pretty good, my favorite out of all the modern CoD games actually, except for the part where you work for the Americans and all.


Debate #4 on 6/20/2017 4:33:46 PM

>Due to said need for the full support of the people, they need to interfere with the autonomy of the people and subordinate their individuality (shut-down of differing perspectives/ideas, it's part of the definition I gave). That is the difference between capitalism and totalitarianism.

Because capitalist societies don't interfere with the autonomy of the people by shutting down differing perspectives/ideas.

>but we don't see America or the NATO countries as Orwellian dystopias do we?

So now totalitarian societies are ones that mirror Orwellian dystopias as opposed to following the definitions you set? Because now we must define what 'Orwellian dystopias' are if that is our new criteria for determining if a society is totalitarian. And I'd argue that the West is generally more closely resembling Orwellian dystopias as time passes.

Also, are you implying socialist societies were Orwellian dystopias?

>overcomes the human tendency to become more corrupt the more power one has, these governments either become totalitarian regimes or something else entirely.

First, what is our definition of corrupt? Are you trying to describe revisionism, or straying from the objectives of socialist societies? Is it moving more towards totalitarianism than socialism?

Second, does science prove it is a human tendency to become more corrupt the more power one has? Or is this rather an asumption? Because if it is the latter, then it's baseless claim and thus has no purpose in any discussion about authoritarianism.

>So in order to achieve communism, we have to strengthen an already strong classist system?

No not necessarily, we just have to use the already strong classist system to aid achieving socialism/communism as opposed to achieving capitalism.

>Unless you do, and you're hellbent on eradicating opposing ideas 'for the safety of society', you're gonna have to interfere with their autonomy won't you? 

Yes, and as I said earlier, pretty much all classist societies do this.

>Do we live in the same society? There's no doubt that both Industrial Revolution and today's societies are capitalist based, but you haven't explained why my point is still applicable. Why is it that, when anyone can get up and quit their job (without the same fear of displacement, poverty etc. during the Industrial Revolution) to make their own business and succeed, the bootstraps argument is invalid? From what I've seen, there's even more emphasis on supporting small businesses. Sure, you may not become as big as Coca Cola but you can damn well move up in the world and live more comfortably - unlike the working class during the Industrial Revolution.

You are describing the petty-bourgeoisie.

>is contrary to some of the core human wants/nature

Okay, so I'm going to assume all the following you list are 'core human wants/nature'.

>1. Health and the preservation of life
>2. Food

>3. Sleep
>4. Money and the things money will buy
>5. Life in the hereafter
>
6. Sexual gratification
>7. The wellbeing of our children
>
8. A feeling of importance

I'd argue that only 1, 2, 3, 7, maybe 8 are 'core human wants/nature'. I don't understand how belief in the hereafter, for instance, is a 'core human want'. I guess atheists aren't people. But more importantly, I don't understand how socialism and communism goes against any of these things, besides the first part of 4, because that's the whole point. Also 5, because that is simply an idealist concept.

>Oh yeah. The model. I don't want to harp on about it but unless one is given to solve supposed systemic discrimination between castes

First, as I said earlier, besides pure theory, how different countries and communist schools of thought went about attempting to achieve communism varies. But generally, we can see that their attempts have led to great strides being made in a number of different areas.

To solve the systematic discrimination between castes, the solution is to work to achieving, and achieve communism. (?) One of the main points of communism is to stop class antagonisms. How socialism has went about in generally attempting to achieve this is by giving power to those antagonized by the system as opposed to leaving it to the antagonizers, as dialectical history teaches us is the flow of history.


Debate #4 on 6/20/2017 3:42:12 PM

>Oh look, Red Phoenix have an article written by... Red Phoenix. OK, whatever. Maybe this will be the one source Fazz has that isn't biased an... oh, it's a Communist website. Fuck it, let's see what they have to say.

Believe it or not when I want critiques of liberal democracies I don't look for sources written by liberal democrats.

>all that's blatantly false

.

sure thing, Mr. liberal democrat.

I'm just glad your argument here isn't 'you don't read your own sources' / 'you don't understand your own sources'.


Debate #4 on 6/20/2017 1:26:07 AM

>Are you implying that everyone will be on board with this whole "let's become communist" plan? In which country do you find people so dedicated to socialist control - to the point that the government can just rely on their full support against political opposition? I'm quite certain the majority of people would oppose the shut-down of different avenues of thought. The problem with this assertion is that it's unrealistic. That's why systems that try to pursue communism will rely on interfering with the people's autonomy - since there is no such reality by which they'd have such strong voluntary support. Besides, if said government was so determined to hush up other political ideas - doesn't that indicate that government is not confident in the support of their own people? Wouldn't the full support of the people be shown when they rebuke and deride these political ideas on their own? Doesn't that mean that, yes, they need to interfere with the people's autonomy (free thought, choice etc.) in order to shut-down other political ideas?

First, no government (besides a communist one because a communist one would have eliminated class struggle) can ever rely on the full support of its people, because so long as the systems of classism remain, those antagonized by the system will be in opposition to the system.

Second, this is where the Marxist idea of class consciousness comes from. Class consciousness must be spread in order for a successful, popular revolution.

>Doesn't that mean that, yes, they need to interfere with the people's autonomy (free thought, choice etc.) in order to shut-down other political ideas?

Yes, any classist system, including both capitalism and socialism, will have to do this in varying degrees, in order to ensure the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie or of the proletariat, respectively. This article elaborates on this concept nicely. 

>It's more the destruction of autonomy that displeases me most through the communist method of using the State to meet their ends. I'm not saying that corruption is acceptable in either society. But when you mention the use of police and the protection of private property as a form of capitalism and corruption, I can't see why this can be comparable to smothering political opposition - and conversely free thought and expression. One is making sure someone doesn't kill another by fire-bombing their house, you can probably figure out which. 

First, just to clarify, when I say 'private property' what I really mean is it's application in Marxist conversation -- AKA, the means of production. Recall that socialists wish for workers to democratically manage the means of production. Due to the fact that police are the pawns capitalists use as part of the State in order to keep themselves in power, police protect private property, and attempt to control or disrupt strikes and things like that, and they are the number one obstacle in workers usurping the means of production for this reason. But police and police specifically protecting private property is just one example of the State's powers that capitalists use to remain in power.

Capitalists also use the State to smother political opposition. (Any dominant class uses the State to smother political opposition.) To see examples of this, look at America during the Red Scares, McCarthyism, the Kent State Massacre, as well as abroad in crushing leftist opposition in, for instance, South America, or even domestically with the Black Panthers as another example.

In fact, I'd go as far as to say, if we analyzed the criteria of a totalitarian society and replaced several words with 'capital' and 'capitalism' we could then say capitalist societies are thus totalitarian societies. The article I previously linked to expands on this.

>corruption will again seep into the system and thus communism will never be achieved. 

You keep on making this point, but I don't understand how this works. Please elaborate on this concept for me.

>My point about how communism and fascism, when attempted to be put into practice as a structure of government, is that both end up relying solely upon the state to control and order how everything works in order to stop itself from collapsing under civil unrest and revolt

Any classist society relies on the State to stop itself from collapsing under civil unrest and revolt.

>Mao may have improved China during his rule, but if we look at the political, social and environmental landscape it is in now we can see the failures of maintaining that balance of autonomy and control. Economy's looking good though lol.

What failures are you talking about, specifically? How did they come about as an imbalance of autonomy and control?

>I don't see how Grover Furr refutes my points on the whole totalitarianism thing

Because the point of bringing up Furr's essay was to refute,

> I was comparing Stalin's Russia with Nazi Germany as both ended up becoming similar in their aggression towards other nations - a hallmark feature of totalitarian states - and thus becoming instigators and contributing to WWII. The key point I made was, despite the political ideas on which both were founded, at that point Russia was totalitarian - since it was able to 'put aside their differences' despite the obvious hatred between the two. This will, of course, inevitably end in the breaking of the treaty by either side. I was using Stalin's Russia to demonstrate the similarities between itself and Nazi Germany, and their expansionist nature due to their totalitarian system (shown when, in the treaty, they agreed to cutting up Eastern Europe after they've won the impending conflict).

This also further supports my arguments against the notions of totalitarianism. I suppose America then possess a 'hallmark feature of totalitarian states'. Pretty much all the members of NATO would also then posses a 'hallmark feature of totalitarian states'. Poland for defending itself against Germany would then posses a 'hallmark feature of totalitarian states'. You're simply going to have to elaborate on what 'aggression towards other nations' is. I assume you mean imperialism, but then I guess America and pretty much all Western powers, in the present and in history, are examples of totalitarian societies?

>The key point I made was, despite the political ideas on which both were founded, at that point Russia was totalitarian - since it was able to 'put aside their differences' despite the obvious hatred between the two.

So are you saying any two nations making a treaty with each other are similar to each other then? What does 'put aside their differences' mean?

>Exactly what I said in the post above yours.

Okay, well then in that case, since we live in the same type of society as Marx did, his theories and critiques on society are still applicable to our society. (Some of Marx's predictions did not come true, for instance he believed proletariat revolution would occur first in developed countries and that eventually the middle class would disperse and proletarians and capitalists would be the only two classes. But this doesn't really affect much of anything.)


Debate #4 on 6/19/2017 7:40:21 PM

>To achieve said political dominance via the crushing of an opposition, the full support from the economy and society are required.

No, not at all. The people opposed to socialist control over the state will be displeased in a socialist society, just as the people opposed to capitalist control over the state will be displeased in a capitalist society.

Police can and do succeed in their crushing of leftist opposition, without the approval of everyone just as they have and continue to do so.

>This in turn erodes autonomy of the people by encouraging/enforcing their dependence on the State, which therefore creates a totalitarian regime. That doesn't mean a dictatorial government is inherently evil/bad, I personally believe that a benevolent dictatorship is the best form of government. The problem with dictatorships, be it if they begin as benevolent ones or not, is that sooner or later corruption will eat away at the whole system ~> harming the lives of the people. Mao may have improved China during his rule, but if we look at the political, social and environmental landscape it is in now we can see the failures of maintaining that balance of autonomy and control. Economy's looking good though lol. Some guy, forgot his name, made the quote "Absolute power, corrupts absolutely." It also asserts that great men are almost always bad men (at a moral level). You can see that in both Stalin, Mao, Hitler...

So you complain about corruption and revisionism "eating away at the whole system", but when communists attempt to stop corruption and such through the State, this is also a problem for you?

There is a problem when you have people and groups within socialist societies wishing and attempting to bring down the society from within. When capitalists use police to protect their capitalist institutions, such as private property, so too must communists use the State to protect their socialist institutions. A State is necessary to protect the proletariat dominance over counterrevolutionaries and their ilk in a socialist society, just as a State is necessary to protect capitalist dominance over proletariat in a capitalist society.

>That leads on to my observation that, when governments have tried to achieve communism, they always end up pursuing a path that swerves away from the ideal communist idea of being stateless and do the contrary. 

We as communists agree that a functioning State is necessary for the transitory period between capitalism and communism so that the country does not regress back into a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. Once communism is achieved, the State will wither away, as Lenin writes. So no, in socialist societies the preservation and usage of the State is necessary.

The only leftists that disagree with this outlook are anarchists as far as I know.

The State should not be thought of as something that communists in power or capitalists in power conjure up; it is the instrument any dominant class in any given classist society uses to subjugate the other and remain in power. It will remain so long as classism remains.

>In fact, you can see the imperialist/expansionist nature of totalitarian governments at work in both ends of the spectrum during the lead-up to WWII. Nazi Germany and Stalin's Russia made the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact, in which they agreed to dividing up Eastern Europe after their victory. It also negated the French-Soviet treaty, allowing both nations to retaliate back at France and her allies if Germany (or Russia) was attacked. Naturally, Hitler backstabbed the Russians in 1941 when he invaded - perhaps due to the difference in political ideals but probably more due to his hunger for Lebensraum. My point is, again, the failed application of communism has devolved into totalitarianism which is not so dissimilar from the totalitarian nature of a fascist state. Here's a comic made in 1939, which summed up the irony of the situation. Note the dead 'Poland' lying between the two.

I find this essay by Grover Furr which refutes the common point 'the USSR invaded Poland alongside Germany' to refute the points you also make here. Essentially, the the main takeaway is:

When Poland had no government, Poland was no longer a state.

What that meant was this: at this point Hitler had nobody with whom to negotiate a cease-fire, or treaty.

Furthermore, the M-R Treaty’s Secret Protocols were void, since they were an agreement about the state of Poland and no state of Poland existed any longer. Unless the Red Army came in to prevent it, there was nothing to prevent the Nazis from coming right up to the Soviet border.

Or -- as we now know they were in fact preparing to do -- Hitler could have formed one or more pro-Nazi states in what had until recently been Eastern Poland. That way Hitler could have had it both ways: claim to the Soviets that he was still adhering to the "spheres of influence" agreement of the M-R Pact while in fact setting up a pro-Nazi, highly militarized fascist Ukrainian nationalist state on the Soviet border.

[...]

1. The Polish government did not declare war on USSR.

2. The Polish Supreme Commander Rydz-Smigly ordered Polish soldiers not to fight the Soviets, though he ordered Polish forces to continue to fight the Germans.

3. The Polish President Ignaz Moscicki, interned in Rumania since Sept. 17, tacitly admitted that Poland no longer had a government.

4. The Romanian government tacitly admitted that Poland no longer had a government.

5. Romania had a military treaty with Poland aimed against the USSR. Rumania did not declare war on the USSR.

6. France did not declare war on the USSR, though it had a mutual defense treaty with Poland.

7. England never demanded that the USSR withdraw its troops from Western Belorussia and Western Ukraine, the parts of the former Polish state occupied by the Red Army after September 17, 1939.

On the contrary, the British government concluded that these territories should not be a part of a future Polish state. Even the Polish government-in-exile agreed!

8. The League of Nations did not determine the USSR had invaded a member state.

Now, I wouldn't necessarily say Grover Furr is the best authority ever on the USSR, but he does make some good points here.

The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was necessary because, first, war between the Nazis and Russia was quite inevitable given Hitler's distaste for the 'Judeo-Bolsheviks'. The USSR making a pact with the Nazis was necessary in order to buy time and prepare fo the inevitable invasion into their country, especially when you consider the conduct of everyone else, or to be more specific, the enabling and appeasement of Germany in their initial invasions (see: the treatment of Czechoslovakia).

>On the point on whether or not Marx's observation of the economy is still relevant or not, I wanted to know why his theories are still applicable when globalism and capitalism and consumerism has reached a point where, if you had the moxie, ingenuity and(or) the perseverance to succeed, you can sell your services/goods to practically anyone. Thus, in this day and age no one is bound to their caste, and the hold of the upper class over the lower class is loosened and class disparities are more easily bridged. Today's system is fundamentally capitalist, like during the era of Industrial England, but the sheer scope of today's capitalism has led to globalism and consumerism - which balances the playing field for anyone who wants to move up in the world. Back to the whole bootstraps argument, that's why I don't think it can be so easily dismissed by the old theories and observations of Marx and the others. Again, maybe there is something there that explains why, but so far I haven't seen it.

So you're basically saying, Marx's theories are null, because, the market and capitalism in general are larger than before?


Debate #4 on 6/19/2017 1:59:23 AM

For the most part, I don't see the difference between Industrial England and MEDCs, you're going to have to elaborate on what you mean by this for me, I don't understand why we can't apply Marx's theories on today's society or what has really changed since then in general. Most of Marx's critiques of the exploitation inherent in capitalism are still true. While it is also true that it has been much time since Marx's, and many leaps and bounds have been made for workers through labor unions, strikes, and so on, I mean... we still live under capitalist system. Our society, just as it was in Industrial England, is still fundamentally that of a capitalist one. Thus most of Marx's theories and larger critiques, if not all, can be applied to our world today. 

marx was completely right about everything

cough cough, uh, I hope this answered your question? Honestly I'm just not sure what exactly you're talking about that has changed since Marx's time that would render his critiques and theories of society obsolete.

What might help you is this series on youtube about Marx's LTV.

Okay you're going to definitely have to lose the view that in application communism = fascism. This won't be too hard, considering communism and fascism are absolutely fucking nothing alike and under the most basic scrutiny any simpleton can see the differences in a communist society and a Nazi society.

But if we're talking about application, this gets confusing, because you're going to have to understand that communism, by the definitions set forth by Engels and Marx, i.e. a classless moneyles stateless society, has never been achieved. While socialism has, it varies. When it comes to imperialism, the answer is simple, just don't do it and fight the powers that do (this is one of the main struggles communists have with powers like America that frequently engage in imperialism). However when it comes to distribution, this gets tricky because you will have to start studying specific examples of socialist societies and their respective schools of thought -- the Bolsheviks and the Maoists and the Hoaxhists went about distribution, specifically socialism, in different ways for instance. But generally we can see the effects of people, such as Castro's, Stalin's, and Mao's programs on society and citizens -- the increased literacy rate, increased birth rate, increased food production, increased lifespan, better economy, better healthcare, better education, mass industrialization, leaps in societal gains such as women's rights, and so on. Especially, the bounds created by socialist policies become even greater in scope when you compare the lifestyles of each country before revolution.

Of course, I'm making generalized statements about each country and the links I provide only really scratch the surface. One must perform much more rigorous study to understand distribution under varying socialist societies. However, the point is, unlike the picture reactionaries and the enemies of the people wish to paint, (U.S. state agencies have provided assistance to those with a negative attitude to Maoism (and communism in general) throughout the post-war period. For example, the veteran historian of Maoism Roderick MacFarquhar edited The China Quarterly in the 1960s. This magazine published allegations about massive famine deaths that have been quoted ever since. It later emerged that this journal received money from a CIA front organisation, as MacFarquhar admitted in a recent letter to The London Review of Books. (Roderick MacFarquhar states that he did not know the money was coming from the CIA while he was editing The China Quarterly.) socialist societies are not ones in which no societal progress have been made and everybody's poor and shitty and hungry and oppressed and enslaved and so on. The truth is far from this.

Considering North Korea abandoned achieving socialism long ago in favor of Juche (which is basically Korean ethno-superiority with a dash of socialist ideals), bringing them up is irrelevant at this point.

Communists are inherently authoritarian by nature. Communists will use the State, or to give a basic definition of it, the mechanisms by which the dominant class in any given classist society oppresses the lower class (so for instance secret police would count as the arms of the State) to snuff out opposition such as counter-revolutionaries, social-chavunists, bourgeoisie, reactionaries, social-imperialists, and so on so forth, who only wish to destroy the society.

As Mao puts it, 

After the enemies with guns have been wiped out, there will still be enemies without guns; they are bound to struggle desperately against us, and we must never regard these enemies lightly. If we do nor now raise and understand the problem in this way, we shall commit the gravest mistakes.

Capitalists will do the same, they will silence the opposition to their rule, as they have in the past.

As a specific critique to the idea that communist application = totalitarianism, here is a good critique of this.

The concept of totalitarianism is itself a false concept, invented in the contemporary era for the purpose of confining social analysis and critique within the horizon of so-called liberal, democratic, and insurmountable (the "end of history") capitalism. The move here is to confine the choice to that between liberal capitalism or totalitarianism and by that means preclude both radicalizing the critique of capitalism and defining a choice between capitalism and socialism. Undoubtedly, the critique of the experiences of undemocratic really existing socialism is necessary if one wants to move forward in the critique of capitalism and the definition of the necessary practices to construct the socialist alternative. However, the sterile concept of totalitarianism is of no use in making this critique. Such a critique is based on other considerations that the propagandists of liberalism ignore in principle.

-Samir Amin

It's a good thing socialism is not in conflict with democracy. In fact, socialism is a form of economic democracy: it is the freeing of the proletariat from the bonds of their masters. In terms of political democracy, Lenin has good theories on democratic centralism though again one must understand that democracy in socialist societies has not always been carried out the same way.

I hope this answers most of your questions.